Domestic Violence

God is a communist.

The first time my brain entertained the concept of a Godless world I spiraled into a deep depression. I’d excitedly announced I might be an atheist, following an acid trip made of existential nightmares, when I discovered the answers to the universe and beyond but as the reality of what it meant settled in, I lost the ability to feel anything, even the bad stuff. I found myself doing dangerous things just to feel something. I made people cry and felt good about it. I climbed the walls searching for my soul, and grieved for it, honestly believing I’d lost it forever. I existed like this for 6 months or so before my erratic behaviour landed me in a situation where I was forced to reconnect with my body and the outside world but that’s another story.

Religion came easy to me as a small child but on reflection much of that was performative. As soon as I was old and brave enough to choose my own labels, as a young teen, I rejected the faith ascribed to me at birth. It wasn’t just because of the sexual assault I was subjected to by my mosque teacher, or the consistently punitive elders who shoved Islam down my throat at every opportunity, the fire and brimstone kind at that, I just didn’t think it was very cool or conducive to a good life in Britain. I wanted to be like the natives. I searched high and low for a faith I could get on board with, all in, but always stopped short of committing to anything because in the end they all sound the same, secure in their superior worship, incapable of appreciating anyone else’s perspective.

The depression stemmed from the realisation that a world without God was a world without justice, and so it had been for the duration of my life. With every injustice my search for a benevolent God waned, until about a month ago, when the blasted coronavirus hit our shores. 10 years of austerity, of suffering and despair, thousands dead from preventable illnesses and neglect with the architects showing no signs of compassion or mercy until a virus, invisible to the naked eye, forced their hand into socialist action.

The most vulnerable in our society are being given packages of food and other essentials, dropped to their doorsteps, free of charge. I know because I have 2 disabled nieces and the government has been in touch. This is anarcho-communism, where we look after the most vulnerable and ensure their safety. We cannot expect them to go back to the old ‘normal’ when this is all over, these people cannot work, and even when all is well, they struggle to leave the house. Sure, the state only offered because it is first and foremost concerned with its own image, after its bid for herd immunity prompted calls for the resignation of ‘Boris the Butcher’ but for now it has been forced to do the right thing when it always said it was impossible. Let there never be another attempt to cut welfare for these people, there is no justification.

The NHS is slowly being afforded its dues too. Boris and pals spent a decade dismantling health services until God decided to show them up. In an about turn, politicians have been scrambling to secure PPE for staff and ensure that there are enough ventilators and oxygen. If we’d had a fully functioning NHS Tories might have slept better over the past month instead of facing the ire of the international community, relegated to the back of the queue following our sham exit from the European Union. 80 odd MPs have written to the government asking for the student debt of NHS nurses to be scrapped, particularly as they are risking their own lives on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19. This is just common sense to anyone with even an ounce of humanity, to show gratitude to those who go above and beyond. The British establishment has never been very good at compensating the helpers, whether Gurkhas or the Windrush generation, they take and they take, entitled as they are, and discard them without a look back. 19 frontline NHS staff have already sucuumbed to the virus and if the numbers keep on rising, our collective love and appreciation for the NHS will turn into anger. The government has no choice but to cherish the NHS and its army of workers.

Within the NHS coronavirus is exposing the disparity in healthcare for minorities. A notable percentage of victims have been BME, and reasons given range from ineffective communication owing to language barriers to elder Muslims and Sikhs refusal to distance themselves from their places of worship. It’s much simpler than that, BME groups are not taken seriously for a start. From paramedics to receptionists, the gatekeepers are often white and decide whether or not you receive treatment and how quickly. In Birmingham people in the Asian community are afraid to go to Heartlands hospital because they believe they won’t come out again. My own father begged the paramedics not to take him to Heartlands the day before he died but they didn’t listen. My grandmother died in the same hospital. When my niece was diagnosed with a malignant condition a white doctor advised us to forego treatment and let her go so she wouldn’t suffer. We didn’t listen, and she’s still here, 12 years on. Medical care for non whites is like a lucky dip, you never know what you’re going to get and often you have to do all the research and find out what’s wrong with you before you can convince a doctor to run further tests. God is exposing racist rainy fascist island for what it is, no matter how much the natives bleat on about how it isn’t.

Today the home secretary Priti Patel launched a campaign to reassure domestic abuse victims they are not alone. In a similarly pointless exercise as the clap for the NHS (when they need equipment and funding not empty gestures) Preet asked for people to draw a heart on their palms and share their pictures. Apparently this will also show abusers people are watching and help is available. Actually, most abusers do not identify their actions as being abusive, my own dad was horribly violent but would share petitions regarding support for victims of domestic abuse demonstrating such empathy that there are still people in our extended family who don’t believe us. There is some hope for victims however; one perp was handed a sentence of 42 weeks for spitting in his wife’s face and saying he hoped she died from Coronavirus. In my experience you have to be on your 3rd or 4th domestic incident to receive such a lengthy sentence but Coronavirus affects us all so the authorities are actually taking it seriously (unlike domestic abuse in general).

