It is dreadful to be a domestic violence victim and not be taken seriously by the police whatever gender you are. Have Social Services been involved at all? I am only an ordinary parent like you but I can only say you did thre right thing by reporting it to the Police. Report it every time But only if you have definite evidence such as a knife in your back with her fingerprints on it. I seriously suggest you go and report it to HER parents and they might intervene and sort her out and might even look after the kids for a while.
They know how to deal with her. Good luck. Go to the Family Rights Group website for advice. Time scales for action, Neil. I suggest you act quickly. If she is depressed or traumatised in a previous partner etc. She will be drinking to as a means of escape. Same if bringing up 4 kids is getting on top of her.
Extended family should be supporting her. The biggest problem you have these days is that there is very little help these days for those with MH problems. You have to help yourself. I hope this helps. The only thing on offer these days are tablets and counselling. A combination of medication and talking therapy is often the optimum solution for mental health problems Angelo, what else did you have in mind?
Well , Helen, you are at complete liberty to question me but I am not a psychologist. However, I can say with some authority ,having seen professional advice provided to others who shall remain nameless that you are quite wrong to state that medication and talking therapy is often the optimum solution. Quite wrong. You would have been right to say that it is often the only therapy on offer these days which is what I said.
Historically, the optimum therapy was well known to be convalescence i. Everything laid on a plate for a patient with no worries or stress. Children were cared for by extended family usually but at worst ,they might have to undergo temporary foster-care away from family. Or Father might take time off work to look after the kids. In serious cases, medication will be used and in some cases, the holiday would not be in a regular convalescence facility but in a mental hospital under 24 -hour surveillance by mental health staff.
The therapy really works and occupational therapy i. I suppose talking therapy is helpful but it is wrong to say it is optimal. If a Mum was depressed, stressed, traumatised etc. All this happens now. I asked a question in an earlier comment. A friend of mine was recently charged with DV, but never convicted, he tells me that it was her malicious lies, and I believe him.
However regardless of what anyone believes, the case came to a close through a lack of evidence, a social worker is working closely with his partner. But it sort of seems like it is his word against hers. Would somebody care to enlighten us? It would be much appreciated. My advice in the meantime is that he keeps quiet especially if he has separated from Mum and his son remains with Mum. If he starts pestering her and demanding contacts etc. Even if she admits that the allegations were false and malicious, that will not help because the SW may well assume that you have conspired to control her and make her retract out of fear.
If Mum is genuinely frightened of your friend then you should ask him why? He should be honest with himself if that is correct in his case we all human and turn over a new leaf. He should not do anything at all to confirm what they have probably already decided about him. I assume you are saying that the police took no action regarding any criminal charges for violence.
So I am afraid he is still at risk of findings being made against him in the family courts, on a balance of probabilities. But to prevent him seeing his son there would have be proper findings after hearing evidence. Allegations which are not accepted cannot be treated as facts. Partner or ex-partner?
How often does he see his son? Has your friend has any work around anger management or sim? Were the police involved in any incidents? There are probably better sites to help your friend such as this one Families Need Fathers — honest answers to these questions will be needed. I always make this comment about anger management.
It is very dangerous to use with perpetrators of domestic abuse, which is about power and control — not anger. Anger management teaches perpetrators how to hide the signals their victims read and need to know something is about to happen and how they are going to manage it.
NO, I completely disagree. We ended up moving out of state months later before our second son was born and although that was not the main reason we moved, it was how we got them out of our lives. We moved to Florida where they have so many cases to deal with, ours was minor comparatively and they closed our case. Had we not moved to Florida, who knows what would have happened?
I am fairly certain it would not have ended well. Also, they were horrible to me and very judgmental and hostile, which was unnecessary and served no purpose. In fact, it made things worse! I was the only one suffering the actual physical abuse, although my son did get pushed once while trying to protect me. I am well aware that he suffered and should not have had to live through that and I am in no way trying to defend their father — there was no excuse for what he did!
I did leave a little over a year after that incident. And that is unfortunate. The victim is double persecuted once by the prepatrator and then by the authorities. All attention is placed on harassing the mother, to comply. Evidence is hidden from courts, or even destroyed by authorities. GP ignored despite medical evidence. This is the situation in the UK, and needs dealing with. I have nothing to hide or destroy if nobody has told anybody anything. It is very difficult that the perpetrator is asked to leave, because of the risk to children, and the victim is asked to leave them.
The alternative is taking children out of the environment, hopefully to protective family members. Apart from being gagged, I can recognise all of the above. It leaves children at continuing risk of abuse as some courts order contact or even residence with the perpetrator. They are not making it up as they go along , rather they unfold as they start to feel safe and actually realise what has happened. They are masters of disguise. Judges, police and social workers really need to have training on and be able to investigate the abusers over whelming driver of the abuse, that is entitlement.
