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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My x-husband is verbally abusing both my kids every time they

Resolved Question:

My x-husband is verbally abusing both my kids every time they see him (3 weekends out of the month). They are so scared to call me or talk when I call them when they are with him. He calls me names in front of them (while I am not around) and if they don't agree he goes crazy on them. He verbally abuses my 12 year old daughter more than my son. He then tells her that she imagined the words, or he pretends it didn't happen. He told her that if she misses 1 visitation she will become dead to him. She knows he is abusing her but is scared to speak up because she "doesn't want him to get in trouble". One time he went so crazy on her that she told him "I want to kill myself" just to get him to stop. He answered her in front of our son you will be another dear body and me and your brother will just step over you and move on". I took her to counseling but she is still scared to speak up and is begging me not to. I have to protect my children. He NEVER hits them!!! But he is hurting them more with his words. How can I stop him??? Can I with-hold visitations?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your ex-husband is abusing your children in this way, I can imagine how distressing this must be for them and for you

Dr. Z :

Yes you can definitely withhold visitation rights when this level of verbal and emotional abuse is occurring.

Dr. Z :

Child Protective Services should also be called to help facilitate this process to make it more legal for you to withhold visitation rights and to provide counseling to the children from experts that have witnessed this level of child abuse on a regular basis.

Dr. Z :

In addition, Child Protective services also will interview the children to take their statements, so they will have to be honest about the verbal and emotional abuse

Customer:

How can I prove it? I have some of it documented through counseling but my daughter is doing what I did to survive the 10 years I stayed with him. She erases her memory. She cannot remember details of what happened in April. She usually tells me what happens then purges her memory. I try to document as much as possible...

Customer:

They will be scared to speak up! Especially my son. He will NOT tell on his dad.

Dr. Z :

I know it will be hard for the children because you ex-husband instilled this culture of fear and intimidation on them. The only proof that you need is from the counseling and from your children's own words. If abuse has been suspected, then a court and CPS will usually temporary restrict visitation rights or at least only provide supervised visitation rights. This will allow for the children to go through regular therapy for a sustained period of time with an expert in child abuse cases. After a while as their father's intimidation has wore off because they have not seen him or been exposed to it, they will start to remember more and talk about it more openly.

Dr. Z :

Right now they will not be able to, but you can get a temporary stay of visitation services based on your word. I would also recommend getting a lawyer that specializes in child abuse custody cases to help you the the legal matters of this as every jurisdiction is different

Customer:

So if I go tomorrow they will not make the children go to their dad this weekend? I am scared if I report him he will take it on the kids this weekend. He is very very smart and can fool ANYONE. He can play the victim and pretends he is the sweetest person but behind closed doors he is scary

Dr. Z :

Most children will start to talk about the abuse, once they are no longer exposed to the abuser. Because if they are still exposed to the abuser then they will always fear retribution from the abuser.

Dr. Z :

From his behavior he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Dr. Z :

If you go to CPS tomorrow, I highly doubt they will allow him to see the children

Customer:

I have a lawyer but I don't think she is specialized in child abuse cases. She has known what has been going on and still did not stop visitations.

Dr. Z :

But at 12 years old your daughter does have a choice to go or not to see her father. Most judges will allow someone of that age to make the choice for her self.

Dr. Z :

Also this hotline may be able to provide you with resources like phone numbers for good child abuse advocates/attorneys

Customer:

Yes, it took me 10 years of agony with him and 3 years of therapy after my divorce to figure that I am not crazy and he is a narcissist. I know that but I don't know if CPS will figure that.

Dr. Z :

They may not figure it out about him, but they are supposed to do what is best for the children. Now you said you had some counseling notes as evidence, what exactly do you have?

Customer:

I talked with my daughter. She cries every time she goes to him. But she is so scared to stop seeing him because she will loose him. He already abandoned his 20 year old from the first marriage for similar reasons. She does not want to loose her dad. She wants him to stop hurting her and to love her. It is hard to put it all on her

Customer:

I kept my own notes every time they tell me what he said or did to them

Dr. Z :

I understand from your daughter's perspective, but she does deserve better than this and I feel it would be better for her psychological health if her father was not in her life because of his behavior towards her.

Customer:

I also took them both counseling when my daughter said she is going to kill herself last April and the counselor documented the whole incident. Both my kids were pretty open with the counselor about what happened.

Customer:

So if I can prove that he is verbally abusing then without physically abusing them they will stop the visitations? At least they will supervise them?

Dr. Z :

Yes definitely verbal and emotional abuse is considered abuse in every state n this country. If you have a therapist documenting this, then that is abuse. In fact the therapist by law actually should have reported it to CPS as well because every therapist is required to report suspected child abuse to the authorities.

Customer:

Thank you. That is what puzzled me. I asked her and she said that she is obligated to report it if she thinks it is abuse but Ghainaa is developing told to deal with the situation and she didn't want to betray her trust. I was very puzzled. My lawyer and the counselor are both worried about my daughter feeling betrayed than the abuse itself. I will talk to the counselor tomorrow morning and then go to CPS. Than you for the advice. I was starting to think I am going crazy... I did the right thing. I asked my lawyer, I took them to counseling, but nothing changed... I honestly feel that no one protected my kids

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you feel no one protected your children, you definitely have done everything right and no your are not crazy at all, you are a very loving parent to your children. In my cases, whenever I suspect child abuse I always report it to the authorities because even if its not child abuse at least I erred on the side of caution and was looking out for the children. I think going to the counselor and contacting CPS is your best option and then CPS will take it from there for you and your children.

Customer:

Thank you very much! I will do that tomorrow

Customer:

thank you for your advice

Dr. Z :

Anytime, is there anything else I can do to assist you tonight?

Customer:

No thank you

Customer:

Have a good evening

Dr. Z :

Well I wish your children and yourself the best of luck and I hope they can escape this abuse from their father. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

I will. Thanks

Dr. Z :

You are most welcome :)

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Dr. Z
Dr. Z
Mental Health Professional
5763 Satisfied Customers
Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.