Friday, September 16, 2011

ARE WENDI G.'S CHILDREN PRISONERS? - PART 2

In Part 1 of this post, I described a letter I had received indicating that Wendi G.’s daughter, “Caleigh”, who is ten years old, is in great distress from having been cut off from all contact with her mother. The writer, who is a parent with a child at Caleigh’s school, told of hearing and seeing signs that Caleigh is feeling unsafe at home and feeling afraid to tell people what she is experiencing and feeling. Important concerns were raised by the reports that the parent was hearing from her daughter about Caleigh’s statements to her.

Around the same time, I received a letter that caused me worry for the well-being of Caleigh’s older brother, whom I will call “Monte.” This letter was written by another parent at Monte’s school, Skyview Middle School in Colorado Springs. I will call that mother "Natalie," and her daughter “Isabel”; Isabel is a friend of Monte’s. Natalie wrote me that Isabel has told her of the following conversations with Monte:

• Monte said that his father showed him and his sister court papers related to the father’s legal efforts to have Wendi’s parental rights terminated, and that his father told them they will never see their mother again “because she took them away from him and what she did was very wrong.”

• Monte told Isabel that he was not allowed to talk to her because her parents are bad, and they are saying back things about Monte’s father, and if his father found out that Monte was talking to Isabel or to Natalie, he would be in a lot of trouble.

• Monte told Isabel that his father informed him that he had people from the church watching the house of Isabel’s family while Wendy and the children were in hiding because he believed that Isabel’s family was harboring them.

Isabel also described Monte as “not the same person he was when he left for the summer to be with Wendi.” She said he won’t talk about “anything with anyone,” and that he said he won’t tell any adult about the abuse he and his sister have suffered in their father’s home “because he doesn’t believe it will really help.”

[All quotations are from Natalie’s letter, reporting what her daughter told her.]

What’s going on in cases like these? When people report these cries of distress by children, why aren’t child protective services and family court running in to perform sophisticated, unbiased investigations to find out whether the children are making these statements, and if so, why?

The sad truth is that the reasons are so many that I can only give a few. Beginning with the family law arena, we are dealing with a system where there are no juries; single judges make all the decisions, and as a result they have extraordinary power and no oversight. Few mothers haver the money to appeal judicial rulings – appeals are very expense – and appeals courts often don’t want to be bothered to look closely at abuse cases, which they tend to lump into the category of “custody disputes.” To make matters worse, family law attorneys, judges, and evaluators tend to all know each other and to work together on case after case, with the result that objectivity vanishes. In towns or cities where a network of influential and interconnected people have the real power, whether through the government or through the churches or through a combination of the two, it can be impossible for a mother to be taken seriously when she reveals that her children are describing abuse.

Child protective services are dramatically underfunded, and since workers are given little pay for highly stressful work, they don’t tend to stick around long. The result is that CPS line staff tend to be inexperienced and highly subject to pressure from their superiors. The whole business of child protection is, regrettably, governed by few concrete rules, so that workers and supervisors can make decisions largely based on their own preferences and prejudices.

We are, thus, dealing with two systems that need to be overhauled from top to bottom. In the mean time, the people who are suffering the most from the actions of these broken systems are people of color, poor people, and those mothers who need to protect their children from an abusive father.

In the Wendi G. case, we have reason to believe that the fact that the father is a pastor at a local church is one of the reasons why bias is governing the actions of officials, rather than proper careful concern for the well-being of the children.

While we struggle to bring systemic changes about, we need to publicize the ways in which cases are being mishandled and children are being left in captivity. Wendi G.’s case calls urgently for careful investigation by professionals who are not tied to either of the families or to their churches, and who will be free from influence and pressure. Based on what I’ve read about this case so far, there is very good reason to believe that these two children may be facing grave harm.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Email news station KOAA in Colorado Springs. Tell them that you are writing them about the "Wendi G." case, and that you read about it on a national blog. Then tell them why you are concerned about the case, and ask them to do a story on it right away.

To email: Go to the stations's website, at www.koaa.com/contact-us/, then look down the left side of the page, and under the "Contact Us" list click on "Assignment Desk", which will take you to a form for emailing them.

NOTE: If you want to post a comment to this blog and no comments box appears below, click below where the number of comments is shown, and a box will appear for you.

11 comments:

  1. I live in the same area as Wendi and have lived under the shadow of the family court system for the past 10 years with a case that is similiar in many ways to Wendi's. My ex-husband's lawyer who described me as 'one of the most vindictive women he had ever met' is now one of the family court judges. What you share in your blog is very true as the system is severely broken and biased. Women who enter this system and relentlesly try to protect their children soon feel as though they had entered a surreal world where they have become the enemy. My heart goes out to Wendi,her children, and all those in similiar situations. Giving voice to the 'least of these'is part of God's mandate to the church.

