My search results for Erin Pizzey. Very
interesting to see how the local newspapers have been pretty good, but the
Guardian and the Independent, who represent a tiny snotty minority, have been
obnoxious and adolescent, and it is they who pull the strings.
January 20, 2002
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 7
LENGTH: 292 words
HEADLINE: VETERAN FEMINIST ERIN IS REUNITED WITH LONG-LOST PAL
BYLINE: By Rebecca Mowling
WOMEN'S campaigner Erin Pizzey has been reunited with her best friend
school for the first time since they were both pupils - 45 years ago.
They were brought together after veteran feminist Erin, founder of the
women's refuge movement, posted her details on the Friends Reunited
Months later she received an e-mail from the daughter of her long-lost
school friend Kate Rae asking her to get in touch.
The pair were pupils at St Anthony's Lewesdon, a convent school, near
Sherborne, Dorset, in the 1950s but fell out soon after they left and
contact with each other till yesterday.
Erin, a married mother of two who lives in Twickenham, said:
"When we left school at 17 my mother had cancer. Two days after
her death I
ran away to London where I was homeless.
"I had sent Kate a letter telling her if she didn't write back I
speak to her again.
I've just found out that she did reply but I didn't get the letter
had left home and we lost touch.
"I was so surprised when Kate's daughter Alice contacted me. I had
missed her and thought about her often."
Sitting together at Kate's home in Dorset the pair enjoyed tea and
they talked about old times and their school days.
Kate added: "When I first saw her again she looked and sounded
same. We were able to pick up where we left off, all the years simply
"Over the years I have followed her career and thought about
contact with her on several occasions and am so glad that Alice got us
Pizzey, 62, set up Chiswick Women's Aid, the first refuge for victims
domestic violence. Her 12 books include Scream Quietly or the
LOAD-DATE: January 21, 2002
6 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 2001 Newspaper Publishing PLC
Independent on Sunday (London)
December 2, 2001, Sunday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 7
LENGTH: 969 words
HEADLINE: FEMINISTS ATTACK GREER FOR BLAST AT 'SABRE-TOOTH' POSH
BYLINE: Robert Mendick
Germaine Greer has done it again. The veteran feminist has launched
verbal assault on a rival female icon, commanding Victoria Beckham to
quiet, have some babies and put on some weight".
Ms Greer's comments were made in an online debate on "The Secret
Posh and Becks", in which she described Mrs Beckham as "a
-toothed beast" who looked like a "starving carnivore".
Questioned by The
Independent on Sunday, Ms Greer was unrepentant, reiterating her view
Beckham should stop making albums because they are so awful and
staying at home or else find her good-looking husband wooed by another
Even by Ms Greer's high standards, the attack sounds vicious. Although
have been other victims of Ms Greer's sharp tongue, including Anne
Cherie Blair and the columnist Suzanne Moore, Mrs Beckham is probably
well equipped to defend herself from the barbs.
Last night, Mrs Beckham's agent declined to offer a comment in response
Ms Greer's vituperation. Instead, the former Spice Girl's defence was
battle-hardened women fed up with Ms Greer's seeming lack of
Erin Pizzey, the founder of the women's refuge movement and author of
book Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear, was aghast, declaring
attack "vicious and unnecessary".
"Germaine Greer has turned so many women off feminism," she
said, "She is a
narcissist and an exhibitionist. If we weighed up what Germaine Greer
offered the world against the Beckhams' example of a loving, warm
Posh and Becks win hands down. Part of the problem for Germaine Greer
cannot have babies because nobody wants to marry her." Natasha
Walter, author of
The New Feminism who has crossed swords with Ms Greer in the past, is
"I don't really understand why she needs to attack women
individually," said Ms
Walter. "I think she thinks it's all a game. It's all fun and it's
and she doesn't get why people get so upset about it.
"I don't think Victoria Beckham will be hurt by Germaine Greer.
probably not really aware of who Germaine Greer is. She is not that up
feminist history. Nevertheless commenting on people's appearance rather
their ideas is wrong."
Speaking from her home in Essex, Ms Greer, author of the seminal,
work The Female Eunuch, appeared, at first, somewhat defensive about
She explained they had been taken out of context, ascribing the views
female fans of the footballer who had little regard for his wife and
motivated by jealousy.
"I don't give a fuck what she does," said Ms Greer, before
warming to the
topic and calling Mrs Beckham a "velociraptor". She told The
Sunday: "I just hope she doesn't waste all their money trying to
make a great
album because she can't. She says her career is important but I think
nonsense. She should be around a bit more (at home) or somebody else is
move in on the unguarded flank if she is not careful.
"What one would not like to see is the career of a peerless
brought low by the ambition of a less than brilliant pop star. She
another baby in the interests of poor old Brooklyn."
Ms Greer had no regrets and showed no contrition for the salvoes
more high-brow rivals. "It has usually made the women I have said
it about." Her
most recent spat was with Anne Robinson, the host of The Weakest Link
in response to comments in the television presenter's autobiography. Ms
announced she would name a chicken after Ms Robinson and enjoy it all
when it came to wringing the bird's neck.
Annie the Chicken was still alive last night although time is running
"I haven't got around to pulling its neck," explained Ms
Greer. "But I'm getting
some new chickens. So Annie is due for the pot."
She should keep quiet, have babies, and put on weight.
We were observing the peculiar behaviour of my hen, when my friend
looking into the ginger bird's tiny, mad red-rimmed eye, 'D'you know
reminds me of?'
She's like his concubine. She's an intelligent woman doing an important
I don't want to see her coming around being a wife.
Hair birds-nested all over the place, fuck-me shoes and three fat inches
cleavage ... so much lipstick must rot the brain.
Labour's female MPs:
A lot came in by default. They were a backing group while he, Tony
was the teen idol - it's crapulous.
Tale of the tape
Previous bouts Anne Robinson, Suzanne Moore, Cherie Blair, Julia
Defeats One. A teenage student held her hostage in her own home, tying
up and smashing her belongings with a fire poker.
Intellectual punching power Her heavyweight tomes include The Female
and The Whole Woman. Professor of English and Comparative Studies at
University of Warwick, PhD from Cambridge University. Experienced
most television debating programmes.
Previous bouts Several with Geri Halliwell; likened Page Three model
to "a dog"; suggested Sophie Ellis-Bextor's record resembled
"dog food"; branded
Naomi Campbell a "bitch" after Campbell called her a
Defeats Humiliation when her much-hyped first solo album failed to set
charts on fire.
Intellectual punching power GCSEs from St Mary's High School, Cheshunt;
drama course at Laine Arts Theatre college, Epsom. Autobiography,
Fly. Last week the British Retail Consortium said Britain needs a
shopping. Some think Posh would fit the bill.
LOAD-DATE: December 2, 2001
10 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 2001 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
November 26, 2001
SECTION: Guardian Features Pages, Pg. 6
LENGTH: 1186 words
HEADLINE: Women: 'Domestic violence can't be a gender issue': Erin Pizzey,
veteran feminist campaigner, tells Dina Rabinovitch why she now thinks
women can be just as abusive as men
BYLINE: Dina Rabinovitch
Erin Pizzey, stocking-footed and sporting a huge cross, comes to the
The rain's coming down with Old Testament veng- eance, and I am struggling
park, then carry out and protect small baby and tape-recorder. Pizzey
just enough help to get me started - she hands me one of those
permits that keeps your car safe from traffic wardens - then abruptly
around and heads back up the stairs, leaving me to manage the rest on
It's a small snapshot of what she believes in doing for women: she sets
to be independent.
Once upon a time, back in the 70s, if you were a woman having a bad
Pizzey's was the name to conjure with. The founder of the Chiswick
Refuge - which gave rise to Refuge, the national domestic violence
the establishment of hundreds of women's refuges - she was part of the
back then, a synonym for aid. I grew up in Hendon, a place impervious
zeitgeist. But on the road where I lived in the 70s the big house at
the top was
squatted by a women's refuge: that's how far Pizzey's influence
These days Pizzey is on her own, in the top flat of a converted house
south London. Her centre of operations is the bright-yellow living
room, with a
computer, and a bed. When you visit, she offers you food from the
there's bread in the oven today. So far, so maternal. But just beneath the
solidity, all is fragile.
Last year was not good for Pizzey: she was diagnosed with cancer, and
grandson, Keita, a schizophrenic, committed suicide in a prison cell.
reacted in typical fashion - galvanising her family to fight the
verdict of death by hanging, because her grandson should never have
been left in
a cell alone. Pizzey said - as other families of mentally ill patients
have protested unsuccessfully before - that the prison service didn't
her grandson, that their neglect contributed to his death. And because
old campaigner she managed to have the case reheard - last month a jury
at the evidence again, and found unanimously that his death was
by the neglect of prison staff. The family's solicitor called the
first ever to reach a finding of neglect in a suicide case, a
But she also actively wrenched her granddaughter, Amber, away from
putting her up for a bad-taste TV show. So the Mail put the following
an article by Pizzey describing Amber's adventures on Temptation
Island: "I'm a
feminist, that's why I wanted my granddaughter to be a sexual
isn't wasting good anger on malicious headlines. She just chuckles. As
happens - and she has the letter to prove it - she has long since been
by feminism. This comes as a shock to someone of my generation - we
hearing about the work she did for other women - but also an insight into
beginnings of the movement which has made our lives so much easier. The
with Pizzey - for feminism, anyhow - is she never toes anybody's party
Right now she is writing a book - A Terrorist Within the Family - that
are as much victims of domestic abuse as women.
These things are complicated - but ever current. On my way to south
to meet Pizzey they're talking about domestic violence on Radio 4's
Hour, quoting the statistic that every third day a woman in this
beaten or killed by a current or ex-partner. When I repeat this to
causes her to grimace. She doesn't accept the thesis - that only men
learn to change their behaviour - or the figures.
Still, you don't have to be a burner of Playtex not to want your
on Temptation Island. What was she doing sending her grand-daughter off
seduce men away from their partners in the name of reality viewing?
young to have such a terrible tragedy - her brother's dead, she's 22,
surrounded by grieving adults. This journalist mentioned he was looking
young people to go to this island, play a sort of dating game on the
Amber's really pretty, so I sent him two pictures of her, and said to
you can't afford a holiday, but this is two weeks on a tropical island.
"And, by the way," and here comes the Pizzey touch - the bit
carving out a life, "I told her, if you truly want to be a singer,
this is what
it's going to be like. There'll be people there who'll be willing to do
anything to get on the television: go and try 15 minutes of fame, and
you make of it."
Amber was voted off Temptation Island, but tells her grandma she's
glad she went, though she hated the rejection. Her grandma, meanwhile,
to court rejection from the women's movement. We talk about her latest
"It's not that I'm saying women are as abusive as men; the point
is, it's not
men and women at all. It's anybody who comes from that kind of
"If you come from a dysfunctional, violent and sexually abusive
do you learn? Therefore, domestic violence can't be a gender issue, it
just men, because we girls - and I was from one of those families - are
badly affected." So women are as violent as men? "Well, we
tend to implode, our
violence is turned in on ourselves or is covert - men explode and hurt
So it's not exactly the same? "It's violence," Pizzey says
stubbornly, and goes
on to tell a story of a woman she knows who bullies her husband with
In fact, Pizzey has been saying the same things about domestic violence
along. She was a housewife in south London, when she started reading
Tweedie's columns in the Guardian. "I thought, 'this is what I've
for all my life' - that women were going to stop competing, and start
communicating, to get things done, to change things."
She went to her local women's liberation workshop - the first time she
left her husband babysitting - but she wasn't comfortable with what she
"They weren't allowing women to have a choice: I knew that a woman
who ends up
with a violent armed robber has at some level chosen to be with him -
feminist movement only allowed women to be victims."
She was thrown out of the movement for informing on bombings by the
Brigade. "I said that if you go on with this - they were
discussing bombing Biba
(the legendary department store in Kensington) - I'm going to call the
in, because I really don't believe in this." Ousted, Pizzey went
off and started
the refuge. "In a way, if all that hadn't happened, I wouldn't
have done what I
believed in," she says now.
She has no publisher for A Terrorist in the Family; she plans to
on the internet. She is no longer a name to conjure with. For a woman
affected so many, she seems - while surrounded by family - publicly
her older age. As I leave, I wonder if a man who'd done so much would
so alone, and I wonder why we women don't look after our own quite as
well as we
LOAD-DATE: November 26, 2001
20 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 2001 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
MAIL ON SUNDAY
September 30, 2001
SECTION: Pg. 60
LENGTH: 1167 words
HEADLINE: I'm a feminist that's why I wanted my granddaughter to be a sexual
How the founder of Refuge, the shelter for battered wives, recruited
for the 'infidelity in paradise' TV show
BYLINE: Erin Pizzey
Well, in that case,' I said gazing at a slightly desperate TV research
assistant, 'I am willing to volunteer my granddaughter, Amber.' He had
discussing a possible documentary with me but then confessed he was
for young people for a show that was recruiting contestants to end up
secret tropical island in a sort of 'dating game on the beach'. When I
I sent him a holiday snap of 22-year-old Amber and a passport
Being grandmotherless myself, I had always vowed that my granddaughter
should reap the benefits of my misspent life. The first sentence she
my arthritic knee was 'Make mine a Mercedes'. I also taught her to wash
in vinegar and pearls in milk. Men, I instructed, were the vulnerable
properly loved and fed seldom gave any trouble. Advice that I believed
stand her in good stead on Temptation Island, Sky One's reality TV
which couples have their fidelity tested by tempters, one of whom Amber
about to become.
'It's an excellent opportunity, Amber,' I said on the telephone. 'I've
flogged you off to a TV company.' She had been back after a year on a
Israel and was suffering from itchy feet. 'If you want to make it in
business you can go out to a fabulous island, see what showbusiness is
like and if you enjoy your 15 minutes of fame it will be a free
it's time you had another adventure.' The format of the programme
promise an adventure. Four couples would be separated, with the men
sent to one
resort to be surrounded by beautiful women, while the girls would be
another to be tempted into infidelity by carefully chosen males. Over
the tempters would be voted off the islands by their 'victims'.
None of this deterred Amber. 'I got through the first interview,
she said on the telephone. There was an anxious ten-day waiting period
we heard she was definitely going.
But while we were delighted she was going to appear in the programme, I
amazed at how much teeth-sucking was going on around me. Quite rational
changed colour. 'I thought of you as a leading women's rights activist.
say I am disappointed,' a neighbour commented. 'It'll be a **** fest,'
husband added wistfully.
'It's people like you that take all the fun out of life,' I retorted.
'How could you let Amber do a thing like that?' my now ex-best friend
outside the Post Office where we were collecting our pensions. I
this was not the time to tell her that Amber telephoned that morning to
that her required AIDS test was negative. 'Jolly good, darling,' I
'Very responsible production company,' I reported to my daughter. 'I
they're as good at sifting out the psychotics.' So why, given the
faced, do I still think that what I did was not only understandable but
good thing? I confess that I am a reality-television junkie.
When we watch soaps, the actors and actresses learn lines and translate
scripts to us. At the end of each episode they go home and become
In reality television, real people have to make the script up as they
along. We see them at their most vulnerable, which is why millions not
identify with the participants but also find these shows such compulsive
Nothing on TV exposes the strengths and weaknesses in the personalities
ordinary people in the way that reality television does. It is not only
viewer that learns about the individuals they are watching the
involved learn more about themselves than they will at probably any
of their lives.
It is this risking of the self that causes tension in the viewer and
dangerous for the participant. Placed in a highly artificial situation,
people are tempted by a lust for fame or financial gain to behave under
narcissistic glare of the cameras against their own moral convictions.
transformations some people undergo are extraordinary and revealing.
Feltz appeared to suffer a minor breakdown in the celebrity version of
Brother and was genuinely embarrassed by the results of her behaviour.
gripping episode of ITV's Survivor, three men stood on a long pole in
blazing heat without food for nearly 24 hours. It made for heroic
precisely because these were real people who were prepared to endure
unimaginable suffering. They could be considered our 21st Century
And like gladiatorial combat we cannot help but watch and wonder how we
would respond in similar circumstances.
'It won't just be great fun, Amber,' I told my granddaughter. 'You will
discover things that you never knew about yourself. You will not only
to tempt men to cheat on their partners, but you may also be expected
to do some
things that might shock you.' Amber just grinned at me. 'I guess I'll
to find out,' she said. 'I do hope I don't do anything that I'll
more respectable members of the family were not informed of Amber's
but the rest took it in their stride. 'Remember,' her mother, my
'whatever you do I will be watching.' I honestly believed that if
cope with the experience and be enriched by what they learned, it was
comes from an unorthodox, adventurous family. She was only a few years
the family packed up our home, our dogs and cats and set off for a new
Santa Fe, New Mexico. When she was born her father, Mikey Craig, was
bass guitar with Culture Club and the house was full of music. On my
side of the
family we inherit wild Irish genes.
Amber telephoned the night before she left England. 'The girls are
nice,' she said. 'I hope I don't get voted off first.' After she
Miami to say she was flying with the other 'singles' to the island the
I didn't hear from her for a while before I got a reverse charge call
British Honduras. 'I wasn't the first to go, but I've been voted off
Grandma,' she said. Her voice was shaky and she was close to tears.
'Was it worth doing?' I asked her anxiously.
'Sure. Grandma, even you'd be shocked at some of the things that
'I'm sure I will be, but are you all right?' 'Yeah, but I know what you
about finding out about myself. There were things I just couldn't do,
But I'm glad I went. I've got to ring Mum and tell her I'm OK, and then
going off to swim with some of the others who've also been voted off.'
I put the
phone down and heaved a sigh of relief. She'd survived her experience.
All I've got to do now is watch my granddaughter's performance on
from behind a pair of dark glasses with a large gin and tonic in my
hand and see
if I really can be shocked by what goes on.
Temptation Island is broadcast on Sky One on Sundays and Fridays
LOAD-DATE: October 1, 2001
24 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 2001 EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS
September 2, 2001
SECTION: FEATURES; Pg. 53
LENGTH: 1582 words
HEADLINE: ENJOY!; I FELT SO GUILTY WHEN MY GIRLFRIEND BEAT ME UP
BYLINE: LOUISE CARTER
Domestic abuse is a brutal reality for many women but what if the
male? After years of violence Jason, 33, decided to speak out about one
Britain's last taboos. He tells LOUISE CARTER about the love that
into silence - and the attack that drove him to break it
WHEN I met Rachel in June 1998, I was not looking for love. I was
independent and enjoying the single life.
I had just got a good job as a quantity surveyor and was looking
the future. My friends and I went out to celebrate at a Chinese
as we walked in my eyes were drawn to a beautiful woman sitting with a
That was Rachel, and meeting her turned my world upside down. We were
introduced through mutual friends. She was truly the girl of my dreams
attractive, articulate and a sympathetic listener. By the end of the
knew I was falling for her and we arranged to meet again.
Two months sped by and I was blissfully happy. We would often talk
the night and sit together to watch the sun rise. She was interested in
everything I had to say - my life, my work and my family.
She was a mature student nearing the end of a degree course in social
She wanted to develop a career in occupational therapy and we discussed
plans for the future.
Soon they became our plans. I knew our relationship was moving fast,
felt right. We tried to see each other every day but failing that we
for hours on the phone.
One evening, after I had been working late, I waited for Rachel to
soon as the telephone rang I leapt to answer it. The voice was
Rachel's but she sounded subdued. I tried to cheer her up but as she
how bad her day at college had been, her voice became irate. Soon she
screaming at me, accusing me of not caring for her. "Where are
you?" she yelled.
"You obviously hate me, or you would be here."
SHE could not be reasoned with and after she slammed down the phone, I
stunned. I wanted to see her immediately and reassure her that of
course I loved
her. When I arrived on her doorstep, she was as sweet as ever. It was
nothing had happened. She greeted me with a kiss and apologised for her
behaviour. I forgot it all in an instant, putting it down to a moment
madness. I was just glad that she was OK.
We soon decided to move in together and found a lovely apartment.
were spent shopping for furniture as we settled into our own new home.
concentrated on her degree and I ploughed my energy into my work.
I was content with the way our relationship was developing but Rachel
Soon she was ringing me two or three times a day to complain about
or just to check where I was.
One night I was late home from work. I had explained that a project was
but when I walked in she accused me of being unfaithful. Her face was
Frightened at this sudden personality change, I tried to reassure her.
took a step towards her but she stepped back. She screamed at me not to
her, grabbed a cup of hot tea from the table and threw it at me. I
ducked and it
crashed into the wall.
From then on her temper quickly deteriorated. I could not understand
had happened to the sweet, caring woman I had fallen in love with. She
everything I said.
She could create an argument out of the most innocent remark - even a
She was so ugly when she was angry, it seemed unreal and unnatural. We
over trivial things and the more she knew about me, the more she ripped
But I still loved her passionately.
Each time the tears would fall afterwards and she would make excuses
behaviour. She would blame her hormones, beg my forgiveness and promise
I desperately wanted to believe her and promised to stand by her. I had
caught a glimpse of true happiness with her and I wanted it to
So I faced her irrational outbursts and defended myself as best I
I would try to hold her and calm her down but she would bite and spit.
tried to back away, she would grab my hair and kick me.
I booked an appointment with Relate, hoping we could sort out our
But Rachel was furious.
She said the problem was all mine.
The appointment was cancelled.
Perhaps she was right - maybe I should be able to handle what was
Trips to buy new plates, cups and ashtrays became a regular occurrence.
week something would be broken.
I was emotionally drained. It affected every aspect of my life. I
to keep focused on work.
When the boss shouted at me for being late, I cowered - I was so used
being yelled at.
I knew deep down that Rachel had a problem but I could not stop
myself. Other couples were not like us, so I felt I had failed somehow.
for faults in my personality to justify Rachel's insults and actions. I
ability to stand up for myself and my self-confidence was in shreds.
Yet when we went out with friends, the transformation was unnerving.
Suddenly she was the life and soul of the party again - smiling and
Everyone loved her and said how lucky I was. Who would believe me if
knew the truth? At 6 ft 2 in I towered over 5 ft 4 in Rachel. I would
laughingstock, totally humiliated.
Of course, Rachel knew this. "Do you think they'd believe
you?" she would
sneer. "I'll say you hurt me." So I hated myself for not
being able to cope and
bottled it all up for 2 years. Then one day I woke early. Rachel was
I decided to make tea. It was a lovely morning, so I opened the back
I heard Rachel come into the kitchen and she launched into a torrent of
abuse. She was shouting because I had not made her tea, and screamed
open door would aggravate her hay fever. She called me a selfish pig.
She darted for the kettle and gripped it so hard that the whites of her
knuckles showed. I turned to run and felt a searing pain as she threw
boiling water over my back. Screaming in agony, I rang a neighbour who
to the hospital.
I SPENT the day wrestling with my conflicting emotions. My deeprooted
affection for Rachel had not disappeared but I needed to think of my
What if she had wielded a knife instead of a kettle?
When I was discharged later that day I stopped at the police station.
I was terrified at how the police officers would react. The prospect of
admitting the abuse made me physically ill. I also felt I was betraying
But to my relief the police listened patiently, and did not judge. They
asked if I wished to press charges but I decided not to. I did not want
ongoing war between us.
Just talking about how she had treated me worked wonders. I felt as
weight had been lifted. I just wanted Rachel out of my life.
The police offered me leaflets on domestic abuse. Unfortunately, all
contacts were for women. In desperation I called one of them and they
put me in
touch with ManKind - a support group for male victims of domestic
I believe that call saved my selfrespect and gave me the strength to go
When I got home Rachel expressed no remorse for her actions. Something
us had changed irrevocably and I told her to leave. I refused to live
in fear of
violence any longer.
That was five months ago. The physical scars have healed and I'm slowly
piecing my life back together.
Before I met Rachel I never dreamt that men could be victims of
I'm now in touch with Victim Support, and regularly contact ManKind.
They have made me feel safe. It gave me an outlet to express the
I am so glad that I decided to take control of my life again. It was
frightening but I would urge any victim of domestic abuse - male or
female - to
get help. Men need to realise that they are not alone.
I wasted nearly three years of my life. Please don't make the same
'Domestic violence support groups are heavily biased against men. We
redress that' MALE domestic abuse recently hit the headlines when Erin
who founded Refuge, the charity offering support to women in violent
situations - claimed that men were the forgotten victims of domestic
is writing a book, A Terrorist Within the Family, in which she suggests
women are as violent as men. "Just as many men are being attacked
by women, "
The last major survey into domestic abuse in 1996 found that 4.2 per
women and 4.2 per cent of men said they had been physically abused by a
in the last year. Assaults included shoving, grabbing, kicking,
punching. Women claimed to have been injured in 47 per cent of the
men in 31 per cent. Violence was found to peak between the ages of 16
Married men were at lowest risk but cohabiting men were at greatest
Male victims tended to be particularly unhappy about the level of
offered, especially by the police.
Stephen Fitzgerald of ManKind, a support group for men, said:
violence support groups are heavily biased against men and we seek to
this balance. Even if only one man in a thousand is abused, that man is
to the same help as women."
ManKind helpline 01643 863352.
Victim Support helpline 0845 3030900.
LOAD-DATE: September 2, 2001
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Copyright 2001 Telegraph Group Limited
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH(LONDON)
August 17, 2001, Friday
SECTION: Pg. 19
LENGTH: 497 words
HEADLINE: Give us lasses, not ladettes Doris Lessing was right to criticise
man-hating feminists, says Erin Pizzey
BYLINE: By Erin Pizzey
Doris Lessing seized her moment at the Edinburgh Festival this week to
the feminist movement for waging war against men. Men, she declared,
are the new
victims in the sex war and are "continually demeaned and
insulted" by women.
Lessing now faces the slings and arrows of the enraged sisterhood, but
she has a
broad back and an astute understanding of the political agenda that
manipulated the feminist movement of the early Seventies.
The 30 years war against men was in its infancy in 1971, when I opened the
first refuge for women who were victims of domestic violence. I was
immediately that 62 of the first 100 women in my care were as violent
as the men
they had left behind. But it was impossible to get this information
because women journalists were filling their columns with the news that
women's movement would unite all women in the battle for equal pay and
opportunities and would insist, among other things, that "all
innocent victims of men's violence".
My generation of thirty-somethings, at home with our children, fulfilling our
roles as wives and mothers, were ripe for a revolution. We were the
first of the
Pill generation and the first in which thousands of women could look
a university education. For the first time in history, women could be
financially independent, so that they no longer had to look to men for
future. Women would, we were assured by the spokeswomen of our
down the sexual barriers and reinvent themselves and their sexuality.
But there was confusion, in that women reached out for male power and dressed
and behaved as obnoxiously as the men of whom they complained, while
that men should cave in to their demands to become more like women.
born the "ladette" culture: the very idea of femininity was
anathema to the
younger generation of women clawing their way up the social structure,
they still wanted relationships with men, a home and a family.
Zoe Ball, Sara Cox and Nicole Appleton all typify this new generation of
"have it all" women. Scary Meg Mathews's excessive partying
brought her marriage
to Noel Gallagher to an end. But if men continue to be abused in the
name of the
liberation of women, then women will dominate and destroy men instead
towards an equal partnership.
Much of my work is with violence-prone women: it is very difficult in the
present-day culture of women behaving outrageously to reintroduce the
virtues of gentleness and patience. Ball gave birth to her first child
December; she now prefers mineral water to lager and is presenting a
television series about childbirth - proof that even the hardest
I have always believed that it is women who civilise a nation through the
influence they exercise over their children, so perhaps Ball can show
us the way
back? If she doesn't, the future looks lonely for all of us.
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Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Limited
The Times (London)
August 13, 2001, Monday
SECTION: Home news
LENGTH: 309 words
HEADLINE: Men told how to avoid violent women
BYLINE: Elizabeth Judge
Erin Pizzey, the founder of Britain's first refuge for battered women,
writing a book with advice for men on how to avoid violent women.
A Terrorist Within the Family warns men of tell-tale signs that show a
could turn violent. A slight temper, or displays of neuroticism in a
woman, signal that she could become violent in later life. The book
that men should avoid women who have intense relationships with their
It is based on evidence compiled from Ms Pizzey's 30 years working with
battered women and their partners and follows the early findings of a
into domestic violence which shows that men are as likely to suffer
domestic violence as women.
Researchers led by Dr Malcolm George, from the University of London,
examined more than 100 papers on domestic violence from the past two
Their findings suggest that a female partner can be just as aggressive
as a man.
They are now building up a detailed picture of the type of men who are
vulnerable to domestic violence, using the experiences of more than 100
victims. The men, who replied to advertisements in men's journals, have
abused or beaten by a female partner in the past five years.
David Yarwood, from Dewar Research, a private company managing the
said: "There has been very little information collated on male
domestic violence. This is a result of the common perception that women
main ones to suffer."
Ms Pizzey said: "Despite evidence from 30 years ago to say
common perception still is that men are never the victims. What we need
balanced approach towards the subject and an end of the taboo
in violence so that we can have peace in the family."
She added: "We always give the benefit of the doubt to
LOAD-DATE: August 13, 2001
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Copyright 2001 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)
March 4, 2001, Sunday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 5
LENGTH: 483 words
HEADLINE: WOMEN 'TOUGHER' ON RAPE VICTIMS
BYLINE: Sophie Goodchild And Louise Jury
HELENA KENNEDY QC, the Labour peer and close friend of the Blairs, says
women jurors are tougher than men on female victims of rape.
The leading human rights lawyer claims that older generations of women
particular are less sympathetic when sitting on rape trial juries.
"Women are often very hard on their own sex," she said.
"Sometimes, if women
arebeing tough, then men defer to women. They (women) take the lead on
discussions and are very tough on women."
Her comments, based on her own courtroom experience, have divided
and anti-rape campaigners, as well as furthered the debate on how rape
Baroness Kennedy, who has campaigned for 25 years for reform in the way
cases are handled, made her comments at a lecture held to mark the
the first national women's library.
She said male jurors often feel women are better qualified to decide on
whether or not a rape victim is telling the truth, so let female jurors
lead onreaching a verdict.
In her experience, older generations of women are more prone to
that "nice girls don't". But she is confident that a new
generation of women
"are going to approach this differently".
Baroness Kennedy also called for judges to receive special training to
withrape cases, which she said were still not dealt with appropriately
criminal justice system. She said she backed an Australian training
whichinvolves groups of judges being asked to remember their last
experience then describe this to the others present - the aim being to
to them thevulnerability of rape victims describing sex attacks in
front of a
Her comments have received a mixed reaction from feminist reformers.
Erin Pizzey, who helped set up refuges for "battered women",
said there had
always been a problem of "sisters" failing to support each
She said: "Our generation carries with us the belief that women
be saints and virgins and that nice girls don't get drunk. Men are much
likelyto be sympathetic to women compared with their own sisters. Often
women areabused by violent men it is their female friends who point the
and blame them for it. Luckily this is changing."
Julie Bindel, a leading feminist campaigner and also spokeswoman for
forWoman, said that although women can be prejudiced on juries, men
shown to be more sympathetic. "Women jurors can be a nightmare in
trials," she said. "My heart sinks if the majority of people
on a jury are
women. Women grade their own experiences and then use these to judge
in the witnessbox.
"But it's not because men have more sympathy than women. Men see
in the dock - and even if the person's a serial sex attacker they will
himas a regular geezer."
COMMENT, PAGE 28
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Copyright 2001 The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
Scotland on Sunday
January 14, 2001, Sunday
SECTION: Pg. 17
LENGTH: 1141 words
HEADLINE: LESSONS WE FAIL TO LEARN
BYLINE: By Erin Pizzey
IN 30 years of working with violent and dysfunctional families, the
difficult cases ever presented to me are when the primary caregiver of
is an abusive woman. There is almost no information on women as abusers
virtually none on women as paedophiles.
What Anna Climbie's parents did not know when they allowed Marie
Kouao to take their daughter to a new and better life, was that they
putting their child into the hands of a sadistic, perverted paedophile.
In African families and in Afro-Caribbean families, children are often
shared among friends and relations. So when Kouao, who met Anna's
at funerals, impressed them with her talk of an affluent life they were
see their child offered what they believed to be an excellent education
future away from the poverty they were experiencing.
Anna was not the first child that came into Kouao's hands and only time
tell if she was as violent and abusive to other children in her care.
The pattern for women like Kouao is that they deliberately offer to
children from vulnerable, gullible parents and then proceed to use the
their own violent and sexual needs. Female sexual abuser's
satisfactions are far
more diffuse than that of men. But both sexes achieve high levels of
satisfaction from the pain and the wounding of their victims. Kouao,
women I have dealt with, did not need an accomplice to fulfil her
needs but, in many cases, having a willing onlooker and a participator
the sense of perverted excitement. Kouao's feeling of omnipotence
time she escaped detection by the various agencies that refused to look
evidence before their eyes.
There is always a ritual for women like Kouao that precipitates
torture. In Kouao's case, it was her ability to project her own demons
Anna. If Kouao is properly interrogated, it will be possible for her to
the necessary steps that she took to enable her to create her private
concentration camp for the child. The burnings, the beatings and the
the child's body in a bin liner will all have a significance known only
Kouao. This sort of violence is not random but can be traced back into
that was done to Kouao herself.
It was no accident that she came upon Carl Manning and he became her
partner. Manning was living at home with his mother. His perverted
fantasies were confined to watching pornography on his computer and
prostitutes. Until he met Kouao, his sadistic fantasies were confined
imagination. However, in so many cases, sexual abusers like Kouao have
unerring instinct when they meet a willing accomplice.
At no point did Manning have any instinct to have pity or compassion
tiny, tortured child. His disgust at Anna's incontinence and his
the violence must bear witness to events in his own childhood. His
to Kouao's perverted lifestyle was complete. He called the child
and admired her ability to sustain painful beatings.
Living with Kouao and Anna in his tiny flat, he was engulfed by Kauai's
powerful reality. Her hold over both Manning and Anna was complete.
must have been a bankrupt reality of his own fed only by prostitutes
pornography, Manning was ripe to fall into Kouao's clutches. Anna, no
threatened with further torture should she ever ask for help, also
her tormentor's omnipotence. Within the walls of the flat Kouao created
perverted world or her own.
It is hard to describe to a public just how hallucinating this
world is for those wrapped up in its dark folds. The inner world of the
dangerously perverted becomes a reality for the victim and the
the torture becomes more terrifying than the moment when the violence
When the beating stops gratitude sets in which often binds the victim
torturer, who is now all-powerful in the victim's life. How many times
child have believed as she was taken to two hospitals, dragged in front
social workers and taken to church, that at some point some caring
What the child could not have known is that there is a refusal on the
of our society to look at the evil perpetrated by women. Had Kouao been
Anna's parents would not have allowed her leave their village. British
immigration authorities would have looked twice at a man bringing a
into this country. They may well have run a check on the child's
discovered it was forged. This is not the only case I have been
involved in when
female paedophiles have moved in and out of the country with children
Hospitals, social workers and the police are trained to look for male
perpetrators of violence and sexual abuse. They are not trained to
female perpetrators like Kouao and she used their unwillingness to
as an abuser to her advantage. There is a climate of fear in this
threatens any attempt to question women's role in dysfunctional
those of us who work in the field of domestic violence, we have been
and persecuted for suggesting that women can and are just as capable of
Anna Cameron, a friend who had childminded for Kouao in the past, saw
Anna had cuts on her fingers, across her cheek and eyelid and marks on
that she suspected were cigarette burns. She took Anna to Central
hospital but she was discharged after an overnight stay because the
protection doctor, Ruby Schwartz, preferred to believe Anna suffered
scabies rather than from child abuse. I wonder if Ruby Schwartz was
the fact that the abuser was a woman and black? I wonder if Ruby Schwartz,
Arthurworrey, a member of Haringey's child protection team, along with
Jones had failed to be informed that women perpetrate the majority of
Kouao's whole lifestyle was one of threatening behaviour, lying and
intimidating anyone who crossed her. Only the death of a child brought
villainous career to an end.
