Matilda is 10 years old. She lives with her Mother Stella and her step-father Percy.
Percy is often violent towards Stella and seems to have a strong dislike towards Matilda. Matilda is often in the room and is witness to the abuse.
Due to Percy's dislike of Matilda she is often locked in her room without access to food water or positive attention. Matilda doesn't understand why her Mum doesn't let her out or play with her.
Because of the neglect suffered at home Matilda often misses out on going to school or when she does she is often sent unwashed and tired resulting in her falling asleep while in class and being rejected by her peers. The abuse she is suffering at home is clearly having effects on her learning outcome and social development (Ref 2).
As Matilda is grown up she becomes engaged in several abusive relationships due to her being exposed to that as a child- this is most likely due to learned helplessness and being exposed to her primary caregiver being a victim of violence (Ref 2)
Matilda engages in criminal behaviour such as petty theft and substance abuse- She finds it hard to form and maintain any healthy relationships which causes her mental health to suffer which in turn results in her alcohol and drug abuse (Ref 1 & Ref 3)