Showing newest 20 of 55 posts from April 2009. Show older posts
Showing newest 20 of 55 posts from April 2009. Show older posts

Thursday

The Joint Custody Bounce

"children placed in a stable home environment fare far better than those bounced from one home to another..."

-- Poehlmann, Julie. Perils and hopes for children of jailed mothers, study, Journal Child Development (2005) http://www.news.wisc.edu/releases/11224.html.

Courtesy of the Liz Library.
______

Imagine growing up as a ping-pong ball. Who wants their child living like this?

I know of a boy, around 9 years of age, who has recently been given sole custody to his dad. Dad has a few other kids from multiple women, plus yet another new fiance. Mom is married, with a couple kids of her own. Before the custody switch (which was voluntary, I must add), dad had very liberal visitation but seemed to spend minimal time with son, and then would dump him with his mother and sister.

Anyway, upon recent inquiry about how this boy is doing, the answer was:
He just feels confused. When we ask him when he's going home, he replies,

Which home? I don't really have a home.

Aunt reports that the boy is really sad. I am saddened, too. He is a really sweet kid, played sports, very lovable and huggable.

Sometimes, You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

Rape. It is about power, not sex. Supposedly the hardest crime to prove because it is she said and he said. We know these things.

Men's groups will have you thinking that women are just running around reporting false rapes just to get their panties wet. Denial. Do they know what it is like to file a rape report? Not any more than a male gynecologist knows what a pap smear feels like.

I don't know who is believed less, women or children?

I suppose sometimes, women must take things into their own hands...until people start listening.

"Stop trying to figure out what went wrong"

Apparently, Louisiana is in the top five states for domestic violence homicides. I learned earlier this year that Oklahoma also in that group.

Yvette Cade, the D.C. woman who was set on fire by her husband, speaks out to women, encouraging them to get out now:
“Stop trying to figure out what went wrong,” she said of abusive relationships. “Please don’t waste time trying to decide what you can do differently so that you won’t be attacked by your abuser again. What is happening to you has nothing to do with you.

“Each person makes a choice to behave as he or she does,” Cade continued. “Each person is responsible for their own actions. Don’t spend your days believing that it is your fault that your partner or spouse is abusing you.”
She's right. Don't think about it. Look forward, not back.

Wednesday

Belize Survivor, part 54

A rare bit of good luck at the House of Musical Traditions in Berkeley Springs led them to find a farmhouse for rent just outside the rural artistic town. The West Virginia property was a hundred or so miles outside of Washington DC, just as Max had planned, and with the baby being born, everything was starting to fall into place. Although surrounded by beautiful hills, woodlands, and apple orchards, the house itself was in a dreadful state of disrepair. An old farmer and his wife had lived there for most of their sixty years of marriage until a sudden stroke rendered the woman comatose. While visiting his wife in the hospital, the husband had died of a sudden massive heart attack at her bedside, and she followed suit within forty-eight hours. Everything had been left in its place, assuming and awaiting their return, but they had simply never come back.

Under the kitchen sink, Alexis found a pink Depression glass bowl with open handles, circa 1930's, an ancient quilt in excellent condition, with soft gold and teal tassels, lovingly crafted by little old ladies in a circle, no doubt. With the peculiar and slightly creepy feeling of unexpected and untimely abandonment, there were still dishes in the sink in the old farmhouse, medicines in the bathroom cabinet, and the old woman's support hose on the towel rack behind the bathroom door. The water pipes under the house had burst in the previous winter's cold. The flue in the fireplace was blocked with debris. Thick layers of dirt and filth were everywhere among boxes of clothes that had never been removed by relatives. Huge pieces of sheetrock stood stacked against the living room wall for a remodeling job that had never come to pass. Cleaning the place was a Herculean task. For everything that needed to be done, four other things had to be done first. Max worked hard, and Alexis carried little Jordan in a front carrier so she could work using both hands. After a week's effort, quite unexpectedly, everything was finished. They walked out on the front porch as the sun was setting, sat down on the wooden swing, and looked at the long stretch of driveway leading to the bridge over the creek. All was still, except for the chirping of the crickets.

"Tomorrow I'll call the Philippines and order our wholesale heishi," said Max. "It's time to follow through."
Three months later the plans were in full swing. The Filipino shipment had been sizeable, and Alexis produced as many as twenty heishi chokers a day. Max found markets in the Georgetown area and was making runs to Washington, D.C. twice a week. Jordan was healthy and growing; already he weighed seventeen pounds. Max and Alexis made friends with other couples in the area, most of whom had tired of life in the city. Through the course of the summer, a half dozen couples developed a ritual of weekend get-togethers for potluck and volleyball.

But all was not peace and love at home. Once again their relationship seemed to be deteriorating. Throughout the summer and into the fall, Max began to bark at Alexis incessantly, complaining about the way she managed her household and the baby. If Jordan cried, Max expected his wife to continue taking action of some kind until the crying stopped, no matter what was required, even if it meant leaving the house so Max could get his sleep. As a new mother, Alexis had a mental list of things to try when the baby cried and wouldn't stop. Is he wet? Too hot? Too cold? Tired? Hungry? Teething? Restless? If he was still crying when she reached the bottom of the list, she'd start at the top again.

More than anything, Max was driven to provide, yet his whole focus seemed to be that of providing for his son's future, rather than for his family as a whole. He no longer treated Alexis as an integral part of the big picture; he acted as though she were nothing more than an assistant in the raising of his son. It got worse as he badgered her, and ran her ragged with physical and emotional demands.

Max was fanatical when it came to the subject of diapers. Alexis knew from other mothers that most babies went through perhaps twelve to fourteen diapers in twenty four hours. Yet because of Max, she used almost two dozen within the same time period. Other women used disposable; Max insisted on cotton. He insisted that they were not only cheaper, but also that his child must be surrounded by natural fabrics only. Not really cheaper, thought Alexis, I’m still the one who has to wash, dry, and fold them. Refusing to buy, or even accept as a gift, any article of clothing that contained any percentage of polyester, Max even argued with her over the use of waterproof plastic baby pants to cover the cotton diaper, until she convinced him there was absolutely no substitute.

2005 Study by Margaret Brinig on the Effects of Presumptive Joint Custody Laws

I know you father's supremacists are trying really hard to jump Pennsylvania into the scheme. Here's some info for you:

"...[S]eparation after the custody statute took effect, holding other things constant, was statistically significantly related to a decrease in the absolute dollars of child support awards, with a difference of about $80 a month. However, even this turns into a larger net loss in buying power for the custodial parent because of inflation during the same time period..

"[Presumption of joint custody] legislation increased the number of motions to modify or enforce parenting time or child custody... the number did increase significantly (and almost doubled) following enactment of the statute. Most of these motions were to change custody or visitation, not to enforce parenting time...

"If the desire of the legislation was to make it easier for unhappy parents to enforce their visitation time, its purpose was clearly not met... "Constitutionalizing child custody, or

"litigating in terms of individual parents' rights, is likely to harm children in many ways. They may end up living with a parent more interested in punishing the former spouse than in doing what the child needs. They may have less money with which to live, as a child support settlement for lower than the guideline amount pays off a parent claiming joint custody, or if a joint custody solution is ordered but not actualized, or if scarce resources are expended on pre or post-divorce litigation. They may live the life of peripatetic suitcase-dwellers, and even worse, may be shuttled between parents who actively seek to undermine each other. Joint custody may be a fine (and even the optimal) solution if desired by both parents who are willing to work hard towards its success.