As Manning sits in prison penning his love letters to her, hopefully
he is able to take the responsibility for his part in the death of an
WH Auden wrote:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
All we can do is to mourn Anna's short and tortured life and make a vow
should we be faced with what looks like an act of violence against a
will have the courage to go to the rescue.
* Erin Pizzey is a novelist and lecturer and founded the women's
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Copyright 2001 EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS
January 13, 2001
SECTION: LWORD; Pg. 38
LENGTH: 108 words
HEADLINE: RADICAL LESBIANS 'BULLY VULNERABLE WOMEN'
I HEARTILY agree with Carol Sarler's article "Women's issues can't
resolved by man-haters" (Daily Express, January 9). Julie
Bindel et al are not
going to decamp from the issue of domestic violence because that is how
make their living. They spread their hatred of men and their warped
family life everywhere they go. The radical end of the lesbian movement
ago invaded the cause of domestic violence. Many of them run refuges,
and abroad, which enable them to bully and brainwash vulnerable women
children into believing their pernicious rubbish.
LOAD-DATE: January 30, 2001
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Copyright 2001 The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
January 12, 2001, Friday
SECTION: Pg. 15
LENGTH: 774 words
HEADLINE: WHY 'THE FOUNDER OF THE REFUGE MOVEMENT' HAS GOT ME WORRIED
BYLINE: Linda Watson-Brown
ERIN Pizzey describes herself as the founder of the refuge movement.
opened the first safe house for women and children who were victims of
violence in Chiswick in 1971. But Pizzey is angry. Thirty years later,
furious with the way in which "her" movement has been
hijacked and "her" issue
I do not know a great deal about Erin Pizzey. I recognise her
with issues of violence, but have only seen her on mid-morning talk
zoo TV in which she displays her anger towards other women more
her rage at the perpetrators of the abuse which she has witnessed. Her
feminists and feminism. She speaks of how "her" topic was
captured by extremist
feminists who wanted to use the issue of domestic violence as a means
vilifying and degrading all men, with a view to demoting them from any
role in the home and the upbringing of their children.
Pizzey's constant need to assert ownership of domestic violence is a
worrying one, as are a number of the myths she perpetuates. As with
those who have spoken out against feminism, she has a grain of truth at
some of what she says. She notes the ways in which, when she
broached feminism, her looks and heterosexuality were focused on. This
news, and it is not the main interest of the feminism that I know.
I do agree with here is that there are women who call themselves
then treat other women in a way which denies any notions of sisterhood
I vividly recall being told at 18 that I had no right to call myself a
feminist until I was a mother. I certainly couldn't do it while dying
and wearing make-up. The critic was a lecturer notorious for the ways
she would encourage male students and ignore women, while telling us
all what a
trailblazer she was. This is not a problem of feminism - it indicates a
misguided individual claiming to be something they could not recognise
full-blown bra-burning session.
My third area of agreement with Pizzey is that there is what I would
feminist mafia operating in some constituencies - particularly the
world. But again, this tends to be exemplified by women who claim to be
feminists while doing everything they can to transform themselves into
men. They are not ensuring that grants go to the people or places which
undertake the research best. They certainly have no interest in
contacts outwith a narrow, cliqued boundary, but they do prevent a lot
being done and they do give anti-feminists far too much ammunition.
they are few.
The real feminist women working for others - whether they subscribe to
principles of the women's movement or not - do not fall into any of
categories. Those working in rape crisis centres and anti-pornography
women's support organisations are not living off the fat of the land,
they adopting any ideology purely for notional gain.
There are many, many more issues on which I would disagree
with Erin Pizzey. She complains that when she was isolated by the feminist
movement, she found herself unable to raise the funds for a hostel for
men. This has nothing to do with women's rights lobbyists ensuring that
only go to personal projects - from what I have seen, feminists have
the vast power which detractors constantly refer to. If they had,
surely a lot
more would be happening to rid our screens of exploitative messages, to
abuse in our homes, to ban pornography from our retailers, and to
effective, safe health services for all women?
As it is, they are still fighting for many of the same things they
30 years ago - not a terribly good indicator of entrenched, overriding
Indeed, if Pizzey asked around a little more she would find that men
services for men often have the same problems. In Edinburgh, a violence
intervention project with proven results is constantly engaged in the
funding. For those of you who find my constant reference to women's
bothersome, please feel free to send me donations for this project
it deserves wholehearted support.
What Pizzey ought to consider in relation to funding problems is what
and national governments are doing to facilitate or hamper progress.
an entire movement on the basis of a perceived slight does a lot of
damage - in
this instance, most of it reflects on the person doing the
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Copyright 2000 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
October 27, 2000
SECTION: Guardian Leader Pages, Pg. 25
LENGTH: 255 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Women are the victims
BYLINE: Prof Betsy Stanko
Erin Pizzey (Letters, October 26) challenges Bea Campbell's
that "men are the problem" (Comment, October 25) for our
violence. I am the author of the snapshot of domestic violence in the
results can be found on: www.domesticviolencedata.
org). This study was based
on police activity throughout the UK on September 28.
On this day, 81% of those contacting police were women attacked by men,
men attacked by women; 4% women attacked by women and 7% men attacked
Even "official" statistics show that men as perpetrators
domestic violence. Men even attack other men almost as often as women
them. For some men, domestic violence surely lurks at home. But to deny
impact of gender in the information we have about domestic violence is
I suggest that Pizzey begin a campaign to stop pub violence. Here is
a very serious issue of men's safety vis-a-vis violence in this
country. All our
evidence suggests that for men, it is the violence found in pubs and
from disputes and conflicts with friends and neighbours that harm men
To deny the gender of violence is to deny all the evidence we have.
are now beginning to understand that social policy and practice should
evidence-based, we should insist that good policy understand the
Prof Betsy Stanko
Director, ESRC Violence Research Programme
University of London
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Copyright 2000 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
October 27, 2000
SECTION: Guardian Leader Pages, Pg. 25
LENGTH: 128 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Women are the victims
BYLINE: Carolyne Willow
Erin Pizzey is right: women can be violent too. Research carried out
Department of Health found that over three-quarters of mothers had
one-year-old babies, and 14% used implements - usually wooden spoons
slippers -to hit their children. Domestic violence against babies
is routinely minimised. In fact three weeks into the 21st century the
issued a consultation document asking whether physical punishment
damage can ever be defended as "reasonable". Let's hope this
marks a turning point and that the law is soon reformed to give
same protection from assault as adults.
Children's Rights Alliance for England
LOAD-DATE: October 27, 2000
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Copyright 2000 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
October 26, 2000
SECTION: Guardian Leader Pages, Pg. 23
LENGTH: 273 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Homing in on violence
BYLINE: Erin Pizzey
Beatrix Campbell feels that "men are the problem" (Comment,
October 25). In
1971 I opened the first refuge in the world for victims of domestic
their children. Of the first 100 women who came in, 62 were as
violent as the
men they left. I tried to publish my findings (A Comparative Study of
Women and Violence-Prone Women) but the hostility towards any
women's role in domestic violence made it impossible.
In 1980 respected American researchers, Murray Strauss, Richard Gelles
Suzanne Steinmetz, published Behind Closed Doors, Violence in the
Family. In their findings they reported that domestic assault rates
and women were about equal. They were backed by a report from Leicester
infirmary (1992), which found that men and women were equally victims
assaults, but the male injuries were more horrific because they were
weapons. In a Home Office study (January 1999), which is possibly the
biggest survey in the world, 4.2% of women and 4.2% of men were said to
been physically assaulted by their current or former partners in the
And violence does not only occur between men and women or even between
and men, but also occurs between women and women. In a sample of 1,099
Lie and the Gentle Warrior found that 52% of the respondents had been
a female lover or partner. If women are so violent in their
each other, how can the myth of men as sole perpetrators of domestic
Twickenham, Middx firstname.lastname@example.org
LOAD-DATE: October 26, 2000
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Copyright 2000 The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
Evening News (Edinburgh)
September 6, 2000, Wednesday
SECTION: Pg. 10
LENGTH: 885 words
HEADLINE: WHY WOMEN CANNOT BE EXCUSED
BYLINE: By George Mcaulay
FALSE rape allegation is a vicious and criminal act that attacks men,
loved ones and genuine sex attack victims by reducing the credibility
claims. At present, the legal system rarely acts to prosecute women who
The Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament is soon to
consider a proposal for a change in the law submitted by the UK Men's
For this we have been viciously attacked by media feminists and
both sexes, as have the two MSPs - Phil Gallie and Brian Monteith - who
backing the proposal.
Our submission, that a law be enacted to create a new offence of false
allegation, has caused the well-heeled feminist establishment of
politicians and journalists to foam at the mouth.
We want this new offence to carry a sentence commensurate with that
the offender is attempting to impose upon her victim.
Our motives are straightforward - as well as protecting victims of
allegation, we want to halt the slide towards a dangerous gender apartheid
is developing in our justice system, a system that is in danger of
as invariably the innocent victims of cruel, oppressive and depraved
The feminists who are most outraged are those who work in the
"industry." With their allies in the media and politics, in
particular men who
see career advancement in appeasing the feminist lobby, they are using
revulsion, fear and anger that most of us feel towards those who
physically abuse women and children to whip up a wave of hysteria.
It sometimes seems Rape Crisis Centres, Women's Aid and Zero Tolerance
only providing a salary for doing what feminists like best - vilifying
Erin Pizzey, who founded Women's Aid with her own money, was hounded
a feminist takeover.
Erin has told me her great crime was to tell the truth about violent
She said: "Out of the first 100 women who came to my refuge at
west London, 62 were as violent as the men they had left."
Man-hating feminists are trying to establish a defence to murder -
woman syndrome" - to overturn the centuries-old acceptance that
killing is murder.
Battered women undoubtedly exist, as do battered men, but there has
increasing number of killings where victims' relatives believe an
partner has pulled the wool over the eyes of judge and jury.
When a man is given a light sentence for a domestic killing, he is
"obviously a brute who got off".
If a woman kills a man, she is automatically an abuse victim who needs
therapy, not prison.
This year Kim Galbraith cold-bloodedly murdered her policeman husband
Argyll. Immediately and unthinkingly a "Justice for Kim"
campaign group was
founded. But it has withered on the vine somewhat as it has since
that Galbraith got her just desserts.
The pet politicians of these feminists know what side their politically
correct bread is buttered on and choose to ignore any contradictory evidence.
The feminist victimology industry invents phoney statistics almost
than we can discredit them.
THE British Crime Survey, plus various academic surveys and those by
hospital A&E departments, indicate that domestic violence is
initiated by men or
women almost equally - with the man more likely to be seriously injured
the weaker woman will use a weapon or throw boiling or corrosive
Domestic violence between warring parents is an ugly thing that scars
mars the one definitely innocent party - the children. It will not be
a doctrinaire feminist approach. It is time for an honest and holistic
of the problem.
Rape and child abuse - the dread of every parent - are the most potent
weapons in the feminist campaign to remove fathers from the family,
strong evidence that a father is the most important defence against
NSPCC studies show that a child is much more likely to be violently or
abused (by either sex) when the natural father is absent or excluded
Some Rape Crisis Centres propagate the lie that "all men are
rapists." It is an article of faith that the woman must always be
What they do not want is a law that punishes equally women who falsely
to send a man to jail for many years. Indeed, they don't want a woman
to ever go
to jail. Henry McLeish, when Scottish Prisons Minister, said he wanted
implement plans to have no women in prison at all by 2002. Clive Fairweather,
Inspector of Prisons, has also made frequent calls for less women in
It is strange how the prophets of the new religion of
their tune when equality means women must lose something and men must
It is many centuries since one particular section of society was above
common law of Britain - they were called the aristocracy. Our
allowing some women the privileges of an aristocracy that was rejected
- to kill
Any society where one section of the population has less protection
law is inherently flawed and unjust.
George McAulay is chairman of the UK Mens' Movement.
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Copyright 2000 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
June 17, 2000
SECTION: Guardian Leader Pages, Pg. 25
LENGTH: 196 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Still no justice for some
BYLINE: Erin Pizzey
Martin Narey's letter, headlined "I try to stop prisoners killing
themselves" (June 16) took my breath away. My 22-year-old grandson
suicide in Wandsworth prison on February 1 this year.
Keita had a history of suffering from schizophrenia, he attempted
by hanging on a previous occasion and had begged to be saved from his
overwhelming fear that he might kill himself. Yet it was felt that
there was no
need to continue a 15-minute suicide watch on Keita. His trainer laces
returned to him, which he subsequently used to hang himself.
There have been 39 suicides in prisons in this country already this
how dare Martin Narey write a mewling, puking letter in the Guardian
justify his role in the epidemic of vulnerable people driven to kill
while most of them are on remand? Unless and until prison governors in
country band together and tell Jack Straw that they refuse to act as
grounds for the National Health Service, mentally ill patients like my
will continue to die while in the "care" of the prison
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Copyright 2000 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
MAIL ON SUNDAY
April 9, 2000
SECTION: Pg. 16
LENGTH: 1031 words
HEADLINE: The parent trap;
Abused as a child, Erin Pizzey's knowledge of family violence prompted
found the first refuge for battered wives
BYLINE: Lina Das
So what can I say about my childhood, except that it was pretty
father was a diplomat and we travelled all over the world, living in
Hong Kong and Shanghai among other places. He had been one of 17
therefore felt terribly jealous of the toys and things my brother, my
My mother, who had been given away when she was two, simply hated me.
when we were living in Canada, I was outside, giving away dollar bills
strangers - don't ask me why - and my mum started beating me with an
Blood was running down my legs, but when I showed my teacher, all she
'No wonder. You're a terrible child.'
Anything would set my mother off, and her moods would change in a split
second, so that one minute she would be full of fun, the next a raging,
monster. It meant that I quickly learned to gauge people's moods.
She never kissed me or touched me with any affection, but beat me
In a strange way, however, I felt lucky - I would hear my sister, Kate,
having to talk absolute rubbish with her and I was glad I didn't have
to do the
We all suffered from her moods. Much of the time she simply 'numbed
we called it - sat there saying nothing for days. It was impossible to
My father wasn't much better and used to terrorise us. He was a
violent bully, and was particularly jealous of my brother Danny (who
went on to
become a bestselling novelist). He was the sort of man who would make
his shoes off and then taunt him by saying his feet smelled, even when
He felt jealous of our so-called privileges, telling us we had too much
comfort in our lives when he had had none in his own childhood. He
was great fun to blow smoke up our dogs' nostrils.
Probably the most disconcerting thing that happened was when we were in
Persia and I woke up to find him in my bed. He would often complain to
he wasn't getting sex from my mother, and my mother would do the same,
would end up having to mediate between them.
My father was very careless personally, often standing in front of me
no clothes on and insisting on kissing both my sister and me on the
mouth. If my
sister was having a bath, he'd simply say it was his house and he could
whenever he chose. He was a frightening man. My mum died when I was 17
left home two days later - I was terrified of what he would do to me.
The problem is, when your parents use their power harshly on you, it
you how to use power, too. I learned everything about manipulation from
parents and, although it sounds horrible, I flirted with my father to
feel wanted, so that he would give me things in return.
When I was 16, I desperately wanted a gramophone, but when a young girl
her sexuality to get things, it's a dangerous thing. I remember feeling
disgusted with the whole business. I became an ace manipulator in my
although it certainly served me well later on in life when it came to
the funds to make my refuge work.
As a manipulator, I developed strategies to survive. I once held my
to ransom by climbing on top of the roof, but dragged the richest girl
school up with me. I knew the school wouldn't get rid of her because
rich, so they couldn't get rid of me, either. All I wanted was some
and for people to like me, but because I never saw any normal behaviour
I didn't know how to behave normally myself.
Neither of my parents lost any time in telling me how ugly they thought
was. But I liked boys, even though I never felt particularly attractive
them, and despite what people might think, I still like them. I
and like their chivalry and sense of fun. Although I'm 60, I've only
relationships, although I have many male friends. I married quite young
because I wanted what I never had: a proper family.
I suppose I've always been a real outsider. I was always the
always the one who got kicked out of the Brownies. Even when I thought
doing right by women, the feminists would often cry: 'Pizzey's the
would be nice, occasionally, to find people with whom I fit in.
In all my work for women, I've come across some pretty evil men, but
only man I've ever been afraid of was my father. Even now, if I'm
the street and see a big man with broad shoulders, wearing a hat, my
clenches immediately. My mother was quite short - about 4ft 9in - and
9in tall women used to come to my refuge, I'd always find myself trying
reform them. I had to teach myself to stop.
My childhood affected my whole life. I once lifted a hand to my
Amos and Cleo, and I felt shattered by what I had done. The thought
that I could
be turning into my mother terrified me, and I didn't hit them again. It
made me terrified of arguments. I hate quarrelling of any sort, and
anything to avoid it.
Even though my mother appeared to favour my siblings, I still feel they
a rougher time than me because she cannibalised them. In my mother's
sister was born to marry a lord, my brother was born to be a famous
while I was simply born to be hanged. She found fault with everything I
real damage was done by her - knowing that she didn't want me was a
wounding thing to deal with.
The way I see it, I can either wallow in the unhappiness my childhood
me, or find something valuable in it. Everything that happened prepared
the life I eventually led, and I found that through writing I was able
to have a
decent childhood because my imagination was set free. Writing is the
best way I
know of distilling pain.
I must admit, though, I still find it hard to accept I'm worth
Sometimes, my daughter will say: 'Mum, you've founded a world movement.
Don't be so silly.' And only then will I realise I'm not that worthless
Erin Pizzey is the founder of the women's charity Refuge and now writes
novels and lectures on male violence
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Sunday Times (London)
February 13, 2000, Sunday
LENGTH: 1405 words
HEADLINE: The fight of my life with the family curse
BYLINE: Erin Pizzey
Erin Pizzey tells of her struggle with the disease that has struck four
of the five members of her family
I knew something was wrong. I was struggling to finish my new novel
away in a friend's isolated house in Tuscany. It was late September and
on the terrace wrapped in shawls in the cool of the evening watching
fireflies sweep down from the fields and settle on the table, flashing
beside my wine glass.
I wasn't hopeful, I was frightened. I knew any menopausal woman of my
should not be bleeding. I was bleeding, only slightly, but enough to
recognise that I might possibly have cancer.
My mother contracted breast cancer when I was 14. She didn't get the
diagnosed until it was far too late, but her battle overshadowed the
her three children.
I remember the savage wound that removed her breast and then continued
coil under her arm. I remember the burnt brown skin from the radiation.
remember her saying that the damage from the radiation was worse than
I remember my father's collapse at the news that her cancer was now
his inability to protect my brother, my twin sister and myself from the
realities of the disease.
My mother was 49 when she died. I remember her pain and her agonised
against all odds to live. "Die, damn you die," I whispered as
her writhing body
continued to haunt us on our daily visits to the little local hospital
When she did finally die after three years of agony, I remember beaming
my twin sister over my father's bowed head. The feeling of peace was
indescribable and I spent the rest of the night on my knees begging
forgiveness for wishing her dead, but grateful that she was now with
him and no
longer suffering. I took a vow then that should I ever contract cancer,
not officiously strive to stay alive.
One in three people dies of cancer; in my family four out of five of us
had cancer. Those figures are stamped on my heart. My brother Danny
from Zimbabwe in the early 1980s to say that he had a small melanoma on
and was coming to London to have it cut out. He wrote the book The Wild
which became a successful film. He didn't tell me the cancer had come
day at 8am I got a telephone call from Zimbabwe to tell me that he was
was in his early forties.
During his last conversation with me he said: "I've no more book
or film deals." Later, his son told me that Danny refused the
could possibly have saved him. I felt as if my bitter mother called him
My father died of emphysema at a very late age. I comforted myself that
followed after his side of the family. The wild Irish Carneys - my
maiden name -
die of heart attacks brought on by years of excessive living, and my
father smoked 100 cigarettes a day.
But then two years ago my twin sister called to say that she had had a
malignant lump removed from her breast. There was nothing to worry
was fine. She told me that when the cancer was diagnosed, very early,
almost a relief. She, too, had been haunted by the curse of cancer in
I went to my doctor as soon as I came back from Italy. She confirmed
was bleeding and said she would write to my local hospital in Kingston,
southwest London. The registrar was warm and sensible and said she
would get me
an appointment for a D&C plus an endoscopy (a small light is
inserted into the
I woke up from the anaesthetic to see her concerned face bending over
"Am I all right?" I asked her. She promised me from our first
interview that she
would always tell me the truth.
"There is a tumour," she said, "but it is well defined.
the decision is that you do need a hysterectomy." I was wheeled
back into the
ward and waited for my daughter and my small grandson to collect me.
Now it was
a question of waiting for the biopsy results. Whatever the outcome, I
to join the regiment of wombless women and that in itself created a
I didn't doubt that the tumour was malignant. During the years when I
refuges for women taking shelter from toxic and malignant relationships
various parts of the world, I often faced great danger. Now the danger
was from within.
Oddly enough, at a very low point in the whole proceedings, I
father's most absurd behaviour. When faced with any attempt to
violent and bullying ways, he would rise to his feet, flail his arms
head and announce at the top of his voice, "Up with this I will
not put." I
decided to follow his example.
What I did not expect was the attitude of my friends. When faced with
question, "How are you?" I felt forced to say in all honesty,
"I'm not very
well. I am going into hospital to have a hysterectomy because I might
cancer." This resulted in two responses. The first was to shy away
from the "C"
word as if it were catching. A clearing of the throat and a shifting of
indicated the conversation had gone far enough.
The second response was even more alarming. Suddenly people whom I'd
suspected of harbouring horror stories blurted forth terrible tales of
they knew who had woken up from their anaesthesia minus parts of their
"She lost six inches of her bowel and ended up with a colostomy
bag," was one of
the stories that haunted me. When I did finally end up with an
my consultant gynaecologist, I was a mass of unresolved insecurities.
However, by then my usual sense of humour reasserted itself. Years ago,
I was running the Chiswick Refuge, I fended off our almost permanent
infections with a daily diet of garlic and red wine. I decided to
tumour with lashings of red wine, hoping that it would be too sozzled
and I would be too inebriated to care.
"The bad news is that you do have a malignant tumour," my
consultant said on
my next appointment. "But the good news is that it is
curable." She told me that
I would have to have a total hysterectomy.
"Let's go for it," I replied, and then on the way home I
happened to women who were gutted like fish.
My anxious son drove me to the hospital. My role as a powerful mother
grandmother was now reduced to a grateful acceptance of the love and
of my children and grandchildren. I was resigned to whatever it would
rid myself of this unwanted squatter.
My anaesthetist decided that I should be given a spinal anaesthetic. I
not planned to be awake during the operation but, given that I was
crucified by the injection, there was not much I could do about it. I
felt as if
my doctors were riffling through a large handbag that was my stomach. I
on my back and listened to the snipping, the prodding and the poking.
I felt privileged to be operated on by two women. When I was a
told my mother I would like to be a surgeon. My mother replied that it
impossible, but I could always marry one.
The operation over, I wanted to see my uterus and my obliging
arrived with this tiny little deflated balloon, sitting on a piece of
wool. I marvelled that anything so small could produce two strapping
then resigned myself to its dispatch.
The next few days were lost in a miasma of morphine and the various
that everyone has to go through to get back on their feet after an
I'm back home now, walking about with great delicacy. My children have
discovered that I am not invincible and I am in need of their care for
Friends rally round and I tiptoe about the flat. I am left with a very
humble feeling that even though I was aware of the blight that hung
life, I might be one of the lucky ones and have more years added to my
I first imagined. I am aware that cancer treatment has come a long way
dreadful effects that burnt my mother to a cinder.
I am sure there are thousands of people who, like me, face this disease
recognise that these days cancer is not the dreadful scourge it was in
What this battle has done for me is to make me feel that God has given
my life, and every extra day of my reprieved existence is even more
LOAD-DATE: February 14, 2000
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Copyright 1999 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
The Evening Standard (London)
December 1, 1999
SECTION: Pg. 28
LENGTH: 169 words
HEADLINE: Domestic violence isn't a man thing
THANK you AN Wilson for mentioning my "brave experiment'' in
first refuge for battered women and their children in 1971 (All's fair
in love and marriage, 29 November). May I correct you and point out
didn't "give up'' because too many returned to their tormentors.
I left England because I could prove that many of the women were just
violent as the men they left and that many of the men were victims of their
partner's violence. The whole subject was hijacked by the feminists and
not only threatened but could see years of political disinforma-tion
destroying men and marriage ahead.
Most men in this country would not dream of raising a fist to a woman
child. I can only suggest that Glenda Jackson learns to make her choice
more wisely. I for one will not be wearing a ribbon until we all
that domestic violence is not a gender issue and that the ribbon
Erin Pizzey, Twickenham, Middx.
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Copyright 1999 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
July 17, 1999
SECTION: Guardian Features Pages; Pg. 23
LENGTH: 22 words
HEADLINE: Letters: 'Middle Class'
BYLINE: ERIN PIZZEY
I have always thought that calling yourself middle class was a form of
LOAD-DATE: July 19, 1999
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Copyright 1999 Guardian Newspapers Limited
July 4, 1999
SECTION: The Observer News Page; Pg. 27
LENGTH: 887 words
HEADLINE: Comment: If the hacks catch you at it, the first rule is keep mum
BYLINE: RICHARD WILLIAMS
A visit to the BBC's Breakfast with Frost studio last Sunday reminded
that the last time I was there a fellow guest on the programme was
Boycott, then protesting his innocence of charges of domestic violence
by a one -time partner in a French court.
Like many celebrities in a similar situation, Boycott, who had been
by the Sun and the BBC as a result of the case, had consulted the
relations guru, Mr Max Clifford, who arranged for him a number of media
appearances (including one with David Frost) to allow him to present
Another guest on the programme, Carol Thatcher, joined me in advising
famous cricketer that this was absolutely the wrong thing to do. We
Boycott that he should lie low for at least six months at the end of
the tabloids would have completely forgotten about any alleged
I don't know whether he was impressed by our advice but, certainly
then, I saw little about Boycott in the press until the other day when
that he had been taken on by the Times to write about the new Test
Peter Mandelson has a shrewder grasp of public relations than Geoffrey
Boycott. After his shock resignation six months ago, he prudently lay
low and is
only now re-emerging into public life, hoping that not too many people
the bad taste to refer to his famous pounds 350,000 loan from Geoffrey
despite the parliamentary watchdog's conclusion last week that he had
House of Commons rules.
This tactic reminds me a little of Camilla Parker Bowles. She, too, is
edging very gradually on to the public stage at the side of Prince
the hope that her presence will sooner or later be taken for granted by
I wonder whether Peter Mandelson, a recent visitor to Sandringham, has
advising the Prince and his partner on their public relations
would almost certainly be more helpful than Max Clifford.
Sally pally I don't imagine that Baroness Jay is an aficionado, like
us, of Coronation Street. If she were, she would not have chosen
Whittaker, who plays Sally Webster in the soap, to appear at her side
to launch a government campaign to stamp out violence against women in
(It is perhaps worth remembering that the last political figure to
public alongside a Coronation Street star was Mr Neil Hamilton, who was
supported in his disastrous 1997 election campaign by the Street's Ken
actor William Roache).
In a cast of increasingly less lovable characters (now that the famous
has been dumbed down by Granada), Sally Webster is one of the least
Sharp and shrewish, for ever whining and complaining about something or
Sally was presumably enrolled by Lady Jay because, in the story, she
recently the victim of violence at the hand of her lover, the sinister
Kelly, with whom she had set up home. Few viewers, however, would have
much appalled by the sight of Sally being knocked about, concluding,
unfairly, that she had it coming to her.
There must be something phony about a campaign that aims to appeal to
public with the help of a factious character from a TV soap. In this
the humbug is that domestic violence is exclusively perpetrated by men
women, whereas it would seem obvious that women (particularly single
are most likely to be driven to violence against small children while,
as far as
adults are concerned, I personally know of just as many men who have
violently attacked by women and vice versa. But this is something that
veteran campaigner, Erin Pizzey, dares to say in today's politically
Willie wonk 'Every Prime Minister needs a Willie.' Lord Whitelaw's
redivided the debate about whether Lady Thatcher's famous joke was
The answer is almost certainly that it wasn't. In fact, I don't think
Thatcher ever made a joke of her own during her long career in
politics. All her
jokes at conference time were provided for her by the playwright,
who was eventually awarded a knighthood for such brilliant gems as 'the
is not for turning'.
Harold Wilson was probably the last Prime Minister who made jokes
the help of scriptwriters. Edward Heath, though laughing quite often
heaving shoulders, never said anything funny or even memorable in his
Major, despite his father's career in variety, was equally humourless.
Malcolm Muggeridge used to divide Prime Ministers into bookies and
clergyman. The reverend Blair falls very definitely into the second
Hague however hopes to make it to the top using a more bookie-like
Unlike Blair, he is also quite funny in his weekly performance at the
Box. But again, the jokes, to my practised ear, come a bit too pat to
spontaneous and suggest that there is a team of gag-writers behind the
feeding him with one-liners.
About the only political figure to make a good joke in recent times was
late Screaming Lord Sutch. One speaker at his funeral last week
congregation of Sutch's pointful query: 'Why is there only one
LOAD-DATE: July 6, 1999
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Copyright 1999 New Statesman Ltd
June 28, 1999
LENGTH: 905 words
HEADLINE: Office politics at London Weekend TV were the psychological
of Kosovan genocide
BYLINE: Oliver James
Am introduced on a radio programme as 'the celebrity psychoanalyst who
Peter Mandelson cry on TV'. Having failed to recover from this
not wholly accurate description, I do not do well. Returning home, who
see driving down Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill but a glum-looking
I reflect that however Machiavellian and dastardly he may have been in
political relationships, he did not deserve to be turfed out of his
home as well
as the cabinet for what was, in the end, a fairly minor cock-up. But
cruel and maybe what goes around comes around.
Meanwhile in Kosovo the genocide tally reaches 10,000, and, over a
formaggio at the Pizza Express in Notting Hill, my normally wise and
chum Tim is still maintaining that the war was 'an exceptionally
moral act with truly humanitarian motives. Blair was faced with
difficult choices and, for the first time, a prime minister insisted
something be done to stop this kind of thing.'
In between bites of my American hot (with extra cheese and sausage), I
object that, by bombing, Blair removed the only real protection which
for the Kosovar Albanians: the press and broadcast media and the OCSE
Tim claims that the genocide would have happened anyway. But, in that
had it not happened already? Can there be any doubt at all that the
intervention caused these extra deaths as well as the deportation of
the homelessness of a further 600,000 that would never have otherwise
I accept that it was right to act against Milosevic but it seems hard
that bombing was the correct strategy.
The Sunday Times calls to ask why the genre of fictions based on serial
killers in general and Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter in particular
popular. I am reminded of a series of research studies published after
second world war.
The philanthropic editor of the Observer David Astor set up a unit at
University to identify the social psychological causes of genocidal
(Although he has never made a fuss about it, Astor's other far-sighted
benefactions included providing George Orwell with a home in which to
Nineteen Eighty-Four, supporting E F Schumacher, funding organic
farming in the
1970s and helping Erin Pizzey to set up the first Women's Aid hostel.)
The most important alumnus of this unit was Anthony Storr, whose book
Aggression, published in 1970, is still in print. It concluded: 'The
is that we are the cruellest and most ruthless species that has ever
Having idly watched Channel 4's late-night round-up of the papers, The
Sundays, and been appalled by the shallowness of both the papers being
and the pundits on the programme (bring back After Dark on Saturday
what I say), I nonetheless dutifully tuck into the papers over my
vegetable juice cocktail breakfast. For the first time in years I find
interest me (mostly the Saturdays have destroyed the old excitement one
opening a Sunday paper).
In particular I am astonished by a paean by Andrew Marr in the Observer
the diligence and ability of the men who spewed out of London Weekend
during the 1980s and who are now, according to Marr, along with
McKinsey, said to be running Britain (for example, the BBC tyros Sir
Bland and Sir John Birt, Lord Bragg of Middlebrow, the wannabe London
Trevor Phillips and the wannabe BBC director-general Greg Dyke).
How could Marr regard this coterie as benign and talented, rather than
ambitious mediocrities? Certainly few in television agree with him,
LWT-ites more as a virulent poison that has infected the rest of the
(Don't forget that these assorted millionaires were turfed out of their
after being taken over by Granada.) If you stop to think about it, even
1980s heyday LWT was always a schizophrenic combination of the most
embarrassing light entertainment (The Price Is Right) and the most
anal current affairs (Weekend World). Worst of all, the culture at LWT
vicious and Machiavellian, with office politics that were the
equivalent of Kosovan genocide.
Do not take my word for this, listen to the wisdom of one who knew. He
identified 'a sort of LWT legionnaire's disease' in the air conditioning
South Bank offices. 'Nice ordinary people come in here and go out
power-hungry,' he said.
John Birt and Christopher Bland have long since made the journey across
river to the BBC and introduced these admirable qualities to an
that was once a pleasure to work for. As the BBC governors consider
options for a new D-G, they should bear in mind that the author of this
evaluation of the LWT culture was none other than . . . Greg Dyke.
A little girl in the park is talking to her younger brother: 'I will
all up, beginning with your toes.' He looks properly alarmed.
The potential for Hannibal Lecter, Kosovan genocide and LWT office
lies within us all from very early on. It is ultimately up to parents
governments to ensure that our altruistic and creative instincts are
and the cruel, sick side restricted. After all, what goes around comes
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Copyright 1999 The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
March 30, 1999, Tuesday
SECTION: Pg. 13
LENGTH: 1523 words
HEADLINE: MOTHER OF ALL BATTLERS
BYLINE: Erin Pizzey
I GREATLY hoped, when the women's movement first began to form in
the late Sixties and early Seventies, that married women like myself,
bringing up our children, would no longer be isolated. I strongly
the family was the cornerstone of any civilisation.
I was born in China and most of my formative years were spent in the
East. When I married and returned to England, I hadn't realised that in
western world, the role of motherhood left those of us who chose to be
virtual outcasts. I imagined that this new women's liberation movement
devise strategies where all women from every walk of life could meet
work for equality for women in the workplace, in education and, more
importantly, to raise the consciousness of the government and the
nation to the
vital work done by mothers in the home.
