The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

In domestic law on October 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I love you Susan!! 😦

Anny Jacoby, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Specialist, Personal Safety Consultant & Instructor

Susan Murphy-Milano

On Sunday, October 28, 2012 when many across the country were praying for Susan Murphy-Milano to find peace and to let God bring her home, she passed through the doorway of the mansion in heaven that was prepared for her.

Is she gone from us? No way.

Susan’s work lives on in each and every victim of violence that she figured out how to save, it goes on through each case she offered her expertise that got the attention it needed to make progress, she lives on through each friend who touched her life and to whom she gave so freely. Although her shoes can never be filled, her work will continue.

All of us have a favorite memory, picture and story about Susan. Please feel free to leave your words at Conquering Cancer in the comment section.

Memorial announcements will be made for a time in the…

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Holding My Hand Through Hell: Susan Murphy Milano – Rest In Peace My Sister!

In domestic law on October 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm


Holding My Hand Through Hell: Susan Murphy Milano,First: 9781888160673: Books.

Susan Murphy-Milano

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” -William Shakespeare

Earth lost a warrior this week and heaven has gained an angel.  Our hearts are heavy with the news of the passing of our friend and sister in arms, Susan Murphy-Milano.

I remember the first time I spoke to Susan on the phone when I was in the midst of my family court nightmare.  Here was a very busy woman who had taken time out of her day to speak to me about her experiences with losing her son to an abuser.  She never minced words, she told it how it is, I loved that about her.  It was a long hard road for me during that time for my family and I but they will all tell you that her phone call to me was and is the most important for me.  I will tell you that there is no better inspiration than to listen to Susan talk of her childhood filled with violence and then ultimately finding her mother killed by her police officer father in a murder-suicide.  There is little to feel sorry about yourself or to think that you cannot change the world, she did.

I know I have thanked her for being my soul sister many times, but I want to say again and on behalf of all children and mothers that live the nightmare Susan has had to.  Thank Susan, you inspired, empowered and never cease to amaze many of us who will continue to fight and carry on your legacy.  Susan was the most humble of creatures and right now I can hear her say in her commanding voice that she is no hero.  But she is and I hope that she can let them know up there we could use a little help down here, then again, I’m sure  she has already.


In domestic law on October 26, 2012 at 12:27 am

“If I Killed You, I’d Get The Kids”: Women’s Survival, Child Custody, and Abuse

In domestic law on October 24, 2012 at 6:06 am

Here is an important paper by Colleen Varcoe and Lori G. Irwin titled “If I Killed You, I’d Get the Kids”: Women’s Survival and Protection Work with Child Custody and Access in the Context of Woman Abuse.” I am constantly amazed by men’s rights advocates, father’s rights folks and shared parenting people that “claims” of abuse by women in a relationship are generally false when so there so many women and children dying. They want to make it a “women’s” or “feminist” issue, when it is really a human rights issue. They try and draw the attention away from all the abusive fathers getting custody of children from moms with claims of so-called “parental alienation syndrome” and claim that it is the “radical” women’s groups that are debunking it. I find that interesting and their credibility lacking if they call the American Judge’s Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National District Attorney’s Association “radical women’s groups.” They have all discredited claims of “parental alienation” and “parental alienation syndrome.”

Here is an except of Varcoe’s and Irwins’s paper:

Child custody and access was the central concern for women with children who participated in Project Violence Free (PVF), a three-year study of formal systems’ (criminal justice, social assistance, and health care) responses to abuse by intimate partners. Although we proposed to study women’s experience with these specific “systems,” the women saw their experiences as similar across services, and talked about “the system” as a monolithic entity. The overarching theme identified through analysis of interview and documentary evidence from the women was that women struggle continuously to limit the violence in their lives and to “make the system work.” We identified four critical sites in which women did most of this work.

For all the women, economic survival was a central part of their struggle. For most women, seeking protection, particularly, but not exclusively, from the justice system, was part of their experience. For women new to Canada, working with issues of immigration overshadowed their other efforts. For the women with children, issues of child custody and access dominated and shaped their experiences.

This article focuses on child custody and access as one of the sites of women’s work in dealing with intimate partner violence. It is based on interview data from the women who were mothers and focus group data from service providers who work with such women as background. The interviews revealed a pervasive tension between obligations to maintain contact between children and their fathers, and obligations to protect children from harm. The purpose of this article is to describe how women work to negotiate formal systems in relation to child custody and access in the context of woman abuse, and how aspects of such systems are problematic. Our argument is that child custody and access processes provide opportunities for abusive partners to exert power and control over their partners and children, and that these opportunities are often supported by policies and practices of service providers.

To read the rest of “If I Killed You, I’d Get the Kids”: Women’s Survival and Protection Work with Child Custody and Access in the Context of Woman Abuse” by Colleen Varcoe and Lori G. Irwin, please click here.

