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Archive for the ‘Family Rights’ Category

In Family Rights on April 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm

MIT, Boston University, Boston Magazine Promote Holly Collins Child Custody Hoax

October 26th, 2011 by Glenn Sacks

 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Boston Magazine are unwittingly promoting the Holly Collins child custody hoax via their glowing coverage of the new documentary film No Way Out But One. The Boston Magazine piece ‘No Way Out But One’ to Unveil at MIT says the film “will open your eyes to a stunning injustice.”

In Professor Takes a Stand Against Domestic Violence, the film’s director, Boston University professor Garland Waller, claims “[I]f you beat your wife and abuse your children in America you are more likely to get custody than not. This is a shocking fact that most people have no idea about.” Advocates of this view, including Kathleen Russell, Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence, Rita Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and numerous others, hold up the Collins case as one of their prime examples.

In reality, courts tilt heavily towards mothers in awarding child custody, and the Collins case is a discredited hoax. In January of 2009, Fathers and Families released an exhaustive, 11,000 word analysis of the court records and documents in the case. This analysis, which can be seen here, exposed the Holly Collins case as a complete fabrication. Our Report enumerated dozens of falsehoods in Holly Collins’ version of events.

Holly Collins’ claims about her high-profile custody case are disputed by her own mother, grandmother, sister, brother, stepfather, former in-laws, her ex-husband and his wife,  the father of her third child and his wife, numerous doctors, Guardians ad Litem, social workers, mental health professionals, and all seven judges who have heard this case.

Collins kidnapped her three young children after she lost custody of two of them in 1992 when Minnesota Family Court Judge Michael J. Davis found “the evidence is overwhelming that the children are at great physical and emotional risk if the children remained in Holly Collins’ care.”

For decades Holly Collins has made false accusations of abuse against a wide variety of people, including her mother, stepfather, both of the fathers of her children, both of the subsequent wives of the fathers of her children, as well as former landlords and neighbors.

To comment on the piece at the Boston Magazine website, click here. Fathers and Families has written to Boston Magazine about their Collins piece–others can write them at editor@bostonmagazine.com.

The MIT screening is on Thursday evening (10/27) but I can’t say I recommend you go, since if you do you’ll probably be accused of abuse. In fact, after Collins spoke at the Battered Mothers Custody Conference in Albany, New York in January of this year, she invented a completely mythical incident, writing that, apparently organized by me from Los Angeles, “Father Supremacists forced their way into a New York hotel where vulnerable battered women were staying for the conference. They cornered, scared and re-traumatized women in the hallways and their hotel rooms, sending them terrified, crying and running for help.” I wrote about the Conference after it took place–to read, see Misguided DV Groups Back Discredited Battered Mothers Custody Conference.

 

http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2011/10/26/mit-boston-university-boston-magazine-promotes-holly-collins-child-custody-hoax/

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In Family Rights on April 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Misguided DV Groups Back Discredited Battered Mothers Custody Conference

January 10th, 2011 by Glenn Sacks

bmcc-logoThe Eighth Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference was held over the weekend in Albany, New York. Several misguided domestic violence advocacy groups, including the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the National Network Against Domestic Violence, co-sponsored the conference. Sadly, this is a prime example of a serious problem afflicting most domestic violence organizations, one which tarnishes the often noble work they do—their consistent failure to recognize and acknowledge false abuse accusations.

For years the Conference, which is also co-sponsored by the National Organization for Women of New York State, has promoted a parade of child custody cases which they use to support their claim that “protective parents” frequently are losing in family court because the courts hand child custody to batterers who employ false claims of Parental Alienation. They advocate reforms which will make it easier to deny fathers shared custody or visitation rights based on unsubstantiated abuse claims.

Fathers and Families does not now nor have we ever denied that there are family court litigants who make false accusations of Parental Alienation, just as there are litigants who make false accusations of domestic violence and child sexual abuse. Certainly there are fathers (and mothers) who have alienated their children through inept parenting, narcissism, drug or alcohol problems, or abuse, and who attempt to shift the blame to their exes by falsely claiming Parental Alienation.

now-nys-logoNonetheless, there is no credible evidence that battering, abusive fathers are often being awarded child custody, and this is demonstrated by the extreme trouble that proponents of this view have in producing even a handful of credible cases to support their claims. To this date they have produced one—the Joyce Murphy case in San Diego. There are doubtless others, but not many.

Longtime Fathers and Families supporters will remember that the Battered Mothers Custody Conference was the basis for PBS’ 2005 anti-father documentary Breaking the Silence, which portrayed fathers as batterers and child molesters who steal children from their mothers. We led a massive protest against the film, along with the American Coalition for Fathers and Children. Our protest resulted in PBS agreeing to commission a new film to take a fair look at child custody and parental alienation. That film, called Kids & Divorce: For Better or Worse, aired on most PBS affiliates in September of 2006.

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We also exposed Sadia Loeliger, one of the central characters in the film, as a fraud. The filmmakers portrayed her as a heroic mom who had lost custody of her daughter to an abusive ex-husband. We publicly revealed extensive documentation showing that Sadia Loeliger had lost custody because overwhelming evidence led a Tulare County, CA Juvenile Court to conclude she had committed multiple acts of child abuse. Breaking the Silence’s producers were forced to publicly apologize to Dr. Scott Loeliger for the film’s defamatory portrayal of his case, and to obliterate it from any future reproductions of the film.

 

The BMCC was the basis for PBS’ 2005 anti-father documentary Breaking the Silence, which portrayed fathers as batterers and child molesters who steal children from their mothers. We led a massive protest against the film, which resulted in PBS agreeing to commission a new film to take a fair look at child custody and parental alienation.

To read about our protest, click here. To read Dr. Ned Holstein’s detailed analysis of the flaws in the film and the information put forward by the BMCC and other political opponents, click here.

Unfortunately, the Battered Mothers Custody Conference has continued to put forth and promote discredited child custody cases. This year’s lineup of speakers and presenters is a veritable Rogue’s Gallery of dishonest litigants and their attorney/advocate enablers.

In a new investigative report, F & F exposes this Rogue’s Gallery. They are listed below in rough order of appearance at the BMCC:

Tynia Canada

Tynia Canada (aka “Tynia Tarpley”) this year and in previous years has been the opening presenter at the BMCC. Just a few weeks ago Canada was convicted and sentenced for criminal theft in Maryland—to see the court document, click here.

In two separate custody cases against two different fathers, two courts found that Canada had tried to alienate her children from their fathers and drive the fathers out of their children’s lives.

The first case was against William Stephney, concerning their son Jabari. In that case, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children “strongly recommended” that the father have sole custody, as did Susan Friedberg, ACSW, the court-appointed forensic expert.

In the Family Court of the State of New York’s 1/28/00 ruling, the Honorable Judge George L. Jurow found:

[A]fter reviewing and considering the extensive evidence at the trial, the court concludes that the credible evidence in the record clearly supports the father’s position, supported by both the forensic evaluator and the child’s guardian ad litem, that he receive sole custody…

The Court further notes “the findings of two different judges that the mother willfully violated a variety of visitation orders.” The Court goes on to detail the opinions of numerous court experts that Canada continually and relentlessly attempted to alienate the child from the father and frustrate their relationship. To read the Court’s ruling, click here.

In the second case, pitting Tynia Canada/Tarpley against her then-husband Donald Tarpley, the Honorable Diane O. Leasure of the Circuit Court for Howard County Maryland made findings against Tynia which were practically identical to those made against her in the previous case against William Stephney.

 

In two separate cases against two different fathers, two courts found that Tynia Canada tried to alienate her children from their fathers. One of the judges, Diane O. Leasure, twice described Tynia’s behavior as “particularly chilling.”

In this case, Donald Tarpley details a long list of Tynia’s interference with his visitation and custody rights with his daughter Jasmine. The Court found his statements to be credible, says “he has his daughter’s best interests in mind,” explains that the mother has put up “many roadblocks” separating the father from the daughter, and says that the mother has prevented the father from seeing his daughter for “25% of her life.”

Twice the Court describes Tynia’s behavior regarding the child custody issue to be “particularly chilling.” The Court finds Tynia in contempt and even awards Donald attorney’s fees. To read the court document, click here.

Barry Nolan

Former TV commentator Barry Nolan

Former TV commentator who was involved in a highly-publicized dispute with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in 2008 (see the New York Times’ An Award, Criticism and Perils for Comcast, 10/3/10).

Nolan is the husband of Garland Waller, who is making a film promoting the Holly Collins hoax. At the conference, Nolan read Holly’s description of her case and also does so in the film. He is apparently unaware of much of the facts and history of the case.

Alan Rosenfeld, J.D.

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Alan Rosenfeld, J.D. (right) pictured with Holly Collins (center)

Holly Collins’ attorney in Minnesota in 2008 who helped her evade substantive punishment for kidnapping her children.

In his speech at the BMCC he says he took the case pro bono after many in the domestic violence establishment urged him to. Like Nolan, he is apparently unaware of much of the facts and history of the case.

Holly Collins

Holly Collins (left). Minnesota Family Court Judge Michael J. Davis found “the evidence is overwhelming that the children are at great physical and emotional risk if the children remain in Holly Collins’ care.”

Holly Collins’ claims about her high-profile custody case are disputed by her own mother, grandmother, sister, brother, former in-laws, her ex-husband and his wife,  the father of her third child and his wife, numerous doctors, Guardians ad Litem, social workers, mental health professionals and all seven judges who have heard this case.

Holly Collins and Mark Collins had two children, Zachary and Jennifer, before getting divorced in 1990. After the divorce, there was a highly contentious custody battle, during which Holly Collins repeatedly alleged that Mark Collins had abused both her and the children. Mark Collins claimed that Holly was interfering and obstructing his relationship with his children and attempting to alienate the children from him.

Holly Collins drew support from the Minneapolis domestic violence community, and the case drew considerable media attention. During this period, the case’s custody evaluators noted “in response to routine questions about custodial plans, Holly stated ‘I’ll make the biggest media circus out of this if I have to. I’ll do whatever it takes if Mark gets custody.’”

Hennepin County Family Court services found that Holly Collins suffers from multiple mental disorders, including Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP), where a parent invents, induces or exaggerates medical symptoms in a child. Hennepin County Family Court Services and the Guardian ad Litem in the case recommended that Mark Collins be granted legal and physical custody of the children and that Holly Collins’ visitation be supervised.

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Holly Collins speaking at the Battered Mothers Custody Conference in January 2011

In December of 1992, Minnesota Family Court Judge Michael J. Davis found “the evidence is overwhelming that the children are at great physical and emotional risk if the children remained in Holly Collins’ care” and awarded custody of the then 9 and 7-year-old children to Mark Collins.

After the custody switch, Holly Collins claimed that Zachary and Jennifer were being severely abused by Mark Collins and his wife Rena, and that the children’s health was in danger because of Mark Collins’ alleged lack of concern over their alleged medical issues. These contentions are directly contradicted both by many involved, including the Collins’ children’s maternal grandmother and by Guardian ad Litem Michael J. London in his April, 1993 report to the Court.

The Minnesota Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s award of custody to Mark Collins in March of 1994. The Court of Appeal noted that “the children have adjusted well to the new custody arrangement” in Mark Collins’ care and that “the children’s health has improved.”

The court said that Holly Collins’ accusations that Mark Collins and his current wife were abusing the children were “found to be without substance,” and that the lower court’s finding that Holly Collins’ care “endangered [the children’s] physical and emotional health” was “supported by evidence in the record.”

Inside Edition was scheduled to air a report on the Holly Collins case on 11/12/08 but decided not to, apparently due to their doubts about Collins’ credibility.

After the Court of Appeal denied Holly Collins’ appeal for a custody switch, Holly Collins kidnapped Zachary and Jennifer (along with her baby Christopher, fathered by Jeff Imm), and took all three children to Holland. Holly, who was sought by the FBI for the kidnapping, claimed that her ex-husband Mark Collins was severely abusing the children and that she needed to flee to protect them.

According to the Minneapolis City Pages, which has published numerous articles sympathetic to Holly Collins, in 2008, the “felony kidnapping charges were dropped in exchange for Holly Collins pleading to a lesser charge. She was sentenced to unsupervised probation for one year, or until she completes 40 hours of community service, which she plans to serve in the Netherlands.” Jennifer and Zachary Collins, who were both kidnapped from their father’s custody at a young age and then alienated from him by Holly, support their mother.

In January of 2009, Fathers and Families released an exhaustive, 11,000 word analysis of the court records and documents in the case. This analysis, which can be seen here, exposed the Holly Collins case as a complete fabrication.

 

Holly Collins’ claims about her high-profile custody case are disputed by her own mother, grandmother, sister, brother, former in-laws, her ex-husband and his wife, numerous doctors, Guardians ad Litem, social workers, mental health professionals and all seven judges who have heard this case.

In our Report we enumerated 31 different problems with Holly Collins’ version of events. If Collins felt she could rebut this, she would have posted a point by point critique of what we wrote. Instead, Collins’ reaction to being exposed has been exactly what one would expect from a false accuser. It included:

1) Accusations (which she repeated at the BMCC) that we had “violated her privacy” by writing about her case. This ignores the fact that we only wrote about the case after Collins successfully took her case to the national media via Fox News and other outlets. Moreover, we only discussed issues that related directly to the custody case.

2) Weak, half-heated attempts to defend her case against our analysis via self-contradicting, error-riddled, gobbledygook blog posts.

3) Extensive, utterly fictitious personal attacks on Fathers and Families Executive Director Glenn Sacks, including attacks on Sacks’ 83-year-old mother.

Jennifer Collins on a Fox News show attacking the validity of Parental Alienation, 9/25/08.

One could spend endless hours detailing the falsehoods and contradictions in what Holly Collins says, but in this post we’ll limit ourselves to only a few. At the BMCC Collins:

1) apparently referencing Fathers and Families, said “On their website they posted that I should be gang-raped as an appropriate punishment.” This is false—nobody associated with Fathers and Families has ever or would ever say such a thing or anything close to it.

2) claimed that she was abused by her mother and by her stepfather–claims which are directly contradicted by Collins’ own words and actions, and by her siblings and family members.

3) claimed that Zachary got a skull fracture while trying to protect her from Mark Collins’ attacks. Actually, the principal skull injury sustained by Zachary was when he fell forward on a ride in an amusement park. Holly Collins took legal action against the amusement park for the injury and obtained a $50,000 financial settlement from the park on Zachary’s behalf. The following year Zachary re-injured his head when he fell out of a shopping cart, as documented by the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology. Doctors felt the first injury was the more damaging one, though the skull fracture occurred in the second. At no time has Holly Collins every put forward any credible evidence tying Mark Collins to the skull injury.

4) claimed (correctly) that “there’s a warrant for my arrest at this very moment.” What Collins doesn’t tell the audience is that the arrest warrant has nothing to do with her (fictitious) abuse claim against Mark Collins. It is instead for kidnapping Christopher, a baby she had with Jeff Imm. She has now alienated Christopher from Jeff, and Christopher has made numerous hostile web postings about Jeff, the father Holly prevented him from ever knowing. To see the warrant for Holy Collins’ arrest, click here.

5) claimed that while five months pregnant, Mark beat her and she gave birth to a dead baby named “Joshua.” This is a new tale, and it is contradicted by the time-line. We invite Holly to post documentation for this claim on her website.

Barry Goldstein, JD

Attorney Barry Goldstein (left) with client Genia Shockome (right). NY suspended Goldstein from the Bar for 5 years due to his “pervasive deceptive conduct.”

Principal promoter of the Genia Shockome child custody hoax, Goldstein was also one of Tynia Canada’s former attorneys.

In 2009, the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department imposed a staggering five-year suspension on Goldstein because he made statements they called “dishonest, false, or misleading” and for what they called the “pervasive nature of [Goldstein’s] deceptive conduct.” The Court also criticized Goldstein for misuse of funds in another case he handled.

Goldstein has worked with or been a member of many if not most of the organizations seeking to discredit Parental Alienation and the fatherhood movement and has authored a book on custody cases involving allegations of domestic violence.

Goldstein’s client Genia Shockome lost custody of her two children to her ex-husband, Tim Shockome, after a contentious custody battle in which Genia accused Tim of abuse. The Shockome case was widely reported, including this sympathetic article in Newsweek magazine, and Shockome was a popular feminist cause celebre a few years ago.

What really happened is that the mother’s absolute refusal to co-parent with her ex-husband led the courts–eventually, after giving her many chances–to transfer custody of the kids from Genia to her ex-husband. Fathers and Families Executive Director Glenn Sacks detailed this in his co-authored column Shockome Syndrome.

 

The New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division unanimously rejected Genia Shockome’s appeal, writing “We discern no basis, on this record, to interfere with the Family Court’s findings that the mother lacked credibility…the Family Court’s determination is supported by a sound and substantial basis in the record.”

The entire premise of the Genia Shockome story hinges on the notion that Tim battered Genia prior to 2000 and, in repeatedly violating court orders to allow her children access to their father, she was acting to protect them. However, Genia’s allegations of domestic violence and child sexual abuse have never been substantiated in any court proceeding, nor supported by any witnesses.

There were three independent custody evaluations in the case, none of which found anything negative of substance against Tim Shockome. The first one called him a good parent, and the other two went as far as to recommend he get custody because of his parenting and because of Genia’s relentless attempts to drive him out of his children’s lives.

The most recent of these evaluators, Dr. Meg Sussman, has a feminist background and worked for Pace University’s Battered Women’s Justice Center. Sussman, who specializes in domestic violence and child abuse cases, recommended that Genia have only supervised visitation until she could accept the children’s father’s role in their lives.

In two in camera (in chambers) interviews conducted with the Shockome children on May 27, 2003 and January 22, 2004, neither child recalled any physical altercations between their parents, despite Genia’s claims that her children had witnessed Tim’s alleged violence against her. Moreover, neither child expressed any fear of Tim.

Newsweek pictured Genia holding up a large drawing apparently drawn by her children, and explained, “Parents like Genia keep fighting. ‘It’s so hard, having my children lost,’ she says, her voice breaking. ‘This was my life–my children.’”

What Newsweek ignores, though it’s right there in the court records, is that it was Genia who refused to visit her own children, despite ample opportunities to do so. When asked during the trial why she had not visited her children, Genia claimed that she could not afford to pay the supervised visitation program’s fees, even though she is highly-educated and had a well-paid technical job at IBM. Moreover, these programs were originally available to her free of charge, and later cost all of $25.

Genia refused to visit her children for two long periods prior to the May, 2004 decision, including the period which included her daughter’s birthday in November of 2003 and also Christmas of 2003. At one point, Genia refused to visit her own children for a stretch of nine weeks. The law guardian–another neutral party–said that Genia had explained that she didn’t visit her kids as part of her “strategy” in the case. Genia Shockome claims her children are “her life,” but apparently they weren’t even as important as a custody “strategy.”

Genia has refused to visit her children for  long periods. Genia explained that she didn’t visit her kids as part of her “strategy.” While she told Newsweek magazine that her children are “her life,” apparently they weren’t even as important as a custody “strategy.”

