Gentle Jeopardy: The further endangerment of battered women and children in custody mediation


  • Barbara J. Hart

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    • Barbara J. Hart is staff counsel for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She has provided consultation and training on mediation in family law for the National Center on Women and Family Law, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Woman Abuse Prevention Project, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the ABA Dispute Resolution Committee, and the Maine Court Mediation Service.


This article addresses the debate over mediation as an alternative to litigation by reviewing the literature on custody mediation in the context of domestic violence and by examining the “fit” between the process of mediation and domestic violence participants. The evidence shows that mandatory custody mediation is inappropriate in the context of wife abuse.