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‘Punch women’ Facebook groups

February 24, 2010

On Sunday I wrote about a Facebook group entitled ‘Punching pregnant women in the belly is fun’.  This group only had 12 members, two of which listed their school.  I reported this group and encouraged people to email the school and it worked – the group has now gone and the school has taken it seriously.  The deputy head held a pupil assembly which discussed the seriousness of ‘their social and legal responsibilities in relation to these social network sites’ and are talking to the two pupils involved and their parents. 

I also reported a group entitled ‘Reasons when it’s acceptable to punch a woman in the face‘ which on Sunday had something in the region of 25,000 members and today has just over 32,000 members.  BUT, following emails to the man who set up the group, the admin has been changed in the last few hours and the group has changed significantly.  It looks like Facebook is going to remove the Reasons… group as a result of  people reporting it and also as a result of this group: ‘Petition to remove Facebook group promoting domestic violence‘ which is campaigning against all groups which incite violence against women.  Anybody who goes to the Reasons.. group will find a very different ethos, and it looks like it could be a great resource to challenge trendy teenage views that violence against women is a joke and also the views and behaviour of those who have deeply ingrained misogynistic attitudes. 

Please continue to report these vile groups to Facebook, join them to challenge the views if you have the spoons, email the schools or workpaces that the admin/members belong to and also post details on ‘Petition to remove Facebook group promoting domestic violence‘ and ‘What is with all the groups promoting violence against women? PISS OFF‘ so others can do the same. 

It is particularly important to challenge the teenagers views that these types of groups are a bit of fun and trendy.  The results of a recent NSPCC study highlighted how prevelant sexual and physical violence in adoloscents:

The study suggested a quarter of girls aged 13 to 17 had experienced physical violence from a boyfriend and a third had been pressured into sexual acts they did not want.

The children’s charity said it was alarmed by the number of young people who viewed abuse in relationships as normal.

Diana Sutton of the NSPCC said she hoped the campaign would encourage teenagers to come together to tackle the problem.

“Many teenagers perhaps don’t talk to their parents and maybe it’s not that comfortable to talk to a teacher,” she said.

“So any initiative like this that reaches out and gets them to talk about it amongst their peer group will be very important, and really say it’s absolutely not appropriate to punch, or hit, or slap, or pressure your partner into early sex.”

One version of the advert shows two teenagers lying on a bed watching television.

When the girl gets a text message from a friend the boy dislikes he loses his temper, throwing her phone to the floor and grabbing her by the hair.

[The video can be found on Youtube – embedding is disabled so it cannot be played here]

Christine Barter from Bristol University, who led the study, said long-term intervention in schools was also needed.

“[They need] to look at what is happening in peoples’ relationships, to say to them, ‘This is a serious issue, we do take your relationship seriously, we take the concerns you have in those relationships seriously’…. to challenge the violence and intimidation and control that is in those teenage relationships as it is in adult relationships.”

Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos said the extent and pervasiveness of abuse outlined in the report were “quite startling”.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme many girls had an expectation that “boys will be boys” and violence would happen anyway.

“It is very interesting, the way it happens. It’s much more about mind control. Through the language used, ‘He doesn’t allow me to do this, he wouldn’t like me doing this’.

“It’s as if the boy speaking to them like this is a way of them valuing them. As if they think, ‘He cares enough to be jealous’, and that is what is particularly worrying.”

The results of the study are not surprising – they reflect the extent of sexual and physical violence in adult women.  For more information and sources of help in the UK please see Women’s Aid, Refuge and Rape Crisis England & Wales/  Rape Cris Scotland / Rape Crisis Ireland.

When you are canvassed by a political candidate in the forthcoming UK elections, ask what they are doing to end ‘domestic’ and sexual violence and what they are doing to support survivors – with particular emphasis on providing adequate long term financial support for groups such as Rape Crisis who have no long-term secure financial funding and are unable to provide essential support for survivors in many areas of the UK because centres have been forced to close, and those areas with centres have very long waiting lists.  This is a direct government insult to all of us!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Anon permalink
    February 24, 2010 13:28

    Congratulations. You are the reason we can’t have fun things.

    • February 24, 2010 15:31

      Why be so coy Anon? When you leave a comment here your Facebook profile follows you so I know your name.

      There are two women who can’t live at all because of ‘fun things’ like domestic violence. They can’t live at all because they are dead – killed by men who profess to love them.

  2. February 24, 2010 13:38

    Thank you for being a voice for women. I reported the group on Monday when the One in Three Campaign notified me of the group. I’ve watched the site daily, hoping it would just go away. I blog for Time’s Up on blogspot, a group of writers who talk candidly about their thoughts on violence. Why do you think the group changed their format?

    • February 24, 2010 15:34

      The group has changed because a guy called John messaged the creator of the group – Lekan and explained what the meaning of the group really is.

      Lekan only needed a little educating and was horrified.

      John has just left this comment on the group and it really gets to the heart of these ‘funny’ and ‘ironic’ groups:

      “If you want to laugh at the jokes, then you must do so in the FULL and unquestionable knowledge that EVERY part of that joke is based on someone being beaten or abused. If you can still laugh, well, you’re a better man (is that right?) than me….think on Craig, and think about where the joke comes from before you defend it’s right to exist without the full context”

    • February 24, 2010 15:44

      Thanks for the introduction to Time’s Up. It is a very affirming blog for survivors.

  3. Jessika permalink
    February 24, 2010 15:24

    The “Reasons why…” group is back. 😦

    It was started, apparently in the last hour, by someone who feels WE who objected to the group are the ones with the problem.

    At this moment, it has just six members – and it looks like two of them are women.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=326678127374#!/group.php?v=wall&gid=326678127374

    • February 24, 2010 15:39

      The ‘Reasons…’ group has never been deleted because it has been changed. There is a guy called John who has taken over as admin and is seriously against domestic violence and ‘jokes’ about it. I doubt it will stay up for much longer though.

      As for the other group – I reported it earlier as a direct call to violence. I also linked it to the other pages that are tracking and reporting the vile groups.

      I’m so glad there seems to be such a huge push by both women and men to get Facebook to see these kinds of groups are not acceptable! And hopefully in the process a lot of people can learn what Lekan has learnt.

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  1. Feminist Peace Network » Blog Archive » There Are NO Safe Neighborhoods For Women

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