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Asker

To Sam

Previous abusive relationship

Hi,

I have recently (in the past 6 months) gotten out of an abusive relationship. I was subject to verbal, physical, mental and sexual abuse. I've contacted 3 different charities about getting therapy, I can't afford to pay for it, and none of them have replied. I didn't press charges as I was scared about the repercussions on myself so I didn't get any closure on the situation. The abuser lives near me and we sttend the same college so I can't even avoid him/his family and I'm at a loss of what to do.

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Sam

Hi there,

When you have previously been in an abusive relationship you might continue to feel scared or anxious even though the abuse has ended. Being abused in the past can sometimes affect how safe you feel now and can make it hard to trust others.

No one should abuse you in any way. It can be hard to end an abusive relationship as you might believe that you’re responsible for what’s happening - but abuse is wrong and it’s never your fault, even if your ex-partner blamed you for the abuse.

There are lots of reasons why you might need support after an unhealthy relationship has ended and there are specialist services that can help. Women’s Aid can support you to find emergency temporary accommodation if you’re aged 18 or older and can direct you to counselling and other support available in your area. Rape crisis centres offer counselling in England and Wales and in Scotland for women and girls who have experienced sexual abuse, sexual violence or rape.

Sometimes there can be a wait for services and it’s always okay to call again and ask how long the waiting list is. While you’re waiting it can be a good idea to talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling and about services they can refer you to. You have the right to visit your doctor on your own or you can go with someone you trust for support. Your school or college might have a counselling service and they may be able to offer you short term help. It’s always okay to talk to a counsellor at Childline as well, either on the phone or online - and that way you can get some emotional support straight away

If you live near or still see the person who abused you, it’s important to keep safe. Always keep your phone charged and with you and tell someone at home where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Travel to and from school or college with someone you trust and tell your tutor if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe when you’re there.

It’s always okay to get emergency help by calling 999 if you’re in danger. It’s best to speak to the call handler if you can but if speaking could put you in more danger then tap the phone if it’s safe to or press 55 when the automated system prompts you to. You can decide to report partner abuse at a later time and the police will tell you what steps they can take to possibly press charges and also about court orders and other ways to keep you safe.

Remember, your self-esteem can be affected and it might take time to build your confidence but help and support is available for you.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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