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Please help, effects of DV on children

(28 Posts)
babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 21:56:04

Please could any of you lovely people on here tell me your experience of how you felt your DCs were effected by domestic abuse and what you managed to do to protect them. Thankyou

Onemorning Tue 30-Aug-11 22:01:16

Bumping this thread.

babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 22:05:20

I've seen 'bump' before. What does it mean.. sorry if I'm being thick

Onemorning Tue 30-Aug-11 22:07:03

You're not being thick at all, don't worry. It means I don't know what to say on the thread (in this case, as I don't have advice to offer), but want to keep it on top of the 'active' list so someone who can help will see it. x

babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 22:09:56

Ah thanks so much for that x

Alambil Tue 30-Aug-11 22:13:27

what age are you asking for?

the effects can happen pre-birth, when the child is still in the womb so depends really what age because it's different depending on the age of the child

babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 22:19:45

My Ds is 3 and I want to do anything I can to protect him. I've left my abusive exP now but the abuse towards me is ongoing and yes I do have an injunction. He has already broken it.
I guess I'm looking for what happened and what people did to protect their DC at any age.

antlerqueen Tue 30-Aug-11 22:20:23

Not sure if this is any help, but as a child i was a victim of my parents' mostly psychological/verbal against eachother. My father used to get angry when drunk, get loud, spit at my mom, and once or twice gave her a black eye. Also there were times when we went to visit grandparents hundreds of miles away in a car and that would almost always end with them bickering in the car and my father swearing he would stop the car, make my mom go out and leave without her. (I remember, even being small, thinking i would rather be the one left alone on the side of the road)

My parents never protected me from witnessing their behaviour towards eachother. They would scream, fight, knowing the walls were not exactly soundproof. My mom did try to cover up how she got her black eye by saying she fell against a cupboard, but the truth came out one night when dad was drunk again and yelled at my mom, if she didn't shut up, he would give her another black eye.

The results? I have no desire to ever interact with either of them, but that may be due to other reasons as well. I hate any kind of confrontation, loud speaking, yelling. I didn't have any friends at school because my parents weren't exactly giving me an example in how to be nice to others and make friends. I was severely depressed from the age of 10 to about 19, when i finally left home.

On the positive side, now i know what kind of life i do not want. I know i would definitely rather be alone than in a relationship that makes me miserable.

They are still together. Why? I don't know. My father still drinks. My mom still stays. There's still the unbearable tension and awkward silences and unspoken rules in their house. It's awful.

(Sorry for the essay)

antlerqueen Tue 30-Aug-11 22:21:50

Sorry, x-post. This was mostly irrelevant to the thread, i see :D

I'm glad you got away! If he's harassing you, call the police. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, everyone.

babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 22:32:32

Not irrelevant at all, not in the slightest. Thanks for sharing that, and so sorry you went through it. That's just the thing I don't ever want my DS subjected to ever again and for all the reasons you said x

blackeyedsusan Tue 30-Aug-11 22:32:55

when i separated, after a violent incident that the children witnessed... the children were clingy, ds (2.5) would not sleep on his own for 3 months. bioth childen cry at the least thing. dd is destructive after we have been to see daddy at his house. ds has more nightmares than before and needs a lot of reaasurance.

when children are in the womb of a stressed mother it affects them. (rresearch done after 9 11 and also mentioned on radio 4 1st hundred days tonight) don't suppose that ds appreciated getting a thump whilst I was pregnant.

someone mentioned to me that her ds needs speech therapy due to dv witnessed. my ds also needs speech therapy. can't prove a link though. other things dd is very passive and lets ds take stuff off her. she is shy and nervous.

babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 22:37:33

Thanks blackeyedsusan. Awful isn't it.
My Ds had very bad separation anxiety from me and I'm sure there's a link too.
How much contact do they have with your ex now? Was it ordered?

pickgo Tue 30-Aug-11 22:49:03

At 3 I think your DS has a realling good chance of healing completely and escaping any long-term effects, providing you can now establish a secure and peaceful environment for him to grow up in.

Research shows he is likely to be clingier, as BES says above, may experience separation anxiety and other forms of anxiety, may ape the aggressive behaviour he has witnessed, may be withdrawn and nervous. But he has time to get over all these negatives. If you are worried about his behaviour or development, there are specialist programmes available for children who've witnessed DV. Ask your local Women's Aid. Surestart might be able to provide some support for you both too.

These links are really good (if a little lengthy smile)

Sorry to hear your X is breaking the injunction. Hope you rang the police asap. Remember it's par for the course with these men that they take a long time to let you go. You need to be really tough with them to get clear of them.

