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Victim of Domestic Violence Pleas for Her Children’s Return

I am a mother who loves her children, and I’m capable of taking care of them.

June 28, 2012
Layla Saido Sheikh · Kahului , The Maui Weekly

I am a genocide UN asylum refugee from Somalia.

When I came to the U.S. in September of 1998, I did not speak English nor did I understand the culture, laws and nature of living here. A week after my arrival in the country, I was raped, which caused me even more trauma. This situation made it hard for me to adapt. As a result, I felt that I could not trust anyone; therefore, I refrained from interacting with people.

When my son, Mohamud, was two, I met the first man who I had become emotionally involved with. Daniel took me and Mohamud into his life. We became a family. Daniel called Mohamud his son. We had a daughter together (Hana). He was a hard-working man who loved and took care of his family. He was a good provider, but he was suffering post-traumatic stress, which resulted in aggression. I felt that I needed to protect my children, so I left this relationship in search of a better life.

I voluntarily called Child Protective Services (CPS) for aid in October of 2005, but I spoke broken English and could not voice my situation completely. The reason why I called CPS was so that I, as well as my two children, could find a secure place to live.

I did not know what CPS entailed. I did not know they would take my children away from me. I was not provided with an interpreter or an organization that could help me with the language barrier. Despite of all the obstacles, I managed to provide appropriate housing, a legal vehicle, financial resources and a support system to keep my family safe.

Yet, my parental rights were terminated.

I have survived many difficulties in my life, but the hardest has been having my parental rights terminated by Maui's family court in 2011. I am hoping you can help me find justice. I am a mother who loves her children and am capable of taking care of them.

I have goals and dreams for my family and myself. I am a very responsible mother. I ask you to please consider reunification with my children so that we may live together as a family.

I'm sure my children have been traumatized throughout this ordeal. I feel this situation is causing us much suffering. I haven't been able to sleep, and I feel that my body and soul are broken, knowing that my children are not by my side. I hope that I am given the opportunity to raise my own children. I am hoping you can help me find justice.

I am a mother who loves her children and, I'm capable of taking care of them.



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