Child Abuse: Again The System Fails Children

by Leslie
(Wisconsin, USA)

Why Can't we get help? 
I am the step-mother of two beautiful girls. Five years ago I met this wonderful man and fell in love with him. We seemed to share similar past stories, almost wondering how is it that our paths never connected. We crossed and came close, but fate wasn't 100% there yet. I myself have two wonderful children, a boy and a girl. We felt things were moving in the right direction and decided to marry. Our blended home and my life felt like a love story! We were even told by other people that it was a neat love story.

Then the summer of 2005 I felt the dark clouds start to come in. I knew that the picture wasn't exactly right with these two girls. I always felt that in my gut I needed to be with this situation because they needed me. Then the tornado came!

The biological mother moved a few hours away and this became a very fragile time for these two girls. They always lived with their dad, but now a sense of abandonment started to take over.

Over the course of the year, my husband and I married, we needed a bigger house, and moved. Once again, we found our fairy tale house in the country with 5 bedrooms and nearly 2 acres of land. It was beautiful! We felt like we could keep the family happy and chipper with letting them all have their own space.

Now the biological mother started to just become evil. She didn't want the girls, she didn't want to pay support, she didn't want to be told to do anything. Always on her time, her rules, and when she was ready! Tears and more tears start to come. This has now stepped up to be a complete nasty court battle. Her trying to make it look like she is "the good mom", when frankly she never wanted to be Mom.

Bits and pieces of my husband's past started to come out. I was horrified for him and these girls. She was just a plain old nasty woman.

As the court battles continue for a period of 3 years on and off now, it has been a living hell! We then have had the girls start counseling, hoping to find some ways to release this anguish. The older girl was defecating her underwear on a constant basis, and the younger girl was throwing up on a regular basis. We also took them through the gammit of doctors to rule out any serious issues. But my gut tells me all along this isn't a medical issue. I said it for a few years, but no one believed me. The counselor never had anything "major" to share. So we never had any other reason to believe that it was just nerves and abandonment issues.

Over the course of this past year, the girls were getting older, 16 and 12, and extremely reluctant to go. Bio-mom takes us to court, judge yells at us and visitation has to resume. Bio-mom now is accusing us of spying, lying, snooping, and even stealing. All of these accusations were just out of this world. But the worst of it is that she would try and teach these girls to lie and sneak behind our backs. Create secret accounts on the internet, secret hiding spots for things that they might have brought home from bio-mom's house.

Then in Oct of '08, our youngest decided to reveal that bio-mom has been calling places and impersonating me and that she also showed the girls some nude pics of herself that were on her phone. They were pierced nipples and bio-mom thought this was "cool". We then filed a police report and she was investigated and not enough evidence could have her prosecuted. Visitation must carry on! But we have two girls that are just flat out refusing to go.

Why don't children ever have a say? Because they could be lying, is what the courts say. Well if anyone reads the file on this woman, these girls aren't lying. They wanted their mother, she didn't want them.

We then get through the holidays without even seeing bio-mom because they just refused. Well now we have the rest of bio-mom's family starting to accuse us of control and not letting bio-mom and grandparents have their "time".

We ho-hum through two more months of eggshells, and during this time we had the youngest seeing the counselor at school. She then revealed some shocking news to her. News I felt all along might be true. She proceeded to tell the counselor, us, and now Social Services of the sexual abuse mom has been doing to her. We then confronted the oldest girl and she wants nothing to do with this. It's hard enough being now 17 and dealing with life, and it's easier to keep this one buried.

The full report from S.S. was unbelievable! Bio-mom would tell our youngest that she needed to give her a physical and check how the pubic hairs were coming in. Isn't this grounds for abuse? Well we went through this painful process with our youngest 12, and bio-mom was brought in by authorities for questioning and that was it. Bio-mom said, "No I didn't do anything. I was just rubbing ointment down there for yeast infection." And the police said ok and let her go. This happened over the course of three years while she was between the ages of 6 and 9. Our youngest never had a yeast infection. She lives with her dad/us all the time. Had to take her to the doctor on a weekend and we carried the health insurance, so we would know!

Now we are into summer and the court ordered GAL (Guardian Ad Litem) for the girls said the youngest girl is making it up and they need to resume their visitation. They refuse to go. The youngest is back to throwing up, and the oldest just won't go.

We can't afford an attorney, because we are raising four children full-time, usually Support is not regular, and we constantly are paying court fees and GAL fees for the last 3 years (thousands of $). I am outraged that these girls have no voice. I am outraged that the courts let this carry on. I want someone to reach out and help us. I want the world to know that these pieces of crap parents shouldn't have any rights! Maybe bio-mom doesn't get jail time, but she sure should not ever see these girls again. Who can I shout to! I want the President to even hear this. It happens every minute of every day! These children/teenagers/adults slip through the system. My heart aches and I want to try and fix this!!!!!

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Comments for Child Abuse: Again The System Fails Children

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Jun 25, 2009
I agree: children should, but don't have a voice...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Leslie, I'm terribly sorry you, your family and especially these two precious girls are having to deal with this horrible situation. I can't offer anything except space for you to vent. Perhaps another visitor will offer something more concrete to help your plight. Thank you for sharing this with my visitors and me. And don't rule out writing President Obama.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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