“Custody Crisis Rabbit Holes” is a series of articles illustrating some of the main ways women are being misled about the nature and cause of the custody crisis. They divert from the understanding that the crisis is women unjustly losing custody and an understanding that the core cause is systemic male entitlement. The fact that so many women are getting caught up in these rabbit holes, sidetracked from the truth, is a main reason there has been no progress in a half century on this critical social justice issue.
There are numerous rabbit holes women go down when attempting to make sense of why they lost custody or were unable to protect their children in Family Court. Depending on the facts of their case, social media involvement, and which organizations they turn to for help, women enter different rabbit holes, often getting stuck in more than one.
Some Custody Crisis rabbit holes:
“Abuse” rabbit hole occupants believe the problem is judges giving kids to abusers, rather than fathers; “money” rabbit hole inhabitants believe it is profiteering, funding or other financial incentives causing the crisis; “alienation” rabbit hole residents say parental alienation is the problem; and the "rights" rabbit hole is occupied by those who believe the problem is denial of women's, parent, family or children’s rights. With the exception of women's rights, they are all gender neutral concepts, and none identify the core issue as systemic male entitlement. Each of them will be gone over in depth in future segments.
Some rabbit holes are promoted by well-intentioned activists, who themselves misconstrue the crisis. However, many groups are created or infiltrated by fathers’ rights activists [FRA’s] who operate covertly as parent, family, grandchildren and children’s rights activists, or as victims of parental alienation or a corrupt system.
FRA's entice women into rabbit holes to confuse, divert and divide them, and to garner support for their own (often hidden) agenda—family court legislation that benefits men at the expense of women and children, such as mandatory equal parenting. They spend enormous amounts of time and energy on bamboozling women, because they know the one thing that can seriously threaten men's power over "their" women and children after divorce is women uniting as a class to take back the power to keep and protect their children.
Women should not feel bad about getting caught in a rabbit hole or two. Most go down at least one during their Family Court nightmare, because misinformation about the crisis abounds. The important thing to recognize is that all of these rabbit holes divert and distract from understanding that the root of the crisis is systemic sexism and that is what needs to be eradicated to stop the taking and endangering of our children.
A cultural shift is necessary recognizing the importance of the primary attachment figure, usually the mother, in a child's life, along with legislation for a new system which will uphold the best interests of children after divorce. Because the Family Court system is designed so judges have the power to discriminate against and oppress women, custody cases must be removed from Family Court and heard in a regular civil court with a jury, along with other due process protections outlined in the “Child Custody Act”.
Join The Women’s Coalition to help fight for a new system.
Cindy Dumas, M.A. has been researching, writing, and raising awareness about the Custody Crisis since 2003, when she was unable to protect her children from their abusive father. She fled into hiding when Family Court failed her and was tricked into returning home, when her children were given to their abusive father.