On the morning of April 1st, 2007 I received a voicemail from my ex husband stating that I needed to call him immediately. Knowing that it was our scheduled child-swap day I was frightened and called him right away. At 6:45 am he finally picked up the phone and told me there had been an "accident." My ex husband's girlfriend had hit our 3 year old daughter and left 'a mark.' Of course I had a meltdown on the phone, asked all kinds of questions, and my first was "what did you do about this?" My ex-husband told me that my daughter had been throwing a fit, the girlfriend went to restrain her and Belinda had bitten her, and the girlfriend's first response was to smack our daughter in the face.
My rage nearly consumed me that anyone, let alone a PARENT could stand idly by while a child was abused like this. I was told that our daughter provoked the beating and that I was overreacting. Needless to say I immediately hung up and called every law enforcement officer I could think of trying to get action. I was met by a wonderfully kind officer who verified the condition I received my daughter in. Belinda just turned 3 in March. She weighs about 30 pounds and the marks on her face and the bite mark on her arm from this woman made me sick. The examining physician at the hospital told me it was a miracle that Belinda's jaw wasn't broken or dislocated in the attack.
We came home and filed another police report with our local PD and were told that there were laws in place to protect our baby and that she would never go back there again. We were told that DCFS would contact us, come visit with us and help us with resources. Photos were taken. I took my baby to the hospital since her father cared so little about her as to take her for medical attention when the attack happened, nearly a WEEK before she was returned to me. I was told that the abuser put a "cold cloth" on the horrific injuries and sent her to bed. This from an avid spanker. How touching!
Do you know what type of assistance we've received? Nothing. We were told by DCFS in IL, where we live, that they COULD do a courtesy interview with my daughter but since the police did it there was no use and they couldn't cross state lines so we are officially in limbo. We pay taxes here yet we get no help. I called MO DCFS. I am told that the abuser said she was sorry, kissed my baby on the cheek and put a cold cloth on her face and that since she has no prior child abuse convictions charges won't be filed. When asked what would happen if I took it upon myself to inflict the same kind of injuries on the grown woman that assaulted my baby, I was told I'd be tossed in jail. When I asked the investigator why they couldn't toss this woman in jail I was told "We don't live in Nazi, Germany anymore".
I have called every state, federal and local agency in both Missouri and Illinois and have been turned away. I have been told that I will face contempt of court charges when I don't return my daughter to her father, and I can be arrested. I am ineligible for any type of legal assistance because I actually work and pay taxes. The so-called laws that are in place to prevent child abuse are no more than glorified toilet tissue in my opinion. Farm animals have more rights than my child does.
They claim the US is the land of the free, home of the brave, where justice is SERVED. To whom I ask you? Land of the brave? Beating a child is the most cowardly act I can think of. Injustice is served up to our children every single day. If I hit another adult I will be charged with assault and battery yet if I hit a child I'm commended for "disciplining correctly". How many children have to be maimed or killed before the laws are changed? We are raising generations of abusers all in the name of proper discipline. Children emulate what they see and what is done to them. How can you hit a child and tell them that hitting is wrong?
As it stands my daughter's abusers walk free while I am in constant fear that my baby will be forcibly taken from me and given back to those monsters. I was actually criticized by a Sheriff's investigator for not "disciplining" my child and allowing her to throw fits. She is 3. She is barely a baby.
I'm not letting this fight go. I'm so sick of reading of children that have been beaten, brusied and killed at the hands of those that are sworn to protect them. Spanking doesn't stop at spanking. Spanking is hitting and it's abuse anyway you look at it. If you can't "spank" another adult, why should you be allowed to do it to a defenseless child? Prisoners of war have more rights than our own little citizens do. Children have rights.
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TO THE NEWSROOM?