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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2011, 11:10 AM
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I have been enduring mental / emotional / verbal and some physical abuse from my husband since before my 5 month old son was born. His outbursts are progressively getting worse. He has completely broken me down and worst part about this is that he uses our son as a pawn. Says if I divorce him he'll take my son away from me (and has physically attempted to leave the house with our son. I tried to stop him yesterday and he forcefully pushed me out of the way causing me to hit the wall.

I have kept all of this a secret until few weeks ago when I obtained counselling through women's shelter and have also been in contact with CAS. They are telling me I can leave but I'm afraid of the ramifications. I'm at the point where I'm ready to leave with my son.

Some questions:
-can someone tell me about obtaining temp custody and how long does this last?
-do I need a lawyer for this? I'm currently on maternity leave and getting EI only
-how does visitation work if the other parent was abusive?
-do I need to prove the abuse somehow? Never called police etc...
-what is the worst that can happen? Can I lose custody or son?

thx
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:41 PM
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I have to ask a few more questions.
1) how is he towards your son
2) do you have a family support network or some good friends to help out temporarily?
3) Do you have access to a babysitter to give you time to go write and file papers.

I would suggest that you go to the family court office and speak to duty council at the FLICK office for free. You need to get out and if he kidnaps your child then he will be in big trouble. You need to get a chance to clear your head which is very hard to do. I would suggest that if you can you need to set up a game plan to leave. Setting up interm custody should not be hard and if you state that you are afraid of him you can ask that until you can get into a center to exchange your son that it is all done at the local police department. Does he deal with any addictions?
Temp custody will last until you can get a final order, though while it is temp he can try and change it but it would be very very hard to do so.
I would recommend you keep a log book that is private of everything that goes on between you and him as it will help you keep this straight when he is trying to prove you wrong. Its not that you have to approve abuse, you just have to suggest it and then he will get in trouble from the family courts for it, trust me on that one.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:26 PM
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Leave and stay at the women's shelter if bed space is available. You do not have to tolerate any abuse. They will allow you to stay up to 6 weeks, will counsel you through any court proceedings and help you find affordable housing. They will help you prove the abuse. Good luck and take care of you.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:52 PM
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You can file for an emergancy hearing... you can seek this through the Justice of the Peace at you local court house. Despite how you may feel about you ex they still have the right to access. having said that you can also request of the JoP for supervised visitation while this all gets sorted out.
The counselor and CAS will back you on this.

I agree with the others that you dont need to subject youself or child to an abusive situation.... plain and simple get out. Having been through much the same I know it can feel easier said than done. My ex tried to intimidate as well so know what that is like as well. You have started to reach out speak out and get the resources you will need, and that is good. You can get out of the situation.

Given that you have spoken up and others CAS etc are involved you can also speak with the police if you may feel there would be a threat when you leave, they will be alerted and may be able to be present.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broken_gal View Post
I have been enduring mental / emotional / verbal and some physical abuse from my husband since before my 5 month old son was born. His outbursts are progressively getting worse. He has completely broken me down and worst part about this is that he uses our son as a pawn. Says if I divorce him he'll take my son away from me (and has physically attempted to leave the house with our son. I tried to stop him yesterday and he forcefully pushed me out of the way causing me to hit the wall.

I have kept all of this a secret until few weeks ago when I obtained counselling through women's shelter and have also been in contact with CAS. They are telling me I can leave but I'm afraid of the ramifications. I'm at the point where I'm ready to leave with my son.

Some questions:
-can someone tell me about obtaining temp custody and how long does this last?
-do I need a lawyer for this? I'm currently on maternity leave and getting EI only
-how does visitation work if the other parent was abusive?
-do I need to prove the abuse somehow? Never called police etc...
-what is the worst that can happen? Can I lose custody or son?

thx

I was exactly where you are now... not too long ago, only thing missing was physical abuse but harmfull and destructive nevertheless.

I asked to seperate when my son was 4 months old, and also have a 3 year old daughter. All the abuse amplified once I asked to seperate, but we stayed in the same house for 4 months because I too was on EI only and totally lost as to what move to make next.

Problem is I didn't listen to anyone at the time, nor did I see the situation for what it was. I never called the police when I should have, I never left when I should have, never went to a shelter when I should have...

Use the resources that are at hand as mentioned by others... save yourself a lot of grief and debt. I went the legal route right away, but abusers don't and can't negociate. I wasted over 10k in legal fees (all sitting on credit cards) and still have nothing to show for it. I now can't afford to have representation in court, am maxed out in debt, had to go back to work early and am responsible for all of the children's expenses including daycare.

