Domestic violence has many forms. I think a lot of people believe that it’s just physical, when in actual fact it comes under many forms and recognising that is one of the hardest things you can ever face. You have not only Physical Abuse but also Emotional, Sexual and Financial Abuse.
The National Domestic Helpline Website link (at the bottom of this) has everything you need to know on support, housing and the phone number which is open 24 hours a day.
You are never alone.
This isn’t normal.
You are worthy.
Don’t justify their actions.
If you’re reading this and you’re a victim, I know you will be thinking ‘Surely I’m not in that situation, he/she loves me right?’ Wrong.
I’m going to share a small insight into my story to help victims out there understand more about domestic violence.
I don’t know how many times I have started writing this and I still don’t know where to start.
It’s hard to talk about or even admit you have been through it but I’m hoping that me telling my story will help others.
Well, the person I’m talking about is my Dad. The person who should have loved me, protected me and been there for me always.
… or not. He didn’t do any of these things.
What he did love was to have power and control over everything we did, physically, emotionally and mentally abusing my mum and me.
I grew up with a Dad who always put me down, always criticised me, bullied me, told me what I could do, what I couldn’t do. What I ate, when I ate it and where and so many other horrible things.
I wouldn’t eat, I point blanked refused and I honestly didn’t start eating properly until my late teens.
What you go through as a child, dramatically influences you into adult life and it never leaves you.
I wasn’t allowed to eat in the same room as my mum and dad for the majority of my childhood. I wasn’t allowed to watch anything on my TV in my room unless he said so. He paid for the TV and everything in my room, therefore he said he owned us and all we had. He controlled what food we ate, how much we ate and money to buy food. Years later when trying to get him to pay child support he actually said “Jade only needs £5 a week, she doesn’t eat much.”
It was hard to have friends yet I did have a nice group of them at school. I obviously couldn’t tell anyone what was happening at home so it was hard to talk about sleepovers and stuff as that was never going to happen.
He would smash furniture. It ended up being a daily thing, along with the beatings on my mum that I was used to it, so much so that I expected it.
Something interesting that someone said to me recently was that a victim like me can catastrophize every situation to protect themselves from what will happen. Nothing new you weren’t expecting hey?
What a sad and cruel way to live.
The ongoing nightmare
Dad always threatened to get full custody of me if my mum ever left, as well as threatening to severely hurt my grandparents. He knew that would keep us in check and he often followed through with his threats. This is why, especially when you have children, it feels impossible to just up and leave. That person has taken everything away from you – money, car, you’re not allowed to work or have friends that could influence you in anyway.
My mum somehow managed to make sure we saw my Nan and Grandad even though it wasn’t often as much as we would have liked.
Ten years old and we ran. He beat my mum severely, I ran down the stairs to find he had thrown her into a clotheshorse and was repeatedly smacking her head into the radiator.
Again, hearing the screams and being told to hide was normal but this time I just couldn’t, I had to help, I’m ten now right?
He ran after me shouting a lot of abuse and nasty things and then disappeared into the bathroom. My mum whispered to me and said “We’re leaving, now” and we ran as fast as we could out of the house. That beating was by far the worst. My mum screamed that she couldn’t breathe and he wouldn’t let go. He would have killed her so I’m glad that I ran down the stairs just to make him stop in that moment.
My Mum, Nan and Grandad were the only people in my life who kept me going in the hope that one day we would be free.
My Grandad was both my Dad and Grandad, without him, I certainly wouldn’t have ever trusted any men. I miss him terribly and I can’t thank him enough for the huge influence he had on me growing up.
Thankfully, when I turned 16, things changed dramatically and the courts no longer saw me as a child. Dad therefore had no hold on me. My mum divorced him, got an injunction out against him and our lives improved dramatically. Yes we would still see him, it was horrible but it was from a distance. Then as time passed, we saw him less and less and we became more confident going out knowing we weren’t constantly being followed.
Now in my mid 20s, I no longer wonder if he’s in a shop I’m in, even places I know he would still go into. The emotional and mental abuse side of it hasn’t left me, but with time and counselling this will help. I do suffer with anxiety and depression but it hasn’t stopped me achieving in life.
This is a small insight into my story, trust me when I say there is much more.
I went through this as a child. I feel I needed to tell my story in order for other victims like me to relate. Domestic violence is spoken about more now but still not enough and the abusers shouldn’t get away with it.
Now I’m in a better place. I met my amazing husband and we have a beautiful baby girl.
He didn’t win, I did.
Please please if you feel you’re in this situation call this helpline 0808 2000 247
Or follow this link
There is a way you can view this page without it being saved on your history.
Here are a few other links that branch off from this one.
Housing, Money, Children and even pets support when you leave.
You may leave with nothing, but there is help out there to get everything you need to start a life without your abuser.
When we ran, we had only the clothes on our backs and that was the best decision we ever made. Freedom.