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Social Services now involved due to ex assaulting ds1, feel like I've let him down (long)

(94 Posts)
OctopusSocktopuss Thu 20-Oct-11 21:37:27

Have name changed for this thread, but have been here a long time.

There is a long history with my ex which is too long to go into detail here (I would be here all day) but don't want to drip feed, so I'll give you all the bits I think are relevant. We have been divorced for 6 years, he doesn't work and was a controlling abusive man when we were together and still continues to try to be now. I have always had to work full time to support us.

We have had issues in the past over the way he treats the dc (ds1 is 9 and ds2 is 7) and I have stopped contact in the past, only for him to take me to court, where the court have seemed to dismiss my concerns for their wellbeing.

OK, so having re-established contact last year, which was built up slowly with supervised contact, leading to him having them eventually overnight, the relationship seemed to be getting better.

He owes me quite a lot of csa money, which he has nagged me to write off so he can get a job. He refuses to get a job until I do this because they will put an attachment of earnings on his salary, I took the view that I was never going to get it anyway so if he was willing to do a deal and take on the responsibility of some of the school runs (I have just started a new job) that would make up for it. We fell out over the method of payment for the money he was going to give me instead, I wanted it by DD he wanted to pay cash. He shouted and screamed at me when picking the boys up one morning because I was changing the goal posts and refused to do anymore school runs. I cancelled the deal and told him I had sorted the school runs. It dawned on me how easily he had managed to get some control over my life again and so I disengaged from him and arranged childcare.

He is obviously enraged about this. He wanted the money to be written off.
Part of the contact order is that he picks the boys up on a Monday after school, gives them tea and drops them back - about 3 hours in total.

Last Monday ds1 told me, at bed time, that his dad had been a bit naughty. I probed a bit more and it transpires that they had fallen out, over some money that ds1 had that his dad had spent, and he wanted it back. They had a massive row, ex picked him up and threw him on the floor. He then pinned him down by his arms and legs and hit him on the chest. He had a red mark on his chest, but I didn't really notice any other bruising as his legs are already covered in bike scratches etc.

DS1 didn't want me to make a fuss, he didn't want to be interviewed by CAFCASS again and go through the court process. I did ask if his dad had told him to say that, but he says not. I told him that I couldn't let it go as it was too serious. So as a compromise I asked him to tell his teacher.
My thinking, rightly or wrongly (Im thinking I handled this badly now) was that if I wasn't the one who reported it I couldn't be accused by ex of reporting him to SS out of spite, the whole episode would carry more credibility as it would come from DS1 directly, and I guess somewhere I wanted someone else to make the decision.

I texted ex to ask what happened. He was dismissive. He said they'd had a row and he had restrained him, but it was all sorted. He then sent a load of texts reminding me of things I had apparently done in the past. I didn't respond to these (false) allegations just kept to the incident Monday and tried to get the facts. He didn't say he was sorry, or admit any kind of wrong doing at all.

It's taken D1 until today to tell his teacher. So I was called to the school, where Social Services had interviewed ds1 and were in the process of interviewing ds2 who was there at the time. I have to take him to the doctor tomorrow to examine bruises on his legs which are from his dad throwing him on the floor.

I guess I need a bit of hand holding through this one, I feel like I've let ds1 down by not reporting it myself, I really didn't know what to do. I've been accused of over reacting by ex over incidents in the past.

GypsyMoth Thu 20-Oct-11 21:41:21

Think you need to let go of the past and move forward now. Doesn't matter who reported it, this could be your chance to get access sorted out fairly and safely. Take this chance

OctopusSocktopuss Thu 20-Oct-11 21:45:19

I am actually relieved that they are now involved, it does seem as though someone is listening to me at last. I needed the school to call them though, to my ex if I had called them it wouldn't have carried any weight. He would have said I did it out of spite. At least now the school have taken the responsibility off me. I just can't explain it properly

SolidGoldVampireBat Thu 20-Oct-11 21:49:39

What an absolute shit XH is. But at least with SS involved there is now a good chance that contact can be stopped and it noted that he is abusive to the DC so any legal actions he launches will not win. Wankers like this man often consider themselves above the law, and unfortunately women who have had relationships with such men often find it hard to believe that other people will accept that the man is a shit and therefore he will lose his privileges such as access. But SS/school etc will back you up in putting this knob firmly in his place.

VinoEsmeralda Thu 20-Oct-11 21:50:44

I think you have handled this correctly if I may say. Lets hope it gets sorted fairly and safely.

OctopusSocktopuss Thu 20-Oct-11 21:55:23

Thanks for the support. The social worker told me I should have reported it straight away and I found it hard to explain to her why I felt it had to come from ds1.

