Abuse and violence in relationships

If I tell the social worker I am a victim of violence or abuse, she will take my baby away to punish me.

This is a really dangerous myth as it can stop people asking for help when they need it. If you are a victim of violence or abuse you will not be punished for that. BUT it is sadly true that the available support is often not ideal and is not always easy to access.

However, to say its a fact that a victim of abuse will be deliberately punished by the system by having her (and it is almost always ‘her’) children taken away is wrong. If children are removed, it will be to keep them safe. However, its not hard to see how for many victims of violence, this will feel like a punishment. 

Therefore, what we will do in this post is discuss:

  • what do we mean when we talk about ‘abuse’ ?
  • why do social workers get so worried about abusive relationships?
  • why it is often hard to end abusive relationships
  • what will the social worker do if worried about abuse in your home; and
  • what orders can the court make to help?
  • practical things that you can do if you are in this situation, to avoid having your children removed from your care.

What do we mean when we talk about ‘abuse?’

‘Abuse’ is  a wide term that can cover a variety of behaviour; some will be considered more serious than others but ALL have the potential to cause harm. It is not true to think that just because someone doesn’t hit you, that means they are not abusive. Read the government’s definition of ‘abuse’ from 2013.

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour,  violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional’

Coercive control’ is now a criminal offence under section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015.This is a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or familial relationship. It makes patterns of repeated or continuous coercive or controlling behaviour a criminal offence.

The section came into force on 29 December 2015 and  the MoJ published statutory guidance to provide information about:

  • identifying domestic violence, domestic abuse and controlling or coercive behaviour
  • circumstances in which the new offence might apply
  • the types of evidence which establish the offence
  • the statutory defence


Why do social workers get so concerned about abusive relationships?

Because they cause serious harm. The risks of staying in an abusive or violent relationship are very serious and very real. Harm can be caused to children from either seeing or hearing violence. See what survivors of abuse say here.

You may also be interested in this report from the  Early intervention Project which looks at the damaging consequences of domestic violence on children families and communities:

Our report finds that children who have witnessed Domestic Violence between their parents display increased fear, inhibition, depression, as well as high levels of aggression and antisocial behaviour which can last not only into their teenage years, but into adulthood too. The effect on a child of witnessing domestic violence between parents is similar to that of experiencing physical abuse themselves. And with 25% of young people witnessing domestic violence and abuse before the age of 18, the problem is not confined to a small section of the population.

If you have a violent or abusive partner and you are not able to take steps to remove that person from your children’s lives then yes, you are at risk of having your children taken away. Because the harm done to children who have to witness or listen to someone they love being abused, is potentially extremely serious.


Difficulties in ending abusive relationships

The problems and worries are made worse by the fact that abusive relationships can carry on for a long time. People have children together and may become financially or emotionally dependent on an abusive partner. They may know that their relationship isn’t healthy or happy for either of them, but they may have been together for a long time and sometimes it can be hard to walk away and not look back. Ending a relationship is often described as a ‘process’ not a one off ‘event’. 

Or the victim of the violence/abuse may be utterly emotionally worn down by the abuser and find it very difficult to find the energy and courage needed to leave. According to Refuge, two women a week are killed by a partner. But the risks increase when a victim decides to leave.

But, for whatever reason, if the violence/abuse continues, the LA will have to act to protect the children. Children exposed to even just seeing or hearing violence suffer – there is no doubt about that.

This is often a difficult situation to manage and isn’t always managed well. This article from the Guardian Social Care Network sets out  a number of concerns about the way professionals attempt to deal with situations where children may be at risk of violence in the home:

Her experience of chairing domestic homicide reviews for the Home Office – and quality assuring those carried out by others – has led James-Hanman to believe that social services are at best a neutral factor but more often a negative one in the most terrible outcome of all, where a victim, and sometimes their children, are killed. Well before long-standing abuse erupts into tragedy, she says, social services should not be “starting from a position of telling women ‘If you don’t do what I tell you we’ll take your children off you’ but ‘What do you need to help you and your children become safer?’ And that means safety planning done properly, not just handing over a list of things to take with you when you leave.”


What is likely to happen if a social worker is worried about abuse in your home?

Children should be living with their parents whenever possible, but if they are not safe with the parents, the LA may ask a court to make a care order to allow the LA to remove the children from their parents’ care. If only one parent is abusive, the concern about the other parent often is one of ‘failure to protect’ – i.e. you didn’t leave when you could have, or you didn’t report your abusive partner to the police.

However, removing children from abusive relationships is never automatic.

Please read this article by the Pink Tape blogger Lucy Reed. She says:

Indicative also is the statement that there is an “assumption [in the family courts] that children must be removed if their mum is a victim of violence: that their mothers have not protected them“. There just isn’t. That isn’t the law and it isn’t the practice either. Sometimes those of us working in the system wish there was more support available to facilitate mums to leave nasty partners, and to help them stay away, but the provision of such services is not within the courts’ gift – and there is no presumption.

In fact the presumption is in entirely the opposite direction – children should remain with their parents if at all possible, can only be removed if necessary on safety grounds, and if there is a risk of significant harm (I’m summarising the law, but hopefully doing so more accurately than the CiF article). So, no presumption, but it is sometimes necessary to remove children.

Please see this article, also on Pink Tape, which talks about domestic violence in family cases.

The House of Commons Education Committee Fourth Report ‘Children First: the child protection system in England’ said this in 2013:

72. In cases of domestic violence, there should be no presumption that an abused parent cannot be a good parent. Wherever possible, the focus should be on supporting that parent and helping them to protect their children themselves, rather than on removing the children. But the interests of the children must come first. Guidance and specialised training in this sensitive area should be reviewed and updated and highlighted to all social workers. The Department for Education must liaise more closely with the Home Office on issues relating to child protection and domestic abuse.


How can the family courts or the police protect you from violent relationships?

The police can arrest abusers. This may lead them being charged and convicted of a criminal offence. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or ‘Clare’s Law’ is in full operation across the country as of 8th March 2014. It is named after Clare Wood who was murdered by her boyfriend in 2009.  The scheme allows the police to disclose information on request about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts. But some criticise the scheme as most abusers do not have a previous police record.

The family court can make orders about who has contact with children or where children live. It can also make non molestation or ‘occupation orders’ which can force an abuser to leave the family home. Issues around violence and contact with children must be taken seriously by the court. The 2016 Review of Practice Direction 12 J sets out how the family court must deal with cases involving allegations of violence. See the revised PD12J here.

There is criticism from a variety of sources including Women’s Aid about how useful the family courts are in dealing with violent parents. See Pink Tape’s response to the Women’s Aid report ’19 Child Homicides’. 

The Domestic Abuse Act now prohibits direct cross examination of vulnerable witnesses by an actual or alleged perpetrator of violence who is acting in person. 

See also Practice Direction 3AA of the Family Procedure Rules about dealing with vulnerable witnesses in court. 

The court may decide to hold a ‘finding of fact’ hearing about allegations of violence, but it is clear that the findings sought have to relate directly to the children’s welfare, and not about general dissatisfaction about the adult relationships. See Re H-N and Others (children) (domestic abuse: finding of fact hearings) [2021] 


Non  Molestation orders and Occupation Orders

You can apply to the court to get a non-molestation order and an occupation order under the Family Law Act 1996, to have an abusive person ordered out of your home. You can still get legal aid for these kinds of applications and it is a very good way of showing your social worker that you are serious about doing something to protect yourself and your children.

There is a useful case – DS v AC [2023] EWFC 46 (29 March 2023)- which sets out the basic principles and the strict criteria that apply to applications without notice to the other side. 

The Government have also recently introduced Domestic Violence Prevention Orders (DVPO) to help protect people immediately after an attack by stopping the abuser contacting the victim.

If the police want to investigate what your ex partner has done, please co-operate with them. If you want to withdraw your statement or refuse to make one in the first place it is sending a very worrying message about your insight into the problem and your willingness to protect your children.



Legal aid has been removed from most family cases. But it may still be possible to obtain legal aid if you are alleging you are a victim of violence.

On January 8th 2018, new evidence requirements to show that there was domestic violence in a relationship came into force. Key changes include:•

  • the removal of the time limit on evidence;
  • the recognition of evidence from organisations providing domestic violence support services
  • evidence from housing officers, and
  • evidence of violence towards a previous partner as risk of abuse

To see if you are eligible for legal aid visit www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid or call 0845 345 4345


Advice from one of our readers

We are grateful for this contribution from one of our readers who works in this field. She discusses what commonly happens when a mother reports DV and what women can do to take back their control and ensure the safety of themselves and their family. 

What happens if you report DV?

Most mothers who flee abuse do so because they realise just how damaging domestic abuse is to their children. It’s one of the main reasons given for finding the emotional resources to leave. Often the point of leaving (or saying help me I need to leave) will be the first time they have openly admitted they are experiencing abuse or been open about its impact.

This sets in a chain of events usually started by a referral to children’s services by the agency you approach for help. Sometimes this will just prompt a letter saying “we have a report of a DV incident, we are not taking any action at the moment but please call if you want to.”

Sometimes it results in a phone call or visit. It would be quite usual, even expected (and desirable), to offer supportive intervention to a victim of rape and DV. The vast majority of the time this support is very useful to the family.

Sometimes there may be a concern that the non-violent parent is unable to protect the children from the violent parent or from witnessing further abuse or that the non-violent parent is so traumatised by the abuse they need more intensive support. Again, this support is usually a good thing.

It can be very frightening but in the vast majority of cases it really is just a case of offering help, support and guidance during a very stressful emotional recovery.


What can you do to help yourself?

There are a few things anybody in this situation can do to really help themselves and make it clear to children’s services that they are not at risk of returning to the abusive situation and exposing their children to emotional harm and physical risk. Things like:

  • obtaining protection orders (or trying to);
  • cooperating with the police if needed;
  • Engaging with the social worker and other advised sources of help, not communicating with the abuser or meeting up with them;
  • the Freedom Programme;
  • being aware of security:
  • specialist support from a respected organisation (either face to face or otherwise)
  • as odd as it sounds a respected parenting programme can be very useful. Even if you are a experienced parent, one of the aspects of DV is the very effective grooming that is a part of it and without you even noticing it can really effect how you parent.
  • avoiding seeking a new relationship until you have completely emotionally healed and are able to identify early warning signs is also helpful.
  • of course real life quality respected legal advice and keeping accurate records and relevant paperwork is vital.

Don’t be afraid to get help – show others you want to take back control

Whilst the vast majority of social workers follow the rules and are decent sensible people they are human beings and as such, just like any other group of people, some may make mistakes and some may be arses. Please don’t let fear of them put you off seeking support. Without a doubt the single most effective method of removing the risk of abuse to your child if you are experiencing domestic abuse is to leave and do it safely.

A woman is significantly more at risk of serious harm at the point of leaving and shortly after than at any other time. Support to do this from qualified professionals will usually make it much much safer.

Over the years the vast majority of my service users who either have no intervention or very limited intervention from children’s services are the ones who actively seek support and take the necessary steps without delay or without needing it to be arranged by CS.

To clarify what I mean by do things yourself without waiting is, seeking the support yourself ASAP preferably within days. Women’s Aid (if you do not have a face to face specialist service locally) are incredibly useful for signposting both to local services and online respected ones.

It’s incredibly difficult to wrongly assume someone is not committed to changing their future based on preconceived feelings or any thing else if that person is already on the waiting list/has just started/ has an appointment booked/ is engaging with every single almost automatic suggestion any social worker would be talking about under these circumstances. And doing so can really aid your recovery and help put you back in control of you.

And it sends a very clear positive message to professionals working with you.


Men as victims of violence from women

The majority of victims of violence in the home are women – 70% of victims of domestic homicides are women. An estimated 1.9 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year, according to the year ending March 2017 Crime Survey for England and Wales (1.2 million women, 713,000 men).

Although it seems beyond doubt that violence is more a problem for women, there are clearly significant numbers of male victims of violence and abuse from women and other men. Unfortunately there appears to be less available in terms of support for male victims as traditionally domestic violence is seen in terms of men hurting women. This may be because most men are considerably stronger than most women and therefore are more likely to be perceived as the aggressor and more likely to cause serious harm if they are physically violent. Or shame/stigma at being a male victim of abuse makes it even less likely that victims come forward.

Contact the Mens Advice Line – advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Call 0808 801 0327. 



Further Reading/Other issues

257 thoughts on “Abuse and violence in relationships

  1. Worried Parent

    But what about the real fear that reporting abuse will start a runaway train that seperates a family. From the above that is a totally valid fear, since we are told the abuser must be made to leave or the victim must leave. ( In the absence of conflict, which is shown to be bad for children) where’s the evidence that *actual* separation is not worse than *potential* witnessing abuse, defined in very broad terms that include lying, withholding information?

    I was abused by my partner for a long time but I chose to stay to set an opposite example of adult behaviour and to shield them from my partner’s inappropriate anger toward them. In the end I could see this was not going to work and only risked exposing them to emotional abuse as being normal. My partner was willing to hurt the children emotionally in order to stay in control of everything. Only at that point did I leave. Taking a parent away from a child is a terrible thing. The child could not care less if the parent has behaved badly. The child has not read any academic studies claiming to show this separation is in its best interests. Parental separation is a long agony for a child that fades only slowly even under ideal conditions. I doubt whether it is right for any social worker or court official to subject children to this “remedy” that is “for their own benefit” unless they have experienced in their own lives. I am not saying it should never be done. I am saying it really must be done only as an unavoidable last resort, and with full consciousness of the harm done to the child. The text above seems contradictory because it says the court will separate a child from a parent only as a last resort, yet also says leaving an abuser (a liar? A person with secrets?) is an immediate and mandatory response, something of a duty to the children in fact. Can both of these things be true?

    1. mary smee

      I’ve just watched a programme where 2 girls accused their father of sexual assault to the police so their mother moved herself & them out – she then, along with the father pressured the children into retracting their statements…the girls eventually ended up dead due to their father. Can children in the UK retract such a statement or does the law protect them from the minute the allegation occurs?

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        Anyone can retract their statement at any time. Statements are only one part of the evidential jigsaw in any case. Depending on the nature of the case and the allegations they could be very important or not very important. For example, a young child with obvious signs of sexual abuse – such as pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease – a later statement that retracted any allegation of abusve sexual contact would not carry much weight as it is clearly contradicted by obvious physical signs. But if there were no such obvious physical signs then a later retraction might be accepted as ‘the truth’. It all depends on the facts of each individual cases.

        1. mia

          i wanted to retract my statements against my husband that it was all lies due to my postnatal depression, and why my social worker wont stop looking for me, even tho i already retract my statement. cos i have a postnatal depression that i ls why i did all of it 🙁

          1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            Then you need to write another statement explaining what was going on and provide some medical evidence in support. I would not expect anyone to blame you for being inconsistent while you were suffering from a serious depression or other mental health disturbance.

          2. Sharon Ramsay

            Me too. My health issues cause my cortisol to shoot through the roof and I can never remember what I have said afterwards…they are not doctors but not helpful either!

      2. Gita

        As someone who has reported to the police before, nope. I have been made by my parents to take back the reports so many times. They have told me they will kill themselves if I don’t, that I am evil, that I’m actually the one abusing them, that I’m imagining it all and so on. And my dad even made me write exactly what he said and the police accepted it and it didn’t go anywhere. UK Laws need serious reform.

    2. Michelle louise Alcock

      Hi my ex was a narsasist he use to beat me infront of my kids for 16 years we di&nt have no live he had full controll over us we wasnt aloud iut he removed everyone well all along ut was me bad 1 me doing this to him i wad to blame for all the bad that was meant meant to go wrong in his life the reason that he went out all dayeveryday was cuz we made him cuz life at home was hell realite was basically he had his own life also he new that we didnt go out he ordered us straight back or else we mite of sneaked to park now and then was worth geting a slap fir but atleast kids cud be free i tryed to escape many times but hed find us easier to go back that way it wudnt be as bad next time nowing wat comeing when back but a nasty evil curse your traped in doesnt have a stop buttin is festering as its plotting his next jisious attack nowing that if im not made to feel useless and made to feel bad 1 all cover up his cheating on last bird nite before so the mind games are evil for his kids aswel he goes to lenths of destroying u and kids by grindeing u all down ti empty all cuz i escaped and gotfree he play all ok but goingbehind ya back hes turned all kids on me by punishing kids bullying wen they said sumet nice boutmum unkown to me wilstiwas building bond we were finally happy but dad being a narsastist he made my kids empty not careingif he hurt kids and me emotionaly he didnt care striping them ofthe personality he turned them on me sending them out to attack intending on destroying me makeimg lies up family members get kids ti tell lies also me being made outasbad to the point oflevels ofmind games till icant take no more imweak empty i dont reconise them with them all doing damage intending on destroying me im at bottom i need to delete kids as he wanted revenge so he removed kids cuz he new if he removed the thing i luv then he wud ruen me he now trying to make meout as a bad mum cuz hes now got kids hes getting them to lie bout me hes trying to get me for neglect now he want me to go prison all cuz the 3 breakdown that he caused failed but ive nit done wrong he has hes even killed his kids lersonalitu all for his self gain in attemps to do harm but all back fired all his lies are being revealled as not true so all his lot on me are comeing unstuck as i will clear my name and all will no the trueth also i will remove all he has lets see how he likes it went truthcomes outand he has nothing xx sorry bout this i needed to let my side out thankyou foryourtime reading this

  2. phillimoresarah Post author

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    With regard to your last point, I don’t see the contradiction here but I am happy to amend the text if it is causing any confusion.

    As I understand it, if you are in a relationship with an abusive person, the evidence is very clear that this is highly like to lead to your child suffering significant harm – either from getting caught up in violence, or from seeing or hearing the abuse or living with its aftermath. Therefore, if the non abusive partner can’t or won’t take steps to protect the child then the ‘last resort’ has been reached and the child has to be removed to a safe environment.

    Of course that child will suffer emotional hurt by being taken from his or her primary carer. But the decision will be made on the basis that the child’s suffering with in the long term be WORSE if the child stays where he is.

    Obviously a lot depends on the nature of the abusive relationship – I can see your point, it is a bit of an ‘umbrella’ term. There is of course a big difference between the ‘abuser’ who uses physical violence and the ‘abuser’ who is more subtle and uses more emotional abuse and derogatory words etc. In the first case much more serious and decisive action will probably need to be taken sooner than in the latter case.

    Does that make sense?

    1. ellie

      if this is the case can you please tell me why after escaping physical emotional mental abuse with my child at age 2 my now 9yr old is being forced in the family courts to see the same man against his wishes?…in the same building people are being sent to prison apparently a big crackdown on domestic violence yet further emotional trauma being imposed on my child in the family court along the corridor and domestic violence in theese courts being put down to vindictive mothers?…the 2006 law…actually allows vindictive fathers to further mentaly abuse and destroy children? where is the justice for kids? why is this law not being opposed by childrens protection? astounded at how an abusive partner drug induced mental illness, drug dealing, and abandoned the child for 8 years has rights to further abuse the child and resident parents wellbeing??? secret family courts?

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        What findings were made against your former partner? If serious findings were made against him and he has NOT undertaken any kind of counselling/therapy then you should appeal the court orders for contact. violence is a serious failure of parenting and the violent parent must show that they are going to change.

        If however no serious findings were made OR findings were made but he has shown that he is willing to change his behaviour then both domestic and international law is very, very clear – it is the child’s right to have a relationship with both parents. Your child will only ever have one mother and one father. Your child is a product of both of you. Making the father a monster is in effect saying to a child ‘part of you is a monster’.

        1. Joan gosney

          My daughter had two children removed from her due to domestic violence from both parties.
          Two years down the line my daughter can only see the children once a month, yet the father now has a new relationship with a new baby and is happy? .
          How is this fair .
          I believe the major problem is that woman will in the future take a beating from their partners as they know if they report this along follow social services to remove their children..and this will result in more deaths . Sad!
          Reality is when your living it and not just writing about it .

