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Terrified of facing exH in court over our dd - may trigger

(72 Posts)
terrificallytremendous Fri 21-Feb-14 21:55:48

My exH and I separated 5 years ago. He was abusive in every way - he left me without money for food, he gas lighted me to try and convince me and his family I was bipolar, he bullied me, hurt me and raped me repeatedly. We have a 6 year old dd and he's had contact with her since we split but is now saying he's taking me to court over it. The thought of facing him in court makes me feel physically sick and shake violently. He has a word he used to use when he was going to hurt me and he said it while smirking when dropping dd off yesterday. I need to fight for what's best for dd but even five years old he affects me so much I'm terrified I'll mess it up sad

BrianTheMole Fri 21-Feb-14 22:08:08

Crikey. Do you have a solicitor? Can you talk this over with her? Is ssd involved? Can you talk to the social worker? Has dd got a guardian ad litem who you can talk to? He sounds like a nasty vile piece of work. You are so brave and strong to get this far. You could do with a good advocate to help you. Ask ssd if there is anyone they can put you on to, or your local cab / women's refuge.

terrificallytremendous Fri 21-Feb-14 22:13:54

I can't afford a solicitor and social services have never been involved. I feel he's starting to be emotionally abusive to her and yet she's excusing him like I used to

Aussiemum78 Fri 21-Feb-14 22:14:02

If you can't be strong right now you need to surround yourself with others that can be.

Contact centre for custody changeover? Talk to women's aid for suggestions? Family members there at changeover? A good friend?

Document everything and make sure your solicitor has it.

Your ex still wants control over you and will use dd to get it. If you can avoid him being at your home and with you alone that cuts off his avenues. Restrict all communication unless it's about dd.

Maybe even see your doctor to document the abuse and seek counselling/treatment for the anxiety and stress.

PatriciaHolm Fri 21-Feb-14 22:14:54

Is there anyone who can do pickup/dropoff for you? You don't have to have face to face contact, if someone else can facilitate. Talk to solicitor; it may well be that there is no need for you to ever see him in court, if it ever gets that far . Hopefully he's just trying to get a reaction from you and won't go that far.

Aussiemum78 Fri 21-Feb-14 22:15:45

Do you have a custody agreement? Could you cool the contact subtly?

Is there anyway of getting free legal advice in the uk?

Aussiemum78 Fri 21-Feb-14 22:18:15

Another suggestion, talk to the police. They may be able to charge him with previous abuses or take out a restraining order.

With luck this guy will lose interest and go away. Does he pay child support?

vikkik888 Fri 21-Feb-14 22:30:50

^^ What aussiemum said.

From experience my advice is to surround yourself with people who have the strength you do not yet know you have. Because you DO have it, it's just been temporarily quashed by the behaviour of this bully.

Getting everything documented, solicitor/police etc will help you feel more confident.

Good luck to you, you've been so strong so far even if you don't realise it!

terrificallytremendous Fri 21-Feb-14 22:33:32

I have no family or friends who can help at handovers. He was being aggressive at collection so I changed it so he collected her from school instead but he's been keeping her uniform, coat, shoes etc every time as well as not doing her homework with her. He's trying to incite me to stop school collection so he can get to me at handovers again. I worry that seeing the doctor regarding anxiety will be playing into his hands as he'll claim I'm mentally ill. He will never lose interest, he's told me clearly he will make my life difficult forever. I can deal with him hating me but I can't let him hurt dd or damage my relationship with her

terrificallytremendous Fri 21-Feb-14 22:35:18

I can't afford a solicitor. Besides once post-separation for being abusive at my door, there is no police involvement. It's his word against mine.

whitsernam Fri 21-Feb-14 22:50:43

Please call the police 101 (non-emergency number) and talk to their domestic violence specialist, and call women's aid, AND go talk to a solicitor who gives a free 30-min. evaluation appointment. None of these cost money, and you will at least have more information to arm yourself with. And do remember that lots of abusers threaten court, and never actually follow through.

I'll be thinking of you!! Do hang in there. No wonder you're anxious, dealing with him.... this is not a failing in you. Anyone would feel that way.

perfectstorm Fri 21-Feb-14 22:52:58

You don't necessarily need police involvement in order to qualify for legal aid on grounds of domestic abuse. Have you ever talked about what he did with a health care professional, for example? A letter from them confirming you needed some form of treatment for the abuse counts. And you can still report it to the police. He committed serious crimes against you.

I'd post on Legal rather than Relationships, tbh. There are some very good family lawyers active there who might be able to offer advice on a way forward. I'd also call Women's Aid, because what you describe over handovers, and in fact his intending to use the courts when already having contact, sounds very like ongoing abuse.

perfectstorm Fri 21-Feb-14 22:56:10

Incidentally, contact centres can also manage handovers, so you never have to lay eyes on one another. It's another option to consider, maybe?

