Please Help

Dear President Obama,

I am in a nightmarish situation, one that I never imagined could occur 
in this country.  I would like you to know about it. I am told that my 
case is not singular, and thus all the more concerning.

I am a single mother who has been caretaker and provider, without 
public assistance or the father's consistent or significant support, of 
my 19 month nursing child.  A West Virginia family court judge is 
"punishing" me by giving custody of my child to the father shown in the 
video (link below), who is shown cursing, yelling, and tossing her 
about.  This is not the only instance of similar behavior on his part, 
and an example of how he behaves in public; what he does in private, 
with no one watching, is all the more of concern.

The family court judge has denied my request for supervised visitations, 
has refused to view the video and other documentation I have, and has 
ordered the child from the only home she has ever known with her birth 
mother, into the custody of her father, who, the judge has also said, he 
believes cares not at all for the child. The family my daughter and I 
have formed is thereby being destroyed and my child's life damaged, and, 
since no one has accused me of being an unfit mother, I cannot tell why.

All my life I've heard--though not experienced before this--about 
domestic abuse of both women and children.  I've also heard women blamed 
for being in an abusive relationship and not protecting their children.  
So I thought I did the right thing.  I disentangled myself from a 
relationship where verbal abuse had escalated to shoving and pushing, 
and when the father finally visited, when the child was nine months 
old,  I asked for supervised visitations.  You know, so I would prevent 
abuse, instead of patching myself and the child up after abuse 
occurred.  The signs were there, the verbal abuse was there, and the 
manhandling of a helpless child was there.   Very sadly, the father 
himself grew up in an abusive family; he simply has little idea of how 
else to interact in a domestic situation.  I acted to end the cycle of 
abuse we hear so much about.

What I have learned is that family court will not allow an abused woman, 
or one about to be abused, to leave.  And family court will put helpless 
children in harm's way as well.  For the life of me, I can't figure out 
why.  In my case, neither my child nor I ever lived with the father.  
The child is being handed over to the father not to preserve existing 
family relationships, but to destroy the ones that exist.  The court is 
creating some sort of unsupervised relationship between an abusive 
father and his child, at the price of destroying the bond between mother 
and child.

I think I could have handled things pretty much ok on my own.  I would 
have continued to provide a safe, secure home for my child.  I would 
have continued to be a good mother.  I would have figured out a way to 
offer supervised visitations with the father so that if he were willing 
he could have learned a better way to interact with the child, in a safe 
and appropriate venue. Perhaps the court could have helped me in that 
effort.  Instead, it has inserted us into the cycle of abuse.

I am now held in contempt of court and will be jailed because I haven't 
brought my child to unsupervised 48 hour custodial visits. Please look 
at this video, and tell me: what kind of a mother would bring her child 
into the situation the video documents?

I would like for someone to tell me the answer to that question.  I 
would also like an explanation of why family court judges are also, in 
effect, abusers, more culpable, than the actual hands-on ones, because 
judges are entrusted with the obligation to protect the victim.


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