Tragic and needless, the deaths of the two London Bridge terror attack victims have dominated the election campaign, with all the parties seeking to apportion blame anywhere else but on them. The news too has been consumed by it, detailing the victims lives, their friends and families shock and devastation and tales of acts of selfless bravery by onlookers that subdued the attacker, preventing an even higher death toll.
It must be because I’m brain damaged that I think of the173 mainly women last year who were murdered in acts of domestic violence. That’s more than 3 a week. But because their deaths occur in different parts of the UK and at different times to each other, they don’t get the same level of attention. I’m not suggesting that one death is more deserving of our attention than another, because sudden bereavement, the overwhelming grief and sense of loss is the same no matter what the cause.
What I am suggesting is that the London Bridge terror attack fits fits into an easier to explain media narrative than domestic violence deaths. There is the dead terrorist, the victims and the heroes. We get their backstories. Politician’s blame each other. This we know. because it follows a pattern after such atrocities. But after a death caused by domestic violence? Too difficult to explain. Yes, there is the killer, but so might there be other factors; difficult to explain, because the causes are unique to the crime. Relationship problems. Relationships ending. Custody disputes. Mental health issues. So called ‘honour killings’. And so on.
But such factors can impact upon each other and don’t lend themselves to easy to understand narratives. They require effort from us, at at time when we don’t want to give it. Added to this, is austerity and cuts to public services which exacerbate all of the above.
We all want answers, just not difficult one’s.