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Abused as a child - 'historic' child abuse how to get justice?

(18 Posts)
ElsieMc Sun 10-Nov-13 10:18:43

You need to think this through very carefully. I have been subjected to strenuous cross examination in court, it is very difficult and can dredge up a whole new set of emotions when it seems you are already vulnerable.

What if you aren't believed, how would you cope with that? I wasn't and for many years the injustice destroyed me. He later went on to attack several other people, the last one nearly died and he is now serving a sentence for grievous bodily harm. I just feel sad others had to suffer.

What are your chances of this even reaching court? The CPS will have to look at whether there is a real possibility of conviction first and you could fall at the first hurdle.

I have also seen a vulnerable witness in court via video link who attempted to bring this man to justice. He could not stand up to cross examination and the case failed. I also felt that via video link you cannot get a sense of real emotion and the real person on the stand.

I can see that this sounds really, really negative. You have my sympathies and you need to take rl advice.

babybarrister Sat 09-Nov-13 17:38:46

wheeler

He is the Treasurer of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and a very nice guy

babybarrister Sat 09-Nov-13 17:35:07

So sorry for you. Only you will know if it is the right thing to do. Jonathan Wheeler at Bolt Burdon is excellent for these sorts of claims - have a google

JamJarOfDaffs Sat 09-Nov-13 12:32:55

I agree with slindile but only you will know if you can take the stress of court proceedings. I began a case against my abuser (long time ago) but had to withdraw it as the lies and attacks by the other side and remembering it all made me suicidal. That said, if I had been in a stronger place and with more support, I would have gone through with the case.

Check out "criminal injuries compensation" too.

RedHelenB Sat 09-Nov-13 11:44:44

Would your mum & siblings be prepared to go to court as witnesses? Have you told them what you are thinking of doing? There's an awful lot to think about & it's whether you want to give that head space to a possible court case(and you will find you spend less time thinking about your son & husband) or whether you want to think he was wrong, I will not repeat what he did to me & I will enjoy the life I have now despite the past. And i'm not saying either option is the better one - only YOU can know that.

slindile Sat 09-Nov-13 10:17:16

only you can decide whether you have the strength to go through with this.

i personally think you should. he's a vile man who has truly committed heinous crimes and he should pay. i don't believe that people always get their come-uppance. karma doesn't always work. sounds to me like he's carrying on just like he always did, with no remorse.

if you were successful what better way to use that money than to help your son? can't think of a better way to spend it or a better reason to go for it.

i don't know how you deal with this pain and whether taking him to court will assuage it. i think you should try though.

nennypops Sat 09-Nov-13 10:06:51

Yes, if you sued you would have to face him in court if he defended all the way, and you would to be cross-examined by his barrister. Most of this is likely to be a matter of your word against his, so obviously they would be trying to discredit you. You would also have to provide medical evidence of the damage you suffered, and you would almost certainly have to agree to be examined by medical experts appointed on behalf of your father.

To be honest, if I were in your shoes I wouldn't do it.

RedHelenB Sat 09-Nov-13 07:37:44

I think in some respects what your mother says is right - you have a lovely family that you say makes you happy. Do you still have close contact with your mother & siblings?

Does that mean he pays and then it's Ok?

Bloody hell.

I would never want money from a person like that to spend on my own children. Never ever.
I'd want no connection at all, no contact, nothing.

Can you get compensation for abuse? Really?

kafkesque Sat 09-Nov-13 00:30:34

Would I have to face him again though?

Is it like an educational tribunal where you fill out the forms provide the documented evidence from the archives of county council and send it off to the court not even turning up for the day?

I do want closure as other things keep on turning up. Like his first wife committing suicide when we thought our mother was the first wife. I should just be able to brush these things off as my life with my own family is happy. I just have an underlying misery that colours everything even though my mother told me not to let it ruin my entire life.

I just think it didn't have to be the way it was. My family, especially my children are so precious to me and we (brother, sister and mother) meant nothing to him and now my family mean absolutely nothing to him as well. He is married for the fourth time now even though he spent 27 years with my mother.

If I do get compensation it will fund my autistic son that is the connection and motivation.

JamJarOfDaffs Fri 08-Nov-13 22:23:41

Wouldn't it be great if Mumsnet set up an area for survivors to chat? There must be a lot of us.

JamJarOfDaffs Fri 08-Nov-13 22:22:12

Hello, there is an organisation called The Association Of Child Abuse Lawyers who have been around for a long time and know very good solicitors who could advise you in relation to a claim for compensation.

Google "ACAL"

Good luck

Also a survivor thanks

kafka, I would carefully think about what you want to get out of taking your father to court.
If you want closure, you can find that without having to face him again. By talking to a therapist.
If you want to get a sorry or admission of guilt, I'd think that's very unlikely to happen.

bsc Thu 07-Nov-13 21:30:15

I do not understand how taking your father to court will help with your son?

They are completely wrong- you have done nothing wrong, it is not your actions that have caused the problems, that lies with your father alone.

If a criminal case will bring you peace, then you should press charges. I was abused as a child. I could not possibly put myself through the ardure of a court case, it would destroy me, and it has taken many years to get to the place I am today, relatively at peace with what happened (I will never forgive though).

But if it would help you, then good luck, and I hope you get him convicted, and find peace thanks
Im sure there'll be lots more people along with helpful, practical advice shortly. smile

gaggiagirl Thu 07-Nov-13 21:26:29

So sorry you had to go through this.

Bumping for you.

goodmum123 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:23:31

Sorry I could not read and run. I just want to give you a hug. I have no experience of this but want your post bumped.x
flowers

kafkesque Thu 07-Nov-13 17:47:37

With all the 'historic' child abuse cases in the media it has occured to me I should seek justice too.

I was beaten black and blue literally as a child so much so I was nearly taken into care. It's 30 to 35 years ago now. It was well documented by my County Council who intervened. I was nearly taken into care except they wanted to change my school as well as everything else which I was not willing to do as I was at Grammar school and doing well.

How can I take my father to court now? I have just written to the county council to help me. I have suffered all my life one way or another because of what has happened to me. It is only now that I have my own children that I realise that what happened to me was wrong and the seriousness of it. At the time of my mothers death she told me my father could have been taken to prison for what he did. She was depressed at the time and suffered herself (at his hands) and could not help me. I realise now she was financially dependent on my father and if she helped to send him to prison for hurting me what would she do with three children.

Has anybody else gone through a 'historic' child abuse case? I need coaching through this. My motivation for this is my autistic son who I have no help from the family. My fathers family are estranged from me because of what happened. I have been accused of breaking up the family.

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