Saturday, 27 February 2016

Rotherham Must Come Clean, Get Clean and Stay Clean on Child Abuse. Start with Jahangir Akhtar.

I will try to keep this clear and simple. Clear is hard when Hell is murky.

In Rotherham, for many years, young girls have been sexually exploited, raped, abused and trafficked. They have been ignored and neglected by social services, the police, politicians and the press. We have seen 3 men jailed for a total of 79 years this week and it feels like a tide has turned.

It has ....and it hasn't.

At the time when Rotherham's secrets were first blown apart and much abuse was exposed the whole country centred on who might be to blame. Feminists, myself included, demanded that those responsible at institutional level were held to account alongside those who abused. They allowed it to happen by their inaction. I consider them culpable by their neglect and poor practice (at best) and I want to see them brought to whatever justice is appropriate and available. 

Shaun Wright was the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner and only resigned after extreme pressure after the Alexis Jay report confirmed what many in South Yorkshire had known all along. He had not acted to help young girls who were being raped under his official nose whilst he allowed reports to float across his desk untouched. He was thrown out of the Labour Party but he clung on. He tried desperately to cling to his job but eventually resigned. He had been Cabinet Member for Children's Services at a time when crucial failings were made. Where is he? Why has he not been held to account?

Joyce Thacker was Director Of Children's Services throughout the time investigated and took a £40,000 payoff upon leaving. She only left after extreme pressure following Professor Alexis Jay's report. She was responsible for keeping girls from the hands of abusers like the 3 who have been jailed and she did not. Why was that? Where is she? Why has she not been held to account?

Martin Kimber was the Chief Executive of Rotherham Council and paid £160,000 which he clung onto for dear life until he was forced to leave and took a £26,000 pay off. He CLUNG ON. Didn't they all? Where is he now? Why was he never brought to account for his failings?

Roger Stone was leader of Rotherham Council and highlighted as a bully in the Jay report. He resigned eventually. He had presided over the entire culture of ignorance, neglect and inaction. Where is he now? Why was he never held to account. 

But when Hell really gets dark. When the fires really ignite. It is this man that needs to get his arse burned fastest I think.

Jahangir Akhtar.

Let's take a look at this man. 
  • Jahangir Akhtar was Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council. The council charged with appalling inaction and neglect by the Alexis Jay report. 
  • Jahangir Akhtar refused to apologise for any part he may have played in the child sexual abuse scandal. He refused to apologise to girls that were neglected by a council of which he was Deputy Leader.
  • When Shaun Wright left his post as Children's Services Cabinet Member he was given a place on the Police Authority. This was the body in charge of scrutinising the police. The same police who currently have 54 outstanding investigations into officers who may have been involved in covering up child sexual abuse in Rotherham. The Police Authority was scrapped and replaced (sort of) by The Police And Crime Panel. 
  • In October 2012 Jahangir Akhtar was elected chair of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. The Police And Crime Panel would be the body that scrutinised the South Yorkshire Police And Crime Commissioner. That would be Shaun Wright. You can see where I'm going with all this?
  • Jahangir Akhtar was investigated for his part in handing over a girl to the police on a garage forecourt after she had been reported missing. The man who had "taken" her was Arshid Hussain. He was a relative of Jahangir Akhtar's. He allegedly "brokered" the deal that she be handed over to police and Hussain would not be prosecuted. This is Arshid Hussain - who has just been found guilty of raping numerous girls in Rotherham and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Briefly let that sink in. If you can. 
  •  Jahangir Akhtar shuffled quietly away from the council and went back to driving taxis in Rotherham. Taxi drivers were a huge part of the investigation into child sexual abuse. Jahangir Akhtar was Leader Of The Taxi Driver's Association at one point. 
  • A girl has accused a Rotherham councillor named Akhtar of rape - this was reported shortly before the recent trial where a trio of his relatives were sent to jail for a total of 79 years. 
  • Jahangir Akhtar has had his taxi license suspended. Not revoked. 

Hell is Murky. So is Rotherham. 

