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To report father to Police for historical abuse?

(27 Posts)
libertysilk Fri 27-Nov-15 10:22:35

Incredibly difficult post to write, but, I genuinely need some advice please. I've been having counselling regarding my abusive childhood. Come from a large family, and as a child my father would bite us to see how hard he could bit before we cried, hold our heads under water in the bath, hold us in headlocks, shout in our ears, control every single aspect of our life, cut our hair very short if he deemed we weren't looking after it properly. He also sexually abused my sister. I remember being lectured for hours to the point of having a fit and the doctor coming to give me an injection.
If I reported my father to the police, I'd risk losing my brothers and sisters, maybe they'd try and harm me? They are very loyal to my father. He buys them, and 'he's changed'. Several of my brothers and sisters have addiction problems with drugs and alcohol.
I really don't know what to do? What would the police do when I report? What would happen to my father? What is the success rate?
Please can you advise me?

creampie Fri 27-Nov-15 10:36:56

If you're having counselling I suggest talking it over there. They won't tell you what to do (at least they shouldn't!) but they'll help you work through possible repercussions, including the effects of doing nothing, in a safe place where you can get the feel of what you'd like to do. Only you can decide if the benefits of reporting will outweigh the costs xx

EnthusiasmDisturbed Fri 27-Nov-15 10:39:07

Maybe your brothers and sisters are waiting for one of you to report him but maybe not

the police will interview you they will be trained in how to deal with such difficult issues and take it from there. Success rates in historical abuse cases are not that high but what you will be doing is confronting your father and he will have to answer to that

Make sure you have support around you many feel regardless of what happens in the courts it was the right thing to do for themselves and there are successful cases

shivermytimbers Fri 27-Nov-15 11:23:22

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your questions but wanted to send you my sympathies. It's incredibly difficult coming to terms with an abusive childhood and I think you are amazing for facing up to the situation so bravely through counselling.
You might find this organisation useful for information and support
I wish you all the best for your journey, whatever you decide to do flowers

facedontfit Fri 27-Nov-15 13:52:53


libertysilk Fri 27-Nov-15 18:20:15

Thank you for all your words of advice and support.
I think what worries me most is what will happen if he is arrested. Will he be charged? Will my brothers want to harm me? My father is extremely manipulative, and I know he will work his 'magic' on them.
I'm so confused as to what to do. I know I'd love for him to be accountable for his actions. But, will I risk losing my family? Will it come to anything?

cailindana Fri 27-Nov-15 18:30:19

There are no sure answers. It is risky to report. But, the fact that you want to report shows you have made absolutely massive progress in freeing yourself from the effects of the abuse, progress that your siblings haven't made at all unfortunately. The fact that you want to stand up for yourself and call your abuser to account shows that you know in your heart that you didn't deserve the awful treatment you were given and that you have a healthy anger about what happened. Regardless of whether you report, you should feel very proud that you have managed to get to that stage and you should hold onto it with all your might.

libertysilk Fri 27-Nov-15 19:46:20

I never thought of myself as having made progress by wanting to report him. That makes me feel quite proud of myself. Thank you. I still don't understand why my brothers and sisters are so loyal to him after what he did to us. Yes, he has mellowed with age, but he was absolutely horrendous to us all. Its affected all of us massively.
Its since having counselling that I've really thought a lot about what happened to me. My counsellor says I should try and feel empathy towards my father. Boy, thats going to take some doing. All I can think of right now is Bastard!! And why weren't you normal like my friends fathers???

LittleMissAIBU Fri 27-Nov-15 19:50:57

I'm sorry you had a rough childhood flowers

I can't believe you were told by your counsellor you should feel empathy towards him angry he was abusive and why should you feel any empathy for him? Please don't feel you should.

I understand it's a big step reporting him, but if it's what you want to do, you should do it, it doesn't matter what your brothers and sisters will think, it's your choice.

What he did was wrong, and it's up to you whether you choose to report or not, but even if you don't, it will never change the fact what he did was awful.

Cornwalldoula Fri 27-Nov-15 20:02:17

Please find another counsellor. They should not be telling you what to think. That's not particularly empowering is it?! If you enquired with the police (101) about the procedure and protection, without divulging anything at first, maybe this could help you choose what to do?

thequickbrownfox Fri 27-Nov-15 20:07:30

I'm so sorry OP, he sounds a vile bully flowers.

He's still controlling your siblings by the sound of things.

cailindana Fri 27-Nov-15 20:10:18

What?? Your counsellor said you should feel empathy towards a grown man who tortured children?? What??

Do not go back to that counsellor. Finding one who is equipped to deal with abuse is really really hard but it's best to have none than a bad one.

Your siblings are loyal to him because the alternative is to acknowledge how bad things have been an it is easier (but not in any way better) to pretend it was all ok and just a mistake. It's one of the hardest things about abuse IME - the denial and covering up.

Unreasonablebetty Fri 27-Nov-15 20:17:25

I'm sorry you had a horrible childhood.
Can I ask what you expect to get out of involving the police? I'm not at all trying to put you off, but I suffered sexual abuse as a child, the police were involved and there was a court case, the man who sexually abused me was found not guilty, over the years this has been especially hard to deal with, because it's something that's had quite drastic reprocussions on my life, and I wasn't believed. It adds insult to injury that I was called a liar and that scumbag got away with it, even worse is the fact that he was able to go on and abuse other members of the extended family- one of which is a heroin addict now.

