My Next Poetry Performance: Guest Poet at Fundraiser ‘Every Child Matters… Inspire a Girl, Big up a Boy in Jamaica’

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I am delighted to share that I will be a special guest poet and speaker at a very worthwhile event and fundraiser entitled ‘Every Child Matters… Inspire a Girl, Big up a Boy in Jamaica’. I will appear alongside some prestigious artists and Speakers such as singer/actress LORNA GEE, singer MICHAEL GORDON, HARAMBE DRUMMERS, singer PAULETTE TAJAH and guest speaker MR MOR DIOUM – Director of The Victoria Climbe Foundation UK.

One Step Forward Consultancy in recognition of Child Month will be hosting its Fund Raising Event for this cause on FRIDAY, 9th MAY 2014 at The Croydon Park Hotel, 7, Altyre Road, Croydon, London, CR9 5AA. 6pm – 2am.

If you are a social worker, or are involved with child support agencies, do come down, show support or forward to interested parties.

Tickets for Dinner and Dance £30, for Dance only £15, for Display/Exhibition Table £20

For more information please email: onestepforwardconsultancy@gmail.com or phone Patricia McKenzie-Thomas on 07960-368-048 or Sharon on 07956 801 709

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Quote of the Day, by Patricia Foster: ‘Acceptance, Patience and Love Towards Others’

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In our modern style of living and busyness, it is very easy to lose sight of where a friend or loved one is in their life. To misunderstand the journey they are on. To have little or no concept of what they are going through.

For those experiencing pain or personal challenges, reaching out to another can be extremely difficult.

This week, two high profile young twenty-somethings – Peaches Geldof, daughter of Sir Bob and the late Paula Yates (25) and Karyn Washington, founder of forbrowngirls.com (22) – were both found dead on 7th April and 8th April respectively. At the time of writing this blog, tests are still being carried out on Peaches and Karyn apparently committed suicide.

In my line of work with young people, I often rely on intuition to gauge if someone is in need of support. A listening ear, or by removing our own judgement of another, is usually all it takes to help that friend or loved one get back on track.

Who could do with your listening ear today?

Please feel free to leave a comment and share.

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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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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