Child Abuse: How Can We Protect the Innocent Part 2
(Independence, Missouri, USA)
Continued from Part 1:
We started counseling at CAPA (Child Abuse Prevention Association); I have to give thanks to that organization because they have helped us. I will never forget our first visit; my nine year gave the counselor a fifteen questionnaire quiz and told him that if he did not take the quiz then he could not talk to him. My son told us it was to ensure he could trust him. After a year of counseling the boys started opening up a little bit to the counselor. Boys spoke of being forced to go into a dark room, looking at porn magazines in their dad's bathroom and with a twelve year old. The boys spoke of a twelve year telling them that if it gets hard you have to hump someone or stick your finger inside it to make it go down. The boys spoke of their dad coming home drunk from the bar, waking them up in the middle of the night and yelling at them. The boys spoke of them running out of hiding places when their dad gets angry. The five year old told the counselor that his dad's new wife was hitting him with a belt. The boys talking about their new step sister having bed wetting problems and would often wet the bed. When my ex-husband was asked about this, he claim it was just a hereditary thing and she did not need to go to the doctor.
Every other week both children have emotional meltdown when returning from home after a weekend with their dad and would lash out by throwing objects, kicking, hitting, crying and hiding. Every other week I have to try and get two boys to school as they are kicking and hitting me; even as we are walking into the school.
The counselor has filed over five reports the past year with DFS regarding discussions the boys, all reports were closed because the boys would not disclose anything to the DFS worker. DFS told me that I need to take my kids to counseling and when I told them that we are in counseling they tried to get me to take my kids to another counseling center. DFS told me that they don't take kids away, they only provide counseling. On one DFS report, the worker reported that he did not see a mark on the children however the police report not 24 hours prior had photographed and documented scratches on the five years neck, face and ear. In one incident my nine year old came home with first degree burn covering his face, arms, legs and chest and in front of five people told us that his dad made him take a boiling hot bath. Not one witness was called however my ex-husband mother that lives six and half hours away and only see the kids once a year was called for his defense. If we are teaching our children not to talk to strangers and they are already scared about the trouble they will get into for talking; why do we expect a child to tell their story with someone they just meet?
I hired an attorney and tried to get custody of the boys, first day we had trial, the judge made an opening comment about how he hated mothers that filed against fathers. Because of the judge refusing to allow me to testify and submit evidence to the court, the attorneys advised that my best option was to settle. I did a settlement agreement only for my ex-husband to walk all over the settlement agreement and ignoring what we agreed to do would be contempt of court. I can't afford to pay my attorney any money to file a contempt motion; I make just a little over the bar to qualify for services. I am paying out $800 a month on prescriptions for my children. My ex-husband is behind on child support, reimbursement of medical expense and won't provide me with access to their medical coverage. But that is not the least of my worries. The worry is, the failure to provide the children with their medicine, them coming home with bacterial infections due to lack of bathing and clothes changing, my son soiling himself and another child in the house of my ex-husband having bed wetting problems. My concern is if my ex-husband drives the children after he has been drinking or if his drinking gets out of control. My ex-husband tries to take them out of counseling and continuance of neglect and abuse. The weekly struggles of just trying to get two children up and ready for school as they fight you because they've been told by their father that you live in Misery and I live in God Country and you wouldn't have to go to school if you lived with me.
So what do parents like me have to do to protect the kids? Attorneys want money and DFS was the kids to freely talk to them even though they face the issues of kids going through emotional meltdowns and are scared to talk. How is this fair to children? If children can't see court orders mean business and have to be followed; what example are we showing them? Go back and read some of the statements serial killers make, some of them are not because of physical abuse they endured, they suffered mental abuse time after time when no one would stand up for them and saying enough. The children that are criminals at young ages are because they are trying to fill that emptiness inside, they are looking for that acceptance, the love and emotion that says we love you and accept you no matter what has happened to you. Is it easier to allow children to go through life with neglect and abuse and hope they turn out okay and if they don't our tax money will pay for their jail time? Why is it that DFS can't take action when there are numerous complaint calls from hospitals, counselors, doctors and school?
Just for today, you be that parent that has to take your child to school knowing he just threatened the lives of other children. You be that parent knowing your child got into trouble for inappropriate touching another child at school. You be that parent that doesn't have the money to go to court and can't be helped by DFS. You be that parent that has to deal with children that have mental breakdowns every time they return from their father's. What would you do? Kidnap your own child? What would you do when the people that can help turn their back on you? What options do we have has parents to protect our kids?
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