What We Do

We have launched the Foundation in April 2016 to raise awareness about a specific and often overlooked group of silent victims: children with abusive step-parents. Our aim is to encourage children and young people to speak up against emotional abuse and create for them a secure environment where they can chat with a counsellor.

All our work is on a voluntary basis and we have decided against collecting donations.

Due to popular demand, we invite all 18+ visitors with issues not stemming from step-parental abuse to visit the following:

Professional online counselling and therapy

Couples and marriage counselling

Spanish online counselling and therapy

The objects of the CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) are to relieve the needs of children and young people who are victims of abuse, including but not exclusively psychological abuse from step-parents, in such ways as the charity Trustees think fit, including, but not limited to:

  • Creating a mutual-aid online community;
  • Engaging survivors of child abuse to contribute and encourage current victims to seek help;
    Psychological counselling and support groups to promote mental health; and
  • Connecting victims with specialists or organisations most suitable to their needs.
We thank everyone who helps us grow SHF in line with our vision and we are especially grateful to the following people for their invaluable input:

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#nomoresilence

Since the early stages of SHF one particular man inspires us like no other, for he has the courage to be himself. To us he represents honesty and perseverance, kindness and fortitude.

This man is Axl Rose.

Courtesy of Kim Neely and Rolling Stone we are sharing excerpts of an incredible, soul-stripping interview from 1992. We really hope it encourages our visitors to find within themselves the kind of strength it took Axl Rose to be so emotionally revealing for the purpose of getting better.

Axl Rose on his abusive childhood:

How do you deal with knowing now?

It’s not about going, “Well, I can handle it, I’m a man.” And it’s not about going, “Well, I forgive them now.” You have to reexperience it and mourn what happened to you and grieve for yourself and nurture yourself and put yourself all back together. And it’s a very strange, long chain. Because you find out your mother and father had their problems, and their mother and father had problems, and it goes back through the ages.

How do you stop the cycle?

I don’t know. It’s finding some way to break the chain. I’m trying to fix myself and turn around and help others. You can’t really save anyone. You can support them, but they have to save themselves. You know, you can live your life the way you have and just accept it, or you can try to change it. My life still has its extremes and ups and downs, but it is a lot better because of this work. I’m very interested in getting involved with child-abuse organizations. There’s different methods of working with children, and I want to support the ones that I believe in.

Have you talked to anyone yet?

I’ve gone to one child-abuse center. When I went, the woman said that there was a little boy who wasn’t able to accept things that had happened to him and to deal with it, no matter how many children were around him who’d had the same problems. And apparently he saw something about me and childhood problems, and he said, “Well, Axl had problems, and he’s doing okay.” He started opening up, and he’s doing all right. And that’s more important to me than Guns n’ Roses, more important to me than anything I’ve done so far. Because I can relate to that more than anything. I’ve had such hatred for my father, for women, for…

Yourself?

Yeah. Myself. And it’s just made me crazy. I’m working on getting past those things, and the world doesn’t seem to be too tolerant of me doing that in public. It’s like “Oh, you got a problem? You go away and take care of it.” All these relatives knew little pieces of this puzzle, and nobody helped me with s**t. I’m angry about that. I can’t sit and think about Uncle So-and-So and enjoy it much. And if you’re talking with any of these people, they try to get you to just tolerate it and take things back to the way they were: “Let’s not get it public.” My family did everything they could, thinking they were doing what was right, to bury it all. My stepfather was just adamant that he was going to protect Mom and himself: “Your real father does not get brought up.” And he was also trying to cover his own tracks for what he did.

Why are you talking about this publicly?

One reason is for safety’s sake. My stepfather is one of the most dangerous human beings I’ve ever met. It’s very important that he’s not in my life anymore or in my sister’s. We may be able to forgive, but we can’t allow it to happen again. There’s a lot of reasons for me to talk about it publicly. Everybody wants to know “Why is Axl so f***ed up?” and where those things are coming from. There’s a really good chance that by going public I’m gonna get attacked. They’ll think I’m jumping on a bandwagon. But then it’s just gonna be obvious who’s an a*****e and who’s not. There are probably people that are jumping on a bandwagon. But I think it’s time. Things are changing, and things are coming out.

It’s only been in the last few years that people have really been talking about what constitutes abuse. I’m not talking about molestation but emotional abuse.

All parents are going to abuse their children in some way. You can’t be perfect. But you can help your child heal, if he’s able to talk to you. Then he can say, “You know, when I was five, I saw this.” I wear a shirt onstage sometimes that says, tell your kids the truth. People don’t really know what that’s about. Up until early this year, I was denied what happened to me, who I was, where I came from. I was denied my own existence, and I’ve been fighting for it ever since. Not that myself is the greatest thing on earth. But you have a right to fight for yourself.

If you don’t have a sense of your own identity, everything’s going to seem like a losing battle.

My growth was stopped at two years old. And when they talk about Axl Rose being a screaming two-year-old, they’re right. There’s a screaming two-year-old who’s real pissed off and hides and won’t show himself that often, even to me.Because I couldn’t protect him. And the world didn’t protect him. And women didn’t protect him and basically thought he should be put out of existence. A lot of people out there think so now. It’s a real strange thing to deal with on a consistent basis. I’m around a three-year-old baby now and then, and sometimes after a few days it’s just too overwhelming for me. My head is spinning because of the changes it’s putting me through.

Who do you want to be?

I guess I like who I am now. I’d like to have a little more internal peace. I’m sure everybody would.

