Zara was referred to Northumbria Victim & Witness Service by the police officer in charge of her case, following an incident of domestic abuse at her home.
Frighteningly, during the incident, she had resorted to locking herself and her children upstairs when her husband had become violent.
Zara’s NVWS support officer got in touch with her just 48 hours later. During the initial call, she disclosed that she was deeply concerned about her living situation, as the home she was in was in her husband’s name and belonged to his family.
To alleviate her immediate concerns, Zara was advised about refuges in her local area and how she could access a space for her family. Her support worker also arranged for Zara to see an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor, having referred her to the specialist service, Newcastle Integrated Domestic Abuse Service. Her IDVA would develop a safety plan to keep Zara and her children safe, including using a CCTV app and other practical arrangements.
Because Zara had very little family to support her, her NVWS officer called frequently to offer emotional support and to rebuild her confidence. Because of this support, she gained the courage to apply for an occupation order, that would see her given the legal ownership rights to her home.
She has built the strength to fully end the marriage and has begun to heal from years of physical and emotional abuse.