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Comments for Acrimonious Divorce Constitutes Child Abuse?

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Nov 09, 2008
Facts aren't always taken into account...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

The facts certainly point to child abuse, but facts don't always determine the outcome. The 12-year-old child in this case is suffering from neglect. His basic needs are not being met, in particular, his emotional needs. When a child's basic needs are not being met, that child is being emotionally abused in any number of ways. In this case, I have no doubt that he's being terrorized by both his parents through their incessant arguments in front of the child. Even at 12 years of age, this child would believe that he is the cause of the parental split up, which would be further validated in his mind when the parents "manipulate" him in an attempt to "make him choose between them". The emotional turmoil going on with the child must be unbearable. (See Witnessing Spousal Violence and Impact of Witnessing Spousal Violence on this site.)

Whether or not a judge and/or jury would actually see what is happening to this boy as abuse is another matter, since any type of emotional abuse is very difficult to prove; which is why emotional abuse on its own is the least likely of the abuses to be pursued in a court of law. It will be interesting to watch this process and learn the outcome. This case not only has precedent-setting ramifications for the ruling; the case has the potential for setting a standard for a remedy.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.



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