Max identifies are Gender Queer (GQ). Max was assigned female at birth but identifies now as Trans Masculine (TM) and GQ. Max is a third year university student, studying mathematics. Max has been dating Mel for 8 months and during the relationship she has been both physically and emotionally abusive. She has bitten Max a number of time, threatened with knives and inflicts physical abuse to areas of the body that can not be seen. Mel controls who Max talks too and feels threatened and jealous when Max talks to other girls. Max has tried to end the relationship a number of times but Mel always says she will kill herself if Max leaves.

The last two times Max left, Mel attempted suicide, once by trying to hang themselves and the second time by cutting her wrists. Each time, Mel would message Max to tell them what they had done. Max would then return quickly and on both occasions called for an ambulance.

Max felt trapped and scared, Max also felt responsible for the welfare of Mel and always returned to look after them. Eventually Max started to feel like they were losing themselves and had a nervous break down. Max was referred to mental health services and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and was given anti depressants. As Max was ill, they returned to the family home and left university, Mel contacted Max and made threats via social media forums and via text. Mel knew Max could not return if she attempted suicide so she made threats to kill if they didn’t return. Max contacted the Loving Me Service directly and worked with the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA). The IDVA supported Max to see the patterns of abusive behaviour, to recognise the abuse and to put in place legal sanctions, including a 12 month restraining order. The police also spoke to Mel about her behaviour.

Max has recently gone back to university to complete his undergraduate in Maths and has had no further contact from Mel.

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