A CASE STUDY
Mrs Charlotte Green is a 76-year-old woman living in Edinburgh. She lived for 20 years in a domestic violence situation perpetrated by her husband. Her daughter was also the victim of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of the father. Mrs. Green’s husband died suddenly, and while Mrs Green and her best friend went away on holiday, her son, his wife and their son, aged 5 moved into the family home claiming that the father had left the property in his name. Mrs Green had had little experience in legal and financial matters during her marriage and was encouraged by her lawyer to sign papers to give up her home.
During this time her son began selling some of Mrs. Green personal possessions from the home. He deliberately ran over her garden with his car and gave away her gardening tools. He prevented her from using the driveway and insisted she park her car on the road, despite her being in severe hip pain awaiting hip surgery. The son constantly objected to her presence in the home. He would swear at her and call her nasty names. He often pushed her out of the way when they met in the hallway. Mrs Green, on these occasions, felt terrified and she would not give her son eye contact for fear he would hit her as her husband use to. There was an occasion when her son, in a rage, jammed her fingers in the bathroom door telling her she had used up all the hot water and that she was “a silly old woman who should be put away”. Mrs Green attended her Doctor with badly cut and bruised fingers, she told her Doctor she had been clumsy and jammed her fingers between two pieces of furniture she was moving. Mrs. Green found out her son had told neighbours that she was “senile” and to ignore her if they saw her crying in the street. At times her daughter-in-law would try to intervene but her son would shout and often hit his wife causing bruising to her face and arms. Eventually Mrs. Green’s son refused to allow her to eat...
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