Anyone who reads my blog or has read articles about me and my family can see that I live the dream of happily ever after. I have been rescued by my prince.
Ayden doesn't play games, I am completely free to be who I am, he gives me his wallet to spendhismoney on what I need or just want to and he never questions anything. He pays my bills for things that have nothing to do with him and all he really cares about, is that I am happy. (As I sit here writing this he has just brought me lovely hot rice pudding to devour).
With Ayden, I don't need the fairy wings that are tattooed on my back because he doesn't clip my real wings in any way. He encourages me to fly and I know he will be there to catch me if I fall.
Life wasn't like that before I met Ayden though and he has had to cut back the brambles of pain that surrounded me from my past. Life has been a roller-coaster of tough.
I've been locked in more towers of abuse by a few different men, than I like to think about.
Because of the strength Ayden has given me I wanted to write this blog. Not for me now but for all the women who are like the me from a long time ago. Women who know the fear of physical abuse, who bear the scars of emotional abuse and for all those women who suffer the cruelty of financial abuse.
It's in the hope that maybe one person from the government might read it and see the role they play in trapping women in hopeless and sometimes dangerous situations that I write this open letter below.
An Open Letter...
Dear Sir/ Madam,
I am writing to please ask you to stop making maternity and family allowance 'means tested' on both partners.
By taking that allowance away from mothers, you take away their freedom, independence, pride and in extreme cases their safety. If a woman has worked all her life and paid taxes up until having a baby it really shouldn't matter how much her husband or partner earns as to whether she gets an allowance for looking after her own children. All women deserve the right to freedom and by taking this away you punish and trap a lot of women.
Many women are in situations where their partners might earn lots of money but if they are financially or emotionally abusive these men (or women) may control exactly how much they give their partner as a way of controlling them. The governments decision to means test child allowance actually aids the partner in this cycle of abuse and in trapping the abused in the house and in the relationship.
Other women may be trapped in dangerous situations with their young children in physically abusive relationships. They may be too afraid to go to the authorities and obviously unable to get money from their partners to leave them. By stopping this allowance you are giving them no means of escape and possibly engendering their lives.
I'm not saying if women have savings they should get allowances but it should not have anything to do with how much their partners earn. Women deserve to be seen as individuals and if they don't have savings, they should get some allowance from the government so they at least have some freedom and control of their own lives.
Thank you for your time.
I hope that non of you reading this are in abusive situations. Many, many years ago I was in a terribly abusive relationship and I know just how difficult it is to leave. Abusive men are not like they are portrayed on TV. They are not overtly evil, they don't wear a dark cloak and have a menacing laugh. Most of the time they are truly lovely and funny and kind. You don't notice that they are undermining your confidence, you don't even realise they have taken over your finances and even when they are violent in the extreme you feel sorry for them afterwards and tell them everything will be OK.
If you are stuck and feel you can't escape an abusive situation there are measures you can take ...
You can have a 'Treat As Urgent' (TAU) put on your house. This means that if you ever call the police, they know to get there as soon as possible. Your partner doesn't need to know about this.
You can register to text the police. This is great if you think openly making a call to the police will escalate the situation
If you are worried about pets contact the Dogs Trust about their freedom project to foster animals until you get a new home. I did a video for them in 2010
'Women's Aid' and many other abuse charities are wonderful and help support you to stay or leave
If your partner is suffering because of his behaviour, he can call 'Repect' a charity for abusive men
Always have a bag packed with money (if you can get it) passports or birth certificates for you and all your children (this is an absolute must) and essentials (nappies, some clothes etc)
Being a human is hard and comes with many obstacles and life is never as easy as we think it will be.
I don't like the fact that the government has taken away women's rights by attaching our finances to our partner's financial situation, it is very backward and very dangerous.
I am lucky with a wonderful man who is not abusive in any way and I can work from home, so I earn my own money and play mum at the same time - but I know that so many women and men are not as lucky as me and it is their basic human right and the rights of their children, that the government protects their freedom and at the moment there is a proportion of society that is not protected at all. This has to change.