Tonight's special guest is Margaret (Peggy) Hoffman from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is an activist and survivor of a toxic family and domestic abuse. Peggy’s Native American family suffered multi-generational government oppression and systemic abuses that contributed to growing up in a dysfunctional environment. Her mother had poor health and, after her father took his own life when she was 10, Peggy was raised by multiple family members who were ‘enablers’ of abuse. Peggy learned early on about family secrets of incest. Before her current marriage of 22 years, Peggy divorced her first husband after a decade of domestic violence. In 2016, while Peggy’s daughter was in the middle of a custody battle, Peggy’s 5 yr. old granddaughter disclosed sexual abuse by the father. Although Peggy’s daughter did the right things by reporting the abuse to police and a trauma therapist, the courts ultimately disbelieved the allegations, granting custody to the abusive father where her granddaughter still resides today. Peggy says, "Children are the least protected when it comes to sexual abuse.” This systemic failure to protect children who disclose fueled Peggy to dedicate herself to policy reform. She has spent over 1000 hours in training courses and is working as the Pennsylvania director of the Stop Abuse Campaign. She partners with legislators to pass the Safe Child Act and other legislation for family court reform and accountability for legal professionals. According to Peggy, her story has been repeated in about 2.8 percent of custody cases nationwide, with over 7,000 children in Pennsylvania alone ordered into contact or custody of their abuser because of a failing system. Peggy invites listeners to contact her.
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