When Dad Gets Arrested: Fallout From Track Palin's Domestic Violence Disturbance


On Monday night, Track Palin — eldest son of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — was arrested and charged with assault, interfering with the report of a domestic violence crime, and possessing a weapon while intoxicated.

The incident took place at the Wasilla, Alaska, home of his parents, where Track lives. Both Track and his 22-year-old girlfriend, who has not been identified, called 911 that night. She told police that she was afraid he was going to shoot himself with an assault rifle after he punched her in the eye and kicked her in the knee during a drunken argument.

Charges were filed for domestic violence, among other counts, on Tuesday, just as Track’s mom Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for president.

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This isn’t the first time Track has gotten into an intense physical altercation. He was involved in a drunken brawl at an Anchorage party in September 2014 that included other Palin family members, though no charges were filed.

As dad to 4-year-old Kyla Grace, Track’s escapades aren’t just those of a hard-partying 26-year-old — they’re the actions of a father whose young daughter will be influenced by his behavior.

Though Kyla does not live with Track — mom Britta Hanson, Track’s ex-wife, has physical custody — Dr. Paul Hokemeyer tells Yahoo Parenting that she will be affected by her father’s arrest, especially under these circumstances. “Young girls need fathers who are strong and just and fair,” the family therapist says. “Fathers who attack women are untrustworthy and unsafe. The message they convey to their daughters is that women are inferior creatures, unworthy of respect, who need to be surrogated to male power with force and pain. It’s a horrific legacy.”

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Hokemeyer explains that at 4 years old, Kyla will need help to understand her father’s aggression. “In contrast to adults who have better tools to process it, children at this age lack the capacity to find their equilibrium and feel safe and in control of their lives,” he says.

Hanson told Radar that she didn’t know about the incident between her ex-husband and his girlfriend, but that she and Track are on speaking terms. “We have a cordial relationship about our daughter,” she said. “That is as far as it goes.”

Kyla’s greatest resource in dealing with the fallout from her father’s arrest will be her mom, plus other close family, like grandparents and aunts and uncles. “Family members can help stabilize and recalibrate,” says Hokemeyer, adding that it’s essential not to pretend that nothing happened. “Children are incredibly intuitive and know when something is not right. It’s critically important that family members surround the child with love at this time.”

Top photo: Track with ex-wife Britta Hanson. (Palin Family handout)

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