Remember in circle time when we were asked to put in a bag what worried/ scared us? We had lots of “spiders”, “heights”, “secondary school”. I put ” my mum’s boyfriend”. I was told that all parents argue and that I’d be fine.
Remember when I stayed behind after 3.00pm with my sister saying I was too scared to go home? I was told it will be okay, parents just argue, nothings wrong.
Remember when all of you would tell me how great my mum looked for loosing weight? When I told you she wasn’t eating I was told that can’t be true.
For the majority of my primary school life we lived with an horrifically abusive man. And looking back on it, it doesn’t even seem like my life.
When I said I was scared to go home it’s because I didn’t know whether my mum was going to be shouted at, spat at, or strangled that night.
I didn’t know if we were going to have to leave to go to my grandparents or whether my dad was going to have to pick us up.
Twice a new school was arranged for us so we could move in with our dad, but our mum didn’t want to let us go and twice this was cancelled.
I wish teachers had done something. That you had reported it, followed it up, believed us.
I now know that me and my sister should not have been left in this position, but the people who knew something and could have changed that didn’t.
Teachers now, please please please, listen to a student if they say something like this. Report it to your safeguarding lead, and follow it up if you feel like nothing is being done.
Don’t let these children and young people fall through the cracks. Because witnessing domestic violence is abuse.