I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, your neighbor, your co-worker and or friend. I am only one of thousands of Battered Mothers and  battered children struggling daily to keep our children safe ourselves alive. Many have not survived. I dedicate this domain to ALL my many sisters-and all our children, those who have fallen and those who still stand, being brutalized daily, weekly, year after year- by a system that is supposed to protect, the Courts continue to punish battered mothers and our battered children. United we carry forward the unheard cries of our children.   

We are Silenced no more .  

Claudine Dombrowski ...

We must say to every member of our society: If you violate your children, they may not speak today, but as we gather our strength and stand beside them, they will, one day, speak your name. They will speak every name. (Marilyn Van Derbur)                   WE ARE GATHERING OUR STRENGTH - WE ARE SILENCED NO MORE~!

A victims first scream is for help;

A victims second scream is for justice.

Coral Anika Theill; Author and Reporter Salem News   

ResourcesKansasLegal/NewsVideoHopeContact 

  this site

**

Tribute Video Rikki, Granny, Mom - Don't Give Up

 

The Eighth Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference BMCC VIII:

Watch the Entire Conference here: http://www.ustream.tv/user/mhannah413/videos

 

Battered Women, Abused Children, and Child Custody:
"A National Crisis"
 


The Eighth Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference
BMCC VIII: "The Unity Conference - Join Up!"

 

The focus of this year's conference is to connect battered mothers with groups working locally, nationally, and internationally
to reform unjust family court practices that continue to harm them and their children.


January 7th, 8th, and 9th, 2011
Friday evening 6:00 p.m. - Sunday afternoon

 

Stop the Genocide Against Battered Mothers and Their Children

 

 

Claudine Dombrowski has been selected to be among a host of honored presenters at the upcoming Battered Mothers Custody Conference. 

Claudine has diligently worked to bring attention to the systemic re-victimization of abused women who have lost custody of their children to the person who abused them and how the courts are allowing this to happen.

She has taken this issue to the internet by storm, through several websites, blogs and social media sites gathering those together who are uniting their voices to make a difference for the sake of the their children.

2011 Presenters  Representing

  AMERICAN - AUSTRALIAN MOTHERS POLITICAL PARTY


Nancy Carroll  | Claudine Dombrowski I  Melanie Smith
Lorraine Tipton |  Randi James

 

http://www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org/



If you are a mother, child, or friend who has created a web site and/or grassroots group dedicated to the
issue of batterers gaining custody through litigation, we'd like to hear from you ...

 

AMPP- American Mothers Political Party

 

 Listen to internet radio with American Mothers Political Party on Blog Talk Radio

 

ResourcesKansasLegal/NewsVideoHopeContact  Reading

  this site

justice’s posterous

www.KS-FCRC.com

www.KansansForJudicialAccountability.com

www.RightsForMothers.com

 

"Court Appointed Child Abuser"

1243 SW Topeka Blvd.,Suite B, Topeka Kansas 66617 PH:(785)266-8664

Whores of the Court- M. Jill Dykes

Whores of the Court- M. Jill Dykes

 

 

Women We Will Be Victorious

 

Family Courts:" Mothers Without Custody"  The Susan Murphy Milano Show:

 

Claudine Dombrowski and Barry Goldstein

 

Direct link to show Click link below

 Susan Murphy Milano Show

 

Shawnee County Court (Rape) House

Shawnee County Court (Rape) House

The Rape Of Justice - Justice Delayed IS Justice DENIED -What Litigation Abuse looks like- He beats her now with the gavel instead of his fists-

 

 

What Litigation Abuse Looks Like! It Boggles The Mind That Each Line Represents a Trip to Court. This is a KANSAS CASE! The Claudine Dombrowski Case.

 

What Litigation Abuse Looks Like! It Boggles The Mind That Each Line Represents a Trip to Court. This is a KANSAS CASE! The Claudine Dombrowski Case.

Claudine Dombrowski Photos of Abuse | Stop Family Violence There is a crisis in our nation’s family courts. Judges are awarding child custody to abusers and pedophiles and punishing the safe parent who tries to … As you view these photos keep in mind that the court awarded FULL CUSTODY of their daughter to the[more...]

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Myths and Facts about Fatherhood, Family, Motherhood and Marriage Research

Therapeutic Jurisprudence - What's wrong with our family courts - NNFLP research on custody evaluation practices

 

Parenting News Network™

Coming Soon! "Time\

 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, AND CHILD CUSTODY Legal Strategies and Policy Issues Edited by Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D. and Barry Goldstein, J.D

Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life

 

 

Reproductive Rights, Parental Rights, and Family Violence: A Dangerous Intersection

Maternal Deprivation Abuse

 
 
   

 

 

 

  • Mothers of Lost Children Hold Silent Vigil at the White House

  • iReport —

    Mothers from across the country gathered at the White House today on Mothers Day to stand in silent vigil for the children who are now in the custody of abusers.  Claims of domestic violence are often dismissed by family court judges during divorces or child custody proceedings, even though the American Bar Association found false claims to be rare.  To raise awareness of this crisis in family courts, Connie Valentine and Karen Anderson of the California Protective Parents Association organized with other groups such as the Center for Judicial Excellence, Justice for Children, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).  The event was also supported by Stop Family Violence and the National Organization for Women.[more...]

 

 

  • CONFIRMED: PROTECTIVE MOTHERS WERE RIGHT

     
  • CONFIRMED: PROTECTIVE MOTHERS WERE RIGHT

    A special Mothers Day Article
    By Barry Goldstein

    For many years, protective mothers have complained about a broken custody court system giving custody to abusive fathers. The courts dismissed the complaints by saying they came from disgruntled litigants. Now, a new book based on multi-disciplinary research has confirmed that common mistakes in the custody[more...]

     

 

Time’s Up for Victims of Domestic Abuse

Available for Order NOW! CLICK COVER 
With the proliferation of deaths due to domestic violence, something has to be done, something different, and something effective.   Susan Murphy-Milano, a 20 year veteran of family violence will be releasing her newest book, “Time’s Up” A  Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships, on April 12, 2010.
“Time’s Up” guides the [more...]

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Battered Women Take Custody Battles to White House

Battered Women Take Custody Battles to White House

By Mary Darcy hyperlinked by Parenting News Network™

Battered mothers often shy away from publicity. But this year, in a sign of their growing organization, some plan to spend Mother’s Day in Washington in a White House vigil to draw attention to a court system that often gives custody to abusers. (WOMENSENEWS)–On Mother’s Day, busloads [more...]

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Mothers Of Lost Children To Gather For White House Vigil On Mothers Day

Mothers Of Lost Children To Gather For White House Vigil On Mothers Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contacts:
Connie Valentine 916-233-8381
Kathleen Russell 415-250-1180

MOTHERS OF LOST CHILDREN TO GATHER FOR WHITE HOUSE VIGIL ON MOTHERS DAY
12 Noon Press Conference with Grieving Moms from Across America
<PHOTO OPPORTUNITY>

Mothers from across America who have lost their children because family courts ordered them into full custody or unsupervised visitation with their alleged abusers will [more...]

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When Fathers Kill Their Kids

When Fathers Kill Their Kids

 
by Cara Tabachnick


In the past nine months, 75 kids were murdered by their dads during custody battles. Cara Tabachnick of The Crime Report goes inside a horrific cycle of violence—and the family courts doing little to stop it.  Wyatt Garcia was born in April 2009. Nine months later, he was shot and killed by his father, more...]

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Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life

 

Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life

NEW  Coercive Control: Review by Diane Post
Despite its great achievements, the domestic violence revolution is stalled, Evan Stark argues, a provocative conclusion he documents by showing that interventions have failed to improve womens long-term safety in relationships or to hold perpetrators accountable.
Stark traces this failure to a startling paradox, that the singular focus on [more...]

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Family Law & Policy Information

Inside Criminal Justice

 

Failure to Protect: The Crisis in America’s Family Courts

When a mother’s bitter custody battle ends with the death of her child, something has gone terribly wrong with the system.

Wyatt Garcia was born in April 2009. Nine months later, he was shot and killed by his father, who then turned the gun on himself.

It might have turned out differently—if a family court judge had listened to Wyatt’s mother.

(more…)

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, AND CHILD CUSTODY Legal Strategies and Policy Issues Edited by Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D. and Barry Goldstein, J.D

 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, AND CHILD CUSTODY Legal Strategies and Policy Issues Edited by Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D. and Barry Goldstein, J.D

Announcing the Publication of
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, AND CHILD CUSTODY
Legal Strategies and Policy Issues
Edited by Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D. and Barry Goldstein, J.D.
Description of the Book Table of Contents Book Reviews FAQ Contact the Editors
How We Know the Custody Courts Are Broken Advocating for Change: What to Tell Judges
National Coalition [more...]

