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What can I say to persuade niece to give evidence against violent ex?

(16 Posts)
Sabire Wed 26-Apr-17 11:28:27

Quick background:
Niece was in tempestuous relationship with her girlfriend for a couple of years - lots of drama, and some violence in the past year, with partner hitting niece on several occasions. Both women are very young - 18 and niece is 19. The partner is estranged from most of her family who were abusive, and has been living in a hostel since she was 16. Niece ended relationship a couple of months ago.

Cue last night's events: following a FB spat, the ex turned up on my doorstep in a rage. I was out at work. Niece (who had been puppy sitting for me earlier in the day), my 17 year old dd, my 13 year old ds and my autistic 11 year old ds were in the house. Niece's ex (who had been here quite a few times before the split) stormed in to my kitchen shouting and started throwing glasses and a vase around. She's knocked a chunk out of the wall and traumatised my puppy who was in her pen in the kitchen. She then grabbed a knife from the side and threatened my niece with it. Both my boys were upstairs and could hear screaming and glasses breaking downstairs. DD called the police and the ex stormed off, threatening to come back with other people to sort my niece out.

The police arrived as DH got back from work to a scene of utter chaos. My youngest was particularly upset, phoning me at work in tears. This morning he's extremely angry and agitated about what happened.

According to SIL, niece doesn't want to make a statement about what happened because she feels sorry for ex and is worried about her getting a custodial sentence. DD (who witnessed most of it) is also not keen to make a statement. I want them both to make statements because I think the ex's welfare shouldn't take precedence over my dc's need to feel safe in their own home and to see that domestic violence is taken seriously by the police and by the law.

What could I say to niece which would persuade her that giving evidence is the right thing to do? I don't think she's massively fearful of her ex, despite what happened last night. I think she's more fearful for her and feels guilty. I wonder if a prosecution could have a positive impact on dd's ex's life in the long run - maybe pull her up short and let her see that she can't go on like she is. She's a bright and talented girl but her life is so awful - so much dysfunction and lack of direction, as well as recreating the violence she obviously grew with.

At the moment I feel really sad, like my children are coming into contact with violence in so many areas of their lives. There was a double stabbing inside their school last year, then a murder on the high street about 600 yards from my house, that a boy from dd's class was charged with. I was thinking it's all too close to home, and now it's IN my home, and I know my children will be affected by it. I don't want them to feel violence is not something to take really, really seriously. I don't want it normalised. Particularly not domestic violence. :-(

Moanyoldcow Wed 26-Apr-17 12:08:46

I'm so sorry for your family - that sounds like a lot to deal with.

I don't have any advice I'm afraid but I'm giving it you flowers and a bump

CrazedZombie Wed 26-Apr-17 12:48:14

I think that you should make a statement to model responsible behaviour to dd/niece.

Tell niece and dd to block the ex on FB. No need to be friends with her on there.

I think you should find out what would happen if ex is charged. Could she be offered anger management or something else positive?

Northernparent68 Wed 26-Apr-17 12:52:21

I agree you should tell your niece to block her girlfriend on Facebook, and I'd ask her why she let the girlfriend into your house endangering your children.

Sabire Wed 26-Apr-17 13:01:07

I can't give a statement as I wasn't there.

DS let ex in and then went upstairs. She has been here before and he wasn't aware that there was any reason to stop her coming in.

PollytheDolly Wed 26-Apr-17 13:03:54

Surely the police will have to take further if they've been around?

Not sure of these things, but threatening with a knife is beyond any ounce sympathy for her ex. Who might be next!?

VestalVirgin Wed 26-Apr-17 17:37:45

Hm, difficult. In Germany, I would say to give evidence, as a few years in prison might get her out of the bad company she possibly keeps, enable her to get therapy, etc.

But in the UK, she might be locked up with a rapist if she goes to prison, so ... hmm

You'll have to urge your niece to think of the poor, traumatized children and puppy.

