Tag Archives: Domestic Violence

My Ex-Boyfriend Loved Me. Everybody Told Me So.

J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Rose And Mum And More, Mummy Blogger, Parenting Blog

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

My ex-boyfriend was a really lovely man.  Everyone told me so.  He adored me, he cherished me, he valued me.  He thought I was special.

I know this is true because everyone told me so.

My ex-boyfriend was gentle and sweet, he was shy.  He had very little family and had been badly treated by those he did have, so he was vulnerable and needed to be loved.  He was insecure but full of heart.

Everyone told me.  Everyone.

Wasn’t I lucky to have a man like him, a man who so clearly was good and kind and loving and gentle.

So.  Fucking.  Lucky.

He loved me so much when he shoved me into walls.  He loved me so much when he hit me.  He loved me so much when he twisted my arm until I cried.

When he shouted in my face for smiling at the waiter.  When he wouldn’t let me leave the house or talk on the phone.  When he punched the walls so hard his knuckles would bleed then showed me the blood, blaming me for making him so frustrated.

He loved me so much when he raped me.  When he sent me upstairs to our bedroom to wait for him.

J.J. Barnes, Rose And Mum And More, Feminist Blog, Feminism Blog, Blogger, Feminist Blogging

Photo credit Ninocare

He was so vulnerable, so insecure.  When he interrogated me about everything I said to my mother, what her face was like, how she interpreted it.  Whether I had implied anything negative about him.  Whether anybody knew.

He was such a good man.  I know it’s true.

When he found out I had a lesbian friend on Facebook and nearly smashed my laptop.  When I smiled at the man in the chip shop and he accused me of having an affair and screamed in my face.

I crept downstairs once.  He’d sent me to wait for him and had been gone for a long time.  I found him watching violent porn.  I ran back upstairs as quietly as I could.  That was a bad night.  He loved me so much.  Everyone told me.

I knew nobody would believe me.  Why would they?  I had no proof.  And he was a good man.

When I eventually got away from him I broke his heart.  I left him crying.  He cried a lot.  He cried when I tried to talk about how much he hurt me, why would I want to upset him like that?  I was talking as if he was an abuser, why would I do that to him?  He cried when I left.

He cried to his female friends.  They hated me.  Hated me.  They told me so.

I didn’t appreciate him.  I couldn’t see how much he loved me.  How special he was.  How gentle, how good, how loving.  I had a vendetta and I was cruel and selfish.  I was a liar.

He loved me so much.  Everybody told me so.

My mum believed me.

Every time I was brave enough to tell her a little bit more she believed me.

She had thought he loved me.  That he was a good man.  That he was gentle and good and kind and vulnerable.

My mum believed me.

When I was having the nightmares, she comforted me.  When I cried, she held me.  When I struggled, she paid for my counselling.

My mum believed me.

He was such a good man.  Everybody told me so.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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Strength In Numbers

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

When a famous man is accused of sexual abuse crimes and rape, it always seems that once one woman has made an accusation, others come forward with similar tales of abuse.  It has happened in high profile cases, the Jimmy Saville and Bill Cosby type cases, time and time again and it is always met with the same criticism.  The same accusations.  They are “jumping on the bandwagon”.  If it had really happened they’ve have come forward sooner.  They’d have spoken out.  They’re just trying to get their fifteen minutes of fame and a financial handout.

I have never gone to the police about the abusive relationships or experiences I’ve had.

I have a lot of guilt for that and I carry it with me.  I cling onto the notion that it was just me.  Nobody else went through that under those hands and I would rather not put myself through the horrendous process of reporting abuse crimes for which I have no evidence, which I would be put under an embarrassing and traumatic investigation and cross examination, where it would end up as his word against mine.  Where I would have to face those men again, men with eyes I have done everything I can to never have to look into again.

I am simply not strong enough to face that lonely road.

If others went forwards?  Then I think  would.

J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, Rose And Mum And More,, Feminism, Feminist Blog

Photo Credit Kauschik Chug

I’m witnessing it happening.  One woman speaks out, comes forward with a tale of abuse and suddenly, like dominoes, other silenced women are holding up their hands.  They’ve suffered the same experiences, they too believed they were alone.  They too thought they were facing the prospect of that lonely road.  But they’re not.  There are women with them, women who can hold their hands and look into their eyes and tell them they are not wrong.  They aren’t making it up, they aren’t faking it, they aren’t lying and seeking fame and fortune at the expense of an innocent maligned man.  Women who can stand together because they have each other and that gives them the strength they need to look into those eyes once more.

If other women came forward I too would stand up.  I would face those eyes, those hands.  But so far it hasn’t happened.

If I’m honest, if I look into those hidden places in my mind that I dare not explore too often, I don’t believe I’m alone.  And I believe that if I did it, if I was that brave woman who stood up and said it had happened then I’d be leading that march down that road and I wouldn’t be alone in doing it.

The women who stand up and make it known are the bravest of us all.  Braver than me.  If I stood up I am almost certain others would follow yet I am paralysed by fear.  I have seen the condemnation, the scrutiny, the abuse these brave women are met with and I am too frightened to face it myself.  His word against mine, and I know how many voices will shout from his side about how abused he is by my speaking out.  And I am afraid.  Those women who face that, who lead the way, they are the bravest of us all.

There is strength in numbers.  It is not a bandwagon.  It is a march of solidarity.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

The World Needs Angry Women

J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Rose And Mum And More, Mummy Blogger, Parenting Blog

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

I never used to be an angry woman.  I was calm and quiet, I was intimidated by angry women who shouted about the patriarchy.  I considered myself a humanist not a feminist.

How times have changed.

I started exploring the world more.  Not physically, but by reading an watching.  I watched documentaries, I read articles, I engaged in conversations on Twitter and Facebook.  Something, perhaps age or motherhood, pushed me to want to know more.  To want to learn about the world.

It started around the time of my daughter’s birth four years ago.  It grew after the breakdown of my marriage.  It developed in my time as a single mother.  The more I learned, researched, the angrier I got.  The angrier I got the more I wrote.

I wrote because the world needs women to write.  Because the world needs female voices.  The world needs angry female voices because without anger nothing will change.  Without anger nobody will fight.

And there is so much to fight.

I don’t count myself as a humanist anymore.  I count myself as a feminist.  I believed being a humanist made me more focused on equality, but if you don’t recognise where the inequality lies, how can you properly address it?  Internationally it is women who primarily are being oppressed, not men.  I am a feminist.  I recognise this imbalance and that needs correcting before anything else.

J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Rose And Mum And More, Feminist Blog, Feminism Blog, Parenting Blog,

Photo credit Alexas Photos

And I am angry.  And I assume that anyone who isn’t angry simply doesn’t know the truth.

How can you not be angry when you learn that every single year between 600,000 and 800,00 people are trafficked (Stop The Traffik).  That is an active slave trade happening right now.  They are trafficked primarily into the sex trade, forced into prostitution in brothels, forced into pornography and raped repeatedly on camera, forced into arranged marriages and raped repeatedly by their husbands.  How can that not make you angry?  And when you learn that approximately 80% of those trafficking victims are women and girls, how can that not make you a feminist?  Hundreds of thousands of women and girls being raped for money every fucking year.

How can you not be angry when you learn that every hour in England and Wales alone, approximately 11 adults will be raped (that doesn’t include all the children) (Rape Crisis).  Eleven people being forcibly penetrated without their consent.  The lasting psychological damage of rape is huge and it is happening to eleven people every damn hour.  That is outrageous.  It is horrific.  And when you learn that 88% of these rapes are female victims, how can you not be a feminist?

