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The SAFE Child Act: What this legislation means to protective parents

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For all those frustrated parents currently battling their abusive exes in court for custody of their children, or who have been battling for years already, who are feeling hopeless, defeated and forgotten—help is coming.

Legislation is currently being proposed in several states that demands the safety and well being of children be the top priority in family court decisions. Seems obvious, right? Except, it isn’t.

“Custody courts developed practices in the 1970s to respond to domestic violence when there was no research. At that time, the popular opinion was that domestic violence was caused by mental health issues, so [courts] turned to mental health professionals for advice,” explains one of the authors of the legislation, author, advocate and former attorney Barry Goldstein.

Often, judges will ask these experts to evaluate a parent’s mental health, and, if determined they are mentally sound, courts often decide they couldn’t be abusive. But, argues Goldstein, “Since domestic violence is not caused by mental illness, that doesn’t tell us anything. When they use a psychologist as an evaluator, it’s the equivalent of using a primary care physician to make a cancer diagnosis.”

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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.

Sign Petition Now

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