It has been said that one of the most dangerous places for a child to live is in a home with a non-biological male. It’s a statistical fact that parents are more likely to abuse their stepchildren than they are their biological children— a phenomenon commonly referred to as the Cinderella effect in evolutionary psychology.
In spite of the warnings, Marjorie Van Ness chose to marry the one man that everyone hated. Stefanie’s new step-father wasted no time in showing her who was boss. Meanwhile, her mother did nothing to protect her from the physical and emotional abuse that he inflicted upon her child.
The story illustrates both the mistreatment and ambivalence toward a stepchild, as well as the lasting impact that witnessing spousal abuse can have on a child.
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About the Author
Susan Hoffman is a freelance journalist/photographer and founder of a non-profit charitable organization, Advocates For Grandparent-Grandchild Connection. She is the author of Grand Wishes and A Precious Bond and is an advocate for children’s rights. She lives in Newport Beach California.