Federica was married to her husband for 12 years. He was verbally, physically, financially, emotionally and sexually abusive towards her.
Looking back I know I should’ve left sooner but there were so many reasons I felt I couldn’t leave. We had 3 children together, how could I break up the family? In my culture women are not supposed to leave their husbands, I knew I’d be blamed if I did.
For years, I battled with the decision of whether to stay or go. I’d never lived alone before and my English isn’t very good, what if I couldn’t cope. One time, I told him I was thinking about leaving him. He threatened to kill me and my family if I left. I was so scared and felt completely stuck.
But I knew I had to do something. I got in touch with Solace and they were able to get me and my children out safely into a refuge. Not only did Solace give me a safe space but also so much emotional support. I feel listened to here, like my voice really matters.
Since arriving, my confidence and self-esteem has gone up so much. I am thinking about going back into education. Me and my children have been able to create positive memories as a family again. I cannot think about where I’d be now without the friendly and wonderful staff who have supported me.
Help women like Federica flee violence this Christmas.
*These are real stories from women we are supporting right now. Names have been changed to protect their identity.