Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

ALL ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE by Joan Zorza April 5, 2011 Springfield, IL “Violence occurs in at least 70% of contested child custody cases”

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "ALL ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE by Joan Zorza April 5, 2011 Springfield, IL “Violence occurs in at least 70% of contested child custody cases”"— Presentation transcript:

1 ALL ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE by Joan Zorza April 5, 2011 Springfield, IL “Violence occurs in at least 70% of contested child custody cases” [and visitation allows him] “to annoy, harass, threaten and assault her.” (p. 55, Jaffe, Lemon & Sandler & Wolf, 1996) April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 1

2 Abbreviations BW = Battered Woman/Women DV = Domestic Violence; IP = Intimate Partner CA = Child Abuse: CSA = Child Sexual Abuse BIP = Batter Intervention Program BIOC = Best Interests of Child PA = Parental Alienation: PAS = PA Syndrome FPC = Friendly Parent Concept OP = Order of Protection MHPs = Mental Health Professionals CPS = Child Protective Service April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 2

3 Why is DV such a problem? Many Reincarnations Suffragists Assumed alcohol caused it. Short lived – and would remain hidden until science started to recognize it. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 3

4 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV 4 DV “Discovered” around 1970  What medical text books said at the time?  Hematology text book  1972: Spouse Abuse indexed in social sciences.  Only 5 studies on DV in English language.  The women were in mental hospitals.  All assumed DV was rare – “Maybe one in a million.” (DV is involved in 50-70% of divorces.)  All assumed battered women were crazy.  Being “crazy,” depressed, and often silent, their batterers were asked to explain the situation. 4

5 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV 5 DV “Discovered” around 1970  1963: Gideon v. Wainwright ( 372 U.S. 355) gave criminal defendants the right to lawyers.  Defense lawyers started promulgating theories about why men killed their intimate partners.  Almost no spousal assaults were prosecuted then.  They also came up with ways to deflect men’s responsibility for rape and sexual abuse, including incest.  Abusers are still explaining, and denying responsibility, and/ or blaming the victim.  Misinformation & myths continue to mislead us. 5

6 HOW ABUSERS DESCRIBED HER:  “She lies/ fantasizes; don’t listen to her.”  “She exaggerates trivial incidents.”  “She pushes my buttons.”  “She’s clumsy”/ “She fell down the stairs.”  “She’s crazy.” / “She was drunk.”  “She’s a masochist/ she likes being beaten.”  “She did it to herself”/ “She’s suicidal.”  “She’s so bad, I had to do something.”  “She was having an affair.” WE STILL HEAR THESE MYTHS/ denials. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 6

7 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV7

8 Types of IP Abuse Physical abuse – Strangulation is at least attempted homicide. – Pattern of injuries different than accidents. Sexual abuse – Forcing sex; forcing abhorrent sexual practices; refusing to give her money if she won’t have sex; prostituting her; sabotaging birth control; forcing her to abort, or not letting her; bringing home other women; making her watch/ replicate pornography. Emotional/ Psychological abuse – Isolating; demeaning; monitoring; stalking; blaming; threatening to harm her/commit suicide; denying/ minimizing abuse; treating her like a servant; sleep deprivation; falsely accusing her; making her think she is crazy. Spitting on her. Demeaning her to others. Driving her from the home naked/ scantily clad. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 8

9 Physical Injuries Include: Concussions/ head injuries; Burns; Pain; Broken/ lost teeth; Suicidal attempts; Gun or knife wounds; Broken bones; Neurological injuries; Cuts; Permanent physical disability; Internal injuries; Cars; Muscle sprains/ torn ligaments; Black eyes & facial injuries; Tattoos & other marks of ownership; Death/ Mutilation. Injuries to Sex Organs: Miscarriages; Sexually transmissible diseases; Anal, vaginal, urethral or perineal tears; Breast mutilation, Unwanted pregnancy. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 9

10 Types of IP Abuse – 2 Intimidation – Making her afraid by using looks, gestures, actions; displaying guns/ weapons; stalking/ monitoring her; destroying her property; smashing things. Threats & coercion – Threatening to hurt her or loved ones; threats to commit suicide; making her do illegal things. Threats to make her homeless/ that she will never see the children again. Isolating her – Controlling what she does/ with whom, what she reads, where she goes; using jealousy to justify restrictions. Using male privilege – Treating her like a servant; defining his & her roles. Reproductive control – Sabotaging birth control; forced abortions; STDs. Minimizing, denying, blaming – Denying that abuse happened/ claiming it was accidental or minimal/ saying she caused it, or made him do it. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 10