In 1971, I flocked with my friends to the first feminist collectives
London and other major cities of the country to listen to the prophets
new revolution. Most of us were appalled at what we heard and
intimidated by the
rage and fury of the visionaries who claimed that they were speaking on
of "all women." I did not want to join a movement that
preached hatred of family
life and of men. Many of the women in those early days of the women's
movement defected back to their homes and to their husbands.
My vision for the future for women who chose marriage and family life
too fierce to turn my back on the thousands of women in this country
believed that we needed to redefine women's role in the community. I
argue with the leading proponents of the movement. I pointed out that I
considered it a luxury to have a husband who paid the mortgage so that
be at home with our children. Like so many women, I had been forced to
go out to
work in order to help pay the bills. I had to leave my little daughter
child-minder and I suffered, like so many women do, from the guilt and
exhaustion of too many demands upon me and not enough time. I refused,
to see the family as a "place of oppression" and to define my
husband as "my
Finally, those of us who opposed the Marxist feminist leadership were
out of the movement. We objected to the violence taking place in
England at that
time. We did not see the invasion of the Miss World contest in 1970 by
women's movement as a blow for women's liberation, nor did we applaud
bombing of the BBC van outside the contest later that night (various
groups were implicated).
When in 1972 the Kensington boutique Biba was also bombed, I realised
there was no place for me any longer among these violent and disastrous
What I did feel, listening and working in the women's liberation
Little Newport Street, in London, was that many of the leading lights
movement, while chanting their slogan "the personal is political",
denial of their own violent and abused childhoods. I see them as
Unable to take responsibility for themselves and their damage, they
projected their rage and their discontent, on to "all men".
The fact that I was driven out of the movement only gave me the impetus
move on and to find a small house in Hounslow which I was given at a
rent. Here, with our children, we could meet and use our many and
to work within our communities. Very soon the first "battered
and asked for refuge. Then, for me, the nightmare began. I realised as
poured through the door with their children, that it would not be long
the women's movement would also put on an appearance. I still had
within the movement. They reported that the movement no longer had any
support from women across the country and that they also had no more
By this time, I was very aware that while many of the women were indeed
"innocent victims of their partner's violence", many were
not. Of the first
hundred women that came into my refuge, 62 were as violent as the men
They were not "victims of their partner's violence." They
were "victims of their
Most of these women had experienced sexual abuse and violence in their
childhoods. Not only were they violent in the refuge but they were also
and abusive to their children. They were the women most likely to go
their violent partners or if they left, to go on to form another
These were the women who most need our love and concern. I also saw all
men who came looking for their partners and their children. I could see
plainly that domestic violence was not a gender issue. Both men and
be equally violent. What I had to say was suppressed. Feminist
radical feminist editors in publishing houses controlled the flow of
to the public. By now the feminist movement had a stranglehold on the
domestic violence. They had found a cause to further their political
vision of a
world without the family and without men.
They also had the access to money.
The abuse industry was born.
Because of my opposition to the hijacking of the refuge movement, I was
target for abuse. Anywhere I spoke there was a contingent of screaming,
feminists waiting for me. Hounslow Council decided to proceed against
court and I was packed to go to prison for most of the 12 years that I
refuge. Abusive telephone calls to my home, death threats and bomb
a way of living for me and for my family. Finally, the bomb squad asked
have all my mail delivered to their headquarters. The final outrage
when I was asked to travel to Aberdeen University to stand as a
the post of rector for the university in 1981. I was hopeful that I
an influence on the young students at the university. At the polling booths
Scottish Women's Aid made it their business to hand out leaflets
claiming that I
believed that women "invited violence", and "provoked
Exhausted and disillusioned at the growing hostility towards men in the
courts and the lack of support for family life from the government, I
reluctantly into exile with my children and grandchildren. My plan was
to go to
Santa Fe, New Mexico, to write novels. I thought then that I could
people who read my non-fiction in my novels.
Very soon I was running another refuge nearby and working against
abusers and paedophiles. I found to my cost that Santa Fe was
lawless to attract those dangerous people. When I returned to England
publication of my book, Prone to Violence, I was met with a solid wall
feminist demonstrators. "All men are rapists", "All men
are batterers", read the
placards. The police insisted that I have an escort all round England
book tour. By then I knew that my position in America could not be
The women's movement there was even stronger and their stranglehold
refuges (called shelters) and access to government and state resources
almost absolute. Although I was invited to lecture, every time I did
feminists were waiting to invade my workshops and to heckle my
threats and the persecution began again. Finally, one of my dogs was
Christmas Day on my property, and I knew the time had come to leave.
In 1997, I was back to England again. I was homeless and penniless when
producer telephoned from the BBC and asked if I would do a programme
for the BBC2 community programme unit. The film was called The Day That
My Life. Oddly enough, my refuge was the subject of one of the first
produced by the unit. I had good memories of the integrity of the
they made in those days and I agreed. The producer visited me in my
family hostel in Richmond and then decided that I should make a
another series also run by his department called Counterblast. I was
doubtful that the programme would ever be aired. But the producer
finally, Who's Failing The Family will be broadcast tonight.
As a result of working on this film, I no longer feel so alone in this
battle to save the traditional family. The people who have come to take
the film are only a tip of the iceberg of concerned people in the rest
country. Many others working in the field of domestic violence assured
if they took part in the film, they would be personally threatened and
intimidated. A few said they feared that their research would be
Others were afraid of losing their jobs.
I know these people are not paranoid. I have personal experience of the
brooding evil of the gender feminists who are in positions of power in
society. When I am asked if I am afraid to continue to fight, I can
"'Tis a mighty God I serve, of whom shall I be afraid?'"
lCounterblast is on BBC2 at 7: 30pm tonight.
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Copyright 1999 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)
March 28, 1999, Sunday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 6
LENGTH: 815 words
HEADLINE: PIZZEY MAKES A STAND FOR THE BATTERED MAN
BYLINE: Sophie Goodchild
ERIN PIZZEY, pioneer of the battered wives refuge, has launched a
attack on the feminists who so enthusiastically endorsed her crusade
domestic violence. The "sisters" she says, have suppressed
evidence that men are
In her new role as a champion of the abused male she has singled out
Charles as the prototype "battered husband".
Women, she claims, are as violent in the home as men and many get a
thrill" from beating their partners. On BBC2's Counterblast on
she will blame many of the ills of today's society on the feminists of
Sixties and Seventies. Prominent feminists, in turn, say she is talking
In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, Ms Pizzey elaborated on
views. She claims violent women have often been abused themselves and
continue this destructive cycle in their own relationships.
The Princess of Wales was a typical example in that she was physically
attacked by her own father, said Ms Pizzey, who used the Spencer family
inspiration for her novel of aristocratic violence, King of the Castle.
"I wept the day Diana married Charles because she should have got
She was physically abused by her father who was very violent and she
that pattern in her own relationship.
"My understanding is that Diana threw Raine Spencer down a flight
If Charles had attacked her it would have been national news. The
Wales never had a chance."
In denying the dark side of women, the problem will continue unabated.
women I met in the hostels had often chosen to be prostitutes and there
pattern of violence. They were physically or sexually abused as
are addicted to rollercoaster relationships with men and physical
damage is a
form of sexual intercourse. A woman achieves a great deal of sexual
this way, but this is too dark for women to talk about."
To support her views, Ms Pizzey has engaged the help of male academics
including Professor John Archer, who claims a third of domestic
referred to in academic literature show men need medical attention
She may find further support in new research by sociologist Dr Michele
Burman of the University of Glasgow into teenage girls' attitudes to
which reveals a widespread belief that fighting, particularly with
"entirely appropriate" and "useful" for girls.
The women's movement has a lot to answer for, said Ms Pizzey: by
men as aggressors, it has helped to destroy family life. But such
has long been her soulmate. After setting up the first women's refuge
Chiswick, west London, in 1971, she said that women were not always
Death threats followed and she was ostracised by many feminists. She
on such women and the causes they espoused.
"We are going to look on the feminist movement as a tragedy,"
"Women have become career slaves and a whole generation will never
marry or have
children. Marriage protects women. All the pill has done is liberate
it allows them to have casual sex. I saw the feminist movement as
family but it wasn't."
Of the first feminist wave she singles out Germaine Greer, whom she
"brilliant woman" who got it wrong when she said women were
exactly like men.
She attacks Bea Campbell and Andrea Dworkin as man-hating
The response to Ms Pizzey's outburst is scathing in return. "You
to be mad to think this," said writer and broadcaster Ms Campbell,
professor of women's studies at Newcastle University.
"She is saying feminism is mad, bad and dangerous. This attitude
disrespectful to women who have been abused and will divert attention
the more important issues."
Sheila Rowbotham, a research fellow at Manchester University and
early feminist, is equally dismissive. "Sometimes women like
casual sex, too.
"It is ridiculous to say that the women's movement is a tragedy - it
been incredibly important. She had a husband who worked in the media so
lot of attention focused on her when there were a lot of other unsung
also set up refuges. It's dangerous to overstate the fact that women
domestic violence. She's talking nonsense."
Anna Coote , a former adviser to Harriet Harman and prolific writer on
women's issues, was equally dismissive. "She demonstrates her own
simplifying the feminist movement," Ms Coote said. "She falls
into the trap of
so many people of saying feminism is one thing when in fact it is very
and has many strengths and weaknesses.
"The statistics speak for themselves in that men are the main
of domestic violence. I don't think anyone takes her seriously."
GRAPHIC: The dark side: Pizzey has attacked feminists for demonising men and
denying that women can be as violent DAVID SANDISON
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March 28, 1999
SECTION: The Observer News Page; Pg. 31
LENGTH: 683 words
HEADLINE: Comment: Let's have a big hand for battered women's most shameless
BYLINE: BARBARA ELLEN
A recent study revealed that a good third of teenage males feel
gone too far. These unhappy young men should find much to cheer them in
Tuesday's edition of Counterblast, at 7.30pm on BBC2. On a programme
'Who's Failing The Family?', Erin Pizzey is the latest matronly male
to attempt to portray feminism as a civil war among women, rather than
of grace for us all.
Pizzey first came to distrust feminism when she went along to a meeting
the Seventies 'looking for friendship not revolution', and decided that
didn't like the cut of their Che Guevara posters. Since then, she has
convinced that feminists have hijacked the issue of domestic violence
own wicked ends, turning it into an anti-male crusade. Never mind that,
the programme, she is actually seen being told by a bemused official
are indeed responsible for 97 per cent of domestic violence, Pizzey will
'I hate the prevailing climate that men are devils and women are
she sighs, going on to argue: 'We've got to stop singling men out as
of the family . . . if we don't, feminist thinking will go on ruining
Pizzey's views aren't exactly fresh she first aired them years ago in
Prone To Violence, which argued that while some women are 'innocent
violence, others are 'victims of their own violent relationships'.
layman's terms, translates as: 'Some of those crazy bitches had it
them.' But Pizzey isn't your regular reactionary freak. As many will
aware, what gives Pizzey's singular views on domestic violence an
newsworthiness is the fact that, back in 1971, she was the founder of
British women's refuge.
In those days, desperate wives and mothers would turn to her for help
all over the country, little realising that she would later
battered womankind's most shameless Uncle Tom. Your bruises could be
colour under the sun, and the worst ones often were, but your
reputation had to
be snow-white, otherwise Pizzey would later condemn you as being the
woman' who might conceivably invite, instigate, even enjoy violence.
You can hear her on the programme, rattling on with absent-minded
snootiness, about how some of those who came to her seeking refuge in
Seventies were prostitutes. By the look on her face, it is clear that
thinks that any hooker, however needy, had a nerve turning to a
women's refuge such as hers for help.
At the heart of the matter is the fact that Pizzey seems to believe
only kind of domestic-violence victim that exists, leastways the only
deserves sympathy, is the 'nice', unassuming, surburban mum, preferably
working-class and middle-aged. Those who don't quite fit into this
-profile become, in Pizzey's eyes, culpable, partly responsible for the
They were perhaps asking for a slap, being antagonistic, by not wearing
apron, baking cakes or placating their man in the moments before the
Maybe they had a Che Guevara poster. Or, worse, maybe they hit him
psychotic cows! 'Women can be violent too,' Pizzey keeps saying, but we
that, and we also know that the numbers are few, and the damage done
Whatever Pizzey says, men are the main perpetuators of domestic
violence, and it
is they who should take the rap for any subsequent familial breakdown,
The thought of men being frightened by violent women is ludicrous. We
haven't got the numbers, and those who do exist rarely get to inflict
damage. As any woman who's ever fought a man knows, trying to hurt a
your fists is like throwing a snowball into a live volcano. Pointless,
dangerous. I would even go so far as to argue that it is technically
for a woman to fight a man.
It took me a while to realise this. It will probably take Pizzey
there's a certain type of man out there who has known all along.
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The Sunday Herald
March 28, 1999
SECTION: Pg. 8
LENGTH: 503 words
HEADLINE: Man behaving badly isn't violence, says Pizzey
BYLINE: By Eddie Gibb
A SCOTTISH Office campaign against domestic violence has been attacked
Erin Pizzey, the founder of the first refuge for battered women in
television advertisement, which features a man shouting at his wife
dinner is not ready, is aimed at both women and children who live in
But Pizzey claims the ad encourages children to report their parents on
helpline number. "The assumption is that if father comes home and
voice it is domestic abuse is ludicrous," she said. "To blow
this into a huge
thing that needs an ad is terrible. He was behaving badly, but it was
According to a Scottish Office spokeswoman, the ads avoid showing
or its effects so they can be screened before the watershed. "When
images of badly beaten woman a lot of women thought, because they were
bad as that, it couldn't be considered as abuse," she added.
In a BBC2 programme called Who's Failing the Family, Pizzey argues that
issue of domestic violence has been "hi-jacked" by the
feminist movement which
has turned men into demon figures that threaten the family. She also
women-only refuges, which includes those in Scotland affiliated to
"No men are allowed in because there's this paranoia in refuges
creates a climate of fear against all men," said Pizzey.
Erin Pizzey founded the first refuge in west London in 1971 as a place
women could escape abusive partners. These days she is regarded by
refuges as a
pioneer who lost touch with the reality of working with battered women.
modelled on Pizzey's blueprint opened in Edinburgh in the mid-1970s,
the start it was decided men should not be allowed on the premises.
"Partly that was to ensure that we guaranteed women's
safety," said Lesley
Irving, national worker at Scottish Women's Aid. "It was also to
breathing space for women to have a rest from men's presence."
Pizzey argues that the assumption that men have to be kept apart from
for their own safety turns them into victims, and ignores the causes of
violence. She also questions the assumption that domestic violence is
characterised by male attacks on women. "We have to have equity in
argument," she said. "Men and women are violent, let's not
make it a gender war
Statistics released by Strathclyde Police last year contradict Pizzey's
that women are perpetrators of domestic violence. Of 1223 people
reported to the Procurator Fiscal or cautioned by police since the
Spotlight initiative began, only 52 were women.
"Erin Pizzey is voicing arguments we hear all the time when people
talk about the one per cent of women who are violent," said Elaine
Samson of the
anti-abuse campaign, Zero Tolerance. "I would totally take issue
with the claim
that men are being demonised."
Counterblast: Who's Failing the Family? Tuesday, 7.30pm, BBC2
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The Guardian (London)
March 23, 1999
SECTION: The Guardian Feature Page; Pg. 6
LENGTH: 1149 words
HEADLINE: Women: Feminist n, adj. a woman who destroys families,
and lies through her teeth;
Julie Bindell on the peculiar world of Erin Pizzey
BYLINE: JULIE BINDELL
In 1977 a documentary was made about Britain's first refuge for
women - the one famously set up by Erin Pizzey in Chiswick, London, in
Next week Pizzey appears on our screen again when she gets a whole 30
herself on the BBC's opinion slot, Counterblast. She uses this
sound off about how, for the past 25 years, feminists have been
involved in a
conspiracy to 'destroy families and demonise men'. The programme
includes a clip
from the 1977 documentary, with a voiceover from Pizzey in which she
viewers that in those days she was dealing with 'two very different
women': 'innocent victims' and 'women who were the victims of their own
Confused? Fear not, she goes on to explain. 'These women had been
children, were maybe prostitutes, they weren't battered women, innocent
I knew they would eventually go back to their own violent
relationships, or go
on to make further violent relationships.' One could be forgiven for
she is referring to women who inflict violence on themselves, but in
is referring to women who 'ask for it'.
This is not the volte-face it may at first appear. Pizzey has a very
difficult history within the women's movement. Meeting feminists for
time in 1971, she declared that she was not looking for 'a revolution'
friendship; what she found, she later said, were women who 'simply
There was at that time a growing recognition that institutional sexism
within the family, which was backed up by legal, financial and social
structures. Men, feminists argued, expected a wife to 'cook, clean, and
out', resulting in women's lack of status in relation to her husband.
said Pizzey. And she was, she claims, 'thrown out of the movement' for
(if only it was that easy).
In 1974, at a national meeting to set up the Women's Aid Federation,
complained bitterly when delegates agreed to make the movement
Pizzey held the opinion that domestic violence was 'her issue'. She
and wrote letters to local authorities and newspapers, claiming that
refuges should be refused because most of the women who would be
were 'lesbians, feminists and communists'.
This resulted in huge delays in setting up certain refuges and was the
beginning of the rift between Pizzey and feminists working in the
seems to have dedicated her life to discrediting the refuge movement.
Counterblast is a very confused film, based on Pizzey's theory that
'feminists were looking for a cause, and funding, so they hijacked my
Apparently, radical feminism has such a stranglehold on every
institution in the
land that 'no one dare speak out against them'. Except Pizzey, of
and the eight people she found to interview on the programme, men and
shared her sentiments.
And this is where feminists should take note. For although Pizzey can
dismissed as a bitter woman, she is not alone. A recent Home Office
domestic violence, Breaking the Chain, stated that 'Equal numbers of
women said they had been assaulted by a former or current partner'.
Organisations such as Families Need Fathers and the UK Men's Movement
arguing for some time that women are more violent than men, and that
afforded no rights within the family. They blame feminists for this
affairs, and for suppressing the evidence. So, is there any truth in
accusations? Certainly, violent women exist and there are a few cases
of women battering their partners. An average of three per cent of all
domestic violence that police deal with is instigated by the woman.
many instances of women retaliating to sustained violence from their
causing an injury. The Home Office report fails to outline the context
domestic violence occurs - that male on female violence is far often
serious, ongoing and involves threats to kill, psychological abuse and
assault. Women are more likely to be stalked and harassed by her
they have escaped the violent relationship, and an average of two women
are killed as a result of domestic violence.
In 1992, Families Need Fathers opened the first refuge for battered men
Southall, London. Not one bed was ever slept in. When I asked a member
why he thought this was, he replied that men were 'too ashamed to ask
if they had been battered'. Women who are in violent relationships with
only too aware that their lives are in danger and shame tends not to
the way of them seeking sanctuary when it escalates to a dangerous
Pizzey's rantings that feminists have no grounds to assert that
violence is a problem primarily for women are backed up by research
male academics, both of whom reviewed 'all feminist research' on
found it to be 'biased, uncriticised and wrong'. We are not let into
of how they reached this conclusion. Fay Weldon and Melanie Philips,
with Pizzey that feminists have created a climate of man-hating. But
worrying is the interview with a Relate counsellor and a social worker
who calls for men to 'fight back and go out and say radical feminism is
Both men agree with Pizzey that 'violent relationships are passionate
intense,' and conclude that women want to stay with violent men or they
never return to the relationships time and time again. Children
also want to
stay with abusive fathers so we should all help them 'work out their
The assumptions made here are that every time a woman leaves a refuge
returns to a violent relationship it is because she is missing the
she returns because she finds it hard to cope away from the security of
home, or because she knows that he will never leave her alone if she
Similarly for children: if they are being abused or are witnessing
violence, they do not want the responsibility of making their father
for the violence to stop.
The Relate counsellor and the social worker erroneously conclude that
although 'violence is wrong' it is committed by women, children, and
It is high time this attempt to de-genderise domestic violence is
challenged. Feminists have put violence against women and children on
national agenda and we have come a long way since the days when we were
dismissed as bra -burning man-haters. Pizzey will continue to row her
on this issue, but as for the other creatures crawling out of the
jump on this anti-feminist and extremely dangerous bandwagon, we will
them at our peril.
Counterblast is on BBC2, 7.30pm, March 30.
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Copyright 1999 Century Newspapers Limited
Belfast News Letter
January 20, 1999, Wednesday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 6, 7
LENGTH: 2026 words
HEADLINE: WHEN WOMEN DO THE BEATING
BYLINE: Ian Starrett
CORONATION Street's smoothie turned nasty Greg Kelly lashes out at Sall
Webster as their affair turns sour and once again - this time via a popular
elevision soap opera - the impression is given that domestic violence
is a gend
er issue. The perception is that it is always women who suffer. IAN
discovered that this pe rception is far from accurate and that,
Northern Ireland and the Rep ublic, men are suffering from vicious
MEN HAVE been rarely associated with domestic violence except when
as the perpetrators.
Yet it has emerged that behind the closed front doors of thousands of
ordinary homes across Ulster and the Republic men are suffering from
hate-filled fists of the husband batterers.
Meath-born nurse Mary Cleary would notice the injuries as she performed
duties at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan.
They didn't, of course, say that they had been beaten, slashed or
their spouses. Feeble excuses about slipping in the porch, tiles
them, cutting their hand with a can opener, walking into lamposts were
Mary wasn't fooled. She knew their injuries had been rendered by wives
"As a nurse I came across an 80-year-old man who was blind. He had
on his arm, given to him by his wife, that needed 17 stitches. She
the protection order he got against her and the beatings increased
Just over a year ago Mary set up AMEN, a helpline and support group for
in violent relationships to give them legal and practical advice which
them to make positive decisions about their relationsips.
Working from the kitchen of her Navan home, her telephone hasn't cooled
since. "I get calls from all over Northern Ireland. There are many
men up there
who need our help. One Derry man wrote to me after he picked up one of
leaflets in Donegal saying that he had reached a low point in his life.
had many calls for help like that from people in Derry, Belfast, from
In the past year AMEN has heard from more than 3,000 men and supportive
members of their families, like sympathetic mothers and sisters.
in age from 18 to elderly pensioners, the oldest Mary helped was 88.
include doctors, dentists, fa rmers, fitters, managers, police,
soldiers and the
"The magnitude of the response has stretched the voluntary
helpline to its
capacity and is evidence that this taboo subject of male victims
structured and properly funded mainstream response," says Mary,
who set the
helpline up in her ownhome at her own expense.
"Images of wimp, big boys don't cry and take it on the chin like a
serve to keep this taboo subject under wraps. Many of the men who
talk about their being deeply depressed and feeling suicidal. Some of
made attempts on their li ves and have been hospitalised. Many are on
pills and anti -depressants. One man said to me - 'It was not so much
wanted to die but that I could see no reason to live.'
"Often it is only when violence on men by their female partners is
fatal or fatal that the authorities finally pay attention. Men very
in these abusive relationships for the sake and protection of their
Mary has a string of horrific stories to tell.
One member of the Garda, who she knows, was so savagely beaten by his
that in desperation he rang a women's refuge in his area pleading for
policeman said they just laughed at him and that it took him well over
to get the courgag e to tell his doctor that his wife was hitting him.
initially said that they were football injuries but in fact his wife,
claimed, had battered him with her bare fists, the handle of a vacuum
poker as well as attacking him with a carving kn ife.
Mary, a mother of three, is anxious to point out that she in no way
minimise violence against females. She tells you that it is her belief
is a social issue affecting men, women and children.
"A real solution to the problem cannot be found while it is
as a women's issue," she said yesterday.
The telephone rings and on the line is a businessman who tells her that
because he has been given a black eye yet again by his wife he has had
business appointments for the next few days in both Northern Ireland
Mary, who has volunteer helpers but who takes the bulk of the calls
is hoping to travel throughout Northern Ireland and Eire over the next
highlight the problem of battered menfolk. Also two Department of
experts at Queens Un iversity, Belfast, are to carry out 100 in-depth
studies in the province.
The AMEN Helpline for men who feel that they are suffering silently and
alone in abusive relationships is (from Northern Ireland) 00353
A father battered and rejected
TOM was once the happiest of men.
Along with his wife and children he could often be seen around
shopping, casually strolling in the park, going to Sunday worship
doing the sort of things that families normally do.
Yesterday Tom - not his real name - was living alone in a flat on the
of the city centre because his estranged wife has banished him from the
lovingly provided for for years.
He didn't see his children at Christmas, for months even before that.
more he has been a victim of domestic violence.
"She wasn't slow in lashing out at me. She started physically
attacking me a
year ago and eventually I had to leave the house. She has now got an
order to keep me away from the house yet she was the one who was
now I don't know w hether I'm coming or going."
"She has now moved her lover in. He's certainly not there to do
hoovering or the washing up. As I and many men see it getting exclusion
is just a way of providing somewhere for these women to have their
the comfort of a home that an other man has worked to build up."
"Women like my wife are throwing their husbands out onto the
street and then
committing adultery with the next person they fancy. The man is not
this at all - even when it is the woman who is violent and cruel
"She has now taken out a personal protection order against me and
can't even say 'Hello' to my children."
Tom added: "I have carried out my own survey in Derry regarding
against men and the stories I've heard are heartbreaking. I'm not
don't get me wrong, but I believe that equality and justice is
Culturally there has been a d enial of the male victim and the
barriers such as rejection, ridicule and disbelief. The theory has been
isolate the man and make it difficult for him to speak out.
"Domestic violence is a social issue that affects men, women and
and addressing only part of the picture will continue to cause damage
divisions among families."
The Londonderry father said that some solicitors had reservations about
representing men in domestic violence cases. "Women appear to be
than men. They just turn on the crocodile tears and even though they
violent adulterers they ar e believed and the man is thrown out onto
In Derry, women have access to a network of advice centres and
shelters. Men on
the other hand have nowhere to turn. In most cases, men find themselves
street with only their family to turn to. "
Tom said that in most cases women get legal aid when they take domestic
cases to courts and that social services cash ensures that they don't
a male breadwinner around the home any longer.
Mary Cleary's AMEN organisation has been a tremendous source of comfort
him and he urges other men to make use of it.
... and the stars who saw stars!
WHEN legendary Hollywood toughie Humphrey Bogart uttered the immortal
"Here's looking at you kid" he just might have been keeping a
watchful eye out
for a swinging female right hook.
And when John Wayne rode off into the Colorado sunset it might just
been to escape from the fury of a violent wifey.
For Bogey and Wayne, who could never in a million years have been
as wimps, in their private lives it has been recorded were once secret
of female anger.
Dr Malcolm George, a senior lecturer at London University, said that
and even former US President Abraham Lincoln were abused by their
Dr George said that Wild West movie legend John Wayne had been abused
second wife Conchita who continued to make his life a misery after he
Abraham Lincoln's wife Mary regularly beat him and once "hit him
face with a block of wood".
Ms Erin Pizzey, who founded the first refuge for women and child victims
domestic violence in the United Kingdom back in 1971, admitted to a
conference at University College, Dublin, that of the first 100 women
to that first refuge, 62 were found to be just as violent as the men
Letters from victims
MARY Cleary has received scores of heart rending letters from battered
Here are several excerpts from men whose identities cannot be revealed:
I am myself a victim of female violence, eg forced to get out of bed
night and have a cold bath despite having a morning bath.
Wife assuming a 'Sumo-stance' and advancing on me flicking a meat
from hand to hand finishing up with a full blooded swipe across my
inches away... this was her favourite trick.
Deserted three years ago I suffered many physical attacks during my
to a very beautiful woman.
As a child my mother hit me a lot and I was blamed for everything
To hit my mother would be 'a mortal sin' so I grew up 'programmed' into
never using physical or mental 'terror' on any woman.
My wife of 7 years could never understand why I never retaliated
to her 'rib digs' exerted through her knuckles sufficiently hard to
back into walls as she bullied me.
She left me for another man in '95 and constantly criticised me
compared me directly to this other man with whom she had a prior
It's very demeaning for a man to be criticised in this way and I was
constantly referred to as 'the wimp' in front of friends.
In the past three years, society and its attitude have shocked me
no sympathy is expended towards male victims of female violence, either
or mental. The law has shocked me to the extent of 'one rule for the
another for the women. '.
Allow me to explain or refer to specific occurrences since I was
My former wife's father trains dogs, especially hybrid pitbulls and
cross breds for the guard dog market. As my ex-wife grew up surrounded
animals she became a good handler of such animals and always stayed in
with her father's trend s, techniques and control words.
Indeed she put one such hybrid 'to work' as she ransacked our home for
months after she left. One day she arrived smelling of alcohol with a
between a Doberman and Rottweiller.
Some commands were uttered at the door and I quickly realised I was
on command. It lasted for about 20 minutes as the house was again
happened about four times in the ensuing months for lesser periods and
friends felt that the tac tics were not much different from a person
house with a shotgun.
A Londonderry man wrote - Dear Mary,
I write to you after picking up one of your leaflets at a chapel in
I have been subject to domestic violence by my wife for a number of
have recently paid the price of exclusion from my home.
At this moment I am at a very low point in my life and I would be very
grateful for any other information which may help me.
GRAPHIC: BRUTALITY: husband battering is a taboo subject, something that few
its victims admit to. Staged photograph
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December 31, 1998, Thursday
SECTION: Pg. 15
LENGTH: 833 words
HEADLINE: VIOLENCE AGAINST TRUTH
BYLINE: Kevin Myers
THE pioneer of refuges for battered women, Erin Pizzey, declared
a conference in Dublin that there had been a feminist-inspired
conceal the truth about domestic violence. She said 62 per cent of the
her first refuge had admitted being violent to their male partners.
"Unfortunately," she went on, "at this time (1971) the
feminist movement ...
was able to hijack the domestic violence movement and promptly set about
disseminating dubious research material and disinformation."
Thank you, Erin. Without you, I, being the merest male, know full well
I would never have had the nerve to say a word on this subject, even
have opinions on it and a certain amount of knowledge -but fortunately,
For not merely has feminism achieved a virtual ideological monopoly in
media, but it has created a climate in which the only commentators
criticise its canons - without being torn limb from limb by foaming
dungarees - are women. If Camille Paglia were a man, she would be
Classically, feminism detests dissent. Managerial censorship - actually
often supervised by craven, guilt-tripping men, the quislings of this
debate - has, in parti-cular, dammed much vital truth at source.
When, in the early 1970s, Erin Pizzey tried to publicise the reality of
victimhood from physical violence within the home, she was interviewed
female journalists who, she now complains, "were largely radical
Recent international research, she points out, has indicated that
violence between men and women was about equal. "However,"
Erin Pizzey adds,
"none of these findings made much of an impact in the media and
brushed aside by the feminist movement who insisted that injuries
women were in self-defence."
A process of tunnel-visioned censorship at source still detects only
bruised icons of feminist-victim-ology. A recent British Medical
investigation into domestic violence involving 571 women and 429 men
that one third of the women alleged violence, and one quarter alleged
sex by male partners. But, then, an investigation into the
revealed that the men surveyed had only been asked whether or not they
physically or sexually abused women, but not whether or not they had
In other words, when did you stop beating your wife, you bastard?
And heaven help the man who questions feminist-victimology. Neil
critique of feminism a few years ago was given solely to femi-nists to
and savage it they predictably did, in a peculiarly unpleasant and
standard femi-nist way, reducing their opponent to a stereotype of the
reactionary male chauvinist pig stereotype, and then going on to jeer
own odious creation.
(So! Neil Lydon wants us to be good girls, back to the kitchen sink,
the kids, sacrificing our careers and on our backs on demand! Well,
news for the creep ...)
Men are particularly forbidden to approach the tabernacles of
Even an observation, be it so delicately uttered, that horrible though
rape is surely better than death, is proof that one sees rape as a
useful way of
keeping women in their place.
And what man these days has not been told by feminists that men might
possess opinions on rape, abortion and single motherhood, but they may
If the feminist censorship in the media were acknowledged, it would not
so insidious; but it is not.
Instead, there is the big lie of openness and truth, most especially in
television, where feminist-agenda-driven double standards are almost
although they are never declared.
A recent BBC programme about changes to the body during adol-escence
in much photographic detail on changes in the male geni-tals. No
were shown of comparable female changes. Why? Because feminists have
decided that intimate illustrations of that part of the female body
offensive to women".
There is, of course, no male equivalent to that term; nor any
the new, odious school of twittering femi-journalism, in which a young
very conspicuously exploits her good looks, yet is ready at the drop of
-lining pencil to detect sexism in any male response which is
a marvellous feminist word which means precisely what you want it to
Yet I don't blame the feminists for this. I blame men, whose moral
before this political mono-poly merits all the bullying it has
received. It is
men who have cravenly and witlessly permitted and even assisted in the
of sexual stereotypes of suffering and oppression, in which the male
always guilty, and now we must pay the price.
Thank God there are women like Erin Pizzey and Camille Paglia who not
can speak their minds; they can speak ours too.
LOAD-DATE: December 31, 1998
116 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1998 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
DAILY MAIL (London) (London)
December 5, 1998
SECTION: Pg. 32
LENGTH: 2506 words
HEADLINE: IT'S SO EASY FOR A WOMAN TO TOTALLY DESTROY A MAN-IT MAKES ME FEEL
BYLINE: Lynda Lee-Potter
RACHEL SWINGLE-HURST has the leggy curvaceous body of a beauty queen
strong vibrant face. She's also a shrewd businesswoman who used to run
successful pub. She's totally in love with Geoffrey Boycott and
convinced of his
They met 24 years ago when she was 22 and she's the mother of his
ten-year-old daughter Emma. She wears on her wedding finger the gold
he gave her and a solid gold heart round her neck.
She was by his side in the French court when he was convicted of
Margaret Moore. In the past two years she's been like a protective
tiger in his
life but now she is close to despair.
'I feel ashamed at times to be female. This political correctness is
It's so easy for a woman to destroy any man. I could get into a lift
with a chap
and say he put his hand under my skirt. I wouldn't be named, but the
would have to act. The man would be suspended from his job and the case
take years to come to court.
'Now I don't know if Margaret Moore is mad or bad. I think she's either
evilly bad or mentally mad and I'm swinging more to the fact that she
'I hope God can forgive her because I'm not sure I ever will.
She's dictated our lives for two years. Geoffrey is a proud, honourable
and this is destroying him. He's financially secure. He doesn't have to
again, but he's one of the best commentators in the world.
'Cricket has been his life and he wants to work. He's dispensable now
he was still needed to open the batting for his country against the
be out there. He wouldn't have been dumped.
'Then everyone would say: "Boycott has never been a violent man.
Margaret Moore is a bankrupt, a proven liar who has totally been
so let's give him the benefit of the doubt." ' Cricketer David
their close friend but he committed suicide a year ago during a
in his life. 'Now I know how David felt,' Geoffrey has said to Rachel.
'Is that what people want?' she cries. 'Another famous cricketer to
himself? Friends say: "He's got you and he's got Emma." He has
and he loves us,
but it's not enough, which doesn't make him a bad man.' Rachel is so
the damage being done to their lives that she sometimes feels violent
'I considered going up to Margaret Moore in court, slapping her and
"Geoffrey never hit you but somebody ought to."
