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Child abuse issue with a friend.. need advice but please don't bash

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An old friend of mine that I've known for years (since 2004 when her oldest twins were born) has had a lot of issues with cps ranging from abuse, to neglect, and child endagerment. Everytime everything was unfounded.

Recently her eldest of the twins went to his teacher and confessed to her the "abuse" he was getting from his mother and his 2 brothers were dealing with. They were able to verify this was true due to a couple bruises but it was undetermined where the bruises actually came from since he knees were skinned up. So cps was at her door once again following up and doing their investigation. My friend got fed up with it and told them they could only contact her via email and than later took it back and said they could only talk to her lawyer. Somehow or another she threatened to put her children in military school and it was obviously an empty threat - she can barely afford to buy their medications let alone put them in anything other than public schools.

So from what I've been told, they decided to proceed with child abuse charges and she went into court and was told of her plea bargin deal which is pleading guilty to 1 account of child abuse and the other 2 would be dropped. She would have supervised visitation, a fine, and now a criminal record which she's never had.

Well my friend said she wanted to take it to trial as she did not feel this was a fair deal and started asking me to be a character witness. Now before I can say yes or no to this, I understand I could get a subpeana either way but I'm on the fence about it because I refuse to lie on the stand so it wouldn't really help her and once I say no, it's almost a guarantee the prosecution will ask and if i still say no, that's where the subpeana could come into play.

I'm soo on the fence about this as she is a friend but her children do not deserve the hell she's put them thru. So I'm just asking what would you do? Stand up for the defense or the prosecution and know either way, it won't help my friend?

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by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 10:11 AM
Replies (41-50):
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 6:32 AM

I would be honest with her. I am very blunt though. I would tell her that she has made mistakes and that me appearing would only hurt her because I would have to be honest. I would point out that this is a turning point for her and I would take the deal.

by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 6:43 AM

Which do you want to help most? The mother or the children. That is your question. You have to take into account what you really know for sure. Has the mother put the children in danger or done anything to them that would constitute abuse, or unhealthy living situations. Or has someone jumped on the bandwagon and trying to cook up something. Perhaps it is a problem with the children where they need counseling because they are having problems with their mother being too strict with them or so they think. There could be a lot of reasons here for this mother to be going through this mess. Think about what your testimony will help or hinder.

by Emmy on Feb. 11, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Do what you feel is right to help the kids...that should be the goal.  

by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM
1 mom liked this
As a survivor of child abuse I say 'stand up for the kids'.. ' I wish someone had done that for me..
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by Silver Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:22 AM

You stand up for those children. Period.

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by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM

i don't know why you're stressing about it. You will be called up no matter what and you have to do your civic duty and be honest on the stand. It's as simple as that

by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:35 AM
Stand up for those kids. If you know they are being abused help them
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by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM
To be honest I think it would look a lot worse for someone on the defense to not have anything good to say a bout her. On the other hand if you were on the defense and didn't have great things to say people might lean to think you were saying things were better than they were while if you were on the prosecution they might think you embellished things a bit. Kwim.... Idk just how my mind works.... I probably wouldn't volunteer for either side, but If I had to I would prob do defense thinking that was my best bet to help the kids the most, as odd as that sounds...
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:57 AM

That is a very difficult decision, however the issue is what is best for the children and not for your friend.  The truth sometimes hurts but needs to come out.  If you tell the truth and testify for the prosecution, that will be best for the children and bad for her.  She has already made choices in how to deal with life, now it's time to pay the bill (so to speak).

by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM
I was recently in a similar situation. I just told the truth. That's all you have to do. Its hard but its the right thing.
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