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Full text of "Witness to domestic violence : protecting our kids : hearing before the Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on examining the effects of domestic violence on children, and related measures including S. 1572 and S. 870, October 28, 1993"

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S. Hrg. 103-436 



n.L 11/4;S. HRG, 103-436 

Mitness to Oonestic DioU.ce: ProU... lRING 










OCTOBER 28, 1993 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources 

MAY 4 1994 


7&-€12CC WASinNOTON : 1994 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-043910-8 

S. Hrg. 103-436 



'4.L ll/4;S,HRe. 103-436 

itness to tonestic Uiole.ce: Prote... iRING 










OCTOBER 28, 1993 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources 

MAY 4 1994 



76-612 CC WASIDNOTON ! 1994 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-043910-8 


EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts, Chairman 


CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut DAN COATS, Indiana 

PAUL SIMON, Illinois JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire 




HARRIS WOFFORD, Pennsylvania 

Nick LITTLEPIELX), Staff Director and Chief Counsel 
Susan K. HatTAN, Minority Staff Director 

Subcommittee on CfflLDREN, Family, Drugs and Alcohousm 

CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut, Chairman 
CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island DAN COATS, Indiana 



EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire 

PAUL D. WELLSTONE, Minnesota STROM THURMOND, South Carolina 


Sarah A. Flanagan, Staff Director 
Stephanie Johnson Monroe, Counsel 



Thursday, October 28, 1993 


Thurmond, Hon. Strom, a U.S. Senator from the State of South Carolina, 

prepared statement 12 

Hatfield, Hon. Mark O., a US. Senator from the State of Oregon 13 

FVepared statement 15 

Jones, Lillian, accompanied by Grace Orsini, My Sister's Place, Washington, 
DC; Martha A. Friday, director. Women's Center and Shelter of Greater 
Rttsburgh, Bttsburgh, PA; and Judith Hyde, co-director. The Children's 

Law Center, Willimantic, CT 18 

Prepared statements of: 

Ms. Jones 20 

Ms. Friday 25 

Ms. Hyde 51 

Prepared statements from a variety of different organizations that support 

the Child Safety Act 67 

Wellstone, Sheila, Washington, DC; Kim Cardelli, director. Children's Safety 
Network, St. Paul, MN; Joni Colsrud, Silver Spring, MD; and Judge Mary 

Louise Has, Ramsey County Courthouse, St. Paul, MN 92 

Prepared statements of: 

Mrs. Wellstone 93 

Ms. Colsrud 99 

Judge Kias 102 

Straus, Robert B., president, Supervised Visitation Netwoik, prepared state- 
ment Ill 

Moylan family, prepared statement 117 

Oregon Coahtion Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Judith Armatta, 
prepared statement 119 


Articles, publications, letters, etc.: 

Summary of the Child Safety Act, S. 870 5 

Summary of S. 1572, Domestic Violence Community Initiative Act of 

1993 5 

A Voice for Abused Children, from the Hartford Current, October 23, 

1993 60 




U.S. Senate, 
Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and 
Alcoholism, of the Committee on Labor and Human 

Washington, DC. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room 
SD-430, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Christopher Dodd 
(chairman of the suJacommittee) presiding. 

Present: Senators Dodd, Wellstone, and Wofford. 

Opening Statement of Senator Dodd 

Senator Dodd. The subcommittee will come to order. 

First of all, let me apologize to everyone for being a couple min- 
utes late, particularly to my colleague. Senator Wellstone; but I 
was making some remarks on the floor. We are opening up the dis- 
cussion of uie health care reform package this morning. 

I would like to welcome everyone here this morning to the Subr 
committee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism hearing en- 
titled, 'Witness to Domestic Violence: Protecting our Kids." 

We live in a time when violence is growing more and more preva- 
lent in our streets and in our public areas. For most Americans, en- 
tering their homes and closing the door shuts out this violence. But 
for many, mostly women and children, the door does not shut out 
the violence because the violence resides behind that door, inside 
the home. 

It is estimated that each year, 3 to 4 million women are beaten 
by their husbands or partners. Spouse abuse is the number one 
cause of injuries for which women seek medical attention in the 
United States of America. Spouse abuse causes more serious inju- 
ries in women than automobile accidents, muggings, and rapes 
combined. The statistics tell us that today, like every other dav of 
the year, four women in this country before the day ends will be 
killed by their male partners. 

As made eloquently clear at an art exhibit sponsored by Senator 
and Mrs. Wellstone this week in the Russell Building Rotunda, the 
victims of domestic violence and their children become silent wit- 
nesses to the failure of our society to hear their cries, or indeed, 
to allow them to cry at all. 

Many victims of domestic violence remain silent out of fear or 
shame, afraid to reveal their terrible secret to even those to whom 


they are closest. Many are afraid that the violence will get worse, 
or that no one will believe them, or that they will be blamed. 

Women are not the only witnesses to domestic violence. Many 
battered women are also mothers. Some children see what happens 
to their mothers. Others hear it going on behind closed doors, or 
see mom's bruises in the morning. 

Witnessing the trauma of their mothers can lead to a range of 
psychological and behavioral problems in children, including de- 
pression, ni^tmares, and anxiety disorders. 

The risk to the children is physical as well. Children in homes 
that have seen domestic violence are much more likely than other 
children to be abused tiiemselves. And studies of abused children 
in New Haven and Boston have found that as many as 70 percent 
of those with serious abuse had mothers who were themselves bat- 

In some of these cases, child abuse is used as a form of spouse 
abuse. What better way to torment a woman than to inflict harm 
on her children? 

Several of our witnesses today will talk about the effects of do- 
mestic violence on children. As we will hear, children are also a key 
factor in battered women's decisionmaking process. Often, a desire 
to keep the family intact for the children's sake— how many times 
have we heard that — can keep a woman in an abusive situation. In 
other cases, fear for her children's safety can be a powerful incen- 
tive for a woman to leave. 

A woman's decision to leave is a profound act of bravery, for she 
will most likely be leaving all her possessions and facing, at the 
very least for the immediate future, a hfe of poverty. Her children 
will be leaving their friends, their schools, and familiar surround- 

llie support and resources offered by domestic violence shelters 
can be critical to a battered woman's success at starting a new life. 
These shelters see the problems of both mother and children as 
interconnected and requiring a response that encompasses the en- 
tire family. 

But as we have learned in reauthorizing the Family Violence 
Prevention and Services Act last year, there are far too few shel- 
ters for the number of women who need them. That legislation ex- 
panded the resources for shelters as well as for services to victims 
and their children. The program this year received $27.6 million in 
funding, a $3 million increase over last year. Despite the increase, 
however, the resources we devote in this area remain woefully in- 

While some women flee their homes to escape the violence, the 
danger of abuse does not end once the separation is complete. The 
violence in fact frequently continues. 

In most cases, the children will remain in contact with the abus- 
ing parent. Visits with this parent can revive the emotional trauma 
of the abusive home life for both mother and children, and in many 
cases, the actual physical abuse continues as well. 

Up to 75 percent of domestic assaults reported to law enforce- 
ment agencies occur after separation. Let me repeat that. Up to 75 
percent of domestic assaults reported to law enforcement agencies 

occur after the separation occurs. Some experts believe children are 
more likely to be abused after separation as well. 

Today we will hear testimony on several responses to this ter- 
rible problem. One of these approaches, the supervised visitation 
center, is embodied in a very thoughtful piece of legislation au- 
thored by my colleague and friend, Senator Paul Wellstone. He and 
Sheila Wellstone, who is with us this morning, have taken this 
issue to heart and have become outspoken advocates for the rights 
of domestic violence victims not just in their home State of Min- 
nesota, but for women and children all across this country. 

I want to point out here, however, as I am sure Senator 
Wellstone will also, that the kind of supervised visitations dis- 
cussed in his bill are not limited to domestic violence cases. And 
it is by no means always the father who is placed under such su- 

Supervised visitation may be required or desirable in a variety 
of situations, although as we will hear, domestic violence and child 
abuse case are among the most compelling. 

We need to respond on many levels to domestic violence and its 
effects on children. In the Family Violence Act, we have sou^t to 
provide services to help women escape the violence and to oegin 
their lives anew. 

We also recognized in the reauthorization enacted last year the 
relationship between domestic violence and child abuse by planting 
the seeds ibr a more unified response to the problems of mothers 
and children alike. Certainly, child protection agencies have not al- 
ways bMBen sensitive to the likelihood that many mothers they deal 
with are themselves being abused. 

Addressing domestic violence and relieving the burden of its 
youngest witnesses requires a concerted response across many sec- 
tors, including the criminal justice system, the medical profession, 
child welfare agencies, violence prevention programs, and programs 
for domestic violence victims. 

I believe we have made some good strides in raising public 
awareness to this issue over the last decade or so. Yet I think we 
would all agree, or at least I hope we can all agree, that we must 
still push for the recognition that domestic violence is not a private 
matter. It is not something that should remain behind those closed 
doors. Rather, it is an urgent cause for our entire society. The very 
lives of our mothers and our children are at stake. And that is not 

Senator Wellstone. 

Opening Statement of Senator Wellstone 

Senator Wellstone. Mr. Chairman, I would just rather have a 
written response included as part of the record because I think that 
you have spoken with a great deal of power and eloquence. 

I would just thank you for conducting these hearings today. I 
really appreciate your leadership as chairman of this subcommit- 
tee. Sheila and I, and more important than Sheila and I, I think 
all of us who care fiercely about these problems and about these 
issues of family violence, very much appreciate your commitment 
and your support, and we are going to need your commitment and 

The only other thine I would say from the heart is that I have 
really been heartened by the response of colleagues who have come 
up to me in the last several days — and I think maybe this is the 
way to do it — they have walked over on their own, by themselves, 
and witnessed "The Silent Witness" displayed from Minnesota, and 
have just tried to think about what it means. And they have said 
they have been genuinely moved. 

So I guess I would say that that is a very, very important first 
step, and it will lead to a very, very important second step, which 
will be really good legislation that we can pass, with policy that we 
can pass that will make a very, very positive and important dif- 

I thank you. 

[Additional material supplied by Senator Wellstone follows:] 

U.S. Senator Paul Wellslone 

Wellslone Initiative for Safe 

For more Intormatlon call Sherry Ettlesoti (202) 224-5641 

Summary of the Child Safely Act, S.870 

Tlic prevalcnrr of fnmily violence In our society Is slapcerlng. Studies show that 
25 percent of all violence occurs amonp, people who arc rclnlcd. Data indicates that the 
incidence of violence in fnniilic^ csc.ilales during scpnralion and divorce. Many of these 
a-isaiills occur in the context of visitation. Ihc Child Safety Act, sponsored by Senator 
Paul WcIIjIomc (DMN), and Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), authorizes funds to create 
supervised visitation centers for families who have a history of violence. Supervised 
visitation centers would: 

o Provide supervised visitation for families where there has been documented 

sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. 

o Provide supervised visitation for farailies where there is suspected or 

elevated risk of sexual, physical, or emoiional abuse, or where there have 
been threats of parental abduction of the child. 

o Provide a safe and neutral place for parents to visit with children who have 

been put In foster care because of abuse and/or neglect. 

o Provide a safe location for custodial patents to temporarily transfer custody 

of their children to non-custodial parents. 

o Serve as an additional safeguard against children witnessing abuse of a 

parent or sustaining injury to themselves. 

Tlic Qiild Safety Act authorizes $30 million In the first year. These ftinds could 
support the esl.iblislimeni and operation of approximately 100 centers across the United 
Slates. The Child Safety Act requires grant recipients to submit an annual report to the 
Secretary of Health and Human Services on the volume and type of services provided at 
the supervised visitation center. Twenty percent of the giants made under the Child 
Safety Act would support tlie rst.iblishmcnt of special visitation tenters created to study 
the effectiveness of supervised visitation on sexually and severely physically nbused 
children. Tliesc centers would be staffed with qualified clinicians and would have 
enhanced data collection capabilities. From the reports submitted by grant recipients, 
the Secretary would prepare and submit a report to Congress on the effectiveness of 
supervised visitation centers. 



Introduced by Senator Hark 0. Hatfield 

October 20, 1993 

The Domestic Violence Coimtunlty Initiative Act of 1993 authorizes 
demonstration projects that will coordinate strategies at the community 
level to attacK domestic violence. 

This concept Is being looked at In some conminltles around the country 
with the cooperation of representatives of various areas Including: 

1. State Children Services Division 

2. Health care providers 

3. Education cotmunlty 

4. Religious coniminlty 

5. Justice System 

6. Domestic Violence Program Advocates 

7. Business and Civic Leaders 


The 1de« arose out of meetings with cotwunlty representatives and vltttt 
to shelters and schools In Oregon that I conducted late last year. I 
was struck by the tragic stories of women I met who wart staying In 
these shelters, often with their small children. 

It appeared that, while hard work Is being done In each coinrunlty 
sector, there was not coordination In their goals and operations, 
statewide prdjrams exist, but none coordinate all of the entitles to 
at the difficult aspects of this problem on the local connunlty level 

The bill authorizes the expenditure of up to t20 million In grants to 
demonstration projects In various conmunltles around the country to be 
chosen by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. 

The projects will develop action plans to direct responses to doirestlc 
violence within each connunlty sector that are In conjunction with 
developments In all other sectors. These plans would Include efforts 
towards prevention, Intervention and general awareness of the probleoi. 

Project Councils will be made up of representatives of the various 
coinrunlty sectors. Steering Connlttee members will chair subconwlttees 
of the Council which will focus on the particular prpblems and possible 
solutions In each cotiwunlty sector, and will share this Information with 
•11 of the other subconnlttees. 

Just as In other programs authorized under the Family Violence 
Prevention and Services »ct, this demonstration crogram will be 
evaluated for Its effectiveness every two years by the Secretary of 
Health and Human Services. 

The Silent Witnesses 

Sponsored by Senator Paul D. Wellslone 

An exJilbft remembering women who have 
died as a result of domestic violence. 

October 26-29, 1993 

Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building 

Delaware and Constitution Avenues, NE 

Washington, D.C. 

Opening Ceremony: 

Tuesday, October 26, 1993 

at 5:30 PM 

(Open to the Public) 

Donna Lnvander 

Age 27 
April 22, 1990 

Shp was th» molhnr ot two children. 
She lived In Pntkeis Piilrle. Slit was 
thol In the head by hor tiusbind, who 
then ccminllled suicide. She survived 
lor Iwo dnyr. Her children, ages S and 
9, were at hoiie at the tlira ol the 
thooling and lurvlve her. 

Aril Aclh n Agaltiil Dorr ttlfc 
V'or* KC ^ COCf •t»llr>#i wfh 

ContorlK'tn lYMj lh« k'lnn«lo(t 

coinvi" iCT BaiMKd womwi Oclohcr Is Dotiesltc Vlol'<nc'> Awareness Month. 

A Congresstonil he.iring on the Issue ol domsillc and 

lemlty violence, Ircli'dlng thr* Well!lon>! Child Silaty 

Act (S. 170), will be held on Thursday, October 2S, 

1993, all 0:00 AM. 

For more Inlormntlon ':ontact Sherry Ettleton, (202) 224 5641; 
Press/media Inquiries contact Pam McKlnrtey, (202) 224-t440. 

Crlrrlnal Justice Division 
of Judiciary 

Kathleen Vellenga 


Phit Carruthers 
Vice Chair 

House of 

BishoD K But: C EfO»r P CJrtulhMS. T. Csr^piey. L. Ornotldd. J J«n«ltr.h. B. Ktlly. 
M. Marsh. H Or«nit«in S Pippat. A. Real. A. Seaberg. D. Sw«nsen. J. Wacf niut 

COMMITTf f STAFF: Uart lynch. Co-nmlllaa Admlnlltrllor 
Patricia Larton. CommlKtt Sacralary 


It would be a great benefit to both children and parents It more 
sate visitation centers could be establlahed. The most dlKlcult 
effect of divorce and separation upon children la the resulting 
tension between their parents. Children get caught In this 
tension, remain caught, If they continue their relationship at 
all. For parents who have been abused by their spouse, the 
contact Involved In most visitation can be very dangerous. In an 
effort to diminish this danger, arrangements ere made to meet at 
fast food places, relatives, even a hospital lobbyl 1 have been 
Informed of visitation arrangements so difficult It Is Imposslblt 
to Imagine anything positive happening for the children/ and th« 
abused parent is not really safe In these situations either. 

At a safe visitation center the experience Is not only safer foe 
the children and parents, the experience can be a positive one 
for the visiting parent. 


P.O. Box 201141 

Bloomington, MN 55420 

October 15, 1993 

Senator Paul 0. Wellstone 
717 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington, D.C. 20510-2303 

Dear Senator Wellstone: 

Vigilance commends you for introducing the "Child Safety Act." This 
legislation Is crucial if children In America are to be guaranteed lives 
and rights free from harm. We most fervently urge your colleagues In the 
Senate and House of Representatives to enact this bill into law. 

Vigilance is an organization sealcing protection for children from further 
child sexual abuse. Concerned parents and caring others have united to 
advocate for children and their rights in child sexual abuse cases. 

Incest is the most prevalent form of child sexual abuse. Incest violates 
children's innocence, love, and dependency upon trusted adults. 
Tragically, 66% of alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse are related 
to their young victims. The majority of these offenders are fathers or 
stepfathers. The majority of these victims are younger than nine years 


The legal system struggles with these cases combining Issues of child 
molestation and parental visitation. Unfortunately the courts' propensity 
toward denial and disbelief often sentences children to continued 
suffering. Distracted by the dynamics of abuse between the parents, the 
legal system sometimes falls and forgets the best Interests of the 

Judges Juggle the rights of children to protection with the rights of 
parents to access. Supervised visitation at children's safety centers 
offers courts a compromise which does not compromise children's safety. 
Currently many children are being placed at risk because places such as 
these do not exist. Many of our members are told they were "luclcy" to 
receive any form or amount of supervised visitation for their children. 
It Is not uncommon for courts to order limited supervision by the 
relatives of the alleged perpetrators. While such court orders are most 
puzzling, it is even more baffling when courts order unsupervised 
visitation for children in cases of substantiated or suspected sexual 
abuse. These children are truly "unluclcy." 

Thanks to Minnesotans such as Paul and Sheila Wellstone and Kim CardelH, 
some children In our state are among the "lucky" ones. A few children's 
safety centers offer children a supportive and protective environment when 
visitation continues between children and their alleged perpetrators. It 
Is critical in civil proceedings on behalf of children in cases of Incest 
that visitation be supervised by neutral professionals trained In the 
dynamics of domestic abuse and child abuse. These centers Insure no 
further opportunities for abusers to hurt children or suppress children's 

Children's safety centers offer the necessary balance of Intervention and 
visitation for families which courts demand. They also provide children a 
step toward healing and wholeness. Vigilance admires you, Senator 
Wellstone, for thoroughly comprehending the correlation between the 
domestic abuse of women and the sexual abuse of children. Your bill 
focuses upon the welfare of children and remembers the economic and 
therapeutic elements necessary for children's success at the centers. 

Vigilance also applauds your recommendations for clinical studies 
regarding the effectiveness of supervised visitation. It Is fundamental 
to children's Interests to understand when supervised visitation might 
jeopardize particular children. The data from these studies would greatly 
benefit all assigned with protecting our nation's children — Judges, 
guardians ad litem, child protection workers, attorneys, social workers, 
and therapists. 

Child sexual abuse is a family and a social problem. The effects of 
Incest extend beyond the home and Into the street as teen suicide, teenage 
pregnancy, juvenile crime, chemical abuse, prostitution, and crimes 
against children. Without Intervention the cycle can continue as children 
become perpetrators themselves. 

Incest and divorce may threaten our concepts of families and family 
values. Refusing to recognize these realities jeopardizes the health of 
families and communities. Minnesota has begun to remember children with 
the children's safety centers. The need Is staggering and many children 
wait on lists. 

Vigilance entreats the Congress of the United States to not betray 
children. Senator Wellstone, we shall hope they do right by families and 
constituents in their states and vote on behalf of the "Child Safety Act." 
The safety of all our children should be a right, not a matter of luck. 





SO WMt Kellogg Boulevard 
Si. PiuI. MN SS102 
Phone: (610 266-Z37« 
FuNe: (ti:) 266-2292 

To Whon tt May Concern: 

Children's Safety Center opened its doors for service in 
January, 1993. During the first two months of their service 
Ramsey County Domestic Relations met with then each nonth to 
develop a referral systea to utilize their supervised visitation 
and exchange services. Since this tine Ramsey County Domestic 
Relations' Workers have bean able to sand many referrals over to 
the Children's Safety Center. This has given many parents who 
were required to have supervised visitation an opportunity to aaa 
their children In a poeltlva envlronaant. It hea also given 
Domestic Relations' Workers an alternative when no one else waa 
able to supervise or the case required close supervision. Tha 
Children's Safety Center also fills out observation forms after 
each visit which help the workers keep track of prograsa etc. and 
how the visits are going. There is a good coauBunlcation/worlelng 
relationship between the Children' a Safety Canter and Raaaay 
County Domestic Relations. 

Currently many referrals are on the waiting list at tha 
Children's Safety Center because they can only do supervised 
visitation on Saturdays. Hopefully, in the future they'll ba 
able to acquire their own building and hire mora support staff so 
they can be open several days a week. We have many clients who 
could use their services but, because of the waiting liat, ara • 
unabla to at this time. 

The Children's Safety Center has provided the Ramsay County 
Court system and those in need with a great resource tor 
supervised visitation and exchange of children. They have 
developed a program that helps reduce children's vulnerability to 
violence and trauma related to visitation by offering a safe 
place for children to visit their parents and/or exchange thair 
children for unsupervised vlslta'tlon on tha waakanda. 


Robert E. Haines 
REH:ksg Raasay County Ooaaatic Relations 


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vlaltitLon ecntar ••* up In eoiMunUl** to 4«*i vlth tho loiwo of ae#o«tle 

• loKiieo. t !!••• •of»t»ln« prot«etl»o ••r»let» to cMtdi'o ond faallloa bot» 
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• Itlttttoo ofitocf to ...uto th» ..l.tT of both cnlldrao ood .dull 'lotUo •» 
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laetlltatlng eotirt ordaiad •lalcatloo »ltli ehlldraa tod In tnttlatlaf 
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thor till • sap In tho aorrleo datl^arr to 'tctlM •« do«dotl« afcoao. 


e«ral4 a. ti«b«r ' 


Ofi«eln« ChlK VTVtMtlM 


Ronald C. Pietig, L.P. 

15025 Glazier Avenue • Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124 • (612) 431-1515 


Kim Cardelll 

Children's Safety Center 

Dear Kim Cardelll: 

Please be Informed that you have my full support In establishing 
Safety Centers or visitation centers for children. As a therapist who 
works vfith abusive men and with abused women, there Is not a week that 
goes by that I see a need for this. The issue that I see come up the 
most frequently is the need of the abusive male who is separated from 
his wife or girl-friend to see his children. Such a center would allow 
him to do this without giving him an opportunity to abuse his partner. 
I also see a need for some of the men who can only visit their children 
under visitation to do this in a more natural setting than the local 
child protection office can provide. 


obIsc — / 

Ronald C. Pietig 
Licensed Psychologi 

Central Minnesota Task Force on Battered Women 

Box 195 

Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56302 

V/oman House SI. Cloud InKrvtnOen Pro|«el Mlllt lacs Rcscrvitlon Pto|eel Mllle Lacs IntervinlloiV 

■"in; l:1W>||r■mv>l^s<Jll■>tf turn. AdvocyProltct 

SI. Ooud ini SUM hCtoiif UN Sl»l Oilmli. W SliSI r.O.Snl} 

lutlniii fhenc :u.t;(M r)Mi«; 1117:01 r»>an<: UlllU UlacUNlUS) 

Cri<lll>tiw<a' tJMIOl ThsM: MMWr 

December 14, 1990 

Osve Sawyer 

231 Glenmore Avenue 

long lake, MN 55356 

RE: Visitation Centers 

I am the Administrative Assistant at Woman House, a shelter for battered women 
and their children. We see women being continually abused by the fathers of 
their children through visitation arrangements set by the courts. Fathers 
frequently harass, threaten, or physically abuse women when they pick up and 
drop off children for visitation. Frequently they disregard court order for 
protections and show up early or late and fall to return the children at the 
appointed time. Women often ask the courts to set up supervised visitation 
arrangerj'ents. This Is seldom granted as there Is not an agency able to do 
this In our area other than social services. They are reluctant to do super- 
vision as the staff expense and time demand Is too great. In addition, their 
work hours do not fit the times usually designated for visitation; evenings 
and weekends. 


Father? who have b»en abusive to women are frequently abusive to the children. 
I fee! the chances of abuse toward the children Increase when the father is 
restricted from the home and/or having contact with the mother. The abusers 
last means of having control over the victim Is now through the children. The 
children are now put In the middle and often feel to blame for the abuse towards 
their mother. We hear stories all the time from victims of domestic abuse where 
the children have been told to "hit mom", "call her names", "tell her you don't 
want to live with her anymore", etc. 

! see a great reed for an agency such as a visitation center. A center would 
Increase the safety for battered women as well as their children. 


/acQue French ^'^^ 
Administrative Assistant 
Woman House 

Jjtnuary 9, 1??1 

To W-ion It May Concern • 

I an vTltln; this letter In s-yr^tt 

dllcr°n's Sztety Ccmltte". In our 

Ccuthnlcc fsrlly Niirtiirlnj Center v 

«t rl?'< tcr «^UE? 7.T\<. ne^lfct, *e h 

ccses vhcre a Children's Fafety C»»n 

not only '■;€ h»lptul Njt vlt?l! K-2ny tlires vlslta 

tlon Is c^rrlsc set -at the covemrent cer.tsc vlth 

littl" or £pora'-"lc supsrvUlOT or st p«?oFlc'B hoires _ 

vhrr? -cocn are pvt In crsst i^rv^ex hy en^ry or reve 

ful ;?.rtn»rs. 

7*:9 •ff'-ct en \.\v ent'rs f?rilv Is c-.ic'ant 'S the vlclcrj 

affects not only the vonsn ^"t the cbllctsn as voll. The 

chllrcin crt<?n iccc^r:^ hj-p!:rvlrilirt, waiting for tension to 

e>Tlo<^* '-^ "nv minute or o'/nrly teErcnnltle for any difficulties that 

ccc-Jr. Thjre effect: of cc-jrte arc corTO'inrred by t>ie loss c'llurren 

ate already feellnc; Crora the "ireak-'ip or pliccnent In foster care. 

V.'s feel tVe establljhtrent of e chlliren'f rafety centrr could rsse rany of these 
c'ifflcvltlcs for families ty jrcvldlnj: o safe, 5UV<:rvlE°-i placfi to visit er (Trop- 
otf ! >.t tiras this csnter r?.y even prevent the traje.iy of Injury or death. 

V.'e hope yoJ 'ill consider this proposal fa\.-crably. 
for fanllles col"? throDgh divorce or »<»parEtlon. 

It is an essential service 


Sanc'y H'-ldeinann, MS 
Fro:r?n y-^najer 


Z^IO 18th Avenue South 

Minneapolis, Minnesota 554M 


Senator Dodd. Thank you. 
Senator Wofford. 

Opening Statement of Senator Wofford 

Senator Wofford. Mr. Chairman, I salute the power of your 
presentation and your pursuit of action which we need to take. I 
salute Senator HatBeld and his Domestic Violence Community Ini- 
tiative Act, and Senator Wellstone, with the Child Safety Act. I am 
also deeply interested in the Violence Against Women Act that I 
am a cosponsor of. 

Action is what we have to take. This is a season where health 
care is a major issue on our agenda, and violence is a major issue 
of public health in this country. Each day, millions of children are 
witnessing violence in their homes, and children who see violence 
as a way to resolve conflict, relieve frustration, £md gain attention, 
are likely to commit violent acts in the future. Research and com- 
mon sense tell us that. The most promising strategy is the kind of 
strategy proposed in these several bills to encourage comprehensive 
community efforts that bring together families, children, commu- 
nity organizations, and law enforcement. 

Since I have an obligation on the floor in a few minutes, if I 
could just say a few words of welcome to one of the many outstand- 
ing witnesses who are here today. Martha Friday is the executive 
director of the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, 
the only such center in the city of Pittsburgh. She has dedicated 
her career to the advocacy of women and families. She is a proven 
leader of the key organizations in this fight. She is right on the 
front lines. She brings firsthand evidence. I have read her testi- 
mony, and if I miss some of it, I will have a chance on Friday with 
Attorney General Reno at a town meeting to hear more from Mar- 
tha Friday. I commend her to you and what she has done and the 
light she can bring. And I promise the other witnesses that I will 
read Avith care their testimony if I miss them. 

Thank you. 

Senator Dodd. Thank you very much. Senator. And we appre- 
ciate your being here and understand entirely the reason for your 

We will now receive a statement of Senator Thurmond. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Thurmond follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Thurmond 

Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to be here this morning to receive 
testimony on S. 870, the Child Safety Act. I would like to join my 
colleagues on this subcommittee in extending a warm welcome to 
our witnesses here today. 

As you know, S. 870 would authorize $1.2 billion over 3 years for 
supervised visitation centers to provide a safe location for parental 
visitation of children who have experienced physical or mental 
abuse in the family. 

A strong concern in my home State of South Carolina is the con- 
siderable costs associated with such centers. In this time of scarce 
Federal resources, we must question how we pay for any new pro- 


grams. Another concern is that we should not start this program 
and then leave it unfunded. 

I also have some concerns with section 5(b)(2). This section will 
not allow States to apply for these funds without laws requiring 
"the courts to consider evidence of violence in custody decisions." I 
am concerned that this legislation begins to dictate what standards 
should be considered in State family court cases. This is a decision 
that should be left to the States. 

I would again like to welcome our witnesses here today, and I 
look forward to their testimony. 

Senator DoDD. We are pleased to welcome our colleague, a very 
distinguished member of this body and a good friend. Senator Hat- 
field of Oregon has long been a champion of the fight against do- 
mestic violence. He is here today to talk about his own piece of leg- 
islation, the Domestic Violence Community Initiative Act, which 
you introduced, I believe, last week, to coordinate strategies to at- 
tack domestic violence at the community level. 

Mark, it is always a pleasure to be with you, and an honor to 
have you before this committee. Thank you for coming this morn- 


Senator Hatfield. Thank you. 

I am not only pleased, but very comfortable before you in this 
committee today, knowing that our common concerns have been ex- 
pressed on many different occasions. And I want to commend the 
committee, particularly the chairman, for outlining the problem 
that brings us together. , ■■ ,. /. . 

I know that you have selected a very distinguished list of wit- 
nesses, and I measure tliat by my knowledge of the dedication and 
spirit of Sheila Wellstone who will appear this morning as well. 

Mr. (Chairman and members of the committee, I know of no more 
pervasive and more devastating root cause of crime and violence in 
our society today than violence in the home. 

Last week, I did introduce S. 1572, the Domestic Violence Com- 
munity Initiative Act, which I will describe in a moment. 

Your focus today on the effects of domestic violence is focused 
upon children, and I must say to you that in all my years in public 
life and my concern and involvement with social problems, that 
rarely have I been as touched as I have been recently visiting do- 
mestic violence shelters in my State and seeing the faces of the 
young children who are temporarily housed there. Whether they 
are directly harmed by physical violence, or whether they are but 
the victims of emotional cruises, if other members of the family en- 
gage in violence, the one constant in these situations is that inno- 
cent children are suffering and will continue to suffer. 

In my work on this issue, I uncovered some facts showing the 
frightening extent of family violence in my home State of Oregon. 
We like to pride ourselves in our State, because by almost any 
measurement, we have been one of the most progressive States in 
the entire Nation — progressive in political thinking with initiative, 
referendum and recall; direct election of United States Senators; 
unemployment compensation; industrial accident compensation; 


child labor laws; civil rights legislation; migratory labor legislation. 
We have been one of the leaders in environmental legislation, 
breaking through a whole new arena in an area of public concern. 

So we take great pride in that record. But I sit here today, Mr. 
Chairman and members of this committee, ashamed of my State of 
Oregon on the basis of some of the statistics that I will share with 
you at this time. 

In Oregon, domestic crisis centers take over 51,000 crisis calls 
per year. In Multnomah County alone — and this is a population of 
approximately one million — shelters and hotlines logged over 
13,000 domestic violence crisis calls, and area shelters turn away 
nine of ten requests for help because they are filled to capacity. 

In Portland this year, almost twice as many people have been 
murdered fi*om domestic violence as those killed in gang-related 
murders. But the most horrifying fact I have discovered was that 
over 40 percent of child fatalities in Oregon occur in homes where 
there is adult domestic violence. 

This violence can affect children in another sickening way. You 
may be familiar with the comprehensive study recently released by 
the National Institute of Justice which stated that being abused or 
neglected as a child increases the likelihood of arrest when those 
children become juveniles by 53 percent and increases the chance 
of arrest of those children for violent crimes by 38 percent. 

Truly, violence begets violence. And what occurs in the home is 
repeated by kids on the street and repeated again in the home 
after they have become adults, and this violent cycle repeats itself 
over and over again. 

The Domestic Violence Community Initiative Act of 1993, which 
I introduced last week, attempts to disrupt this cycle by meeting 
a need currently unmet by any existing program. The purpose of 
this bill is to facilitate a coordinated, community-based response to 
domestic violence. It should establish a Federal demonstration pro- 
gram authorizing grants to organizations in communities through- 
out the country to coordinate strategies among all sectors, includ- 
ing the education community, the health care providers, the justice 
system, the religious community, business and civil leaders, the 
State children's services division, and domestic violence program 

Let me just share with you one experience. I wanted to put a 
total comprehensive focus on this issue on one of my recent trips 
home. So we lined out the schedule, where I began in the morning 
by visiting these centers which provide refuge for those who are 
fleeing abuse in the home, primarily women and children. And I 
sat for that morning, speaking and talking to these women and 
these children in a very informal manner — no media, no photo op. 
It was strictly a one-on-one type of experience, where they had a 
sense, having been prepared for the visit, of having ease and rap- 
port to share their innermost thoughts and hurts. 

From there, I v/ent to a particular school that has a class that 
is geared to helping abused children, and I spent an hour in that 
classroom, talking to those children and watching and listening to 
the teachers and now they communicate to try to nelp heal this ex- 
perience amongst the children. 


Then the Oregon Medical Society set up a program in which they 
called together doctors, emergency room personnel, nurses £ind oth- 
ers in the health care field, and they told me about how they recog- 
nize abuse in Uie normal pattern of their living, of trying to either 
help to heal the wounds or observe the wounds for other reasons 
that they come to those centers of health care. 

Then I went to my office, where the juvenile officers, the district 
attorney, and the juvenile judges met, to tell me about their role 
in the legal aspects, along with representatives of the poHce depart- 
ment. , , , , 

But Mr. Chairman, the thing that bothered me a good deal was 
that each was representing a specialty that was a small part of the 
puzzle. But only the informal volunteer advocate group represented 
any kind of umbrella or coordination. 

For instance, I am not sure that in the medical schools there is 
very much focus on teaching doctors and nurses how to recognize 
abuse and evidences of abuse. That should be strengthened. And I 
am not certain that at this point in time in my city of Portland if 
they did recognize it, that they would know what to do about it; 
to whom do they make such report or information available? 

So each group is performing a vital part of service, but no coordi- 
nation, then, with the advocate groups, the church groups, the civic 
groups, the public bodies of city, county and State, all of them mov- 
ing in their own channels. 

What this would provide would be for those demonstration 
projects, setting up a council or a coordinating group of some kind 
to tie all of these efforts together with a strategy for prevention as 
well as to handle the problem. 

I found that this was not only true in Oregon, but in talking to 
some of my colleagues, I found that they have had that similar ex- 
perience in their States. 

Mr. Chairman, I am going to ask that my fiill statement be put 
in the record, but I want to close merely by saying that we author- 
ize a small amount of money, $20 million, to begin these projects, 
and I can assure you as a member of the Appropriations Commit- 
tee that I would personally take special interest in making certain 
that we find the money for it. 

And at the same time, I know you have other proposals here, and 
I see no conflict or competition. It can be wrapped in wherever it 
might fit your schedule and your strategy. I just want to pledge my 
service to you and my assistance and my interest in achieving the 
big picture as well as this very small part of it that I have put to- 
gether in this particular bill. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Hatfield follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Hatfield 

Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to appear 
before you today to discuss one of the most pervasive and devastating of the root 
causes of crime and violence in our society: violence in the home. Last week, I in- 
troduced S. 1572, the Domestic Violence Community Initiative Act, which I will de- 
scribe momentarily. 

Your focus today is on the effects of domestic violence upon children. In all my 
years in the Senate, rarely have I been as touched as I have by visiting domestic 
violence shelters in my State and seeing the faces of the young children living there. 


Whether they are directly harmed by physical violence among other family mem- 
bers, the one constant in these situations is that innocent children will suffer. 

In my work on this issue I have uncovered some facts showing the frightening 
extent of family violence in my State. In Oregon, domestic crisis centers take over 
51,000 crisis calls per year. In Multnomah County alone, shelters and hotlines 
logged over 13,000 domestic violence crisis calls, and area shelters must turn away 
9 of 10 requests for help because they are filled to capacity. In Portland this year, 
almost twice as many people have been murdered from domestic violence as those 
killed in gang related munlers. But, the most horrifying fact I discovered was that 
over 40 percent of child fatalities in Oregon occur m homes where there is adult 
domestic violence. 

This violence can affect diildren in another sickening way. You may be familiar 
with the comprehensive study released last year by the National Institute of Justice 
which stated that being abused or neglected as a child increased the likelihood of 
arrest as a juvenile by 53 percent, and increased the dianoe of arrest for violent 
crime by 38 percent. Truly, violence does beget violence. What occurs in the home 
is repeated by kids on the street, and repeated again in the home after they have 
become adults. This vicious cycle repeats itself over and over again. 

The Domestic Violence Community Initiative Act of 1993 which I introduced last 
week attempts to disrupt this cycle by meeting a need currently unmet by any exist- 
ing program. The purpose of this bill is to facilitate a coordinated community-based 
response to domestic violence. It would establish a Federal demonstration program 
authorizing grants to organizations in communities throughout the country to co- 
ordinate strategies amongst all sectors including the education community, health 
care providers, the justice system, the religious community, business and civic lead- 
ers. State children services divisions, and domestic violence program advocates. 

In meetings with community representatives in my State I found that there was 
a lack of interaction, communication, and coordination among the various sectors at- 
tempting to break this cycle of tragedy and violence. Each specialty area is working 
on a piece of the puzzle, but there is not a comprehensive approach to this problem 
which cuts across all specialties. 

For example, those m the medical and education communities tell me that there 
is now some training to recognize abuse, but that there is often not coordination 
with other professionals on when, how, or to whom signs of abuse should be re- 
ported. Efforts at coordination among groups are being made in many communities, 
but there is a noted lack of resources for such oreanization. 

This proposal would tie these groups together to share information, enhance 
awareness of the problems surrounding this issue, and coordinate action plans for 
intervention and prevention of domestic violence. Specifically, it would authorize 
$20 million to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants 
to assist these efforts. This program would enhance the effectiveness of the current 
statewide programs which focus on providing shelter and counseling. And, as with 
other programs under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, this dem- 
onstration project would be periodically evaluated for effectiveness by the Secretary 
of HHS. 

The goal of this bill is to form a conunitment by communities and the families 
who live in them to take positive action to stop this cycle of abuse. This is a problem 
national in scope, but embedded in the most private of settings, the home, without 
widespread inmvidual involvement, any attempt by government to tackle the issue 
will fail. This proposal is designed to promote individual involvement at the local 
level. It is an idea that I hope to see tested in a variety of forms in many different 
States. I urge you to include S. 1572 in any action you may take in this area, and 
look forward to working with you and the other members of the committee on this 
very important issue. 

I ask that the attached list of local community support letters for the Domestic 
Violence Community Initiative Act of 1993 be placed into the record following my 


The Domestic Violence Community Initiative Act of 1993 

business and civic leaders 

Portland Department of Public Utilities, Gretchen Kafoury, Commissioner, 

U.S. Bancorp, Judith R. Rice, executive vice president, 

UJS. West Communications, Marsha B. Congdon, Oregon vice president and ceo. 



Conununity Advocates, Portland OR, Belle Bennett, executive director, 
Bradley-Angle House, Portland, OR, Chiquita Rollins, executive director, 
Raphael House of Portland, Mitchell Jacover, executive director. 


Portland Public Schools, John Lashley, director, administrative support, Carolyn 
Sheldon, assistant director, student services department. 


Oregon Medical Association, James A. Cross, M.D., Oregon Medical Association 


Circuit Court of Oregon, Fourth Judicial District, Stephen B. Howell, judge, 
District Attorney for Multnomah County, Michael D. Schrunk, 
Multnomah County Legal Aid Service, Terry Ann Rogers, executive director, 
Portland Bureau of Pofice, Robert Brooks, Captain Family Services Division. 


Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Rev. Rodney I. Page, executive director, 
Jewish Federation of Portland, Penny Roberts, diair, Social Justice and Equal Op- 
portunity Task Force. 


Oregon Department of Human Resources, Children's Services, Bonnie Jean 
Braeutigam, resource development unit, 

Oregon Department of Human Resources, children's services, Kay Dean Toran, re- 
gional admimstrator, 

Multnomah County Housing and Community Services Division, Norm Monroe, di- 

Senator DODD. Thank you very much. I would have expected 
nothing less from Mark Hatfield, by the way, in view of the reputa- 
tion you have had for so many years as a member of this body and 
the way you have conducted yourself over the years. And the fact 
that you are so involved and know so much aoout this issue and 
have cared about it for as long as you have, I think, strengthens 
our cause significantly. We appreciate immensely your presence 
here today, your involvement, your commitment, and your deter- 

I know I speak for my colleagues on this committee when I say 
we are going to take you up on that offer. It took me a few years — 
Paul picked up on it much more quickly than I did — to figure out 
that it is always good to know some people on that Appropriations 

Senator Hatfield. Thank you. I could respond in like manner, 
Mr. Chairman, and to your yoimg friend here who has recently 
joined us, I sense as well that kind of spirit of dealing with people 
problems and keeping the human factor involved in our daily work 
so that we do not lose the face of people. 

Senator Dodd. Absolutely. Thank you very much. 

Senator Wellstone. Thank you. 

Senator Hatfield. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Dodd. I will now introduce our first panel this morning, 
and I will ask our friends in the media, particularly the television 
and photographic end of it, if they would be kind enough not to 
show the face of our first witness, at her request. 


Our first witness is Ms. Lillian Jones. Ms. Jones has made a very 
long journey from victim to survivor, and she will talk about her 
own experiences as an abused child and battered wife, as well as 
the reactions of her children. 

She currently is the children's advocate at My Sister's Place, a 
battered women's shelter here in Washington, and she will also dis- 
cuss what she sees in the children there. She is accompanied by 
Grace Orsini, a caseworker fi-om My Sister's Place. Grace is not 
going to give prepared testimony this morning, but will be here to 
answer questions, and we are deeply grateful to her for that. 

Martha Fridav has already had an introduction from her Senator 
this morning, Senator Wofford, but let me repeat that Martha is 
the director of the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pitts- 
burgh. Ms. Friday has developed several pro-ams through her 
shelter Uiat look at the needs of the children living in the shelter 
and ways to serve mothers and their children togiither. 

Judith Hyde, our third witness, is the founder and co-executive 
director of the Children's Law Center in Willimantic, CT, my birth- 
place and my original home town. Ms. Hyde has also served since 
1979 as director of the Child Protection Council of Northeastern 
Connecticut. She will discuss from her experience how domestic vi- 
olence affects children who are exposed to it. She will also discuss 
the need for advocacy for children and how she came to found the 
Children's Law Center. We are deeply honored and proud of you in 
Connecticut for your efforts, Judith, and we thank you for coming 
down this morning. 

We will begin with you, Ms. Jones. I will turn on these lights — 
I do not want you to be intimidated by them, because it does not 
mean you should stop when you see the red li^t go on, but you 
might Degin to think about wrapping up your comments. It is sort 
of a guiding principle for all of us here so we can move along. We 
have a second panel that we want to also get to this morning. So 
do not be intimidated by these lights, but just keep an eye on them. 

And all of your testimony, all of the supporting documentation 
for this panel and the second panel, will be included in the record. 
So if you want to paraphrase your prepared statement, feel free to 
do that as well. 

Ms. Jones, thank you for coming this morning. 


Ms. Jones. Thank you. Good morning. It is an honor to be here. 

I am Lillian Jones, and I am here to represent the battered 
women and children at My Sister's Place. 

