WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- They call themselves "Mothers of Lost Children." They say family courts awarded custody of their children to the very people the children said hurt them. But the courts didn't believe them.

"Children very rarely lie about these things. And the reports are coming from the children. Even when they're switched over to the custody of the batterers and the molesters, continue to report abuse. And they're ignored," said Connie Valentine with the Protective Parents Coalition.

"The courts are sending children to live with abusers at a terrifying rate," says Barry Goldstein who helped compile research from the scientific non-profit Council for Justice for a book he co-edited.

The Leadership Council found more than 58,000 children every year are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following a divorce.

"Seventy-five children were murdered by fathers involved in contested custody cases last year by battered in a nine month period that ended in April," said Goldstein.

Three of those children were siblings killed by their father Mark Castillo who downed them last year in a Baltimore hotel room. Earlier, Amy Castillo had asked a judge to keep her children away from her estranged husband , because he had threatened to kill them. The judge denied her request.

The group started their march at the Department of Justice. They want the DOJ to launch an investigation into when they call family court corruption.

The group alleges custody decisions are made based on which parent has more money instead of safety.

"We want to see the child put first. We want to see the 'best interest of the child' mean the safety, protection, love and nurture of the child. That should be the priority in the courts," said Eileen King with Justice for Children.


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