mkg4583

Archive for the ‘Child Custody for fathers’ Category

We don’t ever see Daddy any more – Stories of children from broken homes | The Sun |Features

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on November 29, 2009 at 6:45 pm

We don’t ever see Daddy any more

Families torn apart … the stories behind the divorces

MyView

By DEIDRE SANDERS

Sun Agony Aunt

WHEN parents are breaking up, the tragedy is that they are often so caught up in their own anger, hurt and turmoil that they have little attention to spare for their children.

Fighting over the home and maybe furious their partner has found a new love, they lash out, little realising that children can’t help identifying with both parents, wanting to love and be loved by them both equally.

Using kids as pawns in the battle is setting them up for long-term emotional damage.

Even if parents cannot live lovingly together, they owe it to their children to remember they can never have another mum or dad.

Unless contact with one parent is going to be dangerous because of violence, drugs, alcohol or mental health problems, both should make every effort to ensure it’s easy and comfortable for the kids to be with them both regularly, even if it means swallowing your rage while you negotiate contact arrangements.

Because this is such a common problem, I have written a special Kids In The Middle guide for separating parents and children on how to handle the hurdles.

Call 0845 602 2290 or go to http://tiny.cc/FGF9j for a free copy.

THOUSANDS of British kids never see their dad again once their parents break up, a shocking new survey has revealed.

More than one in three youngsters – 38 per cent – go without having their father around after their parents split, and nearly one in ten are so traumatised they consider SUICIDE.

The findings, by a leading law firm, also discovered children are being caught in bitter custody battles, and many later turn to drink and drugs.

Sandra Davis, head of family law firm Mishcon de Reya, which surveyed 4,000 people, said: “This research shows that, despite their best intentions, parents are often using their children as emotional footballs.”

Here NIKKI WATKINS, NICK FRANCIS and JENNA SLOAN speak to four people who have been affected by divorce.

We hear from a mum whose husband left for Australia, a man who tracked down his long-lost dad and two fathers who haven’t seen their kids in years.

 


 

Richard

RICHARD separated from his long-term partner in May 1998, after six years.

The 43-year-old, from Carshalton, Surrey, who is on sick leave from his job as a train-driving instructor, has not seen his 15-year-old daughter for more than eight years, despite suffering with leukaemia.

His ex-partner moved 600 miles away, which makes visiting impossible as his leukaemia treatment is carried out in his home town.

Richard says: “We came to an understanding about contact times that worked out initially.

“Then my ex started mucking about with it. I said, ‘we need to sort this out’, as I didn’t want to go down the route of court because it is expensive and pits parent against parent.

“It becomes a battle of parents rather than what is right for the child.

“The advice I got at the time was to avoid the court system.

“I said that it was in our daughter’s best interests to continue seeing me.”

Richard eventually ended up seeking the advice of a solicitor.

He says: “The day before we were due for a directions hearing my ex phoned me and asked me what I wanted. I said the same as before and she said, ‘that is fine’.

But the situation changed when Richard’s ex got engaged and moved to Scotland.

Richard says: “I got a letter from her solicitor saying the contact schedule wouldn’t work.”

He has since been diagnosed with leukaemia and when faced with chemotherapy told doctors not to worry about his fertility, as he was too traumatised to have more children.

He wrote to his ex and daughter to explain about his illness, but says he got no response.

Richard says: “I don’t get anything back – I haven’t in eight years. I just want an acknowledgement to say my daughter is aware of what has happened and sends her love. It’s an awful situation.

“I know they get to the address because everything is recorded delivery, the birthday presents and Easter eggs.

“I had to have counselling about losing my daughter. It has affected me in a big, big way.

“Children have a right to know both parents.”

 


 

Melanie Crow

MELANIE divorced her husband of 13 years after he left her and their two sons without warning.

When Melanie, 33, came home one day to find hubby Trevor leaving, she thought for a moment that he was going to the shops – before realising he meant he was going for good.

Husband left for Australia ... Melanie Crow

Husband left for Australia … Melanie Crow

North News

He left for a new life in Australia, since then having no contact with sons Oliver, then 3, and Joshua, then 8.

Melanie, a photographer from Durham, says: “Trevor left on March 8, 2008. I wasn’t aware of any real problems in our marriage, just the usual bickering. I came home from work and he said he was leaving.

“My oldest boy Joshua, who is now ten, has a lot of issues and has to see a counsellor.

“Because he was there when his dad was packing his things in the car, he blames himself for his dad leaving.

“My other son, Ollie, who’s five, was only three when his dad left so I think he has got off a bit lighter.

“They are both very clingy, though. I con-stantly have to reassure them.

“I’m worried about how it’s going to affect Ollie in the future. I also worry about my boys because there isn’t a male role model in the house.

“Trevor has my numbers and can get in touch with the boys if he wants, he just chooses not to.

“He took me to court this year to try and get access.

“We came to an agreement that he could come and see them over the summer but just one week before he was due, he cancelled.

“After spending thousands of pounds on a court case in this country, despite not having paid any money for the boys, he goes and disappoints them like that.

“If Trevor is the kind of man who can do this to his family then he’s not the sort of person I want around my kids.”

 


 

James Taylor

JAMES TAYLOR tracked down his long-lost dad, James Dennis, 52, through the internet after his parents divorced.

James 33, a mortgage adviser from Glasgow. says: “My mum and dad married when they were 17 and 18, which was very young.

“My dad, who was a welder, moved to Reading to find work and initially my mum went with him. But things didn’t work out and my mum came back to Scotland.

“My parents ended up divorcing and lost contact. I think it was a combination of the pressure on them, as they were so young, and the distance between them.

“I was their only child, and I saw my dad once when I was about seven, but that was it. It didn’t really occur to me to ask about him.

“All I’d ever known was my mum, Brenda, who remarried. But when I went to secondary school I began to wonder why I didn’t have a dad like the other kids did.

“When I was 17 my mum passed away due to complications in childbirth. It really made me think about things and start to question who my family was.

“I have four step-daughters with my wife Georgina and we have a boy Joshua, who is seven. I also have two step-granddaughters.

“Having my own children did make me think even more about getting in touch with my dad. My wife was very supportive but I was worried about finding Dad. What if he didn’t like me?

“In 2006 I logged on to the Genes Reunited website and typed in my father’s name. I hadn’t seen him for 23 years. One match came up that turned out to be my aunt, I was delighted when I got an email from her.

“She passed my contact details on to my dad and we arranged to meet.

“Going to meet him for the first time was very emotional. I’d only seen him in his old wedding picture, with long hair in the 1970s, so I didn’t recognise him straight away.

“But when it finally dawned on me that this was my dad I was thrilled. We have some of the same characteristics – our eyes are similar – and we have similar mannerisms too.

“And I have a half-brother and half-sister that I’d never met, along with aunties, uncles and cousins. I’m so glad I logged on to that website.”

 


 

Paul

DAD Paul is a full-time carer for his elderly father.

He split with his wife of 25 years and lost contact with his son, then aged seven, 12 years ago.

Lost contact with son ... Paul

Lost contact with son … Paul

Paul, 57, from Hampshire, is still coming to terms with his loss. He says: “My wife decided that she wanted the relationship to finish and we divorced.

“Very quickly it became difficult to have contact with my son.

“You get cursory visits once every two weeks. It was difficult right from the beginning, but I saw him for about a year, every other weekend. That isn’t sufficient for a relationship.”

Paul went to court to try tomaintain the contact but thesituation deteriorated.

He says: “If one parent is trying hard to stop contact, the court doesn’t really do anything to enforce contact with the absent parent.”

That is why Paul finds the new statistics about so many children not seeing their fathers unsurprising.

He says: “I wrote many articles and did some charity work for a time for all of the charity groups who were trying to get the system changed.

“I did it because there are probably about a million kids out there who have not got what you could call a decent family.

“If you include the extended family then the number of people involved is just colossal. The figure of 38 per cent doesn’t surprise me at all. It almost destroys you. You miss everything.

“I don’t even know categorically if my son is alive – simple as that.

“I took it all the way to the highest court and that got me experienced in the legal system.

“So I was advising other people how to keep the cost down and how to do it themselves.

“I have moved on now – it took me several years to get to that stage and it was a very desperate state. I have been divorced 12 years now and I fought for five years in the courts. My life could always be better.

“More than anything I would want my son to know that I care and that I am still caring.”

Stories of children from broken homes | The Sun |Features.

Parental Alienation Syndrome – PasKids.com

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on November 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

PasKids.com

Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Forum

Home Parental Alienation Articles Resources

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?

This is the definition of PAS as described by R.A. Gardner who discovered the syndrome and has become an expert in dealing with the issue.

Gardner’s definition of PAS is:

“The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent.”

(Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.)

Basically, this means that through verbal and non verbal thoughts, actions and mannerisms, a child is emotionally abused (brainwashed) into thinking the other parent is the enemy. This ranges from bad mouthing the other parent infront of the children, to withholding visits, to pre-arranging the activities for the children while visiting with the other parent.

Stages of Parental Alienations Syndrome:

Children who are victims of PAS often go through different Stages as they experience the depth of the alienation.

Stage 1 – Mild | Stage 2 – Moderate | Stage 3 – Severe |

Types of Alienators:

With PAS there are three types of Alienators:

Naive Alienator | Active Alienator | Obsessed Alienator |

Parental Alienation Syndrome – PAS.

Parental Alienation Syndrome to be Viewed as a Form of Child Abuse | ParentsElite

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on November 28, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Parental Alienation Syndrome to be Viewed as a Form of Child Abuse

Image from abdoukili.wordpress.com

Image from abdoukili.wordpress.com

Health experts from ten different nations are making an effort to include Parental Alienation Syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is a behaviour exhibited by one parent where he threatens or makes his child fear his other parent, often attempting to turn the child against his other parent. This sort of behaviour may lead to the child developing a chronic psychological disorder, affecting his physical and mental state of health. This Syndrome often includes false accusations by one parent of mistreatment, abuse, domestic violence, and neglecting the child, by the other parent.

Since such behaviour can greatly distress the child affecting his state of mind, health care professionals must view this behaviour as a form of child abuse.

Fifty mental health experts are campaigning in an attempt to include this Syndrome in the 2012 edition of the Mental Disorders Manual.

Related posts:

  1. Parenting Education Important to Check Child Abuse
  2. Aggressive Behaviour in Children Increases if Parents are Negative towards them
  3. Four Effective Theories for Parental Training
  4. Poor Parenting can lead to Crime
  5. Dealing with a Parent-Teacher Meeting
  6. Effective Parenting comes with Instincts
  7. Impulsivity is a Risk Factor for Drug Abuse?
  8. Aggressive Children have Lesser Number of Friends
  9. Communication between a Child and a Parent is Extremely Vital
  10. A Child’s Interests Should Have Greater Priority in Divorces Cases

Filed Under: News

Tags:

RSSComments (2)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Thank you for sharing this information with your readers.

    Parental alienation is a huge problem in the U.S. and around the world. Long-standing emotional issues drive the alienating parent to damage, and in some cases destroy, the child’s relationship with his or her other parent. Neither men or women have cornered the market on these issues. In fact, based on the response to our book, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation (http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com), Moms and Dads are both the alienating parent and the targeted parent in equal numbers. The biggest losers are the children of these horrible situations.

    Sincerely,

    mike jeffries
    Author, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation

  2. Thank you for publishing this article. There is essential material written on the subject today, author above Mike Jeffries is one. Dr. Amy J L Baker, Dr. Stephen Baskerville, Richard Warshak, and others have given the public a wealth of information about PAS- Parental Alienation Syndrome.

    Others are not so informtive or kind to parents and their children. Justice for Children (JFC) is one such group and one with which I am painfully and devastatingly aware. You see they feciliatated the taking of my precious daughter seventeen years ago.

    JFC patently rejects the existence of PAS. Furthermore the group is sexist. (one but read the interview of an employee borrowed form the firm Haynes and Boone, Llp, atty. Alene Ross Levy in a Houston Chronicle interview of May 2, 2007 for proof) Thus JFC enters courtrooms to effect the kind of justice it alone decides with materially wealthy lawyers thrown at the subject parent. It is beyond my understanding how JFC could be in such denial as to reject the credibility of PAS. My own daughter has not been able to speak with me for the past 17 years despite the fact that she is now 23 years of age. Her mother was out commiting three felonies while she got JFC’s ‘help’. Her mother is a severe level alienator as per the work of Dr. Richard Gardner. She had flourished in my care of 5/1/2 years but now is raising a fatherless child having dropped out of high school before she finished even that.

    Beware of groups like JFC and people like Garland Waller of Boston University, former judges like Sol Gothard, foundations like the Mary Kay Foundation, and other groups like the The Leadership Council. They all work to destroy the legitimacy of PAS.

Parental Alienation Syndrome to be Viewed as a Form of Child Abuse | ParentsElite.

Separation, Divorce and Parental Alienation Syndrome | Psychology Today

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights on November 24, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Splitting up shouldn’t mean splitting the kids.

The term “splitting” refers to a familiar tactic often used by children to manipulate their parents — if Mommy says, “No.”, then go ask Daddy.

For parent couples in the throes of separation or divorce, the adult version of splitting — largely characterized by one parent vilifying the other in order to manipulate the children into choosing sides and, ultimately, alienating the other parent from them — can be much more insidious.

The children may, at first, be only pawns — tools for gaining some sense of leverage or perceived control — but, in due course, they can become nothing more than weapons of vengeance, unwitting victims of ego and arrogance.

We are not alone in our relationship, nor is our partner. Establishing any relationship is an act of social co-creation in which all parties must be both responsible to, and accountable for, their actions, inactions and the consequences held therein. To that point, a relationship – any relationship — demands cultivation; it doesn’t just happen.xxxx

Should a relationship break, it is vital that both parties step back, take a moment to examine their personal role in that break, and hold onto that self-revelation. When the break is something not mutually agreed upon, the “wronged partner” – a term used quite loosely here – in denial and ignorance of their own responsibility, will often attempt to exercise some means for regaining a perceived semblance of control.

When benign, these means can appear as gestures of reconciliation, promises of change, pleas to seek counseling and all manner of self-effacing behavior. In instances more menacing, money is hidden; credit cards cancelled; documents disappear; cell phones are checked; computers scoured and private detectives hired, even when there is nothing to detect. A pattern of latent abuse [1, 2] emerges, escalating from a point somewhat removed from normal, to one that veers dangerously close to pathological.

These efforts to regain control are often fruitless; mostly because they are generally an illusion in the first place. Their abject futility, however, can foster a further, even more ominous, escalation – the co-opting of social connections. Friends, family, co-workers – anyone who will listen to the spinning of fantastical yarns that describe the evils of the other is approached, for good, ill or indifference.

Couched within this drama of social distortion, the saddest moment of all can come when an otherwise reasonable adult utters to a child fateful words that might go something like, “I don’t want a divorce. This is all your mother’s idea. She’s just a selfish bitch.” In that moment, in an ego-driven and one way war of wills, the child becomes so much collateral damage.

The mechanism of parental alienation is fueled by a gross failure of emotional intelligence, and further compelled by the anger and resentment of ego. It is roundly destructive to everyone involved; disrupting or destroying familial connections, rending the fabric of the post-marital relationship and effectively compromising any chance at successful co-parenting.

Indeed, the most oppressive aspect of parental alienation is that it creates a false issue — or set of false issues — for children whom it is very likely do not have the social or emotional intelligence to discriminate between fact and fancy. The inaccuracies and misinformation proffered by one parent in service of discrediting the other shakes the very foundations of a child’s model of the world, leaving them stranded outside the bounds of the very structure and consistency upon which they thrive.

Children caught up in this system of abuse [1, 2] are subject to a campaign of unjustified and unjustifiable denigration focused on one parent and perpetrated by the other. In mild cases, there is some programming fostered on the part of the alienating parent, but, all in all, relationships remain intact.

In moderate cases of parental alienation , the level of programming escalates, introducing two artifacts – firstly, the relationship with the targeted parent is more disrupted, created anxiety for the kids and, second, the children become co-opted into the alienating parent’s system of unjustified accusation and begin to believe it, causing a whole separate set of psychosocial issues for them.

In severe cases, the programming has taken hold and the child/children come to develop an irrational and unfounded hatred of the targeted parent, often disrupting the parent/child bond to the point of breaking.

While this all sounds like a horribly Machiavellian system of social pathology – and, at its worst, it is — some space needs to be held for the unintentional or naïve alienation fostered by simple resentment and frustration. Snarky remarks about financial matters, living arrangements or general behavior not personally directed at the other parent constitute a sort of indirect and somewhat unintentional alienation that a child may or may not take to heart.

A more active, and destructive, form of this is compassed by critical comments that remind a child about past disappointments or situations that had negative outcomes. It might also include more personal attacks on character, or descriptions of alleged (and typically false) activities that would reflect on character.

In severe cases, attempts at alienation are obsessive and irrational. The alienating parent literally subjugates the child, enmeshing them in their own irrational belief system and making it virtually impossible for them to think for themselves. The child is interjected into the social reality of the targeted parent as the mouthpiece of hatred for the alienating parent and, objectified in this way, becomes nothing more – and nothing less – than a weapon of social and emotional destruction.

