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“I was helped to recover from the abuse I’d experienced.”

Jim had experienced domestic abuse at a young age. He was referred to us by social services. During counselling sessions, he told us about his childhood; how between the ages of 9 and 16 he was routinely physically assaulted by his stepfather, who used to punch him, use weapons against him and caused him to be hospitalised on more than one occasion. His stepfather was also violent against Jim’s mother and younger brother; Jim would frequently step in to protect his younger brother from abuse. Along with this came emotional bullying and belittling. Jim was even forced to watch his stepfather as he clubbed the family dog to death.

The abuse that Jim suffered has affected his mental and emotional development. He often reacts as a teenager would to everyday situations, he has a lack of stability in relationships, is often frustrated and has a low threshold of anger. Jim was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

We were able to match Jim with a male counsellor, who provided Jim with free counselling over 18 sessions. As a result, Jim’s current family situation is more stable; he is aware of how to parent his daughter more effectively, and his relationship with his girlfriend has improved.

At the end of his counselling Jim told us: “My life has never been better. I will always be affected by what my stepfather did; he ruined my childhood and destroyed my family. But thanks to the support of everyone at Safe Steps I know how to make my future better.

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