Remember the children murdered in 2018 by a parent with
abuse allegations and/or custody issues including
(but sadly not limited to) those listed here provided by the
Center for Judicial Excellence database:
The season turns its pale page,
tugs the sky a shade darker,
shakes the carpet of summer out
to lay autumn red and frosted
upon the floor. Come children,
for winter is at hand soon enough.
Though warmth still shimmers
On your fur, let me tuck you
Beneath my chin. Let us burrow
together, our howls joined
in sweet song. I will teach you
to hunt the thinning wood. To gather
burgundy berries in your jaw.
This is the mother’s task— to teach
Her young to stave their hunger.
To toss winter over a shoulder
Like a fistful of salt.
By GennaRose Nethercott
Mother, let me congratulate you on
the birthday of your son.
You worry so much about him. Here
he earns little, his marriage is unwise,
he’s long, he’s getting thin, he hasn’t shaved
Oh, what a miserable loving gaze!
I should congratulate you if I may
mother on your worry’s birthday.
It was from you he inherited
devotion without pity to this age
and arrogant and awkward in his faith
from you he took his faith, the Revolution.
You didn’t make him prosperous or famous,
and fearlessness is his only talent.
Open up his windows,
let in the twittering in the leafy branches,
kiss his eyes open.
Give him his notebook and his ink bottle,
give him a drink of milk and watch him go.
By Yevgeny Yevtushenenko
The failures of custody courts in their response to domestic violence and child abuse are both national and international in scope. Nevertheless, there are some unusual aspects to Maryland’s responses that are deeply disturbing. The Washington Post has done a particularly good job in exposing the mishandling of the Rams and Castillo cases. Maryland was the only state whose child safety laws require clear and convincing evidence in order to obtain an order of protection. Every other state allows for a reduced level of proof similar to that in other civil matters, a preponderance of the evidence, which means it is better than a 50-50 proposition. After the murders, Dr. Castillo testified before the legislature in favor of a proposal to make it easier for victims to obtain protective orders. One “fathers’ rights” supporter in the legislature deliberately tried to embarrass her about the sexual encounter she had with her husband. Even after the tragedy they were trying to justify the outcome. Maryland finally reformed its practices by allowing DV victims to obtain protective orders based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. The Rams tragedy has not led to any reforms.
In the entire history of the United States, it is hard to find any comparable problem where the courts routinely get such a high percentage of a group of cases wrong. The only example I could think of were civil rights cases in the south during the Jim Crow era.
My concern with the Elsa Newman case is that the poison of the custody court failures crossed over to the criminal justice system. It would be a disaster for the court system if the problems involving custody courts’ response to DV were to spread further. No one in the Maryland courts or administration has seemed open to take a fresh look at the Newman case despite recent research that confirms the decision is wrong.
From The Quincy Solution
Stop Domestic Violence and
Save $500 Billion
By Barry Goldstein
Reprinted with the author’s permission
DV LEAP George Washington University Law School
Battered Mothers Custody Conference
California Protective Parents Association
Former California Superior Court Judge DeAnn Salcido blows the whistle on corrupt Family Law System in this video radio show. Her first year on the bench she had a CPS case in Family Court with allegations of molestation. The more experienced judge taught her that many times these claims are made to get back at a parent and to be suspicious of claims.
In order to understand better what happened to my friend and so very many good moms, I attended the Battered Mother’s Custody Conference where I met mothers from across the U.S. who had been abused by partners and then by family court personnel---good mothers whose contact with their children had been terminated or severely limited when the mothers mentioned child abuse.
Dr. Mo Theresa Hannah started BMCC to give protective parents support, education and resources to fight their court battles. Just knowing they aren’t alone helps a lot. I heard desperately sad (and amazingly similar) stories. The similarity in stories is not coincidental. As a child protection worker in the late 80’s to mid 90’s, I was warned to be skeptical of sex abuse reports in the context of divorce.
The United States
House of Representatives
H. Con. Res.72
AB 2044 was signed by California Governor Brown in September. AB 2044 requires the court to make the determination consistent with specified findings. The bill would include in those findings that children have the right to be safe and free from abuse and that domestic violence in a household where a child resides is detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
Mothers of Lost Children will be back with their signs at the White House and in Congress. I will march with them again, glad that my friend Elsa is at last free.