Self-worth and Saved Relationships

28th of November, 2017

Like many clients, Sacha* came to Aviva for one service but, once engaged, realised that there was more that she needed.

Mother and Son

Sacha initially engaged with our Specialist Peer Support service, through which those with past lived experience of family violence support others on their own journey of change, to help her relationship with her son. Whilst her son Cameron* was supported by Aviva’s Youth Service, Sacha also chose to undertake our 10-week family violence education programme. The support they received has changed their lives, and their relationship, for the better.

“My relationship with my husband was never really a good one; it wasn’t a very happy marriage. He used a lot of stuff that happened to me in my childhood, like mental abuse from my brother, against me. There’d been real problems in our family, but none of them ever got solved, none of them were ever talked about. You just basically had to live with what you got.

“My husband and I separated when our son (Cameron, now 16) was four. Since then I’ve been a single mum. Even when he was little Cameron was really full on, but in recent years things started to get out of hand. He started to get violent towards me and he’d chuck a mental at any little thing. He began to see his Dad again, which wasn’t helping because he isn’t a very good role model. He’d also say things behind my back that weren’t exactly true, but Cameron believed it; that made it really hard on us. It’s a lot to handle when you are on your own.

“The Police had been involved quite a bit over the last two years and I was getting concerned for my safety. Cameron was hard to handle - he towers over me and he lets things get on top of him. I was worried that he might just explode one day and hit me.

“One time when the Police were called they gave me Aviva’s details, to get help with Cameron, and they said Peer Support was available too for me. Cameron was a little bit resistant to begin with, but he started getting on really well with his Worker from the Youth Team, and found he could talk to him. I found Peer Support really good too - just being able to go and run things past them and ask ‘Am I approaching this right?’ They helped me to deal with problems in a more positive way.

“I also took part in the 10-week education programme. It brought back a lot of stuff from my childhood and marriage that I really didn’t want to think about, but knew I had to get sorted out. It was worth it to work through those things because Cameron and I aren’t fighting like we use to and are dealing with things now as they come up. I’ve learnt how to handle things more with him, and group gave me so much more understanding. I had forgotten where I was in it all, now I’m better at thinking about my own safety and wellbeing. I have the tools to use when/if I’m faced with challenging situations, and I have a way better knowledge of what healthy relationships look like - that’s been a big one for me.

“If someone else is struggling like I was, I’d tell them, don’t be scared to ask for help. The problems we've had are starting to disappear because now we both feel we can walk away long enough to come back and talk and actually listen to one another. On a scale of one to ten with one being the lowest, my self-confidence and self-worth would have started on a three and I’m now on an eight. I really feel like things are moving forward in my journey.”

If you or a young person in your life want to begin a journey like Sacha’s and Cameron’s, and think Aviva might be able to help, call 0800 AVIVA NOW.