Posts in "Legal Advocacy" category
That’s what we all want as parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches for our kids.
To ask for help early on to troubleshoot any challenges, including emotional burdens.
To use better judgment when choosing which company you keep, where you spend free time and how you treat your family, as a few examples. Each act of wisdom and each show of empathy and kindness may help prevent breakdowns and crimes as revealed in the news story below about a man who could not cope with the consequences of his addiction — set in East Cobb County, Marietta, Georgia.
After studying parent/child relationships for decades, analyzing hundreds of cases involving family conflict, I can say for certain that a parent’s judgment in how he or she guides children to treat other family members has a lot to do with preventing ongoing dysfunction, including addiction, family violence, abuse in relationships, etc.
Several cases in Georgia involve someone taking a life, their own or a family member’s life, committing arson and other crimes, because that person doesn’t have the coping mechanisms needed in relationships and in deciding how to handle uncertainty and disappointment.
A Marietta, Georgia, man turned suicidal, burned down his family home, ran from police and put many other lives at risk.
This story could have turned into a much greater tragedy, but fortunately no lives were lost and the perpetrator of arson and drug use is behind bars.
Below: traumatized father and neighbor talks about the scene. Other neighbors led from smoke-filled, burning homes adjacent to Matt Olson’s unit. We do not yet know the total damages caused by his addiction, suicidal behavior, arson and the police chase.
Photography and video credit: Fox 5 News, Atlanta, Georgia
Be original and unique, the little voice said.
A bigger voice said, “I wrote this here for you to follow.”
“Will you answer My call?”
There is no greater calling for me than advocating for others and for my children. Sometimes it comes with an uncomfortable price tag and maybe at the expense of some relationships, but it’s a duty that can’t be denied. Not everyone wants this kind of challenge, and that’s ok; God calls us all to serve in different ways.
When I’m asked, which is at least once per week, why I work as much as I do and why I won’t stand down in reporting on critical issues like I did on case involving a hedge fund using kids from Newnan, and on cases in Fulton County involving exploitation and child trafficking, I often reply with one of two answers.
Someone has to. And, I don’t see why I should not…or why I shouldn’t ask you to engage as well. We’re in excellent company on this issue of protecting others, especially our youth and anyone who is vulnerable to exploitation.
Last year we passed the Safe Harbor Bill in Georgia – and this is just the beginning – not a final achievement.
And God did more than just hint at what we’re supposed to do with our time and gifts.
Psalm 82:3-4 “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Romans 13:4 “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”
Do you know this one?
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Yes, this was the founding principle for investing everything to broadcast Pro Advocate Radio beginning in January of 2015, the hashtag we launched #UseYourVoice, and why we are gearing up for another important series after the election! This is when our hardest work begins…after the sensational, divisive news reports and debates die down, when the majority want to detox from discussing “issues” and move on…
When you’re ready, please help me keep the conversation going?
“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Bring it…we have the data and the tools needed to make this possible.
Where in Ephesians is this verse found? “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
I haven’t quite figured this one out: “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” Proverbs 25:26 …I’d appreciate hearing your interpretation or what this means to you.
Do you have a favorite? Send it to me by private message or email, please!
We have a lot more work to do, and I promise you it will be rewarding if you decide to lend a hand or devote some time.
Please watch and share to keep the conversation going about exploitation:
As we watch this political season it is easy to be distracted by entertaining ads, compelling videos and debates, but if you listen carefully…you will not hear what is missing. And that is the voices of families and children who are being divided and set up to fail. They are all around us but because they’ve been isolated or discredited in one manner or another, we can’t hear them.
I’m sharing these images as a reminder of a horrific past, but also as a reminder of what can happen when we are not diligent in learning what we really need to know about leaders and about people we subject ourselves to or put in a position of authority. I’m referring to those who crave the kind of power that can wipe out a population, and destroy anyone in their path.
What if people who work themselves into positions of authority do not look or sound like Hitler? What if they are isolating, exploiting and destroying their victims, but not calling for them to be literally burned and killed? Should we still be paying attention?
If you are daring enough to learn and to want to see where you can provide relief or support intervention, let me know by emailing me using the contact form on MyAdvocateCenter.com, or call if you have my number.
