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i am gutted the doctor wants to call social services

(273 Posts)
superdry Thu 14-Nov-13 14:04:19

i have posted previously about problems i have been having with my dh, he is abusive and threatens violence, although so far has never hit me but has pushed me, threatens to chuck me out of 'his' house etc etc.

Following advice on here i contacted womens aid, following their advice i went to see my doctor to report it, so it is officially logged - i guess for future reference if need be and also to talk about my options in terms of counselling etc.

Now doctor has just rung me and informed me they have discussed my case and the protocol is to report to social services because i have young children in the house, although i have explained they are in no way in any danger, i am absolutely gutted and bitterly regret involving the doctor.

anyone have any experience of this, or any advice much appreciated, but please not a chorus of LTBs, i can't cope with that right now and i am trying to convince DH to go on a course to sort out his issues

LifeofPo Thu 14-Nov-13 14:05:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

superdry Thu 14-Nov-13 14:07:11

yes i am that someone, my children are completely safe!

LifeofPo Thu 14-Nov-13 14:08:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Madlizzy Thu 14-Nov-13 14:08:10

You doctor is dead right here, as you children will be suffering from your DH's abuse of you. They are in danger of emotional and possible physical harm. So sorry, but you may find that you'll be given a stark choice between your H and your children.

HouseAtreides Thu 14-Nov-13 14:09:18

They can't just go on your word though. Much as you want them to, they can't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 14:09:43

Please don't panic. You have been pro-active in talking to your GP. You have asked for help from the GP and WA. Social Services will not look badly on you for seeking help. They are not going to be so charitable towards your abusive DH.

AnyBagsofOxfordFuckers Thu 14-Nov-13 14:09:54

Any abuse of a mother abuses the children, because it not only traumatises them in that moment, but damages them for life. There is no course that can change your Dh - no normal, decent person has to taught how not to be abusive. If he wanted to treat you correctly, he would be doing so already. I know it is so hard to leave when you are stuck in the stressy, scary cycle that abuse creates, but, by staying with this man, you put your children in danger, even if it is not physical danger. You have a choose to stay in that situation, they don't. However sympathetic and understanding your GP or Ss are, if you choose to stay with an abuser, you become collusive in the damage his abuse of you causes them (which is so unfair on you, but it is true), so they have to act.

The doctor is doing the right thing, and I am really glad you have involved him. Especially if you are living with an abusive man and wont consider leaving him to keep your children out of an environment which will harm them.

Not sure what you want anybody to advice you really, when you are stipulating you wont hear of leaving your man.

We see too many cases in the news of children harmed or neglected by their parents, and hopefully your children will not be part of that statistic if the ss is involved and you accept their help.

Anger management courses rarely work. Abusive men have a choice, it is not an illness they cant help.

MrsWolowitz Thu 14-Nov-13 14:10:55

I'm really sorry that you are going through so much right now but your doctor is completely right here.

I also agree with the poster upthread who said that if you are not safe then your children are not safe.

You are doing the right thing by seeking help and they are doing the right thing too.

frumpypigskin Thu 14-Nov-13 14:11:37

You may not think he will physically harm them but they are watching their mother be abused.

I think your doctor did the right thing. I agree with Lifeofpo - if you are not safe, they are not safe.

Thurlow Thu 14-Nov-13 14:12:27

Your doctor is right. I'm very sorry that you are going through this, but if you're DH is violent towards you there is a chance you could be hurt badly and be incapacitated and not be able to look after the children. Even if your DH wouldn't hurt the children, he is still 'hurting' them through them witnessing you being hurt.

I am sorry, but SS is sadly the way forward.

Floggingmolly Thu 14-Nov-13 14:13:48

they are in no way in any danger. Yes they are; and doubly so because you won't admit it, and take any steps necessary to ensure their safety sad

GiantSnailFeelers Thu 14-Nov-13 14:14:32

I'm really sorry but if you are not safe then your children are not safe

They are suffering emotional abuse seeing their mother being abused

The doctor has done the right thing

but you are being proactive so that is good

make plans to leave, make sure you have cash/money somewhere, every little bit helps, tell or hint to some of your friends about the situation, so they can over help or a place to stay, get an appointment with CAB….

don't want for it to get worse, don't wait for a "real" reason to leave.

His behaviour is not at all normal or in any way acceptable.

I think you did the right thing talking to your GP, and he is doing the right thing too. Involving SS does not mean they could take kids away from you, you see, it is about keeping you AND kids safe.

If you cannot keep yourself safe (and you say you feel you have a level of control, so I assume you know how to behave so as not to piss him off…..ie, he has got YOU under control) someone else has to (SS).

hellymelly Thu 14-Nov-13 14:16:45

I am sorry you are in such a dismal situation, but you will get a chorus of LTB and that is because it is the only sensible way forward. Maybe your DH can go on a course and change , but frankly i doubt it. I have never heard of an abusive man changing completely, and the time that would take, even if it did happen, would be time that your dcs cannot afford to give. You do need to seriously look at why the GP has had to refer you, and to think of at least having a break while your DH attemps to change through counselling. I know how hard it is when you are in the thick of a situation, and how you can become so ground down it is hard to take on any more stress, but the situation can't be good for your dcs if it is so awful for you.

superdry Thu 14-Nov-13 14:17:46

is there no-one out there who is not going to take the moral high ground on this and give me some practical inside advice, ie someone who has gone through this and what actually happens when ss are called?

kinkyfuckery Thu 14-Nov-13 14:19:00

Why will you not leave him? Why are you willing to put your children through this life, teaching them that this is acceptable?
How will your husband react if/when SS get involved?

kinkyfuckery Thu 14-Nov-13 14:19:48

I have not been through this myself, but would imagine that the best course of action is to be cooperative and honest with SS at all times.

Madmog Thu 14-Nov-13 14:20:06

I think you Doctor is obliged to report the matter. Under Child Protection I understand it's considered to be abuse (and I know you have no easy control over this) if children as in the house at the same time while there is physical or mental abuse going on as it causes can cause trauma for them.

I know you're not in an easy position. Fingers crossed your husband will agree to give the course a try. Have you tried discussing with him (when he is calm) what makes him feel like he does. Sometimes understanding can help. It might be worth speaking to Citizens Advice or Womens Aid again and asking what your options are though in case this continues. Also, if Social Services do get in touch, they are there to help not judge.

Madlizzy Thu 14-Nov-13 14:20:25

It's not about taking the moral high ground, it's about the safety of you and your children. Honestly, people aren't having a go at you, just concerned that you don't see what the problem is here.

Fairylea Thu 14-Nov-13 14:22:20

Ss will expect you to be able to prove the children are not at risk and to show that you are putting them first. This will mean removing yourself and the children from any contact with your dh while investigations take place .... and quite rightly so.

How can you be so sure he would not hurt the dc when he is hurting you? He should love and protect all of you. Surely you can see that you cannot trust him.

You need to leave. If you don't ss will see you as failing to protect your children. They should not have to live in a violent household.

What do you think SS is going to do when you insist on standing by your man, instead of protecting your children?

AnyBagsofOxfordFuckers Thu 14-Nov-13 14:23:09

It's not the moral high ground, it's the TRUTH. If you won't leave an abuser, you are both putting your children at risk. If you want to know what will happen if Ss get involved, well, know that if you won't eave an abuser, they may well have no other recourse but to remove your children from you. Your loyalty should be to them, not your Oh, and not your own fear.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 14:24:00

What were you hoping would happen when you spoke to your GP exactly?

You have written about your H before and you did not want to break the family up then either. A course will not change your DH, such behaviours are deeply rooted within his own psyche. You've become conditioned to his ill treatment of you.

The doctor is doing the right thing here.

You're not safe so it follows that your children are not safe in this house.

If you try to persuade SS that your children are not at risk, and all is honkey dorey, they might draw their own conclusions about whether you are it to care for your children or not.

How old are they?

humphryscorner Thu 14-Nov-13 14:24:49

OP be very careful. What the above posters have said is true.

An a 'friend' of mine consistently reported her abusive husband to the police and as there were dc that dp had never been aggressive too, contacted ss. They gave her repeat warnings that they would remove children if she didn't leave/keep her dh away. She didn't and they did . She now has supervised access.

Any kind of abuse always has an effect on the dc. When my friend visits the dc, the youngest, five, is extremely aggressive to her- kicking her, pulling her hair.

This is the push you need for you and dc.

DottyboutDots Thu 14-Nov-13 14:27:08

Maybe social services' involvement is the wake up call you all need? I cannot see how someone is scared enough to log abuse cannot see that they aren't safe in their own home.

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Thu 14-Nov-13 14:29:56

OP, you need to wake to what harm your H is doing to your DC, your their mother and SS will look to you to make sure their mental health is protected.

My mum and dad used to have screaming matches when i was child, no as a 30 year old woman, i still cant bare hear screaming matches or arguments start, because it brings back some very nasty memories of my childhood.

SnakeyMcBadass Thu 14-Nov-13 14:30:10

I imagine that SS will assess your situation and decide what to do about involvement based on the best interests of your DC. The doctor and SS are not the enemy here, they are on your DC's side. Cooperate fully and really, and I mean really, look at your relationship and work out very quickly where your priorities lay. I'm sorry you're in this position.

steeking Thu 14-Nov-13 14:30:36

Are you worried about how DP will react to SS being involved. It may be the push he needs to seek help.
However if he reacts with anger which is directed at you, or he tries to blame you for it then you really need tp consider if this is worth sticking with.
The children will be witnessing and learning patterns of behaviour which will stay with them potentially for ever . Is that what you want?

WallaceWindsock Thu 14-Nov-13 14:30:50

I can give you honesty OP. I was in refuge for several months. There was a lady in there who had lost her two daughters to SS. Why? Because she had refused to leave her abusive husband. He had never hurt those girls, or her. He had merely threatened it and was very emotionally abusive.

SS will come round and talk to you in your own home when your partner is not there. They will talk to your DC. They will want to establish how honest you are about the situation, what steps you are taking to ensure your DCs safety. If you sit there and say that he wouldn't hurt then, you won't leave then they will very quickly stop supporting you and will work to ensure the kids are safe, be that with or without you. If you ask for their support in finding a way to leave, acknowledge that he is damaging them then you will find a wealth of support and resources at your finger tips.

Yes your hand has been forced now, you honestly have two options. You can either abandon your partner and fight tooth and nail to prove that you will do anything to keep your kids safe, or you can dither and try and prove that your partner isn't that bad, wouldn't hurt the kids, and you will find that you will be judged as failing to protect them.

I'm speaking as someone who fled DV twice, someone who spend time in refuge and spoke to many women. I also had SS visit several times. This is your reality now. You can't go back and undo the GP visit, you need to get on with showing them that you will protect your kids from the slightest perceived threat.

I also think you should listen to the other posters on this thread, rather than getting defensive. They are trying to help you, listen to them.

superdry Thu 14-Nov-13 14:32:10

its not about standing by my man, its not a case of 'oh but i love him even though he's a bastard' - its about keeping my family together, most of family life is calm and normal, i know there are big problems which i am trying to sort out, my children are happy and normal as any other children and in no way in any danger - i am sure that some of you may have personal experience of this issue and have perhaps left the marriage and others who have no direct experience and think WTF, how could she stay with him, but all this finger wagging isn't really helping me

MarianForrester Thu 14-Nov-13 14:32:13

I think what happens, practically speaking, is that Ss will contact you, maybe you and your husband, to discuss the concerns that have been raised.

They will then make an assessment of what,if anything, needs to happen next, eg continuing involvement from them; asking you/dh to attend courses, meetings, etc. All depends on how serious they think any risk to your children is. They may also ask for reports from schools, nurseries, health visitors etc, I think.

That's just a rough idea, I am elsewhere in uk and used to work in that area, briefly, but things are bit different in England. Hope that helps a bit though.

I grew up in a violent household. While I wasn't the target of violence it has affected me greatly being a witness.

Best of luck to you and your DC x

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 14-Nov-13 14:33:03

Your GP is completely in the right.

Handbagsonnhold Thu 14-Nov-13 14:33:33

Your GP is under an obligation to advise ss as there are children involved. The very fact that you contacted Women's Aid and your GP demonstrates the extent to which you fear this person. Not taking the 'moral high ground' here just stating the bare facts. I hope he gets the help he needs and you are able to move forward. Good luck.

Twinklestein Thu 14-Nov-13 14:33:36

SS will send someone to do a risk assessment. They will monitor and support you to make sure you are taking steps to protect your children, and you should work with them to show them how you are doing/going to do this.

Exposure to your domestic abuse, even if it is not directly violent, is considered harmful to the children.

This is not moral high ground, it's practical safety measures.

RevelsRoulette Thu 14-Nov-13 14:33:41

Social Services will want to ensure that the children are not growing up in an abusive home and will want to work with you to ensure they are not abused nor are they witness to abuse. Hopefully you will work with them because that would be their first choice.

But ultimately, they are there to protect the children when, for whatever reason, one or both parents are not doing so.

they will want to help you. They can't do that if you don't let them. They aren't your enemy.

Butterytoast Thu 14-Nov-13 14:35:20

When a referral is received by social care they will assess whether it is a child protection issue (dv is) and will dispense with your consent and conduct checks on the children with school, health and other professionals involved. It's likely they will speak to the police to see if any incidents have Ben reported. It is likely they will contact you to arrange to meet,probably away from your dp and will complete an assessment of the situation. They will also speak to the children if they are old enough to have a view. The outcome of the assessment will dictate any future plans.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 14-Nov-13 14:35:40

OP - why would people give you practical advice about how to enable an abusive man to stay in the same home as young children?

You have to accept that as a victim of abuse yourself, your perspective on the situation is skewed. The views on this thread represent normality and the truth of your situation.

I wish you and your DC all the best.

