Congressional Testimony: Karen Kestrel to Bill Windsor of Lawless America.

“The rule of law in lawless America is a myth.”

From Lawless America:

Congressional Testimony: Karen Kestrel to Bill Windsor of Lawless America.

Lawless America…The Movie is all about exposing the fact that we now live in Lawless America. We no longer have laws that are enforced because judges do whatever they want to do. America has also become lawless because government officials are dishonest and/or corrupt.

The movie will expose corruption in every state. The Movie will focus on victims. Corrupt judges and corrupt government officials will be exposed, and we will confront a number of the crooks.

If anyone has ever questioned the story of a person who has expressed the view that they were a victim of the government or of judges, this movie will prove that the odds are that the corruption report was true. In fact, there are probably tens of millions of victims in the United States who never realized what happened to them. 

One feature length documentary movie is being produced. It will be shown in theaters, on Netflix, Blockbuster, and other such video places, and the movie will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival and other film festivals.

In addition, videos will be produced for each state and for each type of corruption. Everyone interviewed for the film recorded a three-minute segment that will be done as testimony before Congress as well as a 30-60 minute on-camera interview with Bill Windsor, founder of and the Revolutionary Party. The legislators in each state are receiving the testimony from those in their state, and the members of the U.S. House and Senate will receive all of the testimony nationwide.

Over 750 people were scheduled to be interviewed for the movie.

For more information, see:

The Lawless America website: 

Lawless America YouTube Channel:

Lawless America Facebook Page:

Lawless America The Movie:



“It is not based on facts and law… The more I talk abuse, the more I lost my kids.”


From Lawless America:

Congressional Testimony: Tiffini Flynn Forslund to Bill Windsor of Lawless America.

Lawless America…The Movie is all about exposing the fact that we now live in Lawless America. We no longer have laws that are enforced because judges do whatever they want to do. America has also become lawless because government officials are dishonest and/or corrupt.

The movie will expose corruption in every state. The Movie will focus on victims. Corrupt judges and corrupt government officials will be exposed, and we will confront a number of the crooks.

If anyone has ever questioned the story of a person who has expressed the view that they were a victim of the government or of judges, this movie will prove that the odds are that the corruption report was true. In fact, there are probably tens of millions of victims in the United States who never realized what happened to them. 

One feature length documentary movie is being produced. It will be shown in theaters, on Netflix, Blockbuster, and other such video places, and the movie will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival and other film festivals.

In addition, videos will be produced for each state and for each type of corruption. Everyone interviewed for the film recorded a three-minute segment that will be done as testimony before Congress as well as a 30-60 minute on-camera interview with Bill Windsor, founder of and the Revolutionary Party. The legislators in each state are receiving the testimony from those in their state, and the members of the U.S. House and Senate will receive all of the testimony nationwide.

Over 750 people were scheduled to be interviewed for the movie.

For more information, see:

The Lawless America website: 

Lawless America YouTube Channel:

Lawless America Facebook Page:

Lawless America The Movie:


Another Way it Happens

by Julia Fletcher

Recent posts  How Does it Happen? and  Looking in a Blind Eye show several ways in which family courts fail our children. The following video clip  from Connecticut’s guardian ad litem training shows yet another way it happens. 

The woman playing the guardian ad litem seems like a trustworthy person with years of experience in the field of child protection. She’s a mother and grandmother of five who wears her heart on her sleeve next to the unexplained  disconnect when it comes to protecting the children she’s supposed to protect.

If  this video is supposed to teach people how to speak with parents in a family court case, maybe the woman playing the guardian ad litem was unprepared or caught off guard by ad lib comments about “child porn”. Why else would a guardian ad litem ignore disclosures of child abuse?  

While we’re asking, here are a few more questions: 

  • Which consultants wrote the sample case for the training and who approved the content? 
  • Do administrators there purposely or inadvertently encourage a lack of respect for established law? 
  • What intolerable consequence could possibly threaten those who do the work it takes to protect children from abuse in family courts?

Here’s the sample case summary:  

Mona and Howard are married and have three children, Justine, 13 years; Kevin, 6 years; and Amy, 18 months.

According to Howard, a lack of sexual intimacy with his wife led him to have an affair with Olive – the babysitter who is “half  his age”. He allows his 13-year-old daughter to use her cell phone to send sexually explicit text messages and provocative photos of herself to her friends. In this video, he appears to admit having “child porn” on his computer.  

Mona is anxious and depressed. Her psychiatrist ruled out all other possible reasons for her symptoms and diagnosed her as having postpartum depression. He prescribed  medication which caused suicidal thoughts and excessive drowsiness. At some point, she fell asleep on the couch while her 18-month-old daughter sat on the floor chewing on a pill bottle – prompting someone to recommend supervised visitation for her when she is with her children …

How Does it Happen?

by Julia Fletcher

A few mothers, each with an armful of clear evidence of crimes and corruption in Connecticut family courts, visited the Bridgeport, Connecticut office of the FBI yesterday.

One FBI agent told one of the mothers that what she was saying didn’t make sense to him. He said he’s sure that family court judges don’t take abused children from protective mothers to give full custody of the abused children to the fathers who abused them. The FBI agents then turned away the mothers and their evidence.

At least  FOX News is investigating the family court crisis. Let’s hope FOX News will knock on the FBI office doors in Bridgeport, Connecticut to ask why that office turned away those mothers and their evidence.

While we wait for someone to investigate why that FBI office won’t investigate, maybe other FBI agents – except for the FBI in Michigan – will want to watch this video about one family court case. It’s a fine example of what happens.

Now we need the FBI to figure out how it happens in family courts all over the country. 

