Threats to Take Children are a Form of Abuse!

A Compilation of Quotes, Research

“Victims of abuse may experience… using children to manipulate a parent’s emotions.” “What is Battering?”, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,

“Forms of Emotional Battering”…Threats to Harm or Take Away Children: One of the most common reasons given for resuming an abusive relationship is the fear that the abuser will act on the threats of taking the children from the victim. Studies show that batterers have been able to convince authorities that the victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody in approximately 70% of challenged cases.” American Judges Association “Domestic Violence Publication” Educational booklet that provides judges with critical information about the Court’s responsibility to protect the safety and the rights of victims of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is a pattern of battering behavior used to establish power and control over an intimate partner or family member. It not only involves punching or hitting but also can include sexual, psychological, or emotional abuse. One can be a victim without exhibiting any obvious physical injuries. …Psychological Abuse can include threatening you, controlling the money, controlling how you spend your time with your friends, attempts to make you feel inferior and threats to harm or take away your children.” “Domestic Violence”, Justice System Solicitator General (Fayette County, Georgia),

Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be longer-lasting than physical ones. With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism and accusations slowly eat away at the victim’s self-esteem until she is incapable of judging the situation realistically…. Examples: Threatening to take away the victim’s children Threatening Intimidating Dominating..”  “Verbal/Mental/Emotional/Psychological Abuse”, There is Life After Abuse:

“Many batterers’ motivation to intimidate and control their victims through the children actually increases after separation , due to the loss of other methods of exerting control.” Lundy Bancroft & Jay Silverman, The Batterer as Parent: Addressing the Impact of Domestic Violence on Family Dynamics (2002); Langford, Isaac & Kabat, Homicides Related to Intimate Partner Violence in Massachusetts 1991-1995, Peace at Home (1999)

“Domestic Violence is a pattern of assaultive, abusive, controlling, or coercive behavior including physical, sexual, spiritual, emotional, and psychological tactics, as well economic coercion that is used in effort to gain or maintain control or authority in an intimate relationship…Includes threats to take children, often these threats will make a partner stay the a relationship… Violence at home can have serious long-term effects on children and affect their emotional development and self-esteem. Children who grow up seeing domestic violence face a greater risk of becoming victims or abusers themselves when they grow up.” What is Domestic Violence?”, North County Family Violence Prevention Center:

“If your ex is simply controlling and manipulative, your goal is simply to protect your kids as best you can by pointing out the ways s/he may attempt to control or manipulate your children….Many manipulating and controlling people will use their own children to further their control needs, after a divorce occurs…The emotional abuse often extends to the (favored) child.” Krystal (WikiHow) “How to End a Controlling or Manipulative Relationship”:

“Domestic violence can also involve a pattern of emotional and verbal abuse. Underlying domestic violence is one person’s need to feel powerful and in control of another person’s behavior and actions. They may hurt their victims and maintain control over them by using insults, put-downs, public humiliation, name-calling, verbal threats, or social and economic isolation. They may be extremely jealous and keep the victim from seeing friends or relatives. They may use threats of violence, suicide, or of taking away the children.” – Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Spouse Buzz) –

“Real threats are oral or written statements promising harm to persons or possessions…Real threats are always obvious, for as they are made, specific acts are described that clearly state what the “Threatener” intends to do. A Real threat is exact and openly expressed through dialogue, a letter, fax or email…A psychological Real threat might be (A Legal threat) when your ex flatly states, “I’ll see you in court!” Real Threats also include “I’m taking the kids away from you.” Even if your ex has never engaged in physical violence in the past, or appears to have always been passive and non-reactionary to situations that might send others into a complete frenzy, do not overlook your gut feelings. We hear of many spurned spouses who kill exes, for instance, whose friends and neighbors describe them as the last person they thought would ever kill someone, burn down the house, or run away with the kids, etc. When you consider that you may know your ex more intimately than anyone else, your instincts can prove invaluable.”  “THREATS AND CONTROL: Real, Implied, and Imagined” By Stacy D. Phillips (DivorceMag):

Children are seriously harmed by observing the controlling and demeaning behaviors and words shown toward a parent. Such parental behaviors result in severe stress in the home which damages a child’s happiness, hopefulness, trust and confidence even if the child is not the recipient of these words and behaviors. The emotional pain in these children, which includes a great deal of anger, is often unconscious… Subsequently, many of these children develop cognitive difficulties.”  “Children and the Controlling Parent”, Richard P. Fitzgibbons (Institute for Marital Healing), WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED THAT YOUR CHILD MIGHT BE KIDNAPPED, Published: June 1994. Written by GERALD L. NISSENBAUM, J.D., LL.M. (TAX). Nissenbaum Law Offices 88 Broad Street, 4th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02110 (617) 542-2220: