Lived Experience: Jess’s Story

Jess* fell pregnant through sexual assault. Her partner controlled every aspect of her life, from withholding personal documents to draining her bank accounts. Things went from bad to worse when he started tracking her every move. 

She left her relationship with one goal: to build a safe life for her son. However, she experienced many setbacks due to the financial abuse experienced from her ex-partner. 

Jess found her feet with help from The Lady Musgrave Trust. She was placed in safe, affordable housing, which has provided her with the stability she needs to finish school and study law. 

We are incredibly proud to be part of Jess’ and her son’s lives as The Lady Musgrave Trust tenants.

Here is Jess’s, 20, story in her own words.

I’m 20 years old. I moved out of home at 15, and I have a 19-month old son. 

I fell pregnant due to sexual assault, so it hasn’t been the easiest situation. But I recently just left a DV relationship with the baby’s dad. Through all of the domestic violence, I didn’t see it for how it was – I think I was just blinded by love, I guess you could say.

I had no money, and it was quite scary not knowing where my next food was going to come from. I had to rely on food boxes, donated from different services and whatnot to be able to get through, and that was all because of him. 

The emotional abuse was quite hard. He had all my forms of ID, so I had nothing on me. He had tracked me, he had put an AirTag in one of my shoes, and tracked my every step where I was going. It was very scary. I couldn’t sleep at night, I was so worried about me and my son.

I wanted to go to the police, but I think I was too scared of the situation, and where it was going to end up.

My money and everything was gone, so I didn’t have anything to buy my son food, I couldn’t pay for rent, I couldn’t afford to save up for anything. 

I had applied for 180 houses since March this year [2022], and was turned down for every single one of them, because I was a single, young mum and my financial situation wasn’t up to what they would like. 

[Since finding housing with The Lady Musgrave Trust], I’ve been studying year 11 and 12, and I’m currently on my way to study law and criminology at uni.

I’m so proud of myself. When I grew up, I didn’t have resources. I didn’t have a mum that loved me. I didn’t have the things that most kids do nowadays. 

Over time, and as a mum myself, I got stronger. I learnt that there’s going to be a lot of battles through this whole situation, and throughout a lifetime. 

Working with The Lady Musgrave Trust, they’ve helped me so much. Since being here, it’s made me feel a lot safer and happier. And knowing that I have a home, somewhere that I can bring my son… we’ve got a safe space now, so, I can’t thank them enough. They’ve helped so, so, so much. 

As a young mum, it’s not easy to do all this yourself. And I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it, without all the support I’ve gotten from The Lady Musgrave Trust, and all the people that help donate to and support them as well. They’re such a lovely team, and I couldn’t recommend them enough.

*Name changed for privacy. 

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