My daughter had been sexually assaulted by a man who broke into our home. This man was involved with sex trafficking, very bad criminals, and in his case this ring was also involved with the police. Immediately after this assault - after taking her to hospital - we of course went through all the proper sources. Now we were very fortunate to have a counselor in her case I was able to reason with. I explained to this man that we had relocated immediately and this man did not live with us. That there was not only no way he could find us - but that he would not have an easy time finding us even with his "cop" friends. That I didn't want to undo all that work by him making a report to social services. Because I already knew this man's power, what he could do, and what would happen.
To show you the extent of the power he had - he had a woman working for him that did blood work at Quest Diagnostics. He had herpes that I knew about. After my daughter's assault we had her tested. I had told him if she came back positive - that we'd have all the evidence we needed to prosecute him. He laughed. I knew what that meant so I contacted Quest. I learned that Quest Diagnostics was the ONLY lab in all of Nevada. I then asked if someone who took blood had the ability to access files to change results. They admitted reluctantly "yes". Now in my case I was fortunate enough that I had obtained this man's phone records. From those phone records, I was able to find out who he knew at this lab. By knowing her name, I was able to get her ability to access files to change a positive result to a negative.
However, I was concerned that she'd be able to get a friend to be able to make the change should my daughter's lab results come back incorrect. Now they told me they changed their computer system to where those who drew blood were not able to access that part of the computer that had the results to where she could change results. I don't know if they pulled my leg because they honestly were talking to me "off the record".
To be on the safe side - all i could do was find a lab that would do her test results other than Quest. But that wasn't covered by insurance so I had to pay for it. Thankfully it came back negative. However, this man did have the ability to have had those results changed and would have done so had I not been more street smart about what that laugh meant and getting his phone records. That said - don't tell me there aren't other traffickers that can go in and alter lab results to suit their needs. So what I'm telling you here is that if you're dealing with that powerful of an operation - then use an outside lab where you can get testing done using an anonymous name they can't mess with the results. There are labs where you can mail the samples in for testing and pay for it out of pocket.
But this man clearly had a lot of friends in high places. He had already messed with the brakes on my car. Knowing we were going to the police - he had gone into the parking lot and adjusted my brakes so they'd fail once they got hot. I was fortunate to have a crappy car that broke down before that could happen. The mobile mechanic came out to fix one problem and then pulled me over to say "I don't know how to say this lady - but your brakes have been set up to fail". He then showed me what had been done. There's normally something that will make a noise when you have metal nearing the brakes. That had been bent back so it wouldn't warn me there was a problem. Brakes get hot after a few minutes of driving in Vegas heat - and mine had been set to fail. So I would have gotten about 15 minutes from home he said and then sailed through an intersection. He didn't charge me for this as he felt pretty sorry anyone would do that to me so i don't think the mechanic lied to me about that to get more money out of me.
So I'm dealing with someone who had friends at the lab. Knew how to rig my car. Plus he had friends with the cops, sheriff's, marshall's, etc. There was something very weird about the assault that bothered me. I couldn't help but feel he wanted us to make a report. Then CPS would of course come to investigate and well all the horror stories I hear - who knows what they might do. They have the power to take your child anywhere they want and I'd heard a lot of stories about what happens to kids in the Nevada system for kids. So I didn't want to risk it.
But it was up to my daughter. I asked her if she wanted to file a police report. She felt it was what he wanted. She felt it was too dangerous to provoke him further. She just wanted us to move as we had, let her focus on her recovery, and to not worry about him coming after us because we'd filed charges against him. Right or wrong I felt it was her decision and that's what she wanted to do. But it ultimately also was up to the counselor. We asked him if he would not make a report about the assault. We showed him proof she was safe now and therefore reason to believe it would not happen again. We also showed him enough evidence to show that prosecuting a man like this would put her in more danger. He agreed to keep the secret.
Now we don't know how they found out - but he was charged with not making that report and he lost his license for a year. But he didn't hold that against my daughter. He said it was "his decision". After he got his licensed renewed she went back into counseling with him and he was a man who proved to my daughter not all men were bastards. For that I'm grateful. Especially after what I went through with my daughter as it was without that report.
