This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Am I in the wrong?(28 Posts)
I left my abusive partner around the begining of March, taking my 2 DC with me. We moved into a women's refuge and have been there since. I changed my number and have had no contact with him. We have been moved around a 30 minute drive away from him. I am currently pregnant but when I informed my midwife of my situation she told me she had to do a social work referral because of child protection issues. She is concerned he will try and see the baby when it is born. I have no intention of telling him when I have the baby so I don't understand why there is any need for their involvement. She did say I have nothing to worry about but I feel as though she doesn't believe I have actually ended the relationship or that I would put my children at risk by letting him see them. Otherwise what is the need for the referral? I'm so stressed about the whole situation. It may be the pregnancy hormones but I have barely stopped crying since I left my appointment. I can't stop thinking that worst case scenario is going to happen and they are going to take my children.
Aibu to think that social work referral isn't required?
Midwives have a responsibility to ensure social services are aware of children at risk. Your child is at risk, not because of you but because of your ex. And, if he were to try and force contact/custody the fact you've informed your midwife of that previous abuse then that helps you.
Its not that she doesn't believe you, it's her job to make sure all bases are covered to protect you and your baby. Part of that protection is mandatory reporting.
Well done for escaping, you've done the hard bit but they'll be some involvement for social services etc unfortunately. Its to safeguard you and your children from your ex, not to safeguard your children from you.
You aren't 'in the wrong'. You have done the right thing for yourself and your children and left. You have acted in their best interest. Try not to take the referral personally. They are understandably concerned he may try and get contact. They will look to support your children. I wish you nothing but the best, I can only imagine how hard things have been.
Social work will be there to support you and your dc. It's very rare for social workers to remove children and it only done as a last resort. The midwife has to follow guideline for who to refer to social workers, it doesnt mean she doesnt believe you! But there are women in your position who have ended up having contact again with their abusive partner and it important that the children are kept safe. I understand the worry of hearing social work will be in contact, but it doesnt sound like you have anything to worry about. You've got your children out of a dangerous situation and I cant imagine how much courage that must have taken, so be proud of yourself! A social worker might be able to give you extra support like sorting housing etc as well if needed so try not to let it worry you.
You must know that many women go back to abusive partners. The midwife doesn’t know whether you are one of them or not. You are both doing the right thing. Good luck 💐
The midwife has no choice here. She has to make the referral. It’s part of her job.
The thing is, often, women do go back to an abusive partner. Not saying you will, but referrals such as your midwife is making tend to have to be "one size fits all" almost, just in case . They tried not to let anyone slip through the cracks so to speak, and especially children. A mother with a new born baby is incredibly vulnerable. She is just doing what she would do for any woman in your situation, so that things are in place of necessary layer.
It's not personal to you, it's just policy.
Are you married to him? If so, you need advice about the legal side of registering your baby. Does he know you're pregnant?
I should have said this first too - well done for being strong enough to get away, and good luck.
Stop worrying. Social services will fight tooth and nail to keep families together. They are not in the business of taking children away from their mothers either. Work with them, they can be of help when you look for housing etc
I know it’s stressful but she’s trying to protect your baby - I know you have no intention of seeing your ex but other women in your situation may unfortunately place their baby at risk. The midwife can’t be sure which camp you fall under so is trying to be as risk adverse as possible.
Thanks for your replies. I understand she is only doing her job, and many women do go back to their abusers but I can't help but worry. We are not married, but I had wanted to put him on the birth certificate so the baby has the same surname as their siblings. He knows I'm pregnant and when I'm due. Are they likely to advise I don't let him see the DC if he does get in contact?
To be honest I wouldn’t recommend adding him to the birth certificate if he’s abusive
You are so vulnerable in your position. I would call SS for the support really. If all parents called them before things got bad they wouldn’t have a reputation for judging parents, that’s not their job at all really, they’re there to help, accepting that help at an early stage will make it easier for you if you find later on that you really need it.
