After overcoming drug, alcohol and family issues, post-natal depression, domestic abuse, committing common assault and loss of access to her children, Staci Rigby is now looking forward to starting her own business.
Twenty-five-year-old Staci said: “Family life was not good. I got into trouble as a child and more survived it than lived it.”
At aged 16 Staci was pregnant with her first child and taking drugs. Suffering mental abuse and control at the hands of her partner, she was forced to enter a refuge. Staci and her partner moved closer to Staci’s family. Things got worse and the pattern repeated itself two years later when she gave birth to her second child in 2012.
“There was a lot of domestic abuse. I don’t remember much at the time but I felt damaged.”
Compounding the situation, her brother was arrested for allegedly killing a child and Staci was required to give evidence in the case.
“I couldn’t believe it. It was all over the papers and we had to move right away from the area.”
Away from her family, Staci felt isolated. Her partner left her with two children to look after which left her tired and physically drained. Things came to a head in March 2016 when she was drinking and taking drugs to cope. Staci momentarily snapped and assaulted one of her family members.
Subsequently, Staci was arrested by the Police and she fully expected to go to prison. However, she was given a 12-month community order for common assault, completing her order on 5 October 2017.
“I felt so bad and had prepared myself for prison. It was such a relief. I had always been a good mum and done my best for my children. I always ensured they were dressed, clothed and fed and had a structure to their lives.”
Although now separated from her former partner, he continued to post stories on social media which damaged Staci’s attempts to get and keep employment. She moved back in with her mother in October 2016 but was not allowed to be with her children.
Staci met Cheshire & Greater Manchester CRC Case manager Lorraine Donnelly when she moved out of her mum’s house and moved in with her new partner. Lorraine introduced Staci to the Wythenshawe Safespots Centre which helps victims of domestic abuse. It’s the first of its kind to be developed and run by domestic abuse survivors.
“Meeting Lorraine was a real turnaround for me. I feel more settled and am moving forward. The communication with Lorraine has been amazing. She has made me believe in myself.
“Safespots has opened up so many opportunities for me. The healthy relationship programme has really opened my eyes to how people control other people. I’d lived that way for so long.”
Staci has now taken control of her life and is keen to learn as much as she can on her own initiative. She has taken domestic violence, rape awareness, keeping children safe and stress management training – including working with Women’s Aid on a ‘Moving On’ programme to cope with the little things in life.
“From the minute it happened I have done nothing but tried. It’s still difficult at times but I can deal with stress much better now. My new partner is a great support. I didn’t think I could ever be happy again but I am.”
Staci, who has had a long-standing interest in the beauty business, is now taking NVQs in Nail Technology and Beauty Massage with a view to starting her own business at the end of 2018.
Her tutor, and owner of the NVQ Nail and Beauty Academy, Amanda Sumner said: “Although Staci started the course a few weeks after everyone else, she soon caught up and has done excellent in her exams. I’m very proud of her.”
Lorraine said: “When I first met Staci, her self-esteem was very low. Throughout her order, she has grown in confidence and has benefitted from the support of the women’s services available to her. She has been an active group member when attending offence focused programmes and has an eagerness to learn new life skills. She has also been a good support to the other women who attend the centre. I wish her well for the future and hope she achieves her goals.”
Staci is pictured, with Lorraine, holding copies of her achievements.
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