Domestic Violence Resource Center:March 2017

Domestic Violence Resource Center

ann patricia coleman

the most current information check out my

Women’s Shelters: for Women and their Children

Hope’s Door: Pleasantville, NY


Hotline 888-438-8700


My Sister’s Place

Contact:Beth Levy:Attorney

1 Water Street White Plains, NY


Emergency hotline 800-298-7233

Process Server:My Sisters Place referral:

orders of protection,court orders

State Process Serving Co.


Domestic Violence Victim Advocate

Police Chief :David Ryan Pound Ridge, NY: Police Chief David Ryan:914-764-4206

Retreats for Battered Women

Lundy Bancroft: 413-582-6700

Website and blog:

Domestic Violence Attorneys

Richard Ducote: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 412-322-0750:


Charlie and Diane Hofheimmer: Virginia Beach, Virginia: 757-425-5200

for women only


Alliance for Justice

Washington DC office: 202-822-6070

California office: 510-444-6070

American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence

Angela Shelton

Anne Grant: Providence Journal

Freelance writer exposing the failure to protect mothers and children from violence (Rhode Island)



424 East 92nd St.NY,NY 10128


Avon:See The Signs

Avon Foundation for Women launches employer training program to help bystanders become upstanders when suspecting abuse

Battered Mothers Custody Conference

Battered Mothers’ Justice Project

800-903-0111 ext. 2

Civil justice 207-371-2204

Battered Mothers Speak Out: A Human Rights Report on Domestic Violence and Child Custody

Publication office, Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College


California Now For Battered Women

915 L Street suite C245 Sacramento, CA 95814



California Protective Parents Association

Cherie Blair Foundation Cherie Blair was featured at the UN Conference on Women. email:

Child Justice:Eileen King:

Chime for Change: the empowerment of women and girls internationally

Managing Editor: Marianne Pearl.

Education, health, justice for every girl, every woman, everywhere.

City of New York: Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence New York, NY: Family Justice Center, Manhattan

Family Justice Center Contact: 212-602-2800 – 80 Center Street, Manhattan, NY.

Committee To Protect Journalists

330 7th avenue 11th floor NY, NY 10001


Senior Advisor:Frank

The Silencing Crime: Sexual Violence and Journalists

Special Report;Lauren Wolfe

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence


In state domestic violence hotline: 888-774-2900

Connecticut Family Justice Center: a work in progress.

Contact information:

Contact person: Jackie Smaga,

Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services

24 hour toll free hotline English 888-999-5545, Spanish 888-568-8332

Courageous Kids Network

Courageous Kids Network P.O. Box 1903 Davis, Ca. 95617:



Center For Disease Control

Domestic violence:

Disorder in the Courts

Mothers and their allies take on the family law system

California National Organization for Women 2006 (e book publication)


District Attorney Manhattan: Cyrus Vance

Presenter at the “Trust Women Conference”, London, England, 2013,2014,2015

Expert in human trafficking, sex trafficking,identity theft and organized crime.


General information: 212-335-9000

Domestic Abuse Hotline: 212-335-4308

Identity Theft Hotline:212-335-9600

Domestic Violence Crisis Center, 24 hour hotline


Domestic Violence Government Grants

Domestic Violence Hotline

212-577-7777 New York City, New York

Domestic Violence Victim Advocate

Police Chief David Ryan; direct phone number:914-764-4206

Eileen King: Child Justice



Eve Ensler: Vagina Monologues

Global Journalist Security

Frank Smyth: 202-244-0717

Workshops for :Journalists, Human Rights Defenders, NGO’s,

freelance photographers and writers

Sexual assault scenario training, self protection in mobs, self care

Half The Sky Movement: Nicholas Kristof

Documentary on international sex trafficking.

He for She Campaign

A UN Women’s campaign for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Hope Shining: Colorado

Human Rights Watch

Kenneth Roth

International Human Rights

It’s On Us Campaign

It’s on us to stop sexual assault

President Obama’s message at the 2015 Grammy Awards

Joan Meier: George Washington University: School of Law: Washington DC

DV Leap: domestic violence legal empowerment and appeals project.


Joe Torre: Safe At Home Foundation

Margaret’s Place: 212-880-7360, 877-878-4JOE

Jewish Women’s International

Vision,Voice,Leadership to empower women and girls

Lundy Bancroft

Writer, speaker, film producer and domestic violence advocate for terrorized mothers, and children terrorized by abusive men

Manhattan Family Justice Center

City of New York: Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence

Hannah: Executive Director: 212-602-2828

24 hour domestic violence hotline: 800-621-hope (4673)

Michael Bolton Charities

Jackie Smaga executive director:

Andrena Gagliardi executive assistant:

Michael Bolton Charities mailing address: P.O. Box 936 Branford, Ct. 06405


Michael Lesher: articles on sexual abuse of children in the orthodox Jewish community

Brooklyn, New York

Email: or

National Dating Abuse Hotline


National Domestic Violence Hotline


National Organization For Women

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Pennsylvania Domestic

Violence Resource Center


National Sexual Assault Hotline


NCADV: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

1120 Lincoln Street Suite 1603 Denver, Colorado

Colorado office: 303-839-1852

Policy Office Washington DC: 202-745-1211 ext. 143

NCPTC: National Child Protection Training Center

Director Victor Vieth


Dallas Crimes Against Children Conference

August 11-14, 2014

“Because the bible tells me so”

Protection professionals working with parents using scripture to justify corporal punishment.

New York Coalition Against Domestic Violence

350 New Scotland Avenue Albany, NY 12208




New York University Law School, New York, NY: Domestic Violence Advocacy Project


Contact: Carolin Guentert:

NNEDV: National Network to End Domestic Violence

2001 S. Street, NW Suite 400, Washington DC


Hotline 800-799-7233

Victor Rivers spokesperson

No More Campaign


Posted Super Bowl commercial addressing domestic violence and sexual assault

A web site on Michael Bolton charities’ web site: men to stand up and say no more to violence against women, mothers and their children.

Northwestern University on unethical practices of divorce lawyers

Professor John Elson: Chicago, Illinois

Not Alone Campaign

Vice President Joseph Biden and President Obama – the campaign to stop sexual assault of young women on campus and to end sexual assault of women and girls in the United States.


Office on the Prevention of Domestic Violence: Mayor Bloomberg.

Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence

Pace Women’s Justice Center Office


Help line 914-287-0739

Paula Lucas: Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center



A domestic violence advocacy organization saving the lives of American women being terrorized overseas. Written by a domestic violence survivor, Paula Lucas.

A domestic violence advocacy organization recognized by Eric Holder, Colin Powell and international leaders in the domestic violence advocacy movement in the United States.

Planned Parenthood: Cecile Richards

Web site:

Action fund email:

Media contact:

Rainn: Rape, Abuse, Incest-National Network

2000 L Street NW Washington DC Suite 505


800-656-4673 ext. 3


Room To Read

Featured in Half the Sky DVD, John Wood: working to keep girls in school in underdeveloped countries.

Email: :

Global office San Francisco, CA 415-839-4400

Safe Horizon: New York State Domestic Violence

2 Lafayette Street 3rd.floor New York City, NY 10007

Contact Ariel Zwang, CEO: 212-577-7700

Multilingual support is available 24 hours a day

Safe Horizons Hotline:

Domestic Violence Hotline:800-621-HOPE (4673)

Sexual Assault Hotline:212-227-3000

Crime Victims Hotline:866-689-HELP (4357)

Centralized Helpline:855-234-1042

Sanctuary for Families Center for Battered Women

Legal services: 212-349-6009 (New York City, NY)

Save The Children

501 Kings Highway East

Fairfield, CT 06825



The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County Office


24 hour emergency numbers domestic violence: 203-384-9559

Sexual assault: 203-333-2233

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

800-799-safe (7233)

The Rose Fund

200 Harvard Mill Square Wakefield, Massachusetts


Scholarships for women who have been brutally attacked by violent men, medical care and dental care.

Trust Women Conference

Thomas Reuters Foundation & International Herald Tribune, London England

Nov.30 & Dec.1,2016

International leaders in the domestic violence movement for the protection of girls,women,protective mothers and their children internationally.

To register:, or contact: Donna Oliver:


Unicef: USA

Children First Campaign

125 Maiden Lane New York ,NY

Donations: 212-686-5522

General information: 212-326-7000

International child protection.

University of Colorado Denver

Center on Domestic Violence, School of Public Affairs


Director: Barbara Paradiso: 303-315-2736

UN Women

US Department of Justice: Office for Victims of Crime

Director Joye Frost

Office: 202-307-5983

Fax: 202-514-6383

Resource center email:

US Department of Justice Office on Violence against Women



Office: 202-307-6026:

Fax: 202-305-2589

Director Bea Hanson:Women Are Watching Campaign

Protecting the rights of women and girls.

Planned Parenthood: Cecile Richards

Womens Law

A project of NNEDV providing information and support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault orders of protection forms online.


Lundy Bancroft: Should I Stay Or Should I Go (2011):In this supportive and straight forward guide Lundy Bancroft, the author of Why Does He Do That and communication specialist, JAC Parissi, offer a way for women to practically take stock of their relationships and move forward with or without their partners. Women involved in chronically frustrating or unfulfilling relationships will learn to: tell the difference between a healthy-yet difficult relationship and one that is really not working,recognize that their partner has a serious problem,stop waiting to see what happens and make their own growth the priority,prepare for life without their partner-even as they keep trying to make the relationship work.

Lundy Bancroft: The Batterer As Parent (2002 and 2011)

Moving beyond the narrow clinical perspective sometimes applied to viewing the emotional and developmental risks to battered children. The Batterer As Parent, addressing the impact of domestic violence on family dynamics, the second edition, offers a view that takes into account the complex ways in which a batterer’s abusive and controlling behaviors are woven into the fabric of daily life. This book is a guide for therapists, child protective workers, family and juvenile court personnel and other human service providers in addressing the complex impact that batterers, specifically male batterers of domestic partners, when there are children in the household have on family functioning. In addition to providing an understanding of batterers as parents and family members, the book also supplies clearly delineated approaches to such practical issues as assessing risk to children perpetrating incest, parenting issues in child custody and visitation evaluation and the impact on children’s therapeutic process and family functioning in child protective practice.

Lundy Bancroft: When Dad Hurts Mom (2004)

Nearly three quarters of women who are chronically mistreated by their partners have children. In this sensitive, respectful book, counselor, speaker, teacher and activist Bancroft gives those women ways to help their children heal from the pain of seeing such abuse. Using anecdotes, Q & A’s, bulleted points to remember and a caring but firm tone, Bancroft tells abused mothers exactly the actions they should take to help their children. Don’t blame children or yourself, he says and let children know it’s good to talk about the verbal or physical abuse they have been exposed to. Bancroft coaches moms to tell their children that abuse is wrong, but warns them not to criticize the abusers a person if he is a father figure to the children. Bancroft’s important book addresses peripheral issues too, such as separation and divorce and deals with child protective services and the family court system.

Lundy Bancroft: Why Does He Do That: Inside The Minds Of Angry Controlling Men (2002)

Bancroft, a former co director of Emerge, the first US program for abusive men, and a fifteen year veteran of work with abusive men, reminds readers that each year in this country, two to four million women are assaulted by a husband or boyfriend at some point in her life. His valuable resource covers early warning signs, ten abusive personalities, the abusive mentality, problems getting help from the legal system and the long complex process of change. After dispelling 17 myths about abusive personalities, he sheds light on the origin of the abusers values and beliefs which he finds to be a better explanation of abusive behaviors than a reference to psychological problems. Bancroft extends his approach to problematic gay and lesbian relationships as well, making the book that much more useful and empowering. This is essential reading for those in the helping professions and highly recommended for all libraries, especially those in communities with emergency shelter programs.

Susan Brewster: Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women

Seal Press (2006)

Originally published Helping Her Get Free with the title, To Be An Anchor From The Storm. The survivor of an abusive relationship herself, and a licensed counselor of abused women for more than a decade, Susan Brewster teaches readers how to recognize the signs of abuse, handle negative feelings, become an effective advocate, deal with the abuser and more. With a new introduction and updated resource section, this straight forward and compassionate book offers the information needed to help give strength to women who are trying to break free.

Susan Brownmiller: Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (1993)

The most comprehensive study of rape ever offered to the public. It forces readers to take a fresh look at their own attitudes toward this devastating crime. As powerful and timely as when it was first published, Against Our Will, stands as a unique document of the history of politics, the sociology of rape and the inherent and ingrained inequality of men and women under the law. In lucid, persuasive prose, Brownmiller has created a definitive, devastating work of lasting social importance. Chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the outstanding books of the year.

Ross Chiet:The Witch Hunt Narrative, Politics ,Psychology and the Sexual Abuse of Children: Oxford University Press 2014 USA

Empirically challenges the view that a series of high- profile cases in the 1980’s and early 1990’s were hoaxes. Shows how a narrative based on empirically thin evidence became a theory with real social force and how that theory stood at odds with the reality of child sexual abuse.

Jill Davies, Eleanor Lyons, Diane Monti-Cantania: Safety Planning With Battered Women: Complex Lives Difficult Choices: Sage Series on Violence Against Women (1998)

The model emphasizes understanding a battered women’s perspective, including her risk analysis and safety plan; building partnerships with battered women; and systems advocacy. It seeks to craft courses of action that will enhance women’s safety given their individual realities.

Donna Ferrato:”Living with the Enemy”

Aperture Foundation:1991

Ferrato rode over 6,000 hours with police around the country to get some of the photographs in Living With the Enemy. In the introduction to Living With the Enemy, Ferrato writes, “Much of the book was born out of frustration – first, because I felt powerless in the face of the violence I had seen, and, second, because for a long time no magazine would publish the pictures. It was only when I received the W. Eugene Smith Award in 1986 that magazine editors began to take the project seriously.” Ferrato felt the problem had been concealed from public view for too long and it was important to show as many aspects of the problem as she could. Some of the names in the book were changed, but all of the photographs and stories are real.

Meg Kennedy Dugan & Roger Hock: It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After An Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence (2006)

Those who have never experienced an abusive or violent relationship often believe that when finding a way out, victims’ difficulties are solved, their life is good, they are safe and recovery will be swift. However survivors know that leaving is not the end of the nightmare, it is the beginning of an often difficult and challenging journey through healing and happiness. It’s My Life Now offers readers the practical guidance; emotional reassurance and psychological awareness that survivors of relationship abuse and domestic violence need to heal and reclaim their lives after leaving their abusers. Since its publication in 2000, It’s My Life Now, has been highly successful as a working manual for survivors who are starting their lives over after an abusive relationship. This valuable book combines direction on practical and emotional issues with worksheets and self exploration exercises. Now in the second edition, Dugan and Hock include updated information and resources while encompassing a wider range of individuals and the relationships in which abuse and violence occur. The new edition also provides a new emphasis on safety assessment which has increasingly been shown to be a critical factor in recovery. In addition, this new addition includes current resources and information about organizations for victims along with revised and enhanced strategies to help survivors move forward on the path of recovery.

G. Ennis & J. Black: It’s Not OK Anymore (1997)

Your personal guide to ending abuse, taking charge and loving yourself.

David Finkelhor: License To Rape: Sexual Abuse of Wives (1987)

Two Psychologists examine the psychological and social implications of sexual abuse within the marriage, in a study that explores the motives behind the marital rape, the emotional and legal aspects and patterns of sexual abuse.

Ann Jones: Next Time She’ll Be Dead: Battering And How To Stop It (2000)

In Next Time She’ll Be Dead, Ann Jones argues that all women have the right to live free from bodily harm. Yet violence against women continues. Next Time She’ll Be Dead examines four habits of the American mind that cloud our thinking about women battering and contribute to the persistence of what we euphemistically call domestic violence.

Ann Jones: When Love Goes Wrong: What To Do When You Can’t Do Anything Right (1993)

This book was written at the request of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to benefit millions of women who find themselves in relationships with controlling or abusive partners and don’t know what to do or even what’s wrong. A woman may feel confused, anxious, inadequate, intimidated or as if she is walking on egg shells. She may find herself trying harder to make things right without ever being successful.

Nicholas Kristof: Half The Sky (2009)

The courageous book by Nicholas Kristof about sex trafficking of girls and women internationally.

