This husband arrived home again unannounced late the afternoon of 27 March 2012. He rang the door bell and jumped out from behind the wall.
That evening, while the children bathed, the eldest child said, “Daddy makes foodie out of his penis and he puts it in my mouth.” Immediately after him the second child said, “Daddy puts the foodie in my bum.” I had my back to them and turned. They were sitting next to each other looking at me over the side of the bath. All I managed to say was, “It is wrong.” Oddly enough I did not feel anything.
What I thought was: These children are too young to know about anything else but urine coming out of a penis, never mind putting things in a bum. That this meant this husband’s rumour, before we got married of him preferring young boys, was true. What my mother saw this father doing to the eldest child on the bed, was true. This meant that this husband had lied about everything for years. This pseudo persona man that I had married, deceived, used and hurt. He had made me his slave over the years and now my children were telling me he had made them his slaves for his own perverse pleasures.
After the children had bathed, we went to the dining room. This was when a combination of feelings including disgust, anger, disappointment and sadness nearly overwhelmed me.
There was pizza in the oven and it was ready. I set the table, putting things down with force, trying to get anger out. Leftover birthday cake stood where I was setting the table. I threw the cake to the other side of the eight place table, not caring that the cake crumbs fell over the table and the floor. Thinking, this table, this house and everything around me is for a showcase, that was why this husband revelled showing it off. A creation of an impression of normality that he needed for executing his selfish desires.
I went and called this husband who had been sitting, as usual, on his bed. I said, “Come. Your pizza is ready.” He replied he was busy. This was his normal game, of us having to wait for the self proclaimed king. I now said, “No, come now, your pizza is getting cold.” He came to the table and at once wanted to know who had messed the cake crumbs. The eldest child said it was me. This husband did not reply or do anything he normally would.
I cut the pizza into pizza slices and dished up for the children. While doing this I said: “I would like to be cutting something else.” This husband did not ask what I wanted to cut.
We started eating. I could not swallow the pizza, felt ill and said, “Some things make you so ill you can’t even eat.” This husband did not ask what was making me ill. Instead he then commented on the mess of the crumbs. I stood up. “Obediently” taking the mop I swept the crumbs off the table and into the corner. While I did this I said, “I would like to sweep all the garbage out of the house.” Once again this husband did not ask me what I was referring to.
When I put the children in bed that night the eldest child said, “I told some of the children at school and they are teasing and beating me.” My heart went out to this boy. He had told me before that the children are teasing him. The teacher had told me it is because he does not wear undergarments. But the child refused undergarments. At the time I had asked this child if he goes to the teacher, telling of the teasing, and if she helped him and he said yes, so I left it.
However, when I had a parent meeting with the one teacher, she would say the child is doing fine. No, she did not see anyone teasing the child. He does keep to himself and has other interests than the rest of the children, like playing in the garden. No, he did not join in the ball games.
I knew my eldest child liked working in the garden and being outside, but he also enjoyed playing ball. I encouraged the child to find a good friend.
I had a habit of keeping to myself. I also did not have much time for socialising. To set a different example for him I started socialising more.
When doing this, and their father was at home, he would try to lure the children to rather stay with him. For example, one Sunday there was a church lunch. I had made eats and everything was arranged, but after church this husband all of a sudden declined to go. We dropped this father off at home and he started luring the children, with all kind’s of “fun” choices, to rather stay with him. The children refused and he played on their emotions, pulling sad faces, saying to them they don’t want to stay with him. The children and I left, while I thought this husband’s behaviour was puzzling.
I confronted this husband later the night the children spoke. I did not tell him what the children had said, but asked him about his childhood.
This man had no shame lying, he concentrated on his own comfort except when he needed to create an impression. No amount of discomfort and pain of another human being stirred empathy in him.
I knew no person is born void of emotions or without feelings. They are made that way by their life experiences. He had told me that, as a child, he was neglected, confined, unreasonably punished, starved, and lied to by the people who were supposed to teach him how to love.
He now denied, saying he had a normal childhood. He was again lying. He pulled himself over the floor for two years as a child, with a father that boasts he never asked for help. But then his father, he said, was mostly absent and punished all his children without speaking when present. His mother, he said, locked him in a room. It is very difficult to ask for help from a locked room. He was given the same food repeatedly until he ate it. None of this sounded normal to me.
With this husband repeatedly telling me I am not punishing the children enough and I should punish the children hard, I had done research on the internet. Finding that when severe, unreasonable punishment is enforced on a child, the child starts telling lies to avoid this punishment. The child learns never to take responsibility for his actions or to apologise. Was this grown husband an example of a severely punished, severely controlled and disciplined child?
The following morning I phoned the organisation for abused children which the pastor had referred us too previously. I told the secretary what my children had told me.
The appointment that I had made with the gynaecologist after finding the Zovirax salve, was also that morning. Once there, the doctor asked if I it was going to be used in a court. I replied that it probably will be. He then refused to look at the child’s rash.
This organisation for abused children made an appointment with this husband and me to come and see them the following day. In front of this husband I told them what the children had told me. I asked them if they could organise play therapy for the children to see if they were sexually abused. They said they don’t do that. They only assess children’s educational progress. They gave me contact numbers for the youth police, child lawyer, child psychiatrist and a house for abused women.
This organisation for abused children also made an appointment for that evening for a physical examination of the children by a children’s doctor at the hospital. This father made sure he went with us.
The doctor told me to bring the children in one at a time. The second child said he wanted to go in with his father and stayed outside with him. I left it. The eldest and youngest children went with me. The doctor looked at their private areas and said he could not see anything wrong. Then this father and the second child went into the examination room. I stayed at the door. This father smiled constantly, gave his iPhone to the child and told him to show the doctor the pictures of the animals on the farm. The child did this. The doctor told this father to put the child on the examination table. This child told his father to get on, which this father laughingly did. Then the child walked away and in the middle of the room he turned around. He pointed at his father and said, “The doctor should look at you.” He said this several times, while still pointing at his father. Then the child came to me and started pulling me out of the room. I pulled back and told him I want the doctor to look at him. This doctor declined examining this child, saying he was not going to force a child. Afterwards the doctor asked to speak to me and said I have to bring the child in within 72 hours after a suspected incident, with the clothes he had worn. This upset me tremendously.
That night, this father, who had secluded himself before, left his bedroom and wanted to take care of the children, which included bathing them. To me this man was either insensitive or playing games. I decided on both options. He pressed himself in next to me with a big smile for the children on his face, using the words “daddy wants to… do you want daddy to…?” The children declined his requests. But he exaggeratedly pulled his sad face, acted hurt, saying, “Don’t you want daddy…daddy wants to…,” repeating his requests. Watching and listening to him putting on his act made me feel like throwing up.
