A moment that changed me: I was given a new identity to protect me from my abusive ex

My sons and I now have new names and a new home in a new town, thanks to the UK Protected Persons Service. But I miss my old friends and the job I loved

Somewhere along the motorway, as we were being driven away from our old life and towards a new one, the police officers stopped using our old names. They had asked one of my sons something mundane – about which fast food restaurant he wanted to stop at – but called him by his new, unfamiliar name. I burst into tears. We were people who no longer existed in the back of an unmarked police car – no phones, bank cards, passports. We were now being looked after by the UK Protected Persons Service (UKPPS) and our lives would never be the same again.

For years I had been trying to get away from my husband, the father of our two sons. He was abusive in every way you can think of, and when I left him the abuse escalated – he stalked us, put signs up on our road, sent gifts, messages. If we moved, he would find us, break in and move things around to intimidate me. It was psychological warfare. I had a non-molestation order against him, but he acted as if it didn’t exist.

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