Advice please, im absolutely clueless. Past DV

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Calm6077
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:10 pm

Advice please, im absolutely clueless. Past DV

Post by Calm6077 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:48 pm

Hi, okay I'm not too sure where to start, so I'll just give it a go the best I can. And please dont be judgemental on my past lifestyle. This is something I have turned around now.

I am 17 weeks pregnant at the moment. I've been on/off with the babies father for 5 years. During the past there have been recurring incidents where police have been called out regarding domestic abuse by my partner. My case went to marac as I was a high risk due to a health condition. But I do not have social services involvement at the moment, I never have done.

Since finding out I am pregnant, me and the father have no longer had the same fights, if we argue we talk, we dont scream, we dont shout. It's almost as though something has clicked and hes like a different person. He no longer uses drugs, he wont bring them in my house.

Now he doesnt live with me, he never has and he does not have keys. But my midwife assumes we are not together or in contact and I have not corrected her about this as of yet. I know I will have to at some point, but my problem is that my domestic worker and the police and everyone else absolutely hates this guy, even though he has never been convicted. I understand from a safety point of view I would not allow him to move in because you just never know and I do fully understand their concerns, but I've been told if i get back in contact with this man, there will be referrals and everything else instantly.

Please can someone tell the process, what will happen when I say that he would like to have a part in his childs life? What are his rights? My rights? What will be asked of me/us? I dont want him kept from his little boy. Because I believe even if we couldnt get on he would never, harm a child. How would we prove he isnt a risk? What is the timeline? How is it done? I'm completely lost and need advice, would seeking a solicitors advice be worthwhile?

He really is a different man and I know it's a cliche but they havent seen the switch go off in his head like I have. Hes protective, he cares for me. He does things he never used to do for me. And the drugs are gone.

Thanks.

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

Re: Advice please, im absolutely clueless. Past DV

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:23 pm

Dear Calm6077

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group. I am sorry that it has taken a little while for you to receive a response to your post

Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy. It is not my role to be judgemental but to offer advice appropriate to the issues of concern to a poster.

You say that you have been in a domestically abusive relationship with the father of your unborn baby for 5 years. As a result of the level of domestic violence, you were considered to be a high risk and MARAC was involved. As you know, this is a multi-agency assessment process for high risk persons as in your case.

Now that you are pregnant, you state in your post that your partner has effectively made a full about turn and changed towards you. I assume that there was a safety plan put in place for you, did this include a requirement that you would not be in contact with the perpetrator? From what you have said in your post it appears that you are still very much in a relationship with him but the professionals who were involved are not aware of it.

You are concerned about how things will be done now you are pregnant. I think that it likely that the professionals who have been involved with you are likely to be concerned that you resumed your relationship and there was no openness on your part about this. Failing to be open might give the impression that you cannot be trusted to keep yourself or your baby safe.

The fact that you believe your partner has changed overnight because of your pregnancy may well be another cause for concern. The reason I say this is because, children’s services and others might take the view that you are minimising what your partner is capable of doing. It would of course be a good thing if he had made such a change but you have not mentioned any work he has done to address his past behaviour. How do you know this is something he will be able to maintain for example, following the birth of the baby?

Since you have been involved with MARAC, it is correct that a referral would be made to children’s services. Once this happens, children’s services will carry out a child protection assessment and it may be that there will be pre-birth child protection conference to decide whether your unborn baby should be on a child protection plan. Please read our advice sheet Child protection procedures for more information. A pre-birth plan would specify what will happen once your baby is born. Until, your baby is born children’s services is not in a position to take legal action to safeguard the baby.

It is important that you understand that domestic violence is taken very seriously by children’s services whether there has been a conviction or not. This is because of the impact domestic violence has on a child’s emotional well being as well as the risk to the victim. I am not sure why you say that the professionals working with you hate your partner? Their concern may, I think, relate to your safety.
You need to understand that where a child or unborn baby is involved professional have a safeguarding role to ensure that they are safe and will be safe. Please read our advice sheet An introductory guide to Children’s Services which will give you information about the procedure once children’s services receive a referral.

Whether or not your partner is still a risk would depend on a risk assessment being carried out to decide whether he is a high risk or not. The fact that you were deemed to be in a high risk situation would be a relevant factor. The fact that something ‘clicked’ is unlikely to be enough to satisfy the professionals who would be involved as part of the pre-birth planning for your baby that he is no longer a risk. As mentioned above, what steps has he taken to address his behaviour in your relationship over the last 5 years? There no evidence to say that he has learned how to behave appropriately in a relationship. You have made no mention of his background in previous relationships.

Please read the information here relating to mothers and domestic violence.

Have you already attended courses yourself to help you in respect of the domestic violence you have subjected to in your relationship? If not, you may want to consider doing so.

As the mother you will have parental responsibility for your son. Your partner as the father will not, unless you are married to each other or he is named on the baby's birth certificate. Whether or not he will be able to play a full role in the baby's life will depend on the level of risk he poses. He would, as a father be able to apply to the court to have contact with the baby and that will be for him to decide. A lot will depend on the welfare of your baby and keeping him safe. Please read our advice sheet relating to Parental Responsibility

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

Hope you will find the information here helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

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