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Time Gets a Little Right and Much Wrong about Marriage in America – GlennSacks.com » Blog Archive

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, Freedom, Homosexual Agenda, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome on August 31, 2009 at 12:53 am

Time Gets a Little Right and Much Wrong about Marriage in America

August 30th, 2009 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

You’d think that an article that ends with this sentence,

What we teach about the true meaning of marriage will determine a great deal about our fate,

would do a better job than this one does of teaching its readers about marriage (Time, 7/2/09).  Caitlin Flanagan gets a few of the high points right, but ignores others entirely.  Maybe there’s an unwritten rule that I don’t know about that forbids mention of certain things.

What Flanagan gets right are things like the value of marriage and a stable home environment to children’s wellbeing.  She understands as well that much of our divorce culture stems from a attitude of hedonism that’s been learned over the past few decades.  Adults often seem incapable of seeing and acting on the most obvious truth – that divorce harms children and that they benefit from having two parents to raise them.  Absent the direst circumstances, adults who have made the choice to have children, should stick together and stick with the children until they themselves become adults.  After that, divorce is fine.

So Flanagan gets the basics, but her context goes a long way toward undermining her thesis.  That context is male infidelity.  The article starts off with photos of various high-profile male philanderers – Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, John Edwards and, yes, Jon Gosselin.  In the text, she tosses in John Ensign, just to balance the ticket, I suppose.

So what Flanagan is suggesting, without coming out and saying it explicitly, is that the “me first” culture that’s destroying marriage is all about the narcisism of men.  Never does she mention a high-profile female adulterer.  Nowhere does she cite statistics that show that, while married men stray more than do married women, the difference is a matter of a few percentage points.  Depending on which study you prefer, something like 23-28% of married men have extramarital affairs while 15-22% of married women do.  In Flanagan’s piece no women do.

Nor does she mention that most marriages in which one or the other partner commits adultery remain intact.  So sexual infidelity, as wrong as it is, as painful as it is, as self-centered as it is, has little to do with the failure of marriage in America.

Flanagan champions marriage for the many good reasons we all know, but, while bemoaning the fragility of that most important of institutions, she never asks why it’s become fragile.  Doubtless the answers to that question are many and complex, but why not give it a shot?  Why not at least try?

Well, maybe it’s because doing so would inevitably lead where Flanagan and Time fear to tread.  Maybe it would violate that unwritten rule I mentioned earlier.  That marriage is in such ill repute, might conceivably force us to ask how it got that way.  After all, 50 years ago, it wasn’t.  So what happened?

Well, one thing that happened was feminism.

I’m aware of course that many feminists are married.  Gloria Steinem is; Katha Pollitt is; most of my female feminist friends are.  But one of the most consistent themes of feminist discourse over the past 40 years has been that marriage is the seat of male subjugation of women.  According to many feminist writers (see, e.g. Catharine MacKinnon) over the years, marriage is at best unnecessary and at worst dangerous to women.  And if men are dangerous to women, they’re no less so to children, so the story goes.

Never mind that essentially every word of those claims is directly contradicted by massive amounts of social science.  Never mind that, whatever may be true about women, men, fish and bicycles, children need their fathers.  And never mind that children have more to fear from their mothers than from their fathers.

Never mind all that because, for decades, popular culture absorbed and repeated most of those feminist claims producing TV programs, movies, books (fiction and non-fiction), short stories, etc. which hewed to the feminist narrative that men are dangerous to women and children and, in any case, incompetent to – and uninterested in – caring for children.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?

No, that’s not my argument.  My argument is simply this: I find it highly coincidental that, after decades of denigrating men, fathers and the institution of marriage, that the institution of marriage is now so shaky.  Maybe the one had nothing to do with the other.  Maybe if second wave feminism had never happened, marriage would still be on the rocks.  About that we’ll never know.  But what we do know is what did happen.  Anyone who chooses to believe that the denigration of marriage by feminists and taken up by popular culture had nothing to do with its current status is welcome to that opinion.

Flanagan, not content to ignore feminism’s contibution to the decline of marriage, moves right on to ignore the law’s.  I’ve detailed elsewhere the many, many ways in which family law separates children from fathers and thus tends to obviate the reason for marriage.  So I won’t go into that again.  But what I will say is this:  we know the one thing that will do more than anything else to discourage it – shared parenting.

Women file for about 70% of divorces in the United States.  They do so because they know to a virtual certainty that they will retain physical custody of their children.  That was the finding of a massive study done in 2000 by Margaret Brinig and Douglas Allen of over 40,000 divorce cases in four states.  They learned that far more than any other factor encouraging divorce was the fact that the woman knew she would not lose contact with her children.  What’s also true is that divorce rates drop in jurisdictions that adopt some version of shared parenting.  Establish shared parenting as the law, and, in addition to all its other benefits, watch the divorce rate drop.

But Caitlin Flanagan reports none of that.

Think of what might happen if we devoted even half the resources to telling the truth about fathers and children that we devoted to disinformation about them over the past 40 years.  Combine that with making real efforts – like establishing the presumption of shared parenting in all 50 states – to ensure maximal continued contact between fathers and children post-divorce.  Do those two things and let’s see what the state of marriage is in this country.

Thanks to Jed for the heads-up.

GlennSacks.com » Blog Archive » Time Gets a Little Right and Much Wrong about Marriage in America.

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Federal Government Freezes County Title IV-E Funds – News Story – WJAC Johnstown

In children legal status, Childrens Rights, CPS, cps fraud, Department of Social Servies, Foster Care, Foster CAre Abuse, Foster Care Scam on August 30, 2009 at 1:23 am

Blair County Commissioners announced Tuesday that they will have to figure out how to survive without $571,000 from the federal government.

The commissioners were hoping the money would carry them through the next few months, especially since there’s no state budget.Officials have frozen the Federal Title IV-E Funds that allow states to apply for and receive federal matching funds to aid with juvenile probation and child welfare activities.

Those activities include adoption assistance, foster care maintenance payments, training and administrative expenses.”They’re alleging that our Pennsylvania state government isn’t managing those funds properly,” Commissioner Terry Tomasetti said. “It has to do with record keeping.”

Blair County is not the only county being affected. Every county in the state has had their funding deferred.Bedford County may lose $348,000. Elk County is looking at a loss of $55,860.Tomasetti added not only will the county lose the federal funding, they may even have to pay back funds if there was indeed problems with state records.

Copyright 2009 by WJACTV.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Federal Government Freezes County Title IV-E Funds – News Story – WJAC Johnstown.

Parents’ Rights – Nancy Schaefer Speaks at the World Congress on Families

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, Liberty, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment on August 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Nancy Schaefer Speaks at the World Congress on Families


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Nancy Schaefer
President of Eagle Forum of Georgia

Nancy Schaefer
August 27, 2009

Nancy Schaefer, President of Eagle Forum of Georgia and Eagle Forum’s National Chairman for Parents’ Rights, spoke at the World Congress on Families V in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on August 11, 2009.

Pro-family leaders and groups from 63 nations attended the World Congress of Families V. 900 delegates were Dutch and other nations represented included, United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, the U.K., Ireland, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Moldavia, Slovakia, Russia, Nigeria, Ghana, the Democratic Republic, of Congo, Kenya, Pakistan, Australia, and the Philippines. More than 3,000 people around the world watched the live telecast via the Internet.

On August 16th, Schaefer delivered, via cyber space, her speech to the Nordic Committee for Human Rights (NCHR) in Gothenburg, Sweden on the protection of Family Rights in Nordic countries.

Schaefer spoke on “The Unlimited Power of Child Protective Services” (CPS).

She told her audience “children are seized unnecessarily from their families due to federal aid created in 1974 entitled “The Adoption and Safe Families Act.” It offers financial incentives to the States that increase adoption numbers. To receive the ‘adoption incentives’ or ‘bonuses’, local CPS must have more children. They must have merchandise that sells… this is an abuse of power. It is lack of accountability and it is a growing criminal/political phenomenon spreading around the globe.”

To hear the entire speech click here.

Nancy Schaefer wrote a scathing report on “The Corruption of Child Protective Services” while serving as a State Senator of Georgia.

To read or to get a copy of Schaefer’s “Report” or her speech in Amsterdam, please visit the Eagle Forum of Georgia website at www.eagleforumofgeorgia.org

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”
Psalm 33:12

Eagle Forum of Georgia
Phone: 706-754-8321
Web-Site: www.eagleforumofga.org
Email: nancy.schaefer@nancyschaefer.com

+ Review other Parents’ Rights Articles

Do Children Reconcile after Parental Alienation Syndrome?

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, motherlessness, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights on August 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Do Children Reconcile?

by Katherine Andre, PhDwww.parentalalienationsolutions.com

Do children reconcile?The  most frequently asked question that I have heard from alienated parents  after “What do I do next?”  is “Will my child return?”
Although there are no guarantees, many professionals believe and have seen many alienated children return. Some are helped to return by therapists, assisted by court orders, and others may need to be deprogrammed.  Some believe that when natural maturation occurs and children are able to think for themselves, that they initiate and begin the process to reconcile.

Some may require intervention.Intervention can take the form of bringing to light the themes of the alienator’s belief system or program. One common theme called denial of existence sends the message to the child that the other parent is not significant.

Children are not allowed to talk about the parent, express joy about the parent and are given a subtle, but clear message to refuse to acknowledge the parent at social functions. There are other themes that you can read about in Children Held Hostage.

Extended family especially have an obligation to intervene to help children by bringing to light the brainwashing and offering communications to correct the alienator’s misrepresentation of reality. Children always lose when they don’t feel free to love both parents.

Studies reveal that geographical distance from the alienator and more time with the rejected parent is also a powerful factor in reconciliation. This may not be possible unless you are involved in litigation and are fortunate enough to be in a court system that recognizes and is knowledgeable bout PA.
It has been estimated that  95 percent of alienated children reconcile and only 5 percent do not. From clinical experience and anecdotal stories, there are similarities among the cases.
Among these cases, the similarities suggest that four  factors are important.

  • Contact of some kind with your child, especially around milestones like birthdays, graduations, or other important events. Cards, phone calls, or letters may be misinterpreted as harassment, but on the other hand, they may just be important reminders to your child that you exist and you care.
  • Love, love, love. Keep sending out messages of love. Children who have returned tell me that they didn’t want to hear the parent defend or explain unless asked,  they just needed to see loving actions.
  • Community support, and personal and family support provide a much needed network of assistance. Closely akin to the idea that it takes a village to raise a child , it takes a community to intervene on behalf of PA children. As Clawar and Rivlin point out in their landmark book published by the American Bar Association, Section of family Law called  Children Held Hostage, “the legal system in most states is not currently adequate to protect children from this form of abuse.” Mental health professionals, teachers and coaches, attorneys, family members, friends and others who discover the brainwashing process “have an obligation to intervene on behalf of the child” just as they would for other forms of child abuse. (Note: in California at least, progress in this area has been made since the book was published in 1991.California mediators are trained in recognizing alienation.)
  • Hope. Accept what is happening, choose to go on with your own life, but maintain hope. It is a thread that runs through stories of successful reconciliations. Figure out what it takes for you to stay hopeful, even without months or years of reciprocity or acknowledgement of your efforts. For some, a support group, church attendance, counseling, journal writing, Yoga, or meditation classes have helped. For others, writing a loving “final” letter of acceptance has helped and even started a reconciliation process. Whatever it is, find it, practice, it and do it.