 

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Reproductive Rights, Parental Rights, and Family Violence: A Dangerous Intersection

 

Maternal Deprivation Abuse

 

Courts Awarding Custody to Abusers and Domestic Violence Homicides Is There a Connection?

Courts Awarding Custody to Abusers and Domestic Violence Homicides Is There a Connection?

“Time’s Up!”

By Barry Goldstein

The research establishing that the custody court system is broken and has a pattern of mishandling domestic violence cases is now overwhelming.  The new book, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY, I co-edited with Dr. Mo Therese Hannah brings all the most up-to-date research together in one place.  It includes a [more...]

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Complete Video from the Sixth Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference

 THE LIZ LIBRARY HOMEParenting News Network™Cold North WindJustice For SurvivorsThe Truth About The Family CourtLet's Get HonestMama LibertyChildren and Their Mothers RightsMama LibertyRights For Mothers NewsVAW NewsAnonymumsCustodial Justice - A Human Rights IssueBattered Mothers Lose CustodyEXPOSING THE UNTOLD TRUTHS OF FAMILY LAW WEBGUIDEGlenns Cult

 

SPECIAL:

 Kansas Senate Joint Committee on Children's Issues -Testimonies Dec 4, 2009

 

Claudine Dombrowski: An abused mom victimized again by the Kansas Courts

Posted in Children, Kansas Government by kansaswatchdog on December 4th, 2009

Testimony by Claudine Dombrowski at the hearing of the Kansas Joint Committee on Children’s Issues on Nov 30, 2009 in Topeka about problems with child placement and removal.

 

Listen Now:

 

 

 

JurorThirteen

 

Join Denny Griffin Wednesday night at 9:00pm EDT, 6:00pm PDT for a special Jurorthirteen Blog Talk Radio Show about Maternal Deprivation Abuse.

Victims of domestic violence suffer physical and emotional trauma at the hands of their abusers. Some don’t escape these relationships alive. But even for those who are fortunate enough to get out with their lives, their ordeal isn’t necessarily over. In many cases their tormentors still pose a threat to them and their children. And as they try to protect themselves and their loved ones they are often victimized again; this time by the very legal system they thought would provide them with justice and a safety net.

There are way too many horror stories out there about how these vulnerable women are subjected to even more abuse as they go through the system. And one of the most troublesome scenarios is when the courts issue a ruling that removes their children from them, sometimes awarding custody to the abuser.   

On the Juror Thirteen show on August 26 we’ll talk about this problem with three women who can speak from personal experience. Advocate and author Susan Murphy-Milano, and Janice Levinson and Claudine Dombrowski of the Protective Mothers Alliance will discuss what mothers can do to bring about change in the treatment of protective mothers and their children in family court proceedings. All three have lost children to maternal deprivation abuse.

Your questions or comments can be called in by phone or made through the show’s chat room.

DANA PRETZER INTERVIEW 12/19/09

If you didn't have a chance to listen live:

 

* Domestic Violence (DV) by Proxy: 
Why Terrorist Tactics Employed by Batterers Are Not "PAS"

 

New: KS: Domestic Violence Deaths Rising

Are at Record Highs 2009

* Domestic Violence is on The Rise

 In Shawnee County

 

 

 

 

Susan Murphy Milano's  Journal

Susan Murphy Milano

National Domestic Violence Expert

 

Strategist, Author-Advocate-Media & Consultant

 

 

 

ResourcesKansasLegal/NewsVideoHopeContact

  this site

The Dangerous Custody Game of Show and Tell

Coming Soon! "Time\

 

www.BatteredMothersCustodyConference.org

 

www.KS-FCRC.com

www.KansansForJudicialAccountability.com

www.Rights4Mothers.com

 

 

Family Court and the Judicial Murder of Children's Lives

 

Complete Video from the Sixth Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LIZ LIBRARY -- women's legal research and reference library on the history, law and politics affecting women, motherhood and marriage.


 

Any time time is the right time

to do what is right.

...wouldn't now be a good time...

 

 

 

 

 

Family Court Crisis - Our Children at Risk

2008 Family Law Documentary of the systemic break down of Family Courts

www.CenterForJudicialExcellence.org

 This is a national outrage-only together in numbers can we bring about real change.

