Weʼre raising £5,000 to Help my mum and sister; victims of Domestic Violence
- Leicester, United Kingdom
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Hello, my name is Abi and I am asking for some help as I don't know what else to do.
I live with my mum and my little sister who is 8 years old. Between 2009 and 2015 all three of us were subjected to physical, emotional and financial abuse from my sister's biological father. He used to beat my mother in our home, lock me into my sisters room when she was a baby and shout at me if she was crying. He used to control all of our lives by taking away our keys, my mum's phone and car keys, my phone and repeatedly force my sister to stop crying. When writing this down it sounds silly and the age old question of 'Why didn't you phone the police or leave him'? is brought up. He had had a number of other women accuse him of domestic violence, he had violence charges against him and had been charged with rape - Looking back now its so frightening to think what could have happened to us and so obvious to see we should have got help sooner.
When I was 17 years old I finally managed to convince my mum to leave him - a battle that took us 6 months due to having no finances and my mum quite clearly being mentally unwell because of the abuse she received. We left on the 28th August 2014 and it will a day forever etched into my memory. Following us leaving, our abuser would follow us, break into our house, and beat my mum and sister whilst I was at work - I was terrified. But the word 'was' is short lived as this is why I am writing now.
It had been almost 3 years since we had heard from our abuser - a time spent mostly happy but with an overbearing fear of his return - something which came in the form of a court order in February 2017.
This is why I ask for help. We have been going through a court battle now since then to prevent my sisters biological father, her abuser, from being able to see her. He has been found guilty of abuse towards all three of us in the family court however the court also said that the domestic violence would have 'only impacted [my] mother mostly as children are not often as victimised by it'. This was decided 5 months ago and, like last time, we have not heard from him since.
My sister is terrified of him, although only 8, she used to have nightmares regularly and wet the bed - something which has restarted due to her being informed by a court worker of the possibility of her seeing her biological father. She is crying at night in fear.
My story comes to this, so far we have spent £23,000 in court fee's out of my savings and we are currently over £5000 in debt. We have no money left. Our solicitor has told us that going back to court in the near future would be good for our case as we could finally prove the excuse of a man he is - he is not bothered about contact with my sister and only about the power he can still have over our family, most importantly my mum shown evidently in his 5 month disappearance. Yet we have no more funds to do this. I have tried everything, but I just don't know what else to do. I work full time and have a part time job at the weekend. My mum also works to pay off the debt but with interest this isn't happening and we have nobody to turn to.
My sister is beautiful, clever, funny, outgoing and so joyous - something I think every sister would say. But having to raise her since she was a baby and look after my mum (who is equally all of those things) I feel I have a stronger connection to her than most sisters get the joy of having.
I ask for your help to fund our final push to stop this man from being allowed contact, being allowed the chance to hurt my mum and control our family, and more importantly, from being allowed to hurt my little sister and simply because I have no other ideas of how to help my mum.
Throughout the time since we have lived away from abuse I have become heavily involved and interested in an amazing charity called 'Womensaid'. I have petitioned the family courts in my area and also helped to encourage young girls at my local school suffering with similar abuse to seek their help by acting as a mentor. I am therefore wanting to also donate half of all of the money to 'Womensaid' so not only can the life of my sister be saved, but the lives of many other children and women who suffer domestic abuse.
Thank you so much for reading this far (if you have). Even if you cannot donate, I would be eternally grateful if you could share or even just talk openly with friends, family, colleges about the impact of domestic abuse and importantly about the fact that children are victims too and that the law needs to recognise this.
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