Wings for Justice conference raises awareness of family court issues

2 months 4 hours 30 minutes ago October 03, 2016 Oct 3, 2016 Monday, October 03 2016 Monday, October 03, 2016 3:21:00 PM CDT in News
By: Alyssa Salcido, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA – From domestic abuse survivors to social workers and clergy, the Wings for Justice workshop Monday aimed to raise awareness about problems that exist within the family court system. Before the workshop began, the CEO of Wings for Justice, Wendi Miller had everyone read the mission statement allowed.

“Our whole goal is to create awareness, to provide education and bring positive change to the family court system through advocacy. This is the life blood of who we are,” Miller said. 

Miller said after her own personal struggle, she felt the family court system was broken. She claims she was in an abusive relationship and when she finally was able to get out of it, her ex husband ended up with legal custody of her two children in Colorado. She has been in an eight-year battle since then to re-gain custody of their children.

Family attorney Jeffrey Basinger said it is impossible for children to be considered "always safe," no matter what the court order is.

“However, I believe that the system protects children the best that they can. If there is an allegation of abuse or neglect, the court appoints an attorney for the child to investigate the allegations. Children's Division is required to investigate any abuse or neglect allegations made to them," Basinger said. 

Miller said her ex husband was a pastor of a church who used his social status to manipulate the situation.. She said her children begged her not to let them go with their father, but legally they had to. Eventually, her daughter began claiming she too was being sexually and physically abused by her father. Miller said she hid out in a women’s shelter in Michigan for three weeks with her children in an attempt to protect them. Refusing to give the children over to the father led to her arrest and a 61-day stay in a county jail. 

“I believe that I have seen clients face false allegations. I also believe that I have also seen the opposing party in some of my cases try to disprove true allegations from my client,” Basinger said.

Miller said she created Wings for Justice to help other people going through similar situation like hers.

“Our hope is that we can come alongside and bring healing to those who suffered and hope and education to those entering into it and walking alongside of them through it because it’s difficult and it’s painful and many of them feel they are there alone,” Miller said.  

Miller said the main purpose of the workshop was to invite anyone and everyone in the realm of protecting kids.

“We invited case workers, counseling centers, judicial officials, legislative officials and even law enforcement. We just wanted to educate them and get a conversation started.”

A domestic abuse survivor, Jeannie Watson, was among those who attended the Wings for Justice event. She said she experienced multiple abusive relationships but hopes to help others through organizations like this one.

“It means everything; it means your life. You know when I look at my children and other kids and other women who have gone through this, you see these organizations as very hopeful. And I may get tearful, but without it we have nothing, we are left with nothing and stripped bare,” Watson said.

Basinger said he did believe that the system works well.

“I am sure that there are cases that have been mishandled by a particular Judge, parent or attorney. However, I do not know what changes could be made to improve our current system,” Basinger said.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri woman faces 12 years in federal prison for leading a fraud scheme. The U.S.... More >>
20 minutes ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:29:38 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Over 40 local authors showed off their work and networked with other writers at the Local Authors Open... More >>
54 minutes ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Around 10 a.m. Saturday, a man driving his car northbound near Highway 63 and Stadium flipped over. No... More >>
4 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 11:38:33 AM CST in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have struggled to find a way to pay for repairs along thousands of miles... More >>
4 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:59:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri is seeing a startling decline in methamphetamine lab seizures, but it isn't because users are... More >>
4 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:50:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Women's Symphony League kicked off the annual Holiday Home Tour, which is its biggest fundraiser of the... More >>
11 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:12:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Jefferson City Fire Department responded to reports of smoke coming from a building in the 200 block... More >>
11 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:57:00 AM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Following the election of Donald Trump, some students gathered for what they called a "positivity event". KOMU sent... More >>
20 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 7:05:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are proposing bills that would make attacking a law enforcement officer a hate crime.... More >>
22 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:51:13 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lawmakers are proposing bills that would make Missouri a right-to-work state. The Springfield News-Leader... More >>
23 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:46:41 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former Kansas City, Missouri, man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his... More >>
23 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:23:47 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Nixon and his wife Georganne kicked off the holiday season in the state's capital with Friday's... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:36:00 PM CST in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — A Missouri man who spent eight years behind bars for murder has been acquitted in a... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:26:56 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities said fireworks that were mistaken for gunshots led to a standoff near Rockhurst University. ... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:09:14 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The former general manager of a suburban St. Louis car dealership is accused of defrauding the... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:05:38 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The incoming president of the University of Missouri System and officials attending a welcoming ceremony in... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:00:15 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A $2,000 donation will help protect South Callaway residents from potentially deadly house fires. Safeco Insurance's Protecting... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 2:52:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Fulton woman has pleaded guilty to money-laundering related to distributing synthetic cannabinoids, or K2, at businesses... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 2:45:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
4pm 44°
5pm 42°
6pm 41°
7pm 40°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:30p
PGA Tour Golf
4:00p
Skiing
5:00p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
Rookie Blue
4:00p
Rookie Blue
5:00p
Cops Reloaded

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
It's a Wonderful Life
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld