Disabled father with autistic son fleeing from abuser needs advice — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Disabled father with autistic son fleeing from abuser needs advice

Last Friday my 14 year old son and I went to the council and reported ourselves as homeless due to my partner of 4 years abuse becoming far to much to be made to go through any longer. The council has very kindly placed us in emergency accommodation and help with claiming benefits has been given to us by citizens advice. Within the next week we’re going to be moving from the supported furnished shared facility accommodation and into a unfinished flat that is still going to be classed as temporary accommodation and will not be on any tenancy we can stay long term for. I am being told that we’re not going to be given much time between being given the key and leave this place (same day) is what we have been told. But I am panicking about it as not only do we have not a stick of furniture for the place. We have no funds as abuser was financially controlling me, physically and emotional abuse along with neglect. I have not had any time to deal with the fact I am away from the abuse emotionally as I have been so busy with departments from all agencies needing me to do so much for the claims for benefits and housing plus my son is at school that I am just so all over the place I feel like I am a failure for myself but more important than me I have failed my son. He’s autistic and he needs to know what to expect from one day to the next and I can’t help him. I don’t know what is going to happen and I can’t tell him so he is suffering with me being unable to stop it. I can’t say how I can get us furniture for the next place. I can’t say that we’re going to be okay by his birthday in December or if we will have a Christmas. To me priority the things that I have been sorting but an autistic child is not able to understand it. Maybe we should have just stayed where we were 
«1

Comments

  • hannahbella29
    hannahbella29 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Have you looked on local free sites like gum tree for furniture? I know these are worrying times but the most important thing your son needs is you ? Have you thought about having a carers assessment they can help with pointing you in the direction of certain things like a carers Grant I'm not too sure on the rules I think it's like £350 and I'm also not sure what they allow it to be spent on but may be furniture? Sorry if I haven't been very helpful it's my first time on here but like you I have an autistic son and know their every need comes first so can understand where your coming from I hope someone else comes along soon and is more helpful in directing you ,good luck to you and your son and don't forget to take care of yourself too by the sounds of it you've been through a lot mate
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    Hello @Blakespops

    Have you contacted Shelter or not? They can help you with your housing crisis. Are you seeing a therapist? Regarding furniture, I found this service helpful in the past https://furnituredonationnetwork.org/.
    Or call Salvation Army. Are you a member of a local church? Often you can ask them for help and support too. You are in my prayers tonight! I pray you will be able to access useful support and information. Try asking the National Autism Society for help. 
  • Blakespops
    Blakespops Member Posts: 13 Courageous
    hi hannahbella29 free sites would be a great idea if they were able to deliver. I can’t drive and couldn’t begin to look until after we’re in the unfinished place as this place is unable to store anything big being a hostel.

    for me personally I put up with the abuser but as she was starting on my son and she was becoming worse I had to get him out of there.

    the system for homeless people is great and we’re grateful for the help that we have been given. The same thing with the job centre and CAB advisor who has been helping us with the benefits claim but as for help with the other things that living with and leaving the abuser cause seems to be no help with at all. Emotionally dealing with the abuse towards me was easier to deal with given that I am disabled and as such I am more of a burden than being a help to her. But I couldn’t see her treatment of my son who says that he feels like he is a girl inside be so inferior to the treatment of her own children. She knows that some texture of food my son could not eat and she would deliberately serve him plates of it and make him eat every fork full even if he was sick. If I said anything about it I would be attacked or something would be thrown at me. I am on fentanyl and morphine for the pain I am in and she will withhold my medication and “forget” to order my repeat prescription every month. I would be given £50 a week to pay for my sons food and clothing including his school uniform for a week and she was keeping all the other benefits etc to spend on her own family. She also said that the money she has been giving me was enough to get him his birthday and Christmas gifts (birthday is 18th December) she had total control and even the car I had with motability was only used for us if she had no choice. I had a scan and she called the hospital and told them to change the appointment as it clashes with her yoga. Thankful that the hospital refused and she took me but I had to take her verbal abuse as it was my fault she missed her yoga and it was my selfishness that I would not go on the three busses each way to my appointment. I always found life insurance advertisement leaflet or funeral plans leaflets out of her magazine left on my pillow with her sharpie message of “do the right thing for us all” written on them.

     I understood that having spinal issues and I had had falls that broke my hip make me such a burden rather then a partner or father but I have no control over the medical issues and she was right to say that my son deserves better. That’s why I feel like I have failed him. First of all by letting him be treated as he was and secondly by leaving without a plan of what to do. I have been cooking for him all this past week and we have had some fun times in between the many phone calls and appointments. I am just sorry that I can’t answer his questions about our life or his school given that the abuser has a son the same age as him and at the same school. He won’t be safe there and he likes the teachers. So much turmoil on his shoulders and it’s my fault 
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019
    Hello @Blakespops   Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Sorry to hear what you are going through.