Here is a relative of the convicted men discussing how Hussain could not possibly have committed any abuse .... it is very hard to watch.

Let's be having you Jahangir Akhtar. You need a time being asked a lot of questions. A lot of questions. Why has he not been arrested yet? Let's keep asking. On behalf of raped girls in Rotherham... let's keep asking. 

Relevant articles and reports.....

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Interview With The Vampire.

After yesterday's suggestion that male perpetrators of domestic violence could receive one to one counselling as a cure I have decided to interview my perpetrator. He is still mine because after all this time he has still not stopped. He never will. He will find the tiniest and sneakiest of ways. Unless he has a one to one with an articulated lorry that doesn't like him much.

JH : Good morning Small And Ineffective Penis Attached To A Psychopath.

SAIPATAP : Screw you bitch. 

JH: Shall we begin now the requisite formalities are dispatched?

SAIPATAP : Stop using big words. You don't fool me. You are a stupid bitch and you always will be. 

JH : Ok then SAIPATAP. Can you tell me, in words with as few syllables as possible, why you did originally target me for your "love"?

SAIPATAP : You were there. Everyone admired you. They liked that you were strong and feisty and interesting and loud and beautiful and full of opinions and integrity. 

JH: You liked that then?

SAIPATAP : NO! I fucking hated it! It made me feel small and insecure. Women should know their place just like my father taught my mother. I was going to knock that smug look off your face if it was the last thing I ever did! You needed teaching.

JH: But you were so charming?

SAIPATAP : Well. You were very needy emotionally. I could tell that. You had a shitty upbringing. Every compliment I gave you made you squirm with pleasure that someone would love you. It was obvious you craved love. You were also very kind-hearted and generous. Easy target. 

JH: Did you know all along what you were going to do?

SAIPATAP : Of course I did. I had you marked for over a year. You may not remember but everything you knew about me, I told you. No one corroborated it did they? I made up my own story. I told you for years how clever I was. I told you how important I was. I told you how much I knew and how well-respected I was. I made myself a hero. Didn't I? You fell for it. Such a twat you are. 

JH: How did you feel the first time you hit me?

SAIPATAP: Angry. At you. You made me do it. You deserved it. You wouldn't do what I said. You were trying to tell me what to do. I wasn't having that. Soon stopped you didn't I? Only had to give you a little slap the once to show you who was boss. The other times were just reinforcement of the first time.

JH: You broke my bones. I went to hospital. 

SAIPATAP: You always were the drama queen.

JH: You hit me and strangled me and cut me and punched me many times. Do you not remember? 

SAIPATAP: I did not. You make it up as you go along.

JH: It is recorded with the police and the hospitals.

SAIPATAP: They laughed in your face. It never happened.

JH: There are actual records of this shit. You know that right?

SAIPATAP: The world is set up to frame men. My friends know the truth. 

JH: Is that the truth that you tell them? Moving on past your delusion about the abuse. What about your past relationships?

SAIPATAP: I told you didn't I? How the ex wife was a total whore. How she made my life hell with her nagging. How she got fat and ugly. How she spent all my money. How I taught her a few lessons. How I threw her out? You never thought to ask her did you? Stupid see. You are very very stupid. 

JH: Why did you marry me?

SAIPATAP : To stop you getting away. I always expected you would wake up and leave me at some point. You NEVER DID. You are so bloody optimistic and trusting about people. You always want them to improve and get better and show their true colours. The world is full of bastards like me. 

JH : What are your true colours? 

SAIPATAP : Black as midnight. I hate women. If I hurt women and control them it makes me feel 

JH: What about your new relationship? Are you good to her?

SAIPATAP: She's learning fast. All women are crazy bitches. *sly smile*

JH: Can we get you some help?

SAIPATAP: Can I laugh until I piss myself?

JH: Surely you can change?

SAIPATAP: I have nothing to change. I'm fucking outstanding. I am better than most people in this world. I am cleverer than them! I am cleverer than you bitch! You stayed at it for 15 years hoping to change me. I always told you I couldn't. You are the idiot here. 

JH: Now that I've escaped though surely you don't care?

