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The Seventh Battered Mothers Custody Conference:

Now That We Know,


January 8th - 10th, 2010

(Friday Evening, 6 p.m. - Sunday Mid-Afternoon)


on Wolf Road, Albany, New York


· National Coalition Against Domestic Violence NOW New York State · · Center for Judicial Excellence Massachusetts Protective Mothers for Custodial Justice · · · · The Protective Mothers Alliance Renee Beeker, President, National Family Court Watch Project. Schenectady Stand-Up Guys Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace



· · · · Healing a Woman's Soul NOW New York State Schenectady Stand Up Guys Bead-It! Handcrafted Collector Quality Jewelry Marion Kuritz · · · · Center for Judicial Excellence National Organization for Men Against Sexism Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace Massachusetts Mothers for Custodial Justice

History Of The Battered Mothers Custody Conference

The First BATTERED MOTHERS CUSTODY CONFERENCE (BMCC), held in January, 2004, brought together experts from across the nation to discuss the serious injustices faced by battered women who seek protection for themselves and their children in this nation's family court/divorce court system. Building upon the momentum of that conference, The Second BATTERED MOTHERS CUSTODY CONFERENCE, held in January, 2005, provided a powerful networking opportunity for professionals, domestic violence advocates, organizations, and advocacy groups who are working to expose these problems and develop solutions. The Third BATTERED MOTHERS CUSTODY CONFERENCE aimed to facilitate the crucial next steps of the protective parents movement: the development of unity among all of those affected by these problems and the sharing of action steps that have been proven effective. During The Fourth BATTERED MOTHERS CUSTODY CONFERENCE, held in January, 2007, 16 mothers who have faced custody litigation in jurisdictions across the country testified about their experiences to the members of the Truth Commission and to the conference audience. The Truth Commission produced a report (available at www.batteredmotherscustodyconference. org) outlining the problems revealed during testimony and making recommendations for reforming family court procedures and policies. The Fifth BATTERED MOTHERS CUSTODY CONFERENCE (2008) offered Help, Hope, and Healing through a wide range of workshop sessions designed to bring about self-healing and community mobilizing. In January 2009, the Sixth BMCC shifted the focus from battered mother's problems to their SOLUTIONS.


BMCC Conference Faculty

Karen Anderson Lundy Bancroft Linda Barnard Renee Beeker Karen Borders Mike Brigner Steve Burdo Dara Carlin Rev. Mark Chaffin Natalie Chap Nancy Erikson, Esq, Carole Fox Lois Galgay Reckitt, NCADV Board President Barry Goldstein Anne Grant Mo Hannah Liane Leedom, M.D. Kathleen Russell Ed Guider Mattie Herald Kristen Hofheimer, Esq. Diane Hofheimer Charles Hofheimer, Esq. Paul Holdorf Karin Huffer Eileen King Toby Kleinman Shannon Lemm, Esq. Taylor Lemm Janice Levenson Massachusetts Protective Mothers For Custodial Justice Wendy Murphy Marcia Pappas Shelly Rubin Linda Marie Sacks Angela Shelton Connie Valentine Garland Waller Irene Weiser Ursula Williams Karen Winner Robin Yeamans Theresa Yuan Ben Atherton Zeman Joan Zorza, Esq.

Children Taken By the Family Courts HANDPRINT PROJECT

For the 1st year, the Seventh Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference 2010, Battered Women, Abused Children, and Child Custody, A National Crisis VII: "Now That We Know, What Are We Doing About It?" is hosting the collection of handprints of children who have become separated from their mothers through unjust family court legal processes. Just imagine: a long clothesline, with mini wooden clothespins and handprints of all sizes, representing protective mothers and their children who have been "legally kidnapped" by the family courts. We invite mothers who have lost physical custody of their child(ren) to create handprints to commemorate their lost child(ren). INSTRUCTIONS: Place your child's hands on a piece of paper, cardstock works best, trace your child's handprints (left and right) on colored paper, cut out and write a message and include Mother's name, children's first name only, city and state of the family court where they were taken, date taken, and mothers phone number( #will not be released). Sadly, if you cannot see your child(ren) to trace their handprints, please, trace YOUR handprints for every child you have lost to the crisis in the courts. Once the handprints are constructed, we will lend it out to individuals and organizations for promoting and publicizing the problems faced by battered mothers and children within the family court system.


Contact: Linda Marie Sacks 386-453-3017 · [email protected]


Battered Mothers Custody Conference VII SCHEDULE OF EVENTS


Registration: ........ 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Throughout the weekend: Book sales table; Chinese Auction; exhibitor tables FRIDAY EVENING MAIN SESSION 6:00 - 6:15 p.m. .... Welcome & Opening Greeting 6:15 ­ 7:15 ............ Angela Shelton 7:15 ­ 7:30 ............ Break Coffee & Cookies, Suite #E-307 7:30 ­ 8:15 ............ Garland Waller: The Yuck Factor:Why the Mainstream Media Hasn't Covered Family Court Injustice The abject failure of mainstream media to cover family court injustice and the fact that abusers get custody must be laid squarely at the media's feet. Tonight we will re-define the problem and create new strategies in order to overcome the media roadblocks. 8:15 - end .............. Lundy Bancroft with Janice Levenson: Introducing their organization Protective Mothers Alliance International. Empowering protective mothers to take action. Please join Lundy and Janice for a lively and informative discussion about PMA and their thoughts on how to empower and inspire protective mothers to take action for change.


SATURDAY MORNING MAIN SESSION 8:30 - 9:15 ............. Keynote Address I: Attorney Wendy Murphy: It's Not Enough to Know Your Rights: You also have to know how to enforce them! 9:15 - 10:15........... Barry Goldstein & Mo Hannah: Now That We Know,What are We Going to Do About It? 10:15 - 10:30 ........ Break 10:30 - 11:30 ........ All Participants' Q & A and Community Dialogue 11:30 - 1:00........... Have Lunch Together Wherever You Wish! SATURDAY AFTERNOON MAIN SESSION 1:00 - 2:00 ............. Judge Mike Brigner & Joan Zorza, Esq: How Batterers Manipulate and Court Systems Collude with Them This presentation will examine some of the ways that abusive fathers manipulate their victims and others in ways that set the women up to be harmed in custody cases. The presentation will suggest some ways that protective mothers can counter these tactics.