    I am one of the team of community champions. We guide, advise and help members of the community.

    Please may I suggest the following for your son.

    The National Autistic Society.

    Helpline 020 7833 2299

    The following organisations may be of use to you for welfare and anything advice on aspects of assistance or help with those issues such as furniture.

    May help with anything else as well.

    https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk.

    020 7367 4500

    https://www.redcross.org.uk.

    https://www.bhf.org.uk.

    The last one is British Heart Foundation. They have stores all areas.  Selling second hand furniture.

    Also please ask the council for any advice some might offer furniture on a loan basis.

    Please can I add also have my own housing association. 

    https://www.homegroup.org.uk.

    They do help with a lot of loaned out furniture. Might even give you a support worker for you son and help you to deal with what your right now going through.

    Also have SHELTER.

    https://www.shelter.org.uk.

    Helpline 0808 800 4444

    Any other information have ones for finances, money and debt. These will I hope be useful. Something to use

    Money Advice Service.

    https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

    Step change

    https://www.stepchange.org.

    Food banks if you need to know your nearest one.

    The Trussell Trust 

    https://www.trusselltrust.org.

    I also added the following helpline and association to do with abuse and violence towards men.

    Helpline 0808 2000 47.

    Men's Advice Line

    Helpline 0808 801 0327

    I hope that helps you.

    Please if I can help with anything further please ask. Your not alone.

    Please take care your important member of our community.

    @thespiceman






    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Blakespops
    Blakespops Member Posts: 13 Courageous
    Unfortunately the majority of the friends were more her friends than mine. I have blocked her and all her friends from my Facebook and phone to stop the abusive messages. As for the other places that we could go for help I will reach out to them after the weekend because I will do anything for my son and personal pride means nothing and if I had to I would crawl on my belly to get him the peace he deserves. I do and always will put him first second and third before myself or my needs just as any loving parent would. 
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Blakespops:
    Do please try a church for help and support, especially over the weekend -today in particular, as there will be more people around. I've found them a valuable source of support in the past, the clergy and congregation themselves, and a great source of knowledge and information.
    Tell them your needs - I dont know, I'm guessing here for you, but anything from counselling to transporting stuff - they'll either do it or know someone or an organization that will help.
    The C of E is very out there in the community, so please, tell them your story. They'll support you and your son. 
    All Best Wishes to you both.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    Dear @Blakespops - I am so very saddened to read about what you & your son have been through, but pleased you have reached out to us all here, thank you. I hope the resources others have mentioned may help you.
    Undoubtedly the short time ahead may be difficult for you both, but one word you've said resonates with me, 'peace.' You both need this. I can't begin to understand how you've managed, but thank goodness you have; you must be reeling from all you've had to do, & no time to look after yourself.
    I do have a little understanding. The abuser makes you feel guilty, as my son found out for me. Please know you have not ever failed your son; you are giving you both 'peace' in the not so distant future, & you're a wonderful Dad.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    Hi @Blakespops and thank you so much for joining us and reaching out. I can't begin to tell you how much reading about what you and your son have been through has affected me.
    None of this has been your fault and you have done an incredible job taking the step to break free of the abuse and to try and give your son (and hopefully yourself) a better and safer life.

    Would it be very naive of me to assume that you're now in touch with social services? And can I ask what benefits you're now claiming as this will help me work out if there's any support for you in terms of furnishing the flat?
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • Blakespops
    Blakespops Member Posts: 13 Courageous
    Hi thanks again for your answers and best wishes.

    the school my son goes to did a report to social services although we have had no contact with them yet. I have managed to claim housing benefits with severe disability premium and I have a claim for ESA in that I have been told I will get an answer within the next 3 weeks. I have also sent a form for family allowance and I already have pip at the highest level for both care and mobility. 

    We have found the council do not exactly tell us what is happening or what help is available. The one person that we’re dealing with at the housing department is rather cold and just giving the impression that he just wants to do the paperwork and nothing else. I have asked what we’re supposed to do to get help with the emotional issues and I was told to google it. 

    As grateful as we are for being placed in temporary accommodation that is safe. I would have thought that we would have been given advice on what other help was available locally rather than just having to google it. 

    My mind has been all over the place throughout this past week and it’s not as if it’s a normal situation to be in that we would know what we have to do. 

