Tuesday, 9 December 2008

A moment of respite

Well, I am free to roam the streets of Brighton once more.

I was contacted by the police on Friday to inform me that 'The Perpetrator' has been taken into custody until at least the 5th of January 2009.

This means that I can freely visit my friends in Brighton and even press my nose up against a few shop windows. I can wander through the North Lanes and stroll along the sea front without fear. It is a good feeling.


I hope the crime he has been arrested for has not been against a woman.

I would hate to think my gain has been at another's expense.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Baby P , I despair...

As you know I have personal experience of abused women. The women that I came in contact with, in the refuge, had experienced domestic violence on a daily basis and also extreme controlling behaviour. After escaping domestic violence, their choices were very limited, after a time they will be offered council housing (temporary) which can be for six months or up to two years.

One example, that i experienced, was one of the women, a woman who had been subjected to violence for 22 years, the flat she went to had been lived in by a person with 13 cats and five dogs. To move in she had to scrub ( and we are talking about a person who suffered from OCD ) dog and cat poo from skirting boards and under doors, the floor boards were absolutely soaked with animal urine, the place stank.

Eventually, after six weeks, the council had to replace carpets, floor boards etc etc. She was in a state of despair.

She had left her home and three children because her partner threatened to kill her. She lived in terror of him finding her. She could not tell her children where she was in case they let it slip where she lived. She had already changed her name. He had totally poisoned her children against her and they blamed her for leaving him. She had already returned three times because her children had begged her, as a reward for this he had beaten her to an inch of her life.

When in a refuge, these women are alone in a new area having escaped from a violent partner. The children beg to see their dad again, they do not understand. They have often left a comfortable home, their friends and all that is familiar to them. They have left behind their children's schools and friends and the alternative, for some, is very depressing. They try, for the children's sake and for their own safety, to start again. The reason these women are in a refuge is because they have no supportive family who will take them in.

They often over discipline their children. I worry that when they leave the refuge and are alone in an isolated flat this may be exacerbated. Because of financial deprivation, the loneliness and the reasons listed above, the majority of these women go back to abusive partners.

What can be done?

This can't be right...

Life at the moment, could be better.

As I explained in my earlier posts, my home was repossessed back in March of this year. I was, at that time, in a women's refuge and this was a very difficult time for me.

At the time of repossession my flat was under offer and the sale was progressing well but this was not enough for the mortgage company to halt the repossession and because they insisted on getting three further valuations, which took a considerable length of time, my sale fell through.

They then revalued and re marketed the property and in April they had a new buyer, I was waiting to exchange contracts for 6 months and then, at the last minute, the buyers withdrew.

Since then the bottom has fallen out of the housing market.

I was informed last week that for the last nine months I have been liable for mortgage payments even though my home has been repossessed and this will be added on when the property is finally sold. Also I am liable for all ground rent and maintenance payments on the flat.

If this wasn't bad enough, the fire escape has now been condemned and therefore no-one will get a mortgage on it until it is fixed. This is the Free-holders responsibility but will be taken from the leaseholders maintenance payments. I will therefore be responsible for my portion of the costs. Even though my flat is on the ground floor and doesn't use the fire escape.

All the time it is not sold I will still be liable for the continuing mortgage payments.

Because the flat is now worth considerably less than its original value. My £2,500 debt has turned into nearly £100,000 and I will be left with nothing at the end of it.

When I got into debt it was because I was suffering from anxiety and depression and was therefore unable to work.

It feels like I have been penalised for being ill and for my lack of ability to cope at that time.

Surely this can't be right.

How I am managing to keep going amazes me. There is only so much a person can manage. I am now at the end of my rope.