A National Scandal: American Mothers March to Defend Motherhood and Children’s Human Rights

Mothers of Lost Children first marched in May 2010, from the U.S. Capitol to the White House in Washington DC to protest children being taken from safe mothers and given to battering or sexually abusive fathers through family courts.  This governmental cover up is similar to Penn State and the Catholic Church cover-ups. Mother’s return each year to bring our message to Department of Justice Demanding Equal Rights for Women and Protection in Courts across America for whistle blowers who have the right to Defend Childhood.  Mothers are bringing attention to child trafficking in the Courts, and  States Judges who fail to Protect.  Help us send a mother from each state to represent the rights of mothers and abused children. 

 This year we encourage mothers to organize marches in their home state. Mothers of Lost Children invite Mothers and Supporters to Protest or organize a Silent Vigil on Saturday May 9th at 6pm.

California – Please join us for the third annual Mother’s of lost Children prayer vigil in Benicia California. Mother’s of lost Children prays for children suffering from Court Ordered Abuse to be home safe with their protective parent. Court Ordered abuse occurs when a judge illegally gives a child unsupervised to a parent with documented history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and battery. In domestic violence cases the batterer uses the courts to continue their abuse of the victim, by stealing their children.- Community Congregational Church, UCC  1305 W 2nd St, Benicia, California 94510

Bring your Silent Vigil to your faith community to pray with you, or to your town plaza…it only takes one candle to light up the dark.

Start planning it’s one month away! – it can be as small as a single candle and sign. Or put it on the calendar at the newspaper. Please message us on facebook and let us know what you are planning in your state and where.

If we can’t get all of you to Washington lets bring Washington to you. Lets have vigils across America, Mothers in Solidarity across the world praying for our Children.

Child at the Silent Vigil

and Join Mothers of Lost Children in Supporting the Battered Mothers Custody Conference -BMCC 2015 Hands Across the Water!

The BMCC is an annual conference that addresses the pattern of serious legal injustices encountered by battered women who approach the family/divorce court system seeking protection for themselves and their children from an abusive spouse or partner.

May 15th, 16th, and 17th, 2015 in the New York City Metropolitan Area

Look who’s coming to present at the BMCC XI!

Author/Editor of four books on battering and custody

Actress, Protective MomChildren’s Justice Campaign
RIANE EISLER (by Skype)President, Center for Partnership Studies,
Author of The Chalice and the Blade & other best sellers
SAM VAKIN (by Skype)
Expert on Narcissism,
Author of “Malignant Self-Love”
Expert Child Custody Attorney
TOBY KLEINMANAttorney, professor, speaker, DV shelter founder

Journalist, Co-Author of
From Madness to Mutiny

Professor; Producer, Small Justiceand No Way Out But One
Co-Author, From Madness to Mutiny, Protective Mother
Author, law professor, victims’ advocate and TV commentator
Attorney, law professor, author

DV Advocate, Author,Prosecuted But Not Silenced

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. SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: FAMILY COURT IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH- by Patrice Lenowitz, co-founder of Children’s Justice Campaign.  

-Its time to demand Justice – Join us in asking-


Past Years in DC -Mothers March on Washington DC to end Child trafficking through the courts

We’re Going to the Mom’s Museum please support us


We’re Going to the Mom’s Museum!!!- 

“We have been working on different kinds of campaigns to raise awareness. If you could share this with friends it could be so helpful in getting our story out and getting us into the museum, we will make history!

Mothers of Lost Children was chosen to present at the Mom’s Museum in New York and I couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity to tell our stories.

I have been working with a dedicated group of mothers and advocates to bring attention to the family court crisis and justice issues mothers face when they leave dangerous homes and report abuse.  For many years I have fought for my parental rights and the rights of my child to have contact with her nurturing mother, to no avail.  Be it the failures of courts to understand DV by proxy or other cultural and political issues or perverse fatherhood funding.   I have been stalked, beaten, my rights violated.  In the mean time my child is growing up Motherless. It is reported that 58,000 children a year are becoming Motherless in America, trafficked through family courts.

We intend to tell our story at the Mom’s museum Conference and bring our Art and pictures from To The Moon and Back Project:   What happens when Mama reported Abuse -Why Mother’s are Marching, and this Motherless Child in America.

We are concerned about the adverse childhood experiences that are known to last a lifetime and cause tragic public health risks.  http://mothersoflostchildren.org/cdcs-ace-studybraintraumaviolence-in-childhood/adverse-childhood-experiences-study-aces-too-high/

In our research we have discovered that this is one of the most pressing Social Justice issues of our time.  It’s a national crisis, and its time that other mothers wake up to these crimes committed against our nations children, created by dangerous gender bias policies funded by our tax dollars, before its too late.

We want our Motherhood.gov.

Please help us cover some of the costs to travel, and display our Exhibit.  Please go to Mothers of Lost Children to see a sample http://mothersoflostchildren.org/2015/04/to-the-moon-and-back-domestic-violence-and-custody-art-exhibit/



A Gift from Coral Anika Theill to Mothers of Lost Children

A victims first scream is for help Coral Theill
This message from our friend Coral Anika Theill-
“Hello friends,Below is a link of a complimentary copy of my memoir.  Please share link with all those who you feel would be interested.

