Amber Rose’s Story

He was a pretty person, it was a physical attraction. I was 15 – He was controlling and I knew it but I didn’t see how serious it was at the time.

You just take it how it is because you think you’re in love with that person. At first it was just emotional abuse; the physical abuse started when I was 18 and was 5 months pregnant.

My health visitor noticed things and referred me to a domestic abuse outreach worker who, week by week, helped me see that I was being abused. The abuse increased, he raped me – I got pregnant – I didn’t know I was. Then he assaulted me, my eldest son saved my life by calling the ambulance. I was in hospital for 2 weeks, it was then I realised I needed to go.

I left soon after that for 3 days with the intention to return for my children. On the day I was supposed to come back I had a phone call to say ‘You might as well jump off a bridge because I’m coming to get you’. The police then put me into refuge. I was in a refuge with Hafan Cymru for 26 weeks. Today I have an appointment at the Job Centre, I now do volunteering and have done the Freedom programme [a course that identifies the signs of domestic abuse*. The staff at Hafan Cymru gave me the empowerment that I never thought I’d have.

Transcribed from the words of a service user

*The Freedom Programme developed by Pat Craven in 1999 has become nationally recognised as a powerful resource to help women affected by domestic abuse to gain control of their lives.

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