Written by Jennifer Collins H/T Maria DiBari
Why do Battered Women Stay with Their Abuser? – The Holly Collins Case
It is incomprehensible that as a result of the Order For Protection, which was granted and forbade Mark Collins from abusing his wife and children, the father was simultaneously granted unsupervised visitation with the very children he abused. This girl, barely a woman couldn’t understand the ramifications of the family court system. Holly Collins sought out the Child Protection Investigators who forced her to take her children away from their abusive father and went directly to the Child Protection office in a panic begging them to protect her children. “This is why I stayed” She wept “At least I could protect the children MOST of the time. Now my children have to go alone with him and there is no one there to protect them.” The child protection desk agent was sympathetic but explained that once this battered woman took actions to protect her children and left her abuser the case was then transferred from Juvenile Court to Family Court and it was her duty as a mother to get the family court judge to protect her children.
In the meantime Holly’s young children would return from court ordered visitations battered and bruised. Holly’s little boy was treated by their pediatrician for injuries sustained from his father’s abuse. The doctor’s report documents the bruises to the young lad and clearly states “Mother will be alert for abuse potential situation.” For 5 more years Holly Collins was alert and vigilant to protect her children but time after time and one court hearing after another Mark Collins somehow managed to convince the judge that Holly was trying to “Alienate” him from his children’s lives. Eventually a family court judge instructed Holly to take the children to the Boston Children’s Hospital to be evaluated by the Child Abuse Trauma Team and he simultaneously ordered a custody evaluation. Both Dr. Eli Newberger and the entire investigative team at the Boston Children’s Hospital found that the children and their mother were severely abused by the father. Back in Hennepin County the Family Court Investigator also confirmed domestic violence but conceded that Holly’s fear of her husband was (although unwittingly) indeed interfering in the children’s relationship with their father. And just like that custody was reversed to the very man who terrorized, beat and battered this woman and her children.
Holly eventually fled the country with her children and was the first American citizen granted asylum in the Netherlands. After 14 years in hiding she was found by the FBI. After a lengthy investigation ALL international and domestic kidnapping charges were dismissed. When questioned by reporters in the lobby of the Minneapolis Court House Holly Collins responded that the biggest mistake she ever made was leaving her abuser.
Is this really the message we want to send to abuse victims?
Holly Collins – The REAL Story is Released!
Garland Waller has produced an amazing short documentary about what REALLY happened in our case. Her web site No Way Out But One and the original documentary can be found at: http://www.nowayoutbutone.com/
The web site for the powerful new documentary film No Way Out But One tells the remarkable story of one woman’s effort to save her children from a life of abuse.
In 1994, Holly Collins ‘kidnapped’ her children and went on the run. An international fugitive who was wanted by the FBI, she eventually became the first American to ever be granted asylum by the government of the Netherlands, based on claims of domestic violence.
Holly Collins’ story is unique, but her struggle is a representative symbol for the thousands of women who must deal with the maddening injustices of a family court system that sentences an estimated 58,000 children a year to live with or visit with their abusers.
The web site has the 13 minute short version of the film. Work is now underway to do additional filming and to expand it to a feature length film. The site also has helpful links to a wide variety of resources for those who may find themselves in a similar custody crisis.
Take a look, let us know what you think. If the link above does not work, just copy and paste this address into your browser: http://nowayoutbutone.com/
For more information about our case you can follow my web blog: www.americanchidlrenunderground.blogspot.com
Filed under: Bias in the Courts, Court bias against women, Domestic Violence, Double Standard Sentencing, Family Court Abuse, Indifference toward Women, Male Bias, Violence against women, Women's Rights | Tagged: American children underground, Battered women, Batterers get custody, Family Court Abuse, Holly Collins, JenniferCollins, no way out but one, PAS, Zachary Collins |