|Type of paper:||Essay|
What are the circumstances that would've bought this family to the attention of child welfare services? Identify areas where missed opportunities persisted to intervene with this family when they were all children.
The circumstance that would have brought this family to the attention of child welfare services was the existence of the Nurse named Josephine Spegel, who was assigned to protect the children. Josephine was a social nurse assigned to the area by the government and her job was to protect the welfare of the children in such conditions as those of the Just family, both Venise and Fay's Children. From the documentary, it is quite clear that the social work nurse died protecting the welfare of the children. One of the girls narrates the incidence of how Melvin just killed the nurse when she stormed at him and told him face to face to stop molesting the girls or face the full wrath of the law. Therefore, the existence of the nurse would have gone a long way in bringing this family to the attention of child welfare services if the nurse would have stayed alive. Unfortunately, she was murdered by the same man who was molesting his stepdaughters as well as his own.
A missed opportunity that I saw in this documentary was the time that Melvin just left the family of James' grandma and went to that of Venice. That was a good opportunity for the James' mother and her sisters as well as their mother to seek intervention from other people and even from the government. This is because, at that time, Melvin Just was not living with them and therefore did not care what they did. He was just busy with his new wife Venise and her daughters, such as Jenise who he molested just like he had done for the narrator's mother and her sisters. That was a missed opportunity, especially for the mother of James and her sisters to seek help and justice for the suffering they had gone through in the hands of Melvin Just.
Describe the relationship between the caregivers (Mom & Dad; both Faye & Janise) and tell whether or not either parent is capable of protecting their children.
The relation between the caregivers in both situations of Fay and Janise was strained. In both, the dad seemed to have overwhelming power over mon. In this case, Melvin had overwhelming power over his wives. Fay narrates how to him, she was a punching bag (Whitney, 2000). That meant that she was being beaten every now and then by the man she called husband. As such, the parents were not capable of protecting their children because the mother did not have any say regarding here children and the father molested the children and harassed them sexually. This left the children with no protector in both Fay and Venise situations.
Describe the nature of the relationship of the children to the Dad first then to the Moms from both marriages.
In both marriages, the relationship of the children to their father was like a wife to a man. Nowhere in the documentary do we see any fatherly child-father relationship between Melvin and his daughters as well as his stepdaughters. Melvin turned his daughters and stepdaughters into wives and molested them by telling them to suck his dick and even play with his penis (Whitney, 2000) among other acts.
The relationship of the children to their moms in both marriages was like that of a woman and her co-wives. This is because both children and their moms serviced Melvin sexually. He slept with the mothers and their daughters and did sex to them. Therefore, the daughters, even though new that the moms were their mothers, they lived like cowives in the sense that they also had sex with the man they called father.
What is your view of the Moms' perspectives on their family life?
My view of the mom's perspectives of their family lives is that they led a dirty, immoral and slave-like life. I also think that they did not do enough to protect their children from the monster that ate them from within, Melvin. As such, I feel that these two moms, Fay and Venice failed in their duties as mothers to raise their children in the way that would make them have a better future.
What are some of the unique challenges that can be identified as you imagine yourself as the Social Worker working with this family?
Some of the unique challenges that I would face, imagining that I am social worker working with this family, would result from the fact that all these girls were molested in their childhood and as such it would be difficult to erase their dark past in their memories, This being the case, I imagine that it would be difficult to convince them that they can have a second chance in life to lead a better life. Another unique challenge that I would face is that no matter what happened. The girls still showed love to their father and stepfather in his old age (Whitney, 2000). This means that it would be extremely difficult to convict their father and still give them happiness. As such, they may not agree to have one voice on destroying their father as payback for molesting them and sexually harassing them in their childhood.
Are there any alternative support systems available to this family, if so what are they, if not, explain why?
For this family at this time, the alternative support system that is available is the rehabilitation and debriefing services offered by the state government as well as by the federal government. This is because these girls feel deprived of their rights by the man they called father. The moms feel that they were subjected to suffering by the man they called husband. Therefore, the best thing for them would be to offer them moral support and educate them on how to pick up their lives again for the betterment of their lives ahead. This would help to rehabilitate them mentally for and health wise for the two who are drug addicts. They can be taken to nursing cares and homes as well as rehabilitation centers where they can be given counseling and debriefing to make them better individuals and change their attitude towards life.
What are some of the strengths of the caregivers in the family?
I only see strength on the side of the moms in both families. Despite the problems they faced from their husband, Melvin, they did not divorce their husband. They stuck with their children. Even though it was painful to watch their children being molested and harassed by their father and stepfather, they did not abandon their children. They cried inwardly but remained together with their children (Whitney, 2000). That is the greatest strength in the caregivers. Unfortunately, I don't see any strengths on the side of the father because he was evil and of no good to the families, according to the documentary.
What are some of the strengths/coping mechanisms of the siblings from both marriages?
Some of the strengths and coping mechanisms of the siblings from both marriages are being able to stick with their mom's even when the situation was tough for them. Despite all that Fay was going through in the hands of Melvin Just, her children did not abandon her. They were always there for her. They did not have the strength to fight their father and as such, they obeyed everything he told them (Whitney, 2000). That obedience is a strength in both families. This is because it would be very difficult to see children still obeying a stepfather who has messed their lives up by molesting them and sexually harassing them. Respecting their father went a long way in helping them to cope with the problems that they faced at their homes. That is a strength for the siblings in both marriages. Furthermore, both children and stepchildren lived together like brothers and sisters. That was commendable from the two troubled families.
What is your opinion about the use of bible scriptures throughout the documentary?
In my view, the Bible scriptures are used in the documentary to show how Melvin misinterpreted the scripture to justify his inhuman acts against his wives Faye and Venise as well as against his own children as well as his stepchildren. In my opinion, the bible scriptures are used perfectly well in relevance to the content of the documentary and most importantly, in bringing out the aspect of misinterpreted meaning that seems to justify every evil that Melvin did by molesting the children and sleeping with them together with their mothers.
What was James' goal in creating and releasing this documentary about his family? Explain your view on whether or not he too suffers from his family's past.
James' goal in creating and releasing this documentary was to bring to the attention of the world that there are fathers who take advantage of their children and, unfortunately, since the children are very young and unable to agitate for their rights, many molesters go unpunished. Maybe, James might have done this to bring the plight of his family to the attention of the world to receive the necessarily required help for all his siblings. In my view, James suffers too from the past of his family because he is part and parcel of it and when he sees the kind of life some of his sisters are leading, he becomes bothered and he also remembers the one man who made them have such a miserable life.
Whitney, J, R. (2000). Just, Melvin. Just Evil. A classic documentary about abuse. Accessed on 11th April 2018 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY4eHaiVK9s
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