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I Love My Mom
June 15, 2010 permalink
What's worse than a mom that breaks your leg? Foster care.
A Manitoba girl placed in foster care after her mother broke her leg begged a court to return her to her mother's care.
Girl yearns to be reunited with abusive mom
A 10-year-old girl placed in foster care after being abused by her mother has written a letter to Manitoba justice officials asking for her fractured family to be reunited.
Crown attorney Debbie Buors read the girl's handwritten plea aloud at the mother's sentencing hearing Monday. The 30-year-old woman -- who can't be named to protect the victim -- admits to shoving the girl down a flight of stairs when she was six years old, breaking her leg. There were also reported incidents of hitting the girl with a belt and wooden spoon, and locking her in a closet while they were living on their reserve north of Winnipeg.
The woman was given a conditional two-year sentence under a joint recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers.
"There were no good things, only bad things. I felt scared, sad and not loved," the girl's letter begins.
"It hurts to write these things. It brings back bad memories."
But her tone quickly changed as the girl described being seized by Child and Family Services, along with her five siblings between the ages of four and 13 who have been placed in different foster homes.
"I miss my brother and sisters. I wish my mom could be better. We just want to live with each other," she wrote. "I love her with all my heart, and I miss her. I wonder why she did this to me?"
The two-page letter ends with a large drawing of a heart with the words "I love my Mom" written beneath it.
Defence lawyer Dan Manning told court the mother was victimized as a child and continued the cycle of abuse. The problems began when the woman got into a relationship with a violent alcoholic who would regularly attack her and the children.
Originally, the father was investigated for hurting the girl. He pleaded guilty to charges and spent time behind bars. After he was released, the girl recanted part of her statement and blamed her mother for some of her injuries.
Manning said the mother "just snapped" on the day she shoved the girl down the stairs. She was frustrated because her children were taking too long to get ready for school and were going to miss their bus.
"She tells me she was just terrified and overwhelmed with guilt," Manning said.
The mother has been taking several anger management and parenting classes while attending alcohol treatment since her arrest in 2007, court was told. She has been free on bail but recently suffered a major setback when she was arrested for impaired driving. Those charges remain before the courts.
Buors said the Crown agreed to a conditional sentence because of conflicting statements the girl gave to police about what was done to her and by whom. They also wanted to spare her the trauma of having to testify against her mother.
"I would just like to better myself and pray that my daughter forgives me," the woman told court Monday. The Crown agreed the mom could have supervised visits with her daughter.
"She wants to start the healing process," Manning said.
Source: Winnipeg Free Press