Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from Barbara Ann. We’d like to give her an extra special thanks for sharing this with us. If it chimes with you, we urge you to contact Live Fear Free, or another of the organisations mentioned at the end of the post.
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home.
Lockdown may have eased slightly, but for many their situation is still one of fear and unease. Domestic abuse is suffered by many people, men and women, and their children too. My heart goes out to those whose situations have worsened because of being trapped with their abusers throughout these circumstances.
I grew up in a household of domestic abuse. My father was violent, abusive, a bully. We lived forever walking on eggshells never knowing what might set him off. Christmas and holidays especially were always a fraught time. I dread to think what me and my family’s experience would have been if we had had to go through these times living with him.I still remember walking in on my dad with his hands around my mum’s neck strangling her as, in between chokes, she begged me to call the police. I was ten.
He didn’t kill her that day, but it wasn’t the first or last time he put his hands on my mum like that. Nearly 30 years on I’m still haunted by those images and many others that I witnessed of the emotional and physical abuse towards my mum, and the mostly verbal wrath he exerted towards me and my brother and sister. He’s dead now, and my mum lives a very happy life as she moved on a long time ago, but the memories of the abuse lives on.
I am in a loving relationship with a very supportive and caring partner. I would say I’m very lucky to have someone who is not abusive, but I shouldn’t have to feel lucky because that is how things should be. But I am grateful for not having to go through an even worse situation right now because I don’t have to worry about the threat of domestic abuse.
This was very difficult for me to write as it’s not something I’ve ever really spoken out about before except in counselling, it was always kept hidden and secret in the family, but I feel it is so important to highlight such a major issue.
I was also going to send this in anonymously, but then I thought twice: I haven’t done anything wrong, and there is nothing to be ashamed of, and I certainly didn’t want it to come across that way to others who may be going or have been through something similar.
If you are a child or young person, or an adult experiencing domestic abuse in your household, you are not alone. There is help out there for you. You do not have to stay silent. Organisations such as Women’s Aid, RISE and Refuge are available. Please get in touch. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home.
Live Fear Free can provide help and advice to:
- anyone experiencing domestic abuse
- anyone who knows someone who needs help. For example, a friend, family member or colleague
- practitioners seeking professional advice.
All conversations with Live Fear Free are confidential and are taken by staff that are highly experienced and fully trained.
Call: 0808 80 10 800
All available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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- LOOKING AFTER YOUR MIND IN LOCKDOWN