10th August 2021 at 7:46 am #129855wishParticipant
Hi, I am coming from a coercive and domestic abusive relation, its been devastating to me, I fell ill years ago due to the lies and pressure and exhaustion, I had to move around for years, was left homeless even if I had bought a property that my ex put on his name, I had to leave everything I was doing, job, studies, to look after my son, who is now (detail removed by moderator). Now my ex carries on threatening with taking me (detail removed by moderator) for x and y, he is pushing to kick me out of my home. Doesn’t pay what he has to pay, doesn’t do the visits and holidays he ought to do, etc. My son has been homeschooled and now he is going to start school. My question is, do I tell the school about the abuse and coercion? If yes, to who and how do you tell them, how much do you tell, how? I am scared that it exposes my son, that is seen as a lie or is not taken seriously, that back fires, which happens all the time. What did you do? Thanks
10th August 2021 at 8:54 am #129863maddogParticipant
Please tell the school! They will absolutely understand. Please also keep records/ a diary of every communication with your husband, and your son’s behaviour.
Your son won’t be exposed at all, and you and he will be taken very seriously.
I’ve found school very supportive and helpful. We truly have no need to carry the shame and guilt of someone else’s behaviour. Domestic Abuse is so common, and for the safety of both our children and ourselves, it’s better to let all the institutions in our family lives know what’s going on.
It’s horrible living in fear, so please keep reaching out.
Women’s Aid is invaluable.
10th August 2021 at 9:00 pm #129889LisaMain Moderator
I just wanted to show you some support, I can see that Maddog has given some really good advice. I am sorry to hear about your situation, the way your ex partner treats you is awful, he is very abusive and I can understand how this has made you feel so exhausted.
It is a really good idea to tell the school as they should support you and your son. Maybe you could speak to the teacher and ask who the best person is to speak to about a safeguarding issue, then you can tell as much as you feel comfortable with. The more support the better really so you could also tell your GP, and also your local domestic abuse service should also be able to offer support, you can find their details here: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/
If you feel like you are in need of some additional support, you could chat to a Women’s Aid worker in confidence via our Live Chat service (open 10am-6pm every day). They won’t tell you what to do, but can discuss your situation and signpost you to other support that’s relevant for you. You can access the chat service here:
Take care and keep posting,
10th August 2021 at 10:41 pm #129895EggshellsParticipant
I’ve worked in several schools and their approaches have been quite varied.
Most have been very good with abuse victims and their children but….
One lady reported abuse to me and when I passed it on to the safeguarding lead I was told that (detail removed by moderator) I’d like to stress that was at the type of school that was originally (detail removed by moderator).
My advice would be to report it. You can report directly to the safeguarding lead, to the child’s teacher (if it’s primary school) or their tutor (if it’s secondary school).I think most schools will take it very seriously. If they don’t, you need to find another school, as it’s not likely to be a healthy environment for your child.
Also, be aware that if there is a disturbance at your home and you call the police, the school are informed. It’s better if they hear it from you first.
The best approach is to contact the teacher to request an appointment to discuss family circumstances. The school can tell you how best to do this.
You can just explain that you no longer live with the child’s father due to domestic abuse but harassment and false accusations. Explain that this is very common with abusive men. Tell the teacher about your concerns and how this will affect your child. If necessary, ask if you can work out together how best to support your child through this.
Try not to worry. Most schools should be very supportive.
11th August 2021 at 9:14 am #129921Big footParticipant
Report it! Schools have a duty of care to safeguard children. Kids will pick up on if things are not ok at home. Teaching staff keep an eye on well being of a child. Good luck. X*x
14th August 2021 at 3:20 pm #130066ScapegoatParticipant
Definitely report it! (detail removed by Moderator) a good school will support you all the way. They won’t judge you and like Eggshells says if police were called, any report of DA will go straight through to the school so it’s much better to come from you first.
Is there a teacher you know better than others or a secretary. Most schools will have a support team in place for this.
