Here to help *Name changed for safety reasons* Next Chapter helps many women leave abusive relationships every year but the help we can give does not end there because sadly the abuse does not always end when the relationship does. After she was assaulted by her partner, Emily* ended her relationship. After her partner left, she tried to make sure that their children still had a good relationship with their dad. This was not easy because he used the fact that he had contact with the children to be verbally abusive to Emily and to make unreasonable demands about contact. He also made promises to the children which he did not keep. This left them upset and meant Emily had to deal with the fall out. Emily came to Next Chapter for support for herself and her children. With our support Emily made changes so she controlled the contact arrangements, not her ex. She got a phone number and email address which she used just for him and blocked all other means of contact. This meant she could choose how and when she dealt with her ex-partner to make child contact arrangements. For the rest of the time she did not have to give him head space and over time she found her anxiety eased. Emily also did the You and Me Mum programme which helped her understand the impact the domestic abuse had on her and her children, and how she could help them all to recover. Our Children and Young Person’s Team helped the children express their feelings in a way that felt safe to them, using play and art. They opened up about the things they liked and didn’t like when they saw their dad. Because she felt stronger, Emily got legal advice and had changes made to the court order to make sure contact was a more positive experience for her children. Christmas can be a difficult time, especially if you are trying to arrange child contact with someone who has subjected you to domestic abuse. Please remember that Next Chapter is not just here to support you when you leave a relationship. We can help you and support you through all the difficult times that come after that. Do get in touch if you need us.