Family Injustice – the travesty of the UK family courts

Last summer I was enjoying a drink with a friend in his apartment overlooking the Thames and Canary Wharf. His adorable little three year old daughter was entertaining us with songs and dancing and other antics. At one point she sat on his knee and asked what he was drinking. After he told he it was beer she asked if she could taste it, which is what you would expect a curious child to ask. He said yes, but before he could raise the glass to the child’s lips his wife exploded in anger and shouted “No! What are you doing? Do you want them to take her!?”

It transpired that “them” were local social workers who had taken an interest in the child, lets call her M, after they had discovered some bruising on her back (she had fallen). They had subjected her mother to what she describes as fierce interrogation. Why is she so small, is she being fed properly? Where did these bruises come from etc.

Now two minutes with this family would convince anyone that M is both adored and adoring. One might even say as an only child she is bit pampered. M is healthy, her parent are wealthy working professionals and she lacks for nothing. Despite this he mother lives in fear that the social workers will get the wrong idea. Someone swearing in front of the chid caused near panic because she might repeat the word in front of the social worker, same with the beer incident, “what would happen if they found out we gave her beer!”.

It all seemed a bit paranoid to me, so I gently suggested as much. “They are taking children all the time”, M’s mother told me, ” in secret courts. Parents are genuinely scared of messing with these people”.

I knew that the family courts were absurdly cruel to fathers and that Father For Justice were making good progress in righting the injustices there. But secret draconian courts confiscating children. I thought she had lost her mind.

I was wrong.

In December 2006, Camilla Cavendish, a journalist from the Times newspaper, learned of a dreadful case that just gone through the family courts, a routine case of gross injustice that had come to typify the family courts.

The nub of the case is this. A woman, let us call her Janie, gave birth to her first and only child a year ago. That baby was taken away from her and subsequently put up for adoption. Not because of her own failure to care for the baby — her own love and care never seem to have been in question. No. She has lost her baby because of a suspicion that her husband John may have injured another child in his previous marriage almost ten years ago.

The suspicion was no more than that. John was never charged with anything, let alone convicted. Social workers were never sufficiently worried to take that first child into care. Since his divorce John has shared custody of that child perfectly amicably with his ex-wife. Yet the same local authority which left the first child with him has forbidden him to see this new baby. And his new wife, despite having nothing to do with the first case, may never see her baby again. [Family courts are the B-side of the law, The Times, December 21st 2006]

Cavendish was so outraged by this case started investigating the Family Court and the UK’s care system. What she discovered was so shocking that The Times newspaper launched a campaign for justice in the Family Courts.

As readers have found out more about the family Courts and the care system outrage has grown and the campaign had gathered strength. The issue is now finally getting serious political attention.

The Times published three must read articles and a follow-up 10 point plan to restore justice.

  1. Family justice: the secret state that steals our children – Every year thousands of children are taken from their parents, largely on the say-so of ‘experts’. It is a secret and sometimes unjust process and the system must change
  2. Family courts: the hidden untouchables – In the second of the special articles, they explain how family courts operate in secrecy
  3. Family justice: your word against theirs – In the third of their special articles, they look at the pernicious types of allegation that are almost impossible for parents to disprove
  4. Family justice: what we can do to protect our children – A ten-point plan to make our courts system fairer

When one reads the 10 point plan, one has to marvel that one has to be campaign for these rights and provisions in a court that has the power to take away people’s children, for many a fate worse than death.

  1. Open family courts to the press in all but exceptional circumstances (as recommended by the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee).
  2. Let any parent or carer accused of abuse call any witnesses they need in their defence. At the moment, they are routinely refused permission to do so.
  3. Give automatic permission for parents who are refused legal aid to get a lay adviser to help them present their case. This is routinely refused.
  4. Remove the restrictions that prevent families from talking about their case (as recommended by the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee).
  5. Review the definition of “emotional abuse” across local authorities, to make sure that it cannot become a catch-all for overzealous officials.
  6. Provide an automatic right for parents to receive copies of case conference notes and all evidence used against them in court, just as they would in a criminal trial.
  7. Create an independent body to oversee the actions of social services, with proper sanctions. If that body is to be the General Social Care Council, make it easier for parents to go directly to that body rather than having to face delays from the local authority.
  8. Let children in care waive their right to privacy if they wish to speak out. For gagging children is surely not consistent with promoting their welfare.
  9. Restructure CAFCASS, the Family Court Advisory Service, from being an organisation that reports on the parents to the courts to one that actively promotes the parenting needs of children. The primary focus should cease to be assisting the court process. It should be diverting parents away from contested hearings into the making of parenting plans.
  10. Review the recent legal aid cut-backs that are deterring lawyers from taking on these complex family cases. It is quite wrong that desperate parents are unable to find a lawyer to help them in their time of need.

