A Welsh police force has praised the bravery of a little boy who called 999 to report that his "dad was hurting his mum". Dyfed Powys Police shared details of the tragic call in a bid to help others reach out.
The phone call from the little boy, who has not been identified, was received in the last month by emergency service call handlers and a statement from the force said that he was "so, so upset by what had just happened at home."
It was reported that the boy had seen his dad hurting his mum because she wouldn't give him something he wanted. The dad had been drinking and was described as being "angry and violent", so the little boy stepped in and tried to stop the attack.
A spokeswoman for the force said: "His mum was scared. So scared that she couldn’t phone the police because she was worried about what her partner would do if he found out. So her son did it for her. This brave little boy who was terrified about what could happen to him and his mum next time. You see, this wasn’t the first time he’d seen his dad act like this. It’s happened before, and he didn’t want it to happen again – but he was worried it would. He was scared his mum would end up really hurt."
So he phoned 999 and explained everything to the call handlers who said he was upset but "held himself together and managed to find the words to speak".
The spokeswoman added: "It took so much strength for him to pick up the phone, but we’re glad he did. We were able to show his mum where she can find support, and now she knows we’re here for her. But this little boy isn’t the only one living with domestic abuse.
"Sadly, we know there are other people – adults and children – who don’t feel safe at home, and we want this to stop."
The force has shared the story in the hope that it will help others. They said: "If you can relate to any of this – if you’re going through what this mother and son have been through and haven’t told us, please remember that you can be as brave as them. We are here to protect you too."
Welsh Women's Aid has said that violence against woman and girls in Wales is at "epidemic rates", and have called on the UK and Welsh Governments to do more.
Chief executive Sara Kirkpatrick says: “Violence against women and girls is at epidemic rates across Wales and the wider UK. An increasing number of women cannot access refuge support due to a lack of capacity and resources.
"We are also witnessing rising rates of reports of sexual violence, survivors facing the longest court delays on record and just 1% of rape cases ending with a conviction. This experience is exacerbated for Black, minoritised and migrant women.
"Women and girls are being failed by the system that is supposed to protect and support them."
Resources for victims of domestic abuse:
- If you are in immediate danger call 999
If you are a survivor or concerned about someone else, you can contact Live Fear Free twenty-four hours a day on 0808 80 10 800 or 07860 077333 and find more information here: http://gov.wales/live-fear-free
BAWSO on 0800 7318147 or email email@example.com
DYN Project on 0808 8010321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- UK Women's Aid support line
- Domestic Abuse Pembrokeshire Support offers a freedom programme on Facebook
- Bright Sky app offers help and advice for people being abused and advice for those who think friends or family are being abused
- National Centre of Domestic Violence app
- The Holly Guard app turns your phone into a personal safety device
- Domestic Abuse Helpline : 0808 2000 247
- Break the Silence against Domestic Violence
- Childline on 0800 111
The Assistant Chief Constables of Wales' biggest police force says that tackling violence and abuse again women and girls is a long-standing priority for her officers.
Jenny Gilmer. of South Wales Police, says: "We recognise that concern regarding personal safety and violence is as great as it has ever been.
"As a force we have an excellent history of partnership working. We target resources towards clear routes to safety for victims, supporting and empowering survivors and investing in evidence-based interventions that tackle root causes, addressing the harmful attitudes and behaviours that result in violence and abuse."