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Jul 242013
 

I  have a dear friend, I’ll  call her Jane Smith, who is in the fight for her son’s life. Her son’s father physically abused her to the point that she has a permanent restraining order against him, and in her state lives in a “secret” place, with her ex not (supposedly) being able to find out her address. Some how, though, he seems to always be able to find out where she lives, though she has moved frequently and all her utilities, drivers license address, etc. is the “secret” address provided by the courts.

Unfortunately, even though it has been documented that her ex slammed her 6 yr old son into the wall, and has been inappropriate with the child in a sexual way, and the child is terrified of him, the courts make her share custody 50/50 with this monster…who by the way has plenty of money and keeps her in court making unjust assertions about how she is the bad parent. This man also grossly physically abused a former girlfriend as well, so this is no isolated instance in his behavior, there is a pattern of abuse in his life.

The psychologist that the father hired has rendered a report that says the mother  is a “nut case” and should have no contact with the child. This particular psychologist seems to hate women, and there  is a long pattern of him rendering such reports against many nurturing mothers. The judge also has a pattern against women in her court. The result of this is that currently, the man has accused her of all kinds of mistreatment, and the son has been given over to the father, with the mother having only a few hours of supervised visitation with the boy.

Though the child’s counselor, the school counselor, and the child’s teacher all stand up for the mother, the child lives in terror at his father’s.

Unfortunately, Jane’s case is not unique.

There are all shades of failure in our “family court” system, just as there are all shades of abuse against children.  Sometimes one parent is aware of the abuse by the other parent and covers up for the abuser, and in other cases, the parent tries desperately to protect the child, just as Jane is attempting to do and the courts operate under the  idea that “just because he abused his wife, doesn’t mean he abuses the children.” The truth is that if a person will abuse ANYONE they will abuse EVERYONE.

There are many articles on the net about such failure of both the court systems and failure of some parents who are aware of the abuse to live in denial and to allow the abuse to continue. Here is a selection of these articles.

http://www.lundybancroft.com/?page_id=134

And just as there is a special beauty and importance to relationships between mothers and their children, there is a special and extraordinary cruelty in the abusive man who attempts to break or weaken the mother-child bond, whether by turning children against their mother, by harming the children physically, sexually or psychologically, or by attempting to take custody of the children away from her.Ask nearly anyone: They’ll say they would speak up if they thought a child was being sexually used or abused. Many are certain they’d recognize exploitative or abusive behavior if it were happening. Almost no one believes they would allow harmful sexual behavior to continue if they knew for sure that it was going on.

And yet, the sad truth: Millions of children have unwanted or abusive sexual experiences. Many of them believe, correctly, that someone else knows or should know about their situation, but does little or nothing to protect them. Some tell adults what’s going on, seeking protection and help, only to be met with disbelief, denial, blame, or even punishment. How can that be?

http://1in6.org/men/get-information/online-readings/others-who-were-involved-or-not/why-do-adults-fail-to-protect-children-from-sexual-abuse-or-exploitation/

It is up to us as nurturing parents to protect our children from abuse, and yet, the “family courts” of this country some how “don’t get it” about a child being kept away from an offending parent, but seem to think that a parent’s “rights” to their children should be protected. Where are the rights for a child to grow up in a safe, nurturing environment  safe from exposure to people who are violent?

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  14 Responses to “Family courts’ failure Protecting children from abusers

  1. It’s HARD for your friend to live the way she lives. The courts obviously don’t always make the right decisions (for different reasons). What we can do is keep this child and his mother in our prayers, fighting for the two of them in that way. I’m sorry that this mother and her child have learned about evil people the hard way.

  2. Blue, Jane and her son are forever in my prayers daily, she is fighting a fight with pure evil, and in many ways her hands are tied by the psychologist and the judge who are both corrupt. Fortunately, she has some backing from others and a net work of friends who are supportive, but I can only imagine the pain she is suffering worrying about her child being so unhappy and scared. Her x is using the child to deliberately hurt her, which is not unusual in these cases.

  3. Joyce, this is a very sad article, but it’s 100% true: the Courts aren’t interested in protecting the children OR the adults who have been abused and terrorized.

    I do not see any progress in this situation. Time, and again, children have been FORCED into custody/visitation arrangements with parents who have NO BUSINESS being involved in their lives, at all. Children die, every day, at the hands of a parent across the U.S. and the Courts are still rooted in the antiquated and erroneous belief that a “healthy,” well-adjusted, and productive child NEEDS the involvement of both parents. This is simply not true. I know several men and women who raised their children without a partner, and those children went on to become productive and conscientious members of society.

    I don’t know how this stupidity will ever change……….

  4. Truthy, I think it is because children are still considered PROPERTY of their parents, and the “rights” of someone who reproduced overcome the RIGHTS of the children to have a safe environment….the cost of foster care is skyrocketing so anytime they can “reunite” the family the state saves money. So the old saying of “follow the money” holds here I believe.

    The entire “system” supports this “reunite” the family and encourages the free parent to bring the kiddies to visit the inmate, to “maintain a relationship” with them. Personally, my thinking is that anyone who actually commits a felony or is proven to have been abusive to any child should forfeit all contact with their children, but then I guess I am some sort of radical.

