I work in psychiatric mental health hospital and my safety is challenged every second of the day. I work in a highly volatile ward environment, where violence and mental illness go together. On a daily basis I am faced with the reality that I am likely to be bitten, scratched, pushed, punched, kicked, spat at and threatened, verbal and sexual assault is a high risk in my experiences of working with mentally unwell patients. And yes, I have been sexually assaulted while working with a patient. I have had faeces, urine and other bodily fluids thrown at me. I sacrifice my holidays and Christmas to attend to your sick relative while my family dine without me! I work with my heart, because I care about your well being and safety. My patients who I treat, are in hospital because they are a danger to either the public or to themselves. When sectioned, these patients present a huge danger to me.
I am also the only professional in the mental health field, who takes patients from the ward and into a kitchen, alone, where all the sharps and knives are kept. Patients who are admitted to mental health hospital have all contraband locked away, the cutlery and other dining materials are also counted due to the high risks of suicides and threats to maim staff. The weapons that are available in a kitchen are immense! When the two of us are in the kitchen, I then lock myself in, with the patient and my role is to assess their executive functioning and well being. There are only two of us in the kitchen, and it tends to be the furthest room away from the ward or high staff ratio, therefore if I need assistance, I may be waiting longer, even if I am being strangled or have been wounded. Hence, I work in danger, I assess danger, therefore, I believe I am fully qualified to state when someone is in or presents as, a danger.
What can I say, I learnt the art of resliience!
I’m also a survivor of domestic violence, 20 years in fact. I believe the reason it was such a long relationship was because I was managing his aggressive behaviour. Therefore, I know violence and I have the skills necessary to de-escalate a dangerous situation. On leaving this dangerous relationship I worked heavily on myself and chose to go no contact, due to the manipulative and insidious attitude nature of my ex. He chose to reject his children as he stated he never wanted them and doesn’t believe he should be responsible for their welfare and has insisted on not supporting them with child maintenance. (Feckless fathers) He openly called my daughter a slag, like all fathers do, (misogyny) you know! My daughter made a choice to stop contacting her father, as she felt she was doing all the contact and communicating, the relationship fizzled out quickly and naturally, as he had no desire or reason to maintain contact with his children, preferring to use me as the scapegoat and project to his community that I am poisoning his children against him! Such is the nature of his distorted and damaged mind! It’s the exact opposite of the truth, I have no reason to have any involvement with my ex and our children, that’s his responsibility, I’m not chasing him to pay up the £3:50 a week per child, the CSA set, while he continues to drink all weekend in the pub!
If this isn’t a good enough indicator that she doesn’t want contact, what is? Besides, Who is setting or controlling this boundary?
To further distort the psychotic stereotypical image you’re making of me as you read on….
I am also a mother of a disabled child. During my life, I experienced the alienation and ignorance from my community because I had a challenging child! I was the mother that attracted the most attention, frustration, alienation and ignorance from the community that I lived in? My child has the hidden disability of being diagnosed with high functioning autism, therefore, I was also the butt of blame for several of my child’s disruptive or unacceptable behaviours, due to experiencing, yep, domestic abuse. If you think domestic violence caused my child’s autism, you’re more ignorant and shallow than you realise?
Intellect is awarded to those who have earned it, not those who learned it!
For the uneducated, It’s a brain disorder, affecting the frontal lobe, which also affects their learning style! As a teaching profession I would of thought they are already educated and aware of the executive functioning of children, as this is how they learn! through sequencing and planning. Children diagnosed with autism or aspergers are unique with their learning style, they are not empty dustbins that will happily swallow any type of crap you want to ram in their mind, these children learn and live through intuition and creativity. They are the geniuses of tomorrow. They are also compounded with the crippling agony of high anxiety! A condition that affects learning, that’s why your stats figures refuse to increase! Socially they struggle because they are misunderstood, they don’t follow conformity, they follow their own path. However, when you abuse or vilify these children, they accumulate traumas that affects their brain chemistry further. This is how you push an already delicate mind, into destruction, self harm and depression. Again, in the book, a prison without walls, it will educate you all about anxiety and further to this, it will clearly demonstrate that a girl, will assess men, by the values and standards their father set for them! This is the reason domestic violence is so prevalent today, because feckless fathers abscond away from their responsibilities, not because there is anything wrong with the mother!
