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AIBU to ask how you cope with children visiting abusive ex?

(19 Posts)
candycandles Thu 26-Oct-17 14:08:20

Just that really.

I separated from my ex over two years ago and up until now he lived with other people (his parents, a girlfriend etc). He was abusive throughout the relationship but I still had to hand the children over for contact because he hadn’t shown abuse to the children. And to be fair, at the time I did still believe he could be a good dad, despite being a horrible partner.

Sadly over the two years there have been repeated incidents where he has at least been emotionally abusive (inc telling children I don’t love them anymore, picking obvious favourites, telling them my partner doesn’t like them and is going to leave them, their new sister doesn’t love them, telling them he won’t bring them home to me... he’s admitted a lot of it too!). The children say he shouts at them all the time, they’ve come back with bruises, he’s ruined toilet training attempts by sabotaging them. Their mood is drastically changed for a few days when they come back. I’ve been told I don’t have enough evidence to do anything about it and that the words of my children can’t be taken seriously as they are too young to understand the context of situations. I disagree and I’m fighting it but that’s a different post.

Anyway I’ve found out he’s moving out of his parents house and into his own place. I’ve always taken some minor comfort that there was someone else there during contact visits, the only way I’ve been able to bear to let my children go. And now there’s no one, all the while with incidents seeming already like they are getting worse.

So how do you manage when your children have to go to visit a parent who was abusive? AIBU to be a nervous wreck the whole time they are gone? Any tips?

Misspollyhadadollie Thu 26-Oct-17 14:25:19

So he still gets contact even if he's been abusive to you? People always say they won't get contact on here. And yanbu I would be the same.

Notanumberuser Thu 26-Oct-17 14:34:32

You’ve no guarantee that any one was in the house when he was there anyway so I suppose you could look at it that way.

I must be honest and say I am surprised at how quickly you’ve a new partner and a baby.

Santawontbelong Thu 26-Oct-17 14:39:18

Been there op. My exh told my ds x6 I didn't love them, I was a prostitute, my baby had health issues as my punishment for being evil. Ds pre teen told me he knew his df hated me more than he loved them. sad they all live full time with me, nc with him. . He is sadly twisted beyond belief.
Keep a diary of anything you aren't happy with. Needs it be thins a court would be interested in - not your personal or personal opinions. Safety issues /mental /emotional abuse. Bed wetting /behaviour issues etc. Home alone /unsuitable people you KNOW he has them with,
flowers

ABadIdea Thu 26-Oct-17 14:43:34

MissPolly you are mistaken. Even if there is evidence of abuse men will at least get supervised contact in the majority of cases.

OP unfortunately there is little you can do and it's heartbreaking for you. You cannot prove most of what you say and unfortunately it would make no difference if you could in most cases. But if they are coming back with bruises (although it will be your word against his about how they have got there) you need to take steps to safeguard your children by reporting this.

candycandles Thu 26-Oct-17 14:47:45

To be fair number, I am too. Was not my plan but whilst it was quicker than I anticipated (and our newborn was definitively a surprise contraception fail) it’s been great for me and the children, and certainly been a protection from the worst of the abuse I used to get. I’m convinced my ex would still have been stalking me at the house if he didn’t know my partner was there as well. It was handled well with the children, at their pace and the only person who struggled with it was the abusive ex, who did get worse for some time.

Sadly abusive men all too often get contact. There still seems to be this fallacy that they are not allowed unsupervised access to the children and it’s just not true. Not in my experience or in many other. Cafcass, in my case have been so focused on enforcing my ex’s parenting rights, that they have forgotten they are supposed to be the voice of the children.

candycandles Thu 26-Oct-17 14:50:03

And I am reporting the abuse and have been keeping a log of incidents which are starting to be viewed taken more seriously. However short of him seriously hurting one of the children in public I can’t see the courts stopping access anytime soon.

Thanks to everyone whose shared experiences so far. flowers

Misspollyhadadollie Thu 26-Oct-17 14:51:12

I'm not mistaken. I know this. I said the people on here say they won't. As my ex is abusive and I posted about him and everyone said he wouldn't get contact! Despite me saying he would and I know people who exes still get contact.

Welshmaenad Thu 26-Oct-17 14:52:47

Is contact court ordered through a Child Arrangement Order?

BeautifulLiar Thu 26-Oct-17 14:54:51

Oh OP I know how you feel, and I feel for you sad "luckily" for me my ex is a shit dad too so 1) social services got involved a year ago and 2) he rapidly lost interest in the children.

countingthestars Thu 26-Oct-17 14:55:49

Unfortunately, misspolly is quite correct. Every case is unique, but it is important to be mindful of the fact that unless serious and sustained abuse of the children has taken place a father won't be denied contact with his children.

Candy, what would your ex do if you simply stopped the contact arrangements that are currently in place?

Misspollyhadadollie Thu 26-Oct-17 14:59:23

I posted about my children seeing my ex who was abusive to me under my old name (forgot the login) I was asking about my ex seeig the children and whether he would be allowed to in the future due to abuse and was told by people on here that he would not get ANY contact if he has been violent (to me not the kids) Despite me saying he would so I just wanted to be prepared.

Jerseysilkvelour Thu 26-Oct-17 15:05:55

I give my daughter the choice of whether to go or not, and make it clear to her that I will back her up. I made it clear to her father that that was her choice, not mine (as it's the child right to see their father, not his right to see them). It's taken a while (4.5 yrs) but he seems to have got the message. Any way he acted out towards her was about me, not about her. It took about 2 yrs of being really, really firm and putting up really strong boundaries before he piped down and left me alone though.

Your children will be being adversely affected by what they're seeing/being subjected to. Having a third party present isn't going to mitigate it (I know this from my child's experience).

They need to know you're in their corner.

I know from bitter experience it's not easy, big hugs to you and I hope you can find a way that works for you and your kids.

countingthestars Thu 26-Oct-17 15:07:34

I think sometimes posters are a little too quick to reassure others that a violent, volatile or abusive partner won't be given unsupervised contact because they want to urge the recipient of this behaviour to leave for her safety.

I understand this, but it is misguided. In reality, it is only in quite extreme circumstances that abusive men are given supervised contact. Usually, this is where children have been sexually abused sad (not necessarily the children of the partnership) or where criminal activity has been proven, usually involving violence or drugs.

What is very common is for men to lose interest in the children following the disintegration of the partnership (this is sadly common even in cases where there is no abuse at all) - that's the main beacon of light for women in this position.

Pinky333777 Thu 26-Oct-17 15:17:06

What about being a tad more devious?
Buy one of those nanny cam bears or similar, and encourage the children to take it with them. The more attached to the bear they are the better, so it might catch anything to be concerned about.
Or more hopefully put your mind at rest.

Notanumberuser Thu 26-Oct-17 15:18:50

You can’t record someone without their permission with a secret camera. Imagine if a woman posted that her ex husband was sending a nanny cam with the kids and expecting them to record everything that happened in her house.

Please don’t do that it’s not a good idea at all.

What would happen if you just cut contact? I am a firm supporter that kids should have contact with both parents UNLESS there is abuse.

My best friend’s ex just ignores the contact order and nothing has ever happened to her despite my friend keep taking her back to court etc

HonestOtter Fri 27-Oct-17 11:11:47

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon What actually happens if you ignore a contact order and it goes back to court?

Maelstrop Fri 27-Oct-17 12:47:29

Keep logging every tiny incident with SS or the court. Another woman I know of was in this position and she has eventual managed to minimise contact, no overnights etc. Took a while, but she did it. Hugs, OP, this must be nerve wracking.

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