Battered Mothers Custody Conference VII SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

2:00 - 3:00 ............. the Law firm of Hofheimer/Ferrebee P.C.: Bootcamp For Battered Moms: Applying the Art of War · Kristen Hofheimer, Esq. · Diane Hofheimer, paralegal · Charles Hofheimer, Esq. · Shannon Lemm, Esq., Protective Mom · Taylor Lemm, Protected Daughter 3:00 - 3:15 ............. Break Coffee and Cookies, Suite #E-307 SATURDAY AFTERNOON MAIN SESSION 3:15 - 4:15 ............ Nancy Erickson, Linda Barnard, & Renee Beeker: The Real Costs of Court Appointees This panel will discuss the obvious and hidden costs of including court appointees in family law cases and related topics, including: · an overview of the various appointees often used in these cases and the roles they are assigned to play. · A DVD Presentation of the real dollar costs of court evaluations · an actual proposed court order written by a court appointee in a real case · the costs-- financial, legal and emotional--of such an order. SATURDAY AFTERNOON 4:15 - 5:15 CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS SESSION I 1. Karin Huffer: Karin Huffer, M.S., M.F.T. : Grown-ups Without Ears and With Only One Eye: A Child's View of Custody Evaluations 2. Schenectady Stand Up Guys: Women and Men as Allies: Schenectady Stand-Up Guys Making a Difference This panel offers information about an organization's work in the the growing grassroots movement that is having a profound impact on intimate partner violence issues. The panel members invite discussion focused on ways in which women and men can work together to motivate change that benefits women who are abused by their partners and by insensitive systems. Voices Of Women panel: Healing Within and Without: How Community and Political Activism are an Essential Part of the Healing Process This participatory workshop will examine how community organizing can benefit survivors of domestic violence both individually and collectively. When someone is victimized, they experience the individual trauma of the violence. In addition, they are traumatized by the society that has moved their partner to violence, the systems that have failed them as they try to get help, and a culture that marginalizes their experience. The only way to address the violation at each of these levels is to organize together for social change, while healing as individuals. However, this is complicated by a tension that occurs when we choose to organize around a "victim" identity. We will explore the following questions: How does that identity impact a woman's ability to successfully navigate systems? How does internalized oppression impact how a survivor interprets her abuse and others who have similar experiences? Does this create a false separation between women who have been abused and those who experience sexism in other ways? Does simply replacing the term "victim" with "survivor" really empower women to reclaim their lives? How can we skillfully craft and integrate our personal stories into a wider socialpolitical context as part of our organizing?



Battered Mothers Custody Conference VII SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

4. 5. Kristin Hofheimer: Evidence 101 for the Pro Se Mom Renee Beeker & Paul Holdorf: National Family Court Watch Project: Using Research to Drive Policy Change The National Family Court Watch Project believes that large scale data will reveal national trends and ignite a call for change in the family court system. The project is a conversation springboard and a "quiet observer" to get a sense of what's happening in the family courts, report those findings publicly through a new conduit and work with judges and the public to find solutions. We will be sharing more information about the project and the increasing involvement from professionals and educators as we expand this effort around the country.

5:15 - 6:15 p.m. CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS SESSION II 1. Massachusetts Protective Mothers for Custodial Justice ADVOCACY AND CONFETTI! Introduction to Advocacy for Battered Mothers 101 - Reconciling Advocacy & Activism Massachusetts Protective Mothers for Custodial Justice ("MPMCJ") is committed to effective advocacy for battered mothers, which requires expertise, training, cooperation, a committed team, and follow through. Battered mothers litigating in family court are victims with special needs that can be, but most often are not, properly addressed. We will present definitions and skills in an introductory training that highlights what MPMCJ is doing about What We Know Now­ we invite victim advocates, grassroots and other organizations, attorneys, and mothers who have come full circle & want to do the WORK! (Not recommended for mothers in the midst of custody actions) Note:The Massmoms will unveil plans for our 2010 National Mothers' Action: "Confetti!" Dara Carlin & Jonea Schillachi-Lavergne: Drastic Measures: Change & Relocation When desperate times call for drastic measures, identity change and relocation may sound like a dream come true for a domestic violence survivor who'll do ANYTHING to escape her abuser and save her children, but this dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if she's uninformed about the consequences of these extreme decisions that once entered into, there is no "going back". Featuring a survivor mom who fled the country and the "Save Amelia" campaign, participants will come to understand the pros and cons of identity change and relocation issues. Power Point presentation. Ursula Williams & Mattie Herald: Integrity Beyond Betrayal After feeling betrayed not only by your perpetrator but also by the legal system, battered mothers need to regain their personal power while maintaining their integrity in a fractured system. This workshop will discuss ways of doing so. Marcia Pappas: How the Media Treats Mothers Since before June Cleaver, the media have promoted a non-threatening, idealized model of the "good" mother. The media have never really addressed issues important to mothers through informed reporting. Instead, they stage "cat fights" that pit stay-at-home moms against mothers who work outside the home. Responding to this inaccurate, incomplete reporting is one platform activists can use to raise awareness about the real barriers and challenges mothers face, as well as the work that needs to be done to improve the lives of all families.You can make a difference by knowing how to get the message out there to the media and beyond. Anne Grant: Writing Truth to Power This year's workshop will focus on the forms of writing done by Anne Grant and the Parenting Project, Providence, Rhode Island, in 2009. These include Internet blogs, legislation, legislative testimony, newspaper op-eds, textbook chapter, book reviews, self-published book, and screenplay.






Battered Mothers Custody Conference VII SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

6:15 - 7:30 .......... Have Dinner Together where you wish! SATURDAY EVENING MAIN SESSION 7:30 - 8:15 Keynote III: Ben Atherton Zeman: Excerpts from `Men's Monologues Against Violence.' Includes some graphic depictions of violence.