          1. Sam

            Joan are Children’s Services aware that he has another child?
            Your experience chimes with mine that Children’s Services are far harder on the victim rather than the perpetrator though you do say that it was from both sides in your daughter’s case. I imagine though if she had another baby care proceedings would be automatic, though possibly I am a bit cynical.

          2. helensparkles

            Joan gosney There are a number of possibilities that might mean that child is safe in the father’s new relationship. Unfortunately you have no right to know about any of them, you only have the right to information about yourself, ditto your daughter. If however you think that man is still a risk, then the child is at risk, and you can contact children’s services to let them know. You won’t be told the outcome of any investigation but you will at least be reassured that baby is safe if they are remaining there.

          3. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            I can’t answer your question ‘how is this fair’ because all i know of the situation is this small paragraph that you have shared. If your daughter doesn’t think this is fair then she needs to consider challenging the order. But she does need to be clear eyed and honest with herself about the reasons it was made in the first place.

        2. Justice

          I am taking back by your response. Or maybe I received your message wrong “ making a father a monster “ I pray to God, that God is brought inside the courts. Most men are narcissist and or physically,mentally and let’s be honest sexually abusive. It’s not fair to any child who finally grasp the courage and bravery to make an outcry or a abused mother finally speak out and then to be told your making this up and get no protection. But the God I serve, is a God of Justice, he seen all and he those who hurt ppl will pay

      2. Mona

        Totally! I agree with you there! The Courts say they are doing what they think is in the best interests of the child but the child’s wish (mine is 8 and very mature for his age) is not taken into consideration! So why do they think that unsupervised contact of child with an abusive parent is okay?? My soon to be ex has been abusive all the times in front of my child since he was 2 and I kept the family together all for the best interests of my child! Now I am confused that I have done the child more harm than good!! My child since he was 6 has been asking me to divorce this man so we could live in peace! I still persevered to keep it all together. I was forced to report my husband to the Police in 2015 when it blew out if proportion and he was arrested but again I gave him another chance for the sake of my child. He now in retaliation to that he has lied to the Court and has had a Prohibited Steps Order against me preventing me taking my child to see my parents in India for school summer holidays and the holidays are now wasted and there’s a hearing again in October which initially was scheduled for the 11th September but owing to CAFCASS report not ready yet it got rescheduled. Finally it looks like someone somewhere is getting a wind of the truth. In relation to the PSO the first judge was biased and hostile to me as I was represented by myself and he had a Barrister and the second time he and I both had representation and the judge was a bit better who queried why no one before her had asked my husband to file his statement as I had already spent a fortune to try and meet a deadline for the statement. I hope and pray all parents trying to give their child the best may find love and light! Prayers for all…

      3. Lisa

        I’m fighting through courts. I left my kids dad due to emotional phycological. Cohersive. Physical abuse. I did it for their own good and the kids didn’t want to be around him anymore only the courts are ignoring everything he had done and trying to make them to see him. This is having a huge effect on the kids. You get the children away from abuse yet the people that should support you protect the children are more worried about fathers rights these days

        1. Renia

          Indeed… how can a physically abuse husband not be a danger to his children … an abuser is an abuser and cannot control their temper so why do we presume a violent husband won’t turn violent to his children?! It’s a joke!!!
          Women making false accusations are the reason genuine women go through hell after finally plucking up Courage to leave.
          I am still enduring abuse through court as my ex is driving up my solicitors bills and refusing decree absolute … taking me to court left right and centre, because he can’t control me any other way and because I work, I can’t get help! It’s just ridiculous!

        2. Anonymous

          My same situation…. I think the law is protecting him… I now have to get a prosecutor involved…they wouldn’t do anything to protect my son when I took my son at 3:00 in the morning to the police station and when they came they never asked my teenager anything but he was protecting be from verbal abuse as always….I can’t get a break… how can I be a great parent like this?…..Ihave just myself and my two children to protect… My situation is emotional and physical in the past…I have never been a cheater… The one thing I am sure of is that …. My spouse has said that my eldest child isn’t his and they’re both not wanted to go through this anymore because of what they saw in the past…I took him back for the sake of being a family…My parents broke up when I was 11 years old and told myself I wasn’t going to have a broken family… his family is broken because his dad won’t tell his mom he has a slew of extra siblings…. his grand parents talk with his older children but not my two…. I chose not to be around people who should have both been there for my spouse so he wouldn’t repeat that with us as a family… they don’t call for my kids unless they are inviting his cousins so I chose to leave it be….and they think everything has been greener on the other side…

          1. Angelo Granda

            As an ordinary parent who has read so many comments from women like you,anonymous, I despair at the inability and disinclination of the Police and Social Services to offer help and support.
            I understand that these vile men who perpetrate the violence and coercion are adept at putting on the innocence when interviewed.
            In my opinion,an intelligent advocate support worker would advise the following:-
            1. Contact the community police support officers and request they keep an eye open ,call periodically etc.
            2.Ask them for advice on how to collect genuine evidence,keep a book complete with exact dates and times of incidents complete with names and addresses of any witnesses also statements of children.
            3.Try and record incidents and if possible get a CCTV camera(hidden).
            4.Ask for a panic alarm to be fitted in your home.
            5.Then go to the Police with the evidence and press charges.
            Hope this helps someone,if only one of you.
            Every citizen has civil rights and they include Police protection and a full investigation into the credibility of allegations.

      4. Kirsten

        Yes once a woman has children with an abuser there is no escape because “his rights” will trump everything else! He can continue to abuse and it doesn’t matter what happens the mother is just bitter and if children complain they are just being manipulated by the mother. There is no escape from the abuse!

    2. Kuljit Minhas

      If you read this carefully., you can pick up that what is being spoken about here, is that tge children are being used by the abuser as weapons against the abused. This is a tactic commonly used by narcissists. This is very sad inddmeed especially considering that the abused has only stayed because she wanted to keep the family together and thought that their dad would be providing the children with stability. But instead he has turned tge children on her so that even they think she is ‘the bad guy’. This is nasty beyond belief and needs to have a whole law devoted to identifying and weeding it out with tge harshest penalties for the perpetrators. The peopke are nothing for the children. They only wish to use tgem as weapons

  3. phillimoresarah Post author

    Worried Parent, I have amended the text to include a fuller definition of ‘abuse’ – I hope that is helpful.

  4. Sarah Phillimore Post author

    Sam, a lot of women say similar things to you sadly. I hope we haven’t painted a naive and rosy view of the system, I know it doesn’t always work. If you have proof of wrongdoing, I would always urge you to take it further; if no one complains, nothing changes. My only worry about UKIP is enlisting their help would make it easy for some people to dismiss you.

    Would somewhere like Womens Aid be able to help? If people aren’t doing the job that they are paid to do, particularly when their job is to protect the vulnerable, that is serious and we all need to do something about it.

  5. Sarah Phillimore Post author

    I am sorry to read this. I do actually agree that public hearings could be an important part of ensuring accountability and good practice; my views have definitely shifted since February 2014 when this site started. However, one of the real difficulties is what children consistently say when asked if they want family hearings opened up to public scrutiny – they are very against that and I can understand why.

    I can only speak to my own experience; I have very rarely met women (or men) who flat out lied about the abuse they received from a partner – but I have met many (of both genders) who exaggerated and misled professionals. And I suppose you do get cynical the more often you are exposed to this. I think relationships are a dynamic and insistence on a clear cut victim/perpetrator distinction is not always helpful.

    But none of this excuses professionals from abusing their position. Sadly, I can’t argue against the fact that many do.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Good point, I have no idea how the sample groups are chosen and most recent one involved a very small number indeed. The dangers of relying on a self selecting group are apparent… It sounds as though you are in a better place now. I agree with you about dogs.

  6. sam

    Did the police investigate properly ? In my case they did not even check their database, or conduct an achieving best evidence interview with the children. They refused to take a history.
    I can understand that you are not protecting the children with them witnessing domestic violence BUT agencies/authorities really must take victims seriously to give them a chance to escape.
    The fear keeps you captive, it’s similar to being a rabbit caught in headlights . In fact my stomach is turning over just writing this.
    It appals me reading judgements criticising mother’s for “allowing” the children to see them beaten . I wonder at what part of an assault the mother is supposed to get her partner to stop on the grounds it is harming them. Is it when he has her up against the wall, kicking her on the floor or strangling her? Or is she supposed to escape when he threatens to kill the children?
    It’s no good criticising mothers when there is very little or no support and the attitude of those who could help of “it’s just a domestic”.
    I hope you don’t feel so alone Sadd.

    1. Sad truth

      This whole thing is written as if victims of DV are not victimized further. I work with families here in the USA who have had their kids taken away because child services here told them to get a restraining order or leave or they will take their children. Child services will not help you get into a shelter or help you get away. As a victim you have no money and know a resraining order will not stop him but maybe cause more harm than good. So child services comes and takes your child and the disgusting part is more times that not child services has given the children to the abuser and done zero for the victim. I was a victim of DV myself and went through the exact same thing which is why i help other DV victims now. But by claiming that child services isnt victimizing victims further by snatching children is false.. They offer zero services to help the victim and children escape besides telling you to get a restraining order you know might kill you. So idk if you have ever been through this or you just wrote this article based on what you believed to be true. But i will tell you first hand from the hundreds of families i have workerld with and helped that this is false. CHILD SERVICES WILL STEAL YOUR KIDS IF YOU ASK FOR HELP.

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        I am really sorry to hear this but I am afraid I just don’t understand what you mean when you say that child services demand women get restraining orders but then ‘give the children to the abuser’? If they are happy for the children to live with the abuser, why were they demanding the woman seek a restraining order?

        But I agree that its often difficult to get the help and support you need and many women are in very difficult and dangerous positions. I wish I had a solution, but I do not.

      2. Jaye

        Hello do you have a contact information as I am experiencing something very similar and feel this is what is going to happen with me rather then help me get the support I need

      3. Jo

        Sad truth you are so right about cps. They lie their not even there tell the children. They are sorry. I’m in court now with cps. I was with my ex for 26 yrs.that was have my life. I was from a broken home an my father raised 3girls and 1 boy. My mother went on to have 3 more children. I never had been around any kinda of family violence . My ex is a horrible person I had guns pulled on me an told to run or he would shoot me.thrown out vehicles my children stuff broke up for their teachers for Christmas . But I didn’t want them to grow up without both of us. I thought I was bidding all that from my girls and I really wasn’t. My oldest knew. She is my rock. My girls are the air I breath. They are now 26,22,12 and 1granbaby 5yrs. They are my life my heart an soul. I have put them through so much. The law cps they don’t give to flying elephants butts about you. They just want your kids . not to be evn really safe just not with you. So they all dont tell the truth and make things sound the way they want. And to help with what really happened . I’m going through alot right now with my youngest daughter an granbaby. My cps case workers have all been a joke an this one I have now really don’t even know what is going. On an really don’t care. I could go on an on about the violence have endured. But it’s not going to change what anyone thinks that should really care . Ladiesmy advise to all of you. We our the strongest thing on earth we give life. Don’t let anyone or anything take your shine. We are mother”s an if it wasn’t for us there would be nothing. Shoulder’s back head up be proud an strong of who you are because you have survived. And a surviver of domestic or family violence . I’m sorry all you have had to go through all of what you have. You have made it an that counts for something. Best wish, A survierver myself.?

      4. Brandy

        If there is some one here I could possibly get some advice from on this same situation I’d greatly appreciate it

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          I can answer some general questions but I can’t give specific advice without seeing all relevant papers etc.

  7. sam

    I hope it’s OK to share a couple of resources as well as the freedom programme?
    People coming out of DV relationships are going to be over anxious , somewhat like meerkats on high alert , simply because they had to be to survive.
    These resources are CBT based and if worked properly bring anxiety levels back to normal. They can be accessed through the GP or mental health voluntary organisations. http://www.beatingtheblues.co.uk/

    I would also recommend peer support through groups such as the freedom programme.

  8. linzi

    I have recently left a refuge and my honesty over daughters dad emotionally abusing me over 10 years has led to social services applying to put my daughter in foster care ICO. in court next week ther reasons even though my daughter does not see her dad are i am apparantly too vulnerable after his ansues and they areworrid i am possiby capable of letting him in my home and exposing my daughter to arguments.no evust an assumption. Me and my daughter were the victims.we left our home town for safety an now im lookin at loosin my daughter.SICK .we are supposed to be honout DV but pleez pleez be aware ….REPORT DV AND SOCIAL SERVICES TAKE YOUR CHILD.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry you are going through this Linzi. Have you been offered any help or support? Have the SW asked that you go on the Freedom Programme or similar?

  9. C

    Linzi – do you have a solicitor?
    My advice is contest the ICO. Do not agree to signing s.20, if that is offered. If the solicitor asks you to do either, fire them and get another.
    Be wary of any psychological assessments that the LA may offer. Certainly don’t agree to any assessment by someone who does not have a current practice, and who works exclusively for the LA. They are not truly independent.

    1. esther shaw

      I signed a a 20 big mistake, my kids ar gone they never eve. Explained that hat i t meant they say I s volunt ary but its not.

  10. Sarah Phillimore Post author

    If your solicitor advises you to not contest an ICO or agree a section 20 – maybe ask them to explain why they advise this. It is not necessarily the sign that a lawyer is a pathetic lackey of a LA if he/she advises either.

  11. linzi

    thankyou for advice.yes my solicitor says she is going to contest removing her from me..i want the whole farce contested.my mother lives with me and has done since december just to help prove my case that my daughter does not witness any violence nor does she see her dad.social workers have done assesments with my daughter in school were even she confirms she does not see her dad.but none of all this updated evidence is in thier court application.the last version of events they sent court was november.they have been out to see me and know my mum is here.oh yeah they went to court with thier application behind my back.i had not an inkling till they showed up on my door introducing themselves an then telling me to seek legal advice as they have applied to court for ICO…feel like im in a nitemare.i will kick up stink about this if justice is not met an my little girl goes to them.she is petrified of leaving my side.feel like going the papers cuz is it just me or is this the first time ths has happened cuz its wrong wrong wrong.i have literally cut my own throat to give me and my child a safer life..oh yeah and the minute i kept tellin them this they are now constantly pressing for a psychological assesment.they are the ones makin me an my daughter feel like every day is our last.i hope to wipe the floor with them next week and im sure the judge will not be impressed but who the hell do ya trust in this world nowadays. Social workers going overtime on the innocent to make up for the children they never helped.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Hopefully you can trust your lawyer to do a good job and make sure the judge is well aware of any deficiencies in the LA case. The first goal must be to keep families together and the LA must set out what help and support they can offer you. As long as you show you understand why she must be protected from exposure to violence, it sounds like you have put in good practical measures to keep her safe.

  12. esther shaw

    They took my children and their violent father got what he had always threatened to do if I left, his mum got residence and now she has let him have them now the kids are really suffering my oldest has told me a lo of major things, which I won’t say here both children have had severe burns I have reported it to social services the kids dads family have stopped my contact , no one will listen to me my kids want to come home I miss them so much. There is a contact order but no body will have nforce it in scared I’ll never see them again. So I’d say from experience I wouldn’t report d.v Leave definitely but don’t get social services involv d they manipulate u and bully u when u are vulnerable even other professionals near me say what a danger to kids social servic s are, they don’t help whatsoever.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry you have had this experience. If there is a court order in place, the court will expect it to be obeyed. Have a look at the tab on legal advice and information on the Links and Resources part of this site; there may be someone who can help. Your children need to see you.

  13. Sam

    Esther what you have gone through is not uncommon. Children’s Services in my experience do not give a damn about domestic violence victims. Below is a email and reply , which has not been part of court proceedings, but it does show part of what I have been through and the lack of help or even signposting they where prepared to give me. my ex , the perpetrator has not even ever been placed on supervised contact.

    4 Jun 2012
    Dear Mrs xxxxx
    As I said on the phone to you I have now asked the Complaint investigation to move straight onto Stage Three. I am sure you are aware that your Department’s failure to acknowledge their “cock up” and actually put the situation right is continuing to cause both my children and myself considerable distress and continuing abuse. It is of course reaffirming Mr xxxxx belief that he can abuse both women and children, because they “wind him up” and he is completely unaccountable for his behaviour. As I said to you on the phone I believe, it feels that I am living in the 1800’s that equality has not appeared to have reached the xxxxx xxxxx . I would also like to reiterate to you ,that Mr xxxxx would have feigned concern about my welfare, he has considerable acting ability, a man who puts on a tremendous show, a popular comedian. I have a right not to be strangled, kicked, punched, sexually abused, told I am mental, told that I will never see my children again( though he has in part accomplished this with the help of your department)and told how to behave in my own home. redacted . It took considerable courage on my part to acknowledge the domestic violence,as I felt so very ashamed.
    I do appreciate that your hands are tied , that you cannot be impartial, and I thank you for the effort you have put into the Stage Two Complaint.

    Dear Mrs xxxxxx

    I acknowledge your frustration and lack of confidence about this process but hope that you will take the time to read and consider my response to your complaints.
    I appreciate your own feelings and issues about what has happened but please do remember that my investigation does need to focus on the children and our processes.
    On a personal level, I am sorry that you feel so distressed and would like to encourage you to seek support in your own right from sources you feel confident in, for example appropriate friends or agencies.

    Kind regards

    Area Manager
    Looked After Children Service

  14. Sam

    I also approached my county councillor who was holding a street surgery alongside my MP
    Here is an email I sent him a couple of months afterwards
    Firstly may I offer you congratulations.
    I would like to ask you what you intend to do about my case as it is
    some months since I have heard from you.
    I am the lady you spoke to in xxxxxx about domestic violence,
    Incidentally my photo was taken without my permission and placed on
    your campaign leaflet.
    I am hoping that now you are Police Commissioner, you will be able to
    fully investigate what has gone wrong. Just to refresh your memory , I
    had my children taken away from me after being attacked by my
    estranged husband, and the children were placed with him despite him
    having a previous threat to kill me on record, and physical evidence
    of my door being forced on this occasion. redacted. This has been reported to your PPU, as
    far as I am aware no action has been taken.

    Both myself and my children have been badly let down by a combination
    of xxxxxx Police and xxxxxxx Social Services.
    I am sure you appreciate that both failing to protect the vulnerable
    and corruption in public office are extremely topical at the moment,
    and I would like to give you the opportunity to respond before I seek
    help from elsewhere.

    I did get a letter of apology and then extensive police cover up of serious reported crime. Yes I am angry who wouldn’t be, the whole thing has felt very surreal. I have not seen one child now for well over a year , even though I am supposed to have contact with her. It disgusts me how domestic violence victims are still treated in this country. As you can see from the Police and Crime Commissioners attitude, he didn’t care that he could have put me at more risk by publishing my photo.

  15. Sam

    I hope my case is extreme. It may be simply the ones that go wrong end up on forums. If you are subject to domestic abuse please keep yourself and any children safe by getting away or keeping the perpetrator away from your home. It may help you to look up crazy making and gas lighting on the internet to see if you recognise what is going on. I did have short term mental health problems, but once I was no longer living in fear not surprisingly I function normally apart from the odd trigger , which I have tools to deal with.
    Believe me there is life afterwards.

    I doubt that there are many journalists reading this but if anyone wants a story about police cuffing serious crime as well as naming the Police Commissioner , I have loads of evidence. Incidentally he said in a web chat with one of my relatives that public servants who ignore domestic violence should face disciplinary action! Or more probable someone would be willing to put it out on social media.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Sam, have you contacted Louise Tickle who writes for the Guardian? She may be sympathetic or may know some one who is.

