Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

wrongly blamed from social workers with little knowledge on the signs of emotional and psychological abuse

Being a victim of domestic abuse is one thing but when I requested supported for my child I was told they would make a referral. I asked for two years for the referral whilst suffering emotional and psychological abuse from my ex partner. Not only as a women are you expected to continue to safeguard and provide for your children you are expected to continue with your life. However as a social work student I had to suspend my studies and took time off sick which I had never done in 20 years of working in the social care sector.
When the manipulation and vindictive behaviour from the ex continued yo the extent he made an allegation to children's services about my current partner they then decided to act despite.ignoring my pleas for support cos of his emotional abuse continuously for the previous two years.

This is where the blame began. Without any evidence they had me at a.child protection conference alleging that I have no parenting ability due to being an abused child and having been in care. I was mortified. Twenty years working with homeless families, victims of dv,children in care, a clean medical and mental health record but cos they can't see emotional and psychological abuse and many social workers work from evidence they BLAMED ME although I am unsure what for.... Initially they said neglect however.there is no evidence. The new social worker then saw my ex partner behaviour and my child reported his abusive and aggressive behaviour which was displayed in core group..... The conference then changed to emotional abuse from him....Unable to get legal aid I paid for a consultation with a solicitor and was advised to stop contact with my child and her father. I acted upon the advice and then the BLAME game reappeared and they blamed me for emotional abuse for not allowing my child contact with her father (although I believe this is private law). It is shocking that I not only had a label for my childhood which wasn't my fault, I escaped the abuse and also labeled for being in care, I became a victim of dv and when u feel ur free I become a victim.of children's services...... Blame is a big culture in children's services and whilst I rebuilt my life from the hands of others and never had any concerns with any of my children I have now lost my career and nearly lost my youngest child which they placed with her father til I proved he was aggressive. Where is empowerment and strength based approaches in the world of social work????


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5 thoughts on “wrongly blamed from social workers with little knowledge on the signs of emotional and psychological abuse

  • Liz says:

    I am so sorry that you have had so much to bear, particularly relating to the abuse you suffered as a child. I was abused as a child and I find it distressing to hear people casually repeating the allegation that abused children grow up to abuse. Yes, some do, mainly men. Some don’t, mainly women, but these women often suffer further abuse from partners, as you have done.
    All this is known by people who work in the social services and should be a reason to give you extra support, rather than criticism.

    • anon says:

      I studied a social work degree and was months away from graduating however I must add that the attitudes, self awareness and reflective practice that I were taught and were expected to display in accordance with hcpc regulations were certainly not the behaviour of these social workers there behaviour were nothing but a power trip and oppressive. Children from care and from backgrounds of csa still have.hopes dreams and aspirations!!

      • Ellesar says:

        I also did a social work degree, and had MANY issues with my fellow students, and sometimes the tutors, and one would be the lack of attention given to what DV does to families.

        That was my area of interest, so my knowledge is extensive, but most of them were very keen on fathers rights, and not fully acknowledging that a child does not have to have been directly abused by a parent to be INCREDIBLY damaged by violence perpetrated by men towards women. I could have said ‘interpersonal violence’ – degendering the issue, but as I only encountered situations where men perpetrated I feel that that would be misleading.

  • lynda anne sherlock says:

    Hi to the lady with the comment with the post of wrongly blamed by social workers. I to have a similar experience from you. I thought when social workers learn that you suffer from domestic violence not only physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse from your ex though i wasn’t in care i to suffered from childhood abuse. As a parent when the local authority social services tell you to get a solicitor to protect yourself and your children because of safeguarding issues for you and your children. I do listen to people in authority and often have been scared of people in authority you do what they ask. I was told by two social workers to get a solicitor and stop contact. They told me that contact would be better to be supervised contact. Having never been in this situation with social workers they call it advising myself. That is what any decent person would do to protect themselves and the children. My background was working with children in special needs from when i was 16 years old when i went to college. Though i do have mental health difficulties social workers only saw the mental health label instead of judging me on my parent skills. When my son was little and i was pregnant with my second i did a course just for mothers including a parenting course. I did when my second child came along did parent line plus course. I remember the teacher asking me to see about training because she thought i would be good training other parents.
    When i started to have social workers come into my home all of them accept two where inconsistent with the demands they expected me to do. Always changing the mind that most of the time i didn’t know what they really wanted from me as a parent. One social worker who was quite rude didn’t help that she was late and i told her she was disrespectful when everyone was waiting and i had just come out of hospital and quite poorly. She then turned around and said to me “PEOPLE LIKE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO US PROFESSIONAL” I then told her how rude she was. Just because social workers have a duty of care to protect and safe guard children doesn’t give them the right to speak to anybody like this. Because i complained about this social worker i was black listed as a trouble maker. For two and half years social workers called me a liar about my abuse from my ex even they knew i had taken him to court for a non-molestation but i eventually got him to sign an undertaking for him to not come to near me. I to was put on child protection but my children both had been abused because of my mental health difficulties social services didn’t believe my children and believed my ex he is really good and should have a degree in manipulating others. In that child protection meeting they decided after two and half years calling me a liar that i was telling the truth about domestic violence and abuse on myself. They decided then the children were lying and said i was emotional abusing them. Eventually they told me after taking the children of the child protection register there was no evidence of this. For the last two years they have refused to give both children emotional support of what the children have suffered from the father and how social workers have treated my children. One child has just started therapy but his therapist is of sick she said my other child was going to be helped by her as well then i found out that my daughter has never been refereed for therapy. Even though the child are classed as child in need they don’t get the support they need both children do have problems and they need support. I am dishearten and dismayed that all children in need should deserve better treatment and care even if a parent has a mental health diagnosis or disability. Not all parents with mental health difficulties are bad parents we are most of us are trying to be good parents. One of the family support workers last year said in a meeting i could teach her about parent skills that she might not no. My ex behaved atrociously and has abuse me and the children but social workers couldn’t care less we have been blamed not only me for not protecting them but also the children for disclosing. When the social worker manger told me in a conversation that the children were going on child protection due to allegations of abuse about there dad i get to a meeting and it’s all about me and my mental health even though they new I’d been abused as a child they don’t care they thing you would hurt your children just because you suffer as a child yourself. Not ever person who has been abused becomes an abuser far from it we over protect are children to much. It disgust’s me because then he was allowed to get all the notes from that meeting of the child protection not only i was being blamed for my own abuse and the domestic violence but also being blamed because he abused the children and he seems to get away with no accountability and blame it’s just been heaped on myself also i see is social workers seem not to care about how they treat women who are in a domestic violence relationship and blame the women but not understanding the dynamics of that kind of relationship is more about power and control of another human being. In my book social workers should understand more about childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence and physical financial emotional abuse are all interconnected with each other. If you see one part of the equations above you will see another e.g. childhood sex abuse-domestic violence often go hand in hand. More training for social workers in this area will help them understand the clients more and hopefully less victim blaming in the future.

  • anon says:

    Lyndsey I totally agree. My heart goes out to you. Society is telling women to take control of their lives to stand up and be counted and heard. You do that and build your life until the manipulation from an ex continues as all his other sneaky ways haven’t beaten you down. Soon as social workers become involved, instead of praising your strengths and abilities and acknowledging where you have come from to where you are now they are of the mindset.that you can’t possibly of overcome issues with only minor scrapes and therefore they add to the damage dismissing the fact that they are causing a family a lot of distress they continue to condone the manipulation from the ex whilst he.sits back laughing knowing that his final attempt has beaten you down cos of your fear of authority involvement with your own children. I honestly believe that some cases should be heard at a serious case review and that they shouldn’t be held only when a tragedy happens. A serious case review at this stage could prevent a tragedy happening and would highlight the lack of insight and experience with dv victims. Once you review a label it will never leave you. I really hope you manage to stay strong and continue to battle although it’s.not always worth it. My children’s medical records were given.to my ex partner.and they are not even his kids…..they replied to the ombudsman with lots of lies and case closed!! The whole system is.disgusting yet your a drain on services when having to rebuild their mess x