Thank you for your support, encouragement and kindness throughout the years.


– Coral

FOR YOU – READ Complimentary Copy of BONSHEÁ Making Light of the Dark by Coral Anika Theill, Published March 2013

Read BONSHEÁ – Click on
http://www.coralanikatheill.com/#!read-bonshea-making-light-of-the-dark-/c22amA startling memoir of one woman escaping an abusive marriage and oppressive religious cults and trying to find “justice” in a failed system. Anyone concerned with issues of abuse and injustice in America should read this book.

*Please share with friends, family, advocates, health care providers, clergy, pastors, priests, rabbis, law enforcement officials, judges, law makers, and all those who are interested in understanding abuse and a victim’s journey of survival after seeking safety and “justice” in our judicial system.
“I have learned that if you really want to know about our justice system, you do not question the judges, police, attorneys and lawmakers, you go to the victims, the unprotected, the vulnerable; those who need the laws protection the most and listen to their stories. A victim’s first scream is for help; a victim’s second scream is for justice.” – Coral Anika Theill, BONSHEÁ Making Light of the Dark

FIVE STAR REVIEWS:    http://www.coralanikatheill.com/#!bonshe-making-light-of-the-dark-/c1s36

“You stand TALL amongst many. We’re all wounded but some choose to heal so that they can heal others. Continue your incredible work. It shines the light across the seas….Even here in Africa, we tell your story….I am equally touched and indignant at the same time. Your story, because it’s written from the heart, is so painful but very, very empowering, because you saw the light. God bless you for this gift to all womenfolk. Look at what it’s doing for all of us in the world. It’s reaching beyond the sea and cultural divides. I’m at a loss for worlds. Thank you, Coral, for your light.” – Nana Ngobese-Nxumala, Director, Woman Forward Political Party, South Africa

“BONSHEÁ pierces through the darkness that hides the legal system’s routine abuse of mothers and children. BONSHEÁ is a work of immense courage, a true tale of heartbreak and salvation. By exposing what was done to her by the court system, by the religious authorities and by their enabling cronies as she took the moral high ground by leaving an abusive husband, the author gives readers the tremendous gift of her hard-won insight and spiritual awakening. As shocking as it may be, Coral’s story resonates with the truth. I hear pleas for help from protective mothers like Coral every day, week after week, year after year–all of them pleading for their very birthright, their greatest right, which is to be a mother. She pinpoints, with heart-piercing accuracy, the historical hatred of females and of the feminine that has permeated societies, including our present one, for eons.

“Her personal story of living with and divorcing an abusive “religious” man who was cheered on by the community’s religious, governmental, and legal authorities mirrors the persecution of all women who, like Coral, choose to say “no” to male dominance and power. These include Middle Age “witches,” midwives, mothers who protect their children from a father’s abuse, mothers who dare to have careers and mothers who elect to stay home with their children. Coral also calls out for the only true cure for the dark side of human nature, and that is to live in the light.

“Coral’s work is a special blessing for me and for my sisters throughout this country. Not a single particle of the wisdom Coral shares misses the mark. – Maureen T. Hannah, Ph.D. Chair, Battered Mother’s Custody Conference, Albany, New York, 2013 Five Star Review

Posted by Coral Anika Theill
Author, Advocate, Speaker & Reporter
Memoir: Bonshea Making Light of the Dark
Website: www .coralanikatheill.com
Bio: http://www.coralanikatheill.com/#!bio/c1ktjcoral I truely believe more people would speak

Court Affidavits documenting abuse:  http://www.coralanikatheill.com/#!marty-warner-batterers-wife–children/c1sj0BONSHEÁ – Yaqui Indian – “out of the darkness, into the light.”

“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.

“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.

“The price for my own safety and freedom in 1996 was an imposed, unnatural and unwanted separation from my eight children, including my nursing infant. The injustice committed against me is not just the physical separation from my children, but the willful desecration of the mother-child relationship and bond, a sacred spiritual and emotional entity.”

Attachments area

Maryland is at it again Punishing Parents of Free Range Children while giving custody to Pedophiles

A National ScandalThis time Free-Range Children Taken into Custody:

Montgomery County Maryland Is Back in the News

My good friend, Elsa Newman, looked to that same agency to protect her children and they turned their backs.

  1. As a former child abuse worker, I filed a report which was not addressed at all for almost a month—in violation of the law which demands a 24 hour response and a protection plan for children in the care of the alleged abuser –like Elsa’s children then ages 8 and 5.
  2. The father was informed of the report over a month before he brought the children to an interview with the social worker and the police. Who knows what he may have said to the children in that critical month?
  3.  The interview was totally bizarre with Montgomery County Child Protective Services letting the older child leave his dad to give the younger a message from dad. After the message was delivered, the five year old said, “When dad gets angry he hits me.”
  4. The Montgomery County social worker who did the interview testified: The children never disclosed abuse when the father brought them—only when the mother brought them. The transcript of this interview written by the Montgomery County police officer records clear disclosures. The father brought the children and took them home after the clear disclosures of abuse.
  5.  Elsa Newman, mother of the children has asked, through her lawyers, for all relevant records and Montgomery County does not respond to this either.

