FAQ Categories Archives: Is it happening to me?

I want to speak out against domestic violence. What can I do?

If you have experienced domestic abuse, the most important thing to do is to make sure you are safe. Once you are safe, you can start to help others. You are not alone if you think the silence around domestic violence should be broken. Talking to others can create awareness and lets others know that they’re not alone. Here are a few suggestions about what you can do in your community, once you are safe from domestic violence yourself:

• Get involved with the international white ribbon campaign – a campaign that encourages men to end men’s violence against women.
• Write to people in the government, for example your MP or to the Prime Minister, about your experiences and what you think other children in a similar situation need.
• Ask your local paper to write a story about domestic violence.
• Organise an exhibit about domestic violence for International Women’s Day (March 8th).
• Talk to after-school clubs and youth clubs about domestic violence.
• Educate other young people about gender roles – talk about stereotypes about men and women and how they can lead to domestic violence.
• Talk to teachers about forming a peer support group about domestic violence in your school.

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What are my rights as a child or young person?

All children and young people have equal rights and the right to live a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNRC) has been signed by 197 countries, including the UK. This lists all the rights that children and young people have. These beliefs underpin your rights:

• You have the right to be protected and live free from violence, abuse or harm
• You have the right to survive and
• You have the right to be free from discrimination
• You have the right for decisions affecting you to be made in your best interest.
• You have the right and the freedom to express your views and these views should be heard when decisions are made that affect you.

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The person I talked to about what’s going on at home didn’t believe me. What should I do now?

Please talk to someone else that you trust. This could be a family member, your teacher, a youth club leader or your best mate’s mum. You’ve been very brave already in speaking out – it’s scary telling someone the first time, and it’s not your fault they didn’t believe you, so please do try again, and speak to someone else you feel you can trust. It’s important that the abuse stops and that you are safe.

If you feel there is no-one else you can talk to, you could try ringing one of the helplines.

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I can’t understand why my mum doesn’t just leave my dad. He’s so nasty to her.

There are many reasons why someone might stay in an abusive relationship. It’s possible that…

  • They don’t know where else to go
  • They may still love their partner
  • They hope their partner will change and the violence will stop
  • They don’t want to take their children away from the other parent
  • They don’t have the money to leave
  •  They don’t feel strong enough to leave. Because of the abuse they’ve stopped believing in themselves.

Just like you might feel mixed-up about what’s happening, your parent might also feel confused about what to do. If you have questions about what’s going on, don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes it might be difficult for your parent to talk to talk to you about the violence because they want to protect you.

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I want to run away, should I?

If you’re unhappy at home, it’s natural that you might think about running away. But it isn’t the answer. Running away can be dangerous because it can be difficult to find somewhere to stay. It’s important to try and get help whilst you’re still at home. If you feel like running away, try to call a helpline or talk to someone you trust. You could perhaps arrange to go to their place for a bit or somewhere else you know is safe.

If you do end up having to run away, the Runaway Helpline can help you to get to a safe place.

You can contact them confidentially 24 hours a day on Freefone 0808 800 70 70, or email [email protected].

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