Federal Representatives to State Courts: Improve Adjudications

From The Center for Judicial Excellence:

Guess what?

It’s August Recess — and federal lawmakers are home in their Districts until Labor Day!

Now is your chance to get your House Rep signed on
as a co-sponsor of H Con Res 72 to prioritize child safety in family courts!

Join us for a one-hour advocacy training with Kathleen Russell, Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence, and Connie Valentine, the Founder of the California Protective Parents Association to learn:

  • What does H Con Res 72 say?
  • What happens when it passes the House of Representatives?
  • How do I schedule a meeting, and with whom? house concurrent res 72 8 2018
  • Who and what should I bring to the meeting?
  • What should I say there?
  • How should I follow up?
  • What is most effective? (hint: good legislators supporting good laws!)

To RSVP for the ZOOM call, send your: name, county, state, phone number and email address to: gettraining@yahoo.com

You will receive a personal invitation via email after speaking with us to ensure that this call is a good fit for you! Together, we will do this!!

child safety days dc september 9 to 12 2018

Also, join us this September 9, 10, 11 and 12 in Washington DC! We will train protective parents on Sunday afternoon to lobby for child safety in family courts and then fan out for three days of meetings to seek even more H Con Res 72 co-sponsors and supporters.

If you can get yourselves to DC, we can put you to work for child safety!

Let’s Do This!


Current list: Cosponsors: H.Con.Res.72 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)


10th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference Fundraiser

Are you getting your garden ready for Spring?

This is from the Battered Mothers Custody Conference:

Our organization needs your help. For every purchase made on this site Flower Power Fundraising will give 50% back to Battered Mothers Custody Conference. Please click on the photo below to see how you can help today!

BMCC Fundraiser update 3 26 13

… or, become a co-sponsor, exhibitor or advertiser! 

From the BMCC website:

Each year the conference draws more mothers and an ever-widening assortment of professionals from the legal, social work, mental health, and academic fields, making it an excellent forum for:

 – Marketing your products and services

 – Disseminating your organization’s materials

 – Advertising your agency

 – Gaining national exposure

 – Attracting new clients

 – Networking with others in the field



– An exhibitor table for the entire weekend

– Listing as a Co-sponsor in conference program and on website

– 1/4 page Ad  in conference program


Please email your business card and/or ad artwork to mhannah413@aol.com by April 25, 2013.  Thank you!

Good News From The California Protective Parents Association

Dear Friends,


Save the Dates.  2012 is an action-packed year…


March 1 :

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) will hold a Congressional Briefing to share results of evidenced-based programs and practices.

Court Practices and Programs to Improve Justice and Safety for Children and Families from 10:00 to 11:00 am, 2226 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.

RSVP to Sarah Grabowska at sgrabowska@ncjfcj.org or 775-784-6711.

You may send in your written testimony, if you cannot attend.

March 16-17 :

Conference in Phoenix, Arizona –  Our Broken Family Court System 

March 19-21 :

The U.S. Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence – The “Defending Childhood Task Force” – will hold the third public hearing in Miami, Florida focused on children’s exposure to violence in their communities and at school.

If you cannot attend, you can e-mail comments by April 24 to defendingchildhoodtaskforce@nccdcrc.org or send to NCCD, Attn: Defending Childhood Task Force, 1970 Broadway, Suite 500, Oakland, California, 94612.


April 28:

 Eighteenth Annual Child Sexual Abuse Conference at the Veterans Memorial Center, 203 East 14th Street, Davis, California from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Healing from Trauma: Clergy Abuse with Keynote Speaker Jaime Romo. There is no cost for the conference.

May 6-8:

Fourth Annual Mothers of Lost Children Mothers Day demonstration/lobbying in Washington, DC.

We are holding this event the week before Mothers Day this year.


Sunday, May 6:

Time: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm for a silent vigil and march around the White House.

6:30 – 7:30 pm for a silent candlelight vigil.

Place: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW in front of the White House.


Monday, May 7 :

Time: 10:30 am to 3:30 pm for our first formal coalition meeting and lobbying workshop.

Place: Sewall Belmont House Suffragists’ Headquarters, 144 Constitution Ave, NE

Contact cppa001@aol.com right away to sign up for the workshop (seating is limited).

A small fee of $40 is needed due to high cost of the historic space.


Tuesday, May 8:

Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to lobby at the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives

  • Most of us stay at the inexpensive International Hostel, 1009 11th St NW, Washington (202) 737-2333
  • Be sure to bring your Mothers of Lost Children T-shirts! We will bring more in case you don’t have one. We wear white like the Liberian women .
  • We follow in the footsteps of the mothers who demonstrated every Thursday afternoon at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina to protest government torture and murder of their adult children. In Sacramento we demonstrate on Thursday afternoon at the family court to protest the legalized beatings, rape and murder of children.
  • For information on previous Washington DC demonstrations, go to the Mothers of Lost Children website.

