Court System

2012
Rivera EA, Zeoli AM, Sullivan CM. Abused Mothers’ Safety Concerns and Court Mediators’ Custody Recommendations. Journal of Family Violence [Internet]. 2012;27 (4) :321-332. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491813/

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

This study adds to research on family court’s response to custody in the context of intimate partner abuse (IPA). Mediation is often used to assist family court with custody negotiation; however, debate exists in the field regarding its use when IPA exists. The following study examines experiences with court mediation among a sample of victimized mothers who divorced abusive husbands. Mixed-method data were collected from 19 women. Findings demonstrate that abuse is rarely considered in custody recommendations, as most court mediators prefer joint custody. Implications for the ongoing debate, as well as future directions for research, are discussed.

Kubiak SP, Nnawulezi N, Karim N, Beeble ML, Sullivan CM. Examining Disclosure of Physical and Sexual Victimization by Method in Samples of Women Involved in the Criminal Justice System. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation [Internet]. 2012;51 (3) :161-175. Publisher's VersionAbstract

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10509674.2011.618528

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

Definitions vary on what constitutes sexual and/or physical abuse, and scholars have debated on which methods might yield the most accurate response rates for capturing this sensitive information. Although some studies suggest respondents prefer methods that provide anonymity, previous studies have not utilized high-risk or stigmatized populations. In this article, the authors report on serendipitous findings when using two methods to assess the past year incidence of sexual and physical violence among women involved in the criminal justice system. Women who participated in an anonymous survey reported higher physical and sexual victimization than did the women who were interviewed, even though the questions were identical. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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

http://fcx.sagepub.com/content/7/3/234

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

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.