New Charter Homes’ domestic violence advisors tragically have their work cut out for them. Jess McCabe joins the team to witness how this type of abuse can shatter lives, and what is being done to help rebuild them
Maria Fleming* answers the door to her pretty, red brick house with a baby in her arms. Meeting the confident 31-year-old today, dressed entirely in black, with short black hair, there is little to suggest the vulnerable young woman she once was.
But later this year her abusive ex-boyfriend, the father of her baby boy, will be released from prison where he has been serving a four-year sentence for robbing a woman at knifepoint.
Dressed in leggings and fluffy slippers, the scars on her arm hint at her troubled past. Maria is matter of fact while she relays the latest incidents – her ex-boyfriend has ignored a ban on contacting her, and she is worried he will turn up on her doorstep as soon as he is released. ‘I’m not prepared to put up with it anymore,’ she says.