Help enforce the RIGHT TO BE SAFE for every child, every young vulnerable person, that they should never be threatened, tormented, beaten, or even manipulated into protecting their abuser or the one who abuses their children………https://www.change.org/p/mr-president-please-enforce-the-right-to-be-safe-for-all-persons-especially-our-children-enforce-family-terrorist-act-trecia-s-law
Perhaps you may never feel safe enough to speak up and you may never be able to find justice for all the crimes against you. However, if you are one of these persons and you’ve not yet found the courage to face the darkest of your demons, let me ask;
How are things in your relationships today? Does your spouse or partner have a good relationship with your child? Do they use forceful punishment, then tell you the child deserved it? Have they ever left a bruise on your child, used a belt, or even punched your child?
Do you feel powerless against them or believe them because they show such remorse, possibly even shed a tear over the harm they caused against your child? Do they over power you, cut you down, then turn around and praise how beautiful you are and show sincere emotion when you forgive them?
There was a particular case which was kind of tossed into my lap yesterday. I cannot explain how close to home this case is, nor cannot discuss much in detail, as the case itself is still pending.
A young woman I know, whom I love and trusted as a person, had her young child taken into protective custody a few days ago. The 5 year old had been beaten with a belt and when I saw the pictures my stomach turned. I knew the case was much more than this young woman had shared with me, in fact she and her significant other had me convinced that CPS had taken the child away for a fall which left a bruise. However since it wasn’t the first time they had been investigated I knew that something must be wrong. In fact, the case was so personal for me that I actually feared how much could have happened and exactly how it had all been allowed to get to this extreme.
The young mother had been beaten and left in her crib to cry without comfort by a stepmother when she was a child. She had seen her mother be beaten and had lived the first 10 years of her life in chaos. Although her mother had tried in a number of ways to heal the past pain, this case showed me just how serious providing conviction of offenders, giving support services for all victims involved, and ensuring that family support is accessible to everyone; rather than something a family should be ashamed of needing.
This young woman had fallen for the wrong man twice already by the time she was just twenty years old. None of her romantic involvements ever made her feel good about herself, most commonly that had berated her and never taken care of her, not even the father of her child. The two relationships ended badly and when the baby was just 1 year old the mother ran to someone who said, ‘Stay here with me and I will help you.’
She fell for this man hard. Many times I’d go visit with concerns about little warning signs I’d seen in the little child’s development and how this child connected with the new man in mother’s life. I had personally tried many times to help mom get them safe, rebuild life skills to always take care of her child, even discussed my concerns about his manipulating & controlling this young mom and how I truly felt he was a danger to them both. Sadly, nothing I’d ever said or did worked, even addressing the issue would cause this young mom to shut me out for months at a time. Mom stayed with this man, who I later found out the other night, has quite some history of his own.
The past four years Children’s Services had been to their home, twice I’d reported them myself out of extreme concern for the child’s wellbeing. Sadly, no case worker ever found cause to remove the young child. I could see the fear in her face however, saw mother’s inability to actually interact with her child and knew it would take something severe before anything would ever happen.
Together, as I was asked to come and help support this young mom now facing a protective custody hearing for her child; the man in her life who I had witnessed his direct control over her many times, sat and told me about his history. I was shocked this young mom could be pulled in to such a web of insanity. He had a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. He had been sent to maximum security as a juvenile sex offender; he was 14 the young girl then was 10. He had been arrested for Crystal Meth, and now he was intent on packing a bag to run away with this young mom. He didn’t even want to stay for the hearing. He kept telling me how it would be turned against him, be exaggerated into something much more than a fall; he was afraid of returning to prison for the third time, especially for beating a young defenseless child.
I spent the night at their house, only for the mother and to help speak for how much she loved her baby so much and the positive changes I had seen in her, especially these last few months. As I lay on their couch that night I couldn’t believe that I’d been drawn into a mess like this, a mom whom I would never suspect but a man I most certainly knew from the very beginning had a dark past and now had this young wounded mother twisted around his finger like a little puppet. He could make her believe anything because she had been so broken before. He told her how beautiful she was. He told her and me how he loved this little child of hers like his own and would never ever do anything to harm a fragile person who could not defend themselves.
