Ex-footballer and broadcaster Ian Wright investigates the effect growing up in a psychologically abusive and violent home has on children in the UK. In the last year, 1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse, and in 90% of domestic abuse cases there’s a child present. As well as coming to terms with his own experience, Ian sets out to understand the impact this kind of childhood can have on kids growing up now and on the adults they will become.
After returning to his childhood home for the first time in 50 years to revisit his past, Ian decides to travel across the UK to meet with other people who have experienced domestic abuse in their childhood, as well as to meet professionals to talk through his own trauma. Ian discovers how things have changed since he grew up in the 1970s, and 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 leg of his journey, Ian visits a charity who work 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 able to begin to forgive his mother and move on from the past. Upon reflection he concludes ‘abuse creates a vicious cycle – it’s up to all of us to stop it.’