    [From Family justice: what we can do to protect our children | Camilla Cavendish – Times Online]

I hope that Ms Cavendish wins an award for this great and just campaign. If you live in the UK, you really should visit the campaign website and write you your MP.

18 Comments Family Injustice – the travesty of the UK family courts

  1. Claire

    My sister recently had 5 healthy boys taken from her by the family court system, with no evidence, and no case to support this break up of her family.

    She is a single parent with a boyfriend who is the biological father to the two youngest children, but a dad to all 5. A report from an anonymous person complained that her boyfriend shouted too much to the social services. They banned him from the house and ever seeing his children again. They then in a raid style invaded my sister’s property searching for him on a regular basis. As the couple are in love and didn’t understand why this had happened, eventually they found him in the house and the children were taken away.

    Here are the facts:

    – Neither of the parent figures have been accused or convicted of a crime against the children

    – The children since being in care have suffered from prolonged illness and lice and the oldest child wanders the streets. He is only 11.

    – In the care of the mother and her boyfriend the children were all healthy and happy.

    – The police and local school have stated this case is unjustified

    – The father of the 2 middle children has been granted free access to them, when 4 years ago he kidnapped the children and threatened to kill them and himself. The social services don’t seem to mind this.

    – The council house of the mother has been called unsuitable for the children. It was provided by the council, why is the mother blamed for this?

    – The maternal grandmother who worked for the North Yorkshire Police and has been commended for her work with them and never committed any kind of crime has been denied free access to her grandchildren. Due to finding her grandson wandering a busy road and taking him home for some food before returning him to the social services. He’d been on the streets for over 8 hours and needed food.

    – The 11 year old was alone on a bus and saw his grandmother walking by on her way home from work. He was been so desperate to see her he jumped off a moving bus to try and see his grandmother. Fortunately the bus driver wasn’t driving fast and he only got a few scratches. The maternal grandmother has been told she cannot see him unsupervised because of this. Why was he unsupervised on a bus in the first place?

    – The family court will not allow defence solicitors in it, so only one side of the case is ever heard.

    – There has been no arrest, prosecution or more importantly evidence against the mother, she has been judged without even a trial.

    – An anonymous person also reported to income support that my sister was working, it was easy to prove she wasn’t as she was in court the days they lied about her. But why hasn’t this anonymous person been taken into account in this case? Someone is clearly slandering my sister with every government body.

    – The social services, care workers, solicitors and judges all make a profit from this kind of child theft.

    – They target low income families as they cannot defend themselves.

    I’m disgusted with the social services and the family court legal system, it appears to ignore every legal requirement for a court case and side only with itself, either to fill a government quota or to make a profit. Innocent children are being ripped from their homes and put in unsafe environments and the only purpose of these cases seem to be to traumatise the mothers by ripping their children away unfairly.

    I will never have children in the UK and be subject them to these baby snatchers, and hope every institution that claims to protect children will help to put a stop to this kind of injustice.

    I work for a human rights charity and am appalled at the lack of human rights in these cases. The UK family courts are nothing but baby snatchers under a government heading. The social services have ripped apart a poor but happy family, with no evidence, no defence for the parents, no reason other than to fill a government quota. When someone steals your children they take away your whole life with them. The legal jargon and new policies all add up to destroyed families, not the protection of children. I intend to contact the EU for an investigation into this case and campaign against this kind of injustice. I hope I’m not the only one.

    Reply
  2. limbic

    Oh Claire, I am desperately sorry to hear this story.

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

    If I can help in any way, please contact me privately via the contact form. I am reasonably well connected in the UK, especially in legal circles, and there may be something I can do.

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  3. Hope

    Even councillors who are corporate parents are not deemed good enough as grandparents unless assessed, having already previously cared for their grandchildren.So much for party support.Local Authority SS will do anything to prevent them getting to County level and onto ‘childrens trust’in order to help support families and enforce ‘family group conferences policy’ to stop the injustices that are happening where families are not even contacted.

