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Domestic violence victims in Haredi Jewish communities face serious obstacles to leaving their abusers and escaping domestic violence. Leaving their abusers often entails divorce and fierce custody disputes. For many Haredi women who have experienced domestic violence, leaving their abusers also involves leaving their religious sect or even religious observance in general. This paper will explore the dynamics that contribute to these concerns for Haredi Jewish domestic violence survivors and address how courts deciding child custody can inadvertently perpetuate domestic violence. This paper will then recommend changing the courts’ analysis in child custody cases to a “friendly religious co-parent” model in order to better protect victims of domestic violence.
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