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Haunted by this story - Nine Months Inside Not Enough

(16 Posts)
RufusTFirefly Sun 28-Aug-11 13:12:16

In the DM:

Cruel Stepmother, Useless Father

I haven't been able to get this story off my mind. Here is a little girl, bereaved of her mother at the age of three, then getting the archetypal wicked stepmother instead. It breaks my heart to think of her trying to walk to her grandparents' house, to get away from the abuse. Thank God someone helped her, but I can't comprehend how this can have been missed by her school, the neighbours - ANYONE who had regular contact with her. She was half-starved, bruised and ill-kempt; surely it was obvious something was badly wrong?

As for that fucking excuse for a father - how could he stand by and watch his little girl being beaten and half starved? Some father. Nor can they cite poverty and deprivation as a cause for their behaviour; he's a professor. It shouldn't make this seem somehow more shocking but to me it does; can't really explain why.

AIBU to think that the sentences passed on these two evil creatures were wholly inadequate?

AuntiePickleBottom Sun 28-Aug-11 13:18:18

You are both highly intelligent people and that is unusual in a case of this sort because the stereotypical case of cruelty to a child involves quite often inadequate single parents struggling in deprived circumstances. That isn’t the case here

i found that comment very offensive to single parent tbh.

very sad story and 9 months isn't long enough

Rubyx Sun 28-Aug-11 13:26:03

YANBU
They obviously have warped minds, this is awful.

RufusTFirefly Sun 28-Aug-11 13:28:54

I agree with you, Auntie. Stereotyping single parents like this is lazy thinking. Better a single parent and a loving, peaceful home life than abuse and constant uproar with two parents. Life must be tough, bringing up DCs single handed but lots of people do it with great success.

issey6cats Sun 28-Aug-11 13:59:55

that 9 months should have been 9 years minimum

CalamityKate Sun 28-Aug-11 14:10:26

It should certainly have been 9 years - for both of them.

I only hope that the 9 paltry months are the worst of this creature's life.

Birdsgottafly Sun 28-Aug-11 14:20:40

I to would question the judges summing up. LP may make up the numbers for cases of what is classed as neglect, because of various factors, which are usually rectified by putting support in places, but abuse occurs in equal numbers.

Even if it is a LP family it is usually the visiting friends/family/partner that carries out the abuse and the LP cannot safeguard adequeately. People who are capable of sustained abuse against a DC come in all shapes, sizes, marital, class, gender, etc backgrounds.

You only have to look on the posts here when the OP is looking for advice and posters say myob, to understand why child abuse goes unreported.

The father hasn't gone to prison, his sentence is suspended.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 28-Aug-11 14:23:04

It's a horrible case and I don't think the judge's summing up is a stereoptying of single parents at all. It is more usual in abuse cases that it's someone inadequate, struggling and/or in deprived circumstances, so desperate for a 'partner' that they shack up with someone vicious and choose to turn a blind eye when they start battering the baby.

Birdsgottafly Sun 28-Aug-11 14:30:16

Cognito- the judges description actualy fits the 'father' so i don't get his point. Once a LP lives with someone, they are no longer aLP.

I have posted on many threads trying to explain how abuse often makes no sense as this case isn't unusual, in that only one sibling was targeted.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 28-Aug-11 14:56:35

The judge is saying that it's more normal to have a 'Baby P' style set-up... ie. transitory new partner is the abuser, the parent steps back from protecting the child and everyone's classed as 'disadvantaged', often with drink/drugs/history of violence in the background. Similarities in this case are that the father hasn't protected his own daughter from the new wife - but the relationship is more permanent and they don't have any of the obvious stresses associated with disadvantage or lack of education. That's not to say abuse never happens in outwardly respectable families - of course it does.

Groovee Sun 28-Aug-11 15:21:03

That poor poor child. I hope she never has to see the wicked adults again.

Blatherskite Sun 28-Aug-11 15:36:01

Is it really not unusual for one sibling to be targetted birdsgottafly? I've never heard that before. I was the only one out of 4 siblings abused and I've always felt (and was made to feel) it must have been my fault.

I hope that poor child has a happier home now.

DevotionAndDesire Sun 28-Aug-11 15:49:02

I think that it is absolutely disgusting that a woman can treat a child in this way and get away with only a few months of punishment.

My DH had an awful childhood, an extremely abusive mother and a useless, waste of space father, who walked out because he 'couldn't put up with her anymore'.
His mother would abandon my DH, his older sister and younger brother for weeks on end while she went off with boyfriends and constantly told them from a young age that she didn't love them or want them and that the only reason she didn't leave them by the road side was because she would stop getting a fortune in benefits.
She would leave the children with no money or food, and sometime no gas or electricity on the meter, usually for days if not weeks on end.

I am very close with my SIL, she practically raised DH and my BIL, she is an amazing woman.
DH doesn't like to talk about it but SIL has told me everything.
She said that everyone knew what was going on, they even used to beg food from the neighbours, but nobody did anything.

It makes me sick to think that woman like her and that poor girls step mother can treat children in this way with practically no consequences, you would probably get a harsher punishment for treating a dog this way.

NorfolkBroad Sun 28-Aug-11 16:34:38

9 months!!!!!! Really, really hideous!

Birdsgottafly Mon 29-Aug-11 23:23:52

Blather- no it isn't unusual for just one sibling to be targeted. Even on a lesser scale very often a parent or 'carer' will create a scapegoat to eleviate blame away from themselves. Sadly all to often the whole family will follow this through.
Likewise one child can be seen as akward because they are the only ones that spot what they went through as abuse or neglect and challange the person doing it. This carries on into adulthood.

Its the same when you challange passive aggressiveness, the person will say 'well if you are going to get upset' and turn the reason for the upset onto the victim. When it's done over a long enough time the victim becomes convinced that they are just making a fuss, or they deserve the treatment because parents love their children so if they aren't treated with love, its their fault.

There are many who commit worse crimes against children but are not imprisoned as the children are removed from their care and the judge doesn't feel it is in anyones interest that they go to prison.

pigletmania Mon 29-Aug-11 23:38:10

and somebody wearing looted shorts gets 4-5month sentence disproportionate.

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