11 Types of IP Abuse – 3 Using children – Making kids spy on her/ carry messages; threats to harm/ abduct kids; telling kids their mother is stupid/ don’t obey her; seeking custody to deprive her of it/ for financial gain. Financial abuse – Driving her into poverty/Controlling all the money; refusing to let her go to work/ school/ job training; throwing away books/ homework; having her fired (hiding alarm clock/ car keys; calling repeatedly at work; failing to do child care as promised. Spiritual abuse – Shaming partner before religious community; forcing her to do acts that her violate religious principles; refusing to let her practice her religion; using religion to make her obey abuser. Exploiting other vulnerabilities – Refusing to legitimate her immigrant status/ abusing pets/ farm animals; forcing her into crime/ threatening to turn her in; outing someone gay or lesbian; removing her wheelchair; denying medication, food, or overmedicating her; calling police or child protection with false allegations; spitting on her/telling her she is stupid/ publicly exploiting her. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 11

12 Psychological Affects of DV on Battered Women Include: Fear; Terror; Anxiety; Depression; Low self-esteem; Irritability & Anger; Trouble concentrating; Shame & embarrassment; Trouble trusting; Sexual & intimacy problems; Suicidal thoughts; Memory problems; Cognitive confusion; Nightmares; Increased startle response; PTSD, Numbing & avoidance; Health concerns; Financial worries; Substance abuse; Guilt (esp. about children). April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 12

13 April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 13 Cost of DV  One third of all police time is spent responding to DV calls  But most officers get under 8 hours of DV training  DV accounts for 40-50% of homeless women and many children in the US.  Vacate orders make few batterers homelessness in batterers.  63% of males age in the US serving time for homicide killed their mothers’ abusive partners. 13

14 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV 14 Cost of DV – 2  Half of female mental health patients were battered.  DV ruins battered women’s immune systems, resulting in many illnesses.  Child witnesses (children who live in homes where their fathers beat their mothers):  Are 6 times as likely to commit suicide  Are 24 times as likely to sexually assault  Have permanent, adverse brain changes  Have compromised immune systems. 14

15 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV 15 Cost of DV – 3  DV costs NY state at least $1 billion/year, the US $31 billion just in health costs (1992 NYS study).  BW spend twice the time in bed due to illness, and comprise 20-35% of women seeking medical help in hospital ERs.  Compared to nonabused women, after being abused, BW are:  15.3 times more likely to seriously want to commit suicide  16 times more likely to become alcoholics  9 times as likely to abuse drugs  Twice as likely to miscarry. 15

16 Who Perpetrates IP Violence? April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 16  Men perpetrate the vast majority, & blame their victims –CTS flawed, is both over- and under-inclusive, doesn’t measure context (e.g., self-defense); –Men minimize/ deny their abuse, over-count hers; Women minimize his abuse, over-count their own.  Men perpetrate the more severe abuse; & virtually all rapes, & virtually all murders after breakup & virtually all murders after breakup  Men do it for the purpose of power and control; to terrorize her (&/ or the kids); or for sadistic enjoyment  Men do it because it works – for them, the male perpetrators –He wins every argument –Few/ no repercussions/ accountability  Not done because of anger/ stress  Premeditated, controlled  Abuser’s apologies: culturally dependent; only early on  Some women do abuse male IPs/ Little is known about them.

17 Why Battered Women Stay Lack of Financial Resources No Emotional Support – He isolated her – He alienated everyone from her Cultural/ Religious beliefs Lack of self-confidence “For the sake of the children.” – Half of battered women leave for the sake of the children; Half stay for it. Fear that he will hurt/ kill her or kids. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 17

18 BW braver than other victims: M a n y c r i t i c i z e B W f o r d r o p p i n g c h a r g e s o r r e t u r n i n g t o a b u s e r. B W ’ s m i s d e m e a n o r i n j u r i e s a r e a s s e r i o u s a s t h o s e o f 9 0 % o f v i o l e n t f e l o n y v i c t i m s. V i r t u a l l y a l l t h r e a t e n e d v i c t i m s ( i n c l u d i n g m e n ) w a n t t o d r o p c h a r g e s. L e s s t h a n 8 % o f s t r a n g e r v i o l e n t f e l o n y v i c t i m s t h o u g h t t h e i r p e r p t r i e d t o c o n t a c t t h e m. ( F e w t h r e a t e n e d, m o s t w e r e h a n g - u p c a l l s. ) A v e r a g e B W w a s b e a t e n u p a g a i n 3 t i m e s b y a b u s e r b e f o r e t r i a l, b u t t h e y w e r e L E S S l i k e l y t o t r y t o d r o p c h a r g e s. B W a r e b r a v e r ! April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 18