McRoberts v. Los Angeles Superior Court

From Safe Kids International:

“THE MOST SACRED OF THE DUTIES OF A GOVERNMENT IS TO DO EQUAL AND IMPARTIAL JUSTICE TO ALL ITS CITIZENS” –Thomas Jefferson:On June 13, 2012, at 9 AM, oral argument on the use of Parental Alienation Syndrome,(“PAS”) in child sexual abuse cases will be heard by the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District Court, Division 3, at 300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California, in McRoberts v. Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. B234877.

Patricia J. Barry, attorney for Sera McRoberts, will present oral argument on the violations of due process and equal protection Sera McRoberts and her children experienced during the trial on the two daughters’ allegations of sexual abuse against their father Steve Lesserson. Ms. Barry argued and won the first sexual harassment case before the US Supreme Court in Merritor vs. Vinson. The Amicae (several national domestic violence organizations and California Senator Sheila Kuehl having signed on) are represented by Erica Reilley of Jones Day who will present oral argument on the lack of scientific validity and inadmissibility of evidence of PAS.

The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association both have rejected PAS. It is not listed in any of the Diagnostic Statistical Manuals. Yet, Stan Katz, Custody Evaluator and Expert Witness of the infamous McMartin Preschool Trial and both Michael Jackson molestation cases, used PAS against Sera McRoberts to change custody to Mr. Lesserson, despite the fact that one of the two daughters ended up with an STD.

For further information, please contact: Patricia J. Barry, Attorney, office 213 995 0734; fax 213 995 0735; cell 213 247 4902; email

“Looking in a Blind Eye”

by Julia Fletcher

Driving through a parking lot yesterday, moving forward slowly, I happened to turn my head to the left for some reason. It could have been the bumper sticker that caught my eye. Big and bold. Navy blue and white. It said “We Are Penn State”. 

I don’t think I’ve seen that bumper sticker before. Maybe I have seen it and didn’t notice – having looked at it “in a blind eye” before yesterday. 

Most of us have noticed something for the first time that’s been there all along. Maybe that’s what happened.

Almost everyone knows about Penn State University and their football team and maybe everyone except me has seen that bumper sticker before and they already know what it means. I didn’t.

When I saw that bumper sticker, I didn’t think about cheerleaders at football games. I thought of all the “We are” solidarity slogans we’ve seen in the news lately…

     “We are Trayvon Martin”

                                                                                                                                              “We are Troy Davis”

                                                          “We are Bidder 70”

“We are Penn State”

“Wow.” I thought. “Bumper stickers to show solidarity with the children abused at Penn State.”

I certainly didn’t expect that. The Penn State scandal broke, and now, here’s this public awareness of the importance of speaking up about child abuse with Penn State leading the way!

Everything’s going to be okay… those working in family courts will catch this wave of solidarity and protect our children from now on.  It’s just a matter of time …

So inspired and so clueless. I drove home and sat at my desk to write this post, so optimistic and so ready to call it:

 “We are Penn State!”

Looking online for the bumper sticker, I learned what “We Are Penn State” actually means. It’s been one of the school’s mottos since 1948.

“Success with Honor” is another. 

It’s interesting to note that the phrase “We Are Penn State” actually did start in the spirit of solidarity. It was a show of support for the entire football team at that school and it happened over 60 years ago. The first and now famous sentence spoken was, “We’re Penn State. There’ll be no meetings.” and  “We Are Penn State soon became the football team’s cheer and catchphrase.

I would have thought that the majority of Connecticut state legislators would have shown the same kind of solidarity last month during a Judiciary Committee hearing when two advocates, a psychologist and a physician offered testimony to express their concern and support for a little boy in Connecticut.

It could be that the legislators didn’t show their concern or support for the boy because the hearing was mostly about an attorney – rather than the boy the attorney was supposed to protect.

Those who testified about Attorney Maureen Murphy’s alleged misconduct in the boy’s case, stated their opposition to Ms. Murphy’s promotion to the position of Superior Court judge. They told state legislators about her mishandling of clear and convincing evidence of horrific, unspeakable child abuse.

Just a few weeks before the hearing, Ms. Murphy had been the boy’s Guardian ad litem.

Perhaps the Connecticut legislators thought they had only two choices – to vote for or against Ms. Murphy – and maybe they didn’t have enough time to take a closer look at what happened in that case involving the boy. 

Could it be that some purposely “looked in a blind eye” at the evidence? 

Many of them are lawyers and all are politicians. Were a few of them worried about Ms. Murphy becoming a Superior Court judge and eventually sitting in judgement of them or in judgement of their clients one day?

The testimony was as clear and as convincing as it could be.

Connecticut State Senator Doyle wondered out loud during the hearing about how it could be possible that so many individuals involved in the case didn’t do anything about it. He said, “If Attorney — if Attorney Murphy was the only party in this case and the only person of authority, to me, that would — I could understand it more. But you’re telling me everyone looked in a blind eye. To me, that’s hard to believe.”

It is hard to believe. 

What happened at Penn State is hard to believe too.

Year after year, hundreds of thousands of fans filled that stadium. The football games were televised. The coaches and staff  lived their lives in the public eye. So many coming and going, in and out of the locker rooms. Surely someone must have seen something over the course of so many years. 

Those who saw what happened “looked in a blind eye” there too.   

Is it too hard for us to believe that some adults abuse children in unspeakable ways?

Is it too hard to believe that those in positions of authority in our homes,  in our schools and in our family courts are unwilling or unable to protect children from abuse? Are we ashamed to talk about it or is our shame more important than protecting a child?

Are we afraid or is our fear more important than protecting a child?

Will it inconvenience her in some way?


