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Helping Mothers Who Experience Domestic Violence

Each day, an average of three women are killed by their abuser. Many of those women are mothers. 1 When a mother is experiencing violence in a relationship, they often do their best to protect their children.

Unfortunately, abusers often use children as a way to control the abused parent. Threats of taking away custody, the risk of kidnapping, and threats of deportation are all very real concerns for mothers trying to escape violent relationships. There are cases where the courts will give abusers unsupervised visitation until court proceedings take place, and even cases where the justice system fails completely and abusers are given custody of the children.

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In order to serve mothers who are experiencing domestic violence, it’s important that society acknowledges these can be very real barriers to a victim leaving an abuser. Legal assistance and programs that serve children are vital to serving the needs of mothers experiencing domestic violence.
So as we reflect on another Mother’s Day passed, it’s important to keep all the mom’s out there in mind as we provide domestic violence services. No mother can truly deal with her own trauma unless she knows that her children are safe and getting the help they need too.
1 Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. 2006. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/intimate/ipv.htm