Faces of the Crisis 2021

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Thanks to all mothers who’ve participated in our “Faces of the Crisis” project. Our stories help raise awareness about the Custody Crisis in Family Court.

If you’d like to participate, please send your story and a photo of yourself to: WomensCoalitionIntl@gmail.com. [Your story may be edited for brevity, clarity or anonymity.]



I had full custody of my son, my only child. He told me about horrific physical and sexual abuse by his father but he was forced to live with him anyway.

I was wrongfully incarcerated for trying to protect him. I haven’t had any communication with my son for over 2 years. He is 7 now.

My heart and soul are completely shattered, torn into a trillion pieces.





I lost custody of my 3 children during my second divorce. We were divorcing because I discovered when I was 20 weeks pregnant with my 3rd that my husband had been having a long-standing affair for years.

Both of my ex-husbands teamed up, lawyered up and they won. I was in court at least once a month for over 2.5 years. I have been portrayed as a drug addict and a mental case—but I only broke down after losing my children!

I was a stay at home mom for 8 years prior to my divorce so I am unable to make the amount assigned as my earning capacity and am ordered to pay $1800 a month in child support. I am behind on all my bills and I’m on food stamps. Family Court says if I don’t make the payment each month they will put out a bench warrant on me.

I haven’t spoken to my 14 yr old from my 1st marriage in over a year. I speak with my younger 2 when their father feels like picking up the phone. Never on holidays.


Five years ago, both of my children reported sexual abuse by their father, later to include physical abuse. Mandated reporters made referrals to Child Protective Services and the sexual abuse was substantiated, based on 7 independent reports by a pediatrician, psychologist, teacher, nannies and a forensic interview. I was found to be the safe parent.

The first Family Court judge ordered no contact between my children and their father based on the overwhelming evidence of abuse, but he was replaced by a second judge who shifted the focus, calling it a “high-conflict divorce” instead of child protection. This was despite the fact that I was not the one who had reported the abuse.

The new judge appointed an evaluator who spun the case against me. The children’s well-documented and substantiated reports of abuse were disregarded, and I was accused of coaching my children. A private polygraph was used to exonerate my ex.

My ex went from no contact to primary custody. I was threatened that if I said anything to anyone about abuse, past or present, I would lose custody altogether. My children are only allowed to see court-approved therapists who will not report abuse by the father and will do whatever he wants.


I am a mother of a beautiful, brave and strong little girl who has fought for the right to be here, as she has faced so many health challenges, including Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). I was her sole caregiver for 8 years.

Then she told me about sexual and physical abuse while on visits with her father. When I brought this to the attention of the proper authorities and courts, it was ignored and covered up.

Then she told me about sexual and physical abuse while on visits with her father. When I brought this to the attention of the proper authorities and courts, it was ignored and covered up.

There was no evaluator, therapist or GAL appointed to investigate. The judge accused me of keeping my daughter away from her father out of spite.

The judge took my daughter away and ordered only supervised visits for me. I believe this was to silence my daughter and me and to cover up the abuse.

No regard has been given to my daughter’s best interest or the necessary level of care needed for her serious health conditions. She was in the hospital in critical condition and nobody even told me.

The judge has put my critically ill child at risk and in the physical custody of her sexual abuser.


I was the primary caretaker for my children until they were 14 and 15 years-old. There were multiple court hearings and DCF (Department of Children and Family) investigations.

My ex ignored court orders to go to anger management classes and counseling. He eventually obtained sole custody in another state, even though I still had custody in the state with jurisdiction where I lived with my children. Since he’s had custody, CPS has been notified multiple times by third parties about his mistreatment of our children, but they have done nothing to protect them.

My daughter walked out on her 18th birthday but my 17 year-old son is still there stuck in quarantine with him.


I’ve been fighting the corrupt Family Court system for my girl for 15 years.

It’s been such a huge injustice, but I’ve held strong for my daughter.

I will never give in or give up!






I was only with my daughter’s father for 8 months; however, it took me 7 years to finally get away from him. He had originally not been interested in my pregnancy, however after I finally left, he was able to use the court system as another form of control and abuse.

We were in and out of the family court for seven years, with the final court case lasting three years. My ex had a well-documented criminal history of drug abuse and domestic violence, which the judge deemed irrelevant. There were also many documented incidences of violent behaviour towards other women, but these were also dismissed.

Communication kept breaking down due to his violent outbursts, so I asked for contact to be returned to a contact centre to protect myself. Social services had said if I continued to let him hit me in front of my daughter, they would remove her from my care and possibly give her to him. I was absolutely dumbfounded.

He retaliated by filing for overnight access, something he had never had. He was entitled to legal aid as he supposedly didn’t work. I did work so could not get legal aid, but also couldn’t afford an attorney. It was a vertical learning curve.

I asked for a psychological assessment, which the judge was extremely reluctant to allow. Two years later, after all other means had failed, including a warrant for me to serve 10 days in prison, it was finally granted.

The psychological assessment exposed my ex for exactly what he was. It proved I had not been lying and that he posed a serious risk to both me and my daughter.


I was the primary carer of my children for over a decade. I was the safe parent, but I lost custody to the perpetrator father.

The judge ordered no contact between my children and me. I have not seen my children since 2018. I do not know when we will see each other again.






My ex partner violently assaulted me on many occasions. I have voice recordings of him saying he choked me to teach me a lesson. I have photos of bruises and marks and my stories always match up. If someone would actually take me seriously, he would be charged with attempted murder, but no one helps.

We’ve gone through Family Court since October 2019 after he kidnapped our son. I got primary custody but he still gets unsupervised visits after what he did to me with our son in my arms and even though he takes him to a convicted pedophile’s house.

He’s fighting me for full custody. The judge orders me to get drug tests, mental evaluations and everything, but doesn’t order my ex to do anything. Family Court does not care about mothers or children.



My daughter was four years old when she told me her daddy turns into a monster at night and touches her pee-pee. CPS, where my ex’s sister works and where the intake supervisor is his old high school classmate, refused to investigate, even after I followed up to tell them she had made more disclosures.

My daughter said she was scared to talk about it because her father said there would be blood everywhere and mommy would be up in heaven if she did. My ex’s mother had confided in me that she and her sisters had been abused by her father, a well-respected and charming doctor. She had been forced to give up custody of her own children to him.

I fled to protect my children after it was apparent my ex’s family wanted to keep their skeletons hidden and were denying the abuse. I tried to hide in a hotel, but he stalked my cell phone and found us.

My nightmare was only just beginning.

Three months later, after being forced back by the judge, who was my ex’s golfing partner, my daughters’ father was given unsupervised weekend visitations. After every visit with him, my girls came home showing signs of abuse.

My daughter disclosed the sexual abuse to two counselors. During a forensic interview, my daughter behaved very abnormally, but did not disclose, obviously due to the threats by her father.

A judge who works with my ex-husband’s niece removed my daughter from me and gave the niece temporary custody. The GAL was biased against me since day one and they kept pushing back the trials one after another.

My ex got custody after a horrible hearing where I had been warned that if I didn’t agree to it, they’d go to foster care or he’d get sole custody. I was promised I’d see my girls more often, and  we could work towards reunification. So I agreed, but it was a lie. I saw my girls less and less without any help reunifying.

But the system somehow blames me, even though I only see them fully supervised for two hours a week.