DV LEAP Newsletter

From DV LEAP Newsletter December 1, 2012:

Dear friends,

DV LEAP now receives even more pleas for help from protective parents struggling in family court to keep their children safe from abusive fathers. In large part, this dramatic increase in requests for assistance is a result of wide publicity about our significant federal grant to fund both trainings and technical assistance (consulting) on custody and abuse litigation, as well as our new contracts with 6 attorney and psychologist experts in that field.

While the federal grant provides seed funding for approximately 2 hours of consulting for about 100 parents, we already know that far more (e.g., 10-20 hours) time is needed for most cases. Because these cases are complicated, and often involve unrepresented litigants facing major law firms on the other side, devotion of significant hours (but still far less than would be required for full representation) can be critical. In one recent case, the consultant’s many hours (mostly unfunded) spent reading documents from the case, assessing the litigation, and explaining strategy and approach to the mother actually helped turn the case around for the protective parent when she returned to court (still unrepresented).

Many protective parents helped by DV LEAP consulting say that this help made a huge difference to them. Our consultants have superb know-how and experience with these cases, and are able to provide unique insight into the claims frequently made by abusers seeking custody, as well as the challenges of combating faulty custody evaluations. In fact, several of our consultants have helped turn around cases that were headed in the wrong direction.

To help keep mothers and children safe, we want to provide sufficient consultation with time for protective parents.

Please make your gift to DV LEAP today so that we can ensure that every one can receive the skilled advice that will lead to safe outcomes.

Veteran attorneys join DV LEAP staff

Please join us in welcoming two new attorneys to DV LEAP. Nirupa Narayan and Michael Bassett are each working part-time with DV LEAP to replace our dear colleague, Elizabeth Liu who worked with DV LEAP for 4 ½ years. Both Ms. Narayan and Mr. Bassett come to DV LEAP with significant experience and we are excited about our ability to expand our reach and assist more survivors through their efforts.

Ms. Narayan was the Managing Immigration Attorney at the Tahirih Justice Center where she managed the organization’s immigration and pro bono programs and represented immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. She previously worked at Boat People SOS providing immigration and family law representation to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. Prior to joining Boat People SOS, Ms. Narayan was a staff attorney with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society’s family law division and AIDS Legal Project. Ms. Narayan has provided training and technical assistance to domestic violence and immigration service providers, pro bono attorneys, courts, law enforcement agents and community groups. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project. Ms. Narayan holds an LL.M. degree from American University, Washington College of Law and a J.D. degree from New York Law School. At DV LEAP, as Senior Staff Attorney Nirupa will be focusing on our DC projects, including outreach, partnering with pro bono lawyers on DC appeals, and local trainings.

Mr. Bassett comes to DV LEAP from the private practice of law in Ohio, in which he has focused on advocating for survivors of domestic abuse in complex custody (and other types) of litigation. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Bassett worked for the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office in Port Clinton, Ohio, where he worked on the creation of the office’s victim’s advocacy program, as well as designing the county’s first domestic violence protocol. Mr. Bassett has served on the Port Clinton Board of Education and the Board of Directors of Ottawa County Transitional Housing. Mr. Bassett received his BA from American University in 2002, and his JD from the University of Toledo in 2005. His focus at DV LEAP will be on consulting on and litigating custody and abuse appeals, and we are confident that his strong record of success in these cases will help survivors and their children around the country.

Joan Meier
Executive Director

California Protective Parents Association Newsletter

CA Protective Parents Association
Dear Friends,

We are thankful for new attention on the family court crisis.

Occupy Wall Street, focused on changing the economic status quo, met opposition. We who are focused on changing the family court status quo see a glimmer of light.

Last month two excellent Congressional briefings were held in Washington DC.

  • The first was on October 11 on the mental health impact of violence and trauma on children, organized by WitnessJustice http://www.witnessjustice.org/.
  • The second was on October 12 on the effects of domestic violence on children, organized by NCADV http://ncadv.org/ and Makers of Memories http://www.makersofmemories.org/.
  • Several Congressmembers, including John Conyers from Michigan and Bob Casey from Pennsylvania are calling for oversight hearings on the systemic failure to protect children.

The Penn State scandal shows that respectable married men commit heinous sexual acts against children. The belief system that men own children, can injure them with impunity, and be covered up by officials is being exposed.

Please join us, under a pseudonym if needed, to expose the family court collusion with abusers.

1. If you are a mother who has been fighting the family courts without success, contact Jane at Abuse Freedom jane@abusefreedom.com She has a reporter from CNN who wants your stories of children who were molested and then the molester ends up with child.

2. Sign a petition to save four year old Mila from ongoing abuse and possible trafficking.http://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-save-mila?utm_medium=tw itter&utm_source=share_petition

3. Demonstrations are starting at Sacramento Family Court. Please contact Mary atsurvivefcsbrutality@gmail.com for more information, especially if Stephanie Stilley MSW from Sacramento was/is on your case.