Genia appealed and the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division unanimously rejected her appeal, writing “We discern no basis, on this record, to interfere with the Family Court’s findings, inter alia, that the mother lacked credibility–we find that the Family Court’s determination is supported by a sound and substantial basis in the record.”

Genia has accused Tim of all of the following: being a pedophile who got sexually aroused by changing his daughter’s dirty diapers; sexually abusing his children; masturbating in front of his children; taking his children to a sexual store; having a ferocious sexual appetite for women; having a ferocious homosexual appetite for men; being an abusive father who “beat the kids very often, 2-3 times a day” when Genia and Tim lived together; being a wife-beater; secretly beating his former wife who had a secret miscarriage; beating Genia so she almost had a miscarriage; intimidating five of Genia’s witnesses; insurance fraud, identity theft; immigration fraud; defrauding the federal government of $60,000; stealing; embezzlement; extortion; bankruptcy fraud; and almost driving over Genia’s neighbor’s little son.

Joy Silberg, Ph.D.

Joy Silberg, Ph.D.

Psychologist and leading proponent of the idea that Parental Alienation is a fathers’ rights “hoax” or “myth.”

Garland Waller

A professor, film producer, and promoter of the Holly Collins hoax in her upcoming film No Way Out But One. At the conference, Waller held a screening and discussion of what she describes as an “An Independent Documentary on Holly Collins – The First Woman to Be Granted Political Asylum on Grounds of Domestic Violence.”

Waller’s contention that Collins was “Granted Political Asylum on Grounds of Domestic Violence” is false.

Collins was not granted political asylum—she lost her asylum case, but won a subsidiary suit asking she be allowed to remain in Holland anyway on humanitarian grounds. In other words, her asylum attempt failed, but the Dutch government was unable to deport her for medical reasons, among others. Collins soon had four children in four years with a Dutch man who worked at the camp for illegal immigrants where she was being held–once Dutch children were involved, there was little chance of Collins being deported.

Garland Waller, producer of the upcoming documentary No Way Out But One.

While Collins was in Holland, anti-immigration sentiment led to many changes in the law, starting in 2001. One of these changes was that they erased some of the distinctions between the different classes of immigrants, so Collins’ residency card does read “Asiel” (Asylum).

Holly Collins and (apparently) Waller promote the view that American authorities tried to extradite Collins to the US based on pressure from Mark Collins but that Dutch authorities found that Holly had been a battered wife and, in Holly’s words, “Netherlands, a tiny little country–stood up to the United States of America” to prevent her extradition.

In reality, American officials did not try to have Collins extradited: few if any officials were even aware that she was in Holland. No Dutch investigator ever contacted Mark Collins, and his interests or side of the story were not represented in the Dutch proceedings in any way.

Michael Lesher, Esq.

Michael Lesher, Esq., attorney for discredited litigant Amy Neustein

Attorney for discredited litigant Amy Neustein. In Parent Trap: Are false abuse charges a common tactic in child custody battles? (Reason, 12/06), former Boston Globe columnist Cathy Young wrote:

Amy Neustein, a leading activist on behalf of mothers penalized for abuse accusations…lost custody of her own daughter, Sherry, in 1986 after accusing her former husband, Ozzie Orbach, of sexual abuse—charges repeatedly rejected by the courts and by family service agencies. Her crusade has attracted support not only from feminist groups but from politicians from both major parties…[yet] Sherry Orbach, then 24 and a student at Columbia Law School, had published an article in The Jewish Press in New York strongly stating that the only abuse she had suffered was her mother’s effort to brainwash her into accusing her father.

Sherry Orbach wrote, “I, for one, owe my existence as a normal young adult to the family judges, Ohel foster care, and the Legal Aid Society attorney who helped me reunite with my father in the face of considerable opposition in the media.” (While Neustein’s supporters have insinuated that the article was a fake, Orbach confirmed its authenticity when contacted at her law school email address.)

Both Neustein’s sister and brother-in-law sided with the father in the custody dispute.

Lesher co-authored a book with Neustein called From Madness to Mutiny in which they claim to have unearthed a total of 1,000 cases over a 20-year period in which family courts inexplicably favored fathers who had molested their children by granting them visitation, joint custody, or sole custody. Fathers and Families Founder and Chairman of the Board Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S. debunked the book in 2006, explaining:

Almost the entire book is anecdotal in nature. There is not a single table of data. I was unable to find the number 1,000 anywhere in the book. It quickly became apparent that nowhere near 1,000 cases are presented…the authors explain this discrepancy by stating that they examined 1,000 cases and found them to validate their views, even though their book actually presents far fewer cases. As social science, this is unacceptable methodology…I was unable to discern what the “study requirements” were. Apparently, they consisted of picking out only those cases that appeared to support the authors’ preconceived beliefs.

Read Dr. Holstein’s full analysis here.

Kathleen Russell

Kathleen Russell, Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence.

A more rational and formidable opponent than most in the “Protective Parents” movement to discredit Parental Alienation, Russell heads the well-funded California advocacy group the Center for Judicial Excellence. The CJE claims that there’s a “crisis” in family courts, and that courts are handing over custody of children to physically and sexually abusive fathers.

As we’ve noted before, there is no empirical basis supporting this claim. Nevertheless, the CJE promotes reforms which will make it easier to deny parents shared custody or visitation rights based on unsubstantiated abuse claims.

In July, Fathers and Families and its legislative allies succeeded in killing CA AB 612, a bill put forward by the CJE and supported by the California National Organization for Women. The bill would have banned Parental Alienation from being mentioned in California family courts.

Because of California’s tremendous influence in shaping the laws of other states, had this bill passed it could have led to a mushrooming of similarly damaging legislation in other states. To learn more about the bill, see our column Preventing courts from considering parental alienation will harm kids (Capitol Weekly, 2/25/10).

In June, we also helped kill AB 2475, another damaging CJE bill related to Parental Alienation—to learn more, click here.

In April of last year, Russell promoted the “Sarah Creek” child custody case on the Dr. Phil Show. According to the broadcast, Sheldon Creek was awarded custody of his six-year-old daughter Sylvia, even though he is molesting her. Yet according to Dana A, the minor’s counsel in the case, the mother:

[H]as made repeated sexual abuse allegations against father [Sheldon Creek], which to date, after numerous investigations by CPS, UC Davis Medical Center, the FBI, the emergency room physician at Sutter hospital and the police, have been unsubstantiated…[6 year-old Sylvia Creek] has endured five Sexual Assault Response Team [SART] exams…None of the allegations made by [mother Sarah Creek] were substantiated at ANY time…” [emphasis in original]

Kathleen Russell promoted the discredited “Sarah Creek” child custody case on the Dr. Phil Show.

We at Fathers and Families have read the court records in the case and in our analysis of them here. We concluded:

Given the evidence in this case, it would be hard to conclude that Sheldon is/was molesting his daughter. The enormous amount of time and care that social services and the family court have devoted to examining the sexual abuse allegations and the evidence in general belie the mothers’ advocates’ contention that courts are biased against mothers or are turning their backs on children abused by their fathers. Five separate sexual abuse examinations failed to find any support for the accusations–how many more should they have been expected to conduct?

Moreover, it is abusive to subject poor little Sylvia Creek to these repeated exams and to have her mother trying to convince her that she has been sexually abused. As the child’s counsel noted:

“[T]o subject my client to repeated examinations that all come back as unfounded at some point becomes psychologically damaging and a form of maltreatment. Neither CPS nor the police have confirmed any of the allegations…the repeated allegations of sexual abuse by [Sarah Creek] are psychologically damaging to, and amount to maltreatment of my client.”

Note: to Dr. Phil’s credit, he did not use real names in the case, so we have given the litigants pseudonyms (i.e. “Creek”) and have also not used their real names.

Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D

Sadia Loeliger, who Mo Therese Hannah promoted via the BMCC and PBS, despite a CA Juvenile Court’s finding she had committed multiple acts of child abuse.

Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D helped create the BMCC in 2003 and has since been the moving force behind the conference. As such she has promoted and put the conference’s weight behind a series of discredited child custody cases, including Genia Shockome, Sadia Loeliger, Holly Collins, and others.

Hannah recently presented at an audio webinar put on by Jewish Women’s International. In introducing the Holly Collins case, she said that Collins had lost custody of her two children to their “abusive” father because the court accepted the father’s false claims of Parental Alienation. This is incorrect. Numerous judges and mental health professionals associated with the case did acknowledge Holly Collins’ deep, unrelenting Parental Alienation efforts, however, that is not why she lost custody. She lost custody because the courts feared for the children’s safety in Holly Collins’ care.

In affirming a lower court’s award of custody to Mark Collins, the father, the Minnesota Court of Appeal explained that the lower court’s finding that Holly Collins’ care “endangered [the children’s] physical and emotional health” was “supported by evidence in the record.” The Court of Appeal also agreed with the lower court’s findings that Holly Collins “suffers from a personality disorder” and that “the children have adjusted well to the new custody arrangement” in Mark Collins’ care and that “the children’s health has improved.”

To read this Court of Appeal’s ruling, click here.

Conclusion

Fathers and Families is working for a family court system which properly and impartially investigates abuse claims so that abuse victims are protected but unscrupulous litigants are prevented from employing false claims against the innocent.

Fathers and Families has always been concerned about and stood against domestic violence—domestic violence organizations should make it clear that they are concerned about and stand against false accusers.

A blow for fathers and sanity in custody cases

In Family Rights on April 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Idaho Court Returns daughter to Dad

April 29th, 2012 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

The Idaho Supreme Court has struck a blow for fathers and sanity in custody cases.  Read about it here (Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, 4/27/12).  In the meantime notice the doggedness with which the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare tried to separate a father from his little daughter.  It doesn’t get much more blatant than this.

An unnamed Mexican national lived illegally in the United States for several years.  He met and married an American woman in 2007.  The pair moved to Mexico in 2008 – he under court order – where she became pregnant and returned to Idaho.  Because he had no legal status in the U.S., he couldn’t come back with her although he tried.  She gave birth to a baby girl in November of 2008.  In March of 2009, the father attempted to reenter the country to be with his new daughter, but was caught in Arizona and returned to Mexico.

The same month, the Idaho DHW, the state’s child welfare agency, took the child into foster care due to the mother’s abuse and neglect.  DHW attempted to reunite the child with her mother, but eventually abandoned the plan because the mother failed to comply with its provisions for her to properly care for the child.

While that was going on…

Back in Mexico, the father was seeking information and contacted the Department of Health and Welfare. He told the caseworker that if his wife could not care for the child, he wanted her to live with him in Mexico, court records show.

The man also had the Mexican health and welfare officials determine whether he was fit to raise a child. Their report found the man was “financially, emotionally, physically and mentally able to provide” for his daughter, the high court said.

By 2010, Idaho DHW had concluded that the mother was incapable of providing properly for her child and, in a move we’ve come to know as typical, sought to place the girl for adoption.  In other words, it ignored the father as a placement alternative and moved to terminate his parental rights.  Amazingly, it did so on the theory that he’d “abandoned” his child.

Now, legally, in order to abandon a child or anything else, one must have an intent to do so.  Obviously the father had no such intent; he’d attempted to return to the U.S. to be with the child and had himself evaluated for parental fitness by the Mexican authorities.  But the DHW was adamant.  Why?

In a ruling Thursday, justices said a lower court erred when it severed the man’s parental rights in December. Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare had requested the move, claiming the man abandoned his daughter and it was in her best interests to remain in the U.S.

The high court rejected those arguments and questioned the department’s motives, noting that an employee at the agency wanted to adopt the toddler.

“It makes one wonder whether the real reason for seeking termination of (the) father’s parental rights is the fact that a department employee wanted to adopt (the) daughter,” said Justice Daniel Eismann, who authored the court’s unanimous opinion.

We’ve run into this before.  Claims that child welfare agencies routinely traffic in children for adoption sound outrageous until we examine the facts.  It’s undeniable that child welfare agencies often fail to contact the father as a possible placement alternative when a child is taken from its mother due to her abuse or neglect.  The Urban Institute found that in a study some seven years ago.  So when those kids, many of whom could go to their fathers, end up getting adopted instead, it looks suspiciously like CPS is facilitating needless adoptions, exactly as it attempted to do so in this case.

When it’s the child welfare caseworker who’s doing the adopting, the facts become even clearer than before as th e Idaho Suprme Court noted.

One thing the Idaho DHW might have overlooked is the fact that it’s part of the Ninth Judicial Circuit.  That’s significant because several years ago the Ninth Circuit issued a decision holding that it was a violation of federal civil rights laws for a child welfare agency to fail to contact a father before placing his child for adoption.  In short, having lost its bid to steal a child from her father, the Department of Health and Welfare may have just bought itself a lawsuit as well.  Maybe that’s what the Department’s spokesman had in mind when he said this:

The department is still reviewing the decision, said spokesman Tom Shanahan.   “The ruling gives us an opportunity to review our policies and practices to making sure that we’re meeting our obligation to protect parents’ rights from the very start of the case,” Shanahan said.

Whether or not the man sues the State of Idaho, at least justice finally prevailed.  His child will be raised by him and the would-be adoptive parents are now free to adopt a child who needs adopting.

Kudos to the Idaho Supreme Court for seeing clearly the wrong that was being perpetrated and putting a stop to it.

 

http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2012/04/29/idaho-court-returns-daughter-to-dad/

Book on Parental Alienation by Goldie Hawn’s Ex-Husband

In Family Rights on April 30, 2012 at 1:09 am

Bill Hudson, Goldie Hawn’s Ex, Pens Book on Parental Alienation, Praises Fathers and Families

January 24th, 2012 by FAF Staff

Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson, circa 1976.

Bill Hudson, father of Kate and Oliver Hudson and the ex-husband of Goldie Hawn, has authored a new book, Two Versions, in which he claims he was alienated from his children by his ex-wife. According to Amazon.com:

Bill Hudson of the Hudson brothers, ex-spouse of Goldie Hawn, explores in this book aspects of the family dealing with fame, marriage, divorce, and the ugliness that can cause relationships between parent and child to become stilted…he covers the bitter side of divorce, his own foibles, as well as such issues as parental alienation and fathers’ rights. Not a ‘Hollywood tell-all’, but instead an emotional outreach to those who have been in or are in the same situations Bill saw.

In a recent appearance on Good Day LA, Hudson said he was unfairly portrayed as a “bad father” who “walked away” from his children. He claims he has tried everything to reestablish a relationship with his children, but that Kate has “followed the path of her mom,” accusing him of abandoning this children, etc. He sadly noted, “I’ve never met my grandchildren.” To watch the interview, click here.

Bill Hudson’s new book, “Two Versions.”

Hudson quotes Fathers and Families Executive Director Glenn Sacks extensively in the book. Hudson wrote:

[I]n addition to educating people, Glenn and his organization actually work to implement change…It’s refreshing to see them use the media to provide a voice for fathers, the same media that often created strife in my situation. Fathers and Families also gets involved in lobbying for family court reform…and are…changing some of the ways family issues are handled within our legal system.

As in my case, Glenn said that a parent (usually the mother) often decides they want to bring in a new parental figure to create an ideal family unit. Just as Goldie encouraged my children to address Kurt as “Pa,” it happens to many others after a divorce. “We see that a lot,” says Glenn. “The woman attempts to make the father a blank space in their family history. She replaces him with a new dad and convinces the children to minimize the role of the biological father.” That puts the father in a no-win situation.

“The more time the children are in mom’s care, which is usually most of the time since she often gets sole custody, the more likely the father will be alienated from his children.” If fathers keep their mouths shut and don’t fight it, they are accused of abandoning their kids. If they speak up for their rights, they are the bad guy for disrupting the new family.

Glenn points out that…with celebrity divorces, the media often describes the divorce as a “nasty custody battle” or “messy.” This is misleading in that it draws a moral equivalence between a father trying to get joint custody so he can share parenting with the mother of his child, and a mother demanding sole custody. There’s a huge moral distinction between these two positions, and fathers are often described as being contentious or litigious simply because they’re trying to remain a meaningful part of their children’s lives—a fact usually lost on the unsuspecting public…

There is good news though. Based on all of the cases he has seen, Glenn says, “It’s not uncommon for alienated children to reunite with fathers when they are older. Sometimes it’s a spontaneous reunification brought on because of a life-altering event that makes one party reach out and try to reconnect. It could be money for college, the birth of their own child, or they feel the absence of a grandparent. Sometimes children grow up and go through their own divorces and then find out what can happen. It helps them see things differently.”

I’m also thrilled that Glenn and the Fathers and Families organization will continue to help promote not just father’s rights, but family rights. Their position is that if both parents are fit, once there is a divorce or an end to a relationship, custody should be shared.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 10:48 pm and is filed under Fathers and Families Advocacy Group, Media, Parental Alienation/PAS/PAD. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

 

http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2012/01/24/bill-hudson-goldie-hawns-ex-pens-book-on-parental-alienation-praises-fathers-and-families/

Is it the U.S. Government’s responsibility to protect and uphold its citizen’s constitutional Rights?

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on March 22, 2012 at 2:00 am

Is it the U.S. Government’s responsibility to protect and uphold its citizen’s constitutional Rights?
By Wolfeman77346 Aug 13 2008

Although government promotes itself endlessly as our indispensable “protector” and principle guardian of our Constitutional Rights, it’s not true.

Nevertheless, that self-promotion has effectively conditioned most Americans to believe our Constitutional Rights are respected and vigorously protected by government and public servants. Unfortunately, only a few people realize that government does not automatically protect our Rights, that our inclination to trust government is dangerously misguided, and that our ignorance of our Rights encourages government to abuse those Rights.

The relationship between any government and its citizens is, and has always been, at best, ADVERSARIAL: individual Rights are inversely proportional to government power. The more power the government has, the fewer Rights you have. Government can’t grow in size or power except at the cost of our individual Rights and freedom.

The founding fathers also realized that all governments seek to expand their powers and are therefore driven to diminish their citizen’s Rights. Hence, the Constitution was written to both limit government and maximize our individual Rights.

In truth, the American Constitution is essentially an anti-government document.

The Constitution’s principle purpose is not simply to specify our individual Rights, but to shield us from the single organization that will always pose the greatest threat to those Rights: our own government. That’s why we have three branches of government, checks and balances, elections every two years, the opportunity to call constitutional conventions, the Right to jury trials, and the Right to keep and bear arms – each political mechanism was designed to empower the public to restrict government and thereby to protect the people against government’s inevitable urge to tyranny.

If the principle enemy of any people is their own government, and if the principle defender of the American people is the American Constitution, then it follows that the first enemy of our government is our Constitution. Government understands this conflict, but tries to conceal it from the public by claiming to be the only interpreter and protector of the Constitution.

But if only the government interprets the Constitution, then those interpretations are typically biased to empower government — the Constitution’s archenemy — at the expense of the people.

Given the conflict between government and our Constitution, it follows that:

1) The government is not interested in protecting the Constitution;

2) Although the government uses the Constitution to legitimize itself, it’s principle interest is in DESTROYING the Constitution; and

3) That the only party able to truly protect and defend YOUR Rights is YOU.

Sound far-fetched? It’s not. Even the courts agree.

The individual Rights guaranteed by our Constitution can be compromised or ignored by our government.

