Working after being a victim of domestic abuse.

Firstly I want to say that I don’t see myself as a victim although my training shows that I am. I’m sure I’ve never directly stated where I work or what I do on here. I find people make judgements and this is something I would rather avoid. I posted a while ago about my ex husband being charged with a domestic offence against me and the months after. What I don’t think I mentioned was that I worked in the Social Work Team dealing with Criminal Justice reports and more recently managing a case load.

Over the past few months I have been considering how appropriate it is for me to work in this area following the charge against my ex husband. My working role includes writing reports for people who have been convicted of a domestic offence against their partner or former partner. More recently my role has also managed domestic offenders and completing work with them to reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

We were sent an email at work a few months ago to nominate ourselves for domestic abuse awareness training in relation to writing the reports. The email said it was compulsory and so I chose a date and sent it away. During the morning of the training a previous manager caught my eye and signed to me that I should leave if I needed to. She had supported me through the offence going to court and realised before I did that this course was going to have a negative impact on me. I sat through the morning session and realised that I was taking little in and slowly withdrawing. I didn’t want to be part of this training and I wanted a way to escape. So I took notes, lots of notes about the course. When we were asked to do group work, I said little. I realised at that time that I needed to change where I work and quickly.

At the morning coffee break the manager came to sit with me and said she was sorry I should have never been asked to come on this training. And then I explained to her that today was also the day that my ex is back in court for sentencing. She took one look at me and told me that I shouldn’t be there and to go back to the office and work. The relief was instant. But on the drive back I realised that what had been difficult about this was that I had been abused in other ways psychologically and I had never realised it. That’s what was effecting me the most.

I hate that my ex husband has done this to me. I wanted to work in Criminal Justice and now I cant even face the work that I trained to do. I realised during the morning session that I could no longer do this and I need to change the sector that I work in. In the next few days an application should be submitted for me to transfer to a different department and hopefully I will get a transfer quickly.

The call to tell me what happened in court didn’t come through until 4.30pm. He was admonished for the domestic and fined for the driving offence. I have to say this makes me question my work further. What is the point in writing reports for the court if they make up their own minds anyway and drag people through court for there to be no real repercussions. 



First contact after 6 months.

So arranging the contact wasn’t stress free. But I did what I thought was best for the boys and that is to have contact with their dad. I’m not sure when my ex and his family will realise they can’t just get what they want whenever they want it. Even although bail conditions are lifted for some reason his mum was still the one messaging. It took a few hours but it was slowly arranged. 

The night before my anxiety levels increased and I lay awake thinking how good or bad the handover with the kids could go. 

The day the kids were to be dropped off we had swimming lessons and then a party. As expected the boys didn’t want to leave the party and since it was in someone’s house we stayed most of the afternoon. I had to persuade them to leave and felt my anxiety rising. I had to see and have contact with my ex after having no contact for 6 months.

So I text to say when we were free and went to the neutral meeting point. That’s when I realised I was angry. Angry that he hadn’t even bothered to reply saying the time was okay when he had asked for me to let him know if we were ready early so he could do something (it was a secret what). Very little was said to each other and the boys went away happy. 

But I was left with a torrent of emotions that I’m only starting to think about and understand. I was surprised how angry I felt. The sheriff did this to me, she allowed contact again. She made my eyesight get worse (MS symptom) as my stress and anxiety gets worse. 

He brought his new girlfriend (to be fair I also had my partner for safety). I felt confused that I felt nothing about seeing this girl. She’s an idiot, she’s stood by him after going through court with his wife as his victim. She listened to my partner give evidence about what happened that night. She’s got a child who she should be protecting. she’s stupid as it will be her next. But that’s on her not me. 

The meeting was over in minutes and I couldn’t even look at him. I felt sick knowing that he still didn’t think he has done anything wrong. But then that means he probably hasn’t learnt from his behaviour. So it will probably happen again. But next time will it be worse?

The kids both told me that they didn’t want to go and then changed their mind at the last minute. This is more confusing I don’t know what they are really thinking and what they might be saying as they think it’s what I want to hear.

