Tag Archives: freedom programme

She’s off on her soapbox again…

I am too.
I’m just so sickened and furious I can’t possibly not climb onto my soapbox. So forgive this long, rant post.
We currently live in a society where Tax Credits will only be paid for the first two children. I have thoughts on how we can meander into effectively being a 2 child state but they’re for another blog. I am aware that the welfare state is under excruciating pressure and that cuts have to come, again I’ve thoughts on why the cuts have to come from the poorest rather than the richest but again whole other blog post.
The one exemption to the 2 child law that is in place is if a third or subsequent child is “conceived as a result of rape or an otherwise coercive relationship”

All you have to do is fill in form NCC1 4/17 (an 8 page long document) to be assessed as to whether your rape counts or not.

Simple eh?

Nothing for you ladies to get your knickers in a twist about. The government are merely making sure they put a end to all those hoards of women getting themselves pregnant for benefits and one of those massive mansions some channel 5 documentary shows us they all live in.

I find this law abhorrent enough as it is. I can imagine many women having to struggle financially rather than go through the humiliation and reliving of a hugely traumatic event filling in the rape form then having to discuss it again with a third party.

The law itself isn’t what has me seething though (well it does but it seems I can get to a higher seething level). My issue here is that whoever dreamt up this Victorian, barbaric law and every person who signed it off along the way know nothing about domestic abuse and less than nothing about coercive control.

The thing that jumped out at me was that women still living with the father of children born through rape or in a coercive relationship are not allowed to claim this support.

So here we are at the first ridiculous notion. That if you are in an abusive relationship which, as they often do, include sexual abuse you are able to just pack up and leave. Now  even without taking into account the slashing of funding for women’s refuges, making it harder for those who are able to leave, there’s the simple fact that many women in abusive relationships can’t just leave. Here’s why I couldn’t.

Then we get to rape in relationships. The people who dreamt up this law are obviously those who are experts in how rape happens. They clearly think it’s exclusively something that only happens in dark alleys, by big scary monsters of men who attack strangers.

Rape doesn’t always happen in badly lit streets after dark. Sometimes it happens in a comfy bed, in her own home, by the man she loves.

Keep in mind too that a tactic abusive men use too is to keep a woman pregnant. Ensure she’s stuck in the house. Often she’s denied access to contraception as she’s not allowed solo doctors visits.

So the people at the top who make these laws. Well you’re doing the work of the abusive man for him here. You’re telling these women that you can’t be raped if you live with someone (he’s probably been telling her that for years) Then when he does impregnate her without her consent she’s going to struggle financially, trapping her further. Well done decision makers. Research a project called The Freedom Programme they’ve helped many a woman like me get to grips with their own abuse. I’m sure a little read could educate even the most ignorant.

The rape clause also tells us that children conceived as a result of a coercive relationship are also exempt from the 2 child policy.
Except again this women have to have left to count.

Sigh. .. .
Coercive control in its nature begins  so subtly you often don’t realise it’s even happening until it’s too late. You no longer question why you shouldn’t wear make up you just stop. You know you can no longer go out with your friends but are unsure how it got to that.
I can envisage many a scenario where coercive control in a relationship would result in pregnancy.
It’s the man telling his partner if she truly loved him she’d have a baby despite her not wanting one , after all doesn’t he live with the kids she already has by some other guy?
It’s the woman accused of having an affair because she doesn’t want to have sex. She knows from past history that line of questioning will likely end in violence so she lays and doesn’t protest whilst he has sex with her.
It’s the exhausted brand new mum, newborn by her bed whose partner is so jealous of all the attention she’s giving her baby. She’s sore, she’s exhausted, she certainly doesn’t want to participate but she’s told to just lay still and quiet so as not to wake the baby.

I could go on, but I’ve probably gone on enough. I just can’t understand the mentality behind this law in a country that considers itself forward thinking and free and fair.
I’m at a loss as to what I can do as a woman living in a country where the government shows such disdain for women’s rights and such a misunderstanding (or maybe a choice not to understand) how abuse works.
I feel for these women, abused by the person they live with then to have their experiences gaslighted by the government too.
I fear what comes next.

