Justice for Austin – Austin’s Story
Austin is a very intelligent, outgoing, personable 12 year old boy with ADHD, who, like any other 12 year isn’t perfect, but doesn not deserve the “abuse”
Austin’s Mom worked all of the time. But when Mom was home all she and Dad would do was argue and fight, and this happened alot. At the age 3 or 4 while Mom was at work, Austin was molested by his half brother on his fathers side of the family. At this time his Father tried to discourage Mom from calling DSS, although she secretly done it behind his back. In the end, those children were evetually took from their parents and ended up being adopted out.
In 2004 one of Austin’s Uncle’s, on his Fathers side, moved in with our family. Not long after that, his uncle’s pregnant wife & her 2 children moved in with us.
In January 2005 Mom moved out of home. In Febuary 2005 Austin, along with his brother and sister moved to Pilot Mtn. with their Mom & her boyfriend, whom she eventually married, and is still married to.
Mom, trying to make a home for her kids, asked to get one, of the two sets of bunkbeds from Austin’s father and she was made to choose between bunkbeds with no matresses or blankets. The kids weren’t even allowed to have their clothes from their Father’s house. We lived in Pilot Mtn. for a year and a half. Mom got help to get the kids clothes and got them in daycare, with no help from their Father! The kids Uncle was made to move out of their Dads house eventually.
Austin started school in Pilot Mtn. He started getting into trouble in school. After a while of not seeing their Father, Mom called their father to see if he’d like to see them, against her better jugdement. They started spending time with him on the weekends & sometimes even a week at a time, if there wasn’t any school. This is when the kids found out that their Father was now with their Uncles wife, whom the kids obviously considered an Aunt. Only to make it a situation that didn’t make sense to the kids, or most adults. After Mom lost her job we moved back to W-S, about a mile from their Father’s home. Austin started going to Ward Elementary. Around this time they started spending time with their Father, again (he has gotten chance after chance as you can see). Spending weekends sometimes a week at a time. Things were going good, until one Friday afternoon when I was taking Austin to his Father’s, Austins brother & sister were already there, Austin preceded to tell me that the 15 y/o boy that was staying in their Father’s home was touching him where he shouldnt be. Mom called the police immediately, they went with Mom to get the other two children. They opened a case and investigated it. At the end, there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the 15 y/o boy. The boy moved out a little while after, and due to this Mom wouldn’t let the kids visit their Dad.
After letting the kids go back again, after a long break from there, things were normal, I guess you’d call it. The usual Mommy said this or Daddy said that. A lot Mom let go by until they started telling how the punishments were given! Some were, kneel in a pan of rice, shoes would be thrown at them or used to smack their hands, hold a book over their heads for a while. Ridiculous punishments for children. If the kids were to get up and mess while their Dad & his girlfriend/stepmom were sleeping, the the kids would get a peice of bread for breakfast. Again Mom stopped the kids from visiting their Father’s. They’d talk to their Father on the phone when he would call.
July 2007 Billy and Mom had a baby, a daughter. We moved from W-S to Davidson County in 2007, we didn’t live there long. We moved to Jonesville also in 2007.
Mom’s boyfriend ended up going to prison b/c of a domestic violence charge on Mom in 2008. Which alcohol being in the home is another thing Austin has had to deal with between 2006-2011. Mom also started drinking in 2010 and alcohol took over. Oct. 2008 Mom married Billy. We moved again in Nov. 2010 to the house we live in now.
Jan. 2011 DSS/CPS stepped in & was going to take Mom’s kids away because Billy went to check on the boys one morning & Austins brother was climbing in the closet & Billy grabbed the back of his shirt, at this time the boys hair was passed the neck line, Billy got some hair & Austin’s sister saw & went to school that day & told what had happend. By the end of that day we were in the office of a CPS worker & Billy was in hand cuffs. He was arrested that day & was ordered to leave our home & have NO contact what so ever with any of our children. He wasn’t allowed into the home for 3+ months. DSS took a charge out on Billy for 2 counts of child abuse. We started going to anger management classes & AA meetings. Mom and Billy have been sober since all of this happend. Billy lost his job through out this. But was able to find another full time job.
Austin’s brother was showing out at school & he would cry saying that he missed his Father. So, Mom spoke with their doctor, (which is the doctor that had told her in the past that if she didn’t stop the visits with their Father he’d get DSS invovled) about letting the kids visit their Father again to see if it would help Austin’s brother. He talked to both of the boys & said he thinks it’d be ok.
Mom called or texted their Step-Mom to see if they’d like to start getting the kids on the weekends again. Mom told her that because they didn’t have the kids for the holidays and that if they wanted they could get them for every holiday in 2011. Mom also told them that NO ONE was allowed to spank my kids while they were there, time-outs only. They said ok. But, only one child at a time except on the holidays they’d get them all. There’s 4 kids between their Father and Step Mom. Austin’s brother was put into a theripudic foster home at the end of Feburary only to try to help him, it was by choice, noone made us do this. Every once in a while Austin & his sister would go to their Father’s at the same time.
Again things were going great, the kids would come home & say that they had a great time & they played outside together. All the kids got bikes, well, Austins brother got a scooter, from their Father & Stepmom.
On 3-11-2012 Austin & his sister went for a weekend visit at their Father’s. Sunday around 9pm when they brought the kids home, their stepmom told me that Austin had been spanked because humped his 3y/o sister & that their Father did bust his butt for it, that’s when their Father said that he didn’t know or care if he left marks on Austin. Mom talked to Austin & told him that what he did was wrong, Mom didn’t check Austin that night & put the kids to bed. The next day, Monday, they went to school & when they got home Austin said his bottom hurt & told mom his side of the story. He said it was around noontime, their Father was still sleeping & their stepmom was at work, while all 6 kids, boys & girls ages 3-12, were in the kids bedroom & Austin walked over to his 3y/o sister & humped her. After their father woke up she went & told him, 1st time their father didn’t listen, so alittle later she went back & told their father again, this time he listened. He hollered for Austin & asked Austin if he did it. Austin told the truth & his Father back slapped him in the side of the face then told Austin to bend over the back of a chair. His father swiped 3-5 times w/ a belt & asked Austin why, Austin replied I don’t know, his dad said wrong answer & started swiping again w/ the belt. Austin said he remembers 3 times of being asked why he did it but he don’t remember how many times he got hit with the belt after the 3rd time of being asked why. Mom told Austin that she wanted to see his bottom. Mom called her husband & told him that she was taking Austin to DSS because the marks were awful. We got to DSS right at 5pm the doors were already locked so we waited for the workers to come out the side door & a worker that has dealt with us in the past came out and Mom told her what happened. She took us into her office & Mom & Austin told her what had happend @ their fathers, she took pictures of Austins marks & talked to him alone while Mom went to pick up stepdad & sisters @ home. When she talked to Mom alone, Mom told her that if we wouldn’t have got someone w/ DSS then we would’ve went to the sherrifs department, Mom was told if we would’ve done that they would’ve put a warrent out for their Father. She opend a case & sent it to Forsyth County where his father lives. We were told not to let the kids go back until further notice from Yadkin DSS. By the weekend Mom got a text from the kids stepmom saying that Forsyth County said it was ok for Austin & his sister could to go back to their house. Mom didnt let the kids go because we weren’t told anything from Yadkin DSS. It took awhile for Yadkin DSS to get intouch w/ Forsyth DSS. When Yadkin DSS came to visit the kids she said they could talk to their father so Austins sister talked to their Father on facebook. She told him hey, she love’s and misses him. He replied, love & miss you to & as soon as everyone stops being vindictive then everything will be back to normal. Mom gave a copy of the messages to the CPS worker when she came by for another visit. Mom also asked her if she sent a copy of the pictures w/ the report she said no. Not long after that Mom got a call from the CPS worker in Yadkin County & that both counties are waiting for the kids to go to their fathers for another visit so they could close the case. Mom wrote a letter to their Dad saying that if he didn’t sign the letter then the kids wouldn’t stay with him & he’d have to take Mom to court for visitation & that no one in their fathers home is allowed to physically punish the kids & that he’d have to sign it before the kids were allowed to stay the weekend. Before Mom gave it to him she showed it to the social worker & the boys doctor they both said it was a good idea. Mom took the kids to their dads & gave the letter to him, he read it and Mom asked if he was going to sign the letter he said I’ll think about it. Mom told the kids to get back in the car & we left. We went to Forsyth County Magistarte’s Office to take charges out for child abuse. We were told b/c DSS is fixing to close the case & DSS is saying that there’s no sign of child abuse they won’t charge his father. The case has been closed for two weeks now. Mom has spoke with a couple of lawyers about getting full custody of the kids & she was told that b/c DSS didn’t charge their father w/ abuse then we can’t use the pictures that Mom took of what their father had done.
This has left our family confused, lost & most importantly this has left Austin scared. Has this child not suffered enough during his short 12 years, but for the system to also let him down too, now. When will it ever stop, there is a difference between abuse and punishment. How can a man that calls himself a father, that has not helped out financially, emotionally, mentally, and now has physically abused him, when is enough enough? How can someone get by with this, when there was all the proof in the world? This, Man, supposed to be someone Austin can look up to, lean on, depend on, has ONCE again let him down, along with the “system” which is supposed to be there to protect him!!
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