As a child, my life was very horrible, as I was stolen from my 
mother at the ace of 6 months. My father took me home to his 
mother and brother, who abused me mentally, verbally, physically 
and emotionally, as well as sexually. There were times when I was 
snatched out of the bed at night, screaming and hollering, trying 
to get away from him. I was only 4 years old at this time. I do not 


really remember what happened earlier than that, but I know at 
the age of 4, I would wait at night for this monster to come and 
snatch me out of the bed. AJso, there were times that he would 
take me up into the attic and hold me in the dark. He stayed 
drunk most of the time. Their house, the house where I was raised, 
had blue and red lights. 

As I got older, there were times when I went to school with swol- 
len lips and black eyes. No one ever questioned or responded to my 

I got married at a very early age. I met my husband in the early 
fifties. After sharing my horrible experience with him about things 
that had happened to me as a child, he vowed to always love me 
and protect me, and promised that things like that would never 
happen to me. 

In 1981, my husband started using drugs. Therefore, his attitude 
toward me and my children changed. My baby boy was 13 years 
old at the time; the other kids were in their teens. I constantly 
tried to talk to my husband about trying to ^o to counseling and 
reach out to try to get help, but he refused to oo it. 

So in 1986, after calling My Sister's Place, I talked to the com- 
missioner, and told him that in the name of Jesus, I was frightened 
for my life, and my kids had threatened to kill their father because 
of the abuse. Some of the abuse was done behind closed doors, and 
you can imagine how children would feel hearing their mother 
screaming ana hollering. 

I really did not have anyone to go to. My husband knew about 
my complete life, and he knew I did not have anyone to go to. Fi- 
nancially — I was just a nervous wreck. And there was a time that 
I thought about lulling myself, because I was frightened, and I just 
could not go through any more of this mental, verbal, and physical 

So I reached out to My Sister's Place, and I reached out to the 
domestic violence courts in Upper Marlboro. Since my children had 
witnessed a lot of this abuse, some of them have become very hos- 
tile. They have had emotional problems. They did not want to dis- 
cuss any of the stuff that was going on. They had talked about kill- 
ing their father. I wondered what kind of mother would I have 
been to stay there and allow something of that nature to happen, 
because I knew that if one of them killed him, somebody was going 
to jail. 

So in 1986, I fled, and I went to the shelter, where I found safe- 
ty, comfort, and someone there to talk with me and to encourage 
me and help me to lift my self-esteem and send me back to inde- 
pendent living. 

I decided to go back to My Sister's Place because I wanted to 
share with some of those women and let them know that through 
the grace of God and the legal system that things would work for 
them. So I went back in 1988 to volunteer. I volunteered for a year, 
and then in 1989 a position came through for weekend counselor. 
I went to PG College to get a certificate in day care 1 and 2, and 
in 1990 a position was offered to me for child advocate. 

In the eyes of the children that I have serviced there at My Sis- 
ter's Place, I saw fear; some would hate, some would withdraw, 
some had outbursts. There was bedwetting and nightmares. And I 


could relate to that, because I could remember the traumas that I 
had gone through as a child. There were really some horrifying ex- 
periences, and I wanted to give joy to some of these women. I could 
remember when I had to leave mv home, the first transfer that I 
got from a bus driver, who could look into my face and see that I 
was a destitute woman and that I was fi*ightened. 

Through the domestic violence courts, my husband was removed 
fi*om tiie home because I filed an ex parte order and I filed a civil 
protective order. Three iudges looked over the matters, as well as 
the State's attorney, and they removed my husband fi^om the home. 
In 1989, I sold my home, and I moved back to the District of Co- 
lumbia. My husband was put in a rehabilitation program with 
counseling, and my children and I received counseling also. 

My younger son does need to continue counseling. One of my 
older kids did wind up getting incarcerated because of his temper. 
They said he was a threat and a danger to himself because of all 
the abuse that he had witnessed. 

So presently, I am on the staff at My Sister's Place, reaching out 
to help other destitute women and children like myself 

Grod bless you, and thank you very much. 

Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Ms. Jones. We admire im- 
mensely your willingness to be here this morning. I have s£ud this 
in other cases, and I have meant it in other cases, but it is particu- 
larly apt in this instance: It takes a unique kind of courage. It is 
always courageous to come before any congressional committee, in 
my view; it is intimidating, with the lights and cameras and big 
tables and so forth. But particularly in mis situation, it takes spe- 
cial courage, and you represent an awful lot of people. We cannot 
hear from everybody, so that when you speak, you speak for lit- 
erally millions of people, and you have done so eloquently, and we 
thank you. 

Ms. Jones. God bless you. Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Jones follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Lillian Jones 

My name is Lillian Jones and I am here to speak on behalf of battered women 
and their diildren everywhere. I am a former battered child, battered wife and I 
witnessed the effects of domestic violence as I saw my own children's suffering. I 
now work at "My Sister's Place", a shelter for battered women and their children 
to help women just like me build self esteem, care for their children and lives better 

My Childhood Experience 

My father stole me from my mother at a very young age — 6 months. Life with 
my father, his mother and brother was veiy painful. I experienced a lot of emo- 
tional, mental, physical and sexual abuse. As I grew older (about 4 years old), I 
would wait every night for the monster — my father — to come to me. He'd come home 
drunk and snatdi me out of my bed and beat me in my face, head, as well as other 
parts of my body. The next morning I would go to school with swollen lips and blade 
eyes and with fears since I was a child who was being abused and yet no one ever 
responded to my screams. 

My Mariuage Experience 

I met my husband in the early fifties. After sharing my horrible childhood experi- 
ence with him, he vowed to always love and protect me. I believed him yet the vio- 
lence with him started building in 1981 and continued to grow more intense as he 
began using f?rugs. Drurjs changed him. Afler I encountered yet another beating 
from my husband in 198<5, I chose to flee my home of 26 years and leave my son 


who at the age of 13 was too old to be admitted into the ahelter with me. That is 
when I came to "My Sister's Place" for help. I was a fri^tened, destitute woman 
who needed support, a friend, a safe place, someone who cared and who would listen 
to me. At "My Sister's Place" I received love, counseling and encouragement. Pro- 
grams were set up to help build my self-esteem which enabled me to return to inde- 
pendent living. Because of "My Sister's Place", I am the strong-willed woman I am 

How The Violence Affected My Children 

Since my children had witnessed a lot of abuse, some behind closed doors, they 
internalized their feeling. My younsest and oldest both experienced a lot of anger, 
sudden outbursts and withdrawal. Tney refused to even discuss what had happened 
because of the violence was so intense. I feared that one of them would get hurt 
or killed, so I gave up everything — my home, all of my possessions — to protect my 
children. They nad endured enough suffering. To this day, I continue to wony about 
my children's anger and their potential for battering women in their lives. 

In 1988, I decided to go badi to "My Sister's Place' to help the women and chil- 
dren and to bring love into their lives. I returned to volunteer my services in 1989. 
I became a weekend counselor while I attended Prince Geoive's Community Colle^. 
I received my daycare certificate in 1990. "My Sister's Place offered me the position 
of child advocate. Presently, I am responsible for the safety, education, recreation 
and social functions of each voung chila who fled with their mother from a batterer. 
These babies and young chil<h«nnave special needs; and I am here to try to fulfill 
eadi of their needs to uie best of my abilities. When I see fear, anger and hostility 
in the kids at "My Sistei's Place", I immediately reach out to love and console and 
give special care to these beautiful babies. Often, some of the children have night- 
mares, sudden outbursts and withdrawal as well as bed-wetting. 

I hope that sharing my experience with you will give you a oetter understanding 
of the need to continue to support shelters and supportive services for battered 
women and their children. I would also suggest that the fathers receive rehabilita- 
tion and counseling. 

Senator Dodd. Ms. Friday, thank you for being here. 

Ms. Friday. We now know it is an undeniable fact that there is 
a direct connection between domestic violence and child abuse. 
Children are affected because batterers of partners also abuse the 
children in at least 70 percent of homes. Children are also affected 
as child witnesses to the violence. A minimum of 7.5 million chil- 
dren are learning violence as a way to resolve conflict or to satisfy 
control and dommation needs, while at the same time developing 
serious psychological problems. 

All of the research, although there is not a lot, states that many 
or most of the children in violent homes, either directly abused or 
as witnesses, will suffer low self-esteem, sadness, depression, stress 
disorders, poor impulse control, and feelings of powerlessness, and 
they are at high risk for alcohol and drug abuse, sexual acting out, 
running away, school failure, isolation, suicide and perpetrating vi- 

According to the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, 
children who grow up in violent homes have a 74 percent higher 
likelihood of committing assaults. 

We see the impact of domestic violence on children every day at 
Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh in our shelter, 
coimseling programs and other programs. Founded in 1974, we are 
one of the first six domestic violence programs in the United 
States. At this point, we are old enough, strong enough, and rea- 
sonably well-fiinded enough to go beyond our first mission, which 
is to develop a shelter program to assist women victims of domestic 

We knew that when you assist women to live violence-firee lives, 
you also assist their children to live violence-fi*ee lives. However, 


we felt compelled to also develop programs for the high-risk chil- 
dren we see every day and to develop prevention programs to reach 
even more children in schools. 

We have been able to develop programs for children free of the 
constraints of a family reunification goal, which is the goal of most 
child protective services. 

I do not want to be misunderstood at this point. We believe in 
families and deplore the breakdown of families. We also believe it 
goes without saying that men need violence-free homes. Everyone 
needs to be safe in his or her own home. 

Implicit in what I am saying is the unavoidable fact that until 
batterers stop battering, children will be living in violent homes 
and will themselves be abused in at least 70 percent of the homes. 

Although no one wants to see a further deterioration of families 
or foster care placements, protecting children from abuse and vio- 
lent homes will result in more divorces and separations until the 
battering stops. It is in all of our interest to develop public policy 
legislation and give national attention to address domestic violence 
as a public health problem, not an individual family problem. 

Since there is an inevitable connection between domestic violence 
programs and child protective services, we knew we had to initiate 
a closer relationship. I will point out that until recently, like other 
domestic violence programs, our program has done all the initiat- 
ing, not only with child protective services, but also with the crimi- 
nal justice system, the medical world, the mental health profes- 
sions, and all the other systems and institutions flooded with do- 
mestic violence cases. 

Although this has seemed nearly incomprehensible to domestic 
violence programs, due to the epidemiological nature of this public 
health problem, there is cause for optimism because so much 
progress has been made in the past 20 years. 

Now in Pittsburgh, we train all child protective service workers 
about domestic violence, which assists them in their case manage- 
ment. This is a beginning of necessary collaboration. In a more tar- 
geted program, child protective services has developed a family 
intervention unit in Children's Hospital for abused children. We 
used our knowledge of the AWAKE project in Boston to add advo- 
cates in the hospital for mothers of the abused children who are 
identified as battered women. Again, if we can assist the mothers 
to lead violence-free lives, the children have a much better chance 
to live violence-free lives in the home. 

It is not easy to bring together a medical model and a domestic 
violence model to collaborate, but it is important to work at it. A 
simple description of the differences is the medical model works on 
diagnosis, treatment, and case closed; and the domestic violence 
model works on developing options, supporting choices, and looking 
at a longer-term outcome, or the "empowerment model." 

Safety planning is also part of the domestic violence model be- 
cause we know the greatest danger period for the woman is when 
she leaves the batterer. 

We have begun another new and exciting project, the Pro Bono 
Mental Health Project, which could be replicated nationwide. Vol- 
unteer licensed social workers and psychologists are providing 


counseling to the children of battered women from our program. 
This service will expand to other shelters this year. 

This is innovative because the therapists come to the children at 
the shelter, or another meeting place, and continue with the chil- 
dren wherever tihey live. The mothers follow up and keep the ap- 
pointments. The therapists can be more involved in assisting the 
other needs of ihe family than they can in a more traditional set- 

At an average of $80 an hour, the volunteer time donated in the 
first year is valued at over $80,000. The value of the donated time 
is projected to grow tremendously as we grow from 15 volunteers 
to 60 or more. 

And most importantly, this was a gap in services not met by the 
mental health system in Allegheny County. Astoundingly, there is 
nothing available for most children who are identified as high-risk 
and evidencing psychological and behavior problems. 

Currently, me Pittsburgh Foundation and the Staunton Farms 
Foundation fiind a person to administer and coordinate the whole 

Our local mental health system acknowledges this is a definite 
gap in their services that we have filled, although they are touchy 
about the private therapist model and their turf 

We will continue to bridge the ^ap between the publiclv fiinded 
mental health system and the private model. We have developed 
several prevention programs for youth in schools for grades 4 
through 12. As in our other programs, there is more demand than 
we can meet. Currently, we nave contracts with the city of Pitts- 
burgh and several other school districts. Although the programs 
are domestic violence prevention programs, they are equally pre- 
vention of substance abuse and other high risk behaviors aue to 
the direct connection. 

The programs are unique for several reasons. There must be a 
crisis intervention component, since students reveal their own dat- 
ing violence situations or their violent home situations and may be 
in crisis. The teams delivering the programs are racially and gen- 
der-balanced. There are age-appropriate curricula for all grades. 
Students relate to the model, which is an adaptation of a model 
used in counseling programs for batterers. 

We are continually asked by the schools to go beyond our mission 
and address all violence. This is a problem we continue to wrestle 
with, and the lines become blurred. We work through student as- 
sistance personnel, who are now swamped with many violence-re- 
lated issues. 

Domestic violence puts adolescents at risk for addiction. Addic- 
tion plays a role in gang violence, so we respond when we can to 
the schools' requests for assistance. And our school teams have had 
to develop expertise in gang violence issues. 

The State department of education has funded us to train all 
Pennsylvania regions to provide some of these programs in Penn- 
sylvania schools. We have just completed the first statewide train- 

We have also worked with Mr. Rogers of "Mr. Rogers' Neighbor- 
hood" to develop books and videos for children in domestic violence 


All of our programs are based on some basic beliefs. Children are 
assisted when uiey have a greater understanding of what is hap- 
pening to them. It is common knowledge that children tend to feel 
it is their fault when there is a divorce. This is exacerbated in do- 
mestic violence situations. This is tremendously important, and it 
is an achievable goal. 

Children are assisted when they have knowledge about where to 
turn for help. Children are assisted when they have some informa- 
tion about safety planning. Intervention does reduce the cycle of vi- 
olence for adults and inevitably will reduce the cycle of violence for 

Thank you for this opportunity. 

Senator DODD. Thank you very much. Excellent testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Friday follows:] 



Submitted by Martha A. Friday 

Executive Director 

Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh 

We now know It Is an undeniable fact there Is a direct 
connection between domestic violance and child abusa . II am 
defining domestic violence as wife or partner abuse, most frequently 
perpetrated by men against women.) Children are affected because 
batterers of partners also abuse the children in at least 70% of the 
homes. Children are «Iso affected as child witnesses to the violence. 
A minimum of 7.6 million children are learnlno violence as a wav to 
resolve conflict or to satisfy control and domination needs while at the 
same time developing serious psychological problems. 

All of the research, although there Isn't a lot, states that many 
or most of the children In violent homes (either directly abused or as 
witnesses) will suffer low self-esteem, sadness, depression, stress 
disorders, poor impulse control & feelings of powerlessness and they 
are at high risk for alcohol and drug abuse, sexual acting out, running 
away, school failure. Isolation, suicide and perpetrating violence. 
According to the Mass, Dept. of Youth Services, children who grow 
UP In violent homes had a 74% higher likelihood of committing 

We see the Impact of domestic violence on children every day 
at Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh in our shelter, 
counseling programs and other programs. Founded in 1974, wo are 
one of the first six domestic violence programs In the United States. 
At this point, we are old enough, strong enough and reasonably well 
funded enough to go beyond our first mission which Is to develop a 
shelter program to assist women victims of domestic violence (Adult 


Protective Services}. We knew w han vou agalat women to «v9 
violence free Uvea, vou also asslet t heir children to live violence free 
llveg . However, we felt compelled to also develop programs for the 
high risk children we see every day and to develop prevention 
programs to reach even more children In the schools. 

We have been able to develop programs for children free of the 
constratnte fff f femllv reunification ooal which is the goal of most 
child protective services. I do not want to be misunderstood at this 
point. We believe in families and deplore the brealcdown of families. 
We also believe It goes without saying that men need violence free 
homes. Everyone needs to be safe In their own homes. 

Implicit In what I am saying Is the unavoidable fact that until 
batterers t\pp hatterlno. children will be living In violent hprnea and 
will themselves be abused In at least 70% of the homes. Although no 
one wants to see a further deterioration of families or foster care 
placements, protecting children from abuse In violent homes will result 
in more divorces and separations until the battering stops. It Is In all 
of our Interest to develop public policy, legislation and give national 
attention to address domestic violence as a public health problem, not 
an individual family problem. Incidentally, domestic violence programs 
have high hopes for the Biden Bill as part of the solution. 

Since there is an Inevitable connection between domestic 
violence programs and child protective services we knew we had to 
Inillfllft a closer relationship. I will point out that until recently, like 
other domestic violence programs, our program has done all the 
Initiating not only with child protective services, but also with the 
criminal Justice system, the medical world, the mental health 
professions and all the other systems and Institutions flooded with 
domestic violence cases. Although this has seemed nearly 

Incomprehensible to domestic violence programs, due to the 
epidemiological nature of this public health problem, there is cause for 
optimism because so much progress has been made In the past 20 

Now, In Pittsburgh, we train all child protective service workers 
about domestic violence which assists them In their case 
management. This is a beginning of necessary collaboration. 

In a more targeted program, child protective services has 
developed a Family Intervention Unit In Children's Hospital for abused 
children. We used our knowledge of the AWAKE projact In Boston to 
edd advocates In the hospital for the mothers of the abused children 
who are Identified as battered women. Again, if we can assist the 
mothers to lead a violence free life, the children have a much better 
chance to live violence free lives In the home. 

It is not easy to bring together a "medical model" and a 
"domestic violence modal" to collaborate, but It Is important to work 
at it. A simple description of the differences is, the medical model 
works on "diagnosis, treatment and case closed," and the domestic 
violence model works on developing options, supporting choices, and 
looking at a longer term outcome or the "empowerment model." 
Safety planning Is also part of the domestic violence model because 
we know the greatest danger period for the woman is when she 
leaves the batterer. 

Wo have begun another new and exciting project, the Pro Bono 

Mental Health Prolect - which could be replicated nationwide. 

Volunteer licensed social workers and psychologists are providing 

counseling to the children of battered women from our program. This 

service will expand to other shelters this year. This Is Innovative 


• The therapists come to the children at the shelter or 
another meeting place and can continue with the children 
wherever they live 

• The mothers follow up and keep the appointments 

• The theropista can be more Involved In assisting the other 
needs of the family than they can In a more traditional 

• At an average of $80/hour, the volunteer time donated In 
the first year Is valued at over $80,000. The value of 
the donated time Is projected to grow tremendously as 
we grow from 15 volunteers to 60 or more. 

And, most tmnorta n tlv. this w/ne a gap In Bervlcas not met by 
the Mental Health 8vstom In Allegheny County . Astoundlngly, there Is 
nothing available for most children who are Identified as high risk and 
evidencing psychological and behavioral problems. Currently, the 
Pittsburgh Foundation and the Staunton Farms Foundation fund a 
person to administer and coordinate the whole program. 

Our local mental health system acknowledges this is a definite 
gap in their services we have filled, although they are touchy about 
the private therapist model and their turf. 

We will continue to bridge the gap between the publicly funded 
mental health system and this private model. The Heinz Endowment 
Is Interested in assisting to take this concept further, looking at linking 
the public and private counseling services for children and to replicate 
the model regionally and nationally. 

We have developed aeveral prevention programs for use In 
schools for grades 4-12. As In our other programs, there Is more 
demand than we can meet. Currently we have contracts with the 
City of Pittsburgh and several other school districts. The schools pay 
for those progrems along with some United Way and Hillman & Vira 


Heinz Foundation subsidy. Although the Droarama ara domestio 
violance prevention programs, thgy pre bqubIIv pravantlon of 
substance abuse end other high risk behavlora due to the direct 
connection. The programs are unique for several reasons: 

• There must be a crisis Intervention component since 
Students reveal their own dating violence situation or 
their violent home situation and may be in crisis. 

• The teams delivering the programs are racially and gander 

• There are age-appropriate curricula for all grades 

• Students relate to the model which is an adaptation of a 
modol used In counseling programs for batterers 

We are continually asked by the schools to go beyond our 
mission and address all violence. This is a problem we continue to 
wrestle with and the lines become blurred. We work through'Student 
-Assistance^ersonnel who are now swamped with many violence 
related Issues such as gang violence and suicide, substance abuse, 

Domestic violence puts adolescents at-risk for addiction. 
Addiction plays a role In gang vlolence-so we respond when we can to 
the school's requests for assistance. Our school teams have had to 
develop expertise In gang violence Issues partly due to the apparent 
need of some of the students and partly due to some of the programs 
being created as alternatives to suspension for violent behavior and 
other risk behavior. Currently, these programs reach 8,080 students, 
240 parents and 380 school personnel with Information, and new 
skills to help reduce Incidences of domestic violence, drug & alcohol 
abuse and academic failure. 

76-612 - 94 - 2 


The State Dept. of Education has funded us to train all PA 
regions to provide some of tiiese programs In PA schools ^and we have 
just completed the first statewide training. 

Short term outcomes meet the goals of the schools. 

Longer term violence reduction outcomes are now measured 
almost anecdotBlly as there la, 88 yet, no funding for longitudinal 

Wo worked with Mr. Rogers of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood to 
develop books and videos for children In domestic violence shelters. 
These materials address the ambivalence children feel about their 
parents/stepparents In domestic violence situations. 

All of our programs, including the ones I have just described, 
and the ones In our support groups for children of shelter residents 
and children of our non-resident support group clients are based on 

some basic bellflfa : • 

1) Children are assisted when they have a greater 
understanding of what Is haptJenina to them . 

It Is common knowledge that children tend to feel It la 
their fault when there Is a divorce. This Is exacerbated In 
domestic violence situations. This Is tremendously 
important and It is an achievable goal . 

2) Children are assisted when they have knowledge about 
where to turn for help 

3) Children are assisted when they have some information 
about safety planning 

4) Intervention dnnn reduce the cvcle of violence for qdylta 

and Inevitably will reduce the cycle of violence for 

(Research states the main predlsposer to becoming a batterer Is 
witnessing domestic violence In the home.) 


Lastly, we work collaboratively with Domestic Abuse 
Counseling Center (DACC), the Allegheny County counseling program 
for batterers. We are funded by the Staunton Farm Foundation to 
Jointly address the needs of the children in situations where the 
couple elects to stay together after separate counseling. This time, 
there Is a research component Included In the funding for the project 
but the project Is too new to report any results. 

Sources for statistics and other statistics are attached. 

Thank you for this opportunity. 

Z:'. "" ' ' " ' *' " ' I " ' H ^i " II III | Pi»ii|i | | l JWU lii n iiii j ' H I liui. IHIJI .liiji ;g^fig»»«» 

C>ur)ri t.DttMO, Dinner 


The Cjcle of Violence 

by CKhr Spali U'Mom 

Does chiyhood ahmtt frW H aJub 

friminni hrhtty tr*r? 

liti* IHtly b It tftat tcdij't ahuttd 
ttntt nifUcird thiUitn n Ut beromt 

temamtn's t htent offfr\Atr$f 

In ore rf iHf rrvMl (Jeiiilrd iludlrs cf th'' 
Issti? to c^«re, rc^f irrh ipnn'ortd hy the 
NMional Intiiiute of lusdce (NIJ) found 
lliji tbtMhood ibu-^e tucftwd Ihc oddl nf 
luiuic flplt'»^'fcncy ard id'ill crimlnnJIty 
tMcitjH by -^O perwit The |lud> roHo"Aed 
t„S7,Sc.ij(<; fiom chtl(thoodtturu|li)«iin| 
ailiilihood. cninpHnng Ac antst records of 
nvp ptoiif ?: 

• A ^ii'd) frcuprf 90S luSittntli'cd 
cases of chil-lhood abujc or ncgtc:! pr'jc- 
fswd by Ihc luutu between 1967 »nd I^TI 
mhI iriL^.t tl ibroii|h officlt] rtcordj ovef 
(Ht fKii 15 to 20>rnn. 

• A coiiif ajisnn poup rf 667 childitn. 
iii>i "If'-ially recnidtd M abused or ne- 
flrctrd mnichrd lo the f^Jdy frouf ac- 
iMdiii^lu 1C1. age, nee. v\A approiimtie 
fifmlly toLiLvconomtc lUiiH. 

Uhlle nuu' member^ of boih |Toup had 
no juveiilc or idulicrirnlnilrrcord. AW»i| 
obi^eder nfgferitdas a child Incrrisr^ 
iht hVeUhvod ifom^sl at a Juxem^e by 5S 
prn eni. tu 0/1 ndult by S8 ptrreni. and for 
a \in\tn\ trimt by S8 perctnt 

The cyc'e of violence ' hypo'hesi* iug' 
jcstj thil t cbild'jTod hUlory rf phyilcil 
■bu« fttdyiYotei the lurvKoi In violence 
In Id'ci yein. Thli «udy revraU ihm vie- 
Imn of neilcrl ut ilio more Hkdy lo 
dcvt'gpletrr crinilnaJ violenibeha^Ioiti 
^rll. rhls Tindinp givtj po*etfut I'jpporl 
lo the need for cip«'idin| common con- 
ceprloni of pSyiicil ibu^e. If ft ii not only 
vio'enc" thM begrii violence, but I'so 
ncjleci. for more iUcndon ne«lj ti he 
devoted to the fwnlHei of chlklren uhoie 
* bcitin|i" tfc TuifT^ of ibandonmeni tnd 
levcft mitnutriilon. Ane.t»niplcof tnter- 
vtniionfw iheprtvenllonof nf|I-cil« 
described later In thii Fnearch in BHrf 

Thf Tif M ptuse of iSii iiudy ttll'^d on vnu 
record* li mciii're delinquency «rd crinl* 
HsIHy. A lecoftd phase calls for loca(ln| 

•nd intehflawlnt « tuf e lample nf the 
pt-rvlouOy abused and nrflecied chlMien 
to diaw I rnoic complete pitiute of the 
consequence of childhood *- Icilinlutiiui. 
The rerralnder of 'hii report prucni5 Phaxt 
I rrtulu In pruier drlall arid Introduces 
preliminary finding) from Phase II. 

Study design 

Several Important deiign fcamrei disiin- 
guiih ihit research from prior efforii lu 
study the Intrrg'^ne rational trartitiiliiun of 
violeiice.' rifJU by follov. hg i large num- 
ber (I J75)of CAs&s from chiWh-jod 
(hfTugh adolejccnct lnlr> young adutthond. 
ihit "proipeciive" study was able tntiam* 
Ine the long term conseq'iences of ab'tse 
and neglect The ^airtple* drawn from i 
mecropolitari area In the Midwev. was 
restricic^ tn children vho wert 11 ycjr^br 
younger a( the lime of the Incident nf abtis* 
or ncgiecL Al ih^ tbrv thai juvrnile atid 
uiminrj recede wrrt checi'-il wibJecU 
ringed in age from 16 to 33; moti wfre 

From (he nirettof 

rflii'ily violefHf— f sflculirlvvtctfri'e 
a|!3intt{hlMrrj> — It • Clltlut pricrii> fof 
Cfif^in:! juttic? o'ficlil? pclitkel ttti'ert. 
and the pibllc u* iu^c TVe itnlulci art 

alflrmipfl AlinoU a m'lllor childffiarT 
vK'in>t o'^chltd ibute Ind n-glect accord- 
mi- I.I ihf lOvo -*finii«l Ffny St^lf Surety 
tot«t*<n led hy ihc N-'donsl Coninil»i« for 
Pffifmion f'f ChiM AhiHf 

F^«miK vloJcnec en be ctmilderd from a 
* jf-c) of dlltercrvi pc"r<«'^'«; ermin«l 
!«'••*= p^y':holoty. locid'-fy. wdeewom- 
Kl Siujiei hivr pfodtKcd v(r>in| etttmiici 

of thf fni|nti"de of family vlo'erv-e; »arimii 
nw'hcJi b«*f buncofiMderrd fn* ei'lmil* 
In/ In rttent. Ko'ie Tai eitmlnf d lit cITcn 
on tSf lliT bthivinf of c^lldrrn it dc^i the 
KIJ nudv nponti \p tht* Mnrt't h ht Biiff 
Some nf the finding* are iianlinf Porei- 
■mple. hr'tf ihuttJ or tffUiit^ ot e thHi 
Intita^tdfht l<lthlio"ft ffc-retl ui a iti\r- 
ftiit *•> SJ fil'itti. et anodvli hyj$f>rt 
tfM. eiAfc e \irltnl tuftf hy 39 fruf^t. 

I hjve ni^e cHIld tbiie a priority tt MJ. 
and ihlil* iKc lint In a lend »f Hve f§ 
tfoffk II B'if/ttpom NIJ *».ItI pubiiih 

deallpj »Ith the cf^weiu-ncei of child 
abutt, Ir addition, }iU '» itipporting a 
mulil'lte it>i(f) of child abute proientiirMt 
tnd a ilvdy of wivi the Jusilct tyiiem hti 
addreiKd thli eriilcat problem. 

CharleiH De\^1tl 


National Inailtult of Jasllcc 


hciw^en sgci 20 ind 30. «Itfi I rrifin Rge 
of 25, 

MBtcMng niernben cr the ift'-Jy group to 
vihcti v^h'isc olHclnJ rccorli 5^'3«edno 
chil(tb'j<>dibuic nt rct'rct wu «ne<iuilly 
frnp'trTuif feature cf the r«'*rch. Iltfj 
de.Ofin athiM/rd ilie ihjdy to tepaifilo the 
effftwof Jjio^n coTtli'ciof dpIlr^ucfTCy 
and cilmi'iaJity (ngc. itt, net, uid loclo 
txoiioniic ^L'lus) ffoni t'le expcdrncr of 
aSuic ni'd nr|!rxL Doth groupi u ere «p- 
pnuin.itely lUT-Uiini! whitr indon-thlrd 
Mntk iu)d w^'^if about evnjy divided be- 
IrtrcnTpalcsfridfcrmlf! Moi'wcrhc- 
l»ceii C «nd 1 1 ycjus old il the tim- the 
n^ll^c uin drcimicnicrffce eihthit I). 

Thr t'uJy dfsifn al-^o fcitjredclcw or?ri- 
iPmiaI rfrflrtiTlot'l of aSiif •P^ ne|f?ei. 
Co'nW'ictl wlthlajjc "imple il?f J. thti 
peniiiit'-.'l Ut« jrpniite eiimJntUcn of 
pliyslcit aSosc. letunJ ahuie. ind nejtlecr. 
itclincd tii fnlloi*)! 

• rh> ■ ica! ■biise cu'S Included InJuHf i 
»iicli .11 boii^cj. * elii. bumi, ihrulm*. 
lic<T.irlo"v *oundj, cutj. bone ind ikull 
fr jLiufCS. and other evidenct of physical 

• ScJtuil Mhi9.c involvcl luch cli vgei ii 

■'attiult wid b.iHefy wiih tnicnl to grutlfy 

ictuaJ dcjlrts," 'Tondtbi v louchlng In 
in obscene manoer," rape, lodoftiy, and 

• Neglrct caici reprei'jited salrtme fail- 
ure to \To\Me ad^qcate food, cfnthlng, 

shatter, and medical attention to chJIdrrn. 

Family mcmbcra (of'cp pirrnU) 'vert (he 
pHmai) pcT^tratrrt of ihe abujc and 
neglc:(. The iioit frtquepttyprofperpc- 
Irotoi vir'td. ho» ever, by type of mtltreil- 

)v\ cnllc c^uM and probat'on recordi *ere 
llic soMKt of Infonniilon on the abire/nd 
Bcgltcf M wc'l M ihe chtncteriiflci of the 
family. Anest data were obinlned from ' 
FederlJ. State, and (oral Ia* enforcement 
rtcorr*!. p.ecortihini 'hat ntuch thild 
abuie (it V rll ii liter delinquent »nd 
crimtraj behavior) nevfrcomei tP the 
ailci'b'ofl of any official auihonty. Phase fl 
^^)II lupp'ement these official records with 
Inicrvle* rtjulii. 

Study findings 

Of prim vy interest w ai the q'lestlrn. 
"Wojid the hehaUof of Itioje who had 
been «bui'd nr ncilcc'td be wnne than 
rtioie ul(h no ftported abuseT" TTx an- 

Exhibit 1 Demographic ChsraclBflillct 

Abuit(f-T/i0t»ciad Qrour* 

Milii Pimi)»i WMit S'f:* (W t'" *-ly< t-H V*» 

iwer, ihov^n 1p exhibit 3, wu evident 
(hose who bar) been ibuvd nt neglected v 
children *err more Ukely to be intited U 
juvcnilei f26 percent venui 17 petccf>l).w 
Idt'lii (29 prrcenl vcrrua 21 prrceni), ind 
for t violent crime (1 1 percent vcrsui 8 
percent). The loused and neglcc'cd casei 
were also more likely to t^ crage nearly I 
ycaj yoiirg-r ai fir^i anwl (16S yean 
versus 1 7.) ) cir»>, to commit nearly twice 
ai many offeuri (2-4 percrni versus t.4 
percent), and lo be uvMrA mort 
frtqucrtJy (V percent of abused and ne- 
glected cjuei vertui 9 percerl of compari- 
son cases had more than five arrc^lj). 

Sei. Erperisncing early child ab-ise or 
neglect had a su^Ntan'lal Impact, even o*i 
Individuals with llrtJc Ukrlihocd of eng^g- 
ln| In ofrcliUy ncorded idult criminal 
behavior. "Piui. although ma'ei grnirslly 
have hlf Ser n'u of criminal behavior ihnn 
females, being abuird or neglected In 
ehi'dhood Increased the likelihood of arrrnt 
for femaJfi — by 77 pe-cento-'ercompiri- 
iori group fem^ef , Al adulti. tbu.^cd nnd 
neglected fi'malei wert mere tlHely to be 
arrested for property, dn'g, and misde- 
meanor offense) such n disorderly con- 
duct, curfew violations, or loileriig, but 
not for violent olfenief. Females In g'-neral 
are less likely to be airtS'cd for itrrd 
violence wd more like!) (o appear In ita- 
lUiIci on violence In the home. TVot-gh 
Intervtews. Fhue n will eumire the Inci- 
dence of unrrportrd violence to leam more 
•bout the possible eiJiience of hMdcn 
cyctei of family violence. 

Race. Bo'h black nnd white abated and 
Pf glinted children were nore likely to be 
intjted than corrpariion children. How- 
ever, la -hown In exhibit 4. the dlfTcrence 
between whiles wii not as great as thit 
ber*^een Hacki. Tn fart, vhlie abused ard 
neglected cWldren do noi ihow Incrtwed 
likelihood of arrest I^r vio'ent crimes over 
compailnn cMIdi*n. TWi contii'ls dra- 
maiJcaily m Ith the findings for black tlill- 
dten In this sarriple who show ilpnificantly 
Increased rates of violent ant^ts. compared 
with black cl'lldrtn who were net abus<:J 
or neglected Thh Is a sirrprising flnriing 
and one thai may reflert differences In an 
amy of environmental facicrs. Phiie II 
will Investigate a number rfciplanailons 
for ihec. rrjults. ir»clu4ln| dirfercnces in 
poveny levels, fimily factora. characierii- 
tjcj of the abiiie or neglect Incident, access 
to countellnf or auppori servku. and 
treatment by juvenile authoririet. 


Jmrnilf f wiird Pitvinuil) »bu«d of 
ntj'eciedprnois \*ert it h'l'ierHikrf 
hcginnini 3 life of crii)(. tl I younger if e, 
«L lih more ilgnlHcini tnd npciUd criml- 

■mont ihosr artciWf u juvefillel. «bujwJ 
nr i>epleeied perrons wcrt no more likely 
loconiinue ■ life of crime thin other 

• In hnth groups. rougSly Oie i^nw pro- 
|v>ntoo of children wllh JuvcnJte intJU 
nl$n h-id WTCSU « irfulu (S3 perccnl ver- 
5ut SOpCTtenl). 

• Si'iiilarly, In holh sroiipl, flbout (he 
j.iire proportion of 'hoie *lth vlolenl ju»«* 
nMc amm «l!o h«d violent irt^ti u 
■Julw (1J 2 perteni vcniil 36 8 pcrtcnt). 

Ill (lion. childhood a'uK and ncfleri had 
no ii|>pn'cnl effect on the movcneni of 
JuvL-nili urfpnilen to^e'^ fdullcr1i>tnil 

Bclivily. Oi>'tn|gi^hin^ Uie (iClOrl lh*l 

pininote \hz on<;cl of f rimlnil bel't% lor 
Iroin (hr« ihii t/fcci penljttnce In • 
t rimtr^Bl ttnxr if clcAi ly »n Imporuni 
topic foi funjrt rtsctrch. 

Does only violonco 
begel violence? 

To icM iJie notion ihii chtl-thood \ Icllms of 
violpnte rrtnfl to violence themiclvei tn 
Infer yciu*. Nlolent CTHn'lmO trh8vl:?r *u 
cxvninud « » function o' the tyj-c of m»J- 
tTCiintenl ripcriencfd M t child. The 

(ciiilii *te piesenied In ilmptlfled form 

Exhibit 2. P«rpelr«tor« ol Abuse «nd N»glBC< 

AbtIM O'rMp 

Tireenl ArrnlH 
for Vlolinl 
Numlxr Otfem* 




Nipletl niily 



t'hy'.lcal sbute 
■ml ntKlnl 




^ciuvt ihuie only 



Cpniparlton |[»our 



Tilt phyvlcjily ■biiK'l (M cpfyjwd 10 
nmli tU-J uf i-.Kt'aJly sbuud) *ctt lh« 
iiiiMi llktiy lo t^ imiiix) !•«• fot • violf nl 
(ilmt, Noubly. hrvievtr. ihe phjilctlljf 
abutcil |n*>up « si followed eloiely by Ihe 
iKClccud poup. 











If|il0uii4ltn m 
Known «diill 1 

Unknown Adult 







AiUUtf Adult 
l«gil Quitijlin 

KnoMR Atfull 
Unknown AdutI 







Nclflf d Adult 


Known Atfull 

Unknown AdutI 






e>ht"l 3 Eirlcnl ot hvolvtnunl hi Dillnquency, AduH Crlmlntllty, 
Btid Violent Crlmlntl B»hlvlor 

Abu«»<I end N»alecl»d 
(n . 608) 

Compirlson Group 
(n . BS7) 

Typo o( atreil 



ViolonI crime 






Nole: An dinatencet significant. 

f j/iiW 4. Involvement In Crlmlntllty by Race 

Abused and tiaslscled 

Compa'iBcn Group 


(n • S08) 

(n = 667) 

Any aiiesl 










■ 1S.4 





26 2 















Bec.-iise diflcn;ni t>t<j of ibute nd nc- 
eleci uc nrii Hlstrib'ittd cvtrjy by igt, 
ijLc. and scx.'ltcse fiTiucnclc*pTt«?nnn 
o^c'iiii'rlif'cdplrliirt. E'tnlfttrcnliot. 
liip for igc. t.ict. iJiH ici, howrver. • 
icll'jonjhip between childhood neglect 
»nd !ul'!cqutnl violtnce tttnilntd evident. 

Th'i fijiclinj offcrt pei!iU!l\e tvldenet for 
the nerd to uVe con;e(ted prevenHve 
itiiciri N.iilon-'idc.lhe Incidence of ne- 
(ltd ii nlmoii ihrte dmei ihti ofphyilctl 
abiin (' 5 9 i«r I ,rOO chlMfeii In l?!«. 
.ompiird lo S 7 pri I.OTO Iw ptiyltol 
llig'.c. and 2 5 per 1,000 for leiull ibuji) ' 
".>(•'" -i''" " po'">ii«lly inm diOT«|lr| 
llie develnpmeni of • child thin Ibuie 

(pnvlded the ibuf Involvei rio neiirolc|l- 
ctl Impiinnem). In one inidy of the W1»- 
erce of e vly mRlnutHdon on lubiequcnt 
behfvlor. prt\lou'Iy m8ln''wt!hed chil- 
dren hid incniion dcFiclu, reduced lOcW 
ildlli. «nd porer emotion tl lUblllty ihin ( 
compviion pmup.' Other r:ietr<-hen hi« 
found «n tmy of develrpmentsJ differ, 
encei •3ic<:liied «llh childhfrxl neglect.' 
TWi rtudy nc» lujgesu ih« ihoie differ- 
entel Include ■ timet rtik of liler crtnil- 
nil vWenf. 

Re-etn:h Ibi'liijl iho» ho* Impeintlve 
gjz Improved pf «f dure* for the Identirica- 
li.->n cf child ebuie end nefleci. RefentrJ 
to the connection between child mtllrelt- 

ment ind iduli cr4mlntlll^', New Ycrit Cliy 
InsUruled n-.w pfoce«lu;e» (or police it- 
Ipcnie ind foUT*a)p In cuej lnvolvln| 
luipected child abuU ind neglect.* 

Oul-olhtjme placemont and 
crlfTilnBl consequsnMs 

Not iB ibuied And neglected children 
grow up to b«orne delln(^uepu, adult 
crirrdniilf . or violent crlmlntl nffenden. 
\\'h«t «re joere of the possible mediating 
vaHabl-i 111 It Id to buffer or protect 
abused and neglected cidldrm? riuement 
oui'Ide ihe home li one ppiilble bviff'r 
thai «u Inveirigaied svlth rhue I dara. 
Scholarl and prtctllioneta have often crill- 
cir/d out-of-hotne placcmenu (foster care. 
In paidculir). ChlldPT placed outside the 
heme are eonildered a paitcularly vulner- 
able g'oup. rince they have ctperte.iced 
both a disturbed family "Ituation and lepa- 
ration from their narwtl parrnu. Accord. 
Ingly, child »el(art policies lodav often 
leek to avoid removing Ihe child from 
home "nd Initend to mltlitait negative 
faxnlly itiuadons tfvough counceling aitd 
reined luppon. 

lnconirait>otoday'>pKilc«i,lha 'Ut 
nialortly ef a r ampli of Ihi chlldtan ibtuatf 
and neglected romhly JT yeara ago »et« 
placed oimlde rha ttome durtng icrrw 
portion of their childhood or eiily adolea- 
eence. Yrtiby -year Infomia'lon wai 
available from juvenile crurt trd probation 
rcentdi on 772 caiM. For theie children, 
eutofhome placcmcjiu Included f-Mier 
care, gur^rdlan'l home, and Ichooll for the 
retarded or physically handlcrppcd Only - 
14 petvent of iheie abiue and neglect easei 
had no rtco' d of ha> Ing been placed up 
Ihioiijh age 1 1. The a> ei«|e mount of 
lime In placement *a» about 5 yeara. and 
lometimei jailed tfirough childhood and 

As edilbli J iho»i. iher? was lemaltably 
litile difference be»een Ihe trrell r-cords 
of those » ho retrained ai home and tho.s« 
who u ei« placed nuuidc Ihe home die to 
ibui' and neglect (fwUcuhly. both of 
these roup! *'" srrUJilly diffeieni liwn 
those placed outside ihe home due to dellii. 
quency m «ell u abuie and neglect ) At 
least for this irunple. Ihen. art ouNf-home 
pl.'cement did not lead to nega'lve effect! 
on ihe artsi measure (or thoae wtw weie 
ttmo> cd from their homes due only to 
abuse and neglect. 


Tl'f stuJy mIio jhou c<^ thil lublllty mny 
K tn ^rnpoI^^/lr fKior Ifl out-of-h'^me 
pl.icrttitnU Ch'tdirn who moved tl'ree of 
morr limr^ liuj ilgnlTtcAnUv hJghfr tncH 
nit\ (al'ToH iwlcr u W|h) fnr til r^-pei of 
criminal behivlort— Jtivenl'e. idul'. and 
vlolriil — Than cMIdrtTi who moved kii 
Ilinii lixn c tiinci, Ifl turn, chlldrtn v* Ith 
mulirrlc placen'CPls tjtically VaA Whivlor 
pf(iW;rn^ not/d In tfirli Tilu. T>\c« nou- 
lifTucovrrtd « wld^ipcctrimof fi^bleifl 
behavior, including chronic fighti/>|, fire 
KtHinp. destru'-iivcn^si, uicortrollible 
wiper. inHlitic 'endenc'c* (for iximplc, 
ipgrc.'.'.ivenf SI towtH * MkcT children), 
ond eirrpfTie dtllincc of iulftoHry. 
\\ heihcr the Schavlor probltmj rericd Ihe 
niovc), or the movri ronribu'td to tlie ■ 
hthaviof pfniilerm. Ii unclcw In ellhcr 
I avc, thlldrtn wlih nunwrous plieemenU 
oh* Ipi'jI)' need ^pcclil wrvteei. 

