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Some advice about helping a friend in an ongoing abusive situation?

(3 Posts)
TheCollieDog Tue 13-Nov-12 07:58:19

I posted this in the quiet place, but someone suggested that people here are very helpful & knowledgeable. Any suggestions welcomed, as this is new territory for me.

A friend is living through a nightmare of a separation. A long story, full of just awful things including domestic violence, non-payment of any sort of maintenance. His family fund his constant legal attempts to stop my friend from doing anything. There's more, and it's awful, but it's not my story.

Anyway.

I now live some distance away so drop her an email or a text every few days, just to say hello. We used to work together so I talk to her about that as I know she derives self-esteem from keeping her work going. She's got the Social Services, Women's Aid, the police & a protection order, and a good lawyer, although no money left.

I've been so so lucky & never been in anything like this situation (widowed early rather than divorced). Those of you who have, is there something more I could do to help her, more than just making sure she knows I'm on her side?

I'm really time poor with a very heavy workload & lot going on in my life (a whole other thread) so I'm trying to think of a way that I could give her a cheque for £1000 just to help with some child care so she can get on with stuff (she's under similar pressures to me in work issues). At the moment, I know I could her that money and never want it back, but ... it's tricky & difficult and I'm so bloody middle class. Is there something I don't know about/haven't thought of that I could do? Like me, she's very competent, independent, professional, etc etc.

Of course, what I'd really like to do is commission a hit-man

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 13-Nov-12 09:21:35

You sound like a caring friend.

The best thing you can do is, indeed, let her know you're there for her and on her side. I know you say you're time poor, but if you can schedule time to call her and just chat, so that she can have some warm and friendly human interaction amidst all the legal and financial shit she's dealing with (not to mention the emotional fallout from leaving an abusive realtionship), it will be the best kind of help to her.

Next step is to outright ask her what you can do for her, and maybe offer a couple practical suggestions of your own. For example: "How about we have a weekly Friday eveining phone call to touch base?", or even: "I have a spare 1000 pounds I would be happy to give/lend you to take care of childcare, would that be helpful?"

I was in a very similar situation to your friend, and a friend of mine offered me cash like that. I didn't accept, as it was important for me to be able to stand on my own two feet, but I was touched that she offered, and comforted to know it was there on offer if I ever found I couldn't manage on my own.

TheCollieDog Wed 14-Nov-12 20:39:15

Thanks, HOTDamn that's given me some good ideas & ways & means. Also thanks to olgaga who posted that fantastic link to the research report about DV. I've sent it on.

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