We went to court- we saw the probation officer / social worker- we saw the magistrate* and we survived- it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. They didn’t take my child away and they didn’t lock him up. I prayed all week for the people who would be deciding Damien’s fate to be fair, and for the whole thing to be over quickly. Well, we spent almost all of yesterday at the magistrate’s court. We arrived at 8am, with the court due to start at 8:30am. The probation officer only called for Damien at about 11am. So after freezing our backsides solid on uncomfortable chairs in the open corridor outside the courtroom for 3 hours, with all the other waiting juveniles, we almost had to run to keep up with the probation officer. We went down to where the probation officers are “holed up” which is also where the holding cells are. It was also freezing down there, and gloomy and scary. She asked Damien a bunch of questions, like why did he do it and did he learn anything from it* and was he scared? Boy was he scared! Needless to say we were both absolutely terrified. I am surprised my heart didn’t give out on the spot when they called his name. Damien clung to my hand while the social worker quizzed him, then she told him that he would have to attend a two day “youth crime prevention” programme where his attendance and attitude would be reported on (I have to be there too, on the second day), and then report back to the court, where we’ll sit for another day waiting for our case to be called. If his attendance, behaviour and attitude at the programme are good (according to what they are looking for), then his record will be expunged. We then had to go back and wait outside the court room for the actual magistrate to announce what the social worker had told us. God answered my prayer in this instance- we were literally in and out of the magistrate’s court in less than 2 minutes! We left the court house at about 1pm! We hadn’t had anything to eat or drink while we were there- we were too afraid to go anywhere in case they called Damien and decided he hadn’t arrived. He gets a second chance because he made a mistake. If he gets caught again however, there will be no second chance. He will have to plead, he will be tried and he will have a record. It’s a horrible experience. There is no sympathy, no leeway. I truly hope Damien learnt his lesson. I am so relieved that that part is over.
I slept a little better last night, but I am still worried- obviously. Damien was literally released into my custody as his mother and guardian, now I wonder how long it will be before I can let him go anywhere alone again. Before I can trust him again* it’s going to take a lot of work from both of us.
I don’t think I’ve found the lesson God wanted me to learn/ find in this yet* I’m still looking/ listening though.
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.