The $ and #’s Impacting Domestic Violence

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  • Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
  • The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
  • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
  • 63% of all boys who commit murder kill the man who was abusing their mother.

 

  • In a national survey of more than 6,000 families in the United States, half of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children.

 

  • Long-term exposure to battering can result in delinquency, higher rates of substance abuse, propensity to use or tolerate violence in future relationships, and a pessimistic view of the world.

 

  • Short-term effects of children’s exposure to domestic violence can include post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbances, separation anxiety, aggression, passivity, or desensitization to violent events.

 

  • Eighty-five percent of assaults on spouses or ex-spouses are committed by men against women with an estimated 3.3 million children exposed nationally to violence by family members against their mothers or caretakers each year.

 

  • At least 75% of children whose mothers are battered witness the violence.

 

  • In one study, forty-seven percent (47%) of homeless parents reported a history of domestic violence and one in four stated that a primary reason they sought shelter was domestic violence.

 

  • It is estimated that there are 1.35 million homeless children in the US; nearly half of these are under the age of 5.
  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
  • Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.

Behaviors of Batterers That May Impact Supervised Visitations

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If, after conducting an intake, the Provider accepts a referral for visitation in a domestic violence case, it is important to identify behaviors that may subsequently impact visitation. It is critical to keep in mind that the goal of providing supervised visitation services, including Provider exchanges, is to provide a safe, neutral setting for parent-child access. If this cannot be accomplished, the visitation program must not accept the referral.

The following are behaviors sometimes used by batters that may affect a program’s ability to provide safe visitation:

  • Threats of violence toward the victim. This may include verbal abuse as well as attempted or actual physical assault.
  • Threats of violence toward children. This may include verbal abuse, threats, attempted or actual physical abuse, kidnapping.
  • Using visitation to send messages to the victim through the children.
  • Stalking the victim and children upon arriving or departing from visitation program. This can be done in person or through a third party family member or friend.
  • Intimidating children to reveal their current living arrangement, their custodial parent’s activities, their phone numbers.
  • Testing or violating staff or volunteers.
  • Intimidating visitation staff or volunteers.
  • Pitting one staff member against another to encourage divisiveness.
  • Requesting “special” privileges, such as unsupervised time with children.
  • Denial or minimization of abusive behavior (“It’s all a misunderstanding.”).
  • Blaming other parent for necessity of having to use visitation services.
  • Attempting to bring weapons (guns, knives, etc.) into program.
  • Threats or attempts to commit suicide.

Reducing Risk and Enhancing Safety for Visitation Providers

The point at which visitation services are ordered is often the period of greatest risk to the victim and children. Research indicates that victims leaving violent relationships face the greatest risk of death or serious injury in the period following separation. To enhance victims’ and children’s safety, programs should structure services in the following ways:

 

  • Providing well-designed security arrangements on site. This may include a formal policy for using on- site law enforcement officers, panic buttons to alert local law enforcement to problems, and other tools that staff are thoroughly trained in using, such as weapon detectors;
  • Having a safety plan in place for each family. This plan includes initial and ongoing identification of the risks to each member of the family;
  • Ensuring that perpetrators and victims do not come in contact with each other during visitation or Providers exchanges;
  • Arranging for separate arrival and departure times for victims and perpetrators;
  • Intervening in the visit if perpetrator denies, minimizes, or blames his or her partner for violence;
  • Reporting to the referring court any incident which affects the safety of program participants or staff; and
  • Requiring victims to bring a copy of their injunctions for protection for program records.

Hope & Hopelessness – A Mental Health/Ministerial Call To Action

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1. Each year millions of people look to the Internet for ANSWERS to their deepest HURTS & LONGINGS.

2. Google sees more than 4 MILLION queries in search of HOPE.

3. More than 22 MILLION Americans ages 12 and older abuse or are addicted to DRUGS & ALCOHOL.

4. 21 MILLION Americans struggle with DEPRESSION, and 39,000 commit SUICIDE each year.

5. An estimated 40 MILLION people in the U.S. feel trapped or crippled BY FEAR.

6. Treatment Options:

a) Last Year, more than 1.6 MILLION PEOPLE found New Hope in JESUS CHRIST through the Global Ministries of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

b)  Mental health is one of your greatest assets. It helps you focus at work, overcome obstacles, get along with the people around you—and get well and stay well.  Find out more at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/living-well.

*If you know someone suffering from HOPELESSNESS, help them FIND a QUALIFIED and TRAINED counselor, minister or therapist who can provide encouragement, support and HOPE for them to lead a HEALTHY & HAPPY LIFEhttps://www.reviveourhearts.com/articles/hope-for-hurting-hearts-ministry-encouragement/

*The above statistics were provided by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). For more information on how to become involved visit http://www.billygraham.org.

