Erasing Parents

MN Mom Denied Parental Rights Regarding Transgender Son

A district court judge dismissed the case but affirmed that the teenager was never emancipated.

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota mother who was denied parental rights over her male to female transgender son’s medical and education decisions has lost her court case at the district level.

Anmarie Calgaro filed suit against her son, St. Louis County, Fairview Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services, and the St. Louis County School District. She claimed that her Fourteenth Amendment due process rights were violated by the above organizations as they determined her son, referred to as E.J.K. in court documents, was emancipated, and withheld E.J.K.’s records from her.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson took issue with that wording, saying that the organizations did not determine E.J.K. to be emancipated, as only a court order can do that. While Magnuson stated numerous times in his decision that E.J.K. was in fact not emancipated and that “Calgaro’s parental rights over E.J.K. remain intact.”

“The judge here makes some very strange and contradictory statements,” Julie Quist, Chairman of the Board of the Child Protection League told Alpha News. “On the one hand he says that EJK is not emancipates because there’s been no court action. He specifically says that the mother’s parental rights ‘remain intact’ and so therefore the defendants did not terminate her parental rights.”

However, Magnuson also ruled that Calgaro’s claims against the defendants were meritless, as she did not allege a specific execution of a policy by the School Board or County caused the deprivation of Calgaro’s parental rights. With regards to Fairview and Park Nicollet, Magnuson stated that because they are private entities and they did not act in collusion with the state, they cannot be held accountable.

“It’s a bizarre statement,” Quist said. “Obviously she is not being acquitted her parental rights, but somehow nobody has violated anything.”

“We’re going to appeal. Our principle concern is the law in this area is confused,” Erick Kaardal, Calgaro’s attorney, told Alpha News. “That the state of Minnesota hasn’t addressed emancipation procedures in a way that protects parental rights is unfortunate. As a consequence the court has to step up and tell us what the law is.”

Kaardal said that the court failed to do so in this decision.

E.J.K. was under the sole custody of Calgaro, but had been living outside of Calgaro’s house for some time, first with his biological father, then with family and friends, and currently by himself.

In June 2015 E.J.K.  in court documents, consulted with a lawyer with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid who provided him with a letter concluding E.J.K. was legally emancipated under Minnesota law.

“Its really sad because parental rights are really important,” Kaardal said. “In other issues like paternity, marriage dissolution, they get notice and opportunity to respond.”

Calgaro never had a chance to respond. As her son began gender transition services at Fairview and Park Nicollet she was not notified of any procedures, and her request to view her son’s medical records was denied. Similarly, as E.J.K. began to explore post-secondary education options, Calgaro’s request to view educational records was turned down by the St. Louis County School District.

“My client has always taken the position that she wants a say, she’s not necessarily opposed to the transgendering medical services but she wants a say,” Kaardal said of Calgaro.

“This is not an issue primarily about transgenderism at all. This ruling is about the rights of parents to protect and guide their children,” Quist said. “Parents are a protection. When the state gets in and destroys that protection it leaves children at the mercy of people who can and will manipulate them.”

E.J.K. turns 18 in a few months, which would render the actionable part of the case moot. Kaardal said that his client still plans to appeal, citing Roe vs. Wade as an example of the capable-of-repetition doctrine. The woman in the Roe case had already given birth to her child, but the court case was allowed as future situations of similar legal principles were likely to occur for other women. Kaardal thinks this case could be used to decide parental rights in future cases.


The State Really Does Own Your Children

Watch Lawmakers Claim The State Owns Your Children

By Annabelle Bamforth

Legislators in Texas have been working toward passing a host of laws to reform the state’s Child Protective Services agency. New legislation has been crafted to improve the agency which has seen multiple dilemmas resulting in detrimental safety problems for children in the state. There have been several bills introduced this year aimed at improving the agency. One bill, in particular, House Bill 39, seeks in part to require medical exams to be performed more quickly on children who have been newly placed into the foster care system.

HB 39, introduced by Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston), would mandate that the state’s Department of Family Protective Services schedule a medical examination for children who have been in temporary state custody for longer than three business days. Children in rural locations would be required to receive a medical exam within seven business days.

While the bill was originally centered around hastening medical exams for new foster children, questions arose regarding whether vaccines would be included as part of these medical exams. Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), the vice chairman of the Texas Freedom Caucus, introduced an amendment to HB 39 to make vaccinations exempt from the required medical treatments. The bill saw a turbulent debate upon Zedler’s amendment as the discussion turned to childhood vaccines and who should be responsible for crucial medical decisions when custody is obscured.

“You get that child back five, eight, 10 days later, and they’ve now had that surgery or they’ve had these vaccinations,” Zedler said according to Dallas Morning News. “That’s an issue of liberty.”

Wu was vocal about his belief that the law allows the state to assume authority in such situations. “Let me make very clear: the moment a child is removed from their home – the moment the child is removed – by law, the child is now a child of the state of Texas,” said Wu. “We have the responsibility to make sure that child is safe and is given proper medical care. That is the law.”

“When we put into the law that we are limiting the ability of our agency that is tasked with taking care of a child that is in their custody and they are legally responsible for, we are setting a dangerous precedent,” Wu continued. “This is the same thing I told you when we argued over my bills and this is the same thing I will tell you again when we argue over this bill.”

Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) questioned Wu’s choice of wording: “Mr. Wu, you used the word ‘belongs to the state of Texas.’ Do you want to rethink that wording?” he asked. Stickland then interrupted Wu’s response and went on to ask “True or false: that CPS has taken children and found that they were wrong in doing so? And returned the child? Has that happened, Representative Wu?”  Wu acknowledged that it has occurred “on rare occasions.”

Stickland challenged not only Wu but also Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place), who sought to add an additional amendment in response to the amendment of Zedler’s, which would allow “cancer-preventing” vaccines to be administered, particularly the HPV vaccine.

Davis noted statistics related to cervical cancer deaths and low HPV vaccination rates in Texas and said that “the HPV vaccine will eliminate cervical cancer.” Stickland asked Davis if she believed that parents had the right to choose medical procedures for their children. Davis responded that she believed “children that have been taken from their parents and are in protective custody undergoing a medical examination should be given a vaccine that prevents them from developing cancer.”

You can’t handle the truth about vaccines (Ad)

Stickland asked Davis if she understood that they were discussing the issue of children in temporary custody with no parental rights terminated during the medical exams. “Agreed, but cancer is not temporary,” Davis answered.

