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Domestic Violence and the Parental Alienation Syndrome

Parental alienation has devastating effects to both child and estranged parent. The more we understand the trends of this human violation, the easier it is for us to remedy its impact. Read on to learn about PAS when domestic violence is before the court and when it is not.

In marriages in which there is no domestic violence and parental alienation upon divorce, it is more often the woman who is the alienating parent. Whereas in marriages in which there is domestic violence, the victimized partner is in most cases the alienated parent. Why these trends?

PAS in Non-abusive and in Abusive Relationships

Parental alienation goes back as far as childbirth. Women assume a more significant bond with their offspring, especially in infancy and through the formative years. And many men assume traditional roles of provider, taking them out of the home during much of the baby and young child's life (waking hours). Divorce merely extenuates this already existing status quo.

In abusive relationships, these same roles exist and in most cases in an even more entrenched way. As abusers adhere to strict stereotype male-female roles and demand their female partners do the same.

When divorce comes knocking on the door of domestic violence families, the control serving as the glue binding the parents merely transforms from expectations within the marital residence to demands in family court.

How Domestic Violence Transforms into Legal Domestic Abuse

When the verbal licks, emotional manipulations, mental cruelty, psychological abuse and physical altercations become forbidden by civil court's restraining orders, the control shifts to another means of expression. That being the victimized litigant's rights and liberties: their civil liberties and their parental rights.

It is estimated that 70 % of men seeking custody will get it and 50% of those actually obtaining it are batteres. The traditionalized trend in domestic violence families is that children are raised to believe that they will never see the estranged parent again. And the estranged parent is more often than not simply pushed out of their children's lives.

While under normal (that is common) conditions, if one can consider the above having any semblance of "normal," this is a horrific violation to both child and alienated parent. But what we find is that these consequences magnify when the domestic abuse family also involves the abusive parent who batterers the children.

Sixty to 70% of men who batter their female partners also batter their children. The net result of parental alienation of the protective parent is that these abused children are not only denied their right to equal access to each parent, they are given a long sentence of child abuse.

And for society the horror is we that "the people" have contributed to the intergenerational transmission of relationship abuse. The children of these homes have a higher incidence of adult violence than those children of domestic abuse who maintain contact with their protective parents.

If you are in family court with an abuser and custody is before the courtScience Articles, you will want to know everything you can about domestic violence and child custody.

Article Tags: Domestic Violence, Parental Alienation

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To learn more about how to protect your children and yourself, see Legal Domestic Abuse. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse at home and in court. Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D.

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