The morning of 30 March 2012 I took the two youngest children with me to the grocery shop. The eldest child was at school. This shop has a cafeteria and we normally had something to drink there. I phoned the child lawyer and made an appointment. Then I phoned the protection house for women and was informed they have no space. Then I phoned the police section for the protection of children. I told this police officer what my children had told me. He replied it was not necessary for me to come in, the person who is dealing with this case, was on holiday. I had not gone to the police? What case was he talking about?
I picked up the eldest child at school, could not get myself to go home and decided to find a policeman that would listen. After two closed police stations I found an open police station, but they said they cannot help me and I should contact the police section for the protection of children. I told them I did phone, but the police officer said I need not go to them. This police officer phoned them and then the person, who had declined me, said I can come in. I took the eldest child back to school and went with the other two. But at the youth police this person did not understand me and said we should come back on the Monday, when he had organised for a translator.
I picked up the eldest child from school and when we arrived home he told this father we went to the police. This father, with a smile, said, “I am glad, I am glad.” He then left with the eldest two children to the neighbours at the corner. Over a week ago I have invited these neighbours for dinner that evening to celebrate the eldest and youngest children’s birthdays. I got ready and waited for the neighbours to arrive. They did not. I phoned after an hour and was told by the man, who sounded cross, that they were not coming. He told me this father is broken. From this I deducted that this father did not arrive at their house with the grin on his face, repeating that he is glad. He portrayed himself as a broken man to obtain their sympathy.
On Saturday 31 March 2012, in the afternoon the children were playing in their room and in the garden. I went upstairs to my drawer in the main bedroom. My belongings and clothes were still in the main bedroom. This father was as usual in this room on his bed. When he saw me enter he closed his computer and folded over the paper in front of him. He then stood up, took these and left the room. I did what I wanted to do in my drawer and walked back to the stairs. This father now sat at the far end of the dining room table. I stood by the kitchen and watched him. Again he stood up, taking everything and came walking past me. I wondered what was on this paper that needed such special guarding. When he was next to me I grabbed the paper, but he immediately grabbed the paper back and ran around the table. He stayed on the opposite side of this table from me. His cold, forgotten tea was standing on the table. I threw the content at him out of frustration, but missed. I then climbed over the table, managed to grab the paper, turned and started running. This father ran after me and pushed me from behind towards the sliding door. My left shoulder hit the protruding wooden window frame before my face hit the window. This father grabbed the paper back and it tore. I was still holding about half of this and looked at the paper to see what he was so intent on hiding. It was a printer paper with nothing except his next flight dates and a name written in his handwriting. This confused me, because it did not warrant his secretive behaviour at all. He then made a tremendous issue of this basically blank paper saying that I had torn it.
The next day on the way back from church, I told this father I needed the car the following day. This was one of his rules when he was home, I had to give him a days notice if I wanted the car apart from routine activities. He wanted to know why? I told him we are going to the police again. The eldest child started asking me if the police take away naughty boys and what happens to naughty boys. I told him children are not taken away by the police, but he kept on asking me.
That evening I went upstairs to the kitchen to get myself a glass of milk before bed. On my way back to the stairs, having gotten my milk, I noticed this husband standing in the toilet with the door open, but the light was off. I walked to the toilet, stuck out my left hand to the light and said to him, “Wait, I’ll switch on the light. I also want to see where the foodie (food) for the children comes from.” He slapped my hand away. I reached for the light switch again and said, “No wait, I want to see where the foodie (food) comes from.” He walked out of the toilet and I stepped back. I again said, “Wait, let me switch on the light,” and pointed with my hand to the light. He grabbed my hand and started pressing it hard enough to damage my fingers. I had the glass of milk in my right hand. Aiming the bottom of the glass at his lip, I hit him with it. He seemed surprised and released my hand. He walked into the bedroom to look at his lip in the mirror. I watched him from the bedroom door as he walked back past me to the toilet. Once again, I said, “Wait, let me switch on the light,” but I did not move to do this. He turned around, walked back towards me, placed his hand over my hand holding the glass of milk and pushed it so that the glass hit the bedroom doorframe. The glass broke inside my hand and cut my fingers.
The morning of 2 April 2012 I went back to the police. The children were with me. I allowed them to take one of their hamsters with us, thinking it could be a distraction for and comfort to them. I also took the children’s jackets and push trolley with, because I had read on the internet that semen can be picked up by a light.
The translator arranged by the police, learned our native language from a boyfriend and was not from our native country. They took my statement, while the children played in a room next door. I informed the police of the rumours of this father preferring little boys that this father himself told me, the incident this father revealed that happened three years ago in my mother’s apartment, and of what my children had told me.
They informed me there was nothing on the trolley and jackets. The police officer and the translator also interviewed the eldest child, (he had just turned five) in their conference room. The police then told me that he denied that his father makes food from his penis. When I asked the police if they wanted to speak to the other child, they declined. I asked this policeman if he was going to send police home with us. He asked what for? I had no idea how they investigated, but assumed they would want to look for evidence. This police officer replied that sexual child molestation is difficult to prove. Later I found out that this meant they were not going to do or investigate anything. I told him what this husband had done to my hands and shoulder and he told me to go to the doctor, but did not take a statement. My collarbone had an open bruise, my left hand’s finger was swollen and bruised, and my right hand had cuts on the fingers from the glass that had broken in it.
This police officer also asked if I am filing for a divorce. I had only thought of how to protect my children the best way I can. I had also stayed with this man all these years mainly because of my promise to God. This police officer continued to speak about divorce and this father then having supervised visitations with the children.
I decided my first priority now was to try to protect my children. What happened after that was for later. We left the police station, with the hamster, but nothing else.
Shortly after this the children and I were sitting at the table eating breakfast one morning. This husband was not present. The second child said, “They like boys.” The eldest, while smiling, repeated, “They like boys.” I asked them what they were trying to say and the second child repeated, “They like boys.” I asked them, “Are you telling me there are more people?” The second child said yes. I asked, “But where and when do you see these people?” The eldest replied, “When we go to the bank.”
This father went to the bank at least 2/3 times a week for an afternoon when he was home. He would always just take two of the children, but never all three. He always also went with the train. He never took the car. I had thought this behaviour odd but had not questioned that this father did not go to the bank as he was telling me. This was because he had given me the impression he is obsessed with money.
I asked the eldest child, “Don’t you go to the bank at all?” He replied, “No. We go to this place.”
I asked them if the smallest child has been there. The second child replied, “He goes to a room where the animals don’t bite. I go to a room where the animals bite.” I asked them if there are other people as well and they said yes. I asked them if there were other children and they said yes. I asked them if there were men and women and they said yes. I asked them if the people dress like animals. The second child said, “No they don’t. They bite.” I asked them if they would be able to show me where this place is. The second child said he will be able to show me which station they stop at. He said they walk a long time to get there from this station. I asked the eldest child if he can remember the station name. He then named the next biggest town to the south of us and another town further to the south.
I took the car when I went somewhere and did not know the rail system well, but decided to take the train now to see if the children could recognise the train station at least.
At the station the eldest child confirmed that they took the train away from the city when their father tells me “he goes to the bank”. This husband’s many banks were in the city, not out of the city. At the next train station from where we live the rail line splits and one had to get off the train for the second line. The children could not tell me if they get off or stayed on the train. I decided to stay on the train. The two smaller children fell asleep. I asked the eldest child questions, e.g., what the place looked like. He said it was an old house with cracked walls. There are 3 bedrooms. He hides in-between the cars, while his father is busy with his ugly things. I asked him if his father leaves him totally alone with these people and he said yes. He named a neighbour that had stayed with him once between the people. I asked him if he knew the people there. He named people that are there, this included friends of the father’s and neighbours. I could not believe it and asked him repeatedly if he was sure. Eventually he asked me to stop asking him questions. We travelled on the train for half an hour and the eldest child could not identify any of the stations as the station where they get off. I decided to go back home. This father would not take the train for half an hour one way and my chances of having a 5, 3 and 2 year old giving me correct directions would be slim.
During the following days I noticed the second child calls this place the “zoo”. I asked him why, and he replied, “The animals bite.” I asked him again if the people are dressed like animals? He replied, “No. They bite.”
The eldest child said the people smoke there, I asked because of this husbands tremendous hate for smoking. I asked him what else they do and he said they sing.
I kept on asking the children, also each one separately, about this information, but always got the same answers.
I phoned the youth police. The police officer who had taken my previous statement was on holiday. Another officer said I should wait until he is back.
One night I woke up at 04:00, hearing someone on the stairs. It was my second child on his way upstairs. I asked him what he is doing? He turned around and said, “I like it.” I had heard him say this when I had found him and the eldest child naked on the pouf cushion behind the wall. I told this child to come and sleep in my room. The next night the eldest child also wanted to sleep in my room. The smallest child had been sleeping there since this father had moved his cot downstairs into the spare room, at which time I had moved into the spare room as well. This second child wanted me to rub his back in the middle of the night and constantly told me to guard and/or protect him.
This husband, after having told me of the incident at my mother’s apartment, had tried his utmost to intimidate me with his harassment. I had tried not to respond to him. However, his added tactic, one I instinctively reacted on, was the one that got to me. This game of his was: aiming his attention at the children and luring them into situations he knew would upset me.
Now, when it was the children’s bath time and bed time, he was there. The children kept on declining this father’s continuous persistent offers of dressing and bathing them. Saying they want me to do it.
This father turned into an octopus with eight arms. He was all over the children, kissing and hugging, rubbing bodies, playing his wrestling game and snorting/tickling game. I tried staying with the children and tried to go where ever they go to protect them. I could not be everywhere and this caused me a lot of anguish and distress. This husband was acutely aware of my anguish and he increased his attacks on the children and on me and then recorded my reaction. I would be downstairs dressing a child and when going upstairs he would be rubbing a child’s stomach, having pulled up the shirt, while the child watched television. He would try to convince them, asking repeatedly because they declined, to go cycling with him. For three days this man tried to lure them to go cycling with him, so he could show them a dead hedgehog on the road. He was so persistent and annoying that eventually I told him he can stop with that story now, because that driven over hedgehog, if it was there, is definitely gone by now.
My mother had given the children all the books they had and I read to them at bedtime. Because this husband was worming himself in everywhere he also wanted to read to the children before bed now. For his mission he needed a book, but did not know that their favourite books are in their room and when he started asking for a book, I did not tell him. I told him to get his own children’s books. He went upstairs and scratched around in my books. I pushed him away and I told him to leave my books alone. He then took a book of his, “One soldiers fight for paradise,” and started showing the children the pictures. There were pictures of people with machine guns in camouflage, deformed carcasses, people driving with machine guns on a jeep. Then I saw a picture of a man being chased by a lion. The second child had nightmares of a lion by his bed at night. I grabbed the book and told this father, “Are you crazy, you cannot show the children this for a bed time story!”
One night this husband woke me up, repeatedly saying I should follow him. He took the basement stairs to the apartment. In the apartment he pointed out the stove with all four plates turned on. He started asking me in his cold voice who had done this, took his phone out and started taking pictures. My first thought was why did he not switch the plates off? So I turned the plates off and walked down the stairs back to bed. The next day I discovered he had locked all the doors and had taken all the keys to this apartment, using the turned on stove as his justification.
A few days later the children and I returned home around 17:00. This father emerged from the front door of the apartment. The front door of the house, right next to the apartment door, was also standing open. He told the children that he had bought them a remote control helicopter and that it was upstairs in the apartment. Busy charging he said. The children ran into the apartment and I told this husband if he has nothing to hide he will leave the front door open. I did not have keys for the apartment he took them all. He did not reply, but walked casually into the main house. I relaxed, followed him in and started making dinner, while he stood at the end of the kitchen counter. I started cutting an onion when this husband started running towards and out of the front door. I ran after him, but when I came to the door of the apartment, he had just closed it. I was on speed and slammed on the door as I ran into it. The glass panel in the door broke and cut my wrist open. I looked at it, but did not feel anything. I could see this husband standing on the other side of the door. There is double glass in the door and only the exterior pane broke. I reasoned that if I break the second one as well, I could open the door from the inside. I slammed on this glass pane as I did on the outer pane, but it did not break. This husband then opened the door. I turned without speaking, went back into the main house and phoned the police. I told them I had just reported child molestation to the police youth protection division and this father locked himself in the apartment with the children. When the police arrived they took our statements, and wanted to phone an ambulance.
This husband acted guiltless and meek. No, he could not understand why his wife broke the glass pane of the door. He was just charging the helicopter, that he had bought earlier that afternoon for his children in the apartment.
No police officer noticed there are several power points to charge the helicopter with in the house. This husband need not have charged it in the apartment, to which I do not have a key, and then close the door on me.
He knew the children would respond by running to the helicopter once he told them of it. He knew I did not want to leave the children alone with him.
I had reacted on that and he had known that I would react.
I did not know what the situation would be with the children if an ambulance took me to the hospital, so I told the police I will go myself. I finished making dinner and we ate. My wrist, which was gashed to the bone on one side, was starting to hurt and bleed. I also felt extremely tired. This husband volunteered to drive me to the hospital and I had to accept this.
