At Women's Aid we have supported many women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Some of them would like to share their stories.
I fled my abuser 18 months ago and have lived in hiding for much of that time. It began on the evening we married. Having not lived together prior I was devastated on the first night of our honeymoon when he showed almost no interest in me. Instead he made us leave the luxury hotel in the early hours to get some take away food where he then stood and watched a violent street brawl and did nothing to usher me away. I stood and watched while his face lit up with excitement. This was not the man I had said “I do” to earlier that evening.
Why doesn't she leave? I have had the same questions asked to me by family and friends. Before I met my ex I would have said the same thing but what people don’t realise is that abuse is done by degrees.
I’ve recently been getting involved in Women’s Aid. I came in experiencing domestic abuse but not really knowing what it was. I had said to myself it’s when your husband beats you up in the house and you’re black and blue with bruises, I even grew up thinking that until I came to Women’s Aid. Women’s Aid is an amazing place to be, being here hasn’t just woken me up, it has made me realise that all these years what I thought love was, it was actually abuse.
I was in a mentally abusive relationship for twelve years. [It] started very slowly, thought he loved me, moved from the other side of the country up to Edinburgh, taken away from all my family, my friends. I was pregnant at the time and it was just so isolating being expecting and coming up here.
We were trying to escape violence off my dad, he was quite an abusive partner for my mum and quite an abusive parent to his children. It had got to the point where we had to get away from that situation, and so we sought to go into a refuge and Women’s Aid were there for us. We went in when I was about eight years old...
When I first contacted Women’s Aid, I was terrified.
Not of my abusive ex, but of what EWA might say. Apart from my GP, no professional had taken me seriously before - and I didn’t blame them. After all, I’d been divorced from my abuser for several years, he’d never put me in hospital, I’d managed to keep the roof over me and my daughter’s heads…so surely, I was wasting their valuable time? I was convinced I’d be told to get a grip.
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