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11 or Under

There's always arguing in the house....I don't like how he talks to me or my mum..... Sometimes I'm scared to go home..... Sometimes I feel annoyed at my mum, why can't we just leave?.... I can't take friends back to my house because of what goes on.... I wish there was more I could do to help my mum….  It makes me want to hurt myself....Sometimes I feel so confused, I love him but I hate what he does...  I'm afraid of him.... I feel like running away....  I don't want to go to school in case something happens to my mum while I'm not there……..

If any of this sounds like your home life, you could be living with Domestic Abuse, this can be; verbal, physical, sexual, emotional and financial. It's not easy living at home when all this stuff is going on but unfortunately it happens in a lot of families.

So what is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is the name for frightening and controlling behaviour that happens within the family. In all families there will be times when people feel cross and argue with each other. It is ok to disagree with each other and to have different ideas and opinions. In a fair argument each person should feel that they have had a chance to say what they think and be listened to. But there is a difference between this behaviour and domestic abuse. No one should be made to feel frightened or stupid by someone else, especially in your own home. When there are positive relationships you can work things out after you have both calmed down, by talking through things together, listening to each other and making friends.

What can I do?  Talk to someone you trust. This could be your mum, a teacher, a friend or another relative. If you feel safe to do this it might help you work out what to do next. You could ask an adult you trust to contact us if you want to and feel safe to do this.Remember this is not your fault and you have the right to be safe. You could also call Childline on: 0800 1111

There are lots of ways that someone can be abusive, but the thing they have in common is that they make someone else feel bad.

How will I know if it's happening in my family?   

These things may be happening to you or you may see it happening to your brother or sister, your Mum or another adult you love.  If abuse is happening in your home will probably know about it even if things usually happen when you have gone to bed.  It is very frightening to be lying awake listening to sounds of fighting, shouting or crying in another room. You may feel very alone and possibly ashamed of what is happening in your family.  You may feel that you could do more to help.

It is okay to feel these things but; 

•  You're not alone - it happens to a lot of other young people as well
•  You're not blame for what's going on - it's not your fault
•  You're an important person
•  You have the right to be safe