So readers, the last thing you heard was of me being thrown out of that women's refuge for the possession of paraphenalia found in my belongings. They looked at me like to say 'I know what that means'.....I said I knew what it meant and I had been asking for weeks to be moved on, insisting my ex was of no threat to me, hence it was pointless me being kept there, it was of no benefit to me, and was costing the State more money rather than less. Why did it have to come to that, and why was I not listened to? The place was driving me to drink and despair, I could not bear the isolation, the dreams when I would think I was back home, with him, and all the arguments etc had stopped....to find myself waking up there again.
I was happy to leave....but the council were far from sympathetic as it was drug related. I was refused emergency accomodation as I had made myself 'intentionally homeless'. This was despite the fact that the refuge is in theory supposed to be a temporary place of safety, and that they were supposed to continue paying benefit for my pevious apartment for a limited time, and were they to cut it off they were supposed to tell me. But they did not. So they cut it off, and I returned there for some belongings to find the door bolted up. I called the number to find the landlord's agent, telling me that the water company had gone there to find the door insecure with a lot of personal possessions. The landlord checked, to find that not only had the incident been recorded but the housing cheque had been stopped. Yet a week later the clowns from the council called me to ask if I intended to return to the property!! I answered how the hell could I when the benefit had been stopped and the door had been bolted.
As they had effectively made me homeless, I asked the refuge management was it not therefore the council's duty to rehouse me? I was told not at that point, as they wished for me to remain at the refuge until I became 'stronger'. Yet being in that place, where I had less independence and freedom than I had with the man, in the relationship where I was there to allegedly 'protect myself from', was making me feel weaker, not stronger.
I am in no way implying there is not a place for those type of houses, but they are meant as a stop gap for one to escape from violence. And it should be a choice. I was given no real choice, I was pushed into one, due to charges that were not of my own making. The police use these places in the hope that women will feel safer to press charges, not out of any real care about our lives, health or happiness. Their cares are about convictions, statistics. Had I not contacted the CPS by means of my ex's solicitor and persuaded them to drop the case, I would have been summoned to court to give evidence against my will, or risked being charged with contempt of court or obstructing the course of justice. While I can understand how and why these laws came about, it still makes it harder for many victims, myself included, who would rather simply leave the matter behind, for whatever reasons, as I had mine. I don't regret it as I wanted to simply live like a normal person. Knowing what my man had been capable of I was not willing to dismiss his threats as idle, besides the fact I still loved him. No refuge, no pep talks by DV 'experts' could have changed the way I felt. I was not willing to uproot and leave town either in order that they make an example of him either.
He was on tag for just under two months, why I was essentially kept in what felt like an open prison for three. But they could not let me go...they had to throw me out. And I was then pushed from the frying pan into the fire.....
To Be Continued
4 years ago