The Case of the Invisible Woman by Tracy Holsinger
There was a woman named Willa
Who had a bit of a bad idea
She agreed to marry
A Neandrthal named Horry
And now she's got nothing but worry!
Alright, so their names aren't Willa and Horry, but let's call them that for the sake of rhyme and anonimity - ok?
Willa has a huge problem. Horry really is a Neanderthal, and to make matters worse he is a Neanderthal of Immense Psychotic and Sadistic Proportions.Let's not go into all the gory details (Ok - so basically he did stuff like kick her in the stomach when she was pregnant; kick her head in with steel toe-capped boots; have many children by many women .... just your run of the mill psychotic stuff.)
Suffice to say, Willa wants a divorce - right?
Wrong! Willa is first and foremost a woman. Bad! She is a woman in Sri-Lanka. Badder!! She is also an unemployed mother of two who has hitherto been entirely dependent on said Neanderthal. Baddest!!!
Her lawyers - all 'good men and true' - tell her that there is not much she can do to ensure the Neanderthal shall never be allowed near her again because he is the father of her children. Inconceivable! (Did I mention that Horry gets his kids naked and has them lie in bed with him? That he draws rather suggestive pictures on their naked bodies? )
The judge presiding over this case often says that he too went to Horry's old school. "Now, Now. I can't believe that a boy from .......... can behave like this. I will give you another chance to prove yourself worthy of that glorious name." Bizarre! Three chances later, and Horry still finds it hard to get that 'prove yourself' bit right. Are you with me so far?
Now let me tell you another story. Alison lives in London. Her case is almost identical to Willa's (see, her husband didn't kick her when she was pregnant). Alison's ex-husband has absolutely no access to their children; he is also not allowed to come within 200 yards of Alison.
Alison's case took one and a half years to come to its conclusion. Willa has been in courts for one and a half years and is still fighting for Horry's access to the children to be limited.The Divorce and Criminal cases cannot commence until this is settled.
Hallo? Can you spot any minor differences? Or is it just me?
Then there's something else. If Willa did not have parental suport, she would be out on the streets. Literally. Women's Shelters in Sri-Lanka have neither the funds nor facilities to cope for an unspecified period of time with a case such as Willa's.
Willa cannot easily find a job either. She has her A Levels, but she does not have the experience that will make her eligible for the kind of job that would enable her to be self suffiecient and support her children. Even if she did, Day Care Centres are a rarity in this Country, and those that do operate charge rates that would easily bankrupt any individual earning a basic wage which amounts to less than one hundred Sterling Pounds a month. Willa's parents could not look after the children because they both work.
I have not mentioned lawyers fees. I have not mentioned the basic cost of feeding and clothing two children; have you any idea of how much one pack of Pampers costs these days?
Did I mention that in a country of some 16 million people, it has been found that there are only 27 qualified Psychiatrists? Access to Support Groups for Willa is limited. There is only one. It is over-crowded. Willa needs individual attention in order to heal her much abused physical and mental state - as do all those other women. Her self-respect and self -confidence couldn't be any lower. She has erratic mood swings. She has to find the strength from somewhere to be ever patient and loving with her children. She doesn't always succeed.
I will mention the fact that Horry was married when he met Willa, and that he left his first wife (whom he also beat) to marry Willa, and that the general opinion of those (including other women) who hear Willa's story, is that she deserves all she got.
Willa is just one among millions.
So what am I talking about when I say Willa's an Invisible Woman?
Tracy Holsinger's morning show can be heard worldwide 6-9 AM Sri Lankan time on TNL Radio's website at www.lanka.net/tnlradio