Stickland repeated his question of whether she thinks parents have the right to choose medical procedures for their children, and Davis said that “we have to find a balance because there is absolutely in my opinion zero science behind the fact that any vaccines are systematically harming children.”

Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) also challenged Davis’ amendment and said that it appeared that her amendment would transfer decision-making authority from families to a physician. Leach asked Davis if her amendment “goes against the wishes” of a child or the parents.

Leach added that he was not interested in deciding which vaccines are “good or bad” or who needs to be vaccinated, but was focusing on the question of who would have the authority to make vaccination decisions under her amendment. “Who at the core at the very basic level, who should make this decision?” Leach asked Davis.

Davis’s amendment was tabled in a 74-64 vote; Zedler’s amendment to prohibit vaccines during medical exams was passed in a 74-58 vote, with another amendment attached by Wu to allow for tetanus shots to be administered in emergencies.

Zedler later said to The Texas Tribune that the majority of parents that he’s communicated with are not overall opposed to vaccines but are troubled by the scheduling. He also said that  “the only one that might possibly be [an emergency] is a tetanus shot.”

In the video below, Wu makes the ominous claim that parents — who’ve not been found guilty of any wrongdoing — no longer have care over their children and that those children now belong to the state. When the state begins to claim they own our children, something is very wrong.


New Hampshire-based writer Annabelle Bamforth is focused on breaking the left/right paradigm through new media and local politics. Annabelle is the editor-in-chief of Emmy-winning journalist Ben Swann’s Truth In Media Project and a producer for Mr. Swann’s Truth In Media episodes. This article first appeared here at The Free Thought Project.

Legally Kidnapped

On CPS And Other Examples Of Totalitarian Government Monopoliescps kidnapping insane media

By Scott Lazarowitz

There is a reason for concern about the rise in totalitarianism in Amerika. The government-monopolized judicial system is a banana republic-like system.

The lawlessness and criminality within the system is rampant. Not just with the judicial system but now it seems that everything associated with government, from medical care to the local zoning board, operates as a racket, and many of those who are a part of the system seem to view the civilian population as the “enemy,” or as toys to play with, or as insects to step on.

This recent post by Martin Armstrong describes his own experiences with the judicial system and his time in jail. Armstrong links to this article on Zero Hedge regarding power-hungry judges who criminally overstep their authority. Armstrong concludes:

I have no compassion for anyone who works in the Justice Department and would never hire a lawyer who ever worked for the government. There is nothing these people will not do to win. You have zero rights and they will kill you and go celebrate at dinner afterwards. You cannot possibly image the type of people who gravitate to these positions. I believe they are the kids who tortures cats and dogs for fun.

And as I mentioned recently, there are the corrupt prosecutors with their prosecution quotas, and all the innocents whose lives have been ruined or ended by the vicious agents of the State.

So yes, there are many criminals and degenerates who are judges and lawyers or otherwise law bureaucrats who are power-hungry and would run over their own children to attain more power over others as well as enrich themselves with others’ fortunes.

And take “Child Protective Services.” (Please.) CPS bureaucrats are really part of the judicial system, as everything else seems to be. This article on Activist Post describes the ordeal that Jeffrey and Erica Henderson went through. The government police broke into their home without a warrant, beat up Jeffrey and charged him with “resisting.” Eventually their kids were taken from them, their possessions and finances stolen from them. All this based on an anonymous tip from a “neighbor” who wanted to accuse them of “endangerment.” In the article, a statement from Mrs. Henderson includes: “The officers searched our home, strip searched and interviewed our children and found no evidence of abuse. I was never arrested or ticketed.”

“Strip searched”? No evidence of abuse? Excuse me, just who here is endangering innocent children? The parents who happen to oppose vaccination and who homeschool their kids, or the government police who are strip searching innocent little children? (Incidentally, Bill Sardi has this article on the recent study on vaccinated kids vs. non-vaccinated kids. Very important information. But I digress.)

Mrs. Henderson also notes: “The prosecution alleged we were guilty of resisting an officer by not opening the door when the police said to, and child endangerment because of the psychological damage suffered by the children from watching the door being beat down.”

Of course, legally, if the government police don’t have a warrant (and to get a warrant there needs to be reasonable suspicion, probable cause), then they don’t enter the place without your consent, period. And the children’s “psychological damage” caused by watching marauding thugs break into their home? Well who the hell is responsible for THAT? Yes, the ones who criminally broke into innocent people’s home!

Now, I’ve been a law-abiding citizen my whole life. So, I expect our government police to obey the law, too, you know. There are rules they must follow. But really the one who should be arrested here is the damn neighbor for making an anonymous complaint. That neighbor should be charged with false accusation, harassment and endangerment. S/he started all this.

And then there was Tom Ball, who ended up self-immolating as a protest against the court system, CPS and the police, after a ten-year ordeal. In a nutshell, a mental health counselor told his wife that if the wife didn’t call the police on him, the counselor would have them both arrested. (That would mean more CPS child-kidnapping.) His conclusion later on was that the wife called the police on him to protect the kids not from him but from CPS.

That way of protecting the kids from CPS is substantiated by Mr. Henderson, mentioned above, who agreed to divorce Mrs. Henderson in order to save the kids from being taken away from them by CPS.

So the system here is really anti-father, anti-husband, anti-male. (My conclusion is that many who work for CPS are not married and don’t have children themselves. What do you think? Am I all wet on that?)

CPS also makes a lot of money every time its agents kidnap an innocent child.

And then there was the case of the late Georgia state Sen. Nancy Schaefer, who was investigating CPS kidnappings of innocent children and a possible linkage to child sex-trafficking. With government agencies, especially those dealing with the more vulnerable of society, for some reason such an institution seems to attract the sexual deviancy of degenerates. The State is a cult, in my view.

Sen. Schaefer ultimately was killed in an alleged “murder-suicide” along with her husband, killings that were very suspicious and could cause people to conclude that she was “suicided.”

But the corruption and abuse isn’t just with the judicial system, it is very much with government itself, and the cronies who associate with them.

For example, more recently, according to Erin Elizabeth, there have been several suspicious deaths/murders of doctors associated with holistic medicine/alternative treatments for disease and cancer (other than the Big Pharma poison that most people get). I am not accusing anyone involved with Big Pharma of actually killing innocent people in order to suppress information about nutritional alternatives for treating disease or cancer. But, given all the tax-funded handouts and the FDA-Big Pharma revolving door, it wouldn’t surprise me, that’s what I meant to say.