SAIPATAP: Of course I fuckin care. How dare you leave me? I will never let you win. You are nothing compared to me. I will take everything you have if I can and then I will see you dead.

JH: You can't actually do any of that you know?

SAIPATAP: Watch me!

JH: I'm watching. I have had my eye on your tactics for a long time. What is your next move do you think in the world that operates entirely to facilitate you?

SAIPATAP: I will kill you. I will take our children. I will take your house. I will take your new life.

JH: Would one to one counselling help?

SAIPATAP: Would a one to one shovel round your skull help?

JH: That's a no then?

SAIPATAP left the interview at this point to continue plotting how to most effectively get revenge on me for calling out his abuse.

Counselling for SAIPATAP? Save your money eh?

(All SAIPATAPS featured in this blog are for illustration purposes only. They bear a ridiculously strong resemblance to SAIPATAPS everywhere. NO SAIPATAPS were harmed in the making of this blog but I pray every time I pass an Eddie Stobart)

Peace sisters,

JH x

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The cost of stopping domestic violence. It isn't giving money to men.

The Drive programme is in the news this morning. A programme to help the most violent domestic abusers via one to one counselling and rehabilitation. Details a bit wishy washy. Data set influencing this a bit wishy washy.

Here is my problem (apart from research and evidence). Let's imagine an interview.

Q. Why do men hurt women?

A. Because they can.

Q. Why don't they stop?

A. Because they don't have to?

Q. How can we stop them hurting women then?

A. Change the world that allows them to. In the circumstance of domestic violence and abuse this includes policy-making that allows women to escape by ensuring that they receive support including physical, emotional and financial. Restore legal aid provision to allow women to obtain justice when at their most vulnerable. Ensure that police are properly trained and financially resourced to deal with the men who hurt women. Ensuring that those same police know the difference between ticking a list with a roll of their eyes and taking a woman seriously and making sure she is not hurt again. Making sure they know all the reasons she may not want to report or may not have done so before. Ensure that courts are properly trained in the issues surrounding domestic violence. This includes policing the ways that men may try to hurt women in court... such as obtaining their full bank statements during their divorce proceedings... which they are currently entitled to do and which is potentially fatal. Ensuring that juries are properly trained to convict violent men. Proper funding of adequate refuges that allow women an easy escape route. Adequate funding of support groups. helplines, training programmes, social work and other agencies, including third sector, who work tirelessly to keep women safe. Educating women from an early age to recognise potentially dangerous men and not victim-blaming them if they can't/don't. Not demonising women who suffer domestic abuse in the media by suggesting they have made poor choices or have returned or have sent texts that suggest they liked it all. Making sure the press aren't guilty of minimising the behaviour of men who kill them by keeping them out of the headlines. Or suggesting that a bit of a chat about their alcohol/drug use/or how them being denied a dog aged 5 caused their violent behaviour and funding this and putting it on Radio 4 as a cure-all. Providing a CSA or its equivalent that actually works for women and their children rather than one which allows a spouse to further abuse them. Retraining women and helping them access a self-sustaining lifestyle. Providing abused women with adequate housing and their children with good schooling. Providing abused women with access to one to one counselling so that they are not easy targets of dangerous men in future. Stop making men a focus. Unless it is to stamp on their behaviour. Punish men who abuse women. Hard. Punish them in the courts, condemn them in the pubs, denounce them in the media.

Q. Isn't that really difficult and expensive?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you sure we can't help the men?

A. I'm sure.

Q. Why?

A. Start at the top of this again.

Q. Are you saying we shouldn't even try to help the men?

A. Fuck the men. Help the women.

Q. You're mean.

A. That's not a question.

Saturday, 6 February 2016


Yet another person in my life pointed out to me the other day that I am always saying that I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I haven't cleaned up ...(my own house) I'm sorry I haven't dried my hair ...(my own hair).  I'm sorry I haven't cooked.. (my own food). I'm sorry I haven't bought stuff for the fridge ...(my fridge). I'm sorry I look awful ...(my own face and body). I'm sorry I haven't got changed out of my work clothes ...(my clothes, my work). I'm sorry I need more time ....(my time). 

