I got involved with KidsOut because I was in an abusive relationship and fled to a refuge. I went through five years of domestic abuse. It wasn’t physical; it was verbal, financial, and everything. When my husband came home we were always on edge and you never had any freedom.
I had to leave because my son was suffering and finally the school got involved because he complained that my husband was racially abusive to him. My husband made it known to him that ‘I’m not your dad, go find your father I’m not giving you anything, go and find your dad, ask your dad for it.’ My son had years of thinking ‘why doesn’t he like me, everybody loved me, why doesn’t he love me?’ So we fled to the refuge. I had to do it for him.
My son wasn’t very confident before, and KidsOut did a lot for him. While at the refuge KidsOut helped my son and I; we went to events like a Saracens match, Winter Wonderland and the London Dungeons.
Just leaving home was a big deal. Being in an abusive relationship for so many years, he was a bit fragile. He had gone into his shell and he didn’t talk much. He was very quiet and with everything that happened was traumatised. So by going out with KidsOut he got more confidence. He was happier. Seeing him the first time we went to Wembley and watched a Saracens match and just seeing how excited he was melted my heart. He got his confidence back.
Now since we’ve moved on my son is doing very good in school; it’s like a transformation. All the things that KidsOut did for us, now he is just a different person. He said to me ‘mum, now I’ve realised since I’ve been here [in refuge] that something was wrong with him; mummy he had issues. I’m sorry for him now mum, he had a good wife and a good son who wanted him to be a dad to him and he let all of that go. He’s going to be alone in life, mum, and I pity him now.’
*Note: Names and pictures are changed to protect identities.