2011 – UK Riots
I am definitely not excusing rioters, vandals and looters behaviour, however having experienced my own vandalism charges for smashing up my ex husbands van over 30 years ago, I didn’t just get up one morning and decide to cause a riot.
What did happen was that for a very long time I was unable to express my feelings; I was unable to share with someone what was going on inside my head; I was unable to speak to anybody about anything. I was brought up in a staunch Catholic family with very strict values of what was right and wrong however the pain and suffering of not dealing with my emotions and trying to do the right thing took its toll. I went berserk (this is how the media reported my case in the papers) smashed his van with a crowbar and threw bricks through the windows. I also attempted to slash the tyres when I was arrested by police. I honestly didn’t know I was capable of this.
After having had interdicts put on my ex-husband as well as having reported many situations to both the police and the legal system they did nothing about his violent threats; his stalking me; his removing all my belongings illegally out of my house; his selling my van – so I took the law into my own hands. Would I recommend this, NO however what I can say is that he never came near me or the area I lived in again.
Although I went through the court system I was never offered any help at any time from police or judges or my lawyers. Ten years later I was once again on my knees in agony at the way I was living my life and once again with the police in my life and this time I did go for help off my own back and I have never looked back since. I have worked with many many youngsters who all have violent criminal records and in my experience when I worked with them and treated them as my equal the were actually beautiful young men and women who all had a story like all of us. Like me, they had no idea how to deal with their emotions.
The criminal justice system punishes, this just fuels the already deep-rooted anger and never goes beneath the surface to address the root cause which is knowing why we have the violence inside us in the first place. In my opinion could change lives beyond belief as it did mine…