Are you a kid and are you made to live with your dad? Are you not allowed to have contact with your mom? Or can you only see her supervised? You probably wonder why on earth this is happening to you.
It is important to understand that not being allowed to have contact with your mom, or only supervised, is a severe form of child abuse.
Your dad might be telling you that your mom is crazy and/or dangerous, or that the Judge said that, and that you need to be protected from her. The Judge has made you live with your dad, so everyone around you thinks your dad must be right. After all, don’t kids always live with their mom?
If you told your mom that your dad said mean things to you, yelled at you, hurt you, touched you were he is not supposed to, locked you up etc. and told you to keep it all a secret and your mom has done everything she could to protect you, then she is a very brave Protective Mother.
You know that your mom is not crazy or dangerous and you might very well desperately want to live with her and not with your dad.
But here you are, living with your dad. When no one is around he might still yell at you, say awful things to you about your mom, ask you to spy on your mom, hurt you, touch you where he is not supposed to etc. He might do everything he can to make sure you don’t have ANY contact with your mom. He might check your phone, computer, email, read your diary, make sure the parents of your friends are not friends with your mom and make sure you also don’t see the grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins on your mom’s side of the family. He might buy you lots of toys, clothes, candy and trips to act like he cares about you, to win you over or as a reward for not telling people what is really going on and/or for not telling people what you really think, feel and want.
You might figure: “I’ll just make the best of it while it lasts. What choice do I have? I have to survive. I cannot get away and he puts a roof over my head and he feeds me. If I contact my mom he just gets angry so I won’t contact her.” Maybe you even wish your mom would stop trying to contact you because it just gets you both in trouble. So you bond with your abusive dad. This is called “Stockholm Syndrome.”
You might wonder where your mom is or why you barely ever see her. Your dad might tell you (and everyone around you) that your mom is not around because she does not care about you, that she does not love you, that she has forgotten about you, that she has abandoned you, that she is crazy, that she is dangerous, that she does bad things etc. He might repeat that nonsense over and over again so you start doubting as to what is true. This is called “brainwashing.”
Maybe you only see your mom with a supervisor and during those visits maybe you are only allowed to talk about school or the weather. You probably want to hug her and tell her you love her and that you miss her so much, but maybe you are not allowed.
Or maybe you really worry about the heartbreak your mom is feeling, so you put on a brave face and tell her you are doing OK, while in fact you feel so very sad about not being with her. When you are at home with your dad and you ask questions about it, or tell him how you really feel or think about it, your dad might tell you (and everybody else) that it’s all your mom’s fault and/or that the court ordered it all this way and that you need to stop talking about it.
The longer you are made to live with your dad and the less you see your mom, the more you may start to think that maybe he is right. Maybe the Judge is right too. Everyone says that children always live with their mom, so there must be something wrong with your mom for you to have to live with your dad. And to see your mom only with a supervisor? Or maybe you don’t have ANY contact with her at all? Maybe she really is a dangerous, crazy criminal like everyone says (believing these lies means the “brainwashing” is setting in). And well, who doesn’t want to be spoiled with all these toys, clothes, candy and trips, so you probably tell yourself: “it’s not so bad“. At the same time, none of that stuff makes you actually happy.
You might be confused about it all. Who are you supposed to believe? More importantly where is mom? Why is she not around? Maybe she really does not care about you. Can that be true? One thing you know for sure: you DON’T want to be put in the middle of all of this and you wish it never happened. You just want a carefree childhood like so many other kids seem to have. You might feel VERY alone and sad in all of this. You might even be very angry with your mom.
What did she do to get you in to this situation and why is she not getting you out of it? Adults can do what they want, right? Can’t they make anything happen since they are all grown up? Well, no… Let me explain to you why this is happening to you and to millions of kids all around the world:
This is what is actually really going on:
1/ When you or your mom tell the police, Child Protective Services and the Judge that your dad is abusive, the Judge might think you and your mom are lying. When lawyers are in school learning to become a lawyer or to become a Judge, the teacher teaches them that moms often lie about the father’s abuse to stop kids from having contact with their dad. They call that “parental alienation syndrome” (PAS). They are taught not to believe mothers.
