Family Devastated When Daughter’s Killer Sought Access to Child in Family Court

Jane Clough: Murderer wanted access to daughter

Jane Clough and her daughter. Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Jane Clough and her daughter. Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

“She bore your child and then you murdered her, leaving your infant child without a mother and with the prospect of growing up to learn one day that her father murdered her mother.” – Judge Anthony Russell QC at sentencing

September 16, 2016, Lancashire, UK: MP Peter Kyle (Labour) says it is “inhumane” that Jonathan Vass, who brutally murdered his ex-girlfriend Jane Clough, was able to use the family court system to seek access to their baby. Vass was incarcerated when he started demanding parental rights, and initiated family court proceedings.

There needs to be a serious change to the law the someone like Vass would even be allowed to file for any custodial rights or visitation, his parental rights should have been immediately terminated. Vass has a long history of domestic violence against Jane, including beating and raping her, and assaulting her when pregnant. Jane had filed criminal charges, and was seeking to escape, when she was brutally murdered. Police believe that Vass was also planning to murder his baby daughter, and the Jane’s parents. Vass was convicted of murder and given a life sentence, he will not be eligible for release until 2040. 

The surviving family was traumatized and financially devastated when they were forced into family court proceedings to protect their grandchild. MP Peter Kyle explains, “The man who brutally murdered their sister, their daughter, would be cross-examining them. Jane’s sister told me that she simply cannot find the words to do justice to the brutalising effect this had as the court date approached.”

The trauma meted out by the family court process is simply inhuman. This family had suffered enough.”

Jane’s daughter was 9 months old when her father brutally ripped her mother from her life. She is now growing up in a loving environment, being raised by her maternal aunt and uncle, and is said to be doing well. At the time of the murder, she was too young to understand what happened and will grow up without having any memory of her mother. 

Jane’s parents, Penny and John Clough, have campaigned to raise awareness about domestic violence, and change laws and policies to better protect victims. As a result of their efforts, Blackpool NHS Teaching Hospitals Trust adopted a domestic violence policy for its staff that would provide assistance to staff members who are facing domestic violence situations (Jane was a nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital). Penny and John Clough have also sought changes to the law to impose tougher penalties, and denial of bail for certain types of domestic violence offenses.

Read More: 

Justice for Jane Clough Twitter: https://twitter.com/justiceforjane

The mother who predicted her own murder: Nurse Jane Clough warned police her brutal ex-partner was going to kill her – yet he was freed on bail

Man who murdered ex-girlfriend in hospital knife attack jailed for life

Family’s bid to start rebuilding lives five years after tragedy

 

 

Posted in Domestic Violence, Family Court News, Parental Alienation/DV by Proxy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Open Letter To My Ex-Wife: “We’ve proven that there can be happiness and new opportunities after divorce…”

Public Domain: http://pdpics.com

Public Domain: http://pdpics.com

Chad posted this inspirational letter on opnlttr.com to his ex-wife to thank her, and talk about how they have been able to move on with their lives in a positive way after the divorce, and maintain mutual respect while co-parenting. Chad also shares 3 things about their post divorce lives that have made their experiences successful. 

I really appreciated this letter for its honesty. It is also emotional, and inspiring.

As someone who has survived an abusive relationship and has lost years of my life, and that of my children, in family court, I can honestly say that if it is possible (and safe) do your best to work with your ex, and stay out of family court.

~ E. Court

Chad, 12/22/2015: An Open Letter to My Ex Wife (http://www.opnlttr.com)

Dear ex-wife,

I want you to know how proud I am of us. We have done a really good job of being ex-spouses. We did not receive a guidebook for how to behave as a divorced couple when we received our divorce papers. We had to blaze our own trail through the post-divorce wilderness.

We’ve all seen couples who break up and spend the rest of their lives bitter at each other. From the start of our new lives apart, we did better than most ex-spouses at dusting ourselves off and moving on. So I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the gracious way in which you have treated me.
I also want to share the three things which make me proud about the way we have handled our post-divorce lives.

I am proud of us for treating each other with respect.

In the heat of a divorce, it’s easy to lash out in anger, frustration and heartache. Neither of us ever did that. We always treated each other with respect. I vowed to never bad-mouth you or cast blame upon you. And you’ve done the same for me.

