Child Custody and Domestic Violence: A Call for Safety and Accountability
SAGE, 2003 - Family & Relationships - 194 pages
Although domestic violence has been recognized as a major social and criminal problem, only recently have service providers begun to acknowledge that the violence doesn't end with separation. In, Fact, separation may be the most dangerous period for abused women. Often the violence and abuse of power a gets played out thorough a battle for custody or liberal visitation to the children. Many batterers want custody t punish their partner. Other batterers utilize visitation rights for ongoing threats and harassment of their partner. Judges, lawyers, mental health and social services providers need to confront these issues in a direct manner.
The Jaffe and Lemon book brings together the most recent clinical and legal issues in the field from across North American and around the world. Changing legislation in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and other impact of domestic's violence on child witnesses before custody or visitation decisions are mode. A growing body of literature points to the short-term and long-term trauma of abuse to battered women and their children. This information is outlined as essential parts of custody assessments and decision highlight the changing awareness of this problem. Backlash issues such as the "parent alienation syndromes" are also discussed.
The authors conclude by outlining the essential differences between custody disputes with and without allegations and findings of domestic violence. Key community strategies such as legal and clinical training, specialized resources for the courts (including supervised visitation centers), and well-coordinated community planning are discussed in the final chapter.
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