SOME people will have missed this week’s story about telecoms manager Sebastian Swamy.
He kicked his girlfriend, mum-of-two Abigail Blake, to the ground in a rage then repeatedly stamped on her back and chest as if she were a “squashed beetle.”
7 Three years and four months in jail is just not enoughCredit: Cavendish Press
Why wasn’t more made of such a shocking act, you might ask?
The answer is that this kind of thing, I am sorry to say, is just another everyday news story.
When you read this woman’s victim impact statement, it details horrific injuries as well as deep-rooted PTSD that will never go away.
Then consider the impact this man’s violence has had on her two children, one of whom is his son.
7 When he’s released, though, he’ll be free to live his life just as it was beforeCredit: Cavendish Press
Imagine having to explain to your son that his father treated you in this way.
When you hear about the damage that has been done to this woman’s life, for ever, it shines a light on the fact that three years and four months in jail is just not enough.
What was the misdemeanour that provoked the attack and resulted in Miss Blake, 42, suffering such extreme injuries as a severed spinal cord and a punctured lung?
She had confronted 40-year-old Swamy when he came home late and drunk.
Following the attack, she was unable to walk for several months — and now she suffers from tremors so severe she cannot pick up her toddler or even do up his buttons.
She has also had to give up her job as an operations manager at Manchester Airport.
7 When you read this woman’s victim impact statement, it details horrific injuries as well as deep-rooted PTSD that will never go awayCredit: Cavendish Press
Her statement details the permanent damage and PTSD that she has been left with.
She says: “I’m living in fear that Sebastian is still out there and could at any time come back to hurt myself or my children.
“I have severe panic attacks, night sweats and flashbacks — unable to sleep while thinking he might get into the house.
“I repeatedly plan which child to help first if he breaks in.
“I have permanent spinal cord damage and get asked by my toddler ‘What is that?’ when he is referring to the large scar across my neck.”
Clearly, this woman’s life will for ever be divided into “before” and “after”, in relation to the impact that this monster had on it.
7 Following the attack, she was unable to walk for several months — and now she suffers from tremorsCredit: Cavendish Press
When he’s released, though, he’ll be free to live his life just as it was before.
Unsurprisingly, any thoughts of possible repercussions were not enough to stop this man in the first place — and I doubt his sentence will act as a deterrent for other men who think it acceptable to take out on women their anger, their feelings of inadequacy and their inability to express themselves.
We read stories about domestic violence, stalking, harassment, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, trafficking of women, prostitution, rape, sexual assault and revenge porn.
Victims are from all classes and backgrounds — and between a quarter and a third of ALL women will be affected during their lifetime.
That means ALL women, to a degree, live with the fear of these things as a real possibility.
As the saying goes: Men fear women laughing at them, women fear that men will kill them.
In the meantime, the truth is that violence against women and girls is a huge part of what is stopping women achieving equality.
All societies have norms and expectations about the way women and men behave, and about what they deserve.
Often they are so entrenched that we don’t even question them.
All too often, women as well as men normalise, dismiss, diminish, ignore, minimise and even justify violence by men against women.
Sometimes we even blame women and criticise their behaviour — “she was asking for it” — rather than men’s.
Our social norms and expectations allow some men to feel entitled to commit violence against women . . . and feel confident they will get away with it.
The bottom line is that as long as attacks like this happen, without evoking outrage from the rest of us, they will continue.
Just because attacks like this may now be a daily occurrence, we must not allow it to become the status quo.
Coco has manners to match
I’M not the only one wowed by Coco Gauff – who beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon at the tender age of 15 and has now won two MORE matches to make the last 16.
I’m also unsurprised to hear that her parents quit their jobs to support Coco – Dad to coach her and Mum to home-school her.
7 I hope she goes far in her careerCredit: Paul Edwards – The Sun
This is the reality of what it takes to raise a champ.
Coco is a brilliant player but what impresses me more than the way she plays – and boy, does she play well – are her post-match interviews, which reveal her to be mature and respectful, with a sparkling personality.
