27 min

One mother's story of the psychological impact on her children of her ex husband's sexual offences All in the Mind

    • Health & Fitness

They call it "the knock" - when the police are at the door and demand to take away laptops and phones to search for evidence of images of child sexual abuse. Our reporter Jo Morris talks to "Emma" (not her real name) about the moment her life was turned upside down when her then husband was accused of looking at indecent images of children. She felt isolated and wasn't given any support to explain to her children about what was happening, once social services had made sure that the children hadn't been directly harmed by their father. She told her younger children that their father's computer had been taken away because it was broken - and was more open with the older children about what he'd done. The family moved house and changed their name once vigilantes became aware of the case and her oldest child had suicidal thoughts and was hospitalised.

Emma eventually got support from the charity Children Heard and Seen, which offers face-to-face support to children in Oxford and Birmingham and online support to families across the country. Sarah Burrows and James Otley explain how their online groups and mentoring help to support families like Emma's.

The Ministry of Justice say that there is help for children who are victims of crime, but a victim is defined as someone who is directly affected by a criminal offence, so families of offenders are not deemed to be victims of crime. There are no plans to change this as it could result in victims of crime receiving less support.

Robin Dunbar examines the psychology of religion in his new book How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures. The Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford believes that the number 150 which he popularised as the "optimum" number for successful social groups also plays a significant role in religious gatherings. He explains how the bonds created by religion offer benefits to individuals and communities.

Our studio guest Professor Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster offers ideas on how to avoid doomscrolling, when the news feels overwhelming and whether professional or amateur musicians are more at risk of developing anxiety and depression.

Producer: Paula McGrath

Made in partnership with the Open University

They call it "the knock" - when the police are at the door and demand to take away laptops and phones to search for evidence of images of child sexual abuse. Our reporter Jo Morris talks to "Emma" (not her real name) about the moment her life was turned upside down when her then husband was accused of looking at indecent images of children. She felt isolated and wasn't given any support to explain to her children about what was happening, once social services had made sure that the children hadn't been directly harmed by their father. She told her younger children that their father's computer had been taken away because it was broken - and was more open with the older children about what he'd done. The family moved house and changed their name once vigilantes became aware of the case and her oldest child had suicidal thoughts and was hospitalised.

Emma eventually got support from the charity Children Heard and Seen, which offers face-to-face support to children in Oxford and Birmingham and online support to families across the country. Sarah Burrows and James Otley explain how their online groups and mentoring help to support families like Emma's.

The Ministry of Justice say that there is help for children who are victims of crime, but a victim is defined as someone who is directly affected by a criminal offence, so families of offenders are not deemed to be victims of crime. There are no plans to change this as it could result in victims of crime receiving less support.

Robin Dunbar examines the psychology of religion in his new book How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures. The Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford believes that the number 150 which he popularised as the "optimum" number for successful social groups also plays a significant role in religious gatherings. He explains how the bonds created by religion offer benefits to individuals and communities.

Our studio guest Professor Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster offers ideas on how to avoid doomscrolling, when the news feels overwhelming and whether professional or amateur musicians are more at risk of developing anxiety and depression.

Producer: Paula McGrath

Made in partnership with the Open University

27 min

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