“How are you, what terrors are you going through? Hiding it from the Abuser, the One you ran from, and are now imprisoned in his home..”

A YouTube video with absolutely no sound leaves an impression even more powerful than the mighty roar of a lion… “Silent Child” by Family Court Abuse is a narrative/poem about the pain, grief and fear a parent experiences after their child has been placed in the custody of an abuser by an unjust order of the family court.  As a result of the ruling, the parent has been forced out of the life of their child, and can only speak through the stark black and white images of this silent video. 

The video description reads: “This is about Family Court decisions to seperate children and mothers who are victims of domestic abuse/violence, giving custody to an abusive father, how they are broken and silenced by courtroom tactics, and the painful silent space left in the home of the child and heart of the mother (and child). The lack of training in domestic abuse for Judges and Cafcass is a strong influence on decisions to force children into damaging and traumatic situations with an abuser.

What is portrayed in “Silent Child” is REAL and happening to parents in the United States, U.K. and all over the world…. family courts are awarding custody to abusive or unfit parents at alarming rates, and punishing the parent who is trying to protect the child from harm.

Studies have been conducted on the intersection of family court and domestic violence and revealed a consistent pattern in the court’s failure to protect children from harm by granting custody and/or unsupervised visitation with abusive parents:

** The Committee for Justice for Women studied custody awards in Orange County, North Carolina over a five year period between 1983 and 1987. They reported that: “…in all contested custody cases, 84% of the fathers in the study were granted sole or mandated joint custody. In all cases where sole custody was awarded, fathers were awarded custody in 79% of the cases. In 26% of the cases fathers were either proven or alleged to have physically and sexually abused their children.” Are “Good Enough” Parents Losing Custody to Abusive Ex-Partners? (Leadership Council)

** “Only 10% of children alleging incest are adequately protected from their identified perpetrators by family courts through long-term supervised visitation orders or no-contact orders. The remaining 90% of children disclosing abuse receive no protection, with 70% continuing in shared custody and visitation arrangements without any supervision, and 20% being placed in the custody of the parent they accused of the sexual abuse, and losing unsupervised or all contact with the parent who sought to protect them.” FACT SHEET CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN CUSTODY DISPUTES (Child Abuse Solutions, Inc.)

** “… A history of violence does not stop batterers from obtaining custody. In fact, a history of abuse seems to increase the likelihood that the batterer will seek custody…In one recent study in Massachusetts, fifteen of the forty fathers (approximately 38 percent) who sought custody received sole or joint custody of the children, despite the fact that each and every one of these men were reportLosed to have abused both the mother and the child/children prior to separation and continued to do so after separation..” “One More Battleground: Domestic Violence, Child Custody, and the Batterers’ Relentless Pursuit of their Victims Through the Courts” by Mary Przekop

** “My own survey of the case law in 2001 identified 38 appellate state court decisions concerning custody and domestic violence. The survey found that 36 of the 38 trial courts had awarded joint or sole custody to alleged and adjudicated batterers. Two-thirds of these decisions were reversed on appeal. –  Joan S. Meier, Esq., Domestic Violence, Child Custody, and Child Protection: RATES AT WHICH ACCUSED AND ADJUDICATED BATTERERS RECEIVE SOLE OR JOINT CUSTODY (Compiled by Joan S. Meier, Esq).

The tragic result of family court failures is that children are being abused and have absolutely no avenue for help or legal protection because the abuser is being protected by the legal system (not the child), and the child has become silenced. As parents and professionals we have a responsibility to protect our children.. and when systems fail, it is our responsibility to fight for justice so these silenced children can finally have a voice. 

 

 

 

Public Source: https://www.pexels.com

Public Source: https://www.pexels.com

Divorce: 6 Things To Never Tell Your Children

‘When we choose our words carefully, when we look past ourselves, our own egos however wounded, and realize that our children’s healthy emotional well being should trump any and all manipulation, self-victimization, snide remarks, etc voiced to our children about our ex-spouse we will be doing our job as a parent.” -Grace Power Strength, 2013

Divorce 6 Things to Never Tell Your Children” is an article that delves into the emotional turmoil following divorce, and the difficulties dealing with an ex partner who is abusive, vengeful or harboring anger/resentment.  Toxic behavior the ex displayed during the relationship doesn’t just end because the divorce is final, or the relationship is over but continues post separation, and often spills onto the messages sent to the children or emerges in their parenting.

This article exposes “6 Things to Never Tell Your Children“, which are common statements made to children, that are unhealthy, and hurtful. And also reveals tips on how to detect manipulation, and hidden messages. The article offers tips on how to avoid playing into the manipulation, and mind games, so you can maintain your sense of peace, and give your child the sense of stability that they deserve. 

About: Grace, Power Strength is an insightful, and encouraging blog penned by Jennifer Gafford that blends stories from her personal experiences with practical tips and advice concerning abuse, divorce/custody, personality disorders, healing from abuse, and spiritual wisdom (and more).

Grace Power Strength

One thing I have learned from co-parenting with an abusive, personality disordered ex that NOT saying anything is just as painful, and just as dysfunctional as manipulating or saying inappropriate statements to a child. By “NOT saying anything” I am referring to an ex partner that refuses to communicate, refuses to share information and attempts to completely shut out or remove the other parent from the child’s life.

When your child goes to spend time with the other the parent, that child should just be able to enjoy their visit and grow their relationship with their parent, and family. When a parent refuses to communicate, and will not share any information on the child’s progress or well-being it creates a toxic environment that promotes hostility, secrecy, and hinders the child’s ability to trust or feel secure with the other parent. It also places an adult responsibility on the child – who is burdened with keeping secrets, or is put in the role of relaying information (or being brainwashed to only tell certain things, or told to give false information or told not to say anything at all).

Parents need to find ways to communicate and share information regarding the child. In cases where abuse is present, there needs to be boundaries on what information is shared (i.e. child focused and not getting into the personal life of the other parent, also maintaining address confidentiality if that is an issue) and a safe method of communication should be developed.

Judges, Guardian ad Litems, therapists and other professionals working with the family also need to be educated, and taught to recognize domestic violence and how it manifests post separation in order to properly address the family’s needs, and be aware of safety concerns. Family Courts and CPS have a responsibility to keep safety a priority, and recognize abuse to avoid actions that would unfairly punish a victim of abuse, or place the children in danger. Family Courts also need to be aware of their own actions so they do not enable abuse to continue, and so that orders do not empower tactics used by abusers.

In dealing with my abusive ex, the most important thing I have learned is to recognize his abusive, personality disordered behavior for what it is. I sought education and sought support from the National Alliance on Mental Illness and also sought help from abuse advocacy organizations.

In my relationship with my ex, I did not have the ability to speak for myself, and was dominated and controlled by his violence, or fear of what he would do to me or the children. When I escaped from the abuse, I was not truly free because I carried with me years of conditioning, where my survival depended on acclimating to abuse or adapting my true feelings, and true self to meet his selfish demands. There was no peace. I could not even voice what I wanted, or what I needed for myself. Getting support has helped me to heal, and reclaim my sense of self. So it was important is to recognize, and get educated, on domestic violence and develop a safety plan.

An additional resource, NAMI helped me to identify, and seek support, in dealing with issues regarding my ex’s personality disorder in a way that was informed, non-judgmental and offered peer support. I no longer felt alone in dealing with these types of behaviors, and felt better informed – which meant I was not reacting in a personal or emotional way; which in turn gave me a separation from my abuser that was needed to maintain my own distinct space or boundary.

I also would say that every person has their journey… the process of divorce, healing and re-creating your family is not easy, but no one has to be alone in this process. We can learn and grow from each other; and through our experiences, and insight, help to educate and inform others.

~ EJ

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What Messages or Words Would You Advise to Never Tell a Child?

