Erin Pizzey

(First published June 23, 2011)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, here is a little background: Erin Pizzey is a British family care activist and a best-selling novelist. With many successes to her name, such as starting one of the first Women’s refuges (Women’s Shelter) in the U.S. in 1971 and founding UK domestic violence charity Refuge, Pizzey has had an extremely eventful life due to her outspoken, sometimes controversial, views on domestic violence. (Click here for her Wikipedia page!)

Flicking through a copy of The Big Issue I found a short column written by the lady herself entitled “If I were Queen for a Day”. (The Big Issue regularly have famous names in to write a creative piece on how to change the Country for the better) 

I just want to share with you what she wrote because I think it is particularly poignant and contains a lot of sensible ideas. Enjoy…

If I were Queen For A Day…
by Erin Pizzey

My first decree would be that the social services and “caring” agencies offices are closed down. I would create huge open-door refuges, staffed 24 hours a day by the dispossessed , caring agency workers who supported my vision.

I’d create therapeutic communities for addicts. Alcoholic, drug addicts and people addicted to violent relationships will be welcome with their children. We will parent parents so they can parent their children. no more taking children away from their parents.

I’d create “shared housing” so young, pregnant mothers (and their partners) can live in a support group. The homeless would also be housed, and people coming out of prison would be included.

Attention will be paid to those born into violent, dysfunctional families. We were never taught the normal rules of social living for us there is no second chance. We are excluded from schools for our violence, jailed for trying to medicate the pain away with drugs or alcohol, and branded as “perpetrators” because we are incapable of making loving, peaceful relationships.

Nobody cared that our bodies are scarred from beatings, and our souls mutilated by words that deem us irredeemable. Nobody cared when we were babies, but I would teach the agencies that, above all, they must love the unlovable – how else would they ever learn love themselves?

Caring would no longer be a billion-pound industry warehousing suffering. Well-being would be my primary concern. I’d pay bankers the same money as care workers were paid before my reign, and in my new world I would pay care workers as bankers were paid.

Undeniably controversial, probably lacking in economic structure and entirely ideological. But something needs to be said about the essential details pointed out throughout that text, and no one has ever actually told me this issues in harboring ideological ideas, surely that’s where the greatest creativity comes from…

I highly recommend a quick Google of Erin Pizzey, she is an extremely interesting lady.


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