INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

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SW11PARENT
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INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby SW11PARENT » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:40 pm

This is a last resort, a plea for any help/guidance.  I have a friend who I, along with others, have been supporting after she fled the family home with her children 2 years ago after being attacked by her husband and after suffering under his coercive control for nigh on 20 years.  This is a man who has been arrested twice for stalking and taking photos of women in public places and whose own daughter gave evidence of him trying to strangle her (aged 12/13).  He was and still is extremely angry that his wife has left and has over the last two years systematically used the police, social services, the courts to 'punish' her and the children by presenting himself as the 'victim' and by throwing so many lies and false allegations around that the actual truth has been lost.   In fact the children were sent to live with him and he has done all in his power to prevent his wife seeing them.  She has managed to get access to her youngest albeit at very restricted times and the eldest has chosen to live with their mum.  The middle child however has been totally silenced and has not seen their mother in over 18 months.  All three children and the mother are scared of the father.  The list of emotionally abusive actions is too long to list here.  The reason I write now is that he has managed to convince the authorities that he is being harrassed and stalked by the mother and she is now facing Crown Court prosecution.   He is a very clever, manipulative man.  Everyone believes him. The mother is timid and submissive and English is not her mother tongue. If this is successful the mother could go to jail, face a fine, will definitely lose her job and ability to earn an income to support herself, let alone any of her children. It will destroy her.  This, we believe, is his ultimate goal.  None of the authorities have been professionally curious enough to see the bigger picture of the coercive control and abuse that is occurring in front of them.
She has a meagre salary and cannot afford expensive barristers.  She has had some help through Legal Aid for the Family Courts but this is a Criminal Court and I am not sure Legal Aid applies.  Does anyone have any experience in this kind of situation?  Are there any pro-bono barristers out there with expertise in this field.  We have tried all the usual charities but they are over stretched and under resourced.  Any help/advice gladly welcome. Thank you.
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TJ74
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby TJ74 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:18 pm

Has she tried 'advocate'?  That charity finds you barristers in the area of law that you require pro bono.  https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/using-a-b ... ssistance/
 
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ParentSW11
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby ParentSW11 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:29 pm

Many thanks I’ll take a look 👍🏼
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Juggler
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby Juggler » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:16 pm

Legal aid is available for some, but not all, criminal matters. Eligibility depends on a number of factors, including the person's means and how serious the case is. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-wh ... d#overview

Your friend should try to see a solicitor who does criminal legal aid work to see whether or not she qualifies.
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aguapazza
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby aguapazza » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:22 am

What a surreal and terrifying situation. I’m sure you’ve explored all avenues but I wonder if https://rightsofwomen.org.uk/get-advice/ might be of help.
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ellesmum
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby ellesmum » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:22 am

I can completely empathise. Her story is by no means unique, unfortunately, and a friend is going through something very similar with her ex husband, albeit in Northern Ireland rather than London.
Has your friend been in contact with her MP? That is a good place to start, as they can put complaints into authorities who are failing to do their jobs properly. I have found my MP (Justine Greening) very helpful in relation to some domestic abuse issues I was/am having.
There is also a One Stop Shop on Monday mornings at St Mark's Church on Battersea Rise, where she can speak to a solicitor, police, social workers, and Victim Support workers all under one roof, which is really useful as it doesn't seem that they are seeing the bigger picture at the moment. Again, I found the One Stop Shop very useful.
In relation to the children, it sounds as though it is a case of abusive Parental Alienation. Whilst some parents, like myself, restrict or prevent access of the other parent to their child out of genuine concern for the child's welfare, there are others who use alienation as a way to continue their abuse. My friend has recently had the involvement of a specialist called Dr Spooner to assess her, her ex, and the children to prove this form of abuse. Like your friend, she hasn't seen 3 of her 4 children for 18 months. Only the youngest currently has contact, which has gradually been increasing.
It really seems absurd that the authorities are completely oblivious to this kind of abuse. Coercive control is an absolutely horrific form of abuse. I am "lucky" that money seems to be my ex's primary concern, so he has shown no interest in pursuing contact with his daughter through the courts, just ensuring that I have access to the absolute minimum financial support he can possibly give, but he put me through far worse when he lived under the same roof. To be honest, with that type of abuse, with no physical marks to show as proof, it just makes you sound crazy and neurotic when you try to explain it to the authorities. I found the police, in particular, incredibly unhelpful, as the male police officer who was sent to speak to me (after I had specifically requested a female) was not trained in cases of domestic abuse, and even admitted that he sometimes pressured and coerced his partner into physical relations against her will - "It's just what we do". Hardly a surprise that so few are convicted of coercive control. The effect it has on your mental health is horrific, though, so also get your friend to seek psychological support. If she falls under Wandsworth Council, they have a great group course called HALT which really helps you get your head around what has happened, and provide support.
I am sorry I can't offer more help. The only other thing I can possibly think of is Rights of Women, who are incredibly hard to get hold of (it took me 150 ish redial attempts to get through to them), or possibly contacting local law schools to see whether they have students who work pro bono. Citizens Advice may also be able to offer some advice.
Good luck to your friend. I hope the judge will be sensible enough to see through this abuser, and ultimately tears into those who allowed it to get to court in the first place. It seems a complete travesty that genuine abuse victims rarely get their day in court, yet abusers seem to be able to manipulate them to do their bidding. It is truly awful.
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loigal
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby loigal » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:09 am

Classic tactic of abusers to frame themselves as victims and use the courts. What language does she speak? Could southall black sisters help? Also contact Rachel horman DV expert solicitor she will sign post you. Call rights for women and centre for women’s justice. This is appalling given the fact pattern that it’s gone so far. Sending her strength.
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SW11PARENT
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby SW11PARENT » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:34 am

Juggler wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:16 pm
Legal aid is available for some, but not all, criminal matters. Eligibility depends on a number of factors, including the person's means and how serious the case is. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-wh ... d#overview

Your friend should try to see a solicitor who does criminal legal aid work to see whether or not she qualifies.

