Mothers Day is fast approaching and for the majority of moms across the United States most will be enjoying their day in celebration – being honored by their children and the fathers of their children with flowers, greeting cards, candy, hugs and kisses – but for too many domestic violence survivor moms and their children the day will be spent in tears, nursing broken hearts, longing for (and reminiscing about memories of) hugs and kisses last exchanged or exchanged a long, long time ago. Like Christmas, it’s sometimes hard to remember that there are those who will be suffering on a day that’s supposed to be so happy - but for those whose lives have been touched or formed by abuse, May 11th is a day to get through, not a day to look forward to but perhaps this year can be different...
Thanks to the California Protective Parents Association, the Mothers of Lost Children, the Safe Child Coalition and the Battered Mothers and Kids Custody Conference, Mothers Day 2014 will be a weekend-long experience instead of a one-day event. If you’re anticipating a Mothers Day childless and alone, consider jumping on a plane for the weekend and head to our nation’s capitol for a “mini BMCC” where you can join other DV survivor moms from around the country for the following activities:
On Friday, May 9th author and advocate, Barry Goldstein, will join the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Executive Director, Rita Smith, in conducting a Domestic Violence Advocate Training on how to help battered mothers involved in custody cases from 10:00am to 4:00pm at George Washington University Law School’s Lerner Hall in Washington DC. Registration and networking starts at 9:00am.
On Saturday, May 10th psychologist, Dr. Joy Silberg, will join attorney, Toby Kleinman, Esq. and Battered Mothers Custody Conference co-founder, Dr. Mo Hannah, for a training on how to effectively mother children when they are forced to live with abusers. The training – entitled “Mothering Under Duress” – will take place again in Lerner Hall and run from 9:00am to 5:00pm with an 8:00am registration and networking opportunity.
Although the registration fee for these trainings has been waived, sign up for the trainings will be done through a lunch and/or snack sign up that you can find through PayPal at http://www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org/registration2014.htm or http://www.mothers-of-lost-children.com/MOLC_momsdays.htm
The sign up through food order is a great idea because the trainings have been so good and captivating historically that many of us forget to eat or don’t want to take a break to eat!
No time to mourn on Mothers Day because on Sunday, May 11th the Mothers of Lost Children will gather at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (yup, that’d be the White House!) for the Mothers Day march from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Be sure to wear white clothing, good walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen - Mothers of Lost Children t-shirts will be provided for participants. If you feel inspired to do so, make and bring a banner or poster with you to advertise the family court crisis, the human rights violations occurring within the system or your plea to lawmakers.
Monday, May 12th will be the time to put your training (and exercise from the day before!) to the test: unite with the Safe Child Coalition for a Lobby Day at the House of Representatives. Participants will meet at the Rayburn Building (located at Independence Avenue and First Street, SW) at 9:00am.
Please help to spread the word about this weekend and Mothers Day events so the President and our lawmakers will know the gravity of the human rights violations occurring in our country's family court system, and if you can’t make it to Washington, consider hosting your own Mothers Day march in your own town or city. A few years back, a Mothers Day demonstration on a street corner in Maui http://www.examiner.com/article/standing-with-survivor-moms-on-mother-s-day caught people’s eyes as they waited for the light to turn and although it was only 3 of us, it was 3 of us together.
To all the moms out there: may God bless, protect and keep you on this Mothers Day and always ~