Chana - posted on 10/21/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )
My daughter is eight and she lives with her father and step-mother. I divorced the man on the bases of psychological abuse and domestic violence. As a battered woman, I never filed a police report and only managed a restraining order while in a D.V. shelter with my children. With no proof to support my claims, my ex did everything he could to make me out to be an unfit parent. I lost physical custody and now only have 50% legal custody.
He remarried last year to a woman with a history of domestic violence. She told me that my daughter had struck her with a shoe and threatened to kill her. I know my girl and that just doesn't sound like her. When I talked to my daughter about the incident, she told me that her step-mother has been hurting her and on the event in question, my daughter was being contorted and forced down hard on the bed. She lashed out in self defense, grabbing the nearest object (a shoe) and repeatedly struck her step-mother until she stopped. My daughter is eight and petite.
Fortunately, my daughter has been in therapy for a year and had an appointment within a few days. I encouraged her to talk with the therapist about it. On the day of her appointment, the step-mother called the office to cancel my daughter's appointment. I had to convince the therapist that my daughter must be seen.
My daughter told her therapist all of the details about the violence she has suffered and the Department of Child and Family Services was called.
My ex-husband then terminated my daughter's therapy, indicating to her that it was because she talked about the violence and she might be able to return IF her behavior improves.
This is not the first time that woman has harmed my child. Not long ago, she dragged my daughter by the feet through the house and threw her on the bed. I reported it to my daughter's therapist. It has been documented. There have been no bruises.
DCFS should be visiting their home by tomorrow, if they haven't already been there. I have been busy preparing for court. I need my daughter's therapy reinstated and I need to know how to protect her.
I have not been contacted by DCFS. Does anyone know if I can have access to the report? Can I discuss this with DCFS myself? Perhaps there have been other moms in a similar situation. How best to protect my daughter? When should I call the police? Do I need to file a police report?
I have a son too. He is ten and living in the same household. He has never reported to me that anything like this has happened to him. He is a very shy child who doesn't often discuss what's bothering him. How can I be sure he isn't being harmed as well?
Is this grounds for a change in custody? I only have the word of my child and the support of her therapy team.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.