True stories

True stories

Domestic violence affects many women. Hearing from those who have survived abuse and rebuilt their lives can be inspirational.


These are the stories of some of the women who have used Refuge’s services. All of their names and identifying details have been changed.

If you would like to share your own story, please email or call 0207 395 7731.

Speaking out about domestic violence can help save lives.


Janet’s story

“I was frightened and shocked but he was always so sorry for what he had done and promised never to hurt me again.”
Read Janet’s story

Yvonne’s story

“I went to a cousin he didn’t even know about and changed my mobile number but I knew he’d find me eventually.”
Read Yvonne’s story

Marie’s story

“With all the help and support I’ve received I’ve been able to start to take control of my life and I am a lot more confident.”
Read Marie’s story

Michelle’s story

“I talked myself into believing it wasn’t a serious problem and no relationship was perfect.”
Read Michelle’s story

Christine’s story

“By the time I was finally able to leave, I had been with Daniel for 30 years.  It was a very long and painful journey but I now know that there is nowhere for me to go but up and I am looking to the future.”
Read Christine’s story

Simone, Lisa and Nina

“I had been living with my partner for about a year when he began to change.”
Read Simone, Lisa and Nina’s story

Angela’s story

“I never took money out of a cashpoint without telling him first. Not once in the fifteen years we were together.”
Read Angela’s story

Stacey’s story

“I never imagined he’d rape me. Twice. And then tell me he’d done nothing wrong.”
Read Stacey’s story

Anna’s Story

“I never really told anyone. My friends didn’t like him as I would see them less and less. And they could see that I was changing.”
Read Anna’s story


Children’s stories

In 90% of domestic violence incidents that take place in family households, children are in the same or next door room. Here is what a few of them have to say.

Amina, Uzar and Tom

“My mum was sad in the old house because my dad used to hit her every day. Sometimes I tried to stop him.”
Read Amina, Uzar and Tom’s story


“All I wanted to do was shut myself in a box and hope for it to stop.”         Read Chantal’s story