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Child abuse forum attracted mostly social service providers – Metro Voices

In Family Rights on July 26, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Preaching to the choir does not work.  Real child abuse comes when these bastards steal children from good homes, both moms and dads lose children for innocousous, and ludicrous child abuse allegations that would not stand up to the “clear and convincing” evidence standard, let alone guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” that only a jury can determine.

Why don’t state laws allow juries to decide if a parent is abusive?  Because the states would lose $billions in CAPTA dollars for such lies perpetrated by do-gooder, job-keeping social workers.

Child abuse forum attracted mostly social service providers

Posted by Maureen Sieh /The Post-Standard July 22, 2009 9:04PM

Imani Jennings

Syracuse, NY.—–About 45 people attended the first Keeping Kids Safe community forum at People’s AME Zion Church tonight. It’s the first in a series of community forums designed to engage the community in a conversation about child abuse and neglect.

The United Way of Central New York created a coalition comprising a number of social services agencies and community groups in response to the death of Imani Jennings, the 20-month-old girl who was beaten to death by her mother’s 15-year-old boyfriend.

The coalition began meeting in December after it was reported that some neighbors, family members and the child’s daycare provider knew she was being abused, but did not report it.

The goal is to give pregnant and parenting teens information of services and programs that can help them, so they don’t abuse their children.

I applaud the organizers, but I was disappointed by tonight’s turnout. Read my full report in Thursday’s Post-Standard.

The majority of the people who attended the forum were service providers and community members who regularly attend meetings. They were basically preaching to the choir. That’s typical of most forums designed to discuss some of the social issues plaguing the community. If the community wants to address child abuse and neglect, the people most affected by the problem should be in the room.

Sheria Dixon, outreach director at the Salvation Army’s Barnabas House, challenged service providers to bring some of the young mothers they work with to the next forum planned for Aug. 11 at Bethany Baptist Church, 149 Beattie St.

“Our clients are the ones that need this,” she said. “They need to sit in the room with the commissioner of social services and ask him questions. We can sit here and talk until we’re blue in the face, it’s not going to make a difference.”

Others in the room also shared Sheria’s concern.

Lakesha Martin-Hargrett, constituent service representative for Congressman Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, said she was outraged by the low turnout. More people in the community, she said, should be attending community forums. People in the community need to intervene when they see a mother hitting her child, she said.

“We need to step up,” she said.

Marion Ervin, who volunteers with a numerous organizations, said teen pregnancy is an epidemic in the community. If the community doesn’t begin to address it now, the problem will get worse when the children who are being born today enter their teen years.

“I don’t know what agency needs to blow a horn and say in this community that ‘we’ve got a problem,” he said. “This is our problem.”

What do you think? Post a comment or email me.

COMMENTS (1)Post a comment
Posted by spiderwm on 07/23/09 at 9:26AM

why in the world would the commissioner of social services need to be at this forum. There are dozens of programs out there to help these mothers, none of them are going to do any good if people don’t step up and report abuse when they see it. That’s what could save 100% of these children, all of these programs are not going to work if the mother doesn’t want to go, the goverment can only do so much to force someone to go, when families and friends are ignoring the abuse they witness such as the case with little Imani, then outsiders have to step in, unfortunately even the daycare provider, licensed by the state , and mandated to protect this child and others like her, let her down, the community has to get involved, strangers are going to have to get involved to save these children and help these teen mothers, because obviously theire mothers let them down or they wouldn’t be in the situation they have found themselves in. As for the Child protective workers and those working with these families, I know it’s hard, but mandate your clients to be at these forums and maybe some sort of childcare can be arranged at the site so all can attend.

Post a commen

Child abuse forum attracted mostly social service providers – Metro Voices.

Why teenage children don’t get on with their father’s new wives | Vanguard News

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, family court, Family Court Reform, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers on July 26, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Why teenage children don’t get on with their father’s new wives

By Bunmi Sofola

THE horrors of divorce, once dubbed the modern epidemic, are nothing compared with  the nightmare of constantly living with the evidence that the parents who’d painstakingly drummed moral values into you are afterall not infallible. Divorce, though painful is at least cut and dried. The end of a marriage is imminent, children, thank heavens, are resilient and adaptable to change.

After the initial blow of divorce, provided that the parents behave in a civilized manner and don’t fight for their children’s affection or grumble about each other, there can be some very satisfying compromise. Not so with polygamy. Polygamy in the sense that you give your wife and children the false impression of a monogamous marriage, then spring polygamy on them. Even the law of the land is very straight-forward as to the legal rights of polygamous wives.

The husband is to start as he means to go on. If you want a polygamous marriage, the first and subsequent wives are to be married under the native law and customs. And initial court marriage makes the addition of more wives illegal. But of course, we know all this is hot air. Backed by the impotence of our judicial system when matrimony is concerned, a lot of men please themselves forcing their wives to live under the most impossible condition, after they’re brought in other ‘wives.’ Admittedly such wives stay for one reason or the other. But what about the children of such an alliance? After living with a set of parents for 15, 20 years, how do they react to the entrance of second and third wives and their staying under the same roof? And sharing all the amenities in the home?

Fadake an 18-year old undergraduate said her parents had been married for 14 years when she started noticing that things were no longer the same at home with their parents. “It started with constant muffled quarrels in their bedroom,” related Fadake. “But they both usually come out pretending that we children, four in all, didn’t know what was going on. I guess they imagine they can cover up their rows and frictions by putting on false smiles and forcing us kids to accept all the unlikely excuses they gave us for their odd behavior.

“Shortly after this bickering, my father got promoted to a post that went with a company house and other fringe benefits. We had a gardener, a cook, a steward and the news that knocked us out cold – someone was expecting a baby for my father, and horror of horrors, she was moving into the house. I couldn’t believe it.

Couldn’t believe the fact that a father who’d been ruthlessly strict with us would dare to flaunt his shortcomings in our presence. But that was exactly what he did. This woman was then installed in the guest chalet. “All of a sudden, we were made to live with this horrid looking woman with a bulging stomach. My mother was positively embarrassed; ashamed is the right word. I promptly discouraged my friends from visiting the house and all the affection I had for my father flew out of the window. Our youngest, who was ten at the time was bewildered and hostile. She was positively nasty to the new wife and when she thought nobody was looking, would sneak up to her and snarl: “Go away, I hate you!” “It was my mother I felt sorry for.

She too stopped encouraging her friends to drop by to stop them gloating over her ridiculous status. That happened about two years ago. I was before then foolishly hanging on to my virginity, but that was quickly remedied, thank to my father. If he could stray, so could I. I know the importance of good education and that is what I am going to get. Even now, I still can’t get over the fact that my father could be so callous, so unfeeling in the way he treated his family for that thing he called a second wife. I used to love him, you know. But now, I don’t give a damn if I never saw him again…….”

Apinke came from a polygamous  home. At 34, she was already the mother of an eight-years old from a marriage that hit the rock barely a year after she tied the knot. A personal assistant to the managing director of a pharmaceutical company, she met a lot of men in her job. Not all of them wanted a permanent commitment until she met Supo, a 45-year old owner of a very flourishing electronics company. He was already married of course with six children, and six months after Apinke met him, she was pregnant. She wanted more children of course and since she lived in a very comfortable flat, she thought her lover would just take over the responsibilities of a husband and let her stay where she was.

“I was wrong”said Apinke. “He wanted a second wife and was determined that I should live with his family with my daughter. My daughter was horror stricken when I told her. She wept that she didn’t want to live with anybody else but my man was not moved. In the end, we married under native law and customs and I moved into a flat in his house. “His first child, who was about 16 at the time, was very hostile to me. She treated me as something unpleasant the dog dragged in. His five other children simply ignored me and my poor daughter was more miserable than ever.

My friends, seeing the     unhealthy atmosphere  under which we lived; simply stopped coming. His first wife always had a cynical know-it-all-look whenever she saw my friends and had referred to them as prostitutes on several occasions. “My husband wasn’t always around and whenever I dared to complain, he always told me to be more tolerant. He had changed too. Now that I was safely in his net, he didn’t care as he once used to.

I had two boys for him then I left. His first daughter’s hatred for me was worse than her mother’s jealousy. Whenever she had friends around, she insulted me indirectly through them. She refuses to acknowledge my presence anywhere and regarded me with contempt. It was a relief when I  finally decided  to pack my bags and leave. My daughter was overjoyed. You know, even now, wherever I  run into my husband’s daughter (my stepdaughter really, though I could never see her that way) she would look at me mockingly and make rude faces at me!

“Some men could be quite insensitive about throwing two warring wives together. No one really likes a live-in-rival but in their anxiety that all their children should live under the same roof, a lot of men stoke the fire of bitterness and resentment within the family they are trying to keep together. When a man married the first time, that’s love”, someone once said. “When he marries a second time, that’s courage.” And Lord knows you need a lot of courage to cope with two or more women.

Why teenage children don’t get on with their father’s new wives | Vanguard News.

Murder-Suicide Mom wanted to Keep Boy from Dad

In Family Rights on July 26, 2009 at 1:52 am

Murder-suicide mom wanted to keep boy from dad

Saturday, July 25, 2009

(07-24) 14:46 PDT WALNUT CREEK

The Walnut Creek woman who killed her teenage son on Mount Diablo before shooting herself was angry that the boy was spending more time with her ex-husband, her brother told The Chronicle after reading her suicide note.

Judith Elizabeth Williams, 51, decided to kill her 16-year-old son, Adam Williams, in part because her ex-husband had recently moved back to California from Missouri and was spending every other weekend with their son, her brother said. On Friday, father and son were to have left on a trip to Southern California.

“She didn’t want Adam to go to his dad,” Williams’ brother, Bill Collins, 55, of Palo Cedro (Shasta County) said Friday. “That was obvious.”

On the afternoon of July 17, Williams and Adam drove up to Lookout Point near the top of Mount Diablo. They got out of her Toyota Corolla and enjoyed the view. Williams took a picture of her son and then ambushed him with two shots to his chest and head before killing herself, authorities said.

“I loved my sister,” Collins said. “I have to have sympathy for her plight, but I have no sympathy for her taking Adam. Since she shot that beautiful boy, that sympathy goes out the window.”

Collins said his sister had made clear in a three-page, typed suicide note found beside her computer that she wanted her and her son’s lives to end.

She described taking her cats to a shelter the day before and of taking Zachary, the family dog, to the veterinarian to have it euthanized at 11:45 a.m., only hours before the drive up to Mount Diablo, Collins said.

‘Extremely calculating’

She expressed anguish that Adam, the boy she had raised alone since she filed for divorce from Jim Williams in 1996, was spending more time with her ex-husband, Collins said.

“It seemed extremely calculating and deliberate in its purpose,” Collins said of his sister’s reasoning.

He said his sister had also touched on financial problems she had been having for at least a decade. She wrote something to the effect of, “This was (the) only option because bills are due,” Collins said.

Judith Williams filed for bankruptcy protection once, in 1999, and her landlord told The Chronicle that she was behind on the $1,700 monthly rent for her house on Blackwood Drive.

After their five-year marriage dissolved, Jim Williams moved to St. Louis and saw his son only during the holidays. Her former husband, now 45, moved to Roseville (Placer County) a couple of years ago and started seeing Adam every other weekend and a couple of weeks each summer.

“I thought it was the right thing to do,” Collins said.

But Judith Williams was “livid,” her brother said. She felt that she had done all the work of raising Adam.

“She had a chip on her shoulder that I never really understood,” Collins said. “It was kind of strange.”

Tension in family

Collins said his sister could be difficult and was “tough as nails” in her dealings with others. She had a falling-out with their younger brother and had only recently made up with her older sister after a dispute, Collins said.

“There was a difficult family dynamic,” he said.

Despite their problems, he said, the siblings had reached out to Williams, offering her money and support. Collins said he had encouraged his sister and Adam to come live with him in Shasta County.

Why Williams took the path she did will forever haunt her family, Collins said.

‘I’m bewildered’

“I wouldn’t say I’m angry. I would say I’m ashamed,” he said. “I’m bewildered. I’m perplexed. I’m sad she would do something like that” to a son she treated “like solid gold.”

Dax Harris, head track coach at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, where Adam would have been a junior in the fall, said the boy had been “improving every day” on the field.

“It’s a really tragic circumstance. I think it’s kind of a selfish act,” Harris said Friday as he prepared to attend a memorial for Adam in Fair Oaks (Sacramento County).

“I really don’t see the point in something like this,” Harris said. “I figure you can set differences aside when it comes to divorce and doing stuff with the kids.”

E-mail Henry K. Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page A – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2009%2F07%2F25%2FBA6918UIM9.DTL#ixzz0MJmq4CFD

Murder-suicide mom wanted to keep boy from dad.

Abuse Of And Violence Against Children by Women

In Family Rights on July 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm

The federal government says women committ more child abuse and killing of babies than men. A dirty little secret the feminist like you to believe is that all domestic violence is from men. Read the report or ignore it.

A 1998 report from the Department of Health and Human Services, Child Maltreatment in the United States, finds that women aged twenty to forty-nine are almost twice as likely as males to be “…perpetrators of child maltreatment” or about two-thirds were female.

For cases of neglect and medical neglect, the estimate is that three-quarters of the perpetrators are female.

We know that child abuse takes place overwhelmingly in the homes of single parents, who are almost exclusively mothers. A British study found children in single-parent homes up to 33 times more likely to be abused when a live-in boyfriend or stepfather is present.

Neonatacide, or the murder of children aged one year or less is almost exclusively a female crime.

———————————————————————-
by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D.

Introduction

Combat amongst adults pales to insignificance when compared to violence against children by adults, particularly where the adults are the child’s parents. By this I do not mean to criticize the normal discipline, including controlled, limited spankings, or other physical discipline and restraints that a parent must impose on their children as part of their upbringing.

Time and time again tales of men being arrested for domestic violence against women come to my attention where the biological father was attempting to protect his children from abuse by their mother. Though data are sparse, it seems apparent that women who abuse their partners are also very likely to abuse their children as well or, as in two cases below, the woman begins with child abuse and then becomes violent towards her partner.

Anyone still inclined to blame family violence on the patriarchy and male aggression should look at the statistics on violence against children.

A 1998 report from the Department of Health and Human Services, Child Maltreatment in the United States, finds that women aged twenty to forty-nine are almost twice as likely as males to be “…perpetrators of child maltreatment” or about two-thirds were female.

For cases of neglect and medical neglect, the estimate is that three-quarters of the perpetrators are female.

We know that child abuse takes place overwhelmingly in the homes of single parents, who are almost exclusively mothers. A British study found children in single-parent homes up to 33 times more likely to be abused when a live-in boyfriend or stepfather is present.

