Disabled father and autistic son fleeing from abuse

Hi all. I am a disabled person who is confined to a wheelchair. My son is autistic and on the 8th of November I had to go to the local council and tell them that we were going to be homeless for fear of returning to the abuser we had been living with. She was physically, financially, emotionally abuser and she was neglecting my medical needs via medication. I am just scared as to what we are having to do to deal with it. We have been placed in temporary accommodation that is day to day and have been told that we will be getting a temporary flat that is unfurnished we will have to move into the day it’s available. We have put claims in for benefits and we have more to sort with regards to the benefits over the coming days. I just don’t know what to do with the emotional side of things for both my son and I. We have had no advice about this other than maybe we should have reported it to the police. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring but my son has questions and I have no answers for him. I feel like I have failed him by putting us in this situation with no plans for the future.

My ex partner had full financial control and my son and I were not treated like the rest of the family (ex and her children) we would be given scraps of food or the cheapest thing that she could give us. My son was not allowed bulbs in his bedroom as electric is so expensive. I would not get my medication and would be left in pain plus she would hit me and throw things at me for asking about them.

Because we left as we had to get away from the abuse we don’t have anything for a unfinished flat. No savings as she controlled the money and it’s scary that staying with her seems like what I should have been doing. I feel that I have failed my son by putting us in the situation we’re in right now. My head is just spinning and I don’t know what to do.

Any advice would be a great help

Replies

  • kazwookiekazwookie Forumite
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    Hi all. I am a disabled person who is confined to a wheelchair. My son is autistic and on the 8th of November I had to go to the local council and tell them that we were going to be homeless for fear of returning to the abuser we had been living with. She was physically, financially, emotionally abuser and she was neglecting my medical needs via medication. I am just scared as to what we are having to do to deal with it. We have been placed in temporary accommodation that is day to day and have been told that we will be getting a temporary flat that is unfurnished we will have to move into the day it’s available. We have put claims in for benefits and we have more to sort with regards to the benefits over the coming days. I just don’t know what to do with the emotional side of things for both my son and I. We have had no advice about this other than maybe we should have reported it to the police. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring but my son has questions and I have no answers for him. I feel like I have failed him by putting us in this situation with no plans for the future.

    My ex partner had full financial control and my son and I were not treated like the rest of the family (ex and her children) we would be given scraps of food or the cheapest thing that she could give us. My son was not allowed bulbs in his bedroom as electric is so expensive. I would not get my medication and would be left in pain plus she would hit me and throw things at me for asking about them.

    Because we left as we had to get away from the abuse we don’t have anything for a unfinished flat. No savings as she controlled the money and it’s scary that staying with her seems like what I should have been doing. I feel that I have failed my son by putting us in the situation we’re in right now. My head is just spinning and I don’t know what to do.

    Any advice would be a great help


    You need to report this to the police.
    :) Sun, Sea :)

  • As she owns the house we were in with her it’s her house and her rules the police would not be able to do anything
  • edited 15 November 2019 at 9:55PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 15 November 2019 at 9:55PM
    This is a safeguarding concern. Are the local authority adult social care department aware? If not, I would suggest contacting them.
    Many areas have charities who can help with furniture etc for people setting up from scratch. Also local freegle or Facebook groups are giving furniture and white goods away.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • No ideas on what the safeguard is but I will look into that on Monday morning thank you for that advice
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    If you and/or your son have care and support needs, they should reassess these in light of your changed circumstances and consider how these could best be met.
    They can't find you a house or help financially but they should know where and how you can access different types of help.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • easyeasy Forumite
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    As she owns the house we were in with her it’s her house and her rules the police would not be able to do anything

    Forestfanstill regardless of her owning the house, the police should look into this seriously. If you ex has hit you, denied you access to medication and kept your son without light or adequate food she has committed criminal offences, that is a police matter.
    Firstly, are you safe where you are? If there is any danger that your ex may look to find you and punish you in any way then go to/ring the police today and report the matter, and tell them that you are effectively homeless.
    At the very least they should put you in touch with social services.

    If you don't want to go to the police for any reason then I have found this :
    The free National Helpline for domestic abuse is 0808 2000 247 and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    I don't know for certain, but they may be able to get you help with somewhere to live, furniture etc.

    Please, please report your ex, please use all the channels to get the help you need.
    Good luck to you both
    I try not to get too stressed out on the forum. I won't argue, i'll just leave a thread if you don't like what I say. :)
  • @forestfanstill, I don't have much to add to what's already been said, except perhaps to mention Freecycle for furnishings etc. But I do want to say you have done well in taking your son (and yourself!) away from the abusive situation. If he is at school you should let them know the situation, at least in outline. Best wishes for the coming days.
  • LocoLocoLocoLoco Forumite
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    OP, please don't feel you have failed your son by removing him from an abusive situation. You've done absolutely the right thing by keeping him (and yourself) safe and I know very well how hard it is for you right now, but over time things will settle and your new life will start to feel more comfortable.


    I haven't been in exactly the same situation as you but I did have to cut off all contact with my mother and move house several times so that she didn't know where we were. My son is autistic as well and her behaviour was very damaging to both him and to me. Yours and your son's health - mental, emotional and physical - are the most important thing and everything else will come in time. It is very stressful in the meantime so do try to be kind to yourself and keep reminding yourself that you've done the right thing, you're safe and your son is safe and that's what really matters.