Hope is closely connected to staying inspiredHope is closely connected to staying inspired. Read about other reunited cases and perhaps you will find ideas to help you. Remember what Dale Carnegie said,” Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
There are cases of children reconciling, even as adults, and even after years of being alienated. Some adult children return with feelings of guilt for the way they have treated their rejected parent. They experience anger and betrayal at the parent who deceived them into believing lies and manipulating their emotions.

Some require treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder before being able to address the alienation issues and the ways in which their part in the alienation process has affected their adult lives. Although the missed years can never be restored, they can be forgiven. You can go forward and establish meaningful connections once again. Others have gone before you; you can too.

Do Children Reconcile after Parental Alienation Syndrome?.

A Father’s Desperate Search for His Son | Dad-O-Matic

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights on August 27, 2009 at 3:20 am

A Father’s Desperate Search for His Son

Liam smiling
I spoke to Chris Cuomo from ABC’s Good Morning America recently on behalf of Dad-O-matic. We talked about the Liam McCarty case. He’s the boy that was illegally taken by his mother to Italy, where he is supposedly living in an orphanage as a ward of the state, after his mother, Manuela Antonelli, was ruled unfit to maintain custody. Michael McCarty, 49, the father, has been trying to reunite with his son ever since he was taken but has been unsuccessful….And example of a growing trend of parental alienation cases.

Dad-O-matic
“Chris, what is the latest on this case?”

Chris Cuomo
“Liam’s whereabouts are somewhat of a mystery. He is supposedly living in an orphanage, but word is he is spending time with his maternal grandparents, even though his mother filed complaints against them…this is one slice of a very confounding tale.

Dad-O-matic
“Where is the father now? Is he there in Italy?”

Chris Cuomo
“No. And here is another slice. The father had been told to wait until the most recent evaluation of the child’s situation was complete. He says he was told it would take “a few weeks”, but it has been months. Also, he’s got a business here in the states, so he can’t afford to stop everything to go wait over there for who knows how long they’ll keep him waiting.”

Dad-O-matic
“How long has this been going on?”

Chris Cuomo
“Another slice…over 5 years. The mother and father have been at odds since Liam was only a few months old. Liam was shuttled back and forth between Italy and the U.S. The father has not seen his son since April, and the boy has been in Italy ever since the father was awarded custody in the U.S. in 2008. Liam is over 8 now

Dad-O-matic
“What is the primary reasons given by the Italian officials for keeping Liam separated from his father?”

Chris Cuomo
Our reporting is ongoing, and the Italian authorities are tight-lipped because there is ongoing litigation. Basically Italian authorities initially awarded the mother custody without much knowledge of the situation, according to the father. The officials ignored the U.S. legal custody determination on the son (Liam was born in italy but is a U.S. citizen because his father is, and he lived here over half his life). The mother made allegations of sexual abuse of the boy against the father in the us and in Italy. The U.S. had more than one agency review and found nothing. In fact, the false allegations played a role in the determination that the mother was unfit here in the us. The Italian officials also ignored all the documentation of the us review of the allegations and insisted on their own review. They, too, found no basis and the review once again contributed to a finding that the mother was unfit. Parental alienation is a developing phenomenon in the U.S. It is used as a bomb in custody situations. It started the father on the wrong path in Italy.

All this said, Liam is estranged from his father and is very hostile toward him. The father says this is from numerous interviews with doctors about abuse and brainwashing by his mother and her family. Whatever the reason, Liam has expressed a desire not to see his father.

Dad-O-matic
“So the father hasn’t been cleared or convicted of anything yet?”

Chris Cuomo
“That is also kind of unclear. All the reviews done in the us and in Italy have accused the father of no abuse, and there is even a finding from some level of the Italian court system awarding custody to the father…and yet he is still isolated from the son

Dad-O-matic
“So what else can the father do?”

Chris Cuomo
“He has no other choice but to wait now. Liam’s fate rests in the hands of the Italian judicial system now. He has appeared on many news casts and done a bunch of interviews. There’s even a website called “http://saveLiam.Org

Dad-O-matic
“What can we do about this?”

Chris Cuomo
“Let me be clear about this. I am not Liam’s advocate here. I merely want to find some answers, and as a parent, and frankly, as an attorney, I am motivated by the apparent inequities here…not to mention the absolute damage this poor kid has suffered. Things just aren’t adding up here. I think it’s sad that this boy has spent so much time away from both parents in a foreign country’s orphanage. We just need answers. And Liam needs to get placed with people who love him and some normalcy.

Dad-O-matic
“Can social media and social networks help?”

Chris Cuomo
“Yes, when you look at David Goldman, the father who is fighting for his son Sean, who was secreted by his now deceased mother to Brazil, and at Mike McCarty in this instance, and many other parents in similar situations around the world…we need to find out what good the Hague convention is and the respect of countries for it (one of the provisions demands return of a child within 6 weeks, when a host country makes a showing of wrongful removal)… perhaps if enough of us ask the right questions, then maybe we’ll get someone’s attention and finally get some answers that make some sense. The sad thing is that this happens a lot. There are over a thousand cases worldwide. This very well could happen to any one of us.
I think this would be a worthy cause to mobilize the troops online. Just like the people of Iran used twitter to spread the word to the world, maybe we can do the same here”

Here are some useful Resources that will keep you informed of the latest updates regarding Liam McCarty.

On twitter, use the hashtag #SaveLiam

Twitter’s search engine for everything about Liam

Official SaveLiam website that tracks everything regarding Liam’s case

FBI most wanted list for Liam’s mother

Interpol entry regarding Liam’s kidnapping

David Goldman’s Bring Sean Home website:  http://BringSeanHome.org

Related posts:

A Father’s Desperate Search for His Son | Dad-O-Matic.

Dr. Amy Baker sets up a Middle School program for Children of Parental Alienation

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights on August 26, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dr. Amy Baker sets up a Middle School program for Children of Parental Alienation

I DON’T WANT TO CHOOSE:
A SCHOOL-BASED PROGRAM FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHILDREN OF DIVORCEProgram Overview

“I Don’t Want to Choose” is a newly developed school-based curriculum for groups of middle school children whose parents are separated or divorced. The program is designed to be run by a professional who is familiar with this age group such as a school social worker, school psychologist, guidance counselor, teacher, or school administrator. The purpose of the program is to teach children how to resist the pressure to choose between their parents by developing a stronger sense of self. The program can operate during lunch or other non academic portions of the day so that it does not take time away from school activities.

The Curriculum

“I Don’t Want to Choose” is a 20-week curriculum based on the “I Don’t Want to Choose” book and workbook. The core of the program is an exploration of family situations which are likely to occur in separated or divorced families that can create conflicting feelings in children that they have to choose one parent over the other. Each week the facilitator, using the I Don’t Want to Choose manual, presents a situation, discusses the kinds of thoughts and feeling that children might have in such a situation, presents four problem solving approaches (see below), and guides the children through activities that are focused on that situation.

Family Situations

Seventeen family situations have been identified through empirical research with divorced parents as well as with adults who experienced loyalty conflicts as children. Situations include one parent looking sad, hurt, or angry, when a child leaves to be with the other parent; one parent undermining the rules and authority of the other parent; and one parent confiding in the child about the other parent. These situations create the expectation in the child that he or she should do something to please one parent that will most likely hurt or betray the other parent.

Problem-Solving

The cornerstone of “I Don’t Want to Choose” is the development of four complimentary approaches to dealing with loyalty conflicts. When these approaches are used, children develop the skills that they need to resist the pressure to choose one parent over the other.

Critical thinking skills help children be clearer about where their ideas are coming from and can prevent one parent from implanting false ideas about the other parent.

Considering options helps children understand that there is usually more than one way to respond to any situation and that if they brainstorm ideas, they may be able to identify a solution that will prevent them from doing something that they might later regret.

Listening to one’s heart helps children be clear about their values and priorities and prevents them from becoming overpowered by the emotions and needs of a parent.

Getting support helps children identify strengths within themselves and resources in their environment that they can draw on when needed.

Program Developers

The I Don’t Want to Choose book and workbook were developed by Amy J.L. Baker and Katherine Andre and published by the Kindred Spirits foundation.

Amy J.L. Baker has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and is the Director of Research for the New York Foundling Fontana Center for Child Protection in New York City. She has 20 years experience conducting research on parent-child relationships on topics such as attachment, early intervention, parent involvement in their children’s education, and child welfare. She is a nationally recognized expert in parental alienation and loyalty conflicts. She is the author or co-author of 4 books and over 50 articles. Her website is http://www.amyjlbaker.com.

Katherine Andre, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist with a clinical practice in Northern California for nearly 20 years. For 10 years, she has been a family law mediator. She earned her doctorate from the University of Georgia where she received specialized training in child neuropsychology. She is a recognized expert in parental alienation and loyalty conflict. She has published in peer reviewed journals and been on internet and radio shows. Her therapeutic work with children and parents is derived from evidenced-based treatments.

Kindred Spirits is a non-profit organization dedicated to healing parent-child alienation. Our mission is to develop resources for those coping with child/parent alienation; educate professionals responsible for children’s well being on the harmful consequences of child/parent alienation; support research to evaluate the social and individual consequences of children needlessly deprived of a parent; and advocate institutional reform to recognize child/parent alienation.

“I Don’t Want to Choose” in Your School

The I Don’t Want to Choose program can be implemented as an add-on to an existing school-based program for children or as a stand-alone program. Program developers will work with your school staff to make the program work in each setting. Nominal costs include $25 per family for program materials and $50 for a reusable facilitator manual (bulk discounts are available). Training and support are not required but are available free of charge for up to 10 hours.

Programs for younger and older children may also be available.

For more information about the I Don’t Want to Choose program and resource material, contact Dara Blumenberg, Executive Director, Kindred Spirits, at (917) 710-8187.

Communicationhelper: Dr. Amy Baker sets up a Middle School program for Children of Parental Alienation.

Public school teacher says men don’t belong in children’s lives

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Sociopath, state crimes on August 26, 2009 at 12:58 am

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Public school teacher says men don’t belong in children’s lives

The Indianapolis Star on Sunday 23 August 2009 featured an editorial letter that I had written.

The Star allows for readers to make comments below articles and it didn’t take long for the male-bashers to post theirs. While most are easily dismissed for lack of a valid or logic based argument. Others are simply not relevant to the topic and don’t belong in the discussion. Yet, one stood out and brought about the ire of some others.

Here is the comments made by seniorteacher

“I am all or Dad’s involvement in children’s lives, but for God’s sake let’s stop this process of shared custody where the children are shuffled from family to family every two days or so. These children have no place to call home, and don’t give me the crap about them having two homes. They don’t want two homes; they want one. I’m a teacher and I see the result of this selfish practice, and I am also the result of it. It’s a terrible childhood, and believe it or not parents it isn’t about what you want. It is about what the child needs. So all you greedy dads back off. Children need one home, be it one parent or two. They can visit you on the weekend and summer vacations, and you can be there when they need you. But please do not demand shared custody. You’ll save your child a world of insecurity, confusion, and hurt.”
8/23/2009 10:42:20 PM

This teacher starts out with “I am all [f]or Dad’s involvement in children’s lives.” but then regresses to “So all you greedy dads back off. Children need one home, be it one parent or two. They can visit you on the weekend and summer vacations, and you can be there when they need you.” Seniorteacher has been a teacher for 23 years mostly at public high schools. It is deplorable that we have a teacher of maturing boys who has the attitude that fathers should be occasional visitors in their children’s lives. She has clearly expressed that she does not feel that children need their fathers more than 4 days a month. This is damaging to children and is unacceptable.

I had a teacher in sixth grade who had gone through a difficult divorce and child custody battle. We boys were made to feel second class and degraded so much that some of us eventually picketed the classroom demanding equality. I am unable to recall any specific instances of what my teacher said but I do know we boys paraphrased it to each other as ‘she says girls are better than boys’. I doubt that ‘seniorteacher’ refrains from expressing this attitude either overtly or inconspicuously while in the classroom. Trying to break down masculinity and demeaning an entire gender and teaching them that they are not important is not acceptable.

Feminist Karla Mantilla summarized the philosophy behind this male bashing in an article entitled “Kids Need ‘Fathers’ Like Fish Need Bicycles.” She wrote, “I submit that men tend to emphasize values such as discipline, power, control, stoicism and independence. Sure, there can be some good from these things, but they are mostly damaging to kids (and other living things). They certainly made my son suffer an isolated and tortured existence until he began to see that there was a way out of the trap of masculinity.”[1]

“As boys pass from childhood to manhood, they develop their moral and ethical code.”[2] It is at this time it is most important that a teacher not be instilling into them that they are not as valued as women and don’t need to be a significant part of their future or current children’s lives.

Roger Scruton, author of “Modern Manhood,” explains what is going on with feminist ideology in classrooms, “Feminists have sniffed out male pride wherever it has grown and ruthlessly uprooted it. Under their pressure, modern culture has downgraded or rejected such masculine virtues as courage, tenacity and military prowess in favor of more gentle, more ‘socially inclusive’ habits.”[3]

I recommend that you read “The Lost Boys” by Cathy Young . She makes some very valid points about the hypocrisy of the radical feminist and the double standards applied to young boys including in the educational setting.

I call upon every school system in the State of Indiana to either create a formal policy advocating the importance of both parents or require that their teachers receive instruction on gender stereotypes and avoiding degrading an entire gender of parents such as ‘seniorteacher’ has done. This would not be tolerated if it was a statement about race; gender should be no different.

[1] Karla Mantilla, “Kids Need ‘Fathers’ Like Fish Need Bicycles,” Off Our Backs, June 1998, pp. 12-13.
[2] Boys to Men: Entertainment Media Messages About Masculinity – 1999
[3] Roger Scruton, “Modern Manhood,” New York City Journal, 19 January 2000.


Stuart Showalter

Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates

©2009 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it’s entirety with credit given.

Stuart Showalter Law Blog: Public school teacher says men don’t belong in children’s lives.

Law Times – Children in conflict focus of family law congress – Children’s Rights

In Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers on August 25, 2009 at 10:20 pm
Children in conflict focus of family law congress Print E-mail
Halifax hosting international event this week
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By Kelly Harris | Publication Date: Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Children faced with conflict suffer the same challenges worldwide, it is the solutions that differ, says Justice Stuart Fowler of the Family Court of Australia.

A driving force behind the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights, being held in Halifax this week, Fowler hopes the meeting will promote a renewed enthusiasm for the protection of children. This will be the fifth installment of the congress that began in Sydney, Australia in 1993.

“The thing this congress has taught me is that problems with children around the world are the same, but solutions are dissimilar,” Fowlers says. “Everybody has the chance to learn from each other.

“This congress . . . has never been one to suggest that it should be a self-education caucus. It also seeks to achieve outcomes for the future. It has in the past achieved outcomes.”

This year’s congress coincides with the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights on the Child. One of the resolutions from the original congress held in Sydney was the worldwide ratification of the convention. To date, 193 countries have ratified the main convention with only the United States and Somalia deferring. The U.S. has ratified two optional protocols on child prostitution and child pornography.

Other initiatives promoted through the world congress have included the criminalization of sex tourism. More than creating a law to punish those who would go abroad and conduct acts that would be illegal in their own country, the congress achieved a “societal change,” says Fowler.

Prior to 1993, there wasn’t an awareness of the sex tourism issue. By raising awareness, the congress has helped to encourage better protection for the children involved.

The theme of this year’s conference being held in Halifax from Aug. 23 to 26 is Children Caught in Conflict. It focuses on areas of child protection, responding to differences, children of war, and children’s rights and family conflicts. Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Jim Williams says the conference’s theme shows both the micro and macro level of conflict faced by children.

“Micro in the sense of perhaps looking at the traditional family law, looking at the model of children caught in conflict with family,” he says. “Macro in terms of looking at children in conflict on a much broader perspective in terms of issues of war, poverty, disease . . . which obviously has a significant impact on the breadth of the interdisciplinary experience.

“So it is a conference that is fairly unique in the breadth of the experience it offers professionals who attend it.”

Specific topics discussed at the congress include traditional family law issues including adoption, children’s voices in family law cases, changing nature of families, and comparative family law reform. Other topics include child trafficking and exploitation and children recruited to war. The conference will feature a special presentation from a former-child soldier.

Presentations given by family law professionals will become resolutions that will be considered for adoption at the end of the conference.

Chief Justice Diana Bryant, of the Family Court of Australia, says the resolutions are what make the congress unique, not only will there be shared research and ideas, “but it combines that with trying to actually come out of the conference with some resolutions, which will actually improve a lot of vulnerable children, both in our own country and around the world.”

Law Times – Children in conflict focus of family law congress.

CA. Attorney–‘Assembly Line’ Justice in Domestic Violence Cases – GlennSacks.com » Blog Archive

In Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Restraining Orders, state crimes on August 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm

CA. Attorney–‘Assembly Line’ Justice in Domestic Violence Cases

August 24th, 2009 by Glenn Sacks, MA for Fathers & Families

California attorney Chuck Tarr, a reader and supporter since 2004, has an interesting commentary on California’s Domestic Violence laws. Tarr writes:

Although on it’s face, California’s Domestic Violence laws would appear to be gender neutral, in practice, I think there is great disparity in attitudes. The DV calendar reminds me of an assembly line.

PC 273.5, the basic DV (domestic violence) statute, is a “wobbler”, that is, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Hence, the “assembly line” procedure is that even in the most minor of situations (as the police must take away the “primary aggressor regardless of the “victim’s” wishes), a DV defendant is arrested and booked on felony charges.

Those charges carry high bail. If this takes place on a Thursday or Friday, they will sit in jail, usually until the following Monday.

They are humiliated and missing work. The first thing they want to do is get out of custody (assuming they could not afford to post bail). At the DV calendar for first appearances, when presented with the pitch that if they plead guilty they will be released with no further jail and just “probation,” many defendants do so, as they can’t afford to risk losing their job or staying in custody any longer.

Then, there is a mandatory one-year “Batterer’s Program” and repeated progress reports to the court during that year. A DV conviction, even if no weapons were involved, carries a 10-year firearm ban in California, and arguably, a lifetime ban federally.

What has happened in these types of cases and on many others is that in reaction to perhaps one heinous or outrageous case, some legislator introduces a bill (pandering to the electorate) changing the rules of evidence, changing penalties, changing procedures, etc. It’s a complex subject.

GlennSacks.com » Blog Archive » CA. Attorney–‘Assembly Line’ Justice in Domestic Violence Cases.

Police arrest mom in child abuse case

In Children and Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence on August 25, 2009 at 4:06 pm
8/25/2009 12:01:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article
Police arrest mom in child abuse case

By Heath Hamacher
Staff Writer

LAWRENCEVILLE – Police arrested a Lawrenceville woman after her son showed up at preschool with a busted lip and missing a tooth, authorities said.

According to reports, Lawrenceville Academy staff members called police about 11:24 a.m. Friday after Xavier Weems, age unknown, told them that visible injuries to his mouth were caused when his mother, 46-year-old Janelle Yvonne Weems, pushed his face into a wall.

Weems faces two counts of first-degree cruelty to children and one count of aggravated battery by disfiguring.

Administrators pulled Xavier out of class, reports said, and questioned him after noticing the injuries. The child reportedly said he had gotten in trouble in class and was being spanked against a wall when his mother pushed the back of his head, knocking out one of his front teeth.

The child also suffered cut lips and a bruised forehead, police said.

According to investigators, Xavier Weems’ older brother, Quentin, a kindergarten student, confirmed the account.

Warrants show Janelle Weems faces an additional child cruelty charge for allegedly pinching Quentin inside his left forearm, “causing marks and scars,” sometime within the last two weeks.

Weems is being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Jail and is hiring an attorney, records show.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Police arrest mom in child abuse case.

Parental Alienation and The Marvels of Facebook

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Sociopath on August 24, 2009 at 12:00 pm

2009/08/22

The marvels of Facebook

It’s been more than 2 years now since I last saw my daughter, — not even a picture of her! She is now 9-years old, but I have no idea how tall she is or what she looks like. This complicates matters when I want to send her clothing as a gift.

In December 2007 when the gruelling legal processes of custody, care and access, finally came to an end, and the Judge ordered that my child may be removed from South Africa to live in Australia, I found comfort in the fact that modern technology such as E-mail, Facebook, and Skype, would abridge the distance between us.  But sadly, this has not happened, — despite the stipulations contained in a legal Court Order!

The mother of my child has remained uncooperative, dishonest, and just plain evil in her malicious attempts to alienate my daughter from me and my relatives living in South Africa. In the past, her treachery was difficult to verify with solid evidence, but things have changed somewhat! Enter —- the popular social utility called, “Facebook”. Not only has this utility made it easy for the average person to find anyone who has a face and a name, it has also opened up new possibilities and methods for detective work, — or to put it more precisely, to discover whether someone is being deceitful, or not.

