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What can I do about abusive stepmom

I have a 4 year old and a 7 year old that have been coming home for months telling me and their grandmother (on their dads side) that their stepmom is taking them aside and threatening them if they tell us about the things she does to them. She has bent my daughters fingers back, screams very aggressively in her face when she does something wrong, threatens to give her hot baths for punishment. My 4 year old just came home saying she cant tell me what happened because her stepmom will come to her house, dig a hole and put her in it. While she was there the stepmom kicked her in the leg and made her fall then forced her to stand in a cold shower for 10 seconds for punishment. I have had many problems with her threatening me in the past and telling me she wants me to get my dirty kids away from her. I tried asking their dad and he refuses to believe it and according to the kids she waits until he is at work or out of the room every time. They scream and cry to go there and I am genuinely scared to send them, i called the police and filed a report and dcfs is supposed to come investigate. I have heard so many stories about them not doing anything and at this point its her word against my 4 year old who is so shy and scared to talk to strangers. She wouldnt say anything to the officer but my 7 year old did. She does things to the 4 year old and im afraid that dcfs will dismiss it if she wont talk or if the stepmom denies it (which she will). Even his mother is concerned and wanted me to call the police. I need advice on what else I should do I dont want them going back there with her, especially since they have told, what if she is meaner or actually does something horrible.

If i get a protective order do they have to go to his house if she is there? And since its all on a 4 year old to prove it will they not believe her and she will have to go? please help I'm desperate for advice

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Asked by jen339 at 1:11 PM on Jan. 1, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • When my children were younger, I took them to an attorney, who told them and myself that if there was ever a time they did not feel comfortable or were scared to go with their step mother, they did not have to go. Just tell her no, shut the door and let it go. If she gets angry, call the cops. Let the attorneys work it out. My attorney even wrote their dad a letter.

    Answer by m-avi at 1:13 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • That is absolutely awful. I cannot imagine what you must be going through. I suggest you call an attorney and find out the laws in your state. Even look the laws up on the internet for your state as to what you need to do. If you wait for DCFS, they could take forever. Meanwhile your children should never have to go through this at all. Thankfully your children are telling you and not keeping this all bottled up inside. You are their only protector so you need to do what it takes to keep these children away from the stepmom. Clearly they are crying out for help by telling you these things. Your little 7 year old must be so brave to tell the police officer what is happening, that could not have been easy. I hope and pray things work out and that your little ones never have to deal with this stepmom again. Please keep us posted.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 1:26 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • I think it depends on where you live, I was told by my attorney that it was my word against my husbands, and that I had to send my son. The court would have to investigate and make a decision......and I have been told that if you refuse to send them in violation of a court order, you can actually lose custody of your kids.....and then they would be living with your ex and his wife full time. So I would ask your own lawyer, and be very careful.

    I would ask your ex's mom to please call the police or dcfs as well, they are more likely to believe her than his ex wife. I would also consider talking to your school's daughter's school counselor, and ask if they can keep an eye on things there. Any reports that are not from you will add to the weight of your case.

    I'm so very sorry that you're going through this. Good luck, my heart is with you.

    Answer by ohwrite at 1:36 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • Sorry....I needed to edit... "my word against my EX husband" and " I would talk to your daughter's school counselor!!!"

    Answer by ohwrite at 1:38 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • My friends step mom was abusive and no one believed them for a long time until she tossed boiling hot water on her brother and he got burned this was how they had proof she was doing it. I think something needs to be done I would talk to he again and while you are doing it confront her about your children and if she has threatened you in the past she will do it again and if you could record her yelling about your kids. If his mom would call along with you it would also prove someone else saw it as well. GL Momma my thoughts will be with you and your kids.

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 1:51 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • sorry her

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 1:54 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • right now we have no custody order in place so i can keep them according to the police, So i am re filing the papers on monday and hoping to get an order of protection. His mom said she would talk to anyone that needed to interview her because shes worried about the girls also. I didnt think about the school counselers, i think thats a great idea. Especially with my 4 year old because she is in a small preschool and trusts her teachers alot. She froze when the police tried to interview her and im sure she will with dcfs. Does anyone know about restraining orders. If i have one to protect the girls from her would they be allowed to go to his house since she lives there>?

    Comment by jen339 (original poster) at 2:11 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • I don't know about protective orders. I'm glad that you don't already have a custody order, and that his mom is willing to help you. The children should always come first. I'll keep you and your kids in my thoughts, keep us posted on what happens, wishing you the best!!

    Answer by ohwrite at 3:01 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • I'm so sorry. I have no experience w/anything like this but some other posts provide some good answers. How about a video camera or a tape recorder hidden in a book bag? Perhaps you and your ex can sit w/the kids w/o his wife to talk. I'll pray for you all!

    Answer by JenE1098 at 4:06 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

  • thank you for all the good wishes... im a mess and i could use all the prayers i can get. Im just in disbelief this is happening and that their dad is so oblivious to the whole situation

    Comment by jen339 (original poster) at 7:53 PM on Jan. 1, 2011

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