Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
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'd say it's unlikely to go to court and you should be prepared for that. For your DD that's probably a good thing because it will spare her the ordeal. If you hadn't pursued it, that could be damaging, but your actions in trying to get it taken seriously have more than amply demonstrated that his behaviour is completely unacceptable and that she doesn't have to tolerate it. Plus it's all on record, which is useful ammunition for the future, if needed.
I'd say you've done good even if it's all dropped.
Call it an aide memoire...
Please do not make a knee jerk reaction based on the ill informed utterances of mothers here... i do sympathise...I have worked in the legal profession for many years......but..... you need to be very careful especially if he has visitation rights. You have NO evidence that this happened. If you report to the police you should take your DD and allow her to make her own statement and be very very careful that you do not lead her in any way since you will be regarded as hostile, making unfounded allegations can stand against you in a custody hearing if one occurs. unfortunately it is not uncommon to see such accussations made falsely by ex partners or by children who simply didn't get their own way. Im not saying that It did not happen but you need to be very level headed and clear in your treatment of the issue. You cannot simply unilaterally stop contact between your daughter and the father (unless you have sole custody).
If you work in the legal profession you should know that it's residency, not custody and has been for some time.
OP has already taken her DD in to make a statement. There is no question of leading questions or planting information.
And while the OP may have 'NO evidence that this happened' it is vitally, vitally important for victims of abuse that they are believed. The OP is being a fabulous mother and a decent human being by believing her DD unequivocally.
Sadly though, you are right about her possibly being regarded as hostile - the fact that many women who have failed to report abuse to the police (and so have no evidence) are regarded as making false accusations is why that is. She is protecting herself and her DD by acting on this immediately.
'ill informed utterances of mothers here' is so misogynistic and rude. Did you intend it to be?
Do you believe women lie routinely about abuse? Why? Because they are women? There is no evidence that false reporting of abuse is any higher than of any other crime. Which means that most reports are genuine. Lack of evidence does not = no crime.
Dahlen, with hindsight I completely agree with you and I feel terribly guilty that I allowed unsupervised contact to take place. I didn't think he would do such a terrible think but of course you are completely right. After all, he never accepted that what he did to me was abuse either, as he never hit me with his fist... Sadly I didn't press charges against him at the time, and I should have let me fight in the courts for access.
Nickname, I fear that you are right too, no, I know that you are right too, as evidenced by what I said in the paragraph above.
I've no intention of giving up though, I'll go as far as I can. And will make a complaint about the way the whole thing's been handled
The goal should be to get your child to realise that assault should be taken seriously and that the assailant should be held responsible. Your dealings with the police have been less than diserable.
Can I ask, you say in your post above that SS are aware you want to take things further. Is this what your daughter wants as well?
I'm just going to ignore Susan otherwise I might just get very very rude
Everyone else, thanks for your advice and support, it means a lot to me.
My DD was asked by the police officer who interviewed her if she would be willing to testify in court and she replied that yes, she would. I don't think she fully grasp what it implies though.
Susan Her DD did make her own report, without her mother there, are you actually suggesting that the OP forces her to have contact with her father after she claims he assaulted her, this is when the DD was with her father, far away from her mother, and DD called her, my daughters word would be enough for me, especially since the exp has been aggressive to herself too.
Dahlen, im using the commonly recognised term both here and in the US a term that is still used in courts here. As you would know. I can use residency if you wish but that tends to confuse people.
She also did not act immediately, acting immediately would have been phoning the police as soon as the daughter called her and asking them to go to the daughter. There has been a delay and that will inevitably lead any proposition lawyer to suggest the OP may have coached her child. I do not condone this behaviour but it is a fact.
I also think you need to work on your understanding of the word misogynistic... it doesn't actually comprise an argument in and of itself and since what I discussed is in no way the province of 'maleness' it is not relevant. Nor does your attempt to derail the thread by suggesting I somehow think all women are rude have anything to do with anything i wrote. I suggested that some of the mothers on this board are ill informed. They are. Im a mother ive been ill informed myself.
Some mothers on this site routinely give quite violent reactive commentary on this type of question.....its been better on this thread..... however some are supporting her suggestion that her daughter 'won't be going back' im just pointing out that this is ill informed.
This is not the same as saying that the allegations she makes are not correct. Whilst her reaction is understandable one should always advise people to be very careful when they are accusing someone of a crime they did not witness.
Lastly your statement that 'most reports are genuine' cannot in anyway be proven, it is an assumption...which whilst it may well be accurate should not be represented as FACT which you did. Again I would call that ill informed. Anyone who has worked for anytime in any school will tell you that children falsely accusing adults of abuse is tragically commonplace these days, shockingly so, denying that this is the case is pointless.....if you don't believe me you can watch the recent wide access documentary on schools called "Educating Essex". In which it happens on more than one occassion right in fromnt of the cameras and all quite falsely. None of this is a comment on the OP and I am quite willing to believe she is completely accurate....I dont find that a reason to misrepresent the truth about how to approach such a difficult matter. As you will see I encouraged the late report that was made but advised her not to be seen to be leading the daughter on the interview or any subsequent one to PROTECT both her and her daughters case.
Oh so you do suggest forcing an 11 year old to see her father who she says assaulted her, well done.
