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Domestic Abuse

(7 Posts)
1nsanityscatching Thu 13-Apr-17 11:54:16

I have a long marriage of thirty years, H is both emotionally and financially abusive. I have spent the past year getting my stuff in order so that I can leave. I now have enough saved to keep me afloat until benefits are sorted (I have two dc with ASD who I am taking with me)
I am on the housing register with band 3 priority because of the dc. Checking the banding it cites that domestic abuse would be band 1 which would mean I could leave quickly. I have emailed housing officer who ironically is the officer for domestic abuse asking how to get into the banding I believe I should have but have had no response as yet as she is probably on leave now (can't phone as H would be aware and for now he knows nothing)
Can I ask whether anyone knows if priority is only given for physical abuse as so far he hasn't laid a finger on me (although expect that to change when he knows I'm leaving tbh)? If not what would I need to do to provide evidence I suppose?
I'm so tired and worn out and really need to get out now. I suppose knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel is in one way great but it is making the tunnel feel more tortuous if I'm honest.

scoobydoo1971 Thu 13-Apr-17 13:59:39

I used to be a housing officer many years ago, and had some responsibility for assessing domestic violence priority re-housing for the local authority. The law has changed a lot since I had that job, but broadly you would be deemed as having domestic violence priority if you could show documentary evidence: medical report, police report, court proceedings for divorce on grounds of unreasonable behaviour that shows domestic violence as the reason. The local authority would be required by law to follow the statutory definition of domestic violence which includes financial, sexual, emotional abuse and controlling behaviour. Physical injuries do not get more priority as psychological abuse can be equally harmful.

Please check with your local authority department - your housing officer may not be the person who assesses and prioritises re-housing applications, so call the main office and ask to speak to one of those assessors who can clarify the rules for you. Having children with ASD should afford some priority as well.

You should also contact Women's Aid who can give you advice and support on the rules and your welfare options. The Shelter helpline may also provide you with advice, as will the Citizens Advice Bureau. Please see your GP and ask for counselling as it may help you to resolve some of the feelings that you have right now. Good luck.

Secretlife0fbees Thu 13-Apr-17 14:47:11

Hi OP. I don't know really however I will say that the law on domestic violence does actually include coercive and controlling behaviour, so technically emotional abuse IS now classed as Domestic Violence (even if it's not physical) iykwim. Good luck and well done for being strong enough to get you and your kids away from him.

1nsanityscatching Thu 13-Apr-17 14:59:09

Thank you, I have contacted our local domestic abuse service by email as it's the only way I won't get found out. I think the problem I will have is that there isn't any documented evidence. I have a long history of depression (due to H's behaviour) but I have never hinted at what is behind it to anyone. I'm divorcing H as soon as I get out but I'm terrified to do that now. He has made so many threats over the years that I fear for my safety once he knows and need to have somewhere to run to once he does know. So rocking the boat now with nowhere to go isn't really an option especially when an escape is now possible. and I don't want my dc to witness his vileness as it is in the most part hidden from them at least.
I can try to get to the GP I suppose but from what I know it is telephone counselling initially at least and I won't be able to get to take phone calls without him knowing sad mind you I won't get to counselling either I imagine.

Hidingtonothing Thu 13-Apr-17 15:03:07

If making phone calls is difficult for you OP I'd be happy to call for you and ask any questions you need answering, PM me if I can help. You could email Women's Aid too rather than calling the helpline, the address is here and I'm sure they would know about housing etc. There is help out there, we just need to find ways for you to access it safely flowers

1nsanityscatching Thu 13-Apr-17 15:20:08

Thank you I'll email Women's Aid, housing officer gave me the local support service details but I don't think emails are their preferred method of communication as it takes days to get a reply.
I think the anxiety is getting to me a bit just now tbh, it's taken a year for me to save enough money to get out,I've organised a bank account and got on the housing list and got my documents copied and out the house without him suspecting anything. I've become an accomplished liar tbh grin
Now I'm all set and ready there is too much head space to allow me to worry I think because I can just imagine how hellish it will be. I need some keep calm vibes because I am so worry my plan/bank account etc will be discovered or maybe something to keep me busy to stop me thinking.

Hidingtonothing Thu 13-Apr-17 16:36:49

I think auto pilot is your friend for this bit OP, just keep going through the motions so everything looks normal on the surface and try not to let nerves get the better of you. Would it help to picture the life you want to build for you and DC and use that as your 'happy place' to retreat to when the anxiety kicks in? If you think things could turn nasty if he found out what you're planning would a refuge be an option short term and as a stepping stone to social housing? I'm not sure how it works but it might be worth discussing with WA or the local DV service you've contacted if you think it would work for you and DC.

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