Help! My Son and I are Victims of Abuse!


I am separated from my husband after years of mental abuse that started to become physical.  I am okay, but my son is caught up in the home of the abuser.  I need advise as to what I can do to help my son.  I have been lied about and the man gets his way with everything.  My X- husband controls if I see my son or don't see my son.  My x - controls everything that goes on with the two of us.


This issue has gone on for years.  My X told me that my son was going to fail if I moved back in town.  I moved back to town to be closer to my son and my x husband took my son out of the public schools to have him attend online school.  This way the x can control the time that I have with my son.  I have been fighting for years to have time with my only son.  We now have 50/50 and the x still controls our environment and lies constantly.  My son is 15 and said he can't wait to leave his father’s house.  This abuse is much greater than explained.  I am in need of finding people that can fight for my rights as a mother.  I need to protect my son.  Child protective services have cut back on staff and finding someone to help is difficult.  Please help!


Dear Linda,

This should not be considered counseling, but advice from one person to another. 

I have been thinking through your situation.  It is typical of abusers.  They control everything and everyone around them because they cannot control themselves.  They come off as the good guy because that is their cover to conceal their abusive nature.  


Seriously, there is nothing you can do in this situation to make things better.  The only thing you can do is to get far, far away from abuser, but since your share a son in this situation, there seems to be only one way out for your son and you.  


Consult the laws of your state to see what a minor must do to become: Emancipated. This means that he petitions the court to be considered an adult.  The laws of each state stipulates what a youth must do to show that he is ready to be considered an adult and make his own decisions.  Decisions like that of getting away from his father.


There are places on the web that can explain what steps must be taken to get your son emancipated.   For example:


A Teenager's Guide To Emancipation  <----Click here

Who can be emancipated? How do you become emancipated? What rights does an ... If you are emancipated: You may get your own place to live -- but you ... Most youth shelters will need your parent's permission to let you stay overnight. ... - Cached - Similar


Emancipation Law  <----Click here      Providing Legal & Practical Info Related To Emancipation Of Minors!


Once he has gotten his emancipation, he can live where he wants and go to school where he wishes. While proving his ability to care for himself, he will usually have to prove that he can live on his own and care for his own monetary needs.  This means having a job that can pay for the rent, food, medical, and clothing. Most youths cannot prove this, especially in this economy.  However, friends and family can be enlisted to make this happen for as long as needed.  Once he gets his emancipation, he can choose to give up the adult life-style and live with you.


This could be a two-edged sword.  If he comes to live with you after being emancipated, you telling him to do something because you say so, because you are the parent/adult, will not cut it.  The only ability your will have to help him make good choices is to have a sit-down discussion with him as to the rules of the home, like you would like a roommate.  This should be about division of jobs in the home, appropriate language, how we treat each other, your expectations of his dating, sexual lifestyle, time to be home in the evening, and etc.  See the “Family Contract” below.  This can be altered to include what you wish.


Be vigilant for signs of abuse as those who have been abused often become abusers, especially sons who have had this modeled by their fathers.  They really do not know how to treat women appropriately.  They have not been taught how to control themselves only how to control others.  It may be an excellent idea that your son get counseling on this subject.  Consider this as part of the agreement that is made with your son if he moves in with you. 


You too need some counseling on ridding yourself of abuse.  Those who have been abused attract other abusers.  You and your son need to rid yourselves of the characteristics that attract abusers so that neither of you find yourselves in this situation again.  You need to know what to look for in yourselves and others.   There are good counseling places that allow you to pay what you can to get this help.


When your son is emancipated, get you and him out of your X-husbands reach.  You say you are separated.  You need to cut all ties!  Get a divorce and get out of town.


I wish you both all the best!


Dr. Annette Nay



Family Contract

Copyright © 2000, Annette Nay, PhD

I want to live in a nice, comfortable home with a peaceful, loving atmosphere. I want to live in a place where I'll be proud to bring my friends, including dates. I want to be a part of a family of which I can be proud. To do my part to achieve these goals, I promise to my family that I will make an honest effort to live the ideals taught to me by my parents and church. For example:


Respect for God


Respect for Myself

Respect for Parents

Respect for Family

Respect for Property

If I follow the terms of this agreement I understand my parents will provide me a safe and comfortable home, food, clothing, and a peaceful, loving, atmosphere in which to live.

When I am unwilling to live these standards, I will find another place to live. However, I know that my parents will always continue to love me and treat me with respect. I know that I will be welcome to visit as a guest as long as I live these standards while I'm visiting. I will visit only when at least one of my parents is home and I will call ahead.



(signature of youth)