I had one client who pulled the hair out of her hair brush and told the police it had been yanked out of her head. That was clearly a lie and the police knew it. She withdrew her application for a non mol in the end. Yes, these cases are not common and i am sure there are far more victims of violence than there are people prepared to lie about it.
I agree that we probably all need more understanding and awareness. One such awareness I would like to promote is for victims to understand the forensic process and the need to tell poeople as soon as they can about what is happening. We need to be teaching our children from their earliest days about treating each other and themselves wth respect and kindness. I imagine it also applies to violent females too. Reform via the Courts is essential and unfortunately Family Courts do not have the power to order suitable punishments such as prison, probation, borstal training, community service etc.
All they can do is remove children from the scene into care which is wholly disproportionate. That is punishing the victims. The Police let the perpetrators off the hook and they should not do. When they are dysfunctional e. All this actually makes them ashamed of themselves and that is when they lose control and are violent. This is the trigger. If I was on drugs or if I was an alcoholic with responsibilities or if you were, even we might strike out at those we love. Especially if our partners tell us about it or threaten to leave etc. We should take careful heed of him too.
Of course, not all men lose control and become violent but some do. There for the grace of God go we. I think we do treat our children from the earliest from the earliest days already. Some will always go astray. It is human. Reform is the answer. Deal with them and leave the victims alone! If I were a woman, I would not report it if I thought the Police would not take action; my husband would hit me worse. Before anyone says it again, i am not making excuses for these men , I am saying reform them. That is the only way. In my experience men who are violent are actually over anxious coupled with have a sense of entitlement.
Yes I think you are right Angelo guilt , though that guilt is about themselves, rather than what they do to the victim and shame, once again about themselves, are important as well. There always is something wrong with a bully. As for getting women to understand they are victims , the best way I have found is that they speak to someone else who has already identified herself as one. There are such common themes , for instance every victim I have met has been frightened of his driving and all spent time pressing down on an imaginary brake when a passenger, and talking about this brings clarity that they too have been a victim.
They have something to be ashamed of ; they know they are wrong; they know they are not meeting their duties and obligations; they realise they are dysfunctional etc. When spouse complains and tries to help him, tells him not to drink etc. When that becomes a habit , it is disaster for the family especially if the Police report it to the CS. So where do things start to go wrong? As Sarah says, be more careful when choosing who to have children with etc.
No matter how careful we are, even if we marry a higher -class wealthy person, they can be just as controlling and violent if not more so. Sam, you have often written how clever and controlling these men are. They will want to keep you from contacting your family, meeting friends etc. I guess that is because they are so ashamed and guilty , they cannot allow you to tell everyone. They have to hide the temper and violence and obviously ,they have to deny it and find a reason to blame their victim.
So what can a victim do? I know for a fact, from having read research, that social dislocation is the cause of much family dysfunction. We should all think twice before moving away from extended family for any reason. When we are close to our extended family and that of our partner there is much more social cohesion. For example, if we have an argument or money worries or problems with the kids, support is on hand especially if we live on the same street or in the same house as many families do abroad.
Our family can keep in touch ,they can hear and see what is going on with their own ears and eyes and because of that it does not develop. Shouting and fighting is something which grandparents and in-laws just will not support and years ago it used to be stopped at the roots before Police intervention became necessary. If someone starts to bully or starts to become an addict etc the worst thing you can do is move away from family support networks.
Social workers in CS work with the family, and can ask adults to access help which will also support them to parent well, but nobody can make anyone do anything. I do wonder about whether this Govt will be able to pass legislation though.. Thanks for your comment Helen. I am not entirely sure that I agree all need mental health help:domestic violence may result in the victim having mental health problems they are not necessarily present before the abuse.
Also once they are out of the relationship any MH issues heal. The perpetrator does not also necessarily have mental health issues either, rather an attitude of entitlement. Should SW be able to remove children if they do not have sufficient knowledge after all it is life changing and in some instances they get it back to front. Yes I know it goes to court but experts are another can of worms.
So we go around in circles again. Sorry Sam, when I meant often I meant often not always. In a lot of cases, there are issues caused by childhood trauma or similar which make victims more vulnerable to entering into abusive relationships. Again that is often not always, after all anyone can be a victim, I often think there for the grace of insert deity of choice. It is stressful in itself and it means there is a child at risk so action needs to happen. Without children in the picture that would be different.
I suppose I am trying to think through how we best support vulnerable women because it is usually a woman to seek help, protect a child, and not remove a child. A family will develop various degrees of malfunction together. What is the main cause of mental health difficulties? I think it is stress ,some suffered outside at work etc. Historically ,overcrowding and over-small housing is a big cause. This was recognised decades ago and just before WW2 and just afterwards we commenced upon a grand plan for ridding towns and cities of the problem; a mass slum-clearance scheme.
