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Is there an equivalent of the freedom programme for emotionally abused men?

(14 Posts)
CMOTDibbler Sat 13-Apr-13 09:07:20

DHs friend (who I have known for 20+ years) has been emotionally and financially abused by his wife for the last 13 years. A degree of the emotional abuse has been fairly apparent to those close to him during that time, but he wasn't ready to see it.
But last week she told him that she wanted a divorce, and has already presented him with the papers expecting him to do as she asks as obv thats what he's always done. But is ratcheting things up to try and force him to comply. The reality of what he has been conditioned to accept is sinking in now, and tbh hes horrified by it.

Last night he was talking about not wanting to be his dad (physically and mentally abusive then absent), and realised that he learnt from tiny to comply with his dad, do as you're told, don't question etc. And obv doesn't want to repeat all this pattern in the future - and as they have 3 children he wants to ensure they don't repeat it either.

I know WA do a programme for women to help them avoid being abused in the future, but is there anything for men?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 13-Apr-13 09:35:19

He could try Mankind. I'm not sure if they have exactly what he needs but I think they'd be able to point him in the right direction. There may also be counselling help available via his GP. I hope you told him to get a good lawyer as well. Mental wellbeing is very important but I think, if he stands up to her legally, that will also go a long way to improving his confidence.

CMOTDibbler Sat 13-Apr-13 13:47:18

Thank you Cogito - I'll point him in their direction.

Yes, we've advised him to shop around for a lawyer. An issue is that there is absolutely no money - she's getting legal aid as her income is low enough, but he is over the threshold and has quite literally nothing as he has been allowed no money for so long, not even for clothes. But dh and 3 other friends are with him today, and they are telling him not to worry about the money and they'll sort it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 13-Apr-13 15:01:41

Does sound like he's been badly treated. Has he split all the finances now? Opened his own bank account etc? If he has a bigger income than her then he should keep hold of his until a court says otherwise. Pity about the legal aid but that shouldn't deter him from fighting his corner. If she's prepared to bankrupt him just to win then it'll be a Pyrrhic victory because he'll have to take it out of the marital assets and she'll end up with zip...

CMOTDibbler Sat 13-Apr-13 17:58:11

He opened a bank account this week, and fortunatly the lease on their rented house ends at the end of this month anyway so a clean break is being made that way.

There are no assets. He found this week that there had been a CCJ against them that he'd never been told about, and their credit rating is shot to pieces anyway. They moved to a new area 18 months ago at her instignation, sold the house they had, and all the equity from that has gone.

WafflyVersatile Sat 13-Apr-13 20:05:20

resolution.org can help him find a local lawyer who specialises in abuse.

No money left? That why she's leaving now?

CMOTDibbler Sat 13-Apr-13 20:29:57

Oh, thanks Waffly, I'm printing stuff out to give to him, so will do that.

Its uncertain why she's going now. I'm sure it may come more apparent though, but anything she says can't be trusted as she has form for massive lies told to others. Really big things. But its been impossible to challenge things as that would have meant he got cut off completely iyswim

Chubfuddler Sat 13-Apr-13 20:34:52

If there's no money there's nothing really to have expensive legal arguments about really is there? If she hasn't already started divorce he can divorce her for unreasonable behaviour, there's a very truncated financial disclosure they can use, done and dusted within three months.

Sounds like he should definitely have counselling though.

MoogiesVaultEternalDestitution Sat 13-Apr-13 20:48:31

I'm not sure about the UK but this is a useful resource for men in abusive relationships in Ireland; AMEN
Hopefully useful to someone.

CMOTDibbler Sat 13-Apr-13 20:49:16

The arguement is that she wants him to only have access that suits her, but mainly that she wants as much spousal maintenance as child maintenance. A sum that would leave him in a bedsit at best, no car, and unable to do more than just survive. And is throwing statements around that 'she could take him to the cleaners if she wanted'.

No issue of having been a SAHM for years, or tiny children, and his income is very modest. If (and it is a big if) she qualifies in the role that she alleges to have been studying for for a number of years, she will be earning more than him.

Chubfuddler Sat 13-Apr-13 20:55:57

If she is being so ludicrously unreasonable as that he could self represent in all honesty.

Jellykat Sat 13-Apr-13 22:02:47

I know 2 men that have had help via WA, not the group sessions as some of the women wouldn't feel comfortable, but definitely 1 to 1 sessions with a counsellor.
Maybe you could ring his local group and find out about the possibility on his behalf?

Also if he were to represent himself in court, he could consider a Mckenzie friend for moral support and quiet advice.

WafflyVersatile Sat 13-Apr-13 23:17:04

He could do worse than phone women's aid or local equivalent as they will know where to send him, I'd think, if they can't help themselves.

I've not done the freedom programme, is there any reason why he can't just do that?

CMOTDibbler Sun 14-Apr-13 08:55:41

I found a very local charity that helps men who have been abused, and he's phoning them in the morning. He burst into tears when reading their factsheet on what is abuse as he said it was like reading his life sad.

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