A Mother In Crisis

Dear Sir,

I am advised that you would be an appropriate contact to approach regarding the lack of support and assistance available to and provided for my family and I – when my daughter (who is now fourteen years old) recently ran away from home

At the time my daughter left she was a bright, mature and highly intelligent girl whom I thought was content and who showed no signs of distress or unhappiness. The relationship I had with my daughter as the eldest of my three children was lovely, for she was also a beautiful friend and source of support during troubled times.

The details of her departure are as follows:

My daughter rang me at work at approximately 4:00 pm on her arrival home from school to advise me she was safe. Her behaviour and conversation was normal as she proceeded to tell me about her day and finished with her asking what she could help prepare for dinner.

On arrival home at 7:00 pm a note was found on the table from her daughter which read…

Obviously I was shocked and commenced ringing around all to all of her friends…regrettably no one had seen or heard from her. I noticed that one of the timber kitchen windows was broken and on further investigation found that the kitchen had in fact been broken into.

Later that same evening (after 10:00 pm) I commenced ringing around my daughter’s friends again, only to find she had arrived at a friend’s home and was asleep. I left a message requesting that my daughter please call me the following morning.

I did not hear from my daughter the following morning (Thursday) and on contacting her school, found that she had arrived at school (although a little late). Again I left a message, but she didn’t call.

On police advice I remained home from work to have the house locks changed and the broken window frame repaired and secured.

my daughter arrived home from school at 4:00 pm a very angry and bitter young girl, very different from the person I normally knew. She commenced yelling at me telling me “I hate you, I have no respect for you at all and never want to see you again. How could you speak to my friends like you did and say what you did.”

I had no idea what my daughter was talking about and asked her to settle down and stop shouting…Her younger brother and sister both keep asking her to calm down and be quiet.

My daughter had a shower, gathered some clothes for work (she was being trained) but she told me not to come and get her after work as she would not be there and I would be wasting my time.

I did not see my daughter again for more than a week. I contacted her school principal, teachers, school counsellor, and school nurse… no one could or would help me to resolve whatever was the problem or help me talk to her.

I was now receiving very nasty phone messages from my daughter’s friends…

A mother of one of my daughter’s friends) visited my home and told me that my daughter had told her and her son that she had been thrown out of home and that she had recently attended a party where she had been given alcohol and had been taken advantage of sexually. I was by now extremely distressed as my worst nightmares appeared to be becoming a reality.

A number of weeks following she moved in to live with her father, the youngest two children went to stay with him and his daughter for the weekend. The two little ones rang me and asked if they could please come home.

Later that evening the children told me why they wanted to come home. On the previous evening two girl friends of the child also stayed overnight. One of the girls was given a 750 ml bottle of whisky for the weekend by her mother, I am told the child’s father also bought alcohol for his daughter. The girls had some drinks and then went on to a local party. They returned to the fathers’s home around midnight. The child told her little sister to get some clothes on as she wasn’t safe dressed in her pjs.

I am told by the little ones that about several boys then arrived. The younger sister who was watching TV decided to get out of the way and go to bed only to find on opening her bedroom door that her sister was with one of the boys in her bed. The younger sister then went to her fathers’s room to get further out of the way. He told her to get out, but I am told that she insisted on staying in his room. The boy arrived in the father’s room subsequently, after being told to “get out” when he found one of the girls in his bed with one of the boys again. With no intervention, the boys did not leave or try to stop the activities.

I understand that my daughter enjoys school and has continued to attend on a regular basis. I have written to her every week, telling her that I love her, and that we are always there for her and that I hope she is going well.

My daughter has moved out from her fathers’s care and is now living with her young boyfriend and his father. I understand that my daughter has a sexual relationship with her boyfriend and she has told me that there is a possibility she is pregnant.

My more recent contact with my daughter has shown me that she is very capable of telling stories or relaying facts in a way that will assist her in achieving what she desires. She is mature for her age and a very bright and intelligent girl who I believe has been well advised on how to manipulate/milk the system. I contacted Family Services recently to advise the current details regarding my daughter and her welfare.

They have some recent information, which I am told they are investigating, but it appears not a great deal is being done and the outcome may well be that my daughter, at a young age, will be supported by the Government to live in a sexual relationship with this boy, a situation that I and at the least bizarre and totally unacceptable.

When SCWQ received this plea for help from the mother, the child was contacted via phone by one of our counsellors and offered the opportunity to tell her side of the story. Gentle coaching and support, over a period of time, encouraged her daughter to visit her Mother and begin to explore the underlying issues that had contributed to her behaviour.

With guidance from our counsellor, she and her Mother were able to re-establish a relationship. Rather than the Mother feeling as if she was at the mercy of her daughters behaviour, and a system unwilling to help, both Mother and Daughter were empowered with the skills they needed to repair their relationship, and work towards a better future. Student Care Welfare Queensland is no longer in contact with this child or the mother. However, we wish her the best of luck for the future.

(*Names have been changed to protect privacy)