Abuse in Relationships: The Possible Impact on Women and Girls

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In response to “Start Anew” by Taurus Riley.

“When abuse is also emotional, psychological and verbal, as hard as it is, that is a crucial time to walk away. This is not love and no amount of repeated apologies, gifts or flowers makes it OK! ”
~ Patricia Foster
19/2/13

I was alighted to a video by one of my favourite artists, Jamaican singer Taurus Riley. The 2009 song ‘Start Anew’ depicts the emotionally charged dynamics of relationship abuse towards women.

He cleverly conveys very powerful words and a strong message for women currently in abusive relationships. Abuse in relationships can be mental or emotional, as well as physical.

The scars – emotional, mental or physical – can stay with some women for years, impacting on their lives, their choices and those around them.

I think it is also important for a man to speak out against abuse towards women in a relationship. This also reinforces the message and shows there are positive and progressive men who will not tolerate this behaviour and are making it clear they will not be covering up for their fellow men’s misdemeanours.

‘What about us men?’, I hear you cry. Yes, abuse against men does exist. This was recently highlighted in the dramatised physical abuse storyline between Coronation Street’s characters Tyrone Dobbs and his fiancé Kirsty Soames (portrayed by Alan Halsall and Natalie Gumede respectively). In July 2013, the wife of former motorcycle stunt rider Eddie Kidd was sentenced for physical abuse towards her husband.

Statistics show that in the UK, more women are likely to suffer relationship abuse than men.
A February 2013 online article in ‘Family Law Week’ contains findings from the survey ‘Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences 2011/12’. The survey reveals “7% of women and 5% of men have suffered domestic abuse in the year 2011-2012. This equates to an estimated figure of 1.2 million female and 800,000 male victims. The article also defines relationship or domestic abuse as: “‘domestic abuse’ includes non-physical abuse, threats, force, sexual assault or stalking carried out by a current or former partner or other family member.”

Speaking from a woman’s point of view (I have unfortunately experienced relationship abuse), abuse against women in relationships can be as subtle as it is obvious.

Sometimes it may take a while to realise that what you are involved in is abuse. It may be easier for outsiders to say “why did you go there?”. Instead, I believe understanding, support and perhaps refuge should be offered to the abused, so they have time to heal and grow stronger.

It is important as well for parents and guardians to empower girls and young women with the tools and positive, mental attitude to steer them along the path towards supportive, loving relationships. These seeds can be planted early on by demonstrating and exposing them to positive, loving examples of relationships in the home as well as through the media. Also imparting them with the wisdom and knowledge as to how they inform others the way they wish to be treated as a girl/young woman/female. One of the modules I recently co-delivered on a six-week course entitled ‘The Virtue Programme’ covered exactly this notion of communicating with others how we wish to be treated and how we want others to engage with us.

Of course, this is easier said than done. If the intention at the onset is to prepare young girls for future relationships, then over time and with practice, empowering our young girls with inner-strengthening tools and messages will become easier. I would also add that it is important while delivering these messages the importance of painting men in a positive light as opposed to misogynistic monsters.

Relationship abuse is within the underbelly of our community and comes in many guises. Abuse, any type of abusive, should not be tolerated on any level whatsoever.

Well done, Mr Riley!

© Patricia Foster 6th November 2013

References:
“Start Anew” by Taurus Riley 2009.

Article in ‘Family Law Week’
http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed111665, Survey: ‘Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences 2011/12’

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Catch my poetry film LIPS and several more at Word 9 Showcase, hosted by Apples and Snakes at Jawdance, Rich Mix, 23rd October 2013, 7:30pm

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Photo/still taken from the film ‘Lips’, courtesy of Mellow 9 Productions

Tonight, my Poetry Film ‘LIPS’ will be one of several films being shown at the Word 9 Showcase at Jawdance. It promises to be a fantastic night of lovely poetry and engaging film.

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All films have been made by the highly talented film company Mellow 9 Productions.

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Time:
8:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Location:
RICH MIX CINEMA AND ARTS CENTRE, 35 – 47 BETHNAL GREEN ROAD, SHOREDITCH / BETHNAL GREEN

Hope to see you there!

Creative Education Consultant, Poet, Tutor and Holistic Coach for Sensitive, EBD Pupils | Patricia Foster

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Is your child emotionally sensitive and slightly overwhelmed by the school learning environment?

Does your child require an educator or education environment which holistically supports their emotional sensitivity?

Is your child labelled ‘shy’, ‘introverted’, ‘misunderstood’ or even ‘disruptive’?

Does your child prefer a calmer, relaxing, more sedate learning environment, supportive of their emotional needs?

Does your child have any unrealised creative gifts or talents and need a empathic educator to help them realise their potential?

