twitter facebook stumble upon rss

"I Was Investigated for Child Abuse"

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

I've lived every parent's worst nightmare: I was investigated for child abuse.

mother and child

Guest blogger Janice: It all started at a routine doctor's appointment when our pediatrician noticed that our four-month-old son's head circumference was measuring abnormally large. A brain MRI performed a few weeks later showed something perplexing and scary: a hairline skull fracture and accompanying brain bleed. While my husband and I had lots of questions for the doctors, we were not at all prepared for the first question that was asked of us: "Did you shake or hurt your baby?"

Despite fiercely denying ever hurting my son, the fact of the matter was that I couldn't explain the injury. My son had never rolled off a bed, been bumped in a doorway, or been left with a babysitter. In fact, he had never been out of my immediate care since he was born.

The physician was sympathetic to our story but told us that the nature of my son's injuries forced her to take certain measures, which included referring us to the hospital's child abuse prevention team and Child Protective Services. I won't burden you with all the sordid details, but to make a long story short, we found ourselves unwittingly and instantly bound up in bureaucratic red tape. Being formally investigated for child abuse means that you live the constant fear of having your child taken away from you. It is an awful, helpless feeling, but one with which my husband and I were willing to live because we had nothing to hide. As days turned into weeks and the easy resolution we were promised was slow in coming, we consulted with an attorney. It is sad and disheartening that it had to come to this, but the threat of a lawsuit is what ultimately brought about an end to our ordeal. In a daring move, we challenged our accusers to either take our baby away or leave us alone. They left us alone.

Throughout this ordeal, I was embarrassed and scared out of my mind, to say the least. To this day, we still don't know how or when my son sustained his initial injury (they are saying now that it could have happened at birth), and I worry every day that it will happen again. Before this incident, I thought what many of you are probably thinking: if Child Protective Services is involved, this lady must have done something. Child abuse is a serious problem in this country and I understand completely why my son's injury raised red flags. However, I would be lying if I didn't say that this incident has shaken my trust in "the system" in a big way. We witnessed firsthand how easy it is to get sucked into the vortex of child abuse allegations, and how hard it is to escape it once you are there.

Once our case was closed and we breathed a collective sigh of relief, I told a few good friends my story. Instead of taking ten steps away from me, every person I told reached in and hugged me ... and then told me their story. Every mom, it seemed, had a similar experience herself, or knew someone who had. There was the clinically depressed fifth grader who lied and told his teacher that his father beat him; the toddler who fell on the edge of the coffee table and needed stitches; the preschooler who had an unfortunate habit of using the words "swatting" and "punching" interchangeably. The more people I've talked to, the more I get the sense that my case isn't all that unique.

I'm not sure how as a society we got to the place where "better safe than sorry" means overriding good judgment and common sense, yet for better or worse, here we are. The thought that I am not the only one this has happened to is at once comforting ... and terribly distressing.


next: NY Awaits Confirmation of Probable Swine Flu Cases
131 comments so far | Post a comment now
Designer handbags wholesale March 23, 2011, 9:56 PM

This informal summary helped me a lot! Saved the site, extremely excellent categories everywhere that I see here! I appreciate the info, thank you.

tuppar March 24, 2011, 9:15 AM

Big Mommas Like Father, Like Son was what I was expecting, an alright, fun movie. I wasn’t going to watch it thinking this is going to be better than the others, the best one!. I watched it thinking ah, a hour and 40 minutes of fun with Big Momma, and that’s what I got. I thought Martin Lawrence was excellent as Big Momma like usual, also I thought Brandon T. Jackson was fabulous! Some parts where a bit cheesy though I will admit that! The overall film was nothing like the previous ones, the previous ones were great, especially the first Big Mommas House. That was Genius! At the end of the day, it is a fun movie, and if you’re just looking for a nice fun time at the flicks, then why not?

Designer replica handbags wholesale March 24, 2011, 8:36 PM

I am often to blogging and i actually appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and hold checking for brand new information.

Discount Designer handbags March 24, 2011, 8:47 PM

I am often to blogging and i actually appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and hold checking for brand new information.

Designer handbags wholesale March 25, 2011, 1:30 AM

The great fresh content keep me coming back here very frequently. Thanks a lot.

Discount Designer handbags March 27, 2011, 8:07 PM

Gratitude for another profound post. I am pretty sure this article has helped me save many hours of evaluation other similar posts just near uncover what I was wanting for

Designer replica handbags wholesale March 27, 2011, 9:16 PM

My partner make your mind up to do it help to make nice and clean on could fit right in planning to check back

Replica designer handbags wholesale March 27, 2011, 9:48 PM

This informal summary helped me a lot! Saved the site, extremely excellent categories everywhere that I see here! I appreciate the info, thank you.

Myrtle Planty March 28, 2011, 1:15 AM

its wonderful as your other posts : D, appreciate it for putting up.

medical software March 29, 2011, 3:44 AM

I think this article is excellent. Great advice. I think others will agree.

Clint Constantini March 30, 2011, 6:46 AM

After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can take away me from that service? Thanks!

thrombosed external hemorrhoid March 30, 2011, 4:00 PM

The beauty of these blogging engines and CMS platforms is the lack of limitations and ease of manipulation that allows developers to implement rich content and ‘skin’ the site in such a way that with very little effort one would never notice what it is making the site tick all without limiting content and effectiveness.

Erika A. Garner March 31, 2011, 4:39 AM

Practical

buy oral b sonic complete April 2, 2011, 1:17 AM

Can I give you a suggestion? Do you think you could add a some more in the way of content in this post? I think youve got some interesting points, but I am just not sold. Maybe you could add a couple more hyperlinks to your site.

Affelfdyerm April 2, 2011, 5:33 AM

Very Interesting Post! Thank You For Thi Information!

Porfirio Kaloustian April 2, 2011, 8:02 AM

Your home is valueble for me. Thanks!…

Male Enhancement April 2, 2011, 10:15 PM

I’ve read few of the blogs on the site since the other day, i truly such as your kind of blogging. We book-marked the idea to be able to my favorites web page checklist and will be checking out back again before long. Go to our web page in addition as well as tell me your view.

online payday loan April 2, 2011, 10:37 PM

Never try and offer everything to everybody pick a particular specialized niche and even strike at it diligently, be certain and become focused that’s the technique to generate money on the net.

Myrtle Tagupa April 3, 2011, 11:04 AM

Fashion. People today listen to the term after which we all appear to wander to the glamour, the catwalk, plus the stunning fashion product for the runway and visualize the hottest trendy fashion glance from Fashion Clothes On the internet.

entertainment news April 3, 2011, 9:11 PM

What youre saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what youre trying to say. Im sure youll reach so many people with what youve got to say.


Back to top >>
advertisement