Annual conference started in 2003 by two mothers, Mo Therese Hannah and Lilliane Heller Miller. It addresses the many complex issues facing battered women as they strive to protect themselves and their children during divorce, custody, and visitation litigation.
- the barriers women face in child custody battles when trying to protect their children from abusers
- how children are damage by being with their abusers
- interviews with lawyers, judges, law enforcement, protective mothers and court advocates
- strategies that lawyers of abusers use to tie protective parent’s hands and help abusers win the cases
- the history of PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome) and how it is used against women
- the need for lawyers and judges/court personnel to get consistent training on DV
DV LEAP is a partnership of the George Washington University Law School and a network of participating law firms.
Ensure that a victim’s words about her fears and previous violence will not disappear if she does.
A victim can make an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA) to document her experiences in ways that will help the legal system successfully prosecute in the future, even if she is disappeared, dead or in a coma.
The process combines video taping of the victim’s actual words attesting to the abuse, coupled with witnessed and notarized legal documents that successfully satisfy legal hurdles often faced in intimate partner violence and stalking cases.
A unique packaging of testimony + documentation + perpetrator historical profiling + pre-collected evidence delivered to established safe and legal persons = a delicate issue brilliantly wrapped up for successful prosecution.
Custody Preparation for Moms is a support site provided by those that have been through the process.
This five minute video is by Women’s Health West and Victoria Police of Victoria, Australia. It features local women demonstrating simple and practice ways of gathering evidence. Note: This video is from Victoria, Australia, where protection orders are called “intervention orders’ and the emergency phone number is 000, not 911 as in the USA.
In the Best Interests of the Abuser: Coercive Control, Child Custody Proceedings and the “Expert” Assessments That Guide Judicial Determinations.
This is an academic paper by Dr. Samantha Jeffries, Senior Lecturer at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith Institute of Criminology, Griffith University, Australia. As with academic papers this is a demanding read, but well worth the effort.
The Abstract reads: This paper outlines why domestic violence (or more specifically, coercive control) should be crucial to child custody proceedings. What is known about parenting in the context of coercively controlling violence, and what the legislation directs courts to consider, is juxtaposed with the actuality of court decision making. Current knowledge about the recognition of domestic violence in judicial practice is overviewed, drawing particular attention to the role of the “expert” family assessment in determinations of a child’s “best interests”. A comprehensive synopsis of the existing research on these “expert” reports in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States is provided. It is concluded that, in court proceedings the reality of living with coercively controlling violence and the potential on-going risks it poses to children and non-abusive parents, is typically negated. Instead, “best interests” considerations prioritise the maintenance of perpetrator/child relationships, and thus “abuser’s rights” over victim safety. Judicial officers are not experts in domestic violence and they can only make decisions on the basis of the evidence before them, the assessments made by the “experts” likely play an important role in best interest considerations. Of concern is current research that calls into serious question the expertise of these “experts” when it comes to proceedings involving allegations of coercively controlling violence.
None of the ACFJ team are legally qualified and we don’t know how good the advice on this site is, but it seems reasonable. Very basic, of necessity, but probably potentially helpful. It seems like this site helps people assess the possible benefits of litigation before they spend any $$ on an attorney, and suggests what type of attorney to look for, and what you can and can’t expect the law to do for you.
Note: It is a USA website, so if you are in another country the laws and the terms for things may be different. Don’t assume that the advice on the website will be true for to other countries’ legal systems.
If you know links for other countries, please email us and we’ll add the links here.
This is actually a post on this blog, but we’ve put it here as well, for ease of access.
This website provides information on Pro Bono services for Domestic Violence victims . Information includes and is not limited to finding a lawyer, a guide to legal help, and a victims of crime resource center guide.
Article by Jerome H. Poliacoff, Ph.D., P.A., Cynthia Le. Greene, Esq., and Laura Smith, Esq. that refutes the premise that Parental alienation syndrome is a valid diagnosis and should be admitted into child custody cases.
This website is for the parent involved in a custody dispute where a potential abuser, his/her legal team, or Child Protective Services has accused you of false reporting or characterized you as vengeful and mentally ill.
by Janie McQueen
by Brian Willingham
This article discusses how federal and state laws affect how and if you can record phone calls and conversations.
This article gives an overview of what one needs to be mindful of when considering electronic recordings. This article is also available in Spanish.
This article from Social Work Today presents the “other side” of the PAS debate.
Sin by Silence is a documentary that takes one into the lives of women who are domestic violence’s living, worst-case scenarios. Some of these women have killed their abusers and are now trapped behind bars. This documentary tells the story of Convicted Women Against Abuse (CWAA), an initiative led by the women of CWAA to help educate the legal system. Through careful orchestration of letter writing campaigns, media coverage, and senate hearings a moment was born and laws for battered women were change.
Two ACFJ blog posts the reveal the myth of PAS
from Protective Mothers’ Alliance International
WomensLaw is an extensive website launched to provide state-specific legal information and resources for survivors of domestic violence. They also provide a confidential Email Hotline to offer direct support to survivors, their advocates, friends and family members. The above link will take you to their About Us page. At the top of the page is a Legal Information tab which gives information under these subheadings: Know the Law – by State; Immigration; Preparing for Court; Other Federal Laws; and Other Legal Information.