Report Sheds Light on Plight of Parents in Custody Cases Involving Child Abuse, by Auditi Guha

“News reports have indicated that 58 children between 2008 to 2016 were killed by custodial parents after family courts ignored abuse allegations by the protective parent.” 

Auditi Guha's article calls into question the family court system and its tendencies to look beyond facts, testimonies and even medical evidence to grant shared or full custody of children to abusive parents.  Not only have these protective parents become stigmatized by the system, they may be fighting a losing battle unless reform happens.  Former White House advisor on Violence Against Women Lynn Rosenthal says, “The research shows that the family courts are a perfect place for abusers to get custody.”  Rather than considering the child’s best interest first, the family court system prioritizes keeping families together. 

It is evident that major reform must happen in the nation’s family court system to combat this skewed and often detrimental priority.  Such reforms may include empowering protective parents and a stronger emphasis for perpetrators to get the therapeutic help they need for themselves.             

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