The abuse inflicted on Alex Skeel by his partner was horrendous and the sentence of seven and a half years handed down in April 2018 much deserved.
Coercive Control is a horrific crime which is why we campaigned for the law in the first place. But was the attack in this case particularly unusual compared to other coercive control cases? Was it unusually violent compared to other domestic violence cases?
There were several things that were unusual about this case – the main one being the fact that the perpetrator was a woman and the victim a man.
That was not the only unusual thing however – consider also:
1. The publicity – this case was all over the newspapers, TV and radio for many days.
2. The public outcry – which was deafening and there was no attempt to blame the victim for the abuse or excuse the perpetrator.
3. The sentence – in comparison to similar domestic abuse cases this was certainly on the top side.
All abuse is wrong, however it is women who are routinely abused by male partners. 89% of repeat victims are women. Despite the fact that women are three times more likely to be arrested for an incident of domestic abuse than men, 93% of defendants in domestic abuse prosecutions are male and 84% of victims are female. Women are predominantly the ones we read about in DV homicide reviews.
It is commendable what Alex is doing to raise awareness of Coercive Control. I just wish that all victims were given the same treatment by the Criminal Justice System and the media as Alex Skeel because if this was the case many more victims would come forward and lives would be saved.