In domestic law on October 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm

The new “survivor” will need the ammunition for when she is summoned to family court by her abuser, because he’s not done with her yet. It goes back to the abusers own “ego” where they too believed we would never leave them and when we do it’s earth shaking for a controlling asshole.

Breaking the Silence

Battered mothers across sea to shining sea will all agree that they (abusers) are the same.  We’ve been told to take our “passion” out of speaking to the judges,  dress conservatively, don’t wear red (even though we’ve had a few rebels) act like a “lady” and then MAYBE just maybe the judge and other court personnel will treat you like a “human”.  In the perfect world we mothers like to believe that possibly one time we will be listened to, the evidence weighed carefully but most of all we hope that they will treat us like any one of them would want  their  mother, aunt, sister, cousin or daughter treated in family court as victim of domestic violence.  Battered mothers in family courts are special creatures.  You see we are the ones who, so far, have beaten the odds of being killed by an intimate partner.

The statistics show we are the…

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The Hero’s, The Warrior’s: The ‘Survivors’ – October Domestic Violence ACTION Month

In domestic law on October 1, 2012 at 4:08 am

October means a lot too many people, fall, Halloween, preparing for winter- but to 1 in 3 women it represents Domestic Violence Awareness ACTION– (Intimate Partner Violence) month.

For 18 years, I have been a hardcore advocate/activist. I have met and worked with so many wonderful people like Susan Murphy Milano, Delilah Jones,  Mo Hannah, Barry Goldstein, The Battered Mothers Custody Conference, Stop Family Violence, The Leadership Council, DV Leap….  the list of organizations and people who some like myself and others because they simply care – all work year round — are endless.

Not to mention all the hundreds of mothers who have lost custody because of abuse. I spent the last 15 years networking mothers on a national and local level – even international. In October we really pound it out — we do all year, but by storm we take it to the internet, the streets, the conferences, the National and State AG’s, Coalitions, judiciary and the community. This is “our month” to further not just awareness – but solutions.

Domestic Violence aka Intimate Partner Violence, rape, torture, and death – IPV: A Human rights issue that is violated from the beginning and it seldom ever ends, has not gotten any better – only worst.

Awareness? Oh, we are all ‘well aware’ – 1 in 5 high school girls will report being abused by their boyfriend either physically or sexually before they graduate. 1 in 3 women you know has survived it, is going through it, or maybe she died ‘accidently’ e.g. drowned in a dry bath tub, (this btw is a very common ‘accident’ the many mothers have) falls, blunt force trauma, or you know of, or have heard of, the father viciously slaughter his entire family, the wife, mother and children – most all are under age 10. And EVERYONE in their life time will know someone or be intimately affected by Domestic Violence (DV) – Intimate partner Violence (IPV)

I am a survivor. The color purple bleeds. 296588_240990569286453_876103963_n

I am boycotting the yearly rally I have attended here in Topeka, Kansas since its inception 17 years ago – I have never missed a single rally. Not one. October was my month to ‘be the change’ to take my knowledge and experience and expound upon it. To let others know- ‘NO it is NOT alright to live in constant fear’.

But after the City of  Topeka, Kansas, Removed Domestic Violence from Cities Ordinance codes  – in essence ‘decriminalize’ Domestic Violence, last October 2011 – (THIS STILL REMAINS) – The City Ordinance prohibiting DV has not been re instated, but ‘dog at large’, tall weeds, prostitution, drunk and disorderly’ along with  all other misdemeanor’s and misdemeanor assaults – remain.  But NOT ‘Domestic Violence’ – still remains retracted. The county does its best but the case loads are over whelming.  But again—it’s just Domestic Violence cultural attitudes.

I simply cannot go out to the rallies, marches, activities – screaming at the top of my lungs – chants, (more lies.) Slogans like “Get Out” – “Get Help” – “You Don’t have to live this way” – you have all heard them. They are all lies. 1 in3 – yet we still do our community customs of:  ‘See we care about___(fill in the blank) – but; (really it’s just an annual fall walk, political shoulder rubbing, a few victims find validation (if it’s their 1st one).

‘Policy and procedure’ – ‘Women and Children are top Priorities’ everyone ‘talks the talk.’  Still—no one holds these most evil of society’s criminals accountable – it’s just domestic violence, as they turn away from the realities of it every other day of the year. No one ‘walks the walk’ except those survivors turned advocate/activist. They are the true hero’s and warriors, shakers and World changers. They do it so that no one else will have to endure needlessly or die needlessly as so many already have.

Coercive-Control Domestic Violence as Evan stark so clearly writes in Coercive Control – “Why the domestic violence revolution has stalled” and further explains it as what it really is. Human rights violations. It is a pattern of coercive control, emotional, physical, verbal that chains the victim to the perpetrator,  sometimes they break free, sometimes they endure, some survive, some die and sometimes they leave – only to find that living w a batterer was much easier than dealing with the abusers in the judiciary, criminal courts, family courts.

