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After some expert domestic violence advice if possible. A very dear friend of ours has recently confessed that her partner is abusing her. This has been going on for a while and explains her distance from us all of late. We've tried convincing her to leave him but she's scared/reluctant. They share a house that he's on the mortgage for (he's never had any money and relies on her financially) and she's worried how difficult it will be to get him out. He won't want to go, and will make it very difficult for her.
We've talked to her family and filled them in. We all love her and want to help her so are planning to meet with her next week after work to encourage her to sort this out and provide her with love and support. She will want to know what her options are however and although we can provide her with DV specialist solicitor contacts, it would be good to be able to offer her some solid advice on the spot before she has to return to him and act like nothing's happening whilst we work out a plan with her.
He's incredibly controlling (surprise!) so we'll have to make up some great excuses for why she needs to meet up with people after work etc over the next few weeks. We're going to use a made-up baby shower for me as an excuse, whilst we sort the plan.
Does anyone have any experience in this area? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Are there numbers we can call to speak with legal advisors on her behalf before next week?
I think you want an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA). Google your local area to see if they exist where you live. One thing to bear in mind is that abusers try to stop their victims from making their own decisions so telling her she should leave may feel like similar pressure to her. Make sure she realises that she is in control and that it's her decision, and that you'll support her no matter what.
Will repost in relationships. (still a bit new to mumsnet)
You're absolutely right about the control thing too. It's stunning the psychological effect abusive partners can have. This is a woman who's been the one we all went to for years because she'd always know the best thing to do and could sort everyone's problems out. She's fiercely successful in a career in a very male dominated environment and has never let her sex/insecurities stand in her way. To see her like this is bone-jarring to us all. I have another friend who fits a similar profile who was with an abuser for years before she got free. How does this happen to these confident/successful/independent women?! Just baffling.