'I don't swear, but I don't really know how to say it any other way
she's f***** up my life. Erin Pizzey, who supports battered women, went
television and said: "Women are not always the victims. In this
believe Mr Boycott is the victim, that Margaret Moore is the violent
that she's had a violent background." ' There is no doubt that Ms
Geoffrey and that he succumbed to her sexy charms. She was willing, available
and money seemed no object. 'She paid for herself, first class,' says
'to join him around the world for sex.
OK, so it doesn't sound very nice but I don't know many men who are
turn that down.
'He found her attractive then.
Now she's changed a lot. Everything about this woman is false, even the
is extensions. It's stuck on, her hair is shorter than mine. I could
court at the hearing she had a false ponytail and you could see
the real length. And that sums her up really.
'She says he asked her to marry him, but he's never asked any woman to
him. She needed an escape route because she was in desperate financial
difficulties.' It's on record that Ms Moore said she would not proceed
court case if Geoffrey paid her $1 million. The official receivers have
finished their investigations into her affairs. There are allegations
perjury, deliberate defrauding of creditors, trading while knowingly
and acting as a shadow director. She could end up going to prison.
GEOFFREY Boycott was born in the small Yorkshire mining village of
Fitzwilliam. He once took me to the street where he spent his childhood
tiny houses were mean and dank.
His father was horrifically injured in a mining accident but never got
proper compensation. He lived on for a few more years as a shadow of
self. Geoffrey's mother battled on without complaint to sustain her
rear her family.
Her famous son lived at home until she died when he was in his early
He then began to live with Anne Wyatt, who is 14 years his senior. Now
is 72 and their sexual passion is in the past but he remains utterly
protective to her. He's bought her a house overlooking the sea at
Nuisance calls to Mrs Wyatt were traced to Ms Moore's mobile.
Meanwhile Geoffrey remains in Yorkshire and he and Rachel live between
rented cottage near York and his farmhouse.
In fact, Ms Moore reunited them because they were in contact but no
lovers when she made her accusations of violence. Rachel sprang to his
If he did ever ask her to marry him she admits she would say: 'Yes,'
'We still have the chemistry between us after 24 years, probably
we've not been together 12 hours a day. People say that he's never
therefore he's frightened of commitment. If anything, he has been more
to Anne and me than most married men to their wives.' When Rachel found
pregnant with Emma she and Geoffrey were upset because they knew that
relationship would change. Rachel had always been free to fly to meet
the world and they'd had wonderful times together. She is not maternal
never felt broody. She conceived when she was on the Pill and didn't
was pregnant for four months.
WHEN I told Geoffrey,' she says, 'he never once asked: "Is it
mine?" A few
people apparently accused me of pulling the three-card trick and
getting pregnant to try and make him marry me. It was the absolute
'I just knew that it would change everything. I wouldn't be able to go
abroad, tripping all round the world. I'm not a natural mother. Now
I've got her
I love her very much but I'd quite happily have gone through life not
'Geoffrey would just ring up and say: "There's an airline ticket,
want to come?" I'd pack the bags and be off. It's marvellous going
out to lovely
hotels and lying in the sun.' After Emma was born Geoffrey accepted his
responsibilities as a father. However, feeling that their relationship
finite future because of Anne Wyatt, Rachel went to live abroad with
parents. She was still in love with Geoffrey and remained celibate.
'It's quite hard for him to tell me he loves me,' she says, 'but he
just occasionally. Emma once said: "What are you to Daddy?" I
said: "I'm his
girlfriend." She said: "You're too old to be a girlfriend, how
about fiancee?" I
said: "No darling, I'm not his fiancee because that's someone who
is engaged to
be married.'' 'Then she wanted to know why we can't get married. I
"Because the man has to ask the lady, the lady can't ask the
Now sometimes she says: "I think I'll go and live with my father
and you can
come, too, Mummy." ' Geoffrey once told Rachel that she was the
person he'd ever met and she knew it was a compliment. He meant he felt
and at home with her.
'Sex takes up only part of a relationship,' she says. 'We used to have
comfortable silences but those times have unfortunately gone. It's as
always have to be discussing this awful woman and what we're going to
'I personally wish he had hit her. I actually think there is an
hitting a woman, if she's hysterical and totally out of control.' The
scenario of the alleged beating took place in the Hotel du Cap in the
France. They were staying there for a few days and Margaret Moore was
desperately looking for a way out of her financial crisis. One day when
been drinking non-stop she went out on the hotel window ledge and
'Geoffrey didn't react,' says Rachel, 'so she came back into the room
started hitting him. He still didn't react so she started throwing his
out of the window. Then she went to get his suit out of the wardrobe.
to stop her throwing the suit out of the window, they struggled and
'I know categorically that's true because I saw the bruise on his left
when he got back from by
France on the Friday night.
We've also seen the bar bill for that day from the hotel. It was
and Geoffrey doesn't drink. This woman is an alcoholic.' Rachel didn't
about the existence of Margaret Moore but at the time she and Geoffrey
sleeping together. 'I was not a scorned lover,' she says, 'Geoffrey was
see who he wanted.' They'd met in 1974 in her local pub, which was
benefit night for him. 'I remember just looking into his eyes and
he's nice," which means: "I could go to bed with him." '
Rachel was 22 and had
just left her husband who had been a childhood sweetheart.
Geoffrey took her back to her parents' house and when he returned to
where he was due to stay it was locked.
He had to drive 50 miles home through the night. The following day the
landlady said tartly to Rachel: 'Well, Geoffrey certainly Boycotted
rang her a few days later and their tender affair began.
She never hoped for marriage because she always knew Anne Wyatt was in
background. 'He isn't a chauvinist,' she says. 'He's all for equality.
He has no
problem with women joining the Marylebone Cricket Club or equal pay for
jobs. He has no problems with women running companies.
'The most important people in his life have been women and he has
respect for us. He's not a man's man, going down the pub and saying:
at home, woman, in your place."
BUT in a relationship he wants to be the man and he likes his woman to
feminine. He's a boobs and bottom chap and he makes you feel terrific.
a lovely body, which has made me look after mine.
'Actually I'm far more practical than him. I change the fuses, decorate
do the tiling. I was so stressed waiting for the court case I decorated
sister's house right through. Geoffrey's totally hopeless but when
together he's the man and that's what I want. It's old-fashioned values
chauvinism.' There have been lots of times over the years when Rachel
to stand up and defend
Geoffrey. She remained quiet, possibly for the sake of Anne Wyatt's
but Margaret Moore's accusation was the final straw. Rachel determined
going to defend her chap in public.
'He genuinely didn't want me to. He said: "You don't know what
getting yourself into." I said: "I know I don't, but
sometimes you've got to
stand up and be counted. This is one of my times and I'm not doing it
you. I'm doing it as much for Emma."
'If I hadn't had Emma I might have stayed in the background.
It would have been easier and less controversial both for the
and my life. I'd got Emma into a new school where nobody knew who she
Luckily Emma is as iron willed and confident as her father. Officially
has Rachel's surname, but now calls herself Emma Swingle-hurst Boycott.
'Geoffrey wants only to protect her but she's proud of her daddy.
either like him or hate him. You don't find many who haven't got an
either way. So sometimes people bristle at the name and he doesn't want
'Because of the current conviction, albeit in a foreign court, he
want her to be judged by the so-called sins of her father.
'But she is so strong. She is absolutely his mirror image.
After the verdict was given I rang her as soon as we got to London from
King's Cross. I said: "We haven't won today but we had difficulty
translation. The French didn't quite understand everything that we were
'She was staying with a friend who said: "Emma, when you're an
realise, even in this country in the courts, sometimes the truth
out. Daddy's just been unlucky." Emma said: "He's not
He's got me."
'When I told Geoffrey tears came into eyes. He calls her Half Pint and
adores her. I think his feelings for her have surprised him. He doesn't
weep but he does what we call clouding up. He's done that ever since he
playing cricket. When he's talking about something very special in his
he wells up, because he misses playing so much.' Geoffrey is in turmoil
the future. He wants to fight on though common sense tells him that
trial in France might well turn into another farce.
'If we'd been able to give all our evidence,' says Rachel, 'and we felt
had a fair shot maybe we could have accepted it better. But we were
herded in a
room from two in the afternoon till one in the morning.
We couldn't have anything to eat or drink.
'Luckily, I'd had the foresight to take some bottled water and
If we wanted to go the toilet we had to be taken by an armed escort.
'Margaret Moore said Geoffrey punched her 20 times in the face. If he'd
that her face would have been pulped.
Did that face look like a face that had been beaten more than 20 times?
'You do not have equal bruising under the eyes from being beaten. But
if you've fallen and struck your forehead. The blood drains down - it's
ALL Geoffrey wants now is to be allowed to be a cricket commentator.
not trying to run the country. He's not telling us how we should bring
He just wants to do his job.
'But this very private, proud man has had his whole washing aired in
I'm not going to say dirty washing because it isn't dirty. I can only
what it's been like for him these past few weeks.
'He's fought so hard to get the truth across and he's been crucified.
they want him to just lie down and die? It's terrible to see somebody
wrongly accused of something and then found guilty. But you read
all the time in the newspapers.
'A school teacher accused by some 14-year-old pupil of touching them up
automatically suspended. The case takes two years to come to court. In
meantime his marriage collapses, his kids won't talk to him and he
'He can't pay his mortgage so he loses his house. Basically his life is
ruined and then two years later the accusation is proved to be
Well, it's too late isn't it?' Rachel now desperately wants to be able
get on with living. Geoffrey still hasn't made up his mind whether or
appeal but if he does she'll be there with her fists up ready to fight
She weeps not for herself but for him.
GRAPHIC: RACHEL SWINGLEHURST IS CONVINCED OF HER LOVER GEOFFREY BOYCOTT'S
INNOCENCE PICTURE: JENNY GOODALL
LOAD-DATE: December 7, 1998
118 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1998 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
November 11, 1998
SECTION: The Guardian Features Page; Pg. 19
LENGTH: 99 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Are women getting the role models they really want?
I WAS hoping for a better understanding of the roots of domestic
from Baroness Jay. In a family where one or both parents are
violent, boys and
girls learn violent behaviour as a destructive method of dealing with
Boys tend to "explode" and harm other people and girls
"implode" and harm
themselves and their children. Women are perpetrators in 60 per cent of
abuse cases. The Women's Unit costs over a million pounds a year to
run. Why are
the taxpayers paying for outdated feminist rhetoric?
(Founder of the refuge
LOAD-DATE: November 12, 1998
122 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1998 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
July 25, 1998
SECTION: The Guardian Features Page; Pg. 22
LENGTH: 53 words
HEADLINE: Godparents in a secular world
BYLINE: ERIN PIZZEY.
LABOUR'S plans (Labour's plan to save the family, July 24) will delight
of us who believe that traditional family life is the cornerstone of
civilisation. May I suggest that we scrap the selfish, expensive
Women's Unit and replace it with a family unit?
LOAD-DATE: July 27, 1998
123 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1998 Guardian Newspapers Limited
July 19, 1998
SECTION: The Observer News Page; Pg. 30
LENGTH: 59 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Violence survey
BYLINE: DR JAYNE MOONEY
Erin Pizzey attributed to the British Medical Association a survey on
domestic violence carried out in Islington, north London (Comment, 5
fact, it was conducted by the Centre for Criminology at Middlesex
reported in the BMA's recent literature review.
Dr Jayne Mooney
Centre for Criminology
LOAD-DATE: July 20, 1998
124 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1998 Guardian Newspapers Limited
July 12, 1998
SECTION: The Observer News Page; Pg. 30
LENGTH: 154 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Feminist prejudice
BYLINE: ADRIAN WILSON
Erin Pizzey's article on domestic violence (Comment, last week) is a
challenge to all agencies who work with violent families.
Children are damaged by feminist prejudice, which forces men out of
families, and away from their children. Forcing men away does not
family and relationship dynamics in which domestic violence is rooted.
violence continues in either reconciled or reconstituted families into
Only a strategy of therapeutic intervention, in which men and women
responsibility for their behaviour and actively work to change the
which cause violence in their relationship, can attempt to stop the
This is not excusing the 'perpetrator' or 'blaming the victim'. It's
that action against domestic violence is too important to be based on
Adrian Wilson Team Manager Cardiff County Social Services Department
LOAD-DATE: July 14, 1998
125 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1998 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)
July 5, 1998, Sunday
SECTION: FEATURES; Page 1,2
LENGTH: 1666 words
HEADLINE: Old feminists never die; They just start having face-lifts,
poor, crushed menand launching attacks on other members of their own
and changingtheir mind about more or less everything their reputation
Alexandra Traeger lines up Fay Weldon's inconsistent sisters
BYLINE: Alexandra Traeger
GROWING OLD gracefully is not, it seems, a very feminist notion.
idea of meekly retiring to grow roses is anathema. Yes, there may be a
clutch of pretty, clever, media-friendly younger feminists poised and
keen to seize the feminist baton and carry it into the new millennium.
grandmothers of the movement just won't lie down. In fact these older
now in their fifties, sixties and even seventies, frequently have more
for themselves than the younger generation, who have uniformly adopted
softly-softly, gentle and tolerant stance. While younger feminists are
over backwards to lay to rest the old image of the "loony
feminist", the old
guard continue to be as controversial as ever, having facelifts,
journalists and moaning that men are having a jolly hard time (and all
those rotten feminists).
Rather like the breed of hoary old rightwingers who began political
excitable Trots (Paul Johnson, Peter Hitchens, Kingsley Amis,
spring to mind), they often seem to glory in their political quarantine
refuse to see the shift in their position as anything other than
This week's feminist headline-hitter, Fay Weldon, rounded upon from all
for apparently down-playing the trauma of rape, later managed
climb down and to defend her original remarks, all in a blaze of publicity.
from being out of touch, she insists, she is in fact "several
years ahead of her
time" and "residing in the next phase of feminism". But
don't we love it? Where,
after all, are the column inches in sticking to your guns?
campaigner Andrea Dworkin is nowadays dismissed as a man-hating loony,
Millet, author of Sexual Politics, is now living in poverty. Both
sisterly and entirely consistent, and beside their arm-waving,
improbably youthful-looking sisters, just a little, well, dull.
FAY WELDON, 66
Popular writer of novels with a strong feminist bent (selfish,
weedy male characters, down-trodden but feisty females). Now
that interview: "My great error has been the use of the word
I can now see would have been better expressed as 'temporally re-
the judiciary work out, as they are doing, a new crime called
which is gender-free (these days men rape other men as well as women)
Britain more in line with the rest of Europe'". Erm, yes.
But not entirely
contrite; is no fan of the "victim culture" that surrounds
Finest hour: Pretty well any of her novels, though critics have noted
there is a certain same-ness to her work. Still, the same could be said
Lowest point: Does like to remind us how sorry she feels for men and
being female is now a positive breeze: "It's all right being a
woman these days,
but it must be terrible being a man. They're quite right to be
GERMAINE GREER, 59
Author of the feminist classic, The Female Eunuch, she started out as a
lecturer in English at Warwick University. Posed semi-naked for Oz magazine
the name of liberation (and astride a motorbike for Snowdon for her
birthday). Fond of male company, though she observed notably: "It
me that women don't understand how much men hate them". Not,
however, noted for
her sisterliness (see Lowest Point). Now looking triumphantly witchy
about how positive the menopause is, her maverick intellect and utter
toe the line, feminist or otherwise, spice up late-night discussion
end. Now her forthcoming volume suggests that the sexual revolution has
far and women have lost the ability to say "no".
Finest moment: 1971's The Female Eunuch, in which she dissected women
found them sexually, socially and psychically castrated.
Lowest point: A column for the Guardian contained such blisteringly
unsisterly attacks on another female journalist that the paper was
spike it. Greer sneered at Suzanne Moore's "f***-me shoes",
"three fat inches of
cleavage" and "bird's nest" hairdo; "so much
lipstick must rot the brain," she
snapped. Media uproar followed (the completely one-sided attack now
dubbed a "feminist cat fight"), but Greer's reputation, such
as it is, remains
BETTY FRIEDAN, 77
Was accused of being more of a threat to America than the Russians when
wrote, in the early Sixties, about what she called "the cry of the
housewife: 'I want something more than my husband and my children and
As women deserted home baking and Tupperware parties in droves, her
critics suggested she seek psychiatric help. Now insists that men are
not enemies. The Second Stage, published in 1981, infuriated more
feminists with its defence of the family. A devoted grandmother, she
turned to old people's rights in a new 600- page volume, The Fountain
Critics have been dismayed by her verbose calls for power for the
probably an even more difficult mountain to climb than power for women.
Finest moment: publication in 1963 of The Feminine Mystique, a clarion-
to early feminists which sparked the movement in the US. Founder of the
Organisation for Women in 1966.
Lowest point: Almost total volte face in The Second Stage, 1981.
had been too "confrontational" and went on about rape and
abortion too much. It
is in "the Family", she asserted, that women will find
"the base of their
identity and human control". "I do not think women's rights
are the most urgent
business for American women," she declared, thus, in the words of
author Susan Faludi, "stomping on a movement that she did so much
to create and
ERIN PIZZEY, 59
Champion of battered wives and once a household name for beginning the
concept of refuges for women who were victims of violence. She
radical Seventies feminists, however, and left the country after a
bitter quarrels. Subsequently found a young husband and embarked on a
successful career as a novelist. Now divorced, she is deeply in debt
Finest moment: Setting up the first Women's Refuge in Chiswick, west
in the early Seventies, then founding the National Women's Aid
led to 200 hostels in Britain and many more abroad. Awarded the
Prize for her efforts.
Lowest point: her book, Prone To Violence, in 1981, suggested that some
women collude with domestic violence; this led to death threats and
Her publisher dropped her, and she was banned from womens'
refuges. She has
also said that feminism is "a giant cancer that has dug its crab's
every area of society. They have almost succeeded in destroying the
this country. That was their plan and they have nearly succeeded."
GLORIA STEINEM, 64
Newspaper columnist and campaigning journalist, in her early days, went
undercover as a Playboy bunny to expose the Hugh Hefner empire.
Remains a glamour-puss (when complimented by a reporter who told her
didn't look 40, she famously replied: "This is what 40 looks
like. We've been
lying so long who would know?") Witty, popular style keeps her at
"If men could menstruate, they would brag about how often and how
much" is one
of hers. "A woman without a man is like a fish without a
bicycle" is also
attributed to her.
Finest moment: Founded Ms magazine in 1972; it was instrumental in
feminism into the American mainstream.
Lowest point: Provoked a furious row among American feminists by
the shenanigans of Bill Clinton in an article for the New York
Times. He "took
No for an answer", she wrote of the president's conduct towards
Paula Jones and
Kathleen Willey; as for Monica Lewinksky, "Whatever it was, her
with President Clinton has never been called unwelcome, coerced or
something she sought."
CAMILLE PAGLIA, 51
American bisexual literary intellectual. Professor of humanities. Says
herself: "I, with my Mediterranean mesomorphic bullishness and
Rivers comedy routines, am an overeater and overstater, a gourmandizer
grand manner." Favours feistiness rather than victim-status.
Adores Madonna and
among the first to identify the iconic status of the late Princess of
another of her idols. Absolutely top at feuding and storming out of
so far crossed swords with Julie Burchill and Susan Sontag, and
Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf and Susan Faludi. Not one to get on the
of: she said of her feud with Burchill: "Boy, did she make a
mistake. She is
dealing with heavy, heavy artillery. I'm like a battleship. As an
believe in 10 eyes for an eye and 10 teeth for a tooth." Has
when unimpressed with the crowd's intellectual capacity and most
stormed out of television interview with Jonathan Dimbleby. Seen by
intellectually unsound, but always ready for a media-friendly public
Finest moment: The publication of her book Sexual Personae in 1990,
which she boasted of Susan Sontag: "I've been chasing that bitch
for 25 years,
and now I've passed her!"
Lowest point: Famously stated that if women ruled the world, we would
be living in grass huts. Sisterhood not a speciality: called Kate
imploding beanbag of poisonous self-pity". Has particular bee in
about Andrea Dworkin who, she feels represents, "infirmary
feminism, with its
bedlam of bellyachers, anorexics, bulimics, depressives, rape victims
survivors. Feminism has become a catch-all vegetable drawer where
clingy sob-sisters can store their mouldy neuroses.''
LOAD-DATE: July 06, 1998
126 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1998 Guardian Newspapers Limited
July 5, 1998
SECTION: The Observer News Page; Pg. 24
LENGTH: 1295 words
HEADLINE: Men are strong, men are bullies and men are violent. Men don't cry
when their wives beat them up this is the unreported face of domestic
BYLINE: ERIN PIZZEY
'One in four women abused,' shouted a page-three headline in the
Thursday, citing a report from the British Medical Association
According to the newspaper, a BMA survey in Islington questioned 571
and 429 men about domestic violence. It reported that one in three of
said they suffered some form of domestic violence and a quarter of them
they had been forced to have sex against their will. There is no
mention in the
paper of any result from the questioning of the 429 men.
In fact, the men were questioned only about whether or not they had
physically or sexually abused women. The BMA researchers failed to ask
if they considered themselves victims of domestic violence.
This report follows on the heels of several other well aired surveys
television documentaries that have appeared since the beginning of this
all of which seek to prove to the public that men all men are
and unpredictable in their relationships with women.
In 1971 in west London, I opened the doors to the first refuge in the
for women and children fleeing from domestic violence. Almost
people working with the women and children became aware that of the
women coming into the refuge, 62 were as violent as the partners they
Not only did they admit their violence in the mutual abuse that took
their homes, but the women were abusive to their children.
The purpose of the refuge was not to make political gain out of
suffering but to seek to discover the causes of domestic violence and
therapeutic programmes that would teach violence-prone parents to
their behaviour. Unfortunately, at this time the feminist movement,
recognition and for funding, was able to hijack the 'domestic violence
and promptly set about disseminating dubious research material and
Tess Gill and Anna Coote, both prominent members of the women's
stated in their book Sweet Freedom that: 'Feminists saw domestic
violence as an
expression of the power that men wielded over women, in a society where
dependence was built into the structure of every day life.' They
'Wife-battering was not the practice of a deviant few, but something
emerge in the 'normal' course of marital relations.' As the
correct' arm of the women's movement swung into action, those who dared
suggest that women could be guilty of any acts of violence against men
'blaming the victim'. All women, we were assured, were innocent victims
In the years that followed, respected research workers in the field
published their findings. Murray Strauss, Richard Gelles and Suzanne
wrote Behind Closed Doors: Violence in The American Family in 1980.
reported that domestic assault rates of men and women were about equal.
Physically, men caused more damage to women but women retaliated with
This was backed up in a report from the Leicester Royal Infirmary in
which also found men and women to be equally victims of violent
although men's injuries were more horrific because they were caused by
None of these findings made much impact in the media and they were
aside by the feminist movement, which insisted that any injuries caused
were probably in self-defence. After I moved to the United States, my
and I working directly with the effects of domestic violence were
the mounting tide of information demonising men. In spite of the
demonstrating that both men and women were capable of violence towards
other and abusive behaviour towards children, rigorous laws were being
through the US and Canadian judicial systems that discriminated against
Women began to falsify information and accuse their partners of
violence as a preamble to requesting a divorce. Men were accused of
their children and many jailed without evidence. Men could be removed
homes merely by an allegation from their partner that she was 'in
No physical corroborating evidence of violent behaviour was necessary.
Courts refused to discipline women who refused to allow men access to
children. Men had a one-in-10 chance of losing contact with their
altogether. A bitter war between men and women became a reality.
In March this year, I heard that new legislation was being considered
Government's Women's Unit and I asked if I might visit it. I received a
note from Joan Ruddock, the Women's Minister, and an invitation to call
in her office. Greeting me, Ms Ruddock said she knew I would be unhappy
that in the new legislation men were to be referred to as the
I pointed out that all informed research concluded that men and women
equally able to be perpetrators of domestic violence. Ms Ruddock
figures for women attacking men,' Ms Ruddock assured me, 'are
the discussion, Ms Ruddock agreed that the Government is developing a
strategy for tackling all forms of violence against women, which will
published this autumn. I asked if the UK Men's Movement or the Families
Fathers group had been consulted. Ms Ruddock said she didn't think they
to offer any discussion. She also made it clear that she did not think
had anything to offer either. As a result of this meeting, a few
met up with lan Kelly of the UK Men's Movement and we agreed that it
necessary for women to form their own organisation to protect the
families and their fathers.
Another major concern of mine is the programmes developed in America
which men considered 'perpetrators' are forced into counselling
often run by bitter anti-male feminists. The Duluth programme is one of
known. They identify common characteristics in perpetrators of domestic
violence, including such traits as holding traditional views about
position in society and in the family.
Translated, this means that the men in the programme must admit to
patriarchal heritage; their crime is being born a man and these
programmes are a
very crude form of feminist brain washing.
Some of the other US legislation is equally frightening. In California,
who have been found guilty of domestic violence have to sign on at the
police stations along with the paedophiles. I asked Ms Ruddock if the
Unit proposed importing these programmes into England. She sidestepped
One piece of research which has not yet managed to see the light of day
that some of the worst violence does not occur between men and women or
between men and men but between women and women. Lesbian violence is
violent and a source of great embarrassment to the radical feminist
In a survey of 1,099 lesbians (to be published soon), Lie and
found that 52 per cent of the respondents have been abused by a female
partner. If women are so violent in their relationships with each
other, how can
the myth of men as the sole perpetrators of domestic violence hold up
Edmund Burke remarked: 'For evil to triumph, it is only necessary for
to do nothing.' For nearly 30 years, men have done very little to
themselves from being disenfranchised from their homes and from their
Now, with this new legislation already prepared without proper
due to appear in the autumn, will good men continue to do nothing?
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June 28, 1998
SECTION: The Observer News Page; Pg. 26
LENGTH: 176 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Women who abuse
BYLINE: ERIN PIZZEY
'Hundreds and thousands of children have witnessed their fathers stabbing,
punching, beating, burning or raping their mothers.' So reads a
Father's Day (News, last week). In my view, this is another
biased report on
domestic violence. Sixty per cent of child abuse is perpetrated by
abused children are the ones who grow up in many cases to become the
the abusers of the next generation.
Because the feminist movement refused to recognise the role of women in
domestic violence, we have allowed it to insist that 'all women are innocent
victims of men's violence'. There are too many mothers, grand-mothers,
sisters who have watched the men in their families being brutally
their female partners. Men who have also been stabbed, punched, beaten,
and sexually abused by women.
Until women are made to take responsibility for their own violence and
choice of relationships, we will see no further progress towards peace
Erin Pizzey Twickenham Middx
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The Guardian (London)
April 14, 1998
SECTION: The Guardian Features Page; Pg. 17
LENGTH: 71 words
HEADLINE: Letter: For the record
BYLINE: SALLY ALEXANDER.
I AM shocked by the publication of Erin Pizzey's untrue and damaging
(April 8). Neither I personally, nor the organisation that I
belonged to - the
London Women's Liberation Workshop - was ever, to my knowledge, engaged
planning or conducting bombing attempts outside the Miss World contest
Post Office Tower or anywhere else, or in any other acts of violence.
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The Guardian (London)
April 11, 1998
SECTION: The Guardian Features Page; Pg. 20
LENGTH: 148 words
HEADLINE: Letters: Of women's affairs: political and personal
BYLINE: SUE O'SULLIVAN.
ERIN Pizzey rails against "vicious and bullying females"
(Letters, April 9)
in the early years of women's liberation. What a blast from the
past. I was
there, too, and recall her as often being a pain in the arse. However,
recollect, she was asked to leave the Women's Liberation Workshop
went to the police and offered herself as an informer.
Not surprisingly, when her offer to the police came out, most women
The decision to ask her to leave the workshop was taken only after an
and typically endless meeting.
As far as I know, no one else was ever formally asked to leave the
which was open to "all women" and had no membership forms.
Pizzey is still
remembered by many as the founder of Chiswick Women's Aid. It would be
to let her ancient rant distort the reality of the past.
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The Guardian (London)
April 9, 1998
SECTION: The Guardian Features Page; Pg. 23
LENGTH: 174 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Beasts behind beauty protest
BYLINE: ERIN PIZZEY
RE your article on protests against Miss World (Flour power, Women,
I have very different memories of those days in the early 1970s. Before
have a letter from Sally Alexander ". . . and the collective
decided that until
the whole matter was sorted out, and you had given a statement of your
to a woman lawyer, or someone in the NCCL (National Council for Civil
Liberties), you should no longer work in the office or attend meetings
of any of
I, along with a few other women, dared to object to a bombing attempt
BBC van outside the Miss World contest and, later on, another bombing
the Post Office Tower. For women who claimed that they were part of a
movement to liberate other women from male oppression, I have never
a more vicious and bullying group of females. I made my
"confession" to the
movement lawyer and was told that the document would be kept and used
if I ever tried to make my position public.
LOAD-DATE: April 13, 1998
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DAILY MAIL (London) (London)
January 8, 1998
SECTION: Pg. 51
LENGTH: 1108 words
HEADLINE: Why DO we love men who beat us?
BYLINE: Angela Lambert
WOMEN who suffer wife beating call it the invisible crime. It hap-p ens
behind closed doors, and when it's exposed people are usually
'But he's such a charmer,' they say of the abusive man. 'How is it
possible?' Yesterday the wife of Shaun Scott, who stars in The Bill as
Inspector Chris Deakin, described being beaten up so savagely by her
that he split her cheek and gave her an appalling black eye.
Yet poor Caroline Scott feels it's her fault. She thinks she has
that she must have neglected their marriage. She felt she deserved to
And yes, of course, she is willing to have him back.
Far from being unusual, she is typical of battered wives. They are all
ready to make excuses for the man who knocked them half-unconscious,
resolve to be a better spouse in future.
Why do wives - and society - show such extraordinary forgiveness
such as Shaun Scott?
Wife-beating, like alcoholism, is no respecter of social status. I knew
judge and a senior diplomat who beat up their wives - not to mention a
university professor, a top Army officer and a headmaster. All of them
of society; all secret wife-beaters.
According to experts in domestic abuse, wife-beaters are often very
and very plausible.
They have to be. Their reputation depends on keeping their violent
Few people look beneath the surface, and too many find it hard to
that an apparently sympathetic, gentle, attentive man - let alone a
middle-class professional - could be a Jekyll and Hyde figure.
When they're not brutally attacking their partners - and sometimes
children these men can make thrilling husbands and lovers.
I should know; I was once involved with one. He was tender, adoring,
HE PROMISED to be my lifelong soulmate. He would never leave me, never
unfaithful or so he said.
And I believed him. The first time he hit me, my reaction was sheer
His agonised guilt and contrition afterwards convinced me that it had
one-off. Just like Caroline Scott.
I told myself he was under stress at work. After all, he had been
complaining of headaches and sleeplessness and, over the previous few
I told myself it was my fault for basking in his adoration and not
The second time I was less forgiving. Even though he told me on bended
knees, sobbing with shame and self-disgust, that it would never happen
had my doubts. I told him that if he hit me a third time, we were
More than a year passed peacefully. Then one night, out of the blue,
rage erupted and he beat me savagely. I had no idea that hard hands and
water could hurt so much.
I was left bruised, burned and shocked - but determined. I rang my
and took out an injunction to prevent him coming near me again.
Ironically, I was heartbroken at losing him but I knew that, having
me three times, he wasn't likely to stop, no matter what he promised. I
right and I was lucky; I got out.
Yet, like many women, I did not consider myself the 'victim type'.
I had a degree, a well-paid job, I owned my house. I was a feminist, a
thoroughly liberated woman. All the same, it happened to me.
When the truth about abusive men emerges, people always ask: 'Why on
did she stay with him?' Most women give the same answer as Caroline
'Because I still love him.' The second reason, for women who have
that they want to hold the family together.
The children love their father, unless he's a complete lout, and want
parents to stay together.
Many abused wives fear the break-up of the family and its damaging
on their children more than they fear the brutal blows.
'After all,' they say, 'most of the time he isn't violent. And he's a
wonderful dad.' Many women defend their abuser by claiming that he
himself. They liken it to drinking.
An alcoholic will say and do things that wouldn't be possible if he
sober. Most wives with an alcoholic partner hope that, one day, he'll
Besides, it gives them a certain lever of power, to be the only one who
understands the man's weakness so intimately.
Erin Pizzey, Chiswick Women's Refuge's first director, believed there
another reason why women stayed with the men who battered them: the
brought melodrama and excitement to their lives.
A violent marriage is never boring or predictable, while reconciliation
be thrilling and is often sexually passionate.
Abused wives, she concluded, sometimes became addicted to the
living on a knife-edge.
One wife said to her: 'After the intensity and passion of that sort of
relationship, a peaceful life seems flat by comparison.' Pizzey
many women secretly relished the power they had over their man. An
have physical control over her, but she too has a kind of control
knows his secret.
This is why the batterer has to grovel afterwards: he needs her
to protect him from public disapproval. Charmers are charming because
to be liked, and no one likes a wife-beater.
Society is faced with an impossible choice. Should an abusive husband
sent for trial and, if convicted, go to prison?
If so, the consequence is likely to be a one-parent family relying on
welfare, and unhappy children who miss their father.
Many such cases lead to divorce, and what happens then?
Why, the charmer finds a new wife and the abuse starts all over again.
RESEARCH proves that violence is often inherited.
We have all come across families where generation after generation
tendency to ungovernable rages, as though the poison were passed
Is it realistic to hope it can ever be eradicated?
Of course, if counselling and therapy can help abusers to reform, this
the best possible outcome.
But women can help, too, by remembering it is not their fault.
No woman should tolerate the pain and humiliation of violence, or
with their abuser to keep their guilty secret.
If women ceased to suffer in silence, gradually but inexorably,
abuse would be despised and outlawed by society, just as child abuse
has been in
the past 20 years.
Why do men beat women?
Because they can. It is high time we expressed our unanimous loathing
contempt for the cowards who beat up those weaker than themselves.
Only then shall we ensure that, in future, they can't.
GRAPHIC: VICTIM: CAROLINE SCOTT WAS BEATEN BY HER HUSBAND . . . BUT BLAMES
LOAD-DATE: January 9, 1998
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DAILY MAIL (London) (London)
January 2, 1998
SECTION: Pg. 17
LENGTH: 846 words
HEADLINE: Our lost innocence;
Regrets of girls who found out too young about love
MOST girls who have underage sex regret it and wish they had waited
they were older and wiser.
A study shows that they are often coerced into having sex for the first
and the decision to lose their virginity is seldom made out of love.
The most common reason was a curiosity about sex while ten per cent
The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, indicate that
sexual revolution of the late Sixties, which promoted teenage sex, has
women with a legacy of regret.
Underage sex and child pregnancies are a growing problem in Britain.
Fourteen-year-old schoolgirl Sarah Cook was left devastated after she
child with a 20-year-old Turkish waiter she met on holiday.
Last year, Jennifer Teague, 12, became pregnant after having sex with a
13-year-old boy. She said later: 'Afterwards I knew it was the baddest
had ever done.' Researchers found 54 per cent of women regretted losing
virginity too early and among those who experienced sex before the age
of 16 the
figure rose to 70 per cent.
