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'A gendered trap': When mothers allege child abuse by fathers, the mothers often lose custody, study shows

from The Washington Post

Hera McLeod pleaded with the family court judge to keep her 15-month-old son, Prince, away from her abusive ex-boyfriend. The mother, along with many other witnesses, told the court about the man’s fits of rage, the night he threatened to kill her at gunpoint, the times he allegedly abused his older son and allegedly raped McLeod’s sister. But the judge said there was insufficient evidence of the alleged abuse by the father, Joaquin Rams. “There’s a lot of smoke,” said the family court judge in Montgomery County, Md. “With all that smoke, I can’t see clearly.” The court initially ordered supervised visits with the baby’s father, but just months later allowed Rams to keep Prince for unsupervised, all-day visits. Then on the fourth visit, on Oct. 20, 2012, Rams drowned the toddler at a friend’s home in Manassas, VA. more

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