A leading domestic violence campaigner has praised the teenager who insisted video evidence of an horrific beating by her boyfriend should be made public.
And Wearside Women in Need director Clare Phillipson also thanked the Echo for highlighting the case of 18-year-old Rayna Holden, left for dead in the car park of a Washington pub by 22-year-old Darryl Moore.
The horrifying video of the attack at the rear of The Cross Keys in Washington Village – for which Moore was sentenced to just 12 months in jail – sparked outrage on-line.
“Rayna has done so much to demolish the idea domestic violence is just a push or a slap,” said Clare Phillipson.
“She has really, really helped the public to understand the sheer brutality and overwhelming determination to hurt that is involved in domestic violence.
Coverage had changed the way people thought about domestic violence, said Clare: “The response on the Echo’s Facebook page was brilliant. The overwhelming majority were disgusted.
“Frankly, well done the Echo – it has done a huge amount to change people’s understanding of what we mean when we talk about domestic violence.
“Thank you for getting this out there. Clearly, it is challenging people’s perceptions of what domestic violence entails.”
The story had been picked up by national titles including the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail, whose readers had been equally appalled by Moore’s punishment.
“We think the sentence is outrageous – and so do the public,” said Clare.
“The biggest frustration for organisations like ourselves is the leniency the courts show to men that are violent towards women.
“It sends out the wrong message to victims and to violent criminals and frustrates the public.”