Let me know if you want to get in touch with me - I now have ressources I did not have back then. Its too late for me but may still be able to help others.

**edited to add**
Beware of CAS - they tell the parents what they want to hear. She told me I had to leave or have him leave the house ASAP for the welfare of the children, and that if I didn't they would intervene to protect them themselves. She warned me I had to leave before it escalated again... She told me she would explain everything so ex, but told him no such thing - just told him it would be best if we didn't live together but to take our time to figure out a resolution.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:37 PM
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broken_gal, I have been in your shoes and am still going through it. You have already taken some steps to improve the situation for you and your son - this is so hard to do so congratulations for taking that first step. Next, no matter what lays ahead, you'll be best to get you and your son away from this man. He may always be part of your lives but the more limited the better.

You need to document as much as possible. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that the courts will just believe you - they will not. They will be as judgemental about your accusations as some people around here. If he hurts you or threatens you, call the police immediately. Otherwise, start writing down dates and ALL specifics about any violent incidents etc. Get as much unbiased documentation to prove the abuse as you can - do the best you can to erase any questions the courts, lawyers etc will have about whether the abuse really happened or not. DO NO EMBELLISH OR LIE. If you are caught in a lie, it will put everything you say in jeopardy. Take all your important documents out of the house, photocopy any financial documents that'll come into play later.

You can get an ex-parte order for a restraining order same day but this can be difficult as judge will need to believe that you are in imminent danger. But if you feel it's that extremem, do it. Your ex may use your child to get revenge on you - he'll want custody and access. Again, it could be a long court process, but one step at a time. If a judge believes the abuse, you could get a temporary order for supervised visitation but this will not last forever. You don't need a lawyer but a lawyer would be extremely helpful. Especially one versed in domestic violence. You may even qualify for legal aid. Get to the FLIC centre to at least get some advice.

Good luck to you - I know how very difficult your situation is right now. Make sure you do what you can to protect yourself and your child. Leaving is the most dangerous time for a woman.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:59 PM
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Where was he trying to take your son when you tried to stop him?
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:08 PM
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he was trying to take son to in laws as "they can provide better care" than me.

I am mandated to go to a women's shelter right now by CAS. So I'm leaving...
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:41 PM
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One thing, you cannot prevent him from coming and going with, or without your child.

If he was leaving the house to go to his parents house with the child, he is allowed to. Your remedy should he try to keep the child there is to file an emergency motion to have the child returned home. Trying to stop him from leaving gives him as much authority to have you hit with a restraining order as you have against him for pushing you out of the way. It is pretty much a mutual combative situation (he tries to leave with child - his wrong -, you get in his way to try and stop him - your wrong -, he walks through you to leave anyway - his wrong -).

The proper way to handle it would be to notify him that you don't agree with his decision and should he attempt to withhold the child, that you will be filing an emergency order to have the child returned home, exclusive possession of the house and temporary custody.

Had you injured him in anyway (scratch etc) he could have said you were being abusive in front of the child, he was trying to leave to exit the situation and you attacked him to stop him and he only defended himself, and you would be the one playing catch up.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireweb13 View Post
I have to ask a few more questions.
1) how is he towards your son
2) do you have a family support network or some good friends to help out temporarily?
3) Do you have access to a babysitter to give you time to go write and file papers.

I would suggest that you go to the family court office and speak to duty council at the FLICK office for free. You need to get out and if he kidnaps your child then he will be in big trouble. You need to get a chance to clear your head which is very hard to do. I would suggest that if you can you need to set up a game plan to leave. Setting up interm custody should not be hard and if you state that you are afraid of him you can ask that until you can get into a center to exchange your son that it is all done at the local police department. Does he deal with any addictions?
Temp custody will last until you can get a final order, though while it is temp he can try and change it but it would be very very hard to do so.
I would recommend you keep a log book that is private of everything that goes on between you and him as it will help you keep this straight when he is trying to prove you wrong. Its not that you have to approve abuse, you just have to suggest it and then he will get in trouble from the family courts for it, trust me on that one.
Is that what they call it when mom takes the children from dad? Kidnapping? mom takes children all the time...its hardly called kidnapping! I think they call it defacto custody and.he could do the same thing. Not saying its right. Its just done by thousands of mothers every year. I haven't seen one go to jail or any punishment at all. So really it dad does it my thinking is...no to kidnapping!
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