“…safety plans to minimize the risk of violence…Perhaps only children above 8 years of age can be active participants…”


If you’ve read Kathleen Russell’s opinion in the Christian Science Monitor, maybe you didn’t believe that “more than 58,000 children per year are ordered by family courts into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the United States.”

The following suggestions are from The National CASA Association which, according to their website, is “a network of 1,000 program offices that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings.”


 “Strategies to protect children from violent homes… Planning for unsupervised visits can help children not only manage fear and anxiety, but can also enable them to develop safety skills and realistic safety plans to minimize the risk of violence during visitation. The process of safety planning further allows children of battered women to understand and manage the multitude of conflicting feelings they may be experiencing associated with visiting their fathers. It is critical that professionals help children identify safety issues and build problem-solving, safety skills. Safety planning for unsupervised visits may be initiated by professionals but should always be undertaken in consultation with the non-abusing parent.

Any safety plan must be realistic. The plan should be simple. It must be age-appropriate. The child must be competent to undertake the strategies designed. Perhaps only children above 8 years of age can be active participants in safety strategies…”


So, was it difficult to believe that hundreds of rogue family court judges endanger more than 58,000 children each year? 

Than you’re right. We don’t have hundreds of rogue judges in our family court system. We have a family court system that sends more than 58,000  children into unsupervised contact with physically and sexually abusive parents each year. In our nation’s family courts, parents have rights and children don’t. Maybe that’s what’s so hard to believe.

One thought on ““…safety plans to minimize the risk of violence…Perhaps only children above 8 years of age can be active participants…”

  1. My ex-husband Craig McLaughlin of Rhode Island pushed me down on the floor and physically assaulted me by pulling me and my nine month unborn son across a room by my hair. Moments after the attack he said “let’s start over.” I left him after that my son now lives with his father and I have no custody. Everyday I worry and dread a phone call telling me my son is dead. However lately my son has begun ti implement his own plan for safety – he hid my business card in his father’s house in the event he needs to call me for an emergency. However he doesn’t know how to use the phone. My ex and his sister Patricia Hessler attorney for the state of RI threatend that if I told the Federal Government of them for committing fraud that there would be severe consequences. I told the Federal Government and by the end of that day I had lost custody – 2/8/06.

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