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Parental Alienation: Accuracy and the DSM-IV | Parental Alienation Hurts

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting on February 26, 2010 at 4:45 am

Parental Alienation: Accuracy and the DSM-IV

What is the DSM?

“Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States and contains a listing of diagnostic criteria for every psychiatric disorder recognized by the U.S. healthcare system. The current edition, DSM-IV-TR, is used by professionals in a wide array of contexts, including psychiatrists and other physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational and rehabilitation therapists, and counselors, as well as by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, family/systems). It is used in both clinical settings (inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, consultation-liaison, clinic, private practice, and primary care) as well as with community populations. In addition to supplying detailed descriptions of diagnostic criteria, DSM is also a necessary tool for collecting and communicating accurate public health statistics about the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders.”

This morning there was an article titled “Mental health professionals getting update on definitions” by Gary Rotstein from the Post-Gazette in Pittsburgh.  This article misinterpreted a fact about parental alienation and the DSM. Mr. Rotstein  wrote  There was consideration of hoarding this time as a mental health issue, but it failed to make it into the recommendations for full manual treatment. There are always lobbyists for parental alienation syndrome, but they did not win out this time either.”

According to the DSM website, Parental Alienation is still being considered as an addition to the DSM. There are many advocates and professionals that are exerting countless hours in establishing research that validates Parental Alienation would be a worthy addition to the DSM. It is believed that if Parental Alienation is entered into the DSM that it would be considered monumental in recognizing that parental alienation exists. There are numerous amounts of professionals in the mental health and judicial community that do not endorse parental alienation as a valid diagnosis. Parental Alienation is still a very controversial topic with professionals and the general public. It only hurts the efforts when there inaccurate reports to dismay the general masses who are in favor of the inclusion of Parental Alienation.

What can you do to help?

Dr. William Bernet is leading the effort to include Parental Alienation into the newest addition of the DSM-5, which is expected to be released in May 2013. Many parents and adult survivors have assisted in this effort by writing the leadership of the DSM and making them aware of the severity of Parental Alienation.

Any person who wishes to express his or her opinion about the inclusion of parental alienation in DSM-V may want to contact the following individuals:

Dr. Kupfer is chair of theDSM-V Task Force Dr. Regier is vice-chair of theDSM-V Task Force Dr. Pine is chair of the DSM-VDisorders in Childhood andAdolescence Work Group
David J. Kupfer, M.D.Western Psychiatric Institute 3811 O’Hara StreetPittsburgh, PA  15213 Darrel A. Regier, M.D.American Psychiatric Assn.1000 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1825Arlington, VA  22209-3901

Daniel S. Pine, M.D.NIMH15K North Drive, MSC-2670Bethesda, MD  20892-2670

Parental Alienation: Accuracy and the DSM-IV | Parental Alienation Hurts.

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Fathers-4-Justice Sault Ste. Marie: Ontario Children’s Aid and Misandry

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Brainwashed Children, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, Fit Parent, Foster CAre Abuse, Foster Care Scam, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, Michael Murphy, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting on January 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ontario Children’s Aid and Misandry

Many men will attest to have seen a bias by CAS Protective Workers who are, it would appear, 95% female and some stridently feminist in their ideology. I can certainly speak to it, and can also say the local Algoma CAS and its sister organization Algoma Family Services, who deal with child mental health issues, have both shown me they care little about fathers. In one case a worker completely ignored my requests for help on the telephone and declared a conflict of interest so she could get out of providing service to me. I went over her head and finally got a supervisor to do her job.MJM

By Susan Longley


Please note concerns regarding  upcoming Ontario conference. (see OACAS web site).

A frightening trend in North American child welfare practice  is the growing alliance between child welfare services and those promoting anti violence against women (i.e. VAW sector).

This alliance has resulted in an increased denigration of male parents and general deterioration in efforts to address the best interests of children. The deeply rooted gender biased ideology of the latter sector remains deeply troubling and in complete  contradiction to male parents attempts to engage with child welfare services involved with their  children. This concern needs to be urgently addressed, partly to maintain service integrity but also to maintain an ethical stance towards families in general.

Male parents are frequently already marginalized from participating in services for their children. There is now an  increased propensity to isolate men even more so from their children’s lives. There remains a blatant contradiction between child welfare services who adopt the polemic and platitudes of the VAW sector. The child welfare mandate remains to enhance family life VAW sector is completely contradictory and opposed to such values.

It has become recently popular for child welfare services and VAW services to adopt certain kinds of inter agency protocols. These protocols are an embarrassment to child welfare practice in Canada. Blatantly unprofessional and academically dishonest theses protocols reflect misandric nonsense rather than legitimate protocol. These so called protocols must be abandoned and exposed for what they are. There are least two CASs in the Toronto region (see Peel CAS protocol with VAW sector)) have adopted such protocols. These agencies are allegedly family service agencies with no endorsement to promote such anti male rhetoric.

A review of these protocols disclose an incredulous gender bias which can only be described as sexism of the worst order. These professionally distasteful protocols are  written in total sympathy with VAW expectations with no accountability to the general public or their respective agency mandates. They contradict not only good social work practice but remain contradictory  to ethical guidelines established by their governing body  OASW.

These so-called protocols allege to address issues related to inter agency service provision and cooperation between public agencies but are in fact nothing more than an ideological treatise intended to alienate men further from appropriate child welfare practice.

These protocols refuse to acknowledges domestic violence in families other than that of men against women. Women remain the perpetual victim and men always the perpetrator. Any mention of domestic violence refuses to acknowledge  women ‘s violence against men. Programmes sponsored by child welfare services for children exposed to domestic violence ultimately define the perpetrator as male.

These protocols never hold women accountable for any acts of child abuse or inter personal violence. The identification of child abuse only mentioned in regard to men.  Any child welfare programmes delivered to “children exposed to family violence” refer to men only. Women are never identified as initiators of any domestic violence even when a so-called family agency is involved.

The suggestion that women may make false complaints regarding domestic violence in order to gain an upper hand on custody and access matters is not acknowledged. That women may fabricate or even lie is considered anathema.  The fact that women account for the majority of child abuse in not even mentioned. That VAW services and child welfare services advocate becoming increasingly involved in controversial custody and access matters remains extremely repugnant. The suggestion that child welfare services become more intrusive regarding access arrangements between children and their fathers is an outright abomination.

Please find a copy of a recent letter sent to Jeanette Lewis, Director of  the provincial OACAS (see web site) outlining my concerns regarding an anticipated conference involving Provincial Child Welfare Services and Violence Against Women Services. The purported agenda is to build understanding and cooperation between the two sectors. My cynical view, as previously suggested, indicates an alternate agenda. The VAW sector is given a further opportunity to impose a particular ideological gender politic on child welfare services.

“I notice with trepidation an anticipated 2010 Toronto conference co sponsored by Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies , The Ontario Women’s Directorate and various Violence Against Women programmes. The theme of the conference being the “Intersection of Women Abuse and Child Welfare Services.”

I was immediately troubled by the tone and wording of the conference details included in the call for papers especially given the propensity for child welfare services in Ontario and in general North America, to adopt a value preference embracing the practice of a certain feminist political and ideological agenda. A social work practice that has increasingly marginalized services to men and boys and a priori assumptions regarding male perpetrators and female victims.

I have outlined a few  of my concerns.
As many researchers have pointed out gender feminist theory has its limitations and family service agencies in particular must always be ethically accountable in providing services to both men and women especially where “best interests” of children are involved. One can already anticipate the usual presenters invited to provide discourse at such matters. It would be extremely naive to expect genuine debate or rational presentation between the sectors involved.  I will assume the usual feminist rhetoric and platitudes will rule the day.

Some academic  integrity needs to be maintained  and that the conference must reject any ideological and gender biased, misandric unbalanced research which has tended to place a certain anti male spin on issues related to woman abuse, child custody and other such politically charged issues.

There has been a long term feminist advocacy in this province (highlighted in proposals of the provincial domestic violence death review  panel and its recommendations ) to have child welfare services acquiesce to the values and political ideology of the violence against women sector.

This is viewed by many as a regressive and extremely ill advised road to go down. It is appears regressive for child welfare services in general, especially since their services have already become suspect for aligning themselves with principles that reject a family orientation and men in particular. Any child welfare services must be dispensed with fairness and remain gender neutral in practice.

I am concerned that any dialogue between CAS and VAW sectors becomes a mere “smoke screen” for advocating CAS become more feminized in their social work practice at the expense of academic and social work integrity. Not that the two sectors cannot collaborate on occasion and cooperate when appropriate in providing in shared client advocacy.


It seems vital and important to acknowledge the value differences between the two sectors and reject the propensity to gloss over the obvious political and ideological conflicts. It is imperative that these conflicts be clearly acknowledged and identified. This remains especially so in reference to mutual  protocols regarding advocacy and support of woman’s issues especially those issues related to custody access and the interaction between service providers regarding male clients and families in general .  It appears to me that the mandates of  the two sectors are severely different and are grounded in often opposed ideological principals. Just a few issues regarding the two sectors come to mind.

Definitions of Abuse and Victimization:

More stringent definition of abuse and victimization in general are required by both sectors. The CAS social workers remain accountable not only to the clients, the best interest of the child but also the court system especially when wards of the court are involved. What is considered abuse in the VAW sector cannot always be validated in the CAS sector.


CAS are obliged to involve male fathers and partners regardless if they have been identified as so called perpetrators or offenders.

Validation

The feminist principle of “validating” the “stories” of violence against women and children has always been troublesome for social workers in the CAS sector. Not to deny supportive advocacy for all clients (a basic social work value)  CAS social workers have always had to depend on not only “clients narratives” but also collaboration efforts to seek alternate sources of  information. The VAW sector do not require such gender neutral language of exploration and context for service. It appears that a higher standard of accountability and transparency is required.

Gender Bias / Male Clients and Partners:

Gender biased practice has been generally the order of the day. Given the long history of feminist advocacy many would argue that CAS have acquiesced far to willingly to certain  feminist theory at the expense of gender neutral practice. This must be recognised and the matter dealt with in an honest and forthright manner. Children’s best interest require addressing issues with both parents where possible.

CAS social workers when in court regarding children’s interests must prove that they have attempted involved both parents (and even other partners as defined as parents ) Fathers and or partners in a parenting role can never be ignored in CAS social work. The issues regarding custody and access assessments during divorce remains a highly contentious one, as do the issues related to counselling of couples where violence has occurred. Protocols regarding children’s access to both parents where domestic violence is disputed also remains highly contentious. These issues must be debated within the reality of both male and female experience.

Academic Research and Domestic Violence Findings:

The academic literature regarding domestic violence has and continues to be long dominated by a certain type of feminist ideology and both the  CAS and VAW sectors have been very much influenced in their practice by certain political views. This must change. The literature is much more divergent in findings and recommendations for practice than previously acknowledged. This is particularly so when discussing woman abuse and domestic violence. The divergent literature has always been available but to many practitioners who accepted certain dissident views were quickly rejected ostracized or threatened.

A modest appeal to Richard Gelles article January 2007 Family Court Review sums up these concerns regarding academic integrity with succinct clarity. Need I mention Don Dutton’s “Rethinking Domestic Violence.”


These are some of my concerns regarding the two sectors having authentic dialogue. This can only be achieved with honesty and respect. Some would also claim an appeal to rational discourse mixed with a modicum of intellectual integrity can also help.

Regards Susan

Fathers-4-Justice Sault Ste. Marie: Ontario Children’s Aid and Misandry.

House Divided: Hate Thy Father | Psychology Today

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Autism, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting on December 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm

House Divided: Hate Thy Father

In 1978, after Cathy Mannis and her future husband moved into the same cooperative at U.C. Berkeley, they ran into each other often. She was not immediately smitten. “I detested him at first, and I should have stayed with that feeling,” recalls Cathy Mannis of her now ex-husband. “He was overweight and always very critical. Then he lost weight, became cuter, and started paying attention to me. He was going to be a doctor and he seemed so trustworthy; he said he would never desert his family as his own father had done to him.” They started dating, and she ultimately cared for him enough to marry him. “I thought he’d be a good father, and I was dying to be a mother. I thought we’d have a good life.”

She worked full-time as a legal secretary to put him through medical school. She also bought the two of them a town house with money she’d saved before marriage. When she gave birth to a boy, Matt (not his real name), she was as happy as she’d ever been. Over time, she saw signs that her husband was cheating on her, but she always forgave him.

Their second son, Robby, was born autistic, and things went downhill fast. The boy had speech and learning problems and was frequently out of control. Her husband was appalled. “He’s dumber than a fish,” he said.

Still, they had one more child, Harry (the name has been changed), hoping to give Matt a sibling without Robby’s problems. Harry turned out normal, but he bonded most closely with Robby; they became inseparable.

When Cathy once again became convinced her husband was cheating—he inexplicably never came home one night—she finally threw him out. He filed for divorce before she could forgive him again.

Cathy was granted primary custody of the kids, and her ex soon married the woman he’d been seeing on the side. Because of all she had to do to help Robby as well as her other two kids, Cathy could no longer hold a full-time job. Meanwhile, her ex declared two bankruptcies and, at one point, even mental disability, all of which kept alimony payments to a trickle.

Eventually Cathy was so broke that her electricity was turned off; she and the boys ate dinner by candlelight. Then she became so ill she had to be hospitalized for life-threatening surgery. She had no choice but to leave the kids with her ex. “He promised to return them when my health and finances improved,” she says.

That was almost seven years ago. Her health has long since returned and she has a good job she can do from home, but the only child ever restored to her, despite nonstop court battles, was Robby. In fact, her ex got the courts to rule that the children should be permanently separated, leaving the other two children with him, since Robby was a “threat” to his younger brother’s well-being.

Through all those years, Cathy says she faced a campaign of systematic alienation from Matt and Harry. “When I called to speak to them, I was usually greeted with coldness or anger, and often the boys weren’t brought to the phone. Then my ex sent letters warning me not to call them at home at all. Whenever the kids came to stay with me, they’d report, ‘Dad says you’re evil. He says you wrecked the marriage.’ ” Then he moved thousands of miles away, making it vastly more difficult for her to see her children.

