MY CHILDREN ARE MORE CONFIDENT, THEY DON'T FEEL POWERLESS ANYMORE
EVERY DAY A CHALLENGE
The challenges Alice* and her children had to face seemed never-ending. Her ex-partner and father to her children continued to control and impact their lives, long after their decade-long relationship had ended.
"I felt broken, lost confidence, and it took a long time for me to recognise what was happening wasn’t okay."
The children are still required to spend time with their father, but it is not a time filled with laughter and games as any parent would hope. The children are on edge, uncertain when things might take a turn for the worst. The person who should protect them makes them feel unsafe and all alone.
"The children feel lonely and powerless... they feel that their voices haven’t been heard."
A HIDDEN SECRET
Alice's ex-partner had behaved the way he wanted for years. With the abuse often taking place behind closed doors, it had become a classic case of she-said / he-said. Both Alice and the children felt as though they had no where left to turn.
"I have been twice to report this is what is going on, but [the police] haven’t been listening. So, I stopped completely reporting, which I should be. That feeling of not believing, I can’t take it."
Her ex-partner knows that the more isolated Alice and the children feel, the more control he has over their lives. The cycle of abuse continues, long after they've tried to move on.
CONNECTING WITH SUPPORT
When Alice and her children received their StandbyU Shields, their world started to open back up again. Finally, her children feel safe. They have found their voices.
"[My son] tells me. With these watches, they just hear it themselves. He has some kind of power because he can invite people to listen and they can speak for him now."
Feeling connected to others, being heard and believed, has made a huge difference to their lives. Knowing they can reach their support network at the click of a button has given her and her children new strength and hope.
"It has affected their confidence, just knowing that at least they have something and they don’t feel powerless. They have got something physical on them because they had a phone and their dad took the phone off [them] and smashed [it]. These watches stay on their wrist. They have got some kind of power, control in what is happening to them. There has been a change in their mood."
It is always a long path to recovery and with her ex-partner continuing to be in their lives for now, there is still some way to go. But finally, the whole family is able to relax and the children have a chance to enjoy their childhood.
One of the biggest things Alice has noticed is the change in her ex-partner's behaviour. Now that they have their StandbyU Shields, he knows that he can't get away with treating them badly anymore because there could always be someone listening.
"It checks on his behaviour because he knows he can’t do anything to us [behind] closed doors anymore. He does not want anyone to know so it is a preventive kind of measure."
"He is different. He can’t behave the way he has been before. He is going to have to find different ways to manage his own behaviour."
With Alice and her children now feeling in control and empowered, her ex-partner will have to rethink his actions and how they affect the people in his life.
*Names changed for safety reasons
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