My solicitor is brilliant. I had to talk to a few. This one was right on the money. I walked in, explained he’d left very suddenly, seemed to have little interest in our daughter but then made a big deal about how he will see her for (detail removed by moderator) hours once a fortnight (hope someone else will award his medal for that, I’m done with all that). I said I was shocked because he seemed really nice, and none of this made sense, but anyway I understand I need a divorce so that I can use the courts to sort the money out, because he’d threatened to stop giving me money.

I told her I was in an extremely vulnerable financial situation, and I couldn’t quite understand how I got there because I’m very intelligent and well qualified, so I wanted to work but there always seemed to be a reason why I shouldn’t.

She squeezed my hand, gave me a funny looking wheel of da behaviours, and said she was going to get me a drink, take a look at that whilst she was gone.

This was actually the nicest way anyone has ever broached that subject with me. When she came back I just pointed to the coercive control section. She nodded and then explained the issues I might face divorcing him, because he will behave in a way I might not expect. She gave me so many tips on strategies I could use.

I hired her because she got it. My case is subtle. I have “n**********c abuse victim syndrome” – basically a fancy way of saying I have a lot of unrelated conditions that are commonly found with people who’ve been abused by someone who’s displaying n**********c behaviour. But because one of his control mechanisms was to keep me accustomed to a certain lifestyle, I think a couple of solicitors thought “here’s a highly strung spoilt ex wife, bit flaky, isn’t she?” One even told me I was “one of those daft cows” who’ll forgive whatever her husband does.

It really is worth looking around until you find one what gets it without you having to explain it all. They all will have met plenty of women in our shoes – not all do, and as illustrated above some will say things we all know people who understand would never say to us (although I have to admit, I spent (detail removed by moderator)years being a daft cow who said her husband was “wonderful, and oh no, he did that because I…”)

© 2024 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policySite mapProtect yourself onlineMedia │ JobsAccessibility Guide

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account

Skip to content