CNN producer note
NCarroll is the founder of the Indianapolis chapter of this organization and posted these photos, telling me, 'We tried to all dress in white as a sign of peace (as the Liberian women in "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" did). We had about 120 participants. '
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
Mothers from across the country gathered at the White House today on Mothers Day to stand in silent vigil for the children who are now in the custody of abusers. Claims of domestic violence are often dismissed by family court judges during divorces or child custody proceedings, even though the American Bar Association found false claims to be rare. To raise awareness of this crisis in family courts, Connie Valentine and Karen Anderson of the California Protective Parents Association organized with other groups such as the Center for Judicial Excellence, Justice for Children, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). The event was also supported by Stop Family Violence and the National Organization for Women.
Dr. Mo Hannah (Siena College, New York) of the Battered Mothers Custody Conference introduced the speakers at the press conference held at noon. Kathleen Russell from the Center for Judicial Excellence, Eileen King from Justice for Children and Rita Smith from NCADV spoke to the public and members of the press present. Guests included Mildred Muhammad, ex-wife of the DC sniper, and other mothers including Katie Tagle and Amy Leichtenberg, both who lost their children in murder-suicides with their abusive fathers.
Some members attending today plan on continuing the vigil daily at the White House throughout the month.