My name is Jennifer Collins. I am one of the adult children in a child abuse/custody case; Collins vs. Collins Minnesota. My father severely abused us (including broken bones to my mother and a fractured skull to my brother.) Child Protection threatened to charge my mother with “failure to protect” her children if she didn’t take us and leave our father. The family court found that our father was abusive, but rather than understand that my mother’s “denial of visitation” was to protect her children, ludicrously labeled it a as “parental alienation” and unbelievably reversed custody to a known abuser. My mother couldn’t believe that her children were taken from her and put into even more danger of being alone with her abuser. We have learned that this has become far more common than the public realizes in the broken custody court system. Unfortunately many battered women have expressed the same feelings of guilt as my mother when she blurted out in desperation “I should have stayed!”
After the custody reversal we were only allowed very limited supervised visitation with our mother so that she would not interfere in “restoring” our relationship with our father. During visitation I showed my mother (and the court supervisors) fresh welts and bruises on my back and bottom and clearly stated to them “He’s still hurting us.” The supervisor gasped with shock. Then she scolded me saying “you know you are not allowed to talk about those kinds of things anymore.” During another visit when we told our mother and the supervisors of even more abuse from our father, they told us that if we ever say that our father hurts us again will we not be able to see our mother anymore. They tried to silence us, but we believed that if our mother knew what our father was doing to us, she would help us. My brother was 11 and I was 9. We started writing notes at our father’s house and we would sneak them into our mother’s pockets during visitation begging her to come save us.
On June 30 1994, we ran away from our father’s house. We ran to our mother. For several months we traveled the United States, Canada and Mexico trying to find protection. My mother heard that another mother, Elizabeth Morgan fled to New Zealand to protect her daughter and was granted sanctuary. We fled the United States and were apprehended in the Netherlands for inadequate travel documentation. We were held in refugee centers for 3 long years because the Dutch Ministries did not know what to do with us. They were initially against giving an American refugee status. After intense investigations, medical examinations, full body x-rays and amnesty doctors concluding that our injuries were similar and as severe as those of survivors from the Bosnian Concentration Camps, we eventually won our case and were the first Americans to be granted actual “asylum” in the Netherlands. We lived in secrecy for 12 years until we were recently found by the American authorities. They tried to have my mother extradited back to the United States. The Dutch Ministries first asked for the American federal authorities to investigate whether or not we were abused in the United States. The FBI concluded that we were abused by our father and that our mother had reasonable belief that her actions were necessary to protect us. The Dutch Ministries refused to extradite us and extended our asylum to “indefinite status.”
I am determined to try to find a way to hold the court officials accountable for the ‘court appointed’ child abuse we suffered after they were made aware of our father’s violence. I also wanted justice for my mother. She didn’t deserve to be prosecuted for protecting us from abuse. I started a letter writing campaign. I sent out over 1000 emails to every Minnesota state representative, every US Senator, all federal commissions I could think of and every domestic violence organization I could find. I was contacted by the Helsinki Commission/Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The General Counsel, Marlene Kaufmann and Congressman Steny Hoyer, the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives have been a pivotal part in helping me find justice. I found an amazing attorney, Alan Rosenfeld who remarkably had all federal kidnapping charges against my mother dismissed immediately. All state parental abduction charges were also dismissed. My mother ended up pleading guilty to one count of contempt of court, because she refused to write a letter of apology to the local judge. In court she bravely stated “I admit to having contempt for the court which failed to protect my children.” She served 40 hours of community service working for a domestic violence agency and is now a free woman! She returned to Holland and her private life of being a mother to 10 children.
Life goes on and I am continuing my studies in psychology. I have started my career as a domestic violence advocate. I want to help prevent this travesty of justice from happening to other children. I have been invited to be a key speaker at numerous conferences around the United States. I have met with several congressmen at the United States Capitol in attempts to enforce child protection laws. I was on a live talk show program, Mike and Julia with Geraldo Rivera and Dr. Joy Silberg speaking out against Parental Alienation Syndrome. Glenn Sacks, a very public father’s rights columnist was advocating for PAS. Mr. Sacks was quite offended by my appearance. Someone from his site said that I was a paid actress as part of some conspiracy against the father’s rights movement. I want to make it clear that I am not against fathers. I have a great step-father and I think that most dads are good guys. I just don’t approve of men who beat their wives and kids!
I was shocked beyond belief when Glenn Sacks suddenly launched a vicious smear campaign against me and my mother. He has posted slanderous articles on several different news sites. He has sent his 50,000 followers on a witch hunt requesting them to investigate the lives of my mother (a battered woman) and her abused children (me and my brothers.) We were terrified by threatening mails and public posting of horrible insults, libelous accusations, intimidating threats and the open discussion of the most private invasion into our personal lives on numerous web sites. Several of his followers are currently conspiring to injure the reputation of me and my mother. They are publishing false information and they also should be held accountable. It is unbelievable that Glenn Sacks wants people to believe that he knows better than the American and the Dutch government. Glenn Sacks even claims to know more about what happened in our house than me and my brother.
I have been told by one of these men’s sites that I brought this negative publicity on myself by going public with my story, but it doesn’t justify the outright lies that are being told about me, my brothers and my mother. My mother is a shy, private person. I can’t believe that it is legal for Glenn Sacks or anyone else to print details of sexual abuse of a rape victim or other intimate details of our private lives.
Glenn Sacks has a reputation for viciously attacking domestic violence victims. His behavior has become more and more outrageous. We have become the latest target of Glenn Sacks and his followers. Glenn Sacks should be held accountable for his malicious intent to degrade and defame our good name with reckless disregard for the falsity of contents. Mr. Sacks should also be held responsible for his improper tactics and the harassment of private citizens that he has encouraged time and time again. I need to find an attorney to help stop these strangers; Glenn Sacks, and his followers from ruining my career and the personal lives of the members of my family.
Does anyone know a defamation attorney who will help me find justice?