30th June 2020 at 10:31 am #108237tigerlilyparkerParticipant
I was signposted here by my key worker as I’m really missing our peer support group during lockdown and could do with chatting to people who understand.
I’m writing concerning my ex, the father of my daughter, who I’m worried has been mistreating our daughter during child contact.
We are under (detail removed by Moderator) which is a DV charity where we live but they aren’t really operational at the moment. I called to ask for advice and they’ve referred us back to social services due to risk of harm. I’m extremely worried about what his reaction will be to me when he becomes aware that they are involved.
He took me (detail removed by Moderator) for access around (detail removed by Moderator) years ago and, whilst the DV was accepted, contact (detail removed by Moderator) was ordered with our daughter, then just (detail removed by Moderator) years old. She’s come back from seeing him saying she doesn’t want to go again and is scared of him, and the impact on her behaviour following contact is giving me serious concerns about whether or not any contact should take place. It was deemed that the abuse concerned me and she wasn’t at risk but he is an abusive bully, a serial canceller/late arriver and dropper offer, uses what I would consider to be excessive discipline which scares her, and refuses to engage in discussion about her need for SEN support, stating that I’m the reason she behaves ‘badly’.
I was treated so appallingly (detail removed by Moderator) last time that I’m terrified the same thing will happen again if we get to that stage, and am terrified of what his reaction will be when he discovers I’ve flagged concerns which have resulted in a referral.
Has anyone else (detail removed by Moderator) concerns over contact years later? Would really appreciate any similar stories or advice, it’s such a worry
1st July 2020 at 12:51 am #108353Soulsearcher18Participant
I don’t have the experience that you are interested in hearing about I’m sorry but I’m sure others will.
I do understand your concerns about having a referral though. However, I just wanted to reassure you that I think that this is the best option as you will gain professional evidence this way on the effects on your daughter. The focus of the referral will be on his behaviour and the impact on your daughter. It is worthwhile considering accessing any parental support that is available in your area, or agreeing to any support offered as this shows that you are prepared to engage with services in the best interests of your child- in contrast to his dismissive attitude.
I would still keep in contact with the DV charity where you live if this is possible for on-going support through this process, or if not- perhaps use the webchat facility on here for continued advice. Ideally some local DV support would be best though I think so that you can continue to check in with them.
There is the free helpline for legal advice from Rights of Women if you felt like you wanted to get a legal view on your situation and things to be aware of.
With regard to being terrified of his reaction to the news of a referral, you need to express this to the DV charity, perhaps Rights of Women and get some advice around this. If he were to display any threatening behaviours towards you, I think this would be deemed as harassment and you could report it to the police.
I’m just typing my thoughts aloud there, I’m no expert at all and really new to all of this but definitely surrounding yourself with support is going to help you to cope with the process.
I hope that you get some more posts from women with similar experiences.
My thoughts when I read your post was that dad has been given the benefit of the doubt and opportunity to be a father to his child by the system but if professional services can now evidence that he is abusing this opportunity then surely- with the DV being accepted-it will at least have to move to supervised contact. Surely they can’t justify continued unsupervised contact. Not that this is the focus now but it would make me want to go back to the original professionals involved and hold them to account for any negative affects on the child- they should be held to account for knowingly allowing proven perpetrators unsupervised access. If they were, I reckon we wouldn’t see so much complacency over children’s lives.
News just out today that I hope will help in your case:
1st July 2020 at 7:56 am #108355KIP.Participant
I’m not sure about how long ago the child contact arrangements were put in place but things have changed and there is much more information now about how a child is now being abused when their parent is. The domestic abuse bill that’s going through parliament at the moment has recently recognised and added this to the bill. he actually abused your child as well as you. I’d contact women’s aid and get all the up to date information and challenge the decision by the court and push for zero contact. Meantime keep a journal of all his behaviour and how it’s impacting you and your child. Keep building a support network round you. Rights of Women have a helpline but google other domestic abuse charities. Do you qualify for legal aid?
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