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How do I find out if my daughter is being mistreated?

I am writing with a question about my 10 year old daughter.Her father and I have shared custody,a week at a time.I have another child from my husband and her dad is married but they share no children together.Today while shopping and with my 10 year old she said"-----always tells me to shut up and screams at me all the time.She then said"last week,she screamed @ me so loud that I cried!"I was horrified to say the least.Her stepmother has a very controlling personality and my daughter is solely with her when her dad is at work.I asked her if she ever hit her and she said no but when I told her that I would call her dad about this she begged me not to so the stepmom wouldnt find out,now I am worried sick that if she is hitting my daughter shes to scared to tell anyone. All I can think to do is file a motion with the court and hire a psychologist or social worker to see what they think.I havent called her dad yet ....

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:29 PM on Jul. 3, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (11)
  • What about if you asked her dad to sit down and talk with you and her and leave the step mom out of it. Let your daughter know that she can tell her dad exactly what she told you and that it will be ok.
    If something IS going on then there needs to be a stop put to it right away. Unless her dad is a total asshole, he'll hear her out and do something about it.

    Answer by Laila-May at 5:34 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • Its hard to know the right thing to do. Is telling the step mom going to get her to back off or make her worse...
    I think you should consult a childs advocate and tell her she can tell him ANYTHING. You may be able to get the x to leave this psychopath or in the least she would have to be out of the picture for him to see your daughter. I think you can also call social services or the police station and have a well check done (I think that is what it is called but I think I am confusing it with an exam?!?!). Definately consult the childs advocate though!

    Answer by ABusyBee at 5:36 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • how about you bring this up to your lawyer or whoever is doing the custody agreement. Step parents cannot be verbally, emotionally abusive and he'd end up losing time with his daughter, but I've seen/read too many horror stories for no action no be taken

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 5:37 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • she just told you she was beng mistr4eatd kis will tell you you just have to believe her.

    Answer by dynameteduck at 5:37 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • I would suggest requesting a change in the CO only AFTER your daughter sees a therapist. The judge is going to want proof and a good reason why you want to change the CO. Get your daughter to a therapist ASAP and then after a few sessions ask if what is going on is enough to request a change in the CO.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 5:39 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • I think you should talk to her dad first, telling him what you know and how you know it. Try your best to do it so that you don't sound accusing. Just state the facts and ask him what he makes of it or how he would interpret it--something like that. I don't know if your child should be present or not. Maybe you could just ask her if she wants to be present. I understand her fear, but I think this is something that has to be handled. I would try doing it yourself first. Then, if that doesn't work, you will have to involve someone else.

    Answer by NannyB. at 5:40 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • If your child was being abused do you think as a parent/mother you would know? Is she acting different is she acting out? Children tend to exaggerate situations at times, if she yelled at her...find out from your daughter why she got yelled at and then talk to the step mom about it. I would try to show your daughter that it is ok to come to you and she can trust you...but I would show her how important it is to work out your problems with each other before you drag the court into it, because it can get ugly and very stressful and your child will be the one caught in the middle. If talking with the step mom isn't working and dad isn't helping the situation then last resort would be to get the courts involved but I don't believe "yelling at a child" is against the law or abuse. Sometimes kids try to play both sides, I am not saying your daughter is you know her better than anyone so go with your gut mama. Good luck.

    Answer by Angeleyez08 at 5:43 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • If your ex is good father I would meet with him privatly and tell him what your daughter told you and let him know that she is afraid of her step mother finding out. It may only be happening when they are alone together and it would be a shame for him to loose time with his daughter over something he knows nothing about. i would take her to a therapist to address the problems she has now but I woud try to solve the problem between you and your ex first if you can before bringing the courts in.

    Answer by jen699 at 5:53 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • I agree with the ones that say talk with your ex first, it just makes the most sense to try and handle it together. If he won't listen then get a child's advocate. Good luck.

    Answer by beanielips at 6:33 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

  • I would suggest talking to her father, but if he does not believe his daughter, this could only create more problems with her. I am at a loss, because I am not sure what I would do. I would want to confront the situation right away, but I am not sure if that is the best way to go. I agree with outstandinglove that you should take her to see a therapist, but in many situations where custody is shared, both parents have to agree to it, and I am sure her father would want to know why you are taking her, then you are at the beginning again. Depending in where you live, you might have a child's advocate group near you. Contact them and see what they say. Until things get straightened out, good luck.


    Answer by krissyvelazquez at 7:01 PM on Jul. 3, 2010

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