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Supporting a friend re:EA and separation. Legal advice?

(10 Posts)
Needadviceformyfriend Tue 18-Nov-14 08:13:08

thank you for reading.
I am due to meet a friend this morning and I want to be able to give her some decent advice. She wants to separate from her husband. He is EA and has manipulated their teen ds into being physically abusive to her. He wont leave. She wants to and might have somewhere to go (uncertain) but is afraid of H taking their Ds back during contact. I think she needs a residency order. Any other advice? I am very worried about her.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Nov-14 08:43:30

If she wants to separate from her husband and the relationship is abusive then she needs legal and other advice pertinent to her specific situation. Womens Aid might be a good first step as they have experience, not just in providing refuge for women who are being physically assaulted, but in pointing people like your friend in the right direction for legal advice, practical help etc.

Physical abuse from a child is disturbing. If the teen DS is over 14 then he will normally have some influence in which parent he chooses to reside with. However, if there is evidence (school? GP? police?) that his father is encouraging violent/aggressive behaviour towards your friend, she may have to make it a Child Protection issue.

Needadviceformyfriend Tue 18-Nov-14 08:55:07

Thank you. Its going to be a tough road isnt it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Nov-14 09:02:05

Probably yes. Abusive relationships are notoriously difficult to get out of because they involve a high level of behavioural control. The husband in this case is almost certainly going to be hostile, whatever your friend does, which is why she needs as many big authoritative guns on her side as she can lay hands on. All the time she is in the family home she is at risk, not simply of further harm, but also of having her confidence eroded and making it more difficult to act. BTW You describe it as 'EA' but I would be amazed if your friend has told you the full story. A teenager will not have learned how to be aggressive from nowhere.

Needadviceformyfriend Tue 18-Nov-14 09:36:08

Yes. I think there must be some physical abuse too. I think she has had to intervene to stop her dd being hit by the H as well. She is still struggling to recognise his behaviour as abusive, blaming herself for failing at the marriage. sad
She is literally, the loveliest person I know, and one of the smartest.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Nov-14 09:40:47

Has she ever reported the violence (police? doctor? school?) or got Child Protection involved?

Needadviceformyfriend Tue 18-Nov-14 09:44:47

She might have disclosed to the GP last week, that is what was suggested by another friend who saw her. But no one else. She is familiar, through our work, with the CP process and I think it makes her mo anxious about it iyswim.
I have spoken to WA on her behalf, but been unable to persuade her to talk to them. I am aware I don't want to become another person who is trying to push her into doing things, if that makes sense.
Thank you for responding.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Nov-14 09:50:11

Telling the GP was a very good move. It's a pity she doesn't want to talk to WA but, sadly, the control I mentioned earlier simply leaves someone frightened. Frightened to stay, frightened to leave, frightened to involve others.... frightened that the DCs will be take away etc.

In your shoes, my principle concern here would be for the DCs. I don't know what line of work you are both in if you know about CP procedures... teaching?... but your friend must understand that she has choices, even if she is not taking them up. The DCs don't have choices, and it would appear that they are both being brutalised and damaged in different ways by their father's behaviour. Perhaps that's the line to take?

Needadviceformyfriend Tue 18-Nov-14 09:58:58

Yes. Absolutely my main concern is for the kids. You are right. Not teachers, but working with families/ small children.

Needadviceformyfriend Tue 18-Nov-14 10:00:03

She would spot this a mile off in someone else's situation. So much harder when its you I guess.

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