The take away here is fairly straightforward — if we can’t figure out how to be married, fine, but, with children involved, we need to figure out how to be divorced; and certainly not at the expense of the children’s state of mind simply for our own small, petty and vindictive satisfactions.

So, play nice — and if you see this happening or catch yourself doing it, either speak up, or knock it off. In the end, it serves no one and the only ones who suffer are the kids.

References

Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

© 2009 Michael J. Formica , All Rights Reserved

Michael’s Mailing List |  Michael’s eMail |  Follow Michael on Twitter

Michael on Facebook |  The Integral Life Institute on Facebook

Separation, Divorce and Parental Alienation Syndrome | Psychology Today.

Men’s Rights – Feminism should be about equality for males, too. – Reason Magazine

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-V, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads on November 24, 2009 at 12:58 am

Men’s Rights

Feminism should be about equality for males, too.

Earlier this month DoubleX, Slate’s short-lived female-oriented publication (launched six months ago and about to be folded back into the parent site as a women’s section), ran an article ringing the alarm about the dire threat posed by the power of the men’s rights movement. But the article, written by New York-based freelance writer Kathryn Joyce and titled “Men’s Rights’ Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective,” says more about the state of feminism—and journalistic bias—than it does about men’s groups.

Joyce’s indictment is directed at a loose network of activists seeking to raise awareness and change policy on such issues as false accusations of domestic violence, the plight of divorced fathers denied access to children, and domestic abuse of men. In her view, groups such as RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) and individuals like columnist and radio talk show host Glenn Sacks are merely “respectable” and “savvy” faces for what is actually an anti-female backlash from “angry white men.”

As proof of this underlying misogyny, Joyce asserts that men who commit “acts of violence perceived to be in opposition to a feminist status quo” are routinely lionized in the men’s movement. This claim is purportedly backed up with a reference that, in fact, does not in any way support it: an article in Foreign Policy about the decline of male dominance around the globe. Joyce’s one specific example is that the diary of George Sodini, a Pittsburgh man who opened fire on women in a gym in retaliation for feeling rejected by women, was reposted online by the blogger “Angry Harry” as a wake-up call to the Western world that “it cannot continue to treat men so appallingly and get away with it.” But does this have anything to do with more mainstream men’s rights groups? The original version of the article claimed that Sacks, who called “Harry” an “idiot” in his interview with Joyce, nonetheless “cautiously defends” the blogger; DoubleX later ran a correction on this point.

Sacks himself admits to Joyce that the men’s movement has a “not-insubstantial lunatic fringe.” Yet in her eyes, even the mainstream men’s groups are promoting a dangerous agenda, above all infiltrating mainstream opinion with the view that reports of domestic violence are exaggerated and that a lot of spousal abuse is female-perpetrated. The latter claim, Joyce asserts, comes from “a small group of social scientists” led by “sociologist Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire, who has written extensively on female violence.” (In fact, Straus, founder of the renowned Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, is a pre-eminent scholar on family violence in general and was the first to conduct national surveys on the prevalence of wife-beating.)

Joyce repeats common critiques of Straus’ research: For instance, he equates “a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs” or “a single act of female violence with years of male abuse.” Yet these charges have been long refuted: Straus’ studies measure the frequency of violence and specifically inquire about which partner initiated the physical violence. Furthermore, Joyce fails to mention that virtually all social scientists studying domestic violence, including self-identified feminists such as University of Pittsburgh psychologist Irene Frieze, find high rates of mutual aggression.

Reviews of hundreds of existing studies, such as one conducted by University of Central Lancashire psychologist John Archer in a 2000 article in Psychological Bulletin, have found that at least in Western countries, women are as likely to initiate partner violence as men. While the consequences to women are more severe—they are twice as likely to report injuries and about three times more likely to fear an abusive spouse—these findings also show that men hardly escape unscathed. Joyce claims that “Straus’ research is starting to move public opinion,” but in fact, some of the strongest recent challenges to the conventional feminist view of domestic violence—as almost invariably involving female victims and male batterers—come from female scholars like New York University psychologist Linda Mills.

Contrary to Joyce’s claims, these challenges, so far, have made very limited inroads into public opinion. One of her examples of the scary power of men’s rights groups is that “a Los Angeles conference this July dedicated to discussing male victims of domestic violence, ‘From Ideology to Inclusion 2009: New Directions in Domestic Violence Research and Intervention,’ received positive mainstream press for its ‘inclusive’ efforts.’” In fact, the conference—which featured leading researchers on domestic violence from several countries, half of them women, and focused on much more than just male victims—received virtually no mainstream press coverage. One of the very few exceptions was a column I wrote for The Boston Globe, also reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Whatever minor successes men’s groups may have achieved, the reality is that public policy on domestic violence in the U.S. is heavily dominated by feminist advocacy groups. For the most part, these groups embrace a rigid orthodoxy that treats domestic violence as male terrorism against women, rooted in patriarchal power and intended to enforce it. They also have a record of making grotesquely exaggerated, thoroughly debunked claims about an epidemic of violence against women—for instance, that battering causes more hospital visits by women every year than car accidents, muggings, and cancer combined.

These advocacy groups practically designed the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and they dominate the state coalitions against domestic violence to which local domestic violence programs must belong in order to qualify for federal funds. As a result of the advocates’ influence, federal assistance is denied to programs that offer joint counseling to couples in which there is domestic violence, and court-mandated treatment for violent men downplays drug and alcohol abuse (since it’s all about the patriarchy).

Against the backdrop of this enforced party line, Joyce is alarmed by the smallest signs that men’s rights groups may be gaining even a modest voice in framing domestic violence policy. She points out that in a few states, men’s rights activists have succeeded in “criminalizing false claims of domestic violence in custody cases” (this is apparently meant to be a bad thing) and “winning rulings that women-only shelters are discriminatory” (in fact, the California Court of Appeals ruled last year that state-funded domestic violence programs that refuse to provide service to abused men violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection, but also emphasized that the services need not be identical and coed shelters are not required).

To bolster her case, Joyce consistently quotes advocates—or scholars explicitly allied with the advocacy movement, such as Edward Gondolf of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute—to discredit the claims of the men’s movement. She also repeats uncorroborated allegations that many leaders of the movement are themselves abusers, but offers only one specific example: eccentric British activist Jason Hatch, who once scaled Buckingham Palace in a Batman costume to protest injustices against fathers, and who was taken to court for allegedly threatening one of his ex-wives during a custody dispute.

The article is laced with the presumption that, with regard to both general data and individual cases, any charge of domestic violence made by a woman against a man must be true.

One case Joyce uses to illustrate her thesis is that of Genia Shockome, who claimed to have been severely battered by her ex-husband Tim and lost custody of her two children after being accused of intentionally alienating them from their father. Yet Joyce never mentions that Shockome’s claims of violent abuse were unsupported by any evidence, that she herself did not mention any abuse in her initial divorce complaint, or that three custody evaluators—including a feminist psychologist who had worked with the Battered Women’s Justice Center at Pace University—sided with the father.

More than a quarter-century ago, British feminist philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards wrote, “No feminist whose concern for women stems from a concern for justice in general can ever legitimately allow her only interest to be the advantage of women.” Joyce’s article is a stark example of feminism as exclusive concern with women and their perceived advantage, rather than justice or truth.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine and a columnist for RealClearPolitics.com. She is the author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality. This article originally appeared at Forbes.

Men’s Rights – Reason Magazine.

Report: 20% of Divorced Parents Want to Make Other Parent’s Contact with Child ‘as Unpleasant as Possible’ | Glenn Sacks on MND

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, Marriage on November 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm
Thursday, November 19, 2009

By Robert Franklin, Esq.

When parents are at loggerheads, there should be much more done to sustain the interests of the father and child. When a mother turns her child against the father, when a mother refuses to comply with a court order on contact, nothing is done because it is felt sanctions against her would not be in the interests of the child. But is the situation as it stands in that child’s interests? We pay only lip service to the rights of a child to have contact with a father and we need to do better.

This article is another one to address the findings of the Mishcon de Reya report on the impacts of divorce in the United Kingdom (The Times, 11/17/09).  I discussed another article in the Telegraph in a previous piece, but this one adds information and some suggestions.

For example, the report found that more than one-third of children lose all contact with their fathers after divorce.  It goes on to report just why that is.

But what makes keeping in touch so difficult?

One answer could be suggested by a finding of the Mishcon de Reya report — one in five divorcing spouses admitted to having the primary objective of making the experience as unpleasant as possible for his or her former partner.

Parenthetically, I wonder what all those people who deny the existence of parental alienation of children have to say about that.  When 20% cite that very thing as their “primary objective” post-divorce, it’s hard to figure how they can pretend parental alienation is a figment of some evil FRA’s imagination.  My guess is that we’ll never know since they’ll probably give that datum a pass.

And given that it’s fathers, not mothers whom children are losing, and it’s mothers, not fathers who get primary custody in 85% – 90% of cases, it’s not hard to figure out who’s doing most of the alienating.

But the article goes on to site some fairly commonsense things divorcing fathers and mothers can do to make things better.  Unfortunately, many of those seem to assume some sort of residual goodwill between the exes.  And if that existed, the problems children have stemming from divorce would probably be much fewer and less severe.

I suspect that there is a large percentage of parents who truly do their best to get along after they split and who mostly succeed.  I also suspect that there is some percentage who will remain out to get the other regardless of everything.  And I finally suspect that there are a lot of parents for whom counselling and mediation would be a great help.  It’s not that they’ll feel much better about the other spouse, but they can learn to focus on the child’s wellbeing and understand that, while he/she may want nothing to do with the other spouse, the child doesn’t feel the same way.

Stephen Baskerville’s Taken Into Custody
Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family by Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D. examines one of the greatest and most destructive civil rights abuses in America today–our family law system. Baskerville has authored many articles on fatherhood and family issues and is a frequent media commentator. To learn more or to purchase Taken Into Custody, click here.

Stumble It!

Report: 20% of Divorced Parents Want to Make Other Parent’s Contact with Child ‘as Unpleasant as Possible’ | Glenn Sacks on MND.

Worst Case of Parental Alienation Ever, Investigator States – Arrest Warrant for PA in Texas Case

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, MMPI, MMPI 2, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on November 20, 2009 at 2:55 am

Ireland mom faces U.S. extradition over child snatching

Ireland mom faces U.S. extradition over child snatching | Irish News | IrishCentral.

The Fear of Loss and the Need for Approval: How Abusive Women Control Men | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, Civil Rights, Non-custodial fathers, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath on November 19, 2009 at 2:45 am
Sunday, November 15, 2009

By Dr. Tara J. Palmatier

Why is it so difficult for men who are being controlled by narcissistic, borderline, histrionic and other abusive women to end the relationship? What keeps them tethered to these abusive personalities sometimes even after the relationship has ended?

There are two basic hooks this kind of woman uses to keep men on a readily yank-able chain: the fear of loss and the need for approval. These are the two most powerful control devices in their arsenal. The worst part is that, in many cases, men unwittingly play right into their hands.

The Fear of Loss

The fear of loss is an especially powerful mechanism. It could be the fear of losing the relationship, fear of losing your children, your reputation or your money and other assets. Inducing fear, guilt, shame and a sense of obligation are how abusive women control you. If you’re afraid of loss and your wife/girlfriend/ex knows it, you’re basically at her mercy.

Abusive women will:

  • Threaten you with abandonment. “If you don’t ’shape up,’ I’m leaving.”
  • Threaten to alienate your children from you or deny you access to them. “If you don’t do as I say, I’m going to tell your son what a bastard you are” or “If you leave you’ll never see your kids again.”
  • Threaten to destroy your career. “I’m going to tell everyone at your office what a sick pervert you are.”
  • Threaten to take all your money. “You owe me. I’m entitled.”

Many of these women will implicitly or explicitly communicate that you’ll never meet anyone else like them. Let’s hope not. The resulting fear is that no other women will want you or find you attractive, which is nonsense. The reality is that emotionally abusive women are a dime a dozen. There’s nothing special about them—except for their highly dysfunctional and toxic characterological traits. You need to change your mindset. Perhaps by “losing” the relationship, you will, ultimately, “win.”

There are far better woman in the world who will treat you with kindness, respect, generosity and mutual consideration. You’re not lucky this woman “puts up with you;” she’s lucky that you put up with her. Being alone is better than being in an abusive relationship. If being on your own is too difficult at first; get a dog or a goldfish.

As for losing your assets, your children and your reputation, these are very real losses. However, if you’re persistent, you can regain and rebuild anything you lose. It won’t be exactly the same, but the longer you stay with this woman, the more you’ll lose—financially and emotionally. It’s confounding. Men are punished by the courts (i.e., spousal support) for staying in the marriage longer in an effort to work things out. You think you’re doing the right thing by hanging in there, but you’re actually giving your wife more power to hurt you when you finally divorce. Therefore, it’s better to get out sooner than later when you notice how lopsided, hurtful and inequitable your relationship is.

Kids are a tough one. You may well lose time with and access to your child(ren). On the other hand, consider what you’re modeling by staying in an abusive relationship. It’s better for a child to have one healthy and strong parent than two dysfunctional ones.

Exactly what are you afraid of losing? The abuse? The emotional withdrawal and rejection? Being made to feel less than? If this were anyone other than your wife/girlfriend/ex, would you want to even know this person? Have you challenged these fears with your intellect or are you being led by your “gut?”

When you fear loss, you need to stop “listening to your gut” and use your mind to reality test your fears. Abusive women are master manipulators who employ emotional reasoning that has very little to do with the facts of a situation. The emotionally based attacks also serve to confuse you and cloud your judgment. Therefore, when you’re afraid, stop listening to your gut and start reasoning with your brain.

Don’t just succumb to your fears; CHALLENGE THEM with your intellect, not the emotional reasoning that only reinforces them. More often than not, your fears are just distorted, self-limiting beliefs sown by your wife/gf/ex. By giving into your fear, you’re voluntarily walking into a cage and handing her the key. The truth is you have the power to release yourself. You will love again. You will find happiness. But you will only do so without this woman.

The Need for Approval

Another highly effective device abusive women use to control you is denying approval and acceptance. It’s natural to want to be liked and admired—especially by the person you love. Being criticized, demeaned, rejected and told repeatedly, “not good enough,” “you don’t measure up,” or that you’ve “failed again” is demoralizing. It also spurs you on to try even harder to please her and herein lies the problem: These women are never satisfied. Nothing you do will ever be good enough. She will never bestow upon you the kind of love and acceptance you seek.

You’re perpetuating a sick dynamic by seeking approval from someone who’ll never give it to you. Why? Because these women experience giving approval to others as a psychological and visceral loss. To tell you, “nice job” or “I appreciate you” somehow makes her feel less than and, as you well know, these women won’t tolerate that for a second.

Why does your wife’s/girlfriend’s/ex’s approval mean so much to you? Do you actually respect her and the way she conducts herself? A woman like this is an abusive, entitled and incredibly self-serving bully, so why do you care what she thinks?  Seeking approval from someone who takes pleasure in cutting you down is a recipe for disappointment and pain.

The Way Out

Don’t let her solicited and unsolicited opinions get to you anymore. Recognize them for what they are: Abusive control tactics. Your overall goal is emotional detachment, which means you’re not invested in the outcome of this relationship. Once you’re no longer afraid of “losing” or care about receiving her approval, you’ll see the balance of power in the relationship shift.

She will be less able to “get to you,” which is a good thing. You’ll begin to care less, which is psychologically freeing. You’ll become more immune to the traps she sets and she won’t be able to figure out what the hell is happening. As you step out of this dysfunctional emotional dynamic, she’ll escalate her nasty behaviors as she frantically tries to maintain control and bully you back into place. She’ll be uncharacteristically speechless when her tried and true control devices no longer work.

Just remember, the more you commit to taking care of yourself, the more embittered she’ll grow. She’ll accuse you of being “selfish,” “inconsiderate” and “uncaring.” This is a good sign—for you. Abusive women view any attempt you make at self-care and growth as a grave betrayal. How dare you do something positive for yourself? How dare you not let her make you feel bad?

The more you put your needs first, the stronger and healthier you’ll become and your attraction to this supremely unhealthy woman should diminish. Abusive women remain in control by keeping you disoriented, hurting and in a psychologically weakened state. This is why she becomes alarmed when she sees you taking care of yourself.

Even if you don’t initially believe it, the freedom from abuse you’ll gain by ending this relationship will eventually outweigh any material losses you incur. You need to realize that you don’t have an actual relationship with this woman; it’s an autocracy in which she’s the petty tyrant and you live to serve. Furthermore, a woman like this isn’t capable of true intimacy and empathy, which are prerequisites for a healthy relationship. Your happiness lies in the future with someone else; not her.

Sadly, you may well see your children less or suffer through watching your ex turn them into her human shields, protectors and weapons to hurt you. However, by staying in an abusive relationship you’re exposing your children to a very unhealthy model of adult relationships. Nevertheless, this is a heartbreaking choice for many fathers. It may cost you money and potentially damage your relationship with your children, but what’s the cost of happiness, sanity and freedom from abuse?

