ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland lawmakers are looking for better outcomes in child custody cases involving abuse and are examing what legislation may be needed to protect child victims of domestic violence.
The Child Custody and Abuse Workshop jumped in to evaluate the State’s family court system of child custody cases involving abuse. The group is led by Maryland’s Secretary of State John Wobensmith.
“This is not something where we’re trying to blame somebody or put someone in an awkward position,” Wobensmith said. “What we want to do is help everybody.”
The group heard testimony from a woman who spent years trying to get out of an abusive relationship. She identified herself as Faith.
“I was married for 14 and a half years to a man who was very abusive, physically, mentally and emotionally to myself and our three children,” she said. “I had been through the court system there.”
Faith was in court for four years, 66 hearings including criminal assault charges against her husband.
“When I say physical abuse, I mean there was abuse involving knives, AR-15’s, 9mm Barettas, brooms [and] fists,” Faith said. “These acts of violence were perpetrated against myself and against our three children.”
According to Wobensmith, in Maryland, there have been cases where courts have given custody to parents who are abusive.
“What we’re finding is the real experts in this field are not always there on behalf of the child,” Wobensmith said.
The meeting is in July.