Green Light on Needs of Children

Who is STOPPING good parents from caring for their children?  …stopping them from WORKING so they can provide for children?

Spotlight on Augusta, Georgia and on Columbia County for what the local Superior Court and law enforcement agencies know is being done improperly to a good father.   He is a good, hard-working man who loves and misses his child, and he deserves our support and attention from our leadership and news media.

A Candlelight Vigil is being held to light up the dark and drafty space surrounding the detention center where this man is being mistreated.   See this event page to RSVP and watch for updates.

Now that this case has been investigated by others outside the local system in Augusta, we are giving the “Green Light” for people to raise awareness about the dangers to every parent in this area who might pass through this court system.  

WFXG FOX54 Augusta – Your News One Hour Earlier

The situation described in this video is disturbing, but it is also disturbing to us that a good father…also seeking to protect his daughter…is being held in jail on false allegations.  There are some very interesting similarities on these two cases.  Both involve DFCS, law enforcement and certain child custody “experts” and the numbers and rulings just do not add up.  Both are leading to damages to these children.  Damages that can be avoided and that should be corrected.

We are asking law enforcement and our state and local leaders to bring transparency into this father’s case and into Augusta to see why so many good parents are unable to care for their own children, why they are losing their property and jobs, and their health.  

The evidence of these cases dictates that these are the wrong outcomes.  What’s next? #GreenLightAugusta

What about the laws?  Are they being followed?  Keep asking, and show up for these families.  Follow #NeedforGreen to learn more about what is holding back good parents, leaving families in worse shape than before.  

This story from Texas is now going viral, and it is closely related to what is happening in Augusta, and all over Georgia:

 

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Please study local cases and ask questions, especially of Judge Michael Annis about judicial procedure and the use of evidence to exonerate innocent parties.  It appears the evidence was ignored here and a good father jailed because he stood up for his rights to parent and protect his daughter.  

He is fighting for his right to work and to provide for her — and for the chance to recover from what was done wrongfully to him in his divorce and custody case.

This father who is being held wrongfully, denied clean clothing for a week, being denied phone calls…is now writing letters to his daughter so that she knows she is not being abandoned by him.  Help him ensure these letters get to his daughter so that she doesn’t believe that he has abandoned her?  This is critical for her…not just for him.  (Please understand that THREE fathers in metro Atlanta have taken their lives after this type of custody case and mistreatment by court professionals.  We do not need another tragedy, and another Fatherless Daughter, for the State of Georgia to get the point: it is time to intervene!)  

Video testimony is helpful in getting what this is like, the reality for people in this situation, so please take a few minutes to watch this, and see that what happens to this woman in court is the SAME as what happened to this man who is now in jail in Augusta – away from his child who needs his protection and support.

This father wants to get back to work, so that he can pay child support, plus manage the outrageous fees put on him by these court professionals.   Let him out.  Let him work.  Let him defend himself. Give this child her father back.

Cobb County: Need for Green to Protect Children

Can you imagine finding out that you and your children were secretly filmed because some sick person decided to use your family for entertainment?

This is what is happening to parents and children in Cobb County and in Florida:

This story is terrible enough…but can you also imagine that the COURT and Guardian Ad Litem in Cobb County would disregard this evidence in deciding whether or not to protect children?

This is why we have Court Watch invitations on these cases.  Just  recently the Court was going to consider giving un-supervised visitation to this father out on bond in Georgia, and wanted in FL on 4 counts.

Thankfully CBS and the FL news media covered this story.    

Cobb County is waking up to the fact that children are being left unprotected even in light of clear evidence and substantiated reports of abuse.  WHY?

Cobb County is waking up to the fact that children are being left unprotected even in light of clear evidence and substantiated reports of abuse. WHY?

 

The same GAL in another Cobb County case is revealing his alignment with the alleged molester, positioning himself to make more money off this case by helping to cover up crimes against children.  This is in spite of DFCS substantiating the abuse and putting a safety plan in place for the children.  This is in spite of the fact that police are currently investigating this case.  

