A thought-provoking article by campaigner Theresa Murray
Ian Brady and his partner Myra Hindley groomed and tortured children to death. Such a repulsive and heinous crime – the idea this could be repeated in history would be unthinkable.
But, in a way, it’s still happening today…
When Fred West and his wife Rosemary were discovered to have abused their own children, including murder, and meted the same fate to several young girls who went missing, we all sat up in shock, in horror, exclaiming HOW?
Jimmy Savile was discovered to have abused children across the country as part of a possible elite paedophile ring, which to this day has never been fully investigated. No matter who you are, you can still be evil towards innocent vulnerable children.
We find ourselves asking why are children continuing to be abused, when will lessons be learnt and do we actually value our children’s lives?
£3.2 billion is spent every year on the fall-out of child abuse.
At present, across the UK, the family court system is in turmoil and chaos. Children are being used as pawns by the system that is supposed to protect them.
It is not uncommon for there to be child custody battles, but still we are failing our children, not just in areas of domestic abuse, parental alienation, but through the social care system too.
Parental Alienation has often been used by those who have been abusive in relationships to regain access, suggesting they have been unfairly treated, or by those who are abusers to prevent access. This leaves children being affected without help or support from anywhere, unless a parent has the sense to go to counselling.
We still have a long way to go in dealing with domestic abuse, even down to not taking the threat of danger seriously enough or understanding how stalking plays a big part. Stalking has trebled.
On top of all this we are still failing our children; we still fail to understand the far-reaching effects of children being ripped from their parents, creating instability in their thinking, actually damaging their mental health and in some cases their physical health. However this is not as the result of a safe parent or family network, it is now down to Cafcass, an extension of social services, police, judges in the closed family courts.
Let’s look at one of the worst scenarios happening today.
What happens when a child discloses abuse from another parent or adult?
Do you go to the police?
Do you turn to a medical professional like a GP?
Do you go to social services?
Do you go to a clinical psychologist, trained to help children come to terms with what can only be described as a horrific life altering experience?
We are discovering more and more high-profile cases with a huge amount of dismissive social media trolling suggesting mothers or fathers have made it up for a custody battle. Even though these cases can be proven to be real, the negative people come out dismissing it.
Could it be to ensure those who are experiencing such heinous crimes feel too much shame and fear to come forward because they won’t be believed and therefore allow paedophiles to get away with it.
So what to do?
In general, research indicates that children do not make up ‘false’ stories of sexual abuse although obtaining information from children with learning difficulties is very difficult. A perpetrator in all cases has an enormous motivation to deny and make accusations that the child is lying, misunderstands normal behaviour or has been primed by the safe parent.
In cases where the child is under the age of seven, it should be understood that they do not have the capacity to make up such detailed allegations of sexual abuse unless they have been subjected to it or specifically witnessed it happening.
Children who are subjected to abuse in any form will be threatened with never seeing their safe parent again or threatened with them or their safe parent being killed, and that it would be their fault for telling.
We should tell children it is safe to come forward.
Do we not have a moral obligation to end abuse once and for all? To enable children to come forward so they can be helped and supported with the love and care of their loving parent(s). Not to remove them into social care and continue the damage.
Children heal through love and care not isolation and being told that they misunderstand how they were violated.
The very first course of action should be to bring in a clinical psychologist to assess the child and then follow the course of action as set out by the psychologist.
The truth is that failings like this are not limited to abuse but across the board within the family court, social services and Cafcass. Babies and children are removed for long term foster care or forced adoption.
The circumstances for taking a child away are as follows but not limited to:
- Previous abusive relationship, even though they’ve left it behind and getting help or asking for help, they are persecuted further by having children removed with the phrase, ‘potential future emotional harm’.
- Mental health issues relating to an incident in their childhood equals ‘potential future emotional harm’.
- Financial issues causing change in circumstances, children removed for the reason of, ‘potential future emotional harm’.
- When a parent removes their own child from school because of anxiety or bullying, social services force the child back to school or remove them for the reason of, ‘potential future emotional harm’.
The resulting actual harm caused by the manipulation of facts within court creates an incredibly stressful environment but this is dismissed often blaming the parent(s) mental health.
Families jump through hoops to achieve the goals set by social services, passing them with flying colours only to be told it wasn’t good enough or for positive feedback to be misplaced and not submitted into court.
Children will be subjected to actual emotional harm as they are ripped from their parent’s arms, often by numerous police assisting social workers, in some cases without the correct paperwork, never to see their parents again.
No amount of good positive evidence will help a family when social services decide to descend and remove children.
It has recently been noted that approximately 13,000 babies and children are removed on the pretext of ‘potential future emotional harm’, per year with around 4,500 being put forward for adoption.
What are we doing to the very foundations of our society? The family structure is on the point of collapse. Demonising anyone who steps forward to say they are abused or need help.
Do we stand by and allow it to continue or do we stand up and be counted?