As time has passed, the boys have increasingly pulled away. Matt, now grown and serving in the military, never speaks to Cathy. Thirteen-year-old Harry used to say, “Mommy, why can’t I stay with you? All the other kids I know live with their moms,” before leaving visits with her. Now he often appears detached from her and uninterested in Robby, whom he once adored. His friends at his new home think his stepmother is his mom, because that’s how she introduces herself. “She told me she would take my kids, and she did. The alienation is complete,” rues Cathy. “All I ever wanted was to be a mom.”

Divorcing parents have long bashed each other in hopes of winning points with kids. But today, the strategy of blame encompasses a psychological concept of parental alienation that is increasingly used—and misused—in the courts.

On the one hand, with so many contentious divorces, parents like Cathy Mannis have been tragically alienated from the children they love. On the other hand, parental alienation has been seized as a strategic tool in custody fights, its effects exploited in the courtroom, often to the detriment of loving parents protecting children from true neglect or abuse. With the impact of alienation so devastating—and false accusations so prevalent—it may take a judge with the wisdom of Solomon to differentiate between the two faces of alienation: a truly toxic parent and his or her victimized children versus manipulation of the legal system to claim damage where none exists.

A Symptom Of Our Time?

Disturbed by the potential for alienation, many divorce courts have today instituted aggressive steps to intervene where they once just stood by. And with good reason: Alienation is ruinous to all involved. “In pathological or irrational alienation, the parent has done nothing to deserve that level of hatred or rejection from the child,” explains University of Texas psychologist Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex. “It often seems to happen almost overnight, and neither the rejected parent nor even the rejecting child understands why.”

Often, in fact, it’s the emotionally healthier parent who gets rejected, Warshak adds. That parent tends to understand that it’s not in the child’s best interests to lose the other parent. In contrast, the alienating parent craves revenge against the ex—then uses the child to exact that punishment. “It’s a form of abuse,” Warshak says. “Both parent and child are victims.”

House Divided: Hate Thy Father | Psychology Today.

NEW CAMPAIGN: Ask DSM to Include Parental Alienation in Upcoming Edition « Fathers & Families

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Jayne Major, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting on December 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Ask DSM to Include Parental Alienation in Upcoming Edition

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

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

Fathers & Families wants to ensure that the DSM-V Task Force is aware of the scope and severity of Parental Alienation. To this end, we are asking our members and supporters to write DSM. If you or someone you love has been the victim of Parental Alienation, we want you to tell your story to the DSM-V Task Force. To do so, simply fill in our form by clicking here.

Once you have filled out our form, Fathers & Families will print out your letter and send it by regular US mail to the three relevant figures in DSM-V: David J. Kupfer, M.D., the chair of the DSM-V Task Force; Darrel A. Regier, M.D., vice-chair of the DSM-V Task Force; and Daniel S. Pine, M.D., chair of the DSM-V Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence Work Group.

DSM V is struggling with many weighty matters and as things currently stand, Parental Alienation might not get much notice or attention. By having our supporters write to leading DSM figures, we hope to draw attention to the issue.

Again, to tell your story, click here.

Supporters can send letters to DSM until the middle of 2010. In 2011, DSM will be considering the issue. In 2012, DSM V will be written, and in 2013 DSM V will be published. When you write your letter, please:

1) Keep the focus on your child(ren) and how the Parental Alienation has harmed them.
2) Stick to the facts related to the Parental Alienation.
3) Be succinct.
4) Fill in all fields on our form.
5) Be civil and credible, and avoid any profanity or use of insulting language

Again, to write the DSM Committee about your story, click here.

Running these campaigns takes time and money–the postage and supplies alone on this campaign will be several thousand dollars. To make a tax-deductible contribution to support this effort, click here.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers & Families

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


Frequently Asked Questions about Parental Alienation

1) What is Parental Alienation?

Parental Alienation is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of divorce/separation and/or child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) of a parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent. Parental Alienation is also sometimes referred to as “Parental Alienation Disorder” or “Parental Alienation Syndrome.” To learn more, click here.


2) Most claims of Parental Alienation are made by divorced or separated fathers. When fathers have custody of their children, do they sometimes alienate them from the noncustodial mothers?

Yes, both genders can be perpetrators and victims of Parental Alienation, but those hurt the worst are always the children, who lose one of the two people in the world who love them the most.

3) Do fathers (or mothers) sometimes make false claims of Parental Alienation against mothers (or fathers)?

Yes. There are parents who have alienated their own children through their abuse or personality defects, and who attempt to shift the blame to their former spouses or partners by falsely claiming the other parent alienated the children from them.

4) How common is Parental Alienation?

Parental Alienation is a common, well-documented phenomenon that is the subject of numerous studies and articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. A longitudinal study published by the American Bar Association in 2003 followed 700 “high conflict” divorce cases over a 12 year period and found that elements of PA were present in the vast majority of the cases studied. Some experts estimate that there are roughly 200,000 children in the U.S. who have PAD, similar to the number of children with autism. To learn more, click here.

5) Opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation claim that abusive fathers often employ Parental Alienation as a way to wrest custody from protective mothers in family court. They’ve promoted several cause celebre cases in recent years as a way to garner public sympathy and political support for their agenda. Is their portrayal of these cases accurate?

No–most of these cases are being misrepresented by opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation. Examples include: Genia Shockome (publicized by Newsweek magazine and others); Sadia Loeliger (one of the alleged heroines of a 2005 PBS documentary called Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories; and Holly Collins (publicized by Fox News, Inside Edition and others.) In each of these three cases, opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation badly misrepresented the cases, turning reality on its head. To learn more about these cases, click here and here.

Despite this, opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation push for reforms which will make it easier to deny parents shared custody or visitation rights based on unsubstantiated abuse claims. They also push for laws to exclude evidence of Parental Alienation in family law proceedings. One example is California AB 612, a bill that a bill that would have prevented target parents of Parental Alienation from raising PA as an issue in their cases. In 2007 and 2009, Fathers & Families’ legislative representative Michael Robinson helped build a professional coalition to scuttle AB 612.

6) Opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation, as well as some mental health professionals, claim that Parental Alienation should not be recognized by DSM as a mental disorder. What’s Fathers & Families’ position on this aspect of the issue?

Many intelligent, accomplished mental health authorities do believe that Parental Alienation Disorder should be considered a mental disorder, but there are also credible experts who do not. DSM has accepted several relational disorders, such as Separation Anxiety Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and PAD is a typical relational disorder. Any target parent of Parental Alienation would certainly believe that his or her child’s sudden, irrational hatred constitutes some sort of a mental disorder. In Parental Alienation Disorder and DSM-V, numerous mental health authorities make the case for including PAD–to learn more, click here.

Dr. Richard A. Warshak explains:

PAS fits a basic pattern of many psychiatric syndromes. Such syndromes denote conditions in which people who are exposed to a designated stimulus develop a certain cluster of symptoms.

Nonetheless, Fathers & Families’ emphasis is not on these technical aspects of the issue, but instead on the harm Parental Alienation does to children. The malignant behavior of alienating a child from his or her mother or father after a divorce or separation is a widespread social problem which merits a much more vigorous judicial and legislative response.

7) How will children caught in Parental Alienation be helped if Parental Alienation is included in DSM V?

Inclusion of Parental Alienation in DSM V will increase PA’s recognition and legitimacy in the eyes of family court judges, mediators, custody evaluators, family law attorneys, and the legal and mental health community in general. Psychiatrist William Bernet says that adding PA “would spur insurance coverage, stimulate more systematic research, lend credence to a charge of parental alienation in court, and raise the odds that children would get timely treatment.” To learn more, click here.

8) What is the child’s part in PAS?

The child denigrates the alienated parent with foul language and severe oppositional behavior. The child offers weak, absurd, or frivolous reasons for his or her anger. The child is sure of him or herself and doesn’t demonstrate ambivalence, i.e. love and hate for the alienated parent, only hate. The child exhorts that he or she alone came up with ideas of denigration. The “independent-thinker” phenomenon is where the child asserts that no one told him to do this. The child supports and feels a need to protect the alienating parent. The child does not demonstrate guilt over cruelty towards the alienated parent. The child uses borrowed scenarios, or vividly describes situations that he or she could not have experienced. Animosity is spread to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.

In severe cases of parent alienation, the child is utterly brain-washed against the alienated parent. The alienator can truthfully say that the child doesn’t want to spend any time with this parent, even though he or she has told him that he has to, it is a court order, etc. The alienator typically responds, “There isn’t anything that I can do about it. I’m not telling him that he can’t see you.” (excerpted from Dr. Jayne A. Major’s Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome).

9) Are there varying degrees of Parental Alienation?

Yes. Dr. Douglas Darnall, in his book Divorce Casualties: Protecting Your Children from Parental Alienation, describes three categories of PA.

The mild category he calls the naïve alienators. They are ignorant of what they are doing and are willing to be educated and change.

The moderate category is the active alienators. When they are triggered, they lose control of appropriate boundaries.

In the severe category are the obsessed alienators or those who are involved in PAS. They are committed to destroying the other parent’s relationship with the child. In the latter case, Dr. Darnall notes that we don’t have an effective protocol for treating an obsessed alienator other than removing the child from their influence.

An important point is that in PAS there is no true parental abuse and/or neglect on the part of the alienated parent. If this were the case, the child’s animosity would be justified. (excerpted from Dr. Jayne A. Major’s Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome).

The Case for Including Parental Alienation Disorder in DSM V

Parental Alienation Disorder and DSM-V was written by psychiatrist William Bernet, M.D., Wilfrid v. Boch-Galhau, M.D., Joseph Kenan, M.D., Joan Kinlan, M.D., Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D., Richard Sauber, Ph.D., Bela Sood, M.D., and James S. Walker, Ph.D. In it, they make the case for including Parental Alienation Disorder in DSM V.

Their proposal was submitted to the Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence Work Group for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition in August of 2008. Below are some excerpts from their paper.

Bernet & Co. write:

Although parental alienation disorder has been described in the psychiatric literature for at least 60 years, it has never been considered for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). When DSM-IV was being developed, nobody formally proposed that parental alienation disorder be included in that edition. Since the publication of DSM-IV in 1994, there have been hundreds of publications (articles, chapters, books, court opinions) regarding parental alienation in peer reviewed mental health journals, legal literature, and the popular press. There has been controversy among mental health and legal professionals regarding parental alienation…

Regarding our proposed diagnostic criteria, we say that the essential feature of parental alienation disorder is that a child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a hostile divorce – allies himself or herself strongly with one parent (the preferred parent) and rejects a relationship with the other parent (the alienated parent) without legitimate justification. The primary behavioral symptom is the child’s resistance or refusal to visit or have parenting time with the alienated parent…

For purposes of this proposal, we are referring to the mental condition under consideration as parental alienation disorder (PAD). Depending on the context, we sometimes refer to parental alienation syndrome (PAS). Our primary criteria for PAD are the attitudes and behavior of the child, that is, the child essentially has a false belief that the alienated parent is a dangerous person and must be avoided. We reserve the word alienation for individuals with this false belief, whether the false belief was brought about by the alienating parent or by other circumstances, such as the child who avoids being caught between warring parents by gravitating to one side and avoiding the other side of the battle…

Bernet & Co. believe that PAD should be included in DSM-V for the following reasons:

Relational disorders are being considered for DSM-V, and PAD is an exemplar of this type of mental disorder.

Despite controversies regarding terminology and etiology, the phenomenon of PAD is almost universally accepted by mental health and legal professionals. Research indicates that PAD is a valid and reliable construct.

Establishing diagnostic criteria will make it possible to study PAD in a more systematic manner.

Establishing diagnostic criteria will reduce the opportunities for abusive parents and unethical attorneys to misuse the concept of PAD in child custody disputes.

Establishing diagnostic criteria will be helpful for: clinicians who work with divorced families; divorced parents, who are trying to do what is best for their children; and children of divorce, who desperately need appropriate treatment that is based on a correct diagnosis.

One of the important points that Bernet & Co. make is that PA is not new. They write:

The phenomenon of PAD has been described in the mental health literature for at least 60 years and the concept is almost universally accepted by psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers who evaluate and treat these children. Also, the concept of parental alienation is generally understood and accepted by legal professionals. The symptoms of PAD were described in the mental health literature long before Richard Gardner coined the term “parental alienation syndrome” (in 1985).

In 1949, Wilhelm Reich wrote in his classic book, Character Analysis, that some divorced parents defend themselves against narcissistic injury by fighting for custody of their child and defaming their former spouse. These parents seek “revenge on the partner through robbing him or her of the pleasure in the child. … In order to alienate the child from the partner, it is told that the partner is an alcoholic or psychotic, without there being any truth to such statements”.

In 1952, Louise Despert referred in her book, Children of Divorce, to the temptation for one parent “to break down” their child’s love for the other parent.

In 1980, Judith Wallerstein and Joan Kelly referred to an alliance between a narcissistically enraged parent and a particularly vulnerable older child or adolescent, who “were faithful and valuable battle allies in efforts to hurt and punish the other parent. Not infrequently, they turned on the parent they had loved and been very close to prior to the marital separation”.

Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee later discussed how court-ordered visitation can “be entangled with Medea-like rage.” They said, “A woman betrayed by her husband is deeply opposed to the fact that her children must visit him every other weekend. … She cannot stop the visit, but she can plant seeds of doubt – ‘Do not trust your father’ – in the children’s minds and thus punish her ex-husband via the children. She does this consciously or unconsciously, casting the seeds of doubt by the way she acts and the questions she asks…”

Bernet & Co. write:

In 1994, the American Psychological Association published “Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings”…the authors of the guidelines provided a bibliography of “Pertinent Literature,” which included The Parental Alienation Syndrome and two other books by Richard Gardner.

In 1997, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) published “Practice Parameters for Child Custody Evaluations.” This document, an “AACAP Official Action,” referred explicitly to “Parental Alienation” and said, “There are times during a custody dispute when a child can become extremely hostile toward one of the parents. The child finds nothing positive in his or her relationship with the parent and prefers no contact. The evaluator must assess this apparent alienation and form a hypothesis of its origins and meaning. Sometimes, negative feelings toward one parent are catalyzed and fostered by the other parent; sometimes, they are an outgrowth of serious problems in the relationship with the rejected parent”…

There has been an enormous amount of research on the psychosocial vicissitudes of children of divorced parents, including children with PAS. The most exhaustive single volume regarding PAS is The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome, published in 2006. More than 30 mental health professionals wrote chapters for this book, including authors from Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, England, Germany, Israel, Sweden, and the United States.

