My ex is abusing our 4-year-old: How do I help my son?

by Name Withheld
(Location Withheld)

This is a case where a mother has seen her ex-husband strike their then 18-month-old son in the head repeatedly with a screwdriver. Abuse reports have been made to authorities by doctors and friends when the child displayed countless bruises, 2nd degree burns, pulled tendons where he had been run over by a tractor, and bloody gashes in his head. Despite the numerous reports, and physical as well as photographic evidence of abuse at the hands of his father—who has now remarried and has a newborn—the courts awarded him residential custody of the child.


The boy is now 4 years old, and he is still suffering abuse and neglect by his father. The mother continues to try to gain custody of her son, whom she believes is being used to get back at her. The boy is reportedly full of anger and frustration. The question that arose: What more can I do to help my child?

Reply from Darlene: My answer to this Ask Darlene question "My ex is abusing our 4-year-old: How do I help my son?" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited, and could result in being banned from making further comments on this site.

Comments for My ex is abusing our 4-year-old: How do I help my son?

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 07, 2008
Love, understanding and possibly counselling...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Keep showing your son your love. Don't stop documenting the abuse, and don't stop reporting it when it occurs. But mostly, don't denigrate your son's father in front of him, because he will internalize the belittling remarks. He will believe himself to be flawed. It is the nature of children to blame themselves for all that is wrong around them and to blame themselves for any character flaws of the people they love most. Make YOUR home his soft place to fall without treating him like a victim or pitying him. And lastly, if at all possible, get your son into some form of counselling; play therapy is a type of therapy that has proven beneficial to very young children.

May justice remove the blindfolds and set rectifying eyes on the plight of your son. I wish you and he all the best.

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

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Ask Darlene

Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.



Most Recent

  1. Feel Extreme Guilt

    Apr 25, 17 08:19 AM

    I had been repressing the guilt of playing sexual games and forcing my cousin brother to tongue kissing with me. I am 24 now but keep remembering the same

    Read More

  2. Not To Blame

    Apr 18, 17 11:04 AM

    I was in my 10th standard and like every girl, I was very conscious of the weight problem. I used to go to my Music tuitions in the evening, and once I

    Read More

  3. Bad Dreams Surfacing

    Apr 13, 17 10:32 AM

    I am having a dream about my abusive stepfather where he wants my brother and me to change his soiled diaper. He started abusing me at the age of three

    Read More

Take the quiz

Fill out my online form.
HTML Forms powered by Wufoo.
E-book: Victim To Victory

From Victim to Victory
a memoir

How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life

Read more...