And I have frequently mentioned the plight of teenager Justina Pelletier. Now almost 19, while in her mid-teens she was being treated for mitochondrial disease, but when her regular doctor was away she was seen, or scheduled to be seen by a different doctor. But there she was seen by psychiatrists instead, who dismissed her treatment as being unnecessary and that her disease was really “somatoform disorder,” i.e. it was “all in her head.” From that point onward, the “doctors” i.e. quacks changed her medical treatment and attempted to force her into a program of “behavior modification,” while at the same time had DCF seize custody of Justina away from her parents, and had her placed in this prison-like facility. Besides criminally kidnapping Justina, the “doctors” and their aiders and abettors put her into worse health, she then had to use a wheelchair, and now the Pelletiers are suing the hospital and doctors for doing these things to her. And good for the Pelletiers. Actually, I believe the “doctors” should be charged criminally with kidnapping, endangerment, child abuse, assault and battery, and human enslavement, as well as sued financially.

Those “doctors” might have been using Justina as a guinea pig in their psychological studies as well as being part of getting government grants for research. So these dishonest practitioners, too, are inter-connected with the State. When the State gets involved with medical care, it turns the doctors into government doctors. Governments use and abuse people for the government agents’ own purposes, for political or social power, financial enrichment, and/or for the sake of furthering their brainwashed ideologies. In this case with the Pelletiers, the “doctors” brainwashed ideology is “behavior modification,” in which they attempt to fit the medical patient into such an ideology like forcing a square peg into a round hole.

For more information, Natural News lists some medical kidnapping cases, and there’s a website devoted to such criminality. In many cases, Establishment practitioners consider a parent’s disagreement with doctors’ diagnosis or course of treatment as “abuse” of the child. In some cases, doctors are just plain wrong in their course of treatment of patients, but such doctors are too ignorant to know that or too arrogant to acknowledge it.

Besides the aforementioned Tom Ball who self-immolated after a ten-year ordeal with CPS, one other victim of the bureaucratic gestapo was Andrew Wordes. This case didn’t involve children or CPS. Wordes was a resident of Roswell, Georgia who kept chickens on his back yard and gave away eggs, according to this article by Jeff Tucker. However, the local zoning fascist bureaucrats didn’t like the chickens so they tried to get Wordes to remove the chickens even though he was not violating any ordinance. He actually won in court, but later the fascists got the city council to rewrite the law for the purpose of further harassing Wordes. So the town’s bureaucrats went after this guy for no good reason, except to exert power and control over him. Eventually, after a long battle inflicted on him by hardcore Nazi-wannabes that he felt he could not win, he blew up his house and himself with it.

To conclude, government is different from other institutions. Government is a monopoly. It is a forced, compulsory monopoly over the people. Government therefore attracts the worst of the worst (with few exceptions) who become addicted to the power over others that governmental monopolistic authority gives those people, and that gives the people associated with it or who benefit from such power grabs.

Scott Lazarowitz is a libertarian writer and commentator. Please visit his blog.

ANNALISE RICE INTERVIEW

Communities Digital News

Annalise Rice, 19, describes her Family Court nightmare

Richard Gardner’s controversial Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) theory was invoked in a heated Minnesota case.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic!

Excerpts below from the paid hack Michael Brodkorb on the Dahlens’ Sentencing

Names have been omitted due to my probation conditions.  

Judge applauded XXXXX XXXXX’S parenting

Before issuing a sentence to the Dahlens, Judge Asphaug spoke directly to XXXXX XXXXX stating that his anger toward Doug and Gina Dahlen is “clear, righteous and justified.” She went on to comment that his victim impact statement was the most thoughtfully prepared statement she had heard in her 22 years on the bench.

Judge Asphaug commended XXXXX XXXXX  for the pragmatic, practical, hands on realistic loving way he set about being a dad to five children whose lives were turned upside down. She ended simply by saying “thank you.”

Judge Karen Asphaug

Judge Asphaug said that XXXXXXXX XXXXX was “motivated by vengence. She waged a personal vendetta against Mr. XXXXX. She instilled fear in the minds and hearts of the girls.”

In speaking to Evavold’s motivation, Judge Asphaug stated she was “motivated by polictical ill will and distrust of government.” (She says that like it’s a bad thing!)

Court hears how Dahlens failed to provide Rucki children access to medical care

During both of their victim impact statements, XXXXX XXXXX and Dr. XXXXX XXXX spoke to the lack of medical care provided to XXXXXXXX and XXXXXX XXXXX by the Dahlens during the 942 days they were held at the Dahlens’ ranch.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathy Kenna

Dr. XXXX provided insight into the lack of routine medical care needed by children in their teenage years while XXXXX XXXXX detailed the medical conditions of the girls upon their return home. He went on to describe multiple painful reconstructive medical procedures that were required due to the maltreatment they endured on the Dahlens’ ranch. (WHAT???)

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office charged four adults for their involvement in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters for 944 days.

 

The decision by Doug and Gina Dahlen to plead guilty ensured that Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathy Kenna successfully prosecuted all of the people criminally charged related to the disappearance of the XXXXX sisters.


So clearly, we know that you will be rewarded for pleading guilty vs. going to trial. Click on hyperlinks to understand the jury tax.  Tax And Plea Bargaining     Prosecutors, Charge Stacking, and Plea Deals

We know that whenever whistleblowers publicly expose government corruption, those involved in the corruption respond by condemning the source of exposure rather than investigating any unethical behavior.

Whistleblowers are the truth-seekers, and we must demand the truth, Who does not want to know the truth? Sadly, in an empire of lies, the truth has become treason. ~Ron Paul

Dahlens’ Sentencing

Doug and Gina Dahlen were sentenced today at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings for their role in the disappearance of two sisters from Lakeville, Minnesota. 

Doug and Gina Dahlen

Excerpts from article by journalist Michael Volpe (CDN News)

Doug and Gina plead guilty to felony charges in January 2017 but their attorney argued the Dahlens were basically bullied into accepting the plea under circumstances that involved witness tampering and Constitutional violations.

Doug and Gina have no previous criminal record. They are not dangerous; and in fact are described as being “kind and generous“. Doug and Gina did not act with malice or criminal intent, but instead, chose to help the Rucki girls because they were truly concerned for their well-being.