Why do you want to keep the family together, why is this "ideal" so important to you seemingly above everything else?.

superdry Thu 14-Nov-13 14:38:43

i did not contact womens aid and doctor out of fear, i contacted WA to get legal advice, his name is on the house not mine, i wanted to know where i stood, and they advised the visit to the doctors to log the abuse for future reference if need be, if it came to getting him to leave the house, which is something he absolutely won't do now cos it is 'his'

Chopstheduck Thu 14-Nov-13 14:38:51

What is likely to happen?

They will want to talk to your children, most likely alone, without you present, and see if there are any concerns. Then it depends from there. PM me if you like.

I've been through both dv and ss intervention. I can honestly say, hand on heart that dv will be having an affect on the children. Whether or not it is enough to warrant ss intervention will be for them to decide.

What you need to do is co-operate fully with anything they ask and demonstrate that you are putting your children first, before your dh. The course would be good for your dh and that is something that ss might be able to help you arrange. He needs to show that he is addressing his issues.

WallaceWindsock Thu 14-Nov-13 14:39:11

Sweetheart you aren't listening. SS work to guidelines. They won't give a fig about how happy your kids are most of the time. There is NO going back from this, no way of wangling it. You have two options. They are now your only two options. If I were you I'd prepare for that, you cannot afford to say what you are saying here to the SW, you really can't. This will not go away.

Even if you leave with a few to it being a temporary thing, the is no way in hell that SS will accept anything less. In the same way that gps are suspended while being investigated - regardless of how ridiculous that complaint may seem to be, they have to suspend that GP from practicing medicine until it's been investigated. This is how things have to work in families. There have been statements regarding your DH and violence. The only acceptable action that SS will support is you removing yourself and the kids. Do anything else and they will see you as failing to protect the kids. It is honestly that black and white!

DwellsUndertheSink Thu 14-Nov-13 14:40:07

OP, Im a foster carer. My current FCs are from a home like yours, where they were in no immediate physical danger themselves. They are deeply traumatised. After months and months, they are still deeply fearful and emotionally stunted. Please dont underestimate the impact of the abuse on your kids.

SnakeyMcBadass Thu 14-Nov-13 14:40:22

Most of family life is calm? Except for the bits where he is abusive, yes? Those bits don't exist in isolation. Your children don't forget them. Keeping a family together is only desirable when the family dynamic is healthy. An abusive relationship is not healthy, and your DC need to feel safe and secure above and beyond just having their parents living together. I really hope you can see that.

Thurlow Thu 14-Nov-13 14:40:29

OP, I know it is bad form to bring up previous threads but I do remember your previous thread about your DH.

Parents rowing continually and threatening violence is not a happy family life.

You can't protect your children from the DH simply by being extra nice to them.

Children staying in a "family" that is abusive and violent is not the best for them. It is far worse than the alternative. You've talked about how both you and your husband grew up in quite violent, argumentative families and so it is probably no surprise that you now have a violent and argumentative relationship.

Do you want your children to learn that this is what family life is, and just do the same when they are adults?

I don't have any experience with SS to advise you on but listen to other posters on here. Be honest with SS and if your DH won't go to any courses they advise, then you need to take SS's advice about leaving.

Jan45 Thu 14-Nov-13 14:41:27

Sorry you are gong through this but it has now taken your GP to inform SS to ensure the safety of your children, you still don't seem able to see this is how's it got.

I don't suspect they are in any danger, not physically but mentally, I wouldn't like to think what they have seen - whether you accept it or not, it's abuse and you are enabling it by not getting away from this man who is clearly unstable.

MrsWolowitz Thu 14-Nov-13 14:41:42

OP, nobody is finger wagging at you. They are giving you advice.

I understand why you must be feeling defensive but honestly, the advice here is good. There are a lot of posters on here who have been affected by DV either as a victim or as a child growing up in a house where they witnessed it.

Drowninginsorrow Thu 14-Nov-13 14:41:52

Any issue of abuse that takes place in the presence of children which comes to the attention of professionals such as teachers, healthcare professionals, police, etc automatically triggers social service referral.

Safeguarding children is a legal responsibility of these professionals. Don't take it as a negative. They are there to help and support you. They will want to find a solution that keeps both you and the children safe happy and healthy.

Twinklestein Thu 14-Nov-13 14:42:24

The Children Act contains a category of "impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another". Children's exposure to domestic abuse is recognised as harmful.

By 'holding the family together' with an abusive man, you are exposing your children to harm, even if you choose not to acknowledge that.

You cannot 'sort out' these problems, they are his. Even if he agreed to go on a domestic abuse perp programme, the success rate of those courses is very low. If he does not recognise the need to change, and work very hard at it, he will not change.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 14:42:43

If you log abuse, then you're saying your DH is an abusive man. Which, to be fair, is accurate. So it has to be investigated. If you cooperate fully and if your DH is assessed as not being an immediate risk and/or volunteers to attend courses to improve his behaviour, then that might help you. But if he is determined to be dangerous and/or you backtrack on what you've told the doctor there might be a different outcome.

Please have courage. You've done the right thing here.

wanttofinallyleave Thu 14-Nov-13 14:42:59

I don't have personal experience of SS but I have various family members who have. I will go completely against the grain here and say, having spent part of my childhood in the 'system' (not through bad parents, through my mum dying suddenly and my dad being injured at the same time so unable to care for us) that I do not trust SS, there is a lot of corruption and abuse of the poor etc in SS - I would do literally anything AVOID any kind of involvement with them in me or my children's lives.

However, you do seem to have your head in the sand here. I know how hard it is, but you are their mother, and if you do not leave him you are subjecting them to your OH's abuse of you which will be extremely detrimental to their minds and emotions. You have the ABSOLUTE responsibility to them to split away from their father since he is abusive.

Leaving out the bit about SS, I actually think that is somewhat a moot point and your (perfectly reasonable IMO) horror at SS becoming involved is of much lesser relevance to what you absolutely need to do for your children now - which is to leave their abusive father. I am sorry but that is the truth - whether you are ready to leave or not - you NEED to leave as soon as humanely possible, even if you are scared. Can you look at it as something you just HAVE to do for the sake of your children? Try to look at it that way.

I completely and utterly understand why you are angry about the SS involvement without your consent in this situation - personally I would be LIVID - but you need to be very very careful now and get away from this man, because like someone upthread said, it is known that children are sometimes removed in this situation. So don't take any chances and leave for your children.

x x x

Maryz Thu 14-Nov-13 14:43:12

If your family life was calm and normal, you wouldn't have talked to your gp.

Your husband is abusive - he is emotionally abusive with threads, and he is physically abusive by pushing you.

Do you really think your children deserve to be brought up in a house where there is abuse? Do you think you are so unimportant that it is ok for your children to see you being treated like this? Do you want them to grow up thinking this is a normal relationship?

You have disclosed behaviour to your gp that, in his opinion, is harmful to your children.

You need to stop looking at this from a "what can I do to help my husband" point of view, but rather look at it from a "what is best for my children" point of view. And if you do that, then surely you will see why the gp has called SS?

They will come and assess you. You have two choices; you can tell the truth, knowing they will probably advise you that it isn't a good environment for your children and help you to get them out of that environment. Or you can lie to protect your husband, and thus risk them not believing you and going over your head to protect your children.

Either way, your children should come first.

SnakeyMcBadass Thu 14-Nov-13 14:43:15

Are you afraid to leave, OP? What did WA tell you when you spoke to them? Do you have real life support?

LittlePeaPod Thu 14-Nov-13 14:43:28

Superdry I am so sorry you are going through this and I am not here to judge you. I understand what your children will be going through. My brother, sister and I grew up in an abusive home with an abusive father. You may think your children are not been affected and are perfectly safe but take it from someone that was inthe position your children are in. It affects the children, I know wha I am talking about. And I remember what my evil dick of a father was like and what he did to this day and it still hurts/affects me. I am 37 year now. Please don't fool yourself into believing your children are safe and not been affected. Trust me they are been affected and they will carry it for the rest of their lives.

With regards your DH, he won't change. These men never change. No amount of councilling will stop his nature. He is abusive and he will always be abusive. My father got "HELP" on several occassions and he always reverted to type. Thankfully my mother had the courage to leave him in the end. But we had to run away and spent a long time hiding from him. We don't need to do that now because his dead and I popped a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the day I found out he was dead.

LEMisafucker Thu 14-Nov-13 14:44:03

Having SS involved is good - it will fast track you to the support you need. Has your DH agreed to go to counselling (not with you - it is not good to have counselling together in an abusive relationship)? Done anything to change his behaviour? Do you wnt to stay together?

Try not to be negative about the SS.

Come on guys - this person needs support - not "the harsh truth" Yes, the best thing may be for her to leave, but she is not ready to do that right now

GetOrfGetStuffed Thu 14-Nov-13 14:44:22

Please don't look at your GP and SS as the enemy. This could be the help and the breakthrough that you need.

Even if your husband is nice 95 percent of the time, is it really worth it when he pushes you around and speaks to you horribly? And he might step up the violence, he hasn't hit you yet but he might.

Is he violent to other people, say does he push his boss around, his mates, his mum and dad, or is it just you he is aggressive to? Because a course won't help him if that is the case.

I know you say your children are safe but they don't have to be in the direct line of violence to be harmed, they probably sense yen pernicious atmosphere and can tell when things are going to kick off, and that is very distressing,

I know you must be worried sick and upset, but ss arent the antichrist, please look to them for help. I hope things work out ok, and I wish you all the luck. I hope you look back on this in 6 months and see it as a start to get away from the abuse.

AnyBagsofOxfordFuckers Thu 14-Nov-13 14:44:48

No amount of calm and normal family life can make up for the lifelong emotional and mental damage caused by any sort of abuse in the home. It trains children to fulfil the abuse model themselves when they are older; boys to abuse when men, girls to grow up to be future victims. Can you genuinely not see how traumatising and chaotic it is for children to know that mum will be abused at some point, but to not know when? That children even think such a thing is abuse of them in itself. Children nearly always appear hapoy and normal, even in homes where there is abuse. Part of the coping mechanisms of such children is to try to sppear as good as possible so as not to trigger Daddy, as children believe they can somehow influence things (or are the cause).

You should not want to keep the family together when there is abuse present. All that does is create more damage. The most healthy thing you can do for your DC (and yourself) is to show them that abuse is not to be accepted, ignored, or minimised, and to make your OH leave. You fail your children by making them live with an abuser.

And why do you care so little for yourself that you would stay with such a prick? That's a terrible example to set to them too.

The fact that you say you are trying to sort out the problems shows 2 things: 1) That you are taking all the action and responsibility - if he could give a living shit about respecting you and not traumstising his DC, HE would actually leave, demand every type of long-term, possibly lifelong, help available, and not return until he was truly changed (which, um virtually never happens, because you can't change abusers) and 2) you are utterly deluding yourself of you think he is going to start treating you right. Things will only get worse.

SS knows all this. It's not finger-waggling, or any of the insults you want to throw at people who are genuinely trying to help you, these are simple, proven, well-known facts about abuse, abusers, family dynamics within abuse, and the effects on children. And it is very serious, which is why you risk having your children taken from you. 'Most' of family life being okay counts for fuck-all. There should be zero element of abuse. You can choose the reality of getting rid of your abuser or cling to the delusion that things aren't really too bad, and risk losing your children.

People with family lives that are mostly calm and normal do not feel the need to reach out to outside agencies about being abused. That's because that's not normal and never can be.

The problem is with abusive relationships, I think, is that it becomes normal.

So you think well it can't be that bad because he hasn't hit me yet. So he isn't as bad as some of the things I read.
You think that this is just a tiny part of your relationship that can be fixed.
You think that because he is not like this all the time, because it doesn't happen every day then it can be fixed because deep down he is a really nice man.

And then when he does hit you, and feels terrible and swears it will never happen again, or tells you it's your fault because you did xyz, you believe it. Because it was the first time. And you shouldn't have annoyed him. And because he is a really good dad and your kids love him, and if he just got some help it would be ok.

You walk on eggshells because you don't want that nasty part of him to come out. You stop disagreeing with him because he gets angry. You try and make sure you always do what you think he wants you to do.

It becomes your normal.

But that's why SS have to get involved. Because when you are in that situation you don't see what effect it has I everyone. How the kids learn to tidy up and be quiet and not annoy daddy. How they get scared when he shouts at you.

You are too close and too invested in making your H be the man you want him to be and you make excuses. That's an abusive marriage.

And it takes a certain type of person to be an abuser. An anger managment course won't stop you being scared of him. Or your DCs thinking this is ok.

Work with SS. For your sake and the DCs sake.

It may be that they give you the choice between your DCs safety or your H.

superdry Thu 14-Nov-13 14:45:55

thank you LEMisafucker, your kind words have made me cry and thanks for not calling me 'sweetheart'!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 14:46:44

You've done the right thing OP.

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 14:48:16

But the problem is that the kinds of problems he has (domestic violence or emotional violence) cannot be isolated from the good times and sorted out separately like some little compartmentalised issue, because they are not compartmentalised. He doesn't just "go wrong" every few weeks or months, there is something in his psyche, in his mindset, which lets him justify the way he is behaving, perhaps even feel it is "necessary" (like a good parent feels it necessary to punish their children sometimes). Do you have a previous thread that you want to link? If so there are a lot of knowledgeable posters on here who can help you to unpick the behaviours.

I can see you are very upset and scared right now, and who wouldn't be, quite frankly. But it will not help you in the long run to "play the system" or tell SS what you think they want to hear. The best thing, the absolute best thing you can do is to listen to what they have to say about what they consider to be an issue. That is the only advice - REALLY listen. They are not babysnatchers, and they are well aware that to pluck a child from its home and place it with foster carers is traumatic even in the worst cases of abuse. They will not make any snap judgements but you must work with the guidelines/advice that they give you and not decide that you know better. They have seen your situation a thousand times before.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Thu 14-Nov-13 14:48:20

superdry Something similar happened to me, someone I was speaking to about life at home called SS, SS called me in to their offices and asked what I was doing about xh and said they did not want DC in the same house as him and the DC were to stay with PIL until he was out of the house.