There’s a petition here against the cuts if you feel like I do. 100,000 signatures means this must be debated in parliament

My Facebook page is here

 

Shameless plug : If you like my nonsense and fancy nominating me in the #BiBs2017 you can do so just here http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/

 

 

          The Tale of Mummyhood

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To the mum enduring an abusive relationship at Christmas time… 

Dear friend, 

We don’t necessarily know one another  but maybe we do. Living with abuse I know is torturous and I know you feel so alone, so I just wanted you to know that I know.
 
I know how your abuser hates Christmas and uses this as a mantra in order to justify his behaviour. That he’d never have torn the Christmas tree down if you hadn’t made a fuss when you know he hates Christmas. 

I know that you’re going to spend the whole of the festive period treading on eggshells, trying not to draw attention to yourself or the children. Trying to quietly play with them,make them feel loved and nurture them whilst keeping  them from being too noisy or too messy so as not to unleash his temper. 

I know all the work will have been left to  you, all the food shopping and present buying. Even if he’s withheld money you’d still have been expected to get presents, and you probably have. 

I know whatever presents you have bought will be wrong. You’ll either have bought the wrong thing or you’ll have bought too much and he’ll call the children spoilt. He’ll tell you you’re an awful mum but he’s wrong. You’re not. You’re incredible. 

I know that Christmas time might be a lonely place for you. Maybe you’re isolated from your own family and friends so have to spend Christmas with his. Having to watch him turn on the charm in public and play the devoted family man. 

I know you’ll have not been able to get it right if you’ve been round his family. If you’ve been quiet he’ll accuse you of rudeness and being stuck up, asking who the hell you think you are and ensuring you continue to feel like shit. 

Alternatively if you’ve been chatty you’ll be accused of flirting with his brother, his friends, his dad. Accused of having an affair, called a slag whilst simultaneously told you’re  so fat and ugly no one else would ever want you. 

I know maybe he’ll not buy you a Christmas present, he’ll tell you you’re not worth it. He’ll spit that he didn’t get you anything from the kids because you are such a terrible mother. Maybe it’ll go the other way though, maybe he’s presented you with the grand gesture, an expensive gift in front of people that’ll likely be smashed into pieces at his hands by new year.

Alcohol is a factor at Christmas too I know. He’ll use it as an excuse for his appaling behaviour. Blame it on the drink. Should you pour a glass of wine though then you’re back in awful mother territory. An alcoholic. A disgrace. 

I think that there is likely still a tiny glimmer of hope inside you. You’ll ignore it for the most part because it is terrifying, you can’t let your mind begin to daydream about another way. You’ve just got to put all your energies into making the kids feel loved, keeping them safe. Focus on just surviving, your thoughts almost exclusively trained towards preempting his next move, keeping him calm. 

You probably have even forgotten it was there, than tiny spark of hope. It’s been dampened over the years certainly but not extinguished. It’s lying dormant waiting for the day it’s safe for you to leave. It makes me sick to even say that. Safe to leave. We know the statistics though, we’ve read the newspaper stories, we know leaving abuse can be dangerous. 

When it’s safe though, when you’re ready that tiny glimmer of hope will see you through. 

I’m sorry that your Christmas is an ordeal. I’m sorry everywhere you look you see happy families enjoying cheery Christmases with devoted fathers and husbands and you wonder why you don’t get to have that. Even the TV bombards you with smiling festive families and I know it just makes you want to weep for your children and for yourself. I know you do your weeping in secret. I’ve been you.

 
I’ve done years of Christmas being a time of violence and of criticism and shouting and screaming and pain. I didn’t think there’d ever be a time that that wasn’t my life. I couldn’t have ever envisaged that one day the children and I would be safe here in our house, able to do Christmas our way, able to enjoy rather than endure. Here we are though. It is possible, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. I know you can get there too. 

Just please know this, 

You are valuable and you deserve to be free. You are loved and cherished and there is a whole army of women out here ready to mobilise and support you when you are able to make those steps. 