Agreed also that many abusers threaten court and never follow through. You aren't the only one who'd need to find the money to pay for it.

notbloodybranston Fri 21-Feb-14 23:02:18

Where are you in the country? I work at a law school (we train law graduates to be barristers or solicitors). Lots of law schools have Pro-Bono clinics where are students give advice under our or other solicitors' guidance.

I have three students who are going to court with women at the moment. They can't speak for these women as they're aren't qualified, but they can stand next to them and give lots of moral support. They feed back to us what happened and we give advice on filing documents/what to do next. The judges, on the whole, are very good at guiding clients who self represent.

Let me know and I'll find your nearest law school/Pro Bono centre

terrificallytremendous Fri 21-Feb-14 23:17:51

His family will pay. He's been threatening it for years but he's serious this time as I pulled him up on some shitty treatment of dd and he's furious. Agree perfect - it's ongoing abuse. He just makes me feel sick and make my blood boil and I don't know how I'd face him in court. I'm in Nottingham notbloody, thank you. I feel confident in self-representation, I know there is shuttle mediation so I wouldn't have to face him but as far as I'm aware the same isn't possible in court. I don't want to report what happened. There is no proof and I just can't face it to be honest.

Pilgit Fri 21-Feb-14 23:23:57

if you're in Nottingham definitely check out the law school. Nottingham trent has an excellent post grad law school and they may have a pro bono service. You can do this. You are strong.

Jux Fri 21-Feb-14 23:38:56

Please call Women's Aid and chat to them about it. Completely confidential. You need rl support. They can also advise you about how to handle this.

BrianTheMole Sat 22-Feb-14 00:23:29

Yes do call womens aid. Seriously, you will get some sound advice from them.

tallwivglasses Sat 22-Feb-14 00:40:50

Also try Rape Crisis, even victim support? There will be people out there in rl more than willing to help. And we're here x

SolidGoldBrass Sat 22-Feb-14 01:24:13

Please remember that no one can force you to have any contact with this man. A court will only rule that DD must maintain a relationship with him if it's in her interests. He has no rights whatsoever over you.

Please do, as others have said, get onto Women's Aid and the police DV department. You can get help and support to put this poxy little knob in his place. He is not all-powerful, and he can be made to behave himself.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Feb-14 06:38:14

I would also recommend you contact Womens Aid 0808 2000 247 very urgently. They are good at advising survivors of domestic abuse. It is not too late to speak to the police DV team & report his violent behaviour and, when you do, this will open up more possibilities such as legal aid.

In the meantime, please also talk to your doctor. What you tell them will be treated in confidence, enable you to get some help, and will not be used as a reason to remove your DD. Although I expect he has told you this as another way of keeping you frightened.

I'm glad you've shared your story here. You sound like you've been trying to cope with too much alone and for too long. Time to get as many others involved as necessary. He may have intimidated you in the past but he can't intimidate the authorities.

Lweji Sat 22-Feb-14 06:55:41

I'd also urge you to seek medical help for the anxiety. It is caused by him and it could only be used against him, not you.
You do need support and if you don't have people to talk to at least get professional help.
He'd have to find out about it to even mention it in court, which is not likely, unless you tell him. But I really think it would play in your favour, so think about it and check with a legal person.

LizzieBelle Sat 22-Feb-14 08:58:12

You poor thing, I have been in this situation with abusive ex, and he will try and control you by making you frightened. try and accept help from others, it will make you stronger if you have support. have you got brothers or your dad? friends husband maybe? someone to be there? usually bullies are cowards deep down

big hugs to yousmile

VivianStanshall Sat 22-Feb-14 09:02:42

Please go to the police.

I knew somebody in a similar situation, truly horrible man would say anything and he had even convinced her that he was in with the police and they "knew what she was like" so wouldn't believe her.

I had to go with her as she was so scared and they absolutely did believe her and as soon as he knew that she had reported him (which I suggested she did) all the nastiness stopped as he was scared of what else she would report (there was plenty enough to have him locked up).

Suddenly she was in control and not him.

ElsieMc Sat 22-Feb-14 09:14:22

I have been through a similar situation over many years, although your situation is far worse than mine. What stands out to me is the fact that whilst he says he is taking you to court,you already maintain contact between him and his daughter in the most difficult of circumstances. This is to your credit. What does he hope to gain from proceedings - more contact, defined contact? He has perhaps not thought this through, because he will also be subjected to scrutiny and you must raise the issue of past abuse and how you believe it may be transferring to your daughter.

I think the fear of court proceedings is actually worse than the day in court and it is another way of torturing you.

I have had to self rep in court over many years and I will not lie, I have suffered abuse in the court room. It is as though he wants to get me in court so he can say things to do me because he no longer sees me at handovers. He also self represents.

If he has legal representation, this will stop him talking in court and will provide a degree of protection for you. He cannot have it both ways, he either self reps and speaks for himself, or has a solicitor.

If it does come to court proceedings, you absolutely need support and do listen to what others on the thread have advised.

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