Every woman with whom we work is different, and so are their stories and experiences. Here, we share some of those stories about how they came to Pause and what working with Pause means to them.
I didn’t realise the impact domestic violence had on children until I did the Freedom Programme with Women’s Aid. I was heartbroken when my children were taken into care: it makes you feel like a s**t mother. When Amy called me from Pause, I was at the point of giving up, of killing myself. I was in a dark place, I felt like I was alone. Since I started working with Pause, I realise I’ve still got a chance.
I’ve got a new flat, a new job, and I’m doing training. I want to improve my life. Pause helped me get a cooker and a fridge freezer and I’ve got somewhere to bring my kids when we have contact. “Mummy’s little flat” – they love it.
Pause don’t threaten you – but if you’re taking the biscuit, they’ll tell you! I feel stronger now than I did before. Where I used to find meetings with social workers frustrating and upsetting, I can cope now. I feel confident in myself. And my mum’s really proud.
Lisa was in a violent relationship. Even when her children were taken into care, she couldn’t break the cycle.
Working with Pause, she has been able to build her self-esteem and her confidence and now feels stronger to face the future. Watch Lisa’s story.
In 2017, we worked with BBC4 on a documentary called Child in Mind. The programme followed the work of Pause Hull and, in particular, three women who shared their stories, which were then turned into poems by renowned poet Simon Armitage. Here is Lyndsey’s Poem.
Then one day you come to the edge,
stand on the shore
wondering how much further,
how much more?
There’s land on the far side
and light in the distance
beyond the muddy waves and the grey tide…
But a void in between,
something vast and vague,
as fast and as cold as a river,
as wide and as deep as the sea.
And you can’t cross it alone,
your spirit weakened by all the punches and slaps,
all the hooks and jabs
and bites and kicks,
mood swings making the other horizon wobble and tilt,
your brain flooded with guilt.
And you bear such a load,
carry so much luggage and baggage in tow,
a boy and three daughters, the effort
of keeping their heads above water,
watching them slipping away,
their absence a huge stone
pulling you under and down.
How can something you can’t hold and can’t touch
be so heavy? How can it weight so much?
can get stuck in this town,
out here on her own. A woman can drown.
Or she can halt.
Wait for a moment or two
or a year or so,
stand on the brink
letting her dreams coast,
letting her soul float,
letting her mind breathe,
letting her body think.