1 in 3 women.  How many of those three have children? You can quote me stats all you want but the very fact that the leading cause of death to pregnant women is homicide by their male partner and the very real fact that Mothers are vanishing, the fact that the cemeteries’ are filled with women and children who were of the most profound types of crimes a complete stripping of autonomy, prisoner of war, concentration camp – comes close. It is their dead bodies in that fill those cemeteries.

64795_482000300228_469045_n It’s not about awareness; this has been ongoing since the beginning of time. We all know about – some judge, some ignore, some become impassioned. But Domestic Violence – Intimate partner Violence exist because we as a society socially accept it – Bottom line. It is acceptable to beat your wife. Beat your kids, murder them all under this so called “domestic violence’ umbrella. Ahhh ‘so sad’ we say, the media articles write “he was such a nice guy”  in regards to yet another familicide or murder-suicide within the family.

The most dangerous place for a woman is in her home.  A man’s castle is his home. This actually goes a long way in showing why Domestic Violence is a societal accepted norm.

A man’s home is his castle- how many men are removed from ‘their’ home and placed in a shelter. None. They take the victims, mothers mostly with usually small children to a ‘shelter’? Shelters are for animals, the stay is the same for both the animal shelters and the battered mothers – about 2 weeks. Then….with many mitigating and very coercive factors, mother returns to  the “Man’s castle – HIS home’ with her children. On average, if mother survives, she will leave 7 times. — Then she will think that like all those slogans above that she is better than that, she and her children don’t have to live like that in fear 24-7. I mean look at the rest of the world- they don’t go through what she goes through – or so she thinks, again its all lies. 1 in 3. But so ‘perfect the couple appeared’ – such a nice family” so quiet and on and on…… when we hear finally outrage.

Not tragedy but outrage, as you see every crime of IPV is preventable. Every murder of another mother and her children, preventable.

Trag·e·dy (trj-d) n. pl. trag·e·dies – 1. A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances…


With blinders on, we as society see the world through rose colored glasses. Perfect. The perfect wife, the perfect family the perfect father. All lies. Domestic Violence RARELY ENDS –except in death.

mothers_vanishing The blood flows.  Another mother disappears. Mothers Are Vanishing.

Those mothers are always up and leaving their kids, their purse, cell phone car etc….. this is the nuts and sluts view of our society. But if a man ups an disappears leaving behind his wallet, his car his cell phone – something IS wrong, became harmed in some way  accidental but usually  would be seen and viewed from society’s rose colored glasses as a crime. I mean men (who truly are the nuts and sluts) would never leave.

Further, many States, like here in Kansas, the Federal and State Grant Funding for Domestic Violence  ”… is to encourage the battered mothers to go back to the abuser.!” WHAT?  We have taken giant leaps over tall buildings, sometimes it is like for every ‘one’ good we achieve – we get thrown back into the dark ages. Well, that is the goal. Oppression, slavery, ownership, entitlement and belief system, of not only the batterer, but that of society’s.

I have no doubt, that ‘We… ‘will eventually change that too.

So here is to the true Hero’s –The real Warrior’s

The ‘Survivors’ – Who Take What happened To them and indeed create a ‘Better’ world as a result.



Special Dedication to Susan Murphy Milano – Holding My hand Through Hell

Holding My Hand Through Hell

Holding My Hand Through Hell is much more than a story of survival, the book is a re-enactment of how God reaches through the fire of chaos and brings peace and hope. A woman questioning her faith through a multitude of experiences finds herself continually in the midst of battle, within her own relationships, and through the thousands of high risk intimate partner violence victims whom she rescued and became a thread in the tapestry of her life.

“More than a memoir Holding My Hand Through Hell is like a true crime drama played out through the years of one woman’s life.”

The premise of Holding My Hand Through Hell is gripping, yet heart wrenching, and readers say they are compelled to follow Murphy Milano through her journey to the end. After years of torment and abuse, her Chicago Police Department father murdered her mother in the family home, and took his own life,  but Murphy-Milano decided not to be another crime victim, but to survive the worst tragedy of her life and make sure it didn’t happen to others. Leaving a lucrative career as an investment banker, she spent the next 20 years in the trenches with other victims of abuse, like her mother, enriching the lives of each and every one who enlisted her help.

Often shunned by traditional domestic violence organizations, Susan Murphy-Milano became like a one man band, utilizing unique strategies specific to each individual she helped. Using her connections within courtrooms and the media, she found herself face to face with some of the worst abusers, often questioning whether God would bring her through the next crisis.

“My Sear Sweet Susan – Had it not been for the hell we endured we would have never met, you have taught me and thousands of other’s how to be the –change- we want, by your selfless, 200% nonstop commitment and compassion. Thank you sister! You are my hero!” xoxo C

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