My name is Tobi, and I’m a rape victim. That being the said, I will only discuss how child protection services failed to keep me or my daughter safe in the care of child services in Stone County, Wiggins Mississippi. The address at the time was 718 Newton Street Wiggins Mississippi, 39577. The Judge and child services willingly knew and ignored my pleas for help. Leaving me broken and permanently scarred to this day, with no trust for anyone. Not only did they fail me, they failed my daughter whom was a result of a rape that occurred when I was 15, by a man in his 40’s. His girlfriend at the time said she looked past things he did to give him the benefit of doubt, and that he was a good person. It also happened at her house. I was asleep and woke to him getting from on top of me. It was also other times when he would take the spare key from Veronica’s office, she was the manager, and would force himself into our trailer while I was there alone and force me to lay down and have sex, as well as forced me to perform oral sex on him. He was also physically and mentally abusive.
Since the age of ten I was in and out of foster care, juvenile detention and mental hospitals. At the age of 15, although I still lived under my mom’s roof, I was under direct care of the state of Mississippi. Really horrible abuse was happening at home, and that was the direct result. After learning of my pregnancy, I was made to attend parenting classes. They also took control of my social security of over $1,000 and gave me a monthly allowance of between $100 and $150 monthly. They refused to take me to the social security office before my 18th birthday so that I could continue receiving it due to my mental illnesses. Lastly, they were ordered to return unused monies, but they never complied. I was never offered rape victim therapy. I still fight with these everlasting feelings of helplessness, self-disgust and anger that it was allowed to happen on a daily basis in this home.
After my daughter was born, a year or so later (2003/2004) we were placed in the Methodist Children’s Home in Clarksdale Mississippi. From the moment I arrived I was treated like I was unworthy of human decency. I was forced to cut grass with a swing blade, and as a result had poison oak on 90% of my body. I was forced to dig in trash cans with maggots with my bear hands. Scrub toilets with my bare hands, and constantly being told I was nothing and no one loved me. My daughter and I were locked in the attic for hours a day, in the dark. This happened regularly. Made to sit outside in the heat without drinking water. The couple who was in charge of the girls home were evil and disgusting beings. At first, he would only molest me with his hands and feet. Then things got more sexual. He would force me to look and touch his penis and also tell him how big it was and that I loved it. He told me he knew I was a whore because I was a teenage mother and that no one would believe me if I told what he was doing to me. He molested me on a trip to Six Flags in Atlanta, that many children homes attended, on the lazy river. In front of many people.
I told his wife what he had been doing to me for weeks, and she called me a n****r loving whore. Also told me that I would be good at nothing in life besides laying on my back whoring for money. I was ugly and lacking intelligence and that’s why I was a target for abuse. She made a statement similar to her husband. That due to me being a teenage mother, they knew I was sucking d**k and f*****g. That was the reason why and she didn’t care and placed blame on me. She knew and ignored what her husband was doing to me. She told me I deserved everything that happened, and I should expect more and be excited that someone wanted my ugly a*s. After I told her of the sexual abuse her husband was doing to me, she started treating me like an animal. Refused to take me to the doctor after these rapes, although I cried and begged. I had no access to phones, you had to earn points to use them, and they only let me talk to my social worker. I told many times what was happening to me with no result. I had to ask permission to eat, take a bath, bathe my daughter, change clothing, and even had to ask for something to drink. She also told me I got what I deserved when I was raped and got pregnant. She told me my daughter wouldn’t amount to anything just as I wouldn’t. There were times I went hungry. Not only was I was sexually abused in this Methodist Children’s home, I was physically and mentally abused as well. Documents from the sate were untruthful and at times a downright lie. They completely changed my daughter’s original birth place on her birth certificate. It was done as if I didn’t exist at all in connection to her. I did nothing wrong, I believe they were covering they own selves because of what happened to my daughter and me.
After we returned from the trip to Atlanta, I was afraid of him doing to my daughter what he was allowed to do to me. I was supposed to start college in August and the trip to Atlanta was in July. I grabbed her, and I ran. When the police department found me, I told them I didn’t want to go back due to ALL of the abuse that was occurring in that home. No report was made, or any charges brought up against my abusers. Because I was 18 at the time, and not on any type of probation, that the only way my daughter and I wouldn’t have to go back was if she went with a social worker. I waited on my ride from my home state of Louisiana. The only thing I was allowed to take was what was on my back, although my actual social security money paid for my belongings.
I would never have expected what would happen next. The court gave me six months to find a job, a home, get into college and a driver’s license. When I left the children’s home, I only owned what was on my back. When the six months were up, I had two jobs and my own place to live. They refused to do the home check at my home, they went to my mother’s. They told me they weren’t going to spend more money to pay a social worker in Louisiana to do the visit at the right home. They said they would give me more time. (My daughter was in a total of 27 different foster homes prior to being adopted. She was also a victim of molestation, and horrible abuse. She was trained to touch men on their private parts and given candy in return. She was a toddler.) Actually, what happened was the court appointed lawyer sat on the side with the prosecutor and told me I was signing a paper for a new court date. It was actually a paper signing over my rights, which I didn’t know I signed until after my daughter was adopted. It was a rushed adoption. The chancellor of the court at that time partook in the rushed adoption. So did the adoption specialist. They tricked me and tore my world apart, as well as my daughter. Just a little bit more information, the lawyer and the judge were friends.
My social worker and her supervisor knew about the abuse and nothing was ever done to protect me or my daughter. They treated me as a criminal, although I had been in and out of there care for three years at this point. I’m sharing my story because sexual abuse in foster and children’s home aren’t being addressed as they should. I’m in my thirties now and still haven’t recovered. This is the same experience amongst many of us kids whose been in the system. Especially us girls. Children in the system are tossed to whom ever having already leaving terrible circumstances.
During the time me and my daughter being separated, there are time periods where she was unaccounted for, or lost in the system. Here’s two examples of her labeled as unknown; 1.) 10/25/2002 to 05/21/2003 & 2.) 05-11-04 to 09-24-2005. How do you label a child as unknown time when they’re in the Mississippi Child Protective Services? How can you say you know nothing of me in official court documents, when I was in your care, in foster and girls group homes, and mental institutions? Not to mention the military boot camp I was sent to for six months because of a setup.
Not only was my life permanently affected, so was my daughter’s. Because of the State of Mississippi and their actions, my daughter thought I gave her away and didn’t want her. That’s far from the truth. I thought god gave me a gift from the evil that happened to me. I thought he was finally sending someone to love and be loved back. I believed he gifted me an angel. I still think of my daughter this way today. I’m telling my story because sexual abuse while in the state’s care is more often ignored than not. This is the maximum result of perverts being allowed to care for children who most likely have just left similar situations at home or a different foster home. This is a crime of humanity against broken children, and the side effects last a lifetime. I’ve never recovered, it’s like a movie on repeat inside my head. I hope this encourages others to speak out against sexual abuse against children whom are in care of the state. I think it’s more important now than ever. We must stop this sickness from ruining the futures of our country’s forgotten youth.
— Tobi, age 32