Priti is throwing 2 million at women’s services in the hope they can slow the rising death toll from domestic homicide. It was the Tories who cut abuse services by 50% when they came into power. When I worked in DV 10 years ago, 2 women a week were being murdered by their intimate partners and now there are 5. Coronavirus has exposed the state for the many ways it falls short of its contract to protect and serve. This is just one of a growing number of issues that have been thrust into the spotlight on which the government is going to be forced to act.

The money grubbing universities are going to go bust if the government doesn’t rescue them. That’s what God thinks of your extortionate uni fees, Tories. There isn’t a day that goes by that doesn’t reveal one development or another as the sublime work of a higher being. The Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News UK, publications that vilified Jeremy Corbyn and polarised Britain’s Jews from the rest of the nation went bust just a couple of days ago, citing Coronavirus as the cause. God surely works in mysterious ways but sometimes it’s as clear as the nose on your face.

There’s something deliciously righteous about the British lockdown following the Brexit debacle. All those swooning about freedom and sovereignty must be going stir crazy and feeling completely and utterly helpless in their solitude. Some religious people believe this is a warning shot for those who have lied cheated and schemed, to humble themselves and acknowledge power is fleeting but I think it’s a helluva lot more than that. Most religious people will agree that we are all equal in God’s eyes and should be treated as such but in reality that is impossible in a white supremacist capitalist state and those disparities are never really questioned or understood. Coronavirus is forcing us all to pay attention. We all said Twitter was the great leveler but we replicated the same injustices online. We can carry on as we have been carrying on, arranging people into hierarchies of deserving but God isn’t going to stand for it. We are all susceptible to pandemics.

I cried once for the absence of a God and all the hardships I would endure, knowing there was no justice at the end but I’ve changed my mind and it’s suddenly crystal clear. Who knew 2020 would be so spiritually enriching? Ironically, I finally feel alive.

This isn’t BoJo’s First Rodeo

The British media’s jubilation at the news Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds are expecting a baby is nothing less than nauseating for we masses and underclasses, as if we need another privileged brat distracting us from the life changing events put into play by their caregivers whilst they thrive, but this is by no means the most troubling aspect.

Whilst it is (to my knowledge) Symonds’ first effort, Boris has more children than anyone should ever have. A reputation as a cad and lady killer is a watered down affectation by the same media that ensured he was elected. I prefer to think of him as a domestic abuser and deadbeat dad. Wikipedia can’t say for certain if he has 5 or 6 kids which leads me to question whether there are more. Perhaps they’re waiting to see whether he will legitimise the 6th one before giving a definitive answer. And what of the ‘illegitimate’ ones?

My first thoughts, however, are for the newly pregnant Symonds and her unborn foetus. Given that it was not so long ago the police were called to reports of a domestic disturbance at the flat she shares with the prime minister, the announcement of her pregnancy is a cause for concern rather than celebration, or even derision. Whatever I might think of the Conservatives or the white supremacists leading them, or even the women who choose to put up with and uphold their shit, gendered violence against women is a collective struggle for all women.

Pregnancy is the most vulnerable time in a woman’s life, it doesn’t make us less capable but it can make us more dependent. Abusive men recognise this and escalate the power and control they already have over their partner. 8 or 9 domestic abuse cases out of 100 begin for the first time in pregnancy, when controlling partners take advantage of their victim’s increasing needs. They can threaten to take the new life away, because they were responsible for creating it in the first place. It is at this time that perhaps we get the most valuable insight into the mind of a domestic abuser, specifically male perpetrators, who hate women for their ability to create life, because it makes them feel inconsequential. Pregnancy brings with it a rush of hormones to encourage you to bond with your baby but also your partner. On the standard risk assessment for victims, the CAADA dash, being pregnant significantly increases the chances abuse will end in domestic homicide.

You need them even when they are harmful and this is why it is such a powerful tool for narcissists and misogynists. Do you know anyone who is more narcissistic or misogynistic than BoJo the horror show who cut funds for domestic abuse victims the first opportunity he got as London mayor? I don’t fancy BoJo Jr’s chances at having any sort of relationship with his old vater either, not if the past is anything to go by.

Serial womaniser + form for domestics + absentee father = trouble ahead.

How can they (the tories) condemn single mothers, children out of wedlock, deadbeat dads and domestic abusers in every other walk of life except for their leadership? In the aftermath of the ‘domestic’, supporters and friends of the couple went on record to chastise ‘nosy neighbours’ and ‘gossips’ and advised people mind their own business or else accept they will be driven out of their homes and forced to go on the run. This is what abusers do, pick fault with people who abhor violence and inflict violence on them too. Since the Tories came into power, the figure for domestic homicide has more than doubled, where there were once 2 murders a week there are now 5. This is the Tory party’s legacy. When you ignore abuse, when you enable abusers and cut off any means of escape, cutting more than 50% of domestic abuse services, as the Tories have done, women and children die.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the numbers increase the further right you go on the political spectrum. I would say this to the women standing by their fascist men, if you lay down with dogs you WILL get fleas.

