Ivan contacted Unlock for some support. He had received a conviction for common assault following an argument with his wife and had received a two year community service order.
Ivan had been married for 19 years and had a 16 year old son. The marriage had not been happy for some time and the conviction arose after he pushed his wife who had been continually tormenting and goading him. She immediately telephoned the police and went on to make a statement alleging continued domestic violence. Ivan maintained that he had always been a good husband and a good provider and his family wanted for nothing.
Since his conviction, his wife’s treatment of him had become worse. She had turned his son against him, took most of his money and made him carry out most of the household task. If Ivan refused, she threatened to go to the police and report him for further instances of domestic abuse. Ivan had attempted suicide and stated that he was close to a mental breakdown. He could see no way out of his situation as, due to lack of money and no family or friends, he was unable to move out of the family house.
We asked Ivan if he believed himself to be a victim of domestic abuse. Ivan agreed that he had never thought about it before, but he probably was. Ivan was desperate to move out of the family home but simply could not afford to do so. He had been working for the same company for 18 years and they had stood by him throughout the court case. Ivan knew that he was a loyal and hard-working individual but one of the reasons his organisation had supported him was that although he was very skilled he was substantially underpaid, earning about £15k per annum. He was unable to see how his situation was ever likely to improve especially now that he had a criminal conviction.
We suggested that he contact Mankind, an organisation working with men suffering from physical and mental abuse from partners. They also advised that there were many organisations who would be able to see beyond Ivan’s conviction and would be happy to have somebody with the skills he had work as part of their team. The advisor provided Ivan with options of when and how to disclose his conviction.
It took Ivan a couple of weeks to contact Mankind but he has been in regular contact with them and they have been a great source of both practical and emotional support. As his confidence increased, Ivan started applying for jobs and was invited to attend several interviews. In the course of one week, Ivan was offered 3 jobs with salaries between £27k and £35k. He contacted us again as he wanted to talk through the 3 options and seek some advice on how his conviction would be presented on his basic disclosure certificate.
Ivan did not pick the organisation which paid the most but the one which is internationally recognised with great future career prospects.
He is still living in the martial home but with his increased salary, believes that he will shortly be able to look at moving out, even if this means that he will just be renting a room.
“When I first rang Unlock, I was really desperate, I’d even tried to kill myself. My wife had made me feel like a total failure and I lived in constant fear of being re-arrested by the police. The lady on the Helpline was really understanding and seemed to recognise that I was a victim as much as my wife. I applied for quite a few jobs and got no reply and then suddenly I started to get interviews and before I knew it, 3 job offers. Live is good for me again and can only get better. Thank you Unlock.”
Notes about this case study
This case study relates to Unlock’s Helpline.
Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.