I Have Already Lost One Child.
Please Help Me Not To Lose Another
I once acted for a woman who had four children, ALL of whom were the victims of extreme Domestic Violence. In fact, by the time she came to see me she had already lost her eldest son to suicide brought about through the abuse inflicted by his father.
I will never forget her distress and sorrow or the heart-wrenching plea she made to me as a lawyer. She had the three remaining children with her. With tears streaming down her face she begged me for help saying: “I have already lost one child. Please help me not to lose any more.”
I promised her that I would do everything in my power to not only protect the children but her as well. Indeed, I couldn’t realistically do otherwise. Where a spouse is the victim of DV, then the children are also. The psychological impact of knowing that one of your parents is abusing the other is not to be underestimated.
The oldest son, who was seventeen years old, had jumped off the balcony of the top floor of a high-rise set of Units. He had taken the brunt of the abuse to try and protect his three younger sisters from it. Mum was viciously abused and beaten – she couldn’t really help him. It all got too much and this young man decided that life was too horrible to bear.
There was only one way I could protect the other three children and their mother. It meant relocating them, changing their identities and obtaining a Court Order that the father be PROHIBITED from having ANY contact at all with them. I remain thankful to the Principal and staff of the children’s school, the Lutheran Church and the Women’s Shelter for the extraordinary steps they all went to so that I could deliver on the promise that I made to them and their mother.
Some months later the mother and children contacted me. They were so happy with their new life and couldn’t thank me enough. Everyone was completely different. No longer were they tearful, fearful, stressed or depressed but relaxed, bright, witty and looking forward to life.
I thought of the oldest boy and realised why he took his own life. He knew that a life lived in fear was bad enough………….but a life without hope was no life at all.
The above extract is from the book, “How To “Win” When Facing Divorce”. Written specifically for women by Barry Roche, a former Family Law Specialist, the book is available for purchase at www.divorcewomen.com.
This articles was extracted with the permission of Mr. Barry Roche, author.