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         Case Studies

Letter from our CPPA Director

October 2000

Dear Friends,

If you are a mother who has lost her child to an abuser in a ruinous custody battle, I am so sorry. I understand the pain and trauma youíre going through.

You arenít alone. A group of women in Northern California founded California Protective Parents Association in 1998. Since that time we have received up to 10 phone calls per day. Nearly all our calls are from desperate women struggling against family court, unable to protect their children. Once in a while we receive a call from a father trying to protect his child from abuse. While men in a similar circumstance are rarely attacked by the courts, they are also unable to protect their children. However, the court responds to women attempting to protect their children from an abusive father with a knee-jerk reaction, assigning gender-biased labels to women to minimize or ignore the abuse in a reckless disregard of the safety of the child.

California law mandates that parents and professionals charged with the duty of child protection report and properly investigate child abuse allegations. When a mother reports abuse as mandated by law, the system turns on her and her child, violating its own laws and betraying the child. If the mother fails to report the abuse, she may be criminally prosecuted for "failure to protect." This creates an intolerable situation for a child at risk and the parent with the duty to protect.

There are those who say family law court is broken. I disagree. I believe that family court is working exactly as it is intended to work: as a multi-billion dollar "industry". Those working in family court whose livelihood depends on litigation lose their economic base when litigation ceases. This creates a perverse financial incentive to create ongoing litigation, rather than to resolve a case for the safety of a child. The phenomenon of fit mothers losing custody to an abuser occurs because the court capitalizes on the innate instinct of a mother to protect her child. Her ongoing fight to rescue the child creates litigation that pays the salaries of all those involved in the litigation.

Expose, The Failure of Family Courts to Protect Children from Abuse in Custody Disputes is a publication describing this escalating national tragedy. The opening chapter is written by Louisiana attorney Richard DuCote. He states, "After twenty years in family law courtrooms throughout the country, I confidently say that no woman, despite very abundant evidence that her child has been sexually molested by her ex-husband or that she has been repeatedly pummeled by the violent father of her child, can safely walk into any family court in the country and not face a grave risk of losing custody to the abuser for the sole reason that she dared to present the evidence to the judge and ask that the child be protected." (page 11) Expose can be ordered through Our Children Our Future Charitable Foundation at ocofcf@aol.com

You may be told that you have to "accept" the courtís decision when your child is placed with the identified abuser. No moral citizen should be expected to accept what is wholly unacceptable: the willful sacrifice of a child to a life of rape and/or battery.

On our website you will find information, case histories, articles, resources, research and links to other websites. You will also find ideas, a growing community of protective parents, friendships, and a glimmer of hope in this dark world in which you find yourself.

Karen Anderson
Director Amador County


All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke