Judy is a champion of DV advocacy in the US and internationally. She came to meet staff and service users from Next Link to talk about her work in the US and hear about the work Next Link is doing.
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IMPLEMENT is a European Union (EU) co-funded project to establish capacity building in 6 European countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Italy, Romania) to strengthen the specialised support for victims of gender-based violence in health settings.
I spent many weeks in a woman’s refuge after leaving a forty year marriage of domestic violence. I moved into temporary accommodation on 8th December, which is a one bedroom flat.
This is when Next Link became involved, they helped with form filling, which I find quite daunting at the moment. They have helped me in so many different ways, to me they are my safety net, and gradually because of their help, I am rebuilding my new life and looking forward to being rehoused permanently and settling into my new life.
I have three young children.
In October, I left my ex-husband and escaped from the violence.
My health visitor put me in touch with Next Link who helped me through my situation. Next Link have been there for me, have supported me and are still here for me.
My 3 children and myself still need Next Link’s help and support.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.