19 Before Being Abused, There is No Profile of a Battered Women He abuses once she commits to him. Main predictor of which women will be abused - look at her partner’s history. – Only 3 of 150+ factors examined in women have predictive effect. If she: Was sexually abused as a child Saw her mother being abused (tiny factor) Is poor/disabled/or otherwise vulnerable. – Batterers exploit vulnerable women. She can’t stop his abuse. - Leaving gets harder with time, & kids. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 19

20 Predictors of PTSD After Abuse Brand New Research from World Trade Center Survivors – A Genetic Component makes PTSD 7 times more likely & more severe. Prior abuse history. Length time of abuse. Severity of abuse. (This is true for all abuse victims, not just BW.) NOTE: Except for genetics, it’s what he does to her. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 20

21 SO, IF IT’S NOT HER, IT’S THE ABUSER.” So Give Me Some Words That Describe BATTERERS April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 21

22 Batterers:Under-involved No empathy Liars Controlling Reckless DependentInconsistent Self-centered Superior Exploitative Possessive Manipulative Deniers Immature Terrorists CruelEntitled Minimizers Inconsistent Fabricators Insensitive NegligentDeliberate Premeditated IratePoor Role Models Devious **!**!* Thanks in part to Bancroft & Silverman (2002).Batterers:Under-involved No empathy Liars Controlling Reckless DependentInconsistent Self-centered Superior Exploitative Possessive Manipulative Deniers Immature Terrorists CruelEntitled Minimizers Inconsistent Fabricators Insensitive NegligentDeliberate Premeditated IratePoor Role Models Devious **!**!* Thanks in part to Bancroft & Silverman (2002). April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 22

23 Batterers:Stalkers Serial abusersUntrustworthy SuspiciousFinancially superiorRelentless Self-entitledPredictable/ Unpredictable Dangerous to: her; her children, family & friends; cops; communityBatterers:Stalkers Serial abusersUntrustworthy SuspiciousFinancially superiorRelentless Self-entitledPredictable/ Unpredictable Dangerous to: her; her children, family & friends; cops; community April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 23

24 Batterers: False apologies Dr Jekyll/ Mr HydeMisogynistic Sadistic CharmingJealous Insecure DemandingDisrespectful False accusersSuicidal Contemptuous InflexibleSnoopers Retaliators Blamers Narcissistic Cheaters DeceptiveUntrusting Obsessive EnviousLegalistic/ Rule makers (for others) Batterers: False apologies Dr Jekyll/ Mr HydeMisogynistic Sadistic CharmingJealous Insecure DemandingDisrespectful False accusersSuicidal Contemptuous InflexibleSnoopers Retaliators Blamers Narcissistic Cheaters DeceptiveUntrusting Obsessive EnviousLegalistic/ Rule makers (for others) April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 24

25 Sound Familiar? Has a grandiose sense of self-importance. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique. Requires excessive admiration. Has a very strong sense of entitlement. Is exploitative of others. Lacks empathy. Is often envious of others. Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes. 5 or More = narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 25

26 BATTERERS A few are calmed by abuse. Usually narcissistic; some but not all have character disorders. Almost all lie, minimize, deny, blame their victim or their situation or others. No empathy. Almost all of them are terrified of being left. DV escalates after separation (and abuser may attack those helping victim, or shift abuse to children). Abusers don’t fight fairly, have no intention of living by any agreement. Only their perspective counts. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 26

27 How Batterers Appear: Calm/ Charming/ In Control/ Well- behaved/ Respected in community. (If he’s angry, he’s angry only at her.) How Battered Women Appear: She is likely to appear tense, afraid, alone, angry (& often with everyone). This confuses people/ MHPs into thinking only he is rational/together. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 27

28 Batterers Choose to Abuse Premeditated behavior - Abusers are IN CONTROL, not angry, not provoked, not suddenly “snapped” – but may act furious. -But may be doing it to punish or retaliate, especially if $ wanted. - Batterers are the worst at paying child support, are 3 times as likely to be in arrears as other dads. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 28

