Jennifer Collins Presenter Battered Mothers Custody Conference

Conference Presenter

When Jennifer was seven years old and her brother, Zachary, was nine, the two children told their mother, Holly Ann Collins, that their father, Mark Collins, was hurting them during visitation. Their mother believed her children and tended to their bruises and injuries when they returned home from visitation with their father.

Holly also witnessed her ex-husbands abuse to her children (including a fracture to her little boy’s skull) and she was beaten by him as well. Holly and the children were granted an “Order for Protection” yet the children were still forced to go alone on visitation with their father. The children’s father accused Holly of various syndromes, including “Parent Alienation Syndrome,” and filed for a change of custody. Even though the judge found that Mark Collins was abusive, he decided that it was about time that Holly, Jennifer's mother, “got over the abuse."

This young mother protected her children the only way she knew how, by running with them. They fled to the Netherlands and spent three years in various refugee camps. They are the first, and only, known Americans to be granted asylum in Holland.

When the family was located by the FBI in January 2006 and demanded the return of Holly and her children, the Dutch government insisted on an independent investigation from the American Federal Bureau of Investigation, which determined that abuse had occurred. The Dutch government decided to grant Holly and her children asylum indefinitely. Eventually all federal and state kidnapping charges were dropped against Holly.
Jennifer Collins has become a now-adult facilitator and member of the "Courageous Kids," a network of adult children of court-ordered abuse who are now speaking out publicly about their experiences. Her blog is

An American Family Goes Underground in the Netherlands and Returns to tell Their Story