Hello, my name is S@@@@ and I’m sixteen years old. I don’t have children who have been taken, but I have a story I would like to share with you. When I was younger things used to happen to me at home, but nobody else knew about it except for him. Even my mum didn’t know what happened when no one was watching. I thought it was my fault, that it happened because I was bad but I didn’t know how to make it stop. I felt and still feel dirty.
Social services found out when I was fourteen and took me into care. They wouldn’t let me see my mum, they made me think she was angry with me when she wasn’t. The police told me I should give an interview, but I didn’t want to. They said it was my choice but reminded me that, “You have no family now and nowhere to go. We won’t let you go unless you do what you’re told.” A social worker picked me up and took me to a house that appeared normal on the outside, but it was really a police interview house for young ‘victims’. Her and the police lady said I couldn’t leave until I gave an interview, I was trapped. They had already asked me all the questions over and over again, I was so afraid and so tired, so alone. They treated me the same as they would a criminal (I know from speaking to offenders through programmes they ran at school), except they didn’t make me take off my shoes. it wouldn’t have mattered if I had hung myself with my shoelaces, I guess.They had told me I could go home after the interview, but they lied, they wouldn’t let me. They told me that I was in foster care because my mum had said that she didn’t love me and didn’t want me, but that wasn’t true. She was fighting for me like you are fighting now. But they were the police and social services, we had learned at school that they were honest, that whatever they said we could trust and believe them. I was so alone.
I don’t understand why they call it ‘care’. My foster carer complained if I was in the house and about the cost of washing my clothes. I wore the same dirty shirt to school all week without washing it. She turned the water off if I tried to have a shower. I had thought that it wouldn’t be possible to feel any more dirty than I had when things happened at home, but I was wrong. Social services wouldn’t let me see my family, I was allowed supervised contact with my mum, brother and one of my sisters for one hour maximum per week. They told my mum that I had said I hated her and didn’t want to see her, but I spent every meeting with my social worker begging her to let me go home and live with my mum. I thought they were keeping me away from my family because of what happened at home. I thought it proved that it was my fault, that I was evil and made of dirt and wasn’t even good enough for death.
I kept telling them that the court case was pointless, there was no evidence. But they said the jury would love an articulate ‘middle class’ white girl. I was a number on a piece of paper, a conviction in a courtroom, a box to be ticked. Throughout the whole thing, it felt like my trial, not his. The police hounded me for information, but I had nothing more I could give them. They told me I wasn’t allowed to say a single word to another human being about absolutely anything in the months running up to the trial. I lived in a world of silence, too terrified to break their rules. When it got to the trial, the judge called it off after twenty minutes. He said it wasn’t in my best interests, he was the only one to see me as what I was: a young girl with feelings.
Slowly, I developed anorexia, which is a complex mental illness that results in the sufferer feeling that they mustn’t eat because they are evil, dirty and don’t deserve food. I was allowed to go home when I nearly died from heart failure. Death doesn’t look good on the records.
My experience has changed my life forever. I have to live with anorexia, and I am constantly paranoid. I think people are checking up on me, I trust no one. I struggle to make friends because I think I will be taken away from my family if I speak to other people. I have no freedom, I am so afraid of them coming back into my life. But I’m home now, and I know in my heart that my family love me.
I have a balloon message for the children who are still lost, both the ones lost in care and the ones like me who have escaped the system but are still trapped by what happened. “When the world feels cold, find the love from your parents which reaches your heart even if you can’t hold it, love passes through time and space and lies. No matter how dark the night may seem, we never doubt that the sun will rise again in the morning. There is always hope” love S@@@@@@ xxx
How social services are paid bonuses to snatch babies for adoption: Daily Mail 2008
- four babies a day – five years ago – when it represented a 300% increase
- 300 children a month – five years ago – which has risen to 1,000 children a month
- she found a deeply secretive that is biased against decent parents
- routine dishonesty by Social Services
- questionable evidence by doctors
- one mother’s son was adopted on the grounds that there was a chance she might shout at him when he was older.
- millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been given to councils to encourage them to meet high Government targets on child adoptions
- Blair promised millions of pounds to councils that achieved the targets and some have already received more than £2 million each in rewards for successful adoptions
- Under New Labour policy, Blair changed targets in 2000 to raise the number of children being adopted by 50% to 5,400 a year
- the secrecy of the family courts threatens the centuries-old tradition of Britain’s legal system: innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt
- there are nor juries in family courts, only a lone judge or trio of magistrates who make decisions based on the balance of probability
- many parents have found themselves sent to prison for breaching court orders by talking about their case
It seems quite indefensible that there should be no access by the media, and no access by the public, to what is going on in courts where judges are, day by day, taking people’s children away.