Survivor Stories

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Helen’s Story

My Dad used to be abusive towards my mum. I’m the youngest in our family and my older siblings had already left home.

Dad used to go out to the pub and when he came home drunk he became verbally and physically abusive towards my mum.

I was in bed at the time but got up and went downstairs to see what the banging and shouting was about. As I walked into the living room he was smashing the dining furniture and trying to hit my mum with parts of the chair. Then he grabbed her by the throat and held her up against the wall choking her and threatened to kill her.

When he realised I had walked into the living room he let her go, picked me up and sat on the couch with me on his knee telling me how she was killing him and that we were going to move to Wales and be a happy family. The next day he kept apologising telling me he couldn’t remember what he had done and how it was all my mums fault.

Mum got the courage to leave after that. We went to stay with her friend for a few days and then moved to a refuge.

I became very withdrawn and clingy towards my mum. I was terrified of him, was sad and became ill with stress. Now as a young adult I am very cautious about people I meet and very protective of my friends and family.

We got amazing support. My children’s worker was lovely and really helped me to deal with what had happened and the difference between good and bad relationships. My mum’s case worker was like a rock for her, she helped her through one of the worst times of her life, and she helped to get us a new home and begin to build my mum’s confidence up again. We were looked after in the refuge, people made sure we had food and clothes and that we always felt safe. When we got our own home and moved out they carried on helping us with anything else we needed.

Life now is good. I don’t have any contact with Dad anymore. I have a very good relationship with my mum. I volunteer to hopefully help support other children and young people going through their horrible time.