All those of you who have an opinion on Montgomery County Child Protective Services disciplining parents of Free-Range Children ought to look hard at how Montgomery County handled real child abuse a few years ago.

Margaret Candler



free an innocent maryland mother

To the Moon and Back Domestic Violence and Custody Art Exhibit

Love Wins Mama loves you to the moon and back J clement

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


Black and Blue by Karen Hen Ninger.
Noir et Bleu par 

To the moon Heart Removed by Karen Hen Ninger

Heart Removed by Karen Hen Ninger.
Coeur Retiré par 


to the moon shattered Mom by Karen Hen Ninger

Shattered Mom by Karen Hen Ninger.
Mère brisée par Karen Hen Ninger .

Photo: Another powerful contribution from Karen.


To The Moon And Back

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.

Robin with Laura and Matthew at her last supervised visitation in 2004. She never saw them again. 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
8 years,
3 months,
20 days,
72,768 hours,
4,366,080 minutes,
261,964,800 seconds, and
innumerable moments of heartaches, nightmares, and tears.

Mothers began finding each other…and building community that is supportive through the struggles, the heartache, the endless court drama, and offer each other hope and healing.

“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.”

a mothers love has no boundries

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.” 

Melonda Gary,

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?

free an innocent maryland mother


Dont prosecute protective mom

Mothers are Gag ordered into not speaking about abuse and ordered no contact with children

Robin Karr mug shot

Robin Karr Arrested and Jailed for crying in court after children are taken away

Nelly never without my daughter

Mothers of Lost Children

Mothers of Lost Children

Let John David see his mom

58,000 Children taken from fit mothersI want my mommy

incest stop punishings kids


Mothers of Lost Children fight Court Ordered Abuse

Mothers of Lost Children fight Court Ordered Abuse

When will the DA represent Children who are victimized and protect their rights

Displaying Battered mothers quilt.jpg

Battered Mothers Custody Conference

 Mothers are Grieving and Protesting: a Stolen Childhood

Stoirm's daughter pictures

“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.”

stoirm poem never forget this my love

moon shadows

Moon Shadows inspired by Jennifer and Charlie Grandfather – Ron Kendall  http://www.thelittlevoiceproject.org/

Motherless Child Project


 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 AssociationAmerican 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 warhttp://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 -  


Learn more about the Motherless Child Project- http://www.themotherlesschildproject.com/

for resources, books and films on this subject – http://mothersoflostchildren.org/books-and-authors/

“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.

Bring back our Girls and Boys

surgeon general warning


After Losing a Child a Mothers Common Response


Protective Mothers’ Alliance International

family court abuse/corruption

Common Responses After Losing a Child (for Protective Moms)

with 10 comments

A list of common responses/reactions after losing a child in a family court proceeding

I feel it is important to distinguish the loss and being related to family court proceedings because often times the process involves factors that re-traumatize the family and prolong any possibility of stabilizing the family. In essence, there is a distinct type of grief that follows losing a child due to unjust proceedings that vilify a parent trying to protect their children.

Mothers who lose their children in family court proceedings often experience (and report):

* Character assignation and/or emotional abuse of the mother (who may be labelled as having “Parental Alienation Syndrome” or “Malicious Mom Syndrome”)

* Minimizing past abuse and its effects/Minimizing the current danger

* Legal proceedings that deny a mother of her legal rights

* Feeling threatened or coerced by court personnel

*Expensive legal or court costs, often resulting in severe financial hardship (I have heard of mothers losing their home and being forced to work several jobs, in which their contact with their children becomes even more limited)

* Re-traumatization

* Inability to protect children combined with valid concerns the children may still be in danger

* Children forcibly removed from the home (a majority of these mothers were primary caregivers)

* Mothers denied contact with children–these children are often abruptly, and without warning removed from their homes, their community, their friends and any connection to the mother

* Mothers being compelled into supervised visitation to see children, and may be exposed to other abusers (I have actually heard of a woman who took the bus to supervised visitation, and was stalked by an alleged abuser when leaving the premises)

* Inability to get help or support for herself. Mothers may have their medical and psychological records subpoenaed by the court and/or their abuser, in which she degraded or labelled based on the findings and then forced to “prove” she is a fit mother. Mothers may also become isolated because they feel others do not understand their situation. It is common for people to feel overwhelmed hearing these stories and then to be unable to provide support. The financial depletion caused by family court may also limit a woman’s ability to seek help. Not to mention the woman may be so overwhelmed that she does not have the energy to get the help she may need.

* The abuser manipulating the children, or using them in ways to hurt, intimidate or harass the mother (Ie using children to send messages to the mother, telling the children false information about the mother, threatening to harm the children, threatening to take the children, etc..)

Mothers who lose their children in this way often experience:

* Physical Illness (including but not limited to headaches, ulcers, vomiting, fatigue and exhaustion)

* Anxiety/Panic Attacks

* Depression

* Guilt/Shame/ Self-Blame, particularly around issues that they failed or could not protect their children

* Flashbacks (The court proceedings may trigger memories of abuse, or legitimate fears)

* Binge Eating and/or Lack of Appetite, Nausea

* Insomnia

* Shock (A combination of all these factors, feeling numb, unable to perform daily tasks, feeling as if she is living in a fog, lack of memory/concentration, tremors/trembling, hot flashes etc)

* A surge of emotion/adrenaline

* Hyperventilating

* Post Traumatic Stress

* Avoidance (Especially around areas that remind them of their children. It would be common to even avoid social places and friends)

* withdrawal

* Anger

* Fear

* Fits of Crying — There are often triggers. (When I lost my child, I remember avoiding the grocery store because I would pass my child’s favorite treats, think of my child, and start to cry. It got to the point where I could not even remember what I wanted in the grocery store because I was so upset.)

* Memory Loss/Concentration Difficulties

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE MOTHER IS MENTALLY ILL OR UNSTABLE, these are typical responses to the loss of a child in combination with the extreme stress of being involved in family court proceedings that are perceived as unjust, and which a mother has no control over. It takes time to work through the grief and emotions of losing your child, and being involved in family court proceedings–these response may emerge and change as the mother processes what has happened.

I found it helpful to be part of a domestic violence group, hosted by a battered women’s shelter. The group is confidential and does not keep records. I was able to talk with other women and learn tools on how to cope, and rebuild my life. There is hope–Stay strong.

Blessings ~ EJ Perth, PMA State Chapter Leader & PMA Healing & Prayer Network

If you have anything to add to this list, please add a comment. Please keep remain respectful. Any derogatory language will be deleted. Remember PMA is a NO ABUSE ZONE! Thank you for keep it friendly :)



Unfortunately, courts may apply psychological pressures that keep women tied to their abusers. “Friendly parent” statutes ask courts to assess each parent’s willingness to co-parent when making custody decisions (Zorza, 1992). Despite their reasonable reluctance to co-parent, battered women may end up being labeled “uncooperative,” with an increased risk of losing their children.” –Child Custody and Visitation Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases: Legal Trends, Research Findings, and Recommendations. By Daniel G. Saunders (October 1998). http://new.vawnet.org/category/Main_Doc.php?docid=371


Abusers are smooth talkers who are good at manipulating situations to their liking, she said, even with law enforcement. When officers first respond to a domestic call, the victim is often hysterical while the abuser is calm and cool, and so he sometimes makes a better impression on officers.” –Statistics on domestic violence tell a sobering tale, Crookstone Daily Times.  By Natalie J. Ostgaard, City Editor (10/31/08). http://www.crookstontimes.com/articles/2008/10/31/news/24news4.txt


Biased Family Court System Hurts Mothers

Biased Family Court System Hurts Mothers

By Garland Waller

Professor Waller is an award-winning producer-writer-director of nationally syndicated and local television and independent film programs. No Way Out But One, her second indie feature documentary, was selected for the Bare Bones International Film Festival and has won an Indie, an Accolade, and a Telly award.  No Way Out But One was initially a documentary short. It won a Telly and was selected for The Unspoken Film Festival on Human Rights. Both productions focused on Holly Collins, the first American woman to be granted asylum by the Dutch government on grounds of domestic violence. The goal ofNo Way Out But One is to expose the failure of America’s family courts to protect battered women and their children. Her chapter “The Yuck Factor” appears inDomestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody Legal Strategies and Policy Issues.

Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Family Courts, her first independent production, was produced under the banner of Garland Waller Productions. National awards include Best Social Documentary, NY International Independent Film Festival, GirlFest Indie Award, Award for Media Excellence 8th International Conference on Family Violence, and the Key West Indie Film Fest. Waller’s early awards for television productions include the Grand Prize and the Gold Prize at the International Film Festival of New York, the Iris Award for Best Entertainment, two Ohio State Awards, five New England Emmys and two Action for Children’s Television Awards.

Most recent works include Boston Universities Hothouse production Ignorance is…

 WEnews contributor

Wednesday, September 5, 2001

Behind closed doors of the family court system, thousands of women each year lose child custody to violent men who beat and abuse mothers and children. The writer says family courts are not family-friendly and betray the best interests of the child.

Commentator Garland Waller

(WOMENSENEWS)–Studies show that in approximately 70 percent of challenged cases, battering parents have been able to convince authorities during custody battles that their victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody, according to a recent report published by the American Judges Foundation.

That statement would have once shocked me, but no more. Nor am I surprised when I read that a family court judge has awarded custody of a 3-year-old girl to the father who has violently beaten her mother. I do not even lift an eyebrow when a 2-year-old boy, who comes home from unsupervised visitation with his dad, has a diaper filled with his own rectal blood and that same child is later turned over to his father on a full-time basis. And when a mother is thrown into jail, denied the right to ever see her children again, because she brought up the issue of child abuse in a family court, I’m sickened, but not shocked.

These injustices are commonplace today in the closed-door family court system. These courts often claim to operate in a manner consistent with the “best interests of the child.” In practice this often means that a judge, often a male judge, biased and imperious, defines that phrase. These judges decide, time and time again, when a woman raises the allegation of sexual abuse in a custody dispute, that it is she who will lose her children forever.

I used to think that the family court system was basically fair. That was before my childhood friend, Diane Hofheimer, asked me to consider doing a documentary on the family courts. She had taught herself the law so that she could work with her attorney husband, Charlie Hofheimer, in their Virginia law practice.

Thousands of Mothers Lose Their Children to Abusive Fathers
Representing only women in divorce and custody cases, Diane and Charlie began my education with one grisly case. I thought it was a fluke, but I agreed to look at some of the legal documents. And so began my journey into the dark world of family courts.

What I learned was that thousands of women are losing custody of their children to men with histories of violence and sexual abuse. Sure, these cases are complicated, but it doesn’t take a legal genius to figure out that it’s not good for kids to watch daddy break mommy’s jaw. Research shows a high correlation between domestic violence and child sexual abuse.

Garland Waller co producer for- http://nowayoutbutone.com/feature image

“Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Family Courts,” award-winning documentary by Garland Waller:



Every Moment Counts

melonda gary head shot

When Every Moment Counts Mothers of Lost Children do extraordinary things. With true acts of love and courage Mothers all over the world, while experiencing such trauma and terrorism of Domestic Violence Divorces, do everything in their power to connect with their children and provide safety. Such efforts are extraordinary while Courts work to separate them from their children and violate their rights.  Such devotion and dedication is found only in the hearts of the mother for her children.


Melonda Gary- Love Wins

It is with mixed emotions that I write my thoughts, my feelings, my perception of my own fate and my children’s own fate. I am struggling tonight with feelings of regret and sorrow. My own inadequacy for not believing in myself four years ago, while in the middle of my battle. It was at that time, God had opened a door and at that time, that I had the opportunity to save my children from more pain in life. Fear overcame my senses, as I could not see the reason I was in the battle.
It was then that I could have helped formulate their good character and thus their life. I am still learning to forgive myself for growing weary of the fight some 4 years ago. And although I am stronger than I ever thought possible, I am in a different place now. My children also in a different place in their life. I am realizing that time does not stand still. Each and every moment counts. I realize now more than ever that I must remain in the battle for my children’s sake. Their life course is reliant on a parent with good character and morals for their own healthy development of good character.

As I struggled to regain control of my thoughts and hold back the tears, I reached out to my bookshelf to find an old treasure. A book on establishing boundaries with our children. As I opened it to the first chapter, I immediately noted the first session focused on building character in kids.I was in shock, as this is exactly what I needed to continue my next chapter of our life. God heard my cry for help and there it was. All I had to do was ask. He delivered it just in time. And so I was compelled to share this great information with you this evening regarding building our children’s character.

Outlined were eight qualities they consider important to adult functioning. In each of these qualities, boundaries play an essential developmental role.

Eight Key Aspects of Character:

1) Loving- Loving people recognize that the world does not revolve around them. They are able to control their impulses, respect the boundaries of others and set boundaries for themselves so that they are responsible and their actions are loving.
2)Responsible- Being responsible means taking ownership of your life, being accountable for it -to God and to others. Responsible people take ownership of their feelings, attitudes, behaviors, choices, limits, talents, thoughts, desires, values, and loves- things our boundaries define and protect.
3) Free- (This was a big lesson for me tonight). People with healthy character are free people. in sharp contrast to today’s popular victim mentality, free people realize that they can act rather than remain passive in a situation, but they have choices and that they can take some control of their life. Children raised with good boundaries learn that they are not only responsible for their lives but are also free to live their lives any way they choose- as long as they take responsibility for their choices.
4) Initiating- A normal part of human behavior is to initiate things. Being created in the image of God is being created with the ability to begin something. Teaching a child to initiate is an important aspect of boundary training.
5) Respectful of Reality- In order for someone to create a life that works he or she must have a healthy respect for reality. By reality he mean experiencing the consequences of our actions in the real world. Mature adults know that, for the most part, if they do good, good things will happen; if they do nothing or do something bad, bad things will happen. This due respect for the positive in the negative sides of reality is often referred to as wisdom.
6) Oriented to Growth- Good parenting can help a child develop character that faces the obstacles of life with an orientation toward growth. This includes developing abilities and gaining knowledge as well as facing negative things about oneself that invite growth and change. Boundaries help children see what is expected of them and how they might grow to meet those expectations. Parent should require their children to do the changing instead of trying to get reality to change.
7) Oriented to Truth – Honesty begins with parents who model it, require it from their children, and provide them with a safe environment in which to be honest. Boundaries provide the safety of known consequences for failure. Children can handle the known logical consequences other mistakes much better than they can handle relational consequences like anger, guilt, shame, condemnation, or abandonment.
8) Oriented to Transcendence- the most important questions anyone can answer are “Who is God?” And “Is it me, or is it God ?” being grounded in God gives direction and meaning to human existence, allowing us to transcend life, problem, our own limitations and mistakes, and other people’s sins against us. People who have the ability to transcend themselves go beyond our own existence to the reality of others, of God, and of virtues they hold more important than themselves and their own immediate happiness.

To sum it up. A child’s character will determine much of the course his life takes. To develop a child of good character, we must be parents of good character.

And so I spent another evening with my children. I learning many more lessons and was forced to set boundaries. Many were violated. Some were simply ignored overall. Yes, I was and am still being undermined as a parent by the alienating parent. But, it still won’t stop me from believing in me or owning up to my mission of still being the best parent I know how to be. The courts can try to rob us of our children, but we can take back our children and our power, by reclaiming who we are and believing in ourselves. Children will test us and our resolve to our boundaries, even without an alienating spouse. Our job is to remain strong to withstand the test. Hard to do when we are given so little time with our children. But, a must if we want our children to become healthy, happy adults.

And so I was put to the test again and again. I struggled with my No’s. I caught slack from one child because I did not discipline the other right away. I’m still learning how to effectively have my children hear the word “No” and respond appropriately. I was simply doing the best I knew how to do with my own circumstances at the time.

And thus this leads me to my next thoughts that I will post on how we can overcome obstacles when setting boundaries with our children.

Just remember regardless of our obstacles, life has a way of rewarding us for our efforts. I was rewarded once again, to be a small part of my children’s life for just a few hours.

Every moment counts.

Love & Light, my friends.

-Information on establishing boundaries was taken from book entitled, Boundaries with Kids written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr.John Townsend.

The Battered Mothers Custody Conference

Join Mothers of Lost Children in Supporting the Battered Mothers Custody Conference -BMCC 2015 Hands Across the Water!

Eileen King and Battered Mothers Conference

The BMCC is an annual conference that addresses the pattern of serious legal injustices encountered by battered women who approach the family/divorce court system seeking protection for themselves and their children from an abusive spouse or partner.

May 15th, 16th, and 17th, 2015 in the New York City Metropolitan Area

Look who’s coming to present at the BMCC XI!

Author/Editor of four books on battering and custody

Actress, Protective MomChildren’s Justice Campaign
RIANE EISLER (by Skype)President, Center for Partnership Studies,
Author of The Chalice and the Blade & other best sellers
SAM VAKIN (by Skype)
Expert on Narcissism,
Author of “Malignant Self-Love”

Expert Child Custody Attorney
TOBY KLEINMANAttorney, professor, speaker, DV shelter founder

Journalist, Co-Author of
From Madness to Mutiny

Professor; Producer, Small Justiceand No Way Out But One
Co-Author, From Madness to Mutiny, Protective Mother
Author, law professor, victims’ advocate and TV commentator
Attorney, law professor, author

DV Advocate, Author,Prosecuted But Not Silenced


Crisis in the Family Courts; blame mother

Joan Zorza

“When courts blame victims and fail to hold abusers accountable, they reinforce abuser behavior, subvert justice, dis-empower the victims, teach children that abusive behavior is permissible and may even be rewarded, and reinforce the cycle of violence.”

Joan Zorza has dedicated her life to ending violence against women and children.  Joan has been a big supporter of the Battered Mothers Custody Conference and Mothers of Lost Children events.  Joan Zorza, Esq. is the founding editor of both Domestic Violence Report and Sexual Assault Report, and has been working to end violence against women and children for more than thirty years. A member of the bars of Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia, she has written extensively on child custody, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault matters, and is the author of the three volume set of books, Violence Against Women Volumes (2002. 2004, and 2006), and Guide to Interstate Custody: A Manual for Domestic Violence Advocates (1992, 1995). She was awarded for her work on custody by the Department of Justice in 1998, by the City of New York Human Resources Administration for her work on behalf of victims of domestic violence in 2000, and by the Sunshine Lady Foundation for her work on violence against women in 2002. She is on the research advisory committee of the International Association of the Chiefs of Police, a member of the board of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence and represented or supervised lawyers and law students in cases on behalf of more than 2,000 battered women and almost 200 sexually abused children as an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services and at the National Battered Women’s Law Project of the now defunct National Center on Women and Family Law. She no longer represents any clients, but remains involved with many organizations and through her writings and speaking to increase the safety of women and children.

 Tribute to Joan Zorza

Crisis In The Family Courts

Batterer Manipulation and Retaliation Denial and Complicity In the Family Courts

Reposted from:  abatteredmother on April 14, 2011

Batterer Manipulation and Retaliation Denial and Complicity In the Family Courts

by Joan Zorza, Esq

Family Courts Excuse Male Misbehavior, But Blame Women

Most family and divorce (hereinafter, “family”) court judges insist that people going through custody and divorce cases are good people, but that they often behave very badly because they are so stressed out by the pressures of the separation and court dispute. 1 The reality, as Massachusetts has found, is that nothing could be further from the truth for the men who abuse their female intimate partners and children (called either “abusers” or “batterers”).

