Aside

Toxic Tuesday: The Therapeutic Separation and Child Protection

TOXIC TUESDAY warningThe Therapeutic Separation and Child Protection

The most important piece of advice I can give you is; pray. Daily. Hourly.  Whenever you think about it.

Buy a spiral index card notebook and write your favorite scriptures in it; along with, pertinent scriptures.  Keep the notebook in your purse so it is always with you. This way no matter the impossible scenario confronting you; the only thing you need to be concerned about is using your scripture notebook to help you pray to Jesus, with whom you hopefully have a personal daily relationship. Allow Him do the work.

I recommend a therapeutic separation only as a last resort to help the person in crisis.

Your goal is to bring your spouse to repentance, restore the marital relationship and provide emotional healing.

If you have a child, or children, and safety is of concern this will prove to be a difficult undertaking.

This is a subject that will vary state by state and country by country. The internet will be a helpful tool in your search. Many law firms offer a free fifteen minute consultation via a phone conversation or a free thirty minute consultation if you go to their office.

The first and most important piece of advice is DO NOT imagine a judge, attorney, doctor or officer of the law will actually know their law or profession like the actors on TV shows or the movie stars on the big screen. It will not happen because shows and movies are not real life. The professionals you seek help from do not know everything, will not remember everything and will not put all the information together correctly. Very few are capable of doing a near perfect job and those who can get the job done are usually in higher positions than the general public has access to.

You are your child’s best advocate so do not assume someone else will care about their safety and protection as much as you do.

I recommend that you make a list of questions and call law firms for the free consultations. Ask different attorneys some of the same questions because you might be surprised at the different answers you receive. Keep using your free phone calls until your questions have been answered. Take good notes during your phone conversations and then decide if you want to retain one of the firms you talked to or if you need to pursue free consultations, in person, at other law firms.

If you are asking an attorney about a specific law; ask them for the statute name or number. I know someone who called several law offices asking about a law they had heard referenced many times but the first twelve to fifteen lawyers all said they had never heard of the law and the law did not exist. Finally an attorney recognized the law being referenced and was able to give the statute number. Needless to say, this was the firm hired and it provided a successful resolution.

Child safety is a difficult subject to breach in a Therapeutic Separation and/or Divorce because the family court judge typically frowns on accusations of child abandonment, neglect, abuse or endangerment. Voicing an opinion without physical evidence, or other eyewitness testimony, leaves the potential for the judge to dislike you and; therefore, rule against you. Many judges consider the allegations to be false and just a case of “She said. He said,” due to emotional unrest and what the judge believes to be two people saying things to spite each other or because the parents do not want to share child visitation. This is a false supposition in most cases and research is beginning to disprove this dangerous assumption.

Here is a link to one study on the topic of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody and Visitation Disputes:

http://www.missouristate.edu/assets/swk/Module-12_Handout-2_Fact_Sheet_Divorce_and_Allegations.pdf

If child abuse is going on within your marriage you need to seek professional help. Go to the doctor, a child psychologist, domestic abuse, a child advocacy center and the police. You need help and more importantly your child needs help. You need a professional to care for your child.

If abuse is taking place; your testimony of what your child told you or showed you is sometimes useless during separation and visitation proceedings. Concerns need to be brought to the court by a professional doctor. A child psychologist will tell you to not ask your child questions about the abuse. This is called leading the witness and even the doctor does not ask the child questions. Revelation comes from the child through playtime at the doctor’s office. If your child tells you or shows you something; write it down and tell the child’s doctor. Journal your concerns, dates of doctor appointments and topics discussed at the appointments.

Child victimization cases rarely produce compelling physical evidence, even when evidence is given or testimony is immediate. And with the help of the internet—abusers are becoming more careful than ever. “They avoid inflicting injury; because doing so will likely interrupt the grooming process and trigger a report. Further, the genital area is blood-rich and heals very quickly even if tissue is damaged.” Roger Canaff: Legal expert, Anti-Violence & Child Protection Advocate.

 In the past decades childhood victimization investigations have been lacking; reaching insufficient conclusions. The last few years have provided helpful training and better protection for many child victims.

I am thankful that adults and children are learning to bring their abuse to light. Satan likes to keep physical and sexual  child abuse in the dark where no one sees it. But when it is brought to the light; Satan cannot standstill for it and flees.

