Survivors Story Part Four
As we move to the fourth part of Debbie’s story of 12 years of abuse, a move starts to improve life but threats by text and missed childcare appointments mean her nightmare goes on …
In April 2012 I managed to move back to my home town, with the help of my nurse friend, who agreed to be the lease house guarantor for what was to be our new home. Another friend also helped with the car insurance and getting the children into nursery.
Our Labrador went to a friend’s, as HE did not want the dog which was not allowed in the rented accommodation with me.
When I first moved to the new house, I remember crying tears of relief. All I ever wanted was just a small home, safe with the children.
The creditors began contacting for me regarding outstanding payments for loans of £140K and £29K. I sought advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB), as the loans were made to the business and not for my personal use!
CAB composed a letter, on my behalf, to the creditors and within two weeks, I was advised that HIS business would be held responsible for these outstanding loans.
The relief was short lived, as I had to face HIM in court for custody in April of that same year. This was a very anxious time for me and I weighed 7 stone at this time, due to all the stress.
At court HE was asked about son’s medical needs and HE stated he was not familiar/ aware (although he was at the hospital when our son was diagnosed). For this reason, I received custody straight away.
“…a text, while I was waiting…”
HE was given supervised visits. HIS new partner had four children and they moved in with HIM in the newly rebuilt house in Derbyshire. The supervised visits were held in a contact centre in Derby, which I took them to and waited nearby throughout.
One day, I received a text, while I was waiting for them, stating ‘how would you feel if you never saw the children again.’ I immediately phoned the police and HE was found at the pub.
Throughout 2013 and 2014 there were several missed appointments when he was due to collect the children after school. I waited with them to ensure a smooth handover of the twins’ medication.
I had questioned whether I was right to wait with them after school, as staff were there aware of his scheduled visits. But, after a couple of the no show incidents, I was reassured of my decision to wait with the twins after school.
I phoned my solicitor for the custody to be reviewed, as the twin’s father was not providing maintenance nor sticking to the visitation arrangements.
On December 2014 I received a letter stating that the custody case would be heard in court. My solicitor suggested that I write to the court direct stating the current circumstances with the lack of support for activities needed for my poorly son with epilepsy. A court date was set for March 2015.
Broxtowe Women’s Project (BWP) was there for me during this difficult time. I would telephone in tears, nervous about court documents and BWP assisted with phone calls to and from the solicitors. I was driven to and from court. My support worker also spent one day with me at court. I don’t know where I would be now without their support.
Broxtowe Women’s Project submitted a support letter in preparation of the court date, outlining the circumstances; however, the letter did not appear to be taken into account. The same jury that heard the previous custody issues, stated that they were disappointed the adults had not put aside differences. I found that remark very upsetting, as this was not the case on my part.
What will the court decide? What further hurdles will Debbie have to deal with? Find out in the fifth and (for now) final part of her story tomorrow.
Abusive fathers will use their children in a variety of different ways to perpetuate domestic abuse. Using children is highly effective as a way of exerting power and control over their intimate partners or former partners.
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