PAS was the focus of major national conferences in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, in 2002 and in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain, in 2008. A scholarly article by Warshak cited a list of references that currently numbers 213, most of which were published in peer reviewed journals (http://home.att.net/~rawars/pasarticles.html)…

We conclude that mental health professionals (taken as a group) and the general public recognize parental alienation as a real entity that deserves considerable attention.

How common is Parental Alienation, and how many cases are there nationwide? Bernet & Co. estimate that there are roughly 200,000 children in the U.S. who have PAD, similar to the number of children with autism. They write:

In general, PAD is more likely to occur in highly conflicted, custody-disputing families than in community samples of divorcing families. Even in highly conflicted divorces, only the minority of children experience PAD. The following studies indicate that approximately 25% of children involved in custody disputes develop PAD.

Johnston – in California – found that 7% of the children in one study and 27% of the children in a second study had “strong alignment” with one parent and rejection of the other parent. Kopetski – in Colorado – found that 20% of families involved in custody disputes manifested parental alienation syndrome. Nicholas reported that 33% of families involved with custody disputes manifested parental alienation syndrome, based on a survey of 21 custody evaluators. Berns reported a study of divorce judgments in Brisbane, Australia, and said parental alienation syndrome was present in 29% of cases.

The prevalence of PAD can be roughly estimated as follows. The U.S. Census Bureau says approximately 10% of children under age 18 live with divorced parents. Approximately 10% of divorces involve custody or visitation disputes. Approximately 25% of children involved in custody or visitation disputes develop PAD. Multiplying these percentages yields a prevalence of 0.25%, or about 200,000 children in the U.S. For comparison purposes, this prevalence is the same order of magnitude as the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders.

Bernet & Co. believe that “controversies related to definitions and terminology have delayed and compromised systematic research regarding [PAD]” and that “Establishing diagnostic criteria will make it possible to study parental alienation in a more methodical manner.” They write:

[Despite controversy] There is consensus among almost all mental health professionals who have written about parental alienation regarding the following: (1) PAD is a real entity, that is, there really are children and adolescents who embark on a persistent campaign of denigration against one of the parents and adamantly refuse to see that parent, and the intensity of the campaign and the refusal is far out or proportion to anything the alienated parent has done. (2) There are many causes of visitation refusal, and PAD is only one of them. (3) PAD is not the correct diagnosis when the child’s visitation refusal is caused by child maltreatment or serious problematic behavior of the alienated parent.

Dr. Richard A. Warshak makes the case for accepting PAD/PAS:

PAS fits a basic pattern of many psychiatric syndromes. Such syndromes denote conditions in which people who are exposed to a designated stimulus develop a certain cluster of symptoms. ‘Posttraumatic stress disorder’ (PTSD) refers to a particular cluster of symptoms developed in the aftermath of a traumatic event. … These diagnoses carry no implication that everyone exposed to the same stimulus develops the condition, nor that similar symptoms never develop in the absence of the designated stimulus. … Similarly, some, but not all, children develop PAS when exposed to a parent’s negative influence. Other factors, beyond the stimulus of an alienating parent, can help elucidate the etiology for any particular child.

Bernet & Co. add “We hope that the Work Group will not reject this proposal simply because of this 20- year-old argument about the concept, the terminology, and the criteria for PAD. There is no lack of controversy regarding conditions that are quite prominent in the DSM.”

Bernet & Co. also address the important issue of the misuse of PA/PAD. As we’ve often noted, claims of Parental Alienation can be used by abusive parents as a cover for their abuse, such as in the Joyce Murphy case.

More commonly, one parent may have damaged his or her relationships with his children due to his or her own personality problems, narcissism, substance abuse issues, erratic behavior, etc., but then, rather than assuming responsibility for his or her actions, instead blames the bad relationship on the other parent, under the rubric of Parental Alienation. Fathers & Families sometimes hears from parents, usually mothers, who say that they are being unfairly blamed for the deterioration of their children’s relationships with their former partners, who claim Parental Alienation. We believe that these are legitimate concerns.

However, as we’ve often noted, simply because false claims of Parental Alienation can and are made doesn’t mean that Parental Alienation doesn’t exist or isn’t a problem. Bernet & Co. believe that acceptance of PA/PAD by DSM V will “reduce the opportunities for abusive parents and unethical attorneys to misuse the concept of parental alienation in child custody disputes.” They write:

Having established criteria for the diagnosis of PAD will eliminate the Babel of conflicting terminology and definitions that currently occurs when parental alienation is mentioned in a legal setting. More important is that the entry regarding PAD in DSM-V will include a discussion of the differential diagnosis of visitation refusal. It will be clear that the clinician should consider a number of explanations for a child’s symptom of visitation refusal and not simply rush to the diagnosis of PAD. Also, it will be clear that the diagnosis of PAD should not be made if the child has a legitimate, justifiable reason for disliking and rejecting one parent, for instance, if the child was neglected or abused by that parent.

We believe that when everybody involved in the legal procedures (the parents, the child protection investigators, the mental health professionals, the attorneys, and the judge) has a clear, uniform understanding of the definition of PAD, there will be fewer opportunities for rogue expert witnesses and lawyers to misuse the concept in court. What really matters is whether PAD is a real phenomenon, a real entity. If PAD is a real clinical entity, it should be included in the DSM. If PAD is a real clinical entity, the possibility that the diagnosis will sometimes be misused should not be a primary or serious consideration.

They also note:

[T]he psychiatric diagnosis that is most misused in legal settings is posttraumatic stress disorder. In personal injury lawsuits, the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder in an alleged victim is used to prove that the individual actually sustained a severe trauma. Also, military veterans and workers’ compensation claimants sometimes malinger posttraumatic stress disorder in order to receive disability benefits. However, we are not aware that anybody has ever proposed that posttraumatic stress disorder should be deleted from the DSM because it is sometimes misused.

Recognizing PA/PAD/PAD will help children of divorce or separation. Bernet & Co. write:

Establishing diagnostic criteria will be helpful for: clinicians who work with divorced families; divorced parents, who are trying to do what is best for their children; and children of divorce, who desperately need appropriate treatment that is based on a correct diagnosis. According to Barbara-Jo Fidler, clinical observations, case reviews and qualitative comparative studies uniformly indicate that alienated children may exhibit a variety of symptoms including poor reality testing, illogical cognitive operations, simplistic and rigid information processing, inaccurate or distorted interpersonal perceptions, self-hatred, and other maladaptive attitudes and behaviors. Fidler’s survey of the short-term and long-term effects of pathological alienation on children reviewed more than 40 articles published in peer-reviewed journals between 1991 and 2007…

The authors of this proposal believe that if PAD were an official diagnosis, counselors and therapists from all disciplines will become more familiar with this condition. As a result, children with PAD will be identified earlier in the course of their illness while it is more easily treated and even cured. Also, if PAD were an official diagnosis (with clear criteria for the diagnosis and for severity of the condition), it will be possible to conduct coherent research regarding its treatment.

The Authors’ Proposed Criteria for Parental Alienation Disorder is as follows:

A. The child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a hostile divorce – allies
himself or herself strongly with one parent and rejects a relationship with the other,
alienated parent without legitimate justification. The child resists or refuses visitation or
parenting time with the alienated parent.

B. The child manifests the following behaviors:

(1) a persistent rejection or denigration of a parent that reaches the level of a
campaign
(2) weak, frivolous, and absurd rationalizations for the child’s persistent
criticism of the rejected parent

C. The child manifests two of the following six attitudes and behaviors:

(1) lack of ambivalence
(2) independent-thinker phenomenon
(3) reflexive support of one parent against the other
(4) absence of guilt over exploitation of the rejected parent
(5) presence of borrowed scenarios
(6) spread of the animosity to the extended family of the rejected parent.

D. The duration of the disturbance is at least 2 months.

E. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social,
academic (occupational), or other important areas of functioning.

F. The child’s refusal to have visitation with the rejected parent is without legitimate
justification. That is, parental alienation disorder is not diagnosed if the rejected parent
maltreated the child.

Send Your Letter to the DSM-V Task Force and Tell Them Your Story

To write your letter to the DSM-V Task Force, please fill out the form below. Fathers & Families will print out your letter and send it by regular US mail to the three relevant figures in DSM-V. When you write your letter, please:

1) Keep the focus on your child(ren) and how the Parental Alienation has harmed them.
2) Stick to the facts related to the Parental Alienation.
3) Be succinct.
4) Fill in all fields on our form.
5) Be civil and credible, and avoid any profanity or use of insulting language

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers & Families

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

NEW CAMPAIGN: Ask DSM to Include Parental Alienation in Upcoming Edition « Fathers & Families.

Parental Alienation Syndrome – PasKids.com

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

PasKids.com

Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Forum

Home Parental Alienation Articles Resources

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?

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

Gardner’s definition of PAS is:

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

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

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

Stages of Parental Alienations Syndrome:

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

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

Types of Alienators:

With PAS there are three types of Alienators:

Naive Alienator | Active Alienator | Obsessed Alienator |

Parental Alienation Syndrome – PAS.

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

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

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

Image from abdoukili.wordpress.com

Image from abdoukili.wordpress.com

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

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

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

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

Related posts:

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

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

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

    Sincerely,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Robinson is now Fathers & Families’ full-time legislative representative in Sacramento

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Violence, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Marriage, National Parents Day, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting on November 21, 2009 at 12:21 am

A Major Announcement from Fathers & Families

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

By Glenn Sacks, MA for Fathers & Families

In a move that will change the course of the family court reform movement, Fathers & Families has just hired two experienced, accomplished legislative representatives. Soon we will be launching campaigns in support of our family court reform legislation—to get involved, please click here.

California

Readers of www.GlennSacks.com are familiar with Michael Robinson’s work in Sacramento on family court reform legislation, and Robinson and I have often worked together. In 2004 and again in 2006, we helped scuttle two bills (SB 730 and SB 1482) that would have led to unrestricted post-divorce move-aways. This was an important victory for California’s children of divorce, and one that surprised many Sacramento insiders, including Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters.

Robinson and I also worked together to pass family law legislation to help military parents (SB 1082) and on shared parenting and domestic violence reform bills. In 2007 and again this year, Robinson helped build a professional coalition to scuttle AB 612, a bill that would have banned target parents of Parental Alienation from raising PA as an issue in their cases.

Robinson has also been instrumental in passing legislation on paternity fraud (AB 252 and SB 1333), noncustodial parents’ access to school records (AB 164), Collaborative Law (AB 402, AB 189, AB 3051), and protection for disabled veterans with child support obligations (SB 285). He helped create the COAP program, which allows mothers and fathers who are unfairly saddled with inflated, unpayable child support arrearages to settle them for modest cash payments.

Michael Robinson is now Fathers & Families‘ full-time legislative representative in Sacramento, and we will be introducing several family court reform bills into the California legislature in February. Starting soon, Fathers & Families activists will be meeting with legislators throughout the state. We want your participation–to get involved, please click here.

Massachusetts

Enzo Pastore, our new deputy director, has worked on health care reform legislation in Washington DC, Albany, NY, and Boston, MA for 15 years. Pastore designed and promoted model prescription drug legislation that was introduced in 27 states in 2001. He led a successful legislative campaign in New York in 2007 to fund special housing for senior citizens and the disabled. In 2005, he helped defeat a federal Bush initiative that would have drastically cut Medicaid funding and services.

In January, we will launch our campaign to pass HB 1400, the Massachusetts Shared Parenting bill, and Pastore will be spearheading our campaign.

Through Fathers & Families’ efforts, over one-quarter of the Massachusetts Legislature has expressed clear, public support for our Shared Parenting Bill, many of them signing on as co-sponsors. We gathered thousands of signatures to place shared parenting on the 2004 Massachusetts ballot and led a successful campaign for its passage, winning 86% of the vote. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told the Legislature that if they pass Fathers & Families’ Shared Parenting, he will sign it, and F & F recently met with Governor Patrick.

We need volunteers to meet with legislators, do media work, and help build our campaign–to volunteer, please click here.

Federal Legislation, plus Legislation in Texas & Many Other States

Robinson has worked with legislators and staffers in many other states on military parent legislation, and many states have passed bills modeled in part on SB 1082, the military parents bill we passed in California in 2005. These include: Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Mississippi, Alaska, Missouri, and others.

Robinson worked with Texas Senator Jane Nelson to pass SB 279, a bill to protect military parents’ custody rights which was signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry earlier this year.

Robinson worked with Mark Sullivan, Committee Chair of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association’s Military Committee, on the National Defense Reauthorization Act (HR 2647), which was signed by President Obama last month. The bill mandates that the Secretary of Defense produce a report on child custody litigation involving members of the Armed Forces, as well as international intrafamilial abductions of servicemembers’ children.

The Secretary of Defense will submit its report to the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives by the end of March. Robinson says:

“Fathers & Families can play a major role in the implementation of this legislation. We need to make sure that the impact isn’t watered down, that it’s powerful, not sugar-coated.”

This problem affects both fathers and mothers who serve. If you are a military mother or father whose custody rights have been adversely affected due to your service, we want to make sure your story is included in the Secretary of Defense’s report. To submit your story for inclusion, please fill out our form here.

Prominent Biotechnology Executive Mark Benedyk, PhD Joins Our Board of Directors

Dr. Benedyk is the head of The Pfizer Incubator, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc., the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. The Pfizer Incubator was initiated by Pfizer to support life science start-ups and to explore novel approaches to discovering new medicines.

Dr. Benedyk has over 15 years experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, where he has been involved in business development, product management, and corporate fundraising. His business strategy and fundraising skills will be invaluable for Fathers & Families, and we welcome him as our newest national board member.

What You Can Do

Experienced legislative experts like Robinson and Pastore cost money, as does the organizational work we do surrounding their efforts–please make a tax-deductible gift to support our important work by clicking here.

One very affordable way to help build Fathers & Families is to make a monthly gift–to do so, click here and enter an amount under “monthly contribution.”

