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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Help! My son was abused!

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Author Topic: Help! My son was abused!
The_Ambient_One
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Member # 47967

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I'm looking for any advice to assist me in my currant situation.

I have a pre-school age son who is disabled. His father and I are seperated, and dad is currently in Iraq. Dad has gotten re-married. Judge ruled that dad couldn't give away his visitations while in Iraq. While dad was gone, I had my son visit his paternal grandparents house for a 3 day weekend sleep over.

When my son got home, he was acting strangely. He informed me that his butt hurt. Because of his special needs I decided to bring him to the ER, because he has had a history of constipation and urinary tract infections.
The doctors couldn't find anything wrong, so they sent in a social worker. My son told her that his stepmother had been there and stayed the night. He said she had "hurt my pee pee" and "stuck her finger in my butt". An investigation took place. Because it was a female abuser, there wasn't any physical evidence, which apparently happens in 87% of cases where there is a female sex offender. My son wouldn't talk to the police officers, so the case was closed due to not enough substanciary evidence. My son is now in therapy to help him through this, and also to see if he will talk to a therapist about what occured.

Now, 6 months later, Step mom is taking me to court for visitations with my son. A law was just passed allowing army members to grant their visitation to whoever they choose. My sons dad believes that all of this is made up to make his wife look bad. I have tried to get records from DCF, and have been unsucessful. The social worker who spoke to my son in the hospital was new, and was called into that area because it was short staffed. No one can track her down.

Step mom has a very expensive lawyer, and I am representing my self in court. I am looking for any help or advice on what to do at this point. I am praying that no judge will grant a week long every other week visitation to a suspected abuser, but I also know that I need to do more than that to help keep my son safe.

Thank you in advanced!

Posts: 5 | From: VT | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
orca
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Hi The_Ambient_One. I'm very sorry about your son. I can imagine that this is a very difficult time for both of you. Is there someone else at DCF or your local child advocacy center that you can talk to about the legal aspect? Have you considered consulting Vermont Legal Aid for assistance?

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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The_Ambient_One
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Member # 47967

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Hi, yes, I called legal aid. They unfortunetly had no one availible to help. The problem I have been finding with dcf is that they didn't seem to be representing my son. I assumed that they would take the report, and his step mother would have to prove it didn't happen. All she did was shake her head "no" sadly, according to the detective At this point I'm just feeling lost in it all. I can't believe that I am the defendant in this case. And I can't believe that his step mom has a shot at getting visitation time with my son. Are there any groups out there to support victims of a female offender? The problem I'm having is that this case is being treated so differently than it would be if there was a male offender.
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KittenGoddess
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Can you call around and see if any local lawyers would be willing to represent you on a pro bono basis? If there are resources in your community that serve abused women/children, they might be able to point you in the direction of lawyers who do this.

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Sarah Liz

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Fezzz
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I can't give you advice on what to do, but I can pray for you and your son. Hope everything works out for you and your son.

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Some people say I have A.D.D., but they just don't underst-- ooh! Look! A chicken!!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Have you yet connected with the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Assault? If not, they have a hotline here: 1-800-489-7273

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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The_Ambient_One
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Member # 47967

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Thank you so much for all the help I'm definately going to try that number, Heather. Thanks again!
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Heather
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Absolutely. Do you need to talk about all of the emotional aspect of this that you're dealing with? because this is so huge and so much to handle without someone to talk to.

If you do, glad to listen and give feedback.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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The_Ambient_One
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Member # 47967

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I think that the worst part for me emotionally is that Grandparents on both side don't believe it occured. I don't know if they are in denial or what, but its very upsetting to not have the emotional support from my family. I have some very close friends who have noticed the changes in my sons behavior, and he has trusted enough to talk to them about the abuse. They made reports to DCfF, but were told it just wasn't enough evidence. I do see a therapist every other week to help support me through everything, and my son sees his therapist weekly, plus I do a phone check in with her as well.
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Stephanie_1
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Hi The_Ambient_One. I hope you don't mind if I jump in here as well.

It's not uncommon for family members to be in denial about something like this. Actually, sometimes people deal with things like this by putting it aside and saying it never happened, and when they do so - often the last thing they notice is the feelings that this reaction can bring about. Have you thought about saying something to them about this? It's very probable they don't realize how it makes you (or your son for that matter) feel.

It sounds like with friends and your therapist you have a pretty good backing. It's difficult now, because this is so new, but just know it will become better and even in a lot of ways easier to work through these feelings. Know too, we're all here if you ever just need to talk a little bit more.

Have you been sure to make time for yourself, and for you and your son doing things you enjoy that help take you away from these feelings even temporarily? It's an important part of healing, finding some balance in your own lives that allows you that little bit of happiness and peace when things are really rough. Hang in there, we're all here for you.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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The_Ambient_one: do you feel like anyone in your family might be receptive to some more information on interfamilial and/or child sexual abuse? I ask because sometimes ignorance about the whole issue can play a bit part in enabling denial and dismissal. So, if you think any of them might be receptive, I'd be glad to pass along some books you might be able to refer them to or pass around.

Additionally, have you been able to tell them how not having their support feels?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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The_Ambient_One
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Member # 47967

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I would love some suggestions for books. At least with my mother, I've always noticed that she responds much better to other peoples opinions outside the family unite.

I've been spending a lot of time with my son doing projects after school etc. We bake, and have gotten into collages. I've noticed that the glueing and sticking paper seem to be really relaxing to him.

I do have one more question that I'd love some input on. My exes parents want to have visits with my son again. They are still very close with the alleged abuser, and I know she still sleeps at their house on occasions. I do not feel comfortable with him even spending the day there. I also do not want to damage my son's relationship with his paternal grandparents. Do I go with my gut? Or do I try to negotiate with them on visits, requesting the alleged abuser never be present?

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joaniehippopotamus_theninth
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Member # 42398

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Hi The_Ambient_One,
I'm not an expert in anyway, so if anything I say is contradicted by Heather or any of the Scarleteen staff and volunteers, I hope and expect that you will disregard my errant comment(s).

That said, I think that you're right to go with your gut feelings, you know how to protect your son, and you're not comfortable with having your son spend the day there and so you should stick with that.

I think that there are a lot of good reasons supporting your instinct as well. Given that they don't believe your son or you about the abuse and that they continue to be close with his abuser, there's no reason to trust that they wouldn't bring her over when he's there, whether by coincidence or intentionally and actively trying to give her time with him. Even if they didn't have her over, they still might say things to him indicating or explicitly stating their disbelief of the abuse, and that could be very hurtful to him and hinder his recovery. Also, I don't know if you've asked your son about this, but it's possible that he would feel scared or uncomfortable with going to their house at all since it was the place where he was abused.

I would say that if you want to maintain a relationship between your son and his paternal grandparents, that you could let them see him but only with you present as well, either at your home, or the home of one of your trusted friends, or at a neutral location such as a park, library, museum, or restaurant. This way you could ensure your son's safety while giving them time together.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I think joanie's advice about those grandparents is very sound, full-stop. I'd also agree that it doesn't seem wise and could put your son at risk, and that arranging visits where you're there instead for now would be best.

I'm just catching up today, but I'll be back in a little bit with some books and articles for you to pass on.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Here are some articles for you:
http://aacap.org/page.ww?name=Child+Sexual+Abuse§ion=Facts+for+Families
http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=410&Itemid=336
http://www.stopitnow.org/faqs

Btw, in talking to your parents and others, one thing you might want to mention is that sexual abuse is PARTICULARLY pervasive with the disabled. Not only are children often seen as easy prey by perpetrators, so are the disabled, so your son had a double-whammy here. In both cases, these populations are especially vulnerable because they can be so easy to silence and manipulate, and also because their words are so often not valued and given credence by others. Denying abuse that happened to children and/or disabled people puts them at even more risk, because if they're told abuse that happened was not abuse, they're all the more likely to be abused again and say nothing at all.

I can give you some links on sexual abuse and the disabled if you like, too.

And here are a couple good books for you but to also share with your family:
Helping Your Child Recover from Sexual Abuse by Caren Adams
Helping Your Child Recover from Sexual Abuse by Caren Adams, Jennifer Fay and A. G. Fawkes
The Trauma Myth: The Truth About the Sexual Abuse of Children and Its Aftermath by Susan A. Clancy

FYI? It might be great to get a couple for your son to help him out right now. If you want those, I'd suggest:
I Told My Secret: A Book for Kids Who Were Abused by Eliana Gil
Please Tell!: A Child's Story About Sexual Abuse by Jessie Ottenweller
I Said No! A kid-to-kid guide to keeping your private parts private by Kimberly King and Sue Rama

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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