For example, in US. vs.Johnson (76 Fed Supp. 538), Federal District Court Judge James Alger Fee ruled that,

“The privilege against self-incrimination is neither accorded to the passive resistant, nor to the person who is ignorant of his rights, nor to one indifferent thereto. It is a FIGHTING clause. It’s benefits can be retained only by sustained COMBAT. It cannot be claimed by attorney or solicitor. It is valid only when insisted upon by a BELLIGERENT claimant in person.” McAlister vs. Henkel, 201 U.S. 90, 26 S.Ct. 385, 50 L. Ed. 671; Commonwealth vs. Shaw, 4 Cush. 594, 50 Am.Dec. 813; Orum vs. State, 38 Ohio App. 171, 175 N.E. 876. The one who is persuaded by honeyed words or moral persuasion to testify or produce documents rather than make a last ditch stand, simply loses the protection. . . . He must refuse to answer or produce, and test the matter in contempt proceedings, or by habeas corpus.”

Note the verdict’s confrontational language: “fighting”, “combat”, and most surprising, “belligerent”. Did you ever expect to ever read a Federal Court condemn citizens for being “passive” or “ignorant”? Did you ever expect to see a verdict that encouraged citizens to be “belligerent” IN COURT…?

Better go back and re-read that extraordinary verdict. And read it again. And commit it to memory, for it succinctly describes the essence of the American legal system.

The court ruled that the Constitutional Right against self-incrimination is NOT automatically guaranteed to any citizen by any government branch or official. Moreover, despite the government’s usual propaganda, this Right is NOT available to all persons: It is not available to the “passive”, the “ignorant”, or the “indifferent”. Nor can this Right be claimed by an attorney on behalf of his client. The Right against self-incrimination is available only to the knowledgeable, “belligerent claimant”, to the individual willing to engage in “sustained combat” to FIGHT for his RIGHT.

Government is obligated to recognize your Constitutional Right against self-incrimination only if you fight for that right. Our courts are free to ignore this Right for any citizen who is

1) Ignorant of his Right and/or

2) Lacks the courage to fight for his Right. Therefore, anyone who trusts the courts (or even his own lawyer) to protect his Constitutional Right against self-incrimination is a fool and may pay a fool’s price.

If one of our Constitutional Rights is only available to citizens who are both knowledgeable and belligerent, how are the balances of our Rights any different?

They’re not.

Fundamentally, if you don’t know your Rights, the court is under no obligation to inform you, or to protect your Rights. Even if you know your Rights, but lack the guts to fight for them, again, the court is not obligated to protect you. If you are superior to the Government, then why SHOULD they be obligated to inform their Master? Ignorance of the law is NO EXCUSE! In the same respect, if the executive or legislative branch violates the Constitution, it is our duty to fight to restore the limitations provided by the constitution.

In fact, your ignorance or passivity legally empowers your adversary to exploit you in court. If the opposing side tries to railroad you and ignore your Constitutional Rights, the judge is not obligated to protect your Rights. This is particularly true in cases where your opponent is the government (a District Attorney, for example, or the I.R.S.). This is seen repeatedly when the sheep are led into our courts, sheared, bled, and butchered under the kindly gaze of the presiding judge.

That’s the way our courts really are: The ignorant and the passive can be routinely railroaded and abused without ever understanding that the cause for their abuse is their own ignorance or cowardice.

Our cowardice and fear of the courts typically entices us to “play nice” with the judge. But that’s exactly the wrong strategy because by “playing nice”, we become accomplices in our own destruction. By not objecting and defying the courts, we implicitly approve, validate, and accept whatever injustice the court cares to dispense on our lives. By not fighting, we give the government license to destroy us.

The key to a successful defense of our Rights is not to kiss up to the judge with yes-your-honor’s, no-your-honor’s, and pray-the-court’s, but to stand up and belligerently defy the system.

Given that the government does not defend our Rights, what’s a reasonable person to do?

Clearly, we must do SOMETHING, for as Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” But apathy isn’t simply a function of cowardice or indifference; “apathy” is a synonym for “ignorance”.

Ignorance makes the public more “manageable” in the courts and in confrontations with the government. Insofar as government naturally seeks to expand its powers at the expense of the citizen’s Rights, government has a vested interest in the public’s ignorance and consequent apathy. The interest in expanding its powers encourages the government to provide little, no, or even false, education on what our Rights should be.

So first, you must learn your Constitutional Rights. If you don’t know what your Rights are, you can’t “fight” for them.

Second, given the reality of American education, you can’t rely on the state to teach you anything other than basic vocational training. Therefore, you must study your rights, learn about law, history and EDUCATE YOURSELF.

Third, teach your friends and neighbors. It’s not enough to know YOUR Rights. You must also know and respect your neighbor’s. Like-wise, your neighbor must learn to know and respect his, and you’re Rights, too. Our chances of compelling government to concede our Rights are hugely improved when the general public also understands and respects those Rights.

Fourth, knowledge alone is not enough: once you know your Rights, find the courage to fight for them. Courage (“belligerence”) is the final requirement to secure your Rights. Fight for YOUR Rights, and more, learn to respect others, no matter how seemingly bizarre, who also fight for THEIR Rights. Make no mistake — anyone who’s fighting for HIS Rights, is also fighting for YOURS. He’s entitled to your respect.

Fifth, don’t trust the government. Recognize the true nature of a citizen’s relationship to government is ADVERSARIAL. All governments naturally seek to expand their powers at the cost of their citizen’s Rights, both nationally and internationally. This has been true since time began and will not change in this life. You have what they want: personal power (and as consequence, freedom from government authority). Trusting the government has already enslaved us. It is up to us to break these bonds and restore true liberty and freedom.

The most effective tyrannies begin by luring their subjects with carrots. Only later, after the people are addicted to government and weak, will they use the stick to compel public obedience.

America thrived for nearly two centuries based on the Constitution’s mandate of limited government/maximum freedom. But limited government demands personal self-reliance. As government has grown in size with the carrots of welfare, entitlements, and special interest programs, the public has become increasingly dependent of the government, and the nation has declined.

This is America, boys and girls. It’s more than a piece of land; it’s a political miracle — the only nation in the world with an anti-government Constitution. But this miracle is conditional and dependant on the knowledge, courage, and self-reliance of its citizens. Freedom will not flourish in a nation of ignorant fools and irresponsible weaklings. To live free takes knowledge, nerve, and personal responsibility.

From http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/911242

Is it the U.S. Government’s responsibility to protect and uphold its citizen’s constitutional Rights?.

National Writers Syndicate – PC Feminism and the DV Courts

In Family Rights on May 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm

National Writers Syndicate – PC Feminism and the DV Courts.

Written by David Heleniak

Of the various branches of political correctness, PC feminism has arguably been the most successful. ….

… Thanks to PC feminists, we have the theory of the patriarchy and the PC conception of domestic violence (DV), two ideas that are responsible for widespread violations of the civil rights of men and pervasive damage to father-child relationships.

Political correctness is not, as many believe, the act of being non-offensive. It is, rather, an ideology resulting from the transformation of the Marxist concept of class oppression. Orthodox Marxism teaches that the world is made up of two economic classes, the capitalist class and the working class, and that the capitalist class oppresses the working class. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.

When the orthodox Marxist theory of class oppression was shown to be a dead end, some leftist intellectuals turned their attention from economic classes to social classes. It’s not capitalists oppressing workers, they determined, it’s dominant social groups oppressing non-dominant groups, as in whites oppressing blacks, heterosexuals oppressing homosexuals, Christians oppressing non-Christians, and men oppressing women. Of the various branches of political correctness, PC feminism has arguably been the most successful.

PC feminism is not your mother’s feminism. As Cathy Young states in her book Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality, we owe a lot to the feminists of the past.

“They deserve credit for helping break down the barriers of discrimination in the public arena; for making gender neutrality an accepted legal principle; for challenging stereotypes about women’s nature. Thanks to them, achievement and ambition are no longer considered unfeminine and women are expected to make something of themselves, not just marry. Thanks to them, most of us believe that both parents can nurture young children.”

Thanks to PC feminists, in contrast, we have the theory of the patriarchy and the PC conception of domestic violence (DV), two ideas that are responsible for widespread violations of the civil rights of men and pervasive damage to father-child relationships.

PC feminist Adrienne Rich defines patriarchy in her book Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution as “the power of the fathers: a familial–social, ideological, political system in which men–by force, direct pressure or through ritual, tradition, law, and language, customs, etiquette, education, and the division of labor, determine what part women should or shall not play.”

In her article “Disabusing the Definition of Domestic Abuse: How Women Batter Men and the Role of the Feminist State,” law professor Linda Kelly states the PC feminist definition of domestic violence “as the use of physical power by men against women not motivated simply by a desire to inflict physical pain or even emotional suffering but rather as part of a larger effort by men to gain and maintain control over women.” A more detailed explanation of the relationship between domestic violence and the patriarchy is provided by social psychologist Donald G. Dutton, in his article “Patriarchy and Wife Assault: The Ecological Fallacy,” where he observes that according to the PC feminist theory of domestic violence, “wife assault is seen to be a systematic form of domination and social control of women by men. All men can potentially use violence as a powerful means of subordinating women. Men as a class benefit from how women’s lives are restricted because of their fear of violence. Wife abuse reinforces women’s dependence and enables all men to exert authority and control…. Wife assault is mainly ‘normal’ violence committed, not by madmen who are unlike other men, but by men who believe that patriarchy is their right, that marriage gives then unrestricted control over their wife and that violence is an acceptable means of establishing this control.” Wendy McElroy sums up the PC feminist approach to domestic violence in her book Sexual Correctness: The Gender-Feminist Attack on Women this way: “men are said to beat women to retain their place in the patriarchal power structure.”

A critical component of the PC feminist conception of domestic violence is the denial that women commit domestic violence against men. Studies of domestic violence have consistently revealed that women are at least as likely as men to commit domestic violence, that in about half of all cases, minor and severe, the aggression is mutual, that about 38% of the people injured by domestic violence are men, and that self-defense accounts for less than one-fifth of domestic violence committed by women. PC feminists, however, refuse to accept the findings as true. Linda Kelly explains why. “Domestic violence is not viewed as just another tool used by men in the subordination of women. Rather, it is considered ‘one of the most brutal and explicit expressions of patriarchal domination.’ Such strong roots in patriarchy have produced an equally strong force against accepting female violence. Acknowledging female violence risks negating the very basis of the existing domestic violence definition.” As Kelly perceives, “[d]omestic violence represents the prized gemstone of … [the] message that our legal, social, and cultural norms are fashioned in a manner which permit men to engage in a constant and pervasive effort to oppress women by any and every available means.”

If the PC feminist theory of domestic violence was only being taught to womens’ studies majors, that would be one thing, but it’s being taught to judges charged with the responsibility of granting temporary and permanent DV restraining orders, and, to some degree, with the responsibility of deciding custody and visitation issues. In a report entitled “Education for Injustice,” RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) identified a number of examples of this. Here are two: West Virginia’s benchbook on domestic violence, the official judicial handbook, states, incorrectly, that “women are overwhelmingly the typical victims of domestic violence;” similarly, Alabama’s benchbook puts forth the false claim, “National crime statistics show that about 95% of spouse-abuse victims are women.” This “education” is funded by the federal government pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

For years, many family court judges have held the view that fathers are ice cream, moms are the meal. Dads are nice, but nonessential. Kids can easily do without them, just like they really don’t need dessert. In 1985, the “Honorable” Richard Huttner, former chief judge of the King’s County (Brooklyn) Family Court took this further, telling New York Magazine: “You have never seen a bigger pain in the ass than the father who wants to get involved: he can be repulsive. He wants to meet the kid after school at three o’clock, take the kid out to dinner during the week, have the kid on his own birthday, talk to the kid on the phone every evening, go to every open school night, take the kid away for a whole weekend so they can be alone together. This type of father is pathological.” VAWA was passed in 1994. Considering the “men are bad and women are victims” ideology that’s been promoted since then, one can only believe that the bias against fathers is even worse than it was in the 1980s. Fathers are not just useless pains in the asses, they’re evil.

***

David Heleniak is a civil litigation attorney in New Jersey and Senior Legal Analyst for the True Equality Network.

Children’s rights should include life with both parents.

In Family Rights on May 6, 2011 at 4:33 am

by Phyllis Schlafly

Debates about same-sex marriage and gay adoptions always include the argument that a child has the right to both a father and a mother. ….

…. If that is true, why is a child usually deprived of that right when heterosexual couples divorce?

It would seem that maintaining the father’s love and authority would be crucial when a child’s life is turned upside down by divorce. Yet, family courts routinely deprive children of one parent, usually the father, restricting his time with his child to about six days a month.

The courts pompously assert they are invoking “the best interest of the child,” but how can it be in the best interest of children to make them forfeit one parent?

We hear many pious comments about the need for fathers to be involved in the upbringing of their children. This need should be even more important in times of emotional stress, such as divorce, than the need for fathers to play ball with their kids in an intact family.

Some states are considering legislation that establishes a presumption of shared parenting whereby divorced parents divide equally both time and authority over the children. This enables children to maintain strong ties to both parents.

When primary or sole custody is given to the mother, the father becomes merely a visitor in the child’s life (that’s why it’s called “visitation”), whose only value is to mail a paycheck and be an occasional baby sitter. The father loses his parental authority and fades out of his own child’s life.

An argument is sometimes made that shuttling back and forth between two homes might be upsetting or a nuisance, but there is no more shuttling with equal custody (where parents, for example, get alternating weeks) than with the typical mother-custody/father-visitation schedule (where the father gets two weekends a month plus some Wednesday evenings). Do the math; both plans have about the same number of shuttles between homes.

An argument is also made that giving custody primarily to the mother promotes stability, but the need for stability is really a reason forshared custody. The stability of parental relationships is a great deal more important than contact with material things.

Americans have always assumed that parents share decision-making authority because only parents can determine what is in the best interest of their own children. As recently as 2000, the Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville reaffirmed this principle and rejected the argument that a judge could supersede a fit parent’s judgment about his child’s “best interest.”

Nevertheless, in what Stephen Baskerville calls a “silent revolution,” millions of divorced parents have had their fundamental right to decide what is in the best interest of their own children taken away and given instead to a vast array of government officials and so-called “experts” such as judges, lawyers, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, childprotective services, child support enforcement agents, mediators, counselors, parenting classes, and feminist groups.

This shift began in the 1970s after the spread of unilateral divorce was followed by the creation of a giant federal child support-enforcement bureaucracy. The notion that this mix of government officials and government-appointed advisers can dictate what is the best interest of the child rather than a child’s own parents is how liberals and feminists are fulfilling their goal that “it takes a village (i.e., the government) to raise a child.”

An example of the bias against fathers can be seen in the Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2007 recently introduced by Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Evan Bayh, D-Ind. The bill mentions “child support” 65 times, but not once does it mention parenting time, custody, visitation, or access denial.

Baskerville’s new book, “Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family” (Cumberland House, $24.95), provides a copiously documented description of society’s injustices to children who have been deprived of their fathers and of fathers who have been deprived of their children. This book is a tremendous and much-needed report on how family courts and government policies are harming children.

It is a breakthrough for shared parenting that a noncustodial father, Robert Pedersen, was recently named runner-up in the nationwide Best Life Magazine‘s “Hero Dad” Contest. Pedersen is only allowed 6 to 8 days a month with his two children from a previous marriage.

Pedersen has devised a novel way to demonstrate the importance of fathers to children of divorced parents. He is leading an “Equal Parenting Bike Ride” starting in Lansing, Mich., on Aug. 11 and culminating with an Aug. 18 rally in Washington, D.C.

– – –

Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and the author of the newly revised and expanded “Supremacists.” She can be contacted by e-mail at phyllis@eagleforum.org. © Copley News Service

NWS Thanks John Schlafly at Eagle Forum for approving the republication here at NWS. Sr. Ed

National Writers Syndicate – Children’s rights should include life with both parents..

NH Supreme Court: Parental Alienation Inimical to Child’s Best Interests « Fathers & Families

In Best Interest of the Child, Brainwashed Children, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parents rights on April 4, 2011 at 8:20 pm

NH Supreme Court: Parental Alienation Inimical to Child’s Best Interests

April 4th, 2011 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

This case is excellent, not only because of its result, but mostly because of its sound analysis.  It should serve as a template for courts not only here in the U.S. but in other countries as well.

It comes to us from the Supreme Court of New Hampshire and analyzes a situation in which false allegations of child sexual abuse were used by a mother to deprive a father of contact with his children.  It’s a familiar pattern of facts and altogether too rare an outcome.

In 1999, James Miller met Janet Todd online.  They developed a relationship and, although they never married, had two daughters.  Laurel was born in 2002 and Lindsey in 2003.  Ultimately, a New Hampshire court awarded joint custody with Todd as primary custodian and Miller with visitation rights.

But early on, Todd’s mother claimed she had seen Miller sexually abusing Laurel.  Thus began a long series of allegations of child sexual abuse against Miller.  They were still going on as late as March, 2009, some five years after the first one.

Each and every claim was investigated; each and every claim was determined to be unfounded.  As part of the investigations, the girls were subjected to invasive pelvic examinations at least twice each.

False though the allegations were, they served a purpose; they caused the New Hampshire family court to suspend Miller’s parenting time with his children throughout the course of the proceedings.  That meant that, for over two years, he had no contact with his daughters and they none with him.

Eventually, in July, 2006, the court ordered psychologist Dr. Peggie Ward to thoroughly examine Miller, Todd, the girls and the family situation to determine issues of custody, alienation, sexual abuse, etc.  It took Ward 17 months to produce her 88-page report which the court found to be “extraordinarily thorough.”

What Ward concluded was that there was no reliable evidence of sexual abuse by Miller.  She also concluded that Todd had probably not set out to deliberately alienate the girls from their father; that probably originated with Todd’s mother.  The problem stemmed not only from the various claims of abuse, but from Todd’s almost total inability to accurately process everyday occurrences.

[p]sychological testing shows that Ms. Todd has a “serious
impairment in her ability to accurately process the information she takes in from her surroundings and the degree of misperception she demonstrates has major implications for her adaptive functioning. Ms. Todd’s level of distortion is substantial and predisposes her to misunderstanding and misconstruing intentions, motivations and actions of other people. This places her at great risk for faulty judgment, for errors in decision-making, and for behaving in ways that are based on inaccurate information.  These data indicate that Ms. Todd will not only fail to recognize or foresee the consequences of her actions at times, but that she will also become confused at times in separating fantasy from reality.”

In other words, Todd was unable to sort out false allegations from real ones.  Into the bargain, Todd failed to protect her daughters from her own feelings and fears about what she thought may be happening, thereby perpetuating the girls’ own confusion about the nature of what daddy had or had not done.

So, given years of false allegations against Miller and the manifest inability by Todd to (a) distinguish fantasy from reality and (b) promote a healthy relationship between Miller and his daughters, the trial court did what so many of them do; it gave custody to the children’s mother.

That violated New Hampshire law which requires parents to promote positive relationships between the opposite parent and the children.  It also ignored the rather startling fact that Todd’s emotional problems posed obvious risks for any child in her care.