Paula Lucas: Harvesting Stones A true story of an American mothers attempt to get to safety with her sons, living through “terror at home” with little help while abroad. Her courageous story and her eventual success to return to the United States, away from the madman she married. She has since organized an organization for battered mothers and children living abroad to return to safety in the United States. email:

Del Martin: Battered Wives (1981) Battered Wives is the first (and still the best) general introduction to the problem of abuse. Battered Wives includes excellent critical summaries of the legal and political status of battered wives and the extent to which their immediate predicament must be understood in broad political terms. Del Martin argues that the basis of the problem is not in husband/wife interaction or immediate triggering events, but in the institution of marriage, historical attitudes toward women, the economy and inadequacies in legal and social service systems. Martin wants police and prosecutor functions constrained. She proposes specific legislation prohibiting wife abuse and suggests that judges protect the wife by closing the door to probation and de-emphasizing reconciliation. Other considerations concern gun control, equal rights and marriage contract legislation. Battered Wives is the seminal benchmark title on the subject of domestic violence.

Amy Neustein: From Madness to Mutiny: Why Mothers Are Running From the Family Courts And What Can Be Done About It (2006)

In this astonishing book sociologist Amy Neustein and attorney Michael Lesher examine the serious dysfunction of the nation’s family courts – a dysfunction that too often results in the courts’ failure to protect the people they were designed to help. Specifically, the authors chronicle cases in which mothers who believe their children have been sexually abused by their fathers are disbelieved, ridiculed or punished for trying to protect them. All too often the mother in such a case, is deemed the unstable parent and her children are removed from her care to be placed in foster care or even with the father credibly accused of abusing them. From Madness to Mutiny offers an overview of family court malfunction mutiny that results from it. The authors outline the legal landscape that makes the madness possible and shows how the system has failed to react to severe criticism from media and legislators. And they discuss ways to reform the family courts with the goal of transforming them from instruments of punishment to true institutions of justice.

Anna Quindlen: Black and Blue (1998)

For eighteen years Fran Benedetto kept her secret, hid her bruises. She stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father, and because in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten year old son’s face, Fran finally made a choice and ran for both of their lives. Now she is starting over in a city far from home, far from Bobby. In this place she uses a name that isn’t hers, watches over her son, and tries to forget. For the woman who now calls herself Beth, every day is a chance to heal, to put together her shattered self. And every day she waits for Bobby to catch up to her. Bobby always said he would never let her go and despite the ingenuity of her escape, Fran Benedetto is certain of one thing, it is only a matter of time.

Victor Rivers: A Private Family Matter (2006)

“This is a story about how I was saved by love at a time when most people considered me beyond rescue.” So begins Victor Rivas Rivers in this powerful chronicle of his escape from the war zone of domestic violence – too often regarded as a “private family matter” and his journey toward independence, recovery and renewal. In A Private Family Matter, Victor recalls his days as an angry youth living under the rule and wrath of his father. A Cuban immigrant, Victor’s dad was nicknamed El Ciclon for his tempestuous temperament, which led him not only to beat his wife but to abuse and eventually kidnap his own children. How Victor managed to seek help for his family and criminal punishment for his father, overcome demons and learn to love himself and share his experience with other victims and survivors of domestic abuse is the heart of this profound and affecting memoir.

Angela Shelton: Finding Angela Shelton (2008)

The true story of a girl sexually molested by her own father and her courageous journey to healing and exposing the crimes of her father. The father that stole her childhood.

Gloria Steinem: My Life On the Road:2015: A woman of courage,Gloria Steinem and action. An essential book on the political culture in this country,womens politics and the theme of men continuing to attempt to silence the voice of the women feminists. A reminder to all of who we are and what we can accomplish when we are united,women united

Lenore Walker: The Battered Woman (1980)

Battering is one of the underreported, over mythologized crimes. It is terrifying in its privacy, its intimate violence, its displaced rage and distorted eroticism. Professor Walker’s study suggests that not only is it not a crime of the drunken, ethnic, working classes, but also that battered women are far more common in the middle class and higher income homes where the power of their wealth is in the hands of their husbands. In addition to carefully written and inevitably disturbing case studies, Professor Walker’s book includes sections on preventative education, practical remedies, including safe-houses and a careful discussion of psychotherapy. It is a sensible, compassionate feminist book

Susan Weitzman: Not To People like Us: Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages (2001)

Chicago’s affluent North Shore provides 20 year veteran psychologist Weitzman with abundant evidence of the secret lives of upscale domestic abusers and their victim wives. Shattering the cultural myth that emotional and physical violence in the home is confined to couples of a lower socioeconomic class, the author presents vivid case histories that are often excluded from clinical studies and statistics. Lacking a frame of reference for domestic violence with this echelon, healthcare professionals ignore the signs, while law enforcement agents and judges go easy on it, she contends. Few believe or sympathize with a well dressed ,bejeweled woman if she finds the courage and self respect to speak out against her successful, respected, powerful and often charming husband, while battered women’s shelters turn her away, assuming that she has many other resources. But according to Weitzman she doesn’t. While often well educated and successful the “upscale abused woman” is typically ignorant of her legal rights, convinced by her abuser that she is responsible for his behavior and isolated by her denial and shame from validating voices and potential assistance. Weitzman’s upscale abuser exhibits narcissistic personality disorder, feels eminently entitled and is incapable of seeing his wife as a person in her own right. Weitzman provides excellent practical advice for these women to make choices that extricate them from abuse and proposes a new language and better education regarding” upscale violence” for the professionals who are likely to see it with her work.

Karen Winner: Divorced From Justice: The Abuse of Women and Children by Divorce Lawyers and Judges (1996)

Contact with the divorce court system may be extremely dangerous. You may lose your children, your home, your life savings and your health. Before you enter a divorce lawyer’s office or courtroom, read this book to protect yourself and your children. It provides a vital road map through the treacherous landscape of divorce. A full fledged assault against women and children is under way in the divorce courts across the country. Women are losing their economic security, their homes, their child support and even their children because of corrupt court proceedings. In Divorced From Justice, Karen Winner explodes the myth that divorce laws were created to protect women and children financially and reveals how all women, from poor and working class women to professional women of affluent means, are all too often at the mercy of divorce lawyers who deal in dirty tricks, and judges who flagrantly violate the laws they are supposed to uphold.


A Cry For Help: The Tracey Thurman Story: Written by Beth Sullivan

A true story of a woman, Tracey Thurman, who was brutally beaten by her husband many times. She contacted the police department numerous times in Torrington, Ct., her police department that failed to protect her even with an order of protection in place against him. After he had threatened to kill her and kidnapped her son, she contacted the Torrington, Ct. police department and they continued to ignore her ex-husband’s threats. After she was attacked by her ex-husband with the police department present and witnesses, her lawyer, Burton Weinstein, filed a lawsuit against the town of Torrington, Ct. and the Torrington, Ct,. Police Department. She won the law suit with a 2.5 million dollar settlement and her ex-husband went to jail.

Black and Blue: Anna Quindlen

The story of a woman married to a police officer that brutally beats her. Escaping with her child, she attempts to start a new life against all odds of him discovering their hard won freedom.

Born Into Brothels

DVD documentary about sex slaves, women and girls.

Brave Miss World

Documentary by Cecelia Peck:

The film explores the trauma of sexual assault through one woman’s journey from teenage rape victim, to Miss World, to empowered lawyer and activist.

Documentary Filmmaker Cecelia Peck featured on “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell

Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories

Featuring Joan Meier, George Washington University. Stories of children and their protective mothers up against family court corruption, in state failure to protect them from violent husbands and fathers, physical abuse, psychological “terror at home” and sexual abuse.

Breaking the Silence: Journeys of Hope: Victor Rivers

Breaking the Silence Journeys of Hope is a penetrating examination of the pervasiveness of domestic violence in our society, the efforts that are being made to combat it, and the lives of women who became survivors instead of victims.

Half The Sky: Nicholas Kristof

The courageous documentary about sex trafficking internationally of girls and women.

NCPTC Saving Children, The Sexual Abuse Tragedy

Victor Vieth: Director of NCPTC, documents the true stories of children and protective mothers’ attempts to get to safety, to get away from violent men molesting their own children. With evidence of sexual molestation of children, he exposes the continued state failure to put an end to sex abuse of children in the United States.