I went to see a solicitor, he wasn't at all helpful so found another and told them some of the behaviour at home and got an order asking him to leave the family home. SS then left us alone, they have advised if I ever do have in the home again they would take out a child protection order on the DC, so we have no contact.

GetOrfGetStuffed Thu 14-Nov-13 14:48:53

You had done the right thing. You may not think it but you have been strong to speak to wa and your doctor. Those are good things to have done, please don't regret it.

It's all small steps and it will take time but you are heading in the right direction.

cestlavielife Thu 14-Nov-13 14:48:53

"If you ask for their support in finding a way to leave, acknowledge that he is damaging them then you will find a wealth of support and resources at your finger tips. " exactly .

the fact you want dh to go on a course is indicative of problems.
it would be better if he does that course away fom you and DC.

when i was planning to leave exp SS were fully aware and supportive. so long as they knew this was the plan they were happy with what I was doing to protect DC.

happy family "most of the time" is not good enough if the other one or two percent consists of angry arguing/rows/violence/abuse which is extreme enough to warrant attending a course. he only needs to get v angry once for massive damage/injury/worse

he pushes you - that IS violence
he threatens you - that is no way to live.

the fact he hasnt hit you (yet) is ploy - he pushes you just enough to warn you
he threatens you so you know if you do trigger him there is worse to come.

this needs sorting out elsewhere, but not while he lives with you and DC. you cannot hide this from DC.

BooYa68 Thu 14-Nov-13 14:49:44

Women's Aid probably told you to report it to your doctor in case you need legal aid later on as it will confirm the abuse.

I think it is totally OTT and no doubt is the last thing you need. I am not surprised they did this and my guess it is known to be standard procedure, Women's Aid should have warned you this would happen so that you could decide if you wanted social services help.

Sending hugs xx

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 14:50:59

Sorry xposted with loads.

I really hope that it works out for you.

kotinka Thu 14-Nov-13 14:52:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaRegina Thu 14-Nov-13 14:52:43

most of family life is calm and normal

But what happens during the rest of your family life will be having a huge effect on your children OP. As others have said, if you do not feel safe, neither do your children sad.

It sounds to me like you are now panicking about the inevitable upheaval you are facing and wanting to minimise. That's understandable, but doesn't mean you have to 'go with it'. The social services can help you get away from this horrible situation. Let them help you smile

RabbitFuckerFromAHat Thu 14-Nov-13 14:53:01

Ach, I'm sorry OP, this must be tough. I have read your threads about your 'D'H before, and they have made me feel terribly ill.

Having said that, your doctor was right. Use this to see what kind of help SS can offer you, because your children are suffering every day that you stay with that man.

WallaceWindsock Thu 14-Nov-13 14:53:19

I apologise for the use of "sweetheart" OP. It came naturally but I should have thought that it may sound patronising. That was never my intention.

wanttofinallyleave Thu 14-Nov-13 14:54:07

OP, Sweetheart or no sweetheart, you should listen very carefully to WallaceWindstock's posts. In my opinion she knows what she is talking about.

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 14:56:03

Can I ask a genuine question, which you don't have to answer on the thread, but just to make you think.

If the children would magically be fine either way, if you could guarantee that they were not harmed or distressed in any way, would you stay or go? Just remove that (huge) factor, and how do you feel about it?

Lweji Thu 14-Nov-13 14:58:51

Not taking the moral high ground, but I ended up leaving home because ex had started to get physically abusive with me and at some point threatened DS as well.
Has your OH ever threatened to take your children?

Hopefully, SS will assess him, but you must not lie to them and not minimise what he does. If anything happens you may be likely to be seen not to protect the children.
You do have to be there for them, if you don't want to leave for yourself.

It is not safe for them, because they can easily be caught in the cross fire if he becomes more violent (pushing is violence). They may well have already heard the threats he makes to you. That is not a healthy environment for your children. And you should not live in fear in your own home. Nor should they.

You should also seek legal advice. In the event of a separation, the person who is responsible for the children may be entitled to use the family home until the children leave home, or at least are legally adults. The house being "his" does not give him automatic rights to kick you out.

I know breaking up can be scary, but if you start imagining how relaxed life is without a bully in the home, it may well become easier. smile

superdry Thu 14-Nov-13 14:58:52

BooYa68, thank you too for your support, i agree, i feel WA should have warned me this would happen, and it is OTT

hellymelly Thu 14-Nov-13 15:00:00

I am not finger wagging, but every single woman who leaves an abusive man would say they wish they had done it sooner, not that they should have give it more time. Many of us here will sadly be speaking from experience, not out of a desire to judge you, but a wish to help you from the other side. A life in fear of another person is not a happy family, I am not afraid of what my DH is about to do or say, and if I was then my dcs would feel it. Why notch up more time with someone who is highly unlikely to ever change, when your dcs are the important thing? There is no point in keeping a family together when that family is based on fear.
I have no personal experience of ss, so I can't help you, other than to say as others have, that they will focus on the dcs and their safety.

LEMisafucker Thu 14-Nov-13 15:00:39

I went through a really shite time with my relationship with DP about 5 years ago, it did get physical - but it was from both sides, never a hit though, just pushing and screaming at each other. It is absolutely shit and was shit for DD to witness that and I am ashamed. We both knew it had to stop - we had to stop it or we had to separate. Hopefully this has brought things to a head for you and your DH - Having SS step in may well be the wake up call he needs, make him realise that this is not normal, it is not OK. I don't know if it will or it wont but if it does, thats brilliant, if it doesn't SS will be able to help you then as well. I would be telling a lie if i said it didn't affect my DD, she gets very upset if there are raised voices, i know that I am responsible for that and its not a nice responsibility to bare, but we ARE a happy family now and my DD feels loved and safe, but had things carried on the way they did, she wouldn't have.

Lweji Thu 14-Nov-13 15:00:49

In fact, the threats themselves are violence.

For example, from Woman's aid:
"In Women's Aid's view domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a *pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour*"

basgetti Thu 14-Nov-13 15:01:13

Hi OP, sorry you are going through this.

I have two examples of friends who have had SS involvement. One of my close friends was assaulted by her partner earlier this year, and she called the police. The police had a duty to inform SS due to her DC being in the house at the time. However she kicked her partner out of the house immediately and requested bail conditions that he couldn't contact her and so SS were satisfied that she had taken steps to protect her DC and closed the case.

A few years ago I was in a refuge and made friends with a woman there. She had initially refused to leave her partner despite his abuse and she was told that if she didn't co operate and go into the refuge her DC would be taken into care, and the baby she was expecting would be taken at birth too. She eventually agreed to go into the refuge but her reluctance and her attitude meant that her children were placed on the at risk register which she found extremely distressing and intrusive. Sadly she was found to be sneaking the DCs to see their father and the children were at one point taken into foster care. We lost touch so I'm not sure how things worked out but the point is you need to co operate with SS and be seen to protecting your children.

Good luck.

Lweji Thu 14-Nov-13 15:01:40

And, yes, as helly said, if anything, I wish I had got out sooner.
I have no regrets at all about leaving.

showtunesgirl Thu 14-Nov-13 15:03:25

I'm afraid they are legally obliged to report it OP.

One of my other jobs is medical roleplay and in one of my scenarios, I had to play a woman whose injuries didn't correlate with her story. It then turns out that her husband injured her and threw something at her which narrowly missed their child.

Every single student, no matter how sympathetic or competent they were at helping me with my injuries were failed if they did not tell me that they were obliged to contact SS.

Ethically and legally it comes under a child protection matter where the child cannot legally speak up for themselves so SS has to intervene.

I know you may think this is heavy handed but doctors are obliged to do this.

fromparistoberlin Thu 14-Nov-13 15:05:20

oh wow

what a nightmare, and for all those that have posted "my friend had her kids removed as she would not leave her abusive DH", I get it...but smacks of condoning victim blaming!

OP, I get you are scared/shitting yourself as it must feel like you have opended the floodgates here

But....the fact that you are (a) posting here and (b) speaking to WA and (c) went to see your GP speaks volumes around how sad you are

my guess is (like many of us) is that you see your DH as a good father and dont want to break up the family, I suspect you might feel very guilty

DONT, he is the bad person here

the people you need to listen too are those that grew up in these houses, the "children" as it were. SS can help you understand how it might affect them.

I have no advice other than to open the door to them, talk and be honest

and if MN does not help you, read the books, and try and not be so scared of breaking up

sending lots of strength your way xx

basgetti Thu 14-Nov-13 15:06:30

And it isn't OTT. The dynamics of abusive relationships means that sadly the parent being abused isn't always in the best place to keep their children safe or protect them. It is sensible for there to be protocols in place to ensure that the welfare of children is paramount when allegations of abuse come to light.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 14-Nov-13 15:07:01

Of he's going to throw you out of 'his' house, what happens with the childrenconfused how is that not abisive to them?

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 14-Nov-13 15:07:56

Well at worst, they will take temporarily your children as you have sided with their abusive father.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 14-Nov-13 15:09:16

At least temporarily...

tummybummer Thu 14-Nov-13 15:09:23

Do you know that by staying in an abusive relationship, and saying things like they are 'safe' and 'not harmed in any way' they will view you as being part of the problem?

It's too late to ask what to do - SS are involved now and they will be looking to you for your reaction, to work out if they want to work with you or against you. If you want them to work with you then be honest, be open with them, don't hide anything, don't backtrack, don't try to smooth things over or mitigate the seriousness of the situation - and work with them to make an exit strategy for all of you.

There is no way they will accept your word that the children are safe despite being in an abusive environment. Abusive environments are not safe - they are deeply damaging, and you may think that you are different but you are not. You're saying all the things that they will have heard a thousand times from a thousand abused women. sad A member of my family (now) was adopted into our family after coming from a background like yours - the mum loved her but refused to leave the husband, and SS couldn't leave the children in that environment.

Madlizzy Thu 14-Nov-13 15:09:28

You've had lots of advice over the last year or so, especially when you'd posted about him calling your daughter a retard for potty training regression, and the fact that he does get angry with the kids. I really can understand the not wanting to rock the boat, and the fear of doing it alone, but your kids are having relationships modeled for them by both of you. You've taken the first step, which is a massive positive and the start of the process of you admitting how bad things are. Please don't be defensive here, as there are many women who will give you wonderful practical and emotional advice.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 14-Nov-13 15:10:50

Erm, how is most of your life calm and normal? Why did you then call the women's aid and the GP? confused People in normal, healthy relationships don't need to do that.

Maryz Thu 14-Nov-13 15:11:13

superdry, what advice do you want?

You have picked out two posters and thanked them for their support, but the way I read it everyone is supportive of you and everyone is supportive of your children and everyone wants to help.

What do you want to happen next?

OP you've responded to BooYa68 because she's saying what you want to hear,but there are an overwhelming number of people here NOT saying that.

Many of us have experienced domestic violence and abusive relationships. It took me several years to decide to leave my DV relationship. But I didn't have children at the time. One of the reasons I decided to end it was realising that while, as an adult, I could decide that I was prepared to tolerate a certain amount, it would never be OK to subject children to any level of that.

SS have no interest in 'taking your children away', there are enough children in care already. They are there to try to help you to keep your children safe and with you. but you need to show that you are putting your children's best interests first.

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 15:12:35

Drink I think that's self evident. No abuser is Mr. Hyde all of the time.

WallaceWindsock Thu 14-Nov-13 15:12:58

Definitely Basgetti. In my case and many other women I knew during that time abuse sort of immobilises you. You are ao used to it, it's never constant so you still have nice times, laugh etc and you don't ever feel that it's bad enough to do anything about. I can remember near the end standing behind DP with a frying pan in my hand. I was so conflicted. Part of me wanted to bash him to death, part of me wanted him to see me with the pan and maybe then he would hit me, and maybe then I'd have the proof that is wasn't all in my head and that he was a horrid man that I had no choice but to leave.

I found myself reading threads about women in far more physically abusive situations than me to justify why I was staying. You know, god I'd never put up with that, I'd leave if it was that awful". It's only when you have removed yourself, which you have to do based on a gut feeling and little more, that the fog begins to lift and you realise what it was really like.

Even if you believe he can change, you have to remove yourself to allow him the chance to change. I doubt he will but you are all stuck in a horrid cycle and he currently has no motivation to break it.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 14-Nov-13 15:14:43

All contact with SS will involve written reports about you and your observed circumstances. You would do best to be completely honest. This has now been flagged up and the school will be aware. I don't know but it might be an idea to tell your husband that you are now part of a system.

Would it be possible for him to move out in the meantime? That would be my advise for the time being, for all of your sales.

PhantomMenace Thu 14-Nov-13 15:14:47

I was a victim of domestic violence, SS were automatically involved when I contacted the police. SS came and did a risk assessment on myself and the children, they spoke to him and looked into his background. He had a history of violence and a lot of things I didn't know about him until they told me.
I too was reluctant to leave him at first which obviously gave them massive cause for concern, my children were then placed on the at risk register and I was warned any further incidents my children would possibly be removed.
I listened and left, they were extremely supportive of my decision and gave me as much help as they could. He then moved onto a woman with children and had a child with her too. SS found out and gave her the same warnings they gave me. She didn't leave and her children are now in care.

My advice to you would be, be as direct open and honest as you can be with them and if they give you any kind of advice or instruction follow it to the letter, the end results will not be in your favour if you do not.

