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Escaping Abusive Relationships

By: James Bloom - Updated: 26 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
Relationship Divorce Abuse Leave Home

Domestic violence and abuse can take many forms. From criticism and put-downs to controlling money or physically hurting you there are many ways in which a partner’s desire for power and control can spill over into your relationship. There are all kinds of protections available for women experiencing abuse. You should know your rights and also what immediate support is available to you.

Talking About it

The first thing you should consider is talking to family or friends. You may be afraid of making things worse but you will be better off with the issue out in the open. If you find this very difficult, charities such as Samaritans, Women’s Aid and Refuge all provide confidential support and advice over the phone. You can also call your local police station and ask to speak to their domestic violence unit. Be prepared to leave a message on their machine. They will be discreet when returning your call. If you are in immediate danger then you should call 999.

Knowing Your Rights

The law recognises and protects against numerous forms of abuse against partners and children. Courts can be asked to make Occupation Orders forcing your partner out of the house or Non-Molestation Orders to protect yourself and your children. As well as being a crime, domestic violence can also be used as grounds for a divorce, under the classification of Unreasonable Behaviour.

Domestic violence can include making fun in a way designed to hurt or humiliate you, threatening you, or having sudden outbursts of anger. Preventing you from taking part in family events or controlling your behaviour are other forms. Your partner physically or emotionally hurting you, your children or your pets is also domestic violence. Forcing you to perform sexual acts that you are not comfortable with is another form.

You should not have to change your appearance, avoid talking about certain ‘sensitive’ topics or be forced to avoid contact with friends or family in order to keep your partner satisfied. You have rights which you do not lose as a result of being in a relationship.

Leaving Your Home

If the abuse if unbearable or you have to leave your home swiftly, the first thing you should be aware of is that you will not lose any rights to your property. You might want to consult a solicitor to make sure the home cannot be sold or to freeze any joint bank accounts until an agreement can be made. You may also be eligible for legal aid so you should ask the solicitor when you first speak.

If you cannot stay with family or friends, both Women’s Aid and Refuge can provide temporary shelter and additional support. They have accommodation and care facilities for children, guidance counsellors and other resources. You may find it useful to make a list of all your needs and concerns before calling them.

Difficulty Making a Break

In many cases a woman will be in more danger at the point of leaving an abusive partner, or just after she has left. Obstacles such as a lack of money, having no suitable place to go and few people to turn to for support can also make it hard to remain strong at this stage. You will need courage to take the necessary steps.

Try to keep your self-confidence up. Remember that you are doing this for your own good and for your children. A divorce or separation is always painful for everyone involved. It will have a long-term effect on your children and yourself. But it also marks the start of a new chapter in your family’s life. It will take time to process the emotion it brings up, so it may be years before you are finally able to feel clear about it.

Keep at the forefront of your mind the fact that the abuse is not your fault. Your partner has been intentionally and systematically making attempts to abuse and control you. This behaviour is entirely his responsibility. Unless you are strong, he will probably continue making you do things you do not want to do.

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How patronising and condescending this is to men! There are some devious women out there who will thrive on this information and probably manipulate situations to instigate what could be tantamount to unreasonable behaviour. What about the unreasonable behaviour of a woman who wants a man to change to the way she wants him. A woman who has her husband come so far down her list of priorities, he can't help but feel aggrieved and irritable. When a husband comes after the youngest son 25, a twin sister, the eldest son 35, the dog and another sister or two, is that not a form of abuse. Then there are the times when she attacks and hits you and you don't hit back but eventually, she hits you once to often and you hit back but she doesn't leave or do anything then. After getting you to buy more things for her, the house, the garden, the conservatory, to pay for a long weekend away at a wedding, on the way she is discussing buying a caravan, on the way back she's discussing the caravan and a log burner. You drive for 3 hours plus, then ask for a cuppa and she accuses you of demanding. Then goes out of her way to cause an argument over it for nothing which, you try to avoid but she hounds you, hoping she gets what she wants but you resist and you don't give her what she wants so, 4 days later she puts her rings on your bedside cabinet, the next day she tells you it is over and wants £10,000 and the house to be sold. Is this not also abusing the man, with disrespect? Relationships are a two way street and break down just as much through a women being controlling as men so, do me a favour please cut the bias and stop encouraging women to seek unreasonable behaviour as a way of getting out of a marriage because to me you are not only inciting, invoking but you are endorsing the practice! Some women, like mine may even have found another man and just want out and this does nothing but encourage them to get out! The thing that hurt the most, I was up front from day one about my anxiety and depressive state, she was in a relationship when she met me, as she was when she met him, no doubt as she was when she met him also because she couldn't wait, to chat to another guy and tell him she was getting a divorce because his words to me when I found his number were, ""she divorcing you anyway d-head"! Now ponder on that one, a couple of times we had a quarrel, I felt like I had blown it, my anxiety and depression controlled me and you know what that does. I fell out with her youngest (25), that was the turning point I took an OD but luckily I pulled through. We went to see our GP had a chat, I made a promise I would never take another OD and would be stronger in future, she promised to help but reneged because she said I demanded a cuppa. When she said it was over, I stayed strong for her, I wrote txt messages and emails telling her how I felt because my I was battling my anxiety. I played into her hands because after her reading the likes of w
MarkSki - 26-Oct-17 @ 4:57 AM
Your website is a bit bias towards women being victim!! My brothers wife is an alcoholic and abusive to him. Has caused him to have heart attack and is always drunk, he does everything. She is abusive infrastructure ntbof children? What is resolution. It's a derby dangerous situation and children and brother are affected (father/husband) social service xesxate useless. What is resolution?
Tam1 - 21-Jun-17 @ 12:03 AM
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