Courts Must Open Eyes and Ears to Abused Children
Require continuing education taught by experts in child sexual abuse and domestic violence for all court professionals and judicial officers. Include exams to certify passing these courses.
The Same Story
When he brought her down, Ami was wet, nude and limp in his arms. Her arms dangled at her sides, her ponytail was out of its band and her hair was matted. She was soaked with sweat. My heart sank and my gut pulled tight. "What happened to her?" I asked him. He looked at me with a strange smirk. That may have been the first time he abused our daughter. And that terrible sight of him carrying her down the stairs limp in his arms would wake me out of sleep over and over, causing me to sit straight up in my bed shocked and horrified.
Build effective oversight and accountability for judges and training in this arena.
Bring in multidisciplinary teams and forensic interviewers to videotape the children's testimony and/or descriptions of the abuse they are experiencing.
Fighting a Hydra Headed Monster
Subhead: My story is a case study of what is happening in many courtrooms where good mothers are having their children taken from their Nike Air Max Colors
Require disclosure of conflicts of interest on the part of all involved in these legal processes at all levels. Require judges to receive training about psychopaths and how they can manipulate the legal processes and family courts.
A mother risks losing custody when she fights to protect Air Max 90 For Boys her child from the child's abusive father. These cases then get turned against her. Research published in 1999 in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse found that when a father wants custody he wins it 70 percent of the time. When a parent is accused of child abuse by the protective parent the abuser gains full or partial custody 90 percent of the time. And where there is domestic violence, the court tends to overlook the fact that these abuses were perpetrated by the same man.
Credit: SalFalko on Flickr, under Creative Commons
Develop a system to more easily remove incompetent, poorly trained professionals, including judges and custody evaluators.
The ordeal began the day I took my beautiful little girl Ami, freshly bathed, with her dark hair in a high ponytail and wearing a pink dress, to her day care center. On the way I imagined how her father would pick her up for his three hour visitation that afternoon.
But after raising sexual abuse allegations against her father, and spending three years in the family court trying to protect my daughter, I was reduced to one hour a week supervised visits for eight years and treated as if I were a hardened criminal. This was all due to a custody evaluator's opinion through an "ex parte" (a hearing without all the parties present). That evaluator cited Dr. Richard Gardner's debunked "parental alienation syndrome" and left out all medical reports, police reports and pre school teacher reports.
That evening, I went to his house to pick up Ami. I knocked and waited until he finally came to the door. He waved me in and said he would get Ami. As I waited, I noticed that Ami's beautiful clothes were strewn about the living room floor.
Not much has changed since my battles began, and the myth that mothers make more false allegations of abuse than fathers during divorce and custody battles still holds sway in too many courtrooms. This remains true even though the American Bar Association reports fathers are far more likely than mothers to make intentionally false accusations (21 percent compared to1.3 percent). Change, dramatic change, is needed now, to end these tragic outcomes. If one adult does this to another, we call this a crime; why not when a parent rapes and molests a child? Do not let this be addressed in family and child custody courts.
This abuse of the child becomes part of the overall abuse scenario, complicating and magnifying the pain as the abuser gains control of the child while losing control of the mother in the divorce. The people who are supposed to be protecting these children (judges, custody evaluators, court appointed specialists, social workers) are failing miserably.
(WOMENSENEWS) My long involvement in our often archaic and biased judicial system is a journey that should never have been necessary in the face of abuse that should never have occurred.
No words can express what it is like to realize your child is being sexually abused. My precious little girl would tell me and others about unimaginable things that were happening to her that made my heart feel like it was getting ripped out. But trying to stop the abuse was like fighting a hydra headed monster. family courts are ordered into the custody of a violent or sexually abusive parent.
When I went through this over 20 years ago I didn't know any of this. I had no indication of what was happening. I lost courtroom battle after courtroom battle. The more I fought the system the more time the father got with my daughter. And this was in the face of physical evidence of his sexual abuse in doctor reports, hospital reports, police reports and day care provider and pre school teacher reports. All of these were either ignored or suppressed by the court. Worst of all Ami, the child being abused, had no voice. My child was not heard!
Ensure "safety first" for children who report abuse, including safety from those about whom there are reports of sexual and other physical abuse.
alienating the child from the father. This so called parental alienation syndrome, concocted to create compassion for fathers accused of pedophilia, has been debunked as junk science but remains influential in the courts. It has helped abusers retain custody and subjected mothers who make the accusations to gag orders, jail sentences and loss of custody.
After I lost custody in 1992, I was asked to testify before Congress with 10 other mothers who had cases like mine. Each one of those women could have been telling my story. I finally saw I was not alone. There are thousands of these cases. That day I was empowered and vowed to never stop fighting this great injustice.
When the child resists going with the abuser and the mother asks the family court to protect the child, the mother is often cast as the one in the wrong, said to be Nike Air Max Black Gum Sole
and handed over to their abusers. We must change our system so protective mothers and abused children are treated fairly. Byline: Maralee McLean
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