Leah

Leah is a British female who had been married to an Indian man, when she met him he had only been in the UK a few months, working. The relationship started when they were both in their early 20’s
, she is now in her late 30’s. There were no repercussions from her family about their relationship, however, most of his family were in India and as far as she was aware seemed to agree with the relationship. She married him a year later, and he obtained his British citizenship.

Now she reflects, he had always been emotionally abusive limiting contact with family and friends, making her feel guilty for going out or what she was wearing etc during her first pregnancy she was quite ill and was not able to carry out her chores as she normally would and how he expected as she needed to rest. When she confronted him about this he slapped her. He later apologised and tried to justify his actions, but the abuse physical and emotional continued for some years, she had two more children and only left him when the children were in their early teenage years.

She felt unable to report to the Police due to fear of her husband and no awareness of services. The children stayed with their father as he was financially more stable than she was, he had never allowed her to work, and she believes he offered them a lifestyle she could not. She also mentioned that he would take control of the children’s upbringing and believes as a result of this she was never able to form a relationship with them. He would often send the children to stay with his extended family during holidays if he was going to be at work so they wouldn’t stay with her.

She has tried to contact her children in the past but her ex -husband and his family threatened her and told her to stay away. The children have also adapted this attitude and have said they want nothing to do with their mother. For a short while, she lived close by and often saw her ex-husband, children and his family in the local area. Her ex would harass her and she had to call the Police to warn him and some of his family members as she felt fearful. The Police sent out warnings to the perpetrators and advised the woman about safe accommodation.

Leah found this distressing and she has now moved.