Neonatacide, or the murder of children aged one year or less is almost exclusively a female crime.

No reliable statistics exist but estimates range up to 5,000 infants a year killed in the United States.

Skeptical?

Get a copy of Patricia Pearson’s book When She Was Bad, How and Why Women Get Away With Murder. Or read the stories below. Or take Fred Reed’s outlook on child abuse as the cops see it from the streets.

Another chilling view of child abuse is given in Margaret Talbot’s Femme Fatales where British researchers videotaped women (and a few men) smothering, poisoning, and, in one case, deliberately breaking the arm of their children.

Recognizing that it is virtually impossible to distinguish at autopsy between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and accidental or deliberate asphyxiation with a soft object such as a pillow, the American Academy of Pediatrics now calls for an investigation by a child abuse expert in all such deaths. The updated guidelines were published in the February, 2001, issue of the journal Pediatrics. These guidelines are based in part on the work of the British researchers referenced above, as well as The Death of Innocents about a New York woman who killed five children of hers claiming SIDS before she was caught.

Obviously, if we are to fix the problem of child abuse it would be more profitable to begin with women. Not, however, in the sense of simply placing the blame, but in determining what factors can be improved or changed that minimize the risk of women abusing children.

For example, Fagan has pointed out that “…the greatest danger many American children face is not from drugs, gangs or lead poisoning. It is from Mom and her live-in boyfriend.” Our approaches to these problems are addressed in family evolution.

Take for example the story reported by Linda Chavez in February, 2001, as summarized here:

“Clarence, 7, and Ernest, 8, are now being treated in New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, the victims of multiple facial stabbings and beatings by their mother, Linda A. Harley, 38, who now sits in jail awaiting trial on 41 counts of abuse. Harley is no stranger to the criminal justice system. She has been arrested at least 29 times for drug possession, prostitution and for stabbing the boys’ father, Ernest Wright, 18 times. Her children, including three older children, have spent most of their lives apart from their mother because of her history of violence and abuse.”

According to a 1994 Department of Justice report, mothers are responsible in 55% of cases in which children are killed by their parents. The National Center on Child Abuse Prevention attributes 50% of the child abuse fatalities that occurred between 1986 and 1993 to the natural mother, 23% to the natural father, and 27% percent to boyfriends and others.

The role of fathers in raising children is indisputable. For example, Stephen Baskerville has pointed out that:

Recent figures from the Department of Health and Human Services confirm that violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, emotional and behavioral disorders, teen suicide, poor school performance and truancy all correlate more strongly to fatherless homes than to any other single factor, surpassing both poverty and race. The overwhelming majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers, adolescent murderers, and rapists all come from fatherless homes.

We must give credence to fathers who are trying to protect their children from abusive mothers. All too commonly, women who abuse their husbands and lovers abuse their children in turn. The following story is fairly typical of what comes to our attention (edited for grammar and spelling):

“I heard my wife beating my five year-old daughter upstairs for falling asleep while watching television at 8:00 P.M. on a school night. When I went up to investigate she was beating the child on her bare bottom as hard as she could.

I pushed my wife away and grabbed my daughter. That sent my wife into a rage and she began beating me and throwing things.

She then went downstairs and came back up with a butcher knife and stick. She began beating me with the stick and waiving the knife saying: ‘I’ll kill you if you ever interfere again.’

I took my daughter into my bedroom and called 911. After the police arrived they took my wife’s statement first and arrested me on the spot. After being released and reading the police report, I found out my wife (as the police put it), had a blood dot under her nose and claimed that I had pulled a knife on her.

They examined the child’s bottom over an hour after the beating and claimed only to see a faint redness. The police further stated, after arresting me, that I had no right to interfere with the child’s punishment.

I could not afford an attorney this time and represented myself ( Ed . In such cases it is rare that the police are only called to a house once). My wife refused to testify, but also refused to tell the truth, believing she would be in trouble. The State then called the three responding officers to the stand to read off her statement. One officer saw a tiny dot of blood and two didn’t. [Note: Such evidence based prosecution is now prohibited by the Crawford v Washington decision of the US Supreme Court.]

In is my opinion the Judge convicted me based mainly on the fact that there had previously been twelve 911 calls placed from my house. The end result was that I was given a six months suspended sentence, placed on six months probation, and ordered to attend domestic violence classes again.”

As might be imagined, such stories seldom have a happy ending, and the couple are now divorced with the child living with her abusive mother. The chances of this little girl developing normally range from zero to none. Drugs, alcohol, teenage pregnancy, school dropout, and other problems are a virtual certainty, whether she remains in the home of her mother, or child protective agencies eventually place her in a foster home. That prognosis would likely be quite different if she lived with her father but in today’s climate that is almost certainly not going to happen. Thus, she will likely become another child of what Amneus calls “The Garbage Generation.”

We receive far too many stories of this sort, and three with documented evidence are given below, to suggest these are isolated incidents and that the fathers are simply trying to cover up their own misdeeds.


Bob and Jane in Portland, Oregon

Top

Note that extensive documentation has been provided for the facts stated below. Names have been changed but the locale is Portland, Oregon, in the United States of America.

The story begins as an office romance. Jane wants some excitement in her life. Bob is handy, she flirts, he is single, she is attractive but married. After about a year of working together, while things heat up, he gives her what she wants. She wants more of it but ends up pregnant. This isn’t her first child as she has two older daughters from her husband, whom she still messes with.

Bob wasn’t the only excitement Jane craved, and the boy has cocaine in his system when he is born in June, 1993, according to hospital and social worker records. Bob doesn’t even find out he is the father until a month later.

Jane also has problems with alcohol abuse.

Jane’s husband isn’t exactly thrilled about all this but she deludes him for a time with the notion that the boy is his. However, the little boy doesn’t look like her husband nor exhibit features common to the two older daughters. A separation follows that revelation.

Having been told by two doctors that he could never father a child, Bob wants to become involved with his boy. They move in together at her suggestion. Result is Jane has a two-month premature baby girl in August, 1994. Jane isn’t big on prenatal care, obviously, and the baby suffers from anemia and respiratory distress, but lives.

Jane isn’t showing any signs of settling down and, as you might imagine, the affair becomes a rocky one as Bob isn’t the only man she enjoys. After tolerating her behavior for a year, he moves out.

Mom has some living expenses and figures Dad should contribute a little more. So while Bob and the kids are at church one Sunday during the summer of 1995 she boosts the oldest girl through the window of his house to unlock the door. Bob makes a police report but nothing is done as it is a “domestic” and the “victim” in such circumstances can’t be a man.

Jane isn’t the type to tolerate bother and noise, and cocaine does tend to make one irritable. In September, 1995, children services are notified that she has given the oldest daughter a bloody nose. The report states: “Both of mother’s former partners report Mom has substance abuse problems and the oldest girl reports that Mom hits her and her siblings.” Girl also points out small, healed scars on her arms and tells the social worker that her mother inflicted them. Mom also is given to shaking the baby girl when angry.

Bob then has custody of his two kids but in June, 1996, Jane stops by and picks them up from a day care center despite being on file not to be allowed to take them. Mom claims she will be back in 10 minutes. Doesn’t happen. Note that is very unlikely a father on such a list would have been given the kids in the first place. Day care worker thinks Jane is on drugs at the time when she reports to children’s services but gave Jane the kids anyway.

One doesn’t imagine that things are all sweetness and light with maternal love dominating Jane’s home, but the next reported incident isn’t until May, 1997. The report states that Jane hit the then 3-year old girl in the face with the screen door, splitting her lip and knocking out half of a front tooth. As a result, police give the kids to Bob to take care of while a custody evaluation is conducted through the summer.

In October, 1997, Bob is awarded custody of his son and shared custody of his daughter in a court settlement conference before Judge LaMar.

Jane doesn’t take kindly to this decision and their 4 year-old son tells a therapist his Mom said she was going to kill his Daddy. A couple of weeks later she gives it a go and hits him with a car in front of the three kids and two witnesses willing to sign affidavits they saw her run down. Bob was then looking at complete knee replacement surgery and was out of work for about four months.

Bob is granted a restraining order against Jane in November, 1997, by Judge Merri Souther-Wyatt. Like most such women, Jane doesn’t think a restraining order, or any other law, applies to her. But when she violates it she is sent to jail. That doesn’t do much for harmony and quality time for the kids with their parents. As a result, custody of the children is disputed by Jane.

On December 12, 1997, the court appointed a guardian ad litem, or GAL, for the children and ordered that the son remain with his father until a custody hearing can be held. The three daughters all go with their mother.

Moving with remarkable speed in such proceedings, on December 15-18, 1997, Judge Merri Souther-Wyatt held a custody hearing. During the hearing she:

• Vacated the court order appointing counsel for the children.

• Vacated Jane’s restraining order.

• Ignored expert testimony about abuse of children by Jane.

• Ignored evidence of Jane’s drug and alcohol abuse.

• Ignored evidence of Jane’s motor vehicle assault on Bob, telling him from the bench that: “You probably provoked her to hit you with the car.”

• Terminated Bob’s rights to review and consult with doctors and the counselors treating the children, and he is refused access to any of the children’s therapists, school, medical, or children protective services records.

• Bob is granted visitation so long as he is: “clean, sober, not agitated, and doesn’t question children about their mother and her family.” Note that Bob does not have a problem with drugs or alcohol and has evidence that he does not use either.

• Ordered that son be returned to his mother, together with the three girls who were already in her custody.

• Bob is further barred from making any reports of abuse and having the children examined or photographed for evidence of abuse.

As most divorced fathers will recognize, she hasn’t yet played her denial of visitation rights card. That game begins a couple of months later in February, 1998. Phone message left for Bob saying she will be out of town this weekend with the kids so don’t bother to stop by for them.

In early March, 1998, the children talked with people at a day care center. Bob’s son demonstrated with stuffed animals what his mother did to him. Documents indicate Jane performed fellatio on her four year-old son until he was erect and then mounted him. His daughter was examined and found to have sores on her buttocks as the result of sleeping in her own urine.

When Jane finds out she has been reported again, this time for sexual abuse, she calls Bob and tells him if he doesn’t forget about the molestation he’ll never see his kids again. She also tells him the boy: “Can’t do for me what a man can do.” Bob wisely records such calls, including this one.

Bob then filed a report with the child protective services despite the court order not to by Judge Merri Souther-Wyatt. As a result, he is asked to take a lie detector test. The person administering test states Bob: “Could be guilty because O. J. Simpson and Jeffrey Dahmer were.” Bob walks out without taking test.

Bob is then required to appear before Judge Merri Souther-Wyatt on March 9, 1998. She prohibits him from playing back any of the recorded phone messages and finds in favor of Jane. When told of Jane’s sexual molestation of their son, she storms off the bench.

After speaking with Judge Souther-Wyatt, detectives are sent to Bob’s house, allegedly to speak with the children, but instead they issue him a citation for a criminal misdemeanor alleging two counts of making false reports about his children being molested by Jane. In the meantime, Bob has gone to the governor’s advocacy office, who tell him: “If you feel that there has been abuse, immediately take them to a third-party mandatory reporter.”

On March 31, 1998, Bob appeared again before Judge Merri Souther-Wyatt. During that proceeding she dismissed the citation and terminated all his parental rights except for child support obligations. Visitors in the courtroom were aghast at her actions and demeanor, and she had two of them forcibly removed when they murmured sotto voce “What about the children?” One of the state social workers present attempted to intimidate Bob in such a threatening manner that three other men forcibly restrained the state employee, and a state trooper came to calm Bob down.

Since then Bob has not seen his children for nearly three years and the only contact has been through cards and telephone calls. The first week of September 1998, the youngest girl had to spend a week in the hospital for reasons Bob can’t discover due to Judge Merri Souther-Wyatt’s order. He only knows of it only through billing by his health insurance.


“Bob” has had strong support from his church and community and on January 6, 2000, filed a civil suit for violation of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983 et seq. in the United States District Court, District of Oregon, case no. CV 00-0035 and asked for relief of $15,000,000 under the Civil Rights Act of 1871. His complaint was dismissed by Federal Judge Ancer L. Haggerty on September 20, 2000.

However, the Federal court has given Bob the right to amend his complaint and sue Judge Merri Souther-Wyatt and the Children Services Division personnel in their individual capacities. He was also told that he could not act for the children and needs to find an attorney to represent them.

The case is now on appeal with the United States 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals, docket no. 00-35991 as of November 24, 2000.

Abuse Of And Violence Against Children by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D..

Domestic Violence Against Men, Women and Children

In due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Feminism, Freedom, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights on July 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm

The National Fathers’ Resource Center and Fathers for Equal Rights is adamant in its belief that Domestic Violence cannot be tolerated. The NFRC and FER also demands that the society acknowledge that Domestic Violence is an equal problem for both genders.

FACT: 50% or more of domestic violence (spouse or “significant other” assaults) are perpetrated by women. This is confirmed by hundreds of valid studies, the authors of which are sometimes threatened with discontinuation of funding for being politically incorrect (this means saying what powerful people don’t want to hear). Part of the poison that the women’s groups spew is the blatantly false allegation that 95% of DV is perpetrated by men against women. The women’s groups have promoted this lie for so long now, many people, including men, actually believe it. Even the Office of Violence Against Women has shown 34% of DV is against men.

Nevertheless, the radical feminist groups have been working overtime for many years to promote the libelous propaganda that men are violent towards women and children and can’t be trusted. If a lie is repeated often enough, people start believing it. And in fact, most of the policy makers in American society have bought into the lie. One result is millions of dollars of our tax money funneled to domestic violence shelters (read: women’s shelters) and other related programs. Another result of this pernicious libel is seen in domestic violence laws that presume that men are the primary aggressors. We all know that if mom calls 911, dad will be arrested. If dad calls 911, dad will be arrested. Fathers, grandfathers, husbands, boyfriends, are all portrayed by shelter spokespersons as being untrustworthy (unless of course they need to be sent to war.)

The National Fathers’ Resource Center and Fathers for Equal Rights demands that society acknowledge that false claims of Domestic Violence is used to gain unfair advantage in custody and divorce cases.

Fathers’ organizations now estimate that up to 80% of domestic violence allegations against men are false allegations. Since society offers women so many perks for claiming that they are victims of DV (we call these perks “warm milk and cookies”), false or staged DV allegations now appear to be even more frequent in family court cases than false sex abuse allegations. And they are much easier to fabricate. Mom can simply scratch her arm with her fingernail and claim that dad did it to her! Many men plead “no contest” to these allegations, often because they cannot afford good legal representation. What father, who has been kicked out of his house, estranged from his children, paying exorbitant child support and spousal support, and may lose his job if convicted of domestic violence, can afford good legal representation, both in family court and in criminal court? So, he rolls over and pleads “no contest,” which of course is the kiss of death in his custody case. It may also keep him from owning a gun, including a rifle or shotgun for hunting purposes, and in many cases it has resulted in good police officers losing their jobs (because they can’t carry a gun) or even soldiers being dismissed from the military, because they too are often prohibited from using firearms.

The domestic violence industry was hijacked by the feminists around 30 years ago, however perhaps the most damaging process took place some 15 years ago, namely the “fusing” of the domestic violence industry with the divorce industry. Simply stated, women know, and are often advised by their attorneys, that if they want to get custody of the children, they had better try to nail dad with some sort of domestic violence accusation. In many states, that alone will nail the coffin. Dad will be labeled a perpetrator, will lose custody of his children, will be placed under supervised visitation with his children, will often pay mom’s attorney fees and court costs, will be ordered to pay alimony, will be forced to pay for and attend “anger management” or “batterers” classes often lasting 36 weeks, and will be required by the court to send financial contributions to the local women’s shelter. (This reminds one of the Nazi practices of forcing Jews to purchase tickets for their own “train rides” to death camps.) Keep in mind, the domestic violence allegation against dad does not have to be true, it only has to sound plausible for it to stick, and we see the devastating success of the poisonous propaganda. Goebbels couldn’t have orchestrated it better.

Texas Fathers for Equal Rights is adamant in its belief that child abuse in general cannot be tolerated; and child sexual abuse, in particular, is among the most heinous of deeds. Sexual abusers of children must be exposed for their criminal acts. The guilty must be punished, and children must be protected from their aggressors.

FACT: According to nationwide CPS statistics, the largest percentage of child abuse/neglect is perpetrated by the mother, acting alone. Remember Andrea Yates, Susan Smith, Darlie Routier? Fathers are far less likely to be child abuse/neglect perpetrators. In other words, children are safer from child abuse/neglect with their fathers than with their mothers.

A college study asked male and female students if they had a sexual experience before age 15 with a person 5 or more years older. The results were that 59% of the students were molested by a female. Of male college students surveyed, 43 – 60% report being sexually victimized by females.

The National Fathers’ Resource Center and Fathers for Equal Rights demands that state and federal laws that severely punish those who make false claims of Domestic Violence.

The guilty must be punished-that is those who commit the act and those who falsely accuse spouses to gain advantage in divorce.

The National Fathers’ Resource Center and Fathers for Equal Rights wants to share information and remove stereo types connected with Domestic Violence.

Knowledge is power. And that is the purpose this section on domestic violence. Learn how the domestic violence industry thinks and works. Learn how they deceive the lawmakers and the public, and study the techniques they use. Learn about their collaborators in the police departments, the prosecutors’ offices, the federally funded legal services programs, and in the courtrooms. Follow the money trail, and discover who is enriched by the mass demonization and criminalization of men and fathers. Prevention is best, but if you are facing a false domestic violence accusation, we want you to have the knowledge and tools to fight it most effectively and to protect the right of your children to have a positive, healthy, and meaningful relationship with you, their nurturing and protective father.

Domestic Violence

What would Jesus say about no-fault divorce and same-sex marriage? « Wintery Knight Blog

In Family Rights on July 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm

What would Jesus say about no-fault divorce and same-sex marriage?

Neil Simpson posted recently about this passage of Scripture from the gospel of Matthew.

1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:1-11)

OK, just so you know no-fault divorce is the most anti-family policy out there right now, along with anti-father welfare programs that reward women for having out-of-wedlock births. Same-sex marriage is probably in third place, I would think. All three of these things are bad for at least one reason: they all deprive children of being raised by a father and a mother. Both are needed.

When the parents are linked to the children biologically, the bond is even more stable and the children benefit even more. Children are more vulnerable than adults, and we need to put their needs above the needs of adults, especially adults whose only reason for atacking marriage is selfishness and hedonism. I also think that re-marriage after a divorce is bad for the children. Stepfathers are trouble!

Neil is particularly concerned with responding to “Christians” who don’t support traditional marriage.

Neil writes:

“Jesus didn’t drag out the discussion with the Pharisees like we do with the pro-gay theology crowd.  I think He would have answered them the same way He did with the pro-divorce crowd, with a dig at how in their rebellion they miss the obvious: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Are we straining for complicated responses, when a simple response will do?

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Tories want parental rights bill scrapped

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children criminals, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment on July 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Tories want parental rights bill scrapped

‘Party resolution’ downplayed

Some grassroots Conservatives want the government to scrap its controversial new protection for parental rights in the Human Rights Act.

At an annual general meeting Thursday night for Progressive Conservatives in Education Minister Dave Hancock’s riding, Edmonton-Whitemud, members passed a motion to put Bill 44 back on the agenda when the party meets in Red Deer in November.

The government voted in changes to the Human Rights Act earlier this month which recognize gay rights and create new protection for parents to pull their kids from classroom lessons dealing with religion, human sexuality or sexual orientation.

Critics fear teachers and school boards could be brought before human rights commissions if they misstep under the new rules.

While Hancock said early in the spring debate he believed such parental rights belonged in the School Act, he defended the new law alongside Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett.

Hancock was not present for the final vote in the legislature. He said Friday his association’s resolution came as no surprise because some members had long been passionate about the bill.

The Bill 44 resolution may not make it to the party’s official agenda in November, depending on what items are brought forward by other constituencies.

If the resolution to scrap parental rights were ultimately passed, the onus is only on the government to respond to the motion, not act on it.

“The government is a government for all Alberta, so it’s not dictated to by party resolution,” Hancock said.

Tory Ken Chapman said the resolution could send an important message from the party to the government.

But “if it doesn’t pass it will be a very important message to progressives.”

Tories want parental rights bill scrapped.

Restraining Orders Out of Control by Gregory A. Hession, J.D.

In Family Rights on July 23, 2009 at 11:30 pm

by Gregory A. Hession, J.D.

August 4, 2008 — One day in December of 2005, Colleen Nestler came to Santa Fe County District Court in New Mexico with a bizarre seven-page typed statement and requested a domestic-abuse restraining order against late-night TV host David Letterman. She stated, under oath, that Letterman seriously abused her by causing her bankruptcy, mental cruelty, and sleep deprivation since 1994. Nestler also alleged that he sent her secret signals “in code words” through his television program for many years and that he “responded to my thoughts of love” by expressing that he wanted to marry her.

Judge Daniel Sanchez issued a restraining order against Letterman based on those allegations. By doing so, it put Letterman on a national list of domestic abusers, gave him a criminal record, took away several of his constitutionally-protected rights, and subjected him to criminal prosecution if he contacted Nestler directly or indirectly, or possessed a firearm.

Letterman had never met Colleen Nestler, and this all happened without his knowledge. Nonetheless, she requested that the order include an injunction requiring him not to “think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering.” Asked to explain why he had issued a restraining order on the basis of such an unusual complaint, Judge Sanchez answered that Nestler had filled out the restraining-order request form correctly. After much national ridicule, the judge finally dismissed the order against Letterman. Those who don’t have a TV program and deep pockets are rarely so fortunate.


Is this American justice?

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Letterman’s experience is replicated in state courts around the country thousands of times daily. Consider what happened to Todd, whose estranged wife went to court secretly and obtained a restraining order against him. She swore that three men dressed in purple Fathers for Justice camouflage uniforms broke into her apartment, pushed her violently onto her couch, choked her severely, and threatened her, telling her that she better not go back to court. She complained that these were agents of the husband, as he belonged to that group. She did not call the police, but decided to go to work. Later she collapsed near the entrance of a hospital emergency room in a dramatic flourish.

As Todd’s lawyer, I provided evidence that her story was as phony as the one about David Letterman. The wife lived in a large apartment building on a main road with a busy lobby and a nosy superintendent across the hall from her. However, no one saw or heard the three strangely dressed intruders enter or leave during rush hour. The hospital records showed no bruises or evidence of physical assault. The court vacated the order against Todd.

Courts are easily manipulated by those pretending to seek protection from abuse because the political climate reinforces that men are abusers, and there is no penalty for false claims. Thus, they embolden applicants to use them for ulterior motives, such as to gain an advantage in divorce, to get custody of children easily without a family court hearing, or as a quick eviction process. Sometimes the motive is revenge or worse. For example, an order was issued against Brendan, father of two daughters, because he brought flowers to his child’s home for her 10 th birthday right after he sought enforcement of a custody order that the mother was routinely violating. Brendan was literally accused of “sneaking” into the yard to deliver flowers, nothing more, yet a restraining order was filed against him. This order was later vacated by a court.

An applicant can get a domestic-abuse restraining order for just about any reason. A report from an organization called Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR) suggests that it is as easy to obtain a restraining order as a hunting or fishing license. You fill out the forms and tell the judge you are afraid, and you get an order almost automatically. RADAR states: “The law defines almost any interpersonal maladjustment as ‘domestic violence,’ the courts then establish procedures to expedite the issuance of these orders.”

The restraining-order laws of the several states are remarkably similar in their wording, as though an invisible hand were guiding them. They allow a woman to come to court secretly and claim that she feels fearful of “abuse” from a family member or person she lives with. The accused person is not there, and there is no requirement to notify him. There are no traditional rules of evidence, no opportunity for cross examination, no burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, no jury, nor even a necessity to have a story that makes sense.

The definition of “abuse” set forth in these state laws is always subjective, rather than requiring an injury or genuine threat. They all include a clause that expands abuse to include “fear of harm,” often including even “emotional harm.” Courts routinely issue orders on sworn statements like, “I just don’t know what he may do,” or, “he has a long history of verbal and emotional abuse.”

A week after the initial secret hearing, a “return” hearing is held, where the defendant gets to tell his side of the story. He is usually allowed to present evidence and testimony, but it is often difficult to assemble needed documents and witnesses in that short period. Most of the temporary orders are extended for a year, regardless of the evidence, alibi, or witnesses offered.

To some judges, evidence is irrelevant; they just issue orders. Professor Stephen Baskerville, in his book Taken Into Custody, quotes Judge Richard Russell of Ocean City, New Jersey, at a restraining-order training seminar:

“Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back and tell him, ‘See ya around.’…The woman needs this protection because the statute granted her that protection…They have declared domestic violence to be an evil in our society. So we don’t have to worry about the rights. Grant every order. That is the safest thing to do.”

My client Mr. L’s experience is a perfect example of this. I filed a motion to vacate the restraining order his ex-wife had against him, and she filed one to extend it, so the judge held a hearing to consider both motions — sort of. Here is the pertinent part of the actual transcript of the hearing to vacate the order:

Mr. Hession: Can you please state your name and your address for the record? [The Court argues with counsel as to whether Mr. L can testify.]

The Court: I don’t believe I need to hear any evidence from your client. I’m going to deny your request to vacate the restraining order.

The hearing on whether to extend the order was no better:

The Court: Mrs. L_____, do you remain fearful of your husband?

Mrs. L_____: Yes. [Weeping]

The Court: Thank you.

The judge then extended the restraining order for a year, without Mr. L uttering his name on the witness stand, and with one generalized question to the wife about “fear.” Judges who conduct hearings like this violate their oath to apply the law impartially and encourage the filing a false complaints — which is an enormous problem.

According to professor of accountancy Benjamin P. Foster, Ph.D, CPA, CMA, of the 4,796 emergency protective-order petitions issued in West Virginia in 2006, an estimated 80.6 percent “are false or unnecessary.” Foster acknowledges the duplicitous nature of many of the complaints: “In divorce and child custody cases, a party generally obtains favorable treatment when the other party has engaged in domestic violence.” In West Virginia, one incident of domestic violence, “which includes ‘reasonable apprehension of physical harm’ and ‘creating fear of physical harm by harassment, psychological abuse,’…could impact the Parenting plan approved by the Family Court.” On the other hand, a “parent must have repeatedly made fraudulent reports of domestic violence or child abuse” to lose favor with a court. (Emphasis added.) Just the “identifiable costs” — the cost for the state, not the victims — for these false reports was in excess of $18,200,000 in 2006.


Drastic punishment

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Falsely issued restraining orders are of great concern because the punishment that is meted out to defendants is so drastic. After an initial secret restraining order is issued, the clerk faxes it to the local police, who then serve it on the defendant. Since most orders contain a “no contact” provision, the first thing the police do is remove the man from his home, with little more than the shirt on his back, just as Judge Richard Russell urged in his judicial training. Utterly taken by surprise, the man usually has no idea that the hearing took place, that the order was granted, or what he may have done to deserve it. The police are rarely sympathetic.

Most restraining orders require that the defendant may not contact the plaintiff directly or indirectly or get within some distance, usually 100 yards, of the alleged “victim.” Often, wives place the children as “co-victims” on these orders, so the defendant cannot contact his children either. “No contact” means no phone calls, cards, letters, or even incidentally running into the person.

No reconciliation is possible once an order is issued because any contact is a crime and subjects the violator to immediate arrest and jail. Even indirect contact is a crime, such as asking a relative to help work things out. Many men have sent flowers to a spouse or a birthday card to a child, only to end up in prison. Once an order is in place, the state becomes the father in the family, pushing out the real one.

Most district attorneys, prompted by feminist political pressure, have a “no-drop” policy on prosecuting all violations of restraining orders, no matter how minor. Joseph found that out the hard way. His wife obtained a restraining order after telling the judge he had kicked a plastic cooler and slammed the door while leaving his house. She omitted the part about telling him she had found another man.

No abuse or threat had occurred, but an order was issued against Joseph anyway. While it was in place, the wife made 14 false criminal complaints about violations of the order, which resulted in some arrests. I had to go to court with Joseph again and again, and we somehow managed to beat every case. Only a dysfunctional system allows a complainant to continue to make such false allegations without any accountability whatsoever.

Restraining orders also interfere with Second Amendment rights. Each state’s laws require that a defendant surrender all guns and ammunition, and violation of this provision is not only a state crime, but a federal one, under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

“Mike” was an Air Force officer in charge of a military police unit on base. When his ex-wife got a restraining order against him, he lost his right to carry a weapon and had to take a desk job. He had custody of their child, which the mother resented. She came to a child’s doctor appointment and attempted to create an incident, but was unsuccessful. However, the mother went to the local police to help her get an order. She told the police that there was no abuse and no history of abuse, so they wouldn’t get involved. She then went to the court in the adjoining state where she lived and claimed that there was abuse, and obtained a restraining order. Then, to cover her tracks, she went back to the police in the husband’s state and requested that they change her statement about no abuse. Eventually, he was able to remove the order, after hiring an expensive lawyer in the wife’s state.

Many police officers and military personnel who carry firearms are not so lucky, and have had careers permanently ruined by false allegations on restraining orders. In many places, once an order issues, even if it is eventually vacated, it is often impossible to get a gun license back.

