Domestic Violence and Child Custody

Two boys sitting and hugging on a playground
Courts as a tool for abuse

People often think that when a parent leaves an abusive relationship they will gain primary custody of the children. But many family courts don’t consider domestic violence a reason to deny the abuser partial or full child custody.

Survivors often face an uphill battle for custody. This is partly because abusers are more likely than non-abusers to challenge child custody decisions. And 70% of the time abusers succeed in getting partial or full custody of the children. Continue reading “Domestic Violence and Child Custody”

We Have Dreams: what MLK Day means to us

I have a dream. That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Imagining peace

Last week, 11-year-old Brian was asked to bring this famous quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to life. He started by drawing a large circle, colored in blotches of green and blue to represent our earth. Slowly, he started adding stick figures around the globe. Some were black, some were white, some were brown. All of them were standing arm in arm in unity.

Brian’s picture is in a scrapbook, along with other hand-drawn images from children who attend LifeWire’s weekly support group. The images were drawn as part of a “We Have Dreams” project – each one meant to breathe life into the dynamic words of Dr. King’s famous speech, delivered on August 28, 1963.

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Stand up for the innocent

Liz Rocca speaking at LifeWire's World of Hope Gala and Auction

Would you stand between a shot gun and a violent man to save your mother? Could you survive fear, humiliation and horrific violence to make a success of your life? Survivors of domestic violence face these types of questions every day.

Domestic violence affects children

“It’s true,” says Q13 News Assistant Director Liz Rocca. “I am a survivor of domestic violence. I don’t often tell my story. At 7 years old I had developed a system for survival to protect my mother and sister that haunts me to this day. When I was a child, no one ever asked me if everything was OK at home. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to live through domestic violence.”

Continue reading “Stand up for the innocent”