Marie’s story

True stories


Marie’s story

Marie, who has two children, left Scotland to live in East Sussex to flee years of domestic violence. Every day during Marie’s 20-year relationship she experienced verbal and emotional abuse and at least once a week she was severely beaten by her partner.

However, since moving to Eastbourne, her ex-partner has found out where Marie lives and has continued to harass, terrorise and assault her. Marie does not want to move from the area as her son is settled in a local school.

Marie had her first contact with the Refuge Domestic Violence Outreach Service in June 2003. At that time she did not feel safe enough to leave her house unaccompanied, for fear that her ex-partner might appear and harass her. Since then the outreach team has been providing Marie with emotional support and advice, helping her regain control of her life and future.

Following contact with local agencies, Marie’s housing association has made security improvements to her property and they have also agreed to explore transfer options/alternative accommodation in the area with Marie. The local council has accepted her application to join their ‘Home choice’ scheme and she has also identified other properties that she could move to through the council’s mutual exchange scheme.

The Refuge team has also contacted the local police victim services. They have provided Marie with a ‘lifeline’, an emergency system that is connected to a 24-hour call centre. Marie has also been given advice on how best to manage her finances, especially the debts that have built up during this distressing time.

Marie says: “I feel a lot stronger now than I did. Now, when things do go a bit wrong, I am not set back as much as I used to be. 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.”

Marie’s outreach worker says: “Slowly, with the help of the outreach team and local services, Marie is re-building her life and her confidence. Marie is just one example of the many women we help every week. If you think you would like to receive the services and help that Marie has received then please do call us.”


All names and identifying details have been changed to protect individuals involved.