Season 2 Episode 19: Using the concepts of collaborative co-parenting to hold perpetrators more accountable in family court
Many professionals mistakenly believe that concerns related to domestic violence evaporate once a relationship is over. Survivors know differently. Their experiences help us understand the ways that domestic violence perpetrators’ patterns of behaviors extend beyond the relationship.
In this episode, Ruth and David explore the nature of post separation coercive control and related topics. Ruth and David discuss:
· How post separation coercive control distinguishes through a heavy focus on “remote control’ abuse, abuse from a distance, using proxies to maintain and extend control; targeting and use of children; efforts to control the survivors’ parenting, and the use and targeting of finances.
· How post separation coercive control often involves new avenues and targets for manipulation, often centered around family court and child protection systems.
· How the risk assessment frameworks used by many professionals fails to capture harm to children and the omnipresent influence of coercive control in the post separation period-regardless of whether there have been recent acts of violence or not.
· How one of the main factors used by courts for assessing the fitness of a parent-their willingness and ability to co parent-can be used to increase accountability for perpetrators as parents: when post separation coercive controlling patterns of behaviors are taken into consideration and mapped as parenting choices & are considered an impediment to healthy & safe co parenting.
Toward the end of the episode, Ruth passionately describes how systems take survivors’ disclosures and “hurt us with them”, and how this can be more harmful than the abuse itself. David asks professionals to reflect on the ways that survivors are vulnerable to post separation coercive control by virtue of our collective lack of awareness & appropriate responses to this form of abuse.
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