Whilst we suspect that if you’re reading the Bloody Good Period blog you probably aren't someone who subscribes to the Daily Mail, this Refugee Week we want to bust some myths around refugees.
We're outraged that there are so many people who still believe there are ‘swarms’ of asylum seekers and refugees who are taking jobs, homes and living on benefits, and therefore regard them as somehow lesser human beings.
So here are some of the bloody facts.
Asylum seekers have had to flee their home country in fear of their lives – because of war, poverty, persecution, or all of the above. As the line from Warsan Shire's poem Home goes ‘No one puts their child in a boat unless the water is safer than the land’.
If they reach the UK and are eventually granted refugee status, asylum seekers get just 28 days (often less by the time the letter arrives in the post) to sort everything. That includes finding accommodation (challenging in both council housing, where there are usually waiting lists, and privately, where hefty deposits are generally required), and getting a job or signing on in place of the (paltry) asylum seeker allowance of £37.75 (to which they’re no longer entitled). There’s very little support and, unsurprisingly, this 28 day time frame often leads to destitution. Oh, and guess what else bloody happens around every 28 days?
This is why Bloody Good Period stands with refugees by providing period supplies, currently via 15 drop-ins.
We believe that no-one should have to stuff loo roll or socks in their knickers when they bleed every month, or be scared to go out to school or try to (completely legitimately) find a job because they don’t have proper supplies to deal with their period, or have to re-use old blood-soaked pads (with serious health implications).
We believe we’re all human, and we all bleed, regardless of the borders we’ve had to cross for our own survival and safety.
Artwork by refugee Amina, from Lighthouse Relief’s Ritsona Kingdom Journal – thank you for giving us permission to share.
Amina is now in Switzerland, has hopes to become a doctor, and has been thrilled to see her art getting so much Refugee Week love on social media.