A thank you message from an ex refuge resident


A bit of random email I guess but I wanted to firstly Thank what was women’s aid back then and to let you know how you helped change my life and my 3 Childrens…..

Back in August 2003 I visited Parklands at Gloucester Park in desperation. I had a violent abusive partner who I couldn’t get away from. By September I was living in your Basildon refuge with my three young children. Well I was broken as you’d imagine and my poor children traumatised.

We spent 5 months with you guys and received so much help and support. I did the women’s course with Val and my kids did the children’s course. I did briefly get back with ex during my time but thankfully only for a few wks. You guys helped me realise I deserved better and that I could get through this and give us all a good life.

You helped me get relocated to another borough near my mum, helped with the practicalities of moving etc and off we went.

That first yr was such a lonely dark time but I managed to reach out to Thurrock outreach and again received fantastic support from them. I had to move once more as ex found us but we soon got settled again.

During the next few years my children had support from NSPCC, I had counselling through SERIC and I also did another women’s course with Thurrock. We were in family court for over 6 years! And although it was incredibly difficult I managed to find the strength to get through it and he wasn’t allowed contact.

So fast forward to now….the uni student I met just before I left the refuge has been my husband for over 10 years. Both boys went through school and gained A grade GCSEs, one is now a brick layer and the other an engineer! My daughter is 3 months into an apprenticeship in hair and beauty. We’ve added to the brood with a 9 yr old son and a daughter of 4. My husband has his own business and I work part time caring for adults with disabilities. We’ve bought a house and life is amazing. Our marriage is wonderful and I’m truly blessed.

Of course we’ve had a few bumps a long the way, 1 son struggled with his anger for a few years but sought counselling and has worked through what hurt him so bad as a child. My daughter has been left with attachment disorder after yrs of court and forced contact but we’ve made it through.

We aren’t victims of DA were survivors that have recovered and made a good life for ourselves.

Now it goes without saying that women’s aid has been massively instrumental in our recovery and I could never thank you all enough. I hope one day I can be in a position to help others that are in the situation we was in but for now it still brings back too much hurt and trauma (PTSD) but I’ll know when I’ve reached that point and am ready.

So as I’m sitting here thinking it’s 15 years since I lived with you guys I want to thank you all from the bottom of my


Just to add I’m still in contact with ******. Those friendships will last a life time.

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