‘Refuge helped me believe I could be happy again, and I am!’

I came into refuge last year after police were called by my neighbour. My partner had beaten me for over 4 hours – I really thought my life was over. The only thing that kept me alive was knowing I had to get my baby out of there and away from this monster before he got hurt too. I took ages to get to refuge – to be honest I didn’t care where I went as long as were safe, but I was petrified. I didn’t know what to expect and thought I would be put in a hostel-type place.

When I met Tracey and Karen I immediately knew everything was going to be ok. They welcomed us and explained what refuge was and showed us to a lovely room, where they had put a cot and teddy there for my son.

They gave us food, introduced us to the other families in the house and reassured us. They said they would help us get my benefits sorted and help me get orders through the court to make sure we were safe from my ex-partner. They took me to the doctors, the Health Visitor came to see us and we started going to the Children’s Centre where I met other new mums.

It was hard, I was away from my family and I felt lonely – but I am now in a lovely flat, have some nice friends and am hoping to go back to work once my son starts at nursery. I will forever be grateful to Dash for helping me when I needed it most- they really understood me and how hard it was to leave. My advice to others is to leave, you deserve better and you can be happy again! It’s not love, it’s control – but get advice from the experts like Dash rather than waiting like me, hoping things will get better.

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