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Archive for January 25th, 2020

‘Divorce Mediation [and] Domestic Violence’ (per a 1997 NIJ-funded report by Jessica Pearson, Ph.D. of CPR, (and now, FRPN.org) raises the question: Do the DV Industry USA Orgs. know about AFCC? (Yes!) Since When (I DNK: 1980s?). Are They Acknowledging AFCC? (Generally, No!). So? (Know Your Organizations!) [A Nov. 19, 2019, off-ramp from ‘Oh Arizona!’ Post, Publ. Jan. 25, 2020].

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Post title and shortlink:

‘Divorce Mediation & Domestic Violence’** (per a 1997 NIJ-funded report by Jessica Pearson, Ph.D. of CPR, (and now, FRPN.org) raises the questions: Does the DV Industry USA know about AFCC? (Yes!) Since When? (I DNK). Are These Orgs. Acknowledging This? (Generally, No!). So…? (Know Your Organizations!) [This Nov. 19, 2019, off-ramp from Post ‘Oh Arizona!,’ Publ. Jan. 25, 2020′]. (short-link ends “-bE7”)

**As published, I didn’t copy the study’s title right.  I’m fixing it in body of post, and, belatedly, the title, which recurs a few times in the post contents below.  The links are provided my posts anyhow; working on other aspects, I didn’t catch the error until today, Feb. 2, 2020.  Next inset discusses perhaps why.

Wording corrected in body of post, not the title above: It reads, as the links and now images provided make clear, instead:  “Divorce Mediation & Domestic Violence” in that order. I had reversed the order of topics and omitted the word “Divorce.”  This is a raw topic for me (as a survivor whose court-appointed mediator upended the restraining order (immediately), basic rights to function independently as a person (2nd round), and finally, to validate an illegal, baseless facts alleged and sudden custody AFTER the father had stolen (by refusing to return) both our children, still minors, on a court-appointed visitation with which I complied, but he, obviously, did not, i.e., in not returning them to my care.  

At the time, while in major trauma handling the situation (and my existing work/life commitments, which I’d built around raising the children, as I had been for years after divorce), it was made “abundantly clear” that I would not get TO court without going through, again, mediation, and that no way was a different mediator than the one who’d previously undermined my stability and basic rights to make life choices — twice in five years — if I ever hoped to see my kids again.  All this was without CPS involvement or any criminal charges or alleged abuse. This obviously impacted my overall view of family court-connected mediation (before I even knew of AFCC, who I then learned were efficiently and relentlessly promoting mediation/conciliation courts, etc. over the decades in California and in specific hotspots across the USA).//LGH Feb. 2, 2020.

The earlier (1997) study and Award#:

Divorce Mediation & Domestic Violence, (<~~link to the pdf) Found at NCJRS, Doc’t. 164658:

USDOJ / NIJ Award# 93-NIJ-CX-0036.  (Lead author Jessica Pearson).

(Four images from the front matter of this 235-pager! added only Feb 1, 2020):

The later (2011) study and Award#:

Intimate Partner Abuse in Divorce Mediation:  Outcomes from a Long-Term Multi-cultural Study (multi-author, most from Arizona State University, first listed, Connie J.A. Beck).  The one I previously blogged, last November.

US DOJ Award#  2007-WG-BX-0028 (see nearby image from NCJRS.gov; image caption holds link to the pdf)

‘IntimatePartnerAbuse in DivMed’tn|Outcomes frm a Long-Term Multi-cultural Study’ (NCJRS.gov doct’ 236868 Dec 2011) USDOJ-NIJ Grant 2007WG-BX-0028 Beck,ConnieJA+4 (SrchResults ‘Dingwall’)~~ SShot 2019Nov08 FRI PST @3.55.33 PM


Jan. 25, 2020, Pre-Publication (Impromptu) Preview,  for a post in Draft since Nov. 2019

This about 8,800-word post does not, as I’d imagined it, lay out screenshots of the subject matter NIJ-funded report, but it does lay out many other valuable points I believe (and notice, generally) are still timely.  I’m publishing it now “WYSIWYG” (What You See Is What You Get) in part because I’ve had to face up to the impact of an obsolete (software) and temperamental laptop as input device, combined with a too-small cellphone (which has updated software, but not screenprint annotation capacity at that miniature size, a function I need to communicate) upon speed of output.

Some days I spent what seems like (over time) hours just waiting /hoping for keystrokes to process, or windows to open. A completely new laptop (or significantly larger cellphone) isn’t in the budget, so “what next?” is a constant issue.  I do have an old iPad I’m hoping to get on-board somehow.

My laptop is like the “whiteboard” of a conference room, or the powerpoints, or the handouts:  without the visuals and without personal contact, presenting to interested groups, the communication media is just not effective enough for the situations we face and message (a comprehensive one) I have to deliver. The blog and images stored and uploaded from the laptop, for now, are what I can point to in informal and more dynamic settings; it has more depth and scope than those settings usually will.  They have been indexed, organized, and for the most part labelled in systems developed over the lifespan of this blog (about a decade).  Cellphone snapshots – oh so easy to take — have not been so indexed, labeled, and organized yet, nor do the devices communicate well by “the cloud.”


