Journalist Flannery Dean recently interviewed Luke’s Place Legal Director, Pamela Cross, and other experts for the article Why Divorce Cases Involving Allegations of Abuse Still Confound Family Courts available online and in the January 2021 issue of Chatelaine magazine. The article centres on the tragic outcomes of two mothers who fled domestic violence and highlights common threads regarding the challenges women face with family law system.
“The idea that a history of abusive behaviour toward a partner isn’t pertinent to parenting is a common response in family court, says Pamela Cross.
The reality, Cross says, is that abusive partners often find new tactics (such as financial abuse, threats and defiance of court orders) after separation, and often, they use the kids as a tool to exert power and control over the former spouse.
Judges who don’t understand this often put the non-abusing parent in the position of having to maintain contact or be deemed the problem.”