Monday, 9 March 2009

Who I am and why I am here

I'm Judith Haire and it's a privilege to be here. I'm 53. Yes I am a Politics graduate. I was lucky enough to read Politics at Sheffield University and the department there is still as vibrant as it ever was.
The idea for this site is a brilliant one. There are too many men in politics and not enough women. I will start by talking about something I have direct experience of. I was in an abusive marriage and the trauma I suffered led to an acute psychotic episode which cost me my job in the civil service.
I recovered and have written about my experiences in my recently published book Don't Mind Me (Chipmunka). It is well documented that 25% of women who suffer rape go on to develop depression or other mental illness. I know, I was one of them.
Unless you have been in an abusive marriage you will be one of those who ask why, why did n't you walk away, why didn't you hit back, why did you put up with any of it. Those without the experience don't realise the total erosion of your confidence and esteem. You believe the lie that you caused the violence. Violence of any sort is wrong. The survey published today by Ipsos/MORI is very depressing. With one in five believing it is all right for a man to hit a woman, yes one in five, there is a huge mountain to climb, to challenge and change this pre historic attitude. Men and women are equal, Men get angry. We need to start in schools when children are very young and teach ways to manage emotions and protect our mental health, to boost our esteem whether boys or girls. Men do not necessarily know more than women do, we need more women in politics, we need other viewpoints, we need more thinking outside the box. Thank you again for inviting me to join this Blog, it's groundbreaking and I will be back.

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