Associated British Foods (ABF) has announced a 12% increase in the company’s revenue, with its Allied Bakeries business performing well and securing 4% growth for its Grocery division.In the 16 weeks to 7 January 2012, the group announced Kingsmill, in particular, had helped boost its UK grocery sales, but strong competition, driven by a high level of promotion, had affected the bread brand’s margins.In addition, the company’s Ingredients division saw a 2% increase in revenue, but marked a struggle in its yeast and bakery ingredients business, particularly in last year’s second half, which continued during the period. It attributed its difficulty to increases in raw material costs and a highly competitive trading environment in many of its markets. ABF commented on progress being made in improving productivity at the yeast extracts factory in Harbin, China which, combined with growth in enzymes, delivered some improvement at ABF Ingredients.The company rounded up its overall results by noting, in its interim management statement, that its trading performance for the period was in line with expectations.Twinings Ovaltine also continued to perform very well for the group, with good growth for tea in the US and for Ovaltine in developing markets.
The landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill has been published today (Monday 21 January), aimed at supporting victims and their families and pursuing offenders. It comes as it is revealed the estimated cost for domestic abuse victims in the year ending March 2017 in England and Wales was £66billion..To help tackle the crime, new legislation will: to address coercive control and economic abuse, and how domestic abuse affects children to transform the response in the justice system Domestic abuse destroys lives and warrants some of the strongest measures at our disposal to deter offenders and protect victims. That is why we are barring abusers from cross-examining their victims in the family courts – a practice which can cause immense distress and amount to a continuation of abuse – and giving courts greater powers, including new protection orders, to tackle this hideous crime. By pursuing every option available, to better support victims and bring more offenders to justice, we are driving the change necessary to ensure families never have to endure the pain of domestic abuse in silence. I have heard absolutely heartbreaking accounts of victims whose lives have been ripped apart because of physical, emotional or economic abuse they have suffered by someone close to them. The draft Domestic Abuse Bill recognises the complex nature of these horrific crimes and puts the needs of victims and their families at the forefront. This government is absolutely committed to shining a light on domestic abuse to ensure this hidden crime does not remain in the shadows. It is estimated that around two million adults experience domestic abuse each year, affecting almost 6% of all adults. Women are twice as likely to be victims than men.The draft bill will introduce measures: introduce the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse – this will enable everyone, including victims themselves, to understand what constitutes abuse and will encourage more victims to come forward establish a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to drive the response to domestic abuse issues introduce new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to further protect victims and place restrictions on the actions of offenders prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts provide automatic eligibility for special measures to support more victims to give evidence in the criminal courts The bill will also ban the distressing practice of domestic abuse victims being cross-examined by perpetrators in the family courts.Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, Director of Surviving Economic Abuse said: Justice Secretary David Gauke said: Between the draft bill and its consultation response, the government is making 120 commitments to tackle domestic abuse. Amongst these are a series of non-legislative measures which include: Refuge welcomes the draft bill announced by the government today. Refuge staff deal with the human misery of domestic violence every day. The cost to women and children’s lives is devastating. But now the immense cost to the taxpayer has been laid bare, too. Domestic violence is truly everybody’s business. This bill represents a once in a generation opportunity to address domestic violence; but in order to do so, we must ensure its aspirations are matched by adequate resource. We will continue to work closely with the government to ensure the final bill meets the needs of the women and children we support. Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge, said: £8 million of Home Office funding to support children affected by domestic abuse a new crisis support system for those with no recourse to public funds additional funding and capacity building for services for disabled, elderly and LGTB victims updated support, training and guidance on economic abuse new and additional training for job centre work coaches, police, social workers and probation staff to help them recognise and effectively tackle abuse improved support for victims in the family court additional £500,000 funding for provisions for male victims Domestic abuse shatters lives and tears families apart. It can happen anywhere, to anyone. Protecting victims, as well as supporting survivors, is at the heart of our strengthened response to this horrific crime. Our draft Domestic Abuse Bill and wider package of measures, unveiled today, will bolster the protection for victims and will help expose and bring the vile abusers to justice. Economic abuse can prevent victims from leaving an abuser and thwart their efforts to rebuild their lives safely – it can even create