A National Scandal: American Mothers March to Defend Motherhood and Children’s Human Rights

Mothers of Lost Children march from the U.S. Capitol to the White House in Washington DC to protest children being taken from safe mothers and given to battering or sexually abusive fathers through family courts.  This governmental cover up is similar to Penn State and the Catholic Church cover-ups. Mothers will protest at the Department of Justice and Demand Equal Rights for Women and Protection in Courts across America for whistle blowers who have the right to Defend Childhood.  Mothers are bringing attention to child trafficking in the Courts, and  States Judges who fail to Protect.  Help us send a mother from each state to represent the rights of mothers and abused children.


OCTOBER IS VIOLENCE IN THE FAMILY AWARENESS MONTH, Mothers of Lost Children (Mothers who have lost custody after reporting abuse)- bring attention to children of Domestic Violence.  October 1st is recognized as the National Safe Child Day.  Throughout the month communities across America will be participating in a campaign to bring attention to this National Scandal – Child Trafficking. We invite Mothers and Supporters from across the nation to join us in making the Safety of Our Children a National Priority.

To commemorate the National Safe Child Day- Mothers across the Nation will Protest  at Courthouses, State Capitals and the White house.  Delivering the message A Nurtured Childhood is Endangered, Declaring that we must make Safety the first Priority in US child custody Policies.

October 1 – 2, 2014  Mothers of Lost Children demonstration and Lobby Day in Washington D.C.

Mothers and their supporters will demonstrate at the White House on Wednesday and lobby Congress on Thursday.  The demonstration and march will be on October 1, National Safe Child Day, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. We will meet at the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW at 11:00 am, have a vigil and speak out, then march around the White House with our banners and signs. Afterwards, we will march to the Department of Justice for a demonstration to insist on action on the 286 cases provided to the DOJ for investigation on January 15, 2014

Victims Caucus – Stopping the Cycle of Abuse and Violence (Hosted by the Stop Abuse Campaign & NPEIV) – May 07, 2012, Mothers of Lost Children testifiedhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p31T33oFq4E&list=UU2lMtVPCBwn9rgNhzc0d9pQ
Mildred Muhammed, After the Trauma, Mothers of Lost Children speaks at Victims Rights briefing


October 10 -12, 2014 National Mothers Conference-Women’s Empowerment in NY, Mothers from across the Nation will address the issues that are affecting the welfare of our Nations Children.  Special speakers will bring attention to Lobbying and Advocacy efforts including- Carol Maraj- Domestic Violence, Mildred Muhammad- Domestic Violence, Maria Delus- Gun Violence, Patrice Lenowitz- Children’s Justice Campaign, Melissa Barnett-Mothers of Lost Children,Speakers on Child Trafficking/Sex trade, Aleah Holland- Founder Heal Mothers and Children Coalition

We will post additional Demonstrations

More activities to bring awareness -



California Statewide Judicial Protest


Upcoming Events

The Center for Judicial Excellence is actively engaged with allies from around the country in an attempt to secure Congressional Oversight Hearings about the broken family court system and the havoc it is wreaking on millions of Americans.

Friday, September 19, 2014 - “California’s Broken Branch” Statewide Judicial Protest

Broken Branch Image - "California's Broken Branch" Statewide Judicial Protest The Center for Judicial Excellence and the California Protective Parents Association are teaming up with attorneys, court employees, litigants and activists to raise awareness about the complete lack of oversight in the California Judicial System, and the severe harm that is befalling children, parents, court employees and litigants as a result. Join us as we rally to demand action from the California Judicial Council, our elected state officials and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all of our state’s courts become accountable, accessible, affordable and safe for litigants in all sectors of the court system.

Judicial Wall of Shame: Share your story! 
We encourage participants to please bring personal photos and/or brief stories about their court ordeals to share on a “Judicial Wall of Shame” that will be created during the Protest to document the atrocities and injustices being committed in the “Broken Branch of California Government.”

Protest Rally Agenda
 *Days agenda is tentative and some of the specifics might change, so keep checking back for updates.

