Survivor stories

We are grateful to all the brave survivors who have shared their stories with us, to help others and drive change. None of our work would be possible without our group of SafeLives Pioneers, the experts by experience whose voices inform everything we do. 

The stories on this page are the real experiences of survivors, and the friends and family of those who have lost their lives to domestic abuse, in their own words. Please be aware that some of these stories contain descriptions of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

If reading these stories makes you feel concerned about your own relationship or worried about a friend, support is available.

'He knew that I wanted to kind of prove to myself that I really was bisexual instead of gay or straight...'

'She chooses who you spend time with and criticises any friends you had before her so over time they disappear...' 

'My husband’s family had all of the control, whatever I did was on their terms'


'I was 19 years old when I met him. He was 38 and married...'

'It had never occurred to me that female to female abuse was a thing'

'My parents severely neglected me, emotionally abused me and physically hurt me from around 18 months old...'

'It started with jealousy, checking my phone and emails...'

'In the beginning it started with little things like calling me names...'

'I learned the word ‘can't’ very early on, I couldn't pass exams, I couldn't cook, I couldn't find a boyfriend...'

Frank's sister Julia and nephew William Pemberton were murdered in 2003.

Catherine's mother passed away from a stroke in 2018, and was also a survivor of domestic abuse.