"Mandatory joint custody, or even a movement in that direction, seems to cause a number of other problems that perhaps its proponents did not anticipate. Unfortunately,

"the biggest winners, at least in Oregon, seem to be not so much the traditionally noncustodial parents, but rather the mediators and, slightly less dramatically, the divorce attorneys."

-- Brinig, Margaret (2005). Does Parental Autonomy Require Equal Custody at Divorce? The University of Iowa College of Law, University of Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper Number 05-13 April, 2005

Courtesy of the Liz Library.

Not too Responsible Fatherhood: Blaming, Shaming, and Gaming

This is in direct response to When Divorce Kills: How Gender Bias Pushes Some Men Over the Edge. You must [find it and] read it first.

In the past two weeks...? Why limit the time period. There have been more than a dozen murders since the new year began.

Ending in the deaths of "innocent children"?...There goes that catch phrase that I spoke about yesterday. Also, see how framing the "innocent children" conveniently leaves out any other victims who are adults...and also dead. I wonder how their families feel about that.

A father in distress? Many Americans are in distress right now, and always, and are not killing; but notice how the author frames it as "losing all that he held dear."..as if loss=the right to murder.

There is nothing "high profile" about these cases. There is an epidemic of men committing familicides and only SOME happened to make it to the main news section. Some. Within days, all is forgotten and the next murder occurs with the same sensationalism and shock. It has become a perfunctory reaction.

This doesn't stereotype fathers. What it does it make us cautious of divorcing men--men who cannot take control of their emotions so they seek control by violent means. A "malicious stereotype" would be one that specifically intends to do harm. These men are intending to do harm. These murders are premeditated. Stop playing the stereotype card and call it what it is, reality.

Good fathers are good fathers. We can recognize them. Or, hell, maybe we can't...because it seems like every time a White man commits a murder, the community wants to talk about what an upstanding, church-going, philanthropist, volunteer-coach, music-instructor, role-model he was.

We are not talking about "most fathers" when these stories hit the media. We are talking about men who use violence as solutions to their problems, and a society that is content with accepting it as is. But we must point out the common denominator in these murders: the men are killing women and children who were often times family members or [former] lovers.

Domestic violence doesn't have to be "gender specific" in order for us to notice that FACT that men are committing these types of murders. Don't try to rule out gender when it is convenient. No one doubts that women commit violence however forcing it as an issue is an attempt to neutralize the problem. Shifting the focus.

Divorce is stressful for men because they lose the control that they "held dear." The gender bias affects women because of the patriarchal structure of our society that puts women at the bottom of the totem pole, with structures in place that benefit men.

Most men do not lose their children, they give it up freely to the one who has been doing the primary caretaking--mom. A loss of custody would mean that custody was taken from someone who originally had it. A father that was a primary caretaker, that had his child "taken" away from him, would be a father who lost custody. Therefore 85% of mothers do not "win" custody, they get it. Stop framing this as a game.
Myth -- Family courts are biased against fathers in custody disputes.

Fact: "Despite the powerful stereotypes working against fathers, they are significantly more successful than is commonly believed. The Massachusetts [gender bias] task force, for example, reported that fathers receive primary or joint custody in more than 70 percent of contested cases."

Schafran, Lynn Hecht, "Gender Bias in Family Courts," American Bar Association Family Advocate, Vol. 17, No. 1, p. 26

Ruth I. Abrams & John M. Greaney, Report of the Gender Bias Study of the Supreme Judicial Court [of Massachusetts] 62-63 (1983), also citing similar finding from California and other parts of the nation.


Fact: "The various gender bias commissions found that at the trial court level in contested custody cases, fathers won more than half the time. This is especially significant in light of the fact that not only do fathers win more often in court when they take these cases to trial, but also that an overwhelmingly higher percentage of fathers gain primary custody -- by any means -- than were ever the primary caregiver of their children during marriage. Statistically, this dashes the argument that 'only the strongest cases are taken to trial,' and in fact indicates an extraordinary bias against mothers and the value of mothering and mothers' work."

liznote re the more than 40 state gender bias task force reports. Available from the National Judicial Education Program, 9 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013.

Also see: AZ Battered Mothers Testimony Project Report
And why add the piece about "divorced and separated men are 2 1/2 times more likely to commit suicide than married men"? Oh, because the part that would typically follow a statement like that is, "So let's support the natural/biological family," or "You see, the court system is killing fathers."

Yeah, whatever. How about this one?
Men with a [perceived] loss of control are 2 1/2 times more likely to commit suicide, murder-suicide, and familicide than men who feel that they are in control.
There is no "notion" that divorced/estranged fathers don't want/need continuing contact with their children. The notion is that if you renege on your familial responsibilities (to be with your friends, or new girlfriend, leaving your children behind) you have shown that your children are not a priority. This is not meant to imply that in order to have a relationship with your children, you must be exclusive with the mother. What it means is that you establish your priorities by your actions.

A father is "estranged" because of his own behavior. A father decides when being a father is important to him and he decides this on his own time. Mothers are generally [considered] mothers 24/7. If the loss of the children is so painful, it is the father's responsibility to compensate for this--killing the children does not do so. (Also, asking the mother to patch your relationship with your children by speaking well of you, or telling lies in your favor, is not you taking responsibility.)

Good book plug.

If all these fathers need is "someone who understand," why don't father's groups promote counseling for them? Why force litigation? Who wins?

What many a father's group provide for these men, is a pep rally to talk about what a bitch his ex was and how unfair the family court system is (often time, before he even gets into the court to know for himself). Perhaps they actually rev these men up...

And now let's get to the heavy political controversy that is being swept under the rug:

Illinois, like the rest of the states, receives grants from the U.S. government, via the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), under the name of Responsible Fatherhood. This money is supposed to be used to help low-income fathers (read targeting Black men) break economic barriers so that they can make financial contributions to their children's upbringing via a relationship with the child. The grant money is also used for incarcerated fathers for re-entry into the workforce for the same reasons.
Myth -- Increasing fathers' visitation time and custody rights makes them more amenable to paying child support.

Fact: "As researchers began to stop collecting their data mainly from fathers and began to explore the relationship between visiting and paying child support in longitudinal studies, the theory that increased visitation would result in increased child support compliance began to wane. In 1993, the Office of Economic Research, U.S. Bureau of Labor undertook a study based on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). The NLSY is a survey of more than 12,000 men and women who are interviewed annually since 1979. The authors of this study found contrary to previous studies, increases in visitation have no effect on changes in child support."

THE LINK BETWEEN VISITATION AND SUPPORT COMPLIANCE, Laura Wish Morgan with Chuck Shively of the Department of Social & Health Services, Washington State. http://childsupportguidelines.com/articles/art200012.html
In reality, some of this Responsible Fatherhood money is being used to target fathers for a custody changing scheme under the guise of access and visitation. Attorneys are provided to fathers so that they can seek custody of their children. The division of Child Support states that MORE money has been collected under this system when in fact child support arrears are being waived, and child support awards are being reduced, or eliminated.

You don't have to do a lot of digging, as the article I am calling into question, gives enough information for you to get started. Remember Blagojevich. Think about the President's agenda:
Strengthen Fatherhood and Families: Barack Obama has re-introduced the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act to remove some of the government penalties on married families, crack down on men avoiding child support payments, ensure that support payments go to families instead of state bureaucracies, fund support services for fathers and their families, and support domestic violence prevention efforts. President Obama will sign this bill into law and continue to implement innovative measures to strengthen families.
Yeah right.

Illinois.

Is the answer to hold women hostage in marriage out of fear that their husbands may kill them and their children? Is the answer to give mentally unstable men custody of their children and access to their former spouses.

Maybe the answer is NOT restraining orders and GPS. Maybe we should create a Father's Act, to determine the psychological stability of men at the time of conception, and at divorce, as society seems exclusively and disproportionately fixated on mother-pathologies.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Australian Family [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent: Saturday, 27 December, 2008 6:16:28 PM
Subject: [fathers4equality] Bruce Pardo, hero

Here's a toast to Bruce Pardo. He was a man.


Many will speak badly of him.

A few will say that he was a victim.

All will say that it was an unfortunate situation.

But he was obviously a man who would not submit to injustice.

His actions bespeak a man who thought about his actions, who had things well planned including a "plan B" which eventuated with his suicide.

Bruce Pardo, you were a Man.

I salute you and raise my glass at your courage and honesty.

Hail, your Spirit, Bruce. May it energize others in your situation.

Goodbye, brother.


You can read about Bruce Pardo [and others] here.

Tuesday

What the Mother's Act Really Means

I am still getting a vibe around the internet that people are supporting the Mother's Act.

Why?

Because it saves "innocent children" (anti-choice catch phrase, father's supremacist catch phrase, also) from suicidal crack-mothers and save mothers from...themselves.

PUHlease!

I would suggest we return back to homebirthing and midwives, in the least, as an escape from all of this madness: Doctors, social workers, and psychs feeling like they are doing us a favor when our best interest is NOT in their minds.

Here's an excerpt from a piece called, Shocking New US Law Makes All Babies Property Of Government:
Even more insidious about this new law, these reports continue, is that all pregnant women, and mothers just having given birth, in the US will be ordered to take powerful antidepressant or antipsychotic drugs should their views towards raising and caring for their children conflict with those of the American government, to include: Religious views that conflict with those that the American government considers ‘safe’; Views on gun ownership that conflict with the American governments intention to disarm their citizens; Views on genetically modified foods and fluoridated water that run contrary to the US governments supporting of these poisons; Views on vaccinations running contrary to the US governments mandatory laws to have all babies and children vaccinated.

Your Black Readings for April 28, 2009

LMAO. I crack myself up. But nah, for real, check out these posts:

Missing Children and Media Coverage (or lack thereof)
, by T.R Xands

excerpt:
For any non-USians, you may have noticed that our fine country has a fixation on missing white children. You'd think they disappear every five minutes or something but as it turns out...that really isn't the case.

You gotta thank Nancy Grace.

And

Some Woman Didn’t Do Her Job: Single Mothers And The Destruction Of Society by Renee

excerpt:
When we examine the hierarchy of bodies as it relates to the western world there can be no doubt that the black woman has no institutional other. She is oppressed to maintain both white hegemony and patriarchy.

Rather than examining the ways in which privileged bodies work to ensure that the most vulnerable members lead lives of poverty, the blame is placed specifically on the oppressed for either an unwillingness, or inability to conform to socially constructed norms.

That's all I have for now. Enjoy!

Monday

Belize Survivor, part 53

The next day their worst fears were realized when they saw little Jordan through the glass of the newborn ward at Summertown Hospital. He had a bandage over his eyes to protect him from the purple-white rays above, and the nurse on duty was giving him an injection in the thigh. Alexis' letdown reflex reacted at the sound of his cry and immediately her shirt was drenched with milk. When Max tried to comfort her, she could not be soothed, and when the careless nurse picked up the baby and allowed his head to fall backward, Alexis snapped.

"Stop!" she screamed, banging on the door. "You're hurting my baby! Give me my baby. Stop it!" At the sound of her voice, doctors and nurses started pouring out of the doors and into the hallways like a firedrill.

"What on earth is going on here?" demanded the head nurse.

"That nurse in there is hurting my baby," Alexis yelled. "We didn't want him admitted in the first place. The Farm did it. I can't stand this anymore. I want him. Give me my baby back." Like a mother bear, Alexis was in a complete frenzy. Her claws were unsheathed, and she was ready to tear apart anyone who made further attempts on her cub.

"I'm sorry, ma'am," Max said to the nurse, trying to maintain courtesy. "We are visitors at Stephen Gaskin's Farm. The midwives admitted our baby into this hospital against our specific instructions; they had no right to do that. Yes, my wife is hysterical, but I’m supporting her on it one hundred percent. The truth is that she needs to hold that baby and nurse him."

"It would be against policy and against all medical advice to release him at this time. He's still in need of treatment for the high bilirubin count. With all due respect, Mr. Lord, I hope you know what you're doing."

Max went to the lobby and started making phone calls. Within twenty minutes he'd found a naturopath in Nashville who agreed to treat the baby. They made the decision to take Jordan out. Signing a waiver, he was delivered into Alexis’ arms.

Returning to The Farm, Max began packing up their tent and other belongings immediately, while Alexis waited in the van nursing Jordan. As he finished loading the last of the gear, Ida May showed up and began to reprimand them for a second time.

"It's just as well that you people are leaving. Ever since you got here you've been troublemakers. You just think you're better than everybody else, don't you? Well, around here, what's good enough for one is good enough for the other. Just like the fifty-five gallon drum. You just couldn't wait and take a shower like everybody else. You just had to set up your own system, didn't you? This is a commune, not an entrepreneurial enterprise. People like you don't know how to go with the flow. You just have to make things happen yourself."

"Oh yeah?" Max retorted. "And you don't? Is that why you were in your own private hot shower at the Big House on the night you deserted our son in the hospital? You people have some very screwed up priorities around here."

"Why you ungrateful son-of-a-bitch," she said, angrily.

"No," interrupted Alexis. "Enough please. We're leaving now, so we'll be gone. We're grateful for your help in delivering our baby. I just think Max and I have discovered that we like to be in charge of our own, to think and work and fend for ourselves. We have different ideologies; we are entrepreneurs, not communists. Thank you for all you've done." Alexis extended her hand. "Goodbye."

The old doctor in Nashville diagnosed that Jordan was out of danger, prescribing gentle morning and evening sunlight, ironically, a natural cure to break down the rest of the bilirubin. He was very kind and refused payment on the grounds that he hadn't really treated the baby. The grateful couple thanked him heartily, then continued north, free at last to pursue their journey.

Fighting PAS In California's Family Court: AB 612

We will win, no matter what small steps must be taken. Awomen.
____

General Hospital’s Alexis Davis to Testify to Lawmakers About PAS & How It’s Used to Harm Children

T.V. Star Nancy Lee Grahn to Join Dozens of Family Court Victims to Urge Passage of Assemblyman Jim Beall’s AB 612

What: Pre-Hearing Press Conference
Who: Daytime TV Celebrity Nancy Lee Grahn & dozens of family court victims & court reform advocates
**** PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
When: 8:30AM on Tuesday, April 28 – Press Conference
Where: State Capitol- Room 444- Press Conference, 9:00AM Hearing in Room 4202


Acclaimed television star Nancy Lee Grahn will address reporters tomorrow about her personal family court ordeal before she testifies on behalf of AB 612 at the California Assembly Judiciary Committee Hearing. Grahn will join dozens of parents and children to speak about the ravages of Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS, on their lives, and the desperate need for family court reform.