Yes, it’s preferable to share colorful, inspirational images and messages that do not bring up darkness, terror, evil and death. But when a young Jewish woman confirmed that what we are seeing done to tens of thousands of people reminds her of the Holocaust, I knew I had to write this out and show you, as uncomfortable as it may be.
This building, at a glance, does not say to an uninformed person, “Come inside, death is waiting for you, but first we are going to take your children and all of your belongings. Life as you know it is over. But step inside, we have you covered!”
If you are singled out because of a label that is given to you, and you are told that you have no choice but to “come this way” and “don’t worry, your children will be with you,” and “if you work as we tell you, you will be released once this is over…” you might not resist, not at first, because you do not know what is at the end of this path. There hasn’t been anyone down the road waving at you to tell you to run or stop, right?
If I had to guess, these children were told to comply “or else,” just like their parents and grandparents were told, but they believed at some point they would be freed and reunited. For sure they do not yet understand the kind of evil exploitation they were up against. They are concerned and uncertain but not yet showing the signs of trauma that we later heard about from survivors.
This image of the children behind the barbed wire reminds of too many children who have been wrongfully – and without due process – separated from healthy, loving and available parents and even isolated in “treatment centers” where they do not belong. This kind of isolation – both then and now – serves to solidify power, to profit those in control, and to beat down any resistance. In Kids for Cash and in a growing number of jurisdictions in America and elsewhere, this is exactly what is happening. It just doesn’t have a name because there is no one Hitler to give it a title that can be marketed as he so charismatically promoted to his followers.
The people who take charge of families because they are vulnerable, in need of a service that to them is mysterious and overwhelming, but who lack empathy, integrity and have an undisclosed ulterior motive? They are dividing and conquering much as Hitler’s followers did to those he deemed unworthy. Their lives, their children’s lives, their property, businesses and possessions? They were all up for grabs, and there was no one there – no one strong enough – to stop them.
I imagine you can fill in the rest of this history lesson about the Holocaust and you can hopefully appreciate why I’m interested in learning more about Churchill’s leadership and what he overcame to turn around this horrendous “trend” put in motion by Hitler. Hitler knew what he was doing when he created his messaging, when he enlisted people to follow and to duplicate his beliefs with their actions. Similarly, modern day figures are charismatic, dress sharply, hold positions in churches, appear in the media, contribute financially to others in positions of power and convince others around them that they are to be respected, and that their victims – those they isolate and steal from – are unworthy of support or protection.
But this is the message I’m asking you to see and hear today, as we are bombarded with messages enticing us to vote for our next leader:
“Work makes one free,” the sign says to those forced or fooled into entering. I know this is a leap, not easy to grasp, but the concept is much the same as what is being said to us as we are told we must enter our court system (whatever the situation is that sent you there; the cause is almost irrelevant).
The message is, “Do what we tell you to do, pay what we demand, sign what we put in front of you, go down this hallway while we send your child down a different hallway…and you will all be fine.” Like Hitler and his messengers, many in positions of power over families and children are lying.
In our current surroundings we also do not have transparency or accountability for what is being wrongfully and intentionally done to weaken, destabilize and exploit families and children. This is why I’ve used skills and resources as I have, because if I’d had this information then…I could have avoided loss and trauma. But my experience was minor compared to others; others have lost their lives after being finished off in every way.
In our society (busy, overwhelmed with work/home/kids/health/finances, entertained into a trance) we tolerate certain behaviors and do not do due diligence on people who are able to gain control over us; because we are not watchful and informed, it is easy to fall into traps we never knew existed. Unfortunately this is happening on a large enough scale that I’m willing to use these images.
So who is interested enough to learn, to engage policy leaders, the church, our business community, healthcare systems, law enforcement, schools and media? Those are the people I am seeking out, and I can say this because I’ve stood in front of a concentration camp gas chamber and have also stood in court watching certain people in authority leading people and their children to destruction. This just cannot be tolerated any longer.
“The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”
What do you think? Do you agree?
If you were able to step back in time…or are able to step in today, what would you do or say to help these people and their children?
I know it’s shocking and unpleasant to say the least! If this comparison has you completely taken aback or you are doubtful, let me know; we have the case studies and the data to back it up.
…And I do expect we’ll need a strong coalition and that this will take years to stop and even longer to recover from. But I believe that God did not intend for his people – for anyone – to live this way.
