Jacob was referred to FearLess after we supported his sister Kate, aged 14.
When Jacob was first referred to us, he presented as quite angry and apprehensive. Jacob made clear that he had felt let down previously by other professionals in his life.
In the first session, he discussed with our Children and Young Person's Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (CYP IDVA) the support going forward, what they could look at and how it would work. Jacob agreed to the support but mentioned he wasn’t ready to discuss everything with our worker.
Jacob had been physically and emotionally abused by both his father and grandfather and he struggled to open up about what had happened to him. It was heart-breaking to hear what he had gone through. Our Advisor worked hard to make Jacob feel like he could trust her, to make him feel comfortable and build a strong bond with Jacob, using games and creative activities to ensure the sessions were fun and interactive.
We paced Jacob’s support to be at a pace that suited him, he became much more comfortable and started to open up a lot. Jacob spoke for the first time of the abuse that he had suffered for years at the hands of his parent and grandparent, people he should have been able to trust. We watched Jacob grow in confidence, feel able to discuss his past and be open to the potential of further support. Jacob allowed our Advisor to advocate for him to his mum and school – ensuring crucially that Jacob’s voice was heard.
A big part of the educational sessions was looking at Jacob’s emotions. At the beginning of support, Jacob struggled to recognise any emotions other than anger. Together, the advisor helped him created an emotions poster identifying the many different emotions Jacob felt and the meaning of the feelings. A lot of these emotions centred around fear; fear from his father, grandfather, and fear of hurting his mum and becoming like his dad.
FearLess were then able to offer the whole family support – Jacob, his sister and his mum.
Our Children’s Workers continued to support Jacob and his sister, whilst his mum was offered our befriending service. A highly trained volunteer was able to speak with her about her experiences and help her with her recovery journey.
The family told us they felt this was the first time professionals had listened to them, advocated for them and believed them.
Our team were able to support the family to access further specialist support. As our support for Jacob closed, he was able to speak openly with his family about his experiences.
Jacob and his family had a positive experience at Court, where restrictions were put in place stopping both Jacob’s father and his grandfather having contact with him or the other family members. This has allowed the family to move forward towards recovery.