Crime Watch Daily – Interview with Josh Powell’s Sister

Hello Visitation Network Community!

Most of you, recall the Josh Powell tragedy. This story outlines the reality of what can happen while providing visitation services, whether on-site or off-site. Supervised Visitation is a SERIOUS part of Family Law Custody cases. Professional Providers MUST adhere to safety and security protocols. The Uniform Standards of Court 5.20 require ALL Providers implement safety procedures for visitation cases, contingent on the nature of conflict with each case.  This is just one of the many guiding principles and requirements to serve as a Provider.

Thanks to an email received today, via Stephanie N. from the October 2015 Effective Supervised Visitation Monitor© training, I was made aware of the interview with non other than the sister of Josh Powell.

The interview was aired October 27, 2015 on Channel 5 at 5:00pm. Below is the link where you may view the entire interview shown on Crime Watch Daily.

http://crimewatchdaily.com/2015/10/27/exclusive-josh-powells-sister-speaks-about-family-tragedy/

Safety and Security involves many guiding principles; one of them MUST be rejecting cases. There is protection in rejection. Agencies, court orders and provider’s must do everything possible to ensure safety. A Provider must consider safety for him/herself first and then for the children (if the Provider is not safe, the children cannot be safe). As a Visitation Trainer, I encourage Providers to practice this principle and to remember that “all money is NOT safe money.”

 

Keep the Children Safe this Halloween

Choose Costumes Carefully

  • Select flame-resident labels.
  • Look for bright colors and add reflective tape to treat bags and shoes.
  • Non-toxic makeup assures greater visibility than masks.
  • Avoid costumes that are too long and keep large or sharp accessories home.
  • Pass up on monster shoes or high heels and instead send the kids out in well-fitting shows that lace up.

Sit your Child down for a Serious Halloween Safety Talk

  • Stay with your group and don’t go out alone.
  • NEVER enter a stranger’s car or home.
  • Stick with your planned route.
  • Don’t eat any treats until you come home.
  • Don’t run – walk and stay in well-lit areas.
  • Take along your cellphone and a glow stick or flashlight.

*Children under age 10 should be supervised by an adult.

Prepare Yourself for Safety Too

  • Make your home, yard and driveway safe for visiting princesses and action heroes. Keep candle-lit pumpkins away from steps and walks – better yet, invest in some battery-operated lights. Remove obstacles like lawn chairs and dog chains that can cause tripping.

*You can find more Halloween safety tips at Safekids.org Thanks to Hedding Law Firm for sharing these safety tips. Need a Defense Attorney? Visits www.topcriminalattorneyla.com

How to Change a Custody Agreement

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As parents’ lives change after divorce, their existing custody orders might not work anymore. When they agree that a change is necessary, the process of asking the court for a new order is relatively simple. When they don’t agree, it can be difficult to convince a judge to make a change.

Parents Can Agree to a Change

When parents agree to a change of custody, it’s usually just a matter of letting the court know. An order must be filed, but a lawyer can usually draft one. Then both parents can sign it, giving their consent. A judge will usually approve the agreement, unless the child objects to the change. Courts usually will not force children to change residences without a good reason, especially when they’re older.

You Must Petition the Court for Change

Changing a custody order when parents don’t agree involves going back to court and beginning a new legal action. In most states, this means filing a motion or petition with the court. The court will schedule a hearing. If your child’s other parent objects to the change, the judge probably will not make a decision right away. Most courts will schedule the issue for trial, because changing custody is a serious matter.

You Must Prove a Change of Circumstance

When parents disagree about changes to a custody order, only a major change in circumstances since the last custody order will convince a court to modify it. Generally, something must have changed in the home where your child has been living to make the home no longer safe, emotionally or physically. You can also ask for a custody modification if your child wants to change primary households. If your child is older, sometimes this alone is enough to convince the court to issue a new order.

You May Need Witnesses

Simply saying that your child’s home presents a danger, either mentally or physically, is not be enough to persuade the court that a change is necessary. You’ll need proof. Proof includes documentation, such as police reports. It can also include the testimony of witnesses, if others have seen the unhealthy circumstances in your child’s home. You can hire a counselor to talk to your child and testify about the impact of the changed home conditions on your child.

A Child Custody Lawyer Can Help

The law surrounding changes to child custody orders is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a child custody lawyer.

Have a Child Custody Question?

  • It’s simple, free and safe.
  • Submit your legal question confidentially with ease of mind.
  • Receive multiple answers from top rated lawyers.
  • Go to www.lawyers.com

“Thank you Lawyers.com for always providing sound, expert content regarding family law.”

