To all the strong woman…
My sister called me last autumn asking to get together more often for a few drinks or a lunch, the lunches turned into movie nights, and into sleepovers…It was nice being able to spend more time with my sister on a regular basis.
My sister got married on an early age 8 years ago, she had turned 18, and the husband and i did not get along to say the least, we didn’t like each other, and he forced my sister into almost having no contact with me during those years. After a few evenings that we’ve spend together i would bring her back home, and i noticed that she got very nervous everything we got near to where she lived, he would send her text messages saying she’s a terrible mother for going to the movies, and that she’s bad, a bad woman in general… once we were close to their house, one evening and she got a complete panic attack, i brought her to the hospital, that’s where we found out (my mom and i) that she was covered in bruises..She was also extremely underweight and very pale.
Shortly after that i had a long conversation with my sister, soon into the conversation she admitted she got beaten up on a daily basis for a variety of stupid reasons according to him, she told me how fast he got mad at her for stupid things, if she closes the living room door, if she has to work late he would beat her up even more, not even their 3 children got spared from him… When he thought he had not hurt my sister enough he would beat the children while my sister had to watch him doing it, she fought but he had friends and when my sister didn’t wanna listen he would tell her to stop doing it or otherwise he would hurt the children even more.
One day he got so mad, he was beating the 3 children and my sister and locked them inside a closed room for days, my sister went to the police many many times, but since the doctor they had was a friend from him she never got a report from the doctor stating the vile things he had done to them, she went to the hospital after these things had happened but the hospital called her husband, and he came to the hospital and when he did he told her if you say anything i will hurt you and the children even more once we get home.
She went to the police many many times, they told her that if she doesn’t have proof they couldn’t help her. She saw no way out, she thought this is what she must endure for the children’s sake to keep them safe.
It wasn’t until my oldest niece started talking about all the horrible things she saw her father doing to her mom, we went to the police, and they made an official rapport finally.
That night i brought her to a hotel in the capital of Belgium, i figured she was safe there, he kidnapped the children in the meantime, we went to the police to report it, we were so scared for their lives, and the police at first didn’t wanted to help us because they said a father has the right to take their children on a holiday when he feels like it. When i told them the full story that’s when they filed a rapport to him with regards to kidnapping he’s own children.
It took weeks/months before we got any news from the children, it was one of the hardest weeks in our entire lives, not knowing were they were was the worst nightmare anybody could possibly go through.
We stayed living in a safe house, and in the meantime we took legal actions, we went to a lawyer and he started a legal procedure in getting the children back to us.
The legal procedure took a lot of time, and finally we got a date set that he had to come to court, at that time the children were missing for 2 months.
the judge listened to my sister testifying what happened and the judge started crying in the courtroom and ruled in our favour, that moment was one of the most emotional moments of my life…We thought finally! the nightmare is over…
it took another 4 weeks to get the judge’s word in an official statement with the verdict signed by the members of the courtroom and the judge.
After 4 weeks we got the papers and we could officially go to the police to make them look for them, they looked everywhere, they blocked the children’s passport, checked on all the borders, but nowhere was there a car like he’s crossing the border or a plane with them as a passenger, they looked all over Belgium for days but without any success. Except for the youngest boy, they found out he had Adam the youngest boy living with him in Belgium, the 2 eldest kids were nowhere to be found,
They couldn’t take the youngest boy away from him yet because they first had to find the 2 eldest as well, because of the father’s nature they were scared he would harm the children if they took away the youngest one in the meantime.
It took many many nerve wrecking hours/days that they had arrested him and made him to tell where the other children were. Finally he gave in and confessed that the children got taken in a car from a friend of him to Spain, to where he’s parents live.
The legal procedure to get the verdict of the Belgian judge to be a fully European verdict took a long time, in that time we had to wait patiently until we got a call from either the police or our lawyer, the nerves got too much and we got on a plane to Spain, we went to the police here, to judges, courthouses, anybody that could help us. They all laughed…These were some of the most frustrating days, the Spanish government claimed that since it is a case from Belgium, they cannot do anything without a notice from the Belgian minister, we called and emailed the Belgian embassy in Spain, we told our story and they advised us to call the Belgian bureau of foreign affairs, i had to send the judge’s verdict to them and within 16 hours i got a reply that they were gonna contact our lawyer and contact the Spanish authorities.
2 days we got a call from our lawyer, the future ex husband signed a document stating he distanced himself from the children, and finally we got a date set on which we could pick up the children. That morning we went to the house, we ringed the bell, and they started shouting bad things to us, it wasn’t until i heard my niece and nephew going down the stairs that i was overwhelmed by joy…That feeling we all had right there is indescribable…The nightmare was over…Finally.
We’re two months later and the children and my sister have never been happier, the children go to a nice school, they get psychological support, they made new friends, and it’s then when we pick them up from school and they run towards us, and they say ‘i’m so happy to be with you all’ that’s the moment when all of the nightmares, and all of the hard times we went through make it all more than worth it.
The divorce is set to get a verdict by the judge next month,
To all the strong woman out there, if you’re in the same relationship like my sister was or in an even worse one,…Know that there is a way out, there always is, even when you feel like there isn’t, believe me…There is. I’ve never seen my sister happier and more healthy than how she is now, she tells me everyday how glad she is that she took the step and got rid of the toxic relationship she was living in. If she can do it, so can you.
We got so much help and support from people we didn’t even know, people that were touched by all that was happening and that offered to help us with the small stuff and the big stuff. Words cannot express my gratitude towards everybody that helped us, the police officers, the Belgian government, the Belgian minister of foreign affairs…