Child Abuse Professionals Rally Around American Fugitive Returning to the US After 14 Years in Hiding.
For Immediate Release:
United States of America (Press Release) September 25, 2008 –
Jennifer, now a 23 year old psychology student, clearly remembers the abuse & wants to help other children forced to live with abusive parents. Jennifer was invited to tell her story to an audience of mental health professionals working in the field of family violence at the 13th International Conference on Violence, Abuse & Trauma in San Diego on Sept. 17, 2008. Over 1,000 attendees were riveted by her account of her escape from child abuse & gave her a standing ovation as she receiveda medal of courage from the California Protective Parents Association and the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence.
Dr. Joyanna Silberg, Executive Vice-President of the Leadership Council, spoke about Jennifer's case to the conference audience & stated that the problems in family court have gotten worse in the last 14 years. The Leadership Council estimates that over 58,000 children a year in the United States are abuse victims that are ordered by family court to have unsupervised contact with abusers when their parents divorce.
The Leadership Council, a coalition of professionals committed to education about child abuse, does not condone breaking the law, but hopes the story of Holly and her children sparks needed reforms that protect children from abusive parents involved in custody disputes."
A parent shouldn't have to flee the United States to protect their child renfrom abuse," notes to Dr. Paul Fink, past President of the American Psychiatric Association & current President of the Leadership Council. He notes that one of the reforms needed is eradication of the use of "Parental Alienation Syndrome" which has been repeatedly debunked by leading professional organizations. Instead of relying on junk science, Dr. Fink contends that courts should actually look at the evidence before them when deciding the best interests of children.
Dr. Fink notes with irony that the media is covering Alec Baldwin this week who claims himself to be a victim of "Parental Alienation Syndrome". Fink contends that the real victims of this misleading legal strategy are bruised & battered children like Jennifer & Zachary Collins.
The Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence is composed of national leaders in psychology, psychiatry, medicine, law, & public policy who are committed to the ethical application of psychological science & countering its misuse by special interest groups. Members of the Council are dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of children & other vulnerable populations. More information can be found at: http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/
Joyanna Silberg, Ph. D.
Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence