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DD assaulted by her father(109 Posts)
I dropped off my DD (11) for contact with her father this afternoon, she was due to stay with him for a few days until Christmas. A couple of hours later she phoned me in hysterics asking me to pick her up, she said her dad had been verbally and physically abusive (he grabbed her by her scarf and pushed her into a wall). I am too far to go to collect her (it would take me 2 hours to get there) but a very good friend went to pick her up. She is now safe at my friend's and I will go to pick her up in the morning.
I am understandably very upset. My ex was emotionally, financially and eventually physically abusive to me when we were together and we split up when DD was a baby. I never thought he would be physically abusive to her,, otherwise I wouldn't have let her stay with him, but there had been signs lately of some emotional abuse.
Should I report this to the police? After all if a stranger had done this to her, I would. There would be no going back from this, but anyway there is no way she is going back there.
Sorry I am rambling a bit but I am all over the place right now, and just need to let it out.
I think you leading the report is a good thing. It takes it out of your daughter's hands where she might feel guilty for it, or conflicted because she probably loves him as well as hating what he has done and frightened too no doubt. In addition, as others said, it firmly shows your support and protection of her, especially when she may be beginning to feel effects of any emotional abuse you referred to before. She is nearly old enough to decide to not have contact anyway. If you have no court order then you can stop contact and if he wants it he will have to apply to court for it. That will probably take her over that age where she can make the decision, so it will be out of his hands anyway. Or she could insist on supervised contact, especially given the circumstances.
hope she is OK
Yes report it! Poor DD. My ex was abusive to me but never Dc, until one week, he smacked them both excessively not just a little smack they were angry angry smacks, I had him removed from the house 2 weeks later. I lived with for 14/15 years but he touch the Dc and that was it!
Report it, for your DD!
You did the right thing reporting him.
Hope your DD is ok
DD gave a statement at our local police station today and it will be sent (hopefully) to the police force in the area where my ex lives.
Poor DD is completely heartbroken , she has said, he can't have loved me if he's treated me like that. She doesn't want to ever see him again. My poor baby, I feel so sad for her and so angry with him.
We've spoken lots, and I've told her a little about the abuse I suffered from her father.
I feel like a terrible mother, that I didn't prevent this from happening. I never thought he would physically assault her, but I had been having concerns over his emotional abuse of DD for a while and I dithered over stopping contact when I should have been more decisive.
FWIW op I think the fact that she got away from him, called for help, and said he mustn't love her is an indication that you have been a very good role model to her. You've taught her that abuse is never ok, even from loved ones, to ask for help if she needs it, and to be strong and brave. I think you've done a wonderful job.
I totally agree with thundernlightning. You had good reason to suppose he would not hurt his child, despite what he did to you (perhaps reassure her that not all domestic abusers target their children as well as their spouse) but now that an unforgiveable line has been crossed you have stepped in to defend your dd.
Women's Aid have a site for young people which your DD may want to look at.
The important thing is that she is safe now. You've done your job.
Thanks thunder and tribpot, it makes me feel a bit better that you think that <wobbly smile>
Thanks also for the info about the Women's Aid site for young people, I knew about it and told DD about it today. She also knows about the Childline site and knows that she can call or chat online with a counselor if she feels the need.
I can't believe how hard it is to find out what is happening and to make things happen!
We reported the assault at our local police station on Saturday 22 December. By the end of the month I hadn't heard anything back, hadn't been given a crime number, only a reference number, which I thought was a bit iffy. So I phoned the police in the area where the assault took place (via 101) and nobody could tell me anything, other that there wasn't a crime number as a crime hadn't been reported. I was very surprised, as we had done just that.
I had the name and shoulder number of one of the officers that had spoken to my daughter so I gave that. He finally called me back on Sunday 6 January and told me that nothing was happening as I had decided not to take things further. Imagine my surprise, as I had never said such a thing! He said that my friend, the one who went to get my DD, had said that to him. Now I was sure she wouldn't say that, and I checked with her, she didn't. What she said was that she couldn't take the decision to press charges, that it would have to be my decision, as it was my DD who was involved, which is fair enough. So the police took it upon themselves to decide that nothing further would take place!
On the phone the police officer also told me that he wasn't aware that a report had been made. I was so upset and angry... The officer gave me the name and contact number of the officer in charge of the investigation, who is with a child protection department. He also, after I insisted that he check, found that there was a crime number and gave it to me. I have been trying to phone this child protection officer ever since, he was off sick until yesterday, and today, the number is no longer working ("the number you have called has not been recognised").
So today I phoned 101 again with the crime number, they tried to call the child protection officer, but internally it was engaged and externally they got the same message as me. They gave me the number of the crime management unit in the area concerned, who I managed to get through to, but they couldn't tell me anything either because it's a child protection matter, other that there is a note on the case for the officer in charge to call me. They also gave me the name of the superior of the officer in charge and put a note on the case for him/her also to call me.
I can't believe it's taking so long and is so difficult, I am so upset right now that I could cry (it doesn't help that I have very bad earache and am on crutches with a suspected stress fracture).
Sorry this is so long, I needed a good rant.
Skaffen, that's appalling.
