Anne & Baby Olivia’s Story
“My name is Anne. I work at a busy restaurant. The first time I laid eyes on Josh, I had a full tray of orders in my arms. He came over to help me. He was quick, smart and funny. Customers and coworkers all liked him. He started staying late and helping me every night. Soon we began dating. He created trust between us and made me feel I was the most important person in the world. After a childhood with an alcoholic mother and low self-esteem, I felt safe and listened to when I was with Josh. Josh listened to all my stories, hopes and dreams. Had someone told me that this man would psychologically and physically abuse me and my baby, I never would have believed them. I was charmed and seduced. After a year of dating, we moved into a small apartment together and I became pregnant. Josh made excuses as to why I shouldn’t see my friends and family. After all, he would take care of me. But soon I found myself isolated. He began controlling my every move and I was pregnant and vulnerable. I remember the first time he became violent. I thought it was just the stress of a baby coming, so I dismissed and excused it. I had been through worse and he apologized.
I had a tough labor and my baby was born Cesarean. Josh became jealous of any attention I gave to the baby. I explained that babies needed a lot of care. Doctors said I had postpartum depression. I became terrified of Josh but still didn’t know my baby and I were victims of abuse.
Everything changed because of one final horrific beating Josh gave—not to me—but to my daughter Olivia. I was tired and the healing from the Cesarean was slow. I was napping when I heard the worst sound I heard in my life. I woke to find my baby unresponsive and Josh calling 9-1-1. He claimed the baby had fallen. In my heart I knew better. My daughter suffered severe physical abuse and internal injuries that day. The prognosis was not looking good.”
We wish we could tell you stories like this are not common. The truth is 5 children die a day from abuse in the US. Our Child Advocacy Team led an investigation that had Josh arrested. Anne is working with our team so she and baby Olivia can heal. She is attending parenting classes and gaining new skills and the confidence she never thought she had. Baby Olivia has made a recovery, but the lasting health impact is still unknown. Anne’s home has been deemed safe for her daughter to return.
Anne finishes the story by telling us:
“I still carry a lot of shame and guilt but am working with a therapist at CPCA. I look forward to the day I can bring my daughter home and we can start all over again.”