06-21-2022 03:25 AM - last edited on 06-22-2022 03:21 PM by Philippa-RO
My 16 year old son has been bullied for over four years now, he has a learning disability and we live alone in an area with little support, the bullying has been targeted at our actual home by local teenagers, some now adults. We have both been through a lot of trauma in the past due to DV and moved here hoping for a fresh start but it hasn’t been the case. All hours of the morning even through Covid lockdowns our windows have been smashed on, rocks, sticks and gravel thrown at the roof and abuse hurled. Once they came past in a car. The police have been called numerous times but they run and are well gone. They were caught once but it never stopped them, one had the cheek to contact my son on social media and demand him to tell me to leave his friends alone when I finally found where a couple of them lived and spoke to the parents. The situation has become that bad we don’t sleep well at night and the teenagers/young adults are death staring us in the community and telling their parents and police that I am harassing them. They are all actively on drugs and I’m at my wits end. Some of the parents are enabling the behaviour and others ignoring it adamant it is not their son and one has even said it happened years ago which is not the truth at all. I have tried to reach out to many places and the police even asked why they are targeting us and what might my son have done. He never leaves the house and won’t unless he is with me and it’s late when nobody is around. His self esteem is non existent and we are both living in the shadows of a community. His refusal to take part in drugs and alcohol has also been the reason for bullying, he has been called a loser and that he won’t go anywhere or get a job. They threw glass bottles at him once and I’m heartbroken that he is going through this and that my attempts to stop it have been manipulated and turned into accusations that I am harassing them. I have no idea where to get help.
06-21-2022 03:40 PM
Hi @Sadforson - thank you for sharing your story with us; I'm so sorry to hear of the DV, abuse and bullying you and your son have experienced, it's heartbreaking to read and I can only imagine how painful it must be for you both to go through.
I noticed that you said you have tried to reach out to many places, and I was wondering which places you've tried, and whether any were helpful at all?
I'm not sure if you've already tried them, but I was wondering if it might be worth seeking legal advice from somewhere like Women's Legal Service, LawAccess NSW, or the Australian Centre for Disability Law?
It sounds like you don't have a lot of support in the community where you're living at the moment, is that right? Have you had any support from a DV service, caseworker or counsellor, or from any friends or family members?
I'm wondering if you've thought about accessing any support lines like 1800RESPECT or Parentline (for yourself) or Kids Helpline (for your son)?
They can often also offer referrals and links to local support services if that's something that sounds helpful.
We'd also be very happy to look into other support options - please just let us know if you think that might be helpful.
I feel for you so much and I'm really glad you reached out here - we're here to listen if you want to talk. You're not alone.
06-21-2022 06:29 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about the terrible situation your son is in and how heartbreaking it is for you too as his Mum. I can't really offer too much more advice. I only question whether you could move elsewhere and have a fresh start or whether you are tied down to this area. The other thought I had was whether you could get your son a dog. We have three dogs in our family and they're wonderful. I remember growing up feeling misunderstood and my dog understood and loved me in a way no human could. The dog would also offer him protection walking outside the house. Not that I'm saying the dog will attack these people, but a lot of people are wary of dogs, and dogs are very protective of their own and it would also provide greater safety in numbers.
The other reason I decided to reply to your message was that I wanted to stand alongside you and say that what's happening to your son and yourself is not okay.
06-22-2022 02:25 AM
06-22-2022 02:32 AM
06-22-2022 12:43 PM
Oh golly. Sometimes I ask myself why things have to get so tough and these days mostly not for myself, although I've been there, which is why I come to the forum here to reach out However, putting our heads together and brainstorming ideas might help just enough to turn the tide for your son and yourself.
I was trying to remember the campaign around people sitting with Muslim women on public transport post 9/11 and couldn't find it. However, there is the Sit With Me movement https://youcansitwithme.org/
I am wondering whether you could muster some young people to go for a walk with him maybe from Scouts, a local church, PCYC, or something. There's also safety in numbers and these bullies also need to be deflated and brought down. Also, your son might not be their only target.
I hope this helps and know that I am thinking of you along with the team at Reachout. You have back up.
06-22-2022 12:56 PM
That is really great to hear that you may have found an OT, I'm sure having their support will help you and your son feel less alone in everything you're going through.
I imagine dealing with all of this as a single parent is extremely stressful, I'm wondering if you have been able to take some time to look after yourself?
06-22-2022 04:16 PM
I missed your message which mentioned that your son is on the NDIS. I am on the NDIS along with my 18 year old son. Does he have a Local Area Coordinator or LAC? I suggest giving them a call about getting him a support worker who can take him on outings, maybe out of your area. Some LACs are more helpful than others but worth a go.