stepfather beating the child?

Brazil
April 5, 2007 10:06am CST
this is kind of heavy stuff for me, so i really would like to have some advice. A friend of mine told me the following: He got divorced one year ago and the child from the marriage was given to the mother. My friend he his daughter every 2 weeks over the weekend. You have to know that the divorce was not a good one, it ended in a terrible fight. His ex-wife lives together with a new man. And here starts the problem. The daughtern ow tells everytime when she comes to visit my friend, that this new man beat her. I told my friend to go to his ex and her new lover and tell them about this issue. He did, but they were both were angry and called him everything that is bad and to leave their house. But everytime his daughter comes to him again, she tells the some story. I dont know more what to tell my friend, me and him believe his daugther, why she should lie? what to do?? please any help is more than welcome!!!!!!!!!
2 responses
• United States
5 Apr 07
This can be a very delicate situation, and it seems that by saying something, your friend has now put everyone on edge. If the girl IS being beaten, he likely just made it worse. There are a lot of cases where a child has lied about something like this. Consider from the girl's point of view. Her parents are divorced, her mother lives with a new man, and apparently she doesn't like him. There is big motivation for a kid to lie, because they think they'll either get rid of the stepdad or they'll get to go live with the other parent. I'm not saying this is what this girl is doing, I'm just answering your question of why should she lie. That being said, abuse is a serious accusation and you'd better be on firm ground before making said accusation to authorities. Does the girl have bruises, other than what is normal for a kid her age? Look for bruises on the backs or insides of her upper arms - often an abuser will grab the child's arm and leave small bruises shaped like fingertips. It really is a difficult situation, but if your friend truly believes that the stepfather is beating the daughter, he needs to inform the police. He also needs to be aware, if he is in the US, that Child Protective Services holds both parents equally responsible for things that happen in the home where the child lives. He may not end up getting custody of the child out of this - she could end up in foster care if they determine that the mother knew about it and didn't say anything. Best of wishes to you all.
@lightningMD (5937)
• United States
5 Apr 07
your friend needs to call protective services and lodge a complaint so that they can check out the household...the child should also tell her teacher at school they are mandated by law to turn it in...if the child has any bruises or marks the father should take her to the hospital..they will take pictures of all the marks and call the police in on the case...they will be able to find out the truth hopefully...good luck to your friend and his daughter