Nigella Lawson and Domestic Violence

So Charles Saatchi attacked Nigella Lawson at a posh restaurant. And though lots of people took photos, and some apparently contacted the police, nobody intervened. [Expletives deleted] It is, however, provoking some useful discussion (yes, amazingly, from the Telegraph):

So class or status is irrelevant, but we persist in our naivety. It’s a defence mechanism, of course; we’re desperate to find a cast-iron reason that will distance us from the miserable fate suffered by someone unnervingly similar to our comfortable little selves – because we don’t want to believe that it could happen to us. We cannot tolerate the thought that we are not safe. And from this weaselly position of “I’d never get myself into that situation”, it’s a short, shameful step to blaming the victim: why does she stay with him? Why does she put up with it?

Thanks, C!

6 thoughts on “Nigella Lawson and Domestic Violence

  1. God that was awful – and bizarre. In addition to squeezing her neck, he pulls her nose upwards. Ugh.

    It appears she has taken the children and moved out.

  2. Thanks for the tea-n-sympathy. I’m pleasantly surprised to say it does console!

    I make a point of telling people that the neck-grabbing happens so that at times like this, when a photo like that of Nigella Lawson is publicized, I can help reduce the extent to which people say, “Maybe he’s not really doing that, because who grabs a woman by the neck, wouldn’t happen,” etc. People who are exceedingly angry express it in all sorts of physical ways, and I do try to encourage others to let go of the stereotype that only hitting counts as abuse. Having an angry person’s hand on one’s throat is just paralyzing. When it ends, one is not demonstrably worse off by all appearances. But it’s abusive.

  3. beta, I’m very sorry for your (hopefully past!) experience and, I must say, I really appreciate your speaking up about it. I’ve never had anyone grab my neck like that, but just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies.

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