"Ms. Zubko-Valva provided the defendants with overwhelming, irrefutable evidence of the graphic, horrific abuse, including documentary proof, audio recordings and transcriptions, photographs and medical reports."
From lawsuit filed by Justyna, Tommy's mother
Little Tommy’s mother, Justyna, filed a $200M lawsuit this week against the Family Court judge and other officials involved in her custody case, 5 months after his death at the hands of his father.
Tommy’s father was enabled by three Family Court judges to severely abuse him for many years, despite Justyna fighting hard for his protection and submitting substantial evidence of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. But, as usual in contested custody cases, the judges deemed his mother a liar and restricted her to supervised visitation, giving the father complete power and control to use and abuse his son at will.
Unfortunately, the media is failing to put Little Tommy’s death into the context of systemic sexism operating in family courts, and some outlets are spreading false narratives, which harm the movement. It is important to ask MSM to print the truth about Tommy and the Custody Crisis [see below].
One local New York outlet, Newsday, quotes the mother’s attorney, saying the judge “failed to review evidence” and that the father was given custody because he was a police officer. In fact, there were three judges who DISREGARDED substantial evidence in Tommy’s case, not “failed to review it”. This is an important distinction in getting to the crux of the matter: Family court judges are not just negligent or untrained, they are deliberately ignoring damaging evidence about fathers and fabricating damaging evidence about mothers to justify switching custody to the father.
And Tommy's father may have been a police officer, but this is an exception to the rule of most fathers getting custody regardless of occupation. Reporting only that position misleads the public into thinking it is rare for abusive fathers to be given custody.
Research shows that judges are switching custody from primary nurturing mothers to fathers in approximately 82% of cases, with 70% involving abusive fathers; and that women have never had the power to keep custody after divorce, thanks to discriminatory systems men put in place as soon as women gained the power to live independently of them.
Research also confirms it is in children’s best interest to live primarily with their primary attachment figure after divorce (and visit the other parent regularly), especially when the parents do not get along; and, of course, to restrict visitation with abusive parents.
This research and the fact that THREE judges in this one case, and thousands of other judges around the world are empowering fathers at the expense of women and children, support that it is entrenched, systemic male entitlement causing women to lose custody. The incredible devastation caused to millions of women’s and children’s lives around the world is incalculable.
As a result of this case, legislation for cameras in the courtroom and on court-affiliated officials are being promoted as a solution. It is unclear this solution is being proposed when judges ignored “mountains of evidence and can simply ignore video evidence as well.
The problem, said best by law professor Wendy Murphy, is “Family Court judges can do whatever the hell they want.” And what they want, in way too many cases, it to entitle and empower fathers, regardless of the harm it causes women and children.
What is needed is not band-aid reforms like cameras, more training or more child abuse laws, but profound structural change: a new system that removes custody cases from Family Court.
Want to help get the truth out?
ASK THE MEDIA to report on the real cause of Tommy’s death: the Custody Crisis.
[You can refer them to The Women’s Coalition for more information and interviews with a link to this post.]
Nicole Fuller: email@example.com
[If you know of any other reporters who may report on the crisis, please have them contact TWC and link them to this post or on FB: ]
NOTE: If anyone knows how to contact with Justyna, please tell her the real reason she lost custody was systemic sexism, not negligence or lack of video evidence, and have her contact TWC for more info and support from women from around the world.
The Women's Coalition: https://www.womenscoalitioninternational.org
Join your local coalition to help raise awareness about the crisis and fight for change: firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous TWC article:
Previous TWC post:
Thomas Valva's mother files $200 million lawsuit in 8-year-old's death
Cindy Dumas, M.A. has been researching, writing, and raising awareness about the Custody Crisis since 2003, when she was unable to protect her children from their abusive father. She fled into hiding when Family Court failed her and was tricked into returning home, when her children were given to their abusive father.