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Originally posted on July 27, 2009 at A Shrink for Men.

Private Consultation and Coaching

I provide confidential,  fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. My practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit my Contact page for professional inquiries.

My Virtual Shrink

MyVirtualShrink is an alternative to traditional psychotherapy and coaching. It offers a wide range of non-gender-biased web-based interactive guided sessions for a variety of issues. For a 20% membership discount, enter this promotional code: JWLCSWPJVAY after taking the Smart Plan Assessment. For more information, please follow this link: Special Offer: My Virtual Shrink and/or email me directly at shrink4men@gmail.com.

Stumble It!

The Fear of Loss and the Need for Approval: How Abusive Women Control Men | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory.

Ninth Circuit Gives Big Victory to Non-Custodial Father | Glenn Sacks on MND

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Glenn Sacks, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads on November 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

By Robert Franklin, Esq.

A case decided November 10, 2009 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals could have an enormous impact on fathers’ rights to their children.  (Note: The case is not yet published, so I can’t provide a link to it.)  It holds that even a divorced father with no right of physical custody must be given the opportunity to have custody of his child before a child protective agency can place it in foster care.  Failure to do so by a county child protective agency can subject the county to a suit for damages by the father under the federal civil law governing deprivation of constitutional rights.

To put it bluntly, this is a huge win for non-custodial parents.

The opinion in Burke, et al vs. County of Alameda California, et al now governs everyone within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit which encompasses California, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Montana and the territories of Guam and the Northern Marianna Islands.  Unless overturned by the United States Supreme Court, Burke is binding precedent throughout the Ninth Circuit.

The Ninth is the largest federal circuit and one of the most influential on the others.  Of course the opinion in Burke doesn’t govern cases in other circuits, but, given that it was a case of first impression (i.e. a similar case had never been decided before by that circuit) there, it may well be looked to by other circuits in deciding similar cases.  It may also be looked to by the Supreme Court should a similar case reach that level.

David and Melissa Burke lived together and apparently were married.  Melissa’s 14-year-old daughter “B.F.” lived with them.  She was the natural daughter of Melissa and Clifton Farina who had divorced some years before.  David was her stepfather and Clifton was a non-custodial dad.  Frustratingly enough, the opinion doesn’t tell us whether Clifton had an order of visitation, but it seems that he did not because the opinion says that he had no right of physical custody.  Nevertheless, he saw his daughter fairly often even though B.F. testified that his new wife didn’t like her and being around her was uncomfortable for the girl.  Melissa had sole physical custody of B.F.

When B.F. complained to an Alameda County Sheriff’s officer that David hit her repeatedly and often fondled her breasts, the officer, without a warrant, removed her from the Burke home and placed her with the county child protective services agency.  CPS in turn placed her in some form of protective care.

David, Melissa and Clifton Farina sued Alameda County and the sheriff’s deputy under federal statute 42 U.S.C. 1983 which allows civil suits against municipal and state entities which “under color of law” deprive someone of their constitutional rights.  The trial court granted the county’s motion for summary judgment, holding that neither the Burkes nor Farina had any claim against the county on which they could prevail at trial.  The Ninth Circuit agreed that the Burkes had no claim and that the sheriff’s deputy was immune from suit.

But the circuit court reversed the trial court as to Clifton Farina.  It said that, even though he had no right of physical custody, Alameda County could not lawfully ignore Clifton as a possible custodian of B.F.  Failure by the county to “explore the possibility of putting B.F. in his care” violated his constitutional right to a familial relationship and association with his daughter.  His case was returned to the trial court so a jury could hear and decide his claim for damages against the county.

On this blog, both Glenn and I have written about the outrageous preference on the part of CPS agencies for foster care over father care.  Those agencies routinely bypass fathers altogther and place children in foster care.  I reported on an Urban Institute study that showed that, even though CPS agencies know who the father is in some 88% of cases that come before them, attempts to contact him are made in barely over half those cases.  Glenn has written about a girl to whom Orange County, California lied repeatedly over many years, solely to keep her from her father and in foster care.

In short, after this case, CPS agencies can no longer do that without getting sued.  The Burke opinion is not clear on exactly what a county must do to comply with it.  But as I see it, they’ll have to make diligent efforts to locate the father and assess whether his care would be superior to that of a foster home.  If it would be, he would get custody.  In short, when taking a child from its custodial parent due to abuse or neglect, a state within the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction may no longer simply ignore the non-custodial parent.

Thanks to Ned for the heads-up.

Lisa Scott’s RealFamilyLaw.com
Shared Parenting Advocate/Family Law Attorney Lisa Scott’s RealFamilyLaw.com exposes the truth about what is happening in our family law system. Lisa, the all-time leader in appearances on His Side with Glenn Sacks, says that she was “tired of having her stuff rejected by elitist bar publications and politically-correct newspapers” and decided to start her own website. RealFamilyLaw.com

Ninth Circuit Gives Big Victory to Non-Custodial Father | Glenn Sacks on MND.

Children’s Day Rally for Parental Rights – Protecting Children by Empowering Parents

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Children and Domestic Violence, 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, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on November 12, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Children’s Day Rally for Parental Rights

November 20 has been designated “Children’s Day” by the internationalists. But what greater way to support children than to protect their families? So, we’re celebrating Children’s Day with a Parental Rights Rally in Washington, D.C.

The rally will be held at the U.S. Capitol, on the East Lawn across from the Rayburn House Office building. It is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with several very special guests invited to speak, including Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Sen. Jim DeMint, the lead sponsors of the Parental Rights Amendment; Gerard Robinson with Black Alliance for Educational Options; William Estrada of Homeschool Legal Defense Association; Dean and Julie Nelson of National Black Home Educators; and Steven Groves of Heritage Foundation.

We know most of you won’t be able to come all the way to D.C. If you are among those who can, give us a call at 540-751-1200 for further details or directions.

Tell Us YOUR Story

Too many Americans – including congressmen – think the proposed Amendment is just about stopping the Convention on the Rights of the Child. But threats to parental rights are already going on in our nation today. You have seen them. You have experienced them, and we need to hear from you.

Have you: been harassed about your child’s school attendance? Had your child immunized without your consent? Been harassed for your decision over whether to immunize your child or not? Been denied your child’s library records? Had to fight to (or been refused to) opt your child out of specific classes, activities, or events at school? Been harassed for opting them out? Been denied access to your child’s health records, or been kept from staying with them at the doctor’s office? Had your child subjected to health screenings, drug tests, etc., without your knowledge or consent? Had your child obtain an abortion or birth-control prescription without your knowledge or consent? Received threats or had your child removed by social services without cause and a fair trial?

Please, email us at stories@parentalrights.org with a brief description of your run-in with parental rights limitations. (Remember, we will have to read every email sent in, so brevity will be greatly appreciated. We can always write you back if we need more information!) And pass this email along to anyone you know whose parental rights may have been violated, so that they will know to share their story with us, too!

 

Parentalrights.org – Protecting Children by Empowering Parents — Tell Us YOUR Story.

Child Custody – Phone Contact, Custodial Interference, Parental Alienation Part 7 | The Psycho Ex Wife

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, National Parents Day, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting on November 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Phone Call Series: Lies, Manipulation, Custodial Interference, Parental Alienation – Part 7

Being the glutton for punishment that I obviously was in the summer of 2005, part 6 was a morning phone call.  I actually took an evening phone call from her the same day.

PEW: Hello? You recording?
LM Hey. Yes, I sure am.
PEW: Okay, good.
LM (inaudible)
PEW: Yeah, you change your mind?
LM No, I didn’t change my mind, did you change yours?
PEW: No.
LM I did speak with my father, though.
PEW: Mmmhmm.
LM He asked me to ask you what he told you.
PEW: Hmm?
LM To ask you what he told you.
PEW: Well, I didn’t really talk to him.

I knew this.  She often lied about such things.  I’m not sure I even talked with my father at that point, but I did confront her with the above – mostly because that’s what my father probably would have said to me, had I talked to him or not.

LM Why would you suggest then that my father would be calling me?
PEW: I don’t know. I can’t believe that you did this to the kids.

QUICK!  MUST CREATE DIVERSION!  MUST CREATE DIVERSION!!!

LM I really wish you would stop saying that I did anything to the kids. The kids are, again, downstairs having a grand old time. Disappointed that you’re not coming down here to get them.
PEW: That was never… that was never supposed to happen.
LM Well, I guess you didn’t communicate very well, then. But all I told them is that we forgot to work on the specifics and that uh, if things didn’t work out for today that I would take them back on Tuesday night because I had to go back up there anyway.
PEW: Well the, I want to call them back at bedtime.
LM You can talk to them now if you want.
PEW: No, I don’t want them getting all upset and then (long pause) (inaudible) This definitely has to be the most vindictive thing you ever did.
LM I’m not doing anything to you and I’m not doing anything to the kids. I, I don’t know where you conjure up these things. You know, I’m sorry that our signals got crossed…
PEW: No signals got crossed…
LM …stop acting like I promised you any such thing, cause I didn’t.
PEW: No signals got crossed.
LM Please don’t act like I promised you any such thing, cause I didn’t. Number one. And number two, please don’t intimate that I’m doing anything to the kids. I said it before and I’ll say it again, just like two weeks ago. Your coming down here is… is of your own free will.
PEW: No.
LM If you want to come down here, I’m not keeping the kids from you, I’m not telling you you can’t see the kids, I’m just telling you that circumstances are not gonna permit me to bring them all the way back today, so…
PEW: Well, you wouldn’t even meet me in [halfway point]. That’s wrong. It’s wrong.
LM Why is that wrong?
PEW: And you know what? Tomorrow, I am having the contempt thing trialed. I’m not, not going to spend 14 years like this, no.
LM I don’t intend to spend 14 years like this either, I just don’t know what “like this” means.
PEW: Mmmhmm. Well, what would make you think after all, I’ve never driven down there except for the one time that you refused to meet me…

PEW logic:  Since she has never driven down “there” before, she should never have to drive down “there.”  I wonder how she would react if I were to use such a childish approach?

LM You mean, the one time that I made you stand by your commitment to come down like you had promised all week.
PEW: Right. Then why would I… why would I come down there?
LM You’re the one saying that you really miss the kids.
PEW: Hmm?
LM You’re the one saying that you really miss the kids.
PEW: I do really miss them, LM, but…
LM Stop making it out like I’m keeping them from you, because I’m not.
PEW: You are.
LM No, I’m not.
PEW: You are. I can’t drive my car down there. First of all, my lawyer said I can’t. I shouldn’t.

Which is it?  Can’t?  or Shouldn’t?  Let this be lesson 1,478,522 of how lawyers can be such scumbags… that is, assuming her lawyer actually told her that.  Her last one told her to move back into the marital home and so she broke in, so it’s entirely believable.  Maybe this new attorney was the same as the old.

LM Shouldn’t and can’t are two different things.
PEW: Yeah, I shouldn’t. And, advised strongly against it, so. (Long pause) (Inaudible) I mean, I can’t, I’m not gonna feel bad about what… whatever consequences you have tomorrow.
LM You don’t feel bad about anything.
PEW: Yeah, I do.
LM No, you don’t.
PEW: I felt more bad, obviously I feel the worst about the kids, but whatever you’ll sustain as a result of what you did today, I can’t feel sorry for you.
LM What exactly did I do today?
PEW: LM, you and I both know what you did today.
LM What did I do today? I’ve asked you repeatedly to send me the evidence that you have that I told you…
PEW: I did. Did you see the email I sent you?
LM No.
PEW: Oh, it says in there three separate times that your vacation was over.
LM Right.
PEW: Right. And you’ve returned them. Since you moved in March, you have done all the returning. So how all of a sudden…

Notice how it didn’t say, “I will bring the children back to you this weekend.”

LM Not since school I didn’t, I haven’t. I’d come up and get them, you came down and retrieved them. I came to [your vacation home location] to get them, and here we are again, I mean…
PEW: That’s bull and you know it.
LM That isn’t what happened?
PEW: No.
LM Okay, so I came, I picked up and dropped off during the school year. Then I didn’t come get them on the 25th, right? Is that what you’re telling me? I didn’t get them on the 25th when I came back from my trip. You didn’t come down here on the 2nd to get them.
PEW: Only because you refused to meet me. You said that…
LM No, only because I made you stand by your commitment. That you promised all week that you were coming down to get them and then changed your mind the day before. So, you keep saying the one version of events and I’ll bring the documentation and the evidence that you said you were going to come down and get them and only changed your mind Friday morning. It might have even been Friday afternoon.
PEW: No, I changed my mind after I talked to DW and she said that I was mentally unstable and my kids were… have mental health issues.
LM No, I don’t think that’s what happened. You keep saying that’s what happened, but I’m sure conveniently your recorder wasn’t working that day.
PEW: Yeah, is she coming with you?
LM What?
PEW: Is she coming to court, too?
LM I’m not telling you anything.
PEW: I hope so. I want my lawyer to have her testify, too. You made a big mistake today. A big one.
LM I don’t know what mistake you say I made.
PEW: You made a mistake LM. And the mistake was leading our kids to believe that you were bringing them home.

Click HERE: for a definition of projection…

LM No, I’m gonna tell you again, and I have mountains of evidence to the contrary. The only person that suggested to the kids that I was bringing them home was you and you had no business doing that, because I never told you that and I never told the kids that. Never, never, never. Okay? So stop saying that’s what you did, unless you can produce it, then you’re lying, okay?
PEW: So, there’s no… I will not… after Wednesday, I will never be required to drive again, anywhere.

Wrong again, PEW!

LM That may be.
PEW: Huh?
LM That may be.
PEW: That is gonna be, LM.
LM That may be.
PEW: And you’ll have yourself to thank for whatever, whatever trouble you get into because of being in contempt, I have… I cannot feel bad for you.
LM I… my understanding is that I’m not in contempt.
PEW: Well, your understanding is wrong. And you can claim that you’re innocent, but you’re not.
LM I keep missing the part where the custody agreement requires that I drop them off to you.
PEW: Well, the part where you moved 4 hours away, that’s the part.
LM No, that, I checked, I called Domestic Relations and you know what? I found no provision in the state law that says if I move out of state that automatically means that I have to pick up and drop off.
PEW: Well, then why would Gloria suggest that?
LM I can’t speak for Gloria.
PEW: Right. Well. She has me doing no driving.
LM She also suggests during the summer, meeting in [halfway exchange point].
PEW: Yeah.
LM Yeah, I know.
PEW: And I’ve offered to do that.
LM What’s that?
PEW: I’ve offered to do that today.

On the off-chance you’re not paying attention, try to recognize this for what it is.  She always “offers” things that benefit only her under the guise of doing me a favor.  The ONLY times she EVER offered to “meet” was when she was required to drive further.  Never has she offered anything to the benefit of someone else to her own detriment.  PEW is a taker, not a giver.

LM You offered it today?
PEW: Yeah. I also offered to do that two weeks ago when you forced me to drive 10 hours in one day.
LM No, I didn’t force you to do no such thing. The only thing I did was say you need to honor your commitment.
PEW: Mmmhmm.
LM For once you need to honor an agreement. One time. In the whole situation, one time you needed to honor an agreement.
PEW: You’re a disgrace, LM.
LM I understand that. I understand that from you.
PEW: You are. Seriously, I don’t know how you live with yourself. And total disregard for the fact that I did give you some happy years. I did give you two beautiful children and this is just typical of what I’ve gotten back out of this.
LM No, it’s what you try to convince yourself is reality and reality is something vastly different.

Oh, burn!

PEW: No… (inaudible) …talking.
LM You gave me 10-years of verbal abuse, mental abuse, threats to leave, leaving dozens of times, forcing major life-decisions like moving and cars and everything. (Inaudible) …and everything else under threat of divorce and abandonment and it’s all in your own words.

Can you feel the love?

PEW: Yeah, and those letters saying that you spent the happiest years of your life with me.
LM You know, there were times where I tried really hard to make you happy.
PEW: Yeah, well.
LM Cards, were just totally smashed in my face. Christmases that were destroyed, because you were just so… I don’t what’s wrong, but something was not right. The things you’ve done over the course of the years.

Cue Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You…”

PEW: Well everything is fine now, so…
LM It can’t possibly be fine now, all you do is confrontation, and arguments, and go back on your word, and all you want to do is make an issue out of everything that comes up, PEW, I don’t know what, I don’t know what to tell you, I don’t know how to explain it. I just don’t know how to explain it. (Long pause) I try to make the most of my time with the kids and you’re calling me 6, 7 times a day, I mean it’s just so…
PEW: Did you explain this situation to your dad?
LM What’s that?
PEW: Did you explain this situation to your dad?
LM No I didn’t explain the situation to my dad. Oh, yeah, wait I did, I told him that you were mad that I wasn’t dropping them off or something.
PEW: What did he say?
LM He asked me if there were any provisions in the agreement regarding pick-ups and drop-offs. I told him “no, not to my knowledge.”
PEW: Mmmhmm. Right. Tell him that the kids cry every day? To talk to their mom?
LM No, they don’t cry every day. They only cry when you prompt them to cry.
PEW: No.
LM Yeah, they do.
PEW: No they don’t.
LM I told him, “yeah, you know, I feel bad, the kids miss their mother and she just doesn’t want to be inconvenienced by driving down here to get them.” That’s the reality. It was the reality two weeks ago, you decided, you know what, you know what, after a commitment to come down here you decided on Friday, “you know what? I don’t feel like driving all that way.” (Long pause) And what’s scary is you do nothing to, you do nothing to help me out in a pinch and then you, then you have this expectation that all you gotta do is ask and just eh…
PEW: I didn’t have to give you two weeks in the summer so far. I could have waited. I could have waited until I was court-ordered to do that.
LM I gave you plenty of notice for vacation time.
PEW: It doesn’t matter. I didn’t have to voluntarily give you two weeks out of the summer already and now you’re taking advantage of that.
LM Taking advantage of what?
PEW: You’re taking advantage of how nice I am.
LM No, I’m taking advantage? By what?
PEW: I let you try the every-other-weekend thing.
LM You let me? I did it because it was what was right for the kids. Do you want to talk about letting? I mean, I could have followed the custody agreement and taken them all but one weekend per month.

Gate-keeping mother, supported by the government.  Man, it’s good to be a father in this day-and-age.

PEW: What was Gloria’s suggestion for the school year?
LM The forthcoming school year is every other weekend.
PEW: No, every other weekend with one weekend in [custody state].
LM Yeah, but that’s not gonna work out either.
PEW: It’s gonna have to.
LM No, it won’t have to.
PEW: Yes, it will.
LM No, I don’t think it will because you know what? I don’t think the court is going to sanction me and sanction the grandparents of the children and everybody else who I might have opportunity to visit by telling me that I have to bear the expense of a stay in a hotel. What kind of… and that’s the extra interesting thing about this, you want to talk about doing what’s best for the kids, how is it best for the kids that I spend a weekend in a hotel room without their toys, without their friends, and I mean, what kind of a weekend are you setting your kids up to have by making that a stipulation?
PEW: Well, I was thinking more along the lines that you would stay with one of your brothers.

Oh, you were, were you?  Now you’re going to take command of what goes on in their homes to, Your Heinous?  The unmitigated gall…

LM They have families. They have plans. You just assume these people…
PEW: Okay, you know what…?
LM …can put up and adult and two children on a… on a whim. I mean that’s a pretty big assumption.
PEW: Well then you’ll get them once a month.
LM That might, that might be in the offing.
PEW: That is in the offing. It’s in the offing.
LM We’ll see.
PEW: And you know what? I don’t want to talk to you again. Could you please put the kids on now?
LM Yeah, I can put them on now, are you going to not incite them into crying and suggesting…
PEW: I don’t incite them into crying and you know I don’t.
LM Yes, you do. Yes, you do and you know, I’ll show that you do that. By asking “Oh, are you bored? You sound sad.” And even when S1says three times “No everything’s fine, everything’s fine” you say “you sound like you’re going to cry” You just pepper him until he does what you want him to do and that is cry into the phone to you. (Short pause) You do. You can say you don’t, I can show you that you do.
PEW: Okay. Show me.
LM I will.
PEW: Mmmhmm. It will backfire, LM, trust me.
LM There is nothing to backfire. I’m going to come down there and make a case for me spending meaningful time with the kids.
PEW: And it’s all going to backfire.
LM I don’t what you think I’m trying to do here…
PEW: Put the kids on I’m done talking to you.
LM I don’t know what you think I’m trying to do here…
PEW: Put the kids on I’m done talking to you.
LM You know, this whole backfiring thing…
PEW: I… am… done… listening… to… you… put… my… kids… on.
LM Are you okay?
PEW: Hmm?
LM Are you okay?
PEW: No, I’m not okay. I miss my kids.
LM Come and get them.
PEW: You bring them home like you were supposed to.
LM Before I put them on, I want you to hear how much fun they’re having so that when they start crying…
[Holds the phone over the stairs as the kids are laughing down below.]
PEW: The only reason they’re having fun… hello? The only reason they’re having fun is cause SD1 and SS1 are there.
LM No, they’re not.
PEW: They’re not having so much fun with you as they are with SD1 and SS1. No. You and Miss Personality.
LM SD1 and SS1 are at their father’s.

Oh, burn!  How devastating it must have been to learn that the children can actually have a wonderful time with their father and step-mother.  What a terrible shame for the poor, poor perpetual victim.

PEW: Mmmhmm.
LM Had a nice day, planting flowers in the nice picnic area that they made for themselves. Played bottlecaps in the driveway together.
PEW: You’re a great dad, LM.

You bet your ass I am.

LM I try my best given the circumstance.
PEW: Mmmhmm.
LM I tell them to love their mom. I don’t manipulate them and make suggests to them that they do things to undermine their time with me.
PEW: (SCREAMS) SHUT UP! And put the kids on.
LM I’m just trying to tell you how… you know, you talk about co-parenting and doing the right things by the children and you say one thing and do something else.
PEW: I’m taping this, did I tell you that?
LM Well no, but I have no problem with that.
PEW: Well this is bordering on harassment. I’m asking you to let me talk to the kids and…
LM I’m just answering your contention that they don’t…
PEW: And I said I don’t want to talk to you anymore. All you do is blow hot air. Nobody cares. Nobody believes you. Only you and DW are the only two people that believe your little stories about having to move to [home state] and you know, that I’m mentally unstable and…
LM She never said that.
PEW: Well, where does she get that idea then? I’m a respected person in my community and nobody even knows you in your community.
LM Is there where you start with the insults and the storytelling again?
PEW: Mmmhmm.
LM Because you can’t help yourself?
PEW: Mmmhmm. What storytelling (inaudible)? Did you not abandon your kids, yes or no?
LM No, I didn’t abandon my kids.
PEW: Yeah you did.
LM I told you before, anytime you’re ready to give me primary custody… (a beep is heard)
PEW: What did you say?
LM I said, anytime you’re ready to turn over primary custody to me I’d be more than happy to take it, I…
PEW: (SCREAMS) NEVER! NEVER! NE-VER!!! It’s never gonna happen, LM.
LM Can you keep yourself under control, PEW?
PEW: I am under control. But I would never, I would… I would never give you custody ever. Not a psycho sociopath like yourself, no way. Put the kids on.
LM Is this the kind of talk that fosters goodwill between the parents?
PEW: I know, well… I’m telling you that there is nothing more infuriating to a parent than when the other parent is supposed to drop the kids off and…
LM I don’t know where you got that contention…
PEW: I haven’t seen them in a week and you’re not dropping them off. When they were supposed to be dropped off.
LM I don’t know that they were supposed to be dropped off and if you provided me evidence that I said that I’d do that, I would do that, but with that…

[LM calls to S1 “Hey, S1, you ready for your turn?” and S1 gets on the phone with PEW.]

S1: Mom, are you able to come down half-way?
PEW: Umm, buddy, we’re, me and daddy can’t like, get it worked out, so…
S1: (Sad) Can you ask him again?
PEW: I did, I did.
S1: Please, can you try again?
PEW: Huh?
S1: Can you try again?
PEW: Can I try again?
S1: Yes, cause I just can’t take it without you. I just can’t do it any longer.
PEW: Daddy says you guys are having a great time.
S1: Well…
PEW: Are you faking?
S1: I miss you, so badly.
PEW: Okay, well listen, you are a good boy right? And you can stay there for two more days, I have a great surprise for you for you when you get home.

Here we go again… with the manipulation…

S1: (whining) What is it?
PEW: (laughs) I can’t tell you.
S1: (laughs and whines)
PEW: But… but… can you be a good boy for two more days?
S1: (whines) Well, can you just tell me what it is?
PEW: (laughs) I can’t tell you what it is that’ll ruin the surprise…
S1: (whines) Tell me!
PEW: (laughs) Listen, you can’t cry anymore.
S1: (whines) Tell me!
PEW: (laughs) Listen, you can’t cry anymore.
S1: (whining)
PEW: Okay I’ll give you a hint but I can’t tell you what it is
S1: (whining) why?
PEW: if I (hears whining)
S1: What?
PEW: It’s alive (laughs) That’s all I can tell you
S1: Is it a fish
PEW: I don’t know, I said I can’t tell you

The stringing him along is completely painful to hear and read…

S1: Please, you have to tell me if I get it right
PEW: It’s a surprise so don’t
S1: (whining)
PEW: So, listen, listen, you cannot cry anymore
S1: Okay
PEW: Alright
S1: You can tell me, I won’t tell S2, I promise
PEW: (laughs) Try to guess again
S1: Ahh, lizard?
PEW: Ahh, can’t tell you
S1: Tell me
PEW: No, it’s not a lizard
S1: Is it a parrot?
PEW: no
S1: Cat?
PEW: No
S1: Dog?
PEW: No
S1: What is it?
PEW: I don’t know, I can’t tell you because I don’t wanna ruin the surprise
S1: (whining) please
PEW: You’re gonna love it
S1: (whining) tell me
PEW: but wait, listen, you have to um, you can’t be sad, you have to be happy for the next two days
S1: Alright I’ll be happy, if you’ll let me know, or tell me what it is
PEW: (laughs) Aunt DUI is here,
[to Psycho-SIL]: he said he’ll be happy for the next two days if I tell him what it is.
S1: Mommy can you tell me what it is
PEW: It’s a lizard
S1: It is?
PEW: Yes
S1: Yes! (yelling something in a happy voice, inaudible)
PEW: Okay, but you can’t be upset anymore
S1: (again making happy noises)
PEW: So you’re not gonna be sad anymore?
S1: No

This is what she’ll never get – she’s just gifted his compliance.  She’ll never get that this is precisely why he does what he does.  If he gives her the sad, crying act, she’ll buy him something.  When she complies with his manipulation, he’s happy.  It’s basic Pavlovian theory.  She teaches him to act the way he does and then rewards him for his behavior.  Hostile-Aggressive Parenting 101.

PEW: So you’re happy now
S1: Yes
PEW: I know
S1: (making happy noises)
PEW: (laughs)
S1: What color lizard is it?
PEW: It’s a green one
S1: Okay (making happy noises)
PEW: You’re funny
S1: Oh wait, can I tell S1?
PEW: Um, yea
S1: S2, Mom bought a lizard for us. Dad, you wanna know what Mom bought for us? (LM answers: a lizard?) Yep. K, I guess, Mom?
PEW: Yes?
S1: Um, he has his food?
PEW: uhhuh
S1: Cage?
PEW: Yes, does um, he’s really (inaudible)
S1: Was it big or little?
PEW: He’s medium, so you gotta do me a favor and be happy til Tuesday when you come home okay?

In her head now, his happiness is predicated solely on what she’s done.  In her mind, she’s the sole reason he is happy with me now, because of the gift.  He’s to be happy as a “favor” to her.

S1: Okay, I’m so happy, woohoo
PEW: It’s only two more days okay? You know, you know Mommy loves you so much right
S1: What happens if we’re not happy? You’re giving the lizard back?
PEW: (laughs) No, I’ll be sad if you guys aren’t happy, I just want you to be happy while you’re at Daddy’s, okay? Cuz what? It’s only two more days right?
S1: Well all we have to play with is some Power Rangers and Buzz Light Year, and a movie and that’s all we got to play with, SD1 and SS1 aren’t here
PEW: Well you’ll have a good time, it’s only two…
S1: And we have some board games and the bottle cap game.
PEW: right.

Yes, PEW… games their father plays with them.  It’s why they’re having such a happy week.

S1: Right, Mom, now I got an idea
PEW: What?
S1: Um on the driveway
PEW: Yes
S1: If you move your car a little back
PEW: Umhmm
S1: Guess what we can do?
PEW: What?
S1: We can draw a big giant square on the driveway
PEW: Umhmm
S1: I mean big, and a 1 in one corner and a 1 in the other corner, and then you make a 7 in the other corner and an 8 in the other corner
PEW: Right
S1: And then on the side you make a rectangle, then put a line down in the middle and then put 9 then you pt 11 with it
PEW: Uhhuh
S1:And then you put, then you make another one and there’s 12 and 10, and then you have another spot where 1, 3 and then the other spot there is 6 and 4, and then in the middle, you have to make a smaller square in the middle and then make a skeleton face in the middle
PEW: Ummhmm
S1: And then put cross bones, you know it’s just like cross bones, and then what you have to do is, you make a skeleton
PEW: Ohhhhh
S1: A skeleton head, and then you make two really skinny rectangles all the way to the other side and then you write 13 and 14
PEW: Ummhmm
S1: Okay
PEW: Right
S1: And then you need bottlecaps, so you can use your Corona bottlecaps in that game
PEW: Okay, can you show me how to do that square thing
S1: Um, I’ll show you how daddy makes the square
PEW: Okay
S1: And I’ll help you out with it
PEW: Okay, sounds good, you’re funny
S1: Um is it, wait, does the lizard have that thing coming out of it? Like that neck thing coming out of it
PEW: Um, no it’s not there at all
S1: Can you go look at it?
PEW: Yea
S1: Are you looking at it now
PEW: Uhhuh
S1: Okay well does like some of that long neck part there
PEW: Um, it’s like medium sized neck
S1: Um, that’s an iguana
PEW: Oh (laughs)
S1: Yea, so you called it a lizard, it’s an iguana. Ewwwww
PEW: What?
S1: S2 had a Corona bottle cap in his mouth and hit had permanent marker on it
PEW: Uhoh, did he get it in his mouth?
S1: Yes, he put it in his mouth
PEW: Oh no, oh boy, oh boy
S1: I know, I thought he had nothing in his mouth, and then he spits it out at me, a bottle cap falls in his hands
PEW: (laughs) you’re funny, you’re a funny guy
S1: (inaudible)
PEW: What are you gonna name him?
S1: Um, Rocky, S2 I need to know the lizards name, name it Rocky? Okay me and S2 both agreed on naming him rocky, so it’s Rocky
PEW: Okay that sounds good, I like that name
S1: Okay
PEW: Okay well I wanted to say goodnight, cuz I guess I won’t talk to you again tonight
S1: Does he eat live worms
PEW: Yes
S1: And (inaudible) I’ll feed him don’t worry
PEW: Okay, you don’t mind?
S1: Yea, but guess what, if he ever escapes guess what I’ll do
PEW: What?
S1: Don’t worry, I’ll chase him around and I’ll get him
PEW: Okay (laughs)
S1: I’ll make sure we have the door closed though (inaudible) it would be a problem if we had an iguana running all around our house
PEW: Right
S1: Yea
PEW: That would be
S1: Where is it, in our room or in our playroom or what?
PEW: Downstairs by the hermit crabs
S1: Okay
PEW: K?
S1: If he moves, does he move a lot?
PEW: Yes, he does, he likes it here
S1: Okay
PEW: Yea, he needs some friends
S1: I can’t wait until I get to see him
PEW: Yea, so that’s what you can look forward to when you come home okay? And don’t be sad anymore
S1: Alright
PEW: I love you so much, you’re the best little boy in the world
S1: Alright, I’m so happy
PEW: (laughs)
S1: I can’t wait to see my lizard
PEW: Lizard boy
S1: (inaudible) if I can find them
PEW: Well we got bugs, and betas, your betas are still doing good
S1: Good, you know what I would do, if I’m quick enough, I’d grab the iguana and (inaudible) (laughs)
PEW: (laughs) you’re funny, you’ll like him
S1: And guess what
PEW: Aunt DUI said to tell you hi.
S1: Alright. None of the fished died right?
PEW: No, no they are both still doing good
S1: Is the shark still alive, the shark
PEW: No, he died, we still got the hifin tetra and the Danube and the two betas that you and S2 got, or that you won down the shore. And I’m proud they’re still alive
S1: Alright
(inaudible)
PEW: So does S2 wanna talk to me?
S1: What?
PEW: Does S2 wanna talk or no?
S1: Um I wanna talk to you for a little bit
PEW: Oh okay
S1: You know you didn’t have to buy me a lizard, but I want him anyway
PEW: Yea
S1: How big is the cage
PEW: About, bigger than the hermit crab cage, um
S1: Does it have like little um platforms where he can climb up on
PEW: Uhhuh
S1: I knew it
PEW: Which would you rather have, a lizard or a snake?
S1: I’d have both
PEW: Both? (laughs)
S1: Did you get two?
PEW: No, but I was debating whether to get the snake because I knew that you kept saying that you wanted a cord snake, remember?
S1: Oh yes
PEW: But I’m a little scared of snakes
S1: Alright I’ll have the iguana
PEW: (laughs) You’re funny (inaudible)

“You’re funny.”  “You’re a funny guy.”  “You’re a good boy.”  Over and over and over again.  She has no idea how to talk to the children.  When in doubt – buy them a gift so that you can have a discussion about what PEW did and not what’s going on in the children’s lives.  It’s all about PEW.  All the time.

