Those who have read Just Like His Father? know that sociopathy is a disorder with a strong genetic basis. Science has further established a genetic link between sociopathy, addiction and ADHD. The children of sociopaths, therefore, carry genetic risk for sociopathy, addiction and ADHD. If a genetically at-risk child receives special nurturing during the developmental years, prior to puberty, he/she has the greatest chance to grow up free of these disorders.
To attach real numbers to the problem of sociopathic parents and their children, consider that 25% of U.S. women are victims of domestic violence. Studies of male perpetrators of domestic violence reveal that 50% are sociopaths and another 25% have sociopathic traits but not the full disorder. These statistics reveal that although sociopaths may represent only 4% of the general population, they represent an even larger percentage of the adult male population engaged in reproduction. The situation for sociopathic females is similarly bleak, since conceiving children appears to be part of this disorder.
Given the nature of genetic risk for sociopathy and the need for special parenting, one would think that the Family Courts would take special care of these kids and work to protect them from their sociopathic parents. After all, a biologic child is a dream victim for a sociopath. The child can be subjected to psychological, physical and sexual exploitation and the abused child has no means of escaping the sociopath’s domination except through the courts.
Before you read the rest of this column please watch the trailer for Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories a PBS documentary. The problems described in the video are not rare. Lovefraud.com has received many letters from parents despirately trying to rescue their children from the hands of sociopaths. Too often the pleas of parents on behalf of children go unheeded by the courts. In line with the video, we too have observed that the courts are often punitive toward a parent who asserts that that the other parent is a potential danger to a child. We have been considering what we can do to help the voiceless children of sociopaths.
New hope for the children of sociopaths may be on the horizon. In 2001, The ACLU filed a complaint against the United States of America with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). This organization functions as an international court and pursues human rights violations in the Western Hemisphere. The ACLU filed the complaint because earlier that same year, the IACHR held the government of Brazil accountable under international law for tolerating domestic violence in the case of Maria da Penha Maia Fernandes.
The case filed by the ACLU in 2001, on behalf of Jessica Lenehan, is just now being heard by the IACHR. A ruling is expected before year’s end. Lenehan was a victim of domestic violence and mother of three beautiful daughters, Rebecca, 10; Katheryn, 8; and Leslie, 7. Even though Lenehan had a protective order against her former husband, Simon Gonzales, a family court granted visitation rights to Gonzales. Because of this ambiguous situation, the police ignored Lenehan’s pleas to rescue her daughters when her ex-husband took them. The girls were found shot to death later that day. After killing the girls, Gonzales drove to the local police station and was killed by the police when he opened fire on the building.
Last Friday, just before Mother’s Day, ten mothers, one victimized child (now an adult), and leading national/state organizations also filed a complaint against the United States of America with the IACHR. Their petition claims that U.S. courts, by frequently awarding child custody to abusers and child molesters, has failed to protect the life, liberties, security and other human rights of abused mothers and their children. We do not yet know when this case will be heard.
I have long believed that children with genetic risk for sociopathy through a biologic parent, and one parent free of major psychopathology, have the right to the most optimal upbringing the relatively healthy parent can give them. They have a natural human right to grow up free from exploitation by the sociopathic parent. We are a long way from a system that recognizes these human rights for children. These complaints filed in response to blatant abuse of children by sociopathic parents are an important step forward in protecting children.
We at Lovefraud.com are collecting stories of psychological abuse and exploitation of children by sociopathic parents. If your child is the victim of the Family Courts and a sociopathic parent, please write us with your story.