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  4. Kim Armstrong

    My Brothers family in UK have themselves become victims of the SS. His 6 children were taken this Wednesday January 09 by the child snatchers. He is guilty in the eyes of the child snatchers of a chaotic lifestyle. It was established in the court that the family are very loving, extremely close to their parents and each other. The Judge was against my brother and his wife from the start. The SS lied throughout the hearing. The court refused to acknowlegde anything that my family had to say. The 3 youngest were gone by the time my brother got out of court. Snatched by an SS worker in a cab the two boys were held at school, the police were present. By the time he got home his eldest daughter was waiting for them, 5 minutes later the police and SS came with sirens blazin. She was absolutely devastated sobbing as she was escorted out of the arms of her parents. His wife have gone to stay with family she is in no fit state to be in her empty home anymore. I spoke with him last night, I cant find the words to even begin to explain his loss, his frustration, his heartbreak. He told me he had called his daughters friends just incase she had called anyone. As we all know SS watch these kids 24/7 when first stolen. THey are not allowed to make any calls to anyone. I applied for custody of the kids I heard nothing from the Courts at all. I need help. I will do everything and anything to expose this inhumane, cruel, barbaric, outrageous lack of justice taking place in the UK

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  5. limbic

    Dear Kim,

    Thanks for commenting. This, like so many of these terrible injustices, is absolutely heartbreaking.

    I hope you and your family can beat the system. Make sure you contact The Times with your story.

    Please also keep me updated with what happens.

    JD

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  6. ian josephs

    The “SS” can be beaten if you fight like a tiger every step of the way !
    Several mothers who got their kids back appear on my site http://www.forced-adoption com as do my “golden rules” for dealing with the “ss” and explanations as to how you can recover your children representing yourself in court and explaining the law to help you in nearly every case.
    I own and run a language school in Monaco .I am not a qualified lawyer but I DO have an Oxford University law degree .I help HUNDREDS of parents with advice free of charge ,never ask for any expenses, andif parents ring me on 0033626875684 I WILL on REQUEST RING BACK AT MY EXPENSE TO SAVE THEM THE COST OF THE CALL; I never give to charity but do help parents fight the “ss” because their behaviour is often so cruel and disgusting especially when they remove babies at birth for forced adoption because they suspect a risk of emotional abuse in the future or because the father of a child was once suspected but usually never charged with violence many years ago! Is there a conspiracy? No not a bit of it ! The whole collection of social workers, special schools, lawyers,judges, fosterers(sometimes),experts(psychologists,psychiatrists,medical quacks and of course adoption agencies all earn a good living out of baby snatching and operate rather like a fanatical religious cult where any parent who questions their motives is labelled as paranoid or suffering from a personality disorder!
    If the “ss” menace you when you are pregnant go to Ireland or Sweden before the birth but if your kids are taken into care fight in court using the info on my site ;
    Good luck !
    IAN

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  7. Annie

    I am sitting here reading this page in tears. my children and I have been suffering unbelievably for over ten years due to the involvement of the family courts and cafcass personnel. I can only sympathise fully with these people. It is intolerable and lives are changed forever. When an attack is made on you, in our case it was my ex husband a barrister who knew all the loop holes. It has forced my family to spend vast sums of money on legal fees. The judge was useless and it seemed all were colluding against myself and my children all innocent. The reason ? becaause my husband had begun an affair with his very wealthy female pupil and wanted a new life. Somehow he wanted to take the children from me and destroy me (presumably for being in the way) he lied cheated and used every means he could. It has honestly completely ruined our lives . I even had to pull out of my business which was as an holistic therapist working one to one with clients in my treatment room. I became so frightened and convinced that if my husband could have me in 29 court hearings for doing precisely nothing wrong, then a client could make any allegation and I would be at the mercy of the courts. I could not live with that risk. So I have very little money and that makes life even more miserable.