No Way Out But One Garland Waller documents, with her husband news reporter Barry Nolan, the true story of Holly Collins and her eventual realization that she must leave her own country, the United States, to escape a violent husband and violent father to her children. She moves undercover to the Netherlands, given the refusal of the United States to put an end to the “terror at home,” which she and her children lived with in her husband’s home. She was put on the FBI watch list after her escape. This heartfelt documentary by Garland Waller exposes the complete refusal of the family courts and law enforcement to protect this mother and her children. The complete refusal to make violence against protective mothers and children a crime.

Private Violence

A documentary film by Cynthia Hill, that was introduced at Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival last year and is now on HBO, currently on HBO on Demand and HBO Go, and showcased all over the country. An important and courageous film on violence against women, protective mothers and their children that is a true portrayal of state failure and community failure to protect brutally battered and terrorized women, protective mothers and their children. An Emmy nomination,2015, Outstanding Informational Programming: HBO Documentary Films:for this important and courageous film about male violence against women, protective mothers and their children in the United States.



contact Kit and Cynthia

social media: linkedin and facebook

Searching for Angela Shelton: Angela Shelton

The story of a young girl sexually molested by her own father. Her story of finding peace and saying no more to the father that stole her childhood from her by molesting her.

Sleeping With The Enemy

The story of a woman’s escape from a dangerous and violent husband to begin a new life with a new identity. A violent man that tracks her down with her new found freedom and attempts to murder her.

Small Justice Garland Waller exposes the injustice in the family courts in the United States, the judicial and political corruption. She documents her interviews with the PAS “hired gun” Richard Gardner of the fathers’ rights movement, Richard Gardner the man that committed suicide, he and his bogus theory used in the family courts that allows children to be brutalized by their violent fathers, and children who are sexually molested by their violent fathers. This sick man, Richard Gardner, uses the excuse that

the mother has “alienated” the children from the father as the reason the mother is desperate to leave a violent marriage and attempts to get her children to safety. PAS, parental alienation syndrome, is used quite often in the family courts against protective mothers.

The Color Purple: Alice Walker

The story of a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to “Mister”, a brutal man who terrorizes her.

The Hunting Ground: Opening Feb. 27,2015 New York City and LA, now nationally


From the Academy Award-nominated filmmakers behind The Invisible War comes a startling expose of rape crimes on US campuses,institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families. The Hunting Ground is a must see account of the harsh retaliation,harassment and pushback survivors face as they pursue their education while fighting for justice.Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2015,Official Selection Sundance Film Festival

Terror At Home:Domestic Violence in America

The documentary featuring Michael Bolton on violence against women in America.

Wounded to Death

Featured on

“Wounded To Death”,is a book reading event based on the work of Italian authors Serena Dandini and Maura Misita presented at the” Trust Women Conference” about violence against women internationally.

Journalists: Articles On Domestic Violence

Kate Bailey

“A Domestic Violence Law That Shines a Light on Coercive Control”

The Guardian:December 7,2015

Walt Bogdanich

“Reporting Rape and Regretting It: Inside a University Inquiry”

International New York Times

July 12, 2014

Michael Brick

“Humbled By Scandal Judge Begins Prison Sentence”

New York Times 2007

Stephen Castle

“Kerry Joins Envoys to Deplore Sexual Violence in War”

International New York Times

June 13, 2014

Eric Eckholm

National legal correspondent

“No longer ignored, evidence solves rape cases years later”

International New York Times

August 2,2014

Liz Ford

Deputy Editor for Global Development

The Guardian


“Women’s Rights the Focus as World Leaders Gather for NY Talks”

March 10, 2014

“Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict”, What’s Your Message to the World Leaders

May 29, 2014

Anne Grant

“Profiteering at the R.I. Family Court”

Providence Journal 2007

Blog: “Rhode Island’s little hostages”

Melissa Jeltsen:Senior Reporter Huffington Post:3/30/2016

3 Women Are Killed Every Day By Their Partners.

Here Are 59 Ideas on How To Stop The Violence

Michael Kimmelman

International Herald Tribune: October 3, 2013

“Next Time Maybe Libraries Can Be Shelters From The Storm”

Kristen Lombardi

“Custodians of Abuse”

Boston Phoenix

Steve McCurry

Photojournalist featured in “Lens” International New York Times

“Behind Closed Doors”

The powerful photography exhibit by international photographer, Steve McCurry of the “Behind Closed Door” exhibit, exposing violence against domestic workers, violence against women, protective mothers and children internationally.



CNN:Ben Wright:Threatened,assaulted,trapped,treatment of domestic workers.

Jeff Morris

“Domestic Violence Victims Get Help”

Lewisboro Ledger

March 12,2015

Laurie Penny

“Britain’s crime of complicity with Savile’s sex abuse scandal”

New York Times

July 30, 2014

Abby Phillip

“Salvation Army puts #the dress in a new light with powerful domestic violence ad”

“Why is it so Hard to see Black and Blue”:Stop Abuse Against Women Campaign South Africa

The Washington Post

March 6,2015

Adrianne Sanders

“Well to Do Domestic Violence Victims Hide in the Shadows at Their Own Peril”

lohud:The Journal News

January 22,2016

Sarah Shoener

”Two Parent Households Can be Lethal: Domestic Violence and the Two Parent Household”

New York Times Sunday Review

June 21, 2014

Michael Souza

“A Victim’s Story: Pain and Triumph Over Domestic Violence”

Narragansett Times 2007: Rhode Island

Till Death Do Us Part”

2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners in Journalism,Letters,Drama and Music

By The New York Times April 20,2015

Public Service Award:Staff Post and Courier in Charleston South Carolina

Series on domestic violence in America and the state failure to protect women, protective mothers and their children from male violence


Ann Patricia Coleman

Donna Ferrato

Steve McCurry

Pastors, Imams and Rabbis Urge Congress to Close Gun Loopholes for Domestic Abusers:Melissa Jeltsen:Huffington Post

Pastors, Imams And Rabbis Urge Congress To Close Gun Loopholes For Domestic Abusers

“As people of faith, we affirm the right of every person to live free from violence, and we ask that you act now to protect that sacred right.”

Faith leaders are calling on Congress to stand up for domestic violence victims by passing increased protections. 

Nearly 500 Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders have signed a letter askingCongress to close loopholes in federal law that allow domestic abusers to own and buy firearms.

“Domestic violence, dating abuse, and stalking are extreme violations of the dignity and humanity of a person, and these crimes have no place in our faith traditions,” the letter reads. “As people of faith, we affirm the right of every person to live free from violence, and we ask that you act now to protect that sacred right.”

The letter urges members of Congress to support the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act (HR 3130) and the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act (S 1520), which would expand federal prohibitions on firearms to include stalkers and individuals who abuse dating partners.

Under current federal law, individuals convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor are prohibited from owning or buying guns — so long as the target of their abuse was a spouse, ex-spouse, someone they had a child with or someone they lived with. As it stands, the federal definition of domestic abuser excludes dating partners, even though they commit around half of all intimate partner homicides. And convicted stalkers don’t fall under the federal gun ban, even though stalking is a known indicator of future violence in abusive relationships.

On Wednesday, faith leaders plan to bombard members of Congress with tweets, emails and calls asking them to support legislation to close those loopholes during a day of actionorganized by Jewish Women International’s Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

“The law’s narrow definition of intimate partner relationships leaves a dangerous loophole,” said Lori Weinstein, CEO of Jewish Women International, in a statement. “Faith leaders, Republicans, Democrats, and gun owners support this legislation. It’s not controversial; it’s common sense, and we need it now. Women’s lives are depending on it.”

There’s plenty of research illustrating the dangerous intersection of domestic violence and guns.

Over half of all women killed by intimate partners between 2001 to 2012 were killed using a gun, according to the Center for American Progress. Experts believe that if an abuser has access to a gun, victims are five times more likely to be killed.

A domestic violence attack by a perpetrator with a gun is 12 times more likely to end in death than an assault using another weapon. Simply living in a state with a high rate of gun ownership increases a woman’s chance of being fatally shot in a domestic violence situation, according to a recent study by researchers at Boston University.

“It’s important for people to remember that while gun violence that is attributable to ideology, terrorism, et cetera is a critical and real issue, the issue of gun violence related to domestic violence is an everyday occurrence,” said the Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, senior vice president of Union Theological Seminary in New York and former adviser to President Barack Obama.

