About this Episode
Episode 34: Erin Pizzey
Erin Pizzey opened the first refuge for domestic violence in the world. She subsequently wrote ‘Scream Quietly or the Neighbors will Hear’ and it was the first book to discuss domestic violence. Both of Erin’s parents were dysfunctional so she was not surprised to find that of the first hundred women who came into the refuge, 62 were as violent or more violent than men they left. She also opened a refuge for men which closed quickly due to lack of funding.
Greg Ellis: In this episode I talk with the founder of the very first victims of domestic abuse shelter in the world. This week, Erin Pizzey is The Respondent.
Ah, what an absolute pleasure to see you and finally meet you. How are you?
Erin Pizzey: Alright. I'm doing well. I’ve been very locked up as everybody is.
EP: And you know, I've finished your book. And I'm still recovering, it’s given me nightmares. I’m the one person that you can talk to who knows this history. For 50 years I've been dealing with it. What is shocking is that I've never yet come across a woman that's been that vengeful, that she would have you dragged out and manacled in front of your children. You know, the rest of it, yes, there are the stories, but it was just, it really shocked me.
GE: It was it was the epitome of surreal I have to tell you Erin. It was surreal to be in my own home, and felt like I knew my rights, and standing at the door of my own home in an affluent neighborhood – the house that I'd worked very hard to buy and my family and my sons, who anyone and everyone who knew me and knows me, knows that they were and are the meaning of my life. And, you know, I think I said to you before we got together on this interview, I was engaged with them on every level, you know, from the moment they opened their eyes in the morning to the moment they close their eyes at night, to volunteering at school, to coaching them football, on the football team to just being emotionally connected with them. So the sudden and shocking disconnect from every aspect of my life: the sights, the sounds, the smells, the routines, the sense of security and safety. It was a sudden, catastrophic descent into an existential terror that just…
EP: Then I think the other side, which I've seen kill so many men to find that, alright, you know, this, this could be the person you'd been in love with, for all those years, or whatever, and you share children. But then when you turn round to get justice, men find that they're (???) by the courts. And the family courts are not fit for purpose here. And they're certainly not in America and I know California because my son lives there and I come over to visit quite regularly. And it's… it is appalling. I mean, it's absolutely appalling because that's what sends people over the edge, that there is nowhere where a man can actually get justice.
GE: I think that was one of the moments that I… that was, again, another shock wave was... I was thrown into this authoritarian maze of the court system and having never been in the court system here in America before - and had no reason to, you know. No criminal record, law abiding citizen. And I walked into that court in downtown LA, and I was breathing this… my expectation. Oh that was my mistake. I was like a last I'm gonna… there's gonna be some do some justice, the justice system will come and there will be a judge and I realized I'd actually stepped out of America and into the star chamber. There was no justice whatsoever. None.
EP: And at that point you knew nothing about gender feminism, either I imagine.
GE: Oh, yeah. I'd never even heard the word gender feminism. I’d never heard, you know, equality feminism, or third and fourth wave feminism or the term Family Law. Or, you know, I think it was a couple of nights before... before March 5, the day everything happened. I mentioned this in the book. My eldest boy was 10 at the time. I would put them to bed every night with songs and play on the ukulele and we'd dance and read stories and, and then I’d give them their hugs. They had bunk beds, so I'd hug one and have special words with him and then the other and just that gentle lights out and he hugged me… and then he hugged me tight and he looked and said “Daddy, you and Mommy will never get divorced so and so at school parents just got divorced. I looked him in the eye and I made him a promise. And I said I promise you son we’ll never get divorced.
EP: Do you think part of it was jealousy on her part?
GE: All of the reasons I think are very complicated.
GE: I think you have to go back to the family system of origin. In terms of upbringing and trauma. Her mother used to say outwardly to her and anyone within the vicinity “You know, the only good thing your father ever did was provide sperm for your existence.”
EP: I remember that.
GE: In that sense that the father, her father was worth, not even worth less just unworthy of any acknowledgement apart from the sperm donation via sexual intercourse. You look at that and you look at the pattern of marriage and divorce and… and I think as well there was the… I think she let the Pandora's box… she opened the Pandora's box and she couldn't put it back in… you know. The family system seeks… seeks a scapegoat if you will, that they project onto and I think in society and in many families, oftentimes the man and the father is the scapegoat. And many times the man deserves, you know, we men can be we're not good a lot of the time we make mistakes, we mess up, we we’re not perfect. You know, I talk about it… tomorrow I vow to make better mistakes. But, but that level of, I guess, contempt which is the complete and utter unworthiness of another human being, like you just don't even see the value of their life. When I first sat down to start writing the book I think that one of the titles I wrote was how to stay alive when your wife wants to kill you and has the ways and means to do it. [laugh]
EP: Yeah, and it sounds funny, but it's so very true. I mean all she has to do is these days is pick up a phone.
GE: That’s the chilling thing I think, is that anyone who wants to make a false allegation, literally can pick up the phone and do it anonymously.
EP: Yes, but the point really is that it isn't anybody because it's largely done by women.
GE: This radical strain of feminism that purports to be feminism, most people would say ‘oh yes, I'm a feminist’ well…
EP: The equity feminists, they don't know what gender feminist means.
GE: Right, the equity yeah… in terms of equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity. And…
EP: Yeah, that's what they mean. And many men would support that. What they didn't recognize was the agenda behind it.
GE: Yeah, yeah. So we can talk about that. I have to… I have to say, I have to give Battina Arndt credit for having you here.
EP: We’re great friends.
GE: You dedicate your life, more than half a decade, to helping women and you get hounded out of England by women?
EP: Yep. Then you have to remember that when I first started in 1971, I was the only refuge in the world. But almost immediately that I opened the refuge for women, I also recognized the need for a refuge for men. And I went ahead and I did get a refuge for men in North London. But the millionaire men who are willing to put their hands in their pockets for the women and children wouldn't give me a penny for other men. So I had to give the house up, because I couldn't do both. But the… but the thing that really went very quickly as the first 100 women came in, I said everywhere, of the first 100 women that came in 62 were as violent or more violent than the men they left and to their children. So it is not a gender issue. And that's what caused this huge division in 1974. Because by then, the gender feminist movement had lost any kind of public support, and any kind of general funding from the women joining. And then what had happened is that they hijacked the entire narrative of domestic violence, because that way they could then fund the movement. So I mean, I think now something like 300 million a year is paid into refuge, which is my old refuge. And the National Federation of women say, most of that money doesn't go to refuges, it goes to the funding the movement.
GE: And when you say the movement, which movement are you referring to?
EP: The gender feminist movement. And so you find and now after 50 years, many women in positions of great power are actually gender feminists. And they managed to infiltrate right through all our judicial system. It’s no different in any part of the Western world, actually, Australia or anywhere or America. And essentially they've made it almost impossible because in a sense, men have been made virtually redundant you know, from the very beginning when there were these huge collectives in England and in America, the gender feminists were standing up and saying marriage is a dangerous place for women and children. The new model will be women and children without men. And how would you say it is now?