Honour Based Violence in the British Royal Family

If we were to spend our lives believing everything the way it is presented to us by those in power, it might work out easier for us in the long run, to leave all the important decisions to somebody else but for those of us who choose to think critically, those of us who value honesty so much we are willing to suffer for it, the world is a stage and the 1% actors, presenting the side of themselves they believe we wish to see. There is no better example of this than the British royal family. ‘Sources’ reporting to the tabloids are palace staff, if not members of the royal family themselves. There is an army of royal correspondents, attached to their respective papers and broadcasting stations, and every last one is a royalist, prepared to read out official statements and pass them off as personal opinion. They hold dress rehearsals for funerals years in advance. The royal family is a live soap opera, fulfilling ideals of fairy tales that are poured into little ears from the moment the midwife assigns us female.

What nobody seems to consider, ever, not even the superior white feminists for whom femininity is a curse, is how the women who marry into the royal family are often treated as pariahs, as though they should be grateful for their privileges and in exchange cannot be allowed to have feelings ever again. Kate Middleton is one example of a woman who submitted, she has made herself small (quite literally) and churned out those heirs like a good un, never speaking out of turn or hinting at a personality. When Markle gave birth the papers were placing bets on when Kate would pop next, like it’s a competition for the queen’s affections. As the oldest daughter in law, wife of the heir apparent, she is given preferential treatment, like access to looted Mughal jewels, whereas Markle is forbidden (according to the Daily Express who like to take a royal press release and make it their own). It actually makes me laugh because the royal family conducts itself in exactly the same way as those who engage in honour based violence in the South Asian diaspora have done; the eldest son is in charge and his wife is given first dibs on everything, promoting inequality and ill feeling.

Familial abuse is an issue I am familiar with, from personal experience but also in my professional career as a women’s worker. More often than not it is considered a cultural matter because South Asian families stick together as opposed to moving away when they go to university or get married. It is something I grappled with growing up, this notion that certain suitors might estrange you from the family, as a result most people married within the clan to avoid such grievances. If everyone knows what is expected of them there’s less chance of conflict further down the line. This is what the royal family did themselves, the queen was betrothed to her cousin as a young child (still feel sickened by the news reel gushing about this child being in love with a grown man), and Prince Charles was related to Diana in a number of ways, not least because they shared Henry Tudor as an ancestor. If the royals hadn’t been white and immensely privileged, you could say it was a Forced Marriage. Look at the misery they endured for the length of their union and how Diana felt she’d done her bit providing an heir and a spare. Imagine if she’d had girls!

When Piers Morgan attacked Markle with the words “I always thought you’d do this anyway” he sounded like the in laws on Bhaji on the Beach (a film about honour violence made in 1993) attacking their dark skinned daughter in law (who’d married their son for love against their wishes) for leaving the family after he’d beaten her, claiming that the darker ones are sly and can’t be trusted. Morgan insists he is not racist and this is not about racism but he’s an ex tabloid editor, and has always been untrustworthy. Why is he allowed an opinion? I ran away from home at the age of 15 because I was sick of outsiders inserting themselves into familial matters as though they are personally invested when in actual fact they thrive off drama and conflict, and are always looking to settle old scores. Morgan has been waiting for the opportunity to let rip, because he is a savvy racist and knows how to play the game. This is about Meghan Markle being an outsider, not least because she is black and won’t bow down to pressure. What else could have informed his childish prophecy?

When racists have attempted to rationalise their prejudice for me, they often bring up the refusal of other groups to assimilate, and the resistance to intermarriage, to their chagrin. At the heart of it they fear rejection so pre-emptively reject the rejecters, at least that is what they say. The Royal Family is surely an example of this, they are supported by like minded die hard colonialists who do not assimilate yet stand apart from the rest of us, because they like to feel special, and they actively resist outsiders, demanding they fall into line if they should break through or else risk the wrath of the entire establishment. They are the most intolerant of all.

How is that the most public family in all of Great Britain escapes the attentions of the authorities, whether they are sexually abusing children or domestically abusing their wives and daughters in law? Emotional abuse is actually illegal in the UK but then so is racism and very little gets done about that. Women’s safety groups should be advocating for Meghan Markle, as a victim of familial honour based violence, she has “brought shame to the family” and is therefore at her most vulnerable (Diana died for her efforts). Antiquated beliefs such as this are mocked by the authorities when the victim is South Asian, as though we are backwards and savage yet the world’s media is happy to reinforce it for the royal family.

Aren’t you sick of the hypocrisy?

T S Eliot: a bigot, control freak and abuser of women

Like many of his treasured peers, for all their talent and genius, T S Eliot was a bit of a bigot. He made derogatory references to blacks, Jews and women in his work and whilst this is patently clear to the aforementioned, there are many who would seek to excuse his behaviour, though perhaps not all that interestingly, they are also white men. Eliot was merely providing a commentary on the actual racists, not ascribing to the words himself, as one ardent fan put it. No doubt they will rush to defend him on the latest charges, that he was a lovelorn romantic, not a controlling head worker insistent on having the final word, pulling strings from beyond the grave even.