  • Cressida
    Cressida Member Posts: 976 Connected
    @Blakespops you sound like an amazing dad. It must have been so hard to remove yourself from that abusive relationship but you did it!. You will find a lot of good advice on here and some great posters to listen if you need to offload. I wish you all the very best for the future. 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    @Blakespops - Please know you have done so much in such a short time, & thank you for getting back in touch. Must admit I would have thought there might have been more information available where you are temporarily housed.
    It certainly isn't a normal situation in which to know what you need to do for you both, & I'm sorry that the council person is just dealing with one side of the problems you're facing.
    Please look at the last 2 phone numbers that @thespiceman gave....they deal specifically with men who have suffered abuse. Perhaps these may be a starting point for you. The Salvation Army too; they help so many people in difficult situations irrespective of any faith, or not, a person may have.
    If these don't for any reason help, please let us know. You will get through this, & will have the continuing support of this community along the way. People here will do their utmost to advise & support. They also care.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    @Blakespops - How are you and your son doing?
    Please consider looking at the following websites to hopefully help: https://www.mankind.org.uk/ Phone number 01823 334244
    And also: http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/ also mentioned above: 0808 801 0327 which is free for landlines & most mobiles
    The Salvation Army: 020 7367 4500






  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    Hi @Blakespops.
    I hope you and your son are well. 

    Have you also looked at Child Tax Credit? As you're receiving SDP you can still make a new claim for this. I don't know what your previous financial circumstances were but once your ESA is up and running it may be worth looking into a Budgeting Loan to help with those initial costs. 

    Please keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on. 
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019
    Hi @Blakespops - Just to let you know that people here are thinking about you & hoping you & your son are doing OK. I hope you've had a little time to catch your breath, & have a look at some of the links, & Adrian's advice above. How is the housing situation going?
    If you have a chance, it would be great to hear from you, & see if there's anything else anyone here might help you with.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Blakespops, how are things going?
    If there's anything else we can do to then please do let us know. :)
    Scope

  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    Sounds as if you have been brilliant.  You got away.  What's more, even in the short term place you are managing to have fun with  your son.   You have even managed the full time job of form filling and getting the right help in quick time. Hats off, to anyone who can achieve that!

    The big question is about your boy's school.

     As you say, especially with autism,  staying there might seem best.    On the other hand, if you are both escaping  abuse, and have no particular  supportive friends and family  in the area, you might feel free and safer if you move somewhere  in a completely  different part of the country.   

    You can.  You are both free now.  Normally,  people  must be rehoused within the same council area. But people fleeing abuse are the exception.  You can go where old friends or family are, or go to a part of the country you really would like to live, or go where there are good facilities for autistic children, or for yourself.  Also,  looking ahead,  where will  he be best when he is a school leaver?  And, where will you prefer to be living when he is grown up and flown ?

    You have felt trapped with an exploitative bully for so long, it's easy to understand when you say you can't think straight.    More often, it's  women  escaping bullies. But they have a struggle to re-set their  attitudes and their habits of thought.   

    Someone  explained  about battery hens, when rescuers want to set them free in a garden.  They have  become  so used to being  trapped  in tiny cages, that they can't bring themselves to peep out of the rescue box, and it takes time before they figure how to scratch the ground or run about.   Newly escaped  abuse survivors  are often a little bit similar to those hens!

    You will put you son first. At 14, he  is old enough to involve him in making decisions.  What would he choose for himself :
    New adventure,  but with the drawback  of novelty, a problem for autistic people.? 
    Or familiar  teachers,  but with the drawback of  continuing close contact with the abuser's son?.
  • Blakespops
    Blakespops Member Posts: 13 Courageous
    Hi all. Sorry for not being able to update you sooner than I have but it’s just been crazy busy.

     I had claimed universal credit and was told that because I was in receipt of the severe disability premium I had to claim ESA and now they are saying that as my partner was claiming the ESA before I left and not me I would have to claim universal credit after all.  (If the people that work for DWP don’t know how are we supposed to know what to do lol)

    I am just waiting for the unfinished flat still although I have got the council to help with white goods and a local charity is going to help us with furniture when we get the place.

     I have had bills for overpaid benefits that I am being told that I will have to pay back even though my abuser had full control of my finances and she kept all the benefits to herself that I am now being billed for. I feel that it’s unfair that I am being punished by the system for the actions of my abuser.

    just days before I left PIP had sent me a letter to attend an assessment. But as she didn’t give me the letter I have been classed as failure to attend and the pip claim was suspended.

