Talking is abuse???!!!

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MrsDoibtfire
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:30 am

Talking is abuse???!!!

Post by MrsDoibtfire » Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:40 am

:D Hi, we got our computer back this week - absolutely no iioc on it at all. That's the good news.

:cry: The bad news .... our daughter made sexual assault allegation against her dad, my partner of 18 years. Since her ABE in February she's told me that what she said in her statement wasn't completely true and basically no sexual assault took place. I mentioned this to the SW and police. They are not interested. Whatever was said in her ABE stands. So her dad now has a sexual allegation on his records. He's never been in trouble for anything like this. He has not been arrested or charged. Daughter does not want to take it any further and police have even said that it is her word against his.

However, because my daughter has talked to me and also her older brother about what happened - I have been accused of abuse because talking to a victim is abuse apparently. SW has told me that her dad is still seen as a risk, they will do assessments and understand how much both our children want him home. But SW thinks we may now need a child protection plan instead of a child in need.

I was accused by the police of not protecting my daughter when her older brother stupidly spoke to her about what happened. I wasn't even there as I'd gone out to the shops. I explained that I didn't know he was talking to her but apparently that's not good enough. I have a couple of weeks to decided what to do now regarding where we live. We are paying for the family home and partner's accommodation, which he has to leave by end of April. It looks like we might have to split up and live separately indefinitely now and we are devastated.

The police told partner yesterday it will take a long time before he can be back with the family and yet there is no proof of anything that he has done wrong. :cry: :cry:

Totally distraught that our family is now split and it could be permanent.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Talking is abuse???!!!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:50 pm

Dear Mrs Doibtfire

Welcome to Family Rights Group’s parents’ discussion board. My name is Suzie and I am FRG’s online adviser. Thank you for your two posts which I will respond to together. I am sorry to hear of the difficulties your family is experiencing which is understandably causing you a great deal of stress.

Since you first posted, the police have completed their forensic investigation into whether there was a sexual image of a child on your family/work computer and they have found no evidence of that which I am sure is a relief.

However, the allegation of sexual assault which your daughter made (and which she now wishes to drop) remains a concern for children’s services and the police. Added to this, there is a further concern due to a discussion about the allegation between your daughter and her older brother. You have also been criticised for allowing this to happen although you explain that you weren’t there and had no prior knowledge about it. I guess they are worried that your daughter may be put or may feel under pressure to deny what she has previously said, in an Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) interview, has happened to her.

At the moment, children’s services have asked your daughter’s father, who is alleged to have sexually assaulted her (I know this is disputed), to agree to move out of the family home so that your daughter can remain in your care in the family home. This is putting the family under considerable financial pressure as well as emotional stress.

I am not clear what is happening in terms of the police investigation into the alleged sexual assault; I think this requires urgent clarification from the police but it is also worth asking the social worker to find out, as soon as possible.

If the police are no longer pursuing a criminal investigation, children’s services will still remain involved and, as the social worker suggests, there may now be an initial child protection conference to determine if your daughter has suffered or is at risk of suffering significant harm. They will expect that you will accept the possibility of risk .

You can find out more about the child protection process , including how to prepare for a conference, here and these materials about sexual abuse may also be informative.

You may already know about Parents Protect and Stop it Now but if not, they are useful sources of information where there is a concern about alleged child sexual abuse. You could give their confidential helplines a ring to discuss your situation as a mother and a partner especially in terms of how you can demonstrate your protective ability, which has been criticised by the police.

Any plan for your daughter will need to consider whether it is safe or appropriate for her, if her father returns home or if her safety and welfare means that he should remain living elsewhere. I know this is a key issue for you. Many children on a child in need and some on a child protection plan live with the parent about whom there is concern but this will always be based on a risk assessment and the child’s welfare and safety. Again, if the criminal investigation is not continuing your partner should ask for a specific risk of sexual harm assessment to be carried out urgently. Children’s services need to provide you with some clarity about their expectations and how they would like you to manage the perceived risk. If your partner returned home without the agreement of children's services, they would be very concerned and would have to decide what action to take including seeking a court order to protect your child/ren. They should make clear to you what they would do if you no longer agreed.

You could check online on your local authority’s safeguarding children partnership website to see their protocol on cases of suspected child sexual abuse.

Have you considered asking for a family group conference to involve your wider network in drawing up your own safety plan? If you think this might be helpful for you, you could ask the social worker to arrange this.

I hope this helps.

Please do post again if you have a query as the situation develops. Alternatively, you can ring our freephone advice service if you would like to speak to an adviser; the line (0808 8010366) is open from Mon to Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm.

With best wishes

Suzie

MrsDoibtfire
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:30 am

Re: Talking is abuse???!!!

Post by MrsDoibtfire » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:56 pm

Thank you Suzie for your reply. I have heard from the sw today that they have decided on a Child in Need and want to start integrating dad back into the family, obviously not him moving in straight away. The police have also spoken to me and the officer in charge said the file has now been passed to his sergeant. I have been told that our daughter will have no further involvement as she does not want to pursue it any further. It was also mentioned that the file may be passed to the CPS for a third party to review. I am not sure what this means so I am going to ask for clarification.