The Family Court Reform Movement will not progress unless we engage in the political process on a professional level, as our opponents do.

Fathers & Families has the largest membership base, the highest media profile, the most funding, and now the best legislative advocates of any family court reform organization. The time to take this movement to a higher level is now, and it takes money to do it–please give generously by clicking here.

To volunteer to help, please click here.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers & Families

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

A Major Announcement from Fathers & Families | Glenn Sacks on MND.

Crystel Strelioff’s family; History of PAS

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, state crimes on November 20, 2009 at 4:30 am
November 18, 12:56 PMLA Family Courts ExaminerLaura Lynn

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PAS, Parental Alienation Syndrome knows no gender boundaries. You may not like the term PAS, but there is a behavior exhibited by some parents that cause the children to tell lies, and maybe even begin to believe those lies, about another parent.

There was some discussion about Crystel Strelioff, serving time for abducting her children. One of the children, now an adult, spoke at the Elkins Family Task Force Hearing in Los Angeles recently. He implied that his father had sexually abused him for 15 years while the court stood by.

I am certain tragedies like that do happen, but I am equally certain that in this particular case, there was no abuse by the father. The father had no contact with the son since 2004 and very little contact before that.

But, here is deposition testimony from court appointed evaluator Joanne Feigin in regards to Crystel’s brother Tim. The children’s names have been changed and their parent’s identity slightly veiled. Otherwise, this testimony is verbatim. There was no cross examination in regards to these statements.

Lawyer: At that time you interviewed the child again, this is since the last — since report number one, at that interview the child told you that his dad [Tim] told him to say to you “I want 100 percent with my dad and no time with mom”; is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

Lawyer: As a matter of fact, you state in your report on page 24 that the child clearly — you use the word “clearly” — indicated that his father had told him very explicitly — and you use the word “explicitly” –to talk to [Ms. Feigin] about his preference and what to say about it. Is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Later…about an anti-drug video made by Tim with the mother acting as the drug addict, a video given to Joanne Feigin by either Tim or Crystel’s mother Helen, given without the soundtrack and only an explanation they thought the mother was using drugs…

Lawyer: Now, also in report one, I’m just going to just hit on this because you testified to it, that Tim alleged that the mother was using cocaine; correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: He showed you a video which involved the mother?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: And I think you even stated in the report that the father was disingenuous and deceptive; is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: And that’s relating to the video?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

Lawyer: And how he labeled it?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

If Crystel’s family was showing this deceptive tape to the court appointed evaluator, who else did they show it to? The children?

And why, after this testimony, did the LASC commissioner transfer custody of the children from the mother to the father? Whether you call it PAS or just “lies told about one parent by the other parent”, isn’t this behavior that does not foster a relationship between both parents?

Crystel Strelioff’s family; History of PAS.

Mother Abducts Children; Is Punished! Father Gets Custody!

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, fathers rights, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting on November 17, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Men also abduct children, too. But Parental Alienation Syndrome is the pariah that hangs around the neck of twice as many moms that steal kids, still. Parental Alienation has nothing to do with “batterers getting custody” or “abusers stealing children” and the hysterical members of what we call the “pig pen” moan and whine about. No, Parental Alienation is a pattern of denigration that one parent uses to tear down and destroy the child’s relationship with the other parent – in 2 of 3 cases the father. That is primarily why the pigs are squealing.

Mother Abducts Children; Is Punished! Father Gets Custody!
Friday, November 13, 2009
By Robert Franklin, Esq.

It’s good to read a story like this one that actually makes sense (Courier News, 11/10/09). It’s not fraught with silly claims or absurd reasoning. No misinformation, no disinformation.

Back in April of 2000, a Kane County, Illinois judge issued an order in the custody case of two children of Crystel Strelioff and her ex-husband Brian Strelioff. From reading the article, it looks like the order gave her custody, him visitation and included a clause prohibiting her from moving out of the jurisdiction without prior court approval.

Crystel did exactly that, though, in 2004, when she moved to California with the children. In February of this year, a Kane County jury convicted her of four counts of child abduction and last Friday she was sentenced to three years in prison less 185 days for time served. She was also required to pay her ex-husband $73,340 in restitution. A family court judge has placed the only child who is still a minor in the custody of Brian Strelioff. A court psychologist described Crystel’s abduction as “a form of parental alienation” aimed at Brian.

How sensible. A mother abducted two children and was actually punished by a criminal court. A family court called the behavior what it was, “parental alienation,” and placed the child in the father’s custody. No one claimed phantom child abuse by the father. No one manufactured any statistics about men relentlessly menacing children. No expert witnesses explained how every act of maternal kidnapping is in some way justified. No one claimed, against mountains of contrary evidence, that parental alienation is a scam cooked up by evil advocates for fathers’ rights.

Think of it: a crime, due process, reasonable punishment and paternal custody.

It shouldn’t amaze me, but it does.
Lisa Scott’s RealFamilyLaw.com
Shared Parenting Advocate/Family Law Attorney Lisa Scott’s RealFamilyLaw.com exposes the truth about what is happening in our family law system. Lisa, the all-time leader in appearances on His Side with Glenn Sacks, says that she was “tired of having her stuff rejected by elitist bar publications and politically-correct newspapers” and decided to start her own website. RealFamilyLaw.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click HERE: for a definition of projection…

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

Wrong again, PEW!

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

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

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

Oh, burn!

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

Can you feel the love?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You bet your ass I am.

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

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

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

Here we go again… with the manipulation…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The conversation closed with S2…

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

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

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

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

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

Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome

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

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

Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome

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

3700 McTavish, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1Y2

Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Allegations of fabricated sexual abuse may be virtual.

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

3. Time heals all wounds, except alienation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Further research is needed.

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

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

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

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome.

What do family courts have to hide?

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Single Parenting on October 22, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Wednesday 21 October 2009


What do family courts have to hide?

Opening up UK family courts to the public will not lead to social worker witch-hunts, but to greater public trust.
Thomas McMahon

UK justice secretary Jack Straw has recently announced plans to open up the notoriously secretive family justice system to the public gaze. The Schools and Safeguarding Children Bill, due to come before parliament in November, will include provisions to allow the social workers involved in court cases to be named by the press, and to allow more substantial reporting of the substance of the case, rather than merely being permitted to report a case’s gist.

Straw has managed to provoke howls of outrage from those with vested interests in the current system, from the Family Justice Council to the judges, lawyers, social workers and academics who work in the relative obscurity of the family courts. They protested that revealing the identities of social workers involved in cases would potentially see them ‘named and shamed’, while fears have been raised that media intrusion would stop expert witnesses from coming forward or speaking their minds in full view of the public.

Let’s hope these fears are well-founded. It would certainly be beneficial if social workers began to think about how the public at large would react to their actions. And ensuring that experts are only prepared to present evidence for which they are happy to be held accountable is surely a positive.

It is precisely because the issues dealt with by the family courts are so personal and so sensitive that they should be subject to public scrutiny. We do not allow professionals to deal with other sensitive matters in private so why should we allow it in the case of family cases? We do not allow criminal courts to convict and sentence murderers and rapists in private, and those issues cause at least as much distress as those dealt with in the family courts. People can have their children taken away from them for good in the family courts. It is not right that the public is currently forbidden from scrutinising the evidence and rationale for family court decisions.

The consequence of keeping such decisions private is to drive a wedge between the public and the legal system, producing a deep sense of mistrust. There can be no doubt that the public support for Fathers 4 Justice, a fathers’ rights campaign group, was magnified by the widespread doubts raised about the opacity of the system that apportions custody of kids. It takes a fairly rare, and fairly strange, person to trust authority that operates behind closed doors. ‘What do they have to hide?’ is our reflex response.

The main argument against the new proposals is that giving the press greater access and reporting rights may produce witch-hunts and biased reporting against the professionals and witnesses. The case of Sharon Shoesmith, the ex-director of children services at Haringey council in London, is a prime example of this. Following the conviction of three carers for the gruesome death of 17-month-old Baby P in November 2008, Haringey children services came under fierce scrutiny for not spotting the many tell-tale signs of child abuse. It was Shoesmith in particular, with her face and salary plastered all over the newspapers, who bore the brunt of public revulsion.

However, what prompted people’s anger was not the failings of her department so much as her response to the media’s questioning. Her attitude was that she and her employees had simply followed guidelines, and therefore they had no need to apologise. This is the same attitude that lies behind the desire to keep family courts’ workings secret: a desire to allow the professionals to judge their own success and failure against yardsticks of their own making. Public opinion was repelled by the ‘computer says no’ amorality of Shoesmith’s self-justification and her refusal to take responsibility.

In general, people are more than capable of understanding that everyone makes mistakes at work, for the very good reason that most people have jobs. Whatever spasm of public anger may be directed at experts and professionals who fail will dissipate with time and debate. What will not be forgiven is the attitude that these people are not accountable to the community at large for their actions. They have been entrusted by us to deal with some of the most sensitive personal situations, situations that could arise in any of our lives. It is outrageous to deny us the right to publicly investigate the decisions, and it is this denial that causes the public to distrust the system and bring the knives out for the likes of Shoesmith.

Fears may also be raised of Daily Mail-style reporting – that is, a selective reporting of the facts to whip up public hysteria. Yet the privacy laws as they stand encourage irresponsible reporting. If only one side of the issue is ever put, it is far easier, and possibly justifiable, to present a biased account. Recently the Mail published a story about a Christian couple who were being prosecuted for offending a Muslim woman about her religion. The article presented only the Christian couple’s point of view, and a sentence to the effect that the Muslim woman did not wish to comment. This is the predictable result of refusing to allow the press to examine both sides of the story. The popularity of Fathers 4 Justice was provoked by ignorance rather than reasoned judgement: the public only ever heard the group’s point of view and distrusted the secrecy of the court system.

In any case, just as a lunatic railing against the fluoridation of water can only have any influence if he convinces more rational people of his fears, public scrutiny of the Daily Mail ensures that most people insist on other sources to gain a fuller picture. It may well be unpleasant to have your reputation dragged through the newspapers, but anyone who wishes to work in areas of such public importance should accept that as a part of the deal and trust the public at large to come to the just conclusion at the end. We will only trust the state when the state trusts us and allows us to trust one another, when public debate is understood as vital to the peace of mind of a healthy society.

Thomas McMahon is a freelance writer.

Previously on spiked

David Clements criticised plans for earlier state intervention in family life. In 2005 Josie Appleton interviewed Matt O’Connor, the founder of Fathers 4 Justice. Barbara Hewson looked at the problem with family courts. Or read more at spiked issues Parents and kids.

reprinted from: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/7597/

from:

spiked | What do family courts have to hide?.

Kids Understand Impact of Father Absence

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Single Parenting on October 22, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Kids Understand Impact of Father Absence

childA teacher named Patrick Welsh, frustrated by his all-black class’s performance on a test, asked, “Why don’t you guys study like the kids from Africa?” (Source)

Bold, yes? That’s what frustration can do to you. One student said, “It’s because they have fathers who kick their butts and make them study.” Another said, “You ask the class, just ask how many of us have our fathers living with us.”

According to Welsh, no one raised his/her hand.

Speculating about why racial preferences exist isn’t brain surgery. Whether arguing for compensatory justice or skin deep-only diversity, the truth is that in 2009, racial preferences exist because generally, blacks score lower on standardized tests than everyone else.

Embarrassed and probably feeling a little guilty, people use all kind of justifications for lowering standards to accommodate blacks. Before we can begin to tackle the issue, however, we must understand that family structure impacts performance.

“My students knew intuitively that the reason they were lagging academically had nothing to do with race, which is the too-handy explanation for the achievement gap in Alexandria,” Welsh writes in the Washington Post. “And it wasn’t because the school system had failed them. They knew that excuses about a lack of resources and access just didn’t wash at the new, state-of-the-art, $100 million T.C. Williams, where every student is given a laptop and where there is open enrollment in Advanced Placement and honors courses. Rather, it was because their parents just weren’t there for them — at least not in the same way that parents of kids who were doing well tended to be.”

The kids admit what academics try to avoid. Children with no father in the home perceive the lack of discipline and respectful fear an authoritative male instills. I agree with Welsh to a certain extent. He believes focusing on race is too simple, and that family support and involvement are important. And focusing on race can stigmatize black students, but it can’t be ignored. Three quarters of black babies in the U.S. are born into fatherless homes. Black students disproportionately are without residential fathers. For better or for worse, race must be part of the discussion.

It’s not the children’s fault. The blame rests solely on the parents. It will take a sub-cultural shift away from a 75 percent out-of-wedlock pregnancy rate toward stable, two-parent (preferably married) homes to improve the condition of these chidlren. As the article notes, school superintendents “have little control” over these issues.

What can the government do about fatherlessness? Practically speaking, nothing. Individuals must turn the tide.

Addendum: The Center for Equal Opportunity’s Roger Clegg blogs:

“Of course, [Patrick Welsh is] not alone, and there are more and more nonconservatives who are coming around to this view. Problem is, the problem isn’t getting any better. And it is still the case that this problem is unique among social pathologies, in that — unlike crime, drug abuse, dropping out of school, etc. — there remain a nontrivial number of folks who don’t see the problem as a problem at all.”

John Rosenberg of Discriminations echoes my view about the role race plays in this scenario, again, for better or for worse:

“The color of a father’s skin does not cause his absence from his family, nor does the color of a mother’s skin determine how strict she is about homework. Still, Welsh goes overboard in attempting to dissociate race altogether from the dysfunctional educational behavior he observes, if for no other reason than that there the percentage of black children in single-parent families is three times higher than whites. It is true that damaged families, not race, stack the deck against black kids raised in single families, but it is not true that their difficulty ‘has nothing to do with race.’”

Kids Understand Impact of Father Absence.

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

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

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

LONDON —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese Dads Trying to Start a Fathers’ Rights Wave There | Glenn Sacks on MND

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting, UNCRC, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on October 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm
Sunday, October 11, 2009

By Robert Franklin, Esq.

OK, so it’s worse in Japan.