So why did the court give her custody?  Because the kids had been with her for several years during which time they’d had no contact with Miller.  They’d developed friendships at school and so, according to the court, their “best interests” required them to see little or nothing of their father, depending on the decisions of their clearly unbalanced mother.

If that makes sense to you, please explain it to me.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court squashed that one like a bug.  Its opinion grasps what so many courts do not – that continuing, deep and rich relationships with both parents are in the child’s best interests.  The mother’s obstruction of  such relationships between the children and the father is per se not in their best interests.

Why that should be so difficult to understand is beyond me.  The statutes of New Hampshire make it clear as do the statutes and courts of other jurisdictions.  The court said:

“Across the country, the great weight of authority holds that conduct by one parent that tends to alienate the child’s affections from the other is so inimical to the child’s welfare as to be grounds for a denial of custody to, or a change of custody from, the parent guilty of such conduct.”

And yet time and again, courts ignore statute and case law and look only at the fact that the child has been separate from the father for a certain period of time.  They then conclude that the he cannot have future contact or that it must be limited, without ever noticing how his lack of contact came about.

The New Hampshire court specifically objected to the concept that Todd had “benefitted from her own misbehavior.”  That’s a concept I’ve waited many years to hear a court articulate.  For as long as I’ve been a student and advocate of fathers’ rights, I’ve been astonished at courts’ willingness to ignore mothers’ wrongdoing in order to grant them custody.  That happens as a matter of routine in adoption cases.

What Miller v. Todd does is to show that the requirement on the part of each parent to promote the child’s relationship with the other parent is necessary and beneficial to the child.  It also shows that courts will not reward the alienating behavior of parents.

And that, in a nutshell, is how courts should rule in these cases.  They should make it clear that false allegations of abuse are not acceptable and that they will not be used to benefit the alienating parent.

It’s a simple concept that more courts need to grasp.

Thanks to Timothy for the heads-up.

NH Supreme Court: Parental Alienation Inimical to Child’s Best Interests « Fathers & Families.

http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/?p=14489

 

F & F Passes 7 Bills in 2010, as Schwarzenegger Signs 3 More F & F Bills « Fathers & Families

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Brainwashed Children, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parents rights on October 20, 2010 at 2:00 am

October 19th, 2010

by Glenn Sacks, MA, Executive Director

This year Fathers and Families led the passage of seven different family law bills nationwide, as Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed the remaining three California F & F bills. F & F was also instrumental in helping defeat three harmful bills. The seven bills we were instrumental in passing include:

1. Alimony Reform (CA. SB 1482): Parents who face alimony increases after their child support ends will now be able to demand a vocational examination for their ex-spouses, and judges are required to calculate alimony based on the examiner’s estimate of the ex-spouse’s earning capacity.

2. Child Custody Protection for Military Parents (CA. AB 2416): Creates a rebuttable presumption that upon a servicemember’s return from deployment, child custody and visitation orders will revert to the original order. Allows judges to award a deployed parent’s parenting time to grandparents or stepparents so that deployed parents can’t have their contact with their children severed by the custodial parent. This also helps to maintain and nurture children’s bonds with their deployed parent’s family.

3. Child Custody/Visitation Reform (CA. SB 1188): Will help prevent family court litigants from using a parent’s disability as a way to deprive them of child custody or visitation.

4 & 5. Protection Against Family Court Financial Abuses (Arizona HB 2358 & Indiana HB 1165) F & F helped pass bills in both Arizona and Indiana which protected disabled veterans from family court financial abuses. Both bills were inspired by and modeled on SB 285, a bill we helped pass in California in 2009.

6. Child Support Reform (CA. SB 580) The high cost of medical care is a burden for everybody, but the healthcare obligations family court judges throw onto noncustodial parents can be devastating. SB 580 will ensure that noncustodial parents aren’t saddled with an unreasonably high percentage of their children’s medical care costs.

7. Child Support Reform (CA. SB 1355) Many young fathers who were incarcerated for nonviolent offenses face crushing child support debts which accrued (at 10% interest) while they were behind bars. These debts make it difficult for them to play a meaningful role in their children’s lives. This bill suspends child support from accruing while the obligor is institutionalized.

Legislative work isn’t just about passing good bills—it’s also about defeating harmful ones. There is a nationwide reactionary backlash against recognition of Parental Alienation, and California is the battleground where it is being fought. The California National Organization for Women and the powerful, well-funded Center for Judicial Excellence in Northern California are leading the backlash, and Fathers and Families has been at the forefront of fighting it. Bills F & F helped defeat this year include:

1. Parental Alienation in Family Court (CA. AB 612): AB 612 would have prevented target parents of Parental Alienation from even uttering the words “Parental Alienation” in family court, and custody evaluators and mediators would have been prohibited from citing alienation.

2. Custody Evaluators and Parental Alienation (CA. AB 2475): A complicated bill but the bottom line is that it would have led to child custody evaluators and mediators being punished for making findings of Parental Alienation.

3. Children and Medical Care (MA  HB 930): Fathers & Families opposed and testified against HB 930, a bill supported by the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association that would have further marginalized noncustodial parents in relation to their children’s medical needs.

As good as 2010 has been, 2011 will be better. We have an ambitious, exciting legislative agenda for 2011 on which we will soon be soliciting member input. The Fathers & Families model works. We want you to be a part of it–to get involved, please click here.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers and Families

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers and Families

F & F Passes 7 Bills in 2010, as Schwarzenegger Signs 3 More F & F Bills « Fathers & Families.

David R. Usher — Ten “Marriage Values” Policies to Rebuild America

In Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Marriage, Parents rights on October 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm

TEN “MARRIAGE VALUES” POLICIES TO REBUILD AMERICA

By David R. Usher and Michael J. McManus
June 19, 2010
NewsWithViews.com

Marriage-absence is the greatest domestic problem America faces. Our most daunting social, economic, budgetary, criminal, and constitutional dilemmas are driven by marriage-absence and will not abate unless traditional marriage is protected and encouraged.

Establishing sensible policies to return America to a marriage-based society will prove rewarding, productive, and seminal. The major problems of most unmarried mothers and their children will be naturally resolved. A woman’s right to be supported by, cared for, and helped by her husband will be ensured. Health care coverage will become commonplace without resorting to National Health Care. Chronic budgetary deficits at state levels will disappear and the federal deficit will drop as the number of single parent families costing taxpayers $20,000 each — plummets.[1]

Most children will grow up in intact homes, disciplined and prepared to learn in school. Substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, and poverty will decrease to manageable norms. The dollar will regain strength as the currency of world exchange.

The future of the United States is in jeopardy. Therefore, we must re-create marriage in America now, while we still have time to prevent certain financial and social collapse.

The rewards of Marriage Values policy are certain. We can reconstitute our nation’s most valuable asset: healthy marriages, the social and economic cornerstone on which all successful nations have been powered.

1. Ensuring heterosexual marriage as the social norm

No-Fault Divorce laws were a mistake that encouraged marital irresponsibility, resulting in a 50% divorce rate, a 51% decline in marriages since 1970, a 16-fold hike in cohabitation, and an 800% increase in out-of-wedlock births. Marriage as an institution is no longer trusted by younger Americans. That’s why the number of cohabiting couples soared from 430,000 in 1960 to 6.8 million in 2008, and unwed births jumped from 224,000 to 1.71 million. The “Marital Responsibility” model presumes it is responsible to remain married and cooperatively work through relationship issues as they arise.

Two new methods of “Responsible Dissolution” will be established. “Mutual Consent” dissolution will permit divorce with the voluntary consent of both spouses, without hearing or litigation. Most divorcing spouses will use this method. “Necessary Dissolution” permits divorce for defined reasons, which must be proven. Evidentiary standards are changed to conform to rules of Best Evidence. The spouse who does not want a divorce in a Responsible Dissolution will receive three-fourths of marital assets. The spouse who files for Responsible Dissolution without cause can leave the marriage, but will be penalized financially for doing so. No Fault Divorce laws will be reformed to require Mutual Consent and Necessary Dissolution.

Where children are involved, move-away laws like that in Missouri will discourage arbitrary relocation, and thus maximize parental resources for children, encourage spousal cooperation, and reduce child abuse and neglect.

2. Impacting substance abuse in the family

Eighty-six percent of major domestic violence involves substance abuse,[2] and most unhappy marriages suffer from it.[3] “Family Intervention Orders” will give the responsible spouse a power tool to leverage the abusing spouse into recovery, or face a “Responsible Dissolution.”

3. Defending marriage from invaders

Marital-interference laws are needed to protect marriages from invaders by young outsiders, who misuse sex to entice a more-affluent spouse out of a marriage and seize the place of the former wife or husband. Marital interference laws will ensure marital assets cannot be touched, result in steep fines to the perpetrator, and seize any future income from tabloid stories and “tell alls.”

4. Community Marriage Policies (CMP)

There are two generations of adult children raised outside of intact marriages who have difficulty establishing and maintaining long-term marital relations. Community Marriage Policies are the seed bed for restoring traditional marriage as the social norm. More than 10,000 clergy across denominational lines have agreed to implement five proven reforms promoted by Marriage Savers[4] in 228 communities:

Require 4-6 months of marriage preparation that includes taking a premarital inventory and meeting with trained Mentor Couples to discuss the assessment, who also teach conflict resolution skills.
Organize annual marriage enrichment events such as “10 Great Dates,” or “Fireproof” classes to revitalize existing marriages.
Restore troubled marriages by training couples whose marriages once nearly failed to mentor those in current crisis.
Reconcile separated couples with a self-guided, economical course, Marriage 911, taken by the spouse most committed to the marriage, with a friend of the same gender over 12 weeks, saving half of marriages headed for divorce.
Enable stepfamilies to be successful parents and partners by creating Stepfamily Support Groups that save four of five marriages that usually fail at a 70% rate

If a group of congregations creates a Community Marriage Policy, Marriage Savers will train Mentor Couples to implement these reforms.

Results: Individual churches that adopt these reforms can virtually eliminate divorce in their congregations. If scores of churches take this step across a city or county, the divorce and cohabitation rates will drop, and marriage rates will rise. An Independent study by the Institute for Research and Evaluation, of the first 114 Community Marriage Policies established by 2000 found that divorce rates fell 17.5% in seven years (and 8 cities cut divorce rates in half such as Austin, Kansas City, KS Modesto. Salem, OR and El Paso).[5] The cohabitation rate in CMP counties also fell by a third compared to carefully matched counties in each state. Marriage rates are now rising after years of decline. The Institute estimated that 31,000 to 50,000 marriages were saved from divorce by 2001. With nine more years in the original cities and twice as many CMPs by 2010 (228), probably 100,000 divorces have been averted. No other intervention has saved so many marriages!

5. Church denominations will be urged to take the lead in fostering Community Marriage Policies.

They are volunteer-based strategies to provide inexpensive marriage preparation, maintenance and restoration programs. Trained Mentor Couples who have long-term successful marriages, are equipped to assist other couples at all stages of the marital lifecycle. CMP’s will also help spouses considering mutual-consent dissolution, to either reconsider or to plan for the best outcomes for couples and children.

6. Require Waiting Periods for Divorce.

In cases of Mutual Consent Divorces, parents would have to live apart for a year, before the divorce takes effect. Why? MD, PA, and IL which require 6 months to a year of separation, and up to two years if contested – have a divorce rate half that of 9 “Hot Head States” with a zero waiting period: OR, FL, WY, ID, KY, MS, TN, NM, NH and OR. In fact, there are an additional 24 Hot Head States with zero waiting for a divorce, or only 30 days, such as MO and AL. Why does a waiting period reduce divorce? A one-year period allows time for Hot Heads to cool down and for reconciliation to take place. In cases of “Necessary Dissolution,” couples must live apart for 6 months to allow for reconciliation.

7. Effective Shared-Parenting Laws

Children of divorce or of non-marriage need parenting by both the mother and father, unless a parent is found unfit. Each parent will get at least one-third time with their children. Shared Parenting laws will assume a default change of custody from one parent to the other at the half-way point to the date of emancipation, unless the parents voluntarily agree to another arrangement, assuring that the children will receive approximately one-half of their upbringing from each parent.

8. “Welfare to Marriage” policy

Welfare and child support will be modified to discourage long-term non-marriage. Shared Parenting will be required unless a parent is found unfit, is incarcerated, or voluntarily waives custody. The emphasis will be on building marriage or remarriage, and maximizing parental access to children. If a single parent is cohabiting current subsidies such as Medicaid and Earned Income Tax Credit – would not be sharply reduced if the couple marries, as at present, but would be phased down over time.

9. Trickle-down social policy: monitoring and correcting impact of policy on marriage

Trickle-down social policy requires measuring and minimizing impact of social programs on marriage. Six states currently do not tally their number of divorces: MN, LA, IN, CA, HI and GA. Such data is necessary to measure change. Marriage, divorce, and cohabitation rates will be monitored. Long-term non-marriage rates will be tracked. Impact of welfare, child support, domestic violence, divorce, and other federal and state policies will be followed to discover and mitigate programs unnecessarily harming marriage.

10. Sustainable manufacturing jobs for working-class Americans

The egress of manufacturing jobs overseas weakened marriage and fostered expansion of welfare.

This was paralleled by the rise of a belief by some that everyone must have a college education to be employable. However, information and service sectors can not provide enough jobs. We must maximize competitiveness to repatriate manufacturing jobs for working-class Americans.

Personal and corporate taxes should be waived on all manufacturing jobs that pay $15 an hour or less, with no penalty for marriage. This will reduce manufacturing costs in the U.S. stimulating the return of millions of working-class jobs needed by millions of Americans.

Footnotes:

1, Robert Rector & Christine Kim, “Fiscal Distribution of Single-Parent Families in the United States, FY2004,” The Heritage Foundation, November 10, 2007, Washington D.C.
2, Alcohol and Crime, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (1998), p. 4
3, Bank On It: Married Couples Are the Happiest, The National Marriage Project, Jeffery Dew, p. 27
4, Marriage Savers is an organization founded by Mike and Harriet McManus to help clergy create Community Marriage Policies, the first of which was adopted nearly 25 years ago in Modesto, Cal, which the divorcer ate has been about half of its 1986 level for the decade of the 2000s. Marriages have doubled, with the result that school drop out rates fell by 18.4% in a decade and teen births by 30%, or double the U.S> decline
5, Paul James Birch, Stan E. Weed and Joseph Olsen, “Assessing the Impact of Community Marriage Policies® on County Divorce Rates,” Family Relations, 2004, 53, 495-503

© 2010 David Usher – All Rights Reserved

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David R. Usher is Legislative Analyst for the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Missouri Coalition and is a co-founder and past Secretary of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.

 

David R. Usher — Ten “Marriage Values” Policies to Rebuild America.

Why Do Mother’s Rights Groups Ignore Parental Alienation? When a Mother does this to Children She is Applauded as a Protective Mother (Kidnapper)?

In Activism, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, mothers rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on September 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm


This article on angimedia presents a very important point: why do Mother’s Rights groups call Parental Alienation the defense of an “abuser” when the mother has custody, but not so when a father has custody? The woman in this story was treated like millions of men in this country, faced false allegations of abuse, but women’s rights / mother’s rights groups totally ignored what was happening to her because it involved Parental Alienation?  The feminist sexists rhetoric about domestic violence has been proven to be a lie by HHS statistics, yet men are still vilified by exactly what happened to Tonya in this horrendous story.

Tonya Craft’s Ex, Parental Alienator Joal Henke, Shows Kids Will Lie About Sexual Abuse To Hurt Target Parent

Written by: Chris Print This Article Print This Article Share 25
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Tonya Craft
Tonya Craft

False sexual abuse allegations are an appalling mainstay in child custody cases today. They cause immense damage to the falsely accused parent and to the children. The false accuser usually doesn’t care who they hurt so long as they get the kids as a result. The courts and government are quick to side with the false accuser, demanding that a careful investigation be done and in the meantime the children will live with the parent making the accusations.

These “investigations” are often nothing but a witch-hunt that takes multiple years to fizzle out. By that time, the children involved are often suffering badly from the lack of a parent who loves them. The falsely accused parent has often not only lost years with his children but has lost his job, career, home, savings, reputation, and quite possibly a new marriage, too. Usually none of this is remedied. The falsely accused parent doesn’t even receive an apology from anyone. Some “mother’s rights” groups don’t care about any of this and view false sexual abuse allegations as a sure-win strategy of choice because they are willing to do anything to get children away from their fathers, even when it results in psychological damage to the children. But the recent case of Tonya Craft may give reason for them to change their positions. That’s because it is a case in which the mother was falsely accused of sexual abuse by her ex-husband, a malicious parental alienator of the most vile sort named Joal Henke.

Blindly Taking Sides Against Accused Parent Is A Mistake

The casual observer not versed in the pathological behaviors of the courts, government, and abusive parents would tend to take either the government’s side or the accusing parent’s side. Such people are quick to jump on the “execute the child molester” bandwagon, often simply after hearing allegations with no proof other than reports of what a child is claimed to have said to a government investigator.

This is a serious mistake. Children, particularly toddlers through early elementary school kids, can be coached to lie or even worse against a parent. The “even worse” can be a lot worse. If you doubt this, consider the case of Dr. Rick Lohstroh whose ten year old son was trained to kill his father and shot him in the back with a handgun owned and supplied to him by his malicious mother, Deborah Geisler. A ten year old ought to know that shooting a gun into the back of another person is wrong, yet this one did it to his father because his mother taught him to do so.

Being familiar with how family law courts work, how alienating and personality disordered parents think and behave, and the many far from rational witch hunts that result from somebody uttering the words “child sexual abuse”, I’ve come to the conclusion that often a child’s claims of sexual abuse are fabricated or distorted. A parent, a law enforcement official, a therapist, or some combination of these three wants a particular answer. It’s not hard to convince a young child to give the wanted answer. Sometimes it is done with malicious intent, other times it is through sheer incompetence. Either way, the result can be a child falsely accusing a parent that never harmed the child and whom the child loves dearly.

Furthermore, government investigators are notorious for asking leading questions that manipulate witnesses, especially naive children, to get the answers they want. Even when they do not answer as desired, the investigator can create the appearance of the desired answer by altering evidence including modifying lengthy transcripts of interviews that few people will spend many hours to carefully review. As more and more people are dragged into the roles of witnesses, reality is quickly replaced by some sick fiction in which nearly everybody questioned has a story about how the accused is obviously a child molester. Many of these people would rather hang an innocent than to risk being tainted by failing to drive an accusatory knife into the back of the government’s target. Mass hysteria overcomes responsible behavior.

Being Charged With A Crime Is Far From Being Guilty

Even when somebody is charged with a crime and put on trial, sometimes it turns out the entire thing is an abusive sham in which either the wrong person is accused or there was never any abuse against the children. More accurately, there was no abuse up until the time which the government got involved and psychologically tormented the children in the name of “investigating” baseless accusations. This is exactly what happened in the case of Tonya Craft.

Tonya Craft was a kindergarten teacher in Georgia. At first, it was her young daughter who was accused of molesting other children. Then the allegations grew and shifted to blame Tonya for molesting her own daughter and other children.

Her kids were removed from her and placed with her ex-husband who conveniently happened to be one of her accusers. She was investigated, arrested, charged, and tried. Yet in May 2010, two years into her nightmare, Tonya Craft was found innocent of all 22 charges of sexually molesting three children including her own daughter.