Like thousands of parents in California’s family courts, Grahn was falsely accused of “alienating her child” against her father, yet she eventually prevailed in her protecting her child. AB 612 would outlaw the use of this unscientific theory that is typically responsible for placing more than 58,000 children per year in the U.S. into dangerous homes with parents the children have identified as their molesters and abusers (Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence). Beall’s bill is just one of a handful of measures addressing the need for family court reform in California this year.

PAS is a controversial, unscientific theory that does not meet legal evidentiary standards, yet it is commonly used in family courts everywhere. PAS and related “alienation” theories are not accepted or endorsed by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, American Psychological Association, American Prosecutors Research Institute, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, and nearly all credible researchers on the subject.
###

Kathleen Russell
W 415-459-9211, Ext. 28
C 415-250-1180
http://www.kathleenrussell.com/
Telling Stories, Moving Mountains

Place Blame Where Blame Belongs

We see a lot media sensationalism that blames the rising murder-suicide/familicide death toll on the economy...and on medication...and on this and that...The murders are soon forgotten by all but the victims' families and media moves us on to talk about which woman is the worst mother of the year, and how single mothers are eroding society.

But if you take away Big Pharma, and if you take us back to Clinton years, would we still have family annihilations?

Hell yeah.

Thank you Susan Reimer, perhaps one of the few critical minds in today's media.

From In families' tragic deaths, a hint of paternalism:

(emphasis mine)
It wasn't the economy. It wasn't stress. It wasn't mental illness.

It hit me the minute I heard the news - it was ownership.

When William Parente beat and suffocated his wife and two daughters before taking his own life, it wasn't just because his shaky financial dealings were about to come crashing down on him.

And when Christopher Wood killed his wife and three children and then himself, it wasn't just because he was $460,000 in debt and depressed.

Financial disaster was looming for both men, and both were undoubtedly under terrible strain. But they didn't do what Freddie Mac executive David Kellermann did, which was to take his own life and allow his wife and young daughter to survive...
___

See Also: Join up the dots.

Experts warn of more familicides


Family annihilations, murder-suicides: warning signs go unheeded because we normalize them

The Murder-Suicide Epidemic: Larger Longitude Study Debunks "Mother Killer Myth"

Sunday

Stand Up Against New Jersey Family Court Injustice

We need action and we need action now. Thank you to Susan Miller for her braveness in coming forward publicly. Thank you to StopFamilyViolence for your involvement and pursuit of justice.
________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23,2009 Contact: Irene Weiser 607-435-3010

PROTEST AT ESSEX COUNTY COURT FOCUSES ON DANGEROUS PRACTICES OF JUDGE

Activists Say Courts Ignoring Abuse A National Crisis

Newark, NJ---A protest against an Essex County family court judge’s treatment of a mother trying to protect her children from alleged abuse at the hands of their father will take place Monday, April 27th, 2009, 12:00pm, at the Essex County Family Courthouse (212 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102). Activists and experts say there is a crisis across the country wherein family courts are ordering children to visit or live with pedophiles and abusers, while punishing, silencing and even jailing the parents who try to protect the children from harm.

Susan Miller says the family court judge in her case demonstrated bias and discrimination against her and her children when he ruled to eliminate all evidence of child sexual abuse and domestic violence, and declared that no child abuse or domestic violence occurred. This despite 6 child abuse experts in the case (including the child welfare and court-appointed experts and Guardian Ad Litum) concluding that the children were sexually abused, and a court appointed expert and Guardian Ad Litum finding that Susan was a victim of domestic violence. Additionally, the expert consensus was that Susan Miller is a good, loving parent and primary attachment figure to her young daughters, and that she did not engage in any coaching or fabrication of the allegations. Nonetheless, the judge contends that she was trying to "alienate" the children from their father.

According to many experts, Miller’s allegations represent a national trend of judges putting children in the unsupervised care of abusers, while punishing their protective mothers and labeling them as “alienators.” Irene Weiser, Executive Director of Stop Family Violence, spoke to what she says is a crisis in family court: “When abusive men contest and fight for custody, too often they get it. Judges ignore evidence of family violence and sexual abuse, decide mothers are lying and order children into the hands of an abuser. It defies all logic and any semblance of justice.” A recent murder-suicide case in Illinois involved an abusive man who then killed his children after a judge granted him unsupervised visitation despite the mother’s pleas to the court to protect them. That tragedy came during a horrendous streak in past weeks of men killing their children and/or spouses. The protest Monday is to expose one judge’s behavior, but also to bring attention to a pattern of sex bias in family courts, particularly where allegations of domestic violence or sexual abuse has occurred, leaving women and children at extreme risk to be more seriously hurt or even killed, and little or no judicial accountability.

Miller says, “this judge has a documented history of ethics violations by the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, and was ranked the 6th worst judge out of 366 judges in the state of New Jersey in two categories of bias and how he treats litigants and lawyers according to the New Jersey Law Journal Survey of 2005. How can he be allowed to preside over cases such as mine, where the lives of two minor children hang in the balance? She believes that Convery will soon give full custody of the children to the father, putting them in danger of further abuse. Additionally, three attorneys involved in this case officially certified to the bias and discrimination by this judge against Miller, and attempted to file an emergent order to show cause for his recusal from the case. Convery denied the request for his recusal, and fined Miller over $12,000.


New Jersey NOW, Stop Family Violence, Voices of Women and other organizations and members will be at the protest, Press kits at the event will outline Miller’s case, and provide background information on domestic violence and the family courts, PAS, and the systematic failure to address evidence of abuse.

Saturday

What is Corruption in Family Court?

Dear Reader,

How much time do you have so that I can explain it? LOL. Corruption in family court is when judges, who are supposed to be fair, impartial, and unbiased, are seen promoting and giving "Fatherhood" lectures at local churches or other nonprofits organizations in the community.

Why is this family court corruption? Because in most judicial ethics codes judges cannot engage in this type of behavior (but who's following laws or ethics these days?).

CANON 2 from the Florida Judicial Qualifications Committee (JQC)
A Judge Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in all of the Judge's Activities

A. A judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

B. A judge shall not allow family, social, political or other relationships to influence the judge's judicial conduct or judgment. A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others; nor shall a judge convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge. A judge shall not testify voluntarily as a character witness.

C. A judge should not hold membership in an organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin. Membership in a fraternal, sororal, religious, or ethnic heritage organization shall not be deemed to be a violation of this provision.
Corruption in family court is when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, via the Access/Visitation program under the name Responsible Fatherhood, provides grants to states in order to assist fathers with child support and child visitation "issues." But instead, the money is used in a custody switching scam to award fathers joint and full custody, taking children away from their primary caretaking mothers.

Family court corruption is when this grant money is supposed to aid [previously] incarcerated fathers, unemployed fathers, and low-income fathers, specifically targeting the Black community. But the money is used for protracted custody litigation and to waive child support arrears and reduce or eliminate child support under the guise of successfully "collecting" more child support, primarily for White middle class men.

I want you to think Illinois, Illinois, Illinois, Blagojevich...

Should I continue?