    As has already been suggested, there are charities who will set up a house for someone in your situation. It might also be worth contacting a charity like Contact who help people with disabled children, for advice about support for your son and they can help with charities as well - Family Fund, for example, will help a low income family with essentials like a washing machine or bedding for your son (I'll put some links at the bottom). The Autistic Society might be able to advise on ways to help your son understand the situation. I've just explained things to my son as gently as I can when he's asked or a situation has arisen. I kept it very simple and have more or less said that my mum has some naughty behaviours (I phrased it in a way he would understand) and because she won't be good, we won't see her until she starts to behave in a nicer way. It made sense to him and we've never seen her since because her behaviour didn't change and I wasn't prepared to put up with it or teach him that he should, either. There are support groups for men and women who've experienced domestic abuse and I've found those very helpful (I'll put a link below). Try to take it a day at a time, focus on one thing at a time, which I know is difficult when you've dozens of things that all need your attention but try to focus on what's most important right now and do that first. Try to look after yourself, eat regularly, try to get a bit of fresh air if you can, even if it's only sitting next to an open window. Deep breathing and meditation help me, there are lots of apps and videos on YouTube and it might sound a bit daft but it can help calm your system down a bit which helps you to think more clearly. Here's a few links:


    https://contact.org.uk/


    http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/


    https://www.familyfund.org.uk/


    https://www.autism.org.uk/



    You will get through this. I think it's really important to remember that kids learn from what we do, so if you'd stayed with your ex your son would have grown up thinking that sort of behaviour is what he should put up with. You've already shown him he's worth more than that and that on its own is priceless, so you keep reminding yourself you've given him that when you have a wobble. There is help out there; it can be difficult to navigate the system and every organisation is underfunded so it's not always easy to get hold of people but keep going and you'll get there. I wrote everything down in a big notebook; it meant I didn't have to keep referring back to different web pages or finding scraps of paper I'd written things down on. Stuff can become overwhelming if it's all floating in your head at once so write things down and you'll be able to see how much you've achieved. We had a point, years ago now, where I was sitting in the car, crying, because my son was strapped into his car seat next to me and we literally had nowhere to go that night and I had no idea what I was going to do. It's been very hard but my son is a polite, well mannered, happy 17 year old now and it's turned out alright. You'll be okay xx
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    Well done for protecting yourself and your son.

    As others have said, you can and should report the abuse to the police, if she has hit you that is assault, her other actions sound as though they would meet the criteria for coersive and controlling behaviour, which is now also a crime.

    If your son is a minor then her actions towards him may well amount to criminal offences and even if the police don't press charges, but letting them know what happened there will be a redord which may help if she tries to contact either of you again.

    The police should also be able to put you in contact with domestic abuse survivorsgroups nad support services. If you are male, you may find that some of these are more focuessed on women, but they still may be able to help with advice and support, and to point you in the diretion of other resources. Mankind (https://www.mankind.org.uk/ ) is a charity which ocusses specifcally on male victims of domestic abuse - you might find it helpfulto contact them both for advice and forthe reassurance that you are not alone.


    I would alos recommend letting social services know. Although it sounds as though she was not abusive to her other childnre that could change when you and your son are no longer their to be the scapegoats,so reporting it may help ensure that the other childrne stay safe.

    If your son is still a child, then you should be able to apply to get child maintenace from his other parent, to help cover some of his costs. If he is an adult that won't apply.

    Talk to your local social services team or access to support for yourself and your son.

    Does your son have a support worker at school or elsewhere? They may be able to help you access further support for him, including couselling or play therapy if those are appropriate.
    Dpeending on the reason for your being a wheelchair user, it would be worth checking to see whether thre are any charities or support groups which eal with your particualr illness or condition - they may be able to offer local support or even financial help to help you with furniture etc.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • edited 1 December 2019 at 9:47PM
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    edited 1 December 2019 at 9:47PM
    Mensadviceline is very helpful. Well worth trying to give them a ring, they were very understanding with a situation I needed to deal with, no judgements at all.

    I don't know if you can realise it, but saying its a waste of time contacting the police is the voice of an abused person. They do have to listen to the things that have happened to you and your son and they will have to investigate them. Please don't assume it is a waste of time, that's that 'its hopeless, I am lost, there is no help' voice your ex gave you. It sounds like an awful situation, you have totally done the right thing for you and your son. Well done.

    I don't know why you are in a wheelchair, but if there is a condition causing this, try and find a charity that advises on this condition or Scope might be a good start. If nothing else they may be able to give you the names of organisations that will help with your housing application and furniture needs.

    There used to be a Social fund grant you could apply for if on certain benefits, that would give you money for furniture etc. Now its all done by councils and is less money. But ask Housing (repeatedly) if necessary or look on their website for 'help in a crisis'. Or <council name> help with furniture. Its a bit hidden away now but help does exist. I won't be a lot but it will buy some essentials when you need them. When I was in a sticky situation (no charities in the area to help) I went to the Heart Foundation shop, explained I didn't have much money but needed everything, they said they could put together a cheap package of essentials for me and deliver it.

    May I say that although it helps 'prove' you were in a domestic abuse situation if you have called the police, many don't for assorted reasons (like you, think there is no point). The council still have to help you, you are homeless and vulnerable on numerous points. Somewhere like Mensadviceline will help you develop this justifiable point.

    I'm afraid (in my situation) social services safeguarding of vulnerable adults (I referred my son who is in an abusive relationship) didn't help. I did manage to get him to come back home (he was being kept like a prisoner in his gf's family home). They said he was now safe so there was no need for them. Its worth a try, but without high expectations they will do anything useful. They probably will refer you to normal social services resources though, although there will be a waiting list.

    For now, concentrate on the fact that you are out, no reason to be scared by the ex anymore and it will get better I promise you x x x x
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