Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Reader feedback: Smug majority

Re: Domestic violence: when cosy nests turn into living hells, By Beata Balogová, Sept 12 - 18, 2005, Vol 11, No 34

First of all, violence anywhere is an incredibly ugly thing and I'm in favour of anyone who's campaigning to reduce it and to increase awareness of it, running hostels for the abused to escape to, or trying to reform the perpetrators.

Nevertheless, I have my doubts about the efforts to deal with this area chiefly through the making of laws. It seems to me that we will never really effectively restrict violence until there is a culture of respect between people but these laws might actually produce the opposite of respect.

The first thing to note is that this is an area where the law treads with extreme difficulty. Most violence goes on behind closed doors and in situations with many contributory factors. It is difficult to gather evidence and difficult even to define what abuse is. In Britain there was a problem with the law to outlaw all physical punishment of children. The campaign organizations said there must be a law against any physical blow and responded to worries about parents accidentally losing control by saying the police could be trusted to decide what was a trivial matter and what deserved prosecution. Obviously they have more respect for the police than I do. What a power to give the authorities: criminalize everything and the police can pull it out against you when they want.

The law does little to remove the causes of violence. Maybe, as a representative of a smug majority (and not exactly a model husband/parent) I'm just making a point that is absurdly trivial in the face of the monumental suffering of women, but I do worry about how we will live when everything is law and contract.

Roger,
Žilina, Slovakia

Top stories

Crematorium in Bratislava is an architectural revelation Photo

Those who have experienced farewells in other crematoria know what makes it special. Now the best work by the architect Ferdinand Milučký is getting a monograph

Crematorium in Bratislava by architect Ferdinand Milučký

What kind of expectations do some Slovaks have for world leaders?

Among EU member states, opinions of the United States declined in all but two — Poland (which makes some sense) and Slovakia (which does not).

Donald Trump

Crates and boxes. Slovaks discover new ways of grocery shopping

Farmer’s boxes are gaining customers in Slovakia as people slowly become more conscious about quality and the origin of the food they eat.

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between January 19 and January 28, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

Scandi 4