As this article shows, Japanese divorce law, while nicely gender-neutral in its wording, results in mothers being the overwhelming majority of custodial parents after divorce (Fox News, 10/8/09).  The real difference between Japanese divorce law and that of the U.S. and other western nations is that, post divorce, only one parent is permitted custody.  That is, there’s no “joint custody,” which in the U.S. typically means one parent with physical custody and the other with visitation rights.

And it should come as no surprise that, in Japan, the parent with custody is the mother in 90% of cases.  That leaves fathers who want a relationship with their children and children who want a relationship with their father out in the cold.  From what the article says, neither seems to have any rights to contact with the other.  One father discussed in the article, Masahiro Yoshida, asked a family court for visitation rights with his daughter and was turned down.  Post-divorce family law places the power to grant or deny father-child contact squarely in the hands of the mother.

Now, that may seem like merely the official version of what happens unofficially here in the U.S.  Indeed, at first blush, it’s possible to say that the Japanese are just more honest than we are.  They prefer maternal custody.  Period.

We, on the other hand, make many plaintive bleats about connecting fathers with children.  We occasionally even acknowledge that children are better off with two parents than one.  But then we turn around and give primary custody to mothers 84% of the time.  (Is that so different from the 90% maternal custody in Japan?)  We make a show of granting visitation to fathers, but then don’t enforce the orders.  So children are denied their fathers just as surely as in Japan, just more hypocritically.

And that’s just one of many ways that we too place almost all power over children in the hands of mothers.  From conception through age 18, any single mother with two brain cells can manage to keep a child from its father legally and without too much effort.

But in fact, even the U.S. seems to be ahead of Japan in fathers’ rights issues.  Fathers here are becoming more assertive about their rights and courts are starting to listen.  The huge mass of sociology about the benefits of fathers to children is becoming more widely known and acknowledged.  The words “equally shared parenting” are becoming common too.

Fathers in Japan are starting to get the message.  As the linked-to article says,

Yoshida has banded together with other divorced fathers to form a support group, one of several that have sprung up in recent years.

A few lawyers and lawmakers have showed support for their cause. A bar association group is studying parenting and visitation arrangements in other countries such as Australia.

That’s a long way from an effective movement, but with the rest of the industrialized world moving in the direction of greater protection for the father-child bond, can Japan be far behind?

Japanese Dads Trying to Start a Fathers’ Rights Wave There | Glenn Sacks on MND.

How Governments Lie about Domestic Violence. | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on September 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm
Monday, August 17, 2009

By Amfortas

Several brilliant expositions have been written about the complex web of lies and corruption that have been inserted insidiously into America through such Acts as VAWA, the Family Law and Child support agencies working in turn through an unholy alliance between Federal and States governments.

A network of misandric, biased, criminal ‘Shelters’ has covered the land with a new and vicious corruption at grass-roots level, purportedly to ‘assist’ women but in fact act as a conduit for corruption and criminality.

I only have to mention Professor Stephen Baskerville’s ‘Taken into Custody’ work for many at MND to understand. Or Professor Carey Roberts’ exposes.

But little gets written about other Anglophile countries. How much is known in MRM circles and outside in the MSM about the corruption in the UK, for instance.

I would like to set some facts down about another, Australia, a huge, continental nation with a very modest population where leftist governments have dominated the various States and now are in control Federally. This wonderful land has been infected with the virus of feminist corruption to the detriment of government, law, Institutions and families, men and women.

The rationale for all of the pertinent Law, the hysteria, the draconian legislations is Domestic Violence.

The most horrendous lies are told about DV. And people seem to believe them. They have been persuaded.

Deliberately Lying about Domestic Violence in Australia.

I am indebted to a Senior Australian Public Servant who must remain anonymous, for some crucial parts of this long and detailed blog entry.

Pick up almost any newspaper on any given day and you will most likely find a by-line claiming: “Statistics show …”; “new survey finds …”; or, “new study proves …”. Often accompanied by embellishments such as “shocking”, “appalling”, and so on.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than on the subject of gender relations and in particular the emotionally charged subject of domestic violence, or it’s substitute “family violence”.

It is about neither of course.

It is all about women.

Hysteria is carefully stage-managed.

Only lip service is paid to the idea that males might be victims, and then, we are told, they deserve it anyway.

Let me be clear from the start. I do not like domestic violence, just as I do not like muggings, murders, rapes, armed robberies, cats and dogs lying together etc. But rarely is there any need for muggings to be blown out of proportion by including in their statistics the asking for an ice-cream, even when a tantrum follows a ‘no’.

The panic and hysteria generated by falsified and invented Domestic Violence statistics does far more damage to society and to men and women’s relations, than the very small amount of Domestic violence that exists and which is blown completely out of proportion.

Australia does not collect unified data on Domestic Violence. Not directly. Figures get lifted out of context from a variety of ‘official’ documents.

Where do you think they come from?

The most widely cited statistics on the subject in Australia is the Women’s Safety Survey, published in 1996 , that repeats American claims, “One in four women experience domestic violence, within their lifetime”.

There was no Men’s Safety Survey.

The bias was there even before the survey was designed.

It was another ten years, 2006, before a further more inclusive Safety survey was conducted.

This article looks at this biased, anti-male 1996 Survey and other sources which have driven Public Policy in Australia.

I will also show the 2006 survey in some depth and reveal the government’s response.

One in Four Women Abused.

This American claim of ‘One in Four’ ubiquitously applied to most female claims of outrage, first surfaced in the left-wing Feminist Ms Magazine in the 1970’s after a deliberately doctored survey about rape using a self-selected sample of its anti-male readers.

One in Four is a ‘super-term’. It is akin to an hypnotic chant that robs people of control over their thoughts. It is applied to almost anything to do with women.

Being given a glass of wine before sex constituted rape according to that travesty of a survey, commissioned by Ms and conducted by a misandric feminazi ‘Professor’, Mary Koss.

A considerable broadening of what constitutes domestic violence and sexual assault was demanded by feminists in America to access the gravy train of the Violence Against Women Act, (VAWA) and the left-wing President Clinton, the well known sexual assaulter of young women employees, complied.

Clinton sought to make reparation to his feminist harridan of a wife for his own sexual incontinence by punishing every man in America.

He was assisted in this by the then Senator Joe Biden, now the Vice President, an aptly named position for such a twisted mind – who explained how he used to be beaten-up by his sister when he was young, and was making his own Kow-Tow to her continued ‘advice’. Which no doubt was ‘Do it MY way, or ELSE’.

Biden was an architect of VAWA. He cared not for violence against men and may well be a masochist by nature.

VAWA opened the door to a widespread and mendacious catalogue of innocuous behaviours being classified as ‘assault’ and DV in a flood of Advocacy Research.

People in other western countries will recognise the same dirty fingers in the pie-charts of their own bogus and mendacious advocacy research underpinning their own Government Policies.

The “Women’s Safety Survey” (WSS) findings, which uses this sleight of hand, underpins Australian Government policy and legislation in every Australian state jurisdiction – with the exception of Victoria, which now evidently claims that “one in five women are victims of domestic violence”.

This apparently suggests that women would be much safer if they all moved to Victoria. Maybe it is something in the Victorian air.

No “study” is of much value until it has been subjected to peer review. This hasn’t occurred in relation to the Women’s Safety Survey. For a number of reasons, there is an urgent need for independent and thorough research and review.

The WSS study was released under the imprimatur of the Australian Bureau of Statistics but was in fact a creature of the bureaucratically powerful Office of Status of Women which commissioned and directed the survey.

There was significant consternation reported at that time in relation to complaints, by ABS officers – that they were being “bullied” into undertaking unprofessional, and methodologically flawed “advocacy research” – research which is designed to prove the existence of something, whether it exists or not.

Several Executive level officers of the ABS were later ‘re-located’ to ‘re-education’ roles

The notion that one in four women are suffering from domestic violence is alarming and conjures images, at the very least, of black eyes and bruises occurring on an appalling scale.

But it is a lie.

How many Australian’s would know that the survey included such largely irrelevant questions as “Have you ever received an obscene phone call?” .

A phone rings and no one is there. Bogus fear is conveniently generated from a neurotic mind.

Tick the box.

Another sexual assault.

Yeh. Pig’s arse !

It beggars belief that questions like this formed the bulk of the survey.

It has barley any relevance to domestic violence at all.

But…. It’s another male-damning statistic.

But the Office for the Status of Women did not stop there. The determined harridans were intent on spin to beat all spin.

How many would know that the survey report blurred the fact that some 27 per cent of respondents were actually reporting violence caused by other women?

Heck, that’s just over One in Four !

It must have been men that made them do it.

Believe me, you can be convinced.

In fact, you have been.

There were many other seriously disturbing aspects to this survey. For example, it also involved only voluntary participation, which is a key source of survey bias – just as in the Ms magazine survey – as it attracts participants who may have a vested interest the subject matter, a factor that can dramatically skew the results.

In the desired direction, of course.

And, it was a “life incidence” survey, thus inviting the recitation of some event far off in both time and in memory.

The failings of human memory with the passage of time is well recognised by our legal system, which, with very few exceptions, refuses to admit evidence that has been muddied by time and with no corroboration.

Forty years and a bitter divorce can change a memory from someone merely “pushing away” into “he threw me down the stairs”.

Who is there to contradict?

No evidence was even sought.

The law recognises the frailty of old memories but our ever -increasing victim culture does not.

Society would not entertain the concept that someone is currently considered to be a “road accident victim” based on a minor bruise they had incurred in a vehicle accident 20 years ago.

Nor would we necessarily put much faith in a 20-year-old version of how the accident occurred.

Yet this is precisely what such surveys on domestic violence increasingly attempt to encourage for society to accept as reality, current and relevant for domestic violence and assault.

When citing the “one in four” statistic, some domestic violence literature conveniently leaves out the phrase “within their lifetime”, giving a false impression of immediacy; that one in four women are victims, right now, on this very day.

Think about that.

Every shout-at, telling-off, even smack on the legs when we were five years old being counted so that everyone has been the ‘victim’ of abuse.

Moreover, the Women’s Safety Survey did not overtly and clearly say that one in four women were victims of “physical” domestic violence, but included a range of other non-physical and both potentially and actually non-violent behaviours that were then re-classified as “domestic violence”.

It covertly implies it is all physical violence.

A man not handing over his pay-packet to his wife is ‘economic DV’.

No mention that it demanding his wages is extortion.

Him answering that ‘Yes’ her bum does look fat in those jeans, is ‘verbal DV’.

It ‘demeans” and is therefore ‘violent’.

An argument between a couple with both shouting is HIM being violent.

She is simply defending herself by ‘communicating’.

Advocacy research has taken over much of what passes for academic and ‘official’ date collection.

It sets out to provide ‘proof’ for a conclusion already held. It supports a Prejudice.

Why do you think that anyone would want to go to the time and effort to do that?

Show me the Money.

Domestic violence literature, when citing such advocacy research survey findings characterise the one in four statistic as referring to physical violence.

The leaflets handed out by the self-declared socially-conscious commercial retail chain, “The Body Shop”, being a case in point.

It manipulates. It attracts. It drew wannabee socially conscious women customers in to buy fragrant soaps and candles, to ‘support victims of domestic violence’.

Domestic Violence lies sells women’s products.

“After you have been beaten by an unappreciative man, you poor victimized woman, you need to pamper yourself. You deserve it.”

“Oooh, let me have some of those candles, you poor thing, I am a victim, too. Honest.”

“Is that right. Could you take a minute to fill out this survey while I wrap these for you”.

Such ‘women’s goods’ shop chains have no shame in ripping off women by appealing to ‘support for victims’.

Even refugees from Torture and Trauma are roped in. The Refugee resettlement organisations in Australia get Government funds which are then siphoned off to run ‘joint’ appeals with such women’s goodies retail outlets for ‘raising consciousness’. And getting women to fill in surveys.

They only mention women refugees of course. The maimed men do not get to take part. It makes for a fine week’s boost to turnover and the private company ‘bottom line’.

It gets women’s votes too.

Domestic violence literature across the board not only blurs the past with the present but blends quite different and sometimes relatively innocuous behaviours with the abjectly violent, in order to incite a widespread impression that physical domestic violence against women is currently running rampant and unchecked in our community.

The survey gives an Australian flavour to the increasingly Internationalised American charade of a law, the Violence Against Women Act, brought in by the American Cultural-Marxist group, the National Organisation of Women, and pushed through by the efforts of the current American Vice President, Joe Biden.

Such a gender biased law has gobbled up Billions of dollars of American taxpayers money funneled to women’s groups; with nothing at all to male ‘victims’.

Australia is behind with the Dollars but then it is a much smaller tax-base. It is just Hundreds of Millions. With the Global Economic Crisis upon us, it will catch up with some Stimulus Packages for the girls, be sure. Kevin Rudd’s ‘working families’ have had their day and the non-working, single-mother families are on the increase.

No prizes for guessing why.

Right now in 2009 our Great leader, Chairman Mousey Kev is announcing a massive increase in Grants to women. More to the Violence against Women mantra. Our Equality Chairwoman (!) was doing the Press round appearing on TV in July 2009 to rally the media at the weekly Press Club broadcast.

Here we are in the middle of the worst recession, supposedly, since the demise of the Mickey Mouse Club and the girls want what is left of the money.

But, no worry. Chairman Kev will sell the children’s future to pay today’s women.

It buys votes.

Women’s votes.

The Office for the Status of Women is a vast black hole into which taxpayer’s money is poured. It exists soley to benefit Government and the powerful female bureaucrats that run the show, none of which has ever seen a glass ceiling.

The Office channels Policy like Shirley MacLain channels 5000 year old Egyptian Gurus.

A beneficiary has been the Health Departments both Federal and State that have had billions of dollars funneled into ‘Women’s Health’ while dregs are given to men.

But I digress.

The mendacious nature of the now ubiquitous term domestic violence, which brings under its one heading a range of non-physical behaviours is of primary concern. The nuances of context and intensity are increasingly lost in a determined re-interpretation of any kind of marital disagreement, into a paradigm of male “perpetrator” and a female “victim”.

It breaks traditional families apart.

We see a lot of street behaviour that we might regard as offensive or verbally aggressive but in the absence of a physical assault (whether major or minor) we don’t classify it as violence per se.

Yet domestic violence researchers seem to almost salivate over a positive response to, “Has your partner ever yelled at you?”

Tick!

