Just had taken one of the most harrowing calls I’ve had to listen to since starting Free Your Mind, a call that sums up everything about Childhood Domestic violence and its snow balling effects.
The outcome you fear the most as a result: A child living with domestic violence that then goes on to be a direct victim or perpetrator themselves.
A young girl being beaten every night by her boyfriend, trapped because they live together, the situation has her trapped because he is the breadwinner and she doesn’t yet have the strength to set herself free. Then I asked her ‘did you live with this as a child’ She replied: Yes…
The effects of Domestic Violence in childhood goes so far that I don’t even think society and support services have really grasped it. Children learn what they live and once you regularly see something as a child, it becomes routine, their idea of ‘normal’ even if it doesn’t feel right. Then they go on to form a skewed view of the world based on their experiences. Then violence and abuse in relationships is made somewhat normal when it comes to your time around.
I’ve seen it first hand and experienced it myself. I meet so many young women who have settled for what they have seen as a child because they are not yet healed from the trauma of their childhood. Many support services don’t even cater to the trauma of that learned behavior, the pain and the hurt first, which is why many women and men then go on to have one abusive relationship after another.
I know too well about this I was one of them. The first taste of this was when my first boyfriend got angry at me after us arguing about him cheating on me and aggressively came at me and proceeded to call me a dumb bitch. I was hurt and shocked, but In my mind I made sense of it by saying to myself that it was normal because relationships are hard and this happens. I then went onto something even worse, was cheated on multiple times, I was addicted to the hurt, drama and pain of love, being emotionally abused and cheated on openly. It took me a very long time to learn that love wasn’t pain, drama and abuse. It took me to hit rock bottom to realise that.
It took me to learn to love myself. Its easy to make excuses its harder to love yourself and it takes practice every single day. The effects it has on your mental health are vast, especially if its something you have seen as a child, many children’s memories are so severe that they are diagnosed with post traumatic disorder like I was.
Not only does it affects relationships, but it effects friendships and other types of relationships too. For a long time in my life I was afraid and defensive about other male figures, they intimidated me,
I hated having a male boss, I viewed them with a high alert and with suspicion.
The above experiences and information is why I keep on about how important it is to get to the root of the problem of Domestic Violence and that starts with the children, things wont change until we do.
1.8 million children are affected by domestic violence in the UK.
1 billion are affected globally.
1 in 3 will have a mental illness as a direct result of the experience.
We must break the cycle.