General Article Gravesham woman lost her home after partner was bailed out for domestic abuse

Topic Selected: Domestic Abuse Book Volume: 370
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By Sophie Bird

A Gravesham woman sofa surfed for two years after losing her house while her abuser lived there for free. The woman - who has asked to remain anonymous - was in an abusive relationship for 14 years.

She said: ‘I have a masters degree. We had a home fit for Instagram, we had holidays and nice clothes. From the outside we were doing well.

‘No one knew I didn’t have a door key for my own house and my clothes were picked out for me in the morning.

‘No one knew that my phone was monitored via iPad, the mileage on my car was checked, cups were inspected in the cupboard and bins were checked for signs of guests.

‘If I decided to give someone a lift home after work, my car would be sold the next day.

‘I invited a neighbour in for a cup of tea, the next week the neighbour would be told I had mental health problems and they were brave for spending time with me alone.

‘No one knew because there was no shouting or screaming coming from the house.

‘I had not made a single decision...

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