Back in June I wrote a blog post comparing the public response to two current news stories – the first about Winterbourne View, the scene of institutional abuse of people with learning disabilities, and the second about two Metropolitan Police dogs who suffocated when their handler left them for too long in a vehicle. These stories were both equally horrific, but the public response to the animal cruelty was far greater than to the abuse of people with learning disabilities.
Tonight when I checked the BBC news site I was appalled to see the headline story of a local woman who had abused a kitten. This story was reported this evening and has so far (at 21.30pm) been shared 2800 times.
The news story I was looking for was about a new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that has found home care for older people is so bad at times it is breaching their human rights. This story was the headline this morning, was reported on the site just after 8am and over 12 hours later has been shared 1300 times.
As I argued back in June, both of these situations are horrific. I’m not advocating that abusing humans is far worse or far better than abusing animals, I’m just surprised at our reaction to it. Still surprised.
RSPCA Cruelty Line 0300 1234 999
NSPCC HelpLine 0800 800 5000 and ChildLine 0800 1111
Action on Elder Abuse Helpline 0808 808 8141
If you are concerned about a vulnerable person (adult or child) suffering abuse and don’t know what to do about it contact 999 if it is an emergency or a crime or contact your local council or police force for other concerns. Usually if you Google ‘reporting adult abuse’ and ‘the area where you live’ you will usually find what to do.