Mothers Day WA DC Protests 2012 Report
Although Mother's Day is tragically bittersweet for mothers who have lost their children to abusers through family court, mothers and advocates are mobilizing to petition our government for a redress of our grievances.
Sunday May 6 - Mothers and supporters came from nearby and far away: Hawaii, Iowa, Rhode Island, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Washington DC, and more. The women of Strengthen Our Sisters domestic violence center and director Dr. Sandra Ramos came from New Jersey in their van to support us. It was a huge effort for everyone to make the trip to Washington DC. We honor everyone who came, and those whose prayers lifted us up.
Gathered at the White House, we wore white "Mothers of Lost Children" tee-shirts and held huge signs. The march around the White House grounds began at noon. With a police motorcycle escort stopping traffic for us, it took over an hour to march almost 2 miles down 17th Street, across Constitution Ave, up 14th Street, then back to 1600 Pennsylvania Street.
After a short rest, food, and more protesting, we marched a second round-our chant: "Why are batterers and child molesters getting custody? Ask US!" People listened attentively and asked for our handouts. An impromptu speak out began. We stood in a line, banners waving. One by one, mothers stepped forward and told their story. The crowd was stunned. (See video here.)
After breaking for dinner we returned for a candlelight vigil at dusk, which was interrupted by others seeking attention for their causes. At the evening's end, we stood in silence-our beautiful candles held by beautiful, strong mothers, gathered in front of the brightly lit White House. (See pics here.)
Monday May 7 - A delegation of mothers assembled at the historic Sewall Belmont House at 144 Constitution Ave beside the U.S. Senate buildings. This lovely museum was the headquarters of the suffragists who changed the course of our lives.
The U.S. women's movement began in 1848 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott called the Seneca Falls Convention in New York to discuss "the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman." (See more.)
"It is incredible to me that any woman should consider the fight for full equality won. It has just begun. There is hardly a field, economic or political, in which the natural and unaccustomed policy is not to ignore women...Unless women are prepared to fight politically they must be content to be ignored politically."-Alice Paul, NWP National Chairman, 1920
We owe so much to those courageous women, yet the work is not done. Like them, we are not free or equal citizens-not until we can protect ourselves and our children from domestic violence and sexual assault.
May 7, 2012 was our 'Seneca Falls' meeting, to strategize how to end the barbarism of batterers and child molesters getting custody when mothers seek safety.
Our co-sponsors included the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV); National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT); National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS); Battered Mothers Custody Conference (BMCC);Justice For Children (JFC); Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP); National Organization for Women - Albany; Center for Judicial Excellence; (JFC); Witness Justice; California Protective Parents Association (CPPA); Mothers of Lost Children; Courageous Kids Network; and Incest Survivors Speakers' Bureau (ISSB).
The title of our meeting: Turning Family Court Right Side Up: From a Haven for Abusers to a Sanctuary for Children. Each panel speaker provided three top solutions to the problem. Despite time constraints, we compiled and voted on the most helpful solutions. For details about our planned solutions and activities, see Protective Parents--Action Page.
Tuesday May 8 - We visited Senate aides to request Federal oversight hearings. We provided packets that included letters from mothers and cases histories printed from www.ProtectiveParents.com.
Wednesday May 9 - We had coffee and photos with Senators. Clearly, when 15-20 mothers wear white Mothers-of-Lost-Children tee-shirts over their business suits, an effective statement is made. We met with U.S. Senate and Congressional aides, and many agreed that oversight hearings would be a good beginning.
We also attended two Congressional events.
The first event was the annual Congressional celebration for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with Congressional leadership at the U.S. Capitol Visitors' Center. Mothers of Lost Children met with several Congress members at that function.
The second event was a Congressional briefing on stopping abuse, sponsored by the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV) and the Stop Abuse Campaign.
Together, we can take action and accomplish positive movement in the quest to protect our children. Please join us!
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