The rest of the month was one entire ball of torment altogether. This father/husband still took pictures, video’s and recorded everything, now mostly in secret and only sometimes holding the phone in front of him.
He charmed and lured the children on every occasion possible. Where before he never paid attention when who arrived from where, he now stood ready with a Cheshire cat smile, arms open as wide as possible and telling the children repeatedly, “Say hullo to Daddy!”
While the children were watching a DVD, he would ask them, “Can daddy sit with you? Daddy wants to sit with you. Can daddy sit with you?” He then plonked himself down on the big cushion pouf with them. He would start tickling them. The two eldest children would be enthralled by the DVD and the smallest child was the only one he could lure with this. As a result he concentrated on him, making snorting noises and biting actions on the child’s body. He would stand on all fours, press his face in the child’s neck and stomach and role the child around for half an hour. He did not move around or chase the child. When the child tried to get away, he would pull the child back by an arm or a leg, into a lying position in front of him and continue.
This father continued his wrestling with the children, but now he was restraining himself to just pressing his face into their necks and holding their bodies against his while he tickled them in their necks and on their torso’s. He did not do his pinch tickle movement around their private parts. On occasion his hand would automatically go to their private areas, but he would stop himself. When I saw him getting out of hand and taking chances, I got my camera and kept this on him. If there was going to be evidence this father behaved. During one of these wrestling sessions of his, my camera’s battery was flat, but I pretended to record just so that he would not do anything more to the children. The children were used to me recording and this did not bother them. I had made video recordings of these “wrestling” games of this father on earlier occasions, but could find none when I searched the computer.
This father also started disregarding the children’s bedtime routines in this time. He would use the “wrestling games”, or he would find something to show the children, or he would phone his family repeatedly saying, “Let’s phone so and so. Do you want to speak to them?” When I eventually got the children downstairs to brush their teeth and to read their story, he would once again be present and be disruptive. His new game was to lure the children to rather sleep with him in his bed and he would ask them repeatedly, pulling sad faces and kiss them continually during his asking. I had found this kissing strange behaviour. For example, after struggling to get the children away from his attention and finally to go downstairs to bed, he would say, “Kiss daddy good night.” He would give them long hugs as well. The children would go downstairs to the bathroom to brush their teeth. He would come downstairs and repeat the whole process again, saying, “Kiss daddy good night.” When they went to bed, he would again say, “Kiss daddy good night,” after which he would start asking, “don’t you want to sleep with daddy in his room?” This was every single nights procedure. He did not back down at all, but just increased his tactics, not accepting their refusals, but intensified his asking. He ignored me when I told him the children had said no.
The children and I went to the swimming pool twice during the school holidays. The first time this father invited himself with. We waited for him in the car and as he approached it, he decided to make a new rule for us. No more drinking and eating while he is driving. This, he said, is because the car is a mess inside. He ordered me to hand over the teat bottles at my feet and took the other one out of the second child’s hands. He put them in the boot of the station wagon. He started driving and the second child started crying, saying he wants his bottle. I leaned over the seats to try and reach it in the back and this father swerved the car to make it difficult for me. Scared that I will fall on one of the children I left it until he stopped and then gave the children their teat bottles. While they drank inside the car, this father stood next to the car. In his raging, cold voice he repeated, “No drinking and eating while I am driving, because the car is dirty inside.”
After an hour at the pool this father decided by himself that we are all going home. Neither the children, nor I wanted to leave. While he was deflating the children’s mattresses, I used the opportunity to try to get information. I reasoned he would not attack me in front of the people and started asking him about his actions and if he was enjoying himself. He got angry and managed to slightly bump my nose with his forehead before I pulled away. The second time I pulled away soon enough and I told him not to get upset. I am only speaking to him about his own choice of life. He tried to get the children to go home with him. They refused and he left in a rage.
The second time we went to the pool without this father. The second child shocked me. He went to a man and, while pointing at the man, said. “He has also hurt me.” The child spoke in our language. This man could not understood him. But the man blushed, appeared flustered and looked from this child to me and back to the child. I was sitting at a table about 4 meters away from them. The man had a child about my eldest child’s age with him. This second child came to me and I asked him if his father also hurt the man’s boy. He replied, “No, daddy does not hurt other boys, but other people hurt me.” I approached the man casually and asked him, in an international language, if we had met before? He looked shocked, was abrupt and said he does not know me, repeating it several times. I asked him his name, saying was he sure we have never met? He then gave me his name but did not want to give his surname and kept saying he does not know me. My eldest boy told me he knew his son and he wanted to play with him. When I asked the child if he knew this man’s boy from school, he shook his head no. The children showed me another man, who they said are also at this “zoo”. The man had a little girl, about six years old, with him. He was biting and physically rolling her around. The exact manner and actions in which this father was behaving towards our children.
At home, after bathing and eating, the eldest child was watching the Cars DVD on the computer. I was sitting next to him. In one place the press takes pictures of McQueen and their numerous flashes go off. This child asked me why they are taking pictures of McQueen. I told him McQueen was lost and he is a famous car and they had found him. He was silent for a moment and then he said. “They took pictures of me as well.” I was not in the habit of using my flash while taking pictures.
I stood up and walked to the kitchen in our open living area. This father was sitting on the couch in the living room, typing on his phone and I asked him, “Why don’t you just sell the children?” He replied, “I am not selling the children.” I said, “From what my children are telling me you are selling them!” He did not answer. I told him, “You were right when you said, how will I ever be able to forgive you.” He did not reply. **
**After I had found out about the incident at my mother’s place. I had told this father during dinner one evening that God knows everything, God sees everything and God hears everything. He replied he knows. Later that evening when he sat on the couch, drinking his tea, he said to me, “How will you ever be able to forgive me?” I was cleaning up in the kitchen and replied, “It probably depends on what I need to forgive.” He did not reply.
I struggled to get hold of the police officer who by now was back, but was never available. I made an appointment and went and spoke to another police officer at the Police section, and told him what the children are telling me. He said, “You don’t have proof. You need to follow your husband around.” He did not take a statement down.
The children continued to decline this father’s attempts to bathe them, change diapers, undress or dress them.
He continued his kissing and hugging routine with the children’s bedtime and there were two nights when he managed to get them to go to his room.
The first time after he had put them all in his bed, I stayed in the room and sat at the bottom of the bed. He repeatedly told me to leave and I only shook my head no. He then said he was going upstairs to the apartment.