And How Do You Cope With Co-Parenting, or Dealing With a Toxic Ex? Any Tips on How to Find Your Calm or Maintain Your Peace?

Plz Post Below!

 

 

The article Fragmented Child: Disorganized Attachment and Dissociation by Robert T. Muller Ph.D describes how abuse can destroy a child’s sense of self, and cause them to seek refuge from a painful reality by dissociating.

The “Fragmented Child” article was very helpful to me to identify many of the symptoms I have seen in my own children; I am sharing a link to this article along with some of my own experiences to raise awareness about the effects of abuse on children. I also feel a purpose in sharing my story to illustrate the devastating impact of family court rulings that place children in the care and custody of an abusive or unfit parent – much of the harm inflicted on my children could have been prevented if the family court had protected them from abuse.

What is Dissociation?

In “Fragmented Child”, Muller describes dissociation and its cause. The “fragmented child” is one who uses dissociation as a defense mechanism to deal with a stressful, traumatic or abusive situation.

Muller says about dissociation,“As a way of coping, dissociation occurs when the brain compartmentalizes traumatic experiences to keep people from feeling too much pain, be it physical, emotional, or both. When dissociation occurs, you experience a detachment from reality, like ‘spacing out.’ Part of you just isn’t ‘there in the moment.’” Children who grow up in an abusive homes often dissociate because they can not handle the trauma, pain and/or dysfunctional environment.

Dissociation happens when there is a trauma or assault, our first instinct is to go into “fight or flight” mode. When there is no escape, the flight is taken into the mind – away from a present danger. Dissociation is a defense mechanism where a person separates from their memory something they do not want to deal with. There is a range of mild dissociation to full blown dissociative identity disorder (separating a part of yourself from memory). Amnesia may occur with dissociation because the mind is shutting out or erasing a painful reality.

Through dissociation, memory of the trauma is held within fragmented parts of the mind. The trauma causes the mind to break or split off into smaller pieces that make it easier to process what has occurred. Over time those fragments may form their own distinct parts or identities. Triggers or memories of trauma release the memories which emerge (this occurs in a variety of ways).

People who experience dissociation commonly report feeling numb, spaced out, may have amnesia, and feel disconnected. A dissociative disorder changes the way a person sees reality and impairs memory, consciousness and a person’s sense of identity.

For more info on Dissociative Disorders please visit: Dissociative disorders (by Mind for Better Mental Health(

Understanding the Dissociative Disorders by Marlene Steinberg, M.D.

Public Domain: http://absfreepic.com

The Devastating Impact – When Courts Order Children into the Custody of Abusers: What I Have Seen in my own Children

My children are victims of abuse who have been further traumatized when the family court gave sole custody to the identified abuser. My children suffer from debilitating psychological, behavioral and social problems as a result of the abuse. My children have had their childhood stolen from them.

It is distressing to realize that your children are coping with a dysfunctional home environment by dissociating, and that your efforts to protect your children are being challenged, and prevented, by the family court system. Filing protective orders or asking for a change of custody based on abuse or endangerment has resulted in reprieve, and punishment from the courts (financial sanctions, loss of visitation and/or custody, ordered into supervised visitation, gag orders, jail are all common forms courts punish protective parents). Seeking therapy and professional help for my family has resulted in me being accused of harming my children, being told I need to “co-parent” better and otherwise being told my concerns of abuse, and the supporting documentation I offer, is not credible. My legal rights have also been violated in the court process. I am told to stay silent, stop raising concerns, be a more “cooperative” parent. No parent should be asked to enable the abuse of their own children.

I have seen the following indicators of dissociation present in my own children:

1) Talking to my children, they are sometimes triggered or can not deal with a difficult emotion, their response is a blank face (emotionless) and silence. The tone of voice may sound monotone. Or their mood may not match the current situation or the prevalent emotions of the day (for example, it’s a birthday party, everyone is happy but the children are silent and withdrawn).