Another female domestic violence victim.

Another man-damning statistic.

Although, “Did you yell back?”, is conveniently never asked.

No one asks the chap of course.

Do you feel like yelling yet?

The WSS surveyed 6000 odd carefully selected women and no men at all.

Gross, dishonest, Gender-biased sampling marks this survey.

Ambiguous and irrelevant questions litter it.

Subterfuge and bribery marks its collection.

Bias runs throughout the findings.

It drives a biased, anti-male Un-Australian Industry that expropriates Public Monies and supports commercial interests.

It drives prejudiced and bigoted Government Policy.

The survey does not like to stand out like a sore thumb as the only data. Let’s look at the other common sources of dodgy data misrepresented by our feminist-driven Government, to convince the Australian public that we have an epidemic of Family Violence which is attributed solely to evil Australian men.

Lies build upon lies.

More lies convince better than just one.

Let us take a look at intervention orders issued by the lower courts as a source of bogus “statistical evidence” of the “magnitude” of domestic or ‘family’ violence.

Let us also will look at Police records of DV ‘Incidents’ and how they are not at all what they seem. Or what the general public is told.

Let us look at the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program which is also misrepresented to the detriment of men and the advantage of the DV Industry.

Wrong and often bogus statistics are deployed, with an apparent intention to deliberately mislead.

Add Wing of Bat and Eye of Lizard to the Pot

Having looked at the uncorroborated, biased and manipulated Women’s Safety Survey let us look now at Intervention Orders and how they are manipulated too.

Most “finalised” intervention orders are finalised simply because they are uncontested. That is, the male “respondent” is persuaded (often bullied) by court officials, such as Deputy Court Registrars, into signing up for a “final” or “permanent” order rather than contest the allegations in court.

The lower courts don’t want any more congestion if it can be avoided.

Men are manipulated. The Bat’s-wing.

Convincing a bewildered “respondent” to sign up for the permanent order on the basis of a “By Consent, Without Admissions“, is not particularly difficult, especially if a solicitor has already advised him that it could cost up to $10,000 if he goes to court.

And further, that he will most likely lose.

The Burden of Proof is laid on the defendant, not the accuser. Proving a negative is plain impossible.

The legal test is not “beyond reasonable doubt” but merely the “balance of probabilities”. This is a very weak civil law test in the context of penalties that could ultimately imprison a respondent, and certainly dispossess him of his assets.

This happens in Tasmania where the ironically misnamed ‘Safe at Home Act’ ensures that male arrest is automatic with no bail on simple female accusation.

He loses access to his home and children and even loses his job because he cannot prove he didn’t do what he didn’t do. Magistrates are badgered by the Safe at Home Act and are increasingly fearful of bad publicity if a violent act should possibly subsequently occur.

As it is quite possible. The catalyst for possible subsequent violence, ironically, is often the faked restraining order allegations in the first place and the trauma of being hauled into court often for the first time in his life. The magistrates are as aware as anyone of the adage, “Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb’.

In this instance is ‘hang him just in case he has his eye on a lamb’.

When you are convicted of something you didn’t do, on a false allegation you cannot disprove, you may well want to earn your punishment.

So much for “justice” and the fading jurisprudential notion of the “presumption of innocence”.

Whether a female complainant was ever genuinely fearful or merely a perjurer and liar is more often than not un-explored. And if it is questioned at all, with due compassion and concern for the ‘victim’, the diluted “balance of probabilities” test still renders such findings questionable.

Domestic violence literature increasingly proclaims that domestic violence is a crime. Quite so. Therefore, in any legal action, the criminal law test of “beyond reasonable doubt” should be applied.

It never is.

Given the growing understanding that intervention orders are regularly used as a tactical weapon in achieving favourable custody and property outcomes in subsequent Family Court proceedings, a count of intervention orders as a measure of “violence against women” is virtually meaningless.

Yet such statistics are used for precisely that.

I sat in the Hobart, Tasmania, Family Court and listened as a ‘fearful’ 27 y/o ex-wife of four years marriage accused her poor sod of a ex-husband of 62 from whom she had taken three quarters of his lifetime’s assets, of murdering her previous boyfriend – who in fact had been deported as an illegal immigrant – and of being an International Terrorist. He had been in the Israeli army on National Service 30 years before.

The Judge said she was being ‘fanciful’. No charges of perjury were laid and no investigations ordered for such heinous crimes, And she was awarded the children. Of course. ‘Just in case’.

Over the course of the following three years that man was arrested seven times and spent four nights in jail. He was hospitalized twice. He was arrested on one occasion after she accused him of assault. He had leaned on her car.

Another domestic violence statistic.

Always added, never subtracted when disproven. No one tries to seek truth. It was disregarded at his Court case that he has been run over by a horse and buggy and has a damaged back. He leaned because he was in pain.

Tough.

Which brings us onto the Eye of Lizard.

Another statistic commonly cited by an increasingly frenzied domestic violence Industry is the number of POLICE CALL-OUTS to domestic or family violence ‘Incidents’.

Whether the “incident” involved verbal disagreement between husband and wife or an act of actual violence, we would never know. It is merely noted as an “incident”.

In fact, if the protagonists were two 14 year old brothers arguing on the front lawn that too, would be noted on the official records as a domestic or family violence incident.

These records of “incidents” are then inevitably fed into the ever-swelling “conduit” of statistics that ultimately produces headlines that purport, “alarming new data shows domestic violence against women running out of control”.

The police in any region know who the violent families are. They attend the same people time and time again. The vast majority of citizens are not violent and do not have ‘domestic violence’ in their homes and families.

But when one family chalks up 25 ‘Incidents’ in three months, and 200 families account for 2000 Incidents, it is made to appear that ten times as many men are guilty than are.

The women never are guilty of course. They are made out to be 2000 victims.

The end result is then ever-increasing public funding to combat the ever burgeoning horror of violence against women. Nobody ever delves deep enough to examine how many of these police reported “incidents” actually involved a physical violence or threat of violence or indeed whether a woman was even present at the time.

Leg of Cane-Toad too.

Few if any newspapers or TV ‘expose’ shows ever investigate the amount of public funding to any organisation that puts itself under the “domestic violence umbrella” or else you will instantly understand why this has become a publicly funded “industry” of vast size.

The Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) is yet another supportive source of statistics on so-called “family violence”.

The SAAP gives priority to ‘battered women’.

Love that phrase.

What the SAAP data does not show however, is how many women were encouraged to falsely claim that they were fleeing family violence, or indeed what the nature of the “violence” was, so that they could receive the priority treatment gravy train.

A recent Canberra Times article, lamenting the lack of affordable low cost public housing for poor families, featured a couple with young children who were forced to live in a caravan. A “housing worker” was quoted as suggesting to the mother, “If there was family violence, you could get a house straight away”: i.e. claim you are a female victim and the “world is your oyster”.

Male victims need not apply.

He would not be allowed in her ‘priority’ house.

Using SAAP data as a measure of violence against women is badly flawed because it can be and is misconstrued – again with an apparent deliberate intent – to reflect a statistic illustrating the number of women and children fleeing family violence.

In fact, at this point you might care to watch a short video on just where so much ‘family violence’ actually originates –

Everyday Family Terrorism

http://soundcloud.com/christian-j/everyday-family-terrorism

And while you are in the mood to consider if woman are perfect and blameless and do not ‘do’ anything that could be called domestic violence, try this, from just days ago –

From the Associated Press’ Official: Wedding Fire Was Criminal Act–Kuwaiti Newspaper Says Groom’s Angry Ex-Wife Started Deadly Blaze:

Kuwaiti authorities have apprehended the person suspected of setting fire to a wedding tent and killing 41 people and said Monday the motive was personal. Local newspapers reported the groom’s ex-wife was the arsonist.

Whoops, sorry. Not an Australian statistic there. Unless she seeks refugee status and pops into the Body Shop for some scented candles. Back to Aussie homeless.

SAAP data, in fact, often reflects the large number of homeless men who being so frequently dispossessed by individual chicanery, destructive, psychotic women and Family Court excoriation, are seeking emergency accommodation. They do not get priority of course.

By both omission and commission, Australia is being sold a very gross and socially dangerous statistical lie – one that is serving only the interests of its creators, and those legions who have so readily signed up to the fictional notion that every fourth female face we see each day is secretly living in stark terror and fear of “family violence”.

So, What is the Truth.

Some women unfortunately are victims of ‘family violence’, let’s admit as evidence and acknowledge the fact.

1.2% are according to a rare example of independent University research by Bruce Headly and Dorothy Scott of Melbourne University and David De Vaus of La Trobe.

But that was a non-self-selected, random sample.

1.2%. This tiny percentage, well below the oft cited 25%, needed first aid, so bad was the violence they had experienced at the hands of a domestic partner.

And so did some men.

The same research shows 1.8% for men needing first aid.

A full 50% higher.

Even smaller percentages of both needed a doctor’s attention. But again more men than women. 1.5% men vs 1.1% women.

Moreover, the Headly, Scott and De Vaus summary measure of experiencing a range of forms of assault fails to reveal any preponderance of assaults on women:

4.7% of the sample reported being assaulted ‘in some way’ during the last 12 months; 5.7% of men and 3.7% of women. Not needing any attention to damage though.

They had had a shouting match and called each other naughty names.

Again, that is over half as many men more than women. And so far below the mythical 25%, the 1:4, terribly, awfully suffering women, as to make a total rejection of feminist lies.

What must be untangled – so that effective measures can be put into place – is the real incidence of such violence from the bogus statistical misrepresentations that are serving an entirely different agenda.

The critical issue about DV is all too often overlooked completely; it’s low experience in the community.

  • · 94.4% of people reported in Headly et al, being neither perpetrators nor victims of violence.
  • · 2.5% report both assaulting and being assaulted.
  • · 2.1% report being assaulted but not committing assault.
  • · 1.0% report assaulting their partner but not being assaulted.

No signs at all of 1:4 or 25% anywhere.

This Independent research showed clearly that DV affects a miniscule proportion of the population, and on every measure but one men suffered greater domestic violence from women than women did from men and in greater percentage numbers.

The one measure?

She calls the police far more often.

The mantle of mass victimhood casts a long and very dark shadow that too often conceals the very location of the destruction of truth and where propaganda is given the oxygen for its blowtorch.

The Federal Government spent $73 million on television adverts showing only male perpetrators and only female victims.

Sheer AgitProp.

THAT is domestic violence.

You paid for it with expropriated taxes.

The advertising camapign was labeled “propaganda against men” with many men criticising its negative and blatantly false “stereotypical portrayals”.

One notable Australian commentator described it as ‘the worst piece of deliberate Government black propaganda against a biologically distinguishable group ever seen outside of Nazi Germany”.

Almost all political tyrannies have their origin in segregating societies into the conceptual equivalent of “good and evil”, “angels and demons”, “victims and perpetrators”. “Four legs good, two legs bad”. There is never a middle ground

“Male equals perpetrator”, “female equals victim”.

When liars are afoot in society, in power, their first weapon of choice is statistical “proof” to provide convincing lies.

One has to wonder why intelligent, moral men and women in Australia put up with this. Men are demonized but say little to protect their Reputations and their legitimate interests.

Women’s legitimate interests have been hi-jacked by a clique of destructive, Marxist-Feminist women who spread blatant lies on their behalf, expropriate public monies and claim a bogus high moral ground.

It would be generous to think that this manipulation and bias was just the result of incompetence. But as we can see there is something far darker behind it. It is corruption. It is deliberate.

It is statistical corruption; fiscal corruption; political corruption.

As a result of that bogus 1996 survey, and with the ongoing manipulation and misrepresentation of the three other ‘Official’ statistics discussed above, women fear walking in the street, especially at night. Every husband is regarded as a potential wife-beater. Funds flow to women’s groups.

Domestic Violence advocacy was the fastest growing Industry of the decade following, employing thousands in ‘jobs for the girls, paid from taxpayer expropriations

The Truth is out there – somewhere.

I mentioned before that an Official but Independent and reliable survey needs to be done to establish valid figures for Policy determination.

Following the row between the Women’s Office and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over Feminist manipulation and bullying, the ABS conducted it’s own survey.

It took ten years to get around to it, mind you.

The results were very different to the bogus ones of the Office for the Status of Women, despite their continued attempts to interfere and manipulate.

The Australian Government has ignored the more relevant ABS findings under pressure from those same feminists who continue to exercise undemocratic control.

The ABS to manage to do a more reliable examination in 2006 which tried to show the truth. At least it didn’t leave out an entire gender this time.

Once again, however, the Feminists managed to interfere and manipulate, and I will show you how. I also show how you can delve into the data collected to bring the Truth into the light of day.

The ABS Personal Safety Survey finally emerged in 2006 and sampled BOTH genders – for a change.

Have a good look at it.

And along with its appearance, the statistical myths and fabrications of feminist’s victimhood, and women’s class oppression , and claims of an epidemic of violence against women – were able to be immediately exposed and contradicted

But the silence was deafening.

Have you heard of the Personal Safety Survey or its findings?

No?

What a surprise. !

Have you heard of 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence?

Of course you have.

The silence didn’t last of course as it was soon replaced with a $73 million Government advertising campaign based on the old false results appearing on TV sets nation-wide.

It was like sticking fingers in women’s ears and having them chant “lalalalalala; Men, bad; Women, victims”.

The survey reveals a picture of what any rational person should have assumed about life simply by observation of the world around them and their day to day existence in it.

The survey reveals what most people should have known or should have suspected about the facts of social violence –

it is men rather than women who have the most to fear regarding their personal safety.

It further reveals that the perpetrators of violence, in all their ugly forms and diversity, are not just men, and that the domain of perpetrators includes a significant percentage of women.

There are few surprises in this survey other than it seems to have been conducted with appropriate propriety and adherence to statistical principles.

Almost.

A refreshing breath of almost-fresh air given the lies and spin of so many preceding studies and surveys conducted on this subject.

But before delving into some its facts and figures, there are a couple of points that should be clarified about the survey itself.

As surveys go, it seems to have been done fairly responsibly but with some clear prior interference. It encompassed a sizeable sample of the population – 16,300 adults in total, about 0.1% of the Australian adult population – so its findings could be seen to be a reasonable reflection of what’s really going on in Australia today.