 

Family Court Crisis; Our Children at Risk

January 2008  Family Law Documentary-(43 min)

Breaking The Silence; Children's Stories

October 2005 PBS Documentary- (1hr 4 min)

 

 

 

Family Court Crisis - Our Children at Risk

 

The Center For Judicial Excellence exposes a brewing nightmare in family courts across America: Children are routinely being placed by the family court in the sole custody of their abusive parents.

 

The 43 minute feature looks into Parental Alienation Syndrome (or PAS, the reigning paradigm in family courts); plus we take a look at the role of court-appointed mediators, therapists & evaluators in a broken system run amok that is damaging the lives of far too many children.

And looks at the big business and money motives behind the family law machine;

 This film is a call to action if you care about this grave injustice that must be seen to be believe.

 

Breaking The Silence; Children's Stories

This powerful PBS documentary chronicles the impact of domestic violence on children and the recurring failings of family courts across the country to protect them from their abusers.

The one-hour special also features interviews with domestic violence experts, attorneys and judges who reveal the disturbing frequency in which abusers are winning custody of their children and why these miscarriages of justice continue to occur.
 

This Documentary is a part of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights lawsuit (Dombrowski v US)  in conjunct with other National Organizations on behalf of Battered Mothers and Battered Children Nationally.

Entire Petition here:

 

 

 

ResourcesKansasLegal/NewsVideoHopeContact

  this site

 

 

 Fighting the 'Hidden American Disgrace"
of Court Abused Children
.
We DEMAND Justice!~

short audio clip of VOW's call to justice.

 

         "We lived in fear, depression, hopelessness and helplessness for years. Some of us ran away from our abusers. Some could not handle the trauma and committed suicide."
 
    "We who survived, got older and stronger. Now we are telling the world how much we were hurt, first by our abusers and then by the court that refused to protect us.

Silent no more.

We are the Courageous Kids Network.

 

 

 

    The Voices of Women Organizing Project gives a voice to survivors of domestic violence, so that we can influence, change, and improve the many systems battered women and their children rely on for safety and justice.

 

VOW Executive Summary Release:

    Justice Denied: How Family Courts Endanger Battered Women and Children.

For a copy of the Executive Summary, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be the change.

ResourcesKansasLegal/NewsVideoHopeContact

  this site

 

 

 

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' Margaret Mead
US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 - 1978)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crisis in Family Law Courts

There is a national crisis for women and their children in the family law courts of this country. Affirmed by experts and leaders in the women's movement, the existence of this crisis is verified by women in every state who report injustice in their family law cases, especially battered mothers trying to protect their children from abusive fathers who aggressively litigate against them, using family court to stalk, harass, punish, and impoverish their former partners and children. NOW recognizes this crisis for women and their children and seeks to address discrimination against women in family courts.

The information presented here has been compiled by the National NOW Family Law Advisory Ad Hoc Committee. Created in April 2004, this all-volunteer committee is comprised of parents, grandparents, activists, paralegals, organizers, attorneys, and advocates from across the nation devoting their collective experience and expertise in family law and navigating the family court system to NOW's work in promoting justice and equality for women.

Resources

  • In response to the discrimination and harassment women often face in family courts, the NOW Family Law Ad Hoc Committee has developed a brochure that provides practical recommendations for women encountering a difficult divorce or child custody case. It includes tips to help women better understand the judicial process, how to protect themselves in domestic violence situations, conduct proper case documentation and what to guard against in contested child custody cases. The brochure can be downloaded for NOW chapter and personal use.
    Brochure: Crisis For Women In Family Court: What To Expect and How To Fight Back (pdf)

  • Recommended Reading

  • Links to helpful web sites

 

 

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  this site

 

 

Child Abuse Awareness

 

April is child abuse awareness month and ACRA has invited you to join us in a walk followed by a candlelight vigil to help bring awareness to child abuse and system abuse. Please share this will all of your family and friends so we can work together to make a difference in our community.

Child Abuse Statistics

 4 children die everyday as a result of child abuse and three out of 4 of these victims are under the age of four.

   Of reported rapes of children under 12 years old, 90% of the victims knew the perpetrator.

  Child abuse occurs at every socio-economic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.

According to the American Judges Association

 

Approximately 70% of batterers obtain sole or joint custody.

  Batterers succeed in convincing authorities that the non-offending parent is unfit or undeserving of sole custody.

