“….. I can’t live without seeing my daughter. I only signed the child custody order because my husband had my daughter with him and was threatening to kill her if I didn’t sign the papers….’
She finished reading the brief and leaned back, a weary sigh escaping her lips and the back of her hand brushing away the tears that were beginning to prick.
This particular case hit too close to home. She was transported 20 years ago to the day her psychotic husband had kidnapped their 3 year old. She had given it everything she had, but she hadn’t seen or heard from her daughter or husband since then. She couldn’t imagine what Jahnvi would look like now, as a young woman - in her mind’s eye, she could only picture her as the little girl she’d been – twinkling eyes, an impish grin, her face framed by a mop of wild curls as she pressed a sticky chocolate-smeared kiss on her mother’s cheek.
The telephone rang, startling her awake from her personal nightmare. “Ms. Manya Tiwari is here. I had placed her case papers on your desk earlier today. Can I show her in?”. She nodded, “Yes, I just went through the papers. Give me a few minutes.”
She turned to the desk and flipped through the documents once more, a look of determination in her eyes. It was a difficult career choice and each new case left her emotionally drained and exhausted. But she would not stop – she had vowed that she would not allow another person go through what had happened to her.
She picked up the telephone, “Yes, Indu – please show Ms. Manya to my cabin.”
Edited to add:
I was recently working on a case at work. While it wasn’t a child-custody dispute, the parties involved were fighting a separate case for custody of their infant daughter and unfortunately those documents were presented as evidence here. It was heart-breaking to read through the papers and I cannot even imagine the pain that families go through in such situations. My heart goes out to all of them… I can think of very few things that are worse than fighting for/over your own child.