Matthias Zomer via www.pexels.com
Based on statistics found at www.pawsforkids.org.uk.
Dare to Create – A whirlwind romance
& crisis planning for pets
Hello readers, and welcome to another Dare to Creaarticlel from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and we provide you with a suggestion to take away and try.
This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. This month, we’re exploring Crisis Planning, what it is and why it’s so important. More on that after today’s challenge.
Dare to Create
Today we’re thinking about pets. With that in mind, let’s think about the positives that animals bring to our lives. Even on the worst of days, our pets can calm us with their unconditional affection.
Today’s challenge: Draw an animal.
Some readers may find the content of the following discussion disturbing.
Have you ever got into a situation where you thought to yourself, I wish I’d been better prepared? I know I have. Thankfully it’s usually just an irritation, like leaving the house without an umbrella and getting caught in a downpour. (I really should check the weather forecast more often!) But what if we consider a much more serious situation?
- The abuse at home has been gradually escalating.
- The victim has young children, a large pet or both.
- They want to leave the relationship and escape the abuse.
- They have no money.
- They don’t know who can help or how.
So what do they do?
There are many ways to get support or help someone in this situation.
Take a look at this helpful article by fellow PLQ-er, Christopher Andrew Balsz.
There are some excellent tips here:
This week’s survivor story
Susanne is a survivor who’s whirlwind romance rapidly turned into a nightmare, and with the added complication of a pet she doted on, who couldn’t move with her.
Rosie – By kind permission of Susanne
Susanne – “I met Stuart online through a dating site. I thought he was “the one”. He made me laugh, smile, gave me compliments all the time and was very attentive to me – we just fitted together.
Things moved fast. We were engaged within three months and living together within five. It was amazing! He treated me like a princess but after a couple of months he started to change… Our first Xmas Day was good. Boxing Day he changed. I was really poorly but still had to play happy families with his family.”
PLQ – “I imagine that was quite a shock – especially as you were ill.”
Susanne – “Yes, and it got worse. He demanded my money was paid into his bank account and tried to stop me staying at my mum’s each week. She lived an hour away.”
Wisely, Susanne recognised the risks of doing this
and resisted these demands.
Suzanne – “I worked a 50 hour week but still had to do everything. I was shattered all the time. He liked to drink at night too. I used to go to bed early to get out of his way.”
PLQ – “Could you see this happening at the time?”
Suzanne – “No, I was totally in love with him. I only saw it when I stayed at Mum’s during chemo – I was having tests for cancer. Doctors thought it was in my brain and I had six months of tests. I returned to Mum’s for the results, then heard it was cancer. Stuart was at my parent’s within an hour. He was very upset, protective and wanted to take me back home. I thought he’d change.”
PLQ – “Do you think family or friends saw the abuse before you?”
Suzanne – “My family did. I wouldn’t see it, but he was controlling, shouting, name-calling and constantly texting me at work. I had to put my phone on silent.
Violence began about one year into the relationship – pushing and spitting at me. I saw a pattern but I was concentrating on my cancer – Chemo etc. It took me about 2 years to decide, but another 18 months to leave.”
Suzanne – “It was heartbreaking. He was using her as a pawn and I couldn’t take her to my new home. I had to let her go. I put her on a chinchilla rescue site. I would have loved a foster home for her – if I’d known. It was hard walking away.”
Statistics provided by Endeavor Pet Fostering
Suzanne no longer has contact with Stuart –
“Life’s good with no one to answer to or be scared of.
I’m myself and my smile is real.”
Thank you for sharing with us Suzanne.
Below are some links to UK organisations,
which provide fostering services
for animals caught up in domestic abuse.
Refuge4Pets – www.refuge4pets.org,uk
Endeavour – www.pawsforkids.org.uk
Wais – www.wais.org.uk
(Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire)
Freedom Project – www.moretodogstrust.org,uk
(Greater London, Hertfordshire, Essex, Yorkshire, Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne & Wear.)
The Links Group – www.thelinksgroup.org.uk
PetRetreat – RSPCA – www.rspca.org.uk
Be the person you want to be!
PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist
Headerphoto Credit: Ahmad Torabi