11am – 11:30am      Gather, Staging, Crowd Prep, Assemble Wall of Shame
11:30am – 12n          March Around Building
12n – 1pm                   Main Rally (includes speakers)
1pm – 2pm                  Direct Action 
2pm – ‘til done          Open Mic Testimony from Litigants

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details about this Protest. Please RSVP and spread the word about this event to your networks by joining and sharing the Protest’s Facebook Page. If you cannot make it to San Francisco for any reason, then please consider mailing your submissions for posting on the “Judicial Wall of Shame” to CJE at our PO Box address below. Organizations that are interested in co-sponsoring the Protest should please email info@centerforjudicialexcellence.org to learn more. Protest will be located at 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco.


PART 1- Family Court Crisis – Our Children at Risk



Why I March for Elsa Newman

Margaret candler in Washington

Margaret Candler-Mothers of Lost Children Free Elsa Newman.com

Mothers of Lost Children are returning to Washington DC for our 5th year of protests, vigils and march’s.  Margaret Candler is devoted to the “Free Elsa Newman: an innocent mother” campaign

Margaret Candler, Maryland, USA

Why I March,

 When I carry my sign to Free Elsa Newman on the DC Metro, people often ask me about it. No one can understand that good moms are OFTEN trashed when they mention child abuse in family court, Everyone believes that American courts ALWAYS give custody to good moms. May that time come! Annually family courts place 58,000 children in the unsupervised care of their abusers (The Leadership Council.) Sign if you haven’t and spread the word: www.justice4elsanewman.com

Elsa Newman is and innocent mother who has been falsely accused of a crime she did not commit. Elsa has served 12 years of a 20 year sentence and was denied parol in January 2013 Free Elsa

Elsa and kids

Elsa Newman

 http://www.thepetitionsite.com/5/Free-Elsa-Newman/Margaret Candler


A National Scandal

Mothers of Lost Children

You will find the story of Elsa Newman and a petition on the site please sign and share, help us free and innocent mother.

free an innocent maryland mother

Falsely Accused Moms

falsely Accused Moms com


5 THINGS YOU MUST DO: How to file a “Declaration of Facts” and other tips to win a Family Court Case

Let’s face it. Attorneys in family court get paid by the case so they want your case to go as fast as possible. They certainly aren’t going to do anything that makes them have to actually do real work, so you need to become your own advocate and not rely too much on your counsel to do a good job.


There are five things you’ll want to do in your case RIGHT AWAY:


1) Request that the media be allowed to cover and record your case. At the very least, as the judge for the right to be able to make an audio or video record of your yourself.


2) Start a blog, social media accounts and keep people up-to-date on your case. So many things will go wrong in family court because their sole motivation is money, not the best interest of the child. DO NOT talk about confidential things. Be brief and stick to the facts. Use the blog to let the public “get to know you” and your case. Use the blog for the purpose of proving your innocence.


3) Write a letter to your attorney with your expectations to be clear about what you expect for yoru attorney to accomplish for you.


4) Get an independent mental health evaluation by a doctor immediately. Do not wait for the court to ask for one. They will always do that because they generally have weak cases and want to use anything they can to justify their case. Voluntarily enroll in mental health and parenting classes through National Alliance on the Mentally Ill  (www.NAMI.org), LIFT and other organizations. If you’re a DV victim, your local organization may have classes for you to enroll in.


5) Get the orders, records, exhibits and transcripts of your case. You can ask for the fees to be deferred but you need to make a habit of getting the records, orders and all documents in your case at every turn. Consider a monthly trip to the courthouse to ensure that nothing new hasn’t happened. Many courts have online websites where you can sign up for updates on your case. Stay on top of it because your attorney will not provide you with anything helpful. In most cases, you may not even meet your attorney before the trial.

BONUS: Do not sign anything. Don’t sign a HIPPA or other releases. Whatever they are asking to see, you can supply it to them without giving them invasive access to your records because they will twist everything in their favor.

DECLARATION OF FACTS: Every respondent should write Declaration of Facts at least one time in their case because odds are something in the “record” is false. When the court records are falsified – which is quite often in most family courts – you’ll want to correct the record. Here’s one way to do so: Write a Declaration of Facts.

Who writes Declarations?

