‘Women Are Routinely Discredited’: How Courts Fail Mothers and Children Who Have Survived Abuse

This report from The Fuller Project, in partnership with the Guardian, details the routine family court failure to believe and protect mothers and children who have survived abuse and how abusive partners using the courts to control and harass their current and former partners.

“I’m losing everything,” says Marissa, who learned last September, in the middle of an already contentious custody battle, that her son Zachary had told his counselor that Marissa’s former partner Carter had “touched his private parts” in bed. Zachary would disclose more incidents of abuse in the months that followed, including rape. Carter is suing for custody of his biological son with Marissa, Eli, as well as Zachary, whose own biological father is out of the picture. Marissa estimates that she’s spent $150,000 on her defense, while attending medical school and supporting two children.

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