–Tamara L. Daniels, Professional Visitation Provider

 

Post-Divorce (Visitation) Rights of Grandparents & Stepparents

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Grandparents and stepparents can grow very close to the children in their lives. When this relationship is disrupted by divorce or other separations, all parties suffer. A custodial parent might, for example, attempt to prevent visits with the parents of the non-custodial parent, or with an ex-stepparent.

Until recently, only natural or adoptive parents enjoyed the legal right to post-divorce visitation. Now, however, courts in most states will grant visitation rights to other relatives, such as grandparents and stepparents, as long as they can demonstrate that this visitation is in the best interests of the child.

Visitation Orders Are Based on Several Factors

A court is more likely to order visitation if the grandparent or stepparent had a long relationship with the child, or lived with the child. Visitation is also more likely to be granted if the child is emotionally dependent on the person or expresses a preference to see that person regularly. The court may also consider financial support the person has provided for the child.

The Burden of Proof Varies by State

State laws differ on the procedure for deciding visitation rights. Colorado grants grandparents a legal right to visitation, barring proof of harm to the child, even if the child’s family is intact. New Jersey requires grandparents to prove the child would be harmed without visitation. Most states treat stepparent visitation using the same standards as grandparent visitation. However, in some states, such as South Dakota, stepparents do not have the right to seek visitation.

To read the full article go to http://family-law.lawyers.com/child-custody/post-divorce-rights-of-grandparents-and-stepparents.html

 

Have a Child Custody Question?

  • It’s simple, free and safe.
  • Submit your legal question confidentially with ease of mind.
  • Receive multiple answers from top rated lawyers.
  • Go to www.lawyers.com

 

“Thank you Lawyers.com for always providing sound, expert content regarding family law.”

–Tamara L. Daniels, Professional Visitation Provider

Abuse of Visitation Rights

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One of the hardest parts of divorce or some other sort of domestic breakup is losing daily contact with your child. This can be especially difficult when the court issues a custody and visitation order that you think is unfair. Either parent, custodial or non-custodial, might want to ignore the visitation terms of the order. If they do so, however, they’re abusing the law and endangering their rights.

You Can Enforce a Visitation Order

The parent who has not violated the visitation terms of a custody order can always take the other parent back to court to enforce the order. This might happen if the child the parent lives with refuses to turn the child over to the other parent for visitation time.

Conversely, the non-custodial parent might refuse to return the child after visitation. Judges will generally order make-up time to the parent who lost visitation with the child because of the other parent’s refusal. Many courts will also order both parents to attend counseling or mediation.

Contempt of Court for Violation of Visitation Order

When someone repeatedly abuses a visitation order, a judge can find that parent in contempt of court. This usually results in the violating parent having to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees and legal fees for bringing the problem to the attention of a judge. Contempt can also result in the violating parent serving jail time. Usually, this is only for a short period of time if the parent promises to follow the visitation terms of the custody order in the future.

Criminal Charges for Violation of Visitation Order

In some states, interference with the visitation terms of a custody order is a criminal offense. This is particularly true if the parent abuses the court order repeatedly. Some states are less strict about criminal charges than others. In some areas, the violating parent must keep the child for a period of days, in spite of the other parent’s objections, before the police will become involved.

 

To read the full article go to http://family-law.lawyers.com/visitation-rights/abuse-of-visitation-rights.html.

Have a Visitation Rights Question?

  • It’s simple, free and safe.
  • Submit your legal question confidentially with ease of mind.
  • Receive multiple answers from top rated lawyers.
  • Go to http://www.lawyers.com

 

“Thanks Lawyers.com for always providing sound, expert content regarding family law.”

–Tamara L. Daniels, Professional Visitation Provider

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Know the facts.

The Facts on Domestic, Dating and Sexual Violence

Domestic, dating and sexual violence are costly and pervasive problems in this country, causing victims, as well as witnesses and bystanders, in every community to suffer incalculable pain and loss. In addition to the lives taken and injuries suffered, partner violence shatters the sense of well-being that allows people to thrive. It also can cause health problems that last a lifetime, and diminish children’s prospects in school and in life. The United States has made progress in the last few decades in addressing this violence, resulting in welcome declines1 – but there is more work to do to implement the strategies that hold the most promise. These include teaching the next generation that violence is wrong, training more health care providers to assess patients for abuse, implementing workplace prevention and victim support programs, and making services available to all victims including immigrants and children who witness violence.

