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SOCIAL SERVICES NIGHTMARE
'She didn't take abuse claims seriously': sister

'She didn't take abuse claims seriously': sister

Published: 04 Nov 2011 16:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Nov 2011 16:41 GMT+01:00

In a case that has caused huge reactions across Sweden, the woman who reported her sister and sister's husband to social services for allegedly sexually abusing their daughters has told her version of events.

"”It was terribly difficult, it's people you care deeply for,” she said to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Jennie and Thomas, a couple from Sandviken, in northern Sweden, explained on investigative journalism show Uppdrag Granskning earlier in the week how all it took was one call to social services for them to be charged with sexual abuse and have their children taken from them for over two months.

After the story broke big in Swedish media, the woman's sister, who had made the call to the authorities, approached daily newspaper Aftonbladet, eager to have her part in the story explained.

”There's more to this than what has previously been told in the media,” she said.

According to the sister, she had become increasingly worried after hearing Jennie mention incidents that sounded inappropriate on more than one occasion.

”I just couldn't let go of what she told me. It was like a beaker getting fuller and fuller every time. In the end, when Jennie brought it up again during a car journey, it just spilled over,” the sister told the paper.

She told Aftonbladet that she sought counsel from two separate psychiatrists before she phoned the social services.

Both advised her that it sounded as if the family didn't set appropriate sexual boundaries and that it could be a question of incest.

According to the sister, she he tried to talk to Jennie about it but felt like she wasn't getting any reponse from her.

”I tried but she didn't take it seriously.”

Jennies' sister was surprised, after making the call, to hear that the authorities had taken the children. She also told the paper that she feels like many in the community have turned against her after the events werer made public - something she feels is unfair.

The worst case scenario, she said, is that people will now become afraid of reporting their suspicions to the authorities.

”I love my nieces, but I haven't seen them in a year,” she told the paper.

Jennie and Thomas have refused to comment on their current relationship with Jennie's sister. To them, this is matter best left to solve within the family and choose to avoid mud-slinging in the media.

However, in a live debate on Swedish television on Thursday night, Jennie and Thomas had a chance to finally confront the local authorities about what happened and were hoping for an apology for the ordeal that the family was forced to endure for a year.

However, the representatives for the local authority refused to apologize.

”It is always unfortunate when these things occur and there is always someone who is hurt. We have legislation which prioritizes what is best for the children, and sometimes, sadly, this means that adults are affected. It is unfortunate and tragic,” said Renate Almén of the Sandviken municipality.

Almén didn't agree that the children had suffered from what had happened and was not prepared to offer the couple the apology they were after.

”If we make a mistake we rectify it. Why should we apologize for following Swedish legislation?” she said on the show.

However, after the show, local politicians and civil servants in Sandviken have received death threats via the municipality web page.

”We are taking these very seriously,” said municipality head Ann-Katrin Sundelius to TV4.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:32 November 4, 2011 by Online Personality
Renate Almén seems like a heartless bitch. Of course it affects children to be taken from their family by strangers and stay with strangers. ??!! Too mnay people in state jobs severely abuse their limitless authority.
17:32 November 4, 2011 by Opinionfool
So now all anonymity for the parents and children has gone. We know who the reporter of this "crime" is and therefore we know who the family are. Well done sister.
17:56 November 4, 2011 by maxbrando
What unbelieveable arrogrance on the part of these bureaucrats. "Ve ver just folloving orders". They shoud be in jail.
18:20 November 4, 2011 by Migga
This Renate Almén person would jump off a bridge if the law said so.
18:21 November 4, 2011 by Kahmoudi
The entire thing is nuts. The child innocently touched her father's penis twice and he removed her hand. The mother told her sister because it was one of those Oops! weird things and should have been left at that and forgotten. The fact that she called child protective over something so innocent is ridiculous. Social services should have interviewed the children, school authorities to see if the children had been acting out sexually and had the children looked at by a psychologist and since there was no wrong doing closed the case. Instead they psychologically terrorized that family and caused irreparable damage to them. Good job.
18:50 November 4, 2011 by xexon
If they're blaming Swedish law on this, then it's time to reexamine how it's written.

Following the rules is one thing, but you need to be able to exercise a little compassion and empathy to balance out the cold, hard logic of a law book.

