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Posts Tagged ‘child abuse’

 

I have just read an incredible book. It is The Butterfly Garden, a Memoir by Chip St. Clair.

As a child, Chip was raised by abusive parents. I am not going to give any of the stories away, but it is abuse by a man who was evil and sadistic and, in my opinion, a mentally ill mother.

That he survived at all, is a miracle, and he has shared his story with the world, as well as his break-through recovery.

This is a special cause for me, as I find abuse in my own family. I am now raising, well they are almost raised at 21, 19 and 16, three abused boys. I see, on a daily basis, how this background haunts them. They struggle with many things the rest of us take for granted. They are seeing a clinical psychologist, and have all had flashbacks from Post Traumatic Stress.

They were robbed of their childhood and education, and they hold a constant fear as to what is happening to their siblings. They sit and reminisce about being locked in closets and beaten with horse cinches. I am hoping that, Mr. St. Clair’s book can help them learn how to recover and I recommend it as a must read by everyone.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I wonder what goes on in that home?” Don’t just say it. Become informed. Go to some of the websites Chip lists as resources. Get involved. Do not sit back and wait for someone else to report it. It’s hard enough to get anything done about it; believe me, I know.

Children are too precious to ignore.

P.S. I want to thank http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/ for the give-away I won this book on. It will mean a lot to my family

 

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It has taken me days to decide what to write about the FLDS and the return of the children. 

First are the problems facing them with this whole issue. The secrecy the FLDS lives by did nothing to help the situation. I would like to think, in an ideal world, that they could have gone in there, checked documents and left with, as the state appeals court agreed, five young girls who they believe were abused.  

I’m sure that Waco was on their mind. Perhaps removing all the children seemed like a safer solution. It is never comfortable to feel that an irate person is in the next room with the shotgun. Been there, done that. Don’t ever want to again, but I would if it meant I could take a child out of an abusive home.

Then again you have Warren Jeffs; found guilty as an accomplice to rape. Of course, the photos of Warren Jeffs romantically kissing his alleged twelve-year-old bride, spoke volumes to me.

If Child Services had not responded to the, now it seems bogus, phone calls, and something happened to the girl, the whole country would be down on their necks. That has happened too many times when children are murdered.

The grandchildren I took from their home, were locked in a closet for a month, beaten a hundred lashes with a horse cinch, forced to eat till they threw up or refused food for up to three days, and thrown out in the middle of the night in winter when they were under thirteen. All of this was in the name of religion. God, says they were born “foolish” so I get to get my jollies off beating them.

For me, the really hard thing is that I was at their home constantly and never suspected the extent of the abuse. I should have seen it. But, children do not talk about the only life they know. They think that every child is treated the same way. I never asked the right question either. I said, “Is everything alright?” I should have said, “When was the last time you ate? Do they ever hit you? With what? Are you locked in a closet?”

Believe me, if you even suspect any kind of abuse, you need to ask the right questions, because the children will not volunteer the answers. It’s their life.

The one boy wants to sue. He wants revenge and I have a hard time telling him not to feel this way. I do tell them that their step-father is not worth their getting in trouble. They all worry about the treatment that their step-sisters and brothers are receiving. I didn’t sleep more than two hours a night for the first three months after I brought them here.

But, there doesn’t seem to be an advocate for them. No one cares, because we took the boys to another state. This was our mistake, we should have just called DFS out.  We had no idea the extent of the abuse until they were here for a while and I started listening to them talk among themselves..   

Somehow, there needs to be an answer. I wish I knew what it was. I wish I could help them more.

 

 

 

 

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In recent weeks, I have repeatedly read the officials of the FLDS deny that any children were abused at their compund.

I think these officials should change their wording on this to the lame argument my son-in-law used when we took the two boys from their home. We were told that what the problem was, is a “Difference of opinion on child rearing.” I have to say, he could hardly say it with a straight face, but he did say it and he meant it.  

I can’t argue with the fact that we had a difference in opinion.  We did not believe that children should be locked in closets, beaten with boards and horse cinches, or stripped naked and beaten as the step-father watched in the mirror. His opinion was that these things were all right. Along with the right to an education consisting mainly of memorizing Bible verses, and enough math and reading for the girls to read recipes.

So, the FLDS, just needs to let us know what their “difference of opinion in child rearing is” and maybe we will believe they have the “religious right” to do the things they do.

I have read that there are at least fifteen kinds of abuse. Physical, emotional, verbal, child abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse, using male privilege (in all fairness we need to add using female privilege), intimidation, isolation, elder abuse, ritualistic abuse and religious abuse. That’s only thirteen, but within each are several subcategories.

Below is a list of abuse we can be pretty sure is alright by them, that is considered to legally be abuse. I use the feminine ‘her’ as that is who is on the receiving end of it in the FLDS case.

 Denying a person from having a say in how money is spent, treating her like a servant, telling her what to do, making her fearful, controlling what she does, who she sees, talks to and where she goes is all abuse. I’d make a good guess they’ve got all those in their handbook as being the “way to live.  No human being gives a rote monotone answer, as these women have, unless they are on 1. drugs 2. fearful of retribution or 3. so brainwashed that they have no emotion left.

Then there is the jackpot FLDS abuse: “brainwashing against society/authority.” Anyone want to debate the FDLS is into that abuse?

So, next time you read that the Church officials deny committing child abuse.  Think about all the stuff they have done to their wives and know that, in their opinion, nothing is abuse, it’s all about freedom of their religion. 

 

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PLEASE NOTE: This blog has been corrected,, thanks to a “math person” a/k/a “cupblog” correcting my dismal math.

According to the CDC, in 2006, (the latest date I could find)  among girls aged 15-19, 41.9 girls got pregnant per 1,000 women. Also, please note, that this includes girls up to age 19.

I’m not a math person, but I believe that is 4% of girls.

Today,  I read that among girls, aged 14-17, 31 girls have been or are pregnant out of 53 girls in the FLDS, Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado

 Again, not a math person, but I believe that is 58%

HMMMMMM! Let’s see. Which is the best influence on our children? 

4% pregnancy rate among young girls living in the real world or

58% pregnancy rate among young girls in this extremist Christian, protected from outside influence, sect?

 Gee, my granddaughters are living in an extremist Christian household, wearing long dresses and head coverings, with the male members of the household having total say over how the female members, dress, breathe, think, eat, are educated or not and live.  Yes, I want someone to do something about these environments. Can you blame me???

One more thing, They have taken 197 girls and 196 boys aged 13 and younger. An even distribution.

Yet, in the children who are 14 to 17 years old, there are 53 girls and only 17 boys. Guess this is explained by the stories of them kicking boys out in the desert.  Are the mothers going to tell us, in a monotone, emotionless voice,  that if “that” would happen, they would treat those boys with love?

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This blog is in response to a blogger who posted on my site. I was going to just respond but just can’t shut up about this, so here it is.

 

Thanks for writing. It’s always good to get another viewpoint and this is an issue that I am very personally involved in; thus it is very emotional for me. First, the easiest issue for me, I take no exception to polygamy. Frankly, I do not see that the government, nor the church, has a right to dictate anyone’s right to a marriage of consenting adults. The proviso: as long as it does not harm another human being. No one should be forced into something, as this gentleman’s great grandmother was, and no one should be so programmed that they do not have free will.

 

I am a big proponent of the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” My freshman project was a sculptural piece detailing all the men who had been executed and later proven innocent. But, one of the problems, when investigating child abuse, is that if you do not separate the parents and the children, you will not be able to get a true answer from the children. Children who are abused, are also trained/threatened not to tell anyone else.

 

It was a long while after we took my daughter’s sons from her, before the one boy quite saying, “He (step-father) did beat me, but only when I deserved it.” He was fifteen, and we told him “no one deserves to be beaten 100 slashes with a horse cinch.”

 

 

I am basing my judgments on what I am reading about the FLDS, and I grant that all reporting is not honest and not all issues are probably known. There were girls as young as eight, sworn to marriage. I doubt the authorities know yet whether or not they were also molested or whether the men waited until their wives were twelve before consummating the marriage. If what I read is true, girls as young as thirteen were pregnant. I believe, that in a group of that number of men, who are raised to be pedophiles, that there is at least one of those men who wanted sex with eight year old girls. Just take a look at the National Sex Offender Registry sometime or check your own state’s registry. Just Google “Sex Offenders”+ (insert your state here).

