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Am I being over sensitive? *sensitive*

(52 Posts)
Jetcatisback Fri 06-Nov-15 01:14:56

I posted a while back under a name change re my ex being arrested and charged for offences with children. Don't want to post too much here for fear of outing myself, so suffice to say no physical contact involved.

Sadly DD2 (8) has found the lack of contact with her father very hard to deal with, and has been struggling for some time. So, with the agreement of social services, I reluctantly agreed that she could see him - so long as they ensured it was fully supervised. It was, and the first contact has just occurred.

On returning home, sw informs me that DD was very happy to see her father and after the initial awkwardness, quite happily sat on his knee for a cuddle. I lost it at this point, saying that was hardly appropriate (DD was well out of earshot). But, I don't know if my own personal history of csa has clouded my judgement? I would quite happily ensure that DD never saw him again, however selfish that makes me - but I know how much it would devestate DD and I can't do that to her.

So, AIBU to tell sw that if contact is going to continue, then no physical contact is to be allowed? (I know this is AIBU but please go easy, it's been an awful night and now I'm too stressed to sleep)

Alambil Fri 06-Nov-15 01:22:04

Hi Jet - I think that because it's supervised, there's little chance for anything wrong to happen... is it supervised by a CS professional, or a family member / friend? is it in a contact centre, or somewhere public?

If it's a professional, they're trained to look out for all sorts of things, so will be aware - you could ask the SW to make sure the risk assessment is accurate for DD's father, so that the supervisors are aware to be vigilant.

I think that to stipulate no physical contact is going to be nigh on impossible to police... how old is DD?

Trying to think objectively; if there was no physical stuff in the offences, is it actually a problem for him to give his DD a cuddle? or are you worried about what he's thinking/feeling in that circumstance? The first sign of something untoward happening and the contact would be cut short.

TheBouquets Fri 06-Nov-15 01:22:55

In those circumstances I would say that the contact should not involve any physical contact at all. This just shows how little SW understand of the world. They should have stuck to your wishes which should be discussed in detail before any visitation took place.
It may be best to struggle through DD being upset if SW are going to allow physical contact. He should not be near any child!

SmallLegsOrSmallEggs Fri 06-Nov-15 01:23:36

I would be really uncomfortable with that.
Getting a hug from your dad is ok.
But she is 8. Why is she sitting on his knee?

She is at an age where ino it is perfectly ok to say you are too big for that and I would say that to my dds if they tried to sit on anyone's knee. I don't let them sit on mine because it is physically uncomfortable. And I don't think at that age it is something they shoukd be encouraged to do.
So wtf are sw thinking. It is an easy thing to tell a kid not to do without any awkwardness or undertone and under the circs you'd think they would think it unnecessary.

Jetcatisback Fri 06-Nov-15 01:26:21

Thanks for replying Alambil, and I think you've hit the nail on the head - I'm worried what he's thinking/feeling. DD is 8, and only 2 years younger than the girls involved.

The first couple are going to be supervised by sw, then by family support worker. His family are all minimising what he's done (no physical contact = no one got hurt...) so there has to be another assessment of them if and when the time comes for them to supervise not a chance in hell

Jetcatisback Fri 06-Nov-15 01:33:00

Sorry, x posts. We did discuss contact in great deal as I had to be talked in to it, I originally said I wasn't making any decisions until court case was over - other than the initial stopping all contact. But that was before we realised just how long the process is - I had already said any future contact after court would have to be supervised.

DD is very very affectionate and always wants cuddles, which I don't mind giving as i haven't committed any offence. It just felt completely wrong when sw told me - she saw my reaction and tried to reassure me, showing me exactly how she was sitting, then explained where his hand was. God - even typing that bit re is hand is triggering for me, hence the uncertainty over what I should be thinking/saying/doing right now. It's all such a mess.

Senpai Fri 06-Nov-15 03:05:15

Nope. Cut contact. He should have thought of his daughter before sexually abusing other children. You tried it, and he didn't take all step necessary to prove he would be appropriate with her.

Separation may hurt, but sexual abuse will hurt more. The social worker is already too relaxed. He's not going to do it over night, but bit by bit he might chip away the rules, and the SW already set the precedent that it could be a possibility.

One day when she's older she'll understand. Does she know why he's not allowed to see her right now? I'd tell her in child appropriate language that he did something very horrible to girls her age and that is why she can't see him for her own safety.

I would really stick to your guns on this one.

Baconyum Fri 06-Nov-15 03:25:16

I'm with senpai. He's gonna keep pushing boundaries effectively grooming your child and the adults around her. That may even be his intention. But also what about when she's the same age as the children he's already abused?

Ceop thinks while the evidence is difficult to quantify it makes sense to consider all offenders who've not had physical contact as potential offenders who will have/use physical contact.

As for the in-laws - if as I'm guessing from your posts this was an image/pornograhy charge, that means children were abused for their relatives pleasure. Perhaps they need reminding of that.

PreciousxBane Fri 06-Nov-15 03:31:29

I have no idea of the legalities but I would want no contact at all not even under supervision, even with the no touching rule.

Aussiemum78 Fri 06-Nov-15 04:10:17

That's horrifying, he's already testing boundaries. He could have easily given her a hug without plonking her on his lap.

Contact and a relationship can be fostered with no physical contact. It can even be fostered through letters and phone calls.

Has your daughter had counselling? And talked to about protective behaviours/privacy/secrets? Can a counsellor help guide you through how to handle this?

Milkand2sugarsplease Fri 06-Nov-15 05:23:42

How would your DD react best between being told she can see him but no cuddles or can't see him at all?

It's hard because you're trying to protect your daughter from a 'monster' while she just wants to see her daddy, knowing nothing of his behaviour. If she's used to a tactile relationship with her parents it'll be difficult to suddenly say no to that without her being confused.
It's a difficult position to be in OP and certainly not the sort you ever plan what your reaction would be as such!!

Fratelli Fri 06-Nov-15 06:35:31

That is shocking on the sw's part. I wouldn't have contact at all but certainly no physical contact. I would personally complain about the sw as they failed to do their job which was to protect and safeguard your child. There was no need for her to sit on his lap. As pps have said he's testing boundaries.

flowers for you op, what an awful situation to be in

Pseudo341 Fri 06-Nov-15 06:46:23

You need to stop contact. I know she'll be upset now but when she's old enough to know the truth she will understand, and could very likely be more upset she was still exposed to this man. Imagine how you'd feel now if you realized the man who's lap you'd been sitting on aged 8 had been convicted of looking at sexual images of girls aged 10? I think I'd feel very uncomfortable and wonder why anyone had allowed it to happen. Sorry you're dealing with such an awful situation OP.

Wishfulmakeupping Fri 06-Nov-15 06:54:05

I would have to stop contact too- you tried OP for your dd even though you wanted to keep her away. Your ex and the sw pushed the situation further by letting dd sit in his knee - I would be livid.
It will be difficult for now but you will be keeping dd safer in the long term.

GruntledOne Fri 06-Nov-15 07:00:26

I don't think it's necessarily sensible to say OP must stop all contact, given that the ex could get it through the courts and in those circumstances OP would effectively lose the power to stipulate how contact happens. It's probably sensible to stipulate that it continues but without physical contact.

cashewnutty Fri 06-Nov-15 07:11:35

I m going to come in here as the Devils advocate. I am a Child Protection SW and have some knowledge of this type of offending. My questions is: Was he looking at images or was he making contact with children through social media? In the first case these men often believe they are doing no harm (they are just picture right? WRONG these are actual children who are being exploited). The second scenario is a step up from looking at images and the next step might be trying to get contact with these children.

As for the contact this will be looked at thought the eye of a child - in particular your DD. What is the right thing for her. You say she was struggling with not seeing her dad so she is having supervised contact to fulfil her need to see her dad. It is a SW who is supervising this and she will be fully aware of all the possible risks to your DD. You also say your DD is an affectionate, tactile girl and would be actively seeking cuddles. It would just be very weird for the SW to make a massive fuss out of this, especially if she approached her dad rather than him trying to wheeled cuddles when she wanted none. I would think the SW watched him very carefully and knew exactly where his hands were.

The last thing is that you say you were also abused so you are not able to have clear and untainted thoughts about this. You need to try and keep these feeling to yourself (have you sought support for this?) and not pass this on to your DD.

The last thing is, has anyone done any work with your DD about safe touch so she knows what is right and what is wrong? Was she spoken to by police/SW at the time of her dad's offences to checks he hadn't dome anything to her. What does she understand about why she hasn't seen her dad? I would assume someone has told her, in an age appropriate way, what her dad has done? The best way to safeguard your DD is to teach her how to keep herself safe and what to do if she is worried about anything.

Sorry for the long post but i think it is important to consider all these factors calmly and rationally and make sure that the right decisions are being made for your DD. Go and talk to the SW doing the contact and explain your anxieties, but do it calmly.

