A Tragic Story of Continual Violence against Women of Color: Anyisah’s Mother’s Story, Angeline

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm

New Update Video featuring Angeline’s Story, “Please Watch!!”

Here at Document the Silence, one of our goals is to break the silence surrounding violence against women of color, particularly those who are poor and working class. Moreover, we want to raise awareness about how this violence informs and intersects with various dsc_0362aspects of our culture, including the media, and the legal system. Thus, we think it’s critical to point out that the “Where’s Aniysah” campaign is not only about the failings of the family court system. But, it’s also about domestic violence and how it has shaped the legal struggles of Aniysah and her mother, Angeline. As a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of Anyisah’s father, Angeline’s story is a testament to the “intimate” connections between experiences of abuse among women of color and the mistreatment they experience in the family court system

As word continues to spread about this campaign, we’ve received two important questions about Aniysah’s story that, when considered, illuminate the ways that Anyisah’s father used the legal system to continue to terrorize and harass Angeline and Aniysah.

Many people have emailed us asking, “How did Anyisah end up in family court system?”


* Angeline separated from Aniysah’s father because he was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive. Angeline has documentation of his abuse and the court orders forcing him to take anti-battering classes. Judge Fernando Camacho issued an Order of Protection for the father to stay away from Angeline and Aniysah, May of 2005.

* Even though Angeline separated from Aniysah’s father, he continued to harass and terrorize Angeline and Aniysah by fabricating lies to Child Protective Services (CPS) and filing for full custody of Aniysah. June 2005 — October 2006 Judge Morgenstern issued several Orders of Protection for the father to stay from Angeline.

* Judge Morgenstern granted the father unsupervised visits on the weekend with Aniysah at the father’s mother’s house. However, just as the unsupervised weekend visits begin, Aniysah begins to display unusual behaviors. She told the social worker that someone named “grandpa” touched her inappropriately. Aniysah developed a rash between her legs and Angeline takes her daughter to the doctor and the doctor reports the rash to CPS as a possible issue of child abuse. At this point, the doctor at the emergency room reported on the possibility of Aniysah being abused while in her father’s care.

The second question people have asked us, “How and why was Anyisah taken from her mother, Angeline?”


* The law guardian appointed to the family’s case within the court system continued to make false accusations by suggesting that Angeline is fabricating lies about the father sexually abusing his daughter. However, Angeline has not once reported these accusations and the Child Protective Services’ reports as well as the emergency room reports show that Angeline never once accused the father. These reports were filed independently by the doctor and the social worker.

* In response to the Law Guardian’s lies, unlawful actions, and inappropriate behaviors, Angeline wrote a letter to Judge Morgenstern explaining how the Law Guardian is fabricating lies as well as not following protocol and proper procedures for reporting on Anyisah’s care when she is with her father. Judge Morgenstern disregarded Angeline’s complaints and maintained that the law guardian was following procedure.

* Without any legal recourse to protect Aniysah, and fearing for the safety of her daughter and herself, Angeline moves with Aniysah to Utah to protect Aniysah and herself. While in Utah, Angeline starts a new and renewed life for Aniysah and herself.

* While Angeline is in Utah, Judge Morgenstern summons her to court. However, she was never contacted in Utah. The papers were delivered to her old lawyer who she was no longer a client of. She documented proof that she informed the law guardian that the old lawyer no longer represented her beginning in August of 2006. Because Angeline did not show up to court, Judge Esther Morgenstern granted the father custody of Anyisah even though Judge Morgenstern knew the court file contained the returned notices showing that the mother had never been served.

* Because Angeline did not have any family in New York to provide care for Aniysah, the police officers were informed by Child Protective Services that they had to take Aniysah to the paternal grandmother’s home.

* It has been 122 days since Angeline has seen Aniysah on March 3rd, 2009. She has only seen Aniysah on two occasions each one hour visits each costing of $125.00 each visit. She has had no physical or phone contact with her daughter at all during the month of August.

