Lawmakers, experts and advocates across California are pushing for legislation that would make judges take regular training in recognizing domestic violence and child abuse. The crusade is an attempt to lessen the chances that a judge will place a child in the custody of a dangerous parent. Family court judges routinely decide that domestic abuse claims are not credible and grant custody to the allegedly abusive parent. But making the wrong call can end with children losing their lives.
California Judges’ Group Helped Block Bill to Address Family Violence, Calling Training Mandate ‘Advocacy’
‘I Was Not Allowed to Have My Own Thoughts’: California Courts Start Penalizing Psychological Domestic Abuse
In a Los Angeles-area case, a judge acknowledged the evolving understanding of domestic violence to include psychological abuse, and extensively cited the state’s new coercive control law in his ruling.
Expanding View of Domestic Violence Gives Survivors New Tool, but Unsympathetic Judges Remain an Obstacle
Experts in domestic violence say judicial skepticism of abuse victims, often with misogynistic overtones, has long been widespread in U.S. family court, creating dangerous hurdles to justice. The expanded conception of domestic violence on paper is of limited use if judges continue to cast a skeptical eye on testimony, usually from women, of manipulation within intimate relationships.