7th June 2020 at 9:21 pm #105442
Hi, another post to try and help bring all our knowledge together in one place. There are so many new posters here and so many women needing help right now. @hazydayz noticed that some posts were getting missed as they were dropping down the pages with the influx, before people could respond. Lisa does an amazing job bumping them up, replying, and each and everyone of us reach out, when we can, and give the much needed support and personal advice. That is why this is such an amazing and special forum. What I’ve been noticing is that there are a lot of similarities in all our stories, and in what we are looking for help-wise on the practical side. This all takes ages to research and unfortunately in lockdown this is even harder as we cant access face-to-face places as easily as normal. This means covert hidden phone calls, trying to talk about abuse when you’re outside the supermarket because its the only time and place you can get privacy. Lockdown is making this so much more difficult to navigate. So I wondered, perhaps if we can put our heads together, share our knowledge, it’ll make it easier for someone, somewhere. I hope so.
I’m not an expert. I am living this right now. It’s been going on for a long while. I had my light bulb moment a number of years ago but it has taken this long to understand, navigate, work out what to do, work out the legal bits, work out what is happening, the impact on me, on kids, on life as we know it, all the while my mental health has deteriorated because I was staying longer whilst I tried to work out how to leave. Along the way I have learnt a bit about Evidence, what you need, how to gather it, what’s useful, which professionals to contact. Please add to this with your own experiences. We all have different ones. Thank you.x
7th June 2020 at 9:30 pm #105445
Journal – I started this a long time ago before knowing what I was in. I wrote it because I couldn’t understand what was going on, so I wrote it out, all the events. I wrote what was said. Who was there. Expressions. I wrote how it made me feel. Sometimes daily, sometimes weekly.
This has been invaluable for me to look back and remember and remind myself how long its been going, and the content of it. It helped me process what was happening. I had to transcribe it for the solicitor, they only wanted one liners, you can only submit maximum of 12 pages to support your claim of abuse. “silent treatment”, “angry all day”, “punched hole in door”, “swearing at me in front of child”, “heart racing”, “I cried”, that sort of thing.
If its dangerous to write, if you think he might find it, look for it, you can try another way. Write emails to yourself, write notes on your phone. If he monitors these then use Voice Pro and record yourself explaining what has happened instead. Try and do this daily as over time it will show the pattern, there will be a pattern, you will start to see it yourself, the cycle of abuse.
Timeline – This is a painful one to do but useful to the barrister and solicitor when they’re putting your case together. Try and document key events in your relationship and key things that happened at the time, particular abusive episodes, you’ll start noticing red flags and patterns.
Recordings – I made the mistake of doing this with the video on my phone at the start. In some ways its good as it captures expressions and actions. Unfortunately the files are big, and even compressing meant they can’t be emailed. SO, I asked advice on the forum and Voice Pro was suggested. Its free, its good sound quality, you can whisper into it and it picks it up. Most of all it can store it or email it or do whatever you want to keep it in a safe and secure way for it and for you. I am sure there are others too.
Recordings aren’t usually used in court because of the fact the person didn’t know they were being recorded but they are STILL important evidence so don’t let that stop you. I had to write them up for the solicitor. If you’re going via the criminal court, the police will write them up in full in statement form. For the solicitor, it is one liners, things like “telling me to F*** off 20 times”. The other thing recordings do is keep you focused. Abuse seems to bring a mind fog with it, its a form of PTSD, it’s self protection, you forget, it’s crazy, but you can literally forget what he has just said to you, 10 minutes before, it’s the brain switching into survival mode.
I haven’t experienced this so I hope someone can write some advice on this aspect. Photos, visits to GPs, A&E.
If abusive text messages – then photos of them maybe?, save to cloud? I’m not sure but someone else must know.
Professionals who can provide evidence.
GP – be honest and open and keep contacting the same one. I was prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and sleeping tablets. This is all evidence. They can write a support letter detailing the effect on your mental health.
Counsellors – they will help you unpick the mind f*** of what you’re going through and to help you think clearly about what you want to do. They can provide evidence of the anxiety and trauma you have experienced.