Only 16 per cent of men thought they should have waited longer while 11
cent said they should have had sex sooner.
The researchers questioned 477 men and 458 women born in Dunedin, New
Zealand, between 1972 and 1973. They found the average age for first
intercourse was 17 for men and 16 for women.
Seven per cent of women reported being forced to lose their virginity.
younger the girls were, the more likely it was that coercion was
Fewer men than women gave the main reason for having first sex as being
love' or carried away with their feelings and more men than women said
'wanted to lose their virgin- ity'. The survey also found that sexually
transmitted diseases were much more common in women.
Thirteen per cent of men who lost their virginity before the age of 16
reported a sexually transmitted disease compared with 28 per cent of
Tellingly, while 77 per cent of men said that they and their partners
'equally willing' to have first sex, only 53 per cent of women shared
'It is unclear whether young age at
first intercourse was itself responsible for the lack of willingness
subsequent regret reported by many young women,' said the survey.
'Whatever the explanation, these results show that a substantial
of young women regret early intercourse.' The New Zealand research
is known about sexual behaviour in Britain where the average age for
intercourse is 17 for both sexes. Last year a survey for the Economic
Research Council found four out of five girls who lost their virginity
described it as a 'negative' experience.
More than half regretted their decision, saying they had sex before
were ready or chose the wrong partner.
Many girls who had under age sex later met someone they 'really loved'
wished they had waited and had their first sexual experience with that
THERE WAS NO ROMANCE AND I WAS SORRY STRAIGHT AWAY SINGER Gina G claims
think about sex most of the time.
But she regretted her first experience.
The 27-year-old said: 'I'm not sure how old I was, but I do know that I
incredibly young and naive and didn't realise what was happening.
'It was with some guy at a party, and I regretted it immediately. There
absolutely no romance and we split up the next day.' Women's rights
Erin Pizzey, 57, said: 'My attitude to sex hasn't changed over the
'I have never thought recreational sex was possible for women.
'Women hand their souls over to men when they have sex.' 'After school,
went to Hong Kong as an 18-year-old virgin. There was this huge thing
'doing it' so I found myself a much older Norwegian man.
'It was a complete failure. I said something like "You're not
anywhere near me" and that was the end of that.
Miss Pizzey, who was married for 17 years to Jack Pizzey and 13 years
Jeff Shapiro, added: 'One night stands don't suit me at all. I end up
even more disgusted with the person I slept with than with myself.'
I did it just because everyone else did
ACTRESS Sally Ann Triplett, 34, says that peer pressure pushed her into
having sex when she was a teenager.
She said: 'I lost my virginity during a one-night stand with a guy I
'I had an evening job after college as a dresser when I was about 17
decided that I had to lose my virginity because everyone else I knew
Sally, who is starring in the West End musical Jolson, added: 'All I
wanted was to be able to say that I'd had sex. I saw him again ten
and felt sick with embarrassment.' TV presenter Amanda de Cadenet, 25,
virginity at 15, living up to her nickname of Wild Child.
She said: 'You hear about how sex is so wonderful. Well it isn't. It
works out the first time. I would say: Don't do it before you are
sure you are ready.'
GRAPHIC: (1) GINA G: SHE FEELS SHE WAS TOO YOUNG AND NAIVE (2) SALLY: FIRST
SEX AT 17 BY PAUL FIELD
LOAD-DATE: January 6, 1998
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November 2, 1997
SECTION: The Observer Review Page; Pg. 6
LENGTH: 1392 words
HEADLINE: Battered men: My wife doesn't understand me
BYLINE: DAVE HILL
'She waved a kitchen knife at me the other night,' said the troubled
husband, speaking of his wife. 'She said she was going to kill me.
she's really crazy. She's hitting me and kicking me, and the kids are
listening. And I just stand and take it. I don't hit back or nothing.
not made that way.' This man is an acquaintance rather than a friend,
but I have
a strong impression of the kind of man he is: mid-thirties, employed,
the committed father of three children under 10 and, so far as I can
rather gentle fellow. I find his story believable. But does anybody
The troubled husband doesn't think so. He has left the marital home
shared for a dozen years, saying that the blows, threats and
become too relentless and he had no other choice. He describes himself
'helpless' and says no one in authority would take his story seriously
told it to them, especially the violent parts. Even though he's moved
says his misery continues. He maintains contact with his children,
his two sons, but complains that this is only at his estranged wife's
convenience. 'I look after the kids when she has better things to do.
me like shit.'
Do you believe him? Do you believe him in the same way that you may be
than ready to believe a thousand accounts by women of the hitting,
knife-wielding men with whom they've found out they are living? And if
willing to believe him, how do you feel about him? That he is a genuine
entitled to the same moral, practical and legal support as women? Or
that he is
merely too feeble to assert himself as any normal man would?
Most people seem to think that only the last of these questions
'yes'. Male victims of domestic violence are rarely heard about and the
assumption is that, insofar as they exist at all, the damage done to
relatively trivial. Refuges for battered women have become an
feature of modern society since Erin Pizzey's pioneering work in
there are no such facilities for men. There is only one telephone
in south London and that only operates two days a week, on Mondays and
Wednesdays. Even the shorthand term used to describe men physically
female partners 'battered men' sounds ridiculous.
There are signs, however, that the issue will secure wider and more
recognition. Three years ago, a Mori survey for the BBC's Here And Now
produced the wholly unexpected finding that 18 per cent of men in
relationships have been subjected to domestic violence. Since then,
statistics have shown that, in some areas, the number of men reporting
by the women they live with has doubled.
Now, American journalist Philip W. Cook has written a book, Abused Men:
Hidden Side of Domestic Violence (Praeger Publishing, pounds 21.50)
been praised by domestic violence experts in the US and by Erin Pizzey.
examines all the available US data including police reports, surveys of
admissions and general public surveys to conclude that there is indeed
barely acknowledged incidence of domestic violence by women against
least as much as the other way round, and that this has major
social policy and the ways in which groups seeking to reduce domestic
go about their vital work.
Through detailed case studies, Cook illustrates what male victims claim
the distinctive characteristics of woman-on-man domestic violence:
greater use of weapons and reliance on premeditation and surprise;
reluctance to strike back, sometimes out of traditional gallantry,
because they've learnt that resistance of any kind led to escalation;
of powerlessness reinforced by embarrassment 'real' men are supposed to
dominate, not be dominated and to neither feel nor reveal emotional
The testimony of the men I spoke to echoed these patterns to an uncanny
degree. Marc from Hull is a teetotal ex- serviceman and Falklands
veteran. He is
nearly six feet tall and weighs 14 stone. It is 10 years since he
now ex-wife, whom he describes as being about five foot six and eight
Marc talks of a steadily increasing level of violence which began a
months after the marriage and culminated in a 'vicious beating' with a
pin in front of their three young children. He says the intermediate
involved slaps then punches delivered with a fistful of keys and having
slammed against his arm, leaving his flesh permanently scarred.
Marc describes his own, non-violent conduct within the relationship as
mixture of conventional stoicism ('I'm a bloke, I can take it') and a
-deluding optimism that the more harmonious phases could compensate for
'There'd be a row every couple of weeks and some real ding-dong once a
which I think had a lot to do with premenstrual stress. But in between
could be good times, a bit of fun, a bit of sex. I often left the house
thought it was better going back than having nobody. And there were the
kids - I
was frightened to leave them with her. So for eight years I just stuck
They say women victims keep going back to their abusive husbands and I
that feels. Men are the same.'
Terry from Northern Ireland is another fit six-footer. He says the
in his relationship began when his partner became pregnant. 'She would
very angry and start beating on her stomach, threatening to kill the
inside her.' Eventually, they had two children together she also had a
a previous marriage. Terry says she would threaten to kill them, or
herself, and subjected him to ferocious verbal abuse, rough treatment
goading. 'She took me by the hair and slammed my head against the wall.
screamed, 'Hit me, you're only a fucking wimp.' I'm a keep-fit fellow.
snapped, I could have killed her. The way she spoke to me was appalling
fucking washing-up, I'm off to bed for the afternoon.' I put up with
stop the violence.'
The worst period came after Terry's partner was referred to a clinical
psychologist to help her control her anger. He believes it was her
over whether or not to accept help that made her violence worse. She
stab him, hit him with shovels and smashed a framed picture across the
his nose. 'She wrecked the house. She wrecked me too.'
What are we to make of these stories? And what of claims that they are
the tip of an ugly iceberg? At the very least they are inconvenient.
challenge conventional wisdom about the imbalance of power between the
about the belief that women alone are in need of escape routes from
But the difficulties raised by 'battered men' run deeper than that. Not
simply because many who work with abused women will take a lot of
that men can be victims on anything like the same scale, but because
suspect the claims made on behalf of such men may be used to discredit
analysis of why domestic violence occurs.
Philip W. Cook is acutely aware that it would be wholly counterproductive
the difficult and still under-researched subject of abused men were
hijacked by the 'men's rights' tendency or dismissed out of hand by the
of the women's movement. He insists his findings should not be misused
way and claims they are a contribution to the struggle for gender
rather than some implicit attack on it, not least because violent women
often to have been the victims of domestic abuse themselves.
Terry from Northern Ireland puts it in his own words: 'Remember, these
need help as well as the men. I think we should help everyone involved
domestic abuse, including their children because they are being abused
that is why the cycle of abuse continues.'
Some changes have been made to names and details. Dave Hill is the
an extended essay on the future of men which will be published in
Nicolson's 'Predictions' series soon after Christmas. The MALE helpline
is 0181 644 9914
LOAD-DATE: November 27, 1997
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The Guardian (London)
October 13, 1997
SECTION: THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. T17
LENGTH: 1120 words
HEADLINE: PRIVATE LIVES: SHOULD YOU TELL HIS DAUGHTER THE TRUTH ABOUT A MAN
WAS A WIFE-BEATER, LIAR AND DRUNK?
Our dilemma is what best to tell a four-year -old about her father. Our
daughter was a battered wife, abused by her husband, who was a
drank and would not pay his share. The police often had to be called
childwitnessed this. He refused to pay maintenance until forced and has
asked to see her. The police have been involvedrecently because of
against the family and weeks of silent calls. The child says now and
she has adaddy and what his name is. She never asks to see him because
never a relationship between them. He was only apresence in the house.
going to school soon, where she will see other children happily with
caring fathers. Dowe say her father is not fit to let her see him? This
devastating. Do we say he's never tried to see her? This couldmake her
worthless. At present, we say he is working a long way away, whereas he
lives a few yards away,working in the same company as our QBY: Erin
Talk to her mother
Say nothing. It's not up to you to decide what to tell her, it is up to
mother. The language you use in describing her father (your son-in-law)
you are anything but dispassionate about him. Your daughter is one of
principals in this relationship. She is also the person who knows what
saw and experienced and how it affected her, and is therefore in the
position to know what and how and when to tell her child what she needs
You have already told her something that is not true, that her father
a long way away. When she inevitably discovers that he lives much
relationship with you will become tinged by mistrust. It is better to
nothing and, when necessary, tell only the truth.
My own daughter is now beginning to sever the links of a mentally
marriage. In the car late one afternoon, my nearly three-year-old
half-asleep, recited an abusive conversation that could only have been
his parents. It gave me an insight into what he must have seen and heard
the past year or so. I told my daughter about this incident so that she
decide what, if anything, she needed to say to her little boy.
Let your daughter answer the inevitable questions, but make sure you
what she wants her child to know so that if it comes up, you can
enlarge upon, her messages to her child.
DSF East Sussex
My immediate response is: 1) never lie to a child (and that is not the
as always telling the whole truth) and 2) the answers to all your
be given by your daughter. What she needs now is your understanding and
encouragement, but not your over-involvement. I sympathise with your
I know my parents went through tremendous anxieties during my 13-year,
violent marriage. However, the thing I found most difficult was my
Take a step back and be thankful your daughter is out of her
But don't assume your granddaughter didn't have a relationship with her
She almost certainly did and to deprive her of an acknowledgement of
whatever it was like, will drive her into herself.
What bothers me about your dilemma is that you say your granddaughter
asks to see him because there was never a relationship between them. He
a presence in the house.' Yet you also say: 'The police often had to be
and the child witnessed this.' Children involved in cases of domestic
often become very confused. No parent is 'only a presence in the
particularly a violent parent. Your granddaughter will have been
of what was going on. Sometimes very young children in violent families
believe that the parent excluded from the house (almost always the
father) is a
victim. They feel guilty and sad, and often responsible for the
Perhaps your granddaughter's silence hides a very deep concern for her
My advice is to talk to her openly. If you find this difficult, talk to
counsellor in her new school. Unfortunately, as you are finding out, a
relationship, especially if children are involved, can be a life
perpetrators do not conveniently disappear. Violence-prone people are
other people's feelings and behave as if they are above the law. The
talk with your granddaughter, the safer you all will be from his
It is important now that you record all attempts at harassment of your
Just be very honest about his behaviour and why it is unacceptable to
family. I think you will find she will be very relieved.
Erin Pizzey, Twickenham, Middx
Try to explain
I am the mother of young children, aged three and five. My husband and
have a policy of always trying to explain things and respond to our
truthfully, in simple terms with which we feel they will be able to
Telling a child lies, however good the intention to protect, can sow
seed for deep resentment later on. You should try very hard not to be
when discussing her father. A child of four has no life experience to
to make sense of complicated explanations which adults may find
She will encounter children at school, both with and without daddies.
of the daddies will indeed be happy and caring; some will be less than
some not so caring. Each child will have different and individual
and your granddaughter will see this for herself.
If I were you, over time, I would get across the following information
this little girl in whatever way you, who know her best, feel she would
with it. That her daddy and mummy - like some other daddies and mummies
not live together happily, which is why they now live apart. That she
day see her daddy again, hopefully when he is feeling better, but that
an illness which makes him very cross and angry - especially when he
lots of alcohol.
This paves the way for future contact, whether positive or negative; it
gives her, at a very simple level, an explanation for his absence from
It doesn't give her any false hope about his feelings towards her,
either now or
in the future; it should help her not to feel any responsibility for
situation; and it is the truth.
Try to take the emphasis off you being the ones in control of whether
she sees her father. And you should tell her that her daddy now works
nearby', as he could turn up on the doorstep.
Jane Spencer-Rolfe, Suffolk
LOAD-DATE: October 14, 1997
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Copyright 1997 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
October 1, 1997
SECTION: THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 18
LENGTH: 161 words
HEADLINE: LETTER: THE INCURABLES
BYLINE: Erin Pizzey.
I HAVE worked internationally on paedophile cases and was horrified to
your Leader (September 29) suggesting that there should be "some
form of halfway
house to test a paedophile's readiness for release". Why can
people not grasp
that paedophilia is an incurable condition? I have never, in all these
ever seen a paedophile recant or even agree that their "love"
or "need" for a
sexual relationship with a child or children is grossly abnormal.
In my book, the only rehabilitated paedophile is a dead
paedophile. I know
this is a totally unfashionable view but "to test a paedophile's
release", as you put it, means that, should the paedophile fail
another child will suffer not just sexual abuse but also a life that is
Convicted paedophiles should be offered permanent, humane
alternative is further damaged and destroyed children.
LOAD-DATE: October 2, 1997
148 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1997 Caledonian Newspapers Ltd.
The Herald (Glasgow)
August 1, 1997
SECTION: Pg. 21
LENGTH: 1027 words
HEADLINE: No Headline Present
BYLINE: Anvar Khan
The fact that Janette Pink continued to sleep with Paul Georgiou after
realising that he had infected her with the HIV virus is hard to
decision forced her to have an abortion. Why any woman who is
by her partner continues to live with him is a mystery. A mystery, that
all those women and to all those men who have never had to fight for
Mrs Janette Pink moved to Cyprus in July 1993 after the collapse of her
-year marriage to an accountant. She befriended Paul Georgiou, a
fisherman, in a bar. He told her he had four children and that his wife
was dying of cancer. She gave him her 25,000 divorce settlement to buy
boat. She was kind and naive. Many random murder victims are. It's
that kills them.
Pink says she had unprotected sex with the Cypriot because he refused
a condom. She slept with Georgiou on his stipulated terms. She risked
rather than his wrath. Experienced women would have smelt a rat. Pink
fell for a
lowlife that streetwise teenagers would have nosed out as a sad waste
The only question left is why.
Decent men don't take cheques off women, nor do they use private grief
lever. Never trust a man who wants your sympathy; it is neither an
nor a fair demand. If you allow a stranger you are sexually attracted
run of your compassion, then you are setting a standard of inequality
increase in its perversion throughout your relationship. Many men are
you give, they take.
When a woman feels low, some guy always gets a bargain. Alone and
from her family, Pink was easy prey. There are men who subconsciously
female partners who think so little of themselves they will embrace any
of bad male behaviour. These guys don't want to love a woman, they
Sociopathic bullies need the complicity of their partner. You give a
that and you give his sadism your blessing.
Georgiou was used to stalking women, playing Romeo to needy Juliets
over the world, on holiday and primed for flattery. I've never
understood why a
woman takes it as a compliment if a man wants to sleep with her. He
be asking because he thinks you're the one most likely to say
women are unsuspecting wildebeests, Dolly Dimple simple lion fodder,
suddenly to the possibility of being eaten alive when it's far too
In business assertive women do well. In romance, self-esteem is the
commodity men don't often like women having in huge amounts.
Self-esteem protects you from sharks. It tells a drug pusher to piss
takes you to the police station after an assault. It shouts at you
front of your mates, when at 12 years old, the fags, vodka, and ecstasy
being handed around. It gives you the heart to fight.
Choosing a good rather than a bad man is a shaky matter of
don't know Pink's personal history; I would suspect it's a history of
-worth. You don't fall in love with a bastard by accident.
She is probably a sponge for maltreatment. Erin Pizzey once declared
woman who had a violent background was attracted to violent specimens,
a cosmic loop, doomed to repeat the same unsatisfying equation in an
purge herself of earlier unhappiness. The self-proclaimed feminist
decried her. They assumed she was saying a woman always "asks for
never regained her credibility, but she turned out to be right.
In a woman, self-respect decides what she will and won't take from a
This is why men so often try to undermine women, to destroy the only
Self-esteem is a tool of survival in a society brimming with automatons
would use and abuse you, who would cheerfully mince you into bite-size
make a quick buck.
Janette Pink knows this. She knows that when you eventually find
it compels you to bring the monsters to justice.
LOAD-DATE: August 6, 1997
151 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1997 Telegraph Group Limited
The Daily Telegraph
May 21, 1997, Wednesday
SECTION: WAY OF THE WORLD; Pg. 27
LENGTH: 224 words
HEADLINE: Taking sides
BYLINE: By AUBERON WAUGH
ERIN PIZZEY's refuge for battered wives, set up in her Chiswick home more
than a quarter of a century ago, eventually turned into a major charity
Refuge, which helps women victims of domestic violence. Refuge is about
launch a pounds 700,000 appeal to mark its 25th anniversary. How
that three trustees - including Lady Parker, who was in charge of the
should suddenly feel bound to resign. The reason for this is that the
Canadian-born chief executive of Refuge, Miss Sandra Horley, objected
False Memory Society, which supports parents wrongly accused of sexual
of which Gill Parker (who was a GP in West London for many years) was
It is not politically correct you see, to acknowledge that there is a
incompetent counsellors and psychotherapists who persuade their
"remember" incidents which never happened. In fact, it is
fairly common, on both
sides of the Atlantic. On this side of the Atlantic, it is not seen as
contradictory to oppose both domestic violence and false accusations,
Refuge, apparently, it is a question of taking sides. "There are
perpetrators of child abuse . . . than there are false
accusations," says Miss
Hilary Hannah, editor of Women at Work. "I am surprised that Lady
have a foot in both camps."
LOAD-DATE: May 21, 1997
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Copyright 1997 Telegraph Group Limited
The Daily Telegraph
May 17, 1997, Saturday
SECTION: Pg. 01
LENGTH: 667 words
HEADLINE: Lady trustees quit charity over 'false memory' row
BYLINE: By Colin Randall, Chief Reporter, and Eluned Price
THREE senior figures have resigned from the council of management of Refuge,
the charity that helps women victims of domestic violence, in a dispute
"politically correct" attitudes on child sex abuse. The loss
of one of the
three, Lady Parker, wife of the former British Rail chairman, Sir Peter
represents a serious setback because of her pivotal role in a pounds
appeal marking the organisation's 25th anniversary. Her resignation was
by the departure from the 11-strong council of Lady Rayne, the chairman
council, whose husband is a well-known figure in the City, and Lady
Browne-Wilkinson, a solicitor, member of the Press Complaints
wife of a Law Lord. Tony Blair's wife, Cherie, also a management
and strong supporter of Refuge, is thought to be aware of the dispute,
general election commitments have prevented her from attending recent
Lady Parker left the charity - which originated with the battered
set up by Erin Pizzey in Chiswick, west London, in 1971 - after a
with Sandra Horley, Refuge's Canadian chief executive. The rift arose
Lady Parker's support for the British False Memory Society, which
parents wrongly accused of sexual abuse "discovered" by
alleged victims during
psychotherapy. After an article on the society's work appeared in The
Telegraph in February, a women's group which rejects the notion of
memory" protested to Miss Horley that Lady Parker's position as
chairman of its
trustees was incompatible with her work at Refuge. The group,
which publishes a
feminist monthly, Women at Work, from its base in the Wirral, was
Miss Horley's reply dissociating Refuge from the society. Lady Parker
she was left with no option but to resign after Miss Horley drew the
correspondence to her attention. At an extraordinary council meeting,
by neither Lady Parker nor Cherie Booth, Miss Horley is understood to
clear that she would resign rather than modify her stance. According to
account of the debate, the chief executive explained that members of
who had themselves been abused as children considered the False Memory
to be offensive. Lady Parker, a former GP who is known to speak
Miss Horley's work at Refuge, is said by acquaintances to be deeply
by events. Those who support her say Refuge ought to avoid "misplaced
correctness" and concentrate on the plight of women and children
who have been
the victims of domestic violence. Beyond confirming that she had
Parker declined to discuss the matter. Lady Rayne and Lady
said they were unwilling to comment. Cherie Booth's aides said that her
with the organisation was chiefly a fund-raising function and that she
be drawn on policy differences. At Refuge's request, The Daily
supplied a list of questions to enable Miss Horley to give her account
dispute and explain her objections to the work of the British False
Society. In reply, however, she confirmed only that three trustees had
acknowledged the "sterling work" they had done and said:
"It is neither my nor
Refuge's policy to comment on what happens during council meetings or
on the views/beliefs of individual trustees." However, Hilary
Hannah, editor of
Women at Work, said that since Refuge was based on belief in the
women, it was inconsistent for one of its trustees to believe in
syndrome". Asked why it was not possible to be hostile to both
or abuse and to wrongful allegations of such conduct, she replied:
more perpetrators of child abuse, and they have more to lose and are
prepared to stand up and fight their corner, than there are false
"I was very surprised that Lady Parker should have a foot in both
LOAD-DATE: May 17, 1997
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Copyright 1997 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)
March 10, 1997, Monday
SECTION: FEATURES; Page 13
LENGTH: 2068 words
HEADLINE: Battered? Erin Pizzey? Yes, a bit
BYLINE: Deborah Ross
Erin Pizzey tries her best not to be downhearted. So she says things
"I can hold it together, as long as I don't think too much."
And: "England's not too bad. There's crocuses. And Tesco. And
Sellotape, which seems to stick better than any other in the
Yes, her GP does think she is quite badly depressed and in need of
psychiatric help. And to this end, he's arranged for her to attend some
clinic later this week. But she can even find something jolly-ish to
this. "My GP said, 'You know, Erin, there really will be
so I said, 'Good, I want to weave baskets, I'd love to weave baskets,
longing to weave baskets.'"
Erin laughs one of her colossal, bosom-shuddering laughs. And I know
she wants me to say. She wants me to say: "That's the
spirit." And: "That's
right, old girl, keep your pecker up." But I can't. Erin Pizzey
to end up sad and mad-haired and weaving baskets in some kind of
centre. Unless, of course, she's always been rather sad and mad. In
it's all been hopelessly inevitable.
Once, Erin Pizzey was something of a heroic figure. Founder of the
ever refuge for battered women, she singlehandedly did as much for the
women as any other woman alive. A great battler with a great, Beryl
she moved mountains by seeming more mountainous herself. She was
umpteen prizes. She went on every chat show going. She was listed in
She came across as a thoroughly engaging, go- for-it personality. She
own kaftans by buying an enormous piece of material, laying it on the floor,
cutting a hole for the head and stapling up the sides.
And then, when she went off to write novels, the snapshots that came
said she was doing very nicely, thank you. She was the
"best-selling author" of
10 surprisingly erotic (in view of the kaftans) Shirley Conran- type
had a new, young, handsome husband who didn't mind her being 17 stone
questionable perm. But when she returned to London last week, she did
someone who was penniless, homeless and on the dole. "Oh yes, I'm
one of the
feckless poor now," she says, in what, peculiarly, seems to be
almost a boast.
Is Erin Pizzey enjoying all the attention that statements such as these
inevitably attract? She says not, but then says she must go and phone
at Channel 4. "They want me on The Bob Mills Show," she
declares gaily. No, she
hasn't a clue who Bob Mills is. But a show's a show, and that, it
enough for her.
Erin says she did not want to return to this country. She wanted to
Italy, where she has lived for the last two years and where her four
cat remain. "Oh, how I ache for them," she moans. But her
debts were such that
she couldn't continue there. Her landlady booted her out for rent
landlady, she complains, had her by the short and curlies. She knew she
leave, what with the pets, but kept insisting on her money, anyway.
morning, Erin looked out and saw that the landlady had denuded the two
mulberry trees she liked to write under. "They were naked stumps.
And that was
the last straw." As, obviously, the landlady hoped it would be.
Yes, she says, some people over here did know she was in dire
at one point there was, she thinks, a Friends of Erin Pizzey fund.
But, of the
old sisterhood, she says, only Fay Weldon sent any cash. Not that this
her. She's attacked most of the others at some point or another.
"I used to say
to Jill Tweedie, 'Jill, you are such a fucking hypocrite. You decant
from Sainsbury's. You have a house in the town and a house in the
only working person you've ever met is your cleaner. How can you spout
Marxist crap? How can you call yourself a Communist?'"
Erin spent the first couple of nights here staying with her daughter,
But Cleo is married with three kids and it was all a bit cramped.
So she's now
moved into a hostel for the homeless in Richmond, west London.
No, the irony of
Erin Pizzey needing refuge is not lost on her. "How could it
be?" she cries
However, she won't meet me at the hostel. Instead, I have to meet her
nearby house of an old friend. But she insists that the hostel is very
She has her own room, with a wardrobe, chest of drawers and fridge, for
a week. Plus, best of all, "it is such a relief to be warm. Last
year, in Italy,
do you know what my Christmas present to myself was? Having the central
on all day." Crikey, how did she keep warm otherwise? "I
collected bits of
kindling from the forest."
Erin says she blames herself for how things have turned out. "When
myself how I have come to this, I say: 'This is a consequence, Erin, of
things you've done.'" But, that said, she then goes on to blame everyone
herself: her parents; her husbands; the hard-core feminists who were
to get her; even her various publishers. Oh yes, everything would have
right if only she'd been nicer to editors. "I once wrote a
cookbook in which I
called one chapter Beans Means Farts. Immediately, my editor called me
crying: 'It's unpublishable.' 'Why,' I asked. 'Don't you fart at
University Press?'" Erin chuckles joyously.
HarperCollins, her last publishers, dropped her two years ago. Their
acquisitions committee told her she was no longer what they wanted and,
her recent sales had been disastrous. She says this is nonsense.
They gave her
the boot because she's too "difficult". Her novels, she
insists vigorously, sell
magnificently all around the world. (But, if so, then where is the
she is currently writing her next book, The Fame Game, which is about
men always want to destroy powerful women.
The idea came to her when she was interviewed by Hello! and the
said to her: "The trouble with you, Erin, is that you cast such a
Erin Pizzey? Inspired by Hello!? It would seem so.
She doesn't, as yet, have a publisher for The Fame Game. She published
last book herself. And the one before that was remaindered after a week
So, no wonder she now owes pounds 35,000 to banks in Italy and pounds
banks here. She has no idea how she is going to pay these debts off.
as she is now on pounds 47 a week and has only the prospect of
and a spot on The Bob Mills Show ahead of her.
Erin is now 58. The face, once so lovely in its plump, strong,
fearless way, is now that of a very old woman. Deep lines criss-cross
come back and criss-cross it again. The eyes swim in opaque pools. The
stapled-together kaftan has been replaced by a baggy track suit that
have been black but is now a tired, washed-out grey. She smells
though, very Hello! "It's Femme, by Rochas, my one little
Certainly, you wish things had worked out better for her. She did
magnificent once, and it would seem only fair. But, that said, she had
childhood and maybe the seeds were laid then for a rotten old age. Once
up, do you inevitably go on to mess up? Is that how life works?
Her father, Cyril, was in fact a brilliantly clever man. One of 17
born to a poor Irish family, he was, she says, the first person ever to
the Foreign Office from grammar school. He became a diplomat,
endlessly; Erin's childhood was played out all over the world until she
to an English boarding school at the age of nine.
Her mother, Ruth, was a gorgeous-looking woman, with a superb figure,
eyes and glossy, chestnut hair. But she was cold, snobbish, wholly
unaffectionate and given to explosive fits of violence. "She would
beat me very
badly using the flex of the iron. She would do it for no reason,
always knew when it was coming because her face would twitch and a red
would appear on her cheek."
Erin could not go to her father for comfort. He was a terrible bully
threw things and whose idea of a good joke was blowing cigarette smoke
dog's nose. As far as can be made out, her parents' only pleasure came
tormenting each other. "Their rows were endless, with the worst
money. My father lived on the imagined abyss of destitution, she lived
never-never land of imagined plenty. They were doomed never to meet in
middle. She bought whatever she fancied: antiques; paintings; hand-made
underwear from Harrods. He saw no reason to spend money on anything. In
was hard to get him even to change his clothes or take a bath, because
considered baths weakening." Erin doesn't know why her parents
were as they
were. Probably, they were messed up, too.
She did not, she insists, hate her mother. She pitied her. "She
everything hopelessly wrong, didn't she?" And her father? Well,
two days after
her mother died - when Erin was 17 - she walked out of the house and
him again, even though he lived another 25 years. Enough said.
At 20, Erin married Jack Pizzey, a naval officer who went on to become
reporter for TV programmes such as Nationwide and Man Alive. When I ask
she married him, she doesn't come back with "love", or even,
"because I fancied
him rotten." No, she says it was because she wanted something she
had never had:
a loving family. She admits: "Oh, I was young and naive back
She had her two children, Cleo and her son Amos (who paid her fare back
Italy) but the idyll of the loving family did not come to fruition.
Jack, she complains, was never at home. Jack was always working. Or, at
least, he said he was. Once, at a BBC party, an elegant woman came up
to her and
asked: "Do you ever suspect Jack of having affairs?"
"Never," she replied. "We
trust each other. He doesn't mind that my body went to pot after having
children. He likes me in my stapled kaftans." Later, though, she
Jack played away from home quite significantly. "And that
woman was one of
them," she cries furiously.
She has always, she says, had a lot of love to give and, with Jack not
around, she had to award it elsewhere. Her children got a lot of
it. As did the
children of others, who came to stay and never left, and whom she
refers to as
"my eight adopted children". And then there were the battered
wives of the
neighbourhood, who came because they had heard Erin was a good egg and
turned anyone away. And so Erin got her big, loving family, of sorts.
perhaps Jack just felt rather squeezed out.
Erin opened Chiswick Women's Aid, the first refuge of its kind, and one
which spawned a worldwide movement, in 1971. For a time, she was a
things took a nasty turn when, in one of her books, Prone to Violence,
claimed that women in violent relationships may in fact seek out those
relationships through a kind of addiction to violence.
The feminist sisterhood went bonkers. And after receiving death threats
being forced to have police protection, Erin fled the country with her
husband, Jeff Shapiro, an American psychology graduate 20 years her
lived in New Mexico and the Cayman Islands before settling in Italy and
finally, divorcing in 1992. Jeff, she says, helped her to type up her
Being dyslexic, she couldn't manage it herself. Then, she
continues, he got it
into his head that he was the great writer, not she. So she told him
get off. And he left. And, yes, things did rather dry up on the novel
after that. So she got behind with the rent. And couldn't afford the
heating on. Or the oven. She cooked on one of those little camping
And now here she is, back in London, where she is trying to keep her
up. Sometimes, though, it's quite tough, regardless of whose fault all
be. "It's the little things that finally get to you," she
says. "This morning, I
went to the bathroom in the hostel and found someone had left a nasty
butt by the side of the sink. I had a little cry over that. It reminded
me I was
not in my own home. And a home of my own is all I have ever wanted,
LOAD-DATE: March 10, 1997
158 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1997 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
March 4, 1997
SECTION: THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. T4
LENGTH: 1427 words
HEADLINE: HOMEWARD BOUND;
In 1971, Erin Pizzey set up Chiswick Women's Aid, the first refuge for
of domestic violence. Now she is back and in need of help herself.
BYLINE: Clare Longrigg
AFTER A lifetime of looking after people in trouble, Erin Pizzey,
the women's refuge movement in the UK, is in trouble of her own. Last
abandoned her house in Italy, which was swiftly boarded up behind her.
the landlady was more concerned about the months of rent arrears owing
offering refuge to a foreign divorcee and her pets. Erin Pizzey,
58, came back
to London, penniless and homeless.
'I didn't have any alternative, I was forced to leave. I stayed much
than I should have and let the debts run up because I couldn't bring my
dogs and cat with me. That's probably the worst bit. I feel bereft.'
back tears. After 15 years abroad, she retains the
attachment to her pets.
Pizzey's latest troubles started when she split up with her second
Jeff Shapiro, in 1992. She stayed on at their house in Tuscany, but
out of money. She struggled on, working as a barmaid for her English
Susan in exchange for food. The sisters were able to help each other
was trying to get her bar going and coping with young children, Erin
with beer and babies' bottles.
In the past, Pizzey has enjoyed a certain amount of literary success.
has published 12 novels - which sold modestly. More recently, however,
have begun to 'fall out of favour' and her publishing income, which she
maintains was never very grand, dried up. 'I got a pounds 30,000
advance for my
last novel, but if you spread that over four years . . . ' Eventually,
landlady had had enough, Pizzey left the animals with neighbours and crept
to Britain to start all over again. She has slept on her daughter's
sofa for a
few days - but her daughter is married with three children and there
isn't space. None of her seven adopted children has room for her, and
she was due to move into her own room in a hostel for homeless
Years after helping other women to find housing, she found it very
to be going through the process herself. 'I feel like Alice through the
looking-glass. It's 15 years since I've been back here to stay and
before that I
helped thousands of women to be rehoused.' Looking for accommodation
this week, she has found social services much more helpful and
than before. And she has found many of the ideas she tried to propagate
taken root in Britain - at least the campaign has taken root, if not
solution. 'When I started going to housing officers with women, it was
Gestapo. Now they're very kind. The most telling thing is that in the
surgery there was a poster with the same message we used 15 years ago:
her chocolates and flowers' with a picture of a battered woman. It is
She is deliberately, doggedly positive about her situation, gleaning
campaigning value from her experience. 'Until it's you wondering
going to have a place to stay, you cannot know what it's like. Everyone
their envelope stuffed with precious bits of paper and it quickly
well-thumbed after you've checked it hundreds of times in a complete
you might have lost something vital. It's the fear of it all: where do
What do you do? You never know what that's like until you do it for
The point is, anybody can be homeless. The huge majority of people are
few pay-cheques from being homeless themselves.'
