Wishing you love,
peace, joy and
children safe at home!
California Protective Parents Association Newsletter
December 31, 2017
This is the season of joy, peace, love and wishing the best to all in the new year. Many without their children though are feeling nothing but pain. Too many children are missing their protective parent, too many protective parents are missing their children and too many children are living with abuse daily while in the custody of their abuser.
As with the Christmas story, life did not start off as any new mother would have wanted for the birth of her child, from no room at the inn, birth in a manger and the need to flee from danger. We know many this year are not able to give their children the life they deserve when abuse is dismissed, invalidated and ignored. They are not able to flee, but the opposite happens as many children are forced into a life with their abusers. We continue to shine a light into the stories of today, for despite the circumstances, one person can change the world and shine a light into a darkness we still have here on earth. Love can bring change to the world and bring needed change.
Love means standing
up when nobody else wants to for the culture to be quiet
is so strong in our courts. Love is sharing your story to help others in this situation. Love is believing the abuse when told. Love is sending
out love to children even when you are unable to see them and your heart is breaking. Love is donating to help be part of the change even when this crisis has not personally touched your own family.
Love is what we do.
We are standing in the light for you, with you and for truth and justice.
Love, peace and justice to you today and throughout 2018.
2017 was the year the world was able to see what many protective parents have been living with for years: narcissism, lies dismissing the truth, abuse of power and those who are named abusers rising in power.
The year also saw people standing up for truth and justice from the Women's March in January to the #MeToo Movement in October that is still rippling and growing.
Awareness of abuse has reached a tipping point. Gone are they days when abuse is ignored and tolerated in most major companies. The home is the last frontier though. The home is the most mysterious place where abuse can be easily hidden and dismissed by family courts.
The #MeToo movement is coming home now!
In the homes we are seeing the continuance of children being killed, abuse continuing and ACE scores skyrocketing. Abuse in homes is happening and being ignored by the courts. We are also seeing change in awareness and acceptance of the crisis for our voices are being heard more now than ever!
CPPA has been standing up to familial abuse since 1999. We continue to move forward and we thank all who have helped us succeed in 2017.
After 10 years of going to Washington DC and raising awareness of this problem, we finally have a resolution in Congress! This is a huge step forward even though many changes will still be needed after this passing, including new laws on the state level and funding changes to support protective parents. We are about a quarter of the way to our goal of 100 cosponsors.
Our new website is up and stage two will appear in 2018. We hope you have found help on these pages, understanding of the problems and direction on how to move forward despite the situation.
g Awareness to Bring Change
CPPA has been able to raise awareness through research, education and advocating, just as we have done year after year. 2017 was no exception. From meetings and a briefing on Capitol Hill, meetings in Sacramento, and the AG's office, we are sharing the problems and providing solutions that we hope will turn into new laws in 2018. Rachel's Meyricks' film, "What Doesn't Kill Me" premiered in LA and CPPA hosted a showing in the SF East Bay, we are organizing our support calls, counties are prosecuting for perjury now, a family court judge is being recalled in Solano and judges are retiring with complaints mounting in CA. The Judicial Council of CA continues to hear from us as does the Board of Psychology. While the Commission on Judicial Performance's audit has delayed with a writ to prevent the CA State Auditor from seeing the complaints, the Auditor's lawyers plans to appeal. The #MeToo movement is moving home!
Mother's Day Conference
This year CPPA hosted a Mother's Day Conference in Washington DC for protective parents who were unable to be with their children on this special day. Expert Dr. Leora Rose spoke to the crisis in family court, highlighting her new book,
Beyond the Hostage Child: Towards Empowering Protective Parents
there was training on complex PTSD and a meditation by Sally Page.
The Washington Post - Reunification Camps
Children forced into reunification camps to live with their abusive parent speak out in The Washington Post Magazine in May. Horrific outcomes at the cost of th
e loss of a healthy and protective parent while the abusive parent pays fees as stated in the article to be
"a $29,000 fee - excluding travel [to CA], room and board - before he and the children could start the workshop (the four-day program costs $25,000 to $40,000, paid by the parent who attends)." While many claim parental alienation (PA) it is noted that this is not in the DSM nor is the empirical data to show PA is a cause for children to request not to be with an abusive parent. Children do not care to live with their abusers, it is just that simple.
Lilia Luciano opens the ABC 10 conversation of the crisis and secrets of family court in a Facebook Live this past October. To date, this 30 minute video which gives an overview of the problems in family court, has been seen over 35 thousand times, generated 1.1 thousand comments and has over 1.2 thousand shares. This story is not isolated to a region in the US nor to a handful of cases. This is a national issues that touches 58,000 each and every year.
Victurus Libertas VL - Insider View of the Family Court Crisis
Former CA Superior Court Judge DeAnn Salcido blows the whistle on corrupt Family Law System in this video radio show. Her first year on the bench she had a CPS case in Family Court with allegations of molest. The more experienced judge taught her that many times these claims are made to get back at a parent and to be suspicious of claims. She placed the child with the custody of the accused father based on the CPS report whom she assumed did a thorough investigation. She realized not enough investigation is being done by CPS and the training for judges. The father in this case who was given custody later ended up abusing another child as well. Judge Salcido left the bench due to the problems she encountered from the lack of support to do what is right. She also saw experts rising to focus their work within the courts and also saw the parties with the best financial means had the favored reports. The bottom line, the children are being hurt the most.