Will it take too much time for him to investigate?


 Will their social standing be affected? 
                         Will others think less of them? 

    What happens when we dare to speak up first?

Was Ms. Murphy afraid she would be held accountable for not protecting the boy? According to the testimony presented that day, she tried to convince everyone that the abuse did not occur.

Why would she tell others to ignore the signs and symptoms?

And what about a child’s teacher? A child’s teacher would speak up if something’s not quite right. Right?

What should teachers do when a child’s grades drop 33%?

What should teachers do about a child who is “significantly depressed, anxious… traumatized… punching himself in the face… and talking in school about his father playing “tickle the weenie” with him.” ?

 Did Senator Doyle think, if the boy displayed clear signs of child abuse at his school, those in authority at the school would take care of it? Did Senator Doyle consider that maybe the school’s principle worried that an abuse case would harm the school’s reputation  in some way?

Maybe it would disrupt the teachers’ schedules.

Would it invite a lawsuit against the school for not reporting the abuse sooner? 

Did the Ms. Murphy, as Guardian ad litem, convince the teachers to “look in a blind eye” so she would avoid liability as the one who was ultimately responsible for protecting the boy?

In any event, at this point in time, whatever reasons there were for whatever happened in that case don’t matter more than protecting that young boy from harm right now. 

The following is an actual email exchange between the mother and her son’s two teachers. All names in the emails have been redacted.  The mother saw signs that her child’s father was abusing him. She reported the abuse to professionals who reported the abuse to the family court judge.

Subject: meeting today————————

From: (Mother)Date: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 9:59 AM To:, teacher2

Hello (Teacher) and (2nd Teacher),

I have an emergency that came up this morning and I have to handle it A.S.A.P.

Can we reschedule the PT meeting for one day after school?

Thanks so much,


———-From: <(Teacher)>Date: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 6:56 PMTo: (Mother), (2nd Teacher)

Hi (Mother),

I have a half an hour available on Thursday at 3:45. Hopefully that will work while you are picking up (Child).

Let me know.

Peace –


———-From: (Mother)  <(Mother).>Date: Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 11:13 AMTo: “(Teacher)” <(Teacher)>Cc: “(2nd Teacher)” <(2nd Teacher)>

Hi (Teacher),,

It’s not a good thing for (Child) to have his already limited time with his mother any further reduced, so let’s find a time when we can meet without doing so. I can make myself available almost anytime outside of my time with him.



———-From: <(Teacher)>Date: Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 7:34 PMTo: (Mother), (2nd Teacher)

Hi (Mother)-

Just wanted to confirm that we are scheduled for a brief meeting on Thursday at 3:45 in addition to you emailing me your questions and concerns, etc. I do have another conference at 4:15 on Thursday. I will be happy to read your email, respond and place it in (Child)’s file.

Let me know. Thanks.


———-From: (Mother)  <(Mother).>Date: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 1:03 AMTo: (Teacher)@aol.comCc: (2nd Teacher),

Hi (Teacher),

I’m curious why you’re confirming a meeting that I was clear I won’t be able to make.

I certainly understand your constraint of having to get the material from parent conferences turned in by Friday. I also understand that you only have to offer me 30 minutes of time. I think, however, that we’d all agree that (Child)’s situation is far from typical, and that the typical amount of time spent in discussion will not validly cover the issues in anything but a cursory and unrealistic manner. I’d like to avoid the further spread of confusion and misinformation in (Child)’s situation.

I look forward to meeting whenever we are able to do so.



———-From: <teacher>Date: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 7:03 AM To: Cc:,</teacher>

Hi (Mother),

Surely, I agree that (Child) situation is not typical, however I can show you his school work, and relay my observations about him during school session in about 30 minutes. My job and dedication to your son is his behavior and performance in school. While I am sure you are under pressure with all that has happened, I must stay unbiased regarding all other information outside of school. If there is something you feel is a particular situation that you see and may effect your son during school hours, always, please email me and let me know. Particular attention will be given to him that day, as all the teachers have done in the past. I am sorry to not spend this sharing time today with you, to show you how great he is doing and excelling in all areas. Your son is lucky to have you in his life.


———-From: Mother <mother>Date: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 10:42 AM To: Cc:,</teacher>

Hi (Child’s teacher),

Thanks for working with me to make sure we can come together to find solutions to address (child’s) needs.

I will confess that I am confused about your goals for this meeting. In this email thread you tell me, “My job and dedication to (your son) is his behavior and performance in school.” However the questionnaire I have been working on for the purposes of this meeting asks many detailed questions about his home life, such as, “What area of your family life would you like to improve?”, “Describe your relationship with your child,” and “Tell us about your dreams for you child’s future.” Perhaps the most striking question that is truly relevant to you, and may need 30 minutes of discussion in itself is: “Does your child have any behavior or social difficulties?” I hope you can see how two pages of questions like this would lead me to believe that you are interested in discussing (my son’s) life outside of school at least somewhat.

Regarding the last question, part of the necessary colloquy needs to address how you make observations like “…to show you how great he is doing and excelling in all areas,” and yet have scored him as significantly depressed, anxious, and traumatized on the instruments you have filled out. I have witnessed him self-harming in the classroom, having been corrected by you or (another teacher) in several instances, and yet that is never articulated as a concern in his reports, or relayed to the authorities even when they ask you. Are you concerned that the bulk of his report card scoring has dropped to mainly 2s instead of 1s he was getting during his first year? I don’t perceive what must work out to at a minimum a 33% drop in grades – particularly the social areas – as “excelling in all areas”.

It is this, what seems to be a major disconnect in your reporting your observations, that I feel needs to be explored in more detail. I had hoped to do so face to face, but as it doesn’t seem workable for this week I’ll relay my concerns here.