One of the worst mistakes adults make regarding a child reporting abuse is believing they know the perpetrator better than God does. Unfortunately, many people living with alcoholics, unknown pedophiles or untreated mental illness learn too late what has been going on in their own home. Therefore we should not assume we know what goes on in someone else’s house. What we believe we know about friends, family members, neighbors or colleagues is simply not relevant since we do not know what they are capable of and we do not know the indicators to look for. Sometimes, most times, there are no signs to be seen. Please hear me; I am in no way attempting to plant ideas in your head that someone is abusing your child. I am simply, but firmly, stating that if your child comes to you and tells you of abuse, shows you something that is sexually not age appropriate, or does something to you that is not appropriate; BELIEVE THEM!

Do not take maters into your own hands and confront the abuser. The ONLY action you should take is reporting them to the authorities; not their boss, not the church leadership, not the school administrator, not their family, not their psychiatrist or doctor; inform the law.

Innocence will be easy to prove if a child lies because their abuse accusation will have to remain the same through several interviews with multiple people and agencies to be considered credible.

“Individuals who suffer sexual abuse often develop mental illness subsequently. And, if the condition was pre-existing, it tends to make sufferers tragically logical choices for abusers who know they won’t be believed.” Roger Canaff: Legal expert, Anti-Violence & Child Protection Advocate.

If you are in danger or you have a child being abused, please leave immediately and seek help. Instances of children making up stories of child abuse are rare. Always believe the child. In the right margin of my blog you will find links to articles on abusive relationships, resources for counseling services and referrals, a link for those who are victims of domestic abuse, and a link for Christian survivors.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and you are actively praying about this; asking God what His heart and will is, then ask for it in the name of Jesus—you can be sure He heard you and He has a plan.

Do not take matters into your own hands. Read Genesis 15 and 16 to recount God’s promise to Abram and Abram’s wife, Sarai. “Abram believed the LORD, and God credited it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:6. Yet Abram and Sarai did not understand God’s timing, and rightfully so if thinking by human terms, so they decided to help God along in His promise to them. One of the worst mistakes we can make is placing God in a box of when and how He can accomplish His purpose. Oh please hear me. I am shouting from the mountain top: God has no box! Be thankful!

So if you are having some crazy idea of taking your child and fleeing the country for the purpose of protecting them; do not do it! You will be found, you will go to prison, and where will that leave your child? Exactly! With the abuser who will now look like the reasonable good parent. Wait on God, even when you cannot see His timeline.

You may be asking, “What does Abram and Sarai acting prematurely have to do with me protecting my child?”

Abram and Sarai decided perhaps God meant for them to be responsible for how and when God brought His promise to fulfillment. Sarai took matters into her own hands by giving Abram her maidservant, Hagar, to have a child. Abram accepted and participated.

Abram and Sarai interfered with God’s plans.

  • Many historians place the location and identity of Abram and Hagar’s son, Ishmael, as Arab people living in Arab territories.
  • Biblically Ishmael fathered 12 sons who became leaders of warrior tribes.
  • Ishmael is mentioned over 10 times in the Quran.
  • Christianity, Islam and Judaism are historically identified as the three primary Abrahamic religions.

None of us need be history majors to realize the differences between Judaism and Islam or Christianity and Islam, and the problems exponentially created in Genesis 16-21.

Unlike Abram and Sarai, wait on the Lord to work out His plan. He is working it out—in His way, in His time, for your child’s good and to His glory. Even when you cannot see it. Learn the lesson on waiting from the text book. You do not want to learn this one the hard way!

I encourage you to take the posture of pray, wait and obey.

I am praying for you.

*I am not a professional. I am simply passing on lessons learned.

When I waited so long, when my tears were my song
With my hope nearly gone You held me God
To believe in the face of the dry, weary place
When You felt far away You held me God

Oh, there is freedom in surrender, oh I know it

Your songs have never stopped
You’ve been singing, always singing over me
Your words are still enough
And You’re singing, always singing over me

The chaos in the cause teaching me to see Lord
The beauty in the storm so I believe
When I see through Your eyes, through the testing of time
Every cloud silver lined ’cause You’re with me

Oh, there is freedom in surrender, oh I know it

Your songs have never stopped
You’ve been singing, always singing over me
Your words are still enough
And You’re singing

Give me faith
Give me strength enough to wait
To stand in faith
And listen for, listen for Your melody

Your songs have never stopped
Your songs have never stopped

Your songs have never stopped
You’ve been singing, always singing over me
Your words are still enough
And You’re singing, always singing over me

Your songs have never stopped
You’ve been singing, always singing over me
Your words are still enough
And You’re singing, always singing over me
Always singing over me, always singing over me
Always singing over me

One thought on “Toxic Tuesday: The Therapeutic Separation and Child Protection

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