Posted: 17 November 2014

Local welfare assistance kept Anna and her family safe

Anna shares her experience of how a Local Welfare Assistance scheme saved her from unaffordable debt, and helped her to rebuild her life and continue caring for her grandchildren after a fire left her homeless, with nothing.

Find out more about Local Welfare Assistance schemes. 

Anna’s story

You can never expect what life may throw at you. After 10 years together with my ex-partner, and raising two children (Amy, who’s seven, and Jack, who’s five), on the sixth January, I suffered extreme domestic violence at my partner’s hands. He left me with a broken nose and a shattered eye socket. And he did it in front of my children. If it hadn’t been for local welfare assistance, I’d have never got back on my feet.

I had to get out, not just for me, but for my kids. I didn’t want them to be emotionally scarred from seeing their dad abusing their mum any further. I left him immediately, and took the kids with me. But he wouldn’t leave me alone. He became verbally abusive online, threatening to kill me and calling me awful things.

I moved to stay with my mum with Amy and Jack, and went through family court to get an injunction so he wasn’t allowed near me or the kids. He breached this injunction within 10 minutes of it taking effect. I called the police, and he pleaded guilty in court.

I knew that moving further away was the answer, so I spoke to my local Women’s Aid, where I met Lisa, an incredibly supportive officer. Lisa has been an amazing support to my kids and me. We were marked as high risk by the police and so immediately provided with support from my local Women’s Aid, to get us away from this risk.

Lisa moved us into temporary accommodation and then within a few months got us into a new property. She also put me in touch with a solicitor so I could find out more about what my kids were entitled to. The most important thing to me was to be able to protect and support my kids. Amy had found it particularly upsetting and confusing as to why she wasn’t seeing her dad any more, and the children were experiencing nightmares from what they’d seen.

The past six months has been the worst experience of my life, and I’m only now getting back on my feet and feeling able to support my kids. It was a turning point when Lisa linked me in to my local welfare assistance scheme. It got me back on my feet after this nightmare, and helped to free my kids and me from my abusive ex-partner. It helped us to feel safe again.

The local welfare assistance scheme supported me and my kids with household basics in our new home to let us feel safe and live like a family again. They gave us security locks on doors and windows, a fridge, carpets for the kids room and living room, a sofa... all the things you take for granted, but are essential when you’ve left your home with nothing to start your life over again. 

Thanks to local welfare assistance schemes, my kids and I are now back near our friends and family, in a secure home and able to live independently, without abuse from my ex-partner. I don’t know how I’d have made it through the last six months without this support – it was a lifeline for my kids and me when we needed it most.

- Anna

By Anna (pseudonym) - Guest bloggers
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Posted: 24 May 2013