S1: I know, woohoo
PEW: So
S1: If you ever get a lizard, it’s not a lizard
PEW: (laughs) They also had some cute parakeets at the pet store
S1: What?
PEW: I said they also had some cute parakeets there
S1: Awwww guess what they have, the birds that can fly free
PEW: Yes
S1: Yea,
PEW: is that where you guys go?
S1:: Yea, the birds, they have no cages
PEW: Uhhuh
S1:: Yea, they were flying up on top of the cage, they can fly out anytime they want
PEW: Wow, that’s cool
S1: And guess what
PEW: What?
S1: He was flying up (unaudible) he was like ahh (more inaudible)
PEW: Oh yea, was he like a big huge parrot?
S1: Yea he was, he had the white and then the black circles around his eyes
PEW: Oh okay, it’s not a parrot it’s a cockatoo
S1: Yea? Isn’t a cockatoo the pretty one with red and green and blue and stuff
PEW: Oh okay, and a mackaw?
S1: Yea, they had a big mackaw too and a baby
PEW: Uhhuh
S1: Either that or a (inaudible)
PEW: You’re funny

“You’re funny.”  Where have I seen that before?

S1: I love you and guess what, they also have some turtles at the store, no wait they weren’t turtles they were tortoises
PEW: Oh really?
S1: Yea
PEW: They got some tortoises at our pet store
S1: They do?
PEW: Um yea
S1: Were they grey and really little?
PEW: They were grey and really big, about the size of your head
S1: Oh my
PEW: Then they have big ones like big as a dog, yea, but I think I’d be afraid, what would you do with it?
S1: Um you could leave it out front, or out to the wild
PEW: Yea
S1: Yea
PEW: You think?
S1: Yea
PEW: You’re such an animal lover huh?
S1: Yea
PEW: I know, you take after me, I love animals too.

You ARE me.  I have no concept of the children as being their own individuals.  They are just an extension of me.  Me me me me my my my my me my me.

S1: Guess what, there’s this snake, he’s venomous, but guess what
PEW: What?
S1: Well he curls up like a ball and you can play catch with him even like throw him up and down
PEW: Ahh
S1: Yea, real quick like a ball. Yea (inaudible) found one and he threw him up and down and he said, he said (inaudible) it’s just another ball
PEW: You’re funny

“You’re funny.”  Where have I seen that before?

S1: Yea
PEW: Would you pet a snake
S1: Yea if it wasn’t venomous
PEW: Really?
S1: (inaudible) if it didn’t bite you, did you know that?
PEW: No, and you wouldn’t be afraid
S1: Um, no
PEW: Oh
S1: This is what I would do, if you were scared to hold it, I would let you real quick (inaudible)
PEW: Yea
S1: Real quick, get him behind the head and hold him like that you know
PEW: Umhmm
S1: And then he won’t bit you then
PEW: Right, yea, well maybe (inaudible) because I don’t think they bite anyway, do you?
S1: I don’t know
PEW: Hmmm
S1: Do you know they are actually selling frogs? Even yellow frogs, I don’t know it was either a toad or a frog
PEW: Yellow?
S1: Yea yellow, and it had spots
PEW: Oh I never saw that. What else did they have there, did they have cats and dogs?
S1: Um no they don’t have cats and dogs
PEW: Oh
S1: But they have an animal shelter with a funny looking cat, Sarah was like look at that funny looking cat (laughs) and we all start laughing cuz he’s all funny looking
PEW: Right
S1: But he’s nicer than he looks, he was really nice
PEW: Yea
S1: He was a sweetheart
PEW: So, huh
S1: So he just kept going around in circles and then he comes by and he jumps, you know
PEW: Yea awww
S1: And then there was this big cat, when I would move my finger he would go after it. One time I moved my finger all the way up to the top and he jumps up to get me, all four of his feet weren’t on the ground then he’d move to the side of the cage
PEW: Awwwwww
S1: Then he came right back down, he was cute, he got me with his teeth one time though.
PEW: Right they like to chew on your fingers.
S1: Yea I hate cats.
PEW: Yea, baby dogs like to do that too, they like to chew.
S1: They won’t on your hand though.
PEW: Right, they’re cute though.
S1: Yea they are cute though.

(A lot of inaudible, can hear words and they’re talking about dogs)

PEW: cutie pie
S1: I’ll ask S2 if he wants to talk
PEW: Okay bud, well you have a good nights’ sleep okay?
S1: Alright
PEW: I’ll see you day after tomorrow
S1: Okay, bye
PEW: Love you
S1: By

The conversation closed with S2…

S2: Hi mom
PEW: Hi
S2: What is that? What is it? What is it called? (inaudible) Mom, the iguana?
PEW: umhmm
S2: The iguana it’s (inaudible)
PEW: Yes and it also eats lettuce, lettuce and bananas
S2: I wanna, can I give him a banana when I come see you
PEW: Sure, yea
S2: A banana
PEW: Yep. So how you doing bud?
S2: do (inaudible) walk around a lot?
PEW: yea he does
S2: do you have a cage for him?
PEW: yea, you’re funny

“You’re funny.”  Where have I seen that before?

S2: (inaudible)
PEW: Does he have a long neck?
S2: Did you say yes?
PEW: No he doesn’t have a long neck, he has a medium sized neck
S2: what does, I’ll ask S1, what else did he say?
PEW: the (inaudible) and the cage
S2: what else did he say
PEW: ahh I guess that’s it, he asked me a lot of questions
S2: Good bye I love you
PEW: Oh you’re done?
S2: Yea
PEW: I love you baby
S2: Bye
PEW: You’re a good boy I’ll see you soon okay
S2: Okay
PEW: Night pumpkin
S2: Bye
PEW: Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite
S2: Alright, bye

More interesting calls to come… there would be several more before she wises up and disallows any further recording of phone calls.

Child Custody – Phone Contact, Custodial Interference, Parental Alienation Part 7 | The Psycho Ex Wife.

Group of 50 Mental Health Experts Pushing to Add Parental Alienation to DSM | Glenn Sacks on MND

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation on November 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm
Monday, November 2, 2009

By Glenn Sacks, MA for Fathers & Families

Now 23, divorced, and a parent herself, Anne has recognized only recently that she was manipulated, that her long-held view of her father isn’t accurate. They live 2,000 miles apart but now try to speak daily. “I’ve missed out on a great friendship with my dad,” she says. “It hurts.”

A group of 50 mental health experts from 10 countries are part of an effort to add Parental Alienation to the 2012 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible” of diagnoses. According to psychiatrist William Bernet, this “would spur insurance coverage, stimulate more systematic research, lend credence to a charge of parental alienation in court, and raise the odds that children would get timely treatment.”

Few family law cases are as heartbreaking as those involving Parental Alienation. In PA cases, one parent has turned his or her children against the other parent, destroying the loving bonds the children and the target parent once enjoyed.

Numerous misguided feminist groups oppose recognition of Parental Alienation in court or in DSM. Some of these opponents raise legitimate concerns. For example, Janet Johnston, a feminist-oriented clinical sociologist/justice studies professor, fears that PAS could be invoked by an abusive parent to gain rights to a child.

She is correct–this can happen. One example is the Joyce Murphy case in San Diego–to learn more, see my post Feminist Opponents of Shared Parenting Get It Right in Parental Alienation/Abuse Accusation Case. The solution to Johnston’s concern is to have courts make thorough, unbiased investigations into abuse claims.

It also true, as some opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation assert, that there are fathers (or mothers) who have alienated their own children through their personality defects or lack of parenting skills, and who attempt to shift the blame to their children’s mothers (or fathers) by falsely claiming PAS.

However, some opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation are on the lunatic fringe, denying that Parental Alienation exists at all, and spinning fantasies of masses of mothers losing custody to molesting fathers. In most of the cases put forth in the media by these extremists, no abuse occurred and the mothers only lost custody of their children after going way out of their way to destroy the relationship between the children and their fathers. Some examples of these frauds include the Genia Shockome, Sadia Loeliger, and Holly Collins cases

Even if many claims of Parental Alienation were false–and there’s no evidence to suggest this–it still would not mean that opponents’ assertions that PA doesn’t exist are credible. In family law cases, false accusations of any and all types of maltreatment, including PA, are used to gain advantage. Since false accusations of domestic violence and child sexual abuse are common, should we then conclude that battering and molestation don’t exist?

Another issue opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation have latched on to is the debate over whether Parental Alienation should by considered a syndrome. They then argue that if it’s not a syndrome, it can’t be real. I believe the assertion that Parental Alienation is a “syndrome” is defensible, but regardless, the key fact is that alienating behavior and Parental Alienation campaigns exist and are a major problem in divorce.

Johnston also asserts that in teens, a level of parental rejection appearing similar to Parental Alienation might be a developmentally normal response. This assertion is questionable. Johnston is correct that many teens reject their parents to various degrees. However, there’s a difference between this and active alienation.

Several of my wife’s male friends have been alienated from their teenage children, and many of them try to mask their pain by shrugging and saying, “You know how teenagers are.” Well, I do, and I don’t buy it. For example, my 17-year-old son is convinced that I’m a hopelessly out of touch old loser, and I certainly don’t disagree with him. Still, he clearly loves me, and will sometimes (grudgingly) acknowledge it. That’s not Parental Alienation, which is far more visceral.

The new U.S. News & World Report article Parental Alienation: A Mental Diagnosis? (11/2/09) covers the efforts of Parental Alienation experts to get PA accepted by DSM. I suggest that readers comment on the piece by sending Letters to the Editor at letters@usnews.com.

In it, author Lindsay Lyon writes:

From an early age, Anne was taught by her mother to fear her father. Behind his back, her mom warned that he was unpredictable and dangerous; any time he’d invite her to do anything—a walk in the woods, a trip to the art store—she would craft an excuse not to go. “I was under the impression that he was crazy, that at any moment he could just pop and do something violent to hurt me,” says Anne, who prefers that only her middle name be used to guard her family’s privacy.

Typical of a phenomenon some mental-health experts now label “parental alienation,” her view of him became so negative, she says, that her mother persuaded her to lie during a custody hearing when the couple divorced. Then 14, she told the judge that her dad was physically abusive. Was he? “No,” she says. “But I was convinced that he would [be].” After her mother won custody, Anne all but severed contact with her father for years.

If a growing faction of the mental-health community has its way, Anne’s experience will one day soon be an actual diagnosis. The concept of parental alienation, which is highly controversial, is being described as one in which children strongly attach to one parent and reject the other in the false belief that he or she is bad or dangerous.

“It’s heartbreaking,” says William Bernet, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, “to have your 10-year-old suddenly, in a matter of weeks, go from loving you and hiking with you…to saying you’re a horrible, ugly person.” These aren’t kids who simply prefer one parent over the other, he says. That’s normal. These kids doggedly resist contact with a parent, sometimes permanently, out of an irrational hate or fear.

Bernet is leading an effort to add “parental alienation” to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible” of diagnoses, scheduled for 2012. He and some 50 contributing authors from 10 countries will make their case in the American Journal of Family Therapy early next year. Inclusion, says Bernet, would spur insurance coverage, stimulate more systematic research, lend credence to a charge of parental alienation in court, and raise the odds that children would get timely treatment.

But many experts balk at labeling the phenomenon an official disorder. “I really get concerned about spreading the definition of mental illness too wide,” says Elissa Benedek, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a past president of the APA. There’s no question in her mind that kids become alienated from a loving parent in many divorces with little or no justification, and she’s seen plenty of kids kick and scream all the way to the car when visitation is enforced. But, she says, “this is not a mentally ill child”…

In any case, divorcing parents should be aware that hostilities may seriously harm the kids. Sometimes manipulation is blatant, as with parents who conceal phone calls, gifts, or letters, then use the “lack of contact” as proof that the other parent doesn’t love the child. Sometimes the influence is more subtle (“I’m sure nothing bad will happen to you at Mommy’s house”) or even unintentional (“I’ve put a cellphone in your suitcase. Call when everyone’s asleep to tell me you’re OK”)…

“The long-term implications [of alienation] are pretty severe,” says Amy Baker, director of research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection in New York and a contributing author of Bernet’s proposal. In a study culminating in a 2007 book, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome, she interviewed 40 “survivors” and found that many were depressed, guilt ridden, and filled with self-loathing. Kids develop identity through relationships with both their parents, she says. When they are told one is no good, they believe, “I’m half no good.”

Now 23, divorced, and a parent herself, Anne has recognized only recently that she was manipulated, that her long-held view of her father isn’t accurate. They live 2,000 miles apart but now try to speak daily. “I’ve missed out on a great friendship with my dad,” she says. “It hurts.”

Lyon did a pretty good job with the article but her assertions about Parental Alienation and the American Psychological Association are incomplete. She wrote “The American Psychological Association has issued a statement that ‘there is no evidence within the psychological literature of a diagnosable parental alienation syndrome.’” Yet the APA has given mixed messages on PAS–to learn more, click here.

The controversy over Parental Alienation is largely political. Children are vulnerable and impressionable, and parents in emotionally-charged divorces are quite capable of using them as tools of their anger. It is true that family courts must weed out false claims of PA made by abusive or manipulative parents. It is also true that courts must act decisively to protect children from the emotional abuse inflicted by alienating ones.

Group of 50 Mental Health Experts Pushing to Add Parental Alienation to DSM | Glenn Sacks on MND.

Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on November 5, 2009 at 6:30 pm

The American Journal of Family Therapy, 21(3), 205-215, 1993

Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Glenn F. Cartwright
Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling, McGill University

3700 McTavish, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1Y2

Abstract

The newness of the parental alienation syndrome (PAS) compels its redefinition and refinement as new cases are observed and the phenomenon becomes better understood. New evidence suggests that alienation may be provoked by other than custodial matters, that cases of alleged sexual abuse may be virtual, that slow judgements by courts exacerbate the problem, that prolonged alienation of the child may trigger other forms of mental illness, and that too little remains known of the long term consequences to alienated children and their families.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), first defined by Gardner (1985), results from the attempt by one parent (usually the custodial parent and usually but not always the mother) to behave in such a way as to alienate the child or children from the other parent. It includes a series of conscious programming techniques like “brainwashing” as well as subconscious and unconscious processes by the alienating parent combined with the child’s own contribution denigrating the allegedly hated parent (Gardner, 1992).

Gardner (1992) lists eight, broad manifestations indicative of PAS. First, there is a campaign of denigration in which there is the continuing profession of hatred of the absent parent by the child. This litany is easily evoked by teachers, lawyers, judges, or social workers and is often most strong in the presence of the “hated” parent. The child begins to withdraw from the lost parent, speaks indirectly (“You tell Daddy I don’t want to see him”), and avoids taking clothes or toys home from the lost parent to avoid “contaminating” the favored parent. Chameleon-like (Johnston, Campbell, & Mayers, 1985), the child may initially experiment, denigrating each parent while with the other, covering his or her tracks by extracting promises from each not to tell the other. However, as the years go by, the child learns that what “sells” best is whatever tale is told in the custodial home–the home base where most of the child’s time is spent. Children quickly learn on which side their bread is buttered.

Second, there are weak, frivolous, or absurd rationalizations given by the child for deprecating the lost parent. “He makes noise when he eats.” “He took me to Disneyland when I didn’t want to go.” “He always talks about moon rockets.” “He makes me take out the trash.” This is the child’s expression of a parallel phenomenon seen by lawyers in alienating parents:

…in parental alienation syndrome, the hostility of the alienating client just never seems to be reasonably linked to the seriousness of the incidents alleged. The alienating client often relies blithely on his child’s professed refusal to see the other parent as evidence of the inadequacy of the other parent (Goldwater, 1991, p. 125).

Coupled with this is a complete lack of ambivalence in both the alienating parent and the child which normally typifies all human relationships. Lawyers see it in their alienating clients:

The insistence upon the negative aspects of the spouse’s character and behaviour coupled with the inability to see existing or even potential positive traits in the spouse are manifestations of an alienating attitude. Such a client appears to objectify his spouse as an evil thing, no longer a person with at least a few redeeming qualities. There is a loss of the ambivalence which characterizes healthy human relationships. Indeed, such objectification of the spouse as “all bad” should be taken to be a sign of significant disorder in the client himself (Goldwater, 1991, pp. 125-126).

Similarly, PAS children …express themselves like perfect little photocopies of the alienating parent (Goldwater, 1991, p. 126) and can see no good in the lost parent and no bad in the loved parent. Given a list of “good” things the child did with the lost parent, the child will explain a few as being unenjoyable, others as being forced, still others as “all Dad’s idea”, and claim no memory of the rest. The process resembles amnesia wherein the child’s good memories appear to be completely destroyed.

Fourth, there is the contention that the decisions to reject the parent are the child’s. This is referred to by Gardner (1992) as the “Independent Thinker” phenomenon and is often invoked by alienating parents in courtroom testimony. “I want him to see his father but if he doesn’t want to, I will fight to the end to ensure his decision is respected.” However, as Goldwater (1991, p. 133) has argued:

No custodial parent would expect a judge to accept that the child be permitted not to attend school because he didn’t feel like going. Why then should a judge accept that a child not visit his other parent for the same reason?

