Not One Punch
Not One Punch
Today an important fight takes place, but not one punch will be thrown. There will be peace, friendship and above all a steely determination to hit back with love and kindness.
Tamsin is not only a girl’s name, but a trail that circumnavigates Royal Richmond Park. I forget the distance, but that is irrelevant really. Suffice it is long enough for my dear friend Simon who walks with great difficulty and does so with two crutches. He will at some point stop along the way to take pain relief medication, but will he moan? No, most certainly not.
His fight? He, like me is a man and as small boys we saw first-hand the horrors of domestic violence and felt the helplessness of standing by unable to help.
For me I felt angry and frightened, and more importantly confused. I never understood why. I, like Simon did however make a silent vow never to repeat or to copy such cowardice. For that is what it is, cowardice. Both of us would wake the next morning with the sun shining and the birds singing and almost wonder if it had been a bad dream.
Nightmares can be woken up from; brows mopped; reassuring cuddles given, but domestic violence is a reoccurring nightmare and sometimes running IS an option … the only option. That is why a group of people will gather today at Kingston Gate and make it possible for women to have somewhere to run. Refuge by name and literally refuge from an angry storm.
Men have a role to play and I don’t mean the offenders, I mean those who stand against such crimes. It’s awkward; for we cannot hug, comfort and cuddle the blues away. The very nature of the crimes committed will create an air of mistrust that must be understood. Rarely can we hope to draw close no matter how sincerely we feel a woman’s pain. No, we must go on helping and keeping a respectful distance, doing whatever we can and in every way possible.
My prayer? That such women grow stronger. For them we will always be from the stock that harmed them, but if they can stand up and stand strong I will take that……..all day long.
For Simon and for Refuge