Best Interests of the Child in a Rational World
IT IS THE POLICY OF THIS STATE THAT PROVIDING A SAFE, HEALTHY, STABLE AND NON-VIOLENT ENVIRONMENT FOR THE CHILD SHALL BE THE COURT’S PARAMOUNT CONSIDERATION.
As far as I know, the above language is not the law, nor the standard practice of custody courts in any state or country. Although I have been advocating this general idea for years, the first time I saw this language was in a proposed draft for the Safe Child Act for Texas. Forty years after the start of the modern movement to end domestic violence, the legal and mental health professionals the custody courts rely on have not figured out that the continued focus on less significant issues cannot possibly be in the best interests of children.
This failure illustrates the insular nature of the custody system that tends to use the same limited group of professionals and is slow to integrate new research that would make it easier for courts to recognize abuse and create responses that protect children. In 2012 the National Institute of Justice issued groundbreaking research about the inadequate training of evaluators, judges and lawyers concerning domestic violence. The Saunders’ Study supports the use of a multi-disciplinary approach, but just a few weeks ago, a judge in Virginia stated he was unfamiliar with the use of domestic violence experts. He sent a young girl for unprotected visitation with a father who was sexually abusing her because the judge did not have the time to hear about the scientific research the expert witness could testify about.
1 in 5 New York Kids Are Sexually Abused. Help Prevent That
The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children are sexually abused.
9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.
They are protected by New York State laws.
Sign this petition and change that. Protect NY Kids.