PLEASE NOTE: This blog is a bigotry free zone open to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, physical or mental disability, age, or sexual orientation. Further, this blog is open to the broad variety of opinions out there and will not delete any comments based upon point of view. However, comments will be deleted if they are worded in an abusive manner and show disrespect for the intellectual process.
Showing posts with label DV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DV. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2019

PROF. JOAN MEIER TALKS ABOUT THE MISUSE OF PARENTAL ALIENATION THEORY TO ATTACK DV VICTIMS IN CUSTODY MATTERS!

Testimony Regarding How Child Abuse Allegations are Ignored in Family Court and Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is used as a Rationale to Award Custody of Children to an Abusive Parent

Joan Meier, JD
Professor of Law, George Washington University
Founder, DV LEAP
February 4, 2019

My name is Joan Meier, a law Professor at George Washington University and Founder of DV LEAP, an advocacy group for expert appellate litigation to reverse unjust trial court rulings and to protect the legal rights of women and children victimized by family violence. We would like to take this opportunity to testify and express our concern for current legislation being introduced to promote the use of Parental Alienation Syndrome as a tool to abuse domestic violence (DV) victims in family court.


Dr. Joan Meier









The Problem

“Protecting our children is one of the most important things that we can do for society. Unfortunately, some courtsare overlooking potential signs of abuse and are relying on scientifically unsound factors to make decisions that impact a child’s life.” Congressman Ted Poe

Despite numerous legislative and policy reforms designed to protect DV victims, many survivors and their children are denied legal protections in family court. Expert commentators assert that family courts are awarding unfettered access or custody to abusive fathers, and increasingly cutting children completely off from their protective mothers. This has been observed especially where mothers allege child sexual abuse. Studies show that an abuser will invoke the “alienation” defense, accusing the mother of trying to turn the children against him, rather than the court acknowledging that his abusive behavior has driven the children away. 

Studies also have identified a trend toward favoring fathers, in contrast to widespread assumptions that mothers are favored in custody litigation. The findings reveal a pattern of family court failures to consider evidence of intimate partner violence, disrespectful treatment of battered women, gender biased treatment of mothers, and granting of physical custody to perpetrators of intimate partner violence.  One study found that court preferences for joint custody and the “friendly parent” principle outweighed judicial consideration of abuse claims. More in-depth empirical research has examined the lack of expertise in domestic violence and child abuse—particularly child sexual abuse—among forensic custody evaluators, who are relied on heavily by the courts. 

IN CUSTODY CASES WHERE MOTHERS AND CHILDREN REPORT THE FATHER’S SEXUAL ABUSE OF THE CHILD, THE COURT SIDES WITH THE FATHER 81% OF THE TIME.

EVEN WHEN FAMILY COURTS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT A FATHER HAS BEEN VIOLENT TO THE MOTHER OR CHILD, THE COURT SIDES WITH THE FATHER 38% OF THE TIME.

A primary mechanism giving evaluators and courts a quasi- scientific rationale for rejecting or ignoring abuse allegations is the theory of “parental alienation (PA),” originally called “parental alienation syndrome (PAS),” and also called “child alienation,” or simply “alienation.” PAS is a construct invented and promoted by Richard Gardner to describe a “syndrome” whereby vengeful mothers employed child abuse allegations in litigation as a powerful weapon to punish ex-husbands and ensure custody to themselves. Gardner claimed that child sexual abuse allegations were rampant in custody litigation, and that the vast majority of such claims are false, designed by the mother to “alienate” the child from the father and drive him out of the child’s life. Gardner also characterized PAS as profoundly destructive to children’s mental health and as risking their relationships with their (purportedly falsely accused) fathers for life. Recommended remedies to PAS were often draconian, including a complete cutoff from the mother in order to “deprogram” the child. PAS quickly became widely incorporated into custody litigation when any abuse—not just child sexual abuse—was alleged. 

The Solution

On September 25, 2018, The U.S. House of Representatives passed H Con Res 72, a concurrent resolution urging state courts to determine family violence claims and risks to children before considering other ‘best interest’ factors. The resolution, backed by dozens of organizations advocating for protection of women and children*, encourages states to ensure courts rely only on admissible evidence and qualified experts, and adopt qualification standards for third-party appointees.  It also affirms that Congress is prepared to use its oversight authority to protect at-risk children. The resolution also asks for   strengthened evidence admissibility standards to help ensure only scientific facts or qualified expert testimony are used to prove or disprove child abuse allegations.

