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friend in violent relationship

(43 Posts)
damn Sun 10-Aug-08 22:10:48

Ive namechanged for this as im not sure if my friend is an MNer or not.

I have just found out that her H has hit her several times since early this year. I have told her shes done the right thing it cant continue and offered for her to stay with me. Waht else can i do to help her

damn Sun 10-Aug-08 22:48:10


Mamazon Sun 10-Aug-08 22:51:38

has she left then?

If not put her in front of a phone and tell her to ring Womens aid. they can offer her advice on local support networks and the practicle advice she needs if she is wanting to leave.

to be honest as a friend all you can do is be there for her, WHATEVER her decision. it is hard but sometimes violance or not, some women just dont feel they can leave....and the worst thing you can do is put so much pressure on her to leave that she stops telling you stuff.

Also, if she does stay when she tells you of incidents that have happened keep a diary. she may not be in the frame of mind to consider it and it may also be unsafe for her to do so, but if and when she does leave it may be of assistance to her if things ever go to court (divorce/custody that sort of thing)

controlfreakyagain Sun 10-Aug-08 22:51:58

point her towards women's aid to get some advice about her legal position etc...
talk to her about what she wants.... does she want to leave? get help with view to improving relationship? what?
be there for her if she needs you....
be aware it may take her a v long time (if ever) to decide to leave this abusive relationship....

Janni Sun 10-Aug-08 22:52:35

Bumping for you as this is a topic that a lot of MNers know about.

Janni Sun 10-Aug-08 22:52:54

oops - they got there before me!

damn Sun 10-Aug-08 23:05:51

she feels shes in the wrong for pressing charges against him he is currently in custody. This occasion was in public so she snapped and done this. She is staying at the house and he has to find somewhere else. I dont know if this is temporary or permanent i didnt want to push the subject IYKWIM. She did say she is finding it very hard as she loves him so much and they have been together for the amount of time they have.

If i could have rang her tonight i would have done (mobile was stolen on friday and her number was on it) I have ensured she has my house number and have told her to ring me if she needs to or wants to talk anytime day or night. Thats a great idea Mamazon should i do that for the latest incident even thought the police will have it recorded now?

controlfreakyagain Sun 10-Aug-08 23:10:47

has she got dcs? try to talk to her about how this must affect them and how their best interests should be her first priority....

Mamazon Sun 10-Aug-08 23:16:34

be prepared for her to quite possibly take him back. its a sad fact that most women are hit a great number of times before they leave. (i stayed for 7 years)

if he is still in custody it may well be thathis bail conditions state that he is not to return to the property. if she still wants him to leave then she needs to go to a local county court and ask for a non molestation and residency order ( iirc it will cost £70 unless she is on certain benefits, in which case the fee will be waived if she provides evedence of this)
all she needs to do is complete the form stating that he has been violant and that she fears for her safety should he return. she will need to be seen by the judge but this is informal and they are aware that this is traumatic so they do try not to appear scarey. they will ask a few questions and then make teh decision.
this all happens on the same day.

he will have the "injunction" served upon him....even easier if he is still in custody.
and he will have a right of reply. thsi means that he will be given a court date to return and give his side of the argument, your friend will need to appear also and the judge will then decide whether to allow the injunction to stand or whether to amend the order.

Is the house rented or owned? either way she needs to make sure she is on the tenancy agreement/mortgage. if not she needs to seek urgent legal advice from Shelter.

if she has joint bank acounts she needs to open a new one in her own name and make sure she moves her money immediatly.
take copies of all important documents (marriage cert/birth cert/legal documentation/passports etc) and give them to a friend to look after.

inform children's schools of what is happening if she has children.

If she doesn't want to leave him and she takes him back ask her to contact the womens aid outreach service. they aren't pushy and wont spend the whole time telling heer to leave. theya re their to offer help and support for people who are living with DV. Theyhave years of experiance and are able to give the shoulder to cry on of someone who is totally removed from the situation and can therefore give an objective view of things.

damn Sun 10-Aug-08 23:18:38

Yes she does. I will try talk to her again tomorrow and deliberately ask how her dc is. Tonight it was the initial shock and checking she was ok etc, i didnt think to ask how her LO was [guilty emoticon]

I feel so helpless in someways. She told me that shes had enough of it but im worried he has broken her strength of character and will manipulate her into thinking it was all her fault to worm his way back in sad

damn Sun 10-Aug-08 23:23:46

I know people dont leave straight away from DV and id be nieve to think shes said it so will do it. I know all i can do is support her decision and be there for her.

I will ask her what she plans to do and offer to keep copies of documentation here. As we lost touch for a while due to her H she knows i live in the next town as does he but he doesnt know where so couldnt hassle me for them.