I understand that being in this situation is very untenable for you and for everyone at the school. No one likes dealing with anything this chaotic. I didn’t bring any of you into this situation, and my asking for honest and clear communication regarding my child is not the problem – it is the only way to come to a solution that helps him.

Thank you for your time,


———-From: <(Teacher)>Date: Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 3:01 PMTo: (Mother).@gmail.comCc: (2nd Teacher),


The form you have been asked to share is a standard form, given to all NESM families. We were trying to grant you the same opportunity. Please feel free to disregard the form all together. After a lengthy discussion with (2nd Teacher), we do not see (Child)’s social behavior in the classroom as difficult. I have conveyed this information to several lawyers, therapists, and doctors that have called. Each year comes a higher level of expectation, both in academics and classroom behavior. While we may have observed anxiety, we have not expressed witnessing significant depression or signs of being traumatized. (Child) continues to show improvement in self correcting his own behavior, sometimes with reminders, regarding hurriedly walking and a loud voice in the classroom. I will continue to communicate in an honest and clear manner – keeping (Child)’s well being in mind.

(2nd Teacher)

———-From: (Mother)  <(Mother).>Date: Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 10:14 AMTo: (Teacher)@aol.comCc: (2nd Teacher),

Dear (2nd Teacher),

Thank you so much for “trying to grant me the same opportunity” as every other parent of a child in your school has. I’m not sure why it warrants a distinction that you’re “trying to grant me the same opportunity” that every other parent has, but I appreciate it nonetheless. I’m unclear what gave you the impression that I might like to ignore a form that I specifically have been asking for some consideration to go over with you in more detail to assess accurately (Child)’s circumstances.

As you well know, I have been under court-ordered supervision for the last eleven months, and my child is not allowed to spend nights in my home, for no other reason than I reported clear signs of physical and sexual abuse. I find it absolutely hypocritical of you to send (Child) home with a form asking many detailed questions like “Briefly tell us a little about your child’s history, focusing on significant events that have shaped your child’s character/personality,” and then tell me that it is a “standard form” and that you don’t want to entertain discussion that my child is not living a “standard” life.

It is a matter of record that you have scored (Child) on the instruments provided to you by the psychologists with elevated levels in anxiety, depression, and trauma. It is also a matter of record that (Child) has talked in school about his father playing “tickle the weenie” with him. It is not a matter of opinion, and it’s veracity is not open for discussion. What is in need of explanation, however, is your glossing over of (Child)’s falling grades with, “Each year comes a higher level of expectation,” and your strange denial of witnessing behavior in him which is a matter of record that you not only witnessed but corrected.

I am not concerned about whether (Child) runs or speaks loudly or any other normal developmental issues that children learn to curb. I’m frankly not even sure why you would introduce such typical things into a discussion where I am referencing the truly frightening instances of things such as (Child)’s punching himself in the face in your office and classroom, and demonstrating a preoccupation with dying. These would be the behaviors that we are discussing, that an accredited educational facility has a mandate to report accurately to the authorities.

This statement from you: “I must stay unbiased regarding all other information outside of school,” is quite true. “Unbiased” means reporting exactly what happens as it happens – not ignoring it, or saying children are “excelling in all areas” when they are punching themselves in the face, their grades are falling, and they are scored, by you, on psychological testing instruments as highly anxious and depressed. The reason for mandatory reporting laws is to ensure that professional educators are observing and documenting signs that a child’s home life might be abusive or neglectful. In the position you seem to be taking, however, ANY acknowledgement of signs of abuse would be “biased” against a parent suspected of inflicting it.

I had hoped that meeting with you about these issues would give us an opportunity to work together on bringing your disparate accounts of my son’s behavior and performance into alignment. I’m saddened that, instead, you have chosen to evade my valid concerns with a combination of defensive maneuvering and disingenuous obsequious. It seems, unfortunately, at this point that to continue this discussion in a meeting would be a waste of time. If you have any further information for me at this time or in the future, please feel free to email or call me at the number in (Child)’s file.

Thank you so much for your time,


“Success With Honor”. That’s a catchy phrase too. I wonder how many people in Connecticut know about that one.

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 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 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 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.

Let’s Stop “Supervising” Lights, Sirens and Red Flags


Manley provided extensive observations about Powell’s parenting,

writing that he had an “excellent level of engagement with each son”

and that he had a “positive loving bond” with them.

Still, he recommended that Powell’s visits with the boys continue to be supervised

“until he can omit emotional, controversial, and polarizing topics” from conversations with them.”

Was all that mattered to the judge in this case the “emotional, controversial, and polarizing topics” Powell discussed with his sons?

Did it not matter to this judge that there was clear and convincing evidence of serious issues having to do with Mr. Powell’s activities apart from his sons?

Those other activities are what mattered the most. They were the red flags, the lights and the sirens pointing to the danger those two young boys faced while “bonding” with Mr. Powell – supervised or not.

This is the same dynamic found in nearly all cases in which children in “high conflict” “custody battles” are eventually killed.

As long as minor children do not have the discernment to know when they are in danger and as long as children don’t have the right to speak for themselves in family court, family court judges do not have the right to take chances for these children and risk their lives.

The judges in these cases can’t walk away after the children have been killed and say, “Oh well.” if they would not also allow their own children to “visit” with anyone with a history like Mr. Powell’s history.

A jury trial of peers and professionals in all “high conflict” custody cases might be the solution. So might civil and criminal lawsuits against those responsible for the hundreds of thousands of fatalities in our family courts thus far.

