Monday, 22 May 2017

You can't beat a woman to death because she wants a man who won't.

I rode number 37 of the rides in #Ride4MurderedWomen for Natalie Hemming on Sunday.

I read about her before I set off. The details are horrific. All the details of all the women I ride for are horrific because at the end of their stories a man kills them. A man they knew. A man they knew better than any of us. The thought of what they endured before he did kill them is nearly as bad. For those of us who have our own memories - we know that she was dying a bit faster and harder every day she spent with him anyway.

Natalie Hemming's husband beat her to death in their living room. He beat her severely, causing a fractured skull and damage to her arm (consistent with defending herself) and then wrapped her in a blanket. During this one of her two children, her son, came down and peeped through the door because he had been woken up by the frenzied attack. He was afraid of what he saw, he thought he might have been in trouble. Natalie Hemming's husband then dragged her naked body out and took it to a wood. He dragged her through the ground by her ankles and left her face down to be found by whoever came by.

He them returned home and took his children to the zoo the next day as though nothing had happened.

3 weeks later her body was found by a man doing some work on the wood.

It does not really matter "why" he killed her. He killed her because he was an abusive woman-hater and had been for many years. He was controlling and violent and bullying.

Yet, when I read the details there were details which bothered me. The details which are constantly thrown around male circles to justify abuse.

She was embarking on a relationship with another man. A colleague. It had begun as "flirtation" and "developed into something more" so she was planning  to leave her violent, controlling, manipulative husband with who she had endured a marriage/hell on Earth.

I realised yesterday, whilst believing absolutely none of it, that some men hearing this would secretly say..... "Ah. She was unfaithful. I can see where he was coming from." Or worse, the men who say, "If my wife cheated on me I'd kill her and then I'd kill him" or "He has every right to smack her about, she's a slag."

I could hear some women absorbing those time-established judgement from within themselves thinking..... "oh but... she was seeing another man behind his back. That's not really allowed. It was bound to make him angry."

Over the years many women have sought refuge from an abuser by entering a friendship or relationship with another man. At the time they have been utterly destroyed. In all kinds of ways. They are not used to seeking women to help them. They do not know about feminism or refuges or escape plans. They feel intrinsically that the way to escape one violent bully is to seek another man who may be able to protect them from him. Women who are used to relying on a man who makes them totally reliant only see the escape route in yet another man.

It makes sense no? This man is hurting me. Who can help me? Where will my escape route be? Ah. A better man. A stronger man. A different man.

When another man shows interest in them it may be the only kindness they have had from anyone in years. A man saying "your hair looks nice" is like a thousand diamonds strewn at your feet after a man who makes it his life's mission to make you feel ugly and worthless.

She will have heard.... "Who on Earth would look at you? The state of you! You've got fat. You're old. You're ugly. You'd never get a man like me again. " She has heard this a lot. Her esteem is ridiculously low. I have seen the loveliest women with personalities like sunshine and eyes like oceans convince themselves they are as unattractive as gravel. They get new clothes. He says they make her look like a tart. She cuts her hair... he likes it short. They grow their hair. He thinks they're letting themselves go and trying to act "like mutton dressed as lamb". They wear perfume to make themselves feel prettier. He says the smell turns his stomach. They cook nice meals straight out of the cookbook. He says it makes him sick. What a waste of his money. They try to share details of their lives. He says they bore him and he's tired because he doesn't have the easy life they do.

In their heads they fantasise escape routes. One where he dies. They live a better life. They win the lottery. They leave him and live a better life. Or they meet someone who offers to save them and take them away from all this.

They are terrified. A man can get them killed. They know the rules. And yet.... a word of kindness and a smile can break their pain for a day. A gesture of care can lift their eyes. A simple offer of basic help or a sharing of emotion can lead them onto a fantasy world where they are free. A text returned can be the rope that hangs them or leads to freedom. Women faced with unbearable choices make unbearable choices. The man they turn their face to for the sun may also be an abuser sniffing out their vulnerability. Or he may be a good man. He may genuinely think he can help. He may unwittingly place her in danger.

She will cling to him. What trapped prisoner would not want the man with the key to their prison to befriend them? We women have grown up with fairy tales. We do not always realise that other women have the key too. That we have the key in ourselves. We are too weakened and beaten and lost.

If Natalie Hemming clung to a man... and I don't know if he was a good man... or if he was a man who would not have saved her.... I don't care the judgement about "adultery". You cannot commit adultery or be unfaithful in a relationship where you are already deceived. Abuse is deceit. It is one man convincing you he loves you whilst he steals your soul. You owe that man nothing. None of us do.

She may also have heard the words that Natalie Hemming did. "If I can't have you no one can." He was right. No one ever did again. Including her children and her friends and her parents. Never judge a woman for her escape route. Her escape route is the thing that she needs to stay with us in this world.

Let's keep women in this world.

JH x

Monday, 15 May 2017

Dear Tommy Robinson - Open Letter

Over the last few days I have been the target of a number of your "supporters". They are very keen to tell me how little I care for women rape complainants. Apparently you have suddenly become the saviour of said rape complainants. I therefore need to address this. Mainly because your concern, and theirs, seems woefully and transparently inauthentic in its intent.

Might I ask what statistics you are aware of regarding rape? Are you aware that the conviction rate for rape generally is so terrifyingly low that women spend years of their lives campaigning to improve it. Some women, like Jill Saward, died trying. The statistic hovers around 7% but with adjustments can be as low as 3%. The HMIC report of November 2014 ( Crime Recording - Making The Victim Count) states that 3.1% of reported crime is deemed "no crime" but for rape that statistic rises to 7.3% and the total for all crimes of sexual violence is 26%. I'll repeat, 26% of crimes where - and it is predominantly male on female crime - the result is that police don't proceed to court. You know this surely? No? Just this one case that you thought was valid? Because this kind of injustice happens to a lot of women. Roughly 76,000 of them per year achieve no justice at all.

