It has become the norm that when women separate from their abusive partners they are forced by the courts to co-parent with an abusive and controlling man. Since the courts generally award 50/50 custody, these men use the children to continue their abuse in a multitude of ways. One woman described this nightmare scenario this way:
My life is a living hell. My children are with their father half of the time. This means that once a week I have to send my small, vulnerable children to a man I am terrified of. It is like sending your children down a dark ally to meet a monster. I am to afraid to go down that dark ally myself – that is why I left him – but I have to send my kids down that dark ally every week.
It is actually impossible to “co-parent” with these men. “Co-parenting” suggests that both parties are co-operating and seeking the best interest of the child. For an abusive man, after separation, children are simply pawns to use in the war. Every single issue becomes an opportunity to try to hurt and control the mother.