How can you not be angry when you learn that there are at least 200 million females alive today who have been subjected to female genital mutilation? (Unicef).  That is girls who have had their vulva cut, labia sliced off, clitoris removed, and sometimes have their wounded body sewn shut.  How does that not make you furious?  And do you know why they do it?  Why they would mutilate young girls so badly, cause them so much pain and damage?  For men.  To ensure virginity for marriage.  And because a cut vulva is apparently more sexually satisfying for a man to put his penis in.  How can you not be a feminist when you  know that this is what is happening to girls every damn day?

J.J. Barnes, Rose And Mum And More Blog, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Lilly Prospero

Photo credit Bohed

Then there’s the differences in pay forcing women to do the same work for less money, the rates of domestic violence, the pressures of the beauty industry causing a huge rise in anorexia and plastic surgery and depression, the representation of women in the media and ageism.  These are all genuine issues that people dismiss because “other people have it worse”.  But they’re still issues.  They still exist.  They still demonstrate the inequality the world gives to women.

This is all worthy of anger.  And all of it is an issue for women and girls primarily.

You can talk about the men who are victims too.  Men who suffer too.  I hear you, I get it.  But men are not crushed every damn day based purely on their biology in the same way as women.  They are not cut, raped, sold, abused as routinely as women.  And not only are men not as regularly victims of the evils of the world, they’re the ones primarily perpetrating the crimes in the first place.

Be angry.  Be furious!  I find so much comfort from seeing the voices of fury rising from women around the world.  I know I am not alone, I know we are doing something.  We are marching, we are campaigning, we are petitioning.  We are shouting about it.  Writing about it.  We are doing anything we can to make people know because dammit it is worthy of anger.  It is worthy of rage.

And if you refuse to acknowledge that women need the focus, if you refuse to acknowledge that inequality cannot be changed if you don’t recognise where that inequality lies, you are part of the problem.  If you refuse to accept that it is women and girls who are being treated so badly because “men suffer too” you are part of the problem.  You are part of the problem.

I am angry, and I love the angry women around me.  The more of us putting our voices out there, the more of us telling the truth to the world, the more people will know and learn.  The more people know and learn, the more people will get angry.  The more people get angry, the more they will shout about it.  The more of us shout, the more change can happen.

Be angry.  Be fucking furious.  The world needs your rage.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

Yes All Men

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

I’m one of those angry, feminist writers who writes about male collective behaviour and pisses people off.

Men abuse women, men rape women, men take advantage of women.  These statements are all true but, of course, I am reminded regularly “not all men!”

Firstly I’d like to point out that I’ve never said “All men”.  Secondly, if I believed it was all men, I wouldn’t be living with and raising daughters with a man.  So let’s just bare that in mind as we go on.

Most recently this has been in regards to women’s need for safe spaces away from men.  I am absolutely not in favour of making all areas unisex under the belief that people are people and therefore there is no need to separate us by biological sex.

The reason?

Men abuse women.

Photo credit Alexas Fotos

Photo credit Alexas Fotos

No, not all men abuse women.  But yes, all men could potentially abuse women.  And we have absolutely no way of distinguishing between an abuser and a non abuser until we are in the position of being abused.

I would truly love it if it made no difference, if men were statistically on an equal level to women for chances of abuse because that would drop male abuse rates down and we could all feel safer, we could all be safer.  But it’s not the case.  We are different and recognising that is essential.

I know that reading this so many men, and women, will have an outraged reaction.  Women abuse men too!  Women abuse women!  Women abuse children!  Not all men rape!  Stop treating me like a rapist just because I’ve got a penis!

Sadly there are abusers in all walks of life.  There are women who do truly evil things to other human beings, and there are men who are the most gentle and non threatening people on the planet.  We are all on a spectrum from the worst of the worst violent abusers, to the most gentle pacifist lovers.  This isn’t about stating that all penis-havers are looking to rape.  It’s a statistics game and life is all about statistics.

Are you statistically more likely to die if you drive blindfolded or with clear vision?  Are you statistically more likely to contract a disease if you have sex with or without a condom?  Are you statistically more likely to fail an exam if you study or not?

