Divorce is hard, and the difficulty can be exacerbated by the dynamics of domestic violence. Often, family law attorneys, guardian's ad litem, mediators, and other professionals involved in the process are in need of extra education, insight, and support to navigate through the challenges. As a psychotherapist that has provided services to survivors and consulted with law enforcement and the criminal and civil courts, I have the ability to provide insight through divorce consulting into the nuances of a case that may otherwise be overlooked.
For many years, domestic violence has been addressed as an incident based offense, and has been investigated and charged that way in the justice system. Understanding domestic violence as a model of coercive control, and abusers as serial offenders, allows professionals to adjust their concept of what domestic violence is, as well as having enhanced knowledge that informs their decisions in safety planning for victims, arrest, charging, and sentencing. Expanding knowledge of how domestic violence presents and the dynamics that compel victims to stay can facilitate better outcomes in custody arrangements and CPS cases.