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    • #129731
      Daisy Fairydust
      Participant

      Hi there
      Just wanted to write something positive for those of you wondering about refuge.
      I started my journey to freedom about (detail removed by Moderator) ago, initially I refused to even think about refuge, I had really negative connotations about it but once I built a better relationship with my Women’s Aid worker and she told me my options I started to consider it. With two older teenage children I w as worried that they couldn’t come with me and at that point I would’ve stayed in the abusive relationship.
      My worker advised me that they had satellite safe houses and if I was interested would put me on the list. Some of these safe houses are community based so it’s almost like you are hidden in plain sight. It took a few months for one to become available once I’d set my mind to fleeing. I moved quite a bit of my own stuff out in drips and drabs so that he didn’t notice. I had no idea whether it was a flat or house so was pleasantly surprised when I visited my new accommodation, 3 bedrooms and a back & front door.
      ‘D’Day took some amount of strength and courage, I couldn’t just walk out the door on the day as we were in lockdown and he was always at home. I did the one thing we are advised not to do and I told him, gave the kids a choice to come too which they did. Whilst it was brutal, my friend came to help so that I was safe but my kids witnessed him shout, swear and throw things at me as we packed up two cars to leave.
      We’ve been away now for (detail removed by Moderator), still in the safe house, the social housing situation in my area is brutal but I’m a true believer in just letting things pan out the way they are meant to.

      I still have a bit of anxiety and PTSD, I took (detail removed by Moderator) months off work – my employer has been great but my future is looking so bright – I start Uni next month and I’m free.

      All the support I get from Women’s Aid and Victim Support is unbelievable, I have weekly catch-ups with my worker, the kids have their own support worker specifically for youths. Over the summer period we’ve been given vouchers for our favourite restaurant, just eat, we’ve been given mobile broadband because the broadband at home wasn’t supporting me working from home, my youngest child has been given a laptop for school work. I can never repay the support we’ve been given and I know we aren’t expected to but I will be eternally grateful to WA. Once I’m through the other side and settled I plan on doing some fundraising for the local WA that have helped me and my children (dogs and cats too).

      My message was really just to give people thinking about refuge some hope. It’s the scariest leap of faith I’ve ever done but honestly it’s given me my future back.

      x*x

    • #129733
      Tryingtofindhope
      Participant

      This is a such a wonderful and honest post. Thank yiu for sharing your experience. I was just wondering did you use the freedom project for your pets? This is one thing that worries me a lot because my dog is very anxious

    • #129736
      Daisy Fairydust
      Participant

      I was really lucky that the coordinators for my safe house let me take my pets, it was one thing that made me anxious too. Honestly I feel incredibly lucky at the moment, don’t get me wrong there is still stuff hanging over me like divorce proceedings and finding alternative accommodation but this safe space has just given me so much peace. I love it. Xx

    • #134370
      WICKED
      Participant

      Hi Daisy,

      I was just wondering what your situation is like now, did you get housed in the end? I’m finding the whole housing register situation and the response from the local authority traumatic!

    • #137124
      Rafaello15
      Participant

      Hi, was just wondering, you mentioned you have older teenagers, I have two older teenagers too. If they are 18 & over can they be allowed with you? As mine are very much dependant on me, one still in (detail removed by moderator).

    • #137129
      liftingthefog
      Participant

      Morning Fairydust,
      Thank you for posting such an inspirational and heart warming post, it brought tears to my eyes.
      Although as yet I haven’t needed refuge accommodation as my husband is currently on bail following another domestic incident and at the moment is not permitted to return to our home. I like you however have been staggered and overwhelmed by the support from various agencies specialising in domestic abuse/violence.
      I wish I had known that it was such as I would have reached out a long time ago, even this forum of sharing experiences has helped me no end in what is the beginning of healing and freedom from a horrendous relationship and marriage.
      I wish you all the very best as you move forward, starting Uni sounds so exciting and I am sure as you say the stars will align and your housing will be sorted to begin creating a new home …. which will be full of love and optimism and free of the toxicity of a home of abuse.
      Big hugs, thank you for sharing your post is inspirational.
      🤗xx

    • #137151
      Thisisthestart
      Participant

      Thanks for the insight and well done for going ahead with it! It’s the road I’m doing down, just waiting for space!
      One thing I’m worrying about is school. I moved areas to get my oldest into a good secondary school and I’m so worried if we go to a refuge he’ll lose his place! How did it work for you if you don’t mind me asking?

    • #137182
      Twisted Sister
      Participant

      Dear Daisy Fairydust

      You were extremely lucky in having access to all that, the peace and quiet and safety that must have brought you.

      Personally I have never heard of such delightful refuges! I wish they were standard and I hope you were equally lucky in securing a safe space to move onto with your family and animals.

      I guess the refuge depends on the area. My worker looked at a few refuges in different areas but none were like this, most were shared houses with shared facilities, no pets. We had men come into ours, and drugs and drinking, a lot, prostitution. It was a very different experience to yours, personally, when i look back at the damage this has all done me, I wish I’d never left as for me it didn’t stop. I hope I am allowed to speak my truth and it doesn’t deter anyone else, as all places are run differently and the help I had was the best I’ve ever had from my key worker.

      Are we allowed to talk about our refuge experiences? good and bad?

      I think its possible to check into what each refuge allows and doesn’t, they all have their own rules as far as I know, and different types of accommodation, so you can at least make decisions based on what you are offered and in what area, like when it comes to children’s schools and so on.

      TS

    • #138176
      Makesmestronger
      Participant

      Hi,

      I’d like to add in that I have just recently left refuge and although refuge life isn’t perfect it was home and it was safe for myself and my kids. I stayed in a refuge with a number of a other women but we were all in self contained flats, however the street the refuge was on was not ideal as over the years that it has been there the street has become somewhere people don’t want to stay. I’m saying this I never had anything happen to me or my car that sat outside day and night while living there. I enjoyed living in refuge. I had a safe space, I had access to workers of they were in the building and I had a good bond with them. I really appreciated that the children’s workers took my kids for an hour a week when the workers were able to take them which I get won’t be available everywhere depending on funding and staffing. I have obviously had a good experience compared to others but I asked before I left my situation what the accommodation was going to be like. I didn’t want to move into shared accommodation with others. I felt so lucky to have been given what I was. I will be eternally grateful to Women’s Aid for what they gave me.

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