Please do take into account how this might make you feel, as I know sexual abuse has a very small conviction rate, which gets smaller as time goes on. How much will it mean to you that he is punished?

Can I ask why you are so concerned that your brother will hurt you?

No matter what happens. He has to go to bed with himself each night, in the knowledge that he's a truly shitty person who hurt the very children he should have been protecting from people like himself

chocafrolic Fri 27-Nov-15 20:18:40

I think you need to be prepared to go no contact with him and any of your siblings until they come to their senses. A similar thing happened to a friend, everyone swept it under the carpet until it then started happening to the grandchildren. One sibling rang another with her suspicions and its snowballed from there, all of them are now no contact but in a much better and safer place.
As for the police I don't know, my friend and her children where questioned - very traumatic esp for the young children and they (the family) decided not to prosecute. I don't know their reasons but know it was a horrific experience reliving everything and by going no contact have had to grieve the loss of a parent too. You have some tough decisions, a long road ahead emotionally but one where you will be In a better place. I wish you all the best for your much brighter future.

Mellifera Fri 27-Nov-15 20:19:12

You need a different therapist. Some things are just too horrific to forgive.

What would it mean to you to have him arrested? Is that helping your healing?
You will probably never get any acknowledgement from him, no apology. And even if you got one, would that help you?

Maybe it's worth trying to heal yourself without his participation. By not giving him any role in your life, and no power.
Have you looked into Schema Therapy?

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 27-Nov-15 20:20:59

One thing that may be worth a thought.

All abusers are manipulative and the vast majority of their victims believe they are all powerful and can work Magic on others.

Rather a lot of them end up with convictions.

Do you want to report?

saura Fri 27-Nov-15 20:28:45

Does anyone on your family support your decision to go to the police? Anyone who could go with you?

I have experienced similar and we did go to the police. I don't regret it for a second as did not want the person in question to get away with it. I was worried due to lack of evidence as everything happened many years ago, however many cases like these are from many years ago.

Please continue with counciling as the most important thing is that you yourself get the support you need.

SixtyFootDoll Fri 27-Nov-15 20:33:00

What a horrible horrible man.

From a police perspective, the physical assaults on you will be difficult to investigate without corroboration, ideally hospital or medical records.

It also depends on your level of injury, common assaults are statute barred after 6 months.
It's a shame that your sister isn't ready to report the sexual assaults on her as that would still be able to be prosecuted.

The police would take you seriously and by all means report it if it helps you move forward just be prepared that it might not end up in court.

What would happen is that social services would be informed as would need to consider if your father still has access to children and what risk he poses to them.

Hope this makes sense.

saura Fri 27-Nov-15 20:33:44

As someone else pointed out I felt like I had to go to the police as other family members didn't believe me (or didn't want to) and I was petrified something would happen to my nieces and nephews. I would never of forgiven myself if it had.

Losing your brothers and sisters is terrifying but the other option is having them in your life but never being able to be honest with them and them with you?

SixtyFootDoll Fri 27-Nov-15 20:40:05

The process with the police would basically be

You report and provide a statement or video interview
Police will do whatever enquiries as a result, possibly approach family if they are witnesses, check medical records etc;

Then they would formally interview your father, he may be arrested for this to be done or might be invited to attend voluntarily.

Following that a decision would be made if there is enough evidence to charge.

Finallyonboard Fri 27-Nov-15 20:40:36

He's potentially a risk to children now. Report him. Sorry you've been through this.

libertysilk Fri 27-Nov-15 21:01:25

I think reporting him would really anger my brothers as they are extremely loyal to him. I don't know if they could harm me. They all have my fathers violent temper. My brother has been to court for beating a man up sad
I know there is a file in the local social services office on my family. I know so, because I worked as a clerk about 15 years ago and saw it. Was massively shocked. My mother used to talk to social workers over the garden fence. Why didn't they do something??? And from speaking to my older sister, I've learnt my mother took my two older sisters to the doctor so examine bite marks. Tears flowing now sad

FlipperDipper2 Fri 27-Nov-15 21:28:09

It sounds to me as though you need to report him for your own sake. You don't know how it will go or how people will react but you will be able to feel that you did the best you could to bring him to justice. It sounds like you need that. Just my opinion. I'm sorry for all that the bastard put you through. I have no empathy for him, and don't think you need to either.

Booyaka Fri 27-Nov-15 22:32:13

NAPAC are brilliant, absolutely amazing. They have a helpline and are also really responsive to emails. They are absolutely great, practical, supportive, knowledgable.

Do call them. They will be able to give you really good advice about what will happen if you report and what you could do to minimise the risks of things like revenge attacks. They also absolutely will not pressure you to report if you decide against it.

goddessofsmallthings Fri 27-Nov-15 23:26:55

May I suggest you click on 'Report' and ask mumsnet to move your thread to the Relationships board where many others have experienced childhoods that were not dissimilar to your own and are best placed to advise you with regard to the potential ramifications of reporting historical abuse.

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