So scared

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Alasia
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:50 am

So scared

Post by Alasia » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:58 pm

I don't know where to start...

I have three children aged 12, 11 & 8 and social services have been involved with my children a lot in the past - I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder in 2014 and prior to that had a lot of SS involvement due to losing houses and becoming homeless. My children's dad was very violent towards me and used me for money a lot after we split, which contributed to my lack of money and therefore my inability to pay the rent.

Anyway. I've now been with my fiance for 3 years and the police (and therefore SS) have been to see us at least 3 times during our relationship, maybe 4. Every time it is because we have got into a row, I've gone to hit him/thrown his phone/something like that and he has hit back through "self defence" (his words). In his defence, I do lash out first but I'm not excusing his actions at all.

This latest incident happened 6 days ago; we've got into a bit of a spiral of drinking a little too much so last weekend we agreed not to drink for a while as we've both put on weight, we have next to no lovelife, etc etc. He's just started working again after a series of major operations and last Thursday came home after a big job with good pay, with a couple of bottles of wine and some snacks to 'celebrate'. I was obviously annoyed and we bickered for a while, then started ignoring each other. At no point were our voices raised and my children were unaware anything was wrong.
He drank a bottle and a half of wine that evening (over the course or about 3 hours) whilst watching a film in the other room and later on, I heard him open the crisps, and got annoyed that he was having such a lovely time while we were arguing. I went into the room he was in, started asking why he wasn't bothered about the argument etc and he started saying "Go on, hit me" (I assume, because that's what usually happens when I'm so frustrated).
He kept in saying that and I got so frustrated that I threw the bowl of crisps I was holding (I'd picked them up as I'd thought he had finished with them) onto the coffee table in front of him, and the bowl clipped his glass which shattered.

I cleaned up while he was threatening to call the police and SS, so I took the last of the wine and his the bottle in the drawer in my bedroom (partly to wind him up, partly to stop him drinking anymore).
He came in after me asking where the wine was, I stood in the doorway blocking his entry and we scuffled a bit, which ended up in me getting a slap to the underside of my chin. To this day, I'm not sure whether he did it or I clipped myself in the struggle. And why I didn't move from the doorway, I don't know.

Anyway. Police came, he had fallen asleep, they didn't wake or question him, they left.

Now I'm panicking.
He apologised the next day, saying he was ashamed that he had got that drunk, since then we've got things back on track.

Last time SS were here (a year ago) I'm sure they said something like the manager had warned that if this happened again, they would take things further - but I can't remember the wording and I'm petrified.

We've worked on our arguments so we no longer shout at each other, we do still argue but not half as regularly and this violence only ever happens once a year at most, when we are both so frustrated and usually alcohol is involved. I admit, the violence has only ever happened after I have gone into the room he is in and started shouting at him, or being confrontational about how unhappy I am at how unbothered he is that we are arguing.

Anyway, no one's been to see us yet but I'm so scared they'll see me as an unfit mother and take my children from me, and I can't handle that! It's their birthdays soon, we have a holiday planned... They're well kept children, the house is tidy, they weren't aware this argument happened (asleep the entire time, I checked regularly), they have 100% attendance at school and all the children's attainment has improved this year from last. My eldest is even on the gifted and talented register at school!

Does anyone know how ss are likely to play this? If they say we have to split, we will although I'd like to stay together as we have a great relationship apart from this one issue that rears its head yearly :(
I've done the freedom course online recently and my partner says he's willing to take any courses that are asked of him, he's also willing to move out if needs be.

Do I have any chance of keeping my children with me and what can I do now, before ss arrive, to improve my chances that they will take pity on me/us and see my children are well cared for and loved?

Thank you in advance.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2622
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: So scared

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:11 pm

Dear Alasia,

Welcome to the Parent’s Forum and thank you for your post.
I am sorry for the delay in responding to your post. When you posted a month ago you were waiting to hear from children services. You were also very worried that children services will be removing your children.
Children are only removed if you agree (as a parent with parental responsibility) or if they get a court order. To get an emergency court order they would have to show that your children are in imminent danger, at risk of serious harm. The court would expect them to have provided support to you. This does not sound your case. Also have you received any support from them?

I assume the police would now have made a referral to children services and they may by now be carrying out a family assessment. Here is information about assessments.

I can see that the last time children’s services were involved (a year ago) the social worker said that things would be taken further if they were called out again.
As part of the assessment, children services will look at the history of their past involvement. However, they will not automatically jump to a going to court level. It will be a fresh assessment not picking up from a year ago.
Clearly, when they have been involved before they have felt no need to keep their case open so were not worried about your children.
You do not say what level of intervention there was in the past.

Please look at this triangle diagram (scroll down the page) on the young parent’s website.

This sets out the different levels and what they mean.
I imagine, children services will be thinking about what support you need. In the past, they may have assessed and provided support and closed the case. They could do the same. Or they may decide your children are child in need and monitor and support them via a child in need plan.
If they suspected that your children had suffered or were likely to suffer significant harm and that the harm was ongoing they will hold child protection enquiries and there may be a child protection conference. A child protection plan may be out in place to monitor and support your children at home. Please see our FAQ’s about domestic violence .

Children services can ask for your partner to move out of the family home, if they assess that the situation in your home is dangerous to the children, if he remains there.
You seem to have accessed domestic violence support-the freedom programme online.
Have children services ever provided support for you and your partner in the past? If not, then I can see why the domestic violence has continued because domestic violence is complex and both of you would need support.
They should have previously referred you for support as there has been a quite a few incidents when your partner has hit you.
Has the violence to you become more serious?-The underside of your chin was injured but did he try to grab you by your neck?
It is really positive that both you and dad want to seek further support. You could consider finding further support for yourself via the Women’s Aid website and they have a helpline.
You say you are also a perpetrator as well as your partner. Why don’t you contact the perpetrators helpline at Respect.net to discuss what has happened?
Your partner says he is keen to do any support as well. This is very positive and he could find out about local courses via Respect .
You say your children slept throughout but you cannot be sure they did. If they had woken up it would have been very traumatic for them to see their mum being attacked. It may be a coping or protective strategy to pretend to be asleep. They could also have seen the after effects of the domestic violence on you-either bruises or the impact on your mental health. Children are often impacted long term when they have witnessed domestic violence. In case your children have, ask children services about what support they may need. See Women’s aid for the effects of domestic violence on children.
I hope this advice helps. Please post again of you need further advice or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.
Best wishes,

Suzie

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