I found the following interesting (I started searching after reading Claudine Dombrowski’s blog), mainly because I have felt so… alone, I guess, when trying to get safe visitation arrangements set up for Max and his father. It didn’t seem like the court really understood what a risk Sam is. The judge told Sam “This court is afraid you’ll teach your son to treat women like you did,” and then proceeded to laud him for voluntarily giving up legal custody, because “you get you’re not that kind of father.”
The following is from Eric Holder’s address to the National Summit on the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment in June 2009.
I hope you will especially discuss the most difficult issues I know many of you confront in your work:
- Why are mothers who are the victims of domestic violence losing custody of their children to the courts and to the child protection system?
- Why are children of color over-represented in the child protection system?
- Do children need a relationship with their fathers even when their fathers have been abusive to them and their mothers in the past? If so, what does that relationship look like?
I ask that you explore all of these things while always remembering that the needs of children who are exposed to violence are inextricably linked to the needs of mothers who are the victims of domestic violence.
It kind of takes a little pressure off knowing that some one from the Justice system sees the damage that domestic violence does. At the same time, I’m so sad, because this address was given in 2009, the only strides in change that I’ve seen are TV campaigns against DV…