- Our society fails to provide safety for mothers leaving dangerous men. The inadequacies of Domestic Violence Services render mothers helpless in Civil Family Courts, where Court ordered Abuse can continue until children age out of the system. Using custody orders to control and manipulate victims through legal channels is referred to as Legal Abuse/Court Ordered Abuse and it includes DV by proxy or stalking through the courts.
- Once a women leaves a predator she faces a wide range of challenges to protect herself and her children. He will continue to batter through the system, without help from Law enforcement or Domestic Violence services who step back once their is a child custody order. The Family Court system fails victims of abuse and often rewards the bullies by providing access to the children and Ex by failing to recognize the complex issues of Intimate Partner Violence.
- Family Court Judges are aided by Lawyers and Professionals in the Mental Health Field who have financial incentives and work to punish mothers who report abuse . Placing children with the batterer and molester insures the continued need for court services and the reliance on mental health treatment programs now so widely used in the family, dependency and Juvenile court system.
- Discrediting the Victim is the most used tool, falsely accusing her of mental illness or Parental Alienation Syndrome is a very effective legal strategy to get custody of the children. The benefit to the perpetrator is the win, win, they relieve themselves of financial obligations of child support and continue to punish by taking her children from her.
- With total control over the children fathers will use this power to dole out time and lord over the mother who tried to escape the power and control of the once abusive marriage. The reason we do not hear more about this silent epidemic is that historically media doesn’t like to cover family issues, divorce, dv incest abuse and mothers are so damaged by the events of legal abuse and loss of custody don’t make good witnesses or advocates for themselves. The fathers obtain fraudulent criminal charges that discredits the mothers and seldom are they able to navigate the legal system to appeal the charges and regain custody. Sadly, Law enforcement, Court professionals and Domestic Violence Services fail to protect the women of Domestic Violence as a result of inadequate training and Bias.
- Using the Best Interest of the child, fathers fights advocates undermine the safety of mothers and their children.
Leadership Council on DV by Proxy
- As more and more abused women lose custody to batterers in family courts, they are wrongly embracing the very ideas that enabled their abusers to gain custody in the first place. False accusations of “parental alienation” are often used by batterers to gain custody and to defend against accusations of abuse.
- Some unfortunate women after years of enduring domestic violence have lost custody to the batterers who abused them. In these cases, batterers have made good on their threat to attack their ex-partner in the place she is the most vulnerable—by taking her children away from her. After separation, these batterers continue to wage their campaign of manipulation and abuse by attempting to convince involved children that their mothers never loved them. Looking for a way to describe their batterers’ behavior, some mothers have called what their batterer is doing “parental alienation syndrome.
- In reality, what these women are describing from their ex-partners is better termed Domestic Violence by Proxy (DV by Proxy), a term first used by Alina Patterson, author of Health and Healing. DV by Proxy refers to a pattern of behavior which is a parent with a history of using domestic violence or intimidation, uses a child as a substitute when he no longer has access to his former partner. Calling this behavior “parental alienation” is not strong enough to convey the criminal pattern of terroristic behaviors employed by batterers.
When his victim leaves him, batterers often recognize that the most expedient way to continue to hurt his partner is to assert his legal rights to control her access to their children. By gaining control of the children, an abusive male now has a powerful tool which allows him to continue to stalk, harass and batter an ex-partner even when he has no direct access to her. Moreover, by emotionally torturing the child and severing the bond between children and their mother, he is able to hurt his intended victim — the mother — in a way she cannot resist.
- DV by Proxy includes tactics such as: threats of harm to children if they display a positive bond to the mother, destroying favored possessions given by the mother, and emotional torture (for example, telling the child the mother hates them, wanted an abortion, and is not coming to get them because they are unloved).
DV by Proxy may also include coaching the child to make false allegations regarding their mother’s behavior and harming or punishing the child for not complying. DV by Proxy perpetrators may also create fraudulent documents to defraud the court in order to prevent the mother from gaining custody. Whether or not the child is biologically related to them is irrelevant to perpetrators of DV by Proxy. The perpetrator’s main motivation is to hurt his ex; whether or not his own child is harmed in the process is irrelevant to him.