“Very often the families and individuals who are victims of this type of violence are part of our communities, and it stands to reason that the faith community would speak out about this issue,” he said.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor of the Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, California, pointed to the Jewish concept of pikuach nefesh — which means “saving a life” — when asked why he was lobbying Congress on gun violence.

“People of conscience and faith have been let down over and over by our elected officials,” he said. “The Jewish community is paying very close attention and is taking full responsibility to end violence against girls and women, both in Jewish homes and institutions, and in society.”

A signed copy of the letter will be delivered to members of Congress next month.


Melissa Jeltsen covers domestic violence and other issues related to women’s health, safety and security. Tips? Feedback? Send an email or follow her on Twitter.


NNEDV:10 Tips to Have an Informed Conversation about Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) © 2016 1

10 Tips to Have an Informed Conversation about Domestic Violence

1. NEVER victim blame.

Abuse is never the victim’s fault. As a society, we continue to place blame on victims by asking, “What did she do to deserve that?” or “What was she wearing?” or “Why was she there?” or “Why couldn’t she just keep her knees together?” Yet we do not ask these questions to victims of other crimes. We must stop asking these questions of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

ASK: How can we shift the culture away from blaming the victim, and instead blame the perpetrator? Why does the abuser choose the abuse?

RESPOND: Believe, support, and trust survivors. Instead of second guessing their experiences, let’s rightfully place the responsibility on abusers and perpetrators to end the abuse. Domestic violence is rooted in power and control.1

1 NNEDV, “Power and Control Wheel.”

2. Hold offenders accountable.

Holding offenders accountable can take many forms. If it is safe to do so, call offenders out on their abusive actions and impose social consequences, like telling them they’re not welcome for family dinner or to hang out until the abusive behavior stops. Stop excusing behavior with “boys will be boys” or “[the perpetrator] would never do something like that.” Community accountability can make a significant impact.

ASK: How can we hold offenders accountable and support survivors?

RESPOND: Tell the perpetrator that their behavior is abuse. Healthy relationships are rooted in equality, respect, and nonviolence.

10 Tips to Have an Informed Conversation about Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) © 2016 2

3. Challenge widely-held perceptions about domestic violence.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about domestic violence persist – such as the notions that survivors can “just leave;” that heterosexual, cisgender women are the only victims; that domestic violence only includes physical violence; or that domestic violence is a “private, family matter.” Each one of these myths persists, despite our work to challenge these perceptions. Through NNEDV’s #31n31 campaign in October 2016, we busted several of these myths – check out the full campaign on Pinterest.2

2 NNEDV Pinterest Board, “#31n31 October 2016.”

3 NNEDV, “Forms of Abuse.”

4 The belief that all people fall into two distinct categories, male and female, and their gender identities match their biological sex. This perpetuates the erroneous belief that gender and sex are interchangeable, when in fact gender is social construct. This belief presumes that heterosexuality is not only the norm, but often the only legitimate option.

5 NNEDV, “New Research Uncovers Racial Bias in Media Coverage of Celebrity Domestic Violence.”

ASK: Why can’t survivors “just leave?” Other than physical violence, what other forms of abuse can domestic violence take?

RESPOND: Survivors must think about their own physical safety, financial security, the safety and welfare of their children and pets, potential housing and where they can “just leave” to, among myriad other issues. Domestic violence can include physical, financial, emotional, psychological, or sexual abuse.3

4. Voice that domestic violence is an intersectional issue.

Domestic violence does not happen in a vacuum. Survivors experiencing domestic violence often experience other “–isms” (e.g., sexism, racism, classism, heteronormativism,4 etc.), compounding negative impacts on victims. Collectively, these –isms play a devastating role in perpetuating gender-based violence. In 2016, a study was released that found that there is racial bias in media coverage of celebrity domestic violence.5

ASK: How do you think different oppressions and privileges affect survivors’ experiences?

RESPOND: When coupled with other –isms, victims face additional barriers to safety.

10 Tips to Have an Informed Conversation about Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) © 2016 3

5. Understand that abuse is rooted in power and control.

Abuse is intentional. It is a myth that someone who abuses their partner is “out of control;” in fact, they are in good control (how often do they “lose control” at work? With a friend? With other family members?) and purposely choose tactics to control their partner. Power is hard to give up or share, and abusive actions are purposeful with the goal of gaining power and control6 over a partner.

6 NNEDV, “Power and Control Wheel.”

ASK: What do you think are common ways that offenders use power and control over victims?

RESPOND: Strategically isolating victims is a common tactic to gain power and control over a victim. Perpetrators may trap their partners by withholding, lying about, or hiding financial assets, a form of financial abuse.

6. Trust the survivor’s perspective.

Survivors know their experience and story better than anyone. Taking a survivor-centered approach empowers survivors by prioritizing their needs and wants. Often, abusers deny their partners’ self-determination; empowering survivors returns their control and enables them to make their own decisions.

ASK: In what ways can we support survivors in making their own decisions about how to address abuse?

RESPOND: Listen! Ask survivors what they need to individually be safe – there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing domestic violence.

7. Question the way the media portrays domestic violence.

Within the last few years there have been a number of highly publicized cases of domestic violence. While raising awareness is important, it’s crucial to look at domestic violence reporting through a critical and trauma-informed lens to make sure the portrayal of domestic violence is accurately rooted in the realities of survivors’ experiences. 10 Tips to Have an Informed Conversation about Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) © 2016 4

ASK: What have you thought about recent media coverage of celebrity domestic violence cases?

RESPOND: Survivors in highly publicized cases deserve the same respect as any person experiencing abuse. First and foremost, we must believe survivors, continue to hold celebrity offenders accountable, and keep in mind that everyone’s story is their own and unique.

8. Communicate that domestic violence is not a “private, family matter.”

One in three women will be a victim of domestic or sexual violence at some point in her lifetime, and each day an average of three women die at the hands of someone who claimed to love them.7 Domestic violence affects us all; victims are our family members, neighbors, coworkers, and friends. All of us – women, children, and men – must be part of the solution.

7 NNEDV, “Domestic & Sexual Violence Fact Sheet.”

ASK: Do you know anyone who has been affected by domestic violence? How did you support them?

RESPOND: Domestic violence affects each and every one of us. Violence is not the answer, and it’s on us to take a stand against domestic violence.

9. Root your conversation in equality.

One of the root causes of domestic violence is inequality. Addressing this root cause takes conscious action and significant social change.

ASK: What role does gender inequality play in domestic violence?

RESPOND: Many dynamics of power and control are rooted in gender roles and stereotypes. One way to combat these ingrained inequalities is through conscious action (e.g., by calling out sexism, racism, or any other –ism when you see it) and youth education.

10 Tips to Have an Informed Conversation about Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) © 2016 5

10. Remember domestic violence affects all of us, but with action and education we can end it.

Domestic violence is everywhere, affecting millions of individuals across the United States regardless of age, economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or education. Domestic violence is not strictly physical abuse, but can include emotional, financial, verbal, psychological, sexual, and technology-facilitated abuse as well.

ASK: What can you do to end domestic violence?

RESPOND: There are many ways to help end domestic violence (here are 31 ideas)!8 The easiest way is to start a conversation about domestic violence with your loved ones. Support your community by volunteering or donating to a domestic violence organization. Learn more about getting involved at

8 NNEDV Pinterest Board, “#31n31 October 2013.”


Listen, and communicate that the abuse they’re experiencing is not their fault. Let them know that they deserve safety and respect.

Refer them to resources:

If they are in immediate danger, please call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 and TTY (800) 787-3224.