Overall, Angeline’s story shows how domestic violence and being a woman of color in the family court system are “intimately” tied to the injustices women of color endure when trying to protect their children and themselves. In order to advocate for Angeline and Anyisah, we must see the complexities of her case and how Anyisah’s father could continue to harass and abuse Angeline and Anyisah through the court system. A court system that ignores black and brown women because it fundamentally sees poor and working class women of color as women who are incapable of making sound decisions about their lives and the lives of their children. This is a systemic problem.

With respect to Angeline’s case, the two judges who have chosen to ignore the facts of Angeline’s case and the law guardian who has been unethical in her testimonies are equally complicit in the abuse of Anyisah and Angeline. They, like Aniysah’s father, must be held accountable because they represent a legally sanctioned system of abuse. “Where’s Aniysah?” is a cry countless numbers of women of color cry daily when having to negotiate the terrains of domestic violence and terrains of the family court system. Where’s Aniysah . . . Where’s Aniysah . . . and how do we protect her and her mother from continual abuse.

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    • Angeline keep your head up. I know that the God we serve will make everything alright. I feel and have exprience your pain. After years of mental and one case of phyical abuse, I left my then husband and he took me through the court system to take my son away from me. And he did just that. But I didn’t give up we were back and forth to court for over a year and i got my son back. He still to this day have a way to undermine me as a woman and a mother, to make me feel that i was less than. But now that Christ is in my life I know that I’m more than and not less than because God said it. And if God said it , I believe it. Stand on the promises of Jesus. Let Jesus fix it for you for he knows just what to do whenever you pray just let him have is way, know matter what the problem is let Jesus fix it for you. Love and Suppot you Regina and George Thompson.

    • This is horrible! I hope you get your daughter back

  1. [...] you cannot make it to Angeline’s hearing on August 24, 2009, please click on this link and leave a comment of support. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)PLEASE [...]

  2. I can’t physically be at your court date on the 24th but I WILL be with you in spirit. Please know that you are not alone nor are you walking this path on your own. Stand strong in the truth, have faith, hang in there and keep on keepin’ on. Aniysah’s so lucky to have you for a mom. :) God bless ~
    With love and aloha, Dara

  3. This is happening all over to women of all colors, not just in the US, but also Canada, England, Australia and Spain. There is a war on motherhood. Women are being abused not just by their intimate partners, but also by the legal system and all those who aid and abet the abuser. This nonsense of the epidemic of false allegations has got to stop. The real rash of false accusations are occuring against women who try to get away from abusers. They are hounded, harassed and reabused, and their children are being taken from them. Mothers and children are being subjected to “Maternal Deprivation Abuse” in epidemic proportions.

  4. My prayers are with you. Fight for justice. It took me a while–too long–to get my daughter back from her abusive father. But eventually it happened.

  5. Best wishes to you and to Aniysah. I’ll add you to my blog – htp://mediamisses.wordpress.com


  7. [...] A Tragic Story of Continual Violence against Women of Color: Anyisah’s Mother’s Story, Angeline [...]

  8. Wow loved reading your post. I submitted your rss to my google reader.

  9. I know what you mean me and my mum ,were
    victums for 15 years we were abused physically and emotionally
    your not alone.
    And rember God loves you and your daughter very much.

  10. This site hasn’t been updated in some time. Will the owner please post new information or contact me. Thanks.

  11. Just read your heartbreaking story. The unfairness and lack of compassion shown by the court system is staggering. It’s not just in the USA. I’m witnessing a case unfolding here in Ireland where absolutely no regard is shown for the Mother or Child as long as the Father’s rights are catered for. Keep fighting and never give up.

  12. my dearest sister keep the faith god did not bring you this far to leave you we will keep you and your precious daughter in prayer

  13. Wow, The steps you have taken and the ordeal you have went through is a sad thing. YOU WILL GET JUSTICES FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR DAUGHTER. Everything that happens in the dark does come to light and I don’t want to be in their shoes when it does. KEEP YOUR HEAD, MY SISTA. I am praying for you and the safe returned of your precious daughter.

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