Domestic Abuse - Home and school

Question I wouldn't want anyone to know what happens in my family, I am too ashamed. What should I do?

AnswerpictureFeeling embarrassed or ashamed is a normal reaction to living with abuse. It's important to remember that the abuse is not your fault and you are not responsible for it. Talk to people who you know you can trust and who you want to support you. Keeping abuse a secret will not make it stop. Rather, it allows it to continue. Talking to someone about your experience takes a lot of courage, but it will be worth it. Let someone you trust know what is happening, they can then support you to get the help you need.

QuestionI hate school. I can't concentrate and I get into trouble all the time. I am always afraid something bad is happening at home when I am not there. How can I deal with this?

AnswerquoteFinding it hard to concentrate is very common in young people who are stressed or upset. School and education is a very important part of your life. It is where you probably meet most of your friends and can get a break from your situation. More importantly, it is a place where you can be safe. If you are finding it difficult, ask to speak to someone you know will be supportive - maybe a teacher you trust, tutor or the school counsellor. They will be able to offer you support and may be able to help you to find ways of dealing with your situation.

Question I hate being at home. I just want to be out with my friends, getting drunk and having a laugh, so I can forget about it.What’s wrong with that?

AnswerHaving a laugh with friends is what being young is all about. But getting drunk as a way to forget your worries is likely to lead to more problems, rather than solutions. If you find that you are using alcohol or drugs to deal with your problems, then you really need to talk to someone who can help you find better ways to cope. Maybe you can talk to some of your friends or a trusted adult or someone who knows how to help you.

Check out the Finding Help section for details of services that can give you information, help and support

Barnardos National Office,
Christchurch Square, Dublin 8

Tel: +353 (0) 1 453 0355 / Callsave: 1850 222 300
Fax: +353 (0) 1 453 0300 / Email: info@barnardos.ie