2/ Even when other people have seen the abuse and even if a doctor writes a report saying the abuse by your dad really happened, your mom will often still be accused of lying. Why?
3/ Because everyone make a LOT of money when your mom fights in court to keep you safe and to get you to live with her. The longer she fights for you in court, the more money everybody makes. So they want you to live with your abusive dad as loooooong as possible. They know your mom will not stop fighting for you, so both your mom and your dad spend all their money on lawyers and everyone else involved in the fight.
4/ Not only lawyers and judges make money from this fight. The court may order your mom to be checked out by a psychologist, called a “custody evaluator.” Evaluators don’t test for the effects of abuse (“domestic violence”). And because your mom is so upset about the abuse and fights to keep you both safe, the evaluator might think your mom is crazy and/or dangerous. Some dads pay the evaluators to write lies about the moms. The report will make sure all the other people in court will keep making lots of money. For example, the court may order you to have your own lawyer and make your mom pay for it. That person is called a “Guardian at Litem” (GAL). You might be in therapy because you are so depressed from missing your mom and having to live with your abusive dad. So the therapist makes money as well and she probably won’t even discuss the topic of MOM with you. You might be asked to take medication for the depression. So the company who makes the pills makes money as well. The Judge might very well order your mom to only see you via a supervisor and make your mom pay for it. The longer it goes on, the longer all these people keep making money. This is their job. It pays rent and food for them and their families.
5/ When you are made to live with your dad he no longer has to pay Child Support to your mom. In fact, your mom is now ordered by the Judge to pay Child Support to HIM! That is a very important reason for your dad to have you live with him.
6/ Your mom never expected anything like this to ever happen! After all, you told the truth about the abuse and so did she! And the police is supposed to help! Child Protective Services is supposed to protect children! The court is supposed to protect you both!
Your mom was upset about the abuse but now she is even MORE upset. PLUS she is extremely upset because she misses you so VERY much and she feels VERY bad that no one believes you both and worst of all: she cannot protect you from the abuse! PLUS she now has to pay a lawyer, pay Child Support, pay evaluators, pay Guardian At Litems, pay supervisors and even your dad’s attorney. This can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. She might very well have to sell her house, borrow money and work multiple jobs to pay for all of this and she has to continue to pay and pay. So eventually she probably has no money left at all for a lawyer to fight for you, or to pay the Child Support, the Guardian at Litem, your dad’s lawyer, the supervisor and everyone else. Now, keep in mind: your mom is probably not an attorney. Without a house and without money, your mom then has to fight for you in court without an attorney and without knowing much about the law.
7/ Your mom is DEVASTATED but she does not give up. She goes to court without a lawyer to tell the Judge the truth about the abuse. She might bring reports proving the abuse, but the Judge tells your mom she does not know the law, that she should have been paying Child Support, the Guardian at Litem, your dad’s attorney, the supervisor etc. All of this is REALLY hard for your mom to hear. Her attempts to keep you safe are crushed again and again. She might cry or get angry at the Judge and the lawyers because they are not listening to her about the abuse you told her about.
Meanwhile your dad is probably all calm, nice and charming. He has an attorney so everyone believes his lies. So the Judge thinks: Look at this mom, she is so upset, she must really be crazy and that is not good for the kids. And besides, the mom says she is broke; she has no lawyer and she cannot even pay Child Support, the Guardian at Litem, the dad’s lawyer or the supervisor like I told her to. She has no house and no money to care for the kids. She is a bad mom, so she is probably lying about the abuse as well. The dad is all calm and nice. He has a lawyer and a house and he buys the kids lots of toys and clothes and trips, so he must be the best parent. I’m going to continue letting the kids live with dad and I’ll put the mom on supervised visitation, because who knows what she will say to the kids when she is so upset? If she is so upset then that might get the kids sad and that’s not good for the kids. I’ll tell the mom she is not allowed to talk to the newspaper or the TV about any of this, because that is not good for the kids either. If she does it anyway, I will put her in jail (that is called a “gag-order”). And if she does not pay the Child Support, the Guardian at Litem, the dad’s lawyer, the supervisor and everyone else, I will put her in jail for that too.
8/ The Judge can also even order NO CONTACT between you and your mom. But when your mom is DESPERATE to have some kind of contact with you she might come to school to see you perform at a school play, send you a birthday gift, an email or a text message, wave at you from across the street etc. just to let you know she loves you SO very much and she has NOT forgotten about you.
Your dad can then go to the Judge and say she is not doing what the Judge told her to do. The Judge can then tell the police to arrest your mom when she does that one more time (that is called a “restraining order”). If it happens again the police will arrest her and throw her in jail. When your mom gets out of jail it is probably very difficult for your mom to get a job, let alone get you to safety and try to get custody of you again.
9/ When your mom has been jailed, your dad can tell everybody: “See? I told you so, she is dangerous!”
10/ When your mom is so deeply sad from missing you that she can no longer sleep or eat well and/or do a good job at work, she might walk around crying a lot and she might also be angry that no one is listening to her. Your dad can then tell everybody: “See? I told you so, she is crazy!”
So now you know how your abusive dad got custody of you….
Why is your dad doing this?
Many dads are upset that the relationship or marriage with your mom failed. When your mom left your dad, he might have taken custody of you to take revenge, because he knows that hurts your mom the most.
Many dads don’t want to pay Child Support. Instead, they want the moms to pay them Child Support. Often the dads also ask the Judge to order the moms to pay all the other court costs. Many of these dads enjoy the fact that your mom ends up having to sell her house and that she becomes poor. It’s another way of hurting your mom.
Many of these dads enjoy the fact that people believe their lies and it’s even better when they can convince your mom’s friends, family and employers of their nonsense as well. Some even make fake websites and social media accounts. They do this to take all the support away from your mom so she ends up alone. It’s another way of hurting your mom.
Many of these dads like to be in control. You can recognize whether your dad is a control-freak when he is constantly checking what/where and how you do things, what you read, say, write, eat, wear, listen to, where you go, who you hang out with etc. Of course any parent has to keep an eye out, but when your dad is constantly checking EVERY LITTLE THING about you, especially when it comes to the topic of MOM, you know it’s out of control. You know your dad is a control-freak if you get punished when you don’t do exactly what he says and when you get rewarded for doing things you actually don’t want to do (like: repeating his lies, allowing him to touch you where he is not supposed to, keeping the abuse a secret, calling his girlfriend “mom” etc.)
Your dad is supposed to take care of you, but maybe your dad wants you to take care of him. He might tell you that he is the real victim in all of this, boohoo and he might want you and others to feel sorry for him.
Maybe your dad wants you to do most or all of the household chores.
Maybe your dad wants to continue to do things to you that you don’t want him to. Like touch you were he is not supposed to, or worse.
Maybe your dad wants to prove to you and/or the world that he is right and your mom is wrong. Maybe your dad really believes his own lies and maybe he loves it when people tell him he is such a good dad.
Maybe your dad wants to prove to the people around you that he is a really good dad and that he is the best parent for you, instead of your mom. Maybe he considers you his prize possession and he likes to show you off to everyone. Meanwhile at home, when no one is around, he might yell/curse at you, say hurtful things to you about you and/or your mom or hurt you in other ways.
I really hope that you are not dealing with a dad like that!
What can you do?
No matter what you do, you need to stay safe and be smart!
No matter what happens, know that your mom LOVES you so VERY much and is trying EVERYTHING to stop this! NEVER doubt that!
Trust your HEART! Your heart and your gut feeling are your compass of truth. Your head may be filled with nonsense that your dad told you (and everyone else) about your mom. Go back in to your memories of your mom. Did she ever hurt you? Were you ever scared of her? Was it ever scary to be with her? No? Then she is not crazy or dangerous. It is as simple as that, no matter what anyone says. Stay with that!
There are several things you can do but it really all depends on your dad and you know him best. While you figure out what to do, it is best to play the game and make him believe all is well.
