Claudia B., 37, was married to her abusive, drug addict husband and father of her youngest son, Oskar, 4, for almost ten years when she finally decided to leave him in April 2016. Claudia eventually found the courage to escape the circle of violence after her husband attempted to poison her, she said. Although she was afraid to leave in fear of the consequences, Claudia packed the most needed belongings, took her children and sought refuge at a women’s shelter in Berlin.
Claudia, who received Hartz IV social beneficiary aid, spent three months at the women’s shelter. She soon started looking for a new apartment for herself and her three sons. After receiving several rejections from landlords that stigmatize women under such social circumstances, she finally found a new home in June 2016. Through psychological counselling, help from social workers and a committed lawyer, she slowly but steadily regains her self-confidence and empowerment. She is now building a new life with her children and wants to encourage and inspire other women to break free from their abusive relationships.