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My friend wants to leave her emotionally and physically abusive husband but she has no money or support....

(12 Posts)
Dickorydockwhatthe Fri 18-Sep-15 22:41:53

I believe he is mentally unstable and she is not safe to stay there with her two children. He has been verbally and emotionally abused her and she has so little self esteem. She wants to leave but doesn't want to stay in a refuge or a safe house with a young baby and her dc. She has no money for a deposit for a rental and is on the lowest band for housing because she is still living with him and is classed as a non urgent case.
She briefly moved out and stayed with parents but it was cramped and very difficult as her ds has behavioural and anger issues probably picked up by his dad's behaviour. After 2months they couldn't cope so she had to move back home. There were also issues with her getting her ds to school as she doesn't drive and he is in his last year of primary school. Which meant her h was having dc most of the time so he could attend the same school.
He is threatening custody of the kids, threatening to take her for half the tax credits etc so she cannot afford to move out. She is only claiming tax credits which he was previously claiming and child benefit. He is telling her she needs to pay half the rent, for her own food etc. He tells her she is fat and ugly and no one will want to be with her. Buys the kids presents saying it is just from him knowing too well she has little money. They have a young baby who he constantly takes out so she spends little time with her.
That is a small part of it. Previous to that he has grabbed her by the throat and pulled her hair because the neighbours dog was barking and he wanted her to ring the land lord and she didn't do straight away!!!
She called the police and was diagnosed with depression. He has been unemployed for 5 years and his behaviour has worsened since then. He also grabbed her once because she broke the fridge door. Locked her out of the house in the rain, drove off leaving her miles away from home. He has an obsession with cleaning and germs, collecting toys spending ££££ each week and extreme dieting and exercising. He told my df he wants to stab the neighbour and his dog. He hates her family and wants to smash her dads car up. She is living with this every day sad.
The problem is she has no where to go and no money as she is in lots of credit card debt because he always controlled the money. Her son has anger and behavioural issues so staying in a b&b or refuge would be no be good. She wants him to finish his final year in primary. She has spoke to domestic advice and they wrote a letter to the council and offered a support group. But the letter has made no impact on her housing status. Surely this cannot be right???

goddessofsmallthings Sat 19-Sep-15 08:20:28

What is "domestic advice" Is it a charity or a local initiative for victims of dv? In any event, it's probable that the letter has had no impact on your friend's housing status because she is not deemed to be homeless or in urgent need of rehousing while she remains living with her h, particularly as the demand for affordable social housing far exceeds supply and there will many cases such as hers under consideration.

The time for her to have been proactive with her local council's housing department was when she was living with her dps, but, having moved back to to the marital home, it appears she's waiting for the council to offer her a tenancy close to the dcs' primary school and, if this is the case, it's likely that her wait will be a very long one.

I'm curious to know how calling the police on her h led to your friend being diagnosed with depression? Did the police remove him from the house, was he charged with any offence, was she given advice by a specialist dv worker, was a MARAC called, were SS alerted?

Given her circumstances, your friend is best advised to approach Women's Aid and ask if they can find a suitable refuge placement for her and the dcs. While I appreciate that she wants her eldest to stay at his current primary school for his final year, many refuges do not accept boys over 12 and she could miss the boat if she leaves it too long - to say nothing of the continued adverse effect the toxic environment of the family home will have on him over the course of another year, during which time he may attain puberty which could cause his behaviour to seriously deteriorate.

Alternatively, your friend can ask Women's Aid to recommend a solicitor who specialises in dv cases who can make application for an occupation order which will require her h to move out of the marital home. If the application proves successful and your friend can't afford to pay the rent on the property it may be necessary for her to remain until such time as she's evicted, whereupon the council will have a statutory duty to house her.

The desire for change has to be led and driven by your friend and, while she may struggle with this if if she's depressed, she needs to be realistic about what can be achieved if she's not willing to compromise over her eldest ds's schooling.

cozietoesie Sat 19-Sep-15 08:48:28

Why is your friend so set against a refuge or safe house? It sounds as if she has to get out of her current situation and go where she can just for her and her children to be safe.

She needs to contact Women's Aid directly. goddess has given you the link for them.

SelfRaisingFlour Sat 19-Sep-15 09:12:41

In our area the Police have a "one stop shop" for domestic violence victims held every week in a local church. Do you have anything like that close to you?