Thanks to The News Tribune for publishing Josh Powell’s psychological evaluation

Now the public can see the kinds of  lights, sirens and red flags the family court could not see.



Penn State, Sedgwick County and The Protective Parent Reform Act


“… Not only are these children in danger,
but your children,
their neighbors children, and
the child’s friend at school …”


The 9th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference Happening Now: Be There or Be Here :)

Or you can watch the conference on USTREAM and join us in the chat room 🙂



Registration beginning at 4:00 p.m.

6:00 Angela Shelton: Humorous Healing: You Could Use a Laugh Right Now! Angela shares funny stories along the healing path to inspire us all to laugh as we continue our fight for freedom and justice.

7:30 Lundy Bancroft: WHERE DO WE FIND STRENGTH TO FIGHT BACK? How does the human spirit keep itself alive? How do people who have suffered tragedies — or atrocities — get back up on their feet and move forward again? Lundy is going to look at what makes it possible for some people to rise up out circumstances where their defeat seems total, and fight their way back to thriving. These are the individuals who become the greatest thorns in the side of the powerful and the oppressive. He will suggest a road map for how all of us can become those Phoenixes.

Saturday Morning, January 7th 8:30 – 9:30

Plenary 1: Wendy Murphy: Rethinking Reform: New ideas and strategies for when the rules don’t work

9:30 – 10:30 Panel: Barry Goldstein, Moderator; Joan Zorza, Kathleen Russell, Rita Smith, Connie Valentine, Karen Anderson, Gabby Davis, & Eileen King: News from the Protective Mothers Movement You May Not Have Heard

Many exciting events have taken place in the last year which we hope will make a difference in changing the broken system. A panel of activists who have been involved in these events will discuss this news. It includes a roundtable discussion for OVW at the Justice Department, training in custody issues for the National DV Hotline, a new consortium that is in the process of forming to support our goals, marches and meetings in DC, new publications coming out and other events. The discussion should give our movement hope and opportunity.

10:30 – 10:45 Break

10:45 – 11:45 Plenary 2: Dr. Phyllis Chesler: Mothers STILL on Trial

Saturday Afternoon, January 7th 11:45 – 1:45 Working Lunch: BMCC Premier of Garland Waller’s New Documentary No Way Out But One This feature length (1 hr and 35 minutes) documentary looks at family court injustice by telling the story of Holly Collins, the first American woman to get asylum from the Dutch government on grounds of domestic violence. In 1994, Holly Collins became an international fugitive wanted by the FBI for kidnapping her own children. Ordered by a family court to turn her two children over to live with the father who had been abusing them all, Holly felt she had no way out but one. Only by kidnapping her children and running was Holly able to protect her children.

1:45– 2:00 Break

2:00 – 2:30 Gabby Davis and Loretta Frederick: Developing and Implementing a Conceptual Framework for Identifying, Understanding and Accounting for the Implications of Intimate Partner Abuse in Contested Child Custody Cases. Ample research, local practice, and lived experience collectively inform us that the safety and wellbeing of battered mothers and their children are not adequately accounted for in contested child custody cases where domestic violence is alleged. Very little systematic attention is paid to whether there is a history of abuse, whether the abuse is ongoing, who is abusing whom, what the abuse looks like, and how the abuse impacts the children, the abused parent, and the parenting capacities of both the abusive and the abused parent. Consequently, from an institutional standpoint, the family court system is often poorly organized to accurately identify and describe what is actually happening in people’s everyday lives so that it can respond in ways that are helpful, or at least not harmful, to the safety and wellbeing of battered mothers and their children. This presentation describes a collaborative effort by the Battered Women’s Justice Project, Praxis International, and a local jurisdiction in NW Ohio to develop and implement a concrete framework to help family court professionals better identify, understand and account for the context and implications of domestic violence in contested child custody cases.

2:30 – 3:00 Connie Valentine and Karen Anderson: Good News from the California Protective Parent Association As a growing coalition of 99% protective mothers groups, we are moving forward toward the common goal of keeping abused children safe when their parents separate and divorce. This workshop will review the movement’s accomplishments during the past year. Accurate definition is important: this is a civil and human rights movement. Come to the workshop, hear how far we have come, and share your accomplishments.

3:00 – 4:00 Karin Huffer: Is What We Are Doing Working? Yes…But Not Fast Enough –An Overlooked Powerful Focus for 2012 This presentation will discuss how mothers can learn to re-image themselves and their cases in a positive light. Women and children can take control of “impression management,” thus wiping out damage caused by their opponents. Effective but often unused laws and tools exist in the standard legal setting. Due to the wrong impression being sold to the court, mothers are beaten down, traumatized, marginalized by the batterer. However, through combining the ADA law with trauma treatment and political savvy, mothers are winning their cases.

4:00 – 4:15 Break


4:15 – 5:15 Workshop Session 1

LEGAL ISSUES TRACK 1. Renee Beeker & Joshua Pampreen: Findings from the National Family Court Watch: Prelude to Publishing. We are so excited to be sharing with the BMCC our latest news and some inside information on the project. We also will provide copies of our abbreviated form for use for supportive court watch and will teach participants how to use it in conducting court watches.

2. Linda Marie Sacks: Strength in Numbers One day Linda Marie Sacks heard a mother being interviewed on television about the court taking away her children. It was a familiar tale and Sacks knew immediately that she too was a “Dr. Deborah O. Day Mom”. Now, Sacks works with “Day mothers” all over Florida. Combining forces with other mothers who have lost their children due to same court professionals is an important step. Teaming up to write complaints, comparing experiences and the emotional support offered by these partnerships are invaluable but finding these other parents can be difficult. is seeking to identify these clusters.