Children who claim to be their own thinkers often use words and phrases of the alienating parent which belie their claim. Similarly, alienating parents often act in ways as that indicate the idea to reject a parent was not the child’s own. Says Gardner (1992):

Children are not born with genes that program them to reject a father. Such hatred is environmentally induced, and the most likely person to have brought about the alienation is the mother (p. 75).

Fifth, there is an almost automatic, reflexive support by the child for the loved parent. Understandably, this reflexive support may flow either from a belief that the loved parent is an ideal person who can do no wrong or from the child’s perception of the loved parent as the weaker of the two parents who needs defending.

Sixth, there is an almost complete absence of guilt regarding the feelings of the lost parent. “He doesn’t deserve to see me.” Gratitude for gifts, favors, or child support is non-existent. believes thatGardner (1992):

The lack of guilt here is not simply explained by cognitive immaturity (often the case of very young children), but is a statement of the degree to which children can be programmed to such points of cruelty that they are totally oblivious to the effects of their sadism on innocent victims (p. 77).

Seventh, is the presence of borrowed scenarios. The litanies the children produce have a rehearsed, coached quality to them and often include expressions and phrases of the loved parent. “Daddy’s new girlfriend is a whore!” Are these the words of a five-year-old?

Finally, there is an obvious spread of the animosity to the hated parent’s extended family. “His mother called me a brat.” Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all tarred with the same brush as the child argues that all they do is try to get him or her to “like” the lost parent.

Though these are the classic manifestations PAS, the newly recognized nature of the syndrome compels its definitional refinement and enlargement as new parameters are discovered. This is especially important given the contention that the problem is growing in our society and now affects 90% of all children in custody litigation (Gardner, 1992). The following observations suggest that the parameters of PAS may be wider than previously believed.

1. Parental alienation syndrome may be precipitated by parental disagreements on matters other than custody.

It was originally suggested that PAS was a relatively new disorder emanating principally from changes in the criteria by which custody was decided. These criteria basically concerned the court’s shift toward the best-interests-of-the-child presumption (favoring the placement of the child with the parent who would best meet the child’s needs) at the expense of the tender-years presumption (always favoring the placement of the child with the mother), and the court’s increasing preference for joint custody rather than sole custody placements. Since PAS is of a serious nature, it seemed reasonable to suppose that it would be provoked only by an equally serious emotional dispute, such as the question of custody is for most parents. However, while disagreement over custody remains implicated as the chief cause of PAS, it now appears that other, non-custodial disagreements on such matters as finance, property division, or child support may also trigger the syndrome by inducing an emotional climate conducive to PAS. This suggests that the etiology of PAS may be much broader than previously believed. If it is really the intensity of the emotional conflict between the estranged spouses which provokes PAS, then it must be wondered whether virtually any disagreement, serious or frivolous, may be a potential trigger. Similar parallels are found in other examples of human behavior: neighbors who stab each other over a noisy lawn mower and motorists who shoot each other over an illegal turn. To an observer, such consequent behavior is clearly out of proportion to the precipitating event. An illegal turn does not cause murder, but it may trigger an emotional state which does. So it may be with PAS. Whatever the precipitating disagreement, it may be just enough to trigger an irrational emotional state conducive to PAS.

Unfortunately, because PAS results from the interaction of the alienating parent with the child, wherein each reinforces the other, once the vicious circle has begun, it becomes self-reinforcing, complex to diagnose, and difficult to terminate. Complicating matters is the fact that PAS may be encouraged by third parties: a new spouse, new in-laws, or even unscrupulous lawyers whose wish it may be to extend rather than resolve the litigation.

2. Allegations of fabricated sexual abuse may be virtual.

Since the designation of PAS is inappropriate in cases where abuse is real, it has been customary (and necessary for the good of the child) first to distinguish between allegations of abuse that are real and those that are fabricated. Gardner (1991) has outlined how fabricated abuse may be detected. However, in the cases of fabricated abuse, a new and more subtle variety of allegation is beginning to appear. I have called these virtual allegations.They refer to those cases in which the abuse is only hinted, its real purpose being to cast aspersions on the character of the noncustodial parent in a continuing program of denigration. For the alienator, virtual allegations avoid the need to fabricate incidents of alleged abuse with their attendant possibility of detection and probability of punishment for perjury. For example, in one case, though no sexual abuse was ever alleged, it was hinted at in the allegation by the mother that the father had shown the child a rented videotape containing pornography. Though the videotape was a Hollywood comedy starring Chevy Chase rented from a family video store and chosen by the child, the mother asserted in court that the child was disappointed in the movie because it was suggestive, erotic, and pornographic. After interviewing the child extensively, the judge disagreed that the movie was pornographic and said that while the child was indeed disappointed with the film, it was not because the film was pornographic but because it wasn’t funny. The number of virtual allegations of abuse may be expected to increase in the future because of their more subtle nature, the greater difficulty in disproving them, and because judges and lawyers familiar with PAS are becoming increasingly skilled at detecting outright fabrications.

3. Time heals all wounds, except alienation.

There is some evidence that adolescents who experienced parental separation most recently were most likely to be affected adversely (Frost & Pakiz, 1990). While this tends to support the old adage that time heals all wounds, such is not the case with PAS, where the passage of time worsens rather than heals the affliction. This is not to say that time is unimportant: on the contrary, time remains a vital variable for all the players. To heal the relationship, the child requires quality time with the lost parent to continue and repair the meaningful association that may have existed since birth. This continued communication also serves as a reality check for the child to counter the effects of ongoing alienation at home. Likewise, the lost parent needs time with the child to ensure that contact is not completely lost and to prevent the alienation from completely destroying what may be left of a normal, loving relationship. Time used in these ways helps to counter the negative effects of alienation.

The alienating parent, on the other hand, requires time to complete the brainwashing of the child without interference. The manipulation of time becomes the prime weapon in the hands of the alienator who uses it to structure, occupy, and usurp the child’s time to prevent “contaminating” contact with the lost parent, depriving both of their right to spend time together and furthering the goal of total alienation. Unlike cases of child abuse where time away from the abuser sometimes helps in repairing a damaged relationship, in PAS time away from the lost parent furthers the goal of alienation. The usual healing properties of time are lost when it is used as the primary weapon to inflict injury on the lost parent by alienating the child.

There is another reason why time is so important a weapon in the hands of the alienator. With the passage of time, the child grows to be staunch collaborator. A judge who might not listen to a nine-year-old pleading not to see his or her father, might be more disposed to listen to an older, “wiser”, and more articulate thirteen-year-old. Spreading out the court proceedings over time not only aids in the brainwashing and contributes to the wearing down of the petitioner but ensures for the alienator a stronger child ally when a final court date is set.

So it is that time is often “bought” through false allegations, by assertions the child is in danger from contact with the lost parent, and by requests to the court for delays, continuances, and postponements. Sometimes even psychological assessment and psychiatric evaluation are pressed into service as part of the delaying tactic, then dropped when the sought-after delay has been achieved. On other occasions psycho-legal expertise is advanced …with the psychologist cast as the hired gun engaged to put forth to the court the negative opinion of the contesting parent under the guise of an “expertise” (Goldwater, 1991, p. 123). The goal of the alienator is crystalline: deprive the lost parent, not only of the child’s time, but of the time of childhood.

4. The degree of alienation in the child is directly proportional to the time spent alienating.

Alienation does not occur overnight. It is a gradual and consistent process that is directly related to the time spent alienating. The longer the child or children spend with the alienator, the more severe will be their alienation. Their supposed hatred of the lost parent does not lessen with time away from that parent but rather grows stronger, precisely because in the hands of the alienator they are continually taught hatred, have unlimited opportunity to practice that hatred, and have no time at all to learn an alternate response. This is one of the reasons why, in serious cases, Gardner (1992) recommends complete removal of the child from the alienating parent, with supervised visitation reinstated gradually.

5. Courts slow to render judgements may unwittingly further the alienating parent’s scheme of alienation.

The court needs time too, to assess each case. Taking the best interests of the child to be paramount, and always moving cautiously, the court must ensure that the child is in no danger and determine if the case is truly one of parental alienation. But once the determination of PAS has been made, speedy judgement must be rendered to stop the alienation process immediately. Both the child and the petitioning parent deserve no less. Unfortunately, court postponements and continuances are more often the rule than the exception. Proceedings which are dragged out after a determination of PAS has been made, judgements which fail to take into account fully the rights of the non-custodial parent, and unnecessary interim judgements and delays, however well-intentioned, sadly tend to favor the continuation of the custodial parent’s alienating behavior.

The judicial wish to maintain the status quo in the lives of children pending the outcome of hotly contested litigation may work in favour of an alienating custodial parent. The longer the children are in a non-supportive environment, the further they will drift away from their non-custodial parent (Goldwater, 1991, p. 130).

While there is no denying that courts have a difficult job at best, on balance it would appear that the prevailing tendency has been toward delaying judgement in the hope that the problem will go away, solve itself, or at the very least prove that no judgement is preferable to a wrong judgement. Courts must resist this tendency which doubtless is harmful to PAS children in the long run. More than two decades ago, Watson (1970, p.64) wrote of the court’s slowness in rendering decisions:

The most serious aspect of these vacillating and dilatory tactics is the effect they have on the children. As will be noted, one of the critical aspects of a child’s development is the need for stability in order to develop a sense of identity. When a child is kept suspended, never quite knowing what will happen to him next, he must likewise suspend the shaping of his personality. This is a devastating result and probably represents one of the greatest risks which current procedures pose for children.

Little seems to have changed: where PAS is concerned, it remains a case of “Justice delayed is lost parent denied.”

6. Forceful judgement is required to counter the force of alienation.

The role of the court in cases of PAS goes beyond simply deciding custody issues. First, the precedent of clear, forceful judgement may deter some parents from beginning the alienation of their children. As Levy (1992, p. 277) has noted:

If parents who engage in PAS know that aware judges may give custody to the innocent parent, and perhaps even apply sanctions against parents who use a child to prevent the other parent’s access to the child, the PAS, which is itself a form of child abuse, may suffer a fatal and well-deserved setback.

Second, clear and forceful judgements serve to put an immediate stop to the alienating practices (Palmer, 1988). Family courts can often be of great service in helping to work out a variety of family problems. However, in cases of PAS, courts which try to act as social workers using a “let’s-talk-this-over-and-come-to-some-agreement” approach inevitably fail when one of the feuding parties is insincere and has little wish to solve the problem. The reason is that insincerity, conscious or unconscious, is one of the hallmarks of the alienating parent. While negotiation is often the solution in other forms of litigation, it tends not to work in cases of PAS. In these circumstances, the lack of a swift, clear, forceful judgment is often perceived by the alienator as denoting approval of the alienating behavior. This tends to reinforce the behavior and renders a great disservice to both the child and the petitioning parent. Courts must do more to help; they must not fall victim to the alienator’s scheme of stalling for time in order to continue the program of vilification.

7. Excessive alienation may trigger mental illness in the child.

Johnston, Campbell, and Mayers (1985) reported that one response of latency children (6-12 years) to parental conflict was to act in a diffusely disturbed manner exhibiting anxiety, tension, depression, and psychosomatic illness. Consideration needs to be given to the question of what happens in the long run to children who are alienated. Is the problem self-limiting in that even alienation-caused wounds will heal as the child reaches adulthood? Unfortunately, alienation can become so powerful as to trigger other forms of mental and emotional illness with resultant maladaptive behavior. In one instance, an alienated son tried to poison his father by slipping air freshener into his stomach medicine. The boy later ran away during a non-custodial visit and the police had to be called. The likelihood of such disintegrating behavior during non-custodial visits increases in direct proportion to the amount of alienation experienced by the child at home.

8. Little is known about the medium and long term effects of parental alienation syndrome on its victims.

Perhaps the greatest gap in our understanding of the syndrome remains our lack of knowledge of what happens to the victims of PAS over the medium and long term. The short term consequences are known and obvious. The alienator experiences the sweetness of revenge and the thrill of “victory.” The non-custodial parent experiences the anguish of the loss of a child, or worse, children. One set of grandparents, relatives, and friends are similarly affected and summarily dismissed. Far more serious is the effect on the child who experiences a great loss, the magnitude of which is akin to the death of a parent, two grandparents, and all the lost parent’s relatives and friends, all at once! It can readily be seen that this represents a staggering loss for a child even greater than the actual death of one parent. Moreover, since the child is unable to acknowledge the loss, much less mourn it, it becomes a major tragedy of monumental proportions in the life of the child, the seriousness of which cannot be overestimated.

These are the known and relatively short term consequences. What about medium term effects? The medium term effects concern the continued absence (as opposed to initial loss) of the lost parent (and grandparents, relatives, and friends) and the effect this has on the child’s development. Ordinary children who have grown up without a parent or grandparent often report “something missing” in their childhood. What is lost, of course, is the day-to-day interaction, the learning, the support, and the love that normally flows from parents and grandparents. While in the case of a death such loss is unavoidable, in the case of PAS such a loss is entirely avoidable and therefore inexcusable.

What about the long term effects? Everyone involved in PAS suffers some degree of distress over the long term. Hopefully, this includes the alienator who, despite the initial exhilaration of “winning,” should hardly find the entire experience pleasurable. In later years, even if alienators do not experience some guilt or regret over their actions, they may develop some sympathy for their children of whom they deprived of a parent.

The non-custodial parent experiences both loss and yet continuing concern for the child. The anguish is akin to that felt by parents when a child goes missing. Since the lack of contact with the child may continue for years, the sense of loss can continue for a similar period. Grandparents suffer needlessly and often seriously. Gardner (1992) reports the cases of at least two grandmothers, in otherwise good health, who died of broken hearts, figuratively, over the loss of their grandchildren.

Of course, it is the child who suffers most. In the early stage, the child experiences not only loss of a parent, but the continual barrage of denigration of the lost parent, grandparents, relatives, and friends. Bad enough to lose a parent; worse still to have the good memories of that parent, relatives, and friends deliberately and systematically destroyed.

In the second stage, perhaps years later, the child begins to comprehend what has really happened. The realization of having believed the alienator, of having wrongly rejected the lost parent, and worse, of having been a pliable accomplice and willing contributor, can produce powerful feelings of guilt. The unfortunate consequences of these feelings may be a backlash against the alienating parent. Says Goldwater (1991, p. 128):

When such a child becomes an adult, the awareness of the enforced absence of the alienated parent for those many years may have a devastating impact and leave long-term feelings of guilt and loss. The alienating parent may then suffer the wrath his adult child feels for having precipitated this loss, and be in turn shut out of the child’s life.

Serious emotional problems may ensue. For children to make a successful adjustment, an enormous task faces them: avoiding the tendency of the backlash response to the alienating parent, forgiving that parent, and maintaining a good relationship with that parent; and restoring good memories of the lost parent (which are often wiped out in PAS) and resuming a normal relationship with the lost parent if that parent is still alive, available, and willing. The re-establishment of the relationship with the lost parent is, naturally, a huge task. It involves making up for lost time and experiences, understanding cognitively and emotionally what has happened during the alienation process, re-learning how to interact with the lost parent, restoring a loving relationship, and planning the continuance of the relationship in the future. Therapy for both child and lost parent may be required. On top of this, the child must learn at this late date how to “juggle” the perhaps still feuding parents–a skill which most children of divorced parents usually learn much earlier. These are no small tasks and all this presupposes the child survives the teenage years without other serious emotional, mental, or behavioral problems which often accompany adolescence.

All being well, one would hope that eventual adjustment for these children would be possible. Negative factors which mediate against successful adjustment include the unwillingness or emotional inability of the lost parent to become reinvolved, the absence or death of the lost parent, and the passing on of the grandparents and other relatives and friends leaving an unfillable void in the life of the child.

9. Further research is needed.

While longitudinal studies have related child and adolescent adjustment following parental separation to a variety of variables such as age, gender, frequency and regularity of visitation (cf. Healy, Malley, & Stewart, 1990), what is so terribly lacking in the literature is any kind of longitudinal study to follow PAS children to ascertain what happens to them. What are the long term effects on these children as they enter adulthood? To what degree can their relationship with their lost parent be re-established? Is their relationship with the alienating parent permanently harmed in later adulthood? What happens to PAS children who permanently lose their non-custodial parent through death without ever re-establishing a relationship? Is their guilt intensified and if so, how do they handle it? Can their relationship with their lost parent, and for that matter with their alienating parent, ever approach normalcy? What does this do to their own parenting skills and how does it affect their bringing up their own children? If their relationship with their lost parent is not re-established, then the lost parent may eventually become a lost grandparent. What impact will this have on the grandchildren?

10. The problem of parental alienation syndrome is much more serious than previously imagined.

Viewed in this light, the problem of PAS appears to be extremely serious. We often speak of the preserving family values, but even disintegrated nuclear families have values and rights (like child visitation) which must be preserved and respected to prevent further disintegration and total collapse. To do less, is to sacrifice entire generations of children on the altar of alienation, condemning them to familial maladjustment and inflicting on them lifelong parental loss.

References

Frost, A.K. & Pakiz, B. (1990). The effects of marital disruption on adolescents: time as a dynamic. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 60(4), 544-555.

