Welcome to the sixth/seventh edition of THE GUARDIAN OF TRUTH ( GOT).
Traveling down this path of activism together, we are sharing some victories, and sadly even more tragedies. Protective Mother's stories of heartache and despair are brought to light as we battle this broken family court system together.
One of PMAs State Chapter Leader's was recently assaulted by a foster mother who was caring for her children against her will, yet court ordered. This foster mother damaged our leader's elbow so badly that even with surgery, it will never be the same.
This begs the question: If this foster mother can assault an adult in this manner, what is she doing to this mother's children?
Will the court officials involved, finally step up to the plate and protect these precious children? Will they send them back to their fit biological mother who they miss so much and so desperately need in their young lives?? Time will tell.
A protective mother who has battled the family court system for too many years, loses her children then promply commits suicide.
One of PMAs most active State Chapter Leader's son commits suicide after years of torment, bullying and abuse by his abusive dad and the dads family. His young life cut short, by yet another family court which cares more about a fathers rights then they care about protecting the children.
Yet in the darkness of despair and anguish, lies pin points of the brightest light of hope, inspiration and victories. These pinpoints of light punch powerful holes in the dark, and have the magical ability when mixed with focused love, solidarity, and action to expand into the brightest of light beams that continues to grow, until the darkness is consumed by this light and victory is achieved.
Can we achieve this?? We must, as the alternative is an unacceptable fate that this country and other countries simply cannot afford to experience. The children are the future, our most precious resource and we cannot let them down. They deserve our very best and PMA will continue to fight for these precious children until the light consumes the darkness and we are finally at a place where children are loved, respected and valued as they deserve to be. A place in our culture and all the cultures around the world, where motherhood is lifted up to the highest position of respect and esteem, becoming the most important calling that a women could ever answer and fulfill; That which is being her children's mother.
Protective Mother and Child Reunion:
Gold Ribbon Campaign
“The beautiful memories that we have of our beloved children are golden and can NEVER be erased from our hearts and
PMA is promoting our ongoing Gold Ribbon Campaign in an effort to reunite protective mothers and their children who have been separated by the family courts. We encourage all advocates and their allies around the globe to wear gold ribbons and to tie gold ribbons around trees to symbolize the effort that protective mothers and their allies are making to reunite children with their protective moms.
"Some people are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway"
Special Report - A Protective Mother's Story
In this special report, PMA shares with all protective mothers, advocates and supporters a unique situation that one of our many callers found herself involved in. Sit back and allow yourselves to enter the world of our anonymous protective mother as she attempts to maneuver through uncharted territory for the safety of her child.
A FAIRY TALE TURNED NIGHTMARE:
My story may ring alot of bells to some Americans who have married an immigrant. We are all aware of charming narcissistic men . But charming narcissistic men with an agenda and hope for "the good life" in the U.S are a breed unto themselves . These men prey on your giving, loving heart and, charm you into falling in love with them. They convince you to marry them by telling you their sad tall tales, and then they tie that tale up with a big bow of guilt. But it is only when you become pregnant with their child that the nightmare really begins....
This is my story: PART 2:
After receiving the news that I was pregnant, he was very excited and even more anxious to come to the United States. During the months to follow, we were in constant communication via telephone every day. The pressures of asking for time off to seek legal advice (concerning how to get my fiancé into this country), the usual bills, the emotional and physical demands on my newly pregnant body, the isolation I was feeling as a result of working alone to figure out both processes simultaneously, began to take their toll. I was emotionally and physically exhausted not being able to get him here, as he had no status of any kind such as visa, passport etc... to come into the US. As I write this now, it’s so clear what was going on, I was really blinded at the time. He was completely charming and believable, of course now I see the signs that I missed then. (We live life forward and understand it in reverse). Anyway, time passed and I had to bring up the question about finances for the pregnancy, as I did not have medical insurance. My future husband who was so excited about having this baby states that he didn’t have money and said it was up to me if I wanted to abort the baby. (Another warning sign!) I stated that I would not do that and would seek government help.
The first social worker who learned of my situation was particularly judgmental of me. He became very upset when I told him I was going to marry an Iranian. He told me a story about an American who married an Iranian and he beat her; he suggested that I change my mind. He later declined the medical insurance I desperately required and just said that I made too much money. I didn’t let his behavior stop me from pursuing the help I needed so, I called a different social worker and explained the situation to her. She was wonderful and held no judgments and took on helping me and our baby! She proceeded with organizing and submitting my paperwork and realized that I was completely eligible. So, with her help I received the medical attention for my pregnancy.
