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Helpline Lived Experiences

Helpline Story

Helpline story

Nazia called the Helpline because she was scared and embarrassed. At first, she just said, “I am in a situation” and would not explain further but due to this, the call handler could only provide limited support. Once Nazia understood that the Helpline is completely confidential and non-judgemental, she began to speak openly. Her husband had taken intimate pictures of her and threatened to send them to her parents if she did not listen to him. This put her at risk of being shunned and ostracised from the community as well as ‘honour’ based violence. Nazia spoke about her declining mental health and her suicidal thoughts. She stated, “If anyone else saw these pictures I will die of shame”. She was really upset because she had put so much trust in her husband. He was meant to be the person to protect her but instead he was the one causing her all this pain. Her husband became more controlling over time. She wasn’t allowed to see her friends and she had to account for every penny she spent.

Her husband continued to exhibit coercive control and threatening behaviour. Nazia began experiencing a panic attack over the phone. Using grounding techniques, the call handler managed to ground her back to reality and she felt better. The call handler created rapport to establish a relationship with the client so she would feel comfortable to share more information. All of this was to support the client fully as all support is client orientated. We gave the option to Nazia to report the intimate image sharing threats to the police and we could help her do so as we are a third-party reporting centre. Nazia did not want to leave her husband but instead wanted to work on their relationship. She loved her husband and just wanted his behaviour to stop. We suggested she speak with her GP regarding her mental health immediately, and then referred her to couples counselling services in her area. We suggested she speak with her husband about it and call back.

She called back a few weeks later. She was feeling better mentally, she felt supported by the Helpline, and it encouraged her to speak with the police who gave a warning to her husband about sharing intimate images without consent, which is a crime. This instilled fear in her husband who then deleted the pictures. Nazia said, “Thank you for taking the time to listen to me. I also spoke with your Alima on the Helpline and she made me understand what my rights are as a wife and how I should be treated by my husband. He was coercive and controlling and I deserve better”.

Samera began our befriending service as she was feeling extremely anxious and her confidence and self-esteem were very low. Her mental health began to deteriorate during the pandemic in 2020. She experienced social isolation after reverting to Islam and was unable to engage with the community due to lockdown and restrictions. She began to develop anxiety about traveling on public transport and this affected her well-being as she was unable to engage with other people and affected her quality of life. Doing something as simple as leaving the house to get milk from the local shop felt impossible.

During our regular befriending calls, we set targets to use tools to manage her anxiety such as creating small to-do lists and having a call with her while she takes a walk in her garden or while she goes food shopping, etc. From these small acts every week, her confidence began to grow. Toward the end of our befriending service, she was able to travel on a bus on her own for the first time in a year. This was a massive achievement for her, this step has led to many more achievements in her life such as applying to volunteer in her local community once every two weeks. This service has created such a healthy change in her life. Without Amina, this change would have not been possible.

Befriending Story

Befriending Story

A Client's Testimony

Helpline Testimony

I would just like to thank AMINA MWRC for the services they have provided for me during one the most difficult times of my life in which my life had turned upside down due to domestic violence and divorce. A time when I had never felt so scared and vulnerable, a time where my world was crashing down. They offered me a place that I could talk without any judgement about my situation and worries. They listened with care and attention every time I called in desperate need of help. It was so comforting to know that someone understood what I was going through, and I was not alone.

I would like to thank Rahila in particular for her ongoing support and comfort she has provided me on this journey. She has gone above and beyond to help me every step of the way and to make me feel supported. Without her support I would not have had the courage to fight my case and keep myself and my young daughter safe. Her compassion and kindness shines through and I am so grateful to her and cannot thank her enough. She has stood by me in person during police statements and court cases and has been there for me in my time of need. Something I will never forget for the rest of my life. I have only prayers for her for helping me.

I am so grateful that this service exists. As a victim of domestic violence, the turmoil you go through physically and emotionally is immense and I cannot express enough the need for services like this. It truly can be difference of life and death for some women. I urge everyone to support AMINA MWRC's fundraising event and I commend them for their hard work.

Thank you!

Lots of love,