Mary and Jacob’s Story*
Mary and her two year old son Jacob came to our refuge in Ealing after fleeing horrendous domestic violence from an ex-partner. Without our support they would have been homeless with nowhere to go. They left everything behind to flee this violence, their home, friends, family and belongings and our aim is to provide them with safe and secure accommodation and the support they need to rebuild their lives.
Both of them arrived extremely traumatised and Jacob was very quiet, anxious and extremely clingy to his mum. It was clear that the trauma he experienced had caused detrimental effects to his development and confidence. He had an extreme form of separation anxiety which means he became easily distressed and jealous if he didn’t receive constant attention from his mother. Jacob also refused to eat, another sign of the anxiety he was facing.
Since arriving, our Children’s Worker has worked extensively with Jacob both in one-to-one sessions and group sessions with other children. In this time Jacob has made a vast improvement beyond what we thought was possible. His confidence and ability to socialise has grown, forming deep bonds with other children in the house.
Mary is a survivor of physical, psychological and emotional abuse and the trauma she experienced from her ex-partner meant she developed depression, low self-esteem and an eating disorder. Throughout all of this though she has been very committed and determined with Jacob but was initially very low in confidence and doubted her abilities to be a good mother. Through attending a series of parenting sessions, Mary now has much more confidence and has been able to help Jacob’s development. The new found confidence, coupled with the trusting relationship they hold with the refuge staff has really enabled them to rebuild their lives and overcome the fear and trauma that they were previously subjected to.
*(names changed in accordance with our safeguarding policy)