Garden cities and huge out-of- town housing estates were built which were idyllic in comparison to the two up two down back-to-backs, tenements and so on. The lovely, new houses were spacious with all mod-cons bathroom, indoor-toilet and the children did not have to share bedrooms with the parents. Gardens front and rear were commonplace and ,of course, the air was better in the suburbs. Building standards were set high for Council housing. Unfortunately, along came the IRON LADY whose main interest was in supporting business people, landlords and her own ilk rather than creating a healthier, happier community.
The houses built in the main were smaller than the tiny slums which had been knocked down. Tiny gardens or just a back yard with front doors almost on the street. House buying was encouraged rather than renting and first time buyers are usually only able to afford these excuses for a proper house. So think about cramped conditions.
If one keeps too many birds or animals in a cage, too many chickens in a coop ,too many captive butterflies in a jam-jar then their behaviours are affected by the stress and some will attack the weaker ones. This is just a general observation worth considering. Sorry about the last paragraph. I meant to say I think we do already teach our children from the earliest day s that treating each other with respect and kindness is the right way.
But some will always go astray when they grow up. Currently know someone who did just that and reached out for help and had her children taken away. Now she is forced to live with the abuser or she will have her kids taken from her. Completely lost all faith in the system. Sadly social tactics of constant threat of removing kids because they would rather falsify statements to get the job done quick rather than help children and victims is the experience I have witnessed.
It is really difficult that one person has to leave the abusive other for the children to be safe, because there are many complexities to leaving an abusive partner, who has often targeted a vulnerable victim. Leaving the perpetrator is part of the support and service given to families but this person is still with her abusive husband. Given she is the safe parent, who the children can be with I presume leaving the relationship would be prioritising her children. Thanks Bradley, I agree with you as do tons and tons of other parents. If you have time, please tell us more about your friend.
These injuries can affect ability to use language in extreme cases — think along the lines of someone who has suffered a stroke…How can this be right that some women have to arrive in prison before this gets picked up? Some had their children with them immediately prior to custody, others had handed them to relatives or their children had been taken into care or adopted. Some discovered they were pregnant when they had no idea that that could be a possibility. And I know this is off the point but how much?
One of the things being investigated is to look at how parents can securely skype or sim. One also has to ask why this is happening in prison but there is little focus on this for mums who have children in care or am I wrong? MoJ takes a different approach to the DfE perhaps?
The other question might be why does anyone think it is right that those people are given a prison sentence? Figures above relate to numbers per head of population in the prison system. Symptomatic of the lack of urgency on the part of government was its response to Changing Prisons, Saving Lives, the report of the Harris Review into self-inflicted deaths of young adults in custody, published in July Inspectors found that staff, including those in leadership roles, had subjected children detained at the centre to racist comments, degrading and humiliating treatment, and had in some instances been under the influence of illegal drugs whilst on duty.
Concerns were also raised about delays in reporting serious incidents or in dealing adequately with staff misconduct. MTCnovo was announced as the new contractor at Rainsbrook in September The charity, Article 39, noted that MTCnovo had no known experience of running establishments for vulnerable children. How many of these children had neuro-developmental disorders and should never have been in prison in the first place?
How many will have come through the Care system without their disabilities being identified? The care population is known about and you should be able to find stats on that. When they had totally smashed any opposition at the Borough level — the mayoral system was brought in to take control of policing say across the Boroughs as it manifestly bonkers not to have London-wide policies. Housing Associations were buying blocks of flats in outer London boroughs literally having seen them from a car on the road outside. This was with public money available in grants to the HAs but not to local authorities who were starved of cash and told to sell off they stock.
Many of these private market estates bought by the HAs needed considerable investment ten years later to prevent them becoming ghettos as they had no pavements or play areas etc. Many had no paths linking them to public facilities if it would have meant cutting through privately owned estates. These are policies built around hiding the failure of previous policies without actually asking the key questions about what was wrong with the original policy and what needs to shift inside policymakers heads….
Thanks to Looked after child and Helen for this discussion about prisons. In answer to this question from Helen. QUOTE: The other question might be why does anyone think it is right that those people are given a prison sentence? When we have private companies making huge profits out of prisons , the more prisoners the better for them and corrupt practices are bound to arise. I have explained before how it is an unavoidable fact of life when it comes to public funding and expenditure.
It can be anticipated that there shall be increasing numbers of innocent citizens sent to gaol and , in the case of guilty ones, many will be sent there when therapies and more suitable orders like probation would suffice and be more humane. So the emphasis is on the lawyers and judges to ensure cases are conducted correctly. That is the only protection citizens have. Fortunately , the Criminal Courts are much, much stricter about correct procedure CURRENTLY and also long sentences cannot be dished out unless there has been a hearing during which guilt or innocence has been decided by a jury.
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However justice for the guilty will depend on the Judiciary. We will have to ensure that cases are conducted correctly by professionals e. Only real previous convictions to be included and no out-of-date ones spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. All wrong information must be excluded and permanently deleted from the records ,of course, not deliberately left and allowed to fester as happens in the CP system.