I have to say I thought like you and that my kids weren't affected since he didn't yell or hit them either. It's only after I got away and saw how much they changed and came out of there shell I realised how much they actually were affected. It's like a ten ton weight being suddenly lifted from your shoulders. My son still remembers my ex smashing up the house and he was only 2 at the time.

fromparistoberlin Thu 14-Nov-13 15:15:12

i feel very tearful for the OP

she is having a fucking shit time, and I suspect in time she will get to a place where she realises that she can, and should live without him

But its not easy, as we all know.

so stop victim blaming her, she is not stupid, she is just struggling to find her way. she knows she has a fucking problem, hence her calls to WA and GP

people threatening her is just really cruel IMO

OP good luck, I know you are pissed off, but when its quiet , read what people say without reacting if that makes sense

xxxx

FriendofDorothy Thu 14-Nov-13 15:16:25

It's hard and it's not what you expected but it should provide you with the additional support that you need.

Good luck.

Maryz Thu 14-Nov-13 15:19:17

I don't think anyone is victim blaming fromparis, and certainly not threatening her. It's not particularly helpful to say so hmm

But there is no point in everyone saying "dear me, it will all be fine" because if she is putting up with abuse it is unlikely to be just fine.

Maryz Thu 14-Nov-13 15:21:46

And having seen one old thread from the op (more than 18 months ago), it seems to me that he is abusing her children sad and has been for a long time.

Maybe not physically, but certainly emotionally and verbally.

No one is 'threatening her' fromparistoberlin and nor is anyone victim-blaming. Why are you stirring?

musickeepsmesane Thu 14-Nov-13 15:24:09

GP called SS and police when I took my niece to talk to her about self harming and sexual abuse. It was very early days, DN had just starting opening up. We had asked GP not to call yet. Ripped the family apart. It seemed to give her dad time to get family members on side as my niece hadn't been prepared for reactions. Her mum didn't believe her. I believe had the doc given DN time to get stronger and more able to talk, the outcome would have been very different.
To be fair social services and the police were fantastic. The problem was my DN wasn't ready. I hope Op that your experience with SS is as positive as ours was.

Noregrets78 Thu 14-Nov-13 15:25:34

superdry I recently spoke to a mediator who made a referral to SS. Different situation from yours - we're separated, concerns were different. i proactively phoned SS myself after hearing that. For me, talking to SS was a real moment of enlightenment. Prior to that, I'd seen this as me interfering in his parenting.

Ultimately SS were more interested in what i was doing about it, rather than listening to me moan about what's going on. As long as the DCs have a parent who is protecting them, they won't get involved IME.

Whether or not you LTB is not the issue here - acknowledge the impact all this is having on your DCs, and think about what you're doing to protect them (and if LTB is the only way to do that, then it is something you need to consider). It's not rocket science, but it is what SS want to hear, and rightly so.

basgetti Thu 14-Nov-13 15:26:14

I have also just looked at some of the OP's old threads. The situation is horrific and he is already abusing the children. I think SS need to be involved in this case. She is not protecting them, it is as simple as that. It is not victim blaming, she has been given lots of encouragement and advice over many threads. If she is unable or unwilling to protect her children then other agencies need to get involved. The children's need to be safe comes before not offending the OP in a case like this.

No-one here is victim blaming and it is unhelpful to state any such thing.

If anyone is to be blamed here it is surely her H for abusing her and by turn these children.

fromparistoberlin Thu 14-Nov-13 15:28:56

I have not said OK it will be fine, and I have advised her to read the advice on here

I dont want to shit stir, and for that I truly apologise

But I take umbrage at how people have inferred that she risks having her kids taken away from her

they will take temporarily your children as you have sided with their abusive father.

Do people really mean well when they post that? Is that supposed to be fucking kind??????

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 14-Nov-13 15:30:39

I am guessing social services will leave you with a choice. your husband or your children. They have to protect those most unable to help themselves and that will be the children but they will give you all the help, advice and encouragement you need to protect them yourself. part of which will be getting them away from the abusive behaviour, physical or othrwise.

From what others say there will be an assessment of the situation and that is the next step.

Madlizzy Thu 14-Nov-13 15:31:48

It is a distinct possibility, and if it's the wake up call the OP needs, then yes, people do mean well!! Every single person who has posted on this thread has replied with the welfare of both the OP and her children in mind.

basgetti Thu 14-Nov-13 15:33:30

But she does risk having her children taken away, would it be kinder to the OP not to tell her this risk and have her posting here in a few weeks distraught that this has happened? If I was at risk of having my child taken I would damn well want to know so I could take every step to prevent it happening and posters are advising her of those steps.

In my opinion it is the opposite of victim blaming to tell the OP she has no obligation to this awful man, that she and her children deserve better and that they need to leave.

It would be more victim blaming encourage her to stick it out, get him help, as if she is somehow responsible for his awful behaviour.

Hopasholic Thu 14-Nov-13 15:34:13

Are you worried about his reaction OP?

How much of your time is spent walking on eggshells?
Do you ever think 'God don't wind him up' if the DC's are being boisterous or rowdy?
It's not just the acts themselves but how you live your life in order to placate an abuser. You can be free of it. Please see this as our opportunity. flowers

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 14-Nov-13 15:35:08

OP you've said here that your relationship hasn't yet become violent.

I think pushing someone, and pushing them out of bed counts as violent.

I think that a two year old being called a retard by her father is being abused, directly, not just witnessing their mother being abused.

I really feel for you because you are obviously in huge denial about all of this. I really hope that SS becoming involved opens your eyes.

cestlavielife Thu 14-Nov-13 15:35:44

superdry have you spoken one on one in confidence with a counsellor about what is going on?
and really lay on the line how your husband treats you and how he treats your dc (refer to your earlier threads) .is he always nice as pie to them? really?
does he ever critisicise them, call them names, get annoyed and lash out verbally or otherwise over typical small child behaviour?

please call womens aid and talk it thru if your gp wont refer you to counsellor to speak face to face.

you need someone to reflect back to you whatyou are describing.
you need to realise that the times he is "nice" really dont make up for the nasty

ss can help you and support you here if you let them.
if they see you are protecting your Dc and dont need their help then they will keep a step back.

Weegiemum Thu 14-Nov-13 15:36:13

I was reported to SS by an estranged family member who wanted to hurt me.

My (our) biggest advocate at the 3 meetings we had was our GP. He was 100% behind us! knew the accusations were false! held meetings and wrote reports to support us. He was awesome.

My dh is also a GP (and we are nowhere near where we lived at the time we had our problems). He has involved SS on (very limited) occasions when he felt it was necessary. And also goes to every meeting with every patient as their advocate (even if he was the reporter) because he knows how important it is that you have someone who knows the whole family there.

Your GP has done what he/she regarded as best for your family - that's part of their responsibility of taking you on as a patient. They never do this lightly - the decision probably involved any other doctors in the practice and any nurses too.

Being in touch with SS is ghastly (feel free to pm me for our experience). We later found out from my best friend as a SW that yes, it's true, they have to investigate a % of middle class families too. We ended up as one of them (and after that I'm pretty sure I'll never talk to my mother again as she was the (false) reporter).

It's awful, but your doctor us doing what he's legally obliged to do and what he thinks will be best for your family.

Jan45 Thu 14-Nov-13 15:40:26

Oh here we go with the don't `victim blame` - yeah instead we should all be saying it's all fine, apart from him being an abuser towards the OP and his children, everything else is normal....hmm

These posters with their finger wagging victim blaming recitals really are causing more damage than good, just go away please.

OP, the more I read, the more upset and shocked I am that you are still there and I really hope that Social Services can get you to finally see sense.

cestlavielife Thu 14-Nov-13 15:45:03

and rather than think of op as "victim" think that you can be a survivor - playing victim implies op has little control or way out - she does.
she has taken first steps posting here
she has gone to gp
she can be a survivor and advocate for her children

in the end abusers are just bullies who are insecure...op you dont hAve to be beaten into submisison by this man. he is not holding you hostage - only the views that you "must stay together as a family" are holding you right now....you are stronger than that.

even if you view a separation as temporary while he attends these "courses" would be a better way to look at it.

NarwhalKnickers Thu 14-Nov-13 15:47:39

I went into a refuge for a while after leaving my abusive ex. I wasn't ready to leave him,although I knew I had to for my sake and the same of my son, so I went back. When I told the staff at the refuge that I was going back to him they told me they would have to report it to SS, as it was reason to believe my child was living in a home where there is abuse. I accepted this.

I stayed with him for another 7 months, and in that time nothing happened. SS did not come and take my children away, they didn't even call. I eventually left him for good nearly 6 years ago.

Your doctor was doing the right thing. Like it or not, your children ARE in danger. You may not think he would ever lay a finger on them,,but did you think he would ever abuse you like he does? I doubt it. And even if he never did hurt them, hearing their dad yell and shout at their mum, and watching their mum walk on eggshells so as not to upset dad, will damage them emotionally.

I hope in time you will realise what you need to do. Take care.

humphryscorner Thu 14-Nov-13 15:49:32

She is at risk of losing her kids. This seems an on going problem . There is no point is sugar coating the truth not to offend the op. It's wake up call she needs.

I don't think any one has purposely has been unkind at all. A lot worse could have been said.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 14-Nov-13 15:53:11

Yes, fromparis I did/ do mean well. The OP minimises now her DH's behaviour, she doesn't want to leave him. Well, it is siding and as we know from OP herself, he is abusive. So what did I say that was untrue?

LEMisafucker Thu 14-Nov-13 16:05:23

fucking hell hmm

You know what - if you are frustrated that the OP isn't following the course of action, that you have decided, based on posts on the internet then just don't post. The OP wanted reassurance and experiences of what happens when SS become involved. Maybe she is worried that she will have her children removed - I can't say if that will or will/not happen, but hopefully it will mean that she gets the support that she needs and if her DH is accepting, the help he needs too.

Monetbyhimself Thu 14-Nov-13 16:08:30

FromParis I suspect from your naive responses that you have very little personal experience of DV and children.

OP my children and I have been involved with a DV specific team from SS for 3 years. They are not evil child catchers but they WILL expect you to step up and be a 'protective parent' fir your children. This will involve leaving your marriage and if you chose to do that, they will support you and your children as you rebuild your lives.
If you chose NOT to be a protective parent , they WILL act. I know it's hard. I know it's scary . But SS will help you to see clearly. You and your babies deserve so much better than this.

ZombieMojaveWonderer Thu 14-Nov-13 16:20:48

I know of someone in exactly the same position as you op. She lost her children because she wouldn't leave her abusive husband. She has supervised access now and no husband because he turned it around and blamed all the abuse on her!! Be warned op.

The problem with DV and child protection is that the woman and the children are on different timescales. Women need time, gentle support and understanding to be helped to leave an abuser. Children need protecting immediately.
Working in child protection with victims of DV is fucking hard. Do you think most social workers want to victim blame? Or place the responsibility for stopping the abuse on the shoulders of the victim? Of course not. The majority are aware of what a shitty, unhelpful thing it is to women coming to terms with the fact that they have to end their relationship and are also aware that the woman is probably way behind where they need her to be to take action. But what alternative is there? Leave children in this mess because the woman isn't ready to take action? Allow children to be party to foul and abusive threats of violence because the woman hasn't come to terms with it yet? That's impossible.
In my local authority the OP would be referred for individual work with a worker from the local DV charity I. Order to support her to process the truth and the aftermath of leaving the relationship and accepting that he is abusive. She would get a lot of support as long as she left him. If she doesn't leave him, child protection proceedings may well be initiated and this may also include legal advice or application for a care order, depending on the level of risk. That's the stark reality and although yes she needs support, she also needs to take that into account. Social services need to protect her children and sadly, because the OP is currently enmeshed in the dynamics of an abusive relationship, she's not able to do that herself. Minimising the risk and impact on the children is a fairly common trait of DV victims and it's a way to reconcile the two realities - wanting to remain in the relationship yet wanting to keep the children safe. However it's a case of cognitive dissonance/denial because the children are not safe. It helps nobody to pretend that they are.

fromparistoberlin Thu 14-Nov-13 16:44:33

nowehere, and never have I condoned the abusive behaviour
nowehere have I said said it not an issue, or minimised it

However by pointing out that some of the posts on here are, how can I say, worded in a less than compasionate way, I am then accused of telling her to accept the abuse?

cant you see that whilst you all care, your posts lands as unkind, and in some cases bullying. all the while this woman is being bullied....

if you want her to listen, dont shout at her

and yes, I must be naive, as I am fucking horrified that rafts of abused women have their kids taken away as they are clearly too fucking scared toi report their abusers. speechless

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 16:53:35

Paris, that's not exactly the case, but for obvious reasons, it's not really a great idea to go into specifics of what might or might not cause children to be taken (mainly because I would imagine that, aside from extremes on either end, very few people on mumsnet would actually know that information) I am sure that OP is doing and will continue to do everything in her power to keep her children safe - even if it does involve some painful realisations about how safe they are right now.

freemanbatch Thu 14-Nov-13 16:54:03

superdry

I had my case with social services closed yesterday having been referred by my midwife, the police and the school head teacher back in June. It was slightly different as I had requested the referrals and I had reported my ex to the police but I was still subject to a full assessment.

My advice would be to listen to everything they have to say and ask them exactly what they want you to do and then try and do as much of that as you can.

You may find that the SS involvement actually makes your husband address his behaviour and if he does SS are likely to be supportive of you as long as you are honest with them. They will hang around and monitor things of course.

If your husband doesn't engage with getting help then they will hopefully put services in place to help you and the children and look at ways of you getting yourself and your children safe.

My number one piece of advice for getting the most you can out of SS involvement is be honest and be clear about how you deal with them.

good luck with everything, I know its scary, I felt much the same way not so long ago.

