Your Family Matters

Domestic violence can become child abuse

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2022 | family law

For most of us, we believe that when a domestic abuse victim takes that momentous step to leave, we also believe that they are now safe. Unfortunately, according to recent research, fewer than 10% of domestic violence (DV) victims experience such safety. Indeed, almost all DV victims are victimized for years or decades after they leave. And, one such way this abuse continues is through child abuse.

But the child was never a target during the relationship

Unfortunately, for DV abusers, their primary concern is control. They want to hurt you, and the easiest way to continue their abuse is through your children. Even if your abuser was a great parent, you may find that the children become their new focus.

Legal abuse

You will first notice this switch commonly through Illinois legal abuse. It may seem unlikely, but your abuser may accuse you of child abuse. They may even do this if they get even an inclining that you might leave. However, once you leave, the accusations will begin. Even if you already filed a protection order, they may file one against you as well. They want to muddy the legal waters to hurt you and give them some upper hand in child custody.

Parental alienation

Another form of abuse that also qualifies as child abuse is parental alienation. This is an emotional and psychological campaign your ex engages in to convince your child that they should cut you off. These psychological tactics can rupture your relationship with your child, and unfortunately, you will not know they are doing this until you notice your parent-child relationship fracturing.

What can I do?

Since you know that your abuser will use these tactics now, you can plan your Springfield, Illinois, battle against them. First, make sure you have discussed all of these eventualities with your family law attorney. You may need to file protection orders, disclose your abuse to authorities and let your family know about your abuse.

Second, part of your escape plan should be mental health services for your children. Make sure that your provider has experience with parental alienation. This will ensure that if your ex attempts parental alienation, you can get a diagnosis immediately. Your attorney can then use this official diagnosis to ask for a child custody modification, including primary custody, supervised visitation, etc.