If the American Judges Association knows of this why do they continue to put children at risk?

Judges must be educated in child sexual abuse to help protect and prevent any re-occurring abuse.

  A study done by "Neustein & Goetting (1999)" shows 300 cases studied over a 10 year period in which the 'non-offending' parent sought to protect their child/children from sexual abuse, found that 70% resulted in unsupervised visitation or shared custody;  20% of cases the 'protective parent' completely lost custody, and many of these lost all visitation rights.

The bottom line is that children are

 NOT being protected

by the one person who has the final say,

The Judge!

Judge Joe Johnson Topeka Kansas Don Hoffman Jason Hoffman Shawnee County County Court, Jill Dykes, GAL

 

 

 

ResourcesKansasLegal/NewsVideoHopeContact

  this site

 

 

 

§National Network on Family Law Policy

therapeutic jurisprudence - custody evaluators - guardians ad litem Children need. . . THIS? standards and practices in child custody evaluations § CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATORS : IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Erroneous Belief in Benefit Where None Exists. Isn't it Time We Ditched this Bad Idea?

§ Therapeutic JurispruNorm Pattis on therapeutic jurisprudencedence... Not Such a Good idea

Whores of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice, by Margaret Hagen FREE download from Prof. Hagen's website, right now.

Evaluating the Evaluator; re-thinking the Assumptions of Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Family Courts

therapeutic jurisprudence - custody evaluators - guardians ad litemThis article discusses the minimum disclosures every child custody evaluator, "best interests" guardian ad litem GAL [1], or parenting coordinator (herein called a "mental health professional" or "MHP") [2a]

Kansas Licensing

Child custody evaluator repeats the same language and findings in multiple custody evaluation reports

 

 

 

 

What IS Fair for Children of Abusive Men?
by Jack C. Straton, Ph.D.

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/nomas.html

 

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  this site

 

 

KANSAS
 

 

Claudine Dombrowski Case No. 96-D-217 Shawnee County Courts Topeka, KS

2001 Original Website: Nine years later, -justice still has not risen her head, indeed, continued abuse, punishment, coercion, control and torture continues....

A Childs Rights Association

Is Lobbying for the 'Protective Parent Act' in Kansas, this act will help protect abused children rights and the rights of the non-offending parent.

 

Patriotic Thunder-KS Local Issues Kansas Judges -what we heard absolutely disgusted us about them. Common sense says if you rape a little girl or beat the hell out of your wife you shall get punished for that in a severe matter.  However, the law states otherwise, and the list of outrage goes on.....

Sentencing guidelines a hot topic at the Statehouse - 49abcnews.com Activist and family violence victim herself, Claudine Dombrowski, joined members of the community as they discussed, along with representative Joe Patton, ...

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence Supports Justice for Mothers-Mother's Day lawsuit. A case from Kansas is part of the lawsuit. http://www.kcsdv.org/psmothers.html

The Manhattan Free Press On Line To Claudine Dombrowski it is not beautiful, that is her daughter, six-year-old Rikki on the couch behind the threatening coffee table. ...

OUTRAGES: Bad decisions, Bad judges, Bad experts, Bad ethics, Bad ...CLAUDINE DOMBROWSKI CASE , Shawnee County, Kansas . Claudine lost custody of her baby daughter Rikki to Hal Richardson, the man who did this, thanks to Judge James P. Buchele....

 

Manhattan resident fights custody battle for daughter All she wants is to get her daughter back. Claudine Dombrowski, a Manhattan resident, is fighting for the custody of her 6-year-old daughter....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTHERS FILE INTERNATIONAL COMPLAINT

 AGAINST UNITED STATES 

"INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS"

http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/pages/308

 

 

We are the Courageous Kids Network.

    " We lived in fear, depression, hopelessness and helplessness for years. Some of us ran away from our abusers. Some could not handle the trauma and committed suicide."

"We who survived, got older and stronger. Now we are telling the world how much we were hurt, first by our abusers and then by the court that refused to protect us."

www.CourageousKids.net

ResourcesKansasLegal/NewsVideoHopeContact

  this site

 

 

 

Stop Family Violence

CRISIS IN AMERICA'S FAMILY COURTS


There is a crisis in America _ s family courts, and we need your help to end it. Judges are awarding child custody to batterers, child abusers and pedophiles while issuing gag orders and even jailing the protective parents who try to stop them.