GE: I would say we've moved ever closer to that particularly with recent movements that don't value the the nuclear family, the traditional nuclear family that with messaging of toxic masculinity, all men bad smash the patriarchy with the very clever wording of, you know, this, this smashing the patriarchy this oppressive system, and no… no nuance within the conversation as to the patriarch and the matriarch and how important it is to have men and women, the matriarch and the patriarch, the feminine and the masculine. Particularly with our younger generations of children, and specifically with boys, I think there is, you know, to Warren Farrell's book The Boy Crisis, Christina Hoff Sommers, who I've had on the show the war on boys. We particularly I think, in America right now, and I've seen it in the UK, the conversation, particularly in mainstream media is focused on race. And where I like to focus on is sex, because I've, I mean, you just look at the numbers of black men and boys in prison in America and the disparity of the numbers, it's… and I say black because, you know, there are so many more, but just men in general, to a degree we are expendable. I get that we go we fight in wars, or we make sacrifices or, you know, the hard manual labor jobs that, you know, so this equality that I think is was much needed, there's a confusion over the roles and that's added even more confusion because of this well, because of sex and gender and identity, and you put politics with identity and political correctness. It's, I mean, I looked recently I’ve been looking into this domestic abuse bill in England, a few months ago, and it was domestic abuse against women and children. So okay so baby boys aren’t protected? So teenage boys aren't protected? So gay men and teenagers aren't protected? So any kind of man?
EP: No, no, because they are the perpetrators. You have to remember that the matriarch or gender feminists are answer to all this. It's a mantra, which is all women are innocent victims of male violence and abuse. And you know, and I have, I have a son, I have grandsons and I have great grandsons, and it's their future I'm fighting for and for all of our futures. I mean, the saddest thing is a very simple fact, that when the father is absent, and is actually obliterated from the daughter's lives, the girls are far more likely to be single parents and have children on their own. And also, even simple biological things that girls menstruate much later, if they have fathers in their lives. And all these facts, I mean, they're there for everyone to see, and the damage it's done. And I've been a single parent mother, and trying to bring up my son is nothing I would ever ask a woman to do on her own. Boys need fathers, they are vital to the boy because if he is actually invoked by his mother's femininity, and he has no male role model, what chances has he got of being a whole full happy man? He’s not.
GE: I agree, I think if you look at the statistics they’re clear. To your point, these people don't want to listen to the… the narrative and the statistics get bended, and twisted and pulled and plucked, to suit the agenda. And I was… I was shocked when I… I mean I knew about the divorce industry lobby. I knew about that. In America, it's nearly a $60 billion a year industry. I was surprised to learn that the other group that fights tooth and nail against any kind of Family Law improvement or reform, like equal shared parenting, parental alienation and due process is the domestic violence against women groups. Not all obviously, but that's… they get the funding, they get the grants, they don't want change. And I was like, why don't they want you? To your point…
EP: Again, I mean, it's a billion-dollar industry. I mean, the salaries are huge. The woman who took over for me, Sandra Hawley, her salary was something like £220,000 a year. A huge pot for her retirement. She’s retired just recently. But it was interesting. I am not allowed to walk up the steps of my own refuge. I'm barred completely, I'm actually erased if you'd look at the websites for refuge and also for the federation, Women's Aid Federation, they all say that I was started by feminists which is what they all say in America. My name is completely erased, fine. The war is too serious for me to waste my time with that kind of behavior. What I have to do, and it's coming, I think you know Debbie Powney. She's from Leicester University and I know that I was talking to her this morning and she and her professor, Nicola Graham and Debbie's her pupil. Debbie will be producing a report very shortly that will shape the foundations of feminist movement. And they have been working on this for a long time. And her PhD will come out by September. And for once we have total evidence based research on what's been going on, because so far, women's refuges across the world have not been held accountable for anything. There’s nothing coming out of those refuges. There is no real evidence based research, and there's no proper accountability. They've been allowed to get away with it. Why? Because men are very afraid of women. We have one man in our parliament out of 600 MPs, one man, Phillip Davis who is prepared to stand up and take on the feminist movement. And he said to me when I went to see him, he said, you know, after I speak, he said, men come up to me afterwards and thank me. But they don't stand beside me. And why is it these men do this? Why is it when I could have opened a men's home? Why is it that those multimillionaires refused to support or help? Same with men's movements. There’s massive feminist movements. Why are there no huge men's movements? Because men do not look after each other emotionally. They don't know how to do it. So many men's groups, look, if I asked you to build me a bridge, you’d build it. But if I asked you to help each other out and support each other, you won't do it. That's true I’m afraid.
GE: Well, you say you as me, but I would. I would say there are, there are some of us.
EP: Yeah, and certainly we know, you know, Warren Farrell, lots of good names. Dutton who is from Canada who did the most wonderful research, they know there are there, but they're not, you know what it's not a powerful voice enough to stop all the money that's going into the refugee movement. In America, it's something like 2 or 3 billion a year.
GE: When it becomes more about the money, I've seen this with a lot of movements, here the you know, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center... Look, I understand that executives of charities, you know, it's their profession, it's their job, and okay they get paid, where's the accountability? What's being done with the money? And when these, these missions and movements start behaving in ways that are antithetical to the original mission and purpose because they lose their way it's similar to… Erin, and you know I had Philip Davis on the show and I stand beside him. I stand beside Philip. I'd never met him before. I just, I saw a clip of him on, someone sent me a clip of him on YouTube with him asking for I think it was a men's… International Men's Day, which seems like a fair ask. I mean, if we're going to have International Women's Day, can’t we have International Men's Day? Oh, no. Why is that then? I saw it, I saw the interjection, I saw the kind of contemptuous, snarly look on her face that was ‘who is this man to even dare suggest to sit in front of me… so yeah, that’s everywhere but I think you know, going back to what you were saying. I’m shocked but also not shocked that you’re not part of the organization – that you’ve been erased from the organization or the charity that you started because many times that’s what happens in successful corporations or non-profits. The very person who founded it with the mission and the purpose… people come in and they want to get the notoriety and the acclaim, the success and be celebrated and get famous and that’s not what it’s about. I mean you do need to raise the profile of the organization so you can get the funding and have interest… but my goodness. Who are these people?
I saw recently, Dr Charlotte Proudman was it? I was made aware of this woman. She’s a divorce attorney making tons of money by just perpetuating this cycle of acrimony within family law and, you know, really? We’re not going to call her out? But she’s seen as some kind of… and then there’s the victim’s… I didn’t even know there was such a thing Erin, I’m so naïve about England and what’s gone on… but a victim’s commissioner in London and she’s so anti male it’s unbelievable.
