Case Study from Mosac Advocacy Manager:

Often sharing the experience of other survivors, can help us all to understand some of the challenges faced by those suffering Rape and Sexual abuse.

Warning: Readers may find the following content distressing!

Here is such a story from a Mosac Advocacy Manager…

 

A client called Mosac’s helpline in 2018 with urgent safeguarding needs. 

Her eldest daughter (in her late teens) had just moved out. 

The daughter had then disclosed to her Mum that her father had been sexually abusing her and her sister for years while Mum had been at work. 

The daughter said that the father had threatened to hurt their mother if they disclosed, so we had serious safeguarding concerns.

When our client first called us for help, her daughter did not want to speak to the authorities, which is not uncommon. 

However, without a police report, and due to the threats issued by the father, we felt there were serious safeguarding issues to be resolved. 

We explained to the mother what these issues were so that she was able to explain to her daughter why she needed to speak to the authorities. 

We arranged for the mother and her youngest daughter to go into a refuge immediately and also helped her make a benefits application that she was eligible for.

After advice from our advocacy manager to her protective parent, the eldest daughter did speak with the police and a criminal investigation began. 

We supported the family through the ‘achieving best evidence’ interviews and the evidence gathering process.

Unfortunately, the client’s housing benefits were not being paid on time which had left her in debt and unable to move. 

We created a written payment schedule and attended a meeting with the client to resolve the debt. 

With our support, the client and her daughters were re-housed soon afterwards. 

The client said she would not have been able to “figure out why she wasn’t getting re-housed or where the problem was”, without our help.

We supported the family through the criminal trial. 

The accused was found not guilty. 

The eldest daughter had stayed away from court on the day of the verdict. 

She was distraught at the outcome and was not at home when our client returned. 

The client felt that she didn’t know what to say to help her daughter understand the outcome of the trial.

We supported the mother whilst she looked for her daughter. 

The client called Mosac’s helpline in 2018 with urgent safeguarding needs. 

Afterwards, the client contacted us and said:

“…my child told me later that she had gone off to kill herself and I didn’t know what to do or where to find her. I felt so helpless. You gave me clarity when I couldn’t think. You told me to put out a message to her friends on Facebook and we found her and you gave me the words to say to help her and supported us all through this. You literally saved my child’s life…. I don’t know if you realise that”

The father who had been accused by the eldest daughter, then made an application through the family court for contact with the youngest daughter. 

The family were traumatised all over again.

It is common for accused or convicted parents to exercise their parental rights in family court as the law currently allows for this.  

We have supported the mother to make initial responses to the family court to challenge this application and to apply for a “C8” order, holding her address and contact details confidential. 

We have found a firm of solicitors that provide legal aid in family proceedings and can assist our client. 

We continue to support the mother to help protect her children, and herself.