NOTE: I receive hundreds of emails every week from individuals who are fighting a losing battle with CPS, the criminal justice system, and/or child protection. I received the following email a few days ago and, with her permission, am posting it publicly as a last resort to try to get her the help she needs. As you read through her heartbreaking email, you will see just exactly how broken our system, and Child Protective Services, really is:
EMAIL DREAMCATCHERS FOR ABUSED CHILDREN RECEIVED:
I have four grandchildren. Siblings that are two sets of twins. Branden and Briana just turned seven and their sisters Haley and Hannah who will turn six in a few months. My son, their father, is a drug user and a heroin addict. He is abusive physically, emotionally and medically to his children. The mother of the children was also a drug user. She spent a year of their lives in an out of state rehab program. After which she left the state and has not been seen or heard from in two years. We ( my husband, 20 year old daughter and myself have been the basic care and support system for these children. They were born living with us. They moved out for eight months and moved back in. After rehab and after my son remarried a women who remains living with her family in another state,our daughter left Michigan State University and moved in with him to nanny the children for a year. During this time she witnessed him doing such unspeakable abuse that she felt she had to move out because her repeated attempts to stop the abuse were met with increased threats of abuse towards her and the children. We all tried everything to help him and even offered to raise the children until he could get things together. We were aware he had some substance abuse problems and anger issues. He was hospitalized for ten days due to a self confessed drug overdose. I never left his room, and tried to encourage rehab. After he regained the use of his arms months later, he resumed the drug use and it increased from there. I was raised to try everything to support your children as humanly possible before turning to authorities. That’s what we did. We rearranged our lives every time something came up and offered every solution and support until we just couldn’t anymore. I resolved to let him understand on his own how hard it is and what you need to do to raise four premature children. Within two months of backing off, except weekends- when we still had one to four of the children, the school staff starting contacting us, the wife starting calling and texting, reporting his behaviors that continued to become more violent and dangerous. He had lost his drivers license for the third time due to DUI’s and had totaled numerous cars but yet continued to drive his children around with no car seats and no use of even a safety belt. He was sending the kids to school smelling, dirty, not helping with homework, showing up late and high to pick them up, failing to listen to requests to take them for eye tests or hearing tests, leaving them home alone eight hours at a time, hallucinating, not feeding them and countless other issues. My son is a registered nurse, employed and still not providing coats, proper clothing, more than one outfit per child or shoes that fit. When we heard that the children had spent 23 hours out of 48 home alone(one had used the house to phone the wives cell phone )saying they were scared and hungry, we called the local police and children’s protective services. He was not home at the time they arrived at his address. There they found seven loaded unregistered guns unlocked and accessible to the children. No food other than items which were either frozen or required operating a stove. They had eaten microwave popcorn and water for two days straight. Hadn’t been bathed in five days and were wearing dirty I’ll fitting clothes. My son was furious and dropped the kids off at our house “to punish us with their care”, we were thrilled! Until Cps investigated and found he was in their words “a perfectly fit parent “and the children were free to return at any point. The children were interviewed at school in the presence of their teachers. The staff reported to us that they were horrified. The children reported they were regularly beat naked with a leather belt and buckle, thrown into cold showers, taken out and beat again. Made to sleep naked on the bare kitchen floor. Made to put jalapeno in their mouths and not given water. Had their faces rubbed in urine and made to lick it, and told if they were going to act like dogs, they would be treated like dogs- all for a bathroom accident. Made to walk down Detroit streets naked in the middle of winter for bathroom accidents. Been thrown into walls hard enough to break the dry wall. All being beaten anytime one child misbehaved. Watched their dad eat paper plates, napkins and uncooked food and been told to eat it too because he has so high he was hallucinating. On and on and Cps did nothing. In the time we had them, which was three months, in which he never called them, never saw them and never financially contributed to them- they received a grant from Kresge Eye Institute that a teacher from their school requested. It was then we found out the two younger girls were born with cataracts. One child’s eyes are so severe that you can see the spots with the naked eye. White spots which I assumed were light reflections turned out to be blinding cataracts in both their eyes. Which partially explained why they were so behind. My son refuses to allow them to have the life changing surgery stating he was aware of the cataracts but they weren’t bothering them so they don’t need removing. His behaviors due to his increased heroin use become worse and worse. Another Cps case was opened in another county and they again found him a fit father! As soon as he took the children he went to file a restraining order on us against the children. Thankfully the judge refused to grant it. But we are beside ourselves as to what to do. This is just unbelievable to us. We don’t have the money to hire an attorney , and really don’t hold much hope that even is we could we would get very far with two Cps cases which sided with him. The children were told that if they told the case workers the truth, they would be safe. They have been beaten severely for telling anyone any thing about being hit. They were taught a certain lie to explain every mark, “I fell in the shower” “I bummed into a wall”, if I questioned him about it they would get an extra beating. Once they were in our home and starting to feel safe, they would explain this to us. Now, they are back there, alone with him- they will not only think we and their teachers and the social workers lied, they will never attempt to trust someone with the truth of their horrible, scary existence at the hands of their father. How can they? They are right back where they started, and as soon as he thinks no one is checking on him they will pay dearly for telling what they did. This is our system. It needs to change. These children and countless others lives depend on it.
(If anyone can offer any assistance, especially legally, to this woman please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
Educate Yourself--Learn the Facts--It may Just Save a Child's Life!!