2) The child withdraws into their own world – retreating into distractions, video games or computer time, imagination or an intense interest that draws their attention away from the present and into an inner world. The interest dominates the child’s focus, and they have trouble staying emotionally regulated without it.

3) After a long separation from my child, I am finally able to reconnect or have some contact with the children. I am overjoyed, and emotional. The child appears detached, appears emotionless, eyes are blank, voice is flat and mood is somber or withdrawn. At times a glimmer of my child once was will appear. Maybe I will get an unexpected hug. Or my child will create a card or picture for me, showing love or affection. It is confusing to see the dramatic changes – the conflicting closeness followed by the coldness, some children reject the targeted parent entirely.

4) The child is reminded or triggered by a memory of past trauma or abuse, and they freeze or lock up. They are unable to talk or move – sometimes they blank out. Other times they are aware of what is happening around them but unable to move or interact with their environment. Amnesia often follows these events. Or the child is unable to identify how they are feeling or what they are thinking.

5) When the child is overwhelmed by memories of trauma or abuse, they have violent or intense tantrums. Often there is very little or no memory of the tantrums. They may fall asleep after the tantrum due to exhaustion. There may be physical or emotional signs of dissociation that is associated with the onset of the tantrums – regressive behavior, mood swings, a drastic change in facial expression or appearance (this is an emotional change), banging their head on the wall, etc

Other signs of dissociation in children may include: Memory loss, inability to concentrate or focus, hyperactivity, mood swings, nightmares, a flat or monotone voice, appearing weak or lethargic, anxiety, and changes in personality.

When Family Court Professionals Fail to Recognize the Impact of Abuse on Children

The judges, Guardian ad Litem, evaluator, attorney for my abusive ex and other family court professionals working with my children, etc who do not understand the effects of abuse and trauma on children, commonly assign blame to one parent for causing reported behavioral and emotional problems in a child. Other times the court will deny any problem exists with the children (this happens even when there is ample evidence and documentation) and falsely accuse the targeted parent of having some kind of mental illness that causes a parent to report abuse and seek help for this child. In this way, victims of abuse are not being protected by the family court, and are being re-victimized.

Where there is no safety for children, some have chosen to escape the abuse, pain and ugly world they live in through dissociation.

— EJ, May 2016

October 3, 2015, Saint Paul, Minn: When Shatavia Jackson attempted to drop her children off to spend the day with their father (name withheld), he refused to care for them. Shatavia insisted that the father take the children, and left the children at the house, as she began to pull away in her SUV her ex jumped onto the roof of the vehicle.

Now riding on top of the SUV, the ex was reportedly heard screaming and pounding on the driver’s side window. Shatavia kept on driving, travelling 9 miles through the city before driving onto a highway, reaching speeds up to 70 mph, with her ex still clinging to the SUV. When Shatavia exited the highway, a physical altercation ensued. The father narrowly escaped being maced, and despite the ordeal, was unharmed. It has not been reported if Shatavia sustained any injuries.

Multiple witnesses called 911. Police arrived on the scene and arrested Shatavia. She has been charged with felony domestic assault, driving after suspension and operating a vehicle with expired registration.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about this incident, but what really resonated with me were the common issues that many people involved in divorce or custody disputes face. I am going to address those issues in a few insights on what can be learned from this near tragedy. If you have anything else to add, please leave your comments.

What we can learn from this incident:

1) It is not worth it – ever – to go to jail over some drama with your ex partner, or to risk your own happiness and chances in life for an ex. X your ex! When a relationship ends, look at it as a fresh start for you. If you have children with that person, and are co-parenting, you will have some communication, and dealings, with your ex. Be sure to maintain healthy boundaries, and to release ties to the past (and to that person) that are holding you back. It is possible to heal, and mature – you do not have to repeat past mistakes, or relive the drama.

