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Language Barrier Results in Custody Battle for Mother

The Des Moines Register reported on an unfortunate case of miscommunication that resulted in a mother coming close to losing custody of her children. Sui Hlei Cuai is a Burmese refugee, and lives in Iowa. She was being abused by her husband, and called 911 to report an incident. At this time, Cuai was 26 years old and did not speak English. Investigators misunderstood her case and reported child abuse in the home. Later her children were taken from her and put in a foster home for 2 1/2 years. After years of struggling to find translators and legal aid, she was finally able to regain custody of her children.