Some people become involved in the criminal justice system. Cases get tried and an individual is found guilty or not guilty "beyond reasonable doubt". But in the Family courts the burden of proof is "on the balance of probability." The cases often have little to do with what actually happened and very much more to do with the presentation of the case, the mustering of the evidence and the "appeal" of the victim.
Not guilty does not mean innocent. Many an individual takes it to mean innocent and when their partner still considers them guilty they cannot understand it. Of course a partner very often has a very clear idea of exactly what went on. When their "hope for justice" is thwarted they are almost inevitably very angry. In making their defense they are often "making a liar" of their partner.
In the family courts, concerning child contacts, divorce etc decisions by courts are reached on a "balance of probability". One person's word against the other's is most often what counts. Unfortunately an adversarial approach also dominates the proceedings.
There are clear advantages in having a solicitor and or barrister - "re-presenting" you. The costs can however become enormous. Many people now resort to representing themself, becoming a litigant in person. An advantage of this is that a court can get to actually know an individual, rather than know the individual's paper-trail! Some people additionally make use of McKenzie friends, who will help and support them in the preparation of their paperwork.
Families Need fathers (FNF) can be a very useful place to find additional support in managing these situations, and in Birmingham the Shared Parenting Association runs a similar service
Many people who become violent and or aggressive and or abusive with a partner bitterly regret their actions later.
Very few partners would want to stay with someone who treats them badly.
Oneconsequence can be that they leave. They move away completely.
Another frequent consequence can be that the police get called and the violent or abusive person spends the night in the cells, goes to court, and, depending on the seriousness of the attack, gets sent down. Five - six months is quite a "normal" amount of time, serve 3 months.
Another consequence can be that you get separated from your children. For some people the emotional effect of this is beyond the like of anything they have experienced before.
Another almost inevitable consequence is that Social Services become involved, probably putting your children on the "At risk" register and they will then force you to jump through a number of hoops to establish that you are not a future threat to your children.
In some cases to protect children from future harm Social Services take children away from families and in some cases, similarly, a parent refuses contact with the violent, aggressive abusive parent.
In other cases, after a separation has taken place, a partner remains absolutely fed up and, in the child's interest, prevents contact, or sometimes this is a way of getting their own back and sometimes it is just a malicious act. The fights which emerge can be unbelievable.
The law has fundamentally changed. Having sex with an unwilling partner is rape. Although most cases involving domestic abuse and violence require a partner to press charges, many a police force is experimenting with zero tolerance, i.e. they will assemble evidence and prosecute anyway.
In many cases regardless of who "was responsible" the police will simply remove the man. In some cases this is the line of least resistance in other cases they are quite right.
Different cases and different levels
Most cases that come before the law involve violence. Virtually all the cases that are prosecuted involve violence because there has got to be evidence. Many cases that are thoroughly abusive do not involve violence. Many a partner's fear is not driven by actual violence but by aggressiveness or abusiveness.
None of the above behaviour belongs in a couple relationship. Most couple relationships where this behaviour is present are going to die because of it.
For this reason we work with all of the above forms of violence and aggressivenes and abusiveness. We seek to do this as early as possible, and as effectively as possible. Our interest is the safety of all concerned, but when the violent, aggressive, abusive partner stops using this behaviour we succeed. If he or she does not stop using the behaviour we fail, too.
Often people think that because they don't punch or kick their partner then their behaviour is not so bad (the way the law tends to see it). The fact is that it is a very quick way to the divorce court or to the separation housing market, and it is an appalling model in which to bring up children. Approximately 85% of men and 95% of women never ever use violence or abusive behaviour. So if you are one of the 15% or 5% respectively, why is it that you do? It is an intriguing question!
Most people can change. Most people can make perfectly good, dependable partners and loving parents. It takes a fair bit of time, a lot of commitment, a bit of determination and not a little courage to come forward. The rewards can be fantastic. The price of failure is usually enormous, not just for the violent person who risks losing everything, but also for the children who risk losing their mum or dad, and in some cases, both, and very often their Grandparents, and wider family, too.
Facing the problems is the responsible way. That is why we offer the work. Ducking the issues is the coward's way. We want you to succeed. That is why we are determined to help.