A safe, just and equal world for women

Lee-Anne’s Story

I was in my early 20s in love and happy when I fell pregnant. Then he hit me for the first time. And he carried on. The abuse escalated. He threatened me with a knife, a gun and even threw me out of a window.

I reported him to the police, and they fitted a panic alarm. The number of times I pressed that panic button, and the police were called – they said to me ‘What is the point of us coming out time and time again, when you keep letting him back in your life.’

The final time he hit me, I took my little girl and hailed a cab to the police station where an officer begged me, “If you don’t leave him – he is going to kill you.”

His words hit home and my daughter and I went into a refuge. I pressed charges against my abuser and he was convicted of GBH.

Seven years after I got out of that relationship, I met someone else. Another abusive man. A man I’d marry and have a son with. This time the abuse didn’t start when I was pregnant, but when my little boy was two years old. I put it down to jealousy about how much attention and love I gave my son.

This time, my abusive husband would always throw the first punch but I’d hit back and so many times, it would be ME in trouble with the police.
When I discovered that my husband was cheating on me as well as beating me, the state of my mental health got so bad that I made a very serious attempt to end my life.

Eventually, my husband was convicted of two counts of common assault.

It took a lot of recovery, therapy and strength to find myself again. But when I hit my 40s, and the kids were young adults, I was desperate for a sense of direction. I contacted the Royal Voluntary Service and when they heard a bit of my story they suggested Advance might really suit me for volunteering. So, I did and I’m now a Peer Mentor with the charity. It is so rewarding to be able to put my experiences of abuse and everything that I’ve learned since to such good use. I only wish I had access to a fantastic service like Advance all those years ago when I was suffering abuse.


Find out more about how Advance supports women through the criminal justice system

Whole Justice Approach
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