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At six years old, my parents separated and my mother left me and my three brothers with our dad. My dad was practically married to
his work and had no time for us and so we had to look after each other (my eldest brother was 13, my other older brother was 11 and my
little brother was 4). We had to cook, tidy up and get each other ready for school. After six months, I came home from school one day to find my mum was there with
her new boyfriend. She took me and my little brother to live with them and left my two older brothers behind. Her boyfriend was nice at first because my little brother
is blind and disabled but after a while, he started being weird. Our things would go missing and he said that we hadn't looked after them properly so he had confiscated them.
He had one set of front door keys so the door was locked when we got home from school each night and was opened when he said we could go out.


As the years went on, it started getting worse.. he watched us constantly, when we went to the bathroom, while we ate, etc... he got rid of the television and censored
books and radio plays so that we could only take in the information he wanted us to.. when I was twelve, I got expelled from school - I figured that, if I got into detention then
I wouldn't have to go home as early as I would normally have done but this made him mad and he slammed me up against a wall. This was the first act of violence I had ever seen i
n my life before. I stopped talking completely and the longer I stayed quiet, the more I got to him - he started beating me up more frequently, e.g. one time I walked too slowly past
him while he was on the phone and he thought I was listening to his conversation so he whipped the back of my legs with his belt. Silence became my weapon against him.
The solitude was slowly killing me though. I wasn't living anymore, merely existing. In the end, I decided I couldn't take any more. My mum told me my dad was taking me to the theatre
to see a historical play about a Bolton soldier shot at dawn for desertion (I'm from Bolton so she thought I might find it interesting). I saw this as my last moments with my father.
But the play sparked something inside me I had never felt before! This soldier was shell-shocked and living in his own world - sort of like being locked inside his own head
- just like me! It was weird but that play made me realise that there was something bigger than what I was feeling.
I turned to my dad and I said, "I'm sorry".



My dad phoned my mum and told her. She told her boyfriend so you can imagine what trouble I was in. When I got home, I tiptoed up the stairs but he cornered
me before I got to the safety of my room. He dragged me downstairs by my hair like a rag doll. He tied my wrist to the handrail so my arm was nearly straight
up in the air and went to make some coffee. He came back after what felt like an hour and asked me what I had said to my dad. I just shouted obscenities at him. He made me
watch as he drank his coffee slowly. He asked me again. Again, I wouldn't tell him. He threw the coffee cup at the wall and went to get a contraption we called "the pillow".
It was like a sandwich board - two pillows, one for your chest and one for your back with shoulder straps (it was generally used for worse punishments!) and he strapped it to me.
With his steel toecap boots, he stamped on my ribs. I sustained three broken ribs and my shoulder was ripped from it's socket. He kicked me repeatedly and I told myself that I was a rock.
The more I did that, the less I seemed to hurt until eventually I lost consciousness. The rest remains a blur. I woke up in hospital and my mum's boyfriend was arrested.
I went to stay with my Nan after that. I have since learned that my mum's boyfriend had previously murdered his
wife and tried to kill his kids.


I am now a writing student about to complete my degree in June '08. I have a partner of 5 years and beautiful one year old son. The guy who wrote the play
I was watching that night is now one of my tutors and, I am happy to be able to say, a close friend.   
  I know this is a massively long story but I just hoped that you could
use my story to show other young people that there is light at the end of the tunnel. If I can do it, so can they.




zara     aged 24.












I would like to take this time to let you know that I am not a professional nor do I try to act like one,
I am simply running this website to help others get though what ever they are facing whether its current or in the past.


I am simply running this website as I have been though many different institutions in my life
time and thought that I would like to help others that may need help.



The facts and statistics that are on my website are those that I have researched and written in my own writing.
I have spend and still do spend time looking and reading all different books, research or website to help others
who are reading this website. I can give you the source of my research if need be as well just,
email me on 'contact us'.


Please bare with me while I am trying to update the website with
new pages and revising statistics.



The true life pages are of those who have contacted the page, with they own memory of what
they have been though, some have changed their names,
places etc. for their own protection.



Amy x