That would be lunacy! This forbids degradation and mental torture absolutely unless it has been decided lawfully and there is a pressing social need. God forbid that severe sanctions will be prescribed upon citizens without an impartial hearing before a jury and without full , procedural correctness. Whether the relatively recent Best evidence interviews , video interviews etc. They seem okay to me but only when carried out absolutely in accordance with the rules laid down. Already, cases have been thrown out because professionals have offended against procedures.
Certainly it can be said that when it comes to serious sanctions, Civil Court protocols are totally unsuitable being disproportionate and juries are essential also the automatic right to appeal against unlawful and over -enthusiastic sentencing. I have read some of the comments above. I have found myself in an abusive relationship for eight years. It started when i got married and got pregnant.
My ex threw me out at 8 weeks oregnant and accused me of affairs child not being his. He told me if i moved back to my parents and gave birth he didnt want to know and turned up after eight weeks. To cut along story short we divorced which he inituated and had next to nothing to do with ne or my son. We began seeing each other again for five years and things got worse. He took me to court started playing games and got access and taking my son at two miles away to where he lived.
He used his money and controlling behaviour to say he was part of our lives. I woukd be slagged off on the door step in public and constantly be told that he was the best thing that hapoebed to me. A court order was granted as i eventually gave in not wanting to loose my only child. He would constantly tell me after abusive fights why woukd i want to give it up. I overdosed two years ago.
And he supported me thinking he was genuine i tried yet again believing his way of thinking was best for the family. He woukd constantky put oressure on about moving back with him but something would always trigger the abuse. He grabbed me around the throat twice in six months. Infront of my son and when he was nesr by. I kept doubting myself and felt isolated from everyone. He didnt like my friends told me i had none and blamed me and my family for everything. He threatened me and i believe him that he woukd hurt me wven now.
He grabbed me around the tjroat after a my sons friend and his dad came to my house for a play date. I had been accused of everything you could think of Yet two children were playing in the house and i was chatting to the other dad. His son telling exactly that wasnt enough he threaten me amd i ended up in a refuge.
He harrassed my family on my mothers funeral and called police to tell them im sucidial. The social worker told me no one would take my son. I got told i needed pictures of my ex in the house and i shouldnt cry. I had been a single parent and come out of a refuge and i was told i needed to sing the praises of man who was abusive.
On meeting the ex she said he had a big house floor space and i should be able to take my son to school and told me i wasnt going through dv in her sec7 report. I have had my son removed and placed witj his dad He abuses me on ever handover and shouts down the phone. Says he wouldnt have had poor attendance in mirsery if my son lived with him. Even after every arguement he would take my son tell me he didnt need to go to nursery and write under duress to give him extra contact.
My ex wont provide any info about school or even pic up the phone for me to speak to my son. My appeal gotndismissed. All i know is the social worker moved a little boy away miles and told me tjat it should be done asap as i would stop contact. Ex convinced he would never do such a thing even told them he would buy me a house near by to maintain the bond.
Can social workers not see through a staged interview? This social worker couldnt even get facts right follow procedure and made thedecision to send my son to live with someone who is an abuser. I have reported things to gp police and xhildren services. Im told no evidence and he denies everything. I lost my son because i went for help. Now i have ao much incertainty about whats happeneing and concerns about thewell being of a 5 year old. How do i get my son back? Help someone please. Struggling mum. There are organisations that help in the resources section of this website.
Look after yourself, in order to fight back you need to build your self esteem. I agree and have been through exactly the same thing 10 years ago when I filed for Divorce! You need to record everything he says to you and use your cell phone camera if you see him and just say you are taking pictures of scenery, dogs, cats, or even birds!
Never ever trust him ever again and try not to ever talk to him again and get a Restraining Order from the Judge for 20 years where he cannot talk to you and you cannot talk to him or see each other and you will see how much happier and more in control of your life is without him totally and completely in it! Your sons Father has No respect for you at all whatsoever so you should avoid any contact with him at all whatsoever!
I promise things will be a lot better if you just listen to me because I have been there and done it just exactly like you and never ever look back and think that things could have gotten better because that is Not true at all and you should even go to Church every Sunday and pray to God that he never ever comes after you again or after your young innocent son! Peace be with you and be Safe! Dear Sat, First of all, it is best you know that you are not alone.
There are countless Mums who describe exactly the same kind of thing you do. A big problem is the child-protection system itself; correct practice guidelines are seldom followed by professionals.
Inevitably, misinformed ,wildly wrong appraisals are made because of it and innocent children suffer for it. Just this morning ,I heard on the radio about a little girl who was killed after being placed wrongly with an abusive parent. Once you realise you are not the only one, things will get easier. You need an independent advocate to advise you and intervene in meetings on your behalf. Follow this link and the nice lady might be able to put you in touch with Annie, who organises an advocacy service.
