Her work in speech technology has led to her creation of Sequence Package Analysis (SPA), a successfully peer reviewed method of analyzing natural language conversations, which serves as a powerful tool for enabling computer analysis of human conversations. Her company is at the forefront of this field, making SPA an integral part of audio data mining and interactive voice response (IVR) systems.
Her noted activism in child sexual abuse (CSA) began in 1986 when her six-year-old daughter reported being sexually abused by her divorced father. Amy found to her horror that, as a result of the report, her daughter was removed from her sole custody, and placed with her ex-husband. (An of the facts of Amy’s shocking case, widely cited in literature devoted to child sex abuse, may be found by clicking .) Amy discovered that many other mothers nationwide had the same experience with the family courts. She organized these “protective mothers” into a national movement. She founded —a legal research and advocacy center—to inspire social change by lobbying state and federal legislators to investigate the problems in the family court system.
Amy Neustein, whose specialty is sociolinguistics, used her training to help mothers crushed by an unfair court system. She gave expert witness testimony in child abuse/custody cases on the evidentiary weight of medical and psychological terminology. She based this on her on how experts make sense and order of chronic uncertainty, by looking at their conversational patterns and use of specific medical phrases. Often her services as a consultant for lawyers, and as an expert witness, were rendered pro bono, to mothers who were already bankrupted by a hostile court process.
Finally, after nearly 20 years of long hours running a nationwide support hotline for mothers, and analyzing their lengthy court records, Amy Neustein and writer/attorney wrote From Madness to Mutiny. The book, released in May 2005, was made the lead title of the University Press of New England and is part of Northeastern University's Gender, Crime and Law Series. From Madness to Mutiny is having a profound effect on the family courts themselves, as government officials, attorneys, and judges are beginning to see the nature and magnitude of the family court problem. Amy is also the editor of Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities & Child Sex Scandals (Brandeis University Press, 2009) and Advances in Speech Recognition: Mobile Environments, Call Centers and Clinics (Springer, November 2010).
Life is ever a journey, filled with the richness of experiences and surprises. Amy's journey through the family courts was painful and challenging. But her self-taught lobbying, public relations, and administrative skills, which were needed to spearhead the mothers’ movement, are precisely what gave her the vision and fortitude to help architect changes in the call center industry. And this can only help the distressed caller to be more humanely served at the other end of the line.
Amy Neustein •
Childless Mother •
Women in Science UN Campaign
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Tempest in the Temple • Tenant Activism • Sisters of B’khors
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