Ellen (29)

In 2019 I was living with my (now ex-)boyfriend when our relationship became violent. I was physical and mentally abused until there was not a lot left of me. It came to a point where I had to call the police and he was arrested. It was a really traumatic experience.
My therapist advised me to find something I was passionate about, that could help me build myself and my self-worth back up again. The gym wasn’t my first choice. I had little knowledge of fitness, there would be a lot of people, it felt a little intimidating. But it did look like people were having a good time inside. So ultimately I decided to walk in and become an Eilander. It didn’t take me long before I started to feel stronger. Physically and mentally. 

Even though everything happened in 2019, it was only in November last year the case came to court. I had to relive everything. I had to see my abuser again. And I wasn’t able to go to the gym to release my anger and frustration. That really made me realise how much working out has helped me going through a really dark period of my life.
I think it’s important to share my story because we need to get rid of the whole stigma around partner abuse. Survivors often feel ashamed and at fault, while there’s no reason to. Feeling more confident in my own skin definitely made me realise that. “


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