My step-dad came into our lives when I was five. After then, things changed. His moods affected the whole house.
He had an unpredictable temper, which he directed at mum. She was his punching bag, he took everything out on her if things hadn’t gone his way. He’d call her a “stupid b*tch”, he’d slap her face and accuse her of lying to him over little things. Even when I was little, I’d try to get between them to stop him, even though they both would yell at me to go to my room.
One night when I was twelve I had to call the police. My step-dad was screaming at mum and pushing her against the wall. Mum yelled for me to get my step-brother and go next door. The neighbours had been woken up by his yelling. They let us in and told me to call the police. I rang 000 and told them what was happening.
After about 5 minutes the police drove up, and I could hear my step-dad yelling at them. A policeman came to our neighbour’s and told me that they’d warned my step-dad that he could be charged if he is violent to mum. They took him to my grandmother’s to calm down.
Even though things quietened down for a while, he didn’t change his ways much. If he was in a bad mood he’d kick our cat or say he was going to kill it. He did that to upset us all. He’d pick on my little brother by teasing him in a mean way. Me and my brother often stayed up late playing Playstation in my room with the sound turned up so we didn’t have to hear the fighting. I never felt like having friends over.
Last year we ended up going to a refuge. Mum got me from school and said we had to pack up before my step-dad came home. The refuge just looked like a normal house, but it was miles away from where we lived and another family was staying there too. We lived there for four months. My step-dad constantly texted and rang mum’s phone, sometimes begging her and sometimes threatening her that we had to come back. He also texted me to try to find out where we were, but I didn’t respond. The police charged him with making threats towards us.
“Last year we ended up going to a refuge. Mum got me from school and said we had to pack up before my step-dad came home. The refuge just looked like a normal house, but it was miles away from where we lived”
Now we’ve moved into a new house without him. My step-dad isn’t allowed to come near us because mum got a family violence order. He’s allowed to see my brother but only when he’s at our Auntie’s place. I don’t see my step-dad at all and I don’t want to.
Mum got me to see a counsellor with her to talk about it. The counsellor was ok. I asked mum why she didn’t leave my step-dad earlier. She got upset and said she wanted to but was worried about what he would do if she left. It was good because we got to hear how each other feels.