    blessings Annie

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  8. ian josephs

    The real problem is that far more babies and young children are taken from happy well run homes for “risk of emotional abuse”(excellent adoption material) than for the physical abuse that killed children such as baby P and,Victoria Climbé,.(bad adoption material);
    Victims of domestic violence are now frightened to report their assailants to the police who inevitably bring in social services. They in turn confiscate the children with a view to adoption even when the children have never been harmed and the mother has split up from her abusive partner !
    Enormous resources are wasted chasing such mothers like Angela Wileman who was reported in a daily paper to have been pursued by British social services through courts first in Spain,then in Sweden and finally in Ireland where the sensible Irish courts decided this loving mother could keep her two children !I
    In another case two desperate parents sent their daughter to the mother’s relatives in the Phillipines to escape a threatened care order, so a social worker was sent out to the Phillipines with the absurd mission of trying to persuade the young girl to leave her relatives and return to England to be put into care !!
    Physical abuse kills,but “risk of emotional abuse” (crystal balls used?), untidy houses,absences from school,i witnessing but not suffering domestic violence,inability to work with “professionals”(this usually reults in a diagnosis of personality disorder !), lack of routine,are all defects that can be rectified by warnings and even when this does not work they do not kill.
    Surely priority should be given to submitting all children suspected of suffering physical or sexual abuse to thorough monthly physical examinations by doctors who are competent to spot such injuries as a broken back and even bruises concealed by chocolate !
    Barnardos partly live off adoptions so naturally their Director wants more and more!
    I believe adoption is a wonderful thing if voluntary but a wicked,wicked deed when carried out after being opposed by a mother in court. I douby if Baby P’s mother would have gone through lengthy court processes to try and keep him despite his injuries !
    The remedy that could prevent most unjust adoptions is simple. In every case where permanent separation of parent and child is envisaged the hearing should be decided by a jury who would give an independent verdict unlike judges who often criticise social services in adoption cases but nearly always end up deciding in their favour and so backing social workers against the parents .
    Juries already operate in civil courts in libel cases and in cases involving complicated tax fraud so they would be more than capable of deciding if a mother should be separated from her child.Any burglar facing possible jail for six months or more can demand a trial by jury yet a mother (or father) facing a life sentence comprising permanent separation from beloved children is denied this option and that is very wrong !

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  9. Graeme Lambourne

    we have been going through a torrid time since our grandson was unlawfully taken away in august 2009 due to a misdiagnosis of our gp to our grandson, he was diagnosed with a lump on the front of his ribs which was a cartlidge problem, when the gp said it was a healing fracture, but on x-ray he had a fracture to 1 rib at the back which no-one in our family knew about, social services have accused us by saying one of you did it and in the home, we have been cleared by the police, and the local authority conned our daughter into making concessions so as to get a mother and baby foster unit to be with her son, social sevices have been so sneaky that we have all appealed to get back into the pool of who done it, and we are fighting to clear our name and get our grandson back, the first social worker lied through her teeth, and they are going by what she says, yet the judge at the hearing stated that our grandson was taken unlawfully, yet they go by what the first social worker said,why? we shall continue to fight until we have no fight left and our birth family member is home, why should social services not be accountable for there actions, they are quick enough to take babies away, but cover it all up when they make mistakes, they should be exposed and exposed now