Zoning in on contemporary London's most successful campaign, Pizzey
announces that she plans to sell The Big Issue on the streets for a
not work on the editorial side, given her experience of campaigning and
But she is wedded to the first-hand experience approach to hardship:
to start selling first. You don't know what it's like until you've
standing on the street.'
Erin Pizzey set up the first refuge for victims of domestic violence,
Chiswick Women's Aid, in west London in 1971. Her strong, vocal example
rise to the establishment of refuges all over the country. But her
To Violence, published in 1981, caused a rift among feminist
said some of the women coming into the refuges were as violent as the
they never forgave me. There was a big split and I lost everything.'
still in touch with one woman who worked with her in the early refuge
Margaret Howell, who helped her start writing and has supported her
return to London. For the rest, Pizzey believes the women's movement is
ruled by 'hard-line separatists' who brook no disagreement.
After the women's refuge movement ejected her, she moved to Santa Fe in
Mexico in 1982 with her husband, to start over again. She was on a new
'I wanted to prove that domestic violence is as much a problem among
communities as among the poor, and I did. Where there is money, there
is so much
secrecy. The incest levels are high.' Pizzey can't resist a cause and
getting involved. Quite often, the solution to a battered woman's
simply financial - another factor that may have led to her present
'Sometimes a woman just needs to get out. The only thing that will help
the money for a ticket. The last thing she needs is for someone to say:
down and let's talk about the root of your problems'.'
In America, Pizzey attracted violent resistance to her campaign against
abuse. Local rednecks even shot at her dog. But perhaps she has
now met the
most challenging cause of her life: her own. 'People have always
come to me,'
she admits. 'I've never had to ask for help before.'
LOAD-DATE: March 4, 1997
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Copyright 1997 The Telegraph Group Limited
March 2, 1997, Sunday
SECTION: Pg. 08
LENGTH: 350 words
HEADLINE: Charity begins at home for Erin Pizzey
BYLINE: by JACQUI THORNTON
ERIN Pizzey, the founder of the refuge movement that housed hundreds of
battered women in the 1970s, found herself homeless and on the dole
when she returned to England. Ms Pizzey, 58, had spent 15 years abroad
was cast out of the women's refuge movement by hard-line feminists.
of debts, she has had to leave the Italian village where she lived and
a waitress, despite her success in writing 10 best-sellers. After she
London last Sunday she signed on at her local social security office
awarded an emergency payment of pounds 27. Now she intends to sell the
Issue, the magazine for the homeless, on the streets of London. She
feels schizophrenic. Having taken all these women through these steps
a home, I'm now starting to do it myself. I don't mind what I get, I
just want a
safe roof over my head and make a new start." Ms Pizzey became a
after she opened the Women's Refuge in west London, originally called
Women's Aid, in 1971. Her example spawned a worldwide movement, with
in Britain and hundreds more abroad. However, she fell out of favour
opposed more radical colleagues in the Women's Aid Federation. She
was ousted over her insistence in her book Prone To Violence that not
were responsible for violence. After receiving death threats and
to have police protection, she fled to the Cayman Islands with her new
Jeff Shapiro. She spent much of her book advances on a women's refuge
Mexico, and after her divorce from Mr Shapiro three years ago, she says
"never really recovered". Last week her landlady barricaded
her home because of
rent arrears and Ms Pizzey decided to return to London. However she
optimistic. "I had to come back to start over again. I have seen
women who have come through this and come out all right." As well
as selling the
Big Issue, she will finish her latest novel, The Fame Game, about an
and speak at a doctors' circle throughout London.
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Evening Standard (London)
November 14, 1996
SECTION: Pg. 18
LENGTH: 547 words
HEADLINE: I'VE BEEN LEFT OUT IN THE COLD, SAYS REFUGEE FOUNDER
BYLINE: Patrick Sawer
BRITAIN'S oldest shelter for battered women is 25-years-old next week -
one person who won't be celebrating is Chiswick Refuge's founder Erin
She will be 1,000 miles away, debt ridden and eking out a meagre living
working as a waitress in a Tuscan bar.
'I've got nothing to celebrate,' said Pizzey, speaking from the
mill near Siena that is now her home.
'I spent 12 years of my life building up the refuge and now I've got
Friends have seized on the 25th anniversary of the Chiswick Refuge to
a campaign to persuade the British Government to recognise Pizzey's
They want to nominate her for an award in the Honour's List and have
gathering letters of support from Pizzey's admirers, including women
Ms Pizzey rose to fame after opening the refuge, originally called
Women's Aid, in 1971. Her example was taken up around the world, but
out of favour when she clashed with hard-line feminists.
She claims she was ousted from Refuge over her insistence that not all
were responsible for violence and that some women had to take their
share of the
blame. Her book Prone To Violence provoked a bitter backlash from her
sisters in the movement.
Ms Pizzey fell on hard times after pouring much of her money into a
refuge in New Mexico, USA, and seperating from her second husband. She
40,000 in debt and suffers from heart problems.
Her friends now fear for her health and accuse Britain of turning its
on one of its most influential female public figures since the war.
LOAD-DATE: November 18, 1996
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Copyright 1996 Guardian Newspapers Limited
April 21, 1996, Sunday
SECTION: THE OBSERVER NEWS PAGE; Pg. 4
LENGTH: 1787 words
HEADLINE: FATHERHOOD AT CRISIS POINT
BYLINE: Polly Ghazi
Research shows 'New Man' is centuries old but he is having to battle harder
than ever for his rights
NEW MAN is not only alive and well - but has been around for centuries.
Research on fathering habits reveals that, contrary to stereotype, many
been fully involved in their children's upbringing since at least the
Phillip II of France, for example, missed his two teenage daughters so
when he went on a long sea voyage in 1581 that he wrote them 34
reveal intimate details of their daily lives, including progress with
and rows with their younger siblings. An eighteenth-century diary
poignant struggles of a father trying to stop his violent wife from
'New Man is new only to our imaginations,' says Adrienne Burgess, whose
historical research will be published in a book, Fatherhood Reclaimed,
next year. 'Fathering has always been diverse: some are good at it,
just like women and mothering. The difference is that we have never
men's private lives before - the father is the missing figure in
Her research, based mainly on the diaries and letters of upper- and
-class families, reveals, she says, a New Man factor traceable back to
the mid-seventeenth century, a trend that has strengthened through the
centuries. Oral histories of their childhoods recounted by elderly men
Anglia in 1890 show 'the whole range of fathering from dads who cleaned
kitchen sink to the archetypal authoritarian. Yet the overwhelming
image is of the stern, absent father.'
Today, according to a report co-authored by Ms Burgess for the
Public Policy Research, the left-leaning think tank, 85 per cent of
and women believe fathers should be 'very involved in bringing up
an early age'.
Yet the report warns that fatherhood in Britain is in crisis. Mothers,
states, are the preferred parent for children, and fathers are often
represented' in the media, with their true lives 'largely hidden' from
The report, Men and their Children, to be launched at a London
30 April, has already caused uproar. Its recommendation that unmarried
should have the same legal rights over their children as married men
provoked outrage from rightwingers as a 'charter for unwed fathers'.
calls for fathers to be recognised as 'fully competent parents, no less
than women to carry out the intimate, day-to-day caring aspects of
have angered feminists.
Ms Burgess, however, is unrepentant. 'We are just starting from the
that most fathers are nice human beings, not brutal monsters,' she
research shows that, with more and more women going out to work, men
now do as
much domestic work as women do breadwinning. Yet the myth persists that
fathers don't want to know about child care. In fact, they are only a
The report argues that, with one in three children now born out of
unmarried fathers should enjoy automatic parental rights and
responsibilities and the right to statutory paternity leave.
The pressure group Families Need Fathers wants the Children Act 1989
to give unmarried men equal rights, arguing that many mothers withhold
between fathers and children for vengeful reasons.
But many family lawyers fear this would lay women open to unwarranted
interference from absentee fathers. 'With unwed parents, in many cases
mother is bringing up the child alone, with full responsibilities, and
to give a
father equal rights would be unfair,' said Maggie Rae, a partner in the
Mishcon de Reya, which is representing the Princess of Wales in her
'And what happens if a woman has a baby after being raped? Does she
apply to a court to have the father's rights removed?'
But she admitted there was 'widespread ignorance' about a father's
right to apply to the courts for equal rights. 'We urgently need
campaign to tell both men and women about their rights and
responsibilities. This is not a right/left issue, it is much more
is about how we live and work together in this society.'
According to Sebastian Kraemer, a leading child and family
institute's report has touched a raw nerve in the power struggle
sexes. 'For many women their only power is in the home and they
are not going
to give it up lightly. It's a bit like the IRA and the British Army in
standoff. The big question is, who is going to give in first?
'It is unusual for children to be closer to fathers than mothers
they are made inside their mothers. We men are not equal, we are a
But the institute was right, he said, to emphasise that homes where men
played an active role housed happier children. 'Women are the first
wouldn't deny that. But research shows that when a man shares 40 per
more of the parenting their children are more rounded people with less
The revelation that New Man has been around for centuries, he says, is
surprising. But it doesn't help parents to grapple with the changes in
living patterns convulsing Nineties Britain.
Can men make as good parents as women?
Of course they can, no doubt about it. These feminist ideas are ridiculous
men are just as competent and just as good parents
-Journalist Tony Parsons, who brought up his son after his divorce from
Absolutely, and sometimes better. Men have got to get their heads up
the sand and stand up for themselves as fathers
-Erin Pizzey, founder of the Chiswick women's refuge
Yes, definitely. Men are not devoid of the capacity to care and
Their only handicap seems to be their inability to breast-feed
-Jenny Diski, author, partly brought up by writer Doris Lessing
I don't believe men can't be as intimate with their children as women.
women are not prepared to let men have a proper share of parenting
-Tessa Jowell, Labour spokesperson on women's issues
LOAD-DATE: April 21, 1996
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The Herald (Glasgow)
March 7, 1996
SECTION: Pg. 8
LENGTH: 1267 words
HEADLINE: Real point is lost
BYLINE: Anvar Khan
ANVAR KHAN argues that strident feminists have hijacked the movement to
detriment of women
DISPENSING with your tactical advantage is, strategically speaking
sound manoeuvre. Feminism has traded the home and family for the right
in a menial capacity. Thanks to feminism, women are employed for the
wages and long hours as men. But feminism was just an idea, exaggerated
arrogant self-proclaimed intellectuals. What should have been a short,
University course for male and female students on the politics of sex
a cultural disease. Debates rage over where seduction ends and rape
the weapons of instinct and self-knowledge are derided.
The idea of liberating women from the home was taken to the extremes
necessary for the bothered and bewildered to understand it. When
mainstream, it diluted and factions warred. In 1973, rent-a-mob
with squatters occupying Germaine Greer's London flat, accusing her of
"the cause" when the squatters were finally evicted.
The same dungareed calibre of women, it has to be said, knowing nothing
about good PR, chewed baccy and reproduced, often at the same time, at
Common. The seventies left sponged up notions of Marxist equality. The
questioning the traditional role in the home immediately translated as
-ahead to rail against capitalism and the Government. Feminists
themselves as a maligned minority group. But the ideal the seventies
was warped. They wanted a matriarchal society, but the working-class
had one. And now the matriarch is bordering on extinction.
"In countries without social security, if you are unable to
Greer more than 14 years ago, "you won't be able to earn enough to
afford a wife
and to reproduce yourself. Here, the cleverest and most successful are
least likely to reproduce." The post-feminist legacy, everyone is
aware of: a
growing percentage of the female population without children, strong
the workplace perhaps, but therefore fewer strong women in the home.
Greer - a woman who, along with Erin Pizzey, always denounced the
hysterical, militant feminist - prophesied a decade ago that
successful women would simply decide, rather than face the alienation
places on mothers and children, not to become pregnant. Couple this
fact that Victoria Gillick, a woman with 10 children (at the last
count) and who
championed the power of childbirth and the home, was also regarded as a
to the cause, and you have feminism in a nutshell. The so-called
"cause" is a
red-herring, both as unrealistic and important to the women who sell it
promised revolution is to suicide terrorists.
The individualistic hate figures of the feminist movement, who shined
commonsense, were and still are vilified. The majority of women who
themselves as liberated see motherhood as a major stumbling block in
to have a life. But this is a hand-me-down prejudice from fluffy
-jumpers; it was not the message from the trail-blazers who designed
Gillick was crucified for saying the permissive society hasn't done
liberate women. But it's true. The feminists didn't fight for sexual
the man-made Pill provided the means to find that. Gillick inferred
most radical thing a woman in British society can do is not find a
become pregnant, a condition which immediately makes her vulnerable to
inadequacies of society, gaps which the feminists sought to highlight;
oppressive domesticity, financial dependency, and possibly, subsequent
Saying is nothing, however, and doing is everything, and this is where
left-wing intellectuals fail. In 1975, while married to her first
long-standing enemy of Women's Aid, Pizzey, said: "There's nothing
better for a
human being than a happy marriage. I still hope everyone will end up
It wasn't radical women, like Pizzey, who despised marriage and the
their woolly detractors, because they had to disagree with the
the movement about something.
Pizzey was denounced in 1982 for saying that women from violent homes
out violent men. It is now agreed that women who have violent fathers
subconsciously seek out violent men to repeat the relationship. In the
year, Greer concluded that feminism had minimised the seriousness of
devalued the home, and over-dramatised the seriousness of rape. Fair
Sex without permission is nowadays regarded as far more important an
the murder of an unborn child. Thanks to the perversion of women's
society, in which women are represented, is tolerant of abortion; it is
Icon Camille Paglia has also borne the wrath of so-called feminists for
saying rape will not end a woman's life, that she can, and millions do,
it. Left-wing seventies feminists do not want women to be
regarded as capable
and strong. They want women to be portrayed as victims of an unjust
of us has grown up in a true family where the home is the centre of
intellectual life," Greer has commented. This is a criticism of
yes, but an indication of where the true power lies.
The very best of women have always known that the biggest challenge is
to intimidate men, not even to become pregnant, these are the easy
greater responsibility is providing society with upstanding citizens:
loving, disciplined adults who will stand up for those who get a raw
way Pizzey did by opening the first refuge for battered women.
LOAD-DATE: March 12, 1996
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Copyright 1996 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
February 29, 1996
SECTION: THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. T15
LENGTH: 494 words
HEADLINE: THE DIFFERENCE A DAY MADE;
Within 24 hours of hearing about an empty hotel, Erin Pizzey had
women and children
BYLINE: Annie Taylor
Erin Pizzey, 57, is a novelist and founder of Chiswick Women's Refuge.
in China, she was sent to school in England, while her mother and
father lived abroad; she now lives in Italy. Twice divorced, she
sons. She has just published her autobiography, Wild Child.
I SET UP the Women's Refuge 25 years ago, and after it had been running
about three years I'd become one of the biggest squatting agents in the
I'd moved on from the two-bedroom original refuge, to a house at 369
Road, west London, and still needed larger premises. The social
just bullies, and didn't want to rehouse the battered women. Most of
husbands would claim they wanted their wives back, so the social
give them welfare. These women needed somewhere to live.
One day in 1974 a musician told me about the Palm Court Hotel by the
Thames in Richmond. The authorities were quarrelling over what to do
and it was just standing there empty and derelict. It was a huge
45 suites. He said "We'll do a rock concert for you there." I
said "No you
won't, we'll squat it."
I spoke to the women at Chiswick Road the next morning and told them
the hotel, saying for those who wanted to come to get ready. It didn't
long, they had meagre enough belongings. We organised quickly, moved
night, huddled in blankets against the freezing cold.
Within 24 hours of hearing about the building, we were in - 75 women
children. I remember suddenly being so frightened. I hadn't previously
understood the enormity of what I was tyring to do, or the extent of
problem. I had this overwhelming feeling of never wanting to let them
LOAD-DATE: February 29, 1996
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Copyright 1996 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
February 15, 1996
SECTION: THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. T4
LENGTH: 907 words
HEADLINE: WOMEN: TALKING DIRTY
"It is way below what people expected and feared when they talked
thousand priests going over to Rome. I can't imagine there will be any
opposition to women priests in 25 years' time. There's a clear
divide, more people opposed are over 50 and just by the passage of
number will shrink"
Christina Rees, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Women, on the number of
parishes "opting out" over the ordination of women, Guardian
"Lots of mothers don't want beautiful nannies. It's an advantage
Clare, a 26-year-old nanny, Independent on Sunday
"The film convinced me utterly that if a woman wants to follow a
dangerous career, she should not have a child . . . A child needs a
than a father. Career fathers may be loving and committed but they have
cut-out mechanism that enables them to put their family out of their
Most women can't do that because our children mean more to us than
success, the outside world or our husbands"
Lynda Lee-Potter on the recent film about mountaineer Alison
"Where they have been mentioned at all, it is by women columnists
Guardian, and in such pitying tones it makes you want to spit. Boys are
boastful, clumsy, coercive, ignorant, emotionally underdeveloped and
Liberal women believe in frank sex education so that girls can be
boys - and conservative women are against it for exactly the same
David Aaronovitch on how boys fit into the debate about girls'
Independent on Sunday
"Jill Tweedie was a friend.
I loved her dearly, but I used to say to her: 'You're such a fucking
hypocrite, you decant your wine from Sainsbury's, you have a house in
town and a
house in the country. How can you call yourself a Communist?' I slipped
Jill's funeral, I wasn't invited, and I heard someone whisper, 'Oh
that Erin Pizzey' and I thought to myself, this is the end of an era of
Erin Pizzey on the founders of the women's movement, Observer
"A recent study in Britain concluded that four per cent of people
conceived via sperm warfare. In other words, one in every 25 owes their
existence to the fact that their genetic father's sperm out -competed
from one or more other men within the mother's reproductive tract. If
not seem very many, it nevertheless means that since 1900 every one of
have had an ancestor who was conceived via sperm warfare"
Dr Robin Baker, author of Sperm Wars, Observer
"This huge bill for compensation is a complete waste of taxpayers'
a ridiculous policy that never should have been implemented"
David Clark, Labour defence spokesman, on pounds 55m compensation paid
LOAD-DATE: February 15, 1996
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Copyright 1996 Guardian Newspapers Limited
February 11, 1996, Sunday
SECTION: THE OBSERVER REVIEW PAGE; Pg. 9
LENGTH: 1400 words
HEADLINE: WIMMIN'S TROUBLES
BYLINE: Maureen Freely
Erin Pizzey tells Maureen Freely why she always hated fashion-conscious
Once she was the conscience of the nation. Now, 25 years after she
the world's first shelter for battered women, Erin Pizzey is telling
Mail in an interview to plug her new novel, The Wicked World of Women,
feminism has been 'a disaster for women'. The women's movement, she
'betrayed the family'.
Like me, you probably thought she was the women's movement. Only a few
months ago, this paper did an opinion poll on the Hundred Women Who
World, and she ranked number 14. When did she go over to the other
side? And why
is it that founding feminist icons keep changing their spots? Is it a
staying in the public eye " as critics of Germaine Greer have
insisted " or is
it just part of growing older and wiser? Fay Weldon, whose career has
least as chequered as Greer's, thinks switching allegiances is not only
but a sign of good mental health. 'You'd better change your mind about
in 20 years, or you're a very peculiar person,' she told me this week.
But that is what Erin Pizzey claims to be " one of those very
people who never change their mind. Now tending bar in Tuscany and
in debt, she still doesn't go to the hairdresser's. She claims to be
woman on earth never to have gone on a diet. Even her new and
unprofitable career as a best-selling author is consistent with her
communicate directly with the ordinary women she claims the women's
She tells me she was actually thrown out of the woman's movement. Now
a blast from the past. It has been decades since there was a women's
that you could get thrown out of. 'I said to them, if you hate men,
fascists, and if you're Marxist you're repeating the politics of tired
She hated their elitism and their contempt for grass-roots initiatives
the Chiswick shelter. She resented the way that the movement's
'privileged women who could afford to have wild views. The only working
women they knew were their cleaners. They were terrified of being
and they only wrote what other people wanted to read.' The first 'big
bequeathed us is 'this idea that women could have it all. Men can't
have it all,
so why should women?' The second 'big lie' is that women don't need
remember so many stars of the movement (she names names) impregnating
and saying their boys would never know their fathers, saying their
don't need men. But I know how much they need them.' It was her
take on violent
men that got her into the biggest ideological trouble. Radical
set up shelters " and the woman who eventually took over her own
Chiswick " insist that family violence is rarely perpetrated by
women and is
never the victim's fault. Erin Pizzey's view is that women can collude
cycle without even realising it. For the women, it was the responsibility
running the shelter that gave them back their self-esteem " not
everything on men. 'If men wanted to talk to me at the shelter, I
And I met some very confused and frightened people. Violent
people don't have
structures for survival.' It was to make sure the children in her
shelter could learn some of these structures that they brought in 'good
men' to help look after them. 'Because if kids don't know any gentle
will they learn how to be gentle?' This philosophy put her at odds with
radicals. 'Their cause is to create disharmony between the sexes.
Mine is to
create harmony.' In her view, their side has won.
They've brainwashed an entire generation, she believes. 'I've seen it.
they reach their mid-thirties, here is a rampant fear. They have their
and their freedom, but they still define themselves through their
with men. They say to men: 'We can fuck around just like you',
but then when
they reach 35 they're devastated that these men haven't made a
they won't, because they don't have to. And then they look at us women
fulfilled ourselves by giving ourselves to our families and they hate
that's a shame, because: 'If we can't stand together, we'll fall
we have. I despair of any solution from this generation.' What we need,
she hopes the next generation will have the energy and vision to do, is
rescue families. 'To me, a good family is the basis of democracy and is
democratic to the core. That's why the feminists had to destroy it. You
movement was Stalinist. It's just that most of them didn't realise
it. A lot of
them were so stupid and politically uneducated. They didn't even know
were championing the ideas of the most evil men of the twentieth
'Jill Tweedie was a friend, I loved her dearly, but I used to say to
'You're such a fucking hypocrite, you decant your wine from
have a house in town and a house in the country. How can you call
Communist?' I slipped into Jill's funeral, I wasn't invited, and I
whisper, 'Oh shit, it's that Erin Pizzey', and I thought to myself,
this is the
end of an era of evil women.' Talking to Erin Pizzey makes you almost
the era of idiosyncratic icons is over. Passions don't run so deep any
Feminism as a word means everything and nothing, and yet the big
family, men and democracy remain unanswered, while the anger that first
the women's movement persists.
Fay Weldon told me how, not long ago, she was speaking to an audience
Chicago about the man-hating things she wrote in her early books and
now finds embarrassing. 'I was trying to say that times had changed.
whenever I quoted myself, they just cheered.'
LOAD-DATE: February 13, 1996
181 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1996 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
DAILY MAIL (London)
February 05, 1996
SECTION: Pg. 9
LENGTH: 2307 words
HEADLINE: FEMINISM HAS BEEN SUCH A DISASTER FOR WOMEN;
WHY ERIN PIZZEY NOW BELIEVES THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT HAS BETRAYED THE FAMILY
BYLINE: Jane Kelly
AT THE age of 35, Erin Pizzey became a household name. She had set up
first Women's Refuge in Chiswick, West London. Later she founded The
Women's Aid Federation, spawning 200 hostels in Britain and hundreds
She was awarded the Italian Peace Prize, appeared in Who's Who, was
on Wogan and had the support of distinguished men such as former
David Astor and Lord Goodman, the late adviser to Harold Wilson.
Then, after 12 years as the champion of battered wives, the Women's Aid
Federation passed into different hands and she found herself in a
struggle with the newly founded Women's Movement. In the end, she says,
enemies in the feminist movement destroyed her life and drove her out.
Britain for good.
Now, at 56, she says she was never an extremist, always essentially a
middle-class housewife; always cooking, always determined to protect
Today she calls feminism 'a disaster, a giant cancer that has dug its
legs into every area of society. They have almost succeeded in
family in this country. That was their plan and they have nearly
She believes that the anti-family 'sisters' she battled with throughout
Seventies have pervaded teaching, the probation service, social
services and the
media. She is not reactionary - far from it - but she makes an
distinction about her views: 'I am a liberated woman, not a feminist.'
She continues her campaign through her novels. Kisses attacks what she
'this evil spread by women' and is being published simultaneously with
Wicked World Of Women and her autobiography, Wild Child.
In the Seventies Pizzey often appeared on screen looking like a badly
damaged tank. She was constantly in court trying to defend her hostels
charges of overcrowding, or for helping women to take their children
evading custody rulings.
It was a misleading image. She was not an extremist but says she acted
of an urge to mother. Looking after people was her destiny. It was her
to be an earth mother just at the time when she believes the feminist
was trying to abolish motherhood.
She says: 'My quarrel is with feminists. Feminism is a Marxist
founded on a hatred of men and a desire to destroy the family. It has
do with the average woman, women like me who are content to be at home
When she first walked into the Women's Liberation Workshop in
Avenue in 1971, she could hardly have known how bad the quarrel was
going to be.
She says: 'They were all shouting 'sisters unite'. I thought it was
be about women helping each other and co-operating with men. The first
filled me with doubts. It was held in a middle-class home in Chiswick
were Mao posters on the living room walls.
'I told them I had come along because I was lonely at home with the
They told me I was oppressed by capitalism. I was given a copy of Mao's
Red Book and Shrew, a magazine spewing hatred against men. I pointed
they were all mortgage-holding capitalists and that didn't go down well
'They were all so middle class. I used to go to dinners in Islington -
Tweedie and other women journalists would be there, all talking about
circumcision in Africa - but when I started my refuge none of them
would come to
help me clean floors or replace washers on taps. I did all that myself.
of the chattering women in the movement it was all a game. They were
committed to helping people around them who were in real need.'
Her break from the Women's Movement came in 1981 when she wrote Prone
Violence. This was possibly the first book about male violence against
which stated that women often collude with domestic violence.
For suggesting this she was bombarded with hate mail and death
had to travel everywhere with a police escort and her letters went
the bomb squad. She was banned from women's groups and greeted by
women chanting: 'All men are rapists.' Her publisher at the time
dropped her and
eventually she was refused entry to the Women's Aid refuges.
She says: 'I was trying to save women's lives, but all they cared about
preventing me from saying anything unpalatable. I saw social workers
probation officers who were really political activists with social
degrees. They weren't interested in the problems of real women, they
planning for the revolution.'
How was it that she alone saw so clearly what others could not see,
women colluded with male violence? She replies bluntly: 'I.Q. They had
second-class brains. I was brighter than most of them. There always
awful lot of silly women in the women's movement - a lot of them have
the Green Movement now. I had also seen a lot of the world.'
She was born in China but left at the age of three, on the last ship
Shanghai after the Japanese invasion. On board she witnessed prisoners
tortured. She spent a childhood in female-dominated boarding schools,
getting on the wrong side of authoritarian nuns.
She believes she also stood out from the other radicals because she was
genuinely working class. She says: 'My father came from a poor Irish
went from grammar school into the Foreign Office and became a diplomat.
He never lost his Hounslow accent or acquired the right table manners.
him sneered at by his colleagues.'
By the time she first married, at 21, she knew a great deal about the
and its cruelty. She had also experienced domestic violence, mainly
She says: 'My father was a pig, always yelling and screaming,
making my mother cry. I used to have to defend her from him. But she
She was my first enemy. She used to beat me very badly. She loved my
brother, but she hated me.
'My parents were abused and abusive. Two days after my mother died I
away from home because my father's behaviour was sexually
feared that he would want me to replace my mother.'
The anger she stored up, along with her phenomenal energy, eventually
to use. She says: 'At the moment when that first battered woman came
drop-in centre in Chiswick, and I saw her bruises, it all came
looked at the bruises and said: 'How can anyone be allowed to get away
this?' After that I took women in until we were jammed to the door. I
could turn anyone away.'
When her world seemed to collapse in 1982 following the publication of
To Violence, she set out for a fresh life in the Caymen Islands with
husband, 20-year-old Jeff Shapiro, and some of her many children.
During her first marriage she had had two children and adopted seven
boys. Her second marriage lasted ten years; they divorced three years
She says: 'I offered him fame, which he loved, and comfort, therapy and
safety. I took him away from an incredibly violent home, I saved him.
what I've been doing all my life. I am just a mother, I cook for
Now she has debts of 50,000 and has no idea where her money has gone.
Financial collapse means she now lives frugally, in a Tuscan forest,
except for four dogs and a cat. She works seven days a week in a small
where her feet swell from standing for so long and her eyes stream from
She says: 'It's the only social life I have, but the people there love
and women come to me for advice. Their husbands go to the bar and I
surreptitiously give them advice. I have never stopped helping women to
from abuse, it is my life's work.
'What makes me happiest is being a wife and grandmother. Although I was
mothered myself, I have somehow founded a very stable, happy family.
That is my greatest achievement.'
She does, of course, regret what other women have done. She says: 'The
feminist movement, with its separatism and its lesbians, was such a
time. If they had taken on my therapeutic model, things might have been
different. I wanted women to be honest with themselves and stand on
'I was overtaken by people who preferred anger and confrontation. Men
been alienated, homes destroyed and children damaged. Instead of
together and co-operating, which was the early promise of feminism,
more divisions than ever. Feminism has been a disaster.'
* KISSES, The Wicked World Of Women and Wild Child are published today
GRAPHIC: ERIN PIZZEY FOUGHT TO HELP BATTERED WOMEN BUT TODAY, INSET, HAS BEEN
LOAD-DATE: February 6, 1996
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Copyright 1995 The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
March 24, 1995, Friday
SECTION: Pg. 15
LENGTH: 1510 words
HEADLINE: Life is a battlefield Part one
BYLINE: In The Seventies, Erin Pizzey Fought The Establishment To Set Up A
Women'S Refuge In London. Now She Writes Romantic Novels And Lives An
Earth -Mother Life In Tuscany With Her Extended Family. But Her
Abused Women Is As Strong As Ever, Writes Gillian Glover
THE book is called Kisses.
It features a lip-glossed tousle-haired blonde on the cover, and a
dedication inside offers fulsome thanks to three separate staff at
Savoy Hotel, as well as a more general murmur of gratitude to Harrods,
and Mason and Lloyd's Bank.
Cut. Let's leave that image of sex, shopping and nice new bank notes
whizz back 20 years. Here, the scene is a grimy shambling Victorian
house. It is
shrill with the dramas of the 60 women and children cramped into its
interior. This is the Chiswick Women's Refuge, and at the centre of its
multi-racial maelstrom stands an implacable Valkyrie.
Her name is Erin Pizzey, and Britain got to know her very well indeed.
Outspoken, belligerent and fiercely protective of her mangled, mongrel
brood, she threw back the nation's sitting room curtains and shone arc
into the dark mayhem of domestic violence.
Yet Pizzey is the figure dominating the first image as well. And, sure
enough, it is in the Savoy that we discuss how she moved from one to
It is familiar territory to her in every sense, because Kisses is her
romantic novel, and the Savoy is, she says, "the only place worth
staying in in
She does not exactly typify the de luxe hotel client, however. She
dresses in earth-mother, hippy-style: long, capacious skirt,
waistcoat and a large jewelled cross which she has worn constantly for
Her hair is an explosion of frizz: untamed as her comments, and the
But startle is what Pizzey has always done best.
She learned as a child; "an unloved, unwanted" little girl
who was subjected
to a brutal childhood of middle-class neglect. Pizzey was born in China
her mother nearly died giving birth and evidently never forgave Erin or
twin. Her father was a diplomat, a ferocious man, who struggled hard to
compensate for his own meagre background in a world where these things
thought to matter. The result was a violent, loveless household, and
girls were packed off to boarding school in England while their parents
first to South Africa, then Beirut, and - via America - to Tehran.
There were no
presents, letters or Christmas cards.
Pizzey cannot recall ever being hugged or kissed as a child. She fought
everyone and everything, and to describe her as "difficult"
would be a limp
understatement. The book she wrote to exorcise the bitter memories she
"It was called the biography of the decade," she recalled
with pride. "It
was one of the first books to break that middle-class silence. As long
could blame housing or poverty and make everyone victims in child
was seen as acceptable to the English establishment. But when you said:
a minute, English establishment figures are violent and they're beating
middle-class children going to middle-class boarding schools', that was
She has never regretted these intimate revelations, although her family
certainly did. "Apart from it being cathartic, it was the first
time I had
really analysed my mother's role in provoking my father: what she did
him so angry, and why it was a violence-prone relationship."
She now considers that it taught her "everything I knew, and
could give back to the mothers and children who came into the refuge at
Chiswick. I only had to look at a child and I could tell you how that
being bullied - tell you without even talking to him."
On the countless occasions that Pizzey has described the founding of
Chiswick Women's Refuge in 1972, she has usually attributed it to
coincidence. She had married, had two children and started up a small
centre; a playgroup "where lonely mothers could come with their
meet each other." Its development into a full- blown refuge for
only happened, she says, because she began to encounter so many cases.
But there's more to it than that.
Pizzey had found a cause that was tailor-made to her own expertise. She
could label her parents as "violence-prone" (a phrase which
was to cause a
furore later on when she developed the theory into a full-scale book)
surely recognise that she herself is drama or crisis prone.
And that there is an unfailing attraction for both the saviour and the
in this relationship. That is why it repeats itself again and again in
When, in 1984 after 12 years "in the firing line" at
Chiswick, she moved
with her new husband Jeff Shapiro to Santa Fe to begin writing novels:
moment I got there, I discovered that there was a woman in the next
five children and a violent man. And I was back in business again. I
refuge for mothers and kids for seven years. I did paedophile cases and
And got shot at." She adds the last sentence with defiant pride.
She then moved to the Cayman Islands and to Italy, and found things
same. Not to the same degree, perhaps - "it's only in England and
this is epidemic" - but sufficient to mobilise the Pizzey machine.
"We've got a
hotline in Siena, and a new house just opened in Milan, and one opening
Bologna. And there's a group that's just started out in the Cayman
life is opening refuges for mothers and children. But it only had to be
in this country. They made it a fight."
And quite a fight it was. A fight made all the more intriguing by the
of the enemy. District councils, environmental health, the social
these you would expect to target the very individualistic operation
set up. But they were not the villains of the peace as she sees it. The
enemy was the women's movement itself. And Pizzey does not indulge in
mealy-mouthed diplomacy in her recollections. She names names, and
as well. "Smelly lesbians," has been a past favourite.
"It was so sad to see everything I had built up at Chiswick
ruined. I had
built up a unique therapeutic unit there, where it was the women who
healed each other, and not a string of professionals.
