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Derbyshire mum cruelly abused by her own daughter

today6 September 2022 1

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A Derbyshire mother has bravely spoken about the heartbreak and trauma of being abused by her own daughter. She remains under police protection due to the risk her daughter poses.

Janet was attacked at home by her daughter three months ago and remains under police protection due to the ongoing threat after years of maltreatment. The campaign of physical, verbal and emotional manipulation began years ago and culminated in the assault, which was only stopped after a neighbour called police after hearing the attack, and the daughter’s arrest.

Recalling the day her daughter was arrested, Janet said: “I was feeling overcome with emotion as they took her away and was overcome with tears. My daughter looked at me and smirked as she walked past me and didn’t seem phased. The officer called me afterwards and said my daughter wasn’t phased and showed no remorse or empathy for how she had behaved, he said he was extremely concerned for mine and my son’s safety.”

READ MORE: Grieving mum of young Derbyshire nurse wants action on anti-depressants

Now Janet, which is not her read name, has bravely shared her story in order to raise raise awareness of horrors of child to parent abuse (CPA), which all too often goes undetected and unreported. The day of her daughter’s arrest was the day that Janet put a stop to her torment. It took incredible courage.

She said: “The officers returned to see me to see if I supported giving a statement for the assaults and criminal damage, and I realised this was going to be the only way in which something would be done. I was absolutely heartbroken and I felt riddled with guilt, I hesitated and broke down in tears. The officers were amazing and supported me and reassured me it was the right thing to do.

“It’s been almost three months since my daughter was arrested and removed from the home and dealing with situations like ours is an emotional rollercoaster. The feelings of guilt, failure, shame and helplessness, not forgetting the sadness, heartbreak, devastation, frustration and anger, are extremely hard to bear.

“The hardest thing for me as her mum is the emotional turmoil I face on a daily basis. I love my daughter and my love for her will never change but it’s the behaviours I don’t love and she has caused me a lot of physical, mental and emotional harm.

“I have finally recovered from the physical injuries I suffered but the emotional and mental abuse is much harder to process and recover from for both me and my son.”

The abusive behaviour began when the woman’s daughter was aged just two, with extreme tantrums, biting and hitting becoming “the norm”, but dismissed as part of the “terrible two’s” by health and education professionals. The issue came to a head in 2015, when after saying no to one of her daughter’s demands, the woman was arrested in the school playground after the child made a false allegation.

That led to the woman spending two days in a cell, and losing her children for three weeks until a police investigation concluded and she was cleared. However, this was only the start of a progressively more intense campaign of verbal, physical and emotional abuse, with attempts to enforce consequences only leading to further manipulative and abusive behaviour.

She said: “Calling the police wasn’t helpful in my situation, as it made things worse and caused more of a strain on the relationship with my daughter. It escalated things, but it also gave my daughter more power and control.

“Each time she would be told, the next time she would be arrested, but the next time came and this did not happen, so my daughter felt she was untouchable. She ridiculed me telling me nobody was going to help me and she could do what she wanted.

“During a violent attack, she destroyed items in the house before smashing a mirror with her bare hands and picking up a piece of glass and running at me with it. I was backed against the wall with the glass held to my throat, there was no escape, my son was hysterical and I instantly told him to leave the house and get himself to safety and call the police.

“I was absolutely terrified, I honestly felt in that moment that that was it for us. The police came instantly and on hearing the sirens she ran to her room.

“This still wasn’t enough for my daughter to be arrested and after my daughter calming down they left. The social worker’s words when I spoke to them were ‘Just try and keep safe.'”

The young girl – who was a teenager at the time – was later found to have suffered emotional trauma earlier on in life, and had the emotional age of a nine-year-old. She spent six months away from home, before being allowed back with her family, and the woman says things improved to the point the family could spend time together for the first time in several months, while the girl attended therapy.

However, this support was withdrawn, the mother claims due to a lack of funding, which led to an escalation in her daughter’s behaviour. She claims that when she rang social services for support, she was told: “You wanted her home, you have got her home, you need to deal with it. This is your child and you can’t leave them, you have a duty of care to care for them.”

Meanwhile, her daughter threatened to drown her son unless she was given money, destroyed property, and stole items from family members. Despite numerous police calls and social service referrals, no action was taken, despite concerns being raised by her son’s school, GP, and Samaritans, which then culminated in the attack earlier this year.

The woman has said the abuse has led her to lose confidence and her feeling of self-worth, causing her to become isolated and alone during the horrific experience. She has bravely shared her story through the social enterprise, PEGS – Parental Education Growth Support – which works to raise awareness of CPA and support those affected.

While there is no standard definition of CPA, it is classed as the displaying of ongoing physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse or threats from a child, towards a parent, guardian, or carer, or other family members. It can involve children and adults, and according to a Home Office report, accounts for one in every eight domestic homicides.

The organisation is now set to open a new office at the Bretby Business Park, in Ashby Road, Bretby, in South Derbyshire. The centre will open on Friday, September 23, and will allow PEGS to support parents and train professionals on dealing with CPA.

The mother said: “The support from PEGS has been an absolute lifeline for me. I joined the peer support group on Facebook for parents and instantly felt a relief that I wasn’t alone in my situation.

“I was welcomed with open arms by the staff and volunteers of PEGS and by all the parents that were part of the support group and I didn’t feel judged or blamed, I instantly felt huge amounts of support and love and kindness. I began attending the PEGS virtual drop ins for parents, the first time of logging on I was extremely nervous, scared and emotional, but PEGS staff instantly made me feel like I was in a safe space and for the very first time in my experience of CPA, I felt supported and that there was someone who was prepared to help me.

“Not only did I have PEGS but I also felt instantly welcomed by all the other parents attending the drop ins and I soon realised we were all in the same awful situation, just wanting someone to help our families and to feel believed as parents and that we were all behind one another.

“I can offer words of kindness to the other parents on the group and be behind them in the same way they are behind me. I honestly do not have enough words to thank PEGS for their support and extreme hard work to try and get our voices heard to bring changes to a very broken system that don’t support our situations.”

For more information on the work of PEGS, and how to get in touch, you can visit their website or attend the open event on September 23.

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