Praise for the Sun’s domestic violence ‘Give me shelter’ campaign

Newspaper urges new Tory government to reopen closed women’s refuges

Sunspread
The Sun’s campaigning spread picturing 48 victims of domestic violence. Photograph: Public domain
Sun campaign
Today’s front page Photograph: Public domain

The authors mention the Sun’s series on domestic violence during Rebekah Brooks’s time as its editor. And today the Sun returns to that subject with its “Give me shelter” campaign, which it has launched following the closure of several women’s refuges.

Four Sun pages, including the entire front page, are devoted to the campaign along with its leading article, A betrayal of the abused. One spread carries the pictures of 48 women killed by abusive partners in Britain in a year.

The Sun argues that “victims of domestic violence have been failed by the system at every turn”. The police, for example, have “too often” failed to take complainants seriously. The editorial, which calls it “a national scandal”, continues:

“It is depressing to learn that dozens of victims’ refuges – normally the only safe places to which they can escape and rebuild their lives – have been shut down.

This is both a disgrace and an emergency. Because in an average week two women in England and Wales are killed by a partner or an ex”.

It takes councils to task for closing “safehouses for terrified women, in mortal danger in their own home”, adding:

“While overall violent crime is falling, domestic violence has not done so in the last six years, during which 32 refuges have been closed”.

It calls on the new Tory government, especially chancellor George Osborne, to “sort it out” by finding “enough funding to enable the reopening of the refuges closed since 2010 and guarantee the safety of the rest from councils’ cost-cutting”.

Actor Julie Walters, a patron of Women’s Aid, has backed the Sun’s campaign. She tells the paper: “Refuges save lives. A safe space can be the difference between life and death…

“The most dangerous time for a woman is when she is trying to escape from her abuser”.

The Sun campaign has aroused enormous interest across social media today, most of it supportive with, inevitably, some negative comments too.

But that’s unfair. The editor, David Dinsmore, deserves praise for launching such a worthwhile campaign. Give credit where it is due. This is an occasion where Britain’s best-selling newspaper is using its muscle in a good cause.