2) If your ex partner says that they do not want the children in their life, they do not want to care for the children or refuse to take the children during their parenting time, do not attempt to force a relationship or force parenting time. If someone is that adverse to caring for, and spending time with, their own children it is a sign that something is seriously wrong. It is not safe to leave your children in the care of someone who shows so little concern for their well being. Document the incidents, and if needed, seek professional and/or legal advice.

3) Do not put your children in the middle of adult drama, fights or conflicts. Similarly, do not expose children to adult conversations, or tell children about personal business (for example gossiping to a child about the other parent, telling the children details of your divorce or custody dispute, making a child feel responsible for adult issues like paying bills, etc). Exposure to domestic violence and other adult conflicts is traumatic to children, and can cause psychological, behavioral and emotional damage.

4) Reach out for help. If you are struggling with a family issue, or struggling with a parenting issue, reach out for help or support. Call United Way 211 for resources. Churches are also a great place for resources and support. Ask a friend or family member for advice. Seek help from a community organization. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help, not all battles can be fought alone. A football game is not won by just one player on the team, sometimes a team effort is needed. So be open to accepting help.

My heart and prayers go out to the children involved. That Shatavia Jackson was willing to leave her children with a person who clearly expressed that he did not want to take care of them is appalling. How do you drive away from your children with no thought to their safety? And that the father would so openly reject his children, and communicate to the children that they are not wanted, is also appalling. I hope that the children are now in an environment now that is safe, and with people who will show them appropriate love and care. I hope these children get to enjoy their childhood – and will not have to worry or be exposed to adult problems. And I hope these children are given positive messages and love – that they know how special they are, and that someone really looks out for their best interest.

 

Read More:

Man jumps on SUV’s roof, driver takes off.. by Chao Xiong, “Star Tribune”

Bulletin Ramsey Co Sheriff’s Dept

Judge Matthew Myers (Wikipedia Commons)

Don’t breastfeed any more. Seriously don’t. It’s not in the best interests of the child…I don’t care if it makes the front page and it probably will.” Federal Circuit Judge Matthew Myers banning a mother from breastfeeding during an interim hearing on June 3-5, 2015. Judge Myers ruled that because the mother has a tattoo she poses a health risk when breastfeeding her child.

June 2015, New South Wales, Australia – “Judges must not mistake their own views for being facts” Australian Family Court Justice Murray Aldridge made this strong statement after an appellate court overturned a ruling from a Federal judge who issued a court order prohibiting a mother from breastfeeding her 11 month old son. There was no motion before the court to restrain the mother from breastfeeding when the ruling was made. The order was unanimously thrown out on appeal because the Federal judge based his decision entirely on his own opinion.

The case came to court after the child’s father, known as, Mr. Macek, refused to return the child at the end of his parenting time, and the mother fought for return of the child.

Judge Matthew Myers heard the case in Federal Circuit Court and set aside issues raised to ban the mother, known as, Ms. Jackson from breastfeeding because she recently had a tattoo placed on her finger and another on her toe. Judge Myers said the tattoo put the baby at risk of contracting HIV, and based his ruling on articles he read on the internet – which is bias. The father, Mr. Macek, was also given increased parenting time.

Ms. Jackson filed an urgent appeal heard by a full bench of the Family Court in Sydney. The Family Court overturned the ruling of Judge Myers because they felt there was no evidence to support that Ms. Jackson presented a risk to the baby should she continue to breastfeed.

Another questionable aspect of this case is that the father Mr. Macek has a domestic violence order issued against him, but is allowed to have extensive visits with the child, unsupervised. Mr. Macek also pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms. Jackson. The original order granted the father to spend 6 hours a day, 4 days per week, with the child. In coming to its determination, the Family Court (who heard the appeal) determined Judge Meyers erred by failing to consider s 60CC of the Family Law Act when making orders about the time the child is to spend with the father and specifically,”The orders provide for an 11 month old child to spend six hours with his father every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Quite simply, how such an arrangement is in the best interests of an 11 month old baby is beyond me. Such an arrangement is of its very nature unsettling to the child and likely to lead to instability. It requires a constant change of households and, in this case, would require eight changeovers per week between parents who accuse each other of violence and drug taking and have difficulties with the other members of each other’s family. Such orders are likely to be productive of conflict.” The Family Court temporarily changed parenting time with father to 2 days per week for five hours per day pending the conclusion of another hearing.

