Secondary Victimization of Abused Mothers by Family Court Mediators


Rivera EA, Sullivan CM, Zeoli AM. Secondary Victimization of Abused Mothers by Family Court Mediators. Feminist Criminology . 2012;7 (3) :234-252.


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Family court often assists divorcing parties in establishing custody arrangements. Mediation is commonly used for custody negotiation; however, its applicability for cases involving intimate partner abuse (IPA) is debated. This study was designed to gain an in-depth understanding of abused mothers’ court mediation experiences and how those experiences impact future court help-seeking when the fathers of their children have been abusive to them. Most women experienced secondary victimization during mediation, which had a negative impact on their willingness to use the court in the future. Policy recommendations include screening for IPA, providing separate mediation sessions, and improving court mediators’ training.

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Last updated on 11/15/2015