Our Impact - Sarah's Story3 Sep 2018
We first became aware of Sarah's* situation when a concerned family member contacted us from abroad. She was worried that Sarah's partner was subjecting her to abuse at their home and hoped we could offer some advice and assistance.
The family member contacted Sarah who agreed to meet with us to discuss how we could support her moving forward.
At our first meeting, Sarah disclosed several incidents of violence and explained how she had been abused physically, emotionally and financially for the past three years. The abuse began when she was pregnant, and her partner had found many ways to control her, including threatening to kill her on more than one occasion.
Sarah still lived with her partner and young son and was extremely afraid of the potential repercussions of talking to us. She disclosed that she often had to report where she had been and who she had been with, and that her phone was constantly monitored. Sarah was encouraged by her partner to give up work and sell her car which ensured she was fully dependent on him. She felt isolated and scared and had limited access to money to support herself and her son.
Once in refuge, we supported Sarah and her son as they planned their new life. We assisted Sarah with applying for benefit entitlement, registering with a GP and finding a nursery group for her son. Initially, Sarah found it difficult to cope and accept that she couldn't return to her previous life, but our women's workers maintained regular contact with Sarah and supported her through every challenge she faced.
After several months working with Sarah, we helped her to secure a job that she loved and to find a permanent home. We created a budget to assist her with managing bills, rent and day-to-day expenses and regularly checked that Sarah and her son were happy, comfortable and safe in their home and new life.
The perpetrator pled guilty and was sentenced.
*Sarah's name has been changed to protect her identity