Stacey-Lee Parr believes probation has helped save her life, after successfully overcoming drugs, drink and domestic violence. The 30-year-old has successfully completed her Suspended Sen-tence Order, having being convicted of drink driving offences.
She was supervised by the Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company and believes the support from the Women’s Turnaround Centre was integral to her rehabilitation and still participates in events run by probation.
Stacey first got into trouble in 2014, following her mum’s death at 45. She said: “I failed to handle the situation. I was also in an ex-tremely abusive relationship and was too scared to report it.”
Things got so bad that Social Services got involved and Stacey’s two young children had to stay with her brother for several weeks.
Stacey said: “My son overheard one of the assaults and when he went into school said that he was sad, which prompted an investi-gation. I could only see my children in a contact centre which was very hard.”
The nadir occurred after Stacey’s former partner stabbed her in the face. On another occasion, he broke into a friend’s house – where Stacey was staying – and kept them hostage.
She said: “It was a dramatic time. By then I was sofa surfing to get away from him. During those weeks I really went off the rails – go-ing to parties and getting involved with the wrong crowd who were drinking, taking drugs and committing crimes.”
Stacey was arrested for drink driving. On a second occasion, she asked police to test her for drugs because she believed she’d been spiked.
She was given a year’s suspended sentence for failing to provide a breathalyser and dangerous driving. She received a three year ban, was tagged for ten weeks and had to do 150 hours Community Payback.
Stacey said: “I wasn’t complying with my sentence and was failing to deal with personal aspects of my life. I did not have the courage to face them. It was only after I was placed at the Women’s Turna-round Centre that the mist began to clear and I began to comply and accept their support.”
Community Payback carried out at the centre helped Stacey gain confidence.
She said: “There was a silver lining. I enjoyed the Community Pay-back work so much that I volunteered for a further six months.
Stacey’s suspended sentence finished in October 2016. By then she was attending the Freedom Course, for women who have experi-enced domestic violence, hosted at the centre.
She added: “I owe them my life. It’s given me the strength and ability to believe in myself. It’s given me new opportunities and different perspectives as well as mechanisms to spot problems.
“This centre is wonderful. Every day I set a goal. I lead a healthy life and I go to the gym. Accepting the help and knowing when to ac-cept it has been key.”
Stacey is full of praise for her volunteer mentor and former case manager Lynsey. She said: “Lynsey has been my inspiration. I was in a refuge home as a child and I grew up in a violent relationship. Lynsey could really identify with this. I owe my life to Lynsey and others at the Women’s Turnaround Centre. I can now see the fin-ishing line.”
Lynsey said: “It’s all down to the hard work that Stacey has done. I will continue to support Stacey. We have the next Lynsey Barker right here.”
Stacey’s ambition is to get a job in probation and is looking into starting a law degree.
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