Coffee and Cookies, Suite #E-307 8:15 -- end ............ Connie Valentine, Karen Anderson, Kathleen Russell, & Steve Burdo: Let's Get Organized!


MORNING MAIN SESSION 8:30 -- 9:15 ........... Keynote IV: Toby Kleinman: where we need to go - an optimistic view of getting from here to there 9:15 - 10:00........... Karen Borders: A Risk Based Approach in Volatile Family Law Matters Often in high-conflict family law matters, the risk to children and to abuse victims is often overlooked. While the goal remains to serve the best interest of the children, it is critical to prove or disprove any allegations before determining custody plans. This new risk based approach is well rooted in evidence based practices and truly addresses the best interest of the children while keeping safety as the priority. Courts throughout the United States are recognizing this approved method of investigation, using a multi-disciplinary investigative team. 10:00 - 10:15 ...... Break Coffee and Cookies, Suite #E-307 SUNDAY MORNING MAIN SESSION 10:15 - 11:15 ........ Robin Yeamans, Karen Winner, & Nancy Erickson Why Custody Evaluations can be Dangerous for Battered Mothers and their Children--and How to Combat Them Many courts order custody evaluations in difficult cases. However, evaluators too often recommend custody or unsupervised visitation to perpetrators of DV. Why? Custody evaluators probably share the same biases and myths disfavoring women that are prevalent in society at large. They are often insufficiently trained in DV. The procedures they use to conduct their evaluations also do not guard against erroneous recommendations; e.g., they sometimes misinterpret psychological test results, "diagnosing" battered women as having serious psychopathology when, in fact, they suffer from PTSD, anxiety, or depression caused by the abuser. Additionally, testing of many batterers does not reveal any psychopathology. There is no abuser "profile." Thus, the abuser may appear more psychologically stable than his victim-partner. This panel will address how to prevent or counter these problems with custody evaluations.


Battered Mothers Custody Conference VII SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

11:15 - 12:15 CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS SESSION III 1. Liane Leedom, M.D. : He's not who he appears to be: Describing the abuser's personality traits to legal and mental health professionals. In this workshop, Dr. Leedom will discuss the successful strategy she used to help a battered mother convince a panel of experts that her abuser was abnormal and dangerous. She will also relate these traits to the needs of at risk children. Kathleen Russell & Steve Burdo, Center for Judicial Excellence Grassroots Advocacy & Organizing 101: This workshop will teach the fundamentals of grassroots advocacy and organizing efforts that have proven successful in the California movement for family court reform. The purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with the basic tools to empower them to play an effective role in local, statewide and national reforms. Topics to be covered includ: Contacting your elected officials, Conducting an effective legislative visit, Grabbing the media's attention, Effective advocacy letter writing, and more. Linda Marie Sacks: My daughters said, "Mommy fight for us, do something every day to try to get us back and don't ever stop." This workshop is how to survive the family court, appeals court and supervised visitation, and navigating the hurdles a "Protective Parent" goes through while in the family court crisis. As a mother who has lost physical custody of my daughters for 2 ½ years, and placed on Supervised Visitation with less than 54 hours of contact, I continue to advocate for my children, expose the national crisis in the courts and stay positive, empowered, and hopeful that one day justice will prevail for my children, and all of the children affected by the crisis in the family courts. Irene Weiser, Stop Family Violence: Grassroots: Keeping going and growing! Chances are, you've heard a lot about grassroots organizing over the course of this conference. But the key is to keep the great ideas going and growing once we leave! Come to this workshop to discuss the organizing ideas that excited you, and make plans to take it from talk to action after you leave! Eileen King and Shelley Rubin, LISCW: Justice for Children: Creating Change via Case Advocacy How does JFC make a difference for children and on the state level through case advocacy? How do you protect your child, Complimentary massages stay sane and make it through your case? Regional Director provided by Eileen King and Shelley Rubin, LISCW will speak about JFC's work on cases, and how each case is a vehicle for inner and outer change.





12:30 - 2:00 ........ Closing Luncheon: All Participants' Q & A and Community Dialogue 2:00 ........................ Close Complimentary massages provided by

Majestic Massage Family Wellness

Sheryl Erfurt, L.M.T.

Medical Massage - Motivational Massage Ergonomics - Sport Massage Natural Wellness Coaching 518-229-5958 325 Ushers Road, Ballston Lake, NY 12019



"Children Taken By The Family Courts" Quilt

For four years now, the Battered Mothers Custody Conference is hosting the construction of a community quilt entitled "Children Taken by the Family Courts." The quilt is modeled after the AIDS quilt that was started in 1987 and gained widespread publicity for the cause of combating AIDS and HIV infection. We initiated a similar project on behalf of protective mothers and their children. We are asking mothers who have lost physical custody of their children through family or divorce court proceedings to create a panel to commemorate their lost child(ren). Throughout the weekend of the conference, we will be providing quilting materials and personal assistance to help mothers construct their panel. However, mothers do NOT need to be in attendance at the conference in order to have their panel included in the quilt; mothers may mail in their panel after the conference is over. Instructions for creating a panel will be available at the conference and also are displayed on the conference web site: If you or any protective mother wishes to participate in the quilt project but cannot make the panel during the conference, the panel can be made at home. Follow the instructions posted on the web site, then mail the panel to us. We will make sure to incorporate all panels into the quilt. Please mail panels, carefully packed, to Dr. Mo Hannah, Chair, BMCC V 26 Purtell Avenue, Latham, NY 12110 [email protected] 518-210-2487 Once the quilt is constructed, we will lend it out to individuals and organizations for promoting and publicizing the problems faced by battered women within the family court system.

BMCC VII Co-Sponsor

The National Organization for Women-New York State

Fighting for the rights of mothers & their children.