We see the doctor tomorrow. I asked what happened next and she said that if the doctor thinks the bruises are caused by being thrown to the floor they'll photograph them and possibly involve the police.
Just so sad that my stupid fuckwit of an ex couldn't just enjoy his lovely boys and that we're having to go through this

Wooooooooooooooppity Thu 20-Oct-11 22:04:10

The social worker is probably utterly oblivious to the fact that women are treated as if they are hysterical, vindictive bitches when they report abuse by ex partners.

So don't feel bad about not being able to explain to her - chances are she wouldn't believe you anyway, because the voices of resident mothers in these sorts of situations are routinely ignored and/ or disbelieved. FWIW I think you did the right thing - I actually think that SS probably wouldn't be involved now if you had been the one to report it, sometimes we do things by gut instinct and your instinct was right: they're taking it seriously because it hasn't come from you.

I'd echo the advice to get contact sorted once and for all. I suspect that when your ex realises that he might not be able to use contact as a means of controlling you, like so many of these abusive bastards he'll lose interest in contact altogether. Be prepared for that because it's not unusual and you may have to steer your DC's through it. sad

OctopusSocktopuss Thu 20-Oct-11 23:01:45

Thank you I've just tried to explain to my dad why I did things the way I did, and that the responsibility of getting SS involved carried so much more credibility as it came from ds1 rather than me.

We have had a time where the dc didn't see their dad for about a year (although I offered him supervised contact he didn't take it up) so I know the potential outcome of this. It's so sad for them as they just want their dad to be nice to them and to see him regularly, but when it affects them so badly it's hard to justify the courts giving him that access.

I've called them before when I've been worried that he was letting them play outside on their own when ds2 was only 3 and I'd only found out about it because another child had hit him. They weren't interested at all. I've had my ex telling me that I've been making it up, over-reacting and I guess a part of me wants to detach myself from the blame that he will throw at my door for this situation. I also wonder what the dc have not been telling me in order for me and their dad to remain friends.

springboksaplenty Thu 20-Oct-11 23:03:26

I think you did the right thing. You ensured the right people knew about it, you let your son be the one to come forward with it letting him take control of what happened and know that other people think it is a horrendous thing to do to a child and he will be taken seriously. If it was you that went to ss and they dismissed you as a vengeful ex your ds would think that it meant your exs violence towards him was acceptable.

OctopusSocktopuss Thu 20-Oct-11 23:04:46

DS was shocked at the reaction that he got. He said tonight that he didn't realise it was so serious

bochead Thu 20-Oct-11 23:14:11

Tell the social worker you did call them yourself once before and that you feel they and the courts ignored your concerns. Tell her straight you are relived she's involved and taking it seriously but you felt the referral would be taken seriously only if the school reported it after your previous experience.

The ex won't be able to sweet talk his way out of this one, especially if you now tell social services you want contact restricted to regular and supervised or not at all for once and for all this time.

OctopusSocktopuss Thu 20-Oct-11 23:35:02

I'l update after we've done the doctors tomorrow, it may come to nothing, which will be shit for dc after today. Hoping Ledkr will hold my hand a bit though this, am very concerned that SS are involved in my life and I have no control over this. I'm expecting ex to come back with lots of alleged things i have done, although ds1 told me he's already told the Social Worker about the things his dad has made up.

AnxiousElephant Thu 20-Oct-11 23:47:54

This is certainly not an over reaction, but I do think you should have contacted ss yourself because it looks worse coming from DS, as though he has been coerced into keeping it to himself and the only way was to tell the teacher iyswim.
If you had reported it they could see that you were putting your ds safety first. Your ex should not have any unsupervised access impo.
The outcome would have been the same from ss pov though and they would still have visited school to speak with both DSs.

AnxiousElephant Thu 20-Oct-11 23:50:17

Octopus the fact that your DS didn't realise that his DF throwing him against a wall and hitting him like that makes me feel more sad because clearly when we experience this behaviour from a young age it becomes normal to the child sad

AnxiousElephant Thu 20-Oct-11 23:51:09

sorry I meant to say 'didn't realise it isn't acceptable'

cestlavielife Fri 21-Oct-11 10:50:04

poor ds - maybe you can sit and tell him gently that yes it is very serious. and that while you know he loves his dad and probably his dad loves him, it isnt ok for this behaviour to happen and if dad cant stop himself he needs some help.

so yes contact will have to be supervised from now on til you can all be sure it wont happpen again.

it is so good ds told teacher and now ss involved - this needed to be recorded.

