Domestic Abuse/psychological violence

I have been contacted by a close relation who is English but lived with her french husband for 20 years in France. They had not been getting along for some years but a year ago they started to see marriage Councillors. It transpired that the male partner was ‘controlling’ and the female partner was unable to make decisions. They went for a trial separation and the male partner told the female partner that she needed to leave because she was incapable of looking after the house. After the trial ended (6 months) the male partner told her to return or suffer consequences. She returned but it was no better and so she went to see a Councillor again who this time suggested that it might be better for her to leave as the love had long since gone from their relationship. She left and he became very angry and locked her out of the house. She tried to find alternative accommodation but he emptied the joint accounts. When she did find somewhere that would accept her without references or proof of income he refused permission for her to take any furniture with her. Her emails and files were taken away so she was unable to work or to continue to deal with the house finances. He lavished expensive jewellery on their 15 year old daughter to woo her away from her, is spying on her every move through technology (location tracking, monitoring e-mails) and is making her mistrustful of her friends by leaking information that he knows by saying that he ‘heard it from one of her friends’. She has no one in France that she feels she can trust and is feeling VERY depressed with every move being monitored. Meanwhile he has very expensive lawyers advising him. He has said that he is handing in his resignation at work so that he has no income as he has told her that she is getting nothing. She has contacted me for help and I am not sure what to advise. She still believes that her former partner is an honest man who is acting in her best intention and is refusing to show any anger to him or do anything that will antagonize him further. I am going to France next week to talk to her but I am not sure what I can do. Can anybody give me some advice please? She needs money to live on and not to be constantly spied on - and eventually she wants a divorce. So far she has seen two lawyers who she says havent done anything for the last month.

I suppose this is resolved now, just thinking about this org…
Free expert counsel on the kinds of situation you described. A wonderful sanity saving experience, about 22_years ago.