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Stories

Sarah’s Story

In February 2020, Sarah and her two young children came to the office drop in on the advice of her solicitor. Sarah had been subjected to physical, emotional and financial abuse from her husband. On discussing her options, Sarah decided to move to refuge to allow respite from the situation and to ensure their safety as the abuse had escalated of late.

While in refuge Sarah received emotional and practical support. Sarah decided to report the historical abuse and her husband was arrested. Special bail conditions were put in place. Sarah took legal advice about child contact , divorce proceedings and a return to the family home. With her solicitor acting on her behalf, the perpetrator agreed to leave.

Sarah installed additional security at the property,- cctv, exterior lighting and bolts to the front and back doors. A storm marker was placed on the property. Thorough safety planning was completed.

Sarah told us:

“One of the best things I have ever done is come to WASLER for support. Before I had, I didn’t know what options were available to me.

My worker was a great support to me. I felt I was listened to and fully understood for the first time in a long time. Following meeting with my support worker for the first time, I felt a big weight lifted off my shoulders.

When I arrived at the flat it was in a new, clean and tidy condition with everything we needed to allow us to feel at ease.Taking the children away from the family home is a worry but I was happily surprised that my children were excited about their new temporary home.

When I arrived at the flat it was in a new, clean and tidy condition with everything we needed to allow us to feel at ease.

Taking the children away from the family home is a worry but I was happily surprised that my children were excited about their new temporary home.

The flat we stayed in was great to allow the kids and me to get peace, and the space for me to figure out how to move forward with my life and protecting the kids and me.

Also, a thing that made a big difference for the kids was getting toys on arrival to the flat and during lockdown, arts and crafts sent to occupy them.

I felt safer and I was supported to make positive choices.

I felt safer and I was supported to make positive choices.

When I first approached WASLER my anxiety levels were very high and my eyesight suffered due to stress. 7 months down the line, following WASLER’s support and advice, my anxiety and stress levels continue to reduce, as it has enabled me to put things in place to put my mind at ease, that I have a safe and happy future to look forward to.

I want to thank my refuge support worker for the support she provided me. I wasn’t aware beforehand what was available. Ive changed from being a frightened, anxious mother to every day feeling more at ease.

Lockdown I know has been hard on everyone but WASLER made it that bit easier for me in what would have been an unthinkable situation had I not been able to leave my ex husband when I did and seek refuge in a safe environment.

My son talks of his time in the flat fondly, as a time we spent together.

Seeking refuge to me previously, seemed so daunting but was far from what I imagined and was perfect for our needs.”

Zach’s Story

Zach was referred to our CYP service by his mum. Mum was with Zach’s father for 9 years. Zach is an only child and lives with his mum. Mum and dad separated around 2 years ago. There was a lot of shouting and hitting in the home and Z felt sad and upset about it. He did not feel safe at home and could not tell anyone.

The first appointment was booked, and a Children and Young Person’s (CYP) worker met with Zach to discuss what the CYP service could offer. Zach decided he would like to meet with his worker at school and in his local area for 1-2-1 sessions.

Zach felt safe during sessions to share what his worries were and talk about what had happened in his family. Zach completed an Outcome Star, and this helped him and his worker to decide what areas of his life he could work on and how. Zach and his worker agreed a plan that would help and agreed to work on it together. Zach wanted his worker to tell mum about the plan, and she did so mum could also help.

The CYP worker and Zach talked about confidentiality and how information about Zach and his family are kept safe and only shared if it is necessary to protect children.

Zach learned that what happened in his family was not his fault.

Zach talked about when he was upset with what happened in his family as he wished that he could change the bad things. Zach learned that what happened in his family was not his fault. Zach felt happier straight away and said he felt he would like to carry on working with his CYP worker.

Zach worked on safety planning to ensure he was able to keep himself safe. Zach was able to identify safe and trusted adults that he could talk to if he felt upset or worried. Zach learned that he could ring 999 in an emergency and this felt reassuring for him.

Getting to know Zach meant that the CYP worker was able to find ways of working that were fun and enjoyable but helpful and supportive. Using play doh, arts and crafts and doing worksheets were things that Zach liked to use in his sessions. Using a stress ball helped Zach to manage his anger and Zach learned that anger is not a bad emotion, but that aggression is not a good reaction. Zach was able to work on managing his feelings and talk about them instead of hitting out at others, including his mum.

Zach had a breakthrough, being able to manage his feelings more and not getting so angry by using the tools his CYP worker had shared with him.

Teachers at school noticed how Zach looked happier and more relaxed in his lessons. Mum told the CYP worker that her and Zach talked more, and mum said she felt she understood what Zach was going through.

Z told his CYP worker that he felt more confident, safer, and less worried for himself and his mum.

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@womensaidsl

  • hrussell__ profile imageStable LA funding is possible then 👍🏽#16DaysofActivism #WhatAreYouDoing?
    womensaidSL profile image‘In Conversation: Collaborative and Stable Commissioning for Domestic Abuse Services’ – Scottish Women’s Aid and East Ayrshire Council womensaid.scot/in-conver… 12 hours ago
    10 hours ago by hrussell__
  • womensaidSL profile imageThe family are now listed as homeless and await a permanent offer of accommodation. Staff begin twice weekly support sessions to aid their recovery from domestic abuse. 10 hours ago in reply to womensaidSL
  • womensaidSL profile imageThe family were given an address to met our our staff at refuge with their belongings. Staff helped with familiarisation of the space, surroundings and completed paperwork needed. 10 hours ago in reply to womensaidSL
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