Many people assume that leaving the relationship will end the abuse, however we know that domestic abuse often continues after the relationship has ended.
In some cases it can escalate.
Most domestic murders occur in the first 6 months of the relationship ending, making this the most dangerous time for anyone trying to escape an abusive relationship.
Support from a specialist domestic abuse support service can help to keep you safe and ensure that you plan to leave in the safest way possible.
Some people can break from the relationship and start a new life without interference from their ex-partner. However, for some people, particularly when there are children involved, it can take many years.
The decision to end the relationship can intensify the focus of the abuser, they risk losing control completely and may resort to extreme or persistent behaviours to try and regain control. This may involve emotional manipulation, begging for forgiveness, showering you with gifts and compliments, or promising to change their ways. This behaviour may manifest in stalking and harassment. Popular culture often prizes men who ‘don’t give up’ on relationships and pursue their ‘love interest’ relentlessly, this is often a sign of abusive behaviour and can be stifling and scary for the victim or survivor.
The behaviour may also be violent or aggressive with threats and attempts to terrify you to make you feel that it could be safer to be in the relationship than to try to leave. They may also threaten family members or friends, turn up at your place of work or education and make a scene.
When there are children involved, perpetrators may use them to maintain control or even to ‘punish’ their ex-partner. This may involve repeated applications to court for contact arrangements or enforcement of orders, however they may show little interest in maintaining contact once orders have been made or even mistreat or endanger the children during court ordered contact.
Domestic Abuse is a factor in over 70% of cases in Family Court. IDAS have developed a dedicated Family Court website to assist people affected by domestic abuse with understanding and navigating complex proceedings. The website also explains protective orders which can order someone not to contact you or come near you.
Listen to a Survivor's story of Post-Separation Abuse
A survivor supported by IDAS shares their story of domestic abuse and post-separation abuse.
Listen to the podcast
Claire Throssell, speaks to Carmel Offord at IDAS about the progress of the Domestic Abuse Bill, the calls for reform to the Family Court and the IDAS Report into the Family Court.
In this podcast, Claire talks about how her abusive ex partner killed her children. Some people may find the content of the discussion distressing. (Interview starts at 0.45 seconds)