Posts By: Nicole Goodwin

To Speak or Not to Speak – Weighing the pros and cons of revealing past trauma in court.

When parents are facing a child welfare case, they often keep silent about their past history of trauma. Sometimes parents’ past experiences are too painful to talk about. Other times parents fear that talking openly about experiences of violence or victimization might hurt their case. Parents are right to be concerned that what they say in court or to their worker can be used against them. At the same time, keeping all past … Read More

Rebuilding Ourselves – After Iraq—and removal—I had to heal myself and my daughter.

I learned early on that black women are supposed to be “strong” and endure pain in silence. The three years I spent in the military and thefive-and-a-half months I spent stationed in Iraq taught me the same lessons: Be strong. Be silent.

A month after my daughter, Shylah, was born, I kissed her good-bye and flew off to Iraq. When I came home, I brought painful memories with me in the form … Read More

‘Not Me, Not Ever’- Did my mother become the aggressor so she wouldn’t be the victim?

My mother grew up in South Carolina with about 11 siblings, maybe more. When I was a child, she’d tell me about her mother’s heartache; she had to bury four of her sons. But the stories that really rattled me were the ones about the abuse her mother took from her dad.

“He used to beat her,” she’d say as a matter of fact. No emotion, no sorrow. No anger or judgment. … Read More

Blamed for My War Wounds- Child protection left me feeling ashamed and angry. Preventive services support me.

When I came home from serving my country in Iraq, I also brought home a lot of war wounds inside of me. Over time, my symptoms ofpost-traumatic stress disorder grew harder and harder to handle, and made it harder and harder for me to take care of my daughter.

Eventually I was found guilty of neglecting my daughter and I ended up separated from her for six months. During those six months, … Read More