StopFamilyViolence.org, and the Battered Mother _ s Custody Conference invite you to host or attend the showing of a special DVD during October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to raise awareness about this shocking national crisis and to organize for action.

Join thousands of concerned citizens in communities across the country as they view portions of two nationally acclaimed documentaries that expose the _ dirty secret _ taking place in America _ s family courts. Then join a discussion to plan what you can do about it. (event time approx 2 hrs)
Small Justice: Little Justice in
America's Family Courts

Garland Waller, producer; Intermedia, distributor.

NOTE: if the above player is not working, click here

Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories
Tatge-Lasseur Productions

NOTE: if the above player is not working, click here

Learn how misguided judges take children away from the protective parent and put them in the care of the person the children have named as their abuser. See how abusive fathers use their children to control and punish the mothers, and how judges unwittingly help these abusive men use the court to perpetuate the abuse. Learn the truth about a discredited theory called Parental Alienation Syndrome, that judges, custody evaluators and law guardians invoke to deny that abuse is occurring, and learn about state laws that force judges to make decisions that put abused women and children at risk.

Fighting the "Hidden American Disgrace"
of Court Abused Children

     We, the Courageous Kids Network, are a growing group of young people, whose childhood was shattered by biased and inhumane court rulings, which forced us to live with our abusive parent, while restricting or sometimes completely eliminating contact with our loving and protective parent.

Some of us, whose mothers tried to protect us from abuse, did not see our mothers for years, or were only allowed to see our mothers under oppressive supervised visitation orders. We were not allowed to hug our mothers, or talk about how we felt. Some of us were separated from siblings, grandparents and extended family. We lost our home, pets, toys, friends, & our childhood. We lived in fear, depression, hopelessness and helplessness for years. Some of us ran away from our abusers. Some could not handle the trauma and committed suicide.

We who survived, got older and stronger. Now we are telling the world how much we were hurt, first by our abusers and then by the court that refused to protect us.

www.CourageousKids.net

 

The Leadership Council
610-664-5007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Child Abuse Experts Applaud Legal Community for Rejecting 
Parental Alienation Syndrome

July 12, 2006   Bala Cynwyd, Pa. People who care about abused children finally have something to celebrate. Two recent high profile legal publications have rejected _ Parental Alienation Syndrome _ (PAS), a controversial label often used to discredit allegations of child abuse or domestic violence in family courts. According to PAS theory, children's disclosures of abuse by one parent are reinterpreted as evidence of _ brainwashing _ by the other parent. The solution proposed by PAS theory is to immediately award custody to the alleged child abuser. 

The newly revised, 2006 edition of "Navigating Custody and Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge's Guide, _ published by The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, includes a strong statement condemning the use of PAS which it calls a _ discredited _ syndrome that favors child abusers in custody determinations. [see excerpt]

At the same time the Spring 2006 issue of the American Bar Association's Children's Legal Rights Journal provides a comprehensive analysis of all legal case involving allegations of PAS. This definitive review concludes that science, law, and policy all oppose the admissibility of PAS in the courtroom. [Download PDF of article].  

_ PAS is junk science at its worst, _ says Dr. Paul Fink, President of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, and a former President of the American Psychiatric Association [see bio]. Dr. Fink explains, _ Science tells us that the most likely reason that a child becomes estranged from a parent is that parent's own behavior. Labels, such as PAS, serve to deflect attention away from those behaviors. _  

Judge Sol Gothard is glad to see that the legal community has joined other professionals in recognizing the harm that PAS can cause. Recently retired from Louisiana's 5th Circuit Court of Appeal, Judge Gothard has been involved in over 2000 cases of allegations of child sexual abuse. He states, _ PAS has caused emotional harm, physical harm and in some cases, even death to children. _ [read about Nathan's death; see also Jana Bommersbach. Parental Alienation. Phoenix Magazine, May 2006]

Joyanna Silberg, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist and Executive Vice President of the Council [see bio], has also seen first hand the long-term emotional damage this so-called syndrome has caused. _ How do you explain to young children forced to live with abusers why the courts have considered them liars and ignored their cries for help? _ Silberg has found that it can take years for these children to get past their feelings of betrayal by the system that was supposed to protect them. [see article about Tiffany; more children's stories]

Dr. Silberg views PAS allegations as part of a larger strategy in which abusive parents try to fool the courts, attorneys, child custody evaluators, and mental health professionals into believing that their children and ex-spouses are crazy when they raise concerns about safety. She notes the recent case of Darren Mack, accused of shooting his custody judge and stabbing his wife to death.  Mack successfully convinced a custody evaluator that he was a loving parent with no violent tendencies, notes Silberg.

