Stadtname / PLZ
Mo, 12.05.2014 10:00
pts20140512014 Politik/Recht, Medizin/Wellness
"A child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will"
Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 9
Vienna (pts014/12.05.2014/10:00) - Information by Sissi Kammerlander, spokesperson of the organization VICTIMS MISSION, child rights advocate:
"The VICTIMS MISSION is a non-profit organization whose utmost priority is the protection of children. In this capacity, we receive many pleas for help from persons in despair who in their desperation have found no other place to go for assistance. As our means are quite limited, however, we pass on these requests, along with the information we were provided, to other competent entities and organizations in order to find justice for the victims and achieve solutions that have the children's best interest at heart. This means for the cases reported below and for thousands of other children in institutions that they must be allowed to return to their loving parent(s)."
Approximately 12,000 children are in foster care in Austria. Children are removed forcibly from their parents in a process that reminds one of the horrors of the inquisition or the GESTAPO: Children are picked up from their schools, their families and other locations by the police and/or social workers as soon as the Youth Welfare Services opine that "danger is present". Such assertions - including the forcible removal of children - frequently are "justified" by accusations of neglect, parents' inability to feed their children, so-called symbiotic relationships between parents and child, suspicions of sexual and/or psychological abuse or a parents´ supposed proneness to suicide. Frequently, siblings are living in different foster homes. According to several reports, social workers from the Youth Welfare Services pressured young mothers to give up their newborns. A series of reports will be published in order to inform the public about child abductions by authorities.
1. MARA: The ordeal and suffering of an Austrian girl.
Graz/Austria: During the symposium "Prevention of Abuse and Violence - a Shared Concern for All Parts of Our Society" that was held at Vienna's "House of Industry", among other topics the issue of extensive child abuse was addressed, including a plea not to play down or trivialize child abuse and any type of violence, including sexual violence directed at children.
The Austrian trend towards the unduly fast suspension of court proceedings in abuse cases: When reviewing legal practice in Austria, it is easy to recognize that even the legislators themselves have difficulty in effectively addressing the issues of child abuse and violence against children. The currently established expiration periods for the statute of limitation e.g. tends to fall into the time period during which victims of abuse are unable to verbalize their experiences due to the severe trauma they have experienced. When victims or their family members file a complaint, subsequent legal proceedings are often very short-lived. The public prosecutors tend to stop them quickly.
The case of Mara who now is 10 years old is a dramatic example of supposed abuse, sexual child abuse and the trivialization and cover-up of institutional violence against children*. Mara is Mrs. S.' daughter. The married couple S. and their two boys Max* and Roy* are a happy young family. They are looking for a nice house and find one in Güssing (Burgenland). In 2009, one of their neighbors notices that the blinds of one of the windows in the house are sometimes closed. The neighbor notifies the authorities. Did someone put him up to it? Why is he getting involved? The Youth Welfare Office dispatches a social worker, Ms. Erna K* in order to observe Mara who was 5 years old at the time, first in kindergarten and then during first grade. In October 2009, Mara, then 6 years old, comes home from school with a black eye, a really dark "shiner" that takes weeks to heal. The school does not respond to the parents' concerns.
On November 20, 2009, Mara is forcibly "removed" from her intact family by the police and Youth Welfare Services. The girl is deported first to a hospital and subsequently, in December 2009, transferred to a socio-pedagogic living cooperative with the name "Feel comfortable" The social worker who is present at the occasion does not allow Mara to say goodbye to her mother. The shocked mother is threatened with investigative custody and the stunned father with jail time if they don't agree to the removal of their beloved daughter without resisting.
The child's ordeal has begun. She is forcibly medicated as follows: with RISPERDAL in the childcare institution in Rust; with TRUXAL at the childcare institution in Marz; with TRESLEEN at the psychiatric ward at Mauer; at the Heidlmair Home in Biberbach with SEROQUEL and RITALIN. It is possible that the child was additionally "treated" with other psychiatric drugs. Some of the medications were stopped since Mara suffered from vertigo and extreme weight gain despite little appetite. During the parents' visit to the home in Rust, Mara seems nervous, timid, and desperate and speaks less and less. She is shaking all over her body. Earlier on, Mara had been a lively, joyful and happy child.
The courts are confronted with suspicions.
The stepfather is supposed to have sexually abused the child. He was only to learn of this false accusation months later through the Güssing District Court. The 6-year old girl is subjected to a gynecological exam. The physician does not detect any signs of abuse. The public prosecutor suspends the proceedings "as there is no factual reason to pursue the matter any further". (Notice from the Public Prosecutor's Office in Eisenstadt of May 17, 2010). The re-unification of the girl with her family does not take place - although this had been promised in the event of a not-guilty verdict. During the same year, the Youth Welfare Office is given the guardianship for the girl.