Doug and Gina risked it all to shelter S.R. and G.R. – providing safety, nurturing and a second chance to experience their childhood that had been long denied. The Dahlens believed the teen girls truly had been abused – the girls not only spoke about abuse but their physical and mental state also indicated abuse and trauma had occurred. Investigative Report Dahlen, Witness Statements

Judge Karen Asphaug

The Dahlens offered their home, and their heart, to protect S.R. and G.R. from imminent physical or emotional harm. Now the Dakota County court system has ruthlessly worked to destroy the very family that had saved the lives of these terrified teens.  

Sentencing Conditions  

1. Pay restitution, joint and several with all co-defendants in the amount of $10,000 to the MN Crime Victims Reparations Board plus any ongoing expenses related to therapy. 05/02/2017, Active 05/02/2017
2. Authorize release of PSI/Psychological Evaluations, to court ordered programs 05/02/2017, Active 05/02/2017
3. No contact with victim(s), DR & TL 05/02/2017, Active 05/02/2017
4. No violations of an Order for Protection, 05/02/2017, Active 05/02/2017
5. No Violations of An Active Civil/Criminal No Contact Order, 05/02/2017, Active 05/02/2017
6. Give a DNA sample when directed., 05/02/2017, Active 05/02/2017
7. Conditions, other, Have no contact with SVR & GJR; no minors spending overnight at the Ranch unless as respite care as licensed respite care providers through social services; Must comply with state and federal licensure and reporting of suspected child   abuse/maltreating.
8. Follow all instructions of probation, 05/02/2017, Active 05/02/2017
9. Remain law-abiding, Appendix A, if attached, is part of this Order; Appendix B, if attached, is a part of this Order 05/02/2017, Active 05/02/2017

They have also been sentenced to 365 days in jail. Stayed for 2 years of probation. Each will serve 31 days in jail (One day for the number of months the girls were gone) Another creative justice approach by Judge Asphaug!

See full sentencing conditions below↓

GOOD THING WE”VE GOT DAKOTA COUNTY SAVING SOCIETY FROM THE HARDENED CRIMINALS OUT THERE! KUDOS FOR ANOTHER JOB WELL DONE!

Continued Review of Lawless MN Courts

Battered woman becomes American refugee in Amsterdam

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A wanted fugitive and kidnapper in the United States, Holly Collins was granted refugee status in the Netherlands in 1997

It was the first week of the New Year when Holly Collins showed her identification card to the clerk at City Hall in a small township in western Holland. “Asylum for an unlimited time,” it read on the front. On the back: “American Citizen.”

“Have you seen this? An American asylum seeker!” the shocked clerk yelled to a colleague across the lobby. Dozens of people milling about the building stopped to listen. The clerk shook her head, and held the card to the light. She couldn’t believe it: an American refugee.

“That’s how it all started,” Holly says over the phone as she sits in her home in a city she asked us not to name. It was 2006, and for the next five months, the mother and children dodged questions as rumors circulated the small village streets.

Then, on May 11, 2006, a man from the neighborhood drunkenly approached Holly’s oldest daughter. He said he knew who she really was, and that her father, Mark Collins from Crystal, Minnesota, said, “Hello.”

The color drained from Jennifer’s face as she turned around and walked inside their townhouse. The family’s secret was out. Their illicit travel abroad and tumultuous history had finally caught up with them, more than a decade later, some 4,100 miles away.

The family watched from inside as the crazed neighbor started taping up “Missing” posters from the 1990s of Jennifer and her older brother, Zachary. He wildly pointed toward the home and handed out flyers to passersby. He told them a kidnapper was living in the neighborhood, one who was wanted by the FBI.

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Jennifer and Zachary with mom Holly as children (left) and all grown up, ages 23 and 25 (right)

“She’s dangerous,” he said. “You better watch out for your kids.”

Later, he told investigators that he wanted reward money—that Americans always give out cash for things like that, Holly remembers.

That night Holly and her entire family went to the Dutch authorities. The man was right about one thing: Holly was wanted by the FBI.

“For years I’ve lived this quiet life, and now all of a sudden I’m pulled back to my past trying to convince someone to believe us,” Holly says.

Mark and Holly Collins, both teenagers, were married on December 5, 1982, in Bedford, New Hampshire. Holly was 17 years old and pregnant.

Since the day they’d met, Holly’s feelings toward Mark had been a toxic mix. As a child, Holly claims, her mother and her stepfather beat her up. So when she was a teenager and Mark would push her around, it didn’t seem as bad. “At least then we were the same size,” she says. Their marriage was brief and rocky, pocked with angry separations. In 1987 the couple parted for the last time.

Mark was at his worst when he was drunk, Holly remembers. He beat, threatened, and raped her on numerous occasions. She has hospital records documenting wrist, foot, and head injuries, among others. One doctor confirmed that a three-centimeter scar on her body was consistent with a knife wound.

The documents continue even after the couple separated. “It got to the point where every time he dropped off the kids [from visitation], he’d do something to me,” Holly says. “Punch me in the face, push me into the wall.”

Medical reports list her accidentally running into the refrigerator door, catching her arm on a shopping cart, tripping over the dog, and falling several times down the stairs. Mark testified that injuries Holly sustained while they were still together—her broken nose, shoulder injury, and black eye—could have occurred after he accidentally rolled over her in bed, or while they were playfully wrestling. By 1989 they were both living in the Twin Cities. Holly obtained an Order for Protection from Hennepin County, and Mark was told to abstain from drinking for the 24 hours prior to visitation with the children.

Reached on the phone, Mark Collins politely declined to comment for this story, but throughout the four-volume file at Hennepin County Family Court, he repeatedly denies claims of child and spousal abuse.

In October 1990, Holly and Mark were divorced. Holly was granted full physical custody of then seven-year-old Zachary and five-year-old Jennifer. Mark was given joint legal custody and visitation rights.

Fearing for their safety, Holly at times defied the court and refused to let the children go to Mark’s house. They came home with stories of how their father had hit and kicked them, she remembers. There was at least one incident where Zachary required medical care.

As a university student, Holly lived off public assistance and financial aid after the divorce, working sporadic jobs as a lobbyist, activist, and daycare provider. She mostly considered herself a full-time mother, sewing the children’s clothes, baking with them, and helping with art projects; paramount to her existence was ensuring that her children had a better childhood than her own. Every time the kids would tell her a story about how Mark hurt them, she shuddered, thinking of her own past.

