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Posted by: Anonymous
Sat 3, Aug 2013 at 9:28am
After Separation

i am panicking. I recently got an app for a contact order,for my sons dad to see my 3yr old son. when h hasnt seen him for over 4mnths. An d has recently bouht himself a two-seater sports car. A 3yr ol can`t go in.
I am so frustrated with the ridiculous sytem. I can`t understand why ex-partners are granted any contact atall, if they have abused the child`s parent/the child.
How can anyone see this as `best interest of your child`! When infact, its putting the child in danger. Making the hearing pointless, if court ignores potential harm to the child/actual harm.
from what ive read and heard. It takes a hell of alot, if anything. That makes cafcas stop a child`s 2nd parent from being stopped access.
What about hearing a child`s voice?.
What if they are distressed whn forced to see them, infront of everyone at the contact centre?. what happens then?. Is mum allowed to take them back home, where they want to be?
Social services advised me to stop access in the first place, for not just one or two reasons. But upto ten serious ones. harm to mum aswell as child.
I will not let my child be left alone with his abuse dad for even an hour. i will not give up

  This was of help to 0% of people  


  • Blank_av Skywalker Flag

    CAFCASS will speak to SSD as part of their enquiry, which should give them useful information towards making a risk assessment.

    A three year-old child will not be able to understand the in's and out's of contact, and so although their views can be taken into account, it wouldn't make sense to base essential decisions on their view. For example, if a child wanted to see a parent, but the contact created too high a risk, then they will need protecting from that risk by relevant adults.

    When a child's parents are 'at war' with each other, children can sometimes take sides, so obviously that needs to be allowed for when making crucial decisions that will affect the child's upbringing.

    Parent's at war often make exaggerated allegations against each other, which makes identifying genuine issues of risk more difficult for those required to make assessments. The systems are far from perfect, but then they are required to operate in a very imperfect world. Something which the press, and some politicians, often choose to ignore.

    As for the car issue - if the child is in the passenger seat in a suitable and legal child car-seat, why should that be an issue?

    In general, things become much easier for children if their parents can cooperate over contact, but if there are genuine risk factors, then of course you are right to do all that you can to protect your son.

    The fact that you are, or have been, involved with SSD will help CAFCASS with making an accurate assessment. You of course will also have your say.

    The idea that Social Workers, or CAFCASS staff (who are social work trained) are laid back or careless over the safety of children is a myth whipped up by the tabloid press and other irresponsible sectors of the media looking for a cheap and nasty headline. Due to confidentiality factors covering their work, neither the workers themselves, or the departments they work for, can defend themselves in the public arena, which makes them easy targets for inaccurate and unbalanced reporting.

    My advice to you is to wait and see how things work for yourself, and don't jump to conclusions based on unreliable hearsay or what the tabloid press churn out.


    Sat 3, Aug 2013 at 12:35pm
  • Tree_lovers_coniston formyson13 Flag

    A child's car seat for a 3yr old cannot be used at the front of a car, for it to be legally safe. That's were the seats are. At the front of sports cars only.

    Sat 3, Aug 2013 at 3:43pm
  • Blank_av Skywalker Flag

    UK Law re carrying children in cars ...

    Sat 3, Aug 2013 at 3:52pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    You sound desperate but determined! When did you separate from your son's dad? I won't ask you what you think of him because that's pretty obvious from your post but I wondered what kind of father he is. Did he spend much time with his son when you were together?