I know that our sons have watched the way we have lived our lives apart, and they’ve listened to our words and looked to us as role models. I’m proud that we have modeled for them a post-divorce relationship that’s built on mutual respect.

I am proud of us for our co-parenting success.

We were lucky that our boys were well on their way to full adulthood when we divorced. But even so, we have both continued to be active parents in their lives. Our sons are very fair about splitting their available time so they can see us both. I am proud of the way we have not kept score about who gets to see them the most or for the longest number of hours.

We’ve done a good job of planning out holiday schedules in a way that works for everyone. Bravo to both of us. Our sons have noticed that, too.

I am proud that we both used our post-divorce years as a time to grow.

Each of us could have wallowed in pity and lamented the end of life as we knew it. Yes, one part of our lives did end, but we both moved forward with hope and optimism. We’ve proven that there can be happiness and new opportunities after divorce.

Next summer, when our youngest son gets married, we will experience the bittersweet moment of divorced parents celebrating the wedding of their child. I have no doubt that we’ll once again demonstrate to our friends and family members how an ex-husband and an ex-wife can treat each other with respect, fondness, and even love.

I’m especially proud of us for that.

All the best,
Chad

 

Posted in Inspirational Quotes/Scripture, Parenting Tips and Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Court Administrator: I Do What the Judge Tells Me, Even Break the Law

July 21, 2010:  A shocking recording of Dakota County Senior Court Administrator, Edie Stanke reveals corruption in Dakota County. Though this video speaks to the experience of one father, what is revealed here affects all families involved in Dakota County, and exposes widespread patterns of corruption being reported as happening in family courts across the United States, and internationally as well.

According to Stanke, she does whatever Judge Michael Mayer asks her to do, even if she is asked to break the law. Why? Stanke says “because I want my paycheck“.  

Corruption occurs when laws are broken, and the powers of government are abused to further personal interests or political agendas. When corrupt people surround themselves with other dishonest, unethical and similarly corrupt people, our society’s institutions – even our court system – becomes lawless.

A lawless court system will prey upon, and victimize law abiding citizens, even families and children. Human lives are only valuable based on their worth in terms of the incentives of the corrupt players – money, power, political influence, bribes, etc are generated from the daily operations of a court system that no longer functions based on rule of law but instead, has gone rogue.

Society now seeing the tragic result of this – when children are placed in the custody of abusive or unfit parents, and then are subjected to further abuse. Courts are enforcing orders that alienate children from their parents, many children are taken under unjust circumstances and never see their parent again. There are cases in family court that go on for years, children spend their whole childhood in upheaval and uncertainty while the court system profits at destroying families. There are escalated instances of domestic violence, sometimes resulting in murder. Families are being financially devastated, and brought to ruin by the abuse of powers happening in the family court system. In all of this, it is almost impossible to correct or overturn a court decision, even if that ruling is clearly erroneous or has violated law. When the system departs from justice, rulings are no longer based on law but instead are assessed in terms of how the players have been bought and sold.

Posted in Children Stolen by the Government, Family Court Injustice, Family Court News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Family Court Judge Kathy W. Stein Suspended for 1 Week for Misconduct

September 2016, Lexington, KY: The Judicial Conduct Commission suspended Fayette County judge Kathy W. Stein for one week, after findings of misconduct during an ex parte hearing where a mother unfairly lost custody of a child.

Judge Kathy W. Stein (courier-journal, http://www.courier-journal.com)

Judge Kathy W. Stein (courier-journal, http://www.courier-journal.com)

The suspension resulted after an ethics complaint, “According to the commission, Judge Kathy W. Stein was approached by Charles Joseph Schindler on Dec. 4, 2015. Schindler asked for an order granting him immediate temporary custody of the child.

Stein granted the order without a hearing or giving the mother, Carlie Simone Schindler (now Ambrose), an opportunity to respond, according to the commission.”

Judge Stein accepted the suspension and waived her right to formal proceedings. She will be suspended without pay from Sept. 28 through Oct. 4.

What is not being reported is that mother Carlie Simone Schindler (Ambrose) is a victim of domestic violence, and her child has witnessed or been a victim to abuse as well. Carlie has filed numerous protective orders against Charles Schindler. Carlie complained that Charles physically abused her, made threats of harm, and threatened to kidnap their child.

