Domestic Violence

Battered Women Take Custody Battles to White House

Friday, May 7, 2010

Battered mothers often shy away from publicity. But this year, in a sign of their growing organization, some plan to spend Mother's Day in Washington in a White House vigil to draw attention to a court system that often gives custody to abusers.

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Fear Stands in the Way

The California Protective Custody Association's Valentine understands the fear that keeps women from protesting and fighting the bigger battles.

"I waited until my own children were grown so we weren't affected by the family court system," she said.

Valentine says advocates and organizers need to study and replicate the successful civil rights campaigns of the past.

"Slavery was ended with a good law but slavery wasn't ended because a good law happened to come about. The law happened because huge masses of people put their lives on the line and fought for it," Valentine said.

This year "Mass Moms" is preparing to add some more public activism to their advocacy with a demonstration taking place in Boston on a date to be announced soon. In what they're planning to call "Confetti," the moms will symbolically shred court-appointed guardian reports--which they feel are particularly unfair to protective parents--into little bits and toss them at the statehouse to call attention to the plight of protective mothers fighting for custody of their children.

In New York City, a group called V.O.W., or Voices of Women, has been working within the court system to try to provide legal counsel and one-on-one help for women. On a wider scale its mission is to "promote long-term systemic change by documenting institutional failures, testifying at hearings, creating position papers and meeting with local and state officials."

Both Valentine and Hannah say this is the right time to take the movement to the next level.

"The new president is a fatherless man with a good wife and they will hear us," said Valentine. "And if they don't hear us, Vice President Joe Biden worked on the violence against women act and he will hear us. And if they don't hear us we will keep going until they do hear us."

Mary Darcy is a multimedia producer/host and documentary filmmaker. She's a two time Gracie Award winner for her work with Kate Mulgrew on Herstory and The Sounds of Progress, public radio series about great women in science. Darcy is a co-owner in Uptown/Downtown Media, producers of


For more information:

Battered Mothers Custody Conference

Battered Mothers Custody Conference California Protective Parents Association

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Report: Abused Women See Danger in Family Court


Family Courts Come Under Volunteers' Watch

This abuse is going to stop. To see how you can help, go to The Leadership Council's website, take their online survey and get involved.

Another great site:

God bless all, especially our children whose voice goes unheard.

Order the book:
"From Madness to Mutiny: Why Mothers Are Running from the Family Courts -- and What Can Be Done about It" by Amy Neustein and Michael Lesher on
This is a tradegy occuring in well documented cases in all 50 states here in the USA.

CourtWatch Florida,
We are forming a powerful group to protect those who voices go unheard. We will NEVER give up until change occurs.

Next stop is South Carolina...Charleston County

Something need s to be done in NC Davidson co. I'am a victim of this and so are my children the judge put my children in temporary custody of the abuser and the kids are being abused now and judge left it open and cps and mediation says they can't do nothing falls back on the judge that ordered it which did not look at the eveidence before he made a order and i had a legitimate reason I was trying to protect my children and my father had a stroke on my case but judge ordered before he looked at the evidence and I'am also a domestic violence survivor with 2 little ones ages 5 yrs and 7yrs . This is an out rage !:( I can't afford a $5,000 retainer for a lawyer to fight this and have not seen my children for 8 months and not talked to them on the phone since January 23. 2010 ! The father will not let me have visits or contact and i had sole full exclusive custody of my children . Now you tell me whats wrong with this picture ??

Another advocacy group that protective mothers can join to advocate for change in the family court system is Protective Mothers Alliance International co-founded and co-directed by Janice Levinson and Lundy Bancroft. You may join our group by calling 941 - 822 - 5592 or emailing Janice at:
These tragedies are not isolated incidents as this is a wide spread international problem mothers and children are enduring all over the world.

Wife-beating is a crime and it belongs under the jurisdiction of a criminal court and not the farce and fraud of family court. If judicial immunity is not ended for family court judges, then the family court judges will keep-on breaking the law for financial gain, for favors and for bribes. If a family court judge grants custody of children to a wife-beater, then he should be charged with child endangerment. If the wife-beater is a danger to his (ex)wife, then he is a danger to her children. One does not need a law degree to know this. Taxpayers' money is supporting the family courts, so the courts should be open to the public, to weed out corrupt and negligent judges and mediators, in the public interest and in the children's interest. The family courts should be open to the press/media, to the public and to court watchdog organizations, to ensure that the evidence is not destroyed.