Breaking The Silence – Moms Losing Child Custody To Their Batterers?

This is the program that aired on Public Television in October of 2005.

The documentary tells the stories of children who are taken away from their protective mothers.

October is domestic violence awareness month

This October –


Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories (BTS) chronicles the impact of domestic violence on children and the recurring failings of family courts across the country to protect them from their abusers. In stark and often poignant interviews, children and battered mothers tell their stories of abuse at home and continued trauma within the courts. The producers approached the topic with the open mindedness and commitment to fairness that we require of our journalists. Their research was extensive and supports the conclusions drawn in the program. Funding from the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation met PBS’s underwriting guidelines; the Foundation had no editorial influence on program content.

However, the program would have benefited from more in-depth treatment of the complex issues surrounding child custody and the role of family courts and most specifically the provocative topic of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). Additionally, the documentary’s “first-person story telling approach” did not allow the depth of the producers’ research to be as evident to the viewer as it could have been.

PBS has received a substantial body of analysis and documentation from both supporters of the documentary and its critics.

It is clear to us that this complex and important issue would benefit from further examination. To that end, PBS will commission an hour-long documentary for that purpose. Plans call for the documentary to be produced and broadcast in Spring 2006. We expect that the hour-long treatment of the subject will allow ample opportunity for doctors, psychologists, judges, parent advocates and victims of abuse to have their perspectives shared, challenged and debated.

About The Documentary, And The Malicious Fathers’ Rights Attacks Against It

Critics of Child Abuse Film Miss the Point in Rush to Defend Fathers”. Article By Paul J. Fink, Judge Sol Gothard, and Tasha Amador. Article addresses misconceptions circulated by fathers’ rights activists about domestic violence and the documentary. In particular focuses on writings by fathers’ rights activist Glenn Sacks.

The Latest Fathers’ Rights Attack Against “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories. Pro-PAS nonsense masquerading as fact.

“Custody Fight”, by Bob Port. A supportive article about the documentary. (This article is also available on my blog.)

The National Organization For Women On “Breaking The Silence”. This article is also available on my blog.

Angry Fathers’ Rights Activists Vs. PBS.

Caught In The Middle: Documentary shows how kids can be pawns in abuse, custody cases”.

Press Release From Stop Family Violence .

Stop Family Violence – Petition To Air “Breaking The Silence”.

Stop Family Violence: Shocking PBS Documentary Exposes Secrets Of Family Court.

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Includes mention of “Breaking The Silence” and fathers’ rights protests.

Blogcritics: An Important Documentary – “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories

Blogcritics: Fathers’ Rights Activists Livid Over Airing Of “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories

Dizzy in the DV Cycle – Literally

October is Domestic Violence awareness month.

So Its Almost Tuesday wants to bring attention to the issue of Domestic Violence… something that affects our children – bringing them into foster care – teaching them violence – and killing them….

Domestic violence is considered child abuse by law in many states, even if the child only witnesses DV between his parents even if he is not the target.

What does that mean? Domestic Violence Awareness month….

Does that mean we’re all too aware in October of the tragedy DV brings our families? Or not aware enough the rest of the year?

One in Four


Will experience

Domestic Violence

In her lifetime.

Up to 40 percent of battered women delay going to a shelter because they fear what will happen to their left-behind pet.

Women are more at risk for harm & abuse within their intimate relationships than anywhere else…and

They are at the most risk for being murdered after they leave their abuser.

What this month means to me is a memory of another October, when I was in Florida, and had received a phone call that my abuser was on his way to my house, and was planning to lock me in and burn me alive inside.

I felt like I was in the cycle of violence – literally – going around and around…

I called the local DV shelter. The woman on the phone asked if I was harmed, and I said, no, he isn’t here yet, he’s supposedly on the way – and she told me to call back if he arrived and injured me and I was forced to run… meanwhile, she gave me the number to the DV Outreach Center. I called the DV Outreach Center. They do not handle the enforcement, they handle needs and necessities, counseling, and clothing, and donations – I would need to call the state attorney’s office office to get my protective order enforcement underway.. and go down to the clerk’s office, file a violation of protective order affidavit, then take that in, and they would turn it in, review it, and it’d go up the chain and if picked up by the state he’d be arrested.


But in nearly 8 years I’d ran from him, he never once got arrested… the state never picked up the charges because he resided in Texas, and Florida didn’t feel it would be worthwhile to extradite him…. so they let them lie….

