Sir-Mark-Potter-006Former president of the family division claims 'poorly funded and overburdened system' leaves children in violent environments

Children are being put in danger because the family court service is facing an "acute situation of crisis", according to Sir Mark Potter, the former president of the family division and head of family justice for England and Wales.

How to Navigate a System  Used by an Abuser to Control

Battered mothers tell me about the rage they harbor over their perpetrators use of the system to batter them. And when I ask if it is anything like what was felt when beaten verbally, emotionally or physically, they usually say, “no.” “It’s not at all like that,” they claim.

In fact, they tell me that anger is not what is felt. It is fear...violation...and severe emotional pain. I believe this is exactly what would be expected in the moment of an altercation when you are a victim of domestic violence.

judge_Diana_Salcido
San Diego judge DeAnn Salcido says tougher sentencing might have prevented convicted sex offender John Gardner from killing Chelsea King and Amber DuBois. (Courtesy Adler&Kleinman)
Judge DeAnn Salcido Says She 'Can No Longer Remain Silent'

A San Diego judge accused her fellow judges today of mishandling criminal cases and said the murders of Chelsea King and Amber DuBois might have been prevented if their killer had been kept in prison for a prior sex offense.

A domestic violence resolution designed to make sure judges stick to the law and not grant batterers child custody, is just one final house vote away from passing.

But on Wednesday, SCR91 got stuck on House Speaker Calvin Say's desk.

Video after the jump...

fineY'know, sometimes as all of you go through this experience in your Family Court cases it seems unbelievable.  You thought that when you walked in the courtroom you'd get a fair hearing, that the judge would look at your evidence, that you and your children would be protected, and that assets would be divided fairly.  Unfortunately, many of you have had quite the opposite experience.

Maybe you've wondered why your attorney doesn't fight for you, especially when the system is so corrupt and when others are going through the same provable situation.  Why don't they speak up?  Why don't they hit back when they have the law on their side?  The same could be asked of some social service organizations...

A case in point to help you understand is perfectly illustrated by circumstances surrounding Attorney Richard Fine. 

The state is threatening to subpoena family courts in Sacramento and Marin counties to force them to fully cooperate with an audit investigating how those courts decide where to place children at the center of custody disputes.

State Auditor Elaine Howell has been seeking access to court records since July, in response to concerns raised by child advocacy groups that allege the family court judges are overly chummy with their appointed investigators and return too many children to dangerous parents.

Howell accuses the courts of delaying the audit, which was mandated by the state Legislature. She has told the Judicial Council of California – the policy-making arm for state courts – that her office will issue subpoenas unless the courts allow "full and unfettered" access to the records requested.

CPS Survey

If you or someone you know has been involved with Hawaii's Department of Child Welfare Services (regardless of what island you're on), please take a survey HERE.

If you are not in Hawaii but would like to participate, take the survey here.

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