    Sun 4, Aug 2013 at 5:47pm
  • Tree_lovers_coniston formyson13 Flag

    I left my sons dad Oct 2010, when he threw a cereal bowl at me. Across the same room my son was in. In his highchair. It was the breaking point at which I made the final decision, that I had to remove my son from harms way immediately. If I didn't care enough about myself, to get away from his dad. I did about my son. Luckily he was working away for 2 days and nights. And I found a house in the paper with a landlord who felt sorry for me. And let me have the house without having to pay a massive deposit. My mum wouldn't let us stay at her's. She didn't believe d had hit me previously etc. She said I caused probs staying last time 2yrs+ back. By sticking up for her when my step dad was being a bully. So he came first.
    I managed to get a local removal firm to help me, who I told my situation to a little bit. They were happy to do it at a couple of days notice. Early in the morning.
    As soon as my son was born his dad's violence towards me started up again. And got worse and worse.
    He fell out with me when i was in hospital with pernicious anemia. Because he was jelous that my family were coming most visiting times. And his parents didn't have chance to come without them. As they slept in , after their binge drinking sessions he joined in with. He didn't see me, for the rest of the day, the morning my son was born. He'd been their since 11pm that night, with no sleep. But didn't return that night to see us, atall. My family couldn't believe it.
    He wouldn't speak to me, the night before i was returning home with my baby. He had walked out in a sulk, at visiting time. Leaving me with no-where to take my baby and nobody to pick us up from the hospital. I was in bits. I spoke to a nurse about my his violence in the past and she looked after ethan for me over night. I can't remember how his dad came to collecting us. If he ring or text back.
    But i was only home two days and he tried to put a bag over my head and was kicking my sons Moses basket around the room and something on the landing. And threatening me with his fists. Aswell as trying to push me out the front door, leaving my son unattended. Frightened. Aswell as when he was slamming doors. He was jelous of him. That he wasn't getting any love or sexual attention from me atall. And wasn't interested in helping me in the day. He hadn't got a clue how to be with a baby and got v angry if i told him how to do something. He wasn't interested in bonding with him. He left him unattended on a glass table and settee in his basket, without telling me he was going to the toilet. And washed him top n tail with water that was way too hot. He said he thought that the cotton wool would cool it down. He didn't care. It was like he was doing things on purpose. He threatened to have him adopted, so i couldn't ever see him. But that meant he wouldn't so it was obvious he didn't want him. Despite us planning a child.
    He offer to sit while i went a meal with my twin for our birthday for an hr or two. He left him in the car alone, when he dropped off my bank card. Id forgot.
    He has never said to my son that he loves him, in the 2yrs i was present during his contact with him.
    And his dad changed nappies and bathed him and gave him breakfast. Where he saw his son, at their house. Instead of him doing it. He was never up on a Sunday when i met someone else longterm, over the past yr. Until he would come with me to drop him off , for support. As his parents would get together to try and bully me sometimes. Because they disagreed with my care of him. They thought at 2 , a child fit into adults routine. Not the adult, fit in with the child's . And continued getting drunk while caring for him. I argued to my sons grandad about him drinking and driving twice, so had to change contact times, so they didn't have to drive him back home after tea. They mainly drank from tea time or 7pm, when they had tea. They always had atleast 2 glasses of wine, every night. Theyve had 3 bottles of wine plus two cans of later or whisky. The men. While i had a pot of herbal tea or one wine. If i was there. Nobody else was prepared trouble think of my son first

    Fri 9, Aug 2013 at 6:36am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    It sounds like you have had a horrendous time and I can understand where you are coming from. This must be so stressful for you. You say Social Services advised you to stop contact in the first place but now you have an appointment for a contact order from the court - does this mean nothing has been decided about the contact as yet?

    Fri 9, Aug 2013 at 9:26am
  • Pc Bern Flag

    Did CAFCASS write a report?

    When is the contact supposed to start and how long does it say your son should spend with his dad?