I explained to my fiancé that I was able to get the insurance, and as I recall he wasn’t excited that I got it; he was indifferent about the whole thing. So during the months to follow, we waited patiently and continued our constant communication.
Knowing the difficulties I was experiencing, my boss graciously suggested I take some time off to go be with my fiancé in Europe to make sure our love was still intact. I excitedly told my fiancé the news that I would be coming! He then came up with reasons I shouldn’t come. He stated that he had no place to live and no money to support us while I was there. I explained that he didn’t have to worry about that; I had money for the plane ticket, and enough money while I was there, and a place for us to stay. The day I was to book the ticket, he told me not to come, he wasn't sure if he was going to leave the country and ask for asylum in another country. I was shocked, hurt and completely confused by this, and just convinced myself that he was under extreme stress. This conversation did however; leave me with doubts about us, and that maybe he just didn't want me to come....
to be continued...
Anonymous Protective Mother
Do good anyway."
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: MO TERESA HANNAH PHD
DR Hannah is Professor of Psychology at Sienna College in Loudonville, NY. A clinical psychologist, Dr Hannah specializes in couples therapy. She has published six books, and she teaches and speaks on topics related to relational psychology and battering dynamics. Dr Hannah's interest in abusive dynamics and their impact on interpersonal relationships, led her to develop with fellow battered mother and friend, The Battered Mothers Custody Conference.
( BMCC) first held in January 2004. She is Co - Editor ( with attorney Barry Goldstein) of the upcoming book on this topic. Domestic Violence, Abuse and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues.
Our very own co founder/co director Janice Levinson , had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Hannah for this issue of GOT:
JL: What is your favorite word?
JL: Least favorite word?
JL: What turns you on creatively, spiritually, emotionally?
MH: Meditation, contemplation, reading, music, singing and playing, time with my kids, teaching, and learning.
JL: What turns you off?
JL: What sound or noise do you love?
MH: The Holosync program's meditation music.. Mind blowing. And the ambient sounds of Steve Roach, which I hear is what the afterlife sounds like.
JL: Do you hate?
MH: Drunken brawls at 2 in the morning coming from the Roman Pub on Rt. 2 in Latham, New York.
JL: What profession other then your own would you like to attempt?
JL: What profession would you not like to do?
MH: Just about everything, except what I do.
JL: If heaven exists what would you like to hear God say as you arrive at the pearly gates?
MH: No admission fee.
JL: What is your favorite color?
MH: The colors of the seven chakras.
JL: What is your favorite food?
MH: Grapes and most other green things.
JL: If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?
MH: Right here, right now.
JL: Where is your dream vacation?
MH: Any place where I'd get no phone calls or emails for a month.
JL: If you had a magic wand to do anything with , how would you use it?
MH: Transform the world into a place where abuse doesn't exist.
JL: Why did you begin this journey as an advocate?
MH: Because I was royally pissed off at what was done to me and multitudes of my sisters,and I wanted to fight back.
JL: What motivates you?
MH: Inner peace.
Thank you so much MO for your cooperation, support and dedication towards PMA International.
Do good anyway."
GETTING TO KNOW US: KARIN HUFFER
PMA is proud to claim Karin Huffer, as our Nevada State chapter Leader. Karin Huffer M.S., M.F.T. is an AAMFT Clinical Member , Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice and public consultant. Karin is the author of Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome. Karin continues groundbreaking research, writing, and speaking on the effects of ethics and legal violations on individuals and our culture. The denial of honest services, cronyism, and widespread acceptance of fraud on the court precipitates complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), called Legal Abuse Syndrome. She is deeply concerned that access to our court system is being denied to protective parents, and permanently damaging children. Karin proposes that this public health menace must be confronted as a compensable condition. Therefore, she serves as an expert witness regarding special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She continues to perfect protocols for treating PTSD from litigation and is certified in both levels in Eye
Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Karin has been a columnist for Nevada Woman Magazine, Risk Management Magazine, has published several articles, and made many radio and TV appearances. She is committed to bringing the medical and legal communities together to eradicate Legal Abuse Syndrome, a preventable public health epidemic.
