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"[M]other has no lodging, no money and constant oppression. If [she] wants to try for a better life with the two children, the court gives her its blessings. Slavery was abolished 125 years ago and so was oppression. The mother's condition following her divorce has been analogous to that of a slave chained to false accusations, constant allegations and hatred. A human being deserves better." (1) Domestic violence fuels many of the nation's bitterly contested interstate custody cases. It is an underlying issue in most parental abduction cases, which occur at an estimated rate of 203,900 per year. (2) Despite the role of domestic abuse in interstate custody cases, in the past, legislators enacted jurisdictional laws to prevent forum-shopping and parental abduction without considering their impact on domestic violence survivors. In recent years, jurisdictional laws such as the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (3) and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (4) have begun to incorporate safety provisions for victims of domestic violence. Full faith and credit laws, including provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (5) and the Violence Against Women Act of 2000, (6) have been drafted for the primary purpose of protecting victims who flee across state or tribal lines. This article will review the relevant state and federal laws and demonstrate that courts and family law attorneys may apply these jurisdictional statutes with a view to protecting domestic violence survivors (7) and children embroiled in interstate custody cases.

Professional & Technical
January 1
Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

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