A 7-year-old boy in Texas wrote a letter to Santa asking for a “very very very good dad” for Christmas this year. The boy has been temporarily living with his mom in a domestic violence shelter.
The boy’s mother found the letter sitting in his backpack. His mother showed the letter to a domestic violence shelter called SafeHaven of Tarrant County staff in Fort Worth, Texas. Kathryn Jacob, the CEO of the shelter told CNN about the letter.
SafeHaven posted the boy’s letter to social media on Wednesday. They changed the boy’s name to Blake for safety reasons.
We had to leave our house. Dad was mad. We had to do all the chores. Dad got everything he wanted. Mom said it was time to leave and she would take us to a safer place where we don’t have to be scared.
I’m still nervous. I don’t want to talk to the other kids. Are you going to come this Christmas? We don’t have any of our stuff here. Can you bring some chapter books, a dictionary, and a compass and a watch? I also want a very very very good dad. Can you do that too?
Jacob told CTV that “Blake’s story is like every story we see. The problem is so pervasive.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, approximately 20 people in the United States are physically abused every minute by someone who is an intimate partner. That comes to about 10 million people per year.
Jacob is happy that the boy’s letter is receiving so much attention but she also hopes that attention will be drawn towards how often intimate domestic partner violence occurs.
According to Jacob, women who are mothers of three, are the average client that SafeHaven helps. The shelter sees more clients around the holiday season when children are not in school.
Jacob noted, “I think adult victims of domestic violence are thoughtful and strategic—I know they do the safest thing for themselves and their children,” she then added, “We may not understand that completely, but I think that’s why they typically don’t want to interrupt their child’s academic life, so they do that when there’s a break from school.”
The shelter has been housing 45 women along with 74 kids since Wednesday. The shelter can hold 164 people when it is at maximum capacity. Families stay at the shelter for about 8-10 weeks on average.
After the post was shared to social media, many Facebook users felt for the boy and gave their own stories of similar experiences.
Jacob said, “The people who have said that they’ve experienced this … that has been stunning to me,” she added, “And I’m in this world. [It’s] so many people.”