My 32 year sister, Cinthia Andrea Lachance, who resides in Dallas, Texas, was a victim of domestic violence. She was married in the United States to an American citizen in 2008. She has since lost the custody of her child; and is now confined to a wheel chair with facial paralysis that was caused by a stroke she suffered when she was five months pregnant.
Since the beginning of her marriage she was a victim of psychological and emotional abuse from her husband. Thus being the reason she had a very stressful pregnancy which caused her to have a stroke. Fortunately, after a two month stay in the hospital, she and her baby survived and were able to go home.
She stayed with her husband for a year but the situation kept getting worse. The abuse increased and was not only psychological but also became physical, even to the point of him beating her while she was in the wheelchair.
While in her wheelchair she attempted to defend herself by holding his arms to try and stop him. After he hurt her, he locked her in their bedroom and he went to the police to report that he was victim of domestic violence showing a mark in his arm (where she obviously was defending herself) The next day when Cinthia Andrea called the police to report the incident, they said that they already knew what happened because her husband had already made a report. The police never investigated the facts.
When she tried to leave her husband last year, he prevented her from taking her baby girl, who is now 16 months old. Cinthia Andrea had to seek refuge at a friend's house and where she stayed for six months, while was looking for shelters and assistance. It was useless; no one will accept her stating that to be admitted she should be able to live without any assistance. She found a small apartment while her husband still lives in the house that they both paid for.
Her husband filed for divorce for irreconcilable differences but obviously he did not mention the abuse that he delivered to her. The judge, going against all evidence, awarded her husband custody of the child, arguing that she is a high risk and is not qualified to care for her child. The judge did not consider that for one year after she was released from the hospital, she cared for her baby without assistance as her husband refused to pay for child care. The judge ignored the testimonies of Protection Center for Adults and Children’s employees that confirmed she is qualified to care for her baby. The judge granted her permission to visit daughter 3 times a week for 3 hours each visit with supervision. Her husband pays the minimum alimony of $200 monthly, amount that does not even cover the cost of transportation.
The judge ignored the fact that the husband was previously divorced because of domestic violence and has a restraining order against him from his 12 year old daughter. The judge decided to give the custody of the child to the husband, an abusive man who leaves the child alone with his smoker uncle.
Cinthia Andrea has the right to take legal action to end the abuse. It is unfair that the judge didn’t consider the testimonies from Protection Center for Adult and Children due to her departure from her home; it appeared she was abandoning her home, when in fact she was fleeing the abuse. Her husband took the baby away from her arms and closed the door of her house. The police officers were there but did not take any action and stated that that was a civil case to be solved in court.
My sister is an educated professional woman with a degree in Systems Engineering. She can no longer work because of the situation her husband has put her in. It is very unfair that besides having custody of her baby, he is keeping the house and all the possessions from their marriage.
The judge was very unfair to her and left her without shelter and without her child.
Even still, during the visits she makes to see her daughter, she is still being victimized verbally and mentally by the husband. She is not being protected by the laws.
She must travel an hour to see her daughter and sometimes cannot find someone to take her, since she is confined to a wheelchair. She was not allowed to access the house with anyone else until two weeks ago. Even our parents who arrived from Bolivia were not allowed to see their granddaughter. Every time she is in the house, her husband and his uncle, mock her, intimidate her, and disrupt her visit with the baby. They have cameras inside the house and they take pictures and do not let her enjoy the visit and the company of her daughter.
She is fighting the best she can to recover her daughter, but her situation is not easy because her husband is not truthful and everybody believes him despite the evidence (photos, witnesses, etc). She is going through the worst period of her life and she needs the community’s support to help her get justice for her court case.
We are requesting an impartial judgment, and for the police to investigate the facts.
The rights of mother and a daughter are violated. They are still suffering domestic violence every time she goes to visit her child. Cinthia Andrea is receiving the same treatment as a mother who is negligent, abuser, alcoholic and drug addict because justice is not being served.
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