Please read God and Churchill and send me your thoughts?
There’s no question that we can do better as a community, as a state and as a nation.
The numbers are discouraging when you hear or read about children losing parents due to misguided court professionals, false claims of abuse or neglect, and about the loss of homes due to bad practices found in many court cases.
We have the ability right now – an opportunity to have a huge impact – by supporting solutions to the challenges facing parents who are fighting to support, nurture and protect their children.
Please continue reading here and on MyAdvocateCenter.com and listen to ProAdvocateRadio.com each week, or follow our podcast discussions as you have time. Please send questions or feedback through the contact form on My Advocate Center’s website.
The last few years have been like playing hide and seek in getting to know the truth about what happens to parents and children when they have to go through our court system.
Too late, many parents caught in a Family Court matter realize the truth just doesn’t matter, and by then they are turned upside down wondering what happened, and how.
WHY was my evidence not used to protect me or my kids? WHY did they tell me we would be “just fine” because the truth was on our side?
The numbers of children who are NOT fine is staggering, whether they are remaining with abusive or addicted parents, cut off from healthy parents, or if they are watching parents lose their homes because the “divorce got really ugly.” The reality of the “ugly” is that legal fees are ratcheted up so high that parents too often cannot afford to keep homes, or cannot pay for college or medical/psychological treatment.
This is what it feels like to these children and parents: it is like being on the inside of a pinball machine, but you can’t get out and you have no control over what will happen next. This breeds uncertainty and makes decision-making nearly impossible. You react…really are just knocked around, until you can’t tell which way is up…or out. To those certain professionals managing these confused parents, they are looked at as pawns, and to some it seems this is entertainment, not just a way of earning an income. When parents are treated this way – intentionally – it is certainly not advocacy.
Most people can’t relate to what this family is experiencing, and the professionals tell their clients not to talk about what is happening, and then they seal reports so that the truth never comes out.
For so many mothers and fathers, and for children who are being hurt in the process in some way or another, it boils down to the fact that our judges and custody “experts” do NOT have to consider the evidence we present to help us get through conflict safely.
It’s unfortunate but true that for certain Family Law professionals it is just too profitable for them when they keep evidence hidden — evidence that if used in Court might have otherwise put your case to rest and allowed you to get through it safely, and without losing your children and everything else you cherish.
The worst is when they cooperate – attorneys, custody experts and the judge – to suppress evidence of child abuse rather than using it to protect and uplift a child. The same thing applies when they put an innocent parent in jail, or cause them to lose their job in addition to their children and property.
In the process of suppressing evidence – to manipulate the outcomes of cases for their financial gain – they are severing relationships with nurturing parents who want to protect the child and end the fighting. The damages to children are staggering, and many of these children never recover. Parents who are blocked from caring for and protecting their own children…are also having a hard time managing and recovering. Some do not.
The opposite of what should happen – based on the available evidence – is what is occurring on far too many cases all over Georgia.
Please write your legislators and simply say that we want our Georgia statute to say that Judges and court appointed professionals “shall” consider evidence, rather than “may” consider evidence. This is just one point for reform, and it may take time but it’s important.
It is time to end this suffering and to address the cycles of abuse, addiction and dysfunction where it is possible for our Courts to use evidence to intervene properly. Where evidence and testimony are available to help put protections in place for children, and to support good parents, these should be secured on the record and used to protect.
Family Court practices that lead to ignoring evidence are worsening the situation. The professionals who work this way are worsening mental health, stability and productivity; they are increasing the cycles of abuse and addiction.
Where you are seeing certain professionals cooperate with each other to block, suppress or ignore evidence – evidence of real abuse, or evidence that would exonerate an innocent parent who is falsely accused – please visit MyAdvocateCenter.com to report this data.
This post is being updated in October of 2015 as we acknowledge Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Please see this note shared on the MAC Facebook page that was written by a former family law attorney, and also read what I shared myself directly onto the page:
In all situations where evidence is ignored and the truth does not count, this leads to more loss, stress and trauma for the children and parents involved. Please let us know how you can help address this, and how you can help involve our healthcare community so that these families can recover while we work on reforming bad practices.
If you see me around the Capitol, you know why I’m there. Get involved.