I'll end with this: Corruption in the family court is when you have a group, such as the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), who have definitive ties to major fathers' groups (Children's Rights Council CRC), who go around providing "trainings" to "officials" (legal, psych, social) that victim-blame women and children, especially survivors of domestic violence, in order to promote pedophile-based theories for the purpose of removing custody from primary caretaking mothers, and more recently, for forced counseling and mediation and the building of "visitation centers."

Whew!

Good Luck!


See Also: Why is Illinois Judge Stuttley Giving a Symposium on So-called “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and Taking Children from Moms?

Shame on Indiana

How Do These Corrupt Judges Get Away With It? New York Judge John Bivona Keeps Rolling Along…


Mediators Not Acting Properly

Fathers Are More Likely to Sexually Abuse Children than Mothers

Dear Reader,

I really hope that you were looking for stats when you did this query, because it should be known, obvious, a no-brainer that fathers sexually abuse children more. Why? Because fathers are men, and men commit 90% of all sexual assault. I'll come back with a link later.

However it is interesting to note, that when father's supremacy groups tout that "women commit more child abuse than men," conveniently [for them], sexual abuse is omitted from this statistic. Furthermore, the statement is still just plain false. See Male versus Female: who is more likely to perpetrate child abuse, which concludes with:
The statistics you will see from, e.g. the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect show that child abuse perpetrated by women represents (depending on report) between 50-70% of total abuse, usually closer to 50%. And if we remove from those reports, those minor neglect charges without notable outcomes and charges such as "failure to protect" that women -- and notably battered women -- but very few men tend to be charged with, we probably come down to something closer to 50-50, if it is even that much, if indeed women are the perpetrators of even 50% of total numbers of real abuse and neglect. Which means that in reality, men are not "12 times as likely as women to perpetrate child abuse" but some multiplier significantly greater even than that. In other words:

Children are at astronomically greater risk of physical abuse in the care of a man than in the care of a woman
.
Good luck.

Thursday

Fatherless Children...Those from Violent Family Households Take It Day By Day

I get sooooo many searchers on my page (especially recently, especially from Illinois, especially from Universities) looking for information on "fatherlessness," "absent fathers," "the effects of no father," etc.

Father's supremacists want to continue to lay claim that everything that is wrong with today's children, is a result of single mother/fatherless households. Many of these households did have a father present at some point in time. The effects of his presence, in a family on which he inflicted violence, can last a lifetime.

But fatherhood researchers want to tell us that children are resilient, and that co-parenting is possible, even after abuse...

Why don't you ask this family?:

(emphasis mine)

Family moves on after domestic violence claims woman

By ANGIE MASON

For The Evening Sun
Posted: 04/18/2009 11:10:00 PM EDT

Amelia Estrada threw away a belt after her nephews told her it had been used to beat their mother.

The boys sometimes see someone hit someone else on TV and say that used to happen to their mom.

"They'd seen it before," Estrada said.

Their mother, Sally Estrada - Amelia's sister - was stabbed to death at her York home on June 7, 2008. Police have charged her boyfriend, Eugene A. Hampton, with homicide.

Estrada, a Bermudian Springs graduate, died in the arms of her daughter, Gladys Mendez, now 13. She also left behind sons Luis Morales, 7, and twins Jose and Juan Morales, 4.

Her three sisters vowed to take care of her children since their fathers are unable to. The children moved in with Amelia Estrada and Gerald Zapata, who are raising five of their own in York.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time. They are not a burden to me," Amelia, 29, said. "God is not going to give you more than you can handle. . . . I was blessed, but what they went through, oh my God."

Experts say domestic violence can have lasting effects on children, even if they're not being abused themselves.

Historically, programs for abused women operated on the premise that if they kept battered women safe, the women could keep their children safe, said Barbara Nissley, the children's program specialist at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

But in recent years, research has shown that safety is not the only issue, she said.

"How do we help children heal when they've lived with a batterer?" she said.

'They must be so lost'

Each of Sally Estrada's kids has dealt with their mother's violent death differently.

The twins have handled it pretty well, their aunt said. But they can still tell you exactly what they were doing the moment their mother died, Amelia Estrada said.

They draw pictures for their mom and ask Estrada if they'll make Sally happy. Everything they do is for their mother, Amelia Estrada said.

"Jose, every so often . . . I know when he's thinking of his mom because he'll come up to me and hug me," Estrada said. "He'll say, 'I just love you.' . . . I look at them and think, 'They must be so lost.'"

Seven-year-old Luis didn't speak for a while after he was told his mother was gone.

"He shut down on us," Estrada said.

At one point, he blamed himself because his mother and Hampton once fought after Hampton cursed at Luis, Estrada said.

"He said, 'Why didn't she just leave?'" Estrada said.

He has received some counseling at school. But he has been acting out there, so much so that Amelia's thinking of home-schooling him.

"He's got so much anger," she said.

Gladys, 13, is keeping busy.

Since her mother's death, she has become more active at Hannah Penn Middle School, working on the Soul Food Cookoff. Her grades have improved, and she joined the track team.

"I've noticed since we've been in track, she seems so much happier," her aunt said, adding that she thinks Gladys runs off her frustration. "She's dedicated to something."

But there are hard moments, when Estrada will catch her niece staring and know what's on her mind.

Gladys also was a fan of young rapper Chris Brown. She called him her future husband and had his posters plastered all over her room, Estrada said.

Brown recently was accused of beating up his girlfriend, fellow pop star Rihanna.

"As soon as she heard about it, she tore those pictures down," Estrada said. "It hit her pretty hard."

All the kids have nightmares. Estrada sometimes feels like they're trapped in one and can't get out.

"I wish I could just cuddle them," she said. "I can't replace her. I can't bring her back."

Stacy Kimberly used to meet with children while their mothers received help at Access-York, a domestic violence program that is part of the YWCA of York.

"Generally, they've said . . . it's very chaotic in their heads," she said.

The visible signs that a child might be exposed to domestic violence often come out in a school setting, said Kimberly, a former child advocate and now a community education specialist and volunteer liaison.

They might act out or not be very social. They might fall asleep in class as a result of having stayed up late listening to their parents fight.

Many kids think the abuse is their fault, Kimberly said. They think if they got better grades or went to bed on time, nothing bad would happen.

"That's never the case," she said.

Children often can be the deciding factor, in one way or another, that helps a woman leave an abusive partner, Kimberly said.

The victim might stay as long as the child is not being hurt, for example. One instance of child abuse might cause the victim to leave, she said.

Barbara Woodmansee, community education director for Access-York, remembers a mom who decided to leave an abusive partner after she saw her child acting like him.

Other times, she said, the child is used as a threat. For example, a batterer might tell a woman that if she leaves, she'll never see her child again.

"If the child ever hears that . . . talk about feeling as if they're to blame," Woodmansee said.

Last year, Harve L. Johnson was charged with homicide in the beating death of 2-year-old Darisabel Baez. The child's mother, Neida Baez, also was charged with homicide for allegedly failing to intervene.

In her statement to police, Baez said she walked into the room where her daughter was being beaten, and Johnson told her she would make things "worse" if she didn't leave. Baez was afraid, her attorney told the court.

Kids can all react in different ways to domestic violence, Kimberly said.

"Just being there to support the kids is number one," she said.

Safety first

Safety still is the primary focus of programs for domestic-violence victims.

