In the Words of Family Court Victims

Bandy X. Lee
7 min readApr 27, 2024


As with All Genocides, Victims are Decimated, Obliterated, and Rendered Unable to Speak; a Few, However, Do

Since my speaking out about the violence of the Family Courts, many have written to me that I have helped change the discourse. They say I have elucidated it as an institutional and cultural problem, where honest members are ousted and the most criminally-minded personalities remain (indeed, if we rounded up all Family Court judges, I would not be surprised if the vast majority turned out to be crooks; it is a decades-long selection process). Family Courts as an industry exist to help the violent crooks, rapists, and murderers of society get their way. Hiding beneath the veneer of a legitimate court, Family Courts render innocent victims infinitely more vulnerable than if Family Courts did not exist, for they give the perpetrators “legal” cover, disabling law enforcement, child protection, and every other measure society has put in place to protect against this very kind of violence. That they would meet the modern definition of genocide astonished me, but they also meet the definition of a modern-day slave trade and child sex trafficking, with extensive links to child pornography production. Knowing that just about every child abuse case that comes before Family Courts is at risk of this kind of exploitation, given how common child abuse is, reveals not only how heinous but how perilous this is for society. I became known as a truth teller throughout my career, whether it is about the immorality of the Iraq War, the dangerousness of Donald Trump, or the organized criminal activity of the Family Courts. I will not stop speaking, and whereas I cannot take all the cases that come to me as an expert witness (I cannot even keep up with writing about all the cases that come to me in connection to just one guardian ad litem), public exposure can be a powerful force of accountability — and perhaps the only means of reforming a rogue branch of the Courts. Below are just two letters among dozens of similar ones that have recently arrived to me:

Dearest Bandy,

I would really like to reach out and thank you for your incredible article on [the genocide in family courts]. The first of its kind. It’s enormously validating. You are clearly the perfect combination of knowledge and professional skill.

I’m the victim of a psychopath who acted as a vampire of my own life for 20 years — and then he got hold of family court.

I’m alive but barely surviving with CPTSD (complex posttraumatic stress disorder) diagnosed and a list of horrors behind me. His façade nearly came tumbling down when he used arson, and the media caught wind. A forensic psychiatrist I met has told me I’m lucky to be alive. He is a sadistic psychopath. The covert charming, visibly successful type.

Now, back here in New Zealand, he sits pretty with an income of $850K, has got away with all his (many) crimes against me, and I live on $0.

I moved abroad the day I graduated, lived and worked in America where my career was beginning an exciting trajectory for a decade alone — until he, a fellow NZ’er landed on my doorstep. He had nothing, was nothing. I was trusting and naive.

Now, life has reversed into a downward slide. Somehow though my kids — saw through him and the court, and as rare as it is — are in my full-time care. Now teenagers. The family court has nevertheless ensured I am punished forever. I barely function. I’ve been on highest dose of sertraline meds for 6 years (and reacted with bruising/hemorrhagic). I’m on minuscule dose now by need. I can’t afford to see a psychiatrist anymore. I have EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) trauma clinical psychology treatments weekly, but it’s too painful. There is too much to process. What do I do? Can I work in the field with my lived experience?… I want to help others to help me. I believe victims have a chance to change the world as we know it, given the right foundation and opportunities. I want to use my skills and lived experience too.

The validation I feel from your article is the only thing that makes me feel someone understands. Your words are like my life story. But I’m clinging on.

What do I do now? I’d like to be involved as a research subject, anything. To give me reason and meaning to share my story. To help vindicate myself from what has been living hell. To lift myself out of the silence and burden of not being believed. Of course it’s too hard to believe for most people. I live in Auckland, NZ, and in the same industry as my ex. The world has become tiny….

Have you any ideas?… I’m 49 and not getting any younger. My babies only see the shell of me left. It was no easy feat to get to the position I was in with my career. I worked for internationally reputable companies in the field of innovation and design. I was a lone woman in a male-dominated profession….

Please keep sharing publicly what you know of the court system. I have horrendous evidence of how I was treated. I want to use my experience to help others. To bring down the family court. To find ways out of this dark hole where society shuns us as having done something to deserve this fate. Medically speaking, I’d be okay if I had some power and agency back. If I could use my brain again and reconnect the broken pathways. I want him to know he has not annihilated me. But for now I remain in isolation. Severely wounded and unable to recover myself.

Feel free to share my email and contact details if anyone wants to collaborate or connect for professional or clinical support. How I wish there was a global consortium for victims who have access to your skill set and knowledge base. To not only speak about us, but to help us.

Thank you for listening.

Kindest Regards,

Good day.

I have been searching the internet, local agencies, resources, and anything I can find to help me and my son in what we are going through and came across your articles about family courts. I am so gaslit by this situation, and the sea of cognitive dissonance of our society makes people blind to what is taking place in the court system. I am a mental health therapist, I have never been in legal trouble or struggled with substance abuse, etc. But I had my custody taken away and given to my abusive ex-husband who has testified to abusing both his kids.

There is a lot to it, but there has been exactly what you are reporting on, with CPS (Child Protective Services), with local police involvement. I am trying to write it all out, and I stare sometimes and want to vomit. I see a therapist for CPTSD (complex posttraumatic stress disorder), and I have propranalol for chest pain, but everything you’re saying is so real and I’m witnessing it myself, and I don’t know what I can do.

I have [Judge in Michigan], and she just recused herself for impropriety, and now I have [another Judge in Michigan] whom I have not been in front of, but the things that have happened make my skin crawl. It is an abusive and gaslighting system that supports the same, and I am just looking for some kind of credible information/resources/help in this. It is absolutely wild how criminals instantly get an attorney and victims of violence and abuse get nothing.

Thank you for your articles…. I’ve been reading article after article of what you are writing, and it is exactly what I have experienced and am still experiencing. The feeling I have had in all of this is like they are trying to drive me crazy, but I am refusing to go down. I am representing myself in court [before Judge in Michigan], but now that she’s recused herself after I presented her with evidence and asked her to read it,… there was already an appeal won against [her] in this case by the same appellate attorney that won against her in [another] case, but she retaliated and doubled down.

I have been documenting everything, even the police told me to at one point. I have medical records, I have his dad telling him to shoot himself with a gun, as noted by the [University] staff when my son was already in the hospital for suicide. He was released to his dad’s custody after that, regardless, and he took him gun shopping immediatelly after his discharge.

It is not easy to represent myself in this case but on the other hand, I have nothing to lose. Other attorneys might be scared of their reputation but I’m not afraid to expose the court system. This case was featured in continuing education for lawyers in Michigan, and CPS withheld evidence from the court, evidence I still have and have been introducing since. [My psychologist] recommended I read Truth and Repair by Judith Herman.

I really appreciate you speaking out about this, more than I can put into words. It is the first time I have found anything or anyone that understands exactly what is happening, and it really gave me a lot of hope and willpower to keep fighting this, because I can show what happened, with evidence, step by step. I was a preschool teacher over a decade ago, before I became a therapist, and I feel like this could help kids. I worry constantly that he will kill my son before I am able to fight this more, or that fighting this more will make him kill him, but I know sitting in silence is not the answer, and your articles and efforts have really helped instill hope in me.

Thank you again,




Bandy X. Lee

Forensic psychiatrist, violence expert, president of the World Mental Health Coalition (, and New York Times bestselling author.