Crisis In The Family Courts

Mothers Losing Custody to Abusers: Sexist Bias & Power in Family Court on WBAI Radio 99.5 FM– Wednesday, March 16, 9-10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on March 16, 2011


On Wednesday, March 16, 9-10 pm, Joy of Resistance will present Mothers Losing Custody to Abusers: Sexist Bias & Power in Family Court on WBAI Radio @ 99.5 FM and streaming live on the web @

Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI is proud to welcome a group of courageous activists, lawyers, psychologists and embattled mothers to its airwaves.

Guests on this important show will be: Nancy Erickson, 40-year Custody Lawyer; Barry Goldstein, member: National Organization for Men Against Sexism, co-author (along w/Mo Hannah) of Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody; Mo Therese Hannah, Psychologist, founder of the Battered Mother’s Custody Conference–as well as some of the mothers who are fighting for custody.

The show will include Feminist News & listener call-ins at (212) 209-2900.

Contrary to myths promoted  by Fathers’ Rights Groups, it is mothers who who face an uphill battle in custody fights with fathers.

Men who fight for custody will win it 75% of the time; they can afford better lawyers and they can play on a  host of sexist prejudices against women that are rife in Family Court (and all of society) and which include:

  • women are widely assumed to make false allegations, women are assumed to be trying to alienate children from their fathers,
  • women are assumed to be emotionally unstable and to suffer from a range of psychiatric conditions.
  • While "Father’s Rights" groups promote the line that mothers engaged in custody battles are vindictive liars, the truth is–as studies show–that only 1-2% of DV allegations are false–about the same as in any other crime situation.

It is estimated the in up to 90% of such custody battles there has been a situation of domestic violence. Yet–if a woman as much as mentions the abuse that she or her children have experienced at the hands of the father, she is very likely to lose her her custody rights because she will immediately be under suspicion of demonstrating "Parental Alienation", i.e., "attemtping to alienate the children from their father". She may also be called an "unfriendly parent".

One mother–who will testify on the program–had it held against her that, when giving birth to her child, she didn’t want the father–who had hit her during her pregnancy–in the room. She lost custody.

Estimates are the 58,000 children a year wind up in the custody of abusers. And 100 children a year are murdered as a result of these Court decisions.

Court appointed Custody Evaluators have little or no training. They often unquestioningly follow the popular assumption that "children do best when they have two parents." But what should be the second clause of that sentence is left out: that "this is only the case when neither parent is an abuser."

Father’s Rights Groups have gotten terrible legislation passed and alot of judges and lawyers are sympathetic to them or are members of these groups themselves. They know that it is the fathers who have the money, so they want to represent THEM. The women have a harder time paying for good lawyers.

These are just a few of the reasons why Family Court is a disaster for mothers. We are proud to be opening up this issue on Joy of Resistance and showing the situation from the mothers’ point of view. The show will include a Feminist News Wrap-up & listener call-ins at (212) 209-2900 in the last part of the show.

So please tune in to 99.5 FM this Wednesday, March 16, between 9 and 10 PMor stream us live on your computer at

Joy of Resistance covers the ongoing worldwide struggle of women to for full equality and human rights. It broadcasts on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, between 9 and 10 PM. You can contact Joy of Resistance at or leave a phone message at (212) 209-2987.

WBAI is listener supported, non commercial radio broadcasting to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It is part of the Pacifica Radio Network. WBAI is in a financial crisis and badly needs your financial support to continue broadcasting an alternative to the corporate media.

Please consider going to and contributing whatever amount you can to help keep alternative radio alive. Thank you.

Fran Luck,

Executive Producer,

Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI,

99.5 FM, NYC, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 9-10 pm

(broadcasting to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

& worldwide on the web)

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