How Family Courts Handle Domestic Abuse Allegations
The typical judge, custody evaluator, or divorce mediator, even if he or she has impressive degrees and licenses, has had very little training on domestic abuse, and none at all on abusive men as parents. Instead, court personnel tend to operate on the basis of myth and outdated beliefs, sometimes combined with prejudices against women. Specifically, court personnel and court-appointed evaluators tend to be unaware of the following:
- The well-established profile of abusive men, and the fact that these characteristics can have profound implications for their children (as I discussed in Chapter 2).
- The widespread tendency among abusive men to undermine the mother’s authority and damage her relationships with her children.
- The extremely low rate of change in abusive men except among those who participate for an extended period of time in a specialized group for abusers in combination with criminal prosecution.
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