the victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody in approximately 70% of challenged cases.” No authority is cited. There is no mention of parental alienation as a reason for the asserted outcome.
Abrams, R., Greaney, J. (1989). Report of the Gender Bias Study of the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston, Ma
Pages 62 and 63 of this Study are cited in support of the claim that, “the interests of fathers are given more weight than the interests of mothers and children” in custody and visitation litigation. A review of these pages reveals no statement similar to the quotation. This section of the study acknowledges that, “In the great majority of cases in the Commonwealth, mothers have primary physical custody of children following divorce.” Pages 62 and 63 are primarily dedicated to demonstrating the authors’ view that there are sound reasons for this lopsided outcome such that gender bias against fathers is not a factor. (In a separate document, we have conducted a critical analysis of the citations relied upon in the Study and find that they do not support the assertions on pages 62 and 63. This matter is tangential to “Breaking the Silence,” and is therefore not further discussed here.)
Neustein, A., & Goetting, A. (1999). “Judicial Responses to Protective Parents.” Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 4, 103 – 122.
This is another “cherry-picking” type of publication, albeit a fairly large one. Neustein and Goetting identified 300 cases over a period of 10 years in which they claim child sexual abusers received unsupervised visitation or shared custody 70% of the time, and over 20% of cases resulted in the mother who alleged child abuse losing visitation rights altogether. Once again, even if all cases are accepted at face value as inexplicable bias in favor of criminal fathers, an average of 30 cases per year compared to one million or so custody adjudications per year is a small problem, not the large problem implied by “Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories.” As with other publications reviewed in this critique, the authors do not examine the reasons why the court may have awarded sole or partial custody to fathers in such apparently heinous cases.
Please also see the comments below concerning Ms. Neustein’s credibility.
Neustein, A. (2005) From Madness to Mutiny: Why Mothers are Running from the Family Courts – And What Can be Done About It. Boston, MA. Northeastern University Press.
The same comments apply as in the previous publication, except that in the intervening six years, Ms. Neustein has identified 700 additional cases, for a total of 1,000, that she claims, but does not substantiate, represent miscarriages of justice that allegedly favored fathers who had molested their children.
It should be noted that Ms. Neustein’s first accusation of this sort was against her own ex-husband, who was awarded custody of their daughter about 20 years ago despite Ms. Neustein’s allegations. Since then, she has been a tireless activist on this subject.