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This fundraiser ended on 12/20/10

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Mom and Children need "Just Us' to raise money for legal expenses, help keep this family together! Raising funds to help one family, raising awareness about domestic violence & child trauma to help another.

Lynn’s family is in need of legal help. She can’t afford an attorney and Legal Aid won’t take her case. What to do?

Lynn's Story is one of Heartache and Determination: "I never wanted to believe I was a victim of domestic violence. When I was 18 years old a much older man approached me on the Internet. The man won me over with compliments, he took me to nice restaurants and changed all his interests so it seemed like we had everything in common. He never listened to rap music before then all of a sudden he was buying my favorite CD’s. He knew I liked ‘Winnie the Pooh’ so he bought me a set of ‘Pooh’ character cups. He told me we ‘have a special connection’ and I believed him He did everything to win my trust, so when the relationship escalated to violent and controlling behavior I simply accepted it as "love".

I spent 8 years in an abusive relationship with this man, that ended when he physically attacked me then threw the children and I on the street like trash. I will never forget the coldness of his words, "Get out, this is my house." Even though we had children together, he refused to acknowledge the relationship and began to refer to me as "the roommate." Soon after I fled my home, my ex began to threaten that he would make up stories that I was crazy and take the kids. I didn’t believe that would happen, I just thought the Court would listen to my story and want to help. When my kids told me they were going to live with dad, it didn’t sink in… My son even wrote me a letter to say ‘good-bye’".

Initially Lynn had a volunteer attorney representing her case but when he withdrew, she was faced with handling this difficult situation all on her own. Desperate, Lynn struggled to learn the laws of family court, how to type and file motions, how to gather evidence and subpoena a witness—all without any legal background. Despite her best efforts, Lynn was not prepared for what happened in court. Minutes before she entered the hearing, Lynn was served with papers from the other party and expected to respond. She was ignorant of the laws and did not know of her rights. She barely understood what was happening when she lost custody of both of her children, and was not allowed to say “good-bye”.

Lynn recounts: "I couldn't believe such a thing could happen until I witnessed for myself the abuses of power, legal manipulation and systematic failures within family court. The court gave full custody to my abuser, and ignored real evidence that my children are not safe in his care. All that is preventing me from justice is getting the money to hire the legal help that will fight to turn this case around and bring my children home.

I have worked hard to get my family into permanent housing, off the streets, now my kids can't come home. I have a job, and have taken real steps to improve my family situation. I am mom who loves her kids. My kids miss me, and ask to see me. I love my children, my life hasn't been the same without them."

Lynn won’t give up, she will go to court, and continue to seek justice, because she loves her children and wants to give them a better life.

Lynn: "I miss my kids everyday. I used to cry a lot--the smallest thing that would remind me of my kids would make burst into tears. Or I'd go to church, and someone would ask where the kids are, I suddenly couldn't speak. I'm getting stronger now. I met other moms who have been through similar struggles in the legal system and I no longer felt alone, it also made me realize how urgently our system needs to change to meet the needs of domestic violence victims, and their children; and especially those going to court without adequate legal representation. Being able to talk about my story, and tell others about domestic violence and how it affects children has been a positive outlet for me. I'm not only fighting for my kids but to help keep other kids safe as well."

Let's reunite this family; please donate to the D&J Justice Fund. Thank-you for your support!

(Picture Depicted on profile  is drawn by Lynn's daughter, after being separated from her mother. The words say "Love U Mom" and "Mom Love U". The rainbows and smiles show her love for her mother. The faces with tears, frowns and circle mouths is how she feels after being separated from her mom, with contact severely limited,by Family Court)

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