Relationship with convicted sex offender

S***a
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:10 pm

Relationship with convicted sex offender

Postby S***a » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:12 pm

Hi there.

I'll try and keep this as factual and concise as possible. Any feedback would be helpful.

I recently began and subsequently ended a romantic relationship with a man who was convicted of grooming pre-teens online (no contact) 10 years ago and subsequently signed the Sex Offender Register for 3 years. The man was not sent to prison for his unthinkable and sickening crime.

Since the events of 10 years ago, he has been rehabilitation and kept himself in therapy privately to ensure he was fully "fixed". He has care of his own son, is Godfather to two children of friends who are aware of his past, and is a respected professional in the local community. He has also previously been in a relationship with a woman with a teenage daughter which he himself approached Social Services about and was told at the time that there would only be concern raised if he moved in with the woman and her daughter, and that their choice as a couple to keep him out of the daughter's life was protection enough.

I formed my friendship with him at a turbulent time in my life and he met my toddler in brief and public settings whilst still my friend. When we both sensed things moving to a more romantic stage, he declared his past to me in full detail and I was of course hurt and scared. Some time passed and after talking and asking some extremely difficult questions, I made the judgement to be in a romantic relationship with him, but keep him separate from my child in all ways. She was never going to know he existed. Although I trusted him, I was never going to take any risk whatsoever. It simply wasn't a chance worth taking. He himself also put forward the protection of never coming to my home, even if my child wasn't there, to add an extra barrier. We truly felt this was, although not seen agreeably, going to be enough to satisfy anyone concerned that my child was safe.

He encouraged me to be open with my family as he wanted to make sure I could speak to people should I feel at any stage that I was doing the wrong thing. This then led to my family becoming extremely concerned and angry with me. I rang the police and asked to see someone who could help me understand whether I really had lost all sense of judgement and that my child was at risk.

The police came to the conclusion that my child was not in danger by the barriers in place, and that they had no reason to speak further to us. The Sargent also confirmed that I was doing nothing wrong by carrying on seeing him outside my home and on my own.

Social services and my Health Visitor then paid a visit and came to the conclusion that the barriers I put in place were not adequate or sufficient and that I would have to cut off all contact with him as they felt that in the future he could pose a threat.

My questions are as follows:
(1) Why is my word as a mother not enough to affirm that he will never be part of my daughter's life.
(2) Why is nobody telling him he should not be dating a single mother.
(3) What level of intrusion would happen if I did become his friend again, without anything romantic whatsoever?

I live in fear of bumping into him and being seen just saying hello, and that sparking a plethora of intrusions.

I want to live in a society that puts childrens needs first and will do anything to protect them. Why is my word not enough?

Many thanks and Kind Regards in lieu of any feedback.

S***a
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:10 pm

Re: Relationship with convicted sex offender

Postby S***a » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:47 am

In addition, I would just like to add that on a personal level he was an important person to me, and I would like to be able to at least be his friend one day. The vaguely worded "consequences" of that have been impressed upon me, but I am struggling on a deep level to understand why someone in my standing cannot be his friend, yet he has many friends with children. It is something I am struggling with as it's not something I can reconcile: why the limitations if I have already asserted that he is never going to know my child?

I'd also like to understand why the police told me on more than one occasion that I could see him separately as discussed with them, but the services have told me to cut him off completely?

On a legal level, surely, if this man is someone I as a mother should not be having anything to do with, why is nobody speaking to him about this? Why am I getting put upon as a mother, but nobody will even approach him to discuss their concerns? If he really is a potential risk for the future, why is he free to date another single mother in the future without being informed of the consequences?

I have no qualms about putting my child first. But I am trying to understand why I am getting strong armed into making choices about my friends, when he gets no reproach on the entire matter?

I would also like to understand whether even an exchange or text messages or calls would flag something on a system anywhere which would lead to the services swooping in on me.

I don't want to live in fear, and I simply cannot go in with this constant reminder that my judgement as a woman and a mother has been deemed sub-par.

DD2SS
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:56 pm

Re: Relationship with convicted sex offender

Postby DD2SS » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:54 pm

Hi there,

Sorry to see that you are having such a tough time with this. Your posts raise so many issues that can't really be adequately addressed here, but what I sense most is that you are finding it difficult that this situation has called your ability to protect your children and honesty into question. I can see why that must be difficult, together with your conflicting feelings about this man.

I"ll make two (OK three) points though. The first is in relation to your feelings of being judged. Perhaps I can reassure you that this is not about you - you seem to have absolutely put your children and their protection first - this is about the consequences of his previous behaviour, and from what you have said he seems to understand that. Children's Services have a statutory duty to protect children, and in this case they have perhaps chosen the path of least resistance, which is to advise that you break all contact with this man. This de facto protects the children. If you refused, I presume that would then trigger a more thorough examination of the case, including all relevant information (which they probably haven't yet had sight of). Given that this man appears to be open, honest, have unsupervised contact with his own son, have stable friends, relationships, and networks, I suspect that closer scrutiny would reveal that he has a level of risk that is manageable. However, this doesn't appear to be something you can live with.

