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Survivor who endured 24 years of abuse from husband thanks Newark Women's Aid for saving her life


By Rachel Armitage


An abuse survivor has thanked Newark Women’s Aid for saving her life and has appealed to people to help secure its future.

Kerry, who wants to remain anonymous, fled to the refuge in 2016 after she endured years of emotional, physical and psychological abuse from her ex-husband.

She lived with her ex for 24 years and he controlled everything she did. He took control of her finances, didn't allow her to have friends at their house, and listened to her phone conversations.

Newark Women's Aid logo. (20252935)
Newark Women's Aid logo. (20252935)

There was also violence, which peaked in the final two or three years of their marriage.

“He would throw me around like a rag doll, I’m only 5ft tall and it just became horrific,” Kerry said. “But he was very clever. He would always imply that I was the one who was crazy and if anyone questioned my injuries, he would just say I had mental health issues.”

When Kerry found out he tried to get her sectioned behind her back, she started to look for a way out.

Social services arranged foster care for her dog and cat, and made a fake appointment to get her out of the house.

Kerry's social worker took her to Newark Women’s Aid and said when a representative opened the door, she felt nothing but calmness.

“Marlene (representative) was wonderful, and I had such a beautiful room,” she said. “It felt completely different.

“It took a few days for me to adjust because I was constantly waiting for the abuse to start again, but all the ladies were amazing and nothing was too much trouble.”

Kerry said the other women would all support each other, which was invaluable.

“A couple of nights a week we would all sit together with a cuppa. We would laugh, we would cry, but we would always rally round and support each other,” she said.

“Everyone had different circumstances, but we are all equal.”

Kerry's ex-husband has not long died, which she said gave her a huge sense that she was finally free. She is now with a loving new partner.

“I still have flashbacks from what he did to me, but my new partner is wonderful ­— he just holds me tightly and says he can’t hurt me any more.”

She said Newark Women’s Aid saved her life and that it was vital they receive the funding they need to keep the refuge open.

“I would be dead without their help, there’s no doubt about that,” she said.

“I cannot thank Marlene and the ladies enough. They gave me my life back.”

To find out more about Newark’s Women’s Aid, or to make a donation, go to www.newarkwomensaid.com, or call 01636 679687.

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