Celebrating Margi Isaac

Margi Isaac, VOICES’ co-founder and long-term volunteer, has died of COVID aged 71, and VOICES is hurting, as we mourn the loss of a unique person who was the heart and soul of our charity. Today, as she is laid to rest, we remember her.

Here we include Margi’s own words and those of our Director Ursula as we remember her.

Our Director Ursula says…

Margi was a Cheshire-born nurse who met our and the other founders on the Freedom Programme in Bath in 2012, where we were all grappling with the impact of abusive behaviours in our lives and those of our children. She had lived with domestic abuse for 55 of her 71 years, as a child and adult, but always firmly rejected the labels of victim/survivor as she was an OVERCOMER, in capital letters!

Margi loved her family, friends and VOICES colleagues with a fierce passion. She had no time for people in positions of authority who either abused their power or failed to use it to support people affected by domestic abuse. She was adamant that far, far more should and could be done, and that VOICES would shine a light and show the way. Her experiences of homelessness due to abuse were used to inform others through her contribution to SafeLives’ Spotlight on this pernicious problem (https://safelives.org.uk/spotlight-5-homelessness-and-domestic-abuse).

She loved nothing more than to provide hope, happiness and tea and cake for any of our clients who needed her nurturing care. She was also a warrior for the rights of women she felt were being re-abused by court systems and services, and by churches that failed to protect DA victims in their faith communities. She was a supporter, mentor and friend and at 5 foot tall, took great delight in being described by a sneering barrister for the other side as another woman’s “bodyguard” through a family court process that exemplified everything that is wrong with the courts in dealing with domestic abuse. Above all, she brightened so many lives, including ours, with her silver DM boots, colourful clothing and flowers or Christmas bells in her hair, celebrating a life liberated from abuse and fear.

Margi signed every email and letter with:

Shalom, much love and a gazillion hugs to you all xxxxx

I was blessed to know you Margi, and we love you too.

Ursula

Here are Margi’s own words.

I am an Overcomer of 55 years of Domestic Abuse and Violence:

  • Indirectly (mainly) as a child, through my Dad’s abuse of my Mum.
  • Directly through two abusive husbands.
  • And some abusive men taking advantage of my vulnerability between marriages.

Echoes of abuse I witnessed within my parents marriage affected me greatly – I became a human ‘chameleon’!  I could enter a room with 50 people ALL with differing opinions, I would agree with all, offending none…  Because I never knew where the next blow might come from!

  • My first marriage ended after thirteen years.
  • I was in relationship with him from age 16 to 33 years of age.
  • I became Born again as A Christian AS my first marriage ended.
  • Jesus became my life, Enabling me to weather the heartache following.
  • Enabling me to keep life as ‘normal’ as possible for my young children.

My second marriage lasted twenty three LONG years and was the hardest to exit.

  • There is a ring of steel bars around ANY woman of Faith which is NOT there for other victims.
  • Well meaning people encourage us to stay/return even IF/WHEN they know the extent of abuse.
  • Leadership may tell us to ‘be Jesus’ to our abuser – no matter WHAT the cost to ourselves.

I helped found VOICES and love working as a volunteer with our ladies.

My Passion is to help them to BE able:

  • To re-find THEIR voice (because that IS the first thing we lose)
  • To re-find THEIR personality/character (they are NOT the person they have been moulded into)
  • To re-find THEIR hopes and dreams (because they got trashed along the way and we let go of them)
  • To encourage Christian victims to UNDERSTAND that God Loves them & will NOT turn away.
  • He WILL Bring Good OUT of their experiences, just as He has and is Doing for me, if we Trust Him too.

It is often said that someone was irreplaceable. It is in the spirit of VOICES that we say this of Margi. She, like us all, was one of a kind – but unlike some of us she had found her VOICE and used it proudly and fiercely.

Today we celebrate her life, and mourn our loss. 

Tomorrow we continue supporting other women and their VOICES – as we know Margi would want.

Rest well Margi.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM VOICES

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Dear VOICES Community,
At VOICES, we are committed to continuing to provide a safe service to women experiencing or recovering from Domestic Abuse.
During national lockdown conditions from 5 January 2021, we will be suspending groups and face to face support and offering telephone / text / email support instead wherever possible.
Please call 01225 420249 or email info@voicescharity.org for further information or if you have any concerns about how the coronavirus situation impacts on you or your support from VOICES.
You can also check our FB page for updates.
For 24 hour Domestic Abuse advice call 0808 2000 247
Find NHS stay at home advice here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Always call 999 if you are at risk of harm or feel unsafe.
National lockdown Stay at Home measures do not apply if you feel at risk of harm. #YouAreNotAlone
Thank you very much for your understanding.
VOICES.

Women’s Aid Consultation: Get Involved!

Women’s Aid Consultation: Get Involved!

Women’s Aid will be leading a focus group with survivors as part of the process of consultation on the Family Courts.

They would like to hear from women survivors in England, who have had a child arrangement case in private family law proceedings that closed in the past five years.

The focus group will take place on 15th August in central London. Taking part is voluntary, but travel and other expenses (including childcare) will be covered by Women’s Aid.

Please let Voices know by 4 August if you would like to attend. Call us on 01225 420249 or email info@voicescharity.org 

DRAFT DOMESTIC ABUSE BILL CONSULTATION

Draft Domestic Abuse Bill Consultation with Safelives

When: Thursday 23rd May @ 1pm

Polly Theedom, Safelives Authentic Voice Coordinator, and Veronica Oakeshott, Safelives Head of Policy & Public Affairs, are coming to brief VOICES on the DA Bill developments and Safelives’ approach. They will consult with women who work with VOICES about the issues included in the Bill, such as changes in courts, preventive orders, holding perpetrators to account, housing, support for survivors, and concerns about stalking and harassment etc.

Please call us on 01225 420249 or email info@voicescharity.org if you are interested in joining us or if you have any queries or need help to be able to attend.

Healthy Relationships talk at Bath University

We had a great time delivering a workshop on healthy vs. unhealthy relationships and how to seek help for yourself, or someone else impacted by abuse, to students at Bath University on Monday 25th March. Hosted by the Minervas Student Union Group and mental health charity, Student Minds, there was great interest and lively discussion about themes such as early warning signs, the impact on self-esteem, mental health of coercive and controlling behaviour, and concerns around social media, privacy and stalking.

We are grateful to the Minervas for organising and hope to come back to the University again soon!

#WhoIsListening: Round up of IWD 2019