dara examiner haircutsBelieve it or not, there actually were some brief moments of comic relief throughout this odyssey - starting when we got to Japan. Although I'm 1/2 Japanese, I can't speak any and after asking a few Narita airport employees for information, mom made the observation that the Japanese were looking at me strangely when I'd speak to them in English. We finally figured out that they must not have understood why someone who looked Japanese couldn't speak Japanese.

Then there was the time when mom and I tried to scoot past a drunk wedding party reception in our hotel's ballroom floor to get to the elevator. The crowd of boisterous party goers made mom extremely anxious so she latched onto my arm as we successfully moved behind the crowd that appeared to have no interest in the elevators. Because no one was facing the elevators and mom was so anxious, I tried to lighten the mood by asking, "So - what are the chances that all of these people are going to pile into our elevator?" Mom wasn't amused.

dara examiner christineChristine: A guardian angel and one of the heros of this story. Credits: Dara CarlinEarlier in the week, I had been talking with one of the military wives who had told me that the military had no hold over wives and children because they're not the ones who are enlisted. She told me I was free to take my mom and leave the country on vacation – that it was perfectly legal and that no permission was needed from anyone.

dara examiner mahtab ironI don't think I've ever been more scared in my entire life. The attack against my survivor mom that evening would be the first of four similar incidents where I would be apart from mom for a time frame of 2 – 5 minutes tops. Each time, mom was hit on the back of the head and bound in some way by her hands, feet or both and in one instance when I found her, she had been gagged so tightly that I couldn't undo the knots that tied the material around her mouth so I had to use a box cutter to cut the gag off of her.

I'm actually caught between two incidents in terms of which was the scariest:

View slideshow: Seeing is believing


Examiner-logoIt was actually supposed to be quite simple: one of my domestic violence survivor moms whose been happily remarried for the past 6 years after "successfully escaping" her abuser was experiencing some "operating difficulties" in Germany (where her current husband is stationed although his unit was deployed to Afghanistan last fall) so I figured I'd hop on over there, calm the crisis and in worst case scenario, have her and the kids come back with me to Hawaii (where she's originally from) so all would be stable until her husband returned from deployment in June/July. (I should know better by now that NOTHING is simple where DV is concerned...)

I arrived in Munich on January 25th after traveling 23 hours and was picked up by my survivor mom and her three children, where we subsequently got on the Autobahn and drove past beautiful, majestic, snow-covered country-side and forests of evergreen trees to their home in Eschenbach, Bavaria. That peaceful, scenic drive to Bavaria would stand in stark contrast to the events that followed in the following weeks.

examiner-logoOne of the more positive aspects of the internet is its ability to connect people and today I'd like to introduce you all to someone I've known for years but have never met before: Robin from AngelGroup. I interviewed Robin for this article so she can tell you in her own words what she and AngelGroup are all about. So first question:

What's AngelGroup all about?

AngelGroup is a resource for court clients; mostly in Hawaii but its message is universal. People entering the courts have rights and they are to be treated in a very specific way, as is their case. Most people are unaware of what's supposed to happen and when things go sideways they're left wondering why.

rally maui 2When one goes to court, there is the presumption that 'justice will be done'. One assumes that the judge will listen to both sides, look objectively at the evidence, and that the outcome will be fair. Sure there are compromised, corrupt or cynical individuals everywhere but one expects the highest standards from the courts. Beyond expectation, in divorce and custody cases, one prays for highest standards.

Since 2007, disturbing rulings have appeared in Family Court under Judge Keith E. Tanaka. Custody of children has been given to abusive parents; Family Court Rules have been bent beyond recognition; Court clients have been disallowed documents to defend themselves; Vexatious Litigant orders are issued against pro se litigants (court client is not allowed to file a document unless approved by the judge) – and extended to include all judisdictions (all other courts); Emergency orders are issued without allowing hearing on the matter and without any evidence to support the allegation; Evidence has been ignored to favor of one side; Real property is given to one side but the other side is forced to keep the debt (like the mortgage); and Court officers and witnesses who've been caught lying are not held accountable. Attorneys have left Tanaka's courtroom muttering, "that's illegal" under their breath.

bad family court judge - fox newsLast week Fox News' Gina Silva ran a story on Family Court corruption and the illegal snatching of children by judges who do not follow the law.  Very brave to touch a story that most in the main stream media (and 'independent" news) will not touch with a 20 foot pole.  The story was called "Bad Behavior Behind The Bench" and it contained video footage proof of a judge breaking the law.

Surprise Surprise...the video is now UNavailable.  If the main stream media and the news "professionals" can't gather enough courage to tell the truth, who is going to stand up for these children and victimized court clients.

CPS Survey

If you or someone you know has been involved with Hawaii's Department of Child Welfare Services (regardless of what island you're on), please take a survey HERE.

If you are not in Hawaii but would like to participate, take the survey here.

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