Family is not restrained by restraining order


Dear Amy: I am a 32-year-old mother of three. I have a restraining order against their father after years of emotional and physical abuse endured by myself and my children. I was stuck in the vicious cycle of abuse for a long time.

He has had no contact with us for over two years.

My ex’s mother (my children’s “grandmother”) recently tried to contact my daughter via text, sending her photos of her father and the father’s new girlfriend, along with their daughter (she is the same age as my youngest son, so his current girlfriend and I were pregnant at the same time).

I have access to see these text messages and pictures before my daughter does and am curious about your take on whether I should delete them/block their numbers, or allow my 8-year-old daughter to decide for herself.

I don’t trust anyone in their family and never received any acknowledgment of the tremendous amount of pain and suffering her son caused me and my children.

— Mama Bear

Dear Mama Bear: These family members are not likely to apologize for the actions of your abuser.

If they want to try to forge a relationship with your children, however, they need to understand that you are the gatekeeper.

I can’t speak to the intent, but based on what you report, it sounds as if your ex or his mother might be using her ability to send text messages to your daughter as a “workaround,” which could violate the valid restraining order you have against her son.

You should double-check the language on the court order.

Your child should not be receiving text messages from anyone without you seeing the message first (I assume these may be coming in over a tablet device).


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