1. Michele Jeker: MST, PTSD and Domestic Violence in military life and after discharge Military Domestic Violence/Military Sexual Trauma This workshop will address the negative impacts of military life on the family, including the extreme pervasiveness of DV regardless of assignment, and the magnitude of the problems facing the military family. The military’s response to DV and the lack of judicial relief are among other topics we will be covering.

2. Raquel Singh: Healing Within and Without: How community and political activism are an essential part of the healing process This workshop examines how community-organizing benefits the healing process of survivors of domestic violence both individually and collectively. It will explore questions such as: • How does internalized oppression impact how a survivor interprets her abuse and others who have similar experiences? • Does this create a false separation between women who have been abused and those who experience sexism in other ways? • Does simply replacing the term “victim” with “survivor” really empower women to reclaim their lives? • How can we skillfully craft and integrate our personal stories into a wider social-political context as part of our organizing?

3. Maralee Mclean: Prosecuted But Not Silenced

 5:15 – 6:15 Workshop Session 2


1. Wendy Murphy

2. Holly, Jennifer, & Zachary Collins: A Life on the Run In 1994 Holly Collins was determined to protect her children from a life of abuse. So she grabbed her own children and went on the run. She became an international fugitive, hunted by the FBI. Eventually, she and the kids became first American citizens to be granted asylum by the government of Netherlands. 17 years later, all charges have been dropped and Holly and her children have returned to the United States.

3. Sandy Bromley, DV-LEAP: Improving Outcomes for Battered Women and their Children: DV LEAP’s Custody & Abuse Project DV LEAP has recently entered in to a cooperative agreement with the federal Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), an agency of the US Department of Justice. Through specialized training and technical assistance, DV LEAP works to reduce the number of battered women losing custody of their children or being required by courts to turn over their children for unsafe visitation with an abusive parent. This presentation will review the goals and strategies of this cooperative agreement and allow participants an opportunity to provide feedback and ideas to the project manager. PERSONAL HEALING TRACK

4. Karin Huffer, Justin Huffer, & Crystal Huffer: Your Looking Glass Self: Making Sense of Court Rulings and Correcting Defeating Perceptions to Unlock Protective Mothers Justice in Your Case From being a nationally know expert and DV/ADA Advocate in court with battered mothers, I observe a common disastrous pattern that is rectifiable. • Lies damage mother dominating the case; • A correctable fundamental attribution error fills the record with false negatives toward mother making her a target; • Court appointees are influenced by coercive controlling, abusive mechanisms; • Mothers suffer diagnosable traumatic stress. Participants will learn to: • Re-image from fear to using properly postured emotion to achieve systems power; • Correct the court record with authority; • Counter lies without lying; • Engage legal help without going broke; • Influence the legal process.

5. Tammy Gagnon: No Longer Silent: From the Scars of Survival, We Reclaim Our Lives Those who have never experienced an abusive or violent relationship often believe that upon finding a way out, victim difficulties are solved: their life is good, they are safe, and recovery will be swift. However, survivors know that leaving is not the end of the nightmare — it is the beginning of an often difficult and challenging journey toward healing and happiness. They need practical guidance, emotional reassurance, and psychological awareness that survivors of relationship abuse and domestic violence need to heal and reclaim their lives after leaving their abusers.


6:15 – 7:30 p.m. (Optional) Dinner at a special rate will be available in the hotel restaurant, so feel free to carry it out to attend the Organizing Session with Connie Valentine, Karen Anderson, & Kathleen Russell

7:30 – ? Welcome Home Party for Jennifer, Holly, & Zach Collins


8:00 – 9: 15 p.m. Nancy Erickson, J.D.: Filing an Ethical Complaint Against a Custody Evaluator: Do It Yourself Many battered women have lost custody of their children because a “custody evaluator” (sometimes called a “forensic”) has recommended that custody be given to the abusive father. Yet, in many cases, the custody evaluator was incompetent, unprofessional, or unethical – perhaps even taking bribes from the other side. A common example is a custody evaluator who believes all mothers try to alienate the children from the fathers. This will be a do-it-yourself workshop where participants will be guided through the process of filing licensing board complaints against these evaluators. If successful, it could have an effect on your case, and it might lead toward another valuable result — that the evaluator would never ruin the lives of more protective parents and their children.


9:00 – 10:00 Plenary 3: Toby Kleinman

10:00 – 10:45 Barry Goldstein: From Poughkeepsie to Quincy: How to Save Thousands of Lives, Trillions of Dollars and Reform the Custody System. Barry Goldstein has written a new chapter based upon studying responses to domestic violence. He looked at the failure in Poughkeepsie that has resulted in ten deaths in a year and the success of the Quincy Model that led to no domestic violence homicide for many years. His investigation plus current research establishes that practices that could eliminate most domestic violence crime, a lot of other crime and save at least $500 Billion every year. In order to obtain these benefits the custody system will have to be reformed. He believes the huge financial savings and other benefits can be the incentive to create a different discussion about domestic violence custody issues.

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:00 Workshop Session 3


1. Michael Bassett, J.D. and Carol Pennington: Turning Around The Titanic Without Hitting an Iceberg: Battered Moms and Turnaround Cases Much like turning around a ship, turning around a custody case can be time-consuming, dangerous and draining. This presentation will discuss strategies that have been successful in past cases. Other topics that will be discussed include working with your attorney, changing attitudes through practicing law, the use of psychological experts, and the use of evidence of acts that may seem like it occurred “too far in the past.”