Why is that? It’s because she was falsely accused by other parents who didn’t like her, including her ex-husband Joal Henke who appears to have been engaging in parental alienation child abuse by encouraging and teaching their daughter to falsely accuse her mother of sexual abuse. The jury could see the evidence was worthless, the prosecution’s witnesses lacked credibility, and the judge and prosecution were in obscene collusion. This is exactly why a jury is needed in any case involving child abuse allegations. If it had been left to corrupt Judge Brian House, Tonya Craft would have been found guilty.

Judge Brian House
Judge Brian House

The Craft case was a kangaroo court disaster every which way, from start to finish. Investigators repeatedly broke the protocols on how to interview children to get accurate answers. The prosecution team lead by Chris Arnt and Len Gregor arranged for improper questioning of the children and brainwashing of Craft’s own daughter to testify against her. The prosecution also hid exculpatory evidence.

Even the judge was complicit in the misconduct. Judge Brian House was Craft’s ex-husband’s former divorce attorney, given this he should have clearly recused himself but he did not. Then House let a tainted jury be seated that included Craft’s former brother-in-law.

Yet despite all of this, the jury could see there was no legitimacy to the case against Craft. One hopes they will have much more to say publicly about the appalling performance of the courts and government in this case as it will take a great deal of public outrage to ensure this never happens again.

Joal Henke’s Actions Constitute Parental Alienation Child Abuse

What Joal Henke did by coaching his daughter to falsely accuse her mother is parental alienation child abuse. There is no question in my mind that Henke is a child abuser given his actions. No parent should ever encourage or coach a child to lie against the other parent, especially not to cause them to be charged with a crime. Getting increased custody is no excuse for such actions.

Even if the impact on the other parent is not considered, such actions are severely detrimental to the children. Can you imagine what their little girl may think about herself when one day she realizes she put her mother in jail and ruined her life? Adults may say “the child is not to blame” but do you honestly think the child is going to feel that way? Kids tend to blame themselves and in this case, the blame is over something very major.

Joal Henke is a sleazy person at best as you can tell from his court testimony in the trial:

(from Who Is Joal Henke?)

Joal Henke is someone who is not easily shamed. For example, when Tonya was suing him for divorce several years ago, he denied her claims that he was having affairs with other women until he was confronted with strong evidence of him engaging in adultery. He had a “change of heart” when he realized he was caught.

Interestingly, when confronted with that material on the witness stand during Tonya’s trial, he claimed to not have been aware that there was evidence of his adultery. That, of course, was perjury, but it was a minor instance to some of the other things he did while under oath.

Henke’s greatest “I just remembered” feat of perjury, however, came with his allegation during his April 23 testimony when he claimed that on the way to court that morning, he had “recalled” an alleged “lesbian” incident involving Tonya and a friend of hers. (That and other whoppers are included in this media link from WRCB-TV for that day.)

First, one does not “just remember” something like what he had described. Such an event would be the kind that he would have told police and prosecutors up front. Second, it also tells us about the prosecutors and “judge” Outhouse that they would have let Henke enter this testimony in the first place, and that from the trial testimony, “Alberto-Facebook” clearly was anxious to make sure Joal made the allegations.

Would Shared Parenting Have Helped Avoid The False Accusations?

As bad a person as Joal Henke appears, one questions if he would ever have engaged in this level of parental alienation if he and Tonya Craft shared child custody more evenly. In their 2004 divorce, the typical sexist pattern of giving full custody to the mother and limited visitation to the father was ordered by the court. Further, it appears even this was not working out well:

Craft ex not opposed to more visitation

In 2004, Ms. Craft, following the couple’s divorce, was granted full custody. In June 2008, when the criminal charges against her surfaced, Mr. Henke requested in court and received full custody of the children. Since then, Ms. Craft has had supervised visitation with her son and no contact with her daughter.

The couple for years has had bad blood, court documents show. There are three large files on their ongoing custody disputes in the Hamilton Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

The files show typical shared-custody disputes such as not dropping off the children on time or not allowing phone calls between the children and parents.

Recent court filings have focused on Ms. Craft’s ongoing legal troubles, including numerous files and documents sealed from public view.

Tonya Craft didn’t deserve what was done to her. More importantly, the children didn’t deserve it. But there should be little question that the government siding with Craft over her ex-husband prior to the false allegations probably had something to do with Joal Henke wanting to help frame her for a fictitious crime in order to have some time with his kids. Shared parenting with a 50/50 time split with the courts refusing to budge from this without a criminal conviction (or some other arrangement mutually agreed to by both parents) would probably have vastly improved the circumstances for everybody. That includes the children, parents, community, and the befuddled taxpayers who footed the huge bill for the judicial and prosecutorial atrocities.

Craft and Henke have reached a secret temporary agreement on child custody. A long-term custody arrangement awaits a court decision no earlier than July 22, 2010.

Judicial and Prosecutorial Misconduct

There are calls for an FBI investigation of the prosecutor’s office for its misconduct. It would be well-deserved, but the FBI probably lacks enough investigators to go after all the abusive and corrupt judges and prosecutors playing these sorts of illegal tricks. The courts of the United States, particularly those influenced by nepotism, money, greed, and the bottom-feeding majority of family law attorneys are a mockery of justice. However, investigating, disbarring, and prosecuting the judge and prosecutors in this case might dissuade at least a few others engaged in similar practices.

False Sex Abuse Cases Elsewhere

Outrageous prosecutions of innocents on trumped up charges are not isolated to backwards areas of Georgia. These kinds of things have happened in big cities like San Diego and Los Angeles, too. These atrocities have spanned many years, many of them starting in the 1980′s or 1990′s and not resulting in innocent people finally being released until the 2000′s.

Obviously, despite debacles such as the Wade and Akiki cases in San Diego, the McMartin Pre-School case in Los Angeles, and the Fells Acres Day Care Center case in Massachusetts , governments have learned nothing and continue to abuse parents even when the accusers have a vested interest in seeing them ruined and their accusations should be viewed with great suspicion.

James Wade

One of the most notable child sexual abuse fraud cases is that of James Wade who was falsely accused of raping his daughter Alicia Wade. A serial child rapist Albert Raymond Carder already being prosecuted for crimes against children in the same neighborhood was the actual perpetrator, but prosecutor Elizabeth Jane Via denied this even when the judge in the case directly queried her about this possibility. This family was split into pieces as the San Diego government raced against time to adopt out the daughter after having paid therapist Kathleen Goodfriend to brainwash her to falsely accuse her father, something that took a year to do given the girl’s strenuous objections to her father’s involvement and statements that some unknown man had climbed through her bedroom window to attack her.

(from Torture of the Wade Family by San Diego CPS)

In a videotaped interview, Alicia was asked with whom she would feel most safe. “My mom, dad, and brother,” she answered. The transcript of the tape, however, chopped the reference to the father. A child-protection official later acknowledged that he never bothered to review the video.

Alicia’s therapist was Kathleen Goodfriend of the La Mesa Village Counseling Group, who worked on the case entirely without supervision. Like the social workers now pawing through the Wades’ lives, Goodfriend ignored the evidence and assumed more or less automatically that Jim Wade had been the attacker, although his daughter continued to staunchly deny this in their sessions. Receiving more than $11,000 in state monies for this case alone, Goodfriend began relentlessly to brainwash Alicia Wade, now totally isolated from her family, pressuring her into naming an “acceptable perpetrator”. That is, her father.

The Grand Jury eventually subpoenaed Goodfriend’s notes, which contained many comments about how Alicia “liked” her therapist. But Alicia’s own testimony makes it clear that the child wanted only to go home. The Grand Jury was also alarmed that Goodfriend taught the child about masturbation “without any parental input or apparent interest by the child”.

While Goodfriend worked on Alicia’s mind, the Wades’ social workers were working on her future. They rejected Alicia’s grandparents, aunts and uncles, the pastor of the family church and the father’s attorney as possible custodians for Alicia because of their “allegiance with the parents”. One social worker told Alicia’s grandmother not even to waste her time coming to San Diego because her son James was guilty of raping Alicia, who would not be coming home to anyone in the family. Instead, they were sticking the girl in a foster home and the social worker and Goodfriend would be controlling all access to it.

Children are put into foster homes as quickly as possible because that act opens the floodgates of federal funds. Foster parents receive $484 a month for a child from ages 5 to 18, almost twice the amount a welfare mother receives for her own offspring. Special care cases can bring up to $1,000 a month. And all funds are tax free. Some foster parents are concerned and caring, but others are entrepreneurs in what the Grand Jury called “the baby-brokering business”. They depend on the goodwill of social workers to get and keep the little human beings who keep the government checks coming.

ADA Chris Arnt
Prosecutor Chris Arnt

The prosecutor in the Wade case, Elizabeth Jane Via, outright lied to the court and was directly responsible for much of the misconduct in the case. The jury recommended she be investigated for misconduct. But surprise, Via reportedly works for the County of San Diego’s abusive District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in 2010.

Prosecutors who engage in such misconduct often escape without a scratch. So don’t be surprised if House, Arnt, and Gregor escape free of any consequences for their shockingly abusive conduct against Tonya Craft. The government itself will likely not raise a finger to hold them accountable for their actions. Hopefully voters will do so instead, perhaps by recall elections or other means.

Dale Akiki

Not long after the Wade case, in 1993 the San Diego government helped solidify its reputation as an abuser of law and persecutor of innocents via the Dale Akiki “Sunday school satanism” witch hunt. This deeply disturbing story features a community crusade to destroy an innocent man’s life, this time with claims about how Dale Akiki, a disabled and disfigured man who volunteered at Faith Chapel Church, sexually molested the children in his care and somehow murdered an elephant and giraffe in front of Sunday school children, made them drink the blood, and then mysteriously disposed of the carcasses so nobody could find them.
http://www.youtube.com/v/z10cTHEif3o&hl=en_US&fs=1
Adam Lee’s documentary on the persecution of Dale Akiki

As public defender Kate Coyne revealed, the DA prosecutor in charge of the case hand-picked therapists who then proceeded to brainwash the children to get the answers the government wanted. The County of San Diego government and its agents of persecution, including Rady Children’s Hospital and many therapists, were eventually held responsible for their misconduct via a confidential settlement estimated at around $2 million.

Bakersfield Witch Hunt

Some may have taken comfort in Dale Akiki being a disfigured man who made an obvious target for false accusations. If so, they were mistaken. There have been plenty of other false prosecutions of innocent people. Some of the cases have been built up into hysterical dimensions with several people involved in a “sex ring” abusing many children. Sadly, many of these people ended up railroaded even worse than what happened to Craft, Wade, and Akiki.

Some have spent decades in prison due to overzealous government officials who insisted upon throwing people in prison at all costs, regardless of the truth. The 2008 documentary Witch Hunt tells the stories of several families in Bakersfield, California, who were cruelly railroaded for crimes that never occurred.

Among the comments of viewers on the Internet Movie Database page for Witch Hunt, this one is representative and rightly raises the point that anybody can be a victim of a child sexual abuse witch hunt:

(from IMDB User Reviews for Witch Hunt (2008))

America can only remain a free nation if the judicial process is fair, untainted, and subject to review. During the early 1980′s, it seems that the residents of Bakersfield, CA sacrificed their judicial rights for the illusion of Law And Order. WITCH HUNT is a riveting documentary about a group of citizens who became the target of a joint task force of Law Enforcement and Social Services that illegally and immorally usurped their power. The State’s position was that this police and social service unit provided an opportunity for sexually abused children to be heard, and allow the law to apprehend and punish their abusers. However, as the the film clearly demonstrates, Child And Family Services, with the aid of an overzealous police force, were able to orchestrate children’s testimony, and allowed the local government to create a non-existing threat to the community. Bakersfield became a city under siege by pedophiles-perverted by “Sexual Weapons Of Mass Destruction”. WITCH HUNT shows that these ‘dedicated and thoughtful public servants’ invented a phony threat to the community, and then rode it for all it was worth. This ‘Response To Evil’ allowed them to parade before the media and appear to be ‘Tough On Crime’, when really they did nothing but railroad innocent citizens by using Child And Family Services to badger and bully innocent children until they gave them the ‘sexual horror’ that they craved. In no way should this film be viewed as a fair and balanced treatment of child molesters, but what this documentary shows us is that Law Enforcement and Social Service Agencies are able to foster a climate of hysteria which might allow citizens to give up an unbiased legal system for the illusion of Safety. In the commentary to the film, we find that when Child and Family Service personnel were told by the children that ‘nothing happened’, the impressionable children were badgered and bullied and told that they were ‘in denial’. What is truly alarming is that, given these conditions, this gross travesty of justice could happen to any of us.

http://www.youtube.com/v/4JxKy7nC9jM?fs=1&hl=en_US
Trailer for “Witch Hunt”

Government Refuses to Learn

Governments claimed they learned from the many satanic abuse and sexual abuse frauds they pulled on the public in the 1980′s and 1990′s. But now the Tonya Craft case shows that this simply isn’t true. It is clear that anybody with a malicious ex can have his or her life ruined and children harmed because of false allegations mishandled by an abusive government that truly does not care about guilt, innocence, or protecting children.

Mother’s rights groups would do well to remember that. It’s time they dropped their sexist rhetoric and started to put the truth and well-being of children ahead of their anti-father agendas. Otherwise, it is likely there will be many more parents, including many mothers, wrongfully suffering the fate of Tonya Craft and the many other people who have been falsely accused and maliciously prosecuted to satiate the desires of others to see them ruined.

Federal Lawsuit for $25 Million

After her acquittal, Tonya Craft decided she must act to hold accountable those who falsely accused her and participated in generating false evidence. She filed a $25 million lawsuit in federal court in Rome, Georgia, against the county government, the therapists, and the parents of the children who were coached to falsely accuse her. The list includes Sandra Lamb, Sherri and Dewayne Wilson, her former husband Joal Henke, his current wife Sarah, Kelli McDonald, Sgt. Tim Deal, Catoosa County, Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers, Suzi Thorne, Stacy Long, Laurie Evans, the Childrens Advocacy Center of the Lookout Mountain Judicial District, and the Greenhouse Childrens Advocacy Center. The judge and prosecutors wrongfully enjoy immunity for their alleged violations of legal standards and the law, so they cannot be named in the lawsuit.

Further Reading

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Eric Moelter Speaks Against Cindy Dumas Distortion Campaign

Gender Polarization Impedes Family Law Reform

Parental Alienation Can Happen to Adults and In Marriages

Defending Against False Child Sexual Abuse Allegations (Part 1)

How to Win Custody by Framing Your Ex for Child Sexual Abuse

The Gregory Mantell Show: Parental Alienation Syndrome

Nassau County judge jails mother who falsely accused ex of sex abuse and alienated him from kids

A New Wave of Prosecutorial Hysteria: The Railroading of Tonya Craft

Truth for Tonya

The Tonya Craft Case: The Mask Slips Off

Live from the Catoosa County Courthouse: Tonya Craft trial, day 20: Defense rests

Tonya Craft Trial Verdict: Will Tonya Craft be Innocent or Guilty? Or will the jury be hung — a McMartin Preschool Trial 2.0?

Tonya Craft strikes custody deal, judge keeps under seal

Who Is Joal Henke?

A Open Letter to Joal Henke, Ex-Husband of Tonya Craft, Regarding the Custody of Their Children

The Accusation and Conviction Machine, Part I

The Accusation and Conviction Machine, Part II

The Accusation and Conviction Machine, Part III

Tonya Craft Prosecution Evokes Shadows of Other Dubious Child Abuse Cases

CA Woman to Do Time for For False Accusations

The Lohstroh Case: Articles published from August 27 to November 2004

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onya Craft’s Ex, Parental Alienator Joal Henke, Shows Kids Will Lie About Sexual Abuse To Hurt Target Parent | angiEmedia.

US Congress close to a vote on H. Res. 1326, condemning Japan for Parental Child Abduction

In Activism, Best Interest of the Child, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Liberty, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights on September 28, 2010 at 6:29 pm

US Congress close to a vote on H. Res. 1326, condemning Japan for Parental Child Abduction

Bring Abducted Children Home began a 3 day push to bring a vote on House Resolution 1326, to the House floor before Congress recesses for further campaigning on October 1, 2010. H. Res. 1326 condemns Japan for allowing parents to kidnap children.
Log (Press Release)Sep 24, 2010 – WASHINGTON – Several Left-Behind Parents of Bring Abducted Children Home (BACHome), began a 3 day push to bring a vote on House Resolution 1326 to the House floor before Congress recesses for further campaigning on October 1, 2010.

H. Res. 1326 condemns Japan over its blatant disregard for human rights in the matter of parnatally abducted children.  Since 1994, three-hundred United States citizens have been abducted to Japan from the United States.  Japan has sanctioned the abductions and refused to recognize United States sovereignty over the abducted children.

Douglas Berg, a left behind parent stated, “Passing this Resolution is just one of many steps needed to put pressure on Japan to take this issue seriously. We will not give up since we are our kids”.

The United States is not alone in attempting to prevent this crime of the innocents.  Earlier this year, the United States Ambassador to Japan, along with the Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of Australia and ambassadors from Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom called upon Justice Minister Chiba, to address their concerns over the blatant disregard of children abducted from their countries to Japan illegally.

As of this date, 80 countries and all of the G7 nations, except Japan, are signers to The 1980 Hague Convention, on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Hague Convention was created to protect children specifically from this type of crime and injustice.

However, Japan has sanctioned and turned a blind eye to the abduction of American born and raised children. The Constitutional rights, human rights and dignity of these illegally abducted children have been stripped away by Japan.

Randy Collins, a Left-Behind Parent from California stated, “It is time for Congress to hold Japan accountable. H. Res. 1326 is the first step towards publicly putting Japan on notice that we have had enough and demand our American children be returned”.

Congressional representatives James Moran (D-VA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), have rallied under the flag of bi-partisan support to see H. Res. 1326 come to full House vote.

Twenty-five co-sponsors are needed to move H. Res. 1326 to a full vote on the floor of the House, ten of which must come from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Thirty-three co-sponsors have been secured to support this landmark Resolution.

BACHome members spent the past four months working to secure approximately twenty-nine of the thirty-five co-sponsors needed to have H. Res. 1326 scheduled into the 2010 Congress calendar.

This Resolution has clear bipartisan support. Eighteen Republicans and seventeen Democrats have co-sponsored the Resolution. Of those needed in Foreign affairs, there are five Republicans and seven Democrats co-sponsoring H. Res. 1326.

Lending support, Ernie Allen, President and CEO of the National Center for the Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), was in attendance for the May 5, 2010, introduction of H. Res 1326.

With only 2 weeks left before Congress shuts down in preparation for the mid-term elections, BACHome hopes H. Res. 1326 will have a full House vote before October 1, 2010.

At the moment, thirty-five Congressional representatives and BACHome wait for US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Howard Berman (D-CA), to place H. Res. 1326 on the calendar for a House full vote.

Captain William Lake, another left-behind parent of an abducted child stated, “The Department of State can no longer coop the citizenship of these American children. They must demand and not ask for the return of these young precious American citizens”.

