How To Join CAVNET

Founded by Marc Dubin, Esq., former Special Counsel to the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women, CAVNET (Communities Against Violence Network) serves to bring together experts and advocates addressing violence against women, human rights, suicide, school violence, bullying, and crime victims with disabilities. We are a partner with Lifetime Television's End Violence Against Women Project and a recipient of a Ms. Foundation grant.To join, send a resume or brief bio to Marc Dubin, Esq, Executive Director, at Marc may also be contacted by cell phone at 305-896-3000. See Follow Marc on Twitter:@ADAExpertise

Friday, October 24, 2014

BJS: Crime Victims with Disabilities Series

Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2009-2012 - Statistical Tables1.3 MILLION NONFATAL VIOLENT CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN 2012, UNCHANGED FROM 2011 
Part of the Crime Against People with Disabilities Series
2/25/2014 NCJ 244525

Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2009-2011 - Statistical TablesPresents estimates of nonfatal violent victimization (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault) against persons age 12 or older with disabilities from 2009 to 2011. 
Part of the Crime Against People with Disabilities Series
12/19/2012 NCJ 240299

Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2008-2010 - Statistical Tables Presents estimates of nonfatal violent victimization (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault) against persons age 12 or older with disabilities, from 2008 to 2010. 
Part of the Crime Against People with Disabilities Series
10/13/2011 NCJ 235777

Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2008 Presents findings about nonfatal violent and property crime experienced in 2008 by persons with disabilities, based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). 
Part of the Crime Against People with Disabilities Series
NCJ 231328

Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2008 Presents findings about nonfatal violent and property crime experienced in 2008 by persons with disabilities, based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). 
Part of the Crime Against People with Disabilities Series
NCJ 231328

Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2007 Presents the first findings about nonfatal violent and property crime experienced by persons with disabilities, based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). 
Part of the Crime Against People with Disabilities Series
NCJ 227814

Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2007 Presents the first findings about nonfatal violent and property crime experienced by persons with disabilities, based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS. 
Part of the Crime Against People with Disabilities Series
NCJ 227814


Statistics On Criminal Victimization of People with Disabilities = BJS - 2014

Disabilities, 2009–2012 - Statistical Tables
Erika Harrell, Ph.D.
February 25, 2014    Ncj 244525

Presents Estimates Of Nonfatal Violent Victimization (Rape, Sexual Assault, Robbery, Aggravated And Simple Assault) Against Persons Age 12 Or Older With Disabilities From 2009 To 2012. 

Findings Are Based On The National Crime Victimization Survey (Ncvs). The Report Compares The Victimization Of Persons With And Without Disabilities Living In Noninstitutionalized Households, Including Distributions By Age, Race, Sex, Victims' Types Of Disabilities, And Other Victim Characteristics. 

Data From The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (Acs) And The 2000 U.S. Standard Population Were Used To Estimate Age-Adjusted Victimization Rates.


Persons Age 12 Or Older Who Had Disabilities Experienced 1.3 Million Nonfatal Violent Crimes In 2012.

In 2012, The Age-Adjusted Rate Of Violent Victimization For Persons With Disabilities (60 Per 1,000 Persons With Disabilities) Was Nearly Three Times The Rate Among Persons Without Disabilities (22 Per 1,000 Persons Without Disabilities).

In 2012, The Age-Adjusted Rate Of Violent Victimization Was Higher For Persons With Disabilities Than For Those Without Disabilities For Both Males And Females.

For Each Racial Group Measured, Persons With Disabilities Had Higher Age-Adjusted Violent Victimization Rates Than Persons Without Disabilities In 2012.

In 2012, 52% Of Nonfatal Violent Crime Against Persons With Disabilities Involved Victims Who Had Multiple Disability Types.

Part Of The Crime Against People With Disabilities Series
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National Domestic Violence Hotline and Services to the Deaf Community

 ”Data from an eight-year survey of college students at Rochester Institute of Technology indicates that Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are 1.5 times more likely to be victims of relationship violence including sexual harassment, sexual assault, psychological abuse and physical abuse in their lifetime.”

Abuse In the Community

Deaf victims of domestic violence often face unique circumstances:
  • Information can travel quickly within a Deaf, Deaf-blind, or hard of hearing community, compromising confidentiality and the victim’s safety.
  • Law enforcement and shelters are often not skilled at communicating with Deaf, Deaf-blind, or hard of hearing individuals and often don’t have interpreters.
  • Their abusive partners may take away their communication devices.
  • Their abusive partners may give false information to the victim to make them believe they have fewer options.
  • The victim may be isolated from family, friends, services, resources and options.
According to DeafHope these are some examples of what victims face and the tactics abusive partners use to abuse the Deaf:
  • Intimidation through gestures, facial expressions, or exaggerated signs, floor stomping and pounding on the table or door
  • Signing very close to a victim’s face when angry
  • Criticizing  the victim’s American sign language (ASL) skills or communication style
  • Not informing the victim when people try to call on the phone or try to catch their attention
  • Excluding the victim from important conversations
  • Leaving the victim out in social situations with hearing people
  • Talking negatively about the Deaf community
  • Wrongly interpreting to manipulate the situation if the police are called
  • Not allowing children to use ASL to talk with the victim
  • Not allowing children to be proud of deaf culture
  • Criticizing the victim’s speech and English skills

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Need for Custody Courts to Understand and Use the Saunders Study

"....The Saunders’ study establishes that the custody courts are getting an intolerably high percentage of domestic violence custody cases wrong and this will continue as long as the courts rely on evaluators and other professionals who do not have the specific domestic violence training they need and refuse to use the expertise that could be provided by domestic violence advocates and experts. 
It is clear that the custody courts need to adopt the reforms that will make sure children are protected, but there are significant obstacles to achieving the needed reforms.  The worst evaluators and other professionals who are part of the cottage industry supporting abusive fathers will fight to maintain their lucrative practices even as they earn their money at the expense of the safety and future of children they are supposed to protect.  The abusers will continue to seek to manipulate the court in order to continue using the custody tactic to maintain what they believe is their right to control their partners even after they leave.  Judges and other administrators will be reluctant to acknowledge that their long established practices routinely place children in jeopardy.  Dan Saunders has done a substantial public service in providing meticulous research that should explode the complacency of court professionals who would like to believe the only problem is the complaints by protective mothers and their supporters.  Now it is our job to use this research to change the outcomes of cases and reform a system that is failing to protect children....."



By Joan Zorza, J.D.


”…One study has found that some form of child abuse occurs in 30-60% of families where domestic violence is present, and that the occurrence rate is much higher when it is the father abusing the mother. The same study reports that the incidence of child abuse by a battering husband increases from 5% with one act of marital violence to nearly 100% with 50 incidents of marital violence.1 Other studies show that 44.5% to 73% of incest perpetrators are known to be battering the children’s mother.2

A study of 12 states found that incest allegations are raised in only 6% of custody cases.3 An even larger study involving 9,000 divorce cases found the rate of incest allegations to be less than 2% of divorce cases, or less than 10% of contested custody disputes.4 The reality is that because custody disputes are considered difficult and take up much court time, particularly when there are incest allegations, they are wrongfully assumed to happen more often than they actually do….”


“Despite the assumption that virtually all allegations of incest arising in custody disputes are made falsely by mothers and for tactical gain, the reality is that fewer than half of incest allegations made during custody disputes are made by mothers against fathers (some are made against other people or made by fathers or others).5 An Austrailian study showed that false allegations are rare (no more than 9% of cases) and are no more common in divorces or custody disputes than at other times. Furthermore, most incest allegations that are not sustained are made in good faith, not deliberately falsely.6 Canada has found that fathers are more than 16 times as likely to make false incest allegations as mothers (21% of cases by fathers, vs. only 1.3% of cases by mothers).7”

Continued at 


Joan S. Meier: A Historical Perspective on Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation

Joan S. Meier
George Washington University Law School , Washington, DC
Journal of Child Custody
Volume 6, Issue 3-4, 2009, pages 232- 257
Published online: 18 Aug 2009
DOI: 10.1080/15379410903084681

"Claims of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) and parental alienation (PA) have come to dominate custody litigation, especially where abuse is alleged. Although much psychological and legal literature has critiqued PAS, and leading researchers as well as most professional institutions have renounced the syndrome concept, alienation as a parental behavior or child's condition continues to be extensively investigated and credited in research and forensic contexts.

This article reviews the history of PAS, both as posited by its inventor, Richard Gardner, and as used and applied in courts, suggesting that it not only lacks empirical basis or objective merit, but that it derives from its author's troubling beliefs about adult and child sexual interaction. It then examines the more recent explorations of non-syndrome “alienation” as proffered by Janet Johnston and others, noting both its more balanced and grounded nature and its more modest remedial implications.

However, the article concludes that PA is too closely tied to PAS to be an adequate improvement. It, too, is used crudely in courts to defeat abuse allegations, it continues to rely on speculations about mothers' purported unconscious desires and their effects on children, and, more subtly than PAS, it minimizes abuse and its effects on mothers and children.

