Mama loves – “To The Moon and Back” was selected by the Mom’s Museum Exhibit and Conference April 30-May 2nd! We are so honored to share the work of Mothers who are sharing their stories and working on behalf of Mothers and Children’s Rights.
Please note: This is a sampling of Art from Mothers. More can be found on “To The Moon and Back” facebook forum. We are collecting Art from Mothers and Children for an Exhibit in May- please submit late entries by April 15.
‘To the Moon and Back’ is the story of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and Child custody IN ART. In the United States, three women die every day because of domestic violence. The links between a battered mother and an abused child is under-recognized.
Many mothers who seek safety from abuse are routinely prohibited from having even the most basic contact with their own children, not because they were unfit parents, but because they were outspent, out represented, and out-maneuvered in a court atmosphere not prepared to understand the needs of families dealing with domestic violence.
“Losing permanent custody and visitation of your children feels like being doused in oil and set on fire. Healing is slow and difficult. The pain never goes away. One doctor describes removing a nursing infant from a mother similar to castrating a man. I still wake up with night terrors. The memory of being forced to give up my children is a continual torment to my body, mind and soul.” – Coral Anika Theill
To unnecessarily and violently separate a woman and her young children can represent the gravest form of abuse, with major social ramifications in generations to come. We are creating a Motherless America built on stolen childhoods.
Most contested custody cases are domestic abuse or child abuse cases in which the abuser has been allowed to use the courts to regain control over their victim, and bankrupt the safe, primary care giving, protective parent. Through art we hope that this National Crisis be understood.
Mama loves you: TO THE MOON AND BACK is an artistic project for Mothers of Domestic Violence, throwing light on the suffering endured by mothers and children who have been separated by court orders.
The paintings below are by Karen Hen Ninger. This is a sampling from an exhibited in To The Moon And Back.
Black and Blue by Karen Hen Ninger.
Noir et Bleu par
Heart Removed by Karen Hen Ninger.
Coeur Retiré par
Shattered Mom by Karen Hen Ninger.
Mère brisée par Karen Hen Ninger .
Michelle carved and painted this broken heart on Day 72 of not seeing or hearing from her kids due to her ex’s false affidavit (sanctioned in court for it) and an ex parte hearing.
Stoirm sees her 7 year old daughter, Olivia, 180 minutes on Thursday. It is so hard for Olivia that she has told her therapist she does not want to live any more.
Losing a child ‘through life’ is the most horrific way to lose a child.
Until a couple of decades ago, nobody had ever lost a child in this way– at least not in mass numbers. And, children didn’t go missing ‘legally’.
No mother should ever have to lose a child through life. It’s not normal. It’s not natural. There is no closure. There is no end to the gut wrenching pain. The wound does not ever heal. In fact, it never even forms a scab toward healing. It remains perpetually open…
The taking of living children from living mothers is something so terrible, so evil, that there is no way to really describe such a loss. Not really…
Last supervised visit/October 2004
It’s impossible to know that you child is still OK
To protect your child was your job, so you think you failed in every way
When your child is no longer with you and still so very young
You can’t help but think there must be more you could have done
You turn the music up and sob while in your car and the shower hides your tears
You know you can’t survive this kind of loss another day, another month, another year
Yet, the years go by and you realize you’re still alone
Although you did all you knew and could, your child did not come home
The child you carried and brought into this world has gone away
There’s nothing left to do but pray and pray and pray
How evil are those who desire nothing more than to destroy the mother-child bond
You continue to seek justice, but the gutwrenching pain goes on and on
No matter how huge the loss, you have no choice but to start another day
Without your child that gave your life meaning in every way
You lie down at night and think of your child and feel so all alone
There is nothing in this world you want more than for your child to just come home.
- Robin Karr http://motherswithoutcustodyworld.com/
To the Moon and Back Contributor Susan, paints and writes poetry to relieve stress and pain
This anonymous mother is currently battling to protect her young son from his abuser. This poem is entitled “Deep Down”.
My daughter, Saving Georgiana Rose Upson – Wallace , has been kidnapped for
261,964,800 seconds, and
innumerable moments of heartaches, nightmares, and tears.
Mothers began finding each other…they have created a strong community that is supportive through the struggles, the heartache the endless court drama, and offer each other hope
“That every moment shared with our children is worth more than fine treasure. This is a glimpse of my story in Family Court to encourage you to believe in today and never loose faith in what tomorrow may bring.”
Wisdom and perspective: A Protective Mothers Journey
“Well…I can honestly say that I’m one week closer to my kids finally coming home…
No! I do not mean this in the literal sense, as the American Family Courtroom seems to have a legal license to steal your kids. And if that is not punishment enough continue to subject you to cruel and unusual punishment for merely wanting to be a part of your own children’s live’s. Meanwhile, if you are fortunate, you may be able to escape if you pay your CS on time. Have myriads of extra cash to pay attorneys to ensure your freedom and your rights. But, there seems to be a catch. It never seems to end. And if that isn’t enough, your children end up damaged and you end up having to pay enormous psychological costs to ensure that you may be able to save your kids more anguish and pain along the way. And let’s not forget you. You will have to pick up all of your broken pieces and mold them back together again to make sense of your broken state. Then just maybe, you may get to be a small part of their life.
This is the life of a loving protective parent. A parent that would do anything in their power to stop all of this nonsense in the blink of an eye. Only, there are too many obstacles standing in the way. Justice can not be obtained at any cost. And to be frank, the cost seems to spiral with each battle. Emotionally, physically, financially and even tests your spirituality. One can only be left to wander why they ever believed in justice in the first place.
My friends, this is my world. I am not alone. I know many of you have preceded my journey. Some with happy endings after all, despite the pain and relentless, sleepless nights without your kids. I still hold on to hope and faith that the good we have done and still hope to achieve will out rule the evil doers. That despite our suffering, we have come together unified and stronger than ever. That in time all of our children will see the light and the truth will be unveiled.
Tonight, I felt I was one step closer to that day. And even though I have so greatly despaired along the way, I have learned that laughter and just enjoying and living in the moment is one more reason to carry on.
So we laughed so hard we almost cried. She said, I get my confidence from you, mom. And he said, I love you not once, not twice, but three times. And so I believe I am winning even when the stakes seem to be so low. I know that winning isn’t everything. Because, you have to lose once or twice, to know how good it feels to win. And sometimes, we are blinded into thinking winning is just one way. But, no two journey’s are the same. And winning is all in the eye of the beholder. And in my eyes, I have already won. Because love conquers it all. And this my friends is what it is all about.”
United States of America
our Mothers have been actively lobbying for many years Mothersoflostchildren.org
Mothers of Lost Children is a grassroots advocacy and support organization run by mothers of abused children who have lost (or are fighting not to lose) custody of their children to an abusive partner and corrupt courts/CPS who are
“legally kidnapping and trafficking our children”.
Mothers mission is to raise awareness; about child abuse, the civil and human rights being denied women to protect their children from physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
A National Scandal: American Mothers March in Washington D.C.to Defend Motherhood and Children’s Human Rights, circa 2010. We protest the 58,000 children a year trafficked through the family courts, taken from safe non-offending women to satisfy perverse public policies that reward dangerous men. We are tax payers and citizens and we demand our Constitutional rights, the right to parent and protect the children we bear. Where’s my Motherhood.gov? Where are my human rights? Who else but a mother will stand for the rights of children?
Mothers are Gag ordered into not speaking about abuse and ordered no contact with children
Robin Karr Arrested and Jailed for crying in court after children are taken away
Mothers of Lost Children
Mothers of Lost Children fight Court Ordered Abuse
When will the DA represent Children who are victimized and protect their rights
Mothers are Grieving and Protesting: a Stolen Childhood
“I am a mother of a stolen child. Her name is Olivia Catalina. She was 3 years old at the time he took her and will turn 8 in January. More of her life has been spent without her mother than with and she has paid the price for it. She regresses when we have time together, points and motions like a toddler instead of using her words. She Cries and begs to stay. Draws pictures of dead animals, missing people and dreams that she is all alone. She says that she is “weerd”, “dumb”, and “bad”. Since just after her 6th birthday she has had suicidal ideations and frequently talks about killing herself as the only option out of her pain. These are crosses born by children removed from their primary care giver at such a young age.
Yesterday he bought her a gun.”
Susan has not seen her children since 2012.
A mothers worst Nightmare
Please contact To The Moon And Back on facebook to learn more about sharing your art, poetry, representing your pain, absence and loss. By Joining a movement to bring attention to Mothers and Children being torn apart by the ‘Family’ Courts we will expose the atrocities of Domestic Violence and Court Ordered Abuse in America.
Motherless America: a growing crisis and public health epidemic……
What we have learned is that the public can’t protest what it doesn’t know; The public knows little about this National Crisis whose legacy has yet to be fully known. And because they don’t know what’s happening in the family courts across the nation, this is nothing short of a national scandal. Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Courts –Documentary Film by Garland Waller
-How often does this happen?
Domestic Violence Divorces make up approx. 15-20% of Custody cases. Mothers who strive to protect their children during Domestic Violence Divorces are commonly removed partially or completely from their children’s lives. Fathers are granted full custody 70% of the time when they fight for custody. Some 58,000 Child victims a year are taken from safe mothers and placed with known perpetrators. http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/med/PR3.html
Most contested custody cases are domestic abuse or child abuse cases in which the abuser has been allowed to use the courts to regain control over their victim, and bankrupt the safe, primary care giving, protective parent.
While this is not new information to the court, professionals believe that Mothers lie in custody cases about abuse. The myth that mothers always get custody is also a prevalent false belief and coercive controllers then set up the mother for a backlash of moving from victim to villain in the eyes of the court.
