Letter from a mother and grandmother to Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa, County Governor of Rogaland
The end of July, 2017
Dear Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa,
My name is Svetlana Petrovna Lipich, I am a Ukrainian citizen, lawyer and former judge of the Ukrainian judiciary. I ask you, as a county governor in Rogaland, to stop what I consider to be the a lawless attack on the Storstrand family from the Child Welfare Services of Norway (Barnevernet).
My daughter Darya is married to Lars Storstrand. They have two children together: Jeva Gabrielle, born in 2009 and Kira Ingebjørg, born in 2011. The family lives at Norheim in Karmsund.
It all began when Jeva Gabrielle's teacher (klasseforstander) sent an alert to the CWS, after first having interrogated her, using suggestive questioning. I perceive this teacher as a Russophobe. Ever since Jeva started in second grade, at Norheim Skole there has been a torrent of totally unreasonable criticism from her side – and it is clear to me that she does not like my daughter’s primary nationality and Jeva's secondary nationality. Jeva has repeatedly told her family how other children have called her "foreigner" (even though she was born in Norway) - but the teacher rejects this as "not bullying". The teacher has even demanded to my daughter that she ought not speak Russian with her children at home. Is this possible in a democracy?
Jeva hardly speaks Russian, even. She thinks in Norwegian, not Russian, while thinking in Russian is necessary when speaking Russian. This is evident when she tries to speak the language. The result is that I, for one, do not understand what she means. That said, is it really bad that a person speaks more than one language?
The teacher has also made complaints about the food Jeva brings to school. It is a matter of bread, bought in a Norwegian store, and this should be forbidden to eat? Is this serious enough that one needs to send a letter of concern to the CWS? If something is considered forbidden to eat - should one rather do something to remove these products from the Supermarket shelves? In my view all this testifies to the teacher's negative attitude towards Russians and their children.
The teacher has even discussed with Jeva her relationship to her mother. When she found out that mom at times raises her voice when the children are disobedient - she sent the letter of concern.
On May 15, 2017, the CWS concluded that my daughter is a socially dangerous being, and demanded, without legal pursuant, that she should immediately move out of the house. Since then she has lived with others, without life support from NAV – which argues that she cannot have this since her husband has not demanded a trial separation. Is this a normal attitude towards a family? We Russians raise our voices. We are emotional. That's actually all you need to know. Why not cooperate with the family, rather than driving the mother from home? The family’s physician has bore witness that there is no reason to suspect any abuse or violence. The children are healthy and well balanced, and not any different from other Norwegian children.
In something that may look like an attempt to find compromising evidence, the children were taken to «Barnas Hus» in Stavanger to be interrogated. Without warning they were picked up early in the morning, without a chance to get dressed nicely, or to have time to sit still and have a decent breakfast. Five hours of this day were used for interrogation, in an effort to identify something, anything, negative that could be used against my daughter. What should a scared child say? Children get scared. Maybe they even think that they are in danger of being imprisoned. I am a lawyer myself and I know a little about the correct wording of questions for an interrogation, which I cannot see has taken place here. After these interrogations, the children were clearly stressed. It is traumatic. Is this normal Norwegian policy? How about protecting children's interests?
Why is my daughter being treated like a dangerous criminal? Anders Behring Breivik is not even treated like this. And he murdered 77 young people.
My daughter is now able to meet her children twice a week. At first the meetings were of twice one hour and now twice two hours. Recently she came ten minutes early because she needed to go to the restroom - which was adversely reported by the CWS reprentative. None of the circumstances were taken into account.
To me this seems like tactics like those of Gestapo. I presume you know what Gestapo was.
Is it necessary to use such methods to "protect" children and families? No, the children need their biological family - this is the best for the children, as also the child- and equality secretary Solveig Horne has stated.
Of course, there exist serious cases of child abuse, but individual cases must be treated individually. It seems to me that the employees in the CWS at Karmøy have a rather low level of education and competence. They focus exclusively on the negative - and fetch the children from the family without taking into account that their conduct has been what I consider to be bullying of both parents and children.
The case with the mass murderer Breivik (see above) is known all over the world.
I'm sure you're going to find out everything without breaking the family and the kids down mentally. Neither I nor the family mind that someone supports and helps the family if it is necessary to correct something, but it should be done in a friendly manner - without the people involved having to be humiliated. My daughter is morally crushed and treated with as little respect as a door mat. I had never imagined that this was possible in a beautiful country like Norway.
Earlier this summer, in Odessa, Ukraine, where I live, Ukrainian citizens saved the life of a Norwegian youngster who almost drowned due to an epileptic seizure. Those who saved him, risked their lives to save him. But what does the CWS do to my daughter (and secondarily to my grandchildren)? The truth is that they drown them.
Svetlana Petrovna Lipich,