If you are a party (petitioner or respondent), you may need to write your own declaration at different pre-trial stages of the case:

• To tell “your side of the story;”

• To explain your requests;

• To give needed information; or

• To respond to another person’s declaration.

Also, you can ask other people, such as teachers, doctors, family members, counselors, friends, scout leaders, coaches, clergy, police or law enforcement officers, neighbors, or others who have directly seen, heard, or otherwise witnessed important events to write declarations explaining what they know. Be sure to get them notarized.


Pleadings (legal forms)
that you file with the court must follow the court rules about size and margins (GR 14(a)). You must use regular size (8 ½ x 11″) white paper. You may write on only one side of the paper. The first page of each paper that you file must have a three-inch margin (three inches of space) at the top. The other margins (left, right and bottom, and the top from the second page on) must be at least one-inch wide. Use black or dark blue ink. If your forms do not follow these rules, the court clerk may refuse to file them or may make you pay a fine.

The caption

The caption has the name of the case, the case number, the name of the court, and the title of the court paper. It appears at the top of the first page of every form.

• Name of the court. Write in the name of the county where the case is filed in the blank space where the form reads “Superior Court of Washington County of .”

• Case name. Fill in the names as they appear on the Petition.

• Case number. Write the case number from the Petition near the top on the right hand section of the first page of every form.





How to write a DECLARATION of FACTS and submit to Family Court

Falsey Accused Moms

No mother should feel alone when falsely accused of child neglect or abuse. No domestic violence victim should have to choose between safety and their children when seeking help from organizations.

F.A.M. works to help Falsely Accused Mothers of child neglect and abuse. We work with civil rights organizations, social workers, attorneys and media to help get to the bottom of what really happened.

If you’d like to help F.A.M., please email us at famproject@ymail.com

Falsely accused mom logohttp://falselyaccusedmoms.com/

“Boyhood” a Film About Motherhood

Much praise for Ms. Magazine Blogger Kimberly Dark’s review of Boyhood, a story about a 12 year boy and his life.

In 2012 at the Sewell-Belmont House, Mothers of Lost Children made a list of issues that needed addressing and created a priority list.  One of the most important issues is the view of Mother in society and in media.  If women wanted to gain political clout and address the issues that undermine our authority in the courts we agreed that we needed a PR Campaign for Mom.  The importance of mom.   While we continue to see on the small screen dangerous messages that belittle women and mothers causing us discomfort with the turtle steps we are taking in this campaign to elevate mother, then along comes Boyhood to soothe our soul.

“Boyhood” Is Also a Film About Motherhood

boyhoodposterKimberly Dark is a sociologist, storyteller, speaker and yoga teacher. Learn more about her at www.kimberlydark.com.

“The glue—motherhood—is a nearly invisible structural feature in the film. That’s precisely because the decisions and sacrifices and structural constraints that scaffold women’s lives are also largely unconsidered, both in families and politically.”   ‘when I say in my title that this film is also about motherhood, I don’t mean that it is really about the whole family. I mean that the mother’s decisions are the ones creating a narrative arc in a film about a boy. And as women’s decisions and contributions are often rendered invisible in the fabric of culture, so, too, critics seem to see only that the mother made a few “bad decisions” about husbands. Her decisions were far more complex than that. That’s not to say that she wound up finding meaning in her life at the close of the film, but that hers were the decisions that shaped the boyhood in question.
Childhood is not an individual journey, after all. The condition of our birth influences so much right from the start. To put it bluntly, there can be no boyhood without first a mother. And every mother has a social position and makes immediate decisions about her child. In this film, her choices significantly frame the type of boyhood Mason has. First, she chooses active parenting over the drop-in parenting the kids’ father provides. http://msmagazine.com/blog/2014/08/25/boyhood-is-also-a-film-about-motherhood/

Boyhood is a 2014 American coming-of-age drama film co-produced, written and directed by Richard Linklater and starring Patricia ArquetteEllar ColtraneLorelei Linklater and Ethan Hawke. The film was shot intermittently over an eleven-year period from May 2002 to October 2013 as Coltrane grew from childhood to adulthood. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival,[1] and was released theatrically on July 11, 2014.[2] The film also competed in the main competition section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival,[6] where Linklater won the Silver Bear for Best Director.[7] The film was declared a landmark by many notable film critics, with particular praise for its direction, acting, and scope.[8][9][10][11][12]


  • What is the importance of motherhood in the child’s life?