ss will want to know you already taken steps eg said to ex no contact except strictly supervised.
is there someone who could supervise or will it be contact centre?

hope it goes ok at gp today.
keep reassuring ds that he has done the right thin that it isnt his fault andthat his dad is the one who needs some help because what he did was not acceptable

OctopusSocktopuss Fri 21-Oct-11 15:10:49

Will update later as an at work now. The whole process was hideous

OctopusSocktopuss Fri 21-Oct-11 20:54:41

So we spent an hour being interviewed by a doctor and the social worker, then he examined ds1 and got him to explain all his bruises (his legs are covered from bike accidents). We then had to have them photographed and then his toe ex-rayed in case he'd hurt it. The whole thing was hideous, I'm so angry at ex for doing this to him and putting through all this.

They're having a meeting next week to decide what to do.

DS seems fine about it all, he didn't like being examined or having to get undressed and photographed.

I did get the opportunity to tell the social worker that I've felt my concerns have been dismissed in the past, and that the family court just seems to be determined to get dads access whatever the back story has been. She had a note of when I had called 3 years ago to report my ex letting the dc play outside unsupervised (ds2 was only 3) and I told her that I had been dismissed again and that there was nothing SS could do apparently.

Also she questioned why the supervised contact had been allowed to go to unsupervised and I explained that the court just want to move contact away from the contact centre at all costs it would seem.

So at least it's all over for today, and we'll see what the outcome is next week. I can imagine that if there is no further action I'm now going to get a whole load of abuse from my ex.

cestlavielife Fri 21-Oct-11 22:16:40

well done for pointing out that courts dismissed your concerns before.

and yes they do try and push for supervised to move forward -this is what judge told me too. that supervised in court order was with a view to moving on. to unsupervised and overnights etc.

so i did -and like with you it went wrong. (exp attacked dd - pulling her hair - she still wary and wont go to see him, tho has seen him twice in public places)

i think this gives you good reason to go back to supervised contact.

SS were happy just to be assured i was not allowing unsupervised contact.

if ex kicks off - try not to engage (dont answer phones etc tho you already know this i am asure ) but refer him to ss. is up to him to prove thru and to them that this wont happen again.... but trust has been broken for ds and will take a while to regain

cestlavielife Fri 21-Oct-11 22:17:53

also now dc older and able to articuclate what is going on it does change the picture slightly.

OctopusSocktopuss Sat 22-Oct-11 00:34:42

How awful for your dd cestlavie. It's just incomprehensible to me to want to hurt my dc. They do sometimes drive me mad but it's a fine line to actually hurting them. I think my ex lost control. I think it spiralled

But I've never thought physical abuse was a worry, emotional abuse yes and I've been ignored by the professionals mostly, but ds1 isn't going to get any easier to deal with is he. This could be the thin end of the wedge. Once ex has been physical once and he realises that ds1 isn't afraid of him, it's just going to get worse.

Now have to deal with ds2 who actually really likes his dad as he isn't allowed to see him either

cestlavielife Sat 22-Oct-11 00:38:36

if they want to see hime they shoulld be able to see him but strictly supervised ?

OctopusSocktopuss Sat 22-Oct-11 00:44:23

Until they have their meeting I've had to sign an agreement that no contact will happen. They may involve the police
He's going to blame me for all this when actually it was him that did it. He will NEVER see that though

SolidGoldVampireBat Sat 22-Oct-11 08:43:00

Let him blame you. WHat he thinks doesn't matter, because he's a shit. ANd he can be kept at a good distance from you by the law as well.
Remember that the whole situation is his fault, no one else's, and don't worry about his feelings, they are unimportant or at least because of his behaviour he has no right to have his feeligns considered.

OctopusSocktopuss Sat 22-Oct-11 09:01:04

There is sone thing else that's been troubling me but until I talked to a friend last night didn't really register it. When I was on holiday with the dec (and my dad) the dc were telling us stories of their dads strange fashion sense. They were in stitches talking about some trousers he has modified to have laces as the flies. They called them his 'penis popping pants' as his penis popped out of the gaps.
I put it down to a wardrobe malfunction.

Not sure why I was telling my friend last night about this, but he was horrified. He said as a dad you wouldn't sit there in clothes that did that. So I asked them this morning if he wore them a lot. They said yes he wire them all the time.

The thing is I know my ex is bisexual, he always had a bit of a thing about young men. My friend thinks his behaviour is deeply worrying and I'm now thinking he's right.

I don't want to accuse him of anything if it was an innocent oversight. What do you think? I am beginning to question my judgement now in a lot of things that I haven't considers before.

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