“Fathers who battered the mother are twice as likely to seek sole custody of their children as are non-violent fathers.”~American Psychological Association~ American Psychological Association. (1996). Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family , Washington, D.C.:
“Forcibly taking a mother’s children, and then controlling her emotionally by withholding contact must be publicly recognized as one of the greatest forms of ‘mis-use’ of the American justice system and one of the greatest hidden vehicles for wide-spread socially approved physical and emotional abuse and control.” Coral Anika Theil
The legal community calling these cases, “High Conflict”, is a little like Victim Blaming. As a result of gender bias, poor public policies such as the Billions of dollars funding Fatherhood initiative grants to the states and courts, such policies are unconstitutional and provide a perverse incentive to support fathers over mothers even when the child is in danger. This funding is fueling a war on motherhood. These tax-payer supported policies are based on patriarchal rules, and with a failure of the court to understand the nature of Domestic Violence, mothers seeking refuge in the court system for themselves and their children are failed miserably.
- Domestic violence: to stay or to go? Why do US courts favor the abusive father in custody cases?http://www.whatdoesntkillme.com/ Mothers who stay with Violent Partners lose custody, and mothers who leave and report abuse lose custody.
Although research confirms mothers make deliberately false allegations of sexual abuse less than 2% of the time, custody courts are giving the alleged sexual predator custody in 85% of these cases. This means, courts are sending a lot of children to live with their rapist.
How you can Learn More about this event in American History-
by attending the BMCC 2015, The 11th Annual and First International Battered Mothers Custody Conference 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 15th through 2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 17th
Mothers who lose custody experience, legal abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse while grieving the loss of their children. Some are devastated to the point of homelessness. Mothers fighting for their rights are failed by a civil court system, forcing mothers to defend themselves and their children without representation. The Family Court system is unregulated and corrupt.
– Common Responses of Mothers who lose Custody
The children of Domestic Violence Divorce experience loss, separation anxiety, maternal deprivation, symptoms related to failure to thrive as a result of separation from their attached parent. Stockholm syndrome is very common much like the experience of prisoners of war. http://mothersoflostchildren.org/cdcs-ace-studybraintraumaviolence-in-childhood/
While we can attribute every known major illness, homelessness, Suicide to Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse our country has failed to make protection and prevention policies a priority. These Adverse childhood experiences are the most basic cause of health risk behaviors, morbidity, disability, mortality, and health care costs. We are seeking a National Policy to protect children of Domestic Violence divorces, making Safety a National priority. http://mothersoflostchildren.org/cdcs-ace-studybraintraumaviolence-in-childhood/adverse-childhood-experiences-study-aces-too-high/
“The most beneficial action a court can take for a child exposed to domestic violence is to end the exposure and support the protective parent” says Lynn Hecht Schafran -
EFFECTS OF SEPARATION ON YOUNG CHILDREN-
Learn more about the Motherless Child Project- http://www.themotherlesschildproject.com/
“The Children’s Justice Campaign reminds us of our sacred obligation as adults to raise ourselves into consciousness so that our children may thrive.” http://www.childrensjusticecampaign.org
SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: FAMILY COURT IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH- by Patrice Lenowitz, co-founder of Children’s Justice Campaign
1n 1998, the first Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This study, led by Dr. Vincent Felitti and Dr. Robert Anda, is the largest study of its kind ever conducted to examine the health and social effects of adverse childhood experiences over the lifespan. What they discovered is that adverse childhood experiences will represent medical and social problems of national importance. A child being exposed to certain traumas, such as an alcohol or drug-addicted parent, domestic violence in the home, being sexual abused, or being separated from a primary attachment parent, are strong predictors of childhood illnesses and injuries, later health risks, disease, and premature death. Similar to the harm caused by smoking tobacco, adverse childhood experiences will determine the likelihood of the 10 most common causes of death in the United States. The good news? Just like with tobacco related illnesses, adverse childhood experiences are preventable.
Beginning in the late 1990’s however, a most catastrophic trend began to emerge. Family court judges, lawyers, guardians ad litem, parenting evaluators/coordinators, therapists and child protective service organizations began to ignore the health and safety of children in divorce and custody litigation. Comparable to the tobacco industry who knowingly concealed evidence that demonstrated how harmful nicotine was, family court vendors began to take children away from safe loving protective parents, and placed them with parents that pose a risk to their short and long-term health and safety – for money.And they continue to get away with it today due to a complete lack of transparency and accountability within our courts.
Is family court really a “kids for cash” business?
An estimated 58,000 children a year are court-ordered for custody or unsupervised visitation with reported abusers. That means in many cases, children are being ordered to live with their rapists. Child custody courts are generating approximately $50 billion dollars a year from the business of exploiting families in crisis and putting children in direct harm’s way. Adverse childhood experiences are the most basic cause of health risk behaviors, morbidity, disability, mortality, and health care costs. In fact, it costs taxpayers $500 billion dollars a year in health care related costs due to adverse childhood experiences.