Joined: 11 Jan 2009
State or Province: Washington
|Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:23 pm Post subject: From the Land of Brocken
|My name is Aine O'Brocken. I am becoming an activist in the problem of gender bias in the so-called "American justice system." Because of this bias--primarily against mothers, in my experience--children may be and frequently are court-ordered into the custody of an abusive father.
Never mind that the child or children may have to be dragged, screaming, by law enforcement officials from the arms and the presence of the mother. Never mind that the child may beg the mother for help. Never mind that the child may cling to a piece of furniture with all his or her tiny strength. Never mind that the child is on the way to a visit with a parent who may molest the child sexually. Never mind that when the child next sees his or her mother the child may show bruises...may show signs of vaginal or anal penetration...may have suffered from verbal and emotional abuse. The court has spoken and will hold to its decision, a decision that has led to some of the worst exploitation and abuse of children that this country has ever seen.
My own children are grown and raised, thus my involvement in this matter is on the behalf of other mothers who are dealing with the problem of court-ordered child abuse.
I began my involvement with this problem when I came to know Elsa Newman. Newman is unjustly imprisoned in Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, convicted of a crime committed by someone else. Her children were court-ordered, by default, into the custody of a father of whom they had revealed unspeakable sexual and other abuses. I have been studying Newman's case for more than a year and am convinced of her innocence. I am also convinced of the truth of the disclosures by her two sons.
Among others, I am proud to work on behalf of Johanna von Geldern and her daughter, Sophie. Johanna--via the brutality of gender-biased court order--is allowed to see her daughter only during supervised visitation. Johanna is among those who must see bruises and abuse she can do little about. She is also among those who must watch helpless, as her daughter is taken from her, pleading for help from her mother.
You may have heard of other activists who work in this field. There is Doctor Elizabeth Morgan, who went to prison for two years and sent her daughter into hiding, rather than turn the girl over to an abusive father.
There is Marisol Fernandez, who has formed an organization called "Mothers in Crisis Coalition."
There are others who prefer to remain anonymous, but who have started similar online groups.
You may have heard of Holly Collins, who took her children and fled the country, finding asylum in the Netherlands. Those children are now grown and have returned to this country to join the fight for justice for children in American courts.
There are many others. And I cannot but believe that if we hold to the right--and we know we are right--there will come a better day when our children and grandchildren will not suffer from this present horrifying phenomenon.