They have a forum where you can discuss your individual case with other Mums and a free helpline. Hope this information is of some use. No-one can. You need an experienced advocate. In actual fact, the Social; Worker should have made it clear to you at the beginning and helped you contact one.
Please tell us whether she did or not? I got a call from CPR about them sending me some information through the post or through my health visitor to pass on to me when she has my 2year olds 2 year visit as it would be a better way for my partner not to see. My question is.. Also, what leverage does the health visitor have when she gives her assessment?
Your child can only be removed without your consent by the police for 72 hours OR if a court order is made. A court order will only be made if the child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm. If you can show you are doing all you can to keep your child safe, then hopefully it is very unlikely your child will be removed.
BUT staying in a relationship with a man who has been violent or abusive to women in other relationships is going to cause significant concern about your ability to keep your child safe. You do need to think very hard about the future of your relationship if your partner has a serious history of violence or other abusive behaviour. You — like all women — deserve better than that. Thank you kindly for your response.
I gave up my job to be a stay at home mom and she also still breast feeds. She loves her cuddles and giving cuddles as well x I spoke to my partner very calmly and clearly and explained that we need help as this is and will destroy our family and will make me leave with the baby.
He has agreed to go to counselling and for the last 2. He has even stated how he was wrong and corrects it with the view to not repeating it. Is this going to impact the health visitor positively? It has brought about a change and when we go for the counselling this should show how serious he has become in improving. My daughter is more important and it is my whole being to provide that loving and safe environment for her..
What I can do however is make some general points — I think it is fantastic that anyone takes the steps they need to take to deal with behaviour that is hurting themselves and others. I hope your partner can stay the course. There may of course be bumps in the road but I hope that his engagement with therapy will be seen as a really positive sign, so too your willingness to end the relationship if he does not make and sustain changes. Update …. That seems bonkers and entirely counter productive.
Thank you kindly. I do appreciate your generic points. Wishing you lots of strength for the days ahead. I am glad the HV has reassured you. Hello, I am trying to seek help for my now 14 year old son. My ex husband physically abused him while I was at work when he was younger. My son would never discuss it. He was afraid he would get in more trouble if he told. Since then, I have left and divorced my ex husband and my son is finally telling me everything. Its been 2 years since I left him. Is it too late to do anything legal about this? My son deserves some kind of justice and closure.
I am not sure what to do. Thank you. It sounds as if the police should be your first port of call — assaulting a child is a crime. Me and my child live with my parents and I am still married to a verbally abusive man. I phoned the police at Christmas because of his abuse and moved out with my child. I am fearful of divorcing him and getting a child court order as he is pushing for joint unsupervised access. He is controlling and neglects his child and has angry outbursts and kicks and throws things around and takes no responsibility for his actions.
I am extremely upset, as I have had legal advice which has suggested that he can do a 6 month course and if he passes he would gain unsupervised access.
Hes an abuser… full stop. He can manipulate and put on a show to anybody but behind clothes doors, hes a nasty man who would emotionally abuse and frighten my child if he gained unsupervised access. Somehow authorities know the perpetrator more than anyone and by completing a course, apparently the abuser changes completely. Yes he will act the loving dad to the public but behind closed doors its a totally different story. He will never change, but pretend to everyone like he has.
And the pattern goes on and on. Its all an act.. My child is 2.
5 Ways to Help a Loved One Escape Domestic Violence
This report also contains evidence obtained from interviews conducted in Italy in with migrants and asylum seekers and on board an NGO rescue ship in All names of migrant, refugee, and asylum seeker interviewees have been changed for their protection. In all cases, Human Rights Watch told interviewees they would receive no personal service or benefit for their statements and that the interviews were completely voluntary.
Human Rights Watch decided to brief the director of DCIM at the end of the research mission, on issues of ill treatment and inhumane detention conditions. We did not raise individual cases with detention center staff to protect detainees from possible retaliation. In accordance with international standards, all interviewees under the age of 18 are considered children. This report only covers detention activities and EU cooperation in western Libya and does not cover the detention regime and coast guard activities in eastern Libya carried out by forces affiliated with the Libyan National Army LNA and the Interim Government.
Libya has long been a destination for migrants seeking work as well as a transit country for migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees seeking to reach the EU. In addition to the 8,, migrants and asylum seekers in official detention at the time of our visit, the United Nations estimates that more than , migrants and asylum seekers live in Libya outside detention; while an unknown number are held in warehouses and other informal detention centers operated by smuggling networks and militias. This led to the collapse of central authority and emergence initially of three, now two, separate authorities competing for legitimacy.
The ongoing political turmoil and protracted armed conflicts since have plunged the country into an economic crisis in which illicit smuggling, including of human beings, has flourished. People smuggling and trafficking is now a multi-million-euro business in the country, a major source of livelihood for many Libyans.
