It Should Not Hurt to Be a Child


Greenwood joins his House colleagues at a pres...

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Eileen King of Justice for Children writes that: “The soul-destroying, long-term consequences of child physical/sexual abuse and neglect obviously merit a year-round focus, but media attention to such awareness campaigns helps encourage parents, especially mothers, to seek help if they suspect child abuse.

“At the same time, however, the long and exhausting journey that parents must take to secure protection for endangered children, often involving legal battles costing many thousands of dollars, is rarely mentioned.

“Who wants to hear that no amount of money can assure justice in systems that disbelieve children and distrust protective parents?

“It is, however, a grim reality.  Parents who act appropriately and lawfully to protect their children may be punished by family court judges for reporting abuse or for refusing to force their terrified child to visit an abusive parent.

“In the worst cases, custody is reversed and the protective parent may be denied any contact with his or her child.  The message: failure to be a “friendly parent” is worse than child physical or sexual abuse.

“The non-profit agency I work for, Justice for Children, often finds itself on the front lines of complex cases of child abuse, arising during separation and divorce,  that may be litigated for years. Although Child Protective Services (CPS) investigates abuse reports, these cases are generally treated with suspicion and ruled out as “custody battles” despite urgent, compelling evidence.

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