"But I just didn't fit in with the political agenda. I believed in
working with women - but in co- operation with men. The first member of
appointed was a man.
The feminists were outraged. But how can these mothers and children
to know good, gentle men if they have no positive role models?"
And this wasn't her only lapse.
"Back in the early days, in the collectives, I was a lone voice
Marx never did anything for women; there were no women in the
was not the wonderful place they all thought and the Chinese communists
captured my mother, father and brother and kept them under house arrest
three years. 'You're just women with no world experience,' I said. They
They were finally to do the same at Chiswick. Pizzey's methods, though
applauded, even revered, by the inmates of the refuge were too
unorthodox to be
palatable to the social services. She became tangibly involved with and
by every case she dealt with. She was accused of hogging the limelight,
personalising things unnecessarily. Not only that, she had scandalised
and therapists alike with her contention that some women are addicted
violence. Her book Prone to Violence was published in 1982. She
"is still paying
for it", she says. So when an administrative excuse came, Pizzey
ousted from Chiswick.
"I didn't make a fuss, because I felt the time had come to
begin another life."
A life with her new husband Jeff Shapiro who was 20 years her junior.
"I got married," she giggles, "and what made it really
unforgivable to that
lot was that I had actually married a man."
Her connection with Chiswick lingers metaphorically, at least. It was
the Chiswick mothers, Karen Rossiter, who suggested she start writing.
all into novels, Erin," she told her, "that way everyone can
So Pizzey did just that. She has published one a year for the last ten
years, though she writes for only two hours a day. Kisses, the book she
returned to Britain to promote, concerns three women and the way in
sustain and support each other throughout their separate relationships
It is romantic, easily dismissable as an "airport read", and
breaks into some rapturous vocabulary describing it: "What really
We are all about love, the universe is about unconditional love. I used
say to my women in Chiswick, I might not like what you've done, but I
and that's what kept us all going."
Pizzey lives alone now, in a tiny Tuscan village called San Giovanni
Her marriage to Geoff Shapiro split up four years ago, but did so
says. "It wasn't really a marriage. It was more of a
LOAD-DATE: March 24, 1995
210 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1994 Guardian Newspapers Limited
August 28, 1994, Sunday
SECTION: THE OBSERVER LEADER PAGE; Pg. 21
LENGTH: 1520 words
HEADLINE: PEOPLE: THE JOY OF WATCHING WOMEN FALL
BYLINE: Katharine Whitehorn
SO Anita Roddick, they claim, is not Mother Teresa after all; not as
as she's cabbage-looking, it seems. We can now expect a spate of
articles about her, worse than if she had never tried to be ecological
and far worse, I suspect, than if she had been a man. For the backlash
such a woman has more interesting elements in it than at first appears.
The theory that the old king must die is familiar enough. The young
must bring down the mangy and raging old beast, and assume control of
the whizz-kid will topple the chairman; the ageing gunfighter hits the
science it is a necessary process since, as Max Planck pointed out, no
ever convinces another about anything; the proponents of Theory B just
wait till the proponents of Theory A drop off their twigs, and then
their jobs. This is why Desmond Morris is still encouraged to bang on
man's emergence in the savannah, long after Alistair Hardy, Elaine
Price, Richard Marsh and many others have produced far more cogent
about our evolution at the water's edge.
What happens to the old lioness, though, has been less well documented,
only because in the normal way they are more co-operative - lionesses
babysit while the mother goes off and earns, I mean catches, enough
them all. But Anita Roddick may be just one more in a long line of
have suffered from the phenomenon of ditching the founding mother.
A visionary woman starts something - a firm, a charity, a movement -
written up, interviewed and praised, possibly over-praised since
astounded that it's a woman who has done such a thing. But as her
expands, takes on new people and is successful, she begins to seem the
person on whom all discontents centre, and after a time the people she
recruited, trained and inspired set to work to ease her out.
Erin Pizzey started the first refuge for beaten-up wives; after a time
realised that some - a very few - were actually addicted to the
rows and violence, and had to be treated accordingly. Her colleagues
outraged; they thought she was giving a handle to the 'they like it
school; she left the Chiswick refuge and the country. Mrs Torrie
a self-help group where widows could mourn and become healed by one
got bigger, and imported empire-building men who decided it should
cater to all
the bereaved - a very different matter. Mrs Torrie might have been
laughing nastily when the re-jigged outfit got into financial
didn't, but then she's a nice woman. I did.
Eli Jansen dreamed up the idea of half-way houses for people coming out
mental homes. Her Richmond Fellowship is now a highly respected
organisation; but she has been in dispute for ages with colleagues who
she was using the Fellowship for her own ends - and this is a woman
Furlong in the Sixties described as a saint. I know several other
the same thing is happening, and only one where the founding mother was
embezzling the funds; even with Laura Ashley, it seems, there was a
growl of discontent, silenced in her case by her early death.
Sometimes, I suppose, the founding mother, like any other pioneer, will
resist necessary change, cling on to the original idea when those who
thing know that, like a bicycle, it has to go forward or fall. One or
women may indeed get too big for their boots. And sometimes there may
who feel they have had to shoulder most of the work, while she gets all
glory - one reason why some women's outfits insist on being communal
collective almost to the point of chaos.
Activists are only too aware of the Queen Bee phenomenon: the woman who
all for a woman having power - so long as the woman is her. She doesn't
want other women around, and doesn't promote them. At the same time,
are that any men who work under her have to turn her into a goddess to
this shaming fact; it's a dangerous mixture. Norman St John Stevas (as
was) spoke truer than he knew when he dubbed Mrs T 'the blessed
the sad thing is that, even if a woman tries her darndest to be a
Worker, not a
Queen - doesn't throw her weight about, doesn't suppress her sisters or
the limelight or preen herself - she's apt to be accused of it anyway.
We are sceptical of saints, too often sour about success; there's a
vindictive streak in most of us that gets a kick out of seeing someone
been praised to the skies come crashing down without a parachute. Even
approved of Mrs Thatcher watched her downfall with an evil glee; we
don't at all
mind a great beauty finally having to count the wrinkles with the rest
of us; no
wonder the Lloyd's Names, in their suspect 'poverty', don't get the
they think they deserve. Secretly, we smirk at Humpty Dumpty's
fall, but even
more at Mrs Dumpty's: men, because she got above herself, up on that
women - especially the ones who grew up when they couldn't, or thought
couldn't, aim at anything but being dutiful wives and mothers - because
she think she is anyway?
Seeing what can happen to these high-profile women gives one a good
so many, possibly no less shrewd or even ambitious, opt for the
position, as the power behind some grandiose male throne; it's
But the more women decide not to stick their heads over the parapet,
credence they give to the notion that women can't make it; the Anita
and Mrs Thatchers are better role models for girls with their four
Nancy Reagan - who ran her President far more ruthlessly than the
much-criticised Hillary Clinton. Not forgetting Senator Nancy
adapted Truman's phrase and said: 'If I can't stand the heat, I have to
in the kitchen.'
Anita Roddick, page 23
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Copyright 1994 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
Evening Standard (London)
June 21, 1994
SECTION: Pg. 12
LENGTH: 1240 words
HEADLINE: The real reason I had to flee Britain
BYLINE: Erin Pizzey
I HAVE never truthfully explained why I left England, and my Chiswick
Women's Refuge in 1982. I did not leave England of my own free will. I
driven out by the virulence of the separatist feminists, whose efforts
have destroyed the lives of women and children in England. I am so glad
have not succeeded.
Jill Tweedie was their icon and their methods were recognisably
Every act was political. The personal, particularly, was political.
early days of the Women's Movement, I pointed out that it was never a
to deal with women's issues. I believed that women should be working
in co-operation with men. For my beliefs I was reviled. The
feminists who have
hurt me most, and who have, I think, caused most damage to women in
were those in the media. They used their public voice, and used it
Many feminist women have attacked me for not wishing to ban men from
world, and to turn our sons into bewildered beings. But I would like to
few I can never forgive. Irma Kirtz has belittled me in every way she
Hennessy has also tormented me.
It is hard to believe now in the saner Nineties just what a terrifying
impact these mad chattering class women had on television and in
Jill Tweedie was one of the many viragoes that came to attack me. The
between her and the others was that she came to attack me but also came
me. We became friends.
I had many dinners, far too many dinners with Jill and her chattering
friends. They were in powerful positions in the media. They formed the
Women in the Media. One of the women said she would have been President
had she been a man. I pointed out that she was too stupid to be
anything. Far better that she continues to teach her loony politics in
polytechnics. I left the group.
I was jeered both in England and in America. My editor Peter Lavery
believe me when I warned him not to put my book Prone to Violence
examined some women's attraction to violence) on the shelves early. I
from America and hundreds of women were demonstrating outside The
Savoy. All Men
Are Rapists and Bastards, read the placards. Had they used the words
Black they would have been arrested. The police elected to give me a
to accompany me for my book tour in 1983.
I fared no better at the hands of American media feminists than those
England. I gave evidence to President Reagan's commission on Family
lengthy presentation resulted in the Commission's report quoting one
only, Erin Shapiro - Author was my byline.
This unholy, violent, delinquent movement of feminism has caused havoc
infamilies allll over the Western world. Two weekends ago I was the
honour at an International Judges Conference in Rome. It was a moving
historic moment. I am the mother of a movement devoted to saving the
women, children and men. Men get battered too.
FOR far too long men have ignored this movement at their peril. Now,
late, they are beginning to wake up and realise that they must take
discussion of women's issues.
If men do not, then the powerful feminists who are journalists and
of today's women's magazines will be able to muffle all
opposition. Men will
not be allowed to speak, just as I am no longer allowed to speak.
Because the British feminist establishment has banished me and denied
freedom of speech I now let my novels tell my story. I no longer try to
The price has been too high for me and for my health. I live in the
Islands and summer in Tuscany where I am loved and respected. I still
battered women because it is my cause. Believe you me, it is much
I remember Jill Tweedie fondly, and her friends with contempt. But even
was wrong. I remember with amusement that, when the wall in Berlin came
was having dinner with Jill and her husband Alan. 'Now you can't be
what are you going to do?' I said, teasing.
'Go green,' she said.
'That figures,' I replied.
It was another pressure group, never seeing life as a harmonious place,
as a battlefield. Jill's early death was a blow for me. She was a sweet
wonderful person. Unfortunately the politics of bitterness reaps its
Alan was rude about the Guardian editor, Peter Preston, about Linda
the writer, and even my friend Shirley Conran. She would not have
but this was the legacy.
Now that those nightmare years are over, I am not bitter, merely
human jealousy and envy. There is a wonderful movement of women in
thirties who do take responsibility for their relationships. Who refuse
victimised by the so-called women's movement, which in fact wrecked
hopes and lives. A sad 20 years of so much wasted effort.
GRAPHIC: Erin Pizzey and (right) the late Jill Tweedie: "She attacked
she also liked me and we became friends"
LOAD-DATE: June 23, 1994
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Copyright 1994 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)
May 10, 1994, Tuesday
SECTION: LONDON NEWS PAGE; Page 4 ?
LENGTH: 593 words
HEADLINE: Pizzey's refuge to close; World's first haven for battered women
for 50,000 pounds to keep doors open
BYLINE: MATTHEW BRACE
THE WORLD'S first refuge for battered women may have to close in
because of a financial crisis.
The haven in Chiswick, set up by Erin Pizzey, now a blockbusting
living in the Caribbean, needs pounds 50,000 unless it is to close
years of helping women and children.
Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, formerly Chiswick Family
said thousands of battered women sought help from the police each year
London. The refuge can accommodate up to 45 women and 120 children at a
''It's a hand-to-mouth existence. We are full to overflowing and we are
having to refer many women who come to us. If we shut, thousands will
homeless, or have to return to their abusive partners. They have
nowhere else to
go,'' she said.
''The closure would be an indictment of a society which refuses to put
subject on the political agenda. We must rid society of the 'it's only
Ms Horley, a social psychologist and author, has worked with battered
for 17 years. ''I have seen an awful lot of pain and misery. The worst
was when a man took a hammer and chisel to his partner's face.''
She fears the refuge might have to close because public grants are not
enough to maintain services. The charity offers legal and welfare
with re-housing and runs Britain's only 24-hour domestic violence
which receives around 10,000 calls each year.
Its annual budget is pounds 525,000, of which pounds 255,000 comes from
London Boroughs Grants Unit, residents' rents and a housing corporation
allowance. More than half has to be raised privately.
The Princess of Wales, Helena Kennedy QC and the rock star Bruce
have all supported the charity.
Ms Horley wants to see more official support. ''We used to survive on
grants, but they were frozen and when we added a fourth house the
said they wouldn't be able to fund it.
''It costs pounds 19m a year of taxpayers' money to have the children
Refuge taken into care, whereas it only costs pounds 150,000 to keep
That's a saving of pounds 18.85m. So why no action? It doesn't make
Gerald Oppenheim, the director of the London Boroughs Grants Unit, said
despite Refuge being a top priority, a grant increase was impossible.
''We would love to be able to give more money to Refuge, but we just
got the resources,'' he said.
''London boroughs are under enormous financial strain at the moment and
the voluntary organisations we assist are basically on frozen grants.''
For Victoria, a former Refuge resident who now lives in Shepherd's
charity was her only hope. For years her husband raped her, humiliated
imprisoned her in their home.
''I used to sleep in the loft because I didn't want the children to
rape me. When he went out he would lock the doors, or if I took his
school and was five minutes late getting back he would grab me by the
say: 'You slut, who have you had in the car?'
Eventually she grabbed her daughter and fled to the Refuge. ''For the
time I felt safe.''
Ms Horley said September was the deadline. ''We have to raise at least
pounds 50,000 by then or we will have to close.
''If that happens it will be tragic. I would be devastated, not just
I have spent half my adult life working for these women, but also
because I care
very deeply for them and I want to carry on saving lives.''
LOAD-DATE: May 10, 1994
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Copyright 1994 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
Daily Mail (London)
March 5, 1994
SECTION: Pg. 46
LENGTH: 1654 words
HEADLINE: ERIN PIZZEY;
(1)WEEKEND(2)QUESTION OF SEX
BYLINE: Lester Middlehurst.
Erin Pizzey, who set up a refuge for battered women in 1971, was
17 years to her first husband, Jack Pizzey, and for 13 years to her
husband, Jeff Shapiro. Erin is 55, lives in Tuscany, has two children,
and Cleo, 32, seven foster children and three grandchildren. She talks
Who was your first boyfriend?
His name was Michael Mowberly. We were 15 and our parents were abroad.
at a convent and he was at Sherbourne Boys School, Dorset, and we used
our weekends in the woods with the nuns trying to find us.
Do you remember your first kiss?
It was with Michael behind the bike sheds and I thought it was quite
disgusting. I wasn't expecting it so I let out a loud shriek and hit
When were you first broken hearted?
When I was 15. I was going out with a boy called Philip. We had been to
various hunt balls together and then he fell in love with a girl called
I remember her showing me a letter she had from him at school. I cried
swore I would never give my heart to another man.
How did you find out about the facts of life?
From Peter Rabbit, the school rabbit, who gave a very vivid demonstration
what happened to my rabbit, Lady. At that time my parents were under
arrest by the Communists in China and I didn't see them for three and a
years so they weren't there to tell me. Matron made a vague stab at
something about periods and that was about it.
Did you discuss sex with your children?
Yes, when they asked it meant they were ready to hear. I promised my
grandchildren that if ever they wanted to ask any questions they could,
the situation. So my six-year-old grandson Keita waited until the
middle of a
dinner party before saying 'Granny, how do you make babies?'.
brandy and sodas, I finished explaining, much to the horror of my
what age did you have your first sexual experience?
When I was 18. It was a man I had known for a long time. He went away,
met up again in London and it was a foregone conclusion that we would
go to bed.
I loved it and thought afterwards 'Reverend Mother was wrong!'
What is the worst chat up line you have ever heard?
Men have to have it all the time. This was said to me in my sitting
a man trying to seduce me. I put him in the guest bedroom.
Could you forgive your partner if he was unfaithful?
Yes, because I don't have a jealous bone in my body. I had a lover once
he was involved with three of us at the same time.
Have you ever had a one-night stand?
Twice and I hated it. I was drunk both times and I now know that
one-night stands don't suit me. I regretted both afterwards but I'm
glad I had
Have you ever watched a pornographic film?
When I was about 30. After a dinner party I thought the host was going
show holiday movies. When the lights went down I soon realised the truth.
laughed so hard they had to turn it off.
How often do you think about sex?
Seven days a week because I'm writing about it all the time.
Do you think love-making improves with age?
Definitely. I was 55 on February 15 and I'm really poised to have fun.
still think sex is the greatest recreation - much better than jogging.
you get, the more confident you become. You are not afraid to ask for
What turns you on about a man?
His sense of humour.
What turns you off about a man?
Men who leave their hair in the basin.
Do you think men are more promiscuous than women?
Yes, but that's because they have been genetically programmed to be.
have all that testosterone whizzing about.
Do you think prostitution should be legalised?
Yes, because I think prostitution is an honourable profession. I think
fulfil a useful need in society. I much preferred the prostitutes I had
refuge to most of the married women I knew outside.
What is the most erotic film you have ever seen?
Hiroshima Mon Amour.
What is the most erotic book you have ever read?
My first novel, The Watershed.
What is the most unusual place you have made love in?
I can't think of anywhere I haven't done it, apart from in the back of
car. I suppose in the sea in Greece was the most unusual.
What do men find most attractive about you?
My sense of humour and my cooking.
Would you ever pose naked for a magazine?
Not with the current state of my stomach. But I have no moral
Who, in the public eye, do you think has sex appeal?
Prince Charles, Paul Newman, Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida.
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Copyright 1993 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
October 15, 1993
SECTION: THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 5
LENGTH: 963 words
HEADLINE: THE HOME TRUTH ABOUT BRUTALITY
BYLINE: SUZANNE MOORE
FROM the end of this month, at a cinema near you, is something that you
really do not want to see - a real life horror film. Sandwiched
girl fellating her Flake in the bathtub and another wacky banking ad is
that should make your blood run cold. Don't Stand For It is a 90-second
commercial about domestic violence and it will be showing nationally
months from October 29.
The film, made by Penny Gould, was not commissioned, no one was paid to
on it and the Home Office covered the pounds 18,000 distribution costs.
It is an
incredibly powerful piece of work that uses horrific pictures of
alongside typical quotes from them, such as: "I'll just give him
chance." To counter this, the facts also appear on the screen.
Every year 100
women in the UK are murdered by their partners. On average, a woman
been assaulted 35 times before she goes to the police. Forty per cent
murders occur in domestic situations. As image after image of bruised,
cut bodies appear, Lyle Lovett sings Stand By Your Man. The project was
supported by Tammy Wynette, who wrote the song, although no longer
The aim of the film is twofold: it offers a help line number to women
are trapped in violent relationships but, just as importantly, seeks to
very clear message to men and women that violence is unacceptable. Of
not everyone will want to be reminded of what goes on behind closed
Domestic violence for a very long time has hardly been a sexy media
Like rape and hysterectomies, it is somehow perceived as worthy and
depressing, "a women's issue", which translates as "a
women's problem". Battered
woman are still interviewed with anthropological zeal, as though they
another species. Special psychological syndromes are invented to
passivity, and why, on average, women will put up with seven years of
before they go to an outside agency. The Stockholm Syndrome was
identified in hostages who became emotionally entwined with their
captors and is
now thought to be applicable to some women in this situation.
In some ways, though, we are all responsible for neglecting this
Part of the progress that feminism has made over the last few years has
move away from anything tinged with a boringly politically correct
as we are told repeatedly, girls just want to have fun. This is because
women, and I count myself among them, got tired of the continual
of women as men's victims. It is all so much more exciting to think
arousing power play of an S & M encounter than to think about the
power play of
a man pushing his wife's face into a boiling chip pan.
While we are busy celebrating images of powerful women, the stills in
Stand For It remind us all too graphically of what being powerless
looks like. Whether that powerlessness is psychological or financial or
looks like a woman with her nose knocked across her face. It looks like
earth. It looks shameful.
So if we are ashamed of - though I hate the phrase - "battered
because we perceive them to be the ultimate victims, it is really not
surprising. Do you remember Erin Pizzey, who founded the first women's
this country, coming up with the appalling theory that some women who
with violence just get addicted to it?
Yet, what I see in this film is at last a way of moving the issues back
the mainstream. Domestic violence has surfaced in soap operas like
Roseanne. The case of Sara Thornton and the release of Kiranjit
have provoked discussion about whether long-term physical abuse can
constitute provocation. This month, both Elle and Vanity Fair carry
violence stories although, of course, Vanity Fair doesn't advertise its
such. You may remember the case of John Wayne Bobbit's penis, hacked
off by his
wife and thrown out of a car window. This case which, according to
"tapped into the core of the female zeitgeist" now -
surprise, surprise -
reveals a long and familiar story of abuse. Bobbit had repeatedly
raped his wife. Her vigilante justice may have turned her into a hero
Camille Paglia's response was: "It's a wake-up call. It has to
send a chill
through every man in the world."
However, let's be clear: these are not cries of revolution, but desperation.
These may be the cases making headlines but they are not typical. They
exception to the rule that it is men who murder and mutilate the women
with. In London alone, the number of reported attacks has risen from
1990 to 9,800. Scotland Yard says this figure represents "a tiny
tip of the
iceberg". Last year, over 100,000 women used a range of Women Aid
That's why I didn't laugh at comedian Jim Davidson's explanation for
ex-wife's two black eyes: "Pushing her away from me, I caught her
in the eye
with my thumb, bruising her and dislocating my thumb . . . A few days
asked me to throw her the keys . . . I flung them over and the bunch
hit her in
the other eye."
Domestic violence has too long been considered a private issue. Now it
necessarily, being made a public one. This is not a problem that was
in the seventies, this is not some loony feminist cause, this is not
of what happens in relationships. It is a crime.
While Neighbourhood Watch schemes have been concerned with protecting
contents of homes rather than the people in them, isn't it about time
caring as much about the violation of women as the theft of a few
LOAD-DATE: October 15, 1993
232 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1993 Guardian Newspapers Limited
March 28 1993
SECTION: Pg. 3
LENGTH: 718 words
HEADLINE: Refuges forced to turn women away: Grants cut as domestic violence
BYLINE: POLLY GHAZI
HELP FOR battered women is under threat across Britain as the numbers
women and children fleeing abuse reach unprecedented levels.
Attacks by men on their wives or partners now account for one in four
violent crimes. In Greater London alone, reported assaults have almost
in the past two years. Thirty thousand women sought help in refuges
but hundreds more had to be turned away because of a lack of funds.
Britain's 270 refuges are now at crisis point as hard-pressed local
slash their grants.
A survey by the Women's Aid Federation, which represents the vast
of refuges, reveals that council cutbacks over the past two years have
houses with an average annual grant of between pounds 7,000 and pounds
with the only other income coming from residents' housing benefit
donations from local charities.
'The position is desperate,' said spokeswoman Caroline McKinley.
usually only have one paid counsellor, and most are kept going by
Without their commitment, we would only have a handful of refuges left
The extent of the crisis is highlighted by the fate of Britain's first
women's refuge, Chiswick Family Rescue, set up in 1971 by Erin Pizzey.
patron is the Princess of Wales, who was guest of honour when it was
last week under the new name of Refuge.
It is by far Britain's highest-profile refuge service, running four
which take in 50 women and 120 children a year. But dwindling funds
London boroughs have forced the centre to cut staff from 21 to nine in
two years. Unless pounds 100,000 is found by the summer, Refuge's
services and its 24-hour national crisis line will close.
'It is ironic that concern over domestic violence is now great enough
feature on our most popular television programmes, yet we are facing
crisis in 20 years,' said Refuge director Sandra Horley. Domestic
highlighted last week in the prime-time soap operas EastEnders and
'Without our crisis line, some women won't get heard when the need is
greatest. Some may even die as a result,' said Ms Horley.
Other counselling and advice groups for battered women also face the
the Refuge launch, Princess Diana gave her public support to Kiranjit
who killed her husband after 10 years of abuse and was recently
jail on appeal.
Yet Southall Black Sisters, which ran the campaign for her release, has
to drop its support services and limit itself to finding refuges for
women. The three paid staff, who advise 1,500 Asian women a year from
Britain, now fear they may lose their core funding in 1994.
The most recent Home Office figures reveal that domestic violence
more than doubled from 12,160 to 26,555 between 1985 and 1989. In
reported attacks on women have risen from 5,130 in 1990 to 9,800 last
figure described by Scotland Yard's domestic violence unit as 'the tiny
The Police Federation and the Association of Directors of Social
have both now warned that more refuge spaces are urgently needed. Last
Tory-dominated Home Affairs Select Committee added its weight by urging
Secretary Kenneth Clarke to establish a national network of women's
an urgent priority.
The last parliamentary report into domestic violence, 20 years ago,
for 800 refuges to be set up nationwide. Sandra Horley said women's aid
organisations now hope that public concern will produce greater
'The Canadian Government has allocated dollars 136 million to contain
domestic violence. In Britain, we also have to learn that domestic
at the root of many of our social problems, and we urgently need a
strategy with more refuges and better public education to control it.'
A Home Office spokeswoman said the select committee's recommendations
be 'carefully considered'. She emphasised that most urban police forces
domestic violence units and that the Government spends pounds 7.3m a
funding victim support schemes for all victims of crime.
Refuge's 24-hour helpline is on 081-995 4430.
LOAD-DATE: September 25, 2000
234 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1993 Telegraph Group Limited
The Daily Telegraph
March 23, 1993, Tuesday
SECTION: Pg. 4
LENGTH: 355 words
HEADLINE: Princess tells killer to write book for victims of violence
BYLINE: By Jonathan Petre
A WOMAN who burned to death her violent and domineering husband was told by
the Princess of Wales yesterday to write a book about her experiences.
Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who served more than three years of a life sentence
murder before a judge accepted her plea of manslaughter, that her story
help other women. The two met at the Chiswick Family Rescue, founded in
run by Erin Pizzey, author of the book Prone to Violence. Yesterday's
was held to mark the centre's name change to Refuge. Mrs Ahluwalia, 37,
mother of two, doused her husband in petrol and set him alight after
years of violence. She was freed from jail last September after the
Appeal accepted that she was suffering from diminished responsibility.
has prompted calls for a change in the law to provide a defence for
murder violent husbands. Mrs Ahluwalia said the Princess's involvement
important in ensuring that the public and the police took the problem
domestic violence more seriously. She said she had wanted to write to
Princess during her sentence, but feared her English was inadequate.
me I should have written because she always got her letters. She told
should write a book because my case was already helping a lot of other
The Princess last week spent two hours at a therapy session in a hostel
Refuge, during which one woman became distressed almost to the point of
hysteria. "The woman wanted a knife so that she could kill
her husband," said
Mrs Sandra Horley, director of Refuge. The session was potentially so
that the Princess was later invited to attend a de-briefing. Last year
a private donation to the charity, which faces closure if it does not
money. The organisation has four houses in London and offers
counselling to more than 400 women and children every year. The Prince
urged architects to follow the example of the Vintners Place, a 79
neo-classical development next to Southwark Bridge in London, when he
235 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1993 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)
March 23, 1993, Tuesday
SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2
LENGTH: 515 words
HEADLINE: Refuge offers lifeline for abused women Refuge back to highlight
BYLINE: HEATHER MILLS
THE STATISTICS make uncomfortable reading. Men abusing their wives or
partners accounts for one quarter of all violent crime. One in four of
women are battered during pregnancy, also putting at risk the unborn
The stories behind the statistics are even more disturbing. One husband
a hammer and chisel to his wife's face. She needed 250 stitches.
petrol over his wife's head and set her alight, maiming her for life.
Another went to extreme lengths to discover where his partner had
refuge. He lay in wait and attacked her in the road outside, smashing
and cracking her skull.
And the stories are not just of physical abuse. One man learning that
partner had won a university scholarship to study literature built a
her treasured collection of first editions. In doing so he sapped her
further her education. Such accounts are not uncommon. Over 50,000
women a year
seek help from the police in the London area alone.
It was in recognition of the scale and ferocity of domestic violence in
society that yesterday brought together an unlikely alliance of the
Wales, Ruby Wax, the comedienne, and Kiranjit Alhuwalia, who killed her
after suffering 10 years of extreme violence. They were joined by
police, lawyers and others to celebrate the relaunch of the world's
for battered women and their children.
Twenty-two years after Chiswick Family Rescue was founded by Erin
is now to be known simply as Refuge to reflect its wider role in
lobbying for change in policy and law, its 24-hour national crisis line
provision of refuge for up to 50 women and 120 children in four homes.
The relaunch came on the eve of the publication of a report by the Home
Affairs select committee of MPs, which is widely expected to recommend
in the law governing domestic violence and better provision for those
The committee last examined domestic violence in 1975 and recommended
setting up of 800 refuges for women around the country.
Eighteen years on there are just 200 and for those at Refuge - held up
model in the fight against domestic violence world-wide - it is a
that it is constantly fighting for survival. Lack of funds means that
nursery provision is currently under threat.
Yesterday, Sandra Horley, a social psychologist and director of Refuge,
said: ''Domestic violence is a cancer that eats at the core of our
community and our family life. It touches many aspects of our lives. It
the root of many of our social problems.''
She called for a three-pronged attack - a co-ordinated policy within
criminal justice system of arrest and prosecution of all abusers;
training programmes in school and the workplace; and better services
to help women and their families leave violence.
Refuge must wait until the publication of today's report to see if its
demands have the backing of MPs.
240 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright Telegraph Group Limited
The Daily Telegraph
February 7, 1993, Sunday
SECTION: Pg. 4
LENGTH: 986 words
HEADLINE: Review: Opportunity knocks What needs to be done, and who is
to do it? Some views from those in the front line
David Thomas, former editor of Punch and author of Not Guilty - In Defence of
the Modern Man, to be published this week: "The Equal
has got to be more even-handed. My feeling is that for the past couple
decades we have thought of women's issues as a principal area for the
Commission, but what about men? "Just as women are demanding an
discrimination in professional life, men should be asking about ending
discrimination in family life. Just as women are getting a raw deal in
boardroom, men are getting a raw deal in the divorce courts. Just as
victims have been made to suffer twice over, once by the attacker and
the legal system, the same is now happening to men who report
the hands of their female partners. "I'm only in favour of the EOC
if it takes a
genuinely even-handed look at areas where men and women are having a
but if it becomes another wing of politically correct doctrinaire
the sooner it's scrapped the better." " Whoever is selected
as the new head
should not have any burning commitment to the advancement of their own
male or female. Feminists have no interest whatsoever in any concept of
treatment, but in my experience an average well-balanced secure woman
is a man's
best ally, and is best able to see a man's perspective." His own
Pizzey [campaigner for battered women]. She's a woman who has a very
understanding both of how awful life can be to women, and how awful
women can be
to men." Mrs Jane Grant, who runs the National Association of
Women's group, the
umbrella for 230 women's organisations representing 5.5 million women:
admired Joanna Foster for her brave and strong stand for women, and
hope a woman
of similar strength and courage will be appointed. I hope, too, that
have the interests of all women at heart and not just the
Rantzen, presenter of BBC's That's Life and director of Childline:
"I think and
hope I'm right in believing that middle-class white women have got
quite good at
fighting unfair treatment, but I do worry about ethnic communities and
women - I have been told of cases of isolation and virtual
think that the middle-aged woman is at a disadvantage compared with her
contemporary, who is regarded as in his prime. A Cabinet Minister of 50
considered young, but a woman television presenter of 50 is considered
over the hill. TV executives should make sure that among their
example, there should be women who not only are 60 but who look 60.
" But my
principal fear is that with all this battle between the genders,
getting lost. I have listened to children who say no one has any time
to them, their parents are so tired and are working so hard they are
exhausted to listen. It might be time to say, 'Where is the Equal
Commission for children?' " Lady Brittan, who sits on the board of
the EOC, and
is wife of EEC Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan: "If I were looking
at the issues
for the EOC to pursue, I would look at law-enforcement and the
between EEC law and British law and how to build on it. I would also
look at the
area of family-friendly policy and the opportunities for flexi-working
and women, and also the mass of women on low pay. Maybe there is some
work to be
done to help men in traditional women's areas." Julie Burchill,
columnist: "I think the EOC really needs to be there. It is a very
for people to complain to; it acts like an ombudsman for women. But its
should remain about people at work. I think that women who stay at home
lazy. I don't think the EOC should concern itself with them; they
acting for women in the workplace. "When you stay at home you opt
out of the
common wealth of the country. If women are going to be housewives and
they are badly treated, they should go out and get a job. I have no
with housewives. I think the present head of the EOC, Joanna Foster,
very good. She seems tremendously sensible. They will have to get
level-headed like her, and not too flashy. If they go for someone
won't do any good and it would give the Commission a bad name."
Mrs Yve Newbold,
company secretary of Hanson plc: "I would like to see the EOC
raise its profile
in different directions. Although they may well say they had tried, I
them to do more about the rights of part-time workers. You need a woman
courage for this post, free from all encumbrances and political
she must be active." Elizabeth Symons, general secretary of the
First Division Civil Servants: "There is an alarming issue about
women's pay at
all levels. There has always been a problem of equal pay for equal
what I think is a real problem is that pay is now being used in
performance: what is happening is that companies are relating
long hours and to perceived time spent in the office and away from
home. This is
affecting women, however efficient and organised they are, and is a new
pay that wasn't there before. "But I think all the problems about
to reach the top in business and industry are as bad as they have
The situation has barely improved. Take graduate women: 30 per cent
children, yet only three per cent of graduate men never have children.
that women have to make life choices that men never have to make."
Josephine Barnes, former consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist:
"I think the
EOC does a very good job. They must appoint someone who is not a
feminist, someone with an impartial view. I would not object to a man,
as he is fair-minded; some male lawyers and judges are very good."
WOMEN(90%);FAMILY(71%);ETHNICITY(71%);FAMILY LAW(70%);DIVORCE &
DISSOLUTION(55%); February 7, 1993
244 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1992 The Daily Telegraph plc
The Daily Telegraph
August 29, 1992, Saturday
SECTION: BOOKS; Pg. 114
LENGTH: 917 words
HEADLINE: Thirty-six strokes of the cane
BYLINE: By LUDOVIC KENNEDY
Old School Ties by Tim Devlin and Hywel Williams Sinclair-Stevenson, 17.99
IN MAY 1991 Tim Devlin and Hywel Williams sent out a questionnaire to
men and women known to the public to inquire what schools they had been
how they had fared. The reason? "Because only in England can it
where one went to school." Matter to whom? They do not say. I
would think it
mattered to only a few. Of the 3,000 canvassed, just over half replied.
has not dissuaded the authors from devoting 160 pages to listing
the names of all 3,000 and the 1,300 schools they attended. This was a
waste of effort and paper. Seeing the name of Alan Bennett, I looked
some caustic reminiscences from the author of "Forty Years
On", while the
inclusion of Humphrey Lyttelton led me to hope that he might have
say about the jazz trio in which he and I and Mike Farebrother played
School Hall on Sunday afternoons. But neither replied to the
those who did there are far too many entries of only a line or two,
of that send-up The New Yorker runs under the heading "Most
Story of the Week: The Following Item is Reprinted in Its
Entirety": The Roman
Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Manchester Grammar, Leeds, the Right
Wheeler, still remembers vividly a school trip to Paris where on Easter
he attended High Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral.
