The public is justly outraged at separating immigrant children from parents. How do you think our public would react if they knew that mainstream media and organizations plus government officials have long been ignoring that our family courts quite routinely order children into custody or unsupervised visitation with a credibly accused abusive parent? Almost two decades ago a study under the auspices of a Presidential Task Force reported- "Abusers are twice as likely to seek custody, and when they do over 70% get it."
During her 2008 Harvard commencement speech J.K.Rowling lamented- "They can refuse to know" re lack of progress on serious issues. Over 200 years ago Thomas Jefferson stated, "The germ of the destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary".They need more checks and balances".The only remedy is to inform the public discretion." Despite 6 or7 documentaries from 1997 through now, books, conferences ( some even at law schools), activists meeting with House and Senate members ( May 22, 2018 I had meeting with office in our Supreme Court, gave organized data, documentaries), much explicit data given to media, media resist "informing the public discretion."
My SOLE GOAL IS RESULTS - via creating public demand for reforms in as non-judgmental a manner as possible. This paper will report and invite proposed remedies and list some very troubling findings, but I stress focusing on root causes, not on pointing fingers. Highlighting "Why/ How" will be interspersed.
The best start would be for everyone to google the bill H.Con.Res.72 languishing before Congress since July 24, 2017 (first introduced Sept. 2016 with #150, tabled due to the election) re making "child safety first priority of custody and visitation adjudications." THEN immediately demand passage of the bill ( as has been demanded re stopping separating immigrant families) AND also that all states pass their own law soon! Europe already did! A key item in H.Con.Res.72 is when abuse is alleged an independent domestic violence expert should first interview each family member separately. Although judges, lawyers, & even more so social workers have domestic violence training, it is not their area of expertise, resulting in being duped by masked CYCLING abusive behaviors and Dr.Jekly/Mr.Hydes. (Consider how many were duped by Weinstein, Cosby, Nassar, priests, ongoing #MeToo exposures, and mass shooters.) However, some judges-both genders, and other court actors "get influenced." Studies have shown wide disparity in judicial decisions over similar cases re anything. We NEED checks and balances!
A tip of the iceberg list of troubling findings follows.
1) The noted Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs- google it) lists 10 types of childhood trauma such as sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse and neglect, parental separation or divorce".As the number increases, so do health issues, inability to concentrate, etc. A score of 4 is associated with a 7-fold increase in alcoholism, a score above 6 with a 30-fold increase in attempted suicide. (My mother got a master's degree in teaching emotionally disturbed children 60 years ago. She said- "Give me a short while in the classroom and I can tell you who are the kids of divorce.")
2) Press release Sept. 22, 2008 by the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence -"About 1 million children are affected by divorce yearly. 13% report abuse (I suspect underreporting) which = 130,000, 58,500 of them get ordered into abusive custody/visits"( I divide by 365 to get 160 more court-ordered to abuse every DAY we delay!) 3) CA- Center for Judicial Excellence- Total Child Murders Uncovered 2008- June 2018 ~ 636 due to divorce, separation, custody, visitation, or child support issues.
3) California Protective Parents Assn. demonstration in 2015 in front of White House, holding huge sign- "In past 20 years, judges gave A MILLION CHILDREN to batterers and molesters."
4) Organized Crime in US Family Courts and CPS (note abusive foster care more pervasive than abuse via family courts) reported by-The Words of the Day 12/8/10.
5) Press Conference, 2/1/18 by noted custody atty, Richard Ducote- "Failing child sexual abuse victims & protecting their predators: family courts are as guilty as Michigan State, US Olympic Officials and Penn State." He spoke (yet again) at this year's Battered Mothers' Custody Conference in Albany, NY, along with about 20 other esteemed panelists.
6) Washington Post magazine, 5/11/17, "A divorced dad, estranged kids and a controversial plan to bring them together"- kids are forced (some actually kidnapped) to go with father for months and have counseling to reconnect with father, while being denied even phone contact with mother
7) At ~2015 annual Judicial Forum held by Nat'l Coalition for Family Justice(501c3, founded by Monica Getz who said to me ~2001- "Abusive custody is best-kept secret in U.S.". I'm Exec. Dir. of their advisory bd), judge running for election angrily stated he was determined to get ruling of a judge overturned who ruled that nursing mother of 3 month old had to pump her milk every other day & deliver baby to father. ( I am worried about advisability of shared custody unless parents are very cooperative, no infants, & best IF parents can amicably take turns leaving vs kids. Otherwise, I feel it is too disruptive for the kids.)
1) "The Quincy Solution: Stop Domestic Violence and Save $500 Billion," by Atty. Barry Goldstein (Theme was reviewed by 60MIN to no avail ~2012).
2) "Legal Abuse Syndrome," by Dr. Karen Huffer,