Domestic Violence: A Sister’s Story

As we are dealing with social isolation, here in the U.K, we have seen a spike in intimate partner homicide and family annihilation.  (16 cases, by my reckoning, in less than a month.) This is sadly not unexpected. Agencies which support women fleeing perpetrators warned that Covid19 would see women isolated, with their abusers,  and at elevated risk.   And So it came to pass.

This piece is about my own Sister’s experience, though from an external vantage point. It will cover our interaction with the police force, prison service and the Judicial system.  This experience is over twenty years ago and, roughly, spans a period of about seven years.

At the time my youngest sister reached  16 years of age I was living in Australia.  We were a large family (6 girls and 2 boys). Relations with our dad had not always been easy and, for the girls, tended to become particularly fraught when preparing to go onto higher education. The males didn’t come out unscathed but the experiences were highly differentiated by sex.  I cannot do the details justice in this post, suffice to say, I was not happy to leave her in that situation.

My  “baby” sister is 7 years younger, than I, and was a favourite of our father. We would tease her, relentlessly, about her special place in his affections. At the same time we were not above deploying his affection, for her,  to calm fraught situations.  I have no doubt that we all used her, consciously or otherwise, as a peacemaker, from a far too young age.

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