These rindingi challenge ihc njU/ripHon 
iliji ii \% neccMsHIy im*lie to remove 
cltiKlr''ii ffom negative fimlly illulrionv 
While jis'^IIln- of pUccTieni ipr«*f» 'o ^ 
Iiniornnr. ihc polrntift) damig? o' rem'^v- 
Jng aji ab'ivcd 4nd ncr.l'cied child from tfie 
huMic dil nut in'. hide ■ higher livelihood of 
nnesi or violent crlmlnt! hchavlor. 

Phase II: Tollowup and 
In-pcrson Inlorvlewi 

While the findh'ji from PhAie I demon- 
in.i'c convinclng'y thii -uly child ibme 
w»d iieglf cl plice rne »« Inctrvd riik for 
rff'cliilly rT:Bidcd dclirquencv. idulc 
criitilu^tTy. ind\lolcTTitHmlnrib«hlvIoe. 
I lu|tc t'orti'in i-f ibuied ii)d re|lected 
children did not ha^ e ofnclrl Krrtn 
recnuh, hinted, the IW;ige h fn horn 
ine V ti.THc. since Oie mijor^ty r( ibuitd 
wid lie piccted children did mt Srcome 
dclinF^uvnk. tdulr cr'mirmll. ^ violf nl 
pfferderi. Ilnurvr-r. beciu.'- (he rirdinjii 
fiom Fhise I were hiscd op ofTicIiJ ineit 
rcLviiK. iheie ni'.i 'iny he tindereiilmiiet 
of the tnic r ittni rd ddinqu'ricy wd 
cilnilri.ilii) . rhiic I flndJrg^ tlio do mt 
tell ui alyjut gcncrti viol-ni behivlor, 
evpccialty unrecorded or ufveporttd ftmlty 

Hr « II « US de-lpncd lo cddrtM miny of 
Ihc tiiiMi'w cred nuei'ioni from thf firtt 
ph.tic by rmdiPf tnd ln-crsle*lrt I iMge 
number oi Hicic people 70 yc^ri ifler the 

chilJh'tiyJ virriiriiuHon MoH "rt flW 
ynunp ac'ulu in tjielr euly 30 i »nd Wi; 
>aiiif Jiif (■<RUiiiitig lo hii*f theii o^fl 

£jWH 5. JuvinMe end AduH Arrem t« • Function of Pleeemtnl 
Exptrlencsi <or Juvenile Court Ceeee Only (n * 772) 

Atreet (In percent) 






Any Bolh Juv. 
AdUll ft Adult 
(n=217) (n=11S) 



Ho plocomonl 

piacemeni only 

placamenl plue 





292 es 

23.3 8.8 
60.4"' 65.2"' 

10 4 


Hole: Adult anesl raloj roslrfcled lo 5ub|9ctt ags 21 and oWar In March 1968. 

childp-n. The foIlo*up irudy aJmi toei- 
imlne llie full toni-q^encei of rmltrril- 
meni is ■ child ■rwJ |o dctetTnlnt why lottie 
vlci'mi o' childhood ibu^e ni\d ncgle cl 
f»re well. *hlle olhcij have neRodve oul- 
eomei. Iht Interview! *ni explore recol- 
leeiloni of eaily childhood expcrier^ces, 
leh'oHnR. idolcicence, undetected ilcohol 
ind drvg probtemi, undeiecied delln* 
qucncy and CTlmlntliiy. tnd Important lift 

htllmina/y Fhre 11 fIndlntJ. bpsed in 

I-Vmr fnltnwMp tn'-n lewi with 500 lludy 
ind compiTiion gnup lubjrr ti. Indicitf 
that oihC' n'gftilve outcc^ci may be as 
conmcn u dclinqu'-ncy and violent cHmt- 
nal behavior. Iheic lnlervle*i luggest iliai 
the long lerm con'equencei of chlldltood 
vicibniiatlon aljo may Includcr 

• MerUl health concemi (depression uid 

suicide attempt)). 

• EdiKitlonil prrblemt (Inadequiir cog- 
ntiive functioning, extremely low \Q, and 
poor reading ibillty) 

• M'.alih tnd lafety liiues (alcohol and 

dnig piriblemi). 

• Occup§tJ*^nBl dlfflcult'ei (lac* of woiV. 
erriploymeni In low level jervlce Job*). 

In addition to documemlng the broader 
contciuco;ej of ehl'dhood vtctimiuiion, 
Thue M ii P.e vcd lo Ic'entify ptntcciNe" 
factori that may act lo buffer the negative 

rtsu'u of abiiie arid neglect. The ultlmiie 
goal b to provide k base of knowledge on 
which lo hulld appropHaic prevention end 
treatment programs. 

Conclusion and Imptlcallons 

Chfldhr^ vIcdmlMt'on repreient.* a wide 
spread, icHoos social pmbtem that In- 
crtLiei ilie likelihood of delinquency, adul 
erlm'nallty. and ^ lolent crimlrnj bchavtrw. 
Poor educsdoial perfomance, health 
prtWems. and generally lo* l<-veli of 
achievement also rharac'erixft the vktimi 
of early childhood abuw and neglect. 

This study offen at leoil three rieisages 
lo juvenile luthorldei and child welfare 

• /n'f nerr fflr/y. The findings of Phase ! 
blue a call 'o police, tcachera, and h-alth 
workf:n for Increased rtcoenltiTn of the 
sign* of abuse and rcgtcct. end icr<ou$ ef- 
forts to Intervene ai e«Iy ai pcislble. 1 he 
later the Intcjventton. the more difricull the 
change procens bfecome*. 5pcclall wJ at- 
tention nceda to be pHd to abused and ne- 
glccled children *llh tirfy behavior 
pro'lcmi Tlicse chMdroi show the hlghcrt 
risk of later Juvenile and adult anest. *» 
*ell as violent criminal behavior. 

• Ctvthv polkifi iVif recognr.t Ihe high 
nsls ofnrflrci Of vfW oi abusf. Also Im- 
porunt In lu Implicatio'SI for ju^enite 
court and child welfare acrion ii the 'aei 

that neglect alone (not n*ccisa/1ly physical 
jibu'r) »■! signifirartly related lo vicleni 
ctiminaJ behavior. A pirture emerges 
where pliyikal abuse Is only one point on 
a ccnt'riu-jrn of family situations (Sal con- 
rrihu^c to vIokfKe. \Vhciher those sdua- 
iloni result In arilve phyS'cal ahuse. or 
inorepafUvenrgl-ct, h la now quite clear 
thai lv3'h form J of child malscatment art 
icriuos thieati. Neglecl 'tas'S repcienl the 
ni.ij-^riry uf rtL%ci lajilng the child prolce- 
lion5)ticm Rcsrarchiho^l thit today i 
vklliti of neglect may well b« ■ dafendarM 
In tomorrow s violent cfimlna! cue 

• ftfct'imirt^ oui of Seme phc^mrnt 
poUc'rt. This NIJ iwdy foC'H'td on cues 
dttniig the period 1917-1971. when rut- 
rl hunie phcenitnu were a cnrrunon Itner- 
vf n'lnn. Pciailcd Infonnatlort avajlible for 
77?tMci rcvcaJcllhittlie vwlnaj'jrify 
(KAperceni) were placed ruislde their 
hfwnn Icr an ovei'ge of 5 yeara. ThU con- 
ir.ifis <KarpIy with lodav s effrru to avoid 
out ofhomc placement on the aiiumptlon 
that .vcpajiticn may ^ggiavaie. raihei than 
wiielicate, a child i problems Yet. lliere 
v»a\tiO evidence that Ihrie ttho*ert jcpa- 
lai'jd (rom their (a/nlli-:! fajcd anv v^o'ic 
on the .sn-st nicajuies th^n ihctc v^ho te- 
m.-'-ncd :ti home. Ihoug'i these rctulu are 
lAt fnm deriniiivc. thcy dc suf fesl thai 
Lhild proie<~(>vc poltrlei In this area de- 
•ttrve cirie scrtlIi^y. Th? assumption Ihat 
rcmMvt) from the home offers addi'lonal 
ilsk could not be corJirmcd by this study. 
Any pol'cy fctindrd on ihts aJsumptton 
nught to N le slei* iK-ough ee*eful 'ocal 
Sindiu of the full conta^ncet of out- 
(»f l»omc placement. 


I. For further Information on 'he dciign 
and !impliniiprocfdurcJ, ire WIdcm. 
C.S.. "Child abuse, neglect, an^ adult 
behavior: Research d'jign ind Gndlngs on 
crlmlnillry, violence, and child abose." 
American Jcv^al afOnhoptychfairy, 

S'efio-vjltneidenit ofui PrtvaUici of 
(on, D.C U.5. D^partmenl of Health and 

Hiimnn Services 

3. J R. Ostler. F. Ramsey. 0. Sollmfno, 
and W.E. Lc*cll, 'The Influence of early 
malnutHtlon rn tubiequcni behavioral 
development; II. Ciiirc-om behavior," 
Jownal of the Amt'kon Academy (^ CSild 
rrycf-'OfO'. 24(199?) 1^21. 

4. See. for Iniince, R.E. Allen and /.M. 
Oliver, "Ihe effects of ch'ld malncnlment 
on IviguBge develcrmcni." Chid Abuse 
cr-iSfiifti. 6(1987) 2S9-."'05; D. 
Egeland. A. Snufe. and M. Frlckson. "The 
develop menial conscquen'-ti of differcm 
p3fi*mi of maJtiea!rn'^nl." C^fOdAhuse 
andreglen. 7(198J).459 -t.59; A. frodl 
and J Smciana. "Abused, n'glrcted, and 
noimalticat'd pieschrol'.n' abi'ity lo 
discrim'na'e emoil'vii !n oihcri: 7hc ef- 
fccu of IQ." ChHd Abuse anANefleei, 

5. Benjamin Wwd. CommlKloner. New 
York City Prlicf Dcpwrment. press release 
No. 17. May 22, 1989. 

plndlngi ard enrclail<r\S of Ihe returch re< 
portfd here are lho«i n( the rciearcher and do 
not nM'iswII)' r«fi"ei it« oTTkttl Miltlw ar 
policies of the U.S. Department or Justice. 

Th Nct^e^oll>\Sll|yte efJmtke It • • -ttipo- 
Htm nffStOffct ff/usiict Proira'*i>. which 
ohe 'v/wfiJ ihf Bunoa e/Jut"fe Aii/ir- 
tiHi, Bv'tam efJiudce SieiisMS, Office of 
Jtrntlte Jmsixt otd Dtlin^utttry rinrn 
linn, end the Offset for Victimi *if Cil-te. 

Ua 126601 



Violence iffects Jl household members. Children who witness abuse, though sometimes not 
tirgers themselves, are no less victims. They suffer emotionally, behavjoraJly, md cognitively. 
There is no t)'picil reaction. Age, gendcr,,the amount of violence witnessed, end whether the 
child is a victim as well as an observer are all factors which Influence cognitive, emotional and 
behavioral adjustment. 

Emotional Effects 

• Feelings of powerlessness 

• Low self-esteem, feelings ofworthlessnesj 

• Confusion and insecurity 

• SadnciJ and depression 

• Poor definition of self and/or defines self in patenting role (role reversal) 

• Ambivalence 

• Constant fear 

• Self-blame, guilt at escaping punishment and being unable to protect someone they love 

Behavioral Effects 

• Poor Impulse control 

• Stress disorders and psychosomatic cornplaints 

• Increised social isolation, withdrawal 

• Incrciscd deceptiveness 

• Aggressiveness 

• Dependence, passivencss 

• Bed-wetting, nightmares 

• Lack of creativity and healthy exploration 

Cognitive Effects 

• Inability to predict and mAt Inferences 

• DifTlculty focusing on the content of language; language is used to keep others «t a 
distance rather than to convey meaning 

• Feeling of incompetence, risk avoidance 

• Lack of sense of consistency and predictability required for sequential ordering; encodes 
new information episodically or not at all 

• Cause and efRret relationships ill-defined 

• Fear of abandonment 

Behavior to Expect 

• Loss of appetite 

• Sleep disturbance 

• School problems - refusal to go. ttuancy, poor performance 

• Anxiet}-, fear of abandonment 

• Perfectionism 

• Shyness 

• Increased violent behavior 

• Verbal abusiveness, lying 

• R-grcssicn - wanting the bottle, baby rslk, thumbsucking 

• Tantrums 



The Problem 

Domestic violencf is abuse which occurj within a close personal or family relationship anti 
which Is used as a means of exercising power and control over another persorl. Acts of domes- 
tic violence or battering cause not only physical injury, but also the loss of triitt, loss of per- 
sonal safety In one's home, and loss of control over one's liti:. 

Domestic violence generally tikes one or more forms Including physical abuse, verbal and/or 
emotional abuse, sexual abuse, destruction of property or pets, tr\d/or economic ibuse. 

Violence is not confined to any socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial or age group. Both 
victims and batterers come from a wide spectrum of life experiences, backgrounds, and rela- 
tionships. Anyone cm abuse. Anyone can be a victim. However, the most frequent victims 
■re women abused by their male partners. 

Victims have a number of options in responding to the violence in their lives. They may Sliiy 
In the relationship, get help in leaving, take legal action, or contact i domestic violence program. 

The incidence of domestic violence is epidemic, yet it is estimated that only one out often 
- -incidents is reported. On an individual level, without appropriare intervention, domestic vio- 
lence always increases in frequency and severity and has a long-term impact on the lives of 
victims and their children 3i well as society. Domestic violence Is i major risk factor for 
homelcssncjs, child abuse, crime and delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, and rape. 

The Statistics 

• Domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury to women in our society; battery by 
a spouse is responsible for more hijuries than auto accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. 
(Randall, 1990: Stark & Fliteraft, 1988) 

• 30% of female homicide victims are killed by their husbands or boyf lends. (Casanave & 
Zihn, 1986) 

• In homes whetc there Is spouse abuse, children are abused or seriously neglected at a rate 
1,500% higher than the national average. (U.S. Senate Judlcliry Committee, )?"C)- •■-'— 

• Bct^vcc^ 50% and 70% of the men who batter their wives/partners also abuse their 
children. (Walker, et al.. 1982) 

• One-third of the children who witness the battering of their mother demonstrate significant 
behavioral and/or emotional problems. (Roscnbaum and OLeary, 1981) 

• Of boys aged 11 to 20 years old who commit homicide, 63% kill the man who is abusing 
their mother. (Thf W/ir Againit Women: Overcoming Ftma/t Abuie, ]^65) 

• 30% of children exposed to violence become violent adults. (Stark, 1990) 


Domestic Violuice mi Children 

In horaeswhert there Is spouse abiiie, 
children are abused or striously ne- 
i;lecled at a rate 1500% higher than 
ihs national avenge according the 
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. In 
70% of cliild abuse situationi, the 
mother is also being abused. A Colo- 
rado stiidy found that 55% of batter- 
ing husbands abused their children. 

.Men .-uid \vomen who saw their par- 
ent physically attack each other were 

three limes more likely to hit their 
own spouses thatt were those of non- 
violent parenti. The sons of the most 
violent parents have i rate of wife 
beju'ng ten times greater than that of 
the sons of non-violent parents. 

In a majority of stales, Judges are not 
required to consider proof of domestic 
violence in determining child cui- 
lody. Ten JUtcj and the District of 
Columbia require spousal abuse to be 
considered In temporary and/or per- 
manent custody decision (Alaska, 
Arizona, California, Colorado, 
Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Iowa, 
Texas and Washington). 

Less than 15% of children who are 
molested are molested by total strang- 
ers. This startling statistic reveals 
that It Is someone In that child's home 
enviionroent who Is the perpetrator. 

Another chllllDg statistic reveals that 
63% of boys, behveen the ages of 1 1 
and 20, who commit homicide, mur- 
der the man who Is beating their 

In testimony to the House Select Com- 
inJnee of the Pennsylvarua House of 
Representatives, Dr. Evan Stark ad- 
dressed the relationship between 
woman battering and child abu$«. 'Jt 
Is not difficult to Imaglni the dilemma 
cvrrint proetlees post for the bat' 
lered mother. The woman eennot 
protect her child unless she, herself. 
Is protected. Too o/ten, If she asks for 
protection for herself her child may 
be removed fi-om her custody.* 

Dr. Stark farther testified that "We 
found that the battered mothers of 
abused children were more likely to 
have their children placed in foster 
care than non-battered mothers — a 
punitive intervention which tells the 
woman she Is no good but does noth- 
ing to end the violence against her. 
As. a result, she may He or minlmlie 
her partner's abuse. Leaving herself 
doiiblyvulneroble. She may project a 
on image of being unabU to cope, I 

tt\.yt"^ I.I... I «....«. ,.w Iw v.«wU^C IIIL 

abuse will be forthcoming. " 


For additional Information on the ef- 
fects of domestic violence on chil- 
dren, see the article in this issue of the 
Voice entitled, 'Domestic Violence- 
Part III. Th e Effects on Children ' by 
Janet MacKay. 


Domestic Violence: The Effects on Children 

(Part III oflht llie t'alct Surlti on Donnslie yieltnct) 

By Janet MocKay 

Chilflj-fn who have nfpeattdly wit- 
ncs'ied severe acts of emotfonal and 
I)Iiysica] abuse directedat their mother 
by her intimate partner have only 
rcteiitiy been given aUention and sub- 
jtqiicnt Intervention. TTieir experi- 
e:i'.c5 have been van'ed-objerving 
the violence directly by seeing their 
mother threatened or hit; by o^ erheax- 
inj; the behavior from anotlier room; 
by seeing the bruises or other Injuries 
ou tlieir mother or the emotional con- 
seqi:ences of fear, hurt, and IntJmida- 
tioD tbcy recogniie so well. 

Wiuiesslng the abuse of their parent 
Mn liave a broad range of effects on 
cliitclien. Infants raised In a violent 
liDiiie have their basic needs for at- 
ticimient to their mother significanlly 
riisnipiL-d. Routines around sleeping 
and fucdJng are topically not normal. 
The stressful demands of an infant 
may b« more difficult to handle for 8 
molbcr In fear of abuse. Infants and 
Inddlcrs can also be injured in an act 
(if violence by being "cauglil In u'lt 
crossfire." They may be accidentally 
hit, pashed, or dropped, or held by 
l!ic'r mother for their own safety and 
become vulnerable targets of the 

LJoys and girls, looWng to tlielr pai- 
t:ii.'; as role models, leam that \1o- 
Icuce is an apprcpri.ite way ofresolv- 
ing conflicts. Children may aKempt 
to practice what they have learned at 
Lome with fights in the neighborhood 

school adjustment, triggers conse- 
quences from school, and causes more 
stressors to deal with than Just those at 

The emotional effects for school-aged 
children are numerous. They may 
live In shame In terms of the hidden 
violence and be embarrassed by the 
family secret. Alsopteseniraflybethe 
hope that someone will find out and 
rescue them. Their self-esteem and 
confidence In the fljture are under- 
mined. The djTiamic of Isolailoo, 
oflen present In the violent family, 
excludes their participation In social 

Children oflen experience guilt out of 
a sense that they could prevent the 
violence. Confusion and a divided 
sense of loyalty between their parents 
can e.xist. This tnuns wanting to 
protect their mother, but still respect- 
ing and fearing their father's right to 
control the family. Little pejce or 
iic\ii\i; ii 5 1 illoble for uic:: children 
as they live \Wth the fear and aa-dety 
of waiting for the next violent episode. 

For adolescents who have witnessed 
violence In thdr home, ihej-may be- 
gin to repeat the pattern In their da ting 
relationships. They may also see this 
as the time to escape from this family 
distress and •violence. They spend 
more time away &om home and may 
nen run r«3y. Those that stay may 
confront their mothers with the fact 

cr.iisthool. Tlus. in turn, affects their I that tliey cannot live with violence any 
Child Abuse In Battering Relationships 

more. Some adolescents act out their 
anger and frustration through delin- 
quent acts that result In Intervention 
by the juvem'le Justice tjstem. Some 
boys model 'he behavior they have 
learned by assaulting their mothers or 
siblings. Another way of dealing with 
living In a violent home, of\en exhib- 
ited by girls. Is taking orver the 
patenting responsibility for most 
members of the family. 

As we can see, the effects on children 
w ho have witnessed violence in their 
homes Is a serious problem Respon- 
sibility for Intervention In these 
children's lives must be a community 

Slopping the cjxle of violence from 
one generation to the next re<juirei 
awareness of the problem and a will- 
ingness to Intervene at a crucial poinL 
This can be accomplished by inter- 
vention with the battered victim or 
intervention with the witnessing chil- 
dren. The medical cotT!."iurity, the. 
school syste m, social service agencies 
and law enforcement can all take a 
part in breaking the cjde of violence. 
Straiegiei that can be utilized Include 
defining assault agalnstfamlly mem- 
bers as a crime, recognizing the psy- 
cholcgical Impact, reporting incidents 
that have medical evidence, and pro- 
moting prevention programs that edu- 
cate children otj nonviolent ap- 
proaches to conflict 

o w ^ 

In a domestic abuse situation, it is common for the batfcrjng husband to also abuse the children 
in an attempt to coerce the wife (Plan ned Parenthood o f .So utheastern Pennsylvania v. Rnhcri 
CasfiY. Supreme Court of the United States, 1992, No. 288, p. 34), 

Children in homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused or neglected at a rate 
1 500% higher than the national average (Sherry Ford, "Domestic Violence: TTie Great American 
Spectator Sport," Oklahoma Coalition on D omestic Violence and Sexual Assault . July/August 
1991, p. 3). 

In homes where domestic violence occurs, children are abused at a rate of 1,500% higher than 
the national average ("Women and Violence," He arings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary 
Committee. August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate Hearing 101-939. pt. 2, p. 142, .p. 37). 

Children are present In 41-44% of homes where police intervene In domestic violence calls 
(Sherry Pord, "Domestic Violence: The Great American Spectator Sport," Oklahoma Coalitioq 
on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault . July/August 1991, p. 3). 


The most serious cases of cWld abuse resulting In emergency room treatment are merely 
extensions of Die batterinf rampages launched against the child's mother, with 70% of the 
serious injuries to children and 80% of the fatal injuries inflicted by men ("Women and 
Violence," He^ngs befor e th? U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. August 29 and December 11, 
1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pi. 2, p. 142). 

The March of Dimes reports that pregnant women are at a particular risk . More babies are now 
born with birth defects as a result of the mother being battered during pregnancy, than from the 
combination of all the diseases for which we immunize pregnant women ("Women and 
Violence," Hc^ngs before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. August 29 and December 11, 
1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pi. 2, p. 135). 

Men who batter their wives srp likely t" novnilf thr'r rhlMfP Th.^ NMrring pf women who 
are mothers usually predates the Infliction of children (Stark & Flitcrafl, 1988). At least half 
of all battering husbajids also batter their children (Pagelow, 1989). The more severe the abuse 
of the mother, the worse the child abuse (Bowker, Arbitcll, and McFerron, 1988) (Barbara 
Hart, Remarks from the Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, Pennsylvania, 1992). 

Preliminary reports from the Boston Children's Hospital Child Abuse AWAKE PROGRAM 
indicate that 70% of the severely abused children In the program have mothers who are battered. 
This suggests that battering of women could also Indicate the presence cf child abuse (William 
M. Holmes, Statistical Analysis Center, "Police Response to Domestic Violence; Final Report 
for Bureau of Justice Statistics," December 1988, p. 16). 

Boston City Hospital found a 60% correlation between abused children and battered women (L. 
McKJbben, E. Devos, and E, Newberger, "Victimization of Mothers for Abused Children: A 
Controlled Study," 84 Pediati4cs 531, 1989). 

Several national stxidics have found that in 70% of families where the woman is battered, 
children are battered as well. One study found tiiat abused motiiers were eight times more likely 
to batter tiielr children when these mothers were with their abusive partners than when they were 
not. Like all children, the children of violent families learn from their experiences - and Ihey 
arc more likely to establish similar abusive relationships with their own children ("Broken Bodies 
& Broken Spirits: Family Violence In Maryland and Recommendations for Change", Family 
Violence Coalition, Maryland, June 1991). 

More than 75 % of the women surveyed reported that their children had been physically or 
sexually abused by their batterers (Lenore Walker, Roberta Thyfault & Angela Browne, "Beyond 
the Juror's Ken: Battered Women," Vermont Law Review , Vol. 7, 1982, p. 11). 

A major study of more tiian 900 children at batlercJ women's shelters founc* that nearly 70% 
of the children were themselves victims of physical abuse or neglect. Nearly one-half of the 
children had been physically or sexually abused. Five percent had been hospitalized due to the 
abuse. The same study found tiiat the male ballerer most often abused the children (National 
Woman Abuse Prevention Project, "Understanding Domestic Violence: Fact Sheets," 1989, p. 

Of the 1,000 battered women in the study, 225 did not have children with the batterer. Wife 
beaters abused children in 70% of the families In which children were present (Lee H. Bowker, 
Michelle Arbltcll and J. Richard McFerron, "On the Relationship Between Wife Beating and 
Child Abuse," Chapter 7 from Fctninis t Perspectives on Wife Abuse . Ed. Kcrsti Yllo and 
Michcle Bograd, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1988, p. 162). 

In a recent study of the children of 27 women who sought help at a shelter for battered women, 
55.6% of the women and 63% of the batterers were reported to be physically abusive of their 
children (from Jean Giles-Sims, 1985, quoted by Sue McLeer, "Slides from Dr. Sue McLcer," 
unpublished, Philadelphia, PA, 1989). 

Fifty-three percent of battering husbands abuse not only their wives, but their children, too 
(Richard Weizel, "The Courts and the Cops," Valley Advocate , Fcba-ary 27, 1989, p- 3). — - 


Based on the histories and symptoms of battered women and their children In shelters, 
researchers estimate the extent of overlap bctwcsn wife assault and child physical or sexual 
abuse to be approximately 30% to 40% (Peter G. Jaffe, David A. Wolfe and Susan Kaye 
Wilson, Children of Battered Women . Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990, pp. 21-22). 

Fears for the safety of battered women's children are realistic, Many fathers inadvertently Injure 
children while throwing about furniture jjid other household objects when abusing the woman. 
The youngest children sustain the most serious Injuries, such as concussions and broken 
shoulders and ribs (Maria Roy, Children In The Crossfire . 1988, pp. 89-90). 

Very young children, held by their mothers In nn attempt to protect them, are hurt when the men 
continue to beat the mothers without any regard for the children's safety (Peter G. Jaffe, David 
A. Wolfe and Susan Kaye Wilson, Children of Battered Women . Newbury Park, CA: Sage 
Publications, 1990, p. 26). 

In a 36-month study of 146 American children, ngea 11 to 17, who'came from homes where 
wife beating was a major problem, all sons over the age of 14 attempted to protect their mothers 
from attack! - 62 % of them were Injured In the process (Maria Roy, Children In the Crossfire , 
1988. p. 92) 

In Gayford's study of 100 battered women, he found that 37% of the women and 54% of their 
batterers had beaten the children (J.J. Gayford, "Battered Wives," Violence and the Family . 
Ed. J.P. Martin, pp. 19, 25). 

In Walker's study 53% of the 435 battered women reported that their batterers had also battered 
their children and 5% reported that they, themselves, had used physical violence against (heir 
children while angry at their batterers (Lcnore Walker, Th? Battered Woman Syndrome , New 
York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 1984, p. 27). 

Roy found that one or more children were being abused In 45% of the maritally violent couples 
in her study (Alan Rosenbaum and K. Daniel O'Leary, "Children: The Unintended Victims of. 
Marital Violence," American Journal of. Orthopsychiatry . Vol. 51, No. 4, October 1981, p. 

In Hilberman and Munson's research, they found evidence of physical and/or sexual abuse of 
children In 20 of the 60 cases they studied. As they concluded: "There seems to be two styles 
of abuse: the husband beats the wife who beats the children, and/or the husband beats both his 
wife and the children" (Charles P. Ewing, Battered Women Who Kill: Psychological Self- 
Defense as Legal Justification . Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1987, p. 12). 

Straus found that almost one-third of the families in which there was a violent Incident between 
sjxDuses also reported the presence of child abuse (Lee H. Bowker, Michelle Arbitell and J. 
Richard McFerron, "On the Relationship Between Wife Beating and Child Abuse," Chapter 7 
from Feminist Pers pectives on Wife Abuse, Ed. Kcrstl Yllo and Michcle Bograd, Newbury 
Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1988, p. 159). 

One-third of (he families In which the husband-wife abuse was severe enough to be considered 
wife abuse, the batterer also abused a child (Jean Giles-Sims, "A Longitudinal Study of Battered " 
Children of Battered Wives," Family Relations , Vol. 34, April 1985, p. 205). 

It's been estimated that child abuse Is present In 13% of all battering relationships (Jane 
O'Reilly, "Wife Beating: The Silent Crime," Iim£, September 5, 1983, pp. 23-24). 

Straus et. al. reported that the risk of child abuse is 12% higher where the husband hits his wife 
(Evan Stark and Anne E. Flitcraft, "Violence Among Intimates: An Epidemiological Review," 
Chapter 13 from H andbook of Familv Violence . Ed. Von Haselt, ct. al.j New York:- Plenum 
Press, 1988, p. 304). 


In an attempt to rstabllsh the actuaJ relationship brtween child abuse and battering !n families, 
116 mothers of children "darted" or flagged In a single year for abuse or neglect at \ 
nielropolilAn hospital were studied by Stark and FlitcraJ"t (1984). A screening mechanism 
developed to identify battering in a medical population was employed to examine each injury 
episode in the mothers' adult lives. These examinations revealed that 45% of the abused 

children had mothers who themselves were being physically abused and Mother 5% had mothers 
whose relationships were "full of conflict," although abuse was not verified. Children whose 
mothers had been battered were more likely to be physically abused and less likely to be 
"neglected" than children whose mothers had not been battered (Lee H. Bowkcr, Michelle 
Arbitell and J. Richard McFcrron, "On the RelatJonshIp Between Wife Beating and Child 
Abuse," Chapter 7 from Femi nist Persp ectives on Wife Ab use. Ed. Kersd Yllo and Michele 
Bograd, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1988, pp. 159-160). 

A Toronto, Ontario research project indicated that 68% of 2,910 wife assault cases had children 
present (Peter G. Jaffe, David A. Wolfe and Susan Kaye Wilson, Children of Battered Women . 
Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990, p. 21). 

Tormes found that 13 out of 20 incestuous fathers were also physically violent to their wives and 
to other family members (Donna L. Truesdcll, John S. McNeil and Jeanne P. Deschner, 
"Incidence of Wife Abuse in Incestuous Families," Social Work . March-April 1986, p. 138). 

Julian and Mohr reported an incidence of 25.5% of wife abuse cases In families in which incest 
occurred (Donna L. Truesdcll, John S. McNeil and Jeanne P. Deschner, "Incidence of Wife 
Abuse in Incestuous Families," Social Work . March-April 1986, p. 138). 

Dietz and Craft discovered that 78% of the social workers Interviewed believed that the mothers 
in the incestuous families were victims of wife battering (Donna L. Truesdcll, John S. McNeil 
and Jeanne P. Deschner, "Incidence of Wife Abuse In Incestuous Families," Social Work . 
March-April 1986, p. 138). • 

As a 1978 study of family violence showed, child abuse is 129% more frequent in families 
where there is also spouse abuse, since the same twisted ideas about male control of women and 
children are in operation (Hanna Lessingcr, "A Case of Justifiable Homicide?" Guardian , May 
25, 1983). 

Abuse of children by a batterer is more likely when the marriage is dissolving, the couple has 
separated, and the husband/father is highly committed to continued dominance and control of 
the mother and children (Bowker, Arbitell, and McFerron, 1988). Wh6re the mother Is 
assaulted by the father, daughters are exposed to a risk of sexual abuse 6.51 times greater than 
girls In nonabusive families (Bowker, Arbitell, and McFerron, 1988) (Barbara Hart, Remarks 
from the Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, Pennsylvania, 1992). 

Child abduction occurs at alarming rates In this country: 40.4 children are abducted by a parent 
every hour. Seventy percent of the child snatchers are fathers or their agents. Fully 41 % of the 
abductions occur between the separation of the parents and the divorce. Yet another 41% 
happen after the parents are separated or divorced more than two years. Children often suffer 
severe emotional and physical repercussions related to parental abduction. Authorities fall to 
recognize the connection between domestic violence and child abduction (Ffnkelhor et al., 
"Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children in America," Washington, DC: 
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1990). 

Battering men use custodial access to the children as a tool to terrorize battered women or to 
retaliate for separation. Each year more than 350,000 children are abducted by parents in this 


country; that Jj, 40.4 children are abducted per hour. Fifty four percent of these abducUons arc 
short-term manipulations around custody orders, but 46% involve concealing the whereabouts 
of the child or taWng the child out of stale. Most of these abductions are perpetrated by fathers. 
Fully 4 1 % occur between the separation of the parents and the divorce. More than half of these 
abduction s occur in the context of domestic violence (Greif and Hcger, 1992) (Barbara Hart, 
Remarks from the Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, Pennsylvania, 1992). 

Eight times as many women report using physical discipline on their children while with their 
batterer than when living alone or In a non-battering relationship (Lenore Walker, The Battered 
Woman Syndrome . New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 1984, p. 150). 

If the mother has been hit, she is more than twice as likely to abuse her own child as a mother 
who has not been hit by her husband (Jean Giles-Sims, "A Longitudinal Study of tattered 
Children of Battered Wives," Family Relations . Vol. 34, April 1985, p. 205). 

Studies have found that mothers who are the victims of frequent abuse are more likely to 
victimize their children than non-abused mothers; and that mothers who experience severe 
violence are more likely to use severe in resolving conflicts with their children (M.P. Koss, 
"The Women's Mental Health Research Agenda: Violence Against Women," American 
Psycholoe v. 1990, pp. 374-380). 

Some In-depih research suggests that mothers are up to eight times more likely to physically 
abuse a child when they are in a violent relationship than when that same mother Is with a non- 
violent partner (Lenore Walker, The Battered Woman Syndrome . New York: Springer 
Publishing, 1984). 

Wilnessliig or Experiencbg Violence as r Child 

Boys who have witnessed abuse of their mothers are 10 limc5 more likely to batter their female 
partners as adults ("Women and Violence," Heari n gs before the U.S. Senate Judiciary 
Committee. August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pt. 2, p. 93). 

Hotaling and Sugarman (1986) surveyed potential risk markers of husband to wife violence using 
52 a{x comparison studies as a source of data. Among 42 characteristics cited in the literature, 
they found only one to be a consistent risk marker for female victims-witnessing parental 
violence while growing up. Kaufman and Zigler (1987), in a comprehensive review of the 
literature on inlergcncratlonal transmission of violence, estimated the rate of Intergenerational 
transmission to be 30%, plus of minus 5%. Their finding suggests that approximately one-third 
of those who have suffered physical or sexual abuse or neglect as a child will subject their own 
children to some form of abuse, two thirds will not (Sharon Wofford, Delbert Elliott, and Scott 
Nfenard, "Continuities In Marital Violence," to be submitted to the Journal of Family Violence . 
June 1992). 

Department of Youth Services of Boston report that children of abused mothers Sre 6 times more 
likely to attempt suicide, 74% more likely to commit crimes against the person. They were 24 
times more likely to have committed sexual assault crimes and a 50% more likely to abuse drugs 
and/or alcohol ("Women and Violence," Hearings bef ore the U.S- Senate Judiciary Committee. 
August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pt. 2, p. 131). 

It is estimated that family violence Is prevalent in 3 to 4 million American homes (Jaffe, Wolfe, 
and Wilson, Children of Batter ed Women . Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1990). If 2.5 children are 
living in each, that's at least 7.5 million kids learning violence every year either as a spectator 
or as a participant (Sherry Ford, "Domestic Violence: The Great American Spectator Sport," 
Oklahoma Coalition on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault . July/August 1991, p. 3). 

Children from violent homes are at a greater risk for alcohol and drug abuse and juvenile 
delinquenry (Sherry Foid, "Domestic Violence: The Great American Spectator Sport," 
Oklahoma Coalition on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assaul t. July/August 1991, p. 3). 


Repom by battered mothers show that 87% of children witness the abuse (Lenore Walker, The 
Battered Woman Syndrome . New York: Springer Publishing Co, 1584, p. 59). 

Many children suffer low self-e5tcem, sadness, depression, stress disorders, poor Impulse 
control, and feelings of powerlessness, and they are at high risk for alcohol and drug use, sexual 
acting out, rumiing away. Isolation, loneliness, fear, and suicide (Peter Jaffe, David Wolfe & 
Susan Kaye WUson, Children of Battered Women . 1990, pp. 28-29). 

Children who grew up in violent homes had a 74% higher likelihood of committing criminaJ 
assaults, according to a survey by the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services. And 
another study found that a staggering 63% of imprisoned youngsters between the ages of 1 1 and 
20 were doing time for lulling their mother's batterer (John Sedgwick, "The Face of Crime in 
America, Self, May 1992). 

Retrospective accounts from women in shelters reveal that as many a3*80% of the women recall 
witnessing their mother being assaulted by their father as well as being assaulted themselves 
(Peter 0, Jaffe, David A. Wolfe and Susan Kaye Wilson, Children of Battererf Wnm^n , 
Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990, p. 21). 

Parker and Schumacher reported that 68.4 % of the abused wives in their study had mothers who 
had been similarly abused (Alan Roscnbaum and K. Daniel O'Lcary, 'Children: The Unintended 
Victims of Marital Violence," American Journal of Orthopsvchiatry . Vol. 51, No. 4, October 
1981, pp. 693-4). 

Battering was reported to have been present In 67% of the battered women's childhood homes, 
81% of the batterers', and only 24% of thenon-batterers'. This finding supports the theory that 
violence is a learned behavior (Lenore Walker, The Battered Woman Syndrome . New York, 
NY: Springer Publishing Company, 1984, p. 19). 

Almost one-half of Walker's sample of battered women had been sexually assaulted as a child 
(Lenore Walker, "Eliminating Sexism to End Battering Relationships," Paper presented at the 
American Psychological Association, Toronto, ON, 1984, p. 10). 

In a community sample of battered women who were not residing In crisis shelters, almost one- 
third indicated that they had witnessed violence and had been abused themselves (Peter 0. Jaffe, 
David A. Wolfe and Susan Kaye Wilson, Children of Battered Women . Newbury Park, CA; 
Sage Publications, 1990, p. 21). 

Fojtik found that 33% of the abused wives In her sample had witnessed parental spouse abuse 
(Alan Roscnbaum and K. Daniel O'Leary, "Children: The Unintended Victims of Marital 
Violence," American Journal of Orthopsychiatry . Vol. 51, No. 4, October 1981, p. 693-4). 

Roy reported violence in the families of origin of 33% of the abused wives in her study (Alan 
Rosenbaum and K. Daniel 0'Leia7, "Children: The Unintended Victims of Marital Violence^" 
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry . Vol. 51, No. 4, October 1981, p. 693). 

Women who cxpciJcnced family violence as children are about one-third more likely to 
experience it in their marriages than women who did not (Mark A. Schulman, A Sut^'ey of 
■<: pou<;al Violence Against Women In Kentucky . Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Jusdce, 
1987, p. 2). 

In the shelter sample, 9 little more than two out of every seven women considered themselves 
to be daughters of battered woman (Lewis Okun, "Termination or Resumption of Cohabitation 
in Woman Battering Relationships: A Statistical Study," Chapter 6 from CfiPJng.With Famllv 
Violence: Research and P"Hcv P erspectives . Ed. Gerald Hotaling, et, al., Newbury Park, CA: 
Sage Publications, 1988, p. 116). 


When Stark and Flitcraft compared the pediatric records of battered and nonbattercd women, 
they found thnt the abuse victims had an excess risk of childhood abuse 14 times higher than 
expected (15% vs. 1%) (Evan Stark and Anne E. Flitcraft, "Spouse Abuse," SurECOa GCperalls 


Worksho p on Violen ce and Public Hwlth Source BoqY, presented at the Surgeon General's 
Workshop on Violence and Public Health in Lccsburg, VA, October 1985, p. 17). 

The two grc^itcst risk factors for a man to batter a woman are having witnessed his own father 
batter his mother, or having himself been abused during childhood (Gerald T. Hotaling and 
David B. Sugannan, "An Analysis of Risk Markers In Husband to Wife Violence: The Current 
State of Knowledge," Violence and Victims . Vol. 1, Summer 1986). 

The sons of the most violent parents have a rate of wife-beating 1 ,000 % greater than that of the 
sons of nonviolent prjcnts (20%) (Murray A. Straus, Richard J. Gelles & Suzanne K. 
Stcinmctz, Behin d Closed Doors: Violence in the A merican Family. Garden City, NY: Anchor 
Books, 1980, p. 16). 

The data summarized by Straus, et. al., (1980) show that [white] men from violent homes are 
10 times more likely to abuse their wives than men from nonviolent childhoods; but 90% of the 
children from violent homes and even 80% of tlie children from homes classified as most violent 
d o not become batterers. Conversely, a current batterer is more than twice as likely to have had 
a "nonviolent" than a violent childhood and 7 times more likely to come from a nonviolent than 
from the "most violent" homes (Evan Stark and Anne E. FllfcraA, "Spouse Abuse," Sufggon 
General's Workshop on Violence and Public Health Source Book , presented at the Surgeon 
General's Workshop on Violence and Public Health In Leesburg, VA, October 1985, p. 17). 

The people who experienced the most punishment as teen-agers have a rate of wife-beating and 
husband-beating that is four times greater than those whose parents did not hit them (Murray A. 
Straus, Richard J. Gelles & Suzanne K. SteinmeLz, Behind Close d Doors: Violence in the 
American Family . Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1980, p. 110). 

Straus, Gelles, and Steinmetz (1980) found that men who had witnessed violence between their 
p.irenis were almost three times as likely to hit their wives than sons of nonviolent parents. 
Similarly, Fagan, Stewart, and Hansen reported that exposure to violence in childhood was the 
strongest predictor of the prevalence of spouse abuse, as well as a predictor of the severity of 
injuries experienced by the wife. In fact, the majority of studies on abusive men find that a high 
percentage come from homes In which there was either abuse of a spouse, a child, or both. 
Such findings aie consistent with studies of homicides occurring between partners, which 
indicate that the majority of men Involved In those relationships also witnessed abuse and/or 
" were abused as children (Murray A. Straus, Richard J. Gelles & Suzanne K. Steinmtti, Mlilld 
rwpHi_r)nnjV^V|n|cnc<' In the American Family. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1980, p. 
1 10 and Angela Browne, Wbyn B attered Women Kill. New York, NY: The Free Press, 1987. 
p. 31). 

Dcbra Kalmuss conducted a study which Indicted that for male respondents, observed parental 
hitting doubled the odds of husband-lo-wife aggression in their later relationships, and this was 
much more strongly related to the later perpetration of violenr* against a partner than was 
having been hit by one's parents (Angela Browne, When Battered Women Kill. New York,lIY: 
The Free Press, 1987, p. 31). 

Seventy percent of the participants In one treatment program for batterers came from violent 
homes, according to the National Woman Abuse Prevention Project (Racquel Pvcbcrts, "Abuse 
follows well-wom patlem," The Houston Post . October 18, 1989, p. A-14). 

In 63% of the men's families In Walker's study, their fathers beat their mothers. This Is In 
contrast to 27% of the non-battcrers' homes. In 61% of the men's childhood home they were 
battered by their fathers and in 44%, they were battered by their mothers. In some cases, they 
were battered by both. These data become even more significant when compared to the 23% 
of non-battcrers beaten by their fathers and 13% by their mothers. Perpetuating the high level 
of violence In the family, over one-half of the batterers (53%) battered their children (Lenore 
Walker, The Battered Woman Syndrome . New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 1984, 
pps. 20, 35) 


Of 42 characteristics of female victims investigated by researchers, only one-witnessing violence 
between parents or caregivers while growing up--ls consistently related to future wife abuse. 
(7396 of the studies found this effect, while 27% did not.) Similarly, men who witnessed 
parental violence are much more likely to later perpetrate abuse against a female partner than 
men who were the victims of child abuse but did not witness abuse between their parents or 
caregivers. In the review by Hotaling and Sugarman, 94% of the empirical studies found a 
significant relationship for men between "A'itnesslng parental violence and later abusing a partner, 
whereas 69% found being the victim of child abuse to be associated with partner abuse and 31 % 
did not (Angela Browne, When Battered Women Kill . New York, NY: The Free Press, 1987, 
p. 31). 

Fojtik found that 50% of the abusive men In her sample had witnessed parental spouse abuse 
(Alan Roscnbaum and K, Daniel O'Lcary, "Children: The Unintended Victims of Marital 
Violence," American Journal of Orthopsvchiatry . Vol. Sf, No. 4, October 1981, p. 693-4). 

Retrospective studies have indicated that abusers more frequently grow up In families where 
mother was battered (22/49) than men from non-violent, but discordant marriages (1/20) or men 
with satisfactory marriages (2/20) (from Roscnbaum and O'Lcary, 198 1 , quoted by Sue McLeer. 
"Slides from Dr. Sue McLeer," Unpublished, Philadelphia, PA, 1989). 

