Left abusive partner/ Universal Credit help

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  • #26620 Report


    Hello fellow single parents,

    I wanted to ask if anyone could help me with a pretty complex situation. This is going to be a long post, I’m sorry 🙁

    I have lived and worked in London since 2012 and have given birth to my beautiful son in March 2018. The dad and I was in a relationship until shortly after his birth. We have been together 7 years beforehand and he has been physically and verbally abusive throughout.

    After leaving him I have claimed Universal Credit whilst being on Maternity Leave and was therefore able to rent a 2 bedroom flat.

    Now shortly after my sons first birthday he started showing up in our lives again, would try to contact me and come creep up around the flat etc. It has made me more than scared and paranoid. I called my mum and told her everything about what has been happening and she told me to immediately pack everything and come back home. So in my state of terror, I did. I terminated my UC claim and moved. My mum lives back home in Germany. At first it was obviously a big relief to be in a different country to my ex but I now have been here for just under 3 months and the brain fog of having been in an abusive relationship for so long has lifted. I finally reported incidents to the police from when my ex had attacked me when we were still together and spoke to several charities. I am now in the midst of sorting out custody (he is on the birth certificate), since I want to have full custody of my son. I will also go to therapy, to process everything I’ve been through.

    I can’t help but feeling really depressed. My mum lives very remote, and coming from London I just don’t ‘fit in’. Living in London was my dream and I feel like I have failed, like I have let my ex take that dream away from me. Once I have everything sorted out I so desperately want to go back to London, since all my friends are there and I mean its been my home for the last 8 years!! Of course I would take all neccessary precautions to make sure he wouldn’t know where I am!

    Now my actual question is would I be able to make a new claim once I return? Having been out of the UK for a certain amount of time? I have called the Citizens Advice and a lady on the phone told me I had apparently broken my settlement agreement if I am out of the UK for over a month and would not be entiteled to any help upon my return (having then been out of the UK for around 7/8 months since I am planning to return by the end of the year or so)

    I am going to save as much money as I can but rents in London are so expensive I am going to need some sort of support. My plan was to put him into nursery for a couple of days a week and start working again.

    I also tried calling Universal Credit helpline and was told they could only give me advice once I am here and have made a claim. I am just so confused and scared that I will stand there with nothing not even being able to find a flat for my son and me…

    I hope you can help me or give me some peace of mind. And thank you if you did make it until here.

    Warm regards,



    #26650 Report


    Hi Miriam, congratulations on escaping from your abuser, I understand that it was difficult to leave your home in London and it’s great that your thinking of moving back.

    It would be worth giving the gingerbread team a ring, they are trained and can give you the most up to date advise.


    I would like to think that due to your circumstances that there is a means to appeal.

    Good luck


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