1500 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12205 Phone: 518-452-3944 · Fax: 518-452-3861 Email: [email protected]



BEN ATHERTON-ZEMAN is a spokesperson for the National Organization for Men Against Sexism ( and is a public speaker on issues of violence prevention. He has performed his one-man play, "Voices of Men" in 43 states and Canada, and has given other presentations in several other states, China and the Czech Republic. Ben has spoken and performed at colleges, high schools, military installations, public theatres, conferences, houses of worship and juvenile detention facilities. For the past seventeen years, Ben has worked as a prevention educator for rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs, and state coalitions. He is an advisory board member for the White Ribbon Campaign in the United Kingdom.Ben has received recognition and praise for his work to end men's violence against women, sexism, homophobia, racism and other forms of oppression. However, right-wing so-called "father's rights" groups have been less enthusiastic. On their web page, the group Fathers for Life accuses Ben of "spouting all the absurdities of radical feminist propaganda," which he freely admits, and accuses him of being "backed by powerful antifamily business and political profiteers...lawyers and politicians' bank accounts..." which he wishes were true. Other "Father's Rights" supporters have called Ben's words "propaganda from the DV machine," "garbage," "vacuous" and "insipid." They call Ben the following: "bone-head," "hypocrite," "liar," "bigot," "eunech (sic) type male," "manwhore," "parasitic," "ignorant," "lemming," "emotionally sick," "gender phobic," "decadent," "greedy," "siding with hate," "Atherton-Semen," "a toxic individual," "a female supremacist," and "a bigot." One man threatened that "... you'd not only want to give him a stern talking to, but also kick his ass..." yet another has told Ben that "there will be a day when you will be held accountable." Ben identifies as a "recovering sexist" and believes every man must challenge violence and sexism in the world and in themselves. He met and fell in love with his incredible wife, Lucinda, seven years ago while they were both doing improvisational comedy in Maine. They live in Maynard, MA and have no children except themselves. TOBY KLEINMAN is a NJ attorney and a partner in the law firm of Adler & Kleinman and has limited her practice to cases involving family violence and child abuse, and has consulted in legal cases in over 25 states. She is an associate editor of The Journal of Child Custody, has published articles in The New Jersey Law Journal and


written editorials on the problems with child protective services and domestic violence in the courts. Ms Kleinman co-teaches a class at the Harvard School of Public Health, entitled Social Policy and Legal Dilemma's; Child Custody/Visitation in the Context of Domestic Violence. She is a director of the advisory board to the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence (LC), served as the Professional Liaison to the American Psychological Association, Division on Trauma (Div 56), and has been voted a New Jersey Super Lawyer. She has presented at FVSAI, now IVAT, AFCC, and Battered Mothers Custody Conferences as an invited Keynote speaker and trained family court judges on issues involving child sexual abuse in the context of child custody litigation, and other domestic violence issues, as well as at the American Psychological Association. She has lectured at several colleges and most recently founded The Center for Protection of Children, Inc. Ms. Kleinman is also called as a guest expert on network television, including Good Morning America on issues of child protection and child custody.

WENDY MURPHY is a former prosecutor who

specializes in the representation of crime victims. She was appointed Mary Joe Frug Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at New England Law|Boston in 01-02 and served as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School in 02-03. She now teaches at New England Law|Boston where she also directs the Sexual Violence Legal News and Judicial Language projects. She founded the first ever volunteer legal advocacy program for crime victims and has been providing pro bono representation since 1992. She serves on several boards and has published many law review articles related to interpersonal violence and the criminal justice system. Wendy also writes amicus and policy briefs for federal and state courts across the country. She serves on the editorial board of the journal: Violence Against Women, and is a contributing editor to the Sexual Assault Report. She consults and lectures widely on child abuse, sex crimes, violence against women, victims' rights and criminal justice policy. Wendy is a nationally recognized television legal analyst who has worked for CBS, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. She appears regularly on network and cable news programs and writes a bi-weekly column for the Patriot Ledger/Gatehouse News Service. Her first book, And Justice For Some, was published in September 2007 by Penguin Group. A former NFL cheerleader, Wendy lives outside Boston with her husband and five children. [email protected]


ANGELA SHELTON is an acclaimed filmmaker, writer, actress and public speaker. Angela has spoken in Congress, universities, military bases, high schools, elementary schools, community centers, conferences and seminars worldwide. Her multi-award winning film Searching for Angela Shelton put a spotlight on sexual abuse and domestic violence and began a grassroots movement of healing for abuse survivors worldwide. The United States Justice Department presented Angela with a certificate of appreciation for her hard work on behalf of crime victims. The mayor of Asheville, NC made April 29th Angela Shelton Day in honor of all abuse survivors. Angela has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, 48 Hours Investigates, NPR, Lifetime Television for Women and the cover of the New York Times. Angela's memoir, Finding Angela Shelton, is mandatory reading in many Women's Studies programs. Angela became a Superhero for children and won an Emmy for her performance in The Safe Side video series created by Baby Einstein's Julie Clark. Angela's mission is to inspire and empower people to heal and lead joyful lives.

The Seventh Battered Mothers Custody Conference Thanks And Appreciates ATTORNEY WENDY MURPHY For Her Keynote Presentation And For Her Activism On Behalf Of Crime Victims





National Family Court Watch Project Co Sponsor of; The Seventh Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference



KAREN ANDERSON is the Executive Director of California Protective Parents Association. She is a trained domestic violence counselor and paralegal. She has spoken tirelessly to the media, at conferences and to local, national and international groups. She organized the Courageous Kids Network to empower young people who endured the trauma of family court placing them with abusers. LUNDY BANCROFT is an author, trainer, counselor, and activist on issues related to abuse and recovery. Lundy's first book, The Batterer as Parent: Addressing the Impact of Domestic Violence on Family Dynamics (coauthored by Dr. Jay G. Silverman of the Harvard School of Public Health) was published in 2002 by Sage Publications. His second book, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, was published in 2002 by G.P. Putnam. His third book, When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse was published in April 2004 by G.P. Putnam. The latter is the first trade book addressing the impact on children of exposure to abuse and the strategies that protective mothers can use with their children to bring about healing. DR. LINDA BARNARD is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist in private practice in Sacramento since 1981. In addition to a very active practice, Dr. Barnard has also served as a trainer and consultant to various domestic violence programs in northern California since 1982. Dr. Barnard frequently appears in court as an expert witness in domestic violence, having testified in over 290 cases, and conducted assessments in over 950 additional cases. She is a Board Certified Expert in Domestic Violence as well as a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. She has also qualified as an expert is rape trauma and other types of traumatic responses. In addition, she consults as an expert in complex, contested child custody cases where allegations of domestic violence are involved. She is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences around the state. [email protected] RENEE BEEKER is the founder and President of the National Family Court Watch Project. A speaker and advocate for reform of the judicial system since 1996, Renee is a respected contributing member to many professional and grassroots organizations. Renee has been an invited speaker at numerous conferences around the United States. Renee's article, "The Illusion of Protection Uncovered: Review of the Special Journal Issue on Child Custody and Domestic Violence," was published in the February/March 2006 issue of the Domestic Violence Report. Renee has designed a comprehensive Court Watch observational instrument that is being used in the National Family Court Watch Project. Renee Beeker is President of Michigan National Organization for Women and was appointed chair for the NOW Family Law Advisory Ad Hoc Committee serving since 2004. Renee serves on various committees both in her state and nationally. Renee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Communications from Eastern Michigan University. [email protected]

