Letter: Expose the bullies behind the curtains

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The Independent Online
I MUST disagree with Paul Barlow of Liverpool (Letters, 25 July) about 'Murder in the Heart'. I didn't enjoy reading this story (Review, 18 July). I was very disturbed by it as I expect were many readers, including Mr Barlow. But my reactions were in no way ghoulish or voyeuristic. I looked at the photograph of the group of girls who were Hilda Thompson's workmates at the soap factory before she was married and saw the faces of a whole sad, unenlightened generation.

Was Hilda the only one among them seduced into believing that someone cared about her, only to find herself married to a sadistic bully who found ways of making the lives of his wife and children an economic and emotional misery? I think not.

Third World dictators and Middle European warlords do not have a monopoly of evil; it lurks behind many a set of prim curtains. Instead of reading about the newest in-person in the art world or the latest thing in fruity wines, we should be more regularly confronted with the full implications of so- called 'Victorian family values', and marriage without the merciful option of divorce.

Hilda and her daughters may have been 'stupid little women' for being unable to help themselves but there are still a lot like them around. I, for one, would be more proud of the society we live in if we worked towards making it impossible for the Tommy Thompsons of this world to hide their deeds, instead of just gasping with horror at the effrontery of the journalists who make these unpalatable revelations.

Sylvia Greenland

Ibiza, Spain

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