I was copied on the following email dated January 27th, 2014. The email was sent to the Brighton Mayor and Councillors and at the request of Mr. Alexander Waddling it has been added to the Agenda of the next Brighton Council meeting on February 3rd.
The email was written in response to the comment from Councillor Craig Kerr, “I will say that this question is really posed in the same vein as the one, have you stopped beating your wife”.
Dear Mayor and Councillors of Brighton,
The population of Brighton, as I am to understand it, is 11,000 people and with that, half are women – a third of them survivors of violence*. That is 1,833 women who you work with, talk with, and love, that have been victimized. This does not point to the effect that this has to those around them; to their friends, their children who witness such acts, and the fear that they themselves carry.
The comment that was made on November 18th, 2013 by Councillor Kerr is an old idiom in response to when someone is asking a loaded question, and perhaps at one point was seen as being acceptable or common. The context for this is irrelevant however, as, regardless of the origin of the expression, this does not make it at all permissible. It effectively made light of a situation many women find themselves in, and in doing so, reduced their trauma to an anecdote.