In FOURTY YEARS nothing has changed for the better in FC despite the 1989 Children’s Act. They are not drug addicts, criminals, abusers, or unstable. May I please have the doi to the “similar research in Canada”. And I am happy that my experiences have formed part of several reputable UK academic studies in the last few years. Parental Alienation, which is a form of psychological or mental child abuse, is not some magical potion concocted by defense attorneys and experts to convince Judges they must reduce or remove a mother’s parenting time. http://www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org/, Myths About Custody and Domestic Violence, Safety Planning Domestic Violence Hotline, Humane Society: Directory of Safe Havens for Animals Programs. I thought it was a fluke, but I agreed to look at some of the legal documents. A standard requirement is to confirm that “the conclusions follow from the arguments of the text”. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. From this point on I shall simply assume the data that Meier quotes is valid (as I have no way of checking it). However in non-abuse cases, the data held that alienation had a more gender-neutral impact. The site Researching Reform summarised the paper’s findings thus, “The first ever national study has confirmed that mothers who make complaints of child abuse against a father in court are more likely to lose contact rights with their children. What Meier should be highlighting is that there is a general lack of proper, efficient and effective process in the vast majority of cases at family court, not cherry-picking a particular type, and spinning the narrative to suit the agenda of the organisations she works with. Child Abuse. Mothers Losing Custody To Abusive Fathers Mothers are leaving an abusive relationship and the abusive father are gaining custody of the children. When I was accused of being insane by the father it was much easier to solve the case this way. Enter your email address to follow K. S. Bowers and receive updates, release information, and more. So, the data derives predominantly from appeal courts. I presume the fear of making false allegations of abuse is beginning to reasonate within the ‘remove fathers at any cost’ mindset! Not so here. In addition, the patriarchal beliefs of many religions teach and demand submissiveness and obedience from women and children. A great deal. Angry, scared and confused parents who say courts are awarding full or partial custody of their children to the abusive other parent. Perhaps if I’d made allegations of abuse I would have done better! The investigation went on to discover that in cases where alienation is not mentioned, family courts only believed mothers’ claims about child sexual abuse 15% of the time. It shows the extent of the inherent stupidity of all those running the system, judges, social workers, Cafcass, and expert witnesses. If you start from a gender-biased perspective you will inevitably reach a gender-biased conclusion. Abusers are controlling and that need for control isn’t just limited to their victims. Nowhere did she attempt to differentiate between, say, a push or shove and a beating that put the victim in the hospital. Mothers are losing custody of their children to their abusers even in cases where family violence is documented with hospital records, convictions, and restraining orders. Child Custody, PA and Abuse Allegations: Critique of a Paper by Joan Meier. I doubt many people think so, but apparently Meier is one who does. Mother’s Day is two weeks away, but for many women in the United States, around 58,000 or more a year, there’s nothing happy about this day at all. Sadly, family members and friends often turn their backs on victims of abuse. That does not exist. So the logic of this beggars belief, the child placed in care, care that was used against her mother. So I was shut out of my daughter’s life, not by the High Court who recommended contact, but by Oxford Family Court. (If an American reader has a better figure I’d be obliged). Necessarily, then, virtually all allegations of abuse which the court does not believe will be allegations by mothers against fathers. And in just 81 of those was custody transferred from Mom to Dad. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The study, written by professor of clinical law Joan S. Meier, shows that mothers who report abuse — particularly child abuse — are losing child custody at staggering rates. It’s devastating and wrong and should not be allowed to happen. The difference lies in whether the court believes the claim of alienation. The US study was produced by Professor Joan Meier, a nationally recognised expert in the US on domestic violence, and Sean Dickson, and is the second piece of research they have published on this topic. Mothers losing custody to abusers Human Rights Violations of Mothers and Children Worldwide Documented for UN On August 2, The Women’s Coalition PAC submitted a claim to the UN documenting the human rights violations of mothers and children worldwide, calling on the UN to take action. Women usually are the primary caretakers of children before and after divorce, and they have profound fears of losing custody, whereas the batterer has little to lose by using custody as a bargaining and power tactic. Other than that it only raises awareness of what is going on in the US courts. What it needs to be about is when children allege abuse. I know his father abused him and I doubt this has stopped. Children are being forced by family courts to remain in abusive homes, a violation of their human rights. Many wonder why victims of family violence choose to remain in abusive relationships. They may be fearful of damage to their reputation, family name, or livelihood if the abuser is a relative. Military Service. Even when the father’s abuse was proven in court, mothers who had alleged that abuse still lost custody in 13 % of the cases; By contrast, fathers lost custody only 4% of the time when a mother’s abuse was proved in court; Overall, fathers were much more likely than mothers to win contact disputes when claiming alienation. The author’s partisan position is painfully apparent from the opening sentence. This is another issue over which the peer reviewer(s) failed badly. Since alienation involves psychological trauma to the child, and the courts are mandated to make the child’s welfare paramount, if the court believes this is happening it is hardly surprising that the result is frequently a court ruling for change of residency. If Mom pushes Dad during a heated disagreement, should she later lose custody of the kids solely because of that? If so, what does that relationship look like?” -Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States of America, to the National Summit on the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment, June 2009. Start with this quote referring to the source of Meier’s data (published court opinions), “the majority of the opinions analyzed were appellate decisions.”