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Don't Know What Is The Best Thing To Do!(8 Posts)
My OH physically attacked me whilst I was holding our child. He had pushed and hit my head against the wall and I had ran out of the house as fast as I could to get help. He finally left my house the next day and has only returned twice for a couple of hours each time to see my child. Since that day he has constantly text and harrassed me saying he did not do anything and it was me that attacked him (apparently according to him he has taken pictures of a couple of scratches he had when I was protecting my child and myself, I never thought of taking pictures of my bruises!). The texts and phone calls and conversations when he visits are all about how he has nothing, he wants everything I have of value so he can sell them for himself, how I am selfish and then he changes and says he wants us to get back together and that it was only a one off emotional burst.
To cut this short as I was advised to report that day to the police which I did and also asked them not to contact him as he may get aggressive. I later got a call saying they interviewed him and that there were no charges as insufficient evidence but he stated that I unprovoked jumped on him and attacked him. I am currently pregnant and no fit state to jump around!!
He originally said he will leave my child and I alone and never see us again but now he is demanding to take him away for long periods of time. My child is 18months old. I suggested that this is probably not the right time to do this at their age but he insists as apparently it is not fair as I have him living with me. I am frightened that he may hurt my child again or even worse not look after them properly as when he visited (we never lived together he came up some weekends) he could not be bothered to fully care for them as he had worked all week, regardless of me working all week too. He also is tight with his money and doesn't like to spend (I have now payments coming through the CSA), as an example he didn't want to pay for nappies but was happy to go out and buy designer gear for himself.
So far I have let him see my child but only at my place and with supervision. Do I have to let him take them away for periods of time or can I insist that they are supervised visits due to the age and the fact that my child has always been with me and never spent over night stays away from me?
The first thing you could do is see a Solicitor to have your account of what happened on that occasion recorded for your own mental state and for legal reasons. They can then advise you on your rights with how much access this man can have and if you need to go to court
I've experience almost exactly the same situation you have described and it went on for a very long time. I'm so very sorry to read that you have to deal with this. The texting, phonecalls, pictures, blaming, are all signs of classic abuse.
My first suggestion would be to report the incident to the police so it is at least on record even if you don't feel you want to press charges. Having a record can be incredibly helpful further down the line. Then, visit a GP or speak to a health visitor, explain your situation, and ask them to refer you on to Women's Aid. You can phone Women's Aid directly but things tend to move faster if you have been referred by a health care professional. Taking the first step of talking to a professional can be immensely frightening (it was for me anyway) but it is so worth it.
I wish you and your child strength and luck and ultimately peace.
Thanks guys. I have been wandering about seeing a solicitor but not sure what they can do and also the cost as my wage covers all the bills, mortgage, etc and I do not have any savings to be able to pay out. I already did a quick means test to see if I can get legal aid but it says no. Sometimes, life can be quite unfair I think.
Forgot to say that Women's Aid can help with the legal and financial side of things as well. They can also lay out all your options regarding child access to help you have a clearer picture of what paths are available to you.
I think you need to break this down into more manageable chunks. You sound a little overwhelmed (unsurprisingly) at the moment. Congratulations on your baby BTW and I hope you are managing to enjoy life with your little one despite the grief being caused by your X.
First of all, did you have to fill out a DASH form when the police attended the incident? The officers would have filled it in themselves, but asked you questions like "are you very frightened?", "what are you most frightened of - e.g. injury?", "is there conflict over child contact", "are you separated or in the process of separating?"
If you filled in one of these, there will be a record of a domestic incident involving you and your X, which will qualify you for legal aid. If you didn't fill in a DASH form, go back to the police (call 101) and ask for the incident number relating to this event. It will come in handy. While you're at it, I'd ask to speak to someone about your concerns - the more documented evidence you have about fears for your safety and that of your child, the better placed you will be to protect yourself.
In your shoes, I would then also contact social services. As you have left your X and contact is being supervised, my guess is that they won't actually do anything other than tell you to carry on doing what you're doing, but again you can ask to have your concerns recorded - it all presents a documented history, which counts for a lot more than if you and your X go to court and only then do allegations of abuse come out (which just makes it appear as if you're making it up out of spite). They may, however, say they have concerns about your X having unsupervised contact, and if they are prepared to back that up in document form, this may carry some weight if your X took you to court for unsupervised contact.
Another thing I would do is refuse to deal with your X other than by text or email. Keep everything in writing so you can use it as evidence if need be. If he becomes in anyway threatening or abusive, tell him to stop. If he continues, you will have your grounds to get the police involved under stalking and harassment laws, despite the fact that you have to have some form of contact with him because of child contact.
Is your X on the birth certificate? If he isn't, then he doesn't have PR. If he doesn't have PR he has no rights to access. He can easily get PR if he goes to court, of course, but until he gets it (assuming he could be bothered with the hassle and expense) he cannot force you to handover your child for contact.
The police officer filled out a form with those questions which I signed and gave me a copy of the signed page which has a heading of "Initial Risk Management and Intervention" and has the officers details on it.
The police automatically called Social Services who wrote back saying they have no concerns yet as I have a good support network around me but may take actions if they are informed of another report.
My X is on the birth certificate so does have PR, hence the CSA involvement as he was refusing to pay any money for my childs upbringing.
I will contact Womans Aid thanks and see what they can do to help me.
SS were involved when I left my X as the result of the police being called when he tried to strangle me when I told him I was leaving (first instance of abuse). They found similarly to you - because I had left and because I had already taken sensible risk-management precautions, they were happy to close the case.
I contacted them again later because of further concerns I had about my DC's safety. Again, because I was being proactive, they decided not to interfere but were happy to keep it "on file" for me in the event that I might need to go to court to block unsupervised access. I'd really recommend you do the same.
Under the quite strict list of proof for legal aid you might not qualify as your DASH form didn't lead to a MARAC referral, but in conjunction with SS involvement it may. You'd need to be able to provide a well-founded case as to why you're concerned about your DC's welfare though, which is why I urge you to keep everything in writing and document all instances where he refuses to buy nappies, etc.
Contacting women's aid is a great idea. Good luck.
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