Responses to Leaving

When a person who is abusing starts to feel that their partner might leave or has left they may employ strategies to get them to stay.

People may try to lure their partner back through different strategies

  • Make promises of change
  • Try to engage family and friends to be on their side
  • Threaten to harm family or friends
  • Use their children

A parent may use children in the following ways

  • Use the children to relay messages to the parent who is being abused
  • Redirect abusive behavior toward the children
  • Threaten to take the children
  • Use bribes and promises to manipulate the children
  • Undermine the primary parents parenting

People may use various strategies of control

  • Quit a job and/or getting paid under the table in order to reduce or avoid child support payments
  • Use the court system by filing petitions and other pleadings that require ongoing court dates
  • Violate restraining orders
  • Make reports to Children and Family Services
  • Stop payments for the car and insurance
  • Stalking

If a person has made a decision to leave, they may need additional support and resources to address risks and challenges they face. Supervised visitation programs can be used an intervention program to create an environment of safety for parents and their children. 

Supervised visitation programs centralize safety for parents and their children

  • Minimize risk
  • Reduce opportunities for ongoing abuse
  • Enhance safety and well-being for children and youth
  • Connect adult victims with support and resource

Programs that are designed to serve families experiencing abuse

  • Have an in-depth knowledge of the dynamics of abuse
  • Understand post-separation abuse
  • Understand the adult victim’s and children’s behavior
  • Have skill in recognizing and avoiding the efforts of a person to use others as a tactic of coercion

Some other needs after people separate 

  • Housing
  • Economic support
  • Employment
  • Advocates and other community partners who understand the dynamics of post-separation abusing
  • Legal representation and services
  • Individual and family advocacy
  • Transportation
  • Child care
  • Medical and dental care

Key partnerships include

  • Domestic violence programs
  • Civil and criminal legal systems
  • Schools
  • Agencies serving children and families