"Has rapidly become the standard for legal guidance on this topic."
—Lundy Bancroft, Jay G. Silverman, & Daniel Ritchie*
“Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody will be instructive for policymakers, those working in the family justice system, and members of the media–which the authors say has by-and-large failed to expose custody court scandals. But it is a must-read for any mother involved in a child custody battle, and especially for mothers trying get free from an abusive relationship."
—R. Dianne Bartlow, Ms. Magazine Blog
“The stories of injustice in this book will shock you, and make you cry--but keep reading. Abusers are hoping you won't pay
attention because it will be too painful. Prove them wrong by reading this book again and again and again--and share it with everyone who needs to know the truth.”
—Wendy Murphy, JD, New England Law-Boston; author of And Justice For Some
"We are excited about Domestic Violence, Abuse and Child Custody, a new book that we believe can be used to change the broken custody court system."
—Rita Smith, Executive Director, NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
“This book serves as a beacon of light to all those who have become jaundiced by the malfunctioning family court, social services, law guardian and mental health system.”
—Amy Neustein, Ph.D., Co-Author of From Madness to Mutiny: Why Mothers Are Running From the Family Courts—And What Can Be Done About It
“Wise judges will use the up-to-date research now available to take a fresh look at practices and assumptions deeply ingrained after thirty years.”
—Judge Sol Gothard, JD, MSW, ACSW, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, State of Louisiana (ret.)
In a trend that started in the 1980s, and increasingly since then, family court judges across the U.S. have ordered thousands and thousands of children into unsupervised visitation with abusive biological fathers. In many cases, mothers have been denied any form of custody, with some losing all contact with their children. In the last few years, attorneys and social service advocates have met to address this issue at the annual Battered Mother’s Custody Conferences. This book brings together the expertise and perspective of more than thirty contributors to BMCC in a comprehensive resource that arms advocates with the best thinking and most effective legal strategies in the battle to protect mothers and families from a system that often fails to address abuse and sometimes actually worsens the problem.
Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody presents insights and hands-on practice guidance from the leading experts on child custody cases that involve intimate partner violence and child abuse. Chapter authors address the prevalence of these problems, the complex reasons why protective mothers lose custody of their children, the things court agents and other professionals often do that contribute to bad outcomes, and the corrective measures that must be put into place to ensure legal protections for abused women and their children.
- Understand the harm caused by all types of abusive behavior, whether physical, verbal, financial, legal, or other forms.
- Guide the representation of protective mothers through research, case law, and consultation to improve case outcomes.
- Establish the paramount importance of children’s safety beyond all other priorities that may emerge in a child custody case.
- Provide judges with new insight into the dynamics of violence, recognize when experts and other types of witnesses are providing testimony based on myths, stereotypes, and discredited theories, and provide an empirically based, real-world rationale for orders emphasizing the safety of protective mothers and the accountability of batterers.
Written with the expressed goal of helping battered mothers assert their rights to a safe family life free from violence, the contributors to this book take a firm stand against so-called “balanced” points of view that attempt to explain or justify abusive behavior. This book is grounded in the belief that battering is never justified, and batterers are not entitled to “equal rights” to custody when the safety of a child is in question. Advocates who share that view will find this book a uniquely compelling ally in protecting and defending the rights of battered mothers.
Praise for this important new resource ...
Child Victimization; Treating the Lifetime Health Effects of Childhood Victimization; Domestic Violence Report; Stalking; Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly; Financial Exploitation of the Elderly; Representing The Domestic Violence Survivor; Violence Against Women