One Woman's Journey - refuge
When Stephanie arrived at the refuge she had extremely low self-esteem and confidence and had never been allowed to have her 'own money'. Her husband 'controlled' their children (Lianne 6 and Scott 4) through fear. He had isolated her from her friends and family - she was not allowed out of the house without him - and so she had no support network.
As well as support needed due to the domestic abuse she had experienced, Stephanie worked with her key worker to identify her goals; managing debt (loans taken out by her husband in her name), looking for future accommodation, managing her mental health and looking at educational opportunities (she decided she would like to go back to college as she had not passed any of her GCSEs). Stephanie's key worker supported her in making positive steps towards these goals.
To support Stephanie with recovering from domestic abuse she joined our Changing Lives programme. This is a fifteen week programme - a mixture of formal group-work sessions and therapeutic craft sessions developed by TWA to give women the skills and awareness to stay free from abusive relationships in the future.
She also attended Money Matters - a five week programme of workshops that looks at budgeting, dealing with debt, spending habits and examines where attitudes to money come from.
Stephanie needed a lot of support with her parenting skills. She had no confidence in this area. The Children's Support Worker helped her to set appropriate boundaries with her children and gave her strategies to make meal-times and bed-times easier for Stephanie, Lianne and Scott.
Stephanie and her children moved out of the refuge after five months. She was very anxious about moving into her own property (she had never lived without another adult). She continued to be supported via our Resettlement Service. The communal setting at the refuge and the promotion of peer support by staff enabled Stephanie to build a number of friendships with other residents, which meant she had a support network once she moved out. She is currently attending our weekly Resettlement group and is also receiving 1:1 support.
"The Changing Lives programme of workshops really has changed my life."
"I have learnt how to protect myself and my children in the future and look for abusive signs."
"I don't know what I would have done without the refuge...without it, I would probably be dead by now."