new risks. Through committing to ensure that practitioners have access to training and guidance on economic abuse, the government has recognised that physical and economic safety are entwined. These new measures will help bring economic abuse out of the shadows and will transform responses, ensuring that victim-survivors are able to access the support they so desperately need. Domestic abuse costs lives and it costs money. It is happening at epidemic levels yet it has been largely hidden behind closed doors. Now is the time to bring it out into the spotlight and address the impact of domestic abuse properly once and for all. The Domestic Abuse Bill has the potential to create a step change in the national response and this must be backed up with sustainable funding for our life-saving network of specialist support services to make a real difference to survivors’ lives. We look forward to working with the government, our member services and survivors themselves to make sure survivors have the resources and support they need, as well as address the root causes of domestic abuse so that every woman and child can live free from fear and abuse. The Home Office has published a report into the economic and social cost of domestic abuse, which reveals the crime for victims in England and Wales cost an estimated £66 billion in the year ending March 2017.According to the research, the vast majority of this cost (£47 billion) was a result of the physical and emotional harm of domestic abuse, however it also includes other factors such as cost to health services (£2.3 billion), police (£1.3 billion) and victim services (£724 million).Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins said: Suzanne Jacob OBE, Chief Executive of SafeLives, said: We welcome the government’s set of proposals, particularly putting a greater focus on perpetrator accountability, both through the legal system, civil powers, and programmes that seek to change abusive behaviour. The government estimates today that perpetrators cost the economy £66 billion – more than the cost of alcohol and drug misuse, cigarettes and obesity combined. It affects more than 2 million people every year. For too long, we’ve expected victims and children to uproot their lives while the perpetrators remain invisible and unchallenged by the system. The new change in approach reflects what hundreds of survivors told SafeLives they wanted – we’re pleased the government is listening.
Public Discourse 31 Oct 2012Mark Regnerus’s response to his critics shows more clearly that instability is characteristic of same-sex relationships and that stable same-sex parented households are virtually non-existent. Second of a two-part series.….In the November 2012 issue of Social Science Research, Regnerus has published a new article: “Parental same-sex relationships, family instability, and subsequent life outcomes for adult children: Answering critics of the new family structures study with additional analyses.” He accepts “arguably the most reasonable criticism” of his original work, the use of the abbreviations “LM” (for lesbian mother) and “GF” (for gay father) to characterize the family situations experienced by his young adult subjects when they were children.Since the adjectives “lesbian” and “gay” could lead readers to infer something about these parents’ self-identified “orientation” (though in his original article Regnerus clearly dispelled this misapprehension), he now exchanges “LM” for “MLR” (mother who had a lesbian relationship) and “GF” for “FGR” (father who had a gay relationship), so that the adjectives “lesbian” and “gay” now describe the relationships, not the persons. Regnerus also pauses to note the extreme unlikelihood that his categories swept in any “one-night stand” relationships, since the NFSS interviews asked young adults about romantic relationships they would have observed as children.Regnerus addresses at much greater length the more serious charge that he compared apples to oranges by placing a sample of “MLR” and “FGR” families with high incidence of instability next to his “IBF” cases of intact biological families (married heterosexual couples that stay together and raise their own offspring to maturity). His critics insisted that he should compare intact, long-term stable gay and lesbian couples with his “gold standard” IBF households.On this point, Regnerus yields no ground to his critics whatsoever, but instead only strengthens his case that family instability is not a variable to be controlled for so that it falls out of the comparison; rather it is a “pathway” down which MLR and FGR families typically travel as a social reality.…How many children were raised by two women staying together from the child’s first birthday to his or her eighteenth? Just two. And how many such cases were there in the FGR category—of children raised by two men together for their whole childhood? Zero. This, out of an initial population of 15,000. I recite these numbers to make a point of my own that fairly leaps off the pages of Regnerus’s work: that family instability is the characteristic experience of those whose parents have same-sex relationships.…The controversy over same-sex marriage, and over the place of social science findings in debating the question, will doubtless continue. But Regnerus’s contribution has complicated a set of breezy assumptions too widely held: that children raised in these new family structures suffer no disadvantages whatsoever, and that stable, long-term same-sex-parent families can even be found in significant numbers. In so doing, Regnerus has moved our national conversation on the family forward, in a positive direction, with greater awareness of what is at stake in the public policy choices we make.Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Radford University.http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/10/6786/