29 Batterers Choose to Abuse Not caused by alcohol or drugs Most substance abusers don’t abuse Treatment seldom ends abuse (for long) Poverty/ stress don’t cause abuse Incest is more common in better off homes Family violence is not a conflict Poor communication does not cause it. But violence causes poor communication – the victim dares not speak, or gets so angry she lashes out, or provokes attack. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 29

30 What Batterers Are Like *There is no profile of a batterer. But * Controlling (defines the relationship, controls $, isolates, verbally abuses). *Entitled, Selfish, Self-Centered, Lack Empathy, Jealous, Manipulative. *Feel superior to women/ demean them. *Rigid Rules, Often changing, punishments. *Denies/ minimizes/ lies/ blames victim, others or circumstances/ “You made me do it”/ Feels he is the real victim. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 30

31 What Batterers Are Like – 2 *Possessive, Poor Boundaries. *50–70% physically abuse their kids (abusive dads are times as likely as other dads to molest daughters) *May apologize, but keep abusing. *Most are serial batterers. *Many stalk & monitor their victims. May begin before the breakup. Mike Proctor (How to Stop a Stalker (p. 57, 2003) found 98% are serial stalkers – sequential &/or simultaneous.) April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 31

32 What Batterers Are Like – 3 *Turn others against victim. *Project their failings onto victim. *Falsely accuse her of making false DV/ incest/ child abuse accusations and alienating him from children. *Sons from abusive families are 10 times as likely to become batterers, but most batterers were not abused. *Drugs/ alcohol are implicated, but don’t cause DV; but may make abuse worse. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 32

33 What Batterers Are Like – 4 *Battering is VERY REWARDING (at least until she leaves). *Abusers don’t take into account how DV hurts victims & children. *Men batter because they can. *Batterers do a cost benefit analysis. *This is why it is important for courts to hold them accountable. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 33

34 What Batterers Are Like – 5 * Many batterers grew up in homes seeing their fathers abuse their mothers, siblings, or themselves. – Increases chance 7-10 fold. – But most did not have abusive families. *Batterers usually surround themselves with people who are abusive, encourage their abuse, or at least don’t object to it. – Especially drinking buddies. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 34

35 What Batterers Are Like – 6 EXPECT RECIDIVISM!!!!! 2004 study of 1,200 men in Bronx misdemeanor domestic violence court: From index arrest to 2 years post-release, 62% of all defendants in the study were rearrested _dv.pdf Studies also show that OPs do reduce violence. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 35

36 Batterer Recidivism – 7 THEY PERPETRATE NEW CRIMES UNDER COURT SUPERVISION: - Out on bail - Under supervised pretrial release - Release pending sentencing - While on probation - On house arrest - On work release - Under court protection orders - During pending divorce litigation Mass. probation found that DV was the best predictor of all violent criminal behavior; & that DV perps in family court had long criminal records. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 36

37 Batterers Use Many Tools to Maintain Coercive Control – Rule Making – Intimidation – Coercion – Punishment – Threats of Violence – Physical Violence – Sexual Violence – Stalking/ Monitoring/ Surveillance – Pet Abuse 37

38 Batterers Use Many Tools to Maintain Coercive Control – Isolation – Demeaning her – Embarrassing her – Discrediting her – Economic abuse – Violence against children – Threats of litigation – Threats to abduct the children – Turning children against her – Psychological and emotional abuse 38

39 Batterers Endanger their Victims Deliberately or Through Negligence – Quit work &/or spend the money on himself – Cars: e.g., drive too fast, disable seat belts, push her out of moving car, run over her – Use risky sexual practices subjecting her to: Unwanted pregnancies/ unsafe abortions STDs, HIV infection Prostitution – Drive her to drink, use drugs, attempt suicide – Gamble/ Guns/ Russian roulette – Drive her into crime/ illegal behaviors (Most drive away her support mechanisms.) 39

40 Batterers Use Many Tools to Maintain Coercive Control – Sleep depravation – Interference with her school & employment – Medical abuse – Using his relatives & friends to help him – Using the system against her – Reporting her to police – Reporting her to public agencies – Threats & abuse of animals: pets & farm – Destroying anything she loves, values or needs 40

41 Batterers Use Many Tools to Maintain Coercive Control – Lies – to her, to others – Poisoning her family & friends against her – Taking advantage of her disabilities – Threats to out her if she’s a lesbian Falsely telling others she is a lesbian – Threats to deport her if undocumented Failure to legitimate her when he could Failure to let her know when she is lawful – Keeping or destroying her documents, e.g., immigration papers, drivers license, passport (especially problematical in Arizona) 41