Two governments vie for legitimacy and control of the country. All efforts to achieve political reconciliation have foundered. They are also involved in criminal activities including smuggling and extortion. Fighting broke out in Tripoli in late August between armed groups linked to the interior and defense ministries of the GNA. They were competing for control of territory and access to income from vital institutions in the capital.
A UN-brokered cease-fire on September 26, , ended the clashes, which claimed the lives of at least people and wounded at least , the majority of them civilians. Human Rights Watch has documented abuses by smugglers, militias and criminal gangs against migrants in Libya for over a decade. She said she was repeatedly raped. Every night he did this to me. She said the pregnancy was the result of the rape.
There is significant evidence that smugglers operate in varying degrees of collusion with government officials and militias. A confidential UN Panel of Experts report on Libya leaked to the press in February and reviewed by Human Rights Watch concluded that most smuggling and trafficking groups have links to official security institutions.
Foreigners, regardless of age, without authorization to be in Libya are detained on the basis of laws dating back to the Gaddafi era that criminalize undocumented entry, stay and exit punishable by imprisonment, fines, and forced labor. Immigration detention in Libya can be indefinite because the law does not specify a maximum term, providing only that detention be followed by deportation. There are no formal procedures in place allowing detainees access to a lawyer or any opportunity to challenge the decision to detain them.
Prolonged detention of adults and children other than the period strictly necessary to carry out a lawful deportation and without access to judicial review amounts to arbitrary detention and is prohibited under international law. Human Rights Watch learned of only one instance where Libyan authorities allegedly freed detainees from immigration detention through a judicial process.
In that case, five Palestinians and two Syrians who had been intercepted at sea and detained at Tajoura center were released after paying fines for illegal entry and exit. The director of Tajoura center told Human Rights Watch these individuals later were on board a rescue ship that disembarked in Spain in June While centers are staffed with DCIM personnel, most centers are under the effective control of whichever armed group controls the neighborhood where a center is located. Researchers noted the presence of unmarked armed vehicles parked outside the center and the entry of militia members into the premises.
At the Tajoura detention center, a militia known as Katibat al-Dhaman, under command of Mohamed Dreider, is in charge of providing security for the prison complex that houses the DCIM facility and a separate prison under the Justice Ministry. Researchers noted the presence of armed men from the militia within the complex. Armed men were present within the al-Karareem compound during the visit. At the Zuwara detention center, a militia known as the Zuwara Protection Force, under the Zuwara Military Council, is in charge of providing security for the town including the detention center.
As noted, militias and other armed groups operate an unknown number of unofficial detention centers. One asylum seeker from Darfur told researchers he was held for two weeks in the military camp of Brigade , a major Misrata-led and GNA-aligned armed group in Tripoli and was forced to work at no pay. When new managers or guards take over, the detention regime can change, becoming more or less violent and allowing or barring the provision of services by the UN or NGOs.
While some of the detainees in DCIM centers were arrested in raids on smuggler camps, private homes, and in stops on the streets, the increase in interceptions at sea by the LCG is swelling numbers at the centers and contributing to greater overcrowding and deteriorating conditions. The arbitrary and indefinite nature of the immigration detention system in Libya means there are only discretionary, informal and often dangerous or exploitative ways for people to get out.
Some detainees are released to work in private homes, on farms, or in construction. Some are paid for their labor and then allowed to leave or escape. Human Rights Watch has, however, heard numerous statements of people forced to work for no pay. You work for months and then maybe they sell you to someone else. Suleyman, a year-old from Darfur in the Sudan, said he was forced to work without pay for an armed group while he was detained at a DCIM detention center in Tripoli known as Trig el-Matar.
Bribing guards or consular officials to secure release is another way out of detention. Some detainees attempt risky escapes from detention centers. Detainees at Tajoura center told us several men had attempted an escape a few weeks before our visit, and that while a few managed to get away, guards shot at and injured several others.
A detainee at the al-Karareem detention center in Misrata said he was tortured after helping three men escape. Some representatives of embassies in Tripoli visit detention centers, or conduct Skype interviews with nationals, to facilitate repatriation. The director of Ain Zara center said most detainees, especially Sudanese nationals, refuse to meet with their embassies, though he recalled one occasion in which a Sudanese government representative convinced a group of Sudanese to accept repatriation. According to a released detainee from Palestine, one Palestinian asylum seeker from Gaza who spent 1.
We also heard of visits by Somali embassy staff to Ain Zara and Tajoura centers, including earlier on the same day that we visited Tajoura. Somalis are among the nine nationalities UNHCR may register as people of concern given a presumption of protection needs; efforts by Somali officials to identify and repatriate nationals raise serious concerns unless the Somali nationals in question have prior access to UNHCR for a determination of any protection needs or risks upon return.
