• Feminism

    The Signs of Controlling Behaviour – Red Flags and How to Spot Them

    If we were able to teach young people to recognise the signs of controlling behaviour, the ‘red flags’, would we be able to protect them from abusive relationships? If we were to teach children in schools how to spot a controlling person, would be help save them from misery and self-doubt? If we talk openly with friends about the ‘red flags’ would they recognise their own relationships and find the strength to walk away? I hope so. For this reason, I am writing two blog posts today. One for adults, here on this blog, and one for tweens and teens on Jump! Mag When writing for kids, I am very concious of…

  • Feminism

    Who Will Believe Me, If I Don’t Believe Myself – Kelly’s Story

    Kelly contacted me to ask if I would tell her story. She has never told anyone before. I believe you, Kelly.     (TRIGGER WARNING)     As a completely naive and rather lonely 16 year old I was invited to a boys house for dinner. I was spotty, had zero self confidence and was really rather delighted to be asked to such a grown up affair – the boy was in my year. I did not really know him. The week before I had kissed him at the only party I had ever been to and I was so shy I had got drunk to share my first kiss with him.…

  • Feminism

    Who Will Believe Me, If I Don’t Even Believe Myself – Part 2 – Gwen’s Story

    The last post seemed to have touched a nerve. Already, within a few hours of posting it, I have had two emails from readers with similar stories. Their tales are heart rending, and rage inducing. And very thought provoking. How many women have a “sexual encounter” in their past that they have put chalked up to naivety and inexperience, or to a bad decision? How many of us look back and think, “Actually, that was not  a consensual encounter. He *knew* I did not want sex”, but at the time were pressured into it. How many were made to feel guilty, that they had led him on? How many were taken…

  • Feminism

    Who Will Believe Me If I Don’t Even Believe Myself – A Guest Post

    (Trigger Warning)   During the discussions on Mumsnet over the past few weeks, as the #WeBelieveYou campaign got under way, many many women posted their story online. Some of them were telling their story for the very first time, while others had talked to friends and family, or seen a rape counsellor. Some were still scared and wary of starting a new relationship, others were happily married or co-habiting. Every story is different, and every story deserves to be heard and to be believed. Many women have returned to say that being told “I believe you” has helped them immensely. Tears have been shed, on both sides of the computer screen,…

  • Feminism

    A Survivor’s Story – We Believe You

      This interview with a domestic abuse and rape survivor shows the importance of the Mumsnet We Believe You campaign. Read the posts of other bloggers and rape survivors on our blog hop, follow the discussion on Talk and join in the chat on Twitter, using #WeBelieveYou  (Trigger Warning) How did you meet your ex? What attracted you to him? I met him on a night out.  His friend approached me on his behalf and forced an introduction. I wasn’t at all physically attracted to him but he had a gentle voice and a kind of vulnerability about him. I remember thinking that he seemed gormless ;-).  He told me he…

  • Feminism

    MYTH: Rape Can’t Take Place In an Ongoing Relationship

    MYTH: Rape can’t take place in an ongoing relationship   It has not been so very long since women stopped promising to “love, honour and obey” their husbands. All of my friends replaced “obey” with “respect”. The idea that the man, whether joined in matrimony or co-habiting, in any way owns or commands his partner, is now seen as terribly old fashioned. Changing the attitudes of men, their behaviour towards their partners is sometimes more difficult than swapping one word for another in a 30 minute ceremony that forms such a short part of the couple’s life together. Obey – to obey a person is to hand over power to…

  • Feminism

    A Guest Post – We Believe You

    This is a guest post. The writer wishes to remain anonymous. The saddest thing about this story, is that she thinks that many would not empathise with her situation. I certainly did, and I suspect there are few who would not.     (pic credit)     I’d like to start by saying I never intended on becoming The Other Woman. I met P at my new job in Paris. We shared an office, and were both in relationships. There was a spark, and a few weeks after meeting we made a pact to break it off with our other halves, and start a new life together. I kept my…

  • Feminism

    We BelieveYou – Mumsnet Rape Campaign

    I was about 16 years old, already interested in politics and current affairs. I read newspaper articles, debated politics in school and with friends.  I had read about rape, I knew what it meant but one day I realised something new about this awful crime. When Mumsnet asked me to blog about their rape campaign, I thought back to that moment of realisation.       My friend J was babysitting for a young couple who lived nearby. They had gone out for the evening and left J in charge of their two children. Late that evening, J phoned me.”Hi, it is J. Something really awful just happened. You know…