Stephanie Dallam, MS, a researcher with the Leadership Council, has spent the last 10 years researching PAS [see bio]. She traces the syndrome to a controversial psychiatrist, Richard Gardner, who described sex between fathers and their offspring as normal and natural. In his voluminous self-published writings, Gardner blamed abused children's suffering on our society's _ overreaction _ to sexual abuse, notes Dallam. [more on Gardner's views on pedophilia]

Dr. Paul Fink concludes, "Children suffer when law embraces a 'syndrome' just because a so-called 'expert' coined a snappy phrase.  Increasingly, courts are seeing through the PAS charade and refusing to allow the courtroom to be used as theater for the promotion of junk science."

 

 

 

 

[excerpt]LETTING DOWN THEIR GUARD: WHAT GUARDIANS AD LITEM SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES

In my first meeting with the guardian ad litem, I had told him that there was a significant history of domestic violence, [that] my ex-partner had been to [a batterer _ s intervention program] and that I was disabled as a result of the abuse, and he told me. _ No one cares about that abuse crap. _ 

Introduction

Lorie suffered years of severe violence at the hands of her husband, Noah.1 He pulled out her hair, slapped her, tore her clothing, and threatened her life.2 He hit her in the face with his head so hard that he [*PG284]broke her tooth.3 Lorie and Noah _ s children lived with the ongoing abuse and often witnessed the violence.4 During one incident, Lorie was holding their baby in her arms when Noah picked up a butcher knife.5 _ Put the kid down, _ he said, _ I _ m going to kill you now. _ 6

When litigation began over custody of their children, Lorie was prepared with evidence of the abuse, including dental records documenting her broken tooth and written statements of observers who witnessed the abuse and her injuries.7 The guardian ad litem appointed to her case, however, refused to look at any of the documentation she offered.8 Furthermore, during the investigation he said to Lorie, _ I know you lied to me [about the abuse]. You better tell the truth now, because I _ m getting phone calls from people and they can tell me the truth. _ 9

Ignoring the trauma of the abuse Lorie suffered, the guardian ad litem _ s report to the judge described Lorie as _ irrationally angry _ and _ overly emotional, _ citing her tendency to burst into tears.10 The guardian ad litem also discredited Lorie _ s reports of domestic violence to the court, despite his own acknowledgement that he found Noah to be controlling, domineering, and dishonest.11 The court ultimately granted Noah full custody of the children.12 The judge never saw Lorie _ s extensive documentation, and thus could not consider the impact of Noah _ s abusive behavior on the children.13  Complete Journal >>> http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/lawreviews/meta-elements/journals/bctwj/24_2/02_FMS.htm

LEADERSHIP COUNCIL What's New

Radio Interview: Oct 09, 2006 - - Retired Judge Sol Gothard and nationally renowned attorney Richard Ducote talk with Lisa about custody law and policy  involving protective parents, child abuse, the    Leadership Council, and more.

Gothard-Ducote.wma (PATIENCE: THIS NONSTREAMING FILE MAY TAKE A LONG TIME TO LOAD

Scholarly Articles and Reviews

Articles Addressing Domestic Violence and Abuse Allegations in Custody and Visitation Disputes

Scientific Studies Examining the Veracity of Sex Abuse Allegations in Child Custody Disputes - Are they more likely to be false?

Are Protective Parents Losing Custody to Alleged Abusers? Evidence shows that women who raise concerns about family violence during custody litigation run the risk of losing their children

Research Indicating that the Majority of "High Conflict" Contested Custody Cases Involve a History of Domestic Violence.

Using a Child Custody Dispute to Discredit Sex Abuse Allegations. Several sex offenders in treatment describe how they used a child custody dispute to prevent or discredit abuse allegations.

Custody Myths - Too often custody decisions are based on myth, misinterpretation of facts, and evaluator bias. This article provides an overview of some of the erroneous beliefs that contribute to the problem of children not being protected from abuse in family court.

Common Misconceptions in Addressing Domestic Violence in Child Custody Disputes - outlines seven misconceptions with respect to domestic violence and child custody that represent barriers to safety and accountability of women and children exposed to domestic violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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