Scared for my children

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Lisa Lisa 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #67624
    Profile photo of Missnobody Missnobody 
    Participant

    I’m making plans to leave but I’m so scared he will take the children. I just know that once he realises he’s lost me he’ll use them against me and I know I’ll definitely have a fight on my hands.
    The thought of not having my children with me every day terrifies me.
    I often think maybe I’ll just stay.

  • #67627
    Profile photo of KIP. KIP. 
    Participant

    Try to speak to your local women’s aid. You can document his abusive behaviour and make an exit plan with their support. I thought that staying was the answer but your children suffer. They miss out on a happy healthy mum. The witness dysfunctional behaviour which they think is normal. There are many good reasons to get out. Not least that you can be a good parent and lead by example. Teach your kids that abuse in never acceptable. There’s lots of help out there. You need to know your rights. Get all your ducks in a row first.

  • #67641
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Don’t mean to scare you, but if things are that bad – (Detail removed by Moderator) Because you will not be protecting them. And the police. social care/the courts will see it that way. Really don’t mean to be harsh but many on here will confirm that this is a danger.

    Perhaps you would clarify for yourself and others what you mean by ‘you are scared he will take the kids away’. How? Why? Have you dont a risk assessment with WA? Or the police.

    Concrete plans needed.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #67651
    Profile photo of freedomtochoose freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Just wanted to send you some strength this morning. Just try to break it down, step by step.
    the fear of losing kids is awful.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #67653
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Make safe plans to get out, then fight through the family courts to keep them safe. You can do this with the help of WA,lots of support xxxx DIY

  • #67654
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    So bare with me on this, it’s a really good starting point. It gives a good understanding with what your actually dealing with a bit academic. I found this really helpful in preparing;

    The Three Planet Model

    Professor Marianne Hester, internationally recognised for her research on domestic violence, will head the School of Policy Studies’ new Centre for Gender and Violence Research when it opens in October.

    A quarter of the work that the police have to deal with is concerned with domestic violence. This is a startling statistic, but it illustrates an important change in attitudes that has occurred over recent decades. Twenty or 30 years ago, domestic violence was very much a private matter; more recently, emphasis has been put on a criminal justice approach to the problem and domestic violence is now a crime. Alongside this growing awareness of domestic violence and its cost for women with children has come increasing public and political concern. As a consequence, the Government has put a lot of energy and resource into developing work in this area. Nevertheless, the problem continues.

    Domestic violence is a complex issue that requires a common understanding of all the problems and a co-ordinated response from the many agencies involved. Traditionally, the abuse of women and the abuse of children were examined as separate issues, with services and policies being developed at different stages by different groups in isolation. We now have a much better understanding of the interrelationship between domestic violence and child abuse. For example, we now know that when a woman is being abused, not only is her parenting capacity likely to be affected, but there is also a heightened probability that her children will be abused as well. Despite this improved understanding, Hester still feels that the agencies and services working to ensure the safety of women and children face particularly difficult challenges due to the contradictions that exist between the law and professional practices. To illustrate this, she has developed a ‘Three Planet Model’, where each ‘planet’ or region has its own history, culture and laws.

     

    The domestic violence planet

    On this planet, domestic violence is considered a crime. The father’s behaviour is recognised by the police and other agencies as being abusive to the mother, so he could be prosecuted for a criminal or public order offence. He might also have a restraining or protective order taken out against him. At the same time, support agencies provide protection and refuge for the mother. The civil and criminal laws provide intervention and support mechanisms, and on this planet the focus is on violent male partners who need to be contained and controlled in some way in order to ensure that the women and children are safe.

     

    The child protection planet

    When children are living with a mother who is experiencing domestic violence, another planet becomes involved where a different set of professionals live. Here, social workers reside alongside the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – those who have a statutory duty to protect children – so this planet has a different population and consequently a different set of laws. Here public law deals with child protection and the approach is very different from that on the domestic violence planet. On the child protection planet, the emphasis is on the welfare of the child and its carer.

    In order to protect the children, social workers are likely to insist that the mother removes herself and her children from the violent relationship. If she does not do so, it is she who is seen as ‘failing to protect’ and the children may then be removed into the care of the local authority. This puts the mother in a very difficult position and makes it more difficult for her to contact social services; thus the children remain vulnerable to abuse from the father. On the child protection planet, therefore, despite professionals identifying that the threat of violence comes from the man, it is the mother who is seen as responsible for dealing with the consequences and the violent man effectively disappears from the picture.

     

    The child contact planet

    On this planet there is yet another population because a different set of professionals reside here, governed by private, not public, law. The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service has tended to place less emphasis on child protection and more on the idea that children should have two parents. In this context, an abusive father may still be deemed a ‘good enough’ father, who should at least have contact with, if not custody or residence of, his child post-separation. So the mother who has tried to protect the child from his violent behaviour by calling in the police and supporting his prosecution on the domestic violence planet, and by leaving him as instructed on the child protection planet, is now ordered to allow contact between her violent partner and children, leaving her confused and fearing yet again for the safety of her children.

     

    Aligning the planets

    Hester’s three planet model has now been taken up in the UK and across Europe, as well as in the US, by those who understand how important it is that a more co-ordinated approach should be taken to the issue of domestic violence. Apart from the misery it brings to the women and children who are its victims, domestic violence is also very expensive. In Bristol alone, the cost of domestic violence is estimated to be £26 million a year if just the services are taken into account. This rises to over £1 billion when human and emotional costs are included.