15th August 2021 at 4:22 pm #130099OvercomeParticipant
I went to the school quite some time before things got bad, just said there was some things going on at home and could you please check in on the children to make sure they’re ok. When it all came to a head, I was open and honest with them and they were amazing! I would get e-mails out of hours and could e-mail them out of hours too.
I was so worried to tell them myself as he had become an important body within the school but they took me seriously so my fears vanished.
I think it is better for you in the long run to be open and honest, abuse thrives in the darkness…
Overcome x x x
6th September 2021 at 10:15 pm #131127wishParticipant
Thank you all, lovely support, it is great to read and feel in good and understanding company. I am now in it fully, after one month, as my son started school and as suspected my ex turned up! acting as a good father! omg I just didnt know what to do. But I managed to sort it and said to the ones that asked me, that I was a single mum, haha, so they got it straight away. Anyway, I am now struggling with this since school sensed something and they have asked me directly, so now I do have to tell. Still unsure of how much of it I should tell. Also unsure if doing it in person, since I am scared of collapsing or crying, etc. I am foreigner, so new in the school system here, I feel misunderstood often, and then feel silly… Even if I do want support I hate being patronized. Thank you all!! x*x
11th September 2021 at 11:20 pm #131368BrokensoulParticipant
Hey hun, i just wanted to share with you my personal experience because its been very recently i have confided in the school and in all honesty they have been a god send! Im still in my relationship so it’s quite hard for me to be able to have conversations on the phone etc so having the school involved has been a. Massive help because ive been able to go into the school and speak to the family support person at the school and hes been none the wiser and shes been able. To speak with other professionals on my behalf, might be worth seeing if your sons school has someone similar because its their job to support families through stuff like this and they shouldn’t judge you, also the woman im speaking to has actually had a conversation with my daughter and asked about home life and her feelings and my daughter has been very honest and open with her and told her things she. Might not necessarily want to tell me herself so it’s given me an insight into how my kids feel about my relationship and how switched on they are with everything that goes on.. As for worrying about breaking down, i have had 2 meetings face to face with the school so far and both times i broke down in tears but it was such a relief to be able to pour my heart out to someone and have some sort of clarity that it’s not all in my head, i really lt hope things get better for you soon! Stay strong xx
11th September 2021 at 11:57 pm #131369RaelrgzParticipant
Hi, I’ve been in a similar situation and I told the school. They were absolutely amazing and incredibly supportive. As has been said by others, the pastoral lead spoke to me out of hours, weekend, and in the holidays. If you are concerned about your child – what they may have seen/heard – the school may also have some form of counselling service available for your child. You child may benefit from talking to a professional in the safety and security of a school setting, and will be helped to learn about positive, caring relationships. I would tell the school. It’s scary, I shook when I told the Head, I welled up. My point being, it doesn’t matter if you do. They will be there for you and your child.
12th September 2021 at 9:47 am #131377iliketeaParticipant
Hey definitely tell school, they should have a safeguarding person who will have been trained in DA. If not, the SEN teacher/lead would be the one to talk to. I am still receiving support from both. If your children are primary age, you could also ask if they can attend Thrive sessions – to help with understanding healthy relationships, doesn’t speak specifically about abuse but helps children who have witnessed it, and who may have developed unhealthy coping mechanisms to understand better ways to cope. Mine is always making friends with kids who bully, for example, and is people pleaser, breaks my heart but the sessions and support from school has been invaluable. for me too, xx
12th September 2021 at 9:48 am #131378iliketeaParticipant
Also look at the Trauma Recovery Centre online for resources to help you, and if you feel the school are not aware, point them in their direction too. x
12th September 2021 at 3:26 pm #131385ScapegoatParticipant
I’m (detail removed by moderator) ( yes laughable I know!) Honestly, speak to a teacher that you trust. They will know if somethings up but they are a great source of support and won’t judge. Any incidents where police are called , reports will go straight through to school. They won’t do anything you don’t want them to unless they feel the child is at immediate risk. You will feel much better for doing this and it’s better for you to have school on side. They will understand your dilemma and know things aren’t so clear cut. Domestic abuse has been made a priority in safeguarding this year.
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