Now in its 15th year, The Battered Mothers Custody Conference is an annual grassroots, all-volunteer conference dedicated to providing education, support, and networking opportunities to
mothers seeking legal protections for themselves and their children from the family courts.
Held in the Capital District of New York, the conference brings experts on family court legal processes together with female survivors engaged in custody litigation with abusive ex-partners.
FAMILY COURTS ARE FAILING TO PROTECT CHILDREN
Based on systematic research along with thousands of reports from women across this country and elsewhere, it is well established that mothers whose partners have abused them or their children are often, paradoxically, prevented from gaining such protections (e.g., sole legal and physical custody, extended protective orders) due to the rampant systemic injustices these women encounter within the family court system. Due to various systemic breakdowns, many of these mothers lose custody of their children, and sometimes lose all contact with them, thus further endangering these children -- some of whom have been murdered by their abusive fathers.
The conference aims to offer a helping hand to these survivors, many of whom have been financially bankrupted by legal fees as well as being emotionally traumatized as a result of these systemic failures to protect them and their children.
HOW IS THIS HAPPENING?
“Research indicates that custody litigation can become a vehicle whereby batterers and child abusers attempt to extend or maintain their control and authority over their victims after separation. Although, research has not found a higher incidence of false allegations of child abuse and domestic violence in the context of custody/visitation, officers of the court tend to be unreasonably suspicious of such claims and that too often custody decisions are based on bad science, misinterpretation of fact, and evaluator bias. As a result, many abused women and their children find themselves re-victimized by the justice system after separation”
- The Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence
Founder & Chair
Dr. Mo Therese Hannah