' I cant breathe ,please stop ,'.
I heard my grandson screaming in that high pitch that babies only do at times of distress .It is a blood curdling cry. I called the police. I was in my pjs. I grabbed my coat , got into the car and drove like a bat out of hell .I have no idea how I didn't have an accident .I called all the family telling them they needed to meet me at her house.
Fifteen of the longest minutes of my life went by before I got to hers. The police were leaving her flat .I approached them . It seems my daughter had called during her attack but her partner grabbed phone and ended the call, it seems the neighbours had also called. They said that he had fled before they had arrived and that my daughter didn't want to press charges. He said she has very distressed and he knew she was scared to talk. He asked me to try and persuade her to report the incident. I have to say their response time was very good. they had arrived five minutes after my daughters call.
The rest of the family arrived .The scene that awaited us was horrific .My daughter had a burst lip and massively swollen left cheek, and finger marks around her neck. Scratches on her arms and bruising around her wrists. She was shaking, crying, trying her best to console the baby.
We talked, we listened, she said wanted to press charges but she was afraid that they would take her baby away if she admitted she was a victim of domestic violence for four years. Yes, you did read correctly .She had told us for the first time she had been beaten up for four years, almost weekly.
We managed to persuade her that the only way forward for her and her son is that she finally goes to the police. I reassured her no one would take baby away. I told her if she got help and left him no one would doubt her parenting skills. If she stayed I told her I would report my fears for her safety and the babies and that if she stayed with him I would make her leave the baby with me. I believe in life you have to make a stand I would not allow my daughter or grandson to ever live in fear of violence now that I was aware of this dangerous situation. I know that she finally understood the gravity of the situation. Her love for her son is what has made her take a stand .I am incredible proud of her
We spent hours waiting at the police station before we where finally seen. In that time my daughters resolve waned .My only complaint with the system at police stations is that if a victim of DV comes in they should get them in a room as quickly as possible as the victim shouldn't be allowed to think too much about the consequences of reporting this terrible crime. My daughter was so fearful of his reprisal, she changed her mind so many times whilst waiting. She finally reported it and a warrant was issued for his arrest. This was an agonising wait. We reported the DV on the Friday and they couldn't find him until the sunday.
During this wait my daughter was advised to contact DV hotline and women's aid who helped organise emergency accommodation. She couldn't stay with us or my mum as her partner knows these places.It is a terrible thing when you cant keep your children safe. We spoke to social workers, solictors, housing officers all of whom wanted almost blow by blow account of her DV. I watched my daughter stripped bare , it is a terrible thing to hear about your child being hurt and we never had any idea. He'd even hit her during her pregnancy.I have never felt so powerless. Hugs and kisses and lots of tissues was all I could offer. Reassurance that he will never hurt her again.
He was arrested and let out on bail until his court appearance seven days later. The solicitor advises we should take out a non molestation order to prevent him from any contact with an power of arrest note added. So that if he contacts her in any shape or form he will be arrested and this is then regarded as a breach of the order. The process from the moment you report DV is so long and complicated and I know this is the reason that women give up. The molestation order costs approx £1000 and it doesn't last indefinitely ,I am however very glad that it is available because finally she can feel safe.
I would urge anyone who is living with DV if you are hurt please at the very least report it to your gp .He will not be able to do anything without your consent but at least that bruise/slap/ whatever would be noted and it will help when you finally can't stand it anymore. I'm so proud of my daughter.