Y’s story

Y had experienced physical and emotional abuse from her partner for several years, but had become concerned at the increasingly regular levels of abuse. She had called the police more frequently, and after a serious assault, decided to move to refuge for her safety. Y was worried about being able to bring her 2 pet dogs if she left and this had been the reason she stayed for so long. Y’s partner had harmed the dogs before and threatened to do so again. Y was able to bring her dogs to SWA after finding out other refuges were not able to accept her dogs. Y felt that being able to bring her pets made the choice to come to a refuge easier. Y had been worried about what a refuge would be like but she was surprised to see she would have her own self-contained flat in an area that had lovely outside space and walks nearby. Being able to be out in nature has helped her settle in and recover from her abuse as she feels she can have the space to process how she is feeling. Y attended the groupwork and regular resident meetings and was an active participant in activities. Y helped SWA to recruit new staff as part of the recruitment panel, which helped her think about returning back to work and using her skills. Y received support to ensure she was claiming all the benefits she was entitled to, and agree to a repayment plan for debts she had accrued, and agreement for some debts to be removed due to her abusive partner. Y attended local colleges to learn health and beauty courses, and helped other women learn cooking and baking in the refuge. She has gone on to secure her own home with her dogs.