'I'll never forgive my dad' - Bella's story

A cartoon scene shows an angry man in a family living room.

Newsround's latest Special is called Behind Closed Doors and deals with the issue of children who witness domestic violence.

"Bella" (we've changed her name to protect her identity) and her mum had to leave their home for six months to get away from her dad after he became violent towards her mum.

They stayed in a refuge which is a special home where people can go when they need to get away from domestic abuse.

Dad used to tell mum what to wear

I was always upstairs when the arguing happened.

Dad used to tell mum what to wear, what she could do and where she could go.

She was scared of him.

After the first time I saw him hurt her I didn't want to go to school, I didn't want to leave my mum alone in the house.

She said we wouldn't be coming back

Every time something happened I told her we should go. She'd kick him out of the house but he had keys and would always come back.

One time after he hit her she said that we'd be going away and we wouldn't be coming back.

I couldn't say goodbye to my friends and mum got really upset when we left. I was relieved to be getting away.

Mum told me I could take three outfits and anything valuable. I had to leave the rest.

We all had to live in one room

We stayed at the refuge for six months.

We all had to live in one room, we had a few drawers each and no tv to begin with but it was more homey than I thought.

There was a playroom for the children, a big lounge and a dining room.

I'll never forgive my dad

The refuge helped us find a new home and found me a new school. We had to start all over again.

Looking back now I can't believe it happened. I'm really proud of myself and what my family have done.

I'll never forgive my dad or forget what he did.

My mum is my best friend. She'll always be there for me and I'll always be there for her, we've got an unbreakable bond.

Behind Closed Doors - A Newsround Special is on BBC One on Monday 19 March at 5pm

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