Whilst I have massive sympathy for Chelsey - and should she seek feminist support it will be here in bucket loads and more - then it is important to see this as a systemic failure of women as a sex class.

In fact it can be seen as a male crime of violence which is routinely overlooked. Of course if you factor in the statistic that only 16,000 rapes out of 78,000 are actually reported to police and that only 1500 of them approximately proceed to conviction then .... you can sort of see why feminists get angry.

We even name the problem. We name it men. That includes men of all races, religions, immigration status and umm.... political motivation. There will be men among your own ranks who have raped women I don't doubt. There will be men among your own ranks who are keen to make it "othered" as a crime - (See Jock Young - The Vertigo of Late Modernity - 2007 would be invaluable to you on the concept of "othering"). However... it is dangerous to women and girls to do this. Yes, grooming gangs are a problem. Yes, there have been horrific institutional failures at every level from police to government and the judiciary, and yes... we must hold them to account. We cannot do this proceeding on the basis that only immigrant men or muslim men are to blame or that only white women are victim/survivors. This is narrow, naive and foolish. Or racist. Shall we stick to narrow, naive and foolish? Because as soon as you point a torch on a very small percentage of those 78,000 rapist men, as you are doing, then that allows a massive amount of men (including those white British men in gangs, or as individuals, who groom)  to slink off into the shadows quietly and continue their evil.

In the interest of sharing expertise which I don't think you currently have I will link the HMIC research document here.

That was my way, not too subtly of saying that you are a little under-informed and have wandered into an arena with a grudge against a specific section of the community and actually you don't have the correct weapons or the correct target.

Systemic injustice for women subject to sexual violence is not new. Resistance to it is not new. Local government collusion and police corruption in this area is not new. Neither is the opposition to it.  Infact.... nothing you are doing is new. The only supposedly novel angle is "muslim grooming gangs" and this is not new either. Andrew Norfolk highlighted the atrocities many of us knew were occurring in Rotherham years ago. This led to a major government inquiry in the form of the Alexis Jay report. This led to a greater awareness among the public and following investigations and revelations. I was alerting anyone who would listen to me about the dangers of the negligence of former Police Commissioner Shaun Wright many years ago. As were many other feminists. Feminist organisations have picked up the pieces of those atrocious crimes. For years. They are still doing so.

Marching through streets shouting about muslim men does not put women back together after the trauma of rape. You will find that it is feminist women who do that. You will find that it is women who fight for funding. It is women who give their time voluntarily to helplines which are often the first point of contact when a woman has been raped. You will find that it is a feminist organisation that is campaigning to educate juries on rape mythology to ensure better justice for women.

Rape Crisis funding has been, and continues to be, slashed under government austerity measures. More specialist sexual violence trauma units are desperately needed in hospitals. Juries are woefully under-informed/misinformed by judges. The entire law around past sexual history and Section 41 of the Youth and Criminal Justice Act needs reform so that no such devastatingly painful and questionable testimony is allowed to deliver such a terrible lack of justice as that for the complainant in R v Evans occurs again. Women need fair access to justice from first point of entry into the criminal justice system which begins with the police. You might be surprised to know that feminists push for this all the time. Rape Crisis England and Wales. EVAW, and many, many, many other women are keen to see improvements. Funnily enough, despite the recent incoming Twitter attacks I have seen relatively little declaration amongst your political affiliates that they will fight for justice for all raped women?

And yet, here we are. Standing accused of inaction by men. I would laugh at the ridiculous lack of awareness - but it seems more sensible to politely point out the staggering arrogance and comic delusion in such attacks.

You will find that, contrary to the accusations your followers level at me, I am more than willing to name those responsible for the failures on muslim grooming gangs in Rotherham. The last time I properly wrote on it was in 2016. Here.;postID=5473051222306346921;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=44;src=postname

It was not just the predominantly pakistani heritage males who were to blame. It was also powerful white men and a woman, who have all conveniently evaded any accountability. The Pakistani heritage community in Rotherham are mostly just as angry about the lack of justice and accountability as anyone else. They are the majority. The male perpetrators are a minority.

I raised £27,000 ( a tiny amount I admit) last year to support rape victims and complainants. I'm still proud of that. It will help to support women of all religious, racial and political backgrounds. Because there is not a designated rape demographic. Other than - predominantly female victim and entirely male perpetrator. Are you aware that Rape Crises England and Wales statistics for 2015/2016 revealed that 27% of service users were from black or ethnic minority backgrounds. This is a rising figure. up from 23% in 2014. I am aware that male on male rape occurs. Are you? Do you know those statistics. Do you know how male violence sweeps through lives? Do you not think that perhaps challenging a culture where men raise other men to see females as sexual objects is problematic? Do you watch porn for example? I would like you to think about where the attitudes to seeing women as disposable humans for sexual gratification comes from? If you watch porn - you collude. Women are raped on camera in that porn. Men take that message into real space and enact it upon women. The sex men watch is violent. Rape is a common scenario.  I'll ask again... do you watch rape on screen routinely? Do you think it is "ok because she likes it"?

So, back to Chelsey Wright. I think this poor woman may have been treated appallingly by men. I think those men have subjected her to sexually violent atrocities and I think it does look as though the criminal justice system is failing/has failed her. Unfortunately I have little knowledge of her case as I do not accept Rebel Media as a trustworthy or truth-validated news source. I have been waiting for more credible information.

I am keen to distance myself from you and your band of followers. Most feminists will do that. We see that you are using a young woman, who appears to have been exploited in the most vile of ways, for a politically motivated agenda. What feminists will do if Chelsey approaches us is take care of her. We would offer her signposting to specialist services and we would demand justice if a lack of justice is shown to be the case.

Crucially, male sexual violence against women and girls is not an issue we can confine to one victim or a small group of perpetrators. The problem is much more extensive than that. If you really want to help Chelsey you will hope that she picks up the phone that will link her to women with specialist counselling knowledge. I don't have it by the way. I am not a trained Rape Crisis counsellor. Largely, I'm just a gobshite like you. Just more adequately informed.

You can thank me for the information. Just don't do it in person.

Kind regards,

Jean Hatchet.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Pay up. It's election time.

I am always asking for cash for feminist causes these days. Cash for women so that women can be helped after men have hurt them. "Please donate to Rape Crisis"..... "Please donate to women's refuges" ...... "Please help me to help women".

Feminist women asking for cash is like a broken record. Scratched and slashed and being carved up with a broken needle if we want to extend the imagery. Working for women is hard because getting those with power, mainly men, to care about the damage their sex has done to our sex is just standing up for attack and often ridicule. They won't just give us the money. We have to get it for ourselves. Feminist women have been doing this for a very long time. Governments have been neglecting their responsibility to tackle male violence against women in a meaningful and properly resourced way for a very long time. They continue to do so at both local and national level. Hand-wringing rhetoric and vote-winning promises are not refuge beds and sanitary towels.

I feel no embarrassment in asking people to give me cash for women. I am heavily criticised online for doing so. I ignore those criticisms. A man this week said of my attempts to raise £50,000 for Wearside Women In Need... "she's only doing it because she has egg on her face over the Ched Evans acquittal and she is selective over who she rides for!"

Well yes. Yes I am selective. I want to raise money for women. Just women. Because the funding for women's refuges has been slashed by 17% under this government. The cuts in funding for Rape Crisis centres sees half of them threatened with closure. (N.B. Ched who?)

The brutal bulk of government cuts has hit women and children hard. The loss of refuges, rape crisis centres, domestic violence provision, Sure Start centres, cuts to legal aid to help them access justice after domestic violence, tax credits, bedroom tax, benefit cap, DLA cuts, reforms to the child support agency, on and on go the policy moves that hurt women and children financially.

On just one day, at just one refuge, 95 women and 72 children were turned away according to Women's Aid Survey 2016.

Politicians salivate like hungry dogs over the meaty bones of Politics. They love Westminster and the buzz of the power. They feed to bursting from the shmoozing and boozing and fundraising lunching and the thrill of knocking on doors with a campaign team and talking to the press and the election counts and the drug-style euphoria of catching the whiff of a rosette is dizzying.

So here it is. The Election. Their hearts are beating fast. Their columns are whizzing out. Their campaign teams are stuffing inboxes as we speak. Twitter exploded last Wednesday. The frenzy is upon us.

Me? I feel sick.

Here is the spend from the general election in 2015 for all parties.</strong>

Unsolicited Material to Electors ............................£15,182,584.62



Overheads and General Administration.................£2,048,782.86

Rallies and Other Events.......................................£2,512,589.83

Market Research and Canvassing..........................£7,646,660.90


Manifesto or Referendum Material........................£318,880.76

Campaign Broadcasts...........................................£896,010.11

That is a grand total of £37,560,039.27

Wearside Women in Need provide 4 refuges. They save women's lives. They face losing all of those refuges. This refuge provision in Sunderland currently costs £560,000 a year and it looks like whatever domestic violence provision may remain will be severely hacked at and left bleeding. Just like the women who will be turned away. We genuinely fear for the futures and the lives of abused women in Sunderland.

Last Wednesday Katie Russell of Rape Crisis England and Wales revealed that a fund linking to the show Broadchurch aimed at raising money for victims of sexual violence had raised a mere tenner. £10. That has now started to climb. Thank goodness. But she talks of the apathy of the public for supporting rape victims because of persistent myths that are believed about victims. I raised £27,000 for rape victims earlier this year and received death threats online as a result. It is not an easy gig asking for money for women who have been raped. I applaud everyone who asks and everyone who gives.

Between 1st July and 30th September 2016 the Conservative Party received £2,861,788 in political donations. The largest donor was Michael Davis, a powerful businessman, who donated £269,000. Michael Davis was knighted in 2015 in the Queen's honours. He had at that point donated £1.47 million to the tory Party. He was closely followed by Alexander Fraser who gave £260,000. Labour receives donations from Trade unions. This is done mainly by the collective donation of individual member subs by unions. It isn't quite the same as dipping into your one dinner jacket pocket for a quarter of a million pounds.

When women, and men, donate to the Ride For Murdered Women that I'm undertaking for women's refuges, they give what they can. They give £5 that would have fed their kids. They have to wait until payday they tell me. They are saving up. One friend has said he will donate at the end of all my rides. I have 92 rides to do. I wish it was less. I've completed 21 and a total of 500.8 miles. I'm totally exhausted. I do it mainly to point out that figure. That women are dying at the hands of men they love or have loved, and they are dying every year.

Today I rode for Jodie Betteridge. Her ex partner stabbed her to death. He stabbed her 132 times. 30 times in the head and 45 times in the torso included in that. He stabbed her minutes after murdering his current partner Lynne Freeman. He stabbed her on her front lawn in front of her children. One of the children was running around the garden screaming, covered in his mother's blood. His attack was so frenzied that he only stopped when his knife blade broke off. Such was the ferocity of his hatred for the women in his life. 

Women are dying right now. Their bodies are not between your election headlines yet. Behind a closed door in this country a woman is being told she is stupid. A hand is closing around her throat and she doesn't know if it will stop before she chokes. She has been torn from the connections with all who have loved her. She has been made to feel that everything that is happening to her is her fault. She has been beaten, burned, stabbed and strangled. She lives. She hides it. She waits and she hopes. She dreams that one day she will not suffer this. She wonders why the man she loves hates her so. She wishes someone would help. Oh....we should help. The man putting his hand in his pocket for a silver service lunch and a dance with Theresa May should help. He really should.

