When I was younger I always used to look at my friends families in awe. Mine was a little different and a little unconventional, a little girl living with her dad and only seeing her mum here and then. Back then kids living with their dads wasn’t the norm, people would look down on it like it was weird and be mean to you because it was normally mums job to bring you up.
When I was younger I used to blame my mum a lot for not being there for me, especially after my dad died. As I grew up I realised most of the time it wasn’t her fault but the fault of the man who was once my stepdad.
You see he was controlling, abusive and generally a nasty piece of work. He would abuse my mum something rotten, it was awful. Me almost always being witness to it whenever I was there – Coming home drunk, the screaming, shouting and eventually the physical violence. The police always at the door and the many hospital visits that ensued.
Over the course of time things didn’t get better and his violence soon turned onto me, this was because I was older and always wanting to protect my mum, I would stand up to him. I had been punched in the face on numerous occasions from jumping in front of her, had my leg slammed multiple times in a door from him trying to get in and me not allowing him to. The violence was awful.
He was one of those men that played the game very well, to everyone on the outside he was a loving family man who could completely make people fall in love with him. Sprout off spiel about how he loved his family, how he saw me as a daughter and just wanted the best for everyone.
In reality, he moved away and snatched my sisters from my mum. Holding them as emotional pawns in her termoil where she would have to do as he said to spend time with them. She was constantly emotionally blackmailed, this in turn caused mine and my mums relationship to fail completely. I was never invited to be with them as I saw through him, I would be left home alone as a young teenager with no food or electric, taking the generosity of my friends and their families to be able to survive at times.
Luckily my mum saw the light one day, like a switch and finally came clean about everything he ever did. We were finally able to try and rebuild our relationship and most importantly she was able to rebuild her life.
Domestic abuse isn’t always about violence, it can happen in many other ways – there’s emotional and mental abuse too.
People shouldn’t be afraid to talk about abuse and the fact it happens, it makes it seem like a taboo subject and one that people should hide. This is why men and women alike don’t get the help they need or deserve, sometimes until it’s too late. It can also affect everyone around them and for those who have been sufferers it can affect them for their whole life.
Luckily there are companies out there that will help anyone who has had an experience like this. One of the things is allowing victims of abuse to claim compensation through CICA UK. A lot of people aren’t aware that they can claim and although it doesn’t help with what has happened it can help someone with trying to start a new life. As many people who are victims of abuse don’t want to stay in their old home or area, they need a fresh start.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse please do give one of the numbers below a call if you want help or need someone to talk to –
National Domestic Violence Helpline (women) – 0808 2000 247
Mens Advice Line – 0808 8010 327
*Collaborative post – Events mentioned are true