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My children don't want to go and see their abusive father despite a court order saying they must.

(37 Posts)
missmum7 Wed 08-Aug-12 07:54:25

The dilemma as it it stands is that I face prison if I don't send my children OR I send them against their will to stay with their Dad who regularly smacks, cuts nails so short they bleed, shouts and swears at them etc.

I've spent 50 thousand in court so far but the Judge is adamant this is a parental feud.

In the current court order, there is a prohibitive steps order which says he can't do those things but he ignores it (according to the children). Can't afford to take it back to court. GP is very supportive. No-one else seems to be able to help. Any advice?

janajos Wed 08-Aug-12 07:59:09

just a suggestion, can you get SS involved? Especially if you have the GP's support?

janajos Wed 08-Aug-12 08:00:57

My two elder DS don't have any contact with their father and haven't for around 8 years. He was abusive to me and once to my oldest DS (who was 6 when I left); they are both fine and doing very well at school, have no interest in seeing him! I hope all turns out well for you.

missmum7 Wed 08-Aug-12 08:08:48

Social services say they can't overturn a court order but am waiting to see whether they wil help today. They also say it's up to CAFCASS but they say they can't get reinvolved until the Judge orders it. Worried I'll end up in prison if I support my children beacuse I can't force them when I know they'll be hurt.

Olympia2012 Wed 08-Aug-12 08:27:38

Have you been complying with the court order so far? When was it made?

Olympia2012 Wed 08-Aug-12 08:33:20

Have just seen your other thread

So, what is continuing to happen? The prohibitive steps order covers what? What is in it?

Perhaps contact your solicitor using the angle that he has broken the prohibitive steps order. When was original court order made?

girlywhirly Wed 08-Aug-12 08:38:41

How old are the DC, and would anyone from the court talk about this about them, how they don't want to see their dad because of the way he treats them? Is it essential for them to stay with him rather than having just a day visit, and could this be supervised by a third party? Or in a contact centre even. If you present it as a possible child protection issue as well as the prohibitive steps order being disobeyed by him. Could the GP write some sort of statement if the DC were able to tell him of their fears?

I think in reality prison would be a very last resort, it isn't in the DC interests to have their primary carer taken away; certainly not if the dad isn't local and it would involve disruption of their school/ nursery etc. if they were to live with him during that time.

Olympia2012 Wed 08-Aug-12 08:49:01

You need a diary to record everything. If you stop contact and he takes it back to court then you need to cover yourself

Why does the jjudge think it's a parental feud if carcass have been involved?

Olympia2012 Wed 08-Aug-12 08:50:47

For those saying supervised in a contact centre, that is only a temp solution. No funding for it .

fuzzywuzzy Wed 08-Aug-12 09:02:24

How old are the children?

Ex is very abusive to our children too, but the school has gotten involved & I got a paed referral for my eldest as the anxiety was making her physically ill.

The letters from the above supporting my children really had gravitas in court. I'd ask in court for a CAFCAS referral & take the children to the GP whenever he's cut their nails to the quick to have someone in a position of authority back up your claim.

I would request that contact take place at a contact centre (ex has to pay to use it), till the children are more settled with him.

My experience of the children's courts is also that nobody cares what happens to the children unless the child is seriously physically harmed.
It's really really had a detrimental effect on my two & the school and I have had to work hard to ensure my children are properly supported. My eldest can't wait to be ten as that's when the judge may listen to her. She writes a diary to the judge begging him/her not to make her see her father. It's horrendous.

missmum7 Wed 08-Aug-12 09:12:42

This has been a long court process that's been going on for the past 6 years. we've had supervised contact which was then moved to supervised by third party and then unsupervised. There is no money for further supervised access and no third party because my ex has split up with his ex(although only one to one independent supervision worked).

The prohibitive steps order says no phsical chastisement, hurting, demeaning language, shouting, demeaning behaviour etc.

CAFCASS has been involved and were pretty rubbish, wasn't very thorough, had time issues constantly so saw DC infrequently and seemed bullied by my ex.

The Judge seemed to make her mind up pretty early on in the case and despite the fact he didn't do anything the court asked him, Domestic abuse course, mediation, anger management, no action upon him is ever made. They all seem intent on making this relationship work between father and children regardless of his behaviour.

OhWesternWind Wed 08-Aug-12 09:20:25

You have all my sympathies. We have been in this situation but thank god a different outcome at court.

What does the order actually say? If it is worded something like you have to "make the children available" for contact, what would happen if the children themselves refused to go? Eg wouldn't come out of your house or get into the car? Obviously you can't manhandle them . . .

I think a lot might depend on the age of the children - mine were a reasonable age at the time so were well able to make their feelings known and had also given evidence to police on a video statement, to psychologist and dr etc. I am sure you know this but if there is any third party evidence you can present it might get the case looked at again and also if the children consistently refuse to attend contact you may be able to request carcass involvement.

Loads of good luck to you and your children.

missmum7 Wed 08-Aug-12 09:20:29

Yes that's how it seems for me to.
My children are 6 and 9.
Teachers did see their nails and both children have made disclosures to their class teachers.
GP is supportive as well and my eldest has spoken to her as well.
I find it shocking that my choices are to send the children or face prison when there is a history of abuse which continues.

