Category Archives: Walk

California Walking the Talk

ventura_headerWhen parents gathered at the State Capitol last April to rally against parental alienation, the tipping point had finally been reached in California.

While states like Utah have legislated shared parenting, California has lagged on the issue even in the face of mounting evidence that it is better for parents and children alike.

As both parental alienation and the need to reform the family court system gather steam in the media, Californians have finally joined the fray.  So far over 100 demonstrators are expected in Sacramento on June 19th and a second group is gathering at the Chatworth courthouse.

As the second Walk for Lost Kids concludes in Los Angeles, it is clear this is not the end of the journey for California; it’s just the beginning.

On a Mission

image

The rugged California coast took a toll on my feet so I took a couple days to recoup and sift through inboxes of people urging me on: homeless, suicidal, desperate for access to their kids.

Our mission: reform the courts. Most parents pressing on in selfless observation that accomplishing that goal will likely never save their own kids. They’re already in the loss column. They are searching for ways to fix the system quite aware that their every move can be swiftly beaten against them in family court: a place where power has no limitations.

And so the cycle continues. A group of fighters banned in a David vs Goliath battle take on family courts at a grassroots level hoping to be the first generation to gain something for having the audacity to speak out. Praying they aren’t merely an ugly statistic; nameless corpses on the front line.

Together we wage the battle for kids wrongfully stripped of their parents.

Tomorrow I return to the walk; blistered but unbeaten. Something needs to change in this state. Hopefully people in the media will start recognizing the magnitude of the problem: the state is wrongly stripping parents from children.

The media has the power — and responsibility — to help us move towards change. Much more power than names chiseled into stone slabs which never quite tell the whole story: a generation willing to drive people to their graves by destroying their families because it makes someone somewhere wealthy.

Alone

IMG_2242square

The pass few days have been horribly challenging: blisters, too much sun and a day lost to filing bureaucratic family court forms to simply survive being “in the system”.

The bulk of the next two weeks will be down Route 1; miles from anyone or anything.

Parental alienation and slanted court custody scenarios are about one thing: power.  And the victims are made to believe they are powerless, worthless and alone.

Unlike many causes, simply speaking against the corruption could result is further reductions in custody, financial sanctions or the wrath of abusive exes getting their high off the system.

But here’s the thing: We aren’t alone.

We are hidden in the shadows in great numbers with a common story.  Many fearful of speaking out.  Many simply too crushed to speak on their own behalf.  And that all needs to end.

I’m headed south towards Monterey.  Today I’ll be alone again.

Except I’m not.

 

 

Day 29: Signs

vid_intro

One of the keys to the democratic process is simply having the ability to reach the masses with our cause; to dispel the myth that we’re a handful of complaining divorced people.  There’s a bigger picture – corruption on a grand scale at the expense of American families.

signs_bear

The white noise produced by our media machines wants you to believe that one black bear’s death is worthy of front page status and that the everyday practice of paying judges for child abduction is not.

Meanwhile, those that speak out against these judges are quickly silenced by a short 18 months in prison.  (Great video, Joe!)

signs_prison
Richard Fine is imprisoned for 18 months for revealing LA Court judges were taking bribes

So where are the people tasked with enforcing our laws?  They are hard at work ensuring people stay in line.  Like Debbie, driving from Colorado to Washington DC with a forty foot banner passionately ready to join the walk and rally this Friday.

Sorry Debbie.  Turns out we don’t have the proper permit to display your banner at the US Capitol.

signs_squarish

Your banner is a threat.  But bribed judges destroying families with no accountability are not.

When enough people start to question these obvious inconsistencies, reform will happen quickly.  Or maybe they’ll just continue to fight signs instead of injustice and we can all go back to reading about a dead bear.

Day 20: Endless Cycle

vid_intro

cycling_square
Bill Koellner, my most recent walk supporter, tries to gain media exposure by riding 758 miles in 2008 with Cycling 4 Children.

While we’d like to believe parental alienation and the need for court reform are fresh new issues, the scary truth is we’ve been stuck in a loop for a long time.  Go to Washington, rattle some cages, pray something changes.

Meanwhile, smart, compassionate parents are endlessly stuck in their own cycles; unable to escape family courts and punished with financial and court harassment for years on end.  Reasonable, solution-based people eventually realize their limited options at getting out of the abusive never-ending spiral:

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Walking away from their own kids (which won’t stop the court harassment)
  • Fighting in court against their will, while being financially drained with little hope since the system is slanted
  • Accepting — in most instances — at least a decade of abuse while the kids are minors with little to no understanding from their peers

This is not over-dramatization.  It is life for people who were pulled into the divorce process; many against their wills.

 

Day 17: Holiday Horrors

vid_intro

Nothing could be more tragic than losing a child to death.  Right?

Child
Dies
Child Alienated
Against Parent
Sympathy for Parent High Negligible
Support for Parent High Negligible
Abuse by Courts Never Until children leave college
Parent Attacked by Spouse No Forever
Long-Term Outcome
Childless Watching a child you love
endlessly learn to hate
you while simultaneously
self-destructing

And people wonder why people shoot themselves or go ballistic in the courtrooms.

Hell isn’t Halloween.  It’s sitting through the entire holiday season being told by an ex-spouse and dysfunctional court system that you don’t deserve your children while the world parties on like you don’t exist.

Day 14: 75,000 Lost Kids

vid_intro

The handful of devastated parents I met in Connecticut helped validate our cause.  You don’t need to go far to find someone forcible separated from their children by the courts because the practice is commonplace.

Law makers can spin their wheels for as long as they like acquiring real data.  In the meantime, everyday more kids are having their parents whisked away.

Teen pregnancy, suicides, alcoholism…just the next step in these children’s lives as they ramble through life searching for meaning.  Why did that loving parent leave me?  They didn’t.  They were stripped away.

You need to learn to walk before you can run, New York.  Leg 15A departs tomorrow at 9:30 am, 106 W 120th St.

Day 10: Walker Weekend on Tap

vid_intro

diner
A sunny day but these aren’t tans: pink neon diner lights.

Connecticut was pounding on the door of their government reps well before I crossed the border four days ago — thanks to groups like Eye on Connecticut.  So it’s no wonder we have a lot of walkers; people willing to invest a bit of time in a cause since..well..they don’t have their kids.

karen_flowers

I’m hopeful that smaller states like Connecticut can implement family court reform more quickly modeling for other states.  Lots more walkers, links and hope in general before leaving CT.  Will keep you posted between “legs”.  Never too late to join!  150 miles down.  250+ to go.  Bring it.

bridge_new_haven
Crossing bridge into New Haven. Guess I don’t smile as much after a 18 mile day :(

Day 6: Plenty of Beds

vid_intro

bed_square

I have dozens of jovial pictures of meeting new walkers and making new friends on the journey.  And for people stripped of their kids, there is always the desire to push that narrative forward.  To pretend everything is normal.

But the story of our walk is being written by people who have beds to offer; not spare rooms – kid’s room devoid of kids.  One day they are there.  The next day they are not.  Lost.

The only thing more horrible than an ex-spouse hell bent on removing you from your children’s lives, is a family law system that encourages the behavior with financial windfalls.

Everywhere along the route we gain walkers: RI, CT, NY, PA.  You know their stories.  Just take your own story and plug in new names.

nowhere
Day 5: Sarah, Sylvia and Kurt join the walk in the Middle of Nowhere..Diner

Like most days, there is much more to say than I have time to express.  Watch for photos, philosophies and updates very shortly.

Meanwhile, I’m off to…you guessed it…walk.