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  • FIRST POST
    • swingaloo
    • By swingaloo 16th Apr 19, 11:02 PM
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    swingaloo
    Is there any help she could claim?
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:02 PM
    Is there any help she could claim? 16th Apr 19 at 11:02 PM
    My sister is living in the most awful marriage. Her husband is abusive, controlling and makes her life hell.

    Some years ago she was distanced from the rest of the family when they bought a business 300 miles away. The business is not doing well now due to to a number of factors. The town is dying and business is slow. They are both approaching retirement and are trying to sell the business but due to the fact that her husband has been basically cooking the books for some time the 'official' figures show they are almost running at a loss which is not going to help sell the business. They live in a flat above the business.

    From day one her husband has had control of everything. He controls every penny spent and she has no personal money of her own at all. She has worked in the business equally to him but she is given nothing but 'food money' each week and has to show receipts for everything she buys.


    I didn't realise just how bad things were until I spent a few days with her last week and saw the life she is leading. If they visit back home for a family wedding or funeral then he puts on this front and is pleasant to people but at home he will shout, yell and scream at her one minute then completely blank her with silence for days. He constantly picks at her and makes a drama out of everything from the way she has washed up to her leaving a light on by accident.

    She is desperate to leave and has been wanting to for a while but has never been able to pluck up the courage. She has a major health problem and should not be working but carries on as if she didn't work the business would not take enough to pay bills as her husband has a very abrupt rude manner with customers and many of them will not go in if they see him behind the bar.

    She has a serious health issue and has already exceeded her life expectancy but her condition is worsening and there is not a lot more that can be done to help.


    She has no income at all and at the age of 62 she is in the trap that with her age and health, if she were to walk out she would be unlikely to get a job and she only gets her pension at 66.


    Having been self employed she doesn't think she would be able to claim any benefits and even though she has a serious life limiting condition she does not qualify for PIP as she is capable of cooking, washing etc and even though she is extremely breathless and struggles walking she does not meet the criteria for the descriptors.

    It just seems there is no way out for her, he wont give her a penny, she cant support herself, she cant get her pension or qualify for any benefit we know of so seems stuck.

    She knows she should have been brave enough to walk away years ago but she wasn't brave enough. Now she is saying things like she cant stand the thought of living in this situation for whatever time she has left and that she would rather be dead than carry on like she is.

    She spoke to him about what would happen if they sell the business and they are both retired, she said she would like him to give her a small amount of 'personal money' each month just so she could have a stroll round the shops or go for a coffee. His answer was that it 'Would not be necessary as he will be able to go food shopping with her when they retire and she needs nothing else'.


    Ive tried to get her to move back near us as Im worried to death that one day he is going to go to far. She is too ill to be treated as he treats her. He knows how ill she is of course but instead of trying to support her he blames her for not being able to do more. We don't have room to have her live with us or we would gladly do so but if she was nearer then we would be there to support her but without any form of income she is just unable to leave him.


    Im just so worried about her and don't know how to help so just wondered if there was any advice out there. Thanks for reading if you have got this far.
Page 1
    • pollyanna 26
    • By pollyanna 26 16th Apr 19, 11:16 PM
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    pollyanna 26
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:16 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:16 PM
    Women's aid have an excellent website for those suffering domestic abuse. Lots of information and online advice if required.

    polly
    • mattpaint
    • By mattpaint 16th Apr 19, 11:39 PM
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    mattpaint
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:39 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:39 PM
    Women's Aid will help, as stated above.

    I have to say - in your position, I would make room for my sister to live with me. I couldn't live with the guilt if I didn't.
    • swingaloo
    • By swingaloo 16th Apr 19, 11:47 PM
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    swingaloo
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:47 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:47 PM
    Thank you for the replies and I will get her to look at contacting womens aid.

