Hope for the Future with Women's Aid

12 Oct 2012

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.

But my supportive brother had persuaded me to give Women’s Aid a call - so I did. The response I got moved me to tears - a kind voice at the end of the phone encouraged me to talk. She listened as I blurted out my history - that my ex-husband had never got out of our lives; how, although he couldn’t hurt me physically anymore, he used any emotional or psychological means available to make me feel under siege; that he’d physically and emotionally abused my daughter; that all the memories I’d fought to bury were overwhelming me; that I didn’t feel I could go on anymore. The voice reassured me that I was entitled to help, that it was never too late to seek it - and that I would be put in touch with an Outreach Worker as soon as possible.

Within days, I had met my allocated worker and was receiving sensitive, practical, invaluable support. This marked a huge turning point in my life. EWA have given me and my daughter so much. My worker found places on the Cedar Project for my daughter and me. She has provided me with vital concrete and emotional help - suggesting books and websites to read, listening to me when I felt overwhelming guilt and despair, accompanying me to a solicitor’s, suggesting ways to deal with the panic and anger which sometimes seemed to rule my life. She gently questions me when I blame myself and reminds me that you can only be responsible for your own behaviour - not the abusive actions of others. She always encourages me and never judges me.

My daughter is now getting excellent help and support from an EWA Children & Young People’s worker. We both have a long way to go, but I have hope for the future for the first time in my adult life.

So, what does Women’s Aid mean to me? Well, everything I’ve just written about, which has improved the quality of both mine and my daughter’s lives immeasurably. But the one thing I cannot quantify, that’s truly priceless is simple -  they believed me.

Staying Safe

If you need immediate help contact Women's Aid, the police domestic abuse liaison officer or your local social work office.

You can also phone Scotland's domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline on 0800 027 1234

Facts & Figures

In 81% of cases of domestic abuse there is a female victim and male perpetrator (SCS 2012)

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