    1. Angelo Granda

      Sam, as a matter of interest, did you get a response at all from the journalist. I sent her a story but she never acknowledged it even. Journalists are always very busy and I guess the get thousands of requests. Too many to read sometimes.

  16. lisa

    I started seeing a new partner who had previous domesti violence threatned me with child protection and because my ex made another acchsation they put me on it and was wondering if been with him and make changes and be monitored could happen

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      It is possible to make changes to your life, but its difficult and many people say they want to change but don’t then actually do anything about it. If your partner has been violent in the past then people are going to be very worried about him. It doesn’t matter what he says – talk is cheap. What is he going to do? Is he going to get counselling/therapy? If he drinks/uses drugs is he going to stop? I think people ought to be given a chance to show that they can change. But you will have to accept that it will take time for people to trust him and he really has got to do something about it, not just say that he will. I don’t think people who have problems with violence just overnight become calm and happy people. they usually need quite a lot of help.

  17. angelo granda

    Violent,abusive men are a danger to their wives and children.NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!
    They are violent and abusive because they don’t know what they are doing is wrong, they are unable to control themselves.
    For all sorts of reasons but mainly because they are the weaker sex,women cannot protect themselves or their children against the risk of violent partners 100 percent.
    Which is why we have Police and the Police have the responsibility to protect women and vulnerable children from violent partners.They are responsibility to make enquiries ,bring these violent men to justice and the court will gaol them,if necessary.These men will not change unless they are forced to.The prison and parole system is designed to make reform possible.The criminal Judge is trained and fully qualified to mete out PROPORTIONATE punishments.
    Where they fail in that Public duty, violence is perpetuated.It is not the duty of the Family Court to deal with domestic violence by way of half-baked counselling and child-in-need plans so forth and so forth.The Family Court is not there to deal with criminals.
    I think Sam has already worked that one out for herself!

    1. Cheryl Marrero

      I am abuse child behinds back send 1970
      I could write out again about work places that it was never that way in my childhood abuse behind people I don’t know send my childhood abuse made me knot known the difference of people I didn’t known in 1970
      [email protected]

  18. Sam

    “They are violent and abusive because they don’t know what they are doing is wrong, they are unable to control themselves ”

    Sorry to correct you Angelo They are not out of control at all . They are very much in control ,which is what they need to be to satisfy their ego’s. If they perceive danger to themselves such as the Police being called they can stop their behavior immediately and slip straight in nice person mode. Domestic abuse does not consist of random attacks , it is a cycle.

    It does need to be a factor in family court cases, as it causes inter generational abuse

    1. angelo granda

      Yes,Sam.Thank you for correcting me.
      They are unable to put a stop to their violent and destructive behaviour indeed they do not even acknowledge they are doing wrong.
      They are involved in a cycle of dysfunctional,criminal behaviour which is often inter-generational.
      All this has been known for years but ,in my opinion,the civil courts do not have the power to deal with criminals neither should they be granted the power.The answer lies in strong action in a proper criminal court followed by punishments fully proportionate to the crime such as prison.Only then can these wicked men reform.They have to be FORCED to acknowledge they are wrong!
      Or the cycle goes round and round.Wickedness has to be driven out, not tackled by civil courts. The problem is the Police are failing in their duty to bring the criminals to justice.Often women are talking to a brick wall.Police inaction perpetuates the cycle.They have been a part of the cycle for years.

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        You cannot ‘force’ someone to admit they are wrong. Hence why domestic violence perpetrator programmes have such low levels of success. These men, as Sam rightly says, not only do not accept they are doing anything wrong, they usually feel entitled to act as they do. It is often ‘her fault’ for ‘winding me up’.

        the best thing would be to intervene as soon as we can in the lives of little boys who are subject to emotional and physical abuse which warps their attitudes as they grow. Hence why care proceedings are likely to always remain a sad necessity in this, and every other society.

        1. angelo granda

          Hear,hear-we must stop the cycle somehow.I suspect,however,that the bal of probs decisions in serious cases like that of Sam and her child are often very wrong and miscarriages of justice are not so rare.
          Perhaps more openness will improve matters.

  19. Sam

    Not only do we need more openess in family court I feel as a society we need more honesty about relationships in general and around addiction in particular. I would be really keen to flag up the misuse of alcohol, which incidentally is more abused but probably more easily concealed further up the socioeconomic ladder and the use of prescribed drugs rather than the empowerment of talking therapies.

    I totally agree with Sarah, I am sure my ex learnt behavior from watching his mother beaten was it was the right way to conduct relationships.

    1. angelo granda


      Do you agree with me that very many times,Mums report domestic criminal violence to the Police who do not use their full resources and carry out a full and proper investigation?
      The force often refuses to get involved suitably with these vile men about which Mums complain.The officers do not deal with the criminals and abrogate their duty by referring the family to Social Services.
      (Incidentally,despite a Mum reporting it and asking for Police protection,it is often claimed by SW’s they are unable to ‘protect’ their children).
      I don’t believe criminals should be dealt with on the bal of probs,I reckon they should be charged every time and brought to justice in a court with the power to protect Mum and the children by gaoling him or. other sanctions proportionate to criminals.
      For the sake of the discussion,even if I accept that you think that the Family Court have to try criminals (indeed it is the Law)and that they should have the power to remove children but not to gaol criminals) ,I would have to insist that family court hearings rely. totally on the INTEGRITY of the professionals involved.Because of the ripple effect,it is absolutely essential that the procedures are followed scrupulously ,that cases are conducted correctly and that hearings are open-minded and impartial with Lawyers who have no conflict of interest. I think most of us agree on that.
      In your particular case, it was not conducted correctly.They did not talk to you,no wonder they gave the child to him! This happens a lot.
      The lower court ignored your complaints so you should have an automatic right to a publicly-funded appeal.

      To restore trust in the system,can we agree that the law needs changing to provide for it?

  20. ian josephs

    They take your children into care so you can watch them either die or dissapear( if they are not adopted by strangers)

    Joint Inquiry into Children Who Go Missing from Care

    Extract (point 9):

    In June 2012, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults and the APPG for Looked-after Children and Care Leavers published the report of their joint inquiry into children who go missing from care.

    The report argued that the Government was under-reporting the number of children going missing from care. While the official figure for 2011 was 930, the report argues that, according to police data, an estimated 10,000 individual children went missing. The report cited that this high number was symptomatic of a care system which was far from being fit for purpose and in need of an urgent rethink.

  21. Sam

    What is the link between my reply and your reply please? Confused. I also think we all agree that the care system is not fit for purpose.

  22. ian josephs

    The link is tht there is much more violence and danger for kids “in care” than when thay stay with victims of domestic violence who get punished twice by having their kids removed. JUDGES NEVER COMPARE THE RISKS YET 10,000 CHILDRENPER YEAR IN CARE GO MISSING.DEAD OR PIMPED OUT BY DRUG DEALERS, WO KNOWS,??

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Would you care to provide some evidence for that assertion?

      How are you able to so confidently assert that it is better for children to remain in violent households than go into care? Is this ALL children? Or only some? If only some, which ones?

      1. ian josephs

        I confidently assert that where neither parent has been convicted of a crime against children and neither has been charged with or convicted of domestic violence they are better off left where they are than risk joining the 10,000 kids in care who end up missing or dead.

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          Please provide the proof for this assertion. Who has compiled these figures? What are their sources? What proportion of children are missing? What proportion dead? How did they die?

  23. Sam

    Yes Angelo you are right some Police forces do not take domestic violence seriously enough, alongside some Children’s Services There are definite improvements in a number with them actually recording video evidence etc, but in my opinion there is a very long way to go especially in understanding why the victim cannot just leave.

    I am very interested in Ian’s statistics. If 10,000 children go permanently missing each year why haven’t we heard about it.

  24. angelo granda

    I have heard about it particularly in Rochdale and more recently in Rotherham.
    It matters little whether the figures are ten,five or one thousand. Statistics are not all and they go up and down. Quantiative judgments are invalid ! To me not even one child should go missing from care and allowed to roam into the hands of predators.What would happen if an individual parent allowed it? They would be castigated and brought to justice for criminal neglect.The same rules should apply all round ESPECIALLY to SW’s who are in a position of trust.I also believe that not one child should be forcibly adopted wrongly and that when it happens ,parents should have a remedy.
    Have you any suggestions as to changes in the Law as I asked.Or perhaps you think the law is okay as it is?

  25. Michelle

    You say that it is a dangerous myth and that they are here to help yet only 6 weeks ago I rang the police and had my partner (the father to my child) arrested for domestic violence. I am now currently battling a child protection order that is being applied for to the courts so that my child isn’t taken away from me. Her dad is no longer here and we aren’t together yet for some obsurd reason because of what HE did then my daughter isn’t safe with ME??? It’s a joke. I wish I had never spoken out about what had happened and then none of this would have happened. Best thing for anyone whether it be male or female, if your partner is violent or abusive and you have a child DO NOT call the police and just leave yourself, get the courage to do it this way because by informing the police you run the risk of having your child taken in to care. The system is a JOKE. I thought the authorities were there to look after the VICTIMS but evidently I was WRONG.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry to hear this. I hope you can work with your lawyer and keep your family together. But I can’t agree that it is right to not report a violent person to the police – you will make people think that you can’t protect your child.

    2. Worried mum

      This is the biggest worry!! I have no money and no where to go but he would never leave and if he did he would keep coming back with out the backup of police

    3. Sandra

      Leave Change your name, move to a different country and hide before there is any custody agreement. Courts can order you not to leave his county with the kids and give them to him 50% of the time with no one there to protect them. From that point doesn’t matter what he or his girlfriends do to them no one believes them or you.

      1. Sandra

        Figures you don’t want people to know the truth of how it really work so you will moderate and not post

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          I delete posts that are rude and abusive or threatening. If people can make their point without doing any of those things, I publish their comments.

  26. Sam

    I agree with Michelle , I lost my children because I called the police and I had already separated from the abuser. He now has one of my children under a care order . I do understand what Sarah is saying about keeping children safe, but if you have not walked in someone else’s shoes it difficult to understand why they couldn’t get out. With me it was wholesale failure by authorities, to both listen to me, follow proper procedure and look at the previous history. I really wish I could say more because what the local authority did to me was abusive and inhumane but due to lack of transparency in the family court can’t.
    Michelle if you are made to have a psychiatric assessment do make sure that the expert actually has expertise in working with domestic violence victims and raise the very real possibility of PTSD rather than some pre existing condition.

  27. Sam

    I looked at this resource when it first started, read the domestic violence article , got angry and thought what the hell do they know as it was so different from my own experience. I am glad I came back, I realise now that they , which mainly appears to be Sarah does know, but I and some other mothers have had a very bad experience.
    I do now understand why a child seeing violence is a child protection matter, but I do not agree with children being removed because the victim takes the positive step of reporting to the police. What they require is intensive support, so they understand the dynamics ,and widen their support network . If they don’t get support they are more likely to be sitting ducks for either that abuser or another one .
    A victim is very likely to have PTSD , the controlling, accusatory nature of the court process and supervised contact and going to exacerbate any symptoms and delay healing. I think FAADC model ought to be widened and used in this cases. There also needs to be a far greater awareness and punishment of domestic violence , something akin to being as wrong as drink driving

    1. Sharon Ramsay

      I think a mother being punished on top of being punished is a cruel system. I have no doubt that all mothers will always instinctively protect their young, even when in seemingly impossible situations! It takes courage and strength to be put through someone else’s hell. But you get slapped for doing the right thing by social services. Help? They have never helped and are now exasperating my autoimmune issues. Might have to take this to court then.

  28. tina

    Anyone got any advise please, social, guardian and all keep saying were fighting and child is suffering, i can’t understand it’s obvious domestic abuse and he gained custody but i think they dont want to admit their mistake of giving child to abuser so they can keep blaming it on us, a police officer stated it is domestic abuse and the social need to start investigating him but the social removed what the police said from the minutes and reports, i do have a witness that heard what he said, so they are still saying were fighting and are asking the court for an ico my barrister said i shouldn’t worry about what they say as it may mean that were fighting because it’s all hearsay and i just need to show that i have moved on in my life (i smashed his car 5 years ago plus had a friend that threatened my child) and barrister said they are stuck in a time wharp and if they ask for a ico i can have a solicitor that will help me inbetween court hearings she said they just going to show i have moved on and changed and show him up for what he is, i’m in court tom and can’t sleep with worry, theres evidence of him manipulating coaching and alienating he had stopped interfered limited my contact and has failed to attend 2 court hearings. they are asking for a psychological assessment on our child but i am worried if dr doesn’t recognize it’s domestic abuse then i will lose her for good?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      sorry, I know it is very stressful to be going through this. The good news is that you have a lawyer in court with you tomorrow. Make sure they explain to you exactly what is going on. If you were going through a bad patch 5 years ago but you have now moved on, that cannot be held against you for the rest of your life. The court will need to see that you have made changes and that you will stick to those changes.

      Problem is that if things were bad in the past that is almost certainly having an impact on your child today and that is probably why they want a psychological assessment to work out what help your child needs.

      My advice would be to take deep breaths, try to get a good nights sleep and arrange to meet your barrister early at court to talk through any concerns you have and clear up any matters that you don’t understand.

  29. jade83

    Sorry but removal of children is not a myth. When I finally went for help I was dumbfounded by the reaction of the women at the domestic violence centre. They told me categorically that there was nothing that they could do to support ME but they would ensure that my 2 children were taken into care. Imagine how I felt, it had taken me weeks to build up the courage to go and then they said that. I ran out of there as fast as I could.

    However, what they did next shocked me even more. They sent the police to my house to threaten ME even more. This happened in front of my husband and since then he has used it as a threat to control me. Now if I don’t do what he wants when he wants he’ll tell the police and they’ll take my kids away.

    Why didn’t I do something sooner? My husband had driven me to the depths of despair, I was suicidal and on anti-depressants. Yet I’m expected to make rational decisions about something this serious WITHOUT help? I acted as soon as I could.

    I’ve basically decided that I’m going to keep on with the anti-depressant pills and stick it out. My kids are 12 and 14 so if I can survive another 4 years then we can make a break for it without having to worry about social porkers (not a spelling mistake, it’s what I call them now as they are all Pigs). I’ve made a will detailing what happened to me and if I get killed before then I hope that social services are prosecuted for endangering me.

    Wish me luck guys!


    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I haven’t said removal of children is a myth. That clearly happens. I have also agreed that support for women in abusive relationships can be patchy or even non existent.

      But I don’t believe children are removed to ‘punish’ women in abusive relationships.

      I hope you can get some help from somewhere. I don’t think you should have to ‘stick it out’ in such a corrosive relationship. It will damage you and your children. Please speak to Womens Aid.

    2. Sharon Ramsay

      Good luck!! I had an abusive son. They did everything they could to stop him, even the police did, he got to remain in the house, destroying everything, causing me PTSD on top of autoimmune diseases. He had a knife up against my throat once. Social services are all for the child, but it was the parents that needed protecting not the child. There was and still is no provision within this archaic system and the whole thing need to be reevaluated and overhauled. My experience with social services has never been positive.

  30. zoe

    Im sorry but as a victim of domestic abuse i have been indirectly harassed and intimidated by my abuser who is using social services an an enabler by making false allegations to indirectly get to myself even though i have taken all the positive steps court orders pursing criminal charges against my abuser social services have put my children on an at risk register saying I’m negligent I put it so social services you wonder why we sit in silence and put up with domestic abuse for years because of this the way you treat us we are the victims and yet we are victimised when we seek help if you want to keep your kids then you have to put up with the domestic abuse its shameful!!!!!

  31. Molina

    My kids were taking away for calling the police for domestic violence I don’t understand why they took them I have court tomorrow . Anyone have advice for me in what to do?
    I volunteer myself to get a restraining order on the abuser and try to enroll in parenting and domestic violence but I need a form by the judge . I had surgery 2 months and I feel like that’s why the social worker to my kids so I got a letter from my doctor that I am capable of taking care of my kids can anyone please tell me if the judge will agree to return my kids ?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      It is most likely that your children will have been taken away because they had to call the police after seeing or hearing violence in their home. The courts are very clear that seeing or hearing violence in the home is very likely to cause children to suffer significant harm – they are likely to be afraid. They are at risk of getting caught up in the violence and being physically hurt. I don’t think it is likely that having surgery is a reason to remove your children, but it obviously makes it more difficult for you to show that you can make and sustain changes to your life as first you are going to have to concentrate on getting well again after surgery.

      It’s impossible to say what the chances are of your children being returned without knowing a lot more about your case. I would just say that if your children had to call the police, it seems very likely that the court will accept that there was serious violence in your home. It is likely the court will want you to get some counselling/therapy/support and I think you should agree to this – as you have said you would.

      You should get a lawyer for free if you are in care proceedings. I think it is really, really important that you get a lawyer that you can talk to. Your lawyer can advise you properly. good luck.

  32. Pingback: Allegations of harm and abuse in the family court: A good example of the Local Authority and the Court getting it wrong in Care Proceedings | The Transparency Project

  33. Sian

    What if the abusive partner played games to keep me away from my child?

    Accepting your partner is an abuser takes time. He might be very good at pretending, confusing your emotions and lie about everything since you met him. He could be very popular and charming because he learned and practiced to gain trust and the art of charm, so much that you often think you’re the one who’s at fault and should look up to him. His pattern of behavior is to leave you in a desperate state, emotionally, financially and sometimes physically. Then you become dependent of him, even though your heart is worn and you feel spent, you still feel like his return will make things okay.

    What if the government can’t help you, all they do is signposting you from one place to another? Leaving your only choice to be reconnecting with him, even leaving your child temporarily as you have nowhere else to go? Since organizations might help you escape, but once you’re out, you’re nobody’s business because your extremely complex situation created an unclear jurisdiction.

    As a result of everything I mentioned, my ex now has my son and is seeking residence orders and “all the control of my child” for retaliation.

    I disagree with applying “it is a child’s right to have a relationship with his/her parents” in the cases of domestic abuse. Whoever disagree with me should read about narcissistic sociopaths. You might think even a monster will care for or even love his own son.. well, I had this same thought until a few days ago. People who are abusive do not have empathy; and without empathy you are not capable of feeling for, let alone love, anybody besides the self, even his own mother, father, brother, sister and baby are all just appliances, for him to validate his own existence, otherwise he can’t tell if he exists. Most likely because when he was a baby/child, he was neglected – he cried and cried but no answer, he thought he didn’t exist, so he started learning to get attention and reaction, doesnt matter it’s loving or sad or angry – any kind of response is better than no response at all because he’d know that he exists and matters and because no response reminds them of the time when no one responded/helped to him when he was ignored or helpless. Consequently, he evolves and practices honing people skills to become a master of manipulation and charm so he can keep stirring up your emotions while keeping your loyalty. These mentally ill people are beyond normal people’s comprehension, simply because our brains are not hardwired the same.

    This is all too late for me to know, as my baby is now under his care and I have independent evidence to prove his abuse. For people who still naively think that your abusive partner will ever love the child, please wake up for your child and realize it is just your projection hoping his love for you was at least real at one point. I have noticed the subtle changes of my 10m/o baby, and I’m afraid if I contacted the social services or even the health visitor would make me seem I’m manipulating things, as all my ex’s friends believe I am or have mental conditions, and will have negative impact on the on-going custody battle. My baby can’t speak and explain things, his carers are his abusive father and grandmother who drinks and suffers from Alzheimer. I feel once again or further isolated not able to express my concerns to Social Care or Health Visitors or the police, and I’m also afraid if they suddenly send someone to make assessment, my ex know it’s me and take his manipulation and lies to his family/friends and the court even further in retribution.

    Don’t get me wrong. As my friend said, the people work for these units or organizations are unsung heroes, as he was abused by his stepfather. However, each case is different and non-physically abuse on children is just as detrimental and urgent as physical abuse. Also, being from a different country just seems an excuse for everyone to shut that door, hang up their phone and signpost you to others, even if her child is a British Citizen, until you end up with no help, no money and no baby.