Well done for being so persistent. The good thing is that your dd isn't in any immediate danger. I take it your ex hasn't tried to have her again and he isn't alleging that you're blocking contact? In purely practical terms, that would be the danger point, when you'd want to be presenting this evidence to court.
But aside from that, how awful for the child protection officer to be so unavailable, and for the police to make false claims about you deciding not to press charges. Not acceptable at all. You can complain to the IPCC here if you feel you are not getting anywhere.
And sorry about the earache/stress fracture. How is your dd doing, by the way? Never underestimate the importance of what you have done by showing that you are on her side and you won't accept her being mistreated.
Thanks for the link Nickname, I will definitely complain.
I've had a call and a letter from SS by the way, who were concerned that I didn't want to take things further and were advising me to stop contact...
No DD's father has not been in touch to request further contact, which is good, but neither has he been in touch to find out how DD is or (heaven forbid!) to apologise, which is not so good (but sadly not surprising)
DD seems OK, after the initial chats we had she hasn't mentioned the assault or her dad again. I don't want to bring it up out of the blue, but if she does want to talk about it obviously I will be there for her.
I really think you are doing everything right.
Blimey, stupidity everywhere, Skaffen makea you get onto SS right away, to make sure they have on file you intend to and are trying to take things further and the police took it upon themselves to not proceed. SS can be right bastards.
Well I've just spoken to the superior of the child protection officer, I tried the number again and it worked!
First of all he told me he'd tried to call me 20 minutes previously but there was no answer, which surprised me as I had the phone next to me as I was typing the massive post upthread. It turns out that he was trying to call my DD on her mobile! More incompetence: he also had my mobile number but that was listed as a home number
Anyway, that man confirmed that nothing had been happening as the initial statement taken by the reporting officers states that I don't want things to go to court. I wasn't even there! And I did say to one of the reporting officers on the phone that I wanted to take things further.
He was not aware that my daughter had given a statement at our local police. It took a while to get him to understand that, as he kept referring to the very first statement she gave to the reporting officers.
But wait, it gest better: apparently, the very long and detailed statement that my DD gave at our local police station is not admissible, and she will have to give yet another one, by video. Why I wasn't told this in the first place, I will probably never know. Apparently different police forces do things differently but come on, couldn't they have mentioned it? Couldn't the police force in my area have checked what they needed to do?
Finally, there is not even any guarantee anything will happen to my ex other than (perhaps) a police officer having a word with him, as they have to consider each case on its merits, and it is not guaranteed that they will decide to arrest him.
Now he's going to chase up the report my DD gave at our police station and get back to me at some point in the future: he was not able to give me any type of time frame.
Argh. What else could go wrong next I wonder?
Bishop, SS are well aware that I want to take things further as I took the opportunity to rant away about the police on the phone to them on Monday. They are quite happy about the situation and will no longer be involved.
Is there a procedure to make a complaint about police handling of this? It's shocking. Police on his area need to have a record of hid abuse.
Looking on the bright side..... At least you've now made contact with the superior in child protection, they are looking at your case and they've mentioned DD giving video evidence. The objective is to get it properly on record that your DD has been assaulted so that you can drop access legitimately .... not necessarily to get your ex behind bars. Realise it must be frustrating but keep your eye on the prize rather than getting distracted by procedural problems. Good luck
Yes you are right Cogito, thanks for reminding me! (genuinely, I am not being sarcastic!)
However I'd also like for him to be shown that what he did was wrong, IYSWIM, because in his head, he was completely justified. Perhaps, if he can be shown that the law is on our side, he might get it a little bit? I am aware this is probably too optimistic though...
Thanks OWW, I've replied.
At least it's all on record if you need to battle it out about contact.
IMO this is exactly why abusive men should not be allowed unsupervised contact with their children, ever. Quite often they start off with supervised and work towards unsupervised, which is then granted. This completely fails to take into account that abuse is about power and entitlement, not anger. As children get older and naturally more autonomous from their parents, the abusive person sees that as a direct attack on their authority, whereas young children are naturally much more acquiescent.
I've seen so many cases of abusive men who allowed unsupervised contact because they are 'great' dads who have gone on to assault their children often years after separating from the mother.
Abusers don't change and always prey on the vulnerable - who more so than a child. And given the facts that 75% of child abuse takes place in a context of DV and that something like only 5% of abusers successfully change, it's a travesty that we prioritise contact over the welfare of children.
Skaffen, I don't think he'll ever get it. Even if he was prosecuted, he'd just say your dd exaggerated, or the law is too pc these days, or something. Abusive people often have very strong mental defences against ever accepting that they might be doing the wrong thing. I'm not saying that to discourage you from taking the case further, just saying not to expect any sudden breakthrough in understanding on his part.
My DD has already given 2 statements: one shortly after the assault took place, to the reporting officers (the ones that decided I didn't want to take things further), one at the local police station.
I am worried that she might not want to give yet another statement, as she would have to then relive what happened, which must be horrible for her.
If she does accept to give a video statement, she's already told me that her second statement was less detailed than the first one because she had forgotten some things, presumably her brain is making her forget to protect itself (or something like that), and that was less than 48h after the assault took place. So it is possible she might have forgotten even more when/if she is asked to give a video statement at some unspecified point in the future.
Why not get her to write it all down now while it's still relatively fresh and you're in a nice safe environment... then just read it out for the video statement?
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