- Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:42 am
This sounds like you are describing my life!! I was in the same situation, he was very emotionally and verbally abusive, very aggressive, and he made me feel absolutely worthless and terrified. I had a 2yo and was pregnant with my second when I had come to that same conclusion, but I stayed hoping things would change. They didn't. They never do sadly.
I left when my youngest was 10 weeks old. I was so scared. Not only of how he would react but how I would manage on my own. You need to have a plan in place in these situations. I rounded up all my support before hand, getting in touch with family and friends and asked for their help. On the night I left, I took my kids to my mums place and I had my dad waiting around the corner from my house. I had my phone on call to him in my pocket so he could hear what was going on and could come to help if things turned sour. I kept it very short and didn't go into the reasons why, that would just make him angry, and he already knew why. After a barrage of insults, that I was a fool and no one will ever want used goods (turns out that was not true fyi) and that I'd never find anyone like him (that was sort of the point...), I calmly told him that I was going to stay at a friends place with the kids for two weeks (I didn't tell him where) and that he needed to move out by then as we needed to give the kids the stability to stay in their home. It was also because I was worried about finding a new place being a single parent. In this case it was better for me to leave than ask him to leave straight away, as it gave him a bit of time to process and calm down. After breaking the news to him it was important to part ways immediately, so I left. If you're worried you might be in danger by breaking the news to him, then don't risk it, get some family and friends to help pack up your things, take the kids and get out asap. Perhaps leave him a note and that you'll be in contact soon. You can inform the police as a heads up that you're planning on leaving, just in case.
I was lucky that I had great support and I was able to stay at my dads for a while until my ex finally moved out. I then moved out of our old house into a family's investment property, but I know not everyone has this luxury. It's a good idea to try and sort the financial and accommodation issue before you leave if you can. Get in touch with friends and family and ask for help; you never know what people will offer until you ask. Also get in touch with Child First, they can help link you to service for this issue. Also contact domestic violence helplines as they have a wealth of information and support to help you through the next steps.
From a practical perspective, here's some things you need to get sorted:
1 get in touch with support services (as above) to link you to additional help. Also contact Centrelink to work out your financial position (ie single parenting payment, rent assistance, tax benefits etc) and what documents and forms you'll need to provide. Have any correspondence sent to a different address.
2 make a list of everything you can take (if you're unable to stay and have the capacity to take furniture/clothing/money etc. as you'll be taking the kids you should take all their belongings. Make a list of all the things you can't take and will need (eg, bed, white goods, car) and get in touch with the Salvation Army or Red Cross to see if they can help get you started.
3 think about accommodation- will you be able to stay or will you need to stay with someone for a while? Have this in place. Perhaps start looking at rental accommodation within your budget. Remember your ex will need to provide child support (there's child support estimators online). Ask one of your supports if they would be willing to be joint tenants with you (on the application) if worst comes to worst and you're struggling to get a lease. You could also post on this forum for other single parents looking for shared accommodation to help reduce the cost.
4 go to a community legal centre for legal advice regarding parenting arrangements, property settlement (and asset division) and speak to them about your concerns and whether you need to take out a restraining order.
5 try to start putting some money away (be very careful about this though, only do it if you can be sure you won't get caught as this can cause abusive partners to become aggressive) and ask family and friends whether they have any capacity to help out financially. Every bit counts.
6 if you have ANY concerns for your safety, go to the police. Make a report to child protection (the reporter will always remain anonymous) if you are worried about the ongoing contact with the children.
There's a lot to do and it is very daunting and very unfair. The main goal is to rally up as much support as you can, let them know what you plan to do and ask for help. Always put your safety first- if you're worried then don't risk it! For the first few months it will be a hard adjustment so just focus on your safety, putting a roof over your head and food on the table.
You will be ok. You can be scared and brave at the same time. I can't promise it will be smooth sailing, but it does get better. Having been in your situation and have gotten out myself, I can tell you that even though it's hard, it is so much better than before.