In the meantime try and find one or more adults you trust. Ask them a general question, like: “What would you do if you knew there was a child who is made to live with their father and when no one is around that father hurts the child?” If that adult says: “That’s none of my business and I would not get involved” then you know you cannot trust that person to help you. If that adult says: “I would help that child” you can then ask them what exactly they would do to help. You need to take time to feel out whether that adult really means it. Your teacher, for example, is supposed to tell Child Protective Services (CPS) when you tell them your dad is abusive. But your dad might do such a good job pretending he is a wonderful guy that the teacher and/or CPS won’t believe you and tell your dad what you said about him. That might have serious consequences. So use your feeling and instinct to see whether the adult you talk to REALLY cares about kids. It might take some time to slowly let him/her know that not all is well with you at home. Don’t wait too long (before you know it your childhood is over and later you might regret not speaking out sooner). If the adult you trust really seems to care and you think he/she can and will actually really help you, then you might want to tell this person what is actually going on with you at home. You can then both think of smart and effective ways to get you out of that situation. You can also show him/her this web page. The adult is supposed to go to the police and Child Protective Services AND make sure you don’t have to go back to your dad or to foster care.
There is a group of kids who are now adults and they have experienced what you are going through right now. They made a website called www.courageouskids.net and on the HELP page there are some excellent tips. Please read those. Listen to them here:
I don’t know how active they currently are if you are thinking of contacting them, but you can sure try.
Brendan and JP Byrne are Stolen Kids who are now adults. They wrote a book about their childhood called “Don’t Hug Your Mother.“
I hope you can get this book on Amazon and read it at a friend’s house. I interviewed Brendan Byrne on my TV Show Hell is For Children. Check it out:
Also, I have made a video tutorial for you that shows you how to set up and use a safe and secure email account that cannot be hacked and tracked to get in touch with your mom if you know her email address. ***Warning: do NOT try this on your own computer or cell phone because your father might have installed spying software on there through which he can keep track of what you are doing online.*** Make sure to create a user name that is different from your actual name and never make a bookmark for this new email account! This tutorial also shows you how to make sure your father can’t see that you are using this email account!
Millions of Protective Mothers all around the world are working VERY hard to change what is going on in Family Court in every possible way they can! What has happened to you should have NEVER happened! We are trying to get you to come home as soon as possible!
Last but not least, you are NOT alone in your situation. There are millions of Stolen Kids all around the world: stuck in the same nightmare, just like you. NONE of this is your fault!
If you are desperate it’s not a good idea to hurt yourself in any way whatsoever. Please go to your school counselor or call a local help line instead and tell them you are having a hard time. If you are thinking of running away I advise against that because it is not safe to be traveling around on your own. If you are at the point of running away you should call the police.
You can contact me and I can put you in touch with other Stolen Kids in a safe way, so you can get support. Maybe I can even help you get in touch with your mom. Stolen Kids who are now adults can also contact me if they want to meet others with the same experience.
Here are some kids who tell their stories on youtube. I hope it helps you not to feel so alone. And if you think about putting your own story on youtube: only do it if it does not put you in danger, OK?
I hope this helps and together with all the other Protective Moms I pray for you to stay safe and for you and your mom to be reunited as soon as possible!
Never forget that you will not stay a child forever. When you are 18 you WILL be FREE! If you are in another country because of the “Hague Convention” you can go home to mom when you are 16 years old. You can go to the Consulate of your mom’s country to get help. In some countries and states in the USA you can write a letter to the Judge asking for your opinion to be heard and you can actually go to court and tell the Judge what you want. It doesn’t always work, but if you can, you should try. Meanwhile, remember that you have the basic Human Right to be safe and to have contact with your mother, your grandparents, your uncles, aunts and cousins. Don’t let ANYONE tell you anything else! Not even a Judge.
We, the Protective Momma Warriors are moving Heaven and Earth to get you to safety and to get you back! By many means necessary! We LOVE YOU so much and we think about you every second of every day! We will NEVER stop fighting for you! Let the LOVE we have for each other win from the hate and cruelty of the people who try and keep us apart! This Too Shall Pass!
*** This information comes from the heart and is not meant to be legal advice. I am just trying to help as best as I can to inform and empower you. Your situation might be different than what I described or I might not have mentioned particular things that you are going through. Do you think I should add something? If so you can contact me.