There are several take a ways from this film one is that Mothers and their love for their sons, are important to the life of the growing boy.  The influence of their mothers can not be replaced.  For many children this is the source of the gentle love they need to develop into gentle understanding men.

Children need a nurtured safe childhood. If Mothers are removed from their children’s life where will the child replicate the much needed model of the mother?  Mothers should have the right to leave abusive relationships without forfeiting their right to parent or protect their children. Many mothers today are forced to stay with the abusive father because the courts have been favoring fathers over the protection of the children.  
The belief that the relationship with the father is paramount to the child’s life has had dire consequences.  While it is true that fathers are very important, it can also be said that the dangerous father plays a significant role and shouldn’t the child be protected from the negative experience of DV and child abuse.  Mothers fear rightly that if they leave the man will receive custody and they and their children will be separated.   Courts that enable entitled men must be dismantled, and communities can not continue to step back when mothers lose custody, it is unnatural and often unsafe for the child. Our future depends on the children being raised with compassion and tolerance, taught kindness and love for one another, such assurance can not be made when placed with batterers and abusers. The likelihood of raising more bullies and victims is quite high. This is a very dangerous practice.  
  • American Psychological Association. (1996). Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family , Washington, D.C.: Author.http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/cust_myths.html  “Fathers who battered the mother are twice as likely to seek sole custody of their children as are non-violent fathers.”
~American Psychological Association~
Love you forever

Maternal Alienation



Posted by Coral Anika Theill 
Author, Advocate, Speaker & Reporter
Memoir: BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark
Website: www.coralanikatheill.com

The Story of Naming “Maternal Alienation”: New Research Enters the World of Policy and Practice by Anne Morris – A MUST READ

When maternal alienation takes place, mothers are positioned as the ones least able to make changes. A mother’s words are discredited before she even utters them, and her actions are reviled before she takes them. Whatever she does, she has been painted as the mad one, the bad one, the stupid one, the one who can’t be trusted. Her children will not listen to her or cooperate with her. Professional interventions that put pressure on her to make changes within the family such as changes to children’s behaviour, exacerbate this situation and problems are likely to escalate. This tends to “prove” to practitioners that the woman is the cause of the problems.

What is needed from practitioners is both understanding of how maternal alienation has operated to disempower and discredit mothers, and an attitude of respect towards them. Practitioners’ authority can be used positively to model respect towards the mother and authorise alternative narratives and behaviours for mother and child. This counterbalances the power and status of the alienator’s voice.

Women who leave violence and abuse often find they re-capture a sense of being a worthwhile person that was lost during the abuse; they may discover they have values and a personality that were buried for years. This (re-) emerging self can be strengthened during work with mothers and children, as together they create a life that they choose. Becoming very clear about what they want in their lives enables women and children to re-frame who they are, and step outside the behaviours they adopted to survive the abuse, and the negative narratives about who they were.

It can be helpful for women and children to understand how the tactics of maternal alienation capitulated them into particular behaviours. For women, these tactics often worked to entrap them into ‘playing out’ the role assigned to them by the perpetrator. After leaving an abusive relationship, women and children often find that perpetrators’ tactics to control them escalate. They will need to hold on firmly to the alternative sense of themselves so that they are not tricked back into the old ways of behaving that ‘proved’ the perpetrators’ words about themselves.

What is needed from practitioners is both understanding of how maternal alienation has operated to disempower and discredit mothers, and an attitude of respect towards them.
______________________________________________________________family courts destroy lives

The Story of Naming “Maternal Alienation”: New Research Enters the World of Policy and Practice by Anne Morris

Home Truths Conference – September 2004, Melbourne

Liz Kelly tells us that, “in order to define something a word has to exist with which to name it. …What is not named is invisible and, in a social sense, nonexistent” (1988 114). When I sought to understand why so many mothers who were victims of violence were blamed and often hated by their children, I found myself identifying and naming a phenomenon that had been virtually unnamed in the literature on violence against women.

