I'm worried my ex-wife might be physically abusing our daughter

DEAR DEIDRE: I’M worried my ex-wife might be physically abusing our toddler daughter.

She came to stay with me a few weeks ago, and I noticed she had small bruises all over her face, hand and back.

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She’s only 18 months old.

I’m 35 and was so worried that I called my ex, who is 32, and said it looked like someone had prodded our girl really viciously.

She got upset and said that was ridiculous – our little girl rolls around on the floor a lot, so the bruises must be from that.

But I’ve never seen her do that.

As for the bruise on her hand, she says it’s because she bit herself.

My ex and I don’t get on, but she was never violent and I hate being suspicious of her.

But who else could have done it? She’s our daughter’s only carer.

I know she finds it hard to cope sometimes and I’m scared that if my fears are correct, our daughter could end up getting really hurt.

I think about those terrible cases in the news where babies are killed by violent parents.

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Yet if I report her, and I’m wrong, I risk wrecking our relationship for ever.

What should I do?

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DEIDRE SAYS: You’re right to raise your concerns, as those bruises do sound suspicious.

And while you don’t want to get your ex into trouble, you have a duty of care to your child, and she must come first.

My support pack, Worried A Child Is At Risk, has more information on the issues involved here, and where to get support.

Do contact the NSPCC for guidance (, 0808 800 5000).

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