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Six Myths That Place Children at Risk During Custody Disputes  

Author:  Stephanie J. Dallam, RN, Ph.D..; Joyanna L. Silberg, Ph.D..

Source: Volume 07, Number 01, Summer 2014 , pp.65-88(24)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Why would a court take a child away from a protective mother whose only crime is expressing concern about her child’s safety? And how could a court charged with acting in a child’s best interests place him or her with an abuser? Unfortunately, the problem of courts giving custody to abusers begins with a pervasive lack of understanding about abuse and abuse dynamics, evidenced by six commonly held notions about abuse that are simply wrong. This an updated version of what has become a classic, much cited article written by two well established researchers in the domestic violence field. Stephanie Dallam and Joyanna Silberg, both of whom have special expertise in child custody litigation involving abuse, outline the common myths that court personnel inevitably rely upon while in the process of mishandling a child custody cases affected by abuse allegations.

Keywords: Allegations of sexual abuse; battering; custody transfers to abusive parents; parental alienation syndrome

Affiliations:  1: Leadership Council; 2: Sheppard Pratt Hospital.

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