Supposedly, the mother is unkempt and psychologically unstable; she supposedly beats the girl and washes her mouth with soapy water. All of this are malicious allegations and lacks foundation. The court ruling of 01-11-2013 states that "there is a danger of the family system being overburdened". As a matter of fact, Mara's deportation caused the family significantly more pressure than the burden of bringing her up would have caused. One is reminded of the family policy of other countries where families are only allowed a certain number of children. Mr. and Mrs. S. are perfectly capable of sharing the upbringing of their three children living at home. Why would they not be able to bring up a fourth child? The suspicion increases that the Youth Welfare Office wants to keep Mara under any and all circumstance.
During the course of the past decades, children were repeatedly abused for human trials: At issue were tuberculosis trials, rickets trials and/or malaria trials. At present, thousands of institutionalized children are tortured with psychiatric medications. Court rulings remove custody rights from the children's concerned families who must watch the abuse perpetrated against their children without being able to intervene.
As in times past, the psychiatric community and Youth Welfare Services form an unholy alliance. By way of forcible medication, children are brought into drug dependency as enormous profit margins are waiting in the wings for the pharmaceutical industry. A child who refused to take the tables reports that s/he was told: "If you don't take the tables, you won't' be able to see your mother." This incident is a terrifying reminder of decades past when the psychiatric medical community, childcare institutions and Youth Welfare Services abused children as working slaves, sex slaves, procurers of money and guinea pigs. The spirit of "Wilhelminenberg" (translator's note: An Austrian child welfare institution that was notorious for the abuses that were perpetrated there) continues to permeate Austria. Children are the victims who sustain lifelong trauma, and parents who were deprived of their parental rights suffer as well.
From her 6th to her 9th year, Mara is continually transferred to increasingly remote locations; she is systematically alienated from her parents. Time and time again, Mara asks her parents why she must continue to undergo different therapies. We herewith pass on this question to the various childcare institutions in charge.
Why is Mara continuously forced to undergo therapies? Her only "illness" is her wish to return as soon as possible to her parents and siblings. Is a child ill when she is homesick? Does a child's wish not account for anything?
Why are family members who love each other separated? Is there a connection between this craziness and certain money flows? The house in Burgenland where the S family was living had been infested by mildew. Therefore, Mr. S. was forced to look for a new abode. He was able to rent a nice house in Styria where his two boys and their newborn little sister Kristina* feel at home. The court ruling of 01-11-2013 reads as follows: "The family's tendency to discontinuity (change of residence) is a risk factor..." Everyone who knows the family likes them. Mr. and Mrs. S. are loving parents, popular neighbors and friends, peaceful, friendly and capable of surviving. They are absolutely loveable people. The three children are well-nourished, cheerful. They are regularly taken to kindergarten, and they love drawing and playing with their parents, listening to stories or taking trips in order to visit friends. This is a strong family. They comfort each other regarding the 9-year old Mara's deportation and trust and hope that Mara's wish to re-join the family will be fulfilled.
Vague prognoses have more weight than children's rights: "... The expert reached the conclusion that M(...)s needs for a secure bond, relationship and belonging to the mother and/or stepfather are endangered. When returning to the parental relationship, a danger for Mara is anticipated due to loyalty conflicts and unreasonable demands of adjusting in order to fit into the patchwork family through marginalization and isolation within the family system. M.'s needs to be heard and have her will respected are anticipated to be in jeopardy..." and, furthermore, "...the mother's pedagogical abilities are found lacking" (Decision BG 01-11-2013). One must ask the question why Mrs. S. is capable of maintaining parental authority for three of her children, while her fourth child must be kept apart from her.
Mr. and Mrs. S. never saw the expert. After a visit, Mara clings to her stepfather's car but is forcibly taken back to the childcare home by various caregivers. Mara was determined to drive back with her parents. Since 2011 Mara has been interned at the Childcare Home Biberbach of the Lebensraum Heidlmair GmbH. The tablets she is forced to take are so large that she has difficulty swallowing them. Nausea, stomach pains and general malaise are the consequence.
The parents determine that the psychiatric diagnoses Mara receives are correlated to the devastating impact of the medications. By forcibly medicating the child, a clinical syndrome is artificially created, reinforced and maintained. This amounts to the criminal offense of torturing minors.
From Austria's history, this strategy is well known. Nobody seems to be interested in the fact that the girl repeatedly is hit so hard in the stomach that she has to vomit. One of her nicest jackets disappears. Her earrings disappear. Her watch is ruined. Instead of finding or replacing the valuable memorabilia of her parents, Mara is accused of theft. She must ask for toilet paper whenever she needs it.
The parents notice that her daughter is being pressured no longer to tell them anything. Mara is sent to spend the night at her caretaker's home. The girl is 9 years old.