By 

April 2, 1992

Full interview

We are incredibly lucky to have been granted permission to reprint parts of Lonely Boy, the autobiography of Sex Pistols rock guitarist Steve Jones. His story is honest and captivating and we hope his courage inspires others to open up and talk about abusive step-parents #nomoresilence

Adapted excerpt from Lonely BoyTales from a Sex Pistol by Steve Jones. Copyright © 2017. Available from Da Capo Press, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

…As a kid I used to have fantasies where I would imagine having different parents. I’d see people in films or on TV shows and think, ‘Why can’t I be in their family?’
…It’s not like I had the worst childhood ever. You hear horrific stories of kids going through way worse abuse than I did, and I’d hate it to look like I’m trying to put myself on that level. What I do know is how much things that happened when I was a kid f•••ed me up –still now, to this day. Of course the chemistry of everyone’s brain is different, so some people might deal with a lot worse and come out fine, and others could have it really easy and still feel very hard done by. All I can tell you about is my own experiences, and given how dodgy my memory is, I can’t even be too sure about some of them.
…We’d been in Benbow Road a few years by the time my stepdad fiddled with me. I must’ve been ten or eleven, because by then we’d moved upstairs to a slightly bigger flat in the same house that had an actual toilet and a bathroom….My mum was in hospital when it happened….I don’t know how long I was in the house on my own with him…. One night, Ron’s in bed in Benbow Road when he calls me in to see him. He doesn’t generally acknowledge my existence unless he absolutely has to, but when he does address me directly, there’s usually a bit of intimidation going on. So I wasn’t going to say no, even though I’d have had no reason to think anything good was going to come of it…
…I haven’t got a clue what’s going on, but I’m there on my own with him and there doesn’t seem to be any other option other than to go along with what he wants. So that’s exactly what I do…
…All I remember feeling immediately afterwards was a bit bewildered –just thinking, ‘That was … odd.’ But the consequences of what happened are still with me half a f•••ing century later. I never told anyone about it for years afterwards, and it feels quite strange putting this in a book even now. But knowing the damage all the confusion I felt did to me over the intervening years makes me want to do all I can to let anyone who’s been in a similar situation know they’re not alone.
Obviously Ron would have to be a bit of a sicko to do what he did to a ten-year-old kid. I certainly never got the impression that he felt any conscience about it afterwards. I used to wonder if he’d done it to other children, but my instinct said probably not. It felt more like part of the power play around my mum –one of those alpha male things, like something that would happen in prison, where he had his chance to put his mark on me and so he did. He never tried it again, but if his objective was just to f••k me up he’d already achieved that goal, so why would he bother?
He’d always wanted to get rid of me so he could have my mum to himself, and now he’d pretty much got his way. From that point on, I never wanted to be at home. I didn’t feel safe there. I wasn’t actively in danger –I just felt threatened by his presence, and he seemed to revel in that. I guess when an adult who’s meant to be looking after you does something like that, it changes the way you feel about people in general. An abused kid with no one to talk to will often think what’s happened is their fault, even though at some level they know it isn’t. That was certainly true of me. Another common response is to get angry and act out, and I did that too, if not necessarily in the way you’d expect.
…What it all came down to was me not feeling comfortable with myself. These experiences of molestation had knocked me out of alignment with the world. There didn’t seem to be any escape from feeling like this, not at school and certainly not at home, and all the s••t I started getting into from then onwards –thieving, drinking, drugs, with birds –was basically about trying to leave that sense of discomfort behind. I was just looking for a way to feel all right, and I wasn’t too bothered about who got hurt in the process.
…I’ve often wondered if things would’ve worked out differently if I’d been able to tell anyone what had happened at the time. My mum had no way of knowing –Ron certainly wasn’t going to tell her, and it’s not like I tried to talk to her about it and she shut me down. She probably would’ve done, but I can’t really hold that against her when I didn’t give her the chance to prove me wrong.
…I can’t deny I’ve carried a lot of anger towards both of them over the years, but I don’t feel so much towards my mum now.

Who We Are

Trustees

Julia
Julia Founder
John
John
Father of 5, Harvard University graduate John has extensive experience in the real estate market as well as many years at Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank
Anna
Anna
Anna, MBA, MIB, is a multi-lingual specialist who comes from a background in hedge funds and real estate investments

Ambassadors

Dr Oliver James
Dr Oliver James
Dr Oliver James is a chartered psychologist. He is an author, journalist, television producer and broadcaster.‎
He has written columns for The Sun, the Sunday Telegraph, the Sunday Express, The Independent, The Observer magazine and The Guardian Family section
Alexander Kaufmann
Alexander Kaufmann
Alex is a film-maker, producer, script-writer, entrepreneur, father of two teenage girls, Monaco resident, bon-vivant and ardent humanitarian
Anthony Askar
Anthony Askar
Anthony has over 20 years experience in finance, of which 9 were at Union Bancaire Privee, London. In addition, he was a Partner at two major hedge funds, as well as a renowned Family Office
Balazs Juszt
Balazs Juszt
Balazs is a filmmaker of Hungarian origin, with a Masters from UCLA. After several festival-circuit short films, his feature debut, The Man Who Was Thursday – inspired by G.K. Chesterton’s novel of the same title – has opened in 2016
Gustavo Duarte
Gustavo Duarte
Gustavo is a polyglot high-tech industry professional, a pilot and a former football referee. As a volunteer, he has previously been involved in the resocialization process of the homeless in Brazil and the education of underprivileged children in Austria

Cinderella Effect

Cinderella Effect: the Startling Truth of Stepfamily Parenting Style

Named after the popular fairy tale, the Cinderella effect has anything but a happy ending. Statistics suggest a strong correlation between stepparents and higher incidences of child abuse cases. Hence the Stepfamily parenting style.

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