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 MELANIE BLOW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MELANIE BLOW. Show all posts

Monday, March 16, 2015


Testimony in support of Assembly Bill 5505

Submitted by Barry Goldstein and Melanie Blow of Stop Abuse Campaign

On December 1, 2014, I said goodbye to a dear friend, minutes before

she got picked up by the van that was taking her to federal prison.

My friend kidnapped her daughter to keep her from a father who abused

her and let a convicted sex offender spend the night with her.

I advocate for child abuse survivors. I know so many adults who would

have loved to have the kind of mother my friend is. She was willing to

protect her daughter from anything, including a

very harmful custody decision.

Neither my friend nor I will defend kidnapping a child, ever. Nor will

we defend allowing a system to be so broken that perpetrators of domestic

violence are routinely given custody of their children in a divorce. We will

not defend giving an overburdened DCF the de facto role of court evaluator,

costing taxpayers money with every investigation and forcing children to

suffer instance after instance of abuse. We won’t defend allowing a parent

accused of sexually abusing their child to win custody of that child 85%

of the time, when those accusations are deliberately false 2% of the time.

The crisis in Connecticut’s, and America’s, family courts started with the

belief that women and children were the property of their husband/father.

As we started to learn about domestic violence, little was done to help

family courts protect children better. The Adverse Childhood Experience

research of the late ‘90’s proved that all child abuse even abuse that doesn’t

result in severe physical injuries impacts a child’s future health, meaning all

abuse is a matter of life and death. And we still haven’t fixed the system.

Assembly bill 5055 is remarkable for taking some solid steps to fix the situation.

The Saunders’ study from the U.S. Department of Justice proves many

evaluators, judges and lawyers don’t have the specific knowledge necessary

to recognize and respond to domestic violence and related abuse. True

reports aren’t believed and Connecticut’s children aren’t protected. Many

professionals defensively try to justify their errors and retaliate against

moms like my friend who are trying to protect their children. Assembly

bill 5055 seeks to provide some accountability for the professionals. And

it seeks to make the health and safety of children the first priority in all

custody and visitation decisions. I cannot understand how any other standard

can be tolerated when so many children are being jeopardized by

outdated practices from the 1970s.

As I said goodbye to my friend in December, she told me how proud she

is of the advocate I’ve become. I told her how proud I am of the woman

and mother she is. Both of us want to save children. She went up against

a court system for a few days to protect her child from a hellish life. And

now I am asking the Connecticut state legislator to protect the thousands of

children in your state who are suffering from preventable, predictable,

court ordered abuse.

Because ignoring the experts and research translates to ignoring the

battered mothers, their children and their suffering.