EP: Well that’s why she’s a victim’s commissioner. Oh yes and there was a case a couple of years ago now and this woman, Challen was her name, and she was separated from her husband. He wasn’t a very nice person. I have no doubt he was unkind, but she separated, she made her own life and then she heard that he was seeing another woman. So she went out, bought herself a hammer, she went to his house. He was having his breakfast, and she smashed his head in many, many times. And she was jailed but there’s an organization, a radical lesbian organization, and they got together and she’s now free. So she was found guilty of murder but they had another trial and it was a very triumphant trial and what happened was she came out and she’s free. It wasn’t murder it was manslaughter because they’re arguing there’s some kind of slow burn in a woman that doesn’t happen with a man and this is why it suddenly became necessary to kill him. She walked free.
GE: After how long? Do you know how long she served in prison?
EP: A couple of years. They took that much to get the new trial heard. Sally Challen’s her name. So you can probably find it. And I'm just trying to remember the name of the barristers because they have a special barristers group. And what they do is they make it a point of any woman is actually in prison for murder, they make the point trying to get to get her out.
GE: Because murder doesn't matter?
EP: No, women are political prisoners and they have the same rights as a political prisoner. So they can't… it’s long, convoluted but if you look up the case, you'll see what I'm talking about. And this is the problem. And the family courts are in many ways very, very dangerous places to be. I was in… I was called in several times, one of the first ones was I had to hide mother and children out in southern Ireland against the judge's orders. The case was in court, I had hidden her out anyway and refused to hand it back. She got, she came to my refuge on the run with the kids. And, and she had a partner that, but in a way he was fairly irrelevant. The fact is the three kids belong to this man who had already done time in prison. When he was in a care home, he strangled a boy of 11 with his belt, and went back and finished his dinner. He had come out of prison, and he met Rita bless her heart, very naive young woman and the next thing, he had the three kids. He abused them and sexually abused them and she ran away. And she ended up in my refuge. And I promised those three kids, they would not go back to him. What happened was that Leeds social services, which are one of the worst social services ever, took up his case, said he’d been reformed, and basically went to court. So at that point, he came down with a solicitor to serve notice on me and on her, I hid her out again, safely with the children and refused to give them back. Now the judge knew that I was very famous at the time, and he wasn't going to cross me. So he agreed that there would be a trial and it went on for 10 days. But I knew from the very beginning, really, first time I was in court in front of him, he was the family judge… that that we didn't stand a chance. So in the end, I refused to give them back. And they went to court again to produce this order. And at the end of the day, I lost. They were found because he put out all these notices to find them. And unfortunately, the children were given back to him. And what I said would happen happened he molested the little four year old girl. And then the children were given back to her and I was hauled into court and I was fined. It was 3000 guineas which is a lot of money in those days or nine months in jail.
GE: Fined for what?
EP: Contempt of court because I disobeyed the judge. That's the family courts.
GE: I’m often astonished when I hear these stories, I mean, given the fact that you've been in this area for so long, and, and been a dogged and tenacious advocate and protector of vulnerable people, vulnerable women and children, and men and boys, right? And yet, we seem to… we seem to be living in the upside down, and we've been there for quite a long time.
EP: 50 years
GE: The roots of domestic violence that lie in generational family violence and dysfunction. How or when, was the was the was there a moment that you think it got hijacked by the gender feminist movement and turned into a weapon?
EP: Yeah. 1974
EP: Yeah, I was the only refuge and I was saying then I knew from my own personal experience, I could trace my mother and father's dysfunction back three generations. Alcoholism, violence, family violence, they were both… my mother was particularly violent to me because I looked at my father and she used to whip me with an ironing cord. So I knew from personal experience how violent women could be. My father didn't hit us, but he was terrifying and she hated him with a passion. And so I opened this refuge with actually no… I understood generational family violence, and quite right. So when the first 100 women came in, apart anything else I realized that I had two problems. I had women who were genuine victims of their partner's violence, but perfectly capable of being with their children and mothering them. But the women I most wanted to look after, like my mother, had never been mothered. They were victims of their own childhood generational family violence and dysfunction. And I quickly realized that because of this the main hope was to offer therapeutic intervention with a woman, sitting her down and saying, look, let's have a look back at your history. Tell me about when you were a little girl, tell me about your father and your mother and your grandparents. And you'd see it there. You'd actually see the generational violence. And then you could say, Look, you've learned these strategies for survival, because that's how you survive. We all…. there's no such perfect family thing. So we all have strategies as children. But in a violent family, the strategies you have to develop to save yourself, your life, are not at all harmonious in the real world. So you have to relearn those strategies. And one of the hardest was the women, and men, exactly the same for both sexes, is that when she explodes, and what I call orgasmic rage, and she has to get there before she can calm down. That's when the damage is done by both sexes. So what are the triggers that caused the orgasmic rage? And those triggers are what you have to look at, and learn that this… what you learn as a child is that you get upset, frightened and angry, and a loving mother and father cuddles you. You get upset, frightened or angry in a violent family, and you'll get hit and told to pull yourself together. So you learn not to get upset, or you learn, and so I'll give an example, in my family I was the one who got extremely violent back, I was a very violent child. I wrote a book called infernal child about what it's like to be that violent, that nobody can control you. But my twin sister, she did, she was what I call the hibernater. So when the rows would have resolve, erupt, she’d just curl up like a little tiny hamster and go into a ball and wait and hibernate. Both behaviors extremely damaging for children. And then later as adults, my brother was just a brute, and very violent, he died young. So that's the fallout of domestic violence. And nobody really wants to or, even look at the possibility of making those changes. If we would look at generational family violence as the root cause instead of men, we could then begin to empty our prisons, we could heal broken adults, we could save children from being forced to repeat those patterns. Unless they're lucky enough to meet a mentor. But we don't do any of it. Because we have this huge generational competitive movement that’s squatting on top of everything and nobody can move them.
GE: Yeah, even mentorship. I mean, we'd probably have to call it woman-tore ship because it contains the word men. You know, we do need mentors and we need to, we need to learn how to become mentors and, and shepherd and guide and…
EP: That’s why you see, always in my refuge, half the staff were men. And the women coming in agreed, because many of them, they never knew any kind of gentle behavior because they were never taught and they never, they never met any gentle kind men. And it was it was a vital part of the work we did. There are no refuges now that’ll employ men because of gender feminists,
GE: Is that right? They won't employ men because it's an unsafe space to have men in?
EP: Yeah, but also what most people don't know, boys over 12 aren't allowed in.
GE: Why’s that?
EP: Boys over… You check. Boys over 12 are not allowed into refuges.
GE: Why? Because every boy in the world over 12 is a danger to women?
EP: Yes. so that's what, that's exactly what they say.
GE: What kind of a society have we become?
EP: We're pouring money into this because…
GE: Well it’s incentivized right? Victimhood is the new currency and its economy is booming. So what, what do you think the answer is? I mean, you've been at this for over 50 years. Is there…
EP: More and more people to stand up, more and more people like Debbie Powney. Who hopefully you will have on?
GE: I don't know, Debbie. I don't know of Debbie, but I would love to have her on the show.
