contacted The Haven after being subjected to abuse for 13 years. I was in a relationship with someone who was very controlling and I was subjected to emotional, psychological, and physical abuse too.
I’d ended the relationship about a year ago at the time, and was really suffering with my mental health after the relationship breakdown. My partner had pressured me into agreeing to equally split care and custody of our child, but there were no official orders in place.
He continued to harass me after we separated – he made constant phone calls, he would turn up at my property without warning, and tried to police where I was going and who I was seeing. He even threatened to kill himself if he could not be with me.
I told my support worker at The Haven that I was frightened of my ex due to his aggressive, threatening, and intimidating behaviour. He continued to be verbally abusive to me in front of our child, and he humiliated me in front of family and friends. He often used my mental health against me to control me, and, when we were together, he would pressure me into having sex.
I’d never reported the abuse to the Police due to fear of repercussions. He’d threatened to use my mental health against me to get our child removed from my care if I ever did report. Once he refused to bring our child back to me after his agreed time with them. He also refused to take them to school.
I received a call from children’s services informing me that my partner had been in contact with them. He said that he wasn’t returning our child because he was protecting them from me and my mental health issues. Children’s services advised me to seek legal advice and said there was nothing they could do. My support worker at The Haven helped me to access the relevant legal advice.
I soon found out that he moved our child to another school without discussing it with me. My application to regain custody has been submitted to the court and I’m currently waiting for a court date.
The Haven is continuing to support me with the ongoing coercive control I’m being subjected to. Support from them has boosted my confidence. I feel empowered and I’m determined to have my child back in my care.
My support workers are going to support me with the court process and, when the time comes, they’re going to support me to obtain a non-molestation order too.
Rebecca’s name has been changed to protect her identity. Images are for illustration purposes only.