    Sun 11, Aug 2013 at 11:21am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    thanks for the response. Im going mad, not knwoing anything much of what is going on via CAFCAS etc. Though I do have a Support Worker via Letgo. Who is really nice and gives advice, aswell as sympathy my family should really be giving.
    Nothing has been decided at Court yet. As the first Hearing isnt until fri 24th Aug morning.
    Anon-thanks for your understanding. The Contact order app letter, coming through the post, took me by complete surprise. The only thing I can think of, is that his Dad has pushed him to apply for him. Because he want`s to see him. Rather than his Dad, himself.
    I have seen him walking, in the area where he lives. A couple of wks after I stopped the contact and he was as happy as larry. No cares in the world. He also appeared the same in June, when i saw him in a new car, cruiing through town. He knows im up town on weds dinner. Which is when he was flaunting his new car. A porsche. Which made me think that he wasn`t going to apply for contact. Then he did.
    He got a new car when he wasn`t seeing his son when i first left him aswell. All he cares about is his money.
    Anyway. I am having the most awful trouble getting proof of the domestic violence i suffered, for application of legal aid. So i have a solicitor to support me at the hearing/s. My current solicitor is on holiday, when i need him. On the date of the first hearing. And hasnt given me anyone to stan in his place. All he`s did was send letter`s back and force ith my sons dads solicitor. Who believes d`s lies. On one letter I found 11! he actually told his solicitor that the only reason that my son does go to his house is because he has been getting decorated. When Ive never dropped my son off at his house. So he could have unsupervised contact. Any contact his parents gave him with my son alone was never discussed with me. I had never given my consent to it. His dad would always try and change my mind into letting him see him alone.

    Mon 12, Aug 2013 at 9:37pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I DONT KNOW IF CAFCASS have done a report yet. I need to ring them because they are meant to of been intouch by now and made a visit to my home to check on my sons family environment aswell

    Mon 12, Aug 2013 at 9:39pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I rang cafcass and they have been v busy so can't fit in call until next wk. A wk before court

    Tue 13, Aug 2013 at 11:09pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    Being in the court system is a nightmare and your experience confirms it - it feels very scary. Thank goodness you have a nice support worker!

    From what you've said I don't think that a Contact Order has actually been made - is that right?. Just because your ex has applied to court doesn't mean to say that he'll get contact and if he does, there may well be conditions attached about how much time he has and where it takes place.

    This is where CAFCASS come in, because when there has been abuse it's their job to advise the court about what is best for the child. Such a shame that you're having to wait to meet them. I think it's the uncertainty and not knowing that makes it so stressful.

    To take your mind off things whilst you're waiting for the court day why don't you sign up for the 'Getting it right for your children' programme here's the link -

    Whatever happens, it sounds like you are going to have to deal somehow with your ex and his family in the future. The programme is all about helping you to manage this when there's arguments and distrust.

    It would be a waste of time me to telling you not to worry, so instead, what about you concentrating on just being the best mum to your son that you can possibly be?

    Sun 18, Aug 2013 at 1:20pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    My new solicitor is trying to apply for legal aid for me by using it as a need for protecting a child, instead of cos he's a perpetrator. Because i haven't got enough evidence over the past 2yrs. If it was 3yrs, i would of. I had a MARAC report done on me before i left my ex and social services were informed. But they didn't get actual dates off me til 5mnths ago, when i had the guts to ring and tell them everything. Now their saying they don't have evidence of dv, when they do. A woman told me that i have to represent myself, but i don't feel like i have the confident to. Infront him and his solicitor watching me, with no partner or family by my side. It was like i was still seeing my ex in a way. Until a yr ago, when id stopped seeing him atall with my son, so i could try and teach him how to be a dad. I was there most of the time in the day when he saw our son then. Or id fell out with his parents, or him. I wouldn't let our son be alone with him, unless he was asleep or in a public busy enough place, or supervised. He drove son in car with no belt on, left him in car alone two streets off, burnt his legs with red hot water in bath, whilst watching him screaming, just sat staring into space. Pouring water straight out hot tape in swimming pool with son already in it, threw bowl at me across room son was in and got drunk while in his care at night and in afternoon

    Sun 18, Aug 2013 at 8:58pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    I can imagine how much you're dreading going to court. Have you got someone who'll go with you? If not, have you heard of McKensie friends? They're people who will go to court with you to give you moral support.

    Mon 19, Aug 2013 at 9:54am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    how do i get one to support me please? my letgo advocacy worker is coming in with me but need as many people ther as possible, esp if dont get legal aid. as, still havent. Waiting to get it on child protection, with solicitor

    Mon 19, Aug 2013 at 12:45pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    A McKenzie Friend is someone you ask to accompany you...the following article will help you understand what the role is The article also suggests that you contact the CAB. If you are interested in having a McKenzie friend after reading the article then the CAB may be able to help you find one. Tough as this is for you...and for anyone going through sounds like you are very clear on what the right outcome is...and since it centres on what is best for your child, I have no doubt you will be convincing.

    Tue 20, Aug 2013 at 5:07pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    Hi there, I've been thinking about you and wondered how you got on at court? How are things with you?

    Fri 6, Sep 2013 at 5:12pm
  • Tree_lovers_coniston formyson13 Flag

    Thanks. Im up n down. Binging every night on snacks n cereal, when my child's in bed since first hearing and sleeping only 4-5hrs. Aswell as rewriting statement again, remembering more things over past wk about what i had to deal with, with my ex and don't know how i kept it together. I was helpless. He was totally incontrol of me , apart from in day when i saw friends as much as i could and went were i wanted, without him. Til he rang again n again. Despite telling him not to. It disturbed me. Court went well, when we got in there. Was held up by quick report cafcass has done, which needed someone's permission for me to see it. Didn't av much chance, theyve record Four of the things id said. Took it v seriously. Burnt my son's legs n tried to put bag over my head, while my son in next rm. So my solicitor woke up. My solicitor was busy, so i paid for one £120, trainee female one at same practice.. She was great in end. Ex told them i have mental health probs. Even tho i wasn't in system for ten yrs. I saw counsellor who pushed me into leaving him, upto when i left. I have letter of proof. Got 1 wk left to give statement of dates me an child was abused, with no support. Handed in stuff for solicitorn first pg of my statement. He only got file from solicitor who was at court yesterday. 2wk! After court. Wen has to look at my comments n his solicitor has gotta put his. He has to of had hair strand test for alcohol within 4wks. He's paying. Said id go halves to look good. He spoke with his solicitor cos im on benefits n having to pay for solicitor. Can't c solicitor by app unless pay 120. £120 for next hearing aswell. Systems all wrong.
    Judge wouldn't let ex have contact cos me an him got nobody to bring to supervise his contact n judge wants even supervised, if he gets it. Very gradual. I don't want him to have access atall. I've had flashbacks and think i keep seeing his or his parents car. Obsessed, looking at reg plates on similar car.
    My socalled support worker with letgo hasn't rang for 2wk, til i did wed. Sending out letter of contact i had with safe in 2008 and 2010 and info on my marac done may 2010, when id done v long risk questionnaire on the phone.
    I moved house the same day of court. Tried to get house day or two before, but couldn't. Not settled in yet. Still stuff to do. Pictures, shelves, cushions. Waiting for unit for lounge. Need to paint kitchen n put two big shelves up, so have more room. My solicitor not rung me or support worker since court. Made me anxious and unfairly left in the dark. I've been let down. Support worker can't come to court with me Oct 2nd. Friend on hol. Don't know about other one. Need someone. Things r getting me down and been on own alot lately, which gets me down.
    do u work with dv victims or work for an organisation? Id like to know who im talking to really

    Fri 6, Sep 2013 at 9:17pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    Hi there, so glad you gave us an update.

    I can understand that the stress of moving house and the nightmare of having to re live the abuse you've suffered has really got you down. You feel stuck - even worse when you don't have a lot of support around you. As an outsider though, I can see what great progress you're making. The court, Cafcass and your solicitor are all taking things v seriously so you must have done a good job in making sure they understood the whole situation. This was one of the things that really worried you.

    You're also being proactive - chasing up solicitors and support worker to do their job! Good for you. Just phone them again to let them know how anxious you feel.

    It sounds like you've got some plans to get your new house looking lovely too. Once you start putting your personal touches in it will feel like home. It's a new start for you and your son.

    Right some practicalities - thinking about who could go to court with you....there's a Mckenzie friend mentioned in an earlier post or what about contacting Women's Aid ? -§ionTitle=If+you+or+a+friend+need+help

    Have you been to see your GP recently? It might be worth letting them know that you're going thru a difficult situation and you're not sleeping. I don't know about you but I can't cope with anything if I don't get a full 8 hours.

    Sun 8, Sep 2013 at 9:38am
  • Tree_lovers_coniston formyson13 Flag

    My average was 7hrs, but now its 6. Which is causing me problems. Lack of concentration to the extreme of leaving money, yet to come out of a cash machine, 2 days ago. After being up til 3am collating diary evidence and statement notes. And rewriting statement page. Stood in the kitchen for 3hrs!
    Not been getting much housework done or giving my son as much attention,
    not drinking enough fluids,
    eating enough fruit or doing makeup as much,
    keeping intouch with family or taking son places he like's,
    ordered prescription last minute, not showering/bathing as much (twice a day-once a day), taking hours to do stuff cos distracted by pressure to do statement by tomorrow. And had no support from anyone,in-person, since court 23rd august. 3wk ago tomorrow.
    Spoke to support worker at mind, who runs womens group i go to sometimes. And got two numbers from her, of orgs who could maybe support me. , letgo. Has let me down twice. She's only advocacy worker. Not there to support me emotionally or physically. Which she did atfirst. My new solicitor, womensaid got me intouch with, new solicitor who hasn't been intouch since court. Only got letter from woman who stood in for him, at my first hearing. . Who was really good, strong and forthright. Supported my case very well, in family court. I hoped was supporting me in the interim of the next court date, wed 2nd Oct. But isn't.
    Found out last week that my solicitor didn't get my file back off her til thursday last wk!! Nearly 2wks after court. Disgusting.
    If solicitor rings, emails, write's to me, or i make appointment. I will get charged £120 per action of support. Already had to pay that for solicitor to support me in the first hearing.
    Social services hadn't got back intouch with solicitor, regarding evidence from my son's file, so i can get legal aid, last Tuesday. Still no call, letter or email off him. Telling me otherwise.
    My advocacy worker let me down twice cos she was meant to post me letter with info detailing support i had from SAFE, 2008 (when my toddler's dad was emotionally/psychologically abusing me) (Then physically-within 3mnths) (punched me, when i was pregnant and i lost baby 2days later on hol already booked. And locked me out the house etc) When it ended in 2009, when i restarted the relationship and moved back in with him. Keeping my flat, incase domestic abuse started again. Which it did ofcourse.
    When i emailed them when physical started again, after ongoing emoptional an psychological abuse. As soon as i gave birth to our planned! child. Kicking my sons things around, throwing stuff at me, slamming doors upsetting/scarring our son. Locking us out the house, so our baby had to sleep all night in his pram/car seat at his! Parents house with me. He wouldn't answer his phone from his dad! Aswell as me. For no particular reason.
    The dates i met with a support worker and the MARAC report done on me, from a assessment questionnaire i did in May 2010. Ranking as me being at High Risk of harm from dv. Thinking about taking baby to refuge 1hr away from my home town/family/friends.
    But, still. I haven't got it. And id planned to give my solicitor my statement and evidence today or tomorrow.
    says she may fax it to my solicitor, but i need it, to complete 3mnths of my evidence and my statement record.
    I gave letter to solicitorssecretary with 2pgs of my medical record, cos they need to do report on my mental health, as ex told them i had problems. When I've not been in the system for 12yrs. Was only assessed in hospital when i had my son.. Nurse babysat my son because i was v anaemic and was very upset and anxious because my ex wouldn't answer texts or phonecall from the payphone. So i had to pass on message through his dad who thought that him getting drunk at their house every night, since our child was born and turning up late to see his new/only child and mother, was acceptable behaviour for a new father. He encouraged it. Thought that he had right to do that, to celebrate a new life into his family. When no other children around/in it. I told a nurse/midwife about some of my ex's abuse. But i didn't record it.
    Support worker, letgo told that i should get the letter Friday. Well wait and see.
    My ex's hair strand test has to of been done by wk tomorrow aswell. Don't know if its better to wait to give in statement, just before that end date. Say. Next wed. Or tomorrow? What do you think?