When the divorce was finalized, Holly asked the judge if she could move across the country with the kids. She wanted to go back home to Massachusetts. She planned to enroll in courses at Endicott College, live with her family to save money, and work at her father’s real estate firm. She would start a new life for herself and the children.

Mark Collins filed a flurry of legal paperwork to keep them from moving. In an affidavit filed in May 1991, he argued that Holly’s motion for relocation was “the latest in her relentless quest to keep me from seeing my children and being involved in their lives…. It was made with malice, in bad faith, and solely for harassment. I love my children and try to be with them as often as I can.”

Nonetheless, on June 18, 1991, Hennepin County Referee Marybeth Dorn gave Holly permission to move with the kids to New England. Mark was awarded extended visitation rights for holidays and other breaks from school. “It appears that [Holly’s] plan to move to the New Hampshire/Massachusetts area is reasonable and will provide benefits to her and the children,” Dorn wrote.

Mark didn’t accept it. Seven months later, he filed for reversal of custody based on “deliberate visitation denials and a continual attempt to destroy my relationship with the children.” He claimed his telephone conversations with Zachary and Jennifer were strained and limited. Holly, he said, wasn’t living with her family, attending school, or doing the things she had pledged. He showed the court medical documents in which a doctor wrote that Holly seemed excessively anxious about the children’s health.

“She is overly controlling of the children,” Mark wrote in an affidavit filed in January 1992. “She will not let them talk to me privately…and she is constantly telling them what to say to me…. The children have often said they were too busy watching a video movie to talk. She has tried to distance me from the children…saying things such as ‘I don’t want to talk to him, do you?'”

The next month the case was reopened. Mark hadn’t seen the children since the previous summer. “It appears that [Holly’s] motivation to move to Massachusetts may have been to interfere with the relationship between [Mark] and minor children,” Dorn wrote. “The children’s emotional and psychological health may be harmed if they continue in the physical care of [Holly], if she continues to alienate them from [Mark] and deny visitation. There also exists concern that [Holly]…dwells on the children’s medical status, to their detriment.”

A custody hearing was scheduled for the summer. Until then, Holly and the children were to cooperate with the arranged visitation schedule.

Holly knew she wasn’t doing what she’d promised the court. She knew things hadn’t worked out as planned.

Her dreams of new beginnings were shattered upon the family’s arrival in New England. She immediately got into another custody battle over the children—this time with her mother, who Holly alleged was also abusive. Holly was granted a temporary Protective Order in New England, despite her mother and stepfather’s denial of the abuse.

Moving beyond the past was harder than Holly had thought. The further she got from Mark, the more he inserted himself into her life, Holly says. Mark would call and tell the kids that he was going to kill their mom if she ever came back. He would list the number of days until their visitation, each time saying Holly had that many left to live.

“One time he called and said that he was in Boston and that he was coming to get us,” Jennifer remembers, who was six years old at the time. “I was petrified. I gave my mother the phone and she hung it up in a panic. My father told her that he was at the airport and he was going to kill her. We ran to the car and drove and drove…

“We kept asking our mother what we were going to do and she just kept telling us not to worry. We slept in the car by the side of the ocean. In the morning my mother decided to call my father in Minnesota. She hung up the phone when he answered. We were so relieved that it was just a threat. We were happy to go home.”

All this was especially hard on Zachary. The eight-year-old would bang his head on the floor after getting off the phone with his father, Holly says. He felt the need to be the man of the house and wanted to protect his mother from Mark, but didn’t know how.

The family needed counseling, so Holly sought the help of outpatient family therapist Fred Emilianowicz in Salem, Massachusetts. “Mrs. Collins and the children were clearly in crisis when they began treatment and remain in crisis to this day. Their crisis centers around the children’s pending 10 day visit with Mr. Collins,” Emilianowicz wrote the court on March 26, 1992.

Zachary had told the therapist that he would run away before going back to Minnesota. He told of having recurring nightmares of his father chasing him, and said he believed that if his father caught him, he would be killed. During therapy, the child drew an eight-page depiction of his life. On paper he penciled his father slamming his mother into a wall while he and Jennifer hid in a nearby closet. The story ends when the children are rescued and taken to safety in New England and Mark is decapitated by a guillotine at a nearby castle. “If I could get rid of Mark this is where I would do it,” the child wrote at the bottom of the page.

“His artwork is a reproduction of post-traumatic events commonly observed in abused children,” Emilianowicz wrote, warning that it was not in the best interest of the children to see their father. “[I]f the court feels that the children’s visit to Minnesota should go forward, then a social worker should be assigned to visit with the children daily, to ensure their safety.”

Dr. Philip Reimherr in Lynn, Massachusetts, saw Zachary on referral. After visiting with the boy, the M.D. echoed Emilianowicz’s concerns. “It is significant that patient is so afraid of his father, becomes so angry upon learning that he has to visit, and has a return of suicidal thoughts in conjunction with this forced visitation. When asked why he is so afraid of his father, patient became quite sad and quiet before responding that his father ‘has been mean, has hit, and has strangled me.'”

The next month, on the day visitation was to commence, Holly filed for an Order for Protection requesting visitation be suspended on the grounds that Mark physically abused the children. Soon after, the court ordered Zachary and Jennifer back to Minnesota for an investigation. Mark was granted supervised visitation during the trip, and Hennepin County child psychologist Susan DeVries began meeting with the children.

“I could provide the children with a much more stable environment,” Mark wrote to the court in December. “I live in a home and have worked at the same job for six years, which are both great sources of stability. …I beg the court to put the children in my care, where they will be removed from these situations, and be given the proper, stable, and loving environment they deserve.”

In May, Zachary and Jennifer were sent back to New England to finish school. Holly was given strict instructions that the children must return come summer. Worried about the upcoming hearing, she took them to the Children’s Hospital in Boston. There, internationally recognized child abuse expert Dr. Eli Newberger supervised an abuse assessment. In June he wrote the court asking to delay the family’s return so he could finish his evaluation. Several weeks into his appraisal, his tentative conclusion was “that these children and their mother have been quite seriously victimized by their father.”

Both children had reported abuse to the doctor when their mother wasn’t in the room. They said they “did not want to go to Minnesota and see Mark because he hits them and is mean to them.” When asked to explain more, Zachary said, “I’m tired of talking about it. You’re the 11th person I’ve had to talk to about it!”

