I am disturbed! I really didn’t want to write this, but I must. I was trying to research a new article and post for my blog Custody of Children, and what I found frightened me. Most divorced people are very lucky! We will never experience domestic abuse or child abuse in our life times. Most of us won’t, but what about the smaller group who will?
There are many useful sites and articles out there, but none that I saw combined three separate issues. I will attempt to combine them and then I will share resource sites for each issue.
5 Domestic Abuse Myths
1. It was a private matter between adults and or she deserved it. Abuse is about power, the power to control another human being. There was no negotiation and nobody deserved it.
2. Evolution made us this way. The thought here is that thousands of years have made us dependent on each other. The act could not be helped because it was primal instinct. Fear of being alone or abandoned make it impossible for either person to prevent violence. The truth is still that abuse is about power not fear, the abuser is not experiencing fear just power.
3. Nobody is perfect-let’s forgive and forget. We all make mistakes. We forget an appointment or lose our keys. Mistakes cause frustration, cost money, and may even put someone accidentally at risk. Abuse is not a mistake or an over sight. Legal protection followed by anger management would probably be a better first step. If substance abuse is involved then some form of detox would be essential.
4. He/she said: “I’m sorry!” Victims eventually realize and experts understand that violence occurs in cycles and escalates over time. This probably wasn’t the first time and surely won’t be the last. Get help now!
5. She/he doesn’t need protection-it wasn’t that bad! Without protection and without help there is no end to the cycle of escalating violence.
5 Child Custody Myths
1. Child abuse charges occur frequently, they are normally false. Studies of various court records show that only about 10% of custody cases involve child abuse charges. Approximately half of these charges are shown to have merit.
2. Violence between the adult partners does not mean that the children are at risk. Several studies have been completed on this subject. They show that 30% to 60% of these families involve child abuse also.
3. Abusive parents don’t get custody. This data is troubling. Perhaps 70% of abusive parents win some form of custody. Claims of abuse can make the accuser appear less credible than the guilty parent.
4. Good parents don’t lose in court. There is little reason to believe this. The court doesn’t know either parent. The children may not make effective witnesses. Desperation can make the innocent parent appear less credible or even unstable.
5. Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAR) is well understood and is a reliable metric. PAR is a controversial theory that has not yet been accepted by all experts in the field.
It is important to note that the two issues are not separate, but are more part of a single behavior pattern. I chose to remove, where possible, sexist pronouns. Some sites and authors are adamant that only men are guilty of these acts, while others are not nearly so certain. I have no standing on this issue and can only ask you to follow my references for a broader discussion.
Please follow the link to my blog. I will give links to my references there.