Survivor story: Kelly
"Mum is writing a book about her experiences of living in a violent relationship and I recently ran the Brighton marathon to raise funds for Women’s Aid."
Looking after mum...
I was aware of the violence at home since I was about three years old, and it made it difficult for me to sleep at night. I thought that if I was at home, it was less likely that my dad would be violent towards my mum. If I was out playing with friends, I would make sure I came home frequently to check and see if my mum was ok.
The violence lasted eight years and sometimes I got caught in the middle. As the eldest child, I grew up quickly and felt responsible for my younger siblings, who I had to parent. My mum experienced both emotional and physical abuse, with my dad saying things like ‘No-one else would have you’, which lowered her self-esteem.
On the move...
My mum moved into refuges a few times but always went back to my dad until we moved to England and settled in a new city. I was eight years old and I liked the hostel because there were other children to play with and my mum was happy because she could talk to the other women who were staying there.
I’m glad that mum moved away for good through staying at Women’s Aid refuges, and I want to talk about my experiences because I think people can forget how domestic violence affects children as well. I want to do what I can to raise awareness so that other people in violent relationships may make a decision about leaving, because of the effects on their children.
My mum is happy in another relationship now, but she still has emotional damage from her experiences. She is writing a book about her experiences of living in a violent relationship and I recently ran the Brighton marathon to raise funds for Women’s Aid. I wanted to run the marathon to give something back to Women’s Aid for all their help and support. I now feel happy and content in my life, however I am a very emotional person and worry about most things, this may not be the case if I had not witnessed what I did in my childhood. I'm glad my mum left when she did or it could have had a worse effect on me.