Why Jess Phillips MP wants people to ‘image a world where women didn’t have to deal with male violence’

Jess Phillips speaks out against male violence towards women in a moving interview

In the latest episode of her podcast Yours Sincerely, Jess Phillips MP, has challenged listeners to imagine a world without male violence in a discussion about the everyday impact on the lives of women.

Each week, Jess, the Labour MP for Yardley, invites guests to write three podcast letters to people who mean the world to them - including one person who’s no longer around.

Labour MP for Yardley speaks out on male violence as bestselling author Holly Bourne reveals her PTSD following a traumatic incident in her 20s.

Speaking to Jess, bestselling author Holly chose to write a letter to the woman she was before a traumatic incident involving a man in her mid-20s.

 Jess Phillips. (Photo by David Cheskin/Getty Images) Jess Phillips. (Photo by David Cheskin/Getty Images)
Jess Phillips. (Photo by David Cheskin/Getty Images)

What did Holly Bourne’s letter describe?

Choosing not to describe the incident, she explains the long lasting impact - “I don’t like this narrative around trauma now that it makes you stronger. It actually makes you weaker. I was f***ing stronger when I was 25 - when this hadn’t happened. It is exhausting’’.

Holly went on to explain how she continues to feel the impact to this day and wishes other people had a better understanding of what it means to be ‘triggered’ - “I can just fall down a portal and be where I was on that day. It is a physiological response. Your body is acting like it’s happened again. Not only do you have the moment of falling through the traphole, it’s like I give myself flu for 3 day. Your body has gone to fight again and you just feel spent.”

Jess added - “It makes you sick, physically sick. You feel trauma in your arms, your bones. It makes your back bad, your head ache. It makes you ill, it can kill you! It’s not well understood, and we’re viewed as being hysterical.”

Jess, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, went on to explain how her work with Women’s Aid frames her thinking on male violence - “We used to do exercises and one of the things that we would talk about is trying to ask people to imagine a world where women didn’t have to deal with male violence. It’s almost unimaginable because we don’t even notice a lot of it happening.”

Jess added: “After Sarah Everard’s killing, the conversation moved on from ‘This has happened to me’ - which is what happened in the ‘Me Too’ movement - and it became ‘This is what I have to do’.

Yours Sincerely podcast with Jess Phillips and Holly BourneYours Sincerely podcast with Jess Phillips and Holly Bourne
Yours Sincerely podcast with Jess Phillips and Holly Bourne

What is Yours Sincerely with Jess Phillips?

Yours Sincerely with Jess Phillips sees the Labour MP joined by guests to reveal three people they want to celebrate via the power of letter writing - a person who means the world for our guest, a person who’s no longer in their life and a person who doesn’t realise the impact they’ve had. Recent guests have included Lorraine Kelly, Phillippa Perry and Issy Suttie.

Yours Sincerely is produced by MediaCityUK based Audio Always, alongside their slate of Original podcasts including Help I Sexted My Boss, hosted by Jordan North and William Hanson, Sofa Cinema Club, with Coronation Street stars Colson Smith, Jack P. Shepherd and Ben Price and Doctor Next Door with Dave Berry.

You can listen to the episode with Jess and Holly by clicking on: Yours Sincerely with Jess Phillips

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