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Domestic violence advice

(13 Posts)
Clarence15 Sat 20-Aug-11 16:34:43

I need some advice on how to help SIL and BIL. They've always had a volatile relationship, and have been having huge arguments and fights for at least the past 10 years if not more. SIL has a history of violence and has previously hit BIL. He hasn't hit her before until last night.

Apparently they had another huge row last night and he hit her in the face giving her a black eye. All in front of their ds who called the police.

They've been reluctant to separate in the past because of money issues but I think this time they need to before they kill each other. So what advice can I give SIL? She has very little money and BIL doesn't currently have a job. They have a mortgage. Where can she get advice about this? I don't know where to start, it's such a mess.

garlicbutter Sat 20-Aug-11 17:02:31

Citizens Advice Bureau. I think she'd also benefit from coming clean to her GP and requesting counselling. There's an online benefits estimator here.

It will be hard for both of them, but poor DS must be very upset and confused by his parents' relationship and it sounds as though they'll both be safer apart.

BertieBotts Sat 20-Aug-11 17:08:44

She could speak to Women's Aid as well - 0808 2000 247.

Clarence15 Sat 20-Aug-11 17:12:40

Thanks, dh and I have both tried to get her to go to some kind of counselling before but she won't go. I actually feel sorry for BIL because I've seen first hand what she's like but it obviously doesn't excuse him for retaliating. I'm so worried about the kids - she lost it once in front of our dd and I've never forgiven her for it so god knows what her children see sad.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 20-Aug-11 20:12:49


She could speak to Women's Aid as well - 0808 2000 247.

Interesting that your response is for women's aid. IRC they don't help abused men.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 20-Aug-11 20:14:29

Men's advice line 0808 801 0327

BertieBotts Sat 20-Aug-11 22:12:42

Sorry, but OP didn't ask for advice for BIL. It was just the first thing that sprang to mind in a break up of a volatile relationship which involves violence. They could perhaps direct her to some counselling which is appropriate for her.

Thanks for posting the men's advice line as well though. I didn't actually know that existed, I'll make a note of it for future reference.

Clarence15 Sun 21-Aug-11 08:49:17

Thanks for both helplines. Yes tbh BIL has suffered much more violence towards him than SIL has towards her. She actually hit out at both me and dh sad once in our house so the fact that she's now on the receiving end is obviously very sad but may open her eyes to what caused it.

In the past dh and I have spent hours and hours counselling her, worrying about them, mopping up in the aftermath of every fight etc. It always simmers down after a day and they go back to their normal routine. Part of me wants to just step away from it because it's all so emotionally draining and nothing I say ever seems to make any difference, but then they're family and I can't just ignore it.

I've told both kids that they can come to our house any time of the day or night, and made sure they both have my number if they need to call. I can't believe their poor ds had to call the police, he's being very mature about it but he's a sensitive soul and it must be affecting him badly.

Apparently BIL has stayed away and has asked to come back and 'collect his stuff' this morning which makes me think he's not planning on coming back for a while. I'm going to wait and see what happens this morn and then suggest that she gets herself to a solicitor to seek financial advice. She's panicking about money but tbh I'm pretty sure she won't be any worse off than she is now.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 21-Aug-11 09:03:02

Um, if she's going around hitting everyone, not just having a "volatile relationship", I wonder whether approaching it from the women's aid point of view is going to be all that helpful. Presumably she is the one who is your relative so you're closer to her and looking at it from her point of view, but shouldn't she be finding out how to control her temper? Not to excuse the BIL either, simply defending himself would surely be unlikely to cause a black eye. Taking himself away from the situation sounds like the most sensible move from his point of view, but... what about their DS? Does she ever lash out at him? Might he fear that she will, now her usual punchbag is out of the way?

Mitmoo Sun 21-Aug-11 09:09:49

I'd be more concerned about the children than the BIL or SIL, to violent parents so out of control they can't even keep their fights away from them.

I'd normally suggest getting a restraining order with powers of arrest and exclusion orders around the home to keep the husband out but she's worse than him and there is an injustice in that. Who is the better parent for the children? Because anything I'd say would be based on who the children are safer with.

That parent should go for an occupation order on the property to keep the other one out while the divorce is going through. I'd wager though the same old pattern will continue and they'll get back together until the next time.

Clarence15 Sun 21-Aug-11 09:24:28

Yes SIL dh's sister so she's the one we're closer to although I do feel a lot of sympathy towards BIL. Despite her violence towards BIL I'm confident that she'd never direct it towards the children, although she can be very nasty verbally so there's an argument that she could be abusive that way towards them. Either way, I'm pretty sure both of them will have seen the full force of their rows and I am very worried about what they've had to hear.

Without a doubt though, SIL is the much better parent and I think that if BIL was out if the way she'd calm right down. BIL drinks too much and wouldnt be able to cope with the children by himself so I dont think there's any question of who stays with the kids.

Mitmoo Sun 21-Aug-11 09:31:48

That's fine then, in that case, if she thinks the BIL will want to come back to the house she may need to apply for an Occupation Order to keep him out but that is only if she is serious that she wants to split up. You can't make that decision for her but just be there for guidance if she decides now is the time to leave. I changed the locks which was technically illegal but nevertheless very effective. smile

Clarence15 Sun 21-Aug-11 09:36:15

Thanks Mitmoo I'll see what happens today although I suspect it will all be forgotten again in a couple of days.

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