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  2. I pray that the truth will come out. There is something rotten in Denmark here. Thank you for speaking out, and I sure hope that the news media in Colorado and Michigan will bring this out to light, especially the father, as we know what is going on in a lot of religious organizations that is being covered up.

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  3. This story has been posted in our women's group on facebook, and many, many are praying earnestly that the truth will be revealed in this case. Even though those in the system have failed Wendi and the children, they are NOT beyond the Father's supreme ability to move in this case. We are holding Wendi and these precious children up, and will continue to do so. Our God is ABLE.

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  4. GOD is the judge that even the judges will have to stand before some day. Where is the fear of the Lord in this case? There have been others in the same situations that have lost all hope in the judicial system. The children have said, WHERE ARE OUR ADVOCATES????

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  5. It is difficult for me to understand how a Pastor can lead a Church when he is not living a life demonstrating God's love for everyone. What kind of a hypocrit is he when he will not even let his children talk to their Mother and threatens to keep the children from ever seeing her again? Where is his Love for his children? Where are the people who are supposed to protect these children from not only verbal abuse but also sexual? Who is doing their job? Do they pass it off as not enough evidence so they don't have to arrest the abuser, thus not having to fil out reportsd or protect children? The police Dept is as guilty as the courts for the corruption and lack of integrity. THINGS NEED TO CHANGE TO MAKE AMERICA A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE FOR CHILDREN!!!

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  6. Amen to the last few comments, I meant to ask, has anything come out about the religious affiliations that were mentioned I think in your first blog? Have the television stations, reporters done any follow-up? Any searches on the judges relationships to the same church etc? Or a sister church?

    The reason I ask, is a court case I was involved with recently in CA (I'll stay anonymous), did a little research on the judge, couldn't find much, but then once I found his hometown, found the DA was from the same town, then there was some jobs awarded to this judge's firm... (not a family court case, but against a city gov't.)

    And I told the person ahead of time, likely it will be a slam dunk for them, even though her attorney thought this case was easy precedent-wise. The judge had already made a decision on a SATURDAY, before Oral arguments... wow... All of us sitting in the courtroom were stunned. What they didn't expect was the backlash from the community. Still going on. The city officials involved were very smug, and came out ridiculing the person who lost. I think these higher powers are underestimating the people who are waking up and tired of the corrupt nature of the powers that be.

    I hope you will name names of Judges here. Lawyers for the other side. Church affiliations, so maybe some of us little people can do a little digging and provide something that will help us understand why the first judge didn't hear this case, and now we have our eye on the judge in Michigan. Will be interesting to see if they have connections.

    I do find it interesting that no one wants to show their i.d. When these people are so blatantly willing to disregard the law, to snub their noses at the people who hired them, we NEED to EXPOSE their complicity, their disregard for the people, and most of all for the safety and well being of the children.

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  7. I was at the trial before the judge last year. Wendi G was on the stand telling her story of how her husband had treated her sexually during a very bad time in her life. When she sat there crying, the so called husband laughed in such a way that I was embarrassed for him. He made a fool of himself and the Judge gave him quite a stare down. How can a leader in the Christian Church sit there and behave like that. Whether he agreed with Wendi or not. He and his family made snide remarks throughout the trial which was very rude. I for one believe Wendi's daughter, and I stand for Wendi and both of the children. I know what I saw when I was at the trial and it was very biased. Another interesting thing was that the husband had no problem with Wendi's faith/spirituality when they were married, but used it against her to make her look like she was a crazy person. Interesting. He is a weak man and in my eyes does not stand for the Lord, but walks in double mindedness.

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  8. I too was in that court room every day of the custody hearings. During one of Wendi's lengthy testimonies I was not only disgusted when her ex-husband laughed and his family sat there making their remarks, I watched the judge presiding over the case falling ASLEEP! How in the world can you hear or even begin to understand or comprehend what a witness is saying, under oath mind you, while you are taking a cat nap?

    I know some day, when God's time is right, all of the judges, lawyers, "behind the scene" court officials, CPS agents, police officers and anyone and everyone involved in this case will have their names published so that the communities they are supposed to be protecting will know who they really are and what their beliefs really are.

    I have seen too many times innocent people found guilty and vice-verse by the corrupt judicial system. It is time for God's people to step up and speak the truth and stand on the truth!