Judge Myers’ focus on breastfeeding as being the sole concern about the safety of the child is misplaced.

That Mr. Macek, refused to return the child after his parenting time, should be considered non-custodial kidnapping and that act alone, is harmful to the child.  The child has primarily been cared for by the mother, Ms. Jackson, since birth. According to court records, “It was common ground that the father had only seen the child on four occasions since separation. To put this in context, it is common ground that prior to separation the mother was primarily responsible for the care of the child and the father was involved to the extent that his full time employment permitted. Of particular relevance to the challenge to his Honour’s order concerning the child’s time with the father is the fact that prior to separation the longest period of time the child spent in the father’s sole care was one hour.

That combined with the Mr. Macek’s history of domestic violence, creates a real risk of harm for this child. Yet, the response of Judge Myers to ignore these issues and award Mr. Macek with additional parenting time; makes no sense. The family court should recognize the need for sensitivity, and not exacerbate an already tense situation by issuing a court order that unfairly punishes one parent and ignores the real safety risks.

— EJ Perth, 2015

Sources:

“Australian Court Orders Mother to Stop Breastfeeding After She Had Tattoos” by Jonathon Pearlman, The Telegraph, 6/18/2015:

“Breastfeeding Ban on Tattooed Mother Overturned by Family Court” by ABC News, 6/19/2015:

“Mother asks court to let her breastfeed her son after ban by judge for getting tattoos” by Louise Hall, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6/18/2015:

Jackson & Macek [2015] FamCAFC 114 (19 June 2015) – Family Court of Australia

In 2004, Genevieve Kelley, along with her second husband, Scott Kelley, and daughter 8 year old Mary Nunes, went into hiding in Central America. Genevieve claims her daughter was being sexually abused by her ex-husband, Mark Nunes, and that she fled with her daughter in order to protect her.

Genevieve Kelly (US Marshals)

Wayne Rioux, who was then the police chief of Whitefield, New Hampshire claims Genevieve was brainwashing her daughter to believe abuse had occurred. There were concerns over a video Genevieve made, questioning Mary about the alleged abuse. Genevieve says a therapist told her to make the video, that her intentions were to help not to harm. Guardian ad litem on the case, Abbie Teachout, says Genevieve was alienating Mary from her father, “She (Genevieve) appeared to be really, almost obsessed in her concern over Mary and that Mark had done something to harm the child…Out of all the families I’ve worked with, this was a case where parent alienation was 100 percent evident – that Genevieve was doing everything she could to alienate this child from her father, from the beginning.

In 2004, the Kelley family moved to Colorado. The child custody order said that Genevieve was not to remove Mary from the state, and in 2005 the court would award Mark sole custody. By then, the family had fled the country.

In Colorado, Mary was evaluated by two doctors, one who diagnosed trauma in the child but did not state what caused it. The family also sought help from a noted attorney. Attorney Alan Rosenfeld specializes in child advocacy and domestic violence cases, says that Genevieve had no other option than to run away with her daughter, after a court-appointed guardian and social service agencies didn’t believe the abuse allegations.

The abuse allegations against Mark Nunes were investigated then dismissed, no charges were filed due to lack of evidence. It is worth noting that before their divorce, Genevieve filed for, and received, a restraining order against Mark (who claims he never abused her).

(March 2015) In a recent court motion, Mary states that she was being abused by her father, and that she begged her mother and step-father to protect her, ” “and I asked them to do it.” Mary also refers to herself as a “rape victim” and her father as the perpetrator.