  34. Neill

    I was emotionally abused by my partner for a year and when I tried leaving she pushed me down the stairs. I reported it to the police, but after 2 weeks they finally interviewed her and have decided not to follow it up, I suspect because I am a man. There are young children in the house and my ex-partner suffers from depression and is on medication, she is also an alcoholic and has self harmed and pretended to have cancer. But now I must continue to suffer as she gets to carry on with her life as normal and still have the children at risk

    1. Sam

      Neill I do hope you can find some support. A voluntary organisation who may be able to help you is http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/ . You may be able to make sense of the situation by contacting them. It is dreadful to be a domestic violence victim and not be taken seriously by the police whatever gender you are. Have Social Services been involved at all ?

    2. Angelo Granda

      Neill, Usually its the other way round,it’s the man who is the abuser.I am only an ordinary parent like you but I can only say you did thre right thing by reporting it to the Police.Report it every time
      But only if you have definite evidence such as a knife in your back with her fingerprints on it.
      You may have big trouble to come if you donkt take action now if the Children’s Services get to know about it.You are better off telling them yourself ,I would have thought but don’t tell them too much without seeing an advocate first.
      I seriously suggest you go and report it to HER parents and they might intervene and sort her out and might even look after the kids for a while.They know how to deal with her.Good luck.Go to the Family Rights Group website for advice.

      1. Angelo Granda

        Time scales for action, Neil.
        I suggest you act quickly.If she is depressed or traumatised in a previous partner etc. She will be drinking to as a means of escape.Same if bringing up 4 kids is getting on top of her.
        Extended family should be supporting her.
        The biggest problem you have these days is that there is very little help these days for those with MH problems. You have to help yourself.I hope this helps.
        The only thing on offer these days are tablets and counselling.d

        1. HelenSparkles

          A combination of medication and talking therapy is often the optimum solution for mental health problems Angelo, what else did you have in mind?

    3. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry to hear that the police didn’t take this seriously – I think there is a big problem in that women just aren’t seen as the perpetrators of violence, although I know some are.
      But what you say about her sounds pretty serious – if she is abusing alcohol while on anti-depressants that’s quite a big risk she is taking with her health and her ability to stay lucid enough to parent. If you are worried, I suggest that you make a call to Children’s Services and get them to investigate.

  35. Angelo Granda

    Well , Helen, you are at complete liberty to question me but I am not a psychologist . However, I can say with some authority ,having seen professional advice provided to others who shall remain nameless that you are quite wrong to state that medication and talking therapy is often the optimum solution. Quite wrong. You would have been right to say that it is often the only therapy on offer these days which is what I said.
    Historically, the optimum therapy was well known to be convalescence i.e. complete rest and isolation , a short ,medium or long term rest ( or perhaps a holiday) away from all problems. Everything laid on a plate for a patient with no worries or stress. Children were cared for by extended family usually but at worst ,they might have to undergo temporary foster-care away from family. Or Father might take time off work to look after the kids. In serious cases, medication will be used and in some cases, the holiday would not be in a regular convalescence facility but in a mental hospital under 24 -hour surveillance by mental health staff.
    The therapy really works and occupational therapy ( i.e. a patient is encouraged in hobbies, handicrafts etc.) is added at the right time as time goes on.All this sort of treatment was withdrawn when NHS policies altered radically in favour of ‘care in the community’ but it was thought by many that cost-cutting played a part. I suppose talking therapy is helpful but it is wrong to say it is optimal.

    As for SW’s ,they would only become involved in order to give support to a family ,perhaps to arrange foster-care or temporary help with housework while Mum was away. They didn’t take it upon themselves to remove children from parents on the grounds they just might not be safe in the care of parents on the basis of risk-assessment. If a Mum was depressed, stressed, traumatised etc. historically it was counted inhuman not to allow her to take time to recover. They would not declare either that because recovery is unlikely within six-month time-scales ,it would be better to get the child adopted nor would they dream of saying that when a mother took anti-depressants or had some other mental problem ( except in the most dire circumstances) that a child was not ‘safe’ with its own mother! All this happens now.
    I asked a question in an earlier comment . Who does the most harm to a mother’s mental health , a father who bashes his wife or a LA which pounces and liquidates her family whilst failing to follow procedure correctly?

  36. jerren

    A friend of mine was recently charged with DV, but never convicted, he tells me that it was her malicious lies, and I believe him. However regardless of what anyone believes, the case came to a close through a lack of evidence, a social worker is working closely with his partner. But it sort of seems like it is his word against hers. He’s here with me now and wants advice, he wants to know if he is at risk of having his son taken away, after all, its only allegations? Would somebody care to enlighten us? It would be much appreciated

    1. Angelo Granda

      A Parents advice.

      Tell him to visit The Family Rights Group (FRG) website for help and advice as to where he can get an independent advocate.
      My advice in the meantime is that he keeps quiet especially if he has separated from Mum and his son remains with Mum. If he starts pestering her and demanding contacts etc. too soon, the SW will have an excuse to be ‘CONCERNED’ about emotional harm the son might suffer in the care of a mother who MIGHT be traumatised and have mental health problems as a result of ALLEGED domestic violence. Even if she admits that the allegations were false and malicious, that will not help because the SW may well assume that you have conspired to control her and make her retract out of fear.
      If Mum is genuinely frightened of your friend then you should ask him why? Sometimes there isn’t enough evidence to convict in a normal court but that doesn’t mean he is beyond reproach . He should be honest with himself if that is correct in his case ( we all human) and turn over a new leaf. He will be missing his son and his wife/partner but even if he is completely innocent and it is just a clash of personalities tell him to keep it softly-softly for two or three months .The SW’s aren’t interested in him or Mum, they are solely interested in the boy and if he is of a certain age they may well do a ‘risk assessment’ and decide to rescue him and take him away.
      He should not do anything at all to confirm what they have probably already decided about him .That he was cleared in Court doesn’t count for anything much with the CS.

    2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I assume you are saying that the police took no action regarding any criminal charges for violence.
      however the family courts operate to a different and lower standard of proof. So I am afraid he is still at risk of findings being made against him in the family courts, on a balance of probabilities.
      But to prevent him seeing his son there would have be proper findings after hearing evidence. Allegations which are not accepted cannot be treated as facts.

  37. looked_after_child

    Partner or ex-partner?
    What does ‘taken-away’ mean? How often does he see his son?
    Has your friend has any work around anger management or sim? Were the police involved in any incidents? Was there NHS involvement Why is there SW involvement?
    There are probably better sites to help your friend such as this one Families Need Fathers – honest answers to these questions will be needed.

    1. HelenSparkles

      I always make this comment about anger management. It is very dangerous to use with perpetrators of domestic abuse, which is about power and control – not anger. Anger management teaches perpetrators how to hide the signals their victims read and need to know something is about to happen and how they are going to manage it.

  38. Brooke

    NO, I completely disagree. I was in an abusive relationship and called the police once and immediately had Child Protective Services threaten to take away my child and unborn child once he was born if I didn’t leave my husband, their father, immediately, or at least move out and have no contact. They brought us to court right away to do so because I didn’t leave and I had to send my older son out of state to live with his grandparents temporarily or they definitely would have taken him. We ended up moving out of state months later before our second son was born and although that was not the main reason we moved, it was how we got them out of our lives. We moved to Florida where they have so many cases to deal with, ours was minor comparatively and they closed our case. Had we not moved to Florida, who knows what would have happened? I am fairly certain it would not have ended well. Also, they were horrible to me and very judgmental and hostile, which was unnecessary and served no purpose. In fact, it made things worse! It’s not as black and white as they seemed to think and you would think they would understand this having to deal with it in their job on a regular basis. I was the only one suffering the actual physical abuse, although my son did get pushed once while trying to protect me. I am well aware that he suffered and should not have had to live through that and I am in no way trying to defend their father – there was no excuse for what he did! I KNOW I should have left him then and there, and it was a horrible environment for my children. I did leave a little over a year after that incident. The guilt I now feel for not leaving immediately and my son having to witness and experience that hell is immense, even though I know it’s not as simple as that hence why many women stay in abusive relationships. Regardless of whether or not I was a terrible mother, whether he *should* have been removed from our home, or how wrong I was, I vowed at the time to never call the police again. I wasn’t about to lose my children. I think many more women than you think don’t want to call the police for fear of losing their children. And that is unfortunate. I understand the purpose of automatic notification of CPS etc and their involvement, but it still doesn’t change a mother’s fear of losing her children and what she will do to keep them, regardless of how wrong she may be.

  39. Qwerty

    The victim is double persecuted once by the prepatrator and then by the authorities. Domestic violence reporting is 1 in 5 because THIS IS NO MYTH mother’s know THIS IS THE TRUTH
    Authorities put up smoke screens as to why they will not challenge the prepatrator (often the male) such as you have fabricated domestic violence, it is irrelevant, it is historic (even when with 6 months) we can not interfere as court ordered contact time.
    when child complains about abusive behaviour they are ignored, in meeting authorities said the child never said it (child is scared and told to tell authorities) or child told “you are a liar” and the prepatrator is a ” lovely person”.
    All attention is placed on harassing the mother, to comply. Such as “have you learnt your lesson”, you have to “accept domestic violence” and don’t complain to police, court or solicitor. if you complain about harassment or intimidation we will start legal action regarding child living arrangements.
    Evidence is hidden from courts, or even destroyed by authorities.
    Mother’s have gagging orders and threatened with imprisonment, or child removal if they don’t toe the line.
    GP ignored despite medical evidence.
    This is the situation in the UK, and needs dealing with. No wonder women don’t report this horrendous crime they are scared so prefer the beating then threats to remove their most precious relationships their children.
    Have authorities not heard of “mother love” or do they just use it as a weapon against women?.

    1. HelenSparkles

      I spend most of my life doing exactly the opposite of that, evidencing that there is DV, when it isn’t reported. I have nothing to hide or destroy if nobody has told anybody anything. Unfortunately I think there is DV isn’t evidence.

      It is very difficult that the perpetrator is asked to leave, because of the risk to children, and the victim is asked to leave them. This is because they are the safe parent but it doesn’t make it any easier. The alternative is taking children out of the environment, hopefully to protective family members.

    2. Cheryl

      When can you say enough is enough? Why would a person go back to a previous abuser that has previously hurt a child ? There isn’t a good reason in this case really just that they think they have to have a partner. Isn’t this unfit parenting?

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        Yes, repeatedly returning to a relationship with a violent person and exposing the children to that violence is not good parenting; that is why children are removed from women who do this.

        The problem of course is that women who cannot break away from violent partners are almost never failing to do so because they don’t love their children or they deliberately want to expose their children to this harm. There are many complicated reasons why people cannot leave harmful relationships. Not least because the abuser makes it very difficult for them to do so. After years in an abusive relationship, many people become simply ground down and exhausted or accept it as ‘normal’.

        People often need a lot of help and support to escape these relationships and I think as a society we should do a lot more about opening people’s eyes even before the relationship starts, with better and more open and honest discussion about relationships and how we treat each other and what behaviour is unacceptable. Equally, some abusers are very skilled at hiding who they really are until they have another person firmly in their grasp. These people need to be identified quickly and dealt with appropriately.

  40. Sam

    Apart from being gagged, I can recognise all of the above. It seems to be a crime where the victim is responsible and the perpetrator isn’t. It leaves children at continuing risk of abuse as some courts order contact or even residence with the perpetrator.
    Despite this sentiment from the then President of the Family Division “Gone, I think, are the days when a man could be violent to the mother of his children and yet could still be considered a good father. We are much more aware of the risks to children posed by domestic abuse, and I think this has helped to underline the proposition that, in English Law, contact is the right of the child, not the right of the parent, and that the child’s safety, and well-being, in contact is paramount.” Lord Justice Wall
    There is a very deep misunderstanding of domestic violence even in Higher Level courts especially around how victims will gradually reveal the abuse piecemeal. They are not making it up as they go along , rather they unfold as they start to feel safe and actually realise what has happened. Also just because a man has a job and performs well in the public eye, that does not make him a “good” man as a partner and father. They are masters of disguise. Judges, police and social workers really need to have training on and be able to investigate the abusers over whelming driver of the abuse, that is entitlement.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      the problem is that I have experience of cases where women WERE making it up as they went along. I had one client who pulled the hair out of her hair brush and told the police it had been yanked out of her head. That was clearly a lie and the police knew it. She withdrew her application for a non mol in the end.

      Yes, these cases are not common and i am sure there are far more victims of violence than there are people prepared to lie about it.

      but it underscores the vital necessity and importance of the forensic process. I agree that we probably all need more understanding and awareness. One such awareness I would like to promote is for victims to understand the forensic process and the need to tell poeople as soon as they can about what is happening. I have said for years, and will continue to say, because I think I am right – that the root cause of much of this is the unhealthy idea of ‘relationships’ that is foisted on men and women alike. We need to be teaching our children from their earliest days about treating each other and themselves wth respect and kindness.

      1. Angelo Granda

        The root cause of ALL domestic violence and probably ALL violence in general is guilt and shame. That comes from psychiatrists and a governor AT A PRISON which deals with men who perpetrate it. I imagine it also applies to violent females too. Reform via the Courts is essential and unfortunately Family Courts do not have the power to order suitable punishments such as prison, probation, borstal training, community service etc. The CS care little for the adult victims of dv; their only interest is the children that is why they are called Children’s Services. All they can do is remove children from the scene into care which is wholly disproportionate. That is punishing the victims. The Police let the perpetrators off the hook and they should not do.
        Recently, on another thread, I was trying to explain why men are violent to their wives/partners but I don’t think I was really listened to by female readers even though, as a man , I am likely to know.
        When they are dysfunctional e.g. no work, idle, lazy, escaping from reality via drink or drugs etc. etc. , unable to support their wife and family because of something else, when they read porn and become perverted , when they can’t look after their money, when they neglect their responsibilities and spend it all on themselves. All this actually makes them ashamed of themselves and that is when they lose control and are violent. This is the trigger. If I was on drugs or if I was an alcoholic with responsibilities or if you were, even we might strike out at those we love . Especially if our partners tell us about it or threaten to leave etc.
        I can’t recall the exact thread, but another reader commented that some men are unhappy at how their partners are caring for the children, perhaps leaving them alone or treating them as latch-key children ( out at work, at Bingo etc.) . We should take careful heed of him too.
        Of course, not all men lose control and become violent but some do. There for the grace of God go we.
        I think we do treat our children from the earliest from the earliest days already. Some will always go astray. It is human. Reform is the answer. Deal with them and leave the victims alone! If I were a woman, I would not report it if I thought the Police would not take action; my husband would hit me worse.
        Before anyone says it again, i am not making excuses for these men , I am saying reform them .That is the only way.

        1. Sam

          In my experience men who are violent are actually over anxious coupled with have a sense of entitlement. They do not on the whole have the ability to look at themselves, much the same as racists can’t. Yes I think you are right Angelo guilt , though that guilt is about themselves, rather than what they do to the victim and shame, once again about themselves, are important as well. There always is something wrong with a bully.
          I believe there ought to be more understanding on the links between the addictive personality and I don’t just mean alcohol and drugs, but gaming, shopping, over eating etc and abuse.
          As for getting women to understand they are victims , the best way I have found is that they speak to someone else who has already identified herself as one.
          There are such common themes , for instance every victim I have met has been frightened of his driving and all spent time pressing down on an imaginary brake when a passenger, and talking about this brings clarity that they too have been a victim .

          1. Angelo Granda

            They have something to be ashamed of ; they know they are wrong; they know they are not meeting their duties and obligations; they realise they are dysfunctional etc. but they have got to a stage where it is so habitual they can’t change themselves. When spouse complains and tries to help him, tells him not to drink etc. or not to mix with certain people, to get a job or change their ways , they are so ashamed BANG,THUMP! When that becomes a habit , it is disaster for the family especially if the Police report it to the CS.
            So where do things start to go wrong? As Sarah says, be more careful when choosing who to have children with etc. but most of us are careful, aren’t we?

            No matter how careful we are, even if we marry a higher -class wealthy person, they can be just as controlling and violent if not more so. Sam, you have often written how clever and controlling these men are. They will want to keep you from contacting your family, meeting friends etc. I guess that is because they are so ashamed and guilty , they cannot allow you to tell everyone. They have to hide the temper and violence and obviously ,they have to deny it and find a reason to blame their victim.
            Police won’t do anything for half the time. So what can a victim do?
            I know for a fact, from having read research, that social dislocation is the cause of much family dysfunction. We should all think twice before moving away from extended family for any reason. When we are close to our extended family ( and that of our partner) there is much more social cohesion. For example, if we have an argument or money worries or problems with the kids, support is on hand especially if we live on the same street or in the same house as many families do abroad. Our family can keep in touch ,they can hear and see what is going on with their own ears and eyes and because of that it does not develop. Shouting and fighting is something which grandparents and in-laws just will not support and years ago it used to be stopped at the roots before Police intervention became necessary. If someone starts to bully or starts to become an addict etc the worst thing you can do is move away from family support networks.

        2. HelenSparkles

          A lot of cases involve adults with very sad stories and there is little help, that doesn’t mean there is none, but it is also very sad that people have children before getting that help. These are adults who often need psychological/psychiatric intervention not a social worker. Social workers in CS work with the family, and can ask adults to access help which will also support them to parent well, but nobody can make anyone do anything. Children’s Services do what they say on the tin, i am always confused about why they are supposed to do it all, particularly since you say so often they aren’t the experts?

          1. looked_after_child

            Queens Speech earlier – if you look down the list
            a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, establishing a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims and survivors and monitor the response of the authorities
            Very very unexpected and welcome surprise.
            I do wonder about whether this Govt will be able to pass legislation though..

          2. Sam

            Thanks for your comment Helen. I am not entirely sure that I agree all need mental health help:domestic violence may result in the victim having mental health problems they are not necessarily present before the abuse. Also once they are out of the relationship any MH issues heal.The perpetrator does not also necessarily have mental health issues either, rather an attitude of entitlement.
            Should SW be able to remove children if they do not have sufficient knowledge after all it is life changing and in some instances they get it back to front. Yes I know it goes to court but experts are another can of worms. So we go around in circles again

          3. HelenSparkles

            Sorry Sam, when I meant often I meant often not always. I don’t at all think that all victims or even perpetrators of DV have mental health problems. In a lot of cases, there are issues caused by childhood trauma or similar which make victims more vulnerable to entering into abusive relationships. Again that is often not always, after all anyone can be a victim, I often think there for the grace of (insert deity of choice). Help absolutely doesn’t need to be mental health work, help can be whatever is best for that person now, which could be DV work. It is complicated, leaving is complicated, and the intervention of CS is often at a time when it isn’t the right time for that help to be effective. It is stressful in itself and it means there is a child at risk so action needs to happen. Without children in the picture that would be different. I suppose I am trying to think through how we best support vulnerable women (because it is usually a woman) to seek help, protect a child, and not remove a child. A lot of the cases that go to court are people who don’t leave their partner and their partner puts their child at risk, it absolutely isn’t ideal.

          4. Angelo Granda

            Sam, Obviously I’m no Psychologist just an ordinary parent but when examining the reason for mental health issues, I guess they sometimes affect ones relations if they occur. A family will develop various degrees of malfunction together.
            What is the main cause of mental health difficulties?

