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Intimate Partner Abuse Screen




Domestic Violence Divorce:

Why They Say, "My Children Are Dead"

domestic violence consulting expert


By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.


Shortly after my book All But My Soul was published, I attended an author book fair. As the proud mother just giving birth to what felt like my forth child, I was beaming until a woman came up to my table.

With her eyes drawn to the cover of my book, she blurted out, “Oh, I know this story.” I looked at her and she declared, “I’m living this story.”


Catching my attention and interest, I wanted to know more. And she proceeded to share her nightmare of family court violence. It was the same story I have heard hundreds of times from women worldwide.


It’s the story of what happens to your relationship with your children after you leave a batterer with finances and the disposition to use the courts to control you and your children.


Family Court Enables Parent-Child Death


She said, “My son is dead.” And I compassionately told her, “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

She wanted me to know he was alive, but in her mind...he was dead.


In the very next book event I did, another woman came up to my table and again, I heard the same. She said, “I, too, lived that story.” “And, now my children are dead.” She went on to explain, “What I gave birth to no longer exists. That is dead. What remains I do not recognize, and they don’t recognize me.”


It was starting to sink in for me at this point. Woman after woman, story after story showed up in my email telling me their stories...all with the same ending.


The only thing different was how they got there and where they where in the process.

Yet, each told the same story of the death of their relationship with their children by passing through family court with a financially fortified or politically positioned abuser.


Parental Estrangement from the Inside Out


My children are now all of age. And with each one, they sought me out only to discover for both of us that our bond was there. It was alive. It was real. You could feel it, taste it. It wrapped all over and around us connecting us only to bring out the love and affection that was always there, once again. Until…


My children vanished into to the puppetry of paternal parental influence and conditioning of, “Why would you want a relationship with her...”


I finally understand why these women say, “my children are dead.” Though on a deeper level, I trust my children to be thriving externally.  I recognize the death of our relationship, as I knew it. I see the estrangement as it is. I know it for what it is, and I do not confuse it with myself.


If you are reading this and you’re in or headed down this road, know your situation is not about you. It’s not because of you. It merely is a reality of their circumstances and of yours. It simply is.

Endnote to article: When this article was written, this was my feeling. However over the year, I have been practicing the keys outlined in another article contained in the Psychological Healing for Domestic Abuse eBook called, "The 3 Keys to Healing Parental Alienation Syndrome." And here's the blessing: Embracing these keys has helped me recognize my children are truly alive and so is our love.


For more insight about abusive relationships at home and in court, visit and claim your free Survivor Success Tip & eInsights. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. founding director of Partners in Prevention help people recognize, end and heal from family violence and the legal abuse syndrome.


If you want personal help with your particular circumstances, you can contact us to set up an individual consultation.

This series of eInsights is presented to you by Partners in Prevention, a nonprofit organization. If you find this eInsight article useful, we invite you to contribute to the maintenance and growth of the Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit


©Copyright 2008 Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.