She is clearly a very well brought up young lady and her parents have done a marvellous job both on and off the court. I hope she goes far in her career.About time
AT last. It was about blooming time, don’t you think, that Wimbledon umpires dropped the Miss or Mrs for female players so they are addressed simply by their surname. Like the men.What took them so long?To me, labelling and identifying women by whether or not they are married feels archaic and it annoys me at the best of times that Mr is applied to all men whether married or not.You could dismiss it all as nonsense but I’m just glad they have dropped it at Wimbledon – and I guess every millimetre that we edge towards equality is a good thing.
MADONNA ON THE MOVEWHATEVER you think of Madonna, how many 60-year-olds do you know who can not only do a handstand – but simultaneously twerk, with considerable dynamism, which is exactly what she did at a World Pride 2019 party this week.Frankly, I have the upmost respect for her simply for manoeuvring herself into that very unlikely combination.
She seems to have ditched the eye patch but there is no denying she is growing old disgracefully . . . good for her.
Claudia and co earn respect
SOME people have accused the BBC of being tone deaf by revealing its £1billion wage bill this week after it emerged it had increased the pay of many of its top stars.
Yes, this comes at the same time that pensioners are being forced to cough up for their TV licence.
7 It’s good that women are climbing their way up the listCredit: Rex Features
But let’s be clear, these are two separate issues.
What stood out for me about the BBC announcement is that, for the first time, three women – Claudia Winkleman, Vanessa Feltz and Zoe Ball – are in the top ten earners.
Also, female stars including Zoe, Vanessa, Sara Cox, Jo Whiley, Gabby Logan, Rachel Burden and Laura Kuenssberg have been given pay rises of between £20,000 and £200,000 after the gender pay gap row.
Meanwhile, senior men including John Humphrys, Jeremy Vine and Nicky Campbell have had their salaries slashed by up to £140,000.
It’s brutal but that’s the kind of change that needs to happen to redress the appalling disparity in pay.
So let’s acknowledge progress when it happens.
To pay the top ten people at the BBC you need to sell 44,550 TV licences.
Some won’t think these people are worth the money but good TV talent is hard to come by and it’s good that women are climbing their way up the list.
CommentTONY PARSONS I wouldn’t trust the EU’s contemptuous new Ayatollahs to run a whelk stall CommentTHE SUN SAYS Tories threatening to ‘block’ No Deal are clueless to damage they will cause CommentTHE SUN ON SUNDAY SAYS BoJo’s optimism will be music to the ears of the struggling Commentrod liddle Councils yet again ‘see Asian rapists as the victims’ — not girls they groomed CommentQUENTIN LETTS Bemused foreigners, if you want to understand Brits — just believe in ‘fête’
Be loud ‘n’ proud, ladies
THIS is a controversial thing to say, given how much criticism there has been this week of the American football players’ alleged arrogance in the face of their various victories.
But let the records show that I would like to come out and PRAISE them for their unabashed confidence.
For a start, while everyone is so busy criticising them, no one seems to have made the connection between their confidence and their, you know . . . winning.
Actually, what really bothers me is the question of whether or not the same criticism would ever be levelled at male players celebrating their moments of glory – ever.
I honestly don’t think so.
It’s almost as if we all want to celebrate women’s football but only if they behave in the way we want women to behave, which is meek, mild – and grateful to be on the pitch.
Sorry, but that attitude is in need of serious revision.
Caviar? I’ll have a kebabTHE Beckhams celebrated 20 years of marriage this week with a private tour of the Palace of Versailles.Posh proving she is still as posh as ever wore a dress that costs more than most people actually spend on their wedding.
They ate caviar, truffles and they drank a bottle of champagne which cost £850 quid on its own.
Well, if you’ve got it flaunt it, I guess.
Personally I hate champagne, truffles and caviar . . . which is probably why my husband took me out for a kebab to celebrate our 20 years of marriage.
SAD news that one of life’s genuine eccentrics, John McCririck has died.
I met him a few times and he had this strange and rather creepy habit of scratching the inside of your palm when you shook hands.
He also called his wife “The Booby” but whatever you think of him, the world is less colourful without him.
7 The late John McCririck was a colourful characterCredit: Getty – Contributor
Watch Coco Gauff’s Wimbledon 2019 fairytale so far