2. Liora Farkovitz: The Electronic Advantage: Understanding Technological Evidence This workshop is a companion to a technology guide, “Understanding Technological Evidence for the Legal Professional: 101 the Basics” which highlights the murder/suicide case of Katie Tagle of San Bernardino County, California in 2009/2010. Highlighting how the judiciary often ignores electronic evidence in domestic violence cases, the last 2/3 of the guide provides a step by step “basic” guide of current technology.

3. Dara Carlin, M.S.: Coloring Outside The Lines: Potential Solutions When The Ones In Place Aren’t Working If you have found your way to the BMCC, chances are the system that was designed to protect you and your children has failed you. Despite “coloring within the lines” (having followed all of the instructions and all the professional directions) you’re in a bad place and stuck with nowhere else to turn – NOT SO! This workshop will illustrate and explore some of the more creative things survivors and their allies have done when all solutions were exhausted and “acceptance” became the only one left.


1. Louise Monroe: “WHEW”: Women Helping Empower Women This is the story of one family’s five year journey through that black hole known as “family court.” The evolution of this journey through the support and caring of others also traveling through this blackness and how all the negative in their lives was used is such a positive way that the journey has ended and the sun is shining brightly.

2. Chrys Ballerano: Nurturing Rhythms for Self Care- Experiencing the Healing Power of the Drum This is primarily an experiential workshop and interactive experience. An atmosphere of gentle safety will be maintained and modeled as Chrys provides participants with an opportunity to connect with themselves and their own innate sense of play. Therapeutic benefits of rhythmic drumming will briefly be discussed. Participants are welcome to bring their own percussive instrument. Sufficient instruments (enough for 40- 50 people) will be provided. This isn’t a workshop about “beating” drums but about connecting with our own heartbeat, and our own abilities to play in community and find ways to respond to the natural world. Come enjoy a circle of rhythm that is fun for all- no experience necessary!

12 Noon: Sunday Lunch with Jennifer Collins and Carly Singer: Abused Children to Children’s Advocates

2:00 p.m. Close

St. Louis Misery: A Mother Fights for Return of Abducted Child


St. Louis Misery – A mother fights for return of abducted child

The Court System of Missouri has had their brutal shackles coldly gripping the lives of Sonja De Vivo and her severed family for over a decade. This is no run-of-the-mill ten year prison sentence; that would be far easier to stomach. It has been a savage court-ordered, daily regiment of emotional and psychological torture. The storm troopers of the 21st Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, have been administering the torture upon Sonja De Vivo for 3,500 some-odd days and counting, without fail, and in true Nazi fashion.

Sonja’s daughter was taken from her ten years ago by the Missouri court. The ruling was given based upon false accusations by Sonja’s ex-husband amid a tumultuous divorce. The court found no “abuse”, however, they refused to return her daughter. Read more about the baffling and sadistic tale of state sponsored abduction in “Child Abduction By The State.” They have blatantly neglected to even glance back on their decision since, despite the fact that she still has custody of two other healthy happy children who long for their little sister. The only abuse being implemented is the torture by the Missouri court system against a defenseless family.

The gavel fell hard in 2001, like a guillotine, severing the bond between a loving mother and her daughter. The piercing sound of that blade slicing down to the chopping block reverberates in Sonja’s ears every day of her life, and the Missouri court room has done everything they can to make sure she cannot forget that piercing sound. To condition and intimidate her into submission to these high crimes of the state. The most recent activities of the 21st Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, are a grim testament to that.

On April 30, 2009, Sonja received a restraining order, further restricting her relationship with her daughter. De Vivo’s daughter made an attempt to contact Sonja. After punishing Sonja’s daughter (now 15) for attempting to reach out to her biological mother, the court ordered foster ‘father’ filed a restraining order against Sonja! The state of Missouri had officially, and wrongfully, terminated all of Sonja’s parental rights six years ago. Sonja and her daughter have been out of contact for this time due the foster parents neglect to establish further allowed visitations. Now that her daughter is desperately trying to contact her, the state of Missouri feels that even more brute force must be brought down upon the already fragile situation.

The request was granted with no questions asked. No word was given to the fact that her daughter was the one trying to contact her natural mother, or that the adoptive parent had punished her for doing so. No proof was needed to validate the perjured allegations “justifying” the request, and, in an effort to not break the precedent already set by the court, Sonja has been denied the ability to present evidence against the accusations in front of a judge. In fact, all of her previous court-appointed attorneys have refused to represent her if she wished to have any evidence-backed response be presented in front of a judge. The appointed Washington University
interns have been defending her under “free” representation. Apparently, representation that caters towards the benefit of the defendant is not included when you get it for free. Apparently, the right to a fair and speedy trial is only a right for those who can afford it.

For the entire duration of De Vivo’s case, none of the proven false allegations made against her have even been addressed in front of the Judge, and submission of any evidence defending her case has been refused. The chips are stacked against her, and every time she has a decent hand to play, the state of Missouri always finds a way to have a better one.

A Guardian Ad Litem was appointed to the case. This appointee is supposed to interview the child, as well as represent her. The Guardian Ad Litem was just another winning card stashed up the long, snide sleeves of the court. No interview was ever conducted with the daughter. The Guardian Ad Litem’s excuse for not interviewing her was based on the hearsay of the adoptive parent, who claimed she was just a liar. It is clear at this point that the state does not want it on record that the adopted child has been trying to reach out to her natural mother.

The 21st Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, has been playing the same game for the past decade, gambling with the lives and futures of a mother and her daughter, and cheating all the while long. Despite all of the savage proceedings of the court, Sonja has not given up, and is continuing to tirelessly fight through the ruthless, unwarranted, emotional torture that she has withstood.

