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ExH won't stop hitting children as 'punishment'

(76 Posts)
Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 16:50:03

He seems to think its an acceptable form of punishment. One which I absolutely am against and have told him personally via email and through a solicitors letter.

I am the residential parent and I have never hit the children, he sees them every other weekend and consistently hits them (around the head, and also apparently this weekend kicked, with shoes on!) I have pulled him up on this before and even had a solicitors letter go to him regarding the matter (which back and forth, cost me £1000!!). But he just slips back into this behaviour.

How do I stop this?? This weekend he apparently showed the children an article online to tell them that it was 'legal' for him to hit them as 'a reasonable form of punishment' and then went on to hit and kick (mainly DS - 9) 3 times over the course of 2 days.

Do I stop contact, point blank?

He was EA towards me in the marriage and I have NC, only curt emails if absolutely necessary.

I don't know the best course of action, please can someone advise what to do for the best?

George2014 Mon 21-Mar-16 17:00:23

If you have cut communication and left because he was abusive to you, I think the same should be applied to your children. Go through the solicitors if needed. Contact will probably be made in supervised settings? What do the children think?

Lunar1 Mon 21-Mar-16 17:04:03

I'd stop contact, without question. Let him take you to court and explain himself.

ouryve Mon 21-Mar-16 17:07:28

Stop contact and get it down on record why you have done so because he'll probably give you a hard time over it unless you do.

You've already invested in the solicitor's letter. He's not taken heed of the warning. Tough shit to him.

QueenMolotov Mon 21-Mar-16 17:08:57

I would stop contact, point blank. You need to protect your children from his violence. No-one will ever be allowed to hit my children around their heads, or kick them, as long as I am around. If he can manage a compromise (ie. stop the physical abuse), I might allow contact through supervised visits. That's what I think I'd do.

Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 17:09:39

Thank you George, the children do want to see their dad and generally are not opposed to spending time with him during contact weekends, but they are obviously not happy about being hit around the head or kicked as a usual form of punishment for minor things such as backchat, but seem to have just accepted it. It seems to be more DS (9) than DD (10) that he is concentrating it on. DS has told him not to and that it is illegal for him to hit him at which previously he has said 'oh yeah, tell the police about this then' and hit him again! This weekend he showed them an article online to imply that he has carte blanche to strike them whenever he pleases.
The solicitors will cost me another fortune, it will just be a letter, he will deny it (again) and then will just go ahead and do it anyway once he's had his knuckles rapped.

katienana Mon 21-Mar-16 17:11:35

I'm totally against physical punishment but I think the law is quite specific of the type and amount of force that can be used. It sounds like your ex is going great way too far and not complying with law. Is your ds bruised at all?

Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 17:11:57

X-posts ouryve and QueenM thank you. Yes I think I will have to stop contact, he's due to see them Good Friday - Easter Sunday, I think I will head up to my parent's early and tell him I am doing so and why.

Dovinia Mon 21-Mar-16 17:12:22

Hitting them in the head is illegal. I would call the police actually.

Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 17:13:13

No Katie he his not bruised, I think its slaps around the head. Its so infuriating.

titchy Mon 21-Mar-16 17:13:27

Unfortunately unless he leaves a mark he is perfectly entitled to hit them as a form of discipline and you have no right to enforce your discipline methods on him. If he does leave a mark however you could take it further.

Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 17:15:01

Dovinia I read that too, that hitting the head is illegal, do you think call the police?

Believeitornot Mon 21-Mar-16 17:16:00

Honestly I'm not sure why you'd even consider it acceptable for your children to continue to be hit.

I would rather cut contact and suffer the consequences than my child be hit.

I've no experience of dealing with these matters as a parent though but have been hit as a child.

Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 17:16:47

titchy really?? I can just stand by and allow my DS to be bullied and hit to the head for minor disobedience and there is nothing I can do to stop it? What is this Victorian Britain??

AnotherEmma Mon 21-Mar-16 17:17:59

Report him to the police and social services.

You need to stop unsupervised contact immediately and get legal advice about ensuring that all contact is supervised from now on. You could call the free Rights of Women helpline or just talk to your solicitor. Yes it will cost money but your children's safety and wel being is worth it, surely?!

Dovinia Mon 21-Mar-16 17:18:37

Legally a parent can smack a child on the body with an open hand so long as they don't mark the skin. Leaving bruising, using an implement or blows to the head are illegal. I'm not sure about the legality of kicking a child.

Hitting a child in the head is dangerous. I would ask the police or social services for advice.

EnglishIrishRose Mon 21-Mar-16 17:22:22

I think this is physical abuse, ring the NSPCC helpline if you are not sure:

These things shouldn't be allowed to escalate. Or indeed to happen at all. Kicking, hitting over the head, especially with anger, sarcasm and for non-sensical reasons, is absolutely child abuse.

Take it from a former victim. Please stop contact and ask for advice from the NSPCC. If someone had stepped in for me, it would have changed my life for the better.

Also, I 'accepted it' but that was because I didn't know any different. Doesn't mean it wasn't abuse. Your children deserve to be safe and feel safe.

Buzzardbird Mon 21-Mar-16 17:29:54

But if a random stranger walked up to your child and slapped them around the head, you would be straight on the phone to the Police.
It's unbelievable that it's legal.

AnotherEmma Mon 21-Mar-16 17:30:32

NSPCC helpline is a good call.

Rose Sorry it happened to you flowers

EnglishIrishRose Mon 21-Mar-16 17:32:30

Thanks Emma smile I get mad sometimes that people are allowed to get away with it. My circumstances were very different, I understand that, but I recognise abuse when I see it.

Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 17:35:27

Thank you Emma for the link I will call ROW tomorrow as they are closed at the moment.
Thank you Dovina & Rose - I have reported him to NSPCC and SS before 3 months ago for this and other matters (leaving the children to play unsupervised in a swimming pool and on the street, children witnessing him watching pornography) all of which he denied. SS were no use whatsover, completely brushed me off and told me 'to keep an eye on it' and that I should send a letter from my solicitor, so I don't have much faith in SS tbh. I will speak to ROW and see what they say, maybe I should speak to the police too.

Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 17:36:58

Rose thank you for your honesty, I'm so sorry you went through similar, it is disgusting that it is not illegal.

AnotherEmma Mon 21-Mar-16 17:41:13

I'm pretty sure child abuse is illegal! What he is doing is child abuse and not "just" disciplining his children by hitting them (which I think is what the PPs were referring to when they said it's legal).

Hope RoW are helpful tomorrow. I think it might be a good idea to also call the NSPCC again - in light of the previous incidents they might be able to put some more pressure on social services (you never know, SS might take it more seriously if it's reported via NSPCC - they might not, but it's worth a try).

EnglishIrishRose Mon 21-Mar-16 17:55:51

What happened to me was illegal, and it was similar because one characteristic was 'punishment' with no reason, done in anger or as a power trip, randomly, frequently and with no warning, using excessive force. These are characteristics which I pick up on in your original post and this is why I am concerned.

I really hope you make the right decision and I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this.

Good luck to you.

Rosyleigh Mon 21-Mar-16 18:10:28

Thank you Emma and Rose - I will ring around for advice tomorrow.
Been scouring the internet to find evidence that blows to the head is not 'reasonable chastisement' and I can't seem to get anywhere.

If I was to stop contact this weekend, what would he need to do to reinstate it?

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