Nationally, 70% of those In abusive relationships came from families in which they were abused 
as children (Straus, ct. al., 1980, cited in the Affidavit of R.H. Doyle for the Circuit Court, 

Hxtrapolatlng from their sample. Stark and Flitcraft have suggested that fully 79% of women 
with a history of documented child abuse may be battered women, a very high degree of 
sensitivity, and one battered woman In four may have a childhood history that Includes child 
abuse, maldrg child abuse relatively specific as well. This also means that 75% of currently 
battered women do not have a childhood history of violence (Evan Stark and Anne Flitcraft, 
"Violence Among Intimates: An Epidemiological Review," Chapter 13 from Handbook of 
Family Violence . Ed. von Haselt, ef. al.. New York: Plenum Press, 1988, p. 309). 

Almost 82% of the husbands who witnessed parental spouse abuse were also yictlms of child 
abuse at the hands of one or both parents (Alan Roscnbaum and K. Daniel O'Lcary, "Children: 
The Unintended Victims of Marital Violence," American jQ ^imal of Orthopsychiatry. Vol. 51, 
No. 4, October 1981. p. 698). 

Straus et. al. presented extensive data on the sensitivity and specificity of childhood violence as 
an indicator of current battering behavior, demonstrating that men from violent childhoods (5% 

of the total population) are three times as likely to hit their wives and 10 times more likely to 
abuse them as men from nonviolent childhoods. However, the currently nonviolent group is far 
larger than the group In their sample that Is cunently abusive In our terms. As a result, 
e>!trapolatlng to the popjiatlon as a whole, this data indicates that 90% of the children from 
violent homes and even 80% of the children from the homes that are the most violent do not 
become batterers. Moreover, although a boy who witnessed wife abuse Is three times as likely 
to abuse his wife as a boy who did not witness parental abuse, given the relative proportions of 
children from violent and nonviolent homes, (5% to 37%), a cunent batterer Is more than twice 
as likely to have had a nonviolent childhood (7; 3) and seven times more likely to come from 
nonviolent than from the most violent homes. In sum, childhood exposure to violence appears 
to be neither a sensitive nor a specific Indicator of battering by men (Evan Stark and Anne 
Flitcraft, "Violence Among. Intimates: An Epidemiological Review," Chapter 13 from Handbook 
of Family Violence . Ed. von Haselt, et. al., New York: Plenum Press, 1988, p. 309). 

Sinclair, based on her clinical experience, has suggested that if children are In a violent family 
80% of them will witness an episode of wife assault (Peter G. Jaffe, David A. Wolfe and Susan 
Kaye Wilson, Children of Battered Women . Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990, p. 


Of the 1,014 witnesses who testified In 928 wife assault cases, 50% were children (Lee H. 
Bowkcr, Michelle Arbitell and J. Richard McFcrron, 'On the Relationship Between Wife 
Beating and Child Abuse," Chapter 7 from Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse . Ed. Kcrsti 
Yllo and Michcle Bograd, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1988, p. 160). 

Carlson estimates (based on an average of two children in 55% of violent households) that at 
least 3.3 million children in the United States between the ages of 3 and 17 years are yearly at 
risk of exposure to parental violence (Peter G. Jaffe, David A. Wolfe and Susan Kaye Wilson, 
Children of Battered Women . Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990. p. 21) 

Other investigators have reported that boys who witnessed violence tended to use violence as [a) 
means of problem solving and demonstrated aggressive behavior toward peers and parents 
(particularly motJier) (from Gelles, 1972, Davidson, 1978. Carlson, 1977, quoted by Sue 
McLecr, "Slides from Dr. Sue McLeer,- Unpublished, Fhiladelphiai PA, 1989); 

Nearly 71% of women In the homicide group and 65% in the nonhomlcldc group reported that 
they had been the victims of a;id/or witnessed physical abuse in their family of origin (Angela 
Browne, "Assault and Homicide at Home: When Battered Women Kill," A^vj^"^?^ >" Applied 
Psychology: Vol. 3 . Ed., M.J. Saks and L. Saxe, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 
Inc., p. 66). 

Eighty-four percent of the men in the nonhomlcide group had reportedly witnessed or been the 
victims of abuse during childhood. In the homicide group, 18% of women didn't know that 
Information about the childhood of their mates, but of those who did, 91% ieportcd abuse 
occurring In the man's childhood home (Angela Browne, "Assault and Homicide at Home: When 
Battered Women Kill," /<(^\-Kr\rpi !n Applied Psycholo gy: Vol. 3 . Ed., M.J. Saks and L. Saxe, 
Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., p. 66). 

Studies of battered women Indicate that a high percentage have come from abusive homes. 
Research on Incest victims also points to a strong tendency for these individuals to become 
involved In battering or other assaultive relationships as adults. Herman ha5 hypothesized that 
a history of child sexual or physical abuse, or witnessing the abuse of others in the home, may 
have the effect of making a woman less skilled at resisting abusive behavior and more apt to 
accept victimitation as a part of the expected interactions of a family (Angela Browne, "Asiault 
and Homicide at Home: When Battered Women Kill," Atlv^nces In Applied Psychology: Vol, 
2, Ed., M.J. Saks and L. Saxe, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrenje Erlbaum Associates, Inc., p. 70). 

Perhaps 30% of children exposed to violence become violent adults (E"an Stark, "Rethinking 
Homicide: Violence, Race, and the Politics of Gender.' tntematlonal Journal of Health Servient, 
Vol. 20, No. 1, 1990, p. 9). 

Lewis, Shanok, Pincus and Glascr noted that 79% of violent children In Institutions reported that 
they had witnessed extreme violence between their parents whereas only 20% of the nonviolent 
defendants did so (Peter 0. Jaffe, David A. Wolfe and Susan Kaye V/ilson, Children of Battered 
Women . Newbury Park^ CA: Sage Publication*, 1990, p. 60). 

Based on their work with delinquent populations, Pagan and Wexler estimate that between 20% 
and 40% of families of chronically violent adolescents had experienced marital violence 
(depending on the reporting source) (Peter 0. Jaffe, David A. Wolfe and Susan Kaye Wilson, 
Children of Battered Women . Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990, p. 59). 

Hughes reported that 22% of her sample of children residing In shelters were characterized as 
very withdrawn and 10% were described as having made suicidal gestures. The children showed 
signs of restlessness and nervousness, confusion because of the differences between home and 
school environments, reticence in discussing violence, and fantasies about a different home life. 
Similarly, Alessi and Heam reported that a sample of children In a shelter for battered women 
often exhibited a high degree of anxiety, such as biting fingernails, pulling their hair, and 
somatic complaints of headaches and "tight" stomachs (Peter G. Jaffe, David A. Wolfe and 
Susan Kaye Wilson, Children of Battered Women , Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990, 
p. 49). 


Various studies have catalogued serious behavioral and emotional consequences of living In a 
violent home. For example, Gayford and others described a range of children's reactions that 
included enuresis, stealing, temper tantrums, truancy, violence toward others, insomnia, anxiety, 
tics, and the presence of fears and phobias. Hilberman and Munson were the first to describe 
a developmental pattern for child witnesses. Characteristic problems of pre- and elcmcntary- 
schoo! children Included psychosomatic complaints, school phobias, enuresis, and insomnia. 
Older children showed sex-specific reactions. Boys typically engaged in aggressive, disruptive 
behavior, while giris were reported to have difficulty concentrating on schoolwork. In other 
studies, adolescents, particularly females, were noted to suffer from feelings of worthlessness, 
depression, negative attitudes toward marriage, and distrust of intimate relationshlpj. Male 
adolescents were reported to view the use of force is a legitimate means of solving Interpersonal 
conflict. They were also found to be vulnerable to behaving violently toward their girifriends 
and. at times, toward their mothers (Gail S. Goodman and Mindy S. Rosenberg, "The Child 
Witness to Family Violence: Clinical and Legal Considerations," Chapter 6 from Domestic 

.olencc on Trial: Psvcholoel cal and Le gal Dimensions of Family Violenct? . Ed. Daniel J. 
)nlrin, New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 1987, p. 100). 

jrter and O'Leary correlated measures of overt marital hostility with children's behavioral 
problems In a sample of cllnlc-referrcd boys and girls, ranging In age from 5 to 16 years. 
Significant correlations between overt marital hostility and a variety of behavioral problems 
emerged for the boys but not for the gIris. For the boys between 5 and 10 years of age, marital 
hosLility significandy correlated with conduct disorders and total pathology scores; for boys 
between II and 16 years of age, marital hostility significantly correlated with socialized 
delinquency, personality disorder, Inadequacy-Immaturity, and total pathology. In a later study 
of 10-year old boys, Rosenbaum and O'Leary report that boys from violent families exhibited 
more behavioral problems than did boys from cither discordant but nonviolent families or 
satisfactory marital relationships (Oail S. Goodman and Mindy S. Rosenberg, "The Child 
'rVltness to Family Violence: Clinical and Legal Considerations," Chapter 6 from Ppmestjf; 
Violence on Trial: Psy chologic al and Legal Dimensions of Family Violence ^ Ed. Daniel J. 
Sonkin, New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 1987, p. 100). 

Children who live in abusive homes are at higher risk to become adjudicated as delinquent; often 
accused of burglary, arson, forgery, prostitution, running away, drug charges and other assaults 
(Lenore Walker, "Eliminating Sexism to End Battering Relationships," Paper presented at the 
American Psychological Assocladon, Toronto, ON, 1984, pp. 2-3). 

In a study of 2'A- to 8-year old child witnesses to spousal violence, Westra and Martin found 
preliminary evidence of decreased cognitive abilities and poor school performance relative to the 
children's age norms (Gail S. Goodman and Mindy S. Rosenberg, "The Child Witness to Family 
Violence: Clinical and Legal Considerations," Chapter 6 from D omestic Violence on Trial: 
Psychological and Legal Dimen sion s of Family Violence . Ed. Daniel J. Sonkin, New York, NY: 
Springer Publishing Company, 1987, p. 102). 

One study reported behavioral or emotional problems in one-third of the children of spouse- 
abusive couples (Alan Rosenbaum and K. Daniel O'Leary, "Children: The Unintended Victims 
of Marital Violence," Anierican Journal of Orthopsychiatry . Vol. 51, No. 4, October 1981, p. 

No systematic studies have been done on the indirect effects of family violence on giris although 
clinical reports suggest that they tend to be passive, withdrawn, anxious and clinging (from 
Hilberman and Munson, 1978, quoted by McLeer, "Slides from Dr. Sue McLecr," Unpublished, 
Philadelphia, PA, 1989). 


Senator DoDD. Judith, we are glad to have you with us today. 

Ms. Hyde. Senator Dodd, Senator Wellstone, and members of the 
committee, I am really honored to be here today to talk with you 
about children, domestic violence, and The Children's Law Center 
I have started in Willimantic, CT, which is halfway between Hart- 
ford and Boston in the northeast comer. 

If you call our Children's Law Center on the telephone and get 
our machine, a child tells you that I am out getting legal muscle 
for kids. Ana it is true today, at any rate; that is why I am here, 
to talk about what happens to kids in courts after conflicted par- 
ents have separated, the ways in which maybe our system contin- 
ues and perpetuates the violence. 

My mission is quite simple: to make sure that kids have good 
lawyers in custody and visitation disputes when there are also 
questions of child abuse. I must do this because I am unwilling to 
sit by any longer and watch one more child go down the tubes. 

The murder of a child in my office during supervised visitation 
last year was the last straw. It was just about 1 year ago today. 
And no one in the court system asked that child how she lelt about 
the mandated weekly visits with her father. No one is asking an- 
other 4-year-old I know how she feels about going on long visits — 
as long as 10 days or 2 weeks — with an alcoholic batterer who hap- 

Eens to be her father, while he is awaiting trial for having molested 
er big sister for 5 years. I have asked her; she does not like going 
one bit. 

Children need someone to stick up for them in complex family 
problems, especially when there are abuse allegations. Sometimes 
children do have lawyers, even experienced, committed ones. But 
they have to play by a set of rules based on the supremacy of 
adults' rights. 

The parent's right to maintain a relationship with a child, no 
matter what the parent has done, takes precedence over the child's 
right to safety or emotional protection. Judge Charles Gill, the 
president of the National Task Force for Children's Constitutional 
Rights, says: "The joining of sperm and egg does not give our par- 
ents eternal property rights." I agree with nim about that. 

A sign of the nervousness that accompanies discussions of chil- 
dren's rights is shown in a recent cartoon that shows a child on his 
way to uie principal's office, and outside the door is a concession 
cart with an umbrella, and behind it sits a man in a tie. The cart 
says "Children's Rights Attorney." 

Let me make it clear that I am not talking about an ERA for 
children. I am not talking about giving children power equal to 
adults. I am not talking about helping children to divorce their par- 
ents or sue their teachers. I am talking about seeking legal protec- 
tion from assault, from terror, from molestation, from undue coer- 

A protective supervisor who sits on The Children's Law Center 
board says, Tou know, we do not force children in foster care to 
visit with parents if they do not want to." But there seems to be 
an assumption in family matters court, though, that mothers can 
and should coerce their children to go on visits. This is supposed 
to somehow be in their best interest. I remember one mother ask- 
ing, "How do I get them out of the tree?" 


There is a lot of confusion about how to determine what is in the 
child's best interest or how and when the standard should be ap- 
plied. Those of us in Connecticut who are working on this issue 
would like to invite you, Senator Dodd, to help us with this. We 
would like you and Dr. Solnet, in celebration of the 20th anniver- 
sary of the publication of "Beyond the Best Interest of the Child," 
to participate with us in a symposium in 1994 to further our think- 
ing about best interest, especially as it applies in family court pro- 
ceedings. You have a minute for a response there. Senator. [Laugh- 

Senator DoDD. We have already received the invitation; I will be 
getting back to you. 

Ms. Hyde. Let me say just a little bit about The Children's Law 
Center and how I think it can help. First, we are not the onlv one 
in the country. I know of about 13 such programs, 5 of whicn are 
in California. Some are set up within State judiciary departments. 
Some have impressive corporate funding, and those are the ones 
that are able to provide a wide range of legal services for children, 
including child welfare, special education advocacy, guardianship, 
and emancipation. 

Well, we have no funding. We rely entirely on donated space and 
services and have gotten up and running on less than $1,000. More 
than 50 individuals, including 20 lawyers, have been involved in 
getting this going, and we now have 5 lawyers who have agreed to 
provide pro bono representation. 

Many people in the court system and in the media are paying 
very close attention — there will be a story in the New York Times 
Simday soon — ^and there is information about the operation of the 
center in your packet, so I will not go into any more detail here 
about exactly how it works. 

But I just want to say that we are about to take our first case; 
we have our first cross-disciplinary training between the clinical 
and legal professionals, which will take place in January. 

I just want to end by telling you a little bit about our probable 
first clients. They are three brothers, ages 7 to 14, who are now re- 
quired to visit with their father. The record shows that he is vio- 
lent, psychotic, and alcoholic. In the marriage, he was physically 
assaultive to the mother and oldest child. The kids do not feel safe 
with him because of the voices in his head that he wants them to 
listen in on; and when he drives with them, he tells them that 
Satan is in control of his car. The visitation order specifies super- 
vision by father's parents, but first he has to get off probation for 
having assaulted them. 

By representing children like these, we hope to accomplish three 
things — ^first, to give the child a way of having his or her point of 
view entered into the complex of issues and opinions that enter 
into court decisions. Second, we want to put pressure on the legal 
system not only to consider the needs of the child, but to make 
tnem paramount. And third, we would like to improve the standard 
of representation for children so that kids' lawyers can no longer 
be called "potted plants," which stand around looking decorative 
but do not do much. That is the way one lawyer on my advisory 
board characterized them. 


So that is essentially what I wanted to say about The Children's 
Law Center, and I have also included in my testimony information 
about The Family Peace Centers that exist in Hawaii and which 
I would like to commend to you as another model of a comprehen- 
sive family violence pTogram. 

Thank you very much. 

Senator Dodd. Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Hyde follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Judith Hyde, MA. 

Founder and co-executive director, The Children's Law Center: Director since 
1979 of The Child Protection Council of Northeastern Connecticut; Child and family 
therapist; Board member, Connecticut Children and the Courts Conunittee; Select 
Committee on Children working group on a constitutional amendment for children's 
rights, Connecticut Legislature. 

I have been eisked to address two questions: what happens to children who are 
exposed to domestic violence, and how will it help to have a non-profit agency to 
provide legal representation for children in proceedings affecting their lives. In addi- 
tion, I willcomment on supervised visitation and make a recommendation. 


Well documented in the literature are a number of consequences of witnessing vio- 
lence in the home including fear, helplessness, depression, guilt, anxiety, sleep dis- 
turbance and delayed development. These children suffer somatic symptoms as well, 
more illness, more hospitalizations and more problems with elimination functions. 
Problems persist often well after violence ends. I am now treating a 7 year old girl 
whose violent father left the scene when she was three: she has a separation dis- 
order and rubs olTher eyebrows when upset. 

Lenore Terr MD, the leading expert on childhood trauma, differentiates the effects 
of unanticipated single traumatic events or terrors (type I) and those which follow 
from long-standing or repeated exposure to extreme events (type II). Both have pro- 
found and enduring impacts. Type 11, more likely to be the trauma associated with 
repeated violent episodes, has tne effect of triggering massive attempts to protect 
the psyche. Coping mechanisms include massive denial, repressions, dissociation, 
self-anesthesia, self-hypnosis, identification with the aggressor, and aggression 
turned against the sen. These can lead to profound character changes, the root of 
character pathology later in life. The emotions stirred up, according to Terr, are an 
absence of^feeling, a sense of rage, or unremitting sadness, in addition to ubiquitous 
fear. Judith Herman, MD, in Trauma and Recovery explains "people subjected to 
prolonged, repeated trauma develop an insidious progressive form of post-traumatic 
stress disorder that invades and erodes the personality — the victim of chronic trau- 
ma may feel herself to be changed irrevocably, or she may lose the sense that she 
has any self at all." (p. 86) This applies equally to boys. 

Much research has focused on the harmful effects of child abuse, but longitudinal 
research now shows that children who witness parental or sibling abuse may actu- 
ally suffer more than those abused themselves. (Kosenbaum & Leary, "Children: the 
unintended victims of marital violence," Amer. J. Orthopsychiatry, 692). Feelings of 
guilt are especially severe when the survivor has been a witness to the suffering 
of other people. 


Where did the idea come from to start a place where children could get good legal 
representation? Its roots go back to 1980 when a Family Relations supervisor be- 
rated me for giving the mother of a five year old client 'Tiad advice" in supporting 
her resistance to a plan of overnight visits with her father. The mother had caught 
the father red-handed in the child s bed molesting her. The State Trooper who inter- 
viewed the child said to me that the man was an animal" but there was nothing 
further she could do since father, on advice of his lawyer, had declined to be inter- 
viewed by the police. The prosecutor declined to go for an arrest with a victim was 
so young. "Youve got to understand," the Family Relations supervisor said, "this 
court is no friend of the mother. She doesn't have the money to take it to trial." 
Mother felt she had no choice but to allow the overnight visitation father sought 
in exchange for half the proceeds from the sale of the house. I had my first lesson 
in children as property . 


The prevailing rights of biological parents were essentially reafTirmed by the Su- 

greme Court in the Joshua DeShaney case (489 VS. 189) (1989) smd the Maurice 
oukni^t case (110 S. Ct. 900X1990). In the first case, the Court found that the 
state did not have a responsibility to protect Joshua who had been returned to abu- 
sive father's care and was then profoundly and permanently brain injured. The fa- 
ther was entitled to due process and protection from infringement on nis family re- 
lationships. Justice Blackmun dissented. The Court itself retreats into a sterile for- 
malism which prevents it from recognizing either the facts of the case before it or 
the legal norms that should apply to those facts." Maurice Bouknight is the abused 
toddler whom his drug addictea mother refused to produce for the court's inspection 
after ^e had failed to meet any of the rational plan developed for her to mend her 
ways. She pleaded the fifth and was put in jail for contempt. Chief Justice 
Rehnquist asked "could not reasonable p^ple see what was happening to Maurice 
here? There need to be protective ri^ts for children to balance the national policy 
of family-adult rifi^ts. One avenue to this goal is consistent high quality legal rep- 
resentation for children. The American Bar Association recently issued a report 
from a committee considering children's leged needs in this country. President J, Mi- 
chael McWilliams said "^he tale of tragedy is alarming — lawyers must give children 
the same level of zealous advocacy they now deliver to their adult and corporate cli- 
ents — children should have competent counsel representing their interests in all sig- 
nificant judicial proceedings that affect their lives. Sadly, this is a principle yet to 
be generally reabzed in American iurisprudence." 

Over the vears I have stood helplessly by, watching children and their protective 

{>arents be narmed and even destroyed by a legal system that tries to solve prob- 
ems of domestic violence and sexual abuse by knodcing heads together. Last Friday 
a mother cried to me T promised her I woula never let her father molest her again. 
Now Family Relations is going to recommend the supervision of their visits be 
dropped. I am very close to a nervous breakdown." In tne last year alone the stress 
of me legal system has been directly contributory to prolonged psychiatric hos- 
pitalization by a mother who was otherwise functioning well, an attempted murder 
of the abusing father by a mother who had no history of violence or emotional prob- 
lems, threats of murder and suicide by other parents Fve worked with, and numbers 
of cases of extraordinary debts due to legal costs. The culmination was the murder 
in my office of a 6 year old child by her father during a supervised visit. A week 
later, it was clear to me that I had to find a new way to create a voice for the pro- 
tection of children in the family court system. My chronic despair from repeatedly 
seeing what lay in store, and seeing no way of helping clients to overcome the legal 
maneuverings and arbitrary power of judges to make decisions without legal back 
up for the diild finally propelled me to action. 

Since that fatal November Ist, much has happened in Connecticut. For one thing, 
state agencies have beefed up their own security systems so that professionals are 
safer. (The media were more interested in the implications of my worker getting 
shot than that a child was killed.) An ad hoc coalition of relatives of at-risk children 
and professionals formed and identified a number of problems in the system: 

Sanctity of the parent/child relationship takes precedence over considerations of 
safety or emotional well being of child (biological oias of the system); presumption 
that child's best interest is to maintain relationship with biological parent, no mat- 
ter what. The burden of proof is on the custodial parent to prove otherwise. Empha- 
sis on family reunification has basis in federal-level legislation. 

Lack of or inadequate representation of children in these cases. Particular legal 
vulnerability of children 6 and younger. Lack of consistency between courts in 
standard of representation for children. 

Lack of adequate safeguards in visitation arrangements when history of abuse, vi- 
olence or extreme conflict between parents. Need lor a safe house. 

Lack of requirement that highly conflicted parents undergo educational process to 
learn the effects of conflict on aiildren and peax^ful methods of co-parenting. 

Supervised visitation arrangements lend themselves to several problems: no reso- 
lution of abuse concerns, usually lead to unsupervised contact, neutral supervisors 
who can be counted on to have the child@s best interest the priority are hard to 
find, child has no say, may be expected to be able to protect self. Vague statutes 
regarding visitation. 

Confidentiality rules prohibit quick exchange of information between agencies 
even when a child@s safety is at stake. Non-custodied parents have equal access to 
information about the chUa, even when deemed not in child@s best interest. Offend- 
ers are sometimes inappropriately protected by current confidentiality laws. 

Lade of consequences for violators of court orders. 

"Weak" judges pass the buck rather than make a decision, or they insist on com- 
promise, ignoring abuse allegations. 


Custodial parent may not be supported in advocacy/protective role; may be coerced 
into being cooperative for the sake of disposing of the case. Finances are often an 
issue in a parent's ability to press a case. 

Unless tAere has been arrest and prosecution, allegations of sex abuse may be dis- 
counted in the resolution of a visitation dispute. Prosecutions of offenders against 
children 6 and younger are rare in this part of the state. 

Other encouraging events in Connecticut this year include a major conference fo- 
cusing on familv court issues I onranized in Februaiy, keynoted bv Judge Charles 
Gill, entitled 'Children: Are they People or Property? Petitions seeking support for 
children's legal advocacy sprang up from the community. I present Senator Dodd 
with one tocmy. Public hearings were offered by the Select Committee on Children, 
a new undertaking by Uie state legislature, resulting in the formation of study 
groups, one of whidi is considering amending the state constitution to establish chil- 
dren s rights. Legislation was passed requiring divorcing parents to take a course 
on mitigating the negative eflects on diUdren. The Department of Children and 
Families (DCF) is considering a more active role in investigating abuse allegations 
when chere is a family matter pending in another court. 

We are issuing an invitation to Senator Dodd to kejmote a public forum with 
Commissioner Solnit to move alon^ our thinking about the '^st interest of the 
child" standards as it applies in fanuly violence and contested custody and visitation 

Following the conference, six months of planning led to the opening of the Chil- 
dren's Law Center on September 29. We have only a little seed mone^ to get start- 
ed. Almost everything, including the oflice, is donated. Our mission is to meet the 
need of vulnerable children for high qualitv, committed legal representation through 
an attorney/case woricer team approach. To begin with, cases will be limited to con- 
tested custody and visitation disputes where there are questions of child abuse. Five 
attorneys have agreed to provide pro bono representation as either counsel or guard- 
ian ad litem; Ouier attorneys will accept referrals, or provide btick-up legal re- 
searoh. Additional anticipated services oi the Law Center are training, information 
and referral, and a law liorarv. 

'The clinical consultant's job is to assess the child's developmental status, gather 
background information and develop a plan for the case based on the child's needs 
and individual situation. Too often, lawyers must rely on prevailing practice or gut 
feelings to inform their decisions and uiev are enthusiastic about having a social 
worker to help. This forensic approach will create a voice not only for the child but 
also for a valid clinical perspective in court. Even when all the professionals agree, 
including child protective services, as to what should happen for a child, this out- 
come can be evaded or avoided on legal grounds. Clinical consensus can be ignored 
when there is no one to speak up for uie child. 


1. Allow a way for the child's desires and needs to be taken and needs to be taken 
into account in case process and outcome. Individual children will be helped by hav- 
ing a voice in court proceedings before it's too late. There are many questions at 
various stages of a case that a child's attorney should be involved in answering, 
keeping in mind that the case may go on for years. (One child I spoke with has been 
going to court repeatedly for ei^t years, 18 times this year alone. Finally, he was 
permitted for the first time, at age 14, to speak to the judge to tell him that he 
does not want to visit with his father who he remembers assaulting his mother and 
of whom he is afraid because of rapid mood swings. The visits were ordered contin- 
ued anyway.) Examples of questions a child's lawyer should be in on include: Should 
a child be subjectea to a medical exam? A lie detector test? More interviews? Re- 
peated evaluations? Contact with a parent when there are allegations of abuse? Tes- 
tifying? Most of these an adult can withstand by choice. A child cannot. There is 
a presumption that the custodial parent can and should coerce a child to do what- 
ever the court orders. 2. Improve the quality of representation for children. Most 
who know the system agree tiiat the quality of representation for children generally 
falls well short of the zealous advocacy" standard demanded by the ABA report 
mentioned above. Commonly mentioned problems include lack of training and expe- 
rience with children or knowledge of child development, a fee schedule that does not 
even cover expenses, if they get paid anything at all, and unwillingness to do inde- 
pendent assessmert. They may not even meet with their client. As one lawyer put 
it, he didn't want to compromise his objectivity by seeing the child. Lawyers working 
with the Children's Law Center will be required to be trained in both legal and clin- 
ical matters; in addition, they will have access to resources and other committed at- 
torneys for consultation. 


3. Initiating action on a child's behalf— the new frontier of juvenile and family 
case law. The jury is still out on the question of whether children have, or will gain 
a rirfit to have standing in court for the purpose of bringing motions in their own 
behalf. Gregory K. had it and then it was taken away by the appeals court which 
said that the decision could stand because he had adults with him in his action to 
have his mother's r^ts terminated. Children's legal advocacy centers are umquely 
positioned to help ^velop case law that will provide the building blocks for new 
legal ardiitecture recognizing the threshold r^dit of all citizens to approach the 
court. No one is seeking to give diildren as much power as adults. It ia putting into 
action a Connecticut judge's statement last year that "a child has a constitutional 
ri^t to safety." As things stand, children are less protected constitutionally than 
are inmates or corporations which are regarded as persons. 


As the developer and director of a failed supervised visitation pro-am, I wish to 
make some comments on the problems inherent in supervised visitation and the pro- 
posed Child Safety Act. The Well stone proposal to establish 100 supervised visita- 
tion centers across the country is appealing in that it takes on a problem that has 
not been well addressed at the federal level. Its strengths are that it builds in a 
high level of clinical expertise, suggests that there would be a mechanism for ex- 
cluding offending parents who had not met rehabilitation criteria, and limits appli- 
cations to states which require courts to consider evidence of violence in custody de- 
cisions. It is not clear how the centers would improve certain other problems, the 
most basic of which is continuing a system in which a child has no choice. A chM 
should not be forced to spend time with someone who terrifies him or her, or who 
brings up past terror. We don^ expect adults to be nice to assailants, women are 
not expected to reestablish relationship with men who beat them up or rape them, 
but chfldren are forced to visit with anyone who lays biological claim to them. 

I can only think of one instance in all the cases Tve been involved with in which 
a father was denied visitation until such time as he could get a psychiatrist to tes- 
tify to his fitness. It was not the sexual abuse of the children, though, that allowed 
the judge to make that decision-it was father's arrest for hitting a female friend 
while the visitation issue was pending that convinced the judge he wasn't s^e. ^ 

As long as the law dictates that adults' rights take precedence over children s 
wishes or emotional and physical safeguarding, a supervision center faces the same 
dilemma that exists now-how to carry out the courts mandates without compromis- 
ing the child. If the center sets conditions as to which cases it takes, what happens 
to the ones they refuse, probably the messiest and most stressful? Other problems 
exist as well: (1) risk of abduction or violence when working with obsessive, delu- 
sional, enraged or desperate parents; (2) the dilficultv of curtailing the subtler pa- 
rental behaviors which continue the conscription of the diild in the ongoing unre- 
solved adult war; (3) the difliculty protecting children when there are abuse allega- 
tions but without the level of proof required for successful prosecution in criminal 
court. Supervised visitation is not looked at as a long-term arrangement, just a 
stage on the way to regular visitation. Centers cant address the long-term issues 
in Uie family. One solution is to mandate the involvement of multi-disciplinary in- 
vestigative teams in all family cases with abuse allegations to report to the court 
their findings to guide the court's recommendations. This would be far superior to 
the present system of relying on solo mental health practitioners to do evaluations 
and make recommendations. 


Preferable to the supervised visitation model of the Child Safety Act, in my opin- 
ion, is the Family Peace Center model in existence in Hawaii since 1984. Formerly 
known as the Family Violence Program, it provides a comprehensive range of serv- 
ices to men, women and children who are perpetrators or victims of abusive rela- 
tionships. It helps with restraining orders, provides mediation and pre-mediation 
counseUng in domestic violence cases, court mandated counseling, groups for 
batterers, battered women, and a very popular ^up for children who have wit- 
nessed domestic violence. 'They believe that the children's group has tremendous po- 
tential for stopping the cycle of violence by helping children to heal its effect and 
to learn non-violence skills and values. Supervision of court-ordered visitation as de- 
scribed in the Wellstone bill could easily be included, but would be part of a much 
broader intervention plan. The goal should be to maintain family relationships at 
the maximal level possible wiUiout compromising the safety or emotional health of 
the child. 






linn. Frances \\, Sou'or Judge 

Kenncll) l.iiif . Virctlor 

llmi Miclincl A. lov:n. District 

Faniihj Court Ju'tge 

777 I'linch Dmvl 5trcf 1 

Honolulu. Hawaii 96flI3 

(808) 5.t8-6369 


I96I5 by SIMule I IRS Chapter 571 


Family Court of the First Circuit 

Populillon: Arr"'»'"iii'r'v 500,000. Fthnic 
brc.i)<Jov\nis31% Mixed 
(lla\vati,ip): 23% Caucasian; 23% 
Jaranc.<;e: 311* Other. 


J15 8 tiiillioii for all court oiwra- 
lions ami relalrd ser% icrs in FY 
1991 92 Court funding for f.vnily 
violence scr%iccs. which are pro- 
vided under contract to the court, 
totals $l,07!i,000. 

In Nmcniher. 19RR, uficn Ihe 

Famil>' Ahuse Slalule b«camc hw, 

there were 200 arrests for 

"abuse of famiK' or fioiiscliold members." 

In 1991 there uerc 3,3(58 arrests 

for the same offense. 


I'rogram Description 

the Family Court of 1 lawail was created hy the 
IxUi.tliliue Uiroiigli Ihe Family Court Act of 1965. The 
Intent of Ihis Act «a.^ Ihc inlcRralion of .<tJle Jurisdictions 
and prcgranis dealing with children and families Into one 
specialized court. The Family Court replaced Ihe Juvenile 
Court and Domestic Relations Court, and acquired jurisdic- 
tion over mariUl actions, adoplinns, paternity actions, adult 
criminal occurring amorg family members, Involun- 
tjr)' commit mcnl actions, and juvenile delinquency and 
dependency ca.';cs. 

The purpose of the Familv Court is to place all 
judicial functions which deal w ith the family into one 
coinprrhenMve program. This Familv Court has the rights, 
powers and duties of a trial court and adjudicates cases, 
resolves disputes, enforces the law. and dispenses justice. 
However, Ihis court is constituted to investigate and 
resp'md lo the underlying causes of family distress, disrup- 
tion and crime, and provides a means for helping families 
Involved in such difficulties. The Family Court is a combi- 
nation of organi7jlional stnictures (judicial andprofjram- 
malic), formal and it\fomial processes, and legal and social 
senice appro.aches. Concerning family violence cases, the 
Family Court handles the following matters, among others: actions, arraignments, plea hearings, order to show 
cau';e hranngs. non jury trials, iury trials (adult criminal, 
including vio'al ions of criminal statutes Involving abuse of* 
.spou'e. child or household member), sentencing, disposi- 
tions, review proceedings, temporary and permanent 
restraining order hearings, and support enforcement 
hearings. The Family Court of I lawaii ulilizes uniform 
forms for ptcilcction orders and other actions, and has 
eslablislied a sLalewide protection order registry. 

The Family Court's role is to maintain continuing 
liaison and coordination witli agencies and others who deal 
with matters wilhin the purview of tlie Family Court system 
In order to provide (or effective administration of justice and 
lo assist the public in understanding the Family Court, its 
responsibilities, functions, and the services it provides. 

Tlie 1 lonolulu Family Court's approach In family 
violence cases is aggressive and comprehensive. A Special 
Division was created speciFically for the domestic violence 
calendar. Currently, that calendar runs all day five days a 
week with a second courtroom being used periodically. The 
Special Division hears all aspects of domestic violence 
including felony, misdemeanor and civil protective orders. 
Enforcement of court orders is handled by the Criminal 
Misdemeanor Frobalion Unit of Family Court Adult Services 
Branch. Trcalmcnt services are provided lo victims and 
defendants through community agencies under contract 
with Ihe court. 

Staffing and Volunteers 

The Honolulu Family Court is scned by nine full 
lime judges, 12 per diem judges, plus the necessary comple- 
ment of staff and attorneys. 

TVie Adult Services Branch has an aulhoriwd 


sl.ifTirig Icvrl of ?9 full time enipliiyecs. Two of Hie Units in 
lliis htandi dc.ij ptiinati!) with llie family v iolrnce casts: 
llie Temporaiy RcMralninRDrdct Unit and llio Adull 
Criminal MirdcmcatiMr Unil These two units account for 
about hall of the sl.iff in the division. 

Trratmcnl sen. ices for victims and offenders are 
provided hy private ncn profit oigani/jlioiis under contract 
with the Judiciary. The primary «enif e oig.iiii?,ittons are 
desciihed in the Special f caluirs section. Fur the nmsl 
p.irl. volunteers arc not utilized by the court to assist with 
family violence cases. 

Case SlnOslics 

Arresls for Finilly Abuse 

The Family Abuse Statute became hw In November 
of IPS'!. In that yea', thcie were 2fl0 artesis for "abuse of 
family or household members'. In 1991 Oi-ire were 3,368 
arrests for the snme nffen.' Trial statistics fnr misde- 
meanor family abuse for 1990 indicate over 2.700 cases set 
for trial Nine Imndrcd seventeen cases were dismissed 
without prrjudit e; 770 were complaining w itness no 
show": 50G pli d or were found guilty; bench waiiariLs were 
Issued for 200 defendants and 2A complaining witnesses. 

Restraining Ordrm 

In FV 90.9), there w^re JX'^ s\ plic.itions for £r 
Parte Temriorary Resliainiiig Ordc'S. 01 these. 909 applica- 
tions were granted. 21 were denied and 424 were with- 
drawn New procedures have strearnlined tJie process, 
whirh used to Like three davs. Into only a few hours. This 
should lead to a decrease in the nirmher of witlidrav>als In 
the same year 2.029 Domestic Abuse hearings were held. 
Nine hundred thirty o' these were for the temporary orders 
mentioned above, and 1.099 were Order to Show Cause 
hearings for permanent restraining orders. 

Case Processing 


The Family Courts jirrisdiction covers anyone 
presently residinir together or fomierly residing logellier. 
flail set In family abuse cases is similar to the bail set for a 
comparable assault. Pefr lubnLs who cannot post bail are 
Iran.sporled to the court the 'lext day the court is open. 
Those who arc unable to post bail must have a or a 
probable oiusr- he.iring w itlrin 1R hours or be released to 
appear to post bail witliin 7 days. A defendant chirgedwith 
a misdemeanor cannot be held in custody longer than 48 
bours after the first court appearar^t without a trial. 
However, where probable rjuse can be established from a 
sworn rnrnplaint. atfid.ivit or by testimony, the defendant 
may be held in rustody. 

Arr,iigrirnerrls are se' within 7 d.iys after arrest, and 
trial is about .10 to 40 dijs aOcr arraignment. Public 
Defenders represent all defencbnlj at arraignment. A 
separate room for cornplainirrgwilrre"ses is provided If a 
complaining witness docs not appear, the eve is either 
continued or dismissed without prejudice. At arraignment 

there is referral to Child Protective Services by some judges 
In Uiose crises where children reside with family members 
and nrighl be exposed to violence. The system handles 
approximately 200 to 250 arraignments per month and a 
like number of trial and'or pleas per montli. Defendants are 
arraigried en and trial ilates are presided Immedi- 
ately. Scnlcncirrg Is imposed immediately following a trial 
which has restrlted in a corrviclion with Incarceration at 

Defendant s arc w.anicd that a subsequent arreil 
will rcsirll in revocation or increased bail, or both. On 
request .ind a showing by prosecutor, no contact orders 
with the alleged victim or family member may be entered by 
the court, although this seems to be rarely requested. 

The Criminal Misdemeanor Probation Unit 


Sentencing giridelines in abuse of family and house- 
hold menrber cases are employed by the court, 
adjusting the mandatory minimum sentence of 48 
hoirrs in jail when various factors arc present such as: 


• VMicre minor children witnessed Uie abuse. 

• Wircre the victim Is mcniallv or physically handi- 
capped, pregnant, elderly or under 14 years of age. 

• Where defendant used or brandished a weapon. 

• VMrere lire victim was hospitalized two or more days. 

• Where the victim needed emergency medical 

• Where tlie defendant committed a assault 

• Where tlic defendant threatened victim or minor 
children willi deaOi or serious bodily injury. 

• Where the defendant failed to tell the truth in court 


• Where the defendant enrolled in and attended 
appropriate counseling or treatment programs. 

supcniscs all persons comictcd of abuse Probation officers 
assist willi scntcncirrg and oilier services, and monitor 
compliance with court orders. The court is required by law 
In order batterers' treatment for convicted abusers. Proba- 
tion officers make appropriate referrals, and tlie defendant 
must contact tlie ageno' wiOiin one week. Batterers' 
groups typically pro^ ide 24 weekly sessions Fees are 
charged on a sliding scale. It is incumbent upon tlie 
batterer to provide proof of compliance witli the court 
order. In this llrril. seven professional probation officers 
monitor about 1,000 active cases. 



Arplicatiiim for Temporary Reslraininj! Orders are 
Liken J.iily Hy social woikers in the TRO Unit of tli'' Family 
Court Adult Scnicrs Division The petitioner rails for an 
aprpiiilmenl at the Adult Srr\'irc5 nnnch. In'.iVe is 
schcdiilrd <l.iily. Tlie pcliliDiirr must arrive at the Adult 
Seniccs nratith no Liter than P;30 am. Those willmul 
appoi'itmenls con he assisted if they arrive nn time. An 
Adult Senii cs Hranch social uorkcr assists the petitioner in 
conipletin)! the pelilion. The petition ij then delivered to a 
designalcdjiidije hcbveenPOO am. and 11:00 a m. thai day. 
The petition is either granted or denied lj\' the judije. If the 
order is gi anted, .in Order to Show Cause hearing is 
scheduled within 15 days. If notice cannot he served on the 
respondent, the temporary' protective order will expire 
within ;10 days .ifter issuance. At the time of the CSC 
hearing, if the resp-jodcnt appears, a protect ive oi der can be 
issued up to a maximuin of three ye.irs Thirty to fifty 
applications are completed each week. The Unit is staffed by 
sijr professional social woikcrs and a supen is'ii. Violations 
of protection orders are considered contempt of court. The 
court h.ts (lev eloped sLand.irdir.ed forms containing check- 
lisLs of the provision.' and relief avail.ihle. Orders are served 
upon the rr.spondcnt liy the police department. 

At the return hearing, both parties mml he 
present. II tl^e respondent uishcs. he or she m.iy hire an 
attorney, but the coirri will not prov ide one. The petitioner 
may h.v e the assi'itance of .an advocate Eac h part>' may 
present testimony and may he ex.imined by counsel. For 
those respondcnls scned and not present, the temporary 
petitioi\ is continued and a bench warrant issued. The 
respondent must be present to he ordered into counseling. 
If Ihe petitioner is not present, the prlilion will usually be 
dismissed. It is up to llie parties, tlie service providers or 
the court officers to bring inn compliance with the order to 
Ihe courts attention. Proof of compliance hearings are 
Kheduled approximately nine months after sentencing. 
Consequences of not following an order include up to one 
year incarceration for conviction of contempt. 


Family Court Services are funded by 'he state. 
Budget requests are submitted by the Judicial Branch to the 

A strong, effective, and 

concerned jiidiciat>' hn% been 

responsible, at In pnri, for 

strong, effective statewide 

legislation concerning 

abuse of famil>' and 

household members. 

f r- "■ 1 


St.ite Legislature. Fortunately for the community, the Slate 
Lrgislilure has been particularly responsive In the requests 
of the Judiciary for financing by providir" the necessary 
fundi'ig for the Family Court and suppo ' services, espe- 
cially for family violence. 

The total annual budget for the I lonolulu Family 
Court, includii'g judges, clerks, attorneys, bailiffs and other 
sbfl; the Adidl Services Branch; and a myriad of services 
conlr.icted out in the community is $I.S.8 million. Con- 
Iracls from the Judiciary to four private nonprofit agencies 
for the provision of services to victims and defendants ir. 
family violcpice aises total $1,075,000. Of this, $888,000 
comts from the funds allocated to the Family Court by Ihe 
legislature, and $187,000 Is federal grant funds from the 
Bureau of Justice Assistance. 

Special Features 

• A strong effective, and concerned Judiciary has 
been responsible, at least in part, for strong, effective stale- 
wide legislation concerning of family .ind household 
members. 1 lighlighls of this legislation and current court 
policies include: mandatory arrest, 24hour hold period, no 
drop prosecution policy, mandatory minimum 48 hour Jail 
sentence, and mmdalory participation in court-ordered 
counseling. The Family Court maintains a solid, consistent 
liaison willi the Legislature. 

• The Family Feace Center Is a non-profit organl- 
7jlion which been iri existence since 19M under the 
umbrella of the W.iikiki Community Center. It was for- 
merly known as Ihe Family Violence Program. The Family 
Peace Center provides services to men, women and children 
who are pcrrctr.\tors or victims of abusive rclatiori.ships. 
The Center also assists individuals who are seeking restrain- 
ing orders. The Center provides mediation and pre-media- 
lion counseling in domestic violence cases. 

