Friday, April 16, 2010

Suing at seventeen

A seventeen-year-old girl from Washington state is suing a family court investigator who "ruined her life" by knowingly sending her to live with her grandfather, a convicted sex offender who she says abused her nearly every day for a decade. I don't want to seem trite, but I'd like to say to this young woman: "go girl!" I am so impressed that she is doing something about it and holding the Department and the social worker accountable!

This case is absolutely an egregious example of the new hot term "missed opportunity" ... You know the overused phrase I am talking about, the one that means "snafu", screw up, mess up, error, but is sugar-coated by those who are responsible.

How could the Cowlitz County Family Service worker have allowed a seven-year-old girl to live in the home of a CONVICTED sex offender? (And just as a side note: have you see the photo of this grandpa?   Feel free to draw your own conclusions, I did.  To me, he is the creepiest looking grandpa I've ever seen: article link. I know that is very un-PC of me to say but when am I ever PC?)

Vernil Jones, grandpa, was convicted of sodomizing a 10-year-old. Are we surprised then that he went on to sexually abuse his granddaughter - for ten years - while she was forced to live with him? I'm not. Why? Because it is common knowledgde that sex offenders are the highest group of recidivist criminals out there. I am outraged (again) that a case like this would happen and the only way to make this madness stop is for people to do something about it.

The system failed this girl.  It was Children's Service responsibility to protect her and instead they fed her to the wolf - literally. Jones is now serving 25 years for the sodomy crime. This is only a little relief to the grand-daughter who suffered abuses from him for a decade.

When injustices occur it is our natural inclination is to create new laws.  Sometimes a better way to make a difference is to utilize the laws we have to make change. In this case, a young seventeen year old is putting the system to the test and holding them accountable for the job that they were supposed to do -- protecting her and others like her. 

This case is so important not just to hold the court investiator and the system accountable but has greater significance to me. It shows that we constantly underestimate the power and intelligence of our children.  So often, kids are way more intune and more knowledgable than adults are.  It's time we listen to our children and recognize they (sometimes) no more about their own well being than we do.  So, I say " go girl."  You make me proud.


Anonymous said...

I saw this ... so gross & sad!!! Thanks for always speaking out Robin - you have a strong voice!!

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of this girl. What strength and courage she must have! She has taken a tragedy and decided to do something about it –to make those responsible pay for it and to help stop other children from being placed with sex offenders. No doubt this will be healing for her.

daveM said...

It is sad enough that she was sent there, and more sad that she has to be the one to take action.