T S Eliot and Emily Hale met when he was studying philosophy at Harvard. When Eliot’s advances towards Hale fell flat, he moved to the UK in 1914 and married Vivienne Haigh-Wood. Their 18 year marriage was described as tumultuous, which, as a feminist and women’s worker, I perceive as abusive. It was hardly surprising she ended up in a mental asylum, that’s just what they did with women who fought back, claim they were hysterical, lock them up and throw away the key. The silencing of women has evolved in its methods somewhat but as I can vouch from experience, the intentions/outcomes remain the same.

Emily Hale requested that Princeton University release Eliot’s letters to her 50 years after her death. I wonder why she left it so late, what prevented her from making them public at the time. Eliot hounded her for over 30 years, though in his recently released statement he claims to have seen the light after 20 years or so as to how ill suited they were because she wasn’t very intelligent or sophisticated, in a move reminiscent of modern day street harassers, how men catcall with compliments until they are rejected or ignored, then they turn and say you’re a dumb ugly bitch. T S Eliot was an entitled douchebro doing a 30 odd year stretch in the friendzone which leads me to suspect he eventually wore her down and made her feel unsafe. Perhaps people were starting to listen and believe her. Perhaps she entrusted his letters to the university because they were not safe in her possession. She couldn’t say anything whilst she was alive and such was his power, she left it a whole half a century before the truth of it all ever saw the light of day. Yet still he felt entitled to dismiss his own letters to her in a bizarre posthumous riposte, as the works of “a hallucinated man”, relinquishing agency, ironically claiming madness as an excuse for his fixation. Eliot had Hale’s replies to his letters incinerated by a friend of his, yet the narrative goes it was a consensual and passionate correspondence. Given that we only have his word for it, and any evidence to the contrary was destroyed, I am inclined to believe she wanted nothing to do with him.

“I tried to pretend that my love for you was dead, though I could only do so by pretending myself that my heart was dead.”

T S Eliot

This sounds like an apology for abusive behaviour “I only hurt you because I had to”, because “you made me”. He even plays the women in his life off one another, claiming Vivienne was the real muse because even though she “nearly was the death of me, she kept the poet alive” whereas Hale would have killed the poet thus robbing the world of his greatest works. Eliot’s literary contribution holds more value than the rambling words of a hysterical woman who would have killed his creativity. I am astounded at his cocksuredness, he reeks entirely of incel and I wouldn’t be surprised if his marriage was for show, to make Emily pay for spurring his advances. No wonder poor Vivienne lost her mind.

Like so many of the literary classics, Eliot hid behind his accolades so that he could do no wrong, despite the many ways he and his peers made the world a crueler place for its most vulnerable inhabitants. We reward them despite their racism and misogyny, allowing them to influence another generation who buy into the notion that art is suffering and to make good art, you must be emotionally volatile. I experienced it in one of my own adult relationships, and it’s made me cautious of writers, even preventing me from pursuing my own dreams, because I clearly cannot want it enough, if I am not willing to sink to the depths they do.

Gendered violence is romanticised, from Hunter S Thompson to Ted Hughes (Bret Easton Ellis and Jack Kerouac etc) and just because they refer to their victims as their ‘muse’, it doesn’t make it any less alarming for those of us who abhor violence in all its forms (but also) because we have have been victimised in this way.

We should all take a leaf out of the French publisher Gallimard’s book in its response to the investigation of Gabriel Matzneff, an 83 year old essayist who is alleged to have seduced another French author when she was just 14 and he was in his 50s. It remains to be seen why now and not any time in the last 50 years, as Matzneff has always been outspoken in his preference for underage kids, and this leads on to even more unsettling analysis of France as a soft touch when it comes to paedophilia, but the #MeToo movement, and the millenials who carry it aren’t going to shy away from the honest truth, because that’s the only way things change.

Why should good people suffer?

So is anyone going to slap the likes of Toby Young and Julia Hartley Brewer on the wrist for the violence they have incited against Symonds’ neighbours? Domestic abusers and apologists must have been chomping at the bit to teach them a lesson. Not forgetting the far right who took the Stasi bait. Always tell on perpetrators of gendered violence, it is your moral duty.

The mainstream media have focused on the political affiliations of Tom Penn and Eve Leigh (The Daily Express, The Sun etc) with every sentence they’ve spewed in outrage at the couple’s act of kindness and decency, they are culpable for the death threats that have pushed them out of their home. This is Britain, where they pretend to care about abuse but only if they can use it to make a racist point. Britain hates women, it hates people who would help women. It consistently confirms my prejudices against white men for their entitlement and toxic masculinity. They have the power to write narratives that betray the reality, meanwhile society slips further down the slope, impacting on all of our lives. I have witnessed this descent into hell, as we all have and just when we think it can’t possibly get any worse it has.

There must be repercussions for this, as there have been unjustly for Tom Penn and Eve Leigh. As a society we must stop punishing people for doing the right thing and rewarding the scheming cowards who know how to manipulate situations. I’m afraid there are more people than we know, who are willing to act the part and pretend to care about what is right and just than actually genuinely do. It only ever becomes a serious concern when they are personally targeted.