The home in Biberbach does nothing to prevent Mara's sexual abuse there. One of the caretakers frequently wants to talk with Mara; he runs after her upstairs. Mara tries to escape him and falls on the tiled steps. She sustains a number of blue marks on her knees and legs. The sexual abuse perpetrated against Mara on 03-03-2012 at the Heidlmair Home in Biberbach is investigated by the Criminal Authority of Lower Austria. Mara's parents are not informed of the forensic findings. Meanwhile it has become known that the three perpetrators were minors who have left the home in the meantime. Was this disclosure intended? The victim is threatened with another stay in a home and a "long-term therapy". Thus, the tracks are being erased. The credibility of the minor victim continues to be undermined. One of the caretakers, a woman, yells at the shocked child: "You'll never go back home because your mother beat you".
Thus, a 6-year old child is being abducted under false pretenses. She is repeatedly subjected to different types of grave abuse. The child remains interned in homes against her wish. Parents and siblings are greatly longing for the returned of the poor tortured and beloved child.
The court decision of 01-11-2013 states as follows: "The minor M. S. who was heard under the provisions of Section 105 of the Austrian Penal Code expressed her wish to see her mother more often and to be able to live with her again" Mara's (9 years old) most fervent desire that also is her right is not fulfilled by the authorities. Mara is not allowed to visit her family during the upcoming Easter holidays, although her parents had repeatedly asked for permission.
The capricious destruction of the family continues. Mr. and Mrs. S. receive a summons from the Local Government Authority since the "Youth Welfare Services" are foisting "support" on the parents: They must attend a course named "Coping with the Past" (Social and pedagogical family care, abbreviated SFB) in order to learn how to cope with the separation from their daughter. It is a well-known fact that such courses tend to be the preparation for the final removal of a child.
Is it really necessary to fill childcare homes in this manner till the end of time? How much cynicism are people expected to tolerate? What types of abnormalities are legal in Austria? How much perversity are long-suffering people expected to tolerate time and time again? Spare the child meaningless therapies and psychiatric drugs! The only healing "therapy" for a 10-year old child is to permit her to finally live with her family again! Give her back her beloved family! Fulfill the child's desire!
E M R K The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states as follows: Article 8: The right to respect of privacy and family life
Paragraph 1: All human beings are entitled to have their privacy, their family life, their place of residence and their mail respected.
Paragraph 2: Any intervention by a public authority into the exercise of this right is only permissible to the extent that such interventions are lawful and represent a measure that is necessary in a democratic society to protect the national security, public peace and order, to secure the economic wellbeing of the country, to defend the public order, to prevent criminal acts and to protect the health and morality and to protect the rights and freedoms of others.
A question regarding article 8 of EMRK: Does the fact that the 9-year old Mara is forcibly tortured into taking psychiatric drugs and is being kept a prisoner in various childcare facilities against her wish and against the wish of her parents, in the Austrian context constitute a question of national security, public peace and order, the economic wellbeing of the country, the defense of the order, the prevention of criminal acts, the protection of health and morality or the protection of the rights and freedoms of other persons?
At this stage, Mara is forcibly medicated with the drug ABILIFY. This drug may only be administered to persons 15 years or older. Mara is only 10. The authorities decreed a complete stop of any communications between parents and child.
*The names were changed. The relevant documents are available.
2. EVA MARIA S.: The Child Welfare Office's Reign of Terror. Report on a case of child abduction in Carinthia.
Klagenfurt/Austria - 2013: 12-year-old Rayen is abused at school. Eva Maria S. brought up her three children Rayen, Jamiro and Arkin all by herself. The two fathers left her alone with the task. Frau Mag. D. of the child welfare office and Herr F., the intensive family supervisor, call upon Eva Maria S. at her home. On the same day Rayen breaks his left hand while ice skating. The teacher forces him to continue skating: "You don't skate with your hands anyway." Several days later, the very same teacher forces left-handed Rayen to write his class test with his right hand. Rayen comes home, weeps, vomits, is feverish and suffers nightmares. For the first time in the school year he must be kept home sick. The forced English test is supposedly no longer able to be found in the school. Eva Maria S. places her son Rayen in another school.
14 June 2013: Eva Maria S.'s three children are taken away from her and forced into the youth psychiatric ward of the LKH Klagenfurt. Frau Mag. D. of the Klagenfurt Child Welfare Office picks up Jamiro S. from his high school. He is frightened to tears. He knows about the Child Welfare Office's application for custody. She picks up 8-year-old Arkin S. from his elementary school. Rayen S., who is at this time 13 years old, is lying in bed at home with a fever, having fallen ill when the Child Welfare Office's defamations of his mother began. A police force damages the door, breaks in, overpowers the boy, wrests his cell phone forcefully out of his hand, when he attempts to call his mother. The district court of Klagenfurt justifies the act of violence thus: "...that the child's mother since the motion to rescind custody of 22 February 2013 has withdrawn ever further and is no longer able to be reached by the youth welfare authority having jurisdiction, that she neglects necessary medical and psychological examinations, and there is a danger of murder-suicide". The court follows the explanation of the child welfare office that sees "no cooperation or possibility for negotiation on her side".
