10th September 2021 at 5:08 pm #131295
I’m new posting here but have been logging in and reading everyone’s messages for months now.
Basically my husband is an emotional abuser. He makes threats and is intimidating when challenged. He’s never been really physical beyond the odd push or shove but he grew up in a violent household so I’m aware that he could turn violent.
Our children are getting older and he is starting to criticise and manipulate them. I have been trying to leave him for years.
We jointly own a home and I do have savings but my fear is running out of rent. I only have a finite amount of savings. I have spoken to several solicitors about starting divorce proceedings but I’m scared of his reaction if I’m still in the home. Even the solicitor agreed his behaviour is unpredictable.
I keep swaying between leaving or staying in the home. When I asked about an occupational order I was told I would need to prove he has somewhere to go and they may decide to just give us different times to access certain rooms. The home is detached and neighbours aren’t close by.
I just need someone to tell me what to do because I can’t make a decision and I feel so trapped.
Thank you for reading.
10th September 2021 at 7:19 pm #131306KIP.Participant
Please contact your local women’s aid or ring the national domestic abuse helpline. I tried to stay in the marital home after petitioning for divorce and it didn’t take long for him to assault me and for his arrest. He was removed by the police and I got an occupation order. Get your ducks in a row before you make a decision. Keep gathering evidence of his abuse. Keep a journal and report it to you GP. If he works he can rent a flat or a room in a home, it’s easier for him to move out and for you to stay with the kids? Not sure of their ages.
11th September 2021 at 9:51 am #131334
Thank you for your reply KIP. I haven’t ever let things escalate to the point where I’ve had to call the police. I’ve asked in the past for a divorce but he kept me up talking and harassing me until I backed down. The solicitor said at that point I should have phoned the police. I’m worried what he would do to the house if I left. He’s already damaged things inside, what’s to stop him taking a hammer to the walls? I know he could easily leave but he regards the home as his house and he wouldn’t want me to benefit from the sale. I appreciate you sharing your experience. Both of my children are in full time education.
11th September 2021 at 9:58 am #131335KIP.Participant
Listen to your solicitor. Involving the police was the best thing I did. He was removed from the property. You say you haven’t let things escalate but that’s not your choice anymore. Things escalate when abusers lose power and control and that will happen again, just like the last time when he harassed you. I knows he can get you to back down with his behaviour and threats and h simply thinks this will always work. When it doesn’t work he will physically harm you. Don’t minimise his behaviour. He is just as accountable as a stranger off the street harassing you in your own home. Ring WA and ask for help exiting this relationship safely x
11th September 2021 at 10:20 am #131336iliketeaParticipant
Abuse does always seem to escalate. Your post reads like my early ones. But as I became more informed about abuse, even when he didn’t know that directly, somehow he probably sensed it in the change in my behaviour – and the abuse escalated. KIPs advice is great. I got 3 free half hours with 3 different solicitors, all on the phone, most went over the time and were happy to talk, a couple even wrote up the notes and my options and sent them to me.
Yes, that is an option about the room use splitting but its not that common. Particularly if there is a question mark about escalation. Try and get an IDVA, referral from GP, or self refer to local domestic abuse agency or Womens Aid, depends on your area whether its WA or a different agency. They do a risk assessment, be totally honest, taking a hammer to the walls is violence, mine was very similar type from the sounds of it. You have rights, particularly if you are married. I’m not sure if you have children. But number one now is to gather evidence, write every day what has happened and how it has made you feel. Also, write a timeline of your past relationship – key red flag moments – you didn’t see at the time, but are aware of now. It makes it much more real for you, and for the legal profession it gives them something to work with.
Carry on learning, and informing yourself about your situation, and gather a professional network around you, therapist, school, work, nursery, IDVA, GP, so they can all provide evidence if its needed. There was no outright physical assault in my situation either but a lot of pushing and shoving and “Get out of my b****y way” type of thing, that IS abuse. As is emotional abuse. And Coercive Control – which is when you fear doing something because of reprisals from your husband.
I did also call the police and give a statement about the situation, you can do this too, it is there, on record, if anything else should happen. It doesn’t need to go anywhere, but you can ask them your options too, they can help, they can remove him for 28 days if he did something violent that made you scared – smash up a chair type thing – in context of everything else you’ve said they could remove him. it gives you time to think about next steps. BUT, doing this also starts a stop clock so think carefully about doing that
An occupation order and a non-molestation order are the usual safer avenues, if no criminal act of physical abuse has taken place, look into these and consider them as serious options. It sounds so serious, I know, Ive been where you are now, but believe me, it was the best thing I ever did, and I left it way too late because of personal circumstances at the time. Escalation is real. Keep that in mind, prepare yourself and do everything on your timeline. When you are ready. And safe. And informed. And prepared. You’ll know when that is, see it as a project, prepare, pack, write lists, plan. xx
11th September 2021 at 7:40 pm #131359
Thank you both so much for the information. I had no idea that I could make a statement to the police beforehand. It is a scary situation to be in but I’m pleased to hear you say that involving the police was the best thing you did. You are right when you say he knows I will always back down. I do keep a journal and my GP is aware. It has been going on for years, threats, intimidation and manipulation, and I want to move on for the children. They are old enough to know what’s going on but still young enough to get over it if I do something now. Thanks again x
11th September 2021 at 8:19 pm #131360iliketeaParticipant
Hi, just to say, you don’t have to, and also one thing I wasn’t clear about was the difference between the two courts – police, arrests, criminal conviction, a criminal record – criminal court. Occupation order & non-molestation orders are family court, so no criminal conviction or record if that is something you’re worried about in the sense that it sounds SO “serious” – this is how I felt, not saying its how you feel, also I had no idea of the difference. But me going to the police definitely did give credence to the situation and the bigger picture. Also, sad as it is to say, I was told by my local police that there had never been a conviction for coercive control in my local area so I would be wasting my time and energy going down that route as it would be very hard to prove with real evidence – in my circumstance – not all, even though they agreed it was definitely coercive control and emotional abuse from what I said. Obviously if it is physical as well that is a totally different thing.
Stay strong. You’ll get there. Keep asking. Keep going. xx
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.