Rhode Island taxpayers have contributed an enormous sum to wage a war that most of us know nothing about. The systems our state established to protect children have instead subjected many to danger and trauma that will profoundly shape the rest of their lives. Who will help to build public awareness and political consensus to protect children from those who prey on them or who profit from their abuse? How should government respond in ways that are transparent and accountable?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mami!

Today is the 54th birthday of "Molly" and "Sarah's" beloved Mami (which is pronounced the same as Mommy). Although I am not in touch with her, I hope this blog will assure their mother that we will never forget or stop writing about what this country and state did to her and her children.

Today, I want to show a page from the picture book Spontaneous! that includes an entry from Mami's journal and photos of the cakes she made to celebrate her daughters' birthdays. (You can enlarge the page by clicking once on it.)

Lise Iwon has been for many years a close friend of Lise Gescheidt, who was hired by the girls' father to be his criminal defense lawyer--if only Attorney General Patrick Lynch had been doing his job when three-year-old Molly angrily protested her father's "sausage games" in 2003.

The two lawyer friends had no qualms about Iwon serving as Guardian ad litem (GAL) on the case, gouging the boundaries of a role that is supposed to remain neutral. Iwon made direct contact with numerous clinicians and many others, including the Child Advocate. Iwon made no secret of her valued role on the father's defense "team." (Iwon is now president of the Rhode Island Bar Association, and Gescheidt chairs the Rhode Island Supreme Court's Ethics Advisory Panel.)

At one point, Iwon and other women lawyers publicly honored Judge Haiganush Bedrosian with an award as a "role model for women," knowing that she was expected to take over this case if Judge John Mutter recused. (Judge Bedrosian is now Chief Judge of Family Court.)

Iwon oversaw the girls' removal from their mother, home and schools more than five years ago. They were forced to live in foster care and a state shelter and forbidden to communicate with their mother.

I do not know where their mother is today, but I know she is profoundly bereaved. I want to honor her on her birthday by telling her daughters what she often told me before Judge Mutter imposed a gag order on her over three years ago.

She said how amazed she was to hear people complain about their children, because her children were always her greatest joy, and they never gave her any problem at all.


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About the Author & Purpose

Parenting Project is a volunteer community service provided since 1996 by Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, Providence, RI, to focus on the needs of children at risk in Family Court custody cases. The coordinator, Anne Grant, is a retired United Methodist minister and former executive director of Rhode Island's largest shelter and service agency for battered women and their children. We research and write about official actions that endanger children and the parents who are trying to protect them. Our goal is to reform this area of government and to establish an effective, transparent and accountable child protective system.

We first reported on this case at http://custodyscam.blogspot.com/

To read the blog more easily, please reduce the width of your column. Some of the pictures can be enlarged by clicking once on them.

Comments and corrections may be sent in an email with no attachments to parenting project @ verizon.net

About "Parental Alienation"

If you are not familiar with Richard Gardner's theory of "parental alienation" and how it is being used in custody courts, scroll down to the earliest posting, "Junk Science in Custody Courts." For more scholarly research, visit  http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/1.html

For more on the scandal in custody courts, see: