Our Mission is to support individuals that have experienced childhood domestic violence and mental illness as a result.
Natasha Benjamin Founder of Free Your Mind CIC, due to her personal experience of this and what she sees being missed by campaigns and support services today, feels passionately that this is something that needs to be brought to the forefront.
‘Due to my terrifying experience of domestic violence as a child, I grew up, with a very complex way of seeing the world, I did not know how to speak up for myself because I was told to keep quiet, I grew up with a quiet burning anger and being very protective of my mom because I was used to having to fight to protect her, I grew up knowing drama, dysfunction and was always on a permanent ‘high alert’ that something bad was about to happen. All this had a major impact on the way I lived my life as I grew older especially because I’d never addressed any of it, I’d never received any help as a child or support to ask if I was ok and how it all affected me. I actually spent most of my adult life up until a few years ago thinking that it hadn’t affected me at all and that I’d got out unscathed.
Little did I know, I was a ticking time bomb headed for a major breakdown, the child is often the forgotten silent victim in these situations. I see many campaigns rushing to the aid of the parent which is fine and very much needed, but how it has mentally affected the child is rarely looked at and made priority.
Doing this would resolve and reduce so many social issues that we have today, those children need support, those children need a voice before it’s too late and I will make it my personal priority to make sure this happens’
Domestic violence is a huge issue affecting society and much of it is talked about without mentioning how it directly effects any children involved.
Here at Free Your Mind we are determined to redress this problem by providing the tools, support and community to help people rebuild their sense of self, and to empower them by providing a number of Holistic Therapies such as Mindfulness CBT, EFT Tapping and Meditation, Reiki.
CHILDREN ARE NOW LEGALLY ACKNOWLEDGED AS VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
Yesterday it was announced by the Home Office that children who have witnessed Domestic Abuse are now legally classed as Victims of Domestic Abuse and we are absolutely thrilled. This is the change we have tirelessly campaigned for and the dream we had hoped would come true for all child victims.
In 2013, I took the step to begin to heal from the trauma of the Domestic Abuse I suffered and witnessed as a child. I looked for a support service that could help support me and after searching for some time, I realised there were no support services in the UK for Child Victims of Domestic Abuse; so I decided I would start my own.
Free Your Mind was born on 4 March 2013 – a service that acknowledges children’s experiences in their own right. We have campaigned for their trauma to be recognised, we have shouted about the affects Domestic Abuse has on children, and we have supported them by offering trauma informed therapies.
Children were consistently being let down by support services, the court system and mental health services and we wanted to rectify these things.
We knocked on doors and we talked to the press, we lobbied!
Eight years later we are a small team of six. We now have our own space where children can receive trauma informed therapies to help them recover and heal from their experiences.
We are looking forward to seeing the changes being reflected in how services approach supporting children in the future, and look forward to working in collaboration with services which share the same vision and hope.
Natasha Benjamin – Founder – Free Your Mind CIC