If she leaves, the Council would most likely put her in some kind of temporary accommodation. That is probably unavoidable, but it sounds like she really needs to get out. Women's Aid, the CAB, the council or the Police should be able to help.

If the children live with her, she will get all the tax credits. He can't claim half of them.

Dickorydockwhatthe Sat 19-Sep-15 22:47:17

Sorry I meant he was diagnosed with depression when the police took him away. I think she also depressed. She did apply for housing when living with parents and was placed as an urgent case but even then council were slow to act. She was then moved down to band E when she had no choice but to move back with him. Some one contacted her following her husband arrest to do with domestic violence. She has been attending group sessions each week. She is scared he has been controlling everything since they have been together. He has been putting her down daily and threatening to take the kids.

Robotgirl Sat 19-Sep-15 23:21:01

If your friend has no family/friends she can go and stay with & really doesn't want to go to a refuge, she should present at the nearest housing office & make a homeless application. Should be placed in emergency housing as she will be in priority need (has dependents)
If she is accepted as homeless, the council will have a duty to provide more permanant housing when somewhere suitable comes up. They should also be able to help with accessing affordable private rented accommodation.
Sounds like she needs to get away from this controlling, abusive man asap.

Dickorydockwhatthe Sat 19-Sep-15 23:54:53

Thank you I am shocked and saddened at how little support there is for women in her situation. He tells her that he hates her, that she is a scab and has has a whit he's nose. He slags her off in front of her dc and hardly leaves her alone with the baby. He tells her she will be lonely and that she is used goods. He tells her there do will want yo live with him and he will also seek custody of the baby leaving her with nothing. He tells he that he has done nothing wrong because he hasn't punched her even though he has grabbed by the throat, hair and arms leaving marks. The thing is she very dependent on him as that is how he has made her.

Tiggeryoubastard Sun 20-Sep-15 00:01:05

There is support but she wants something more. She doesnt want to go to a refuge/shelter.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 20-Sep-15 00:46:35

What came of the h being arrested? When did the the incident take place? Was he charged and convicted or is there a criminal case pending?

There is no lack of support from those who are victims of dv, but your friend has to make the effort to access it and be willing to act on the advice she's given.

Her h's threats are hollow, but she's not going to find that out until she removes herself and her dc to a place of safety such as a refuge where all of her needs, and those of her dc, can be addressed.

It may be that she's refusing to coutenance her eldest leaving his current primary school before next summer because the teachng have worked to keep his behaviour under control and it could be she fears that if he acts out in another school this may adversely affect his/her choice of secondary school, but this does not constitute a good reason to keep him in the toxic environment of the family home which has caused him to have behaviour problems.

It may also be that your friend fears that her abilities as a parent may be judged in the confines of a women's refuge and, if this is the case, she needs to understand that any criticism will be constructive and designed to help prevent her eldest ds going completely off the rails if she hasn't got the necessary skills to control, contain, and modify his behaviour.

If there is no professional intervention, so to speak, and presupposing that the council house her direct from the marital home, it could be that she will simply allow her h to move in with her because she remains in thrall to him and/or finds it too difficult to cope with her eldest's behaviour alone.

I'm forming the impression that you haven't been told the whole story as certain actions will have been taken to protect your friend when her h was arrested, and it seems probable she hasn't availed herself of the help/advice that would have been made available to her, either at the at that time or since.

It's to be hoped that the "group sessions" she's attending constitute the Freedom Programme and she will come to realise that, if she expresses herself as wanting to take the first step to freedom, she'll receive all the help she needs to free herself and her dc of her h's malevolent behaviour.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 20-Sep-15 00:48:50

4th para: countenance and teaching staff Duh!

PenelopePitstops Sun 20-Sep-15 00:55:52

There is support but she is choosing not to use it. Her choice has been heavily influenced by factors outside her control but it is still a choice.

I feel for her, I wish I could help her but she has to want to help herself. A refuge will be better in the long term despite the short term pain.

Iflyaway Sun 20-Sep-15 01:00:10

This what you write is very scary.

For her, for the kids.

I.m not in UK but can you phone the police on her behalf. Her and the kids are being abused here.. At least get it logged.

I get she is so downtrodden she cannot see what's what. been there, done that

Please get proactive for her and those children! (Thank you!).

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