Be honest and frank anyway."
PMA LOOKS AT THE NEWS:
Custody Battle For Child Of Murderer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Supreme Court on Monday said the parents of a man who murdered his estranged wife and two others should be able to adopt the couple's 9-year-old daughter, as opposed to the slain woman's parents.
The decision involves a custody battle and adoption fight over the child of a man who opened fire at the Tennessee Department of Transportation headquarters in Jackson in 2005. David Lynn Jordan was sentenced to death for the murders of his estranged wife, Donna Renee Jordan, and two others. The 31-year-old woman was a TDOT employee.
Please click the link below for more of the story.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway."
HERO/SHERO OF THE MONTH: Taylor Lemm
My name is Shannon Taylor Saunders'Lemm, but I am known as Taylor. I am 18 years of age and a freshman at Thomas Nelson. I live with my mother, sister, and the man whom I call my “father.” I am a victim, and survivor, of a horrendous crime. I was sexually abused by my “biological” father, whom I last saw at my high school graduation. I have never sent this letter, I wrote it for myself, knowing sending it would not help anything in this circumstance. I have triumphed over the evil I believe was in my life, with good help from family, therapists, good friends that loved me, and my unbelievable mother. We got through something, that in this day in age is almost impossible. I want to fight this system that is taking children and placing them with men that have broken the law multiple times and are abusing them. This needs to change.
We are proud to announce another co director of HEAR US NOW Taylor Lemm.
Taylor found her voice at this year's BMCC. Taylor courageously confronted her abusive dad in a letter, which she shared with everyone at the BMCC VII. Once she finished her presentation there was not a dry eye in the house. Thank you Taylor for your strength and courage. PMA is so proud to have you as part of our family. We appreciate your generosity and willingness to share your powerful letter with our readers.
First off, I would like to tell you how wonderful my Graduation day was, no thanks to you. You go behind my back to get tickets. Thanks to some of my teachers I thought twice to ask the people selling tickets if you had ordered some. Also, my mothers wonderful boss had sent you a letter telling you not to come, saying how it would cause me emotional distress and to respect my wishes, you still manage to show up. Thats how I know that you came for yourself, and not me. I would really like to know, honestly, what you were trying to do by not telling me you were going to be there. Was it to shock me? To make me upset? Well whatever it was you did not win. FYI, if I didn't invite you, that should have been enough to say I don't want you there. I had a wonderful day, and I spent it with the people that matter to me the most, the ones that have been there for me and loved me. The ones that raised me right, made me see who God is and what he has planned for me and my life. Its amazing to me. That I have seen and felt real pain, caused from my “biological father.” I like to call you that, makes me feel more and more that you aren't apart of my life. That I overcame you, that my father, Giovanni, showed me what being a good dad is really about. Lets also talk about my mother. I would just like to let you know how wonderful she raised me. That she showed me everything I needed to know. She made me strong, very strong. Strong enough to ignore you video taping me, when before I might have cried. Oh and by the way, I hope you love the footage.
I'm not going to get into “why wont you admit it”, or “why did you do these things to me” because I wont get anywhere. In a way I'm glad I overcame what I overcame, because it made me understand other how tough the world is. I'm planning on helping other children as a career, so pedophiles, like yourself, will be shown more justice than I could ever say you got. As for this letter, I do not want a response. Who knows with you though, right? Your too worried about what is in YOUR best interest.
I would like to see my sister and brothers, so you can contact my dad for those plans. One last thing...just know, I'm not sure what exactly you told your new wife, but if she tells me she's praying for me when I see her like she did last time, I promise you that I will unleash gory details of what a pervert you are, whether she believes me or not. The fact is, God is on my side, and he's a lot to fight Gary.
Help people anyway."
NOW THAT WE KNOW THE CUSTODY COURT SYSTEM IS BROKEN : Barry Goldstein Esq
Ten Ways Anti-sexist Men Can Help Reform the System
Research has now established that the custody court system's response to domestic violence cases is deeply flawed.1 Courts' use of outdated practices, unqualified professionals, inadequate training, gender bias and other mistakes has resulted in thousands of children being sent to live with abusers. This article explores the role anti-sexist men can play in reforming the custody court system.