The court denied Newberger’s request and in July the children and their mother returned to Minnesota for the hearing. Friends, family, and even a priest came to Holly’s defense. Her lawyer took the case pro bono.

Judge Michael J. Davis, who was assigned to the proceedings, discounted Emilianowicz’s testimony because he hadn’t been in contact with Mark by the time of the trial. Other testimony on Holly’s behalf was minimized. One expert was accused of being biased because she didn’t know enough about the case and was said to be an advocate for battered women.

In making his decision, Judge Davis put substantial weight on statements from the children’s therapist in Minnesota, Dr. David Cline. “[He] is the only clinician involved in this case who has had extensive contact with both children, the parents, and the step-parent,” Judge Davis wrote in his January 1993 amended order. While both children told Cline they were abused by their father, Cline told the court they were “skilled accusers” not to be believed.

When around Mark, the children would “turn off these hostile stances and play genuinely and happily with their father…. The children say that they have been physically abused by their father but the story frequently changes. For example, on one occasion…Zachary told me that his father jerked him by the arm and threw him into his room. Later when he was with his father, he said that his father had taken him by the arm and showed him to his room.”

Guardian ad litem Michal London, along with other court-appointed custody evaluators, stated that the children seemed at peace in their father’s presence. “While with their mother, the children express fear and anxiety over seeing their father. However, upon observation the children quickly become relaxed with Mr. Collins and appear to enjoy the time they spend with him,” London reported. Still working at Hennepin County, London said he was unable to comment for this story due to privacy rules within the guardian ad litem system.

Mark’s “current behavior does not suggest a violent nature,” he wrote. “[I]t is quite difficult to determine how much of the fears expressed by the children are their own or that which they have learned from their mother.”

DeVries, the court-appointed child psychologist, also questioned the validity of the children’s claims. She, too, declined to comment for this story, but testified at the time that Zachary spoke with a flat affect and didn’t appear upset or angry when describing the abuse. Jennifer also seemed rehearsed. It appeared as though Holly had coached them.

From that point on, testimony centered on Holly’s parenting, not Mark’s. Previously diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression, Holly wasn’t exactly the most stable mom around. A psychological evaluation done by Dr. Ronald Jorgenson, with the Hennepin County Bureau of Community Corrections, found that Holly had a “great difficulty in trusting anyone, and that she is consistently vigilant in efforts to prevent anyone from causing her some type of harm or doing her injustice.” While Jorgenson did not find evidence of major mental illness or maladjustment, the possibility exists that “this individual may experience delusional beliefs from time to time.” DeVries testified that Holly “may suffer from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a disorder in which a parent invents, induces, or exaggerates medical symptoms in a child,” court documents note. In her evaluation, DeVries cited the children’s numerous evaluations and visits with clinicians and Holly’s anxious behavior regarding the children’s heath.

Just days before Christmas, Judge Davis reversed custody of the children, then ages seven and nine. Even though the court did find that Holly had been abused by Mark, neither Child Protective Services nor family court was able to substantiate the children’s claims of abuse. “[T]he court finds the record contains sufficient evidence that domestic abuse occurred between the parties,” the judgment noted, but “[Holly] suffers from a personality disorder. The personality disorder respondent suffers from includes, but is not limited to, Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Whatever the label, the type or types, of emotional difficulty [Holly] suffers from is extremely resistant to treatment and requires years of long-term psychotherapy…. [T]he court finds that the minor children are at great physical and emotional risk if they remain in custody of [Holly].”

It was 11:30 a.m. on December 22, 1992, and Jennifer Collins was hysterical. Everyone was gathered at the home of Terri Dunham, a friend of Holly’s who was considered a neutral party by the court, for the custody transfer. Jennifer was clutching her mother and weeping uncontrollably. “I cannot even imagine anything traumatizing this child more than being carried out to someone that she was so terrified to be with,” Dunham recollected in an affidavit to the court. “Zachary Collins was perhaps even more disturbing to see, as he was totally devoid of all emotion. He could not speak, or even move without being prodded; he walked out of my home as if he were a ‘zombie’, his movements were stiff and stilted and it was as if he was willing himself to even breathe. I, to this day, have nightmares about this—I fear for the children’s safety.”

It was a day Jennifer Collins says she’ll never forget. Her mother gave them their Christmas presents early, including a stuffed animal sprayed with Holly’s perfume.

“She picked me up and hugged me and told me that everything would be all right,” Jennifer remembers. “At one point I was relieved when my mom told them that she couldn’t do it. She said that she couldn’t make us go with him. Then Michael London grabbed me and pulled me out of my mother’s arms. I wouldn’t let go. I remember all these people prying my fingers loose from my mom’s dress. When Michael London had me, I kept kicking and screaming, ‘Mommy, I want my Mommy.’ I told Michael London, ‘But he hurts me and he hurts my brother.’ I still remember him saying, ‘I know,’ as he handed me to my father. That was the worst day of my life.”

Word quickly spread of Davis’s decision. At the Hennepin County Government Center, Holly and her supporters handed out flyers with pictures of Jennifer and Zachary: “Please help protect these children…. The Collins children are still reporting that they are currently being hurt by Mr. Collins! This is an outrage!”

The Star Tribune picked up the story in February 1993 in a rare 2,000-word article that ran above the fold on the front page of the Metro section. “The Collins case is a legal house of mirrors,” wrote reporter Kurt Chandler.

Armed with expert testimony and affidavits, Holly had arguments that weren’t limited to speculation and activists looking for a cause. Doctors involved with the case came to her defense, too.

Newberger challenged the court, saying that even if the children appear comfortable with their father, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe. Newberger called the court’s presumed diagnosis of Holly “flimsy hypothesizing” and contended he had not seen sufficient evidence to support such accusations.

Emilianowicz wrote to express his “grave concern for Zachary and Jennifer’s safety, now that they are in the sole custody of their father…. In my work with Holly Ann and the children, I never had any reason to believe that they were being subjected to unnecessary medical or mental health treatment. Nor did I have any reason to believe that they were being abused or neglected while they were in their mother’s care…

“Zachary and Jennifer are quite fearful of their father. Just because they appear comfortable with him and seek out his affection during a supervised visit does not mean they are not at risk during unsupervised times. Most abusers are skilled manipulators and present extremely well around individuals they want to impress. It is my opinion that Zachary and Jennifer remain at high risk for further abuse, now that they are in sole custody of their father.”

