Yvonne’s story

True stories


Yvonne’s story

It was when he threatened to hurt the kids that I knew I had to get out. Up until then it was only me he hit and I could put up with that. I thought that staying was best for the children’s sake, and that having their dad around was important. I never imagined he’d lay a finger on them.

I went to a friend’s but he found me straight away. So I went to another friend in a different town and he still found me. I went to a cousin he didn’t even know about and changed my mobile number but I knew he’d find me eventually. I was always looking over my shoulder, worrying about it.

Then I heard about Refuge and I called the helpline. A couple of days later I was in one of their safe houses. It was full of women there who had been in violent relationships and it really helped to know I wasn’t the only one.

I also saw a Refuge psychologist – and I am still seeing her. She is helping me understand that Mark’s behaviour was not my fault. Yet no matter how many times she says it, I find it hard not to feel guilty. I thought I could change him, I really did, but now I know it was all about him and nothing I did would have made a difference.

I’m so pleased I can see that now. It means I can feel good about myself again.


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