A Voice for Vail
$5,096 of $5,000 goal
Vail McCann is a 12-year-old victim of the Court system that doesn't value her needs or hear her cries for help. After many failed attempts to be heard, in desperation she felt she had no choice but to run away. Vail needs a VOICE and we can help her get one!
#avoiceforvail -- this hashtag on Facebook leads to further case details including documents of public record and more.
Vail's parents divorced in late 2016, and were awarded joint custody of their daughter. This was to entail alternating weeks of residency with each parent, and was to begin in April 2017. Prior to then, Vail's father made radical changes to Vail's life -- switching her counseling professional to one of his choice, enrolling her full time in public school without accommodations for her disability despite Vail having been home schooled for the vast majority of her life, and taking her for multiple different assessment appointments without warning. As a child with autism and anxiety, such changes are immensely challenging, and Vail reacted to all of the chaos with increased anxiety and mistrust in her father. Eventually she began to feel unsafe in his presence, and when court-ordered weekly visits began, her anxiety peaked. Each week she was to visit her father, she would beg her mother not to make her go. Transfers to the father were to be made at Vail's school and her emotional, tearful refusal to get in his car led her father to call the police for assistance. Friends of the family and adults from a local non-profit group tried to help coax Vail into her dad's car on one occasion, which took over five hours, included Vail crying and pleading the entire time, and led to a complete emotional shutdown from Vail. A different non-profit group provided a trained supervisor to take Vail from her mother's home to her father's home on two different occasions, and Vail could not be convinced to go either time.
After so many of these failed attempts to get Vail to visit her father, the father filed for Contempt charges against the mother for "withholding" the child from him. This led to court appearances and fines, as well as legal fees. The father's final attempt to force his daughter to visit with him came in a special court session on July 28, 2017, where the judge determined that physical force was acceptable to be used to get Vail to her father's house. Attorneys, the Guardian Ad Litem, Vail's aunts, and courthouse security personnel after four+ hours managed to drag a screaming and sobbing Vail into her aunt's car to go to her father's house. That evening, Vail ran away. She remains in a safe but undisclosed location - neither parent knows where she is, although she has sent word on an untraceable phone that she is indeed safe.
It may seem as though Vail's needs aren't being met by her father and that no one seems to be on her side...that is the truth. The Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) appointed by the Court to speak in Vail's best interest was chosen by the father and is paid by the father. She has met with Vail one time since October when she was assigned to the case. Her recommendations she gives the court monthly do not include any input from Vail herself or from the other custodial parent (the mother), but ONLY from the father and from the therapist that the father chose for Vail. VAIL HAS NO VOICE.
Vail has not been allowed to address the Court and her input on where she'd like to live has not been considered. Her pleas to the GAL go unanswered. Her father is apparently unwilling to make changes in the situation at his home to make Vail feel safe there. Vail's only possible means of getting HELP is through having her own attorney. Her mother does not have the financial means to make this happen - her own legal bills are excessive due to the father's continuous court motions. VAIL NEEDS A VOICE!
Please find it in your heart to donate even a small amount to this campaign so that this traumatized child doesn't have to go on being a victim of further trauma.
New info added 8/12/17 per request:
1. I (the organizer) am an individual who cares about this child and her mother and do not represent any other entity.
2. I (the organizer) am a personal friend to Leslie and Vail. I live in their community and am in regular contact via text and phone and in person with Leslie.
3. These funds will be used to procure and retain an attorney for Vail McCann. Vail needs an attorney with experience and expertise in disability rights and laws to protect her rights.
4. The funds in this campaign will be allocated directly to Vail's attorney by a third party, Mona Wine of Issaquah, WA, and neither parent will have access to the funds. Mona will be the listed beneficiary of this campaign, and will associate her personal accounts with GoFundMe to withdraw the funds raised. If we get so fortunate to find a pro bono attorney, Mona will contact all donors and offer them a refund of their donation less the fees paid.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
We have identified a very short list of lawyers that have the qualifications to help Vail. Right now we have enough raised for about 7 hours of legal services. The initial consultation on a case like this is generally 2 hours. The paperwork to understand what has transpired is easily another 5 hours. We are so grateful for all the donations and support. Before we hire an attorney for her, we need to make sure we won't run out of funds before the attorney really has any time to make a difference for her. We would appreciate it if you could share this campaign, along with a personal message of support for Vail.
A Voice for Vail advocates