Domestic abuse rates rose massively under lockdown. It is something that sadly I know all too much about. My experience was a nightmare - I was totally controlled, to a level where I nearly lost my mind.
When lockdown happened I was alone. I felt isolated, trapped and far away from people and places that I felt comfortable with.
So when my former partner got back in touch, it gave me comfort.
He came to my house one day, out of the blue during the first stages of the coronavirus, saying that he could not think of anyone else he would rather be with. I really wanted to believe that he had changed - but unfortunately for me, that was just his way of getting back in. The fact that we couldn't know how long lockdown would go on, made me even more reliant on his company.
But it didn't take long for him to revert back to his old ways; using and abusing me.
I started drinking so that I could tolerate it and block the whole situation out in my head. It was not a good idea, he manipulated me; demanding money and sleeping with other women. I even found him in my living room with another woman, which devastated me.
He was coming in and out of my house all hours of the night, waking me up out of my sleep and making my life a total nightmare because I did not want to have sex with him. He convinced me that I was doing things and saying things that I was not, I was a complete nervous wreck. All I wanted was peace.
I was stuck for days and weeks. At one point, when I was on the phone to my GP about something else, she could hear him shouting at me in the background. I learned later that she had made a note in my medical records about her concerns - but nothing was done. I was just left in that same dangerous situation.
At this point I knew that I had to let him go, and learn to love and respect myself. So I talked to a support worker, letting her know what I had been going through. She supported me and just by her listening, she encouraged me to be strong and take action. It was not long before I applied for a molestation order, and got myself on a housing list to be moved.
That is why support services that understand what women can go through are so important. Without them, our lives are genuinely at risk. This man has been abusing me on and off for 15 years - I am lucky I am still living to tell my story. Too many women are not .
But new research by Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk, has warned that many of the organisations which support us are now under threat, as lockdown restrictions ease.
With emergency funding ending - and as many people like me finally come forward for help, after a spike in domestic abuse over the past five months- they are worried about how they will cope with demand. I am likely to be the tip of the iceberg – there will be many more like me for whom support services are literally a lifeline.
It is so important that as restrictions continue to ease, support that specifically caters to women is given the money it needs to do its vital work. If they are not there, then women and girls who spend every day fearing for their safety will find it even more difficult to escape .