Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02), Co-Founder of the Victims’ Rights Caucus,introduced H. Con. Res 150, specifying that child safety should be the first priority in custody and visitation adjudications. The resolution also calls for state courts to implement evidence admissibility standards that help ensure that only scientifically-based facts or qualified expert testimony are admitted to prove or disprove child abuse.

“Protecting our children is one of the most important things that we can do for society,” said Congressman Ted Poe. “Unfortunately, some courts are overlooking potential signs of abuse and are relying on scientifically unsound factors to make decisions that impact a child’s life. Courts should resolve all claims of abuse independently before looking at any other factors in deciding custody or visitation. An independent and rigorous investigation into claims of abuse, coupled with heightened evidentiary standards, will help courts prevent the endangerment of any child. In 1990, a congressional resolution helped state courts adopt appropriate policies regarding domestic violence and abuse in state family courts. It is my hope that this new resolution will provide similar encouragement.”

The bill is supported by:

Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP)

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women

National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS)

Futures Without Violence

Advocates for Child Empowerment & Safety (ACES)

Break The Cycle

Child Justice

Children's Justice Fund 

Battered Mothers' Custody Conference

MassKids (Massachusetts Citizens for Children)

California Protective Parent Association

Legal Momentum

Center for Judicial Excellence

National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence

Mothers of Lost Children