. ( Log Out /  Whilst the paper tells us that mothers reporting a father’s abuse lost custody in 26% of cases, we are not told what percentage of mothers lost custody when no allegations of abuse were made, so the conclusion in the Abstract appears from nowhere. What I am most interested in, is my own lived experience of domestic violence, child abuse and parental alienation. Many thanks to Kelly Williamson, who tweeted the new research. Do children need a relationship with their fathers even when their fathers have been abusive to them in the past? the leftover comments on relevance and academic integrity, to borrow your words, are insular “white noise.”, I agree COMPLETELY about body cameras on SWs. The following study adds to research that examines child custody cases involving a history of interpersonal violence. 2, Winter 1999-2000, J. M. Bowermaster. Pingback: Mothers Who Allege Abuse More Likely To Lose Custody of Their Children – Researching Reform | cathy fox blog on child abuse. (Mildred Daley Pagelow, Battered Women A Historical Research Review and Some Common Myths, p. 107). The core of Meier’s and Cahn’s claims is that fathers use false claims of parental alienation to wrest custody from mothers. I understand father’s are equally important but the bond with a mother and child is vital for a child’s development and should never be broken. “The only other things that matters to me is working to get body cameras on social workers made manadary, complete transparency in family courts with each FC hearing to be video taped, evidential standards in FC to be the same as in criminal courts, for all cases involving allegations of abuse/violence of any kind to be pursued and actioned in the criminal courts concurrent with any FC hearings and such criminal cases to be CONCLUDED before conclusion of the FC case.”, While I concur with the above. We simply know no different based on the contents of the paper. What image does this conjure? This need not be inconsistent with a claim that, other things being equal, mothers and fathers are equally likely to be alienators. Meier simply takes as axiomatic that the explanation is (a), bias against mothers. When Courts Typically Get Involved . Courts generally respond to a parent's substance abuse either during a child custody hearing or when complaints about suspected substance abuse—and its impact on the children—are reported either to the court that issued the child custody order or to the state (through the Department of Child Protective Services). child custody outcomes in cases involving parental alienation and abuse allegations: what do the data show?”, By Joan S. Meier, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 42:1, 92-105 (2020). To pull the argument apart most cogently the best place to start is this revealing quote, (A) “Mothers and fathers fared equally in several circumstances: First, when a parent’s claim of alienation was credited (across abuse and non-abuse cases) mothers and fathers lost custody at identical rates (71%). Cahn, who, just like Meier, is a law professor at George Washington University asks no questions, but merely regurgitates Meier’s claims. The research here is gender-biased. You bring a myth: you claim mothers not more important thsb fathers, which is false, especially in the first couple of years where mother is more important. Unless we can see how thoroughly abuse claims are investigated and adjudicated we can’t know whether the point Meier is trying to make is valid. Victims, remember to always browse the internet in private or incognito mode! Then there’s the fact that Meier’s study is hamstrung by its own methodology that’s doomed by selection bias. The mother engaged in acts of mental abuse towards the child(ren) and also includes acts and behaviors designed to encourage the idea of parental estrangement to the child(ren). There were some – although not many – cases where the genders were reversed.”. However, let’s press on, ignoring that flaw, fatal though it actually is. Victims of abuse may be silenced by their religious communities who fear the negative attention or legal repercussions the scandal of abuse would cause if it were discovered that a member of their organization committed the abuse. Until that gets changed, children will continue to be victims because victimisation by agents of the state is the hardest possible victimisation to end. But no scientist working in the field of alienation has ever defined PA as a gendered phenomenon for the good and sufficient reason that it’s not one. So even if all the allegations by mothers were true and all those by fathers were untrue, only a tiny percentage of all litigated cases have the problem. Abusers often limit their victim’s access to money, transportation, and a supportive network of family and friends, making leaving seem impossible. But a systemic bias against mothers in the courts seems unlikely, both in view of quote (A), above, and also because mothers are awarded custody far more often (~85%). most custody arrangements are not made in the courts. I believe the percentage is slightly lower in the USA – perhaps 85%. Both parents risk losing custody rights if the non-abusive parent knew about the abuse and didn’t prevent it. Well, the better-informed ones, actually. After one session with psychiatrist I was prescribed drugs for bipolar. Cahn’s article is entitled “Why Women Lose Custody,” but Meier’s dubious claims aren’t the reason. For a professional to present it this way is staggering in a UK context. But alienation will not be believed – or not believed to be sufficiently serious – in all cases. The conversation here is very much about when mothers allege abuse. Most, but not all, of these mothers I have met do not match the stereotype. What we need reporting is the research on what is actually happening in UK courts – THAT could be used in a court case. Actually, Natasha, as a father I found this study entirely encouraging and a positive sign that the US Family Courts are finally starting to recognise the tsunami of false allegations of child abuse being raised by vengeful mothers (Baldwin, Haigh, Minnock, et al) in the Family Courts when defending applications by fathers for contact with their children after divorce or separation, for the child abuse that it is! Men are placed in positions of authority over their families and it is the right and responsibility of the husband to discipline his family. Anecdotal reports indicate that claims of child abuse are even more problematic in court, and that many protective parents (usually mothers) alleging child abuse are losing custody to … The US has long been ahead of the toxic gender politics and fellow travellers so enmeshed within the UK. 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