Claire is one client who has benefited greatly from the support she has received from the Violence against Women project.
Claire had a difficult upbringing and was put into care until she was 16. Claire later developed a heroin addiction and became involved in prostitution to fund her drug use. One night Claire was seriously assaulted by a punter, her drug use escalated following the assault, using this as a way of blocking memories of the abuse she experienced. However, this meant that claire had to continue her involvement in prostitution to fund her drug use, re-living memories of the assault every time she has to go out for money.
At the point that Claire was referred to the Violence against Women project she was in despair, saying that she could not continue her life like this. Through regular 1 to 1 support, Claire began to develop a trusting relationship with the worker, being able to speak about current issues in her life as well as disclose issues from her past and how this has affected her. Claire was provided with a personal alarm and a mobile phone so that, while she continued in prostitution, she could call for help if she was at risk again. Given the significant risk to Claire’s well-being, the worker emphasised the need for claire to receive treatment for her substance misuse as a matter of priority, and Claire soon started a methadone programme.
This was 3 years ago, and since this time, Claire’s life has changed beyond recognition. Claire has been stable on her methadone programme for over 2 years and has exited prostitution. Claire and her partner have had their first child and have moved to a larger tenancy in a new area, giving Claire the fresh start she needed. Claire’s worker has supported her through this transitional period in her life, offering someone to speak to and providing practical help in settling into her new tenancy.
Claire’s self-confidence and motivation have grown over this period and she is now able to look to the future.