The Family Peace Center provides counselors for 
court mand.iled counseling, as well as community referrals. 
It is also the leader in specialized training in domestic 
violence awareness on Ihe Island of Oalnr. The Center also 
provides training to the Honolulu Police Department and 


tilt communify. The hallcrcri' group kjiown a5 Komo Mai 
providf^ Rroup couiircling rn ;i weekly basis for a $i« month 
pcriorf. Elcvf n groups of 15 lo 2!) nifn mcci racli week. 
The progiain gools are to irduce or eliminate violence in 
group members' relnliiin'hips with women: to help men 
jcrept total re'ponsibilily for Oicir violent responses: and lo 
educate gi oup mcnrbcrs aj lo how and v li> violr-nce arises 
In relaliotiships, and how lo control and cliatigr their 
violent re.'piiii^cs: and lo use Uic group process to farililale 
Indiv idnal and group goals There are approximalely 300 
men in Ihr prnptani 

Tlic bMl' .'id "I'tnitis g'lHip ccniiiscling is knl•^>n 
a.s the Maluhia \\ aliinr, and there are approxiniatcly 250 
women in Ihis progiam. Women in this program learn to 
lake steps to rtisuie their safety: lo undetsland the nature 
and causes of physical, sexual and psvcholog'cal abuse; lo 
use community resources in gelling safe, finding employ- 
ment, oMaining child care, lecuiing financial support and 
meeting other needs; lo use new skills in assertive tommu- 
nioition. parenting, and conflict resolutions; jndlo respect 
and lake care of themselves. 

The Family I'eace fcnlrr also conducLs a program 
for chlldicn who ha\ c witnessed dmneslic violence Tills 
program Is new and inlliallv limited the number of children 
lobe ser\ed lo 75 children. I low ever, the community 
response lo Ihis program h.\s been nver\» helming and 
additional funds are necess.iry to provide increased STvices. 
This progiam lus IremendiHis potential for stopping the 
cycle of violence by helping children to hejil its effect and to 
learn nonviolence skills and values. The curriculum being 
used for the childrens counsriing and education groups 
diaws from the Family I' Cenler s l\o< r Di gim With 
Mr curriculum, as well as other existing rurriculums for 
children from violent homes, such as the CluUmvi' 
Domcslk Ahinc hogunn /'/t;ui;f7/devr|tipc(l by Ihe Wilder 
Communilv Assistance Fiogtain in S'. Paul. Minncs"Li 
Croups are divided into lire following age cjlegnries: 3 to 5, 
6 lo R. 9 lo 12: and adolescent groups which are also divided 
hj gender. The adotesccnl groups address vi'ilence which 
the teenagers are currrnti) invc^lved in, such as dating 
violence, as well as Ihe violence they Inve witnessed. 
Croups meet once a week for I lo 1 1/2 hours for a 16 week 
program. The childrens' program is funded by the Judiciary 

The lr)lal budgcl for the F.imily Peace Center is 
$600,600 Of Uiis ainnunt the Family Court provides two 
contracts for snrvices; $.16.'1.212 for victim and b.ittererj 
Ireatmenl and J 100,000 for the development of the 
childrens pmgiam. 

• Domestic Violence Clearinghouse ar\d Legal 
Hotline, under contract with Ijie Family Court, provides 
legal informali"n in response lo calls from battered women, 
perpetrators of violence involved in the criminal justice 
system proceedings, social ser\ ice providers, atlornevs not 
skilled in domestic abuse, and private praclilinners whose 
clients need inforinalion about legal allcnulive<. The 
Hotline also informs callers ahoul Uie dynamics of domestic 

abuse, its cfTect on children, safety plans, referrals lo other 
community resources, and provides other assistance lo 
callers. Tlic Hotline originally was a project of Uie Hawaii 
Women' lawyers Association and inilially operated with 
viiliinleer lawyers and legal assistants. II ha' now grown lo 
a ser\ire with a full lime director, providing fulhtlme 
service and legal a-ssislance. The I lolline provides multi- 
lingual services and has developed cohesive community 
assistance lo abu'-ed women. It a.ssisls victims through the 
restraining order process and further gives victiiriAsilness 
assisLince. Ihe ser\icc has prepared a pamphlet for wide 
range distribution lo various agencies, including the police 
depaTtmenl. to further advise and Inform victims of <k)me»- 
tic violence of their senice. The Domestic Violence Clear- 
inghouse and lycgal I Ictline has also prepared a primary 
aggressor checklist for police lo utilize in determining Ihe 
proper party to arrest in domestic violence situations. The 
annual budget for the and Hotline Is 
$320,875 which comes from state and federal tax dollars and 
lOLTA accounts. 

• Child and Family Service Is a non profit, non- 
sectarian Aloha United Way Agency This agencv provides a 
mulli social .service delivery system throughout the Island 
of Oahu, meeting the needs of people from all ethnicities, 
ages. sex. and sexual preferences, religions, socioeconomic 
circumstances, and family conditions. The Service has 
established the Developing Options to Violence (DOV) 
Program which provides learning opportunities that 
recognitc the self worth of each parlicipanl: provides new 
Information and skills; confronts illegal and dysfuncliond 
behavior; and structures rewards and con.sequenccj for 
positive and negative behaviors. The service provides 
batterer's groups called Mens' Anger Control Croups. Each 
group consists of 15 to 20 batterers and two cn-faciIitator$. 
No new members are adde<l lo the group after the first 
session. Croups last for 22 sessions. There are usually 
seven groups meeting in any given week. Two unexca»ed 
absences are considered to be non-compliance and will 
result in a report lo tlic Family Court. The groips focus on 
ending threats and violent behavior, IrKreasing the resporv 


sibi'ity of Hie j-tT'tl'stir for his violent behinor »nd 
jcquiring nr* skilU, M well .13 crcaling and practicing 
Individual violence div ttsion p!ia<. Victiins are conljcted at 
least txlct during tlie ptngrnm to Inform Ihtm about the 
group and inquire aho'it current behavior and violationl. 
In aldition to the group counsrrling service, the 
mra^' group Icidcr makes contact with respondcnli at the 
wceHy order to 'how cJin' hearings to acctuaint hatlrters 
i^lth the service, mlninilze rcMitajice to participation and 
lncrci>e cooperation willi l)ie terns of Uie protective order. 
Croup services are al<o provided to <pouse ahnst victims 
referred hy the fainily court and self referrals. Tliere are 
four groups of 15 to 18 paiticira'\ls for 15 week periods. 
The group provides a suppoilive atmosphere where women 
can explore their feelings .ind build trust and self esteem. 
Informalion and exercises focus on Uic victims' rights for a 
nonviolent relationship, court and legal Infonnalion, family 
violence dj-namics, safety parenting, streis reduction, 
•tinie and biidfret niit\agcmenl. a:id stibsLinct abuse 
education. In addition to lliis counsrllng. Ore women's 
group leader provides legal, fin.vicial, housirig, .^nd social 
ier\if es advocarr to viclirru and provides court accornpanl- 
nicnl as needed Funding in Uic an\ount of $290,500 Is 
provided by the Judiciary for the Child and Tamily Service 
AgcrKy to provide services to victims and perpetrators of 
family violence. 

Issue.s, Ad\-icc and Concpms 

The entire Family Court structure works ertreiriely 
well In this community because of oulslvnding legislative 
support with a financial coinn\itincnt to the progiam, and 
the professional cnimllrnent of Uic judiciary. The geogra- 
phy of I lawaii and Ore individual Islands lends Itself well to 
the Family Courl concept. 

Tl>e Family Court ludicliry Is exceptionally 
responsive to concerns about Uie liandling of family 
violence ciscs For ex-unplc, during tlie site visit, evaluator^ 
noted tJiat the time period and process to obbin a temjw 
rary restraining order seemed too long and burdensome for 
the victim Shortly after the visit, tlie entire TRO procedure 
went throiigti comprchcn'ive revirrw. The ncv procedure 
has shortened the process from four days and two court 
visits to tJirce to four hours and one court visiL 

Also during the site visit, a multiple murder 

occurred Involving several members of a family which vfU 
well known to the court. The Judiciary was as resporuiveas 
possible to the media during the exte.nslve reporting of the 
tragedy. AAer a fatality, an Informal In-house fatality review 
may be conducted. 

Unlike most Family Courts around the nation, or 
Family Divisions of General Trial Courts, the Hawaii Family 
Court has felony and misdemeanor erfm|r»»l JuHsdIcllon 
over adults as well as jurisdiction over all famlly-rebled civil 
matters. TliIs allows a far more comprehensive and serious 
resporise to family violence Oran Is possible In any other 
court which exclusively civil or crimirval matters. It 
also allows for more complcle Information sharing and 
coordination of responses to families with multiple prol»- 

Tlie responsiveness of the judiciary is due in part \o 
its cxlraordiiary representativeness of the various ethnic 
interests In I lonolulu. Of ten Judges, six are male, four are 
fem.ile. Four of the Judges are Caucasian, one is Hawaiian, 
two are J.ipancse, Uuee are Chinese. This mu is also 
reflective rf the progressive tliinking on the part of those 
Viho select Judges and reflects tJie community. Tliere is very 
little turnover, with the cuncnl group of judges in Hono- 
lulu having been on the Family Court bench an average of 
ten years. 

Tlie place In tlie system where victims seem most 
vulnerable to additional violence is lire period between 
antsl and trial. Yet, restraining orders are not Issued at 
arraiC.nment because victims are not contacted by anyorie 
prior to the hearing. Some weeks later, only 20 to 30% cl 
victims respond to a phone call or letter from the victim 
assis'anre unit in the prosecutors office. It 1$ not uncom- 
mon for tlie victim to h.ive no ofTicial contact with anyone 
before the trial date. In other jurisdictions. It would be 
routine for an advocate, a coalition volunteer, or victim 
services staff to contact llie victim Immediately after the 
arrest or the following morning to provide support and 

One problem encountered by stall at the Family 
Peace Center is the time It takes to obtain orders to show 
cause. Tills process lakes mote time than If the order Is 
sought by private altorrcys. Also, temporary restraining 
ordcts do not carry stiH penalties and violatior« are not a 
high priority. 

Unlike mnsf Famlf>' Courts around the nation, or Family DKlslons 

of General TVial Courls, tlie l?a\vaH Famfly Couri has felony and misdemeanor 

criminal Jurisdidion over adults as well as jurisdiction over all 

family related dvH matters. 



Senator Dodd. I am going to include in the record a veiy good 
editorial of the other day, "A Voice for Abused Children," which ref- 
erences the efforts of The Children's Law Center and specifically 
your work, Judith. 

[The editorial referred to follows:] 

[From the Hahtford Current, October 23, 1993] 

A voice for abused children 

Children at the center of custody and visitation disputes often have no say in the 
outcome, even though it affects them for the rest of their lives. Those among them 
who are victims of abuse and neglect may be better served now that they can turn 
to the Children's Law Center, wnich opened last month in downtown Willimantic. 
The center is staffed by volunteer lawyers and social workers who will ensure that 
children get direct representation in court. 

Believed to be the first of its kind in Connecticut, the center luliiUs a dream of 
Judith Hyde, a social workers and director of the Child Protection Agency of North- 
eastern Connecticut. It grew out of her belief, nurtured by experience and shared 
by others in the profession, that courts do not adequately protect children. 

The center's promise lies in its ability to prevent children from being assigned to 
live with or visit a parent who may be unsuitable, and may even pose a safety risk. 

Lawyers at the center will provide free or low-cost services to bridge what they 
rightly perceive to be an unacceptable gap in the eystem. Their concern is shared 
by two credible experts, Charles D. Gill of the centei's advisory board and Frederica 
S. Brenneman, who serves on its board of directors. Both are Superior court judges 
who have heard many child-abuse cases. The judges also cite the need for better 
training for lawyers who represent children, which the center wUl provide. 

Family courts c^ould view the center as a welcome resource to which they can 
refer young clients. Evidently, the need for such advocacy is more than a dream. 
The centerhad accepted six cases within two days of opening. 

While the courts are occupied with weighing tne conflicting interests of the adults, 
the center's advocates can focus their attention on an objective assessment of what's 
best for the child. 

Senator Dodd, I wanted to mention as well that in this morn- 
ing's Washington Post — and they probably should have carried this 
in another section; this is not necessarily where it belongs, in sort 
of the gossipy section of the Post — there is a piece about a col- 
league of ours, Representative Dan Burton of Indiana, who talked 
on the floor yesterday as part of the October National Domestic Vi- 
olence Awareness Month, He said, and I quote: "When I was about 
5 years old, I had a brother and a sister who were both very small 
like myself, and I can remember my father attacking my mother 
and beating on her in the middle of the night. It is a terrible thing 
for a child to wake up at one o'clock in the morning, hearing that 
kind of screaming, and your mother throwing a lamp through the 
window, trying to get the attention of a neighbor so the police will 
come. It there is anything we ought to be concerned with, it is this 
kind of domestic violence, because it has a tremendous impact on 
young people for the rest of their lives." 

Dan Burton is a Republican Congressman from Indiana, and it 
took a lot of courage for him to tell triat story, and I think it should 
have been in another section of the newspaper, with all due respect 
to the style section. We appreciate immensely his courage. 

Let me just ask you a couple of questions if I can. Some, I may 
submit to you in writing. I mentioned in my opening comments, 
Ms. Jones, the fear that has been expressed to me by many 
women — and "fear" may not be the right word — the desire to keep 
families together. There is such a strong impulse to keep a family 
together, to be together, because obviously, there are periods of joy. 


but then there are these tremendous periods of violence. And you 
keep on hoping that the joy will take over, and the happy moments 
will become the more dominant feature. So that trying to keep that 
family together is an extremely strong impulse in most women that 
I have spoken to. 

How much of that played a role in your own situation before you 
made the decision that you had to take other steps? Was that a 
major concern for you? Did you think about that a lot, or did it 
cause you in several instances before that to decide not to take the 
steps you ultimately did? 

Ms. Jones. Well, it really took a lot of planning and a lot of pray- 
ing. I really had nobody to go to, so I would go to the Catholic 
church and talk to the priest. I had known him since we were chil- 
dren together, so I felt like I knew him, but there was a change 
in him that I really could not relate to. And then, when I saw that 
it was affecting the children to the point where they were sitting 
around threatening to kill him, and saying, "Mom, I tnink you need 
to make a change/' I finallv realized that after I found myself so 
emotionally distraught, and fears came back from when I was a 
child and how I was being treated — one time, I found myself stand- 
ing on a bridge, talking about jumping off, because I was so emo- 
tionally upset about what was going on in my house, and I could 
not share it with anyone. 

So I knew immediately that I had to reach out and get help from 
someone, and that was the domestic violence courts and the com- 
missioner. I felt like I was doing the right thing even though I real- 
ized that once I left, I could not come back, and I had to give up 
everything. So I just took it upon myself to go ahead and do the 
right thing because I did not want that blood on my children's 
hands or on mine. What kind of mother would I have been to just 
say in a relationship like that, knowing it was becoming emotional 
to us? So I decided to just give up everything and leave. 

Senator DoDD. Ms. Orsini, in the casework you do, how often do 
you nm into that compelling desire to keep the family together as 
opposed to ttiat sort of denial? 

Ms. Orsini. It is there. It is there very strongly. When women 
come to the shelter, they are in their ultimate crisis. But before 
that, they may have been in this arrangement, marriage or other- 
wise, for several years, and there are so many things that play a 
part in that — the cultural values, religious values. It is important 
that our culture is one that says you keep the family together. The 
religious values are also the same. And this is where we need to 
work with the different sectors of our community, specifically the 
religious community and the education community. 

It is important, yes, to keep family together, but not at the risk 
of someone's life. So that is why we need the different resources 
within our communities. 

I see this a lot, and you used the correct word in the beginning- 
it is fear, fear of economic loss, fear of family loss, fear of the chil- 
dren being killed, or other family members being killed. There are 
many reasons that go into that. 

Senator DoDD. Ms. Friday, I am particularly interested in the 
mental health services program, and my colleague from Minnesota 
is also very interested in mat as well as is Sheila Wellstone. How 

760612 - 94 - 3 


did you get the mental health professionals interested in the pro- 
gram, and what kind of documentation of the children's problems 
did vou have to provide to convince them that this project was 

Ms. FRffiAY. Actually, a project something like this started m 
Denver. That is the only other place in the country we have heard 
of it existing. But it started on a good impulse, but not really good 
research. Professionals decided they would give counseling to 
women in shelters, and they had not really consulted with the shel- 
ters. What they learned was that the even more pressing need was 
children. So then it was the National Association of Social Workers 
who started it and then came to us and asked if we would take it 
over. By then, they had learned from Denver, work with the people 
you are going to be working with. And we were a test site to see 
now it would work. 

We do not have to document anything. Our stafF screen the chil- 
dren if it is obvious, or the mothers say their children need help, 
and that is enough. Because they are freed of regular constraints, 
they can act then as therapists for children, although thev are all 
licensed, and they all have malpractice insurance. It works beau- 

Senator Dodd. I am glad to hear that. A similar question is the 
relationship that you have built with children's protective services, 
GPS. Again, there is an historically different perspective here, 
while obviously a common interest, but a different perspective, 
which is a subtlety that I presume most people in the room can ap- 

I was deeply impressed with your ability to ^et people to work 
together in this. Would you share with us briefly how that oc- 

Ms. FRroAY. Every time I would initiate a meeting with the pre- 
vious director or the current director, we would talk about that we 
really did not have a big difference because they would constitute 
"family" as if it is a grandmother and children, but nevertheless 
there are big differences. What I did not mention is that quite re- 
cently, there are five agencies, including children and youth serv- 
ices, tiiat are victim-serving agencies in the city and the country 
who are going to begin planning, and child protective services is 
going to ftnd, when we ask, a plan for how we can work more and 
more closely together. First, it starts as a planning grant to develop 
and search the country to see if there are any other models where 
it is further ahead. I do not think there are, which is kind of as- 

All the private agencies — and the others are private— like the 
rape crisis center, and the center for victims of violent crime, are 
totally willing to go into this, but we have to push child protective 
services. When we push, they say yes, okay. 

Senator Dodd. Finally, Ms. Hyde, I want to commend you for 
what you are doing. On the legal side — and it has been a long time 
since I have practiced any law up in eastern Connecticut — ^but I am 
curious as to how sensitive our judicial system is. I guess I am 
talking about Connecticut in this case, but I suspect that this is 
probaJoly a question that could be applied across the country. Dur- 
ing separation or divorce proceedings, how much time is dedicated 


to these parents learning about what their responsibilities are 
going to be— the custodial parent's responsibilities, the 
noncustodial parent's responsibilities? 

I have been struck occasionally when I have tried to inquire 
more about this, particularly in the area of custody— we have been 
trying to do a lot of work on custody, because we have a msgor gap 
here in terms of responsibility. But everything else seems to get 
disposed of— what happens to the car and the house and the fur- 
niture and the rugs and so on—and the children seem to get left 
in this limbo kind of category. And I am not convinced that there 
is a lot of work or prevention — I mean, there is talk about required 
waiting periods before matrimony, and counseling and so forth. 
Could there be more of an effort made here, given the very nature 
of a separation and a divorce, where the level of hostility may be 
at its most intense in some ways? What can we do at that critical 
moment to try to deal with those children's interests — putting aside 
the obvious case of the abuser, where you have had legal proceed- 
ings against them. But there is another area out here where we 
have someone who is not necessarily an abuser, but is very hos- 
tile—in fact, both partners are hostile. All of a sudden, there is the 
conversation about that parent, when the children are with the 
custodial parent or with the noncustodial parent, about the other 
parent, and how the children face the question of are you my ally, 
or his ally, or her ally. 

I am wondering if we are doing enough during that period of 
time to start to sensitize parents about what the heck they are 
doing to their children in that process. 

Ms. Hyde. That is probably why we have a new bill in Connecti- 
cut now that mandates parent education for most divorcing par- 

Senator DODD. Yes, that is what I wanted you to mention. 

Ms. Hyde. That is a piece of what is needed. But I think that 
that is not going to work for domestic violence situations particu- 

Senator Dodd. Well, perhaps in preventing it — I mean, 75 per- 
cent of our cases are abusing after separation. I am a great believer 
in prevention and trying to stop this before it happens, rather than 
apprehending someone. It seems to me that if you can begin to deal 
with some oAhat, you might be able to deal with some of this prob- 

Ms. Hyde. It would deal with some of it. But we cannot ignore 
the fact that some of the customers we are dealing with are really 
very, very poorly put together psychologically, and they are not 
going to respond well to things that may work for a number of peo- 
ple. We need alternative kinds of ways of dealing with the most 
disturbed people. 

So I think what is missing is a way of assessing what each situa- 
tion entails and what might work for it. The reason I like the Ha- 
waii model is that it seems to provide a way of making that kind 
of assessment of what is needed in each individual situation and 
then having a program to provide for the wide range of types of 
people who are involved, from people who maybe can just profit 
from some postseparation counseling, some mediation, some infor- 
mation aioout conflict resolution, witn maybe a group thrown in for 


the children, to the far end, where you need the most restrictive 
and authoritative restraining kinds of court-backed mandates to 
keep parents calm and cool. 

Senator Dodd. Thank you very much. 

Senator Wellstone. 

Senator Wellstone. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I have just two quick questions. First of all, Ms. Jones, Sheila 
and I last night attended the 15th anniversary of My Sister's Place. 
Could you aescribe what you think is most important about My 
Sister's Place? 

Ms. Jones. To me, the most important thin^ is dealing with the 
women and the children, but the special joy is working with the 
kids. Most of the babies who come through there need love and 
support and consoling. They have fears, and I try to give as much 
as I possibly can to try to help them through tneir crisis as well 
as helping their mothers. 

Senator Wellstone. I am going to submit some questions to all 
of you. I have one question for Ms. Hyde that I am trying to under- 
stand a little better. I loved what you had to say about The Chil- 
dren's Law Center, and I think you have just done pioneering 

Who makes the determination of what is best for the child? Part 
of what you are talking about is that determination. What are the 
criteria? Some of the examples you gave — to a layperson like my- 
self, it just makes no sense that children could be put in this posi- 
tion. Could you just — and you do not have a lot of time, but could 
you just take me through that process briefly? 

Ms. Hyde. Well, the question I would ask is who should make 
that determination, not who does. 

Senator Wellstone. Fine. Substitute your question. It is a more 
important one. 

Ms. Hyde. And I do not know that we really know for sure what 
the answer to that question is, but I think where we are up to is 
figuring that it is better if we have a mental health person working 
together with a lawyer to try to answer that question so that the 
lawyer can go into court saying with some confidence that this is 
what we think is in the child's best interest. 

Often, whatever the clinical wisdom seems to be about what is 
in a child's best interest can easily get brushed aside with court 
shenanigans, so it never really gets strongly registered in any of 
the court decisionmaking. So our hope is that by having a case- 
worker-lawyer model, we will at least improve on the likelihood 
that we are representing the child's best interests. 

Senator Wellstone. Thank you. I thank all of you. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator DoDD. Thank you all very, very much. 

There may be some additional written questions for you, but in 
the meantime we thank you immensely for your presence here 
today. And I will get back to you on your request, Ms. Hyde. It was 
a novel way of extending an invitation. 

Ms. Hyde. Thank you. 

Senator Dodd. I am very pleased to introduce our second panel 
this morning. Our first witness is no stranger at all to any of us 
on this panel, least of all to the individual to my right, as well as 


to others in the room who have been involved in these issues. Shei- 
la Wellstone has been a true champion for the victims of domestic 
violence. Since she has come to Washington, she has worked dili- 
gently toward legislation involving the lives of women and children 
affected by domestic violence. And with all due respect to my col- 
league on my right, she has been the driving force, and I think I 
will get an "Amen" from my colleague on that as well. 

In addition, she has also instigated an art exhibit, which we have 
referenced here tiiis morning, and I would invite all of you in the 
room today, before you leave to visit it — ^it is a very short walk 
from this building to the Russell Rotunda; it is the second floor of 
the Russell Building as it faces toward the Capitol. In that rotunda 
is the art exhibit that opened this week, which brings us face-to- 
face with the victims of domestic violence. 

So Sheila, thank you immensely for all that you have done and 
all that I know you will be doing as well. This is not the end of 
a process here at all, but it is very much, as we saw yesterday with 
the health care effort, the beginning of a process, and we commend 
you for it. 

I am going to ask my colleague in a moment to express any 
thoughts he might have in introducing these witnesses. 

Kim Cardelli is a domestic violence survivor, and we thank you 
for being here, Kim. We had a chance to chat very briefly the other 
night. Km took her experience as a victim and knew what was 
needed to change the existing system of child visitation, and she 
began a campaign to develop a visitation center. And not only was 
she the driving force behind the center's development, but she is 
now its executive director. Kim, we thank you for being with the 
committee this morning. 

Joni Colsrud is also a survivor. She lost custody of her children 
to her ex-husband, and then during the process to regain custody, 
her ex-husband became abusive. She had particular problems going 
to his residence and faced a very violent situation, which I am 
going to let her explain during her testimony rather than having 
me snare it with the committee this morning. 

And finally. Judge Mary Louise Klas, I want to thank you for 
coming today. Judge Klas has spent many years focusing on family 
law, and her experience as a jurist brings another important di- 
mension to our panel today. She will speak to what affects the 
courts' decision on children and violent crimes and what she sees 
as solutions. And Senator Wellstone's last question would be appro- 
priately addressed to her as well, and I am sure she is going to talk 
about that in her comments. 

But let me turn to my colleague, because he knows one of our 
witnesses fairly well, and he may have some thoughts. 

Senator Wellstone. I actually was going to talk about the other 
witnesses, Mr. Chairman. Judge Klas is so highly respected in Min- 
nesota. If I were to begin to talk about the number of assignments 
she has taken and the work she has done in the State of Min- 
nesota, it would take a long time, and I would just like to thank 
her so much for coming out here. 

And Joni, through Sheila, I just have so much respect for your 
courage, and I thank you so much for being here today. 


And Kim Cardelli has done just absolutely brilliant work. She is 
the director of the Children's Safety Network. We have learned so 
much from working with her. So I thank you, Kim, for coming as 

There are a good many Minnesotans who are also here today in 
the hearing room, and I would like to thank them. 

Finally, I wanted to submit some statements that come from a 
variety of different organizations that support the Child Safety Act, 
and I wanted to just briefly read a letter from James Todd, execu- 
tive vice president of the American Medical Association. Essen- 
tially, he commends you and commends us for holding this hearing 
on the Child Safety Act and then goes on to say that "S. 870 will 
be the subject of review by the AMA Council on Legislation at its 
next meeting. When that review is completed, we will be able to 
communicate to you our formal position." 

I am very pleased to have this letter today and would like to in- 
clude it, along with the other statements, in the record. 

[The prepared statements follow:] 



(EnngrcBB nf the Mnittb §1atEB 

Umisr of fiEprcHEnlfftiucH 
ffiaahington. B.OI. 2D515 


Dear Colleague: 

The prevalence of family violence in onr society is staggering. Studies show that 
25% of all violence occurs among people who are related. Estimates of the number of 
women abused by their partners each ye<ir range from two to four million, and ever 
haJf of all women murdered in the United States each year are killed by their male partners. 
Additionally, the number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect that occurred in 
1992 was estimated at 1,160,400 - a 10% increase over conrmned cases in 1991. Data 
indicates that the incidence of violence in families escalates during separation and divorce. 
Many of these assaults occur in the context of visitation. 

I have introduced the Child Safety Act to create supervised visitation centers to 
minimize the incidence of family violence during visitations. These centers would serve as 
safe and neutral ground for parents to temporarily transfer custody of their children or have 
court ordered supervised visitations. They would also provide a safe location for children in 
foster care to visit with their parents. Furthermore, supervised visitation centers would 
promote the reunification of families by offering support groups for children and parents 
who have lived in abusive environments This bill would cost $30 million which would be 
disbursed as categorical grants througi the regionai offices of the Department of Health and 
Human Services. 

Several centers have been successfully established in my home state of Muinesota. 
Tliese centers direct their ser^'ices to benefit the children, creating a relaxed and friendly 
atmosphere which promotes closer interaction between the children and their parents. The 
NBC Nightly News and the Today Show both did programs on one Minnesota center, the 
Children's Safety Center. As a result of those shows, the Center was inundated with calls 
from individuals interested in the Center and its methods. It seems that this intense interest 
iiidicatcs iliere is a huge need foi iheac idnds of ci;iid and family oriented centers. 

By supporting this measure, you can help children escape the danger of serious 
injury, emotional trauma, and even death. Compassion and decency dicute that we do all 
we can to allow children to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment. These children 
have already been forced to deal with the traumatic experience of family violence arid 
breakup. Offering them a safe haven in which to meet with their family members is the 
least they deserve. 

If you would like to cosponsor this bill or have any questions, please contact Kristen 
Hoeschler on my staff at x54755. 


Martin Olav Sabo 
Member of Congress 

IHis ►»r(l< M»ot WIIM «EC»CltO UBIBS - PllASE ■ICVClt 



May 12, 1993 

The Honorable Paul Wellstone 
United States Senate 
702 Bart Senate Building 
Washington, DC 20510-2303 

Dear Senator Wellstone: 

As a keen observer of American social and economic trends, you no 
doubt share in the growing concern about the human and financial 
cost of child abuse. Public awareness may not be far behind: in 
the last few months alone, at least seven network TV shows from 
Oprah Winfrey's "Scared Silent" to "Full House" have told various 
parts of this story. 

To get all the issues out on the table and to share Childhelp USA's 
34 years of experience in this field, we've just published the 
enclosed supplement in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. 

It presents to a popular audience the facts about this problem and 
what can and is being done to meet the needs of children and adult 
survivors. Wr'vp rnclc?fd a copy for your use, and hope that ycu 
might share it with your associates who are active in public 
affairs initiatives. 

Childhelp USA is a national nonprofit organization active in the 
treatment and prevention of child abuse. You probably have heard 
of our national Childhelp/IOF Foresters hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD, 
which last year handled over 360,000 calls from adults and children 
seeking help. 

Additionally, Childhelp runs treatment centers on the east and west 
coasts for rehabilitating the most severely abused children, and 
conducts research and public information programs. 

If we may, we'll write you from time to time to share new develop- 
ments in America's war against child abuse. Your advocacy as a 
respected leader influencing public opinion can make a world of 
difference to the millions of children and their parents who are 
struggling to overcome this tragedy. 

Sincerely yours, 

Sara O'Heara y^ Yvonne Fedderson 

Chairman ^ President 


The New York Society for the 
Prevention OF CpLTif.Tft Children 

June 21, 1993 

Hon. Paul Wellstone 

United States Senate 


Washington, D.C. 20510 

Re: S. 870 

Dear Senator Wellstone, 

1 an writing to strongly support above entitled bill 
cited as the "Child Safety Act" which addresses the need 
for supervised visitation to protect children from the 
trauma of witnessing or experiencing violence, abuse and 

The Hew York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Children was appointed law guardian for over 800 
children in the New York Family Court last year and in 
many of those cases Supervised Visitation was ordered. 
We recently started a Supervised Visitation Center which 
was funded in part by The Ronald McDonald Children's 
Charities. Enclosed is a brochure about the program. We 
have supervised over 100 visits since October 1992. Most 
often spousal abuse is the reason that supervised 
visitation is ordered. 

We are also a member of a newly formed Supervised 
Visitation Network made up of professionals from across 
the United States and Canada. Two states have legislation 
addressing Supervised Visiting and many more are 
considering it. I would be happy to share the information 
I have on Supervised Visitation with you as well as a 
Keynote Address I gave at the First Annual Supervised 
Visitation Conference which was held last May. 

Sincerely yours. 

^-ifthne Reiriiger ^'^ 
Executive Dir^^ctbr 




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" 2401 University Avefiiie — r-j •- 

St. £aal, HF: 5511.4^- ...-J-J-i-; 

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ficLSx'Seiiator WQllstoue, 


-: I BID a Licensed Bpci^al Worker, and a Program Director at tbe 

• St. tload Jlrea Eamily YUGBi ,1 aii Kritlng in support" ofT£« caiild 
~" Safety Act vhlch will cr^te; Supervised viBitatidh--aent«r8 ;• 

-. ... Currently, tbe^Rlca p.s contracting through • St^axifsJ Cbnity to 

prb^de on-site supervised rvisita.tiort3 to conrt order Bd_fajiiilie»« 

_Thi« jbrcgxem pro-rides fsiniiJLies wdtli a positive 7 teeltiy _' . 

.: envixomDcuh in.whjlc"h to .fetetact ;and~a' placa whara f a-rrii 1-y — 
viil narability to ^raoiia eind violence wijjl^be reduced.-. -The ' 
program provides flexible hbur«, Jlbcuslng on conyecdLent tiii*'* "And 
days -for families i ThereL.are a variety bf activities families . . 

■■-can -participate "in durin^the ■frielt tnciuding basketbaUL, ' 

Bvimtihg, racguetbdU, ws£Lteyball> arts anfi critts, cooking; .-Aid" 
jntich jnnre. There Li iELl-so-^7priyiate room wherB—families can ■»pea(i_ 
quiet time togethef . ' .All- visitation .Eup^iirriebrs ar€ trained txy- 

" deal vith Issues cdncemibg famllies-lin crlBis... . Supervigori ax* 
■ also fin close contact ititihlth* cbunty social xorker.'aaBi^gn^d to .. 
■the; case, vor!dLhg~tbgeth«r-:t:b prLovdda a pprop riate a«urv±cea -for " "' 

-The Supervised Visitation Ptogfani has proven .to. nfe^t the ' '. 
"needs of families in crisis. Children are more safe vinitjlng at:._ 

tEe YMCa veirees^having A jfrien d or xelaEive superrJ-S* a feidly ■ 
'. Ihteractibn . ■ Without this program, paxents/relaEiveS night not 

be able to Sfee-their chilidren due to over -worried social: worker*, .. 

.lack of fpndis and limited apace At "Social Services. Because the. 

need for- this prograia is Fso. great, wa. hope to "expand bur ■ aervicea 

to-other conntieBflreactSirig" families in_neighbbring_ towns aiid . . .'. 
;mrol ooimunitiee. This jis a large step for the YMCA vitUToajiy: . 
""obstecleg- to overcome."- itotur. support In this- effort -— .. 
L greatly appreciated. ' ' T ;_;"_ •• "' "■ "-■ 

Thank you for your tiros and effort in addressing this very 
iirportant issue. If you have any questions about the Supervised 
Visitation Program, please j feel free to contact ae at the 1MC&, 
(612) 253-2664 or at the above addresB. 

Sincerely, ! : 

LEretch'en Welch - 
Prograu Director 


8t«t«H«nt Regarding Ths Child Safftfcy Xct, 8.870 
Linda H. Lfton 
228S5 No. Sand&lfoot Blvd. 
Boca Baton, Floklda 33433 
(407) 487-4671 

Baptwnbar 2i , 1993 

I a* tha Bothar of two vary young incatfc victliia. My 
daugbtar had }uat turnad thC0C< yaara old wban Bba apoka 
thaaa vortfa to a parchologist : "THE HOHBIBR TOUCHED HB 
CRIED LIRE A BABT." Her broth^^r was only one and a half at 
that tima. The children's fath^ir, a dsc^reed profaai ional, 
and I ware already divorced. I had raBidaatial cuatody^ mj 
•z-huaband had liberal viaitation. 

My attorney filed a irotion to restrict or prohibit ay 
ax-huabaod'a viaitation with tho children. Hia xeaponaa to 
that notion waa to hire a high powered 1-b1» Beach attoroty. 
who filed a notion for custody. Prior to tha full hearing, 
a judge ordered overnight vicicatlon to continue, two 
weekends per nonth, auperviaed by a femK.l9 family menber of 
Riy ex-husband. 

Both children went on viaitation villlngly, but their 
behavior changed drastically. My two year old aon started 
to have night terrors. He lat^r spoke o£ bis Daddy putting 
hia finger in his rectum. My daughter started to wet bar 
panties on the day viaitation resumed. Both children began 
to display aggressive and blvr^rre behaviora. After the 
third overnight viaitation wy eon was rtturnad with his 
rectal area inflamed. My daughter waq roturnad with three 
notches, a tear, and internal tnd exterior radneaa in her 
vaginal area. My children h&d been re-noleated, by court 

A fsBily menber of a auspectad abuaar should never, undar 
any circuaatancea, be allowed to auperviae viaitation. 
Abuae is often generational. It can run full cycle through 
■lany fanllies, over many years, before the " family aecrat" 
is exposed. Evan if the family is not considered abusive, 
It la highly unlikely that a family wembar can be completely 
unbiased. Vheo this situation is allowed to occur one must 
question who is actually being protected - the abusad or tho 

After that third visit, ny attoirney filtd an emetgency 
bearing to prohibit all vicltstion pending the full hearing. 
The sane Judge allowed viHitation to continue aa praviously 
ordered. The outcome of tha hearing waa a miscarriage 
of justice. To find this caB.i in my favor would have 
exposed the court's grave error in judgement and tha itate't 

failure to provide my children uith proper protection. 
Custody was awarded to ny ex-husband; I waa given leas 
visitation then he had aa a auspectad child noleater. 

t was given visitation on the aecond weekend of each month 
from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday, no 
overnigbta. Ironically, the judge ordered viaitation to b« 
auparviaed by mj ez-huaband'a nether, or a peraon that we 
could Mutually agree upon. I have encloaed coplea of two 
pages from the court transcripts where the judge apaaka bia 
mind about supervised visitation. I have bsd to agree to my 
ex-huaband's choice of auperviaora or forfeit visitation. 
One supervisor did not even speak tngliah* another 
repeatedly fell asleep in ny home. A third would watch TV 
in ny livingroon while I waa outside with the children. 
Conaidering tha supervision, or Lack of, it la ■ good thing 
my children were not in a dangerous tltuation. 


Currentlr* Judgaa In aanf states ar« ordfttrlng inapproprlat* 
aup«rvla»(S vlaltatlon. Innocent eblldran ar« balag 
ravictifliliad, that is a fact. Thla practlc* nuat b« atoppad 
natlonwldo. Paoplt who ara Ignorant of a aubjact ara 
unaducatad. Faople who chooaa to raoaln unaducatad are 
Ignorant. Ihla country cannot sfford to remain Ignorant 
while It 'a noat valueable resource la deBtroyedl 

An adult who faara abuse, either phyaical or sexual, can 
obtain a restraining order agalnet the threatening person, 
ragardlesB of any relationship that aay ezist between thea. 
The Fourteenth Mendment to the Onited States Constitution 
states that no state shall: "deny to any person within its 
jurisdiction the egual protection of the lawa." The age, 
sex, or race of that person ean not be a dlacrlniBBting 
factor, that would be a ▼lolation of ■ person's civil 

A child la a person who can no longer be considered chattel, 
which is owned by a parent/abueer, and forever bound by 
parental bonda. A child has ths save conatitutional rights, 
as an adult, to equal protection under the laws. Please see 
the enclosed copy of Legal lews. The lack of aceouotabilitr 
has breed indifference within our judical system, end 
children are reaping the consequences. The injustice must 
step, children have righta too. 

The Child Safety Act, B.870 will provide funds to help stop 
the revictlMliation of Asierlca's children. This country has 
has a legal and noral obligation to it's children: to uphold 
their conatitutional rights by providing then with prop«r 
protection from any abuser, at all costs. To allow 
children'a rights to be overpowored by parental/abuser'f 
righta sends a clear message to sll - abusing children 18 
TOLSRXBue, as long as they are your own. 

Ood speed your decision and the safety of His children. 


Minn9«?oln Council on P^inily 

. . ,:-,.i/ W33 on 20. m 121214 



September 13, 1993 

The Honorable Paul Wellstone 
Attn: Kaarina Ornelas 
717 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington DC 20510 

RE: S. 879 the "Child Safety Act" 

Dear Senator Wellstone: 

We have operated a Visitation Center for sixteen years, as part of 
our service to the District Courts and Tarrant County citizens 
Involved in litigation before these courts. 

To our knowledge, very few Centers to monitor visitation between 
parents and children exist in Texas. The ones that are in 
operation differ in all respects except for the common goal of 
protecting children. 

Our operation, although originally a small portion of the work 
load, has grown rapidly because of allegations of abuse to 
children, abuse of drugs or alcohol by parents and family violence. 

Because of our tremendous increase in visitation cases, I began 
looking for assistance from other area agencies. Finally last 
fall, we entered into a cooperative agreement with Family Service, 
Inc, a United Way sponsored agency. Now they too have such a 
dramatic increase in cases that it is difficult to schedule new 
cases . 

Therefore I endorse your bill and look forward to its 
implementation in all states. 

Please contact me if I can assist you in passage of this important 


Sandra Fultz LHSW 

Director of Family Court Service 



August 27, 1993 

Senator Paul \N ellstone 

att: Kaarina Ornclas 

717 Hart Senate Office Building 

Washington D.C. 20510 

Dear Senator >Veilstone, 

Casa dc los Ninos supports House bil! HR 2573 to fund 
supervised visitation centers around the country. Our agency 
Implemented a Judicial Supervision Program In 1988 that has 
been extremely successful in Tucson, Arizona. 

1 have enclosed a videotape on the Casa that Includes a 
testimonial about supervised visitation from Judge Margaret 
Houghton, Pima County Superior Court. I thought you miglil be 
able to use this as part of the hearings to create a more personal 
understanding of how such programs can fit Into the overall 
provision of child welfare services. 

Please let me knovT If I can be of further assistance. 


u'Jeanne I^anddeck-Slsco, MSVV 
Executive Director 


Ms. Lisa Kuschnar 

207 Roslyn Avenue 

Carle Place, New York 11514 

September 24, 1993 

Senator Paul Wellstone 

717 Hart Senate Office Building 

Washington, D.C. 20510 

Attention: Ks . Kaarlna Ornelas 

Re: Supervised Visitation 

Dear Ms. Ornelas: 

I recently Became a part of the supervised visitation program 
in Westchester County. I feel that this type of program is needed 
and I support it's continuance wholeheartedly. 

Without this program, people who really want to be a part of 
their children's lives, wouldn't have the opportunity. It gives 
the child a safe, comfortable environment in which to visit with 
the non-custodial parent. 

I hope thst this program will continue to contribute to the 
needs of children. 

V^ry truly yours. 

^^i^ itfu^ehnoAJ 

Lisa A. Kuschnar 


cc: Ms. Jo Kellman 

Westchester Children's Association 

470 Hamaroneck Avenue 

White Plains, New York 106052 


New York Slate Bar Association' 



l»9Br«d'Juvt'i>lr PgiS D-v 
1SP4rti P-w.. ?mFloo« 
N^wNtarh. MY 1003« 

pnOF. UAnSMAOtnnisoN 

i!tirNTM^r' October 18. 1993 

Hon Alfonsc D'Amato 

7 Pcnn Plaza 

Suite 600 

New York. New York 10001 

Dear Senator D'Amato: 

llie Committee on Children and tlie Ijw of the New York State Bar 
Association urges you to support Senate BUI 870, the "ChJld Sa/ety Act", 
Introduced by Senator Paul WeUstone (Representative Martin Sabu). This 
proposed legislation authorizes funding for supervised visitation centers to be 
used In appropriate cases to protect children during vlsltadon sessions with 
non-custodial parents. 

Visitation by noncustodial parents Is often essential to maintaining the 
parent/child relationship. There are some cases, however, where questions 
regarding the safety of a chlld(ren) during visitation as well as the 
appropriateness of a parent's beha\1or towards the chlld(ren) have been 
raised. A network of supervised \1sitatlon centers providing a range of 
seivices Is panicularly appropriate when domestic violence, sexual, physical 
and emotional abuse of cither a patent or child or dilld neglect have been 
prevalent within the family imlt. Wlille we recognize that there are some in which no visitation Is appropriate, there are many more cases In 
whicli, In order to maintain tlie parent/child relatlonslilp and at the same time 
safeguard the child, super\1sed visitation Is the only viable alternative. In 
addition, many families need some supervision at tlie point of time when a 
clilld is transferred from one parent to another for the purposes of vtsitadon. 

While the funding of 100 centers across the United States does not 
even begin to meet the need, It 1$ an Important flnt step. The few programs 
now functioning have been patched together with Inadequate funding by 
committed professionals who have recognized this urgent need. However, the 
number of children now being served Is so small It cannot even be called a 

Senator Wellsione's proposed legislation Is a first step In the right 
direction to providing Inaeased attention, protection, services and funding to 
the children who, for one reason or another, do not live with both parents but 
would benent from contact with them. Your support of this legislation Is 
extremely Important. 

We thank you for your attention to this matter. 


^^--s:>-v^?K ^l^^^s 

Carol Shermaii 


loiratn* Coxlio, M.F.C.C. 

ExpcutVe Dlrecfof 

Shola AndAfwn 

Pf ogram Opeiatlqru Dtectof 

bnllai loxiol, M.O. 
CofTSUitIng cViM Psychlotitel 

Corol A. Btodey, rti.D. 

Nursery DIfoclof 

Vvonne Ccnnef, M.D. 

ConsullltSo PedoWclon 

Chrti Dixon, ICSW 

Fojtor Fcmlly Olnlcol Dkectof 

ICMroJn* Uma, M^. 
Fomlhy Services DIrsclOf 

Jacqule Murphy, MS. 

Foster Family Adrrtnlsttotiva Olrecto' 

Donna Radman-Berilloy, Ph.D. 

