The Walls

November 27, 2021

Erin Pizzey was the founder of the world’s first refuge for abused women. And when I say ‘refuges’, they were actually uninhabited houses, and even a hotel, that Erin and her women would squat in illegally.

Into it, groups of men were invited; skimmers, builders, painters and decorators, each would repair and maintain the space, building whatever the women needed.

These professional men, working alongside boys in the refuge, were also a central part within recovery – not only building the space, but also the confidence and trust of the women and children inside.

But a lot has changed since Erin’s excommunication from Refuge UK.

Today, in all but a few refuges, men are barred, including abused men. There are also reports of abused boys staying in refuges, being ejected when they turn sixteen – whilst Erin even has accounts of refuges refusing boys as young as twelve.

So how do we better manage this difficult situation, is there a place for good men in the recovery from abuse? Or should refuges remain strictly women only spaces?

What do you think?

Link in bio: listen to Erin’s full conversation with @thetinmen


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