Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Scholarship for the Battered Mothers Custody Conference

Battered Mother's Custody Conference 2018 with Advocates and Protective Mothers.
All protective mothers are not from ethnic or minority groups
There was a diverse group  of protective mothers & advocates at this conference
I just happened to be sitting at a table with these AWESOME women
 The picture above features Yours Truly with a group of AWESOME Advocates and Protective Mother's at the the Battered Mother's Custody Conference in Albany New York (I attended in 2008 and 2010 and plan to send another advocate or protective mother with in 2020!). 

No one knew that I attended one of the above-listed conferences without a penny to my name beyond flight money, conference registration and hotel room. 

 I was flat broke. 

From Friday night to Sunday afternoon, I had zero dollars for food or drink.  

Thankfully, the conference organizers are well aware that protective mothers desperately need the resources presented at this conference but are usually financially devastated from legal fees forced on them by their abusers, so I was thankful indeed for the continental breakfast the hotel served and for the conference-provided late morning coffee and finger food along with the afternoon snack on Saturday. 

With no money for dinner, I was sustained largely by English muffins and peanut butter [carried back to my hotel room from the continental breakfast] .

I share this story for a couple of reasons. First, I was there as an advocate who almost could not attend because I was strapped for cash. I Thank God I was able to go. The knowledge and insights I received have proved invaluable to my understanding and ability to function as a good advocate (and this was after I went through abuse myself and published my book!). 

At the conference I met protective parents from all walks of life (protective fathers as well as protective mothers--but mostly mothers, hundreds of them), I met other advocates, listened to the presenters, met judges, lawyers, social service professionals, and business professionals from outside of the expected legal and social service fields protective parents might need. 

The protective parents I met at that conference desperately needed informed advocates! And trust me, Google cannot come close to achieving what just one of those conferences achieved in opening my eyes and equipping me as an advocate. 

Prior to attending my first Battered Mothers Custody Conference, I began an outreach to the Christian Community that I called The Dorcas Network. My hope was, that every church would have a "Go To" person in their congregation should a battered/abused wife or protective mother approach them for help. The Dorcas Network focus was on Christian response to domestic violence (which includes child custody issues) education and empowerment. To my delight, I received an enthusiastic response from women across the country. To my disappointment, I never heard from any pastor or church leader, and the idea never made it past a single pastor's desk when approached by their church members.

The other reason I share this behind-the-scenes story about my hungry conference experience (Oh my, how the savory aroma's coming from the hotel restaurant and other attendee's take-out made my mouth water!), is that I have a great hope that churches and ministries would see fit to sponsor someone from within their congregations (whether victim or advocate) to attend annually

What a difference something like that would make in so many lives (remember, battered mothers have children)!

Money is often the only hindrance to someone being empowered by the information and resources that abound at this conference. 


The Battered Mothers Custody Conference (*BMCC) is an annual weekend event dedicated to educating professionals and the general public about the serious legal and psychological challenges faced by battered women who seek protection for themselves and their children from the family/divorce court system. These (primarily) survivors of domestic violence often encounter disbelief of their allegations of intimate partner and/or child abuse by the legal agents involved in their child custody cases. 


*BMCC is a secular event that lots of Christians attend (and lots more need to), but do not expect a Christian environment--sometimes far from it. Do expect an abundance of practical, useful, and empowering information in navigating the difficult and sometimes deadly landscape of marital violence and abuse. 

Despite the disheartening experience of The Dorcas Network so many years ago, I am doing it again! I am putting my money where my mouth is and starting a scholarship fund to send advocates and protective parents to the conference each year beginning with the 2020 conference.  It is my hope that every church, pastor, and Christian leader will do the same. Start your own scholarship fund. If not, join the Network and help me get this thing off the ground .

My lunch-less/supper-less conference was worth it. 

But why should any advocate or victim have to attend a conference hungry?  Contact me through the form in the sidebar of this blog or leave your comment below and share with others what you or your church or organization is doing. Many hands make light work.  Join the Network!

I have started a GoFundMe for the scholarship. You can donate HERE.

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