When victims come to Access-York for help, they work with their children to create a safety plan, Kimberly said.

Sometimes, it's up to children to call 911, she said. They need to know when to call or go to a neighbor's house, as well as their own address and phone number.

Mothers have to be in on the plan, too, to make sure the place the child is heading is safe.

Every step of a route is planned so the child knows exactly what to do.

"You don't want them in a panic trying to run across a busy street," Kimberly said.

Woodmansee said more emphasis is being placed on using a family model to help domestic-violence victims. In those situations, a case manager works with an entire family instead of working separately with mothers and victims.

Nissley said that in recent years the coalition has been looking at what it can do to help a victim as a mom.

"Parenting is a tough job no matter what," Nissley said. "Batterers often interfere with parenting."

Battered women in focus groups have indicated they need more help with their children, she said.

In order for children to heal, they need a safe, supportive, trustworthy adult, she said.

"If that adult is the nonabusive parent, even better," she said.

Breaking the cycle

Children learn primarily from their parents in their first years of life, Nissley said. So, domestic violence groups work with kids to make sure they pick up healthy relationship habits and don't think what they've seen at home is right.

"We don't want domestic violence to be a risk factor, (so that) kids leave and pick up that violence is acceptable," Nissley said. "We don't want any child to grow up and be an abuser or a victim."

Domestic violence groups always have worked with kids to teach lessons like "hands are not for hitting" and that violence is never acceptable, she said.

The coalition developed a program called A Kid is So Special, she said. It includes a series of booklets for kids and moms to work on together, to help a mother understand what's going on with her children.

Kimberly said abuse can sometimes make children angry at their parents. The key is letting them know it's OK to be angry, but it's not acceptable to express it in the violent way they've seen, she said.

She works with high school students and runs a program for teens and parents called "But I Love Him." They discuss what makes a healthy relationship.

Often, Kimberly said, it's the first time kids have thought about it.

Estrada said she's had conversations with her nephews about appropriate behavior.

"We tell them, you don't hit girls," she said. "If you're angry, you walk away."

Woodmansee said redirecting children and teaching them how to express their anger is important.

"They're going to model what you do," she said. "If they see unhealthy relationships, they're going to think that's normal."

Moving forward, looking back

Sally Estrada would have turned 32 on March 9.

Her family brought flowers to her grave in Gettysburg. They had balloons and cake, smashing some in each others' faces because that's what Sally would have done, her sister said.

They reminisced about her past birthday celebrations.

"We did a lot of remembering," Amelia Estrada said. "I think it helped."

But Hampton's trial is coming up.

"I think that's when things are going to start getting crazy for us," Estrada said.

She's been to some of the pretrial hearings, and it has brought back memories of the times they had family gatherings with her sister and Hampton. Sally and Hampton had been together less than a year when she died.

"When I see him, I get so angry, you know what I mean?" Amelia Estrada said.

Thirteen-year-old Gladys has said she'll testify at trial, if she has to.

"I know I want to go in. I just want to know I'm strong enough," Gladys said in a recent interview. "I take it day by day."
____

Angry. Confused. Misbehaving. There are so many different reactions to family violence, though the father's groups will have you believing that the children are like this because the father is absent.

Each situation is different. Each child is unique. Each individual must be dealt with accordingly. No cookie cutter formulas of equal parenting/shared custody/parental access will benefit "the children" as a whole.

Why does society reward violent fathers with access to their children? What lesson is to be learned from this?

The DSM: A Sick Joke. How Far Will It Go?

The following is an opinion article that was in the Los Angeles Times last year. I wonder how long it will take people to catch on to the fact that the field of psychology is a joke...a craftily engineered social control mechanism that has slowly replaced religion.

To add to the sick joke, lawyers are increasingly becoming lawyer-psychologists in attempts to further manipulate the legal field and the people that need help and seek justice.

Let's refer to them as "psycho-lawyers." Look very closely at the "letters" trailing their names. Do some research and see what schools they went to, what they studied. What are their qualifications?

Any psycho-lawyer practicing both mind-fucking and legal abuse needs to be outted. Let me know who needs to be put on "the list." So far, there have been many sitings in Florida, Texas, California and Canada.

(emphasis mine)

Wrangling over psychiatry's bible

By Christopher Lane
November 16, 2008

Over the summer, a wrangle between eminent psychiatrists that had been brewing for months erupted in print. Startled readers of Psychiatric News saw the spectacle unfold in the journal's normally less-dramatic pages. The bone of contention: whether the next revision of America's psychiatric bible, the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," should be done openly and transparently so mental health professionals and the public could follow along, or whether the debates should be held in secret.

One of the psychiatrists (former editor Robert Spitzer) wanted transparency; several others, including the president of the American Psychiatric Assn. and the man charged with overseeing the revisions (Darrel Regier), held out for secrecy. Hanging in the balance is whether, four years from now, a set of questionable behaviors with names such as "Apathy Disorder," "Parental Alienation Syndrome," "Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder," "Compulsive Buying Disorder," "Internet Addiction" and "Relational Disorder" will be considered full-fledged psychiatric illnesses.

This may sound like an arcane, insignificant spat about nomenclature. But the manual is in fact terribly important, and the debates taking place have far-reaching consequences. Published by the American Psychiatric Assn. (and better known as the DSM), the manual is meant to cover every mental health disorder that affects children and adults.

Not only do mental health professionals use it routinely when treating patients, but the DSM is also a bible of sorts for insurance companies deciding what disorders to cover, as well as for clinicians, courts, prisons, pharmaceutical companies and agencies that regulate drugs. Because large numbers of countries, including the United States, treat the DSM as gospel, it's no exaggeration to say that minor changes and additions have powerful ripple effects on mental health diagnoses around the world.

Behind the dispute about transparency is the question of whether the vague, open-ended terms being discussed even come close to describing real psychiatric disorders. To large numbers of experts, apathy, compulsive shopping and parental alienation are symptoms of psychological conflict rather than full-scale mental illnesses in their own right. Also, because so many participants in the process of defining new disorders have ties to pharmaceutical companies, some critics argue that the addition of new disorders to the manual is little more than a pretext for prescribing profitable drugs.

The more you know about how psychiatrists defined dozens of disorders in the recent past, the more you can appreciate Spitzer's concern that the process should not be done in private. Although a new disorder is supposed to meet a host of criteria before being accepted into the manual, one consultant to the manual's third edition -- they're now working on the fifth -- explained to the New Yorker magazine that editorial meetings over the changes were often chaotic. "There was very little systematic research," he said, "and much of the research that existed was really a hodgepodge -- scattered, inconsistent and ambiguous. I think the majority of us recognized that the amount of good, solid science upon which we were making our decisions was pretty modest."

Things are different today, the new consultants insist, because hard science now drives their debates. Maybe so, but still, I shudder to think what the criteria for "Relational Disorder" and "Parental Alienation Syndrome" will be. And I'm not the only one worrying. Spitzer is bothered by the prospect of "science by committee." Others, like forensics expert Karen Franklin, writing in American Chronicle, warn that advocacy groups are pressing for the inclusion of dubious terms that simply don't belong in a manual of mental illnesses.