EP: She’s fantastic. You'd be amazed. She, they're making the changes. As Debbie is here in England, Nicola Cavan Graham, and Liz Bates is another… They're young professors in universities doing this evidence based research that's never been done. Because no one, I mean I used to beg somebody from the government to come and look at all the evidence I had. And the research I'd done. No one would come near me. But they're doing it, and it won't...
GE: Do you think they'll get attacked and discredited which is, you know,
EP: They can’t really because these are Ph. D. Professor professors, and particularly Nicola, I mean, she's an expert in forensic medicine as well. She’s done a lot of work in prisons.
GE: And she's a woman.
EP: Yeah. No, no, I mean, you, you just it, it's coming. This is my great hope, this is what I've been waiting for for years.
GE: It comes down to evidence based research that needs to be presented, and needs to be challenged, and it needs to stand up. And that's, that's the… I mean, it's not that…when you’ve actually been through this, you look at it, it's not that difficult to understand what's going on here.
EP: No, it's not. But most people can't take on board the complexity of the political ideology. They just look at, they just look at you and think, well that's crap. No, it's very efficient crap.
GE: Yeah, very much so. I was I was actually astounded a few months ago, when I when I started getting involved in the domestic abuse bill and speaking with some of the politicians over there, and I had Phillip on the show and some of the new movements. And I did a public service announcement that I… one of your quotes was in it. And when I found out that the discussion wasn't about parental alienation being child abuse, the discussion was actually about whether parental alienation existed. So we've moved the conversation back now to actually decide whether it's actually a thing.
EP: Well, because the feminist movement, say it isn't a thing, because the only reason for a man to want to contact his wife is to claim that he wants to see the children. But that isn't his motive, his motive is he wants to continue to abuse her. You see that?
GE: Oh, no, I absolutely understand all of the myriad of psychological disturbances…
EP: What they’re actually saying is no, men aren't interested in their children. They only want to prosecute their wives. That's all men want to do. The idea that they could love their kids just isn't possible. Remember, he’s got the Y chromosome which makes them an abuser.
GE: This is some of the most disturbing abhorrent group think not some of, it's the most disturbing a parent group think I've ever experienced in my life. And okay, you're a man you've got the wrong chromosome, who are you bla bla bla bla bla bla. It really truly is. It's it's a it's a mass kidnappin of children. I mean, I don't say that lightly.
EP: No, it is. It is. And the thing is, it's not only the kidnapping, it's the terrible damage that it does to the… it twists them…
GE: Oh, that splits the psyche, right? And then what is the… And then these, these children go out into society, and they grow up to hate even more. And of course, if you're a boy, you're going to end up hating yourself and your own skin.
EP: Well, especially as you know, that you’re a potential rapist and batterer. And even I mean, one of the things that I went… I was so upset about what was happening to my little boys in the primary school that I went and worked, I did a course to teach children reading. And I applied to this, a big primary school near me. And I went in and chose for three boys to teach. And what I witnessed that year was child abuse to boys, with the teachers screaming and yelling at boys, because most, or all are women, you know in England, I don’t know if it's much better in America, in your state schools. They're all women. There was one man in that huge school, who was the PE inspector. But other than that, it was all women. Now, little girls want to be liked. They want to be liked by the teacher. And they're quite happy to sit with each other in a little table. And there you have these boys, some of them at 11 are taller than the teachers. And the teachers have no idea because the boys, four boys among a group of girls around a table and what do boys do? They show off.
GE: Of course they do. They act out their boys have frenetic kinetic energy, and we've reduced recess time or play time for boys at school. We've, we don't give them boys centric imagination.. books that inspire their imagination.
EP: Actually I had to bring in my iPad, so that I could let them read books that boys will read, because they were all girl books. So the books that they would read, I've got a lovely author, who writes things like my brother's exploding bottom. Now, kids, the boys just thought it was marvelous. So I taught all three of them to read. And then they have… the year is the most I could do to see them through because they were moving on to a bigger school. But there you go. And then the education anyway, the way they educate in all Western countries, is for feminists idea that you do coursework. Cursework is very good for girls, they love those long, you know… but for boys, boys can actually retain information and take exams, coursework isn't a boy thing at all.
GE: Yeah, I think that's the way… I've mentioned before Finland leads the way in terms of education as far as I'm concerned. And a few years ago, they changed their entire curriculum to phenomenological based learning. And then a year ago, they introduced rather than introducing this divisive, critical race theory, they introduced critical thinking into their curricula. And that is what we need. We need to be teaching kids how to think not telling them what to think, and challenging the curiosity and interest of the young mind. And particularly our young boys, our younger generation of boys, so they don't grow up with this backed up anger, because they've been told all the time to sit still, be quiet, behave.
EP: And think more like a girl…
GE: Right and not, you know, boys will be boys, let the boy play, you know… OK, I got bullied at school. Did I enjoy it? No... Go back. I learned a lot from it. I had to stand up to my bullies. I had to take the Hard Knocks. I had to, you know, get through that rite of passage, if you will, without too much support from home and do it alone. That gives you a sense of, you know, you pass through that. This helicopter parenting and safety and security is well, we could talk more about that. You published a book in in May I think it was 2011, called This Way To The Revolution. How is the process of writing that Erin? Because you've been through so much and lived through so much, and given so much. How is it when you're writing your story?
EP: Cathartic. It took me 10 years to find a publisher. I was turned down, as you can imagine, by every single publisher. I actually got thrown out of actually all publishing classes, including American ones. Because I wouldn't write, I started off by writing Scream Quietly, The Neighbors Are Here. That's the first book on domestic violence in the world. When I opened in 1971 there was no literature anywhere that I could find. So I sat down and put that book together. Then, a few years later, when I'd had a lot more experience, I wrote this book called Prone To Violence, which is the therapy I used for the women. That was only on shelves for a very short period of time. Essentially, because I had huge pickets against me. I had to have a police escort for that book all around England because of the threats to harm me and my family. That's one of the reasons I left England and went to America. Because in the end, the police warned me in 1970, it was 1980. So my daughter rang me when I was in the refuge and said, ‘Look, there's a parcel that's com for you but it hasn't got any stamps on it, and I'm worried about it’. So I said, ‘Well, look, take it down to the end of the garden, and just leave it down there. And you call the bomb squad I'm coming home.’ So I came home and walked in. And the bomb squad arrived about the same time, as the refuge was just down the road, and in with the flashing lights, and these huge guys all done up in that in the armor that they use. And I had two little grandchildren. And I was looking down at them and I could see the terrible fear on their faces. And the guy went out to the back of the garden and he got it wasn't a bomb. But I thought at that point, I can't go on like this. I can't go on with all these threats. And anytime they knew, the feminist movement knew where I was at they'd be pickets screaming at me. And I thought why I can't go on like this, I'm going to move I'm going to go to America, which was a bit stupid because I didn't… it’s just as bad there, if not more organized. I know. But you know, I'm here. I'm still fighting. I'm not going away. These kinds of conversations, more and more people can get to hear them. And that's what got make the changes. Enough people, particularly men, standing up and saying, This can't go on.