Westminster should hang its head in shame as it feels the giddy thrill of election fever. Each and every donor currently reaching for a cheque book, should look at what is happening to women in this country and point the power of that pen in a different direction. Point it at women. Help women save other women. Let the political parties pay for their own damn lunches.

Here is the link to the fund if you feel you want to donate. …

JH x

Saturday, 18 March 2017

A childhood defined by appearance.

I am a mother. I have handled my daughter's naked body since it first came from my own. I have been aware of every change and every growth. The lengthening of her limbs. The rounding and then the flattening of her stomach. The curves of her thighs as they emerged and then slimmed and stretched. I have kissed her and hugged her and worshipped her body for 15 years. I adore my child as many mothers do. We have nothing to fear in the way we handle our children. It is natural and beautiful and full of nurturing gentleness. I have stroked her face as it evolves from the cocoon of her youth on a daily basis.  Her features are still emerging. They are still transforming into the butterfly she will become. She is beautiful. I cry sometimes at how she will be handled less carefully by others.

And today I see men, and it is not solely men I admit, parading an unknown 12 year old body before me with their words of cruelty. Some of them are clever men too. Men who have access to law courts where they will help to deliver judgements in cases where men have handled those 12 year old bodies. Places where they will see details of a man who has put his penis in a 12 year old girl and left his sperm behind. Where that court will subsequently say that it was ok for him to have done so because the case is "exceptional".

Well. If the circumstances of this case were "exceptional" then my daughter could have been handled similarly and a similar result given. I would have to accept that the decisions she made and the way she dressed and the things she agreed to at such a naive age were "exceptional" from a law that would provide that she was raped. The man who handled her body would walk away from it and on to his next. Her body would be left behind with me to continue maturing into an adult body. Her 12 year old mind would be left to deal with this too. That is something that a mother cannot do I'm afraid and men should stop telling that mother to suck up this judgement because they know better. 

3 years ago my daughter was 12. Oh how she has changed in those three years. The things she said then... as we watch back footage of her on her iPad playing on her bike or dancing...make her both cringe and roar with laughter. The things she wrote in total earnest into little books she made. Her drawings of pop stars and classmates. We giggle at. She sees herself back then as naive and silly. I see her as wonderfully childish. In 3 years more she will laugh at her 15 year old self that she now sees as wise and mature. 

Even children know that children of 12 and 15 are very different. They don't commonly choose each other as "dates" or "relationships". They often stick within rather rigid boundaries and turn their noses up at the thought of "dating" outside their year group or immediate, and rather strictly defined (age wise), peer group. 

Some do seek relationships with older boys or girls. That is ok. Children experiment. They seek out risks too. The law is there to protect them from those risks. It did not protect the girl in this judgement. She was trying to push boundaries, and that is the desire of many children. Someone was waiting to take advantage of her when she did. Someone should have been protecting her. Someone should have offered a safety net for her curiosity or rebellion or anger or trauma. Or whatever it was that led her to that flat and that bedroom. Someone should have intervened before a man raped her. The fact that they did not is when the law should have stepped in and stepped up as a warning to other men to be utterly certain of the age of girls you encounter on a street before you stick your penis in one. The onus should not be on a girl to "look her age" in order not to be raped. 

What I see here, in this judgement, is a stranger. A chancer. A man who has encountered very much younger children than himself and is claiming to have been "duped" into believing they were older simply because they said they were. That man subsequently handled the girl naked. He talked to her at length. He chatted to her. 12 year old girls have an entirely different frame of conversational reference to 19 year olds. Even as adults - you know that when we encounter someone older/younger than us.. we talk about different things. As children we rode different bikes, laughed at different shows, had different music idols. These things date us. These differences are even more starkly evident for younger ages where they quickly appear worlds apart. A taxi driver on a short journey might read a situation solely by appearance. A man in a bedroom with a naked 12 year old he has been talking to for a while is faced with quite a different prospect and a very different choice. 

This man is also the only one with "evidence" as to her "apparent" age who saw her naked. He handled her body in a way no one else that night did and that no one in that courtroom did. He was able to see as she undressed that her skin and her hips and the entrance to her vagina were very young. This is unavoidable. It isn't something you can hide with a Boots 17 lipstick and a high heel. A young body is what many child sexual abusers covet because it is so very different. Child sexual abusers and groomers seeking children to abuse can quickly spot one they deem "too old". 

I don't care that he put his head in his hands and cried. I don't care that the police spoke to her. I don't care that the girl was out late or drinking vodka or behaving in a way that suggested she was older. I don't care that she allegedly consented at the time. The law does not provide for such consent. A child below 13 cannot consent to sex. To my mind a child cannot consent to sex at all with a much older man as the power imbalance is too stark. But the law states 13 and the law must be applied. She was 12 years old with no clothes on in a bedroom with a man who should have said no even if she begged him. If a court hears that he did not it should make sure to apply the law provided. 

If it does not then it is guilty of making a judgement not only about the man but about the girl. It is guilty of providing an application of a clause of the law - and no I am not a lawyer or a judge - to excuse an act of rape. That application has been based upon her consent and her appearance to others. It is based upon a variety of witness testimony about her appearance. It is based upon the fact that no "harm" was done to her physically. It allows for a girl who is desiring sexual experience and drinking and dressing in the clothes provided for her by a society that sexualises very young girls, to be raped. 

I am being told I am not equipped with the legal expertise to challenge that judgement. Well I do challenge it. I have read it (though of course I'm accused of not doing so) and I do challenge it. Because a Judge says something does not ensure it is shrouded in a shield of respect. The judge was wrong in my opinion. This is a terrible decision. It favours a man's right to stick his penis in a vagina if he "reasonably believes" that the vagina is old enough. It suggests that she was "nearly"old enough anyway. I am told this is not precedent. I assume because of the witnesses? That no witness will ever come forward again to say a girl's vagina looked "old enough". Even though they never saw it. Well.... I think we have seen before how easily witnesses can be provided to rape trials with a little effort, money and misogyny. 