    Clearly, the challenge now is to bring the three planets into alignment so that the safety of women and children becomes paramount. This requires a better understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and a co-ordinated approach by all the agencies and services involved. Furthermore, it is vital that the gap is closed between ‘violent men’ on the one hand and ‘fathers’ on the other hand, so that violent men can be dealt with both as violent fathers and as perpetrators of domestic violence.

    The success of the work done by Hester and her colleagues in understanding and combating domestic violence, and the impact this has had on policy both nationally and internationally, has meant that the research group has grown to such an extent that it now warrants being a research centre in its own right. The School for Policy Studies is a research-intensive environment, currently organised around four specialist research centres, but from October this year Hester will head the School’s fifth centre: the new Centre for Gender and Violence Research.

  • #67655
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Fortunately this was written in 2009, now if we try with contact and we can prove it’s detrimental to the kids the will stop contact on the grounds of health (ill emotional health) xx so you still have to try for a while then when you can prove it hasn’t worked that’s it. As ,on as that’s the outcome you want xx 💕

  • #68090
    Profile photo of Missnobody Missnobody 
    Participant

    You know, considering this is meant to be a supportive environment I have to say I feel a little judged. I have never and would never put my children in danger. My partner is a good father and has never hurt them, he’s just a c**p boyfriend. The point I was making is that because parents have equal rights there’s obviously a chance he would get custody, which would kill me.
    Oh and my subject has been reported? I might as well just post on Facebook, same kind of judgemental attitudes met there.
    You needn’t worry as I won’t be posting again.

  • #68091
    Profile photo of SunshineRainflower SunshineRainflower 
    Participant

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to offer you some support. It’s a totally understandable concern the fear of losing your children to him and must be extremely painful and frightening. I think the other ladies were being supportive but sometimes in the written form things can sound a bit harsh when they are just trying to help. I think this happens if people go straight into practical advice rather than emotional support initially, which I think has perhaps happened on this thread. Sometimes this is the best approach as some women need immediate emergency practical advice, other times it helps to start with the emotional side, and it’s not always obvious from each post which situation the woman is in. In the end all of us are experiencing abuse or have experienced it so we are just doing our best. (Also I am not sure why the post has been reported, it might have been reported due to one of the responses, or due to a confidentiality/safety concern which could relate to anyone who has posted on the thread).

    There’s lots of support here and it’s confidential so do keep posting. Most posts get a variety of responses. I don’t always agree with everything I read here but have never seen a post where people are deliberately trying to be hurtful. It is the most kind and supportive place I have found after experiencing domestic abuse.

    I wondered if you have managed to get through to the helpline? They can help you start putting a plan in place to leave and also how to manage child custody etc if you haven’t already got a plan. If you can’t get through you can leave a voicemail and they will call you back.

    I don’t have children myself so can’t give a lot of advice about child custody etc but there are many ladies on here who have been or are currently where you are and it has all worked out ok and I am sure they can help.

    Abusers always use our worst fears and if we have children that will be the main thing they use against us. They use our fears to keep us trapped. Thankfully this doesn’t mean the fear will come true and most of the time it doesn’t, we just need to be one step ahead of them. Seek all the help available (local women’s aid, national helpline, Rights of Women, CAB etc etc) and keep posting for support.

  • #68094
    Profile photo of maddog maddog 
    Participant

    Just to add, Missnobody, that you are absolutely not alone. It is terrifying living with an abusive partner. The thoughts of what they might do is just beyond awful.

    My children are now old enough to vote with their feet. Mostly they live with me. My ex gloats when they spend a night with him. As though he’s won the lottery.

    I was in touch with Women’s Aid a long time before I realised the extent of his abuse. I had normalised so much.

    When you feel ready, please make contact with Women’s Aid. They will listen to you, validate your concerns, hopefully reassure you. They will not tell you what to do.

    Please also speak to your gp and keep a diary.

    It all sounds over-dramatic in the beginning and it’s hard to take it all in. Baby steps. You have been very brave to post here. Please come back when you feel ready.

  • #68097
    Profile photo of  Anonymous

    Hi, I really do apologise if that was me who came across like that. I know every situation is so different. I will be honest I do tend to lump these men Into the same catagorie. Maybe it’s raw anger on my part which possibly isn’t helpful to those who are just beginning this journey xx DIY apologies as I had no intention of offending any one xx

  • #68098
    Profile photo of Iwantmeback Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi missnobody, just want to let you know that I’ve had a few posts reported abd it was only because there was things in it that would id who i was our some of the content was notnotes WA woild advise.
    We hate our oh and our business being KNOWN.
    I hope you come back on, you’re not alone, this is one of the few places we can literally sat how we feel and we are not judged. The written word can come across differently to seeing someone speak to us plus with the situation we are in, i myself have taken peoples help as a personal slight, then when ive re-read it, it’s been good advice.
    Hope you’re okay.

    IWMB 💕💕

  • #68118
    Profile photo of Lisa Lisa 
    Main Moderator

    Hi Missnobody

    Its completely understandable that you have been worrying about your partner getting contact with your children if you leave and your fears around being without them during those times. The other ladies on here are right about getting some legal advice to see what contact they think he would be likely to get so you then have all the information to decide what feels best for you to do. Your local DV service is a good place to start with this.

    I also just wanted to add a reminder to all forum users to be mindful about how their responses may come across and to ensure they are nothing but supportive.

    We are all here for you and i hope you feel like posting again at some point.

    Take care

    Lisa

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