Discover more from Women's Coalition News & Views
Mom Dies Trying to Keep & Protect Her Babies
Some meaningful stories posted on the Coalition blog before Women’s Coalition News & Views launched will be re-published here occasionally. Nashwa’s is one. She was a well-loved and respected physician.
Nashwa was a Coalition follower and we began covering her story in 2018. She died in 2019, the day after Mothers Day. Nashwa was one of our most beloved mothers and is missed greatly. She should not be forgotten.
What was done to Nashwa was horrendous…and it is still being done to women (and children) every day in family courts around the world. Women must unite and demand a new system.
What? We have to go live with our father? We can’t do that! Mama, we’re freaking out. Can’t you fight for us?
Tomorrow morning, two six-year old brothers will leave the sole custody of the mother they have lived with for the past five years to live in the sole custody of their father, an Air Force colonel alleged to have physically and sexually abused the boys for years.
The Air Force had deemed the abuse allegations against [the father] as lacking evidence, but as this reporter previously covered an extraordinary amount of evidence from photographs, video, medical records and witnesses supports the allegations. This evidence includes five disclosures by the boys themselves to non-parental caregivers, medical authorities and child welfare authorities.
[A]n extraordinary amount of evidence from photographs, video, medical records and witnesses supports the allegations [of abuse]…From ages 3-5…the boys came home from visits with their father with a long list of suspicious injuries…[One son] also had a bruised genital and described digital and penile penetration of his anus to several individuals, including investigators.
Yet in an August 15 Maryland Montgomery County family court decision, Judge Joan Ryon awarded sole custody of the boys to [the father] and ordered the boys’ mother, a Harvard-trained anesthesiologist, only to supervised visitation once every two weeks. Ryon did not require [the father] to pay any of the more than $100,000 he owed in back child support—despite a previous court order that he do so—but she ordered the boys’ mother [Nashwa] to pay $5700 a month in child support to their father going forward.
Now, the mother, the boys’ babysitters, and multiple family friends worry for the boys’ safety.
“We are shocked. At worst, we thought [the father] would get supervised visitation,” said retired Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Arrant, a member of [the father’s] team during a tour in Afghanistan. Arrant was among the first on the scene when Col. Holt and others were blown up by an IED in their Humvee. Arrant has also described the impulse control and violent behavior he observed in [the father] after the colonel’s traumatic brain injury from the explosion.
... “[The father] has admitted he cannot control his anger and sexual impulses. It’s sad he is like this because of the IED explosion, but that won't help the boys if he physically or sexually abuses them.”
… Montgomery County is the same court system that gave unsupervised visitation to the father of Prince, whose father killed him on the fourth unsupervised visit the boy’s mother had fought to prevent. It was also in Montgomery County that Anthony, Austin and Athena Castillo (ages 6, 4 and 2) were drowned by their father after he was awarded unsupervised visitation despite multiple warnings from their mother, a pediatrician, that he would kill them.
In announcing her decision, Judge Ryon said she believed the boys’ mother had manipulated the boys into making the abuse allegations, but it’s very rare for that to happen, according to child abuse experts and research.
How does a family court judge make a decision like this? Pulling the boys away from their mother and giving them to a man with a hair trigger temper who wouldn't even pay child support.
… When the mother’s counsel attempted to introduce photographic evidence of one of the boy’s injuries, the judge appeared unwilling to consider evidence relating to abuse, according to sources present at the decision hearing.
… “Once again we have found that child sexual abuse allegations brought by mothers and children against fathers are almost never credited,” Meier said. “In addition, the data confirms what we have seen in the courts — that rates of mothers losing custody to alleged abusers are at their highest when the mothers allege child sexual abuse.”
Her research, which also focuses on the use of alienation arguments, has found that courts only believe a mother’s claim of a child’s sexual abuse 1 out of 51 times (approximately 2%) when the accused father alleges alienation. Even when alienation is not brought up, courts only believe mothers’ claims about child sexual abuse 15% of the time, Meier found.