Extremists who control “fathers' rights” groups have developed powerful tactics to help abusers maintain what they believe is men's privilege to control their partners and make the major decisions in the relationship. Abusive fathers with little involvement with their children during the relationship are seeking custody as a way to pressure his partner to return, punish her for leaving or obtain a favorable settlement of economic issues. Judges and other professionals, happy to see a father interested in his children have been slow to recognize abusers' legal tactics. The male supremacist activists have created an illusion that they speak for most fathers. This is why it is particularly important that good men speak out for the safety of protective mothers and their children.
Garland Waller is an award winning producer of documentaries and professor of communications at Boston University. In her chapter for the forthcoming book DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY, she describes the failure of the media and particularly the national media to expose the crisis in the custody court system. Professor Waller suggests that there is a “tipping point” for this issue and once enough of the public is aware of the problem, the media will cover the issue and the public will no longer tolerate the outdated practices that have ruined so many children's lives. The suggestions in this article are designed to help society reach this tipping point.
1. Learn about the subject: In order for men to play a role in ending these avoidable tragedies, they have to first make themselves knowledgeable about the subject. Fortunately there is much up-to-date research and information available to refute the myths and stereotypes commonly used by those unfamiliar with this research. On the web, good information and links can be found at web sites for the Battered Mothers Custody Conference (Batteredmotherscustodyconference.org), National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV.org), Leadership Council (Leadershipcouncil.org), Stop Family Violence (Stopfamilyviolence.org), Liz Library (thelizlibrary.org) and my web site (Barrygoldstein.net). This is not a complete list and many other good sites will be found in the links available on these sites.
Many good books and articles containing up-to-date research and information are also available. Men who wish to read about this topic should consider work by Lundy Bancroft, Dr. Jay Silverman, Peter Jaffe, Claire Crooks, Nicholas Bala, Joan Zorza, Evan Stark, Michael Lesher, Dr. Amy Neustein, Dr. Maureen Hannah and Barry Goldstein. These writers in turn cite research from other good sources. Men should avoid articles based on flawed and biased research such as those cited by male supremacist organizations or Parental Alienation Syndrome propagandists.
Another good source of accurate information about the crisis in the custody court system is domestic violence advocates and protective mothers. Domestic violence advocates are the only professionals that work full time on domestic violence issues. Their information is often minimized based on the belief that they are partisan. The advocates have the expertise to recognize domestic violence and understand the best approaches to preventing it. Domestic violence advocates always oppose domestic violence just as firefighters are always against arson and doctors against disease. No one considers them partisans because it is society's policy to prevent arson and disease just as it is our policy to prevent domestic violence. Anti-sexist men can learn from the advocates in their community and support their work.
2. Speak to friends, family and colleagues: Many protective mothers have expressed the concern or experience that people would assume they must be horrible mothers because they lost custody. Male supremacists support this myth when they claim the court system favors women because mothers receive custody more often than fathers. While the statement is true, it is also misleading because most of the time cases are settled more or less amicably and the mother receives custody on consent. This reflects the practice of mothers doing most of the child-care in this society. The problem is contested custody cases, 90% of which involve abusive fathers seeking custody, but 70-83% of these cases result in custody or joint custody to the overwhelmingly abusive fathers.2
Anti-sexist men can help change the hostility faced by protective mothers and move towards the tipping point by discussing the crisis in the custody court system with family, friends and colleagues. This will help make the public aware of the intolerable practices involving domestic violence custody cases. As word about these tragedies spreads people in a position to change the system or further inform the public will be among those educated.
3. Speak out in letters to the editor, talk radio and on the Internet: Male supremacists constitute an extreme fringe group that opposes child support, enforcement of domestic violence laws and in some cases support sex between adults and children. Obviously if they expressed their agenda they would not be taken seriously. Instead they create the illusion of reasonableness by using seemingly reasonable positions like shared parenting, compromise, “friendly parent” parental alienation syndrome and “fathers' rights” to promote their agenda. They are well funded and often successful in manipulating courts, media and politicians to believe they speak for most fathers.
Accordingly it is important for good fathers to speak out and make sure the public understands these extremists do not speak for us. Men can support protective mothers by writing letters to the editor, making calls to talk radio and posting their views on the Internet. These acts help bring public awareness about the crisis in the custody court system and counter the misperception that custody disputes are a battle between mothers and fathers rather than between safety and abuse. Reporters, like other professionals frequently fail to understand domestic violence custody issues or place them in the proper context. Men can contact reporters and news outlets when they see inaccurate coverage of this issue and encourage the media to use genuine experts such as domestic violence advocates as their sources of information.
4. Help local protective mothers: The crisis in the custody court system is a national problem so protective mothers who have been mistreated by the court system can be found in every state and most localities. Men can go to court, and observe the proceedings to support protective mothers. Some, but not all abused women have friends, family or domestic violence advocates to accompany them to court. The court can often be frightening and hostile to victims of domestic violence so the more support she receives the better. In the notorious Shockome case in Poughkeepsie, New York a dozen advocates and supporters regularly came to court to support the Dutchess County Mother of the Year who was abused first by her husband and then by the court. We noticed that the judge treated male observers more respectfully than female observers. Although this practice is wrong, it points out the importance of good men supporting battered mothers. I do not believe it was coincidence that when the mother appeared in court without her supporters, the judge treated her repeated statements of "objection" designed to preserve her right to appeal as if her intent was to interfere with the court process. The judge sent the seven-months' pregnant woman to jail for almost a month for this "contempt."
When I was preparing to give a workshop at a NOMAS conference with Ben Atherton-Zeman, we prepared by asking protective mothers and their advocates what men could do to help. Many of the women suggested that men come to court to support protective mothers in their area. Men who wish to support a protective mother can contact the local domestic violence agency and organizations working to reform the custody court system to find protective mothers looking for support. The women have had their trust violated by their partners and often by the court system they thought would protect them. Accordingly men must understand that some of the survivors may have trouble trusting another man so he should be guided by her preferences and comfort.
5. Support organizations working to help protective mothers: Protective mothers often enter the custody court system expecting to easily receive custody because they have been the main caregiver and the children's need for their mother is obvious. They are not prepared for the brutal attacks they receive from their abusers and how open the courts are to lies and manipulation by their abusers. The failure of the media to expose the crisis contributes to the shock protective mothers feel when they realize what they are up against. Battered mothers often expend a great deal of resources and energy attempting to reinvent the wheel. There are now many wonderful organizations and resources available for protective mothers and anti-sexist men can help by supporting these organizations.
The Battered Mothers Custody Conference (BMCC) has held annual conferences every year. since 2004 bringing together the leading national experts about domestic violence custody cases and protective mothers. The organization was founded and is led by Dr. Mo Hannah. They also have a web site with research and sources of assistance. BMCC focuses solely on the protective mother issue and its efforts have helped increase the involvement of domestic violence organizations. The leading national organization working on domestic violence issues is the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV They have made the crisis in the custody court system an important priority because the abuser tactic of seeking custody to maintain control over mothers seeking safety has been successful in stopping progress to end men's violence against women. They have state coalitions and local agencies as part of their membership that provide resources for protective mothers in most communities. Protective mothers should start by contacting their local domestic violence agency. These organizations provide many more services besides shelters. Stop Family Violence is an organization led by Irene Weiser that has made protective mothers a high priority. They have research available on their web site and organize advocacy to change policies that make it harder for mothers to protect their children. Of course there is Protective Mothers Alliance International and all protective moms should join. The Leadership Council is an organization of respected professionals who use their expertise to help protective mothers. They have good research on their web site and sometimes provide expertise on particular cases. Some chapters of NOW have made this issue a high priority. There are many other organizations, locally and online working on this issue. Anti-sexist men can join these organizations, provide financial and other support, and send messages to government officials and the media in support of the actions of these organizations. As mentioned before it is particularly helpful for government officials and the media to know that men support protective mothers because male supremacists seek to create the illusion they speak for most men.
6. Work with anti-sexist men's groups: Men have come together to create organizations designed to oppose men's abuse of women and sexism. The National Organization of Men against Sexism (NOMAS), A Call to Men and others work to support the movement to end domestic violence. NOMAS has a child custody task force that works to support protective mothers. Anti-sexist men should join these men's organizations and send a message that the custody crisis is not a dispute between men and women, but an issue about the safety of children and mothers abused by their partners and too often inadequately trained court professionals.
7. Contact your local court system and ask them to adopt up-to-date practices: When the modern movement to end domestic violence started in the mid to late 1970s, there was virtually no research to help understand domestic violence. Courts adopted practices and approaches to respond to domestic violence custody cases during this time frame. Most of these practices are still in place despite substantial research and information to demonstrate the failure of these approaches. This is why courts so often fail to recognize domestic violence and frequently force children to live with abusers.
With the publication of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY and other research there can be no further doubt that the custody court system is broken. Rita Smith, Executive Director of the NCADV has written that after the publication of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY, any continuation of the present practices should be considered malpractice. Protective mothers and their allies will be working to convince courts to revise their training methods and practices based upon up-to-date research and information. Anti-sexist men can help this key aspect of the reform movement by contacting their local administrative judges and asking them to apply this up-to-date information into standard court practices. While it would be unethical for judges to discuss specific cases, discussion of patterns of problems in the court system and useful research is totally appropriate. One of the problems with the court system is the lack of accountability of judges and other professionals. Involvement of the public through such contacts would make judges understand the public is watching the courts to make sure children are protected from abusers.
8. Seek legislative reforms: Although the courts could do a good job protecting children with the present laws, there are changes to the law that would provide additional safety to protective mothers and their children. Laws supporting “friendly parent” provisions or shared parenting should be repealed because they are routinely used to support abusers and even when there is an exception for domestic violence, the exception is regularly ignored or minimized. These laws have been applied in a gender biased manner and there is no research to support a belief the laws benefit children. Research regarding the harm of domestic violence to children has resulted in laws requiring courts to consider domestic violence or create a presumption favoring custody for the non-abusive parent. The problem is that most of the laws apply only to the more severe forms of abuse and require a high level of proof. Legislatures should pass laws supporting the best practices found in up-to-date research which is the victim or less aggressive parent should have custody and the abuser should at least initially be limited to supervised visitation. Professionals without substantial domestic violence training and experience should not be permitted to work on domestic violence custody cases or should at least be required to consult with a genuine expert. Courts should be required to keep records for each judge of how often they make findings supporting allegations of domestic violence and how frequently they create Custody-Visitation Scandal Cases. Courts should be specifically barred from permitting evidence of unscientific theories such as Parental Alienation Syndrome. Judges should be required to put their reasons in writing when they rule against domestic violence allegations. Laws should be passed encouraging courts to award legal fees and other support to the parent having fewer assets when this is required to level the playing field. Evidence of gender bias should be grounds for appeal and when a judge engages in gender bias an appeals court should not be permitted to defer to his judgment based on his familiarity with the parties and their demeanor in court. States should establish effective disciplinary protocols for judges and create whistle blower protections for attorneys or others who expose improper behavior of professionals in the court system.
The organizations mentioned before often work on legislative reforms and anti-sexist men can support these campaigns. They can also write to their representatives and speak with them about the crisis in the custody court system and need for reforms. Most people including legislators are unaware of the seriousness of these problems. The more they hear from the public the easier it will be to create the needed reforms.
9. Contact journalists: Although the media covers domestic violence issues far more frequently than before the start of the domestic violence movement, it continues to make too many mistakes. Few journalists have training in domestic violence so when they are assigned a domestic violence story they often use unaccountable language and don't know who the experts are. Journalists frequently use terms like “domestic dispute” to describe a vicious assault by a husband against his wife. The language makes it seem as it both parties contributed to the problem. This would be like describing the mugging and robbery of a cab driver as a “fare dispute.” The one profession that works full time on domestic violence issues and must have extensive training is domestic violence advocates. Recently there was a series of murder-suicides across the country where men killed their wives, children and/or other family members. The media produced some stories in which they looked at the economy, guns, depression and personal setbacks as causes of these tragedies. In fact many of the cases included histories of domestic violence and custody disputes, but the media failed to consider the most likely cause. Women suffer depression and economic hardships and tragically they sometimes commit suicide, but they don't usually kill their family also. The difference is that men more often believe they have the right to make decisions for their family and that no one else can have her. The journalists could do a better job analyzing the pattern if they spoke with domestic violence experts.
The failure of the media to expose the crisis in the custody court system is a major obstacle to creating the needed reforms. The media is critical to helping the public understand the problem so the “tipping point” can be reached. Anti-sexist men can encourage the media to cover the issue and help them understand the male supremacists do not speak for most men. Men can contact reporters in response to articles about domestic violence and point out mistakes regarding domestic violence information. Ask reporters to do follow-up stories that focus on the custody court crisis. Encourage reporters to use local domestic violence agencies and national experts as sources of information to help them understand the issues. If the media gives coverage to the male supremacist viewpoint, request articles supporting protective mothers. Encourage reporters to look at the patterns of these cases instead of just an individual case that might not be typical.