IDVA – Ask for a referral from your GP. As well as supporting you they can provide evidence in court on your behalf, depending what route you take. If family court they can provide copies of all their contact notes with you, to the solicitor and court. An IDVA is a strong professional to have on your side.
Work – I have had to take time off when it was really bad, I was honest about it, I have been there a long time, they were very supportive and have provided counselling (I have heard some provide access to legal help too).
School (and any childcare settings) – I made the mistake of not telling school at first because I was ashamed. Don’t be ashamed. They have heard it all. I was worried it would trigger a social services alert, it doesn’t unless there is a child protection issue of course. They were amazing when I finally did. They have to assess your child, and then provide support, most schools run a Thrive programme. They have also supported me. They can provide the court with an assessment on the effect the abuse has had on your child.
Police 101 – I called once when I was desperate. Nothing had “happened” at that actual moment. I just felt I needed to speak to them because it felt like something was about to, constantly walking on egg shells, feeling fear every day, fear of the unknown, that’s why I called. They were amazing. It was during lockdown. They interviewed me in the back of a car in a car park. They took a recorded statement. They asked if I felt safe, they said they would arrest him and remove him from the house if I wanted them to. They said they would contact social services for my children if I wanted them to. It was in my control what I wanted. They listened for 2 hours. They reassured me they could help if and when I needed it. They talked me through safety options and other points of contact for help. I later learnt that this is evidence too, even in the family court, even if there aren’t criminal proceedings, their statement can be put forward.
8th June 2020 at 3:19 am #105459Soulsearcher18Participant
EVIDENCE- This is key and so important.
Unfortunately, I was such a mess that I didn’t access support until I could take no more and had to get out. If only I had spoken openly to my lovely GP, if only I had spoken to HR at work and to school. I was so close at so many points but just could not find the strength. So many if only’s, especially with regard to gathering Evidence.
I don’t regret leaving though. I Do Not Regret Leaving…
For many, it will happen this way, we will do such a good job of being the mental wife/mother that they want us to be but we will keep going, losing ourselves little by little until we are literally dragging ourselves around and until there is just something, something that takes place that we just can’t take anymore.
But, if I had of only sought this kind of help sooner, if I had only done some research on here, talked to some survivors, chatted earlier with a WA support worker for advice because EVIDENCE is SO important moving forward, particularly for protection of children.
I was SO scared to talk to anyone, so ashamed of everything.
That was all part of it of course, all part of his plan. By not speaking out, no-one could understand the changes in me, my behaviour and demeanour didn’t make sense to people. It left him free to paint the picture for them how he wanted it to look.
Since speaking out I have spoken to some of these people and of course it all makes so much more sense to them and they have been so supportive but if only I had of spoken to them sooner and more regularly. They would have been my allies. They would have provided evidence for me. They would have helped me to convict my perpetrator, he would likely be in prison if I had of spoken out sooner. He would not have the power to continue to control and manipulate through current systems.
If you are on here researching, asking questions, seeking support and making a plan, then I hope you get the reassurance to find the strength to speak to those services/sources of support, firstly to get support and secondly to make a start in gathering evidence.
Above all however, I just remember the advice that the safety of yourself and the children is priority.
I Do Not Regret Leaving.
8th June 2020 at 4:08 pm #105529
Thanks for posting, its really good to hear you’re out and to hear your thoughts on gathering evidence and getting support. Yes you’re right to highlight that about safety yourself and your children being a priority. Can I add pets to that too. Not wanting to scare anyone but they always say don’t leave your pets behind. Vets have a list of people who foster animals in this situation.
11th June 2020 at 11:44 am #105928
13th June 2020 at 11:47 am #106203
13th June 2020 at 2:57 pm #106220CuppateaParticipant
I know when things break apart and when we move away we want to delete everything that belongs to that person but keeping it is much better. When I blocked him on WhatsApp I accidentally clicked on delete chat. And I regret it to this day ((detail removed by moderator) years forward) and he lied and manipulated everyone unfortunately I could not back up my claim as I had no evidence to do it.
So any texts, any thing at all. Letters. And so on keep them with you.
When you go to the gp make sure you explain to them exactly what happened. So when police looks through their record they have full information. Which can backup your claim.
I wanted to seem strong so I kept everything in when inside I was losing myself and my mind. I wish I had spoken clearly to my gp and asked for some medication too. To help me to cope with the trauma.
It’s ok to ask for help. And it’s not your fault at all.
13th June 2020 at 4:00 pm #106227[email protected]Participant
You can also ask people to write statements for you. The people who witnessed his behaviour / people you confided in all good evidence showing the pattern and their character.
13th June 2020 at 4:33 pm #106231HazydayzParticipant
Great advice! Bumping up⬆️
15th June 2020 at 9:58 pm #106462
Bumping in case helps
16th June 2020 at 11:41 am #106504
Bumping. Please add any other ideas you can think of, Im sure this isn’t everything. xx
16th June 2020 at 11:59 am #106507[email protected]Participant
Is this more evidence for contact or proving abuse in criminal court? Or both xx 😘
16th June 2020 at 12:02 pm #106508WeepingwillowParticipant
I have done bits of journaling but to be honest I’m very erratic with it , i seem to lose track and hadn’t done it for months . I do have diaries from years back which was a general diary where there are entries like he hasn’t spoke for days , called me names etc – could this be used as evidence ?
16th June 2020 at 12:08 pm #106511
I would say yes @weepingwillow but also start it now. It doesnt have to be pages and pages, that sort of diary will help you think it through and really helped me to start to realise the crazyness of his thinking. But what a solicitor is looking for is a pattern, so one liners is fine. Start it now, do a table in word, one column for the date, and then each day fill it in. “Silent treatment, swore at me, angry with children, angry I wouldnt have s*x with him, slammed the door” That sort of thing, some days there won’t be anything, or you’ll find every day there will be. Try and record him, safely if you can, it is very valuable to listen back to and remind yourself you’re not going mad. xx
16th June 2020 at 12:11 pm #106513
If you’ve been together for a while, and have past diaries, try and do a timeline, I did one for our whole time together, marked in the significant events, and then looked back and tried to remember the “arguments” the “incidents” the things that happen. What I found was that all those events, things got worse not better, that things you’d think would bring you together had the opposite effect. Its painful and a bit time consuming but really useful to a solicitor in establishing the cycle of abuse, the pattern. xx
16th June 2020 at 12:05 pm #106509
Evidence for any route, not specific, and not necessarily a criminal conviction. I’ve been told that I don’t have enough for a criminal conviction but I do for an Occupation Order and Non-Molestation order – they are Family Court routes but still need evidence as it can come down to a “I said this, he said” that situation. A pattern is what they are looking for. If you’ve have a diary or look back at significant events in your life, and behaviours, a pattern will emerge, I promise you. This can be done retrospectively too. Its good to do it in real time, but its ok not to have done. And then the effect on you too, so GP visits, periods of depression, anxiety, time of work, and anyone you have ever spoken to about his behaviour. They can write statements. xx
16th June 2020 at 12:30 pm #106514WeepingwillowParticipant
Thank you Iliketea. I have recorded video clips before but have now downloaded the app . I will get all my diaries together and start being more consistent . It’s hard when your head is jumbled isn’t it . I am on antidepressants but for menopause and never mentioned him xx
22nd June 2020 at 4:29 pm #107249
26th June 2020 at 9:22 pm #107663
A Friday night Bump.x
29th June 2020 at 9:10 pm #108154RedGiraffeParticipant
I really wish I had started a journal beforehand… it’s something I previously thought of but didn’t go through with. I have now started a journal (from a few weeks ago) and I have the original email I sent woman’s aid that has incidents dating years back. But beforehand I didn’t know I needed a journal! I thought it was normal behaviour … it wasn’t until I confided in someone at work that they were concerned and said it wasn’t normal – took me another year to believe it!
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