Thank you I'll explore this
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SW11PARENT
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby SW11PARENT » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:37 am

ellesmum wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:22 am
I can completely empathise. Her story is by no means unique, unfortunately, and a friend is going through something very similar with her ex husband, albeit in Northern Ireland rather than London.
Has your friend been in contact with her MP? That is a good place to start, as they can put complaints into authorities who are failing to do their jobs properly. I have found my MP (Justine Greening) very helpful in relation to some domestic abuse issues I was/am having.
There is also a One Stop Shop on Monday mornings at St Mark's Church on Battersea Rise, where she can speak to a solicitor, police, social workers, and Victim Support workers all under one roof, which is really useful as it doesn't seem that they are seeing the bigger picture at the moment. Again, I found the One Stop Shop very useful.
In relation to the children, it sounds as though it is a case of abusive Parental Alienation. Whilst some parents, like myself, restrict or prevent access of the other parent to their child out of genuine concern for the child's welfare, there are others who use alienation as a way to continue their abuse. My friend has recently had the involvement of a specialist called Dr Spooner to assess her, her ex, and the children to prove this form of abuse. Like your friend, she hasn't seen 3 of her 4 children for 18 months. Only the youngest currently has contact, which has gradually been increasing.
It really seems absurd that the authorities are completely oblivious to this kind of abuse. Coercive control is an absolutely horrific form of abuse. I am "lucky" that money seems to be my ex's primary concern, so he has shown no interest in pursuing contact with his daughter through the courts, just ensuring that I have access to the absolute minimum financial support he can possibly give, but he put me through far worse when he lived under the same roof. To be honest, with that type of abuse, with no physical marks to show as proof, it just makes you sound crazy and neurotic when you try to explain it to the authorities. I found the police, in particular, incredibly unhelpful, as the male police officer who was sent to speak to me (after I had specifically requested a female) was not trained in cases of domestic abuse, and even admitted that he sometimes pressured and coerced his partner into physical relations against her will - "It's just what we do". Hardly a surprise that so few are convicted of coercive control. The effect it has on your mental health is horrific, though, so also get your friend to seek psychological support. If she falls under Wandsworth Council, they have a great group course called HALT which really helps you get your head around what has happened, and provide support.
I am sorry I can't offer more help. The only other thing I can possibly think of is Rights of Women, who are incredibly hard to get hold of (it took me 150 ish redial attempts to get through to them), or possibly contacting local law schools to see whether they have students who work pro bono. Citizens Advice may also be able to offer some advice.
Good luck to your friend. I hope the judge will be sensible enough to see through this abuser, and ultimately tears into those who allowed it to get to court in the first place. It seems a complete travesty that genuine abuse victims rarely get their day in court, yet abusers seem to be able to manipulate them to do their bidding. It is truly awful.
I am sorry to hear of your struggles and your friend in NI too. You're right about the insidious side of co-ercive control and how it is difficult to prove as there are no broken bones, just a broken spirit which is far more difficult to mend.  Thank you very much indeed for the tips though. Very helpful.
 
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SW11PARENT
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby SW11PARENT » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:43 am

loigal wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:09 am
Classic tactic of abusers to frame themselves as victims and use the courts. What language does she speak? Could southall black sisters help? Also contact Rachel horman DV expert solicitor she will sign post you. Call rights for women and centre for women’s justice. This is appalling given the fact pattern that it’s gone so far. Sending her strength.
Thanks for taking the time to make suggestions, much appreciated.
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Lovingsleep
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby Lovingsleep » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:31 pm

If she can get any of her kids to complain to any teacher or the safeguarding head of their school ( every school has one) and the complaints are significant, the school has a duty to report it to social services and they will have to investigate him. Could she ask the kids to do this or speak to the safeguarding lead yourself? Check your schools child protection policy online. Hope it works out for them all.
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ParentSW11
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby ParentSW11 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:55 pm

Thank you for the suggestion Lovingsleep. The problem is that the kids are scared of dad😢
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Gladioli
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby Gladioli » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:51 pm

I'm sorry your fried is in such a terrible situation.  I don't have anything more to add except that I think the Wandsworth One Stop Shop has moved to Battersea Arts Centre. It is still open on Mondays from 10am to 12.30pm and the phone number is 07884 340117.  Wandsworth Council's DV and Abuse leaflet can be downloaded here https://thrive.wandsworth.gov.uk/kb5/wa ... I5Dy81W188   
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ParentSW11
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Re: INNOCENT MOTHER OF 3 FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FROM ABUSIVE HUSBAND

Postby ParentSW11 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:20 am

Thank you Gladioli that’s helpful to know.
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