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Representing the Domestic Violence Survivor: The Pattern of Abuse  

Author:  Barry Goldstein.; Elizabeth Liu.

Source: Volume 13, Number 03, Winter 2021 , pp.27-56(30)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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This article is adapted from “Representing the Domestic Violence Survivor, 2nd Edition,” the landmark book composed by legal experts Barry Goldstein and Elizabeth Liu. In this article, the authors flesh out the facts vis-a-vis the myths surrounding the intricate details of what is actually going on in litigated child custody cases. In the majority of these cases, as pointed out by the authors, a protective parent, usually the mother, brings allegations of abuse against the other parent, typically a father. Those allegations all too often ricochet against the protective parent, forcing her into co-parenting with the abuser and sometimes leading to her losing custody altogether. Relying on their deep understanding of the research along with their intuitive understanding of the realities of these cases, in this piece the authors unequivocally illuminate the systemic failures of the court system, which typically fails to the detect patterns of abuse that Goldstein and Liu so masterfully articulate. The article concludes with a sample “pattern of abuse” memorandum that can serve as a model for similar documents presented before a family court hearing.

Keywords: Custody Court; Coercive Control

Affiliations:  1: Attorney at Law; 2: Attorney.

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