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domestic violence (dv), mediation, injunctions

(27 Posts)
Debra1981 Thu 05-Jul-07 22:10:24

ok i know dv can be a bit far out but i'm hoping to find someone with experience/knowledge to sound off over a couple of issues. my now ex-h is the evil controlling alcoholic wotsit. left him 1 year ago next Mon with month-old dd. he continued to be drunk and abuse me during child contact visits so arranged contact centre via sol's once a week. i'm happy with that, don't trust him unsupervised and think its fair. just got a letter saying he wants to go to mediation for more. alarm bells ringing. he's clearly bluffed them re the dv, will i look bad if i say no, as they already believe him does it make them less likely to believe me and they'll just think im being a lying drama queen bitch? (he's been cautioned by police for assaulting me after i left but not at court) or is he trying to rip me off financially as he wont have to pay back mediator as he would a sol? (bit p'd off about this letter as i really don't think it's right, feel like he's startin to play dirty and get to me as he did when we were together).
Also, not really related but a bit, he has persistently harassed me by phone since i left, i usually reported it to the police but action was generally negligable. sol's previously told me unlikely to get injunction on legal aid (im not working) as no recent actual violence, best rely on police bail conditions following harassment arrest. he's now been cautioned in court but no conditions so he's basically free to continue. but have just been advised by dv advocacy workers to seek injunction, what's my chances?
Hope somebody can help/support please??

crispyduck Thu 05-Jul-07 22:15:54

How awful for you..my friend got an injuction put on her ex h for spitting at her..the police took that really seriously and classed it as a form of common assault..The law is so arse up at times..
I am sure the support will be on MN for you...

chipkid Thu 05-Jul-07 22:21:40

Debra, mediation is rarely thought appropriate where there are allegations of DV, the service where I practise often refuse the referral if there are such allegations.

In repect of the harassment-keep the police informed-you can get an injunction in the absence of actual violence if he is persistent and is causing you distress. Can you not change your number?

glitterfairy Fri 06-Jul-07 15:08:50

I did not have to have mediation becuase of the violence from my X and I deeply regret not getting an injunction becvause at the time I thought I could not afford and the police had laced enough restrictions on him.

Freckle Fri 06-Jul-07 16:14:22

Who is this letter from? Him directly or a solicitor?

I don't understand when you say that he has clearly bluffed them. Who are they who have been bluffed?

If he's a controlling person, he probably feels that he could manipulate you with a mediator more than he could in court - plus of course there is the question of how much he would have to pay. Mediation is not free, but costs less than a solicitor.

Debra1981 Fri 06-Jul-07 18:18:56

Thanks for your messages, the letter was from a mediation service provider, saying they had been approached by his solicitor on his behalf. i told my solicitor about this today, they had heard nothing of it. she said that as he is still unlikely to be working he has probably had to apply for mediation in order to get legal aid for court proceedings to get more/unsupervised contact (i know he wants overnight, he says he wants full custody but i'm quite sure that's just a direct swipe at me rather than caring for dd). This has clarified matters a lot for me but i don't feel any better! i really don't feel like i can trust him enough to accept him having unsupervised access. i half feel like going for the mediation tho if he's just trying to get to court just to throw a stone in his warped wheel. i am worried about him getting unsupervised access, whether we go through mediation or court, but think mediation is wrong as he still gives me the shakes when i see him. court still worries me as its in someone else's hands and you hear some horror stories. i'm worried that he'll be able to fool everyone that he is a sane and responsible adult, as it seems he certainly has done this to his own solicitor.

americantrish Fri 06-Jul-07 18:35:16

sol's = solicitors? i'll presume so for now.

no, you won't look bad. but you will have to give good reason why you are saying no. and you will have to back it up as much as possible (ie: police reports/contact with police, GP visits, HV, anything, even if you kept track of his abuse.)

how do you know they already believe him? (who, for that matter?) the courts? your family? his family? you dont have to agree to going to a mediator. if you have NO plans of ever reconciling, do this thru proper court orders, is my advice. yes, it will be more trying and painful to face all this.

have you kept track of his phone harassment? when he called, what he said? if not, START now. it will be relavant.

i cant go into why/how i know about this, but i've had some personal experiences in the last year that taught me some stuff.

no, you are not likely to get an injuction against him if he's not actually hit you or your child. being on legal aid has NOTHING to do with you NOT being able to get an injuction. that is rubbish. i've known women at the refuge i stayed at who got injuctions while on legal aid. its a shame, but that is how it is. what you can do is talk to the police and get a panic alarm thing put on your phone (i believe its your phone, best to contact your local DV office at your local police.) i was not able to get an injuction as there was no physical violence. (unfortunately emotional/verbal is harder to prove )

keep up with the contact centre visits and talk to your solictor about making a contact order (it is an arranged, hopefully agreed upon visitation schedule.) you will have to go to court for this. what is the custody standing to? (do you have full custody?)
has he tried to challenge that? (if not, this could stand up in court if he tries for more contact, etc.)

dont lose hope and dont get disheartened. it can be a long hard struggle. you'll get there in the end and your child will know you as a sign of strength. hang in there...keep us informed.

americantrish Fri 06-Jul-07 18:43:33

just read your message below:

she said that as he is still unlikely to be working he has probably had to apply for mediation in order to get legal aid for court proceedings to get more/unsupervised contact .

