“How I survived domestic abuse as a child”
Trigger warning: In this episode Natasha tells me about some of the domestic violence she experienced as a child and teenager.
In the final episode of this series, I have the privilege of talking to Natasha, who was physically and psychologically abused by her mother’s boyfriend from quite a young age, until she left home to go to university. Now a photographer and writer, Natasha has taken her experiences of domestic abuse into journalism, activism, and charity campaigning to improve the lives of others who’ve experienced similar.
Natasha is also deaf, so we also talk a bit about how that contributed to a low self-esteem that led her to tolerate the violence at home.
What is domestic abuse?
One of the things we discuss is what actually constitutes domestic abuse. I was shocked when Natasha told me that she tolerated her treatment because she didn’t realise that it wasn’t normal, or because she was told it was her fault. I think Natasha’s explanation is a really good place to start if you’re wondering if something’s not right about your own situation.
Disability and consent
We also discuss consent in relation to how we approach a disabled person – it’s a fascinating insight from someone who’s often on the receiving end of well-intentioned, but unwelcome attention from strangers.
Natasha absolutely used her experiences as a survivor to create a massively positive future for herself and others:
“I’ve had challenges in my life to overcome, but they’ve all shaped me…”
Listen to the podcast to see how she’s put her experiences to such good use.
Where to get help if you’re at risk of violence at home
- Government advice – a starting point if you’re in a violent situation, or you’re worried about a child
- Childline – confidential advice and information if you’re a child suffering from domestic abuse, or seeing it happen in your home
- Women’s Aid explains what constitutes domestic abuse, and what you can do about it
Domestic Abuse and Covid-19
Some emergency measures available to victims of domestic violence during Coronavirus lockdown:
- Rail companies offering free travel to those fleeing domestic abuse
- Boots Pharmacies are offering their consultation rooms as a safe space to victims of domestic violence
If you’d like to connect with Natasha you can find her here:
Where to listen:
You can find the episode in your usual podcast app, or if you prefer, you can listen online below.
Thank you so much for listening! Subscribe now to the Teenage Kicks podcast to hear about the new series when it begins. I’ll be talking to some fabulous guests about difficult things that happened to them as teenagers – including losing a parent, being hospitalised with mental health problems, and battling an eating disorder – and how they overcame things to move on with their lives.
I’d love it if you’d rate and review the podcast on iTunes too – it would really help other people to find it. You can also find more from me on parenting teenagers on my blog Actually Mummy, and on Instagram and Twitter @iamhelenwills.
This episode is sponsored by Blue Microphones, who gave me the brilliant Yeticaster for the recording of the podcast.
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