Katie is a gay woman in her 30s who contacted our FearFree service and disclosed how her ex-partner had abused her physically, psychologically, financially and sexually. Her abusive partner had also isolated her from her family and friends.
The physical abuse had been extreme and had included choking and scarring her.
Once Katie had left the abuser, legal restrictions were put in place that should have led to her feeling safer but unfortunately her abusive ex-partner continued to harass and frighten her by coming to her door and hammering on her windows. She would also approach Katie on the street and shout abuse at her.
This increased the feelings of anxiety and fear and Katie’s mental health deteriorated.
Our FeaFree support worker helped Katie to develop an Individualised Safety and Support Plan. This has helped her to identify what will help her to feel safer and for her to begin to take back some control for herself. Support has been both practical (a grant application provided a security camera so Katie can see who is at the door) and emotional (our worker encouraged Katie to create a memory box with arts and crafts material, photographs, theatre tickets etc. This helps her to focus on happy thoughts when she is feeling particularly low and vulnerable). We have also helped her create robust safety plans and strategies that will help her respond effectively and appropriately when she feels threatened.
Katie tells us that she is beginning to rebuild her life but that she is not yet ready to let FearFree go. We will continue to support Katie until she feels able to cope on her own as we recognise that she is the expert of her own life and we will always be led by her.