Based on this GALs recommendation, the court may remove the protective order now keeping the children safe.  Can you guess who the GAL used to excuse the fact that he had not done his own due diligence on this child abuse case?  Dr. Howard Drutman and his often quoted “custody evaluation” that ignores all evidence of abuse.  This is the “doctor” who has no expertise in child sexual abuse and who conducted no thorough review of the facts on the case related to the abuse.  Sound familiar?

Why would these professionals do this?

Watch and learn.  Let us know how you can help, or if you have more data / cases related to this story.

This story and what the highly paid court professionals are doing here MUST count!
Why do we need your help?

If THIS evidence can be ignored in the above story, then you can see how easily perpetrators can get away with silencing their victims.  

Help Break the Silence that certain court professionals are working to ensure - - by suppressing evidence needed to Protect Children.

Help Break the Silence that certain court professionals are working to ensure – – by suppressing evidence needed to Protect Children.

 

 

Please support My Advocate Center and the Georgia Center for Children’s Advocacy by learning about the intervention needed.  

“It is believed that less than 10% of those victimized by child sexual abuse will ever tell anyone of their abuse. The result will be issues that last a lifetime.
It is imperative that we break the silence of abuse, whether it is sexual or physical, and that children are protected. If you believe that a child is being abused, or if you are a child that is being abused, please contact your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible. We believe that getting this secret out into the open is the first step towards healing.”

 

Learning to Prevent Child Abuse: Voice Today

My Advocate Center is aligned with several groups around the country that each have a specific focus.  The more we all learn about different issues that affect children and parents, whether it involves our court system or not, the more we can bring awareness, solutions and change.

Voice Today is in Georgia but is educating the public on a national level about how to identify situations where children may be at risk, and how to respond and to prevent injury.

Please watch this video, share and follow Voice Today to learn more.  

Join the movement to help protect children, intervene to prevent these dangerous cycles from continuing, and support My Advocate Center as we address and correct the bad practices in Family Court that enable and cover up this and other forms of child abuse.  Our mission involves supporting parents as they work, oftentimes against difficult odds and unseen forces, to provide for and to protect their children.

Unfortunately child abuse is a growing problem that is exacerbated by how certain court professionals are ignoring evidence and the needs of children. Voice Today founder Angela Williams has witnessed this in our cases.  

Please also support the policy reform that both of our groups are working on, as these improve protections for children and help families recover from abuse.  

Angela Williams just testified at the Georgia Capitol on HB 771 to extend the statute of limitations on civil child sexual abuse cases, so please encourage your elected officials to support this bill and this improvement that will help drive positive change.

 

 

Relating Bad Contractors to Bad Attorneys

Have you been asked to understand what parents are going through when trying to get through family conflict?   What happens when someone you know enters the legal system?

It’s hard to relate if you haven’t been through it, and you may not really want to know…but what is going on where you can’t see has led us into a crisis situation, so please see if this short story gives you some insight:

“Suddenly the weeds along the property line grew thicker and getting taller.  The two neighbors who had once worn a path bare between their back doors had stopped speaking.

Flashing back a few months David stared at the spot where they used to stand and talk about the market and their son’s game stats.

On this cold January day that spot was now shadowed by the cement truck backing up to where the foundation was being poured for the fence about to go up between them.  They decided it was time for some privacy.  The good times shared in open spaces were now lost thanks to an argument he could barely remember.

Pause here for a moment and consider how you handle “Let’s go our separate ways.”

You have options, just like David and his neighbor did.

David’s neighbor suggested an open fence that would create a boundary and give some privacy, but not block them from waving hello or throwing a ball back over the fence.

What happened next is that David considered his options, and went with the advice that matched his emotions.

Option A:

David listened to his neighbor’s advice and talked to the contractor who gave them a reasonable price on a lightly stained wood fence and some shrubs.  There were even a couple of trees mixed in that would bloom within a couple of years.

