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'My experience of family violence when I was younger was terrible'

Please be aware the following article contains detailed descriptions of family violence experiences including physical and emotional abuse. 

Monday 30 September 2019 1:46am

Thirteen year old Jeremy* shares his experience of family violence for a special edition of the Family Violence Reform Newsletter that focused on the family violence lived experience of children and young people. *not his real name

My experience of family violence when I was younger was terrible. Mostly every single night I would hear dad saying and yelling horrible things to mum, I would hear all sorts of things, and it all became much worse. I remember as a kid, dad was good at times, but he had a bad side to him. When he wanted to, we would go on bike rides together, other times he would promise to take me bike riding but never did. He would promise me things and then disappoint. Sometimes, when it was time to go to bed, I would ask him to chase me up the stairs, so I would run as fast as I could up the stairs to my room. These were some good things, there were not many, only some.

He would just sit on the couch and not respond to me and just go on his phone. I also remember another time when I was about 4 years old, it was summer and hot and bothering inside the house, I asked dad if he could put me to bed and read me a story. He didn’t want to. He got frustrated, he put me into bed and pushed me on my stomach into the mattress. Mum came running up the stairs because I called her & dad pushed her away hard. That is what I remember. Still at 13 years old now, I still don’t know why he did that to a 4 year old child. I try not to think about it though.

I think that my dad loved my mum at one stage. But from what I’ve seen when I was younger, you wouldn’t think so. I know all the things that my dad did behind closed doors to mum and me, but mostly to mum. I remember dad shouting at mum, sometimes slapping her. At times he just wouldn’t stop. He hurt her and he didn’t care. After a while of verbal and physical abuse, I intervened and stood in front of mum, so dad wouldn’t touch her. I did this a lot. Overall, my childhood outside in public might’ve seemed nice, but behind closed doors it really wasn’t. The worst thing that I remember, was when my mum was trying to protect me when my dad held a beanbag over my face to hurt me. Mum was screaming for him to get off and was trying to pull me out, so my dad didn’t do anything to me. It was horrible. I didn’t do anything wrong and when you’re a kid no-one really knows how to talk to you about what has happened to you and what you have seen and heard. I’m so glad and happy that my life is really great now.

That was my experience of family violence.

Written by Jeremy*
*Not his real name

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Reviewed 23 June 2021

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