We have an urgent and growing need for intervention and greater awareness to protect children, and to restore them to loving parents and family members. This is at the core of the work I do with My Advocate Center.
If you feel blessed to be in a better position, to be thriving in your career, your home life and to feel fortunate to be able to provide for your children…or if you are just thankful to have your health, please consider doing more with what you have!
There are people, including children, who right now are in need of your support. Every amount makes a difference, and I hope you’ll read and respond to this request today.
What can you do? You can contribute here, and if you have another way to help influence more positive outcomes for families and children please let us know!
Please donate here, or contact our team at MyAdvocateCenter.com to learn about making tax-deductible donations or lending other support. My Advocate Center is not a 501(c)3 organization at this time, but is a registered Georgia Non-Profit company. Your support is greatly appreciated!
If you want to know more about me please visit my LinkedIn page, and learn why this alliance is growing quickly and why professionals and business owners are endorsing this work the way they are. Please send me a note via LinkedIn or through MyAdvocateCenter.com. There are many ways to contribute!
Thank you for being a part of something unique and helping me and this organization make a difference!
Considering messages given to us as parents, and to our kids:
Aren’t you thankful that you don’t have to be perfect?
Has anyone told you that you DO have to be perfect in order to be worthy of their support, or of being believed?
Many of us grew up understanding that if we were “worthy” or “good enough” we would get the validation, time or support that we craved. We missed out on something and became vulnerable as we went out into the world searching for what we felt we needed that was not given to us as children.
As adults many of us struggle with having love withheld – unconditional love – in marriages and relationships. We might also struggle with an employer who withholds positive feedback or makes us feel like we somehow don’t measure up. We feel the sting of missed opportunities or of a betrayal.
Being told that you don’t measure up, and therefore are not entitled to support – or that you are not worthy of being believed or even protected – is a tactic that we hopefully learn to recognize as we get older.
But this tactic only works for as long as we allow it to work.
Once we get it that we really do NOT need to be perfect, or to be exactly as someone else dictates to us, we can claim our worth. We can expect to be treated better by those around us.
This is the phase I’m in with my children; helping them see that their value is not attached to their grades or to their level of sports competition, or to which friends they have or don’t have.
This is also a common theme with so many parents who talk to me about what they are facing as they work through conflict with each other and with family court professionals.
The rest of this note is for the many parents who are expressing to me or to My Advocate Center’s team that they are being told, “You are so flawed that you can’t expect any better in this situation.” They are hearing these comments directed at them as decisions are being made about parenting time and parenting rights.
Apparently you must be “perfect” to be allowed to make decisions about the care of your child, or to be allowed to freely nurture and give to your child. Certain professionals claim authority and claim that in their perfect wisdom that they can tell you – the parent – that you do not measure up somehow, and that you must be fearful and in some cases be prepared to BUY time with your children.
Of course, no one is showing these parents what “perfect” looks like. And parents in most cases are not given the chance improve upon their alleged shortcomings before finding out they’ve lost everything. Many are not even allowed to see the results of their evaluations and tests to learn what their actual flaws and faults are…when those things are being used to take away CHILDREN.
No, it’s not right how these parents are being treated – and it’s not right what is being done to their children in the process.
There is no “win” in this for the children, only for the professionals holding these families captive and able to control time, decision-making and all of the family’s financial resources.
And just imagine how the kids feel seeing their parents under this much stress? If a parent is beaten down and made to believe they are not worthy, and have no rights and no chance, what do you think this does to a child’s peace of mind, sense of self-worth and stability?
I can confirm for you that it is just BAD all around. And completely unnecessary – – and preventable.
So let’s go back to the initial concept here: if you are worthy enough to be allowed to parent your child, then say so. Act like it. If your child is worthy of having your love, time, nurturing and financial support, then say so. Act like it.
If you are worthy of being believed and supported, say so. Then act like it. Send the right message to your kids by saying, “I am worthy of the best treatment, and therefore so are YOU.”
If the people around you – especially those who are working for YOU and who are hired to help protect your children and your rights – do not say so or if they do not act like they believe this, then why would you keep them around?
Aren’t you and your children worthy of getting what you need? Please let me know if you still need help getting to that answer by emailing me through MyAdvocateCenter.com.