Is this child abuse????
We have a family member who is now an 11 year old female that was adopted by her distant relative at the age of 2 after her own mother fell into drugs and had sexual and physically assaulted this little girl. We will call this little girl Betty. She was adopted by a couple who had grown kids, the youngest being around 30 years old.
By happen chance this couple also watched their own grandson so much that he basically lived at this house with Betty and they were less than a year apart. This couple who adopted Betty also had their adult 30 year old daughter living with them as well. So this adult daughter who we will call Alice grew very attached to her nephew who practically lived there. The reason the nephew, who we will call George, stays at this house so much is because custody was taken away from the dad and given to George’s mother. And George’s mother just let Alice take him all the time. Meanwhile the father of George had wrongly been stripped of his rights to his son. We will get back to this later though.
So George and Betty are essentially living together almost like brother and sister being raised mostly by the couple and also by Alice. Alice and the couple treat George like a king in a castle and Betty more like Cinderella before she finds the slipper. She is made to be almost a maid for George. She picks up after him and never gets to do things for herself. She never gets treated with the same love that George gets. To most of the immediate family watching this it always seemed so cruel. Meanwhile Alice grows more attached to George like he is her own son even though it is her nephew. And it seems apparent that she doesn’t feel the same for her adopted sister and almost has a hatred for her.
Fast forward to when both George and Betty are 9 years old. The couple decides that adopted her are old and want to retire out of the country. They have a house completely paid off where Alice can live and now she will solely take care of Betty and George( when he’s not with is father). They decide this is the way to go and leave Betty to be raised by Alice. Now that the Alice’s parents are out fo the country she is on her own. At the same time George’s dad finally gets custody back of his son that he has been fighting for and he is allowed 50/50 custody. George’s mom continues to allow him to live with Betty on her portion of her custody and only visiting with him. So George lives with his dad and with his aunt Alice 50/50.
Now is when the treatment of Betty starts to get worse. Betty isn’t allowed to have friends come over after school or go visit her friends either. But George is…. Betty barely gets a birthday cake for her birthday while George gets an a huge party. George has become accustomed to Betty basically being his servant. She picks up after him. Does all the household chores. Wakes up at 5 am to do chores while George and Alice sleep and then puts clothes out for him to wear. So George is now starting to treat Betty badly because he sees how Alice treats her and this is what he thinks is right. (We can’t blame George he is being brainwashed by Alice to think this is appropriate behavior). During the summer she is forced to stay in her upstairs room all day while Alice is at work. She can’t leave even to go pee. This is during 100 degree weather with no air conditioning. This is enforced by George and the fear of getting in trouble when Alice gets off work.
Bettys treatment has gotten so bad that she contemplates running away and even hurting herself. And when she brings up that she wants to hurt herself to Alice, Alice scoffs and just asks her how she thinks she would do it. Alice has also been heard stating ( which she says is a joke) that she has been trying to kill Betty by keeping her in her hot room with no air. There is such a double standard of care between George and Betty it is unbelievable. Betty confides all this story to me, a family member.
I want to report this as child abuse but here’s the plot twist…. Alice works for the social services that I would need to call to report child abuse. She is a mandated reporter who has been treating this innocent child like trash
Should Betty and George be removed from Alice’s care? George’s dad is willing to take him on full time but knows that George is really attached to his aunt Alice now. Can George’s dad file a restraining order against his sister Alice so that she can’t have contact with him anymore? CPS will be called for the safety of Betty but I want advice on how to get George away from Alice without traumatizing him because he cares for Alice deeply but it’s obvious that she should not be able to take care of him if she is being abusive to other children in his presence.
Yes it's abuse. Not allowing a child out of her 100 degree room? Obviously. Not even to use the toilet?
There may legal problem with Betty and George's custody. A couple went through an adoption process, they are her legal guardians. If they are not there caring for her, there should have been some sort formal custody arrangement. She's not a puppy that can be re-homed by just passing her off.
That she's threatening self harm is a big deal. Adolescents can be drama-llamas, but this ought not be ignored. Yes, you can call social services, and the fact that Alice works in that capacity doesn't make her treatment of Betty okay. It also doesn't make it legal for Betty's parents to walk away and leave her in Alice's care. When they adopted her, their standing became exactly like a birth parent.
People who work in the field of social services sometimes aren't equipped to be good parents themselves. Where I live, DHS allowed a woman well known to them to have custody of a troubled pre-school boy, without the training, psychological testing and vetting required for foster parents. One day, she was understandably frustrated that he'd failed to use the toilet and had soiled his clothes again. She grabbed the collar of his shirt, walked him down the hall, and shoved him into his room, and slammed the door behind him. Unknown to her, he had tripped and hit his head, had a concussion, and he ended up dying. She never should have had custody of a special needs child without the vetting and training required.
Getting George away from Alice won't help Betty, I suspect Alice will just abuse her more out of anger, and with no witnesses in the house, it could be much worse. Call CPS and let the chips fall where they may. Where would George live, by the way? If his father isn't allowed full custody (still hadn't got his act together after all these years?), mother is apathetic, Alice out of the picture?
By the way, your show of compassion fell short in your last paragraph when poor Betty was left out of the mix and getting George away from his aunt proved to be your primary concern. George isn't being abused.