Positive Contributions - Get Involved
One Womanís Story
This monthís newsletter asked women to share their thoughts and feelings around their first time in a refuge. Their responses can be found on our newsletter. This is one womanís story. We didnít want to cut it short!
ďThe first time I contacted Womenís Aid was very scary. I rang them and set up a meeting where I went and told them my story. They made me feel like I did have a way out. They suggested going to a refuge and what it entailed. I felt then that I would get the help and support I needed. Still felt like a scared little girl running away from home though. I went away and thought about it.
They rang around to find me a place available for me and my children to go. The first one I went to was in L. They told me where to go and who I was needing to speak to. Didnít feel real everything happened too quickly. My social worker helped me move but I knew womenís aid would look after me.
The refuge I went to wasnít like anything I imagined not that I had a certain image. Just wasnít what I expected a refuge to look like, it felt like a place you stay not live if that makes sense it wasnít a house it was just a building, the second one I went to was a house, it felt homely, this one had carpets and a landing not a corridor.
The first place they let me take my things upstairs and then came down to tell then what they wanted, they took me round and told me what was expected of me. Nobody was in so didnít get to meet anyone. The second place was so different, we took our things upstairs and they brought us a drink, we came down and was shown around. Got to meet some of the other people there, they made me feel welcome which was nice as the other place was like a clinic this place was like a home with a family. Me and the support worker went through some questions and sorted a Plan of action out so we knew what to do next. Felt comfortable this time.
My first night in the refuge house I slept through and didnít worry once, straight away I felt secure, that was a big thing for me, in both places I met up with the rest of the women and we exchanged stories, got to know each other and realised that this happened to so many people and even the little things were the same, I felt so relieved, I didnít no how things would turn out. Just took each day at a time. The first day anywhere is the hardest and you never know if they are helping you enough. Just having someone who will tell you that it will be OK and that they will do whatever they can to help is support.
The other residents for me were all nice we talked and shared experiences.
In both a support worker showed me round. I did feel safe, safer then before at least, it was all a lot to take in so even though I was told everything the other residents reminded me or helped me if I didnít know something.Ē
Poem - Stop Fooling Yourself
The following Poem was written and very kindly donated by a woman who has used North Derbyshire Womenís Aid services.
STOP FOOLING YOURSELF
Domestic abuse is very wrong
And you girl
Youíve got to be very strong
If you think itís bad now
Look to the years
Thereíll be lots of heartache
Pain and tears
Heíll tell you itís not his fault
You or someone else is to blame
But donít let him use that one
Basically Ė theyíre all the same
Heíll destroy your confidence
Thatís what they do
Get rid of friends and family
To completely control you
Think about your children
Living in hostility
Then ask yourself this question
The life you want for them
Is it a possibility?
Get out now girl
Do it while you can
Save your children from the misery
Of life with a violent man
The help is out there
Just reach out your hand
Donít become a secret abuser
By burying your head in the sand
Life wonít be easy at first
But the problem
Wonít go away
But your thanks will come girl
When you see your children
Iíve been where you are
I put up with it for 20 years
It nearly killed me
But eventually I faced all my fears
I really believed I was protecting them
Keeping them safe and secure
But the day I really was protecting them
Was the day I walked out of the door.