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This month’s blog is written by a young person who was supported by EWA’s Children’s Rights Worker


I lived with Mum and stayed with Dad at the weekend. Dad met his girlfriend and they had a child together, his girlfriend also had a child the same age as me with another man. When it was Friday I often didn’t go to school, I was too worked up because I was going to my dad’s that night. When I was at my Dad’s I was anxious and on edge. When he spoke to me I would try to work out what he actually wanted and what he meant, if I got it wrong he would be in a bad mood or shout. We always had arguments, we didn’t have a stable relationship. One day it was so bad we didn’t sort it out, he went to school to get information about me and tried to control what I was doing. I didn’t feel school supported me. When he went through the school he made allegations about me and my Mum which led to school contacting Social Work. Nothing came of that so he decided to phone Social Work and make more allegations. Social Work came to visit and recognised that everything was fine, they said they wouldn’t come back. The Social Worker told us to contact Women’s Aid because he was using controlling behaviour.

We talked to the Children’s Rights worker at Women’s Aid and she helped us see the emotional abuse we were experiencing. It was then I decided that I didn’t want to see him. A few weeks later we got a letter saying Dad had taken us to Court because I wasn’t going to see him. We got a Lawyer who worked for an all women law firm, they had worked a lot with emotional abuse cases. At this time, I didn’t have much confidence, I went through all the meetings with the Children’s Rights Worker, it was comforting to know that she was there helping me because although I knew my Mum was on my side there wasn’t much she could help me with. It also gave me confidence because my worker believed me and didn’t think I was over reacting. I think everyone else thought I was being dramatic about it. The Court Reporter saw my Mum then I went to meet her, I was really nervous but she seemed nice at the time. She met Dad and heard his side of the story and then when she met me again I felt she believed him over me and wrote down what he said rather than what I told her. I came out of the meeting really upset, here was another person who made me feel like no one was listening, she made me feel guilty about not wanting to see dad any more.

We went to Court but he had told his Lawyer he didn’t want to see me so the Court agreed that I didn’t need to have contact anymore. I was happy that it was all over, my worker reassured me that Dad couldn’t threaten me anymore.

After the Court, the Children’s Rights Worker had other Young people to see so I got Outreach Support from another worker. My confidence was low and I felt quite depressed. I was trying to process my experiences, I was worried whether I had made the right decision and I felt bad for my Dad.
My worker helped to get school sorted out and I am leaving with a number of good qualifications. Seeing my worker every week meant I could tell her things and get it off my chest, I also talked to my Mum a lot. I worried that I might be like my Dad if I have children when I am older. My worker helped me understand that because of my experiences, I wouldn’t do that to someone I love.

Now I am feeling a lot better. I still feel bad sometimes but I know how to deal with these feelings; it could be so much worse. I used to never believe people who told me that things would get better and Mum said ‘the easy option isn’t always the right option’. Now I have been through this for myself, I can see that things really do get better and that doing the hard thing can make life much easier.

I am more confident, I have a Saturday job and they have offered me an apprenticeship when I am 16. I have plans and dreams that one day I will have my own salon and I am already planning other beauty courses that will help me get there.