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REPORT: Bias Against Abused Mothers in Child Custody Cases
New study finds systemic problems in parental capacity assessments discriminate against women.
But a new report finds in some British Columbian child custody cases allegations of spousal abuse are used to paint the mother as mentally ill or an "alienating" parent, and instead recommend visitation, or even custody, for the abusive parent.
"Troubling Assessments: Custody and Access Reports and their Equality Implications for BC Women" is a new report released today by West Coast LEAF, a women's legal education and advocacy organization. The report looks at what are known under the Family Relations Act as Section 15 reports: parental capacity assessments conducted during child custody and access cases.
Often a useful tool for getting a third-party, outsider's view of parenting abilities, the report found they could also be biased against and dangerous for vulnerable women with abusive ex-partners.