Sunday, 17 August 2014


A report appeared in my local newspaper that  led to  an online discussion about the nature of Domestic Violence where a 32 year old woman admitted she assaulted her partner by throwing a garden spiked candle-holder at him.  The third throw hit him causing a two inch cut.   It was good to see that a man felt he could press charges, although it was actually the man’s mother who reported the crime.  Good on her I say.
Anyhow, what annoyed me was the punishment dished out to the woman.   She got a community order which included 14 sessions at the local women's centre.    What are they going to teach her there ??? That she was really the victim as men are to blame for everything? Will they help her improve her aim so that next time it only takes her one attempt to hit her target???? Absolutely unbelievable.

Expressing this view led to some comments that seemed to want to justify the woman’s actions.  He must have deserved it, he had it coming, he must have provoked her, it must have been self-defence etc.  When excessive force is used however, it can’t be self-defence, more a case of mutual violence.

And yet, were the gender roles reversed, no-one would try and justify such action.  It would be wrong because he was a nasty man attacking an innocent woman.  He certainly would not have got a community order punishment which included 14 sessions at a local men’s centre.  Dare I say it, his punishment most likely would have been at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. 

I’ve encountered such attitudes before, and I have to say that strangely enough, its women who will try to justify the actions of another violent woman.  It’s as if they can’t accept that women can be as violent as men,  and so there has to be some rationale behind the assault.

There is NEVER any justification for any form of domestic  violence.  There is no excuse for domestic abuse. 

Please don’t try to justify any one else’s violence.  They may be ill, they may need help etc, but that is NO EXCUSE EVER.  Think about it next time, any assault is verbally indefensible. 

Sunday, 10 August 2014


I’ve been meditating on ‘Hope’ for some months now.  It strikes me that hope is the one thing we all hold on to when everything else comes crashing down.  The appeal is that we can always hope for something better. 
For example, in a relationship blighted by domestic violence, the victim very seldom leaves when the abuse first manifests itself.  We ‘hope’ for change.  We make excuses for the perpetrator telling ourselves that they are not well, they are under stress, they may be drinking too much etc.  We hope that they will ‘get better’ or change and everything will be fine.  The longer the situation carries on, the victim realises that this particular ‘hope’ won’t occur, so the hope changes.  The victim hopes for a day when everything is peaceful, and tries to do nothing that would cause offence or trigger a violent episode in their partner.  However, even this approach is flawed, because the mood swings are so random and unpredictable as the perpetrator will find any reason to attack.   Finally, when the victim is completely worn down, feeling worthless and virtually hopeless, the glimmer of a new future away from the perpetrator presents a new hope.  Just how though, remains a mystery as the victim can’t see any way to escape and by this time, all rational thought processes have been destroyed by the constant abuse suffered.
People need hope to survive.  The oppressed often turn to religion because of the hope faith offers.  Most (if not all) faith offers you the hope of a better life in the next world.  “Today’s life will be tough and hard, but don’t worry” adherents of a religion will tell you, “because if you follow XXXXXX  or this path, you will be fine in the next world/life.”  The promise of something better in the future gives hope.  Pie in the Sky when you die.  Furthermore, if you look to a religion/faith for hope, its followers are most embracing and welcoming of you especially when they think they may have a new recruit.  They will do anything and offer all sorts of assistance to make you want to feel part of that group.   Mind you if you turn your back on that group, your so-called friends may no longer offer you the same hand of friendship you previously experienced.   The future hope you signed up to when you acknowledged believe in that faith system evaporates.  You are no longer one of the chosen ones.
Hope is always there.  Hope is not reliant on external circumstances or beliefs.  There comes a time when you just have to grasp it.  Any abusive relationship will never change and if you are being victimised, your only hope is leaving and starting again.  Staying will only result in further problems and difficulties and could even cost you your life.  That hope you may have of a life free from abuse is available to you, but you have to grasp it with both hands and doing that requires a big, bold step.

Sunday, 3 August 2014


At a recent family gathering, I was asked what my views were concerning Karma.  It seemed a little strange as an opening gambit from a relative who I only tend to see at family occasions.  However, I’ve often posted about my spiritual journey which has taken me from being a Christian church minister  to flirting with Atheism.  So I guess, it wasn’t  that strange a question after all.  I had certainly been reflecting on my own beliefs and the origins of personal belief.  My initial response was to say that “it’s probably easier to say what I don’t believe, rather than what I do believe.”

I don’t believe in the concepts of eternal/everlasting or indeed previous lives now.  The only thing we know with any certainty is that we are living this life now.  There is no factual evidence for anything before or after.  I know that some people claim to have had near-death experiences that equate to their own particular belief of what happens next, and there are those who under a form of hypnosis called past-life regression.   My own take on these ‘experiences’ is that the person’s own belief system has already influenced that person’s mind, so your sub conscious tells you what you want to hear. 

Similarly, well-meaning Christians have tried to convince me of the errors of my ways in turning my back on their faith by employing  Pascal’s Wager.  Pascal's Wager is an argument in philosophy which was devised by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or not. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming an infinite gain or loss associated with belief or unbelief in said God (as represented by an eternity in heaven or hell), a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss.  In other words, you have nothing to infinite loss, but everything to gain by believing in a God.  If the Judeo-Christian God doesn’t exist, you lose nothing.  It’s a hedge your bets argument.  Strange when most Christians/church teaching is opposed to Gambling, they ask you to ‘bet on the existence of god.’

As for Karma I can’t hold the view that my existence in a previous life, affects my current position now.  I have made conscious decisions and then had to live with the consequences of those decisions, many positive and some negative.  Nothing from an unknown past has influenced those decisions. 

However, there is a different type of Karma that we all often refer too.  Phrase like “What goes round comes round,” and “they’ll get what coming to them” has entered our vocabulary.   When someone hurts us or commits an injustice against us and isn’t punished, we use the afore-mentioned statements hoping that everything balances out, that the pain we have felt will soon be inflicted on the person that hurt us.  Does it happen?  It would be nice and rather comforting to think that it does, but in all reality it probably doesn’t.  My abuser has never accepted any responsibility for her actions and has failed to grasp the impact and consequences of her violent actions have had on me or our children.  While I hoped that natural karma would happen, so far it hasn’t.  She carried on living her live oblivious to the destruction she’s caused.  For me, I had to let go of wanting such karma to happen and move on with my life.   While I was anxious for my abuser to receive retribution for her crimes against me, the angst it caused me was a way of still allowing her to abuse me.    I guess I don’t believe in any form of Karma either. 

All that matters to me is the here and now and what I make of it.