Support When You're Not in Refuge

12 Oct 2012

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. 

It started as I say very, very slowly, couldn’t do nothing right, tried to please all the time but nothing ever, ever worked  so it got to the stage where I just stopped being me, I didn’t know what music I liked, what clothes to wear,  I didn’t know what food I liked.   And I tried to change, I tried to be what he wanted me to be but it still didn’t work, I wasn’t anything that he wanted.

I was even poisoning his food at one point, according to him, so I wrote everything down to make sure I wasn’t doing these things because I thought I was insane.  I thought it was me, it must be me, nobody else could treat somebody that they loved this way, so I must be doing all these things wrong.

I got locked in many a time, he checked the phone so I couldn’t phone anybody for help, so eventually I went to my GP and he always went to the GP with me but this time my GP knew that there was something deeply wrong with me and she went outside and said look, we’re running late, can you just wait outside, and she put me into a private room and she gave me the Women’s Aid phone number.

So I made my first contact through in the doctor’s surgery.

I was trying to arrange when I could get the key so I could get out. Eventually there was one day he had to collect the car from the garage, he forgot to lock the door. Before he left that day, we had a coal fire and he threw the ash bucket on the fire to give me something to do.

My sixteen year old son was in the house that day he said "right Mum you can’t do this no more" and I said let’s grab some stuff. I went through and grabbed some more stuff from my other son and I went to school and picked him up, booked a taxi from school and went to Women’s Aid.

Because my son was sixteen I couldn’t get into Refuge but Women’s Aid really helped, they took me to the Housing and I got homeless accommodation where I still am just now. I had no bank account, I had nothing, no ID because I wasn’t allowed, passport, driver’s licence, everything he took off me. 

Women’s Aid really, really helped with my basic skills to get back on to being a person.  I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the help that I got.

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

On one day in Scotland in 2013, 82 women and 12 children and young people contacted Women's Aid for the first time (SWA 2013)

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