Goldwater, A. (1991). Le syndrome d’aliénation parentale (in English). Développements récents en droit familial (1991). Cowansville, QC: Les Éditions Yvon Blais. pp. 121­145.

Gardner, R. (1985). Recent trends in divorce and custody litigation. Academy Forum, 29(2): 3-7.

Gardner, R. (1989). Psychotherapeutic and legal approaches to the three types of parental alienation syndrome families. In Family evaluation in child custody mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. (1991). Parental alienation syndrome and the differentiation between fabricated and genuine child sex abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Gardner, R. (1992). Parental alienation syndrome: A guide for mental health and legal professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.

Healy, J., Malley, J., & Stewart, A. (1990). Children and their fathers after parental separation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 60(4), 531-543.

Johnston, J., Campbell, L., & Mayers, S. (1985). Latency children in post separation and divorce disputes. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 24, 563-574.

Levy, D. (1992). [Review of Parental alienation syndrome: A guide for mental health and legal professionals.] American Journal of Family Therapy, 20(3), 276-277.

Palmer, N. (1988). Legal recognition of the parental alienation syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy, 16(4), 360-363.

Watson, A.S. (1970). The children of Armageddon: Problems of custody following divorce. Syracuse Law Review, 21, 55-86.

Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Parental Alienation: A Mental Diagnosis? – US News and World Report

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Protective Dads on October 31, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Some experts say the extreme hatred some kids feel toward a parent in a divorce is a mental illness

Posted October 29, 2009

From an early age, Anne was taught by her mother to fear her father. Behind his back, her mom warned that he was an unpredictable and dangerous; any time he’d invite her to do anything—a walk in the woods, a trip to the art store—she would craft an excuse not to go. “I was under the impression that he was crazy, that at any moment he could just pop and do something violent to hurt me,” says Anne, who prefers that only her middle name be used to guard her family’s privacy. Typical of a phenomenon some mental-health experts now label “parental alienation,” her view of him became so negative, she says, that her mother persuaded her to lie during a custody hearing when the couple divorced. Then 14, she told the judge that her dad was physically abusive. Was he? “No,” she says. “But I was convinced that he would [be].” After her mother won custody, Anne all but severed contact with her father for years.

If a growing faction of the mental-health community has its way, Anne’s experience will one day soon be an actual diagnosis. The concept of parental alienation, which is highly controversial, is being described as one in which children strongly attach to one parent and reject the other in the false belief that he or she is bad or dangerous. “It’s heartbreaking,” says William Bernet, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, “to have your 10-year-old suddenly, in a matter of weeks, go from loving you and hiking with you…to saying you’re a horrible, ugly person.” These aren’t kids who simply prefer one parent over the other, he says. That’s normal. These kids doggedly resist contact with a parent, sometimes permanently, out of an irrational hate or fear.

Bernet is leading an effort to add “parental alienation” to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible” of diagnoses, scheduled for 2012. He and some 50 contributing authors from 10 countries will make their case in the American Journal of Family Therapy early next year. Inclusion, says Bernet, would spur insurance coverage, stimulate more systematic research, lend credence to a charge of parental alienation in court, and raise the odds that children would get timely treatment.

But many experts balk at labeling the phenomenon an official disorder. “I really get concerned about spreading the definition of mental illness too wide,” says Elissa Benedek, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a past president of the APA. There’s no question in her mind that kids become alienated from a loving parent in many divorces with little or no justification, and she’s seen plenty of kids kick and scream all the way to the car when visitation is enforced. But, she says, “this is not a mentally ill child.”

The phenomenon has been described for many decades, but it became a cause célèbre in 1985, when Richard Gardner, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, coined the term “parental alienation syndrome.” As more dads fought fiercely for joint custody, he observed a surge in the number of children suffering from a distinct cluster of symptoms, including a “campaign of denigration” against one parent that sometimes included a false sex-abuse accusation and automatic parroting of the other parent’s views.

But sound research supporting a medical label is scant, critics say. The American Psychological Association has issued a statement that “there is no evidence within the psychological literature of a diagnosable parental alienation syndrome.” What’s more, concern has grown that “PAS” could be invoked by an abusive parent to gain rights to a child who has good reason to refuse contact, says Janet Johnston, a clinical sociologist and justice studies professor at San Jose State University who has studied parental alienation. In teens, she notes, parental rejection might be a developmentally normal response. Anecdotal reports have surfaced that some kids labeled as “alienated” have become suicidal when courts have ordered a change of custody to the “hated” parent, she says.

In any case, divorcing parents should be aware that hostilities may seriously harm the kids. Sometimes manipulation is blatant, as with parents who conceal phone calls, gifts, or letters, then use the “lack of contact” as proof that the other parent doesn’t love the child. Sometimes the influence is more subtle (“I’m sure nothing bad will happen to you at Mommy’s house”) or even unintentional (“I’ve put a cellphone in your suitcase. Call when everyone’s asleep to tell me you’re OK”). It’s important to shield kids from harmful communication, says Richard Warshak, a clinical professor of psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and author of Divorce Poison. If something potentially upsetting about an ex must be conveyed, he advises imagining how you would have handled the conversation while happily married; how would you have explained Mom’s depression, say?

“The long-term implications [of alienation] are pretty severe,” says Amy Baker, director of research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection

in New York and a contributing author of Bernet’s proposal. In a study culminating in a 2007 book, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome, she interviewed 40 “survivors” and found that many were depressed, guilt ridden, and filled with self-loathing. Kids develop identity through relationships with both their parents, she says. When they are told one is no good, they believe, “I’m half no good.”

Now 23, divorced, and a parent herself, Anne has recognized only recently that she was manipulated, that her long-held view of her father isn’t accurate. They live 2,000 miles apart but now try to speak daily. “I’ve missed out on a great friendship with my dad,” she says. “It hurts.”

Parental Alienation: A Mental Diagnosis? – US News and World Report.

Parental Alienation (Canada): Mothers commit vast majority of parental murders of children

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, federal crimes, kidnapped children, Marriage, Michael Murphy, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Single Moms, Sociopath on October 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I would like to thank Mike Murphy again for pointing these statistics out. Without a doubt legislators in the US are getting this wrong, and it is time that more moms need to be on supervised visitation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mothers commit vast majority of parental murders of children

This data is U.S. sourced but there are similarities in English speaking western democracies. Click on the link below for the source data.

Federal Data: Mothers commit vast majority of parental murders of children

These data are not blips. The trend is clear over many years that the mother (female) is responsible for the greatest amount of child abuse and child murder in family relationships. How then can it be there is no tax supported DV or emergency shelters for men in Canada; how can it be there are few, if any, (I haven’t found any yet) tax supported counseling services for men in marital breakdown in Canada; how can it be woman’s groups can tap into such large amounts of tax support to send out propaganda about how vulnerable they are; how can these DV groups spout the invective they do against men when their own clients are the worst perpetrators of abuse to children.

How many women are actually in these shelters because of DV; how many are in them for addictions; how many are planning a false ex parte order to nail hubby while he sleeps; how many are in there because they are hiding from legal pursuits of them; how many are “passing through” while traveling. I think an accounting and operational audit of these facilities should be part and parcel of their ability to obtain tax funds. There is no doubt some women are there because they have no recourse and are subject to abuse but it casts a pall over them if many are there for other reasons. They are emergency shelters – so called – for Domestic Violence – at least in terms of the marketing of them to get tax funding.

Is there something wrong with our values? Is there something wrong with government largess and what is wrong with us men for laying down and taking this misinformation from groups like the Tennessee DV coalition as described here amongst many others.

Figure 3-3 Victimization Rates by Age and Sex, 2007 Child Maltreatment 2007

Victimization Rates by Age and Sex, 2007

This bar graph breaks the victim population into age groups as follows: Less than 1, 1, 2, 3, 4–7, 8–11, 12–15, and 16–17 and either boy or girl sex. According to this graph, the youngest age group is the most victimized, with a rate of 22.2 boys and 21.5 girls per 1,000 children of the same age and sex group. The oldest children were victimized the least frequently.

Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2007This pie chart presents victims by relationship to their perpetrators. More than 80 percent (80.1%) of victims were maltreated by at least one parent. Nearly 40 percent (38.7%) of victims were maltreated by their mother acting on her own.Note the rate by mom and other is 44.4% while dad and other is 18.8%. The rate by the mother is 2.36 times higher than dad. That is 236% greater. Now how to explain that away to those who believe only men are abusive.MJM



Table 4-5 Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2007 Child Maltreatment 2007

Relationship to Child Child Fatalities
Number Percent
PARENT Blank Cell
Mother 347 27.1
Mother and Other 96 7.5
Father 208 16.3
Father and Other 11 0.9
Mother and Father 232 18.1
NONPARENT Blank Cell
Daycare Staff 24 1.9
Foster Parent (Female Relative) 0 0.0
Foster Parent (Male Relative) 0 0.0
Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 3 0.2
Foster Parent (Unknown Relationship) 3 0.2
Friend or Neighbor 2 0.2
Legal Guardian (Female) 0 0.0
Legal Guardian (Male) 0 0.0
More than One Nonparental Perpetrator 52 4.1
Other Professional 2 0.2
Partner of Parent (Female) 4 0.3
Partner of Parent (Male) 35 2.7
Relative (Female) 29 2.3
Relative (Male) 20 1.6
Staff Group Home 2 0.2
Unknown or Missing 210 16.4
Total 1,280 Blank Cell
Percent Blank Cell 100.0


Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2007


This table first lists perpetrator relationships including mother, mother and father, father, mother and other, father and other, female daycare staff, more than one nonparental perpetrator, unknown, etc. In the next column is listed the number of child fatalities from the specified perpetrator. The third column lists the percentage. More than 27 percent (27.1%) of child fatalities were perpetrated by a mother acting alone.

Moms and another are more than twice as likely to kill a child as a dad and another.MJM


Figure 4-2 Fatality Rates by Age and Sex, 2007
Child Maltreatment 2007

Fatality Rates by Age and Sex, 2007

Fatality Rates by Age and Sex, 2007

This bar graph shows two groupings of victims, one for boys and one for girls. Each grouping displays the fatality rates for each sex by age group. The graph indicates that the youngest children have the highest fatality rates for both sexes.

Note boys have the higher death rates.MJM

Some data on child abuse from Child Maltreatment 2006, a report by the Federal Administration for Children & Families…

Figure 4-2 Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2006

Child Maltreatment 2006


Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2006

Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2006

This pie chart indicates that 27.4 percent of child fatalities were perpetrated by the mother acting alone. Such non-parental perpetrators as daycare providers, foster parents, or residential facility staff were responsible for 14.6 percent of fatalities.

Leaving aside killings by non-parents or by mothers and fathers acting together, mothers committed a significantly greater number of the parental murders of children.

Figure 3-5 Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2006

Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2006


Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2006

This pie chart shows that 39.9 percent of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 17.6 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; 17.8 percent were abused by both their mother and father. Victims abused by a nonparental perpetrator accounted for 10.0 percent.

Table 4-5 Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2006
Child Maltreatment 2006

Relationship to Child Child Fatalities
Number Percent
Mother 288 27.4
Mother and Other 121 11.5
Father 138 13.1
Father and Other 16 1.5
Mother and Father 235 22.4
Female Relative 31 3.0
Male Relative 17 1.6
Female Foster Parent (Relative) 0 0.0
Male Foster Parent (Relative) 0 0.0
Female Partner of Parent 0 0.0
Male Partner of Parent 30 2.9
Female Legal Guardian 1 0.1
Male Legal Guardian 0 0.0
Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 5 0.5
Foster Parent Unknown Relationship 4 0.4
Staff Group Home 4 0.4
Daycare Staff 32 3.0
Other Professional 0 0.0
Friend or Neighbor 2 0.2
More than One Nonparental Perpetrator 26 2.5
Unknown or Missing 100 9.5
Total 1,050 Blank Cell
Blank Cell Blank Cell 100.0
Based on data from 36 States.


Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2006

This table first lists perpetrator relationships including mother, mother and father, father, mother and other, father and other, female daycare staff, more than one nonparental perpetrator, unknown, etc. In the next column is listed the number of child fatalities from the specified perpetrator. The third column lists the percentage. More than 27 percent (27.4%) of child fatalities were perpetrated by a mother acting alone.

The following are data from 2005.

Figure 4-2 Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2005
Child Maltreatment 2005

Figure 4-2


Note the mother (female) again is responsible for the vast majority of deaths of children.

Table 4-5 Perpetrator Relationships of Fatalities, 2005
Child Maltreatment 2005

Blank Cell Child Fatalities
Perpetrator Number Percent
Mother 287 28.5
Mother and Other 104 10.3
Father 159 15.8
Father and Other 16 1.6
Mother and Father 205 20.4
Famale Relative 24 2.4
Male Relative 7 0.7
Female Foster Parent (Relative) 0 0.0
Male Foster Parent (Relative) 0 0.0
Female Partner of Parent 6 0.6
Male Partner of Parent 33 3.3
Female Legal Guardian 1 0.1
Male Legal Guardian 0 0.0
Female Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 5 0.5
Male Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 1 0.1
Female Foster Parent
Unknown Relationship
1 0.1
Male Foster Parent
Unknown Relationship
0 0.0
Female Staff Group Home 0 0.0
Male Staff Group Home 0 0.0
Female Daycare Staff 20 2.0
Male Daycare Staff 2 0.2
Female Other Professional 0 0.0
Male Other Professional 1 0.1
Female Friend or Neighbor 2 0.2
Male Friend or Neighbor 4 0.4
More than One Nonparental
Perpetrator
23 2.3
Unknown or Missing 105 10.4
Total 1,006 blank cell
Percent blank cell 100.0


Based on data from 34 States.

Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2005

This table first lists perpetrator relationships including mother only, mother and father, father only, mother and other, father and other, female daycare staff, more than one nonparental perpetrator, unknown, etc. In the next column is listed the number of child fatalities from the specified perpetrator. The third column lists the percentage. 28.5 percent of child fatalities were perpetrated by a mother acting alone.







“According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ new report Child Maltreatment 2004, when one parent is acting without the involvement of the other parent, mothers are almost three times as likely to kill their children as fathers are, and are more than twice as likely to abuse them.”
Source: Child Maltreatment 2004, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to Figure 4-2 “Perpetrator Relationships of Fatalities, 2004 Child Maltreatment 2004” here, child fatalities perpetrated by mothers or by “mother and other [not father]” comprise 40.6% of all child fatalities. Figure 4-2 also shows that fatalities perpetrated by fathers or by “father and other [not mother]” comprise 15.6% of all child fatalities. According to Figure 3-6 “Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2004 Child Maltreatment 2004,” here child abuse perpetrated by mothers or by “mother and other [not father]” comprise 45.6% of all child abuse. Figure 3-6 also shows that abuse perpetrated by fathers or by “father and other [not mother]” comprise 19.5% of all child abuse.

//

Parental Alienation (Canada): Mothers commit vast majority of parental murders of children.

Britain to press Japan on foreign fathers’ rights to access children › Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting, UNCRC, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on October 18, 2009 at 1:02 am

Britain to press Japan on foreign fathers’ rights to access children

LONDON —

London is to put fresh pressure on Tokyo to improve the rights of its nationals seeking access to their children living in Japan with estranged partners.

Britain is trying to assist its citizens who are either seeking the return of their kids to the United Kingdom, or are denied access to their children by the Japanese civil courts.

The Foreign Office in London believes Japanese courts presiding in custody cases could be breaching obligations under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In Japan, courts will generally side with the Japanese parent and order the children remain in their care in Japan.

Critics argue that, due to cultural reasons, Japanese courts will always grant custody to the mother in separation battles, and the idea of joint custody—more common in Europe—is an anathema. Even if a court grants limited visiting rights for the father, they are not enforceable.

Shane Clarke, a father trying to gain access to his two daughters in Japan, recently received an e-mail from Helen Paige, a child abduction caseworker at the Foreign Office.

In the Oct 12 message, she states, ‘‘We will ask the British ambassador in Japan to raise with the Japanese government the obligations of states to develop and undertake all actions and policies in the best interests of the child, referring in particular to article 10.2.’’

This article asserts that a ‘‘child whose parents reside in different countries shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis … personal relations and direct contacts with both parents.’’

Paige said the British government is willing to raise cases with Tokyo and cite the convention if an individual has gone through the legal process and remains dissatisfied.

Clarke said he is happy that Britain has ‘‘acknowledged’’ the convention and that ‘‘it applies to these situations.’’

While it is claimed that Japanese society accepts that mothers must be given priority in custody battles, many foreigners who married Japanese women find the position intolerable.

And the growing number of mixed marriages, and subsequent separations and divorces, has meant the issue is being put on the international agenda.

Despite Britain’s attempts to force Japan to honor its convention obligations, officials readily admit there is no method of ‘‘international enforcement’’ if it is judged that a Japanese court has failed to heed the convention’s strictures. Clarke disputes this point, claiming the International Court of Justice could provide this role.

However, the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which Britain has been pressing Japan to adopt, does provide an enforcement mechanism.

This convention requires that if a child has been taken by one parent to another country following an estrangement, the child must be returned to the country where he or she is ‘‘habitually resident.’’