Still waiting real results

So court was called again. And none of us expected what happened. Court sentencing was deferred for 3 months for good behaviour and to consider a non harassment order to be put in place. 

I’ve been working with people from a local group equivalent to women’s aid. And even they have never seen anything like this before. All my anxiety and fear has came back that I was slowly getting over. 

Initially there was shock and anger that the sheriff had done this. But as I speak to professionals and take some time to reflect I realise that this could be exactly  what I need. Contact is being reestablished in a safer way. While the court are still watching him. And if over the next 3 months he can’t keep his temper then it will be worse for him at court and hopefully he will finally realise he can’t treat me like this.

Court results due

So the day is finally here, he’s been found guilty and he’s going to be sentenced. I’ve been really busy at work recently and I got a call quite early from my Mum to say that court had been deferred again and she didn’t know why.

I started to make some calls to find out what was going on. It turned out the sheriff/judge who heard the trial had been called into another case. So now it’s another week until we find out what he’ll be sentenced. 

Kids being collected after court.

Every week my exes mum has been collecting the boys. Last weekend his sister was visiting so she took a turn, I gave her a load of things that belong to my ex that I found and also all the photo albums. I felt that it’s been unfair he got to start afresh, took his stuff with him and I’m left sorting out the joint stuff. I have photo albums from holidays and our wedding. What am I meant to do with them? So I decided that it was his turn to make a decision. I gave them all to his sister to give to him.

The morning after court his mum was picking up the boys again. This time someone was with her, I could see the passenger door open but not who was inside. It was his brother! They have now all had a turn at coming to my house. This must be further manipulation or control on their part and I’m getting fed up with it! But then his brother gave me my bag back with the photo album in it and said his brother doesn’t want them. So still I’ve to decide what to do!

I wanted to walk over to the bin and put them straight in, but I thought I’d be the bigger person and not do that. There was a chat with his mum who admitted my ex had been suspended during the court case and may loose his job now that he was found guilty. I could see the hurt in her. But they don’t believe what he’s put me through and that this was escalating out of our control, I had no choice but to phone the police. And it was his actions not mine, how can I be blamed for any of it.

I was surprised that when all of this happened I felt nothing. It felt like I was being told something sad about a stranger.

The court day is here!

I’ve been waiting for this day, finally some closure to the end of this horrible experience. I’ve blogged about the incident here.

I took a day off work as I suspect I will be distracted and not be able to focus. Surprisingly I was OK in the morning until my Mum text around 10am to say she was at court for the outcome and his family had traveled to support him. I’m not sure why this got to me so much but that was me. I couldn’t concentrate and was dreading everything that was going to happen that day and the repercussions.

The next I heard was at 10.30, court still hadn’t started. I was getting worse and the next few hours were awful. I had to give up doing any work at home, I couldn’t concentrate. Around 1pm my partner text me to ask if I had heard anything and that since court would stop for lunch we had some respite for an hour.

Then my mum called, court had stopped for lunch and would be going back at 3.30, but it was going well (for me). I got a brief update where my ex had tripped himself up several times saying it did happen then it didn’t. He also did things that I think probably incriminated him more. I started to relax and feel better. I finished the work I had to do off and picked up the kids.

About 4pm my mum called, it was over. He was proven guilty. What a relief, bail conditions remain in place for just under another 4 weeks and then he will be sentenced. I think the court is considering putting a non harassment order in place too, this could help until things have settled down now. But just now it’s just a relief.

The night before court.

I’m surprised at myself at times through the last few weeks. My stomach had lurched when something relates to the court case, something on TV about domestic cases or just thinking it will be over soon.

I can’t describe how thankful I am that this is nearly over. But I wasn’t expecting the nerves that I’ve felt today. All day my stomach feels like its been doing somersaults at the thought of this being over tomorrow. I’m hopeful it’s finished and hoping to finally get an answer. But there is some dread there too. What will he do when the outcome is given or more realistically how does it effect me. Will he hound me once again or will things finally get better.