42 Batterers Endanger their Victims Deliberately or Through Negligence – Quit work &/or spend the money on himself – Cars: e.g., drive too fast, disable seat belts, push her out of moving car, run over her – Use risky sexual practices subjecting her to: Unwanted pregnancies/ unsafe abortions STDs, HIV infection Prostitution – Drive her to drink, use drugs, attempt suicide – Gamble/ Guns/ Russian roulette – Drive her into crime/ illegal behaviors (Most drive away her support mechanisms.) 42

43 Some Common Failures of Batterers as Fathers – Fail to provide for the children Don’t work; or spend the money on themselves Fail to provide child care &/or do it inadequately – Threats they will never see Mom again – Authoritarian; harsh, excessive discipline – Expect children to parent them – Rule making; Inconsistent expectations – Demean the children – Favoritism/ Scapegoat/ Bribe the children – Lack appropriate boundaries (may be sexual) – Insensitivity to age-appropriate expectations – Fail to visit, but claim Mom didn’t let them 43

44 Some Common Failures of Batterers as Fathers – Ignore the children – Make the children spy on their mothers – Make children carry messages/ child support – Tell the children to disrespect/ not obey mom That mother is stupid, deserves to be punished Encourage children to abuse mom – Demean the mother for her parenting – Threats to harm the children, their pets, Mom – Threats to abduct children – Threats to seek custody of children Done for tactical economic gain, & punish mom 44

45 April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 45 How Batterers Harm Children : Physically – purposely, or inadvertently Neglect them Conspiracy of silence/ Denial Fear for the safety of: Their mother Themselves Their siblings Their pets

46 DV Affects Children – of all ages, socioeconomic, ethnic, racial groups All are psychologically abused; 50-70% are physically & 10% are sexually abused – Girls are 19 times more likely to be molested. Constant fear & terror – for mom, themselves, siblings, pets – Hence feel constant insecurity & confusion Part of the conspiracy of silence May assume violence is the norm – Part of abuser’s authoritarian nature Increasing deceptiveness, lying, excuses for outings, stealing, cheating, May blame self for abuse/ failure to protect April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 46

47 DV Affects Children - 2 Poor personal boundaries Poor social skills; often isolated from peers; or completely identifies with peers Sad, depressed, stress disorders – Mixture of hope/depression (peer groups are the most helpful to them) Shaky definition of self; may parent siblings or parent(s): role reversal; afraid to leave home lest they can’t protect mom Poor impulse control, externalize or internalize anger May run away or attempt suicide April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 47

48 DV Affects Children - 3 Developmental delays Physiological complaints (like headaches) PTSD, traumatic arousal More conduct problems/ aggression Nervous More withdrawn Slow learners More school absences More health complaints May identify with abuser (to protect themselves, sibling, or protective parent) April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 48

49 DV Affects Children - 4 Sexually promiscuous Pre-delinquent/delinquent behavior Feeling used, powerless in all decisions, esp. in custody issues Some batter their mothers Some contemplate killing a parent But other children act perfect/ do well in school – afraid that they will otherwise be even worse abused. See esp., Judee E. Onyskiw, Domestic Violence and Children’s Adjustment: A Review of Research, Journal of Emotional Abuse 13(1/2), (2003). April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 49

50 Incest Hurts Mom & Child Hurting the child-best way to hurt mom – Other than murdering or abducting child – Incest is also the costliest crime DV is about the highest influencing/ predictive factor in incest Often it only begins after separation Or child only feels safe enough to reveal it after separation Men who batterer women are 6.5 – 19 times as likely to sexually molest their daughters (higher with step-daughters) – Not counted are cases with girls over 18 April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 50

51 How Battered Women Seek Help Making nice (complying with his demands, avoiding conflict) Hiding/ leaving home/ withholding info from him Talking to friends/ family/ pastor Calling police/ going to court Seeing lawyer/ counselor/ DV program Separating/ filing a divorce Obtaining a gun or other weapon – A dangerous option; guns increase homicide risk regardless of who has them April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 51

52 What Makes Children Resilient Innate factors – luck Eliminating: Exposure to Violence; Chaos; Conspiracy of Silence/ Secrets. – Gag orders prevent healing. A strong bond with nonabusive parent. A strong bond with their siblings. Not having to care for/ protect adults. Supervised visitation can be protective. Sometimes it is best to stop all contact with abuser until children and mother have stabilized & are no longer afraid. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 52