GE: No, that's what I'm attempting to do.
EP: I've read your book. I was well not shocked because… I was just horrified that any woman could see a man they've been with for 20 years. And she knew how much you loved your kids. Have you manacled and dragged out of your own home and put in a mental hospital. I've had nightmares after reading that book. And it takes a lot to give me a nightmare. And I am beyond sad. What was done to you.
GE: Thanks Erin, that means a lot to me. The living grief I think is, we talk about…. There is a finality to loss when you lose, no parent should lay their own child to rest and there is a living grief that continues that can really only be understood by those, fully understood by those who’ve been through it. And to your point earlier, you know I’ve read the suicide notes from fathers, good men, good fathers who suddenly found themselves in the system of family law where there is no escape, where you are tagged as the respondent and no amount of money and resources can that psychological, devastating disconnect from your children and that’s the Achilles heel. If one didn’t care about one’s children, it wouldn’t be as painful because you’d be like ‘well I don’t really care anyway’. I’ve seen those men in family court who’ve walked away, in fact I mention one on the show where I walked out of court and walked up to him as he conceded all rights to his children. He’s a gang member, you know, with tats on his neck and his face and I said ‘please think about what you’re doing’ and at that time I didn’t understand the system that much, I was new at it and this hardened fellow had a tear run down his cheek and he just said ‘I can’t do it man. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do it…’ And I don’t think it was about money or that may have played a part in it. It’s relief. We all… not just men. Men and women and children, we need relief from this system that is so unrelenting and inescapable and calling out these greedy, narcissistic, moral supremacists who make millions, billions of dollars from murdering families. There’s no other way to put it. It’s… it’s
EP: It’s soul murder. It’s soul murder as far as I’m concerned.
GE: Yeah. Absolutely
EP: Because what you’re doing, you just leave these husks of fathers and some mothers because there’s nothing left inside.
GE: Or what's left when you take meaning away. When you when you take your, your, your kid and your your children, your... the legacy and family away,
EP: As you've said, I think and I've always said, if this... if this were happening to women, there'd be absolute outrage.
EP: Men with... and this, this is where men are so often... judges will not put women in prison for disobeying the contact laws. They won't do it. Partly because, unfortunately, one of the reasons why judges are mostly men, in this country anyway, and the chivalry gene is still there and until men are willing to admit that women can be equally evil, equally as dangerous as men, we're not going to get the parity
GE: Well abuse has no gender. Abuse is abuse and you know, you've... you've, you've seen it firsthand.
EP: We're not there at the moment. Abuse is what men do to women. And even though the evidence shows for a long time now that it's women who abuse children, not men, the safest place for a child is with its biological father.
GE: That's one of the hardest things I've had to cope with is knowing that, knowing that which you speak to, and being utterly powerless to do anything, and to know that what is best for my sons not just based on the fact that I'm their father. The evidence based the... the research that I've done, the study that I've done, in terms of what I know is best when you look at the statistics when you look at how dangerous it is for their psychological maturation, to not be connected, I think it was Christina not Christina, it was Caitlyn Flanagan, who was on my show said it takes him a mother to raise a boy it takes a father to raise a man. And it's that it's that sense of the rite of passage, the discipline, the risk reward, the postponement gratification that Warren Farrell talks about, the... the sense of serious play, and learning about boundaries and…
EP: That very important things for the girl, which is if if, without her knowing her first pair of safe arms, is her father. If you take that away, what is her attitude then? thereafter? Because he's betrayed her as far as she's concerned, she doesn't know the history behind... the fact that he isn't he, he had no intention of betraying her, he was forced to betray her. Because he couldn't he couldn't stay there. And it's... the damage is generational. As I keep saying.
GE: Yeah, there's the intergenerational dogma or little T and big t trauma, if you look through the lens of the genogram, in terms of inherited behavior, and I don't necessarily think we can we can change or control I should say, we can't control our behavior, we have to become aware of it, do some recovery work, be reflective, and then be aware when it comes up and if and when it comes up, be less judgmental of self just, you know, self forgive, and hopefully others will forgive if we get a go a little above the line and get a bit aggressive. Erin, I'm there. You know, it's like, but that isn't.. our word's, violence, you know, our word's violence. That's, I hear that a lot these days. You know, your words are violent Well, physical violence?
EP: The problem with this is, as soon as a man uses a word with any emphasis behind it, it's finance. Women can shout and scream, that's perfectly alright. That's just her expressing herself is a very double standard, right the way through all this.
GE: How do we shift the needle? I mean, you've talked about these these professors who are doing these reports. It seems like the the parental alienation debate is still going on in England.
EP: It's huge. It's absolutely huge, because we're trying the House of Lords is the last time trying to get parental alienation as as, as a criminal offence, which it is actually now. Yeah, it's supposed to be a criminal offence. But unfortunately, we come back to the same thing again and again, in front of the courts. The judges will not force a woman with with a threat of jail if she won't behave. So everybody knows perfectly well. That it's a complete waste of time if a woman who anyways going to get the children, there's no level playing field, because women 99% get custody and their resident with their mothers so they have this power and control the man has to plead to have access to his children.
GE: Would you advocate for people not getting married these days?
EP: No, I wouldn't.
GE: I call it sometimes the framing of an ignorant man because I don't necessarily think man in terms of innocence for what... so I say in many regards, where we we make mistakes, and so do women, but the ignorance of the system and what goes on and one of the reasons I wrote The Respondent was because I looked out there when when it happened to me. Where could I get help, and you go online, you look for books, and the only books I've found Erin, aside from online, with law firms, law firms, Family Law firms, money, money, money was to just get into the system. With these books that were um... I was astonished, written by women, for women, on how to eviscerate your man and your husband and rid, rid him of his entire personhood, and claim the house and get the money. And I first saw this, this this strategy, which I have in my.. in The Respondent in my book, I call it the six silver bullets of high conflict divorce, and the magic ballistics of Family Law war. And that silver bullet being a simple, seemingly magical solution to a difficult problem in this case, disillusionment and my case and many cases, men and the respondent. So how to get rid... how to win the game before the the appointment in court, and the justice system is even started. And that was astonishing to me. So... but what I didn't want to do was have, I don't think the answer to this messaging of toxic masculinity is to start saying toxic, toxic femininity, and to just you know, that's the point counterpoint gets us nowhere. So, trying to understand how the system works, trying to understand how we can improve it and make changes.
