From Abusive Relationship to ACS Supervision: A Survivor’s StoryDecember 6, 2023
Brooklyn mom fighting child welfare agency over invasive searches A Brooklyn mom who kicked out an abusive partner is facing invasive and traumatic searches by caseworkers. There are claims that this perpetuates “double abuse of women.” Identified as “Ms. W,” she and her 1-year-old currently under city supervision. She alleges caseworkers have repeatedly searched her apartment, including late night visits. Even her daughter is checked for bruises. David Shalleck-Klein of the Family Justice Law Center calls these orders “blatantly illegal” and “traumatizing.” This case highlights the larger issue of domestic violence survivors coming under government supervision. The appeal describes this as “groundbreaking,” with potential to prevent the agency from “punishing” her, and overhauling the treatment of abuse victims. Ms. W called the police on her abusive partner who hit her in front of her daughter. He was ordered to stay away, but now, Ms. W undergoes regular supervision based on “generalized speculation and stereotyping.” This is a mother who has no history with ACS and who simply wants peace and safety for her daughter. Spokespeople for ACS and family court have not commented. This case evokes Ms. W’s past separation from her family by ACS. She fears saying the wrong thing and losing her daughter.