Carmichael on crime figures: Preventing violent and sexual crime needs to be the priority

Remember the incredulity of many women when George Osborne announced in the Autumn Statement that the “Tampon Tax” was a bad thing, and he was very sad that he couldn’t do anything about it, but he’d put the money it raised to women’s charities, like refuges Holly Baxter summed it all up very nicely in a piece in the Independent at the time. 

Give a woman a tampon and she’ll use it for free; teach a woman to pay tampon tax and she won’t even cost anything extra to the state when she gets raped, attacked or laid off at work.

So if you’re a woman escaping from an abusive relationship in the Chancellor’s Britain, you can now pay for your own counselling through the redistribution of an unfair tax on your sanitary products. Isn’t that just perfect? It has a beautiful circularity, kind of like the menstrual cycle itself.

Alistair Carmichael has returned to that issue today as crime figures showed a 36% rise in crimes of sexual violence against women. Apparently we’re not to panic, because no more women are being raped, it’s just that they are reporting it more. Personally, I think that over 33,000 rapes, which is a figure very close to the number of women in the town where  I live, is something to be very worried about. Anyway, Alistair said:

Although we welcome the efforts to strengthen the reporting procedures for crimes committed, these statistics are worrying for the safety of British citizens and show the government is not focusing nearly enough on prevention.

Liberal Democrats worked hard in coalition to improve community level approaches in the prevention of crime and it is particularly alarming that sexual offences are at an all-time high.

Women’s safety needs to be taken seriously by everyone and it is simply not good enough that Osborne has suggested using the money raised by the “tampon tax” to fund women’s refuges.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • Actually , Caron , I think “nicely ” does not describe the article in the link , which is a quite bitter and limited one ! It does not address the fact that the so called tampon tax, like a lot of media named issues , ie bedroom tax etc , is about more than they seem . Such as validity of wide use of flat taxes , sales taxes and such , and on that subject the tv licence is the worst for the poorest ! Even the ineptitude of top down government , aswell as tax policy , EU or otherwise , is surely what the Vat on tampons is more about , than the presence of any sexist element .On the very important issue of violent crimes , and particularly in this article , rape , I , too , think it is a great concern . However, along with a range of aspects to it ,three considerations , I put for discussion. One , the level of violence young males are exposed to in the media , in games even , from an early age , far more dangerous than pornography viewed later . Two , the level of education about sex and relationships and anger management or any emotional development , for boys and young men in schools , is basic and minimal I believe . Three , the level of the sentences for violent crimes in general ,and rape , in particular ,sometimes even with maiming or permanent physical injury , not to mention assault on feelings , is too low . We need a democratisation of justice , not party politicisation, yet , a level of accountability not taking place in this country . Along with a freeing up of prisoners , by not sending non violent offenders to jail , which is correct , we should have the deterent and punishment of the violent , who hurt the vulnerable , as a proper social Liberal policy , not mushy one sized fits all bleeding heart variety !

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