How we supported Elly
When Elly first came to visit us, she was very anxious. After years in an abusive marriage, she had finally got divorced. She had given her husband multiple chances to redeem himself, even after going into a refuge. Every time he appeared to have changed, but would eventually show his dark, true colours. Elly and her children have all been affected by the abuse. When they divorced, she thought she and her children were finally able to continue their lives without him.
But now he has brought her to court, claiming he is entitled to a share of her properties. When she was informed by the court that her ex-husband had applied for a financial settlement, she ‘didn't have a clue what to do’.
As a lay person, she found it very difficult to understand documents from the court, and didn’t know what to do next. Our volunteers helped her make sense of the documents, by putting words into basic English. We also helped her express her thoughts in a clear, organised way - Elly stresses how important this was for her, as she is dyslexic.
At times it was all very overwhelming. For a while, she struggled with suicidal feelings, and found it hard to get out of bed because she was so depressed. She found the strength to come to Support Through Court, and says ‘Support Through Court gave me a lot of guidance and hope’.
As the court date came closer, one of our volunteers referred her to the Safe Spaces Project solicitor for legal advice on how to prepare for her hearing, which she found very helpful: ‘She was very detailed over the phone, she understood my situation very well, and she put everything in writing’. The solicitor, she adds, used very simple language when giving her legal advice, which helped her understand what to do next.
Since then, Elly has come back to us for more support: she believes that Support Through Court’s volunteers save lives by showing kindness.
We also referred her to Advocate to get legal representation and she now has a barrister for her case, whom she is working with to get justice for herself and her children. She also managed to arrange counselling for herself. Sometimes it still gets too much, but thanks to the help she received from us and the Safe Spaces project she says she ‘came out very positive and stronger’.
* Name changed to protect client