I'm not technically a battered wife--my mom is. I just found out today that my mom (who is my best friend) has been suffering physical and sexual abuse at the hands of my dad for the past three years (since I left for college). They've had a horrible marriage for 25 years, and emotional abuse has been a part of our lives since I can remember. I can't give any excuses for why she's stayed,nor do I care to. I just need help getting her out,now.
I'm married and live away from home,and I know I can't make my mom leave, it has to be her choice. But I feel like I've made a lot of progress with her today,getting her to hear me when I tell her that none of this is her fault/deserved, this is not her shame to bear, that there is absolutely nothing she can do to change my dad, and that there is no safe alternative but to end the marriage. She knows that I would go to the ends of the earth and back to help her, but she is scared. Everything with my dad is about upholding an image, to his parents,to our town,to his friends,to everyone. Image is everything. So she doesn't want to drag his name through the mud via legal proceedings like protection orders. I think a big part of that is the shame she feels right now,but that can be worked on at a later date. The only priority right now is getting her out.
Living arrangements are easy enough to make,and divorcing can be taken care of. But I know she worries a lot about being able to support herself financially on her own (she wouldn't take alimony from that pig) and about having someone around to help in emergency medical situations (she does have these a couple times a year). I told her that these are distant hurdles, that I will help her figure all of these details out, but I worry that she's holding on to these details as reasons to stay.
What do I say? I need help finding resources for her. Are there funds available to help her transition into life on her own (like for her living expenses) and what about for medical help? Where should I look? She makes too much money to qualify under low income standards,but she doesn't make enough to make her car payment,car/health insurance, rent, food, etc. all on her own. My lease isn't up until next June, starting law school next August. My husband and I are more than willing to go to the school closest to home (still about 3 hours from dad) and get a 2x2 apt or home or whatever with her so that she can cut down on expenses and save up, at least for those three years. But as for the year between now and then...what do we do???
Any advice at all is appreciated from the bottom of my heart. I'm new to this whole issue, and even though I read up on all the things to say and offers to make...I still feel like I'm flying blind here. Any ideas to help give her that extra shove out the door if she needs it (won't know til we talk tomorrow morning)? How about resources available for victims of DV? Please help.
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