All Peterborough primary schools to be given book about coping with domestic abuse

Every primary school pupil in Peterborough will have access to a new book looking at issues around coping with domestic abuse at home.

By Stephen Briggs
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 4:48 pm
The Hideaway
The Hideaway

Cambridge writer and illustrator Pam Smy’s latest story, The Hideaway, focuses on a child who runs away from home as he cannot bear the domestic abuse taking place between his mother and step-father.

The storyline was supported by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Partnership which has agreed a deal to offer a hardback copy of the book to all primary schools across the county, as well as all libraries.

The illustrated novel focuses on Billy McKenna who packs his bags and leaves home before seeking out a hiding place in the graveyard on the edge of town.

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While there he meets an old man who is trying to prepare the graveyard for a strange, secret event. As Billy helps the stranger he thinks about the life he has left behind and wonders about the mystery unravelling around him, and if he can ever go back.

Cllr Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, education, skills and the university, said: “Domestic abuse is a largely hidden crime which can have a devastating impact on all family members, so it is a good thing we can raise awareness of it in a safe setting.”

Pam is available to give talks about making the book, the illustrations and the ideas, while she can also run writing and drawing workshops around the themes in the book.