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How do I talk to my kids about going to a shelter for abused women?

I'm in an abusive marraige, and i'm getting ready to leave my husband. We have 3 girls, and he's never hurt me in any kind of way in front of them, although I know they've seen and heard arguments. Well things are getting worse with him, and I've been trying to find a place to go that's safe with the kids, since I don't have f family I can go to. So I found this womens shelter and I've already talked to them, and I can go there if I really need to. Its a shelter for abused women and they're kids if they have any. So how do I talk to the kids about this? I dint ever want them to know ii let a man put his hands on me, and I don't want them to see their dad like that. I want to just tell them me and daddy are having a break or splitting up or something simple. But being in a shelter I think they'll understand how big if a deal it is.

Answer Question

Asked by momfabulous at 9:04 PM on May. 12, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 3 (18 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • how old are your kids?

    You might want to talk to the shelter about that.

    Answer by tempsingl3mom at 9:06 PM on May. 12, 2013

  • Their ages determines the words you use. Kids are amazingly intuitive. If you think they've heard one fight, they've probably heard around 10.

    I would say: Kids, you all know that Mommy and Daddy have been arguing a lot. Mommy is NOT going to allow Daddy to treat her that way any more. We're going away from Daddy for a long time so that we ALL can be safe.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 9:08 PM on May. 12, 2013

  • I would make him leave and get a restraigning order. Change your locks and make him pay. Talk to the women at the shelter, they can help you to get an order against him. Do not be afraid of him anymore. Do this for your kids. Sometimes we tell kids too much. As long as you are OK, they will be OK. They take their cues from you. Get tough and take your life back. No fear.....

    Answer by LeJane at 9:10 PM on May. 12, 2013

  • They're 3, 6, and 10. I'm more concerned about the older 2.

    Comment by momfabulous (original poster) at 9:10 PM on May. 12, 2013

  • Your kids will look to you for strength and reassurance. If you can give that to them, it won't matter where they sleep at night. Your older ones especially probably know more than you think they do about what's been going on. If it comes down to the truth, tell them that you made a mistake by letting Daddy put his hands on you in an angry way, but you aren't going to allow it anymore, and you want them to learn from this and be strong when they grow up and find partners of their own.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:15 PM on May. 12, 2013

  • Yeah, keep it simple for all of them. If they ask questions, keep your answers simple and age appropriate. Kids are NOT dumb. They know SOMETHING is going on between the adults. Give them this avenue to talk with you.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 9:17 PM on May. 12, 2013

  • The 10 year old will probably understand quite a bit. I think Rosehawk's "script" was appropriate for all your kids.

    In theory I agree with LeJane about kicking HIM out, but if there's any chance you'd be less safe around him, then getting under the radar to a place he does not know would probably be best. If that's your route, consider what happens with school.

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:09 PM on May. 12, 2013

  • Talk to them once you are there. Do not try to prepare them. Someone will spill the beans and it could put you in danger.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 10:35 PM on May. 12, 2013

  • Don't underestimate what they know. If they've heard fights they KNOW he has hurt you. Hearing fights is extremely stressful for a child. You might find that they feel relief when you tell them.

    Answer by winterglow at 1:19 AM on May. 13, 2013

  • Tell them you are going to place to keep all of you safe. I wouldn't tell them until you're actually in the car because they might mention it to their father or someone else who might tip him off. If my parents gave me no heads up, I would understand. Once you're at the shelter, then explain to them that it's like a hotel for people who are traveling. That way they'll know it's not permanent and can prepare for more change. Please be sure to erase the history on your computer if you share the computer or use a household one in case he tries to track you down. Take all your important documents with you. You need to file a protective order so he'll be arrested if he comes near you. You can also file an emergency protective order that is approved instantly and lasts up to 3 days to 1 week until you can get a permanent one. Police stations can request the emergency one. Ask for a court advocate to help you file the other one.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 3:45 AM on May. 13, 2013

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