As I was saying..
I am very aware of the ignorance in society regarding autism and the blame that is attached to the mothers, I experienced the whispers in the playground, the avoidance of my children being included in parties and celebrations because my child was different? Due to the ignorance of society and the lack of support from school, I took it upon myself to educate and specialise in autism as I had a unique perspective from both a mother and also as a professional. I am the only expert on my child, not the school. Every mother that has been assigned to me for treatment regarding autism was also reassured that they are the expert on their child, not me! I am the expert with my child and I will not sit back and ignore how covert abuse to parents who are vulnerable and recovering from emotional and psychological trauma is undermined!
Please see separate article I wrote regarding the effect trauma has on the neurology of the brain and its impact in domestic violence. I think you will find this paper highly enlightening and educating.
Safeguarding children after escaping domestic violence should be a priority that all schools, who safeguard children, should abide by. Unfortunately, this is abused because of patriarchal superiority!
This is what is termed Institutional abuse.
A child and mother who have disclosed to the school that they experienced domestic violence and have left the dangerous situation, who do not want the father to be contacted, due to their DV history, should be adhered to. Unfortunately, when this is over ruled by the school, this is abuse against the students human rights and it is happening today.
I spoke to my child’s school asking for my ex’s name and phone number to be removed from the school database and also for the school to stop corresponding with their father, because he was using the school’s information to maintain some connection into my life to try and build up a case against me. The school assured me that they were going to stop all correspondence and assured this to me by removing his details and with regards to safeguarding children and young people, this was the sensible approach.
However, this was not sanctioned. A teacher took it upon herself to contact the father, telling him more than was necessary and then informed the father that the year head will be contacting him again on Monday to discuss my child’s attendance!
A breach of trust, and a threat, together in one sentence!
Trivialising and demonising the mother and child. Ignorance toward anxiety disorders and children who have experienced trauma. Breach of child protection. Breach of confidentiality. Breach of trust.
If a child can be put on trial at the age of ten years for committing a crime, then they should be entitled to their human rights being upheld!
Now as we live in a narcissistic culture, and in that culture we blame everyone but ourselves to alleviate any responsibility or accountability to the crime in question. On this occasion, I’m joining in and throwing blame back at the education establishment for their incompetence and ignorance regarding domestic violence. I’m sure the blame will be directed back to me, as prejudice always does blame the mother! Not the culprit?
Forcing contact with a dangerous person should be a criminal offence, and the professional that perpetuates this should be made to be accountable for the blood on their hands. The outcome from this potentially dangerous act has the capacity to create numerous traumas for several people, forcing more strain on the already heavily overloaded NHS, draining clinical time and money, which could of been avoided, should the teaching establishment be made accountable for their actions. Not to mention the collateral damage which could erupt if there was a murder?
I believe the correct terminology for this incident is a psychological phrase called triangulation! The teacher is the third party, that re introduces the father, back into the child’s life, when the child has already stated she doesn’t want contact?
This is a very dangerous and scary reality, being told that our children are safe from harm when they attend school, yet the adults who work in this environment see no real danger or harm in their self righteous attitude to re-open a sealed wound and cause more damage, danger and even murder to vulnerable women and children. The school that forces compliance and uses abuse of power to ensure the school figures are high and the dirty secrets are kept well hidden. Don’t get me started on the sexual abuse and assaults happening to our daughters, in the safe grounds of the school environment.
Two women a week are murdered by ex partners, children are now being murdered with their mothers or are used as the bait, to attack the mother. Has the education authority found a new source of insidious abuse by using coercive control! Or will the bullies stop at nothing to win the battle of power and control over the family!
Spare a thought for those mothers who are raising children on the autism spectrum as these families have no choice but to stay, in the violent home and they have to accept the abuse because there is nowhere to go. All refuges turn women away when they have boys over 14. If they have a diagnosis of Autism or Aspergers, the chances of finding refuge and respite are slim, due to the misunderstood conceptions about autism. Also, the option to leave and disrupt a child that may become volatile and aggressive, due to the sudden change of their circumstances, affects the mothers decision to leave, which is no longer an option. She has to stay not just because she has a disabled child with an invisible disability or her child cannot cope with change, it’s because she has no humanity to greet her when she leaves!