That word would be EMPOWERING
As a mum nothing could ever physically, emotionally and mentally prepare you for the moment you realise your child is going through such turmoil. After discovering my daughter was being sexually exploited my heart sank, and my next steps were scrambled. I did not know how to process the information and deal with it appropriately, as one can imagine. I felt isolated in services when reaching out due to previous experiences, parental conflict, and stigma.
I felt judged, not listened too and devalued as the mum.
As a mum in all honesty this is how the situation made me feel; first I had several emotions including anger, frustration and sadness, I had failed as a mum. The situation seemed uncontrollable and all you want to do is protect your child.. I really did not know how to approach the situation not only with services but that with my daughter causing conflicts and becoming more strenuous on relationships across the family.
After previously learning about Pace and their support due to my studies, I completed the parent support enquiry form from the Pace website. Within a timely manner it was arranged to expand on the support I was seeking and what ways Pace could support me and my family. I accepted and continue to receive support via telephone and I have attended several webinars run by Pace, completed contextual safeguarding training, attended a parent residential and recently become part of the parent campaign group. When I think of the ways Pace have supported me and my family this goes beyond just via telephone. If someone asked me, what one word would you use to describe Pace? That word would be ‘EMPOWERING’. At first, I was hopeful that Pace would advocate for me between other services such as the police and social care, which they have done a phenomenal job at however what is more phenomenal is how in that process they somewhat empower you as a mum, a parent or carer to take back control.
Pace yields empathy, care and compassion just what my family and other family’s need when such abuse is happening from outside the family home.
I am fortunate as a mum to have the support my family have from Pace. They have not only facilitated me the space that is safe to express my thoughts, feelings and concerns without judgement but given me a sense of belonging as a parent with value. Pace has kept me sane in times when I have felt insane, they have provided me with the knowledge that has enabled me a more in-depth understanding, in-turn allowing me to manage and deal with situations more effectively not only with other services and that of maintaining mine and my daughter’s relationship but maintaining those relationships throughout the family which at times have become challenging. Pace has opened many of doors and throughout my journey with Pace I have met many inspirational people both other families and professionals, influencing outcomes for those experiencing or who have experienced child sexual and criminal exploitation including for families and communities.
I would like to thank Pace, all the workers and other parents or carers through Pace for all your support and hard work without you I think my family would have fallen apart.