Damon Dumas spoke to ABC News about the child abuse he said he suffered at the hands of his father. He said that a family court judge ignored his allegations, concluded that he had suffered parental alienation by his mother, and ordered him into the full custody of his father. Damon’s father has denied ever abusing his son and a judge in their case agreed there was no credible evidence to corroborate the accusations of abuse.
With his mother’s help, Dumas ran away from home and into a secret underground network of friends and strangers who hide children from a parent with custody. During those dark days, Damon says even his mother did not know his exact whereabouts: “She handed me off to someone she trusted, who handed me off to someone else that she trusted,” he said.
Dumas spent 1 year and 8 months in hiding, always moving, and living in 10 different homes despite “crushing loneliness,” he said.
Today, Dumas advocates for other children who claim that family court judges wrongly found “parental alienation” by one parent, instead of child abuse by the other. Working with the organizations Safe Kids International and The Women’s Coalition, he helps raise awareness about what they call “the epidemic of court-licensed abuse.”