… One of the biggest problems [with parental alienation] is that “as a rule, this is classed as a women's sickness alleged by men…No hypothesis so rooted in gender bias should be credited by medical science,” she writes, adding that it is very frequently used to “counter maternal allegations of abuse” and that experts testifying about it “can be aiding and abetting a system that takes children from abused mothers and hands them right back to abusive fathers.”
“To take these kids from their primary caregiver, which is itself traumatic, and then order her to supervised visitation based on junk science is a tragedy,” Griffin said.
… “The legal system has just completely failed these boys,” Slavoff said. It's hard to know what will happen next. "Their mother just is trying to protect these kids, which is what a devoted, loving mother does for the children she adores.”
NOTE: Some professionals interviewed in this article said the problem was the judge was not properly trained, but the fact that Judge Ryon deliberately disregarded and concealed evidence of abuse by the father shows that was not the problem. Ryon’s findings that Nashwa is a manipulator and alienator are lies, pure and simple, told in her effort to maintain paternal entitlement.
Judge Ryon is obviously “going along to get along” with the Old Boys by taking these children away from a loving, primary nurturing mother and forcing them to live with their named abuser so she can maintain, and perhaps even increase, her own power. In other words, Ryon has made the ultimate Faustian bargain: hurting kids for power.
Nashwa shared the Coalition’s blog post about her case on January 22, 2019.
SON’S CRY FOR HELP
On January 31st, Nashwa posted this video of her son crying and talking about the abuse, begging for help to stop it. She captioned it: “Indefensible.” Which it is. He should never have been made to visit his father ever again.
[Warning: disturbing; may be triggering]
Her son is crying hard, saying his father put his finger in his butt and “it hurts a lot”. He also confirms his father puts his pee pee in his butt.
My butt is so sore! I want somebody to help me.
The boys would cry whenever they had to leave Nashwa to go back to their father, who had been given sole custody. They could not understanding why they couldn’t live with her where they wanted so badly to be.
It was shortly after this that Nashwa was unable to see her boys at all. A few months later she was dead.
Nashwa’s last post on Mothers Day hours before she died:
Nashwa was found dead in her home the day after Mother’s Day. It is unclear whether she took her own life. She had told a friend that she could not live in a world where she could not protect her boys.
But other friends say she was not suicidal and would never have left her boys alone with their father. One said, “Nash told me that if anything happened to her and it looked like it was suicide that it wasn't. She said it's [the father] and that he either did it or had someone do it. She told me to tell people that.”
Nashwa’s story fits the pattern of thousands, perhaps millions around the world, where Family Court judges disregard evidence of abuse by fathers and falsely accuse mothers of lying, alienating or being mentally ill. Women suffer immensely as a result of this institutionalized entitling of men and oppression of women.
Nashwa’s case makes it crystal clear that the solution is not training judges. They know exactly what they are doing. And new laws protecting children won’t help either, as judges can protect children if they want according to existing laws.
The problem is protecting children is not their mission. Their aim is to appease the Old Boy Network, from which they gain status and power. And they will sacrifice mothers and children in service of their goal, even women judges (especially women judges!) like Nashwa’s.
Women must unite as a class so we have the power to demand a new system. Join The Women’s Coalition.
SEXUAL ABUSE SURVEY
The Women’s Coalition is documenting custody cases that involve sexual abuse to support our contention that judges are deliberately disregarding evidence of abuse by fathers.
If you reported sexual abuse of your child in Family Court, please take a minute to fill out this form. You may do this anonymously.
Women's Coalition News & Views is a reader-supported publication. Please consider a paid subscription of just $5/mo, $50/yr or $200 founding member to support our important work of exposing and ending the Post-Separation Crisis! [Check alternate inboxes.]
You may also support the Coalition’s work through a one-time or recurring contribution at paypal.me/TheWomensCoalition