By Angelika Albaladejo, Capital & Main, October 16, 2019
Ingrid Archie thought she was doing everything right to protect her children. She got a restraining order against her abusive partner and moved into a domestic violence shelter with her kids.
Then Archie got arrested for child endangerment. It had been only a month since she’d left the relationship and she was struggling to get back on her feet. She was stressed out and trying to run errands with her two youngest daughters. One of the kids had fallen asleep in the car, so Archie cracked open the windows and ran inside a store with just her baby. She returned to find Los Angeles police officers with her child in the car.
Archie’s daughters were taken away, including her oldest, who wasn’t with her at the time of her arrest. At the police station, Archie told a social worker about the steps she’d taken to separate from her abuser and find safety for herself and the girls. She explained that she had postpartum depression and was having trouble finding child care and a steady job. It made no difference; Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) charged Archie with “failure to protect” her children from domestic violence, on top of child endangerment.