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  10. Kinga

    I’m writing this out of desperation. I don’t know who to turn to anymore. Law everywhere is corrupt and always will be. Last thing courts think about is children. I am a mother of a 4 year old daughter. I was in a relationship with her father for three years. We never lived together. WE were still together when I told her father that I’m preganant, he told me to abort it and that he’s found the one. I had to make the most diificult decisin of my life all on my own. I remember the day clerly. I sat there crying and going back and forth. Knowing that my hopes of getting into medicine would disappear, that I would struggle just to to get by, just to providea home and food for us if I chose to keep my angel alive. MY life would take a drastic 360 degree turn. But I couldn’t kill her. She was alive, she was mine, tiny. I stressed and contemplated all alone trying to plan our life, a future for her. I planned how I would raise her, feed her. All on my own. The father partied with his new gf.Oriana was born on Dec 5/2005, beautiful so innocent. She was born by an emergency c section with reflux esophagitis. We left the hospital both on antibiotics. Father was receiving supervised access at my place. On Dec 28th father applied to court for full custody, maintanance and access. We went to mediation and he signed an agreement giving me custody and him just access visits. Eventually he got 1.5 hrs of the 3 unsupervised.Oriana would cry when he’d show up to these vists( at my place, with me present). She’s keep running into the closet , screaming and crying ” Mommy, No. I don’t wnat to go.” The father would continue to rip her out of my arms, force her to go with him. When I approached him he’s say that we need to extend the hours so that she’s get used to it.He went to court and applied for more time unsupervised saying that Oriana is not asuffering in any way. I had a doctor’s letter saying she was getting stressed out and that it’s not good for her development,explaining how she reacted. Court wouldn’t listen and ordered that Oriana should spend all weekends at his place. I attended school during teh week 8-5 and this basically meant that my only chance to spend time with her was teh weekend, judge took that away from me. I knew this would psychologically ruin Oriana. I told her father that I won’t force her because I’m her mother and won’t let her suffer like that. He said we shoudl go with the court order. I was in court evry month because of ridiculous false accusations. Oriana was getting worse. i was runnign out of money and wasn’t able to focus on my school with having to constantly attend court. I still had full custody, father only access. On Jan 2008 an order was made giving father giving joint guardianship as well as increased access, regardless Oriana’s panic attacks when he came. On June 22 2008 I left to Poland to deal with an inheritance issue. I needed more money to fight for her. I couldn’t give up seeing how mcuh she suffered. I left with full custody. Meanwhile back in Canada father went to court that I abducted the child, even though I had full custody when I left. I had my friend attend court in Septmeber with a letter which I wrote to the judge stating that I’m afraid that if I come back , my child will be taken away form me. She said that it already has and said that if I don’t come back in November and say why primary residence shoudln’t be with father, She’ll be taken away from me. My lawyaer said that even before proceedings began, cops and a psychologists were waiting to take Oriana away. I dodn’t come back as I knew that my child would be taken away from me, that was the point ever since the father applied for full custody when she was born and when I heard my lawyer tell me that , it just prooved my point. I couldn’t beleiev the injustice. I decided all on my own to raise this child, give birth to it, not to abort it. I am not an alcoholic, not a drug addict, not a criminal and my child is being taken away form me. At the NOvember sitting judge decided full custody to father and primary residence of child to be with father. At that point I knew I wouldn’t be comming back and havign ym child go through beign ripped away from her mother who’ she’s lived with since birth and sees as her safety, her home.. NO mother would let her child go through that. IN 2009 i moved to LOndon, UK. I am also a Polish citizen. ON June 14 2010, Friday cops came to my doors and took our passports and gave me court papers whcih conatined of father’s affidavit and him accusing em of abduction, also information that court will occur on Monday to decide if Oriana should go back to Canada. It was teh weekend. I was stuck. NO lawyer. All law firms were closed. I had no money. Nowhere to go. Crying and stressing that my child will be taken away from me. To add to it, father applied to the central authority lying that he has joint custody of teh child. NOw I’m in court having to explain myself why my child shouldn’t be returned to Canada. I told teh judge that I’m everythign to her. She’s lived with me since birth, he’s practically a stranger to her , she’ll be psychologically traumatized when she goes back( especially when in canada the order is for her to live with her father)THis is ridiculous. I gave biorth to her. He wanted nothign to do with her and now she’s being taken away from me. I did nothing wrong! I need help. Soemone to listen to me. Help me . Because this is soooo unfair!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. terry walsh

      hello kinga, chances are you may not get this…its 2010 that you wrote your piece,today i wrote mine 2012 and i just want to say i dearly hope you managed (miracle) to keep your little family together? i thought i would keep up my own spirits (the tablets help) by wishing you the best of luck and common sense to prevail..i never managed it, i was given contact and never got it untill it was too late to do anything and the mother was allowed to do all this even though i was given the “right” every time..big lie,big disgusting lie that has all but killed me, i want to die now,its been long enough to suffer this for no reason im very weak and have no love for this evil world but before i get my peace, i want to at least do as i am and saying your not alone because i will think of you now all the time..if your ok now and are not suffering alone then it is great news..take cvare love..terry manchester,england..13-03-2012

      Reply
  11. Randy

    Anyone that can lead me to a support group or agency/website for “fathers rights” In Uniited states (specifically Illinois) would greatly be appreciated.. I tried to find “familys against court travestys” but got nowhere.. Please help?

    God Bless,

    Randal Pherigo

    Reply
  12. Deena Pralat

    I am shocked to read this article but, it has proved to me that there is injustice and secrecy within the family courts.
    I have been in and out of the court system regards my 2 children and contact with their father. I have disputed and stopped contact many times due to his behaviour, drug use (heroin addict and other substance abuser, proven by drug worker) and leaving the children alone unsupervised.
    And despite all the police reports, assault, non-molestation orders because of his intimidation and harrassment towards me continues to go unheard in the family courts.

