At first I did not know what the DiVa group was for.
There was domestic violence in my family with my parents and later with the father of my child but I didn’t really know what domestic violence was. I thought it was just physical abuse. Now I know there are many more forms of domestic abuse including financial and emotional. I know how domestic violence builds up; it doesn’t start with a slap usually but with insults and name calling and emotional abuse.
I have a better understanding of how it affects a child and yourself. I would now call the police and get out of it because it can affect my child. Anything can happen - I could get killed.
I have a lot in common with the other DiVas. The role plays were hard. It was upsetting to show myself and the other DiVas how I behaved with my ex boyfriend. It’s a friendly and safe group. I felt safe enough to discuss the rapes I experienced when I was much younger. I also spoke about the harm that I did to myself as a result of the rapes and being put into care.
I’m dyslexic but I could understand the exercises which were changed to fit my learning needs. Outside the group I reflected on my life and my past relationships. I’m learning not to be so trusting of people as I can’t let my child see her mother get abused.
My advert for the Diva group would say: ‘Come, don’t get abused, get it sorted’.
DiVa is a weekly women-only group for young mothers who are experiencing difficult relationships.
I got involved with St Michael's when I was still at school. I was living with my mother who was very hurt that I was pregnant. St Michael’s helped me to stay at school and complete my A levels and later move into a supported mother and baby unit. This improved the relationship with my mother.
I went to support groups for young mothers. I was in a violent and abusive relationship. My worker was a listening ear. She encouraged me to call the police. Being told that I could possibly lose my child was the wake-up call that I needed. I ended the relationship.
Now I'm at university doing a Psychology degree. My daughter is six years old and doing really well in a good school. I’m happy!
St Michael’s helped me and my family with the groups and events and helped motivate me to want to do more with my life. They were always there for you even if I went off to do something and it may not have worked out, I could always come back to them and they were always encouraging.
I took part in a Prince’s Trust scheme, completed the program and became a Team Leader! Now I approach St Michael’s so that I can send young people to do work placements.
Attending groups at children's centres, my son socialised more and I noticed the change in his development. I am able to communicate with him easier. Attending groups and workshops made me a confident person as whole, as I got to meet other mothers. I think if I didn’t attend the sessions and didn’t receive any help from St. Michael’s Fellowship I would probably become depressed and secluded.
My life changed as I made a progression to university. I think I’ve grown mature in last two years with St Michael’s Fellowship. I look at situations differently and socialise more. I don't judge people by their looks and appearance and try to get to know them first to find about them.