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A Florida mom has been accused of leaving seven children alone in a house for a month while staying with her husband. The same husband, in fact, has been accused of attacking two of her children. As such, the man had a restraining order to stay away from the children.

The woman, Elidiesneins Perez, 35, was arrested on seven counts of child neglect in August. The arrest came after one of the children called police to report that they had not been enrolled in school.

Authorities were called out to investigate the children’s situation, and found the seven kids, ranging in age from four to seventeen years old. Their home had little food, and police saw little evidence of recent adult supervision.

What Happened?

The children told police that they hadn’t seen their mother in over a month. The teenage children explained what had happened to the police. Earlier, Perez’s husband physically assaulted two of the teenagers.

This went to court, and the teens got a restraining order against the man. As such, he was not legally allowed to enter their home.

However, this resulted in Perez leaving the children alone in mid-July to go live with the husband. Since then, the children told police, they’d been fending for themselves.

One of the children, a 15-year-old with cerebral palsy, was supposed to have received a surgery and physical therapy. According to police, the children said none of them had seen a dentist or a doctor for over five years.

Now What?

The children are now in state custody. Perez is facing seven charges of child neglect. According to police, the children told them they’d rather live with foster parents than their biological mother. This resulted in the children being taken in by the state.

At present, it’s unclear if Perez has an attorney, and she has released no official statement on the case.

It is important for parents to remember that children have all the same needs and requirements as adults. They simply cannot be left to their own devices for long periods of time. Visits to the doctor and the dentist are one thing, but even daily needs like food and the attention and affection of a caretaker are critical.

Leaving children alone for stretches of time is a surefire way for them to fall to harm, whether that be through hunger, poor hygiene, or someone breaking into their residence.