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End Family Court Corruption. Pass the Safe Child Act in your state.
End Family Court Corruption. Pass the Safe Child Act in All 50 States. What is the Safe Child Act? A bill that would Improve the Safety of Children involved in Child Custody Cases Findings In the United States, each year 58,000 children are sent for custody or unprotected visitation with dangerous abusers annually and most the time it is with abusive fathers. Statistics say that at least 70% of contested custody cases involving domestic violence, result in custody or joint custody to the alleged abuser. Also, 85% of sexual abuse allegations in custody cases result in custody to the alleged abuser. One and three girls and one and seven boys will be abused by their eighteenth birthday, and 83% of the time, the perpetrator is someone the child knows and a lot of the time it is their father. In fact “in a two year period starting in 2009 fathers involved in contested custody cases murdered 175 children often with the unwitting assistance of the courts.” About 75 to 90% of contested custody cases are domestic violence cases, but a large number of court professionals treat these custody cases as “high conflict.” As a result, “courts pressuring victims to cooperate with their abusers instead of requiring abusers to stop their abuse.” This causes a trend of courts “supporting abusers and punishing victims who continue to view their partner as unsafe.” According to a new U.S. Department of Justice study, most evaluators and other court professionals have inadequate domestic violence training, and child sexual abuse training causing them to believe that mothers frequently make up false allegations of abuse. When in reality, current scientific research shows that false allegations by mothers only occur one to two percent of the time. As a result of court professionals believing this myth, children are sent to live with an abusive parent. There is widespread bias against women particularly women litigants. Among the common examples are giving women less credibility, requiring a higher standard of proof and blaming women for the actions of their abusers. The use and tolerance of this bias is an important factor in keeping the myth that women frequently make false allegations alive. Solution The Safe Child Act would prevent these kind of situations by; -requiring that in contested custody matters regarding domestic violence and/or child abuse, that court professionals who provide advice or recommendations to the court, must have adequate training and experience about domestic violence and child abuse. -requiring that in custody cases regarding domestic violence and/or child abuse, when the court have already determined there is not enough abuse to warrant a restraining order and where there no adequate “basis to believe the parties or children have a significant mental health impairment likely to interfere with parenting ability, courts should not order a mental health evaluation. The court may appoint a domestic violence expert to help the court understand the significance of evidence related to domestic violence and must permit parties to present evidence from a qualified domestic violence expert.” -requiring that courts would be required to use and look at “current, valid scientific research concerning domestic violence to help inform its decisions in all cases where domestic violence or child abuse is raised during the course of custody litigation.” -requiring that “in cases in which allegations of domestic violence are supported by the preponderance of the evidence, the safe or safer parent shall receive sole custody absent clear and convincing proof that the parent creates an imminent safety risk to the children.” -requiring that, “the parent who has committed domestic violence shall be permitted only supervised visitation pending a risk assessment by a domestic violence/child abuse professional.” -requiring that, “a parent shall not be penalized for making a good faith complaint about domestic violence or child abuse.” -requiring that, “courts shall not use approaches developed for “high conflict” cases designed to encourage parents to cooperate in any litigated custody case if there have been allegations of domestic violence and or child abuse.” -requiring that, “in cases in which there are allegations of domestic violence, a history between the parties that includes restraining orders, criminal charges or other evidence of possible domestic violence, early in the proceeding, before the appointment of any GAL, evaluator or other neutral professional the court shall conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine if one of the parties has engaged in a pattern of domestic violence. If the court finds domestic violence and the non or less abusive parent is safe the court shall award custody to the safe parent and supervised visitation to the abusive parent. A finding denying the allegations of domestic violence shall not prevent the court from considering additional evidence of domestic violence later in the case.” -requiring that, “in any case in which the trial judge engaged in or tolerated gender biased practices or permitted practices or approaches based on myths, stereotypes or oter bias, an appellate court shall not defer to the judgment of the trial court.” Text of the Bill http://www.barrygoldstein.net/important-articles/safe-child-act What You Can Do Please write and/or call your state legislators and governors and asked them to pass this law in their state. Also sign the online petitionThis petition will be delivered to:
End the Rape Kit Backlog. Support the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act.
Urge the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and President Obama to pass the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act of 2011. What is the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act of 2011? The Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act of 2011 (H.R.1523), sponsored by U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY 14) is a bill that will "amend the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 to provide for Debbie Smith grants for auditing sexual assault evidence backlogs and to establish a Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry, and for other purposes." In other words, the SAFER Act will help end the backlog of untested DNA evidence by providing crucial data on the number of unsolved rapes cases awaiting testing and establishing better standards for the tracking, storage and use of DNA evidence in sexual assault cases. The Problem In the United States, over 400,000 rape kits sit untested in refrigerators across the country. As a result of rape kits going untested, any clues that the rape kits may hold to rapists' identities remain buried. In other crime scene investigations, the DNA is processed within hours. However, with a number of DNA rape kits, which contain DNA that could lead to the prosecution of an offender, sometimes go untouched for 10 years-exceeding the statue of limitations. What will the SAFER Act do? The SAFER Act will; - provide Debbie Smith grants to assist state and local law enforcement in auditing and cataloguing their backlogs, and will fund audits of unprocessed rape kits in cities and towns across the country. - mandate a national web-based registry of evidence collected from the rape kits, allowing survivors to easily track the status of their cases. This registry will be online and accessible to the public, for the purpose of being awareness to the untested DNA evidence in thousands of rape cases, and allowing the rape victim track forensic evidence in their own case online at anytime. Law enforcement will log up-to-date information on each rape case into SAFER, noting whether the DNA evidence has been analyzed or is awaiting testing. However, to protect the victim's privacy and confidentiality, neither the victim's name nor any other identifying information will be included. Victims will receive a confidential code that allows them to check on the testing status of evidence from their own case. - provide funding for local crime labs to hire and train new employees to deal specifically with rape kits. -require state attorney generals to report the best practices for use of the rape kit data. Under, the SAFER Act, data will be provided on the number of unsolved rape cases that are awaiting to be tested. What can you do to get the SAFER Act passed? Please write to and/or call your U.S. Representatives and Senators and President Obama tell them to pass the SAFER Act of 2011 (H.R.1523). Also ask your U.S. Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor the SAFER Act.