Here we talk to Clare* about her life growing-up. She tells us about reluctantly coming to our DIVA group for young mums affected by domestic abuse.
Clare was violent towards her own mum
After witnessing domestic violence as a child, she thought it was an acceptable way to behave, regularly attacking her mum as a teenager. Clare was referred to St Michael's by social workers when she had a baby 5 years ago. At the time she was 16 and being domestically abused by her long-term boyfriend but she couldn't see it or see herself as a victim.
Hear her talk about how support from St Michael's has changed her and her son’s life. How the support of our team, who listened and didn't judge, have got her to where she is today.
How domestic abuse affected her life
According to research growing up surrounded by domestic violence makes it more likely that you will be an abuser and the cycle will continue. We see this a lot with the parent we work with. Often people link this most closely with young boys and how they copy this behaviour, seeing it as normal. Clare's story highlights another, less talked about angle - when girls go on to be abusers.
Her story also highlights the complex issues facing many of the young parents we work with, from domestic abuse to mental health and well-being concerns and wider issues around poverty and feeling judged.
Instrumental in turning your life around
The way she talks about our team show how our practitioners are able to build strong and lasting bonds with these young women, helping to break cycles of disadvantage and building confidence. Having someone on your side, fighting for you and believing in you is often instrumental to turning your life around.
To listen to her speak visit our sound cloud playlist.
*Names have been changed.