The family can be a place of violence and abuse…

Of all our social institutions, the family is perhaps the one with which we are most familiar. As we proceed through our lives, our experiences within the family give rise to some of our strongest and most intense feelings. Within the family context lies a paradox, however: although most of us hope for love and support within the family — a haven in a heartless world, so to speak — the family can also be a place of violence and abuse.

MARILYN POOLE, Family: Changing Families, Changing Times


Farah (not her real name) was physically and emotionally abused by her partner for many years. As Farah was from a Pakistani heritage she was made to believe that this is the norm of every Asian family.

Farah grew up witnessing the same tribulations in her mothers life. Her father used to beat her mother for minor reasons such as; there is mess on the floor which is not cleaned. After questioning her mother Farah’s mother said this is the fate of all women and this is what all men do. Farah grew up witnessing this violence between two people who taught her about life …………….and this is what she was taught, a womans place is in the kitchen, and if she makes a mistake she needs to be punished.

Now Farah is living through the same horror, not realisng this is unacceptable and inhumane. She has a belief ingraved in her from her family that it is normal to live inthis kind of a relationship…….