Consulllng Physicol TherapW 

Dlroclofi end Odcwi 

(toy Azamoir, Pt\S>. 
Rose do 

Dr. Duane Dayr 
Vico Chairman 
Yofbo Unda 

Judy land, D.C 
Secrolary ond Ireosuief 

Jomei Morions, EdD 


jBiome Sollger, Th.O. 

Los Angeles 

Foiocf Tonnonf, M.D. 


West Covino 

Advisory Board 

Pat Azorroff. M.Ed. 
Pectairic Project* 
Soma Monico 

Irvlno Bcrlujvitz, M.D. 

Child Psychiotiy 
West 1x15 Angelas 

fllzobslh Btady. M S. 

Spo'^lal Educotion 

Cd. Slate Univ. Norlhftdge 

Jonet nsh, Ed D. 

Chid Developrrient 

Col Stole UnK/. Norlhrtdg* 

Elcphonlo GIndos HoiiSOit, f KD. 
Clliilcril PsYcloiogst 

Sonta Monica 

Ir\'h5i Ostrov/, M.pA 
Echo Portt HDmo Piogram 
Loj Angelr'S 

lcn'.'rcr>ce Rodgeri 

CommunllY Impiovemoni Loogue 

Long Beacn 

PpjIWctub, M.a 
Pcdbhlrs.Univ. C=:.<. 
Medlcol Center. Irvine 


children's ceviter, Inc. 

'Keeping ramllleB Tos;3tr,or' 

October 28. 1993 


We wish to thank Senator Wellsfone and the Committee for 
consideration of this testimony as a part of the record for SB 
870. These remarks are made on behalf of our colleagLies at 
Bienvenidos Children's Center in Los Angeies and ourselves. 
Bienvenidos Children's Center specializes in foster care to pre- 
and school-age children. V/e exe daily responsible for 46 babies 
and toddlers placed with our emergency shelter nursery 
program by the coLirt, for approximately 380 yoimg children 
placed with our certified fostcir families for longer term care 
and protection and for more than 250 cliildren involved in our 
Family Support Services child abuse prevention program . A 
fact sheet that briefly describes our organization and 
experience is also included. 

Child safety and sense of s?iety during parent visitation is as 
fundamental for children in foster care as it is for children in 
divorce circumstances, Oui' views are predicated on the 

1 . Children need to fed safe; to fsel that adults are in 
control of and corfimltcsd to providing th6m with a safe, 
nurturing environment; 

2. Children are net to blame for tha need for mediation, 
litigation or the conflict that their parents and other 
adults in their liv£s experienco cr express; 

3. Children love thsir parents, actual or acquired, and 
this love is no less important thsn their own feelings 
about being loved and cared about; and, 

4. Children need f.H of the significant adtilts in their 
lives for healthy development, regardless of the extent of 
the willingness or sbility of adults to agree with one 


S afe Visiting and Foster vOarff 

Foster care by design is tcruporary for most children. The 
intent is to protect the children in as feoaily-lijce an 
environment as possible for as long as needed while the court 
determines when the chiHran can be safsly returned to their 
birth families or placed v%ith other rehitives. In foster care, 
ramification with ths birth family must be given the highest 

Foster parents must bs encouraged to bs open to mvolvmg 
birth parents in a range t-f viunification activities so that when 
children fae returned to ths birth families the probability of 
successful reunification is heightened. What we do not want to 
see happen is "placement falure" folio v?ing unsuccessful 
reunification. , 

Safe comfortable viEiting is crucial to successful reunification. 
We see safe visiting as bj.s!c to the tiaiisition between foster 
care and return to the birth family. However, safe visiting in 
foster care is not easy for a number of reasons: (1) foster 
parents sometimes fear thLi birth parents may misdirect their 
insecurity and frusnation; (2) foster parents are sometimes 
unable to understand the civcuraslances facmg the birth parent 
and fear the resultant bclir.viors may put their ov/n famiJies and 
home at risk of violence, i.L.d (3) foscs;- parents bond ^^^t]•^ the 
foster childien and genuinily fear for ihe safety of the children 
prior to and following rtunirication. 

Yet early uitsraction bst.vesn birth pyents and their chJIdren in 
fostfj cere is crucial to the soiotiona! wsU-being of the children 
End the success of reuiii^cttion. 

Recogniiing the fesig of ibster parentej wa neveitheless 
encourage them to hivita b'j.Th paients to their home and help 
the children feel comfcri^b'.e 'dS they meet thsre v/ith their birth 
paitnis. Where tl\4 co-Ji i: so orders or v.'heie in our best 
judgment as child vyelfus professionals dictJites, wa also 
arrange birdr parent - fcscbi' child \'isitiiig in r.atoral but public 
setthigs such as parks, ioci'iij^nts End so on. W& £lso arrange 
for visiting in oui' ofrices ?:.i<i other agency offices as close as 
pcEsible to the fostci hcmi aiid bnth f«j\nily home. 

Ft op ram Rf-.f:.'^mm^vtdad.'.-'.=; fni- Sr:f.^ Vt<>i>-"hg fa?- Foitfer 

The needs of childien in foster care ara complete and tha 
proposed legislation offers piotections that have generally not 
received as much progt?dii attention £s they should. We offer 
three recommendiiions: 


1 . The £dult3 It ths child's life shoi.ild havs a safe, 
neutral, and supportivs euvircnment such 5S a Child 
Safety Cental' in v^hich to plari thoughtfully for the child; 

2. Pfoffcssional mcdir'tion, coaching and morutoring 
should be avuik'ob io sU families ttterapticg to ifcsolve 
disputed custody coxiciins; 

J? The zilc /:icGi:ix!£ t^viiotm^ shov-ld ts child 
centered, family fooussd ai^.d dsdicj^ted to providing 
support to all J-Speois of esch child's developrrtsht; 

-1. Catcgivei-s, boti. p.-cfcssicit?.! iad psiaprofessional, 
shculd Lave iiptcl-Ay^tl iiahvin^ in d\& oreatioa, 

organization and effective man-igement of Child Safety 
Center environxneniis; and, 

5. Public child protective services workers, private 
foster family agency social work staff, and court staff at 
the local level should be encomaged to form consortia to 
develop inter-agency access to Child Safety Centers in 
their communitteE. 

We very much appreciate this opportiinity to contribute to the 
success of this important legislation. 

Thank you. 

Sheila Anderson, 

Assistant Executive Direr-tor 

Icrome Seligcr, Ph.D., 

Testimony to be copied for i/icJusion :a SB 870 Hearings on 
October 28, 1993. 


Oetting to Know Us 

Blenvenklos Chtldt^5t'3 Center, Inc. 

205 Fast P&tiM Sfreot 

AHadana, CAS1001 


Blenvenldos Children's Center, Inc., (BCC) is a private nonprofit public benefits charity 
Incorporated In California In 1988. BCC has If^S 501 (C) (3) designation and Is 
headquartered In Alladens. BCC programs are Siate IlcRnsad and located throughout 
Los Angeles county. BCC opened for care to children In June, 1987. 

Our mission, "keeping families together," assiimss that families are essential to the 
well-being of children and to tomorrow's America. 

BCC operates three service programs. Our st:-vto licensed EmgiaemaLShelter Cara 
LLiULsery. in West Covlna provides 2'1-hour short term nursery care to babies and 
toddlers . The Shelter Care Nursery progrsm csres for cliildren In need of protective 
care who are placed wllh us by the Juvenile Dependency Court. Childran receive 
therapeutic physical and emotional assessment and nurturing by "substitute moms" in 
small "families" of three children. Children live v.-i'.h us In cur shelter nursery for periods 
averaging one month as the court determines iheir long \enr\ care needs. 

BCC's state licensed Foster Family Aoency picgiam provides longer term foster care 
for babies, pre-school and school age children. BCC recruifs, provides training to and 
certifies specialized foster families county - wlds for care to clilidren placed with the 
program by the court. Blenvenldos Foster Fairiily Agency offices are located In 
Pomona, West Covlna, East Los Angeles, Long Baach and Van Nuys. In addition to 
these licensed programs, BCC pioneered what has become a nationally recognized 
child abuse prevention service program, 

Our Eairliy -Servlcei? program, headquatlered ;.( ihe Bienvrrnidos Family Support 
Center in East Los Angeles, provides case rr^aneged "Midiina" Family Support 
Wcrl^cr nssistance, respifa r.nd related services to thi^ea categories of family at 
risk of child endangerment: (1) rnmilin': in np^d cf ?.ff>?iter3 rG-sblise prevention In tha 
critic?! r?i'ninc?.t!cn wesi's following fosisr ciia; (2) Ta/n/V/oS referred io ihe program 
by (ho court as an alteriiaiive io couii-OKi'^red fcsler care; ?.hd, (3) hiph need/low 
lesource r<aiii//Vt>i; vi/f/j medicellv viilnprsbia b3.bles. 

DAN SALTZMAN, Multnomah Cotmly Commissioner, District One 

11 JO S W. ri/lh AvHiuf, Suite 1500 • Portlind, Oregon WM« • 003) H8-52J0 • PAX <50J) IM 5410 


As 1 Cfninty Comm^sioncf tot Mullnomsli County, Of«eon. I offer ray wlwIeheMted 
jupport of tJie CWId Sifety Act. 

KfiilbKitn.-J] County, which cncoinpstsc! Ihe City of Foitluul. Ij the most populous ta 
Oregon But conver<::itlonj *ilh my collaipj-,? In olber countlct rotJirm what ue hBV« 
lcan)«l here: (hit fimlly vMerc U eucling t lerrlblB cort on Iti victlnu and on the 
Jurisdiction! thtl must cope wiih Itj aAeraulh. 

As the locnl gnvcnonent chntgi-d with provldlnp humsn service?, licludlng physical tnd 
mental health, pro'secullon aod corrections, we cen clevly see lliJt fnilure to break tlie cycle 
of family violence dj'Diaiictlly Incieases the ncd, acd cost, of such services. While 
ceruloly no panacea, tlie ClulJ Safety Act b in Innovative approach whose passage would 
have a direct and positive Impact 

The eslablhhmeol of nipervlscri visitation centerc ta provide I ssfs phce for the transrerral 
of custody or ror court oidcred siipervlted vislutlon would be » good thins: such ficUltlei 
have potential to lessen a great mioiber of ttJijlc clrciLiistftnccs. nut I ain especially 
enthusiastic about the tremendous Impact that this icejn-ic would have If placed Io the 


context of « tolierrnt suairgy to mtuce rumlly violence and generally Improve the mental, 
physical and coclal well-being of chlldreo ud fimlUbl. 

in me share two exiDiptcs of uays tn which Hiiltrr^irjli Ccinly ts spproacWng this lisue. 
Specific to the concept of a safe place fot vlitilailon, we f\jnd the S-Jvalion Atmy'l West 
Wcnico's iui'f rhlldtcn'i .^belter, ulilch hw a nipctvited visitation center as part of lt5 
pr"BiM(i. It Is considered an ejsential part of the Shiller'i overall mmlon to break the cycle 
of fiunlly violence. 

More gejierslly H cur inlcEmllon of service! to fimlllrs and children wlUiln a structure of 
riniUy Resource Ccniert. These ccrtcrj, which cniie-.pond lo grographic lonej wiihln the 
cpumv, are dcflgneJ lo be an Identifiable rcsomc. for fnmJIIes In need of any or »U of a 
broad mrige of services. One of the stienglhs of llils mrvlel Is Its role ai on entry point: the 
ability lo connect families and children to other letviccs In a poilllve and tupporUve 

Bo'h of Ihrse e^airpies lllustiale the strong rs'-''--'^' ''f '•>' ClilW Pr.rjt)' ^cl (o »erve nj a 
focal pntnl for delivering desperately nee'lrd cn-vlrc; to families, tt ran he ra^Uv connected 
lo existing service within local Jurlsdlctlnns, leveraging local resouires with a federal 
CoiTuwltmept Hurt Is focused, nr'^rtrable and c<5mplenicit«ry. Most Importtnt, llil« 
Investment In our rhlldrcn will be effective In rcducUig violence In the shoii term, and wUt 
save a Iremendcus aniount of money In the long tenn ts we Intervene early to > problem 
whose costs grow ejponentlally when untcnded. 



A. Introducti on ; 

The Mower County Vi.Rltation Center is a program of the Mower 
County Victim's Crisis Center and began operation in November 
1992. It serves the residents of Mower County in southeastern 
Minnesota (pop. 40,000.) The Visitation Center is designed to 
provide a safe and caring atmosphere for children to be exchanged 
or for parents to have meaningful visits with their child/ren. 
It provides a drop-off /pick-up location, a monitored visitation 
option for out-of-town parents, and a supervised visit option. 
Priority is given to visitation that is court-ordered or that 
involves an active child protection case with Human Services. 

Paid staff include: a full time coordinator who schedules visits, 
conducts interviews with parents, coordinates with courts and 
referral sources, and supervises the on-site operation of the 
center and education/support groups; and a part-time assistant 
also coordinates and conducts on-site operations. Trained 
volunteers are utilized in some of the supervision and exchanges 
of children. 

The Visitation Center is located in the education wing of a local 
churcrh which is next to the Victim's Crisis Center offices. Days 
of operation are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

The Mower County Visitation Center is operating close to full 
capacity, which seems to indicate that there is a tremendous need 
for this service. Before this program existed, many children 
were picked up and dropped off at one of the parents homes or in 
parking lots. Many times there were physical or verbal 
confrontations between the parties which were witnessed by the 
children. Most of these children had witnessed on-going domestic 
violence between their parents when they were together and now 
were witnessing it during visitation arrangements. By utilizing 
the Visitation Center we are removing the danger and the trauma 
to these children, and they are no longer caught in the crossfire 
of their parents disputes. The children enjoy using the center. 
It is very child-oriented, with games and toys. The parents are 
very appreciative of the Center services as well. 

The Mower County Visitation Center is a new program in our 
County. We currently receive $40,000.00 per year from the State 
grant which represents 80% of the budget. 


To ensure client and staff safety, there is a response agreement 
in place with the Austin Law Enforcement Center. They are aware 
of our hours of operation and have a floor plan of the facility 
that we are using. Separate entrances for fathers and mothers are 
used and the times that the parents come into the center are 
staggered to avoid contact. 

To ensure client confidentiality, all of our paid staff and 
volunteers have been trained in mandated reporting and the Data 
Practices Act. All staff sign a confidentiality agreement. 
Client records are kept in the coordinator's private office which 
is locked at all times. Clients who are involved with the courts 
and Social Services, sign a release of information. 

Parent and child support/education classes are provided to 
mothers, fathers, teens, children ages 6-8 and 9-12 years of age. 
Child care is also made available. Clients who are self-referred 
to the Center are encouraged to enroll in these classes. Clients 
who are court ordered to the Center will be required to 
participate in the classes. 

To provide parents with skills to deal with the difficulties in 
dealing with former partners and to minimize the effects of 
parental conflict on children, support/education classes are 
conducted on an on-going basis. The mothers,' teen and all 
children's groups are held at the Visitation Center and are 
scheduled at the same time in adjoining rooms. This eliminates 
transportation and child care problems. The fathers' group is 
held at an alternate site the same night for convenience and 
safety reasons. The mothers' and children's classes are on an 8 
week cycle. The fathers' groups run on a 12 week cycle. An 
outline of the curriculum for each class is attached to this 
report . 

B . Services Summary: 

Attached is the Visitation Center Evaluation Instrument Form. 
This provides the information as to the number of families being 
served, their ages, what type of service they are using, if there 
is improvement being noted and also how many are attending the 
classes offered. 

Additional information that should be noted and that is not 
provided on the evaluative report attached is: 

1. Average age of adult clients: 30 years of age. 

2. Clients that have progressed from supervised to exchanges: 3 

3. Clients that have progressed from using the Center to 
exchanging on their own: 9 


Fathers group: What about the Kids? (available through 
DAIP in Duluth) 

Mothers group: In Our Best Interests, (available through 
DAIP in Duluth) 

Teen group: Too Cool To Rule (available through DAIP in 

Children's group: Kids Koping (available through the 

Parenting Resource Center in Austin) 

Volunteer training packet: (available through the Mower 

County Visitation Center) 


C . Program Assessment 

The major goals of the program have been met or exceeded. The 
Center is operating at full capacity, with an additional mid-week 
day of operation that was added after the program began, due to 
the client demand. A wide variety of clients with many different 
needs, including physical handicaps are being served. A close 
relationship is maintained with the courts, social services and 
private attorneys as they are the main source of referrals- 
No significant staffing problems have been encountered. The 
program took off quickly and it became evident that an Assistant 
Coordinator was needed to help with the increased operating hours 
of the Center and to provide back-up. Volunteers continue to be 
utilized with supervised visits and exchanges. There has been 
little if any turnover in the volunteer staff possibly because of 
the flexible time requirements. 

One problem encountered is the amount of work and time required 
to coordinate the classes. There is a tremendous amount of work 
required to line up the curriculums, obtain the space, and put 
the facilitators of the classes in place. It has also been 
difficult to get judges to remember to order the classes when the 
Visitation Center has been court-orderad . To remedy this, a 
reminder letter has been sent to the judges asking them to 
require the classes if appropriate. One option is to incorporate 
using the Visitation Center and attending the classes as a 
package . 

Another problem encountered that is on-going, is the constant 
changing of the schedule of supervised visits and exchanges. 
Because of dealing with the amount of people that we do, there is 
always change. These changes include type of visitation service, 
day and time, and length of visit. The frequent change in 
schedule can be time-consuming and it can be difficult to keep 
track of who is coming in at what time and what rooms will be 
needed. It also affects the number of volunteers needed for the 

A possible un-met need is the fact that referrals from smaller 
towns in the county are currently low. Whether transportation is 
a problem or the information is not reaching them, is not known 
at this time. 

D. Future Outlook: 

The Mower County Visitation Center anticipates continued and 
accelerated growth in the future. We anticipate our funding to 
remain the same for the next year. Any staffing changes that 
will be made will likely be the training of more volunteers due 
to an increased client load. Current paid staff should remain the 
same . 

The Mower County Visitation Center has had visits and phone 
inquiries from 3 Counties in Minnesota and also from Dade County 
Florida and Bismarck, North Dakota. This seems to indicate that 
other agencies in the State and Country are seeing the need for 
this program and want to develop one in their area. Sadly, 
domestic abuse and child visitation and custody disputes are a 
growing problem that occurs everywhere. By utilizing existing 
facilities and sponsoring organizations, the program can operate 
effectively and efficiently in a rural county. There appears to 
be a tremendous need for the services of the Visitation Center 
The program is helping to break the cycle of abuse in many 
families. By providing a safe and neutral place for visitation 
it is also preventing physical and emotional harm to countless 
children . 


American Medical Association 

l'li\sl( iaiis ilrdiialcil Id llic h(:illli of Amorira 

Jamps S. Tndrl, MI) 515 North Slalp SIrcct 312 461 5000 

FACculivo Vice PrHdont Chirago, Illinois 60610 312 464-4184 Fax 

The llonorahlc Christopher Dodd 

Chairinan. Suhcoinmittce on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism 

Committee on Lahor and Human Resources 

United Slates Senate October 28, 1993 

639 Man Senate Office Building 

Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Senator Dodd: 

The American Medical Association (AMA) is pleased to again add our voice to those decrying the 
epidemic of violence in America. We commend you and the Subcommittee for your willingness 
to take real steps that hopefully will deter at least some of the violence that all too frequently takes 
place against children. Where emergency medical care is provided to children in response to 
domestic violence, physicians will take the responsible action of working with appropriate 
autliorities However, there is no question that children would be far better served if the need for 
medical care never arose. For this reason, we commend Senator Wellstone for introducing S. 870, 
the "Child Safely Act," a proposal designed to protect children from the trauma of witnessing or 
experiencing violence, sexual abuse, neglect, abduction, rape or death during parent/child 
visitations or visitation exchanges. S. 870 will be the subject of review by the AMA Council on 
Legislation at its next meeting. When that review is completed, we will be able to communicate 
to you our formal position. 

The Cliild Safely Act would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to "award 
grants to and enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with public or nonprofit private 
entities to assist such entities in liie establishment and operation of supervised visitation centers." 
There is no denying that such centers ha\e liic potential of addressing the finding enunciated in the 
measure uliich says that "the problem of family violence does not necessarily cease when the 
victimized family is legally separated, divorced, or otherwise not sharing a household. During 
separation and divorce, family violence oflen escalates, and child custody and visitation become 
the new forum for the conlimialion of abuse." Ihe findings further cite that "up to 75 percent of 
all domestic assaults reported to law enforcement agencies were inflicted after the separation of the 

The AMA and physicians are very active in efforts to address issues of family violence. In the 
past several years, we ha\e undertaken a substantial number of activities in the area of family 
violence control and prevention These activities are described in Report K of the AMA Board of 
Trustees, adopted at our 1993 Annual Meeting (copy attached). 

Our commitment to family violence prevention is an ongoing one. For example, a National 
Invitational Conference on Family Violence sponsored by the AMA will be held on March 1 1-13, 
1994, in Washington, DC. National organizations representing medicine and law, leading 
attorneys and physicians specializing in issues of family violence, and Members of Congress will 
be invited to attend the Conference. Ihe Conference will focus on how medicine and the law can 
work effectively together to address the problems of family violence. 

The issue of family violence has direct relevance to practicing pliysicians. It is the practicing 
physician who must treat the results of violence. We also are seeing more situations where it is 
the practicing physician who must diagnose that an injurj' is the result of violence and refer cases 
of abuse to authorities charged with responding to such cases of family violence. The AMA 
agrees that we must find new ways to break the continuing cycle of abuse. We commend you for 
focusing on those problems that may occur during and after legal separation and divorce. 


L^-J J^J >)!> 

James S. Todd, MD 



Repotc: K 

Subject: Update on the AMA's N«tion«l Cftinp*lgn 
Against F«jnlly Violence 

Presented by. Raymond Scalettar, MD, Chair 

Referred to; Reference Comiolttee D 

(Richard S. Katerson, MD, Chair) 

Board of Trustees Report IT (A-92), "Update on the AMA's national 
Campaign Ajalnst Family Violence" (Policy 515.980, AMA_Po.Licx 
Coinpendl uni) . recommended that ongoing efforts on fajnily violence 
continue to be an action Item at each of the annual meetings of the 
American Medical Association (AHA) and that the Impact of drugs and 
alcohol on fa.nlly violence be studied and included In future 
updates. Board of Trustees Report G (1-91), "A Proposed AMA 
National Campaign Against Pajrlly Violence" (Policy 515.986, AM^ 
Policy Co m pendium )^ outlined an action plan of activities to address 
family violence. 


On June 10 and 17, 1992, issues of the Journal of the Amerieai> 
Medical A s sociation (JAMA) and specialty journals were devoted to 
the topics of "Violence in America" and "Domestic Violence," 
respectively. The release of these Issues was preceded by a press 
conference held in Washington, D.C. As a result of the excellent 
reception to these journal articles, a comp'indiuin from JAMA , 
Ameri c an Medic al Nevs , and the specialty journals of the American 
Medical Association, titled "Violence," was assembled and 
distrlbutsd. The compendium represents the most current research 
and up-to-date literature reviews on the topic of violence and 
family violence. 


The National Coalition of Physicians Against Violence currently has 
a Detobershlp of 4,C00. Nev registrations are received dally. All 
members of the Ccaliticn receive ciembershlp cards, a mission 
statement, a family violence poster, a nevsletter, and a set of the 
four diagnostic and treatment guidelines published by the American 
Medical Association. 

Action of the AMA House of Delegates, A-93; Board of Trustees Report 
K Recommendations Adopted as Amended and the Remainder of the Report 

The primary purpose of the Coalition is to provide the nidus for the 
development of violence prevention corwlttees through local medical 
societies. This Is already occurring In 16 states. Lists of 
Coalition members have already been sent out to state and local 
medical societies. In addition, the Division of Coinmunications has 
developed a project book titled "What You Can Do About Family 
Violence." The book Is designed specifically for use by state and 
county medical societies, and makes suggestions for the development 
of violence prevention committees. 

A National Advisory Council on Family Violence consisting of 
representatives from the specialty societies has been organized. 
Forty specialty organizations have designated representatives. The 


first meeting of the gro-jp uts held In Chicago in September 1992. A 
second meeting of the Council was held in Washington, D.C., on April 
1-2, 1993. While still in the foricative stages, the Advisory 
Council is e>:air,inlr.g issues concemiog nedical education, federal 
and state legislatlcn, and the needs of professionals working in the 
various areas of fajnily violence. 

An outgrowth of the Advisory Council's activities Includes the 
formation of a |roup of medical school deans interested In 
developing curricula on the different forms of abuse for 
undergraduate clinical education. Once completed, the model 
curricula will be disseminated to medical schools around the country. 


The National Medical Resource Center en Family Violence continues to 
gather protoccls and guidelines vhich address the various forms cf 
abuse. Through the national Resource Center, the AHA's Dlaenoscic 
•nd Treatment Guidelines on child physical abuse, child sexual 
abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse have been widely 

Reports from the various AMA Councils have also been made available 
through the National Resource Center. In addition to existing 
reports on violence against women, adolescents as victims and 
perpetrators and physicians and family violence, the House of 
Delegates vUl consider at its 1993 Annual Meeting a report on 
substance abuse and family violence , Reports en the Impact of 
family violence on mental health and violence against men are 
currently under preparation. 


Beginning in January 1992, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of 
Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) required hospital emergency 
departments and ambulatory care facilities to meet standards for all. 
forms of abuse: child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and 
elder abuse. The standards rC'luire that policies and procedures be 
In place to address diagnosis, appropriate treatment and referral, 
and staff education in order to be accredited by the JCAHO, The 
Aioerlcan Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and 
the Education Development Center, Inc., of Newton, Mass., have 
completed a proposal which, when funded, vlll allow for the 
development of model prorccols and education and training programs 
to assist hospital staff in complying with the new JCAHO standards. 


A National Invitational Conference on Eanily Violence will be held 
on March 11-13, 199'', In Washington, C.C. The Confeience vlll "toiTus 
on how medicine and the lev can work effectively together to addresi 
the problems of fa-rlly violence. tJati'inal organizations 
representing medicine and law, leading attorneys and physicians 
specializing in issues of family violence, and members of Congress 
interested in family violence will be Invited to attend the 
Conference. Outcomes for the Conference Include the development of 
prcgranmatlc activities to be embraced by national organizations and 
policy recomneudations to be delivered to Congress and state 
governments. A planning meeting for the Conference will be held 
March 31, 1993. Cospcnsorshlp by the American Bar Association, the 
A^merlcan Dental Association, the American Hospital Association, and 
the American Nurses Association has already been agreed upon. 


Faally violence, as compared to other more global types of violence, 
was selected by the Board of Trustees because of Its more direct 
relevance to practicing physicians. Nevertheless, research has 
shown that violence occurring in the family Is carried over to the 


community. The possibility th»*: children who are victimized may 
continue to perpetuate the cycle of violence as adults in their ovn 
families, as well as the broadsr community, is an issue receiving 
attention by the research community. 

International homicide rates for males 1S-2A years-of-*ge suggest 
that the United States Is the most violent country in the world. 
Our own experiences seem to substantiate this finding given the 
recent problems In Los Angeles, the number of articles In our 
newspapers about drive-by shootings, the rising homicide rates, 
children coning to school with guns, and the often heard 
denunciation about the amount of violence portrayed en television. 

Since the Initiation of the Physicians Campaign Against Family 
Violence in October 1991, the A/rerican Medical Association has 
received extremely positive feedback from physicians, other 
professional greupr, and the general public. The Can-paign began as 
an effort to helehten awareness ancng phvsiclars recardinc the 
abuses constituting family violence and to educate them in 
appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This work began with the 
Issuing of the AMA Diagnostic end TreatTent Guidelines on child 
physical abuse, child sexual abuse, domestic violence and elder 

The AKA"s involvement in the area of family violence has catalyzed a 
variety of positive responses from the public, the news media, 
professional organizations, advocacy groups, members of Congress and 
other governmental agencies. The AMA is clearly viewed as a leader 
in this area and has given the issue of fainlly violence a prominence 
that few other organizations could provide. Indeed, many 
complement iry programs have been launched by constituent societies 
in the Federation as well as by the Auxiliary and other 
distinguished organizations. The AMA ' s efforts have also provided a 
forua for discussion an'.ong all those concerned with this issue. 

To extend its leadership role in this area of public health, AMA 
efforts must Include coordination and violence prevention. While 
diagnosis and treataient is of great importance to physicians, a 
public health approach that places emphasis on primary prevention of 
violent behaviors is indicated. 


The Board of Trustees recommends that the following policy 
" statements be adopted and that the remainder of this report be filed. 

I. Recognition, Safety and Treatment 

A. The AMA should provide educational and training 
opportunitieB for physicians In diagnosing, treating, and 
referring cases of abuse censtituting family vlolenct; 

B. Work with the Ajnerlcan Hospital Association to encourage 
the development of hospital-based programs for the 
diagnosis and treatment of abuse among all people, 
especially In georgraphic areas of high risk for violence; 

C. Work with the American Hospital Association to encourage 
the development of multldisciplinary hospital-based teams 
of professionals to assist physicians and other health 
professionals In the diagnosis and management of family 
violence cases; 

D. Develop and disseminate model curricula on violence for 
Incorporation into undergraduate and graduate medical 


II. Coerdlnstisn of Efforts of Violence Control and Prevention 

A. State end county medical societies should convene cr Join 
state and local health departments, criminal Justice and 
social service agencies, and local school boards to 
collaborate In the developir.ent and support of violence 
control end prevention activities. These efforts should 
be coordinated through state and local health departments. 

B. Hospitals should meet vlth agencies vithln their evn 
communities that provide assistance to victims of family 
violence and develop protocols for vorking with one 

C. Collaborate and coordinate vlth the Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention supported comprehensive school 
health programs Initiative to develop health education 
curricula for grades K-IZ on topics including violence 
avoidance, conflict resolution and enhancement of 

III. Primary Prevention 

A. State and county societies should support violence 
prevention committees made up of physicians and members of 
the AMA Alliance for the purpose of establishing local 

B. Encourage all physicians to routinely screen for the 
effects of violence and abuse in all patients; 

C. Develop a "traln-the-trainers" program on primary 
prevention for physician irembers of the national Coalition 
of Physicians Against Family Violence to vork within local 
school districts to implement educational programs on 
violence prevention and substance abuse. 

IV. The KKK shculd study the problem of doa.estic violence in 
doctor's families and make recommendations concerning 
approaches to recognition and treatment. 

Fiscal Hote: $100,000 



220 Eye Slreel N.E., Ste 230, Washinglon. DC 20002-^362 Telephone (202) 547-6227 1-800-787-KIDS 
Fax (202) 546-4CBC (4272) 

Re: Child Safety Act (S. 870) 

Senate Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs & Alcoholism 

Statement by David L. Levy, Esquire, 
President of the Children's Rights Council 
Phone 202-547-6227 

and Dick Woods, administrator of the $300,000 Iowa Access 
Enforcement Project under Sec. 504 of the 1988 Family Support Act, 
phone for Dick Vtoods: 515-277-8789. 

Our Children's Rights Council (CRC) is a national child advocacv 
organization with a great deal of experience on access (visitation) 
issues, and a child-oriented, gender -neutral position. About half our 
manbers are women, and half of our 25 state coordinators are women, 
including Kris Kline of Florida (author of "For the Sake of the 
Children)" and three national organizations are affiliated with us~ 
Mothers Without Custody, Grandparents United for Children's Rights and 
the Stepfamlly Association of America. Our advisors include U.S. 
Senator Dennis DeConcini, "Dear Abby", Vicki Lansky, and Joan Berlin 
Kelly, ni.D. 

Dick Woods, director of the $300,000 Iowa Access Enforcement 
Project, Des Moines, Iowa, has many years experience counselling 
parents about access. One of the purposes of the federal grant is to 
develop procedures for supervised visitation and neutral drop-off and 
pick-up points to ease the situation for children after separation or 
' divorce. The Iowa project has identified techniques for diagnosing 
and treating access problems. Ihe Project has also developed contract 
language between administering agencies and neutral centers, as well as 
contracting language between parents and the neutral centers. The 
contract language covers various points, Including behavior, time 
schedules, back-up plans, and other matters to help the child and the 
parents during this process. HHS evaluators are reportedly pleased 
with the progress of the Iowa Access Eiiforcement Project. 

Both CRC and Dick Woods support the concept of S. 870, but we are 
concerned about the tone of the bill. The purpose of suoervised 
visitation and related activities, as stated in Sec. 6, part (9) of the 
bill is to evaluate "the process by which children or abused partners 
will be protected during visitations, temporary custody transfers and 
other activities for which the supervised visitation centers are 
created..." Similar language and purpose is found throughout the bill. 

The bill is thus limited only to domestic violence as it affects 
visitation. Domestic violence is real and must be prevented, but 
people with experience in visitation problems know that domestic 
violence is but one of many factors involved in visitation problems 
requiring supervision. Child abuse is a major factor — and people with 
problems regarding child abuse do not generally go to violence 
shelters, because violence shelters are designed to help women 
(although a few also help men). Shelters can and should provide help 
to adult victims, although they often do so in an adversary role, which 
is generally not suited to problems specifically involving children. 
The courts, child protective services, foster care programs, and other 
agencies, private and public, work more on the child protective level. 
Ihey do so in Connecticut, Minnesota and throughout the country. 


other reasons for having supervised visitation are parental 
misbehavior such as alcohol and drug problems, and again, one would not 
go to a domestic violence shelter for these kinds of problems, because 
the centers are geared for a very different approach. 

Domestic violence shelters, moreover, do not "own" the problem of 
visitation, and have little experience at resolving visitation 
problems, although we have heard that one domestic violence shelter has 
come to recognize that some, and I emphasize some — visitation disputes 
are mediable. 

It should also be noted that non-custodial parents — 85% of v^om are 
men, but 15% of whom are women — are not for the most evil or violent.. 
This is not a matter of saintly custodial parents and violent non- 
custodial parents and visitational grandparents. Judges and other 
experts know full well that there is enough anger, upset, 
disappointment, and litigation at the time of separation and divorce to 
go around. Legislation needs to recognize this reality. For example, 
and this is just one example among many that could be cited in S. 870, 
Section 2 (7) states that studies by the American Humane Association 
indicate that reports of child abuse and neglect have increased by over 
200 percent from 1976 to 1986. 

Any state or federal agency that maintains gender reporting (as 
American Humane used to do before federal funding was cut back) reports 
that women constitute the majority of the violence complaints against 
children; this is not to say that women are more violent than men, only 
that where a parent might be over -burdened through the heavy 
responsibilities of sole custody — bum-out, over-extension, and lack of 
time off contribute to circimstances that mav lead to increased 
violence against children. This would presunably be true whether 
fathers or mothers had that heavy sole custody responsibility. Perhaps 
case workers should be trained to work more than they do with sole 
custodial parents; and perhaps Congress could urge more joint custody 
(shared parenting) in the states for fit parents. In short, the 
"findings'* in S. 870 need to be fact-oriented, as well as to 
acknowledge the range of problems other than domestic violence for 
which supervised visitation might be a useful approach. 

Grants that are awarded should go to groups with experience In 
access/visitation. We should not want to restrict this service and 
foreclose the service from those v^o are best at providing it. There 
are hundreds of groups across the country — fathers and mothers support 
groups, that counsel thousands of parents each year, provide 
supervisors for visitation, and facilitate transfers of children. 
There also groups working with parents with alcohol and drug problems, 
and if church groups help with visitation problans, they should also be 
entitled to be funded. 

The Children's Rights Council and the Iowa Access Enforcement 
Project are among the staunches t advocates of prevention of domestic 
violence. Both David L. Levy, Dick Woods, and many individuals in our 
national and state organizations, have daughters as well as sons. We 
want than protected and safe, and to learn to have healthy, happy 
relationships with other people. We know that the problem of violence 
will not be prevented unless we understand, as Sen. Moynihan, David 
Blankenhom, columnist William Raspberry and others do, that family 
breakdown and father absence in the lives of children is the main 
reason for the increase in violence in America. The possible causative 
factor of incest in contributing to family breakdown also needs further 
study. A bill based on these realities would, we believe, be positive, 
gender neutral, and helpful in preventing violence for many, many 
people. Any bill you consider must be accurate, honestly framed and 
effectively carried out. We would be glad to work with you on this 
Issue. Thank you. 


Senator Wellstone. I certainly also would like to thank Sheila 
for being here as well. 

Senator Dodd. Let me also say that your colleague from Min- 
nesota, Senator Dui*enberger, is sorry he cannot be with us today. 
He wanted to extend a very special welcome to Kim Cardelli and 
Judge Mary Louise Klas, wno nave worked hard to make our soci- 
ety a safer place for victims of abuse. He also wanted to commend 
Sheila Wellstone for her tireless efforts in behalf of battered women 
and victims of abuse. All three of you are great representatives for 
the State of Minnesota, which has always been a leader in address- 
ing the serious problems of violence in our society." 

Witfi that, Sheila, thank you for coming. 


Mrs. Wellstone. I wish you had smaller chairs. [Laughter.] 

Senator Dodd. We will take note. 

Mrs. Wellstone. Mr. Chairman, Senator Wellstone, I want to 
thank you for the opportunity to come here today to speak to you 
about this issue that is so important to me — ^family domestic vio- 

Family violence, as you know, knows no boundaries. It cuts 
across all lines. And today, we are seeing that the violence that is 
taking place in our homes is spilling out into our communities. 

I am here today to make a brief statement about the genesis of 
the Child Safety Act and the important role that Congress has to 
play in ensuring that all of our homes are safe places. 

Before I came to Washington, I was a media aide in the 
Northfield, MN pubHc high schools. In that job, newspapers, maga- 
zines, and books came across my desk all the time, and I would see 
repeated stories of the threats, killings, and battering of women 
and their children in their homes. It was amazing to me that the 
safest place, the haven of your home, could be the most deadly, the 
most violent, or the most dangerous. 

And I made a commitment to try to find out what we could do 
to end this cycle of violence and to start steps of prevention. I trav- 
elled throughout the State of Minnesota, and I met with people in 
shelters and in crisis centers. I met with people who ran gfroups for 
counseling men who were batterers. I met with police officers, with 
judges, lawyers, doctors. We had town meetings, trying to find out 
what it was we could do as communities to end this violence. 

Throughout this process, I looked at many successful programs 
that Minnesota has to provide safe places for these visitations to 
occur when there was court-ordered visitation, and I found two pro- 
grams—the Children's Safety Network in St. Paul, which Kim will 
tell you about, and another program that is very successful is the 
Visitation Center in Mower County in Austin, MN. 

These centers offer a very simple solution, and they are very 
workable. They provide a place for parents who have to come to- 
gether to make an exchange when there has to be visitation from 
one parent to another. It is a very safe, neutral place. It takes 


away the fear of another violent confrontation. It makes a woman 
safe from being battered again. It makes a child safe from possibly 
witnessing this abuse. 

In the case where a child has to have a supervised visit, they 
stay right there on site with people to make sure that the visit re- 
mains safe and nonconfrontational for that child. 

And in the case where children have been put in a foster home 
because they have been neglected or abused, they can come back 
to the center; they can have supervised visits with those parents, 
they can have the counseling tney need to have, they can start 
parenting classes. Together as a unit there, where it is safe for the 
child, they can start rebuilding this family relationship again, 
which is so important. 

The need for these centers is extraordinary, and we are not be- 
ginning to meet those needs right now. That is the reason for the 
Child Safety Act. I just want to repeat, because I think the statis- 
tics are so powerful, what you said earlier, Mr. Chairman, tJiat at 
least 50 percent of children who live in homes where the mothers 
are being abused, those children are abused — and that is at least 
50 percent. 

Also, 75 percent of the women who are battered, those incidents 
occur after separation or divorce. So again, this is a very important 
reason why we need these centers to relieve that part of the dan- 

One other component of this Act with the child safety centers 
would be that 20 percent of these centers would be set up clinically, 
because there are always steps for improvement, and this way, we 
will learn what is working, what is not working, and we can con- 
tinue to make these even safer places for children and parents to 

In conclusion, I would like to say that I am not naive enough to 
believe that violence in the home is going to end in my lifetime, but 
I believe that we have to continue to do everything we can to pre- 
vent and deter this violence. When we are addressing violence in 
the home, we are also addressing violence on the streets. 

I still have a lot to learn, but I think I have found a model pro- 
gram that is working in Minnesota, and I would like the rest of the 
country to have the benefit of this program. 

So I very stronglv urge vour support of the Child Safety Act, S. 
870, because it will provide protection for women, men, and tiieir 

Thank you very much. 

Senator Dodd. Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement of Mrs. Wellstone follows:] 

Prepared Sfatement of Mrs. Wellstone 

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify 
before you today. And, thank you also for making the issue of oomestic and family 
violence a priority. Family violence cuts across all lines — race, class, age, and gen- 
der. The cycle of violence in the home is spilling into the community. 

I am here today to make a brief statement about tiie genesis of the Child Safety 
Act and the important role Congress can play in making every home a safe place. 

Before I came to Washington, while ! was a librarian in Northfield, NfN, I was 
responsible for cataloging aU incoming documents — ^books, flyers, newsletters, etc. I 
began to come across many accounts of terrible things happening to women in their 
homes — beating?), killings, and threats from their husoands and boyfriends. It 

76-612 - 94 - 4 


strudi me how amazing and tragic that what is supposed to be the safest place, our 
homes, can be the most violent, uie most dangerous and the most deadly. 

I have tried to reach out to the community to find workable, pn^ressive solutions 
to preventing domestic violence. I have traveled throu^out Minnesota and talked 
witn women who work in shelters, crisis centers, groups that counsel men, police 
officers, judges, lawyers, and doctors, and the women themselves who are the only 
ones who can tell us the true reality of violence in their lives, in the lives of their 
children, and what it does to their families. 

I have sou^t their ideas for strategies for preventing domestic violence. Fve spon- 
sored town meetings that have had an overwhelming response from the conununity. 
I have learned about many programs that help to break the cycle of violence. 

Two of the most successful programs I found are the Children's Safety Center in 
St. Paul and the Visitation Center at the Victims Resource Center in Austin, MN. 
These programs provide a safe and neutral place for families that have a history 
of violence. (Kim Cardelli, your next witness will explain the Children's Safety Cen- 
ter in more detaU). 

These centers offer a solution. It is simple and it works. They provide a place for 
parents to have court ordered supervised visits with their children. They provide a 
place for parents who have custody of their children to transfer the children to the 
non-custodial parent in a way that prevents violent or abusive encounters. Some of 
the existing centers provide parenting classes and counseling. 

I discovered that these centers are rare but the need for them is great. 

The statistics are startling. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court 
Judges reported that more than half of the men who batter their wives also abuse 
their chilm«n. Even children who are not physically abused themselves often wit- 
ness the violence conmiitted against a parent. Often children witness the violence 
in the context of visitation when parents are separated or divorced. And, according 
to the U.S. Department of Justice, 75 percent of women who are battered are di- 
vorced or separated from their batterers at the time of the incident. 

Providing a place where separated parents can exchange and visit their children 
without fear of a violent confrontation is a logical, effective way to begin to break 
the cycle of violence. It would be a place for families to begin to build positive rela- 

The Child Safety Act, S. 870, would establish supervised visitation centers across 
the United States. These centers would provide a safe place for parents to tempo- 
rarily transfer custody of their children. They also provide a safe place where actual 
visitation cem occur for parents who have abused their children but the courts deem 
it important for the dmd and parent to establish a more positive relationship. In 
addition, the bill contains provisions to clinically study 20 percent of the centers to 
see exactly how effective some systems are. 

In conclusion, let me say that I am not that naive to believe we will be able to 
end this violence in my lifetime. But that does not mean that we stop tiying to move 
forward in our efforts to prevent and deter the violence. 

K we address the violence at home we will be on the road to ending the violence 
in the streets. 

I still have a lot to learn. But have found something in Minnesota that works and 
I want the rest of the country to benefit from those successes. 

I urge your strong support for S. 870, the Child Safety Act. It will protect wonjen, 
men, and children. 

Thank you. 

Senator Dodd. Ms. Cardelli. 

Ms. Cardelu. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I would just like to say that not only is Minnesota the model 
Children's Safety Center; we are also part of a pilot program in 
Minnesota. A bill was written 2 years ago, and it passed a year ago 
in 1992, and the Children's Safety Center received some of that 
ftinding, as well as the Austin center and four other centers, as a 
pilot to see how these visitation centers worked and to make them 
better. So that is also a model in the United States. But it may be 
possible that State Governments could also help out in assisting in 
the fimding and starting up of visitation centers. 

I would Tike to recite a poem that I wrote a few years ago about 
children and the chain of dbuse. I recited this the other night. 


