Falling Through the Cracks of the Judicial System: Failure of Advocates & Spiritual Leaders
I survived childhood sex trafficking and many acts of torture and violence from my former husband and the numerous cults he was actively involved with. I have been exploited and abused by attorneys. I have survived the silent violence of the court system.
I believe I have fallen through the cracks of America’s judicial system.
The price for my own safety and freedom in 1996 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.
Since 1995, I have sought help from seven judges, seven attorneys, seven doctors, (Dr. Charles Kuttner), several counselors, two custody evaluators, a private investigator and bodyguard, two sheriffs, B. F. Kruger, Detective Polk County Sheriff's Department, Corvallis Police Department, (Oregon), three district attorneys, a mediator, Pastor Bill Heard, Covenant Life Fellowship, Roseburg, Oregon, Pastor Ron Sutter, Bridgeport Community Chapel, former State Senator Betsy Close, Pastor Jeff Poush, First Baptist Church, Salem, Oregon, InFaith Ministries, Santiam Christian School, Corvallis, Oregon, Corban University, Salem, Oregon, Baseball Northwest, Salem, Oregon, four safe homes, including Sable House in Dallas, Oregon (none became actively involved), C.A.S.A., (Court Appointed Specialty Advocates) for Children, Inc., my mother's relative, former Washington State Senator Harriet Spanel, my ex-husband's relative, Father Pat McNamee, Father Mihlton Scarpetta, former Governor Ted Kulongoksi, former Governor John A. Kitzhaber, Governor Kitzhaber’s Council on Domestic Violence, Oregon Statewide Law Advisory Committee, former Oregon former Attorney General Hardy Myers, Oregon Attorney John Kroger and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task force, men and women’s activist groups, La Leche League, American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.), the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, the Disciplinary Counsel of the Oregon State Bar Association, the Veterans Administration, the Oregon Medical Board, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Naomi Sterns, Staff Attorney for Domestic Violence and Homelessness, the National Organization for Women (NOW), U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Mr. Joel Corcoran, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, President Barack Obama and local and national media.
None of these individuals or groups could help me and some of them became a part of the problem and/or abused me further.
In my experiences in religion, in court, in ‘therapy’, and even among the people at shelters and advocacy groups, when there is a power differential between people there will be abuse (of power) and exploitation. Power does not like to be challenged—and in order for their systems to run smoothly, they insisted on my playing the role of subject, patient, victim or whatever fits within their hierarchy.
Trauma expert Dr. Sandra Bloom, describes social systems as organisms with an internal logic of self-preservation and self-replication. In our society as a whole and within each of the groups that function as systems within the whole, the top power strata is like the brain and heart, the mid-level people are the other vital organs. These require the most in resources to function. The lowest on the power ladder are the extremities—and resources will be shunted away from them to preserve the vital organs if there is ever a perceived threat to the system.
Bloom speaks of homelessness and poverty as “violent aspects of our society.” They are the result of a social system pulling resources away from the lower level of society to feed the head and torso of the organism. The problem is that as cells are destroyed in the extremities, that destruction further stresses the organism and if not addressed will eventually cause the death of the entire organism.
Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues, edited by Maureen T. Hannah, Ph.D., and Barry Goldstein, J.D., published by Civic Research Institute, Inc., Kingston, New Jersey, Copyright 2010, ISBN 1-887554-76-9
"Battered women with children often receive painfully ironic mixed messages from the government. On one hand, they are urged by state actors-such as the police, child welfare agencies, and district attorneys-to leave their batterers and flee to a confidentially located shelter to protect themselves and their children. On the other hand, once these women finally do take the courageous step to leave, they are often pressured by those working in the family court system to negotiate child custody and visitation with their batterers and to encourage an ongoing relationship between their batterers and their children, many of whom have been victimized by these same men.
"Battered mothers are often expected to yield to custody and visitation orders that may require them and their children to maintain long-term, unprotected contact with the batterers. If they fail to comply with these court orders, they risk being held in contempt of court or even losing custody of their children to the batterers. - Slote, K. Y., Cuthbert, C., Mesh, C. J., Driggers, M. G., Bancroft, L., & Silverman, J. G. (2005). Battered mothers speak out: Participatory human rights documentation as a model for research and activism in the United States. Violence Against Women, 11(11), 1367-95.