The mother’s excuses that she did not have access to a computer or email at their new home in Australia was delivered to me by the ex-mother-in-law about 6 months after her daughter left the country. Another 6 months flew by and the same excuse was delivered. Two years later the excuse for not sending me any photographs via email was, according to feedback from the ex-mother-in-law, because the computer in Australia was giving constant problems. Do these people really think that I am a total moron – or what?

The mother of my child had hardly left the country when she registered her profile on Facebook. One of the first people she connected with was her first husband (now living in the UK), who happened to be on my “friend list”. The mother’s face (my ex-wife) popped up under her maiden name as a “friend suggestion” — and that’s basically how I came to learn about her presence on the internet. I didn’t even have to search for her, — her face basically dropped into my lap – so to speak!

It didn’t take me long to figure out that the mother of my estranged child, and the man she is living with in Australia, are both very active on Facebook. Both however, have ignored my requests to be a Facebook friend. In fact, I suspect that my daughter’s new daddy has blocked me, because all traces of the man have disappeared from the social network site. This sudden disappearance occurred moments after I sent him a courteous message asking him to forward some recent pictures of my daughter.

The privacy settings on Facebook allows you to choose what information is available to outsiders when they search your name. It so happens that my ex-wife has allowed access to her profile picture as well as her “friend list”. It was the growing number of friends on her list, from zero to 30 in a matter of a few months, that made me realize that the woman was an active user of Facebook, and that her many excuses, delivered via the ex-mother-in-law, were all blatant lies. The woman had also allowed the “Send Message” link on her public profile, — so every odd now and then I would send her a message requesting some news about OUR child, —- but the silence from her end has been deafening! For fear that she may also block me, my messages have not been too frequent – about once every third month.

About 3 weeks ago I made my customary weekend call to my daughter in Australia. Usually one of the other kids in the household would answer the phone and then call my little Angel to speak to me. This time however, the phone was answered by Her Majesty – Drama Queen herself. This was the first time I’ve actually spoken to the ex since she left the South African court room in December 2007. I was anticipating the usual cold-and-conceited treatment from Her Majesty, but instead — I received a rather unauthentic, “Hello – how are you keeping?” I approached the woman with extreme caution, almost in a similar fashion one would approach a venomous snake lying in the path to your only way out of more imminent danger. You don’t want to kill the thing but you don’t want to tread on it either, — if you catch my drift!

With the knowledge of her Facebook activities quite fresh in my mind, it took a great deal of willpower not to explode when I was again given the same old excuse that the home computer in Australia had been broken for years, —  hence the reason why she hasn’t sent any pictures of my child. The suburb she lives in apparently does not have, what we call here in SA, — Internet Cafés. Neither do any of her friends in the area have computers. Can you believe that? It’s no wonder there are so many “dumb blonde” jokes floating about!

A few words on privacy…
I have gone to great lengths on this blog as well as my parent blog Tia Mysoa, not to reveal my true name or the names of persons involved in the BorderlineAttack saga. Although there will no-doubtly be people (close friends and relatives) who know the true identity of the writer behind these postings, — and maybe a few others who are techno-savvy,  I would prefer to keep a low profile while sharing my personal feelings and thoughts with the entire world. Also, — One day my little girl will grow up and start wondering what happened to her father, — why wasn’t he part of her life?

She will start searching for the truth, and will possible Google my name to see what pops up. I do not want her to be associated with my emotional pain and suffering. I do not want her to ever feel guilty for being born into a marriage that didn’t work out, or to feel hatred towards her mother for keeping us apart. And that concludes my words on privacy.

borderlineATTACK: The marvels of Facebook.

Husband falsely accused of child rape wins $1.2 million from ex-spouse

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Divorce, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Sociopath on August 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Its about time more dads went after their vindictive ex-wife and ex-mother’s in law for these type of Parental Alienation Tactics.  It is just another form of child abuse that is tolerated by the courts… Parental Rights

Husband falsely accused of child rape wins $1.2 million from ex-spouse

By Phil Trexler
Beacon Journal staff writer

The flier went out to neighbors in bold letters: CHILD RAPIST.

The text contained the name and address of the accused with more bold words: BE ALERT! PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.

Rodd Sutton, formerly of Akron, was the target of the flier. It was another part of his contentious custody dispute that began more than 10 years ago with his ex-wife, Victoria Douglas.

Police and Summit County Children Services investigated the rape complaint in 2004, when Douglas alleged her husband had inappropriate contact with their daughter, now 10.

Authorities found the charges untrue, but that didn’t stop the ex-wife from passing out the fliers to neighbors.

The husband, 46, then went on the offensive, suing his ex-wife and her mother.

A Summit County jury this month sided with Sutton, awarding him more than $1.2 million in damages for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Sutton’s attorneys, Tim Hanna and James Campbell, said collecting the settlement might be an issue, but the case is about more than money, they said.

”Maybe it’s not about the issue of collecting,” Campbell said. ”Maybe it’s about the principal of vindicating this guy and showing you can stand up for what you believe in.”

Neither Douglas nor her attorney, Larry Shenise, were available for comment.

Paper consumes the dockets of the ex-couple’s divorce and civil lawsuits with hundreds of entries and countless reams of motions filled with allegations of child abuse and drug use, as well as contempt of court findings against each side over visitation and other issues.

The case took a more public turn when Sutton sued over the fliers distributed to neighbors. It happened after complaints of sexual abuse lodged against the husband by the ex-wife in 2004.

Douglas, 44, made the allegations to Akron and Springfield police, Akron Children’s Hospital and Children Services.

Each agency found no evidence of abuse.

Sutton’s attorneys contend Douglas transferred a house in Lakemore from her name to her mother, Rosemary Douglas, to save it from possible loss in the defamation lawsuit.

A jury awarded Sutton $136,000 from his former mother-in-law for the property transaction. Victoria Douglas now resides in Florida with her daughter.

The case was heard by a jury and Judge Alison McCarty.

Campbell said the only question asked by jurors was whether they could give Sutton more money than he was seeking.


Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or ptrexler@thebeaconjournal.com.

The flier went out to neighbors in bold letters: CHILD RAPIST.

The text contained the name and address of the accused with more bold words: BE ALERT! PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.

Rodd Sutton, formerly of Akron, was the target of the flier. It was another part of his contentious custody dispute that began more than 10 years ago with his ex-wife, Victoria Douglas.

Police and Summit County Children Services investigated the rape complaint in 2004, when Douglas alleged her husband had inappropriate contact with their daughter, now 10.

Authorities found the charges untrue, but that didn’t stop the ex-wife from passing out the fliers to neighbors.

The husband, 46, then went on the offensive, suing his ex-wife and her mother.

A Summit County jury this month sided with Sutton, awarding him more than $1.2 million in damages for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Sutton’s attorneys, Tim Hanna and James Campbell, said collecting the settlement might be an issue, but the case is about more than money, they said.

”Maybe it’s not about the issue of collecting,” Campbell said. ”Maybe it’s about the principal of vindicating this guy and showing you can stand up for what you believe in.”

Neither Douglas nor her attorney, Larry Shenise, were available for comment.

Paper consumes the dockets of the ex-couple’s divorce and civil lawsuits with hundreds of entries and countless reams of motions filled with allegations of child abuse and drug use, as well as contempt of court findings against each side over visitation and other issues.

The case took a more public turn when Sutton sued over the fliers distributed to neighbors. It happened after complaints of sexual abuse lodged against the husband by the ex-wife in 2004.

Douglas, 44, made the allegations to Akron and Springfield police, Akron Children’s Hospital and Children Services.

Each agency found no evidence of abuse.

Sutton’s attorneys contend Douglas transferred a house in Lakemore from her name to her mother, Rosemary Douglas, to save it from possible loss in the defamation lawsuit.

A jury awarded Sutton $136,000 from his former mother-in-law for the property transaction. Victoria Douglas now resides in Florida with her daughter.

The case was heard by a jury and Judge Alison McCarty.

Campbell said the only question asked by jurors was whether they could give Sutton more money than he was seeking.


Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or ptrexler@thebeaconjournal.com.

Ohio.com – Husband falsely accused of child rape wins $1.2 million from ex-spouse.

Why feminists need to take the “men’s rights” movement seriously : This Magazine // Canadian progressive politics, arts, culture, and ideas since 1966

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Feminism, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Alienation Syndrome on August 23, 2009 at 6:43 pm

August 11, 2009: Equality, January-February 2009

Why feminists need to take the “men’s rights” movement seriously

By Alex Molotkow

Many ‘men’s rights’ arguments are thinly veiled misogyny. But not all.

Feminists need to listen to the "men's rights" movement.

Feminists need to listen to the “men’s rights” movement.

It’s hard to listen to someone who compares feminism to “the historical rise of Nazism in Germany,” a phrase once written by prominent men’s rights activist David Shackleton. But while the men’s rights movement does have more than its share of extremists, that doesn’t mean feminists should dismiss the whole cause.

I believe that some moderate activists have made some sensible points and that we feminists ought to engage with our detractors if they’re willing to engage—reasonably—with us. Comparing their arguments with our own ensures that feminism remains relevant to our time and place.

One such argument is the concept of equal parenting: the idea, advocated by many men’s activists, that both parents should be equally involved in their children’s lives postseparation. Some feminist critics find it a dubious concept. Pamela Cross of the Ontario Women’s Justice Network has pointed out that equal parenting doesn’t account for domestic violence issues and is often accompanied by questionable ideology. Still, changes in family structure—and skepticism about the women-as-nurturers assumption—make the issue worth considering. “You’ve got women who I’m sure would love to have the opportunity and the freedom to enter into the workforce on a full-time basis, who are being saddled with full [custody] … It should be a joint responsibility, as well as a joint right,” says Kris Titus, national coordinator of Fathers 4 Justice Canada.

Another popular cry in the men’s rights movement is that domestic violence affects women and men equally. A 2005 Statistics Canada survey did find that 653,000 women and 546,000 men had been subjected to spousal violence over the past five years. Feminists have since questioned the study’s methodology and critiqued its numbers as deceptive (women are more than twice as likely to suffer an injury or be the target of frequent attacks, and far more likely to be murdered). But while flawed, the study does highlight that men can be victims, as well as knock down the stereotype that women are never aggressors. With some 90 per cent of shelters refusing to admit men, it’s clear the issue warrants serious consideration.

Undoubtedly, misogyny (or pure bitterness) motivates much of men’s activism, but beneath the often ludicrous rhetoric are some legitimate issues that we feminists shouldn’t be wary of addressing. The trick is to figure out where fanaticism stops and the real arguments begin.

Why feminists need to take the “men’s rights” movement seriously : This Magazine // Canadian progressive politics, arts, culture, and ideas since 1966.

