"Last year my world was turned upside down.
"I’m currently studying as I want to improve my job prospects and earn more money to support my family. I have young children and they mean the world to me. I would do anything to provide for them. I would do anything to protect them. It sounds so easy to say, but it’s not always so easy to do.
"I started dating a guy in early 2019. Little did I know, I was inviting someone who did drugs into my home. And worse still, he invited his drug dealing gang into my home too.
"For several months I was physically, mentally and emotionally abused. They regularly stole from me – the keys to my house, my bank card, my money – everything was fair game to them. On more than one occasion they emptied my bank account so I couldn’t pay my rent or bills and struggled to feed my children.
"I wanted to go to the police, but I was terrified of the repercussions. I tried hiding from the gang, but they found me. They said that if I didn’t give them what they wanted, they’d hurt me and my children. They threatened to put me in hospital and harm my family and friends, so I had to return home to help keep them safe.
"I lived in fear for my life. I felt trapped in my own home, spending much of my time hiding away and pretending I wasn’t in to keep this criminal gang out of my life as much as possible. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to speak up. I got in touch with Cottsway - my landlord - and asked for help.
"I’d urge anyone who’s in a similar situation to not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. There is light at the end of the tunnel and, no matter what, always keep fighting for the life you deserve - never give up!"
How Cottsway helped
It took great courage for this customer to come forward. Our housing and tenancy support team worked tirelessly with them, the local council, police, social services and the children’s school to find the best way to protect this family. The police have arrested and prosecuted some of the culprits.
After working closely with all parties involved, we have found this young family a new home in a new area and will do everything we can to help make this transition go smoothly. We hope they will start to feel safe again soon.
Here at Cottsway we believe no one should suffer abuse, or the threat of abuse and we will support any customers who are suffering physical, emotional, sexual or any other kind of abuse, neglect or coercive behaviour.
To report abuse or neglect, please contact us