Organizations and Websites That May Be Helpful for Protective Parents

This document was prepared by the National NOW Family Law ad hoc Advisory Committee (Fall 2010)

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The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence
The Leadership Council is a non-profit organization committed to providing professionals and lay persons with the latest scientific information on issues that may affect the public's health and safety. The council seeks to correct the misuses of psychological science to serve vested interests or justify victimizing vulnerable populations -- especially abused and neglected children. Legal updates are provided on important cases and Amicus Briefs in various cases are posted.

For research on protective parents and their history of treatment in the family courts, see this website.

Alaska

Custody Preparation for Moms
This site offers preparation for mothers who are in legal battle over custody and features useful articles, plus directions to support groups and advisories. The site also has a suggested reading list and links to other organizations working on the issue of mothers and custody. It is a resource for both mothers and advocates.

California

California Protective Parents Association
The Mission of the California Protective Parents Association is to protect children from incest and family violence through research, education and advocacy. Internet Resources are exceptional for custody litigants where domestic violence and sexual abuse is an issue. See also their: resources and research

Women's Justice Center
This is the site of the Women's Justice Center, located in Sonoma County, CA, whose mission is to provide advocacy for victims of rape, domestic violence and child abuse, provide advocacy training and community education, increase the number of women and minorities in law enforcement and promote equal justice for women and girls. The site is bilingual (Spanish and English) and provides help to women escaping violent situations and navigating the law enforcement system through advocacy. The site provides an online handbook for women navigating their way through the criminal justice system that gives links to other resources. Click here to view a comprehensive section of their website for women preparing for family court, uniquely informative and realistic - prepared by advocates who have experienced these problems.

Mothers of Lost Children
This is the home page for the Davis, CA based group of mothers whose children have been abused and ordered to live with their perpetrators. The site provides general information on a number of topics and issues, including the dynamics of and responding to child abuse, navigating the court system, conducting oneself in court and selecting an attorney. A host of links to other informative sites is available. Membership is free and reserved for protective mothers who may access on line support, exchange stories and share experiences and strategies.

Florida

Families Against Court Travesties, Inc. (F.A.C.T.S.)
Tel: (561) 361-0488
Families Against Court Travesties, located in South Florida, is a helpful site that will advise women on what to watch out for in family court. This is an action group dedicated to assuring due process, and the best interests of the child applied in family court custody litigation, through court watching, political activism and education.

Indiana

Mothers of Lost Children - Indianapolis
This site provides resources for mothers with complicated child custody situations which also provides information on domestic violence shelters for mothers statewide, a safety plan for preparing to leave an unsafe situation, and links to online protective orders, self-help for divorce and appeals procedures. Procedures for filing a complaint against Indiana judges are included. An online support group offers support to mothers in and out of the area (approximately 1/3 are from out-of-state). Articles of interest to mothers in custody battles are listed on the site as well as current research in the area of custodial justice.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Protective Mothers for Custodial Justice, Inc.
Tel: (774) 553-5182    Email: info@massmoms.org
Dedicated to preventing revictimization of battered women and their children in legal intervention, "MPMCJ" ("massmoms") provides issue-precise resources for protective mothers in family court litigation throughout Massachusetts and beyond. Primarily, it contains Massachusetts-specific information and offers trained victim advocates who can provide discretionary, tiered support for protective mothers with simultaneous scrutiny of related services and processes.

New York

Battered Mothers' Custody Conference (BMCC)
There is a great deal of information and resources on this site. The organization's on-going purpose is to host a national public forum to address the many complex issues facing battered women and their advocates as they strive to protect themselves and their children in and out of family court. Their webpage explains:

The format of the conference continues to develop, along with the growing body of scholarly research and information documenting the rampant civil, legal, due process, and human rights violations of domestic violence victims and their children by family courts across the country. It includes presentations, round-table discussions, and question & answer sessions with nationally distinguished attorneys, researchers, writers, and mental health professionals, as well as domestic violence survivors and their children. We also seek to foster healing and support for the thousands of mothers, children, attorneys and other supporting professionals whose lives are being adversely affected by this issue.

Voices of Women Organizing -- VOW
The Voices of Women Organizing Project, known as VOW, is the lead initiative of the Battered Women's Resource Center, a nonprofit that works to empower survivors of domestic violence. VOW supports survivors of domestic violence as they lead efforts to shape policies and improve services for battered women on a daily basis. Note: Be sure to read their May 2008 report and the articles on the left hand side of the homepage!

Rhode Island

The Parenting Project
Since 1996, the Parenting Project has helped survivors of domestic violence in their efforts to protect vulnerable children in custody and visitation cases at the Rhode Island Family Court. To confidentially contact the coordinator, Anne Grant, please send an e-mail to: ParentingProject@cox.net.

National Info & Resources:

CAVNET (Communities Against Violence Network) - Public Access Resources
This website is a treasure trove of information and certain instructions on how best to use it are as follows. To enter: On main page. Scroll down on the left hand side for the button to public Entry. Enter and select Issue Directory. The Issue Directory is large, but specific information can be targeted. The results for Child Custody (toward the bottom) bring up more than 120 sources of information including papers, arguments, bench books, cases, conferences, resources, reports, and includes all topics relating to custody litigation. Also included is information about parents' organizations. Other Issues of note include Guardians Ad Litem/CPS and Human Rights/Women and Children.
Resources in the CAVNET selection menu is a comprehensive listing of helping organizations by country and by states in the U.S., including referral to websites and a brief description of the services provided. Organizations dedicated to custody issues are not complete here, and are more inclusive on the Child Custody Issues listing.

NCMBTS - Non Custodial Mothers Breaking The Silence
This is an excellent online support group run by noncustodial mothers for noncustodial mothers. The first and best of its kind. Their website describes their work: Goal oriented and focused to provide support, information, education and networking for mothers who have lost custody or are custodial challenged by their or their children's abuser, due to any or all of the following: an abusive ex-partner who gained/challenged custody through allegations of PAS, HAP and MSBP; and the legal intimidation of Courts experts, pathologizing a mother's anxiety about her children's safety; limited monetary resources; "friendly parent" leanings and gender bias. Subscribe: NonCustodialMoms_BreakingTheSilence-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

American Bar Association
A consumers' Guide to Legal Help, with a state-by-state listing of resources such as Lawyer Referral, Free Legal Help, Lawyer Licensing, Legal Information, Self-Help and Court Information. There is also information about who is licensed as a lawyer and what you can do if you have problems with your lawyer.

Legal Momentum -- Advancing Women's Rights
Legal Resource Kits - Publications Available for Download:
Divorce: A Guide for Women
Domestic Violence & Child Custody
Filing a Judicial Complaint in State Courts: An Overview
How to Find A Lawyer (English and Spanish)
Stalking

The Hague Domestic Violence Project
The Hague Domestic Violence Project's website is devoted to providing information to battered mothers, their advocates and attorneys, and judges hearing Hague Convention cases involving domestic violence cases. There is a searchable data on such cases; links to major Hague Convention websites, background publications and references, a Judge's bench guide, a list of U.S. attorneys who have represented clients in Hague Convention proceedings and a Brief Bank. Also included is a discussion of results from a National Institute of Justice Study which addressed the experiences of women who have come to the United States with their children after leaving an abusive relationship and then become involved in a legal dispute under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

For those mothers who don't live in a state listed here, please contact The Battered Mothers Custody Conference