Pregnant, Sonja, fled her abusive husband. Sonja had experienced sexual and domestic abuse for many years, she was in crisis and having severe panic attacks.
“My confidence is greater and my mental health has improved”
Sonja felt she had no choice but to leave her child behind. Her family’s asylum claim had been drawn out and Sonja was confused by complicated legal processes around her family and immigration status.
When we met Sonja, she was scared, isolated, stressed and feeling unable to cope. We introduced Sonja to peer support groups and supported her to access her GP and mental health support. We listened about her experiences of communicating with professionals, this was something she found hard.
We advocated her rights and wishes with the Social Worker and the Police and supported her to build techniques and confidence to be able to communicate her needs effectively. We referred Sonja for Family and Immigration legal advice and supported her to prepare for appointments, reflect on the advice and make informed decisions.
Sonja now has better awareness of the family court process; she’s feeling considerably less stressed and able to engage in the advice. Sonja is also hopeful of being reunited with her child.
She has enjoyed getting involved in local groups where she has learnt more about the dynamics and impact of domestic abuse and improved her English language skills. Sonja said she is better able to deal with the challenges arising in her day-to-day life and is feeling hopeful about her future.
“I was able to open-up about what I had been through. I have been able to access all the kinds of support and services I have needed. My confidence is greater and my mental health has been improved.”