It urges Congress to:
  • identify child safety as the first priority in custody and visitation adjudications, considering it before all other interest factors;
  • allow only qualified scientific evidence and certified expert testimony to be introduced in cases involving child abuse claims; and
  • mandate Congressional hearings around the practices of family courts when handling family violence allegations.
DV LEAP also partnered with the Dept. of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women on a 2-year cooperative agreement to improve the family court system’s ability to protect children in custody cases involving domestic violence or child abuse. The agreement has concluded but great accomplishments and resources were achieved. In partnership with the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, we provided education on critical issues that often determine case outcomes, such as the misuse of flawed parental alienation theories and failure to consider evidence of abuse. One particularly powerful aspect of the Project’s work was the development of a unique database of cases that have “Turned Around.”  These are cases in which the initial custody order placed a child (or children) in dangerous contact with an abusive parent and a subsequent order protected the child. Analysis of these cases provided valuable understanding of how and why custody evaluations so frequently fail to identify or predict actual risk to children who are victims of family violence.

As as result of this Cooperative Agreement, DV LEAP and the Leadership Council produced a number of written tools and resource materials to assist professionals working in the family court system.  Links to each of the documents are provided below.

I. Resources on the misuse of Parental Alienation Syndrome/Parental Alienation

II. Resources for attorneys and advocates representing protective parents

III. Research Summaries

IV. Other Resource Materials
Critiques and Case Reports of GALs’ Failures to Protect Children in Custody and Abuse Cases

Data on False Allegations in Custody Context.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ehdOb-hS0v0Ot_rIoK_wc6QYySRtLPV6/view

We respectfully suggest that any family court legislation involving custody, PAS, allegations of child abuse and  DV be thoroughly vetted by experts in the field of Domestic Violence.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this written testimony. I can be reached with any questions at jmeier@law.gwu.edu

*The list of organizations that have been advocating for passage of H. Con. Res 72 includes Advocates for Child Empowerment & Safety (ACES); California Protective Parents Association (CPPA); Center for Judicial Excellence (CJE); City of Covina; Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP); ACTION OHIO Coalition For Battered Women; Azusa City Council; Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference; California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV); Center for Child Protection and Family Support; Child Abuse Forensic Institute (CAFI); Child Abuse Solutions, Inc.; Child Justice; Child Protection Institute (CPI) at Liberty University; Child USA; Children’s Civil Rights Union (CCRU); Children’s Justice Fund; Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Lynchburg VA; Courageous Kids Network (CKN); Darkness to Light; Distinction in Family Courts (DFC); Families Against Court Travesties; Family Violence Appellate Project (FVAP); Futures Without Violence (FUTURES); Incest Survivors Speakers Bureau (ISSB); Joan of Arc Lawyers Foundation, Inc.; Justice for Children; Kids Are Human; Legislative Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse; Legal Momentum; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Lundy Bancroft; MassKids (Massachusetts Citizens for Children); Moms Fight Back; Mothers of Lost Children; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV); National Coalition for Family Justice (NCFJ); National Domestic Violence Hotline; National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV); National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS); National Organization for Women (NOW); National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence (NPEIV); National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence; Peace Over Violence; Piqui’s Justice; Senator Ed Hernandez; SOAR for Justice; Stop Abuse Campaign; Support Network of Advocates for Protective Parents (SNAPP); Talk About Abuse to Liberate Kids (TAALK); The Hofheimer Family Law Firm; The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence; The Nurtured Parent; and Wings for Justice.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

FULL VERSION OF OP-ED BY MARY LEE A. KIEMAN PRESIDENT AND CEO OF YWCA GREENWICH FROM STAMFORD ADVOCATE!

