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Every mother’s nightmare
Survivor stories

Every mother's nightmare

He had always told me that if I ever left him he would take the children.
Every Mother's Nightmare

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Nobody was interested in listening to me except IDAS, not really listening anyway. Nobody else could explain to me, help me understand what had happened and genuinely understood what had happened except IDAS. 

I lived for years in a domestically abusive marriage and I tried to get out many times but my children were used as leverage. Held over me as a means of control. Their security, their education, their home and their futures. I stayed to save them from those threats and I did save one of them, but I lost the other.

I eventually got out because I didn’t think we could survive any longer and my elder child had just finished his A levels. My younger child was not at a critical stage of education in the same sense and I judged, on balance, that it was time to get out than to remain, I knew neither option would be easy. But I had no idea of the lengths to which perpetrators will go in a post separation situation. No idea at all. I obtained a non molestation order and that triggered another onslaught of psychological and emotional abuse on a scale I had never experienced before.

We documented everything. I spoke to IDAS regularly. My husband had gaslit us all but by the time I got out my elder child and I saw this. But the younger one tragically, fell into the trap. My husband fabricated allegations of child abuse and despite his history of substance abuse and instability, my long record of IDAS support, credible and reliable testimony from school, family and friends, he was believed and I was not.

He had always told me that if I ever left him he would take the children. The elder child was wise to it but the younger child was lost and confused and was taken away from me. There was no evidence and all allegations were subsequently retracted but the local authority never reappraised their position. It is every mother’s nightmare.

I spent more than two years in court proceedings but family law is riddled with holes. It talks a good fight but when it comes to actual practical protection from abuse it failed me miserably and it failed both my children.

Nobody will stand up to the local authority’s decisions and they are based on inadequate training and knowledge and no expertise in these areas yet the courts listen to them. Parental alienation is a destructive form of post separation abuse that very few understand and even fewer can fight. My child was not murdered but I have lost a child nonetheless. Suffocated and buried underneath so many lies, truth is indistinct from fiction. Living with Dad my younger child’s life is going in a downward spiral of increasing dysfunction and nobody with power to do anything will grasp the nettle. Nobody questions what the real problem is.

My elder child and I have lives now that are free from many forms of abuse that we previously lived with daily and we are undoubtedly happier for that, but the loss of a sibling, of a child, when the person has not died, is a grief that never ends. It has changed us and will leave an indelible mark that will run through the rest of our lives. The damage that perpetrators are allowed to inflict is hard to believe and without support of organisations such as IDAS victims literally struggle to survive.

It’s encouraging to see legislation being championed and awareness increasing but it is frustratingly slow. My elder child and I live with the hope that one day we may reconnect with our lost soul and in the meantime we pray for the younger child to be safe, we never give up through the courts and we support the campaign and support IDAS.

Please support them too, so they can continue to help people who need them. There is a great deal of violence taking place behind the exterior of people’s lives. That must be challenged and victims need to be supported.

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