I have worked as a child DV counsellor for the past 7 years. The children I work with have no voice so I have decided to be their voice because something needs to change.
Time and again I hear the same story from the female (victim) and the child/children; and that story is about the father attempting to destroy the child mother relationship, the father minimising his abuse and the father holding the mother accountable for his abuse. I know this is true, not because the mother tells me, but because I hear it from the child's mouth. What I also hear is despite the father abusing the mother, more often than not she refrains from saying anything negative about him to the children, in order to protect them.
It breaks my heart to hear about fathers treating their child as if they are some sort of drinking buddy that they can off-load onto. Children cannot process adult information: you are NOT doing your child any favours telling them what a whore or a bitch their mother is, or how she has ruined your life.
The anxiety it causes children to hear about 'money worries' 'mental health' and 'new girlfriends' is overwhelming. It devastates me to see a child sit in front of me and confess to being scared of their father and unable to speak up for themselves; it's devastating to have a child tell me their dad has mentioned suicide and they are now unable to sleep at night; it's devastating to hear about fathers who encourage children to look at pornography and objectify women as if they were put on earth to service men's needs'. I have sat with children as a neutral person and heard them confide numerous times that they dislike spending time with their father, but feel too afraid to tell him, or dread going to dad's because they know he's going to be questioning them about what their mum has been up to, or whether she has a boyfriend.
Something needs to change and to those of you out there that want to keyboard bash me for speaking up, I say this, I am aware that women abuse also, but the purpose of this message is aimed at father's who HAVE abused the mother of their children and continue to do so through the children. They are the audience I am targeting, because until their behaviour changes, children will continue to grow up in a state of confusion and anxiety, with the message that abuse is normal.
SEEK HELP AND STOP MINIMISING YOUR BEHAVIOUR AND PROJECTING YOUR ISSUES ONTO OTHER PEOPLE! YOUR CHILD IS NOT YOUR COUNSELLOR; STOP THE ADULT DISCUSSIONS AROUND HIM OR HER.
As a former sufferer of childhood anxiety, my passion is helping children and parents overcome anxiety. I currently work as a child trauma counsellor part time and in my spare time I write and build my website which has a shop dedicated with resources that aim to reduce anxiety. Thank you for reading my blog. Laura 🌸