            I think it is stress ,some suffered outside at work etc. but much of it at home.
            Historically ,overcrowding and over-small housing is a big cause. This was recognised decades ago and just before WW2 and just afterwards we commenced upon a grand plan for ridding towns and cities of the problem; a mass slum-clearance scheme. Garden cities and huge out-of- town housing estates were built which were idyllic in comparison to the two up two down back-to-backs, tenements and so on.
            The lovely, new houses were spacious with all mod-cons ( bathroom, indoor-toilet) and the children did not have to share bedrooms with the parents. Gardens front and rear were commonplace and ,of course, the air was better in the suburbs. Building standards were set high for Council housing.
            Unfortunately, along came the IRON LADY whose main interest was in supporting business people, landlords and her own ilk rather than creating a healthier, happier community. Victorian values were brought back and the building standards especially in regard to size were altered to suit companies like Wimpey and Barrett’s. The houses built in the main were smaller than the tiny slums which had been knocked down. Just one room downstairs ( called a through lounge and a small scullery /kitchen unit at the rear. 2 tiny bedrooms and a third if you were lucky and no attic. Tiny gardens or just a back yard with front doors almost on the street. House buying was encouraged rather than renting and first time buyers are usually only able to afford these excuses for a proper house.
            So think about cramped conditions. If one keeps too many birds or animals in a cage, too many chickens in a coop ,too many captive butterflies in a jam-jar then their behaviours are affected by the stress and some will attack the weaker ones.
            This is just a general observation worth considering.

      2. HelenSparkles

        I’ve known women express a volatile relationship on both parts as DA, unravelling that and assessing it is important, but was to gain legal aid in private law.

  41. Angelo Granda

    Sorry about the last paragraph. I meant to say I think we do already teach our children from the earliest day s that treating each other with respect and kindness is the right way. But some will always go astray when they grow up.

  42. looked_after_child

    ”We need to be teaching our children from their earliest days about treating each other and themselves with respect and kindness” and that they and their opinions/feelings /concerns are valid and deserve to be listened to/valued/acted on. ‘Might ( the adult world sometimes?) never equals Right’

  43. Bradley

    Reporting you’re a victim of domestic violence and fear of having your kids taken away because of it, is not a myth. Currently know someone who did just that and reached out for help and had her children taken away. Now she is forced to live with the abuser or she will have her kids taken from her. Completely lost all faith in the system.
    Added to that she can’t fight back otherwise social will remove kids for not following what they say. Can’t report if husband is abusive to her again otherwise social have warned they will take the kids away.
    Sadly social tactics of constant threat of removing kids because they would rather falsify statements to get the job done quick rather than help children and victims is the experience I have witnessed

    1. HelenSparkles

      It is really difficult that one person has to leave the abusive other for the children to be safe, because there are many complexities to leaving an abusive partner, who has often targeted a vulnerable victim. Leaving the perpetrator is part of the support and service given to families but this person is still with her abusive husband. Given she is the safe parent, who the children can be with (I presume) leaving the relationship would be prioritising her children. It is really difficult but it isn’t safe for those children to be in that house if that person is perpetrating domestic abuse.

  44. Angelo Granda

    Thanks Bradley, I agree with you as do tons and tons of other parents. particularly about falsifying statements. This is CSAS, a common fault in child-protection which I think is caused by pressure of work and pressure on SW’s by LA’s to achieve certain outcomes. If you have time, please tell us more about your friend.

    1. looked_after_child

      As you will know my interest is all thing ‘brain’ related as in Autism etc. There is something called ‘Traumatic Brain Injury’ and a LOT of people in prison have this. In woman’s prisions https://www.justice.gov.uk/offenders/types-of-offender/women
      emerging evidence is that, while’s men’s brain injuries are as a result of a single event eg a motor bike accident, woman’s injuries are acquired as a result of being ‘beaten up’ over time. These injuries can affect ability to use language in extreme cases – think along the lines of someone who has suffered a stroke…How can this be right that some women have to arrive in prison before this gets picked up?

      1. looked_after_child

        It is worth reading this:-
        even if just the summary – the links with domestic violence are so strong eg

        These were the women I saw in prisons:

        Most were mothers. Some had their children with them immediately prior to custody, others had handed them to relatives or their children had been taken into care or adopted.

        Some were pregnant. Some discovered they were pregnant when they had no idea that
        that could be a possibility.

        They were drug users. It was not uncommon to have £200 a day crack and heroin habits

        They were alcoholics.

        They often looked very thin and unwell.

        They had been sexually, emotionally and physically abused.

        They were not in control of their lives.

        They did not have many choices.

        They were noisy and at first sight confident and brash but this belied their frailty and
        vulnerability and masked their lack of self-confidence and esteem.

        They self harmed.

        They had mental health problems.

        They were poor.

        They were not all the same, they were individuals.

        There were significant minority groups, including BME and foreign national women.

          1. looked_after_child

            One of the things being investigated is to look at how parents can securely skype or sim. their children eg to say ‘goodnight’ or to read a bedtime story or whatever. One also has to ask why this is happening in prison but there is little focus on this for mums who have children in care or am I wrong?
            MoJ takes a different approach to the DfE perhaps?

        1. HelenSparkles

          The other question might be why does anyone think it is right that those people are given a prison sentence?

          The worst of prison is the outcomes for offenders, the ‘best’ is that vulnerable people find a way to keep going back, because they know they are ‘safe’ there.

  45. looked_after_child

    Figures above relate to numbers per head of population in the prison system.
    On that very subject
    ”But while many, …, called for a reduction in prisoner numbers, Gove placed his faith in the reform prisons programme. The ‘only way to reduce violence in our prisons’, he wrote, ‘is to give Governors and those who work in prisons the tools necessary to more effectively reform and rehabilitate offenders’. Symptomatic of the lack of urgency on the part of government was its response to
    Changing Prisons, Saving Lives, the report of the Harris Review into self-inflicted deaths of young adults in custody, published in July 2015. The government response, on the last working day before Christmas in late 2015, was described by one critic as ‘a deeply cynical way of releasing a deeply cynical response’. Nearly a third of the review’s 108 recommendations were rejected. These included measures such as testing all cell light fittings to ensure they can’t hold the weight of a young adult and placing a ‘duty of candour’ on state agencies following a death in custody.
    pg 30

  46. looked_after_child

    Last quote –

    youth justice
    Major controversy surrounding serious failings at two of the three G4S-run children’s prisons in England during the year under review eventually led to the company deciding to sell its UK children’s services business in ‘an ongoing review of its portfolio.’ A joint inspection into Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, published in May 2015, described the facility as ‘inadequate’. Inspectors found that staff, including those in leadership roles, had subjected children detained at the centre to racist comments, degrading and humiliating treatment, and had in some instances been under the influence of illegal drugs whilst on duty.
    Poor care was ‘compounded by poor decision-making by senior managers’, which in one instance led to a child with a fracture not receiving treatment for 15 hours. Concerns were also raised about delays in reporting serious incidents or in dealing adequately with staff misconduct. MTCnovo was announced as the new contractor at Rainsbrook in September 2015. The charity, Article 39, noted that MTCnovo had no known experience of running establishments for vulnerable children. It also pointed out that MTC faced prisoner abuse allegations in the US.

    How many of these children had neuro-developmental disorders and should never have been in prison in the first place? How many will have come through the Care system without their disabilities being identified?

    1. looked_after_child

      ….being bought and sold by campanies who have no interest in their Care while policymakers with responsibilities to them put in place artificial mechanism after mechanism to ensure no blame ‘sticks’?

  47. looked_after_child

    more of the effect of an evangelical belief in small government with no interest in social justice ( kids and women in prison don’t vote I’d guess)

    1. HelenSparkles

      With or without a neurological disorder, most of the prison population shouldn’t be there because they are vulnerable in one way or another, and prisons are full of traumatised adults. I also don’t think prisons should be privatised, the prison union was very strong, and the government wanted to break them is my view (although only from what I know)., Law and order is a popular vote winner, put the bad people away so bad stuff doesn’t happen, those people sometimes get the right intervention in prisons but often not and it is impossible for short sentences – so the shoplifter who has offended numerous enough times to be incarcerated. I don’t know how those people are assessed, but i would hazard any prison governor would be able to tell you (FOI request) how many have psychological/neurological issues. The care population is known about and you should be able to find stats on that.

  48. looked_after_child

    As for breaking the unions or ‘power bases’ that hold different views and values.. that is the approach taken with Local Government by the Thatcher Govt, in the 1980s..hence the sale of County Hall in London and the break up of the GLC and the creation of the London Borough system where Wandsworth and Westminster ‘showcased’ the new model of Local Government. Both are very non-typical and Westminster particularly crossed many lines they did’ent really see the need for. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Porter )

    When they had totally smashed any opposition at the Borough level – the mayoral system was brought in to take control of policing say across the Boroughs as it manifestly bonkers not to have London-wide policies.
    I know a little bit about Social Housing and the mechanisms used there too including bailing out the private housing builders when the market crashed in the 1990’s. Housing Associations were buying blocks of flats in outer London boroughs literally having seen them from a car on the road outside. This was with public money available in grants to the HAs but not to local authorities who were starved of cash and told to sell off they stock. Many of these private market estates bought by the HAs needed considerable investment ten years later to prevent them becoming ghettos as they had no pavements or play areas etc. Many had no paths linking them to public facilities if it would have meant cutting through privately owned estates.

    These are policies built around hiding the failure of previous policies without actually asking the key questions about what was wrong with the original policy and what needs to shift inside policymakers heads…

    1. Angelo Granda

      Thanks to Looked after child and Helen for this discussion about prisons.
      In answer to this question from Helen.
      QUOTE: The other question might be why does anyone think it is right that those people are given a prison sentence? : UNQUOTE

      When we have private companies making huge profits out of prisons , the more prisoners the better for them and corrupt practices are bound to arise. I have explained before how it is an unavoidable fact of life when it comes to public funding and expenditure. It can be anticipated that there shall be increasing numbers of innocent citizens sent to gaol and , in the case of guilty ones, many will be sent there when therapies and more suitable orders like probation would suffice and be more humane. So the emphasis is on the lawyers and judges to ensure cases are conducted correctly. That is the only protection citizens have. Fortunately , the Criminal Courts are much, much stricter about correct procedure CURRENTLY and also long sentences cannot be dished out unless there has been a hearing during which guilt or innocence has been decided by a jury.
      However justice for the guilty will depend on the Judiciary. We will have to ensure that cases are conducted correctly by professionals e.g. we will have to impose sentences taking into account facts alone and if , as is quite normal, a Judge takes antecedents into account we must ensure investigations are carried out with impartiality. Only real previous convictions to be included and no out-of-date ones spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. All wrong information must be excluded and permanently deleted from the records ,of course, not deliberately left and allowed to fester as happens in the CP system. That would be lunacy!
      Citizens will count it unthinkable that any serious sanction such as long-term imprisonment, a death sentence or the permanent liquidation of an offender’s family shall be ordered by a Magistrate or a Civil Court without a full ,impartial ( that means no gender bias or any other type) hearing in a Crown Court with a jury. Indeed Article 8 (ECHR) relating to proportionality stipulates a fully proportionate ,fair hearing. Such severe sanctions impose degradation not only upon the offender but upon the offender’s family which ,in my opinion , may sometimes lead to contraventions of Article 3 (ECHR). This forbids degradation ( and mental torture) absolutely unless it has been decided lawfully and there is a pressing social need.
      Concerns have been expressed previously on this resource that , in order to maintain a good supply of prisoners in the future in accordance with the growth requirements essential to private companies running the prisons, the low standards of ‘proof’ which pertain to Civil ( Family Proceedings) Courts presently may be adapted for use within the criminal system. God forbid that severe sanctions will be prescribed upon citizens without an impartial hearing before a jury and without full , procedural correctness.
      Whether the relatively recent Best evidence interviews , video interviews etc. are iffy remains to be seen. They seem okay to me but only when carried out absolutely in accordance with the rules laid down . Already, cases have been thrown out because professionals have offended against procedures.
      Certainly it can be said that when it comes to serious sanctions, Civil Court protocols are totally unsuitable being disproportionate and juries are essential also the automatic right to appeal against unlawful and over -enthusiastic sentencing.

  49. Sat

    I have read some of the comments above. I have found myself in an abusive relationship for eight years. It started when i got married and got pregnant. My ex threw me out at 8 weeks oregnant and accused me of affairs child not being his. He told me if i moved back to my parents and gave birth he didnt want to know and turned up after eight weeks.
    To cut along story short we divorced which he inituated and had next to nothing to do with ne or my son. We began seeing each other again for five years and things got worse. He took me to court started playing games and got access and taking my son at two 200 miles away to where he lived. He used his money and controlling behaviour to say he was part of our lives. I woukd be slagged off on the door step in public and constantly be told that he was the best thing that hapoebed to me. A court order was granted as i eventually gave in not wanting to loose my only child. He would constantly tell me after abusive fights why woukd i want to give it up. I overdosed two years ago. And he supported me thinking he was genuine i tried yet again believing his way of thinking was best for the family. He woukd constantky put oressure on about moving back with him but something would always trigger the abuse. He grabbed me around the throat twice in six months. Infront of my son and when he was nesr by. I kept doubting myself and felt isolated from everyone. He didnt like my friends told me i had none and blamed me and my family for everything. He threatened me and i believe him that he woukd hurt me wven now . He grabbed me around the tjroat after a my sons friend and his dad came to my house for a play date. I had been accused of everything you could think of
    Yet two children were playing in the house and i was chatting to the other dad. His son telling exactly that wasnt enough he threaten me amd i ended up in a refuge. He harrassed my family on my mothers funeral and called police to tell them im sucidial.
    The social worker told me no one would take my son. I got told i needed pictures of my ex in the house and i shouldnt cry.
    I had been a single parent and come out of a refuge and i was told i needed to sing the praises of man who was abusive.
    On meeting the ex she said he had a big house floor space and i should be able to take my son to school and told me i wasnt going through dv in her sec7 report.
    I have had my son removed and placed witj his dad
    He abuses me on ever handover and shouts down the phone. Says he wouldnt have had poor attendance in mirsery if my son lived with him. Even after every arguement he would take my son tell me he didnt need to go to nursery and write under duress to give him extra contact.
    My ex wont provide any info about school or even pic up the phone for me to speak to my son. My appeal gotndismissed . All i know is the social worker moved a little boy away 200 miles and told me tjat it should be done asap as i would stop contact. Ex convinced he would never do such a thing even told them he would buy me a house near by to maintain the bond.
    Can social workers not see through a staged interview?
    This social worker couldnt even get facts right follow procedure and made thedecision to send my son to live with someone who is an abuser.
    I have reported things to gp police and xhildren services . Im told no evidence and he denies everything. I lost my son because i went for help.
    Now i have ao much incertainty about whats happeneing and concerns about thewell being of a 5 year old. How do i get my son back ? Help someone please .
    Struggling mum

    1. Sam

      Firstly you are not alone , over 14% of Fathers are single parents, some will be for genuine reasons , but considerable numbers of others have played the system to further abuse the partner who dared to leave them. There are organisations that help in the resources section of this website.
      You are entitled as someone who has parental responsibilty to know about your child’s education, unless ordered otherwise by a court.
      Look after yourself, in order to fight back you need to build your self esteem . if you have not already done so attend the http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/
      At every hand over and for every phone call with your ex have your mobile voice recording.
      Good luck

      1. Janice

        I agree and have been through exactly the same thing 10 years ago when I filed for Divorce! You need to record everything he says to you and use your cell phone camera if you see him and just say you are taking pictures of scenery, dogs, cats, or even birds! Never ever trust him ever again and try not to ever talk to him again and get a Restraining Order from the Judge for 20 years where he cannot talk to you and you cannot talk to him or see each other and you will see how much happier and more in control of your life is without him totally and completely in it! If you want to know how your son is doing in school then ask your Attorney to get a Court Order from the Judge to talk to your Child’s teacher every day so that you never ever have to talk to him ever again forever! Your sons Father has No respect for you at all whatsoever so you should avoid any contact with him at all whatsoever! I promise things will be a lot better if you just listen to me because I have been there and done it just exactly like you and never ever look back and think that things could have gotten better because that is Not true at all and you should even go to Church every Sunday and pray to God that he never ever comes after you again or after your young innocent son! Peace be with you and be Safe!

  50. Angelo Granda

    Dear Sat, First of all, it is best you know that you are not alone. There are countless Mums who describe exactly the same kind of thing you do. A big problem is the child-protection system itself; correct practice guidelines are seldom followed by professionals. Inevitably, misinformed ,wildly wrong appraisals are made because of it and innocent children suffer for it. Just this morning ,I heard on the radio about a little girl who was killed after being placed wrongly with an abusive parent.
    Once you realise you are not the only one, things will get easier. Your problems are TOO MASSIVE to face alone. You need an independent advocate to advise you and intervene in meetings on your behalf.

    Follow this link and the nice lady might be able to put you in touch with Annie, who organises an advocacy service .

    You can also try the Family Rights Group (FRG) website which you can access via Google. They have a forum where you can discuss your individual case with other Mums and a free helpline.
    Hope this information is of some use. Remember, don’t think of facing it alone. No-one can. You need an experienced advocate. In actual fact, the Social; Worker should have made it clear to you at the beginning and helped you contact one. Please tell us whether she did or not?

  51. mesh

    hi all how can I report a man who abusi woman n kids this girl she’s scard to open a case so I wanna do it for her this guy his been doing it for some time now so guys I need your help to report it anonymously


  53. Quaking in her boots


    I requested Clare’s law from the police but didn’t report the abuse. I got a call from CPR about them sending me some information through the post or through my health visitor to pass on to me when she has my 2year olds 2 year visit as it would be a better way for my partner not to see. My question is ..can they take my baby from me???? They told me no, only if I don’t report the abuse next time. Also, what leverage does the health visitor have when she gives her assessment?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Your child can only be removed without your consent by the police for 72 hours OR if a court order is made. A court order will only be made if the child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm. If you can show you are doing all you can to keep your child safe, then hopefully it is very unlikely your child will be removed.

      BUT staying in a relationship with a man who has been violent or abusive to women in other relationships is going to cause significant concern about your ability to keep your child safe. You do need to think very hard about the future of your relationship if your partner has a serious history of violence or other abusive behaviour. You – like all women – deserve better than that.

      A Heath Visitor’s evidence is taken seriously by the court but it is unlikely to be the piece of evidence that decides any case. If it ever did to to court, the Judge would want to hear what you had to say and would also hear evidence from at least a social worker and your child’s guardian.

  54. Quaking in her boots

    Thank you kindly for your response. My daughter is a well adjusted and lovely 2 year old and I do everything to ensure she’s well taken care of and happy. I gave up my job to be a stay at home mom and she also still breast feeds. She’s my everything. She loves her cuddles and giving cuddles as well x I spoke to my partner very calmly and clearly and explained that we need help as this is and will destroy our family and will make me leave with the baby . He has agreed to go to counselling and for the last 2.5 weeks, whenever hes going to have an angry vocal outburst , he stops himself and says thats not right and apologises and starts again in a calmer more objective fashion . He has even stated how he was wrong and corrects it with the view to not repeating it. Is this going to impact the health visitor positively ? It has brought about a change and when we go for the counselling this should show how serious he has become in improving . Obviously ..if this is not sincere and progresses to become as before, there is no way I will stay in this relationship. My daughter is more important and it is my whole being to provide that loving and safe environment for her..even if it means doing it alone . Please advise if this would satisfy , in either scenario ( going counselling and it works or if it doesn’t and I leave with my daughter) woukd show any concerned body that I’m doing my best by my baby and they won’t remove her from me xx

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Ok, as long as you realise that I can’t ‘advise’ you on your particular circumstances over the internet and on the basis of this information! that would be wholly wrong and dangerous.

      What I can do however is make some general points – I think it is fantastic that anyone takes the steps they need to take to deal with behaviour that is hurting themselves and others. I hope your partner can stay the course. There may of course be bumps in the road but I hope that his engagement with therapy will be seen as a really positive sign, so too your willingness to end the relationship if he does not make and sustain changes.