The family’s longtime pediatrician, Dr. David L. Estrin of Minnetonka, also spoke out on Holly’s behalf. “From all of my contacts with the children and their mother, I have seen no evidence for Munchausen syndrome by proxy. I do not feel that Holly Ann’s children are at any risk at all when under her unsupervised care,” he wrote.

Even Holly’s court-ordered psychologist expressed skepticism.

“[M]y understanding of this case is that I am to treat Holly Ann as if she suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy although no one has specifically diagnosed Holly Ann as having this disorder,” Julia Davis wrote. “Nowhere in the materials I have read, including Family Court Service documents, does anyone clearly diagnose this disorder, nor is any one diagnosis specifically endorsed. This is a serious omission that needs clarification…I assume then that this is my prerogative and responsibility.”

The next month Davis, a licensed psychologist and Ph.D., wrote the court with her findings. She was not convinced Munchausen was the correct diagnosis. Holly’s problems were “the result of marital abuse or battering. Additionally, she has described a history of childhood abuse by her mother that has been substantiated, at least in part, by court actions in the state of Massachusetts….

“In my own interactions with professionals in this case, some have indicated to me that they do not believe any abuse has in fact occurred. I find it deeply troubling that professionals should be quick to believe that which has not been established in fact (MSbP) and yet disregard that which has been found to be true by the court (spousal abuse)…. I do believe that Holly Ann was repeatedly victimized, first by her family and subsequently by her ex-husband.”

On the one-year anniversary of the custody reversal, Holly and her supporters handed out yellow ribbons along with 65 pages of documentation on the case. “It has been one year today since these children were taken hostage by their abusive father, Mark Collins…. The Collins children are still reporting abuse…yet their pleas for help have been ignored by Hennepin County officials,” the opening page reads.

Both the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women filed affidavits with the court protesting a gag rule put in place by Hennepin County Judge Charles Porter. (Porter declined to be interviewed for this story.)

“[P]rotesters distributed ‘wanted’ posters bearing the names of county officials and wore cloth gags over their mouths to symbolize Porter’s order,” the newspaper reported.

The court didn’t waver in its decision, though, and continued its evaluation of Holly’s parenting abilities. When it was revealed that she was pregnant and had delivered another child from a different father, Judge Davis, who declined to comment for this story, demanded reports “addressing the fact that Holly kept the pregnancy a secret, and how such actions may affect visitation with Jennifer and Zachary.”

Judge Porter, who was then presiding over the case, chimed in: “The Collins children maintained the secret of Holly Ann Collins’s pregnancy, without any betrayals to their father, therapist, or other professionals involved in the course of this litigation, functioning as their mother’s accomplices in keeping this ‘secret.’ This secrecy graphically illustrates the control of Holly Ann Collins over the children and their vulnerability to her direction in the formulation of her own agenda.”

Holly says the pregnancy wasn’t a secret. It was a private matter meant to be left out of the courts. Besides, despite previous findings that she was too sick to care for Zachary and Jennifer, Hennepin County Family Court allowed her full physical custody of the infant.

In August 1993, Porter issued an order reaffirming Mark’s custody of Zachary and Jennifer and denying Holly’s request for unsupervised visitation. “At some point, this intergenerational family war must stop,” the judge wrote. “The emotional safety of the children has been and remains of paramount concern to this court.”

In July 1994 the State of Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Davis’s original order. The District Court was correct in ruling that Mark Collins did domestically abuse his wife, but it also granted him custody with appropriate evidence and application of the law. The custody decision would remain unchanged.

“It just didn’t make sense,” says Holly. “If they thought I was mentally ill, or too traumatized, they should have taken the kids and put them in a safe place. You don’t give them to a man who beats.”

During supervised visits with their mother the children would sneak her notes pleading for help: “Mommy, please help us. He’s hurting us. We are alone. Come get us.”

Left with few options, Holly knew she had to do something. “I promised them I would come within two weeks. The children and I had made a sort of appointment. They were waiting for me to come rescue them.”

When the phone at their father’s house rang one afternoon in June, Jennifer could hardly hide her excitement. “Even though I was terrified of getting caught by my father…I couldn’t wait to go back to my mom.”

On June 30, around 3:30 p.m., two juveniles left their residence on Cloverdale Avenue in Crystal and didn’t return, according to the police report. When their father, Mark Collins, went to look for them, witnesses said they saw the missing children with their mother at the video store. The three hugged, got in her car, and disappeared.

Holly drove for 20 hours that night before finally stopping to cut and dye everyone’s hair. She put a dress on her baby son, and smeared the entire family with self-tanner. “I totally changed our identity,” she recalls.

At 28 years old, Holly had no real plan. She spent months secretly traveling around North America trying to figure out where she and her three children would go.

After reading about a woman in a similar situation who was allowed refugee status in New Zealand, Collins and her kids boarded a plane. “I was sitting there with my fingers crossed, worried that something would happen and the plane wouldn’t take off for some reason,” remembers Jennifer, who was nine at the time. “But once it was up, it was freedom. It was safety. Who knew leaving the United States would be a moment of freedom?”

During a layover in the Netherlands, the family was detained for not having appropriate paperwork. When the Dutch authorities threatened to send them back to the United States, Holly begged for mercy. Without even knowing what the word meant, she told them she wanted asylum. “I was just trying to think of every phrase I had heard in the movies. I was just trying to say anything so we could stay. I knew it wasn’t going to work, but I had to prove to my kids that I had tried everything.”

Holly was granted a trial. For nearly three years the family was shuffled through refugee centers as the slow wheels of justice proceeded. For months, the family lived in a bungalow the size of her former living room in St. Louis Park. They shared the space with three others. Zachary and Jennifer pushed their cots next to their mom’s to sleep at night.

They had nothing. Holly had only brought two bags abroad. One was filled with clothing and another with legal documents. “I went from having everything, a house, a car, a boat, a dog, and the kids—what would be considered a perfect American life—and I was suddenly standing in line for food at this refugee center thinking, What am I doing here? I just couldn’t understand how I ended up like that.”

In 1997 Holly was granted refugee status based on the European Treaty on Human Rights. “There were reports that made clear the ex-husband was violent,” wrote her lawyer in the Netherlands, Els Lucas, in an email. “The eldest son had a scar on his skull which was supposedly caused by maltreatment by his father. Holly was and is still so strongly scared even of the idea to be confronted with [Mark].”

