Archive for the ‘human rights’ Category
A Tennessee family is desperately trying to regain custody of the young girl they raised for eight years, after her adoption was vacated and a judge ruled she belongs with her biological father, a convicted felon living hundreds of miles away in Nebraska. NBC’s Sarah Dallof reports.
The U.S. Department of Justice has found that women are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes committed by intimate partners than men, especially when a weapon is involved. Moreover, women are much more likely to be victimized at home than in any other place.
Caught Between Parents Supporting children through the challenges of divorce by Amy J.L. Baker, Ph.D.
As mother’s day approaches I want to take a moment to unequivocally state that yes mothers even good mothers can lose their children to parental alienation. One common myth that seems to be “out there” in the world is that parental alienation is something that only happens to fathers and that mothers, because they tend to have residential custody and because (the theory goes) the courts are biased against fathers, rarely lose their kids this way. While no one has data about the exact gender break down, I can say that without a doubt some mothers do and have been victimized in this way. I believe that part of why this is not talked about as much as fathers’ experiences of parental alienation is that mothers who do lose their kids this way are overcome with shame and humiliation and tend to not want to go public with their story. In my conversations with targeted mothers a common theme is that they perceive other people as thinking that they must have done something wrong for their child to reject them. Many stay silent for this reason, to avoid being blamed and shamed. Another complicating factor is that many women’s rights group denounce the existence of parental alienation, claiming that it is a fabricated problem designed to hurt mothers. Thus, women seeking support and guidance from these groups may be given the message that they are mistaken and/or must stay silent. It is time for targeted mothers to go public and be open about their experience, and make it clear that it is possible to be both a feminist and a victim of parental alienation. I strongly believe that the more people talk about this problem, the more likely it is that it can be prevented and treated. Too often custody cases get bogged down in whether the problem is real rather than focusing on how to resolve the alienation and help heal parent child relationships. In my experience an alienating parent needs three things: (1) motive to undermine the child’s relationship with the other parent, (2) access to the child, and (3) skillful use of alienation strategies. These are not the sole purview of either gender.
On father’s day I will certainly acknowledge the risks and concerns that they contend with concerning parental alienation. In the meantime, I encourage all parents (mothers and fathers) to become educated about parental alienation, to help create awareness in their community, and to work towards improving prevention, intervention, and treatment of this terrible form of child abuse.
” By not verbally expressing that anger, by “avoiding” showing anger, the abuser is allowed to feel as if the victim is the only person at fault for whatever wrong is perceived by the abuser.” Dr. Gregory Jantz
Sylvia entered the quiet house. When she had pulled up in the driveway after work, she hadn’t seen any lights on in the
front of the house, but Jim’s car was parked in its normal place. So he was home. It meant he was in the den at the back of the house instead of in the living room. What have I done now? she thought to herself?
Jim always retreated to the den when he was mad at her. The more she bothered him and tried to find out what was wrong, the longer he would stay inside, not speaking to her. It was best if she just went about her business in the house as quietly as possible, trying to stay out of his way and waiting for him to either snap out of it or blow up and tell her what she had done wrong. She couldn’t force him to respond, and over the years she had gotten used to his behavior.
No discussion of emotional abuse through words would be complete without including the absence of words as a form of abuse. This is commonly known as the “silent treatment.” Abusers punish their victims by refusing to speak to them or even acknowledge their presence. Through silence, the abusers loudly communicate their displeasure, anger, frustration, or disappointment.
Depending on the person, this silent treatment can last for hours, days, or weeks. For some abusers, it is a preferred method of communication because of its ability to humiliate and control the victim. It is used most effectively by those in close relationship, such as a spouse, parent, or child. The silence, the loss of verbal relationship, is meant to exact an emotional toll on the other person, who often will go to great lengths to attempt to restore communication with the abuser.
This level of control is precisely what the abuser is looking for, as well as a way to vent his or her anger at the other person.
By not verbally expressing that anger, by “avoiding” showing anger, the abuser is allowed to feel as if the victim is the only person at fault for whatever wrong is perceived by the abuser. If the victim responds to the silent treatment with anger, the abuser is doubly vindicated.
The above is excerpted from chapter 4 in Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse by Dr. Gregory Jantz.