Well, bully for him. There are other entries, too, which, if one were
convert from past to present and employ a little sub-editing, would
parodies of that section of the prep-school mag which gives news of
have moved on: At Westminster Dominick Harrod is editing The
he says has given him a taste of journalism, while at Eton David Jessel
co-editing the Eton Chronicle. From Trowbridge High School Bel Mooney
that she has just won the Wiltshire/Somerset Schools Debate, the first
the school has reached the final! (Well done, Bel!) The entries are
15 categories. Those I enjoyed most belonged to my own or allied professions
(Broadcasting and Journalism, Art and Design, Acting, Literature and
while I found mostly dull those representing Armed Services, Business,
Life, Religion and Science, many of whose practitioners were unknown to
the whole, the longer the entry, the more interesting the reminiscence.
marks, therefore, to Nigel Nicolson, Rupert Hambro, John Rae, Raymond
Zerbanoo Gifford, Mary Wesley, Betty Kenward, A. N. Wilson and Gillian
for their vivid schoolday reporting. At Eton Nigel Nicolson (and
at Rugby A. N.
Wilson) experienced sex with fellow pupils. Nobody made advances
Devonshire because, he thinks, he was then so dirty (for a year I sat
him and the late John Egremont, and which of the three of us was the
it would be hard to tell). At his convent school Paul Raymond, of
fame, was grateful for being taught manners ("I'm a very polite
man deep down
inside, and this is from the nuns"). At Westminster Anthony Howard
that if he did not pull himself together he would end up editing the
Statesman, which he did. David Cope, now headmaster of
Marlborough, claims when
at Winchester to have been given thirty-six strokes of the cane on nine
occasions - roughly the equivalent of what happened to drunken seamen
Victoria's reign. A report at St Francis Xavier's College on the boy
who was to
become Mr Justice Caulfield thought he should take more trouble to
speech - advice he might have heeded before suggesting a link between
Archer's fragrance and her husband's questioned fidelity. At Manchester
School Alan Garner remembered a boy who thought he was a train
("He used to go
round with his feet shuffling and arms outstretched and to get him into
classroom took several minutes"). At Downside Rupert Allason MP
A-level geography project on Wells so that he could go to the cinema
a week. At a Sherborne convent Erin Pizzey was told by a girl that her
had raped her, whereupon the nuns expelled her. Ken Livingstone at
Comprehensive favoured hanging and opposed pre-marital sex,
"though I was
prepared to make an exception in my own case". He thought all
liars and, while refusing to enlist in the Boy Scouts, was happy to
join a gang
to throw stones at them. Bruce Dickinson was expelled from Oundle
in the headmaster's dinner" (one wonders how?). The Prince of
Wales did not
answer the questionnaire but, say the authors, "his public
inescapably marked by the holistic, neo-Christian communal moralism
Kurt Hahn's legacy to Gordonstoun school." What conclusions are
reached from the
1,500-odd entries? Mostly truisms: the influence of a single, dedicated
can be instrumental in forwarding a pupil's development; every pupil
feel he or she is special; those who shine most at school are seldom
again; those denied a proper secondary education regret it ever
sport at state schools is in decline, and almost half of the famous
from that two per cent of children who went to independent or public
There are plenty of good nuggets among the dross, but did it really require
pages to remind us of all that?
LOAD-DATE: September 1, 1992
245 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1992 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
Evening Standard (London)
July 14, 1992, Tuesday
SECTION: Pg. 13
LENGTH: 240 words
HEADLINE: Cash crisis hits nursery for children of battered women
BRITAIN'S first refuge for battered women will have to close its
unless it receives more funding.
Chiswick Family Rescue, founded by authoress Erin Pizzey, in 1972,
500,000 a year to run its five refuges which can accommodate 50 women
children but is limping along on 150,000.
Director Sandra Horley said that unless more cash was forthcoming the
nursery, the only one in Britain catering for the traumatised children
battered women, would have to shut.
The crisis was revealed as a new report stressed the need for more
housing and support for victims of domestic violence. Princess Anne was
attending the launch of the study, which was sponsored by the
Victim Support Scheme.
LOAD-DATE: November 4, 1993
254 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1991 The Daily Telegraph plc
The Daily Telegraph
July 5, 1991, Friday
SECTION: Pg. 19
LENGTH: 812 words
HEADLINE: Where good women go after bad
BYLINE: By MARY KENNY
WHEN Michael Shorey was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Elaine
Forsyth and her flatmate Patricia Morrison, parents all over the
have reflected: "What's a nice girl like that getting involved
with a chap like
him?" Shorey, aged 35, born in Barbados, had a history of beating
women and in
1976 was convicted of scalding a nine-month-old baby. His proffered
during the trial, was that he was in bed with an actress - who had a
drug abuse - at the time. Elaine's relationship with Michael Shorey was
whirlwind romance: they had been together for several years. At
31, she was
mature enough to make her own decisions. She was not a gullible
by rough trade. Yet rough trade Shorey turned out to be, despite his poor
mother's attempts to bring him up in her own church-going habits.
Yet the truth
is that from time immemorial, nice girls have been attracted to bad
gangsters are seldom short of adoring women, as the true-story movie
illustrates. Jailbirds, IRA terrorists, drug abusers, brutally violent
only attract women, but attract women of intelligence, judgment and
Erin Pizzey, who did so much to help battered wives, finally despaired
the pattern of good women returning to, and sometimes seeking out, bad
some cases - though not in this one, apparently - there is a
source; women with violent fathers unconsciously seek violent lovers.
cases, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that rough and violent men
perverse glamour for women who have had a protected upbringing. There
might be a
primitive element - in a twisted way - of biological programming
Physical strength and power in the male has been a genetic source of
to the female. Many of the warrior heroes of the past who have embodied
masculine courage - think of the Vikings - have also been plunderers
rapists. Until quite recently, in some tribal societies, the fellow who
inflict most damage on the enemy also got the most girls.
The feminist writer Rosalind Miles, in a recent study of male behaviour,
asserts that all men are inherently violent, because there is a fine
between masculinity and brutality.
Men who behave violently are merely crossing that line, but the brutality
also carried with it the primitive masculinity. It is an unproven and
theory. But if history means anything, it must contain a seed of
Civilisation, and embourgeoisement, have sought to repress and restrain
in men - and women, where it exists.
Physical prowess, and its violent overdrive, is no longer socially
we do not need Vikings any more, or men whose aggressions serve to cut
forests or scale the North-West frontier. We now need men and women
brainpower, inventive ideas, flexibility.
We have thus invented the "new man" - the man who is as happy to
nappy as to do the shopping. Many men have taken this message to heart,
sincerely trying to be "the new man". Yet, paradoxically,
this new man is now
sometimes pronounced "boring", as "wimpish" or
"tame tabbies" - by women. The
high visibility of gentle, kindly and well-meaning homosexual men may
add to the
confusing picture. The "bad hat" rogue male may still appeal
unconscious as a contrasting "real man" figure. And there is
also the old
tradition, speaking generally, of reacting against parental wishes. As
Austen observed, many a girl runs off with someone deliberately to
Teetotal parents produce hard-drinking offspring; High Tories beget wild-eyed
Trotskyist sons and daughters; devout church-goers father campaigning
It works the other way, too; John Major, child of circus folks, reacted
becoming an accountant. Many parents watch helplessly as their children
with painfully unsuitable partners. There are few parental sanctions
can actively halt the process.
We have all watched parents sit tight and just pray that the passion
In many cases - perhaps in the majority - the unwise relationship comes
end, and the erring son or, more often, daughter returns to the fold
stormy couple of years. Tragically, for the murdered girls in this
ended differently. Can anything be done to avert the "bad hat
discourage young women from such relationships? One might ask:
can anything be
done to remould human nature and its puzzling sexual taste? Not, perhaps,
For a complex constellation of reasons, villains can be beguiling - and
there are more male villains, more women are at risk of being so
Yeats wrote more than half a century ago: "It's certain that fine
crazy salad with their meat/Whereby the horn of plenty is undone."
LOAD-DATE: July 6, 1991
265 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1990 Times Newspapers Limited
The Sunday Times
October 28, 1990, Sunday
LENGTH: 1169 words
HEADLINE: A downward spiral to fame
BYLINE: Humphrey Carpenter
Paul Scott: A Life by Hilary Spurling, Hutchinson Pounds 18.99 pp438
Literary biography falls, roughly speaking, into two camps. There are the
lives whose chief function is to illuminate their subject's own
those which deserve to be read in their own right, as entertainment,
instruction, or warning. Hilary Spurling's gripping and skilful life of
Scott is in the second category, with the emphasis very much on a
read this book if you are thinking of becoming a full-time,
novelist. Or rather, do, and you'll probably change your mind.
Scott was born in 1920 into an extraordinarily stuffy segment of English
life, which later provided him with material for The Jewel in the Crown
other Raj novels. His father and most of his close relatives were
artists he had two horse-painter cousins called Gilbert and George and
family was expert at moving in on each other and having dreadful
Paul's own later life mirrored this. When she was an old woman, his
mother took up residence with Paul, his wife and children, and there
passage of arms which makes the average having-mum-to-live-with-us
seem as nothing. This is one of the many domestic dramas which Spurling
with deft understatement: ''The house rang in the mornings with thumping
banging as Frances (Scott's mother) turned out her room, relieving her
with such energy that she chipped the paint all round the skirting
the vacuum cleaner and seriously damaged her bedstead.''
Paul left school at 14 and became an office boy to a London accountant,
feeling, like Hari Kumar in the Raj Quartet, that he was a displaced
denied the world that ought to have been his. He wanted to be a poet,
made friends with an unworldly young literary couple, Ruth and Clive
seemed like a throwback to the Georgians they thought Eliot was
risque and, though this was the mid-1930s, had scarcely heard of Auden.
is very good at depicting their innocent milieu and the particular tinge
Meanwhile, Paul, neat, dark and handsome, discovered he was homosexual and
had an affair with an estate agent called Gerald. Spurling narrates
this in so
offhand a fashion that you wonder whether she has noticed it, but
Scott's homosexuality comes to the fore as a major theme in the book
(it is an
excellent biographical technique not to blare out an important point
but let it slowly establish itself).
His homosexuality got him into trouble almost as soon as he was drafted into
the army at the start of the second world war and, on the rebound from
he hastily began dating girls, swiftly marrying one of them, a nurse
Penny Avery. However, a posting to India delayed any real experience of
until after the war, and Spurling suggests that he may have had affairs
Indian boys. Certainly, in the sub-continent he picked up an amoebic
which made him depression-prone for years. He also gathered enough
begin, on his return to England, a career as a novelist.
To keep his wife and two daughters, he took a job managing the financial
affairs of a small publishing house people always said he looked more
accountant than a writer. Later he became a literary agent, helping to
the talents of the young John Braine and Muriel Spark. ''You were the
who recommended me to write a novel,'' Braine said to him later. His
tended to resent the fact that Scott himself was competing at their
game, and he
had some success with Johnnie Sahib (1952) and The Alien Sky (1953),
both set in
India. But as the 1950s advanced, his work began to take on something
of a Lucky
JimAngry Young Man tinge, which did not altogether suit it, and meanwhile
(argues Spurling) he had still not really come to terms with his own
He left the agency and went freelance in 1959, by which time his wartime
Indian experiences had been exhausted, and he had lost direction as a
This is where Spurling's book begins to become fascinatingly grim, as
portrays Scott struggling with drafts and rewrites in an upstairs room
Hampstead house, erecting a mental barrier between himself and his
Meanwhile, Penny Scott played the devoted but silent wife, and took to
novels of her own (as ''Elizabeth Avery''), which at first were
By 1963 Scott had published eight novels, none of them a real winner, and was
surviving on meagre (but usually unearned) publishers' advances. His
return to India to look for more ''copy'' seemed like an admission of
The trip itself was largely disastrous; he hated the arrogance of the
survivors, and also deplored having to rough it in an Indian village,
explosive food and defecating in a public field without benefit of
He came back to England looking like an old man. But on the journey he
Neil Ghosh, an Indian who had received an English public-school
then had been pushed back into ''native'' society, feeling he belonged
neither. Hari Kumar was born. On the other hand Merrick, the racist
the Raj Quartet, seems to have originated in England. Spurling says
that he was
partly inspired by Enoch Powell's stance against immigration in the
Merrick's repressed homosexuality comes from Scott himself.
The Jewel in the Crown and its three successors appeared between 1966 and
1975 and, in Scott's lifetime, made nobody's fortune Spurling describes
sales as ''respectable but no more''. By the time the Raj Quartet was
Scott was virtually broke, and was drinking heavily (a number of
waking each morning, and more than a bottle a day). In 1976 Penny,
literary career had fizzled out, finally had enough. She left him and
refuge in Erin Pizzey's home for battered wives, though in her case the
battering seems to have been psychological rather than physical.
It is not difficult to see why she had stayed with him so long. ''Why am I
loved by so many?'' Scott had once asked when young, and he was never
devoted friends of both sexes. His weaknesses principally drink and a
to suicidal depression were the result of divided sexuality and (even
struggle to survive as a writer. It was a sad irony that real fame and
came when it was too late.
Staying On won the Booker prize in 1977, but Scott, who was then making some
desperately needed cash teaching in America, was too ill to attend the
Penny returned to nurse him through cancer and cirrhosis of the liver,
died in March 1978, five years before the Raj Quartet was televised and
became assured. Spurling has done him the honour of a fine biography,
finishes it with the feeling that he fully deserves her sympathetic
LOAD-DATE: October 31, 1990
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Copyright 1990 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
July 17, 1990
LENGTH: 1399 words
HEADLINE: Tuesday Women: Under cover of motherhood - The issue of gender and
BYLINE: By MARY CLAIRE MASON
A FEW women sexually abuse children. There's nothing new about this;
1979 American researcher David Finkelhor noted in Sexually Victimised
that women are involved, 'although it is uncommon'.
Generally it's been accepted that gender plays a significant role in
debate; the perpetrators are mainly men. Recently, however, a spate of
articles have implied that research figures represent only 'the tip of
The spotlight is now on women and a vision of hordes of marauding
preying on children has been evoked by the coverage. Can nannies and
baby-sitters ever be trusted again? And just what do women get up to
mantle of maternal care?
Gender has no part to play in this view. Men and women do not have different
reasons for abusing; essentially the perpetrators are people. Erin
founder of Chiswick Women's Aid, wrote in a recent letter to a
believe the time has come for us to put aside the assumption that all
abuse are issues of gender.'
Press interest has been sparked by a number of factors coming together.
of the 'bogus social workers' (there was conjecture that they were part
paedophile ring) were women. Dr Wilkins, a consultant psychiatrist,
article in the British Medical Journal arguing that the prevalence of
sexual abuse is greater than he had previously thought. A couple of
years ago he
was getting roughly two cases a year; now it's about one a month. And
Elliott of Kidscape, a charity campaigning for children's safety, has
So are all these fears justified? Anecdotes can be fascinating but
statistical conclusions about the population as a whole cannot be drawn
such observations. What is needed are large random surveys to gauge
what is going on, but there aren't many around that cover this subject.
a MORI poll noted that 'the overwhelming majority of abusers are male'.
latest NSPCC research, based on its child protection registers, found
natural mothers were implicated in two per cent of cases and both
three per cent.
The NSPCC, while emphasising that its research has limitations because
based only on the registers, comments that its evidence does not
'tip of the iceberg' view. And its figures do not show a statistically
significant increase in the numbers of female offenders over the past
In America, where there is far more research on the subject, a similar
debate about under-reporting took place in the 1980s. Arguments were
explain why female abuse was not being detected. There were
dubious activity being carried out under the guise of maternal care,
when bathing or dressing the victim. One view was that women might be
exploiting their children by 'inappropriate' breast feeding; another
were more inclined to incestuous abuse, which victims might be less
report because of dependence on their mother.
The debate called into question exactly what constitutes abuse. Some
activities such as a mother stroking a baby boy's penis to get him to
might be tolerated if performed by a woman. Were women also indulging
kinds of abuse that went unreported, for example sleeping with a son?
Finkelhor and Russell reviewed a range of research evidence in response
the discussion and examined the 'suspect mothering' thesis. They
there were 'no sound reasons to believe that we have been wrong in
amount of sexual abuse by adult female perpetrators to be small'. They
this to be 'probably five per cent in the case of girls and 20 per cent
case of boys' and commented that despite the many opportunities mothers
seem to have to abuse their children, 'remarkably few seem to take
Interestingly, another American study concluded that, though the
might be higher than earlier clinical estimates, this was 'probably due
increased awareness rather than increased occurrence of sexual abuse by
While this may suggest that there is no good evidence to support the
the iceberg' thesis, the problem nevertheless exists. Some women
children and their victims may suffer greatly from the experience.
What is needed is more information about who the offenders are and why
they do it. An American study by Faller in 1987 looked at 40 women who
sexually abused 63 children, and found that 60 per cent of the women
victimising two or more children. Eighty-five per cent were mothers to
one of the children. Polyincestuous family abuse (ie two or more
and two or more victims) happened in a majority of cases. Men usually
'instigated the sexual abuse', although Faller cautions that children
more reluctant to admit to their mother playing such a role. The most
activity was group sex, followed by fondling, with 36.5 per cent of the
male and 63.5 per cent female.
The women were poor, with an average age of 26. 'About half had mental
problems, both retardations and psychotic illness.' Though the study
good deal of information, Faller warns that because this was a clinical
its findings could not be assumed to hold true for the general
that the cases were possibly more 'severe and complex' than the norm.
This study, and others, pinpoints that many offenders were abused
as children. Dr Wilkins says that, in his experience, this abuse is
Carol-Ann Hooper, lecturer in social policy and social work at York
University, refers to a study that points to different degrees of
women. Though some are 'independent' offenders, other women may be
possibly dependent on an abusive and perhaps violent partner. Half the
independent offenders, notes Hooper, 'were seriously emotionally
mostly abused daughters whom they saw as an extension of themselves.
is a type of self-destructive behaviour and forms a quite different
the abuse perpetrated by male offenders, who generally have no
condition and commonly view their children as their property.'
Dr Welldon, consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist, agrees that
see their children as parts of themselves, and when they abuse the
Clearly more studies are needed to map out the distinguishing features
female abuse in this country one is in progress in Leeds. But there is
that focusing on women could deflect attention away from the central
Finkelhor and Russell note that for some people 'the fact that
commit sexual abuse does have discomforting ideological implications'.
on to the idea that women are more involved in sexual abuse could be a
denying the truth.
Researchers at the child abuse studies unit at North London Polytechnic
the issue of female perpetrators seriously, but say that the
evidence is still that it is mainly men who abuse. They comment that if
abuse figures represent only the tip of the iceberg, this is also true
statistics. There is no evidence to show that the gap between male and
abuse is closing.
The issue of gender won't go away. It is vital in understanding why
perpetrators are largely male. Factors such as power structure, sexual
inequality, lack of male involvement in childcare (less contact may
easier to abuse) and the different ways that men and women are brought
all play a part.
Rather than eradicating gender from the debate, Hooper argues that its
relevance should be extended to all forms of child abuse. Not because
worse than women or vice versa', but because sexual inequality is built
fabric of our society and so is intimately linked with these problems.
Kidscape, Campaign for the Prevention of Sexual Assault on Children,
Trade Centre, Europe House, Box 10, London E1 9AA; please enclose large
Childline, tel 0800 1111.
NSPCC 24-hour child protection line, tel 071 404 4447; for those
London, look in local directory. In case of difficulty, contact
HQ on 071 242 1626.
LOAD-DATE: June 8, 2000
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Copyright 1990 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)
June 7, 1990, Thursday
SECTION: EDITORIAL PAGE; Page 26
LENGTH: 337 words
HEADLINE: Letter: Child abuse by both sexes
BYLINE: From MS ERIN PIZZEY
Sir: I read with great interest Liz Hunt's article, ''Surely a woman couldn't
be guilty of such an act?'' (23 May). I felt heartened to see openly
an issue which to many minds would be best left forever hidden. The
and Liz Hunt are to be applauded for having the courage to address the
of women's involvement in child abuse.
Since opening the world's first refuge for battered women and their children
in 1971, I have worked with men, women and children involved in all
of abuse: emotional, physical and sexual.
When first confronted with evidence of the role which some women play in
child abuse, I too was shocked. Over the years, however, I came to
that the principles of abuse apply to men and women alike, that gender
the primary factor determining who will abuse and who will be abused.
Instead, I came to believe that the children of incest and violence will tend
to recreate situations of abuse within their subsequent adult
their spouses and with their own children.
I have never sought to single out the female half of the species (as I have
sometimes been wrongly accused of doing) in order to show that violence
the woman's fault; neither do I subscribe to the volumes of rhetoric
that violence is an exclusively male problem. Rather, I believe that
has come for us to put aside the assumption that all issues of abuse
As a society, we must stare unblinkingly at the perpetrators of abuse,
whether they are women or men, and demand that the abuse stop. We must
compassion for all victims of abuse, whether they are male or female.
envision an end to abuse within the family only when we understand that
family members - women, children and men - require treatment in order
transcend the recreation of incest and violence.
The writer was the founder of Chiswick Women's Aid.
268 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1990 Times Newspapers Limited
The Sunday Times
May 20, 1990, Sunday
LENGTH: 164 words
HEADLINE: Who's Reading Whom
BYLINE: Erin Pizzey
Erin Pizzey is known for her work with battered women and their children: in
1971 she established the first Women's Aid refuge in London. Her
books include Scream Quietly Or The Neighbours Will Hear, Infernal
Prone to Violence, and she has written five novels. She lives in
with her children, her husband Jeff Shapiro and a menagerie of pets.
''I've just finished biographies of Kim Philby (Philip Knightley's The Master
Spy) and of Donald Maclean (Robert Cecil's A Divided Life). My father
men in his consular days. Treachery fascinates me. It is a central
theme in my
novel, The Snow Leopard of Shanghai. Another form of treachery is
Tissy in Lewis Percy by Anita Brookner. Bloodless is our Tissy, but
goodness love triumphs on the last page. Desperate calls to Grand
Library for more books. Until then, I'm reading John Cornwell's A Thief
Night. Even popes are not immune to plotters.''
274 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1987 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
May 19, 1987
LENGTH: 926 words
HEADLINE: Open Space: How to protest and survive - Women victims of domestic
BYLINE: By CHARLOTTE RASTAN
Women who are victims of violence in the home could be helped in future
radical new police policy is adopted. At present, the traditional
attitude to domestic disputes in Britain is one of non-intervention.
But now the
Metropolitan Police are considering treating domestic violence as the
it is, even if victims themselves are reluctant to press charges.
There are some 28,000 domestic distress calls to London police stations
every year but it is estimated that the true number of victims is four
that figure. The minority who do cry out for help find the police
'domestics' offers no protection. Charges are rarely brought and, if
there is a real danger of reprisals against the victim.
The new police policy, if adopted, would change this. A policy
Scotland Yard - the 'cabinet' of the Met - is considering a working
which suggests that a pilot scheme should begin in Hounslow, where the
Chiswick Family Rescue, could be involved in the experiment. A firm
recommendation from Scotland Yard could trigger a revolution in the
domestic violence in Britain.
The problems with the current situation are manifest. Sandra Horley,
director of Chiswick Family Rescue, says the most common advice from
to take out a civil injunction forbidding further assaults, putting the
the victim herself.
One woman beaten unconscious by her fiance was amazed to discover that
was a criminal, not a civil offence. She campaigned for seven months
attacker to be prosecuted, resulting in a court case last February -
successful prosecution Ms Horley has witnessed in 3,000 cases. And, as
we're not just talking about angry slaps. One woman had her face
mutilated by a
hammer and chisel, another's arm was smashed in three places as she fed
Sandra Horley believes police have until now merely reflected the 'Andy
Capp' view that it is all right to take out your frustrations on your
Until 1861 it was legal to beat your wife before dusk, after which it
disturb the neighbours. Myths that women enjoy violence were fuelled by
Pizzey, founder of the refuge movement, who subscribed to the view that
who grew up in violent homes became 'punishment junkies. ' This view
shattered by a Medical Research Council's study of domestic violence,
out over three years. They found women who do manage to escape violent
not repeat the pattern with future partners.
The working party set up in 1984 by Scotland Yard recommended that
lead the way in getting tough with wife-batterers. Their report is
critical of police attitudes, reporting that officers regard domestic
as a low priority, 'a waste of time,' and hammers home the point that
assault is a criminal offence.
Superintendent Paul Green, who led the working party, believes recruits
serving officers should be trained to discard the notion that domestic
is a private affair. The report's main recommendation was that a pilot
should go ahead based on the practice of systematic arrest and
the Canadian town of London.
Until 1984 such a policy would have been impossible to implement under
British law, which enshrined the notion that spouses should not be
testify against each other in court. But under the Police and Criminal
Act (PACE), a wife can now be made a compellable witness. Canadian
suggests that this approach leaps the most difficult hurdle in
cases, that a frightened woman will withdraw her initial evidence.
Superintendent Green believes the new policy would remove that problem
taking the prosecution out of the woman's hands. 'The man's anger could
directed away from the woman, against the police and courts. And in
case he does
further assault her, he will be charged with that too. '
There is always the fear that a woman will become a hostile witness but
again the Canadian research shows women do co-operate. And perhaps most
important of all, the vast majority of victims reported that the
reduced or stopped, regardless of whether there was a conviction.
Green says: 'With the help of social agencies, the research suggests
need not break down when police and the courts intervene. '
Sandra Horley has encountered fierce opposition from women's groups to
idea that women should be forced to give evidence against their will.
experience at the sharp end has convinced her the new policy would be
way of ending the cycle of beatings many women find themselves trapped
ensuring that they will be protected.
She is backed by the Met's Community Involvement Policy Unit. Insp Jane
Stichbury of the Unit says: 'This is the clearest sign to society that
your wife is unacceptable. ' She estimates any pilot scheme should be
out for at least two years to judge whether the Canadian experience
If it were, an initial rush of prosecution seems inevitable (in Canada
number of charges brought rose 25 times in the first two years of the
After this, though, police expect there to be a saving in resources as
incidence of domestic violence drops. Insp Stichbury sees wider
she points out, most juveniles the police deal with come from violent
Getting to the root cause could bring unexpected returns.
LOAD-DATE: June 9, 2000
276 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1985 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)
September 17, 1985
LENGTH: 1038 words
HEADLINE: Open Space: At the sharp end of a rolling pin / Focus on the
of battered husbands
BYLINE: By DAVID SHANNON
If you took Frank Taylor at his word, his back garden must have seemed
unusually dangerous place. When his first wife bashed a kettle against
and loosened two of his teeth, Frank told his doctor he'd walked into a
When he was driving her home from the off-licence and she smashed his
a bottle, he'd fallen into the roses.
Men will put with a lot before they'll admit the true source of the
Men are traditionally thought of as aggressors, not victims and while a
with a black eye may get sympathy, a man with a black eye remains a
fun. Battered husbands do not yet have an Erin Pizzey to champion them
in the popular imagination mainly as a picture postcard joke; un-macho
quiver while mountainous wives unload saucepans and rolling pins on
them. In the
real world real battered husbands are as funny as being hit on the head
Frank Taylor is six foot one, his first wife five foot two. Now happily
re-married he lived with her for 18 years. Ten years into their
threw a vacuum cleaner down the stairs at him. Later, she averaged one
week. 'There were times I just couldn't go to work,' he says: 'so
couldn't see out of one eye, or my mouth so bruised I couldn't talk.'
He planned to leave after being hit with the kettle, but his eldest son
persuaded him to stay. Only when that son married did he finally move
out - 'not
out of lack of affection for my wife, but simply for self
Battered husbands, like battered wives, can be remarkably
Why his wife behaved so violently towards him is not easily explained.
outbursts were very unpredictable and Frank does not seem the sort of
normal people would want to hit.
'She'd accuse me of having affairs with everybody we ever met,' he
can assure you I didn't. When I was there she couldn't bear the sight
when I was out of sight she wanted me back. I can only think there was
of insanity about her.'
Did he never retaliate? 'My Dad told me you should never strike a
When I was frustrated, I used to go and beat hell out of the garden.
the best dug for miles.'
Husband battering is the subject of tomorrow's programme in the series
There's Life .., at 7 pm on ITV. It includes interviews with Linda from
Keynes who first attacked her boyfriend with a frying pan ('There;s no
back. I tried just screaming and shouting at him but I wanted to hit
really used to enjoy hitting him') and Sue and John Wilson of
problems started with the arrival of an unplanned son three years ago
into violence when she discovered John was having an affair.
'I wanted him to make up his mind to stay or go to her,' she says, 'and
he wanted to go, then not keep me hanging about.'
The violence continued for three months in which time, as well as
scratching and kicking John, she dented the sink by throwing a glass
put a two and a half foot crack in a wall by pushing him against it,
'ripped up all his trousers and shirts so he'd have nothing to wear
when he went
to see her. I had to be angry with him to show my hurt - I couldn't
any other way.'
The fact that Sue was also having a secret affair at that time in no
curbed her anger - true life is stranger than Dallas - and neither did
presence of their son. When John finished his affair, the violence
ceased and it
hasn't re-surfaced since.
Because husband battering remains a private problem and much less
than wife or child battering, research into it is sparse and
about it difficult to make. A survey by the Families Need Fathers
discovered that, in 10 per cent of all marriages breakdowns where
involved, wives had been violent towards their husbands. Diane Core, a
counsellor who used to run a family crisis centre in Ormskirk, Lancs,
dealing with an average of 30 to 40 husband battering cases a year.
Pre-menstrual tension, post natal depression, the menopause and
sterilisation can all contribute towards releasing a woman's violence,
'mental disorders' are the commonest - if rather vague - catch-all
for why it happens.
Apart from injuries to the husband, long term effects on children are
most alarming by-product of the problem. Even when not subjected to
themselves, children are much more likely to behave violently to their
if they've seen their parents fight.
Violence resembles an addiction in that, once it has taken a grip, it
always threaten to recur. The greatest challenge for those who've
it is to find a way of crushing it when it seems about to break out
Wilson slams doors, smashes glasses and shouts - but no longer beats up
husband. Jill Paynton, another member of the Where There's Life ..
used to buy cheap cups and saucers from the market. 'When I thought it
coming on again,' she says, 'I'd stand by the bin and smash them.'
The longer violence continues, the more difficult it is to control.
through shame and embarrassment, partly through mistrust of
couples may feel obliged to sort the problem out themselves - usually
recipe for more blood. But those who have had the courage to ask for
professional help often praise it highly: Sue Wilson first consulted
visitor who put her on to the Family Welfare Association, and she and
continue to pay them regular visits.
A change in public attitudes would make it easier for couples to own up
their problem and seek help. 'When I finally told friends and
had been happening to me,' says Frank Taylor, 'Most of them reckoned
my lid. They thought I was exaggerating that I was going through the
menopause. Nobody could believe if of my sweet little blue-eyed wife.'
Until the rest of us start recognising husband battering as a danger,
not a joke, children's lives will continue to be ruined and fathers' lives
lost. Frank's vacuum cleaner only just missed.
LOAD-DATE: June 13, 2000
278 of 278 DOCUMENTS
Copyright 1978 The Economist Newspaper Ltd.
January 28, 1978
SECTION: WORLD POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS; BRITAIN; Pg. 25
LENGTH: 830 words
HEADLINE: Closing Chiswick's open door
Mrs Erin Pizzey of Chiswick Women's Aid could pass for a saint. A
maternal figure with the face of an overblown cherub, she is magnetic,
confident, irritating, and fearless to the point of enthusiasm in
authority. She will need all these qualities. The Hounslow
tired of having its district of Chiswick known as the battered wives'
Britain, this week pressed on with a prosecution that could land her in
Her offence is to take into her refuge for battered wives any woman, plus
children, who turns up at 369 Chiswick High Road, in West London.
As she has a
genius for publicity, women from all over the country find their way
Hounslow council says that the house should hold no more than 36
In October, after a long legal battle that went to the house of lords and
back, the local magistrate's court found Mrs Pizzey guilty and
for 12 months on the condition that she keep her numbers below
36. Within five
hours, another two wives and six children had arrived and she had
Since then she has given the house count freely to the inspectors who call.
It fluctuates between 50 and 76. There has been no major
complaint against her
hostel on grounds of health. Although scarred and shabby, the
place is clean.
The screws began to tighten against the centre on January 9th when Hounslow's
planning committee turned down Mrs Pizzey's application to open a
It would have ended the overcrowding at the first, and was
Pizzey has sensible friends in high places: Lord Goodman, Lady Plowden
David Astor preside over a private trust set up on behalf of her
trust has bought a derelict house in a cul-de-sac full of rubbish,
hemmed in by
the M4 motorway. The council's planners refused to grant
permission for a
change of use of this second house, on the grounds that it would be
to the amenities of the neighbourhood". Once that happened,
committee voted 12 to two to move in on the overcrowding at the main
Hounslow has a case. So has the Department of Health and Social
which has just withdrawn a grant from the Chiswick centre. Under
Homelessness Act, passed last year, battered wives are to be considered
persons. Local authorities have a statutory duty to house
them. A national
network of refuges for wives fleeing violent husbands has been
Accordingly, the DHSS has transferred its blessings to the National
of Women's Aid, which runs the refuge network.
For better or worse, Mrs Pizzey is a lone crusader. She will not join
national network; to her the federation is a political organisation
women's miseries on males and capitalism. She also disagrees with
federation's practice of keeping the addresses of its refuges secret --
husbands cannot pursue their wives. Women can only reach the
refuges by asking
a social worker. Mrs Pizzey doubts the ability of the women who
turn up at her
centre to cope with even that formality.
A self-taught therapist, Mrs Pizzey has enlarged her view of wife-battering.
Battered women, she maintains, are often not passive victims.
violence-prone. Many beat their own children. Many have
been in trouble with
What she runs at Chiswick is more than a refuge: it is a communal home for
retraining women who have never paid rent, never kept any rules.
batter their children here, there's no privacy". They vote
on house rules.
They do the cleaning. They do the centre's secretarial work, and
help with each
other's children. The centre runs an informal school and a
stay as long as they want. There are second-stage homes for those
who move out.
When there was money, there was also a hostel for abandoned husbands.
Without official support, Mrs Pizzey's centre might still keep going.
house is owned outright, thanks to a 10,000 gift from a director of
Cheques, money and orders and banknotes pour in daily, although not in
quantities unless she has been on television.
Last year 1,122 women passed through the Chiswick centre. The open-door
policy has turned out to be a technique for reaching those who fall
social services net. Like street corner social work and barefoot
is unorthodox and anarchic. But, crudely, it works.
come to learn. It is not the sort of innovation for which a
preoccupied with planning permission, fire and safety rules and
protests is likely to be grateful. But in olden days the
establishment and the
zealot did not actually arrest the samaritan; they just passed by on
GRAPHIC: Picture, Erin Pizzey offers more than tea and sympathy