Sam's Story

Sam is a professional woman in her forties, she was married to her ex-husband for 20 years during which she was subjected to physical and emotional abuse. With our support, Sam was able to rebuild her confidence and live fear free.

Sam and Dave met at University, their relationship had progressed quickly with Dave making grand gestures and giving Sam lavish presents. He integrated himself with Sam’s family and friends and quickly asked her to marry him.

The abuse began shortly after they married. Dave hit, kicked, and stamped on Sam. After each attack, Dave would minimise what he had done and blame Sam accusing her of “making him do it.”

Sam felt like they looked like a happy family. They lived in a nice house; had children and she maintained her successful career. But the abuse continued.

As well as physical abuse, Dave controlled Sam’s access to money and information about their household. He called Sam names, made her question her sanity and accused of having affairs. He left notes for Sam to find threatening her about what would happen when she came home.

After one brutal attack, something in Sam switched and she knew she had to find a place of safety for her and the children.


She still remembers the day when she decided to contact FearFree. It had taken time to reach out for support and her confidence in finding people who could help was non-existent.

When Sam called, she talked to an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) who went on to work with her throughout her recovery journey.

“She has never judged my comments, never made me feel guilty, ashamed, stupid or embarrassed – all the feelings that I have lived with for years”

Sam was juggling a busy home life, bringing up her children around a demanding full-time job. We supported Sam by helping her create safety plans and helping her stand up for her rights. We attended meetings with her and talked through her legal options. We also worked with Sam to rebuild her confidence and understand domestic abuse, healthy relationships, how to believe in herself and remain safe in the future.

“Her knowledge of me, my family and my life has meant that she has always worked around me, my children and my job and still managed to find time to call”

Today Sam is divorced from Dave, she lives with her children and has a successful career where she manages a large team. She recognises the complex feelings that can occur when leaving an abuser but knows she will not go back.

“I know he is dangerous to me. I am strong because of my children”

Quick exit
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