When we arrived at the hearing, I was asked if I wanted to see the pictures of this so called bruise, which this mom and her man had spent four hours the night before convincing me was from a fall off the couch she had been jumping on…..children will be children and they do fall. Anyway, this was no ordinary bruise from a fall, that is unless she fell off of a house. It was deep purple, yellow, black, and had red lashes which at first I thought were from a large handprint. It was sickening and I knew this young mom loved her special needs child so very much. I knew she was vulnerable, in fact had been vulnerable all her life simply because of the chaotic history that she’d lived in those first ten years herself.
Needless to say the young child was kept in protective services, pending further investigation and another hearing. As I drove this young mother back to her house she informed me that her man had used his belt on this little child. The bruise covered her entire side, so my thoughts were horrified at how it could be possible. Mom said, ‘if she wouldn’t have moved’. Couldn’t believe what I was hearing, couldn’t believe that I thought this young mom, although vulnerable to fall in with the wrong man, would certainly protect HER young child.
This young child had just started school this year. She was in special learning because her mother didn’t know how to interact or the heavy responsibility of having a child in the first place. Mother told me her child was misbehaving, jumping around and screaming, she wouldn’t listen. Mother told me her man was so remorseful, he had been crying for days over this and it would never happen again. No it won’t if I have anything to do with it at all, this young mother whom I trusted, believed, and thought for sure; although a bit broken would do the right thing when it came to her child, had sat silent listening to her child scream for mercy and cry because of this huge 300 lb man beating her with a leather belt. Now this mom is defending this man, saying she will take the blame so that he doesn’t have to go back to prison. We never really know what type of abuse or harm is being inflicted on a young child. They cannot speak out, they may not be able to speak clearly at all. They cannot fight back. They cannot run away and they cannot do anything their parent/parents do not allow.
I’m grateful the system finally stepped in and is now in charge of what happens to this child, yet I feel such guilt over just how much I thought I believed in this young mom, however only to find that I never really knew anything at all. It had all been lies to cover up the cruel actions against this precious child. Do we really know the truth about anyone, even those closest to us? Do we know what really happens inside their house, inside the realm of their family circle? It is up to us to change how cases are investigated, to change the system and make sure above all else the right to be safe is always upheld, especially when it is the right of a child to sleep and live in a SAFE & LOVING home.
Today I’m begging everyone to be on alert for the sake of the children around you. Do not wait until its too late to do something and protect these children, all children. Help us amend our public policy and our prosecutorial processes to make sure and hold even those who we believe are trusted persons, responsible for the harm they inflict against a defenseless child. Help us by reading the ‘LETTER TO….’ section of this petition. Help us by signing your name and then begging your friends to do the same. If they refuse, please ask them why, perhaps they themselves are secret abusers who teach their children they are bad, they deserve this punishment, they deserve to be beaten because they did not listen. There is a huge difference between corrective parenting and these secret types of predators. The man this mother chose has a juvenile sex offender record, he’s been caught having sex with a 16 year old neighbor girl, whom this young mother then blamed that girl because ‘she came on to him’. Please friends help us ensure that the right to BE SAFE & LIVE SAFE is upheld for all persons but most definitely our young children who are trapped inside the control of their parents and whom, without intervention, may never know what a loving safe home is really supposed to be like. Thank you ——- FOLLOW THIS LINK——
Thank you for reading. I pray you will help us move forward. You can encourage your local politicians, your prosecuting attorneys, family service providers to begin addressing this very serious issue. You can donate, by just clicking the ‘PROMOTE’ button on the petition, which helps reach out to more persons within the Change.org system. Please help us enforce the Universal Right to be Safe for all Children.
Patricia McKnight, Author & Owner, Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery
Lisa Chilton, Director Legal Advocacy Dept. St. Clair County
Dana Pfeiffer, Exec. Director – Grounds of Grace