The day began with what felt like a punch to the guts. I got downstairs at about 11.00 and sat watching a recording of the morning’s Victoria Derbyshire show on the BBC. Just two reports, but both left me reeling.
First, the interview with “Ivy”, a woman who had suffered horrendous domestic violence and abuse from her former husband, and who then went on to suffer further from the appalling actions of those who should have been helping her. If I had not already read similar accounts on the Mumsnet forums, I would have found it very hard to believe it all. But, sadly, it is clear that women are not only being abused in huge numbers by husbands, partners, and other family members, but are then often treated dreadfully by the “system”. I wept for Ivy and her children, who are also badly affected, and I hope that things can get better for her and her family.
You can see the report and video on the BBC website. The entire Victoria Derbyshire programme is available on BBC iPlayer for 29 days, starting today.
The second section that affected me so much was about the proposed changes to the welfare system, meaning that for some families to get child tax credits for third and subsequent children, women would have to prove that they had been raped and made pregnant by that rapist. I had already read about this online and in the newspapers, such as The Independent , but the programme really brought the issue to the fore. Again, this is appalling abuse of women by offialdom and must be challenged forcefully by Opposition parties in Parliament. I hope that the Labour Party can do something to stop this.
I am outraged by issues like this, but am also sad that I am too ill to help with the fight. Instead, the stress caused by even thinking about this makes me feel even more ill. And so it has proved as I have been unable to go out today.
But this is not about just my reactions. If anyone reading about this feels as I do, then please do more than I can manage and at least write to your MP. I will donate to a suitable organisation in lieu of direct action – Women’s Aid would be a good one. Please let me know of any others via comments if you are able.
The Citizens’ Advice Bureau have a list of organisation which can help those suffering from domestic violence and abuse.
Writing about my outfit of the day seems to be very inappropriate after talking about such serious issues, so I will leave that until tomorrow.