Domestic violence by proxy- “Parental alienation” doesn’t properly convey the criminal behaviors of the Narcissist. When a narcissist’s victim leaves Terrorist Tactics are employed, the way the narcissist continues to hurt the victim/ target is to continue to control through access to their children. “Parental alienation” doesn’t properly convey the criminal behaviors this allows, stalking, harassment; smear campaigning, financial loss, faults statement to court and police. Eventually emotionally torturing the children severing the bond with the target parent, hurting the target and the children victims for years.
LIZ LIBRARY ON STALKING THROUGH THE COURTS –
The “Father’s Right’s” Movement: How to Legally Stalk, Harass, and Intimidate Victims of Domestic Violence after a Restraining Order has been Issued by Janet Normalvanbreucher
“It was with surprise and appreciation that I recently discovered and read Stalking Through the Courts. Although it has been many years since my divorce from Eric Bleicken, the pain of the intense lies that were told (that I wasn’t feeding my children, that I was suicidal, that I was a negligent mother, etc.), and the 200 plus harassment motions that Eric Bleicken filed over a five year period were still under the surface. I found it amazing that Janet Normalvanbreucher, someone I’ve never met, cared enough to research and reveal the truth about our case and the Fathers Rights political agenda. With sincerity and humility, I give her my thanks.”
— Lorraine Bleicken G.
STALKING THROUGH THE COURTS by Janet Normalvanbreucher © 1999
The Quest for Dominance and Control
“Abusive men typically have deeply entrenched notions about “traditional” male roles, with concomitant support for male dominance.”
— Lee H. Bowker, Beating the Wife Beating, p. 7-9 (1983)
“Victims [of domestic violence] are more likely… to have less traditional attitudes regarding women’s roles in the family.”
— Lenore Walker, The Battered Woman Syndrome, p. 8, (1984)
The batterer’s quest for control of the woman lies at the heart of an abusive relationship. “The men want to direct and determine how their partner behaves, and the way to do this is through violence… the men use violence to dominate, control, and force the woman to do what they want.” (Jan E. Stets, Domestic Violence and Control, p. 110, (1988). Battering is about domination. Violence is a way of “doing power” in a relationship, an effort by the batterer to control the woman who is the recipient of the violence. “At the moment of separation or attempted separation — for many women the first encounter with the authority of law — the batterer’s quest for control often becomes most acutely violent and potentially lethal.” (Desmond Ellis, Post-Separation Woman Abuse: The Contribution of Lawyers as “Barracudas,” “Advocates,” and “Counsellors,” 10 Intl. J.L. & Psychiatry 403, 408 (1987). Lenore Walker, a leading forensic psychologist in the field of battered women, has emphasized the batterer’s control of the woman. “A battered woman is a woman who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical or psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do something he wants her to do without any concern for her rights.” (Lenore Walker, The Battered Woman Syndrome (1984)). Walker found that as her clients in psychotherapy became more assertive, they encountered more physical and psychological abuse.
The misperception that men cannot control their anger still permeates society. Abusive men will often use the threat of violence, whether actual or implied, to control his victim. “Men are violent and abusive towards women because this behavior allows them to establish and to maintain control within the relationship … and because no one has ever required them to stop.” (Lisa G. Lerman, The Decontextualization of Domestic Violence, 83 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 217, 236 (1992)). Abusive behavior can range from implied threats (“any other man would have beaten you to a pulp”) to overt acts against property (breaking apart the furniture, punching a hole in the wall) to direct physical assault (shoving, grabbing, battery). The abuser constantly finds fault with the victim, forcing the victim to remain constantly on the defensive, walking on eggshells lest she “cause” her abuser to lose control and incur another incident of violent behavior.
