THE SURVIVOR LIGHTHOUSE
The Survivor Lighthouse is a not-for-profit community interest company who are proud to provide easily accessible, free services, resources and support to victims of domestic abuse and violence.
Formerly known as the West Midlands Lighthouse Project, we have re-branded to encompass the diversity of our service provision and reflect our rapidly expanding client base across the UK, and internationally.
Thank you for your continuing support.
WHY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS DON'T LEAVE
a snapshot into domestic violence
A SURVIVOR'S STORY
the birth of the project
At the tender age of 22, I met my abuser.
Little did I know that he would lodge a crusade to humiliate, debase, injure and try to eradicate the fibre of my being for over 10 years. Had I known what was in store, I would have ran in the opposite direction but I had little knowledge of what abuse was and certainly not how it really looks to us, the victim.
In 2015, my abuser executed his final assault on me. The sheer extremity and depravity of the attack awoke me to the danger I faced and I escaped. I thought that running would ensure my freedom and that the abuse would end. I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead, I encountered a sustained campaign of post separation abuse involving stalking, harassment, attempted breaks in's and a rapidly escalating period of terror; culminating in an urgent non-molestation order, and my abusers immediate application to the Family Court, where I was subject to re-victimisation and trauma, and where we remained for a further 5 years.
The consistent theme of my journey to escape abuse was the lack of support and resources available to victims, but more overwhelmingly, was the complete lack of knowledge and understanding of my situation.
There were year long waiting lists for support. Assigned professionals chose to debate on my intelligence as if only those without degrees get abused. My lived experiences were minimised and I was often vilified for my abusers actions and my reactions to them. I was even advised to not have mental health support if I wanted to keep my children.
I felt frightened. Confused. Empty. Alone. I questioned why I had left and it quickly became apparent this was a common theme and that many survivors found themselves with no justice, unprotected, with little or no support and often navigating the complexities of family court proceedings.
I made a pledge that if I had to endure this lesson and live this experience then it would have to exist purely to hone a positive, and so I sought to create a safe, non judgemental space where victims would be heard and be treated with respect, kindness and empathy, and where we would provide victim perspective based training to survivors and professionals alike.
In December 2019, the concept of a solely survivor-led project was borne and (post COVID deployment), in July 2020, we opened our doors (or rather our laptops) to our first Freedom Programme attendees. We haven’t looked back.
We have organically evolved at an incredible rate and we are very proud to be providing what we lovingly term our 'survivor one-stop shop’ now encompassing many areas of support and we still seek to grow.
We are manned purely by survivors, who volunteer tirelessly to support, bolster and empower our members, propel change, and foster partnerships to creates access to resources and opportunities.
We may be small but we are mighty.
As the wonderful C.S Lewis once wrote 'there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind'
...so onwards and upwards we go.