A Connecticut judge just granted a Restraining Order to an abusive father that prohibits a loving mother from having any contact at all with her three children.
That should shock no woman who has ever stepped foot in a family court—or known anyone who has.
But there was a twist in this case. The judge contorted the newly expanded domestic violence law, which now includes coercive control, to use against Karen. He issued the Restraining Order [RO] on the grounds that she was using coercive control on the children by causing them to disclose abuse by the father. Terms already used for this include: coaching, brainwashing, alienating, manipulating, etc.
Activists have been fighting the use of parental alienation claiming it is not scientific or legal. Now they have something that is scientific and legal that describes the same behavior. Was this the plan? Will coercive control turn out to be the most difficult for women to defend against?
Karen’s story shows how DV and child protection laws not only don’t help, they can hurt.