  55. Quaking in her boots

    Update ….i got confirmation that as my partner and I cohabitate and have a child together, they can’t give me any info as per Clare’s law and closed the request. As per normal with any DV complaint, even asking for Clare’s law …and not reported… as in my first post CPR closed their query as well. May I please ask, with the health visitor coming and delivering the documents of help leaflets that they initially wanted to post and the Clare’s law request being closed and the CPR being closed…..would they still assess ?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Doesn’t sound from what you describe that they would be carrying out a formal assessment, but the whole thing sounds very odd. I hadn’t realised that Clare’s law was restricted to people NOT living with someone they were worried about. That seems bonkers and entirely counter productive. you can only protect yourself properly if you have the right information.

  56. Quaking in her boots

    Thank you kindly. I apologise for asking for advice on that point, I do fully understand that you can’t. I do appreciate your generic points. I have rang my Health Visitor and explained my concern and she reassured me that it’s for my support and not to any way take my daughter….im still really raw with angst as I’ve read where kids were taken because of the mom reporting the domestic violence..

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Wishing you lots of strength for the days ahead. I am glad the HV has reassured you. I really hope things can work out for you as a family but it’s never, ever worth staying in an abusive relationship as that will teach your daughter lessons about life which I am sure you don’t want her to learn.

  57. Elizabeth Blakeley

    I am trying to seek help for my now 14 year old son. My ex husband physically abused him while I was at work when he was younger. My son would never discuss it. He was afraid he would get in more trouble if he told. Since then, I have left and divorced my ex husband and my son is finally telling me everything. Its been 2 years since I left him. Is it too late to do anything legal about this? My son deserves some kind of justice and closure. I am not sure what to do. Thank you.

  58. J

    Me and my child live with my parents and I am still married to a verbally abusive man. I’ve decided me and my child are never living with him again. I phoned the police at Christmas because of his abuse and moved out with my child. I am fearful of divorcing him and getting a child court order as he is pushing for joint unsupervised access. He is controlling and neglects his child and has angry outbursts and kicks and throws things around and takes no responsibility for his actions. I am extremely upset, as I have had legal advice which has suggested that he can do a 6 month course and if he passes he would gain unsupervised access. Hes an abuser… full stop. He can manipulate and put on a show to anybody but behind clothes doors, hes a nasty man who would emotionally abuse and frighten my child if he gained unsupervised access. Authorities get a snap shot on what the abuser is like and it’s not always easy to gain evidence when my husband is a compulsive liar and twists stories to suit his needs. Somehow authorities know the perpetrator more than anyone and by completing a course, apparently the abuser changes completely. Get with reality, I’ve been giving my husband parenting training since our child was born and he simply won’t do anything. Yes he will act the loving dad to the public but behind closed doors its a totally different story. He will never change, but pretend to everyone like he has. That’s what abusers do. And the pattern goes on and on. Its all an act.. My child is 2. When I say my child is in danger of emotional abuse and neglect if alone with my husband, I mean it…. I would never deny unsupervised access if he was a loving father. I’m so upset and distraught that I must live in this horrid situation to please him to protect my child from the likelihood that the courts would give him unsupervised access. Please please do something about this…. im trapped. The courts must take raised concerns seriously and reassure the victim that they will do what is in the best interest of the child. The fathers needs do not come first, its the child and their wellbeing!! Many people may not come forward to act because they are scared the system will let their child down and therefore remain in their situations. It’s very worrying for a lot of people and damaging for the child if a solicitor doesn’t set out clearly to the victim prior to the court proceedings that they have a good chance the abuser won’t have unsupervised access until the child reaches an age where they can make an informed decision about where they want to be. However, solicitors can’t because they know this isn’t possible. Legal advice and the courts are making it difficult for people to act on child court arrangements in the event the abuser gains access, which prolongs heartache and misery for all those involved. Is there much evidence to suggest these parenting courses actually work and change the abuser into a non abuser? Do authorities ever go to the victims following these programmes and ask them if their ex has changed into a new person. Just because someone has ‘specialist’ training and ‘specialist’ programmes, they will never see the abuser behind closed doors and for what they really are.

    1. HelenSparkles

      There is evidence that a 32 week programme, slightly more than 6 months can be effective. A long programme with attendance at every session is imho the only real way to shift the values and belief systems that enable abusers to behave the way they do – that doesn’t mean it has to work. for it to work, the perpetrator has to understand that there is a problem and attend EVERY session. & yes, those running the course do work with the rest of the family, whether perpetrators are living with them or not. It would be hard to maintain any kind of facade over the course of the course, most people reveal themselves, positively or negatively.

      If you are in court alleging DV as a reason that your child should not have unsupervised contact with your ex, you need some evidence, and a report will be written either by CAFCASS or children’s services. This means that the child’s POV will be represented and their needs put first. As far as I can tell, you are not in court, so probably wise not to preempt the outcome.

  59. Angelo Granda

    I think you have recognised correctly that the civil court system cannot do anything useful to reform Dad’s outrageous criminal offending.The Police will advise, if you ask them how to gather the evidence needed to convict him.He needs a short,sharp shock if he is to ever change his ways and tough treatment not a voluntary programme.It is the task of the Police to protect you especially when there is a child involved.
    Your only problem will come if they are concerned about the baby.They may get Social Services involved ,so you will have to satisfy them you are able to protect baby from him.
    Go to the Police also enlist the help of the Community Police who can keep an eye on you and show you how to keep records and raise evidence.There may be a special quick reaction number and they may be able to instal a panic alarm in your home.You must safeguard yourself and your baby.Hope this helps.Good luck.

  60. Dexter31

    My son has been placed with us by social services. There are concerns relating do domestic violence where the mother attended hospital with serious injuries indicating domestic violence, she also confirmed this. This is not the first instance of dv. There has also been a history of drug use and reported sale of drugs from the home. There are concerns because the children has confirmed that thet have been present when they have been fighting and have also described the taking of drugs by a number of adults in the home.
    We are awaiting court date and have been told that There is still evidence coming in now. I am intending on getting a recidency order. The pair have been told to separate for the sake of the children but they have no intention of doing so.
    I am worried that i won’t get the verdict i am hoping for and that my son will have to be returned to mums care. Could you offer any advice?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Just on that snapshot you have given it seems highly unlikely that any court would think a child would be safe in the mother’s care. But its impossible to advise you without knowing the full facts of the case. However, if your son has been removed by social services and placed in your care, that’s a pretty solid indicator that something is seriously wrong in the home from which he has been removed, and if those problems don’t improve, he should stay where he is safe.

      1. Dexter31

        Thank you for that. Will it make much of a difference what the children’s guardian brings to court? The pair are still together im guessing whilst this has been going on there has been no dv and they have laid of the drugs etc. But im wracking my mind with worry.

        1. HelenSparkles

          What the Guardian says will carry a lot of weight because it is the voice of the child. It sounds like these children have had some very frightening experiences.

          it is impossible to comment on your case but you might want to think about whether they have managed to stop taking drugs before, and then started again, as well as whether they have separated before and then reunited. A pattern of either of those features of the relationship would indicate that it isn’t safe for the children to return now.

          What they need is safety, stability and security. It is good they have you.

          1. Dexter31

            Hi again, we have been to court and we have the interim child arrangements order and supervision order now. However, as predicted the kids(12 &6) have said to the quardian that they would like to eventually return home to mum and stepdad. Which i totally get because if i was taken away from my mum at their age i would want to go back, regardless. Its their mum at the end of the day. They however are fighting this as a united front. They are refusing to separate, stating they havent taken drugs since this all happened. They are denying the extent of the dv despite hospital eveidence. They have also stated that my son has said that he doesnt want to live with me permanently. I am so confused, i love my son so much and hate the prospect of him being returned back to that environment and even more so i hate the thought of him normalizing that behaviour. Would the childrens guardian take all of this into account? Do they always agree with the childrens views? Do you think the possibility of the judges verdict being that they are allowed to have the kids back home are high? I feel so anxious about it all.

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            Children don’t usually get to decide an issue, unless they are in mid to late teens, but the older the get the more weight their wishes and feelings have. So the 12 year old would carry more weight than the 6 year old in most cases. But if a six year was very clear about what they wanted, the guardian would have to listen to that and take it seriously. But guardian’s don’t always agree with children’s views – sometimes children want things that are not good for them and its the guardian’s job to look after the child’s welfare – which may mean looking more to the long term, something children are often not very good at doing.

            So I would expect the guardian to consider all relevant evidence – how safe is it? What do the children want? etc and make a decision based on considering all those things.

  61. Jack

    hi … can anyone help me , I am the father of 4 year old and me and my wife live in our home and have a morgage. I work full time and my partner works part time.

    basically the problem I have is … my wifes family are criminals and thugs and they have attacked me in the past. I want to get my daughter away from these criminals . my wife is not going to give up on her family. so I will have to walk away but I don’t want my daughter exposed to drugs and thugs.

    how can I get the courts to have child to stay with me if we get divorced ? I know the system is setup for the mom to get the child, but that will push the child into the criminal family.

    I can say with the hand on my heart I am a better parent then the mom. how can do something without risking social services taking the child from us.

    please advise

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Dear Jack
      no one can ‘advise’ you on this kind of forum and you need to be very wary of people who claim they can. No one here knows the facts of your case or what your wife would say. She may have an entirely different perspective/story. you have married a woman and had a child with her with what looks like knowledge of her family and their actions, if they have attacked you in the past.

      All I can do is offer some general principles. The law in England and Wales is that a child has a right to a relationship with both parents so long as it is in their best interests, i.e. it must be safe for the child. Therefore parents who split up are expected to manage their child’s relationship with both parents. This is obviously going to be complicated if your wife has close ties with violent criminals and that might have an impact on the decisions the court makes about where the child lives and how the parents spend time with the child.

      If you are worried the wife’s family are a direct risk of harm to you and your child you will have to tell the court about that and prove it on the balance of probabilities. If you were attacked in the past, did you go to the police? Will they have any records? You will need to think carefully about what you can prove and what evidence you can access but your first priority must be to keep your child safe and if there is risk of imminent harm you need to act quickly.

    2. HelenSparkles

      You are rising sing safeguarding issues and you should report them if you think your daughter is being exposed to them.

  62. Angelo Granda

    Jack, I can only offer some general advice from one father to another . Not legal advice but a few moral principles and life -advice.
    Firstly, It will be cruel and inhumane to take away your daughter from her Mum just because you think it is in her best interests. It will bring about great emotional harm,trauma and misery for both her and your wife not to mention the rest of the family. Plus it will not protect your daughter from possibly falling into a life of crime herself. Where ever she is, there will be temptations and bad influences.
    When you wed your wife and got together, you became one and out of your union came your daughter who is part of you both ( for better or worse). She is a human being, you all are and it is wrong to break the union asunder. That is a moral principle which you should hold to. Treat your wife as you would treat yourself. Think how awful it would be for your daughter and yourself were Mum to divorce you and the Court took the child from you!
    When you married, you should also remember that, like it or not,you became a part of your wife’s extended family which she will not want to give up on. Neither should you judge them and give up on them. To do so, would you merely be taking revenge on them for hurting you in the past? Would you be providing a lightning conductor for your own hates and would it stimulate your own morbidity?

    Recognise that you have fallen into a hole and that , as a father ,it is your responsibility to remain in it with your wife and daughter and to do all you can do HUMANELY to get all of you out of it and that includes the criminal elements of the family. The best way to approach your paternal duty will be to set an example to the family as a whole but particularly by leading your daughter along the right path. Continue to go to work and to live an honest,industrious life. Teach your daughter the right way to live and explain why it is wrong to live like her maternal extended family. Teach her morals and right from wrong and lead the whole family by example. Keep your own house clean.
    This is bound to please your wife who i feel pretty sure chose you as a husband because of the undoubted loving,honest and human qualities you possess in abundance. She was drawn to you for a reason; don’t abandon her.
    Set the good example for the other members of her family also and I am sure it will rub off on one or two of them especially the younger members.Show them the right way to live, how to pay a mortgage honestly and how to achieve and live modestly.
    I feel certain that your daughter will have more respect for her own father than anyone else and will grow up like you not like them.Have confidence in her .Have trust in your wife and never forget that criminals also have good in them somewhere fighting to get out.
    If any of them attack you and hit you, don’t hit back even if you are bigger .Don’t lay the law down,be humble and you will probably find they won’t get anything out of doing it again.If you see any of them acting criminally e.g. taking or peddling drugs,violent robbery or assault what should you do?
    Report it to the Police. Your use of the word ‘Mom’ makes me think you might be in America.In Britain we have something called Crimestoppers where you can report crime anonymously.If they have something similar in America.Telephone them.
    Hope this helps .

  63. peace momah

    My partner started acting funny when I got pregnant. He got himself extra 3 jobs adding to the one he had before making it 1. Plus his back injury these all because he is afraid of the spendings that comes with having kids and I also refuse to abort it. When finally we move in together according to him, the stress of everything becomes too much on him. Paying house rent alone so I can use the one I get from centerlink to pay school fees. He has hitting me ones when I was 17wks pregnant and I moved n went to my friend house. I moved back after he made a promise to me never to hit me again which he havent done up till now am 38 weeks pregnant. But because of the stress he became quick to anger saying hurtful words to me. So I reported him to my social worker in my hospital. With the help of another organisation i was able to get a short term housing. But then our parents heard about it and call us together. Thats hw i open up and tell them what has been going on. He then open up to me about everything and promise to work on his anger problems. He first started by quiting 3 of his jobs and for a month plus now we moved back in together not only have i see changes in him but his back injury wasn’t as bad as before anymore . But my problem now is my social worker wanted to report my history to the child protection office. And am so worried what the outcome will be . Can anyone tell me please.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      No one can tell you what the outcome is as no one knows the circumstances of your case, other than the brief information you have given. But just from that brief information, I can see why people would be worried. He hit you when you were 17 weeks pregnant. I don’t care if it was only ‘once’, the correct number of times for a man to hit his pregnant partner is ‘never’. I don’t care how much stress he was under or how hard he was working. He should never hit you. The worry will be that he can’t control himself and he will carry on hitting you and possibly hit your child when he/she is born. Children are very vulnerable, emotionally and physically and the social services will be really worried about how safe you both are.

      you may need to make a choice between your child and your partner. If he can be shown to be doing everything he can to control himself and understand why he cannot use violence against others, you maybe able to keep your family together – but I guess the real question here, is why do you want to? Why do you think you and your child deserve so little?

  64. Mike

    Hey am new to this my ex partner my wife has abused me not hit me but emotionly and mentely and has got me moved away from our house buy police which social services were ivoled but are not now and we have 2 boys and a step child and I have history with children services and it scares me as I found out she going to court on wed coming to keep me away from the house I love my Boy’s I dbt know what to go I’ve done everything and haven’t got the funds for a solicitor and the social services dbt wanna know my side of the story am stuck and scared and have not seen my kids in 7 weeks now she being so funny and even changed her number I have recorded stuff of her swearing at the kids and pictures were she trapped my hand in the door that why I called the police In the first place been to cab Dnt find it good as there just tell me to get a solictor but I have a occupation order ready to go but stuck if I should do it or not been reading your blog but Dnt want my kids taken away

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Sorry Mike, this is a very difficult situation to be involved in – you are not going to get legal aid if this is a dispute just between you and your ex, but if it moved into care proceedings you would.

      There may be some information here that can help https://childprotectionresource.online/legal-advice/

      If you can’t afford a solicitor you can consider a Direct Access Barrister which is cheaper as you can hire someone to represent you at a court hearing only. The Bar Council keeps a list of all barristers who can take your instructions directly.

      you can ask the Judge if you can be helped by a ‘McKenzie Friend’ – this is someone who can come to court with you and take notes and help you think of questions. The Personal Support Unit is also good at offering emotional support; they are based at most large courts – but they can’t give legal advice.

      Try to keep careful notes of what happened and when and if you have recordings of any abuse from your ex, ask the Judge to listen to them.

  65. Mike

    Thank you so much I know its so hard got my court papers today got to go Tomorrow at 2 but the stuff I got hope it helps but going alone so I need all the luck I can get

    1. Angelo Granda

      Mike, I am just a lay person not a professional but I think you should have the court papers served on you at least 48 hours prior to the hearing according to strict court protocol which is designed to enable you to take advice and prepare your case with plenty of time.
      You should tell the judge correct procedure has not been complied with.It is unfair practice ; I think if cases aren’t conducted correctly you may be able to appeal if the decision goes against you on the point of law.
      I may be wrong but if you google the Family Rights Group they will advise you fully.

  66. Owen

    When I was young I reported domestic violence three times each time nothing was done, I endured abuse from the ages 3 to 16, the last time I had reported the abuse (I was getting at home from my mum’s husband) my statement that was suggesting I wanted to leave the “dangerous environment” was sent to my address, the same address as the abuser, he had then read what I had said and the abuse worsened for another five years, my mum had also received the statement and she was mad at me becasue she thought I was blaming her. I was just curious as to why the system failed me on three occasions and why was my abuser given my statement where I had said he was a “dangerous person to be around children”. The worse thing I had taken away from this was to suffer in silence because no one would help or validate me. I have never told anyone my story because I’m afraid I will again be put down and told I’m wasting everyone’s time. To this day I will never fully understand why, despite my efforts, no single professional adult would listen to me from the council and my school. having now studied child protection in university I can clearly see the child protection professionals that had a duty to safeguard a child like I, failed in doing so, from the way they acted like they didn’t want to be there, to the way they didn’t take me seriously as a child.

  67. Angelo Granda

    Owen, Was it a case of criminal abuse and was it reported to the Police?
    It certainly is terrible when the authorities let children down but commonplace for legal guidelines and procedures laid down in the Children Act passed for the safeguarding of kids like you were.Simple professional malpractice accounts for so much misery and child abuse at both ends of the spectrum be it domestic by family or institutional by cruel social workers.No-one,not even the Family Courts appear willing to do anything about it; they are too trusting in their fellow professional’s integrity and lack understanding of how and why the LA’s don’t carry out bona-fide enquiries.Thus it goes on and on and innocent bairns suffer.Thank heavens you escaped with your life.
    Why were you Ignored? Why the blind eyes and cover- up.It is hard to say unless you tell us more. Were your family poor or well off middle class professionals ? Was your stepfather himself in a position of power?
    Or was he vulnerable and uneducated?
    Your answers could give us a few clues.

  68. WorriedMumma2

    Can anyone advise me? I have left a relationship that on the while was good and happy however on the rare occasions we argue, we both become physical. We are separated and I am in temp housing to get known place with the children.

    Social services were previously involved but closed the case due to no concerns. They are now involved again and are having a multi agency meeting to discuss how to proceed. What is likely to happen? This will be the 3rd incident in 12 months.

    My biggest concern is this. The relationship is well and truly over so there will be no risk of repeat incidents. My ex is a brilliant father but I am worried that if social services find out i am allowing him access (collect and drop off via nursery, not me) they will punish me for it as failure to protect (even though there is no risk with the children and dad). On the flip side, can they prevent ex seeing children???

    We both just want to move on separately from what was a horrible event for both of us and raise the children as parents but not in a relationship or living together. How do o achieve this?

  69. Angelo Granda

    Worriedmumma2, This resource does not normally advise on individual cases.My advice quickly to you as an ordinary parent not a professional is go and see a solicitor.Both of you,for advice.I don’t know if it has been tried before but why not get one who is a commissioner for oaths and he or she can arrange for the two of you to swear on a written agreement re-separation and contact and that might tie things up for you if you produce a copy to the multi-agency meeting to allay concerns.
    The solicitor will tell you if it will help or not.
    Good luck!

