by Dara Carlin, M.A
Honolulu Domestic Violence & Abuse Examiner
April 13th, 2011 3:03 pm HADT
The email began with "My mother is a former battered woman who is the first American to receive asylum in Europe. My brother and I were abused children who were failed by the American Justice System, but fortunately we also received asylum in the Netherlands."
This introduction was asking A LOT of the reader to believe; "the first American to receive asylum in Europe"? Wasn't asylum something that people FROM foreign countries fled TO America FOR?
Then "abused children who were failed by the American Justice System"? Isn't the American Justice System for criminals? What were abused children doing in the system to begin with? And FAILED by it?
Followed by "but fortunately we also received asylum in the Netherlands".
The rest of the email - a cry for help from the now-adult daughter, Jennifer - talked about custody being given to their abusive father, "kidnapping" and going "underground", refugee camps, being discovered by the FBI, the Dutch government thwarting the United States extradition and remaining charges in a Minnesota family court.
According to Jennifer's email this all began in the year 1992 and now in the year 2008, she was asking for someones - anyones - assistance in helping her mom, Holly, answer to local and federal charges being pursued not by the FBI but by Minnesota's Hennepin County Attorney & the Hennepin County Family Court.
On September 21, 2008 Holly returned back to the United States to answer the charges that remained against her. http://www.citypages.com/2008-09-24/news/holly-collins-returns-after-14-years-in-hiding
Today - April 13, 2011 - Holly's story came to life in the 13 minute version of the full-length documentary NO WAY OUT BUT ONE now in post-production through Garland Waller Productions. http://www.nowayoutbutone.com/
Incredibly, the controversy over Holly's actions back in 1992 is nothing compared to the firestorm her case has ignited since she and her children were outted in 2007 by a neighbor in Holland. One of the key issues of the debate is this:
Did Holly Collins KIDNAP her children or RESCUE them?
According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary at www.merriam-webster.com, the definition of KIDNAP is "to seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom" while the definition of RESCUE is "to free from confinement, danger or evil: save, deliver".
The facts of the case (that include excerpts from court transcripts, court reports, etc.) have been posted by Jennifer on her website http://ca3cacaca.blogspot.com/ and clearly show that Holly Collins did not kidnap her children but rescued them.
Jennifer closed her first email describing her mom, Holly, as shy and insecure. In a subsequent email, she referred to her mom as her "kind, soft, sweet and gentle mommy" and I recall that description because Jennifer was talking about how nice it felt to be in her mother's arms.
This past January I had the pleasure of meeting Holly for the first time at The Battered Mothers Custody Conference held annually in Albany, New York http://batteredmotherscustodyconference.org/ and you know what? Jennifer's description of her mom was right on. :)
It's a real testament to Holly's character and spirit that after all the years of extreme brutality she endured, she could emerge as amazing as she is. Please check out the documentary NO WAY OUT BUT ONE to see what I mean for yourself at the You Tube link provided above.