EP: But even before that, you would have to... it would have to be a seismic revolution, really, in order to take it back to where the gold standard for the safety of children is the marriage and that the children live with with with the biological mother and father, under one roof. Then we need to go back to my time when a man was accepted and respected. You know, a man was was was the man who actually nurtured took care of finance, the family life and the standards of the family life. And the majority of mothers, some didn't, but the majority of mothers stayed home and brought up the children. And we were trained in my convent and in most schools, as young girls that we would be married. And yes, some of the girls in my uni.., school did go to university. But still, the idea was that you would be happily married. And I was very interested because just as I was married, and I'd come back from Singapore, and I was living in this house in Hammersmith was the beginning of the of the women's movement. And I remember when I went to that very first meeting, and I was walking up the stairs of this, the woman who was holding this new meeting, I was going to and on the on the walls. I could see these posters of Chairman Mao. Now I had an unusual history, because I was my parents were captured by the communists and held under house arrest for three years. We didn't see them we didn't even know if they were alive. So that immediately put me off and then when I got up there, there was this little band of frightened women like me. And there's one very confident woman. And she said to me, Well, what do you think your problem is? And I said, Well, my problem is quite simple. It's isolation. I'm on my own. My husband is in television. So he's away a lot. And I've got two children and a dog. And I want to do more with my life, because I've got the time to do it. And she said, That's not your problem. Your problem is your husband oppresses you. And I just remember looking at her and saying, I have the luxury of choosing whether I want to stay home or not. So how's that oppression? Anyway, put my notes in the book, I went ahead and I started my group, the Goldhawk Road group. And we were told, this is where my house came in, we were told that we would get to get your friends together, you have this meeting, and then you raise your consciousness, about your oppression by your husbands. So I said fuck that for a game of soldiers and we all had very large gin and tonics and bitched about other people, we had very good meetings, but I got thrown out in the end. I've actually got a letter throwing me out of the women's movement, and banning me from all collectives. They're all... they're just Marxist feminists you see what happened. And I don't know if you want to know how it happened. But, but briefly, what happened is it was in America, in Washington, and the women of the left turned on their on their men. And they had this meeting, the meeting was that no longer would women, part, be party with men, to the abolition of capitalism, because that is what they'd all been working to, under this banner, and from now on, they would change the actual ideology, and it would be women fighting against male oppression, the patriarchy and that's how it started.
GE: What year was this?
EP: Would have been 1969.
GE: So 1969, a meeting in America
EP: In Washington yeah,
GE: In Washington with with with leaders of the feminist movement?
EP: Yes, there's Gloria Steinem of course, was one of them, Bella Abzug and the one I got to know who wrote the books on Susan Brown Miller, she wrote the books on rape, and yeah they were all this group. And of course, it was a brilliant idea, because it ringfenced money. And so that's how it got itself financed.
GE: So this meeting in 1979, Gloria Steinem and others other leading feminists or Marxist, postmodern, progressive, radical feminists.
GE: Third and fourth wave, we might say, because they're not the true, I don't believe they're in any way shape or form resembling what equality feminism is in the original government.
EP: And they didn't pretend I mean, that was just the Trojan horse.
GE: So they all came together in 1979. And just to reiterate, this meeting was to decide how we how
GE: 69 forgive me yeah 69 how they were going to shift the narrative and the movement to make it about patriarchal oppression.
EP: Yes, because patriarchal oppression, would create their own women's movement. That's what they wanted. They wanted a women's movement ring fenced, that would not include men.
GE: So if you don't include men in the feminist movement,
EP: Well, then it goes back to how do you destroy the family? How do you make it? It's interesting, even in 1990 we have a woman called Harriet Harman. She's an MP has been for a long time. And she makes a statement in this particular policy paper and she says, men are not necessarily harmonious to family life. How about that as a labor policy?
GE: Wow. Okay, so, so nice. I'm laughing because there's incredulity. So we want to do away with men. How are we going to survive as a species without men? That's what I would ask,
EP: Oh, don't you understand know that you will survive without because there won't be so many men who will kill women. And all these figures about how many men have killed women, and also feminists themselves as you know, I mean, they will be the ones who will go to war because they're warriors they know how to do it and apart from anything else. If women run the countries they won't be wars. They've always
GE: I understand that but how would they procreate?
EP: Oh, that's not going to be a problem. They can do... You can you can have donor sperm.
GE: But there won't be many men around. I mean, if we're doing away with men, if men are done, like if we're just extinguishing men, an entire sex.
EP: Well ask Margaret Atwood. with her book which was a film. Yeah, I mean, it just like I said, it's not rational, it's not rational. And I will say one thing, my personal experience, the majority of the heads of those of the women's movement, all have serious personality disorders.
GE: Well, clearly, I mean, what would be interesting... maybe a new interesting reality show would be to you know, Femi psych where all of these heads of the feminist movement from that 1969 movement and so on, so forth, go before psychiatry to submit to Rorschach tests and psychological evaluations because, frankly, that's wackadoodle though mean, is brilliant. In its in its it's brilliant in its in its strategic malfeasance
EP: As a brand. It's, it's made billions.
GE: Oh, I mean, I would say tens, hundreds of billions.
EP: Yeah, billions. Toxic men is the brand.
GE: I mean, I read um... Well I didn't read all of it, because it just... this book, which I call the devil's Bible, White Fragility by Robyn D'Angelo, and that is just steeped in this, I mean, when you when you put the sexism with the racism and like the isms. And so ultimately, we're just, it's just extinguishing men and maybe heterosexual men, and maybe Caucasian men, and eventually we'll get rid of black, heterosexual men, and we'll just go down the line. So you, let's just have a toxic soup of identity politics, and fourth wave feminism.
EP: And the thing is, you see, because it only really affects and this is the difficulty. Again, it comes to men, the the normal male population aren't, in any case, interested. They simply go along and they will not put a stop to what's happening to their brothers in the court system, or in any of the systems. And until men are willing to actually stand up and say, we're not putting up with this any longer. When.. I don't think we'll see a change. The other thing is men are terribly frightened of women. You have to get used to that idea.
GE: Yes, I've experienced some of that myself.
EP: I know, I know. I know you have. But I mean, you see, this is the thing. Yes, you have personal experience of it, because it is in your personal life. But normal men walking along the streets and things. It's not part of any of their experience. So they don't empathize in a way that women will empathize with other women. They don't. And the women will network, as you know, hugely, and that's why the women's movement so strong, but men don't network with each other emotionally or over family issues. And somehow I've often felt with men, if a man is down and out, men somehow feel it's catching I was very upset by will how Kiefer Sutherland treated you. Kiefer Sutherland. Do you remember when you went to talk to him, and he basically brushed you off?
GE: It's very difficult to understand what the other person is going through and their perception. And I know one might say, well, it doesn't matter. Look at what you were going through. And at the time, Yes, it was. That's when I needed a friend. You know, and you find out particularly in Hollywood, when everything's going great, you're walking the red carpet, and you're in big movies, and you're doing this, you can have your pick of friends. And, uh, but it's only through turmoil. You know, integrity is not earned. And in, in the good times, it's earned through turmoil. And what I love is there were a few people who stood firm, and strong, and some of them quietly observed for a while, but they were there. And those people proved their integrity and their nobility and their steadfast loyalty, and so many weak people. Look, I'm I'm gonna get you know, I'm going to get... when I... when my book comes out. You know, I'm going to be eviscerated Erin. And you've, you've been doing this for 50 years, I'm already on the radar. I'm sure... you know of the some... I don't know, maybe I'll try. Maybe I'll try and get Gloria Steinem on somehow... I don't think she'd come on the show.