Restraining orders especially impact the children. These orders are frequently used as a quick and dirty custody hearing, without the trouble of going to family court. In one minute, the father can lose the right to see his children for a year or longer. Children often get used as pawns in these situations, without any rebuke from a judge. While judges certainly know that falsely-obtained orders are pervasive, they care little for the well-being of the children who are harmed by losing their father for long periods. The children often have no understanding of why they are being kept from their father because the father cannot even speak to them.

If dad works from home, as more people are now doing, additional problems arise. Under any order, he will be summarily evicted, and thus lose access to phones, business records, and equipment, without recourse. As a RADAR report puts it: “The man, now homeless and distraught, has only a few days to find a lawyer and prepare a defense.” When a home business is involved, he now cannot earn income, although he may be ordered to pay child support, needs alternate living quarters, and may have had his bank account emptied by his wife.

The case of Bob, who worked from home, shows the misuse of orders against self-employed persons. His wife got a restraining order against him, based on “a long history of verbal and emotional abuse,” which is not a legal basis for an order. After it was issued, Bob had to leave the home he owned prior to his marriage, in which he had his home-based business. Eventually, he was allowed to do business in one half of the home, while his wife and children lived in the other half. Despite her alleged “fear,” the wife came within a few feet of Bob on a regular basis. Meanwhile, the disruption of his business, the stress involved, and support payments destroyed him financially. He could not pay the huge child and spousal support assessments ordered by the court, which totaled triple his net income, and he was jailed twice. His business suffered, and he has still not recovered from the experience.


Skewed view of abuse

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The domestic-abuse industry has become a multi-billion dollar business during the last three decades, fueled by large influxes of government money and bolstered by media hysteria about abuse. Retired Massachusetts Judge Milton Raphaelson has stated, however, that there is not an epidemic of domestic violence, but rather an epidemic of hysteria about domestic violence.

State restraining-order laws suddenly sprang up in every state during the 1970s, at the insistence of radical feminist groups who had gained political ascendancy. Family abuse was indeed a problem. However, the feminists identified the problem wrongly and proposed a solution that made it worse.

Building on the sensationalism of certain well-publicized cases, feminists built an “identity politics” view of abuse. It is true that some men still ascribed to the chauvinist notion that women were chattel and could be maltreated with impunity, but the feminists exploited that fact and got laws that harmed, not just men, but families. They declared that men were abusers and women were victims. Abused women were shown off at legislative hearings to manipulate the mostly male legislators into passing restraining-order laws.

For the first time, we now have laws that penalize people before they are proven to be criminals, for something they only might do. The laws are paradigms of pragmatism over principle, as they jettison centuries of highly developed legal theory and substitute a subjective and weak new legal framework which allows baseless allegations, while making it very difficult to defend against them. They allow a woman to claim “fear” of abuse, even if none has happened, leading to a classic “he said, she said,” where she holds all the cards.

While many persons involved in passing these laws may have been well-meaning, thinking they were going to help stop abuse, the unintended (or perhaps intended) consequences have been to change the very fabric of the legal system, and to decimate millions of families. In my experience, little abuse has been prevented by these laws. Stats back this up. For example, in West Virginia between 1981 and 1992, “domestic violence claims increased 466% from 1,065 to 6,029″ and in Puerto Rico after a comprehensive domestic violence law was instituted in 1989, violence claims “did not decline or level off,” according to Professor Foster.


Answer to domestic violence?

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Domestic-abuse restraining orders came about because a certain number of abusers really do assault and batter their partners. Scores of studies have attempted to understand the problem and find practical solutions, but domestic-abuse restraining orders are a flawed solution that has made the problem worse.

First, they have identified the wrong culprit. Women commit abuse more than men do. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, “In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70 percent of the cases. Reciprocity was associated with more frequent violence among women, but not men.” Psychologist John Archer reviewed hundreds of studies and concluded, “Women were slightly more likely than men to use one or more acts of physical aggression and to use such acts more frequently.” While men are more often the victims of abuse, women are injured more often and more severely than men. Moreover, about two-thirds of the reported cases are minor, such as throwing a pillow.

Has anyone vilified Hillary Clinton for throwing household objects at Bill, or singer Amy Winehouse for using her husband as a “punch bag”? We are desensitized to violence against men. In domestic arrest situations, it is almost always the man who is arrested, even if he is the only one injured. None of this is to justify abuse by anyone, only to show the fallacy of focusing solely on the abuse of women. Such unequal application of the law has likely led to more trauma and abuse than it purports to prevent, as well as destroyed respect for the system among fair-minded persons.

Whenever lawmakers respond to political pressure, a bad law is the usual result. Law has the properly limited purpose of insuring restitution to victims of those who intrude on the person or property of others. It has never been preventative, as domestic-abuse restraining-order laws seek to be, nor should it be. If true abuse does occur — a relative or non-relative threatens to batter or kill you or actually does physically attack — you are already able to make a criminal complaint for assault (which is defined as a threat to batter) and battery. And a criminal restraining order will likely be set in place. These new restraining-order laws seek to prevent crime by identifying persons who may commit one, and stop it before it happens. However, this is entirely speculative, and cannot identify perpetrators with any reliability.

In our imperfect world, we settle for an imperfect system that uses fear of punishment, rather than preemption, as its primary deterrent, but look at the alternative. With unjust restraining-order laws, we are creating a legal system that victimizes large groups of innocent people. We need to develop a better system, before we completely lose control of the present one. Thomas Reed, Speaker of the House of Representatives in the late 19 th century, said, “One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.” Domestic-abuse restraining-order laws are a vain and delusional attempt to do so, and we need to eliminate them.


Violence Against Women Act

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Nothing illustrates the political tablet upon which domestic restraining orders are written better than the federal Violence Against Women Act of 1994, passed during the Clinton presidency. It took a bad system and made it worse by providing federal money to certain favored programs that foment more dissension between the sexes.

The act was designed to create a federal effort to address violence against women by providing uniform definitions of abuse and providing funds for victim advocates, women’s shelters, and counseling. It also instructs and enlists local police in the effort to combat domestic violence and make more arrests, and it coordinates interstate enforcement efforts of abuse-protection orders.

The act is discriminatory on its face, since it gives a political, legal, and financial advantage to women in family court matters. As the rantings of Judge Richard Russell in his judicial training seminar about restraining orders reveal, judges are certainly affected by the laws and the legal culture. Police almost always arrest men in any domestic altercation, even if the man is the only injured party.

Several new versions of the act have been passed in the intervening years. The website of the Family Violence Prevention Fund contains the following statement about the 2005 version of the act:

The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 contains ground breaking new initiatives to help children exposed to violence, train health care providers to support victims of abuse, encourage men to teach the next generation that violence is wrong, and provide crisis services for victims of rape and sexual assault.

We used to have a much better program that was far more effective in preventing and treating violence against women.

It was called the family.

Gregory A. Hession practices constitutional and family law in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Restraining Orders Out of Control by Gregory A. Hession, J.D..

California Family-law Makeover

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath on July 23, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Family-law makeover

Opponents of California’s family-law system take their battle to the Legislature
By Ted Cox
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Read 26 reader submitted comments

This article was published on 06.25.09.

Michael Newdow thinks California’s family-law courts are broken. He’s not alone.

PHOTO BY KYLE MONK

Michael Newdow is no stranger to controversy. First, in 2000, he filed a lawsuit against the Elk Grove Unified School District in an attempt to ban the Pledge of Allegiance, arguing that the phrase “under God” was an endorsement of religion. Then, in 2006, he attempted to have “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency. At the end of 2008, Newdow filed a suit to keep Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. from uttering “so help me God” at the conclusion of President Barack Obama’s inaugural oath.

For various reasons, all three lawsuits were dismissed. But that hasn’t kept him from focusing on a new target: the family-law system.

“The entire family-law system is unconstitutional,” Newdow told SN&R. “It deprives people of their rights to their relationships with their children.”

In 2005, 2006 and 2007 Newdow informed the speaker of the Assembly of his intent to file suit under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 526(a), which allows taxpayers to file grievances against government waste.

“You waste incredible amounts of money,” said Newdow. “People spend millions of dollars—literally—on individual cases that should be going towards the family.”

The complaint names as defendants California Superior Court Judge James Mize, Presiding Judge Eugene Balanon, State Attorney General Edmund Brown, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Controller John Chiang.

But when Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s office responded to his notice, suggesting that Newdow send his complaint to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he decided to hold off. In the meantime, he’s looking for additional plaintiffs.

“Maybe I’ll file it anyway,” Newdow said. “I doubt the Legislature will do what I want.”

Newdow believes that pitting two parents against each other from the outset of custody cases just sets the stage for trouble.

“My argument is that that’s why we have custody battles and custody wars, because we set things up to be that way,” he said.

Like Newdow’s previous cases, the chance that he could revamp the family-court system by way of a taxpayer complaint is a long shot. But reform is needed; ask just about anyone who’s trudged through the legal muck of child-custody disputes, and you’re certain to hear a horror story.

Connie Valentine is a founding member and current policy director of the Sacramento-based California Protective Parents Association. CPPA was formed 10 years ago partly to deal with what she calls abuses in the family-court system. In those 10 years, Valentine’s organization has assisted with thousands of cases. She said that the biggest problem in family-law court is a lack of oversight.

“When there’s no effective oversight, things fester and abuse of power can occur without any ability to change it,” she said. “The reason that there is no effective oversight is that most of the people who are involved in family court do not have lawyers. And if you do not have a lawyer, that means you don’t have money.”

Having no money in the family-court system, explained Valentine, means you can’t file costly appeals to challenge court rulings.

Valentine said that a second pressing problem is the unregulated cottage industry of mediators and other professionals who hold enormous sway over court rulings.

“The court has, in good faith, decided that they need assistance,” Valentine noted. “One judge is not enough to handle all the problems that they’re seeing.” The solution has been to hire mediators that hear cases and make recommendations to the court. “Now if it’s a good mediator, that may not be such a bad thing if they’re balanced and unbiased,” she continued. “But if you happen to have a bad mediator who’s biased and decides they like one person over the other—because of their looks or their gender or their persuasiveness—then you’ve got big problems, because the judges rely tremendously on their mediators.”

Another problem, said Valentine, is that children often don’t have a direct say in custody cases. Instead, attorneys report on behalf of minors. Oftentimes what the attorneys report conflicts with what the children themselves say. The solution is to let children speak directly with the judge.

“A 4-year-old in criminal court can testify against their abusers,” Valentine said. “We can certainly take children and talk to them in family court.”

Family-law attorney Barbara Kauffman feels another problem is a lack of uniform training in domestic-violence and child-abuse issues among judges and court appointees. “There are theories being taught that are all over the map,” she said.

Kauffman recounted one instance where she sat in on a training session taught by a fathers’ rights advocate. Judges and mediators were in attendance. “He was spouting off about how most domestic violence is mutual. And [the judges and mediators] were just sitting there raptly listening to this.”

Efforts are underway to fix these and many other problems.

State Sen. Mark Leno has asked the Legislature’s Joint Legal Audit Committee to investigate Sacramento and several other counties’ family courts. The audit will look at, among other things, the criteria used to assign mediators to cases.

Assembly Bill 612, sponsored by Jim Beall, would eliminate the use of controversial theories—namely Parental Alienation Syndrome—from family-court proceedings. Adherents of PAS argue that one parent alienates their child against the other. PAS opponents argue the theory is unscientific and is often used to place children into the hands of abusers.

A.B. 375 would prohibit courts from using last-minute ex parte hearings to determine child custody, except in cases where the child is in immediate danger.

A.B. 1050 “would require the family court to consider and give due weight to the wishes of a child in making an order granting or modifying custody, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation.”

Of course, reforming the system itself isn’t the only problem. As Kauffman, puts it, “In family law, everybody’s on their worst behavior. There is an incentive to lie about finances, about children.”

With attorneys, mediators and child psychologists collectively raking in millions of dollars in fees for their services, there’s an invested interest in making custody cases as nasty as possible.

Newdow’s case, even if it seems far-fetched, may simply be effective in the way it calls attention to a broken court system.

“The things that happen to these people are absolutely horrific, but it’s such a typical thing. That’s what’s so amazing,” said Newdow.

At stake here is more than just winning legal battles.

“Every parent, if you gave them the choice of being paraded around naked on a leash or losing their right to be a parent to their kid, all of [them] would say, ‘Hey, take my clothes off right now,’” said Newdow.

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My take on Intimate Partner Violence Domestic Violence – Communicationhelper

In child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on July 23, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Put Dads back in the Family?  Someone Needs to Talks to Obama About Why man-hating Feminists have lied to create Legislation that Abuses Children

My take on Intimate Partner Violence Domestic Violence

I read with interest the three letters in the Wednesday July 22nd Boston Globe, “Domestic Violence Victims.” It is true that both men and women are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and that women initiate IPV as much as men, but women are killed at a much higher rate than men. All IPV is unacceptable, against men and women.

David Adams in his letter correctly details that “over the 30 year period ending in 2005, the proportion of American female victims relative to males increased from 55 percent to 78 percent. The question we all need to ask is; what has caused this spike over the past 30 years and what has changed in society to cause this rise?

I believe I understand what has fueled this rise. Commensurate with the rise in IPV, has also been the rise in kids raised without a father in the home.


Over those same 30 years, according to the CDC, we went from 9% of households without a dad in the house, to today’s number of over 28%, some 20 million of our nations children without a dad in the house.
Now these numbers, and the rate of IPV, are about to explode, with in 2007 40% of all new births were to unwed mothers.

If we truly want to reduce IPV in this country, we have to bring back stable families and bring fathers back into kids lives.

It will take more than Dr. Prucell Jr’s suggestion to modify male behavior. The behavior of boys and girls who become men and women, can’t be modified without having the opportunity to have a true male role model in the house, rather than outside the home.
The social experiment of demonizing men and fathers and throwing them out of kids lives has back fired on the woman, and men, who we want to protect.

Till everyone recognizes the role that a man plays in a kids developing lives, both women and men, as adults, will no longer be safe.

We need to bring back dads. NOW.

Dr. Peter G. Hill
687 Wellesley Street
Weston, MA 02493
781-772-2501
cell 617-763-3370

Boston Copley Square Chiropractic304 Columbus AvenueBoston, MA 02116617-536-9119www.chirohill.comTwitter: Chirohillwww.communicationhelper.comwww.blogspot.communicationhelper.com781-325-1848Twitter: Commhelper
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Communicationhelper: My take on Intimate Partner Violence Domestic Violence.

