A SHIFT IS HAPPENING
There is a shift happening and collectively, we need to band together.
Ten years ago, if a child was murdered by an abusive parent, it would make the news. There may be a press conference where everyone would gasp, proclaim how horrible it was and the very next day, everyone would go on with their lives. Except for the families of these children – their lives are forever fractured. And, for those of us who are living the family court nightmare. We are forever affected by these stories because these stories are our worst fears.
The media pays attention to the analytics – they pay attention to the emails, views, clicks, shares and likes. When you see a family court story, you may not be able to personally engage but if you are able, please do! Please ask your closest friends and family members to join in on the awareness efforts. If the media sees traction, they will continue to cover these issues. What I know to be true: awareness leads to change and things are shifting.
Please use #MeTooFamilyCourt
CALL TO ACTION
My “call to action” today is for you to reach out to your mayor or city council and ask them to put November on the map as Family Court Awareness Month.
Here is a template that you can cut and paste:
Honorable [Name] [Official Title]
November is Family Court Awareness Month. The month of November provides an excellent opportunity for our [City/County/State] to demonstrate its support in recognizing the importance of a family court system that prioritizes child safety and acts in the best interest of children.
During the inaugural Family Court Awareness Month (November 2020), the top advocates in the family court system joined forces in a united effort to honor the 758 children who had been murdered by a separating or divorcing parent (2008-2020, Center for Judicial Excellence). This collaboration was organized by Tina Swithin of One Mom’s Battle and Sandra Ross of California Protective Parents Association. Joining in this awareness campaign was The National Family Violence Law Center, The Court Said USA, Kayden’s Korner Foundation, Kyra Franchetti Foundation, Pollack Group LLC, Center for Judicial Excellence, and the Stop Abuse Campaign.
The collective efforts to coin the month of November as Family Court Awareness Month received recognition and endorsements from California Congresswoman Judy Chu, Senator Susan Rubio and Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio. At the Los Angeles press conference on November 1, 2020, Senator Rubio and Assemblywoman Rubio were in attendance and spoke prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony. The City of Chino Hills (California) issued an official proclamation declaring November as Family Court Awareness Month.
The Los Angeles event was the first in a series of press conferences across the country. Speakers at these events were notable voices in the domestic violence and family court advocacy communities. These speakers included Jacqueline Franchetti whose daughter, Kyra Franchetti was murdered because of a New York family court failure. Ana Estevez, whose beloved son, Piqui, was murdered because of a California family court failure and Kathy Sherlock, mother to Kayden, who was murdered because of a Pennsylvania family court failure. Since last November, the number of children murdered by separating or divorcing parents has increased to 806; 48 additional children have lost their lives in less than a year.
Currently, many families in our community are struggling in silence and facing the reality that child safety is not being prioritized. Our family court system lacks the proper training on domestic violence, childhood trauma and post separation abuse. In fact, many are shocked to discover that most states do not require any training on domestic violence prior to a judicial officer presiding over family court cases and ultimately, determining the fate of an innocent child.
It is our goal for Family Court Awareness Month 2021, to shine a spotlight on solutions such as the important research that is currently available, but not being utilized. This research includes:
- The Meier Study
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
- The Saunders Study
- The Santa Clara University Study (High Conflict Individuals in Family Court)
I would be honored if you would sponsor an official proclamation to recognize November as [City/County/State] Family Court Awareness Month. Your proclamation would lend official recognition to the important work of educating the public, as well as emphasize your personal commitment to help support matters that are of the utmost importance to your community, child safety.
If you, or your staff, have any questions concerning the request, or Family Court Awareness Month, please call me at [telephone number]. I will follow-up with your office on this request in the next few days. As always, we appreciate your support. Thank you for considering this special request.
For more information on Family Court Awareness Month, click here.
Thank you for your help with this – it takes a village!
Here is our vision: We envision a research-led and trauma-informed family court system that acts with urgency and without bias to protect children from abuse while ensuring accountability and enforcement of their human rights.More specifically;
- Legislation, based on evidence-based factors, is in place and enforced in all 50 US states and internationally to ensure children’s safety is the top priority when making decisions regarding child custody.
- The abuse of a protective parent and its impact on their child is accurately correlated and met with appropriate safety measures.
- Coercive control is recognized as a form of domestic violence in all 50 US states and internationally.
- Judges, legal professionals, our communities, and elected officials are part of the solution to protect children from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), a leading indicator of life-long health and well-being.
- Trauma-informed judicial practices are integrated into every courtroom.
- Judges, lawyers, legal professionals, and child welfare services engage in mandated continuing education on the impacts of high conflict personalities in custody cases. Guidance is provided for successfully navigating these cases with compassion and accountability in ways that mitigate conflict (See the Santa Clara Study ) and protect safe caregivers and their children from all forms of post-separation abuse .Your support allows us to further develop awareness campaigns, expand our Free Global Family Court Advocacy Community & create resources and trainings to help advocate in local communities around the globe; all critical in raising awareness and advocating for much-needed Family Court reform.
NEW Post Separation Abuse Wheel
Learn more (and please share) by clicking here.
NOVEMBER IS FAMILY COURT AWARENESS MONTH
Did you know the majority of the world doesn’t know that the family court system is broken? The first step in creating change is raising awareness – if your local court system is broken, this is your personal call-to-action. We need YOUR help in several areas – we hope to put this on the map in your community but we can’t do it without you. Click here to see how you can help us.
OMB in the NewsThe Shift Show: Interview with Tina SwithinFamily Court in the News
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