Mary Lee A. Kieman, YMCA
"Domestic violence is a crime that affects people of all races, genders, religions and income levels. It is also a crime that often doesn’t end when the victim leaves the abuser. Taking the step to leave an abuser is monumental for a victim, and leaving is when violence is likely to escalate. The reasons for staying are complicated, which is why it often takes many tries before a victim can leave.
A cruel turn of events often happens after the victim leaves the has had the courage to leaves the abuser: Abusers often continue to assert power over victims by using civil and criminal court systems to their advantage through threats, intimidation, and using legal maneuvers to maintain control. Legal abuse happens whenever an abuser misuses the legal system to re-victimize his or her partner.
Victims quickly discover the complexities and challenges of the legal system. While the system is set up to be impartial, receiving the best representation is often based on the ability to pay for a lawyer. Since abusers often control the family finances, they are often able to obtain experienced legal representation, while the victim is self-represented or less well-represented by legal counsel.
In addition, the abuser continues to assert power and control over the victim by manipulating the court system in their favor using tactics like:
Refusing to agree to reasonable custody agreements or dragging out court battles. Abusers can suddenly show interest in parenting when they had not been involved with the children in the past.
Abusing the right to file motions to keep the victim tied up in court and exhaust the victim’s financial resources with legal fees.
Applying for restraining orders without the threat of violence from the victim.
Refusing to comply with court orders, forcing victims to spend time and money enforcing the orders.
Portraying the victim as an unfit parent and/or making false reports to Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Claiming the victim abuses drugs or alcohol and using this claim against the victim.
“Shopping around” for attorneys, thereby creating a conflict of interest for attorneys and preventing these attorneys from representing the victim.
Requesting continuances to prolong proceedings and/or not showing up to court for scheduled appearances, when the victim has had to arrange child care, call out of work, or pay her attorney.
Not only are these tactics costly, but they also cause additional emotional stress for the victim. In fact, according to Dr. Karin P. Huffer, a marriage and family therapist, the consequence of being abused through the legal system can cause a condition known as Legal Abuse Syndrome, a form of post traumatic stress disorder caused by the continued abuse of power, betrayal, or fraud within the legal system.
What can we do to address legal abuse?
First, we need to continue to raise awareness that abuse of the legal system is a powerful form of domestic abuse that enables an abuser to retain power and control over the victim.
Second, better education and training about how abusers use the legal system to continue to victimize their partners must be provided to judges, lawyers, court advocates, police officers and other professionals who treat victims of domestic violence.
Third, victims of domestic abuse also need advice and counsel on how to determine the best representation for themselves, including interviewing multiple lawyers, finding a lawyer who has experience in litigating domestic violence cases, and finding a lawyer who will take the time to deeply understand the full history of the victim’s abuse, so they can best represent the victim’s interests.
Earlier this year, YWCA Greenwich announced the opening of the YWCA Greenwich Civil Legal Clinic. The clinic, run by two YWCA volunteers who are attorneys, is providing consultations for YWCA Greenwich domestic abuse clients who need help filling out legal paperwork; help with court documents; assistance creating financial affidavits; advice on motions that they need to file; and educational consultation advice on what to look for in a lawyer.
Abuse of the legal system is another “hoop” that victims of domestic abuse often go through to be free of the abuser. Join YWCA Greenwich in raising awareness about this powerful form of abuse and supporting victims of domestic abuse in our community. To provide financial support for the Civil Legal Clinic and the work of YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services, donate to the Purple Purse Challenge at www.ywcagreenwich.org/purplepurse. All of all funds raised this month will go to support the work of YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services.
If you, or someone you know, is in an abusive situation, contact YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services at 203-622-0003. All services are free and confidential. You don’t have to fight abuse alone."
Mary Lee A. Kiernan is president and CEO of YWCA Greenwich.

Friday, September 7, 2018

ABDUCTION CLAIMS IN THE KARIN WOLF CASE ARE ABSURD!


As many people know, the charges of abduction against Karin Wolf are totally absurd.  Below is a picture of Karin Wolf and her daughter at a police station in Virginia where the two went to confirm the child's well being.  As you can see, both are perfectly well and enjoying each others company. The question is, why does a corrupt judge and family court in New Jersey seek to interfere in their relationship in violation of the law.  Another picture below shows Karin's daughter perfectly happy and excited to spend time with her mother.  





KARIN WOLF AND HER DAUGHTER ENJOYING TIME TOGETHER!


KARIN'S DAUGHTER, GLAD TO BE WITH MOM!





Thursday, September 6, 2018

KARIN WOLF IS NOT GUILTY OF CHILD ABDUCTION DESPITE ALLEGATIONS!

Karin Wolf, Director of WCLU

By Elizabeth A. Richter

Before I proceed, I just wanted to mention that I grew up in New Jersey and that I lived in Princeton, NJ for most of my life.  I am also a graduate of Princeton High School, Class of 1974.  So I have deep ties to New Jersey which have led me to see fit to respond today regarding the charges against Karin Wolf.

To be upfront, I also do wish to mention that I am on the Board of Directors of the Women's Civil Liberties Union, an organization Karin Wolf founded.  

According to a recent article, Karin Wolf was arrested a few days ago and charged with "abducting" her 14 year old daughter from Glen Rock, New Jersey.  I don't know why the authorities call this abduction since it is pretty clear to me that the child involved came along voluntarily.  After all, Karin Wolf is her mother.  

The article continues on to state that Ms. Wolf is currently being held in a correctional facility--York Correctional Institution in Niantic, CT.  From what I have heard, she is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail, which I consider an absurd amount of money.  That's enough money to secure the appearance of a murderer, and Karin Wolf is far from being that.  On the contrary, she is a loving mother, a victim of family court injustice, who simply wanted to be with her daughter; she is absolutely, by no means, guilty of child abduction.

It troubles me, therefore, to see that so many articles on Karin Wolf and her child published in New Jersey newspapers fail to mention essential facts pertinent to the story which would clear her of these charges. For instance, none of them mention anything in regard to the background when it comes to Ms. Wolf's case.  Let me take this opportunity now to fill you in.

Like many who are victims of domestic violence, in Family Court Karin Wolf lost custody of her children in a rigged court proceeding where she was denied the funds to pursue her legal case, denied the representation of an attorney, and denied the due process right to present evidence to the Court and have sufficient opportunity to prepare her case.  Further, like many Family Court victims, when Karin Wolf attempted to obtain relief from the Federal Court system, her case was dismissed on shaky and illegal grounds.  

Some articles mention that Karin Wolf was accused of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a quack theory developed by one of New Jersey's own--the late Dr. Richard Gardener.  PAS is widely disregarded by the vast majority of mental health professionals, and is a standard response abusers provide when they are caught in their wrong doing.  In short, there has been no commonsense basis ever for denying Karin Wolf access to her children, and yet she was denied access simply because she didn't have the financing, the influence, or the ability to rig the system that her ex had.  

In addition, Family Court systems across the country, including that in New Jersey, have a mandate to show preference to fathers in cases where custody is in dispute.  That is the context within which I think it is important for you to understand Karin Wolf's case.  It is also important for you to note that today the problem of injustice and corruption in America's Family Court system is a widespread issue and that millions of people throughout the country have been protesting and speaking out against the wrongdoing they have experienced in Family Court, particularly abused women, including Karin. This is why the rights of women and enforcing laws against discrimination play such an important role in the mission of the Women's Civil Liberties Union.

I also note that articles on Karin Wolf did not mention that the father of the children involved in this case is dead. They don't disclose that the children were placed in the custody of the non biologically related step-mother in a hearing Karin Wolf was never informed about, and where she never had an opportunity to present her case for taking custody of her children.  

When Family Courts act illegally and seize children from fit parents, it is a travesty for them to subsequently jail these parents when they attempt to defend themselves and their children. The corruption, injustice and--let's face it--outright misogyny towards women cannot be cloaked by terms as misleading as "abduction."  Karin Wolf didn't abduct anyone; she restored her daughter to her rightful place in her mother's arms.  

Friday, March 30, 2018

PROPOSED BILL BEFORE THE CT JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ON DUAL ARRESTS - HEARING ON APRIL 2, 2018 AT 10:00AM IN ROOM 2C OF THE LOB!


General Assembly
Raised Bill No. 466 
February Session, 2018
LCO No. 2265
*02265_______JUD*
Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY 
Introduced by:
(JUD)
AN ACT CONCERNING DUAL ARRESTS AND THE TRAINING REQUIRED OF LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL WITH RESPECT TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Section 46b-38b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

JUDGE JANE B. EMONS CAUSES FAMILY COURT VICTIM HARM AND DAMAGE IN RELOCATION CASE!

Reappointment for Judge Emons
I do not support reappointment of Judge Emons due to my personal experience which has been far from the best interest of a handicapped child, and has left the child to continuously be psychologically abused for years and the custodial parent unable to provide safety from this abuse for the child.
In a case with blatant incidences of negligence of the family unit and the child’s best interest by the non-custodial parent, Judge Emons ignored all the clear evidence of Domestic Abuse, Parental Alienation and Coercive Abuse throughout the unnecessary 2-1/2 yrs. of court process.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

DAVID MANDEL, SO-CALLED SAFE AND TOGETHER PROGRAMS, AND FATHERHOOD FUNDING!

By Doreen Ludwig,
Author of "Motherless America: Confronting Welfare's Fatherhood Custody Program"
website:  www.maccabuse.org
DAVID MANDEL


Domestic Violence Experts Do NOT Protect Parents From Legal Abuse – Is This Purposeful?
Researching the special interests and funding that built the current administrative structure of family court, I reviewed Dave Mandel’s “Safe Engagement of Fathers When Domestic Violence is Present:  Building a model response to domestic violence within the Responsible Fatherhood Programming.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"FATHERING AFTER VIOLENCE" GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS PUT ABUSED WOMEN AND CHILDREN AT RISK!

By Doreen Ludwig,
Author of "Motherless America: Confronting Welfare's Fatherhood Custody Program"
website:  www.maccabuse.org


Does Family Court offer protection to mothers and children who are victims of domestic violence? Many believe that the answer is no because father's rights extremists have been able to establish government programs which keep women and children vulnerable to ongoing abuse from violent men.

One such program is the Fathering After Violence Initiative.

Based upon this Initiative, instead of protecting women and children who have been abused, the Family Court System has a government mandate to foster and encourage the violent father's relationship with the children he has abused, regardless of the damaging consequences. Thus, in cases of domestic violence, the primary Family Court service offered to women and children who have suffered from a father's physical violence is supervised visits with the primary end goal of reuniting the father and children, even when these fathers will very likely continue to be violent and abusive.

In other words, according to an assessment prepared by Dr. Jessica Pearson, the Co-Director of the Center For Policy Research, (a part of the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network - FRPN), and the California Access and Visitation report to legislators, violent dads are given “step” visitation, i.e. supervised visits leading to unsupervised custody in as little as ten visits.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

BEST ADVICE FOR VICTIMS OF DV AND PROTECTIVE MOTHERS!

"If anyone suspects a child being molested in family court... the courts usually & often assume it is a lie and give abusers full custody. 

If you suspect your husband or wife is molesting your kids the best thing you can do is stay married and never ever let him or her alone with the kids. If you don't tell anyone you can protect your children in the home. 

If you tell authority's then the person reporting abuse will be removed from the children and the abuser will get full custody. Or if they find that the abuse is real your children can go into foster care and get molested and abused more and possibly killed in foster care as often children in foster care get abused and killed because they are only a paycheck. 

The reason the safe parent has child removed if it turned out true is failure to protect your children. 

If they think the abuser is not abusive you can be accused of coaching your children and the children get full time with abuser. 

You can be removed for reporting abuse. 

Reporting abuse will only make abuse worse in every scenerio. This goes for men or woman. 

This can happen with any type of child abuse that is reported. Not just sexual abuse."

By an Anonymous Contributor, A victim of family court abuse

Friday, September 17, 2010

WILLIAM JENKS V. JANE JENKS 232 Conn. 750 (1995)

If you are going to court to complain about coercion and duress, you will find very few Connecticut cases with which to go to Court and argue your position. However, there is one case that the majority of individuals cite in a case of duress and coercion. It is Jenks v. Jenks.

This case, very interestingly enough, went all the way to the Supreme Court, and that's saying something. I've been in trial court for a number of years and just even getting to the appellate court with something takes tremendous effort. Getting to the Supreme Court--well, that's a miracle.

Ok. So this is what happened. In this case, the marriage between the parties was dissolved and within the four months grace period, the defendant moved to reopen the judgment based upon the grounds that she had been under extreme emotional distress and duress when she agreed to it. The trial court agreed to reopen the case, modified the division of property and awarded the defendant nine years of alimony.

The Plaintiff appealed the judgment and the appeals court ruled in his favor. The appeals court decided that there was an insufficient nexus between the Plaintiff's alleged coercion and duress and the Defendant's decision to agree to the judgment, i.e. there was "no evidence of any duress remotely contemporaneous with the execution of the stipulated agreement".

The Defendant then took her case to the Supreme Court which reinstated the judgment of the trial court. The Supreme Court determined that it was clear that the Plaintiff had abused the Defendant throughout the marriage and also that the testimony of witnesses and experts indicated a direct connection between the Plaintiff's abusive behavior and Defendant's agreement to a stipulated judgment that wasn't favorable to her.

You'd think that over the years there would be tons of cases like this, but it says a great deal about what is going on in Connecticut Family Court that we only have one. If you are interested in knowing Mrs. Jenks attorney, it was Steven H. Levy, Esq. of Torrington. If you are interested in consulting with him, you can look him up online or call him at: 860-866-4637. You gotta hand it to the guy. He must have done something right!