EP: After everything she did and all the things she said about marriage. Guess what? She's married.
GE: She is not.
EP: She is.
GE: Come on. Gloria Gloria Steinem is married?
EP: He's a publisher. A well known publisher? Yep. She's got married. She married him in Santa Fe. I was there in Santa Fe when I knew she was around. I've got some letters from her somewhere.
GE: You were there when she got married?
EP: No, I was there when she was down in Santa Fe and she got married and so I didn't go to the wedding or anything. I didn't know her that well, but I just, I thought to myself you treacherous monster.
GE: Ah you nearly said the B word, didn't you?
EP: Yeah, no, I mean... I think the end of the day, we're going to look back are that last these last 50 years as the Dark Ages. And it's interesting because I when I'm in LA, I know an awful lot of what I call rock chicks. They're in their late 40s or early 50s. And they can't find themselves a man
GE: Wonder why that is?
EP: Oh, yeah. And it's quite interesting, because that's the end of their lives, because they're never going to have children. It's too late, or it's getting there. And they're never going to have a permanent relationship because men are far too wary. Very wary. And it's about time too actually. So and they cry to me, and I just say, Well, how do you think all this happened? And where were you waving your banners and screaming?
GE: So Gloria Steinem got married? After setting in motion, a movement to eviscerate the family unit, and men as we know it? She's gone and married one she's gone and married the enemy.
EP: They all do, actually in the end.
GE: Oh, gosh, what kind of man would marry. I can't even imagine? Wow. They all do in the end? Hmm. Do they?
EP: Yeah. Or they fail to find anybody to marry them, and they just become bitter, embittered old women.
GE: You're not a bitter old woman.
EP: Nah, but I'm not that stupid.
GE: There's a lot of ignorance isn't there?
EP: It's amazing. Amazing. And as I keep saying, you know, you see all these vociferous women. So embarrassing on behalf of all women, to actually see those women out there with their little pink pussy hats, and their vaginas hanging round their necks when they're demonstrating.
GE: They do? They have vaginas round their necks?
EP: Yeah they have these... They're made out of cloth, but they're sort of mock vaginas. And then they have these little pink pussy hats they're called. You see them on the big marches.
GE: What so the point of that is to just say, look at my womanhood, and we're all women power with our anatomical parts, so maybe we can just have a men's movements march where we can have penis noses, and
EP: You know damn well, if you did have a men's march you'd be damn lucky if 100 men turn up. Men are terrified of women
GE: Two or three. Come on, put your penis noses on, get your testicle earrings out. I mean, it'd good parody. But you're right. I don't think I don't think anyone would show. I'd probably be the only one. Marching for what though? I mean, that's the thing. What are we marching for? I've seen so many people march the last few years, and they're marching for the sake of marching, rather than
EP: I think the march men have to make is to be allowed back into the families and well not even have to ask, but to say we have a right to be put back into the family. Because you excluded from the family.
GE: In all seriousness, you know, the presumption of innocence needs to be needs to be included in family law. I think I personally think from what I've looked at...
EP: It doesn't matter the presumption of innocence is there.
GE: It's not
EP: It's just that men are... I thought it was in the family law.
GE: This is the misnomer, which astonishes me. Family law doesn't have a presumption of innocence. There is no presumption of innocence in family law, because it's a quasi kangaroo court. It's not criminal court. And this is the loophole of the DV and the false allegations of domestic violence. Violence should be treated as a criminal offense, and it's not treated as a criminal offense. So you don't get your Miranda rights. You don't get arrested, you can only be detained. You don't get the right to speak to an attorney all of the rights that rapists and pedophiles and murderers get, parents and particularly men and fathers, if you look at the stats, don't get so we need the presumption of innocence. We need due diligence we need to have jurisprudence. I mean, in family law, Erin we have we have a system that puts the burden of proof on the accused, and not the accuser. That's the Spanish Inquisition. It's the Salem witch trials.
EP: I know one of the things that we had here there was a it was a directive and I forget, I don't know where it actually originally came from but it was online, which is... it was called 202 Whatever. But what it actually said is the victim must be believed.
GE: Wow, just wow.
EP: The assumption is women. Now they've taken it down, but it was actually part of police procedure. That's how all these allegations... you've probably never heard of the case of Mark Pearson, was minding his own business walking across Waterloo station on his way home. Next morning, he saw six policemen outside his house, outside his door, he was taken down to the station and charged of sexually abusing this woman on the station. And he went, even though the actual cameras that were on at the time, showed that he walked straight past her. His case still came to court. And he was still tried. He was found not guilty. But in those cases, you're found not guilty for lack of evidence. And she, and this happens probably in America as well. She then has anonymity for the rest of her life once she makes this claim. Worse than that, she then can actually apply for money from the criminal compensation board. Soon as she makes the allegation... up to 50,000.
GE: So we're still rewarding victimhood?
EP: She doesn't have to give it back. Because he's not found innocent, he's found innocent for lack of evidence.
GE: So in a way, I mean, it's like I said, it's quite genius, the victimhood card, the lack of accountability, the false allegations, I'll just make one, I'll make some money and there's nothing gonna happen to me. In fact, none of these nothing ever happened to me. I'm gonna make some money and be anonymous.
EP: And that's exactly... this was an actress was a woman
GE: Who was?
EP: An actress was the woman who said that he'd sexually abused her. And she is a well known actress. So that's why the case went to court, because as far as they were concerned, it was a high profile case.
GE: I said, What's her name? And I know we can't we can't know because she's anonymous. Do we? Does anyone know who this is?
EP: Just Just go... put it up.... I contacted somebody in America who gosh knew her name. So put it on online for me.
GE: Hmm, interesting. How interesting. Do you know about the Johnny Depp case?
EP: Oh, yes, of course I do.
GE: What's your thoughts on that? What's your thoughts on what's happened with him and Amber Heard?
EP: I'll say this, that my granddaughter there is a friend of Jack, Johnny Depp son, and he... I know how passionately he loves his father. And I know that I was... the saddest thing is this is what I call is when we're getting into an addictive relationship. Because he was happily married to his wife and she's a lovely woman, apparently. And you can see from Jack he's a very well balanced, loved child. And then he got involved with this Amber Heard. And it was a toxic relationship, violence and and it brought out sides of Johnny that really don't exist. And I just felt who ever told him to go to court in England. How did he? Did he not know that he'd be eviscerated? He was he? He was trashed and destroyed. I hope he can come back from this.
GE: At some point, you have to take a stand. And... and you can remain silent for so long.
EP: Yeah, I agree.
