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This is why men who commit DV against their partners shouldn't be allowed access to their children

(294 Posts)
StewieGriffinsMom Sun 03-Mar-13 07:47:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Mar-13 23:11:28

Like so many feminist issues, it seems the legislation is there and hence people think the issue is solved but the reality is somewhat different angry

IlianaDupree Sun 03-Mar-13 23:12:25

Dv I would say is everything from emotional abuse through to physical abuse, good point to raise, most people do think it's just violence when in reality the emotional aspect is probably even more damaging. Interesting point I'll need to research more.

Spero, that's interesting about perp courses, do you have any idea why they are dubious at best.

And I apologise for any ignorance I may have in regards to terminology but I'm not trained in this, I've just lived through it.

Spero Sun 03-Mar-13 23:12:35

The doctrine - yes, and we only have this article to go on. I agree there must have been concerns about both parents. But until we have full story, it is just unwise and unhelpful to use this type of article as the foundations for this kind of debate.

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 23:15:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Spero Sun 03-Mar-13 23:17:36

I looked at the website for the DVIP programme which is quite popular. A staggeringly high proportion simply dropped out before completion, of those who did complete a number re offended ... So their overall 'success rate' was very low.

A lot of these men are violent for so many different reasons, they have been created over years or even decades, they were often victims of abuse and violence as children themselves. S to say that a 12 week perp programme is going to 'fix' them seems naive to say the least.

I would like to see more time and money spent on empowering women not to get into relationships with them or to end relationships at first sign of violence. A lot of my cases involve women who invite these men back not their homes and their children's lives, even after police have been to install panic buttons etc.

There seems to be a view that any man is better than none. I don't know what can be done to combat this. I know it results from many sources and pressures on women.

Spero Sun 03-Mar-13 23:21:30

Bertie - the legislation is my reality, I deal with t every day.
violent men don't get residence, I am still waiting for the evidence to disprove me.

Violence is taken very seriously. In my experience the police are usually swift and effective.

Of course there are cases where things go horribly wrong and people fuck up. But that doe not mean the courts are in league with violent men.

IlianaDupree Sun 03-Mar-13 23:24:21

Spero, interesting point, I completely understand the childs perspective of either worshipping or demonising the abusive parent, but isn't that a symptom of abuse? I worshipped my stepfather but that was through fear and if I'd been asked wether I wanted contact I would have said yes, through fear. It's a minefield.

I do think, in a lot of cases, contact is well mediated by the courts but I still think society has a long way to go to address abuse.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 03-Mar-13 23:26:40

Spero I think some "red flag" teaching at an early age would be great, if possible.

Pan, SGM posted four times out of the first 25 posts which were over 12 hours or so. Thread has grown by 30+ posts in the last two hours. I don't read that as "no response", but as I think you say, you're incorporating other experience from over the years.

IlianaDupree Sun 03-Mar-13 23:27:23

Sorry for the slow replies, I'm finding this quite triggering but am glad of the space to express my experience.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 03-Mar-13 23:28:37

sad for you Iliana

Spero Sun 03-Mar-13 23:29:26

Sorry, I wasn't meaning the after effects of abuse - I was referring to the absence of a father, particularly if he disappears when child is very young. There is then a fear that child will grow up either hating or worshiping this absent figure which is a worry for their own mental health.

The courts are guided by the pyschologists who say research proves the importance of identity. - children know they come from both a mother and a father, so to have a very negative view about one half of your genetic make up is generally seen as harmful. The best thing is to have a realistic view.

So the courts often have to grapple with the very thorny issue of what kind of contact is safe.

But I have seen the courts very prepared to make no orders for contact when the man just won't accept what he has done, siphons no remorse and makes o apologies. Sturge and Glaser said this should be the starting point before any contact is considered, and I don't know anyone I work with who would disagree.

Spero Sun 03-Mar-13 23:30:39

Aaarg! 'Offers' not 'siphons' how do I turn this bloody auto correct off...

Spero Sun 03-Mar-13 23:32:34

Yes definitely 'red flag' teaching at schools, that is a brilliant idea. There seems to be this awful teen culture that girls are nothing if they don't have a 'boyfriend' and they are supposed to be sexually available or put up with all kinds of crap.

IlianaDupree Sun 03-Mar-13 23:34:38

Spero, the way to combat naivety is to allow people to express themselves.

Ime women who let abusers back into their homes are often the women who have been let down by the court system, I see it daily, women are assualted, they report to the police, there isn't enough evidence, abuser is released, abuser retalliates against the woman.

Maybe more needs to be done on tackling "low level" abuse in the legal system?

Why are perp courses only 12 weeks? Seems a little bit pointless.