Have you got any support for the ongoing aftermath?

cestlavielife Tue 30-Aug-11 23:00:13

Any contact should be supervised in a contact centre. This means you don't have to have contact with ex and it will be supervised. With someone like this court may be best way to go. don't agree any contact between you best use third party
Your ds wil be ok and there is help out there, and for you too.
Good luck and keep posting any specific issues

babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 23:00:56

Pickgo thankyou
That's what I'm trying for, just a peaceful normal life. What he's doing atm is awful and I feel like I'm running on adrenaline which is making me feel numb to it but I'm most worried/scared/gutted that exP will hurt DS to hurt me. He's psychopathic and although the evidence is mounting up, I'm worried I'll be forced to do contact.
Yes I phoned the police and they arrested and charged him.

pickgo Tue 30-Aug-11 23:01:31

I think contact may well not be at all appropriate in this case.

babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 23:08:50

That's how I feel sad x

pickgo Tue 30-Aug-11 23:16:18

x-posted with you OP.
Have you got a really good solicitor? One who is experienced in DV cases. Again, WA can point you in the right direction.

Was reading on another post the other day of someone in this boat. The court had ordered that her DCs should lead contact as and when they saw fit to do so. Below is her post:

We had a similar situation and I dont know whether its useful for you or not, but thought I could perhaps tell you what the court system decided in our case as it seemed a good compromise. Like you, my XH had been violent.

The judge said that any contact should only be initiated by my DD and must be at her pace. She could write to him/send him drawings etc (like you there hadnt been any contact for several years) in the first instance, and only then he could reply. He was allowed to send gifts via a third party at Christmas and Birthdays, but not to hand them over directly. If this all went well and DD was happy with the level of contact, it could then move to regular phone calls - again only if DD wished. The idea was that if that too went well, then contact could progress to a contact centre.

As it turned out, my DD didnt take contact past the letter stage, and actually gave that up too. Maybe that wont happen in your case though.

babyhammock Tue 30-Aug-11 23:31:19

I saw that post and thought that was a really good call for the judge to do that. DS is only 3 though.
I have got a good solicitor and because he's being so obviously abusive atm I'm just about managing to keep the wolves at the door so to speak... but I'm not sure how long for and I'm really worried.
Thanks for helping x

pickgo Tue 30-Aug-11 23:42:48

Try not to worry. Ring the police each and every time you can so that there is a documented version of events for court. If DS goes to nursery, ask them to record any negative effects they observe. If no nursery ask the HV to visit and tell her about DS and ask her to record it for potential evidence.

You need to be marshalling every bit of evidence you can to present the case against.

If there has a been a break in contact I think the court are more likely to see it as less damaging to make a limited order.

Also try to focus on getting yourself more relaxed. I know what it's like to live on adrenaline for weeks at a time and it's not until it stops and you look back that you realise just how damaging it is for you. Hope you've got some good rl support. <<hugs>>

blackeyedsusan Wed 31-Aug-11 00:54:41

aha... trip to the gp for me and the dc's then.

babyhammock Wed 31-Aug-11 08:01:10

Thanks again.
DS is due to start nursery this coming term and I'll ask them to do that.
I'm trying to relax ...honest.
There just seems to be statement after statement to do and more and more evidence that I keep needing to produce for yet more lies as on Ex's part. There are currently 4 court proceedings going on to do with him and likely to be a 5th... still so glad I managed to get out though

BES ...yup good idea x

cestlavielife Wed 31-Aug-11 10:31:17

yes keep recording the evidence and talk to your GP and HV so everything is on record. it does sound like right now it shoudl eb no contact and just about keeping you and DS safe away from him. and him away from you.

while the judge cited above made a good judgement the reality tho is that if he turns round to family court and says he is reformed and just wants to see his child bla bla bla then there is a likelihood he would get supervised contact awarded in a contact centre. so you do need to be prepared for that. depends how he would present to a family court judge.

however, setting that up takes a long time (months) and can go on for a while and any evidence against him during that period would ensure he didnt get unsupervised for a while or at all.

if it comes to a time when CAFCASS / court recommend contact then bring out all your record of evidence dates refer to polcie records etc adn insiste on only supervised contact at acontact centre and make sure it is acontact centre which is properly supervised and observed and recorded contact - profressionals who can report back to court/CAFCASS - not just one staffed by volunteers.

at the moment it sounds like you dont need to worry about contact just about keepiong you and DS safe and secure and away from this man.

let him fight thorugh the system for contact if he wants to.

cestlavielife Wed 31-Aug-11 10:36:55

at initial hearing i asked for no contact due my ex's violence and instability (MH) but knowing that it would probably be supervised contact ordered - which is what happened. but - that took a while to set up, and while it did evetually go well (once fortnight) and tehn progressed to out of centre but supervised by an agreed adult and then some unsupervsied (court order sdaid "otehr contact as agreed" there was incident which meant i went back to letter of court order which said "supervsied unless otherwise agreed" and my dds have had no contact other than one time out in public and Ds sees him supervised once a fortnight roughly. they now older tho. 9 11 and 15

if court order supervised at contact centre it is ok. then let this carry on for a long time. given his history he may well not be able to keep up contact centre anyway.... make sure nursery knows and know he isnt to pick him up etc.

babyhammock Wed 31-Aug-11 10:46:41

Just off out so will reply properly later, but thanks so much for all that cestlavielife x

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