Ready to leave, but scared for many reasons.

Cassandra - posted on 12/22/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi ladies,
I am new. I wanted to reach out for support/ advice. I recently went to the local women's shelter to speak to a legal advocate. Just walking into the place, I became over emotional and started crying as soon as the receptionist asked what I needed. It is all I to do these days is cry. Its the feeling of finally coming to terms with the fact that I am in a domestic violent relationship and I do not want this for me or my 2 year old daughter. I talked with the legal advocate which was actually disappointing. She couldn't give me any legal advice, and proceeded to give me the same info that I found on the web, she sounded very biased and talked a lot about guys who drink and do drugs, which he does neither. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years. we have a 2 year old daughter together. He has thrown things at me, punched and kicked holes in the walls to our apartments we have lived in. he has gotten physical a handful of times, left bruises twice that I did not get pictures of. I was naïve and thought that I could change him, then I new I couldn't. I thought becoming a father would change him. but it hasn't. My daughter has now witnessed all our fights and arguments and physical altercations. I recently told him how I was feeling, he became very manipulative and kept telling me I was a liar, and that I am the deceitful one, that I will be destroying our family, and that if he had known this was going to happen he would have rather of gotten an abortion when I was pregnant. My emotions are all over the place. I know I am ready to leave, but not financially able to, and I would like to get custody of my daughter. I'm stuck, and I am staying because I have fear holding me back. Fear of what he will do to me or my daughter, and fear of everything that is to come. Just hoping that I can find the courage before anything really bad happens.

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Raye - posted on 12/22/2015

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If you have a lot of credit card debt, you might think about filing bankruptcy. It will stay on your record for 7-10 years, but honestly, that may be the best thing to get you in a better financial position. I did it at one point in my life, and it was the best choice I could have made at the time. I have learned from it, and I have good credit now. Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area to find out if it would make sense for you.

You should not worry about messing up his life with DV charges.... you're not messing it up... HE IS! He should learn that there are consequences to his choices and actions. I know that you feel bad for him or whatever, but that's not your place. Your place is to get you and your child safe and secure... physically, financially and emotionally.

Raye - posted on 12/22/2015

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Many other women have been in your position, and come out on top. You can too. Do you have any family that could help you get on your feet? Do you have a job?

First, you need to get out of that environment. Once you have somewhere else to stay, you will need to file for custody through the court. Be prepared for the fact that the father will most likely be granted some kind of visitation (whether or not he chooses to actually visit the child will be up to him). Don't let him manipulate you. After you're away from him, keep all conversation only about the child. Ignore everything else. If he gets physical toward you or the child, file a police report. If any marks are visible go to the doctor and have photos taken. Provide the court with any hard evidence such as police reports, photos of abuse, texts where he threatens you, etc. You may not like what he's done to you, but if it's all been aimed at you (not the child) then that is no indication of how he will be as a father. If you have enough evidence to cause the judge to have concern for the well-being of the child, then visitation may be ordered to be supervised.

Also, file for child support. If you will need government assistance for living expenses, they will want you to have already filed for child support, so just go ahead and do that. It is not "getting back at" your BF or anything like that to file for child support. He is financially responsible for helping to raise his child whether he wants to or not. It's the child's right. Keep in mind what's best for the child, and try not to focus on your own personal emotions over the situation.

Sarah - posted on 12/22/2015

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Did you go to women's homeless shelter or a crisis center? A crisis center will have the services to help you make a safe escape and provide a haven for you and your child while you petition for emergency custody and a temporary restraining order. You don't need much more than your sworn word that what you are saying is truthful to get both temporary restraining and temporary custody. However, that is only temporary and within a month there will be a hearing to determine whether or not he is a danger to you and to your child. If, at that hearing you are granted an order of protection, it may or may not include your child. If it does not he will be granted some sort of contact with his child. You must comply with that order as does he. Do you have any police reports or medical documents of your assaults? Has he ever hit your child or given you reason to believe he would hurt her? The more objective evidence you have, photos, police reports, recorded conversations, texts or voicemail, the better chance you have of being awarded the restraining order and physical custody of you daughter. Usually a crisis center has staff that will help you find employment, file for divorce and child support and find housing. There are many resources for battered and abused women, it is a matter of tapping in and using them.

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Cassandra - posted on 12/22/2015

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Raye- Thank you for responding as well. I have a great job, that pays well. but i have racked up so much debt with my BF that its almost impossible to live off of what i make. I do not have family where i live, they would take me in a heartbeat if they knew what was going on. i also have no friends. i have become pretty isolated. i am lucky that he works night and i work days. so it would be easy to just leave when he is at work. but that brings up where would i go. the women's shelter has been full whenever i have called. He has never been physical with our daughter that i know of. only with me, and i have no evidence of physical harm on me. i have pictures of the holes he has put in the walls. but i don't know if that would be enough at this point. He is a very smart guys, and is very manipulative and puts all blame on me and says his intentions are always for the best of our family. he would become a living nightmare once I left.... my hardest obstical is leaving, and where to go. If i were to go home it is out of state, and i would have to file for custody in the state i live and that will become costly as well.

Cassandra - posted on 12/22/2015

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Thank you sarah for you response. I went to the women's crisis. unfortunately its under staffed and they only have so many beds available. I called one day to see if i could get in but they are full, and i would have to call each day to see if there is an opening. unfortunately that wouldn't work if i were to leave unexpectedly and i don't have family where i live...and i also have no friends here as well. ive become pretty isolated. So leaving would leave me alone and probably sleeping in my car with a 2 year old. it doesn't sound appealing. i want to be ready, and i guess putting up with abuse i have been dealing with for 5 years for a couple more months... its a tug of war. the advocate did give me a couple resources that i didn't have. but i am seeking legal advice as well, because i want all my bases covered. even though i am ready to leave. i still care for him, and i still don't want him to get into trouble and mess up his life with DV charges....but seems like that is the only way some times to get away and for him to be held accountable.

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