A MUM-of-two has revealed that she’s been left with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after receiving racial abuse from a midwife while giving birth.
Charmaine Abdul-Karim, 42, from Nantwich, is a member of the Romany Gypsy community, but said discrimination continues to devastate her and her families lives.
Charmaine Abdul-Karim, 42, from Nantwich, is a member of the Romany Gypsy and sais she and her family often receive racial abuseCredit: MEN Media
The mum-of-two has spoken to CheshireLive about her community’s struggles and their long proud history in Britain.
She revealed that a midwife called all travellers “thieves,” but that’s just the start of what’s she’s experienced.
She said: “A midwife said to me during a difficult labour where my son’s cord was wrapped around his neck, ‘Your kind of people just want to come in, push other people out and steal everything’.”
The mother-of-two also claimed the abusive treatment has even been extended to her children, Nayno and Donna, forcing them to have move schools three times.
A midwife said to me during a difficult labour ‘Your kind of people just want to come in, push other people out and steal everything’
“It happens in all walks of life,” Charmaine said. “My birth experience was particularly traumatic.”
“My children have had to leave three schools as a result of racist bullying, one headteacher even did a social services evaluation without my knowledge which was very distressing.
“Another situation where an ambulance had to be called, the school
staff were more interested in telling paramedics that my family were
‘travellers’ rather than helping.”
Complaints to Cheshire East Council fell on deaf ears when it was
suggested the school might benefit from some cultural compliance
Yet, there are huge amounts of people working in these sectors from
the Gypsy Romany Traveller community.
The mum-of-two (left) has PTSD after a midwife accused travellers of being ‘thieves’ while she was in labour (pictured with her sister Roma, right)Credit: Charmaine Abdul Karim
They are forced to do so anonymously for fear of discrimination.
“We are one of the few communities where it seems acceptable to still
be racist towards, despite being an indigenous people to this
country,” Charmaine said.
“We are fighting against a system that is abhorrently racist, and what
is happening now with anti-trespassing laws is basically ‘forced
Charmaine’s discrimination also extended to the workplace and she has
been forced to resign from several jobs as a result of racist treatment.
She said: “I was working at a very large wedding venue near Nantwich
and colleagues would go to my manager saying I was a gypsy and I was
not to be trusted as ‘gypsies are thieves’. I had to leave after feeling extremely unwelcome.”
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
Someone with PTSD often relives a traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.
They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event, or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.
It is estimated to affect about one in every three people who have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not.
Read more about PTSD here.
The 42-year-old also said social media and online abuse is playing a big role in the rise of discrimination and racism towards the Romany community.
“This abuse is having a terrible effect on Romany children in schools and colleges everywhere and it filters down into schools and workplaces.
“The social media companies should be doing much more to stop it, and be held accountable.”
Charmaine now plans wants to work with Cheshire East Council and build bridges with the community to help foster a greater understanding of the Romany Gypsy community, encourage integration, and stamp out racism.
She believes the illegal encampments cropping up in the area are due to the local authority not having enough permanent and tranist gypsy and traveller sites.
Charmaine wants to educate people about her community (pictured: Charmaine’s Grandfather William Rogerson on Sound Common in Nantwich)
She explained: “We want to work with Cheshire East Council to arrange for one more permanent site and one more transit site and we are more than willing to help in any way possible to get these two sites up and running.
“So far the local authorities have not provided us with enough sites, so it is no wonder that illegal encampment sites pop up as there is not enough space for us.
“We believe in community unity and we are part of the Cheshire East community, we’re not going anywhere and we have every right to be here.”
The mum-of-two is also planning a community engagement meeting with members of the Nantwich and wider community.
We want to work with the community and start an education programme where they can find out more about our community to help break down barriers.
There will also be a host of exhibitions and resources available including photographs and documents of the “Gypsies of Nantwich”, the Dikhlo collective and artworks from Elijah Vardo.
“Our tribe has origins in Northern India, but we have been part of the Nantwich community since the 1700s,” she said.
“I don’t think people in Cheshire East realise that the Romany Gypsy community live among them and we’re not the stereotype that people think.
“We have our children in school, our young people do have jobs.
“We have got so much to give to this community, and we don’t like anti social behaviour as much as the wider community.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
Last year’s box sold out in less than 48 hours, so what are you waiting for?
- Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel
- Dot for Spots
- Batiste Dry Shampoo Original Classic Fresh
- Max Factor False Lash Effect Max Out Blue Primer
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Shade Crystal Clear
- Dove 1 Minute Super Conditioner
- Garnier Micellar Reusable Make-up Removal Eco Pads
- OPI Neo-Pearl Nail Lacquer
- Imbue Curl Empowering Creme Gel
- Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Sun Milk SPF30
- Avon x Lisa Armstrong MATTEiculous Lipstick in shade CB
- PLUS, One month’s free Skin + Me treatment subscription
- Fabulous Beauty Awards 2021 Beauty Box, £28 – buy here
“We want to work with the community and start an education programme where they can find out more about our community to help break down barriers.
“This will be the first meeting of its kind where the public sector and wider community can obtain a healthy and better insight into our very often marginalised ethnic minorities.”
The meeting is open to all and will be held on June 24 at midday at the Olive Grove Conference Centre on London Road in Nantwich.
Follow Fabulous’ Instagram page for the hottest celebrity news, fashion, beauty and real life content @fabulousmag
Did you see the story about Danielle Jolee, a proud gypsy who revealed they they would NEVER use the toilet or shower in their own trailers?
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.