>>i would ask the legal aid board about that!
>>this is the part you may not want to hear,
about the visits and overnight visits, he may very well get them. BUT you can make it CLEAR in the contact order he HAS to return your child at said time and place, if NOT, the police can be called immediately. (ask your solictor what this is called, i cant remember off the top of my head.) it gives some peace of mind.

i really don't feel like i can trust him enough to accept him having unsupervised access.

>>i can understand this completely given how he's treated you.

i am worried about him getting unsupervised access.
court still worries me as its in someone else's hands and you hear some horror stories.

>>a lot will depend on what judge you get. has your solictor hired a barrister for you, if you go to court? if not, ASK them to. it will help. your ex is liable to get unsupervised visits. my husband did even though i tried to stop it.

i'm worried that he'll be able to fool everyone that he is a sane and responsible adult, as it seems he certainly has done this to his own solicitor.

>>no. he wont be able to fool everyone. and i mean this. you are still hurt from his abuse (and rightfully so!) abusive men are persusive as all get out. i dont mean to sound like i'm belitting what you are going thru at all!!! i'm not!! i feel for you so much
>>his solictor is getting paid, one way or another; they have a duty to represent him and listen to him. (my husband did a number on me when talking to his solictor.)


you are far from alone in all this. there are SO many resources out there. online and in person. again, keep in touch and hang in there...xx

newlifenewname Fri 06-Jul-07 18:49:57

Domestic abuse. It is named that because it isn't just about violence. You have experienced domestic abuse and are possibly right that he is still trying to control you in new ways now.

Refuse mediation on grounds of his abusive behaviour and keep up contact via the contact centre. Until he has had a sustained period of non threatening, non abusive behaviour then mediation is not a reasonable expectation and thus contact arrangements need not be reviewed.

glitterfairy Fri 06-Jul-07 20:33:55

I had legal aid and did not have mediation as I said becuase of violence. Even with legal aid they will not make you do to mediation if there has been domestic abuse.

As for the alarm I also had one for a year and it is not fitted to the phone just to a plug. You have a hand held device and when you are scared you press a button adn along come the police four of them at least and ready.

Freckle Fri 06-Jul-07 20:37:29

It is a requirement of applying for legal aid that you must have tried mediation first. If the other side refuse, that's fine, but you, as the applicant, have to have shown that you were willing to pursue that option.

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, you can decline on those grounds. I agree with your solicitor that this is a precursor to court proceedings. Otherwise why would he need legal aid?

Stand your ground. Get as much evidence together to support your position and ensure that you record/log everything in a diary and with the police if appropriate.

Freckle Fri 06-Jul-07 20:38:37

When I say you, I mean anyone applying for legal aid, not you personally.

Debra1981 Fri 06-Jul-07 22:35:23

Thanks all for your input. I think I shan't go for the mediation and just sit tight and wait for the court stuff to start rolling in. I don't know if any of this will be relevant, but I've noted some of the dates he was particularly verbally abusive to me, and when he drank alcohol during child contact visits prior to the contact centre, but of course none of this can be proved. The police were notified of 2 assaults during these visits but he only got charged for one as the other had no witnesses. Following the other, I had my GP note the injuries to my head, back and face, and on late advice took photos of the bruising, though by then it was passing. I'd already recorded approximate dates of violence that occurred whilst we were together, though none of that was reported at the time. I've also kept a diary of dates when he's phoned and either been particularly abusive or made several unnecessary calls, usually both, and the police have at least logged most of these, though often they've said there's nothing they can do. Is there anything I've mentioned above that could be particularly useful? and any other information i should have to hand to back myself up? and should i try and present the mediation services with some kind of proof of the abuse?

newlifenewname Fri 06-Jul-07 22:38:19

Not wishing to alarm you here but please do be very careful about your personal safety as you may be at greater risk of violence now that you are standing up to this man.

Perhaps you could inform your local DV officer of how things stand and maybe get some home security advice via the DV team.

Debra1981 Fri 06-Jul-07 22:47:34

americantrish, there is no order in place re. custody, obviously as we were married i am aware he still has pr, but solicitor told me no point getting an order to keep her with me unless there's a blatent threat that he may try to come and take her away or keep her after a contact visit. i really don't feel like moving things out of the contact centre and feel its best for us to persevere there until he's proved himself (the staff don't even trust him 'cause he brought dd out to me early without arranging it with me or them just because he saw me waiting, then was seemingly waiting for the staff member to leave me outside alone, but thankfully she insisted on waiting with us until he had driven off).
glitterfairy, are those alarm things any good? i'm thinking of paying to get an injunction, would i be able to/ is this a wise move??

glitterfairy Sat 07-Jul-07 11:23:04

Very wise to get an injunction but it needs to be fairly soon after any violence. As I said not getting one was a mistake for me.