I wish you a safe Christmas and a peaceful new year

Xxxxx

If you are in an abusive relationship and you need help the Women’s Aid website is here for help and advice 

The Freedom Programme which helped me immeasurably after I’d left the abusive relationship but also is open for women still in the relationship has groups around the country as well as an online course. Their website is  here

My Facebook blog page is here

 

One Messy Mama

Petite Pudding

 

Could you do me a favour? 

I’ve talked often and with so much gratitude about The Freedom Programme. 

When I began the programme I had only been away from abuse a matter of months and whilst I was physically away and safe, mentally was a whole other thing. 

Doing that course saved my sanity. 
Every woman in that room knew the abusive guy (I know they all think they’re smartly individual – they’re actually tediously similar)They use the same lines, they display the same behaviours,they share a way of thinking. We shared their way of thinking for a while. 

After this course my mindset was different. I’d been handed the tools to help me deal with what I’d been through, being a group settings had helped me realise that ‘it wasn’t just me’ 

I’d advise anyone who has been through an abusive relationship or who is still in one to do The Freedom Programme. 

I wrote here about doing the programme helped me feel sane.

 I wrote here about how it alleviated burdening mum guilt. 

And here about how important it is to feel believed when you begin to tell your story. In that room, with those women there was no judgement, no blame no disbelief and that was what I desperately needed. 

Leaving an abusive relationship is a terrifying traumatic thing. To feel supported and listened to and understood helps us as we begin to repair ourselves. 

So here’s my favour – Please, please, please could you just click here and vote for the Freedom Programme to be able to secure funds to help them to continue to help women. To aid them in helping to change lives. 

Just like they did mine. 

My Facebook page is here

I’m @daydreamer_mum on Twitter 

A few words to my abuser…

To the man who tried to destroy me,
It’s the anniversary of that date.
The date I left.
The date you shoved me into a door and stamped on my foot – a little incident in the grand scheme of things but the last one
The date I packed up my children and ran for my life.
The date your years long reign of terror came to an end.

I just wanted you to know that I remember.

I remember and I celebrate. I look at my well adjusted children, I look around my home, I look at myself in the mirror.

Then I smile.

You didn’t defeat me you see. You broke me, you dismantled me, you shattered my soul into a million fragments. I can tell you though that now, finally I am mended. It took a while, you did a very good job of breaking my spirit. Over the years when I’ve tried to build myself up I never quite got there. The fixes were too fragile – it only took one nasty comment to have me back on the floor shattered once more. It’s different this time. I stopped trying to rush it. I’m held together with superglue.

There’s been a huge shift in my mindset the past couple of years, a change in my thought process, a change in myself.

Do you know what I think kick started the new outlook? Writing this blog. Sharing my story has helped more than I could have dreamt. I’m not the only one who has been involved with men like you. There are so many, way too many of us. We tell our stories, we support one another, we comfort and we share and we listen. Women are strong, we build ourselves back stronger and with the support of other women we’re a real force. My little blog reminds me of this. When I receive messages from other women who tell me my blog helped them feel less alone that helps my own recovery. We all know your type now. Those of us who’ve attended the Freedom Programme can now spot an abusive man. We know the warning tell tale signs. There’s strength in that. Female empowerment is stronger than the likes of you thank goodness.

You won there for a little while, when you said if I left no one would believe me, they’d think me mad and take my children you had a really good go at that. You failed though. You failed spectacularly.

Because of you for years I walked around with my head down, the posture of a woman who doesn’t want to take up any space, who doesn’t want to catch anyone’s eye.

Because of you I doubted my parenting skills, I felt useless at everything and more than that I thought that’s how everyone else saw me too.

Not any more.

I’ll always be affected by what you did to me both physically and psychologically. I use it to my advantage now though.

I’m happy with who I am, with how I look. The woman who believed she was stupid, fat and ugly, your favourite three words, is gone.

My life is good. My children’s lives are really good.

We won.

My Facebook page is here

 
 

JakiJellz

 

Mummy Times Two