MrsDoibtfire
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Re: Talking is abuse???!!!

Post by MrsDoibtfire » Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:30 pm

:?: :?: So I asked for clarification from the officer in charge of case. He has spoken to both myself and my partner and also the sw. He has said the file has now been passed to his sergeant and that in these cases it is not unusual for it to be passed to CPS to be reviewed by third party. At no time has my partner been arrested or charged. He was only asked to stay away from family home. The officer in charge has said that there is nothing to worry about and he has requested "early advice" from the CPS to speed things up. (And to be fair, he did push our computer to be looked at and it was done within 10 weeks). The sw had already decided on a Child in Need before the officer had spoken to her today. I have been told by police that because our daughter doesn't want to take any further action, the police will not involve her any more.

My partner is so distraught and is now thinking the CPS will look at the file and say there needs to be more evidence. The evidence in the case is minimal and even the police have said only 2 people are involved in this and that is one person's word against anothers. At no point have any of my older children (all adults, and one still lives with us) have been questioned or any other family members who lived with us when the allegation occurred. We have both been told by the officer that the worst is over and to concentrate on working with the sw to implement the CIN and that it will only get better from here.

I know my partner is dreading still having to live apart from us and he only has another week and half in his accommodation and has not found anywhere else to live. Given what both of us have been told I am starting to feel a bit more positive but my partner on the otherhand has now started to have panic attacks and feels the only option for him is to completely move away and cut ties with us because he can't cope living in a tiny room with facilities that don't work and he can't get any peace after working 12 hour shifts. I really don't know what to do. Our daughter has mhi issues going on, which obviously police and sw know about, that have nothing to do with this allegation. She really wants her dad home and I think if he decided to move away permanently that would cause both our daughter and her brother even more distress, but I don't want my partner to be suffering like this either.

If my partner has not been arrested or charged by this point is it unlikely to happen now? (He was never charged or arrested about iioc because there were none). The police have told me they are not taking further action as our daughter made it clear she will not. :? :?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Talking is abuse???!!!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:02 pm

Dear Ms Doibtfire

Unfortunately I am unable to advise you on any criminal investigations, or the likelihood of your partner being arrested or charged in the future. You say that the social worker has recommended a child in need plan and that they would like to work with the family to develop a re-integration plan for your partner. This sounds positive and I would encourage you to work collaboratively and closely with children’s services to put this into effect. It may be useful for you to read more about what a child in need plan is, who is involved in a child in need plan, and how it is monitored and review contact.

You say that your partner is now feeling deflated, and it sounds as though this is a difficult situation. Nevertheless, there does appear to be a path towards the future, and I would encourage you to keep this in mind. It is important that any reintegration prioritises the children’s needs. If your partner was to move back into the home overnight, it is likely that children’s services would become concerned. Has your partner got any family or friends who may be able to help him?

I hope you have found this helpful.

Best wishes,

Suzie.

MrsDoibtfire
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:30 am

Re: Talking is abuse???!!!

Post by MrsDoibtfire » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:36 pm

Dear Suzie

Thank you for your reply. The Social Worker contacted me this week to say we can have dad/partner over this weekend (not overnight stays). A Child In Need meeting is being planned for the beginning of May. We are all keen to work closely with Child Services so that we can start to rebuild our family. We are also getting some extra help for our daughter with her recently diagnosed mhi which we are keen to engage with.

Regarding accommodation for my partner, this is still unresolved. Unfortunately we do not have family or friends near by who are able to offer a room. So this is still a stress for all of us and any local B&Bs etc are filling up fast and are much too expensive.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Talking is abuse???!!!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:34 pm

Dear Mrs Doibtfire,
Thank you or posting again.

Here are some FAQ’s about child in need that you might find helpful.
In respect of your partners housing issue, is he living in a bail hostel provided due to the police involvement?
Children services can also provide support to family members such as parents, if it will safeguard children. However, they do not have to do this. Please see our website here. Your partner could ask about support for accommodation.
He should also contact Shelter who have an emergency helpline and will be able to give him housing advice.

Kind regards,
Suzie

MrsDoibtfire
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:30 am

Re: Talking is abuse???!!!

Post by MrsDoibtfire » Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:54 pm

Thank you Susie for your reply. My partner is not in a bail hostel. He had to find accommodation at a B&B. He was originally asked by the police to leave home and was told it would be for a maximum of 3 days. That was at the beginning of February. I asked the SW if there was any financial assistance for us to help pay our rent etc as partner now has to pay for his accommodation and she didn’t know. I may be able to get a tiny bit of help from UC.

Our children got to spend time with dad this weekend which was great, but we have no idea when he will see them again as I have to wait for SW to arrange. We’ve barely had any contact with her from the start - 3 times in total including our initial meeting; not sure if that’s a good or bad thing! So I think the next time we meet will be at a virtual CIN meeting.

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