In our latest case story, we meet Lorraine (not her real name). Lorraine came to NCDV via a police referral.
Lorraine, like many of our survivors had been in a relationship where she was subject to verbal, emotional and psychological abuse along with coercive and controlling behaviour, at times there was also physical violence. Even after the relationship ended, she was still exposed to his abuse which is the point we stepped in to help. Lorraine tells us her story in her own words here.
“We were in a relationship for approaching 3 years. Things were fine for just over a year. We started living together however my former partner had an alcohol problem and that began to get worse. He began to drink even more excessive amounts which made him very aggressive.
He was verbally abusive, constantly calling me horrible names and belittling me, criticising everything about me. I felt worthless.
He would damage items at home, once he completely smashed everything in the house.
I made it clear that I could no longer continue living in that way.
He then made an effort to stop drinking and on the surface things seemed to improve.
We decided to try for a baby. I became pregnant but things deteriorated soon after. He began to threaten our baby, he threatened to make me have a miscarriage.
The tactics of his abuse changed with his sobriety. His behaviour became less chaotic but more manipulative and calculated. He became very controlling; he would not allow me to do normal everyday things. If I did something that I was not allowed to do, he became distressed.
I moved out but after a period apart during in which he was not abusive, I thought he had changed so moved back in. But in reality, nothing had changed once I was back.
His threats started again, and he tried to make me believe that I was mentally ill.
I felt trapped but I knew I was stuck with him for the rest of my life because we were having a baby. I thought that he wouldn’t be so abusive if I pretended to co-operate with him. I was afraid that if I left him, the abuse would worsen and I would have no control over it. I feared for our child around him without me there to protect it.
Within weeks after our baby was born, he physically assaulted me. I was unable to move as a result of the damage he caused to me.
His behaviour then worsened, in addition to the continued verbal and psychological abuse, he began to sexually abuse me along with intimidating me.
I could no longer endure being treated in that way and I left.
But the abuse did not stop. He used our child as an opportunity to control me and cause confrontation. This was so bad I even considered going back to him to calm him down.
I called the police on one occasion after he tried to break down the door of where I was living. We were terrified.
I moved again to somewhere he could not find me and the police advised me to apply for a non molestation order.”
In Lorraine’s case, due to her vulnerability and distress, it took several telephone calls for our caseworker to take all the information needed to prepare her witness statement.
Once her statement was ready, we prepared the court application form and provided her with information about the process of making her application along with details about what to expect from the Court process.
“I was broken when I spoke to the caseworker who took my statement. He was calm and patient with me. He made sense of everything I told him and translated this into my witness statement. The strength of this statement helped me so much because as a result my former partner did not contest the order. I was saved the stress, time and expense of having to have a contested hearing.”
A 6 month non molestation order was granted to protect Lorraine from her abuser. This also contained a clause which prohibited her abuser from going within 100 yards of where she was living.
“The assistance I received from NCDV and others who supported me through this time was immense and truly life changing. I will never forget their voices.”
We are pleased to be able to tell you that Lorraine is now safe and happy.