Saturday, January 31, 2009

Myths That Place Children At Risk During Custody Litigation

Myths That Place Children At Risk During Custody Litigation


Myths That Place Children At Risk During Custody Litigation
by Stephanie Dallam, Rn, Ms, Fnp and Joyanna Silberg, Phd

The Leadership Council has
become increasingly concerned about the legal system’s treatment of
victims of family violence during divorce and child custody
proceedings. The LC has reviewed documentation from a number of cases
in which children were placed in the sole custody of a parent that the
child alleges is physically or sexually abusing them. Many of these
children were prohibited from any contact or provided only limited
contact with the parent seeking to protect the child - despite the fact
that this parent had never been found to have harmed the child. In most
cases the child’s allegations were quite credible.

Some groups have opposed exposure of this problem claiming that
the information is politically motivated or constitutes
“father-bashing.” Our analysis indicates that the problem of abusers or
batterers obtaining custody is widespread and well documented by
Presenting this information is not an attempt to “bash”
any particular group, but is offered simply to educate professionals
about the extent of this serious problem affecting child safety.

Societal acceptance of these myths assists perpetrators of family
violence by giving them custody of their victims and by encouraging
public denial about the failure of the legal system to protect these
children. The Leadership Council prepared this analysis because we
believe that society as a whole benefits when the public has access to
accurate information regarding child abuse and other forms of
interpersonal violence.


to finish this interesting article


For a copy of this article as it originally appeared in the Sexual Assault Report, click here (pdf)

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