I spent today (painfully slow operating system) reviewing again the self-reported financials of a fairly well-known San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit copying (so it seems) the missions and tactics of one in the D.C. Area. The former is FVAP (“FVAPlaw.org” (EIN#454726212, searchable HERE for the 990s ) and the latter DVLEAP.

FVAP began in 2012, right out of UC Berkeley School of Law, with a co-founder (Nancy K.D. Lemon) having been key in developing some of the DV protocol and even law school curriculum itself for California. One of her? mentored law students (Sonya Passi) now has her own (spinoff) nonprofit (“FreeFrom”), but apart from that, FVAP Board shows overlap (at a minimum, with Family Violence Law Center, Inc., which also works with/at the 2006 (groundbreaking)ff, separately, the  Alameda County Family Justice Center (“ACJFCJ”).   The ACJFCJ, which I’ve done drill-downs on years ago, and viewed again quickly today (like FVAP, it’s also in Oakland, California, and area I felt it necessary to LEAVE a year and a half ago, for my own safety and sanity), calls itself both government (“A Division of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office) and a 501©3, on separate pages. It has a “Donate Button” which, separately, using the SAME NAME (with an “inc.” attached on that page).  In reality, there is a 501©3 functioning as a sort of collaborative public/private venture and home to (judging by the “Partners” page) several other nonprofits, and separating the “District Attorney” (County office, government) from the 501©3 nonprofit would be tricky.  Ownership of real estate, leases, etc. involved.

Neither DVLEAP nor FVAP (nor, for that matter, the ACJFCJ) is about to “out” the AFCC.  Neither breathes a word about the reality of welfare-reform-based marriage/fatherhood (or access and visitation) grant-making by the US Federal Government, as budget-appropriated to the US Department of HHS (which administers welfare (and child support enforcement grants), among other things) by the U.S. Congress, as POSSIBLY part of the challenge these nonprofits and the people they say they were organized to help are dealing with.


But apart from this, I noticed today how FVAP’s reporting of its own federal grants is internally inconsistent [a] within its own Forms 990 (tax returns), and [b] between the Forms 990 and Audited Financial Reports, more than as indicated on the one place in a Form 990 designated to explain that difference:  Part XI (“Reconciliation.”)  In short, beyond the truly offensive coverup of AFCC and the “HHS Factor” IN the family court fiascoes for domestic violence survivors by DVLEAP (started earlier this century) and FVAP (again, only 2012), for FVAP there’s also a significant discrepancy in labeling of government “funding”  — whether it’s GRANTS or CONTRACTS (although both are revenues).  You can also see from their summary Form 990 it’s making a profit every year, AND that a major source of revenues is, in short “government.”

I already know to show this I’d need visuals and arrows pointing to compare one part (on one page) to another.  Between other pressing (personal) projects, topics, and what it’ll probably take to replace or update this laptop, I decided to “punt” on this post and just hit publish, “AS-Is.”

There are always newly groomed groups of traumatized or angry parents (especially mothers seeing that domestic abuse minimized or discredited when they report within the family court systems) coming up who’ve NOT been made aware of system basics — clearly the lawyers and psychologists individually, or together, aren’t so inclined — they want to be protect their turf, have the satisfaction of training and mentoring new professionals to (like them) ignore the economics, AFCC and things not (can I say this now?) progressive or politically correct LEFT enough, and minor details like “jurisdiction” and who set up these family courts that need to much of their special attention in the first place?  Some of their colleagues, perhaps?

Even in a bit rough format, I’ll bet this post has some news for the “newbies,” and might, I hope, explain why I’m not a real joiner when it comes to whom to RT, reblog, repost and refer people to in the DV (or “fix the family courts that aren’t fair to DV survivors”) fields, even as myself a survivor. I don’t think in those terms.  I just go for the guts of any corporation (which most tax-exempts are), and I use a crude, but still penetrating form of “X-ray” — I read their tax returns and where available, financial statements (audited), ESPECIALLY where reports bearing the name of some US DOJ (OVW or Victims of Crime or other) grant number is acknowledged in the footers of the introductory pages.  … or on those tax returns.

A grant is not a contract.  “Funding” could be either. When the general outlines come into focus on self-reporting of sources of revenue, the character of the organization comes to the front. I look forward to explaining what I’m talking about above (RE: FVAP) when a more effiecent and functional electronic platform (hardware input device) becomes available.  There are a few interim steps I can take, which I will, shortly.//LGH.