Susan, I did act immediately by asking my friend to collect my daughter. My first priority was for my DD's safety. Maybe I should have called the police straight away, to be honest I was all over the place and couldn't think straight. I knew my friend would go there without delay, and my DD would be safe with her. I did call the police as soon as she was in a place of safety. If that counts against me in a court of law, then so be it, but I don't think I did anything wrong.
Susan Her DD did make her own report, without her mother there, are you actually suggesting that the OP forces her to have contact with her father.
Not at all and your assumption that i did is incorrect and borderline offensive. It is however a bad idea to tell her daughter that she will never be going back for the above listed reasons. One moment in court where the child tells people the mothers been saying this and she risks being accused of poisoning her child by the opposition lawyer. It is neccessary to act calmly and cooly in these circumstances and not knee jerk in reaction in an accusatory manner.... as you just did.
I do however apologise, i am new to this board an had not realised that the thread had moved on from the OP and shed already been to the police (as I advised) and appears to have acted in the manner I advised. I am however suprised that honest acccurate advice has led to me being attacked on the basis not of what I said but of what two posters decided to imply. No where did i suggest that she shouldnt take her daughters word either....but of course its easier to attack someone if you pretend they said someting outrageous isnt it?
Susan, saying that my daughter will not be going back is not ill-informed, it's a fact.
There was never a court order for contact, it was all done informally.
Furthermore he doesn't have parental responsibility (yes I am sure of that. I'd been badgering him for years to apply for it. So glad he didn't now!).
She will no longer have any unsupervised contact with him until she is an adult and can decide for herself. This much I can guarantee.
Also at the age of 11, i think shes entitled to state if she wants to see him again.
Skaffen, no problem, im not criticising your actions but simply trying to give an honest answer to your question. As explained I am new to the boards and when i originally posted i did not realise you had already been to the police and acted in the manner i advised. I apologise for confusion. Please do not concern yourself to much on not going immeadiately to the police. It will not automatically count against you that you did not go straight to the police but is the kind of thing the prosecution would raise in counter argument.
"Susan, saying that my daughter will not be going back is not ill-informed, it's a fact. " Thats nice. Of course you are aware of whether your partner will apply for custody/residence and his tempremant, I am not hence my advice. He could do this he could win. Thats a fact.
Well then Susan, I suggest you read the whole thread, not just the OP, before you post a reply (not just on this thread, for any thread on mumsnet) as things do move on. Futhermore it is extremely rude and inflammatory to refer to "knee jerk reaction based on the ill informed utterances of mothers here" especially if you are new to mumsnet. All in all, on these boards people are very helpful and well-informed.
Because TV documentaries are a peer-approved, completely accurate representation of the facts. Silly me.
I never said most reports are genuine FACT. But the FACTS are that PROVEN cases of false reporting are no higher for abuse than for any other crime. Somewhere in the region of 10%. Draw your own conclusions. Don't forget to factor in that most abuse is not reported because it's a hidden crime.
I stand by my assertion that your statement was misogynistic. Why the need to use the word mothers? It's superfluous and potentially inaccurate becasue you have no way of knowing what gender any of these posters are. You assumed. Why the dismissive use of the word 'utterances'? Why not, "Please get independent legal advice. Some of the advice given on this thread may be inaccurate." Combined, this very much implies "silly women who don't know what they're talking about." While that may not be technically misogynistic (in the sense that it's not systematic and institutional hatred of women), I'd say it's pretty scathing of women.
Finally, if the OP has already been advised by CP officers NOT to let her DD have contact with her father then she runs the very real risk of being accused of "failure to protect" if she ignores it. That, in conjunction with the terrible crime of believing her DD and so believing that her DD could be at risk if she goes back, is far more pressing than worrying about some hypothetical residency case in the future where someone may accuse her of false accusations.
Sorry x-post again. He may well apply for contact or even for residence, although I seriously doubt it. If he does he may well be granted contact but I seriously doubt he would be granted residency. If he does get granted contact, he will not get unsupervised contact, unless it is over my dead body. And yes, that's a fact.
Susan, a word to the wise since you admit you are new to the boards. Mumsnet is used by a good number of men and a good many women who are not mothers. Not every poster who responded to the OP identified themselves as mothers. Your use of the term "ill-informed mothers" therefore came across as rude and misogynistic. It was not necessary to say "mothers". "Posters" would have done.
Also, if you want to come across as an expert in any topic, don't patronise your audience by using terms that are not accurate just because you think they are "widely understood". There are plenty of experts on Mumsnet.
Hope this helps.
skaffen I'm really horrified to see how badly the police have handled this so far. I thought they were supposed to be making DV a priority?
I think you have done everything right - even in allowing your daughter to continue contact with her Father: you had the best intentions to try to maintain their relationship and it is his responsibility that he has betrayed her.
I wouldn't bother engaging further with the troll, you really don't need that crap on top of everything else.
"He could win" is not a fact, it's a statement of probability. It's also unlikely, since courts rarely change residency arrangements unless it can be adequately demonstrated that a child is at risk of significant harm remaining where they are.
soul, apparently this is not classified as DV according to the police. It's a child protection matter, but not DV.
And you are right, I will ignore the troll, as I intended to after its first post!
Join the discussion
Please login first.