My Foster Parents Are Abusing Me. What Should I Do?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. All my life, I’ve been beaten down. My sister and I were adopted into a horrible family when I was 6. When I was a foster child, my [non-biological] mom would beat me with anything she could get her hands on. I remember when I was 7 1/2 she burned my hands because she thought I lied — I had to tell her what she wanted to hear so she would stop. I’m 15 now and my sister and I still live with her. She mostly beats just me, and she yells at the both of us. She’s 72. Her son is 49. When I was in 5th grade, we moved to the town where her son lived.

I hate him — he is just like her. She beats me pretty much daily. He hits me bi-weekly or if not, monthly.Everything I say has an attitude incorporated into it, they twist my words to form what they want to hear, or to form what the didn’t want to hear.On sunday, he hit me again…
He pulled my hair and slammed my head against the back of the headrest of the passenger seat — to name a few.A few hours later, I texted my friend asking to talk to her mom. Her mom was the only one who ever cared enough to actually do something about it, and for that I owe her everything. You know when people say “Talk about your problems to someone…it’ll be ok” it’s a lie. It only makes it worse. because when they came to my house to talk to him and my mom [they don't know about what she has been doing] I felt safe. Her husband is a state trooper, it was reassuring, and they are the most kind and self-less people I know. But when they left.my mom started yelling and hitting me again. because I told and I knew it was a mistake to say anything. I knew it was a mistake to hope. yet, I took that chance, knowing it was a risk I should not have taken. Nothing is gonna change My sister and I will always be in this mess because there’s nothing I can do.

All my life I’ve been tiptoing through it, being careful not to say the wrong thing, to walk the wrong way, to wear the wrong jeans, or give the wrong look. Until I’m gone, I’ll never be free and I’ve been cutting ever since I was in 8th grade. I can’t stop I don’t do it for attention I don’t do it for that at all It’s hard to explain…But I promised my sister I would stop in May of my 8th grade year. and I failed I lied I disappointed her because I continued I cut and I still do now, I don’t know what to do about this — about anything I don’t want to be put into another foster home, only to have it end up like this one…there are things that happened to me that I will NEVER speak of, not to anyone. and my life [or lack there-of]is killing me the only thing I have to look forward to in life is school, I love it, and of course my career. But if i can’t survive my NOW, how can I survive my FUTURE?

A. I am so sorry that you are living in such a terrible situation. I do not think it has to go on like this. You are being abused by your foster parents. People are put in jail and prison for doing what they are doing to you. The law regarding child abuse in your state is very clear. It says “the abuse or maltreatment of children is against the law. Victims need an effective child protective service to prevent them from suffering further injury and impairment.”

You should absolutely call child protective services immediately. You can call yourself or you can call with the help of your friends’ parents or someone at your school. I am not sure why they (your friends’ parents) did not call for you but even if they did not call, you can and should.

I know that you do not want to go to another foster home but where could they send you that would be worse than where you and your sister are? Nowhere, it sounds like. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can and should try to get out of this foster home. The statewide child abuse reporting number for your state is 1-800-342-3720. Please call immediately. I wish I could be of more assistance to you. Please write again if you have any more questions.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Dec 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). My Foster Parents Are Abusing Me. What Should I Do?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/12/15/my-foster-parents-are-abusing-me-what-should-i-do/