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domestic violence between mum and new partner
#1
Hi,

I'm 8 years deep in this mess... I'm pretty sure I've found help on this site in the past. This time the tables have turned though and I could do with some specific advise.

I've just had a look through some of the other posts and I'm somehow relieved that it's not just me going through this, as these other posts I'm reading from you blokes demonstrate almost identical experiences for all of us. Very unfair on the children. However, I couldn't find anything matching what has just occurred for my son and I.

So a brief background since 2009, when our son was born. Mum was already a very difficult person but became incredibly worse. I tried to be supportive but fell foul to violence, manipulation, controlling behaviour, coercive response to my desire to get external help ("I will get my friends to say you're an alcoholic and you'll never see him again" etc) I contacted the men's advice line, they insisted I called social services.. I was afraid. I should have done exactly that though as three weeks later, she left the family home and got herself into a refuge, on the grounds that I am abusive and controlling. What a swift move. Legal aid, council house and the sympathy of everyone around seems to come as a package with that step. Ok, I wasn't on the ball. I should have grown a pair and called social services and had her removed from the home. Like a fool, I felt sorry for her, I fell for her rubbish, I tolerated her behaviour. I was genuinely afraid that she would land our child in care because of her lack of ability to sort fact from fantasy. I thought I could help her change, would she go back to normal? I think I lost it a bit...After a year, the court applications began to flow, I used to see my son from Thursday to Monday every week (she wasn't able to cope once out of the refuge and on her own, I was the main carer for our son before she left, and after), he was in nursery for Tuesday and Wednesday. But then her hero BF came along and I was apparently surplus. The court didn't give a doo dah about any of the previous contact. I couldn't "denigrate" her you see, and any comment I made as a LIP was seen as just that, so I learned to shut up and danced to their tune. After 3 years of returning to court as a respondent on each occasion, for all sorts of variations, which ultimately cost me my career as I made sacrifices to fit in with the CAFCASS decisions re contact. It's funny how each time the order was "simplified" or "varied" contact was actually being reduced, eventually to what was supposed to be two Saturdays per month... Eventually the lies began to show up... Evidence from school etc is quite a thing.. I learned a lot in that time. I knew it was all over when I heard the judge tell mum to consider going for therapy instead of court in future.. I now have almost shared care, but not residence. That was in June 2015. 

I wish I could say things got better, but they really haven't. She still clearly could do with some help from mental health services, the nonsense has just evolved into something else.. So, as per my headline, she's had a punch up with the new partner in front of my son and their twins, the new partner slammed her into a wall and she went down. This was obviously relayed to me by my son. He had previously talked about arguments going on, his behaviour at school was shocking, I tried to speak to his teachers but got short shrift from them. But after he told me about the fight, I got him down to the Doctor and asked him to share the story with them, he did. The Doctor was a real pro. I then called the CORAM child law advice line, who talked me through the C100 and C1A application forms to apply for residence but also insisted I called children's services, reluctantly I did this today. The social worker was actually talking to me like I was a person. They reassured me that I had taken the correct steps by making an application for residence etc and had no concern for my son in respect of that, but there remained concerns for my son's half sisters, who are about 2. At first I felt OK about it, but I'm now terrified for my son and this is where I'm hoping you guys might be able to help.

I work full time, I'm self employed, I am single, I live quite far from my family in a rural setting with no support around me, I get no benefits etc. I don't want to return my son to his mum's place next week as he has told his mum that he spoke to the Doctor and she's giving him a heavy dose of emotional blackmail and coercion. He was crying last week and didn't want to go back to her place, but there's this court order, so.. 

What do I do? I can't really keep sending him to her while I'm afraid for him being there. But the hearing will take a while to come through. The social worker was making it clear that it was acceptable (the tone in her voice was almost telling me) to retain him in my care but I would need legal advice first. I can't get through to the CORAM advice line. I have to work next week and don't have anyone to help with looking after my son, I can't take the time off work. 

Please, any advice?
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#2
Speak to the social worker again. If she has real concerns for the children's welfare they should step in. There are emergency orders you can get, but this is not my area of expertise, so please seek legal advice with a specialist. Good luck!
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