Equal Rights for Men

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children criminals, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment on July 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Equal Rights for Men

Equal Rights for Men ( source )

by Jodi Kasten

There are many, many ways I can think of that women are not yet equal to men. We still only make a fraction of what men do on a per-dollar basis. (76 cents I believe?) We are not allowed into full combat in the military. We are judged on our ability to be mothers and housekeepers before our ability to do our jobs. All of that is real and I am the last person to say there aren’t a million other reasons that women have not yet attained equal status with men.

However, I have a bone to pick with my female counterparts. Feminism is all about each woman having the right to choose her own path. We should be allowed to do whatever we want in this life and not be judged by society’s arbitrary sex roles, right? Absolutely.

What about men? Do they enjoy this right?

Some examples:

Bob and Jane are a middle class couple. They have two children. They get an amicable divorce. There is a custody hearing. Both of them are good parents. Both of them want to be the primary custody holder. Who gets the children? Seriously, every single time, unless Jane lights up a crack pipe in the courtroom she will get physical custody.

Bob is expected by society to be happy with every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. Don’t believe me? What would you think if you heard that a woman only saw her children every other weekend and a few holidays?

I PROMISE you would think, “What did she do to lose her kids?” But, with men, that’s just the way it goes, right?

What message does it send to men about what sort of fathers they should be when it’s made clear by the courts and their ex-wives that their most important contribution as fathers is a timely child support payment?

Even in less weightier arenas men lose out. If you drive by a house with a dying lawn, is your first thought about what a crappy homeowner the WOMAN is who lives there? Doubt it.

How about at work? Women can openly talk in the break room about the hot new guy in Receiving. What kind of pigs are the men who talk about the hot new manager who happens to be a woman? If a woman asks a male co-worker out on a date, the worst that can happen is rejection. For a man, the worst that can happen is the loss of his job and a sexual harassment suit. Is that gender equality?

Women can wander the world and hug every child they see without suspicion. If a woman gathers the neighborhood children together to organize a community garden, she’s a saint. If a man does it, people wonder if he’s a pedophile.

Don’t believe me? Imagine you’re in a toy store and a woman shopping alone comments on what a beautiful little girl you have. You are pleased and flattered. You fill in the woman’s story in your head. She’s probably an overworked mother out to buy toys for a birthday or holiday. What about the middle-aged man wandering that same store alone? Wouldn’t it at least cross your mind that he could be a pervert? Of course it would.

It’s completely okay, even applauded, when female writers, comediennes, singers, song writers and talk show hosts make sweeping generalizations about ALL men being stupid, sex driven, lazy assholes. How do we feel about men who say that women are all crazy, hormonal, irrational, ditzy, frigid bitches?

Thousands of men in America today are routinely physically abused by women. What shelter do they show up at with their children and the clothes on their backs? What would it take to get you to believe that a six-foot-tall, 200 pound man is abused by his tiny little wife? But, every single one of us has seen a woman who could easily beat her husband’s ass being smacked around by a wiry little Napoleon-like man. What would you think of a man you heard say, “I am afraid of my wife?”

What a wussy, right?

I must say, I don’t know a single man, NOT ONE, who thinks I am a lesser person because I have a vagina. The men I know see women as mysterious, alluring and even holy. Men are now often the stay-at-home parent. Women have the option of being the sole breadwinner in a way they have never been allowed before in human history. I know my husband would do that for me in a second.

People want what they can’t have. Women are sent the message that any man will sleep with them because sex is all they think about. Sex makes them stupid, right? Men are told that women will “hold out on them.” We all want the unattainable, what we can’t have.

What would you think of a man who told a woman he would give her diamond jewelry if she had sex with him? How is that different than “holding out” on a man because he doesn’t give you jewelry? Or take out the garbage? Or mow the lawn? There should be no “price” on intimacy.

We will only have equal rights as women when we FULLY recognize that each person is a human being, regardless of sex, with the same wants, needs and feelings as everyone else. Sure, we’re hooked up differently. But, how can we expect to be treated equally as women when every man is characterized as Homer Simpson?

One final thought – I was clothes shopping with my almost-12-year-old daughter the other day. We saw t-shirts that said, “Girl Power!” – “Girls Rock!” – “Boys Suck!” – and my personal favorite “Boys Are Great, Every Girl Should Own One!”

I also have an almost-11-year-old boy. If he went to school with a shirt that said “Boy Power!” or “Girls Are Great, Every Boy Should Own One,” how long would he last? I guess it just goes without saying that boys can do anything, including staying silent while girls are brought up in a culture that has swung from female empowerment to male bashing.

I suppose all I really want to say here is that it is wrong to judge any sex as a whole. Men and women are individuals. We all begin as children and children do what is expected of them. If we expect men to be stupid, sex-crazed frat boys, many will comply. If we expect girls to think “Boys Suck,” they will comply.

We do NOT have to stand on the backs of men to get ahead.
We can go forward together.

My Personal Space: Equal Rights for Men.

No Restraint on Restraining Orders by Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.

In Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Restraining Orders on July 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm

by Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D. Top

The increased use of restraining orders in alleged domestic violence cases is being advocated in states across America. In Maryland, one proposal would allow court commissioners rather than judges to issue protective orders.

The Washington Post calls it an “unlikely subject for controversy” and validates this assessment by ignoring voices of opposition. Indeed, no national debate has ever taken place on restraining orders. Yet it is time the public understands the danger they pose to constitutional rights.

The Post claims that the potential for abuse is “minimal.” In fact, the potential for abuse is already being realized. A judge quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal in 1995 calls the restraining order law “probably the most abused piece of legislation that comes to my mind.”

Parents issued with restraining orders based on uncorroborated allegations are summarily evicted from their homes and jailed for contacting their children and spouses. “Stories of violations for minor infractions are legion,” the Boston Globe reported in 1998. “In one case, a father was arrested for violating an order when he put a note in his son’s suitcase telling the mother the boy had been sick over a weekend visit. In another, a father was arrested for sending his son a birthday card.”

“The restraining order law is one of the most unconstitutional acts ever passed,” says Massachusetts attorney Gregory Hession, who has filed a federal suit on constitutional grounds. “A court can issue an order that boots you out of your house, never lets you see your children again, and takes your money, all without you even knowing that a hearing took place.”

As if to validate Hession,s charge, New Jersey municipal judge Richard Russell actually urged his colleagues to violate basic constitutional protections: “Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating as you grant a restraining order,” he told a judges’ training seminar in 1994. “Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back and tell him, see ya around…We don,t have to worry about the rights.”

The real purpose of restraining orders is not so much to prevent violence as to eliminate one parent during divorce proceedings. This is now common knowledge in legal circles.

Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Women,s Bar Association, writes that “allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage” in divorce courts and that restraining orders are doled out “like candy.” “Everyone knows that restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply,” and “the facts have become irrelevant,” she reports. “In virtually all cases, no notice, meaningful hearing, or impartial weighing of evidence is to be had.” Yet a government analysis found that fewer than half of all restraining orders involved even an allegation of physical violence.

Restraining orders are an indispensable tool to keep the regime of unilateral (or “no-fault”) divorce in business, because they prevent involuntarily divorced parents from running into their children in public places. Anyone can attend a child’s first communion or little league game, after all, anyone but their forcibly divorced father, who will be arrested if he shows up.

How restraining orders can prevent violence is unclear. Violent assault is already criminally punishable. A father whose wife obtained a protective order against him was, according to the St. Petersburg Times, “enjoined and restrained from committing any domestic violence upon her.” But is he not thus enjoined and restrained to begin with, along with the rest of us? The conclusion seems inescapable that the purpose is not to protect anyone from violent fathers but to protect the power of divorce practitioners from peaceful ones.

In fact, restraining orders very likely create violence, since forcing a parent to stay away from his or her children can provoke precisely the violence it ostensibly intends to prevent. “Few lives, if any, have been saved, but much harm, and possibly loss of lives, has come from the issuance of restraining orders,” Dudley District Court Justice Milton Raphaelson wrote last year in the Western Massachusetts Law Tribune (only upon his retirement).

A report just released by the Heritage Foundation confirms that the safest arrangement for mothers and children is a married, intact family. “Marriage dramatically reduces the risk that mothers will suffer from domestic abuse,” concludes the report.

By providing a tool to tear families apart, restraining orders are creating the very problem their promoters claim to be solving.

Dr. Baskerville teaches political science at Howard University.

Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.

Department of Political Science

Howard University

Washington, D.C. 20059

Telephone: (202) 806-7267

Email: baskerville@starpower.net

No Restraint on Restraining Orders by Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D..

When will we have hated men enough? – Parental Alienation (Canada)

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Sociopath on July 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When will we have hated men enough?


I left this comment on site in response to a man hater, see below, spouting the most infamous of the Victim Feminist Stats.

Not a Hater: You destroy your credibility by pulling out all these Victim Feminist factoids that aren’t supported by peer reviewed studies. Most of them originated in the Liz Library the propaganda warehouse of victomology’s specious arguments. Given single parent females are by far the largest predatory killers of their children and perpetrators of child abuse one could then turn your argument around and state those who would abuse and kill children will also do so to their intimate partners. That argument is as fallacious as yours. The current DV industry is a self feeding female centric operation that requires a steady supply of reported victims to keep getting its funding. If the problem was finding a solution think of all the unemployment and loss of income for its parasitic apologists and hangers on. Its a human problem involving both genders and will not get resolved without changing paradigms. I use sugar free cool aid – keeps me from getting hyper. :)MJM

July 20, 10:22 AM · Trudy Schuett – Domestic Violence Examiner

These are very strange times we live in. On one hand, we have the murder of a high-profile sports figure virtually ignored by mainstream media, since the apparent perpetrator was a woman; on the other, we have somebody like Cathy Young speaking out in the Boston Globe on behalf of the large – and growing – number of domestic violence victims who are male.

While a nominee for the Supreme Court gets away with expressing an obvious bigotry against white males, in San Diego County efforts are being made to correct the damage done to its citizens by that same kind of bigotry.

In the comments section here, I’ve seen readers (both male and female) express a surprising degree of hatred against men I haven’t personally witnessed in years. One man even expressed a notion I’d thought had long ago been debunked – that anyone showing any sympathy for male victims of DV must secretly be supporting the patriarchy in their efforts to systematically beat women down. Talk about old-hat conspiracy theories! I figure the guy has an org to support and needs the attention.

Another commenter (a girl this time) suggested I only need to read some feminist blog to see the evidence of the evil men do. Sorry, dear, but 57 years of living with and around actual men, (three of those years spent around Marines) tells a quite different story. Many different stories, in fact; when the feminist blog has only one, repeated time after time, often with facts altered to suit the running narrative.

At some point the idea of causing as much damage as possible to half the members of society on ideological grounds must be recognized as damaging for society as a whole. The troubles in Ireland, Protestants vs Catholics, were certainly not progressive or healing, neither were the clashes between Serbs and Croats in eastern Europe. While the current war against men has not resulted in open conflict, with bombs and active combat, there are still casualties, with deaths, physical injuries and unlawful imprisonment among them.

Dragging people with serious troubles in their relationships into a war not of their making, forcing them to become supporters of a political cause, is not only dishonest but immoral.

If you believe that the current DV industry has any kind of mandate to provide realistic help for battered women or anyone else, you need to read and comprehend this statement made by Barbara Hart, professional victim and divorce lawyer, whose lucrative legal practice was for many years run on referrals from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, until somebody noticed that might be inappropriate.

She says:

As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of male dominance, men will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against women, men will continue to be abusive.

All men benefit from the violence of batterers. There is no man who has not enjoyed the male privilege resulting from male domination reinforced by the use of physical violence . . . All women suffer as a consequence of men’s violence. Battering by individual men keeps all women in line. While not every woman has experienced violence, there is no woman in this society who has not feared it, restricting her activities and her freedom to avoid it. Women are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of male violence.

This outrageous and entirely unsupportable statement was featured on many state coalition’s websites, including that of my home state of Arizona for some time. Almost any woman can negate or disprove this statement from her own experience, yet this is the basis on which most of today’s DV programs were founded, and continue to operate, using your tax dollars to do so. It is little more than a conspiracy theory, with more than a dash of hate in the mix.

Try this alternate statement:

As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of female dominance, women will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against men, women will continue to be abusive.

All women benefit from the violence of batterers. There is no woman who has not enjoyed the female privilege resulting from female domination reinforced by the use of physical violence . . . All men suffer as a consequence of women’s violence. Battering by individual women keeps all men in line. While not every man has experienced violence, there is no man in this society who has not feared it, restricting his activities and his freedom to avoid it. Men are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of female violence.

In 2009, the second statement makes somewhat more sense, as in a way it depicts the direction things are headed, but it is still divisive and does not actually address the issue as experienced by the vast majority of today’s couples.

Those currently running the DV industry benefit directly from keeping the status quo. Many whose jobs are in the industry only have degrees in women’s studies, which are virtually useless in the job market, and therefore would not have jobs otherwise. Others have spent years building careers on the feminist philosophy of DV and would not last long in an industry based on DV as a human, non-gender-related, apolitical issue. Still others have simply become addicted to the power and control their positions give them over women and their families.

Consequently, they will continue to misrepresent the issue, even when that misrepresentation directly violates concepts such as gender equality and peace they claim to support.

It is true that partner abuse is an uncomfortable, complicated, subject. However, to continue to allow those claiming expertise, while only operating out of self-interest and bigotry, to manipulate and control the fates of thousands of families every year is something we cannot allow to continue. It is up to those of us who do not directly benefit from the industry-implemented war against men to point out the many weaknesses in the industry, among them the fact of little or no return on investment, or the fact that no appreciable change or progress has been made in this industry in decades, while nearly all other human services have evolved and advanced.

We owe it to ourselves and our neighbors: we need to stop hating men, as it will never be enough for those who live on our hatred, and benefit from the misery it causes. We need to realize only those with an agenda say we should hate and despise half our world, while ignoring the needs of the other half.

Copyright 2009 Examiner.com. All rights reserved.

Author

Trudy Schuett is an Examiner from the National Edition. You can see Trudy’s articles at: “http://www.Examiner.com/x-12866-Domestic-Violence-Examiner”

http://www.examiner.com/x-12866-Domestic-Violence-Examiner~y2009m7d20-When-will-we-have-hated-men-enough

Mike Murphy says:

Not a Hater: You destroy your credibility by pulling out all these Victim Feminist factoids that aren’t supported by peer reviewed studies. Most of them originated in the Liz Library the propaganda warehouse of victomology’s specious arguments. Given single parent females are by far the largest predatory killers of their children and perpetrators of child abuse one could then turn your argument around and state those who would abuse and kill children will also do so to their intimate partners. That argument is as fallacious as yours. The current DV industry is a self feeding female centric operation that requires an steady supply of reported victims to keep getting its funding. If the problem was finding a solution think of all the unemployment and loss of income for its parasitic apologists and hangers on. Its a human problem involving both genders and will not get resolved without changing paradigms. I use sugar free cool aid – keeps me from getting hyper. :) July 21, 11:16 AM

Parental Alienation (Canada): When will we have hated men enough?.

