Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

The Family Courts & ‘Rights’ of a Father

This post was sent anonymously by email and we have removed some identifying details due to the ongoing court case, in order to protect the OP and her children.

My story is long and complex but I escaped a very abusive and controlling husband recently. Since then he has done all he can to destroy me. Literally. Me and my children were left homeless and penniless and every ounce of strength I had I needed to keep the children safe and settled. Not in the least my son, who has additional needs.

My ex husband raped me after we had split up. He has been charged with rape and indecent assault. I was not confident or strong enough to report him until last year. The night of the assault I feared for my life. I genuinely thought he was going to kill me. He found out I had been on a date. Silly me thinking that was ok 7 months after we had separated. I cannot describe that deep fear. It is beyond words.

Upon being arrested he instigated a residence application to take my children. He stated to the court that I was neglecting and abusing the children. I assure you I was not and have not and will not ever. That was my punishment for reporting the rape. Every attempt to take back control of my own life is met with a 'punishment' I have grown to expect that.

Upon him being charged one may expect the family court and CAFCASS to be somewhat supportive of my position and have an indiction of the man's mentality. You would be wrong.

My young daughter has developed deep anxiety and intense attachment to me. She has witnessed an incident of him attacking me for which OUR son has provided a witness statement to the family court. She has also seen him shouting at me, trying to get in my front door and kicking the door. She has been diagnosed with IBS due to anxiety.

So in all those circumstances I attended court recently horrified to hear what the District Judge told me. Apparently it is my fault that she is attached to me and I am not doing enough to encourage her to see her father. Apparently I was 'making a fuss' by having a Mckenzie friend with me at court as I cannot afford a solicitor but hate even looking at that man and just wanted a friend with me for moral support. Apparently a little girls fears are not as important as a 'fathers' rights. And apparently he is the victim in this.

So the 'learned' District Judge says.



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4 thoughts on “The Family Courts & ‘Rights’ of a Father

  • debbie hopkins says:

    Please send this strong woman to Women’s Aid for suppprt and legal advice. I had the same experience and Women’s Aid not only saved my sanity but found me a domestic abuse aware and trained solicitor who fought for me. CAFCASS almost took my child away for the same reasons, they are blind to DA and always prioritise ‘Mens Rights’ over children or women’s health and safety or security.
    She is not alone, please, if you can, ask her to find the suppprt and legal help tht is out there.
    Be strong, you are amazing.
    He is a psycopath.
    You are not responsible for the life you are in. Good luck for your future.

  • That is exactly what my biological father tried to do. It went on until I was ten and after a round of evaluations from child psychologists was judged fit to testify in his latest lawsuit. I testified I didn’t want to visit him again and explained why. We had one ” mediation” type thing with a counselor who didn’t let me grill him and despite his later attempts at stalking that is the last I have seen of him.

    Male entitlement: it’s a helluva drug. My sympathies.

  • Michelle says:

    I’m not sure how old your children are but if you have one under age of 5 seek help from Homestart and your health visitor. The law actually states that it is about the child’s rights to to see the father and not the other way around. I hope you find the help you need. Stay strong X

  • Cheryl says:

    I read this and my first response was: what?! And then a few expletives.
    I cannot believe the way that you and your children have been treated and think it hardly surprising that your kids would cling to the one person who has tried to keep them safe, housed and loved.
    I have no idea how anyone in their right mind could see the ex as a victim. Aren’t judges supposed to be educated and look at all the evidence? Absolutely disgusting situation. I hope through this post you manage to find additional support and justice prevails x