East Coast Meets West Coast: Kids Speak Out

My Advocate Center on the East Coast and Center for Judicial Excellence on the West Coast have been sharing information on cases and collaborating on legislative reform, press and on solutions that serve everyone across our country.

Just as we have cases that involve child abuse, and where the mother was targeted to lose her rights, we are also working to reveal the same patterns where fathers were targeted.

This is one step toward showing that different groups with different focuses and perspectives can work together to not only expose the issues and damages, but to drive reform.

This press release demonstrates that what we are reporting on in Georgia is happening across the country, and has been happening for some time.  These stories are not the only ones, of course, but are a sampling of those that are newsworthy, credible and can help to turn other cases around where children are in need.  These are brave kids, whose courage and information can help prevent damages to many more like them.

Once you understand the facts of these cases – where kids are speaking out to reveal their reality and the fallout – please take another look at the cases here in your state, to see what you can do to help turn the tables on bad practices.  By focusing your attention this way you can contribute to saving and restoring more children and good parents.

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Media Contacts:
California: Kathleen Russell 415-524-8819

Georgia: Kimberly Krautter, 13th Generation Strategies [Email us for details & video related to East Coast, Georgia & more of this region, or to contribute to this effort in connecting these stories.]

Kids of Divorce Speak Out: “Divorce Corp.” The Untold Story
New Dr. Drew Movie Prompts Shocking New Videos About Horrific Abuses in U.S. Family Court System

SAN RAFAEL, CA — Inspired by the release of the controversial new film, DIVORCE CORP., which is narrated by HLN’s Dr. Drew Pinsky, the Center for Judicial Excellence has launched a new online media campaign focused on bringing the voices that are missing from the movie, those of the “Kids of Divorce” and a child abuse expert, to the national debate about the need for comprehensive family court reform. The campaign is also pushing a Change.org petition demanding Congressional Oversight Hearings on the Failure of Family and Divorce Courts.

DIVORCE CORP. was released on January 10 in 15 states. The documentary exposes numerous abuses and corruption in the family court system throughout the nation that have resulted in a rash of social ills, including home foreclosure, bankruptcy, suicide and violence.

Kids of Divorce Speak Out is a new online campaign inspired by DIVORCE CORP. The online campaign features riveting 2-3 minute video clips from young adult survivors of divorce and can be seen by clicking here: http://centerforjudicialexcellence.org/cje-projects-initiatives/kids-of-divorce-speak-out/. Each of these young spokespeople have either been emancipated or have aged out of the family court system, enabling them to speak freely and openly about their harrowing divorce court ordeals.

Suraj was taken from his home in handcuffs at age 12 and could not see or speak to his Dad or other family members for four years, because of a court-appointed therapist’s lies to the court. Suraj said, “I wrote several letters and videos to the judge, attempting to expose what was going on…this reunification therapist has over 50 complaints filed against her … and yet from what I understand, she still has the ability to practice, which to me is sickening.”

Jennifer and her brother were severely beaten by their abusive father for years. Yet a Minnesota family court judge took them away from their loving Mom and forced them to live with their abuser, while also denying them all contact with their mother. When the court eventually allowed supervised visits with their Mom, Jennifer said, “I was told multiple times that I wasn’t allowed to talk about what my father was doing to us, to talk about the abuse. I showed up with bruises and I showed my mother, and I got in trouble.”

Rebecca was physically grabbed by a therapist who forced her to “reunite” with her physically abusive Dad against her will, while other court-appointed counselors threatened that she might never see her Mom again if she didn’t cooperate. Rebecca said, “The courts forced me to go to 12 different therapists, many of whom were abusive. The only reason that we were going to therapy was so they could take money from us.”

Therapists Speak Out About Child Safety Concerns
The Kids of Divorce Speak Out campaign also presents disturbing new video footage from DIVORCE CORP.’S whistleblowing former court mediator Emily Gallup. She recounts judges angrily threatening and coercing parents into premature settlements that endangered their children amidst of a culture of bias against domestic violence victims. National child abuse expert Dr. Joyanna Silberg challenges the “junk science” that is used by courts to discredit legitimate child abuse in divorce cases, while also describing the undue power of court evaluators to determine a child’s future in family courts.

The Center for Judicial Excellence (CJE) has worked for six years to reform the broken family court system. It organized the first White House briefing on the family court crisis in 2010; passed a law granting California children the right to testify in family court (AB 1050- Ma) in 2010; and helped Senator Mark Leno push through an official audit of the Marin and Sacramento County Family Courts in 2009, which showed widespread problems with family court appointees.

CJE is joined by Atlanta-based My Advocate Center which has provided family court case intervention and other services to parents since 2011in an effort to reduce conflict in child custody cases. My Advocate Center also educates family court professionals and policymakers on how to elevate the practice and counter unethical and corrupt proceedings. Like CJE, My Advocate Center is working with legislators to institute family court reform.

All five of the Kids of Divorce Speak Out campaign spokespeople are available for media interviews by contacting Kathleen Russell or Steve Burdo at 415-524-8819 or info@kathleenrussell.com. Suraj and Rebecca have never spoken to the press before, and the others have received limited exposure to date. Extensive legal documents validating these stories are available upon request to interested journalists.

* As a follow up to this release and these stories, other cases will be shown where these voices are helping to turn around similar situations, putting good parents and children in position to recover and restore their lives.