Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody
“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."
“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.”
"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."
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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 ...
"All attorneys who represent battered women or their children in custody litigation should obtain Domestic Violence, Abuse & Child Custody (Hannah & Goldstein, 2010), as this volume has rapidly become the standard for legal guidance on this topic."
“This comprehensive book is a gift to the cause of justice not only for victimized women and children but for anyone who cares about the integrity of law itself. The American legal system has for too long facilitated the very violence it purports to forbid, often allowing abusive men to use the courts to punish women and children who speak out against child sexual abuse and domestic violence. Mo Hannah and Barry Goldstein have created a desperately needed manual that will empower generations of victims to fight back. My favorite section is the one that reminds us of the obvious: 'Therapy is Not the Answer' to violence. 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.”
"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. The book contains chapters by over 25 of the leading experts in the US and Canada including judges, lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, journalists and domestic violence advocates. The co-editors, Mo Therese Hannah and Barry Goldstein and many of the contributors like Joan Zorza and Lois Schwaeber are long-time friends and supporters of our movement. Although the contributors come from very different disciplines and backgrounds, there is remarkable agreement that thousands of children are being forced to live with abusers because of common mistakes and discredited practices used by the family court system. The book is meticulously researched and cited so the findings have the highest credibility."
“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. Whether the reader is a protective parent, child advocate, attorney, judge, social worker or mental health expert, this exquisitely organized and illuminating volume will help the reader to better understand the socio-historical, socio-legal, and socio-cultural forces shaping today’s domestic relations courts. The
editors have assembled eminent scholars, practitioners, and child advocates in
one volume that flows like a brilliantly conducted orchestral piece. This fine
collection clarifies the core issues at hand and provides a full panoply of
solutions; it adds a significant contribution to an expanding body of
literature on domestic violence, abuse and child custody.”
“For years custody courts have confidently denied complaints by mothers of unfair treatment in domestic violence cases. If the court system had commissioned research to determine how the present practices are working, the result would be the information contained in Domestic Violence, Abuse and Child Custody. The research findings demonstrate court practices are outdated and their confidence misplaced. 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. No one wants to be known as the judge who hurts children and this research can prevent the kinds of tragic outcomes we see too frequently.”
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