Tom and Eve should sue.

Understanding the Domestic Abuser Part 2

You’re in a relationship with a powerful man, so powerful he is in the running for prime minister. It was all a bit of a whirlwind, the foundations for your relationship are rocky, not least because of his track record as a womaniser. He left another woman to be with you. He left another woman to be with her. He might eventually do the same to you so you have to really go that extra mile to keep him interested. He might push you about a bit, but then men do don’t they? You’ve grown up in world where toxic masculinity thrives, where secrets and lies bind you together instead of pushing you apart.

The violence is escalating, he doesn’t care as much as he used to about keeping it under wraps. Who would believe you anyway? Your neighbours might even have recorded evidence of an alleged assault, a thing they were pushed to do because they feared for your life. Yet still, you can’t quite name the problem because the gravity of the situation is overwhelming, the whole world knows your name and regardless of the facts or evidence, people have already made up their minds. So you consider damage control, and stage a photo opportunity where you seem engrossed in each other and oblivious to the assessments people are making of your intimate relationship, a scene entirely reminiscent of another case of gendered domestic violence, whether purposely or inadvertently, which leads to people questioning the authenticity of a such a spectacle, so soon after the incident, which had resulted in a safe and well check by the police.

Imagine you are Carrie Symonds and the privileged world you live in turns on you. You’re the reason he might not become prime minister, if you had just listened or done what it is you were told, he’d still be in the running. The 1% maintain their power with a polished veneer we rarely see past. If we knew the truth, how domestic abuse is rampant in the upper classes, much like child sex abuse, the whole sorry facade of British stoicism and civility would dissipate, and Britain would be just as bad as those Asian and African nations it loves to point fingers at.

Having supported 100s of victims of domestic abuse, I can say for certain the one thing that made my job easier and that of other agencies involved in the process, was the goodwill and bravery of witnesses who came to the rescue. The likes of Toby Young and Telegraph and Spiked columnists shamelessly refer to these acts of kindness as somehow being akin to the Stasi, in their typically hysterical and duplicitous way. These fragile snowflakes who demanded that milkshake throwers face the full arm of the law rushed to minimise gendered domestic abuse because violence against women is just a feature of their developmentally stunted lives. Toby Young can jizz to his dead heart’s content over underage girls and promote eugenics, safe in the knowledge that nepotism will save his mediocre arse. Is that the sort of person we believe in this country?

Friends of Boris at The Torygraph have suggested that Carrie Symonds may have staged these photos after the incident. It’s more like Johnson gave her the telling to of her life and issued an ultimatum to fix it. She may well have called the photographer, and paid them, but he’s still pulling the strings. Apparently they are in love, and this goes against the stories The Left are allegedly telling themselves. I repeat: it takes 33 attempts to leave an abuser, during which time you might still love them, and hope they will change. Perhaps Carrie thinks this sharp shock to the system might affect Boris’ behaviour, to think and act more carefully, even behind closed doors. This might just make Boris even more secretive and controlling, to avoid exposure like this again.

This relationship is doomed. It may take her many years to come to grips with it and shake herself free from its grasp.

poolia

If we’re looking at ‘evidence’, Julia, let’s consider the fact that non violent, non controlling relationships don’t usually result in a visit from the police. The people who made the report had sufficient concerns for her safety and well-being, if there was no evidence of an altercation the police would have said so and reprimanded the callers. To my knowledge, this did not occur.

perp

The first response to Julia’s comment came right out of ‘the perpetrator’s guide to getting the police on side’. I can’t tell you how many times prolific perps, that is to say those who’ve had enough experience of the system to know how to play it, have said these exact words and used defensive wounds inflicted by the victim as evidence she initiated the attack. Luckily there are specialist domestic violence courts and professionals who’ve been trained to recognise these tactics, myself included (but this doesn’t help anyone when I am banned from social media).

Furthermore, we cannot advise people ignore violence if they are in the vicinity and can hear it loud and clear, ‘because it is none of their business’, that is how domestic abusers were able to run rings around the authorities as recently as the 90s. Not only that but this typically silencing behaviour is usually the purview of perpetrators. Non violent people who oppose violence do not ignore violence. This speaks to the decades of historic abuse where they all knew about it and nobody did a thing. Now we have a crisis as a nation of survivors and victims, authorities are ill equipped to deal with the fall out and senior officers of the law are even making unthinkable suggestions to let the past lie, because the present is all consuming.

There are two types of people in this world; those who abhor violence and are committed to calling it out and those who thrive on it, because it feels like home. We’re all telling on ourselves, one way or another.

DULUTH WHEELS FOR NON VIOLENCE AND POWER AND CONTROL

Twitter Enables Gendered Violence

It might just be me but there’s something strange about the way I was booted off Twitter (for as long as it usually takes to become yesterday’s news) on the very day two violent rich white men were splashed all over the news for gendered violence. I mean, it’s always a bit weird when I am ticked off for promoting bigoted hatred or inciting violence by a company that has actively fanned the flames of white supremacy and enabled Nazis when apparently they are not subject to the same rigorous vetting process opponents of white supremacy appear to be, but to silence me as an expert in gendered violence, at such a crucial time?

