Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Folly - Domestic Abuse Underground Railroad

Toward the end of the book, we're introduced to the concept of an "Underground Railroad" for domestic abuse victims.

This is a hugely scary topic. On one hand you want to say "Yeah! Get the families away from the creeps who are abusing them!" On the other hand, there's such a huge opportunity for deceit there. In Folly, there's all sorts of evidence that the abusing parent was guilty. But, sometimes "guilty" is in the eye of the beholder.

Here are some articles about domestic abuse "Underground Railroads":

Children of the Underground
(This is a cached copy of a 2003? MSNBC article. The original is off the website now.)

Allen Dietrich's photo essays about the domestic violence underground.

Children of the Underground
1998 DART award winning article by the Pitsburg Post-Gazette on the topic. This is a very long, gutwrenching, feature article.

Children of the Underground Watch
A blog dedicated to the "other side of the story." They feel that Faye Yager is either running a cult, or is a simple kidnapper.

Who's protecting whom? The criminalization of protective parents
A long article about the issue

California Protective Parents
An organization dedicated to the cause

Desperate Moms Taking Abused Children Underground
2001 Article featuring the Sixth International Conference on Family Violence: Working Together to End Abuse in San Diego

Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma
Organization dealing with V, A & T from many sources. Sponsors the annual conference mentioned above.

Hide and Seek
1998 Time article about a father trying to locate his children, who are being concealed by Faye Yager's organization

Child Abuse 'Rescuer' Is Now the Accused
1992 New York Times article about Faye Yager

Stop Family Violence
Organization founded in 2000, to empower "people to take action at the local, state and national level to ensure safety, justice, accountability and healing for people whose lives are affected by violent relationships. Our goal is family peace."

The (kind of) sequel to Folly is Keeping Watch, which deals more thoroughly with the topic of Domestic Abuse Underground Railroad. It's Allen Carmichael's story, and presents the issue from a pretty one-sided point of view, but goes into some of the potential issues with the topic. It's scary, thought provoking and generally a great read.

So, what do you think of this topic? Are you pro? Anti? What are your concerns with the process?


Anonymous said...

How can I help. I want to help children and parents with children. I have two of my own. I would want people to help me if I needed it.

Susan said...

Hi Anonymous,

Volunteer. Help raise money for your local domestic abuse shelter. Raise great kids, who will raise great kids of their own.

Check with your local Volunteer Organizations, and see where they need help.

(In Las Vegas, contact HELP of Southern Nevada. They always have great volunteer opportunities!)