Prevalence of Violence in the United States

On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.2

 In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data collected in 2005 that finds that women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year.3

 Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.4

 Women are much more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner.5 Women are 84 percent of spouse abuse victims and 86 percent of victims of abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend and about three-fourths of the persons who commit family violence are male. 6

 There were 248,300 rapes/sexual assaults in the United States in 2007, more than 500 per day, up from 190,600 in 2005. Women were more likely than men to be victims; the rate for rape/sexual assault for persons age 12 or older in 2007 was 1.8 per 1,000 for females and 0.1 per 1,000 for males.7

 The United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 3.4 million persons said they were victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006. Women experience 20 stalking victimizations per 1,000 females age 18 and older, while men experience approximately seven stalking victimizations per 1,000 males age 18 and older. 8

The best contribution anyone can make, is to REPORT IT.

To continue reading the full article, click the link below. Sign up to receive your FREE poster; brining AWARENESS to these crimes against women.

Box 3 Futures Without Violence

http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Children_and_Families/DomesticViolence.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

So you have a Supervised Visitation Court Order…Now What?

 

What is Supervised Visitation?

Supervised Visitation refers to a contact between a non-custodial parent (NCP) and one or more children in the presence of a neutral third person responsible to observing and seeking to ensure the safety of those involved. “Provider Visitation”, Supervised Child Access” and Supervised Child Contract” are other terms with the same meaning.

What is Supervised Exchange?

Supervised Exchanges sometimes referred to as “Provider Exchanges” or “Supervised/Provider Transfers”, is supervision of the transfer of the child from one parent to the other. Supervision is limited to the exchange or transfer only with the remainder of the parent/child contact remaining unsupervised. Most frequently precautions are taken to assure that the two parents or other individuals exchanging the child do not come into contact with one another.

What is the purpose?

Both Supervised Visits and Supervised Exchanges are designed to assure that a child can have safe contact with an absent parent without having to be put in the middle of the parents’ conflicts or other problems. It is the child’s need that is paramount in making any decisions regarding the need for such supervision. However, there are also some significant benefits to parents. It is our hope that no one will look upon supervised visitation or exchange as a negative or stigmatized service. It is a tool that can help families as they go through difficult and/or transitional times. Some of the benefits for the various family members are as follows:

 

For the children:

  • It allows the children to maintain a relationship with both of their parents something that is generally found to be an important factor in the positive adjustment to family dissolution.
  •  It allows them to anticipate the visits without the stress of worrying about what is going to happen and to enjoy themselves in a safe, comfortable environment without having to be put in the middle of their parents’ conflict and/or other problems.

For the custodial parents:

  • You do not have to communicate or have contact with a person with whom you are in conflict or by whom you might be frightened or intimated. The arrangements can be made by a neutral party (the visit supervisor/provider) and there does not have to be contact before, during, and after the visits.
  •  You can relax and feel comfortable allowing your child to have contact with the other parent-and can get some valuable time to yourself.

For the non-custodial parents:

You can be sure that your contact with your children does not have to be interrupted regardless of any personal or interpersonal problems you may be having.

If allegations have been made against you, which are often the case when supervision is ordered, you can visit without fear of any new accusations because there is someone present who can verify what happened during your time together. When using a professional service, you can also be assured that the supervisors are neutral and objective.

Supervision in the case of parental separation:

When parents separate, the children most often will have primary residence with one parent and regularly spend time with the other. Visitation, contact, and access are words used to refer to post-separation contact with the non-residential parent or another significant person, such as a grand-parent, sibling, or other relative. When the courts feel it is appropriate, they may order that such visitation take place in the presence of a third party.

Supervised exchanges may be court ordered or arranged by the parent and are generally appropriate when there is no question about the safety of the child, but when one or both parents do not feel safe or comfortable interacting directly with the other. It is always better for the child to not be put into a situation where he/she is exposed to the anger and conflict of the parents.

Supervision in the case of out-of-home placement:

When a child comes under the jurisdiction of Child Protective Services (CPS) and is removed from the home because of a risk of child abuse or neglect, it is usually important that the parent/child relationship continue.

CPS generally provides these services. However, they may have limited resources that restrict the frequency, duration, and nature or the contact. In some areas, they have found it useful to contract with outside supervised visitation programs to provide services.

Since supervision in the case of out-of-home placement is generally controlled very closely by the state or local CPS regulations, the information here applies primarily to supervision in the case of parental separation.

How do I make sure the service will meet my needs?

Be sure to check the court order to see if it specifics the kind of supervision (Off site or On site, Professional or Non-professional). Then check with the provider to see that all conditions can be met. Due to the limited resources available in most communities for such services, if the court order specifies a “on site agency/facility” you will probably have to be flexible and travel a distance. Some agencies are open for limited times, particularly in smaller communities. Most Professional Provider’s work weekdays, weekends and holidays. Do your Homework. Ask for references. Ask for a copy of their Certificate of Completion obtained from training class. Ask if they have Professional Liability Insurance.