The mother of a ten-year-old girl so terrified of her father that she gets physically sick before her visits with him was forced to spend two days in jail after the judge ordered the little girl to visit her allegedly abusive father.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Jefferson County Family Court Judge Denise Brown found the girl’s mother to be in contempt of court after her daughter refused to go on a scheduled weekend visit to her father.
Earlier this week, the judge ordered the girl’s mother, who has not been identified, to spend two days in jail and threatened to send her back to jail on Friday if the girl did not appear for a visit with her father. But, perhaps in response to media coverage, the judge changed her position on Friday, saying that she would not order any more jail time for the mother, who broke down in tears in court earlier this week.
The 10-year-old girl has reportedly accused her father of violent outbursts; and was injured in 2016 when her father shut a car door on her hand. According to court records obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, the father claimed it was an accident, but the girl and her older sister reportedly said he was angry at the time of the incident. The older sister, who has also said she is afraid of her father, is no longer subjected to mandatory visits with the father following a five-day hospitalization reportedly resulting from anxiety about visiting her father.
The younger girl also appears to have suffered physical manifestations of anxiety and trauma. Her mother testified in court that the 1o-year-old becomes ill with diarrhea and vomiting on days she is scheduled to visit her father, and is forced to miss school.
Dr. Melissa Currie is a pediatric forensic physician who testified on behalf of the mother in court. She reportedly said there was a basis for the girls’ complaints about their father, and was critical of the judge’s decision to penalize their mother because of her daughter’s fears.
“That puts a child in an unfathomable position,” Currie said. “I can’t imagine putting that on a child on any age.”
The mother’s attorney told the news outlet that he will be working to come to an agreement with the father’s attorney regarding future visitations. Currie said she believes the father should only be granted supervised visits.
According to court records obtained by the Louisville Courier, the father allegedly accosted the girls’ mother in front of them at a birthday party in 2014. At the time, social services determined that he had put the girls at risk but the decision was later overturned.
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