Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit

Friday, 20 January 2012

Domestic Violence - Refuge

Patrick Stewart was on the Chris Evans Show this morning.  He always seems like a lovely chap and a pleasure to listen to. I am slightly biased as I grew up in his home town, his brother sang in the church choir with my dad for years and I went to school with his nephew. I have inspiring memories of him coming to my home church of St Mary's Mirfield to perform his one man show of A Christmas Carol - which must have been round about 1987 - pre-Star Trek.

I noticed this morning that he was trending on Twitter (unsurprisingly) and that people were re-posting an article he wrote in 2009 about domestic violence in the Guardian. Patrick is a patron of Refuge who provide help and assistance for women and children who are experiencing domestic violence.  It's a really good article, highly recommended.

What struck me most though this morning (considering my 'top tenuous' links to Mr Stewart as Chris Evans' show would put it) is that when he talks about the people who knew about the violence in his household as he grew up, the people who knew but said nothing, he's actually talking about some people who I know.  Much of my family lived within streets of his at that time.  Some of the knowing but not acting was by people who I grew up around and had great respect for.

As Mr Stewart points out in the article, there are still a lot of situations where people know and do nothing. Things need to change.

1 comment:

Brokenleggedlamb said...

The real problem here is knowing what to do if you know someone is experiencing domestic violence.

First, you don't want to be seen as interfering or snooping. Second, there is a real risk that violence might be visited upon you or your property if you get involved.

The view from the inside is equally difficult.

As a survivor of abuse myself, I spent most of my childhood believing I deserved what I got anyway - so why would I want to tell anyone what was happening if there was 'nothing to tell'? If anyone had stepped in, I would have wondered what their problem was!

There was also the fear aspect - that things would be far worse if anyone else knew - I'd be taken into care, the violence would get worse, and if I was gone, the violence would be turned upon my mum - something which I would blame myself for.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that in a sad way, sometimes 'nothing' is all we can do - but in this act of doing nothing, we need to keep watching, listening and waiting for the time when we can do something.

The ministry of 'being there' maybe?