Protective Mothers Alliance International is honored and proud to co-sponsor this years BMCC VII



KAREN BORDERS is a retired police officer from Palm Springs, California where she served for 22 years. Karen has made a lifetime career out of helping victims of domestic violence and abuse. Karen is the co-creator of the Family Violence Risk Assessment program, which is currently being used extensively in family law courts. As president of Borders, McLaughlin, Karen provides evidencebased risk assessments in high-risk family law matters. MIKE BRIGNER is one of Ohio's leading experts in the field of domestic violence. He authored two editions of the Ohio Domestic Violence Benchbook for Judges and Magistrates; and consulted on similar projects for several other states. He is a past chair of the Ohio Supreme Court Domestic Violence Advisory Committee that created standard statewide protection order forms, and he has testified before the Ohio General Assembly on domestic violence legislation. In his legal career, he has authored over 100 articles on legal topics, most of them regarding family law and domestic violence. Prof. Brigner served a decade as an Ohio domestic relations court judge whose duties included exclusive jurisdiction over divorces and civil protection order cases. He is experienced in training judges, lawyers, police departments, prosecutors, and other professionals across the United States on domestic violence issues. [email protected] STEPHEN BURDO works as the lead organizing consultant for the Center for Judicial Excellence (CJE). Along with Kathleen Russell and CJE's Board of Directors, Stephen advocates for legislative and administrative changes that will better protect children's rights in the judicial system and promote judicial accountability. Stephen's many years of experience in community organizing and legislative advocacy has been instrumental in CJE's recent legislative success. In the 2009 California legislative session, Stephen effectively mobilized scores of litigants to participate in multiple legislative meetings, hearings, actions and events that demonstrated the widespread problems in California's family courts. Stephen also serves as the Advocacy and Campaigns Director for Kathleen Russell Consulting, a strategic public affairs firm in San Rafael, California. [email protected] DARA CARLIN, M.A. holds a Masters degree in Marriage & Family Counseling from Hofstra University, and has spent her 20+ year career working in various social service capacities. Dara's dedication to ending abuse began as a teen volunteering for her community's Youth Development Association in NY. After graduating with a Bachelor's in Sociology, Dara focused on child abuse, juvenile justice and family violence issues. She's most recognized in her current role as a Domestic Violence Survivor Advocate, Consultant and Trainer. Reach Dara at: [email protected] REV. MARK CHAFFIN (Schenectady Stand Up Guys) is an advisory board member of Schenectady Stand Up Guys and member with the Elder Abuse Committee of the Coordinated Community Response To Domestic Violence Task Force of Schenectady County. An attendee at four Battered Mothers Child Custody Conferences, he works to educated and mobilize faith communities in the issue of violence against women. He brings a long interest in social justice and various expressions of violence in society. NATALIE CHAP, Court Reform Organizer (The Voices of Women Organizing Project), has fought against genderbased violence in a variety of roles, including as a social worker, community organizer, rape crisis counselor, community event planner, meeting facilitator, activist and street dance troupe member. She is currently the Court Reform Organizer at the Voices of Women Organizing Project where she works with survivors of domestic violence to reform the Family Court System in New York City. In her previous position she advocated for the rights of immigrant students and families at the New York Immigration Coalition. She received a MSW in Community Organizing from Hunter College School of Social Work, and a BSW from CUNY Lehman College. She was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, and has lived in New York City since 2004. [email protected] NANCY S. ERICKSON, Esq., J.D. Brooklyn Law School, LL.M. Yale Law School, M.A. Forensic Psychology, is an author and consultant on family law and matrimonial issues, including. custody evaluations involving abused children and children of abuse victims. She was a Senior Attorney at Legal Services for New York City, Brooklyn Branch, representing low income clients ­ primarily battered women ­ in divorce and other family cases for eight years. For over ten years, she was a professor of law, teaching at New York Law School, Cornell, Ohio State, New York University, and Seton Hall Law School. She has also had positions in government and has been in private practice. She has written books and articles on family law, including domestic violence, child support, custody, marital property, attorneys for children, custody evaluations, and adoption.



CAROLE FOX (Schenectady Stand Up Guys) is a partner in Project Equality where she counsels and advocates for women and men who have experienced intimate partner violence. Although experienced in the mental health and addictions fields, the majority of Carole's focus has been providing services and trainings regarding intimate partner violence issues. She developed the Powerful Choices program for children who witness IPV and is a former representative to the Board of the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She contributed to organizing and is an active member of the Schenectady Coordinated Community Response - DV. She is a founding member of the Schenectady Stand Up Guys and an active member of the Albany Community Coalition to Prevent Violence and the Albany County Re-entry Task Force. Carole publishes The Little Helper, an informative booklet about IPV issues. BARRY GOLDSTEIN has been part of the movement to end domestic violence since 1983 including 14 years on the board of My Sisters' Place (four years as chairperson). He has been an instructor and supervisor in a NY Model Batterer Program for ten years. Mr. Goldstein is the co-editor with Dr. Maureen Hannah of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE AND CHILD CUSTODY (Civic Research Institute, to be published early 2010). The book includes chapters from over 25 of the leading experts in domestic violence including judges, lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, journalists and domestic violence advocates and is expected to change the way professionals handle domestic violence custody cases so that children won't be forced to live with abusers. He is author of SCARED TO LEAVE AFRAID TO STAY (Robert D. Reed, Publishers-2002). Barry Goldstein is a frequent presenter at judicial trainings and domestic violence workshops including the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (three times) and the Battered Mothers' Custody Conference (six times). He has been qualified as an expert witness regarding domestic violence in California, North Dakota, New York and New Jersey. ANNE GRANT, MA, M. Div. is the former director of Rhode Island's largest agency serving battered women and children. An Emmy Award-winning scriptwriter, she wrote the "Overcoming Abuse" column for the Providence Journal and has created several blogs, including and http://littlehostages. ED GUIDER (Schenectady Stand-Up Guys) is the oldest of 10 kids. His mother was abused; his dad was the abuser. Eighteen years ago, a close friend, separated from her husband, was murdered.The estranged spouse broke into the house while everyone was sleeping, killed her and left her to be discovered by their four children. For Ed, the issue is personal. He has taken these experiences and directed them into founding Ballston Men Against Violence and Schenectady Stand Up Guys, both grassroots organizations whose goal is to expand awareness about the depth and scope of domestic and sexual violence. Ed works with other men's organizations around New York State and nationally to get more men to make ending domestic and sexual violence a personal commitment.

The Seventh Battered Mothers Custody Conference Thanks And Appreciates ACTRESS ANGELA SHELTON

BMCC VII Co-Sponsor

For Contributing Her Presentations and for Her Activism on Behalf of Battered Women



MO THERESE HANNAH, Ph.D., Conference Chair, is Professor of Psychology at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. A clinical psychologist specializing in couples therapy, she is an Academic Faculty Member of Imago Relationships International, the professional training organization for Imago Relationship Therapy. She has published six books, and she teaches and speaks on topics related to relational psychology and battering dynamics. Dr. Hannah's interest in abusive dynamics and their impact on interpersonal relationships led her to develop, with fellow battered mother and friend, the Battered Mothers Custody Conference (BMCC), first held in January of 2004. Now in its sixth year, the conference hosts the nation's leading attorneys, authors, advocates, and activists, who present their cutting-edge professional experience and scholarship to attendees, including litigating mothers, members of the legal profession, domestic violence leaders and advocates, and the general public. She is Co-Editor (with attorney Barry Goldstein) of the upcoming (2010) book on this topic, Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues. [email protected] MATTIE HERALD is a survivor of domestic violence which led her to advocate for victims and give them a voice. She volunteered for over two years as community outreach coordinator for Turning Point Domestic Violence Services before beginning work with Nonviolent Alternatives. She is certified by ICADV (Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence) as a Batter's Intervention Program trainer/facilitator and has worked with Nonviolent Alternatives for ten years. She is a Co-founder of the Shelby County Domestic Violence Task Force. She is a contributing author to the book "Hear Our Voices," a collection of stories and poems by victims of domestic violence, published and sold with proceeds going to victim services. CHARLIE HOFHEIMER is chairman of Hofheimer/Ferrebee P.C., a six lawyer boutique law firm representing women only in divorce and custody matters. Recently, Mr. Hofheimer was selected as a Virginia Super Lawyer in Family Law for 2009 by the publisher's of Law and Politics. Mr Hofheimer authored the book " What Every Virginia Woman Should Know about Divorce" which is available for free at Mr. Hofheimer formerly chaired the Family Law Section of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association for two successive terms in addition to being one of the founding Board members of the Virginia College of Trial Advocacy. In the Collaborative Divorce field, Mr. Hofheimer is a founding member and past chair of the Executive Committee of Virginia Collaborative Professionals, the statewide organization promoting interdisciplinary team collaborative divorce. DIANE HOFHEIMER is the child advocate featured in Garland Waller's award-winning documentary, Small Justice. She works as a paralegal in the Virginia Beach law firm of Hofhiemer/Ferrebee on select complex protective parent cases. Diane has also sucessfully lobbied to improve Virginia's custody laws in domestic violence/protective parent cases. Diane's understanding of the dynamics of protective parent cases, trial preparation skill, compassion, knowledge of the legal system, and undying effort effort make her an invaluavle assest to protective mothers and their children. KRISTEN HOFHEIMER, Esq. is a passionate advocate and well-known champion for women in divorce and child custody issues, with a particular interest in helping protective mothers with the unique legal challenges they face. A top-performing litigator and active member and leader in a number of legal organizations, Kristen has received the prestigious designation of Super Lawyer in 2008 and 2009 as one of Virginia's Rising Stars. Kristen has spoken at national conferences on child custody and has also published numerous peer-reviewed articles. Kristen wrote a pivotal chapter in Disorder in the Courts: Mothers and Allies Take on the Family Court System and is the author of The Women's Custody Survival Guide. Kristen lives in Virginia with her spouse, mountain biking legend Missy Giove, her teenage son, and a menagerie of animals. PAUL HOLDORF is a retired New York corporate lawyer who later volunteered with Trial Lawyers Care to help 9/11 victims. In 2006 he joined National Family Court Watch project as the project and data director. Paul is an officer on the board of directors for the National Family Court Watch Project. KARIN HUFFER, M.S., M.F.T. was recently noticed that she is a candidate for an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Counseling and Forensic Psychology from Kings College as a result of her research and publications. Due out in May is Access to Justice: The Americans with Disabilites Act at Work, a guide for persons with disabilities and their advocates. She is author of Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome, a self-help/textbook that develops protocols for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused or exacerbated by the legal system. She has recently founded Legal Victim Assistance Advocates, LLC, that will train Certified ADA Advocates assisting those with special needs in court. She is certified in both levels of "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing" (EMDR). Ms. Huffer has been a columnist for Nevada Woman Magazine, Risk Management Magazine, has published several articles, and made many radio and TV appearances. Her websites are and www.LVAALLC.COM.



EILEEN KING is currently the Regional Director for Justice For Children's Washington, D.C. Chapter. JFC-DC is housed in the law firm of Rubin, Winston, Diercks, Harris and Cooke, LLP on Connecticut and M Street, N.W. JFC-DC helped pass Maryland HB 700 into law which establishes a "duty of ordinary care and diligence" for attorneys appointed to represent children in custody cases. Ms. King also runs the JusticeForChildren listserve at and has written articles and book reviews for Sexual Assault Report. Please go to our website to see our Brief Bank and other resources at The House Marjority Leader, Steny Hoyer, spoke at JFC-DC's annual fundraiser this year; photographs are online at for_Children_12_02_08/ [email protected] LIANE LEEDOM, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist. She is author of Just Like His Father (2006, Healing Arts Press) and co-author (with Sandra Brown M.S.) of Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm (2008, Health and Well-Being Publishers). Having been, herself in a relationship with a psychopath, she has dedicated her career to educating other women about the very real and common dangers of becoming romantically involved with men who have little or no conscience. Dr. Leedom received her medical degree from the University of Southern California and completed advanced training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Yale-New Haven Hospital. She has been a leader in clinical and basic research and has written many scientific articles. [email protected] SHANNON LEMM as a young girl was very active in the arts; acting, singing and dancing. Shannon attended Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated in 1991. Shortly thereafter, she had her first daughter, Taylor, and later moved to Los Angeles to realize her dreams. However after a life altering experience, Shannon's dreams soon changed from acting on stage and on the screen to acting in the drama loaded court room. Shannon relocated to Virginia in 1999, and later graduated from Regent University with a new baby girl, Isabella, on her hip and a juris doctorate in her hand. Shannon is very compassionate regarding the plight of women fighting to protect their children and is devoted to helping women and children facing the challenges in a divorce and/or custody fight.

JANICE LEVENSON co-founded PMA in April of 2009. Since then, PMA has aquired 35 state chapter leaders nationwide and in several countries. Janice, along with Lundy Bancroft, started a blog talk radio show dealing with the many issues that involve the continued abuse by fathers through the court system. Featured guests on the blog talk radio show are professional advocates in the movement with a special spotlight on giving protective mothers a platform to tell their story. Janice and Lundy have started a PMA bi-monthly news letter which is another vehicle for education and exposure about family court corruption. Janice continues to move forward full force in shining the light on the truth about the many problems that children and protective mothers face in family courts through out the world. Contact information for Protective Mothers Alliance - 941-822-5592. Please visit our various venues: Click on link for The Guardian of Truth (GOT) Newsletter Blog Talk Radio - http://www.blogtalkradio/pma

Massachusetts Protective Mothers for Custodial Justice was formed by a social worker, trial paralegal and education administrator, all veterans of family court custody actions. Massachusetts Protective Mothers for Custodial Justice are mothers for mothers and their children, who aligned to form MPMCJ in 2008. A privately funded 501(c)3 MA nonprofit corporation, MPMCJ is the first specialized, professional advocacy organization for battered mothers litigating in family court - in Massachusetts and possibly the country, run by trained and certified MA domestic violence and sexual abuse victim advocates. The organization both supports mothers as they navigate the probate and family courts, and works for change. MPMCJ frequently collaborates with other organizations, most visibly with a growing chapter of National Organization for Women encompassing the South Shore and Islands of Massachusetts and National NOW Family Law Advisory Committee MPMCJ dedicates its efforts to resources provision, support & prevention of revictimization in legal intervention.



MARCIA A. PAPPAS holds a Bachelor of Science with a Concentration in Cultural Studies. In her capacity at the National Organization for Women (NOW), she has held several leadership positions. The most recent and present position is that of President of NOW-NYS. She is the primary lobbyist for NOW-NYS where she fights for the rights of women and girls. Traveling extensively to colleges across NYS, Marcia has spoken out on the tough issues that affect women's lives. She has been quoted in major newspapers and law journals and her works have been published in several prestigious news outlets. Marcia has been described by many as the "most visible activist in NYS." Along with a strong commitment to assisting women in their quest for economic security, Marcia has made it her life's work to end violence against women. During her recent work, Marcia has worked to expose the misogyny and sexism that is rampant in our society. [email protected] LOIS GALGAY RECKITT, is the Executive Director of Family Crisis Services ­ the comprehensive domestic violence services programs in two Maine counties, including the City of Portland . She was also a founder of the Maine Women's Lobby. Lois has directed this agency for a total of 20 years. In addition, she served as the Executive Vice President of NOW in Washington , DC for 5 years in the mid 80's. She served on NOW 's National Board for a total of 16 years. During that time she chaired the National Committee on Pornography and served on the Committee to End Violence Against Women. Lois has been the President of the National Board of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for a year. She has been a member of the Board since 2005 as well as a from 1983-84. In March of 1998 Lois was inducted into the Maine Women's Hall of Fame for her work on behalf of Maine women ­ she is joined there by such luminaries as Senator Margaret Chase Smith and Senator Olympia Snowe. KATHLEEN RUSSELL works as the lead consultant for the Center for Judicial Excellence (CJE). In that capacity, Kathleen co-directed and produced the 2008 awardwinning CJE documentary Family Court Crisis: Our Children At Risk and served as creative director and writer for the companion photo exhibit entitled Family Court Crisis: Surviving A Broken System. Along with CJE's Board of Directors, Kathleen and her team advocate for legislative and administrative changes that will better protect children's rights in the judicial system and promote judicial accountability. Kathleen led CJE's 17-month legislative effort to secure the unanimous passage of an audit request through California's Joint Legislative Audit Commit18

tee (JLAC), in partnership with the California Protective Parents Association. As a result, the California State Auditor is currently investigating the use of court appointees in the Marin and Sacramento County Family Courts, with a final report due in April 2010. Kathleen owns and manages Kathleen Russell Consulting, a strategic public affairs firm in Marin County that serves progressive nonprofit organizations and political candidates, including the Center for Judicial Excellence. [email protected] LINDA MARIE SACKS is a Protective Mother and Actress, who lost physical custody of her 2 daughter's in April 2007. She was placed on supervised visitation which has resulted in only 55 hours of contact in 2 ½ years. Her case, is the perfect scenario of how a class Mom, soccer Mom, "squeaky" clean Mom, primary caregiver, with no drugs, no alcohol, no abuse, and community volunteer can lose custody, and only asked the family courts for protection for her children. Her case is a Justice for Children case and her daughter's teacher said "If you of all Mom's can lose custody and be placed on supervised visitation, America better wake up because if you can lose custody, anyone can". Linda Marie's daughter's said "Mommy fight for us, do something every day to try to get us back and don't ever stop", so she is back in the Appeals court for the 2nd time, Pro se, as the first time they reversed the judge's ruling on custody, but he refuses to be disqualified from the case or remove her supervised visitation. Linda Marie is an advocate speaking about the family court crisis all over the United States and is a FL NOW Child Custody and Family Court Committee Board Member. JONEA SCHILLACHI-LAVERGNE is a survivor mom who won a historical acquittal after spending 5 months in jail for leaving the country with her daughter to protect her daughter from extreme abuse. Jonea is featured in the documentary "Family Court Crisis" which she helped to co-create. CONNIE VALENTINE, M.S. is the co-founder, past president and current policy director of California Protective Parents Association She has coordinated the annual Northern California Child Sexual Abuse Awareness conference for the past15 years, and would like to invite you to the upcoming conference on Saturday April 10, 2010 in Davis, CA. PROFESSOR GARLAND WALLER teaches writing and producing for TV at Boston University's College of Communication. She is an award-winning producerwriter-director of nationally syndicated and local televi-


sion and film programs. Her first independent production, Small Justice: Little Justice in America's Family Courts, has garnered numerous awards and gained media attention for shining a light on one of America's best kept secrets ­ men who batter their wives and/or sexually abuse their children are often able to get custody of their kids. Because Garland shot what many believe is the last video interview of Dr. Richard Gardner, the creator of Parental Alienation Syndrome, she produced the educational video, Debating Richard Gardner. Both independent productions are distributed by Intermedia Inc. Garland has been a panelist or speaker at every Battered Mothers Custody Conference since the first, in 2003. Most recently, Garland wrote "The Yuck Factor, The Oprah Factor, and the "Stickiness" Factor: Why the Mainstream Media Hasn't Covered Family Court Injustice, a chapter for Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues, to be published by Civic Research Institute in 2010. She has also written a chapter for the National Organization of Women (CA-NOW) on-line book "Disorder in the Court: Mothers and their Allies Take on the Family Law System ( IRENE WEISER is the founder and executive director of Stop Family Violence, a national grassroots activist organization whose mission is to organize and amplify our nation's collective voice against family violence. In 2001, SFV was awarded the American Association of Political Consultant's prestigious "Pollie" award for the best website for issue advocacy for its role in ensuring the passage of the Violence Against Women Act. Irene is the coordinator of the Family Court Reform Coalition, a coalition of advocates, organizations, and professionals whose mission is to promote reform and accountability, so that victims of domestic violence and child abuse are protected from abuse in child custody determinations. See for information on custody and abuse. [email protected] KAREN WINNER is a former policy analyst and investigative writer for the New York city Department of Consumer Affairs, where she researched and wrote two groundbreaking reports that resulted in sweeping legal reforms -- on dangerous diet centers, and on the financial abuses by divorce lawyers against women clients. She drafted the "Statement of Client Rights and Responsibilities" a disclosure statement about fees and services that all divorce lawyers in New York are required to provide to clients. In 1996, her nationally-acclaimed book, Divorced


From Justice (published by ReganBooks/Harper Collins) exposed improprieties by lawyers nationwide in divorce cases. In 2009 Karen was herself sworn in as an attorney after her graduation from CUNY Law School in New York. Thus, she has fought for justice both from outside and inside of the court system. URSULA WILLIAMS is the Bartholomew County Community Services Director for Turning Point, a domestic violence residential and nonresidential program in Southern Indiana which services twelve counties. She provides direct services to victims as well as being involved in community awareness. She received the "Courage To Make A Difference Award" in 2009 from the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Her passions are collaboration and social change promoting safety for survivors of domestic violence. She also acts as a self employed consultant/monitor for Nonviolent Alternatives, a batterer's intervention program which serves men and women in three Indiana counties. ROBIN YEAMANS, Esq. In California only three attorneys have been certified by the Calif. State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as specialists in both family and appellate law, and Robin is one of them. Robin graduated from Stanford Law School in 1969 where she was on the Stanford Law Review. Her undergraduate work was at the University of Southern California where she majored in philosophy and was Phi Beta Kappa. Robin has published large amounts of material to help self-represented litigants, including books published by Nolo Press. Her website, features many videos such as "Trial in a Box" and "Dissecting Custody Psychological Evaluations" that help people without attorneys. 1997, as a result of helping parents and the National Coalition of Family Justice in San Jose to change the family court there, Robin received a special Award for Pro Bono Legal Services from the Pro Bono Project of Santa Clara County, presented by the Support Network for Battered Women. This month, Jan. 2010, is Robin's 40th anniversary of being sworn in as an attorney. JOAN ZORZA, Esq. is a Washington, D.C.-based attorney. A prolific author on topics related to violence against women, she has served as an advocate for battered women and their children for 30 years. Having served for 10 years on the board of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, she helped to write parts of the original federal Violence Against Women Act. She is the Editor of Domestic Violence Report, Sexual Assault Report, and the three-volume Violence Against Women. [email protected]

Through the eyes of a child

By Caitlin Fairclough By Alexis Marie Hannah

By Nicole Williams

On behalf of the Seventh BATTERED MOTHERS CUSTODY CONFERENCE We wish to thank every one of our presenters for their contributions to the 2010 Conference. Special thanks also to the following for their hard work on behalf of the conference:


BMCC VII Co-Sponsor

The National Organization For Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)


The 35th National Conference On Men And Masculinity And NCADV's 14th National Conference On Domestic Violence: Changing Faces Of The Movement AUGUST 1ST-4TH, 2010 THE HILTON ANAHEIM Anaheim, California

Register and Submit Workshop Proposals Online at or





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