Tuesday, April 1, 2014


At first glance, many will say that I seem angry and hard to approach. I always tell them that if I carried those very same thoughts about people my whole life, I wouldn't have made the mistakes I've made that have led me to some of the most amazing people I've met in life...

I'm "Helena", mother to an amazing little girl named "Mimi." Mimi was born in the state of Florida where I met "Him." During my pregnancy I had experienced domestic violence. I stayed because I was afraid of losing my daughter. My ex had made threats on all of our lives and I didn't feel as if the police would believe me if I had made the decision to seek help should I had left him because of my staying. Once my ex was picked up on probation violation, I had left for Chicago, IL. 

Back home in Chicago, my daughter and I began to develop a relationship with our family. With the new and unexpected support from family, I began setting realistic goals and seeking resources during those times when I would need them. My ex, her father called and convinced me to come to New York State to "start over." He made promises to never abuse me again and even stated that he would seek help before we were to marry. I had no idea he had been laid off from his job or was planning to began a whole new life while I took on the role as being a new single mother. 

The last time he hit me I knew it was life or death. June 5th 2010 was the longest day ever... The blows to my temples and head were swift but hard. And that's not even the half of it. I did what any desperate woman would do and prayed to God. I told God that I didn't want a way out of the situation but a way Through the situation. I prayed for safety, for emotional stability, and for him to stay gone long enough so that when the time came, I would be able to leave without taking another beating. 

I left about three weeks later. From that point on it was shelters, court dates and trying to find some sort of income before I sought higher education. Over time it seemed as if things would be ok until He began calling and verbally abusing me over the phone. I tried to reason with him but it never worked because he wanted what he wanted. The threats came to take Mimi away but I kept pushing on. I was determined to get situated. He violated the protection order October 25th of 2011 with the help of his girlfriend. Everything that I had worked for and was working towards seemed would pushed back because I had to go into hiding, again.

Sometime in March or April of 2012 I had had enough. I was afraid of him finding us again and knew that the harassment from him would began once the visitation started. I packed up what little we had and left the state of New York and returned to Chicago, Il. Fortunately for Mimi and I, my mother and sisters and even my mothers boyfriend support us emotionally still. I found a job and Mimi had an amazing daycare that she enjoyed and that I had approved of. I would even volunteer there on my days of or before work. 

In May of 2012 I was told that I had to return to New York or lose custody to my abuser and his mother. I could stay in Chicago but my daughter that I had raised alone would be separated from me and I from her. This is what Goshen Family Court was/is willing to do based upon their "expertise" regarding situations like mine, domestic violence. I really wish they could be on this end...

Upon my return to NYS, I had found and lost jobs, had been denied childcare and housing, and entered an unexpected battle to keep my child with me all due to the poor representation from my lawyers, the unwillingness to allow me as a domestic violence victim have a voice in court, and the assumption that I was the typical single black mother who was incapable of raising her child due to "mental illness." I had a rough childhood and the CPS worker, SV twisted and falsified information to suit her unethical intentions instead of providing the help that Child Welfare/CPS/ACS claims to want to provide.

Of course there is more to each section of this piece. If you have made it this far I sincerely thank you for doing so because now I am finally going to help you to understand the point of this and what it is that I am fighting for.

For the past four years I have lived here with my daughter. I have raised her as a single mother sacrificing every single day to provide for her. My daughters father has avoided accountability due to my lack of understanding of this new situation, not knowing what I could ask for or what to fight for in court, and the courts refusal to hold him accountable as well.

My wish is to return back to Chicago,IL so that I can have the opportunity to attend Columbia College. Columbia College of Chicago has an amazing four year bachelors program in sign language. I first learned sign language in the sixth grade and absolutely loved it! I went to the Everest institute for Medical Assisting and graduated a B honor. I feel that combining my love for the field of medicine and my passion for helping others communicate through American Sign Language would not only allow me to work my dream job but to also provide an amazing life for my beautiful daughter. 

Upon returning to Chicago, IL, not only would I have the opportunity to obtain a degree that is very very rare to find in other states, but I would also be able to afford to provide for my daughter and not have to struggle as much. My family have stated several times that they would provide any support they could and would be grateful to have the time back that was stolen from them. Even though my family lives in Chicago, IL, they have Always maintained contacted with my daughter.

I want nothing more than to be able to wake up and know that I have a stable home for my daughter, a career knowing that I Worked very hard for, income determined by education and Not by welfares requirements... My daughter deserves a life that I more than know I am capable of giving her once we are allowed to return to Chicago, IL.

If if fact, I am not allowed to return to Chicago, IL, not only would Goshen Family Court be denying my daughter a quality life. But they would also be denying me, as her mother, my right as an American Citizen to seek higher education to provide a better life for my daughter, obtain a job that would provide us income that would allow us to be independent of the Welfare system,  Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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