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Worried about people with an unhappy home life

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#1 ThreeBananas

Posted 01 April 2020 - 01:02 AM

I’m really worried about the people (women and children usually) that are trapped and isolated because of this.
Maybe with nowhere to go as they are isolating from grandparents.
Maybe now money is an issue.
Maybe they were just about to leave but now sh*t has hit the fan and they need to try to keep going. One way or another.
I hope somehow there is someone, somewhere that can Help them...

#2 Chaotic Pogo

Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:46 AM

I've kind of been hoping that, with the increase to JobSeeker and parenting payment from the end of April,  it just might enable a few people to be able to 'get out'.

It is one of the few bright spots in this whole mess - that some of the most disadvantaged have 6 months on more income that will mean so much in terms of what they are able to do.

I don't like how much emphasis the govt is putting on 'funding MH' and just kind of sweeping family violence up with it as if it is the same thing.  (MH is important too, yes)

They really need to fund family violence front line services - but they've been chopped back so far over the years!

#3 blimkybill

Posted 01 April 2020 - 06:05 AM

I worry about this so much too. I worry about the sole parents who find it difficult to manage their kids at the best of times. I worry about it mountain of unseen child abuse and nowhere for mums to go for help or a break.
I can't stop worrying about this at the moment,  because I work with several kids like that and all the family's supports have been taken away.

#4 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 01 April 2020 - 08:23 AM

there was a news report on this on the ABC about a week or two....before the more stringent social distancing rules came into place...a DV councillor saying they’ve had reports of men lying about having coronavirus so they had to isolate with their partner - and hence she couldn’t go out and seek help. horrific.

#5 Staying Strange

Posted 01 April 2020 - 08:55 AM

This is my biggest concern over the next few months. I need to be able to screen my already at risk families for F&DV but need to assume that due to the lockdown all communications (phone calls, telehealth and emails ) are being monitored so can't actually talk freely about it and educate as I screen - which is what I normally do. Additionally, safety planning with non-offending parents and being able to prep to enact that plan (Eg packing a bag) are so much harder when the perpetrating parent is at home and its harder to do this kind of planning when we often take advantage of the times the perpetrator is out of the house to make preparations to enact a safety plan.

It is going to be so much harder for these women to manage and protect their children. Financial abuse will be easier due to the perpetrator being home (so they can do shopping, take money, "manage"money etc), reproductive and sexual abuse will be easier, using children against the mother will be easier - and with offending parents being in the home full time, there will be no respite. It will be easier to use threats, coercion and intimidation against women etc.... and will a reduction in services and school attendance etc, there are less and less people laying eyes on these families, so less opportunity to see what's happening and to provide support.

I'm already making child protection reports due to COVID lockdowns - only I know that an already overwhelmed system is now being inundated with additional reports.

Services will manage somehow, and we'll all do our best. But its a big concern as to how all the families that need help will be identified... let alone be able to access the help they need.

#6 can'tstayaway

Posted 01 April 2020 - 08:58 AM

I worry about this too.

I’ve tried to reach out to someone I know, but I’m aware her messages are checked on, so it has to be generic. I doubt this will cause her to leave yet but I do think about her daily.

Just saw StayingStrange’s post after I posted. What you say is so true re being watched, no respite, no need for the perpetrator to ‘hold back’ when there’s no going out in public, aaarrgghhhhh.  

What do you recommend the best way for friends to support in times like this is?  I’ve taken the path of, she’s been guided to professional help (psychologists) and as a friend, I have been just listening to her (in person) and reminded her that the behaviour isn’t ‘normal’. At times I feel impotent but I know it’s not about me.

Edited by can'tstayaway, 01 April 2020 - 09:11 AM.

#7 Staying Strange

Posted 01 April 2020 - 01:07 PM

View Postcan, on 01 April 2020 - 08:58 AM, said:

What do you recommend the best way for friends to support in times like this is?  I’ve taken the path of, she’s been guided to professional help (psychologists) and as a friend, I have been just listening to her (in person) and reminded her that the behaviour isn’t ‘normal’. At times I feel impotent but I know it’s not about me.

Staying in touch is probably the best thing.

Messages - to check in. "Hope you guys are coping ok" and offer to chat (eg would love to chat is there a good time for you?") but understand that she may not be able to speak freely.

Isolation is a technique used by many perpetrators, so just staying in touch - even via text/email (so she can read in her own time, and reply in her own time) are good.

Keep listening - I have a similar friend. And the best I can do is listen. And validate her emotions/feelings - "that sounds really isolating when he does xyz" or "I can hear how hard that is for you. Is there anything I can do to help you?"

When possible / safe to do so, I do check about her safety plan. So when she talks about her husband doing XYZ again I'll say something like "that sounds really confronting. How did you keep you and DS safe? .... wow I'm impressed you were able to that so quickly."  and praise her efforts for being able to keep her and DS safe as much as she can - acknowledge that she's doing a good job to minimise the hard that is occurring is helpful. She isn't harming the kids after all, and she is also at risk - so it lets her know she's being heard.

But in all honesty. If your friend is engaged with professionals, just keep being her friend. Stay in touch with her. Let her know you're thinking of her. Make offers to help - if/when she wants. Understand that she can't talk to you about everything - she's not lying to you or trying to hide things from you, its just that she's most likely being intimidated and isn't allowed to talk about husband and/or what he does and/or she's embarrassed/ashamed. So be non-judgemental with your language. (use phrases like "I wonder" and "I'm curious" rather than "Why" etc) and just keep being there for her.

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