"With reference to the minor, Rayen ... the school ' Hauptschule V.*, has disclosed that the minor attended school only five days of the entire second semester of the 2012/2013 school year" (district commission Klagenfurt 18 June 2013). Eva Maria saw herself forced to place her boy in another school, as he had been abused in the aforementioned school and subsequently fallen ill. Yet the child welfare office misrepresents the situation as though Eva Maria had not sent her son to school.
The reasons for the forced institutionalisation of the children are trumped up. The child welfare office imposed a psychological examination on a date that conflicted with an evaluation appointment, then uses the fact that this examination appointment could not be kept against Eva Maria S., asserting that she had neglected necessary examinations. This accusation is also false: Eva Maria S. takes the children to physicians regularly in order to protect their health as well as possible. Arkin goes to riding therapy for months on end. Jamiro undergoes psychological testing. Rayen, the eldest, suffers so greatly under the traumatisation by the child welfare office that he becomes seriously ill, so Eva Maria S. organises several therapists for him. In another case exactly this distortion of the facts led to the mother's conviction according to § 92 StGB (tormenting under-age persons) and subsequently a conviction according to § 21 StGB (crime in a state of insanity).
Incidentally, the therapy that Eva Maria's children supposedly so urgently need has not yet been administered in the Klagenfurt psychiatric institution to this day. After all, no therapy is really necessary, but only a normal life at home with mother. Yet precisely this is denied the children by the child welfare office.
Eva Maria S. is a target for the child welfare office. Everything is used against her. False accusations are spread. One therapist sums up the child welfare office's campaign against Eva Maria as follows:
"Thus her attempts at clarification of situations, or her request for audience in order to rectify false statements, or in order to complain of what she perceived as injustices, were interpreted as incompetency or insanity, and used against her...". For a long time Eva Maria S. has paid for educational support for Rayen and Jamiro herself. The child welfare office wrongly claims, however, that Eva Maria had discontinued educational support and not undertaken any further such measures.
Eva Maria's many friends write petitions on her behalf, yet these remain unanswered. They contrast too sharply with the child welfare office's distorted version. Whatever treachery has played itself out in the background, Eva Maria S.'s credibility is being systematically undermined: Her "anti-authoritarian rearing methods" are censured, as though only an authoritarian rearing were legal. The child welfare office asserts that Eva Maria S. had not managed to have her children vaccinated due to "massive financial problems".
The paediatrician who had encouraged the mother's opposition to vaccinations has since left Austria...
Eva Maria S. is a trained supervisor of children's groups, and has attended numerous similar seminars. She led a Montessori children's group. The child welfare office ignores her multi-faceted qualification in the social sphere.
"Keep yourself out of all this" is the reprimand a teacher receives after writing: "From 2008 to 2012 I was the pupil Jamiro S.'s class teacher.* I confirm that Jamiro S.* attended school regularly, and always made a neat and orderly impression. Frau Eva S.* appeared regularly during my office hours, discussed important pedagogical issues with me, was interested in Jamiro's scholastic success, and was always willing to cooperate with the school". A positive evaluation of Eva Maria does not fit into the child welfare office's deadly strategy. The teacher is put under pressure, and she fears for her job.
The friendship that suddenly flourishes between the child welfare office and the children's fathers: rearing, cooking, taking care of the children after school, help with their homework, bedding down, planning and paying for the life of the family, all this is done by Eva Maria. One of the fathers lives in another city; the other one moves to another area, rejecting his son entirely. He has not seen him once in six years, and has denied his former family any contact whatsoever. The district commission in Klagenfurt reports on 27 August 2013, however, that "Hr. H.* ... repeatedly expresses great concern about the inadequate psychic and physical development of the minor with the mother"... Perhaps the two men hope for pecuniary blessings from the authorities through the applications for custody that they suddenly submit. The father pressures his son: "I have custody". "Mama will never get custody again. You can dream all you want". "I can fix it so that Mama does not come any more". The children are frightened to tears. They tell the child- and youth attorneyship that they do not wish to live with their father. The child welfare office is not interested: The father is awarded generous visitation rights.
