Known for her human rights activism and writing on subjects such as atheism and feminism, Joan Smith is a columnist, critic and novelist. An Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and a regular contributor to BBC radio, she has written five detective novels, two of which have been filmed by the BBC.
08 December 2013 12:00 AM
It is being called the "Savile effect". I'm not sure that anyone would have predicted, when the DJ's criminal career began to be exposed just over a year ago, that the police inquiry would have such a dramatic impact. But rape crisis centres are reporting a surge in calls, with some charities recording increases of 40 per cent. At the same time, more women are going to the police: in London alone, there has been an increase of 29 per cent in rape reports in the past 12 months.
01 December 2013 12:00 AM
When a friend in London told me he was HIV-positive in the early 1980s, neither of us really knew what it meant. By the time I visited another HIV-positive friend in hospital in New York a decade later, the horror of the Aids pandemic had become apparent. I was shocked by how much his condition had deteriorated in the couple of years since I'd last seen him, when he had been well enough to wander round Manhattan with me. At the same time, I was touched by the support system for patients, including an organisation which walked my friend's dog daily when he became too frail to do it himself. He died not long afterwards, joining thousands of gay men whose lives were tragically cut short.
24 November 2013 12:00 AM
The horrific case of the three women freed from a London house could provide a means to break the silence that keeps victims trapped
17 November 2013 12:00 AM
Cameron's tough language on Sri Lanka was impressive. But we are still left guessing what the guiding vision is
10 November 2013 12:00 AM
Calls for leniency for the convicted soldier are misguided – and do a disservice to those soldiers who hold on to their humanity in war circumstances
03 November 2013 12:00 AM
Maybe they should reflect upon why so few men boast about paying for sex
27 October 2013 12:00 AM
To some people, Russell Brand's adolescent waffle sound likes informed opinion – but his pride in refusing to vote is foolish and dangerous
20 October 2013 12:00 AM
Why should we allow governors to promote religious segregation?
13 October 2013 12:00 AM
Joan Smith says her profession has nothing to fear from the new plan to regulate the press
06 October 2013 12:00 AM
There are reports of ships failing to stop if they see migrant boats in trouble
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent