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…
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.
“Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Family Courts,” award-winning documentary by Garland Waller:
Garland Waller co producer for- http://nowayoutbutone.com/
Help us tell the story!
We want Netflix to have No Way Out But One available! Here is what others have done to make that possible – Help Us Get “No Way Out But One” on NETFLIX!
When Garland Waller set out to document the inspiring story of Holly Collins and Her Children she did so with the effort to bring to the big screen the issues of Domestic Violence Victims Denied Justice and Protection in the US and the pattern of state court judges trafficking children in the United States. When we consider the fact that known perpetrators are being given custody of vulnerable children over and above the pleadings of safe mothers with evidence in hand we must consider this trafficking. Sold to the highest bidder. Mothers are out spent and out maneuvered and courts are failing to provide equal protection and representation under the law. Motivated by the fact that Americans need to see the truth of what’s happening in Courts across the nation, No Way Out But One was created. Holly Collins and her Children would become the first Americans to be given Asylum in the Netherlands. Amazingly, In September of 2011, Holly and her children safely returned to the United States after years of living as fugitives. Theirs is a story of hope, determination, and, ultimately, justice. In the process of learning about Court Ordered abuse and trafficking, we wanted people to be inspired and motivated to take action.
Here’s the great news: The film has received 7 Prestigious Film Awards and been seen at Hundreds of screenings at the BMCC Conference at George Washington University in DC, hosted by professional organizations, schools, universities, non-profits, and faith-based communities. The response to the film has been tremendous, and we are thankful for the support.
Here’s the not-so-good news: In our current technological culture, the four best ways to get a film into the hands of the public include DVDs, iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix.
Now Way Out But One premiered on The Documentary Channel in 2012
You can purchase the film on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/
If “No Way Out But One” is on Netflix, it would reach a broader audience and you can use it as a tool to educate, inspire, and motivate your friends and family to take action to end human trafficking in your city.
on Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/19259757
1. EMAIL Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, and tell him that America needs to see the film.
Subject: I want to watch “No Way Out But One, The Holly Collin’s Story”
Please work with Garland Waller Productions to ensure that No Way Out But One, The Holly Collin’s Story is available on Netflix. This inspiring documentary features the story of a courageous woman who as a victim of Domestic Violence and Injustice was the first American to Seek Asylum in the Netherlands and receive the help of the Government to protect her children. The film has been screened in Hundreds of locations around the US over the past 3 years, and it’s available on iTunes and Amazon. No Way Out But One has won many prestigious Awards and appeared on the Documentary Channel. http://nowayoutbutone.com/
Please contact Garland Waller at garland@garlandwallerprodu
2. TWEET a message to Netflix by clicking on the image below.
Tweet: I want to watch
3. CHAT with Customer Service and copy this message into the chat window.
a. Go to https://
b. Click “Start Live Chat” at the bottom of the page.
c. Copy and paste this message.
Hello. There is an important documentary calledhttp://
4. CALL Netflix Corporate Offices at 408.540.3700 and ask them to put No Way Out But One, the Holly Collins from Garland Waller Productions Story on Netflix.
Once you take action, please let us know by leaving a comment below. We greatly appreciate your support of this film. Our Children’s Lives are depending on it!
– See more at :http://nowayoutbutone.com/
In September of 2011, Holly and her children safely returned to the United States after years of living as fugitives. Their’s is a story of hope, determination, and, ultimately, justice.
The Collins Family Joined Mothers of Lost Children at the White House Protesting Dangerous Public Policies that put her family at risk and hundreds of thousands of mothers and children each year.