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Hannah's Story

Hannah is a qualified accountant. She is also alcohol dependent.


Hannah started to drink heavily to cope with the domestic abuse she was experiencing at home. Her husband Martin would regularly beat her, with Hannah often ending up in hospital. Hannah never disclosed the abuse to anyone. She finally found the courage to leave after 19 years early in 2018 and ended up homeless.


Whilst homeless, Hannah got into another abusive relationship which led to her fleeing again and being accepted into our complex needs refuge.

With the support of NDAS, she had weekly meetings with a drug and alcohol worker who is based in the refuge and engaged with various support groups. She increased her resilience and dealt with the past trauma as well as learning how to spot the signs of abuse.


After 8 months, Hannah moved out of refuge to live with a friend and has been sober for 3 months. She is currently looking for work to start to rebuild her life, free from harm.

The risk of domestic violence increases when both parties have a substance abuse disorder. It may become difficult, if under the influence, for the victim to determine how much danger they are actually in.

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