Coconutty Fri 06-Nov-15 07:18:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jetcatisback Fri 06-Nov-15 07:36:18

Thanks all, I have read every post but being honest I'm too much of a mess to answer each blush

I will try and answer Cashew though, to put it into context.

He was caught taking photos of naked young girls in a public changing area. DD knows he was taking photos without permission, not that they were naked. She is obviously not very confused over why the fuss over photographs.

SW said that ex called her over to sit on his knee, she didn't instigate it this time, but didn't refuse either.

I am trying to not pass on my own thoughts to DD, the sw actually commented on how well I was doing at this. However, it is really taking its toll.

And yes, we have done the safe touch/pants rule, and yes DD has worked with sw to see if she had any involvement- doesn't think she has thank goodness.

Aussiemum78 Fri 06-Nov-15 07:50:20

Cashew nutty I think the point that the sw is missing, it doesn't matter where his hands were...to be blunt, having a girl sitting on your lap can be sexual contact/sexually arousing to men like him. The op really shouldn't have to spell that out to the sw (who sounds incredibly naive).

And he instigated it.

SmallLegsOrSmallEggs Fri 06-Nov-15 08:40:17

Indeed. It has nothing to do with whete his hands were.

8 yr old can give cuddles without sitting on your lap. He is trying to teach her that sitting on his lap is normal at that age and it is part of giving hugs. It isn't.

I don't let my kids sit on anyone's lap now they are bigger because it just isn't appropriate.

Jetcatisback Fri 06-Nov-15 08:49:01

Thank you so much to everyone for the reassurance that I'm not letting my own experiences cloud my judgement here.

I have just took DD to school with the intention of having a word with the family link worker, who is fully aware of the situation. However the class teacher saw me first and asked how it had gone. I managed to not cry blush and told him my concerns. His face said it all to be honest, and he is going infirm link worker, and between us we will decide the next step.

I don't think I can stop all contact as it would absolutely devestate DD, plus as a previous poster said, he could go for contact through the Courts anyway just let him try
At least this way I have some say in ithmm

Mooey89 Fri 06-Nov-15 09:16:46

Op you are doing amazingly well at this. I think your gut is absolutely right. No physical contact. It's just unnecessary in the circumstances.

The fact that he actively instigated the offence himself shows him to be much more dangerous, in my opinion.

ohtheholidays Fri 06-Nov-15 09:30:44

OP honestly I would stop all contact,I know your thinking of right now which is what just about everyone would do.

But I'm thinking of in the future,when your DD is older and she knows what her father has done what do you think her reaction will be to having had contact and some of that physical with her father?

I'm speaking as some one who was sexually assaulted and raped from a very tiny age for 9 years.

SS are being bloody stupid as far as I'm concerned and I used to work with them!What they're doing is bloody dangerous when it comes to your DD future emotional and mental well being!

DisappointedOne Fri 06-Nov-15 09:42:57

*She is at an age where ino it is perfectly ok to say you are too big for that and I would say that to my dds if they tried to sit on anyone's knee. I don't let them sit on mine because it is physically uncomfortable. And I don't think at that age it is something they shoukd be encouraged to do.
So wtf are sw thinking. It is an easy thing to tell a kid not to do without any awkwardness or undertone and under the circs you'd think they would think it unnecessary.*

Under normal circumstances I think this is really sad.

(I'll admit I was a bit hmm when a friend's 16 year old (son) came home from school and sat on her lap for a cuddle in front of about 6 women he'd never met but in many ways that's quite sweet really.)

cashewnutty Fri 06-Nov-15 10:34:06

Okay, i have read your extra information. I would like to say that in the team i work in we would all like to chop the bollocks off men like your ex but i am assuming the contact is being supervised by a locality team. In my experience they don't really always understand the issues around this type of offending.

I don't think age 8 is too old for cuddles on laps in a normal loving, non abusive family. But in this case i think it is entirely inappropriate that he should be allowed to call over your DD to sit on his lap. I think perhaps you should ask the SW to put in place some kind of contact safety plan so you can be reassured that every person who supervises it sticks to the same things. I would be asking that there is no physical contact of any type to be instigated by him. He also mustn't say things like "i would give you a hug but i am not allowed" Any physical contact instigated by your DD need to be closely watched. You ex needs to told that he should encourage side by side chats or games played across a table. Get them to put the onus for her safety on to him. You need to show you are being reasonable and measured in your response to this (SW like this).

It is difficult and i know you will be struggling with all of this but better she gets to see her dad safety than resent and blame you for a long time for not being able to see him. I would also say that when you think she is ready you tell her why taking these photographs was wrong so she understands your concerns and can make choices about seeing her father for herself.

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