Ian Wright: Home Truths

TW: domestic abuse

Three weeks ago (6th May 2021) Ian Wright: Home Truths was shown on the BBC (it’s still available to watch on their streaming service). The programme focused on Ian investigating the effects of growing up in a psychologically abusive and violent home on children.

“In the last year, 1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse, and in 90% of domestic abuse cases there is a child present.” (BBC)

The effect of domestic abuse on children can be detrimental to their mental health and development. They may not always be in the same room, but they can see and hear and they’re also being hurt. This can contribute to an overwhelming and anxious environment in the home. It can even create a cycle of abuse turning a mother who is a victim into an abuser of her children and sometimes lead children to becoming domestic abusers in their adult life.

Children brought up in these environments, don’t tend to know it’s abuse, they can’t see that it’s wrong and as Jess says in the documentary “I didn’t know that anything could be done, because I thought it was me and I deserved it.”

It’s important to understand the impact that abuse can have and develop mechanisms to use, both in support of the victims, but also for the perpetrator. Some perpetrators don’t recognise that what they are doing is abuse and may never seek help, it is possible that they grew up in these environments themselves. Early intervention with families and children can help stop the mental health issues from becoming critical or long-lasting. “We have to give people the opportunity to change, to break the cycle” (Ian Wright).

“Domestic violence or abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional. This can include financial and economic abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour. This can happen to men and women and can affect the whole family. Children are affected by seeing or hearing it as well as suffering abuse themselves.” (https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/crime-prevention/domestic-abuse/domestic-abuse.aspx)

Sources of help

Always call the police if you are frightened or have been injured.

Work out where you might go to get away from the situation. This could be friends or relatives or a refuge.

Speak to someone you trust so they know what’s happening.

Tell the children never to get involved directly. Talk to them about who to call and where to go if they need help



Free, private and confidential service where children under 19 can talk about anything. Whatever their worry, whenever they need help, Childline is there online or on the hone anytime.

Call free on 0800 1111


Domestic Abuse Intervention and Prevention team (part of Cheshire West)

Offer a confidential service for male and female victims, aged 16 years and over. If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and are at risk of serious harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members call 0300 123 7047 option 2.


MyCWA Cheshire Without Abuse (Cheshire East)

Provide information and support to people suffering from domestic abuse in the Cheshire East area. Do also offer support for people outside of the area. Call our 24-hour domestic abuse hub on 0300 123 5101 at any time (or dial 01270 250390 if you’re calling from another area).


National UK Domestic Violence Helpline:

Offer help and support over the telephone to individuals experiencing domestic violence. Staffed 24 hours a day by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers. All calls are completely confidential.

Telephone for free: 0808 2000 247.



If you’re worried about a child, phone the NSPCC helpline for free on 0808 800 5000. You can get advice or share your concerns about a child anonymously.

You can also contact them online using their report abuse form 


The Hideout 

Designed for children to help them understand what domestic abuse is and how to take positive action if it’s happening to them.


Open the Door

A website for advice and support for people who believe they might be in an unhealthy relationship. On the website, there is information on where to get support around the different areas of Cheshire.