A few years ago I read a series of books starting with one titled, “A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer. The true story of a courageous little boy who was so brutally abused mentally and physically by his mother that he spent his entire childhood just trying to survive. Besides being horribly beaten, his mother forced him to eat his own vomit, drink bleach or ammonia, and not let him have any contact with society, including not interacting with friends from school. Luckily this boy was “saved” by someone soon enough before his mother turned him into a completely non-functioning social human being, or even worse, ended up killing him. Child abuse comes in many different forms and has many different faces. The most commonly overlooked and underdiagnosed is in the form of emotional abuse and neglect.
The campaign that we bring forth to you today is different, yet very similar in many ways. It is a campaign that starts with one child, but will grow to help the millions of emotionally abused and neglected children in our very own backyards. This is a true story of a horrible mess of a custody case where a mother has had her youngest son of five taken beyond her control and her reach. Imagine being a parent of five wonderful and talented boys, to have the youngest snatched from right underneath your nose, and the judge is using biased rulings to keep him from you. Even worse, should a parent even have to fathom that their child would end up in the unethical custody of two human beings that abuse him both mentally and physically. There is a need for a campaign to stand behind a young boy named Alex in order to get him where he wants to be; home. The statements in this background are in the wishes, thoughts, and words of young Alex. We are looking for funding to help get this story filmed for a documentary in hopes that we can get Alex an attorney that he deserves to represent him in order to get him where he belongs. Alex has also expressed that he hopes to one day help children and family members who are in similar situations. This campaign is to give him the encouragement and resources to do so.
Despite the formal custody factors that most states call for in determining where children should live after divorce, the judges who actually apply those factors may look at the question quite differently, and in Alex’s case, incorrectly. In most cases, if one of the parents has consistently interfered with visitation, or even if the evidence is unclear but it always seems too difficult, some judges would consider having the child live with the other parent in the hope that the other parent will do a better job of allowing parenting time for both Mom and Dad. In Alex’s case, his father has proven to be unfit and the judge placed the child with the paternal grandparents. These are the same grandparents that raised a son that turned out to be unfit. The father is also unable to support himself and is living under the same roof as Alex. If the child was doing well in school with one parent, and if the child has struggled with the other parent, courts will consider seriously whether he should return to the original arrangement. If you look at the high-level facts as an outsider, it really should sound no different than any child abduction situation where the birth mother longs to get her child back (as he is in better care under her roof) no matter how long or what it takes. Alex is not as brainwashed as most abducted children tend to become, but he is absolutely terrified of his grandparents. He cries himself to sleep every single night, and feels unwelcome in his own “home” in which he lives.
Considering that Alex is under the “parent-ship” of his unloving paternal grandparents per the most recent unethical court ruling, the above should apply. The facts are, Alex has not been doing well in school since the moment he moved in with the grandparents. He also has had medical conditions that went ignored by the grandparents fearing the court system would see his hospital visits. Due to his lack of health care, he has developed scarlet fever. The same goes for attendance, and to a lesser extent performance in extracurricular activities. Alex has not been allowed to participate in the sports and activities he loves, let alone call his mother whenever he would like. Our biggest fear is that he will develop serious behavioral and learning disorders from this unfortunate arrangement if he is not put in a better situation sometime soon. His older brothers are completely heartbroken to not have him around, as is of course, their mother. In order to see him, his mother will drive up to 4 hours every weekend just to be able to visit him for a couple of hours.
We all need the reassurance that he grows up and makes a good life for himself in a loving home with family and friends that will help him grow into an amazing man. Alex has shown great courage and determination at a very young age, helping him to escape the abusive relationship of his grandparents. Society doesn’t always see what goes on behind closed doors, which in turn could affect him as a member of such society. Alex is an inspiration to all that get to know him; he has given the message of resilience, strength and spirit. All humans have the courage and ability to leave their dark past behind them and search for a better tomorrow. Bringing Alex home will help do just that before it’s too late.
We ask for your support, for Alex, and every other child that has been suffering from emotional child abuse and neglect.
According to Prevent Child Abuse America, Emotional abuse is often referred to as psychological abuse and is generally defined as a pattern of behavior that impacts a child’s social-emotional development and feelings of self-worth. It can involve words, action, or indifference. It may occur without other forms of child abuse and neglect, but there is often an overlap. The statistics do not reflect how often emotional abuse may have been associated with another issues such as physical abuse. Emotional abuse can begin very young with infants and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. It is often very difficult for these children to develop normal or healthy adult relationships.
Research has shown that emotional abuse can create life-long feelings of poor self-esteem, worthlessness, anxiety and other forms of distress. As adults, many exhibit depression, a lack of empathy and inappropriate or troubled relationships. Emotional abuse may also lead to other self-destructive behaviors such as eating disorders, substance abuse and abusive relationships.
- A child living in continuous fear and sorrow cannot eat well to grow well. They will be vulnerable to diseases and health complications.
- Emotional abuse can hold back a child’s mental development. Their intelligence and memory development can be affected, and result in mental problems and disorders.
- Emotionally, they are unable to feel and express a full range of emotions appropriately, and to control their emotions. This is so because their emotional development has been badly compromised, and cannot feel things like normal people should.
- There is a greater risk of developing one or more behavioural problems. These may include learning difficulties, relationships problems, difficulty with socialising, rebellious, aggressive and violent behaviour, criminality and even not bothered about your own self.