Angry doesn’t look “friendly parent”-like or mentally stable for a mom so statute aside
Let’s order Psychological and Custody Evaluations! If Dad’s overtly angry, we’ll just forgive him for it because look what the poor guy’s been through: his wife took off with his kids – what kind of a mother would do that to “such a nice guy”?
Ignoring or minimizing abuse history and allegations, “the rulebook says” that children deserve to have BOTH parents in their lives so Psych and Custody Evals are not only "scientifically prudent" but nicely and comfortably in tandem with judicial ethics – now the “playing field” is level so we can be "fair, neutral and impartial"! (The rulebook ALSO says it is detrimental to the child and not in the best interest of the child to be placed in sole custody, joint legal custody, or joint physical custody with the perpetrator of family violence but taking that power & control thing into account just messes up the "level playing field" and where would the profit be if best practices were applied right off the bat, case closed?)
Since mom and dad separated and aren’t living together, how could she possibly report abuse now? ANSWER: Victims have reported that after separation, their former partners have stalked, harassed, verbally and emotionally abused, beaten, and sexually assaulted them. http://www.abusewatch.net/DV_post.php
Erroneous beliefs such as "He MAY have been an abuser then, but he's not anymore because they're not together" and "child abuse is independent of domestic violence" help to pave the path to "PA". Worse is taking the professional approach of "looking from this day forward into the future” because the professional is effectively excusing and forgiving the abuser for his crimes against his victim/s - a right that exclusively belongs to no one beyond the victim/s and God.
Because focusing on the children’s best interests DOESN’T include the rehashing or raising of any abuse incidents (on PA Planet = badmouthing the other parent, in DV World = disclosing abuse) identifying the victim as the abuser or alienator is easy to do.
What? Mom “can’t let it go?” Sounds like we’ll have to order her into therapy. Oh, that’s right – gotta be "fair and equitable" so he’d better go to therapy too then. He didn’t comply with that order? Oh well, at least she went and no sense making a mountain from a molehill...
Whoever custody goes to in a DV case, you’ll still see the former couple back in family court until the youngest child turns 18, one parent (usually the survivor) is financially depleted/exhausted or until something completely illegal or tragic occurs.
If custody goes to the survivor, the children are highly likely to be abused during visitations with the abuser because they will become secondary victims; he may not have access to his target victim but he’s got access to the kids and interestingly, hurting the kids hurts her more then he could hurt her himself! What's the likelilhood of this scenario actually playing out?
As a report by the American Psychological Association pointed out, fathers who batter their children's mothers can be expected to use abusive power and control techniques to control the children too (APA, 1996). http://leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/cust_myths.html
With so much support for fathers and the importance of fathers in their children's lives, getting sympathizers, supporters and well-intentioned do-gooders to turn against mom makes this game that much more fun (bonus if these people are her own friends, her family members or the professionals who've been assigned to look out for the kids' best interests!) Cumulatively this is giving the abuser what he craves most in life: special attention.
If the survivor reports what her children are disclosing to her (please see bullet #6 on the previous page) that’ll be deemed “parental alienation” not child abuse.
Who does this mother think she is? She’s not the expert on her own children, WE are, cause if she were a good mother she wouldn’t have a family court case and be alleging all these terrible things against her ex. Just to make sure though, let’s send the kids to therapy and let the professionals determine what the truth is.
What’s that? A pattern’s emerged? The kids are fine until they return home from visitation to mom which is when all the allegations begin and mom starts making all those hysterical phone calls? Sounds like a classic case of PA. Further “proof” - the kids have been in therapy with Dr. X all this time and they’re not getting better!
Guess what: therapy DOESN'T WORK when there’s ongoing abuse in progress! Therapy only works once the client is safe from abuse, is no longer being exposed to and is no longer being actively traumatized by abuse!
And here’s some more “proof”: I did an unannounced home visit at dad’s and the children were all happily playing – perfectly well-behaved and minded their father with no problems. Each child said they love dad and each had ample opportunity to disclose any abuse to me but none did.
On the other hand, I did an unannounced home visit at mom’s and the children couldn’t sit still! Johnny was trying to kick the family dog, Janey acted like her mom didn’t exist and even the baby was irritated and screaming – mom had absolutely no control over the kids whatsoever and it was clear that the kids have no respect for her.
Mom also lives beyond her means yet blames her ex for this saying that he has not paid her any child support but one look at his home and you’d know there’s no reason for him not to be current.
Because it’s clear to me that PA is taking place here, my professional recommendation is to adopt the solution to counter the damaging effects of PA: to change custody from the alienator to the alienated parent.
That’s not the end of the story though because after such a custody change, now MOM will be alleging PA! In a case of using the wrong vocabulary to describe what’s going on (please refer back to yesterday’s article) you’ll see that what mom’s calling “alienation” is really ABUSE – the same stuff but a different version of what she originally fled from and sought help for.
A scene in the movie (based on a true story) “Machine Gun Preacher” http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/movie/ brilliantly captures everything I’ve been talking about here. At the start of the movie you see a little boy, his brother and mother captured by army rebels. A rebel takes the youngest boy and whispers something into his ear. The boy shakes his head no. The rebel whispers in his ear a second time and this time the boy rises, taking a weapon from the rebel’s hand and kills his mother. The rebel told the boy the same thing twice: kill your mother – the difference was the second time around the rebel said, “kill your mother or I will kill you and your brother”.
We’re not talking alienation here – it’s called torture, it’s abuse. When abusers are not monitored and are not held accountable/responsible for the entirety of their criminal and unhealthy attitudes, beliefs and behaviors AND we place vulnerable, impressionable children into their care or pressence, we’re ensuring that the trans-generational cycle of abuse endures. At the same time, we are unwittingly undoing all the sacrifices and efforts of the protective parent, tossing best practices, prevention and at-risk lives to the wind (which sickly profits those who’ve been entrusted and charged with looking out for our most vulnerable and with doing no harm). The PA snake oil salesmen and charaltans get their fame, awards, accolades and most importantly, financial rewards (sometimes directly from the abusers themselves!) for being taken seriously for this PA garbage while the rest of America scratches its head wondering how cases like Joyce Murphy's (see attached You Tube video) ever happen. Abuser's have absolutely no incentive to change for the better because we're handing them everything they want on a silver platter.
Ideology rarely intersects concretely with reality and while it’s ideal for a child to have both parents in his/her life, an abuser in anyone’s life is in no one’s best interests, especially children’s. The context and the situations may differ but it’s the behavior and the patterns of behavior that’ll always show what’s really going on. Stick to the facts and don’t fall for the fictions – people’s lives actually depend upon it.