Until October , UNHCR was able to secure the release of particularly vulnerable asylum seekers—primarily women and children as well as critical and urgent medical cases—into their care in Libya; that year 1, people were released into the care of the agency. These programs are discussed in the next chapter.
The approach has the effect of avoiding the legal responsibilities that arise when migrants and asylum seekers reach EU territory, including territorial waters, or otherwise come under EU jurisdiction. EU law and jurisprudence justly affirms the right to seek asylum, the right to fair procedures, and the right to humane treatment. Political calculations also influence policy choices. Nevertheless, this funding has not helped to diminish the widespread and systematic violence and abysmal conditions in migrant detention centers.
As of June , Libyan Coast Guard and Navy personnel had participated in training courses, out of 3, total personnel. None of them had had any training at all, according to the report. A former colonial power in Libya, Italy has deep historical, political, and economic ties with the country, and engaged in significant migration cooperation agreements with the Gaddafi government.
Italy is carrying out an EU-funded project to assist Libya in setting up a maritime rescue coordination center MRCC , which is expected to be operational in In the meantime, a Libyan operations room has been set up aboard an Italian Navy ship docked in Tripoli. The Libyan Coast Guard does not have capacity to provide continuous coverage or rapid response in every case of distress in the entire area that Libya unilaterally delineated as its search and rescue zone. Relying heavily on technical and surveillance assistance from Italy, the LCG increased the number of interceptions in the first half of The LCG intercepted 12, people in the first seven months of , a 41 percent increase over the same period in Commercial ships are being called upon to respond to situations of distress and put in the position of having to hand migrants and asylum seekers to Libyan Coast Guard forces at sea or disembark people directly in Libya.
In several instances, Italy has instructed commercial ships in the initial phase of a rescue only to hand coordination over to Libyan authorities. Human Rights Watch was not able to independently confirm this information. While 50 were taken to detention centers, 29 were reportedly imprisoned on criminal charges relating to hijacking and piracy.
Don't give them "one more chance."
A Spanish fishing boat, the Nuestra Madre de Loreto, remained at sea for ten days with 11 people it rescued in international waters late November Malta agreed to allow disembarkation on December 2, , on the condition everyone would be subsequently transferred to Spain. The rate of death per attempted crossing has significantly increased.
UNHCR estimated that one in 18 people died or went missing in the period January-July compared to one in every 42 people in the same period in According to the IOM, there were 20 recorded deaths in April and 11 in May , while an estimated people died or went missing in June Alexandra, 25, mother of two children from Ghana, who had travelled to Libya with her husband Kofi, 32, said they had both been on a boat with people in June and, after the Coast Guard intercepted and disembarked them, they saw dead bodies of migrants:. Some interviewees described acts of intimidation or violence by members of the Coast Guard during interceptions.
Joanna, 34, from Cameroon and mother of three, said that she was on a boat with people that was already in international waters after 10 hours at sea in early June , when a Coast Guard vessel approached:. Ahmed, 26, a Palestinian from Gaza, described a similar incident in May when the Coast Guard approached the boat he was on after 11 hours at sea, during his second attempt to reach Europe. Ahmed said they were in sight of a large orange-colored ship:. The rescue group said that the Libyan Coast Guard declined their repeated offers of assistance and ordered the ship to leave the area.
They are defensive, saying they need to protect migrants when lives are at risk. We are trying to shape a narrative whereby they treat Africans with respect. Staff members of international humanitarian organizations operating in Libya described to Human Rights Watch poor coordination and even disputes among humanitarian actors, including UN agencies, and the lack of a conflict-sensitive framework that requires assessment of the interaction between humanitarian assistance and the conflict context to avoid negative impacts. More broadly, these observers expressed concern that humanitarian assistance to detainees in official detention centers, vital as it may be, served to prop up a system of abusive, arbitrary detention and provide a fig leaf for EU migration control policies.
Each agency is responsible for six disembarkation points, where they provide basic material assistance hygiene kits , quick medical checks, although not systematically for all who are disembarked, and register basic information about each person, mostly limited to the name and nationality. Accounts from individuals intercepted by the LCG suggest that these UN agencies are not present at all disembarkations, either because they take place in unofficial locations, remote locations, or during the late hours of the night, or because the agencies are unable to send staff.
Mulugeta, a year-old from Ethiopia who was detained in Zuwara when we interviewed him, said there were no international organizations present when he was disembarked in that city in June A group of men wearing a mix of uniforms and civilian clothes took all their money and cell phones, and one of them beat Mulugeta when he asked for his possessions, he said. UN agencies are trying to systematize registration of all migrants at disembarkation points, using electronic tablets to record basic information. Once people are placed in detention, they may be transferred to other centers without proper record-keeping, or leave the center in a variety of ways, including transfer into the hands of smuggling networks, payment of a bribe, removal by militias for forced labor, or escape.
Detention centers do not systematically make a record of the name, nationality and age of every person who is transferred into the center. This means DCIM, but also UN agencies and humanitarian organizations present in detention centers, easily lose track of people and are unable to find them again.
