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Published October 1, 2006 by Courageous Kids Network

Courageous Kids Network

We, the Courageous Kids Network , are a growing group of young people, whose childhood was shattered by biased and inhumane court rulings, which forced us to live with our abusive parent, while restricting or sometimes completely eliminating contact with our loving and protective parent. 
 
Some of us, whose mothers tried to protect us from abuse, did not see our mothers for years, or were only allowed to see our mothers under oppressive supervised visitation orders. We were not allowed to hug our mothers, or talk about how we felt. Some of us were separated from siblings, grandparents and extended family. We lost our home, pets, toys, friends,… our childhood. We lived in fear, depression, hopelessness and helplessness for years. Some of us ran away from our abusers. Some could not handle the trauma and committed suicide.

We who survived, got older and stronger. Now we are telling the world how much we were hurt, first by our abusers and then by the court that refused to protect us....

Some of us have turned 18, and are now "free", although nightmares and painful memories will haunt us for many years, maybe forever. Some of us still have siblings in the clutches of our abusers. We are kids from all over the country who have been beaten, molested, raped, sodomized, mentally battered, isolated, terrorized, and shamed by our controlling, battering parents.

We have been mentally, physically, sexually, verbally, emotionally, and psychologically abused by court order.

We have been misrepresented by court-appointed attorneys; facts were falsified or twisted by court-appointed evaluators; we were forced through mind-games (brain-washed) by court-appointed counselors to be silent about the abuse. Neither our voices, nor the voices of our protective parents, were heard.

Many of us suffered because the court accepted an invalid theory, Parental Alienation Syndrome (nicknamed "PAS".) This is a completely bogus mental health label put on protective parents by lawyers and psychologists who get paid by abusers to cover up their history of domestic violence and child abuse. PAS twists everything around to make the protective parent look bad and the abuser look good, so the court will switch custody to the abuser. For a more detailed explanation of this phony syndrome, see "Courageous Kids Can't Be Fooled-PAS Exposed for What It Is."

The courts that heard our cases were far more anxious to label our mothers as "parent alienators" than to believe that our fathers, who look "normal," were beating, molesting, or mentally battering us. Judges and court appointees turned on our protective mothers with a vengeance. They refused to allow our mothers to present evidence or witness testimony to prove that our fathers had abused us, and refused to listen to anything we, the victims, had to say about being abused. Most of our mothers were completely stripped of custody, leaving us motherless, and with no protection from our abusive fathers. All of our mothers were treated like villains, and all of us kids suffered because of the way the courts treated our mothers. In the courts' frenzy to punish our mothers for trying to protect us, the courts failed to realize, or didn't care, that they were punishing us too.

Taking children away from safe parents and placing them in the custody of abusive parents has been called "America's most darkest, shameful secret" in an award-winning article by Kristen Lombardi , a Boston Phoenix reporter whose work on the priest-abuse crisis in Boston brought about the resignation of Cardinal Law.

Although difficult to believe that such horror exists in America today, thousands of children have been, and still are, taken away from their protective parent and placed with their abusers, by court orders. And some kids who were placed with abusers years ago are still trapped because the courts that erroneously accepted PAS, refuse to admit to, and correct their mistakes. Some of those kids are our younger siblings, and we are grieving for them.

Some of us are getting ready to sue the professionals who placed us in our abusive situations. We have found it healing and empowering to finally be able to speak out about our experiences. Our first speaking engagement was at the Tenth Annual Northern California Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Conference in April 2004. We got a standing ovation and everyone said our talks made a big impact on them.

Some of us kids are not able to speak out yet, because we are still stuck with our abusers and we are too afraid of how they, and the courts, will retaliate against us and our protective parents if we speak out. But we are getting support online from others in the Courageous Kids Network who managed to escape. Knowing there are other kids like us out there, who we can talk to and who understand what we are going through, helps those of us who are still trapped not to feel so alone.

For those of us who can speak out, we know that if we put our voices together, we can make a difference and change the family court system that is wrecking so many kids' lives. The Courageous Kids Network is an organization dedicated to stopping the continuing assault on children's human right to live free from abuse.

To learn more about the Courageous Kids Network click here

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Child Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse, Custody and Abuse, Domestic Violence, family court, Parental Alienation, Teens

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