Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child: The Error of Pursuing Battered Mothers for Failure to Protect

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This article argues that it is wrong to charge battered mothers with child abuse or neglect when the alleged wrong is failing to protect a child from witnessing domestic violence. Part II examines the consequences of a child witnessing parental violence. Part III explains why pursuing women for failure to protect is an offensive policy. Part IV analyzes pertinent statutory and case law, including an examination of Nicholson v. Williams. Part V concludes with recommendations for holding the batterer accountable without sacrificing either the battered mother or her children.


Originally published in 2004 by the Loyola Law Review.

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