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Sometimes there isn’t a choice. We must call.

May 2, 2022

Trigger Warning. This post discusses violent child abuse.


The lad was about 12.

Mom and step-dad in my waiting room.

The lad described the beating and kicks by step-dad as mother watched. This, according to the lad was recently.

I called CAS, keeping the lad in my office.

I went to the waiting room to describe the situation to the parents.

Dad stood up to me wanting to see the lad. I stayed put, standing between him and the door.

I explained that if he left the waiting room, he would have to move me. I further explained that of he did so, I would call the police and advise of assault.

He backed down. I went on to say that they could explain matters to the CAS from their perspective, but I had no choice but to call.

I left them to stay with the lad in my office.

I quietly told Arlene that while the parents were welcome to leave, if they scare her in any way for anything, that she call 911.

There was no further incident.

CAS arrived and spoke with lad and then parents.

The lad was taken into care from my home office.

It is not uncommon for me to hear from men that growing up, their dad or step-dad was abusive of them or their moms.

I ask if/when it stopped.

Also not uncommon is when the fellow is mid to late teens and physically capable of intervening which means they get into a violent altercation with the dad/step-dad to protect themselves or mother.

In some of these types of cases, their mom remains in the relationship. The teen lad leaves home. They may couch surf a while. Hopefully land on their feet.

I can only hope my involvement that night leads to a better outcome for that lad.

I will never know.

Please. No violence…. of any kind.

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I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by video conferencing.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW for counseling and support – to build your successful practice

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, former parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

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