The person, whom I love, is sort of bemused. I apologise all the time. I apologise for things that just don't matter. I apologise for things that I probably can't or shouldn't change. I start a lot of sentences sorry. 

Well I'm not bemused or amused. I am angry. 

Even after all this time has passed (2 and 1/2 years) since I escaped my abuser, I subconsciously still carry that bloody unbearable memory around of constantly feeling like I have done something wrong. The fear that I will be found out for some unknowable trespass. The fear, really deep inside, that I am going to be punished. The feeling that I have to preempt any possible accusation or attack by countering it first. The fear that I'm not even aware of what I have done wrong but that it is bad. Digging around inside myself to find what it is that I might have said, or done, or misplaced, or forgotten to do. It doesn't seem to go away. It surfaces in "sorry".

Just last week I sent a text apologising for upsetting someone and therefore upsetting the person I was texting. I got back a text "You wally. You haven't!"

I hadn't. Only in my own head. 

If you have been abused you will know.... you are constantly 3 steps ahead in any mind game. You have to be. You work out what you might have said and how it might be misconstrued and you work out in advance how to put right the thing that you think you may have done which will lead to you being accused of something you haven't done or can't remember. 

That sounds very complex doesn't it?

It is. It is a lived nightmare. It is a daily dying. "Walking on eggshells" doesn't cover it and it is worse the longer it goes on. It is like you are wearing lead moonboots 4 sizes too big in a densely packed minefield with millimetres between each one.  You've got no chance. You are going to step on one and it will explode. You just try to work out how to keep both boots raised at all times. You never realise that this is impossible. You just keep trying and falling over. And getting blown up. Have you ever played "Operation" and tried to get the bones out of the little holes without getting electrocuted? Same thing. Except they are your own bones knocking against the electric shock as you try to move them to safety. 

Have you have ever waited and paced a kitchen and wondered...."What is it? Who might have said something against me? What has he found out? What haven't I done around the house? What might he see that he won't like? What haven't I hidden? What haven't I bought? How do I look? What have I forgotten to do? Who has seen me somewhere he won't like?" 

There are other questions. Thousands of them. It paralyses you. You try to focus. You try again. You sharpen the lens you always have trained on yourself. You bend yourself into the shape he likes. All kinds of ways. You try different shapes. You try different jobs. Or 2 jobs. He likes you best with no job. You are of course useless with no job. A drain. A burden. You try different friends. He likes you best with no friends. You are of course not worthy of friends. They don't like you. People don't like you. You should change. You should stop changing. All this whirrs around your brain as you try to think of the next 3 moves. 

Then he comes back. Late. early. Both are bad. Your heart stops. Your children stop. The walls hold their breath and brace themselves. The world outside turns away. You didn't have time to get it all right. You didn't calibrate yourself perfectly. The click of the fridge. The pull of the can. He's cocked and loaded. You're under fire.

This is no way to live. It isn't living. I was dead for a very long time. 

I am living a beautiful life now. I wake up and smile at the sky. No reason. Total happy madness. Clouds drift past and I laugh inside. I can hear the traffic start and know that I can get out in that world and feel it with my fingers and love it. I do love it all so very much. Some mornings a loved one is beside me and we talk and read and laugh and plan. A life. I am planning a life.  Not how to escape a death. I have done nothing wrong and I deserve that future. 

So I am not sorry. I am not sorry for that man's behaviour. I'm not sorry because he broke parts of me. I'm not sorry that it will take time to fix. I'm not sorry that I'm angry at a world that allows men to break women and girls. 

Women. You have done nothing wrong. He lies. You have said nothing wrong. He lies. You have forgotten nothing. He lies. Your friends love you dearly. He lies. Your family think the world of you. He lies. He is not perfect. He lies. He is not good. He lies. You don't deserve his mistreatment. He lies. You aren't ugly. He lies. You aren't stupid. He lies. You aren't crazy. He lies. 

He is a liar and you deserve the truth. 

I am not sorry. 

Peace sisters. 

JH x