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What's with the Department of Child Protection Anyway? (DCP/ DOCS Investigation Techniques)
Here's a story for you:
A mother mentions to her children's psychologist some of the things that her kids have said and done since their father left 3 months before that she has found concerning. Alarm bells ring for the psychologist, who then contacts the Department of Child Protection.
DCP then goes to visit the mother and she is asked to repeat to them the things her kids have said and done, which she does. She is asked what it is about these things that she finds concerning, and she explains that she had read that such behaviors may indicate sexual abuse or grooming. She adds that she is not making allegations of sexual abuse, as her children have not disclosed as much to her, but says that she did not feel qualified to draw any conclusions, and would feel terrible if she dismissed her concerns and they later turned out to be justified, which is why she had spoken to the children's psychologist.
She then answers many other questions that the DCP officers put to her, which are mostly about the fathers sexual behavior and what he had told her about his childhood. She answers all the questions to the best of her knowledge, and shares other information about the father that she had found to be concerning, including the physical and emotional abuse he had perpetrated against her and her children.
The DCP officers conclude the interview by telling her she is right to be concerned, especially when looking at all the information together. They ask her what she plans to do to help herself and her children heal from the abuse and to keep them all safe from further abuse. She tells them what she has already done, and what she plans to do. They praise her for being so proactive, and tell her that she has done and is doing all the things that they would have suggested to her and expected her to do.
They tell her that they are going to have to interview the children, but that due to the family violence they will definitely support her in family court, regardless of whether or not the kids reveal any sexual abuse in the planned interview. Then, as they are leaving, one of the officers asks her if she would like to work for DCP "when this crisis is over", which surprises her, but she thanks them before she politely declines.
The following week, they go to interview the father. They say to him "Your ex has accused you of grooming your children for sex and sexually abusing them." Then they listen to his protests and denials, and more, as he promptly starts to make allegations against the mother, suggesting that she is mentally ill, vindictive and abusive. He tells them that he was the victim of family violence, and she the perpetrator. They listen to what he has to say and believe every dam word?!?
They then launch into an investigation of the mother (without her knowledge). They do not find ANY evidence to support his claims of her criminal activity or drug addiction. They DO however, find evidence supporting ALL of the steps she claimed to have taken, and obtain reports from both her and the children's counselors which say that she has been nothing if consistently positive and proactive since he left.
Her and the children's counseling and medical records show that while she had indeed suffered depression in the last year of the relationship, and that both her and the children were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following the final break down of the relationship when he had become increasingly violent, her depression had since lifted and she had sought treatment for both her own and the children's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Her psychiatric records show that she has been on medication for AD/HD for the past 5 years, and medication for depression for the past year. They also show that she is tested for drugs regularly and that the results have consistently shown that she has not been using illicit drugs. She has no criminal record, has never been charged for drunk driving and has never even lost her driver's license from losing all her points.
They conduct a limited investigation into the father's past, and confirm everything she had said about his prior criminal convictions for violence, possession and cultivation of drugs, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition and his long list of traffic convictions and multiple losses of his driver's license. His medical records and mental health records also further verify the information she had volunteered.
They then confirm via the Police Computer Crime Squad that the computer the mother had handed over to be examined confirmed her claims about his secret sexuality issues and her supported her suspicions about his sexual addiction and fascination with violence.
The history of his web browser showed that he had been surfing the internet viewing extremely graphic, real life video footage of horrific violence towards women, children and animals, as well as beastiality and every kind of x-rated pornography - except child pornography. (It also showed that he had been seeking casual sex with "young men", women and transsexuals, and that he had profiles on at least 18 different dating sites. The profiles showed him as a male, 50 years old, married and seeking anything from discreet casual sex to marriage. One of his introductions said "dad seeks son". Another said "seeking smooth, shaved sub gay boy". Yet another said "seeking Asian Bride".)
Once things get started in the Family Court, they are asked if they have any concerns for the children. They tell the Court that they have concerns for the children while they are with their mother, but that they do not have any concerns for their safety while they are with their father. They do not reveal anything about the information that they have confirmed or disclose the fact they despite conducting a 3 month investigation into the mother, they were not able to find ANY evidence that she is an unfit parent. They do however blatantly misquote the mother and grossly misrepresent the sequence of events. Luckily for the children, the Family Court decides to play it safe and launches it's own investigation by appointing an Independent Childrens Lawyer, who plans to subpoena all official records rather than relying on the general reports supplied by the department. Hopefully justice will prevail and the children will not become one of the statistics...
I conclude this attempt to vent my frustrations with my original question: What is with the Department of Child Protection anyway? These are the people we trust in to PROTECT our children. How can they consider themselves to be professionals? Are they simply outrageously incompetent or is it a case of corruption? Have these people received no training or education about issues of family violence, the effects it has on victims (both adults and children) and most importantly on the tactics used by perpetrators of violence and sexual abuse?
Do they not know that it is almost standard behavior for perpetrators to shift the spotlight away from their own behavior by mirroring and counter-accusing? Do they honestly think that approaching the perpetrator and blatantly misquoting the victims is the way to determine the truth of the matter? Are they ignorant of the personality traits of psychopaths and sociopaths? Do they honestly think that "false allegations" (not that the mother made any allegations) are more common than "false denials"? Have they never heard of institutional grooming, or are they just to stupid to realize that they are being groomed by professional abusers? I mean, why would ANY serial abuser simply say "well, yes, I admit that I did those things and further add that I was in fact planning to do this, that and the next thing. Sorry 'bout that! I promise I won't do it again!"
I mean, is it just me, or is there something wrong with this picture? My mind boggles...
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Organize to Resist! Together we can take on the Predators! Let's Break the Silence to End the Violence by working together to make our voices a Resounding SHOUT!!! Perpetrators BEWARE - you don't stand a chance!
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Copyright © 2010 Mel Stewart, "safe-at-last", of Perth, Western Australia. All rights reserved.
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Copyright © 2010 Mel Stewart, "safe-at-last" and Licensors Nodtronics Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.