Julie’s Story: How I overcame my abuser through the Freedom Programme

Before I came to Julian House, I had been in a physically and mentally abusive relationship.  

I contacted the police in October 2019, as the physical abuse got really bad. Unfortunately, at the time, I decided not to pursue the charges against my ex-partner and stayed in the relationship. It resulted in the father getting a ‘live with order’ over my two youngest children. For any mother this was the worst news possible. It pushed me closer to the abusive partner because I felt I had lost everything, and he was my security.  

How wrong I was. I was in denial about how bad the abuse was. Although the physical abuse stopped, it became sexual and mental. I believe this was worse. It is only when you are out of the relationship that you can see what is happening. His aggression towards me came out in sex. At the time I just thought this was normal. He started mind control head games and my self-worth fell to zero. 

I continued to stay in the relationship until September 2021. The abusive partner actually ended things. I had been left completely broken after being cheated on five times, beat and mentally tortured. But his leaving was the best thing that could have happened to me. 

I started the Freedom Programme just before my partner left. My mother had attended the program and encouraged me to get in contact. I knew I needed support, but I was not aware how much and how life-changing the programme could be.  

Things in our relationship were not good, but I did not have the strength to leave, so I decided to take the plunge and join the programme. It could not have come at a better time. Freedom really helped me with the breakup. It opened my eyes to things I did not realise were happening. It gave me the strength to stay away.  

The group was amazing, tears and laughter the whole way though. It was a lovely support network which made me realise I was not alone. It felt like a one-time opportunity to speak freely, which is something a lot of us have never had. It truly gives you the strength to break free.  

I still have good and bad days. Ella (Julian House case coordinator) and the team are there every step of the way if I need to offload or just to understand the process that we are all going through. Without Freedom, I would not have the understanding I now do about abuse and would be back to square one with the abuser or a new partner. I now have the tools to live a healthy, happy life, free of abuse. 

I have started dating and can spot the red flags a mile off, I am now strong enough to say no and to know my worth. Without Ella and the team, I could not have done this. 

My focus is now on building me, and getting my children home. I am now going to the gym and have taken on another job. This is something I would not have been able to do a year ago. My self-worth has grown and this is my key to happiness. The rest will fall into place.  

I would urge any women in my position to take that plunge and attend the Freedom Program. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. I wish any women suffering from abuse the best of luck with your journey and the escape to freedom.  

WE CAN DO THIS and everyone deserves freedom.