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Friday, 25 April 2008

Letter published in Guardian today responding to article: Public gives more money to donkey sanctuary than abuse charities 23/04/08

Dear Editor,

It is a national disgrace that the UK thinks donkeys are in greater need of charity than the 1.5 million female victims of domestic abuse each year, two of whom die at the hands of their abuser each week.

Charities and support groups to help women and children escape and recover from violent abusers should be at the heart of every civilized society. To exist these services strongly rely on the public's charity.

The UK has a strong tradition of charity and the government and the individual have a responsibility to make sure this money is directed towards the most deserving cause. Sadly this is not the case; over its 39 years the donkey sanctuary has helped 12,000 donkeys. In 2006 alone they received £20m in donations. That's over £1,500 per donkey. Contrast that to the 1.5 million women abused last year and the combined income of all women's abuse charities of £17m and it's clear people need to rethink their standing orders.

Mary Honeyball MEP
Labour, women's rights committee


Nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick said...

(original post deleted for grammatical errors which have been corrected in this one)

I am sure that as you are a politician, you are proud of your published letter, but I find it baffling and counterproductive.

First and foremost, you fail (unsurprisingly considering your Labour affiliation) to put the blame for the lack of support for victims of domestic violence on the government, on public services and on society rather than individuals who support a donkey charity.

Of course violence against women deserves a higher priority, but this will not be achieved by attacking people who are already charitable.

Surely the key thing is to increase people's charitable inclinations across the spectrum. I mean, goodness, I am sure there are other charities (NSPCC for instance) who could be viewed as more deserving than the ones you support.

To turn it into a fight between charities by attacking people for where they choose to direct their donations will certainly not help your cause and I suspect if you stop and think you will accept that.

I find today's letter from Chris Henton equally perplexing, to be honest, but I worry that if we turn charity into a fight over donations rather than a drive to increase them across the board, we will all lose, including society and the female victims you claim to champion.