"Papa wanted to send us to a boarding school or a home; that is why I no longer wish to see him; he is often in a bad mood", says one of the boys on 10 July 2013, being questioned by the child- and youth attorneyship. This visitation was made at Eva Maria S.'s request, as "the children's concerns were not attended to sufficiently in the NPKJ of the Klinikum Wörthersee". Herr Mag. W.*, the judge, receives the letter. The child welfare office grants E. F. generous visitation rights, after the boys have expressed their desire not to see him. Eva Maria S. is allowed to see her boys for two hours twice a week under supervision. She is treated as a dangerous criminal by the officials, a poor crazy woman, whose children must absolutely be taken away.
The children begin their own struggle for their right to return to their mother. Now the competent "supervisors" begin to proceed against the children, beginning with physical attacks. 26 August 2013: After a visit to their grandmother the children did not want to leave the car. Frau Mag. D. forces them to return to the psychiatric institution: "Otherwise, your mother is in danger of imprisonment". The three boys are in agreement: "We don't want Mama to go to prison". So they return to their own prison, the psychiatric institution. Under certain circumstances they are allowed to go outside for ten minutes daily. They must obey the clinic rules. There are three cell phone times, and then the cell phones must be turned in. The boys' cell phones are damaged. When Eva Maria investigates the matter, she is accused of "inciting the children to break the rules". A clinic employee abuses her son Jamiro, by painfully pressing his neck down. When Eva Maria S. addresses this matter to the employee on the telephone, he simply hangs up. One supervisor grabs on to Rayen so tightly, that the child suffers bruises on his upper arms, and a red stripe and a bruise on the chest.
Punishments are given to the children: One week without a cell phone. Afternoon excursion cancelled. Cell phone time in the forenoon cancelled. A supervisor gives Rayen bruises. The psychologist in charge says to Rayen: "If you do not want to see Papa, you will also see Mama less". This, after the children had hidden in fear from their father. Because the children say the same things as Eva Maria S., she is accused of instrumentalising them. Rayen is placed under massive pressure: "If you do not talk to Papa, you may go out".
Two of the children have begun to injure themselves by now: A physician plays this down: "That is not skin-cutting; that is merely scraping the skin". The self-injury begins as soon as the mother's visitation times are reduced. It occurs to no one to take the children's psychic suffering seriously. Quite the contrary. The children are put under such pressure that they accept the visits to their father, because they can no longer bear the institution.
The irresponsible devaluation of the children. The three children had to attend the "Heilstättenschule", a school for children staying in the institution for an extended period. Because the child welfare office has so decreed. It would have been much better for the children's development if they had been allowed to attend their old schools: the normal elementary school, the "Hauptschule", the "Gymnasium".
Why does the child welfare office take away three children's legally assured chance for a good education? Is the child welfare office so stuck in the spirit of the age when it was founded?
The perverse pleasure taken in perverting, or the use of biased, or obliging expert evaluations: "Fr. Dr. S. P.* related in the oral explanation of the certificate ... that the mother has an extremely symbiotic relation to the minors, which is a great danger to the children's welfare ..." (district commission Klagenfurt 18 June 2013). A mother's natural love for her child, which is the most natural and best thing for her child's healthy development, is perverted into its opposite in the certificate. The deep love between the three boys and their mother is portrayed as something harmful, and used against Eva Maria.
The children's deep love for their mother and her heart-felt love for the children is made into an accusation of an "extremely symbiotic relationship" against the mother. "The principle 'primum non nocere' (above all, cause no harm) was broken in the custody case at hand", as an impartial expert determines. Furthermore, he corrects the first certifier: "... it has not been determined lege artis ... whether Frau S.* displays an 'unstabile personality ... just as she did not regard it as her duty' to examine the mother's personality closely' " and: "Reliable, valid and objective examination procedures were not employed"! "An immediate reuniting of the family in their private surroundings is therefore indubitably in the children's best interest" as the impartial expert continues.
13 September 2013: The two elder boys run away from the institution, no longer willing to tolerate either the physical abuses or the psychological terror there. On the way to the train station they call their mother. Eva Maria S. picks them up by car. She drives to the institution grounds, with a heavy heart, to return her boys. But the boys refuse to leave the car. The police are called. Over six hours long, Eva Maria S. attempts to convince her boys to return to the institution. They only opened the car from the inside when their mother said to them: "We're going now".
There is supposedly a charge pressed against the mother that she were in danger of suicide. This is not true, but the accusation of suicidal tendencies suits the authorities well, and they use it as an excuse to take the children into their custody again.
Eva Maria S. is forced to appear before a public health officer in the middle of the night. He can discern no danger of suicide. The impartial expert also writes: "At the time of the present examination Frau S.* has no psychological disorders of any kind". This is confirmed in other findings. Why must the children return to psychiatric in-patient treatment then? Everyone earns money with the abducted children: physicians, certifying experts, hospital, judges, attorneys, pharmaceutical companies and many more. Mother and children are purposefully broken. The business with children flourishes.
