Domestic Violence & Child Custody Myths: These Beliefs Will Hurt Families More Than Help Them

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald September 20, 12:30 am
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The reality is that many families face domestic violence and child custody issues. In the United States, the statistics stacking up on beating, abuse and confusion among children have grown alarming. The impact of domestic violence can lead to post-traumatic stress that a child could manifest even in adulthood.

Why this problem prevails is partly due to the beliefs in domestic violence and child custody myths. It's time to reassess these common notions, which could only bring more harm than good, especially to the children.

One dangerous notion about domestic violence and child custody is that children are likely to be safe from an abusive parent after a separation. However, there have been studies that have identified how some adults use their children as "tools" for bargaining or controlling the other partner, according to Sentinel-Standard.

Leading parenting expert Penelope Leach said that she has seen children being used by their separated parents in the "marital war" quite too often when the children are supposed to be the victims. She recommends that children under the age of four should not be staying overnight away from the primary caregiver parent, so as not to erode their security and affect their development socially, per The Guardian.

Another myth about domestic is the notion that the non-abusive parent has the child custody in the bag. The battered mom is the aggrieved, so why would the courts allow the kids to live with an abusive father, right? But according to Violence Against Women, there is a surprising number of victims of domestic violence who don't have custody of the kids.

The primary caregiver, who continues to live in fear or depression due to the trauma of the abuse, might not be able to properly care and support the child. Harvard cites the courts will always side with the "best interest of the child," and if the mom has her rights but she is unfit to look after her children, she could be denied custody.

What prevailing myths do you know that makes it harder for families to cope with life after domestic abuse? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

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