Mpower helps women who have had at least one child removed and who need support in understanding why. We help these women by addressing the issues that led to removal, with the aim to reduce the likelihood of it happening again.
I had a chaotic childhood growing up in a home with an alcoholic mother who constantly had inappropriate partners. I moved away with my mum to flee the domestic abuse. This meant that I never felt settled in any of my schools and endured bullying, low self-esteem and depression.
I became more vulnerable as a teenager, starting with being groomed on the internet. At the age of 15, I found myself in an abusive relationship with Tim, who raped me on numerous occasions that resulted in a pregnancy. I was placed in a mother and baby unit but made poor choices and chose Tim over my daughter Eve. This led to the removal of my daughter at just four months old, who was placed for adoption. Tim continued to sexually abuse me, and he also raped two other women, both who prosecuted him. I became a witness in his trial, and Tim is currently awaiting sentencing for the raping of the two women and myself.
Ormiston Families’ Mpower service supported me to deal with my trauma and the sudden loss of Eve, helping me to seek medical attention for my depression. I received one-to-one emotional support around self-esteem, confidence and inappropriate relationships, which in the end encouraged me to use long acting contraception to avoid the same thing happening again. I also completed a course called ‘Escaping the Trap’ which raises awareness of domestic abuse in teenagers.
The Mpower service really helped me. I felt a real shift in my confidence and self-esteem.
I am now able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationships and appear more cautious. I have adopted a more positive lifestyle by going swimming once a week and attend a craft class at my local youth club, where I have made some friends too. With the help of Mpower, it has given me the courage to apply for college and follow my dreams to become a hairdresser.
To find out more, visit: https://www.ormiston.org/what-we-do/our-programmes/the-connect-programme/mpower-project/