Gransnet forums

Health

Domestic violence prisoner.

(25 Posts)
Ohmother Sat 28-Mar-20 10:40:34

What advice can be given to a friend (and it is a friend; not me) that is in lockdown with two children; 16 and an 18 month old. Her husband is very controlling and verbally abusive. He is unwilling to help her with childminding while she is under pressure to keep her job by working from home. This is not new behaviour but is getting worse even before lockdown. She is managing to talk over the garden fence as he checks her messages on her phone.

Galaxy Sat 28-Mar-20 11:47:20

Can she speak to Womans Aid? I would say she needs professional advice in this situation.

Franbern Sat 28-Mar-20 11:49:01

Ohmother - I am no expert, but I did mention this to one of my children who has professional knowledge. Cohersive and controlling behavior is illegal. Even in these times, action can and will taken by the police if she is willing to report it. She does have to think about what she is willing to do. If she reports it to the police, they could actually remove him. This is a difficult situation for her.
Whatever, she needs to log down everything he is doing in this, and if she can report it - even if she asks that no action be taken at present, at least those reports will be there for the future.
Wish I could be more helpful - it is a horrible situation

kittylester Sat 28-Mar-20 12:05:37

I have this problem to worry about but a niece. They have businesses together too. It's a huge worry to us - but not her own father!!

sodapop Sat 28-Mar-20 12:32:03

I think you have to wait until she is ready ohmother what an awful situation to be in with two young children. In the meantime perhaps you could find out what help is available to her in your area with phone numbers, e-mail addresses etc.
It must be a comfort to her knowing you are there to listen.

eazybee Sat 28-Mar-20 12:50:33

If she is your neighbour could you find out helpful information for her, such as where she could go, what support is available for her?

The best advice would be for her to keep her head down during the present situation because a safe refuge will be even more difficult to find for her and the children due to lockdown and self-isolation, but be ready to fly once it is over?
Failing that, collect evidence, and see if the police can remove the husband.

GrannyLaine Sat 28-Mar-20 13:13:55

Good advice here. Coercive control is frightening but the danger is increasingly recognised. One thing that would help is an additional (secret) pay-as-you go phone with emergency numbers and the number of a local support organisation. You sound like a good friend to her Ohmother

Missfoodlove Sat 28-Mar-20 13:18:14

eazybee gives good advice.Now is not the time.
My Godson is a Police officer, they are run ragged with domestic violence cases right now.
Careful planning and good support will help make a clean break when the UK is back to normal.

vampirequeen Sat 28-Mar-20 14:23:30

It's hard but you'll have to wait until she's ready. All you can do for now is let her know (if possible) that you're there for her. Leaving an abusive partner isn't as easy as most people would think because the abuser gets inside your head and so you no longer think rationally about your relationship. It took me 27 years to escape.

Ohmother Sat 28-Mar-20 15:24:57

Thank you all. I was thinking it was better for her to keep quiet for now but to bring her hope for the future to make plans for her future in her head for once the lockdown is over. He won’t allow her out so she can’t get a phone. He tracks everything she does indoors. Even though he goes out now and again for ‘essential’ work.

Greymar Sat 28-Mar-20 15:45:59

I fear there will be a great deal of trouble behind closed doors. I have been contacted by somebody who is at the end of her tether, alone with 2 children. I don't know what to suggest.

Eloethan Sat 28-Mar-20 17:21:07

There have been several reports which suggest that domestic violence is very likely to increase during this horrible time.

Women's refuges are already full and having to turn people away.

Re your neighbour OhMother, sadly her husband may well become even more controlling and unreasonable as this situation continues. It is difficult to know what to advise, except to say that if she comes to the point where she feels frightened for her own and her children's safety, she should try to get away. Has she a relative who might be able to temporarily accommodate her? I know the virus makes that especially difficult but surely a close relative would be willing to help?

I suppose there are organisations that she can ring who can at least give her some emotional support and practical advice. I assume she can delete her texts and any records of phone calls?

It is very sad, I hope she and the children stay OK. When all this over, perhaps she should think about separating from him. A life in constant fear is not much of a life - and it will damage the children too.

Ohmother Sat 28-Mar-20 22:42:41

She can’t make private contact. Somehow he tracks her calls/texts on his phone. Has anyone heard of this? If she tries to get rid of it and he finds out she may be in danger don’t you think?

janeainsworth Sat 28-Mar-20 23:10:42

Yes I think that’s possible Ohmother, if two phones are linked to the same email address, call history can show up on both of them.

GrannyLaine Sat 28-Mar-20 23:17:46

Ohmother he's very likely tracking her phone. Could someone else not obtain a PAYG sim and basic phone for her? Doesn't have to be new.

Razzy Sat 28-Mar-20 23:30:35

Could she get her 16 year old to look after the 18 month old sometimes so she can work? I think employers are being sympathetic at the moment. Perhaps whilst he is out doing “essential work” she could be putting washing out and using neighbour (your?) phone to speak to whoever she needs to?

absent Sun 29-Mar-20 05:59:49

Keeping "your head down" just makes it easier for someone to smack it around. Tell me about it! The more subservient she is, the more aggressive he will be and then, the more subservient she will be. None of that is her fault. She needs professional help – family, police, a woman's refuge, a committed and powerful social worker, a devoted and strong-minded friend, her own last shreds of strength or whoever she can call on and will protect, support and care for her. She may be inches away from death – that is no exaggeration.

Ohmother Sun 29-Mar-20 13:46:00

She needs an awful lot that, at this stage, she cannot access at the moment. It would be very dangerous for him to find out she is contacting anyone about the situation.

GrannyLaine Sun 29-Mar-20 14:02:28

absent your comments are spot on and it sounds as though you have been that place. If so, I hope you are safe now flowers
The thing is Ohmother while she can't access all the help she needs right now, she DOES need to be able to call for help in a life or death situation.

Ohmother Thu 02-Apr-20 14:51:47

Police called today by 16 year old. Yayyy.! He has left the home for at least (24?) hours. I have handed her the number of Women’s Aid.

Eloethan Thu 02-Apr-20 15:06:03

Good. Let's hope he is not allowed to return and he is ordered not to go within a certain distance of his partner.

I hope your neighbour is OK Ohmother. It must be a weight off your mind too - at least for the time being, and hopefully for good.

Ohmother Thu 02-Apr-20 19:43:56

It is thank you. 😱

Callistemon Thu 02-Apr-20 19:58:58

Greymar
I fear there will be a great deal of trouble behind closed doors.
I did post something similar on another thread; we hear about all the lovely parents who are helping their children with their homeschooling, taking the opportunity to play games and interact with them but there will be some children for whom this will be a fearful time. The same for many women too.

I don't have advice, but please keep listening, Ohmother, be aware and I hope she can receive some help before too long. She has a job so perhaps could live independently from this controlling man.

Callistemon Thu 02-Apr-20 20:00:05

Oh, I should read the thread blush

Good, best of luck to her

EllanVannin Thu 02-Apr-20 20:18:29

I remember saying this would increase and possibly involve a murder or two and sadly it has.