Elect people into office with a little more heart would be a good start.

x
19:44 November 4, 2011 by rouzi
I do not think there is any apology culture in Sweden.
20:24 November 4, 2011 by Kaethar
Am I the only one who see's nothing wrong in this case? People on the Local get pissed when Social Services intervene and pissed when Social Services don't intervene (and kids kill themselves because of the abuse, etc). Guess they can't win, huh?

Laws in Sweden are very child-centric. If it offends someone to be suspected of abuse - too bad. Primary concern is for children's welfare and when a report has come in from a family member of suspected child abuse it's the right action to remove children from the home pending investigation.
20:46 November 4, 2011 by Just_Kidding
Well, after all kinds of child protection, Sweden is where there is a good deal of bullying and early pregnancies in the schools. I am not blaming Swedish people or government, but I think it is a good idea to measure the success of the system in protecting children and compare it to other places.
21:10 November 4, 2011 by engagebrain
The objection is not the social services intervened, they have no choice once the sister makes her allegations,, but to the time taken and treatment given to the patents before accepting that nothing untoward had happened.
21:15 November 4, 2011 by Daveo
Sounds like Jennie's sister needs something more then seeing 2 psychiatrists.

Maybe she is jealous she didn't get to touch Thomas.
22:01 November 4, 2011 by KarolinaS
ahahaa! true, Daveo! ;)
22:13 November 4, 2011 by Coalbanks
Couldn't, shouldn't this have been done without identifying the family? Not very "child-centric" to identify them, was it? SDuspicion should have been acted on but why didn't sis take her sister & bro-in-law to those psychologists? Better to have helped than to condemned without proving any wrong-doing, no?
04:19 November 5, 2011 by swenrika
@Kaethar - Yup.. seems you are alone on this one ....

Well, what good is a law that does not work... what good is it to follow it.. what does that say about the ones following it.... and even worse.. what does it say about the ones enforcing it.... Laws need to be flexible, change with the times, adapt to the situation, just as people have to, and they need to do this far more quickly that has been the case..

I just find people use way to little common sense these days.. hide behind their positions and the law.. that is sooooo wrong...

And of course the children are affected.. hell, the parents are affected.... the relationship to the sister is affected.... the relationship to the grandparents is affected.... to friends it is affected........ how s..... do you have to be not to realize this ?? and in the case you don't see it.. what are you doing in social services?
10:31 November 5, 2011 by prince T
The problem with sWedish ewish laws is with those applying it. They work like zombies. They throw away reasoning, common sence and discretion into the air when dealing with cases. The case of 11yrs old thrown out of train, muslim man thrown out for showing tickets late and many more. A little discretion could have saved a lot of hazzles.

I think the Socials should apologise for pain caused, afterall the law was not meant to inflict pain on people. In the face of obvious evidence they will stick to what is written in book. They will not bulge even ur life is threatened especially the social services. I have been involed in 2 specific cases that untold pain was brought on families for months when a little bit of discretion could have saved time and money. This kind of thing gets to me that it is happening again and again
15:15 November 5, 2011 by EtoileBrilliant
"I tried but she didn't take it seriously."

Maybe, as has been discovered after the fact, it wasn't a serious matter. The psychiatrists' advise was based on er version of events.

I hope they lock her away from her children for 60 days for the common good.
17:03 November 5, 2011 by Bob Nelson
Sounds like the state would like to take all the children and raise them to serve the state - nothing new See "The Republic", Plato.

I agree the most serious concern is people will be very reluctant to report suspected abuse unless it is blatant.

A similar case I heard of form a friend related to his friend - Where he came form (Mongolia I think) it was common for babies to develop a bluish spot on their legs and the hospital assumed it was a bruise and accused the parents of abuse. They did not have much for their knowledge of inherited traits in other races and did not promptly consult a physician form that area.
12:56 November 6, 2011 by Jes
There many many cases where mothers have helped their pedhopile husbands to sexually abuse their own children .

Jennie , I am afraid , could be one of those mothers . If she thought that the penis touching incident was just a harmless accident , why did she tell her sister ?

The idiots that are having a go at the Social services would be here blaming someone if the sisters cry for intervention were totally neglected .