Ken Connelly, former domestically abducted child and child rights advocate stated, “Parental child abduction should never be a plausible excuse between nation states; at the price of our children’s physical and mental well being”.

If H. Res. 1326 does not come to vote before October 1, 2010, it will be forced to move into the next 2011 Congress and it could take months to start the process again”.

Ken Connelly
BACHome
PO Box 16254
Arlington, VA
22215


# # #

BACHome (Bring Abducted Children Home) is an organization set up to bring awareness to Internationally abducted children, assist in the recovery of children abducted internationally, and end parental alienation.

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US Congress close to a vote on H. Res. 1326, condemning Japan for Parental Child Abduction.

Vengeful mothers leave good fathers powerless to see child, says judge – Times Online

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on September 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm
May 1, 2008

A senior judge spoke out against child access law yesterday, saying that the courts were powerless to help decent fathers to see their children if vengeful mothers stood in the way.

Lord Justice Ward made his comments after telling a father that there was nothing he could do to help him to reestablish contact with his teenage daughter who had been turned against him by her “vicious” mother.

The “drip, drip, drip of venom” poured into the daughter’s ears by the mother included accusations of sexual abuse against the innocent father after the couple divorced, the judge said.

The former wife’s tactics were so successful that the daughter wrote to her father when she was 9 saying that she wished he was dead. The daughter is now 14. The identity of the family must be kept secret to protect her privacy.

Lord Justice Ward told the father that the case was bordering on scandalous but the court was compelled to act solely in the best interests of the child. The girl would be too distressed if she was forced to spend time with her father after her mother’s “corrupting” campaign, he said.

“The father complains bitterly, passionately and with every justification that the law is sterile, impotent and utterly useless – we have to acknowledge there is a degree of force in what he says,” the judge told the Court of Appeal Civil Division.

“But the question is what can this court do? The answer is nothing. This is a truly distressing case. It may not be untypical of many, but in some ways it borders on the scandalous. It certainly is tragic.”

Between 15,000 and 20,000 couples go to court to resolve child access disputes each year. Campaigners say that the courts too often side with the mother, are too ready to believe what she says and rarely take action if contact orders are flouted. They want courts to start from a legal presumption of shared parenting between mothers and fathers.

Yesterday’s case involved parents who were briefly married in the 1990s but parted while their daughter was a baby. Contact between father and daughter was maintained at first but gradually disintegrated, according to the judge.

During rows over access, the mother, who lives near Lincoln, accused him of sexually abusing their child. But in 1997 a judge ruled that her allegations were wholly unfounded. However, Lord Justice Ward told the court yesterday that the mother had convinced the child that her father was guilty.

“The seeds of poison had been sown and from it has grown a wall of dislike, bordering on hatred, for the father,” he said. He described the letter written by the girl as “the most ghastly, horrible, letter for a nine-year-old girl to write to her father”. It read: “This is what I really think about you. I hate you and you frighten me. You made my life miserable and stressful. I wish you would die. Leave me alone.”

Despite this, the father went to Lincoln County Court in 2004 in an attempt to reestablish contact. A judge ruled that he should be allowed to see her under the supervision of a priest. That turned out to be distressing for the girl and the arrangement broke down. The girl insisted that she had been sexually abused.

Lord Justice Ward refused the father permission to appeal against his decision, but told the court that the mother was to blame and a copy of his judgment would be given to her and her daughter to read.

“The mother is, in my view, the source of this state of affairs by corrupting this girl so viciously and turning her against her father. That is the most I can do for you, with a heavy heart. It is a public scandal that these things go wrong.”

After the hearing the father said: “This situation exemplifies what is wrong with the family justice system.” He said he would consider taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

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Vengeful mothers leave good fathers powerless to see child, says judge – Times Online.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: A New Face of Terrorism – Associated Content – associatedcontent.com

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on September 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

How to Tell when Your Child’s Hostility is More Than Divorce Blues

It’s been said there are two sides to every story and somewhere in between lies the truth. Nowhere is this more personified than within the walls of family court. Divorce is rarely amicable. There are instances, however, when routine divorce squabbles spill over into something far more sinister. When one party finds divorce to be synonymous with destruction, no one pays a higher price than the children caught in the crossfire. Regardless of how parents feel about each other, it’s imperative they be adult enough to realize the damage they could inflict upon their children. The fallout of divorce rains heavily upon children of all ages including adults. Divorce is hardly a surprise, but what some parents are doing to their children is alarming.

Mind games and propaganda have long been a staple during war. It’s used to extract information or convince the other side to join ours. Dictators use it to prevent those in their country from learning the truth and making informed decisions. It’s a manipulative and controlling way to make certain the one in charge stays in charge. Weapons of mass destruction or no, it’s the reason we invaded Iraq. And it’s what divorce parents often subject their children to on a regular basis.

In the ’80’s Dr. Richard A. Gardner uncovered a disturbing phenomena among children of divorce. Over an extended period of time, a child subjected to continual, groundless negativity regarding a parent will eventually succumb to the exposure and adapt the distorted view presented to them. In other words, a mother with custody of her children can systematically set about destroying the child’s father so completely that the father-child bond is shredded beyond repair. What the mother doesn’t understand is that it is the child who pays the heftiest price.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a mental health condition that has been fingered as the root cause of false abuse allegations and in it’s most extreme condition, murder. To some degree PAS takes place in the early stages of divorce when emotions are still raw, but fades away as emotional wounds heal. There are cases in which parents aren’t aware of what they’re doing and once it’s made clear to them they cease. The greater majority involves malicious intent. Twenty-two states have ruled in PAS cases. What began as an anger fueled attempt on the mother’s part to sever the father-child bond, ends with the mother losing complete custody.

In most cases it is the mother that begins the hate campaign against the father. For the sake of clarity the following list of symptoms assumes the mother to be in that role:

1.Under the guise of trust, care and honesty, the mother chronicles divorce details from a slanted point of view that paints dad as mean and mom as a victim.

2.Refuses to help the child transition to time with the dad by not allowing the child to take toys or other favored items with them and by repeatedly telling the child daddy’s house is not their home but merely a place to visit.

3.Unwilling to be flexible with the visitation schedule.

4.Overbooking the child in activities in order to reduce visitation time. When the dad wants the child to spend time with him rather than be in constant motion, the mother will label the dad as selfish and her as the good parent because she doesn’t restrict the activity time.

5.Denying the father access to medical and/or school records and other important documents.

6.Listening in on the child’s phone conversation and/or coaching them on what to say.

7.Draws the child into a co-dependant relationship by making him/her feel guilty for having fun with dad. She uses minor illnesses as an escape toprevent visitation, proclaiming herself to be the only one capable of caring for the child.

8.Telling the child how sad she is during visitation times, making the child feel guilty for having fun with dad.

Divorce may bring out the PAS behavior but it is not the root cause. PAS is a psychological disturbance that requires the intervention of a mental health professional. Understanding the psychosis of the behavior is paramount in helping you and your child. Don’t labor under the misconception that the alienating parent can stop the destructive behavior at any point. It’s a behavior the perpetrator is oblivious to and unable to stop even if realization dawns.

The PAS parent not only wants but must have control over their child. They are incapable of forming normal healthy relationships with people in their lives. They are severely self-centered, unable to give, only take and lack compassion for others. They’ve lost the ability to sort truth from fiction. They are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to have their way even if it means destroying an essential relationship for their child.

If you believe you are the victim of PAS you need to seek help immediately. The only salvation for a child under the rule of PAS is counseling by a therapist familiar with the mental dysfunction of PAS. Children need a trained third-party individual to help them cope with the continual strife and anxiety present in their daily lives.

The single most important thing you can do for your child is refuse to give up, love them even when they’re unlovable and don’t be party to your own alienation by applying the turn-about-is-fair-play nonsense. For the sake of your child you must rise above the psychotic behavior of your ex-spouse. Many times that means coping with hurtful words and actions from the child you’re trying to protect. Don’t miss appointed visitation dates. Refuse to allow yourself to be coerced by well-meaning friends and relatives into a situation that is not beneficial for your child. In order to keep your sanity you must keep your eye on the future. What you’re doing right now may appear to have no impact but it could be a pivotal moment ten years from now. The hardest part is letting go of the right now in belief that in years to come you’ll reap higher dividends

Parental Alienation Syndrome: A New Face of Terrorism – Associated Content – associatedcontent.com.

‘I was stolen from my mother’: The deeply disturbing truth about forced adoption | Mail Online

In Activism, adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Brainwashed Children, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on September 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm

By Julia Lawrence
Last updated at 8:42 AM on 2nd September 2010

Winona was told her mother didn’t love her  –  and was handed to another family. Nine years later, they were reunited via Facebook. But forced adoption is happening on a scandalously regular basis.

On a sunny station ­platform in a pretty Cornish town this summer, holidaymakers may have witnessed a touching, but at first glance unremarkable, scene.

A mother and teenage son were ­nervously watching a train pull onto the platform, scanning the emerging crowd for the face of a loved one. Had she missed her train? Had they got the right time?

And finally, there she was: a pretty, petite 16-year-old, peering furtively through her fringe. Suddenly the boy broke away with a whoop. ‘It’s her!’

The three immediately became tangled in a hug, babbling, crying, their words tripping over each other. ‘You’ve grown so much!’ ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you are here!’

Forced apart: Winona has been reunited with the mother who gave her away

Forced apart: Winona has been reunited with Tracey – the mother who gave her away

A very unusual emotional reunion had just taken place. For Tracey Lucas, a 38-year-old mother from Truro, had just kissed her 16-year-old daughter Winona for the first time in nine years.

What took place on that station platform was a scene that the State had worked very hard for years to ensure didn’t happen. In fact, there is still a question mark over whether Tracey could face prosecution, even prison, for what happened that day.

For nine years previously, Winona and her ­little sister, now 12, were taken from their mother and adopted by another family, given new names and told to forget their natural mother. All contact between them was prevented.

Yet in a story that raises profound questions both about British social services and the power of the internet to challenge their secretive workings, Winona traced her birth mother through the Facebook social networking site and the pair are now determined never again to be parted.

Tracey, Winona and her sister were subjects of a forced adoption, which critics — including family solicitors, MPs and wronged families — say are happening on a scandalously regular basis, on the ­flimsiest of evidence, in order to meet government targets to raise the number of adoptions by 50 per cent.

There have been cases cited of babies taken from women considered too young or not clever enough to look after them. One boy was removed on the grounds that his mother might shout at him in the future.

In Tracey’s case, her children were sent for adoption because they were deemed ‘at risk of emotional abuse’.

No one can really know the truth, and doubtless social services would argue they acted in good faith and in the ­children’s best interests, but Tracey is adamant she never abused, neglected nor abandoned them.

Yet because she was a young single mother, who by her own admission sometimes struggled to cope, she was forced to surrender the most precious things she had. Worse, she says the children believed that she had simply stopped loving them.

‘For years the girls believed I was a bad mother, a horrible person who didn’t love them, while I was told the girls didn’t want to see me and were ­settled into a new life with new parents they loved. All lies,’ says Tracey.

‘The birthday and Christmas cards I wrote were never passed on. The letters Winona wrote to me never reached me. That’s real emotional abuse.’

Ripped from her home: Winona aged six, a year before a court ordered that she be taken away from her mother permanently

Ripped from her home: Winona aged six, a year before a court ordered that she be taken away from her mother permanently

‘Yet my son, who’d refused to be adopted, was returned to me after a year, and I went on to have another two ­children with a new partner, neither of whom has come to any harm. How could I have been a danger to my girls?’

Winona is just as angry as her mother about the stolen years: ‘Everyone told me what a terrible person she was, but all my memories of her were good: making Christmas decorations, reading Roald Dahl’s James And The Giant Peach in bed. I never felt anything but love from her.’

Today, that love is palpable. The pair cannot stop sneaking looks at each other as they hold hands on the sofa of their ­modest but cosy home.

The question is: are they ­victims of a heavy-handed State as they claim, or does their reunion set a troubling precedent that other adopted children may be tempted to follow?

The nightmare began the day Ben was born, shortly before Tracey’s 19th birthday, in June 1992.

The children’s father, another 18-year-old, who Tracey admits was a ‘tricky character’ who’d spent a lot of his childhood in care, had a deep suspicion of social workers.

‘Once they knew who Ben’s father was, I was visited in ­hospital by a social worker and we were told to sign a ­document saying we would work with them,’ she recalls. ‘I trusted the system and thought once we’d proved ourselves, they’d leave us alone.’

Tracey is the first to admit that to many people, her family may have seemed less than perfect: young, unmarried and living on benefits in rented, ­frequently changing, council accommodation as they struggled to find a decent home.

When Winona was born 18 months later, Cornwall Social Services were a frequent ­presence in their lives.

‘We didn’t do drugs and my partner was never violent towards me or the children. Money was tight, but we were doing our best. We loved our little family.’

But they felt persecuted. ‘They were constantly putting us down, accusing us of being bad parents,’ says Tracey.

‘I remember one social worker telling me to take the children to a bird ­sanctuary nearby, as that was what “good” parents did. I wanted to shout that I already had plans that day and what business was it of theirs? But I couldn’t win any argument.’

The crunch came in 1997 during Tracey’s pregnancy with Winona’s younger sister, when her partner assaulted a social worker, a crime for which he was rightly prosecuted.

I didn’t really understand that I wouldn’t see Mum again. I’d been seduced with tales of this new home, with ponies and cats, but I thought it was just temporary and that I’d go home eventually

Realising she could lose her children, Tracey left her partner, for nothing was more important to her than being a mother.

Yet even with him off the scene, the children remained on the ‘at risk’ list. ‘It felt like they’d made up their minds about me and nothing I did could convince them otherwise.

‘I did everything they asked of me: assessments, IQ tests, drug tests, a spell in a mother-and-baby unit (a specialist home for mothers and young children where both can be monitored). Nothing worked.’

In May 1998, Tracey suffered a ­nervous breakdown due to stress. She spent two months in a psychiatric unit, during which time the children were, quite properly, placed in temporary foster care. ‘I refused to see them. I couldn’t let them see me in that state, in that place,’ she says.

But when Tracey returned home, social services was already looking into a permanent new home for the three youngsters.

Ben, by now a feisty seven-year-old, refused flatly to be considered for adoption and was returned to Tracey after a year. The girls remained in care, however, and Tracey was told an ­adoptive family had been found for them: a housing manager and his wife, a police clerical worker.

In doing so, Cornwall Social Services had taken a step towards fulfilling former PM Tony Blair’s target, announced by New Labour in 2000, to raise the number of UK ­adoptions annually by 50 per cent. Blair, whose own father was adopted, promised millions of pounds to councils that succeeded in getting more vulnerable children out of foster care and into permanent, loving homes.

Although introduced for the right reasons, critics say the reforms didn’t work and meant younger, ‘cuter’ ­children were fast-tracked — with ­councils spurred on by the promise of extra money — while more difficult, older children were left behind.

Tracey fought the adoption every step of the way, arguing that even if she was deemed an unfit parent, then her mother or other relatives would gladly look after the girls.

But in October 2001, a judge at Truro County Court ordered the adoption should go ahead. Tracey was given an hour to say goodbye.

When Winona was 16, she discovered a tool powerful enough to prise open any legal gagging order: Facebook

When Winona was 16, she discovered a tool powerful enough to prise open any legal gagging order: Facebook

‘Winona, then seven, reeled off this rehearsed speech, obviously prepared for her, saying: “I know you will always be my birth mother and I will always love you,” ’ recalls Tracey. ‘Her sister, aged just three, grabbed hold of my legs and wouldn’t let go. They had to prise her off. And all the time a social worker was in the corner with a ­camcorder, filming it all. It was the worst moment of my life.’

Winona remembers that day, too. ‘I didn’t really understand that I wouldn’t see Mum again. I’d been seduced with tales of this new home, with ponies and cats, but I thought it was just temporary and that I’d go home eventually.

‘They [the girls’ adoptive parents] told us they loved us, but it was not an affectionate, cuddly relationship. We looked the part, with a three-­bedroom semi-detached house and family holidays in Spain, but there were a lot of rows and tension. I felt more like a pet than their daughter. I wanted my mum and my real family.

‘Every Christmas and birthday I’d sift through the mail to see whether Mum had sent a card. I devised childish plots to get a message to her, and tried writing my telephone number in invisible ink on letters.

‘I’d ask my adopted parents to drive around Truro, saying I wanted to see the parks from my early memories, but really I was looking for Mum.’

Her younger sister, however, refused to discuss their mother, believing she was a bad person who’d given her away. ‘When I tried to talk about her, she’d clam up,’ says Winona. ‘She was too young to remember Mum as she really was.’

Meanwhile, Tracey had formed a relationship with a new partner, ­construction worker Ian Yendle, 29, and they had two daughters: Teegan, now seven, and Talia, five.

Banned from making any contact with her older girls, she had given up hope she would ever see them again, though she continued to send birthday and Christmas cards through social services in the hope they would be passed on. They never were.

Then, when Winona turned 16, she discovered a tool powerful enough to prise open any legal gagging order: Facebook.

‘It took only a couple of hours,’ she says. ‘I knew Ben had my old surname, and it was easy to find Mum through his profile. I sent them a ­message: “Hi, I think I might be your sister/daughter.” ’

Tracey wept with happiness when she read the message, but her elation immediately gave way to terror that she could be hauled before a court and the children whisked away when she replied.

I’d ask my adopted parents to drive around Truro, saying I wanted to see the parks from my early memories, but really I was looking for Mum

So Tracey, Ben and Winona arranged to meet in secret at Truro Station days later. Numerous clandestine meetings were subsequently set up with Tracey’s sisters and extended family.

Eventually, after seeking advice from a forced adoption support group, they decided to let Winona’s younger sister into the secret, and she spoke to Tracey on the phone.

‘After my sister hung up, she said she couldn’t believe how nice Mum was,’ Winona recalls.

Winona eventually came clean to their adopted parents.

‘My adoptive father called while I was with Mum and asked where I was. I told him I was with my mother, and he was confused, saying: “But your mum’s here.” When I explained I was with my real mother, he told me I was in terrible danger and that he’d come and pick me up immediately.’

Tension in the house became unbearable after that. It is hard to imagine the pain the adoptive couple must have ­suffered, having been rejected by two children they’d raised as their own for nine years. Yet Winona’s emotions are still too raw for her to feel sympathy.

‘I couldn’t feel sorry for them. No one forced them into this situation. If ­everyone had been honest, it wouldn’t have happened. I didn’t love them; I couldn’t. I loved my mum,’ she says bitterly.

That was a month ago. Both girls have now left their adopted home — they packed a bag and went without saying goodbye. Winona’s sister is with Tracey, while Winona herself is staying minutes away at her aunt’s, due to lack of bed space.

‘For the first time in years I feel I’m where I belong,’ says Winona.

She has since opened a page on Facebook entitled Anti Social Services Forced Adoption — We Can Help! to assist other children in the same plight.

She is being supported by Oxford University law graduate and businessman Ian Josephs, who has championed the cause of parents whose children were forcibly removed by social workers, ever since he was a Tory county councillor in the 1960s.