That’s 2 and a ½ times the sample size of the feminist’s survey.

However, for some reason you will instantly recognise, nearly three times as many women were surveyed than men – 11,800 women compared to only 4,500 men.

What a surprise !

The feminists just cannot help themselves, can they?

Ask yourselves; there are 50% women and 50% men in our society. There are usually one man and one woman in a domestic couple.

OK. There are sometimes two men together, and two women together, but rare.

So why a sample that is 75% women and 25% men?

It is better than 100% women and 0% men, as in the 1996 survey, but still only a little better. Half a loaf.

Men’s experiences of personal safety are not deemed as valid as those of women. Did they expect that women’s experiences of violence would be more valid, diverse or significant?

Or was it simply a matter of funding as is implied in the survey’s notes?

Funding controlled by feminists in the bureaucracy?

You get the Report; read it carefully and make your own mind up. Read the notes.

Whatever the reason for it, and there is no fair or justifiable stance that could possibly be taken for this glaring discrepancy, the question remains, why were men relegated to being less than second class respondents?

No one has provided an answer.

You can go figure it for yourself, but perhaps we can hope this imbalance will be addressed in any further surveys where the sex of the respondents is relevant.

For now though, when digesting the results, it must be understood that sample distribution bias still exists .

In fact, in some cases, reflected in the ABS tables, annotations have been made by the statisticians indicating that the data may be of questionable reliability.

Why would that be?

Why would the ABS warn about its own data?

I will tell you in a moment.

Given the importance and far reaching social implications of this survey, this restriction of men’s experiences is a travesty of their rights as taxpayers and citizens of the nation.

Especially as it turns out from the survey results that men are the most severely affected members of society where personal safety and violence are concerned.

This treatment of men is a clear statement by the Government that they see Australian men as being second class and less important than the women of the nation.

Yet, in the Liberal’s defense, – they had achieved Government by then – it must be argued that they are the first and so far only government in Australia to include men in such a survey at all.

Previous Labor governments, which had presided over the totally bogus Women’s Safety Survey, simply didn’t care about the safety of men and only ever conducted safety surveys for women.

This development in itself is at least some consolation for Australian men and was a positive step forward.

Now, the reason for the annotated questioning of the reliability of the data, especially about the men.

You see, the other glaring concern about the production of this ABS survey was the sexist exclusion of men as interviewers.

100% of the interviews were conducted by women.

Only women were employed as interviewers.

No men.

By order of the Feminist bureaucracy.

It is important to realise that by using ONLY female interviewers, it is likely to have led to an underreporting of spousal and partner violence against men by females and an over-reporting of men’s violence against women.

In a national survey of this significance, one could have at least expected squeaky-clean adherence to equal-sex political correctness.

Hah!

Pig’s Arse !

Despite these sexist anomalies the survey reveals for the first time, much important information about personal safety, and the victims and perpetrators of personal violence.

It is a subject, which has long been obscured by the murky fog of feminist advocacy. Prejudice and proving prior expectations have ruled such research.

But against the odds, this survey has revealed and has exposed the feminist lies.

The following statements, derived directly from the ABS survey, are just the initial findings and a fuller investigation by YOU, yourself, of the finer detail is encouraged.

Do not simply take my word.

I will compare the freshly published data to the often-quoted rhetorical statistics of feminist propaganda – and remember this, these are official Australian government research figures and not some trumped up, biased, ideologically prejudiced University Women’s Studies data or those of some politically or gender- biased NGO.

Those rhetorical stats use the 1:4 comparison device, or the ‘per second’ and per day and per week device to hide the real numbers which would look as small as they actually are.

It sounds so much better to say that two women a week are killed by husbands – as the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK is fond of spouting – than to say that 102 women out of a population of 30 million are killed annually by nutters.

Two per week generates more hysteria than 0.00034%

And of course the feminists never tell you that 94 UK men per annum, nearly but not quite two men per week are killed by female spouses.

Facts – the ABS survey has revealed that –

In Australia, men are more than twice as likely as women to be the victims of violence and are being physically or sexually assaulted or threatened, at the rate of up to 2 incidents per second

Women are not the victims of family (domestic) violence anywhere near as often as the quoted 25%, 1 in 4, – nor even 1 in 10, – nor even 1 in 20, but actually 1 in 50

That is to say, 2%

2%

Women are not being raped and sexually assaulted every 26 seconds, as claimed by the Feminists of the Office for the Status of Women, nor even every 90 seconds, as other feminists frequently claim, but are in fact experiencing rape hardly at all.

And even when combined with the lesser sexual assaults, it is at a rate 91% less than that which feminists have previously claimed.

Look at that another way. Feminist claims are exaggerated by at least 10 times.

And this includes both reported and all unreported incidents ‘discovered’ by the survey interviewers.

The ratio of female vs male family (domestic) violence victims in a home is not 99:1, with men very rarely assaulted and women bashed daily, nor 95:5, nor 75:1, nor even 50:1, but is actually …… 2:1

And some of the women are being assaulted in the ‘domestic’ sphere by other women.

These statements above are all calculated from the ABS survey data without corruption. Look at the figures.

Of course there will be some deviation from the survey compared to real life figures, just as in all studies – always read the fine print of surveys – but, remember, nearly three women were interviewed for every one man.

The data for men may have been tainted by the use of only female interviewers, some of whom may even have been staunch feminists, – show me a woman who claims she isn’t and I will show you a lonely one – and together with the sample number bias, resulting in underreporting of men’s experience of family violence as victims.

Let us look closely at some other interesting statistics –

During the previous 12 months in Australia, that is, in 2005,

6.5% of males were physically assaulted.

And 3.1% of females

That is 1 in 15 men compared to 1 in 32 women.

Conclusion: Women are safer.

Attempted or threatened physical assaults were against 5.3% of males and just 2.1% of females.

Conclusion: Women are 2.5 times safer from threats and attempts than men are.

Women can expect greater safety than men can.

There isn’’t a bogeyman down every dark street looking for a woman to assault.

The bogeyman is too busy assaulting men.

In the sexual assault area beloved of feminists and the source of fright, alarm and horror – and endless expropriated taxes for agitprop – the survey indeed finds the figures swing to women being more likely to be sexually assaulted than men are.

But the figures are lower still.

Not 1 in 4 women.

Not 25%, as reported in the bogus Women’s Safety Survey.

It is just 1.6%

1 – point – 6 – per cent reported being sexually assaulted.

Did you hear that? 1.6 %

That’s 1 in 62. Not 1 in 4.

And MEN are sexually assaulted too. 0.6 %.

Threats and attempts at sexual assault are even lower.

0.5% for women and 0.1% for men.

98% of women are perfectly safe and not even under threat of sexual assault.

Sexual assault on women, and even on men, is very low.

Not that such a F.A.C.T. fact makes headlines in the newspapers.

It doesn’t sell.

It doesn’t sell ‘stuff’ like scented candles and soap in the Body Shop.

Why are women being deliberately frightened by the Government?

YOU have to ask your MP.

Deliberately Frightening Women: Neglecting Men.

In conclusion, what does all this mean?

It means that Australia as a nation is the first in the Western world to undertake a survey of adult personal safety and violence based on the sex of the community.

It has both massive and broad implications for social scrutiny and the politics of sex and violence. It stands as a precedent for further world development and application.

It also has immediate application to other Western societies. Australia, being a contemporary Western nation has been subjected, more or less, to the same political influences over the last half century that have been experienced by the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand and arguably most other European nations.

The data recorded would be directly applicable to other Western societies, more or less and may be quoted as a being from a highly reputable source.

The results of this survey should be seen as the first authoritative sample of non-advocacy research on the issues of Western social violence and in particular, inter-gender personal violence.

The results are both revealing and deeply informative.

Revealing about the incorrectness of previously published feminist advocacy research – and subsequent government information too – and informative about the dire state of violence perpetrated against men in modern civilised Western societies.

The data also provide the basis for a requirement for Western governments to become focused on the safety standards of its men as a top priority and to begin to recognise that there are serious deficiencies in its treatment of men in society.

The survey also amplifies the ludicrous state of Western government’s pursuit of highly expensive anti-violence campaigns and legislation for the least affected victims of personal violence – women – whilst a much more serious problem of violence exists and is being waged against its men.

It also establishes facts that require governments and anti-male NGOs in Australia to immediately rewrite their literature and websites which state false and misleading statistics about personal violence, and in particular, men as overwhelmingly family violence perpetrators. They are not.

The data shows clearly that in the home, in the family, 98.5% of men are safe, law abiding, indeed loving, protective and caring husbands and fathers.

It should also lead to an immediate nation-wide reassessment of family relationship management and Family Law values.

But don’t hold your breath.

It’s no wonder that feminists, the government and the mainstream media in Australia have been so quiet about the release of this new survey.

It exposes a huge raft of feminist baloney, lies and deceptions.

The silence also shows that the Government is deliberately frightening women.

The Government wants women to be frightened of men.

And the media is in the Government’s pocket.

Yes, the truth is out – and out there – somewhere.

But have YOU seen it? Have YOU heard it?

You have now.

This is amfortas.

Ask, Who does the Grail Serve.

This is a written adaptation of three podcasts that I made recently with my colleague, Christian J. Perhaps you might listen to them and send them to others.

Do not waste this long post.

Copy it. Send it on.

Deliberately Lying about Domestic Violence in Australia. Pt.1.

http://soundcloud.com/amfortas1/amfortas-christian-j-lying-about-domestic-violence-part-1

The ‘women’s Safety Survey’ was “uncorroborated, biased and manipulated” ‘Advocacy research’ orchestrated by the Office for the Status of Women and passed off as Bureau of Statistics report. It caused an enormous row, says MRA Amfortas. Manipulated definitions and hysterical claims copied from America made innocuous behaviour criminal. DV sells commercial products to women and expropriates public funds for the fastest growing ‘Industry in Australia.

Deliberately Lying about Domestic Violence in Australia. Pt.2.

http://soundcloud.com/amfortas1/amfortas-christian-j-lying-about-domestic-violence-part-2

Three other sources of ‘official’ data which are routinely manipulated and presented to support DV lies are analysed by Amfortas and compared to Independent University research which completely contradicts the ‘official message’.” It would be generous to think that this manipulation and bias was just the result of incompetence. But as we can see there is something far darker behind it. It is corruption. It is deliberate.”

Deliberately Lying about DV in Australia. Pt.3. The Truth is out there – Somewhere.

http://soundcloud.com/amfortas1/amfortas-christian-j-the-truth-is-out-there-somewhere

Christian J narrates how the 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey completely contradicted the Government’s 1996 survey. He also points to the attempts by feminist bureaucrats to manipulate by having ONLY female interviewers to bias the results. Results show women twice as safe as men. The Government has thrown a blanket of silence over it. Feminists maintain an undemocratic stranglehold, expropriating public monies for their anti-male ‘Industry’.

Try also.-

Everyday Family Terrorism

http://soundcloud.com/christian-j/everyday-family-terrorism

“When Momma ain’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy”. Amfortas and Paul Elam show how domestic violence and a lot worse are often caused by ‘controlling’ women who are willing to destroy their families to have their own way. Dr Eric Berne’s ‘Games’ are described including the major cause of broken families, the “Let’s you and Him Fight” strategy which uses the Police and Family Courts.

Notes

http://www.mensrights.com.au/page13y.htm

http://www.australian-news.com.au/domestic_violence_statistics.htm

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN AUSTRALIA: ARE WOMEN AND MEN EQUALLY VIOLENT?

Headly, Scott and De Vaus

http://www.kittennews.com/mag/2006/maxponti_06_01_abs_personal_safety_study.htm

Australian safety survey kills feminist distortions
Max Ponti

Stumble It!

How Governments Lie about Domestic Violence. | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory.

How Governments Lie about Domestic Violence. | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory.

Why Custody Labels Matter

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on September 21, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Most family lawyers in Ontario likely received at least one telephone call from a distraught client this winter following the series of national newspaper articles on parental alienation. Many of my clients called with a self-diagnosis: they were clearly “being alienated.” A handful of helpful clients clipped one of the articles out of the paper and mailed it to me personally. Sadly (but somehow not surprisingly) many of my clients had the pleasure of receiving a copy from a former spouse.

The dialogue surrounding alienation has caught the attention of not only the family law community, but also the public at large. Amidst the flurry of attention that it has garnered, we need to reflect on the reality that alienation does not occur in a vacuum. It exists as one of the many problems that lawyers, judges and other helping professionals face when confronted with a high-conflict family.

Although many issues surrounding alienation are hotly contested, it almost always occurs in the context of high-conflict families following a separation. High-conflict families exist and interact in a state of perpetual dysfunction and disorganization, which leads to further emotional and psychological strain.

Alienation or not, high-conflict families are not able to manage their interactions and communication at any level. They require, sometimes on a daily basis, the assistance and intervention of lawyers, judges, doctors, social workers and other helping professionals. They fight about travel, schooling, tutoring, soccer and music.

Tragically, in spite of the significant efforts made to identify and address the causes of conflict in post-separation families, we are confronted with not a decrease but an increase in high-conflict cases, including more alienating parents and alienated children. One of the major problems we face in dealing with high-conflict families arises from the major shift over the last ten years in our attitudes about identifiers and basic concepts of custody and access.

Structured definitions have become passé in the past decade, joint custody or label-free settlements have been considered by many to be the norm and requests for sole custody have become almost politically incorrect. This shift in attitudes is a result of a variety of social and political developments that have fundamentally altered the language of and attitudes about post-separation parenting roles across Canada.

In 1998, the Joint Senate House of Commons Committee on Custody and Access released its report, “For the Sake of the Children.” The report was the result of a political compromise reached when the federal child support guidelines were in the Senate and Senator Ann Cools imposed her fathers’ rights agenda on the process. The report suggested an increased emphasis on the maximum contact principle, a movement away from the language of “custody and access” and a presumption of joint custody in every case.

Although not adopted as law, the report and the fathers’ rights agenda have been highly influential on the public, legal and judicial mindset. There has been an increased preoccupation in custody and access litigation with elevating the maximum contact principle through the language of shared parenting.