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Tel: +44(0)7956 476 547

Email: prfoster@hotmail.com

http://about.me/patriciafoster

Twitter: @Ms_P_Foster

Skype: patricia_foster_trainer

Main Photos of Patricia Foster by Clive Powell

Patricia Foster – Poet, Educator and Inspirational Workshops

“I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
~ Albert Einstein

Photo: Giorgis Media

Photo: Giorgis Media

Photo: Celile Stille

Photo: Celile Stille

Teaching, Training and Coaching – the connection from my soul to the Universe. My gift to all. I love what I do and enjoy doing what I love! This quote by Albert Einstein probably explains why I love to create the best learning environment for my learners, of all ages and abilities!

 
My approach to education is unique, empathic, holistic, creative and empowering. My aim is to empower individuals of all ages and sections of the community, to be the best person they can be. To guide them to uncover their own inner tools and gifts to succeed in life. To help improve their lives and wellbeing through poetry, writing, creativity, multi media, coaching, consultancy and holistic health & nutrition advice.
 

I am available for poetry workshops, as well as creative, multi media, personal development and wellbeing workshops, in any establishment – the more unusual, the better! I can also provide consultancy or guide you through the steps to set up your community multi media project.

If you require an internationally recognised professional poet for:

  • Primary or Secondary Schools
  • PSHE Classes
  • Assemblies
  • Black History Month
  • National Poetry Day
  • World Book Day
  • International Women’s Day
  • Residencies
  • Interactive or Traditional Storytelling
  • Corporate Training Days
  • Team Building Events
  • Workshops with Senior Citizens
  • Workshops in Youth and Community Groups
  • Workshops on Bullying
  • Workshops in Pupil Referal Units (PRUs)
  • Workshops in Libraries
  • Workshops in Prisons

contact me and I’ll guarantee a stimulating, positive and engaging session.

Check out the rest of my site to find out what other training and education services I can provide.

Lips – New Poetry Film Release by Patricia Foster. A Poet’s View on Teenage Bullying!

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I am really pleased to share with you that the film version of my poem ‘Lips’, which tackles the theme of teenage bullying, has been released. It is uncanny how it has been released at a time when bullying and in particular cyber bullying, has been in the news of late; not just here in the UK but world wide.

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It has been quite emotional for me to see my poem brought to life on film, by the amazingly talented Mellow 9 Productions http://www.mellow9productions.co.uk/. The journey from poem idea – first developed in a Malika’s Poetry Kitchen Friday session – to film has been eleven years. The topic of bullying and identity being relevant then as it is now.

This film also couldn’t have been brought to life in such a magnificent way, without the superb young female actors – who were so serendipitously cast – provided by The Girls Friendly Society of England and Wales (GFS Platform Islington Project). http://www.gfsplatform.org.uk/youth-work.html Located in the London borough of Islington, this wonderful project delivers a wide range of exciting activities, workshops and events for young women aged 11 to 19, to widen their horizons, encourage debates and boost confidence and aspirations.

It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a brilliant cast and crew.

Click on the link below to view the film

Lips © Copyright Patricia Foster 2002

Upcoming Release of New Poetry Video ‘Lips’ – Written and Performed by Patricia Foster

Myself on the film shoot!  Photo: Flora van den Berg, Mellow 9 Productions

Myself on the film shoot!
Photo: Flora van den Berg, Mellow 9 Productions

I’m really excited, as the release of the film version of my poem ‘Lips’ takes place this month, August 2013. The poem and film explores the impact of bullying between young females and how this can raise issues of identity and self esteem.

Myself and one of the superb cast!

Myself with one of the superb cast!

I was honoured to have my words brought to life by the incredibly talented, award winning Mellow 9 Productions. The whole experience, including the shoot, working with the crew and witnessing their spot on and intuitive casting was amazing.

I will post a link and further info about the video shortly. In the meantime, here are a few more behind-the-scenes photos from the film shoot. Photos by Flora van den Berg

Photo:  Flora van den Berg

Photo: Flora van den Berg

Photo: Flora van den Berg.  Scene with the fantastic young cast.

Photo: Flora van den Berg.
Scene with the fantastic young cast.

Photo: Flora Van Den Berg. Ameet Solanki and Adrian Scott behind the camera!

Photo: Flora van den Berg.
Ameet Solanki and Adrian Scott behind the camera!

Myself with Adrian Scott, Scriptwriter/Managing Director/Producer of Mellow 9

Myself with Adrian Scott,
Scriptwriter/Managing Director/Producer of Mellow 9

When Will Bullies Get The Message? – by Patricia Foster

Photo: Patricia Foster

Photo: Patricia Foster

As individuals, we are ALL created uniquely beautiful. Some of us have gentle dispositions and are therefore misunderstood. Some of us are extremely sensitively wired and are therefore misunderstood. Some of us will NEVER fit into the mould of acceptable looks, or acceptable past times. It’s about having patience with and being accepting of others, instead of demonising them…because they are not like you!

Some of us have not developed the communication tools to express our thoughts or feelings, so may have difficulty in responding to harsh words or criticism, or are unable to articulate the inner pain connected to these harsh words. Speaking out against harsh, critical words may be a huge challenge.
Some of us may feel unsupported, because we are unable to find the right person to express our innermost thoughts and feelings to, without the fear of our expressed feelings being thrown back in our faces.

