Feminist Response Invited: Mom Gives up after Spending $25,000 to Fight a False Restraining Order and Regain Custody of Her Son Only to Have Her Ex-Husband Start the Whole Thing over Again

Posted on October 4, 2014


Feminists who identify with the “battered women’s movement” (the domestic violence lobby) insist fathers’ claims that women lie about abuse are false or overblown. This writer wonders whether they feel the same about mothers’ claims that men lie about abuse.

Here’s one mom’s account (submitted yesterday):

My ex-husband’s family just filed their second bogus restraining order against me to overturn custody of our 13-year-old. The first one, three years ago, I spent three months and $25,000 to fight, and got my son back. This one? I promised myself not to fight if they tried again, and I didn’t and lost today in court. They upheld the emergency order of protection and extended a restraining order against me for no contact with my own son for nothing I did at all—for two years. My son wants to be with them, so I’m not fighting. I just don’t want him to grow up thinking I did anything wrong and that’s why they took him from me. I don’t need to lose any more money and get fired from any more jobs trying to fight…. I’m done.

Restraining orders suck when used for ulterior motives. Unfortunately, they’re used to legally kidnap children, and I wish anyone who’s going through what I’m going through strength and health.

For those who don’t know how an “emergency order of protection” works, it’s this simple: the petitioner goes to court and files some allegations (“under oath”) that the defendant has to respond to a few days later. Typically the window to respond is far too narrow to make it possible for a defendant to retain legal counsel even if she weren’t resigned to defeat, as the mom whose story appears above was (after running up $25,000 in costs fighting a previous prosecution, losing jobs, and possibly being emotionally harried to the brink of insanity).

Feminists are encouraged to respond to this mom’s story, whether with sympathy or criticism. The court process she’s a victim of isn’t one this writer condones. Let’s hear from some people who do condone it.

This writer is tired and has no words of solace. The mother whose story this post concerns is prohibited contact with her son for two years, which may mean she’ll never have a normal, healthy relationship with him again.

Feminists out there—and I know you’re out there—are invited to remind her why this is as it should be.

Perhaps you could tell her how the courts never swallow lies, so she must be lying. Perhaps you could tell her how a process comprising two hearings mere days apart, a process that’s initiated and concluded in minutes, is fair and just. Perhaps you could reassure her that her sacrifice is ensuring the protection of abused women she’ll never meet. Don’t, however, let me put words in your mouths.


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