When Systems Intersect Implications for Battered Mothers

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Criminal Court, Custody Court and Child Protection look at domestic violence differently and practitioners in each have particular messages they give to victims. The vastly differing "culture" of these systems led UK researcher Marianne Hester to call them "Three Planets". On the Criminal Court system, domestic violence is a crime and the central issue. But the same domestic assault victim is treated differently on the Child Protection and the Custody Court systems. Criminal cases might arise long before battered mothers consider separation but decisions these victims make can have significant consequences for custody months or years later. This webinar will explore some of the different cultures in each system and focus on the current beliefs guiding decision making in Custody Court. Awareness and anticipation of these beliefs can help prepare battered mothers for what they might find on the system that determines custody.