'I'm abused on a daily basis. The perpetrator is my 7-year-old son.'

This story includes descriptions of abuse.

I get abused daily.

And, I can’t leave.

In fact, I’ve spent years trying to get help and faced years of victim blaming and being told to ignore it.

My son is seven. He is a beautiful boy, full of character, full of energy, outgoing and a mate to everyone. And I find it hard to discuss this because he is not a monster and I don’t want people to think that.

But, at home, his defiant personality, anxiety and suspected ADHD see him getting so worked up sometimes that he gets into another zone and becomes quite nasty and even violent. This has been the case since he was two.

Some days things as simple as telling him it’s time to get dressed or to eat his breakfast can set him off. I have been hit, kicked, bitten, had whatever is in reach thrown at me, rocks thrown at the glass door, been chased up our street having rocks thrown at me, and had him trying to stab me with a pen, in fact, that’s just in the past week. I walk away, he follows me trying to hurt me. He tries to get near the other kids to hurt them. Bedtime has been particularly challenging recently with episodes lasting up to two hours and I’m ashamed to say we end up having to hold him, kicking and screaming to prevent him from hurting himself or any of us.

Watch: The signs people have experienced abuse. Post continues after video.

Video via YouTube/Psych2Go.

The toll of this is not just felt by him, my husband and myself but also by our three other children. My eldest daughter who is a wonderful support and, when she’s home often has to try to shift the little ones out of harm's way.

She had to go through her teen years missing out on things most teenagers get to enjoy like having friends over because my son would constantly try to get to them and it would end in meltdowns. It was embarrassing for her. Watching my youngest daughter grow up made things very clear to me that there was something more here as she was and still is the most placid child. She is almost five and is just remarkable. She is so tender and warm to him as he’s coming out of an episode and I’ve never seen anything like it from someone so young, she’s had to grow up watching it all. She is already starting to take my youngest son, who's one, into his room to play if there is anything happening. It's not fair that they have to be exposed to this. Yes, we questioned whether to have any other children when this behaviour started, yet we were always told by friends it was just boys, he’d grow out of it, and things would get easier. Also, can we please stop saying this? Mums, trust your gut! 

We finally got to see a paediatrician this week and left feeling so very deflated, armed with information on the parenting courses I’ve been sent to and completed multiple times and told to take him to another psychologist. A more fragile mother may not feel she can continue seeking help after leaving that appointment the way I did, and that breaks my heart.


The doctor sat across from me as I cried explaining the terror at home and told me to ignore it. To not give him attention in those moments and tell him I’ll speak to him once he’s calmed down. I’m to remove anything dangerous (which is everything in those times) and to simply sit outside his bedroom door if he doesn’t want to go to bed.

My son can say how he gets angry when he doesn’t get his way, he gets scared, he doesn’t want to behave like that but he can’t stop. He has little memory afterwards of how he acts during an episode. We need help. It’s suspected by the doctor he has ADHD, anxiety and ODD. How do we get the child who can’t be still to sit through psychology appointments (because we haven’t had much luck previously) when that’s the solution we’ve been given for now? It’s escalated so much over the past six months that my husband is questioning using his leave to be home to help more as he works FIFO. But it’s not like we have an end date, I feel like it’s going to get worse before it gets better and the thought of what’s to come is really overwhelming.

I often wonder if the outcome would have been the same had he been a girl? Little boys' behaviour often gets shrugged off as 'boys will be boys' but, little girls don’t behave like that, right? Would we have got the help sooner had he been a girl?

Heartbreakingly, my mind can’t help but wonder if this is how it starts. 

Is this where it all begins, the terrible things some people do?

Where a little boy with issues who couldn’t get the help they needed?

And for my daughter, when we get told to ignore it, is this where it starts for girls? Does getting told to just accept this behaviour so young lead to women who struggle to leave abusive relationships?


I said to my brother once that if my husband treated me the way my son does, he’d be locked away (I hope) and he said to me "No, you'd be dead".

Despite feeling disappointed and not very heard, I do recognise that we are lucky to have been seen and to have the ball rolling now. We have support from his school and I’ve been sharing our story a bit more and have support from my dear friends and family. So, my husband and I will continue to fight and make sure we get the help we need for our precious boy. But I will also do everything to protect our other children from this behaviour and make sure they know not to just ignore it and allow it because, mental health or not, it is never ok to hurt another person.

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

Mamamia is a charity partner of RizeUp Australia, a national organisation that helps women, children and families move on after the devastation of domestic and family violence. Their mission is to deliver life-changing and practical support to these families when they need it most. If you would like to support their mission you can donate here

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

Feature image: Canva.

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