GE: And at some point, you have to plant your flag in the sand and say, no more. No more will I remain silent about what's going on. No more will I be quiet and be smart and shuffle off and get on with my life and when you have a son. He has a son and a daughter when you have a son that is receiving verbals. Let's just put it that way from peers about your dad and who he is. I don't care who, what what walk of life, what your career is how famous you are. That hurts as a father. When when that takes place. This reputation savaging, as I call it, the defenestration of you in the eyes of your children. It's not a question of I have to do this. You literally have no choice, your own integrity, demands of yourself that you have to take a stand.
EP: Do you think he thought he'd get a fair hearing?
GE: Well, I think look, here's the way I look at it. 2016 with Amber Heard, I think some have argued, some people have argued she's a gold digger. Some have said that. I'm not saying that, some have said that. They got together. And then there was there was challenges within their relationship. There was physical violence. We can clearly see from the… from the video evidence that the claims made by one side, the hearsay evidence, if you will, doesn't hold up and I call it hearsay or heard say evidence, because that's what I'm talking about in family law. There isn't due process, there isn't due diligence. There isn't discovery. I mean, there is but after the fact. So she then signed up with attorneys and fired the first shot, which is the moment that retainer is signed. It's all over. I mean, she clearly has the advantage and has already won before the court case begins. But in a way, both of them have lost because the attorneys will win. Because they look at the estate and they just see Oh, wow, this is 300 million. Great. We'll keep this this this acrimony can keep being churned. They would argue, of course, these attorneys that Oh, no, we're just servicing our clients with when you think about the family law codebook that used to be this thick, and now it's eight inches thick, or however big it is. It's the wild west of family law. So I think that happened, he became the respondent and you have no idea. Once you become the respondent, once you are in family law as whether you're the petitioner or the respondent, just how stuck in the divorce trap you are. So I think that happened. And then of course, what happens in Hollywood, with famous celebrities is that, you know, information is leaked. The first declaration is written in family law, it's inflamed, it's inflammatory, it's sensationalist. It's full of drama, and over the top hyperbole that gets eaten up by the tabloids, and the and it gets churned and churned. So that's where it all began, I think for Johnny, in terms of in 2016. I knew I tweeted, right, right in 2016. When I found out I stand beside Johnny Depp, and I do to this day, and I will keep saying it. And and...
EP: ...They've asked me. And as far as I'm concerned, she's what I call a violence prone woman. And I can say that after 50 years of experience, she's going to always be a danger in relationships. And time will tell, I promise you.
GE: What do you think her motive is?
EP: Usually their narcissistic exhibitionists again, and their motive is fame, notoriety, and money. It's a woman of no conscience, no integrity. And unfortunately, he got addicted to it. It can happen, it can happen to anybody actually, this addictive relationship. And it's, and I've always said the relationship can be just as addictive as drugs or alcohol. And I've seen good people lose it over a relationship you'd look at when you think, How could you? And then you realize, yeah, it can happen.
GE: Yeah, I talk about addictive behavior patterns. Because I think that's, that's at the core of all this. And we can talk about addictions, like drugs, and religion and sex and gambling and alcohol, and so on, so forth. But ultimately, we have that behavior inherent within us, that we inherited, and how we can become more aware of it. But that takes a little, a little awareness, and a little...
EP: There's the first one that died in my refuge. I loved her. And I wrote a novel all about her. And I, she said to me, Erin, you know, I'll be alright, if I don't hear his voice. But if I hear his voice, it's like the Pied Piper. And I know, I'll go back. And we had a deal with the courts in England, that we didn't have to put the refuge address, they would just be handed to the judge by our solicitor. Unfortunately, his solicitor forgot in this case, and the... our address was on the papers that were served. So he found her, and he'd ring her at night, when other women were asleep. And when I came back from holiday, she'd gone back and she died.
GE: What was her name?
EP: I tried to get the two boys because I wanted to try and adopt them. And he'd put them into care. The only thing I can tell you is that years and years later, in fact, when I was here in England after being away for so long, 15 years, Adam, the eldest son came to see me. And I was able to tell him about his beautiful mother. It's heartbreaking.
GE: It's heartbreaking and it's heartwarming. Because what you what you've done over the years, is just so meaningful. And the fact that you are not lorded and championed more than you should be. It's just, it's a societal travesty. So I just want to say thank you, Erin, for everything that you've done. And continue to do
EP: Ah well we both will. And I'll be there for you if you ever need me. Anything I can do to help. I'll do it
GE: Right back to you. You see the, the stoic man has now has been brought to tears thinking about Lindsey. My sister's called Lindsey and I think about your story and and, and these two boys and where they are and how they are. And you know, I think about we talked about Johnny Depp. On the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, there was a wonderful, wonderful Australian actor called Trevor Godard. And when we were filming that movie, we're in the Caribbean on the island of St. Vincent and the lads, as we were, you know, the actors, maybe the core kind of group of 10 others, we would get together and when we weren't filming on days and play cards and just, you know, have fun. And Trevor was never at the table. And Trevor was going through divorce and we had no idea at the time just how mentally difficult it was for him to cope and be away from his boy. I remember coming back and he'd bring his boy Travis to watch me play footy and, and then within a month, he was dead. And I firmly believed that it was it was family law that killed him. He couldn't cope. He couldn't cope. He and he couldn't, he was a proper like, great Aussie bloke, he was a boxer and he was a tough guy. Heart on your sleeve kind of guy. And he just... I just thought about him and his boy. And I've always wondered how I might find his boy to tell him about his dad. Just how great his dad was. How kind, how generous How thoughtful. So that's why why this, you know, tears up a little.
EP: I know, I know, it's heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking, really is all of it. And how human beings can be so destructive. And so vicious. And I know I mean, I understand generational family violence, but there is always the possibility of transcending your background. And that's where we have to... that's our hope.
GE: I agree breaking the cycle, finding a way to be be the intergenerational...
EP: I'm hoping your book will make a huge difference. I really am.
GE: I am too. I am too. You are something else. Erin Pizzey, you know that you are something else. And I am just, I'm just in awe. And I'm humbled and your smile's amazing. It makes me smile wider. I've talked, we've talked for a while I know we have to wrap up. But I feel like I feel like we've talked about some extremely challenging subjects. And I've smiled through it. And even my tears were, you know, they came through connection, connection to the... universal story of one human race.
EP: And yeah, and I think when when those of us who've walked that walk, meet each other, there is a sense of relief.
GE: I have two quick questions to ask which I normally ask at the end of the show. If you could write your own epitaph, what would you want it to say?
EP: I learned to love the unlovable.
GE: I learned to love the unlovable. Beautiful. And if you had one wish, what would it be?
EP: My one wish is that all children to be born into safe, warm, loving arms.
GE: Erin Pizzey. That's a beautiful ending to one of my favorite episodes that I've recorded on The Respondent. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart and the top of my tear ducts and the wideness of my smile. It's been an absolute pleasure having you on The Respondent.
EP: Thank you very much.