This week, GLOW is examining the issue of Period Poverty in Northern Ireland. This is an issue that affects the overall wellbeing of many women and girls in NI. It is also an issue that The Homeless Period Belfast are tirelessly working towards eradicating. Below are three statements that have been send to us by The Homeless Period Belfast.
Just 5 years ago, when I first moved out with barely any income, I remember in January I had £15 to do me until payday so I had to prioritise food and petrol! I took my period and had no family or friends in the city to ask did they have any spare, I remember “stealing” 3 tampons from someone’s bag in the gym and taking off work so I could free bleed at home!! I have an irregular and it can last for up to 3 weeks! It gives me so much anxiety every time I take my period and I don’t have enough money.
I was sitting outside Tesco rough sleeping and my period came out of the blue. I’d already spent the little money I had on lucozade for energy and a sandwich. I needed sanitary towels now too. I started asking people walking past for money but they kept ignoring me or asking me what I would like and they would go in and buy it for me. I was too embarrassed to tell one man I needed pads. I was too ashamed to ask anyone to get me pads. Just before tesco closed, i went in and stole a box of pads. The security guard caught me and he called the police. I got arrested.
I dread getting my period in school. I have to make up that I am sick so I can go home because I’m too embarrassed to tell my friends that I don’t have any money for pads and I can’t ask my mummy because she’s just lost her job and she’s already struggling to do a food shop for me and my younger brother. I use toilet roll instead and I’d much rather use that at home and risk leaking in my own house than in school where everyone could see.
You can support the work of The Homeless Period Belfast by signing their petition and donating to their Amazon Wishlist. Links provided below.
SIGN PETITION https://my.uplift.ie/…/free-period-products-in-ni…
AMAZON WISHLIST https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/1G2SK5HWESCY2…