It also seeks to standardize laws and ensure custody decisions can be made by appropriate courts and protect the access rights of both parents.

Many Japanese women have returned to their home country realizing that it offers a safe haven from any court orders arising in other countries.

Clarke’s Japanese wife returned to Japan with their two daughters after a four-year marriage in Britain. The British courts have ordered that the children should be returned to Britain where they are ‘‘habitually resident’’ but this is not recognized in Japan, according to Clarke.

Britain, along with the United States, is pressing Japan to sign The Hague convention. In correspondence with Clarke, Britain’s Ambassador David Warren has said he is ‘‘concerned’’ about the number of ‘‘abductions’’ and is hoping to hold meetings with the new government on the issue.

Japan is currently investigating whether to sign The Hague convention. There are fears it could make it harder for Japanese women to flee abusive relationships in one country and return with their children to Japan. The government denies Japanese courts are ‘‘institutionally racist’’ against foreign fathers.

This issue has been thrust into the spotlight recently with the arrest of Christopher Savoie, a 38-year-old American, who was released Thursday in Fukuoka after he snatched his children from his Japanese ex-wife as they walked to school.

His wife took their two children to Japan in August from their home in Tennessee. In his wife’s absence, the U.S. courts gave Christopher Savoie full custody and issued an arrest warrant for his wife. Before his wife left, Savoie had tried to obtain court orders which prevented her from leaving the country.

Britain to press Japan on foreign fathers’ rights to access children › Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.

Alec Baldwin: A Letter From a Reader of My Book – A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey through Fatherhood and Divorce – on Parental Alienation

In Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome on October 15, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Click here to find out more!

Alec Baldwin

Posted: October 15, 2009 03:50 PM

Alec Baldwin

A Letter From a Reader of My Book

I am a divorced father living in (name of city) in the SanFrancisco Bay area. My ex-wife has primary custody of our 11 year-old daughter. I read your book (A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey through Fatherhood and Divorce; St. Martin’s Press) and I also saw you speak during your book promotion at the Commonwealth Club here. Needless to say, I identified with your story and those of others depicted in your book to a great degree.

I have been the victim of parental alienation for five years now. Like you, I have had multiple judges preside over my case; first in mediation, then in court. Like you, one of those judges seemed to understand the principle that “all behavior is consistent” in marriages and on into divorce litigation. My ex-wife is a complicated and narcissistic woman. Subsequently, she and her lawyers have created every obstacle to my custody of my only child. They have succeeded at both denying my requests for time and blocking me from exercising time that I had been awarded by a judge. Much of this comes about as the result of convincing my daughter to speak against me to her court-appointed therapist. My daughter would attend sessions wherein she would describe her visits with me in ways that blatantly contradicted my sense of our time together (as well as what others plainly witnessed) and in language that I found unfamiliar to my daughter. It had sounded to me like the child had been coached to use hot button words like “unsafe” to describe how she felt if I reprimanded her. She described to the court that I never paid any real attention to her during our visits as I was “always on the phone and doing business.” I wondered how I could be doing all of that business when we were on rides all day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

Things in my case have turned even more unfair, inefficient and downright maddening since the court appointed a minor’s counsel to represent my daughter. You briefly touch upon this in your book, but I want to share with you some of what I have encountered. During the period of my custody battle, I have not stood idly by while judges and lawyers suggested or demanded what I should do to better my chances of having a healthy relationship with my daughter. I have been proactive, in the extreme, on my own. I have contacted and had appointments with multiple family law related therapists and learned some interesting things from one or two, particularly those that do not rely on the judicial system for their clients.

Well-regarded therapists I have met with expressed grave reservations about ad litem attorneys in custody cases. Such lawyers too often function as ersatz therapists, probing, speculating about and shaping what their minor clients wish to say or not say to the court. These lawyers are untrained in any field of therapy, let alone the complex issues involving child therapy. And, like the overwhelming number of lawyers in the family law system in California, they cannot resist the opportunity to make hearings, ex partes and any other form of litigation drag on as long as possible in order to pad their fees.

You make certain proposals in your book. That custody evaluators should be selected without the involvement of attorneys. That there be default positions that courts assume for minimal custody for fathers where there are no valid arguments against such orders. That Special Masters serve indefinite terms. (My ex fired ours, too.)

I would add to this list the abolition of minor’s counsel provisions in family law. As you said in your book, there are already enough avaricious, ineffectual lawyers in our lives.

Oddly enough, I am a lawyer practicing corporate litigation with a firm that enjoys a sterling reputation for advising our clients as how litigation should be avoided at all costs. We have saved clients untold amounts of money. However, the family law system in California is a disgrace and it is a prime example as to why Americans have little or no faith left in lawyers, judges and justice in our country.

Sincerely,

Don (name withheld)

My book, A Promise to Ourselves, is now out in paperback.

Dear Alec Baldwin, The following is a letter that I recently received from a man in California:

Read more at:

Alec Baldwin: A Letter From a Reader of My Book.

Parental Rights – U.N. treaty to muzzle children?

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment on October 9, 2009 at 6:23 pm



U.N. treaty to muzzle children?



Posted: October 09, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009 

The prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, recently announced that children of that nation should be excluded from all political activities. Quoted in the Indian newspaper The Daily Star, Hasina said, “Children would be aware of politics but should not be used in political activities.”

She made her proclamation in association with World Children’s Day and Child Rights Week 2009, suggesting that her nation’s actions were tied to its obligations under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This remarkable claim demonstrates how radically international human rights laws diverge from the American Bill of Rights. Evidence is mounting that the U.N. Convention of the Rights of the Child is exerting its influence across the globe in ways that may, one day soon, threaten the rights of American parents to raise their children as they see fit. This binding treaty is now being considered for ratification by the U.S. Senate.

In the United States, “children” – defined by the CRC as anyone below the age of 18 – have every right to be active participants in all manner of political activities, from canvassing for candidates, to manning call centers and beyond. It is a basic right of free speech guaranteed in our First Amendment. Any effort by the government of the United States to curtail political activity by teenagers or other children would be summarily found to be unconstitutional by American courts. Clearly, the international human rights view of free speech – supposedly guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child – runs contrary to our American system of law.

This declaration should be a strong warning to American judges who seem all-too-eager to submit to international precedent in the advocacy of human rights.

And those in the United States Senate seeking ratification of the U.N. children’s convention might be surprised to learn that the announcement from Bangladesh runs contrary their position on the treaty.

Edward Lee O’Brien, the executive director emeritus of Street Law Inc., recently sent an e-mail to public school teachers in the United States on behalf of the U.S. Campaign for the Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This advocacy organization has asked public school teachers (in grades 6-12) to “pilot a new curriculum to teach about the CRC,” even though to do so would certainly violate the CRC’s apparent restrictions on children’s political activities.

American advocates of the CRC do have this in common with their counterparts in Dhaka – they both apparently believe in government control of the political thoughts of children. In Bangladesh, the government intends to tell them what they may not do; in the United States, the pro-U.N. crowd would like to tell children what they must believe.

Whether the issue is environmentalism, tax policy, or international law, public schools should not become agencies of propaganda.

If we really believe in children’s rights – in a form that is recognized by the Bill of Rights – then we need to do everything we possibly can do to defeat the U.N. Convention on the “Rights” of the Child. And we need to pass the Parental Rights Amendment – with now more than 120 co-sponsors in the U.S. House – to see that it stays defeated for good.

If we believe in the right of young Americans to engage in the political process, then it is essential that we defeat this dangerous treaty.

// Bookmark and Share

U.N. treaty to muzzle children?.

The Making of a Modern Dad | Psychology Today

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Department of Social Servies, Domestic Violence, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Sociopath, state crimes on October 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

The Making of a Modern Dad

“One of my first memories growing up was wishing that my father would be home more” recalls Andrew Hudnut M.D, a family doctor in Sacramento, California. “I was 8, and we had just returned from a canoe trip. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t want a bigger house or more money. I just want my dad around.’”

When his wife gave birth, Hudnut arranged his practice so he could be home to take care of his son, Seamus, two days a week; he sees patients on the other three workdays. “It was a very natural transition,” he reports. “I’m grateful to have the opportunity my father never had.”

Part of a new generation of men who are redefining fatherhood and masculinity, Hudnut, who is 33, is unwilling to accept the role of absentee provider that his father’s generation assumed. With mothers often being the breadwinners of the family, many young fathers are deciding that a man’s place can also be in the home—part-time or even full-time.

According to census figures, one in four dads takes care of his preschooler during the time the mother is working. The number of children who are raised by a primary-care father is now more than 2 million and counting. By all measures, fathers, even those who work full-time, are more involved in their children’s lives than ever before. According to the Families and Work Institute in New York City, fathers now provide three-fourths of the child care mothers do, up from one-half 30 years ago.

Is Father Nurture Natural?

Many men and women wonder if all of this father care is really natural. According to popular perceptions, men are supposedly driven by their hormones (primarily testosterone) to compete for status, to seek out sex and even to be violent—conditions hardly conducive to raising kids. A recent article in Reader’s Digest, “Why Men Act As They Do,” is subtitled “It’s the Testosterone, Stupid.” Calling the hormone “a metaphor for masculinity,” the article concludes, “…testosterone correlates with risk: physical, criminal, and personal.” Don’t men’s testosterone-induced chest-beating and risk-taking limit their ability to cradle and comfort their children?

Two Canadian studies suggest that there is much more to masculinity than testosterone. While testosterone is certainly important in driving men to conceive a child, it takes an array of other hormones to turn men into fathers. And among the best fathers, it turns out, testosterone levels actually drop significantly after the birth of a child. If manhood includes fatherhood, which it does for a majority of men, then testosterone is hardly the ultimate measure of masculinity.

In fact, the second of the two studies, which was recently published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, suggests that fathers have higher levels of estrogen the well-known female sex hormone—than other men. The research shows that men go through significant hormonal changes alongside their pregnant partners changes most likely initiated by their partner’s pregnancy and ones that even cause some men to experience pregnancy-like symptoms such as nausea and weight gain. It seems increasingly clear that just as nature prepares women to be committed moms, it prepares men to be devoted dads.

“I have always suspected that fatherhood has biological effects in some, perhaps all, men,” says biologist Sue Carter, distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. “Now here is the first hard evidence that men are biologically prepared for fatherhood.”

The studies have the potential to profoundly change our understanding of families, of fatherhood and of masculinity itself. Being a devoted parent is not only important but also natural for men. Indeed, there is evidence that men are biologically involved in their children’s lives from the beginning.

Is Biology Destiny for Dads?

It’s well known that hormonal changes caused by pregnancy encourage a mother to love and nurture her child. But it has long been assumed that a father’s attachment to his child is the result of a more uncertain process, a purely optional emotional bonding that develops over time, often years. Male animals in some species undergo hormonal changes that prime them for parenting. But do human dads? The two studies, conducted at Memorial University and Queens University in Canada, suggest that human dads do.

In the original study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, psychologist Anne Storey, and her colleagues took blood samples from 34 couples at different times during pregnancy and shortly after birth. The researchers chose to monitor three specific hormones because of their links to nurturing behavior in human mothers and in animal fathers.

The first hormone, prolactin, gets its name from the role it plays in promoting lactation in women, but it also instigates parental behavior in a number of birds and mammals. Male doves who are given prolactin start brooding and feeding their young, Storey found that in human fathers, prolactin levels rise by approximately 20 percent during the three weeks before their partners give birth.

The second hormone, cortisol, is well known as a stress hormone, but it is also a good indicator of a mother’s attachment to her baby. New mothers who have high cortisol levels can detect their own infant by odor more easily than mothers with lower cortisol levels. The mothers also respond more sympathetically to their baby’s cries and describe their relationship with their baby in more positive terms. Storey and her colleagues found that for expectant fathers, cortisol was twice as high in the three weeks before birth than earlier in the pregnancy.

To see the rest of the article:

The Making of a Modern Dad | Psychology Today.

Ohio.com – Even death won’t deter state agency

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on October 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Even death won’t deter state agency

By Bob Dyer
Beacon Journal columnist

Jeremy Bowling hasn’t made a single child-support payment in 19 months. He does, however, have a decent excuse.

He’s dead.

Has been for 19 months.

Now, it’s one thing to be a deadbeat dad. It’s quite another to simply be dead. Apparently the Ohio Child Support Payment people can’t tell the difference.

Every month, without fail, his aunt, who had power of attorney, gets a bill from Ohio Support Payment Central in Columbus. The one for September was $6,763.29.

The aunt, Cuyahoga Falls resident Rhoby Thursby (no relation to Ruby Tuesday), hasn’t sat back and watched the bills stack up. Soon after Bowling died of cancer at the age of 33, she mailed OSPC a copy of the death certificate — paying $15 to get one. And every month since, she has written about his earthly demise on the face of the latest bill and mailed it back, along with her phone number.

With the price of a first-class stamp up to 44 cents, she has grown weary of the drill. She didn’t know what else to do, so she called me.

Well, I certainly know what I’d do if I were her.

On the front of the payment coupon, it says, ”Check this box if your address has changed and write new address on back of coupon.” I’d check that box and write, ”HEAVEN.”

Probably wouldn’t work, either, but at least I’d feel better.

Thursby has managed to maintain her sense of humor despite encountering ”one of the most frustrating places to deal with I’ve ever found.”

She acknowledges that Bowling owed money for his son when he died, but said he was doing the best he could given the financial quagmire that enveloped him as he fought serious health problems.

The cancer he was diagnosed with at age 15 came back when he was 30 and studying chemical engineering at the University of Akron. He was one of only two UA students selected for an internship at the Perry nuclear plant, and his future seemed bright. But after a war against Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including a stem-cell transplant, his body simply shut down.

”He loved his son dearly,” Thursby said. ”He didn’t ever try to get out of taking care of his son.”

Even if he had, there’s no excuse for 19 months of bills.

Every other group managed to figure this out, from utility companies to banks to the health-care folks.

His former caseworker in the Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency long ago sent Thursby a sympathy card. Heck, the son is getting death benefits.

”I have tried every way I could think of to convince these people he’s dead,” she said, citing phone calls in addition to her mailings.

”Ohio is a big place. How many people are they sending bills to who are dead?”

How many, indeed?

”We really think it’s an isolated incident because we haven’t heard complaints from anyone else,” said Angela Terez, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. She promised the bills would stop, but said she couldn’t comment further because of ”confidentiality.”

Thursby said a local official called her Monday and attributed the problem to an old standby — the computer glitch — and said one more bill might be coming before it can be unglitched.

Must be particularly glitchy.


Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com.

Jeremy Bowling hasn’t made a single child-support payment in 19 months. He does, however, have a decent excuse.

He’s dead.

Has been for 19 months.

Now, it’s one thing to be a deadbeat dad. It’s quite another to simply be dead. Apparently the Ohio Child Support Payment people can’t tell the difference.

Every month, without fail, his aunt, who had power of attorney, gets a bill from Ohio Support Payment Central in Columbus. The one for September was $6,763.29.

The aunt, Cuyahoga Falls resident Rhoby Thursby (no relation to Ruby Tuesday), hasn’t sat back and watched the bills stack up. Soon after Bowling died of cancer at the age of 33, she mailed OSPC a copy of the death certificate — paying $15 to get one. And every month since, she has written about his earthly demise on the face of the latest bill and mailed it back, along with her phone number.

With the price of a first-class stamp up to 44 cents, she has grown weary of the drill. She didn’t know what else to do, so she called me.

Well, I certainly know what I’d do if I were her.

On the front of the payment coupon, it says, ”Check this box if your address has changed and write new address on back of coupon.” I’d check that box and write, ”HEAVEN.”

Probably wouldn’t work, either, but at least I’d feel better.

Thursby has managed to maintain her sense of humor despite encountering ”one of the most frustrating places to deal with I’ve ever found.”

She acknowledges that Bowling owed money for his son when he died, but said he was doing the best he could given the financial quagmire that enveloped him as he fought serious health problems.

The cancer he was diagnosed with at age 15 came back when he was 30 and studying chemical engineering at the University of Akron. He was one of only two UA students selected for an internship at the Perry nuclear plant, and his future seemed bright. But after a war against Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including a stem-cell transplant, his body simply shut down.

”He loved his son dearly,” Thursby said. ”He didn’t ever try to get out of taking care of his son.”

Even if he had, there’s no excuse for 19 months of bills.

Every other group managed to figure this out, from utility companies to banks to the health-care folks.

His former caseworker in the Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency long ago sent Thursby a sympathy card. Heck, the son is getting death benefits.

”I have tried every way I could think of to convince these people he’s dead,” she said, citing phone calls in addition to her mailings.

”Ohio is a big place. How many people are they sending bills to who are dead?”

How many, indeed?

”We really think it’s an isolated incident because we haven’t heard complaints from anyone else,” said Angela Terez, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. She promised the bills would stop, but said she couldn’t comment further because of ”confidentiality.”

Thursby said a local official called her Monday and attributed the problem to an old standby — the computer glitch — and said one more bill might be coming before it can be unglitched.

Must be particularly glitchy.


Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com.

Ohio.com – Even death won’t deter state agency.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 108 other followers