As I am a citizen of Great Britain, I'm not sure if my comments will be of value to you, but I have just read your article on 'Family Violence' and felt moved to write.
I'm now 47, but am still carrying the hurt and bearing the consequences of a horrific childhood. It honestly never goes away. It's worse just now, because it's my birthday and soon it will be Christmas - and I know it's stupid but I con never stop the memories of those sick, scared feelings of past years from taking over.. They were the times we'd hate the most, my 3 sisters and me, because we'd always hope and pray 'THIS YEAR IT WILL BE DIFFERENT' but it never was...
We did try to tell - Each of my three sisters ran away numerous times - I'm disabled and use a wheelchair (since being 8 months old) so I couldn't run away but even I once plucked up courage to tell. But no one believed us. My sisters would get brought back home and there 'SHE' would be all smiles to the policeman - make him tea and be so loving to the returned sister - until the policeman said goodbye and then - well she beat my youngest sister so bad she had to be kept off school because someone might notice her beatings and bruises. Even after two weeks, when my sister did go back to school they were so worried about her eye they took her to the eye hospital. My sister had learned her lesson well by then she told everyone she had a fight at school.
But you know what hurts the most. Even today no one will accept that women are abusive. I read the domestic violence sites all they talk of is 'women' well, you know I'm a woman too but who can I turn to? Where can I go for comfort and or help I've found a few women's survivors message boards - and I've posted messages - but you know what? My messages are deleted - it's happened three times on three different message boards so I daren't try any more - I don't want to again be told I don't count or that the abuse I suffered doesn't matter..
Why does no one talk of the realities of abuse? I don't care what men- hating feminazi groups spout - I know it's just propaganda to further their political agenda but it hurt me so much just now to see that you, a police department that even I, thousands of miles away in another country, had always admired and respected, would not have told the truth.
I really am not trying to be 'smart' or argumentative and
disrespectful.. But surely as the police you should not be biased against anyone If our police (in the global sense) cannot protect us, where else can we go? Ordinary people who, thankfully, know nothing of abuse, will read your information - and not only in Canada, but all over the world.. How do you think they'll react if a child goes to them and says their mother is abusing them, if all they hear is 'men abuse - women are victims' ?
There's also another real danger in hiding the realities of abuse - if these vicious women don't get treated, their victims are not helped and supported (because of course, if no one believes they've been abused, why would they offer support) these children then grow up and carry on the only pattern of life they know. Two years ago, my niece ran away from her mother (my sister) she turned up at my door, thankfully, and told me.. "Auntie Sue, if you can't help me I'll kill myself" She had had the exact same life my sisters and me had - she'd also learned police and social workers don't care - can't be trusted - because she'd been on 'the child at risk list' since three years old. I myself had reported instances when my sister had left her alone days at a time at age 7 - no food, not allowed to turn a light on nor open a curtain (so it looked like no one was in) not allowed to answer the telephone or door.. But nothing happened. No one took my sister to court. No one took my niece Angie into care. No one cares if it's a woman abusing you..
I've read a few speeches made by your wonderful Senator, Anne Cools. She knows the truth. One speech I read made my cry so much - it was like she'd been in my house when we were children - she was talking about me and my sisters, yet she didn't even know we existed. I can't tell you how much it helped me to know that at least one person in the world knows I wasn't lying But imagine.. I've had to wait to be in my 40's before I found one person in the world who knew I'd told the truth all those years ago.
I know, as individuals you're all good folk, and I'm sure you'd not send back 'home' a child who had black eyes or had been kicked so hard she'd had to be rushed into hospital because the kicking had ruptured her apendix (my youngest sister had that happen at age 11 - you know what her crime was? she'd hung the washing out on the clothes-line the wrong way round - you see abusers don't need an excuse they can use anything to say 'it's your own fault' because how the heck can washing be hung up 'wrong'?) But, if you write articles like 'Family Violence' on your official web site, how would a child KNOW in their heart that you are good people and that you'd believe them? Do you understand what I mean? I'm sorry I'm not able to write more clearly, as you can imagine, it's very hard for me to remain objective and it's hard to type when one is crying and throwing-up :o(
This time last year I decided I would try to help today's children as I knew what it felt like to be abandoned - I'd decided to find links and support for victims of abuse and survivors like myself. But you know.. If your abuse is a woman, there's absolutely no information out there. And even more frightening - most child abuse information is not for children they don't count, apparently, because all one can find
is 'women and children' Now, if your abuser is your mother - do you honestly think a child would be able to trust anyone who talked
of 'women and children'..?
When we were young my mother left us - took everything, pots, pans, even the light bulbs from their sockets. Our poor Dad came home from work and there we were in an empty house. It was wonderful !!!! But after a month or two 'she' decided she wanted the house - unfortunately that meant she had to have us too - and no one took us into a room where 'she' couldn't see or hear us.. She'd told us what to say, and by Golly, we knew we'd better say it or we'd be killed.. those were her words.. And so she got rid of our Dad, by us having to say it was him who was cruel and how scared we were but of him not her.. See.. by then we'd alreadly learned no one believed us, cared or wanted to know.. So, she got the house and us.. and it was like a death sentence. It was our Dad who'd loved us, he didn't know what was going on, because it went on when he was at work and we'd not dared tell or wanted to upset him in a way we tried to protect him because she was so vicious to him too. - she'd make us say we'd already eaten earlier so he didn't always know what was happening - but I recall he one time found us eating bread with sugar on - that was our main meal.. He was crying and made her make us a proper meal - can you imagine how it felt for him.. to hear us saying it was he who was cruel to us? Why did no one talk to us in private? Why is it still happening? And how can it be stopped if no one believes and accepts that women are no different than men?
You see.. When I read any domestic violence information or
any 'batter's profiles' they're talking of our mother.. She did kill our pets some of them anyhow. and some she just got rid of (maybe killed those too but I don't know) we'd just come home and our dog would be gone.. But in a way that was better - because she's be so cruel to our dogs she'd kick and beat them and tell us it was our fault for doing or not doing whatever.. But then, we'd come home and there she'd got another dog.. and we used to try not to love it because we knew we'd have to watch it starve and get kicked. One I really did love so much - but one day she made us 'get rid of it' We weren't allowed home until we'd got rid of it... In the end we took it to the police station and pretended we'd found it - the policeman was so kind I'm sure he knew but he took it for us.
You know. if you've got a stab wound, a black eye, or been kicked in the back, stomach or ribs - it really doesn't matter who did it it hurts just as much.. I just can't understand why women never get punished or their children taken into safety - a man only has to hug his child and can be loved up while 'investigations' are done - yet even killing a baby is okay for women.. :o(
I do hope that you will be able to write your information in a way that will help and comfort, as well as empower all your citizens, and those of other nations who may stumble upon it as i did just now.. Abuse will never be eradicated if only half the perpetrators are treated (or jailed) we need to treat it like cancer. It can happen to anyone - no matter their colour or creed or if they're rich or poor. No one
deserves it - it's never their fault, but whether man, woman or child, anyone can be abused - and anyone an abuser.
Yours very sincerely, and hopefully,