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 23:35:50

The utter absence of a figure as a father in a child's development is a damaging factor. Even knowing he was/is a poor one is a 'security' compared to having an unexplained space in their development. Children learn and adapt v quickly, as we know, and having a 'perspective' on parents is fairly crucial.

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 23:38:32

I think Spero is referring to IDAP Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme, which is 22 sessions, and a review at the end. It's quite long and challenging, and I 'm not recognising the poor outcomes as reported.

IlianaDupree Sun 03-Mar-13 23:41:16

I am going have to leave the thread for the moment but will come back to it tomorrow.

Spero, identity is very important, I have my own child whose father became absent when he was a year old and I have spent a long time ensuring he is healthy and happy in his identity. But I digress and really need to step back for a while.

Spero Sun 03-Mar-13 23:41:16

Money, always money. If you put someone in a residential pyscho therapeutic placement for six months, you would likely get results but it would cost between £50 - £100k. Who will fund it?

I agree there is a problem with some abusers not being pursued or evidence not always available bt I also see the flip side of women not agreeing to get injunctions or repeatedly getting back with violent partner. Obviously, whatever damage has been done to her sense of self worth is long standing and quite outside the courts ability to help her with.

I think there are definitely degrees of violence which need different approaches - low level violence, parenting courses, supervised contact if necessary. Sadistic and repeated physical assaults should be dealt with in criminal system and no direct contact without psychiatric evaluation - and that is pretty much my experience anyway. The really violent ones are locked up.

So I think the big problem is with the 'grey' area between low and high, or where the evidence is sketchy.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 03-Mar-13 23:42:15

Some of you are probably already on this thread (too late to check) but if not, John Cruddas is looking for VAW reduction ideas:

BertieBotts Sun 03-Mar-13 23:43:08

I don't think violent men usually get residence. I think it's very common that abusive men get unsupervised contact, even if there is a token period of supervised. I have "seen" this happen many, many times, in RL and on here. I don't think that the courts are "in league" with violent men - I think there is a big underestimation of abuse and a strong wish to be fair and/or "see both sides" as well as an overriding view that it's in children's best interests to have a relationship with both parents in the vast majority of cases. This is what I'm disagreeing with - I think that abuse is more common than is generally thought, and I think courts are under-educated, in general, about the realities of abuse. Often it comes down to he said/she said. This shouldn't be the case, there are definite differing patterns of speech and behaviour when someone is really a victim, and when someone perceives themselves to be the victim even though they are actually the abuser. This is really hard to judge to the untrained eye/ear! I don't understand why understanding of abuse isn't seen as more important in family courts. To me, this should be absolutely paramount. There is plenty of literature and research about abuse, why is it not being used? I think that it's probably because courts don't want to go "backwards" in terms of granting fathers' access, because, again, the general public perception of abuse is much lower than the reality and it can be difficult to tell if someone is a real victim or not, so publicity/pressure from fathers' groups such as F4J etc would increase and it would generally be seen as unfair with lots of lobbying etc.

I agree that it is important/helpful to empower women not to end up in abusive relationships themselves, this is why I think it's so important that abusive fathers should NOT be awarded contact except in very carefully controlled situations. Children learn relationship patterns from their parents. Mandatory access with an abusive father is creating young people who in the future will very likely go on to accept abuse from a partner and, in turn, their children will suffer. If you want to stop abuse one of the first steps has to be breaking this cycle.

Spero Sun 03-Mar-13 23:43:36

I looked at DVIP - I think this is Domestic Violence Intervention programme? Don't know about IDAP results but. Am still sceptical that even 22 weeks can have much impact on a pathology that has probably developed over a life time.

Hope you are ok iliana.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Mar-13 23:44:24

Forcing somebody to attend a perpetrator course surely defeats the entire object of the course.

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb etc.

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 23:52:36

Well, forcing is an issue. The IDAP is an alternative to being imprisoned. Also, how many DV perps will put their hands up willingly? (actually quite a few, but for v low-level offenses). IDAP has a voice for the victim who is kept informed of their perpetrators progress, or lack of, and the LA advisor and DV police unit are on the ball throughout. It isn't a panacea, but is a resource where men, as a group, get to judge each other and see themselves in context as abusers.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Mar-13 23:56:50

They get a choice? So it's a bit like, pay the speeding fine or go on the "Speed Awareness Course" then? (Find me someone - anyone - who has been on that course and didn't think it was all a colossal joke?)

Pan Mon 04-Mar-13 00:02:12

It's nothing like a speed awareness course. At that level to attract IDAP, its usually at least 12 months in prison. Everything in life is a choice. <getting a bit existentialist there..>. I'd much rather see DVers do that course than while away time in prison.fwiw

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