If you’re invested in self preservation you opt out of potential death, potential disease, and potential failure.  Of course, we don’t all take these things into consideration or put any value in the outcome, but for those of us that do, you play the odds.  You try to survive, you try to succeed.

According to Rape Crisis, 85,000 women are raped annually in the UK, and 12,000 men are raped.  Defining rape by penetration, these are male rapes on males as well as male rapes on females.  Whilst this does not account for female abuse of men or female abuse of women, it suggests that women are far more likely to be victims of men.

Photo credit Ninocare

Photo credit Ninocare

As someone who has been assaulted both by strangers and in trusted relationships, I can promise you there is no way of knowing if the man who walks into the room means to harm you or not.  You just don’t know.  But statistically you know that if a man walks into a room you’re alone in you’re more likely to be at risk than if a woman walks in.  If you factor that risk in with the fact that in female safe spaces such as changing rooms you’re highly likely to be naked and vulnerable, allowing men unfettered access to those spaces puts women and girls at serious risk.

No not all men will take advantage, but yes all men are a potential threat.  With absolutely no way of knowing.  We have seen trusted, respected members of the community convicted of sexual assault.  Loving fathers, respected teachers.  And with only 15% of rapes being reported to the police, and only 5.7% of those reported rapes ending in conviction, it’s safe to assume there are a lot of rapists on the streets walking around as living, breathing weapons of abuse.

It is not irrational to play the odds and keep female spaces safe.  It’s not a perfect system but it’s all we’ve got.

And men, if you’re offended by this I suggest that instead of pointing out that NOT ALL MEN are abusive, you deal with those who are.  You deal with the culture you live in that breeds this sense of entitlement to sex that men have.  You stop assuming that just because a guy is a great mate to you that accusations of abuse from women must be wrong.  If you’re so upset by a woman’s acknowledgement of the threat your sex poses to women, work to stop that threat existing.

And most importantly work on getting your own house in order before demanding the right to walk into ours.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

Responses to Amber Heard

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Amber Heard has filed for divorce from Johnny Depp.  She has also been granted a restraining order against her husband after showing the judge a series of photographs showing bruises to her face.

I’m not going to discuss whether or not it happened.  I am going to discuss some of the responses to these reports and why they are particularly problematic.  I’m taking responses directly from Twitter and from both men and women.

known Johnny Depp for years and through several relationships. He’s the sweetest, kindest, gentlest man that I’ve ever known. Just saying.

Whilst I don’t doubt for a moment that Johnny Depp is charming and sweet and lovely with his friends, I also know from experience that the most charming and adoring men can have the worst tempers and biggest vindictive streaks.

Being a lovely man to many doesn’t mean you’re not an evil man to few or just one.

My ex boyfriend was a sweetheart.  Everyone told me so.  They told me how obvious it was that he adored me, how lovely he was to me, how happy they were to see us together.  They said that to me on the days I would go home to be given abuse because I smiled at a man for too long, because the dress I was wearing was too short.  They said to me whilst the memories, and pain, of the sexual assault from the night before was still fresh.  They said it to me as I remembered crying as he smashed a glass at my feet because I hadn’t done as I was told and I trembled before his raised fist.  As the back of my head still felt sore from being shoved backwards into a wall.

Knowing someone as a mate does not mean you know them as a lover.  Being a guy they hang out with is not the same as being a woman they live with.

Because she must’ve done something to deserve those punches

This is genuine.  I have seen more than one comment, way more than one, claiming she must have deserved it.

Nobody deserves to be hit.  Nobody.  I don’t care if she was pissing him off hugely.  I don’t care if he was having a really bad day.  Whatever she did, whatever she said, she did not deserve to be hit.

I can’t say anything more on this.  It just makes me too sad to know people out there truly feel this way.

she only needed his money. WAKE UP, PEOPLE !

Firstly, even if she did only marry him for his money, it doesn’t mean he’s entitled to assault her.  Secondly, she is a successful actress, she doesn’t need his money.