Tom Sleigh, a councillor for Bishopsgate in the City of London, was doing his utmost to protect his aggressive colleague and friend Mark Field, giving impassioned speeches about how threatened they all were, when a cursory glance at his TL the night before revealed how unfazed he had been by it all.

tomsleighcharmertomsleighfragilitytomsleighcharmertomsleighbankertomsleigh

Perhaps he took umbrage at my daring, that I would forget my place and not fear their wrath. A 7 day ban for a hyperbolic tweet in which I was fairly measured compared to all the other responses it had garnered (a trophy hunting monster, unrepentant, threatening to kill more giraffes) is a bit excessive. Especially given the way they could not chastise me for my tweets on the matter in hand, so went trawling through my history, looking for the slightest thing they could twist to their advantage.

cuntsbergfartleysewer

It might have been Tom, then again it could have been ‘Aunt Lydias’ Laura Kuenssberg or Julia Fartley Sewer. It might have been Iain Martin or even Charlotte Gill of The Times. Whoever it was, they defended violence against women in order to maintain their power. They keep dropping the bar, lowering standards for us all.

iain martincharlotte gill

markfield

The following day we had the likes of Toby Young claiming the Stasi had it in for domestic abuser Boris Johnson. I’m well aware that the law exists only to punish the poorest in society whereas the upper classes are given carte blanche to behave as criminally as they like. Violence against a domestic partner is illegal and an arrestable offence, even if the victim doesn’t want to press charges. We have decades of experience telling us that victims often won’t press charges because there is a threat of further violence for going against the perpetrator. The worst incidents of violence usually occur after a woman leaves an abusive partner, 76% face a repeat incident post separation. It was decided that courts can enforce justice in cases where victims could be manipulated into withdrawing their allegations. The burden is placed on the authorities not the victim. In this way, we were able to hold more perpetrators to account. This is why it is crucial that neighbours report violence. In the absence of a doctor’s report or other professional testimonies, reports from witnesses suffice in a court of law. Imagine how loud they must have been for their neighbours to actually record it. They’re not living in a council building made of breeze blocks, the walls aren’t paper thin and from what I’ve seen it’s completely detached? They might have saved her life, those neighbours. I am grateful to them for their bravery and moral compass. We all have a duty to call out gendered violence wherever we see/hear it.

Carrie Symonds is probably never going to report her abuser. It takes on average 33 attempts for a victim/survivor to finally work up the courage to leave. For many victims, to have that abuse acknowledged when they cannot speak up, is a relief. I can’t say for sure whether she has tried to leave but I do know the neighbours reporting it on her behalf may have significantly cut the length of this process for her. She is no longer suffering in silence, the truth is out. Not that we ever thought that differently of notorious misogynist Johnson.

One of the first things Boris Johnson did in his role as mayor was to axe the role of Women’s Advisor at City Hall and five posts from the London Domestic Violence Strategy Team. He also removed £90,000 from the budget almost immediately. Given that this project had contributed to a 57% reduction in domestic abuse murders, one can only come to the natural conclusion that Boris hates women, and engages in gendered violence not only on a personal level but is actually a danger to us all. The Safer Travel at Night Board also got the chop, regardless of the fact it had ensured a 46% reduction in cab related sexual offences. The London Childcare Unit which provided support for low income families, 90% of them women, was also abolished.

At every turn, Boris has demonstrated his contempt for women. Perhaps this is why I was suspended, because I would have reminded you of his track record, and I was doing such a great job of shaming the defenders of Mark Field’s vaw, they feared I’d be in my element with Boris. I’ve tried to search for and so far failed to find the footage of Johnson actually making a joke about domestic violence on, I believe it was, Newsnight, with Paxman calling him out. Of course there is a footnote on Google explaining how some results have been removed under EU law.

What kind of person would defend such a monster? A nithing like Toby Billy No Mates Young of course. It suddenly makes sense why he has no friends, you are the company you keep after all, and I wouldn’t want to be judged for him.

Beware the Violent Rich White Men™, they have the power to deny everything and make it all your fault. Twitter is clearly in cahoots.

Violent Rich White Men

I think a few rich white men were offended by my tweets regarding white male violence against women and how easy it is for them to evade justice. I’ve just been suspended from Twitter again (for 7 days, during which I cannot tweet, only DM), for another hyperbolic tweet I’d completely forgotten about. I’m speaking in relation to trophy hunters, overwhelmingly rich and white and murderous. Nobody reported it at the time, presumably because nobody cares but what are facts when you’re trying to silence someone long enough for it to be yesterday’s news?

rich white prats

(the image featured a white woman holding a dead giraffe, apparently unrepentant, saying she would do it again)

As most of you know, I worked in DV services for near a decade, supporting women through the justice system, advocating on their behalf. I came into contact with women from all walks of life and learnt a lot about what to look for when there are no obvious signs of abuse because victims don’t tend to go shouting it from the rooftops. I learnt about how society enables abusers, how patriarchal societies are skewed in men’s favour, so that even violence against women and children is justified in order to maintain power. We provided a service for which there should not have been a need, that is, to ensure that public authorities were doing their duties correctly and to minimise further harm to vulnerable women and their children. A sad indictiment of British society, that we should need to constantly reiterate duty of care to agencies to prevent repeat incidents and educate them about the various types of abusers.

