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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.

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.

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 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.

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