Massachusetts, which has since 1978 allowed its criminal court judges to issue restraining orders against abusers, and which now requires all judges–even the family ones, to consult offender probation records whenever a petition for protection in an abuse case is filed, keeps very careful records which it periodically analyses.  It has found that almost 80% of the male abusers have criminal records,2  46% for violent offenses, and 39% have prior restraining orders entered against them and 15% for violating of those orders within the first 6 months.  The men with prior orders are almost equally divided between those who have repeatedly abused one victim and those who have abusing multiple victims.3 Massachusetts also was the first state in the county to create a statewide registry for orders of protection, and it also enters orders of protection onto the defendants’ probation records, so that judges automatically become aware of the defendants’ prior record, even his juvenile one or cases which were later continued without any finding.  This is not to say that all abusive men have records or are abnormal,4  or that no female partners of abusers ever have records.  However, abusive men, although they tend to be considerably older, better educated and are more likely to be white than other criminals, and hence to have been given far more breaks in the criminal justice system, are simply not the stressed out good guys as the family courts assume.  Men who abuse do so as a matter of choice, as a way to assert power and control over their female partners, punish them, to be sexually aroused, or less often because they enjoy causing pain.5

In contrast, although the family courts assign at least equal blame to the men’s victims, the victims are generally no different than other women, except for having been abused and suffering the effects of that abuse. Prior to being abused, battered women are no different from other women.6 It is the effects of the abuse makes them frightened and show other effects, often making them appear less credible as witnesses.7 Courts, police and prosecutors often refuse to help battered women and discourage them from pursuing cases, but then blame them for dropping their cases.  In fact, battered women are no more likely to drop cases than are other victims of violent crimes who are being threatened by their abusers.  What is different is that most violent criminals never reassault or even contact their victims, but the average battered woman is beaten up three times by her batterer during the pendency of a criminal domestic violence case.8 All victims threatened with further assault want to drop their cases; battered women are actually more willing than other threatened victims to pursue their cases.9

Batterers are believed in blaming victims.

Men who batter are not only adept at minimizing and denying their own abusive behaviors and their responsibility for it,  they are also adept at blaming circumstances or their victims, thereby shifting responsibility and projecting their own behavior onto their victims.10 Yet while alcohol,11 poverty, and other circumstances may aggravate a situation, they do not cause violence, as most people in such circumstances do not abuse.  Similarly, victims are not to blame for the violence. Unfortunately, abusive men have been very successful in convincing courts and juries that their own behavior is their female victims’ fault, or that their partners provoked them, or wanted the abuse, or that bad circumstances caused the abuse.

Mental health experts lack expertise in family violence.

Complicating the problem is that the courts often rely on mental health experts to evaluate the parties, yet overwhelmingly those experts have never received adequate training in domestic violence or child sexual abuse; indeed, their professional schools seldom teach the subjects and 40% of those working in mental health fields in the U.S. admit they have never received any training about intimate partner violence and even fewer received training about child sexual abuse.12 The content of what little training exists in schools in continuing education programs is often questionable or outright misleading, or so short (one hour is not that uncommon over the course of a career)13 that is clearly inadequate.  Guardians ad litem, who are supposed to represent the children’s best interests to the court, generally lack training in any aspects of family violence or even child development.14  Only 10% of custody evaluators know enough about incest to not be dangerous in these cases.15 Without the training and sensitivity to abuse issues, few therapists and custody evaluators even screen for it or follow up when told about it. 16 When they do follow up, batterers are adept at manipulating mental health professionals, appearing very together and, if he admits the abuse, contrite and regretful, justifying his abuse or making it appear part of a substance abuse or depression problem or caused by his partner.17 All this convinces the professional that the abuse was an aberration that will be controlled in the future, although this is most unlikely.18 Mental health evaluators and guardians ad litem, having been trained in a system that blames mothers for most problems that people have,19 are particularly vulnerable to being persuaded by fathers who deny their abuse and blame their partners, with the result being that they discredit the mother’s accusations and fears, and recommend that custody to go to fathers, even when the men are abusive.  The result is that domestic violence is seldom considered in the vast majority of  child custody determinations,20 particularly when there are allegations of physical or sexual abuse against a child.21 This is an amazing omission, given that at least 47 states and the District of Columbia require courts to consider domestic violence when making child custody determinations. (The three states which do not are Connecticut, Mississippi and Utah.)22

Judges, like mental health professionals, make the gender biased and inaccurate assumption that most domestic violence or child abuse accusations made in custody cases are falsely made for tactical gain, so take these cases far less seriously than they should.23 In fact, incest allegations are only made in 2-3% of custody cases, and mothers make few false accusations either of domestic violence24  or of child sexual abuse.25 Although no psychological test can definitively prove that someone has battered or sexually abused someone,26 many family courts require women to conclusively prove the abuse–a virtually impossible burden–or they refuse to believe that any abuse happened.

Furthermore, because most assessment tools used in custody evaluations were never developed to take into account the effects of domestic violence on victims, the tools distort the results to incorrectly show that most frightened victims are paranoid or have other psychiatric disorders, such as major depression, paranoid schizophrenia, dependent personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder,27diagnoses that will hurt her in any custody fight.28 Without experts able to refute the faulty diagnoses (and few battered women have the money to pay for such experts, even if any are available who are willing to criticize their colleagues), battered women and mothers of children who have been abused risk being assessed as incompetent mothers, and so lose custody.  Despite myths put out by fathers that mothers always win custody cases, fathers actually win custody in 70% of custody disputes,29 and this is true even though most men who abuse women and children are far more likely than other fathers to fight for custody and engage in prolonged litigation.30

Batterers Retaliate

Batterers do not only manipulate mental health professionals.  When batterers feel that their authority is being threatened, they escalate their violent and terroristic tactics, often threatening to kill or seriously injure their victims,31 their families, children or loved ones,32 and even themselves.33 After separation they often carry out these threats, hurting their partners 14 times as often after separation as when they were together.34 Most of these men also rape their female partners, and these rapes are more brutal than stranger rapes, and 10% of the rapes occur in from of the children.35 Batterers retaliate in many other ways as well, often being extremely imaginative and unpredictable.  They are notorious in fighting for custody,36 even though most of them never paid much attention to the children while then they were together with the children’s mother.37 Most batterers seek the children knowing that depriving the mother of custody is the best way to punish and hurt her.38 Batterers, who are notoriously poor at paying child support,39 also know that winning custody not only absolves them from having to pay child support, it may obligate the mothers to pay them child support, which they see as another way to hurt the women.

Batterers also retaliate by threatening their former partners and her children during visitation, or by shifting their abuse onto the children. It is quite common for batterers to begin abusing the child physically or sexually after the separation, or for such abuse to escalate, just as their violence tends to escalate after separation against their formerpartners.40 Many threaten to and actually abduct the children,41 and these abductions are as harmful to the children as when strangers kidnap them.42

Even when batterers have custody, they often refuse to make let the mothers to see their children.  The same courts that are outraged when a mother fails to make the children available to the father seldom punish a father who denies visitation to the mother.

Some of these problems exist because of gender bias of individual judges, but other problems exist because the legislature has enacted laws that favor men.  While most states (Washington State is the exception) encourage courts to consider in granting custody which parent will encourage a better relationship and frequent contact between the children and the other parent, courts consider only behaviors that mothers are more likely to do under this criteria, leaving out behaviors that men primarily do.  Thus failing to pay spousal or child support, or failing when one could do so to legitimate the other parent’s immigration status are not seen as hurtful.  Yet what could be more harmful to a relationship with the children than depriving the other parent of adequate support or even the right to remain in the U.S.  Indeed, changing custody because a parent has not paid child support is illegal in most states, yet custody is changed all the time when mothers do not give father access to their children.

Another way that some men retaliate is by having their parents join in the fight for custody or visitation (of course, some grandparents, often the ones from whom their son learned to be abusive in the first place, do this spontaneously).  Fortunately, this was made much harder by Troxel v. Granville43,  the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which struck down Washington State’s grandparent visitation statute that permitted visitation against the wishes of the parents.  Both batterers and paternal grandparents and batterers also often file false or trumped up charges against their daughters-in-law or sons’ girlfriends to get them in trouble and discredit them, most often with child protection agencies, but also alleging welfare or immigration fraud or criminal activity, but also in court.44

Another reason that courts have not been quicker to catch on about men’s projecting their own behaviors onto their victims45 and vindictiveness against their former female partners is that while they speak very negatively about their former partners, they generally speak very positively about their current ones.46 This is typical of men, but few courts or mental health practitioners are aware of it, and are fooled into thinking the men must be  objective, and thus what they say about their former partners must be accurate.  Yet once the men break up with their current partners they will start publicly devaluing.

Some courts are wising up to men’s retaliatory tactics, because many involve abusing the courts. Many abusers learn that cross or counterclaims often cancel out their victims; prior claims, and that filing contempts shifts the focus to their victims.47 Most batterers know they can bring criminal and contempt charges at no expense to the abusers, but they take an enormous financial and emotional cost on their victims.  The result is that many abusive men drag on the litigation and file spurious claims openly acknowledging they are trying to drive their victims onto welfare or into homelessness; half of all homeless women and children in the U.S. are homeless because of domesticviolence.48 Occasionally it is only when the abuser accuses the judge or other court players of impropriety or attacks them or those helping their partners, such as shelter workers,49 that the court catches on to their tactics. Unfortunately, some judges (and other court players, including mental health experts) become too frightened 50 or vicariously traumatized 51 to act sufficiently to believe or act to protect battered women. However, most abusers are far too savvy to make such accusations, attacking only their former partners.

When courts blame victims and fail to hold abusers accountable, they reinforce abuser behavior, subvert justice, dis-empower the victims, teach children that abusive behavior is permissible and may even be rewarded, and reinforce the cycle of violence.

for resources- https://abatteredmother.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/batterer-manipulation-and-retaliation-denial-and-complicity-in-the-family-courts/




Childrens Justice Campaign

Actress Kelly Rutherford will be in Federal Court in New York on Wednesday March 18th. Kelly’s attorneys, Wendy Murphy and James Marsh, will discuss her children’s basic human rights as American Citizens to live freely in their own country. In this unprecedented case, Kelly’s young children were ordered by a California family court judge to be deported to a foreign country where neither parent has citizenship. Since immigration is a federal issue (state courts do not have jurisdiction on immigration matters), we are hopeful that our United States Federal Government will step in to protect the rights of two American children.

It is time to‪#‎BRINGKELLYSKIDSHOME‬! After all, children are people too!
@KellyRutherford @Children’s Justice Campaign Please share! And thank you all for your continued support : ) Kelly Rutherford says a few words about her upcoming hearing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW_le6oBAnk&feature=youtu.be

kelly rutherford and her children