With thanks to one of our mothers:
Report of the Special Rapporteur, UN April 13 2023
This is the April 13, 2023 United Nations Human Rights Council Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, A/HRC/53/36.
Section XI Conclusion and recommendations (starting on page 18) provides an effective summary:
The report demonstrates how the discredited and unscientific pseudo-concept of parental alienation is used in family law proceedings by abusers as a tool to continue their abuse and coercion and to undermine and discredit allegations of domestic violence made by mothers who are trying to keep their children safe. It also shows how the standard of the best interest of the child is violated by imposing contact between a child and one or both parents and by prioritizing it, even where there is evidence of domestic violence. Predominantly as a result of the lack of training and gender bias and of access to legal support, the custody of children may be awarded to perpetrators of violence, despite evidence of a history of domestic and/or sexual abuse. The risks of such consequences are compounded for women from marginalized groups in society. The report elaborates on systemic issues that lead to additional barriers to justice. Judges and evaluators need to move away from focusing on the identification of behaviours that are contested within the discipline of psychology and towards a focus on the specific facts and contexts of each case.
Additional quotes relating to this topic:
Also from Kayden’s Law (aka Keeping Children Safe From Family Violence Act) contained in the reauthorized 2022 Violence Against Women Act; the United States Congress finds the following:
(6) Empirical research indicates that allegations of child physical and sexual abuse are regularly discounted by courts when raised in child custody cases, with fewer than one-fourth of claims that a father has committed child physical or sexual abuse believed; and where the allegedly abusive parent claimed the mother was “alienating” the child, only 1 out of 51 claims of sexual molestation by a father were believed. Independent research indicates that child sexual abuse allegations are credible 50 to 70 percent of the time.”
(9) Scientifically unsound theories that treat mothers’ abuse allegations as likely false attempts to undermine the father are frequently applied in family court to minimize or deny parents’ and children’s reports of abuse …
In other words, Congress finds that relying on unsound theories of improper influence leads to less than 2% of sexual molestation being believed by courts despite the majority of these allegations (50%-70%) being credible.
Leave a Reply