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Case Law

Failure to believe vs. failure to protect

Regarding sex abuse:

The mother admitted at the hearing that she does not believe her husband abused their daughters and does not believe she or the children need therapy. The mother also testified that she would like the father to move back into the family home with her and the children. Finally, the court-appointed psychologist testified that the children were being emotionally harmed by their mother’s refusal to believe their accusations against the father, and need to participate in family therapy with their mother. It is clear from the mother’s testimony that she will not seek therapy for herself or her children unless she is ordered to do so. Furthermore, the likelihood that the mother will allow the father’s return to the family home places the children’s emotional health in danger of significant impairment. See § 39.01(44), Fla. Stat. (2009).

G.U. v. DCF, — So.3d —-, 2012 WL 634851 (Fla. 3rd DCA2012).

I’ve sat through much expert testimony on sex abuse and it usually includes the observation that you don’t have to believe in order to protect. In this case the mother appeared willing to do neither.

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