Studies indicate that, contrary to the assertions of the abuser that he just “lost it,” batterers are quite aware of what they are doing. “Loss of control is substantially contradicted by the batterers’ own testimony. While the men claim that their violence is beyond rational control, they simultaneously acknowledge that the violence is deliberate and warranted.” (James Ptacek, Why do Men Batter Their Wives, p. 153 (1985). Strongly indicative of this pattern of premeditation are the facts that abusers often limit their beatings to places that will not show (like the stomach), violent episodes occur almost exclusively in the home where they can get away with it, and despite the abusers justifications of “I just lost control,” most batterers have limits beyond which they will not go (most stop short of killing their partners). (Lenore E. Walker, The Battered Woman Syndrome, (1984)). Abusers are extremely manipulative and are often described as having a Jekyll and Hyde Personality. Ellen Pence and Michael Paymar’s training manual for batterer’s, Power and Control: Tactics of Men Who Batter, treat violence as a form of control and explicitly reject theories that focus on some flaw in the abuser, the victim, or the relationship. (Ellen Pence & Michael Paymar, Power and Control: Tactics of Men Who Batter, p. 64, (1986). Abusers view their right to dominate and control every aspect of their partner’s and children’s lives, their right to resort to physical violence, as a constitutionally protected right sanctioned by the founding fathers and the bible, not aberrant behavior.
When the intimate partner of a domineering male demands an end to controlling or abusive behavior or attempts to sever the relationship, his abnormal behavior will often escalate into violence. Separation assault is the attack on the woman’s body and volition in which her partner seeks to prevent her from leaving, retaliate for the separation, or force her to return. It aims at overbearing her will as to where and with whom she will live, and coercing her in order to enforce connection in a relationship. It is an attempt to gain, retain, or regain power in a relationship, or to punish the woman for ending the relationship. It often takes place over time. (Martha R. Mahoney, Legal Images of Battered Women: Redefining the Issue of Separation, 90 Mich. L. Rev. 1, p. 65-66, (1991)).
Despite the obvious physical and psychological harm caused by battering, the abuser is able to continue battering his partner because he does not fear legal or social consequences. A batterer often believes he has the right to control his partner through the use of force. Reinforcement of learned behavior may encourage this obsessive, dependent personality. Impulsive and easily frustrated, a batterer resorts to physical violence. The batterer will deny his violence to himself and others. A batterer is not violent in other relationships. In fact, with people outside the family, he can be seen as the pillar of the community. (Lisa N. Birmingham, Closing the Loophole: Vermont’s Legislative Response to Stalking, 18 Vt. L. Rev. 477, 484-485 (1994)). This hinders the victim’s attempts to seek help or emotional support from friends and even her own family because batterers tend to wear a false persona to the outside world. The victim’s claims that her partner is out of control tend to be met with disbelief and outright hostility from the outside world.
Most child psychologists agree that divorced families are less desirable than intact families from a child-rearing standpoint when the family is not dysfunctional. However, reducing children to chattels owned by the parent who is least dissatisfied with the status quo, shuffling them between two households, or returning to the days when women were the legal property of their husbands, is even more repugnant. Father’s Rights advocates “real agenda is to make sure that men maintain control over custodial parents and have access to their children regardless of the father’s behavior and regardless of whether it’s in the best interest of the children themselves” (Patricia A. Levesh, Greater Boston Legal Services Battered Women’s Legal Assistance Project, Letter to the Editor, the Boston Globe, January 6, 1999).
Although most people would agree that courts are not well equipped to handle the emotional battlefield of a divorce, effectively returning to an era when women, children, and property were all chattels owned by the husband is not the answer. Judges (who are often male) are generally quite sensitive to the needs of non-custodial fathers and will bend over backwards to award liberal visitation agreements affording ample opportunity to remain an active part of children’s lives (sometimes to the detriment of children who have witnessed spousal abuse). It is only when a non-custodial parent has demonstrated an extreme pattern of using the child to control the custodial parent or there are serious questions about the child’s wellbeing that visitation will be restricted or supervised.
“For purposes of determining child custody, it is not in the best interest of children to (a) force parents to share custody over the objection of one or both parents when there is a history of domestic violence; (b) punish abused or protective parents who protect themselves or their children; (c) presume allegations of domestic violence or child sexual assault are likely to be made falsely or for tactical advantage during custody and divorce proceedings; and (d) make ‘friendly parent’ provisions a factor when there is abuse by one parent against the other or a child…” (Congressional findings, VAWA proposed 1999 amendments, H.R. 357, Title II, s. 241).
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