Current media amplification of this case will perhaps ensure that such witnesses will be sought by the defence barristers of child sexual abusers in future. There must be a kebab shop owner to say "she looked 18 to me" or a taxi driver to say "her vagina was hanging out of that short skirt when she paid and it looked 17 alright... she was well up for it". If witnesses are sought, perhaps with incentive, then they might be found. If they are looked for. Accused rapists do remember judgements like this when they are subject to media amplification. Barristers could, and possibly will, find those witnesses. 

Some girls at 12 years old might think they are consenting to sex.  As Dr Gail Dines reveals she has been told by porn producers.... "young women come to the porn set porn ready". They do not need to be taught how to act in a porn film, or on a street corner in Glasgow, because the sexualised swamp our young girls are drowning in has made them feel "ready". It does not mean they ARE ready and the law should tell men who would abuse them that they are not. 

This also smacks of class snobbery. Girls who are on the street late at night are "easy". Girls who are drinking with older teenagers are "asking for it". Good 12 year old girls are safely tucked up in bed with cocoa and a Zoella biography after a supper of hummus and a discussion about biology grades. The "bad girls" dress up and go out. The bad girls lead to "exceptional case" judgements. They are bringing it on themselves. "Naughty girls" deserve rape? Really?

This particular 12 year old child sought to be on a street late at night and drinking and later desiring to have sex - perhaps. That should be a cause for concern not condemnation. It should not mean that deserves to see the man who raped her walk away free. Even if she thought she was consenting at 12 - what she thinks about that in later life may be very different and the law will have failed her. How will she feel then? 

What was happening in this poor girl's life that she felt the need to seek out such escape? Class-based poverty, and the lack of nurturing that can result, can lead young girls into risky or sexualised behaviour. Young working class girls are dispensable? Is that the judgement here? Because something is making this sound "ok" when normally an adult male having sex with a 12 year old would be soundly condemned by all. 

I think two things here. Firstly, girls are being exposed to porn from a very young age and are becoming sexualised as a result. They are viewing underage sex as routine and expected. They are made to view their bodies as disposable and available receptacles of male sperm. They see it and they are conditioned and primed by it. Some girls may take that to the street and drink vodka down on top of it. They are then raped. This is heartbreakingly sad. Girls do develop sexual desire as young as 12. They should not be encouraged to see it as normal to have sex with older men. Sadly the easily available porn they view does not allow them to position their view of themselves in a real sexual encounter in any empowering way. Porn empowers no one. Least of all the women exploited in it. 

Girls need educating that they don't need to have sex at all until they feel emotionally and physically ready to do so. Experimenting alone is good. Getting to know their own bodies before considering handing them over to porn-infused older males is a good idea. Men viewing porn, where girls often appear young, are becoming immune to the boundaries of the law because they see them, apparently, crossed so frequently on screen. Our girls are becoming victim to a culture which encourages them to leave their childhood behind early and before their bodies and the law are ready for them to do so. The law should stand as guard to that. The law should stand between them and men who will rape them... whatever those men "reasonably believe" ....when they contravene a law then the law should be applied. If a man has sex with a young woman it is his responsibility to ensure she is old enough to do so. If he has based that on appearance, he is a fool and a dangerous one. It does not excuse his lack of accountability. 

The second is the arrogance of those in the legal profession.  Yes I have read the judgement and I find Lady Scott's comments and her application of it, not to be in the interest of young girls. I am allowed to say that despite not being a barrister or similar because when the conviction rate for rape of around 7% is so appalling I am not going to doff my feminist cap when they pop along to tell me I know nothing and should let them get on with it. You self-congratulatory lawyers ought not to be parading around Twitter dispensing your patronising dismissal of the concern of the rest of us whilst you are still presiding in courts that repeatedly let female victims of sexual violence down. If you aren't doing your job then expect the plebeians to say so and say it loudly. 

Many of the men throwing their opinions on 12 year old girls around Twitter don't seem to have looked at one lately. Or at least they have not acknowledged that what their clothes and makeup does not reveal is a childish insecurity and desire to be valued by the world. Indeed to be protected from its dangers a little whilst they wobble their way towards adulthood by slicking on eyeliner and pouting for Snapchat. 

I for one will be protecting my girl as best I can from predatory males hyped up by a porn industry and a rape culture which would leave her vulnerable. Don't tell me to suck up judgement which lets men rape 12 year old girls and skip off down the road with a nothing more than a "phew". 

I have no respect for you, your profession or the courts where you practice it until you start to lock up our rapists, murderers and domestic abusers. 

Do your job.

My job was to raise a girl. I realise I have to do more. I now have to raise a warrior because you fools presiding over our justice system won't go into battle on her behalf. 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Why doesn't he just leave?

The Leaver.

No. I haven't mistyped "she" and formed the communal rallying cry of people who have zero understanding of domestic violence and the difficulties a woman has in leaving a situation where she is abused.

I talk instead of the fact that an abuser is always "leaving". Except the bugger never really goes.

Let me explain. Early in a relationship a practised abuser uses his physical presence to unsettle and disorientate his prey. At the start of a relationship many partners want to be with each other more and more. The delirious feelings of love are developing. (For the abused - not the abuser) There is physical intimacy which bonds a couple. A woman will find herself falling in love with the man who will go on to abuse her. He will be really good at making her believe he is in love with her too.

There may be gifts. There may be trips. There will be long nights sharing intimate secrets. These are particularly good for him because the more he learns the more he can use. Your father beat you? Logged. You were picked on at school for your weight? Logged. You have always been afraid of being left alone. Logged. You love your best friend but she sometimes makes you feel used? Logged. Every thing you say that he could hurt you with he is storing. This is a valuable time for the abuser with a longer game in mind. He can't get the joy of power at this stage but he is setting the charge for later explosions and that is quite thrilling to him. He also gets to tell you everything he wants you to believe about him. Little might be true.

