My case follows the typical pattern of Family Court Cases when child abuse is an issue during divorce or custody disputes. The disbelief of the courts and protective agencies about children’s and a mother’s claim of abuse, and subsequent accusations of parental alienation. The agencies tasked with protecting women and children from abuse, Child Protective Services (CPS) and the police, doing bogus “investigations”. The lawyers and therapists involved in predatory actions and unethical behavior for financial gain. The misogynistic and sexist attitudes that permeate the courts and destroy mothers and their children’s lives. The Family Court system emotionally, psychologically, and financially brutalizes and retaliates against mothers trying to protect their children from an abusive father.
In my case my husband had been trying to reduce financial obligations to my child and me for months during divorce negotiations, and his final tactic was to request additional custody time as a way to reduce child support payments. Although I was able to present emails to the court mediator, Trenessa Cromartie, that my husband was already neglecting and refusing to accept responsibility for my daughter with the 25% custody time he already held, the court mediator, who acknowledged the neglect in her report, nevertheless recommended that my husband receive 35% custody so that he could “learn” to be a better father. Ms. Cromartie, however, recommended that my husband receive no more than the 35% custody time due to the fact that she felt he was being “deliberately imperceptive” in regards to his care of our daughter. In court, the judge, Gerald C. Jessop, then arbitrarily (and it appeared arrogantly and vengefully because of the power he held) upped the custody time for my husband to 40%. I could not understand the decision as all the documentation presented to the court indicated that my husband’s irresponsibility precluded him being awarded additional custody time. After doing extensive research as well as networking with activists nationwide, I discovered that the court’s biases for 50/50 shared custody, along with sexist and misogynistic attitudes towards women in the courts, have made this a common process, fathers get shared custody regardless of their neglect, abuse, or criminal history.
A few months after receiving the additional custody time, my husband attacked my daughter while she was at an overnight visitation with him. That event set in motion a living nightmare that I never imagined could occur in the United States of America. Agencies that I believed were dedicated and honest organizations who sincerely worked for the safety of children, Child Protective Services, CPS, (which was audited in 2013 - 2014 in California and revealed “deeply troubling flaws” according to Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles)) and the police, conducted shoddy, inept investigations and found the abuse to be “unsubstantiated” and “inconclusive,” another standard component of the pattern in these Family Court cases. The CPS agent, Aaron Meng, after speaking with my daughter and my husband, closed the case, citing Penal Code 11165.4, “because there are differing statements from the child and the father”.