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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-16-2011, 10:02 AM
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Default Child Being Hit and Told to Lie to Counsellor

50/50 access, joint custody arrangement through a signed order from a judge. 2 children 11 and 4.

My ex wife has repeatedly been telling the kids bad things about me for over a year now. Examples of things said are, "Your father is a drunk", "your dad beat me", "your father is a homosexual", etc etc...it's been going on for far too long.

The reason for our split was because my wife was sleeping with a friend of mine. They broke up once because her and I were trying to reconcile. This really pissed off the other guy and now they are back together and he is talking negatively about me to my kids as a way to get back at me. He tells my oldest that "he's going to kick my ass", "your dad hits women", "your dad secretly likes men".

It's disgusting! My kids are 11 and 4! I have taken the high road all this time but it is seriously killing me that my kids are having to hear this kind of crap. Thankfully my oldest has the common sense to know that they are lying to him.

Recently my oldest and I had a talk and he expressed to me that he is tired of the way his mother talks about me. He also said that when he doesn't agree with her about these things she becomes angry and punishes him. He stated that recently she has started slapping him in the face and screaming at him and generally becoming too aggressive. The last thing he told me before going to bed was that his mother has been trying to get him to lie to his counsellor about being physically abused at my hands. So far he hasn't told the counsellor anything but he is afraid that if he doesn't he will receive more punishment from his mother. After I heard that we have had several very long talks about how wrong it is to lie about other people in such a way.

How do I go about addressing the abuse and how do I protect myself in the event that false allegations are shared with the counsellor. I have never abused my children and the fact of the matter is that she is the one doing this.

My son asked if we could call his mother on the phone together so that he could address the issues with her but I don't know if that is the best route to take. I have major concerns with my kids being hit and I'm seriously thinking that a call to CAS is necessary although, after speaking to them last year (regarding alienation), I don't think they will find this serious enough.

Any ideas are welcome.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Teddie View Post
50/50 access, joint custody arrangement through a signed order from a judge. 2 children 11 and 4.

My ex wife has repeatedly been telling the kids bad things about me for over a year now. Examples of things said are, "Your father is a drunk", "your dad beat me", "your father is a homosexual", etc etc...it's been going on for far too long.
What you are describing is "Hostile Agressive Parenting" and can lead to "Parental Alienation Syndrome". As you have your children 50% of the time this kind of behaviour rarely works and only demonstrates animosity.

I am assuming you have had 3rd parties hear this from your children. The best point of contact for what you have described is their family doctor. What you are describing could constitute emotional harm (psychological abuse). I would bring it up with the doctor and see if the doctor feels a call to CAS to investigate matters is necessary. You have joint custody so you can even take the kids in to have them talk to the doctor. Your doctor may have a social worker (part of a family health team) who could also talk to the children.[/quote]

It is almost impossible for an 11 year old to be "alienated" on a 50-50. But, the potential psychological abuse being inflicted on the children needs to be addressed. It could develop into a clinical issue for your children.

I wouldn't address it directly with the other parent. Leverage the support you have in the health care community. If the children tell the doctor their issues (or their teacher!) then something can be done.

Continually tell your children that both their mom and dad love them equally. Don't address the things being said to them directly. Just continue being a loving supporting and involved parent. Let professionals deal with the hostile aggressive parenting issue. Your responsibility as a parent is to raise the clinical issue with the proper people.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:39 AM
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Furthermore, you need to read CAS' classifications of "emotional harm". They post it online and you can find it through google. If you align what you are seeing to how they "talk" and "investigate" these matters you may be in a better position to align the evidence to your concerns. Furthermore, CAS should be speaking directly to your 11 year old child as well about the concerns you raise.

CAS is always an extreme approach but, there are very few options for parents who are the victims of this form of intimate partner abuse and well, child abuse.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
Furthermore, you need to read CAS' classifications of "emotional harm". They post it online and you can find it through google. If you align what you are seeing to how they "talk" and "investigate" these matters you may be in a better position to align the evidence to your concerns. Furthermore, CAS should be speaking directly to your 11 year old child as well about the concerns you raise.

CAS is always an extreme approach but, there are very few options for parents who are the victims of this form of intimate partner abuse and well, child abuse.

Good Luck!
Tayken
Thanks for the advice Tayken!

I will bring it up with the children's doctor and see what their opinion is. As you have stated, luckily I have a 50/50 arrangement because if I didn't then her tactics may have worked. My oldest see's this a her being a jealous parent; he often refers to her as a "bully".

When my kids ask me about allegations their mother makes I just calmly diffuse the situation and keep myself from saying negative things about their mother. This approach is helpful to the kids and they feel that they can approach me about anything without me getting upset or badmouthing their mom. Taking the "high road" is definitely tough but as people have told me all along, it pays off in the end.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Teddie View Post
Thanks for the advice Tayken!

I will bring it up with the children's doctor and see what their opinion is. As you have stated, luckily I have a 50/50 arrangement because if I didn't then her tactics may have worked. My oldest see's this a her being a jealous parent; he often refers to her as a "bully".

When my kids ask me about allegations their mother makes I just calmly diffuse the situation and keep myself from saying negative things about their mother. This approach is helpful to the kids and they feel that they can approach me about anything without me getting upset or badmouthing their mom. Taking the "high road" is definitely tough but as people have told me all along, it pays off in the end.

Thanks again!
A great book to read about it all is:

Quote:
Books & Products | HCI Articles


Don't Alienate The Kids! Raising Resilient Children While Avoiding High Conflict Divorce
By Bill Eddy, LCSW, JD

Don't Alienate the Kids! is a fresh examination of the child alienation problem from the perspective of a lawyer/therapist/mediator, who also trains judges on managing high-conflict disputes.

Author Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., doesn't just analyze the debate (Parental Alienation Syndrome vs. Child Abuse Presumption); he also proposes his own theory of "1000 Little Bricks," based on recent breakthroughs in brain research about how children learn. In his theory, there are no bad parents, just bad behaviors—the behaviors of some parents, family members, friends and divorce professionals. Most of these bad behaviors go unrecognized in daily life, but they help build a Wall of Alienation between a parent and child. By becoming aware and using his tips, we can all help children build a Foundation of Resilience which will last them a lifetime.

This is a book for any reasonable parent even considering a divorce, and for any professional who wants to truly help parents raise resilient children.
Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:04 PM
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If you are not self-represented, tell your lawyer. Maybe they can write a letter to your stbx lawyer to get it to stop for the sake of the children.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:22 PM
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atlanticcanadian:

I agree, that's the easiest and first step. I did something similar regarding my stbx interrogating our child after days spent alone with me. He was asking her a bunch of questions regarding who I was with, what happened, what was said. It resulted in our child being very stressed out, quiet and sad during exchanges.

My lawyer requested in a letter that this behavior immediately stopped and it seemed to work. He's engaging in less of this behavior now and exchanges go a lot smoother.

Good advice and it formally details that you're aware of the situation, have had complaints from the children and that you're planning to pursue further action if it doesn't get resolved.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:31 PM
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It is heart-breaking for children to see their parents behave that way regardless of age. My children are adults but we are estrange because of the divorce. To my kids, my ex is Mr. Perfect and I am the psycho from hell. It wasn't nice being called nasty names and Facebook drama but it is what it is. I miss my sons like crazy and I hope the poster and ex can rectify their problems without involving the children any further.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:46 PM
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Divorce Poison is also a great book for how to deal with HAP from the other side - it helps you with some of the tools you can give your kids to deal and how you can defend yourself (without sounding like you're defending yourself).

its a horrible place. good luck to you and your kids.
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