53 Most Battered Women Parent Well Despite many efforts to sabotage their parenting, most BW parent well (children are fed, get to school, doctors, etc.) Amazingly 50-60% of children are resilient – At least for now – They may show adverse effects later Resilience depends on their age; duration & extent of exposure to the abuse. Safety plans can help women be safer. – Safety plan can help children be safer; – Each child needs his/her own safety plan. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 53

54 In the U.S., all 50 State Legislatures Have Found that DV Harms the Children Exposed to It Laws in every state make DV at least a factor in child custody determinations between parents 24 states & DC have a presumption that batterers should not get custody/ should only get supervised visitation. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 54

55 Yet studies still find that:  Abusive fathers win custody at least as often as battered mothers, and  Abusive fathers win custody more often than non-abusive fathers. (See, Violence Against Women, Special Issue on custody & DV, Aug. 2005)  And the same thing is happening in most other countries. WHY???? April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 55

56 And Verified by DOJ:  Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) and White House March 21, 2011 Roundtable on Custody and Abuse verified that it’s true: abusive fathers are more likely to win custody. (There are still many good judges, custody evaluators, etc.) But WHY do dads win? April, 2011 Judges Should Know About DV 56

57 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV57 Gender Bias among MHPs  MHPs judge women more harshly than men.  Especially mothers, immigrants, minorities.  Most instruments (e.g., MMPI) used in custody evaluations never designed for DV/ CA/ CSA.  Never normed on battered women.  Never even designed for custody evaluations/divorce.  Can’t tell if someone is an abuser, or a victim, or if DV, CA or CSA happened, or which parent is better.  Men score higher than women for same answers.  Therapeutic Jurisprudence has greatly added to cost of contested custody fights, but not helpful.  $85,000 is cost to average battered women in U.S. 57

58 CLASH OF PARADIGMS Thanks to Roberta Valente, Richard Fitzgerald, Joy Silberg & Joan Meier Family Court Paradigm  Presumes two fit parents who cannot agree  Equitably divide assets and parenting time  Maximize children’s relationships with both parents  Minimize conflict – maximize parental cooperation  Not about violence; any violence ends with divorce Abuse Case Paradigm  Violence/Abuse is the issue  Ensure safety – take allegations seriously  Set clear boundaries & hold perpetrators accountable  Prevent future violence or abuse April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV58

59 Conflicting Assumptions & Agendas Family Court Paradigm  Protect parents’ equal rights to access with child  BIOC is to maximize child’s contact with both parents  Abuse claims are mudslinging; either lies or exaggerated, & in any case end when case ends  Conflict and litigation is what hurts children  Avoid litigation and adversarial processes – seek informal resolutions  Parallel litigation is suspect Abuse Case Paradigm  Abusers often use custody litigation to punish or control  Children are often at risk from adult abuser  Most abuse allegations are true; or based on sincere, reasonable belief  Abuse is not only about violence, but about power and control  Abuse needs to be addressed in multiple legal venues April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV59

60 Different Expert Perspectives Family Court Evaluators  Educated to see joint custody and maximizing both parents’ involvement as in the BIOC  See litigation and conflict as the primary problem  Seldom specialists in CA, CSA &/or DV Qualified Abuse Experts  Have extensive education/training on CA, CSA &/or DV  Also specialized in CA, CSA &/or DV in their practice  Are familiar with the counter-intuitive aspects of abuse in the family April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV60

61 Different Expert Perspectives - 2 Court Custody Evaluators  Often lack training & skills to competently assess abuse  “Abuse” = overt violence  See abuse cases as exceptional  Assume abuse is mutual, provoked or exaggerated  See abuse allegations as strategic/ alienation  Mainly high conflict case &/or poor communication Abuse Experts  See abuse allegations as warning signs of risk  Recognize non-violent indicators of abuse (domination and control)  Know that mediation & couple counseling empower abusers & disadvantage victims April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV61

62 Most MHPs Still Ignorant about DV/ CA  Most MHPs still know little about DV or incest, or realize its danger or harm.  Most think it is a family dynamic/ conflict; assume it is mutual, or blame the victim.  Though better at identifying it; few know how to treat it, & suggest inappropriate, ineffective, dangerous & costly ways. ( Dudley, McCloskey & Kustron, Therapist Perceptions of IPV: A Replication of Harway and Hansen’s Study after More than a Decade; J. Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 17(1), 80–102.) April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV62