The Los Angeles Times - Abusive Father Kills Son After No Protection
Piqui, a five-year-old boy in the LA area was murdered by his father while the father lied about the crime and claimed he did not know where his son was at after taking him to Southern California to visit Disneyland. Ana Estevez, the mother, had asked the court to protect her son yet the abuse claims were dismissed and the father's lies believed regardless of the evidence.
The Modesto Bee - Father Pleads Guilty to 49 Counts including Raping and Murdering his Daughter
Alycia was a young girl who needed protection from her father. Instead the family courts granted him full custody. Shortly after receiving custody, the father drugged, raped, murdered and buried his own daughter. Buried for three years, all while the father proclaimed she ran away. The trial for the father has taken place; sentencing is scheduled for January 18, 2018.
Sacramento News and Review Newsreview.com - Family Court Places Kids with Alleged Abusers
Speaking with CPPA, other court reform experts and reviewing cases, Alastair Bland describes the CA Family Court crisis as profiteering judges, lax oversight and sexism having set up a cottage industry that works against poor parents. The case of Josie Cohen's son being sodomized by his father repeatedly, but dismissed by the Court as the parent coaching the child to state the abuse, led to a child being placed in custody of his father and sadly his mother dying of cancer. This case, highlighted in this article, as well as others court experts point out the problems that are being dismissed in family court.
The Report - Disapproval of Solano County Court Judges
This year saw Solano County mothers take a stand against the Family Court judges who dismiss abuse and place children with abusers. A recall has been set in motion for Judge Carringer and when informed of a recall petition, Judge Ichikawa, resigned.
The Guardian - How Childhood Stress Can Knock 20 Years Off Your Life
Jamie Redford, Resilience producer, provides an understanding of how ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) changes a child, literally taking 20 years off a persons lifespan if they survive that long, leads to awareness of needed change. The ACEs stressors, from physical and sexual abuse to living with an alcoholic, are the modern day reality causes of medical conditions much like smoking in the car and home with children, and lead paint poisoning have been in the past. Toxic stress is a killer, but there are solutions and it starts with removing the children from these stresses.
The New York Times - The Lack of Funds Should Not Make a Case Less Credible
"'About six months ago," [retired United States Court of Appeals] Judge Posner said, "I awoke from a slumber of 35 years." He had suddenly realized, he said, that people without lawyers are mistreated by the legal system, and he wanted to do something about it." Common in family courts, without funds, protective parents lose custody to abusers regardless of the evidence of abuse presented.
The Huffington Post - A Film Exposes DV and Court Revictimization
Rachel Meyrick speaks to making her new documentary,
What Doesn't Kill Me , and what led her to keep searching to understand why women are losing custody of their chidlren to abusers. Starting with a DV survivor who worked at an abuse shelter, she sought out parents who lost custody when they tried to leave abuse. Her film show the shocking truth about abuse being dismissed in family courts.
San Francisco Chronicle - Complaints, Probes on Judges Kept Secret by Ruling
The SF Superior Court ruled the complaints against judges do not need to be provided to the CA State Auditor. Family court crisis advocates, including CPPA, requested this audit for complaints to the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) regarding family court judges awarding custody to abusers while there was evidence are being dismissed.
There is no oversight of our CA courts with this ruling, but the CA Auditor's lawyer stated he will appeal in January. The CPJ was established to ensure sound, lawful and fair courts in CA. Since their inception in 1960, they have never been audited, they dismiss 90% of the complaints made and have enforcement for less than 2% of the 10% they investigate.
This is the moment. This is the time more than ever before to end children being forced to live with their abusers. 2017 has been a year of reckoning with the #MeToo movement and we will ensure this moves to the home. Help us start off the new year strong and ready to do the work to help protect children. For those who need to make end-of-year donations, know CPPA will put your dollars to good work to help abused children and protective parents.
- If you have a need to donate for tax purposes, you can donate to CPPA on our site or directly through your fund be it Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard or others!
- If you or someone you know wants to help protect children from abuse in the family courts, all can donate to CPPA.
- If you have purchase items on Amazon, you can sign up on AmazonSmiles CPPA and have part of your purchase price go to CPPA all year long!
- All 2017 giving must be received or postmarked by December 31, 2017.
Please note, with the new tax laws for 2018, many are deciding to do more giving to nonprofits in 2017 to benefit themselves in 2018.
CPPA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible. We thank you for all of your contributions to helping us protect children.
|We pray for the souls of the children murdered by a parent with abuse allegations and custody issues this year including (but sadly not limited to) those listed here from California.
- Julian Camara, 19 months old, Somoma
- Juliana Camara, 6 years old, Sonoma
- Piqui Estevez, 5 years old, Los Angeles
- Dominic Nunn, 8 years old, San Bernardino
- Alvin Vasquez, 11 years old, Sacramento
- Mia Vasquez, 14 years old, Sacramento
May they rest in peace, may their protective parents be comforted, may all remember their lives mattered and know we can do better to protect children before it is too late. Abuse must be believed.
Judicial Council of California Meeting
Jan. 11-12, 2018
Board of Psychology Meeting
February 15-16, 2018
Battered Mother's Custody Conference
May 4 -6, 2018