A mom accuses a dad of abusing their child. Instead of the dad losing child custody, she loses custody. It seems backwards and unbelievable, but according to a study from George Washington University, the scenario has become all too common.
The Washington Post’s wrap up of the study states that the author reached the chilling conclusion that there is an alarming rate of mothers who end up losing child custody after reporting that the father has committed abuse, particularly child abuse.
The article sites the disturbing case of Prince Rams. Prince’s mother accused the child’s father not only of child abuse, but of many acts of violence, including threatening to kill her at gunpoint. Despite the mother’s testimony and testimony from many other witnesses, the court allowed the father to see the child unsupervised. Sadly, this soon resulted in the father murdering the child. The judge had stated that there wasn’t sufficient evidence that abuse had occurred.
The study looked at many cases and determined that courts ultimately believed a mother’s allegations of abuse only 36 percent of the time. That number dropped to 21 percent when narrowed specifically to look at allegations of child abuse. To make matters worse, mothers ended up actually losing child custody in 28 percent of the cases. However, when fathers accused mothers of abuse, they only lost custody in 12 percent of cases.
These numbers are scary, but victims of abuse should know that there are resources nationally as well as in Columbus and throughout Ohio. This includes the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, where victims can find shelters and more. An attorney can offer legal guidance in these situations as well.