Campaigning for Change
As a new member of staff here at Survivors Manchester, I thought writing a blog post would be a great way to introduce myself. I am very proud to join the ISVA team, and cannot wait to start supporting people on their survivorship journey, however that may look to them.
I wanted to tell you about the Manchester Poverty Truth Commission. I am involved as a “Grassroots Commissioner,” and I am committed to campaigning against the injustice of the rising levels of poverty in the UK. Lived experiences of people living in poverty are integral to the commission in order to truly understand how their lives are impacted. They are the experts, and we hear their stories to understand and hopefully address the causes of poverty today. Unfortunately, more often than not it is the inadequate welfare provision which contributes to and enables peoples struggle.
The dreaded Universal Credit is also a factor in rising levels of poverty, and increasing people’s need to access food banks. This is not okay. People should be able to afford to feed themselves and their family whether they are in work or not. After all, research tell us that in-work poverty is rising at an exceptional rate (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2018).
But living in poverty means so much more than material deprivation and being short of money. The significant impact it has on mental health has the potential to further embed people in to poverty, making it even harder to overcome.
When you add surviving sexual abuse in to someone’s life, the impact of poverty is experienced even further. Stress and feelings of shame are at risk of being intensified if day-to-day living is not secure. But living in poverty is not worthy of shame, nor is surviving sexual violence or abuse. But, the unrealistic expectations and decisions made by policy makers absolutely is.
I am proud to be in a service that is mindful and attentive of people’s wider circumstances, and factors in how they can provide other forms of practical support. The ISVA team will help people to create support plans based on a variety of different needs, including shelter and accommodation, finance or employment and much more.
Thanks for reading