FAMILY ABUSE AND CENSORED DEATHS, by Mary Neal
Family court judges who decide cases based on a misguided desire to protect parental rights often thrust families into danger. When judges are informed of parental abuse by the other parent of minors, they frequently discount the allegations, believing them to be unfounded accusations stemming from bitterness between the parties. No doubt misrepresentations do occasionally arise in custody disputes. However, when the courts are wrong and fail to protect the children in such cases, it can be a fatal error. Some worse-case scenarios are presented in this video:
Usually, it is the mother who brings child abuse allegations before the court to protect children from unsupervised visitation with fathers or to prevent the court from awarding joint custody or sole custody to abusive dads. Unfortunately, this is a common accusation that is often unfounded. Therefore, judges often ignore the mother’s testimony to the detriment of the family, electing to favor the accused father’s petition. Judges may be so anxious to disprove the myth that the courts always favor women in divorce and child custody cases, that they are actually going overboard issuing rulings favoring the dads, sometimes placing women and children in peril.
Many mothers, having found no protection under the law for their minor children, elect to disobey the judge’s ruling regarding an abusive father’s visitation or custody rights and “go underground.” Holly Collings is one such mother. According to a report in FamilyViolence.org, this Minneapolis mother courageously fled the country fourteen years ago with her three young children, and now she wants to come back home. The problem is that the Minneapolis District Attorney refuses to drop the charges pending against Holly related to fleeing with her children more than a decade ago. In fact, the district attorney threatened to arrest Holly and deny her all contact with her children the minute she sets foot on U.S. soil. See an excerpt from the article below.
July 16, 2008
by Jennifer Collins
My mother is a formerly battered woman who is the first American to receive asylum in Europe. My brother and I were abused children who were failed by the American Justice System, but fortunately we received asylum in the Netherlands.
Below is a major news story regarding a family court issue that was never aired by the media. The disaster climaxed in death, occurring in a downtown Atlanta high-rise office building during regular office hours a few years ago. Probably to protect the company’s reputation, the news vans that my co‑workers and I expected after being evacuated following the shooting never showed up. Censorship is practiced often by mainstream media, and Americans never know what news is blocked. For example, read about my own family's crisis, also censored to protect important people at this link: http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com.
The names of the family members have been changed to protect their privacy:
My friend and co-worker, Vee, was the mother of an 8-year-old daughter. Vee caught hell trying to keep her child from being killed by her husband, John. He was a depressed man who dabbled with drugs. John decided to commit suicide, but he worried about how his family would fare after his death. John decided to also kill Vee, their daughter, and Vee's mom, who lived with them. We all read about these things actually happening every day, so Vee took his threat very seriously. She left her husband, who then went to court and demanded visitation rights with his daughter. Vee BEGGED the court not to make her daughter spend weekends with her dad, but the Judge would not listen to Vee, and weekend visitation was ordered.
Vee knew it would probably cost her life, but when the time came to turn her child over to her dad, Vee went with little Kay to her drug addicted soon-to-be ex-husband's apartment, prepared to do whatever she could to save their child. Vee prayed that if she must die herself, she would at least be able to save Kay. And she did save her. Vee spent the entire day locked in the bathroom with John, the deranged father, with a pistol cocked at her temple. John said, "I'm glad you came, too, Vee. I'm glad you agree the world is just too evil for us to continue to live in it. I'm going to kill you now, then Kay, then myself. Too bad your mom will have to stay here. I really love your mom, and you should have brought her with you."
Vee begged all day in that bathroom that he only kill her and himself, and allow Kay to live. She promised that Kay would have a good life with her mom and family, and even had to make him understand that Kay would be provided for from social security benefits after she and he died. He finally agreed to spare Kay, but told her to say a prayer and prepare to die.
Vee then revised her plea bargain. She said it would be psychological damaging to Kay to come into the bathroom and find them both dead. She begged her husband to wait for another time to kill herself and him, when Kay would not be the one to find their remains. He wrestled with the idea a while and finally agreed, and told Vee to expect to die the next day - even if he had to come looking for her and kill her unawares. Vee was then allowed to leave with her daughter, who had been watching Cartoon Network in the living room and never knew what her mom had faced on her behalf.
The next day, Vee skipped work to go to report to police and the authorities what happened, apply for a restraining order, and petition the court for emergency discontinuation of John's visitation rights with little Kay. All requests were denied.
It was a blessing that Vee skipped work that day, because John came to her job, where I also worked. We worked for a consulting firm in a prominent Atlanta office building. John showed up at our office just before lunchtime dressed for death. He was outfitted in a black rented tux, complete with a ruffled shirt and tuxedo shoes! He asked for Vee at the reception desk, and was told that she was not at work. He pointed a loaded revolver at our receptionist and again demanded to see Vee. Our terrified receptionist showed John the employee sign-in sheet, and he finally believed that Vee was not at the office.
"But I only have this tux for one day," John complained to our receptionist, looking down at his fine outfit. That's when he turned the gun on himself and fired.
The shot rang out throughout the entire office suite, where more than 100 of us were working. Many people rushed to the front office to see what had happened and were confronted with the grizzly sight of a dead man, a single bullet hole through his temple. Half his brain and lots of blood splattered over the couch and wall. Luckily, I ran the opposite way when I heard the gunshot and instinctively sought cover.
Everyone in our suite and the other offices on that floor of the downtown Atlanta high-rise were evacuated by police who responded to the emergency. My shocked co-workers and I convened on the sidewalk in front of our employer's building. Hundreds of people passed by and thought we were having a fire drill. I hurried and placed a call to my mother, knowing that when she heard the horrible story on the news about what happened at my job, she would be upset. But news reporters never came. As often happens when reporting the truth would negatively impact important people, these events were completely censored out of mainstream news - not a peep.
Moms often get zero protection from most judges regarding protection for their children from abusive fathers. Judges may consider their statements about abuse to be merely attempts to punish the dads during a nasty divorce. Judges are often very wrong. Remember the estranged wife of the Washington, DC sniper? She felt this mass murderer was killing many people so as to avoid being the prime suspect in her murder when he eventually got around to shooting her -- his real target. That family was also involved in a battle over parental rights.
My friend's crisis ended in a tragic, best-case scenario. Unfortunately, if the court had only granted Vee a restraining order or withheld John's visitation rights, Vee and Kay would likely be dead today. John was obviously very disturbed, and he would have kept his promise to kill Vee and his family unawares at his earliest opportunity. John had lost his job, he dabbled in drugs, and he was supper depressed.
Family court judges should pay attention to every allegation of child abuse by parents when such accusations are put before the court. All such allegations deserve careful investigation and followup.
Mental illness is often at the root of domestic violence cases. Often, the abuser has a long history of psychiatric treatment that he/she elected to discontinue. Sometimes, abusers have undiagnosed mental problems. Consider the numerous news reports of whole families being murdered or groups of co-workers or fellow students being shot dead by a lone gunman.
After murders, the authorities are all too willing to finally step up to the plate and IMPRISON rather than treat the mental patients who need help. We need to decriminalize mental illness in America and make treatment options more accessible for folks who need help. It is less expensive to enforce psychiatric treatment for those who are too sick to realize their need for help than it is for taxpayers to pay legal fees and prison fees to incarcerated sick people.
Holly Collins and her children want to finally be allowed to return home to America, without living in fear. We can help her by signing a petition at this link:
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill