Earlier this week, numerous feminist blogs were proclaiming the April Griffin custody case to be the new “Woman victimized by sexist family courts” outrage (aka “Custody-visitation scandal case”). Past ones have included Genia Shockome, Sadia Loeliger, Bridget Marks, and others.

According to the feminist website MotherWarrior, which is leading the charge for Griffin, she “has been in the Milwaukee County Jail since May 14th, 2007 because she refuses to give up custody of her nine month old son. Mr. Sebuliba [her ex] was trying to obtain full parental custody of their infant son.

“Griffin, representing herself, asked Judge Goulee how he could consider giving custody of a 9 month old breastfeeding baby to a man who: Is on record for having beaten Griffin during her pregnancy; Is not a US Citizen (Mr. Sebuliba wants to send the baby to Uganda for his mother to raise); Wanted the baby to be aborted; and Openly had nothing to do with Ms. Griffin during her pregnancy?”

Read her full blog post here. MotherWarrior also asserts, “Ms. Griffin has no criminal record, no parental issues, and no mental health issues.”

I’m not very familiar with the April Griffin case, but a new article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by Diana Sroka, Father wins custody of baby son (6/19/07), tells the story quite a bit differently. According to Sroka:

The judge granted joint custody to the parents, but Griffin insisted the father be stripped of all parental rights.

It was Griffin who was arrested for “battering” Sebuliba.

The judge criticized the mother’s behavior in court and at the visitation center. Griffin’s former lawyer called her behaviour in court “outrageous.”

Griffin severely interfered with Sebuliba’ s visitation. At a May 4 visitation at a visitation center, Griffin arrived almost a half hour late and then declared that Sebuliba–who is a nurse–was not allowed to change the baby’s diaper because it is “against her religion.”

At the visitation Griffin insisted that the visit “had to be done her way.”

“While Sebuliba was with the child, Griffin became hysterical and asked for the infant to be returned to her, the report states. When the social worker brought the baby to her, Griffin had her sister call 911 because she believed the baby was having trouble breathing. The report says that when paramedics arrived, they determined the baby was fine, but Griffin insisted the baby be taken to a hospital.”

Read the full Journal-Sentinel article here.

Other feminist commentaries on the case can be found at Amanda Marcotte’s Pandagon here and SuperBabyMama’s blog here.

To learn about other “Custody-visitation scandal cases,” click here.

To read more on similar issues, visit Glenn Sacks’ blog here.

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