The second time he managed to get the children in his bed, this father once again tried to get me to leave the children alone there and I refused. He left “for the apartment” and had been gone for about 5 minutes. I decided to shower in the bathroom adjacent and when I turned on the shower he immediately walked into the room. This gave me the impression he had not left the house for the apartment as he was saying. He told me I am not allowed to shower there. I said ok and again sat on the bed.
On both these “sleep in daddy’s room” occasions the smallest child was restless and I took him to his bed. The second child did not fall asleep and came down on his own when I took the youngest downstairs. The eldest child fell asleep and I carried him down to bed.
With this father’s baiting routines at night, the second child started behaving out of character. He talked in a husky voice to this father, saying he wants to sleep with him. Then he would start to take off his pyjamas and role around while saying this. This father would take the child upstairs to his bedroom. I could not understand the child’s confusing behaviour and initially tried to keep him from going up the stairs. The child would fight me. Then I realised this father was playing on our emotional reactions. I could see his enjoyment and he was also recording this. I let the child go, thinking I will try again later. I calmed down after noticing this child never stayed there and always came back down on his own, saying, “Mommy, you must protect me.”
This husband was supposed to leave and go back to work. He left for two days after I reported to the police what the children told me and then changed his work schedule to stay at home.
He blocked the telephone. I could not dial out to my family or any international number from the house phone.
Before his family never called our home. This husband did the only calling on Skype. But they now started calling. This husband also increased calling them and phoned several times a day, always calling the children to speak to them.
The eldest child was always repeatedly asked if he wanted to say hullo to this father’s youngest brother, never the second child.
This particular day the eldest child was again speaking to his uncle and his grandfather had joined in. I had just given the second child strawberries at the dining room table and could hear the conversation.
The way they were coaxing this eldest child, made alarms go off inside my head. I asked the second child if this uncle or his grandfather also do these things. He said yes. I named each family member of this father separately and did not get a definite answer on the rest of the family. But he repeatedly said yes when I mentioned the father’s youngest brother and his grandfather.
When the eldest child had finished talking to them, I asked him the same question in private. He said yes, they also do it. I got upset and asked him, “But why do you do it?” The child replied, “If we want to ride on the harvester. Grandfather takes brother into the field and I stay with uncle.” I confronted this husband that night at around 22:30. Taking a chance, I asked him if his entire family are involved in child molestation. He did not give an answer to my question, but replied he was going to record the conversation. I told him he can and I repeated my question. He recorded me and then he went to his bedroom. I still did not have an answer. I was standing halfway up on the stairs, looking at his door, when I heard him say, “She knows. The children told her.” He was speaking in our native language and I did not hear him say hullo or goodbye to whoever he was speaking to. It was near 23:00 at night.
The second child started taking long baths 2/3 times a day. Once this father closed the main water tap, saying the child is wasting water. The bath water was cold and I carried water from my rain water tank, with the help of the eldest child, and boiled this until the bath was warm again. We had no tap water the entire afternoon. This father locked the door where the main water tap was and took the key.
I eventually felt like a tiger with rabies held on a leash. He and I were both exasperated. He was angry for me knowing his secrets and I was angry at him for what he was doing to the children.
The eldest child used to go to school with a designated person who would meet all the children in the street and walk with them to school. Every morning, after the two week holiday that started shortly after I reported to the police, when the eldest child and I came out of the bedroom for school, this father now stood ready in his cycling gear. He would be a black shadow in the doorway against the light of the lit washroom. He had the bicycle wagon hooked up to his bicycle, ready outside the garage. He would then ask this child repeatedly, “Do you want daddy to take you to school in the wagon?” The two youngest children were still sleeping.
Initially I tried to stop the child and told him to walk with the people that were waiting for him outside the garage, but the child wanted to go with the bicycle wagon. I left it. This father also fetched this child at school now with this wagon. On one of these occasions the child came home looking shocked and white. I told him, “If something happens that you do not like, you tell me.” This father was standing by the garage door. When I looked at him he seemed to want to explode with anger at my non remarkable comment.
This child started refusing to get up to go to school. This father repeatedly said it was my fault.
I never before had a problem with this child attending school. The child used to get up, dress, eat and leave. Now, with this father waiting, he did not want to get up and it was a huge struggle just to get him dressed.
When he was ready he also refused to go in the bicycle wagon. This father again changed his tactics and told this child he can cycle with his own bicycle. With all the abnormal commotion that was going on, the other children started waking up and hence also wanted to go with. The second child wanted his bicycle and the smallest his push car. This father would prod the eldest two children to ride faster, running with them, while I tried to keep up with pushing the smallest on the bobby car.
In these weeks trying to protect my children and for the most making movements so they are not alone with this father, behaviour from the children emerged, that to me was foreign.
The smallest child walked to his father in the kitchen and laid himself flat on his back in front of him with his feet by this father’s feet. He stayed like that for at least ten-seconds before getting up and walking away without speaking. This father stood still during this and did not move or speak. The smallest child did this twice and the second child did it once. I asked this father why they are behaving in this manner? His replied that he does not know.
The second child went and stood behind this father, sitting on the couch, and caressed his head. I have never seen the child do this. This father was sitting with his eyes closed. I asked the child why he was doing it. He replied, “Daddy likes it.” I said to this father, “I have never seen this child do that before. Why is he doing it?” He abruptly replied, “I love him and he loves me.”
One afternoon this second child slept late for his afternoon nap. When he woke up, he started throwing a tantrum, telling me he wants to go to the “zoo” and that I have to take him. I told him I was not going to take him there. This husband was standing in the doorway and said to the child, “Come, come, you and I can go for a walk.” It was dark outside and I asked him, “It is 19:30. Why do you want to go for a walk now?” He did not answer, turned around and walked away. They did not leave and the child calmed down.
The children were playing in their room. I heard them scream, “Bloody, bloody,” incessantly. They were making their voices deeper and screaming it with this country’s language accent. I was puzzled, because I had never heard them say this. I asked them where they had heard this word and they replied, “The people at the “zoo” scream this when we try to run away.”
This husband phoned the police three times during this time. The first time he told the police I slapped him. We were involved in an argument in the garage after he took a child’s toy away and we were pushed each other around, but I did not slap him. The second time he said I pushed him into the fish tank. Ironically, he had taken my handbag out of my room, while I was getting the children ready for bedtime. He crept up the stairs with the bag in front of him and did not want to give it back to me. He ran around the table in the direction of the fish tank, with me pulling on his shirt. All I remember is seeing I was going to go into the fish tank and only had enough time to turn, so I would hit it with my side. I had a bruise on my arm and upper leg, but only discovered this the following night. I told the police what my children were telling me. The police officers that were in the house after the fish tank had broken, told me it had nothing to do with them and that I should go to the police youth protection department. They only take statements. I asked them if they don’t know of a police officer that needed a place to stay and that he could stay for free in the apartment. They said no and left.
The third time this father phoned the police, I took the children out with his knowledge. When we came home later the afternoon, the police was outside the house. This father acted as if he did not know that we were going out for the day. I unloaded the car and showed the police the container in which our lunch was, saying this man stood in the kitchen while I packed it. This was the same police officer that was in the house when the fish tank had broken. He asked me where we were and I told him. This officer told me everything is ok. I told him I am glad if he thinks everything is ok, I do not. The children and I then walked into the house.
The children kept on repeating the information that they had given me at first and added more. The eldest child named someone who lives in our street and said that this man had also put his penis in his mouth. The child covered his face with his hands, after he had said this. This neighbour often gave presents to the children. Many of the children’s toys came from him. He is always jovial, smiling and friendly and would stop and talk to me when the children were playing outside.
The eldest child also told me that when they go to the park, his father takes his second youngest brother in under the bridge.
One Saturday afternoon, this father managed to persuade the children to go to his friend in the neighbouring town in the bicycle wagon hooked to his bicycle. He did this by using his repetitive baiting technique on them the entire morning.
I said I will cycle with them. The smallest child was on my bicycle in a seat. The eldest two were in the wagon behind this father’s bicycle. This father had a general habit of cycling/walking away from me. He was faster. Since the last time he had cycled away from me I have never cycled with him again. That was when I was 4 months pregnant with the youngest child. I have never cycled to these friends of this father. I put the car keys in my pocket, incase he did cycle away from me as usual.
One kilometre from the house this father cycled faster. I tried to stay with the children by grabbing hold of a band hanging from the trailer. The father saw this and started to cycle even faster. I lost my grip and he cycled away down the road. I turned around and cycled home to take the car. As I started driving, this father came back with the other children. The second child told me he kicked the wagon window, until his father had turned around. This father started cycling again and I drove behind them in the car.
He turned into a road that turned out to be a farm road that had barriers at the end and I had to leave the children, turn around and go back on the main road.
I found them again on the way to this friend’s place. When we got there this father was impatient, constantly saying he wants to leave. This puzzled me. He was the one who wanted to come and visit these friends of his, making a big cycling event out of it. I sat talking to his friend’s wife and this father was moving between the outside with the children and watching football on television. The second child pointed at people there. The eldest child had also mentioned these people that day on the train. I told the pointing child I understood and he went outside again.
When we left, this father cycled the same road back and I took the main road. But then I could not find him and the children again.
I had timed how long it took to get to this father’s friend, which was around 20min.
After 40min I found this father with the children turning from the small town next to us onto the road to our town. He smiled when he saw me.
At home the second child wanted to bathe immediately. It was not their bathe time and he bathed alone. When I dressed him after the bath he told me, “Daddy took us to the slaughter house and hurt me with a wood beater.” Wood beater is this child’s word for a hammer.
I did not confront this husband or gave any indication that I had this information.
It seemed there was now another place that their father takes them to and the children calls this place the “slaughterhouse”.
This “slaughterhouse” cannot be too far from the house by the sounds of it. I asked this second child the following week if he could show me where the “slaughterhouse” is. Making a detour in taking him to school, he showed me an old farm house with old ruined dilapidated barns in the back. In a section of these barns one could see a camper-van. I asked the child and he said they go into the camper-van. The following day when I drove past this farm house the camper-van was not in the barn anymore.
During the following week two women from the Social Service came to the house for an unannounced visit.
Neither the father, nor I were supposedly informed of their visit. However, according to this father’s actions he certainly was expecting something or someone.
As has become his routine, he insisted on taking the eldest child to school after lunch. This was not a nice family outing, as I mentioned before.
On the way back from school the second child wanted to play at the corner of our street and refused to go further with this father. The smaller child and I caught up with them. This father appeared to be in a hurry, but he wanted the children to go home with him. He kept on prodding and asking the children to go home. After having asked several times and them not responding to him at all, he eventually turned and walked off in a great hurry. I stayed with the children while they played. After a while, we went home.
I opened the garage door and was standing in the washroom on the ground floor around 15:00. I heard a woman’s voice say, “So when did her strange behaviour start?” I could also smell something had burned in the house.
The youngest two children were still pottering around outside the garage. When they started going in, I followed. The second child went to the hamsters in the downstairs bathroom and the youngest child went up the stairs to the living area. I also went up. Two women were sitting across from this father at the dining room table. I went to look at what had burned.
It was eggs that I had put on to boil at around 12:30 on a heat setting of 6 with the timer for 20 minutes. The eldest child wanted eggs for lunch when he came back from school at about 12:15. We had cheese, bread, jam and fruit, while the eggs cooked. When the eggs were ready this child said he was repleted. I had also cleaned up after lunch leaving the eggs next to the sink to cool and nothing except this husband’s tea was simmering on the stove.
Now the eggs were intact, burned half through and no water in the pot?
The one social worker was the main speaker. The other social worker never spoke. She just sat looking at me the whole time. During this interview, the second child was still in the bathroom downstairs and I could hear strange noises. This did not bother any of the people at the table. I stood up and the social worker did not want me to leave the table. Her reasoning was that what she is doing is very important, and I should leave the children. I thought why can’t she leave the table and come with me? You cannot disregard small children for a few minutes, let alone hours. This social worker did not comprehend this. Initially I obliged, but as the noises became louder and stranger I ignored her and went to check on the child. He had opened the hamster cage, the hamsters were out, the wood chips were everywhere over the floor, but other than that the child was fine.
This social worker told me that I should not listen to my children and that I should not give my children what they ask for. The first time she said this my thought was that this woman does not have children and has no experience in raising children. I was right. My second thought was these women are saying they are psychologists. Does that not entail listening to children and trying to help them if you are in the business of child protection?
After one of her repeated speeches of saying I should not give my children what they ask for, she sarcastically asked if I would also take the goldfish in the car? I wondered if this woman was aware of how the hamsters and fish had come to be at the house or the shop for that matter. Has she ever seen people walking their animals, or carry them in handbags and cages , etc. She gave me the impression her concern for the welfare of the animals is her highest and only priority. She made farfetched statements in an aggressive tone about hamsters being thrown around and being missing for weeks, always adding, “You should set boundaries for your children!” This made me frown, thinking why on earth is she making these false accusations? She had not seen this happening with her own eyes, never mind that it did not happen.
The eldest child returned from school around 16:20. He came into the house but did not want to stay. I, having had enough, went outside with him to a tree he wanted to climb. This father came and told me they want me to come back in. He said he will take care that the child does not fall. I went back in and the next moment this father came back into the room, having left the child alone by the tree. The child could climb up, but needed help in getting down. I went back outside and asked the child to come in, which he did.
