The current public drama of accusation being played out between Woody Allen’s adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow and Woody Allen is a familiar dynamic to child abuse professionals who work in the family court arena. Unfortunately, child abuse experts know that family court is a difficult venue for a child who alleges sexual abuse to be protected. While in Dylan Farrow’s case, the Judge protected her, in many cases children are forced into ongoing contact despite their allegations. The Leadership Council has researched cases of custody litigation in which children were placed with their alleged abusers and later judges reversed those decisions. Through our research we have identified how and why many courts fail to protect children. One of the main reasons is because many professionals are not well educated in this area and misinterpret the signs of abuse and attribute them to a vengeful parent. Many seek physical evidence when it is rare for physical evidence to exist in molestation cases. Below are some of the common misconceptions highlighted by the Woody Allen—Dylan Farrow case that led some professionals or court personnel to overlook child abuse in the cases we have studied.
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