 

And, I’m sorry, but those are not totally innocent women. Those are women who are brainwashed, many since they were children. They need to be deprogrammed and given a chance. I do not feel they should be put in jail, because they did not have free will, but they did play a part in allowing their children to be abused. There are a lot of children here to process and, I think, they are handling it fairly well at this point.

 

A balance in the issue of presumed innocence is delicate. In my situation, of taking two of my grandsons, the school system has documented that a thirteen year old boy, was home educated to a second grade level in English and a third grade level in Math. He has a permanent, due to lack of education only, writing disability. The school system, in Indiana, reported the abuse to Wyoming, where it occurred. Withholding education is abuse. They also reported the numerous other abuses the boys related. However, we were told that, because the boys were safe now and the abuse happened in another state, nothing would be done. Even though there are eight other children still in that home.

 

Had we known, the extent of the abuse, when we took these boys, we would have called out child services immediately, rather than just removing the two boys. It wasn’t until these boys were safe in our home that stories started coming out. It has been nearly three years now and Just the other day I learned that the step-father forced the younger boy to drink gin, every time the step-father opened a new bottle.

 

All three of these boys see a Clinical Psychologist who has told me that he has a big dilemma with these boys. He is bound to report the abuse, yet he has no physical proof. He has not seen broken arms or bruises. What he has is three boys with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, all of whom have had flashbacks and freaked out. They all have anger and depression issues.

 

We, as the grandparents, were in their home, with their step-father, twice a week, usually. We were suspicious of things, at times, but other times such a false face was put on the home, that we had no idea what was going on. When they were acting up, the step-father would take them aside and say to them. “You’re being foolish. You need to settle down.” We thought that was nice, to hear him talk to them. We did not know that the word “foolish” was a code for, I will beat you to an within an inch of your life, when your grandparents leave. Sometimes, he nearly did. Two employers knew. One offered the younger boy a home. The middle boy told the other employer. Relatives who visited saw things. We have reported everything that we know and that we suspect to the authorities. Other people have not. They “don’t want to get involved.”

 

There are still eight children in that home.

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PLEASE NOTE: I am altering this blog from the original “I’m so angry I could spit” first typing in order to comply, as much as I can with fair use of another’s material. So, please do read the link if my quotes, of Ben Stein, don’t make enough sense.

I am raging mad at Ben Stein and his comments on CBS News Sunday Morning. What Did The FLDS Kids Do To Deserve This…  If you missed it, please click on the link and read it because it is absolutely asinine.  I’m going to quote him here though and go through these remarks line by line. But, do read his comments in their entirety.

1st:He stated:  “…I am not a fan of polygamy. …keeping up with one wife. For another, it’s against the law …operating for decades. The authorities… didn’t do a thing about it…!”   

He admits it is a crime, but we are supposed to just let criminals go if they have been doing their crimes for years without getting prosecuted? Does this go for mass murderers too? How about embezzlers? Or is it just for child abusers?

2nd: He stated: “totally unsubstantiated telephone call about sex abuse”

I suggest he read the recent Supreme Court decision about evidence gathered by police. I believe, and I may be wrong as I cannot find it at this moment, but what I remember is that as long as the police had good faith belief that the search they were doing was valid, that the evidence gathered was legal to use.  I suggest that seeing 13, 14, 15,16 year old girls pregnant is pretty much a validation that sexual abuse was going on.

3rd: He stated: “(what is totally incomprehensible) took the small children…. away from their mothers and fathers.”

MY GOD, Ben Stein, would you really feel this way if it was your grandchildren in that compound? Would you want your 15 year old, or younger, granddaughter married off to a 40 or 50 year old man? Would you want your grandchild to look and act like a robot? …To speak in a monotone, give rote answers and not have a thought in their head that wasn’t planted there by an extremist religious man?

4th: He stated: “it’s not the Mormons who are the criminals, it’s the government of Texas.”

Perhaps you should also get your facts straight before you go on national television.  It is not the Mormons, it is the Fundamentalist. It is the American Christian Extremists. It is a group of men (and don’t get me wrong, I love men.), but it is a group of men who are so insecure that they must use their religious beliefs to brainwash women into doing exactly what they say. And, they found out long ago that there are not enough women who they can brainwash, so they need to produce their own. They have children and trade them like baseball cards, so that the interbreeding isn’t too drastic. 

My granddaughters, who I saw and cared for nearly twice a week for ten years, are being raised to believe that the only job a good “Christian” woman can do is to “serve her husband.” They are being educated, in Wyoming, to read a recipe and clean the house. They wear bloomers and long dresses, and yet their one brother can still touch them as he wishes. The oldest, at ten, was already wearing a head covering. How would you like to have your granddaughters raised that way, Ben Stein?

Please excuse any really horrible writing in this. I’m just so angry right now. How any educated, intelligent person can say the drivel he did is beyond me.

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There was a statement on television today that “Even children who have been abused by their mother will miss their mother, when taken away from her.”  I guess it is like the Stockholm Syndrome. 

In the first weeks after the boys moved here, the younger boy really missed home. He emailed his mom three times before she responded with a single sentence; “I love you.”  All the  older boy got was one of the most cold hearted letters I have ever seen. In it, he was blamed for everything under the sun including the fact that his littlest sister now believed that her oldest brother was dead. 

The oldest brother was with us, when we found it necessary to take the next two boys. When the arguing was going on and we were being told that the problem was a simple, “Difference in opinion about child raising.”   he faced her with the fact that she had once told him, when he complained about a particularly brutal beating by the step-father, that she would sit there and watch the step-father beat him to death and not stop him.   And, that was a run-on sentence if I ever saw one.

Prior to that visit, the oldest boy had never said one single word against that mother, even though he had lived with us for several years already.  He had never told us about being locked in a closet or beaten.  He is loyal, to a fault, to his mother.

 Then they received a phone call from their mother and step-father. After the reason for the phone call was settled, sales of the middle boy’s truck,  then the digging started in. They were told how, now that the boys were gone, the family could have fun and go on a trip skiing and another trip to Denver. In the past, the older boy told us, the only thing they could do was go bowling and that was only if he paid for it out of his wages.  I really believe what was going on is that the step-father did not want these “other man’s” children in his home.

I had walked out of the room, during the phone call, and returned to hear the phone slammed down by the younger boy. His step-father told him he sounded like a girl and continued to make digs and say things that a thirteen year old boy really does not want to hear.  His anger has built over his abuse for the past, almost, three years now. When I feel it is interferring in his life, I take him to the Clinical Psychologist.  We have been fortunate to have a local psychologist volunteer his services to our family.

My anger built for a long time too. My anger is for these boys and the sisters left behind.   As I found out more and more of what went on in that home, my heart broke. In some ways literally. I ended up with emergency heart surgery from a spasming artery. 

But, could you raise a child for thirteen and fifteen years and not want to know how they are doing? Wouldn’t you want to keep in contact and make sure they were being cared for? Wouldn’t you want to know what they are doing and hear all the details. Like when the thirteen year old jumped out of a tree and fractured his ankle? Or, just even what it’s like for them to attend public school? Have you made friends? How was your choir concert? What is the church like you go to? 

All they got is: The oldest got a letter saying she hoped they weren’t going to a church that was just “ear candy” and how even though the prodigal son was forgiven and they would take the middle boy back, they might never be able to forgive him. Which is one more letter than the younger boy got.

My mother has been declared off limits also.  Even though she was not with us and had no idea we were coming home with the boys until the night we left, when we called her from the motel.  

My mom is 86 and in bad health. She has been told that her four valve leakage is unrepairable and that she will continue to degenerate until she no longer has the energy to walk.  Every year, at Christmas, she picks out dolls.  “This is what I want to give the girls.”  “Here’s an angel I would like to buy for the baby, Great Granddaughter, I have never seen.”  She is the only grandmother my daughter has known and my daughter even lived in her house for some time.  She is cut off from her great grandchildren, because she is “guilty by association.”

I was raised in the church. We were taught love and tolerance, forgiveness and kindness. This new extremest Christian faith, has nothing to do with the Bible or any religion that I know. It is about hatred and intolerance and child abuse; such as using the rod of correction to drive foolishness out of children. Not quite sure where they got the “lock them in the closet” or “force them to eat till they throw up” but I’m sure they found something in their Bible to justify that.

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