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5 myths to dispel about domestic violence

Domestic violence reaches its tentacles into families along all levels of the income spectrum. It has a particularly demoralizing effect on children in homes where there are incidents of abuse by one spouse or parent toward the other. Learn how the following five myths could potentially affect your custody case in the California courts.

  • Children aren't in as much danger after their parents split up. If anything, the reverse holds true. Abusive spouses will stoop so low as to emotionally abuse and intimidate their kids to continue to manipulate their victim of choice: the spouse that left them.
  • Kids don't suffer long-term effects from witnessing incidents of domestic violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that kids who grew up in homes where there was domestic violence had higher risks of substance abuse, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes once they reached adulthood. They also were 74 times as likely to perpetrate violent crimes as adults than their peers who did not grow up in homes with domestic violence.
  • As long as the kids don't appear afraid of the abusive parent, the other parent shouldn't fight for supervised visitation. Children can, and do, form loving bonds with often horrifically abusive parents, as often that is all that they know. The phenomenon is referred to as Stockholm syndrome, and is a technique abused individuals of all ages use to survive the unthinkable.
  • As long as a parent isn't abusive, there is no danger he or she will lose custody of the children. Many abused women are struggling with often undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Both can leave them with a muted, flat effect that poorly reflects upon them in court. Alternatively, abusers can be sociopaths who can charm judges and lawyers and even the psychologists appointed by the courts to evaluate them.
  • Parental alienation syndrome is a legitimate diagnosis. The American Psychological Association states that there is insignificant data to lend credence to it at this time, even though abusers try to use it to exert control over kids who clearly want nothing to do with the one who abused their other parent.

If you are struggling with the decision of whether or not to leave your abusive spouse, speaking to a California family law attorney about the options available to you may alleviate your doubts and clarify the situation.

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