There are many different reasons someone might end up facing homelessness.

Poneh’s estranged husband, Javid, controlled, manipulated and physically hurt her over 10 years. Following her from city to city, he was persistent in his abuse.

She found hope through the Empower team at Oasis Community Housing.

‘He controlled me’

Poneh’s estranged husband tormented and harassed her for over a decade, with the abuse starting when they were together. Javid’s damaging behaviour risked devastating Poneh’s life.

He controlled Poneh’s bank cards and prevented her from working.

‘He used to lie to me all the time. When I would say “what you said is not right,” he would say “I’m joking.” He hurt me. He hurt me physically and emotionally.

‘A few times he pushed me against the wall. My head hit the wall and I felt dizzy.’

Poneh ended the relationship and tried to free herself by calling the police, moving cities, changing jobs, but he just kept coming back. He would try and infiltrate her life again by finding out where she worked.

Poneh said Javid felt entitled to her home, and that he would manipulate their son using the guise of child contact to enter and use Poneh’s house.

Despite being separated for years, Javid would enter Poneh’s home while she worked. ‘He took a shower in my home, he asked me for money and sometimes he would take vegetables. He then started to hurt me again and use me, and lie.’

Poneh ended the violent and controlling relationship and worked hard to build up her life again however, in Poneh’s words: ‘He didn’t live with me but he controlled me.’

Support from the Empower team

Poneh was eventually referred to Oasis Community Housing’s Empower Domestic Abuse support team to get the help she needed.

The team were able to fund and install a ring doorbell, which meant Poneh had evidence of Javid’s harassment. They supported her to report all of the abuser’s actions to the police and worked with her to apply for a divorce.

Javid breached the terms of his non-molestation order after Empower installed a camera capturing him entering her home. This resulted in his non-molestation order being upgraded to a restraining order after a short court case.

‘I went to court, and Holly (from the Empower team) was there, all the time she was there supporting me with everything. From 8 o’clock to 4 or 5 o’clock.’

The stress of the necessary court case took a toll on Poneh’s health.

‘I remember after the court I had some sort of heart attack, because of a lot of pressure.’

Poneh spent three days recovering in hospital.

Empower sourced counselling sessions through the North East Counselling Service thanks to support from the transition fund, helping Poneh work through her trauma. Poneh also had support from our financial capability team who helped her apply for Universal Credit and deal with Council tax debts.

‘It has changed my life.’

Looking to the future

‘I think about myself more. Sometimes I go out with my friend, going shopping. It’s much, much better my life… I’m much happier now, I’m very happy now.

‘All the time he was coming to say something, he was coming to have an argument, he was coming to do something to me, but now I can relax because he’s not coming anymore.’

The Empower team wouldn’t be able to do the work they do without your support. Thanks to your donations Poneh is now enjoying her life after abuse.

Find out how you can support women like Poneh by making a donation or visiting our Get involved pages >>>