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PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES CHILDREN SENTENCED TO LIFE PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES CHILDREN SENTENCED TO LIFE WITH ABUSERS

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Description of Problem • PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Description of Problem • • Children placed in the custody of identified offenders Legalized kidnapping/aiding and abetting child abuse New phenomenon (custody scandal cases) Incidence – current research Ø Predominantly Affects Middle and High Income Women Ø Protective mothers v. protective fathers—how much of the problem is due to gender bias? Ø Problem worsening

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Contributing Factors • • PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Contributing Factors • • • Society’s Denial of Incest Myths about false allegations Non-coordination of government agencies Lack of education of judicial officials Lack of common sense Invasion of MHP’s into litigation Due process violations Lack of integrity Gender bias and bias against maternal protective behavior Financial incentives

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Child Protective Services Role PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Child Protective Services Role • SW’s may have no specialized training in child sexual abuse • SW’s may not be licensed—no requirement for continuing education • Emergency response protocol impedes disclosure of sexual abuse—failure to use expert interviewers • High caseloads, high turnover, inexperienced SW’s • Abandonment of duty to investigate and protect in favor of relinquishing case to family court • Bias re: myths of false allegations persist in dependency field Ø Example: Mother threatened with prosecution for alleging sex abuse—when abuse proved, children taken for failure to protect

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Society’s Changing Attitudes Toward PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Society’s Changing Attitudes Toward Sex Offenses • Kinsey’s fraudulent research • Desensitization to sexual conduct and crimes • Society’s role in sexualizing children Ø Media--Fashion Industry/magazines/TV Ø Earlier physical development of children • Proliferation of pornography • Incest exception loophole

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Victim Blaming/Legal Defense Tactics PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Victim Blaming/Legal Defense Tactics History of father custody Influence of “father’s rights” agenda on social policy Retaliatory litigation in response to child support orders Projection—offender accuses protective parent of his behaviors • Made-up diagnosis Ø PAS Ø Malicious Mother Syndrome Ø Syndromes R U$ • •

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Family Courts as Secondary PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Family Courts as Secondary Abusers • • Court takes on the role of abuser Legalized punishment of lawful conduct Judicial hostility/retaliation toward PP’s Violations of Human Rights Ø child’s right to be safe from sexual assault Ø parent’s right to protect offspring • Violations of victim’s rights Ø Crimes framed as domestic issue ü “wallet incident” ü family therapy model (both parties at fault) ü victims forced to spend time with offenders ü “get along or else” law (conciliation law)

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Lack of Accountability in PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Lack of Accountability in Judiciary • Judicial crimes rarely prosecuted • Refusal of courts to overturn bad decisions Ø prosecutions don’t result in re-hearing cases Ø Evidence proving error doesn’t result in correction • No effective remedies Ø Appeals too costly Ø Ethics commissions weak and don’t address injustice (foxes guarding hen house)

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Mental Health Consequences • PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Mental Health Consequences • Mental/Emotional/Psychological problems Ø Hopelessness/Depression/suicidality Ø Inability to trust Ø Fear of abandonment Ø Emotional numbing/disassociation Ø Guilt/shame Ø Anxiety/confusion (convolutes right v. wrong) Ø Emotionally regressed behaviors Ø PTSD, hyper vigilance Ø Sleep disorders Ø Self destructive behaviors

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Traumatic Bonding • Intermittent PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Traumatic Bonding • Intermittent terror v. care--creation of trauma bond • Isolation with dependency for survival needs • Child perceives societal acceptance (failure to protect) • abuse becomes normalized • Helplessness—captor/captive relationship • Brainwashing/alignment with power/distorted reality • Physiology (chemical reaction to abuse) • Fight or flight stage--adrenaline during abuse • Relief stage--Endorphins • Anticipation unbearable • Re-enact abuse to “get it over with”—achieve relief • Parallel to DV victim/perpetrator dynamic • NOT UNDERSTOOD BY MANY “PROFESSIONALS” • Abuse disbelieved • Perpetrator assumed safe

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Medical Consequences from perpetual PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Medical Consequences from perpetual trauma/stress • • • Cancer Brain Aneurism Autoimmune diseases Skin problems Gastrointestinal problems Heart problems

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES “Warning to Mothers” (www. PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES “Warning to Mothers” (www. mothers-of-lost-children. com) • Learn the pitfalls in litigation • Avoid hasty decisions—contemplate the backlash Ø Appease v. challenge the court? Ø Stay silent or speak out? Ø Stay or run? • Educate yourself on the issues • Maintain a support system—buddy-up • Take care of your health, work, make time for fun • Journal—memorialize your experience PRAY! (a lot)

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Reform from the Inside PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Reform from the Inside Out • Public education Ø Conferences Ø Trainings Ø Meet with government officials/entities • Research and tools Ø Custody evaluation template • Legislation Ø Copy good legislation from other states

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Activism—Make it Happen • PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Activism—Make it Happen • Radical Problems need aggressive action • Think Outside the Box—develop a strategy/gimmic • BREAK THE SILENCE Ø Courageous Kids—most powerful voices Ø Protective Parent groups Ø Make your own Media ü Op-Eds/letters to the editor/flyers • Challenge the status quo— “well behaved women rarely make history” • Prepare for battle, know your enemy • Public censure/public awards

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Suggested Remedies • Approximation PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES Suggested Remedies • Approximation standard as basis for custody • Separate Child Support from residential time • Government must pay for all court ordered services and fees of court appointed professionals • Jury trials for custody upon request of a party • Abolish absolute judicial immunity for all court professionals • Complaint to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (filed May 2007)

PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES References Dallam. S. J. PROTECTIVE PARENTS AND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY DISPUTES References Dallam. S. J. , & Silberg, J. L. (Jan/Feb 2006) Myths that place children at risk during custody disputes. Sexual Assault Report, 9(3), 33 -47. Keating, Sharon S. (1988) Children in Incestuous Relationships: The Forgotten Victims, 34 Loyola Law Review 111. Heim, S. , Grieco, H. , Di Paola, S. , & Allen, R. (2002) Family Court Report. Sacramento, CA: California National Organization for Women. Faller, K. C. , & De. Voe, E. (1995). Allegations of sexual abuse in divorce, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 4(4), 1 -25. Bancroft, L. R. (1998) Understanding the batterer in custody and visitation disputes Theonnes and Tjaden (1998) Allegations of Sexual Abuse in Custody and Visitation Cases Lawson, L. , & Chaffin, M. (1992) False negatives in sexual abuse disclosure interviews. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 7(4), 532 -42 Sjoberg, R. L. , & Lindblad, F. (2002) Limited disclosure of sexual abuse in children whose experiences were documented by videotape. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159(2), 312 -4 L. C. , Lyon, T. D. , & Quas, J. A. (2007) Filial dependency and recantation of child sexual abuse allegations. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 46, 162 -70. Stephanie Dallam (2008) Are “Good Enough Parents Losing Custody to Abusive Ex-Partners? Updated for the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence Pennington J. , (1995) National Center for Protective Parents, The Politics of Incest Chesler P. , (1986) Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody Stahly G. (2003) Protective Mothers in Child Custody Disputes: A Study of Judicial Abuse