OhWesternWind Wed 08-Aug-12 09:26:56

To be honest when I was facing the possibility of this situation I made my mind up not to send them and spoke to my sol about possible consequences hence the advice above. It would have been so damaging to my dc to ever have seen him again.

It is a horrible situation and good luck with whatever you do.

Are there any aunts, uncles, grandparents etc on his side who you would trust to help here with at least partial supervision ie going on days out with them?

missmum7 Wed 08-Aug-12 09:41:17

I feel the same. I can't cope with the damage it will do to them both if I send them. I think I will have to get into more debt to get a varying order and hope the teacher's support and GP will help with the outcome. Think I need a new Judge but not sure whether I can ask for one.

OhWesternWind Wed 08-Aug-12 09:54:01

When is your eldest ten? I believe their wishes will carry more weight at that age.

Does your ex have any known mental health or addiction issues? Mine did and judge ordered disclosure of his med records which was really helpful to me.

Different judge sounds like a good idea but not a clue how/if you can do this. If you move, case will be heard in your new location if it's a different court service area, not back in your old home . . .

missmum7 Wed 08-Aug-12 10:04:54

Yes that's a good idea and no he has no mental health issues that are known. He has had a psychiatric assessment which said he was more aggressive and more controlling than average but to be honest it was ignored. We had CAHMS took to the chidlren and they were a complete waste of time and probably did more harm than good. Spoke to the chilren in a busy room and asked if anything was wrong. When they said nothing, they wrote a report saying, nothihng wrong, parental feud.

girlywhirly Wed 08-Aug-12 10:05:54

I was thinking of relatives helping with supervision of contact if possible, Olympia. There is another possibility if distance is not an issue, where missmum, DC and dad could go to a venue, say a park, childrens sports activity or something, missmum stays in the background while the DC and dad have contact. It's a pretty horrid thing to have to do for missmum, but the contact would happen, dad would have to behave himself as they'd be in public and the DC would feel safer because their mum was there.

This is just a suggestion, if missmum has to be seen to facilitate contact, and if other courses of action fail. I really hope the outcome is the best for the DC.

missmum7 Wed 08-Aug-12 10:14:14

I have suggested this before but dad won't do it. He wants unsupervised or nothing. He has said before in court, he has it his way or he walks away which the court seem unhappy with.

girlywhirly Wed 08-Aug-12 11:13:10

Well, given how he has behaved towards your DC when he has unsupervised contact, is aggressive and controlling, and the DC are now afraid of him, I would be glad for him to walk away. I would also complain at the way your DC were interviewed by CAHMS, surely the DC should have been seen in a quiet separate room, do they not deserve privacy just because they are kids. And clearly they were afraid to talk and no effort was made to gain their trust.

Abitwobblynow Wed 08-Aug-12 19:18:54

Missmum Lundy Bancroft has very interesting comments to make about how abusing men carry on their control - using the courts.

How old are your children? Can they somehow quietly record H being hurtful on their mobiles? So you have proof?

Abitwobblynow Wed 08-Aug-12 19:19:49

(sorry not previewed) I meant to say - and the courts are oblivious. Maybe you could get a copy of that chapter and mail it to the judge's chambers!

missmum7 Thu 09-Aug-12 06:37:58

Anitwobblynow, thanks for that. I'll check it out and I did complain but it does no good because the court doesn't see that or query how this info was taken. My ex was abusive to me and the only way he see's me now is through the court system. He is deffinately continuing his control of me through this because it's very difficult to move on when there is a ongoing fight. He did always say he would make my life hell if I left him and 7 years on, he's right.

dondon33 Thu 09-Aug-12 10:33:28

My Dsis is in a similar situation op, her ex isn't abusive, just a useless lying arse but he constantly lets her DD down. She is forced by the court to allow him to continue upsetting DD (even after a kidnapping incident and he dodged the csa for 4 yrs) She doesn't know what to do for the best as DD (at 7yo) is now refusing to go with him/see him.
I'll be watching this thread for any advice.
Good luck to you and your DC with getting something sorted. x

lizbee156 Thu 09-Aug-12 11:00:44

Having read this thread I don't know much about cafcass/ss etc but am I correct in thinking the legal processess available to you have run to their end? And now it has become a case of either you let him have unsupervised access during which he may abuse the children?
And the DCs have made disclosures to teachers about him? So there is evidence of the abuse from agencies other than you?
So it's now come down to a choice between access or ultimately prison for you?

If I have read this correctly your situation seems desperate.
Having gone through all the correct processess and given the desperation of your situation can I make some 'off the wall' suggestions?
It seems you have received good legal advice but have you tried a ring round of charities that may be able to offer alternative suggestions? Gingerbread/Barnardos/Action For Children may be able to suggest a course for you that has not been considered before.
Have you spoken to your MP? They can have some sway when it comes to SS and the courts.
Finally, (and I am hesitant to suggest this, please don't flame me) but have you considered the newspapers?
I know the implications of this are a loss of privacy but if I was desperate I may look to them to publicise my case because yours is a horrendous story and needs to be reviewed, given your circumstances you need an institution with weight behind you.

Whatever you do I wish you all the best x

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