Protective parents seek to protect their children from abusive partners. It has become evident that all too often, neither they, nor their children are adequately listened to when there is a custody dispute before the courts.
The Christmas Day tragedy in Oak Bay, British Columbia, where evidence suggests that two young girls aged 4 and 6 were murdered by their custodial father, has sent a chilling message to all that it is time to pay much more attention to these voices in custody disputes. In this particular case, though the woman raised evidence of abuse in the Oak Bay situation, her evidence was not taken seriously enough and the father was provided with custodial time. The decision, coming from the family court in British Columbia, may have set up the situation which led to the children’s deaths.
Sadly, based on the eerily similar stories of protective parents that I have met or who have written to me, this situation- where a protective parent raises concerns of abuse, appears all to too often to be dismissed in cases of custody disputes, often with allegations against that parent of parental alienation and suggestions of the manipulation of the children in question.
I call upon social workers, lawyers, judges and the Family Court system, to seriously consider a protective parent’s concerns as valid, in order to be certain that they are properly and fully investigated in order to prevent such tragedies in the future.
Most of the protective parents I have heard from are women, but there are cases where the situation is the reverse.
I have received a significant number of emails since the Oak Bay tragedy, and am aware of situations from across the country. This demonstrates that the incidents of raising concerns of abuse are not rare, and that it is time to act before more tragedies occur.