Ali is a 20-year-old gay man who has been in a relationship with a man who abused him coercively and psychologically. The abuser would become angry with Ali and tell him he was worthless and useless using sexualised swear words to hurt him. Ali told us, “I was always walking on eggshells. I could never relax and was always on high alert.” Ali described how his abusive partner had stopped him from seeing the family and friends he loved, by threatening to ‘out’ him to them. This had a devastating effect on Ali, as he comes from a culture that does not readily accept gay people and the fear of being exposed to his community in this way, left him feeling extremely anxious and socially isolated.
Ali’s abusive partner also screened all his texts, emails and phone calls. Ali had no privacy and his movements were closely monitored and controlled, leaving him unable to leave his home on his own.
Ali’s abusive partner also had full financial control and he had no access to any of his own money.
With the support of friends who could see how unhappy and afraid Ali was, he finally managed to escape the abuse and contacted FearFree for support where he spoke with one of our highly skilled support workers.
Whilst Ali still suffers from social anxiety and depression, with support he has also been able to begin training in the healthcare sector. Ali remains with the FearFree service to help him cope with the day to day effects of having experienced domestic abuse. We have helped him attend appointments with his GP and helped him talk about the abuse he has suffered. Practical support has been provided to help him manage the heavy debts his ex-partner left him with. Support has included: help in maximising benefits, signposting to Citizen’s Advice Bureau and regular friendly phone calls to check in with Ali and provide emotional support.
FearFree support is always empathic, non judgemental and client led. For Ali, this has meant exploring ways in which he can improve and increase his social networks and link in with local LGBT+ events and support groups.
Whilst Ali’s road to full recovery continues, his family and friends can see the great strides he has made and how his self confidence is growing.