In this powerful and emotive documentary, ex-footballer, Ian Wright investigates the effect growing up in a psychologically abusive and violent home has on children.
In 2021, in the UK, 1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse, and in 90% of domestic abuse cases there is a child present. As well as coming to terms with his own experience, Ian sets out to understand the impact that domestic abuse in childhood can have on children growing up and how it can shape the adults they will become.
Ian experienced domestic violence in his own childhood. He now has children of his own. During the documentary he speaks to his brother about their shared experiences growing up, he revisits his childhood home for the first time in fifty years and then travels across the UK to meet other people who have experienced domestic abuse in their childhoods. He also meets with professionals to talk through his own trauma. Ian discovers how things have changed since he grew up in the 70s, and he finds out how children are supported in the UK today by visiting his former primary school and observing local and charity-led initiatives.
In the final part of documentary Ian visits a charity that works with people at risk of committing, or who have already committed, domestic abuse and meets a man who is on a course to help him understand and change his behaviour. Ian discovers how abuse can become a dangerous cycle and emotionally reveals that he is now able to begin to forgive his mother and move on from the past. Upon reflection, he concludes that “abuse creates a vicious cycle - it’s up to all of us to stop it”.
Sadly, many children including care experienced children have witnessed / experienced domestic violence, abuse and neglect and adoptive parents need compassion and awareness of the impact these experiences can have for children and families. This programme may be triggering for people who have witnessed / experienced domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in their own childhood: Ian Wright: Home Truths