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Bias against Women Alleging Abuse in Family Courts

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Published on Mar 25, 2014

Clinical Professor Joan Meier bridges theory and practice in her work on domestic violence, which focuses on courts' responses to mothers who seek to protect their children from an abusive father, in the context of a custody battle. Courts' resistance to believing abuse allegations is fueled in large part by the theory of "parental alienation," which presumes, with little basis, that such allegations are merely a means of "alienating" children from their noncustodial father. Meier's scholarship has focused on deconstructing this theory, through historical and case analyses; her most recent research in progress, seeks to develop an empirical basis for the gender bias critique, through analysis of all published appellate custody decisions involving alienation and abuse claims.

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