What is happening in our schools?
I have been speaking and helping some girls recently as an online counsellor
One, a UK teenager, who ‘hates school’! Always getting into trouble and spending her days, when she is in school, in ‘isolation’/detention.
At home her mum’s boyfriend was in charge! Getting drunk, smashing up the house, beating and raping their mother, beating the girls ( her little sisters and herself), harming the family pet etc….. he had been doing this for years.
She said she was kept off school if the bruises were really bad and then was encouraged to lie to school about her absences by her mum’s boyfriend, so he could cover his tracks!
She carried on spending her days in isolation at school and was considered a ‘naughty’ pupil and said that the staff and children at her high school ‘hate’ her!
Social services have taken care of her and her sisters now, but isn’t the fact that she spent her time in isolation an indication of family problems at home?
Do schools not realise that the abused children or the children that are witnessing abuse, are usually threatened by the one in control at home, the one carrying out the abuse, so they don’t say anything at school, they just hold it all in (like they have to at home otherwise they will be beaten or their mums will be beaten) and instead get into lots of trouble, because they are holding it in?
What sort of Child Protection Policies are really in place at schools in England?
Another girl who is now in her 20s again told me the same story, that she got into ‘trouble’ at school, was always in isolation or in detention, but in her situation from the age of 13, because of the problems at school, she was home schooled. At 20 years old she remains unqualified.
In her household, her stepfather ruled the roost. Her mother was encouraged to go to work so that her stepfather could bully and abuse the girl and he was still doing this until recently.
He has abused the girl from the age of 7 and she had started to get into trouble at school, from the age of 11. By the age of 13, she had been taken out of the school system and was ‘home schooled’.
But the story gets worse, her abuser, her stepfather, became the person carrying out the ‘home schooling’, constantly telling her how she was a failure to herself and the family, because she has been a ‘troublemaker’ at school!
She would be punished daily and even up to the time I was speaking to her, before I helped her get away from him, she was unable to leave the house (in her 20s) otherwise she would be beaten or her mother on her return from work, would be beaten.
He would spend his days never leaving the house, getting drunk bullying or beating her, while her mother was out at work.
I helped her word the statement, so she could seek the help she required, to get away from him. She hadn’t received the help in school and her stepfather was too busy bullying her, not ‘home schooling her’, to really care if she was literate or not!
Neither social services nor the education system, were ever involved with her family life… they never intervened to protect her even when she was put in detention/isolation at school …. they gave her to her stepfather as a ‘toy’ for him to bully and abuse.
So that is the England!
I spoke to an American teenage girl who had been raped by her mum’s boyfriend several times and was pregnant.
She was 15, when i first talked to her. Her mum’s boyfriend had told her that she was required to ‘sit on’ his ‘knee’ from the age of 7,( when her real father had gone out of her life), as that is what made her mum’s boyfriend ‘happy’! She later told me she didn’t understand what this was all about and still didn’t understand to this day!
Her mum was ‘encouraged’ i.e. controlled, into working nights at a Care Home for the elderly, so that her boyfriend after getting drunk, could have her young daughter all to himself. The daughter never ever went to school in the USA, again she was ‘home schooled’!
She was raped and abused daily when her mum was at work.
She spoke to me and I worked out a plan for her to get out of the house, as the last thing I wanted, was for her to have the baby and live under that roof, as I was not sure exactly what her mother would have done, as it was not clear whether her mother understood what her boyfriend was doing!
The girl came up with a brilliant idea, that she would go into the bathroom with her packed bag, that she would run the shower and then because her bathroom was on the ground floor she could climb out of the window and run away, leaving the bathroom door locked and the shower still running water!
She would then go to a neighbours house, further down the street.
I told her that this would be where her acting skills would be needed, as she was to fake stomach pains and be in ‘so much pain’ that the neighbour would have to take her to the hospital.
Getting yourself to a hospital is usually one way of escaping an abuser, whether you are in the UK, the USA, Canada or Australia!
In the hospital they confirmed the pregnancy but at 4 months pregnant, an abortion was not an option.
She was given a support in the hospital (whether she was a policewoman or a member of the nursing staff, I do not know), but after this, I did not hear from the girl from a number of months.
She contacted me again from a different country, where she had escaped, because she was trying to find her real Dad.
She told me, that when she had told her mum about the pregnancy, her mum had not been interested or concerned and that her mum’s boyfriend had threatened the girl, that if she told anyone about her being abused and who the father was, he would just claim, that she came onto him!
I explained to her that she wasn’t to worry about this, as she was under 16 and as an adult twice her age, he knew exactly what he was doing and she would not be in trouble (yet she had carried this threat with her, believing that was what would happen)!
I managed to get her in contact with a female rape worker and somewhere safe for the girl to live, but as she was only 15 and obviously terrified of being pregnant or understanding that she had to stay healthy, the baby was underweight and born early when she was just 16.
The girl could not cope with being a mum and found it difficult to bond with the baby.
She was also suicidal, as well as stating that she wanted to go back to the USA, which through further investigation, we found that her mum’s boyfriend had been consistently emailing her all the time, manipulating her (because of his threats that he would claim she came onto him).
The girl, because of the isolation she had grown up in at home, never going to school, etc. had little contact with others and couldn’t cope where there were crowds of people.
She also found communication difficult, as she had never been to school and couldn’t really speak properly or understand those around her
(this is a US citizen in the year 2017!)
She kept running away from her temporary home to be on her own, as she was used to being in isolation throughout her young life in the USA.
Charges are being pressed against her mum’s boyfriend now and hopefully she can begin at the age of 16, to live a regular teenage life!
I am very concerned what happened after she was in hospital in the USA?
My dilemma as an online counsellor, is that I have to keep the trust of the girls and women I talk to.
I am very concerned that all these girls and women don’t have an online chat service for abuse, they can go to.
An online chat/support/counselling service for Domestic Violence/Rape in the UK or in the USA or in Canada or in Australia. It is very necessary in this time of social media!
Childline (UK) have an online chat service, but the teenager I mention at the beginning of the article, was worried they were the ‘police’ and that if the police would come, she would be in trouble, they wouldn’t believe her, that she would go back to the house and that her mum’s boyfriend would beat her for talking!
We need somewhere for abused women and children , in all of the above countries, where they can talk to someone in confidence, online!
Where they don’t have to worry what their abuser will do to them, if they ‘tell’ or if they are not believed and where they can be given proper advice about escaping safely!
A telephone number is difficult for many of these teenagers and women to use, as they are usually imprisoned in the house with the abuser, who will hear them on the telephone and most women are too frightened of the police and want an understanding third party like women’s aid to support them in any intervention with the police!
I would also suggest, that if a child is constantly placed in detention or isolation at school, that instead of being treated like a naughty child/teenager, that the adults in the school system, consider showing the children ANIMATED videos about child abuse (particularly where it shows a girl or boy living in that situation), domestic violence and controlling behaviour, to see if this triggers the children into talking about their home circumstances, rather than you sitting in front of a ‘threatened, scared and worried child’ who is not going to talk about their home life at all, especially if they have just been disciplined for disruptive behaviour in class!