Living in fear

"My house is like fireworks. Every once in a while there’s an explosion. Anything can set it off. Then there’s fighting, screaming, dishes flying. Once my little brother said “I don’t like peas” at dinner and my father flew into a rage. He hit my brother. Said he was “rude” and “had no respect”. Then, he started screaming at my mother saying she was an “awful mother” and didn’t know anything about raising kids. Another time he punched me for changing the TV channel. I’m afraid of him. You never know when he’s going to hurt you … with his words or his fists."

Home is supposed to be a safe place. So, when violence happens at home, it’s very frightening, even if the violence is not directed at you. Hearing one parent insult and put down the other or seeing them fight or throw things at each other is upsetting and can make you feel afraid.

It’s stressful to always worry about your safety or the safety of family members. Stress gives people headaches, stomachaches, and other health problems. It can also make it hard to sleep, to concentrate at school and to have fun and feel good about yourself.

You can do something about violence in your home. Talk to an adult about what’s happening and its impact on you. Check out the help section of this web site.