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THE INJUSTICE OF VIOLENCE BEHIND CLOSED CURTAINS

March 17, 2015
Wendy in happier times with two of her children

Wendy in happier times with two of her children

DOMESTIC violence is a curse within our society, but one that will remain so while action is consigned to anonymous descriptions on paper.

Speaking as a journalist, it is also one of the most frustrating subjects to report on as the cloak of secrecy is infinite; naming names is impossible unless the victim bravely comes out into the open.

In four decades on weekly newspapers in London’s east end, the numbers of phone calls pleading for help was huge, but almost every one ended in ‘Please don’t use my name’.

Now a former Romford mother has reached that point when her only alternative is to go public with her story.

Wendy Michael is asking for public help with a petition she is raising to David Cameron (details below). She is married and living in Cyprus with her four children and an allegedly violent husband.

Her harrowing story is at the end of this article, in which she claims after years of abuse by her husband, she fled Cyprus and came back to Havering with her children.

Her reason was to visit her sick father, but she now she faces a Cyrus court hearing, the decision of which, may demand her children be returned to Cyprus and her husband.

As a journalist, it is difficult to comment accurately as I only have the mother’s side of the story, but do have personal knowledge of the trauma beaten partners suffer.

Apparently this story is about a controlling partner who inflicted physical  violence over a number of years.

The injustice seems to be in the possible legal requirement to return the children to their father and a home that has already been the scene of violence.

It could be argued any mother would refuse unless the full weight of the law was imposed, and in this case Wendy says she will stay with her children despite the risk of further violence to herself.

In a normal society such a conflict is difficult to understand but the total distress has to be seen to be understood.

Having seen the results of controlling cowards behind closed curtains, the fact that the mother has taken the monumentally brave decision to go public says it all.

Where is the justice that forces a parent to hand over children to a proved violent partner, or enforcing a return to an equally violent relationship and domain?

It would seem the Cypriot Authorities deal with the crime differently. I have witnessed instant and superb policing in this country where the perpetrator was dealt with instantly and now is on record for his actions.

Wendy is moving mountains to keep her children, and is begging for public support in a petition to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in which she asks for justice within the narrow parameters of Article 13 section of the Hague Convention concerning children.

To sign the petition go to: http://www.change.org/p/ed-miliband-david-cameron-mp-change-the-hague-convention-towards-child-abduction-and-custody-act-1985

It is important to sign the above petition to try and get some realistic action for a woman who has suffered domestic violence and wants to keep her children.

THIS IS WENDY’S STORY:

I am a British citizen who has been living in Cyprus, married to a Cypriot, with 4 young children. My eldest son Harry is 8, Joseph is 6, Alexander is 3 with special needs and my daughter Effie is 2.

My husband subjected me to sustained mental and emotional abuse for many years. However, as he was rarely home and generally I was alone with the children, I tolerated it for their sake in order to keep the family together. Over the years he started to become more and more physical with his abuse, the witnessing of which has effected my eldest son Harry, who was also on the receiving end of physical violence from his father. On the 7th of November 2014 my husband brutally attacked me in our home, while our 4 children were upstairs. I escaped and ran to my husband’s family, who stopped my husband from further attack, but did not call the police or the doctor to help, aid or assist me.

My father has terminal cancer. Due to the severity of his sickness I managed to persuade my husband to let me and the children leave Cyprus to go and see him. This was my saving grace. My husband paid for the one way ticket, he drove us to the airport and spoke to the customs and passport controllers to let them know it was with his consent that I was leaving the country.

I arrived on the 21st of December 2014. I fled my home in Cyprus for the safety of my children and myself; not only physical safety but mental and emotional safety too.

On the 23rd of January 2015 my husband reported me for child abduction using the Hague Convention Act.

On the 19th of February 2015 I was summoned to the Royal Court of Justice to plead our case to keep my children in  the safety of the UK. My case was adjourned in order for psychological reports on my children to be completed. I am required to return to court on the 20th and 21st of April 2015, when it will be determined whether my four children and I will be forced to return to Cyprus. The Hague Convention does not insist that I as their mother return to the habitual residence, only that the children must, however I will not let them return alone. I had my children’s best interest at heart when I fled from our home in Cyprus in fear of our lives, the Hague Convention forces mothers in abusive relationships to return to the place they escaped from. Many barely escape with their lives, and please let’s not forget those less fortunate, who die at the hands of their abusers.

The System is failing! It would appear the UK government is adopting a Pontius Pilate attitude of washing their hands of the issue and passing it on to someone else to deal with. The UK government appears to be failing my children and me!

As a mother of four young children I have no job to return to in Cyprus, no alternative home, no means by which to support my family alone. My husband has all the money, he owns the house, I will have no support. My whole family lives here in England, my children are half English with British passports. How is it possible that sending us back to such a damaging environment could be considered the best thing for my children? How could it even be a consideration to send them back without their mother?

Article 13 of the Hague Convention must be amended to recognise the situation that my children and I are facing. The convention was not designed to put vulnerable children and women back into the danger they have escaped. It must be changed to reflect the circumstances that I and many other women find themselves to be in.

PLEASE STAND WITH ME! HELP ME! HELP ALL WOMEN WHO ARE VICTIMS OF THIS UNJUST CONVENTION! HELP OUR VOICES BE HEARD! I KNOW I AM NOT ALONE.

 

 

 

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6 Comments
  1. PAULINE SWEET permalink

    Any law in a civilised society MUST have the interests of children and vulnerable adults as a priority. Laws are for the protection of a civilised society, and if a society cannot protect the vulnerable, it has no right to parade itself as civilised.
    This country (The UK) cannot abandon its own citizens to the mercy of other countries and their uncivilised laws. This lady has managed to get herself, and her children, all of them holders of British passports, back to the UK, and we must fight any ruling, indeed, DEFY any ruling, forcing them out of this country. How will we look, as a nation who purports to care for it’s people,
    if we allow her to be forced back there, and something dreadful happens to any one, or all of them?

    • wendy permalink

      thank you.xxxxxxxI can only Pray your right. The law is against me.xx

  2. bob permalink

    Thank you for your help for my daughter Wendy and her 4 young children.

  3. Wendy I hear you. The same thing happened to me. Message me if you want to talk through the outcome, or if I can support you in any way.

    • wendy permalink

      What is your story, nd yes I need all the help and support I can get! Thats why Im SHOUTING!!

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