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  • Writer's pictureFarah Benis

Grieving and Outraged: The Need for Sensitive Policing in Response to Violence Against Women

The recent events at the vigil for Sarah Everard in the UK have sparked widespread outrage and raised serious concerns about the disproportionate response from the police.

The police response to the vigil was profoundly problematic and highlighted broader issues within the police force. The heavy-handed response raises serious questions about the police's priorities and their understanding of their role in serving and protecting the public. Rather than facilitating a peaceful and respectful gathering in memory of a victim of violence, the police instead chose to use force and make arrests, further traumatizing a community that was already grieving.

Furthermore, the response to the vigil highlights a larger problem of systemic gender bias within the police. Women's experiences of violence and victimization are too often not taken seriously by the police, and their concerns are often dismissed or ignored. This is particularly true in cases of gender-based violence, where the police have been criticized for their handling of cases and their treatment of survivors.

There are allegations rife across the board of police misconduct, such as in the case of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, where officers were discovered taking and sharing selfies at the crime scene. This type of behaviour by police officers not only undermines the integrity of the investigation but also sends a message to the public that the police do not take the cases of women who have suffered violence seriously.

In order to address these issues, it is crucial that the police take a more nuanced and sensitive approach to policing in cases of violence against women. This could include increased training and awareness programs on gender-based violence, better protocols for responding to incidents of violence, and more robust systems for holding police officers accountable when they fail to respond appropriately.


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