Let’s hope our jails are never too full for the viscous bullies who beat up women. In Norfolk alone, there have been 10 cases of domestic violence reported to police every day over the last six months – but the real figure is much higher as so many are not reported.
An horrific attack in Norwich has been splashed on the front page of today’s Eastern Daily Press, reporting how the county has seen three high profile convictions for domestic violence in less than a week. Yesterday 21-year-old Christopher Bates, from Norwich, became the latest to be jailed. He was jailed for six years after admitting subjecting his ex-girlfriend to 17 hours of â€œunmitigated and sadisticâ€? torture while her two-year-old daughter looked on.
In April, Norwich will get its own dedicated domestic violence court to make processing prosecutions less stressful. This is a terrifying prospect for victims, they do not want to face their attacker again and need to be able to give evidence from behind a screen, I hope this facility will be available to them.
Bates’ victim is slowly recovering from her horrendous trauma, which included having her head shaved and being told she would be set on fire if he had some petrol; using cigarette lighter fluid to burn her hair clippings and clothes and trying to burn her legs and face; describing horrifically how he planned to rape her; taking her asthma inhaler before pushing her head into sofa cushions in an attempt to suffocate her. Her young daughter was forced to watch many of his monstrous attacks.
Fortunately, his victim is beginning to recover and has praised police for their support, which is so crucial in these cases, it takes so much bravery for a victim to step forward, they need to be believed and helped. Two women a week are killed because of domestic violence, it will affect 1 in 4 women in their lifetime.
I have no idea what makes young men end up as such a drugs-fuelled sadistic monster, the kind of childhood Bates had. How can someone like him be rehabilitated in jail? Can he change? And how can more victims of domestic violence be persuaded to report their attacks to police?