If there’s one thing I know intimately, it’s an abuser. I was raised by them, I was engaged to them, I watched many of them being sentenced for hurting my clients. Gendered violence knows no cultural racial religious or economic bounds (poverty doesn’t cause DV, just exacerbates it). Often the worst offenders are the people you are least likely to think of as violent, because they have a good job, went to a good school and move in the right circles. There is a higher prevalence of violence in males working public jobs in policing and justice. It felt counterintuitive to trust these people with vulnerable women but there were no other options. Just like it feels wrong to trust in the British state and government, people with the power to act with impunity, to claim up is down.

We all saw the footage of Mark Field handling the Greenpeace activist. As victims and survivors of gendered violence we were triggered, because we’ve seen that look before in an abuser’s eyes. We know that he’s done it before, it was so instinctual for him to grab her around her the neck. In the standard test for victims of DV, the CAADA (co-ordinated action against domestic abuse) DASH (domestic abuse, stalking and honour based violence) specifically asks whether the perpetrator has ever strangled or put their hands around the victim’s neck. This is because statistically, men who target the neck area are threatening to kill their victim. There is a correlation between men who strangle and domestic homicide. A yes reply would result in an instant referral to a MARAC (multi agency risk assessment conference) regardless of whether any of the other criteria was satisified. This fact cannot be downplayed by the defenders of violence against women, regardless of whether have a column in The Times or attended the Banker’s dinner.

When talking heads like these, with their privilege, and platforms use their power to deny abuse, as they have done with racism these past few years, incidents of violence increase. Violence trickles down, from parent to child, from the toffs to the underclass. They’re so keen to normalise violence, these very damaged adult children, because they took it when it happened to them, and didn’t complain, choosing instead to identify with their abusers. They are not normal, they are disordered, they believe violence against women can be justified.

..Except when the perpetrators are black or brown, then there are calls for collective punishment. We need to speak truthfully about the violence of white men and why it has been a badly kept secret for 100s of years. We know child sex abuse is endemic but we’re yet to accept the same of gendered violence, not when there are so many lazy stereotypes of poc to so easily buy into.

Given that there is a causal link between domestic abuse and terrorism, aren’t you reassured Field is the Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific? No? Me neither.

(The Greenpeace activist, Janet Baker, is quoted as saying Mark Field should go for anger management classes. I would advise against this as research suggests that perpetrators of gendered violence use them to hone their power and control, making them even more difficult to detect)

BREAKING NEWS – Police called to house Boris Johnson shares with Carrie Symonds.
“At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out my flat”.

 

I Won

CN for suicide, self harm, mental health

13 months after my personal independence payments were cut, I won my 2nd tribunal. 13 months of crowdfunding my rent. 13 months of reducing my food intake, buying the cheaper brand, going without, and feeling humiliated but on Friday, a panel ruled in my favour. There was no objection from the DWP representative who, I could have sworn, was even crying at one point. I felt bad for scowling at her after that!

I self harmed 4 times during that period, when I absolutely could not comply with the measures I’ve worked at to protect myself. I dissociated more frequently. I got as far as buying the instruments I would need to end it. Drew up a plan. Resisted writing the suicide note because that would make it final, and only because the people around me pulled through when I shared my invasive thoughts (a thing I was only able to do because I’d been taught, by my first therapist). They reminded me I’d managed to survive this long because people wanted to help me. They made me think about the people who look to me for strength and how my demise would impact on them. I didn’t really care in that split second but when the feverish urges passed I felt a bit sheepish I’ll admit. People do take strength from my courage.

When the DWP cut me off and sent me their decision, they said they were not disputing the fact that I had these disabilities just whether or not I qualified for personal independence payments. 13 months on and I’ve just been told I do. So was it really necessary to put me through this? What is its purpose otherwise? Survival of the fittest? It’s not strictly true anymore though is it? I’m nowhere near the fittest but I have recourse; to advocates, to friends who work in the public sector and health professionals who actually listen. Perhaps this mum didn’t?

Even with all the support I have, I came the closest I ever have to ending it. I didn’t enjoy asking for help, again and again, I was isolated and lonely as a result. I might be an anarcho-communist but I still have the hardwiring of a society that celebrates charity as a virtue but not if you’re on the receiving end. The shame still lingers. I didn’t want to die, I felt I had no other choice.

