NEWBURGH – Mothers with painful pasts are sounding the alarm about new York state’s domestic violence laws, – claiming that far too often violent batterers are awarded child custody with potential deadly consequences.

In ‘No Way Out,’ a months-long Turn To Tara investigation, News 12 takes an in-depth look into domestic violence laws on the books in New York and speaks to victims who feel these laws create more problems, than solutions.  The Turn to Tara investigative team spent months combing through court cases and police documents.  In the research, they discovered hidden truths about New York’s domestic violence laws and their impact on victims and children.

In Part One of the three-part series, News 12’s Tara Rosenblum uncovers the shocking statistics that everyone should know.

Every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted by an intimate partner.  Many of the women are moms trying to protect their children, but that doesn’t always work out.

The Leadership Council on Child Abuse says 58,000 U.S. children a year are court-ordered into the custody of abusive parents.

Rosenblum spoke to one mom, “Vanessa,” (real name has been changed for safety reasons) who explains that she was abused by her ex-husband, a local college professor. “He had broken my nose. I had two black eyes. I was battered all over. Chunks of my hair were missing. The beating ensued for hours.”

Vanessa says the abuse continued and despite multiple arrests and guilty pleas, her goals of making a clean break from the ex-husband were “derailed” after a judge issued him visitation rights with her son. “You are playing fast and loose with a child’s life. I couldn’t get out of the house, and I’m grown woman. How is a 3-year-old going to get away or get help and you’re just going to trust someone with history of domestic violence? We hear cases all the time, children going to visit with batterers and not coming back home.”

The Center for Judicial Excellence says 666 American children (23 in New York) have been killed by a parent in the past decade. In 85 of those cases, mothers had warned family courts their children were in danger.

Read the rest of the story on News 12

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