California’s marriage and family therapists fight war of words about same-sex unions

In Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Rights, Homosexual Agenda, Marriage, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation on August 23, 2009 at 3:36 am
As well all know, the greatest perpetrators of Domestic Violence are Lesbisan v Lesbian, not man against woman.  It is a case of “victim v. victim”.  Who is the winner?  Not children.
This should provide therapist a millions years of works!!  The only people who profit from same sex unions are therapist, and attorney’s  – Parental Rights
California’s marriage and family therapists fight war of words about same-sex unions

By Sena Christian
More stories by this author…

Sacramento therapist Nicola Simmersbach was stunned by the anti-same-sex marriage articles that appeared in The Therapist.

PHOTO BY KEN JAMES

When Sacramento marriage and family therapist Nicola Simmersbach received the May/June issue of her professional association’s publication, The Therapist, she was horrified. She’d been warned by a colleague to expect the worst, yet when she read through the pages, she still felt betrayed.

Eight articles within the publication adamantly opposed same-sex marriage, doing so in a blatantly discriminatory and homophobic way, in her opinion. As a therapist and lesbian, she felt deeply hurt.

“It’s like opening up what you think is a letter from a family member and finding pornography,” Simmersbach said. “It was a huge shock.”

The Therapist is published by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a 30,000-member organization based in San Diego. The articles appeared as part of a special section called “Tackling the Issues of Same-Sex Marriage,” which attempted to explore the pros and cons of the issue. The disputed articles have since been removed from the association’s Web site, but the ramifications have yet to subside.

Members of California Therapists for Marriage Equality accuse the association of violating its own ethical code that states, in part, the organization’s opposition to all discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation or marital status.

The group, which numbers a couple of thousand members, claims the articles argue that the inferiority and pathology of same-sex relationships are incompatible with parenting. In a petition seeking an apology, CTME says these “supposedly research-based arguments have been debunked many times over by legitimate scholars and practitioners in our own field and elsewhere.” CTME accuses the publication of portraying viewpoints on both sides of the issue as equally valid and professionally researched, which is misleading and damaging to gays and lesbians. But CAMFT says it simply presented a balance of views.

“We were seeing it as free speech and let’s put it all out there and let the members themselves make their own decisions about what’s right and what’s not right,” said Mary Riemersma, executive director of CAMFT and editor of The Therapist.

The controversy really began last year prior to the passage of Proposition 8, the initiative that changed the California Constitution to legally recognize only marriages between a man and a woman. Leading up to the election, a group of therapists urged CAMFT to take a position in support of same-sex marriage, but the association refused, deciding instead to remain neutral.

In response to those therapists upset over this inaction, CAMFT decided to examine same-sex marriage through a pro-and-con format in the May/June issue of The Therapist, said Riemersma, who reads through every manuscript the association receives and writes “yes,” “no” or “maybe” on each. According to Riemersma, the association solicited and paid for (which is rarely done) a few of the pro same-sex marriage articles; the organization didn’t pay for any of the anti-same-sex marriage articles.

The con articles come from therapists and attorneys, and even an accountant, who wrote a particularly unsettling memoir of her abusive childhood growing up in the 1960s with her promiscuous, irresponsible, gay father who trotted out numerous partners and engaged in risky sexual behavior. The article is titled “An Inside Look at Gay Parenting.”

“We feel for her, but that had nothing to do with her father being gay,” Simmersbach said. “He was just a lousy father.”

The association didn’t evaluate the research presented within any of the articles, and while several of the pro articles appear to be drawn from academic journals and heavily researched using credible sources, members of CTME describe the con articles as flimsy, based on long-debunked data and reliant on studies conducted by religious institutions.

“Frankly, I thought a couple of the [con] articles were lame,” Riemersma said. “That was my opinion.” Ultimately, though, she decided it was important to present differing opinions.

But CTME argues that some of these dissenting views promote discrimination and homophobia against GLBTQ families.

One con article in The Therapist states: “Same-sex marriage may be in the best interest of adult homosexuals who yearn for social and legal recognition of their unions, but it’s not in the best interest of children.” Another article accuses gay-marriage advocates of disregarding the issue of “homosexually parented” children as “irrelevant.”

On the pro side, one article notes how married individuals have better mental health, which positively impacts their children: “To the extent that legal marriage fosters well-being in couples, it will enhance the well-being in their children who benefit most when their parents are financially secure, physically and psychologically healthy and not subjected to high levels of stress.”

Authors on both sides agree that when gays and lesbians become parents, they do so after much deliberation, joint consultation and financial expense.

“Same-sex families provide better parenting situations because it’s not an ‘oops’ situation. You really have to want it,” said Wendy Rae-Hill, director of government relations and political affairs for the California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Rae-Hill, herself a lesbian with two young daughters, was integral in forming CTME.

A few of the con articles use fear tactics, such as one author who writes of “the indoctrination of public school students in the merits of same-sex marriage.” Another says: “It also must be expected that if society permits same-sex marriage, it also will have to allow other types of non-traditional marriage … [like] polygamous marriage,” adding that such legal maneuverings are already underway. Several articles suggest that legalizing same-sex marriage threatens religious freedom.

Potentially, the most troubling of the articles critical of same-sex marriage are those that mention reparative, or conversion, therapy, grounded in the belief that an individual can change his or her sexual orientation. Earlier this month, the American Psychological Association declared that reparative therapy should not be used on clients, in a 125-4 vote, based on two years of research.

Reparative therapy, critics argue, pressures clients into repudiating an essential part of their core selves—a difficult notion to reconcile with a therapist’s ethical vow to “do no harm.” And the American Psychoanalytic Association has stated that “same-gender sexual orientation cannot be assumed to represent a deficit in personality development or the expression of psychopathology.” Which means being gay is a healthy variation of sexuality and not a pathology, and therefore should not be treated as such.

“[Reparative therapy] is not client-empowering, but somebody telling you what to do and brainwashing you,” Rae-Hill said. “You can have your own political views, your own religious views, but when it comes to client services, you should ethically act in the best interest of the client.”

Several of the con articles in The Therapist openly explore the role of religion in therapy, highlighting the balancing act between personal beliefs and the professional mandate to provide care and affirmation to all patients, including GLBTQ people.

Additionally, another issue indirectly reflected in the fallout following the May/June issue of The Therapist is CAMFT’s continued refusal to take a stand on same-sex marriage.

Riemersma has been with the association for 25 years, and in looking back at records since the 1970s, said she has found no evidence of the association taking a stand on any social-justice issue, including the civil-rights movement and the Vietnam War. “If we take a position, who does that position alienate?” she said.

“How can you not take a position on marriage?” asked Rae-Hill, whose own organization, NASW, supports gay marriage. “This is an association for family and marriage therapists.”

Historically, CAMFT has only taken positions on mental-health initiatives. But this is a mental-health issue, critics argue, noting the mental-health impacts of denying marriage to gays and lesbians, which reinforces the age-old stereotype that homosexuals are unnatural and morally perverse, their relationships illegitimate.

As one therapist writes, “While the current marriage struggle is a civil rights and political issue, for LGBT people it is very much a psychological and social issue.”

While it may be common for CAMFT to remain neutral on social-justice or civil-rights issues, that’s not true of all mental-health organizations.

The American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association support the legalization of same-sex civil marriages. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has stated that it believes all couples who willingly commit themselves to each other and their children have a right to expect equal support and benefits in civil society.

Meanwhile, Simmersbach has become a conscientious objector at CAMFT, choosing not to pay her membership dues. During the day, she works for the Sacramento County of Children’s Mental Health program. She also has a private practice; about half of her caseload is GLBTQ people and the other half heterosexuals. She remains disheartened with CAMFT, something Riemersma is working to address.

“I came out with an apology that was heartfelt,” Riemersma said. “Some members found the articles hurtful, and in no way did we have an intent to hurt members.”

Since The Therapist came out, CTME has held three continuing-education forums where marriage and family therapists can improve their skills at providing counseling services to GLBTQ people.

“In a way,” Rae-Hill said, “It’s a silver lining, to open up a conversation for folks.”

SN&R > Local Stories > Split personality > 08.20.09.

Background on Parental Alienation Syndrome

In Family Rights on August 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is based on empirical evidence and has been widely accepted by legal and mental health experts. Many non-custodial parents (95% mothers) are trying to debunk PAS and parental alienation to convince family courts to ignore their false allegations of abuse. The attempt is made instead to debunk scientific evidence in favor of maternalism, and return courts to the days of sexism when the sexist “tender years doctrine” or as it is known in the UK, “maternal deprivation” reigned over courts.

THE COLORADO LAWYER, FEBRUARY 1998, VOL. 27, NO. 2 p 65-68

IDENTIFYING CASES OF PARENT ALIENATION SYNDROME–PART I

by Leona M. Kopetski

Editors’ Note: This is the first part of a two-part article dealing with parental alienation of children and aiding the courts and counsel in recognizing parental alienation in cases involving custody and parenting time. Part II, which will appear in. the March 1998 issue, will focus on the psychological dynamics of the family members in a parental alienation case.

In 1987, Richard Gardner identified a serious form of parent-child pathology and named it “Parent Alienation Syndrome.”(1) Simultaneously, but without awareness of his work, The Family and Children’s Evaluation Team (“Team”)(2) evaluated 413 families in custody disputes and in 20 percent of those cases found dynamics that led the Team independently to conclusions that were remarkably similar to Gardner’s conclusions regarding the characteristics of the syndrome. However, the Team’s experience led to somewhat different conclusions regarding frequency, causality, and recommended interventions. Others have now investigated the problem, documenting its frequency and importance.(3)

Parental alienation cases pose a particularly difficult challenge to lawyers and mental health professionals attempting to help families negotiate divorce. The syndrome is seriously harmful to both children and parents. The following ideas are intended to help by providing clarifying criteria for identification.

Definition

Parent Alienation Syndrome is a form of psycho-social pathology. It is most frequently identified in the process of divorce, although it is not a condition limited to divorcing families. It is not caused by the divorce. However, it is exacerbated by legal procedures that coincide with and strengthen the pathological defenses alienating parents use to avoid experiencing the psychological pains of internal conflict, ambivalence, narcissistic injury, or the deflated self-esteem that is part of a normal grieving response to interpersonal loss. Thus, like many forms of psychological pathology, Parent Alienation Syndrome occurs when there is an unfortunate “fit” between the internal psychological dynamics of an individual and a cultural opportunity for living out pathology in an interpersonal setting.

Alienating parents enforce their agenda by aligning with intrinsically sound theories or causes, then accusing the parent to be alienated of behavior that violates the tenets of those theories or causes. Social causes and movements contain particularly powerful resources that can be exploited. Emotional and ideational content from any social causes, however well-intended or intrinsically sound, can be appropriated and used for the pathological purpose of alienating a child from the other parent.