Recently I read about a young woman called Holly Cowlam who took her own life when she was diagnosed with depression. Holly had been studying psychology and so had some understanding of mental health. I get the sense, because she knew her chances in life would be greatly affected, as they are in a society that demonises mental health, she felt she had no other option. I know what that’s like; the shame and hopelessness. I refused to acknowledge my own mental health for 20 years, telling myself I was stronger than those others who had succumbed. In the end, you can’t really prevent it. I am the sum total of all the violence and treachery inflicted on me but with the right support, and freedom, and protection, I know I can get better.

holly cowlam

What I do not need, and could have really done without, was being treated like I’m making it up. As a repeat victim of sexual and domestic violence, gaslighting is a straight up trigger for my PTSD. Being treated like I am insignificant and somehow asking for more than what is my right, having paid into a system for many years and on an emergency tax code more often than not (I did a lot of temp work because I was sick even then only I wouldn’t admit it) eventually wore me down in a way my mental and physical conditions do not, because I believe I can overcome them (to an extent). I needed time and space to heal not to be hindered by a cruel and abusive process.

Advocates for humanity must ramp up the pressure on this government and demand justice for all those who’ve needlessly died in our country. The architects of social cleansing must be tried for their crimes against our humanity.

You can judge a country by the way it treats its animals/poor/prisoners/women/disabled folk.

The Injustice of a Racist Britain

justice

White supremacy is in white people’s DNA. They’ve ruled the waves, they will never be slaves, they do the enslaving. From the toffs to the chavs they whip into a frenzy in the name of white skin, they all BELIEVE they are superior (unless they are actively dismantling white privilege and abolishing the structures that enable it).

You can show them evidence of white people’s crimes and they will minimise it, from the cops to the court system and beyond. The brutal murder and rape of Alesha McPhail at the hands of a 16 year old white male has been fairly muted compared to the sensationalist and somewhat salacious accounts being reported on the matter of jihadist teen brides keen to repatriate. No, I personally do not believe all should be forgiven and forgotten in cases such as these but I do not think we should be making children stateless (or anyone for that matter – NO BORDERS). If we can hide the identity of a 16 year old rapist and murderer who inflicted some of the worst injuries the police have ever seen on a 6 year old baby, a suspect who’s never shown any remorse, and continues to evade justice by perverting the course to it (he says the semen was planted on the child’s body by a vengeful Jezebel), then we can show compassion to a young person who was groomed into her role as a sort of useful idiot. There’s no confidentiality clause for young brown people when they are suspected of committing heinous crimes. No, not when 76% of Sun readers have made their minds up about letting her and the baby rot in their sorry refugee camp. With scenes from the BBC’s Bodyguard fresh in everyone’s minds, brown Muslim women are already condemned as traitors and terrorists, sly and sneaky. Why take the risk eh?

When Asian men groom young white girls everyone is up in arms (eventually) but their primary victims, their wives and daughters and mothers are fair game. Isis teen is born evil I guess, just like all the other darkies. Listening to her though, with the tiniest bit of compassion and understanding of the naive developing mind of a teenage girl (she was 15 years old when she was recruited) and not as an other but one of our own, born and bred, I can see only how she has been neglected and pushed to the limits by a society that has rejected her from the moment she was old enough to understand she was an other, and how easily a predator could have taken advantage of that. She appeals to the British public’s sympathy because that is the image we’re given of white people, they like to see themselves as magnanimous and she is aware of it, as we all are. Sadly I don’t think she actually believes it (as none of us do), but she’s desperate. She has given her newly born child the kind of protection she has never afforded herself. To her own detriment she is appealing for the safety of her child, as any mother would. She needs guidance and rehabilitation not spiteful retribution. People like Maajid Nawaz managed it but I have to wonder, is it because he routinely toes the British National party line on good and bad Muslims? Do you have to jump hoops to satisfy white interests? Swear allegiance to queen and country? A rhetorical question obviously, I can confirm this to be true.

Every day I see more evidence of white crimes, the likes of which chill you to the core and make you not want to step foot out of your front door or have your own children. I had a white lady anti vaxxer threaten to lick me, at one end of the batshit scale and read of threats to lynch women of colour MPs who dare to speak out against Brexit, down the other. I’ve had my own troop of white savages threatening to rape and kill me since a white journalist used an opportunity to deny racism was everywhere. Imagine if Helen Lewis had been sympathetic to our pleas all those years ago or any of her journalist friends instead of throwing us to their fascist following. Are we really going to let the media and politicians get away with the hellscape they’ve created?

Farage has recrutied 100,000 people to his newest fash party. Like all his other ventures into the mainstream this party has only one objective and that’s racism. He’s not building a legitimate party to win a war of words he’s putting together an army. He has threatened violence before. He has denied murderous violence, in the wake of the white supremacist slaying of Jo Cox in broad daylight. He is dangerous and should have already been blacklisted. Why hasn’t this happened?

The liberal/left wing media denied Britain was racist and turned everyone against the people who were trying to wake you up to this reality. Then they claimed antisemitism was the only racism any of us should pay attention to and rushed to the aid of European nationals threatened with repatriation under Brexit, whilst they quietly condemned the Windrush generation to deportation and destitution. They let brown foreign nationals die in hospitals from treatable diseases because their humanity is lost. Everywhere I look I see intense suffering of ethnic minorities and trauma that will span some generations to come and injustice wherever white people commit crimes.

To be a white supremacist is to be inhumane.