When I was a child I once wandered into a police station, up to the counter, and peered over.
I was about 14.
I was tall enough that my eyes were above the counter top. But my nose wasn’t.
A policewoman looked down at me and raised an eyebrow. Her hands were in her pockets.
I’d been waiting outside for an hour or so.
I’d never been in a police station. And this was before ‘The Bill’ so I didn’t really know what to expect.
I’d only seen ‘The Sweeney’.
Can I report something that hasn’t happened yet?
I mean; I’m pretty sure that something bad is going to happen but it hasn’t happened yet.
The policewoman asked me to explain.
My stepdad beats my mum up a lot.
I think that one night he’ll kill her. I hear them most nights. The crying and the bumping about downstairs. Choking sometimes. I stand on the landing. Listening.
This went on for a bit and it felt good to say the words.
But the world wasn’t ready for this conversation.
It wasn’t that the policewoman seemed too busy. She just didn’t know what to do with me. Without speaking to my mum. And I didn’t want that. It might make things worse.
So whilst the policewoman was mildly sympathetic she, albeit politely I seem to remember, offered nothing.
There are loads of causes I care about.
In 2006 I set up an alliance inside one of my little businesses with Childline.
Every time a client renewed their website hosting, we’d donate £8, or two phone calls, to Childline.
It was easy, fast, was a personal thing for me, and paid for a few hundreds of phone calls.
As my current business Always Wear Red develops I will link it to something I care about. Once we start to make money.
I am not sure what yet.
But what I do know is that I’ll do it quietly.
Just enough bluster so people understand and can get involved if they want.
But it won’t headline our brand communications.
I don’t really like brands that (for example) paint their stores in colourful stripes for one week a year. It feels too commercial to me. Gay people are marginalised and misunderstood by stupid people every week. Not just this one week.
When I do it again.