Now the family is back in the United States, with both Genevieve and Scott Kelly facing criminal charges in Coos County Superior Court for noncustodial kidnapping and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Scott Kelly (wanted poster)

The Kelley family emerged from hiding when U.S. Marshals were alerted by officials at the U.S. embassy in Costa Rica that Mary, Scott and their attorney, Alan Rosenfeld, had asked the embassy to help them get US passports.

In November 2014, Genevieve returned to the US to seek medical treatment for a son born to her and Scott, while in hiding. She refused to reveal the whereabouts of Scott and Mary when arrested in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Genevieve has since been released on bail and is barred from having any contact with either Scott or Mary.

In April 2015, Scott was told that he could come back into the US without facing charges, a lie. So Scott and step-daughter Mary boarded a plane for the US, not knowing they were being tricked in order to get them to return to US soil.

On April 14, 2015 Scott was taken into custody as soon as he stepped off the plane at Atlanta International Airport. Scott was arrested on a kidnapping warrant. Mary was questioned then released.

Father, Mark Nunes, has expressed that he is concerned about Mary, and wishes to reunite with her. Markhad hired a private investigator to find Mary but had not been successful. Mr. Nunes says (The Associated Press): “It’s very hard for us to reconcile our mental image of her as a 7-year-old girl with the reality that she’s a gawky, beautiful, 18-year-old teenager that we could pass on the street and might not even recognize. We love Mary and are overjoyed that she is alive and back in the U.S. Our hearts and home are open to her, and we will do everything we can to insure she remains safe and healthy. We look forward to the day our family is finally reunited.”

Mary Nunes is expected to testify on behalf of her mother, and shows no indication of wanting to reconnect with her father.

Sources:

For updated related to Genevieve Kelley: “Friends of Genevieve Kelley” https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Genevieve-Kelly/370039133164287

“Missing girl taken by mom in custody battle found after 11 years; stepdad arrested” by Dave Solomon, New Hampshire Union Leader, 4/15/2015: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150415/NEWS03/150419409/1006/NEWS03&template=mobileart

“Search for girl reveals bitter family split” by Associated Press, AZ Central, 5/10/2009: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/05/10/20090510mary.html

“Scott Kelley, fugitive featured on ‘The Hunt’ surrenders” by Stephanie Gallman and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, 4/15/2015:

  • http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/15/us/hunt-fugitive-scott-kelley-arrested/
  • “Teen in high profile custody case pleads for her mom – Mary Nunes breaks an 11 year silence as mom faces trial” by Newser Editors and Wire Services, 4/28/2015: http://www.newser.com/story/206053/teen-in-high-profile-custody-case-pleads-for-her-mom.html

    “In the 1970’s when the Khmer Rouge came through Cambodia, they wiped out the entire educated class.

    They wanted to destroy the family structure. Mother and women were slaughtered. That’s a whole generation that was taken out.

    And now you have women raising children who’ve never had grandmothers teaching them, mothers to teach them how to raise children, how to be a mom. And these women have felt the effect for years.” — Sissy Samaritan’s Purse

    I was really struck by this quote because it reminds me of how –injustice in family court destroys the family structure, and destroys the bond between parents and children. A whole generation is being taken out due to the failures in family court.

    Fit, loving parents are being forcibly separated from their children. This causes real trauma, and often leaves life long scars. I wonder what the effect will be on the future generation of children… who have been forced to live in an abusive, dysfunctional home and deprived of a healthy, nurturing relationship with a parent.

    How will these child survivors parent their own children? How will they function in the real world? What will the effect be?

    – EJ, 2015

    “Crossing the River: Motherhood in Cambodia” is a short film created by Samaritan’s Purse who is doing missionary work in Cambodia, providing maternal and child health programs and offering support.

    The video explores the challenges and experiences of mothers in Cambodia, a country with one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. Samaritan’s Purse is working to reverse that trend by building health clinics, teaching mother’s needed skills, and offering support to build their confidence in raising their children.