He could see them a year or so out, one sitting on the porch reading, while the other hummed that annoying song while grilling the same steaks as always.  Not so bad…

Well, that was wishful thinking.

Option B:

David also listened to the contractor who heard about their disagreement and saw that David was still fuming.

He validated David’s feelings of loss, but reassured him that once the concrete wall was in place that his neighbor would regret ever trying to “win” that argument.

David allowed the concrete wall to get poured, taking satisfaction in his neighbor’s shock and dismay.  He smirked.  So his red-faced neighbor brought in another contractor carrying that coiled wire to add to the top of the wall. To heck with the shrubs and allowing a baseball to get returned over the fence.  What ball?  There would be no more playing out here!

Within days their yards shrank in size and the concrete wall expanded.  The sharp wire atop the hideous gray wall sparkled in the sunlight as a reminder that there was no going back.  But David told himself that he was fine with that; he had gotten his point across, and his neighbor appeared filled with regret and confusion.  The bills kept coming but at this point David wasn’t sure what else needed to be done with the wall.  He only saw that more trucks and material kept showing up.  Contractor John repeatedly reassured him, as he patted David on the shoulder in a fatherly way, “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back…it will be the best wall you’ve ever seen.”

Nothing seemed to get better, only worse.  The bills grew while David felt smaller.  There was no end in sight, he still felt hurt and angry, and now there was no chance of talking to his neighbor about where to draw the line. David realized he was confused, even sick to his stomach.

No way, though, was David going to be the first one to call it quits!  He had gone too far to admit this overdone wall was a bad idea.  And besides, that barbed wire his neighbor wanted on top of the wall?  What an insult!

Months later David was jolted out of bed by flashing lights and sirens from the ambulance taking away his neighbor.   Apparently the stress had hit home, but David wasn’t informed about what was happening, and he was afraid to ask.  He did notice an opened envelope that had blown onto his driveway.  He read the note inside with a little guilt and dropped it when he saw that it was his neighbor’s writing, telling the contractor he was fired for putting up that barbed wire without permission.

Another few months went by, and the next thing David knew there were two For Sale signs out front.  The wall was still unfinished, and the contractors were nowhere to be found.  Only the debris was left.”

Please ask the person who showed you this story of two neighbors to learn what it can be like when two people turn to the wrong lawyers to resolve a family dispute.

This story just involved two people growing apart as neighbors, building a fence, hiring contractors, then realizing the damage done from their mistakes.  But did they make these mistakes on their own?  What if there were kids involved?  What did the kids see and how were they impacted? 

What if there had been the right mediator and counselors to help these parties see the best path – – how to make Option A their reality?

 

 

Good Fathers Matter

It is taking a crisis in Georgia for many to get the difference between the good fathers (like those we are working with, the ones getting the raw deal in family court) and those who are being enabled as they behave badly.

But let’s put that mess aside, and help Georgia get “off the ice” now, and focused on moving forward!

This is what matters, this report courtesy of one of our legislators who is helping the public see the good in a crisis:

 “A father walked 6 miles in the snow to his daughter’s school so she would not spend her first night away from home alone.” #GoodFathersMatter

View on Twitter: pic.twitter.com/pNBAZjBZ0X

 

True Georgia story: a father walked 6 miles in the storm to join his daughter stranded at her school.  She did not have to spend her first night away from home...alone without him.

True Georgia story: a father walked 6 miles in the storm to join his daughter stranded at her school. She did not have to spend her first night away from home…alone without him.

From My Advocate Center:

To ALL the many fathers we know here in Georgia and around the country who are being put in a position to NOT be able to give to your children this way:

We recognize what is happening, and are as committed to you and to this problem as we are to others.

Stay strong and keep giving and doing what you know is right for your children, even when you are being held back. #NotGivingUp

Testimonials from Supporters on Facebook

A friend knows you are going through a divorce and that you’ve been displaced from your home.

But you keep to yourself the gory details, as much of it as you can handle.  Suddenly he reads something online that helps him understand what you’re dealing with.  Betrayal and shame take on new meaning, but in a way that makes him reach out to offer support.   He gets it now.  This is not your issue that you created, and he sees that you had no way to know the trap you were walking into with this “family law” situation.

You were trying to make the best of things, trying to do right by your children, while actually being guided in a way that didn’t make a ton of sense… But who are you supposed to ask?   Now it appears you are being penalized for being honest, and for NOT trying to punish your spouse for leaving you.  What gives?

Thanks to news media and social media, people like this friend are saying, “Wow, what if that had been me?  Could I have seen a way to react differently?”  And, “That guy is one of the smartest and most well connected people I know…if this can happen to HIM, then it can happen to anyone!”

Social Media is allowing us to “change the game” being played at your expense.  This friend of a Buckhead business owner is a great example of how people are opening their eyes, and placing the judgment where it really belongs.

People around you likely think there must be something wrong with you based on the look on your face, or how you sound…or maybe because of your silence.  They have no way to know the shame, the fear, the uncertainty…or that dishonest professionals may be adding to what was a tough situation to begin with.

So if you share a post about our work to help promote awareness, do not be surprised if you see something like what this person wrote to a friend in this situation:

“…why on earth should a lawyer be allowed to strip a percentage of a family’s wealth and drag out a lawsuit simply to rob a family blind when they are already in distress. It is sickening.”

Because healthcare providers and media personalities like Dr. Drew are validating the impact – and that it is NOT just “something that poor guy brought on himself” – more people are willing to learn and to support parents and children caught in unnecessary litigation.

What can you do or how can you use your voice?

Stand by people caught in a legal conflict.  You may be the only one to speak the truth, or who can make sense of what they are dealing with.

Stand by people caught in a legal conflict. You may be the only one to speak the truth, or who can make sense of what they are dealing with.

Testimonials of Professionals

Professionals from several specialties are speaking out about what they are seeing in their practices.

Now they are responding to our work and to the news stories, so we are sharing excerpts while also maintaining privacy until we have signed permission to release names.

Excerpts will continue to be added in the coming days.

Psychologist:

“I just wanted to let you know I am encouraging some of the families I work with to email their stories to you, as well as use your website as a resource. It has been incredibly frustrating for me as a therapist to be so powerless in our court system. I WANT to ensure them that the system is there to protect children, but have learned through experience not to give them any false hopes.”

Social Media on Divorce Corp.

Sometimes people just make sense, including bloggers!

Diana Mercer, co-author of Divorce Works, shared this perfect example on HuffPost:  Link to full article here.

“You don’t have to opt into the litigation system. You don’t have to roll the dice on the judge you’re assigned to, the custody evaluator appointed, and having to pay fees upon fees. You can opt out. And it’s not difficult to opt out. There are lots of choices.

But divorcing people are scared. They’re scared of the future, of the unknown, of the things that their spouse might do.

What most don’t realize is that they really have nothing to fear but fear itself (and maybe litigation lawyers). When a gladiator lawyer says,“I’ll protect you”, the temptation is to believe it. And while I still believe most lawyers really mean that, the truth is that divorce is a business, and lawyers can’t keep their offices open when clients can’t pay. And almost every client runs out of money eventually. Even the wealthy McCourts ended up in bankruptcy after their LA Dodgers-centered divorce fight.”

Another excerpt:

“I finally saw Divorce Corp. Finally. After much banter on Facebook, a barrage of emails, aNew York Times article, and the Huffington Post’s own Paul Raeburn’s review of the film, I finally saw what all the fuss is about.

Finally someone is shaking the snow globe.

Is everything in Divorce Corp. indicative of how litigation works in every case? Of course not. But it does illustrate that when you go to court you take your chances. Are the judges biased? Are they corrupt? Probably not, but you never know. Is your child custody evaluator an extortionist? Probably not, but maybe. And you won’t find out until after the fact.