10. Use your position, contacts and influence: The failure of the court system to recognize the abuser tactic of seeking custody to maintain control over his victim and punish her for leaving has caused the courts to inflict unspeakable pain and suffering on children and protective mothers. Since a large majority of men and women prisoners experienced domestic violence or child abuse as children, the courts' failure has undoubtedly resulted in the loss of potential of thousands of battered women, children and third parties victimized by crimes committed by abused children. I do not believe the public would tolerate this tragedy if they knew the extent of the problem. This is why it is so important to bring attention to the pattern of mistakes that has resulted in so many children forced to live with abusers.
Anti-sexist men can use their positions and contacts to help the public understand this problem. Anyone in an academic institution can encourage domestic violence to be included in the curriculum and their institution to present speakers. Men can encourage their religious leaders to speak out about the custody crisis, provide programs and information and support protective mothers in the congregation. Civic institutions like Rotary or Kiwanis can be encouraged to create programs about this issue. Lawyers can encourage pro se and reduced fee representation of protective mothers, better training regarding domestic violence and to speak out when judges or others engage in gender bias. Businesses can support protective mother organizations, provide jobs and support for protective mothers and prevent abusers from using resources at work to harass his partner. Perhaps the media would pay more attention to advertisers than they do to protective mothers when we seek coverage about domestic violence custody cases. I am sure men can come up with many other ways they can use whatever contacts or influence they have on behalf of protective mothers and their children.
In my first book, I told the story of three children who were physically and sexually abused by their father. My client had to go to Family Court for an order of protection and custody. The children bravely told the judge, their attorney, the court-appointed evaluator and the child protective service caseworker what their father had done. As is typical of these cases, the professionals all believed the mother was pressuring the children to make false allegations and warned her she would lose custody if she did not stop. The judge ordered unsupervised visits with the father to resume. Thereafter the father was confronted by the baby-sitter in the presence of the law guardian and admitted kissing his daughters on their privates. The law guardian responded by joining me in a motion to stop the unsupervised visitation. The judge consulted with the evaluator who said the father used bad judgment but he should still receive his visitation. During this visitation the four-year-old was penetrated for the first time. I called child protective services to make a new report based on the father's admissions. When the judge heard this he yelled and screamed at me saying the allegations had already been investigated. A new caseworker investigated the allegations and found the father did far worse than we alleged. CPS filed charges against the father and he never again received more than supervised visits. When the mother won custody she invited the caseworker and I to a celebratory dinner. The children had a name for us. They called us “believers” because we believed them when all the professionals who were supposed to protect them didn't. We will need a lot more believers in order to protect our precious children.
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway."
INSPIRATIONS FROM THE HEART:
She took her life
She tried to cope
she lost her hope
Her hearrrrrrrrt, was broken
It isn't right!
it iiiisn't fair-air air
now she's, not here
her chiiiild, was stolen
And now, her cries
A great, injuh.....stice,
truuuuuuuuuuth for lies
Who will remember?
a mother who lost HER baby
no one was there to protect her,
they got what they wanted and left her broken and empty!
And now, her voice
A great, injuh.....stice,
truuuuuuuuuuth for lies
Tonight, she died
She took her last breath
she tried to cope
it's hard when your hope is stolen, broken,
the day they took away her baby, yeah-eah
Who will remember?
DON'T you forget about this MOTHER!
We've got to defend her,
And every mother who's left broken and empty!
NOW! We rise,
It's time, and, we recognize
truth, from lies
so let's unite and defend what's right
Before another mother, DIES!
"Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway."
for a very successful peaceful silent vigil in Washington DC this past MOTHER'S DAY
MOTHERS DAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE
it is between you and God
It was never between you and them anyway."
UNTIL NEXT TIME WISHING YOU LIGHT LOVE AND TRUTH THE PMA FAMILY OF ADVOCATES
Please visit our links:
Please listen to our Protective Mothers Alliance blog talk radio shows:
Please visit our web site:
Please visit our Facebook group sites:
Please visit us on ning:
Please follow PMA on twitter;