Learn more about domestic violence from

Find your state or territory coalition at

Learn more about technology-facilitated abuse, harassment, and harm from

Learn more about laws and legal remedies from

Some Consequences of Covering the Courts:Disorder in the Courts:Mothers and their Allies Take on the Family Law System:California NOW

 By Kristen Lombardi

 There’s an old adage among investigative reporters slapped with a libel lawsuit: Wear it proud, like a badge of honor. After all, the argument goes, when you do your job right, you expose what people have fought to keep silent. The threat of legal action, in short, comes with the territory. I’d heard that adage over and over again in December 2004, when a 12-person jury ruled that an article I’d written on the family-court system had libeled a father whose ex-wife had accused him of molesting his children. The jury not only ruled in favor of the father, but also awarded him $950,000 to boot. Until now, I haven’t worn this verdict as a badge of honor. On the contrary, it’s been a crushing blow for me. True, I stand by my work chronicling a custody battle involving child sexual-abuse allegations. (At its core, the case has hinged on a subhead that one of my former editors penned.) Yet I’ve known the general public wouldn’t see libel as honorable. And I’ve feared I let down my article’s sources – all the experts who laid out how the nation’s family courts fail to protect children from abuse, all the mothers whose custody battles illustrated the systemic problems there. So when California NOW asked me to participate in this book project last fall, I balked. The first thing that flashed through my mind was, “Oh, no. Not that topic.” Not the topic that has hounded me ever since I began digging into it three years ago. I cringed at the thought of putting into words my experience covering the courts, and my subsequent transformation from proud reporter to beaten defendant. But then, I had a revelation. By writing about how the family courts treat child-abuse allegations, I’d done nothing more than any good reporter would do: I’d acted as a check on a governmental institution set up to protect children. My story shows just the kind of barriers any reporter can bump up against when tackling the controversial issue. In January 2003, I wrote a 9,000-word article, based on a three-month investigation, examining how the nation’s family courts handle custody cases involving allegations of child sex abuse. The story hit the streets on January 10, under the headline, “Children At Risk,” and fronted the Boston Phoenix, where I’d been a staff writer for four years. (I am now a staff writer at the Village Voice, in New York City.) The article documented a national trend in the family courts – how parents, primarily mothers, lose custody of their children to alleged abusers. On its face, the trend seems counter-intuitive. How could a court system set up to protect the best interests of children hand them over to potential abusers, even in the face of compelling evidence? I’d first heard this claim from child- welfare advocates while covering the priest sexabuse scandal in Boston in 2002. I didn’t believe it then. And I’d had a hard time believing that such injustices could be occurring to another set of victims. But my sources kept pressing me to examine the issue. “It’s a scandal bigger than the Catholic Church,” one source said, pleading with me. I started digging. And the more I dug, the more convinced I became that the family courts were failing kids. I discovered three studies concluding as much – the first on the California courts, the second on the Massachusetts courts, and the third on 1,000 custody cases nationwide. I interviewed up to 25 experts, from familylaw attorneys to child-abuse specialists. They all seemed to have the same complaints about family court, regardless of which state’s court system they were familiar with. First, the courts relied on social workers or therapists not skilled at recognizing sexual abuse. Second, normal courtroom checks and balances didn’t exist. Third, gender bias against women still prevailed in court. That two dozen sources could offer up the same criticisms struck me as significant. It told me I was on to something. It told me to keep digging. My interviews with mothers caught up in what proved to be nightmares in family courts inspired me to press on. I spoke with women who lost custody to men who were targets of child-abuse investigations. In some cases, the allegations seemed to be substantiated by physical evidence. Yet this mattered little to family courts. When mothers kept complaining about abuse, they endured fierce punishment. They lost visitation, or the right to talk to their kids on the phone. Some were thrown in jail for contempt. The penalties seemed so out of whack when compared to the women’s actions – all they were doing was trying to save their children. The mothers did not come across as conniving, vindictive conjurers of false claims, as their ex-husbands invariably argued in court. Their pain and despair – their hysteria at times – colored their voices and manifested in their faces. I was convinced they were being honest, up front. At the very least, I surmised in interviews, they believed their exes were abusing their kids – and they often had records to back up those beliefs. I read medical exams and therapy reports, childabuse investigations and court decisions. I saw evidence of abuse on paper that left me unnerved. The paper trail helped me push for my investigation. Unlike many reporters who cover child sexual abuse, my editor had been just as committed as I was at exposing the problems in family court. In October 2002, she’d attended an awards ceremony in my place, and met some of the folks who’d tipped me off to the issue. When she returned, she told me, “I think there’s something here. Look into it.” I bumped into plenty of barriers along the way. The biggest challenge, by far, had to do with obtaining documents. I managed to find enough of a paper trail to document certain sex-abuse claims, but I couldn’t get my hands on the vast majority of the paper work. Medical exams, therapy reports, and child-welfare investigations were often sealed, legally, a sign of the sensitivity of child molestation. I’d go to a courthouse to request a custody case file, only to find half of it redacted. I’d go to a courthouse to witness a custody hearing, only to find it closed to the public. Those who knew the investigations – child-protection workers or guardians ad litem – were legally barred from discussing their findings. I necessarily turned to those sympathetic to the mothers’ plight to try to obtain confidential documentation. I interviewed as many sources as I could about the content. In an attempt to see the sealed records for myself, I often had to promise I wouldn’t quote from them or, on occasion, even let on I had them in my possession. Sometimes, it worked, and sources gave me materials off the record. Most of the time, it didn’t. Then came the threat of legal action, a major impediment to any journalistic project. This hung over me from the moment I’d begun reporting on the family courts. Child-abuse experts told me, half-jokingly, that I’d probably face a libel lawsuit if I tried to expose how women were losing custody to alleged abusers. Other journalists who’d taken on this topic had already been sued. Not only that, but experts said some fathers’ rights organizations were actually encouraging allegedly abusive fathers to use the legal system to shut down publicity about their custody cases. As I reached out to accused fathers, I found out for myself how real the threat could be. I remember the panic that swept over me when a lawyer for one father said, in response to my request for an interview, “You’re traveling down a very dangerous path here.” To me, the implication was clear: Publish this article, and we’ll sue. That father never did file a libel lawsuit because of my story. But the threat turned into reality anyway. As part of my article, I’d described a custody battle involving a prosecutor in another state. In May 2003, four months after my article had appeared in print, he sued me, my editors, and the Phoenix, alleging he was libeled by four phrases – four sentence fragments – in the ninepage piece. When I read his complaint, it seemed surreal. I believed I’d accurately reported the details of his custody fight. How government authorities had received allegations that he’d molested his children. How social workers had conducted an investigation into allegations that his oldest daughter was abused, and that she had pegged him as her abuser. How the family court had awarded him full custody of his other children. How did he have a leg to stand on, I wondered, when what I reported was substantially true? You might think the First Amendment protects a reporter from liability for reporting on how a government agency responded to sex-abuse allegations. You might think the First Amendment protects a reporter for covering an assistant state’s attorney whose wife had accused him of a crime. Certainly, I did. But, it turns out, I was wrong. Indeed, the trial turned out to be a Kafkaesque nightmare, much like the experiences of the mothers in my piece. Nothing went our way. The federal district court ruled, remarkably, that this prosecutor was not a public official for the purposes of libel law, thereby keeping the suit alive. The court refused to reconsider its ruling even after hearing the father’s lawyer argue what seemed to me to be a contradictory theory at trial: that the State fired him because, as an assistant state’s attorney, his background was subject to heightened public scrutiny. Over four days, 12 jurors listened as witnesses detailed the investigation I’d described in my article – the medical exams, state reports, physical injuries, and more. In fact, my attorney argued that the records available to me when I wrote the piece were just the tip of the iceberg. He subpoenaed the confidential investigation file and read sections of the report to the jury – including the daughter’s graphic allegations. In the end, the jury sided with the father, going so far as to award him nearly a million dollars. Today, we continue to fight the judgment on appeal, which is pending in Massachusetts. But things got worse in January, when a second father filed a libel lawsuit five days before the statuteof-limitations would have expired. His custody case, famous among family-court reformers nationwide, was summarized in a paragraph in my article. His name was mentioned once. For that, he’s demanding $10 million. Looking back, I see the toll these libel suits have taken on me professionally. They have effectively shut me up, kept me from covering the family courts. People contact me all the time based on my prior work, pitching me one horror story after another born out of the system. I tell them the same thing – my beat won’t allow me to cover the courts. Truthfully, though, I haven’t had much desire to tackle this topic again for fear of another turn on the witness stand. If I’ve taken away anything from my legal ordeal, it’s that we, as a society, still have a hard time with incest. We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to think about it. We especially don’t want to recognize that powerful and successful men might engage in such activity. I’ve concluded from my libel suit that all it takes for people to push the idea out of their minds is little more than protestations of innocence. How else can I explain why the jurors would weigh the accounts of abuse – in the children’s own words – yet return a verdict for the father? What else could it be but societal denial? The way to chip away at this denial is for reporters to do what I did, of course: Cover a matter of indisputable public concern. The public needs to know how the family courts respond to allegations of child sex abuse, and push for reform. And for that to happen, reporters need to wear the prospect of a lawsuit as a badge of courage. Whether they will or not, is another story. Kristen Lombardi is a staff writer for the Village Voice. Her work in exposing the clergy sexabuse scandal has been recognized by the Colombia Journalism Review and the Poynter Institute. In 2003, the California Protective Parents Association bestowed her with its “Friend of the Child Award” for “outstanding journalism and coverage of child sex abuse crimes and their cover up,” in part for her 9,000-word article about the failure of family courts to protect children from abuse.

