* Our Mission *
The mission at Family Court Awareness Month is to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on one of the most important branches of our judicial system; the family court system.
The very system that was established to govern family law cases and make decisions that are “in the best interest” of children, has some undeniable shortcomings that warrant conversations, solutions and ultimately, change.
Our mission is fueled by the desire for a family court system that is trauma-informed and educated on domestic violence, coercive control and post separation abuse. To truly act in the best interest of children, our family court system needs to incorporate empirical data and research into their decisions and rulings.
* Our History *
For the inaugural year, Tina Swithin in collaboration with Sandra Ross, kicked Family Court Awareness Month off with a press conference in Los Angeles on November 1, 2020, where they received recognition from Senator Susan Rubio and Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio. Press conferences were held in the following areas: Los Angeles, California, Little Rock, Arkansas, Charleston, South Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, Amarillo, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the cross-country journey, Tina met with domestic violence advocates, law enforcement officers, district attorneys, attorneys and judges. The inaugural year efforts were widely embraced by advocacy groups across the country. Family Court Awareness Month billboards were generously secured and donated by a follower of OMB and displayed all across the United States.
Two hundred twenty cities and counties, along with eight states, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Idaho, Illinois, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Texas publicly demonstrated their commitment to child safety in the family court system. With our Pin the Community on the Map Campaign, Mayors, county officials, and governors around the country pledged their support with proclamations and/ or resolutions officially declaring the month of November as Family Court Awareness Month in their respective communities. Advocates and survivors nationwide had an opportunity to share stories with thousands of community members, and that was complimented by a coast-to-coast billboard public service campaign. Local Family Court Awareness Month events and activities, sprung up across the country from a tree planting ceremony in West Sacramento to several rallies in Fort Lauderdale to an incredible multidisciplinary conference with professionals and courageous survivors co-hosted by UC Irvine and California Protective Parents Association.
Family Court Awareness Month received the official designation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The mission to shine a mega spotlight on the need for specialized training in the family court system this year was highly successful. We believe family court professionals should receive training on the topics they rule about every day, which include domestic violence, child sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, trauma, coercive control, as well as victim and perpetrator behaviors. With a swelling national presence, and a large group of passionate child safety advocates, the 2022 campaign received 370 confirmations from jurisdictions in 29 states for proclamations, resolutions, or certificates acknowledging that November is Family Court Awareness Month. 15 states officially proclaimed that November is Family Court Awareness Month, taking a stand that child safety needs to be the priority in family courts. All across the USA advocates took the microphone to enlighten elected officials and community members about child safety issues in the court system. The Family Court Awareness Month Billboard campaign, with nearly 5 million impressions nationwide, included boards that honored several murdered children, and one mother, who were not protected in the family court system. An online conference and a series of panel sessions were offered throughout the month that hosted thought leaders, elected officials, advocates, and survivors. Topics of post separation abuse, survivors lived experiences, protecting children in family court cases, reunification camps, and black women in family court cases were featured. And finally, several peaceful protests were held not only in the USA, but the UK to create awareness and demand change.
Advocates and Concerned Citizens are currently reaching out to their local government officials throughout the United States and Globals with requests to declare November as Family Court Awareness Month. Please check back for the confirmed proclamations as they are received.