It is more common than not that a woman who successfully left her abuser will still have to share custody of her kids with him. Their father. I repeat, her abuser.
For one, the abuser is often gifted with an ability to present as upstanding and responsible, especially for a court audience, especially when given enough time to polish his facade, thereby ensuring continued participation in his kids’ life (and leverage over his former victim, who he will now use the kids to control). And two, our US courts system enables the whole thing by closing its eyes to any abuse and behavior that doesn’t provide hard, physical evidence. A father has rights, and kids need their father. So they say.
Did you ever hear of the things a woman endured with her abuser, usually more and worse than physical, and wonder how she can send her kids to him?
She doesn’t have any choice if she is legally obligated by the divorce decree and custody plan. (Worth noting, said decree probably resulted from an exorbitant amount of misinformation and manipulation she couldn’t prevent.) Think just a moment about how difficult it would be to be forced to release your child into the care of someone who’d made your own life hell on earth.
She has to hope against hope her kids won’t receive the same treatment. That their psyches won’t wind up with the same amount of damage.
If she’s lucky, her children, her heart, will be okay in the long run because, while their dad is distant, irresponsible, neglectful, selfish, and apathetic, he’s not the same kind of malignant force who tries to destroy his children the way he did her. If she’s lucky.