Do you have a HAVEN story to share?
If you have a HAVEN story and feel inspired by any of the stories shared below, it is not too late to share. We would love to hear from you.
Recognising 50 YEARS of support with 50 STORIES
To mark our jubilee year, we have been gathering stories from people who have been positively impacted over the last 50 years, by the work we do here at The Haven! Thank you to all who have responded to our call for stories so far. Looking back on the evolution of The Haven through the eyes of those we’ve supported as well as those who have worked with us and supported us has been astounding. Some of these stories will illustrate the impact of our work, while others will shine a light on how we’ve managed to keep our doors open all these years. In particular the stories we’ve heard from those we have supported have reminded us that often victims feel alone and as though no one will understand. If the stories from survivors resonate in anyway, we hope that realising you are not alone will be enough for you to break your silence and seek support. Whenever you are ready, we are here for you.
At the height of fame for this star from BBC’s The Voice, no one knew that off the stage and behind closed doors, Megan Reece was a survivor whose talent had been overshadowed by the dark clouds of an abusive relationship for years. She shares her compelling story of how support from The Haven was crucial to her survival and transformation.
“I am an introvert, despite what people might think, because I was once a contestant on a popular TV show. Life had its ups and downs, but I always found solace in the simple things. Now, living in the heart of a rural area, I’ve discovered the beauty of a serene and perfect life. I’m inherently creative and deeply passionate about my work as a writer and performer, but I also cherish being a homebody, relishing the moments spent with my children, and enjoying sunsets and picnics—life’s priceless pleasures…”
I was not about to lose another child
The Haven plays a crucial role in our community
In a heartwarming showcase of corporate responsibility, Carolyn Smith, the Managing Director of Wolverhampton-based design agency TPSquared, shares the inspiring journey of their four-year partnership with The Haven Wolverhampton, illuminating the power of creativity and compassion in making a difference.
“Along with the team at TPSquared, I’ve had the privilege of working with The Haven for over four years now. My journey with this incredible organisation began with a spark of inspiration on International Women’s Day…”
In the 1980s, Jenna Glasscock embarked on a journey as a dedicated volunteer for The Haven Wolverhampton. She shares an inspiring narrative, exploring the circumstances that led her to volunteer for The Haven, her growth within the organisation, and a particularly unforgettable encounter with a very active toddler!
“In 1984, I was a wide-eyed 22-year-old college student in America, immersed in the fascinating world of Psychology. Little did I know that an incredible journey was about to unfold; one that would change the course of my life and instil within me an unwavering commitment to helping those in need…”
My role was versatile
Speaking about my past has not been without its challenges
Reflecting on her childhood, Tracey Secker recalls striving to please and conform, and internalising hurtful phrases like “Children should be seen and not heard” and “You talk too much,” which shaped her path in life. Her journey, marked by verbal abuse, threats, and isolation, has imparted resilience and a newfound ability to help others navigate similar challenges. She discusses drawing strength from her own experiences to make a difference as The Haven’s Commercial Development Manager.
“As a child, I can vividly remember the constant backdrop of heated arguments and an unsettling feeling that something was always amiss, that people around me were perpetually unhappy. I couldn’t help but believe that I was the root cause of these troubles. So, I embarked on a mission to make those around me happy – to make them laugh, to behave exactly as I was instructed, to always do things the “right” way, to be polite, to avoid upsetting anyone, and ultimately, to blend into the background…”
Donna was referred to The Haven’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) Service for support after she was subjected to physical and emotional abuse by her ex-partner. The case was in court and she needed help with understanding what to expect and what was expected from her. Her road to justice was painfully long and frustrating. So much so that she made multiple attempts to end her life. When we spoke to her, she said repeatedly that she may no longer be alive if it wasn’t for the encouragement and support she received from our IDVA.
“I moved to Wolverhampton during an ongoing criminal investigation for violence I had been subjected to by my ex-partner. I had to leave my home of 12 years for my safety. I was referred to The Haven who are the main point of contact for the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) Service in Wolverhampton. I was immediately allocated an IDVA but because of my past convictions, I was unsuitable for The Haven’s safe accommodation. I was offered a space in another temporary accommodation…”
My mental health was significantly impacted by everything that was going on
I would leave the house in my uniform but would not make it to school
Sadie was referred to The Haven after she was groomed online and sexually exploited as a young girl. She was 14 when her teacher raised concerns with the safeguarding team that she was communicating with an older man online. She talks about how The Haven helped her to deal with the abuse, build her confidence and aspire for a better life.
“At the age of 14, I was very shy and timid. I was being bullied at my school. It was an all-girls school and I felt isolated and did not have many friends. They would tease me all the time and call me names. I tried speaking to my mum about it, but I do not think she understood how terrible things were. I began spending more time online where I was able to make friends with some nice people who made me feel good about myself. I felt seen even though I was invisible online. There was one boy who turned out to be a catfish. He was a much older man…”
James was referred to The Haven Wolverhampton after he and his mom were subjected to domestic abuse by his mom’s partner. He told us how The Haven supported him to talk openly about his feelings, and how he loved accessing Virtual Reality (VR) therapy.
“My mom and I left the house we shared with mom’s partner to live with family because he wasn’t a very nice person. He used to shout and upset me, so I was glad to leave.
But the house we went to was really full, and we didn’t have any space. That’s when The Haven started helping us. I really wanted my own room and my own space and didn’t feel very happy where I was…“
I even got to choose my own new bedding – with characters from my favourite game on it.
I remember how excited my children were to play freely in the garden
Twenty years ago, Wendy and her children left everything they had ever known and moved to Wolverhampton to flee from domestic abuse. She talks to us about how thankful she was for the support she received from The Haven Wolverhampton, and why she walked a marathon to give back.
“Twenty years ago, I made the hardest but best decision I’ve ever had to make. I left behind everyone and everything I had ever known to start a new life in Wolverhampton with my children. I was at the lowest point in my life and The Haven literally saved me.
For years I had been subjected to physical and emotional abuse from my ex-partner. He was paranoid and very violent. His jealousy once led him to climb through the windows to our bedroom after I had barricaded myself in the room for my safety…”