She is to the point, however, where she is unable to keep fighting on her own. Please help her to obtain her own lawyer, one that has not been appointed by the crooked court of the state of Missouri, and help ensure that she stands a fighting chance against this evil that has been wrongfully keeping her from her child. The unjust state court system has inflicted far too much emotional pain upon this mother and daughter for nearly ten years…

Click here to: Sign Sonja’s Petition

Where’s the FBI?

Here is a recording of a protective mother’s meeting with her lawyer and two representatives from DHHS Maine this past August.

In this recording, the mother asks those present to communicate honestly in order to discuss very specific issues about her daughter’s case. 

Mom says the Spurwink Clinic substantiated that her child was abused and that the clinic ruled out “coaching”.

The DHHS supervisor’s response?  He protects himself and defends his actions in this case. He talks about which words he used to decribe “coaching”.

Mom says she’s not talking about which words were used to describe coaching. She says the reports say the abuse was substantiated. 

The DHHS supervisor says mom is difficult to communicate with.

The tape goes on. 

Did a DHHS worker in Maine lie to this mother? Did a worker in the Maine DHHS office say that office had “secret information” about the case and, as a result, decided there was no abuse?

Apparently, there was no “secret information” and it sounds like that DHHS worker was fired.

At 17:00, you can hear discussion of the DHHS’s interpretation of The Spurwink Clinic’s reports.

Two years have past since those reports were written. If the Maine DHHS offce is still looking for a clarification from the Spurwink Clinic, here it is:

December 15th: No Representation, No Evidence, No Witnesses Allowed?

by Julia Fletcher

Let’s give the judge in this case the benefit of the doubt.

Is he saying “all evidence of child abuse neglect or misconduct” will not be allowed at this trial as stated in his order?

If you look at the memorandum following his order, you can see a clarification that “unsubstantiated allegations” are not allowed as evidence.

Okay. That’s reasonable. But why would any judge need to clarify, with an order, that “unsubstantiated allegations” are not admissible evidence? Isn’t that what objections are for? If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s this:

The cottage industry that some have built around our family courts is one industry we won’t miss.

See Carver County Corruption for more information about this case.

Caroline Rice on Trial Today for “Aiding and Abetting”

by Julia Fletcher
Does anyone know of any good investigative reporters who might be willing and able to look into this case and publish what they find?
Please share this with friends in and around Minnesota today. Thank you.
“Wednesday, December 14th Caroline Rice is on trial for aiding and abetting a minor, A. Rice, her 13 year old daughter. There is a 45 minute DVD of Carole Cole (unlicensed CPS worker) interrogating and badgering …A. Rice into making false claims about her mother and why she ran away – of which A. Rice (who is used to the abuse from Carver County) never allowed Carole Cole to force her into any such false claims.
This DVD exonerates Caroline Rice of all charges. Judge Richard Perkins berated Caroline Rice for entering the DVD into evidence.
Perkins also appointed a public defender, Steve Walburg. Perkins stated on the record that he wanted to `speak` to Steve Walburg personally before he represents Caroline Rice. Steve Walburg has not been representing his client at all, Steve Walburg is only there to represent the courts, he has made that very obvious in emails and treatment of Caroline Rice.
This is typical in these rigged cases.Carver County court held Caroline Rice for 53 days because her daughter ran away and desperately wanted to find and see her own mother. Bail for Caroline Rice was set at $15,000 – this is an insane amount for the charge she was being held on.
Bail was paid by a kind older man wanting to help Caroline and her kids. When the man stood in court and offered to bail Caroline out of jail the courts tried talking him out of it right in the courtroom, calling Caroline a `criminal` and asking why he wanted to help. The man refused to be talked out of the decision and insisted on bailing Caroline out. The county made it near impossible for the man to make her bail, upping her bail $700 and taking 8 hours to process the payment and release Caroline. This kind man will lose his savings if the courts refuse to drop the charges, as they should be dropped.

A. Rice and her brother (two youngest Rice children) are still living with their father. Caroline has not had contact with the two kids in over three years – other than when A. Rice ran to her mother last year.

Trial Wed, December 14th, 2011 at 8:30 am. We will keep you updated as to what Judge Perkins does and rules during the proceedings. Legally, all charges should be dropped against Caroline Rice. But we know this Judge does not abide by law – in any way shape or form.”

See related posts: Letter to Caroline from Annie and You Always Stand for the Truth

How Well is our Nation Protecting Children?


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New York ( – Hedge Funds Care, a global charity dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse, published a press release commending the Senate HELP Committee’s planned hearing on December 13 that will “examine how well our nation is protecting children from child abuse and neglect.”

Hedge Funds Care is committed to educating and assisting the Senate HELP Committee about the existing issues that surround the reporting and prevention of child abuse. Currently, there is a wide discrepancy in protocol for reporting child abuse, for holding perpetrators accountable and for seeing that victims and their families get treatment.

“Given the news surrounding Penn State and Syracuse University, we believe that Congress needs to act immediately to create national guidelines that will provide consistency about how to report child abuse, address perpetrators and serve those affected,” said Dr. Kathryn Conroy, Executive Director and CEO of Hedge Funds Care.

Hedge Funds Care has reached out to the Senate Committee to aid their staff in preparing for the congressional hearing. Since its inception in 1998, Hedge Funds Care has awarded over 800 grants totaling more than $30 million. In the last year alone, Hedge Funds Care has touched over 46,000 lives through prevention, education and service.

Alex Akesson
Editor for

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
  • The second was on October 12 on the effects of domestic violence on children, organized by NCADV and Makers of Memories
  • 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 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. itter&utm_source=share_petition

3. Demonstrations are starting at Sacramento Family Court. Please contact Mary 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

We will be presenting on the ongoing 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 and complete a survey, 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 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.

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. 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)

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.

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.