Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously this month, we have remembered Rosemary Gill, Laura Davies, Lisa Anthony and her daughter Ava and on the 10th of July, Carol Milne.
Today we remember yet another woman who, like the victims previously mentioned, all died needlessly – Hollie Gazzard, 20.
Hollie worked in Gloucester’s at the Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty salon, moving back to the city from the London area. While in London, she met Asher Maslin, 22.
The relationship went very well for a spell, but as Asher Martin became more controlling, Hollie became very nervous and ended the relationship. This resulted in threats which Hollie reported to the police.
Shockingly, Hollie was then attacked as her shift was ending at work. Such was the rage that Martin did so in front of customers stabbing Hollie 14 times with a knife that was later found on a nearby building site.
Like so many murders I write about, police failure contributed to Hollie’s death. The Guardian reported this:
Gloucestershire’s Police force has been criticised by the Police watchdog over its handling of a young woman’s complaints about her violent former boyfriend days before she was brutally murdered as she worked in a hair salon. Hollie Gazzard, 20, was stabbed 14 times in the neck, torso and chest in front of horrified customers and colleagues by her ex-partner Asher Maslin at the salon in Gloucester city centre.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report has raised concerns about how Gloucestershire Constabulary dealt with a call she made to the police reporting that Maslin had stolen from her and threatened to throw acid at her.
The IPCC said: “The [Gloucestershire] force’s domestic abuse policies and training in place at the time hindered a comprehensive response. “Hollie was murdered by Asher Maslin three days after she had reported him to the police for theft of her bank card and money from her account.
Gloucestershire’s police then claimed things had improved, but it is clear from the number of stories I write about a woman who is killed by a man that the police fail women.
Sentencing Martin to life in prison with a minimum of 24 years, the judge said, “The number of stab wounds on a defenceless young woman shows that this was a merciless killing,”
But what of Hollie’s family?
I can’t imagine how they felt back in 2014 when this horrific incident occurred. Some friends and family say they get a form of closure after sentence, but huge holes and shadows must remain. Turning them into positives is not easy, but ITV reports that the family became campaigners to call out domestic violence.
They also started a huge battle with Facebook to remove images of Hollie from their platform when together with the perpetrator. I, for one, would like to think social media sites were clued up on issues like this, but in fact, it took the family over one year to achieve their decent and rightful request.
Domestic violence is widespread, affecting millions of women in the UK. Recent reports stated that, on average, the police in Greater Manchester attend a domestic abuse or violence incident on average every 15 minutes.
Attending is the easy part – sadly, the police, the government the criminal justice system or indeed feminism as a whole do not deal with domestic violence against women and girls.
Too many battles.
Hollie Gazzard 1994 – 2014
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph