On May 11,2007, just before Mother’s Day weekend, ten mothers, one victimized child, now an adult, leading national and state organizations filed a complaint against the United States with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. Their petition claims that U.S. courts, by frequently awarding child custody to abusers and child molesters, has failed to protect the life, liberties, security and other human rights of abused mothers and their children.
OVERVIEW and FAQ's in materials on the right side of this page.
Scroll down to read full petition, including case histories of several of the petitioners. You will be horrified to learn what is happening to abused women and children in courtrooms all across this country.
Exhibit 28: Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories
Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Tatge Lasseur Productions, 2006 Underwritten by a grant from the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation.
Full length of this documentary was submitted to the IACHR.
Full Petition to the IACHR (large file)
- Dombrowski KS
- Titelman GA
- K.A Amador Co., CA
- J.H. Amador Co., CA
- Shockome NY
- Navratil CA
- Horton NY
- Petitioners A, B, C are confidential to protect their safety. Not included in public materials.
- Organization petitioners
1. Photos of petitioner Claudine Dombrowski . (graphic)
6. EXPOSE The Failure of Family Courts to Protect Children from Abuse in Custody Disputes: A Resource Book for Lawmakers, Judges, Attorneys and Mental health Professionals, Our Children Our Future Charitable Foundation, Los Gatos, CA, 1999.
( very large file - long time to load)
7. Chesler, Phyllis, Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody, McGraw-Hill Book Company, NY, 1986, select pages.
8. Battered Mothers’ Testimony Project: A Human Rights Approach to Child Custody and Domestic Violence, Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, June 2003.
9. Common Misconceptions in Addressing Domestic Violence in Child Custody Disputes , Jaffee, Crooks, and Poisson, 57 Juvenile and Family Court Journal Fall 2003.
10. Justice in the Domestic Relations Division of the Philadelphia Family Court: A Report to the Community, Women’s Law Project, Philadelphia, Pa, April 2003.
12. Jana Bommersbach, Jana’s View, Phoenix Magazine , May 2006, p. 28.
13. Article Launched: 6/18/2006 12:00 AM , Mom termed 'parental alienator' wins rare vindication in courts , BY TROY ANDERSON, Staff Writer, LA Daily News.
14. Hoult, Jennifer, J.D., The Evidentiary Admissibility of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Science, Law and Policy, Children’s Legal Rights Journal, Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring 2006.
15. Navigating Custody and Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judges Guide , National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 2004, revised 2006.
16. Report on Women’s Rights in the United States under International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in response to the Second and Third Periodic Report of the United States of America, July 2006.
18. Letter from Legal Momentum to Daniel Meron, DHHS , Washington, DC dated 28 February 2007.
19. European Parliament, A6-0404/2005, Report , 9.12.2005 on the current situation in combating violence against women and any future action (2004/2220(INI)) Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality Rapporteur: Maria Carlshamre PE 364.709v02-00 2/17 RR364709EN.doc
20. Testimony to the Truth Commission , Fourth Battered Mothers Custody Conference, January 2007.
21. Examples of Injustices in NYC Family Courts , Battered Women’s Resources Center, January 2007.
22. Letter and columns from The Parenting Project , Rhode Island.
24. Letter from Child Abuse Forensic Institute , Napa, CA.
28. Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories , Connecticut Public Broadcasting (see above for excerpt)
29. Letters of support from additional organizations.
- National Center on Sexual and Domestic Violence , TX
- The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence , PA
- Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute , MD
- National Alliance to End Sexual Violence , Washington, DC
- Domestic Violence Report , Washington, DC
- Family Violence Prevention Fund , San Francisco, CA
- National Organization for Women and National Organization for Women Foundation , Washington, DC
- National Family Court Watch Project , MI
- Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
- California National Organization for Women , Sacramento, CA
- Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Michigan National Organization for Women
- New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- National Organization for Women – New York State, Inc .
The following organizations have sent letters to the InterAmerican Commission in support of the petition.
National Family Court Watch Project
Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute
Parenting Project (RI)