Amy J.L. Baker Ph.D.

Caught Between Parents

Judge Adams: Custody Conflict?

Is there a back story?

Posted Nov 16, 2011

I tend to view most issues through the lens of custody conflicts. Sometimes that makes a lot of sense. In the case of Judge Adams, I simply don't know. What I am aware of - aside from the incredible brutality of the beatings and the intensity of his hostility towards his daughter - is that the parents are now separated and there is a younger sister who may be the focus of a custody dispute. If Hillary (the victim of the beating viewed in the video clip) intended to prevent her father from obtaining custody of the younger child in the family, I can only imagine how effective that video clip would be for her cause. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. No one viewing that tape would think that what they were watching is appropriate parental behavior. I also don't think I am going out on a limb to say that the behavior has the suggestion of repressed sexuality. I am not accusing the father of sexually abusing his daughter, but there is something unwholesome about the whole episode above and beyond the beating with the belt, especially when the daughter is instructed to "bend over" and to "take it like a woman." I think any custody evaluator would have to think twice before allowing anything other than supervised visits for this father. The fact that he is a family court judge - empowered to make decisions regarding other people's family matters and the safety and well being of other people's children - is almost too much to comprehend. In the end all I can do is wish this daughter the best in her journey of healing as she continues to make sense of her experiences and I wish the younger daughter to be spared the kind of brutal and unnecessary treatment depicted in the video. Whether or not there is a custody conflict back story, the front story is bad enough.