6 Forms of post-separation Violence
Reading time : 5 min
Contrary to what we might hope, separation is not always a guarantee of safety for victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), at least in the short term. Victims may be subjected to post-separation violence and continue to suffer severe consequences on themselves and their children. Post-separation violence has different goals : to convince the victim to return, to continue to exert control, to prevent the victim from exercising her rights, to exact revenge for what the abuser sees as a final provocation... or simply to “win” and have the last word.
Manipulation and threats to convince the victim to come back
"Falsely" putting on their best behaviour, "love-bombing" the victim, expressing love and remorse; Expressing a will to change or to go to therapy without true intention of changing their behaviours ; Blackmailing the victim or using various threats (to seek custody of the children, abandon the children, cut them off, disappear, commit suicide, etc.) ; Manipulating children, relatives or friends to get them to advocate on their behalf.
Harassment and surveillance
Watching the comings and goings of the victim and the children ; Contacting the victim continuously despite their wishes to the contrary ; Contacting the victim's family and friends to seek information about the victim ; Questioning the children about the victim's new life.
Violence via legal proceedings
Unduly multiplying or prolonging separation proceedings ; Making false accusations (of violence, parental alienation, etc.) ; Breaking no-contact or restraining orders ; Harassing and intimidating socio-judicial workers ; Suing the victim for defamation ; Filing complaints against workers and professionals involved in the case.
Financial violence and voluntary self-impoverishment
Withholding alimony or child support payments on unreasonable grounds ; Initiating unnecessary legal proceedings to inflate the victim's legal fees ; Challenging or refusing to pay their share of joint costs ; Hiding income or quitting their employment to avoid paying alimony or child support.
Control via shared-parenting
Demanding information or photos of the children above what is necessary ; Imposing educational strategies when the child is not in their care ; Challenging the victim's parenting skills and decisions ; Withholding information about the child ; Manipulating or alienating the child from the victim ; Imposing their presence during the victim’s custody time ; Not returning the child to the victim when expected.
Escalation of physical violence
In situations of intimate partner violence, separation may increase the risk of serious injury or death for the victim AND their children.
Given the risks associated with separation, it is imperative to ensure that victims of intimate partner violence have access to a place in a shelter (first or second stage) and to any other measure that could increase their safety and that of their children, as long as the danger persists.
- But why doesn't she leave ? : the intimate partner violence trap
- Preparing to leave : a delicate step
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Bien que la violence conjugale touche majoritairement des femmes, elle peut aussi toucher les hommes et les personnes issues de la diversité sexuelle et de genre. Les services de SOS violence conjugale sont offerts à toutes les personnes touchées par la problématique.