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Face and Founder of SODA

Samantha was born on 18th April 1980 the much awaited daughter of John and Megan Billingham, the youngest sibling to three brothers.

After leaving High School in 1996 Samantha went on to Further Education passing a 3 year Business Studies Course with a Merit Grade and getting her first job as a Legal Secretary in 1999 at a local Firm of Solicitors.

Over the next several years Samantha had a fulfilled life, living at home with her loving parents, a career in front of her, savings in the bank, freedom and a circle of friends.  She loved life, she would work hard but also play hard too, a bubbly and confident young woman living life to the full.

In 2002/03 Samantha was in her local pub, like she was most Friday nights but little did she realise that this Friday would change her life forever.   In the blink of an eye she lost everything, after she moved into a flat with a man she met two weeks earlier.  At first he seemed so charming, so caring and loving, but Samantha quickly learned there was a very different side to the man who claimed he loved her.  Over the next 3 years she suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of the perpetrator she had been living with; he isolated her from friends and family, intimidated and manipulated her, controlled her by telling her who she could see, who she couldn't see and what she could wear, he humiliated her, cheated on her, strangled and kicked her.  But in November 2006, Samantha found the strength and courage in her 10 month old daughter, Tegan Rose, to leave him and never look back.

To give something back to her community, Samantha decided that she wanted to help others and since setting up her own online domestic abuse support page in April 2009 she has dedicated her time and experience to support others across the nation.  As well as offering online support, Samantha can be seen tweeting, heard on the local radio and watched on TV raising awareness by sharing her own personal story in the hope that it helps others.  The key message Samantha wants to send out to those who might find themselves in an abusive relationship is, there is life after domestic abuse.