    I would dearly love to be able to have her with me but we recently moved to a one bed flat in sheltered housing as my husband is disabled. We have even discussed moving to a place with a spare room but simply cannot afford to move again either financially nor for my husbands health.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 17th Apr 19, 7:38 AM
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    Pollycat
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 19, 7:38 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 19, 7:38 AM
    If you really don't have room for your sister to stay, please don't feel guilty.



    https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
    • -taff
    • By -taff 17th Apr 19, 8:32 AM
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    -taff
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 19, 8:32 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 19, 8:32 AM
    Get her to apply for the PIP again and use the CAB for help in filling it in because the descriptors fail to mention that you must be able to do the activities safely and repeatedly, which she can't do if she becomes breathless...
    • pollyanna 26
    • By pollyanna 26 17th Apr 19, 9:18 AM
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    pollyanna 26
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 19, 9:18 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 19, 9:18 AM
    Get her to apply for the PIP again and use the CAB for help in filling it in because the descriptors fail to mention that you must be able to do the activities safely and repeatedly, which she can't do if she becomes breathless...
    Originally posted by -taff
    To add to this full descriptors for PIP are Reliably . In a timely fashion (Less than twice the time it would take for an individual without any impairment) Repeatedly and Safely.


    You could best help your sister by doing online research for her. Women's Aid , The benefits board on here where there are some knowledgeable and helpful people and other online sites can offer clear information .


    Years ago I was in an abusive marriage , much younger than your sister and women's aid etc meant either writing letters or lengthy phone calls . The biggest fear is that the husband or partner will find out what you're planning. Unlike your sister the house was in my name only as were all utility bills. It came a shock for my husband to be summoned to court and served with an injunction to leave. He broke it twice which led to an injunction to move at least 20miles away and there was an enduring power of arrest attached.


    You can take a great deal of fear off your sisters shoulders if you do the research. There's quite a backlog at the moment processing pip claims in certain areas so it gives time to really get proper advice. It sounds as though she will need support at an assessment and with enough notice it's possible cab may be able to send someone with her or advise her on other forms of support.


    Tell her it's possible to survive and thrive after abuse however unlikely it may seem at the moment.
    Sorry for the long post.
    polly
    • swingaloo
    • By swingaloo 17th Apr 19, 9:57 AM
    • 1,986 Posts
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    swingaloo
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 19, 9:57 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 19, 9:57 AM
    Thank you very much for the replies. I have already started doing research for her and Im going back down to see her next month so I hope to be armed with enough to really help.


    I left my husband who was very controlling 20 years ago and have never looked back although it was a terrible time when I left but I was in a better position than her. I had a good job and could afford to rent a flat.

    I know a lot that is keeping her there is fear but there comes a time you have to just jump ship no matter how frightening. Each time I go to see her she cries when I leave and her health issues relate to the heart I always drive away hoping it wont be the last time I see her.

    She keeps saying that she is living on borrowed time and she fluctuates between 'Its too late to leave now anyway' and 'I want to have peace in the time I have left'. She often says she is more scared of living like this than dying and it really upsets me to hear it. How she copes with the pressure he puts on her I will never know.

    She is terrified of what he will do if she leaves but Im going to get her as much advice as I can and then if she is brave enough to do a runner she can stay on our settee till we can sort something out. I just hope she can find the courage.
    The sad thing is that she has been living with it for years, she couldn't have children because of her heart condition. She was told at 25 when she had the first heart attack that she would not be able to carry children. Instead of helping her through it he told her that she 'Had taken his dream away as she was not a proper woman'.

    How she has stood it all these years I don't know, he goes from Jekyll to Hyde in a second and has an explosive temper which we have all seen.
    I know how hard it is to be brave enough to walk away but I just hope she can do it.
    • pollyanna 26
    • By pollyanna 26 17th Apr 19, 10:51 AM
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    pollyanna 26
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 19, 10:51 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 19, 10:51 AM
    Reading back through your posts you do not mention physical abuse. Obviously verbal abuse and controlling behaviour will have a physical effect on a woman in poor health. Nowadays unlike in past times mental abuse is treated as seriously as physical abuse.


    Although you say he was cooking the books was she paying for a NI stamp during the time she was self employed in the business? That can open the door to suitable benefits.


    Her situation is different to mine in that it was physical and mental abuse. I had a supportive gp and the local police working along with me. Has she ever discussed the situation with her doctor? A good doctor can point her towards help and support.


    It is very much her choice whether to leave . I hope with the right advice and looking what may be possible regarding financial matters to provide an income she will take that bed on your sofa until things are sorted . Tell her if he comes looking for her a call to the police will send him on his way. They run out of patience with those who don't get the message and escalate matters to injunctions etc.
    polly
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