Teen Survivor Speaks Out About Her Mother's Abusive Behaviour
Our hope is that those who would consider that only men are abusers will read this article - Women's Aid, Judges, Social Workers, Teachers, Magistrates, Refuge, 'Respect'...
We at Suffragents only seek equality of attitudes, and then we can close down. So to all those who are prejudiced against men, please wake up and understand what damage you are doing to children and society by having a closed mind.
29th July 2016, GenderFreeDV
Under UK law children are ‘witnesses’ only to domestic abuse. But are they merely witnesses? Even when children or young people “witness” DVA they also experience abuse – and in the case of this young woman, are permanently “scarred”. Thanks to her “speaking out” the family found a happy ending…
"I knew my mum was angry at the time. But people get angry all the time so I didn’t see a problem.
I was sat in the living room, watching the TV on a winter’s evening, listening to them argue in the conservatory. Then suddenly the whole atmosphere in the house changed. I knew something wasn’t right and that this wasn’t a normal argument. I looked through the window into the conservatory and saw my dad duck quickly, and the next thing a full bottle of red wine flew past the place where his head just was. It smashed with force up against the wall, the wine splashing everywhere and the glass shattering. Next I see my dad getting up to leave the room, and before he can he turns his back to her and a plate strikes his back and smashes with the force. Then my mum lunges at him and attacks him, ferociously slapping him and using him like a punch bag. Before I even realise, I am running into the conservatory screaming and pleading for her to stop, doing my best to get her off him. Once my mum stopped hitting him and the air cooled, I asked my mum what he did to make her react like that. She had no good reason, not even a good excuse, she couldn’t even come up with a decent lie to justify her actions, because nothing, nothing can justify doing that to someone, let alone someone you’re supposed to love.
I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I kept thinking, ‘My mum wouldn’t do something like that, she must have a reason. She’s not crazy.’ But as the weeks went on and violence kept happening, I went numb. I had no excuses for her and my whole opinion on her changed, she was no longer someone I wanted to call my mum.
I tried my best to find someone to help me. First, I went to my older sister, asking her to help me persuade our mum to stop it as this was domestic violence. My sister replied calmly saying, ‘It’s not mummy’s fault, Daddy has probably p***** her off, you’re being over dramatic saying it’s domestic abuse.’ Then I went to a school counsellor and told her what was going on, ‘They are the adults’, she said, ‘they will sort themselves out. Don’t you worry about it.’ Ever since that day I wondered whether her response would have been totally different if I said my dad was abusing my mum.
Most of the friends I told didn’t recognise what was going on as domestic abuse, they had been brought up, just like me, believing that domestic abuse is only when a man hits a woman. Even though I kept being told that what was going on wasn’t domestic violence, I knew it was and that it wasn’t right. Some of my friends said that it would count as domestic abuse, but didn’t believe my mum was capable of it and so dismissed the idea. With no one to turn to and with no guidance on what to do, I felt so isolated and alone. The violence was getting worse and more frequent, I didn’t know how much more my Dad could take. I felt useless, I wanted to help him and I wanted to stop it, but I just didn’t know how, I fell into depression.
I then began to worry that I would turn out like my mum, that it was in my genes to be violent and aggressive. In my bid to make sure this didn’t happen, I started to self-harm. Depending on how bad the argument they had that day was, would depend on how badly I burnt myself. I wanted to have scars so I would never forget what she did and as a reminder to never be like her.
This went on for a long time, somewhere between a year and two years. But after one particularly bad fight I had enough and I ran away. I took my sleeping bag and went to a nearby woods and slept there. I told them I was going, hoping that their child running away would be enough to distract them from the argument. I took my mobile phone with me, expecting them to ring and tell me to come home. But I didn’t receive a call and no one came looking for me. I have never felt more low in my life than that night.
I wandered home in the morning to my mum screaming at me for running away, and then it was like a switch had changed in my head. I was no longer sad and depressed at what was happening, I was angry, I was furious. I emotionally erupted. I started violently shaking with rage and every muscle in my body twitched and itched, just wanting to tell her exactly what I thought. Then, involuntarily words began to tumble out my mouth. ‘How dare you have a go at me for leaving! I warned you I would if you kept hitting Daddy. What you are doing is domestic abuse and don’t think I don’t recognise it. You may have my sisters tricked into believing that this is fine and justified, but it is not. If this happens again, if you even lay a single finger on Daddy again I am calling the police, I will no longer watch you hurt him and tear apart this family.’
I got home from school the next day to find out she was gone. She left us a note saying she didn’t love me and didn’t want to be a part of this family. When my little sister starting crying at the note I felt guilty. I felt I was the one to blame. Should I have never said anything? Should I have not got involved? Have I just torn apart this family?
She came back a week later, pretending like nothing had happened. She came back smiling and loving, the mum I remembered from before. She went to the doctor to get help, and then my parents went to marriage counselling to sort their marriage out. They do still have arguments, but their is no violence and my mum is far more reasonable. So I guess you could say this story had a happy ending.
As for me, most of the scars faded from the burns. One scar though is very much still there and I am proud of it. It does what it set out to do, to be a constant reminder that domestic violence is not okay and always makes me strive to be a kind and caring person. I am not saying that harming yourself is a good thing, it isn’t. I would have much rather never have got to a place where I thought that was an option. This all happened when I was 15-16 and I am still living with the scars and memories of it 5 years on. Domestic abuse not only affects the person you are abusing, it affects everyone surrounding you, and it can happen to anyone."