The following stories are real life experiences of women and children who have broken free from abusive relationships. While the details and experiences are all completely true, the names and images have been changed to protect the individual’s identity.

The stories are a true reflection of the strength and courage all women who experience abuse possess. They show there is light at the end of the tunnel and that, with positive support and intervention, anyone can break free from abuse.

  • Helen is a 39 year old mother who came to refuge with her three children after many years of abuse.
  • Emma moved from England to Northern Ireland to escape the violence and abuse she had suffered for many years from her husband.
  • Collette is 62 and had been married for 42 years when she came to refuge.
  • Adriana is polish, a mother of four children whose English is limited and who was living in terror of her husband.
  • Joe is a seven year old boy who came to live in the refuge with his mum and 1 year old brother.

You might also be interested in stories from Helpline users and 16 year old Niamh’s story Hear me speak.