"Link upon link, child upon child, back generations, the same 
sullen smile. When will it stop? No one knows. The steel is strong 
with denials flow. Molten together each separate link, the faces of 
children who cannot sing. Tlie songs of childhood that once were 
there were stolen from tinem at the batters' care. Links will build 
strong into future paths, as children become batterers in the steels 
cast. Poured in carefiilly and hardened with time from history's 
patterns, secrets and Ues." 

Heads turn the other way. Eyes close intentionally blinded to 
their phght. Will we save our children? We say children are the fu- 
ture, but will we protect them now? Yes, children are the future, 
but if we do not protect them now, they are the future drug ad- 
dicts, suicide victims, murderers, rapists, runaways, and pros- 

Our children have no voice; they have no right to be safe. We 
must see the wrongs of their innocence and make the needed 
changes. It should not be a question of how much time or money 
it takes, because we have no time or money to waste. Our chil- 
dren's future is depending on us now. 

Children learn their coping skills the first 5 years of life. What 
kind of coping skills to we want our children to learn? Children 
gfrowing up in violent homes are learning to deal with crisis situa- 
tions in a violent manner. They become the future abusers of the 
next generation. 

What about our children who are being sexually abused? They 
begin their lives with the extra baggage of guilt, anger, shame. Be- 
lieving themselves to be worthless human beings, tney become the 
future victims of our society, of domestic violence, prostitution, sui- 
cide, and drugs. 

We say we want to stop the war on dru|^s and crime, but unless 
we take action now and save our children, it will never happen. 

The question is do we need visitation centers in the United 
States. Of course, we can look at statistics. Over 500,000 children 
currently reside in foster homes; 354,000 children were abducted 
last year by parents going through custody and visitation battles; 
hundreds of thousands of kids are witnessing domestic violence in 
their homes. The list goes on. 

But let us look at real cases, real children, because they are the 
real statistics; they have faces. Let us talk about a little boy in 
Eagan. Two years ago, he was shot in the head by his father, who 
had picked him up for visitation. The mother had an order for pro- 
tection. She took him to his hotel room. He dialed the phone num- 
ber of the mother, and while he pulled the trigger, told her: "I am 
shooting your son." 

Let us talk about a little boy who was referred to our center. His 
father hit him over the head with a crowbar. The father has visita- 
tion. The little boy is retarded. 

Let us talk about a little girl whose drug-addicted mother locked 
her in the basement v/hile she went to visit her boyfriend. The lit- 
tle girl was put in a foster home. A few months later, she was re- 
turned to her mother, and the mother injected her own daughter 
with drugs. The Httle girl died of medical difficulties 3 months later 
in tilie foster home. 


These are real cases. These are real kids. They have real faces. 
These kids are in danger. 

There are maybe 35, 40 visitation centers in the United States. 
All of them operate on their own creativity. And sure, the Child 
Safety Act does not have everything perfect in a way that will 
cover every instance, because we have every kind of child using our 
center, we have parents who have chemical dependency problems, 
we have mothers who have mental health problems, schizophrenia. 
There are so many reasons why children need supervised visita- 

In closing, I would like to recite a poem that was written by Eric 
Ericson. "Someday, maybe there will exist a well-informed and fer- 
vent public conviction that the deadliest of all possible sins is the 
mutilation of a child's spirit.** 

Thank you. 

Senator DODD. Thank you very much, Kim; well-spoken. That 
was well-done, and again, we appreciate your being here. You keep 

[Editors Note — Due to the high cost of printing, extraneous mate- 
rial supplied by Ms. Cardelli is retained in the files of the commit- ^ 
tee.] / 

Senator Dodd. Joni, thank you for coming. / 

Ms. CoLSRUD. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, ladies 
and gentlemen, good morning. I am glad to be here this morning 
to tsdk to you this morning about some of my personal experiences 
with domestic abuse and child visitation issues. 

I left my abusive husband in June of 1984 and went to live with 
my family in my home town of Minot, ND. Since that time, I have 
seen and lived a life that I never dreamed could have happened 
here in the United States, let alone to me and mv children. 

My ex-husband came to North Dakota to tell me to come back 
to Minnesota where I belonged, and that I had no business being 
there. I told him I wanted a divorce, and not to make it nasty be- 
cause we had two children to be concerned about. 

He went back to Minnesota and filed for the divorce in July of 
1984. Because he did the filing, it then became a Minnesota court 
action. I had temporary custo^ of the two children, ages 2 and 3, 
issued by North Dakota courts. 

In December of 1984, I received a call fi-om a fi^end of mine, tell- 
ing me that my ex-husband was saying he was going to get the 
children back. I called my Minnesota legal aid attorney and asked 
her if this was true, and she said yes, it appears that w^. They 
had brought a retired judge in and had a temporary custody hear- 
ing, and he had said that the children were bom in the State of 
Minnesota on the family farm and that temporary custody will be 
placed back in the care of their father. 

My ex-husband came to North Dakota on December 24th, 1984 
and took the children back to Minnesota. I had to call Chad's Head 
Start school and tell them that Chad would no longer be attendine; 
there. I called Chad's counselor and told her what had happened. 
She prepared a letter for me to give to Minnesota social services, 
stating that Chad should continue to receive role-play therapy as 
he had some signs of abusive behavior. 


I left for Minnesota on January 2, 1985 to begin the process of 
regaining custody of my two children. The reasons the iudge gave 
are not grounds to take away children from their mother. I was 
also granted visitation of the children at this time. I could see the 
children for one hour a day while my ex-husband was doing his 
farming chores. During this time, he would allow me to see tnem, 
and sometimes he womd cuss and swear at me and tell me I could 
not see them because it was my turn to hurt, and he would tell me 
to get off of his property. I would then go up the road and talk to 
the kids and tell them I loved them. And I could hear him say to 
the kids, "Sure, you do." 

During tiiese times, the kids would come to the edge of the road 
and bring me pine cones and sticks as presents, and they would 
ask me, "Mom, why can't we come home with you? 

My ex-husband used to make the kids duck down in his truck 
whenever he would pass me on the road, and aft«r they passed, I 
would see tJi em, stand up and look out the window and wave at me. 

They were also told to stick up their middle fingers at me. Dur- 
ing one of my visits, Chad showed me a picture of the four of us, 
and my ex-husband said, "Yes, that is when we were a family — be- 
fore your mom started pulling all of this shit and leaving. But she 
had better come to her senses soon." 

I asked him not to talk like that in front of the children. He 
would get mad at me and tell me to get ths "T out of his house. 
Nikki started to cry, so I picked her up and comforted her. He came 
over and took her out of my arms and threw her on the sofa and 
raised his fist at me like he was going to hit me. The whole time 
this was going on, my son Chad was sitting on the floor, watching. 

I told the kids I loved them and that I would see them tomorrow. 
My ex-husband was yelling at me the whole time for me to get out 
now. He was not even supposed to be around when I was visiting 
the children. 

I told my attorney and social services what was going on when 
I would visit the children, but all they would say is, "There is noth- 
ing we can do," but that they would try to talk to him about it. 

We had another court date in February of 1985 with a new 
judge. We asked for the custody to be changed back to me, and the 
judge said that he had not reviewed my case, but doubted very 
much that he would upset the children again. 

The judge also ordered a social services custody study. On April 
13, 1985, my attorney called me and said that the judge had given 
me back temporary custody starting April 15, 1985. My ex-husband 
would have weekend visitation with drop-off and pick-up of the 
children to be done at the social services offices, as well as passing 
back and forUi some of their clothing. 

One day, the caseworker called us and told us that we were both 
adults and that there was no reason why the drop-off and pick-up 
of the children could not be done at our own homes and that the 
custody study was not complete yet. 

So from that time on, we did what our caseworker said. That 
worked out for a while. Then, one time he came to pick up the kids, 
and he started cussing at me and asked me what the hell I thought 
I was doing by not coming home where I belonged. From that point 


on, I always had a friend come over whenever he came to pick up 
the kids. 

He also started coming early and would get mad if the kids were 
not ready to go, even when he knew Chad was still at school. 

In 1985 and 1986, my ex-husband told numerous people that he 
was going to shoot us. At this time, I would Hke to show you a 
packet which contains some of the memories my children have, 
some good and some not so good. And again, this is the reason wlw 
I am here today, so that children everywhere can have happy child- 
hood memories, and not ones of abuse, hate, drugs, etc. 

In 1985 and 1986, my ex-husband told numerous people that he 
was going to shoot us. He said that the kids would be better off 
dead than to be with me. He even told his girlfriend this. I told the 
sheriff of these threats, but he told me that there was nothing that 
they could do because it was only hearsay. 

On January 2, 1987, my ex-husband came to pick up the children 
for his visitation with a loaded shotgun. He shot his son Chad, age 
6, in the left shoulder, neck and face area. He shot at Nicole and 
missed her, thank God. He shot me in the right leg, and as a result 
of the shooting, my right leg had to be removed above the knee. 

I would like to add at this point that my ex-husband did not 
drink, use drugs, nor did he serve any time in the service. None 
of his actions can be blamed on outside forces. 

My whole reason for telling you about this is because I firmly be- 
lieve that if we had had a children's visitation center available for 
us to use at the time, none of this would have had the opportimity 
to take place. In most cases, visitation is used by the abuser to get 
one last chance to abuse again. 

A center similar to what is being talked about here today could 
put a stop to what has happened in my case and in many others 
that are even worse than mine, where someone has been murdered. 
Just the other day, in the State of Illinois, an ex-husband came to 
his ex-wife's apartment and gunned her down on the sidewalk in 
front of her two children. This kind of violence has to stop, and you 
are the people who can make this happen. 

Please let these children of domestic abuse grow up in safe and 
happy homes. One of these days, these children may very well be 
sitting in the same seats that you are today. Do we really want a 
person who only knows that the way to get along in society is 
through abuse? I know I do not. I have lived that life. 

That is why I feel so strongly that these centers can put a stop 
to this way of life for these children of abusive homes. Please, I beg 
of you, let us give these kids happy home lives and childhood 
memories to remember. Let us have a visitation center in every 
State for the safety of our children everywhere. 

In conclusion, I would like to say that there is so much more to 
my story I could tell you about — ^how social services mishandled nu- 
merous things and how the judicial system does and does not work 
with domestic violence cases even today. Please feel free to call or 
write to me, as I now reside in the State of Maryland. 

And, as long as I have your undivided attention, I have two more 
things I would like to mention to you. One is that I would like you 
to remember the disabled community when you vote for the health 


bill, and also that I am in dire need of a job, if for nothing else 
than for my own self-worth. 

Thank you very much. 

Senator DoDD. Joni, we thank you immensely. That is an incred- 
ible story. I know you have only told us part of it here, given the 
constraints of time. Senator Wellstone and I have had a mance to 
look at tiiese pictures, and you were ri^ht — ^there are some joyful 
pictures, but there are also some horrible, horrible photographs 
here as well. 

Again, it takes special courage, and you have been through a lot. 
And while we cannot make any promises on the latter part, you 
can rest assured that these two Senators will keep very much in 
mind your first concern, and that is the conditions of the disabled 
when we start to deal with this health care proposal. 

I have a feeling that someone who is as strong and as competent 
as you are, and what you have been through, will be an added posi- 
tive addition to any effort, and that you will find a good job very 

Ms. CoLSRUD. Thank you. 

Senator Dodd. Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Colsrud follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Joni Colsrud 

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, Fm glad I can be here to talk to you thus 
morning about some of my personal experiences with domestic abuse and child visi- 
tation issues. 

I left my abusive husband in June of 1984 and went to live with mv family in 
my hometown of Minot, ND. Since that time Fve seen and lived a life that I never 
dreamed could have happened here in the United States, let alone to me and my 

My ex-husband came to North Dakota to tell me to come back to Minnesota where 
we belonged and I said no and that I wanted a divorce and not to make it nasty 
because we had 2 children to be concerned about. He went back to Minnesota and 
fUed for the divorce in July of 1984. Because he did the filing it then became a Min- 
nesota court action. I had temporary custody of the 2 children, ages 2 and 3, issued 
by North Dakota. 

In December of 1984 I received a call from a friend of mine telling me that my 
ex-husband was saying he was going to get the children back. I called my Minnesota 
legal aid attorney and asked her if this was true and she said yes it appears that 
way. They had brought in a retired judge and had a temporary custody hearing and 
he said that the children were bom in the State of Minnesota on the family farm 
and that temporary custody will be placed in care of the father. My ex-husband 
came to North Dakota on December 24, 1984 and took the diildren back to Min- 
nesota. I had to call Chad's school and tell them, I called Chad's counselor and told 
her what had happened. She prepared a letter for me to give to Minnesota social 
services stating that Chad should continue to receive "role play therapy" as he has 
some signs of aousive behavior. 

I left for Minnesota on January 2, 1985 to begin the process of regaining custody 
of my children, the reasons the judge gave are not grounds to take away children 
from their mother. I was also granted visitation of the children at this time, I could 
see the children 1 hour a day while mv ex-husband was doing his farming chores. 
During this time he would sometimes allow me to see them and sometimes ne would 
cuss and swear at me and tell me I couldn't see them because it was my turn to 
hurt and he would tell me to get off his property. I would then go up to the road 
and talk to the kids and tell them I loved them and I would hear hun say to the 
kids "sure you do". During these times the kids would come to the edge of the road 
and bring me pine cones and sticks as presents and they would ask me "why can't 
we conoenome with you". My ex-husband used to make the kids duck down in his 
truck when ever he would pass me on the road and eifter they passed I would see 
the children stand up and look out the window at me and wave. They were also 
told to stickup their middle finger at me. During one of my visits Chad showed me 
a picture of the 4 of us and my ex-husband said^aw that's when we were a family, 


before your mom started pulling all this shit and leaving, but she better come to 
her senses soon." I asked him not to talk like that in front of the kids, he would 
get mad and tell me to get the "f out his house." Nikki started to cry so I picked 
her up to comfort her, he came over and took her out of my arms and threw her 
on the sofa and raised his fist at me like he was ^ing to hit me. The whole time 
this was going on Chad just sat on the floor watching. I told the kids I Ivoed them 
and that I would see them tomorrow. My ex-husband was yelling the whole time 
for me to get out now. He wasn't even supposed to be around when I was visiting 
the kids, f told my attorney and social services what was going on when I would 
visit the children but all they would say is "there isnt anything we can do", but 
they would try to talk to him about it. 

We had another court date in February of 1985 with a new mdge. Weasked for 
the custody to be changed back to me and the judge said that he nadn't reviewed 
my case but doubted that he would upset the children again. The judge also ordered 
a social services custody study. On April 13, 1985 my attorney called and said that 
the judge had given me back temporary custody starting April 15, 1985. Mv ex- 
huTsband would have weekend visitation with drop off and pick up of the children 
to be done at the social services office, as well as passing back and forth some of 
their clothing. One day the case worker called us and told us that we were both 
adults and that there was no reason why the drop off and pick up couldn't be done 
at our own homes and that the custody study wasn't complete yet. So from that time 
on we did what our case worker said. That worked out for a while, then one time 
when he came to pick up the kids he started cussing at me and asked me what the 
hell I tiiou^t I was doing by not coming home where I belong. From that point on 
I always had a friend come over when he came to pick up the kids. He also started 
coming early and would get mad if the kids weren't ready to go even when he knew 
Chad was still at school. Tliere were also times when he wouldn't bring them back 
until 10 p.m. I would ask him to bring them home earlier because of it being a 
school night, he wouldn't so I asked my attorney to ask his attorney to have him 
bring them home earlier, and still he wouldn't. I asked social services to talk to him 
about it and that didn't work either so I wrote a letter to the judge about it. It was 
ordered that visitation was from 3-3:30 pm Friday to 6 pm Sunday (9 am Mondays 
when there was no school). 

In 1985 and 1986 my ex-husband told numerous people that he was going to shoot 
us. He said the kids would be better off dead then with me. He even told his 
girlfriend. I told the sheriff of these threats but he told me that there was nothing 
he could do because it was only heresay. On Januaiy 2, 1987 my ex-husband came 
to pick up the children for his visitation with a loaded shot gun. He shot Chad, age 
6, in the left shoulder, neck and face area. He shot at Nicole and missed her, thank 
GOD. He shot me in the rigjit leg and as a result of the shooting my leg had to 
be removed above the knee. 

I would like to add, at this point, that my ex-husband did not drink, use drugs, 
nor did he serve any time in the service. None of his actions can be blamed on out- 
side forces. , , , 1 •/. 

My whole reason for telling you all about this is because I firmly believe that if 
we had a children's visitation center available to use at that time none of this would 
have had the opportunity to take place. In most cases visitation is used bv the 
abuser to get one last diance to aouse again. A center similar to what is being 
talked about today could put a stop to what happened in my case and in others that 
are even worse then mine, those where someone was murdered. Just the other day, 
in the State of Illinois, there was an ex -husband who came to his ex-wifes apart- 
ment and gunned her down on the sidewalk in front of their 2 children. This Kind 
of violence has to stop and you are the people who can make this happen. Please 
let these children of domestic abuse grow up in a safe and happy home. One of these 
days some of these children may very well be sitting in the same seats that some 
of you are in today. Do we really want a person who only knows that the way to 
get along in society is through abuse, I know I don't. That's why I feel so strongly 
that these centers can put a atop to this way of life for these children of abusive 
homes. Please, I beg of you, let's give these kids happy childhood memories to re- 

There is so much more of my story to tell about how Social Services mishandled 
numerous things and how the judicial system does and does not work in domestic 
violence cases even yet today. Please feel tree to call or write me as I now reside 
in Mjuyland. 

I would like to thank all of you for listening to me today. Oh, 2 other things. First 
I would like you all to remember me when you vote on the health care bill. Second, 
I'm in dire need of a job if for nothing else for my own self worth. Thank you again. 


Senator Dodd. Judge Klas, we thank you again for coming. 

Judge Klas. Senator Dodd, Senator Wellstone, I thank you for 
this opportunity to speak in support of the Child Safety Act, S. 870. 
I am pleased to do so because I think it points the way in which 
the communities of this Nation can protect children from the ef- 
fects of domestic violence, an issue which has been of acute concern 
to me in the last 5V2 years. 

Now, these are hard acts to follow. I do not have the kind of com- 
pelling testimony that they have. Yet I have seen and heard their 
stories, and I understand, as you have heard from other witnesses 
this morning, that the greatest danger a battered woman and her 
children face is when she decides to leave the relationship. The rea- 
son is not the battering. That is only the end of a long history. TTie 
reason is that the central issue is power and control. And when the 
batterer believes that he is going to lose power and control, he re- 
sorts to some very desperate measures. 

If the battered woman turns to the judicial system, a judge will 
probably order that the battered woman furnish visitation to the 
father of the children. You have heard that described this morning 
and heard of the problems that that causes. The stage is set for in- 
jury and homicide. 

Now, judges want to do the right thing. We are not ogres. But 
we are not experts in domestic violence and the dynamics. We are 
not experts in the nuances of child development. We are products 
of our culture, as are all of us, you and me. And our culture, as 
embodied in our laws, says that parents operate in the best inter- 
ests of their children, and that children need both parents. 

Well, that is true most of the time. But it is not true when one 
of those parents onlv wants a relationship with the child to have 
power over that child; to use the child as a pawn in the dispute 
with the spouse or the partner; to use the child as a substitute 
partner; to use the child, in the worst case scenario, for sexual 

The child does not need that parent then. The child also does not 
need both parents when the child has been the witness to abuse 
between the spouses because, as you have heard this morning, I 
am told by researchers that children who witness abuse have short- 
and long-term effects similar to children of alcoholics or children of 

I see tJie effects of that abuse every day in criminal court. I see 
young men and older men who are accused of assault, who repeat 
the assaultive behavior upon successive partners. I see the results 
in females who appear in adult criminal court as prostitutes, or in 
juvenile court as runways and truants and incorrigibles, because 
many of those woman have seen abuse in their homes. 

In Minnesota as a result of the Gender Fairness Task Force that 
issued its report in September of 1989, we have made some 
progress. Law enforcement has developed protocols for handling 
these kinds of cases appropriately, more appropriately than when 
I first became aware of this issue in February of 1988. 

Prosecution plans. We had a pilot project a couple of years ago 
where ten prosecuting authorities had to develop a prosecution 
plan, protocol, for prosecuting these, and it went so well that by 
June of 1984, all prosecuting authorities in Minnesota — municipal, 


county, whatever level — will have to have a prosecution plan for 
domestic violence cases. 

Judicial education in this issue has been a significant focus of 
our educational effort, but those things can omv go so far. In 
Ramsey County, in St. Paul, since January, we nave had Kim's 
Children's Safety Center. It has been a huge success for the limited 
number of families it can serve. The educational component that 
Kim talked about is a very important part of the credibility of the 
center because it can help parents learn how to relate to their chil- 
dren appropriately. It also can evaluate when parents who have 
abused their children are ready to resume custody. 

I am supporting the Children's Safety Act because I believe that 
it could help us in Ramsey County to mrther meet our needs, and 
it could help communities all over the country do the things that 
I think need to be done here. 

I am impressed by the findings that are in section 2 of the Act. 
I am impressed by the research components, because we have to 
evaluate how well things that we try actually work. If they were 
available in every community, or within reasonable reach of every 
community, I believe that the Children's Safety Centers could per- 
mit custodial and noncustodial parents to visit with safety. It 
would permit evaluation of when parents are ready to resume cus- 
tody. It would elevate community awareness of this issue. It would 
demonstrate Congress' putting its money where its mouth is — de- 
termination to put significant resources into the safety of children. 

And as you have heard this morning, if we can make homes safe 
for our children, we will make the Nation's streets safe for us. 

Now, as Sheila said, I am not naive enough to think that we can 
achieve this quickly or easily. These are ciiltural attitudes toward 
power and control, between men and women, that are deeply em- 
bedded in us, and it is not going to be easy. 

What is really needed, as I think you heard in the last panel, is 
a community working together to change community attitudes. But 
that does not happen fast, and we can kill a lot of women and chil- 
dren while we wait for that attitudinal change. 

Thank you. 

Senator Dodd. Thank you. Judge Klas, very, very much. 

[The prepared statement of Judge Klas follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Judge Klas 

Good morning, Senators. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you in support 
of the Child Safety Act, Senate File 870. Tm delighted to support the bill because 
I believe it points the way in which the communities of this nation can protect diil- 
dren from tne devastating effects of domestic violence, an issue with wnidi I have 
been acutely concerned for the last five and a half years. 

A battered woman and her children face great danger when she decides to leave 
the relationship. Tliat's because the underlying problem in the relationship is not 
the battering — tjie physical explosion following a history of intimidation, and emo- 
tional, economic and psychological abuse. The real issue is the power and control 
which all those behaviors produce for the batterer. If a man suspects he's losing that 
power and control, he often resorts to desperate measures. 

When the battered woman turns to the court system for help, a judge will prob- 
ably order her to provide visitation to the father of the children. Thus, the stage 
is set for iryury and homicide. 

Most judges want to do the right thing but they are, after all, just human bein^. 
They are not experts in the dynamics of domestic violence or the nuances of child 
development. Judges are products of our culture, as are we all. Our laws embody 


the predominant view in our culture, namely that parents operate in the best inter- 
ests of children and children need both parents. 

That's true — most of the time. It's not true, however, when one parent only wants 
"power over" the child. When the parent wants "power over" to use the child as a 
pawn, as an emotional crutch, as a substitute partner or, in the worst ceise scenario, 
as a means of sexual Kratification, the parent is not furthering the best interests 
of the child and the child does not need that parent. 

It's also not true that children need both parents when those children have ob- 
served one parent physically abusing the other. Children who witness abuse suffer 
both short-term and long-term effects which many experts liken to the responses of 
children of alcoholics or children of war. Male cmldren who witness abuse are 700 
times more likely to assault their female partners. Male children who are them- 
selves the victims of physical abuse are 1,000 times more likely to abuse their fe- 
male partners. 

I see those long-term effects played out in criminal court every day. I see the 
young man, just uimed 18, who pleads guilty to domestic assault against his girl 
friend and then comes back within six months when he assaults her again. I first 
heard of that young man a few years earlier when I held a trial on the termination 
of parental rupts m both his abusive parents. 

I see the enects on the young women in adult court charged with prostitution and 
in juvenile court accused of running away. Most of these women have observed or 
been the victims of abuse. 

When the judge orders such children to visit with the abusive parent, the judge 
creates a situation that confuses and endangers the children. Are the children sup- 
posed to pretend that nothing bad has ever happened? All the adults are pretending. 
What if tne child does something to anger the parent? Will the response be the same 
abuse as the children witnessed oetween the adults? 

In 1987, the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court appointed a 30-person 
task force to conduct a two-year internal evaluation of the courts to determine 
whether gender bias affects the fairness of Minnesota courts. The Minnesota Gender 
Fairness Task Force i reported: 

1. The Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act explicitly authorizes the judge in an OFP 
(Order for Protection) proceeding to restrict or condition the time, place, or manner 
of a non-custodial parent's visitation with his or her children if the court finds that 
the safety of the victim or the parties' children would be jeopardized by an order 
that does not provide for supervision. 

2. Battered women and advocates expressed concern that some judges do not issue 
orders for supervised visitation because they fail to understand the dynamic of an 
abusive relationship. Judges tend to order "reasonable visitation" where a more 
structured order, setting conditions or requiring the presence of a third party, would 
reduce the potential for violence. On the judges' survey less than half oi the re- 
spondents — 46 percent of the men and 42 percent of the women — said that they 
oilen order supervised visitation during OFP proceedings. 

3. Witnesses at several of the public hearings told of judges who refused to order 
supervised visitation in cases with long histories of violence. One woman explained 
what happened when she asked a judge to require that her ex-husband's visitation 
with their four children be supervised. She had been divorced for about a year when 
her former husband began harassing her. She told the Task Force that he was 
chemically dependent and had lost his driver's license as a result, that he was vio- 
lent towards her and also a danger to himself — he had apparently tried to commit 
suicide while serving time in jail. She petitioned for an uFP and asked for super- 
vised visitation as part of the order. She said the judge believed her ex-husband's 
assurances that he wasn't using drugs in spite of her contrary testimony, his loojg 
history of drug abuse, and the fact that at the time of the hearing his dnvei'a li- 
cense had been revoked. The judge denied the woman's request for supervised visi- 
tation, and when the ex-husband pointed out that he could not drive and therefore 
could not pick up the children for visitation, the judge ordered her to transport the 
children to and from his home — a distance of about forty-five mUes each way. 

4. Another battered woman told the Task Force of a judge who threatened to 
order her to let her child's father take the boy for visitation even if the father was 
"crawling up the sidewalk drunk." According to this woman, the judge was annoyed 
with her for objecting to his order, which defined "supervised" as having to contact 

i^In typical *^inne8ota nice" fashion, Rosalie What, associate justice of the Minnesota Su- 
preme court and chair of the task foroe, believed it would be better to put a positive face on 
the task force work and thus its name is Gender Fairness, rather than Gender Bias. I note that 
in the years since the Minnesota Task Force issued its report, other States have adopted this 


a third party once a day during visitation. The father in this case had a historv of 
heavy drinking and drug abuse smd had threatened the mother's life more than 

5. Other witnesses told the Task Force of judges who vdll issue an OFF excluding 
the abuser from the petitioner's residence and men order unsupervised visitation to 
take place at that residence. The witnesses emphasized that tnis kind of order de- 
feats the purpose of an OFF. * 

The Task Force made: 


Domestic violence is one of the most serious problems faced by our society. 

Minnesota has strong and progressive statutes which are not adequately imple- 
mented or enforced. 

Judges, lawyers, court personnel, and law enforcement officers are not sufficiently 
sensitive to the problems of victims of domestic abuse. 

In certain cases the process discourages abuse victims from attempting to obtain 
protective orders. 

The Task Force then issued: 


Judges, attorneys, court personnel and law enforcement officers should be sen- 
sitized to the problems of individuals who have been victims of domestic abuse. 

The topic of domestic abuse and Orders for Protection — including information 
about the abuse dynamic and the dangers of victim blaming — should be addressed 
injudicial education programs. 

Continuing legal eaucation programs should address domestic abuse issues. 

The topic of dbmestic abuse should become part of the curriculum in family law 
courses in the state's law schools. 

Domestic abuse issues should be addressed at local bar association meetings. The 
Minnesota State Bar Association could prepare a videotape presentation for use by 
local bar associations. 

Court administrators and their deputies should have training in the area of do- 
mestic abuse as weU as a good understanding of Minnesota's Domestic Abuse Act. 

In 1988, Justice Amdahl appointed a 14-person Gender Fairness Implementation 
Conunittee which has worked, since that time, toward turning the recommendations 
into reality. There's been some progress: 

Law enforcement agencies carried out widespread training in the area of domestic 
abuse and changed the protocols which govern how they handle domestic violence 

In 1991, the legislature set up a pilot project involving ten prosecuting authorities 
who developed model prosecution plans. The pilot project went well. By July of 
1994, all prosecuting authorities must have a prosecution plan for handung these 
kinds of cases. 

The Supreme Court Office of Continuing Education regards domestic violence as 
one of the most crucial issues to be covered in judicial education courses on a con- 
tinuing basis. 

Despite the progress, the danger to children (auid their mothers) which stems from 
post-separation visitation continues to loom large. 

When the Children's Safety Center opened in St. Paul in January of 1993, 
Ramsey County judicial officers had an opportunity to provide safety to mothers and 
children when the children visit the non-custodial parent. Unfortunately, the Safety 
Center can only serve a limited number of families, but it's been a huge success here 
with those families lucky enough to have been served. 

Because of safety concerns, moat of the cases the family court refers to the Chil- 
dren's Safety Center require supervision for the entire visit. The histories of these 
families involve parental kidnapping, physical abuse, poor parenting, and sometimes 
a long-term lack of contact. 

Our court services staff is very impressed by the educational component which is 
part of the Children's Safety Center. They view it as a way to introduce parents 
to new methods of relating to their children in age-appropriate ways. We need more 
programs like it. 

I Delieve the Child Safety Act could help to meet our needs. Fm impressed by the 
findings set out in Section 2, speciflcally: 

'Report of Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force for Gender Fairness in the Courts, p. 44. 


(1) The problem of family violence does not necessarilv cease when the victimized 
family is legally separated, divorced, or otherwise not snaring a household. During 
separation and divorce, family violence often escalates and child custody and visita- 
tion become the new forum for the continuation of abuse. 

(2) Current child custody and visitation laws are based on incorrect assumptions 
that divorcing parents are in relatively equal positions of power and that sucn par- 
ents always act in the children's best interests. These laws often work against tiie 
protection of the children and the abused spouse or intimate partner in families 
with a history of family violence. 

(3) Some perpetrators use ttie children as pawns to control the abused party after 
the couple a separated. 

(8) Approximately 90 percent of children in homes in which their mothers are 
abused witness the abuse. 

(9) Data indicate that women and children are at elevated risk for violence during 
the process of and after separation. 

(10) Fifty to seventy percent of men who abuse their spouses or partners also 
abuse their children. 

(11) Up to 75 percent of all domestic assaults reported to law enforcement agen- 
cies were inflictea aft«r the separation of the couples. 

(12) In one study of spousal homicide, over half of the male defendants were sepa- 
rated from their victims. 

(13) Seventy -three percent of battered women seeking emergency medical services 
do so after separation. 

Fm also impressed that in addition to providing funds for the establishment of su- 
pervised visitation centers, the Act seeks answers to the question which troubles 
child custody workers, courts, parents and therapists: when should visitation re- 
sume between a child and the parent who has sexually abused or severely physically 
abused that child? 

K Children's Safety Centers were available in eveiy community or within reason- 
able reach of every community, we would adiieve several important goals: 

We would provide safety to children (and custodial parents) during visitation and 
visitation excnanges. 

We would facilitate evaluation of when parents are ready to resume custody of 
children who've been removed from abusive homes. 

We would elevate community awareness of the issues of domestic violence and the 
fallout from it. 

We would demonstrate Congress' determination to put significant resources into 
the struggle to make our nation safe for its children. 

We would go a long way toward making this nation safe for all of us. 

It's obvious to me, as rm sure it is to you, that the ultimate solution to the prob- 
lems arising from domestic violence is a change in community attitudes. By commu- 
nity I mean all of us, you and me included, m Minnesota, there is son^e movement 
toward change. However, I am not naive enough to expect that changing attitudes 
inculcated throu^ centuries can occur quickly. 1 am also not naive enou^ to expect 
that chanring attitudes regarding power and control in the most intimate of human 
relationships will occur easily. However, without places like the Children's Safety 
Center, we will continue to kill mothers and children while we wait for that attitu- 
dinal change. Thank you. 

Senator Dodd. I am going to turn to my colleague from Min- 
nesota, who has obviously tdien the lead in this particular effort, 
and I am glad to be supportive. 

Senator Wellstone. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Let me first ask Sheila — ana this really builds off the comments 
the Judge just made — why do we need clinical models? On the one 
hand you talk about some concrete examples of some centers that 
you have seen work well in Minnesota, but in the legislation, you 
call for clinical models. Why is that the case? 

Mrs. Wellstone. What I said earlier is that we see what is 
working now. but as Kim and I have said, you see problems down 
the road, and you see some of the things that are not working ex- 
actly the way they should be. So by naving clinicians on staff, 
whereas now we are having to have mainly volunteers or trained 
volunteers with some professional staff, we do not really know, and 
we cannot really assess what those problems are. But we are able 


to have 20 percent of these with paid clinicians on staff who are 
therapists, who are counselors, who know how to do the training, 
who know the signs to look for if in fact the visits with the children 
and the parents are going properly, if the behavior of the child is 
changing, sajdng that yes, these visits are good, and yes, the rela- 
tionship between the cnildren and the parents is improving. So it 
is important to have people there who are really trained in both 
how to work with parents and how to work with children, to see 
if what is happening is that a successful relationship is being re- 
established and if these visitations in fact are good for the child. 

Ms. Cardelli. There is a visitation center in New York that is 
all staffed by clinical therapists. Rob Straus is here today, and you 
could possibly ask him some questions. 

Senator Wellstone. I have one other question for Sheila. What 
would be the process for implementing this legislation? The thing 
that we are most interested in, whatever we do here, is making 
sure that it actually happens out in the communities. 

Mrs. Wellstone. The regulations are still going to have to be 
written. The money will be channelled through Health and Human 
Services, and once the bill is passed, they will take it and see what 
we plan to do here, and they will write the regulations. Then, ap- 
plications for grants to set up centers will go through them, and 
at the end of the year, the assessment will take place through them 
as to what is happening with the centers. 

Senator Wellstone. Go ahead, Kim. I will have a whole set of 
questions for you, too. 

Ms. Cardelu. Tne bill is set up like Head Start and family plan- 
ning clinics. It is a categorical grant. Nonprofits £md governments 
can apply directly to the regional office rather than going through 
the Community Development Block Grant, which is really cum- 
bersome for nonprofits because it goes through so many different 

Senator Wellstone. A last question on the issue of money. 
When Senator Hatfield said that we were probably going to try to 
put these things together and make it one concentrated effort, I 
thought that made a lot of sense. Where do you see the money com- 
ing from? 

Mrs. Wellstone. I do not know that I can tell you exactly the 
pot right now, but what I will tell you is that I think that given 
all the money that we are going to spend for the crime bill and the 
hiige price tag for that, that if we can take a small portion, $30 
million, to start this first pilot progpram for what it will do for the 
prevention of crime, I think it will be $30 million very well-spent. 
And if we are going to make the commitment that we are going to 
make to safety in our homes and in our families, we will find that 
$30 million, so that we do not have to spend it down the road tak- 
ing care of the crime that is happening then. 

Senator Wellstone. Judge Klas, you said something that was 
very important to me, and this is a question for Ms. Cardelli, actu- 
ally. You said — and I have been thinking about this as well-;-that 
in all the discussion of the community approach, which I think is 
so important, and integrating services, yes, but in the meantime, 
let us not lose sight of some concrete steps that we need to take 
because in the meantime, the violence goes on. And I do not know 


that anybody could have ever testified more powerfully than Joni 
as to what that really means in human terms. 

How do you make sure that in fact the visitation center is a safe 
place? I hear you keep saying that, but how do you make sure of 

Ms. Cardelu. In the testimony, we wrote several pages describ- 
ing security. I know tiiere is a difference of opinion among different 
visitation centers as to whether that is a necessity. 

At the Children's Safety Center Network, it is a top priority. We 
feel that physical safety as well as emotional safety is important. 
We heard of the instance where the man walked in with a shotgun 
in his backpack and shot his son in the therapist's oflRce. 

We have a metal detector at the front door. We also have a secu- 
rity guard. The orders for protection and all the paperwork are on 
his desk, so that if there is an emergency, he can call the police. 

We also have a direct line to the police department so that they 
can respond to anything that would take place immediately. 

The way we do our exchanges is really important. At some cen- 
ters, the mother drops off the kids and the father picks them up, 
and at the end of the weekend, the father drops off the kids, and 
the mother picks them up 15 minutes later. Some centers have said 
security is not necessary because the parents are not in the build- 
ing at the same time. We say that that does not seem safe. Over 
the year and a half that we had our statewide advisory committee, 
we looked at all of these liabilities, and we said what would stop 
the husband from waiting down the block, and knowing that she 
is coming to the center, if he were allowed to leave at the end of 
the weekend first, he could wait down the block for her when she 
got out of the center, and he could follow her wherever she was 
going, to her home or wherever. 

We did hear of an instance down in one of the southern States 
where this did happen. A man waited outside; his wife got in her 
car, and he drove by and shot her in the head. 

At our Children's Safety Center, we have the noncustodial parent 
come first. He or she signs in with the security gfuard and is taken 
to the back room, where we set up a TV and newspapers, and a 
volunteer sits with them. Fifteen minutes later, the custodial par- 
ent comes to the front desk and signs in. The children are taken 
back to her. She signs out and leaves. 

He then has to wait 15 minutes before he can leave. This is so 
that he cannot follow her, if she is with a boyfriend or whatever. 

At the end of the weekend, the father comes back to the center 
with the children — and it could be a mother, too; we have had both 
situations, noncustodial moms and noncustodial dads — ^but he 
comes to the center with the children and is taken back to this 
waiting room. We set up some mini-activities for the kids and the 
parents to do, some snacks, and TV and videos. Fifteen minutes 
later, the mother comes to the front desk, signs in, the children are 
brought back to her, she signs out, and he waits another 15, 20 
minutes before he leaves. 

This way, they do not ever see each other. We also do it for our 
supervised visitation, even with our foster care and everything. We 
have them come to the center 15 minutes early, and then the other 
parent comes 15-minute later with the kids for the visitation. 


The reason for this is to protect the emotional safety of children, 
because if the parent is concerned about the other parent, the fos- 
ter parents being there, or the other parent being there, then it in- 
creases the anxiety, and their focus does not alwavs go to the kids. 
So we also protect the emotional safety of the kids from having to 
see both parents, or the foster parents, and we do the supervised 
visitation where they have no contact with the other side. 

Senator Wellstone. Let me just quickly move on because we 
may have a vote, and I want the chairman to get a chance to ask 

I want to ask Judge Klas — I do not think this is really off the 
subject of the Child Safety Act — when we had our town meeting in 
Eagan, I was really impressed by the number of people in the law 
enforcement community who were there. It was really heartening 
to see that. Do you see a real change taking place now in the way 
in which iudges, police, and so on are looking at these issues of 
family violence? 

We know what it was like in the past, and I have heard many, 
many, many women talk about it. But what is your own sense of 
that as a judge? 

Judge Klas. Over the last 5V2 years, I have seen some positive 
changes. I mentioned some of them, and I think they are growing. 
I am rather saddened to have to say that I think the judiciary is 
probably responding less positively man the other two elements — 
the law enforcement and the prosecution — and it is not for lack of 
our trying, and as I said, I do not think it is a lack of good will 
on their part either. It is just that it is difficult to change attitudes 
that have been there a long time. 

Earlier, there was a comment about the best interests of the 
child. In Minnesota, we have about 12 of them that judges are to 
look at. And the effect of abuse on the children, if abuse has oc- 
curred in the home, is one of them. And the law says we are not 
to set aside any as more important than the others, but it seems 
to me that for the safety of the children, that does need to have 
strong emphasis. 

Senator Wellstone. Finally, Ms. Colsrud, I would like to hear 
from you one more time, because I think sometimes if we assume 
at the beginning that none of this is symbolic, and it is not — that 
is to say, each year, there is a hearing, each year, there is a discus- 
sion, each year, followed by an action — and I do not think any of 
us here toaay assume that, and that is why we are here. I think 
sometimes — and I do not know what the chairman's view would be 
on this — ^but I know for myself, sometimes I get energy and deter- 
mination just from what people like yourself nave to say. You just 
realize that you cannot let up until you are finally able to accom- 
plish something that will be good for people. 

What are your hopes for a safe visitation center? 

Ms. Colsrud. My ex-husband still has visitation rights. If he 
would go into a courtroom today and say, "I want to see my chil- 
dren," he still has the right to do that. Up imtil last year, I had 
a guardian ad litem who did say that as far as she was concerned, 
it was not in the best interest of the children. I asked the judge 
at the time if he would talk to the children and ask them how they 
felt about visitation, and he would not. So we had to go to this 


guardian ad litem. Up until that point, even when my ex-husband 
was in prison — he only got a 6-year sentence for what he did, and 
he was out of prison on April 7, 1992— Hip until that time, the judge 
said if the children are emotionally fit, so be it; tiiey will go to pris- 
on to see their father on visitation. 

So with a psychologist saying no, the children are not emotion- 
ally fit, and the guardian ad litem's report, at this time, there is 
no visitation schedule set, but he could bring that in at any time. 

Senator Dodd. This is a family court judge? 

Ms. CoLSRUD. Yes, in Pine County. 

Ms. Cardelli. Joni Colsrud got a bill passed in Minnesota that 
says visitation can be suspended until a child is 18, and a hearing 
can be set, and if there are certain convictions, but she was unable 
to use it because she could not afford the attorney. 

Ms. Colsrud. That is right. It has to be made a motion. It is not 
an automatic given. It needs to be brought into a motion in front 
of the court. 

Senator Wellstone. I would like to thank you all. 

Senator Dodd. I am going to date myself, but I wrote my Law 
Review article on the best interest of the child in a case involving 
custody proceedings in an adoption case, where the New York 
courts and the Florida courts had verbatim the same statutes; and 
the New York court held for the natural parents and the Florida 
court for the adoptive parents. Using exactly the same statute, ver- 
batim, they arrived at entirely different conclusions. So it is just 
an age-old problem, and it needs a lot of work in so many areas. 
And we need people like you. Judge Klas, to really get aggressive 
about this. Your presence here is terrific, but we need more judges 
out there who are willing to get involved. You have a wonderful de- 
meanor. Judges are busy people, and you could be a wonderful in- 
structor, because there are also egos tnat get involved in this — and 
'What are you doing telling me? I am a iudge," or "I am a Senator, 
and Senators do not need to get told tnings," and so on. So it is 
a very difficult process to break through that, and I think the point 
you made earlier was good — ^these are not bad people, and they do 
care deeply; they would not be there if they did not. But it is a 
question of sensitizing and making people aware. But it is an area 
that clearly needs a lot more work getting the courts to be sen- 
sitive. That is an incredible case — ^it is one thing to get tJiese mar- 
ginal cases, but my God, what is this person thinking of? I mean, 
the emotional condition of a child who has to face someone who has 
taken a shotgun to a sibling — ^this is incredible to me. 

You have done a great deal just by being here, and I want to 
echo what Paul has said. We have a tendency around here to talk 
in graphs and charts and statistics, all well-meaning, to try to 
make our case. And Kim, you said it well — all of us try to do it, 
and I try to do it on these other issues — ^but to bring it down to 
an individual person. Senators, Congressmen and newspapers — ^we 
are all the same. It is the old story. Ten thousand people suffer in 
some natural disaster, and our eyes glaze over; but a story about 
one child who has fallen into a well becomes a headline story, glob- 
ally. We can focus on that. We have a hard time focusing. 

Today, the story is California, with 500 families displaced. It is 
almost beyond our comprehension. But had there been one horren- 


dous fire there that took one family, there would probably be more 
people aware of it, almost, in some ways. 

We have a vote, so I will just ask one quick question, and if you 
could give me a quick answer on this; if not, I can submit it in 

On the supervised visitation centers, I appreciate you going 
through that description of how you handle that; it is pretty clever 
and well-done. It sort of reminds me of the dikes in the canal sys- 
tem when you are moving boats. I wonder if you are providing any 
services to help families come to grips with this, in addition to 

Ms. Cardelu. We try to make visitation really fun. We bring in 
puppet shows, and we try to build the relationship with the family. 
For instance, if we have a dad who has two sons, 8 and 9 years 
old, they will do ceramics or build a model together. We bring them 
the activities. We do not expect the families to bring things for 
their children to do. We provide plenty of things for the children 
and the parents to do. We also bring in therapists to work with the 
families. We had an art therapist who came in and did puppets and 
worked with a group of families to teach them how to touch their 
children and how to hug them and how to get down and play with 

Starting in January, we will have a therapist come in and work 
on sexual abuse and how to set boundaries and how to work 
through music therapy in a nonthreatening way. 

