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What divorce really does to children – in their own shattering words

By Yasmin Alibhaii-Brown, Mailonline

Tasha has the look of a young Britney Spears. With long, blonde hair, dressed in a bright pink skimpy top with skin-tight trousers and rather too much make-up, the 17-year-old appears a little too defiant, hard and knowing.

But behind the posturing quivers a hurt little girl, still smarting from the day, as she describes it, 'Dad left Mum for another woman, abandoning us – innocent children with an idyllic family, or so we thought.'

Tasha is one of a number of children and young adults appearing in a BBC TV documentary shown tonight describing, with almost unbearable honesty, the real effect a disintegrating marriage has on children like her.

It's a programme that has struck a particularly resonate chord with me: like Tasha, I will not forget the day, 23 years ago, when my ex-husband announced he was leaving me and our ten-year-old son.

I can still recall the sight of my boy dissolving, sobbing, still not believing that his parents would no longer live together.

I remember the message he recorded on his little cassette player, how he begged his dad to come back – and in turn the hackneyed platitudes delivered by the man who never understood, never wanted to understand, what he did to his child.

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