The alarms are really good and the police arrive within minutes.

I think all of what you have said means that you shouldnt have to go for mediation. My solicitor handled that for me and used the olice evidence to support no mediation. Get the police to write a short statement they did for me.

americantrish Mon 09-Jul-07 13:58:05

americantrish, there is no order in place re. custody, obviously as we were married i am aware he still has pr, but solicitor told me no point getting an order to keep her with me unless there's a blatent threat that he may try to come and take her away or keep her after a contact visit.

>>hiya..just got back to MN after the weekend now and wanted to check in... - your sol is right there, unless there is real threat to her (even if he has said he would take her, its harder to prove.)

i really don't feel like moving things out of the contact centre and feel its best for us to persevere there until he's proved himself (the staff don't even trust him 'cause he brought dd out to me early without arranging it with me or them just because he saw me waiting, then was seemingly waiting for the staff member to leave me outside alone, but thankfully she insisted on waiting with us until he had driven off).

>>:nods: i can understand that completely. you've got this incident written down? (if not, good idea to do so.) another thing my solicitor advised me to do, was to (if you're not already!) keep a diary of how your dd behaves after a visit and how long the visit is for.

glitterfairy, are those alarm things any good? i'm thinking of paying to get an injunction, would i be able to/ is this a wise move??

>>i've heard too that the alarm things are good. definitely look into getting one!!
the injuctions are expensive, i also looking into doing it privately. if you REALLY want one, your solicitor HAS to try for one. she is working for you. (even if on legal aid.)

stay strong

Debra1981 Mon 09-Jul-07 14:42:54

With regard to that incident, it's in my diary, since then when I go to collect dd the contact centre staff won't let me leave the building until he has gone. i think if I really needed they would agree to document it, they've expressed concern about it and obviously not too impressed but haven't written about it because they want to stay impartial unless actual abuse takes place.

Dd's behaviour hasn't been a real concern to be fair, and the staff have reassured me that she hasn't had any problems with her dad during sessions, and that they'd let me know immediately (and probably stop contact) if she was being mistreated. She never eats her tea when I get her home afterwards so she's probably full of sweets but i don't think i could really hold that against him.

I've been trying to speak to my solicitor all day to sort out this mediation refusal, can't help feeling a little like a 2nd class client 'cause I'm on legal aid and not paying at the moment. I'm just anxious to set the record straight and get that bit sorted properly at least.

americantrish Mon 09-Jul-07 15:33:26

i hope you can get ahold of your solicitor soon...i know how edgy it can be and how anxious it can be waiting... good luck.

Debra1981 Mon 09-Jul-07 16:41:01

finally got a call back. The mediation services wanted to hear back by tomorrow, that's why I wanted it sorted today. But the solicitor didn't make me feel any better. Her line was 'can't you just give mediation a go seen as the abuse has abated recently? it'll make hand-overs easier in the future', which i read as, please do this so it's less work for us than going to court. I told her I wouldn't be comfortable with it, so she told me just to ring and tell that to mediation services myself (thanks!). No need for police evidence she said. Part of me still thinking about mediation though just to shut the solicitor up, and put a spanner in his works. Annoyed as wasted today on a seemingly needless 'phone call, missed lo's activity group waiting at home for it. I'll have to ring the mediation people tomorrow. Thinking about changing solicitors again!

americantrish Mon 09-Jul-07 18:22:13

if you are not happy with your solicitor, by all means, change!! and soon!!!

you dont have to go thru mediation if you dont want to.
but if his side brings this up at future court dates, you're going to need to really prove and show WHY you dont want to. saying you dont feel comfortable, while is completely valid (i SO understand!!) will in most cases NOT be enough to satiate the judge. :I

no need for police evidence in order to get an injunction?

(sorry my brain is a bit off today, lack of sleep!!)


Debra1981 Mon 09-Jul-07 20:09:08

I didn't mention the injunction as to be honest I didn't think I'd get it as the violence was over 6 months ago now.

Feeling a bit rough and torn as well because my mum who I live with, thinks I should go to mediation, and thinks any problems I have with dd's dad are my own to sort out with him alone as I chose to marry him. Not feeling very supported! Except on here!

Debra1981 Mon 09-Jul-07 20:10:07

Sorry no need for police evidence for mediation refusal.

bewilderbeast Mon 09-Jul-07 20:13:28

have you spoken to a solicitor about a non molestation order? If you are unhappy with your solicitor you can look for a new one approved by the law society at http://www.solicitors-online.com

glitterfairy Tue 10-Jul-07 17:29:18

If the violence was that long ago there would be problems with the injunction.

I dont really understand the mediation thing as I had no problems refusing and was on legal aid and my solicitor handled it all for me.

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