When word of the ruling got to Holly, she was speechless. After so many years in limbo, she and the children were going to become members of society again. The Dutch government provided Holly and family with a place to live, and she was allowed to foster abandoned children left at refugee camps. At one point, she says, there were 13 kids in her home. Three of them—orphans from Sierra Leone, Togo, and Gambia—became permanent members of the family. The children were enrolled in school, and slowly things started to seem normal again.

As the years passed, Holly came to love the cluttered village where she sought refuge. Years after her arrival she gave birth to more children of her own. Today, she is a mother of 10. She won’t disclose how many are adopted or biologically hers because she doesn’t want any of them to think she loves them any less. Holly doesn’t work, but spends her time caring for her five young children and volunteering with war orphans.

“I have a dream life right now,” she says. “I just can’t believe I did it. We ended up safe. I have a normal life as a simple Dutch woman. Everything moves slowly here, but it moves on. Everyone either says I was a hero or a criminal, but I was neither. I was a nice, sweet mom looking out for my kids.”

In the rubbish disposal behind Holly’s last known Minnesota address, investigators found a letter that Holly had written to those she left behind. “I cannot stand by and let my children suffer any longer,” she wrote. “I am aware of the consequences, but the time that I may provide my children with happiness, love, and safety will be worth any penalty I must endure…. I must stay away until the children are old enough to have their voices heard and listened to in the courtroom. If, at anytime, my children ask to return, I assure you that I shall turn myself in.”

Fourteen years have passed since that summer, and the Collins children want to come back. “It’s our home,” says Zachary, now 25. “It’s always felt like home. Even though I’ve spent more than half my life here, and I’ve gotten used to it, it never really felt like the States did. The States feels like home.”

The children say they don’t want to return without their mother. As of July, the Netherlands has refused to extradite Holly, despite the active federal and county charges against her. When she and the children disappeared, Holly was charged by the FBI for leaving the state to avoid arrest or prosecution, a charge often used to give authorities jurisdiction for arrest. The offense holds a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but attorney Michael Dees, representing the United States in the federal case, says it is doubtful something like this would go to trial.

Hennepin County District Court charged Holly with one count of deprivation of parental rights, an offense punishable by a maximum of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine. However, under the law in Minnesota, the presumed appropriate sentence would be probation, says Deputy County District Attorney Pat Diamond, who will oversee the proceedings if and when Holly returns.

Mark Collins, among others, is one of several victims in this case, Diamond adds. Mark put a lot of time, energy, and faith into the court system, but he never got the results. “This isn’t like tax evasion where you can just mail a check…. What would you mail to Mark Collins to put him where he should have been? He’s now had 14 years without contact or at least without custody of these two children, so how do you give that back?”

There is a defense for deprivation of parental rights in Minnesota, Diamond continues. If Holly comes back and the case goes to trial, she will be given the opportunity to show that she genuinely feared for the children’s safety. “But she needs to come back and answer.” Later, he adds, “Look, we are not going to negotiate with someone who is in a country with a non-extradition treaty, fleeing from a crime. That’s just not how we do things.”

Holly’s lawyer Alan Rosenfeld, national expert on abuse and custody law, says Holly plans to come back and face trial. She wants the evidence exposed, but won’t return to the United States until bail stipulations are set to her liking. She still has five minor children, and the three she fled with could be considered witnesses in the case. Holly won’t return until it is assured she can have contact with her kids leading up to the trial, Rosenfeld says.

Diamond doubts that would be a problem. “I don’t think giving her another month or so with them would make any real difference in bail proceedings. She’s had 14 years with those children to tell them what to say.”

In the last few weeks, the Collins case has sparked national discussion. Stop FamilyViolence.org launched an email campaign, sending over 3,000 messages in 12 hours to Minnesota lawmakers asking for the charges to be dropped.

The Collins case represents a glaring and common error in the U.S. Family Court system, says Dr. Joyanna Silberg, clinician and executive vice president of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence. Often it’s easier to believe the mother is crazy than to believe a father would hurt the children, even if there is documented abuse.

Silberg is currently working with U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), on federal reforms to better protect children from abuse. Hoyer asked Marlene Kaufmann, a lawyer with the Independent Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to review the case.

“From what I reviewed so far it seems rather peculiar,” says Kaufmann. “It appears the court did find that there had been domestic violence, that there was abuse. Holly was awarded the children and then less than a year later, with apparently no major change in circumstances, she’s told she’s crazy. To me, the proof is in the pudding…. She’s raised two beautiful children.”

At 25, Zachary is studying psychology at a Dutch university. He’s in a fraternity, plays trumpet, and sings in a band. Jennifer, too, is studying psychology. A debater and Model United Nations participant, she has met Kofi Annan, the president of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Queen of the Netherlands.

Every year on June 30 the family celebrates their escape, usually with lobster. “We call it our ‘Gotcha Day,'” Jennifer says. “There is so much evidence that they knew what was going on. I told them what was happening, but they didn’t listen because I was a child…. I’m 23 years old now. As an adult, you have a much different view. You can stick up for yourself and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

http://www.citypages.com/news/battered-woman-becomes-american-refugee-in-amsterdam-6683506


No Way Out But One on Netflix

When a family court judge gave custody to the identified abuser, it was Holly Collins- a Mother from Minnesota who had two choices; suffer the ongoing abuse she had fled when seeking a divorce or help her children to safety.

Holly Collin’s Story is unique, No American Mother before her has received asylum and protection from Violence and Child Abuse…Holly had to flee the United States to protect herself and her children.  Her story of Domestic Violence and Court Ordered Abuse of her children however is not unique (1 in 3 women experience forms of DV). These same events are being experienced by mothers and children across our Nation, and around the world.

When mothers report abuse they lose custody 85% of the time.  In Gonzales Vs USA the Supreme Court decision stated that Law Enforcement is not obligated to enforce restraining orders.  There is no protection.  No ERA in the USA.  This first world nation has third world problems and it is about time we own up to the abuse of women in a patriarchal society.

Today, America mothers are being conditioned to shut up about abuse or lose custody.  Your children are safer with you 50% of the time then without you 100%.  Do not call CPS if you suspect abuse, the catch 22 is that if you report abuse you are more likely to lose custody than protect your young. Law enforcement fails to protect.  In the US, its the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim that will determine whether they prosecute. Those who run are considered fugitives we consider them heroes.

In America today, victims of abuse and their children have no way out but one.