Tracey has been visited by a social worker about Winona’s younger sister and still doesn’t know what will ­happen long-term. Yet she is still acutely aware of their power — a fact that hasn’t escaped her daughters from her new relationship.

‘Talia asked me recently whether I would still be able to love her when she gets older, or would she have to go away like her sisters,’ says Tracey. ‘I told her no, she would always live with Mummy and Daddy.’

Pondering her own future, Winona says: ‘I used to want to work in ­childcare, but I’m not so sure now. One thing’s for certain, though, I won’t be a social worker. I have seen what they can do.’

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said she was unable to comment ­specifically on Winona’s case, but said: ‘Social services do not unnecessarily take children into care to be adopted. It is dangerous to suggest that this is happening and that the care system is not the right place for children who are at risk.

‘Children are only adopted when it can be shown that it is in their best interest, and this decision is scrutinised by an independent guardian, as well as an adoption panel with a majority of members independent of the local authority, and by the court.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1308117/I-stolen-mother-The-deeply-disturbing-truth-forced-adoption.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#ixzz0yOckym3M

‘I was stolen from my mother’: The deeply disturbing truth about forced adoption | Mail Online.

Recognizing Parental Alienation Disorder in the DSM V – The Time Is Now

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights on September 2, 2010 at 5:41 pm

September 2nd, 2010 by Terry Kee

Imagine a nightmare scenario where your children hate you. They tell you repeatedly that they hate you; and worse, their actions leave no doubt that they hate you. Moreover, their hatred doesn’t stop with you; it extends to everyone close to you – including your parents – their grandparents – and even to your pets. Imagine that your children do not refer to you with terms of endearment such as “mom” or “dad” – but with your first name or with horrible vulgarities. Imagine being locked out of your house, having the woodwork in your house gouged, the walls defaced, and having your heirlooms destroyed, all the while your child laughs at you, a taunting maniacal laugh, as the dirty deeds are done. Imagine finding snack foods or cereal strewn about the house, or juice in puddles on the floor. Imagine being kicked in the head as you drive. Imagine, if you can, that your child hates you so much that he or she laces your toothbrush with excrement.

Imagine not being able to have dinner with your children because they refuse to eat anything you cook for them. Imagine not being able to go to a restaurant with your children, because they will move to another table rather than sit with you. Imagine not being able to talk to your children at all. In the house, they will turn away or shut themselves in their room. In the car, they will respond to you with vulgarity and contempt. If they ever do attempt to communicate, they will tell you how much they hate you and how perfect the other parent is in their eyes – while you are your children’s number one enemy, your ex-spouse is considered infallible and beyond reproach.

Imagine that these children who hate you are not teenagers, but just 10 years old. Now stop imagining. Welcome to the hellish world of an alienated parent whose children are affected by Parental Alienation Syndrome.

As a father who has been targeted by a vindictive and malicious ex, to the point where my children refuse to see me or their grandparents, I am oftentimes annoyed to hear psychologists and psychiatrists who don’t really understand the difference between Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome. Consider this recent excerpt from a US News and World Report article, “I really get concerned about spreading the definition of mental illness too wide,” says Elissa Benedek, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a past president of the APA. There’s no question in her mind that kids become alienated from a loving parent in many divorces with little or no justification, and she’s seen plenty of kids kick and scream all the way to the car when visitation is enforced. But, she says, “this is not a mentally ill child.” (US News and World Report, Parental Alienation: A Mental Diagnosis? Some experts say the extreme hatred some kids feel toward a parent in a divorce is a mental illness. By Lindsay Lyon, October 29, 2009)

With all due respect to Dr. Benedek, her example scenario provides too little in the way of information to determine if the child in question is in fact merely alienated or is emotionally incapacitated as a direct result of undue and unjust external influences (PAS).

If you have never personally experienced Parental Alienation Syndrome, it is difficult to fathom how a child can become so completely and utterly transformed from a wonderful, caring, loving being to a mean, angry, hateful individual. Here is a firsthand account from one such child, now an adult, “I did everything in my power to make dad happy and destroy my mother… My main mission was to have her suffer for who I thought she was, not for who she was… I thought about her dying and having a party.” Chrissy Chrzanowski, who as a child was programmed to hate her mother. (Chrissy Chrzanowski, live speech at a Michigan rally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z7gEAnFF84)

Parental Alienation Syndrome is the result of a war having children soldiers. Parental Alienation Syndrome takes a commander-in-chief, foot soldiers and a common enemy. In this case, the commander-in-chief is the alienating parent, the children are the foot soldiers, and the common enemy is the child’s other parent and those closest to him or her. And just like adult soldiers who fight in a campaign of terror, death, and destruction and then end up suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, so too do children of PAS end up suffering from the horrors of war.

The DSM recognizes Post Traumatic Stress as a disorder, which, like PAS, is environmentally trigged. You are not born with PTSD. It is a condition that is caused by external events – a condition that could in fact, happen to the best of us given the right environment and set of circumstances. Despite the fact that PTSD is not a mental condition that one is born with, such as Down Syndrome or Tourette’s, it is rightly recognized in the DSM as a negative condition that requires treatment, even though it is possible to lessen with time and treatment.

PAS is also a condition that is inflicted by environment and circumstances, and which carries negative long term consequences. Additionally, vindictive parenting behaviors are highly likely to resurface in the next generation – as these children become parents themselves. As Amy J.L. Baker, PhD, a noted PAS expert has written, PAS is a condition that requires time to abate. And frankly, this is time that targeted parents don’t have. PAS children can remain immersed in the delusion well into adulthood and oftentimes require third party intervention – generally from his or her significant other.

Here’s where The American Psychiatric Association, as the gatekeeper of the DSM, and the American Psychology Association, as front line care providers, can do the right thing and help put an end to the emotional abuse of children that PAS presents. They can put an end to an era where children are programmed to hate. They can put an end to the emotional scarring for those children who will forever carry a burden of guilt. PAS is a great injustice and it is becoming more widespread in the absence of professional guidance and remediation. But to do what must be done, the APA must put aside the politics and emotion of the debate.

The recognition of PAS is being held hostage by special interest groups. Domestic Violence Against Women Special Interest Groups (DVAWSIGs) have long argued that PAS is nothing more than a tactic. Consider the following quote, “PAS has been used in countless cases by abusive fathers to gain custody of their children.” This quote was taken from a television documentary titled “Breaking the Silence; Children’s Stories.” It aired on PBS in October of 2005. In fact, “Breaking the Silence” ended up being discredited as a one-sided, poorly conceived infomercial. PBS received 4,000 e-mails on the subject and 3,500 of them were negative. Here’s what the PBS ombudsman, Michael Getler, had to say on the matter after he concluded his investigation, “”…there was no recognition of opposing views on the program. There was a complete absence of some of the fundamental journalistic conventions that, in fact, make a story more powerful and convincing because they, at a minimum, acknowledge that there is another side….I thought this particular program had almost no balance, and went too far, turning it, at least in my mind, into more of an advocacy, or point-of-view presentation.”

This program was then reviewed by the ombudsman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ken A. Bode, who further noted, “I agree with everything Getler says, to a point. He allows that PBS editorial guidelines for fairness and objectivity were ‘bumped up against and maybe breached,’ but does not assert they were clearly breached. I think it is worse than that. There was no alternative point of view presented in ‘Breaking the Silence’ and the producer admits it was intended to be that way. It might be difficult to find a clearer breach of PBS editorial standards unless one concludes there is only one side to child and spousal abuse issues in the country’s custody cases [emphasis added].” (Breaking the Silence Redux, December 19, 2005, Ken A. Bode. http://www.cpb.org/ombudsmen/display.php?id=12)

Still, DVAWSIGs, ignorantly perhaps, misguided certainly, believe that Parental Alienation Syndrome is a tactic and in conjunction, would be misdiagnosed, therefore robbing an innocent parent of custody. But Parental Alienation Syndrome is such an abomination, having unique indicators, that it is relatively easy to diagnose and, conversely, difficult to misdiagnose. A fully entrenched PAS child harbors unreasonable animosity and hatred towards the targeted parent and, due to the programming, will find it difficult to say anything negative about the non-targeted parent. It is a terrible abuse of power, that “so-called” domestic violence groups oppose recognizing the emotional abuse of children caused by a severe and prolonged campaign of alienation enacted by a malicious and vindictive ex spouse.

The “tactic” argument is ancillary to the question of whether PAS should be recognized as a disorder. False claims of abuse by women against men do not invalidate legitimate cases of abuse; neither should false claims of PAS invalidate legitimate cases of PAS. There are, after all, vindictive and malicious parents who poison their children’s mind against good and loving parents – should these individuals not be held accountable?

The DSM V committee must not be misguided by special interest groups purporting to have a greater cause. There is no greater cause. Society has a duty to its most vulnerable members – its children. PAS children are psychologically damaged. This is a preventable tragedy and children who exhibit Parental Alienation Syndrome require specialized intervention.

To the DSM V committee, I say to you, the time is now.

posted from:  GlennSacks.com » Blog Archive.

Brazilian President signs into Law which Defines and Punishes Parental Alienation – Crumbs: Hot – 27/8/2010

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on August 31, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Following the Sean Goldman case in Brazil, the Brazilian President, just signed into law, which defines and punishes acts of Parental Alienation in Brazil. I sometimes wonder if our President and Vice President are paying attention to the problems of parents and children in this country? Particularly with regard to the 4-6 million children that are alienated from the other parent?

Law 12 318

Sacionada law that defines and punishes parental alienation

See below for the full law 12.318/10 which provides for parental alienation.

_____________

Law No. 12 318, DE 26 AUGUST 2010

Provides for parental alienation and amending Art. 236 of Law No. 8069 of July 13, 1990.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

I know that the Congress decrees and I sanction the following Law:

Article 1 This Law provides for parental alienation.

Section 2 is considered an act of parental alienation interference with psychological training of the child or adolescent promoted or induced by a parent, grandparent or by having the child or adolescent under his authority, custody or supervision so dismissive parent or adversely affecting the establishment or maintenance of ties with it.

Sole Paragraph. Exemplary are forms of parental alienation, and acts as declared by the judge or discovered by expertise, or charged directly with the aid of third parties:

I – opening campaign of disqualification of the parent’s conduct in the exercise of parenthood;

II – hinder the exercise of parental authority;

III – hinder contact with child or teen parent;

IV – to hamper the right of regulated family life;

V – the parent deliberately omit relevant personal information about the child or adolescent, including educational, medical and changes of address;

VI – to present false complaint against parent, family against this or against grandparents, to obstruct or hinder their coping with the child or adolescent;

VII – change the address to the remote site, without justification, in order to hamper the coexistence of the child or adolescent with the other parent, with this family or grandparents.

Article 3 The performance of an act of parental alienation hurts fundamental right of the child or adolescent family life healthier, prevent the implementation of affection in relationships with parent and the family group, is moral abuse against the child or adolescent and noncompliance with duties attached to parental authority or from guardianship or custody.

Article 4 Declared clue act of parental alienation, the application or letter at any time of procedure, or incidentally in autonomous action, the process will have priority processing, and the judge will determine, with urgency, after hearing the prosecutor, the interim measures for maintenance of psychological integrity of the child or adolescent, including to ensure their familiarity with parent or make an effective rapprochement between the two, if any.

Sole Paragraph. It will ensure the child or adolescent and the parent assisted minimum guarantee of visitation, except in cases where there is imminent risk of injury to physical or psychological integrity of the child or adolescent, certified by any professional designated by the judge for monitoring visits .

Article 5 If there is evidence of the practice act of parental alienation in autonomous action or incidental damages, the judge, if necessary, determine biopsychosocial or psychological expertise.

§ 1 The expert report will be based on extensive psychological evaluation or biopsychosocial, as appropriate, including even a personal interview with the parties, examination of documents in the file, the couple’s relationship history, split chronology of incidents, personality assessment involved and the investigation of how the child or adolescent is manifested about possible charges against the parents.

§ 2 The skill will be performed by professional or skilled multidisciplinary team, required in any case, proven by fitness professional or academic history to diagnose acts of parental alienation.

§ 3 The expert or a multidisciplinary team appointed to assess the occurrence of parental alienation will within 90 (ninety) days to submit the report, renewable only by judicial authorization based on detailed justification.

Article 6 Featured typical acts of parental alienation or any conduct that hamper the coexistence of child or adolescent parent, or incidental to autonomous action, the judge may, together or separately, subject to civil or criminal liability arising from and the extensive use of suitable legal instruments to inhibit or mitigate its effects, according to the severity of the case:

I – declare the occurrence of parental alienation and warn the seller;

II – expand the system of family life in favor of the alienated parent;

III – provide fine to seller;

IV – require counseling and / or biopsychosocial;

V – to determine the change of custody to joint custody or its reversal;

VI – to determine the setting of interim home of the child or adolescent;

VII – to declare the suspension of parental authority.

Sole Paragraph. Marked change of address abusive, impracticability or obstruction to family, the court may also reverse the obligation to take or remove the child or teen parent’s residence, during the alternating periods of family life.

Article 7 The allocation or change of custody will be given preference by the parent that enables the effective coexistence of the child or adolescent with the other parent in cases where it is impracticable to custody.

Article 8 The change of domicile of the child or adolescent is irrelevant to the determination of competence related to actions founded on right to family life, unless the result of consensus between the parents or a court decision.

Article 9 (VETOED)

Article 10. (VETOED)

Article 11. This Law shall enter into force upon its publication.

Brasília, August 26, 2010, 189 and 122 of the Independence of the Republic.

Luiz Inacio LULA DA SILVA

Luiz Paulo Teles Ferreira Barreto

Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi

________________
____________

Read more – News

  • 11/20/2009 – House Passes CCJ’s action against a parent who incite hatred child – click here.
  • 08.18.2009 – Parental Alienation can lead to loss of custody of the child – click here.

Read More – Articles

  • 13/8/10 – The “syndrome” that will turn law – Nebo Flávia Azevedo Antunes – click here.
  • 23/7/10 – SAP – Parental Alienation Syndrome – Luiz Fernando Valley Guilherme de Almeida / André Fernando Reusing Namorato – click here.
  • 21/7/10 – In brief, parental alienation is a crime – Denise Perissini Maria da Silvaclick here.

Sanctioned law that defines and punishes parental alienation – Crumbs: Hot – 27/8/2010.

The Federal Scheme to Destroy Father-Child Relationships

In Activism, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Title Iv-D on August 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Topic: Divorce & Child Custody Issues
The Federal Scheme to Destroy Father-Child Relationships


Federal entitlement programs are decimating the lives of children and trampling on the rights of fathers to the care and companionship of their kids. We must dismantle the Federal-State entitlement nexus that deprives men of their civil liberties. Here is what every man in America should know.


by Jake Morphonios
(conservative)
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Congress would feign admit its own dubious contribution to the suffering of America’s children. Rather, these politicians promulgate the myth that they are helping children through federal and state welfare entitlement programs. It is, in fact, these very programs which are responsible for the out of control rampage against children. Here is how the scam works.

The federal government levies taxes against citizens to redistribute as welfare entitlements among needy applicants. Congress created the Social Security Act, a section of which is called Title IV. Title IV describes how tax dollars will be distributed among the States to subsidize their individual welfare programs. In order for States to tap into the federal treasure chest, containing billions of dollars, they must demonstrate that they are complying with Title IV mandates to collect child support revenues. In other words, to get money from the federal government, each State must become a child support collection and reporting agency.

Every unwed or single mother seeking welfare assistance must disclose on her application the identities of the fathers of her children and how much child support the fathers have been ordered by a family court to pay. She must also commit to continuously reporting the father’s payments so that the State can count the money as “collected” to the federal government’s Office of Child Support Enforcement. As with all bureaucracies, this process has developed into a monstrosity that chews up and spits out the very people it was designed to help.

States have huge financial incentives to increase the amount of child support it can report to the federal government as “collected”. To increase collection efforts, States engage in the immoral practice of dividing children from their fathers in family courts. Have you ever wondered why family courts award custody to mothers in 80%-90% of all custody cases, even when the father is determined to be just as suitable a parent? It is because the amount of child support ordered by the State is largely determined by how much time the child spends with each parent. This means that the State “collects” less child support if parents share equal custody. By prohibiting fathers from having equal custody and time with their children, the State’s child support coffers are increased and federal dollars are received.

Opponents try to paint loving fathers as “deadbeat dads” for daring to challenge the mother-take-all system of family law.  This is nothing more than diversionary propaganda.  The concern of fathers is not that they are unwilling to support their children financially. This is not an argument against paying child support. Any father that cares about his child will do everything in his power to provide for the child. The concern is, rather, that children are being separated from their fathers by family courts because the State stands to reap huge financial rewards as a result of the father’s loss of custody. The higher the order of child support, the more money the State can collect – even if the amount ordered by the court far exceeds the reasonable needs of the child or if the father is required to take second and third jobs to keep up with outrageous support orders and escape certain incarceration. The truth is that most fathers don’t care about the financial aspects of these family court verdicts nearly as much as they care about having their time with their children eliminated for nefarious government purposes.

The root of this evil is a State-level addiction to federal tax dollars being doled out as entitlement monies by a monolithic federal government. In the wake of this horror are millions of children drowning for lack of the care, guidance, and companionship of their fathers. Statistics and empirical evidence universally confirm that children forcibly separated from their fathers by family courts are considerably more likely to suffer anxiety and depression, develop drug addiction, engage in risky sexual activity, break the law, and commit suicide. This travesty must end.

Unconstitutional federal bureaucracy creates many of the societal ills it claims to be trying to solve. There are several steps incremental steps that could be taken to restore a child’s right to the companionship of both parents. For example, citizens should insist that States abide by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. No father should be automatically deprived of his fundamental right to the custody of his children without due process of law. Being a male is not a crime. Absent a finding of true danger from a parent, family courts should order shared parenting rights and equal time sharing for divorcing parents.  These rights are fundamental and should not be abridged.  The automatic presumption of custody-to-the-mother is unconstitutional.

The history of America is brim with examples of the federal government denying basic rights to its citizens. Women were denied the right to vote until the women’s suffrage movement secured the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Black Americans also were denied the right to vote and suffered myriad other cruel and humiliating indignities under the law until the civil rights movement brought about desegregation, put an end to Jim Crow legislation and compelled the enactment of the 15th and 24th Amendments to the Constitution. In each of these examples, society was slow to recognize that a problem even existed or that some of our laws were unjust. It took considerable time, concerted effort, self-sacrifice and perhaps even divine providence to realign concurrent societal paradigms with the principles of liberty and justice for all.

Our generation is not exempt from similar assaults on liberty. While many just causes may stake claims for redress of grievances, one group, more than any other, pleads for immediate support. The need to defend the rights of this group of American citizens, reeling from the unjust consequences of state-sponsored oppression, is before us. It is time to stand up for the rights of children and demand their equal access to both parents.

– – –

Jake Morphonios is a civil rights advocate and North Carolina State Coordinator for Fathers 4 Justice – US.  The political opinions of Mr. Morphonios do not represent those of Fathers 4 Justice.  Neither Mr. Morphonios nor F4J-US provide legal advice or assistance with individual cases.

