Excitement at my children’s visit on Tuesday was marred by the arrival of yet another dreaded court decision first thing in the morning. It’s a pretty sad indictment on the judicial process that I’d long given up hope that anything could actually be decided in my favour. All my expectations and trust placed in the establishment have been shattered to the extent that it’s become something of a sick joke to even talk about fairness or faith in the ‘justice’ system anymore.
As I wrote on the blog in February, I was ordered to pay almost 3,000 Euro in child maintenance, backdated to 1.8.2011, one week after the father was awarded custody.
My lawyer appealed on the very reasonable grounds that I wasn’t working when I lost the children. (They were only 2 years old at the time. I never placed them in child care because I wanted to enjoy every minute with them. Seeing the strong bond that unites us still, confirms that this was the best choice I could have made). I was a full time, single mum, struggling on benefits to pay the bills. Plus, the 44 Euros I have had to pay to collect my children from the visiting centre each visit since they were taken, on top of my other basic overheads, makes the exacted 220 Euros monthly maintenance payments impossible.
Yet the appeal court has dismissed all our arguments, upheld the first order and has now increased the amount to almost 4,000 Euros in back payments.
I am not disposed to anger or bitterness very often and I definitely don’t wish to rant at the very good people following this forum but I believe it would be beyond the capabilities of even the most docile, placid person on the planet not to explode in anger and indignation if they found themselves so brazenly humiliated, mistreated and abused by its host EU country under the guise of the ‘law’.
Not only have I been humiliated by the false charges and fabrications of mental illness levelled against me but was further disgraced and made to bear the gross injustice of having my beautiful healthy babies forcibly snatched from my care based on various outrageous allegations, including the dubious conclusion that they were ‘retarded’ because they couldn’t speak 200 words at 2 years old! By a psychologist who had only assessed them at 16 months!!
If that sounds like injustice, the fact I am now being forced to pay for the ‘privilege’ of two Filipinos assuming responsibility for my little boys against my will and against all the children’s interests, adds insult to injury on epic proportions.
The woman at the visiting centre expressed surprise that Benji didn’t answer her and showed no reaction when she asked him what he’d done and where he had been at the end of the visit.
‘That’s because the boys cannot speak or communicate in any way,’ I told her matter of factly. She looked shocked.
The children are in a frighteningly disturbed state and yet the process continues to drag on without any foreseeable end in sight. Each day that goes by is another day of unnecessary trauma and stunted development for Sammy and Benji.
The decisions of the court over the past 3 long years have made my life here as unbearable as possible. Emotionally and psychologically, this is human endurance exceeded well beyond its limits.
More and more respected figures, in government, in the Jewish community, in the media and in child welfare organisations are questioning and investigating this horrific and shocking case.
If justice is not done, and not seen to be done, this will not only be a travesty for Sammy and Benji but shakes the very foundations of the Austrian justice system.
Please sign this PETITION and urge others to sign.