In early September , UNHCR issued a press release reporting that smugglers and traffickers were impersonating their staff at disembarkation points as well as other locations. I tried to call but then I had to get on the bus. A detainee in the Misrata detention center may also have met impersonators at disembarkation. In parallel with its collective efforts to prevent boat migration from Libya, the EU is underwriting UN programs to help migrants and asylum seekers get out of arbitrary detention in Libya.
While these programs have helped large numbers of people escape inhumane treatment and conditions, they have done little to address the systemic problems with immigration detention in Libya and serve as a fig leaf to cover the injustice of the EU containment policy. In Niamey, asylum seekers undergo full refugee status determination for the purposes of resettlement. By the end of November , 2, had been evacuated to Niger, with an additional evacuated directly to Italy and 95 to a UNHCR emergency transit center in Romania. Although Libya is a party to the Organization of the African Union Refugee Convention, it is not a party to the Refugee Convention and has, as yet, no formal mechanism to protect individuals fleeing persecution, not to mention the practical and security obstacles to doing so in Libya at present.
Negotiations on an MoU continue with little progress. As a consequence, they cannot benefit from evacuation. UNHCR is also facilitating the return to asylum seekers currently in detention in Libya to the countries where they first registered with the agency. According to UNHCR Libya, three countries—Sudan, Ethiopia, and Chad—have agreed to receive people back in these circumstances and the agency is continuing advocacy with other countries. Since January , IOM has repatriated around 30, people. The range of reintegration measures varies among destination countries. The VHR program, as it is known, provides a vital service to people whose migration dream has turned into a nightmare and who want to return to their home country safely and are able to do so.
Human Rights Watch spoke to numerous detainees who had experienced devastating losses and abuse along their journeys, and who wished to return home. However, the fact that access to VHR is one of the few ways detainees can regain freedom from the abysmal conditions and treatment in detention fundamentally undermines the voluntary nature of the program.
Hamza, 31, from Morocco told us violence by the guards at the Zuwara facility influenced his decision to register for repatriation with an embassy official the day before we spoke. Now I have changed my mind. Other Moroccans want to leave too. A humanitarian worker in Libya who wished to remain anonymous said IOM is essentially deporting people on behalf of the Libyan authorities, free of charge.
These returns, and UNHCR evacuations, he said, are not real long-term solutions, and are not working to empty detention centers given the rate of interceptions followed by automatic detention. He argued that decriminalizing irregular entry and stay, and the creation of pathways to regularization of status in Libya, are key to addressing abuses against migrants in the country. Isaac began on his journey with his brother, with a plan to work in Italy to save money and then study in the United Kingdom to become a lawyer.
He wished to support his widowed sick mother. Smugglers in Sebha, a southern city that serves as a major hub for migrants, held him and his brother captive where, Isaac said, they killed his brother and burned Isaac on his stomach and left arm to extort more money out of his family. She cried. Because Isaac did not fear for his life or his freedoms back home, he had the option to return to Nigeria as a way to escape detention, though returning would end his migration dreams. However, others risk being forced to return to places where they do face serious risks.
Somalis, who are able to register with UNHCR, are reportedly signing up in large numbers for repatriation. Human Rights Watch heard repeated complaints from migrants and asylum seekers, but also from Libyan detention authorities, that IOM and UNHCR came only rarely and were not able to register enough people when they did visit. A group of 13 Ivorian women detained in the Ain Zara center told us on July 5, , that they had been intercepted by the Coast Guard in mid-June.
They wished to return home and were frustrated that they had not yet been registered by IOM. If you have children, they will be able to shelter them as well. They understand and will not judge you in your predicament. They provide individual and group therapy. They will help you with legal matters such as obtaining temporary restraining orders. The National Domestic Violence website warns users to use a safe computer not accessible to the abuser as computer usage can be monitored quite easily. Yes, you need to take precautions so you can be safe before you leave this relationship.
The time to be most vigilant is when the abuser realizes that you are planning to leave him or her. Have a safety plan in place. The above-mentioned website has a section to help you make these plans. Make every effort to address the underlying issues that led you to being in a dysfunctional relationship. Did you have a childhood that led you to doubt your self-worth? Although men and women heterosexual and homosexual of many different cultural, racial, ethnic, educational, economic groups become victimized in abusive relationships, the common denominators are lack of self-esteem and self-love.
When we stay in these relationships, we become increasingly depressed; our self-esteem plummets further.
Abuse: Why people accept it, but how to escape abuse and be healed
The downward spiral must be interrupted by obtaining help. If you are depressed, you probably feel tired and indecisive. Your thoughts are negative, which furthers the depressive mood. It is easy to feel trapped and hopeless, but dig deep and look for that flicker of hope. It is there!
Related The Five Step Process to Escape From Abuse
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