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need advice from someone who's been in an EA and DV relationship

(85 Posts)
anotherworriedfriend Sat 15-Jun-13 11:30:56

Have namechanged.

So, friend confides that her DH has a history of DV, probably related to undiagnosed MH problem.

Over a year at the P1 school gate, more details have been confided - lots of nasty, ugly, violent behaviour and then lots of peaceful, ordinary behaviour with gifts and gestures to "make up for it".

She feels powerless, "the kids love him", "it's not that bad" "I know how to handle him" - you know, the stuff that women trapped in an abusive relationship say. Sigh.

I've said to come to me if ever she feels her, or her kids safety is at risk - but, it's her marriage, she's a grown-up, she knows fine well what's going on and I've felt there's nothing to be gained from telling her to LTB; she already knows that - and, there's a distinct undercurrent of "it's more complicated than that".

However, she's just told me that DH has pinned 7 year old up against a wall. Screaming in the face, threatening violence and that the child's daddy is going to "fucking kill you"

Also, she's told me he's got convictions for assault - I don't know whether that's against her, the kids, or someone else.

This woman is bright, clever, funny, and you'd just love her.

She KNOWS he's bad for her, bad for the kids and that she needs to leave.

But, I'm not sure that me offering safe refuge is enough now that I know her kids are at risk from a violent, unpredictable dick man, who might be ill, but who refuses to see his GP.

If you've been on the receiving end of this kind of crap, I'm sorry. But, if you have any nuggets of what could have been helpful from a friend that might have enabled to extricate yourself - well, I'd be really grateful.

I don't want to mess this conversation with her up.

flippinada Wed 19-Jun-13 18:49:21

worried can I jut say that you sound like a lovely, kind and good person.

Unfortunately there are a lot of people who turn the other cheek, minimise and so on but you haven't done that so please give yourself some credit. Even if your friend doesn't end the relationship now you have sown the seed.

Other people have mentioned you must look after and get some support for yourself, please don't forget to do that.

OddSockMonster Wed 19-Jun-13 18:59:31

Try not to constantly worry, it's very, very emotionally draining, especially in a situation where you've probably done all you can.

At least now if anything does happen, SS will know the background and will act accordinly. The might have said 'no more action' but will be able to quickly come back to your concerns, and any others from school etc. should anything happen.

You can't be there to watch them all the time, so please don't worry about it all the time. Just let your friend know you're there for her should she need you, and don't judge her for staying in what everyone else can see is a bad situation, because she won't be seeing it in full herself yet, and possibly won't for some time.

Only she can make the choice to leave for good.

anotherworriedfriend Wed 19-Jun-13 22:43:04

Thanks for all the kind words about me - if it helps redress the balance, I steal my kids' sweets and don't always wash the fruit before I eat it.

I don't judge her. I've realised that she's been living this for years and years, it's going to take some time for her to get her act together. And, he IS being better now.

So, I'm still texting away, chatty, not mentioning it. And, at the slightest excuse I'll bring it up again, face to face.

Am wondering about school - but, the holidays start next week. So, unless there's a proper incident (in which case I'll be onto SS) then, I guess that's not really an option until August.

It's all making me appreciate my husband more. Even his foibles. Could be worse.

BreatheandFlyAway Wed 19-Jun-13 23:13:04

Just wrote a post then read your update re SS sad.

From someone who suffered in childhood and has suffered r/s abuse as an adult - thank you for being there for your friend and even more importantly for her dc. Your steadfastness is probably the best thing they have in their lives, even though they don't realise or can't admit to themselves sad. Keep going and also look after yourself - your feelings are being battered by this too, yet it's not something one can walk away from and you are being a great person to be so steadfast.

wonderingagain Thu 20-Jun-13 01:21:45

I reminded her that she had more than a touch of the Nigella's

SS should also be aware that if children are at risk it is everyone's duty to report it and make sure they are safe, this INCLUDES the mother. The mother may be a victim but she is colluding with the abuse if she allows it to happen. This is exactly what happened with the Baby P woman - she never committed the crimes but the fact that she allowed it to happen put her behind bars for years, victim or no victim.

I think that's right but I'm not sure that many women know this. If she doesn't act to protect her children soon they could, if things got really bad, be taken into care. Now I understand what you say about them not taking it very seriously but I would imagine that there will be a picture being built up of the family because of the boy's behaviour at school. If she doesn't show SS that she is prepared to protect her children she may well end up in trouble too.

Try putting that to her - nicely of course.

anotherworriedfriend Thu 20-Jun-13 12:38:45

I know, her family have said she needs to protect the kids - and, she has said herself that she is not.

I'm kind of hopeful today that she might be coming round to the only sensible thing she can do. She's googled women's aid...

Christ, I wish she'd leave. She's lovely, but, absolutely paralysed - and, you are right, it's just not good enough.

Poor kids.

OddSockMonster Thu 20-Jun-13 20:25:10

You sound like you've got your head screwed on, she's lucky to have you smile

It's really good she's already looking up Woman's Aid, hopefully she'll get a chance to chat with them as well.

I found it useful to chat with one of the helplines myself, they're happy to talk with concerned friends and family too if you need them.

Also, one of the things that sunk in with my brother was the whole cycles of abuse thing, as it as something that after I'd said about it, he then saw happening and recognised. Opened his eyes quite alot.

www.domesticviolence.org/cycle-of-violence/

anotherworriedfriend Fri 21-Jun-13 11:35:49

Thanks for that link. Have put in on my FB - she'll see it there, but he'll not know it's for her benefit.

Is EXACTLY her life, in one wee graphic. Makes me tearful.
x

captainmummy Fri 21-Jun-13 13:30:57

Will you keep in contact with her over the holidays, AWF?

anotherworriedfriend Fri 21-Jun-13 14:33:58

Yep, our middle sons are doing the same holiday club. And, we share a hobby, so we'll see each other. And, her DH thinks I'm a harmless idiot, so he doesn't mind her meeting up with me. Will see her this weekend - and will have a Stern Conversation, she needs a gentle shove to get her to move things along...

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