I received a phone call this month from man I met earlier this year following an abuse presentation. I could hear the desperation in his voice as he shared the story of a seven year old girl and the ineptitude of the justice system in this country relating to childhood sexual abuse.
The girl’s mother has allegedly been abusing the child since she was adopted at age two. Shortly after the adoption, family members suspected the abuse and reported it to Child Protective Services. Children ages 3-6 have very few protective rights if there are not visible signs of abuse. Unless authorities can document physical evidence the parent retains custody. If anyone interviews the child and then reports the abuse, the system deems the information invalid as the testimony may have been tainted by improper questioning. Even if a parent asks questions, the courts will dismiss the inquiry as being coerced.
The girl in this situation is now seven years old. She spoke to her relatives about the abuse and they reported it to the school officials assuming that is the proper protocol. By law, the school reported it to CPS. CPS refused to pursue the case citing improper questioning of the child and the girl was returned to the custody of the alleged abuser.
My friend related to me that the adoptive mother was herself the victim of severe childhood sexual abuse for years as a youngster. This is the fourth story I have heard this spring of the failure of the system to protect innocent children. These are the cases where care givers are nearly certain abuse is occurring. Authorities report that only a small percentage of cases are reported.
The silence of this evil is breathtaking. The crippling shame renders victims and survivors speechless. The failure of the justice system to prosecute perpetrators silences families and care givers. Offenders walk away free to offend again and again and again. The sheer fear of confronting the truth silences cultures and communities.
What has been done in your community about this issue? Has your community ever addressed the darkness that is hiding in the shadows? I am ready and able to sound the alarm and provide hope for healing. I need help. Be diligent about raising the issue right where you live. I would be honored to speak to anyone who will listen.