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Police in Nottinghamshire, England, believe they’ve found the solution to domestic violence, British news station ITV reports. The brilliant idea? Replace the kitchen knives in victims’ homes with blunt ones.
The program will provide “no-point” knives to victims who report being threatened or attacked with a knife in their home.
“We are trialing it to see if it makes a difference,” said Nottinghamshire Police Superintendent Matt McFarlane, according to ITV. “Sometimes you have to trial things to see if they work. Anything that stops someone being seriously injured is a good idea.”
But people on Twitter, understandably, do not think it’s a good idea.
Imagine being the force that has come up with this claptrap.— Dr. Jessica Eaton (@Jessicae13Eaton) June 12, 2019
‘Hello, we’ve assessed you as very high risk of DV. We aren’t actually going to do anything but here are some blunt kitchen utensils. If he carries on misbehaving, we’ll come back and only give him plastic utensils.’
"Rather than tackle domestic violence, we've decided blunt force trauma is a better look. It's easier to cover bruises with make up than cuts, after all."— Halcyon Ember (@HalcyonEmber) June 12, 2019
While kitchen knives are indeed a potential weapon, so is basically everything else.
The house phone that was launched at My head was blunt. The drink that was poured over Me was blunt. The forehead which broke My nose was blunt.....— Megara Furie (@MegaraFurie) June 12, 2019
Just sat thru a talk at work with a lady who was beaten with a rolling pin by her partner. So, replacing sharp objects with blunt ones won’t make much difference.— Jo W ❤️💙 (@jojowsn295) June 12, 2019
In fact, blunt objects, which include fists, are more likely to be weaponized against victims than kitchen knives. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, only 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon at all.
‘Oh wow thank you! Now you have provided him with blunt utensils, I am at much less risk of being beaten, shoved, raped, assaulted, controlled, humiliated, isolated, kicked, spat at and thrown down stairs. At least now we have the blunt knives. Thank fuck for that.’— Dr. Jessica Eaton (@Jessicae13Eaton) June 12, 2019
David Spicer, whose Twitter bio says he’s a psychotherapeutic counselor, points out that there’s no such thing as a blunt knife if you use it with sufficient force.
There is no such thing as blunt knife if delivered with enough force. Remove the perpetrator, then you remove the force!— David Spicer (@calmspice) June 12, 2019
Others suggested that doing so will cause more damage than if a sharp blade was used to begin with.
And a lot of time a blunt knife will cause more actual damage— Nick (@Nick46143726) June 12, 2019
And more likely to bleed to death due to the larger wound and the spread of the force.— ⚫️ Lorna 🏴🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@starsmurf77) June 12, 2019
You know when you hear stories about a knife missing something vital, eg artery, spinal cord, by millimetres? With a blunt knife, the trauma would have spread out, so the person would've died.
It’s also not that hard to find or even make a sharp object if you want one, even if you no longer have knives laying around.
Yeah. Most of them know how to make a shiv. My abuser split my head open with a beer bottle, a hammer, a television, a car bumper, a fist, an elbow and a boot.— 💧Tasbeachmum (@tasbeachmum) June 12, 2019
Are you gonna take away scissors, house tools, cork screws, all chemicals that can be poured on or into a body, keys, car tools, hammers, saws, wrenches, LIST IS ENDLESS... If the perp wants to abuse he will until, perhaps, he feels REAL consequences. Stop this tom foolery— Kirsty Dillon (@KirstyDillon) June 12, 2019
Or to go out and buy one if you notice the cops have been around and blunted yours.
Many are questioning why, if there’s enough evidence to replace someone’s kitchenware, police aren’t just arresting the abuser instead.
As a survivor of domestic abuse, i'd much prefer the court system actually DO something, and prosecute my abuser rather than replace kitchen knives with ones that would actually cause just as much damage when used with more force. But ok. Yeah. Thanks. I'll sleep better now.— Alice; (@Melkur_Mistress) June 13, 2019
OOOOOOOOOR ARREST THE FUKKING ABUSERS HOWNIS THIS A THING???!?!?— J. P. Dailing (@jpdailing) June 13, 2019
Others are pointing out that kitchen knives are sharp for a reason, and that trying to cook with a blunt knife is actually dangerous in and of itself.
So far, the program is still in the trial stage and only being tried in one small area. Hopefully, that means a better solution will be thought up in the meantime.
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Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org