Twoandtwomakeschaos Thu 14-Nov-13 16:55:46

I feel for the Op's turmoil because she was seeking advice, trying to do the right thing and, in an already complicated situation, it has all spiralled out of her control. She may have made different choices if she fully understood the implication of what she was doing. As it is, I get the impression she is alienated from most of the sources of help, which is massively counter-productive. I hope SS respect her pro-activity regarding seeking help, that their involvement does not rebound on her vis-a-vis her DH and that she is supported as she makes decisions, not condemned, frightened or victimised (by either her DH or the system). Who actively wants to be a family SS is involved with? Surely, her horror is understandable, whatever the legal position of the Doctor, etc., etc.?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 16:55:58

It's not 'rafts'. The numbers of children taken into care is actually a lot lower than you think. Some say too low. Every time there's a high profile case in the papers there's a hue and cry to take more kids away but the reality is that social workers would always rather work with a cooperative parent and provide support than they would take children into care. The OP has done the right thing for her DCs and I'm sure will get the right support, even if her immediate reaction is horror at the SS involvement. As I said originally, the DH here is probably going to be the one having to make bigger changes. But that's a good thing

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Thu 14-Nov-13 16:59:37

I can actually speak as a parent who temporarily lost custody to SS of a child, luckily she went to her paternal grandparents.

I had crippling depression to the point i could barely get out of bed, shes back with me, through me getting a huge figurative slap in the face, and forcing me to get better. They dont wanna take the children away, they wanna make sure that things change for the better long before they consider that.

Noregrets78 Thu 14-Nov-13 17:02:33

cogito wise words yet again... They'd rather work with a co-operative parent than take kids away.

OP it really is up to you now to be that co-operative parent. I know it's scary, but this could really help you to see things more clearly.

cestlavielife Thu 14-Nov-13 17:03:53

who wants to be in an abusive relationship?
no one.

but if you are...one outcome - if you dont make plans to leave - is that for the sake of the DC SS may become involved.

it doesnt mean SS swooping in and taking dc unless they at immediate obvious risk - there are procedures they have to go thru first.

SS will hopefully contact op and ask what the situation is and hopefully offer support eg local dv service .

op is not powerless. she is able to post on here, talk to her gp...she can do something about this. at the moment she thinks - no icant apossibly leave we are a family....but hearing people say - is this family set up ok? is it good? is it worth it? is enabling not victimisiing.

op has the power to change things here. she is not a speechless victim.

op needs to know she can make choices here on staying versus leaving.

expatinscotland Thu 14-Nov-13 17:20:33

The trouble is, LEM, is that the kids are at risk of being removed.

3littlefrogs Thu 14-Nov-13 17:25:07

My father was abusive and violent to my mother mostly, but sometimes to us. We all got very good at pretending to be happy and pretending everything was normal.

It had a profound effect on me that has blighted the whole of the rest of my life. The majority of people that knew us, including relatives, would still say that we had a normal, happy childhood.

I wish my mother had left him. She thought keeping the family together was the right thing to do. sad

fromparistoberlin Thu 14-Nov-13 17:25:34

wise and calming words cogito

thanks

LEMisafucker Thu 14-Nov-13 17:25:36

unless we know the OP personally, we do not KNOW that we know that is a possibility, but we don't know that for sure. I don't think it is helpful to try and scare the OP, when SS make contact they will explain the situation, i would have thought they would make some sort of assesment etc before the children are taken away.

RedLondonBus Thu 14-Nov-13 17:37:21

think ophas been scared off sad

gingerchick Thu 14-Nov-13 17:38:01

You will have to choose, your arsehole husband or your children, I speak as someone who is a survivor of domestic violence, my children are 4 and 7 my eldest was 3 when I left ex and never actually witnessed any violence but she is still massively insecure 4 years later and scared of men, your children are not happy and you are kidding yourself if you believe that, social services are trying to protect your children your gp had a responsibility of care, you will need to face up to the choice

Yes LEM of course they will. But the assessment is likely to say that this couple need to separate. It's if the op refuses to do that or lies to them about it that legal advice would be sought (with a view to applying for a care order)

forgetmenots Thu 14-Nov-13 17:39:36

Well said cogito.

OP I hope you find the strength to come back to your thread, there is plenty of support here for you and your dc.

turnaroundbrighteyes Thu 14-Nov-13 17:58:32

SS will come and do an initial assessment. They will see how the children interact with you and DH, positives and negatives of his impact on their life. They will be looking to you as that someone you said you are who keeps them safe. You both need to be open and honest about that and dont take it for granted that they will know the dc's are your priority, tell them. Try and get DH to open up too, it will help. If you can use it as the kick up the bum for him to start counselling now before they come that will be good too!

Then they will decide whether everything is okay and leave you alone - please dont try and force this, if they think you are holding back or not being honest and working with them they wont trust you. Hard though it is try and get to a point where you and DH agree that much as you'd rather not have contact with them SS are there to support the DC's and only have their interests at heart so it's best to work with them than consider them the enemy. Or they might decide they need more information and carry out a full assessment. Or they might decide that DH living with you and the DC's carrys too higher risk at the moment and that until such time as he has sorted himself out you have a choice to make. Google Family Rights Group for more information on the process.

Good luck and try not to worry, everyone is on DC's side so it WILL all work out for the best, just not easy...

bubblebabeuk Thu 14-Nov-13 18:16:09

.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Thu 14-Nov-13 19:41:36

Some great advise superdry, I truly hope all.works out well for you and your children.

Bubblebabuek, there is a watch thread function on MN you know.

CMP69 Thu 14-Nov-13 19:54:34

I wish someone had cared enough about my brother and me to report our family to ss. I'm 44 sad It never leaves you TAKE YOUR CHILDREN AWAY FROM THIS MAN angry

ivegotaniphone Thu 14-Nov-13 19:58:34

This happened to me earlier this year. My ex is in the forces and I told the army welfare service (they wanted me to go to relate with him so j told them why I wouldn't) and they told me they had to talk to ss - to protect themselves as well as me and DS. As called them back two days late and said as I had removed myself and DS from the house then they were content that I was taking necessary steps and would not visit me. They didn't take my name and address and made it a condition of their non-involvement that I was given child protection service contact details. Hope things work out fir you.

TeaAndSconesTwice Thu 14-Nov-13 20:04:18

What the doctor has done is absolutely right, i agree with what others have said about when ss come to visit, you must be 100% honest with them.

To be quite honest, reading your other thread on here, your dh is already emotionally abusing 1 of your children, i don't think any father should be calling his child a "Retard" and getting very very angry with her because she wet herself, which was making her wet herself more, you speak of his anger towards you but it does sound like he is also getting angry with your children too.

I think you need to read through this thread and take the good advice of people on here, you need to be showing ss you are protecting your children and keeping them safe from this "man".

You can cover it up all you like but the truth will come.

I wish you luck op & i hope you can come out the other side realising this is for the best and you can be happy with your children smile

ivegotaniphone Thu 14-Nov-13 20:08:35

I should also add the my ex's behaviour sounds v similar to what is in your op, except he had also punched me once. Not in front of DS luckily. When the army called s&s he was appalled and shamed and cried, but over the last few months he has crept back towards his manipulative ways. The only difference is he now knows how far he can go before he gets into trouble for it, so I keep my involvement with him to a minimum.

blackfeathers Thu 14-Nov-13 20:24:29

"We later found out from my best friend as a SW that yes, it's true, they have to investigate a % of middle class families too. We ended up as one of them"

weegie I'm sorry to break it to you but this is wholly untrue. And I speak as someone senior in child protection with years of experience, there are no quotas or targets related to investigating certain types of families (how would one even define a 'middle class' family for starters, it's so subjective).

I expect your dear friend was perhaps trying to spare your feelings during what must have been an awful time. I'm sorry you had such a distressing experience.

chinam Thu 14-Nov-13 20:32:57

I couldn't agree more with CMP69. I don't think I will ever truly forgive my mother for not leaving my abusive step father. Like with your DH, the abuse was mainly between him and my mother but we children had to listen to it all. We were terrified. During the "good" times we were constantly on edge waiting for the bad times to roll back in. We did a good job of hiding it though.

Some of my siblings have gone on to be part of extremely abusive relationships thereby perpetuating the cycle with their own children. Others refuse to form relationships for fear of ending up like my mother.
Do yourself and your children a huge favour and leave this man. Yes I know it will not be easy and there wil be dark days but if you want to have any hope of having a lasting relationship with your children you need to get away from this man.

Floggingmolly Thu 14-Nov-13 20:42:02

they have to investigate a % of middle class families too
What are you suggesting, weegiemum?
That families are chosen at random whether there's a case to answer or not, and you could be the subject of an investigation simply by virtue of your middle class-ness alone (hmm);
or that only a previously agreed percentage of all reported cases are actually investigated (equally unlikely)?

DaveBussell Thu 14-Nov-13 20:49:02

Have to say I'm glad to hear that communication is working between the GP and SS, this is exactly what everyone is saying should happen to protect children.

It's clearly a big shock to you OP but this can't just be about your decision to keep your family together. Your children belong to a wider community as well and I find it heartening to think that someone is looking out for their welfare. SS can hardly be expected to just take the word of a parent that their children are safe.

We later found out from my best friend as a SW that yes, it's true, they have to investigate a % of middle class families too

What the actual fucking fuck?

That is a pernicious lie.

HotDogSlaughter Thu 14-Nov-13 21:07:46

So many brave women shared their stories here.

I don't think OP is ready to listen. She thinks she has it all under control.

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 21:13:06

Social services don't have quotas about how many "middle class" or not families to investigate, how ridiculous. Apart from anything how on earth would they track, record or even classify that?

Perhaps it was a misunderstanding, meaning that, of course, middle class families are likely to be investigated if there is a suspicion that children are at risk, as much as any other class of family.

something2say Thu 14-Nov-13 21:35:07

Op, this is a good thing. Let it happen. Listen to the professionals and do what they say xx you'll be fine in time and your children will thank you x

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 21:38:37

The gp needs to involve other professionals and children and families sw ,this is good thing
There is no protocol or % of mc families need investigated?referrals are processed
Gp acts on statutory requirements to share child welfare concern

scottishmummy! There was a rumour you had buggered off mumsnet! Nice to see you're still here smile

not arse licking honest

HelloBear Thu 14-Nov-13 22:12:20

Paris you say that posts are 'victim bashing'. The OP is a grown woman who makes a decision to stay with this man (I accept that domestic abuse makes this decision hard), her children can NOT make the decision to leave. They are the true victims in this situation. I'm sorry if that is harsh to say but it is the truth. I hope that the OP does what you have wisely suggested, to read the posts again with a clear head and consider people's advice.

OP - please try to trust SS and listen to what they have to say and push, push and push for counselling for YOU.

HelloBear Thu 14-Nov-13 22:22:40

Also I'm distressed that women's aid did not go to SS (assuming they know you have kids). Safeguarding is EVERYONE'S duty, as a professional body they had a duty to report this situation to SS. They failed you and your kids.

deepfriedsage Thu 14-Nov-13 22:45:13

There does seem to be an attitude from those working with women experiencing dv that the Woman will be receiving hb hmm

OP, it is crunch time. Be honnest and phone WA again so they can support you through these times.

cestlavielife Thu 14-Nov-13 22:47:30

I read it as weegiemum meant that even if you middle class you not immune from being assessed. That maybe she had naively mistakenly thought ss child protection only dealt with certain classes of people ?? !!!

So she meant ss investigate cases where children may be suffering and yes that also includes a percentage of middle class families...

Not that they have a quota...

Guess what , abuse happens across all walks of life ..... Just coz you apparently a naice family doesn't mean abuse cannot happen.

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 22:53:17

Misinformation needs challenged there is no middle class quota that needs investigated
And cp or child in need is v structured the gp isn't their to advocate its a neutral investigation
Cp and child welfare is a statutory process the reporter cannot also advocate for alleged perpetrator

betterthanever Thu 14-Nov-13 22:57:52

It is the worst feeling in the world when you realise that you don't have everything in control and that the abuse if not good and things have to change.
I can't offer anywhere near the advice others can give except that it is very hard to deal with a situation like this on your own and the professionals will be there for you and the DC, be honest with them and yourself even though I know that is really hard and it isn't how you want things to be nor deserve.

clarinsgirl Thu 14-Nov-13 23:08:02

Superdry you have had some excellent advice but I don't believe you're ready for it yet. Please give your local DV charity a call and they should be able to help. Trained advisors will be able to help you deal with what is going on and make good decisions.

It may seem harsh to hear posters refer to 'protecting your children' when you feel that you are doing this. But you have felt strongly enough about the abuse to contact WA and have posted here before. You know something needs to change and you cannot protect your children unless you remove them from this situation. As a previous poster pointed out, victims of DV often need time but child protection an immediate need.

I wish you well.

passedgo Thu 14-Nov-13 23:18:54

Hi Superdry, I can't believe that posters have done to you exactly what you have asked them not to, i.e "not a chorus of LTB" - that's what you seem to have got.

If you need any further opinions, mine is with LEM's - don't worry about SS, they will give you support, they aren't there to make things difficult. They haven't got the time or resources for it anyway.

If they are any any good they will help you steer the right course with the right support. Just be as honest as you can with them, it will make their job easier and yours too. Remember that they don't know you at all so let them get to know you first so they can do the right thing.

scottishmummy Thu 14-Nov-13 23:23:23

The issue,the trigger for ss involvement is op allegedly abusive dh
Understandably that aggression will figure in answers given
A comprehensive answer would need to acknowledge the alleged behaviour

passedgo Thu 14-Nov-13 23:26:15

Well I'm sure OP can cross that bridge when she comes to it. She's clearly not ready and certainly won't do it online here. The best thing we can do is support her to get the help she needs, not force her into some kind of confession.

bunchoffives Fri 15-Nov-13 00:31:25

Hellobear if WA referred women to SS how many women do you think would go to them?

The guiding principle in DV is not always observed evidently that you do not bully, manipulate or disrespect the victim further but respect to the utmost their choices. And yes, that can mean accepting risk.

I can understand OP feeling the GP has betrayed her trust. What has happened to patient confidentiality?

I understand SS are there to help but ultimately they have the power to remove the DC so their 'help' might feel much more like persecution.

