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What do I do?

Mental and Verbal Abuse

Short story, I've been separated for almost 2 years now, my divorce comes up this month. We have 3 children still at home age 14, 12 and 8 respectively. Parental orders were put in place and all seemed good. The two eldest don't have to visit their father if they don't want to but naturally my 8 year old does. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old.

Right from the beginning my son went alone on the visits with his dad and his dad's new partner. He would return and tell me horrifying stories of mental and verbal abuse which I documented and showed to my solicitor but nothing was done. After one particularly abusive weekend visit I again confronted my solicitor who said to stop the visits and go to Family Services so I did. Family Services did nothing and after 3 repeated refusals of visits my husbands solicitor rang and said this was unacceptable and I had no proof and would be taken to court and be in serious trouble. My solicitor then said to resume visits *sigh. (I guess the only proof I had was the word of an 8 year old autistic child.)

Okay so this time I begged my 14 year old to go along on the visits. The first visit my husband's new partner threatened to 'deck' her and when they held a family barbecue she  spent the whole time denigrating me in front of all my children including my 8 year old, even standing him in front of them and telling him to explain why he told his mother 'lies'. She bullies him repeatedly and doesn't care if he is hurt and my husband does nothing to protect them or stop it, and actually encourages it and joins in.

Then this last visit was 9 days long over the school holidays and after 3 my 14 year old was ready to walk home. She said it was absolutely horrid how this woman and my husband spent the whole time being verbally abusive about me in front of them telling them things like, I have mental issues and the children should feel sorry for me because I have no friends. They became angry all the time swearing in every sentence and calling their mother a stupid female dog. I am allowed to ring once a week when they stay there and when I did they weren't home so I rang the mobile number and this woman answered. I heard her clearly yet when she passed the phone to my daughter I couldn't. My daughter tells me its because this woman then turned her window down in the car and told my husband to do the same so I couldn't have any conversation with her or my son. She also told my daughter that her children would punch my daughter in the face. If they dare complain she tells them its their  mothers fault they are there because I kicked my husband out.

This has been going on for almost a year now and its not improving one bit. My 14 year old now refuses to ever go again as they blamed her for everything that was missing, misplaced or broken and the constant swearing and degrading of me was to much for her.

If I stop visits again they'll take me to court. What can I do? Family Services don't do anything, my solicitor isn't doing anything. Must my son be constantly exposed to this when he has enough problems being autistic? If I'm taken to court what are my chances? What happens? I'm so scared for my son. Now he won't even have his sister to watch out for him.

Note - my son says this woman put her hands around his throat and squeezed as if to strangle him but my 14 year old didn't witness it so I only have his word *sigh*. I don't want him to come home in a coffin one day.
Difficult and stressful:

1) How is the best way for you and your children to survive?

2) Apart from non visits what can you do to equipe your children with survival mechanisms

3) You are nor responsible for other people's behaviours whether they be relatives or not

Things I did:

1) Explain the ideas of right and wrong behavour without criticism - the children will grow up knowing right from wrong

2) Don't panic or show them that you are upset - practically provide solutions - they already have enough on their plate

3) Even if you get orders the children will still see both parents at some time

4) Offer to communicate  - non hostile, critical with other person - i know this does not often work  - particularly if they have an issue - make yourself available to deal with their problems if you think that will help (diffuse)

5) Assure them and yourself that everything will eventually be alright and provide positive life experiences while they are with you

A person told me once that children are good copers and survivors - they survive their parents even when the parents behave badly.

I know this is gratitutious but I am speaking from experience and I understand the fears and energy it takes. You need to give yourself and your children the skills and resources to survive bad experiences - whether they be from relatives, schoolmates,strangers, courts, work mates or anyone else.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
How awful for you. I can relate due to some similarities.

I would go to a service like Interrelate and instigate family dispute resolution.

I have JUST started this after 3 years of feeling I was powerless against the stuff my ex puts me and the children through and learn't a great deal. They will be able to help you with strategies and explained to me how the new laws will benefit my children. They also told me how hearsay evidence will be heard in court and that parents will now undergo custodial sentences for the very abuse your child is suffering.

It can't hurt to go to a session and get some help.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Tash joined, made one post and had not been on the board for over 70 days.

She might be on the way to solving her problems or it could have been one of the 'knee jerk' postings so beloved of people that want to only share their stories.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
 Sorry, I have been coming back to look I just haven't logged in. I read the responses and I thank you for those. Things haven't improved at all sadly. I've put some of the advice given here into action teaching my children how to handle situations better, communicating better and trying very hard to work things out with my now ex husband. The verbal, mental and emotional abuse continues and the breaking of the parenting orders continue. Police have been called when my son hasn't been returned home, children's services notified yet again of physical assault on the children, solicitor notified..and nothing stops it. I'm in the process of arranging to attend yet another family dispute conference which I know won't really achieve anything as my ex husband will agree to this and that then break it the following week and every week after. My son has gone from being a full-time student to being collected from school at 11:30am. My 15 year old and 13 year old daughters never want to see their father again after the last visit where they suffered terribly and fortunately they don't have to but my 9 year old son does.

Oh well, I fight on.
 
Maybe with a proven history of breaking agreements this time you can have it taken to court. With the current mediation I would be requesting it now goes to court as agreements are not working. It was stressed upon me that this type of behaviour towards children will not be tolerated by judges so maybe some action will be taken? Also did you know you can request that the courts appoint a lawyer to your child who will look after the child's interests.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Tash

You can tell your solicitor anything you want and children services can become involved - but very little happens until a matter enters the Court arena or there is a proper agreement in force

Your posts should really become private before you reveal too much personal information

You have been donated some points to make your total up to 75, which means you have enough to apply to join SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Thank you both. I didn't know about asking it be taken to court so I'll certainly be looking into that. My solicitor is fairly hopeless to be honest. His specialty is criminal law so he just tells me he can't advise me what to do.

I'll certainly try not to give personal information. I'm a very private person and I try solve things myself but this time its proving difficult.

Thank you again!
Tash said

I'll certainly try not to give personal information.


Go to the front page of the site and use the red 'i' icon and then read FAQs. The information pages give more detail on how to keep your matter private


Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
You really need a new solicitor  ;)

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
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