This page is to help young people to understand domestic violence and abuse and to find help and support. Take a look through to read young people’s stories and find out more about common feelings and experiences of abuse.
You are not alone
No matter what you are going through, you are not alone.
1 in 7 children and young people under the age of 18 will have lived with domestic abuse at some point in their childhood.
This is a sad reality, but it means that there are other people who have been through similar things and there are people who can support you.
Find out more about young peoples’ experiences of domestic abuse and violence below.
Is how I'm feeling normal?
Children and young people who experience domestic abuse can react and cope in different ways. Remember that however your feeling is okay. You will not be the first or last person to feel like this and there are people that can help.
These are just some common ways that children and young people might feel or act after being affected by domestic abuse:
- Feeling anxious, depressed and sad
- Struggling to sleep or sleeping a lot more than usual
- Having nightmares and flashbacks
- Feeling scared or on edge
- Having physical reactions like tummy aches or wetting the bed
- Feeling angry and acting in anger
- Spending a lot of time alone
- Experimenting more with things that might feel risky, like skipping school or using alcohol or drugs
- Feeling powerless and confused
- Feeling guilty and to blame for the abuse
- Feeling insecure and like they aren’t safe and/or worthwhile
- Struggling to understand how they feel about the person abusing someone and the person being abused
- Feeling worried that they will hurt other people
Remember, you are not alone and you are not to blame. It is okay to talk about these things with people you trust and with helplines and support workers who are trained to give support.
Visit our “How Can I Get Help” page for more information on trained people you can talk to about this.
I feel like the only person going through this. Is that true?
It is understandable to feel a bit alone and as if you’re the only person going through this. Domestic abuse can be scary and isolating but you are not alone.
1 in 7 children and young people under the age of 18 will have been affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime.
This page also has links to stories from children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse that could be helpful to read.
It might also help to share your feelings with people you trust, with helplines or with other young people who have been through similar things. Visit our How Can I Get Help page for more advice on who you can talk to.
Do you support children and young people in your refuges?
We do. If you move into one of our refuges with your parent or guardian, our Children and Young People’s Workers will welcome you and be able to support you in a way that works for you. Sometimes they will support you to do group activities with any other children and young people who may be staying in the refuge at the same time as you. To find out a little more on how Leeds Women’s Aid support children and young people, please visit our “How Can I Get Help” page.
Young People’s Stories
Please take care when reading these stories. They could contain information that is upsetting to read. If you need any support, please visit the “How Can I get Help” page for more information.
These are drawings of our refuges by some of the children and young people who have lived there.
Every child and young person deserves
to know they’re not alone