The potential usefulness of a cause is not determined by its content, but by the amount of emotion and action that can be generated when there is an accusation that the tenets or taboos of the cause have been violated. The emotional climate attendant to the cause helps blur boundaries so that questions that need to be raised in a particular case are treated as though the validity of the cause itself is being questioned. However, in parent alienation cases, exclusion of the other parent from the life of the child is not desired for the altruistic reasons that generated the social cause with which the alienating parent hopes to be identified, but for personal reasons that are rooted in complicated emotional and psychological dynamics.

The alienating parent may or may not be consciously aware of manipulating the child and the legal/social systems. Alienating parents often believe that the accusations they make are true, but have developed those beliefs by a faulty reasoning process. The following case illustrates the process of parent alienation.

In the 1970s, child abuse and neglect were the subjects of national attention. The reporting law had just been passed, and systems were being forced to change to respond more effectively to neglected and physically abused children. In one case, a father accused a mother of life-threatening neglect of their four-year-old daughter. The family had experienced the accidental death of an older child, and the father could not overcome his grief. Like many parents who lose children, he believed that finding a reasonable explanation and placing blame would give him “closure” and relief.

The father blamed the mother and focused intense anger on her. Although data from the evaluation of the mother did not support his conclusion, her parenting was not flawless. Needless to say, the loss of her child and the blame and criticism directed at her caused her to be depressed. Depressed people often are not able to be as attuned to their children as would be optimal.

In spite of the Team’s recommendation, the child was placed in the custody of her father. Therapy was ordered and obtained. However, ten years and much litigation later, this child refused any contact with her mother. The mother resigned herself to the loss and made a good adjustment in spite of it.

Sound psychological theories can be exploited and used in pathological ways, just as legitimate social causes can. For example, a child’s normal needs may be exacerbated or exaggerated, then presented as a justification for excluding or severely limiting time with the unwanted parent. Attachment theories and theories about separation anxiety are most often used in this way. Again, there is no acknowledgment of the fact that it is the alienating parent not the child, who wants and would benefit from the exclusion of the other parent.

Differentiating causes from cases requires that there be criteria for making the diagnosis of any condition in a particular case. These criteria can then be used to rule in, and, just as important, to rule out the existence of a syndrome in a family.(4) The following characteristics are common to all of the cases of parent alienation the Team has seen and seem to be useful as diagnostic criteria.

Observable Family Dynamics

It is well known that children need emotional support, comfort, and warmth provided in the context of secure, safe, predicable attachments and relationships with at least one and preferably two parents in order to develop and mature psychologically. However, emotional dependency is not the whole story for children. In all families, the limited experience and perceptual abilities of children make them dependent, not only emotionally but also cognitively, on one or more significant adults.

The child’s cognitive understanding and view of the world and the people in it are shaped by a conglomeration of immediate perceptions combined with perceptions shared with that child by caretaking adults. Who has contributed which perceptions is not always clear, either to the child or to the caretaking adults. Because children, for very good reasons, trust the perceptions of parents more than their own perceptions, they participate in any perceptual distortion or delusion shared with them by a parent unless there are mitigating factors.(5) The most important mitigating factor against sharing a distorted perception is a relationship with another separate, different parent who offers different data and perspectives. The child of an alienating parent is deprived of that relationship and, therefore, its potentially corrective influence.


“Parental alienation cases pose a particularly difficult challenge to lawyers and mental health professionals attempting to help families negotiate divorce.”



The child’s emotional and cognitive dependencies can be exploited by adults. Alienating parents (who should know better) and their children (who cannot be expected to know better) sometimes share a common delusion that one and only one other human being, namely the alienating parent, can provide the child with the relationship necessary for psychological survival. The alienating parent believes and communicates to the child that only that parent or delegates of that parent can be considered safe. This, of course, gives the alienating parent a great deal of power-much more power than is the case if the child knows more than one safe, dependable, trustworthy adult. A child who does not know that there is a nurturing someone else “out there” separate from a symbiotic unit can only be terrified of leaving the only safe world that, in that child’s experience, does exist.

For children, feeling safe and being safe are synonymous; it takes significant growth, the development of a dependable capacity for testing reality as well as the freedom to use that capacity, and considerable experience to distinguish between internal mental content and external reality. Most adults have achieved the ability to make such distinctions, although some adults lose that ability under severe stress and some adults have never developed it because of mental illness or because of deficits in education, personality development, or life experience.

Very young children need adults who can make the distinctions between feelings and facts for them; school age and older children need adults to help them make the distinctions if they can, and to take over that function when the child is unable to make the judgments. Many adults do not recognize how important it is to help children find healthy ways of managing, putting in perspective, and sometimes overcoming feelings, especially such painful ones as anger, fear, or disappointment. The child’s participation in alienation is thus relatively easy to achieve by blurring the distinctions between feelings and facts, then exaggerating and exploiting the emotion.

The following parent-child interactions are observable when children have been engaged in the process of alienating a parent:

1. The alienating parent shares with the child a distorted, essentially negative perception of the parent to be alienated, as well as a lack of interest in or active avoidance of changing that perception. The child begins by being confused, but progresses toward identification with the alienating parent, finally reflecting the distorted perception as his or her own version of “the truth.”

2. A child old enough to assert an opinion refuses to visit the parent to be alienated. A younger child either experiences or is described by the alienating parent as experiencing unusual distress or anger on separation from the alienating parent or on return from contact with the other parent, though often not during the visit itself.

3. The alienating parent attempts to attenuate, control, or exclude contact with the other parent through behavior such as the removal of the child from physical proximity to the parent to be alienated and/or engaging in repeated litigation aimed at enforcing exclusion, indefinite supervision, or attenuation of the relationship. This attempt is accompanied by intense, unconflicted parental affect, usually anger, anger mislabeled as fear, or fear itself and by “protective” behavior toward the child. Similar feelings are attributed to or are provoked in the child by the alienating parent so that the child mirrors parental ideas, attitudes, and emotions. Older children often show these intense feelings in interviews; preschool children say them and seem to believe them cognitively, but often do not show them when seen in a clinical interview. The feelings now attributed to the child are used to justify an exclusion that is in reality the alienating parent’s desire, not the child’s need. Alienation is the only proposed solution to the perceived problems; other possible solutions are either rejected or attempted but sabotaged before they can become or when they do begin to become effective.

4. Entitlement to alienation is often justified by accusing the parent to be alienated of immoral or irresponsible conduct and asserting that the child needs to be protected. It also may be justified by appeals to child development theories that may predict absolute irreversible and devastating consequences from “traumas” such as separations from a “primary parent” (that is, the alienating parent). It sometimes is justified by appeals to “children’s rights,” such as a right to be believed literally and without question or the right to refuse a relationship with an unwanted parent.

5. The alienating parent also asserts entitlement to the desired outcome by arguing, often eloquently and convincingly, a need for “justice.” From the narrow perspective of the alienating parent, justice and revenge are synonymous; only those who have suffered “injustice” are considered to have the right to expect “justice,” especially in the form of protection of the civil right to be heard with the possibility of being believed. It is significant that contact with the child is often discussed as a reward (for the “good” or self-sacrificing alienating parent) or punishment (for the “bad” parent to be alienated).

6. The child’s need for a relationship with two parents is not recognized; the question is which one of the parents will remain in the child’s life.(6)

Understanding Accusations

Accusations are not the same as allegations. Allegations are here defined as serious concerns raised in the form of a question that can be answered negatively or positively by gathering data. Accusations are here defined as preformed convictions or conclusions considered to be beyond question.

The stated fear of the alienating parent in a custody or visitation evaluation is that the examiner will not see the pathology in the other parent. Information that raises questions or conflicts with the conclusion made by the alienating parent is excluded, explained away, or considered invalid. Anyone, professional or otherwise, who questions or disagrees with an accusation may be accused of being naive and charmed or brainwashed by the accused, or of being incompetent or biased. Such dissenters are accused of collaborating with injustice and thereby causing harm to children. Self-defense by the accused is called lying or denial. In the minds of some accusers, denial actually proves guilt.

The normal parent making an allegation is different from an alienating parent making an accusation. Normal parents are not perfectionistic. The capacity to tolerate flaws and imperfections in himself or herself allows the normal parent to take in information that disproves the allegation as well as information that confirms it. Normal parents thus not only allow themselves to be wrong on occasion, but have clear ambivalence about being right in this situation. They do not wish to believe that their children have been hurt, so they want to be mistaken in their suspicions or perceptions, even when they have good data, and they are relieved when good data indicate that the child was not hurt.

The alienating parent is not relieved by a finding that the child has not been harmed, but is both angry and disappointed. Such a parent actively seeks more information or more professional opinions in order to prove that the preformed conviction is true.

Normal parents tolerate flaws in others as well as in themselves. They understand the importance of the child’s relationships with people other than themselves and do not want the child to lose a relationship with the other parent. Accordingly, they will consider alternatives for helping the other parent overcome problems and improve functioning or even will simply allow the child to take advantage of limited parental ability and interest. In addition, normal parents have a minimal residual trust in and fondness for an individual once loved, in addition to the disappointment and anger that attend the failure of the relationship and which may be very intense at times. This minimal trust and fondness allow some cooperation on behalf of the child.

There are, of course, situations in which there is clear evidence that a child or a spouse has been neglected or abused, or clearly observable evidence in which a parent/spouse is emotionally abusive or guilty of serious negled. In alienation cases, however, the evidence is very frequently ambiguous and difficult to sort out. Physical evidence is often sparse or lacking. In younger children, the directly observed relationship between the child and the parent to be alienated is often emotionally positive (loving but sometimes conflicted and lacking in fear or emotional constriction, for example), in contrast to verbalized content.

Older children are sometimes very angry with the parent to be alienated and participate actively, but for different reasons than those that would justify alienation. Although they may say the words that produce the desired effect of engaging the system, their actions and emotions may suggest different motivations. The desire to alienate may be an attempt at retribution for a perceived desertion (“I’ll do to you what you are doing to me!”), and thus an expression of a wish to stop the divorce and reconstitute the family.It may be an attempt to accommodate the needs and wishes of the alienating parent.

The Team has seen children ages twelve and fourteen become infuriated when direct evidence conflicted with a conviction, openly shared with the mother, that the father was uncaring and irresponsible. The children accused the father of “pretending” and thereby deluding the examiners, adding, “You will believe him because he is the adult.”

In one such case, the child was convinced, erroneously, that the father was not paying his child support. This particular case was finally resolved when an accusation of sexual abuse was made. Although the evidence for that accusation was very questionable, the relationship between the father and child was, by then, irretrievably broken, and she stopped all contact with him.

Ambiguity often serves to prolong the litigation and thereby furthers the process of alienation. Relationships between a child and an accused parent are usually attenuated or disrupted during investigations. In ambiguous cases, the investigations can last months or even years in hopes of achieving a level of certainty that can never be achieved. Such prolonged investigations can in themselves be harmful to the family relationships.

Conclusion

Parent Alienation Syndrome complicates the evaluations and legal process in divorce cases by exploiting the normal concerns and anxieties of professionals trying to help families through litigation. Accusations abound and must be carefully evaluated because often they are untrue, only partially true, or remediable by means other than excluding a parent from the child’s Life. The interactions described in this article indicate serious and specific psychological conditions that will be described in a later article.

Although it is uncommon in the Team’s experience, it is conceivable that abuse or neglect and parent alienation could occur in the same case. Both therapists and lawyers are familiar with situations in which the pathology of each parent is used to attempt to obscure the pathology of the other, with the result that neither parent can ever improve functioning enough to parent adequately. Pathologies do not cancel each other out. Obviously, it is important in such circumstances to respond to and provide interventions such as therapy for both conditions. Remediation should almost never consist of excluding a relationship with the problematic parent. Such exclusion increases intractable conflict and litigation and deprives children of adequate parenting from any source.

NOTES

1. Gardner, The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sexual Abuse (Cresskill, N.J.: Creative Therapeutics, 1987).

2. The Family and Children’s Evaluation Team, comprised of Claire Purcell, Ph.D., and Leona M. Kopetski, MSSW, pioneered the team approach to child custody evaluations in Colorado. From 1975 to 1995, the Team evaluated both parents and all of the children in approximately 600 cases. Kopetski, the author of this article, originated the concept that both parents must be evaluated by the same examiner in a custody evaluation and was a founder of the Interdisciplinary Committee on Child Custody.

3. Clawar and Rivlin, Children Held Hostage (Section of Family Law, American Bar Association, 1991).

4. Popper, “Science: Conjectures and Refutations,” in Introductory Readings in the Philosophy of Science (Klemke, Hollinger, and Kline, eds.) (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, rev. ed. 1988) at 19-26.

5. Bowlby, “Omission, Suppression, and Falsification of Family Context,” in Separation (N.Y.: Basic Books, 1973) at 313-21; Loftus, “When a Lie Becomes Memory’s Truth: Memory Distortion After Exposure to Misinformation,” in 1 Current Directions in Psychological Science 121-23 (Aug. 1992).

6. Bowlby, “Focusing on a Figure,” in Attachment (N.Y.: Basic Books, 1969) at 299-330. Bowlby was the first theorist to study and offer comprehensive information about attachment. Although many theorists have elaborated since, Bowlby is one of the very few who indicated that there are variations in attachment figures, that attachments change over time, and that it is normal to have multiple attachments beyond the first year and abnormal to need to cling to one attachment beyond that time. See also “Patterns of Attachment and Contributing Conditions,” id. at 330-49.

This newsletter is prepared by the CBA Family Law Section. This month’s article was written by Leona M. Kopetski, MSSW, who worked as a clinical social worker specializing in the field of custody evaluation in addition to maintaining a private practice in psychotherapy. She is now retired and living in Seeley Lake, Montana, (406) 677-3278.

Identifying Cases of Parent Alienation Syndrome–Part I by Leona M. Kopetski.

Bad mom really needed jail time | Mindelle Jacobs | Columnists | Comment | Edmonton Sun

In parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome on August 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Parental Alienation is….is any behavior by a parent, a child’s mother or father, whether conscious or unconscious, that could create alienation in the relationship between a child and the other parent. Parental alienation can be mild and temporary or extreme and ongoing. Most researchers believe that any alienation of a child against (the child’s) other parent is harmful to the child and to the target parent. Extreme, obsessive, and ongoing parental alienation can cause terrible psychological damage to children extending well into adulthood. Parental Alienation focuses on the alienating parents behavior as opposed to the alienated parent’s and alienated children’s conditions.”

Most fathers who’ve been denied access to their kids by demented ex-wives give up the fight rather than bankrupting themselves in lengthy court battles.

A Toronto surgeon had the money — and the persistence — to keep going. He won sole custody of his three daughters because his ex-wife spent more than a decade brainwashing the children to hate him.

She was subsequently fined $35,000 for contempt for ignoring repeated orders to get counselling. And on Tuesday, an Ontario judge imposed an even harsher punishment, ordering her to pay more than $250,000 of her ex-husband’s court costs.

The father’s expenses were “a litigant’s worst nightmare,” declared Ontario Superior Court Justice Faye McWatt. “She has acted deceitfully and in bad faith throughout the litigation.”

If the mother in this case had been jailed the first time she ignored court-ordered access, everyone would have been better off.

The mother would have learned the courts don’t take kindly to breaches of court orders, the father would have been able to bond with his children much earlier and court resources could have been used for more worthwhile purposes.

It’s a pleasant surprise that the mother was actually punished; better late than never. Still, the father likely faces a huge challenge winning over his kids. Reversing the damage done by a parent who spends years alienating the children from the other spouse is a long-term process.

These girls, now aged 14, 11 and 10, may forever be damaged by their mother’s sick, selfish actions — behaviour McWatt bluntly described as “emotional abuse.”

The couple split up in 1999 but K.D., as the mother is known, denied A.L., her ex, virtually any access. At the same time, she was over-protective of the kids to the point of infantilizing them. The oldest child wasn’t even toilet-trained at the age of five. The middle girl was still using a bottle at night when she was three.

One psychologist warned as early as 2000 that the children were at “significant risk” of being alienated from the father.

A.L. gave up fighting for access for about six years because his ex warned that if he pressured her, he wouldn’t get anything. But it didn’t matter what he did. He still didn’t get to see his daughters.

He only saw them for two weekends between 2000 and 2006. Then K.D. wouldn’t even allow him to speak to them.

For a while, there was still a bond between father and daughters. Early on, one daughter would hug him and warn: “Don’t tell mommy I did this.”

By 2006, though, the bond seemed broken. The oldest showed no affection, the middle daughter stopped looking at him and the youngest only spoke to him in a monotone.

It’s been 11 years since the release of the parliamentary report on child custody and access, with its dozens of recommendations, including the proposal that the terms “custody and access” be replaced with “shared parenting” in the Divorce Act.

A nutbar

But that assumes both parents are reasonable. In this case, the mother is clearly a nutbar who used her kids as weapons against her ex. Jail might have taught her a lesson a lot sooner.

A.L. is “exhausted but very, very happy. He has his children,” says his lawyer, Harold Niman.

“This kind of case will hopefully send a message to those people who think it’s OK to undermine a relationship between the children and the other parent.”

mindy.jacobs@sunmedia.ca

Bad mom really needed jail time | Mindelle Jacobs | Columnists | Comment | Edmonton Sun.em

Fathers 4 Justice campaigner ‘elated’ at court result

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Domestic Relations, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on August 20, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Fathers 4 Justice campaigner ‘elated’ at court result

Thursday, August 20, 2009, 15:00

A FATHERS’ rights campaigner who was jailed for his high-profile stunts has finally resolved an eight-year legal battle over access to his daughter.

Jonathan ‘Jolly’ Stanesby has hit the headlines for handcuffing himself to MPs, scaling American monuments and ultimately serving a prison sentence in his fight for joint custody of his ten-year-old.

Now, crippled by debt and “emotionally drained” from the gruelling legal process, the 39-year-old, from Ivybridge, has told The Herald his amazing story.

He described himself as “elated” by this month’s court result, but hit out at the “oppressive” system which he says forced him to take such drastic action through the high-profile Fathers 4 Justice campaign.

Jolly said: “I’ve only ever asked for one thing: to be able to see my daughter.

“I’m obviously elated but I’m also very bitter about the whole experience. It destroys your life.

“Our system is not working, it’s completely and utterly discriminatory and for me it’s been a war against that bureaucracy since 2001.”

Earlier this month, Jolly and his ex-partner issued an agreed statement stating that they had reached a shared care arrangement agreement which had been approved by a judge.

A founding member of Fathers 4 Justice, Jolly’s fight for awareness has seen him climb monuments such as Stonehenge in fancy dress, sleep in cranes for a week and even handcuff himself to former children’s minister Margaret Hodge.

Finally, after spending 24 hours on deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman’s roof last June dressed as a superhero, he was hit with a two-month prison sentence.

The registered childminder, who had never been in trouble with the law until his custody battle began, ended up sharing a cell in Wormwood Scrubs with an international drug-smuggler and a man convicted of a stabbing.

He said the long battle had left him cynical, untrusting and angry.

“It was as though I was locked up for wanting to see my daughter,” Jolly said. “She is now living with me half of the time and she’s chuffed to bits – it’s what we’ve always wanted.

“But it’s left me completely emotionally drained.

“I’m still paying fines, I’m still in debt, I don’t trust anybody and I’ll probably never be able to go back to the work I loved now I’ve been to prison.”

Jolly said police had visited his house in Manor Close more than 80 times, twice raiding his home and carting away his computer to gather intelligence.

He said: “Before this I had no criminal record, no involvement with the police whatsoever. But I’ve now been arrested and also suffered broken ribs and other injuries.

“I had my driving licence taken away and police were watching me all the time.

“I felt constantly targeted, like they were waiting for me to slip up.

“Every time I went to London two uniformed police officers would follow me everywhere, even into the toilet.

“When they raided my house they took everything, even pictures my daughter had done for me.

“But they brought it all back because I had nothing to hide.

“It was so emotionally crushing.

“I’ve felt like giving up many times but you’re in a situation where you can’t give up – it’s your child.”

Jolly said he had received dozens of letters of support from across the globe while in jail at Wormwood Scrubs and HMP Wandsworth, where supporters gathered outside to protest at his sentence.

He also spent a night in an American cell, chained at the feet after being arrested by an armed SWAT team when he scaled the iconic Lincoln Memorial to unveil a banner in 2007.

“I have feared for my life,” Jolly admitted. “I was chased by the FBI when I went to New York to shut down the Brooklyn Bridge.

“They think differently out there – they told me if I didn’t comply they would be forced to shoot me.

“They said it would make their jobs easier if myself, and another protester I was with, went with them to see the sights and went to restaurants and clubs so we did – they treated us like royalty and paid for everything.

“They said we were thought to be the biggest threat to New York at that moment; we had nine men on us.

“But Fathers 4 Justice has always been a non-violent organisation.”

The stunts began just after Jolly and his ex-partner separated in 2000, with his daughter less than two years old.

He wanted greater access to his child and began the gruelling battle for shared residence.

He said: “I had a spacious house, I had great references, I was a registered childminder and I’d been helping in the nursery.

“I was the perfect picture of a dad.

“Then I went to court for the so-called final hearing and I felt I was completely and utterly humiliated.

“I was so angry – I left it a week then I climbed onto the Plymouth Courts’ roof.

“I was overwhelmed by the response and it just snowballed from there – I had to get the message out there.

“But it wasn’t really until I was in prison that I realised how much people are watching.”