  70. Stevie wonder

    I take a huge amount of offence ,I started to read this article with a great amount of interest UNTIL I GOT TO THE INFURIATING PHRASE ‘HER (AND IT IS ALMOST ALWAYS HER) HOW DARE YOU I AM A 6’ 2″ 190 KG MAN and I am trappes in an abusive l, narcissistic relationship, i stay for my 2 kids (I did have a stepson who obliged like my own, until his mum couldn’t accept his ADHD and rather than help him, she shipped him offmto a father that phoned him twice in four years, that was allegedly abusive towards her, sold his sons toys and took a belt to him) I strongly suggest you do some research before writing an article get in touch with ‘the mankind initiative’, ‘families need fathers’, ‘family matters’ and learn how over 43% of victims of domestic violence (which incidentally isn’t always physical) are MEN!!!!

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Please do provide me the source for that statistic. Its not one I recognise. I appreciate woman can be abusive but it is the disparity in physical size and strength that makes male physical abuse more likely to have serious consequences for life and limb.

  71. Daria


    I reported my husband to police for verbal abuse. He has alcohol problems and was put on drugs that makes him seek if he drinks too much. He wasn’t put on this drug because of the incident, he was supposed to start it anyway. He eas never been physically abusive, but he can get angry and shout at me.
    We have daughter who is almost 2. She was sleeping in her room while the incident.

    After the incident I had a call from social services, the lady asked what would I do if he starts to be physically abusive. I told I will call the police straight away. I was offered voluntarily assessment of me and my husband so I am more informed of how to protect my daughter from potential physical abuse and to help my husband to understand the impact his behaviour causes. I refused it for now as felt that since he is on that drug +therapy, he didn’t have anger outbursts. To be honest this call made me worried and I started to google about domestic abuse, social services involvement etc. And I have found lits of examples of children were taken in to the care after thr mother reported the abuse. Now I am VERY worried!

    Can anyone tell me what is normally happens in situations like mine? Will social services now keep an eye on me? Will I be notified straight away if they have any concerns? Should I now wait for an unannounced visit?

    I really worried now and wish I never call the police.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      yes they will be worried. I can already see quite a lot of minimisation and denial in your short comment and this will worry them. Just because your daughter was in her room when he was being abusive doesn’t mean she is protected from what she can hear and worry about. Just because he hasn’t hit you – yet – doesn’t mean that verbal abuse isn’t serious and very risky for you and for her.

      If it was bad enough for you to report to the police, it is certainly bad enough for social services to be worried. They should work with you to keep you and your daughter safe but if they think you are not going to work with them then I am afraid this is likely to escalate the situation. There is never any excuse for him being abusive to you. You shouldn’t have to put up with it and nor should your daughter.

  72. Angelo Granda

    QUOTE: I am redacting this comment. I will not permit comments that assert some general conspiracy to steal children. There are plenty of sites that will indulge you in this. I will not.

    1. Angelo Granda

      I protest!
      It’s not very christmassy to delete my comment is it?
      It did not assert some general conspiracy to steal children at all; Anyone who has read my views over a few years now on this site cannot be in any doubt that i have never ,ever alleged some general conspiracy to steal children. I have always frowned upon ‘conspiracy theories’ myself ,denying their existence and i have never used the words ‘child-stealing’. Indeed ,i have explained to readers in great detail why i prefer the use of terms such as ‘ taking unlawfully’ and ‘procuring into the care-system’.
      I admit my comment contained some criticism of LA lawyers and their motives which are to achieve their employer’s policy imperatives. It also attempted to rebut your own comment ,Sarah , to Daria that she was minimising issues,explaining that her response was the correct one and that the Police were the ones who minimised matters by failing to charge the man. The CS can’t reform him|
      I will back to the hilt your right to moderate comments,Sarah and i have done my best to keep up standards, but you must do it right; to claim in heavy type that i asserted there is a general conspiracy to steal children leaves me with a sense of unjustice. I did no such thing.
      Merry Xmas to you and yours,anyway.

      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        I apologise if I misinterpreted your comment but it read extremely clearly to me – you asserted that the LA were in essence taking children to feed the machine.

  73. Angelo Granda

    Thanks,Sarah. I cannot remember the exact wording i used on this occasion but please note that when i make comments ,they are intended as discussion . They are provisional views,if you like and i will always listen to anyone who will correct me or disagree in any way. I am always willing to change my views.
    I don’t actually ‘assert ‘ anything . Usually i use language like ‘i suggest’ or ‘in my opinion’ or qualify them by admitting my views are made on the ‘balance of probabilities’ as interpreted by an ‘ordinary citizen’ not by a lawyer or professional.Sometimes i ask readers to consider that many others such as high court judges.Maggie Melons and many parents agree with me on some issues.

    So, on that basis, please do not delete this comment regarding the ‘machine’ as you call it.

    I have several times explained how the financial advantage of the ‘carers’ especially private commercial interests predominate over the ‘best interests’ of the ordinary citizen in practice at any interface with public funding of projects. We know from your own comments and those of many others that public finances are put above support plans because the LA’s find it easier and have more control over a situation ( that means in their own best interests).We have all seen the history books and findings of public inquiries,crown courts and so on .We have all heard of all the tales and seen ‘Oliver’ when we were young.I think the evidence is overwhelming if we are realistic.
    There are more children in care now than ever before and by holding looked after children down and neglecting them, the Authorities are, in essence, ensuring a never-ending supply of candidates for the care-system. The system has continually failed children and families but won’t make radical changes in line with the Government’s vision for the future.
    i guess the truth is that they do ensure a never-ending supply of children for the care machine but, to be realistic, it is almost impossible to stop it when they can always excuse unlawful actions by claiming it is done in our best interests.
    Thanks again for your replies.

  74. Kim Cotteril

    Social Services WILL USE YOUR CHILDREN AGAINST YOU. If You don’t do Exactly as they want, they have the power and WILL take your children into care for “their protection.” (As if they’re safer in Care Homes – where do you think 90% of the recent victims of Grooming came from!!)
    And they WILL do this. Sorry to say. Once you go to them, they OWN YOUR KIDS. Unless you do as your told.
    Don’t believe me? Just Google “Forced Adoptions UK”
    There is a whole industry who makes money from taking your kids and putting them in care.
    From Solicitors to ‘Expert’ Witnesses to Private Care Home providers who get £2,500 per child per week!
    It’s a damned disgrace.
    Social Services should be a LAST RESORT. If life and limb is at stake.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If there are care proceedings you will get non means and non merits tested legal aid and you will have legal backing to make your case. Only a court can authorise removal of your children without your consent. The police can only remove for 72 hours and then need the authority of a court order.

      If your child is under section 20 accommodation and you don’t consent, then remove your children from that accommodation. Section 20 gives the social worker absolutely no rights nor authority over your child. They will have to go to court to get that authority and there you can make your case as to why they are wrong.

      Ian Josephs and the whole ‘Forced Adoption’ lobby have done incalculable harm to vulnerable families and children; by persuading parents to divert their energies into denial, aggressive and utterly futile campaigning. If you don’t like what is happening to your child then engage with YOUR lawyer and present YOUR case.

      It will also help if you are prepared to listen to the reasons given for the intervention by the State into your parenting. It may be that you can agree there is some force in those worries; you can then ask for help and support in making things better.

      Or, you can continue down a path of denial. It is of course your choice. But be clear about what battle it is you want to fight and direct your energies accordingly.

      1. Jay Kay

        That’s not a bad comment. BUT you’ll find the Courts will on 99% of occasions side with the Social Services. It’s ridiculous.

  75. LaCosta Arrington

    My son reported his abuser and cps took his son. They filed false statements to a judge and told my son that men don’t get abused. Now my son is being penalized for reporting domestic violence and his son was returned to the abuser

  76. PK

    My dad occasionally hurts me. 4 bad times so far this year. My mum feels bad for not reporting him or making him leave, but she says she won’t do anything because she doesn’t want to break up the family and ‘he doesn’t do it that often, I need to think of the positive things and I need to stop being selfish’. She also tells me that my sisters shouldn’t be separated from their dad because they still want him in the house. What I say in return is that if they were being also hurt by him they’d want him to leave too, but because they are only watching it happen to me they don’t understand. She told me that she supports me but if I tell anyone it will ruin everything and it will be me who’s taken away and not my dad, they’ll ‘just leave him here because you’re the only one getting hurt by him’. Is this true? I don’t know what to do, I feel unsafe with him but I want to stay with my mum and sisters.

    1. Angelo Granda

      PK, I am a parent myself and here is my suggestion.
      If your allegations are of a criminal nature, I advise you to gather evidence,note times and dates etc. and report your Dad, your Mum and your sisters to the Police. They will then have to act on your evidence and conduct a thorough investigation of facts. It will entail questioning all of you separately openly and honestly under controlled conditions .Statements and interviews will be written down,signed and recorded.
      All the evidence will then go to a decision-maker .If the allegations are genuine , the suspect/s will be charged and will have to appear in court.
      You must do it as soon as you can. Childline will help you if you give them a call. If you don’t do it,matters can only get worse. Make the Police your first port of call not the C.S.

    2. Unknown

      Hi Im really sorry to hear you are experiencing this. Please dont take what I say as a given as this is just my experience. I left my abusive husband for the safety of my children. I was supported with councel housing, GP and numerous services. I was fearful about the consequences which your mother may be feeling and this is why she may be reluctant to act due to the uncertainty of the events to follow. Take photos and keep a diary of what your dad does. You should go to the police if you are in serious danger. I would speak to your GP about this and they can give you advice if you don’t feel comfortable going to the police. If you are a minor, you may be put into care. If you are not, you may be put in a refuge until a councel house is found. Unfortunately it sounds like your mother isn’t prepared to leave him and may be worried about the consequences for everyone involved. She should be protecting you and it is not okay for you to be hurt by him and to make you feel as though you are selfish. You are not selfish. You are strong to have dealt with this. It sounds like she has put you in a very difficult position which you should not have to be in. It might be worth seeking councelling during this difficult time to help you with making a decision that is in your best interest.

    3. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am so sorry to hear this. It must be a very frightening and difficult situation for you. But when making a difficult choice I think you have to take the route that will keep you safe. I am afraid it sounds like neither of your parents can keep you safe. Your dad should never hurt you. 4 times a year or 40 times it doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t be happening. But reporting it will have a big impact on your family in the short term, of that I have no doubt. But maybe think of it this way. What is this situation teaching your sisters about adult relationships? Even if your dad isn’t physically hurting them, he and your mum are giving a really toxic example of how adults operate to your sisters. So I think the long term gains of making your parents confront what they are doing could be immense for you all.

      But its a horrible situation. I can’t tell you what to do. But I think you need to consider carefully the short, medium and long term impact of getting help.

  77. Anna

    I have been through family from my ex, I m pregnant and will due at Aug, the child protection worker involve and told me they at this stage they will just check do I have all the support system and then decide whether involve more in the future when my baby born,
    The thing is, I have intervention order with my ex and expire this end of year, I would like to get back to him, the intervention order between us is because he is verbal abuse me not physical abuse me, i m his only family in the world and he is my only as well, i m wondering if he is completed the anger management course n relationship counselling and me n him both cooperate with child protection in the future, is it possible that we can get back together this end of year which the intervention is over? I hear some people said it will be a long process may take few years? If is half to one year i understand but if more than that, is really feel like tear me apart from inside…is anyone know that if me n him cooperate then how long it will probably to take to be together? Three of us, thanks a lot for any reply

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If he has undergone therapy/counselling and is no longer going to abuse you, then I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be together, but it is quite rare for people to change and even more rare for it to happen in just a year. You also seem to need to do some work – verbal abuse isn’t ‘lesser’ than physical abuse, it can be just as damaging, not just to you but to your baby. He’s not the only man in the world. There are men out there who won’t abuse you or your baby, physically or verbally.

      It sounds as if you would benefit from having someone to talk to, to help you understand why you do not seem to know that you and your baby deserve someone who will love you and treat you kindly.

  78. Angelo Granda

    Anna, What is is an intervention order? Are you in Britain or another country?
    I agree with Sarah, there is no reason why you and the boy you love should not be together. You have human rights and one of them is the right to a family life with him and your child when born. If not already married,you should arrange a wedding a.s.a.p. and that will grant him shared parental responsibility .
    In Britain, i have not heard of an intervention order ( although I am not a care professional ). I don’t think it is possible for them to intervene without a care-order .
    Sarah has made a few predications based on the antecedents of other families to gIve you a clue of the kinds of ‘concerns’ you may come up against. For example, she suggests it is ‘rare’ for young people to reform and change their ways as they get older. Thousands do in my experience . He simply needs it impressing upon him that it is unacceptable to shout,swear and threaten girls. Or other men for that matter. He should never shout indoors . Possibly ,also, he might be taught to pray every day for guidance. Miracles do happen and i hope your tale ends happily for you all.
    Human kindness will prevail, i hope. You do have rights. I strongly advise you to get an independent advocate to support you and the baby. Interventions by SW’s can be very stressful and your baby needs protection from it. You don’t want any problems with the birth due to the threats and coercion of professionals. Seek advice from your doctor about independent support available and get your health visitor involved.
    Good luck!

    You may well see a lot of that from the authorities . If you and your boyfriend have no other family, does that mean you have both been in care yourself? That would explain a lot; it could be they are targeting your child for that reason. Keep in touch. discriminating agaih

    1. Angelo Granda

      Sorry for the interruption. I was going to say they may be discriminating against you for being a care leaver. Nevertheless , it will be helpful if you acknowledge it was hasty of you to start having babies before you both knew all about one another,before you both knew of one another’s respective faults and so on. Even now, don’t marry unless you are absolutely sure. Yet it will be better for the child if he or she can be given a life together with both natural parents. The Law sets it out and the child has a right to it.
      As i said before get an independent advocate. I am just another parent trying to help.

  79. Angelo Granda

    Readers may follow this link for information about intervention orders which appear to originate in Australia and bear some relation to anti-molestation orders previously used when a person needs protection from domestic abuse.


    From the description ,the concept sounds a good one providing, of course, all the rules and guidelines are followed . It will be essential that women remain in control , i should think, and that they have a sympathetic, independent advocate or magistrate guiding and watching over their interests. if a man does change his ways, the woman can then make her own choice as to if she wants to have the order discharged.
    Potentially, there could be complications were SW’s to misuse their powers and ideally,of course, that will not happen. Independent should support the women if they start to interfere beyond their remit and target the vulnerable.

  80. manjeet

    Hi Sarah

    I need immediate help , my wife and 7 months daughter went to safe shelter , she wants to return home but they are not letting my child return , what do i do to help unite my family pleaseeee…

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      sorry for the delay in replying – I assume there is some kind of court process underway if ‘they are not letting’ your child back into your care? If so you need to engage with the process and give clear instructions to your lawyer. If there is no kind of court process and no orders have been made, no one has the authority to keep your child away from you except the police and then only for 72 hours. Whatever is going on you need urgent legal advice from some one in real life – no one on an internet site can help you with this I am afraid.

  81. Angelo Granda

    They cannot stop your wife returning home and taking the child home too unless they have a care-order already issued as far as I am aware. I don’t think the risk of future harm warrants an Emergency Protection Order because there would be no emergency or imminent danger nor a Police Protection Order unless there are criminal charges against you pending. I should stress that I am not a professional adviser just another parent trying to help. You should seek a parent advocate service .Someone with experience can mediate between you ,your wife and the Social Workers involved and seek some sort of agreement. If procedures are followed,the C.S. may well inform you of contact details of an advocate but if they don’t ( sometimes they forget) contact this organisation who can advise and help:-


    They have a forum where you can get advice from other parents too and a help-line you can ring. Your wife can contact them too.

    Your problem, if they are discouraging your wife from conciliation and re-uniting with you , is that they think the risk of harm to the child is too great. Even if there is no domestic violence or anything like that,just shouting in the house is a big enough issue to them to
    break up the marriage permanently. I know this seems a little disproportionate to the circumstances but that’s the way the system works. Even if there has been no criminal charges laid against you, they may say you were probably guilty anyway. Then they will go through all the Public records on your family and gather evidence to get a care-order in the Family Court. It seems to be going that way. Co-operating with them and accepting the reasons for their concern is the best way to go about it. Providing ,that is , they are open and honest with you ,willing to deal with you and your advocate ,work with you and offer you all the support needed. Their target is to keep families together where possible. Yes,get an advocate to mediate with them and establish what they require of you to allay their concerns. I hope they haven’t already decided on a care-order.Sometimes they let their fears run away with them especially with certain families, for example ,deprived families on council estates or families where a Mum or Dad has been in care at some time themselves.
    You have to prove to them you are reformed and that there will be no more arguments etc. Good luck.

  82. Angelo Granda

    Can i add, if you were the reason your wife fled to a refuge, admit it to them, say you are very,very sorry,ask your wife’s forgiveness and promise you will never do it again.
    Confession,forgiveness and grace,magnanimity is the KEY to reform and happy families when one member goes astray.
    If you try denying it, minimising it ,getting stroppy with them or anything else, they will definitely go for an order. Likewise if your tries to diminish the seriousness of escaping to a refuge.
    Try and get family support at home. Possibly if a relation could move in with you for a while it would help.
    Most important thing of all,get an advocate to speak on your behalf etc.
    Hope all this helps.

    1. Angelo Granda

      Manjeet, Sorry, I realise now you were asking Sarah’s advice not another parent’s. She will come on soon ,i’m sure.

  83. Stacey

    Hi , my partner has been done in the passed for verbals threats to his ex. I have 2 children we r very happy and the boys adore him. My children’s dad has fount out his passed and wants to stop him being anywhere near my son even though he never hurt a child. Can he stop him being near my kids ?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      He can apply to the courts for a child arrangements order for the children to live with him and for the court to restrict the time they spend with you – but he will need some pretty clear evidence that the children are at risk of harm from your partner. or he could telephone children’s services and ask them to investigate – but again, they would need some pretty concrete evidence that your partner is a risk. I can’t comment on his level of risk on just this information but I will say that just because he has never hurt a child doesn’t mean he is a good person to have around children; a lot may depend on how serious his previous offence was.

  84. Concerned family Member

    What does one do if you are a concerned family member because both parents are violent to each other and they fight in front of the children? What can I do to protect the children?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      This is serious and likely to cause the children significant harm. If the parents will not respond to intervention from family or friends – either split up or go to counselling etc etc – then I think you have a duty to refer it on to Children’s Services. The impact of being exposed to parental violence on children is really serious and can have life long consequences.

  85. Angelo Granda

    As an ordinary layperson,if I were a family member concerned about two parents fighting as you are,I would set out to do my very best to put a stop to it. I would leap into the metaphorical ‘hole’ and pull both of them out of the mire into which they have both fallen.However,let me warn you; you are unlikely to succeed alone indeed both of them may well turn on you.You may be blamed for interfering.
    One good way of giving the help required will be for you to go immediately and inform other family members of what is happening and call a Family conference. Both sets of grandparents should attend, if possible,because the elders are most likely to be the ones able to influence sons and daughters. The whole family should sit down together, tell the couple where they are going wrong, express their concerns for the children,sort out disagreements and the causes of violence ( triggers etc.), mediate, arbitrate together, make both of them recognise their individual failings and the reasons for the fighting,admit to them , repent and change their ways, then to shake hands and conciliate.
    All family members should then agree to stay in close touch with each other, support each other and monitor the situation in future.The couple will be only to willing to forgive ,forget and change once their folly is pointed out to them in a strong, convincing but kind,charitable,understanding ,non-judgmental ,mutually supportive manner by extended family.
    Family dislocation and lack of family support networks is known to be one cause of general family dysfunction.
    Help them make changes!

  86. mediha tonn

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  87. Pingback: Child Protection Resource: 2019 The Year in Review | Child Protection Resource

  88. Bob

    I am a man suffering from Domestic Abuse.

