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  My Dad can't hurt my Mum anymore
Updated 16 June 2004, 08.31
'Amy' and her Mum have moved to a refuge
'Amy' is 11 and lives with her mum and younger brother in a refuge for women and children who have experienced domestic violence.

In her report she says that life in a refuge can be scary at first but is better than home because it means that they are all safe.

"Living in a refuge is one of the biggest changes of my life.

I miss my family and friends, my house and my cat.

Leave stuff behind

You have to meet new people, have a new bedroom and start a new school, which was scary.

I had to leave lots of my stuff behind, like my computer and most of my clothes.

Mum is happier

Luckily, there is a really nice children's worker, called Katie, who is kind to us and listens to us, especially about the things that I can't talk to mum about.

Mum is a lot happier now, as we are a long way from dad and he doesn't know where to find us.

He can't hit her or say nasty things to her now.

No arguments

In the refuge you are a long way away from the arguments and the shouting which used to happen at home.

Instead, there are other mums and children who have been through the same things.

We all go out together, to the park, to the beach and sometimes we go out for a pizza.

Hidden address

I wish sometimes that we could have stayed at home, because we didn't do anything wrong and it doesn't seem fair.

I like it in the refuge but I can't wait until we get a flat on our own.

In the refuge you can't have friends back or tell anyone where you live.

I think that people who hurt you should be made to leave home so that mums and children don't have to move away."

'Amy', 11, Dorset

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