Showing posts with label Holly Collins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holly Collins. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nearly 50 unidentified kids buried in reform school’s cemetery, No Way Out

Nearly 50 unidentified kids buried in Florida reform school’s century-old secret graveyard

Reform school cemetery that dates back to 1900s may hold unnamed victims of abusive school administrators, say family members.
By Anthony Bartkewicz / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS   Sunday, October 14, 2012

A secret graveyard tucked behind a Florida reform school is home to 31 cross-shaped grave markers, but nearly 50 unidentified bodies.

The small cemetery dates back to the early 1900s. Some former students at the Florida Industrial School for Boys in Marianna now say victims of abusive school administrators are buried there, CNN reported.

When the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated in 2009, it found that 31 boys buried in the woods behind the school died either from the flu or in a fire.

But University of South Florida anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle found 18 more bodies buried without markers.

"We found burials within the current marked cemetery, and then we found burials that extend beyond that,” she said. “These are children who came here and died, for one reason or another, and have just been lost in the woods.”....

A group of men came forward in 2008 and said the “White House” — a small concrete building on school grounds — was the site of brutal beatings and whippings in the 1960s.

Former administrator Troy Tidwell downplayed their claims, saying only that “spankings” took place.

Another former student said a boy named Owen Smith was killed by rifle fire as they tried to run away from the school.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/50-unidentified-kids-buried-florida-reform-school-secret-graveyard-article-1.1183090


‘No Way Out’ October 15, 2012
By Cara Tabachnick

In 1996, Holly Collins and her children became the first Americans to be granted asylum by the government of the Netherlands due to domestic violence. She fled the United States after losing custody of her children in Family Court to her ex-husband, who abused Holly and their two young children. Her remarkable story was featured in the 87- minute documentary “No Way Out But One,” by the Boston- based journalist/filmmaking team of Garland Waller and Barry Nolan. The film will be shown on the Documentary Channel at the end of October, which is national Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Filmmaker Garland Waller spoke with The Crime Report’s Managing Editor Cara Tabachnick about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), bringing attention to abuse in contested custody cases, and the “Alice in Wonderland” state of the U.S. Family Court System.

The Crime Report: Why did you decide to make this film?

Garland Waller: There is little justice in American family court. The issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse that take place inside the courtroom get little to no recognition. It is hard to get enough traction with these issues. (We hoped) to get some acknowledgement or recognition in a bigger way.

Holly Collins had tons of creditable medical evidence and legal documents to support what she said. And her children were old enough, and had faith enough, to testify or to speak to us on camera about their experience. This took it out of the space of ‘he said, she said’ that normally happens when people think of a custody or divorce case....

TCR: Explain the issues facing abused women and children in family court.

GW: We know from research and statistics that a batterer is more likely than a non- batterer to get custody in family court today. That should be most shocking to people. What most people don’t understand is that most divorces and custody cases never end up in a family court. Even if the couple hates each other, they figure out what to for the (kids’ best interests).  (But) when domestic violence is involved, everything changes. It’s Alice in Wonderland. Family courts are kingdoms; they are not like civil courts or criminal courts, and t judges could do anything they want.

When a battered person goes to court, usually she doesn’t look good. She’s nervous, she’s shaky, she’s scared, and maybe she’s been living in a shelter. She is certainly stressed when she goes to court and says ‘my husband beat me, my husband beats the children’ or ‘my husband is sexually abusing the children.’ One would think the court would help. But what usually happens is the woman is either not believed, or the court believes she is exaggerating.

The batterers are usually more charming. The whole family court system is really set up to challenge people who bring up sexual abuse and physical abuse of children. It is not a place where protected parents can go to court and expect support....