I was drawn to research this from my experience as a practitioner working with women whose relationships with their children had broken down. In groups and counselling, I discovered the depth of their grief at losing their children, compounded by the blame they encountered from those around them, which further fed their self-blame as mothers. It seemed ironic that such a source of profound grief for women did not even deserve a word that identified their experience. For them, their children, families and communities, there seemed to be no way of understanding how their relationships had broken down other than seeing it as the mothers’ fault.

Findings from 1999 Research

The research project, conducted in 1999 (Morris 1999), discovered that in these cases of alienation, male perpetrators of violence against the women and/or children use an arsenal of strategies to deliberately undermine mother-child relationships. Most often the mother’s intimate partner and the child’s father or step-father, they employ these tactics in a number of different abusive contexts, including domestic violence and child sexual abuse. They use verbal messages and actions to position the mother in a place where children can hate and despise her, can insult and even abuse her themselves, where any action she makes becomes further proof of the statements made about her. These messages do not have to be based on any truth – their power is built on the commanding way in which they are conveyed, the rhetorical devices they use and the emotional responses they elicit. The messages are propaganda, and work powerfully on children, becoming more authoritative than children’s own experiences of their mother and of their abuse. As they conflict with children’s experiences, these assaults on children’s sense of reality have implications for their later mental health and healing.

In this campaign against the mother, the alienator manipulates and inscribes upon his victims demeaning stereotypes of women and mothers. Children, coached to copy the abusive behaviour of their father, are likely to form future relationships based on these gendered stereotypes, whereby men are encouraged to use power and violence for their own ends, and women are debased and held responsible for all ills. Whilst painting the mother as unloving, stupid, mad, lying, malicious and monstrous, the father portrays himself as good, rational, victimised, but heroic. As stereotypes have cultural currency, family members, community members and professionals readily adopt these images without much awareness or criticism. He becomes the ‘poor man’ that we easily sympathise with; the mother becomes ‘the bitch’ we love to demonise.

I named this campaign against mother and child and their relationship maternal alienation. This name defies the general trend towards gender neutral language, that conceals”women’s disadvantage in a range of institutional settings” (Gatens and Mackinnon 1998 xiv), and reminds us that this is a form of gendered violence aimed at mothers and mothering. By removing gender from the framing of problems of violence, a gender-neutral perspective obscures the role of gender and power in abusive relationships (Berns 2001). The term ‘maternal alienation’ was created also partly as a response to the contentious Parental alienation Syndrome (PAS) (Gardner 1987), used particularly by men in custody disputes in the United States, and increasingly in Australia, to undermine mothers’ allegations of their violence and abuse towards mother and/or child, predominantly child sexual abuse (Myers 1997; Dallam 1998). A favourite of the men’s rights groups, Parental alienation Syndrome insists that it is mainly women who alienate their children from their fathers, while being silent about fathers’ attempts to alienate children from their mothers. The term ‘maternal alienation’ subverts this ploy and draws attention to the prevalence of alienation aimed at mothers. The term also has potential to take account of the widespread existence of mother blaming within families, institutions and popular and professional discourses.

As maternal alienation occurs across a spectrum of abuse and violence, I found Liz Kelly’s idea of a ‘continuum’ of abuse helpful, as it acknowledges the interconnectedness of what are often seen as specific forms of abuse such as emotional, physical and sexual abuse (of women and children) (Kelly 1988). The concept of a continuum allows a consideration of the extent to which institutional structures and the practices of health and legal professionals contribute to maternal alienation, for I continue to discover that the alienation begun by the perpetrator is invariably continued and compounded by institutions and professionals who become involved with the family.



Berns, N. (2001). “Degendering the Problem and Gendering the Blame: Political Discourse on Women and Violence.” Gender and Society 15(2): 262-281.

Birns, B. (1999). “Attachment Theory Revisited: Challenging Conceptual and Methodological Sacred Cows.” Feminism & Psychology 9(1): 10-21.

Burke, C. (1999). “Redressing the balance: child protection intervention in the context of domestic violence”. Challenging Silence: Innovative responses to sexual and domestic violence. J. Breckenridge and L. Laing. St Leonards, Allen & Unwin: 256-267.