After Judge Stein gave custody to Charles through the emergency order, a telephone conference was arranged between the judge, Charles and his counsel, and officials from the school the child attended. Carlie was not notified or allowed to attend any part of proceedings. Charles was allowed to take the child from school. Judge Stein and parties decided to lie to the child, telling him he was going to a therapy session, so that the child would leave school more easily. Charles took the child and went to Mississippi. The child was only returned after a Court of Appeals ruling a month later. 

I cannot imagine what it must have been like to drop your child off at school only to discover that you have lost custody – the child is gone, and you do not know where but the person who now has custody has a history of violence, and has threatened to kidnap your child. The child also must have been terrified. This surely must have caused significant harm to the child – who was in therapy, and was vulnerable and likely suffering from the effects of abuse.

I applaud the Judicial Conduct Commission for taking action, and for holding Judge Stein accountable. However, a one week suspension is not enough for the egregious harm Judge Stein has caused. Any judge who would issue this kind of order is not fit to be on the bench – this ruling by Judge Stein shows a reckless disregard for the welfare of a child, a serious lack of judgment and a willingness to take the law into her own hands. 

Judge Stein should recuse herself from this case. There also needs to be a formal investigation of this case and the actions of Judge Stein by an independent agency, who exists outside of Fayette County to determine if other violations have occurred, and if the current custody or visitation order poses any risk of harm to mother or child. If other victims will step forward, there should be a way for other parents to issue a formal complaint.

Judge Stein is excusing her actions as a simple mistake. There are serious implications to her handling of this case and others – and it is my opinion that she should remain off the bench indefinitely, pending a formal investigation. Lives are at stake, this child could have been seriously harmed, Fayette County can not allow this to happen to another family. They have a responsibility to protect the public, and to ensure that Judge Stein is fully cooperating with the law.

What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below!

ANON COMMENT: “It was no mistake. Stein planned the whole thing. I have the letter that the child wrote to Stein right before the kidnapping. She begged Stein not to ever let Schindler (the dad) come near her. Stein gets a kick out of terrorizing people. There is also a video of Stein and Crystal Osborne laughing as they planned the call to the school…

COMMENT FROM P: “I have a girl friend who is in the middle of a divorce battle and Stein is the judge proceeding over the case. I have been a witness to the abuse my friend endured in the marriage and the crazy actions her (hopefully) soon to be ex husband has done. He has lied, stolen, and cheated throughout the divorce. I’ve seen all this first hand and Stein does nothing. I’m blown away! Stein’ conduct on the bench is shocking and at times I have questioned if she is hung over or drunk!

 

Read More:

Fayette Co. Family Court Judge Suspended

Fayette County judge suspended for a week for misconduct

 

Posted in Domestic Violence, Family Court Injustice, Family Court News, Legal News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Parenting a Child Who Has Been Traumatized by Abuse, Family Court

“I love my Mom very much…She has a heart so big every body in my family in her heart..” ~ Letter from my daughter, “JJ”. 

Raising my voice, to share how failures in Hennepin County, Minnesota’s family court system and Guardian ad Litem program have negatively impacted, and hurt, my family.

The Hennepin County Family Court placed my children in the sole custody, and care of an allegedly abusive parent who has over a dozen documented abuse allegations against him, with both children suffering from PTSD related to abuse and trauma. I lost custody after a trial that lasted barely two hours, and had no legal representation. I was wrongfully stripped of custody, and now am being alienated from my children by court order. There is nothing in my background that would merit this – I have a stable home, am gainfully employed in the healthcare field and have a long history of volunteering and community involvement. My children love me, and want to come home.

The custody ruling, and subsequent orders limiting parenting time, caused significant trauma for my children. My children also suffer tremendous grief and loss as their relationship with their mother, and our cultural and religious heritage, has been removed from their lives. They have been robbed of their childhood, and learned maladaptive ways to survive. To replace the love of the mother that has been removed from his life, my son talks to strangers on the internet. He created a new family by engaging in role-playing games, which he spends all of his time on (and I have no control what my son is doing online because his father has sole custody). My daughter is dissociating, it has gotten so bad that the school held a special meeting on how to reach her when she retreats into herself. What is happening in their father’s home that is causing these ongoing problems? What are my children reacting to?

