How can my sister stop this harrassment?

Dear Suzie, my sister is divorced with 3 children(11,7&5), her ex has shared care via the courts & cafcas. Her ex & his new partner do anything to harass my sister the latest is reporting her for assault even though they attaked her. They have reported her to social services and the police on numreous occasions and constantly put her down and call her names in front of the children. The children are very nervous & scared, she is at a loss what she can do because of the shared care. A neutral drop off is no use as he’s always very late and also no one else wants to get involved because of repercussions. What can she do to avoid all this madness in front of her children? She wants nothing to do with her ex but has to see him when dropping the children off. It’s over 4 years since they split but his behavior is getting worse not better – it seems he wants to destroy her and doesn’t care what effect it has on the children. Please can you give any advice what she can do or how to manage the situation better for her sake and the childrens. Thank you.

This sounds a frightening and very depressing situation, not only for your sister but the children…and you! You do have my sympathy.

I have three suggestions. One is that she get in touch with Child Contact Centres, a charity that offers places where children can meet and play with the parent or other family members with whom they do not live, in a safe and supervised environment. She them wouldn’t actually have to see him – she could drop off the children who will be safe until he arrives. Contact them at National Association of Child Contact Centres, or call 0115-948-4557. they are experienced in dealing with such situations and can offer help and advice.

The other is that she address the terrible harassment both by getting support from her own local social services, and a solicitor experienced in such situations.

She needs someone from her social services on her side and to whom she can go if he attacks her again so both sides are heard. An experienced solicitor would do their best to make this a discussion rather than a fight. It sounds as if her ex and his partner see this as a fight for the children they must win at all costs, rather than a challenge to unite as co-parents.

A solicitor from Resolution – first for family law can give advice on any family dispute especially involving separation and divorce, but encourage mediation and agreement rather than confrontation. And if it seems as if this behaviour is affecting the children, steps may be taken to give him a choice – stop doing it or stop seeing the children.

And a third is that she use social services or her family doctor to get some counselling support both for herself and her children. A family therapist may be able to help her and the children cope with the harassment by recognising it as her ex’s problem, not hers or theirs. Good luck!

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