After having attempted several times to flee to their mother, the children finally are allowed to live with her for the time being. They suffer from terrible nightmares, a consequence of their forcible psychiatric treatment. Cuts in their arms and legs ("I want to go home") are a reminder of their foster care when they were psychologically tortured. "Your mom does not love you. She does not care for you. Nobody ever went back home from here."
Charges were brought against Eva Maria due for obstructing administrative orders because she did not forcibly return her children to the psychiatric ward. Due to the criminalization of the mother, the authorities are putting pressure on the children.
3. ANGELIKA N.: A baby was taken away from his mother at birth. Report on a case of psychological abuse and the cruel, inhumane and humiliating treatment of the mother of four.
Salzburg/Austria - 2013: In the case of Jackl, the magician, a total of 100 young children and youths were executed, with the youngest child being only ten years old. Jakob Tischler, known as "Jackl, the Magician", lived in the 18th century during the reign of Archbishop Maximilian Gandolph, Count of Kuenburg. Maria Pauer was a maid in Mühldorf am Inn and the last witch ever to be executed in Salzburg. The role of the Catholic Church, time and time again, is truly terrifying. They preached hatred against women - the enemy par excellence to many clerics - from the pulpit. Even bishops initiated witch trials that sent women to be burnt at the stake: http://www.salzburg.com/wiki/index.php/Als_die_Scheiterhaufen_brannten
Betrayal: Angelika N. comes from a good family; she is a modern young woman who has studied at university; she loves and protects her children and raises them carefully and responsibly. But she does not fit the stereotypical image of her rural surroundings. A group of envious and malevolent fellow citizens denounces Angelika with the Youth Protective Services. As a result, Mrs. R., a social worker from The Youth Protective Services for Salzburg and Surrounding Areas visits. She wants to see Rico, Angelika's youngest son placed in foster care.
On 10-08-2003, the Youth Protective Services Office wrote as follows to the Salzburg District Court**:" On that Friday, the teachers discovered that R [..] was carrying cartridges and nails in his schoolbag. During a check-up, police discovered that the cartridges represented live ammunition": Rico, seven years of age, had gotten a couple of cartridges during a recent visit with relatives. Without a weapon, the cartridges are incapable of doing damage. The incident, however, became the pretext for removing Rico from his mother due to "imminent danger". The authority seemed uninterested in exploring how the "live ammunition" had found its way into the child's schoolbag without the mother becoming aware.
The aforementioned letter also urges Angelika N. to agree to have her son placed in foster care. She responds by indicating that she wants her child at least to grow up in a healthy rural environment, if the foster placement is unavoidable. Protective Youth Services represented this desire as follows: "This statement [by the mother] provides an insight into the world of this mother that seems somewhat removed from reality". Voila. That's how easily the authority construes a mental illness. Women are categorized as mentally ill, a danger to themselves or others, incapable of bringing up their children or otherwise unstable, as soon as the Youth Welfare Office wants to get hold of their children. With increasing frequency, Youth Welfare Offices also accuse mothers of sexually abusing their children - which immediately leads to a removal of the children "in their own best interest".
In its letter of 10-08-2003, the Youth Welfare Office furthermore states ... "that the child absolutely can be expected to adjust to his new living situation and that he is reacting extremely well to unconditional affection and attention, and, especially, being listened to. These are exactly the areas the mother is incapable of providing due to her personal difficulties." Evidently, the Youth Welfare Office views itself as playing the role of moral authority that is authorized to mete out punishment. Is it a punishment for the fact that a monogamous marriage in the Christian sense did not come about? While the Law calls for support and "milder measures", the Youth Welfare Office wants to "take away". Rico is lucky. Following an expert opinion, he is initially allowed to stay with his mother. The Youth Welfare Office, however, continues its goal of taking him away from her.
Meanwhile, Rico is almost 14. Together with friends, he celebrates a barbecue party in his mother's garden. Angelika N. works inside the house and does not notice that one of Rico's friends who lives in a foster home has brought some alcohol. Within 20 minutes a large police contingent shows up, and they conduct alcohol tests. Why did Rico's friend from the foster home bring alcohol? Is this again a trap that was laid for Angelika N.? Angelika's mother is given custody for Horst. There is no trace of the police record. On 10-13-2010, Angelika's attorney writes to the District Court as follows:
"I wish to register in connection with the police deployment that the police officers on several occasions mentioned that "the mother of the child ought to be committed." Moreover, one of the officers tried for about 15 minutes to persuade the mother that she should voluntarily check into a psychiatric clinic. He depicted this actually as an offer of help. Additionally, the aforesaid officer was asked by his colleagues on more than one occasion "let's simply get her committed". Against this background, it is easy to understand that the mother chose to display a rather passive demeanor vis-à-vis the police officers. The protocol of the Youth Welfare Office says that the mother had been distanced and uninterested. Incidentally, the mother was not allowed to review the relevant record.