Dallam, S. J. (1998). “The Evidence for Parental alienation Syndrome: An Examination of Gardner’s Theories and Opinions.” Treating Abuse Today 8(2): 25-34.

Edleson, J. L. (1998). “Responsible mothers and invisible men: child protection in the case of adult domestic violence.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 13(2): 294-5.

Gardner, R. (1987). The Parental alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse. New Jersey, Creative Therapeutics.

Gatens, M. and A. Mackinnon (1998). Gender and Institutions; Welfare, Work and Citizenship. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Hays, S. (1996). The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood. New Haven, Yale University Press.

Hearn, J. (1998). “Theorizing men and men’s theorizing: Varieties of discursive practices in men’s theorizing of men.” Theory and Society 27(6): 781-816.

Irwin, J., F. Waugh, et al. (2002). Domestic violence and child protection – A research report: A collaborative research project by Barnardos Australia and the University of Sydney. Sydney, University of Sydney.

Kelly, L. (1988). “How Women Define their Experiences of Violence”. Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse. K. Yllo and M. Bograd. Newbury Park, C.A., Sage.

Laing, L. (1999). “A different balance altogether? Incest offenders in treatment”. Challenging Silence: innovative responses to sexual and domestic violence. J. Breckenridge and L. Laing. St Leonards, Allen & Unwin.

McMahon, M. (1995). Engendering Motherhood – Identity and Self-Transformation in Women’s Lives. New York, The Guildford Press.

Morris, A. (1999). Uncovering ‘maternal alienation’: a further dimension of violence against women Department of Social Inquiry, University of Adelaide, Adelaide.

Morris, A. (2003). Working with maternal alienation in Domestic/Family Violence and Child Sexual Abuse. Adelaide, Northern Metropolitan Community Health Service; Women’s Health Statewide; University of Adelaide.

Myers, J. E. B. (1997). A Mother’s Nightmare – Incest: A Practical Legal Guide for Parents and Professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage.

Smart, C. (1996). “Deconstructing motherhood”. Good Enough Mothering? Feminist perspectives on lone motherhood. E. B. Silva. London, Routledge.

1 The author wishes to acknowledge the contributions to this work of Dr Margie Ripper, University of Adelaide, and Professor Liz Kelly C.B.E., Child & Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University.

Posted by Coral Anika Theill
Author, Advocate, Speaker & Reporter
Memoir: BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark
Website: www.coralanikatheill.com

BONSHEÁ Making Light of the Dark shares my search for freedom and light in a society based on patriarchal religion and laws. It openly speaks about the ideas and beliefs in our society which foster sexism, racism, the denigration of human rights and the intolerance of difference. My documentation exposes the dark side of human nature when all people are not valued. A healthy society must have the courage to address these issues, speak about them, examine them and bring them to light. Indifference encourages, “silent violence”-the type of violence I experienced in my home, in the community, religious circles and judicial system. Nobel laureate, Elie Wiesel states, “The indifference to suffering makes the human inhumane.

The price for my own safety and freedom in 1996 was an imposed, unnatural and unwanted separation from my eight children. The injustice committed against me is not just the physical separation from my children, but the willful desecration of the mother-child relationship and bond, a sacred spiritual and emotional entity.

Forcibly taking a mother’s children, and then controlling her emotionally by withholding contact must be publicly recognized as one of the greatest forms of ‘mis-use’ of the American justice system and one of the greatest hidden vehicles for wide-spread socially approved physical and emotional abuse and control.


In the Pursuit of Truth

Pursuit of Truth Film

You Silenced me once, now Adult Survivors of Sexual Assault speak out in the Pursuit of Truth Film

Hear Wendy Murphy JD, and Marci Hamilton among other expert testimony, who champion the rights of victims and Statute of Limitation Laws to protect victims of abuse and help those who seek justice.

See Pursuit of Truth and order your film to share in your communities because, The Truth Matters.


  Pursuit of truth ribbon

It is a sensitive and sobering and truly needed comprehensive look at what the legal process is really like for survivors, from the moment of disclosure to wherever the legal system may come to a resting point.”  Michael


Most victims of child sexual abuse can’t ask for help. You can.

