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Well, where do I start?


I’ve been on the run for a few years, because I’ve a lunatic for an ex-partner. He was very violent, I spent 4 years of daily abuse which ranged from verbal, sexual, physical and emotional.

We met in a day centre, we were both rough sleepers. Tim never drank or was a user, he was really twisted. Suddenly his face would change, his eyes would go all wide and I knew I was in trouble.

He never let me out of his sight, I wasn’t allowed to be on my own, he would leave me with his friends when he went off to do things. He controlled everything in my life. I finally had a chance to run and I did I just ran, we had gone away for the weekend, he let me out of his sight for 10 minutes as he avoided paying a hotel bill.

I was instructed to wait around the corner for him. All I had was my ID, pair of shorts and flip flops, I ran and ran. The next big hotel I came to I ran in and made a call to woman’s aid and jumped in a taxi to safety, my body trembling. I stayed in a safehouse and began the journey to re-build my life and my strength. Its kept me off the street and meant I’ve remained one step ahead of him.

Hopefully I’ll be able to be in my own house one day and be able to see my children again and I hope they’ll have enough dignity to understand.

Well, where do I start? 2016-01-26T19:28:17+00:00

Severe personality change


My partner had a severe personality change and I knew I had to get out of this explosive situation.

I moved out of London and felt safe at last.

Moving into the safehouse was a fresh start, I get lots of support and I feel really strong, a couple of months ago I couldn’t see a way out. I totally couldn’t see an open door.

Now I feel I have security and stability, I’m going to move into my new house and start college in September. I know we’re going to be happy and never go back to what had happened ever again.

Severe personality change 2016-10-25T10:42:12+00:00

10 years ago I fled from Ireland


I’d never got on a plane in my life and ran from Janet’s dad, with my three other children. He came after me and I was put in temporary housing and the police arrested him.

Life was okay until my son grew up and history started repeating itself. He became violent, like his father and the nightmare began again.

I went through life being vulnerable, I’ve been up and down. I wouldn’t still be here if I hadn’t had the support I’ve had, I feel stronger now and I know I would have gone back to the situation if I hadn’t had the help I’ve had. Next Link have been brilliant, having help with the kids has been great and I’ve really benefited from counselling.

For the future I really want to be able to come to terms with my past, do things for myself, learn to read and write. I’d like to do a course in interior design. I’d like my daughter to understand drugs and alcohol and have respect for herself and others.

10 years ago I fled from Ireland 2016-01-26T19:27:16+00:00

It started with stress at work


It started with stress at work and then led to depression, I had a few bereavements one after the other.

I’ve been in 3 violent relationships one after another.

I was abused by my father and blamed myself. I now have an eating disorder. I keep attracting abusive, controlling violent men. My husband kept attacking me.

My community care worker referred me to Next Link. I feel safe here now and the women in the house and support workers have been excellent and given so much support.

I hope to be settled in my own place and work again and regain my confidence and self esteem and start a new life.

It started with stress at work 2016-01-26T19:26:00+00:00

My Thank You


Next Link have helped me a lot more than anyone.

They have helped me build confidence and be strong for myself and to look after myself and to concentrate on myself rather than other people.

I left a very unstable and unsafe environment with my mum and we moved into their house and since we moved in we have been happier and we’ve learnt not to be afraid and that its us who are important not other people.

So Thank you Next Link.

My Thank You 2016-10-25T10:42:12+00:00

Me and my son have been abused for 13 years


I have been a victim of domestic abuse from my ex-partner for 13 years and also my son.

After 13 years I did not want myself or my children to suffer anymore so I went to the police Domestic Violence unit to seek help.

This is when they told me about Next Link. I telephoned and received help from the Crisis team who then referred me to the Resettlement/Tenancy support team.

Having support from Next Link has been a life line. My worker has helped me and my children come to terms with everything that has happened and to realise it is not my fault. I could not have managed without her help.

My dream for the future is that my children can live their lives happily and not be affected by what has happened.

Me and my son have been abused for 13 years 2016-01-26T19:25:09+00:00

My ex-partner controlled my life


Over 11 years, my ex-partner basically controlled every aspect of my life.

I didn’t feel strong enough to get away. He also made me feel guilty, like it was my fault that the children were without a father that I was splitting the family up.

He was very paranoid and possessive and I wasn’t allowed out of his sight. He had to know where I was all the time and who I was with.

For the first few years, he would physically abuse me but later it was more mental. The physical abuse is horrible, but the bruises often fade. The mental abuse makes you feel.it breaks you down, you start believing what he says. You feel more and more dependent on them and they make you feel like you are nothing, that you’re stupid. They make you believe that you’re not capable of doing anything about it.

I never really had help before. I left him before and had no-one to turn to so went back. I had family around but felt guilty about the trouble I was causing. If I had known of agencies that could help, I could have left without causing my family stress.

This time around, I had already asked him to leave but he wouldn’t go so I spoke to the housing office, that’s how I found out about Next Link. They help with moral support, talking and making you feel like you are not alone. Even the name helps with things like the housing. When an agency is involved the other agencies think you are serious and take it seriously. Next Link help with paperwork too, like grants, they help with all the loose ends that you don’t know how to do or don’t know about. It’s brilliant to help with courts and injunctions, coming with you if you need it.

When I got an injunction out the first time, the only help or support I got was a solicitor, but I had to go to her, she would not visit me. No-one came to the court with me, I got my Dad to come in the end. My ex was put into the same waiting room and came up to speak to me. I felt really vulnerable.

My hopes for the future are to make a nice safe home for me and my children where we can feel relaxed and in control of our own lives. I want to have a good future and go to college.

The moral support from Next Link has made me more positive and given me the encouragement to stand on my own 2 feet.

My ex-partner controlled my life 2016-01-26T19:24:42+00:00

My ex-partner is a darling…


My ex-partner is a darling when he is in ‘good guy’ mode, but he can switch into ‘bad guy’ very quickly.

Bad guy doesn’t involve physical violence towards me, it is more telling me how hard and cruel I am, how I have hurt him, his children, how much money he has spent on me, done for me and the lies I have told.

He becomes threatening and intimidating when I leave the house. He will then become desperate and throw my belongings about, hide my keys, or even try to destroy something precious to me. This behaviour is frightening as he is suddenly unpredictable and very irrational. He is good with words and uses convincing arguments. Later it is clear how twisted it all seems. When he batters my brain with his words of attack, I can only feel numbness.

In the past he has managed to wear me down and seduce me to going back with him. This time I have enlisted the help of more people. The DV division of the police have been very supportive and understanding. Next Link has given me the courage and resolve to stick to my convictions, especially as the visits are weekly – they keep me on track.

I have now made plans – things that I want to do at weekends, targets to achieve, and I hope to join a few groups where I can meet people and possibly make new friends.

My ex-partner is a darling… 2016-10-25T10:42:12+00:00

Service users say:

“For the first time in years I feel safe”
“The kids are laughing again”
“They helped me to take him to court”
“I have made friends for the first time in years”
Last week I moved into my new home
Service users say: 2016-10-25T10:42:12+00:00