"I had an arranged marriage in Pakistan and my husband brought me to England on a spousal visa. I suffered a lot of psychological, emotional and physical abuse from my husband and his family. I didn’t know what to do as I wasn’t a British citizen. Eventually things at home got so bad that I confided in a teacher at my children’s school. That was the best thing I ever did as they put me in touch with IDAS."
"I had not heard of women’s refuges before and the person I spoke to on the phone reassured me and gave me advice on how to leave my home safely. The refuge is far away from where I was living with my husband and I was afraid that I would be left alone in a place I do not know. However, the refuge was homely, nicely decorated and the staff and the women were so welcoming to me and the children. My children and I had our own room and bathroom which was very warm and clean."
"Although I was now safe, I was also scared that my husband would contact the Home Office to send me back to Pakistan where I do not have any family. However, IDAS supported me by putting me in touch with an immigration solicitor and attending appointments with me. Even though I was not sure of what would happen with my visa I did not feel alone as both my children and I had the support of the women and staff."
"I have been in refuge for 5 months now and living with other families is sometimes hard, but we are all in the same position so we make the best of it by eating together, letting our children play together and listening to each other when one of us has a bad day."
"I am grateful to IDAS for helping me with sorting out my benefits and visa situation and just being there when I didn’t know where to turn."