Oprah Winfrey: The Price of Safety for Battered Mothers & Children is TOO HIGH

OPRAH WINFREY often states on her program, “America is the safest place in the world for women.” Tens of thousands of mothers in America would be quick to disagree with Oprah’s words. We bear invisible, but permanent battle wounds from years of abuse in America’s family court system. Our mental scars and years of court documentation prove that seeking safety in America often costs more than money. The price of safety in America has been too high for all of us – it cost our children and our right to be a mother.


Nurturing and loving mothers losing permanent custody of their children is such depressing subject matter. But we cannot indefinitely avoid depressing subject matter, particularly if it is true.


Most individuals prefer not to hear the story of how a cultured people turned a blind eye to consenting to the “legal kidnapping of children through America’s family courts” and how the majority of our society, consisting of cultured people, remained silent.


Losing permanent custody and visitation of your children feels like being doused in oil and set on fire. Healing is slow and difficult. The pain never goes away. One doctor describes removing a nursing infant from a mother similar to castrating a man.


The price for my own safety and freedom was an imposed, unnatural and unwanted separation from my eight children, including my nursing infant. The injustice committed against me is not just the physical separation from my children, but the willful desecration of the mother-child relationship and bond, a sacred spiritual and emotional entity.


Many mothers who seek safety from abuse are routinely prohibited from having even the most basic contact with their own children, not because they were unfit parents, but because they were outspent, out represented, and out-maneuvered in a court atmosphere not prepared to understand the needs of families dealing with domestic violence.


Battered women may lose their babies and children, their homes, their friends and their livelihood. Survivors of childhood abuse will often even lose their families. Rarely does society recognize the dimensions and long lasting effects of this reality for the victim.


Removing a mother’s children from her, when she has committed no crime, is cruel and unusual punishment. The physical, mental, and emotional toll of surviving the negligence, abuse and trauma from the individuals who are part of my story will last forever.

A judge’s signature on a white sheet of paper can be a shattering experience for an individual. I believe judges in America will continue to use their absolute power until people wake up from their “huddled fear”. A non-custodial mother remarks: “to lose one’s children in such a way would unmake any woman.”


And it is true. Taking a woman’s children is the last great punishment an abuser can scar them with. To be publicly and permanently branded ‘unfit’ is a new scarlet letter. It can and will scar an entire family for life.

LIFE Magazine, USA Today and many other magazines have featured articles on women in prison in America. They report that women prisoners are allowed to keep their babies with them for eighteen months while serving their sentences, (Florida Statute 944.24).

I am haunted by this single question. Why are nurturing, loving mothers being treated lower than a criminal in our family court system?

Loving non-custodial mothers face a stigma in society that is reprehensible and unjust. People assume these mothers do not have custody because they are drug addicts, alcoholics, child abusers, or they just didn't want their children. While there certainly are cases of abusive mothers who give up their children, and walked away, in more and more cases today, fit and loving mothers are losing custody of their children against their will.

Losing permanent custody and visitation of your children feels like being doused in oil and set on fire. Healing is slow and difficult. The pain never goes away. One doctor describes removing a nursing infant from a mother similar to castrating a man.



Forcibly taking a mother’s children, and then controlling her emotionally by withholding contact must be publicly recognized as one of the greatest forms of ‘mis-use’ of the American justice system and one of the greatest hidden vehicles for wide-spread socially approved physical and emotional abuse and control."- Coral Anika Theill, Bonshea Making Light of the Dark​


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