90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

‘No Way Out But One’

Holly Collins and three of her children. (Courtesy No Way Out But One)

California Judge Michael Nash this year ruled to open child welfare hearings in Los Angeles County unless there’s proof that doing so will harm the child.

Advocates in favor of more transparency in family courts applauded the decision, because they believe the secrecy can lead to decisions that hurt children.

Gail Helms was behind the push for more transparency in California. In 1995, her 2-year-old grandson was beaten to death by his father, who had been awarded custody despite a history of drug abuse.

Around that same time, Holly Collins of Minnesota was on her way to the Netherlands with her children, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Jennifer. They had been placed in their father’s custody, and she says she fled to protect them from abuse and a court system that ignored her pleas for help.

Holly became a fugitive, accused of kidnapping her children, and she was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. But her children said she was protecting them.

“As a kid, I thought it was quite ridiculous that they were charging my mom with kidnapping her own children… taking them away from an abusive father. It seemed completely ludicrous to me,” Zachary Collins, now in his 20s, said in the documentary, “No Way Out But One.”

Holly Collins and her children lived in a Dutch refugee camp for three years, before she was granted asylum.

After 17 years in the Netherlands, Holly Collins returned to the United States, and was ultimately cleared of kidnapping charges.

And now her case has become a rallying point for advocates who want to reform the family court system in the United States.

Guests:

  • Holly Collins
  • Garland Walland, co-producer of “No Way Out But One”
  • Lundy Bancroft, domestic violence and family court expert

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

September 29 5 Comments

Michigan Coach Faces Criticism For Keeping QB In Play

University of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris was having trouble standing on his own after a major sack. The coach kept him in the game.

September 29 24 Comments

Methodist Pastor Faces Last Church Trial

Reverend Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked for officiating his son's same-sex marriage and later reinstated, awaits one more church trial. He writes about the experience in a new memoir.

September 29 5 Comments

Monarch Butterflies Could Be On Rebound

After precipitous declines in the monarch butterfly population, there are signs the species may be on the rebound.

September 26 4 Comments

Dean Of Boston Sports Journalism Celebrates 42 Years On The Job

Here & Now's Robin Young visits the most-beloved sportscaster you've never heard of: Jonny Miller.