I meant to write this a while ago, when we got a case of a toddler beaten to death by mom’s boyfriend. Then I was momentarily distracted by some other, more mundane homicides, and then yesterday there was another toddler beaten to death by mom’s boyfriend AND mom.
I am the only one at work who never cries.
I have seen dozens of children dead from abuse – and I mean dead as a direct result of severe physical violence – yet I have never seen one child who was abused in secret.
Somebody knew. Most likely, everybody in that child’s life knew. Very often, in cases of a child killed by mom or mom’s boyfriend, the biological father knew, yet did not intervene enough to make it stop.
Sometimes they try. They call the police. They file reports. Then they wait. They do nothing. They are convinced they no longer have a “right” to do anything.
Legally, no, you do not have the right to forcibly remove your child from a home that is an immediate danger to her life if you do not have custody of that child. But in that situation I am not interested in legal rights. I am interested in your innate drive as a man and as a father to protect your progeny.
If the police won’t help you and social services doesn’t believe you, it’s not over. Do your legs work? Can you physically carry the child? Then it’s done. Go to your child’s house. Go inside. Break things if you have to. If you have a weapon, or can access one, even better. Commit acts of property damage and assault as needed, then take your child.
If the abuser and/or his enabler are there and try to stop you, deal with them in the way you believe someone who means severe harm to your child deserves.
Hopefully you have a car. If not, get a bus or plane ticket. Your job no longer matters. Your lease, your roommates, your pets, your stuff don’t matter. They never really did.
Drive or ride as far away as you possibly can. Then make as much noise as you can. Tell the world you have broken the law, possibly even killed someone, to save your kid’s life. Tell them you left your job and your home and have no plans, no money and nowhere to live. Put yourself out there as someone willing to lose everything – maybe even lose the child to a foster home – to save a life.
Maybe no jury in the world will convict a man who got rid of someone about to kill a baby and someone will step up and help you; a child abuse foundation, a friend, a family member, an anonymous donor. Maybe you can get back on your feet and even regain legal custody of your child. And maybe you won’t. Maybe you will end up in prison or homeless for the rest of your life. Maybe no one will believe you. Maybe the mother will claim you were the abuser.
The two-year-old I received last week had been videotaped describing her injuries and naming the man who hurt her. It wasn’t good enough for the courts.
I believe her.
Maybe your child ends up growing up without a mother or a father. Maybe she cycles through various foster homes. But maybe she lives to adulthood. Maybe her last memory of her father is a man who risked everything to try and keep her alive a little bit longer, rather than a man who walked away because his ex-wife was making too much trouble, or a man who handed her back over to her mother and the boyfriend when she was begging him not to.
Read the title of this blog: I am the last person you ever want to see. If your day involves coming to see me at work, you are not having a good day. Ending up in my office looking at a catalog of baby caskets is not worth being able to say that you followed all the laws and never tried to interfere with your ex-wife or see your child when it wasn’t your turn. Wouldn’t you rather be fleeing the state with a child who does not understand what is happening, or sitting in jail maybe not knowing where your kid is, than knowing your kid has ended up with me?