In 2014, I published a support booklet for children whose parents are separating with a charity called FixersUK. This booklet is now being used by the NHS, schools and libraries nationwide. In the years since, I have presented my work at a conference at Oxford Union, lobbied the government and managed a charity.
Often inactive, I believe the government would rather solve other simpler things. In 2015, the Ministry of Justice published a report called the ‘Voice of the Child’ stating that there should be more support for children when their parents separate. Since the publication of the report, there has been a change in Ministers and yet again, no action. I am currently in the process of lobbying the government for more support for children when their parents support because shockingly, there is literally nothing there.
I understand there are more important topics in society, such as the imprisonment of the innocent Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, but it is difficult when you see divorce being so sensualised in the media. You can literally go into a newsagent and buy a magazine with the news of a celebrity divorce and people would enjoy reading it.
Having said that, I found the recent series of Dr Foster particularly difficult to watch for several reasons. It was often trending on Twitter with many saying the series was boring, unsatisfying or a complete fabrication of a separation. Let me tell you, Dr Foster is very real as I found it difficult to watch because I felt like I was watching my life unfold before my eyes.
Much like Tom in the series, I wanted to run away as children are often the forgotten victims when their parents separate. Just one small example but me and my sister was nearly arrested by a police officer for ‘Breach of the Peace’ because we wanted to get our belongings from the matrimonial home and according to this police officer, they now belonged to our dad because we no longer lived in the property. My father still has my birth certificate because apparently, it is now his property (ironic since having no birth certificate would class me as an invisible).
Since graduating from university, I have taken a more selective approach to my time. You simply cannot pour from an empty vessel so I have stopped going guns blazing on my campaign even though that approach didn’t stop me from taking a day off from work to lobby the government on World Poverty Day last month.
I am currently (albeit struggling) working full time at a law firm whilst completing my LPC LLM part-time. It’s hard work but if there is something that my background has taught me is that sheer grit, determination and self-belief are the best tools to assist you in the quest for success.
I don’t know what I want to do anymore in terms of my career whether that is working in commercial law or private client but that is more than okay. I am far too young in my career to decide but what I do know is that regardless what I do, I want to help anyone in dire circumstances as cliché as that sounds.
In 2017, the world stage has been nothing short of toxic with Trump, North Korea and sexual harassment claims in both Hollywood and Parliament. I am not a victim (or survivor) of said events but the recent #MeToo movement shows that we can all rise up against such behaviour. Too many people focus on the problem in society rather than the solution. You only have to look at the likes of the Daily Mail, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump to understand how hate breeds.
Hate doesn’t have a creed, a stage or a right in a society. Hate literally does nothing but breed anger, misunderstandings and solves nothing. Solidarity and sorority is key in the fight against anything whether that is racism, sexism or sheer poverty. With other professionals support, I want to run workshops for children when their parents separate. Whether it is ten years or fifty, I hope that there are more organisations providing support for children when their parents separate because I worry about the forgotten, the ignored and the neglected in society.
What are you going to use your voice for?
‘When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful’ – Malala Yousafzai
‘If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention’- Heather Heyer