    Once my partner hit me and burst my eardrum with blood leaking out. On this occassion I went to the doctor but I said I slipped on the ice. All the other casual punches, scratches that I get, I simply roll with. No, my pain comes from the endless psychological abuse. It is torture. She is extremely volatile and aggressive. She’s the type to twist things around, have an answer for everything, mock my sadness at her actions (victim blaming). She is a bully and shames me for everything i do and am. She is constantly undermining me, chastising, criticizing. Running me down. Telling me I am useless. Telling me I am ugly. She has a habit of projecting everything she does wrong onto me. She always moves the goal posts and the lack of consistency means i can never do anything right. And when i point this out she either dismisses this or mocks me ‘poor little victim’. I am a fairly lucid and measured person that cannot beleive the things i have written above has not resulted in me somehow escaping this situation – but it is amazing how trapped you become especially when you have children and you know you will lose them if it all blows up – not so much for your own sake but that the child will look at you and ‘say’ why daddy did you abandon me.

    Why dont I leave? Because I need to protect my child from a lifetime of living in *that* world. You see, I live in a system massively biased against men and our biggest fear is losing proper contact with our children. This article is great…. if you are a woman.

    If children are truly what the author and all female readers of this article care about – then we need to de-politicise domestic abuse. All abuser think they are justified and have a litiny of ‘reasons’. Female abusers are particularly emboldened because they feel (rightly) that society is on their side. Who would not want to believe that their behaviour is righteous.

    We have reached a point where otherwise reasonable people have to take sides in a tribal way. I have no doubt that Men are probably the most violent and quite possibly financially controlling. But women need to accept that a manipulative/vindictive/emotionally bullying pattern of behaviour is as innate to women as it is to men and that a case of a woman being abusive is not an abberation but normal and very commonplace. And men cannot get help until society properly recognises this and creates a new dividing line – not between men and women – but abusers and non-abusers.

    It is a great shame that this article leaves only an afterthought paragraph for men at the end when more than a third of victims are men. And who knows, maybe there are many more – like me – who are too scared to come forward.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry to hear this Bob and I hope you can get the support you need to leave this relationship. You say you are staying for the sake of the child but I think in the long term it is much better to get out and get your child out of that situation. Its really damaging for them to grow up thinking that this is what relationships between men and women are like. But I know it is very hard to leave. However, there are people who will support you and I hope you contact them.

  89. Angelo Granda

    Bob, Sorry to hear of your predicament.
    It is true what you say both about violence and coercive ,controlling and abusive behaviour in general but how the hell can victims male or female fight against it?
    The simple truth and as with all God’s truths ,it is very simple, there is a correct response which , in actual practice, rarely fails.
    It applies with both male/female violence; female/male violence; male/male and also female /female.
    What is it?
    With violence and bashing, at the first punch, TURN THE OTHER CHEEK! It works, there is good in every human being ,turn the other cheek and ,in my experience, they recognise straight away they are doing wrong and will not hit you again !

    IF someone threatens you, don’t cower away and kow -tow. Ask them outside and challenge him or her to throw a punch. Ten times out of ten ,they will realise they are wrong and back down.
    Coercive behaviour, nastiness, swearing etc. Kill them with kindness .Be kind and forgiving to them, smother them with love and understanding and you will find they quieten down and apologise. No matter how bad they might seem, they are just like naughty children and usually they will recognise their faults and apologise.
    Never be afraid, recognise they are human beings too ( with faults) and respond without fear in the way I have said.
    This is just the advice of an ordinary person like you are. Try it next time.

  90. Daniel

    I do have a child who is six year old and her name is Skye and I think it’s best for her to move in with me because I could make a great parent for her and I would like to be her biological Dad to her and I would like to change Skye’s middle name as Isabelle and her last name as Smith and I need to get her ID card and a passport and a lot of cards like cinema and vouchers and she wil be getting a lot of proper help for her support from me and the Adka Independence Group and from the Innovations Day Centrer Group.

  91. Sl

    The reality is that child protective services works with a very bias approach based on reports. They do not have faith in the abused or their statements and that is what a domestic violence counselor is for not for social worker with child services. If you fear your child being taken (which they can and will be if you let the abuser take it to far) then pack your things and run before it’s to late. That is what I would tell any woman after my experience. To go over the “umbrella” term it is more black and white you can say sugar coated. But I can agree if you ever in your life and god Hope’s you dont experience being beaten by a man or your children taken. Think that speaking like you know everything about it unless you’ve been through it simply isn’t your place. I think only individuals that have experienced problems with child services due to unwanted abuse should be rightfully able to comment on this. Also, I’ve experienced child services taken my child based on a false police report from my abuser because I tried to leave him. I was framed because I tried to leave. Nothing gets worse. I could’ve gone to prison for doing nothing and they did take my child for 5 months. There is a lot of pain there. I’ve let go of most of it but the only thing I won’t forgive is the first social workers involved and how careless and god like they felt towards a situation they were clueless to. The law is corrupt and our system is imperfect. Stay away from men that drug hit drink, abuse, and manipulate.

  92. Megan

    This topic is sensitive because there is no just or perfected way for our justice system to fix domestic violence. People can lose their family to protective services one month and go right back to the situation the next. CPS is a large group of undereducated, power hungry people that actually thing they are doing good to the world. In some specific cases this group of individuals helps. In many cases especially in Arizona. They take kids out of your home for looking at them wrong. There is corruption in their department and it needs to be exposed.

  93. Rachel

    Hi there I really need some advice .

    I have recently found out I am pregnant and I’m due to marry my partner in September of this year I will then be 7 months pregnant. We are very happy in our relationship but I am frightened to death social service will be knocking at my door put my child on a register or even remove them due to my partners previous relationship there was domestic violence between them and the mother if his child took an overdose whilst pregnant which resulted in the child being removed permanently and where adopted put this was 4 years ago . Previous to that he was in another volatile relationship.
    I have known him 20 years and know his exes where not nice people and there has been no problem between me and him but im scared that the social will take my baby because of the previous problems he has had . I have also been in a domestic violence relationship a couple of years ago which ended up In me leaving and having a restrain order put on my ex and me getting him prosecuted . So do I ring the social services or wait for them to contact me its stressing me put I just want to enjoy my pregnancy and us be a happy family.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Have you or your partner had any therapy or counselling etc about your experiences? It doesn’t matter how nice or nasty his exes were – if there is evidence that he was violent to them, this will be a big red flag and a concern. I think it is usually always best to be upfront about issues like this and make it clear that you are open to receiving help and support. If the issues of violence are several years in the past for both of you then that is a positive. Your midwife should already have asked you questions about your relationship and may refer it on if they are worried. I don’t think you need to ring children’s services directly but make sure you are open and honest with your midwife or those looking after you before the birth.

  94. Koko L

    It’s always good to have video proof, my dads been mentally , physically and emotionally abusive to my mom, myself and my middle brother (they’ve been married 23 years). My youngest brother hasn’t experienced any abuse by him but he still watched him beat us, swear at us, accuse my mom of nasty things. I moved out when I was 18 (I got caught for smoking weed dad said come home and he’s gonna kill me” so I never went back. After I while I started going over every weekend to visit them, everything was okay for a while but then every time I’d be there he would get mad at me say I smell like weed ( I would shower and wash my clothes before I went over cuz of this so there was no way) hit me and kick me out, I wouldn’t go back for months but then I’d miss my mom and my brothers so I’d go back again. The past month my 18yesr old brother would call me and cry his heart out to me, my dad would call him “waste, retarded, he’s not his son, he’s gonna kick him out if he can’t get into university” just being very mentally abusive same thing he did to me. All of this has affected my 9 year old brother so much. He always thinks everything’s his fault, or they he should be getting in trouble too, he thinks about thinks 9 yos don’t think about. Like saving money?? We’re not poor, we own cars, multiple houses but he hears my dad fight my mom about money so I think he thinks everything’s his fault. I talked to a social worker becuase my dad had convinced my mom if she ever tried leaving he’d get us all deported back to India and destroy our lives, we’re Canadian citizens but still she was convinced he wasn’t lying. I called everyone I could and figured out there’s no way he can get us deported since we are citizens, so I started takiing to a social worker but my mom wanted to give dad another chance so I told my brother to make videos if anything happens again, got a call from my brother last week he was sending me videos of my dad beating the crap out of my mom like it was WWE. And she was just standing there taking it. “If you try to block my hits I’ll hit you harder” that’s what my dad would say. You literally just gotta stand there and take the abuse, hes beat us with EVERYTHING even his steel toed boots. We did EVERYTHING for my dad, my mom got up 3am got him ready for work gave him a massage every morning, made fresh food everyday, even did his paperwork for his JOB!! As far back as I can remember I was always filling out forms for my dad and getting him jobs, a 8 year old kid calling company’s and telling them why they should hire my dad lol, I’d mess up a little bit saying something and didn’t say it exactly the way he said I’d get beat up so bad and I’d be the reason he didn’t get the job. So when my bro sent me the videos I asked him if he’s still hitting her he said “no he went upstairs”, I said if he comes back and starts hitting her again, call the cops, if he doesn’t wait till he’s asleep pack all your guys stuff and come to my place, dad came down and started beating mom again, I called the cops, my little brother called the cops, when the cops got there they broke down the door cuz they could hear yelling, came inside say my dad standing over my mom and her hair was all messed up they pointed their guns at my dad grabbed him and separated everyone, cuffed my dad and took him to the car, took my mom outside, took my brothers downstairs. Mom had to go to the hospital because there was a very high chance she had a concussion. She never went to the hospital before thsi man broke my mom. He thought ever since I moved out I didn’t talk to my mom but me and my mother are BEST FRIENNDS. he doesn’t know I’m talking to my mom too and I called him to see if he was okay, and now I feel really bad and I’m worried for him, he’s so used to us doing everything for him. He’s telling me he wants to kill himself and I feel so bad. I’ve been crying every night and every morning. But like not even a month ago he was telling my mom he’s never letting me back in the house, that I live with a black guy (we’re Indian) and that I have a CCHILD!! Tried to turn my grama (his mom) against me and when she wouldn’t he stopped talking to her, and now suddenly he wants to put me in his will, I can live with him, he’s gonna buy me a car, I don’t have to work, I can keep my dog. I’ve been telling him how wrong he’s done us and every bad thing he did to us and he regrets it and he’s apologizing and saying he’s gonna change. When I was 3 my mom left him and went to her parents in India, he went there begged her whole family for her back promised them he’d never abuse her again, brought her back to Canada and 4 days later he said “your family isn’t here to help u now” and started abusing her again. I’m helping my dad out thru this cuz at the end hes still my father and as much wrong he’s done us I don’t know why I still love him and I feel so bad. I think he’s mentally unstable, I know I get so angry sometimes I can’t control what I say and I’ll instantly regret it after , I’m getting better at controlling it becusse I was lucky enough to find a man who cares about me enough to help guide me thru this. A patient living man, but then me being this way makes me think all this isn’t my dads fault he’s just messed up in the head and he needs help. My moms so upset too she said “even if he beat me at lest he cared for me” I’m telling her that’s toxic if someone loves you they don’t hurt you live this. But living with someone for 23 years, leaving them is hard. She’s so sad.. my dads so sad, I’m so sad, my 18 year old brother is SOO HAPPY. He’s already booked a ticket to Seattle without even telling my mom, I feel like he pushed this because he just wanted freedom, I know it as the right choice but I can’t help but think about all these things. I don’t want my dad to be out in jail and I don’t want his life ruined, I just wanted him away from my mom, but now they told the cop EVERYTHINGand the cops said they’re gonna charge him with way more stuff, and my dads saying” what happened happened there’s people telling him this happens to everyone you can say u we’re just drunk and you’ll never do it again” but he doesn’t know my mom and brother told the cops that he’s been abusing us for soooo long. He thinks there’s a chance he’ll go back into the house, I don’t know how to tell him or if I even should? I don’t know what to do… I put myself in the middle and now I’m destroyed by this.
    If you or someone you know is suffering thru abuse please get them help, the longer you wait for the abuser to change the worse and harder it gets to leave, it becomes a patterns and the abuser thinks you’re never gonna leave them so they can keep abusing. It’s very toxic and sometimes people end up dead. Please, if you know someone’s being bused HELP THEM! But make sure your get PROOF!!!!

  95. Anonymous

    I just left my partner about a week ago because he hit me. I made a police report and a case was opened with Mujeres Unidas. I might have only been with him for under 2 years but i got so dependent on him to be able to be happy. Now i don’t know what to do without him by my side. I can’t sleep or eat because i miss him so much and just want to be by his side again. He promises that he will change if i can just give him a chance. My concern is that my parents threaten me with taking away my 5 month old daughter if i return to him. I’m so scared of them doing it, and now i no longer feel comfortable being in their home. I spend all day locked in my room with my baby and only come out when strictly necessary ( like to use the rr or to shower). Can they really take away my baby if i return with him? Especially since the police report was made & a protective order was issued against him??

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      If child protection services are worried that you cannot protect your child from a violent partner, then yes, there is a risk that they will remove the child from your care. Clearly your parents are taking it very seriously. If he is willing to make changes and get help for his behaviour, it would be sensible to look for some evidence that he is actually doing something before you decide to return to him.

  96. Anonymous

    Please can you give me some advise.

    I was in abusive relationship for ten years, coercive for most of it then at the end it turned physical. I had abuse from her parents too. When we were together she would threaten and tell me, I would never see the children if we split up, threatened to leave in front of the children making them really upset, that everyone was being mean or bullying her, our children, her parents and family, my family, my friends her friends and every job she had. Tried to drive a wedge between my family and friends so I’d stop seeing them, Told me things I done were rubbish s**t, when I tried to do things nice like days out she would make an argument over the most trivial things. Moving things telling me it was in my head to name a few. I didn’t really understand what coercive control was until we separated I knew there was something in the back of my mind not right. The abuse is still continuing to this day. She has disclosed my medical condition to the children’s school where she also works which she was in contempt of court. However she has again disclosed things to the school about my medical condition. The family court has had a letter from my Gp, hospital, counsellor. Photos of the injuries, police record of the assault, A mental health assessment ordered by the court which said my mental health was probably caused by domestic abuse. The court had all this evidence but decided that I was the problem because of my mental health. They didn’t once look into why I was feeling the way I was just beat me further with the mental health stick.

    It all got a bit to much for me trying to prove I’m a good man and good dad so had to take time away from the court process and the children, Im feeling much better now and feel strong enough to try again to gain access to see my children, what do you think would be the best approach this time. Many thanks

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I would contact the mother and try to arrange contact but it sounds from what you say that she isn’t going to be very helpful, and if mental health issues have been raised then its possible those will be relied on to deny you contact, or limit it. If you can’t get anywhere by agreement then I am afraid it is likely that you will have to apply back to court.

  97. Hanna

    It’s sad that you say it’s a myth that social workers will take your baby if you report domestic violence. I’ve worked with a lot of women this has happened to. And it should be laid out in black and white that there is a BIG possibility.

  98. Shelby Yarber

    I am involved in a DV relationship with my daughters father, and recently had dealings with child protection services. They came to my home after my daughter told a teacher that her dad always hurts her mom. They threatened to have her removed from my custody if I didn’t leave right then. I have no friends, as I haven’t been allowed to, and no family left. My ex-husband was able to arrange a place for me to stay for a couple weeks, but sadly that is no longer an option for us to use. I don’t and haven’t had a job in years, and am not allowed to have money, so I literally have no way out. CPS said they would provide resources to help us, but when I got a job I didn’t have childcare and they couldn’t help me, so what am I supposed to do? The house we live in is across the street from my abusers work, so he could always watch me, and is in only his name so they can’t make him leave the home. I don’t know what to do

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am really sorry to hear this – I think from your answer you are in the USA so I do not know what resources are available in your country to help you. In the UK there are various organisations that are able to provide emergency accommodation.

  99. Concerned parent

    Social services in Brighton uk don’t care!!
    My son was violently assaulted by his ex girlfriend because he told his ex girlfriend nan she was disgusting for tell her granddaughter over Social media that it was his ex girlfriend fault an ex of her had been found out for being pedophile the night before his ex girlfriend and her nan conspired for her nan to bring her uncle up my son was going to leave the night before as he was only at his flat seeing his daughter but his ex girlfriend begged him to stay the night next morning her nan started with him again over Social media while on the phone in with his ex in her room he had got his daughter sorted to take her out when the front door when he told her do not open the door because he had his 2 year old daughter in his arms she turned to him smiled and opened the door and he was just able to put his daughter on the floor before her uncle began his violent assault stamping on my sons head all while his ex girlfriend just stood there laughing and cheering with her nan who was hold his 2 year old daughter in the same area he was being assaulted my son lost consciousness and when he came to he heard them all laughing about what her uncle had done and his little daughter crying he had to flee as her uncle was coming back for another ago he fleed managed to get a passers-by ring me no sooner had I hung up from that person who had only said my son said to let me know he was on his way to me as he ex girlfriend had just had him violently assault his ex girlfriends nan was ringing me when I answered my phone to her nan she asked if my son was with me I said no and asked if the nan knew why some stranger had called me to say my son was had been violently assaulted and his ex girlfriends nan laughed down the phone at me say yeah had knew because it she was there and it was her own 40 something year old son who had been stamping on my 23 year old son head at her granddaughter flat my reported to social services because he was unable to get his daughter from her mum when he fled so he was very worried about his daughter and social services didn’t do nothing except say if he wanted to see his daughter to just do what his ex and her family was wanting him to so his contact was not prevented by his ex and it didn’t matter if his ex and her family was requesting ridiculous times to at night to go collect his daughter or if his ex and her family suddenly change times or days at last minute notice or just refused him contact and because his ex didn’t want to do the sorting out of the contact with him and his daughter she had either her mother or nan doing the co-parenting of the child’s hand overs for contact and now 10 months later and ignoring any or all his concerns for his daughter and unexplained bruises on his child that were covered by plastered refusing to help and support with his contact and all the stress his ex and her family were giving him social services have refused to take any of his or texts because he get raises his voice with to them and gets very angry about the way they have treated him making him feel like he was the one who had violently got his ex girlfriend assaulted and the the social services sexist and biased attitude and behaviour towards him have stopped his contact because because he refuse to be polite calm and wont stop reporting to them about his daughter mother and what he finds out she is getting up to from have random guys back to her 1 bedroom flat she share with his daughter after only meeting these men that night and having them sleeping in her room the same room she share with his little girl. To unexplained bruises or rashes on his daughter or telling the social services about his ex girlfriend not only drinking every weekend but also doing class a drugs because he refuses to co-parent like nothing is wrong or going on social services stopped his contact with his daughter

  100. Reece

    Hello I seek some advice, I’m currently on bail, I’m due in court for DV against my wife after and fight we’re I have been beaten but retaliated and she sought for me to be arrested, I’m by no means saying this stuff as an excuse for my actions, I have been this abusive relationship for a long time, I have never reported my wife for any violence she has inflicted on me, but there have been times I’ve retaliated, again I know I should of been better, I have been controlled, even more so since 2015, when this started to get worse, as my wife has an illness and struggles with alcohol I’ve always wanted to stay and be a family as we have 3 kids, she has physically hurt one of the children and I have to say I was told we could not taken him to hospital because they would know the child hadn’t hurt himself, I’m at fault also cos I allowed her to rule me on this issue and I’m going to be meeting with social services, what am I meant to do?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      You need to be as honest and open as you can and ask for whatever support that is out there. I am afraid it sounds a serious situation with more than just one problem for your family.

  101. Kmart

    I called police for domestic violence but now I’m trying to go back because my boyfriend is getting mental help but I’m being told by my family if I go back cps will take my child. I don’t know if that is true or not. Can they do that? Because how would they find out if I go back?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      They may visit you, other people may tell them, if you call the police again, the police will definitely have to tell them. If you choose to return to a violent partner, there is a real risk that you will lose the care of your child/children. You will be failing to protect them.


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