Covid 19 ravaged the world in 2020. In its wake, my life was ripped to shreds as I became a domestic violence survivor
Covid 19 ravaged the world in 2020. In its wake, my life was ripped to shreds as I became a domestic violence survivor. I have always wanted to share my story with the world and as I sit in a refuge with vulnerable children at this unprecedented time in history, I feel my tale is ready to be told, to be heard, to be felt.
Living in lock down with an abusive partner is like walking on eggshells. Any single wrong move can trigger a violent outburst. The home has to be kept running in perfect order, no time to rest, no moment to relax. Every move criticized, every response is wrong, and every moment is spent in fear.That's how my life was before the refuge. For years I was controlled, told I wasn't good enough, made to believe i was a stupid, ignorant, incompetent woman. For years I was neglected, abandoned in times of pain and illness,physically attacked when I tried to leave.
Why cant she just leave you ask? Well, I stayed for the lack of options to leave, I stayed because I knew no other life. I stayed because I at least had the chance to breathe while he was away at work. 2020 and covid 19 changed all that. Now I could no longer breathe as he was home all the time. I cracked and caved in and finally called the DV helpline while out on my one form of exercise allowed per day.
After trying for a week, the call from my refuge worker telling me she had a place for me and my kids was like a ray of light from a light house in a raging sea storm. I thought about the women who must be turned down in areas where DV calls were overwhelming and enough refuges simply didn't exist. I thought about the £57m the govt announced and wondered why more refuges weren't being made available. I felt blessed to be safe. I felt grateful that now I could build a new life from the ruins of my old one. I felt my voice coming out louder and clearer overtaking the abusers voice. Day by day I healed. I was supported. I was told I could do it, I was good at parenting,good at whatever I chose to do.
That's the difference a refuge place can make in a DV survivors life. I hope more survivors make it out. I hope my story can change policies and help those most vulnerable in this time of extreme need.