Child's word holds no weight in care complaint
A NORTH Queensland father believes the system has failed his four-year-old daughter after she was allegedly molested while attending a daycare centre.
Despite notifying the centre concerned, contacting police and taking his daughter to a hospital, the case was deemed "circumstantial" and "lacked physical evidence to support the allegation", and the alleged perpetrator is still working in childcare.
Though we cannot identify people or places, the father has shared his story in desperation as he believes more children could become victims. The nightmare started about four weeks ago.
"My daughter told me and her mother when we picked her up that day," he said.
It was the second time in three weeks he felt she was withdrawn and acting differently.
"She was in the corner and just miserable and I was asking her what was wrong," the father said.
"She said '(someone) hurt me'."
"I thought she was being bullied by other kids, and asked who, but she said 'No, it was one of the teachers'.
"She said '(The worker) hurt my wee wee'."
He said the family then went to a hospital to have his daughter checked or speak to a counsellor.
"The (daycare) centre's director told me she would contact the hospital for me, but she didn't and I had to explain to the nurse in a room full of strangers that my daughter was molested and what we were there for," the father said.
"After speaking with a pediatrician and a welfare nurse, they agreed we should wait for the police to attend.
"Unfortunately the police told us they could not see us until the next day (as it was 8pm by this time)."
The next day the family went to the police station where "my daughter confirmed to police that the teacher had touched her wee wee. (The worker) also told her that if she told us (her parents) or the police that (the worker) would come and take her away from her house."
The parents were told there was "not enough physical evidence to support her allegation" unless they wanted to get a rape (sexual assault evidence collection) kit performed.
They declined because they felt their daughter had been through enough.
"But that's why we took her straight to the hospital (the day before) for testing, not the next day after she had two showers," he said.
"So because we declined to do a rape kit and because a four-year-old victim's word has no merit against her adult attacker we were told they could do nothing."
The father believes his daughter may have been molested twice.
"I think there's been more than one occasion," he said.
"You know your child better than anyone. Acting out, wetting the bed, sucking her thumb - my daughter started doing these things (which she had never done prior) three weeks after this (worker) started at her daycare and it was another three weeks before she said anything to us," he said.
"To be told (by police) it's all circumstantial, to move on, it's just another kick in the guts.
"As a parent you have a duty to protect your child. I feel as though I have failed my child and it has destroyed me," he said.
His daughter no longer attends any form of child care.
Her mother gave up her job so she could care for her daughter.
Though she still wets the bed and has nightmares where "the naughty teacher is taking her away", she seems to be recovering.
"She is improving a hundredfold, because we've told her she will never go to that centre again, and will never meet that (worker) again," the father said.
"The little light is coming back into her eyes," he said.