Target: Oakland County Circuit Judge Lisa Gorcyca
Goal: Release children thrown in juvenile detention for refusing to have lunch with the father they say abused their mother.
A judge threw three young kids in juvenile detention because they refused her order to have lunch with their allegedly abusive father. The kids are nine, 10, and 15 years old. According to these youngsters, they didn’t want to spend time with their father because they witnessed him hitting their mother. The couple went through a contentious divorce and now all three kids say they don’t want to see their father anymore.
Judge Lisa Gorcyca found the children to be in contempt of the court when they declined to eat lunch with their father. The judge then told them they were wrong about him, that he is “well-liked and loved by the community, his co-workers, his family (and) his colleagues,” and compared the 15-year-old to notorious cult leader Charles Manson.
This response by Judge Gorcyca to the fact that three individual young children accused their father of domestic abuse is absolutely unacceptable. It takes incredible courage for children of abusive homes to come forward, and any accusation of domestic violence should be taken very seriously no matter how “well-liked” the alleged abuser is. Abuse of a spouse can easily turn into child abuse, especially if the spouse is no longer around.
Judges have become far too willing to lock up young children, and it’s a trend that’s fueling the fact that the U.S. has a ridiculously high prison population. The three kids in this case need care and support after a difficult divorce and possibly witnessing domestic abuse. They definitely do not need to be locked up with actual problem children where they will very likely face the threat of violence upon themselves.
The mother’s attorney has already filed a writ of habeas corpus for the release of the children which the judge will soon consider. Sign this petition to demand that these kids immediately be released and that she refrain from ever locking up children again for simply refusing to have lunch with a man they claim is abusive.
Dear Judge Gorcyca,
Recently, you threw three young kids in juvenile detention for refusing your order to have lunch with their father. They refused because they claim to have seen him hit their mother. Instead of taking their accusation seriously, as should be done with any accusation of domestic abuse, you defended their father and compared the oldest child to Charles Manson.
If three young children would rather face jail time than see their father, don’t you think that says something? It doesn’t matter how “well-liked” someone is–otherwise likable people can be 100 percent capable of abuse. Refusing to believe those who say abuse occurred because the alleged abuser seems like a good person is why so much abuse is able to continue.
The man accused of abuse should be investigated and his children should be immediately released from detention. No matter your personal feelings about the father, it’s your job to protect children from abuse and violence, not throw them into a place where they will very likely experience both. I demand that you order the release of Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni’s children as soon as possible and refrain from ever jailing children for the “crime” of refusing to spend time with an alleged abuser again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Concha García Hernández