Clients often feel pressured by mediators, mental health professionals, judges or their own counsel to agree to joint custody. “Just give it to him and the conflict will end;” “Why would you object?” and “Nothing will change anyhow; you will still make all the decisions in a practical sense” are the common arguments. I have said these things myself. When respected authorities put this kind of pressure on individuals who are already quaking under the emotional and financial costs of conflict, the result is pretty much assured: joint custody or label-free “deals.”

Sometimes spouses agree to these arrangements because they hope that conflict will abate if the other spouse’s role is ratified. Sometimes they believe that there will be few changes to the reality of the parenting roles and that a little joint custody label will not change that. In high-conflict cases, another compromise has been joint custody with the appointment of an arbitrator or parenting coordinator to assist with decisions that cannot be made jointly. Unfortunately, these rationales and compromises are almost always flawed.

Australia adopted radical new custody and access legislation in 2006 that established mandatory mediation of all custody cases and imposed a presumption of joint custody. The result has been  increased conflict and custody litigation. This lesson translates to the issue of labels. Joint custody mixed with arbitration/parenting coordination can often create a forum for increased or continuing conflict by allowing access to a person who can be called, day or night, to referee issues that might actually not arise, or might get resolved naturally, if that opportunity for accessible conflict was not there.

Label-free arrangements can also lead to ongoing conflict and difficulty with third parties. Teachers, doctors and immigration officials require more than the language of “shared residency” or “parenting time.” In practice, many require opinion letters about what the terms mean, or refuse to take direction from one parent because they are unsure. In abduction and jurisdictional issues, the absence of custody can be devastating to an enforcement or Hague Convention proceeding. Police enforcement can also be very challenging without labels that everyone understands.

Sometimes the label the parties have put on their arrangements also matters to judges. In mobility cases, we are instructed by the Supreme Court to give the views of the custodial parent “great weight.” What is a court to make of a label-free parent, or the one who acts as a primary or sole parent but carries the label of joint? Or, when joint decision-making fails or parties become exhausted by parenting coordination, a material change is required and the judge wonders why he or she should change the former agreement, which the parties must have thought was in the best interests of their children at the time they settled.

While it is true that we all had good reasons and lofty ideas when we moved away from structured concepts, we need to re-examine these ideas in the context of high conflict cases. Parents and children who are embroiled in conflict need the certainty and stability that traditional concepts provide. Labels matter.

Martha McCarthy is a certified specialist in family law and the recipient of the Ontario Bar Association 2007 Award of Excellence in Family Law. She operates a boutique family law firm located in downtown Toronto.

http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&volume=29&number=19&article=2

A World Without Courtship is a World of Divorce

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Moms, Single Parenting, Sociopath on September 18, 2009 at 11:13 pm

A World Without Courtship is a World of Divorce

by Colleen Hammond on September 17, 2009

A Washington Post column with real world statistics showing that there’s a lot of damage to people and society in 20-somethings’ sexual wasteland.

Full column here.

There is a segment of society for whom traditional family values are increasingly irrelevant, and for whom spring-break sexual liberationism is increasingly costly: men and women in their 20s.

This opens a hormone-filled gap — a decade and more of likely sexual activity before marriage. And for those in that gap, there is little helpful guidance from the broader culture. Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, argues that the “courtship narrative” in the past was clear: dating, engagement, marriage, children. This narrative has been disrupted without being replaced, leaving many 20-somethings in a “relational wasteland.”

The casual sex promoted in advertising and entertainment often leads, in the real world of fragile hearts and STDs, to emotional and physical wreckage. But it doesn’t seem realistic to expect most men and women to delay sex until marriage at 26 or 28. Such virtue is both admirable and possible — but it can hardly be a general social expectation. So religious institutions, for example, often avoid this thorny topic, content to live with silence, hypocrisy and active singles groups.

In the absence of a courtship narrative, young people have evolved a casual, ad hoc version of their own: cohabitation. From 1960 to 2007, the number of Americans cohabiting increased fourteenfold. For some, it is a test-drive for marriage. For others, it is an easier, low-commitment alternative to marriage. About 40 percent of children will now spend some of their childhood in a cohabiting union.

How is this working out? Not very well. Relationships defined by lower levels of commitment are, not unexpectedly, more likely to break up. Three-quarters of children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents split up by the time they turn 16, compared with about one-third of children born to married parents. So apart from the counsel of cold showers or “let the good times roll,” is there any good advice for those traversing the relational wilderness? Religion and morality contribute ideals of character. But social science also indicates some rough, practical wisdom.

First, while it may not be realistic to maintain the connection between marriage and sex, it remains essential to maintain the connection between marriage and childbearing. Marriage is the most effective institution to bind two parents for a long period in the common enterprise of raising a child — particularly encouraging fathers to invest time and attention in the lives of their children. And the fatherless are some of the most disadvantaged, betrayed people in our society, prone to delinquency, poverty and academic failure. Cohabitation is no place for children.

Second, the age of first marriage is important to marital survival and happiness. Teen marriage is generally a bad idea, with much higher rates of divorce. Romeo and Juliet were, in fact, young fools. Later marriage has been one of the reasons for declining national divorce rates. But this does not mean the later the better. Divorce rates trend downward until leveling off in the early 20s. But people who marry after 27 tend to have less happy marriages — perhaps because partners are set in their ways or have unrealistically high standards. The marital sweet spot seems to be in the early to mid-20s.

Third, having a series of low-commitment relationships does not bode well for later marital commitment. Some of this expresses preexisting traits — people who already have a “nontraditional” view of commitment are less likely to be committed in marriage. But there is also evidence, according to Wilcox, that multiple failed relationships can “poison one’s view of the opposite sex.” Serial cohabitation trains people for divorce. In contrast, cohabitation by engaged couples seems to have no adverse effect on eventual marriage.

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A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother’s Heartbreaking Memoir of Parental Alienation

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting on September 17, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Parental Alienators are both mothers and fathers.   Children suffer the effects of hateful moms and dads who keep children away from the other parent.  Parental Alienators FAIL the MMPI-II at it is time for us to codify this mental illness in the DSM-IV. – Parental Rights

Presented as the story of an “indefatigable mother’s fierce love,” Pamela Richardson’s A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother’s Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Dundurn 2006) is a memoir of losing her son, Dash, during an eight-year custody battle, then ultimately to death. With an introduction by a “divorce and custody consultant” named Dr. Reena Sommer, this harrowing tale of domestic strife attributes the estrangement of Richardson’s son to “Parental Alienation Syndrome” as triggered by the cruel and insidious “brainwashing” of her son by her ex-husband. Published in the wake of Richardson’s ex-husband’s death, A Kidnapped Mind could have educational value for anyone who cannot imagine the prolonged treachery of an ex-spouse. The Vancouver author formerly worked as a minor television personality before marrying her second husband.

A Kidnapped Mind

A Kidnapped Mind

BOOKS:

A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother’s Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Dundurn 2006). $24.99 1-55002-624-0

[BCBW 2006] “Advice”

A Kidnapped Mind (Dundurn $24.99)
Review

“Agents now tell their fiction-writing clients to write narrative non-fiction, compelling stories of autism, alcoholism, abuse and Alzheimer’s (and we’re not even through the A’s).” — Martin Levin, books editor, the Globe & Mail

A Kidnapped Mind (Dundurn $24.99) by Pamela Richardson with Jane Broweleit and Walking After Midnight (Raincoast $32.95) by Katy Hutchison both fall into the category allegedly recommended by literary agents [see quote above]. They are compelling non-fiction narratives that revolve around turbulent teenagers.

Pamela Richardson’s story begins when her former husband gains custody of their four-year-old son. As a criminal lawyer, his legal knowledge and his influential friends enabled him to sway the presiding judge. Although this is a highly subjective first person account, written after the former husband and son have died, it seems clear that Richardson’s depiction of the arrogance and blindness of the judicial system has some foundation.

Judges persisted in favouring the father, in spite of evidence of his alcoholism and neglect. Their rulings were bolstered by reports by court-appointed psychologists who recommended that the child remain with his father even while they acknowledged the
father had “a drinking problem” and suffered from Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. From the beginning, he used the child as a means of tormenting his former wife, obstructed her legal access, and poisoned her relationship with her son.

Some brave friends testified to the father’s misdeeds while many others (including one of the mother’s lawyers) backed off, allegedly intimidated by his threats of violence. When the courts belatedly recognized the damage facilitated by earlier decisions, it was too late.

Court decisions can be reversed but not the years of damage they have caused. Richardson brought in experts on Parental Alienation Syndrome and used her considerable wealth in a last desperate attempt to force him into rehab programs. She never gave up the battle for her son, but she was helpless to prevent his downward spiral. At the age of sixteen he jumped to his death from the Granville Street bridge. The book-jacket description of this story as “heart-breaking” is no hyperbole.

ABCBookWorld.

Because Lying in the Family Court is Child Abuse | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on September 16, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Because Lying in the Family Court is Child Abuse

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

By Amfortas

The Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, Diana Bryant, has recently launched an extraordinary attack on Australia’s internationally regarded 2006 Family Law amendments, by writing to the Attorney-General and asking him to urgently repeal important provisions within the amendments.

According to Ash Patil, President of shared parenting group Fathers4Equality, “These provisions in the family law act were specifically implemented to reduce the epidemic of false allegations and parental alienation that permeate every corridor of the Family Law Courts, to the clear detriment of the innocent children caught in the cross-fire.

But Bryant wants them removed, and fails to explain how the innocent victims of maliciously false allegations would be protected without them.

James Adams adds, “What is more astonishing it seems is that unlike the parliamentary committee that recommended these laws in the first place, the Chief Justice has not consulted widely before making such an extraordinary intervention (in fact she has not consulted with any fathers’ groups at all).

Rightly or wrongly, Bryant will now be perceived to have compromised views on this issue, denying her the opportunity to have played a unifying force in the process of family law reform in this country, much like the wasted opportunities of her predecessor.”

The two provisions Bryant wants specifically removed include:

*the order of costs, at the Judge’s discretion, against a parent who has been proven to have “knowingly” made false allegation in Court,

and

*unspecified actions, at the Judges’s discretion, against a parent who has purposely alienated or deliberately maligned the children against the other parent.

The importance of these provisions Patil explains.  ”These provisions have been specifically implemented to reduce the disturbingly common practices by some separated parents in making contrived and sinister allegations in Court against the other parent, and to otherwise engage in concerted efforts to destroy the relationship between the child and the other parent. This is done knowing full well the children will be irrevocably harmed in the process, both psychologically and emotionally.

Yet it goes on and will continue to go on given human nature, unless we have laws to help it stop.

“So these are ‘good’, modest provisions designed to stop misguided parents from misusing the system and abusing innocent children”  were introduced only after extensive community consultation.

According to Adams “These provisions were agreed to by a bi-partisan parliamentary committee (both Labor and Libs/Nats) that went around Australia canvassing the views of all Australians for over two years.

Finally this committee was so appalled at the extent of institutional abuse in the Family Court that it recommended measures to protect innocent children and parents who were victims of contrived allegations and parental alienation by spiteful ex-partners.

” But Bryant wants to override the will of the Australian people and the will of Parliament, and to completely remove all disincentives against lying in the Family Court.

Really soft penalty for a very serious crime.

Patil, who claims that many F4E members are subjected to false allegations, states that “Proving that someone has ‘knowingly’ made false allegations rather than ‘mistakenly’ or ‘recklessly’ is quite a tall order. The standard of proof in these matters is a very tough hurdle to pass, and as a result ‘knowingly false’ allegations have only been proven in a relatively few cases in recent years.

If they are proved, they may result in a costs order, although this has been rarely applied in children’s matters by the judiciary. “Now given that perjury in any other Australian court may result in 10 years or more jail time, one must be mindful of the fact that this is a really soft penalty for a very serious crime.

It is a provision however that can work as a disincentive, albeit a modest one, in dissuading many parents from lying in the Family Court in the first place.” So these are “good”, modest provisions designed as a disincentive to those misguided parents who may in a moment of weakness be tempted to make contrived allegations in Court.

Measured responses to issues of concern Patil and Adams are frustrated by the logic used by the Chief Justice, and Patil adds that “Bryant justifies the need for these changes by suggesting that some people have misunderstood these provisions.

Even if this is true, her suggested fix is a remarkable over-reaction to an issue that could be addressed through a number of simple measures.” “Given that most parents in family law proceedings are either represented by lawyers, have visited a family relationship centre or have sought government funded legal services, a simple review could identify the cause of this misinformation from within these service providers, and provide an opportunity for corrective measures to be implemented.”

Adams wonders why the Chief Justice needs to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and opines that “a request to the Attorney General to implement an educational campaign to educate parents about these provisions would go a long way in addressing any existing misconceptions, and would be a more measured and effective approach to the issue at hand.”

Adams continues “Given the unprecedented nature of these family law amendments, what is required are sensible, well-measured & ultimately timely approaches to these issues, in order to allow for proper outcomes based research to develop. Anything less than this would put at risk the very wellbeing of those we are trying to protect.”

Broader consultations as a first step Fathers4Equality would like to encourage the Chief Justice to put some thought into what checks and measures she would alternatively suggest be implemented, if the current provisions are removed, to protect children from the devastating damage resulting from alienation and perjury in Court.

Given that lying in the Family Court and parental alienation are forms of child abuse, we stress the importance of carefully considering the implications to the welfare of children if these safeguards are removed.

Secondly and in reference to a recent campaign that has promoted a less than accurate reflection of these new laws, we would ask the Chief Justice to consider making a public statement to the effect, as is the case, that no evidence exists of any escalation of child abuse as a result of the new amendments.

This would be an important statement from the Chief Justice in the interests of an informed community discussion on this matter, and would help ensure that the debate is discussed in terms of facts, not innuendo.

Finally, we would like to draw attention to the increasingly under-resourced and overworked child protection authorities in this country, and the fact that too many cases of genuine abuse are not thoroughly investigated, in part because of the level of false allegations emanating from the Family Court.

It must be recognised that for every hour that a child protection officer is investigating a false allegation, it is one hour less protection that can be given to a child in genuine need, and this is a cost that the children of Australia simply cannot afford. Fathers4Equality would be open to discussing these important issues further with the Chief Justice, if she is willing to accept our invitation.

Because Lying in the Family Court is Child Abuse | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory.