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      Mother who lost custody to an abuser


Hello, I'm A 33 year old mother of three children. I had my first child 18 yrs ago. My children are all by the same father. At the time of first child's birth I was 14 yrs old and very scared of being in the situation I was in. I didn't think I'd ever make it this far if I didn't leave my abuser. I had nowhere to go for help and when I did, I found all they wanted to do was separate me from my first born child.

For many years I dealt with knowing there was no one to help me. I tried the shelter for battered women a few time's but I could never stay long. I didn't have many people to stand beside me and say it's OK we will make sure you are safe.

I finally made the decision to leave the abuser after 8 years. I was now finally grown and knew I could probably make it.

After I left He would chase me down, stalk me where ever I went. It seemed it would never end. He would call me on the phone and tell me he was going to kill me and if I didn't come back to him he would kill himself and my son. The courts granted him temporary custody of my son before the divorce was final.

I can't say I'm perfect, I did begin to party a little after I left him. People were nice to me and I never had much of that in my life so I found myself going out more an more. Then finding I had cancer cells on my cervix knowing I had been sick awhile with this problem. I made a terrible mistake, I asked my abuser to keep the children for me until I got well again. I have made many mistakes but that one I regret more than any other I ever made in my life.

I remarried to A wonderful man who was a loving and caring gentlemen. I knew this was a safe place for me and the kids so I went back to my abuser with the police to retrieve my children. The kids were so glad to be with me. Kids said they didn't want to ever go back there again.

About two weeks into me having the kids back I had a knock on my front door, it was the sheriff with court papers saying I had a court appearance, my abuser was taking me to court for sole custody. In court I had no paper work to prove it was best for my kids to be with me but, I knew in my heart it was the safest for them to be with me. I lost custody of my kids to my abuser. The most horrible feeling I ever had in my life. When I had to go home and tell my kids they had to back there. It seemed like the end of the world. My kids cried like they were being killed slowly. The sounds of there cries were of no other sound or feeling I ever had.
Life was good with my second husband he showed me that a man can love a women without beating her. He was good to my kids and showed the kids much care for their well being.

The kids would come visit me and my second husband (my husband also has two boys of his own that lived with us). They look so worn out I could see the pain in their eye's.

Around the time myself and my second husband were divorcing I went to pick the kids up on one Easter Sunday to take them to church and spend the day with me. I went to give my girl's a bath and wash their hair so they could get their Easter dresses on and I saw that Sabrina had belt welts on her back from her neck to her toe's. I asked what had happened and she told me her dad took her out the bath tub and whipped her because she didn't want to let him wash her hair.

I took Sabrina to the hospital and the police were called from the emergency room doctor. The police came in and told me that my children should stay with me until child protective contacted me. The emergency room said Sabrina had been assaulted. I was also told that child protective service only had one person on call that day. Hours later I was contacted by either the police dept or cps saying I once again had to return my children to a abuser.

So much has gone on I almost don't know how much we can take. All three kids have been mentally or physically abused. To this day it doesn't seem like there is any justice

The abuse still continues, my daughter Stephanie is now in my home. Her father was put in jail for battery resulting in bodily injury. He was released on 250.00 bond. There is a no contact order so he is not able to be around her. My other daughter Sabrina is still in the home of her father's. I don't understand how one child isn't safe but they other is. I just guess that's the system of doing thing's. It seems to be a crime to me. My son is now 18 yrs. old soon to be 19. He has had many troubles growing up, running away from his dads house all the time, doing drugs and drinking liquor. Things have seemed to settle down for him recently. He is a good kid And I love him very much.

I have tried to obtain a lawyer through legal aid service but they cannot help me because it's a conflict of interest. My children an I are in hope of some one with a little advice.

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