Protection of children must be paramount

It is important for the public to understand that there are many types of abuse, and most do not leave blood or bruises as physical evidence

Child safety is not as important as parental rights?

The recent scathing report from The B.C. Representative for Children and Youth revealed the vicious circle faced by a desperate mother trying to protect her children from their abusive father. The RCMP, the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the court system all failed to prevent the father’s abuse, and it took the death of the three Schoenborn children of Merritt to finally get the government’s attention to their plight.

Unfortunately, this same vicious circle continues to cause other families great anxiety, emotional and financial devastation as parents who are trying to protect their children from abuse are forced to hand them over their abusers. The ministry, the court system and the RCMP are very quick to assume that protective mothers are vindictive, and therefore lying, and that the children’s statements are planted.

If further allegations of abuse are reported, the ministry is motivated to justify their original opinion. The victims are re-victimized by “the system”.

As the protective parent desperately turns to lawyers, counsellors, psychologists, supervisors, the financial toll mounts and the vicious circle grinds the family down.

It is important for the public to understand that there are many types of abuse, and most do not leave blood or bruises as physical evidence.

Abusive parents profess their love for their children. Their children usually love them as well, and often are manipulated to secrecy by bribes, threats, etc.

Child abusers will not admit their crimes, as they want their friends, neighbours and families to believe they are normal parents. And, of course, they don’t want to go to jail.

Child abusers are often respected members of society, popular and friendly.

Please believe a child if they confide in you. Then prepare yourself to be launched into the vicious circle, because protecting innocent children should be of primary importance, and is not for the faint of heart.

If you or your family have been victimized by this vicious circle, please write to the B.C. Representative for Children and Youth head office, Suite 201, 546 Yates St., Victoria, B.C. V8W 1K8, Attention: Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. Their website is

The government agencies that are tasked with protecting our children need to be seriously revamped and held accountable.

Ann Gregoire