Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

‘I stabbed him in the side’: Councillor Ryan Houghton describes moment he tried to save his mum from abusive boyfriend

Council finance convener Ryan Houghton said he was "looking forward" to reviewing how the council is run with members of all parties in the new year.
Aberdeen Council's finance convener Ryan Houghton opens up about traumatic childhood experience to raise awareness about domestic abuse.

Aberdeen City Council’s finance convener has revealed he stabbed his mother’s boyfriend to stop his “furious punches”.

In a thread on Twitter, Mr Houghton opened up about the traumatic childhood experience to highlight how “common” domestic abuse is – and the impact it has on victims.

He said he felt “encouraged” to “get it off his chest” after fellow politicians recently shared their own experiences of abuse.

It comes just days after Banffshire and Buchan MSP Karen Adam used her own experiences to try and change perceptions about who in society may be sexual abusers.

“I grabbed a small knife from the kitchen and seeing my mum’s face being turned into a pulp I stabbed him in the side.”

Ryan Houghton

Childhood trauma ‘far more common than we like to admit’

Mr Houghton described how his mother’s boyfriend “Martin” had becoming increasingly abusive towards her, saying it often went “beyond a shouting match to throwing things and slamming doors”.

He posted: “I was going to write this last year but hesitated and left it. I’m typically quite a private person and don’t typically talk about my own life on social media.

“However I’ve found that reading from other people who have gone through trauma or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) open up about it I feel that bit more encouraged to write it out and recognise its impact. It is far more common than we like to admit.

“Not just for me but also other people who had similar experiences as there is something intangibly valuable (maybe therapeutic). The more we know the more we can recognise, reflect and help those who are at risk now.”

Mr Houghton claimed that one night Martin attacked his mother until her “face turned into a pulp”.

Then 12, Mr Houghton – who was in the house with his young brother – grabbed a small knife and stabbed Martin in the side to stop the “furious” punches he was throwing.

Adding that his mother relied on crutches following an accident, he alleged: “He dragged her into the living room knocking me to the side and proceeded to start attacking her furiously.

“She tried to block him off with her crutch but it was little use. I called the police from the landline and a family friend who lived nearby both could hear the screaming in the background.

“The punching continued as he held her down on the couch.”

“I grabbed a small knife from the kitchen and seeing my mum’s face being turned into a pulp I stabbed him in the side. This caused him to pause and shout. Swearing at my mum that I had stabbed him. My mum only making mumbling crying sounds.”

No convictions

Following the incident, the family were taken to the station and gave a statement.

Mr Houghton was not prosecuted on the grounds he stabbed Martin in self-defence – but he claims has also recently learned that the attacker was also not convicted, as his mother didn’t want to take it further.

“It’s over 17 years since this happened and both the law and attitudes have changed a lot when it comes to domestic abuse,” he said.

“Children are now considered as ‘experiencing’ abuse domestic abuse than simply ‘witnessing it’ as the law used to be.

“I find it difficult to explain the impact this and other related events had on my later life but it’s certainly given me a knowledge of what its like for kids who undergo ACEs.”

Mr Houghton has been contacted for comment.

Help is available to any adult or child suffering abuse.

Already a subscriber? Sign in