Women Gather to Protest "Sexist Murders"
“He wanted me to suffer, looking for them without rest and for the remainder of my life. That was the reason he left me alive…”
Beatriz, Olivia and Anna’s mother
Little Olivia and Anna’s father murdered them to spite his ex. He put them in bags and threw them in the ocean off Tenerife Islands, part of Spain, where they lived.
Six year-old Olivia’s body was recovered in the bag, while another bag nearby was found empty. The search continued this week for one year-old Anna and the father, both presumed dead.
It is great that so many women came out and protested their murders as “gendered violence” and “sexist murders”.
However, it’s important for women’s rights organizations to take it one step further and recognize that the greatest harm to our children is not due to lack of rights. It is due to systemic sexism in Family Courts: judges routinely finding women to be liars and granting custody and unsupervised visitation to violent and unfit fathers.
It is unclear whether the father in this case was abusive before the murders or if Beatriz had tried to restrict his visitation in Family Court. The important point is that if she had tried to protect them, she would likely have lost custody for interfering with the father’s relationship with his children or some other fabricated finding. Women fear losing custody, so they often agree to whatever visitation the father wants.
While it is not uncommon for vengeful men to harm or murder children to spite their ex, it is rare for women. Paradoxically, in Family Court, it is often the mother found to be vengeful when simply trying to protect her children from a vengeful ex.
Beatriz is asking for tougher laws to protect children, but new laws won’t help. We need an entirely new system where judges do not have the power to deem us liars and give our children to abusive fathers.
When women protest cases in which fathers murder children, the “custody crisis” must be made front and center. Women should carry signs saying that women do not have the power to protect children due to sexism in Family Court. The Women's Coalition will be organizing rallies and protests with this message soon.
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MORE INFO on the crisis:
The Custody Crisis: Why It's Happening & How We Can End It
Mother of missing sisters Olivia and Anna Gimeno calls for tougher laws to protect children from violence
TWC NOTE: Now that covid is getting under control, TWC will be starting up the local coalitions again soon.
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[Pictured: Beatriz; Anna; Olivia; women protesting in Madrid, Spain
Cindy Dumas, M.A. has been researching, writing, and raising awareness about the Custody Crisis since 2003, when she was unable to protect her children from their abusive father. She fled into hiding when Family Court failed her and was tricked into returning home, when her children were given to their abusive father.