Donna-Lee Camacho left her physically-abusive husband two years ago. Since then, she, along with her two children, has had to move home four times in order to avoid him:
“Miss Camacho said the physical abuse started early on in her previous relationship, usually when her former husband had had a drink, and in 2006 she left him. She and her children were forced to leave the family home in Preston to escape his constant harassment.
“He would follow me or even my friends home,” she said. “He would threaten to kill me, and even shoved a carving knife through our letterbox. He would yell he was going to burn the house down.”
One of the places she went to was a woman’s refuge; less then a year later she was forced to move after her ex-husband tracked her down with the help of his new girlfriend, Sarah Gillett. Gillett worked in the Child Tax Credit office and so was able to get information on the current location of Donna-Lee Camacho. Happily, Sarah Gillett has been jailed for eighteen months.
This case had a good ending. Plenty of others don’t. What this case should do though is to serve as a reminder about just how many people can access critical information about us. Stories involving state-held data usually only make the headlines when such data is lost. In this case, as in many others, the data was accessed perfectly legally. We have reached the point where a woman in fear of physical abuse cannot even begin a new life because a single official (who doesn’t appear to have been a high ranking one) can destroy her place of safety. The state casts far too great a shadow over our lives.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Sex equality