If for any reason he sniffs insecurity - that is the golden gift for him. Has a man previously left you low on trust? Has a previous man left you needy? Have you been sold the idea that you must be with a man for life? The myth of "the one" bitten you hard? He's got that ready to go against you.

Weeks will pass. Perhaps months if he is very skilful and can hold his abuse back a little longer. You might feel totally secure. Even occasionally superior to him. He isn't as attractive as you. He isn't as socially adept. You know he's actually bloody lucky to have you and he may even tell you this. You may even feel that you could walk away at any point.

Then he leaves. Out of the blue a tiny argument over nothing blows up and he walks out. No warning. No discussion. He's just gone. "I've had enough of this. See ya."

You are stunned. You weren't expecting this. What did you do?

And that is your first taste of his leaving. He knows how you are feeling. He knows that you struggle with rejection. You have probably told him! You now have to tell your friends and that is embarrassing because you've been telling them how perfect he is. You are miserable. You cry. You wonder where all the beautiful future you planned has gone? Did he really feel so little for you. Down you spiral. Your friends try to convince you that he's a wrong un. You won't listen. They are your friends. They just don't know how you felt. They are bound to take your side. You have a drink with your friends and then you get on the phone. He doesn't answer. He flips it to answer phone.

You will text him expecting it is an easy misunderstanding. He will ignore you. You will panic that he is with someone else. That he is dead. You will think your phone isn't working properly. So "gone" is he that you are convinced something is really wrong. There is no answer to any of your texts. Or there is an answer which confirms it is over and lists your faults that make it impossible to continue a relationship.

Shall I tell you where he is?

The pub probably. Laughing. Having a good time. Knowing you are in pain and knowing he is coming back. Oh yes. He is coming back. That is the scariest thing. He knows he is coming back as he slams the door. He just needs to come back to a very different you. A weaker you. A you who knows her place.

So a few days later your eyes are black from crying. If you have kids they will have been rocked because you won't have been listening to them much. You will have been distracted and miserable. In real terms you haven't been living.

He's back.

He's sorry. He didn't know what he was doing. Here's a gift. Here's a cuddle. Here's a sheepish him making jokes and making light of your devastation. Here's you. Fixed. The pain has gone away.

A pattern is established. With him you are happy. Without him there is pain.

You will notice he didn't leave for long but he left as though it was real. He made it convincing enough for you to really hurt.

And then he just repeats. He lets you get secure again and then he goes. Each time he comes back he cements things a little more of course. You get deeper into the relationship and more invested and he is just waiting to bring you lower and bring you more under control.

Sometimes they leave for very short periods. Mid-discussion they just grab their keys and slam the door. They come back a few hours later. The thing is ..... you don't know if it is the last time. You don't know if this is actually the real thing. You spend time in a desperate panic. You fast forward through all the difficulties this will cause. You've been there so many times before it triggers the same vertiginous panic even if it is just hours as opposed to days.

Do they have any times they won't leave like this?

No. They will leave when it's your birthday, they will leave when your mum dies, they will leave when you find out you're ill. Sometimes they leave because it is convenient. Like another woman is looking available to them. Or their friend has offered a holiday. Or they need a big night out with the boys and no strings attached while they flirt, or even sleep with, another woman.

Do you need to be living together?

No. He loves leaving you in the middle of the street. In restaurants or bars. At parties where your friends are. At parties where his friends are and you know no one. On holiday. He will leave you anywhere that you can't cope on your own easily. That is lots of fun for him.

They will leave just before Christmas. A woman told me she has just been left in a new home she can't afford, with 2 small children who she thought he loved too, a dog they bought together, debt she'd offered to help with. She is distraught. She didn't expect this to happen. They were getting married. He loves her. Doesn't he love her? She must have done something wrong? It must be her fault she decides. It is never her fault. He knew he would be pulling this act from the first time he saw her probably.

He will come back. He will come back. I wish I could tell her that he won't. That if she waits she will get over it. That if she waits she will see that she had a lucky escape. That if she waits her life is waiting for her.

But she needs the quick fix. She needs it like air. He's made sure of that. I understand totally. I just wish she could change the locks, change her number and change the programme. I wish women could help her.

The text.

"I'm sorry. I'm coming back."

*This man differs from one who fears commitment. That man may eventually be ok for you. It may just take him time. This man is not that man.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Ciaran Goggins

Ciaran Goggins.

Currently I am being accused of  a crime. I have been raising money for the complainant in the Ched Evans case (or Woman X as she has come to be known and then stealing it). I have published below the account statement from Go Fund Me. This is where the money has been throughout and where it remains. I am awaiting them transferring that amount to Rape Crisis England and Wales. I have put Rape Crisis in touch with the Police Superintendent in charge of the care of Woman X. They are negotiating a handover of half the funds between them and no money will ever pass through me. I have full and robust evidence of this should any investigation require it.

Accusing me of embezzlement is the utterly vile Ciaran Goggins.

Ciaran Goggins is probably mentally ill. He was once accused of rape and sadly this never went to trial. That of course means he was never found guilty of rape. Women withdraw accusations for a variety of different reasons. He was accused by a student nurse in Hertfordshire in 2004. She clearly accused a man she felt had raped her. I’ll leave that observation there.

He has been obsessed with any dominant media rape cases ever since. Ched Evans was his “favourite”.  Ched Evans publicly denounced him. This appears to have had a seriously detrimental effect on his already fragile mind. It seems from reports that he is largely vagrant and when not attempting to maintain a rather sad existence on derelict land in County Cavan, Ireland, I am told by his estranged family and friends that he occasionally wanders to the UK and travels with his possessions in a carrier bag looking for families to attach to.  I’m informed by a media source that he is particularly fond of young boys and has a tendency to form worrying attachments to women through whom he might access them. He seems to have a urinary problem that renders him incontinent and pungent. 