Disorder in the Courts:Mothers and Their Allies Take on the Family Law System:California NOW

Disorder in the Courts: Mothers and Their Allies Take on the Family Law System is an electronic (download) publication featuring a collection of essays by experts addressing the critical issues mothers face in contentious custody and divorce cases.  The contributors offer advice, encouragement and personal experiences to other mothers and their allies facing cases of their own, or working to address the crisis for mothers and their children in the family law courts.  With an introduction and afterword by the editors, the collection includes essays by: Phyllis Chesler, Karen Anderson; Dr. Lundy Bancroft; Sharon Bass; Dr. Robert Geffner; Judge (ret.) Sol Gothard; Dr. Mo Therese Hannah; Karen Hartley-Nagle; Paige Hodson; Kristen, Diane and Charles Hofheimer, Dominique Lasseur, Kristen Lombardi, Dr. Geraldine Butts Stahly, Garland Waller, and Trish Wilson.

Lynsey Addario:It’s What I Do

‘It’s What I Do,’ by Lynsey Addario


The modern battlefield can induce a peculiar strain of skewed logic among those sent to chronicle it. Upon a landscape where it is often mortally dangerous simply to stand in one place, how much worse can it be to venture a little farther, to get a bit closer? And having assumed the added risk of getting closer, how then to leave before you’ve taken the perfect image, conducted one last interview? What makes such calculations especially tricky is that most modern battlefields have no recognizable boundaries or rules of conduct; they bear less resemblance to any traditional war movie than, say, to “Mad Max.”

In the opening of her affecting memoir, “It’s What I Do,” the photojournalist Lynsey Addario provides a harrowing account of just where such moth-to-the-flame thinking can lead. In March 2011, Addario was in Libya covering the civil war when she, along with a local driver and three other journalists on assignment with The New York Times, ventured into the exposed front-line town of Ajdabiya. (Although we have both covered conflicts for The Times, I have never worked with Addario, and we are only passing acquaintances.) Addario had feelings of foreboding from the outset, fears that amplified amid reports that loyalists to Muammar el-Qaddafi were encircling the town. Working against this, though, was the call of her profession.

“We are greedy by nature,” she notes of war photographers and reporters. “We always want more than what we have. The consensus in the car at that point was to keep working.”

As the only woman in that car, Addario felt further pressure to keep her concerns to herself. “I didn’t want to be the cowardly photographer or the terrified girl who prevented the men from doing their work.”

When at last the group decided it was time to get out, it was too late: Captured by Qaddafi’s soldiers, the four journalists were bound and blindfolded and taken away; their driver was dead, summarily executed or killed in the crossfire. What ensued over the next several days was a horrifying ordeal, as the journalists were paraded through loyalist towns, to be punched and hit with rifle butts — and in Addario’s case, sexually groped — by both soldiers and the crowd. In the most unforgettably ghastly moment, Addario remembers how one of the captors caressed her face and hair “like a lover,” while softly “repeating the same phrase over and over.” She assumed the man was trying to comfort her, until an Arabic-speaking fellow captive told her the truth: “He’s telling you that you will die tonight.”

Eventually transferred into the far gentler custody of the Libyan Foreign Ministry, the journalists were ultimately released and flown out of the country. In Addario’s case, her Libyan nightmare had at least one happy side effect: Acceding to an entreaty her husband had been making for years, she soon became pregnant with their first child.

Although there is no academic credential that boosts one’s odds of becoming a successful combat journalist (ironically, one of the more common traits in the profession is a dearth of journalism degrees), there surely is a personality type: plucky, adventurous, intensely curious, ferociously driven. From early on, Addario showed signs of possessing all these traits, and in abundance. The youngest of four girls born to a fun-loving and rather bohemian Italian-American couple, Addario grew up in the affluent suburbs of Westport, Conn. She found her calling at the age of 13, when her father gave her a simple Nikon 35 mm camera to play around with. Immediately fascinated, she began to photograph obsessively, even if she never imagined it might lead to a career.

That started to change when, after graduating from college, Addario saved up her waitressing money to move to Argentina; along with teaching English she began peddling her photos to the local English-language newspaper at the princely rate of $10 a picture. It was while attending an exhibit of the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado that she experienced an epiphany. “Something I had perceived until that moment as a simple means of capturing pretty scenes,” she writes, “became something altogether different: It was a way to tell a story. It was the marriage of travel and foreign cultures and curiosity and photography. It was photojournalism.

As Addario points out, hitting it big in journalism often carries an element of luck, of being in the right place at the right time. For her, that came in the summer of 2000. Living in South Asia and eager to examine the role of women under the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban regime, Addario, under the cloak of a chador, spent several weeks insinuating herself into the lives of Afghan women, emerging with a remarkable portrait of a culture few outsiders had glimpsed. That portfolio might have received limited attention, until the United States went to war with the Taliban after the Sept. 11 attacks.Moving back to New York, Addario scrambled for any assignment that might come her way, no matter how lowly or poorly paid. The club she hoped to join was very much a fraternity, and she felt the constant need to prove herself as single-minded and intrepid as any man. This came at a personal cost. As better assignments started coming her way, her relationships foundered time and again on her absolute devotion to her craft and her lengthy absences in the field.

“Editors suddenly found news value in the Taliban,” Addario wryly notes, “in the plight of Pakistani women, in Afghan refugees living in Pakistan — all stories I had done while living in India.”

Amid the rush to cover the war, Addario was put on freelance “rotation” by The New York Times, a status that became all but permanent when the American military adventures in the region extended to Iraq. By the end of that tumultuous decade, and at extraordinary personal risk, Addario had covered conflicts across the Middle East and Africa for some of the world’s most prestigious publications. She also received the affirmation she had long sought, including a shared Pulitzer Prize and a Mac­Arthur Foundation “genius” grant.

In the photographs liberally scattered throughout “It’s What I Do” are clues to how Addario rose to the top of her field. The very best photographers develop an ineluctable bond with their subjects, an intimacy built on patience and trust; in the strongest photos here, such as her portraits of women rape victims in Congo, her ability to capture their strength and vulnerability is profoundly touching.

Yet the qualities that make for a brilliant photographer may not make for a brilliant memoirist. Only occasionally does Addario linger long enough to render the kind of fully sketched scene that makes the account of her kidnapping in Libya so riveting. Instead, she has a tendency to tell her story in a summary travelogue fashion, with people and places and events — even the succession of disappointing boyfriends — flitting by at such a rapid clip as to blur to dimness. What makes this doubly frustrating is that when Addario does slow down, she is incisive: In the acutely observed account of her negotiations with a young Taliban visa clerk, for example — a complex dance requiring her to shift constantly between submission, flirtation and defiance — the reader is likely to learn more about the capricious nature of Islamic fundamentalism than from a dozen essays or position papers.

One also wishes for a bit more self-reflection. Like every combat journalist, Addario grapples with the psychic dissonance of inhabiting parallel universes, one in which unspeakable atrocities regularly occur, another in which children play happily in safety-tested playgrounds; yet she has little more to say on the matter than she has learned to live with it. But maybe such glibness is a necessary defense mechanism. In her uncommon ability to connect emotionally with her photographic subjects, Addario has been given entree into a world of sorrows and hardships that most would find too much to bear, and that require a certain amount of stoicism to withstand.


A Photographer’s Life of Love and War

By Lynsey Addario

Illustrated. 357 pp. Penguin Press. $29.95.

He’s the Boss:Trumps misogyny takes its toll on women: February 17,2017 Leslie Bennetts: The Washington Spectator

Patricia Bosworth met her future husband in a bar when he punched out a drunk who pinched her bottom. She was only 19, but they married with dizzying speed.

