30% of domestic violence starts or increases at point of pregnancy. Yes, that stat was hard for us to absorb too. Our Bold is Beautiful project really is changing the lives of real people. Refuge (one of the charities Bold is Beautiful UK is supporting) aims to empower women and children to rebuild their lives, free from domestic violence and fear. While we can do our best to explain the massive difference that your donations are making, we thought it’s best to come from those who have been affected. So here is Esther’s* story….
“I had been with Andrew for three years, but it was only when I became pregnant last year that he started to become very controlling. He constantly shouted at me – there was no way to discuss anything, no way to make arrangements for our new arrival. When I was about three months pregnant he started to hit me.
“The worst incident was also the one that made me realise I couldn’t stay with him any longer – it occurred when I was six months pregnant. Andrew came back from work one evening, but because I hadn’t been well with the baby I was upstairs trying to get some sleep in our bedroom. When I didn’t wake up in time to open the door for him, he was furious. As I came downstairs he grabbed me by the neck and tried to strangle me. He was shouting, saying he would kill me. I was terrified for my life and for the life of my unborn child. It was then that I decided to move out.”
Unsuccessful in her search for accommodation, finding the local housing office incredibly unhelpful, Esther started to lose hope that anyone would be able to help. Eventually, after doing some research online, Esther was referred to one of Refuge’s safe houses.
“When I arrived at the refuge I was suicidal. I had left my life behind and I didn’t know anyone. The fact that I was about to have a baby all by myself just made me all the more lonely.
“But on my second day in the refuge I felt calmer. I knew that I was safe for the first time in ages.
“I had my wonderful baby in December, just before Christmas. It was hard being a new mum at such a family-focused time of year, but the refuge workers helped to make things as festive as possible. The refuge was decorated with tinsel and fairy-lights and my little girl received lots of donated presents and gifts.”
No child should have to grow up witnessing and experiencing domestic violence – yet it is a sad fact that one in every five children in this country witness and experience domestic violence. Esther and her baby were fortunate to be able to escape. However, 39,000 babies live with domestic violence every year.
Want to support Refuge? Get a brow wax in the month of May and all Benefit’s profits will go towards Look Good Feel Better and Refuge PLUS as a thank-you, you’ll receive a free gimme brow! Full details and T&C’s here: http://uk.boldisbeautiful.com/
Love & lipstick,
The Digital Darlings xx
*name are changed to protect identities