Reform Divorce – Third Cord Secrets

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath on July 22, 2009 at 6:07 am

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Reform Divorce

In the early 1970’s Alabama, following the state of California’s lead, changed their laws concerning divorce. Alabama became one of the first states to enacted a “No Fault” Divorce law in which it became much easier for married couples to divorce.

As no-fault divorce gained popularity, the great majority of divorces where granted on the basis of incompatibility. In 1995, the state’s divorce rate was 43 percent higher than the national average.

Couples mutually agree to marry however with no-fault divorce legislation, one party can unilaterally end the marriage without consent from the other party. Prior to the passage of no-fault laws, both couples had to consent to divorce and often a judge would threaten to impose sanctions that led couples to try and work things out.

We desperately need to reform our States divorce laws to remove no-fault language. Please join with us in supporting divorce reform at http://www.reformdivorce.org

Third Cord Secrets: Reform Divorce.

Severe Sociopaths Oppose Parental Alienation Syndrome – Sick People Not In Touch With Reality

In child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parentectomy, Sociopath on July 22, 2009 at 12:30 am

Sometimes I wonder why such dysfunctional adults can be allowed to make decisions regarding children, but the secret to success for those who are parental abusers, (also known as “alienating parents”) is their appearance of being absolutely normal on the surface.

However, bubbling below the surface and now quite so well hidden is their true psychological profile, which psychological testing reveals. Often times they call themselves “protective parents” or “survivors” or “battered” and viciously blame the courts for turning children over to “abusers.” But when asked why the “abusive” parent is not in jail, the sociopath quickly describes “payoffs“, “bribes” and “court corruption” with “collusion” thrown in to save the “abuser” and to “ignore” the evidence. Also they are big into playing the “victim” role and believe that all men commit “domestic violence” just by looking at them.

Parental alienators will deliberately make up falsehoods, deceive, delay, and play the “victim” in custody proceedings and do so with a sly and manipulative cunning that is best described as sociopath behavior. Like Hitler and the Nazis, these sick individuals enjoy controlling others and “winning,” and creating an environment of hostility and bitterness. Although outwardly they may be seen as successful, charming and winning in the careers, “these ordinary people who have no conscience–no capacity to feel shame, guilt, or remorse–can do absolutely anything to other people without ever feeling guilty . . . These sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are cold as a snake and live to dominate and win.” from “The Sociopath Next Door” by Dr. Martha Stout. Dr. Stout estimates that 4% of our population can be described as sociopaths. And, she says that may be a conservative estimate.

Which means between 16 to 40 million Americans are seriously ill and can be classified Sociopaths..

I am reprinting Dr. Richard A. Garnder article here, which partially describes some of the sociopathic behavior of Parental Alienators. The complete original article can be found here: http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/pas/gard02e.htm

by Richard A. Gardner. M.D.
Department of Child Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

Child custody evaluators commonly find themselves confronted with resistance when they attempt to use the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) in courts of law. Although convinced that the patient being evaluated suffers with the disorder, they often find that the attorneys who represent alienated parents, although agreeing with the diagnosis, will discourage use of the term in the evaluators’ reports and testimony. Most often, they will request that the evaluator merely use the term parental alienation (PA). On occasion they will ask whether other DSM-IV diagnoses may be applicable. The purpose of this article is to elucidate the reasons for the reluctance to use the PAS diagnosis and the applicability of PA as well as current DSM-IV substitute diagnoses.

Diagnoses Applicable to Alienating Parents

297.71 Delusional Disorder

1. Nonbizarre delusions (i.e., involving situations that occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, infected, loved at a distance, or deceived by spouse or lover, or having a disease) of at least 1 month’s duration.

Of the various subtypes of delusional disorder, the one that is most applicable to the PAS:

Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way

This diagnosis is generally applicable to the PAS indoctrinator who may initially recognize that the complaints about the behavior of the alienated parent are conscious and deliberate fabrications. However, over time, the fabrications may become delusions, actually believed by the programming parent. And the same process may ultimately be applicable to the child. Specifically, at first the child may recognize that the professions of hatred are feigned and serve to ingratiate the child to the programmer. However, over time the child may come to actually believe what were originally conscious and deliberate fabrications. When that point is reached the delusional disorder diagnosis is applicable to the child. Generally, this diagnosis is applicable to relentless programmers who are obsessed with their hatred of the victim parent, by which time the child will have probably entered the severe level of PAS. It is to be noted that when the PAS is present, most often one observes a circumscribed delusional system, confined almost exclusively to the alienated parent. This diagnosis may also be applicable to the PAS child, especially the child who is in the severe category.

301.0 Paranoid Personality Disorder

1. A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

1. suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her

2. is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates

3. is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her

4. reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events

5. persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights

6. perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack

7. has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner

PAS programmers who warrant this diagnosis would often satisfy these criteria before the marital separation. A detailed history from the victim parent as well as collaterals may be important because the programming parent is not likely to directly reveal such symptoms. They may, however, reveal them in the course of the evaluation, because they are such deep-seated traits, and are so deeply embedded in their personality structure, that they cannot be hidden. Most people involved in protracted child-custody litigation become “a little paranoid,” and this is often revealed by elevations on the paranoid scale of the MMPI. After all, there are indeed people who are speaking behind the patient’s back, are plotting against them, and are developing schemes and strategies with opposing lawyers. This reality results in an elevation of the paranoid scale in people who would not have manifested such elevations prior to the onset of the litigation. We see here how adversarial proceedings intensify psychopathology in general (Gardner, 1986), and in this case, paranoid psychopathology especially. The PAS child is less likely to warrant this diagnosis. When the severe level is reached PAS children may warrant the aforementioned Shared Psychotic Disorder diagnosis. On occasion, the diagnosis Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type (295.30) is warranted for the programming parent, but such patients generally exhibited other manifestations of schizophrenia, especially prior to the separation. It goes beyond the purposes of this paper to detail the marital symptoms of schizophrenia which should be investigated if the examiner has reason to believe that this diagnosis may be applicable.

It is important for the examiner to appreciate that there is a continuum from delusional disorder, to paranoid personality disorder, to paranoid schizophrenia. Furthermore, in the course of protracted litigation, a patient may move along the track from the milder to a more severe disorder on this continuum.

301.83 Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
Note:Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
Note Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

7. chronic feelings of emptiness

8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

Some alienators may exhibit some of these symptoms prior to the separation. However, as a result of the stresses of the separation, the symptoms may progress to the point where the diagnosis is applicable. Criterion (1) is likely to be exhibited soon after the separation because the marital dissolution is generally associated with real feelings of abandonment. Criterion (2) is often seen when there is a dramatic shift from idealization of the spouse to extreme devaluation. The campaign of denigration is the best example of this manifestation of BPD.

Criterion (4) may manifest itself by excessive spending, especially when such spending causes significant stress and grief to the alienated parent. Following the separation, alienating parents may satisfy Criterion (6) with affect instability, irritability, and intense episodic dysphoria. Although such reactions are common among most people involved in a divorce, especially when litigating the divorce, patients with BPD exhibit these symptoms to an even greater degree. Chronic feelings of emptiness (Criterion [7]) go beyond those that are generally felt by people following a separation. Criterion (8) is extremely common among PAS programmers. The tirades of anger against the alienated parent serve as a model for the child and contribute to the development of the campaign of denigration. The stress-related paranoia, an intensification of the usual suspiciousness exhibited by people involved in litigation, may reach the point that Criterion (9) is satisfied.

The examiner should note which of the symptoms are present and comment: “Five criteria need to be satisfied for the BPD diagnosis. Ms. X satisfies four. Although she does not qualify for the diagnosis at this point, she is at high risk for its development. Furthermore, when one lists diagnoses at the end of the report one might note the DSM-IV diagnosis and add in parenthesis “incipient.”

301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements

2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

4. requires excessive admiration

5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

My experience has been that most PAS indoctrinators do not satisfy enough criteria (five) to warrant this diagnosis. However, many do exhibit three or four of them, which is worthy of the examiner’s attention and should be noted in the report.

Criterion (5) is especially common in PAS indoctrinators. They act as if court orders have absolutely nothing to do with them, even though their names may be specifically spelled out in the ruling. Unfortunately, they often violate these orders with impunity because courts are typically lax with regard to implementing punitive measures for PAS contemnors. As mentioned in other publications of mine (Gardner, 1998; 2001), the failure of courts to take action against PAS programmers is one of the most common reasons why the symptoms become entrenched in the children.

Criterion (6) is often frequently satisfied by the programmer’s ongoing attempts to extract ever more money from the victim parent, but feels little need to allow access to the children. There is no sense of shame or guilt over this common form of exploitation. The programmer’s lack of empathy and sympathy for the victim parent is quite common and easily satisfies Criterion (7). The PAS, by definition, is a disorder in which a programmer tries to destroy the bond between the children and a good, loving parent. In order to accomplish the goal, the alienator must have a serious deficiency in the ability to empathize with the target parent. Criterion (9) is often seen in that PAS indoctrinators are often haughty and arrogant and this symptom goes along with their sense of entitlement. Again, if warranted, the diagnosis can be listed as “incipient.”

DSM-IV Diagnoses Applicable to PAS Children

312.8 Conduct Disorder

1. A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months:

This diagnosis is often applicable to the PAS child, especially in situations when the conduct disturbances are the most salient manifestation. Under such circumstances, an examiner who is not familiar with the PAS may erroneously conclude that this is the only diagnosis. Such a conclusion necessitates selective inattention to the programming process, which is the hallmark of the PAS. Once again, we see here how a diagnosis, although in DSM-IV, cannot be used as a substitute for the PAS, but may be used as an additional diagnosis. I will not list here all 15 of the DSM-IV criteria, but only those that are most applicable to the PAS:

Aggression to people and animals

1. often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others

2. often initiates physical fights

3. has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun)

4. has been physically cruel to animals

5. has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching, extortion, armed robbery)

Destruction of property

6. has deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention of causing serious damage

7. has deliberately destroyed others’ property (other than by fire setting)

Deceitfulness or theft

8. often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (i.e., “cons” others)

9. has stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g., shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery)

Serious violations of rules

10. has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period

As can be seen, most of the 15 criteria for the conduct disorder diagnosis can be satisfied by PAS children, especially those in the severe category. The target parent is very much scapegoated and victimized by PAS children. In severe cases they are screamed at, intimidated, and sometimes physically assaulted with objects such as bats, bottles, and knives. The child may perpetrate acts of sabotage in the home of the victim parent. Destruction of property in that person’s home is common and, on rare occasion, even fire setting. Deceitfulness is common, especially fabrications facilitated and supported by the alienator. Stealing things, such as legal documents and important records, and bringing them to the home of the alienator is common. Running away from the home of the target parent and returning to the home of the alienator is common, especially in moderate and severe cases.

309.21 Separation Anxiety Disorder

1. Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced by three (or more) of the following:

I reproduce here those of the eight criteria that are applicable to the PAS:

1) recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

4) persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because of fear of separation

3) repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

It is important for the reader to appreciate that the original diagnosis for separation anxiety disorder was school phobia. The term separation anxiety disorder is a relatively recent development emerging from the recognition that the child’s fear was less that of the school per se and much more related to the fear of separation from a parent, commonly an overprotective mother (Gardner, 1985b). DSM-IV recognizes this and doesn’t necessarily require the school to be the object of fear, but rather separation from the home, especially from someone with whom the child is pathologically attached.

It is important to note that the PAS child’s hatred of the victim parent has less to do with actual dislike of that parent and has much more to do with fear that if affection is displayed toward the target parent, the alienating parent will be angry at and rejecting of the child. At the prospect of going with the victim parent, the child may exhibit a wide variety of psychosomatic symptoms, all manifestations of the tension associated with the visit. The distress may be especially apparent when the alienating parent is at the site of the transfer. The child recognizes that expression of willingness or happiness to go off with the alienated parent might result in rejection by the alienator. The separation anxiety disorder diagnosis is most often applicable to the mild and moderate cases of PAS. In the severe cases, the anxiety element is less operative than the anger element.

When applying these criteria to the PAS child, one does well to substitute the PAS indoctrinating parent for the parent with whom the child is pathologically attached. At the same time one should substitute the alienated parent for the school or other place outside the child’s home. When one does this, one can see how most of the aforementioned criteria apply. When the child with a separation anxiety disorder is fearful of leaving the home to go to many destinations, the school is the destination the child most fears. It is there that the child feels imprisoned. In contrast, PAS children generally fear only the target parent and are not afraid to leave the programming parent and go elsewhere, such as to the homes of friends and relatives. In short, the PAS child’s fear is focused on the alienated parent. In contrast, the child with a separation anxiety disorder has fears that focus on school but which have spread to many other situations and destinations.

300.15 Dissociative Disorder

Not Otherwise Specified

This category is included for disorders in which the predominant feature is a dissociative symptom (i.e., a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment) that does not meet the criteria for any specific Dissociative Disorder. Examples include:

States of dissociation that occur in individuals who have been subjected to periods of prolonged and coercive persuasion (e.g., brainwashing, thought reform, or indoctrination while captive).

Of the four categories of dissociative disorder (NOS), only Category 3 is applicable to the PAS. This criterion was designed for people who have been subjected to cult indoctrinations or for military prisoners subjected to brainwashing designed to convert their loyalty from their homeland to the enemy that has imprisoned them. It is very applicable to PAS children, especially those in the severe category.

Such children have been programmed to convert their loyalty from a loving parent to the brainwashing parent exclusively. Cult victims and those subjected to prisoner indoctrinations often appear to be in a trance-like state in which they profess their indoctrinations in litany-like fashion. PAS children as well (especially those in the severe category) are often like robots or automatons in the way in which they profess the campaign of denigration in litany-like fashion. They seem to be in an altered state of consciousness when doing so.

Adjustment Disorders

The following subtypes of adjustment disorders are sometimes applicable to PAS children:

309.0 With Depressed Mood.

309.24 With Anxiety.

309.28 With Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood.

309.3 With Disturbance of Conduct.

309.4 With Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct

Each of these types of adjustment disorders may be applicable to the PAS child. The child is indeed adjusting to a situation in which one parent is trying to convince the youngster that a previously loving, dedicated, and loyal parent has really been noxious, loathsome, and dangerous. The programmed data does not seem to coincide with what the child has experienced. This produces confusion. The child fears that any expression of affection for the target parent will result in rejection by the alienator. Under such circumstances, the child may respond with anxiety, depression, and disturbances of conduct.