We arrived back, as these women, touring the house with this father, was by the washing room door. Neither of these two social workers paid any attention to the children, attempted to speak to or interacted with them in any way.
The second child was still in the bathroom downstairs and was holding a hamster. The social worker, who was the spokeswoman, got severely distressed and repeated several times, “Look how he is holding the hamster! Look how he is holding the hamster!”
I had several problems with this comment of hers:
This child had been playing with the hamsters most of the time she was at the house. Everyone had disregarded the noises from his playing.
He had played with the hamsters many times before as well. He was kind, gentle and considerate and I trusted them with him.
When looking at how he held the hamster I could see the hamster was comfortable. The hamster was not in distress at all or he would be biting.
While this social service worker repeated, “Look how he is holding the hamster!”
She herself neither the other social service worker nor this husband was looking. From where they were standing they could not see the child, they stood looking at me. Then this social worker told me, “You have to take yourself to the emergency at the hospital immediately!” I looked at her, frowning, and she repeated this. Initially I did not understand what this woman was saying. After she repeated herself the second time I realised, but I said nothing. The third time this social worker repeated her emergency hospital sentence, she was in the hallway at the front door about to leave. I replied, “I believe what my children had told me. I will not leave them alone.” She did not reply and I walked away. Thinking, my small children telling me they are being abused, raped and, I suspect from their words, exposed to a pedophile circle, is in second place after rodents in the social service worker’s priority list.
I left these women at the front door with this husband, and went outside with my eldest child through the back door, because he wanted to climb the tree. My eldest child walked out onto the sidewalk and I stopped in the alley, watching, as the two women crossed the street, laughing. They did not appear upset, but rather quite satisfied and happy. Still smiling, they got into a long, dark coloured convertible with the top down, parked across the street, and drove away.
On 23 April 2012 this father’s divorce summons was delivered in the house mailbox. He gave me the summons for the divorce in the evening, saying he had found it on the door step. I opened the envelope and saw the notice for divorce. I asked him what it is and he said he does not know, it is probably the youth court that sent it. I told him, “Are you telling me you are getting divorced without knowing it?” He did not reply. This “emergency” divorce hearing was scheduled for 30 April 2012.
I watched old photo’s of the children on the computer. The children started watching with me. Usually, when we went to this father’s parents’ farm, the children would walk around with the least amount of clothes on. This was because they got wet and dirty and it was hot in the summer.
There was a picture of this father holding the eldest two children one on each arm. In the picture the children only had shirts on. The eldest child remarked, “Bums and penises. Mommy is dumb. Mommy is dumb.” I said, “Yes, I was dumb.”
One day I walked to the dining room table and found this father sitting on the couch in the living room. He was holding the second child so that the child was in a forward bent position. The child was hanging like a rag doll. This father was sitting on the edge of the seat with his legs open and swung the child repeatedly against him. I had never seen him do that with any of the children. I told this father to carry on doing what he is doing, because I just want to get my camera. This father that appeared captivated, looked up and stopped.
I found, to my shock, having feelings of anger towards my children. Because they had listened to and obeyed people that were hurting them. Even kept quiet about these things that were so wrong, which resulted in more hurt for them. Every time they were disobedient, I noticed, it reminded me of this. I knew my anger was misplaced. I could not blame them. They had no idea how to distinguish between right and wrong. Right and wrong is taught by parents.
I needed time out. I had been running behind the children and been on guard for weeks with constant attacks and luring from this husband. Everything was getting to me. I told this husband I was going for a walk, but rested out of sight in my room. It was lunch time. When it became time for the eldest child to go back to school, this father told the eldest child to walk with the adult and other children as he used to do. The child refused, saying he wants to take his bicycle. This father had smilingly and enticingly ran with his boys on bicycles to and from school the past weeks, with me trying to keep up with them. Now that this father thought I was not there, he was getting cross with this child, because this child wanted to take his bicycle.
The eldest child started screaming and I walked up the stairs. I saw them in the kitchen. The child was lying on the floor and this father was standing over him with a 4 cm thick, metre long wooden spoon with a scoop the size of a hand. He had bought a few of these “spoons” as a joke to give to friends before we got married and had kept one, which was lying on the extractor fan. I told this father that if he is going to hit my child with that thing, he will be dealing with me. He put the big spoon down and scratched in the drawer, saying he was looking for something else. I told the child to get ready for school and again we all, including the now running father, took him on his cycle to school. The spoon disappeared and I never saw it again.
I told the children, in the father’s presence, if someone puts something in their mouths, they must bite it so hard that it bleeds. I stuck my finger in this father’s mouth and he bit me so hard that my finger was bleeding. I told the children, look how your father had done it. You must also do this. I told them if someone hurts them they are allowed to defend themselves. I told them they are allowed to stick their fingers in the person’s eyes.
The second child started hitting this father on his legs and ramming him on his penis with his head.
After the two social workers’ visit this father said that she said the children must sleep in their room. I did not try to stop this.
The first night I stacked toys behind their bedroom door. I woke up again at +/-04:00 from the noise of the toys falling. The second child was awake and standing in the hallway. I told him to go back to bed. This husband was also awake. He came and stood halfway down the stairs. He said to this child, “Daddy is waiting for you. Daddy is waiting for you,” as if he was saying a mantra. He had this big smile on his face, while he said it. I told this father, “I can hear you. I am standing right here.” As if oblivious of my presence he repeated, “Daddy is waiting for you.” I told the child to go to his room and I put him to bed. After that I slept on a mattress in the passage in front of the children’s bedroom door, blocking the bottom of the stairs leading up. I still put toys behind their door, but slept there in case the noise of the toys falling did not wake me.
I needed help in protecting the children, so I asked my mother to come and assist me, but this husband had forbidding my mother the house. I asked my next door neighbours, an elderly couple, if my mother could stay with them. They wanted to know why my mother was not staying with me. I told them this husband had forbidden it. I told them I went to the police, because my children had told me their father is not behaving properly with them. This lady then asked me, what about his comrades and is he profiting from the children? Her husband, who stood next to her, put his hand on her arm and she stopped talking. They said my mother can stay with them. A few days later they changed their minds.
On 3 April 2012 we saw a child psychiatrist, at the children’s hospital. This was the child psychologist who the organisation for abused children had referred us to. The earliest this psychologist could schedule an appointment was after a month. According to this organisation she was an expert in her field. I was under the impression this was evaluation for molestation. But she said she knew nothing of the molestation of the children. She also showed no interest and interrupted me when I listed the second child’s behaviour. Saying she was only asked to see if this second child is autistic. She concluded in the meeting that lasted about 20 minutes that he is not autistic, while watching him play with his brothers.
She did not speak to any of the children. She had an attitude of “he is not autistic, goodbye and thank you for coming”.
There is and was a huge problem. My children are only fluent in our mother language. This language is not spoken in this country. There is no psychologist in this country that could be able to assess my children or help them efficiently in any way.
This husband had the children’s passports locked up in a safe of which only he had the key. If I broke open the safe, took the children and left the country, I would be charged with kidnapping my own children. A law in this country disallowed me leaving with the children without this father’s permission. He could immediately get full custody of the children.
I did see a lawyer a few days after I received the notice for divorce, but she said she felt too inexperienced to deal with the case. The hearing was supposed to be on 30 April 2012, but was postponed by her to 7 May 2012. Friday 4 May 2012 I had an appointment with another attorney. I had to go, since this was the only time she could see me. The divorce court hearing was the Monday. This father was also going into the city. For the first time, since the children had told me of the “food”, the second child wanted to go with his father. On the previous occasion with the bicycle, the other children said they wanted to go and he had said he was only going if I also go with them. However, now I told him I cannot go with them and he said it was ok. I was not allowed to keep the children away from this father.
This husband made a fuss saying he does not want me to travel on the same train as he and the children. He said he will take the car if I insisted on taking the train with them. I ignored him and went on the train and bus and I stayed with the children as long as possible. I had to get off, I had no choice. Instead of going to the advocate I went to an organisation for abused woman and told them I need help.
The woman at this organisation said they cannot help me and have no space in any of their protection houses. I gave her contact details of the social worker and police officer and then went to the advocate. After this I went home and this father arrived later with the children.
This second child threw a tantrum, his first one in months.
The pastor and his wife came to our house that afternoon. While they were there, the woman of the organisation for abused women that I had gone to that morning, phoned at around 16:00, with the words, “The social worker is afraid for your and your children’s lives.” She told me I have to put the children in the car and come to their office immediately and not to tell the husband where we were going. I told her this husband will not let us leave. She replied I need to be in the city before 17:00, and that she will tell me where to go from there. I packed a few things and put this in the car. This husband had taken the two youngest children to fetch the eldest child from school, while I had spoken to the pastor and his wife. When they arrived, I put the children in the car.
This husband saw the packed car. When he asked, I told him the social service worker told me to take the children to an office in the city. He climbed into the driver seat and told me to give him the keys. It was 16:30 and I needed to be in the city with the rush hour traffic by 17:00. I first climbed in the passenger seat and then gave him the keys. He drove us there and dropped us off with our luggage. When this father left, the second child threw a tantrum. The other two children went to play in the play area.
This woman wanted to know why I had brought this husband along. Although they work at an organisation for women in distress she obviously does not know what a woman in distress means. I told her he got in the driver’s seat and asking does not work with this person. So what else could I do?
I asked her if the social worker said why our lives are in danger and she replied, because of the violence in the house. This was so ironic to me, I started laughing hysterically. This social service worker, after her visit, did nothing for anybody’s protection. After all the abuse, luring, harassment and lies that the children and I had had to endure, this social worker now, after I approached an organisation for protection, said she wants to protect us from violence in the house. This organisation also had place for us now, but obviously not based on my cry for help.
The arrangements for the stay at the protection house was made until Monday 7 May 2012?
We took the train to a house in the north of the country. It was one hour by train. On arrival I realised I do not have my handbag. I phoned home and asked this father if he would look for it. He refused. I cancelled the credit cards and went to the police. On the train I did notice someone watching me, even openly turning around to do this, and I had also left the luggage alone and took the children to the toilet.
I reported my bag missing and told them of this person that had shown interest.
During the first day at this place I cried and I could not control it so I allowed myself to cry. This was over the next day. There were bicycles and a sandpit for the children and this kept them mostly occupied. Every person there spoke below average english and having any conversation was difficult.
On Monday the children and I went to the neighbouring town in the van of the protection house. I went to the bank and the children waited in the van. Afterwards the lady driving the van went to the post office. The children sat strapped in the van most of the morning and wanted to walk around. It was also lunch time. When she came back, I told her I was taking the children for lunch and we will take the bus back. She directed me to a place to eat. This place was similar to a diner. They had big television screens on the walls, which played explicit sexual music videos, displaying half naked woman and men on each other’s laps. I told the children not to watch, it is not for children. They laughed at me and said they know this. This is what the people do at the “zoo”.
The children and I walked around. I noticed a grey haired, pot bellied, shortish, old man with ice blue eyes. The first time I saw him he was walking towards us. I do not judge people by their looks, but this man did not have any pleasant features. That is why I noticed him. I saw him walking past us and then we would again walk past him in the town’s shopping area. I started paying attention to where he goes and noticed that when we stopped, he stopped and would turn to look in a window. If we walk across the street this man crossed the street. If I crossed the street again he would as well. I took out my camera and started taking pictures down the street in his direction. This man carried on walking. He walked past me, stopped 20 metres further on a street corner and stood staring into the sky. I took the children into a shoe store and stayed there for a while, buying shoes for the second child, etc. With luck, this shop had a climbing frame for children right in the middle of the shop, so it kept the children busy. Late that afternoon we took the bus back to the protection house for woman.
I had an appointment with the manager of the protection house on Tuesday 8 May 2012 in the morning. It was pre-arranged that morning with someone to watch the children in the office across the hallway. The telephone rang and the manager said in the country’s language, “They had just arrived,” while looking out of the window. I did not look at what she was looking.
She was looking at the police. While I was oblivious, the police placed the children and their belongings, that was in our locked room, in vehicles. Then they came into the office, gave me the order from the judge made on 7 May 2012 that this father had full temporary custody of the children. They were sent to come and take them from me. The police, in uniform and a police car were sent to fetch these small children. This father was nowhere. So much for me telling my child the police does not take children away.
The manager of the protection house said only when they see the mother is a bad mother do they then call the police, but they did not call the police in my case. She said she had never allowed it and would not allow it again, which meant she made an exception to allow it with me and my children. They said to each other in the country’s language that the eldest and youngest children said yes when asked if they wanted to go to their father and the second child said no.
I asked if I can say goodbye to the children. They allowed this. The second child wanted to know why I was not coming with them. I did not know what to answer him and now think why did I not just get into the car. But, for a reason I cannot fathom, I did not. I tried not to cry in front of them, so they will not get upset. I did cry with my still breastfeeding youngest child aged two. He was alone in the unmarked blueish police vehicle.
Then the police drove away with my children.