Monday, 25 March 2013
Russian woman flees back to Russia to save her child
Irina Vinogradova of Russia was forced to flee from New Caledonia to Russia. It was her only chance to save the child, whose father was suspected of sexual abuse over the boy. The woman's attempts to seek help from local authorities were not successful. Now she asks the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to launch investigation into the case. Irina's story reminds of thousands of other love stories. The woman met her future husband on the Internet, and after six months of correspondence and phone calls she moved in with him and they got married. However, almost immediately after the birth of the baby, the man, who had previously assured the woman that he wanted to have a family, stopped intimate relationship with her. Irina was too much preoccupied with her child. Soon afterwards, the baby, who was not even two years old at the time, started showing strong signs of discomfort. The child would suddenly wake up at night crying and shouting "no" and saying that his daddy was hurting him. The frightened mother rushed to the doctor, but medics assured her that everything was fine. The boy's strange behavior continued, and the mother discovered suspicious stains on his clothes. The woman went to police, but they denied her request of investigation. Irina filed for divorce in a hope that her son would stay with her. The medical specialist from child protection services, who talked to the woman, said that she was paranoid. An independent psychiatrist later refuted the claim and said that the woman was mentally healthy. However, the court eventually ruled the child should stay with the father. Irina was allowed to see her child only a few hours a week. After another visit, Irina found stains on her son's body again. The stains clearly indicated that the child had been sexually abused. She turned to police again, and again she was denied in the investigation. Owing to the intervention of the pediatrician, who expressed his suspicions of sexual violence committed against the child, child protection services took the child away from the father. The child was handed over to a foster family. However, there was no criminal case filed against the father. Moreover, the man was given an advantage in visiting the boy. He was allowed to take the child twice a month for a full day and twice for half of the day. The mother was allowed to see her son twice a month for four hours. The last straw that pushed the woman to the decisive step was the day when she saw her son on February 6th. "He came all dirty and he looked shocked. Initially, he did not want to say anything. Then he admitted that he fell in the shower and hit his head. It turned out that it was his father, who pushed him. When I asked him " why did he push you?" he said : "I do not want my dad to touch me," Irina Vinogradova told Pravda.Ru. The mother found stains on the boy's body again. She wrote another statement to the police, but again received no response. "I have long realized that it was all useless. Protection is only for those who have money and power. All lawyers do not work for you - they work for the system. I asked my lawyer to claim at court the child be handed over to me, but she only asks for weekend visits," says Irina. When Irina posted her story on Facebook, she began to receive messages from people of New Caledonia , who were sharing similar stories with her. Irina thought at first that she was the only woman, who had found herself in such a situation. It turned out later that she was not alone at all. "I was approached by a local resident, who told me that her 18-month-old baby had been raped. Not only have they punished the rapists, they started threatening the woman with a prison term," says Irina. According to Irina, all the stories that she has heard from local people have more or less the same ending. If a parent demands investigation over suspicions of sexual abuse, the parent would be denied the right to communicate with the child. After that, I had no choice left but to flee to Russia," says Irina. Fortunately, the boy was a Russian citizen and they were able to leave on their Russian passports. In Russia, Irina will have to start from scratch - she has no one left in the country. Having arrived to Russia, Irina called "Russian Mothers" public organization. They found the woman a place where she could live and hired a lawyer for her. "My story proves that you should never give up, you should fight for yourself and for your children, and help will come," says Irina.