313.9 Disorder of Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence Not Otherwise Specified

This category is a residual category for disorders with onset in infancy, childhood, or adolescence that do not meet criteria for any specific order in the Classification.

This would be a “last resort” diagnosis for the PAS child, the child who, although suffering with a PAS, does not have symptoms that warrant other DSM-IV childhood diagnoses. However, if one still feels the need to use a DSM-IV diagnosis, especially if the report will be compromised without one, then this last-resort diagnosis can justifiably be utilized. However, it is so vague that it says absolutely nothing other than that the person who is suffering with this disorder is a child. I do not recommend its utilization because of its weakness and because it provides practically no new information to the court.

The complete original article can be found here: http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/pas/gard02e.htm

California Appeals Court Reverses Termination of Mother’s Rights

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, Department of Social Servies, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights on July 21, 2009 at 10:49 pm

In re T.M., No. C059898

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Juvenile court order terminating parental rights is reversed where no opportunity to reunify was ever afforded to the child’s mother, nor did she have an opportunity to challenge a request to deny her services.

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In re T. M. (2009) , Cal.App.4th

[No. C059898. Third Dist. Jul. 17, 2009.]

In re T. M., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. C. M., Defendant and Appellant.

(Superior Court of Sacramento County, No. JD226226, Dean L. Petersen, Juvenile Court Referee., Judge.)

(Opinion by Cantil-Sakauye, J., with Blease, Acting P. J., and Robie, J., concurring.)

COUNSEL

Elaine Forrester, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Robert A. Ryan, Jr. County Counsel, Lilly C. Frawley, Deputy County Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

CANTIL-SAKAUYE, J.-

C.M., mother of the minor, appeals from orders of the juvenile court terminating her parental rights. (Welf. & Inst. {Slip Opn. Page 2} Code, §§ 366.26, 395.) fn. 1 Appellant contends the court could not terminate her parental rights because it found that no reunification services were provided to her. We reverse.

FACTS

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) removed the newborn minor from appellant’s custody in August 2007 following appellant’s detention on a psychiatric hold pursuant to section 5150. The social worker was unable to contact appellant at the mental health facility and appellant did not contact the social worker prior to the detention hearing in the juvenile court.

According to the jurisdiction/disposition report, appellant called the social worker several times but did not leave any contact information and appellant’s whereabouts were unknown. Appellant had ongoing mental health problems and it became apparent during the social worker’s investigation that appellant was also abusing drugs. DHHS recommended denial of services to appellant pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(1), because her whereabouts were unknown and she had failed to come forward to be assessed for services. If appellant did come forward during the next six months, the social worker intended to assess her needs and develop a plan at that time. A declaration of due {Slip Opn. Page 3} diligence in the search for appellant was attached to the report.

At the jurisdiction/disposition hearing, there was discussion about whether to make the findings to support denial of services pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(1) because the DHHS intended to offer appellant services if she contacted the social worker. However, the court did adopt the previously recommended findings which supported denial of services pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(1) and no case plan was developed. The court set a six-month review hearing.

The report for the six-month review hearing stated that a therapist from a psychiatric facility in Fresno contacted the social worker in October 2007 and told the social worker appellant had been a patient there but had been discharged. The therapist was unable to provide contact information for appellant. In November 2007, a public defender from Fresno called and told the social worker appellant was in a locked psychiatric facility. A conservator had been appointed for appellant because she was unable to care for her own basic needs. Prior to establishment of the conservatorship, appellant was placed on multiple psychiatric holds during September and October of 2007.

Because appellant was receiving a broad range of services in the psychiatric facility, no case plan was developed and the {Slip Opn. Page 4} social worker simply instructed appellant to comply with her treatment goals. Appellant’s counselor reported that appellant had made no progress in treatment since she refused to participate and address her treatment goals. Appellant had been approved for a year of treatment in the locked facility. Appellant also called the social worker and provided the name of her conservator. The six-month review hearing report recommended termination of services.

Counsel was appointed to represent appellant. At the six-month review hearing, appellant’s counsel observed that services were not offered to appellant pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(1) because appellant’s whereabouts were initially unknown. Counsel further stated that no plan was developed when appellant was located because she resided in a facility which provided appropriate services to her. According to counsel, appellant’s conservator’s assessment was that appellant could not meaningfully participate in services and counsel requested the court to amend the recommended findings and orders to reflect that no services were previously ordered. The court granted the request and made the appropriate changes to eliminate any findings to the contrary. fn. 2 The court set a {Slip Opn. Page 5} section 366.26 hearing over appellant’s objection. Notice of her right to review the order by writ was mailed to appellant, her conservator, and her guardian ad litem. fn. 3

The report for the selection and implementation hearing stated there had been no contact between appellant and the minor since the minor was placed in protective custody. Appellant had a new conservator who told the social worker appellant was diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, visitation with the minor would not be constructive and appellant’s anger issues might make visits harmful for the minor.

At the hearing, appellant’s counsel entered a general objection to termination of parental rights. The court adopted the recommended findings and orders, terminated parental rights, and freed the minor for adoption.

DISCUSSION

Appellant argues the order terminating parental rights must be reversed because it violated the provisions of section {Slip Opn. Page 6} 366.26, subdivision (c)(2)(A). (See also Cal. Rules of Court, rule 5.725(f).) fn. 4 We agree.

Section 366.26, subdivision (c)(2)(A) provides: “The court shall not terminate parental rights if . . . [a]t each hearing at which the court was required to consider reasonable efforts or services, the court has found that reasonable efforts were not made or that reasonable services were not offered or provided.” fn. 5 The juvenile court is required to consider whether the agency has made reasonable efforts at each six-month status review hearing. (§ 366.)

The only such hearing in this case was the six-month review hearing following disposition. At that hearing, “[i]f the child is not returned to his or her parent . . . the court shall determine whether reasonable services that were designed to aid the parent . . . in overcoming the problems that led to the initial removal and the continued custody of the child have been provided or offered to the parent . . . .” (§§ 366.21, subd. (e); see also 366.21, subd. (g)(1)(c); 366.22, subd. (a).) {Slip Opn. Page 7} Here, reasonable services were not offered because no services were offered pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(1). Appellant’s counsel expressly requested the juvenile court correct the record to so reflect. We view counsel’s request and the juvenile court’s response as justified and appropriate within the context of the record as a whole. This factual setting does not, however, end the inquiry.

As we have said, section 366.26, subdivision (c)(2)(A) applies when “reasonable services were not offered or provided.” On the other hand, dependency law permits the juvenile court to decline to order reunification services under the specific circumstances detailed in section 361.5, subdivisions (b) and (e). The circumstances, with the exception of subdivision (b)(1), describe situations where provision of services is futile or detrimental to the minor, generally where the parent is unable or unwilling to participate in services or where offering services would place the minor at risk of harm or other detriment. The question is whether the Legislature intended to prevent adoption when any of those circumstances were found to exist and services were not offered. (See Mark N. v. Superior Court (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 996, 1018.) To fully understand the interplay of these two statutes, it is necessary to review the legislative history of section 366.26, subdivision (c)(2)(A).

As originally enacted, section 366.26 did not include the language now found in subdivision (c)(2)(A). (Stats. 1987, {Slip Opn. Page 8} ch. 1485, § 47.) The language was added in 1991 as part of a bill making various technical changes to the dependency statutes and adding new provisions regarding services for incarcerated women. (Sen. Bill No. 475 (1991 Reg. Sess.); Stats. 1991, ch. 820, § 5.) At that time, section 366.22, which describes the procedures for 18-month review hearings, included a provision that required the juvenile court to determine that reasonable services were provided to the parent before the court developed a permanent plan for the minor. (Stats. 1989, ch. 913, § 14.) The 1991 amendments deleted that provision of section 366.22 and added subdivision (c)(2)(A) to section 366.26, which barred termination of parental rights, but not other permanent plans, when reasonable efforts were not made or reasonable services were not offered. (Stats. 1991, ch. 820, § 5.)

Section 361.5, which permits denial of services under subdivisions (b) and (e), states that “[i]f the court, pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), or (15) of subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) does not order reunification services, it shall . . . determine if a hearing under Section 366.26 shall be set in order to determine whether adoption, guardianship, or long-term foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child . . . .” (§ 361.5, subd. (f).) This subdivision of section 361.5 has not significantly changed (see Stats 1990, {Slip Opn. Page 9} ch. 1530, § 6) since before subdivision (c)(2)(A) was added to section 366.26, and the Legislature is presumed to have been aware of it when amending section 366.26, subdivision (c)(2)(A). (Estate of McDill (1975) 14 Cal.3d 831, 837-838.) In interpreting the dependency scheme as a whole (DuBois v. Worker’s Comp. Appeals Bd. (1993) 5 Cal.4th 382, 388), and reading the parts to avoid an absurdity (People v. King (1993) 5 Cal.4th 59, 69), section 366.26, subdivision (c)(2)(A) cannot be read to bar adoption when services are denied pursuant to the subdivisions specified in section 361.5, subdivision (f). The Legislature could not have intended to abrogate the earlier provisions in section 361.5 which contemplated adoption of a minor when services were not offered to the parent as either being futile or detrimental to the minor.

However, section 361.5, subdivision (b)(1), the basis for the denial of services to appellant, is not listed in section 361.5, subdivision (f) as one of the circumstances which can directly lead to setting a section 366.26 hearing at which adoption may be considered. This does not mean the minor must remain in limbo. Even if reunification is not to occur, permanency is an important consideration for a dependent child. (In re Marilyn H. (1993) 5 Cal.4th 295, 309.) Subdivision (c)(2)(A) of section 366.26 simply bars termination of parental rights when the parent has never been offered services because the parent’s whereabouts were unknown or when the agency has not {Slip Opn. Page 10} developed a plan or offered reasonable services even though the parent was available. Before termination of parental rights can occur, the law requires the court to find either that services would have been futile or detrimental to the minor under any of the relevant subdivisions of section 361.5, with the obvious exception of subdivision (b)(1), or that the agency at least tried to reunite the family by making reasonable efforts or offering services to the parents. (§§ 366.21, subds. (e) and (f); 366.22.)

Here, appellant’s counsel insisted the record reflect the true state of affairs, i.e., that services were not offered pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(1). When appellant’s whereabouts became known, three months after the minor’s out-of-home placement, the fact should have been brought to the juvenile court’s attention so that services could be ordered. (§ 361.5, subd. (d).) This did not occur. The posture of the case at the six-month review hearing was that no services were ordered or offered and no plan was developed. DHHS, in possession of information which might have justified denial of services under several subdivisions of section 361.5, did not raise the issue or seek an order denying services. fn. 6 Because the {Slip Opn. Page 11} court neither terminated services, after finding reasonable services had been provided, nor denied them pursuant to a subdivision of section 361.5 which would permit termination of parental rights, it should have limited the scope of the section 366.26 hearing to consideration of only guardianship or long-term foster care. It did not. The error in proceeding to terminate parental rights in the circumstances of this case is not harmless. No opportunity to reunify was ever afforded appellant nor did she have an opportunity to challenge a request to deny her services under any subdivision of section 361.5 which would have supported termination of parental rights. Reversal is required.

DISPOSITION

The order terminating parental rights is reversed. The case is remanded for a new selection and implementation hearing.

Blease, Acting P. J., and Robie, J., concurred.

­FN 1. Hereafter, undesignated statutory references are to the Welfare and Institutions Code.

­FN 2. There is some lack of clarity in the record. The recommended findings attached to the report show the sections relating to efforts by DHHS to provide services and appellant’s efforts to comply with services were stricken because services were not ordered and the report itself was corrected to show there was no case plan for the same reason. However, the findings attached to the minute orders show only a modification to the proposed order to show that services were not ordered at the disposition hearing. The court’s specific statements in the reporter’s transcript make it clear that the efforts findings should also have been stricken in the attachment to the minute order. (People v. Smith (1983) 33 Cal.3d 596, 599.)

­FN 3. No petition for extraordinary writ was filed by the guardian ad litem or conservator. Accordingly, the orders entered at the six-month review hearing are final and cannot be challenged in this appeal. (John F. v. Superior Court (1996) 43 Cal.App.4th 400, 404-405.)

­FN 4. Respondent, apparently in an abundance of caution, views appellant’s claim, in part, as one of error at the review hearing. It is not. Thus, we need not address respondent’s arguments regarding writ review, petitions for modification, or substantial evidence to support denial of services.

­FN 5. The subdivision was formerly designated as (c)(2) (Stats. 1991, ch. 820, § 5), however, recent amendments have renamed it (c)(2)(A) (Stats. 2006, ch. 838, § 52). We use the current formulation for clarity.

­FN 6. Respondent’s contention that such findings and orders could be inferred from the information made available in the report and from appellant’s counsel at the hearing fails since the issues were not properly before the court or considered by it.

In re T. M. (2009) [ Cal.App.4th ].

NCCPR – Child Welfare Blog: Assessing the Michigan “Needs Assessment”

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, Department of Social Servies, due process rights, family court, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy on July 21, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Assessing the Michigan “Needs Assessment”

As the previous post to this Blog explains, a requirement of the consent decree between the Michigan Department of Human Services and the group that so arrogantly calls itself Children’s Rights (CR) is a “Needs Assessment.” As the name suggests this means lots of people spending lots of time creating one more document telling us what we already know: Michigan should be doing far more to keep families together.

The settlement calls for spending $4 million on needs found by the Needs Assessment. But in a true masterstroke of legal strategy, CR managed to forget to include anything in its settlement that would stop DHS from cutting ten times more than they now are required to add. Brilliant. So What DHS giveth with one hand, DHS taketh ten-fold with the other.

As for what the document actually tells us:

The Needs Assessment is a 221-page rebuke of the shortsighted approach of both DHS and CR.

Everything the assessment says Michigan’s vulnerable children need more of, DHS is providing less of. The list of what Michigan’s vulnerable children need and the list of children’s services budget cuts are nearly identical.

And that is not because of the state budget crisis. The biggest fraud in Michigan right now is the notion that the cuts in safe proven programs to keep families together are needed to balance the budget. On the contrary, the money saved from these cuts is going into more money for institutionalization and a wasteful hiring binge.

For that, the blame rests both with Ismael Ahmed’s apparent obsession with giving private agencies that warehouse children in “residential treatment” whatever they want (that’s why he’s so beloved by these agencies) and with CR, which allowed that giant loophole in the settlement mentioned above.

Though the spirit of the settlement and its legally binding guiding principles (not to mention common sense) make clear that DHS was not supposed to fund the settlement by cutting other help to vulnerable children, the settlement has no explicit provision saying this. So DHS has plowed through that loophole. DHS is using slash-and-burn budget cuts for prevention and family preservation to finance rate increases for residential treatment and a foster care worker hiring binge.