63 Richard Gardner Created FPC & PAS - to Win Criminal Cases for Incest Perps Gardner testified for defendants in incest cases.  He needed a theory that would win, so created FPC and later PAS – a way to blame Moms.  Even he admitted they aren’t based on any studies; supposedly based it on his own cases.  He self-published all of his books.  His work was never peer-reviewed.  His work was never accepted as valid.  He switched to testifying in divorce cases as he was less challenged, and he earned more. April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV63

64 Richard Gardner Wrote:  Incest is an honorable choice.  Mothers should beat any child who tells them dad sexually abused them.  Paraphilias enhance procreation: CSA, sadism, necrophilia, sex with animals/ enemas/ urine/ feces.  Women enjoy being beaten for the price of receiving sperm.  Jews are to blame for laws against CSA.  Children should be told that incest is normal. April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV64

65 Richard Gardner  Advocated cutting off any contact with custodial parent if PA.  He then wrote a sanitized book that he sent to every family court in the US, & offered to, and did, train judges & MHPs for free on PAS & FPC.  Many MHPs trained by him and his disciples assume PAS & FPC are valid.  Others assume its what judges want to hear.  PAS/ PA have no scientific validity; so no evidence of it should be allowed in court.  He killed himself by repeatedly stabbing himself and overdosing on many drugs. April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV65

66 When Abuse Allegations Arise – Vetting the Validity of Psychological Theories  Family courts place great reliance on psychological professionals’ input  Strict legal procedures may be skipped in favor of determining the BIOC in a holistic manner  Even lawyers may fail to object As a result:  Family Courts often entertain testimony and recommendations based on PAS, PA and other questionable psychological theories without subjecting them to normal evidentiary requirements for scientific evidence. April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV66

67 Such Theories Obstruct Serious Assessment of Risks to Children  CSA allegations are frequently treated as indicative of “alienation” rather than valid claims requiring serious investigation.  Effective investigation and serious assessment of abuse allegations requires a kind of expertise sometimes lacking among usual custody evaluators and other forensic experts, including child protection.  By discounting abuse, they distort the fact- finding process. April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV67

68 Child Protection May Exacerbate  Child welfare agencies often defer investigation to Family Courts regarding child abuse claims  Child welfare agencies sometimes share the predisposition of Family Courts to view child sexual abuse claims made by custody litigants as an alienation strategy rather than a valid concern  Family courts sometimes mistakenly defer to child protection agencies’ “unsubstantiations” of such allegations, assuming they found no abuse. April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV68

69 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV69 MYTHS that Hurt Moms & Kids  Many incest allegations are made during custody disputes.  Mothers make false allegations of DV and incest.  Especially during custody disputes.  They do it for tactical advantage.  Incest allegations made during custody disputes are less likely to be true. 69

70 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV70 MYTHS that Hurt Moms & Kids IN FACT:  Mothers make few allegations of incest.  Allegations by mothers are no less true during custody disputes, IF INVESTIGATED.  Moms gain no tactical advantage from abuse allegations  Most Moms hide the abuse knowing it will hurt them.  Mothers know it will bring them no advantage, but often raise abuse in desperation needing protection.  Dads are 16 times more likely than mothers to make false allegations of incest.  Courts still assume mothers lie, dads are truthful. 70

71 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV71 Is Mediation Swifter?  Mediation results in faster initial orders/ judgments.  But cases are much more likely to return to court  Especially when there is DV, CA, or CSA.  In the long run, mediation slows down case, adds to cost, results in poor outcomes: shared/ joint custody. 71

72 Argue that Judges Should:  Evaluate abuse claims first – before alienation or custody issues  Craft Orders requiring serious investigation of abuse by an abuse expert  Before admitting testimony, ensure that the scientific validity of alienation (or other syndrome theories) is thoroughly vetted in a Frye/Daubert hearing. Can exclude PAS/PA as junk science. April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV72

73 Argue that Judges Should – 2:  Never rely solely on custody evaluator observations of parents with children.  Critically assess evaluators’ opinions to ensure their interpretation is grounded in scientific knowledge, understandings of children’s disclosures, offender dynamics, the link between DV & CSA, the counter-intuitive aspects of the psychology of children and abusers, and the fact that the widespread skepticism toward CSA in custody court is inconsistent with scientific knowledge. April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV73

74 Psychiatry has no test for determining who is a DV or CSA perpetrator; and poor ability to predict future abusive behavior. Until the last few years, there were no studies of what’s wrong with batterers. Abuser risk factors: seeing mother beaten; being beaten oneself; seeing siblings beaten; having friends who support woman abuse. Alcohol doesn’t cause, but makes DV worse. Donald Dutton looked at batterers’ fathers as an influence, not just their mothers. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 74

