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Richie's Story

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  • LoveCry The Street Kids Org.
    Our Legal System is Filled with Injustice By Angel Femia Of LOveCry I have been working with abused kids for many years now. I am an abuse survivor myself and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 10, 2004
      Our Legal System is Filled with Injustice
      By Angel Femia
      Of LOveCry

      I have been working with abused kids for many years now. I am an abuse
      survivor myself and know what hell abuse does to a person's life.
      Especially when the parents will not take any responsibility for the
      abuse they inflicted upon their children. My life has been spent
      trying to get people to realize that abuse has lead to the total
      demise of our family unit and needs to be addressed.

      At LoveCry we do not push the kids to charge their abusers as we know
      that the abused is totally treated like the guilty party within our
      justice system. Having that done to any of us is not only having to
      re-live their abuses but our system causes more abuse to be dealt to
      the person using it to deal with their issues.

      Rather then charging people we at LoveCry teach the kids to face the
      hells they have been put through, deal with the pain and illnesses
      left from their abuses and forgive their abuser. We know that this way
      they will at least save some of their lives and live with some sort of

      It seems that in our society that the abuser is honoured and respected
      while the abused are punished for being abused and therefore abused a
      great deal more. I see clearly that the child that has been abused is
      not only rejected by their abusers for disclosing their issues but
      shunned by their communities, their parents and then by anyone who is
      a friend to the abusive parents.

      The next step in this mess is that anyone helping the abused is
      demoed by abuse from the abusers, their friends, communities and our
      justice system. Each time a child has disclosed their abuses to myself
      or any of the staff at LoveCry, we, the helpers are being shunned,
      accused of some form of mind control, and gossiped about to the point
      of physical bodily harm in some instances.

      1. I have received many phone calls, threats, public disrespect and
      degradation, beatings and more.
      2. Many of the staff at LoveCry have been terrorised by the abusers of
      our clients and their lawyers.
      3. Many members of the media have been threatened with law suits due
      to clients disclosing abuses to them.

      In each case all parties are doing the best they can to get this
      information out to the public to help get abuse within our family
      units stopped but many of abusers hold key positions within our
      society therefore the heavy hammer is dropped on our heads. Even the
      non-profit sector here in Toronto, working with the abused homeless
      kids are working overtime to keep family abuse under the carpet. These
      people are the very ones who are supposedly there to help get things
      changed but they are not doing that at all. Instead they have their
      hands out for money from the abusers who pay them highly to keep the
      lid on these issues. These abusers should not even be given jobs in
      this particular community as they are the problem they are supposedly
      there to correct. Almost like making a bank robber into the police or

      For some reason even our justice system favours the abusers and
      totally degrades anyone who even remotely helps the abused children.
      The abused child is then treated as though they are guilty for the
      abuse they have had no choice but to live with. The abuser may receive
      a slap on the wrist at best and are almost congratulated for abusing
      their children and making themselves look innocent and their children
      just story tellers{with the help of their lawyers} for abusing the
      child in the first place. If the abused does present a case that makes
      the guilty seen to be guilty our judges just sentences them as if it
      was all just a joke.

      This is 100% wrong.

      Judges are not listening and handing out sentences as though all these
      parents or abusers have done is taken a candy from a baby and lawyers
      are working harder to lie and get their abusive clients off the
      charges. I don't understand why if there is supposed to be justice
      within our society, do we allow our lawyers to defend with total
      dishonesty. That action alone makes a mockery of any justice system.

      At this present moment we at LoveCry are working to help a young man
      who came to us four years ago. His name is Richard van den Kerkhof.

      Richard has suffered many abuses to the point of not even being able
      to talk or interact with anyone at all for a very long time. At the
      age of five Richie was introduced to sex by his Grandfather. The same
      year his mother raped him and then within a year his aunt did the as
      well. Before he was even eight years old three of Richie's family
      members had sexually abused this child. With this Richie was also
      Physically abused, psychologically abused and emotionally abused.

      By the time Richie was thirteen he was very violently aggressive and
      after an altercation with his mother was placed in the Children's Aid
      Society. Richie ran from his group home { because they did not
      understand him}, to the streets where our staff at LoveCry found him
      and began to work with him. You see, after going through the same or
      similar types of abuses our staff did understand and know how to help
      this child.

      Richie came to us and was in an awful state. He was terrified, living
      alone at Yonge and King streets at fifteen years of age. Richie was so
      scared of people that he would not go with the other street kids to
      squats or anywhere to sleep. He spent all his nights at Yonge and King
      completly alone.

      It took many hours, days, weeks and months to get Richie to talk to
      me. Richie would come to my home and LoveCry's office, sit in a corner
      with his head between his knees listen and watch but not participate.
      He would wait until everyone left to say thank you for some food and
      letting him visit then return to Yonge and King Streets, alone to
      sleep the night.

      Even just saying I need help took Richie over a year to reiterate. He
      was terrified of all people and would either run or react in violent
      ways if someone tried to speak to him. Then a great deal more work to
      help him learn to interact towards others.

      Richie's mother, Carol works for the Non-Profit sector of Toronto
      which makes it very hard for Richie to get help without disclosing his
      issues to his mother's friends. An example of this is when Richie
      tried to work as a volunteer at Field To Table. He loved the job but
      found that his mother, Carol was in touch with his boss and many of
      his co-workers and this made it so uncomfortable for Richie to
      interact or work there any longer as he did not feel he could trust
      his mother friends.

      Richie was raped by his mother, aunt and grandfather. Incest has been
      within Richie's family through the generations. His father suffers
      daily from the effects of this sexual, physical and psychological abuses.

      If we listened to Richie's family no abuse ever took place but that is
      what they all say, Isn't it? Should we just lie and keep this horrid
      disclosure under the carpet? Should we just let these people keep
      abusing him and others? I guess once again we will do what we know is
      right no matter what anyone says and hope that some day the truth
      will be heard and the abusers will be brought to task in a manner that
      helps the situation..
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