Taking on one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, one of the most loved and respected men, is not a good career boost nor is it a good way to earn money.  She may have hoped that affiliating herself with him would boost her career.  I can’t possible know nor would I care to guess as it is none of my business, people get married for all sorts of reasons other than just love, but that doesn’t excuse abuse.  All I know is that fighting a powerful man is a pretty good way to get your career ruined, and that strikes me as making her claims even braver.  She is risking everything.

Looks fake to me – not a very good makeup job on the face at all. Who is trying to kid with this story?

Women are told they need to speak out against domestic violence.  So Amber Heard speaks out and is called a liar.  She is told she needs to provide evidence if she’s to be believed.  She provides photographic evidence and told it is fake.  She provides eye witness statements and is told they are lying.

Women do not speak out about domestic violence because they are not believed and this is just being proven by Amber Heard.  And the number of people claiming she is lying and faking it is only going to convince other women not to come forward and that is heart breaking.  It just perpetuates the secrecy and shame that comes with being a victim.  Even famous, wealthy and beautiful women deserve support.

Johnny Depp just showed how stupid it is for men to marry bisexual women

A lot of people are claiming that Amber Heard having so many female friends has been too much for Johnny Depp to cope with.

Being a bisexual does not make you more likely to cheat.  Being a bisexual does not mean you can’t have friends of the same sex without sleeping with them.  Being a bisexual does not mean anything beyond being attracted to both sexes.  It does not dictate your personality and it does not mean you’re more or less sexually active than those attracted to one sex.  And fundamentally it doesn’t entitle the spouse of the bisexual person to abuse them.  EVEN if she had affairs with every man and woman she ever met.

didn’t even file the restraining order til almost a week after she filed the divorce. If she was scared why wait?

Most people DO NOT report domestic violence.  Most people DO NOT report rape.  And it’s because they’re scared.

I didn’t report it.  I didn’t speak out until I ended up in therapy years later.  I was ashamed of not fighting harder.  I was embarassed that it had happened at all.  I was afraid of repercussions.  I endured physical and emotional abuse for a damn long time without even leaving, let alone reporting it.

If you don’t it’s not because you’re lying and it’s not because you’re weak or stupid.  It’s because you’re afraid.  And to do something about it, in the face of that fear, makes you incredibly brave and it should be applauded not ridiculed.

And, just for good measure, here are a few more tweets on the subject.  It is a sad truth that in the case of domestic violence and rape it’s a standard response to assume the woman is lying and the man is the innocent victim.  That being a famous actor makes you more trustworthy than being a woman with evidence.  That having a public persona as a “nice guy” matters more than anything.

And so many of these are from women.  Women who’s loyalty is to the man they have a crush on not one of their fellow women.

is a liar and a money grubbing whore. She is not worthy of .

Not worthy?  What makes someone worthy, exactly?  And why do you get to decide who is worthy of someone else?

is such a liar I swear 

Based on what evidence?  Or is it just because you like his movies?

is a gold digging liar

Why?  Because you don’t want it to be true or because rich men NEVER beat their wives?

I think is a lying money grabbing bitch.

Your opinion is horrifying.  Rejecting a victims claims and calling them names is the cause of so much pain amongst survivors.

We stand with proudly Thank you for showing your real face BITCH 

Is the real face the one where she is bruised?

is a lying ass Bitch, she probably punched herself in the face. Domestic violence is never right but I hate when people lie.

You’re right, domestic violence is never right.  So why do her claims get dismissed with such vitriol but it’s so easy to assume he’s innocent?

I can’t know if he did it.  I can’t know if he didn’t.  What I do know is that the instinctive dismissal of a woman who claims abuse sickens me.  And it happens ALL THE TIME.  And the more it happens, and the more public figures are given this abuse when they speak out, the harder it gets for others to speak out.   And the more likely it is that the abusers will continue to get away with and go on to abuse again.

I stayed quiet like so many others, and looking at the abuse Amber Heard is getting I don’t blame us for being too afraid.  Because it’s not just the abuser we’re afraid of, it’s how everyone else will respond to us too.  And that fear being realised is sickening to watch.

