29 September 2008

Episode 17 Paige - Er, are we poor people soon to have company?

Given the news about the US House rejection of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, sounds like we poor people may soon have some company.

Among the illustrious personages joining us could be politicians and their corporate masters; tobacco, alcohol, pharma and military supply lobbyists; and high-flying free market investors. Now wouldn't that be poetic justice!

At any rate, one more podcast has been added to the WISE podcast channel. Episode 17, like all other episodes in the series, is taken from chapters of the book Policies of Exclusion, Poverty and Health: Stories from the front, a project which was done wholly by and for women living at the bottom, or teetering close to falling into the poverty well.

For more information about this project, WISE, and other details, please refer to the post which I updated earlier today.

Episode 17 - Paige:

Like several of the stories in the book, Paige's story weaves together a number of common themes: being raised in a family where substance abuse is constant, sexual abuse, the adoption of the family pattern, the stresses on a marriage when a victim takes her abuser to court, experiences with the punitive welfare system, the lack of choice due to economic vulnerability.
I was going for a crisis grant because I didn’t have enough food for the kids. Welfare asked me to sign a Family Maintenance form, because my husband and I are doing our separation privately. I signed it so they could go after him for Spousal Maintenance. I don’t really want them to. I didn’t want to sign the thing, but I had to. Now they refuse to give me crisis grants. They want me to ask him for money for food. I can’t do it. He’s hostile about giving me money.

Paige is brutally honest about her background, her own behaviour and mistakes, and the consequences of these. She has lived this life and remains determined to change its direction. It's a heartbreaking story, and one that needs to be heard.

Go visit the podcast channel. Listen, comment and rate!

NB: Am on a roll with these podcasts. Had been having trouble with my headphones, but discovered yesterday it was my heating pad - which I sometimes use to ease back pain - which was causing a constant hum in the recording. Now all is working fine, so the last five stories, plus cropped versions of the two reports, should be completed within the next six to eight weeks.

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