The film is going to be shown on the Documentary Channel October 29 at 8:00pm-11:00pm ET.
http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/inside-criminal-justice/2012-10-no-way-out

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Prep-School Predators - The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse Allegations, ‘No Way Out But One’ Domestic Violence

Prep-School Predators - The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse
By AMOS KAMIL June 6, 2012 

....When the Penn State scandal came out last year, I kept getting tangled in the questions everyone else was getting tangled in: How does an institutional culture arise to condone, or at least ignore, something that, individually, every member knows is wrong? Andrew’s story came back to me in a rush. The questions of Penn State, I realized, are the questions of Horace Mann and perhaps every place that has been haunted by a similar history.

....I spoke with nearly 100 people for this article, including 60 former students and 15 former or current faculty members. Some of them implored me not to pursue the subject, insisting that no good could come of opening old wounds. Others said that Horace Mann today is a very different place than it was back then — eagerly responsive to the concerns of students and parents. Some said they were unaware of these rumors. Some said nothing had happened to them but that they had heard similar stories from classmates. Many said they were surprised it took this long for these stories to come out.

The former students who chose to share their stories with me are all men, but if their classmates are to be believed, the situation was far more complex. People who haven’t set foot in the school in 30 years still rattle off the names of male teachers who were said to be sleeping with their female students. A couple of female faculty members were said to be sleeping with male students. Once I started asking around, these stories continued to bubble up — from friends I thought I knew well and from other schools, public and private, each with their own elaborate histories of which teachers you ought to steer clear of, which students seemed too old for their years. In just the past couple of years, among just the tiny fraternity of elite New York City private schools, two allegations made the news. A male math teacher at Riverdale Country School pleaded not guilty to charges that he had oral sex with a 16-year-old female student. And Poly Prep was named as a defendant in a lawsuit in which 10 former students and two day-campers say the school covered up for a football coach who was molesting boys. In New York City public schools, during the first three months of 2012, reports of sexual misconduct involving school employees were up 35 percent compared with the same period last year.

I have several friends who confided in me, back in high school, about their own sexual encounters with teachers, but who are now unwilling to talk about it. I can’t say I blame them. Victims rarely speak out, said Paul Mones, a lawyer who represents people who have been sexually abused by authority figures. “The whole goal of the grooming process is to wrap the child close,” he told me. “The affection and trust is to make the kid complicit in the act. Make them feel like it was their fault, so it won’t even occur to them to talk.” Even if they do, New York State’s statute of limitations, which says people who were victimized as minors cannot take civil action against an abuser after they turn 23, makes it unlikely that they would find justice. 

....Stories like theirs point to why sexual abuse by teachers — or religious leaders or relatives, for that matter — is so especially damaging. As Mones said: “It’s counterintuitive, but sexual abuse emotionally binds the child closer to the person who has harmed him, setting him up for a life plagued by suspicion and confusion, because he will never be sure who he can really trust. And in my experience, this is by far the worst consequence of sexual abuse.” That’s one reason, he said, why those few victims who ever speak out at all tend to do so only after the abuser is dead or dying: telling the truth while the other person is still strong enough to deny it, or to blame the accuser, is just too terrifying.

....I have similarly conflicted feelings about Horace Mann. It was in many ways an amazing place filled with inspiring teachers and smart, funny students, with a sense of enthusiasm and possibility. Despite all I’ve since learned about it, I still look back on my years there with affection and gratitude, as do so many former students, even some who shared their harrowing stories with me. But that gratitude is part of what makes these stories so painful. We were at such a vulnerable moment in our lives — just beginning to make the transition from childhood into early adulthood, struggling to come to terms with the responsibilities of sexuality and trying to decide what we were willing to stand up for. We needed strong and consistent role models. In many cases we got them. But in too many other cases, we got models of how to abuse authority, how to manipulate trust, how to keep silent, how to fix your eyes forward.

Amos Kamil is a screenwriter, playwright and brand strategist. He graduated from Horace Mann in 1982. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/the-horace-mann-schools-secret-history-of-sexual-abuse.html


Prep-School Predators: Report Alleges Sex Abuse at Elite New York City School
A scathing exposé alleges that decades of sexual abuse by teachers at the elite Horace Mann school went unreported and unpunished.
By Catherine Traywick June 9, 2012

The world of elite New York City private schools was rocked this week by allegations in a special New York Times Magazine report alleging decades of sexual abuse at one of the most well-respected institutions in the country.

