What should I do if my child is being abused? 4 Answers as of August 05, 2011

The father of my child is in the army and he lives with his grand parents and when I got pregnant I was living with him there. Now while I was living there he was very abusive he choked me hit me kicked me bit me there is a list of things. I wold have filed charges then but his grandmother said if I did anything she would tell them I am lying. I have pictures of all the bruises he left on my the bite marks he gave me and I still have emails from him that he sent me telling me to kill myself, and now that im pregnant he and his grandmother are saying they are going to get custody of the child once he or she is born. My biggest scare is that he will hurt the child like he hurt me and I dont know what to do. Im not going to put him on the birth certificate but I honestly dont know what I can do.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
It appears you need to file a petition for a domestic violence protection order.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
Contact the local bar association for your county to see if they have any programs for abused mothers. I know that here in King County one great program is the family law mentor program that matches up volunteer attorneys with abused clients like yourself. For now you are doing the right thing in collecting any evidence of the domestic violence that you can, as well as any threats or intimidation. If you have any issues such as drugs or alcohol addictions, you should also be working on dealing with those so that both your child will be healthier and the court will see you as a positive parent for the child. Basically for he or the grandmother to get the court to take the child away from you, they would need to be able to convince the court that it would be dangerous to leave the child with you. Make sure you can show that you are a good parent. Also understand that in Washington generally both parents are going to have some parental rights unless such rights endanger the child (and it sounds like he is a potential danger to the child). Our courts tend to be good about figuring out what is really going on.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/19/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
You can still attempt to get an order of protection. Then, you can file for a parentage action, seeking an appropriate parenting plan - one that restricts his contact with the child.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/19/2011
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
First, if your child is being abused, you should call Child Protective Services. They have substantial power when it comes to restricting access to a child. Second, you'll want to report to CPS to protect yourself from a claim that you are not adequately protecting your own child. It also sounds like you have been abused by the father of your child. You mention photographs of bruises and bit marks. You also mention emails containing death threats. In this situation, and with that evidence, you should probably file a petition for a protection order.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/18/2011
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