I have no intention of telling him when I have the baby
I had wanted to put him on the birth certificate
If you are not married he cannot be on the birth certificate unless he attends with you. So I don't understand how that fits with your stated plan not to tell him when baby is born or to have contact or to bring him into your lives.
I would be concerned as your midwife if you told me you planned to restart contact, register the birth together and give him parental responsibility so you're tied to him for another 18 years. Is that in the child's best interests? I doubt it.
Do you have a support worker?
I changed my number and have had no contact with him.
Are they likely to advise I don't let him see the DC if he does get in contact?
How would he contact you if you changed your number and moved into a refuge? And why would you bring him into the children's life when you had to move into a refuge to escape him?
Don't give the baby his name. If he ever has access to the child and decides not to hand it back over after an agreed time, the police will not step in if the child has his name.
That's not true @Anordinarymum
She can call her baby any name she chooses. It's if he is on the birth certificate, or is later granted legal parental rights that counts. A na me is just a name. There's absolutely no legal pr implication from a baby having either parent's name or neither.
I can add him to the birth certificate without him being there, there is a form he can fill in. I don't need to see him for this to be done. I haven't decided yet whether or not I will do this but I have a few weeks after the birth to decide. He has parental responsibility for the other 2 DC so I'm tied to him for 17 years as it stands anyway. I have no idea, suppose if he really wanted to he could ask someone to contact me through social media for him. I'm only curious as to what social work are going to say when I speak to them.
Apologies if I gave misinformation. I was led to believe this by my friend's solicitor. My bad
PR can be removed. Don't add him to this babies birth certificate - it looks like you want him in child's life.
Never Ever give an abusive Ex contact. If he wants contact supervised at a contact centre.
They will do a parenting assessment. You need to do a course - freedom course I think?
You’ve left an abusive relationship, but plan to register the new baby in his name which will mean having contact with him - both to register the birth and whatever comes after, and you’re unsure about whether you should let him see your children. That alone would merit a referral to social work for support.
Throw in the fact that women and children are most at risk when the relationship ends and I’d expect social work involvement- they can help finding you accommodation and putting supports in place to help you find your feet.
I would think carefully about what happens next, if you decide to put his name on the birth certificate you or someone close to you will need to have that conversation with him, which could easily result in him finding you, if you’re in a refuge that will put you and all the other women, and workers at risk.
Do you have someone independent who can help you work this through - a support worker at the refuge, or your health visitor or social worker?
You can give your child his surname (any surname you like in fact) without putting the father’s name on the birth certificate.
I would recommend leaving him off the birth certificate but use the surname freely for unity with your kids.
If he’s not on the birth certificate he’s not presumed the legal father. He can fight to do so, but in your position I’d be be wanting to make things like this as difficult as possible for access purposes.
Good luck OP and well done for getting out
Hang on, so you're considering still seeing him, so he can the children bearing in mind he was abusive. Was he abusive to the children as well or only towards you?!
He could take out his frustration on the children, who knows if he was to see them again. I'd stop all contact and only have it in a supervised contact centre as the only and last resort.
I'm almost certain he will try and go to court for access. He was never abusive in front of or towards the children, and the police were never involved. I wasn't aware I could give the baby any surname I wanted. I will follow social works advice regarding the birth certificate. Any communication will be done through lawyers, I haven't said I am considering seeing him.
tbh I can see why they have referred you as you have contradicted yourself already on this thread. The police were not involved because you didn’t call them, did you leave as soon as he was abusive or did you stay for a while? They will look at that to see how you safe guarded your children. Whether or not it happened in front of them is irrelevant .
Kindly, you don't sound 100% about not seeing him or having him around. If the conversation with the midwife was similar to your posts here then I think the concerns are very much valid. It would be worth doing the freedom programme or seeing if you can get some counselling prior to baby arriving so you're strong enough to put up some firm boundaries.
Please login first.