Mandy presently lives in Australia and for years has been working as a teacher and has achieved several leadership positions in the Netherlands. Now she has obtained a job within the field of education in Australia, giving her best efforts to contribute to the educational system and the lives of children in Australia. In her new life Mandy Mason uses a ‘stage name’ instead of her formal name.

The first chapter is part of a manuscript based on a true story and precursor of her book ‘Not without Her Children’. The characters are mostly authentic, the events real, but the names and identifying details of places and individuals have been disguised in order to protect people’s privacy.

Mandy believes Domestic Violence is an unrecognized disease that is difficult to diagnose, especially where it concerns psychological violence, defined as coercive violence. Having to deal with Domestic Violence means to enter a life which mainly consists of surviving. It is having a roller coaster experience of aggression and suppression. Living in a world that is at war, without being recognized as a victim or a survivor. It is a never-ending story in which countries, instead of offering safety to these refugees, often make the lives of mostly mothers with children harsher, while supporting their suppressor.

In Mandy’s opinion, the ‘Hague Convention’, a law that states that parents with (shared) custody are obligated to return their children to their motherland, should look at what is in the best interest of the children, instead of merely honoring an application of one institution to the other. Domestic Violence should be acknowledged as a grave risk for the return of children.

Mandy acknowledges the Department of Education for which she works for entitling her employees to have a certain amount of days for Domestic Violence leave, which in the Netherlands would be unique. She could have never turned things around without the continuous support of her management team and colleagues at school.