These are very hard issues to negotiate but I can certainly understand the sense of betrayal and bewilderment that telling your GP something in confidence has landed you with the prospect of everything spiralling out of your control.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Nov-13 06:53:06

Patient confidentiality does not trump child protection. What the OP must have described to the GP will have been very worrying - we know this because the OP has posted about it before. Also, if the OP displayed the same sentiments that they have here of having the situation under control, that would have alarmed the doctor as well. There are too many women and children dying at the hands of violent men. Society repeatedly demands a 'joined up' solution ... GPs, SWs, police, teachers etc.... and that's what this is.

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 07:13:21

It is an interesting point about control. Victims of domestic violence may often feel that they can control it. That they can actually control their husbands and protect the children. It's very difficult to accept we cannot control it.
Hence the problems with feeling that it's out of our hands or that we were betrayed, because we "know" what we are doing.

Unfortunately we are not in control and by wanting to stay with the abuser we don't actually in control. He is.

Taking away the decision from us will feel like we have been robbed of the last drop of control we have.
However, we are only fooling ourselves and being a danger to our children and ourselves.
The children are mere pawns in the power struggle between their father and their mother. And must be protected at all cost if the mother is too self absorbed, or self deluded to see what's happening to the children.

I've been there. I was the one who left, to protect DS, ultimately, as well as myself. But I should have left earlier.

OP take strength from your gp, from WA, from SS. They actually want the best for you and your children, unlike your husband.
You can only actually be in control as you free yourself from him. You have no actual control while you are with him. He's controlling you and you are doing mental gymnastics to feel you have control when you don't.
Stop kidding yourself that he'll change, or that you can manage him.

Wining you and your children all the best. Without the influence of this man.
If you allow his shadow to lift, you will see what really feels like being in control.

HelloBear Fri 15-Nov-13 07:52:34

bunchof - you are legally wrong about your points under all legislation the CHILD is always the priority. Yes it 'trumps' patient confidentiality. If there is sufficent concern that a child is suffering or at risk of suffering harm then there is a duty to report it. For DV agencies NOT to report it is a massive risk they are taking. Also you do professionals an injustice there are ways of getting SS involved without alienating the family.

HelloBear Fri 15-Nov-13 07:58:36

Also SW do NOT have the power to remove children. The courts do (or police in exceptional circumstances). No social worker in this land has the power to remove a child without consent from parents or an order from court.

basgetti Fri 15-Nov-13 08:30:28

Women's Aid do have a duty to report to SS if child abuse is disclosed and the other party isn't willing to report it themselves.

However I think it is wrong to criticise WA in the OP's case. Firstly, it is possible that the OP didn't reveal her identity as many women don't. Also, she rang for advice and agreed to follow their recommendations to contact her GP so would have been seen to be taking pro active steps.

The initial contact with WA is vital for women to start the process of getting help and to have mandatory reporting to SS for every caller would put many off seeking that help and do far more harm than good.

HogFucker Fri 15-Nov-13 08:36:08

Sorry you're going through this OP sad. I think the doctor was right though.

fromparistoberlin Fri 15-Nov-13 08:44:46

I am pleased to see this thread has calmed down

and yes, having slept on it I can see OP is not yet ready to read advice

she is scared of her DH
she is scared of SS

and now she is probably scared if this thread sad

good luck OP, beleuve it or not alot of people care, and want to see you get through this

when you are ready post again x

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 09:17:58

Was there disclosure of child abuse? I thought there was only disclosure of threats of violence to OP. It only becomes child abuse when the child is witness to violence. Is this what happened?

OP has only posted about 5 times and is being fingerwagged when people don't even seem to know the facts.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Nov-13 09:57:33

The OP in other threads had described behaviour towards her DCs that was definitely concerning. The aggression shown towards her was quite bad. Whether she told the GP about all of it or simply the aggression towards herself it must have been alarming enough for the GP to think the DCs needed SS intervention. They may even think that by getting SS intervention for the DCs it would help the OP make the break.

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 10:04:43

But there was no child abuse. I'm fine with the GP's SS call, even OP has accepted that.

But people on here putting pressure on OP is objectionable imo.

mainamow Fri 15-Nov-13 10:09:56

Superdry, I am sorry about the SS. I think you know your husband more than anybody else. You know that although he is behaving like a despot he is not going to hurt you physically or the children. However, you did mention about pushing. You need a good advise. I think you know best what to tell them and what not.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Nov-13 10:09:59

If you object to anything, if it doesn't follow the rules of the message-board, please report it to MNHQ. However, in another thread here she said he called her toddler a 'retard' ... which, if it is typical of his attitude towards the children, is extremely nasty if not actually abusive.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 15-Nov-13 10:27:39

main the man has already pushed her out of bed and screamed into her face that he will smash her head in.

Does that sound like a man who won't actually hurt someone? Because it doesn't to me.

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 15-Nov-13 10:28:02

Superdry, huge sympathy and hugs for you for going through this.

I think I would work with SS to ensure that the children get whatever help and support they need. It might be not much, but it might be that at some point down the line, they need support.

For what it's worth, I had interesting times with my father. I never knew what I was going to get; a joke might be laughed at, or we might get a wallop around the legs, or screamed at by a huge man with a red face and bulging eyes. I spent a lot of my childhood attempting to be the model child for him, trying to protect him from all the evils of the world that made him so angry and hurt. In short, I became the adult that my father wasn't. It didn't work; I was never good enough.

I'm still in therapy now, at 37, and working through these things.

At the moment, while you know that he is not physically touching your children, he might be causing them concern and stress, and, as far as you're able, I think you need to focus on what you need to do to investigate this thoroughly and put in place any safety measures to protect them. If SS can advise you about children's services that you might access, then I think that's probably a good thing. Assume that you're all going to work together to ensure that your children are safe and happy.

Good luck with it all.

SantiagoToots Fri 15-Nov-13 10:54:23

Back up, back up OP and allow me to take a slice of "moral high ground". You are subjecting your children to an abusive home life because you want a house you don't own?

Wow.

(Former Women's Aid inhabitee here)

SantiagoToots Fri 15-Nov-13 10:55:36

Do you believe you have a right to the equity in that house? How much? What price have you put upon the safety of your children?

mainamow Fri 15-Nov-13 10:59:08

Alibabaandthe40nappies, I probably missed that somewhere. I read a few OP's posts where she says he is not a threat.

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 10:59:19

Thanks for the link to the other thread cogito, I remember it. It seems to be about the fact that this man has taken up looking after the dcs and one child was regressing and wetting and there were arguments about that and the language he uses towards the children.

OP is he now the stay at home Dad? Are you the breadwinner?

Looking back at that thread it seems as though having him as SAHD is a really bad idea and is probably the main reason why SS are concerned. If he is main carer the focus will be on his behaviour generally, your saying you can protect your children won't wash as they know they are with him most of the time.

Please correct me if I've got this wrong.

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 11:04:20

Reading the comments about him owning the house and OP having few rights to be there, I can understand where you are coming from OP.

If he is looking after your child and you separate, he owns the house, it is quite possible that he might apply for residence - is that what you are afraid of?

superdry Fri 15-Nov-13 11:13:07

yes amongst other things i am afraid of losing my home, where i live with my children live, santiagotoots, i am gobsmacked at what you just wrote, its not about a house, its about a home

fromparistoberlin Fri 15-Nov-13 11:16:46

SantiagoToots

what on earth makes you think its acceptable to write a post like that?

do you feel better in yourself for writing those words? do you feel good about yourself?

Just because people have been through terrrible times does not mean they have the right to make comments like that

shock

superdry Fri 15-Nov-13 11:19:48

and thank you fromparistoberlin for all your supportive posts

perfectstorm Fri 15-Nov-13 11:22:59

OP you call him husband - are you married? Because if so, then you're entitled to live in the house whoever's name is on the deeds, and if you were to divorce with young kids you'd be very likely, if at all possible, to be awarded the right to live there until the youngest was 18, at which point you'd both get half the equity. So no worries about that. I don't know what he's told you, but the starting point for asset division is 50/50 these days, and the person with primary care of young children usually gets a bigger share of the pot because there's not enough to go round to home both parties equally, and give the kids a home worth the name.

If you're not married, then having the domestic abuse logged with your GP and with SS means you can get an Occupation Order forcing him out, if things come to that, and also entitles you to legal aid if he tried to use the children against you via a contact/residence dispute. So you're covered, in terms of your home and in terms of protecting the kids going forward. Those are good things.

Please don't see this as solely negative. If you work with SS they will try to support you - that's what they're there for - and who knows, perhaps the one thing that could force your H to undertake the sort of course you want is SS telling him he has to if he wants to share the home? I must admit my understanding is those courses are pretty useless in most cases, but if that's the route you want to try, then that is your right and your decision.

Talk to SS with an open mind and be honest and ask them to work with you. They're a fait accompli now anyway, so why not try to make the best use of that unavoidable situation for you and the kids?

futureforward Fri 15-Nov-13 11:23:26

It really isn't OTT. I don't know why any woman would be happy to let their children live in an abuse-filled household. Surely anything is better than where you are now.

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 11:25:10

Superdry, I know it is your home, but people do move all the time.
Home is where the family is, it is supposed to be a safe and welcoming place.
Personally, I ended up leaving the house I was renting and was owned by my parents because I didn't think it was safe for me and DS.

You are not there yet, as your OH doesn't seem to be vicious enough for you to leave yet.
I suspect he will become nasty enough at some point.

However, the intervention of SS right now may push him into realising he's not being a good husband or father. It may well be the best way of salvaging your relationship and safeguarding your children because of that.
If he reacts badly and becomes worse, it won't be because SS stepped in, or anything you did. It would be because he would be revealing himself to be a nasty abuser.

Hopefully, he won't be, and there will be a good outcome. smile

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 11:25:56

I think I mentioned this, but do make sure you seek legal advice regarding the house. It pays to be prepared in the case of a worst case scenario.

SignoraStronza Fri 15-Nov-13 11:28:17

SS have every reason to be concerned. I was in a relationship with an abusive 'man' until my dc was 2.5. He used to shout, rage, push, kick, shove, spit, hurl abuse and objects at me. Until one day our dc got caught in the crossfire of an object thrown at me in temper and banged her head on the doorframe.

It wasn't until I'd left that I really noticed what an angry and unhappy child I had at times. You could see it in her eyes. Living in a flat, it was virtually impossible for her not to witness his behaviour.

I was utterly stunned when the hv informed me that had I been living in the UK my child would have been in the at risk register.

I feel guilty every day for not getting out of it sooner. The impact of witnessing a father's behaviour towards their mother is profound. Forget the house and the facade of a 'happy family' and get out. Talk to Women's Aid about getting yourself on the Freedom Programme. It really will help you see things more clearly.

perfectstorm Fri 15-Nov-13 11:40:37

Yeah, a lot of women on Mumsnet have spoken glowingly about the Freedom Programme. OP, from the fact nobody seems to have anything but seriously positive things to say, might you be interested in it? It might help you feel more empowered when dealing with the situation, which could only be a good thing.

Ahole Fri 15-Nov-13 12:03:28

Although Im sure the dr did what he had to do etc it makes me wonder if that sort of action (reporting to ss) will stop women (or men) making that first approach for help when they need it.

I understand the need to protect the children, but won't it mean that women don't call women's aid, don't talk to their gp and don't ever take that first step for help, leaving them in the relationship, through fear of ss and the possibility that their children might be removed.

When an abused person first goes for help they often still have loyalty to the abusive person and are often torn between leaving and staying. I think the threat of that first approach being escalated so incredibly quickly might stop a lot of women from doing it or even considering it. It makes it too scary.

My own experience, is that i saw my gp to ask for help with my anger issues. I had reason for my problems, but that doesn't take away the negative impact it was having on my children. So i asked my gp for a referral for anger management. Considering i had told him it was negatively affecting my children should he have reported it?

It did occur to me that i didn't know what the gp would do or if ss would get involved, and this unfortunately was what stopped me asking for help sooner. It delayed it by probably several years.

If i had heard of ops case before that i probably wouldn't have gone to the doctor at all.

So what Im trying to say (clumsily) is that i know they need to protect children, but i think it could have the opposite effect.

perfectstorm Fri 15-Nov-13 12:08:08

Women's Aid don't report anything. I'm pretty sure refuges don't either (anyone know?).

I think the difference is that you were actively seeking help for a problem, and wanting to change and to take responsibility for it. That would reduce the concern a lot, I should imagine? The problem is more where an abuser refuses to accept they aren't entitled to act as they do. I agree it's problematic if people are too scared to ask for help, though. I think that happens a lot with post-natally depressed women, too. sad

Ahole Fri 15-Nov-13 12:18:22

Yes i was post natal and depressed and was grieving all at once, which was where it came from. Wonder also if i might have had ptsd but was never diagnosed with it and don't actually know much about it. I'll look it up.

I have met quite a few other women who have told me that they had anger problems post natal who didn't have any diagnosed depression or any signs of it that made them or anyone else suspect it. What i mean is they felt fine, just would have anger outbursts.

It does make me wonder how common it is in new mums.

And if new mums find it hard to see a doctor about pnd, and the feelings and thoughts that come with it, then how hard will they find it if they hear that gps make ss referrals? Especially if they have an anger problem as well.

So Ahole what do you think is the alternative? That social services don't get involved, a child gets injured or worse or at least traumatised (as you can see from people on this thread who are STILL traumatised by what they went through as kids) and when it ends up as a news story, it turns out that the family doctor (or teacher or whoever) KNEW about it but chose not to inform the agencies who exist to help and protect vulnerable people ?

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 12:27:01

The alternative could be that the doctor tries first to work with the person, or tries to get her/him to seek help. However, how would that be monitored? If no evidence of further action by the person reporting it, could lead the gp to report it. But gps are not social workers.

I think it would help if people saw social services as an agency to help struggling famillies, rather than a something that may take their children away. Perhaps there should be a campaign to improve the image of SS.

Ahole - very interesting observation. I had anger issues post birth. I couldn't understand it, very very poor support from external people eg dr, HV. Ex H didn't understand it either - in hindsight I wondered if it was menopause. But perhaps not. Sorry not very supportive to OP but a light bulb moment for me.

