Amber Rose’s Story
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.