    Thu 12, Sep 2013 at 7:16am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Just been reading this thread and I can see you're in a bit of a state. The 'system' , especially when you're relying on other people, doesn't seem very supportive of people going through all this.
    From what you say, you should definitely be getting your legal advice free.

    How's your little boy? Do you think he's noticed you're feeling down?
    I'm glad you've noticed that you're not doing the things you should be - keeping in touch with your family, eating and drinking, giving your son attention. What are you going to do about it?!

    Thu 12, Sep 2013 at 8:31pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Reading through all you have written I am very impressed by how you are dealing with a very difficult are also good at getting facts as well as your feelings down on paper...a lot of people can't do that very well. You ask whether it is better to give in your statement today or just before the end date. Only you can answer that...if it would be a relief to get it in so that you can relax a bit and maybe sleep a bit better it may work better for you. However if you want to update it between now and next week you might feel better holding on to it.

    Fri 13, Sep 2013 at 2:58pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Promised myself early nite. Up again. Altering statement cos solicitors secretary got wring closing time of court. So missed it, but meant that my letgo worker, AL. Can retype letter, so can get legal aid and me include more serious bits, in statement.
    Got to photocopy 3 lots of about 10 pgs of diary n letter evidence tom at library again. I've turned into a solicitor. Hope my child will b ok playing in lib while im busy?
    Today he was unruly up town and 2days ago. On naughty step tea time cos threw plate on floor, trying to put his leg robot bk together and hit me several times. Didn't like the landing light off, when he was on step tho. Got v distressed then was v loving on settee watching dvd with me, before bed.
    Are u a worker who deals with dv cases?

    Sun 15, Sep 2013 at 12:26am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Hope you and your little boy have had a better day today. I always found it so stressful dealing with my toddlers when I wasn't feeling great. My kids are older Now. You've just reminded me of how lovely it was when everyone was feeling grouchy to put a favourite DVD on and snuggle up on the sofa. Sometimes the simple things can make you feel so much better.

    Sun 15, Sep 2013 at 6:23pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    Saying you feel like you're turning into a solicitor made me laugh! But you know it makes me think that, when this is all over, you'd be a brilliant support for other people going through the same thing. Probably hard to imagine at the moment if you're feeling exhausted and anxious but you have already gained so much experience. I know you could have done without it but it would be good to think that you could help someone in a similar position in the future - even if its just doing all the photocopying! Take care.

    Mon 16, Sep 2013 at 7:16am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I was only thinking of that today, myself. I've shared helpful links on facebook and am member of different dv groups/pgs. Joined one today, that's campaign to stop dv. And something to join to have something done about stalking by your ex/whoever. Mainly ex male partners. Think?.
    Human rights act.
    I need to talk to them later, about what i can do to stop my ex stalking me forever.
    Im not moving to a different town. I don't drive n don't want to. Too nervie n got tremor n cervical/neck dystonia. Get botox for every 3mnth. One in front. One bk of neck. Painful in the bk.
    I got it from taking seroxat over a yr. It came on then better for abit. Really bad since started bk at gym, noticed by new friends 2yrs ago. So Dr referred me to neurologist. Diagnosed straight away.
    Are u someone who've also been abused in a rlsp? Or someone that's help people on this?

    Wed 18, Sep 2013 at 7:13pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    Good to hear that you're helping other people with your experience. I'm sure that there'll be other people on the Forum who'd benefit from knowing how you've managed to cope.

    I'm a family mediator so I've met lots of people - dads as well as mums - who've been in abusive and controlling relationships.

    Thu 19, Sep 2013 at 2:59pm