Must Trust Girls

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

There is a dangerous tendency in society to assume that when a girl reports her boyfriend, friend, father, brother has abused, raped or hit her to assume she’s lying. She has an agenda and she is out to do harm to the man she is accusing. There is no denying that these false accusations do happen and yes it’s tragic for everyone when it does, but we must remember that false accusations are much rarer than the men who like to point them out would have you believe. To go in with the assumption that an accusation is false leads young women every day into being too frightened to push ahead and, thus, rapists are free and women are taking their lives following the depression that comes from the initial abuse and the subsequent lack of trust that follows it.

Both false accusations (rare) and the lack of belief in accusations (common) are a massive disservice to everything I believe in.

False accusations slap every woman in the face who has truly been abused and not trusted. They add weight to the arguments put forward that women lie, women make things up, women aren’t to be trusted. However rare these cases are, every time one happens it will be seized and held onto as evidence against all innocent women who have been treated cruelly.

The lack of belief in accusations is what leads women to be crushed. Women’s bodies are assumed rightfully violated because there will be justification behind men taking what they want from a woman regardless of her opinion on it. Questions such as “What were you wearing?” and “Had you had sex with him before?” and “Were you attracted to him?” put the blame squarely on the victim and not the abuser.

With the weight of this reality behind me, I am facing the dawn of my two year old daughter learning to lie, and my two year old step son both being wrongly and rightfully accused.

Miss Rose has learned that getting Z into trouble is fun because he gets told off and she gets to gloat. Her agenda is simple, either make Z do something naughty and tell on him, or just make something up. She doesn’t do often, but enough that we have noticed it and are taking it seriously.

This morning I have witnessed both genuine crimes and made up crimes.

From the kitchen we witnessed Miss Rose whisper “chase me Z” then as he chased after her she ran to us screaming and crying because he was chasing her. Then, later, as they were squabbling over a toy, Z smacked her round the face. In the first instance he was innocent, in the second he was guilty. Had I not witnessed her initial instruction I would assume he was indeed doing something wrong, but I am starting to doubt it and starting to question whether or not her accusations are genuine and that troubles me deeply. I am troubled about giving him discipline for things he’s been wrongly accused of, and I am troubled by questioning her accusations which may make her doubt her safety in coming to me when things happen.

I need to trust her, and I need her to respect what that trust means.

At two years old there is no way of explaining to her the sanctity of trust in accusations, the dangers of victim blaming, and the damage done to women everywhere when false accusations are found to have happened. There is also no way she can comprehend why what she’s doing has such potential long term damage, she is thinking short term, it’s a simple “it’s funny when Z’s in trouble and I’m not” and, in her defence, he is starting to reach the same stage and get her into trouble when he gets a chance.

Currently our approach is to assume the accuser, of either gender, is telling the truth unless witnessed otherwise. But we do question and she will usually tell the truth.

“Z hit me”

“What happened before Z hit you?”

“I pushed Z”

Or

“Z hit me”

“What happened before Z hit you?”

“I play with toy”

Fine. We can get to the truth, either one or both is made to apologise, and we can ask Z.

“Z, did you hit Rose?”

“Yeah, on head”

Done.

This level of honesty and the knowledge they can both come to us when something bad happens, and tell us the truth about their own wrong doings, is something I am desperate to cling to. I also am hopeful that the lying about the other one’s misdoings can be weeded out fast. Very fast.

I want my daughter to grow up in a society where if she tells me, her dad, the police about something terrible being done to her then the question doesn’t need to be “Did you ask for it?” or “Are you lying?” and can be “Are you okay, how can I help?” The only way that can happen is if we teach our children the dangers of false accusations from the beginning, make them respect the value in the truth and honesty, and teach them they can come to us regardless of whether they’re guilty or innocent of anything.

My faith in her to be honest will breed her faith in me to trust her, and that is something I will work for every single day and she is never to young to start learning it.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!