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 12:51:36

Perfectstorm I think HE is the primary caregiver, technically, at the moment. Am I right Superdry?

Domestic violence services have to report CP concerns. They are not exempt.

fifi669 Fri 15-Nov-13 13:34:52

DP went home the other day to see a door window and the remote control smashed. When he talked to his mum she said his dad had held her on the floor by her throat with a fist raised but didn't actually hit her. DP was mortified. She said it'd happened before but to him when he was 11 years old. (He doesn't remember). She moved out with the children then but when that house burnt down came back.
DP doesn't know how often this sort of thing has happened since.

I guess my point is, you think your kids are safe but think very carefully about whether it's possible he could turn on them too. If you won't leave for yourself, don't make the assumption that you being around can stop things happening to your kids.

perfectstorm Fri 15-Nov-13 13:45:12

EirikurNoromaour are you serious? But surely that's massively counter-productive, because some women will be afraid to seek help?

perfectstorm Fri 15-Nov-13 13:45:39

Fifi sad I'm so sorry, your poor DH and his Mum.

They will. However they cannot fail to pass on serious concerns, the law (Children Act 1989) is clear about this.
Balancing the needs of women and children is hard. There is no simple answer. However child protection takes precedence if a choice needs to be made.
It's not a blanket policy, not every child is at immediate risk, but if there is immediate risk then child protection must be informed.

Ahole Fri 15-Nov-13 14:22:36

heartisaspade Fri 15-Nov-13 12:22:50 SoAholewhat do you think is the alternative? That social servicesdon'tget involved, a child gets injured or worse or at least traumatised (as you can see from people on this thread who are STILL traumatised by what they went through as kids) and when it ends up as a news story, it turns out that the family doctor (or teacher or whoever) KNEW about it but chose not to inform the agencieswho exist to help and protect vulnerable people?

I said that i was concerned it would stop people seeking help and so women would likely stay in abusive relationships longer, not that i had all the answers.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 15-Nov-13 14:24:19

Ahole I think it is very different when a person, a parent, goes to the GP themselves and says 'I have a problem and I need help with it', versus a person going to their GP and saying 'I am in an abusive situation'. Because in the second scenario, the person with the problem has not even acknowledged that they are doing anything wrong, quite the opposite.

Ahole Fri 15-Nov-13 14:25:16

veryconfusedatthemoment Fri 15-Nov-13 12:47:35 Ahole - very interesting observation. I had anger issues post birth. I couldn't understand it, very very poor support from external people eg dr, HV. Ex H didn't understand it either - in hindsight I wondered if it was menopause. But perhaps not. Sorry not very supportive to OP but a light bulb moment for me.

I didn't think anyone else on here would be able to relate! How long did yours last?

bunchoffives Fri 15-Nov-13 15:13:18

Ali I think that's a bit simplistic - after all if you have gone to the GP you are taking action, may be not the most obvious or direct course, but it is action of some kind.

Things must have changed in the last 10 years because at the refuge I volunteered at for several years, which were post-Childrens Act, we never referred to SS because a woman was not leaving home immediately. Confidentiality was an absolute. I know that if there was any doubt about confidentiality several women who were helped would never had had the confidence to ask for help in the first place.

There were some rare cases where DC were removed for their safety but they were well known to SS already. We never referred under CP afaik.

OP I know it might feel like the last thing you want to do now, but I suggest you get back in touch with WA to talk through your options. This will, most importantly help you to find a way through your situation, but, secondly, also reassure SS that you are working on a plan.

Bunch, I would be surprised if any refuse didn't have a robust child protection and safeguarding policy which absolutely involves the duty to refer to CP if a child is believed to be at risk.
I just mentioned it to a colleague who works in a refuge and she said they do refer to CP if necessary.

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 17:11:14

OP was told to go the GP to log her complaints about Husband. Womens Aid suggested it as a way to have evidence for the future. Wise advice in my opinion.

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 17:13:26

The reason they suggested it was because he owns the house and is currently the main carer so it could go very wrong for her if she doesn't have legal backup.

Maryz Fri 15-Nov-13 17:39:42

As far as I know, Women's Aid and refuges don't report when you go for help.

But if you go to a refuge and then go back, they can report that there are children going back to a place of risk. Someone might be able to confirm that?

Like I said, it's not a blanket policy to report just as there cannot be a blanket policy not to report. Refuges will only refer to CS if children are in real, immediate risk. They won't make a referral simply on the basis of DV.

mummymummymillionmillion Fri 15-Nov-13 18:01:18

OP said he has never actually been violent just threatened it. The doctor needs to contact social services so it is on record. Did you tell the doctor so that you can chuck him out if anything does happen? Maybe he needs some antidepressants? I would not tolerate any threats at all but I would try to figure out why he is being the way he is. I hope it works out for you.

springytick Fri 15-Nov-13 18:05:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TimeForMeAndDD Fri 15-Nov-13 18:13:54

Maryz, you are correct. The first question I asked when entering refuge was if they would be informing social services. The reply was no, there was no need to involve social services as I had done what needed to be done in removing DD from an abusive environment.

perfectstorm Fri 15-Nov-13 18:21:29

A refuge I can understand because they're housing the children and therefore taking responsibility for them - but a helpline? The bit that is making me twitch is that so many women just won't call at all if that is known about. How can you support a woman in that situation? I appreciate it's an incredibly hard choice, but still.

perfectstorm Fri 15-Nov-13 18:22:44

Okay, just saw the clarification (sorry, sleepless all week and very pregnant; my brain is in a puddle on the floor atm!).

Ahole Fri 15-Nov-13 18:31:39

Springytick

I don't think op has been arsy at all! She was shocked that someone said she was putting her kids at risk for money, but i think anyone would be!

Dear dear, climb down off your high horse OP

What's that even supposed to mean in this context? Its a goady nasty comment!

springytick Fri 15-Nov-13 18:37:09

Read the whole thread Ahole. I wasnt referring to the money angle but the entire approach.

Better she's 'goaded' here than tips up with that attitude with SS. She needs to climb down if she wants things to go well with them.

apolgoies for talking about you in the 3rd person OP.

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 18:41:29

Good god can't you lot just let this woman LTB in peace?

Ahole Fri 15-Nov-13 18:43:28

I have read the whole thread and i can't see anywhere that she's been arsey.

CCTVmum Fri 15-Nov-13 18:51:13

Women's Aid went straight to SS when I reported the attacks. SS knew about the attacks anyhow and never tried to help only suggesting if I kept reporting it to SS it could lead to problems of them being concerned about the dc as the SW was convinced I was making it up (FF Attacks)hmm

After that every time I contacted WA for support when house attacked and I was frightened I ensured it was with held number and never gave a name etc

I would never give my details to WA again sorry but so frightening when SS threaten you to stop reporting DA or further action could be taken. I was not with the man he was just attacking my home.

Sorry OP that doesn't help your situation but just wanted to clear up this WA and refuges do they report to SS or not…they do!

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 18:54:45

I find using sweetheart condescending in general, and don't like when people call me that, unless they know me very well.
The person who used it apologised and all is fine.

The OP is under a lot of stress and being called on for not liking being called sweetheart and for supposedly being on a high horse is not going to help at all.
She may need some tough love but that was not it, springytick.

She is worried and not being arsey at all. If anything she feels like she may be losing the little control she has. If anything she's at her lowest, not on a high horse, and she needs to be picked up to have the strength to LTB, not being put down.

superdry Fri 15-Nov-13 18:59:50

springytick is not the first person to call me arsey, that would be my dh!

ChasedByBees Fri 15-Nov-13 19:05:47

Superdry, he is abusing your children. He is directly abusing them, you've had threads about it on here - the anger and the name calling towards your potty training two year old was heart breaking to read about.

I'm sorry to drag up old threads but I think you need to think about what he's done - all of it - and hold it and find the strength to move on from him.

Get legal advice - you could be entitled to stay in the house. Is he still the primary carer while you work? You need a plan of action and to have all your options and facts sorted so you can present to SS a woman who is actively protecting your children.

I know you said you are already but your threads honestly don't read that way. They sound like you are in denial and you need to snap out of it fast for the sake of your family (you and your children).

passedgo Fri 15-Nov-13 19:19:40

CCTV - do you think perhaps that WA advised you not to call SS so often for another reason? Do you know that if you allow your child to witness DV you are neglecting your child (as a mother) and can be done for child abuse?

That's the only reason I could ever see that WA would advise you to restrain from repeated reporting, as SS are under a duty to protect the child and if you can't, they sure as hell will step in.

Forgive me if I've got this wrong in your case, your post was tricky to understand.

superdry I did the same thing on the same advice 4 years ago here on Mumsnet. I also thought he'd never harm the children, but a while after I'd reported this to my doctor my then partner picked up a giant boulder (big as a baby's head) from the hearth and threw it at me as I was holding my baby.

The fact it was reported to social services is a flag you'll have to live with, as I reluctantly do too, because it can work in your favour ultimately when it comes to protecting the children, for instance if there's ever a custody case in the future.

I also suspect reports were made to SS the second time I was iA&E because of him. I passed off the first incident by bending the truth slightly - I had a golf all sized lump on the back of my head which I'd said was from falling over, just omitted the fact he'd pushed me over. But the second time I couldn't explain away the strangle marks round my neck. These reports are also helpful in potential future conviction, as I haven't doubt he'll send his next girlfriend to A&E ... or worse.

Worst case scenario is this feeling of being a failure or pigeonholed because of SS involvement, as if I've become a stereotype. But not all SS cases live on sink estates and are underpriveledged and uneducated as the Daily Fail likes to suggest. Many of us are just like you. We walk around (insert applicable posh supermarket) in our (insert applicable posh apparel) too and you'd never guess from the way we carry ourselves or interact wih others that we've nearly been killed by our partners or he's threatened to jump out of hotel windows with the children in his arms.

Even my daughter's school utilised it to pick bones against me because we were late a lot (had qualifying reasons for that though) and my daughter was 'too pale' or 'too quiet', as we were suddenly a family from an abused background like you read about it in the papers,not a naice, normal, unassuming, family. And then I realised, this stuff happens to anyone. So yes, I'm all of those things, and SS are going to be my saviours at some point, if they haven't already been so far, because he will indeed fight tooth and nail for the children but only to be vengeful. Better to have them on your side than not, I say.

I'm not saying LTB. Because I know eventually if it escalates, you will anyway.

qazxc Fri 15-Nov-13 19:27:39

superdry I understand that the prospect of social services being involved probably scares you, most people are worried that the children will be removed or such. Instead maybe you should consider them as an additional resource to help you and your family.

GimmeDaBoobehz Fri 15-Nov-13 19:40:44

Hi OP.

I know it must be a difficult time for you and I can't honestly add much that others haven't said already.

I think that what will happen is they will assess you and your partner and the children, perhaps several times to get a good picture of what your life is like. If they aren't satisfied that your children are safe and well they will make suggestions as to improve this. These suggestions are not demands as such, but they should seriously be heeded. It will most likely involve being away from your husband. Not necessarily indefinitely, but whilst he receives counselling/you receive counselling. I would suggest you do this but of course it's up to you.

It's not to say SS will take your children off of you but it is a possibility if they seriously think your children are at risk. This isn't to upset you they really don't want your children to be hurt or to witness abusive behaviour. Try to see it as them wanting what is best for you.

In time hopefully you will see this environment isn't what your children need. I am sure you don't want them growing up to think being treated this way is normal. I know it's hard to see it in the long term like that, but it is a possibility they may feel that way in the future. I hope this isn't the case and you manage to leave before then.

It's lovely to have your children with their father, but it's a lot lovelier for them to be a 20 something and be able to say they had a happy Mummy and are not afraid of men.

I sincerely hope the very best happens to you and your children. x

CCTVmum Fri 15-Nov-13 19:41:33

passed LOL it was a long time ago! No SW was telling me to stop reporting the attacks, but they got reported anyway by police! Isn't that crazy a SW to tell me to STOP reporting attacks 'or else'! (SW believed I was making the attacks up). I was more scared of SS than ex (ok maybe not all the time)

OP I understand your sudden terrified reaction but this is standard protocol and I am guessing if SS have not been in contact already it isn't being classed as an emergency? Have SS been in contact? What did they say and do?

wellrid Fri 15-Nov-13 19:57:53

Hi Superdry - SS were called into my life with DS after DS's father was accused of child abuse - he was arrested, released on bail with a tag etc. He vehemently denied the accusation and was deeply upset and shocked about what had happened to him.

I massively resented SS 'intrusion'. Like you I was 'gutted' - they consulted with and involved his nursery, doctor, HV, the police involved in my partner's case etc and put my son on the child protection register. I felt hugely shamed and insulted that my son was considered to be 'at risk' and the subject of case conferences etc. They explained that they considered this to be the case as much due to my refusal to believe that his father would/could harm him as from the possibility of any such harm. They carefully pointed out that if I did not take the steps that they insisted upon to keep my son safe, that care proceedings for him were a very real prospect.

I took very expensive legal advice about how to keep my son and they explained that I had to co-operate pleaseantly, fully and unconditionally with SS and follow all SS instructions (no unchaperoned contact of DS with DP- only at certain times/days - DS to live away etc). At the same time, I had to tell them that I believed in the possibility that my partner could be guilty (v difficult, as I KNEW that he was innocent, and wanted to shout it from the rooftops and defend him.) I felt in a total catch 22 - that I couldn't follow my instincts of loyalty to my partner, whilst keeping my son safe (which to me at the time meant keeping him away from SS). I followed all the legal advice - although at times it stuck in my throat, I knew that there was no choice - I HAD to protect my son.

Well - this is now 8 years later and DS and I live very happy lives together still. 'D'P was found guilty of the abuse, and sentenced to 6 years in prison - it was serious. Shortly after his conviction and two other of his victims came forward. Of course, I started to see how foolish I had been all along - he was guilty as hell, and how actually he was highly abusive to me too.

