It is said that only around 7% of all divorces in Denmark are so called high conflict cases. However, it is our assessment that the underreported number is high.
Even though the custody law (Parental Responsibility Act, PRA) has been criticized for 7 years, no proper research has been conducted. There has been superficial statistics, where high conflict cases have been defined as the number of cases in the State Administration. But the government has never scrutinized the law and its consequences using in-depth, qualitative methods.
The Mom Network has conducted a sample research (see our post of July 4th), which showed that almost all of the mothers we come into contact with have an education (many have a high education). They were all established in the labor market before their divorce and most of them were engaged in career jobs with high incomes.
Their divorce cases have lasted over 5 years in average. After that, all mothers have lost their previous connection to the labor market. And most of them have significant signs of trauma reactions.
These numbers tell us that a divorce in Denmark can be so demanding that it dissolves the entire basis of your life. Note that these numbers are based on mothers whom we must assume to be among the most resourceful population segment before the divorce.
What does the 7% mean then?
7% could mean that resourceful women have a higher tendency to end up in a so-called high conflict divorce. This would then follow the logic from the EU FRA-report, which indicated a high degree of equal rights in a society correlates with a high degrees of violence against women.
It is our assessment that the 7% do not point to cases with high “conflict” between equal partners. These cases have significant violence against women, hereunder psychological violence, stalking, threats, character attacks and use of underhand techniques such as bribery of professionals who make statements in these cases.
The 7% could also indicate that only the very strongest and most resourceful women ever make it to the State Administration. What happens to less resourceful women, we don’t know. We do know, however, that the case process before even getting to the State Administration can be so demanding that many must be assumed to give up.
The 7% could thus be the tip of the iceberg. If that is the case, the majority of the hostages of this law are hidden in the underreported numbers, which the government refuses to investigate despite the fact that this may be a catastophe, which impacts a significant part of a generation.