Ready4anotherCoffee Sun 10-Aug-08 23:31:58

I second what the others have said, just be there for her. It is so difficult to see past the immediate madness, and the bastards can be such charmers and will say all the right things iykwim.

It is sooo hard to admit to anyone in rl that your h/p has hit you, she is doing so well to have got so far.

Even if she does take him back, I agree with Mamazon, direct her towards the Womens Aid website, and suggest she does make sure she has an escape plan and fund in place, and has essential paperwork together.

How old is her LO? Are you able to offer a 'respite' location, eg if her h does kick off are you close enough for her to send her LO round? Or even just allowing her LO to visit and just be, and feel a moments safety?

damn Sun 10-Aug-08 23:47:57

her lo is 2. Ive told her she can come and stay and the offer is ongoing. Theres around 7 miles between us but there is a regular bus service and i could always ask my dad to take me over to collect her and/or her ds either option would involved leaving ds with my mum so have the use of his car seat.

I will suggest to her about the escape plan and fund and the essential paper work and direct her towards womans aid. Im going to ask her to come over for a coffee and then i can physically see what she is like have a proper talk with her about it and hour LO's can have a play.

controlfreakyagain Sun 10-Aug-08 23:49:21

she's lucky to have you wanting to support her.

damn Sun 10-Aug-08 23:49:38

sorry that should be our LO's not hour

damn Sun 10-Aug-08 23:53:20

Thanks, ive known her for about 8 years and have been through a lot together. We arent as close as we used to be but part of that was down to her H not wanting her to be friends with me. With that in mind it means a lot that she has felt she can turn to me still

Ready4anotherCoffee Sun 10-Aug-08 23:55:49

She is so lucky to have you.

I would warn you that if her h realises how supportive you are then he may try and control that aspect of her life, and try to prevent you both meeting up. ie you are 'poisoning' her mind bollocks.

Re the car seat, is it worth looking out for a spare for emergencies on freecycle?

damn Mon 11-Aug-08 00:01:40

He didnt like how close we were years ago. I met up with her recently took the kids to a soft play and he came as he gave them both a lift.
That is part of my worry that he will alienate her from myself again and her family (dont know if anyone else knows the sitution). Shuld i urge her to tell them? I know her mum will go ballistic and most likely her sisters too.
I think i'll do that with the car seat just to be on the safe side.

Mamazon Mon 11-Aug-08 00:10:47

telling people, especially family, is really hard.
my friends knew before i even considered telling my family. Once it is admited and in the open it is easier, its like your one step closer to freedom...but at the same time it does make you feel ashamed and embarassed to have to admit your so weak (that is how it feels btw, obviously someone who experiences Dv isn't weak)

yes you should encourage her to tell her family but if she is against the idea don't push her.

it is very hard being on the outside looking in to a Dv situation. you feel utterly powerless to help...especially if the person decides that she wants to stay.
but sadly the best friends hang around and offer support no matter how many times its needed, and you certainly sound like a good friend.

Ready4anotherCoffee Mon 11-Aug-08 00:26:48

Mamazon is right, it is so hard to tell friends in rl, and family is even harder. It does feel shameful.

Just being there for her is going to make such a difference. I don't know how to say this, and whether it is the right thing for your situation, but if she opens up, try not to react iykwim. To find the courage to say XXX happened and to have a reaction of 'OMG! that's terrible!' just makes it harder. She's been living with this reality, and to accept that things should be different requires a really massive mental shift.

damn Mon 11-Aug-08 09:45:13

ready4 do you mean just continue at it was any normal conversation and stay calm. Ijust want to potect her from asll of this but thats her decision not mine. I am going to try and get her to speaak to me daily so i know she's ok. I'm so worried barely slept last night.

Ready4anotherCoffee Mon 11-Aug-08 10:02:21

yes, that's exactly what I mean. I only say that because whenever I've brought up dh's behaviour in rl the 'ears pricking up' change of tone etc all put me off.

I can imagine what you are feeling, but you cannot protect her, but being the wonderful support friend you are being is the way to go imo. she'll have a safe environment she can came to and a pair of arms for hugs to keep her strenght up while she processes and works out what to do. The reality of what has happened will kick in after a few days, and she'll really need you, just be there iykwim

damn Mon 11-Aug-08 10:12:47

I thought it was just wanted to clarify. I know i cant protect her but i will do what i can.

Ready4anotherCoffee Mon 11-Aug-08 10:16:10

I will be around if you need support yourself.

good luck and {{{{{hugs}}}}} for all of you.

damn Mon 11-Aug-08 10:23:59

Thank you that means a lot.

Will have to wait for her to come online. Hopefully my phone and sim wil be sorted tomorrow so that will make it a bit easier

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