Child Abuse By Only One Parent

by Interrogated Mom
(North Carolina, USA)

Child abuse by Father but divorced Mother is Interrogated, harassed and accused: 
My four children, ranging from ages seven to thirteen, have been physically and emotionally abused by their father whom I divorced for being abusive to me. We have been divorced for four years now. The abuse of the children began five years ago when we separated and he would keep the children. I took the case to court, but the judge believed the father who is a church leader and school teacher, and gave him joint custody. He immediately had his child support reduced to $14 dollars a month, refused to do anything other than keep the children on his days(no doctor, dentist, school activities, medicines, asthma treatments, etc). I ended up having them with me on most of the father’s days, because of picking them up from his house for sports, activities, and appointments that he is totally uninvolved in.

Once the custody case was over, his abuse of the children escalated. The more he abused them, the more the children talked and the Department of Social Services (DSS) child protective services became more and more involved. Because the father has the abusers charming demeanor, he charmed DSS and they began to question and accuse me and he convinced them that it was false accusations by me, even throughout doctors exams and reports from them, the children, and the afterschools. He painted me to be the jealous ex wife, all the while beating, berating and bruising the children more and more. During the DSS investigation (a total of six, the last of which escalated to the "forensic" stage) the children remained in the fathers home. In the meantime, I was forced to comply with all of the DSS rules, including having intensive in-home therapy in my home, having individual counseling, being questioned about my parenting skills, being accused of taking the children to the doctor unnecessarily, and constantly questioned about if I exerted force on the children when I never have. My children have been very vocal about what has happened to them to anyone they felt might help them. On the last set of bruises on my younger son, the police filed misdemeanor child abuse charges against the father (for which he is still awaiting trial), and this is when DSS finally GAVE THE FATHER THE CHOICE to either allow the children to stay with me for a while or THEY WOULD TAKE CUSTODY!!!!

I have never known that because one parent abuses their children, the other parent that has absolutely nothing to do with it is penalized and harassed. Even at this point, the father has supervised visitation, they have allowed him to choose the person with which the visitation will be done with, the times which they said is "as much as he wants" (which they will NOT GIVE ME ANY SCHEDULE and when I asked for one, they told me I just need to comply and the DSS supervisor hung up on me!). They are allowing the visits to be at his home which is where the abuse was occurring and the children cry and some refuse to go, and this is also blamed on me like I am trying to keep them from their father. I am treated like a stranger to these children and not given any choice in what happens with them… just told I better comply. The father is trying to get the children back and I am desperately trying to get money together to pay a better attorney than I had in the first trial. The father, of course, has a very expensive, prestigious attorney that helps him to slide out of everything (including over $2000 worth of the children's medical and dental bills). After DSS gets out of the picture, the children may go back to their father.

I never knew that the system worked like this and it really needs to be revised. I am appalled at a system that would punish and penalize an innocent parent for "the sins of the father" and allow children to continue to be abused. My younger son has been so traumatized, that he is now on two types of medication and in constant fear that they will be returned to their father. I now need an attorney not only for the defense of the children, but to defend myself.....and I have done absolutely nothing. It is unbelieveable.

How does a parent who cannot afford expensive attorneys protect his/her children and not become a victim of the system him/herself?

Interrogated Mom

Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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