Lily was 17 when she left her parents’ house to live with her partner.

She believed that she was in love and that this was her first real step into adult life and maybe even towards marriage.

They hadn’t been living together long when he became abusive and violent towards her. Of course, Lily hoped that this would stop and things would get better… but it didn’t. Over time, she became isolated from her friends and family and because of this, she felt unable to turn to them when she needed help.

When things got too much, and she was scared or had been assaulted, she left him, spending short spells in homeless hostels and B&Bs but continued to return to her partner on the promise that things would get better.

Lily began experiencing anxiety and depression which drove her to self-harm and even attempt to take her own life. She was 18 when she was referred to The Rock Trust.

The Rock Trust worked with Lily to help her build confidence in herself and to help her to realise that she had options which were safe. Lily plucked up the courage to leave her partner and moved into one of The Rock Trust’s supported flats.

She worked on her personal development; how to stay safe, how to build healthy relationships with her family and she learned all of the skills she needed to live on her own, like cooking and budgeting. Lily also realised that she had aspirations, plans of her own, and, with support from The Rock Trust, she planned how she might put these plans into action.

“The Rock Trust helped me to get away from my abusive ex partner” says Lily, who is now 21. “I’ve been to college but I’m looking to go back to do a further course which The Rock Trust gave me the courage and confidence to do, along with my current partner, as he has been amazing at supporting me”, she adds.

Little by little, Lily’s life has progressed positively and now she has her own home, she is engaged to be married and she has a beautiful baby boy. She now sees her friends and family regularly, something that she couldn’t do for a long time, as her abusive ex partner didn’t allow her to. She is still recovering from her anxiety and depression and she wants to help other people in the same situation.

“I would love to try to help others going through domestic abuse or tell my story wherever possible”, Lily says. “I would certainly recommend The Rock Trust to others and even support them to go along through the system as I’ve been”.