He began to abuse her almost as quickly. One night they argued about money, in the back seat of a taxi, and he started hitting her. Screaming and sobbing, she begged the cab driver for help, only to have him shrug off her pleas.

“He’s the boss, lady,” the driver said.

Bosworth finally left her husband when he tried to choke her to death because he was angry that his pet bird escaped. Now 83, she has since had a long career as an actress and author. Her latest book—The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan—describes the harrowing story of her first marriage in an era when the prevailing culture simply assumed that men were entitled to beat their wives.

“I was brought up to believe the husband was always right,” Bosworth recalls.  “That’s the way things were in those days.”

As the women’s movement gained strength, feminists raised public awareness about the prevalence of domestic abuse, and laws were passed to protect women from violence by intimate partners. But Donald Trump’s candidacy alarmed a wide range of women’s advocates—and things quickly got worse.

Although many activists had assumed voters would reject a nominee caught boasting on tape about grabbing female genitalia, Trump’s victory signaled a disturbing public acceptance of such retrograde behavior. His actions since then have generated growing fear that the Trump administration heralds a return to the policies—and the predations—of the past.

Women’s advocates were particularly dismayed by the news that Trump is planning  “dramatic” federal budget cuts that include all 25 of the grant programs managed by the Office on Violence Against Women, which is housed in the Department of Justice.

“We’re deeply concerned about cuts in the funding that enables us to provide legal and social services to victims,” says Jennifer Friedman, managing director of the Center for Legal Services at My Sisters’ Place, a nonprofit organization in New York’s Westchester County that provides shelter and counsel to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Such cutbacks would be dangerously counterproductive, according to activists in a broad range of women’s rights, civil rights, faith-based, labor, and law enforcement groups. “I don’t think it is extreme if I say to you that women will die,” Lynn Hecht Schafran, senior vice-president of Legal Momentum, warned in a call for action sent to the organization’s supporters.

The proposed budget cuts don’t even make economic sense, according to experts.  “VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act) has saved taxpayers billions of dollars in costs for medical and mental health services, as well as costs for law enforcement and justice system expenditures,” Schafran wrote. “VAWA’s 25 grant programs are not wasteful, and they represent just over one hundredth of one percent of the federal budget.”

Despite considerable progress, the need for such assistance remains acute. “Domestic violence is still happening in huge numbers,” Friedman says.

‘People think that if women have money, they can get out, but my mom was making well over six figures when my dad held her underwater in a hot tub.’

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 40 percent of female murder victims are killed by their intimate partners. Two-thirds of all women who report being raped, assaulted, or stalked are victimized by current or former husbands or boyfriends, and more than a million American women are physically assaulted by their intimate partners every year, according to the Department of Justice.

And yet male office-holders have long neglected the problem, preferring to focus on other priorities. President Trump emphasizes the potential threat from foreign-born terrorists, but far more Americans die from domestic violence, as was made painfully clear by a recent headline on a New York Times op-ed column: “Husbands are deadlier than terrorists.” In the United States, the death toll is exacerbated by ready access to firearms, as Nicholas Kristof pointed out: “In other countries, brutish husbands put wives in hospitals; in America, they put them in graves.”

Equally curious is the ongoing failure of male-dominated legislatures to address the economic consequences of such abuse, which are enormous. “One in three women is the victim of domestic violence in her lifetime, and it costs the U.S. billions of dollars a year in loss of productivity, health care, and other costs,” says Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, a non-profit organization that works with women leaders on economic empowerment and human rights issues.

Popular stereotypes often assume most victims are women of color and those in poverty, but domestic violence occurs in all socio-economic, religious, racial, and cultural groups. Steph Wagner, a San Diego-based financial consultant who specializes in divorce, sees women in every income bracket. “I had a prospective client whose estate was 15 to 20 million dollars, and we had to create an underground-railroad safety plan before we could even talk,” says Wagner, who grew up in Texas with an abusive father. “People think that if women have money, they can get out, but my mom was making well over six figures when my dad held her underwater in a hot tub.”

The stubborn persistence of such assaults only highlights the fact that most men have not joined the battle. “The majority of men are non-violent, but unfortunately the majority, for the most part, stay silent,” Nelson said at Vital Voices’ annual gala last December.

Seeking new ways to address the problem, some organizations are now enlisting men. “Violence against women is one of the greatest challenges facing the human race, but it’s always been thought of as a women’s issue, and it’s only going to get better through engaging men,” Nelson says. “We can’t expect to eliminate violence against women without men as active partners and allies. We have to show them that this is where they need to lead.”

The Vital Voices event, Voices of Solidarity, honored male leaders who are helping to fight violence against women in countries around the world. The honorees included a Heineken executive in Mexico, the mayor of Dallas, and the actor Patrick Stewart, whose abusive father served in the British Army. All spoke eloquently about their efforts, and the mood that night was hopeful.

But Trump’s rise to power has ratcheted up fears of a return to the bad old days. During the presidential debates, many viewers perceived his behavior toward Hillary Clinton as threatening, and therapists and service providers saw a surge in abuse survivors who reported that the public conduct of the GOP nominee had triggered a flare-up of their post-traumatic stress symptoms.

“Women felt Trump’s presentation was that of a batterer, and all of us saw an increase in women coming out of the woodwork to tell their stories,” says Friedman. “People you never knew had a story came out and said, ‘This is what happened to me.’”

Many survivors felt traumatized by Trump’s bullying tactics, which included verbal abuse and the denial of objective reality, known as gaslighting, a tactic abusers often use  to assert their dominance by creating confusion and anxiety. “The fear is so great it’s like living under Saddam Hussein,” says Wagner. “It’s about mental control. The humiliation and control are just as painful as being punched in the eye.”

That perspective reflects an evolving understanding of domestic violence, whose treatment increasingly incorporates a recognition of its psychological and economic dimensions. “The word ‘violence’ implies injury, but domestic violence is defined by advocates as a whole range of behaviors, including emotionally abusive power, and control issues that may not be physical,” Friedman explains.

Trump’s history includes an accusation of rape by his first wife, Ivana, the mother of his three oldest children. But despite such charges, 53 percent of white women still voted for him. “No matter how far we’ve come, I still think the majority of women are traditionalists,” Bosworth says. “They think it’s a man’s world, and men should have control.”

When Trump assumed office, he chose other alleged abusers as close advisors — including Steve Bannon, the far-right media executive who became his senior strategist and White House counselor. During their divorce, Bannon’s second wife accused him of abuse, and he was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery, and dissuading a witness. The charges were dropped after his ex-wife failed to appear in court, although she said her absence was due to threats made by Bannon and his lawyer.

Bannon’s divorce and custody files also included charges that he was abusive toward his children; didn’t see them for a full two years, during which time they had no idea where he lived; threatened school administrators; and failed to pay child and spousal support.

A Trump cabinet nominee raised similar concerns. Trump named Andrew Puzder, chief executive of the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., as his secretary of labor. Puzder’s first wife Lisa Fierstein had appeared in disguise on an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” titled “High Class Battered Women” to accuse Puzder of domestic abuse. Fierstein, who had called the police during one incident, said Puzder told her, “I will see you in the gutter. This will never be over. You will pay for this.” Fierstein later retracted her charge of spousal abuse as part of a child custody agreement; the couple divorced in 1987. Despite Puzder’s history, Trump was apparently unperturbed, and it was only when the Oprah tape became public—and senators from both parties reportedly saw it at private screenings—that Puzder finally withdrew his nomination.

Yet President Trump’s apparent tolerance for assault has raised fears of a growing male backlash against women’s empowerment. “Violence against women is an age-old problem, but it isn’t getting better—it’s getting worse,” says Nelson. “We have seen great progress in the U.S., but men are threatened by women’s rise in power.” Their reactions will soon be measured in dollars and cents, with decisions made by the aging white men who dominate both Congress and the new administration.

“If Congress cuts funding, it would be turning back the clock,” says Friedman. “People don’t give up privilege that easily, because privilege is power. The notion that women and men are equal only became embedded in our law a few decades ago. You’re challenging all of human history in a generation or two. We’re waiting to see what’s going to happen, but there’s an atmosphere of trepidation now.”

Leslie Bennetts is a longtime journalist who has covered presidential politics since the 1970s and a best-selling author whose latest book is Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses and Liberation of Joan Rivers