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See the Child. Change the System

Chantel

Why do you think it’s important the public signs the see the child petition?

“If it wasn’t for a nosey person, I wouldn’t be here today…it’s society’s duty to be nosey and look for the warning signs of abuse and neglect in children and young people…open your eyes and be nosey!”

Ages 6, 9 and 11, three girls wondered what would happen to them if they remained in “that house”. It sounds crazy but they knew if something didn’t happen -and happen soon- someone would be dead. It had come close to that many times. The 11 year old had already used a sharp weapon on numerous occasions to protect herself and her two sisters and the 9 year old was thinking of ways to use bleach in food. Meanwhile the 6 year old would wander the streets from dusk till dawn worrying about food or drink or times whether she should take a bath!

Where were the adults? Why when these three young girls went to school (because they did go to school, even if the 9 year old woke up in the morning and dressed the 6 year old and then dragged her to school) did no one even raise an eyebrow and think “why is this child’s uniform not clean AGAIN!” or “why has this girl come into school with a split on her eye or a black eye AGAIN” ORRR even better why, does this 6 year old smell of alcohol?”

Days, nights, weeks, months passed by and things continually worsened until one day the 11 year old ate something she shouldn’t have eaten because it belonged to “him”. It was a simple mistake. It didn’t need to get to the point where the 11 year old was being strangled by a grown man. How does it even get to that point?

The event led to a very nosey amazing neighbour calling the police, which then led to social services being called, and the 11 year old being immediately removed from the house. Everything after that was a blur except for the song she heard on the social workers radio… the 11 year old remembered some lyrics that stayed with her forever…

Everybody’s talking at me
I don’t hear a word they’re saying
Only the echoes of my mind

People stopping staring
I can’t see their faces
Only the shadows of their eyes

I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Through’ the pouring rain
Going where the weather suits my clothes……..

What came after that was unreal. The 11 year old was now taken from her sisters and was told she would see them soon. HOW SOON WAS SOON? Nothing was explained. Not really, not fully. Where was the girls mother? What happened to “him”? Where was she going and how long would she be there for? What will she wear? Will these people be able to do her hair, afro hair isn’t easy! What will she eat? Will she eat? (she hadn’t been eating too good lately) So many questions. All she knew was she would be able to sleep without putting her foot up against the door. But for how long?

The 11 year old remained in the care system for a further 9 years and felt just as lonely as she did before she had to leave her sisters and her mother. The care of the system was not “caring” at all. Through her teenage years she thought of ways to fight the system and cried out to anyone that would listen. She made complaints, she made reports, she made phone calls telling the “system” how she was again neglected by her new found families but no one listened and nothing changed. How was this allowed to happen? Why did no one help? How did the system fail the 11 year old. Why could no one see?