NCTSN: Symptoms and Behaviors Associated with Exposure to Trauma

Remembering….

During a visit with my daughter, “JJ”, we sat on the couch, eating ice-cream. We giggled about how much Dora the Explorer has grown up (Mom, she’s a teenager now! She wears make-up!). We talked about her favorite books. I knew those books, and their characters, because I spent hours in the juvenile section at the library, reading. I curled up on a lumpy beanbag chair that smelled like cotton candy perfume, several sizes too small for my adult body, to read the stories that my daughter loved; it became my way of keeping her close.

For a moment, we were just like any other mom and daughter… looking at us you would never know that my abusive ex controlled every aspect of my parenting time schedule, and routinely denied visits with the children. JJ begged to come home until her voice was hoarse. She heard “no” so many times that she just stopped asking. I had battled in family court for almost a decade to have this one moment with my daughter.

Everything was going so well… then, without warning, JJ became withdrawn. Something unknown triggered her. There are so many unknowns to my daughter. I have been excluded from JJ’s life for so long. There are blank spots where a mother should have been… questions to ordinary things that go unanswered… Whatever made JJ upset was not something I could detect. There was no argument. No rainy day. We were eating ice-cream… And without warning JJ ran into her bedroom, slamming the door. When I got to bedroom she had shut herself in the closet and would not come out. I knew JJ was having troubles at her father’s home, and in school, she didn’t make friends easily… but other than that I had no information. My ex does not communicate or share information about the children, and the family court refuses to intervene.

I pointed the CD player toward the closet, putting in Colbie Caillat, a favorite album. I hoped the music would soothe JJ and coax her out. Several songs played but none touched my heart that day so much as “Capri“.

Colbie gently sings:

Sweet baby
And things will be hard at times
But I’ve learned to try
Just listening
Patiently, oh Capri
Sweet baby
Oh Capri
She’s beauty
Baby inside she’s loving
Oh Capri
Your beauty
Just like your mother…

The gentle ballad prompted an invisible dance between my daughter and I. Slowly the door cracked open. I slid a book through the crack, a diary style novel about a quirky teenager. JJ passed the book back to me without a word; one page was marked, a message sent. In small steps JJ slowly emerged. I was relieved to see her shy smile. Her brown eyes averted mine. I offered my love and acceptance, and didn’t ask questions. The rest of our visit was quiet but peaceful.

I did not realize until later what the closet represents for JJ. Seeking answers, I stepped inside, sitting on the same spot in the soft carpeting where JJ once sat. My head rested against the back wall, softened by the folds of a light blue princess dress with bell sleeves and a ruffled neckline. JJ loved to wear that dress when she was a toddler. However, she wasn’t a delicate princess. JJ loved to run and play in that dress, not concerned if it got dirty or torn. At my side, are shelves overflowing with dolls, trinkets, and more books. I saved every drawing JJ made since pre-school, neatly stacked in binders. JJ has an ability to find stray foreign coins, and kept her prized collection in a box painted like a treasure chest. I found a worn photo album and flipped through the pages, tearful as pictures portrayed JJ growing from a gaped-tooth toddler wearing a princess dress into a somber young girl.

I began to understand JJ’s need for space, for time alone. The closet holds so much of JJ’s life with me, before she was taken away. The closet also holds her treasures, her hopes for the future. The closet is JJ’s own space; it has not been altered, or taken from her. So much turmoil had happened in JJ’s young life, decisions made by adults who held power over her and failed to listen to what she wanted or needed. JJ often expressed that she felt misunderstood, or not listened to. But this one space, the closet, belongs to her alone.

I would hold this space for JJ and not force my way in. Or judge her need for it. I prayed one day the door would open, that I would be able to share much more than a closet with her. That finally we would be able to share our lives together, without interruption, as mother and daughter, and be a family again.

~ Emily Court, © August 2016

Posted in Family Court Injustice, Jamie Manning Guardian ad Litem, Judge Robben, Our Family Albulm | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Judge Amber Wolf: Criticizes Correctional System After Prisoner Appears in Court with No Pants

This blog has published multiple stories of failures in the legal system…I  am happy to report a story of an honest judge, who applies the law with fairness and compassion. 

Fairness is what justice really is.” ~ Justice Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of U.S. Supreme Court (1915-1985)

Public Domain: John Hain, https://pixabay.com

(Kentucky, August 2016) Judge Amber Wolf, Jefferson County District Court, condemns jail administrators for inhumane treatment of a prisoner, who appeared in court wearing just a long shirt with no pants on underneath. The woman had been detained for 3 days and her requests for a jumpsuit and hygiene items were denied.

Judge Wolf responds to the situation: “Excuse me? This is outrageous. Is this for real?

Judge Wolf also criticizes the harsh penalty inflicted on the defendant, a first time offender charged with shoplifting, and apologizes for the way she has been treated. 

Read Full Story: Judge outraged as woman appears in court without trousers – after prison refuses her clothes by Mirror (UK)

 

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Revenge Obsession: When You are Viewed as a Threat

(Public Domain: George Hodan, http://www.publicdomainpictures.net)

Have you…

Offered your support or assistance to someone and then found yourself the target of vicious attacks (character assassination, threats, false reports, etc)  because of your association with that person? Or been targeted because you share the same name as someone else?

Had an abusive ex-partner used your children as a weapon to hurt you? Does your ex-partner physically or verbally lash out at the children when angry at you? Is encouraging the children to hate, fear or reject you?

Been involved in lengthy legal litigation, that has lasted for years, and continues due to one party manipulating, abusing or otherwise using the legal system to continue to abuse and victimize you? Do the legal motions defy logic, and issues are blown out of proportion? Have you lost custody of your child due to false allegations, or feel targeted by malicious prosecution?

Have you been stalked, harassed and threatened by an ex-partner or people connected to them? Had supporters join your ex who act irrationally, and justify their hatred of you at all costs. People you may not even know may be enlisted in the attacks.

These are just a few examples of “Revenge Obsession” or “Obsessive Ex Syndrome”. If this has happened to you, or someone you know, you may be a victim.

What is Revenge Obsession?

Public Domain: https://pexels.com

Revenge Obsession” happens when an ex-partner feels that they have been wronged or harmed by their former partner (the target) and then personally seeks destructive ways to retaliate, hurt, humiliate and/or get revenge on their target.

Tactics of Revenge Obsession Include: stalking, smear campaign, legal abuse, mobbing or enlisting other people into taking actions to hurt or intimidate the target, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, cyber stalking and bullying, vandalizing or stealing property, killing or hurting pets, threats, catfishing (going online with a fake identity to con someone) and using the children as a pawn to hurt the target, etc.

Revenge Obsession is NOT gender specific; it is about maintaining power and control over someone else. The perp enjoys tormenting the victim; they may have psychopathic or narcissistic traits. A history of abuse in the relationship is also common.

A profile into the mind of a stalker, and why they target their victims, can be read here: Mind of a Stalker: Why Torment Someone?

Abuse Sanctuary offers some examples of the dysfunctional ways a perp will treat their partner, and explains their distorted views about relationships: How Obsessive Ex Syndrome Prevents A Normal Break-Upl

In the mind of the perp, there is no end or resolution to the relationship, their is no break-up or divorce. Through Revenge Obsession, the perp will continue to harass and harm, and even defy the law, because they not only feel justified but see the target as a threat that needs to be eliminated.

The victim will want an end, and want to move on with their life but will be challenged and prevented by an obsessive ex who refuses to move on. This is a very dangerous, and toxic situation for the victim. Victims are completely devastated by the tactics of revenged obsessions and usually have to make great sacrifices in order to escape; other victims are murdered trying to escape. 

Who Are the Victims?

The target is usually a former partner or spouse. Other innocent people may also become targets – children, family members, friends, witnesses to the abuse or stalking can become victims too. This happens when  the revenge-obsessed ex perceives any sign of support or assistance to the victim as a personal blow – their attitude is “you are either for me or against me”. If perceived “against me”, the revenge-obsessed ex will wage all out war.

