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 RESOURCES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RESOURCES. Show all posts

Sunday, December 16, 2012


About Jennifer
Jennifer's mother, Holly Collins is a former battered mother who was the first American to receive asylum in Europe.  Despite the fact that the Family Court judge acknowledged that Holly was a victim of domestic violence, he  decided that she was too traumatized from the abuse to care for her own children. 
As a result, Jennifer and her older brother, Zachery, were placed in the sole custody of their abusive father, even while the judge decided to place the youngest brother, Christopher in the mother's care.  This decision was made despite clearcut evidence that the father was beating the children. 
In desperation, Holly and her children, including Jennifer, fled the country in 1994 and were later granted asylum in Holland.  Their story is told eloquently in the documentary "No Way Out But One."
About Jeff
Jeff has been in the court system for ten years starting at the age of seven.  At that time, his sisters reported that their Dad had been molesting them and Jeff felt that the story rang true because he'd been aware that his father would go to the room and get into bed with them. This began the divorce proceedings which led them to Family Court.
After totally fraudulent reports from the custody evaluator and the GAL, the judge placed Jeff and his sisters in his Father's custody, and they were not allowed to see their Mom who was accused of PAS.  Eventually, when Jeff was 17 he simply packed his bags, left and went to live with his mother.  He lives with sadness and pain because he knows that his younger sisters are still trapped with their abusive Father.
About Fatima
Originally, Fatima was living with her mother and her parents had joint custody.  Then when she was 8 years old, her father took her to CPS and accused the mother of abusing Fatima.  The CPS worker asked Fatima if her mother ever spanked her.  Once in a while, Fatima's mother would swat her on the bottom for discipline, so Fatima responded with a yes.  Then, suddenly, Fatima's mother was accused of child abuse and she lost custody of Fatima to the father. 
When Fatima was in her father's home, her father ignored her and neglected her, and her stepmother also verbally abused her.  Fatima's father told her that her mother didn't want her any more, and that the mother was a drug abuser.
Eventually, Fatima ran away from home and was placed in foster care, and then eventually was able to return to live with her mother where she is now.  She says, "I have little respect, trust, or regard for the California family court system and I will be emotionally scarred for life because my father was able to use the courts as he willed to retaliate against my mother and I."
These are the stories of the many courageous kids who have endured high conflict divorces in the family court system in states all over America, sometimes remaining in the system for ten years or more.  They can be found on the website for The Courageous Kids Network located at the following link:
According to Courageous Kids Network, the Network "is a growing group of young people, whose childhoods were shattered by inhumane court rulings, which forced us to live with our abusive parent, while restricting or sometimes completely eliminating contact with our loving and protective parent." 
These young people have survived the trauma and matured, and gotten to the point where they are able to speak out about the torture and pain they endured from their abusers and by the family court that did nothing to protect them.  According to Courageous Kids, by establishing this network, they are "joining together to find strength and healing."
At this point, this Network of young people is reaching out to other kids who have undergone the same struggles and they provide an opportunity for these kids to tell their stories and obtain support from other suvivors of family court abuse. 
They provide a list of suggestions on how to survive living with a batterer or molester so that you can fight your way out of an abusive situation.  A highlight of this website is a birthday cupcake ready for those who are 18 and legally allowed to live where they please and associate with whom they please. 

Courageous Kids are those who were physically, emotionally, and some sexually abused by one of their parents.  Sometimes, despite witnesses or medical evidence of the abuse, family court did not believe it happened.

Instead, family court said the children who spoke up, or the protective parent was lying.  Then family court punished the parent who was trying to protect the children, most often by completely cutting off all access to these children.

Thousands of children have been and are still taken from their protective parent and put with their abusers per court orders.  Some children are forced to live with their abuser for years, or when they are finally able to leave, they are forced to leave younger siblings behind.

They are fearful of speaking out against their abuser because they are afraid that the family court will punish them and their protective parent if they do so. 

If you are a young person, and what you have read about these young people is the same as your situation, that you are a Courageous Kid, and this network can help you.
For those of you still out there struggling in a court ordered abusive living situation, you are not alone.  Connect with others who are or who have been where you are at right now at the Courageous Kids Network.  If you want to write to Network, the address is below:

Courageous Kids Network
P.O. Box 1903
Davis, CA  95617

or you can email them at:


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I am going to provide for you verbatim a description of this book from the Barnes and Noble website.  These are not my words, but the words of the person at Barnes and Noble who wrote the review.  I think everyone concerned about the issues raised by a high conflict divorce, those who have been moved to say "that is my story" when reading Lundy Bancroft's books, should also pay attention to this new book Coercive Control by Evan Stark of Rutgers University.  Please read below:

Despite its great achievements, the domestic violence revolution is stalled, Evan Stark argues, a provocative conclusion he documents by showing that interventions have failed to improve women's long-term safety in relationships or to hold perpetrators accountable.  Stark traces this failure to a startling paradox, that the singular focus on violence against women masks an even more devastating reality.  In millions of abusive relationships, men use a largely unidentified form of subjugation that more closely resembles kidnapping or indentured servitude than assault.  He calls this pattern coercive control.  Drawing on sources that range from FBI statistics and film to dozens of actual cases from his thirty years of experience as an award-winning researcher, advocate, and forensic expert, Stark shows in terrifying detail how men can use coercive control to extend their dominance over time and through social space in ways that subvert women's autonomy, isolate them, and infiltrate the most intimate corners of their lives.  Against this backdrop, Stark analyzes the cases of three women tried for crimes committed in the context of abuse, showing that their reactions are only intelligible when they are reframed as victims of coercive control rather than as battered wives.

The story of physical and sexual violence against women has been told often.  But this is the first book to show that most abused women who seek help do so because their rights and liberties have been jeopardized, not because they have been injured.  The coercive control model Stark develops resolves three of the most perplexing challenges posed by abuse:  why these relationships endure, why abused women develop a profile of problems seen among no other group of assault victims, and why the legal system has failed to win them justice.

Elevating coercive control from a second-class misdemeanor to a human rights violation, Stark explains why law, policy, and advocacy must shift its focus to emphasize how coercive control jeopardizes women's freedom in everyday life.

Fiercely argued and eminently readable, Stark's work is certain to breathe new life into the domestic violence revolution.

See the Amazon.Com link that follows to order your copy of the book:

Thursday, May 26, 2011


A few years ago when I was in the middle of the worst of my divorce, I got out of bed in the morning, went into the bathroom and started the shower and dangled my fingers in the cold spray and waited for the water to warm up, and waited, and waited some more.

As it turned out, if I wanted hot water that day, I could have waited forever.  You see, there was this little problem with my furnace.  It had run out of oil.  Since I couldn't afford to buy any more, but I still had some play left on my electric bill, I pulled out all of my electric heaters and placed them strategically around the house. 

On another day, I was watching TV and all of a sudden it went dead.  Then I went to the bathroom and flipped the light switch on, but the room remained dark.  Oops, it turned out that the electric company I had been stringing along with a small payment here and a small payment there had finally gotten sick and tired off me and cut off the juice. This meant that for a while, the kids and I were positively old fashioned lighting up the house with a multitude of candles. 

For the children, those days were full of adventure, days when they all slept companionably in one room so that I could save money on heating, days when they ran around playing tag in a darkened home because there wasn't enough money for electricity. 

In contrast, for me, these were days of horror as I imagined what the GAL would say or the judge would say if they had any idea that my children were living in these conditions.  Now in a world of common sense, such people would immediately demand that father pay more child support, but in the world that we live in, the world in which abusers reign supreme, a situation of this kind simply represented an opportunity for those involved in our case to prove that I shouldn't have custody of my children because I wasn't responsible enough to pay my bills. 

So what could I do in a situation where I had an electric bill of over one thousand dollars that CLP demanded I pay in full before they would restore power to my house?  

One answer is Town Social Services.  In my particular case, I went to town social services and they paid the entire bill, cutting out the check, and making personal phone calls to make sure that once the money had been paid everything would be put back in order and the electricity restored.  At the same time, they connected me with programs that would be able to give me further assistance for the future. 

Another is the church or temple:  One good friend of mine temporarily lost child support for a few months, and so what did she do?  She went to Catholic Charities in Hartford and filled out an application to cover the cost of her mortgage.  Not only the Catholic Church, but also many other denominations and faiths maintain funds which are intended for average folk who find themselves in need of emergency money, and you don't have to be indigent to get it, just reasonably respectable.  

How about food banks, the ones you contributed to in better times?  Also, keep in mind that most communities have some sort of food bank or else they will know where free food gets passed out with a minimal amount of questions asked. 

Also, keep in mind that school systems have free lunch programs for those at or below the poverty level, and many of us are put right at that point by inadequate support orders judges often put into place during the pendente lite period. So do not assume you are not eligible just because your ex makes a good salary; what he makes has nothing to do with what you are getting, and what you are getting and supporting yourself with is what you report. 

As the word spreads that you need help, more people will come to you either offering you their personal assistance or providing you with more suggestions on how to get your needs met as well as that of children.  There is a safety net, but you have to go out there and find it.  This is not to say that there are always solutions to the problems, but it is worth your time to find the ones that are out there.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


One resource that is worth considering is The Children's Law Center of Connecticut, a non-profit agency which works on behalf of indigent children. 

But before I go further providing information about the Center, I'd like to let you know that I have some misgivings about the group.  Although, I do recall that a few people in a support group I attend mentioned the Center and appeared to be doing well participating in their services, I did not pursue any work with the Center because they insist that the husband and wife meet together with the therapist. As a person who was abused and severely traumatized at the time, I did not feel that I would be emotionally capable of doing that. 

In my view, anyone traumatized by a psychopathic abuser should not be forced to meet in the same room for mediation with such an abuser because most victims do not have the emotional capacity to handle it.  The literature in regard to abuse overwhelmingly agrees with me in regard to this point.  Furthermore,most mental health professionals trained in abuse would not advise a victim of domestic violence sit in the same session with an abuser. 

Therefore, it did not impress me that The Children's Law Center did not allow for meetings with each parent separately given that they are supposed to have expertise in high conflict divorce.  Many of these divorces, I would assume, involve domestic violence or some other kind of spousal abuse that would preclude the parents meeting together. The very fact that the Center rules out the option of separate meetings shows very little insight into the problem of abuse.

Still, even granting this problem, it is possible that for the right kinds of people the Children's Law Center of Connecticut could be very helpful.  So, what are the ways that it could be helpful?

Apparently, the Center provides support in four areas which  are as follows: 

First, there is representation for children. The Children's Law Center will provide experienced attorneys who can act as guardian ad litems for children whose parents are involved in high conflict divorces in family court.  These attorneys are appointed by the court and are free of charge granted the parents meet the eligibility requirements established by the court to determine that they are indigent.

Second, the Children's Law Center provides mediation services through their Families in Transition Program.  This program assists parents in putting together workable parenting agreements that can reduce the kinds of parental battles that arise as a consequence of high conflict divorces. This program is not just limited to those who are indigent; it is available based upon a sliding scale.

Third, there is a legal hotline where you can obtain free legal advice on Family Law at:  1-888-529-3667.  This hotline provides callers with help on questions regarding divorce, custody, guardianship and any other issues regarding children in family court.  Attorneys and paraprofessionals answer these calls from 9am to 5pm each day. 

Four, the Center apparently involves itself in legislative and appellate advocacy on behalf children.

The Children's Law Center was founded in 1993 after a six year old girl was shot and killed by her father during court ordered supervised visitation. It was established by a coalition of professionals in the field of family law who wish to protect children from this kind of tragedy.  Currently, it serves around 550 children per year, half of whom are minorities and all are poor. 

Again, I have some skepticism because many of the attorneys on the Board of Directors and those listed later on in the donor lists are the same folks whose policies I have had reason to criticize on this blog. However, I don't want that to be a reason for me to act like this resources doesn't exist.  Who knows, give it a shot.  Maybe the Center could be helpful to you.  Let me know what your experiences are and then I can do a better job of letting people know whether taking  advantage of the Children's Law Center makes sense or not. 

It is you guys out there who are in the midst of  the shit and trying this approach and then that approach, and who end up trying out this Children's Law Center, who can give us the feedback we need so this blog can guide people properly. So, whatever you can do to let us know, I appreciate it.

FYI, the Children's Law Center of Connecticut is located at:  30 Arbor Street, North Building, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT 06106.  Phone:  860-232-9993, Fax:  860-232-9996