Domestic violence goes by many names; domestic battery, domestic abuse, intimate violence, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and more. I’ve mentioned being a soap-maker, working in a landfill, counter person at a Locksmith, but I have also been a safe house worker.
When I come across these headlines, I am reminded of some of the woman and children that I have helped, or at the least, tried to help.
My observations being on the front line are not quite the same as what you read about in those heart warming stories. Now this is sad but true, but about half of the women really needed help, the other half were either scamming or trying to annoy their abusive male partner. I’ve picked these women up from our office, the police station, and the hospital, only for them to return, voluntarily, to their abusive partner within 24 hours! Generally my clients had been women that already had their kids in the welfare system, they had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and they have spent all their money on drugs and alcohol and now need somewhere to stay and some food. That is the sad reality – remember that when you are thinking of donating.
Safe House policies and funding are going to vary from place to place. Our perimeters are:
- we can keep you in our safe house for 2 weeks
- then we can drive you to another safe house, 1 hour away, for a month’s stay
- we can fast forward you through the welfare system to get you benefits asap
- we can drive you anywhere and be your taxi
- we will feed you on the spot
- and later pick you up groceries
- we will find you clothes and baby stuff, and even furniture
- we can get you a bus ticket, to take you across the country, or in one case, to another country
- we will watch your kids at the doctors office so you can go in alone
- we will help you open a new bank account
- we will accompany the police so that you may retrieve your personal effects
- we have councilors for you to talk with, with no time limits
- we will get you anything you need!
So what the hell are you doing?
So why do they go back? I really have no idea. A lot of them scam too. I’ve bought bus tickets for them only for them to turn around and try to cash them in. So we set a policy, they must not go in the client’s name. I’ve picked them up from the hospital, enlisted the help of the nurses, that ‘don’t know where you are now’, then pass the abuser in the parking lot on the way out. We offer numerous services with many wonderful people. We actually care about you, he doesn’t.
So if you are given an honest way out, then for Christ’s Sake, will you take it! Don’t bother scamming me, I will not believe a thing you say next time, and you will be in our ‘services only, no financial aid’ file. I’ve had to leave my kids alone at home to help you, I won’t do that again.
But if you really need our help, do some prep work to help yourself too. Make a list, make a plan, be an adult about this and do this right. Make sure you have all the important papers you need to get started over, such as:
- ID, yours and the kids
- birth certificates, everyone’s
- children’s records, school and medical
- mortgage papers
- car papers,insurance and ownership
- banking information, statements, checks, credit cards
- priceless photos, jewellery.
You may not be able to safely return again to retrieve anything. The police can sometimes help, but will legally only be able to let you take personal items, not that big screen TV that you bought but he says is his. Yet, if you can orchestrate a move out date, when he isn’t home, we can still help with that. We don’t have to just pick you up from the hospital, we can help you plan your leaving too.
And don’t fall for that line about him missing the kids. God, I’ve heard that enough times. He is only using this as leverage. He doesn’t really care about the kids. Does he tell them he loves them, and helps with their homework? Does he make sure they feel safe and secure? Or is he smacking them around too? He is an abuser, and he will say anything to keep control over you, and he will use his alleged love of them as a control factor.
We know leaving is hard. The planning and the leaving date will be full of fear and insecurity. But know that a safer and healthier life is waiting for you, and the kids. That a life alone is far preferable to a life of fear and abuse. The image and quote to the right says it all!
Here’s an article from WebMD on the signs of abuse.
Wondering how to raise a child as a single parent? more here.
#militantsinglemom, #singlemom, #domesticabuse, #indigoearthnews