DV LEAP litigates carefully selected cases in D.C. and elsewhere on cutting edge issues in the field of custody and abuse, including child sexual abuse and domestic violence, “parental alienation,” and malicious prosecution claims wrongfully brought against protective mothers.
DV LEAP also consults with abused mothers and their attorneys fighting to keep their children safe through the courts.
Custody Trainings & Presentations
DV LEAP conducts trainings and presentations around the country on custody, domestic violence, and “parental alienation.” If you are interested in a DV LEAP training, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selected Past Custody Presentations
- 2008 12th Annual Coalition Advocates & Attorneys Network (CAAN) Meeting:Ms. Meier gave a presentation entitled "Parental Alienation: Challeges and Strategies."
- 2008 The National Children's Bench Book Project: A Symposium On Improving Judicial Responses to Child Abuse: Ms. Meier gave a presentation entitled "Expert Testimony in Civil-Domestic Relations Courts."
- 2008 Inspirational Spirit of the Phoenix: Ms. Liu delivered a presentation about the challenges in litigating domestic violence and custody cases and possible solutions.
- 2008 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Conference: Ms. Meier and Ms. Liu delivered a presenation about winning a custody and abuse case in the Supreme Court and preparing custody and abuse cases for appeals. To view this Powerpoint presentation, please click here.
- 2008 Connecticut Department of Children and Families: Ms. Meier delived a presentation about the challenges of protecting children in custody courts.
- 2008 Battered Mothers' Custody Conference: Ms. Liu delivered a presentation about winning a custody and abuse case in the Supreme Court and DV LEAP's 2007 Symposium.
- 2007 DV LEAP/Justice for Children Training on Litigating Custody/Abuse Appeals: DV LEAP’s first hosted training was a terrific success and attended by attorneys from around the country.
- 2006 & 2007 Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference: In 2007 Ms. Meier delivered a keynote speech about “parental alienation” and abuse. In 2006, she spoke about being part of the PBS documentary Breaking the Silence: Children’s Voices.
- 2007 Denver Domestic Violence and Child Protection Conference: Ms. Meier spoke about the conflict between courts’ paradigms of child protection and custody and how that conflict undermines the protection of children by courts.
- 2006 Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Clearinghouse Lawyer Training: Ms. Meier spoke about parental alienation syndrome and led a discussion group about the PBS documentary Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories.
- 2005 Muskie School of Public Service Child Custody and Domestic Violence Institute: Ms. Meier gave a presentation entitled “Parental Alienation Syndrome or Abuse? The Battle for Truth,” and co-led a workshop on the cross-examination of experts with DV LEAP consultant/trainer Julie Field.
Custody Law Reform
DV LEAP has provided comments on the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws Model Statute on Representation of Children.
DV LEAP also consults with the National Association of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on their development of judicial guidelines on custody and abuse.
Breaking the Silence: Children’s Voices
In 2005 Ms. Meier was featured as a commentator in a PBS documentary designed to raise public awareness about young victims of parental abuse and how family courts too often fail to protect them, relying instead on the false theory of “parental alienation syndrome” to justify rejecting protective mothers' allegations, increasing the alleged perpetrators' access to the child, and sometimes even removing the child from the mother.
DV LEAP publishes articles and research summaries for use by those seeking to advance the protection of child and adult victims of abuse. Following are some of these publications:
- "Parental Alienation Syndrom and Parental Alienation: Research Reviews" at www.vawnet.org. To read the article, please clickhere.
- "Domestic Violence, Child Custody, and Child Protection: Understanding Judicial Resistance and Imagining the Solutions" 11 American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 657 (2003), available athttp://www.wcl.american.edu/journal/genderlaw/11/meier.pdf
- “Research Summary, Rates at which Accused and Adjudicated Batterers Receive Sole or Joint Custody
- Research Summary, Research Indicating that the Majority of Cases that go to Court as "high conflict" Contested Custody Cases have a History of Domestic Violence
- Research Summary, Scientific and Professional Rejections of Parental Alienation Syndrome
- "A Historical Perspective on Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation,” forthcoming, Journal of Child Custody, Symposium Issue on Domestic Violence and Custody
- “Getting Real About Abuse and Alienation: A Response to Drozd and Olesen,” forthcoming, Journal of Child Custody, Symposium Issue on Domestic Violence and Custody.
- PAS Bibliography complied by Joan Meier.
Advocacy for Embattled Professionals
DV LEAP provides occasional advocacy and assistance for leading experts in the field (attorneys and mental health professionals) who are under attack by abusers and their advocates through challenges to professional licenses and standing.