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Stop Family Violence is a national grassroots organization whose mission is to organize and amplify our nation’s collective voice against all forms of relationship violence including domestic violence, rape, child abuse, child sex abuse, incest, sexual assault, elder abuse, dating violence, stalking, sexual trafficking and prostitution.  Together we can stop family violence.







  Home > Get Informed > Custody and Abuse > Problem Overview

Jana's View: Parental Alienation
Phoenix Magazine, 05/01/

Abusive fathers are convincing the courts that mothers are "coaching" their kids to fear their fathers. It's called Parental Alienation Syndrome and its a serious issue. (more)

Courageous Kids Network
Courageous Kids Network, 10/01/

We, the Courageous Kids Network, are a growing group of young people, whose childhood was shattered by biased and inhumane court rulings, which forced us to live with our abusive parent, while restricting or sometimes completely eliminating contact with our loving and protective parent. (more)

10 Custody Myths and How To Counter Them
American Bar Association Commission On Domestic Violence, 07/01/

Any attorney who represents clients in custody matters will recognize at least some of the following unfounded clichés about domestic violence and custody. Here are some resources that the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence provides for practitioners to use when representing victims of domestic violence. (more)

Custody Visitation Scandal Cases
Barry Goldstein, 03/05/

Today, disturbingly, in thousands of custody-visitation cases all over the country, abused women and children are being revictimized rather than protected. I suggest using the term CUSTODY-VISITATION SCANDAL CASES, which would help us to better detect and understand the pattern and frequency of such atrocities. (more)

Creating Justice Through Balance: Integrating Domestic Violence Law Into Family Court Practice
Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 09/01/

The core values underpinning family law—particularly as it addresses child custody and visitation—too often are at odds with the safety needs of victims of domestic violence. Family law, which has developed as a mechanism for defining, recognizing, establishing, reordering, or supporting the familial and intimate relationships that people have with one another, is frequently inadequate to address domestic violence. In contrast, the specialized domestic violence law provisions operating within family law function under rationales and theories distinct from those underlying family law. The inherent substantive tensions that arise when the two bodies of law are simultaneously implemented can result in conflicting court orders, unsafe interventions, and inappropriate remedies for survivors of domestic violence. (more)

Custodians of Abuse
Boston Phoenix, 01/09/

Nearly 25 experts in custody litigation involving child-abuse claims were interviewed for this article. All had the same three complaints about family court — regardless of which state’s court system they were familiar with:
- Family courts do not rely on criminal investigators to examine child-abuse claims. They rely on family advocates called guardians ad litem (GALs) - psychologists, social workers or lawyers who lack expertise in investigating child sexual abuse.
- Normal courtroom checks and balances don’t exist in family court. Unlike in criminal and civil court, there are no juries, plaintifs often lack legal representation, hence judges can act without scrutiny. Often judges act in ways that violate basic rights of due process.
- Gender bias and traditional stereotypes of how women and men parent children continue to prevail in family court. As a result, while conventional wisdom has it that mothers almost always fare well in family court, statistics show otherwise. (more)

Understanding the Batterer In Custody and Visitation Disputes
Lundy Bancroft, 01/01/

Contrary to popular belief, children of batterers can be at just as much risk psychologically, sexually, and even physically after the couple splits up as they were when the family was still together. In fact, many children experience the most damaging victimization from the abuser at this point. (more)

The Batterer As Parent
Synergy 6(1) P 6-8 Ncjfcj Newsletter, 03/27/

The parenting of men who batterer exposes children to multiple potential sources of emotional and physical injury, most of which have not been recognized widely. (more)

Batterer Manipulation and Retaliation Denial and Complicity In the Family Courts
Feminista, 06/15/

Most family court judges insist that people going through custody and divorce cases are good people, but that they often behave very badly because they are so stressed out by the pressures of the separation and court dispute. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth for the men who abuse their female intimate partners and children. (more)

Legal Community Rejects Parental Alienation Syndrome
The Leadership Council On Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, 07/12/

Two recent high profile legal publications have rejected “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (PAS), a controversial label often used to discredit allegations of child abuse or domestic violence in family courts. According to PAS theory, children's disclosures of abuse by one parent are reinterpreted as evidence of “brainwashing” by the other parent. The solution proposed by PAS theory is to immediately award custody to the alleged child abuser. (more)

The Illusion of Protection
Domestic Violence Report, 05/01/

Because of growing awareness of the harm of domestic violence to children is that 49 states (and Connecticut by case law) enacted laws requiring judges to consider the domestic violence (DV) in making custody determinations. States also enacted or strengthened their order of protection (OP) laws. In addition, at least 24 states have enacted statutory presumptions that batterers not get custody. Even with such clear legislative intent to protect abused mothers and their children, all too often mothers still face the reality that they are unable to protect their children and themselves, despite the existence of substantial proof, OPs, or even with court findings of abuse. (more)

Who´s Protecting Whom? the Criminalization of Protective Parents
Off Our Backs, 07/01/

When most of us imagine divorce/custody cases that involve a child who is sexually abused by one of the parents, we see a pretty awful set of images. Until recently, it was widely believed in those cases, the mothers typically end up with the child, and the abuser, the father, is dragged off to jail. Over the past few years, with all the media attention on False Memories/Parental Alienation Syndrome, public opinion has been changing with respect to incest. What once appeared to be a clear-cut situation, has now become an area of great controversy and debate. The most tragic casualties of this debate over child abuse are the children themselves, who are currently being sexually abused and are not trusted or believed when they disclose because of the grave suspicion that has been cast upon all who dare to speak about the abuse. But children are not the only ones to suffer. This backlash has also hit mothers who are trying to protect their children from abuse. (more)

Protective Parents Survey
California Protective Parents Assn., 10/02/

The current study is the pilot results of a national survey undertaken to study the issue of protective parents. Sixty-seven self-identified "protective parents," male and female, completed a 101-item questionnaire describing aspects of their custody disputes. The pilot data to be presented includes the systematic documentation of the phenomenon of protective parents by including demographic factors, economic impact, and the full variety of protection issues including the range of allegations by both parents and others, the variety of expert examinations, diagnosis and testimony, family court response, and outcomes for children. (more)

Arizona Battered Mothers Testimony Project
Diane Post J.d., 06/01/

The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence implemented the Battered Mothers’ Testimony Project (BMTP) to explore the lived experiences of battered women in family court matters when child custody is an issue and domestic violence is present. Previous studies suggested that battered women do not face a level playing field in the family court. Discrimination abounds and myths pervade the judicial process. The rights of the children are not upheld and the victims of violence receive neither protection nor justice. We hope the report will lead to public discussion of the problems and issues, create impetus for change, and lay down a roadmap for positive resolution. (more)

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