SailAwayWithMeHoney Wed 26-Apr-17 17:49:23

All you can do is encourage them. At the very least I'd be trying to get Niece to take out a civil injunction against ex to keep her away. But that hinges on making a statement with a solicitor and presenting it before a judge. If she is really unwilling I'm afraid there's little you can really do?

There are programmes out there for perpetrators of domestic abuse and anger management but I know some of those are court-ordered. If you look on Women's Aid or Refuge websites I think they have a link there for perpetrators. That may be one way to convince them to make a statement. That said, even with witness statements there is always the chance that the cps won't charge her, and if they did and she went to trial she could still be acquitted. There's a lot to consider for those making statements tbh.

PollytheDolly Wed 26-Apr-17 19:29:57

At the very least I'd be trying to get Niece to take out a civil injunction against ex to keep her away. But that hinges on making a statement with a solicitor and presenting it before a judge

That's rather expensive as well.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 27-Apr-17 01:26:25

Get these crazy people the fuck out of your house and away from your children! Don't let your niece anywhere near your house or kids until she deals with this like an adult.

Isetan Thu 27-Apr-17 05:38:22

The decision is ultimately your DN's and DD's but I would tell them that not giving statements, is not without consequence.

The Ex's violent tendencies appear to be escalating and feeling sorry for her hasn't been a successful tactic in the past and the Police may be the only measure left to stop her from hurting herself and others. Protecting your home and your children is your priority and unfortunately your DN's presence attracts an individual who is a threat and therefore, it's best if DN stays away until steps can be taken to stop her Ex from turning up at your home.

tribpot Thu 27-Apr-17 05:54:14

I would get the police's advice. Obviously your niece cannot be allowed in your house without you there again, as she is a danger to your children because she chooses to associate with this person. But your dd needs to understand that people cannot be allowed to get away with that kind of behaviour, and that she has a responsibility to her brothers - and this is what I would want the police's advice about. I assume that your sons are too young to give evidence?

I would ask your dd how else she thinks your youngest can be comforted when he is angry and upset, if not to see that the bad people are being punished. Press her to solve the problem - she's nearly 18, it's not unreasonable to expect her to be able to offer solutions.

I would agree with you and other posters, that police intervention may be more beneficial to the ex in the long run. But more importantly if she is not prosecuted that sends an absolutely dreadful message to the three impressionable children in your house.

forumdonkey Thu 27-Apr-17 07:43:59

She damaged your property, can't you press charges for criminal damage?

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Thu 27-Apr-17 07:47:21

Remind her of family loyalty and what trauma your dc will carry because of this. .
If she wants this shit to stop she needs to be the one to take the action to ensure it. .

corythatwas Thu 27-Apr-17 08:15:52

tribpot Thu 27-Apr-17 05:54:14
"Obviously your niece cannot be allowed in your house without you there again, as she is a danger to your children because she chooses to associate with this person. But your dd needs to understand that people cannot be allowed to get away with that kind of behaviour, and that she has a responsibility to her brothers - and this is what I would want the police's advice about. I assume that your sons are too young to give evidence?

I would ask your dd how else she thinks your youngest can be comforted when he is angry and upset, if not to see that the bad people are being punished. Press her to solve the problem - she's nearly 18, it's not unreasonable to expect her to be able to offer solutions."

This. Both your dn and your dd are old enough to understand that they have a responsibility towards the younger children.

drinkswineoutofamug Sat 29-Apr-17 18:30:03

Not sure if this thread is still active
Op when I started to read your first post , it could of been written by me. Describing my daughters toxic relationship with her ex gf. It all came to a head when after years of abuse my daughter snapped and it was her that landed in prison. Not the ex who smashed up my house, attacked my oh, smashed up my daughters flat, threatened her with a knife, hit her with a hammer . I could go on. My daughter never pressed charges either. Now she wishes she did. She hit back and got 6 months.
Please show my thread to your niece , show her what could happen. I would hate it for another young girl going through domestic violence to end up the way my girl did. Help is out there for her if she asks.
I wish her luck.
And yes report the damage to your property . I wish I had .

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