    I pray every day that anyone and everyone who has told a lie in this case feels the guilt and comes forward to tell the truth.
    I pray every day that Wendi's children are protected by Jesus!
    I pray every day that Wendi and her new husband can feel the presence of our loving and faithful Lord!
    I pray every day that when the hearings begin again Jesus fills the court room!
    I pray every day that the children's father will finally see what he is doing and who he is hurting and stand up and tell the truth and face the consequences!
    I will continue to pray every day until the kids come home to their mother where they belong!

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  9. I am a mother and grandmother, and a daughter, whose mother was very instrumental in my life. It breaks my heart to hear of young children who are miserable and denied the love of their mother. A father, and a minister,who shows such disregard for the happiness and the mental health of his children, shows no love for them at all. He is treating them as if they are his possessions, only without the care that he would show for his inanimate possessions.

    Wendi G's children have risked the anger of, and possibly punishment from, their father by their cries for help in an intolerable situation, and those cries have been denied or totally ignored. They have spoken out to the court, to the schools, to child protection agencies, to anyone who will listen, that they are kept from any contact: by phone, mail, or visits with their mother. They are old enough to know which parent has their best interest at heart, where they would feel safest, where they will have unconditional love. It it with their mother, Wendi G!

    Since their voices have been blatantly ignored, it is up to us to make our voices heard. I suggest everyone who reads this blog or knows the situation with Wendi G's children, write or call their representatives in both the Senate and the House at State level and/or Federal level, asking that they help these children and remove them from an abusive father before greater harm comes to them and there is no voice to be heard.

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  10. No wonder the Judge laughed. When looking Him up on another sexual assault case he presided over, the family was extremely upset. This 21 year old girl was raped by a DEACON in his church, and this same DEACON was the PARTNER of the father's attorney.... Wow... Judge Jon Hulsing according to the family of the VICTIM who was RAPED, didn't even acknowledge that she was hurt in this CRIME. Nor did he even consult her in this PLEA agreement. Disgusting, he should be ashamed. Here is the comment from the family of the rape victim that Judge Jon Hulsing seemed to not care about.
    ======================================
    By the victim's aunt on a local forum.

    Let me educate you all about a few things, since you weren't there and don't know all the facts. I was there as I am a relative of the victim. First of all.....she was RAPED! He admitted to RAPE. These things are on the record. She had no say in 'the deal' that was made. Her life is never going to be the same. First she gets RAPED by a member of the legal profession. Then she gets metaphorically RAPED by the judicial system.

    Guess what the judge said upon sentencing? I haven't seen this reported so I assume the media is in on 'the fix'.

    The judge said in words similar to these that 'Mr Gabrielse, the people you hurt most in all of this is your profession and your wife and family'.

    Really? Not one single mention about my niece and what she will have to go through because of a corrupt system. I won't go into all of the rest that happened because it all just makes me want to puke. This person, who I refuse to call a man, has gotten off virtually free. All the judicial system wants to happen here is for this to go away. I hope reasonable people can see what happened here.

    A young woman commited a crime that she should have been punished for IN A COURT SESSION, not by being assaulted. Once again, Mr. Gabrielse admitted to RAPE and was caught on tape saying he'd like the next time to be 'more mutual'. This......piece of filth should have to suffer for the rest of his life. Instead....because he is a husband and father, and because he's remorseful, and because he's a deacon in his church, and because he hasn't done it before, (somehow I don't buy it), and because he has already been fired, the judicial system, including the prosecutors office I might add, thinks the deal that was made is appropriate. Unfreakenbelievable.

    She was hung out to dry the moment she reported it. This is a fantastic precidence to set for victim's of RAPE and other types of abused. Say yes to Michigan? Maybe. But not to the Ottawa County judicial system. Sounds like something that would have happened 75 years ago in the deep south, not in modern America. So very sad.

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  11. Josephine Saenz De ViteriDecember 4, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Another sad, sad story. However, there are many of these stories out there, but something is lacking since there isn't unity or one single repository where they get reported and we can start helping and analyzing the circumstances such as the players and begin trending where the madness is happening most and find a way to stop the bleeding. I am a victim of the same thing and plan to be at the Battered Mothers conference in Jan 2012 and have asked to speak as Janice Levinson once did, but haven't heard back on that - still praying on that one. Our children are suffering and we need to find a way to EXPOSE, EXPOSE, EXPOSE and fight these criminals who hide behind their robes, degrees and power in the courts. My 5 year old was taken from me and given to her abusive father and i have now become an advocate and as i say to any who cross my path, i will fight until there isn't blood flowing through my veins to bring about change so my daughters don't have to be treated the way many of us are treated today and our children ultimately suffering by this wrongdoing. What happened with this case? How can we get an update? This is the problem with blogs (sorry Lundy) - they start and that is good, but then quickly become outdated.

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