On Monday, December 7th at a joint hearing, the House Judiciary and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committees heard recommendations from the Workgroup to Study Child Custody Proceedings Involving Child Abuse or Domestic Violence Allegations. Child Custody Workgroup members including Maryland Secretary of State John C. Wobnensmith as well as Ruth Glenn, President of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Joan Meier, Professor of Clinical Law and Director of the National Family Violence Law Center at George Washington University Law School, presented the workgroup’s final report.
According to the Center for Judicial Excellence, the number of children in Maryland murdered by a parent involved in a divorce or custody case since 2008 represents just 2% of these cases that occurred across the country during the same time period.
Child abuse takes on many forms and can have a devastating impact in incalculable ways — sometimes after they’ve been adjudicated in court.
“Most cases do not end in murder,” Wobnensmith told the Senate Judicial Proceedings and House Judiciary committees Monday. “Instead, innumerable children are sentenced to a lifetime of abuse by the courts allowing access, and sometimes awarding sole custody, to an abusive parent.”
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