Fathers seeking support or information, or other parties interested in becoming involved in the father’s rights movement may contact Mr. Morphonios at: jake.morphonios@nc.f4j.us


PLEASE THUMB THIS ARTICLE to help spread the word to others about this imporant issue.

The Federal Scheme to Destroy Father-Child Relationships.

The Nuclear Option: False Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody Disputes

In Activism, Best Interest of the Child, Brainwashed Children, child abuse, Child Custody, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on August 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Topic: Divorce & Child Custody Issues
The Nuclear Option: False Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody Disputes


There is a very simple trick, used all too frequently in family courts, that will almost always ensure the immediate elimination of a man’s constitutional rights.


by Jake Morphonios
(conservative)
Monday, February 18, 2008

In acrimonious divorce and child custody disputes emotions are tense and tempers flare. Buoyed by litigious attorneys, each side engages in strategic maneuvers to gain the greatest legal advantage. Sometimes a parent, fearing a loss of control or custody over a child, crosses the ethically acceptable bounds of legal warfare. An unfortunate but all too frequently used tactic by mothers is to accuse the father of sexually molesting their child. The mere accusation is sufficient to strip the father of all his custody rights and launch a criminal investigation. Even when no evidence is found to substantiate the allegation, family law courts typically “err on the side of caution” and award full custody to the mother. While national statistics reveal that the majority of all child sex abuse reports are legitimate, when such claims are made by a mother in the context of custody litigation, an estimated 77% of allegations are determined to be unfounded (Tong, 2002).A false child sex abuse allegation made during child custody litigation is a destructive legal stratagem.

Throughout the world, child sexual abuse is considered the ultimate crime. Not even murder generates the kind of raw emotional reaction that results from the sexual abuse of a child. Society acknowledges the innocence of children and responds to child abusers with extreme prejudice. The power of the accusation alone is often enough for public opinion to impeach the character of the alleged child abuser and guarantee legal victory for the mother. According to Jeffery M. Leving (1997), a leading father’ rights attorney, “the use of false sexual abuse allegations to win custody suits has become almost a standard tactic among disturbed mothers and unethical divorce lawyers” (pg 148).The accused may spend years rebuilding his reputation from the monumental damage caused by the accusation.

To investigate the effect of a false child abuse accusation, a child custody survey was conducted; the group was evenly divided between males and females. A scenario was presented in which a divorcing couple was contesting custody of the children. It was stated that both parents were fit and proper. The question posed regarded what custody arrangement would be in the best interests of the child. An overwhelming 94% of respondents indicated that joint legal and physical custody, shared between parents, would be in the child’s best interest, with 78% of respondents indicating that a 50/50 time sharing agreement was appropriate. Another scenario was presented. In the second scenario the father has been accused by the mother of sexually molesting their child. The Department of Social Services and the police conducted an investigation and concluded that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether or not the father committed sexual abuse. The question of custody is again asked. As a result of the unsubstantiated accusation against the father, 79% of the same respondents stated that sole legal and physical custody should be granted to the mother. Only 15% of respondents felt that the father should be permitted a minimum of 50% visitation with the children. In the final survey question regarding the respondent’s personal opinion of child molesters, 42% stated that they should be “locked away for life” and 48% responded that they should “burn in hell”. Why do so many mothers file false sexual abuse allegations during custody cases? They work. False accusers in this type of case rarely face prosecution.

The judicial system, likewise, responds to alleged child abusers swiftly and aggressively. Unfortunately for many falsely accused fathers, truth and justice are often niceties which are frequently ignored. Leving (1997) writes, “Based on well-meaning ‘better safe than sorry’ policy, abuse investigators often accept an abuse charge as fact and consider the accused abuser guilty until proven otherwise” (pg 150).This is a significant problem. The US Constitution guarantees that accused persons are to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. In this type of case, however, constitutional safeguards are abandoned. The burden of proof falls upon the accused to prove a negative, or, to conclusively show that an alleged event never occurred. This reversal of constitutional jurisprudence sets a dangerous precedent and ensures the conviction of many innocent men. The destructive power of a false child abuse allegation has been termed “the nuclear option” by law professionals (Tong, 1997).Once this nuclear bomb is dropped, all hope of civil reconciliation is lost. The custody battle escalates into a bitter war.

The prevalence of false accusations is a matter of debate. Disagreement over the proper ratio of false abuse statistics may range anywhere from 20% to 80%.It can be extremely difficult to correctly track the ration of true to false accusations because of the problem in identifying the intent of the accuser. In some instances a mother genuinely believes abuse has occurred. In other instances the mother may not be sure and simply doesn’t know what to do other than to file an allegation of abuse. However, when one considers all factors, including the number of retracted allegations, recantations and the preponderance of cases proven to be dishonest, a fair estimate settled upon by many studies is an average of 77% (Brennan & Brennan, 1994).

False reports of sexual abuse against children are often first reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) or some other governmental social service agency. A safety assessment is conducted by a CPS or social worker (Ney, 1995). During this brief assessment standard questions are asked of the mother regarding the alleged event. At the end of the assessment, even if no proof of wrongdoing is presented, procedure requires the social worker to recommend that full custody be given to the mother as a safety precaution until a full investigation is concluded. This assessment is included in an official complaint and presented to a district court judge. The judge will typically grant an Emergency Ex-Parte Order giving the mother temporary sole custody of the children and restrain the father from having any contact with his children, even when no additional evidence beyond the mother’s word exists. A hearing date is set and the legal battle begins.

The mother gains immediate advantages over the father. First, by giving the mother full custody of the children the court is setting a precedent that will be hard for the father to overcome. Most family court judges believe in maintaining the status quo, and subsequently order the children to continue residing with the mother rather than changing the children’s residence to that of the father (Hardwick, 2004).A second advantage for the mother is that the children are unable to communicate with their father and a process of alienation begins. The more time that passes without contact, the greater the alienation. During this period of alienation, a child may be coached by the mother to support the allegation against the father.

After the Emergency Ex-Parte Order has been granted, an investigation of the allegation begins. As part of the investigation, the child is examined by a medical doctor for physical signs of sexual abuse. It is rare that evidence is discovered. The child is also seen by social workers who use items such as anatomically correct dolls to try to encourage the child to talk about what happened. Even when the child states that nothing happened, the investigation continues. After a series of interrogations, which often serve to reinforce the false story in the child’s mind, the child may eventually say something or play with the dolls in such a way as to cause the social worker to suspect abuse (Tong, 1992).As part of this ongoing investigation by both CPS and local law enforcement, the reputation of the father is constructively destroyed by the investigation. Family relationships become strained. Employers tire of granting time off work to accommodate the father’s frequent court hearings. Social relationships are damaged, often never to be repaired.

The very process of being investigated causes many men to give up and grant the mother everything she wants from him. Sadly, many fathers are so traumatized by the horror of the process that they commit suicide (Seidenberg, 1997).False abuse expert, Dean Tong (2002), says of the emotional state of the accused:

Sleep is forever elusive, night-terror becomes common-place and depression is a constant companion. Rarely is there any support to be found within the community and rarely is there any sympathy for the falsely-accused. Throughout it all, you must bear the title “abuser,” until you prove otherwise, if you can. Disorientation, denial, shock, confusion, anxiety, and disbelief are constant. Lack of concentration is a chronic problem, exceeded only by the frustration of being denied the right to see your children. (pg 25)

Immediately, the father finds himself in a maze of confusing litigation. He spends thousands of dollars to retain an attorney. Police often request the father to take lie detector tests.  Even though he submits to and often passes several polygraph tests, it does him little good as the tests are not admissible in court. A single attorney is rarely sufficient to provide an appropriate defense in this type of case. Thousands of dollars must be spent to retain psychologists and other expert witnesses in the fields of sexual abuse. In an attempt to prove their innocence, many fathers submit to invasive psycho-sexual testing, such as the penile polygraph. In this particular test sensors are placed around the penis and variety of video images are displayed to the father, such as children playing in water or little girls in bathing suits. The subtlest of sexual responses while looking at images of children will condemn the father. The cost of testing, attorneys, expert witnesses and other legal fees in this type of case often exceeds $50,000.The father sometimes has to mortgage his home and sell his assets to afford a sufficient defense. Naturally, little money is leftover at the end to use in a custody case.

In most court districts throughout the United States, judges run for office as any other politician. If a judge takes, or fails to take, an action that leads to the abuse of a child by an alleged child abuser, his political career may be over. Political expediency is a strong, yet unspoken, factor in emotionally charged cases such with child sexual abuse (Seidenberg, 1997). When a father has been falsely accused of molesting his child, even when no evidence substantiates the claim, he often loses custody of his children because the court decides to “play it safe”. The father may not go to jail, but the temporary order preventing his access to his children is frequently made permanent. By no fault of his own, the father has lost his children, all because a mother chose to fight dirty in court. For the unfortunate father who loses his criminal case, he is locked away. Sentencing for child molesters is typically longer than sentencing for murder (Seidenberg, 1997).Men convicted of child molestation are constant targets of prison abuse by fellow inmates. Fathers, unjustly incarcerated, become bitter and less productive members of society.

The father is not the only victim in a false child sex abuse allegation. Children are also victimized. Not only does the child have to submit to numerous interrogations and invasive tests to determine if abuse occurred, but needless therapy is often prescribed. The child, knowing at first that nothing happened, is subjected to counseling that reinforces the story that abuse has occurred. In time, many children grow to believe and accept that their fathers molested them. The emotional trauma is life-long. This phenomenon has become so common that psychologists have given names to the syndromes that result from false abuse claims, including Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and Sexual Abuse in Divorce (SAID).The allegation is, in itself, a form of child abuse (Wexler, 1990).The loss of self-esteem, the destruction of the father-child relationship, the mental and emotional damage and premature sexualizing of the child are all very real results of a false abuse accusation. Children who grow up believing they were sexually abused often develop deviant sexual interests and proclivities. No child should be treated so heinously by parents embroiled in a legal chess game.

A false child sexual abuse allegation, while usually ensuring the legal victory for the mother, is destructive to all parties involved. Child molestation is a terrible crime and false accusations play on the natural prejudices of society to the extent that victory can almost be guaranteed for the accuser. The loss of fathers in the lives of their children has many negative consequences for society as a whole. Laws need to be passed that protect the rights of the accused as in any other type of trial. Penalties for false accusers must be created and imposed. Social workers, judges, and others involved in the investigation of this type of allegation must be taught the syndromes that affect children when a false abuse claim is made. Sexual abuse claims made in the middle of custody proceedings must be viewed with some skepticism. Judges must be made aware of the usefulness of certain scientific tests, not currently admissible in court, which may help to vindicate the accused. Finally, an emphasis on more stable families will lead to fewer divorces, and, therefore, fewer false abuse claims. Until these, and other, reforms take place, innocent children will continue to be used as pawns in a senseless game of legal strategy.

References:

Brennan, Carleen, & Brennan, Michael (1994).Custody for Fathers: A practical guide through the combat zone of a brutal custody battle.Costa Mesa, CA: Brennan Publishing.

Hardwick, Charlotte (2004). Win Your Child Custody War.New York, NY: Pale Horse Publishing.

Leving, Jefferey M. (1997).Fathers’ Rights: Hard hitting and fair advice for every father involved in a custody dispute.New York, NY: Basic Books.

Ney, Tara (1995).True and False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse: Assessment & case management.New York, NY: Brunner/Mazel, Inc.

Seidenberg, Robert (1997).The Father’s Emergency Guide to Divorce-Custody Battle: A Tour through the Predatory World of Judges, Lawyers, Psychologists & Social Workers, in the Subculture of Divorce. Takoma Park, MD: JES Books.

Tong, Dean (1992).Don’t Blame Me, Daddy: False accusations of child sexual abuse. Norfolk, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Co.

Tong, Dean (2002).Elusive Innocence: Survival guide for the falsely accused. Lafayette, LA: Huntington House Publishers.

Wexler, Richard (1990).Wounded Innocents: The real victims of the war against child abuse. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.


Jake Morphonios is a civil rights advocate and North Carolina State Coordinator for Fathers 4 Justice – US.  The political opinions of Mr. Morphonios do not represent those of Fathers 4 Justice.  Neither Mr. Morphonios nor F4J-US provide legal advice or assistance with individual cases.

Fathers seeking support or information, or other parties interested in becoming involved in the father’s rights movement may contact Mr. Morphonios at: jake.morphonios@nc.f4j.us


Please read the article below and share it with others to spread the word about the importance of the role of fathers in the lives of their children:

The Nuclear Option: False Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody Disputes.

Family Workshop for Alienated Children

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on August 24, 2010 at 2:46 pm

How to deal with ‘toxic’ parents

Courts ill-equipped to handle parental alienation, leaving children at greater risk of emotional damage

The Toronto Star, Susan Pigg LIVING REPORTER, March 14, 2009

When Toronto lawyer Brian Ludmer speaks about the suffering caused by parental alienation, the words come from his head and his heart.

He’s seen the devastation of a mother’s orchestrated campaign to make her children hate their father, or how a dad can use a 4-year-old as a weapon against his mother in the ugly aftermath of divorce.

The team at Family Solutions, which helps families move past bitter and angry divorces: (from left) Barbara Fidler, Helen Radovanovic, Linda Chodos, Jan Schloss and Ted Horowitz.

Ludmer is, by training, a corporate lawyer. But he’s being “swamped” by desperate parents looking for help reconnecting with their children. “Experts in this field will tell you that they’ve never met a lawyer who understands this the way that I do,” says Ludmer.

That’s because he’s also lived it.

“Parental alienation is a plague. It’s rampant out there,” says Ludmer, 48, who declined to talk about his own case for fear of upsetting his children. “This stuff has been going on for a hundred years. It’s just that now it has a name.”

Later this month, Ludmer will address the first international conference on parental alienation in Toronto. He’ll join the growing chorus of parents, judges, lawyers, social workers and mental health professionals who believe the courts are ill-equipped to deal with “toxic” parents.

“Canada seems to be a hotbed of parental alienation court activity,” says Amy Baker, a New York-based researcher who’s written two books, one chronicling the emotional suffering that travels in parental alienation’s wake.

“I think there are some very brave judges who are willing to really think through the implications of alienation and really try to deal with it.

“The bottom line is that to turn a child against a parent is to turn a child against himself.”

Two months ago, a Toronto judge stripped a mother of custody of her three daughters after a decade-long campaign to keep the kids from their father. She was ordered to pick up the tab for a U.S. program aimed at helping the girls, ages 9 to 14, reconnect with their dad.

This week, an 18-year-old from Mississauga asked to be awarded custody of his two younger brothers caught up in a decade of family “warfare.” He also asked that parental alienation experts, such as psychologists Randy Rand and Richard Warshak, be forbidden from further contact with the boys. He called programs, such as their controversial Family Workshop for Alienated Children, “voodoo science.”

But there’s so much concern about the snail’s pace of the overloaded family court system and the lack of treatment facilities in Canada that Ludmer has been working with a group of professionals on plans for Toronto’s first Family Reunification Clinic. They hope to have the facility open within a year, offering treatment based on the work of Rand and Warshak.

“The most important part (of undoing alienation) is the after care,” says Ludmer, who’s handled more than 50 parental alienation cases in the last four years. “We don’t want to be bundling kids on a plane and sending them off to the United States. This will make it easier and less disruptive to get the whole family the help they need.”

The planned centre is sure to set off a storm of controversy among those who consider Warshak and Rand’s work cult-like “deprogramming” and question whether Parental Alienation Syndrome isn’t just an excuse for bad, or even abusive, parents.

“I think the therapy often does way more harm than any so-called parental alienation could do. It demoralizes kids, it makes them feel like they’re not being listened to and involved. It demeans them,” says Joyanna Silberg of the U.S.-based Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence, a group of health professionals.

“One of the reasons this is so controversial is because it’s become an industry – a money-making industry – where purveyors of these so-called therapies and evaluation procedures are using things that the scientific community doesn’t automatically accept, but know that judges are accepting in court to affect children’s lives in an extreme way.”

Veteran family court judge Harvey Brownstone sums up the growing debate best: “The jury is still out on the whole issue of parental alienation. When a child adamantly refuses to see a parent, it is not easy to know why. It could be they’re bored, or that they don’t like the parent’s new partner. The situation is usually layered and complex.”

If there is a growing certainty about one thing, it’s that these cases need to be dealt with quickly.

“Time is the enemy of the alienated parent,” says Baker, whose book Breaking the Ties that Bind, chronicles the difficult lives of 40 adults who were alienated as children. Since the books, she’s met hundreds of others, including one who went as far as plastic surgery to wipe out the shame of looking like his father. “These cases should be fast-tracked because alienating parents exploit the ability for the courts to delay things to their benefit. The more time they have with the kid, the more time that kid is going to resist reconciliation.”

Veteran family law lawyer Jeffery Wilson – who was involved in Ontario’s first court case around alienation in 1981 and is representing the Mississauga teen fighting for his brothers – believes it’s time for more drastic measures. It’s been estimated that some 60 per cent of litigants in “high-conflict” divorces suffer from personality disorders that can turn a discussion of “Who gets the kids for Christmas?” into a months-long power struggle marked by what Ludmer calls “bad messaging and bad-mouthing.”

Wilson is calling for a government-funded “High-Conflict Response Team” that could step in before these cases hit the courts. They would have the power to sort out complex disputes, impose binding judgments and get the kids – and their parents – counselling and treatment.

Family Solutions is a North York-based team of well-respected psychologists and social workers who started meeting five years ago to compare notes on difficult cases. Now they offer everything from mediation to intensive counselling in high-conflict divorces. They’ve seen a significant growth in parental alienation and have had some success with clients who’ve worked with Rand and Warshak.

“There’s a lot of work we still need to do,” acknowledges Linda Chodos, a social worker with Family Solutions. “We don’t yet have a lot of evidence-based research that shows what kind of intervention works best.”

Rand and Warshak are based in California and Texas respectively and, in the first phase of their workshop, meet the children and the alienated parent for “educational” sessions that can include simple outings where they start to get reacquainted. (Rand apparently travelled to meet the siblings of the 18-year-old in a Montreal hotel room, but their mother, who claims to have been alienated by the father, gave up a day later when they refused to participate in the four-day session.)

“It’s to give the child a break – a chance to catch his or her breath and to give them just a few days not to be torn between the two parents,” says Ted Horowitz, a veteran social worker with Family Solutions.

The alienator is brought in as part of the second part of the program, all of which is aimed at making them aware of the damage they are doing and the need to form a new partnership around parenting.

“There is no deprogramming and never has been,” says Jacqueline Vanbetlehem, a mental health therapist with Family Solutions. “You have to really look at the circumstances of the family before you even recommend such a program. Sometimes the court intervention is a relief to these children because they don’t have to choose (between parents) anymore.”

Warshak told the Ontario Bar Association’s annual meeting last month that 17 out of 21 children who have completed the “expensive” program have forged good relationships with the other parent that continue more than two years later. The results are currently undergoing peer review.

“One of the misperceptions around this is that it’s meant to shift allegiances from one parent to the other,” says Horowitz. “The idea is to balance the family – to pull them together. Both parents need to be part of the treatment, and the children need to see their parents working together.”

How to deal with ‘toxic’ parents – The Toronto Star 14MAR09.