Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beth Alexander Schlesinger fights for her children in the media

Jewish Week   The last two years have been a living hell for Alexander, a British woman who came to Austria in 2006 to be the doctor’s wife. She said she was promised family and security but instead found abuse, isolation and the worst fate imaginable — separation from her children.

Under a court order, Alexander, 29, is able to see her sons, now 4, only a few hours a day every Tuesday and every other Sunday. The handoff from mother to father is supervised at a state-designated contact center.

Frustrated by a court system that appears to favor the Viennese father, Alexander, a naturally demure and reserved Brit, has decided to fight back through journalism and social media. She has had nearly 100,000 hits on her blog,, and some 7,000 followers on Facebook. Her story has been told in newspapers in Austria, England, Australia and Israel. She has become something of a cause célèbre for British Jewry, which, from the office of the chief rabbi on down, has been fully supportive of Alexander. Over 100 people rallied for her in March in front of the Austrian Embassy in London. Until now her story has not been told in the American press, but it is a case that demands our attention.

“Cases like this are all too common,” said Phyllis Chesler, author of “Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody” (Chicago Review Press). “Mothers are automatically suspected of being ‘crazy,’ of lying, of hating the father of her children, of seeking revenge, of alleging battery falsely, out of revenge.” [...]

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