Many years ago when I was a young and eager graduate student at Harvard School of Education, I was blessed to work as an intern for an incredible producer, Garland Waller. Garland became not only one of my most treasured friends, but an ongoing inspiration as a woman who steadfastly works to bring truth to power. She has been an advocate for children since we met back in 1984 and worked together on a television project for children called THIS SECRET SHOULD BE TOLD. This was one of the first programs for children about sexual abuse. Garland led the charge.
Garland has been working on another film project I wanted to share with you as she is again exposing an ugly secret about how children are not protected.
Q: Garland, why did you create Small Justice and No Way Out But One?
A: In 2001, I completed the independent documentary Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Family Courts when one of my childhood friends, a paralegal, told me about many of her cases where men who beat their wives and sexually abused their children were getting custody. I couldn’t bear not to do anything. Sadly, not much has changed in the family court system. That is why I am producing a new documentary, No Way Out But One on the first woman to be granted asylum on grounds of domestic violence. The Netherlands gave Holly Collins and her children protection when the US family courts would not.
Q: How many women and children are in a situation similar to this?
A: The Leadership Council, a very respect research organization, estimates that “58,000 children a year are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the United States. This is over twice the yearly rate of new cases of childhood cancer.”
Q: This is simply unbelievable! What can we do? How can we protect children?
A: Well, one thing is to make sure the parents who love them understand what can happen in family court. People operate with the idea that family courts are family friendly – and they are not. So if you are in a situation where you are either thinking about divorce or getting one, make sure to pick an attorney who understands how loving mothers can lose custody of their kids. It happens every day and because the mainstream media hasn’t covered the issue, most people don’t know about it. So knowledge is power. And that is why we have a page on the No Way Out But One web site that gives people fast, immediate information and helpful research.
Q: This sounds so sad. Is there any hope?
A: I am actually more hopeful than I have been for a long time. Word is getting out. Men and women are organizing to protect children. No Way Out But One is getting support from around the world on Kickstarter so that we can complete the project. I really believe we will get what we need to make this project that can help so many women and their children.
Thank you Garland for sharing your light with the world. Thank you for empowering women and children! You are my hero!!