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‘I’m struggling’ says domestic abuse survivor who feels let down by Brent’s social services

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:41 17 September 2020

The domestic abuse survivor fears for her children's safety.

The domestic abuse survivor fears for her children's safety.

Archant

A “struggling” mother is appealing for more help from Brent Council to shield her young children from their “abusive” father.

The domestic abuse survivor is struggling and feels unheard by Brent social servicesThe domestic abuse survivor is struggling and feels unheard by Brent social services

Maryam (not her real name) has not been taking her British-born children to school as she is fearful her ex-husband will “take them”.

She was assigned a social worker some eight weeks ago, following a call to the police about her ex-husband.

However, Maryam said the council has “done nothing” to help her move property or give financial help.

In a letter, Brent says she “should be aware that your No Recourse to Public Funds status means that we are severely limited in the amount of financial aid we can provide”.

Despite living in the UK legally for more than 20 years, Maryam receives only child benefit payments, and in the last month has received only a one-off food voucher and £60 from the council.

In August, a court issued her ex-husband with a non-molestation order but he has allegedly been seen outside his children’s school since term started. He allegedly asked Maryam’s neighbour where the children were and, if she saw them, to give them to him.

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“I’m struggling,” said Maryam. “I’m scared and my kids are afraid and we are stuck at home. All the social worker says is ‘your kids must go to school, your kids must go to school’, like a mantra. The council doesn’t help me; my neighbours help me, bring food.”

She said Brent Council has offered her housing across the country - in Lancashire, Glasgow and the Isle of Wight - where she knows no-one.

Her brother, who was supporting her financially until he was made redundant, said: “She has (her) kids, no electricity, no gas...

“I really appreciate what the school has done to help but it is not safe for my sister to send the children.

“The ex-husband wants to kidnap the kids.”

A Brent Council spokesperson said: “We take all allegations of domestic abuse seriously and do all we can to support those who need it. No-one should have to live in fear in their home. We are in contact with Maryam and are working closely with her to ensure she and her children have the help they need to stay safe and well.”

A Met spokesperson said: “In September officers from the North West Safeguarding Unit arrested a man on suspicion of breach of a non-molestation order.

“He was taken into custody before being bailed with conditions pending further enquiries.”


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