Post Title: ”Divorce Mediation & Domestic Violence’ (per a 1997 NIJ-funded report by Jessica Pearson, Ph.D. of CPR, (and now, FRPN.org) raises the question: Do the DV Industry USA Orgs. know about AFCC? (Yes!) Since When (I DNK: 1980s?). Are They Acknowledging AFCC? (Generally, No!). So? (Know Your Organizations!) [This Nov. 19, 2019, off-ramp from Post ‘Oh Arizona!,’ Publ. Jan. 25, 2020′]. (Short-link ending “-bE7”, about 1,700 words as moved; not now of course… Full title and link repeated below):

I started this post after publishing (on this blog) last November (“Oh Arizona!”… (The Career AFCC Academic’s Dilemma…, short-link ending “-bzx”on a 2011 NIJ-funded study about mediation in domestic violence settings within the family courts.  While writing that, I found an earlier one on the same topic:   ‘Divorce Mediation & Domestic Violence’, Found at NCJRS, Doc’t. 164658).  NIJ Award# 93-NIJ-CX-0036

The earlier one’s year was 1997 which IF you follow this blog, by now you know is right after Welfare Reform (1996).  This 1997 one unlike the 2011 one, does not  even pretend, that AFCC was not a key player.

POST TITLE ACRONYMS:  My post title uses several acronyms which will be briefly identified here in case they are unfamiliar but described for their significance a bit further below. By now in this field parents and advocates who consider themselves “informed” on the family courts should be familiar with them, but I realize it’s no accident that, generally, they are not. The public awareness gap (basically, blind spots) facilitate more private maneuvering of the situation out of view, while we are coached, encouraged, and conditioned when on-line to focus on other and argue about other things.

The acronyms are, in post title order: NIJ (the National Institute of Justice<~”An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice,” with the motto: “Strengthen Science, Advance Justice”), CPR (Center for Policy Research, Inc., a Denver, Colorado 501©3 formed in 1981), AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Inc.), and FRPN (Fatherhood Research and Practice Network, which is a website, not an Inc. stating it’s a joint project with CPR and  Temple University). I’ll also be talking about the CRC (Children’s Rights Council, Inc., mid-1980s, in Maryland), mostly because Dr. Pearson was also involved with it, since its founding.

WHO IS THE NIJ?  My Quick Pre/view from its website)***

As you can see the title includes my phrase “NIJ-funded.”  I only mention it because it funded the study I’m interested in impacting domestic violence and mediation as handled in the family courts. However, looking at NIJ’s mission and mandate, we might ask why, given NIJ’s focus having so little to do with the family court system, it was funding organizations and evaluations whose focus is the family court systems as far back as 1997 (if not further).

***Separately, I’m aware that Law Professor Joan Meier of George Washington University (known for her long-term association with “DV LEAP,” a small nonprofit, created in 2003(?) housed at the university) has received, or DV LEAP under her leadership has, funding from the NIJ, but I know less about the NIJ’s (and the USDOJ’s under which it was formed) structure and operations than about HHS, which comes up constantly in the context of: family courts (especially but NOT only in the USA), healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood promotions and infrastructure maintenance (i.e., all those websites with downloadable information, including but not limited to “fatherhood.gov,” and welfare reform I’d like to pursue understanding of it further at some point.

NIJ’s “About” page also says it was started (under the USDOJ presumably) in 1969.

Its list of past directors includes no women (although a few “Acting Directors”) until 2001, Sarah V. Holt.  I notice many of the appointments were pretty short: a year, or two or three mostly, until 1995.

The NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the [U.S.] Department of Justice

We are dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. We provide objective and independent knowledge and tools to inform the decision-making of the criminal and juvenile justice communities to reduce crime and advance justice, particularly at the state and local levels.  [[About NIJ, https://nij.ojp.gov/about-nij, June 17, 2019]]

Notice it makes no reference to the family court, or even civil courts.  The juvenile justice communities overlap subject matter, some, with criminal issues when juveniles commit crimes; other parts of the “juvenile justice communities” involve “status offences”  behaviors like truancy (or underage drinking/driving) which would not be a crime for an adult, so it’s understandable why “juvenile justice” might be there in the larger context of “crime and justice.”

The family courts as set up, by design/intentionally also now overlap significantly with handling real criminal issues (such as assault and battery, kidnapping, causing serious injury, murder, child abandonment, terroristic threats, or child abuse, etc.) and what are notably NOT really criminal issues, such as divorcing, seeking perhaps in the process child support, or functioning as a parent separately from another parent.  

Family Courts and Family Court Divisions of Superior Courts) are by far a more recent development. For the record a “Court” is not synonymous with the word “proceeding.”  Obviously people did divorce many decades ago, but the family courts we have now (USA, and some other countries I’m learning) are a more recent phenomenon, or rather “development,” because they were developed; they didn’t just mysteriously spring forth like ghosts from the previously existing courts.

Under “How NIJ is Organized” (Page:  July, 2019) I see it has An Office of the Director, two science and three support sections, the latter including “Grants Management.” The two “science” sections (in this overview) reference these types of science:

Each of the science offices is composed of scientists from specific groups of scientific disciplines — social and behavioral scientists, forensic scientists, and physical scientists and engineers. While our science offices are organized into specific focus areas for administrative purposes, they operate in a multidisciplinary and collaborative way.

However the mini-descriptions of the two science offices, both here, and if you click through, talk about forensic science, do not repeat any reference to “social and behavioral scientists” and continue to emphasize the criminal justice system, not civil: family courts aren’t even mentioned.

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Written by Let's Get Honest

January 25, 2020 at 7:54 pm

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