    We have undergone an ‘assessment’ by a psychologist who came to her own deluded conclusion that my children were being emotionally abused. And that my 3 year old was ‘scared’ of his father and failed to consider the fact that he was tired and needed a nap, hence his upset.

    We have had a S37 report, where the social worker has read the psychologist report and came up with the same conclusion.

    CAFCASS are a waste of time, I made a complaint about her lies and faliure to liase with all parties with regard to decisions that impact upon all our saftey and yet no one is held accountable.

    We live some 150 miles away from where the hearings are being held and I have 2 children with my new partner of 5 years, my youngest is only just 11 months old, and yet I am the bad mother for not been able to attend the court for hearings.

    I am frustrated with the facts not being heard and my solicitor not being able to do much about psat events that have led us to this point.

    Both children have ADHD and now the ‘professionals’ are disputing the medical professional who originally diagnosed them, and overlooking contradictory information from the schools when they have not had their medication.

    I am annoyed at this legal system and the ridiculous system that is CAFCASS and the fact the officer reporting to the courts do not consider all facts and are only accountable to themselves.

    I am living my worst nightmare and no -one listens.

    I do hope they make changes quickly because this is enough to destroy any family.

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  13. terry walsh

    i am pretty much dead, inside they have ripped my heart and soul out and you know, it can never be made ok again.,it is impossible to explain the mental pain that is in your head night and day.its grieving but my children are alive and well (i hope) i will feel like this untill i die and this is not to be seen as self pity.i have had it 12 years…i only seperated with the mother,but she decided it was my girls too..from mediation to crown court over approx 5 years it was but i had allready lost my children in the 3rd year,as by then the contact had been months between if any at all and i never even saw then what is getting more attention now which is the total lack of justice to the father even after being given contact from the very first ,getting parental rights, add to this my ex not even giving a reason in family court that i should not see my children,admitting when asked that i would never harm them..the caffcass officers had a very rough time with my ex,which is why i went to court..cafcass later advised the court the children would benefit from having more time than the 4 hours every 2 weeks on a saturday..i couldent even enjoy my children for the 4 hours..not one fact in my favour meant anything to the court.they say if the contact is broken its very serious and the person /s will have to face the consequences..this is not just untrue, it is totally disgracefull to let the mother break the contact so many times the last one being well over year but still the court gave me the usual 4 hours while knowing for so long i was not getting it.the mother never bothered to attend near the end and this is how i come to be another victim of a very sick,sadistic one sided nightmare that should have protected me, not the one breaking every rule to freeze me out and fill my childrens heads with god knows what.they were 6 and 9 i last saw them now they are 21 in july and my youngest was 17 today..me, i am only able to write this because my doctor is my life saver,im numb enough to stop crying long enough to write, and i am not well physically, but what the family court has done to me is a crime, a bad bad inhuman act that was done in the name of justice and i am hoping again tonight, like every night, that please dont let me wake in the morning because i cant have a life after that, who could if they love their children, you know, its not paranoia when i say that i cant understand why its happening or how its so easily covered up for something so sacred to be taken for what? its pure evil done behind secrecy and closed doors that no one is allowed to report on? WHY? WHY do child abusing,raping murdering bastards get human rights in prison and innocent fathers have none but are even billed for the pleasure by the courts and still have to pay child support in some cases when the ex is with a new partner???? what is going on,please let me die but please that my children discover the truth..and if anyone reads this, parent,mother or father,non mother or father.anyone, please help the next lot of fathers by asking questions because it may come to you in some way, and please think about the suicides through it, i couldent put that on my children like a guilt trip,what is going on is a evil thing that is beyond belief,but believe me,they have just voted on keeping it pretty much the same so how long untill more suicides? love you ch.x love you ad.xdad. manchester,england,13-03-2012/05:10am

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  14. anonymous

    I am a victim of injustice also, I suffered 5 years of abuse from my son s father. it was verbal and emotional abuse for the first 3 years. which then progressed to fiscal assaults. Although we were not living together. I left him on many occasions and he harassed me by phone calls and emails and even showing up in the street and broke into my home and attacked me fiscally and threatened to take my son from me by going for a residence order.

    1 week later I received a telephone call from him and he told me he had been to the family courts stating that I was a bad mother and that if i wanted to see my son again I must see him under his instructions. I worried for my sons safety and could not cope with him having this kind of power as he was a dangerous violent abuser. I said to him if I come back to you, will you give me my son back and the residence order?.

    He agreed he would. so I went along and the order was given back to me. Then I left him again and tried to make a life for myself and my son. I informed social services throughout the abuse, that i was suffering abuse from my sons father and i explained the danger my sons dad posed to us. But they didn’t seem to care and showed no interest. Then one night he forced his way in to my home and he assaulted me, he punched me in the face and pushed my two year old son across the room, I phoned the police to protect me and my son and they came and arrested my ex for assault.

    And then my son was placed on police protection and the police officer who spoke to me in a rude manner asked me get my son dressed and to come to the hospital with her and another officer. I cooperated and we all arrived at the hospital and then the male officer asked me to leave the hospital. I became stressed, and I worried about leaving my son at this point, he was two and appeared stressed and anxious. I was the main carer of my son since birth.

    I was told by the officer if I come back to to the hospital that night, I would be arrested. I went to the nearest phone box and I rang the local police station and I asked them why? I wasn’t aloud to be with my son at the hospital?. I was told by the Sargent `you are aloud to be with your son, you are just not aloud to remove him for the hospital`, `so I don t know why my officer has said that to you`.I was so confused.,I didn’t want to go to the hospital and risk more confrontation with the police . So I decided to go home and a wait for news at 10.30am the next day. There was a knock at the door, and a social worker and a child protection officer and two police officers were there.

    I let them in and I asked what was happing regrading my son? and was his dad going to be charged with assaulting me and my son?. I was then asked by the child protection officer to stand up from the sofa I was sitting in and the child protection officer then hand cuffed me and she read me my rights saying i was arrested for neglect. I was in shock and I could not believe the horror of what was happing and I fell to the floor, my legs went weak I broke down and cried hysterically then I was put in the police van and they put me in a police cell opposite my ex and he was shouting absurd things out and he herd the officer say my name and he then started to shout my name repeatedly and loudly for hours.

    I didn’t reply and I just could not stop crying i was deeply hurt, distressed, hyperventilating at times and the I pressed the button inside the cell for assistance but no officer came they didn’t care. Later I was interviewed and a lot of allegations were presented to me like, do you take medication? do you drink large a amounts of alcohol? and they keep referring to my ex saying, he said that you are dependant on medication, alcohol you don’t feed your son, they is no electricity in your home. I said to them it is all lies check and you’ll see. I have worked with the health visitor and social services who can verify they are no concerns. But they didn’t listen they just keep treating me like a criminal I asked about what is happing with the my ex because he assaulted me and my son and they said until the hospital checks are done on your son there s nothing we can do about that.

    they then said we have herd you talking to your ex through the cells and I said, he is shouting to me I do not reply to him. When I am released I want to be released before him, so I can get home, because he his an abuser and he keeps physically attacking me. The women that interviewed me said she would release him first. I was released without charge and a was given a caution. As I walked home my ex approached me and he proceed to harass me and followed me home. so the police released him before me after I asked them not to. Then later social services said that my son wasn’t placed on the child protection register.

    My ex was given a cautioned for neglect and assault on my son, the assault on me was not looked into or taken seriously nothing happened regrading that. And my ex had used his phone call when he was arrested to ask his sister to go for a residence order for my son. she did and they give her one. It has been four years since this injustice i suffered. I have had recommendations from a social worker for contact but this has not been stuck to and I haven’t seen my son as recommend. In four years i have seen him only for a few short supervised visits by a social worker.

    It came to my attention a few years ago that my ex was having my son for four nights a week and this was unknown to social services and he left my son with a dangerous sex offender who was considered a high risk to children and was never aloud to be left with children on his own. He was on probation and had served 18 months for sexual assault on 3 children. My ex lived on the same street as him and they were friends. I was told by the manger of social services that an investigation would be done and police would interview my son and medical checks would be carried out. When the social worker investigated this she rushed it and no checks were done to find out if my son had been abused he was 5 years old.

    The Police were called to a criminal damage complaint and my son and his dad and the sex offender (pedophile) were present. The police stated that my ex told them that my son was left with this sex offender and then later my ex changed his statement to the social worker saying he never left my son with this offender. Worryingly the social worker did state that my ex s story’s do not match to what he told the police during the interview with the social worker and they was inconsistency from him. No one asked my son independently if had been left with this offender. The social worker closed the case saying there was no further action needed.