One should not forget that after the children were returned to their "innocent shoched " parents , Jennie was seen filming the kids while they were naked and tickling each other.

Whatever it is , the parents of these 2 girls are somewhat wicked .

At least we know that the sisters fears were not unfounded . She reported what she was told by the mother .
16:08 November 6, 2011 by Migga
@Jes

There probably are, but not in this case.

She told her sister beacuse they had a discussion about embarrassing situation that families with small childrens can find themselves in. A discussion between sisters.

The social services should have done an investigation before they kidnapped the childrens. Is that too much to ask?

No that wasn`t after they was returned. It was a prosecutor who digged up a vacation video from before and tried to use it to cover their mistakes. It was two childrens playing.

Why are they wicked? Do you know them? Do you know what happend? Do you know what the mother said?

The mother denies the claims of what the sister said that she was told. And her fears were unfounded. I don`t even think she had any fears. She did it to frame the parents. You don`t let people who you think abuse childrens, babysitt your own. Which the sister did and had plans of letting them the weekend after she reported it.
23:22 November 6, 2011 by billyb362
Ok, so a mentally deranged sister with a neurosis about penis touching, who is also under psychiatric care herself, deliberately misrepresents her sister's remarks cause she hates her sister for not allowing Aunt-nutcase to spend time with the kids.

So, Social Services steps in and does the right thing: 'GUILTY-until-proven-innocent, all on the grounds of what crazy-sis told social workers - no investigation needed. Social Services then traumatizes the whole friggin' family with horror, then arrogant enough to claim their actions were justified.

Not surprisingly, the government sheeple here chime in with undying support of their politicians and their assessment of the matter.

Welcome to family-friendly Sweden…where intimidation is 'the rule of law!
11:01 November 7, 2011 by Jes
@billyb362

you have a lot of details . Are you close to this "traumatized" family ?

If you are , please tell Jennie to never share her bed accidents with a " mentally deranged " sister .
13:39 November 7, 2011 by billyb362
@ Bluebell20111:

Sorry, but I can't let you off the hook with your little hypothesis on this story.

"The little girl touched her father's penis on more than one occasion - well, how about he keeps his pants on in front of little girls?"

Uh, reality check: Daddy shouldn't have to wear his jeans to bed at night for fear that his 6 yr. old daughter might climb into bed during the night and accidentally touch his penis.

How do you spell 'neurosis?'

"given the probable height of the father and the probable height of his daughters, this means that they were actually at face-level with an adult's genitals.

How would he like to be face to face with a bunch of some other man's pubes?"

Must say, you have a very lively, albeit perverted, imagination on how these children were positioned in their parent's bed. I guess it didn't occur to you - as it would to most parents - that more than likely the children were at eye level to their parents. But no, you've got those kids positioned several feet underneath the comforter! (In which case, they would not have been able to even breath while they slept) - in your imagination, you placed that child's face directly in front of her Dad's genitals.

It appears you may have an experiential frame of reference that doesn't apply to most families.

Maybe you should apply for a job with Social Services…those are the kinds of inferences they like!

"and take action if some pervert in the park acted as Daddy did, and exposed himself"

So, Daddy is acting like a 'pervert in the park and exposing himself'

(Though he's in his own bed with his Wife)

Again, in your view Daddies are GUILTY-until-proven-innocent.

"The appalling thing is that the sister's well-meaning call, having taken professional advice, has been made public! Expect a rash of horrendous child abuse cases as caring individuals are scared to report what they suspect!"

This person was a 'well-meaning sister?" Ok, so your sister tells you about an embarrassing family moment - obviously having nothing to hide - then you seek to get her and the husband charged with a sex crime and have their children taken away…how beautiful, everyone should have a 'well-meaning' sister like this!

My concern is that hysteric reactions and assumptions such as yours will have perfectly normal families living in fear and paranoia with their own children.

For the record: Social Services should 'investigate' FIRST! Then, pursue appropriate actions if necessary.
20:39 November 7, 2011 by alderney
so last night my 18mth old went to bed with pappa, both fell asleep together and when i went to bed.. said child had turned 180 .. on top of duvet.. pappa, who rarely wears a stitch to bed is under the duvet.. should i be on the social services list ?

am not entirely sure it is right that everyones identity has been published ?? is it ??
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