Children are especially vulnerable to revenge-obsessed ex, who know they can gain access to a former victim through the children. Or, alternately, can inflict pain and torment the victim by using the child as a weapon. Some tactics include: Domestic Violence by Proxy, Parental Alienation, abusing a child (some children have been murdered), kidnapping a child and engaging in custody disputes or financially devastating an ex partner through the legal system using family court, child support or filing financial claims and justifying it is needed for “the children”.

snowflakes-falling-at-night-600x399

The Stages of Revenge Obsession

As common with stalkers, perps have a familiar pattern of behavior, though their actions itself are often unpredictable. Revenge Obsessions starts with the perp feeling rejected or losing control over a person or relationship. The perp will not deal with the reality of the situation and instead begins to obsess and fantasize about ways to regain power and control, or to seek revenge against someone who wronged them.

Despite their frightening behavior, perps are good at charming people, and may even portray themselves as a victim. They solicit sympathy while attempting to make their partner look bad (victim-blaming, smear campaign, false allegations. etc). And find ways to justify or minimize their abusive behavior.

There are 6 stages or patterns common in cases of Revenge Obsession: Stages of Obsessive Ex Syndrome

The last stage noted in this article is a violent event. I would add that physical violence towards a person is not the only possibility but any form of carrying out a threat, inflicting harm or escalation of the abuse is possible. Ex-partners who wage lengthy legal battles,and use the court or legal system in order to punish a target, should be considered part of the violent stage. Other forms of violence may be tormenting a target until they give in to the demands against them, other targets give up their lives or what is important to them in order to escape; and some contemplate suicide.

A popular video portraying what I consider would be an obsessive ex is the song “Stuck Like Glue” by Sugarland; the video accurately portrays all of the stages of Revenge Obsession.

In the song, the perp feels that her ex-partner has wronged her by manipulating her feelings, and causing the love she had for him to die.

The perp sings “I am never letting this go…” and then begins to stalk the ex, and vandalize his home. When the police is called, the perp is unfazed. From the back of the squad car she gestures to the target, “call me“.  The perp also enlists a flying monkey in her stalking and harassment, and both scheme to stalk and  kidnap the victim from his home.

So What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

Identifying that you have been targeted is a big step – Safety-planning is crucial for victims of revenge obsession, especially for children involved.

Seek professional or legal advise. Safety planning could involve filing a protective order but there are also measures you can take to protect yourself as you go about your daily life.

Wikihow also offers some tips: How to Deal with an Obsessed Ex

Posted in Child Abuse, Crime, Domestic Violence, Parental Alienation/DV by Proxy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Arizona: Judge Issues Contempt Order Against DCS

Public Domain: http://cliparts.co

(Maricopa County, Arizona, July 2016) In an astounding move, Juvenile Court Judge Karen O’Connor is holding the Department of Child Safety (DCS) in contempt for ignoring three orders in a child’s case. 

In an order dated June 6, O’Connor directed DCS to implement a program to better train case managers in how to refer a case to disability services; and to put in place procedures to ensure that families receive the needed services.

If DCS does not have the training program in place by November 1st, a fine of up to $9,000 may be issued — the fine is adjusted to reflect the 3 month period where services to the child were delayed.

Read Full Story: 

Judge holds Arizona Department of Child Safety in contempt

azflag

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Something I Have Learned: There is Strength in Hope

After dealing with some challenges, I am happy to report that this summer has been amazing. While this blog was created to raise awareness about family court injustice, and to offer my case as an example of how failures in the court system can hurt families and children…it is about so much more. This blog has followed me through quite a journey… and I have come to believe that improving the state of a broken family court system is not only about addressing what is happening on a systemic level but also includes restoring individual lives, and families (on an personal level or as members of a community).  

So on a personal note…

I was talking to a friend tonight, and she brought to my attention the power in hope – that our ability to remain positive, and to envision a better outcome in times of strife is a strength.

I do alot of work raising awareness about abuse and injustice, and now want to take a moment to acknowledge some things that have inspired hope in me.

I went to the gas station and this mother was growing frustrated with her child, who was very active and touching all the low shelves in reach. The mother’s voice was getting loud, and she looked very overwhelmed. Clearly something happened in her day before she came to that store.

The cashier came from behind the counter, and asked the mother if she could give her child a treat. She said “yes” and he mixed up a bright red cherry slushie. The child happily slurped on his slushie, and calmed down. The mother continued shopping, stopped for a moment to pat her child’s head, and went on her way.

