The tragedy and devastation of this situation are beyond words.

  • You have now entered into a surreal state that only people whose family members are hostages or prisoners of war can fully understand.

  • The impossible twist for you is that it was done legally, in the United States, in front of everyone.

  • The transcripts are there for all to see.

  • The police reports, evaluations, therapists' testimony and medical evidence are in plain view.

  • Yet your child is being legally raped and/or beaten, and no one will go to his or her rescue.

  • You may be on supervised visitation, and have to pay a monitor for humiliating visits.

  • Your family and friends keep thinking you did something wrong, or haven't told them everything.

You continue to beat against the legal system with appeals, affidavits, motions and more hearings. You continue to go from agency to agency, looking for help. You begin to feel like a person trapped in Franz Kafka's The Trial.

You may have fled with your child and been caught.

  • You may be facing a criminal trial, including jail or prison.

  • You may be pressured to plead guilty to a lesser count.

  • Some attorneys who have dealt with these issues suggest not pleading guilty, since you fled to protect your child, and that is the higher law.

  • You need expert advice from attorneys who have handled these types of cases.

Remember the comparison analogy. Court systems personnel can be as dangerous as wild grizzlies or enraged bulls. This information may save your life and the life of your child.

  • Stay calm and take excellent care of yourself, mentally and physically. You need to maintain your health and life so that your child will have a mother to come back to. You must think of your child, even if you feel suicidal.

  • Even though it is utterly humiliating, try to see your child legally every chance you can, even if it means traveling and paying a supervisor. That hope will sustain your child through the dark times.

Know that people can endure nearly anything. Many adult survivors of incest and violence had no one who cared about them, yet with even one hour per week of good therapy, much healing takes place in adulthood. You love your child more than words can say, and are doing everything you can to free him or her from full time abuse.

  • Find a trusted buddy and pour out your anguish.

  • Roll up the windows of your car and scream and scream and scream (far away from the courthouse).

Again, we recommend that you appear completely calm and collected when talking to anyone even remotely related to the court.

  • Even your therapist may be forced to testify (if the court knows you are seeing a therapist).

  • This is another Catch 22, since you need to let all your anguish and feelings out to a trusted person, yet that can backfire if the therapist's records are subpoenaed.

  • Anonymity may be the only truly safe avenue for letting your feelings out.

In order to have a chance at unsupervised visits, you may end up dropping the issue of abuse for the time being, since the father and court are terrified that you will continue to "put ideas in the child's head".

  • They do not want your child testifying to their misdeeds.

  • You need to reassure the wild grizzly or bull.

  • You may feel your mind shredding when your child tells you again and again about the abuse, and you realize that reporting it could backfire.

  • Your child may be angry at you, while trying to placate the abuser.

  • You may need to appear humble, contrite and obedient, even servile, in order to get your child back part time.

The constant court harassment may distract you and take your mind off of the goal, which is to get your child to safety even half time. Try not to get distracted. Keep your focus on your beloved child.

  • Never, ever give up.

  • Resist the temptation to follow up on every outrageous thing that is done to you.

  • Often the harder you fight, the more the situation worsens, like a noose tightening around your neck.

  • Learn from people who endured similar situations, and who ultimately triumphed over oppression.

WARNING: Court hearings and humiliations seem designed to enrage you!

Another Analogy:
You are currently in the position of a slave, and the court is your master. Such oppression has happened throughout history. It seems impossible that it's happening here and now, but it is.

"First they came for the socialists,
and I did not speak out
because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left
to speak for me."
     - Pastor Martin Neimoller,
     Nazi concentration camp intern 1938-1945

...Continue on to IN CONCLUSION

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