    And to this day his father gets supervised access through his sister when ever he wants. while I am the innocent victim and can not get access without a lengthy battle through court and also my son has never wanted to live with his aunty and he has become ill also since he has lived there, he is under weight and jumpy, also shows signs of deep depression at times and he complains about were he lives all the time.

    Also his aunty lives with her mother and father and her daughter and her brother, while my sons dad the abuser is also in and out the property when ever he wants. It is very over crowded. All of the family are alcoholics and they consume alcohol daily and my son has been injured on 3 occasions due to them no watching him. He is left to play outside in a beak with friends, which is some distance from the home. This also worries me as again they are not watching my son. I have a good home and i am independent but i can not be with my son even though he keeps voicing he wants to be with me his mother and not abusers. The social services have always refused to ask my son if he has been abused? if he wants to me see?, If there is alcoholic consumed in their home?, and is it over crowed?. My son is a bright 6 year old and i know he would be truthful and tell a social worker if only they would ask him.

    The justice system has failed me and also my son i worry I am going to get more news in the future that my son has been harmed again. And social services refuse to admitted they made a mistake and give my son to abuser s . I am a good mother and they is nothing in evidence against me and it sickens me how I was treated like a criminal. I was also punched out cold in the street by my ex and he was tried in court and given a 12 months suspended sentence for banging my head of a wooden head board. He also had breeched two injunction orders. But did not get jail even through he suffocated me with a pillow, kicked me in the head which lead to me fall back and bang my head of the sink, also punching me out cold in the street, and many other incidents that endangered my life.

    My ex now feels powerful that he has managed to get his sister to get a residence order for my son and he his waiting for me to break down and return to him, were he can control me and abuse me again, this is why he took my son as a form of control over me, I have phone calls of him threatening to get a residence order for himself and getting his sister to get one before any orders were made. He said this was to punish me because, I left the abusive relationship. The only thing that stops me giving up or going back to him to see my son, is I know I haven’t done anything wrong i don’t deserve this and i can not rest till my son is back with me his mother safe were he belongs and should of remained away from abusers.

    Sometimes i regret ringing the police to protect me and my son the night were both were assaulted by my ex, as my son was taken away from me. But i know as a mother I made the right choice, because my sons father was in a state of rage and he was going to harm his both severely. What worries me now is if my ex becomes violent again to my son, will anyone protect him? and ring the police? or will he get hurt badly like i did?.

    Reply
  15. jonathan

    Check out this incredible story….

    Part 1: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/shock-after-cyf-counsellor-approves-underage-relationship-4904575/video?vid=4904612

    Part 2: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/shock-after-cyf-counsellor-approves-underage-relationship-4904575/video?vid=4904619

    A website has been set up here:

    http://consumersvoicenz.com/2012/05/31/cyf-rosa-trust-counselling-family-court-endorse-under-age-sex-with-a-minor-close-up-30512/

    Experiences are summarised here:

    http://familycourtstories.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/family-court-case-study-1-franks-story.pdf

    Reply
  16. john thompson

    the family court system has the most dubious social workers ive ever come across, it was that bad i had to point out inconsistent blunders in their statements and strange contradictions that never made sense at all? im gagged by the a system that creates injustice by incompetent idiots that think its ok to lie, and use the childrens act to cover up their appalling criminal pratice. one works out who owns these mindless courts that pushes away evidence of parents being innocent? family includes the parents, but many have experienced total bihest like i did, these people are not qualified in criminal matters, yet they make assumptions based on their own prejudices. i didnt even know who these weirdos are until the lies got more stupid with no grounds at all? prior to this kangeroo court? i was found innocent at a criminal trial by them more qualified to cross examine criminal allegations in detail in a public court, and a fair court to all concerned. what i found very strange, was the look of dissapointment on the social workers faces at the result of me being innocent? how ignorant this felt towards me, but one carnt change bihest like this at the bottom end of the scale with such incompetent thinkers who assume abuse all the time, on a scale of many cases that are mishandled, i have began to think not all parents can be liars that are gagged by these odd courts? obviously them that havent experienced this, are probaly very few, but the numbers is too large to be ignored?

    Reply
  17. Beverley Sandler

    My name is Beverley Sandler and I am a highly qualified Counsellor in Manchester. I read your post with great interest and can relate to a lot of what you have said.

    Just a quick thank you for creating the content and if you ever need any insight into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Wellness Coaching I would be more than happy to help.

    Reply

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