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Marie’s Story

Marie called Freeva’s helpline and spoke with a friendly support worker who guided her through weeks of support. Find out how Freeva's services helped her and her family.

My sister, Marie, met her wife around 5 years ago. To begin with it seemed like the perfect relationship. They were happy, healthy and life was good for them both.

A few years into the relationship, shortly after they got married, my Husband and I spotted a few signs that their relationship wasn’t as respectful and healthy as we first thought.

Once the life and soul of any party, Marie started to attend less and less family gatherings, and started to dress differently, only ever wearing high neck tops and baggy jeans. I checked in with her to make sure everything was okay, she assured me that she was fine, and that her and her wife were perfectly happy.

Around 6 months later, as we started to plan for a big family holiday, we realised that Marie didn’t have full control over her finances. This was the moment I knew I needed to intervene and find out exactly what Marie was going through. Marie’s wife was away for the weekend, so I went to her flat, and decided to have the conversation with her again. This time, Marie almost immediately started to cry, and told me everything.

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She opened up to me about the last 2 years of hell, Marie’s wife had been emotionally and physically abusive, withdrawing funds from her, gaslighting her and emotionally manipulating her until she was almost unrecognisable from her former self. Marie mentioned that whilst this had been happening for almost 2 years, she didn’t even realise the behaviour was wrong for the first 12 months. She talked me through just how hard it can be to gauge abuse in a same-sex relationship. It was only when she saw a video on social media discussing domestic abuse in LGBTQ+ relationships that she realised.

Marie knew she needed help, and knew that she wanted to leave her wife but didn’t even know where to begin. Who would she tell? Where would she live? How would she go about reporting and dealing with any court cases? Luckily, I’d heard of Freeva through a friend, and was able to recommend them to Marie. I sent the contact details, and the rest is history. Marie called Freeva’s helpline and spoke with a friendly support worker who guided her through weeks of support, created a safety plan, and was there every step of the way as Marie reported her wife to the police.

Now, she’s working hard with Freeva’s support to rebuild her life on her journey to recovery. I’m so proud of Marie for telling me about her situation, and for reaching out to Freeva. It really feels like the old Marie is back, she’s happier, more confident and is really beginning to take back control of her own life again.

Does this sound familiar?

If you or someone you know is experiencing, or has experienced, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, rape and/or trauma, you are not alone.

At Freeva, we understand the unique challenges that members of the LGBTQ+ community often face, particularly around domestic/sexual abuse, accessing appropriate support and facing stigmas.

To receive or refer support, please view our LGBTQ+ Support service.

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