I decided, that October day… to go in person to the state attorney’s office; but when I got there … they sent me across the hall to the victim/witness department… The lady at the front desk told me to sit down while I wait in the lobby for somebody from the state attorney’s office across the hall

(that I just came from)

would come help me… an advocate from there…

I was dizzy by then…. I think.

I remember looking up at the posters on the wall in “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” – October – Halloween – Costumes with my little boy who i no longer had, tears welling up in my eyes, and a knot in my throat instead of laughter and candy…

Then the advocate came sauntering across the hall from the state attorneys’ office. She asked me if I had already been interviewed by the Victims Witness Coordinator, I said no….

I showed her my Florida Protective Order, and the police reports from Texas that showed numerous violations of the protective order – and began to explain that i needed him arrested for the violations because I was afraid he was on his way to hurt me. If he were in jail I’d be safe..i thought….

The advocate asked me “do you have Florida police reports?”

I said, “No, I have police reports from Texas ..

She asks “Why from Texas?”

I said, “Thats where the violations occurred – in Plano – Texas… when I called the police… when it happened…. here are the reports…”

she said“Well, you need to go to the Texas Courts to enforce the protective order then, where it happened…

I had been through this one many times in Texas –“Ma’am, Plano, Texas Courts won’t enforce the protective order, the police say its not valid because it is issued in Florida…and its more than two years old … but Florida law is different and it is valid… I don’t care who does it, so long as its done….”

She began to look confused…

“So, did you file a report with the police in Florida?” she asks.

“No, “….

I try to explain…again…

“The police in Florida won’t do a report on the violations because the violations occurred in Texas….but Texas won’t enforce the protective order because the protective order is issued in Florida…”

She asks, “Why don’t you get a protective order in Texas then…?”

I’m beginning to sweat with frustration and tears are welling in my eyes…

“I cannot get a brand new protective order in Texas because he has not assaulted me or caused injury to me within some recent time period, so I don’t qualify!”

“Why are you here then….?” she asks….

“Ma’am!!!!!!!He’s threatened to come lock me up in my trailer from the outside, and burn it down… with me inside… please, help? The shelter won’t take me, the outreach center sent me across the hall who sent me here and called you over, and all I want to do is show someone these violations, dozens and dozens of police reports where he stalked me and abducted my son – and have them brought up on violation charges against my abuser… please…?

I point to her poster – –

“Its October, your posters say that this is Domestic Violence Awareness month….I need help! I need some awareness!”

The worker then looked at me and said with a calm collected tone of voice,

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t have such a big lock on the outside of your trailer ma’am…”


I was in shock.

Then she quickly tells me she must help the next person waiting, and just as calmly as that she says my case was a tad bit more complicated than her training was sufficient for handling, and her suggestion was that I seek legal counsel with a private attorney… in Texas… or maybe Florida… or both…. to be on the safe side… Then she walked me out the door and told me to have a good day.

No, he didn’t burn my trailer down with me inside.

He was, however, arrested a few months later – 3 miles from my home, for child rape, compelling prostitution of a child, and sexual performance by a child…(multiple counts) He plead guilty and is a convicted sex offender now serving time…

STILL – I never did get to see my son again after my abuser had abducted him, but when all of the police officers, advocates, state workers, judges, etc., refused to enforce my Florida protective order against my abuser… that he violated more than a dozen times in a blatant undeniable way…. because he did so in Plano, Texas and not in Florida where the PO was issued

He was – at that time – in his spare time – molesting and raping his stepdaughter and other children – for many years – but two of those years they wasted shuffling me back and forth across hallways.. across state lines..

… for Two years a little girl did not have to suffer….if they had only listened to me.

Domestic Violence Awareness…

This October…. Listen…

Climbing Out Broken Windows

(our sister blog for domestic violence)

Rape-Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


Many rape victims experience what is referred to as Rape-Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (also called Rape Trauma Syndrome). And yes, a woman can be raped by her own husband. Oftentimes that is the abusers way to gain control.

The four major symptoms of PTSD are:

1. Re-Experiencing the Trauma: Rape victims may experience recurrent nightmares about the rape, flashbacks or may have an inability to stop remembering the rape.

2. Social Withdrawal: This symptom has been called ‘psychic numbing’ and involves not experiencing feelings of any kind.

3. Avoidance Behaviors and Actions: Victims may desire to avoid any feelings or thoughts that might recall to mind events about the rape.

4. Increased Physiological Arousal Characteristics: This symptom can be marked by an exaggerated startle response, hyper-vigilance, sleep disorders or difficulty concentrating.

If you’re afraid for your immediate safety, call 911. For help and advice on escaping an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224.

Verified by MonsterInsights