David's Story: Living in Refuge as a Child

12 Oct 2012

We were trying to escape violence off my dad, he was quite an abusive partner for my mum and quite an abusive parent to his children. It had got to the point where we had to get away from that situation, and so we sought to go into a refuge and Women’s Aid were there for us. We went in when I was about eight years old...

That’s what I remember, constantly being afraid. I wasn’t allowed to even be affectionate to my mum because that meant that, you know, you could be the next target and that’s a really scary and horrible thing for a child to have to go through…

And it was like my whole environment was completely changed overnight and we were somewhere that was completely new and quite alien. When we moved into the refuge, I remember a very community atmosphere because there was a lot of families there and they were all kind of in the same kind of situation, ... there was a lot of people in there together and that felt very comforting in a lot of ways, it’s a very secure environment, as well, very kind, safe.

I think moving from an environment where you’re really not feeling very safe to a place that’s very secure, in a lot of ways [it's] quite confusing for a child because I didn’t really know exactly what was happening, but then that feeling of safety kind of envelops you.

Staying Safe

If you need immediate help contact Women's Aid, the police domestic abuse liaison officer or your local social work office.

You can also phone Scotland's domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline on 0800 027 1234

Facts & Figures

One in five women experiences domestic abuse.

 

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