Justice for Amber and Aaron

I know what you are thinking... How sad and desperate is this woman that she would ask for money online from strangers? And I will tell you, I am as desperate as any woman who is in the throes of seperating her life from her abuser.  My son's livelihood is at risk, so I am not above imploring strangers for help.  

" I hope we go to court becuase you will lose custody of your son. You are incompetent."

If you file on me I will eviscerate you in court. I will bring you to your knees and you will never see your son again. I will destroy your life as you know it."

"You are spiraling you cunt-faced whore"

"If you don't sign this agreement I am not coming for joint custody, I am coming for everything."

"My lawyer doesn't take bullshit."

Who We Are: 

My name is Amber. I am Aaron's mommy. I carried, nourished, and birthed this child all on my own. He and I spent 24-hours a day together for the first 2 and a half years of his life.  Anyone who has ever seen us together knows that he is the true love of my life. 

If it weren't for Aaron, I never would have had the courage to leave my abuser. Aaron is the sweetest, funniest, most brilliant and innocent being I have every had the joy of knowing. Being his mommy has put me in situations where I have had to be stronger than I could have ever imagined. Protecting him from the impact of continued abuse, and ensuring that he grow up to be the peaceful, intelligent and honorable young man he is destined to be.

Since Aaron was nine days old, his father (my abuser), has been leaving us with no money, no diapers, no car, no access to groceries, even going so far as to having utilies turned off after he left. He always came back, and as I was completely financially dependent on this man, I was under continuous threat that if I left, he would eviscerate me in court with his "bulldog, dad's rights lawyer." As the result of many of the social and emotional factors that I could now write a book to raise awareness about emotional abuse, I was effectively trapped, and I began a covert operation in 2015 to begin to seperate my life from my abuser.  

Why: (Lawyers, Liars, And Other Family Court Shenanigans) 

I was forced to end my relationship with my abuser sooner than my plan had accounted for, and I entered the most dangerous phase of our relationship yet: leaving. Did you know that women who are killed by their abusers, are most likely to be killed AFTER the end the relationship?... Yeah. I am not dead yet, but he is making good on all of his promises to eviscerate me in court and destroy life as I know it. It's really quite terrifying. 

The day I moved back "home," to where I have spent 6 of the last 7 years of my life, he filed an emergency motion to reverse my sole physical and legal custody of my son.

I had onlyl five days to secure counsel, respond and appear.  My lawyer believed the lies in his emergency motion and did not refute any of them on my behalf. It was that day, that my time with my son was reduced to 12 hours per week... Now, 12 hours per week seems crazy, but they don't care about hours, they measure in overnights, and the gave my son's dad every single Thursday thru Sunday. I went from never being away from my son unless I absolutely had to for maybe 2 days, to handing him off every weekend with no contact. Not to mention, that I only get to see him after work and before bed four nights per week. 

And would you even believe that my lawyer who needed $5,000 just to respond to that motion, before sitting on his hands in court and handing my son to his abusive father is out of money... No filed motions, promises that it will be better "next time," and a whole lot of "patience" are what he specializes in. 

Come to find out this lawyer also lost his license for misusing funds, failing to comply with client requests, etc.

What We Need: Financial Assistance to keep our family together. 

Anywho - I have found an incredible lawyer who legitimately can help, and is willing to take on my case. In order to do this, he is asking for $1500 retainer to get us through the first court date and believes it could go up to 5K by the end-  this is where you come in.

The bummer about being an "abused woman," is that when I left, my son's dad, who despite being all about his parenting time in court, refused to take our son so that I would lose my job. I found another one, and before I started it, they backed out because they were subpeonaed by my abuser's lawyer. I miraculously found a new job in one weekend, but I have $12 to my name right now.

A major aspect of abuse is creating a sense of financial dependency, and abuse through proxy (mutual friends, courts, etc). My abuser is seeking to financially destroy me and has not helped out with our child care costs in almost three months. This coupled with five weeks of unemployment has been devastating, but he has not stopped his crusade, and is coming harder than ever. 

Despite the hell that the last few months have been, relocating, finding not one, but two jobs that I can support myself and my son on, having smear campaigns lodged against me, having lies propogated in court while my lawyer did nothing to refute them, I have been amazed by all the incredible angels who have stepped forward to help me. 

When We Need It: (Yesterday... realistically by January 4)

I have gone back and forth about whether or not I could do this, but it has become increasingly evident that every moment that I don't have appropriate representation advocating for my son, is another moment lost with him. 

I believe miracles happen every day, and I have been continuously surprised and grateful for the generosity of those angels who have purchased christmas gifts for my son, purchased his winter clothing, who have cheered me on as I fight for my life, who have been there emotionally or physically. 

I am asking any and all angels out there to contibute any amount feasible.I have seen miracles these last few months, and I Have to beleive that in the end, with the right legal counsel, the truth will come out, and my son will be restored to my care. 

20 people could give $100
50 people could give $40
60 people could give 30-ish... 
200 could give $10.

(You get the idea)

What happens if I exceed my goal? I pay it forward, of course. 

Any and all funds that go unused for attorney fees will go directly into domestic violence awareness, or toward the legal aid department of the local domestic violence shelter to help other women in this same boat.

I have been chronicling these ups and downs on social media, and will continue to keep raising awareness for domestic violence. I will continue to help other women garner the courage and support they need to fight for their lives. Eventually, you may even see a book published, where the proceeds go to domestic violence awareness with my name on it. 

To anyone who took the time to read this all the way, to share it, or to donate, my deepest and sincerest gratitude.
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Amber Elizabeth 
Ypsilanti, MI
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