4. Come to the Battered Mothers Custody Conference on January 7-9, 2012 in Albany NY.www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org

We will be presenting on the ongoing www.mothers-of-lost-children.com demonstrations and hope to organize a Washington DC demonstration right after the conference. As Mothers on Trial author Phyllis Chessler (who will be speaking at the conference) said in admiration of the mothers, “Barefoot and weaponless, they fight on.”

5. Grade your court officials at www.DistinctionInFamilyCourts.com and complete a survey atwww.mothers-of-lost-children.com, especially if PAS or alienation was used in your case.

6. We have been encouraged by Congressional staff members to send as many emails and letters as possible to Congress and the White House. The more emails that are sent on a subject, the more attention it gets. Personal letters make even more of an impact. This petiton method makes emailing easy.

  • Consider signing a petition to Congress for oversight hearings for family court crisishttp://www.petition2congress.com/5607/family-court-crisis/

Feel free to use/edit this letter, or create your own


We are calling for oversight hearings into a growing public health crisis: 58,000 children are placed with batterers and molesters by U.S. family courts every year. www.leadershipcouncil.org.

Such adverse childhood experiences destroy childhoods and result in an increase in adult substance abuse, obesity, sexual promiscuity, depression, suicidality, heart disease, cancer, pulmonary diseases, and problems with intimate relationships and work. www.acestudy.org. When abused children are provided safety, they can become healthy adults. Instead, children are being court-ordered to violent, dangerous homes.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has called our country to task for human rights violations in Gonzalez v United States of America case, stating that the U.S. has an obligation to investigate systemic failures to prevent their repetition in the future.(p. 52) and implement precautionary measures to protect women and children in the context of domestic violence. (p. 63) http://www.law.miami.edu/hrc/hrc_gonzalez_usa.php

1. FAMILY COURT. Family court does not focus on keeping children safe. There are many reasons for this failure. The often surreal court process includes a cottage industry of private professionals. Litigants with money may be ordered to an evaluation at their own expense.  The mental health professionals charge whatever the market will bear. In this cozy relationship, courts rely on the professionals to provide reports that conform to their belief systems; the professionals rely on the court for on-going lucrative appointments and provide reports pleasing to the court. These professionals often do not comply with the laws and rules of court that govern them. They minimize or ignore child abuse and domestic violence and produce dangerously flawed reports.

Judicial decisions affecting children’s lives are based on opinion and bias, not facts and evidence.

Court employees are likewise compromised: they must provide reports that conform to judicial expectations. They sometimes boast to their colleagues of gifts received from wealthy parents. Litigants with money may also be ordered to pay for an attorney for the child. The attorney rarely represents the child’s wishes, instead advocating for the parent with the most resources. Judges have been prosecuted for receiving cash for kids and cash to throw cases.

If Child Protective Services does not substantiate child abuse, the court may incorrectly assume that abuse did not occur. CPS defers to the family court instead of intervening to remove children from unsafe court placements. District Attorneys rarely prosecute incest or child abuse cases when custody is in dispute.

The wealthier parent (usually the father) hires an aggressive attorney and the parent with less money (usually the battered mother) becomes self-represented after resources are depleted. This inequality of power yields predictable results, despite a California law requiring the court to ensure both parties have attorneys when one does.

Not surprisingly, 70% of batterers who seek custody obtain it.http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/dv.html.

Wide judicial discretion leads to tragic, sometimes fatal, mistakes. There are no standardized protocols, often no court reporters or transcripts, no ability to appeal, and no oversight of these “star chamber proceedings”.   The system fails children, but succeeds well for batterers and molesters.

2. FOSTER CARE. Children are being raped, physically abused and killed while in government placements. CPS guidelines are not always followed, often children are taken without due process, and safe relative placement may not be utilized as required. There are financial incentives for adoption that result in removal of adoptable children from their homes. Juvenile dependency hearings are secret, protecting perpetrators rather than victims. Children in foster care are medicated for symptoms of trauma instead of talking about their grief. CPS fails to remove children who are court-ordered to abusive parents.

3. FUNDING. The imbalance of funding is creating corruption which has filtered through all manner of government and related agencies. One example is that $500 million in taxpayer dollars (in this time of grave deficit and poverty), is designated for the fatherhood initiative through the US Department of Health and Human Services. “The goal is to have former prisoners paying child support and reconnecting with their children as soon as possible.” (Washington Post June 21, 2010.) Nothing is designated for a motherhood initiative. This gender-biased funding must be eliminated, or turned into a parenting initiative. There is no study that shows these funds are improving children’s lives; however, there is ample evidence that it is ruining them. Fatherhood organizations funded by HHS are known to advise previously incarcerated criminal fathers how to get custody and child support, instead of how to get a job and pay child support.

We urge you to hold oversight hearings on the systemic failure of family court and CPS to protect children as recommended by Congressman John Conyers at the October 12, 2011 Congressional briefing on the effects of domestic violence on children.