Abuse in the home

CASE STORY 1

Most often we are faced with cases where there is some level of historical abuse within the context of a family setting. The historical abuse may be something for which there is either a conviction or an allegation that has been the subject of a ‘finding of fact’ hearing in the courts.

The case of Stan is an example where, quite rightly, there are some concerns about the risk to particular children. The situation is compounded, though, by the way that society deals with abuse and the tremendous pressure put on authorities to make the ‘right’ decision.

The perpetrator’s story

My name is Stan and I’m now in my mid-40s. When I was 14 years old I abused my sister, who was then eight years old.

Louise's story

Frankly, I am at my wits’ end. I have two young children who think of Stan as their dad and they are now very upset, because they don’t understand why he is no longer living with us.

The children's story

Katy
I don’t understand what’s happening. Why is my dad not allowed to live at home? We were all so happy.

Peter
My dad used to play football with me after school but now he can’t because he’s not here. He’s had to go away somewhere.

The social worker's story

As usual, I’m the one who’s going to get the blame. No surprise there. We are always held responsible for taking the unpopular decisions.

The Phoenix story

Phoenix were asked to complete a risk assessment in this case, to include both the risk posed by Stan and also Louise’s ability to protect the children from any risk should it exist.