Here's what I'm trying to say. In some very rare cases - it might be better NOT to bring in the authorities automatically. It depends on the situation, the authorities, the person, everything. That's a decision that's up to you to weigh. But in some cases I've seen the system worse than the problem. I look to my own abuse as a child. Yeah it was bad. But when I hear what kids went through in Los Angeles in the 1960's - I was honestly better off in that home. I think I was anyway when I hear about what the other kids went through back during that same time in foster care, group homes, etc. Especially if you knew the rest of my family who they might have had take me!
Life is sometimes a grey area. Before just calling, if it's not an emergency, check things out. Remember that horror story of that father who burned his kids alive? http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/05/us/washington-powell-explosion/ The social worker let the children go into the house ahead of her. Then the father shut the door - blocking her out - and then set the house on fire. I kept thinking how bad her training must have been to let those children run ahead of her into the house. I mean didn't she know to leave them in the car, check out the situation, and then bring them in if it was okay? Yes I blame the father - but I also blame a social worker who wasn't very well trained nor very street smart. She supposed to look out for them. I've seen these workers' case loads. I don't blame them. The system gives them an insane amount of cases to manage and no human being could possibly do what they ask them to do for the money. I know they're doing the best they can and I blame the lack of funding and training for things like that - not the worker personally.
But before you just call 911 and assume that kid is going to be okay - don't assume. Follow up. Ask to see where the child would go. Ask to meet the therapists, social workers, foster parents. Make sure you can visit the child and get updates from the CHILD - not the workers telling you that kid is okay. I've seen kids go walking right out of Child Haven, and I've seen children die in their care also. I remember when they even lost a kid. http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/22566245/5-missing-children-found-in-northwest-las-vegas Again, not that they were doing a bad job. Poor staffing, lack of training, not enough hands on deck, maybe they need better security cameras, and certainly needing better everything. But until then you had to stay involved. Children the system knows are being watched, the people ask questions, that people will visit, are going to be treated better.
Let me prove it to you. The first time my daughter was hospitalized after the assault she was put in Monte Vista psychiatric unit. The nurses there saw me bring her PJ's, and her dolls, and her snacks, and they saw me at every single visit. I called every night to speak to her. I was at every session. I asked the nurses every shift for an update. I drove them NUTS making sure she was okay.
About a week into what should have been a 28 day stay I get a call "come get her". I'm like "why?" They said "come get her". Okay I went down there and a very wonderful nurse told me that there was another woman who had just come onto the unit with a history of sexual violence. This woman had set her sights on my daughter. The nurse felt it was in my daughter's best interest to get her the heck out of there. So without the doctor's approval - she took it upon herself to warn me and let me get her out of there.
Years later I met a woman whose grandson was poisoned by Monte Vista. One nurse gave him his medications, and then the next nurse did also. And the next and the next. No one was checking the notes and they overdosed him. So he was brought in for a suicide attempt and the hospital OD'd him. Now I'm not saying it was the family's fault. But somewhere along the way when my daughter was being lined up as a target - the nurse knew that I would have sued the shit out of all of them if she'd been harmed and told me to come get her out of there. I'm grateful for that.
If you wonder why I don't just "automatically" assume all cops are our friends - check out this report I found for 2009. http://www.mediafire.com/view/2o7jekgdij10ddp/2009-NPMSRP-Report-Aggregate-updated-2012-06-04_%281%29.xlsx Now if a cop according to this report would try and find out someone's IP address because their blog criticized his church - can you imagine what he might do if you were charging his friend with sexual assault of a minor? This is why we made the decision we did consider her assailant was friends with 1/2 of Metro and the Chief of Police. By the way, there was no Internal Affairs in Las Vegas at this time because of a lack of budget for the office. The only person you could complain to the chief about - was the chief.
Make noise. Ask questions. Let them know you see them. Let them know you know their name. Ask for their names and cards. Take notes. That really makes them nervous! But before you call in the authorities if it's not an emergency - weigh the situation carefully - and get involved. Make sure that child is safe and don't blindly trust any system.
If you're not sure who to call or what to do - call the hotline 24/7 at www.childrenofthenight.org They've been working with this since 1979. They can advise you the right thing to do when in doubt.
(copyright 2015 J. Williams - All Rights Reserved)