However, despite his obvious problems that would lead me to sympathy and natural compassion any Google search will reveal significant smearing of my character and all sorts of nonsense that Ciaran Goggins wants to remain in the public realm. This is what he does. He targets women with accusations of the vilest type and repeats them until any search of their name leaves them tainted with suspicion.

So, whilst he is clearly deranged, and common sense says to ignore this, it is upsetting to know that this kind of digital footprint of my name exists and I want to attempt to put something out there which will reveal the truth about his cruel and obsessive stalking of the online profiles of women.

Despite his diminutive character (he’s a tiny little pant-soiler is Ciaran) the impact on the lives of good women that this man has is significant. He stalks relentlessly. He posts pictures of their family that he has stalked online, personal details and regularly talks of when he will visit and how he will be bringing his Stanley knife with him. He finds any evidence of you online and posts horrific accusation of things that you have done. Previous to this latest nonsense I have been posted as being suicidal, alcoholic, neglecting my daughter, aiding a peadophile husband in his pursuit of child porn etc etc. All sorts of grim and blatantly untrue nonsense details in his posts. This is irritating, and yet anyone who knows me in real life looks at me with incredulity that I even give it a second glance.  It is so obviously untrue. I have been divorced for years. So much of what he writes is clearly pure fiction but he says it anyway because he knows that once it is on Google it sticks.

During the retrial of Ched Evans, Ciaran Goggins’ blog was removed as he was naming the complainant. This angered the presiding judge who was almost forced to abandon the trial because of this. It was deleted by Wordpress.

He simply continues his vile “work” on other host sites. He continues to spread his lies far and wide. He continues to stalk and harass women and in particular women who are victims of sexual violence.

From my point of view he is hard to fight against. He is in Ireland and has some protection because the police and CPS are lazy and don’t understand the imminent danger of a man so deranged and so violently obsessed that he could carry out his threats any day now. I will continue to press them for action and they assure me they “have him on their radar” now. This includes the Westminster Palace police. He incited others to murder Liz Truss at one point. I captured this and sent it to her team. They contacted me and said I should report as I found the blogpost and then they could act. Liz Truss herself did not want to start the ball rolling. Strange that, for a woman in charge of protecting the rest of us, that she expected the common woman with no power to act and do her job for her.

I spoke to Westminster Police who assured me he is in their sights. Not as far as I can see. This was months ago and he still harasses myself and other women on a daily basis.

Why me?

Because I fight for women. Because I am a woman. Because I don’t give in to his pathetic little tactics and I am not giving in yet.

I will continue to fight against this pathetic little man and I will finally see him in jail. I am more than happy to face him in court and one day that will happen. I hope he decides to sue me for this blog so that I can drag his soggy little bottom into a British courtroom.

Ciaran Goggins is a danger to women. He is a danger to himself and he is making a complete mockery of the British Justice System, the police and the Government who are constantly talking about justice for victims of stalking when in reality, one of the worst harassers of women is still freely wandering the streets with his little carrier bag. Quite possibly he has the aforementioned Stanley knife in it with which he will attempt to kill me. I'm much easier to access than the well-protected Liz Truss. I'm pleased for her that she is. I'm less content myself and could do with some protection from her and the law.

So Amber Rudd and Liz Truss. Enough of the words and promises. Do something about him. Earn your money.

Jean Hatchet

Here is the Stripe account linked to the Go Fund Me account. The figure does not show the admin fees deducted by GoFundMe but it does show that all of the money raised and available is still there. 

This tallies completely with the amount in the email statement GoFundMe sent on 8th October apart from an amount donated yesterday which is not processed. Also, there is the £1000 donated in error which was refunded and that is confirmed by GoFundME and the excel document I have downloaded. For clarity though .... a screenshot of the refund is also posted below. 

The amount will be transferred to Rape Crisis England And Wales on Monday. They have kindly agreed to deal with the police team in charge of the care of Woman X and arrange for the transfer of the other half to her to do with as she chooses. She is apparently very happy that Rape Crisis will receive half the money. I am delighted to have raised it and saddened to have been accused in this way. Hopefully this makes everything clear.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Have you got one in stockings?

[I had my words stolen yesterday. By a "feminist" man. He won't apologise or acknowledge that he has done so. That happens all the time. Owen Jones supplements his income with taking feminist words. I have never been paid for writing and don't care if I'm not. I love writing.

I am annoyed, but I will do what is better for me than being angry. I can write about an experience only a woman can have had. He can't rewrite this for his own "feel good" factor. Because this cannot have happened to him.

I'll also be accused of "playing the victim". Yeah - I don't care that much.... because I was one. "Victim" is left behind when something bad has been done to you. Bad things were done. I don't see why women should feel terrible about sharing that experience so that other women can get angry and perhaps get free as I did. Now I am a survivor. Now I can look back on this awful time with more clarity and know why it matters to write about it for others. ]

This is years ago. I had taken back my abuser after splitting with him for 6 months. We do that. I had believed his promises. We do that. I had trusted he would and could change. We do that.

I hadn't realised that things had already begun to slip. I didn't know that he had been lulling me into believing that things really had changed. There was a night I knew for sure. 

I had taken him back after a break because he went on a downward spiral of drink and drugs. He had threatened to kill himself and one day I turned up at his place with our child to find him distraught and virtually unintelligible surrounded by a heap of bottles and filth.

I am a caring person and immediately set about helping. I didn't take him back at that very moment and held out for a few more weeks. I tried to stay free. But the promises and the emotional manipulation proved too strong. Another woman told me I would be better off taking him back as I was going to struggle financially. I wasn't, I had found a really good job. She said I was better off with him than letting another woman have him. This gave me the feeling that no one else would want me and that men are a valuable commodity we need to survive. I had very low self esteem and a genuine fear that I would fail at life if he wasn't around. He had been giving me that message for many years. I had doubts I would live through a year. I was afraid my child would suffer and I was being selfish. He had told me that too. Often. 