75 5 factors in fathers are worse than anything that mothers do in creating batterers: Rejecting son Being cold/ Lacking any warmth Physically abusing son Verbally abusing son Above were worse when dad shamed son These were all worse than the next factor: mother rejecting son. [Donald G. Dutton & Susan K. Golant, The Batterer: A Psychological Profile, 84 (NY: Basic Books, 1995).] April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 75

76 Anthropologists find in nonviolent societies: Men & women equally valued; both equally compensated for labor; men resolve disputes nonviolently with other men; no premarital sex double standard; no menstrual taboo. Marriage is monogamous; husbands & wives sleep together; divorce is easy; wives can divorce as easily as men. But divorce is rare. Society intervenes immediately to support a beaten wife; husband gains no advantage. [David Levinson, Family Violence in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1989).] April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 76

77 April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 77

78

79 DOMESTIC ABUSE SCREENING:  The worse the abuse, the more the danger to her and the children. Her suicidal ideation does not increase her risk from him, but she needs help. Animal abuse increases her danger, but not the chance he will kill her. Whirlwind relationship; sex required after a beating; sabotaging birth control. (from David Adams, Why Do They Kill? Men Who Murder Their Intimate Partners, 2007) April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 79

80 Danger/Lethality Screening: The worst danger is if he: Has access to handguns, Is obsessed with or stalks her, Has threatened or tried to kill or seriously hurt her or a loved one – or any others, Uses illegal drugs (homicide) or alcohol, Has raped her/ others, Badly demeaned her, or Thinks she has child by someone else. (From Jackie Campbell, April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 80

81 © Zorza Associates, 2011, April, 2011 Remember: DV escalates upon separation/ divorce. Few victims lie; most know DV does not help them in court, and usually hurts them in custody fights. Batterers are very manipulative & punitive; they retaliate/ often punish victim for revealing confidences. When batterers lack access to their partners, they may focus abuse on the children/ undermine the mother’s authority. DV hurts children, though some are resilient, esp. if strengthen victim-child relationship. No psychology tests can prove DV or CSA. Batterer treatment is not very effective. Victim and children need even more safety. 81

82 April, 2011What Judges Should Know About DV82 Remember : Divorce is far less harmful to kids than claimed; helps children in homes with DV. Most children who do badly post-divorce were doing badly years before the divorce; difficult children often precipitate divorce. Men do better financially right after a divorce; but women do much worse. Years later women average as well off, b/c 70% of them remarry. But much greater income disparity. In 2007, before divorce, families averaged $48,000; poorest 5% earned $83,000. After divorce 5% poorest women got $171,000.

83 Key Points DV is very common, is seldom mutual. CTS is flawed as a violence measure & results in studies finding women are as abusive (Molly Dragiewicz, Equality with a Vengeance, 88-90, 102 (2011)). BW seldom exaggerate or fabricate abuse. Women gain no tactical advantage from abuse. Batterers usually abuse children/ Abuse harms kids. But batterers blame, exaggerate & fabricate abuse. Batterers fabricate PA allegations & for tactical gain. CSA is very common; Mothers’ allegations are usually true; & are no less true custody disputes. Men make many times more false CSA allegations. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 83

84 Key Points - 2 Most BW parent well. Even though abuse hurts children, most children are resilient, especially if: Mothers and children are protected from abuser; Abuse does not last a long time; Courts let everyone know that abuse is wrong; Children are not forced to visit the abuser; Women & children are not silenced about abuse. REMEMBER: Most studies of women are about their failings as parents; most of men are about positive things they do & their positive affect. They do not prove men parent better. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 84

85 Key Points - 3 DV escalates after separation. Children often reveal abuse after separation when they finally feel safe to do so. Divorce harms children far less than DV. Most children who do badly after divorce did badly long before it. Things that increase contact after separation (shared parenting, couples counseling, mediation, etc.) enable abusers to be more controlling & violent, & impede healing in BW, him & children. Silencing women & children impedes their healing, and hurts women’s health and longevity. April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 85

86 April, 2011 What Judges Should Know About DV 86 IMPORTANT CUSTODY RESOURCE : Violence and the Family - 1 copy free $5) from the American Psychological Association, 750 First St., N.E. Washington, DC (Warning: A victim of very severe trauma can be hurt by cognitive therapy. Just gets worse.)


Download ppt "ALL ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE by Joan Zorza April 5, 2011 Springfield, IL “Violence occurs in at least 70% of contested child custody cases”"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google