For decades, a handful of teachers at the Horace Mann school, an elite prep school in the Bronx, sexually abused both their male and female students with various levels of impunity, according to the exposé by screenwriter Amos Kamil. In the article, Kamil, a Horace Mann alumnus, recalls his friends and classmates privately confiding in him the abuse that they endured at the hands of their teachers.... http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/09/prep-school-predators-report-alleges-sex-abuse-at-elite-new-york-city-school



‘No Way Out But One’ Wednesday, June 6, 2012

California Judge Michael Nash this year ruled to open child welfare hearings in Los Angeles County unless there’s proof that doing so will harm the child.

Advocates in favor of more transparency in family courts applauded the decision, because they believe the secrecy can lead to decisions that hurt children.

Gail Helms was behind the push for more transparency in California. In 1995, her 2-year-old grandson was beaten to death by his father, who had been awarded custody despite a history of drug abuse.

Around that same time, Holly Collins of Minnesota was on her way to the Netherlands with her children, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Jennifer. They had been placed in their father’s custody, and she says she fled to protect them from abuse and a court system that ignored her pleas for help. http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/06/06/domestic-violence-out

Sunday, May 29, 2011

NO WAY OUT BUT ONE: a story of love and justice

NO WAY OUT BUT ONE: a story of love and justice

Project by Garland Waller and Barry Nolan

A TRUE STORY OF FIERCE LOVE AND BLIND JUSTICE

No Way Out But One is a documentary that tells the story of Holly Collins, an American woman who was driven by fear, love and desperation to kidnap her own children and go on the run in order to protect them from a life of abuse. Wanted by the FBI, Holly left behind everything she owned and everyone she knew in an effort to keep her children safe. She became an international fugitive, eventually making it to Amsterdam. After spending 2 years in a refugee camp out in the middle of nowhere, living shoulder to shoulder with other desperate souls fleeing violence torn hell holes around the world,

Holly became the first American woman to ever be granted asylum by the Government of the Netherlands, due to domestic violence. Though it focuses on the desperate measures that one woman felt she had to take to protect her children, it also exposes the problems that protective parents and vulnerable children are facing nearly every day in courtrooms across the country....

No Way Out But One is based on extensive interviews with Holly and her family, medical professionals, lawyers, and child advocates. Filming has been completed in The Netherlands, Boston, Washington DC, and New York. The producers have culled through thousands of pages of court and medical records, unpublished journals, news reports, family photos and videos. Our Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI for Holly’s files, resulted in the identification of nearly 1,000 pages of never before seen material.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2038674816/no-way-out-but-one-a-story-of-love-and-justice

Friday, April 15, 2011

No Way Out But One documentary - woman accused of kidnapping her own children

No Way Out But One is a feature length documentary currently in post-production. It tells the story of an American woman accused of kidnapping her own children, a woman who fled the country and became the first American to be granted asylum by the government of the Netherlands on grounds of domestic violence. The 13-minute version presented here serves as a trailer for the feature and a documentary short.

In 1994 Holly Collins became an international fugitive when she took her three children and fled the United States to protect them from abuse. The family courts had ignored medical evidence of domestic violence and gave full custody of Holly's children to the man they named as their abuser – her ex-husband and the children's father. Wanted by the FBI, Holly became the first U.S. Citizen to receive asylum from the Netherlands.

In No Way Out But One, Holly Collins shares a story that in many respects is like thousands of others. It is estimated that 58,000 children a year are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the United States.

Unlike so many of the other tragic stories happening around the country, Holly was able to protect her children and keep them safe. Despite all the harrowing trials, her story ultimately has a happy ending. Even though she and the kids had No Way Out But One.
http://nowayoutbutone.com/