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When CYFS and Lawyers “tag team” against a Family.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 7, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

When CYFS and Lawyers “tag team” against a Family.
Thursday, 08.03.2007, 09:11am (GMT12)

 I am a single parent with a six year old daughter and a five year old son. I am a good parent, I am a strong advocate for my children. In 2005 I ABSOLUTELY severed contact with my (now) ex-husband after a domestic incident which ended with my ex-husband yelling swear words into the face of my traumatised daughter.

I engaged a lawyer and alleged in an affidavit how his anger issues involved the children. I also described in the affidavit the inappropriate behaviors of my ex-husbands father, who said and did inappropriate things (of a sexual nature) while in the presence of the children. My ex-husband responded with an affidavit containing 53 statements which painted me as an angry ex-spouse who wanted to deprive him of the children.He has been allowed by the courts to hide behind this smokescreen without investigation.

My lawyer told me she would not be taking anything to court for me, nor would she be swearing any more affidavits. She told me to “go along because he had rights and he would get access”. My ex-husband took matters of access to court while I was being represented in this fashion, he told the judge he would not be interviewed by anyone referred by the courts, he would not allow anyone to interview his parents, he would not allow anyone on his property, and his father did do the things I alleged but they were just the actions of a red-blooded male.

Without investigation of my allegations my ex-husband was awarded fortnightly access and half the school holidays, this started in April 2006 and is continuing. Prior to their access visits the children were well balanced, happy and secure. We are a non-hitting household. After their access visits the children were coming home very angry and very physically and verbally violent.

The children told me that they were being bullied by the 13 year old son of my ex-husbands girlfriend: he was kicking and punching them, he was dragging my son around by the neck of his clothing, he was standing on their fingers, toes and ankles, he was going into my daughters bedroom in the morning before everyone was up and waking her by putting his hands around her neck and choking her. She said she woke up unable to breathe and she was very scared and cried a lot. I notified CYPS and the children’s lawyer, the access continued. The children’s behaviors have deteriorated markedly, their school has documented the changes in their behaviours and written reports when the children started to bully other children at school.

The children said, Daddy was angry and hitting the 13 year old son of his girlfriend, they said everyone was yelling and it was really horrible. I again notified CYPS. We had an evidential taping. The children told of the bullying. Access continues. After an access visit I found the notebook of my six year old daughter. She has the reading age of nine years old, she had written in her notebook that she was given chocolate to lie naked in bed with a man.

I notified CYPS and took the notebook with me. I also took the notebook to the children’s court-appointed lawyer. He did nothing, in his report to the judge he did not say anything about the existence of the notebook or of its contents, he told the judge he thought there was no bullying going on, that it was a case of rough play fighting.

He recommended access continue unchanged. CYPS did another evidential taping, the children said the bullying was still going on and described that. My daughter would not say a word about the notebook. The interviewers said it was their personal opinion that something was happening with my daughter but she was protecting someone. Both children now exhibit inappropriate sexual behaviours and language

After that evidential taping the CYPS supervisor sent an email to my lawyer saying “No disclosures of concern were made by either child during their interview. xxxx did speak about some bullying by her step brother, but I do not consider this to be anything out of the ordinary. I am now closing this investigation. I note that this is the fourth notification that has been made by Mrs XXXX in 12 months.”

I feel many things toward the court system, CYPS, and the lawyers for allowing this to happen to my children. What do CYPS consider to be an ‘ordinary’ level of physical abuse? Why is the bullying acceptable when it is not acceptable behaviour in any other setting? According to the Ministry of Justice website: the brief for the children’s lawyer is the prevention of harm to the child. How is he following that brief on behalf of the children? What about the contents of the notebook?

Surely that exists as a piece of evidence even if no-one is listening to me? Just because my daughter will not speak of the notebook does not mean nothing is happening. There is an implication in the CYPS email relating to the number of times I have made notifications on my children’s behalf. Do they have a limit on the number of times you can attempt to protect your children?

The access visits continue. I delivered the children to their court ordered Christmas access, with my daughter crouching on the floor of the car, crying and begging me, saying she did not want to go. My ex-husbands lawyers have threatened me with large fines or imprisonment if I do not comply with the court order. The children say they were bullied on Christmas day.

My five year old son came home saying, “Daddy said I don’t have to listen to you, you’re a bitch Mummy.” I delivered the children to the drop off point for their court ordered second half of the holidays with their father. He did not bother to show up.

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