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Intimate Partner Abuse Screen




Family Court Life Sentence of Family Violence - When Mommy Is Punishment and Children Are Domestic Abuse

domestic violence consulting expert


By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.


When domestic violence is before the court, fortified with finance and politics, the net result is the protective parent is about punishment and the children are about abuse.


Sound strange? If you’re living it, the strange nightmare while twisted is ever so true.


Far too often when domestic abuse survivors seek remedy for family violence in family court, they discover that the abuse they longed to arrest is perpetuated by domestic relations court. Here’s why:


Family Court Is an Improper Forum to Arrest Family Violence


This court is actually not the proper forum to remedy domestic violence, because of the fact that holding either party accountable for their actions in a marriage is irrelevant to divorce court. However, this accountability is essential to arrest family violence.


Holding a perpetrator accountable for their battering behavior is a necessary step to stopping domestic abuse, especially if it is expected that both parents remain in the abused children’s lives. But this step is overlooked when finance and/or politics are in place to sweep the big elephant right back under the carpet.


There is no ownership, no accountability and no responsibility for the abuse toward the family. So what then happens to the abuse? It goes in its natural direction. It escalates. That’s right, it gets worse. It may change its form; however, its intensity grows.


In many cases, ultimately the abused children are denied access to their protective parent and the protective parent is denied access to their abused children. Once established, this pattern is maintained by the children coming to know punishment should they reach out to the protective parent. And for the estranged parent, reaching out to the children invites a taste of abuse.


How Does One Prevent This Vicious Cycle of Family Abuse?


If you are in family court with an abuser and there are children in your nest, beware if finances and politics are in arms’ reach of your opposition. You could be headed for lasting abuse rather than a family violence remedy.


For information on how to protect yourself and your children in divorce court, visit Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., founding director of Partners in Prevention, helps individuals recognize, end and heal from abuse at home and in court.

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.