In the dock

02Sep09
Fred face jail time unless he has very understanding neighbours

Fred faces jail time unless he has very understanding neighbours

For viewers in the UK, Alibi is showing old episodes of the police soap drama The Bill. In yesterday’s instalment the police were called to a house after a report that there was a naked woman in a garden. It turns out to be a domestic violence story line exploring tensions within the team about wasting time investigating crimes where the victim won’t press charges etc.

It raised some interesting points about how the vanilla world sees BD relationships. The was no doubt that in this scenario that the man was a nasty piece of work and the reluctance of some officers to investigate was misplaced. However the explanation for the nudity was that she was often made to do corner time in the nude. It didn’t seem to square that an impulse face-smasher would also routinely put his girlfriend in the corner “for hours”. It seemed that the writers were drawing on things that they had heard but had not understood.

It then became apparent that “the police did not understand” and that the corner time was by-the-way, what she objected to was being beaten up. The experts of course decided to interpret all these distinctions as denial on the part of the victim and as part of the problem and perhaps they were. However it begs the question were the writers trying to tackle a complicated subject that the director did not grasp or did they lift an anecdote straight from the police consultants that they did indeed not understand.

There are a number of points to consider here. The first being that games that spill over into the public domain are liable to be investigated and even prosecuted even if both parties insist that everything was consensual. The second is that just because you are in a submissive relationship you are not immune from also being a victim of domestic violence. Where is the line and has it been crossed?

For most people BD relationships have a long way to go before they are recognised and accepted as say for instance the gay community is. Try confiding to analyst about your sexuality and you will be regarded as dysfunctional – most analysts do not have the training and experience to regard it in any other way.

Getting back to The Bill, the punch line to the story was that the cynical male officer fancied the caring female officer who was trying to help the woman. However she was not that interested because he was too tame in bed, hinting that a BD relationship might be more her style.



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