Ever since I saw this video yesterday, I have been REALLY angry. Like, pissed-off-I-wanna-beat-him-with-a-belt angry...and I didn't even watch it with the sound on. I feared the "father's" rants would be too triggering, honestly. (And after reading some excerpts of the audio of the video, it sounded a lot like my father's rants so it definitely would have been triggering.) I have no desire to subject myself to more verbal abuse or reminder of verbal abuse. What an asshole sperm-donor of a man. He does not deserve the title of 'father.' "Mom" and "Dad" are titles meant to be earned. They don't get the title automatically just because they happened to have sex during the woman's fertile time of the month.
Last month I spoke about domestic violence and shared some of my stories. On October 27th, Hillary Adams bravely uploaded this video and shared her story. She was on the phone with her "father" and he was verbally abusing her. She told him about the video, and he dared her to post it. She did. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive of Hillary, and condemning of Judge Adams.
Yes. You read that right. Judge Adams. Of Arkansas County of Texas. You know what makes it worse? He is a family law judge, and often has ruled on cases involving child abuse. Here are some distillations of his rulings:
Children should never be believed. This includes a child who everybody describes as bright and honest. If a child says he was abused, he should be ignored. If a parent doesn't ignore the child, the parent should be sanctioned (and her lawyer).
Similarly, if child says he has been abused, the alleged abuser should be asked whether he abused the child. If the alleged abuser denies the abuse, the issue should be dropped.
If there is no videotape of something, it should not be presented in Court. No videotape, then it didn't happen.
In one case, "[t]he mother presented medical records from Texas Mental Health and Retardation Services (MHMR) showing that the child care provider used by the father was homicidal, suicidal, psychotic and heavily drugged among other things. Judge William Adams presiding judge of the Court held that this evidence was 'irrelevant.''"
So it's not surprising that Adams excused his abusive actions.
"In my mind, I haven’t done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing."
Discipline. Nothing in that video looked like "discipline." It is very clearly and unequivocally abuse, and dare I say, torture. Unfortunately, researching into the Texas codes, it seems the statute of limitations has passed for any hope of prosecuting, as it happened 7 years ago, when Hillary was 16. (She's my age, now. We're actually born in the same month.) At the very least, according to the MSNBC article, the judge is not presiding over any cases at the moment (The S.O.B. left the town) and even when he comes back, a different judge will be presiding instead. The police is currently investigating.
My thought is, for all we're trying to do to prevent child abuse, WHY the hell are the laws so lenient? Even when it's abuse, it may not be criminal. Even when it's criminal abuse, it may not be prosecutable. This drives me fricking NUTS, and makes it incredibly hard for people to come forward and bring the abuse to light.
Even if it cannot be prosecuted, it is still abuse. Just like in my own situation. I have a father who is verbally and psychologically abusive, yet that abuse is not prosecutable. It's not even enough for Child Protective Services to mandate that everyone in the family seek counseling. I firmly believe my siblings need to be going to a public or parochial school just to get away from the abuse at least for a little while and to learn that my dad's actions are NOT okay and that not all parents are like that, but CPS can't even do that.
Hillary said so herself. Had she released the video sooner, she had no idea what would happen, what the state would do to the family. It might not even do anything but further enrage the "father."
I also hate the excuses people make for child corporal punishment. "It's the parents' right to discipline their kids how they see fit!" Read: it's their right to abuse the kids without state involvement. Bullshit. It's never the parents' right to ABUSE the kids. Yet so many laws allow for what's ostensibly the "spanking exception," which makes it harder to actually prosecute or take action in cases of physical abuse of children.
I'm not going to get into the "1 gentle swat on the bottom with an open hand" debate. Okay? But things like whipping or hitting with objects or closed fists is definitely abusive. Oh, on that subject, you should totally see about "To Train Up a Child" by the Pearls. The book advocates hitting your children with plumbing lines to thoroughly break their "naturally disobedient" will. The book has led to the deaths of at least three children that I know of, if not more.
I thank my lucky stars my dad never bought into the whole plumbing line business. He spanked, but it was always with an open hand. He spanked extremely hard because it was a way of taking out his anger, his aggression. But he never used objects to hit us, which is, by my mom's standards, abuse. She would tell me, "At least he doesn't hit us," after yet another one of his Mr Hyde moments.
Oh, yes, the mother in the video. The mother divorced the SOB. She stopped abusing her daughters, and she has repeatedly apologized to them, even before the video came out. Yet, she did take the belt and whip her own daughter. I completely see where that reasoning comes from--thanks to brainwashing. She thought that if she took over the whipping, that Adams would be satisfied and leave.
That didn't happen, but I know that reasoning. My mom thought that we should just let my dad rage at us and terrorize us and let him get it out of his system, because it would hopefully make the abuse last a shorter time. It didn't really happen. She also thought that if she became even more obedient and brainwashed, he would get better. He didn't, but she got so brainwashed she sees nothing wrong with my father's behavior. Even to the point of cutting off contact with her oldest daughter and old old family friends and becoming increasingly isolated.
Yet my family is, and her family did, put on a happy face and pretend everything was hunky dory. The articles I've read said that some people had no idea he was an abuser. They thought the Adams was a good family, until the video was posted. Same with mine. So many people believe my family was the perfect happy homeschooling family. Until my father disowned me. Then the shit all fell out.
I think I'm outraged because it hits too close to home. No pun intended. I hope that Hillary, her sister, and her mother all heal, and that her sperm-donor of a "father" faces justice in some form or fashion.