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Call For Breast Ironing To Be Criminal Offence

(19 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Sun 10-Apr-16 21:59:24

I cannot believe we need a 'Call For Breast Ironing To Be Criminal Offence'.

Why is this barbaric abuse not already legal?? Any legal experts out there...

AyeAmarok Sun 10-Apr-16 22:02:11


I have never heard of this. How the phuck is this not assault!?

AyeAmarok Sun 10-Apr-16 22:04:15

I cannot believe this happens. I actually feel quite sick.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Sun 10-Apr-16 22:10:50

How is this not a criminal offence already? I feel sick envy

IrenetheQuaint Sun 10-Apr-16 22:16:01

Ugh, but surely this would count in law as a violent offence against the person, e.g. ABH/GBH?

elephantoverthehill Sun 10-Apr-16 22:17:39

Very distressing. How can it be that girls are not allowed to be girls.

MyFavouriteClintonisGeorge Sun 10-Apr-16 22:18:16

Of course it is illegal already-there doesn't have to be a specific offence referring to breast ironing for it to be illegal. It would be GBH or some other offence at common law or statutory offence (perhaps under the Offences Against The Person Act 1861 or a more recent piece of legislation).

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 10-Apr-16 22:21:40

Yes, it's already against the law. We don't have a list of specific attacks - they are all covered under legislation such as Offences Against the Person/ABH/GBH.

We don't keep a list of specific injuries because it'd constantly be out of date and it'd create a lot of loopholes.

PalmerViolet Sun 10-Apr-16 22:23:16

Of course it should be a specific offence, in the same way as FGM is a specific set of offences, where they could have similarly been defined under common assault/ABH/GBH legislation.

It's about recognising the specifics of the offence and who the victims always are.

Italiangreyhound Sun 10-Apr-16 22:27:36

I agree PalmerViolet it is about identifying who may be at risk from a specific crime and protecting these young women. If it only gets classed as assault or GBH or whatever then it would not be properly recorded. I think it is very important for it to be classified as a specific crime. it is done for a specific reason.

The fact it is done, and the reason it is done, is all utter shite!

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 10-Apr-16 23:06:13

It needs highlighting in the media in the same way that female genital mutilation is. Make people that participate in this aware that it is not the done thing these days.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 10-Apr-16 23:21:13

Of course it is already illegal. It is an assault.

Home Office minister Karen Bradley said police could use other offences to tackle the issue, including common assault, child cruelty and grievous bodily harm.

Ms Bradley added: “What we’re talking about is child abuse. It is illegal, it is a crime, and it is not acceptable."

Cosmopolitan and The Independent reported this almost 3 years ago.

I don't see a particular need to create a new offence although training to identify girls at risk is needed and apparently a willingness to reject barbarism even if it is someone's "culture".

The Cosmopolitan article has photographs by the way.

PalmerViolet Mon 11-Apr-16 09:58:35

Absolutely IG.

Can't imagine why anyone would want to stop this gendered practice being recorded as a singular crime. Especially as it's generally practiced in an effort to stop male violence against women.

VestalVirgin Mon 11-Apr-16 14:10:30

The fact that it is done to prevent male violence should be taken into consideration in fighting it.
Mothers who might do it should be informed that in civilised countries, the law will prevent men from raping little girls, and breast ironing therefore is not necessary ... well, in theory.

Neither the UK nor most European countries (if any at all) protect girls adequately from male violence.

So maybe nice brochures informing mothers that parental violence traumatises girls much more than stranger rape, and that abortion is legal and accessible in the UK, will have to suffice.

Or ... who I am kidding, just tell them to have their girls diagnosed with transgenderism and give them puberty blockers.

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 20:13:23

I think in this case although the violence comes from the parents, and is appalling, it is being done for a specific, equally appalling reason and therefore there needs to be better education.

booklooker Thu 14-Apr-16 17:54:05

This is shocking, however there is one aspect that I do not understand.

It is stated that the practice originates in African communities where parents do not want their daughter's breasts to attract the attention of boys, in the hope they will complete their education

However, I have always thought that breasts are not seen as 'sexy' (I have not expressed that at all well, just hope you know what I mean) within many African societies.

I thought it was mainly western cultures that viewed breasts as being at all sexual.

VestalVirgin Thu 14-Apr-16 20:22:54

However, I have always thought that breasts are not seen as 'sexy' (I have not expressed that at all well, just hope you know what I mean) within many African societies.

Interesting question.

Possible reasons:

Africa is big. There can be cultures that view breasts as sexual, and those that do not.

Or the breast-ironing is a relatively new phenomenon, that is a reaction to the sexualization of breasts by media and the ensuing male behaviour.

Or breasts are not seen as sexual, but are seen as a sign of adulthood, and the traditional rules only protect female children without breasts from male sexual violence. (No culture considers menstruation as sexy, but the onset of it is often used as excuse for forcing children to marry and submit to rape by adult men.)

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 15-Apr-16 22:48:48

Interesting article here

The Victims of Cameroon's Breast Ironing Tradition | VICE | United Kingdom

I can't find anything about when this "traditional" practice became traditional. The point about doing it because mothers want girls to continue in education doesn't entirely seem convincing. According to Wiki Cameroon has 78% male literacy and 64 % female literacy. Again according to Wiki whilst school attendance is relatively high girls attend school less regularly than boys because of cultural attitudes, domestic duties, early marriage, pregnancy, and sexual harassment so the fact a girl has reached puberty is not the only reasons girls' education is cut short and given the discrepancy in literacy rates I'm not convinced female education is highly prized.

Italiangreyhound Sat 16-Apr-16 01:29:32

The onset of periods also stops girls education (as I am sure we all know) as there are often not suitable or safe toilet facilities for girls. This world is so fucked up! sad angry

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