What amazes me most is that we, as a people, have shared our collective story of being thrown out of our homeland, Palestine, with each other and with many others- actually we have bored the world with this collective story- but somehow the individual Palestinian shies away, or perhaps is too afraid, to share the very personal story of being thrown out of her or his home, living room, or bedroom. These personal stories are seldom told, not even to our own children, perhaps not even to ourselves. I guess the wound remains open.
In some instances, even when crisis intervention has been intensive and appropriate, the mother and daughter are already so deeply estranged at the time of disclosure that the bond between them seems irreparable. In this situation, no useful purpose is served by trying to separate the mother and father and keep the daughter at home. The daughter has already been emotionally expelled from her family; removing her to protective custody is simply the concrete expression of the family reality.These are the cases which many agencies call their “tragedies.” This report of a child protective worker illustrates a case where removing the child from the home was the only reasonable course of action:Division of Family and Children’s Services received an anonymous telephone call on Sept. 14 from a man who stated that heoverheard Tracy W., age 8, of [address] tell his daughter of a forced oral-genital assault, allegedly perpetrated against this child by her mother’s boyfriend, one Raymond S.Two workers visited the W. home on Sept. 17. According to their report, Mrs. W. was heavily under the influence of alcohol at the time of the visit. Mrs. W. stated immediately that she was aware why the two workers wanted to see her, because Mr. S. had “hurt her little girl.” In the course of the interview, Mrs. W. acknowledged and described how Mr. S. had forced Tracy to have relations with him. Workers then interviewed Tracy and she verified what mother had stated. According to Mrs. W., Mr. S. admitted the sexual assault, claiming that he was drunk and not accountable for his actions. Mother then stated to workers that she banished Mr. S. from her home.I had my first contact with mother and child at their home on Sept. 20 and I subsequently saw this family once a week. Mother was usually intoxicated and drinking beer when I saw her. I met Mr. S. on my second visit. Mr. S. denied having had any sexual relations with Tracy. Mother explained that she had obtained a license and planned to marry Mr. S.On my third visit, Mrs. W. was again intoxicated and drinking despite my previous request that she not drink during my visit. Mother explained that Mr. S. had taken off to another state and she never wanted to see him again. On this visit mother demanded that Tracy tell me the details of her sexual involvement with Mr. S. On my fourth visit, Mr. S. and Mrs. S. were present. Mother explained that they had been married the previous Saturday. On my fifth visit, Mr. S. was not present. During our discussion, mother commented that “Bay was not the ﬁrst one who hadTracy.” After exploring this statement with mother and Tracy, it became clear that Tracy had been sexually exploited in the same manner at age six by another of Mrs. S.'s previous boyfriends.On my sixth visit, Mrs. S. stated that she could accept Tracy’s being placed with another family as long as it did not appear to Tracy that it was her mother’s decision to give her up. Mother also commented, “I wish the fuck I never had her.”It appears that Mrs. S. has had a number of other children all of whom have lived with other relatives or were in foster care for part of their lives. Tracy herself lived with a paternal aunt from birth to age ﬁve.