Case Study by Hannah

Hannah is a 10-year-old girl that lives at home with her mom and her mom’s new partner. Hannah was usually a confident and outgoing child who enjoyed engaging with her peers. As time progressed Hannah had begun to withdraw from her friends and also family members and did not want to do activities that she usually enjoyed. Hannah’s mom had a best friend who would regularly visit the home and would also look after Hannah when mom needed some personal space had to attend appointments.

Mom and I always had a close relationship since my dad died when I was a baby, we did everything together, but I felt bad for her because I think she missed my dad a lot. One day mom told me that she had met a new friend and introduced him to me at our home. I was unsure at first as I had never known mom to have a boyfriend, but he was nice and would buy things for me and mom all the time. He then started to stay at our house more and more which I didn’t mind as mom seemed happy. One day I was asleep in bed when I felt something under my covers, I immediately froze when I realised it was mom’s new boyfriend. He didn’t say anything, but I could feel him moving his arms around and after a while he left. The next morning it was like nothing had happened and mom seemed so happy, so I just went to school. He came to my room every night from then on and it got worse and worse. One day whilst I was with my mom’s best friend she asked me how I felt about mom’s boyfriend and I just started to shake. She held me until I calmed and then asked me what was happening.

Outcome One

After I told mom’s friend, she called my mom and she met us at her friend’s house. Mom was so shocked to hear what had been happening and was so sorry that she did not know what had been there to protect me. I felt bad that mom was sad but she held me tight and we cried together. Mom called the police who came to my house to take a statement. They were really nice and organised for me to have an exam at a special centre. It was scary but not too bad as everyone was nice and a social worker also came and offered help to me and mom if we wanted it. The police arrested mom’s boyfriend and he has been charged for what he did to me. We didn’t know this but he has also done it before to another girl. The court case is coming up which worries me but mom and I both have support workers to help us through it.

Outcome Two

Mom’s friend was so supportive and helped me to tell my mom what was happening. Mom appeared shocked but also angry with me which made both me and her friend confused. Mom said that I had gotten it wrong and maybe I was just dreaming about what had happened. I started to cry and so mom’s friend called the police. Mom still refused to believe me when the police came around and had started to call me a liar which made me feel like she didn’t love me anymore. The police said mom’s boyfriend couldn’t stay at our house and they also put in a referral for a social worker to visit us. This made mom even more mad, and she said I was running her life, but I just wanted her to believe me and be like she used to be with me. She was sneaking her boyfriend in the house at night. The social worker was nice and came to visit regularly. On one visit she could see how sad I was and asked if I was happy at home. I told her how mom had been treating me and that Mom’s boyfriend was still coming over. I have to stay with my Nan know on a special guardianship order and I do miss my mom and the relationship that we once had but I hope that one day she will believe me and she can be my mom again. My nan believes me and has arranged with my social worker to have some counselling.

What I would say to any young person living in a home with domestic abuse is:

Tell someone!! Anyone!! It happens to more people than you know and it doesn’t make you bad or wrong, adults are supposed to keep children safe.