Hello Stop Family Violence Activists! There is great news to report regarding Holly Collins – the battered woman who fled the United States with her children fourteen years ago to protect them from their father’s abuse after the Minneapolis family court failed to do so.
Since our action alert about this last month, we’ve sent over 6500 messages to authorities in Minnesota, asking them to drop the charges against Holly so that she and her (now adult) children can come back to the US and live their lives in peace.
In addition, Beth Walton, a reporter for the Minneapolis local weekly paper City Pages wrote a terrific and detailed article about Holly’s plight.
As a result of this pressure, the Minneapolis District Attorney’s office is beginning to change its tune – no longer insisting that Holly be put in jail the minute she sets foot on US soil, no longer insisting that she not have any contact with her children until trial, and now, even offering that they won’t put Holly in jail at all IF she pleads guilty. It's exciting - but it's not good enough!
Holly should not have to plead guilty to anything! She was acting to protect her children when the State failed to do so! The only thing she’s guilty of is violating the court order to turn he children over to their father, who had broken Zachary’s skull!
There is ample evidence to support Holly’s claims of abuse – testimony of child abuse experts, therapists, medical records and more – indeed the court order stated that "The court finds that domestic abuse has occurred between the parties..." Holly had every reason to believe that the abuse would continue, and because the court turned a blind eye to the dangers, she had no alternative but to defy the court’s orders and flee to protect her children.
It is irresponsible and unethical for the District Attorney to prosecute this case. Their blind pursuit of this prosecutorial agenda harms victims of violence everywhere - sending a message that the legal system is indifferent to abuse and that the abuser's claim to custody and visitation is more important than the safety of the protective parent and their children.
PLEASE keep the pressure on the District Attorney to drop the charges against Holly Collins. Take action at www.stopfamilyviolence.org/520.
BTW – many of you have written personal messages to Holly and her children, which I have forwarded. Here’s a reply from Jennifer:
I would like to thank you all on my mother’s behalf for the letters of support and well wishes. Due to the impending charges, my mother has been instructed to avoid making public statements at this time.
We are both touched by the sentimental words of encouragement we received. My mother is a soft person and quite frightened by the district attorney’s determination to prosecute her.
Your kind messages have helped to ease her fears. Just knowing that there are people standing behind her helps her find the strength and the determination to fight for justice.
Thank You Again,
If you would like to send a message of support to Holly Ann Collins or her children, please write to Childrenunderground@hotmail.com Please be aware that negative or harassing messages will be screened by an independent third party and will not be forwarded to the family.
THE BEST WAY to support Holly and her children is to send a free message to the District Attorney, Attorney General and Governer urging them to drop the charges against Holly. Send your message at http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/520
Thanks for everything you're doing - please keep it up - it's working! Together, we can... http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/ Irene Weiser