There is a saying “hurt people hurt people”. Research has shown that those who are unhappy within, or are in pain themselves lash out or bully others, therefore hurting their intended target too.

I performed poetry at a recent ‘Loose Muse’ women’s writing event and a courageous young lady shared her own, deeply personal experiences of being bullied and subsequently wanting to take her own life. She mentioned also that in the area of south London where she resides, suicides among teenagers, in particular GCSE and A Level students were at a ridiculously high number. This was not just due to the pressures of life, but also about how some are made to feel by harsh comments and treatments by others.

Today, I read a Facebook post, which outlined the last Tweet posted by a young man, tormented over the years about his sexuality. He was commonly referred to as “a loser, freak and fag” and used this to describe himself in his last Twitter message. He felt he had done the world an injustice and therefore took his life.

Without the right support and understanding from others, when will people cease to remove their inner pain, torment and feelings of being misunderstood by taking their own lives?

Some of us will never be accepted, because we are moulded and act differently.

How can those of us who are emotionally stronger step in to help prevent bullying and help support and encourage those who are being bullied or misunderstood?

In my workshops and through my writing I have focussed on this, as I have also been bullied and victimised by others. I therefore choose to use my art and holistic and well-being tools to help stand up to this. Writing and coaching can be useful ways to express pain, as well as feel accepted and valued within.

© Patricia Foster

‘Sensitivity and the Artist: The Link Between Sensitive Personalities and Creativity’  – by Award-Winning Writer & Holistic Coach Patricia Foster

‘Sensitivity and the Artist: The Link Between Sensitive Personalities and Creativity’
by Patricia Foster

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Being a sensitive adult can be viewed as either a curse or blessing to the said sensitive individual.
For many sensitive adults, who may deem this a curse, they can probably list a range of unwanted or difficult circumstances such as:

• Being highly affected by harsh and nasty comments
• Taking on board and feeling deeply saddened by others’ misfortune
• Being affected by criticism and judgment from others
• Always wanting to avoid confrontation or uncomfortable conversations
• Bearing childhood traumas that trigger off reactions to relatively similar adult situations
• Excruciating shyness
• Labelled too shy, too sensitive or a walkover by others
• Become stressed easily
• Experience low self-esteem
• High bouts of depression

However, many sensitive adults may deem it a blessing and look at the advantages such as:

• Being a good listener
• Possessing empathy
• Being excellent authors and poets
• Having the ability to express themselves as artists
• Being highly intuitive and spiritual
• Having high levels of patience

I have witnessed highly sensitive individuals, who champion the causes of other people, encouraging them to utilise their gifts. However, when it comes to expressing their own gifts, or operating from their higher selves or to their highest potential, they almost enter the realms of martyrdom, where it is virtually difficult for them to speak up or express their true selves. 

Research has shown that many highly sensitive adults end up working as counsellors, teachers, artists, poets, writers, authors, social workers and healers /natural health practitioners and other caring professions.

According to Elaine N. Aron Ph.D., the author of ‘The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You’, the world can be an extremely, overwhelming and unassuming place to sensitive people in general and certain situations and environments are too overly stimulating. She also acknowledges that “one in every five people is born with a heightened sensitivity” and gifted with “intelligence and imagination”. 

 I speak as a sensitive adult myself, who has experienced or displayed many of the above traits. Reading Elaine’s book about The Highly Sensitive Person (HSPs) was a welcome breath of fresh air; it made me realise there was nothing wrong with me and indeed others I know who bear similar traits.

Due to the, at times, overwhelming and difficult circumstances in my life, I have had to identify the personality traits that I have and go through a stage of healing and being kind to myself. This ‘self identification’ and healing process allowed me to develop the skills and empathy to understand, listen and heal others (especially those who are sensitive) through teaching, training, art, film making, poetry, coaching and Reiki. 

Over the years, I focused on ways to harness my sensitive nature and also balance this with being grounded and looking after my physical and emotional health. 

I discovered that my emotional health was impacted by consuming certain foods that created imbalance (such as meat and alcohol). Through following a vegan and raw vegan diet and being teetotal, this has prevented me from becoming too overwhelmed and over stimulated by the world. 

Being highly sensitive is a personality trait I feel blessed to have and with this, I endeavour to make this world a better place to exist in.

However, this is not to say that non-sensitive personalities are insensitive, impatient or possess little or no creative skills. This is to highlight that sensitive people are ‘wired’ uniquely and therefore respond to external stimuli in a unique way. 

 © Patricia Foster 

 Please feel free to leave a comment below
or email: youareyou.co@gmail.com
 

Patricia Foster is a Holistic Life Coach, an Award-Winning Internationally Published Poet, Performer, Visual and Multimedia Artist (BA Hons), Broadcaster, Certified Tutor/Trainer & Facilitator, Dynamic Educator and Creative Consultant. She is also a Certified Reiki Healer, Wellbeing Advisor, Vegan and lover of Raw Food. As a writer, she has worked for the BBC and has toured the UK, Europe and the USA.


For further info, email youareyou.co@gmail.com


or visit http://youareyoublog.wordpress.com