When I left my ex, not realising what I had been through, my wonderfully supportive Health Visitor gave me the details of an organisation called Women’s Aid. At the time I thought nothing of what I had been through, thinking I was ‘being silly’ but once I had answered a questionnaire provided to me by the Surrey branch of Women’s Aid, I realised that the problem was a lot more serious than I had first anticipated. The ladies who ran that helpline and my outreach worker who met up with me were amazing. They were reassuring and explained to me why I shouldn’t put up with what had happened to me. I deserved better.
When I joined their Freedom program course back in December 2007, I would come home with leaflets and information and my Mum also found them useful. My Dad had been very much the same toward her….worse in fact. The fact that he took her only mode of transport away when she needed to get to radiotherapy for her first diagnosis of breast cancer – let alone everything else he did to her – shocks and disgusts many people.
My fear now is for Grace and making sure that she doesn’t get herself in a similar situation to the one that both my Mum and I did. I hope that the fact that I left so early on is promising. The fact that Ross, my step-Dad Ian and Ross’ Father are such good male role models also gives me hope. But there is something else that can help.
On Tuesday June 11th there will be a vote in parliament for an amendment to the Children and Families Bill to include Sex and Relationship Education in the National Curriculum. If this amendment is carried, it will go into the Bill. This is vital to ensure that we change society’s attitudes toward relationships. It will help shape our children’s futures.
To learn more from the Women’s Aid ambassadors, please watch this short film:
Women’s Aid provide a free Educational tool kit called ‘Expect Respect’ which you can download here.
In the meantime, we need to try and get this Bill amended. In order to do that you need to lobby your local MP to ensure that they vote for this on Tuesday. Details on how to do this are here.
Let’s be the change we want to see in our children.