When a young person commits a terrible crime, people often ask, "Where were the parents?" It's easy to lay blame on parents when you have no understanding of what families go through when a child has significant mental health issues. Just today, a man with serious mental health issues reportedly killed his own mother and attempted to kill his young nieces. When a mother expresses concern for her own well-being, everyone should listen.
Mom of three Kimberlyn Williams only wants the best for her children. She's attempting to get help for her child — for his own protection and for the protection of others — but she's drawing the line at letting him back into their home, where she says he poses a threat. She needs to keep her two younger kids safe, and she's in over her head with a 12-year-old who she says has lashed out violently and threatened to kill other kids.
Williams recently found her son exposing his genitals to her 4-year-old daughter and trying to coerce her to touch him. It was the last straw. She's at the point of desperation and is willing to face jail time if that means her son gets the medical help he needs — help she can't provide on her own.
At this point, she feels her only choice is to refuse to pick her son up at Riverside Behavioral Health Center in Hampton, Virginia, when he is released. She's been told by Child Protective Services that she will face criminal charges if she fails to pick him up.
"Eventually it would be catastrophic. Eventually he would do something that's going to seriously harm someone," she says. "We're trying to get help, and there is so much red tape. I think it's time somebody recognized it all and did something about it. We shouldn't be punished for trying to protect innocent children."
Williams is willing to face judgment and jail time if that means not only saving her own children but shining a light on how difficult it can be for American parents to get the help they need in times of crisis.
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