Derbyshire MP speaks of 'violent' upbringing at hands of abusive stepdad

A Derbyshire MP has spoken about the ‘lifelong shadow’ cast by his difficult upbringing at the hands of a violent stepdad.

Thursday, 30th April 2020, 10:48 am
Updated Thursday, 30th April 2020, 10:53 am

Conservative MP for Bolsover, Mark Fletcher, told the House of Commons about his own personal experience of domestic violence as a child in a moving speech on Tuesday.

"Very sadly, I grew up in a household where we encountered incidents of domestic violence,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Let me say that it casts a lifelong shadow on those children who are affected."

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Bolsover MP Mark Fletcher has spoken about the domestic abuse he suffered as a child.
Bolsover MP Mark Fletcher has spoken about the domestic abuse he suffered as a child.

Mr Fletcher added: "I had a stepdad who reigned with physical terror and I regret that I remember the difficulties we had when he became violent.

"He decided one day to come home and beat my mum to a point where she needed strong support, and where he came upstairs and blamed me an 11-year-old kid, and used words that I wouldn't repeat in Parliament ever.

"Those are things that shape you, those are things that unfortunately you can never forget."

He added: "I don't remember particularly well the period afterwards in which economic manipulation, in which he took, or tried to take control, of the family's money.

"I do remember the visit of the psychiatric nurse to help my mum and I remember her shame, her shame for nothing that she had done.

"Her shame at not being able to tell the authorities when she denied it to the police.

"When I was lying to my school.

"I remember that shame and that's something that nobody should have to go through."

Mr Fletcher, who won the Bolsover seat last year by defeating veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner, was speaking during the second reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill.

MPs were debating how to tackle increasing levels of domestic abuse amid the coronavirus crisis.

Support services and charities have reported a surge in the number of people reporting domestic violence since the start of the lockdown in March.

Spectator magazine described Mr Fletcher’s speech as one that ‘deserves to be heard’.