The row between Spitzer and Regier apparently dates to Regier's refusal to share the minutes of his task-force meetings with Spitzer, citing concerns about confidentiality that could jeopardize the integrity of the discussions. Regier insists, in personal correspondence that has since been made public, that the process is designed to ensure "input" from all interested parties. But Regier won't share any information except a handful of "periodic reports to the membership and media." Bypassed, conveniently, are the details of the debates themselves.

Spitzer counters that "the real purpose ... is to avoid possible criticism of the ... process." He has called the attempt to revise the DSM in secret "a big mistake" and a likely "public relations disaster."

I fear that I may have unintentionally contributed to Regier's excessively secretive behavior. Back in the 1970s, during the creation of the third edition of the manual, I published much of the correspondence that had circulated between committee members. Some of the exchanges were frankly hair-raising. They included proposals for the approval of such dubious conditions as "Chronic Complaint Disorder" and "Chronic Undifferentiated Unhappiness Disorder." When asked to define how he was using the term "masochism," one leading psychiatrist replied: "Oh, you know what I mean, a whiny individual ... the Jewish-mother type." And so it went for dozens of other terms that later became bona-fide illnesses.

Regier obviously wants to prevent any such embarrassment for his task force; he apparently fears the public will not find his committee's work entirely convincing.

I'm not interested in embarrassing anyone. My concern is the lack of proper oversight. If the proposed new disorders don't receive a full professional airing, including a vigorous debate about their validity, they will be incorporated wholesale into the fifth edition in 2012. Joining the ranks of the mentally ill will be the apathetic, shopaholics, the virtually obsessed and alienated parents. It's hard to imagine that anyone will be left who is not eligible for a diagnosis.

Christopher Lane, a professor of English at Northwestern University, is the author of "Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness."
____

____

And I'll wrap it up with a good quote from this article:
We're clearly obsessed with labelling and categorizing perfectly normal human behaviour as some form of disorder that must be diagnosed and treated. Boys who fidget and look out the window during school are assigned a learning disorder and medicated. Shy kids are said to be suffering from social phobia and are pushed into treatment. There's even "Developmental Arithmetic Disorder" to get boys and girls who don't do their homework into therapy.


See Also: APA voting on syndromes-Be sure to DENOUNCE PAS as shield for abusers!

Wednesday

Belize Survivor, part 52

Ida May shook her head, as she held the baby.

“He's looking a little yellow," she said. "I want to take him outside for a moment and check him in the sunlight. This color in the tent here makes it hard for me to tell."

It had been the most incredible three days of their lives. Of course, Max had nearly reneged on his promise by wanting to call the baby Maximilian Augustus II. "Because he looks so much like me," he had said. But they'd finally agreed to call the baby Jordan, and still spent hours simply staring at the newborn, sharing the amazement of new life. The baby had already taken in plenty of rich colostrum, and now Alexis felt the fluid change to milk. Nursing was uniquely pleasurable for her. She felt none of the soreness or distress other mothers had described. It was as natural as breathing, and holding the baby to her breast felt beautifully maternal and safe.

"Yep, I'm afraid he looks like he's got a high bilirubin count," Ida May announced as she came back inside the tent. "I think we should take him to the hospital and get him checked out."

"What does that mean?" said Max. "Is it dangerous?"

"It can be, if the count is very high,” she replied evenly. “About one-third of all new babies get a slight jaundice after a few days because their liver isn't functioning properly yet. If the count is higher than twenty, it's possible for the baby to suffer brain damage." Frightened, Alexis had been prepared for the physical part of having a baby, but nothing she had ever read in a book could have prepared her for the intense love she felt. She understood now why mothers could give up their lives for their children. “I'm going to take him into Summertown Hospital and get him tested for a bilirubin count."

"Max, you go with them." Alexis wanted no argument.

"Look, Maximilian, that's unnecessary," said Ida May. "You stay here and support your old lady. She's the one that needs you."

"No, I'm fine. Really," Alexis said anxiously. "I'd feel much better if Max went along with Jordan."

"You know, you two are so intense!" the midwife criticized loudly. "We handle things like this all the time. Just let us take care of it."
Max and Alexis exchanged looks. The very reason they'd chosen The Farm was to avoid hospitals, drugs, and doctors. Now, they were expected to send their baby into that very environment? A place where he'd be out of their control? Fighting for composure, Alexis finally said, "Okay, but only to test him. Not to admit him."

"Right," Max chimed in, swallowing hard. "I don't want you to allow the hospital to do anything else to him. And for heaven's sake, don't formally admit him without my permission, whatever you do. You just advise us as soon as you know something."

Alexis felt sick, both physically and mentally, from the moment the midwife took her baby away. Her milk was coming in; she took to her bed as she became feverish. Midmorning changed to afternoon, and the hours dragged on into the evening with still no word. At nine o'clock they found out the midwife had been back for several hours and was taking a shower.

“Taking a shower?" she heard Max yell into the telephone. "Where's our baby?"

A few minutes later Ida May came to visit and explained that Jordan's bilirubin count was seventeen and a half, and she had felt it necessary to admit him for infrared lamp treatments and antibiotic injections.

"You what?" Max screamed.

Alexis' world plunged into despair. After three days with their precious baby, now he was in the hands of strangers, and only God knew what they were doing to him. She couldn't stand the thought of someone feeding her baby a chemical formula while she lay sick with milk fever. Her enormous breasts were hard as rocks and throbbed in pain, with no baby to relieve the pressure.

“Max, is there any way I can have a bath?" Alexis asked the next morning. She was miserable, in total despair. "I need to soak in a tub so bad."

There were communal shower houses at The Farm, but the water was almost always cold. On the rare occasions when the truck brought propane, people lined up outside by the hundreds. Then, instead of politely rationing themselves so everyone could enjoy a little precious hot water, the first ones took twenty-minute showers, selfishly drowning themselves in bliss. Soon the heat was gone or the water was gone, one or the other. Desperate to provide, Max took the matter into his own hands. He found an abandoned fifty-five-gallon drum and scrubbed it clean, inside and out. Taking a chisel and hammer, he laboriously cut the drum in half and bent the sides down in sections so as not to leave a sharp edge. Then he found some old cinder blocks and set them under the drum, allowing enough room to build a fire underneath. Working like a draft animal, he labored to carry polyethylene buckets of water from a distant stream, load after load, until he'd filled the drum three-quarters full. Finally he started a fire and brought the water to just the right temperature. Then, with uncharacteristic charm, Max insisted on leading Alexis to it, blindfolded, and surprising her.

"It's a ‘cannibal bath’ and I made it just for you. Do you like it?"

She slipped off her clothes and stepped in gingerly. Then she settled back in the luxurious warmth of the water. "Oh Max, this is heaven. I think this may be the nicest thing you’ve ever done for me.”

"I sure hope it makes you feel better. Take as much time as you want, but when you're done, I'm next. And tomorrow we're going to see our baby."

PAS is Real: Targeting NonCustodial Mothers

Robert Gartner has left a new comment on your post "Mothers' Movements":
Your blog does an injustice to the non custodial women you mention. Everyone knows that family courts do not get it right all the time. Even those on death row, some of them, are innocent.

PAS is real. If your groups could get past that we might have a way to work together.
Posted by Robert Gartner to Randi James at Apr 22, 2009 12:33:00 PM

Unfortunately for you and your ilk, I know that "PAS is Real" is a catch phrase you use to target unsuspecting noncustodial mothers and men who have been primary caretakers. I also personally know that you lurk around women's boards, especial single mothers and abused women, in order to recruit them into your camp. It is an unfair, divisive tactic that fathers supremacists have been using increasingly.

