We help courts grapple with the issues surrounding child custody and visitation for families experiencing domestic violence.
On average, a victim of domestic violence will leave an abusive partner seven times before leaving for good, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. There are many reasons for this, but access to economic support and safe custody and visitation arrangements are critical to providing safe alternatives to remaining in an abusive relationship. In order to address this need and enhance victim safety, the Center assists courts with issues such as the sustainability of family court-based projects, tracking data on criminal and civil cases, developing the roles of mediators and custody evaluators, and fostering coordinated community responses.
For example, under the Family Court Enhancement Project, we partner with the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Battered Women’s Justice Project, and the Office on Violence Against Women to provide comprehensive training and expert assistance to sites seeking to improve resources and decision-making around custody and parenting time, while also addressing domestic violence and its impact on families and children.