  5. Joyce, YES………children are definitely without “rights” OR a voice. And, you’re spot-on about following the money. EVERYTHING is about the dollar.

    I don’t believe that it’s radical thinking, at all, to release a violent or abusive convict from all parental “rights.” What GOOD does it do for a child to be encouraged or forced to maintain a “relationshi%” with a “parent” who has been convicted of a violent crime or abuse against another child? Honestly………..I would love to read some research that defines the GOOD aspects of this upon a child. I don’t believe that there is a single unbiased research on this because there simply is NOT anything helpful for a child in this situation.

    Children carry the burdens of choices that their parents make, whether those choices are illegal or abusive. I’m sorting out my own personal issues of having been raised in a dysfunctional and alcoholic dynamic. I cannot imagine a child being taken to a prison, going through the identification processes, being walked or carried through metal detectors, being searched for contraband, and then sitting down in a chair on the other side of a table or bullet-proof glass to “visit” with their convicted parent. The sights, sounds, and smells of a prison environment cannot, in any way, be remotely pleasant. Add the tension between guards and convicts to the mix, and it has to be a thoroughly disturbing and frightening experience for a child. THIS IS NOT NORMAL……..this isn’t how people live, and continuous exposure to this only “normalizes” prison life for a child.

    I agree. Parental rights should be severed.

  6. Having spent dozens of hours inside prison visiting rooms over the years that Patrick has been incarcerated. I have seen dozens of men being visited by their families, including young children.

    Of course even on contact visits (immediate family only) the guards are in the room, keeping a strict eye on any potential contraband being brought in. You can carry in $20 in change ONLY and spend it in the vending machines in the room to purchase snacks for the inmates and the family members. Inmates are strip searched before entering the room and again on leaving. Visitors are not patted down but are not allowed any kind of a bag, just a zip lock with your car keys, change and ID. The ID and keys are kept by the guard at the door, and returned when you leave. Babies can be brought in with one filled baby bottle, and a couple of diapers and an infant seat but it is searched.

    You can hug the inmate (or if it is a spouse, kiss them once) on entering and again on leaving. Visits are 2 hours except for if you have come over 400 miles and call ahead for a “special 4 hour” visit. Visits are weekends only and if the inmate is in solitary you can have a visit behind glass, and talk on a telephone. The last visit I had with Patrick was behind glass as my adopted son Michael was with me and he was not considered an immediate family member. Occasionally there are special religious “retreats” where you can spend 6 hours in a group visiting situation. We went to one of those.

    Entering the prison is a sobering experience even if you know you are going to be able to leave. Going through the entry, then down the long walk between high fences topped with razor wire, then through the heavy barred steel doors is nerve wracking to say the least.

    Seeing my son there, knowing that as rude as the guards are to me, I can’t imagine how bad it must be for the inmates. Patrick seemed though to be continually playing games and violating the rules. He got 19 major “shots” and trips to solitary in the first 15 years he was in prison, once for a knife (shank) and once for having a cell phone.

    He sent out letters to the guy he sent to kill me that after that man was arrested we found, and they were detailed instructions on how to smuggle in contraband via the craft shop. I sent copies of them to the parole board and to the warden as well.

    Now, can’t imagine taking a child to prison to visit their parent there….I also cannot imagine “waiting” for an inmate who was my significant other. But at the time I wrote to, sent money to, and visited Patrick…I llived in denial and wanted so badly to believe that he was going to reform.

  7. It is sad to say that as bad as we each think our own situation is, the courts are often jaded because they have seen or heard things 10 times worse than that and often on a daily basis.

    The judges are often blinded by the ‘insignificance’ of some cases to them, because they don’t begin to compare to another one they heard earlier in the day, one day past or last month.

    It reminds me of the story of the man throwing starfish back into the ocean. The power and significance of the last line- It matters to this one.

    The judges need to go back to looking at each case individually. Their decisions matter to each person in their courtroom and in the case of children- those who aren’t. It matters to each one of us, not just them and their ‘record’.

  8. You’re totally right, Pixie, and the sad part is that judges are LAWYERS and not trained in the things that make for abuse…and way too many are complacent and don’t realize the devastating consequences of their acts.

    I read recently that 90% of children are given to the parent who is accused of sexual abuse…because of the FAKE diagnosis of “parental alienation” which is labeled on the parent reporting the abuse. Even the DSM V does not carry such a “diagnosis”—it makes me want to puke!

  9. Example of total failure of family court

    Teenage girl sues state for forcing her to have ’16-year relationship’ with rapist who fathered her child after he applies for right to see their daughter

    Victim raped at home in 2009 aged 14 by Jamie Melendez, then aged 20
    Massachusetts girl became pregnant and later gave birth to his child
    Rapist got 16 years’ probation and told to pay $110/week child support
    But Melendez, 24, filed family court petition to argue for visitation rights

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2399756/Teenage-girl-sues-Massachusetts-forcing-16-year-legal-relationship-rapist.html#ixzz2cmyAzbZN
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    If this is not a travesty I do not know what is. grrrrr (that’s the sound of me grinding my teeth!)

  10. I just posted this link in the blog roll, but wanted to bring this site to the attention of everyone here this is unfortunately too many times the case when the courts batter nurturing parents and give the children to the abusers. It makes my heart weep.

    Crisis In The Family Courts
    HOW DO WE KNOW CUSTODY COURTS ARE SENDING CHILDREN TO LIVE WITH ABUSERS?
    Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on February 14, 2013

    http://abatteredmother.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/how-do-we-know-custody-courts-are-sending-children-to-live-with-abusers/

    by Barry Goldstein, NOMAS Child Custody Task Group

    Mothers and domestic violence advocates have been complaining for many years about problems in the custody court system that have resulted in large numbers of children being sent to live with abusive fathers while safe, protective mothers are denied any meaningful relationship with their children. Courts have tended to dismiss the complaints by referring to the mothers as “disgruntled litigants.” As more concern about the problem has been expressed and more research performed, the mothers’ complaints have been confirmed. Early in 2010, a new book co-edited by Dr. Maureen T. Hannah and Barry Goldstein, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY will be published and end any doubts that there is a pattern of mistakes made in the custody court system. These mistakes have caused thousands of cases to be mishandled and placed the lives and well being of battered women and their children in jeopardy. The book includes chapters by over 25 of the leading experts in the United States and Canada including judges, lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, journalists and domestic violence advocates. Although these experts come from different disciplines and approached the issue from different directions, there is a remarkable consensus about the problem and the solution. The up-to-date research and information now available makes it clear that the present practices can no longer be justified and the custody court system must create the necessary reforms to protect the safety of children and protective mothers in domestic violence custody cases. This article will discuss ten reasons we know the custody court system is broken and must be reformed

  11. Joyce, this makes my blood run cold – I remember how calm, cool, and rational Victor always appeared during custody/visitation hearings. I appeared to be the frantic nutbag, and the Judge just wanted us OUT of his courtroom to make way for the next case to be heard.

    Something really needs to change in Family Courts. I don’t know what, but something is horribly broken and it cannot be repaired. The whole system needs to be reconstructed.

    Eugh………

  12. Truthy, right now a friend of mine is on a 90 day “can’t see her kid” while her x who is a full-fledged abusive, manipulative, dangerous psychopath has this poor terrified child.

    The boy is 7 years old. The judge refused to hear the school counselor, the boy’s counselor etc and instead listened to a hired gun that the father hired—the mother even has a permanent RO and lives in a state that has “secret” addresses for these people, but he always finds her no matter where she moves. I pray for this woman and for her son. and all the other nurturing parents who have lost custody of their children.

  13. UPDATE: Concerning my friend “Jane Smith” the court and the psychologist that my friend’s x hired have now gotten her BANNED from even seeing her son even under “supervised” visitation. She is distraught and sought help from a “victim’s advocate” professional who has h ad dealings before with the CORRUPT court system my friend is dealing with. This “advocate” was referred to her as maybe being able to share the information about the corrupt court system there and help my friend.

    Want to know the outcome of that? Well, the “victim’s advocate professional” will NOT EVEN ANSWER AN E MAIL OR SCHEDULE A VISIT until you pay her $150 up front.

    Now I have no problem with social workers,, doctors, cops, nurses, or anyone else making a LIVING from their profession, but unfortunately there have arisen people who are corrupt and who want to MILK THE VICTIMS for their “advice” I’ve run into this kind of person before. Here is an article about one such man,, and the movie that was made to point out some of the scams these people in “family court” run. Most recently three judges were convicted and sent to prison for ordering that young offenders who came before them in court were “sentenced” to a FOR-PROFIT jail in which their “friends” owned it.

    Here is an interesting article from the Daily Mail about just some of this corruption.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2538142/Would-pay-man-7-500-decide-fit-parent-New-film-exposes-dark-underbelly-50bn-year-divorce-industry-US.html

    Unfortunately some of the reviewers point out that a lot of the background of this film may be some propaganda from the “father’s rights” groups which can be rabid “anti mothers” but there are also “mother’s rights” groups that are very ANTI-male as well.

    I think these NURTURING PARENTS should band together, both male and female and fight the corrupt courts TOGETHER not divide male against female. It isn’t about “daddy’s rights:” or “mommy’s rights” it is about CHILDREN’S RIGHTS to live with a nurturing person, and sometimes unfortunately there are not even one of their parents who are “nurturing” and the child should be taken away from both of them.

    The w ay the courts are run today, plus the corrupt and greedy social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists etc and the psychopaths that hire them are hurting CHILDREN as a way to punish the nurturing parent.

    • Joyce, I’m SO sad to read this update, and it’s one of the examples of how fighting FOR what’s “right,” even on behalf of children, often doesn’t result in positive rulings and decisions.

      When we’re engaged in a battle against a sociopath/psychopath, the likelihood of the non-spath individual seeing “justice” or “fair” rulings is pretty slim. It’s an abuse of the legal systems, and I am so sorry that “Jane” has experienced the worst possible abuse of the legal system, her child, and herself. It’s just horrible.

      She, and her child, remain in my most positive thoughts and prayers.

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