Jolly first hit the headlines when he staged a protest from the cab of a 100-foot crane in Exeter in 2003.

Then he took his campaign to the capital, proceeding to scale the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

He also staged a Christmas protest on Tower Bridge, took up residence on the Tamar Bridge, gatecrashed the Queen’s Birthday Parade and stormed family law conferences with other activists.

At the height of Father 4 Justice’s notoriety, the group was even falsely accused of plotting to kidnap then-Prime Minister Tony Blair’s son – an accusation that still angers Jolly.

Now, despite securing shared residence of his daughter Jolly is determined to keep fighting for other fathers in the UK and beyond.

He said: “It’s not about what you miss out on as a parent, it’s what your child misses out on.

“Something like 280,000 cases went through the family courts last year and thousands more dads can’t afford to take it that far.

“For years they had taken men out one by one and we’d never had a voice, but we’ve set the wheels turning now and I don’t regret a single thing, even prison.

“The only thing I do regret is the fact I’ve had to go through it.

“It seems to be guilty until proven innocent for dads in the family courts – and it really hurts.

“For a father it starts with being out of the family home, then he has to apply to see his children, then the CSA starts contacting him for money and then most give up.

“Then he’s made financially impaired – and on top of that he’s emotionally drained.”

Jolly said his own legal bills had run into tens of thousands of pounds, while the legal process took up so much of his time that he was forced to give up childminding and working for a local architects’ firm.

His finances were hit so hard he was forced to give up land near Kingsbridge where he had been rearing sheep and, eventually, he had take up Legal Aid and claim benefits.

Jolly admits he found hard to cope with at times.

“You are constantly depressed,” he said. “It takes over your life.

“In the end I couldn’t work anymore and I’ve had counselling because I couldn’t cope.

“I don’t want to be out of work – I want to be a childminder and even foster children.

“But I couldn’t give up the fight, how could a dad not want to see his daughter?

“Financially, it’s the days in court, it’s paying for parking, it’s making phone calls to the solicitors – even ink for your printer all adds up.

“It can grind you down and make you give up.

“I know a number of people who have had to sell their houses and move back in with their parents after spending £50-60,000 on legal fees.”

Half a dozen boxes packed with legal documents are testament to his eight-year battle, which has seen 23 separate agencies and hundreds of members of their staff take on the case.

Jolly is convinced the system is in place to keep people in work – not to benefit the children who have to go through the struggle.

He added: “Society’s biggest asset is children.

“But it doesn’t work in the interest of the child, it works in the interest of the resident parent, which is the mother in 97 per cent of cases.

“I think it’s an oppressive system, but it employs a hell of a lot of people.

“At the end of the day it’s all about money; a broken family causes big business, whereas a happy family doesn’t.

“Children need stability and they need both parents in their lives.

“Research has proved that children without both parents are more likely to fall into gangs, crime, drugs, everything.

“One thing I found in prison was people were in there for things that mostly stemmed from family matters.

“A child like my daughter, who has seen eight years of this, is bound to be affected by it forever. How can she not be?”

Jolly, who reformed the group as New Fathers 4 Justice after one of its founding members left, is determined to take the campaign to other countries such as the US, where he says dads have similar difficulties.

He is currently in discussions with numerous other organisations about ways to take the campaign forward.

But he said that, for now, he is looking forward to finally being a dad again.

He added: “When you’re cut off by the courts you’re cut off from their school life, their friends, everything.

“I have a lot of catching up to do.

“My daughter can’t wait to spend time with me, and she can’t understand the system either – even at her age.

“It’s the little things that I’m elated about now, like I’ve been able to get her a phone so we can talk whenever we want.

“She’s very artistic, she plays the piano, does paintings and she loves animals.

“With Fathers 4 Justice, I don’t want to see something I’ve started go to pieces so for that reason I’ll continue.

“But my family comes first – that was always the reason in the first place.”

Fathers 4 Justice campaigner ‘elated’ at court result.

Children are better off with both parents there

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on August 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Children are better off with both parents there

The Daily News

Published: Thursday, August 20, 2009

Re: ‘Children’s interests first priority in divorce, says justice minister’ (Daily News, Aug. 18)

I read your article about our federal justice minister making comments to the Canadian Bar Association meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

Rob Nicholson is either being misquoted or appears to have little understanding of the legal effects of the divorce process.

It is not about the best interests of children versus fathering rights. It is in the best interests of children to have both parents in their lives, both father and mother. This fact has been adequately researched and documented for years.

Children perform better in all areas of their lives when they have a mother and father present in their upbringing. This is not to say that single-parent families are deficient, simply a statement about the ideal situation.

MP Maurice Vellacott’s Bill C-422 to entrench equal parenting in the Divorce Act is simply to make changes that Canadian society has overwhelmingly supported by 80-90% in numerous opinion polls since the early 1990s.

This bill does not reduce protection for children, but clarifies what the best interests of children are and that equal parenting needs to be the starting point unless other factors are existing. These other factors could be practical considerations such as work schedules, or the necessity of protecting “the child from physical and psychological harm through abuse, neglect or alienation of parental affection.”

This bill specifically directs judges to take these considerations into account. Kelowna lawyer Meg Shaw was way off the mark when she suggested that this bill would somehow diminish the protection children might receive when required. In fact, it would have the opposite effect.

Federal justice ministers for many years have been quoted as dismissing parental rights as either nonexistent or minimal (re: Martin Cauchon’s oft repeated 2002 statement of “Parents have responsibilities, they don’t have rights”). Putting the best interests of the child is not in any way in conflict with parents having rights and responsibilities. We all know that having responsibilities entails having the power to perform them, thus the necessity for parental rights.

Theo J. Boere

Nanaimo Men’s Resource Centre

Children are better off with both parents there.

Folks gather and organize, fearing ‘evil’ forces within the government are plotting to undermine families – syracuse.com

In Freedom, Liberty, Marriage, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on August 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Folks gather and organize, fearing ‘evil’ forces within the government are plotting to undermine families

by Delen Goldberg / The Post-Standard

Thursday August 20, 2009, 7:14 AM

Michael Kicinski (left) of Earlville, a member of the Chenango County/Norwich Tea Party Patriots, and his sons, Stephen Kicinski, 15, and Jonathan Kicinski, 12, hold signs at a CNY Patriot rally at Terry’s Transmissions, 6217 E. Taft Road, North Syracuse. Speakers at the rally supported the passage of a constitutional amendment guaranteeing parental rights.

The rain had just cleared Tuesday as a group of about 40 people filtered into the parking lot of Terry’s Transmissions in North Syracuse.

They carried flags and umbrellas and set up lawn chairs as the song “God Bless the USA” played over a loudspeaker. Homemade signs reading “No More Lies” and “Parents decide, not government” lined a podium.

The group, made up of grandfathers, soccer moms and teens, had gathered to hear speakers talk about two federal bills: The once-named GIVE Act, which establishes voluntary community service programs for students, seniors and veterans (and was signed into law by President Obama in April) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guarantees civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for children (and is still pending in Congress).

The patriots, as they call themselves, rallied against both, bolstered by fears that the bills would allow the government to indoctrinate their children and take them away. The crowd instead supports a proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which they say would counteract the U.N. treaty and guarantee parents the right to raise their kids as they see fit.

“Evil people will do anything evil you allow them to,” said speaker Eric Lansing, a recent college graduate from Purcellville, Va., who is regional coordinator for ParentalRights.org. “They’ll take advantage … until you stand up.

“The problem is, they (supporters) have not been exposed to the full text of the bill,” Lansing continued. “We happen to know what’s in the best interest of your children.”

The speakers cast their opponents as misguided and misinformed, but a good portion of the information they provided was incorrect.

Jennifer Blount, of Skaneateles, likened Obama’s community service groups to Nazi youth camps and slavery. In reality, the programs will be completely voluntary.

The GIVE Act, renamed as the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, authorizes about $6 billion in spending over the next five years to expand the number of AmeriCorps positions from 75,000 to 250,000 and create new community service programs for middle- and high-school students, senior citizens and other Americans. In return for service, volunteers will receive academic credits, educational stipends or other financial awards. Service would not be required for students taking school loans, another common misconception.

Lansing said the service bill Obama signed “was not as bad as it could have been, but there are still some awful things in there.” He correctly pointed out that service would not be mandatory, but added: “That could come.”

When asked by an audience member what “awful things” were included in the bill, Lansing deferred.

“I’m not sure about specifics,” he said. “It was a long time ago that I studied the bill.”

Dave Brewster Sr., of Canastota, characterized the bill as a way for the government “not just to control people, but to own them.” Brewster, who founded the conservative group, “United Strength of America,” also called Obama “our gangsta president” and a “street thug from Chicago.”

Several attendees worried out loud that the U.N. agreement would allow the United Nations to take away their children. But the agreement allows no such thing.

Article 5 reads: “Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family.”

Article 9 reads: “Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will.”

Instead, the convention is a legally binding international treaty that covers protection from abuse and exploitation and rights to adequate food, shelter, clean water, education and health care. Only two nations — the United States and Somalia — have yet to sign on.

The demonization of the two measures has been promoted by rightwing Web sites and talk radio that have stoked anti-tax tea parties and health-care town hall disruptions nationwide.

The people attending said they found out about the event through word of mouth, blogs and e-mails. Many took notes during the speakers’ lectures, and at least a few passed around printed material from conservative Web sites.

The patriots said they have put in requests for meetings with several local elected officials, including Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to try to gain their support for a Parental Rights Amendment.

“We are sane people,” explained Lee Deyulio, of Baldwinsville. “We are not a bunch of rightwing nuts. We are not the enemy. We are just trying to save our country.”

Delen Goldberg can be reached at dgoldberg@syracuse.com or 470-2274.

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Folks gather and organize, fearing ‘evil’ forces within the government are plotting to undermine families – syracuse.com.

Mother in Las Vegas child drowning held in Florida – Florida AP – MiamiHerald.com

In Best Interest of the Child, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Domestic Violence on August 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Mother in Las Vegas child drowning held in Florida

Similar stories:

The Associated Press

Authorities say a 24-year-old Las Vegas mother is being held in a Florida jail following her arrest in the June drowning of her 23-month-old daughter.

Las Vegas police Officer Barbara Morgan said Wednesday that Sheri Badosky was arrested Aug. 12 in Holiday, Fla., on a warrant charge of child abuse and neglect with substantial bodily harm.

Pasco County sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Doll says Badosky is being held pending transfer to Las Vegas authorities for her return in custody to Nevada.

Police say Chrissa Matthews drowned June 30 in a backyard swimming pool where she was with her 5-year-old brother while Badosky was in the house.

Police say Badosky had an “extensive” family services case history and that her mother was the legal guardian of her children.

Mother in Las Vegas child drowning held in Florida – Florida AP – MiamiHerald.com.