Hannah's House Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center
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About Us

History
Hannah's House opened its doors in late 2001 in response to new legislation which gave judges more latitude to order supervised visitation in cases where there were possible risks to the children involved due to domestic violence, child abuse or neglect.[1]  The Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex had already seen first-hand a number of tragic cases where children suffered, and at times died, during contentious custody battles. Hannah's House began with a clear commitment to providing prevention services, but the need is staggering. In Dallas County alone there are approximately 22,000 new divorce cases per year with an estimated 1,300 of those cases involving families with spousal abuse, child abuse, or both.[2]  As the number of other providers who offer supervision has dwindled we have tried to stretch our resources to meet the continuing community need. Since beginning operations, Hannah's House has served hundreds of families, and continues to grow to serve areas across the metroplex.

Effects on Children
The statistics regarding the effects of family conflict (both physical and emotional) on children are staggering. 43% of all critical injuries and child fatalities occur in homes where there is spousal abuse.[3]  Children who witness or are subjected to emotional or physical violence are at risk for developmental delays, lack of social competency, and poor impulse control and anger management skills. They may feel isolated from friends and family and guilty over irrational feelings of responsibility for the family difficulties. They can be confused, angry, nervous, or attention seeking - often all at the same time. Abused and neglected children are 6 times more likely to commit suicide, 50 times more likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs, and 74 times more likely to engage in crimes against persons than their non-abused counterparts.[4]  Hannah's House exists to serve as a prevention program. Regardless of the nature of the allegations involved in the custody litigation, we offer an environment where children can feel safe and secure, while still maintaining contact with the parents and family members they love. Parents can prevent revisiting disputes with former partners and escape conflict by avoiding direct confrontation with the other party in the litigation. Children can avoid watching their parents continue the difficulties which may have been the cause for their separation in the first place, and stay out of the middle of the adult disputes which may be continuing in the courthouse.



[1]  77th Texas Legislature's amendments to TFC 153.004 (SB 140), effective September 1, 2001.
[2]  Dallas Family Courts, 2002 Data
[3]  The Family Place Community Report
[4]  The Heritage Foundation "The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintigration of Marriage, Family, and the American Community
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