My second point in response to people telling this man what to do, the state cannot go on monitoring every offender permanently. Furthermore, those protections must be proportional to risk. We live in a society where there is a presumption that people can rehabilitate and not re-offend, and this gentleman sounds like a good example of that. Even from the brief amount you tell us, he seems to have taken full responsibility for his crime, seems committed to not reoffending, and is taking full responsibility for the consequences, of which his relationship with you is part. Only you can say where you sit in terms of how you feel about criminal rehabilitation. It's not for everyone, certainly, but there are good examples here of people who do have happy relationships with ex-offenders and some child sex offenders have full unsupervised contact with children. Make of that what you will.

Finally, no one will be monitoring your behaviour or communications, which would be illegal. The reason Children's Services became involved was because you essentially self referred. However, now they are aware of the situation, if you didn't inform them of seeing this man this might not be looked on favourably given what has been advised should they find out. If you do want to see him, I think you'd need to face the problem head on and work with them to find a solution.

Hope this helps.

Taylorswift
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:40 am

Re: Relationship with convicted sex offender

Postby Taylorswift » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:31 am

I have been in the same situation with you and would really like to give you some advise. I have been with my partner for 2 years and we have recently had a baby together. He is on the sex offenders register he also spent time in prison. It is similar to your friend although my partner had one victim and she was 14. Like your friend he told me from the start about his past and I self referred to social services. I have teenage twins and a 6 year old (all 3 girls) I got advice from probation and police and they both were not concerned about our relationship. Social services then held a child protection meeting and put my children on child protection (they came off it after 12 months) . I split with my partner and they told me no contact but I couldn't live without him. He was and is my soul mate. I told social services I would not do that so they were forced to work with me. I stuck to everything they said and did everything they wanted me to. To cut a long story short I am now planning my wedding and we have a son together. My partner has regular contact with my children after I have worked with social services and been declared that I am a good mother and have protected my children. I supervise the contact. Contact has now moved to my home with added temporary supervision from my eldest son who is 24. It has been a long road to get here and social services prefer you to finish the relationship as it makes life easier for them but if you love that person and trust them then stand your ground and work with them and be completely honest they will work with you and you can move on from this. I have had a lot of backlash from family and my ex but I have been strong and social services Trust me and trust I put my children first. I hope this gives you some comfort that it can be done but prepare for a long bumpy road. Only you know the real man and he genuinely could of made a mistake for which he is sorry and has turned around from so I just wanted you to know the options if you do decide to carry on seeing him. X

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2084
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Relationship with convicted sex offender

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:44 pm

Dear S***a

Welcome to the parents' discussion forum.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

I see from your post that you are upset and frustrated by the situation you have found yourself in with children's services because of your involvement with someone who is a convicted sex offender. The questions you have raised are understandable in the circumstances but, unfortunately, not questions I am able to answer for you.

You have had really helpful posts from DD2SS and Taylorswift, the latter being able to give you the benefit of her experience of working with children's services to achieve the best outcome for her and her family. It will be for you to make the decision about the kind of relationship you wish to have with the person concerned but if you do decide to be in a relationship it will be a long difficult road ahead. What you put in place to safeguard your child seemed acceptable to the police which must be the reason you are confused by the situation.

The fact is, children's services are concerned about safeguarding children and this is their main focus. For the police, it is more about whether a crime is involved and clearly there was none.

Children's services can carry out a risk assessment of this man if you decide you wish to be involved with him and you would be within your right to ask for such an assessment. I think it would be helpful for you to make contact with Lucy Faithfull Foundation on 0808 100 0900. This organisation t advises both sex offenders, family and others and provide information about protecting children.

If you decide that you do not wish to be in a romantic relationship and decide to maintain a friendship then, provided you do not put your child at risk, inform children's services of this so they can, if necessary, discuss with you what they consider appropriate safeguarding for your child, they would have less reason to try and prevent your friendship. Having said this, if they considered that you were putting your child at risk, they could carry out s.47 child protection investigations which could lead to child protection plans. A copy of our advice sheet about child protection procedures is here for your information.

I think it is important that you have an open, honest and frank conversation with children's services so you can be clear about what you want you to do. In my view it is not enough to simply say you can have no further involvement. As Taylorswift said there is no reason you cannot ask for children's services to work with you and if this man is willing with him as well.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, you can telephone our free, confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Hope this is helpful

Best wishes

Suzie


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