Jessie* was suicidal, depressed and self-harming. Her ex-partner was abusing her, and she felt she couldn’t escape.
I am 22 years old and SignHealth’s Domestic Abuse Service (previously known as Young DeafHope) has been supporting me for 3 years.
When I first met a worker from SignHealth, I had been in an abusive relationship, and was still being abused by my ex. I had also been hiding from my family for a few years.
In 18 months I had moved 13 times trying to stay safe. I was in a bad way, suicidal, very depressed, self harming, not eating and very ill.
I was unable to go out safely, except for a short time at night, and I had a lot of debt.
My ex had abused me in many ways, physical, sexual, financial, harassment, blackmail, emotional and psychological abuse. They controlled everything I did. I had lost all confidence and self-belief, and had no energy to leave.
SignHealth’s domestic abuse team found me a safe refuge where I stayed for several months. I found this really hard, often becoming suicidal and I turned to drink to try block out my bad memories. This lead me to being thrown out of the refuge, but SignHealth helped me to find new accommodation.
With the domestic abuse team’s support I was able to get help for my depression and drinking, and learn new coping strategies to prevent myself from negative thinking. Last year I was reunited with my family thanks to SignHealth’s support. I go to the gym to help cope with stress and have stopped drinking. My panic attacks are getting less.
You can help us support more domestic abuse survivors and those fleeing abuse by donating to SignHealth today.
SignHealth’s domestic abuse service have helped me become assertive and confident and back in control of my life. I have now completed my first full year at college and feel really proud of myself.
“For the first time in 7 years I feel I have a future.”
I still have a way to go but I know I will be able to cope, and I know I can call SignHealth any time I need advice. I would recommend them to any young Deaf person who is having problems with relationships.
*Jessie is not this woman’s real name. We have used it to protect her from the danger of more harm. The picture and video feature an actress.
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