Reports to social services can be used as a weapon by which to perpetuate abuse once a victim leaves the perpetrator. Unfortunately, children's services often help the abuser by pursuing, often repeated malicious reports of abuse, neglect, parental mental health problems and FII.
In a self selecting survey on Fii and domestic abuse, we received 32 respondents which has experienced domestic abuse. 22 of the 32 had contacted police about the abuse but only 6 had managed to get a non-molestation order.
The vast majority of victims had been reported to children's services by the perpetrator, 79% had been reported to Children's Services for abuse/neglect/fii, 15% had been reported 15 or more times.
Pie Chart “Has the perpetrator reported you to children's services or other professionals for child abuse/fii/neglect?”
We asked victims of abuse if the perpetrator had ever told professionals that they were “crazy” or had mental health issues. 30 out of 32 victims has experienced this, 53% had mental health problems, 27% had previously resolved problems including PND and 20% had no history of mental health problems.
Pie Chart Mental Health History of Victims whose perpetrator reported to professionals that they had mental health issues.
When asked how much weight Children's Services gave reports from abuse perpetrators the numbers were rather damning. 54% believed the reported mental health problems without any evidence. 32% believed that the mental health difficulties were worse than they really were. 11% believed that the victim had mental health difficulties despite them being resolved and only 4% or 1 case, reported that Children's Services actually checked medical records to find that the accusation was false, instead of believing it blindly.
Pie Chart “ Have professionals believed reports from the perpetrator of you being "crazy" or having mental health problems without any evidence? “
As these cases proceeded, 7 victims of domestic abuse were formally accused of emotional abuse towards their children through allowing them to witness domestic abuse. Of those 7, Children’s services then went on to force contact with the perpetrator in 4 cases and actually awarded the perpetrator custody in one other case.
Overall, of the 32 cases, 25% (8) ended with the perpetrator of abuse gaining custody of the child(ren). In 26 of the 32 cases the perpetrator of abuse was either given access of custody of the children.
Pie Chart “ What was the outcome if children's services involvement? “
The vast majority of victims of abuse (28 of 32) have never managed to access professional support other than through charitable organisations. In only 7 cases the children were given help and support to deal with abuse in the home, only 1 of the children whose parent was accused of abuse through allowing the child to witness abuse was given psychological support.
It would seem that Children's Services allow abusers to utilise child protection in order to further abuse, gain access to children and in some cases to gain custody of children where there is clear evidence of the abuse.