When I was alone in the store with the cashier he told me something to the effect of “I could really see that she was stressin’, and I wanted to do something to help… I didn’t know what I could do because I’m not all that great with kids but I know alot come in the store to get those slushies. And I thought that would make him happy.” It was amazing to see how that small act of kindness changed the atmosphere in the store, and for the mother, gave her a minute’s reprieve to continue shopping. The lesson in this – alot of things may be out of our control but we do have possibility in that one moment to make a difference, we can use what we do have control over to effect a positive change. 

Another event that has really inspired me is spending some extra time with my kiddos this summer. Even though my custody situation is not 100% where I want it to be – again going back to “the moment” idea – I have learned that taking the moments I do have, and being creative with my time and talents goes a long way.  My kids and I have found ways to communicate, and to affirm our bond when we are apart. My daughter and I swap books back and forth because we share a love of reading. And my son and I share a mutual love for art, in our projects we find each other. This too is bonding. Despite what we have been through, my children and I share an extremely close, and loving relationship.

And finally, I do have to acknowledge that I could not have gone through this process of growth and healing alone. I am so thankful for my support network – my friends, family, my church.. the professionals I work with, and in turn, I offer my support and prayer to other parents. No one should go through this experience alone or feeling alone. 

So I post this candle to remind of the strength in hope.

~ Emily Court

shineon

Posted in Inspirational Quotes/Scripture, Our Family Albulm | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Law Offers Protection to Pets in Homes where Violence in Present (Massachusetts, 2012)

Animal Rights Quotes: http://www.quotationof.com

(October 31, 2012, Massachusetts) New legislation has passed to protect pets whose owners are victims of domestic violence, and who have received a protective order.

Changes made to the General Laws (Section 50 of Chapter 209, Section 11) includes pets in harassment orders filed by their owners, “The court may order the defendant to refrain from abusing, threatening, taking, interfering with, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming or otherwise disposing of such animal…If the court makes a finding that such an imminent threat of bodily injury to a person or domesticated animal exists, the court shall notify the appropriate law enforcement officials of such finding and the law enforcement officials shall take all necessary actions to execute any such outstanding warrant as soon as is practicable.” MA Session Law 2012

Violence against pets is common in relationships involving domestic abuse. 70% of domestic violence victims report an abusive partner threatened to hurt or to kill a pet.

Other victims may not leave the abuse because they are afraid of what will happen to a pet if they go. Pets are usually not accepted into domestic violence shelters, though there are some animal shelters that can help. Another problem — and this happened to me — is that if you can not return home, and have to find somewhere else to live, that place may not take pets, and you could be forced to give up a loved animal.

The Massachusetts law has been credited with saving the life of many animals. If you would like to protect animals from domestic violence, and offer reassurance to DV victims who are faced with the difficult choice of how to protects pet from abuse, please contact your state officials to urge them to extend laws, like the one offered in Massachusetts, to protect animals. 

Sources: 

Dog’s life saved thanks to new domestic violence law (Dogtime.com)

What’s new in animal law? By Kara Holmquist, January 2013

On a Personal Note… 

My pet disappeared, at the hands of my abusive ex, after I escaped an abusive relationship, and I believe he is dead. 

Mr. X threatened to harm my pet as a way to intimidate me, and specifically threatened “I will get rid of him” and  “I will take him to the shelter and have him put to sleep“. 

It took months to search all of the shelters in my city. A friend found an animal matching the description of my pet brought to the shelter just days after I fled my home, and the animal was gassed to death.

My pet was a healthy animal. He loved the children but feared my abuser. He was absolutely beautiful. And gentle. My daughter would play with him, and try to dress him up. My son would scoot under the furniture to pet him, and fall asleep with his face tucked into the soft fur of my pet’s neck. I miss my pet dearly.

My daughter was just a toddler when she fled the home and does not have many memories of that time but somehow she has locked onto a memory of our pet. She carries a stuffed animal around, named after the pet. Even as she is growing into a young teen, my daughter has not forgotten… and cuddles the stuffed animal as she sleeps.

I am thankful for the new pet I have, she has truly been a source of comfort.

❤ x❤ x❤

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