And the hiring binge is not actually required by the settlement. The settlement requires a reduction in caseloads – it doesn’t say this has to be done by hiring child abuse investigators and foster care workers. Caseloads would be far more likely to go down if DHS put more money into the very programs it now is cutting. As it stands now, all those new workers are likely to chase down all the new cases of children needlessly removed from their homes because of the budget cuts, leaving Michigan with the same lousy system only bigger.

And I’m not the only one saying this. Look at what the Needs Assessment itself says about how to reduce caseloads (Page 23):

The settlement agreement assumes that Michigan’s system reform efforts … will decrease the number of children entering the foster care system. The reduced entries will result from improvements in intake services, prevention services and in-home preservation services. These efforts will also decrease the caseload ratio for public and private agency workers, permitting MDHS to reduce caseloads to the specified levels.” [Emphasis added].

The most important part of the Needs Assessment

What may be most important about the needs assessment is what’s *not* in its recommendations:

There is no call for more “residential treatment” or other institutional care of children.

There is no call for big rate increases for providers of institutional care.

On the contrary, the Needs Assessment specifically cites the harm of institutionalization (Page 69) and examples of better alternatives (Pages 114, 115) – in other words, exactly what NCCPR said in our second report on Michigan child welfare.

There is no call for a giant hiring binge of child abuse investigators and foster care workers.

So why is DHS spending more money on all of these things while cutting the very programs the Needs Assessment says are really needed?

Are caseloads really excessive?

A key premise of the hiring binge is that it’s needed to lower excessive caseloads. But the chart on Page 56 shows that caseloads actually are surprisingly reasonable. These numbers would be suspect if they came from management; but they’re estimates from a survey of caseworkers themselves. So that raises further questions about cutting prevention to hire more investigators and foster care workers.

Other Key Findings

A repeated theme is the urgent need for concrete services, particularly transportation and housing assistance, yet these services are among those least available. (Pages 14, 15, 21, 78, 84, 111, chart p. 113). The Assessment states flat out that time in placement often is extended needlessly for lack of this kind of help. (Page 14.)

The unappreciated shining star of Michigan child welfare, the Families First Intensive Family Preservation Services program, is praised repeatedly in almost every section of the needs assessment – seen as enormously beneficial not only for preventing separation of families in the first place but also for making reunification work and for preserving adoptive families. (Pages 10, 44, 82, other references.) Yet this program is being cut yet again by Ismael Ahmed.

On Page 41, the Needs Assessment lists seven vital programs for keeping families together. Most, if not all, have been cut repeatedly in the past and are or will be cut again in the two rounds of slash-and-burn budget cuts inflicted by Ahmed and Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

The Assessment devotes two-thirds of a page to listing all the things wrong with the settlement’s former demand that all grandparents and other relatives providing kinship care be formally licensed (Page 86). And then, on Page 90, it says that unlicensed homes are absolutely essential in order to have enough places for children. Fortunately, partly as a result of pressure from NCCPR, CR and DHS backed off from their war against grandparents and changed that part of the settlement. But NCCPR and many others saw these problems right from the start – why didn’t CR and DHS?

Page 75: Most families can’t get the services they need.

Page 41: Workers admit to resorting to foster care in cases where children could remain home if the right kinds of help were available.

Page 116: There is a significant need for inpatient drug treatment programs in which parents can live with their children.

Page 62: The Needs Assessment notes what NCCPR reported in March: There are enormous, and disturbing, variations in rates of child removal in different Michigan counties.

Page 54: In the one focus group for birth parents, in Ingham County, which has one of the highest rates of removal in the state, every birth parent, no matter what the actual circumstances of her or his case, said he or she was asked to agree to termination of parental rights; an outrageous indication that the “Binsfeld mentality” – a legacy of a former lieutenant governor who trampled over the state’s impoverished families in the name of adoption-at-all-costs (discussed in detail in NCCPR’s first report on Michigan child welfare) – still is alive and well in Michigan.

None of the birth parents said they were involved in developing and implementing the “case plan” explaining what hoops they would have to jump through to get their children back.

Page 55: All of the birth parents said their case records contained inaccuracies.

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog: Assessing the Michigan “Needs Assessment”.

Michigan child welfare programs need $4M – NewsFlash – mlive.com

In Family Rights on July 21, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Hey Morons that run the Michigan welfare agencies.. Why don’t you give the children back?  Two of three children don’t even belong in foster care.  Go find real work, morons.

7/20/2009, 6:50 p.m. EDT The Associated Press

(AP) — DETROIT – A new report says Michigan should spend $4 million on additional services to help vulnerable families and children aging out of Michigan’s foster care system.

The Detroit News says the money already has been requested by the state’s Department of Human Services as part of the budget plan for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Legislators haven’t yet adopted that budget and are trying to resolve a massive deficit.

The recommendations come from a child welfare expert helping to oversee the 2008 settlement of a class action lawsuit between the state and an advocacy group called Children’s Rights.

Report: Michigan child welfare programs need $4M – NewsFlash – mlive.com.

What Stands Between A Child And A Lasting Family? More Lies from Social Workers

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, Department of Social Servies, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights on July 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm

What the writer of this article fails to mention is that 2 of 3 children in Foster Care do not EVEN BELONG THERE and were taken from their homes by socialy irresponsible do-gooders feeding CAPTA money into the NY city system to keep this Nazi system of child stealing going.  CPS workers, foster care parents and other social do-gooder liars should have their children taken from them until the same lies that they use to steal OTHER PEOPLE CHILDREN. – Parental Rights

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Foster care is meant to be a transitory status in a child’s life, a temporary if traumatic time during a parent’s lapse of responsibility, or between the guardianship of a birth parent and an adoptive parent.

For too many New York City youth, however, foster care stretches on and on, depriving children of the “forever family” that child welfare professionals say is their birthright. From parents to caseworkers to Family Court judges, participants in the system all may propose different explanations for why the median amount of time that NYC children spend under the government’s care is two years, according to the state Office of Children and Family Services, or why 4.7 years is the median time spent awaiting adoption specifically. Now a study by the legal and advocacy group Children’s Rights aims to provide a data-based description of “obstacles to permanency”: A definitive explanation of why the “foster child” designation often lasts too long.

“It’s going to give data valuable to understanding child welfare citywide,” says Children’s Rights Policy Director Julie Farber, who is leading the study. “We’ll be producing hard data on what people think are the issues” – commonly expressed frustrations such as overloaded caseworkers or time-wasting Family Court adjournments.

“This is a complex issue. There’s not going to be one answer,” Farber said. The study “will give some hard data on all of these problems, which will enable the advocacy community to focus attention” on the problems identified. When the results come out this fall, “I think it will be really informative and powerful,” she said.

The study is analyzing the cases of 153 foster children around the five boroughs who have had an unmet goal of reunifying with their own families, or of being adopted, for two years or more. The city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and 28 of its 33 contracting private child welfare agencies that administer services to children and families are fully cooperating, thus providing the access to ongoing cases among the city’s total foster care population of 16,400 children (nearly a record low). While the sample isn’t large enough to be statistically significant by borough, Farber said, “the problems are significant enough citywide that this was an appropriate approach.” Those being analyzed were selected randomly from 3,883 cases that met the criteria at the 28 agencies.

Both Farber and ACS Commissioner John Mattingly find the collaboration itself noteworthy. Children’s Rights, after all, is well known in the child welfare world for bringing the Wilder v. Bernstein lawsuit and litigating the Marisol A. v. Giuliani settlement, two major civil actions that have shaped the administration of child welfare in New York City. “What’s sort of monumental about this, is [Mattingly] was allowing pretty much unprecedented access to an external entity … that’s sued the city in the past,” Farber said.

Mattingly also called the study “groundbreaking,” both for the participation of private groups, and the intention of his agency from the outset to work with advocates in addressing the report’s eventual findings. “It will provide information to the public in order to get thoughtful people thinking together about what it is we can do to achieve permanency for kids in care,” he said. “We should be able, at the end of this, to stand up together and say: These are issues we are all concerned about … here’s how we are going to work together to make the numbers look different.”

Ensuring that children have permanent, loving families is one of the top three goals of ACS, he said, in addition to protecting children and providing the kind of help to families that can keep them together. “Too many kids sort of get stuck in care, and we’ve got to deal with that,” Mattingly said.

As a major barrier to permanency, he mentioned the length of time Family Court cases often take, rather than receiving a disposition within 60 or 90 days. Jim Purcell, executive director of statewide organization Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies – who also backs the study as a potentially helpful tool – points instead to the “perennial problem” of housing in New York City (if a parent is unable to provide a big enough apartment for her children, for example) and the traditionally high rate of caseworker turnover as culprits.

Harlem resident Robin Wiley, a parent who has tangled with ACS in the past, shows the value of the study’s qualitative measures – in addition to the quantitative data collection, focus groups were held for discussions among parents, judges, lawyers and others – by proffering an entirely different obstacle to permanency than the professionals. At 51, Wiley is the mother of four children of whom she is proud, with her youngest starting college this fall. But he was removed from her at birth because of her drug problem, and it took five years for her to get him back.

Wiley, a parent organizer with the Child Welfare Organizing Project, said when her son was born 18 years ago, no one offered her help to get clean; it took some time to find treatment. “I wanted help. But I didn’t know how to ask for help without having my children removed,” she remembers (and says help is much more available these days).

In her case, the obstacle to permanency was a lack of trust. “If we’d been more open and honest, it would have been resolved earlier,” Wiley said.

When it comes to foster care, “The shorter time is the better time. But sometimes it doesn’t always work out like that.”

– Karen Loew

What Stands Between A Child And A Lasting Family- City Limits: News for NYC’s Nonprofit, Policy and Activist World.

Equal physical custody? You try it. | thegrownupchild.ca

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Sociopath, state crimes on July 21, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Equal physical custody? You try it.

by Carolyn on July 21, 2009

Everyone wants to hold on tight

Everyone wants to hold on tight

I started a bit of a kerfuffle on another site the other day and I decided to write an opinion piece to reflect it.  I didn’t think I would be writing these, but the topic is interesting and I’d love to hear other people’s perspectives:

Child custody.  There aren’t many topics as polarizing as this one.  Really.  It ranks right up with politics and religion.  And debating it is not for the meek or faint hearted.  I knew that, but it’s not what I was thinking about as I wrote my comment.  I had just finished reading an interesting blog post over here and it really caught my interest.  The piece highlighted the author’s belief in equal physical custody of children after divorce.  She relayed a bit of her own personal experience as a divorced mom.  She stated that her ex husband chose not to have a role in her children’s life and that it of course was damaging to them.  She then listed a smattering of studies, detailing the detriments to children from absent fathers.

Now I don’t think anyone can dispute the importance of fathers for all children.  Children of divorce are no different.  But equal physical custody?  You know what that means, right?  It means three nights at mom’s house this week and four nights the next.  Or maybe it means this week at mom’s, next week at dad’s.  Having all your time split evenly down the middle.  Living precisely one half of your life in one residence and one half in another.  Sound like fun?  Would you want to do it?

So I wrote my comment.  I simply questioned the need for a 50/50 split and stated that although I had extenuating circumstances that made my paternal visitation less than most, I was glad not to have had to endure that.  And boy, the father’s came out swinging!  It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did.  I hadn’t paid close enough attention to my wording.  And in a polarizing argument, wording of course is everything.

I thought I was being misunderstood.  It seemed the father’s were mostly angry that the courts tend to automatically choose the mother as the primary custodian, when they were just as capable.  And to that I can only agree.  If they want to be primary caretakers, they should have an equal opportunity for that.  If it’s legal reform that’s needed; go lobby.  Chances are, they’d find me supporting them all the way.  I don’t really care which parent the child resides with.  Only that in end they reside with one of them.

Because we all need a home.  A place that is ours.  And I feel that no matter how well you try duplicate it, a 50% arrangement robs a child of that sense.  Not to mention the continual upheaval; the back and forth.  I also brought up how difficult it would be for kids to answer one of the basic questions of kid-dom.  “Where do you live?”  The question that answers whether they reside in close enough proximity to be playmates.  I know things have changed.  That children of divorce are more mainstream now.  But this is a gateway question for kids!  Who wants to explain their family drama after initial introductions?

Well, at least the moderator was nice enough to pull down the few comments that had name calling in them.  Because the response to that second comment was certainly passionate.  Amidst the profanity, there were examples of how well equal custody works and mentions of child support.  And I’m going to ignore the support thing.  Because a father wanting to spend time with his children should never be motivated by a desire to reduce their price tag.  And I’m going give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume it never is.  I’m making my point from there.

Because in the end I don’t really care about the fathers who feel slighted and disadvantaged at being called ‘secondary’ or feeling like a visitor.  And I don’t care about the mother’s who feel that being primary during marriage entitles them to remain primary through divorce.  I know both ache to be with their children.  I know it kills them to give up any time.  But I care about the child.  Whatever age they might be.  And the biggest problem here is that you can’t ask them.  Because the child of divorce aches to be with both of their parents too.  And they will always put their own needs aside in the name of time with a parent.  So if continually jumping from house to house is the price of spending time with them equally; it will be paid.  Without nearly a thought and even dressed up with assurances that they’re okay.  They’ll pay the price and make it look like it cost them nothing at all.

And there is my point.  Why must they pay?  Can’t the child of divorce have both?  Mom and dad present in their life and a stable ‘home base’?  Don’t they deserve it?  Oh I know it won’t be easy, parents.  You want to talk co-parenting?  There it is.  It would require whoever is ‘secondary’ to make more phone calls, attend things their child is attending, have them over for evenings and (oh no, not the dreaded!) visit their child at their ex spouses home along with enjoying their scheduled visitation.  It would also require the ‘primary’ to aid,  accommodate and welcome those things.  Equal parenting doesn’t have to depend on equal physical custody.  All it really depends on is co-parenting.

Is it a pipe dream?  Do I ask too much of divorced parents?  I hope not.

Because mom and dad were mature enough to get married.  Then they were mature enough to have children.   After which they were mature enough to get divorced.  Can’t they be mature enough to put their own issues and wants aside and give their children everything?  Shouldn’t the price be theirs to pay?  I think so, but that’s just my opinion.  From a grown up child of divorce.

Polarizing.  I can almost feel the heat coming though my monitor as you twitch towards the comment button.  You may agree with me completely or want to wring my neck.  And that’s okay.  I’d love to hear from you.  Because I’m not meek.  And I’m not faint hearted. If anything, I’d call myself an…advocate.

Equal physical custody? You try it. | thegrownupchild.ca.

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