The attorney furthermore explains: "If the Youth Welfare Office states that the mother is primarily preoccupied with her own problems and is not open to the needs of the children, one should counter that this preoccupation stems primarily from the fact that she needs to make a living in order to feed her family as the children's father in the past did not provide alimony and/or insufficient alimony."
Because the police did not "commit" Angelika, the Youth Welfare Office intervenes once more. They pick up Horst, 4-year old, without the mother's knowledge from the kindergarten and bring him to his grandmother. Angelika N. is forced to undergo psychological testing. The results of the test are kept under lock and key by the Youth Welfare Office. While referring to this test, the authority refuses to return the child to his biological mother (See letter of 08-19-2010 from the Youth Welfare Office to the Salzburg District Court**). Initially, Angelika's attorney had counseled her to agree to the placement of the child. As soon as she, however, withdraws her consent, the authority declares that there is a state of "imminent danger" (08-18-2010**). The child is interviewed by an expert, Mr. M., who provides the following testimony in his expert opinion of 01-07-2011:
"The minor H [...] indicated that he wanted to live with his mother ... And that this is his own free will ... When the minor was asked alone, he stated that he would like to live with his mama ... that he is sad because he no longer can stay with his mama ... At the moment of parting, the minor H [..] all of a sudden jumps up to his mother and embraces her lovingly... Both of them embrace and smile ... Regarding Angelika, the expert states: "Mrs. N. does not suffer from a psychotic loss of reality.." And: "The re-integration into the maternal home would impact positively upon H's sense of self-worth and identity, since this living situation also would lead to enhanced contact opportunities with his father." The expert recommends returning custody rights to Angelika N.
With the help of an attorney, Angelika N. achieves that Rico at age 14 may return home. According to the court's ruling, Horst, too, is supposed to return home. One week prior to their return, Angelika's attic is set on fire. Angelika receives an eviction notice. The arsonist is identified by the police. Horst finally comes home. A few weeks later he is frolicking in the yard with the dog, happy to be home. He gets a few bruises on his arms and legs. The kindergarten notifies the authorities. Horst is picked up from the kindergarten and placed in foster care. The public prosecutor investigates Angelika N. and Rico due to the suspicion of "torturing or neglecting minors or young and defenseless persons".
All media react promptly and in unison, with whole page articles, representing the official version: "Six-year old boy badly mistreated by mother". "Boy mistreated - the kindergarten teacher sounded the alarm". "Mother and five-year old brother suspected." Additional expert opinions take place. The Youth Welfare Office appeals the return of Horst. Forced supervised visits. Forced therapy. And all invoices are addressed to Angelika N.
The just ruling of the Provincial Court of Salzburg, however, (02-27-2012**) exonerates Angelika N. as follows: "At no point did [N.N. /Horst] testify that the accused had inflicted the injuries upon him. Rather, he stated that the dog had been the cause of his injuries." The judgment furthermore documents that other persons had tried to manipulate the 7-year old in order to get him to change his testimony.
Those social workers who had given Angelika good marks disappear thereafter and are replaced by hardliners. One of them is Ms. DSA Sch. Angelika N. is pregnant again and moves house. Being pregnant and moving house with three boys is not easy. As the last boxes arrive at the new house and Angelika goes into labor, Ms. Sch. appears to pay a control visit. Shortly thereafter, Angelika gives birth to her child - a boy: Felix. Two days after the baby's arrival, Ms. Sch. re-appears with an "imminent danger" notification. The baby is taken away to a so-called mother - child home, is left there for 40 days and then placed in foster care.
Another expert evaluation takes place on 04-30-2013, performed by a psychologist, Ms. L, MA. She asks a lot of questions - for instance of Rico. "For 19 years, this somehow has been a repeated issue. Do you think your mother has learned something during that time in order to do better?" and, again to Rico, about his older brother: "Do you happen to know .... I can't talk to him directly right now, but how does he find his mother's condition?" About Felix Ms. L. writes as follows: "Ms. N. deals very lovingly with her son F. During the interactive observation period she gave him a lot of physical closeness and emotional warmth. She reacts to her child's signals and tries to interpret them correctly." and, further: "Ms. N. offered her child a lot of physical attention and reacted promptly to his signals. F. reacted positively to his mother and demonstrated a relaxed and calm demeanor with her." Overall, Ms. L. gave a positive assessment of the relationship between the mother and her children.
"With respect to the minor F. N., born on ..., we recommend to transfer custody to the Youth Protective Services and the placement with a foster family." How could an expert opinion possibly be that duplicitous? The explanations given in the recommendation for foster care placement are correspondingly absurd, e.g. that Angelika would not be able to feed her fourth child...
An independent expert quotes a colleague: "Thus far, nobody could prove a serious psychiatric disorder in the mother"**. And he himself states:" Now we have three expert opinions regarding the family's psychological situation that establish three personality disorders that are mutually exclusive."
The Youth Protective Services force Angelika N. to ablactate. The court rejected the recently submitted renewed request by the Youth Protective Services for foster care placement for the meanwhile 17 years (!) old Rico and the 7-year old Horst.
Many open questions remain, e.g. why Angelika N. was not given the protocols of the last three court proceedings, or why the Youth Protective Services did not consider any of Angelika's relatives when choosing foster parents.
Prof. Dr. Ingrid Bauer, a historian from Salzburg, researched the past years going back to the 1970s. She found indications and testimony that the courts in instances of removing children from their parents often had "deliberated very little" and "approved everything without much further thought." According to Prof. Bauer this would mean that the rule of law only was present in name. Now, however, the Provincial Court of Salzburg has the unique opportunity to recognize the errors of the past and to act responsibly and in the spirit of human rights (Section 138 of the Austrian Civil Code on the Rights of Children, EU law [Article 8 EMRK] and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) by returning the baby to its biological mother and putting an immediate stop to the Youth Protective Services' defamation campaign against the mother, the humiliating supervised visits, the cynical attempts at persuasion that foster care is so much better than staying with the mother, the construing of various deficits that went on for 19 (!) years and the constant requests for compliance - like with convicted criminals - in addition to the alienation (PAS) between mother and baby. Angelika N. has successfully raised three of her sons, and she will also succeed in reclaiming the rights of her fourth child, baby Felix who is now 15 months old.
2014 - The biological parents are still fighting for their custody rights while having to witness a continual process of alienation from their youngest son. The mother is allowed to see her baby for 2 hours a month only.
* Name changed
4. CRISTAL and JEANNE: We support Cristal (14) and Jeanne (13), who do not want to be extradited to Belgium by French justice.
We accompany a mother and her two daughters. The parents have been separated for 4 years. The parents and the children are French citizens. The job of the father and former husband led them to Arlons, Belgium. When the mother applied for divorce because of physical and psychological violence, the girls were 9 and 10 years old. At the beginning the children were in the mother's main custody, afterwards, 6 month after the separation, on application by the father, an alternative custody was arranged and the children spent one week with their mother and one week with their father. Under these circumstances the difficulties multiplied and more than 20 interventions of police were necessary when the father came to pick up his daughters for "his week", because they didn´t want to come with him. The father's accusation against the mother of manipulating the children was rejected by a psychologist appointed by the SPJ (Service Protection Jeunesse -Service for protection of youth) of Arlons, who accompanied the family for two years.
Again the main custody was given to the mother while the father was given permission to visit the children. The father's visits left the girls distressed and consequently they had been asking the SPJ for two years to cancel those forced visits. The court, the police and the responsible social workers confirm, that both Cristal and Jeanne blame their father for their suffering and negative feelings resulting from these visits.
This was when the situation changed dramatically: The court of Arlons ordered the girls to go back to Belgium to live in a children's home without indication and at the same time the mother should be extradited to Belgium, where she should be put on trial, risking 1 to 15 years of prison.
On the 10th of April 2014, the French justice refuses the extradition of the mother but Cristal and Jeanne have to go to Belgium up to the 22nd of May and can be taken by police at any moment to be placed in a home far from their mother, their family, their school and their friends.
Because of these incomprehensible judgments the mother made an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights.
Apart from national rights all over Europe, whose paramount consideration is the Childs welfare the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has to be taken into consideration both by France and Belgium. The convention is based on principles such as the children's right for a balanced and healthy development, the children's security and the children's right to partake in their own decisions.
All European countries have signed this convention but France and Belgium are trying to act against its basic human rules.
The children are French citizens and it is the duty of France to secure their physical and psychological health. French justice is obliged to listen to their voices and make sure that they can live a secure life.
Although the girls now live a happy life with their mother and they are very successful in school they have to be aware that they can be taken away by police at any time. French justice gave the o.k. to the abduction of these girls in the middle of the school year. They shall be taken to another country and be put into a children's home where their mother cannot even visit them without risking being put into prison. Is there anyone in the French justice system interested in the wellbeing of these children? Are the judges who decided against the wellbeing of the girls aware that they will never be able to recover from the trauma caused by this violation against children's rights? Why does no one listen to these highly intelligent girls?
The winners of the decision are: doctors, experts, pedagogues, psychologists, psychotherapists, several other institutions also.
Media contact: Sigrid Bauly, email@example.com
To be continued. For further information please contact VICTIMS MISSION