Grandmother reports on failure to protect from abuse

The story was published on the Daily Kos journal. It is being republished here as it not only illustrates the nightmare that parents go through but also the nightmare that grandparents deal with;  in the system that fails to protect both children and their parents.

“My story is part of an attempt by Safe Kids International to raise awareness regarding divorce court judges covering up abuse and awarding custody to abusive fathers.

The DOJ Investigative Report explains-the nation’s divorce courts award custody to abusive fathers-while “good fit” mothers are court ordered supervised visits – or no contact.  

The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s-comments to the National Summit on Domestic Violence: Why are mothers who are victims of domestic violence losing custody of their children to the courts-even when their fathers have been abusive to them and their mothers?  

I was driven mad by the horrific injustice.  I was compelled to save [not only] my grandchildren-but other abused children in the nation’s divorce courts.  To no avail.  Every night I pray [Lord give us the strength for this journey].  We are still on that journey.

During an intact marriage, physicians diagnosed child sexual abuse-based on five-year-old son’s torn bloody rectum.  Father’s reaction to the diagnosis was to go into divorce court with a criminal attorney.  

Child Protective Services/CPS opened our case on March 4th, closed March 5th due to custody issues.  Because when father was contacted by CPS, he stated the magic words [“There are custody issues”] which shuts down CPS investigations of child abuse.

The custody decision states: father is awarded sole custody based on parental alienation.  Parental alienation is used in the nation’s courts to cover up abuse – it has nothing to do with alienating behavior.  Minor’s attorney, Kevin Busch and custody evaluator Robert Shapiro recommended custody to father-based on parental alienation.

The physicians who diagnosed child sexual abuse-refused to testify.  Illinois law book POF 6 2D 353 explains: physicians fail to report child abuse for a myriad of reasons -from a fear of harming their practice to a fear of entanglement as a result of reporting.  Legislation has not achieved the desired goal-only a small percentage of cases are ever reported.]

At age 7 daughter drew and labeled a picture [Lynn Dad] of dad’s penis in Lynn’s mouth.  Lynn had blood in her panties-when mom picked her up for visits. CPS and police investigated.  The allegations were found credible and father was placed on no contact.  

The court found: father sexually abused son and daughter-including, but not limited to, repeatedly sodomizing and forcing oral copulation.  The judge’s court transcript states: In the case at bar, the danger is extraordinarily disturbing sexual assaults perpetrated many times-skillfully concealed. CPS explained to mother that father is on “no contact” and has no legal standing, recommending mother go home to California.

However, despite CPS giving mother permission – mother was criminally charged with leaving the jurisdiction by Kane County Illinois Assistant State’s Attorney, Clint Hull.  
The jurisdiction law is based on the parent-child relationship – the only inquiry is the status of the parent left behind.  

Despite a court appointed psychologist concluding it was emotionally destructive for Mac and Lynn to have contact with their father, the children were ordered back to father.  At which time, Mac + Lynn ran away. Mac [age 14] found a way to enroll in college-where he was a straight A student, studying law and psychology.  

The National Center for Missing and Exploited children does not discern missing children running away from abusive fathers…from children being missing or exploited.  
Mac and Lynn were hunted down.  Twenty U.S. Marshall’s broke down the front door…pointed semi-automatic rifles at skinny Mac and Lynn-pinned them on the floor-and handcuffed them. Mac and Lynn were brought into court where U.S. Marshals championed father and championed parental alienation.

Judge released Mac and Lynn into the custody of their abusive father – but court ordered [law enforcement – no one could help father]. This has a legal connotation. Legally no one could force Mac and Lynn to go with their father.  But father had banned the children and us from the courtroom – so we were not aware – until later – of the legal ruling. When father went to get custody of Mac and Lynn, Mac punched and attacked his father and disclosed his plan to kill his father.  Mac and Lynn refused to go to their father – so were placed in group homes in Chicago.  Mac and Lynn had guns pulled on them.

At the criminal trial, Kane County, Judge T. Jordan Gallagher [outside of the jury] would not allow mother a defense and ruled no evidence of abuse and no witnesses were allowed.  The judge sentenced mother to 12 years in prison with a $25 million dollar bond…despite Department of Correction’s recommendation of no time served.  

One day, the phone rang, it was ABC. 20/20 put in hundreds of hours of man power -travel and time preparing to tell our story.  20/20 including Chris Como went to Illinois, talked to politically powerful people-including the Illinois attorney general, threatening to expose our story.  This resulted in Illinois releasing mother from prison and dissolving mother’s $25 million dollar bond.  

Soon Illinois called…explaining they had  stripped father of his parental rights and were sending Lynn home to California. Mac had already aged out of the system. My daughter came to live with me to heal from severe PTSD. “


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