At root, although even PA researchers have found it to be a real issue in only a small minority of contested custody cases, courts' and evaluators' extensive focus on it in response to mothers' abuse allegations continues to privilege false or exaggerated alienation concerns over valid concerns about abuse."


Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Is Gender Biased and Punitive

Why Abusers Get Away With Claiming “Parental Alienation”

"Gender Biased and Punitive: Why Abusers Get Away With Claiming “Parental Alienation”

The late Richard Gardner developed the theory of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) after claiming that one parent alienated the children from the other parent in 90% of his divorcing patients. Though claiming that the “disorder” was not sex specific, he used it almost exclusively against mothers, maintaining that mothers falsely raise domestic violence and incest during custody disputes for tactical gain. Even Gardner admitted PAS was not an actual syndrome; some call it parental alienation (PA), but the concept is identical.


Gardner claimed to have testified in 400 custody cases in 25 states. Although no state has codified PAS, at least 31 states have adopted Gardner’s friendly parent concept (FPC) in which courts are encouraged to give custody to the parent who will foster a better relationship between the children and the other parent. Even where not codified, many judges and custody evaluators base decisions or recommendations on PAS, PA, or the FPC.


There are problems associated with PAS, PA, and the FPC. They may deflect investigation from the validity of abuse accusations to the protective parent’s behavior. In addition, PAS, PA, and the FPC may deflect courts from noticing that men’s alienation allegations may themselves be alienating behaviors raised for tactical gain.

False Premises

Gardner incorrectly assumed that women need a tactical ploy to not lose custody under the best interest of the child standard. Gardner evidently was unaware that once a child passed its tender years, roughly at age 7, fathers were presumptively entitled to reclaim custody, and that most mothers still win custody under the best interest of the child standard.

Gardner also wrongfully assumed that women often make false incest accusations in custody cases and that they gain advantage from doing so. Incest is raised in only about 6% of custody cases, and only a very small fraction (2%-3%) of this 6% are false. Investigated incest allegations are substantiated as often during custody disputes as at other times, but many child protection agencies do not investigate when a case is in court. Men have been found to make 16 times as many false incest allegations as women (21% vs. 1.3%).

Gardner’s Motivations

Gardner, who had no hospital admitting privileges for his last 25 years and fraudulently claimed to be a clinical professor of child psychiatry, derived his theories to discredit mothers who complained that their partners were abusing them or their children. Gardner, who often testified on behalf of pedophiles, admitted that probably over 95% of all sex abuse allegations are legitimate, but claimed incest and many other deviant sexual practices are normal and not harmful.

Gender Biased and Punitive

PAS, PA, and the FPC may discourage battered women and mothers in incest cases from complaining. Gardner advocated removing custody and if the behaviors continue, denying visitation to the alienating parent. These concepts may not be in the best interest of children as they generally deprive them of their protective parents and place them in the custody of abusive parents. They also may prevent protective parents and children from realizing the wrongfulness of the abuse or from venting their anger, thus exacerbating their pain and inhibiting healing.

These concepts can be considered gender biased since their definitions exclude alienating behaviors most commonly committed by fathers: domestic violence, nonpayment of child support, and raising alienation allegations. They can be used only against custodial parents and impose no penalty on alienating noncustodial parents. An attempt to rename PAS as malicious mother syndrome confirms the bias.

Inadmissible Evidence

Gardner promoted PAS in self-published books. PAS has never been subjected to peer review or been recognized by any professional associations, including the American Psychiatric Association. The Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family characterizes PAS and PA as having no validity. With no validity within the scientific community, neither PAS nor PA is considered admissible in evidence.

—Joan Zorza

Further Readings

Bruch C. Parental alienation syndrome and parental alienation: Getting it wrong in child custody cases. Family Law Quarterly vol. 35 (2001). no. (3), pp. 527–552.

Dallam S. J. Dr. Richard Gardner: A review of his theories and opinions on atypical sexuality, pedophilia, and treatment issues. Treating Abuse Today vol. 8 (1998). no. (1), pp. 15–22.
Dore M. K. The “friendly parent” concept: A flawed factor for child custody. Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law vol. 6 (2004). no. (1), pp. 41–56.

Smith R. and Coukos P. Fairness and accuracy in evaluations of domestic violence and child abuse in custody determinations. The Judges’ Journal vol. 36 (1997). no. (4), pp. 38–42, 54–56.