People say all sorts of unsupportive things when you are being abused. You are lost and advice is comforting. Some of it you take. Sometimes the right advice isn't offered. I had no feminist connections at that time for obvious reasons. He had severed most of my connections with friends. I had no close family to rely on. He had ensured any sort of loose connections were severed. I had a friend at that time and he accused me of sleeping with him. He still accuses me of this when he gets the chance and some free texting time. He tells anyone who will listen that my infidelity is the reason he abused me for what else could he do? It is nonsense. I didn't try to sleep with his best friend either. None of his friends were any more attractive as human beings to me than he was. 

I took him back. I enjoyed the new start and he promised that is what it was. He was more caring for a while and said less horrible things. I didn't feel controlled - as much. "A bit nicer" when you've been abused isn't that hard for an abuser to do. For anyone looking from the outside it would still look like pretty horrible treatment and a pretty horrible life. 

I didn't realise that I was still apprehensive about asking to go out with friends. A friend had asked me to drinks in another part of town. I was afraid to tell him because he didn't know these friends and he was very judgemental about that part of town. I decided to stick to my guns and new freedom and go though. I did eventually work up to telling him after deciding a few times that I wouldn't bother going. Convincing myself I preferred to be at home anyway. 

He made me fearful by telling me it was not a good venue. In a pretence at caring he dropped me off and watched me go inside. This way he knew I was "safe". I look back now and am ashamed that I ever thought myself free. I wasn't. I had been apart from him. I had never been free. He had been carefully invested in getting me back under control. That is all. 

I began to talk to people in the pub. I suspect now that he probably stayed outside a while. Watching. I felt a bit awkward but had a couple of drinks and began to talk to new people. I am pretty sociable and I had always been good at passing myself off as confident and good at socialising even when I was in the middle of being abused. 

As the night wore on I began to get texts. Texts asking how long I would be. Then another and another and another. Finally telling me to get in a taxi and come home or the door would be locked against my getting in. It was about 11.30 pm. 

I hailed a taxi in a panic. I couldn't get one at first and was on my doorstep a little after midnight. Maybe 12.10 am. It was locked. The key was in the other side. I knocked gently. My child was in bed. The next day was school. I knocked again. And again. I panicked. I became really scared. Where would I go? Eventually I saw him come downstairs. He did not speak. He stared at me and stormed back to bed. I felt confused. I went to bed and he did not speak. I didn't sleep well. The next morning I felt pretty angry. I knew inside that I hadn't done anything wrong. I went downstairs as he was going off to work and had not spoken a word to me. He had been waiting. I began by saying I had done nothing wrong. 

The switch flicked. 

He threw the table across the kitchen smashing it into the wall where it caved plaster out of the wall. Yes. That much force. He threw the chair at me, just missing of course. He pounded on the sink draining board with his fist until it caved in. All the time screaming that I had disobeyed him. He couldn't trust me. I had promised to be in for 11 and I had stayed out beyond that. I had never said a time I would be home and he had never asked for one. I ran to the bottom of the stairs and sat crying. I pleaded and tried to reason with him. He shouted all sorts of names at me. Called me a slut and deceitful. Said I was taking the piss out of his good nature. Why had he come back when I was only making him miserable? On and on. Finally ignoring my distressed state he left, slamming the door behind him and I immediately set about clearing the mess and getting my child ready for school. Trying to act normal. Trying to field questions about the mess. Trying to hold my insides straight and tidy whilst my mind whirred in complete confusion.

I met the friend with the "go back" advice for a coffee as it was my day off. I told her what had happened. She seemed to be uncomfortable but still said it was "early days and will calm down".

I listened to her and I decided she was right. I probably hadn't tried hard enough to make him feel secure. Yes. I actually thought like that at the time.

I spent the day upset and wondering what to do. I was right. I did have the right to be out to a time I decided. I also spent some time wondering if I really had agreed to be in by 11pm and if it really was so unreasonable for him to expect me to be home. This was gas lighting. I know that now. I had never said it and both he and I knew it. 

That night he didn't come home from work. I tried calling. There was no answer. I didn't spend any time thinking about the smashed up kitchen but I spent subsequent years looking at the damage left behind that I could never quite bring myself to fix. 

I called again and again. I got scared. I wanted to apologise and fix things. We are conditioned by abusive men to try to fix situations caused by their poor behaviour.

Eventually he called me. Well I say he called me. His phone called me. I answered. I could hear footsteps as I said "Hello. Hello?" 

I heard doors opening. He had obviously called me by mistake. Or so I thought then. I don't now of course. 

I heard a woman's voice speak. I was gripped to the phone and sweating. I was still trying to get his attention by shouting his name. The woman said something I could not hear and then I heard a door open and close with a squeak. The footsteps began again. I heard his voice ask a question.

"Have you got one in stockings?"

I went cold. He was in a brothel. He admitted this later. He said it was my fault. I began to cry. I listened to him enter a room and slur something to a woman there. Then there were a lot of muffled noises whilst I screamed his name and begged him not to do what he was clearly doing. 

Eventually the phone went dead. Clearly he knew I had heard enough. I was with him for about another 4 years after that. You can imagine what they were like. 

So.... to the man on Twitter doing your "amazing work for women" by rewriting things we write and talking of our activism as though you are part of it - know this ... you can't steal these words or this experience because you haven't lived it. Many women have and for those women my heart cries.

JH x

(P.s - I'm free. I did not catch a sexually transmitted disease from that vile man. I am sorry to the poor woman he used like an object. I hope she didn't either.  I hope she got free of that terrible life. I am not sorry for sharing this experience and I have not shared it because I want people to feel sorry for me. I share because another woman somewhere is hearing shitty advice and wondering whether to take it. I hope she doesn't take it. I hope she finds some feminist advice instead.)