The program is really positive. We have a fathers' resource cen- 
ter that teaches an early childhood class. Our dads go to that vol- 
untarily. Amazingly enough, when you say, "It is voluntary. You 
can go if you want," all our dads go to it because it is voluntary. 
They love it, and tiiey get the support they need and their learn 
early childhood and how to be with their 2-year-old. 

We do custodial parenting support groups. We have a support 
group and parenting class where we teach parents how to deal with 
the effects of the abuse on their children. Children who go through 
child abuse have nightmares, bedwetting, flashbacks. In my own 
personal case, my own son used to have a nightmare of a monster 
chasing him with a board that was on fire. My son had been hit 
with a board by his father. 

In these groups, we deal with those issues, and we bring in 
therapists to talk to those custodial parents about that. 

Senator Dodd. I would be most interested in how we could ex- 
pand that aspect of this, because it is prevention — and not just 
with the problem cases, but with everybody; everybody ought to go 
through it. 

Ms. Cardelli. We also do children's groups. We contract out 
with therapeutic children's groups, and our children go through 
those groups so that they can talk about visitation and about the 
abuse that has happened to them. 

Our goal is to heal the family if it is possible. Some of these cases 
are not. We know that eventually, the judge or the courts are going 
to say this child has unsupervised visitation. We do not have any 
control over that. But hopefully, by the time they go through our 
program, they are a little bit safer than when they came in. 


Senator Dodd. You have all been terrific, and we could spend the 
rest of the day with you, obviously. But it has been a great start 
and great help, and again, my compUments to you, Sheila, for what 
you have done in this area. 

Thank you all very, very much. 

[Additional statements and material submitted for the record fol- 

Prepared Statement op Robert B. ^fraus 

Dear Senator Dodd, members of the subcommittee, this letter is intended to be 
entered into the record as testimcny in support of the Child Safety Act, S. 870, 
scheduled for hearings on Thursday, October 28, 1993. 

The Supervised Visitation Network was formed in May of 1992 and now rep- 
resents more than 80 member organizations and individuals who are providers of 
supervised visitation services across the United States, plus additional members in 
Canada. Our members are already providing children and their parents critically 
needed services for safe parent-child contact of the type contemphited by the pro- 
posed legislation. We state our strong support of the Child Safety Act and offer com- 
ments based on our considerable experience in this area. 

Providers of supervised visitation services know first-hand the risk domestic vio- 
lence presents to parents and children. We are faced daily with the fear abused par- 
ents and children experience. In my own state, Massachusetts, the horrifying statis- 
tics are that 27 women. 3 men, and 3 children have already been murder^ in in- 
stances of domestic violence in 1993 alone. In 13 of these situations, approaching 
one half the total, there were children involved or ongoing disputes between the par- 
ents over child custody or visitation. Often these are situations where a battered 
spouse has escaped the home only to have to meet the abuser the next weekend for 
the children's court-ordered visitation. So we understand the criticsJ importance of 
providing safe settings for these exchanges and contetcts to occur. 

At the same time members of the Supervised Visitation Netwoit are aware that 
families threatened by domestic violence comprise only a portion of the clients we 
serve. Children removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect also need 
supervised contact with their natural parents; diUdren of separated parents who are 
not physically fighting are at risk where a visiting parent is alcoholic or mentally 
ill; children separated for a long time from a parent need a safe place for contacts 
to resume. So we appear here as well to urge that the purposes of this legislation 
be expanded to incluae the lull range of clients who need supervised visitation serv- 
ices and to support the maintenance of children's access to both parents. 

In the following material, gathered from members of the Supervised Visitation 
Network, facts about supervised visitation are set forth; the needs for supervision 
services are explained; and the provisions of the bill are analyzed in detau. Where 
numbers are presented, they are not based on formal research, but are educated 
guesses from tne informal review conducted. 



Supervised visitation is contact between children and their parents or relatives 
with whom they do not live that occurs in the presence of an observer with the in- 
tent of keeping the contact safe. In most instances the visit occurs in a secure, neu- 
tral place, but this is not always true, and many programs offer, and a few use pri- 
marily, off-site supervision which occurs away from a visitation center. 

Populations Served 

Two general populations are served. 

1. Child protective cases: When children have been removed from the home be- 
cause of alleged abuse or neglect and placed in foster homes, on^ing supervised 
contact with the natural parent(s) is mandatory pending investigation, reunification 
and/or termination of parental ri^ts. Among these families are significant numbers 
in which spouse abuse further complicates the child abuse that has lead to out-of- 
home placement. State departments of social services have been supervising visits 
in these circumstances for years. Often the supervision is poorly done, in inadequate 
or unpleasant facilities, in the middle of a system that takes far too long to evaluate 
and make disposition of these cases. 

2. Visitation after separation or divorce. Supervision is of contticts between non- 
custodial parent and child(ren). In most states no services are currently provided 
for this population. Issues that bring these parents for supervision include questions 


about the care and safety of chUdren when with non-custodial parent where there 
is alleged drug or alcohol abuse, alleged or proven sexual abuse of the child(ren), 
an interruption of contact with the child(ren) because a noncustodial parent has 
moved away, been in jail, or has never known the child. A second group of issues 
involves parental conilict. Most prominent and most relevant to these hearing are 
situations where there is a history of domestic violence which puts both the cmldren 
and tjie custodial parent at risk. 

Divorced and separated clients referred to supervised visitation programs are 
among the most hiJgh conilict and dysfunctional families which appear before the 
court. Nearly all referrals come directly from family courts. We estmiate that in up- 
wards of 70 percent of cases referred for services, there is evidence of spouse and/ 
or diild abuse. In addition, these families come to programs with a history of kid- 
napping, threats to kill the children, alleged or confirmed sexual abuse, and neglect. 
In a significant minority of the families, drug or alcohol abuse presents a risk. Al- 
though families at all income levels may need supervision services, the families 
court-ordered to programs are primarily low income. 

Child clients are young, averaging less than five years old, and ranging from 
under one year old to adolescent. In one representative program, nearly 1/4 of the 
children had not seen their non-custodial parent for over a month prior to beginning 
the service. 

Supervision services 

"Supervised visitation" refers to a range of services: 

a) &ipervision of contacts occurring on-site" at a supervised visitation center. 
—One on one supervision. An observer remains constantly with the visiting par- 
ent and child(ren) and is ready to intervene protectively. 

— Monitoring of parent-child contact. This supervision is more flexible in the close- 
ness of observation and may include brief unsupervised periods. 

— Group supervision of several families at a time 

— ^Exchange supervision. Only the transfer of the child between the parents is 
monitored. Useful where there is hi^-conflict and risk between the parents, but 
where the children are not seen to be at risk with the non-custodial parent. 

— Telephone monitoring. Staff reviews the visits by telephone after they have oc- 
curred. Useful in relatively low risk situations. 

— Therapeutic supervision. The child(ren) and parent meet with a trained 
psychotherapist whose tadc is to help the children improve or come to terms with 
their relationship with the visiting parent. 

b) "Off-site" supervision occurring away from a visitation center. 
—Generally one-on-one supervision 

— Offsite exchange monitoring 

c) Related services include education and therapy groups for parents and children, 
often focused on specific topics: domestic violence, parenting skills, child develop- 
ment. These services can be integrated into a program or clients can be referred out 
if groups are available in the community. 

Supervised visitation is not evaluation, although the reports of observations may 
be useful to the court or other evaluators. It is also not treatment. 


Supervised visitation in families where a child has been removed from the home 
has been done for at least several decades, usually by departments of social service. 
Supervised visitation in divorced and separated farmlies is a more recent phenome- 
non. The demand in this context has dramatically risen as the divorce rate has in- 
creased, as there has been greater diversity in forms of custody, as child support 
enforcement has had a side effect of increased disputes over visitation, and nas 
awareness of sexual and physical abuse has at last expanded. 

Existing Programs 

The Supervised Visitation Network has over 60 member programs in this country. 
We can make a guess that there are perhaps an additional 30 to 40 programs cur- 
rently providing supervised visitation and a scattering of individual providers. While 
the numbers of programs has greatly increased in the last five years, existing pro- 
grams are able to respond to only a tiny fraction of the need. 

Existing programs tend to be small, staffed by 1 to 5 paid employees, often sup- 
plemented by volunteers. A few, like the Family Dissolution Program and the Fam- 
ily Connection Center in Indianapolis and the Judicial Supervision Program in Tuc- 
son, operate full time. Most operate part time. 

On the order of 10 of the existing programs are directly connected with a family 
court. 5 or 6 have domestic violence and child abuse as a primary focus. Approxi- 
mately the same number are attached to a mental health clinic. Private charities 
support some of the programs. The remainder, like Kids Exchange in Texas and 
Childhaven in Seattle, are free standing services. 


A copy of the 1993 Supervised Visitation Network Membership List is attached. 

Program Financing 

- No program is entirely self-supporting from fees for services. 

— ^For the majority of programs it is estimated that less than half the cost of the 
services provided are covered by fees. 

— ^Except for the few programs operating on funds provided by family court sjrs- 
tems, state divisions of youth services or departments of social services, only a hand- 
ful of supervised visitation programs operate primaiily on State funds. No program 
is primarily funded by the Federal government. Tina contrasts with Canada, wnere 
significant federal funding has created supervision programs in both Ontario and 
Manitoba Provinces. 

— ^Neariy all existing programs are struggling to survive on a combination of fees, 
charitable donations, and foundation grants, ui the past six months, a number of 
programs have had to shut down for lade of funding, and several more have had 
to snc^ly curtail services. 

Staff and Training 

Many programs include trained psychotherapists on their staffs. However, the 
majority of (Erect supervision is provided by individuals without graduate level clini- 
cal training. It seems critical — if supervised visitation is to remain affordable — that 
most of the range of supervision services be provided by trained paraprofessionals, 
supplemented by volunteers. 


An Overworked System. When children are removed from parents because of 
abuse or neglect, it is legally required as well as psychologically essential that they 
remain in contact with their parents while assessment and treatment continues. 
Otherwise, reunification becomes increasingly difficult and the children remain the 
wards of the state, an expensive and often psychologically damaging result. In addi- 
tional to regular visits with parents, there is a need to arrange and monitor visits 
with siblings placed in other foster homes and with other relatives. However, social 
workers in most state departments of social services have immense caseloads. Ar- 
ranging supervised contact is of relatively low priority, and when contacts do occur, 
they often take place in inadequate facilities. In Massachusetts, visits occur oflices 
not set up for diildren, even in converted closets, often with no or a few broken toys. 

Conflict of Roles. There is also an inherent role conflict in the way contacts are 
now supervised. The same social workers who are supervising visits are also evalu- 
ating the parent(s) and may be testifying against them in a proceeding to terminate 
parental rights. This is not a neutral, safe environment in which to have parent- 
child contacts occur. 

There is an urgent need for separate visitation facilities staffed by paraprofes- 
sionals trained in observing and intervening in parent-<^ild contacts. These centers 
would be funded by the states and contracted to provide the parent-child contacts 
required bv law. The result would support reunification efforts, be safe for tiie diil- 
dren and their parents, and be cost efiective. 


Courts Without Options. Many of the most intractable problems brou^t before 
the Family Court involve chronic disputes over access to chudren whose parents are 
either separating or have long since divorced. Too frequently judges in diild access 
matters are faced with inadequate options. For example: 

Where a non-custodial parent has a history of physical or sexual abuse or where 
a parent's responsibility is in question because of drug or alcohol abuse or psycho- 
logical dysfunction, that parent presents a realistic risk to his/Tier children during 
visits. Nevertheless continued contact between parent and child often remains im- 
portant to healthy emotional development. Currently, the resources to arrange pro- 
tected access are rarely available, particularly to low income families. As a result 
Judges are faced with the equally unacceptable options of cutting off contact with 
the non-custodial parent or allowing contact at substantial ridi to Qie child or custo- 
dial parent. 

Visits Surrounded by Conflict. Intense conflict often occurs between parents in 
front of diUdren during transitions at the start and end of visits. Early researdi on 
divorce suggested that a loss of contact with non-custodial parents had negative ef- 
fects on children. Recent research, however, has complicated this picture. It indi- 


cates that inc^easeti visitation in the middle of continued parental conflict appears 
in fact to have negative effects on children. An important implication is that ii chil- 
dren are to benefit firom contact with both parents following separation, visits need 
to occur safely, with minimal conflict. 

The Impact of Domestic Violence. Public reaction to the unacceptable level of do- 
mestic violence has focused attention on the risk that occurs when children pass be- 
tween their separated parents. Private and governmental groups have called for vis- 
itation services to protect parents and children during these transitions. These are 
the exchanges that now occur in front of the local police station. Where a history 
of domestic violence complicates a difficult separation there is also urgent need to 
assist pau^nts negotiating access to children. Only with the assistance of a neutral 
visitation service can Uie risks of coercion and physical danger be minimized. 


As is evident fiwm the information above, there are immense and urgent needs 
for supervision services, only a handful of existing services, and virtually no public 
support. The Child Safety Act is an important first step to providing the essential 
resources to meet these needs, and its research component is presents the oppor- 
tunity to further assess the extent of the services needed. 


What follows is a detailed, section by section critique of the legislation in its cur- 
rent form. These comments are based on the reactions to a survey of the Supervised 
Visitation Network membership. Accordingly, in some cases, alternative reactions to 
the same section are presented. 

As we have said previously, the overall reaction of Network members has been 
immense appreciation of and excitement about the legislation and the idea that 
someone in the federal government is taking interest in this issue. The comments 
are made in the spirit of trying to improve what is already an important bill. 

On Section 1. Short Title 

Several members were concerned that the title limited the focus to child safety 
alone and one proposed an alternate title, the "Child Safe Access Act", intended to 
include both the idea of safety and maintaining contact with both parents. 

On Section 3. Purpose. 

There is concern that the proposed funding would not cover services for the entire 
range of families for whom supervised visitation services are important. Virtually 
all the visitation centers now in existence deal with instances of sexual abuse and 
case where there has been a history of domestic violence. However, virtually all also 
provide supervision to families where: 

— children are meeting a parent after a prolonged separation 

— visits have been abortea by custodial parent 

— a non-custodial parent presents a risk to a diild because for reasons that do 
not have to do with domestic violence: drugs or alcohol abuse; mental illness; inad- 
equate parenting skills. 

The language in Section 3 of the biU seems broad enough to cover supervised visi- 
tation in abuse situations ( Paragraphs 1, 2, 5 and 6), cases where a child has been 
removed from a home after abuse (Paragraphs 3 & 4), for exchan^ services where 
there has been violence (Paragraph 5), and in cases where visitation has just been 
difTicult (Paragraph 7). The purposes also include parent and diild education and 
support groups (Paragraph 8). 

However, it is not clear that supervision services would be covered: 

— where a child has been removed because of neglect rather than abuse; 

— where exdiange services are needed because of hi{^ conflict but there have 
been no protective orders or restraining orders issued; 

— where a custodial parent has stopped visits or alleges that a child does not want 
to go on visits, but there is no allegation of abuse. 

The point is that the language seems too focused just on abuse cases. While we 
understand that the need lor supervision is most critical in these cases, it would 
make administration of any program very difficult if the other types of cases which 
the courts wiU refer anyhow, could not be served. More importantly, many children 
and families in critical need of services would be excluded. 

Some of the language in this section is unclear: For example, in Section 3. (1) 
"emotionaJ abuse" needs to be defined. In Section 3. (5) the services of providing a 


safe place for exchanges and providing protected visitation need to be identified as 
distinct services. 
On Section 4. Demonstration Grants for Supervised Visitation Centers. 

(a) IN GENERAL. The language here describes srants for "the establishment and 
operation of supervised visitation centers". But in (c) (1) the language is "Amounts — 
shall be used to establish visitation centers." The question raised is whether that 
language would exclude services already in operation. Nearly all the existing serv- 
ices are struggling to survive, and we want to make sure they would not he by- 
passed. Also, not all supervised visitation services need to occur at a "center^, llie 
entire Judicial Supervision Program in Tucson Arizona operates with all supervised 
contacts occurring "off-site", away from a center. Accordingly, in paragraph 2. (a) the 
langua^ should read "the establishment and operation of new or existing super- 
vised visitation centers and programs. 


(1) IN GENERAL. Targeting the economically disadvantaged but permitting oth- 
ers to use the services on a fee basis seems excellent. 

(2) COSTS. There was almost uniform negative reaction to the requirement that 
"the perpetrators of the family violence, abuse or neglect will be responsible for any 
and all costs associated with the supervised visitation undertaken at the center." 

a) A distinction needs to be made between costs of the service and fees charged. 
Virtually none of the existing programs are entirely supported by fees. In owier 
words "costs" of the services generally exceed the fees charged. By requiring that 
perpetrators pay "any and all costs", this could mean having to char^ immense 
fees, say on tne order of $100 per hour if the actual cost of the service is to be cov- 

At the very least, the language could be changed to require that perpetrators con- 
tribute to the costs of the service or to require payment of "any ana all fees charged 
for the supervised visitation undertaken". Both of these changes would leave to the 
agencv at least the possibility of charging according to ability to pay on a sliding 
scale basis. 

A number of program directors feel strongly there should be no requirement that 
costs (or fees) be chai<^d only tc perpetrators. Their view is that there are situa- 
tions in which, even with an identified perpetrator, the service is for the child; and 
that while both parents should not necessarily pay equally where there has been 
abuse, it may be appropriate to have both contribute. The contact serves an impor- 
tant function for the child, not just for the visiting parent. From this point of view 
an important goal is to keep the supervised visitation a chUd-focused process sup- 
ported by both parents, yet without inappropriately playing into the control of an 
abusive spouse. The misuse of financial control in abusive relationships is recog- 
nized. Still, there were a number of expressions of preference that the cost allocation 
be left to the clinical judgement of the mdividual programs. 

b) There needs to be a distinction between "aUegecr perpetrators and persons who 
have been found guilty of abuse, family violence, or neglect. Particularly in the area 
of family violence there needs to be clarification of what is the definition of a per- 
petrator. K, for example, the issuance by the court of a restraining order is used 
as an index of guilt, this could present a problem. Restraining orders are often is- 
sued very quickly just on the basis of allegations as a necessary, conservative meas- 

Network members raised this issue with some hesitancy, since we are all con- 
cerned with the amount of domestic violence, have very direct experience of the dan- 
gers, and don't want to be seen as "soft" on holding perpetrators of violence or abuse 
responsible for their actions. But there are some real practical problems here. 

c) One member suggested that payment by a perpetrator should be prorated if the 
perpetrator is receiving treatment. This would provide a very use^I incentive for 
acknowledgement of abuse and treatment. 

d) Finally, the statutory language could run into conflict with a court order which 
apportions pajnment between the two parents. 

To some extent all this is covered by the language at the start of the pF.ragraph 
"To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall " But it would be better if there could 
be clarification in the text itself Members of the Supervised Visitation Network 
could offer a draft of alternative language if that would be helpfiil. 

Section 5 Demonstration Grant Application 

(b) (2) Approval of Grant applications: An application shall "be submitted from an 
entity located in a State where State law requires the courts to consider evidence 
of violence in custody decisions". 


This is clearly an effort to make sure that State laws include this provision. The 

Erovision is one that serves tin important purpose. However, most States do not 
ave this language. Our concern is that the States that would be excluded for not 
having the language would be the ones where there is the least interest in the issue 
of domestic violence or in visitation centers. Rather than the bill working to create 
an institution, the supervised visitation center, which will focus attention on the 
issue of domestic violence, these states would not get new programs, and the pro- 
grams that do exist in these states will collapse for lack of funding. 

Section 6. Evaluation of Demonstration Projects. 

The reporting requirements for any program whidi receives a grant are substan- 
tial. Overall the requirements look well thought-out, and most of the data requested 
can be managed by relatively easy record keeping. But even this amount of record 
keeping is expensive. And there are several specific omissions and difficulties. 

In general, to make data across programs comparable the draft appropriatelv asks 
for data on both the number of families served and the number of visits per family. 
However, for meaningful comparison, there needs to be further breakdown of data 
by type of service provided and the length of contacts. For cost comparisons there 
needs also ?o be information on the training and credentials (if any) of the providers 
of the service and some measure of the cost of living index for the geographical area 
in which the service is provided. With this additional data service and cost per hour 
could be compared across sites. 

Sec. 6. (a) (2) requests data on the number of families supervised by category of 
abuse or violence. There should be specific inclusion as well of the number of cases 
of supervision necessary for other reasons: extended parental absence, substance 

&.DUS6 etc 

Sec.' 6. (a) (5) asks for data on "the number of protective temporary transfers of 
custody during the report year". It is unclear what this means. Is a "protective" 
transfer of custody one that is the result of concern for a child's physical safety? 
How is such a transfer different from other transfers of custody? Does this refer only 
to families while they are being served in a program, or is the expectation that the 
families' court records would be followed throughout the year. In any event, this 
would seem to require a search of court records which are outside of the control of 
the program. Collection of this data, while interesting, should probably not be the 
responsibility of the programs funded. 

&c. 6. (a) (6) calls for data on "the number of parental abduction cases in a judi- 
cial district using supervised visitation services". This requires the collection of data 
from agencies outsi(fe the program. This data collection should not be the respon- 
sibility of the individual programs. 

Section 7. Special Grants to Study the Effect of Supervised Visitation on Sexually 
Abused or Severely Physically Abused Children. . 

The intent of this section for special grants to study the effect of Supervised Visi- 
tation on abused children is important. It squarely addresses a central question of 
whether supervised visitation should be allowed between children who are abused 
and perpetrators. The research is also directed at the effects of supervised visitation 
on chil(fren. The underlying theme seems to be to test the hypothesis that contact 
should only be allowed when abusive spouses are in treatment. This is a hypothesis 
that is important to examine. It also looks like the drafters have some idea of the 
expense or research because up to 20 percent of the $30 million requested could be 
used for research. j t> • 

However, the current draft of the legislation again appears too limited. Particu- 
larly if, as we propose, the range of supervised visitation services funded bv this leg- 
islation is expanded, this section would be even better if the research could also in- 
clude the effect of supervised visitation on children other than abused children. As 
written, the research would cover the effect of supervised visitation only on children 
who had been abused themselves. Where a parent has been abused the draft seems 
to call for research onlv the link between abuser treatment programs for perpetra- 
tors and the effect on children. 

We strongly suggest that the question of whether or not supervised visitation 
should be allowed with abused children be addressed comprehensively, not focused 
solely on whether the abusive parent has completed a program of therapy and that 
the research component be expanded beyond abused children to study the effect of 
visitation with or without supervision on the entire population of children served 
by the funded programs. The research should also include a needs assessn^nt to 
estimate the demand for supervised visitation services within each of the major cli- 
ent populations served. 


The researdi question in Sec. 7(a) (3) on 'the relationship between the type of 
abuse or neglect experienced by the child and the use of supervised visitation cen- 
ters bv the maltreating parent" is unclear. 

Under the impetus of two member programs of the Supervised Visitation network, 
a research team has already prepared a comprehensive proposal for analyzing the 
impact of supervised visitation programs. Funding for this research is currently 
being sought. More information can be provided on request. 


The 18-month time period for reporting is very short for any kind of meaningful 
follow-up study and raises concern if reauthorization is dependent on results at that 
time. Allowing an optimistic minimum of 6 months from enactment until the begin- 
ning of data collection, and 6 months for the intervention before follow up, the ini- 
tial 18 month report will have at best data on 2 to 3 months of follow-up. Subse- 
quent annual reports will be more meaningful. Clearly if any results are to be as- 
sessed at 18 months it will be essential that currently existing programs be included 
in the funding and the evaluation. 

In concluding, we want to repeat that these comments are made in the context 
of our support Tor the legislation. The Network is available to help with this impor- 
tant initiative. 

Prepared Statement of the Moylan Family 

To whom this may concern, this testimony is being submitted in memory of Ayla 
Rose Moylan. Ayla was a six year old diild who was shot in the head and killed 
by her biological father. This tragedy took place at a court ordered supervised visita- 
tion in Danielson, CT. on Nov. 2, 1992. As Ayla's family, we feel compelled to tell 
her story and expose the unjust treatment of children in our courts. Laws need to 
be changed, and new laws should be enacted to protect children. 

At the time of her murder, Ayla was telling her father that she could love two 
people, (her biological father and new step father). This barbaric human being was 
permitted to spend countless hours with ihia child. Unfortunately for us, Ayla died 
in a way we tdl feared for years. 

Prior to Ayla's murder there were many warning signals. Professionals in this 
case chose to ignore the warnings or were limited as to what was done. Due to lack 
of adequate legal representation, babies such as Ayla, are helpless in custodyArisita- 
tion/divorce cases. They caimot articulate their needs to help themselves. Legally, 
Ayla's mom, grtmdmother, and close family relatives could not help. Because of 
present laws, a father's documented violent behavior was not considered wrongful 
enou^ to suspend visitation privileges. Tragically, the awareness of such issues 
came into li^t at itie expense of our uttle girl, Ayla. 

The number of domestic violence cases continues to grow in this country. Violence 
is all around our society. Children are at risk when parents are battling for control. 

The system failed Ayla. Protective measures should have been made prior to this 
tragedy and others alike. Here are cost effective, common sense solutions to protect 
children from abusive parents. Please acknowledge these, and use your hearts to 
pursue the safety for all children. 

This letter was written by Jo-ann Moylan-Daigle to her daughter Ayla. Jo-ann 
read this letter to the Select Committee on Children at a hearing on child abuse. 

To Ayla Rose Moylan, 

Your biological father had the right to visit with you Ayla. He had the right to 
visit with you even though there was evidence in the court system pointing to the 
fact that he had violent tendencies. 

Your biological father had the right to visit with you Ayla even after his behavior 
became threatening to your well being. He told you that your family was responsible 
for cruci5^ing Jesus Christ, and that they hung Jesus on the cross. He told you that 
your grandmother was blind because she was a mean, ugly lady. 

Your biological father had the right to visit with you Ayla, even after he hurt you 

Ehysically, mentaUy, and emotionally. He had the right to visit with you even after 
is behavior threatened your well being. He had the right to visit with you Ayla 
even after you so bravely reported to the police that you were in fear of him. 

Your biological father haa the right to visit with you Ayla, under supervised con- 
ditional after years of visiting with you privately. You Ayla, had nothing to say 
about these supervised visits. It did'nt matter to anyone about what you wanted and 
it did'nt matter to anyone about what I wanted either. No one listened. No one 
cared to hear us. 


You were murdered Ayla, on November 2, 1992. at the offices of the Child Protec- 
tion Council. The court ordered these supervised visits because your biolo^cal fa- 
ther had the right to see his biological daughter. You were muroered by hun. You 
were ordered to visit with him. Your biological father had all of the ri^ts. 

Ayla Rose Moylan, my baby, my love, you had no rights. I am so sorry Ayla, for 
as your mom, I had to (U> as the court ordered. Now you are gone, and your biologi- 
cal father still has ri^ts. 

Proof of Identification 

Upon entering custodyMsitation/divorce case, parents should show forms of iden- 
tification. If no l^al identification is brought forward, courts can believe identifica- 
tion is concealed tor suspicious or fraudulent reasons. 

After lengthy custody battle, judge ordered Ayla' s father to submit proper identi- 
fication. Father withdrew case and agreed on supervised visitation. Court never fol- 
lowed up on identification request. 

Other agencies require proof of identification, (banks, hospitals, motor vehicle), 
why not cases involving children's lives? 

Suspend Privileges 

Why must children visit with abusive parents? While restraining orders are pant- 
ed to protect parent and child, the abusive parent must have visitation privileges 

Ii criminal activity is documented and current, parenttd visitations must be sus- 

Jo-ann Moylan had restraining order for herself and Ayla due to father's violent 
behavior. Visitations were still mandatory while order was in effect. Mother had to 
bring child to visits (confronting abuser), or Mother would have been in contempt 
of court. 

Father was arrested after assault on sheriff was made. Father assaulted sheriff 
after he handed father restraining order. Father received one year probation and 
visitations continued. 

Father once asked family relations officer, "What would happen if I just blew her 
away?", Visitations continued. 

After mother won sole custody, courts allowed father to leave building first. 
Courts detained mother, fearing assault might be made against her by father. 

Violent behavior of father was known by many professionals, however, visitation 
was never suspended. Professionals must be responsible to report abuse to police. 

Protected Supervised Visitation 

Supervised visitetions should be PROTECTED VISITATIONS! Safety guidelines 
must be established in such programs. Video cameras, alarm systems, metal detec- 
tors etc. Chil(ken should be protected. Bags must be searched before parents enter 
sij^t of visitation. 

Professionals should be trained in their field. Counselors must be familiar with 
emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. Classes should be mandated to all staff at 
visitation si^ts. 

Ayla's famer brought gun into supervised visitation. Ayla was shot twice, while 
her mother was in a nearby room. The social worker was shot several times and 
survived. Father fled the scene. Ayla's mom had to call for assistance (911), no one 
else was available to help them. 

Child Advocacy Programs Must Be Supported 

All children must have the right to an attorney. One who will look out for his/ 
her best interest. 

Fearing an abduction would take place. Mother requested a lawyer for child. 
Court appointed child an attorney. Attorney witnessed living environment at home 
with mother and daughter. Relationship was considered to be a healthy one. How- 
ever, attorney could not contact violent father (several attempts were made to pur- 
sue him) and evaluate relationship with father and child. Attorney never witnessed 
relationship between the two. Attorney stated in court that IF an abduction was 
probable, cnild was capable of articulating her own needs. Attorney also stated that 
child was educated with the use of a telepnone. 

If the representation was in child's best interest, a possible abduction should have 
been relevant to case. How could a lawyer come to this conclusion without inves- 
tigating father-diild relationship. Representation was quite inadequate. 


Childrbn's Rights 

Any child under going visitation/custody/divorce case should be taken into consid- 
eration for the person he/she is. Constitutional ri^ts should be a prerequisite for 
all, not a privilege for a few. 

Ayla was intelligent beyond her years. She could read and write at a very young 
age. Upon leaving the Hospital emergency room one evening. (She was being exam- 
ined for sexual abuse.) Ayla told her mom she wanted to report this to the police. 
Ayla signed a statement which said she feared her father. 

Ayla had no legal rirfits. 

We, Ayla's family, believe that if Ayla's voice was heard these visitations might 
have stopped. Ayla should have been spared the emotional and sexual abuse. Please 
allow the voice of children to be heard. 

The tragedv of this case is that there were many signs of danger towards Ayla 
and her mother Jo-ann. Police, lawyers, social workers, and judges are bound by 
law. Please make it possible for these professionaJs to work together for all children. 
Thank you very mucn. 

Prepared Statement of Judith Armatta, Oregon Coalition Against Domestic 

AND Sexual Violence 

Every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in this country by someone she loves, who 
supposedly loves her. One in seven women will be raped by her husband. Domestic 
violence is the single greatest cause of iryury to women. Depending on the year, 
anywhere from 1,200 to 4,000 women are killed by intimate partners. 

Domestic violence has serious, widespread and unnoticed consequences for all of 
our society. 

— Domestic violence causes an estimated loss of $3 to 5 billion annually in absen- 
teeism and an additional $100 million in medical bills. 

— Battering accounts for 209 of all medical visits by women and 30 percent of all 
emereency room visits. 

— Battering during pregnancy causes more birth defects than any disease for 
which immunization is available. 

— From 8 percent to 30 percent of pregnant women are battered during preg- 
nancy. These women are 2 times as likely to miscarry 4 times as likely to have low 
birth weight infants, and these infants are 40 percent more likely to die in their 
first year. 

— Fifty percent of all homeless women and children in this country are fleeing do- 
mestic violence. 

— One out of every 4 suicide attempts by women is preceded by abuse. 

— 45 percent of all female alcoholics have a history of battering that preceded 
their addiction. 

— Children in homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused or seri- 
ously neglected at a 15 times greater rate than the national average in the general 

— In Oregon, we are finding a hi^ correlation between child fatalities and wife 

WhUe we hear a great deal of rhetoric about the family and family values these 
days, the plain fact is that the family is in trouble. Addressing adult domestic vio- 
lence alone, nearly 2 million women are battered in intimate relationships every 
year. An estimated 3.3 million children life in families where one adult caretaker 
is physically and emotionally abusing the other adult caretaker on an ongoing basis. 
This has profound efTects on children — in the present and far into the future. I 
know. I was one of those children. If I may, let me tell you a little of my story. 

Effect on Children 

When I was growing uo in the middle of this century, there were no shelters or 
crisis lines for victims of^domestic violence. The term battered wife had not been 
coined. Divorce was stiU difficult to obtain and only if fault could be proven. Women 
were expected to marry and make the best of it. There was no welfare or emergency 
government assistance. The home was a man's castle, a private sphere where the 
outside world and its institutions didn't interfere. Problems in the family were not 
discussed outside the family and often not inside it either. 

I was bom into this society and, unluckily. Into a family where my father drank 
often, hit my mother and verbally abused her. Every day was dramatic, tension- 
filled and terror-ridden. To this day, I cannot endure tension-building movies, I can't 
imagine going through that for fiin. 


From the time I could comprehend my world at all, I saw my Mother shoved, 

Funched, slapped, knocked down and raped. I heard her accused of sleeping around, 
heard her cEdled terrible names. The person who did all this to the Mother I loved 
so desperately was the father I loved as well. When I got in the way or tried to 

Erotect her, I was hit, too. Once, I was knocked down the steps and landed on my 
ead. I can remember plotting with my sister to poison my father's whiskey. Some- 
times, we onlv wanted him to get sick. Sometimes, we wanted him to die. When I 
was 11, I picked up a butcher Knife to stop my father from beating my mother. I 
didnt use it, but I confronted the possibility that I was capable of Killmg another 
human being. At 11, other girls were playing softball and getting crushes. 

I also loved my father very much. I coulasee that he drank to stop some old and 
deep pain. That he did not fit comfortably into his world or his role as a man. It 
hurt me terribly to hear him beg my mother for another drink, holding his stomach 
as if his insides were on fire. I was also fiercely protective of him. I was terrified 
and conflicted when my grandfather hit him, when the police came to our door, 
when he was lost in the woods for days. I wanted someone to help, but I didn't want 

them to hurt him. j ,^ j • ,. j l ,^x- 

More than anything, I wanted someone to stop my dad trom drmkmg and tutting 
my mom. No one intervened. At 11, whUe other girls puzzled over algebra, I tried 
to reconcile loving someone who hurt and scared me and made every day life-threat- 
That was my preparation for the world. It was my first view of my society and 

chil<fren are socialized. Perhaps that's why witnessing abuse of one's mother is the 
greatest predictor of becoming an abuser as an adult. 

Chilian are primary victims of domestic violence between their parents and 
adult caretakers, if they are never hit, they sufler significant emotional trauma in 
the present and far into the future by watching violence and abuse perpetrated by 
one caretaker on another. 

Moreover, diildren living in homes with adult domestic violence are also phys- 
ically harmed and physically and emotionally neglected far more than children who 
do not live in sudi nomes. It stands to reason. With violence as the central dramatic 
event, there's not a lot of energy for the patience and thou^tfiilness necessaiy for 
good childrearing. 

Correlation With Child Abuse 

The high correlation between domestic violence and harm to children has been 
documented in several recent studies. Just a few years ago, the U.S. Senate Judici- 
ary Committee found that in homes where there is adult domestic violence, children 
are abused at a rate 1,000 higher than the national average. Battering of women 
who are mothers usually predates the infliction of child abuse. The March of Dimes 
reports that pregnant women are at particular risk. More babies are now bom with 
birth defects as a result of the mother bein^ battered during pregnancy, than from 
the combination of all the diseases for which we immunize pregnant women. At 
least half of all battering husbands also batter their children. The more severe the 
abuse of the mother, the worse the child abuse. Daughters are exposed to a risk 
of sexual abuse 6.51 times greater than girls in nonabusive families. Studies have 
found that mothers who are the victims of frequent abuse are more likely to victim- 
ize their children than non-abused mothers; and that mothers who experience se- 
vere violence are more likely to use severe discipline in resolving conflicts with their 
children. Some in-depth research suggests that mothers are up to eijdit times more 
l&ely to physically aouse a child when they are in a violent relationship than when 
that same mother is with a nonviolent partner. 

in Oregon, we also are seeing a high correlation between adult domestic violence 
and child fatalities from abuse and neglect. Contrary to popular opinion, the major- 
ity of child fatalities from abuse and neglect occurred in two parent families. 

These statistics and facts take on form and meaning in the following two stories. 
One involved a mother who was a recent immigrant from Southeast Asia. Having 
endured the physical pain and emotional shame from a battering husband, she 
poisoned her uiree children, killing two of them, and attempting to kill herself. The 
second case did not appear in the child abuse statistics, it involved a 19-year-old 
woman who was beaten and repeatedly kicked in the stomach while pregnant. When 
she miscarried a month later, she learned her baby had died during that beating. 
The woman is now serving a seven-and-a-half year sentence for manslaughter after 
killing her abuser with his gun, in an incident she claims was accidental. 


A special task force which reviewed Oregon's unprecedented number of child fa- 
talities fit>m abuse and neglect in 1992 recommended cross assessment for domestic 
violence by child abuse professionals and vice versa. We also recommended that 
drug and alcohol treatment programs assess for domestic violence as well as diild 
abuse. With such a hi^h correlation in these areas, this may help us identify more 
situations that have the potentieil to lead to lethality. The Domestic Violence Com- 
munity initiative Act of 1993 will foster cooperative efforts between child protective 
agencies and domestic violence agencies. That alone could have a significant impact 
on reducing the incidence of both. 

Letter from a Battered Woman: Community Compucity 

The following is a letter from a battered woman that was written son% time ago 
and printed in Del Martin book, Battered Wives. It iUustrates how our helping 
agencies as well as our familv and friendship networics have failed battered women. 
What I find so remai^able about this woman's story is that nearly every institution 
and individual she reached out to was not only unresponsive. They were angry with 
her for breaking the silence. 

Progress to Date 

Since this letter was written and since my mother, my sister and I rode around 
all night in the car with no place to go, major changes have occurred. There is now 
a shelter 10 miles from where I grew up. I helped start it in 1981, before I ever 
knew that what happened in my family was domestic violence. Oregon has a shelter 
or safe home network that serves every county. There are over 2,0<X) such programs 

Each of these programs began with the effort of one or two individuals, asking 
their neighbors, colleagues and friends for help. A larae majority of these indiviJ 
uals had experienced battering themselves, ana used their safety and knowledge to 
help other women in similar situations. In Oregon, these prora'ams provided shelter 
to over 5,600 women and children last year and addition^ telephone crisis services 
to nearly 100,000 more. That's larger than the population of all but three cities in 
the state. Tragically, a majority of callers are now turned awav from shelter due 
to overwhelming demand and lack of resources to meet it. In the Portland Metro- 
politan area, the turn away rate is 9 out of ten. 

In 1977, through the combined efforts of legal aid lawyers, feminist activists and 
legislators, the Oregon Legislature enacted one of the earliest laws to address do- 
mestic violence. Popularly known as the Family Abuse Prevention Act, it became 
a model for other laws throughout the country. Since then we have done a lot of 
hard work. 

Sociologists and psychologists have begun to research the field, producing count- 
less articles and a number of books. Newspapers, magazines and television do spe- 
cials on various aspects of violence against women. Foundations provide some fund- 
ing for services and special projects, governments somewhat less. 

Two U.S. surgeon generals have declared domestic violence a national health epi- 
demic. The Americem Medical Association has made wife abuse a priority and tne 
Oregon Medical Association has formed a special committee on family violence 
which has been meeting for over a year. Hospital and emei^ency room protocols 
have been developed and medical personnel are receiving training. 

For the past several sessions. Congress has been considering an Act that would 

f)rovide substantial funding for domestic violence services, as well as establish vio- 
ence against women as a civil rights violation with a civil remedy in federal court. 
I congratulate the Senate on having passed the Violence Against Women Act during 
the last Session. We hope you will act quickly to pass it again soon and support 
the House in doing so as well. 

I have had the great advantage of working with people from all over Oregon and 
throughout the United States wno are committed to ending violence in the family. 
This IS truly a grassroots community movement. While we leam from each other, 
each shelter program has arisen through the efforts of local people in their own com- 
munities. For the last decade and a half, these domestic violence service programs 
have been the central motivating forces against domestic violence in their commu- 

Community-Wide Effort Needed 

After 15 years, we've realized something important and humbling to those of us 
who think we can change the world alone. We can't. While we have had great im- 
pact by providing shelters, advocates, information, public education and training. 


122 3 9999 05982 560 2 

most of it free or at minimal cost, we camiot end domestic violence alone. A commu- 
nity-wide effort is necessary. Domestic violence will not end until it becomes unac- 
ceptable within our communities and all their subcultures. 

TTie Domestic Violence conununity Initiative Act of 1993, which you have before 
you, was designed with that in mind. The Act provides funding for demonstration 
projects that are community-wide, interdisciplinaiy, coordinated and involve all rel- 
evant sectors of the community in an effort to address domestic violence. The Act 
provides impetus for recognizing that domestic violence is not just a police problem 
or a women's issue or a social service need. It is a tragedy that undermines the 
basis of our society: how we relate to one another and whether we are able to build 
community. It won't end until the community decides to put in end to it. 

We know that we can make significant social change in a few short years with 
the proper will, motivation and organization. We no longer let friends drive drunk, 
thanks to MADD. Smoking, once a symbol of so^rfiistication, is now considered offen- 
sive, as smokers are pushed outdoors and more and more indoor environments have 
become smoke free. Surely, we can make hitting one's loved ones equally objection- 
able. The Domestic Violence Community initiative Act offers a real possibility of ac- 

Ending dbmestic violence requires a community effort. It requires doctors to as- 
sess for domestic violence and clergy to counsel against it. It requires teachers to 
educate about it and the media to Tughlight it in ways that hold abusers account- 
able. It requires child protective services workers to inquire about spouse abuse 
where child abuse is present. It requires the police to arrest and judges to lecture, 
even when we don't yet have programs we know will changs abusive behavior. And 
it requires all of us to interrupt abuse of women, to protest demeaning jokes, to con- 
gratulate positive efforts, to speak out and write letters to the editor and talk and 
listen to each other and collaborate. The Domestic Violence Community Initiative 
Act will significantly advance these efforts by encouraging people from all sectors 
of society to ieike responsibility for addressing domestic violence in their particular 
arena and to come together to address the problem in a coordinated manner. 

In the battered women's movement we have pushed for broader community in- 
volvement and responsibility for the problem of family violence, we do this because 
we are not about institutionalizing our movement. We're folks who'd like to work 
ourselves out. of a job. Despite some fears, we know that the real solution to domes- 
tic violence is community. Community in the broadest, most inclusive sense. Where 
women and men are equally respected and where all people are considered equally 
necessary to the best and proper functioning of the community. The Domestic Vio- 
lence Community Initiative Act will help build community around this issue as 
every sector of the community becomes a part of the effort to end domestic violence. 


When I blew out birthday candles as a diild, threw pennies in fountains or wished 
on the first star at night, I didn't wish for toys or party clothes or even lots of 
friends. I wished the same old wish over and over: "Please, God, make daddy stop 
hitting mommy." _ , ^, , ,.,,, . , 

Back then, there was only the mystical for me to turn to. Today, that little girl 
could call on at least some people. With community-wide efforts to end domestic vio- 
lence, the future can look quite different for our children. Perhaps a teacher will 
recognize that her silence, shyness and instant obedience are more cause for concern 
and inquiry than cause for praise and relief. Perhaps the doctor will question her 
mothers black eye and swollen face— and tell her about the local shelter for bat- 
tered women and the 24 hour crisis line. Perhaps the priest, hearing her mother's 
confession of causing her husband's violence will say he is accountable for his vio- 
lence, not her. Perhaps the family. Police and mental health professionals will do 
an intervention with him, giving him the opportunity to take responsibility for his 
alcoholism and violence, giving him the opportunity to live and bring happiness into 
the world instead of spreading his rage. .» * u- 

When my father died five years ago, I saw in his eyes shock and fear that his 
life was over— and he had not ever started to live it. He had not repaired the dam- 
age done to him or the damage he did to others. Together, we con stop the heart- 
break of other lives from being wasted this way. , , i-, 

I hope the Subcommittee will support S. 1572, the Domestic Violence Commumty 
Initiative Act. It may be the single most important thing you can do to help commu- 
nities throughout the country end the tragedy of domestic violence. Then, perhaps 
someday, we can become a nation truly known for its loving families. 

Thank you for your attention and consideration. 


Senator Dodd. This committee will continue its work in this 
area, and we will keep you posted. We stand adjourned until fur- 
ther call of the chair. 

[Whereupon, at 12:08 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.] 

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