SHOPPERS in Bicester have blamed growing financial pressures and greater equality for a big rise in the number of women convicted for domestic violence.
This week the BBC produced a report which shows that over the last five years the number of women convicted for domestic violence has more than doubled. The report still shows the vast majority of domestic violence is down to men, but asks if women are becoming more aggressive. Some commentators suggest men are more willing to come forward, but people in Bicester said as men are no longer the sole breadwinners more women are breaking due to financial pressures. Some also said women are more willing to hit back when threatened.
Adele Smith, a 50-year-old house wife from Steeple Claydon said: “There are a lot of families under financial pressures and women in particular feel the pressure trying to manage a home.
“But also I think it’s frustration and women have certainly got more aggressive, you can see when you go out on a Friday night. I saw a man being slapped around the head by his girlfriend but he wasn’t making any effort to retaliate.”
51-year-old Donnie Smith, an unemployed IT compliance manager from Buckingham Road said: “You could say for years it has always been the guys and I can understand whey women are fighting back. I was bought up in the 70s in an area where women would get a smack if they didn’t do what they were told. But now if a guy makes a threatening gesture to a woman it could be his last, women are more willing to stand up for themselves.”
Julie Bownes, a 49-year-old nursery nurse from the Southwold Estate said: “Women are more outspoken and feel more equal to men and can stand up for themselves. It’s good to be less passive but not aggressive and women have to learn to control their emotions, as do men. I think our generation of men would hide it, but there has been a slight change in attitude and I think the younger generation would come forward.”
Retired Kevin Hickey, 57, from Bicester said: “Women are becoming more short tempered, but I think a lot of that’s down to financial pressures. Men are not the sole bread winners any more. But also the figures could reflect that it’s not dealt with inside the family and is more likely to involve police.”
Charlie McGlynne, a 58-year-old renewable energy engineer from Edgcote said: “I think women are becoming more liberated and confident in every way and are less willing to take abuse. And in the past the police didn’t like getting involved, but there’s so much health and safety they have to act on reports of abuse.”
Helicopter engineer Matt Fincham, 55 from Langford Village said: “It’s not the sort of thing blokes would openly talk about. It has changed over the years but I’m still surprised, I suppose its because people are more open.”