I am now so very grateful to SS for helping me to keep my son safe from a monster - even though it went against every instinct of my own. You see, my instincts were WRONG. Please do listen to everyone on this thread. I HAVE BEEN where you are now - I know how threatening and difficult it seems, but for your children's sake, do WHATEVER SS SAY - and try to open your mind to the possibility that from the outside, and with their experience, they might know better than you how to keep your children safe (even if it doesn't feel like it AT ALL at the time). They will also be totally on your side in helping you to achieve safety for all of you, so long as you're open and co-operative and sensible with them.

Wishing you all the very best of luck - I'm sure that, like me, in years to come you and your lovely DC will be just fine.

Obviously, I've namechanged just for this very special post - I've started a new life, so I never discuss this with anyone - and I haven't posted about it before - I really hope it helps.

Hi OP.

Its not often I will first post on a thread that already has 10 pages, because whatever I want to say has probably already been covered. But in this case I feel compelled to post.

I have been you. Not with a husband, or a family home that I stood to lose. But a similar situation none the less. I felt that SS were the enemy. That it was all OTT. That I knew my child best and that she was ok. I have delayed ending things because most of the time things were calm and good.

Three years on I don't regret leaving. I know that if I had stayed and continued to accept the abuse it would be a huge regret.

I don't know your situation, or what abuse has occurred, but it doesn't matter. One slap or a hundred, my advice is the same, this is not normal or acceptable and you deserve better.

SS will contact you. They will do an assessment. But let me tell you, no matter how clean your house is, or how well adjusted your kids seem, it is likely that they will go on the at risk register for emotional and physical abuse. It does not matter how good a mother they judge you to be, if you do not put the interests of your children first, they will stay on that register.

I once posted on a forum like this, and I was told that if a child was on the register for 2 years they would go into foster care, I don't know how true that is, but it was my wake up call.

I am not saying any of this to make you feel bad, or to convince you to LTB. I am simply informing you of how the system works. It might feel shocking, it might seem unjust. But you are in an abusive relationship, and that plays with your head, it makes you see things differently.

The bottom line is, your children are living with an abuser. They are not safe. Emotionally or physically.

CCTVmum Fri 15-Nov-13 20:09:27

shock wellrid! I really thought he was innocent when you were first explaining! How controlled you were by the abuser!!! It must have hit you hard? Was it only after the other victims came forward you realised then? Or was it later than that at sentencing etc?

ThePinkOcelot Fri 15-Nov-13 20:19:47

It is your choice to stay there OP. Your children do not have that choice!

wellrid Fri 15-Nov-13 20:24:49

CCTVmum - my username might have given a clue!
Yes - he was completely controlling - verbally, emotionally and financially abusive and I just didn't see it. He spent 8 months living elsewhere on bail, and after the first few months, it was like having a veil very slowly lifted where I started to slowly realise how much better my and DS' lives were without him. In truth it was the same slow realisation process that moved me from 'adamantly believing in his innocence' through 'could he have done it?' to 'oh my god, I think he could have' to 'that fucking bastard'... All in all it took about a year from start to finish. When he was convicted, that still wasn't quite enough, but when I heard about others, the penny finally dropped.
I look back now and can't understand why I didn't see right through him to start with..

monkeynuts123 Fri 15-Nov-13 20:30:11

That was the right thing to do. You staying with a violent man and putting your children at risk is not the right thing to do. I'm afraid you have lost touch with reality here.

giraffesCantGoGuising Fri 15-Nov-13 20:30:56

I work with children from homes like yours. We class children who live in a home with domestic violence as suffering abuse themselves - emotional abuse. This is taken just as seriously as physical or sexual abuse.

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 20:56:31

Please take a look at How Abusive Men Parent and see if any applies to your OH.

springytick Fri 15-Nov-13 20:59:27

Im sure you are arsey if you're being abused - understandable!

However, you can't be arsey with SS. It just doesn't go well.

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 21:08:13

I'm sure SS wouldn't call it arsey. Maybe resistant, maybe worried, maybe afraid, maybe upset.
I'm sure most SW will be more understanding too.

SarahBumBarer Fri 15-Nov-13 21:14:34

OP - I just want to add one thing to this thread. Neighbour of mine (next door) has had the police at their house several times after DV incidents. SS involved as there are young DC in the house. DC are both still there. So is he. SS have certainly not gone marching in all guns blazing and taken the kids away or banished him from the house.

I don't know the details of SS involvement but clearly it is not the case that SS will just cart the kids away. But they are there to protect your children. Respect that I don't be hostile to them. You were concerned enough to involve outside agencies and abused partners often minimise. It is right that they are involved.

springyticky Fri 15-Nov-13 21:47:51

You're wrong there Lweji. SW's are 'understanding' with relation to the kids, not the partner who is minimising the abuse and insists her children are ok in the middle of it.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll do some research OP and find out that kids are not ok in a situation like this. it's in the air they breathe and it is extremely damaging. Extremely.

Whether or not you do the research, SS will make it very clear where things stand wrt kids living in an abusive home. They will not be 'understanding' of you and the position you are in. Their overriding priority is your children.

I'm not suggesting you're a bad mother. But I am suggesting you don't get how damaging this situation is for them and that they have to be protected. Hence SS.

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 21:52:19

Being supportive and understanding is not the same as condoning.
It may well involve being strict.
I just don't think they'll think the OP is being arsey.
They will be used to most women being resistant, which is different, and they know the reasons for it and know how to work with it. I'm sure they won't be arsey with the OP, either.

Ahole Fri 15-Nov-13 22:28:14

I still can't see a single arsey thing the op has said!

Superdry, this must be incredibly hard for you. I wish you all the strength you need to get through this.

Lweji Fri 15-Nov-13 22:38:57

Quite, Ahole. Other people, though...

perfectstorm Fri 15-Nov-13 22:43:20

Wellrid: flowers

Hope you're doing okay, OP.

wellrid Sat 16-Nov-13 00:20:21

Thanks perfectstorm. I shall arrange those lovely flowers into a virtual vase in my psychological kitchen smile

superdry - I hope you're OK too...
It'll all be fine, you know - the doctor has called SS so that they can help your whole family. Don't waste emotional energy feeling threatened by them (like I did) - they WILL help.

They will not be 'understanding' of you and the position you are in

They bloody should be understanding! Child protection social workers absolutely should understand the dynamics of abuse and why women stay. It doesn't mean they will not expect action to be taken but it's wrong to say they won't be understanding.

Ahole Sat 16-Nov-13 08:59:31

Quite, Ahole. Other people, though...

Exactly! I get the impression some posters are wanting to "punish" her for the fact her children are in this situation. I can't think of any other reason for the necessarily harsh comments.

Ahole Sat 16-Nov-13 09:01:09

Sorry that should have been . . .

Unnecessarily harsh comments to a victim of abuse who's trying to get help and make decision for their future and that of their children.

Vivacia Sat 16-Nov-13 09:03:30

I don't think that the comments are helpful or compassionate, but I fully understand why people are thinking them.

It's depressing that so many people want to attack the OP, the victim, not the actual aggressor. It is her husband who is the abuser, not her. She needs help and support. Kicking her when she's down is nasty and unhelpful.

springyticky Sun 17-Nov-13 00:21:13

don't be ridiculous. YOu are entirely missing the point.

OP is not 'trying to make a decision' - this decision is now out of her hands, due to protocol that is, thankfully, developed to a fine point in order to protect children living in an environment of abuse. These steps are not taken because some idiot bod in an office somewhere dreams them up; they are taken following extensive consultation with every possible expert in the field.

The majority of posters have spelt this out to the OP - posters who are experts from a variety of angles (eg fostering children traumatised by living in an abusive environment) - but OP insists she knows best and that the experts are OTT, giving short shrift to those who have taken the trouble to post - mainly to warn her - accusing them of 'finger-wagging'. The reality of the process that posters are warning about will become all too clear very shortly. She has no choice but to conform.

SS are the experts. They are understanding up to a point but not a very long point. Their overriding priority is the safety of the children. If the mother refuses to acknowledge the damage to her children, SS won't hesitate to step over her, and has the power to do so.

She can cooperate or she can fight them. She will lose. They would rather work with her.

MatildaWhispers Sun 17-Nov-13 00:50:27

Hi superdry, hope you are ok.

I have had some involvement from SS. Ime they were understanding of my situation, however I did completely co-operate with them and that is what you need to do. As others have said, they will ask you whether they can contact various other agencies involved with your children (school etc.), speak to your dc etc. I agreed to everything that they wanted/asked. I found the SW totally understood the dynamics of an abusive relationship. I talked to the CP SW very openly about what had happened and I found that she understood exactly where I was coming from in my explanations of situations. However (rightly) she made it very clear that my dc were the priority. You need to co-operate with them, and they will be understanding of you. You are a victim in this, but be aware that SS will acknowledge that, but also slightly gloss over it because your children are the priority (repeating myself, but that is exactly how it is. It is not like dealing with WA, who will be more focused on the woman and her needs).

Mumpiring Sun 17-Nov-13 09:21:11

I was like you once i op. I put a huge amount of effort in to tolerating the misery.
I was the proverbial boiled frog. A shove and a shout, a rougher shove and a louder shout and a poke, at what point do u think "now" now i must draw a line. I lwft wuth the clothes i stood up in and two v young children and i never ever doubted the decision when it was done. So it is hard to understand why it was so hard to make a decision (that i later never regretted).
As others have said, i just wished id done it sooner.

hellymelly Sun 17-Nov-13 23:20:51

I read something in an article by Julie Birchill, many years ago. She was talking about how women seek and get support from friends when in a bad relationship, which simply serves to shore the woman up to stay longer, when they should be doing the opposite, getting out before they notch up more wasted time. I have often mulled over it since, and I thought of it when reading through this thread, as I feel that OP is what you are looking for, support, but sometimes that isn't the kindest thing. The truth is that (even factoring out any children) staying in an abusive relationship is always a waste of time. It is wasted months or years that you can never glean back. It is never worth it, never something that in decades to come you will look back on happily. Abuse invariably escalates, and can reach a point quite easily where a man will not let a woman leave. If you can get out, then get out, and don't waste any more precious years with an abusive man. Live is far too short and too precious to live in fear, if you have a choice.

passedgo Sun 17-Nov-13 23:25:30

Of course staying in an abusive relationship is a waste of time, the point here is that OPs partner is main carer of the children and he owns the house, AND is abusive.

It's not as simple as just getting out. She needs good advice and she needs to know she won't lose her children. We all know how manipulative these men can be. I do wish people would stick to practical advice instead of trying to get this woman to confess as though she's in denial. She really isn't.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Sun 17-Nov-13 23:25:36

Great post, helly

And JB was completely right

cestlavielife Sun 17-Nov-13 23:31:19

They married so they both own the house and she has equal rights to be there.
If there is evidence of harm - and ss referral can help assess this - then it won't matter that he is main carer. That will be taken away from him. He will prob get supervised contact for a while.
So op needs to consider alternative day care child minders etc longer term.

custardo Sun 17-Nov-13 23:37:23

if you are married, you may be legally entitled to some of the house anyway.

I think what you need is to get some financial advice about this issue to know where you stand should it come to it.

if you mean by 'his' house that he is the lead tenant, let me know some more detail ( pm me if you want) and i might be able to give you some more advice on this

passedgo Sun 17-Nov-13 23:38:08

If they are married and he is main carer main carer gets to stay in the house. A court would hardly order the main carer to leave the family home.

passedgo Sun 17-Nov-13 23:41:10

And that's why OP went to the GP, at the suggestion of Womens Aid, to report the abuse in case she did need to leave she would have evidence. That way she could make sure she can stay and protect her children.

If she ran now she could be leaving him with the family home and the potential to abuse the DCs.

cestlavielife Sun 17-Nov-13 23:42:05

If ss are concerned about the main carers treatment of the dc and whether they are a good carer then yes the main carer could be ordered out. One question raised is the dad.s treatment of the dc eg calling toddler a retard etc. coupled with violence towards the op.
This could be grounds for supervised contact.

passedgo Sun 17-Nov-13 23:51:52

Yes but at present SS are not concerned. The gp made the report but we are a long way off SS wading in.

passedgo Sun 17-Nov-13 23:53:13

SS are not going to take a child away from its main carer because they have called the child a retard. OP is being realistic.

cestlavielife Sun 17-Nov-13 23:54:25

One issue is op and h .s relationship and how bad it is or isn't and how this impacts on dc.

Second issue is how the h treats the dc. Ss can help assess that. In front of ss hv etc how does the h treat the dc ? If no evidence abuse towards dc then starting point for sharing dc would be fifty fifty. All depends what evidence there is of h .s behaviour towards op and towards dc. Having ss involved here could help assess. Ss could help op in insisting that dc have supervised contact with the dad for a while to assess given his aggressive behaviour. Op needs to really consider whether in fact dc are perfectly cared for or not by the h.

If in fact h is no danger or risk to dc except when op in the house and is afantastic main carer while op works then op needs to discuss with solicitor how to arrange contact so it's fair, whether that means continuing to have the h do the caring during day or not. Op needs to talk to solicitor get legal advice. She could end up paying maintenance to the h and child maintenance...

But op needs to consider her other threads where the behaviour of the h towards the dc is questionable....
And also you raise the question whether an abusive husband can be a good parent cf Lundy Bancroft the batterer as parent etc .

passedgo Mon 18-Nov-13 00:04:01

All depends what evidence there is of h .s behaviour towards op and towards dc.

Yes, and there is none at present that OP can use. SS will help assess, and OP has acknowledged this now and has sought advice further upthread from people to help explain to her what she should say. She is scared.

But op needs to consider her other threads where the behaviour of the h towards the dc is questionable....

No she doesn't. That was another thread. She did that there. Give her a break!

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