Refuge responds to sexist tweet by West Midlands Police

The Twitter account for West Midlands Police working in Bordesley Green tweeted the below image. They later deleted the tweet and issued an apology: “Apologese to any persons the last tweet upset it was put on as a bit of humour not meant to upset anybody apologese again” (sic).


Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive, RefugeSandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, says:

“I am disappointed that West Midlands Police tweeted this sexist image – and then tried to pass it off as a bit of ‘humour’. Did the police officer who tweeted this image really think that women would laugh at this offensive sexist stereotype? Female members of the public deserve respect, not ridicule. Earlier this year officers from the same police force allegedly left abusive comments on the voicemail of a domestic violence victim, calling her a “f****** slag” and a “bitch”.  It is deeply disturbing that some police officers in the West Midlands seem to possess such derogatory attitudes towards women.

“Earlier this year, HMIC found alarming evidence of serious police failures on domestic violence.  It found that negative attitudes towards victims were at the root of many of these failures.  When women make the extraordinarily brave decision to reach out for help, they are often met with disbelief, apathy and, sometimes, outright hostility from officers.  This ‘canteen culture’ of negative, sexist attitudes must be stamped out.  Women and children experiencing domestic violence deserve support and protection.

Refuge is calling on the Government to open a public inquiry into the response of the police and other state agencies to victims of domestic violence. Please add your voice to our campaign and sign our petition calling for a public inquiry.”