Imagine being controlled, money capped, walking on eggshells, living in fear when the door opens, being called names, threats, taunted, being told you do nothing, this is my house not yours. Imagine something being thrown near you, then at you.
Holes smashed in the door. Your not allowed to go out on the weekend, your pushed, given the silent treatment, your not sure why. Imagine being kicked, punched, hit, screamed at, made fun of. Hes drunk again. He's high on something. Glass snashed everywhere.
Your children are upstairs asleep, maybe they are in your arms, you hope they don’t hear, that they won’t be next.
You know you can’t take this anymore your children will be effected. Maybe the police come and go.
You finally leave & can breath again for a minute. Child maintenance stops.
You try and keep contact going try get them help, they are the other parent after all. You’ve left so you should be safe at least. Still no maintenance. Threats start again, questions, he turns up at your home. Asks who you met. Gets angry at contact.
More threats. Am I being followed. He threatens your life. Look out the window before you leave the house, don’t answer the door at night.
The police come and go again. You mustn’t continue contact your children & you are in danger- your told.
Court papers arrive. No legal representation because you can’t afford it. No legal aid your not quite entitled. He has a good barrister though. You imagine you will finally be heard & protected. Imagine when your not. You have police records, evidence but your called a liar. They don’t even look at the evidence. You have to cross examine him. Your confused why are the judges so rude to me?
Your asked why didn't you leave sooner? It can't have been that bad. You cry. The judge rolls he's eyes at you. The clerk tuts. He is an abuser, he is an addict but they believe him. He's changed they say. He has rights. He broke the order though. No drug testing they believe him. Your scared you say, I don't know my rights - you tell them. Imagine they tell you to get over it. You need to learn to parent with him.
You just want to feel safe. Imagine they agree he is abusive but he can have contact anyway if you speak out you will go to prison. Your told to be quiet move on. So you try.
Months later still no maintenance. Your child comes home upset, tired, sick. Over and over. Why does daddy say horrible things about you? Threats of court, threats of seeking 50/50 custody. Imagine years of this. Imagine being so scared of being taken back to court you would rather try and manage your abuser. Imagine never feeling safe.
Imagine feeling lucky as at least you still have your child live with you many mothers don’t so keep quite because you know what can happen. Imagine.
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