Pursuit of Truth Film.Com

CAPTA turns 40

CAPTA turns 40  What have we learned? http://stopabusecampaign.com/


 By Melanie Blow

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) turns 40 this year. It’s birth represented a milestone in our accepting of children’s rights and what is necessary to keep them healthy. After 40 years, CAPTA is still an essential tool to protect children, although newer research shows we’re harming children if we rely on it too heavily.

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was essentially the first piece of federal legislation to codify a novel concept- that all children had rights above and beyond being the property of their parents. Before CAPTA, there was a smattering of child welfare laws throughout state and local governments regarding “child cruelty”,  and things like rape and murder were illegal when done to a child or an adult (although the former was never spoken of). But the rise of medical technology was letting doctors learn more about the injuries that precede child fatalities. Most people agreed that children did not deserve to have their limbs wrenched until the bones splintered, that they did not deserve to be thrown and slammed until ribs broke and skulls cracked, healed, and cracked again.

CAPTA laid the basic groundwork for what states minimally need to consider to be abuse, for states to have central registers to receive reports of abuse, established that certain professionals who work with children must be trained in identifying abuse and be legally obliged to report it (mandated reporters), and laid down some ground rules for foster care of children removed from their homes.

It’s impossible to say how CAPTA affected child abuse rates, since we have no real baseline for them before it passed. And as pediatricians were studying patterns of fractured little bones, the feminist movement was brewing. A side effect of this was that rape was being discussed more, and with it the discussion of the rape of children. This topic rose high in the public consciousness in the ‘80’s and early ‘90’s. The mere idea of raping a child is abhorrent to most people, but it also seems unrelated to child fatality. Or so we thought, until a cardiologist in California proved otherwise.

In the mid-’90’s, Dr. Vince Felitti was studying why some of his patients would lose weight, but gain it right back. When he asked them if they were, in some way, attached to being overweight, he often heard “yes”, and this was often explained by discussion of abuse and other significant traumas they suffered as children.

This epiphany lead to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, a massive body of research showing that survivors of any form of child abuse, neglect, major household dysfunction and parental domestic violence live shorter lives, experience more major physical illness and injury, and earn less money than people who don’t endure these things. It also showed the infrastructure for responding to abuse that CAPTA established was inadequate. Keeping physical abuse and neglect from escalating to a fatality- the basic goal of CAPTA- is laudable. But the ACE study showed that all child abuse is a matter of life and death.  To read more http://nblo.gs/ZliGb   http://stopabusecampaign.com/

For more Information on the ACE study by Dr. Vincent Felitti- http://mothersoflostchildren.org/cdcs-ace-studybraintraumaviolence-in-childhood/  The bomb in the Brain with Dr. Felitti

Become a Believer and Stop Abuse Now


Screen-Shot-Im a believer

I’m a Believer

Believers believe victims of child abuse and domestic violence and we strive to protect them.

We believe all children have the right to live their lives free from abuse and neglect.

We use the truth to expose the myth that women and children frequently lie about abuse, and the abusers and deniers who promote this dangerous myth.

Working together we will heal the victims and educate courts that deny or minimize their complaints.

Domestic Abusers cost the American taxpayer a trillion dollars every year. It is time to stop subsidizing domestic abusers and for us all to agree that a civilized society makes the health and safety of children the highest priority.


Department of Justice Report; court professionals inadequately trained


Dr. Daniel Sanders

Daniel G. Saunders, Ph.D.

Daniel G. Saunders, Ph.D., Professor
School of Social Work University of Michigan

Over the past 200 years, the bases for child custody decisions have changed considerably. The patriarchal doctrine of fathers’ ownership of children gave way in the 1920s and ’30s to little formal preference for one parent or the other to obtain custody. When given such broad discretion, judges tended to award custody to mothers, especially of young children. The mother-child bond during the early, “tender years” was considered essential for children’s development. In the 1970s, “the best interests of the children” became the predominant guideline, although it remains somewhat ambiguous (Fine & Fine, 1994). It was presumably neutral regarding parental rights. Little was known then about the negative impact of domestic violence on women and children, and domestic violence was not originally included in the list of factors used to determine the child’s best interest.


Daniel Sanders


Custody evaluators and other family court professionals are inadequately trained to properly offer opinions where domestic violence is a factor.


Child Custody Evaluators’ Beliefs About Domestic Abuse Allegations:
Their Relationship to Evaluator Demographics, Background, Domestic Violence
Knowledge and Custody-Visitation Recommendations

Final Technical Report Submitted to the
National Institute of Justice,
U.S. Department of Justice
October 31, 2011



False Allegations - http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/med/PR3.html

Brown, T., Frederico, M., Hewitt, L., & Sheehan, R. (1997). Problems and solutions in the management of child abuse allegations in custody and access disputes in the family court. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 36(4), 431-443.
(Researchers reviewed court records of some 200 families where child abuse allegations had been made in custody and access disputes in jurisdictions in two states, observed court proceedings and interviewed court and related services’ staff.The allegations of abuse were usually valid. 70% were determined to involve severe physical and/or sexual abuse. The overall rate of false allegations during divorce to be about 9%, similar to the rate of false allegations in noncustody related investigations.)

Trocme, N., & Bala, N. (2005). False allegations of abuse and neglect when parents separate. Child Abuse & Neglect, 29(12), 1333. (PDF)
Using data from the 1998 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS-98), this paper provides a detailed summary of the characteristics associated with intentionally false reports of child abuse and neglect within the context of parental separation. The national study examined abuse and neglect investigated by child welfare services in Canada.
When there was an on-going custody dispute the substantiation rate by CPS was 40% and an addition 14% were suspected but there wasn’t enough evidence to make a final determination. 12% were believed to be intentionally false. Allegations of neglect was the most common form of intentionally fabricated maltreatment. Substantiation rates varied significantly by source of report, with reports from the police (60%), custodial parents (47%), and children (54%) being generally most likely to be substantiated, while noncustodial parents (usually fathers) have a lower substantiation rate (33%), and anonymous reports being least likely to be substantiated (16%). Of the intentionally false allegations of maltreatment tracked by the study, custodial parents (usually mothers) and children were least likely to fabricate reports of abuse or neglect.




World Wide Pattern of Court Licensed Abuse

court finds


Safe Kids International says there is a World Wide Pattern of Court Licensed Abuse-


1) Child discloses abuse, usually sexual abuse. Law enforcement does substandard investigation, says there is not enough evidence to give to D.A. and closes the case. Child Protective Services does a substandard investigation, labels it unsubstantiated and shunts it into family court as a custody case.

2) Family Court Judge appoints insider children’s attorney and/or psychologists to shift blame to the mother by fraudulently reporting that she is a liar/alienator and/or mentally ill and recommend custody to the father, who they opine is the “friendly parent”.

3) Judge minimizes, disregards and conceals evidence of abuse, finds the mother to be lying/alienating or mentally ill and gives custody to the abusive father.

4) Judge isolates children from the mother and anyone who might support the truth about the abuse while they are Stockholmed and brainwashed by the abuser, a “reunification/deprogramming” therapist or an out-of-state camp into forgetting about or recanting the abuse and agreeing to live with the abusive father.

5) Judge places mother on supervised visitation where neither she nor the children are allowed to speak of abuse, past or present. Supervision monitors report to the court if either speaks of the abuse and end the visits if they do.

6) Judge makes orders that prohibit children from seeing professionals who may support their disclosures, prohibits mother from taking children to doctors or therapists, and gives the perpetrator control over who they see.

7) Judge gag orders the mother so the public cannot hear about the abuse or the cover up of abuse and threatens that she will not see her children again if she does not remain silent and go along with the cover up.

8) Judge disempowers the mother by bankrupting her through the legal process and traumatizing her through separation from her children and enabling the abuse to continue.

NOTE: The reason this pattern is portrayed as “gendered” is because it reflects the reality that about 99% of cases which involve these tactics being used to switch custody from a good primary parent to an abusive one in family court involves the mother as the protector and the father as the abuser. Most cases which involve abusive mothers are dealt with by CPS and they don’t usually have any problem taking kids away from them. There is no known world-wide pattern of punishing and silencing fathers who are trying to protect their children.