     I have been just going forward and getting hit after hit of things going wrong when I have no control. It’s made it harder for me to keep it together but whilst my son is in the same room as me I have to ignore my own feelings and stay strong for him.

     He had been going to school but he had to walk past her house between the bus stop and school and he was feeling anxiety about it and as the school was closed half of this week due to inset days he has stayed here and he wants to move school and start a fresh. I am fully understand how much it will effect him and I will not force him to go past her house and potentially get abuse as he does. 

    I have called adult social services for an assessment of my needs and to find out what they are able to help us with. They will be in contact within the next month or so. Apart from that I think I have updated everything for now.

     I am so grateful for all the words of support and advice from you all and would give you all a huge hug if my arms could reach you. Thanks again xx
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Blakespops - So pleased to hear from you, but wish it was better news on all fronts, apart from the housing, where it's good to read you've had some offers of help.
    I don't know if any of the Scope team can advise about you being billed for benefit money you didn't see. Was this not paid into a bank account in your name? Or perhaps you had a joint account? Might the local police help, as she has been controlling the finances? They are well aware of domestic abuse.
    As far as PIP goes have you managed to get in touch with the assessment centre, or failing that the DWP to explain?
    Sorry you have to wait so long for social services. Life will get better, I hope sooner than you think.
    Thank you for your kind words to us all. I believe we all have great feeling for this ordeal you're having, & just want to see you both come through. You are part of this 'family.'

  • Blakespops
    Blakespops Member Posts: 13 Courageous
    Hi,

    all benefits apart from my pip was paid into her own account and I never received any paperwork from the benefits agency and what I did get regarding my pip she would open it and then give it to me. The only mail I ever got without her opening it first was the mobility magazine as it came in a clear bag and she knew it had nothing to do with money coming in. I even paid for the car we had from my pip.

    Before I left I recorded a conversation with her about the benefits and how I was being given £50 a week for each of me and my son and what I was expected to pay for with it. Including Everything my son needs from clothes and uniform to food, activities and gifts for Christmas and his birthday plus my own food and both our phones. She also said that she expected me to be able to buy her gifts and her son and “our” grandson who was her daughters son who we had a SGO over and he will be 2 years old next week and I miss him like crazy. So in total with the pip I had to do all that on 150 a week but it included the electrodes for my tens machine and the other disability expenses that I had.

     I recorded her saying that the rest of the money was for her and her children (2 didn’t even live at home) and as the 2 child rule meant that she didn’t get anything extra for my son he gets nothing as he is not her responsibility.

     I have played the conversation and shown the texts to the council and DWP and CAB and they all said that it was extreme financial abuse. She even admitted that she had taken the light bulbs out of my sons bedroom in August for him falling asleep once with the light on and he will never be allowed to have lights in his room because of it. She said that him being autistic is a crock and him saying that he feels like he is a girl inside a boys body is the funniest thing she’s ever heard about and her friends are still laughing about that one. She’s said on the recording that she has posted things on Facebook that she and her friends knew were digs at me but I was too trusting and gullible to notice. 

    I have proof for almost every form of abuse she could do to me and the people who have seen it have said that I could and should report it to the police but as I am still in the area and I have a restraining order against her dad for assault on me already I didn’t want to make things worse for me and my son. 

    We have said that we would love to live in Nottingham as I used to live there as a teenager and I support Nottingham Forest. However the council has not given us that as an option. We were told that we would be moved to a male refuse for men who have been abused and as they are not many of them and less that take men with kids we would have to go to Scotland or wherever was available with no choice but accept the first place they found or we stay here.

    2 years ago I had purchased a range cooker for the house as we were planning to do a swap with the dining room and kitchen as dining room was much bigger than the kitchen and as we never got around to doing it (due to family court action and fighting for the baby to stay in the family (babies daddy was the huge issue) and as we got him on a joint SGO priority was with him) so when I asked her to give me the car as I would have to return it to motability as I can’t drive she’s retuned it to this homeless hostel I am in with the range cooker in it so that I can not simply return it and I have no place to store the cooker and I don’t have anyone else who would drive it for me so I am stuck. Hopefully it will fit in the flat we’re going to get and then she will have done me a favour but it was simply a last way for her to do something to cause me problems.

    by the time that she returned it to me she was in possession of a letter from pip telling me that I had a assessment appointment to attend and she said nothing about it. Now pip has been stopped and I was reported as not showing up. Luckily they were able to see the dates that we left and the letter being sent would overlap and by the time their system updates my address I had missed the appointment so they agreed to send me back to assessment and reinstated the pip as if nothing had happened. But it’s all just ways she is doing her best to make my life hell.


Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.