It's not that they really believe you...they need something to hold on to...something that seems to make sense. Mothers and innocent fathers do not understand the depth of the origination of the term parental alienation syndrome, a history that should not be forgotten or obscured.

Mothers are often the target of abusive husbands/fathers in relationships where the children have been taught to hate the mother, often taking the abuser's side because of the perception of power that he has. This is trauma bonding through the use of maternal deprivation:

Maternal Deprivation, or Motherlessness, is occurring with alarming frequency due to the unethical treatment of women and children in family court. Maternal Deprivation is inflicting abuse by severing the mother-child bond. It is a form of abuse that men inflict on both the mother and children, especially men who claim they are “parentally alienated” from their children when there are complaints of abusive treatment by the father.

Maternal Deprivation occurs when men seek to keep their children from being raised by their mothers who are the children’s natural caretakers. Some men murder the mothers of their own children. Others seek to sever the maternal bonds by making false allegations of fictitious psychological syndromes in a deliberate effort to change custody and/or keep the child from having contact with their mother when there are legal proceedings. A twisted form of Maternal Deprivation is to kill the children, so that the mother will be left to suffer. Sometimes there are family annihilation murders where the father kills the children and himself (or dies by cop), but the mother is not killed because she has received protective orders and her children have not as in the case of Jessica Gonzales.

The more credence you lend to PAS the more women and children will be abused, and the more funerals will be planned. I am doing them a favor and comforting the grieving.

The Mother's Act: Not What It Seems

Just another way to demean us and add to the unrealistic expectations of our superhuman jobs of motherhood.

What, no Father's Act? Why not?

But we do have Responsible Fatherhood, eh?

HR20-New Mother's Mandated Mental Health Test-JUST PASSED HOUSE!

Posted April 14th, 2009 by runforron

http://www.govtrack.us/co...

A sweeping government policy for all new births in the United States has just passed the House of Representatives and is now headed to the Senate. The Mother's Act, if passed, will mandate that all new mothers be screened by means of a list of subjective questions that will determine if each mother is mentally fit to take their newborn home from the hospital. Just imagine that after your child is born, you are told that you can't take them home since a multiple choice questionnaire wasn't answered correctly. Just imagine being told that the only way you can take your child home is if you or your spouse goes into treatment or on anti-depressants which we know causes psychosis, delusions, and even homocidal thoughts. It just doesn't make sense. Unfortunately, this bill is on a fast track--No public debate, no public disclosure of the broad impact on our society and that is why we need you to act now!

The Mother's Act violates our Constitutional right to privacy and your right to liberty and it is just outright dangerous. That is why we need you to help stop this. We urgently need you to call and email each Senator on the HELP Committee and tell them you STRONGLY OPPOSE the MOTHER'S ACT and that you are OUTRAGED that there was NO public debate or disclosure on the impact this would have on our society as a whole.

Send a letter by going here: http://salsa.democracyina...

Please call the following Senators on the HELP Committee and tell them that you want the Mother's Act to die in committee.

Lisa Murkowski, R: 202-224-6665, AK
John McCain, R: 202-224-2235, AZ
Christopher Dodd, D: 202-224-2823, CT
Johnny Isakson, R: 202-224-3643, GA
Tom Harkin, D: 202-224-3254, IA
Pat Roberts, R: 202-224-4774, KS
Edward Kennedy D: 202-224-4543, MA
Barbara Mikulski D: 202-224-4654, MD
Richard Burr, R: 202-224-3154, NC
Kay Hagan, D: 202-224-6342, NC
Judd Gregg, R: 202-224-3324, NH
Jeff Bingaman, D: 202-224-5521, NM
Sherrod Brown, D 202-224-2315, OH
Tom Coburn, R 202-224-5754, OK
Jeff Merkley, D 202-224-3753, OR
Bob Casey, D 202-224-6324, PA
Jack Reed, D 202-224-4642, RI
Lamar Alexander R 202-224-4944, TN
Orrin Hatch R 202-224-5251, UT
Bernard Sanders, I: 202-224-5141, VT
Patty Murray, D, 202-224-2621, WA
Michael Enzi, R, 202-224-3424, WY

Thank you so much for caring enough to call and take action! Remember "We The People" are in charge!

Respectfully,

Sheila Matthews
Cofounder www.ablechild.org

mother's rights, mothers' rights, rights for mothers, psychology is a fraud, Big Pharma, medicalizing, what is the mother's act, depression, screening for depression

Mothers' Movements

Grass-Roots Mothers' Movements Just Under the Radar

Published Nov 12, 2008 by Aine O'Brocken

What would happen if the media as a whole began to pay attention to these mothers' movements? I don't know what would happen. I sure would like to see the media give it a go, however. Indeed and indeed I would!

Just below the radar and not yet on TV screens or in magazines or newspapers is a grass-roots movement of mothers, banding together on the internet...in their homes...by phone...by newsletter...and in any other way possible.

These women have as a unifying factor a common element in their history: They have lost custody (or partial custody) of their children in court-ordered "kidnappings" which placed those children in the hands of abusive fathers.

Not possible, you say? Not in this country! Not under our justice system!

Yes. Not only is it possible, it is reality. It is reality in this country. And it is reality under a "justice" system that has raged out of control and has turned into a monstrousity which torments mothers and children. This form of court-ordered child abuse is rampant in the United States in this year of 2008. And women across the country are responding to this monstrousity in the form of small organizations which grow constantly larger and begin to overlap and are even now beginning to come together to form larger organizations.

Not possible, you say? Ask Johanna von Geldern, who is on supervised visits with her daughter, a child who begs her on every visit, "Mama! Do you have to go away? Can't I go with you?" The court ordered the child into the custody of a father and his new wife, said father having sufficient funding to afford attorneys who could persuade the court to see things his way. This child comes to visitation sporting bruises and black eyes and battered arms and legs, one time appearing with her fingernails cut so deep into the quick that this little girl could not use her hands to play.

Not possible, you say? Ask the founder of MothersinCrisisCoalition. Or, just as good,, ask any of the members.

Not possible? Ask Eileen King, founder of JusticeForChildren.

Not possible? Ask any number of authorities in the field of child abuse as a product of family court: ask Joan Meier of George Washington University; ask Joy Silberg; ask Dr. Jill Scharff--who is still sitting on records that could prove child abuse in the case of Elsa Newman's children and refuses to release those records; ask Dr. Eli Newberger; ask Michelle Etlin or Leora Rosen, who co-authored The Child Hostage, a book about this very problem

Not possible? Ask an organization called "CorruptCourts."

Ask a woman I must call only Lettie, lest I damage her pursuit of justice. Her daughter was court-ordered into the custody of an HIV-positive father by a court which disregarded the fact that the man was incesting the child.

Ask the women of MomentumofMothers (MOM), whose letter follows.

And now that you know about the grass-roots movement? Read the letter from the women of MOM. Here it is in its entirety.


Holly Collins* can only be described as a "Lion" and she is my hero and the hero of many other mothers out here! She was able to protect herself and her children from her abuser. One of the saddest parts of Holly Collins story is that she is NOT alone! Women are being "stalked" in Family Court by their abusers and it's in part to be blamed on government funding called "Responsible Fatherhood Initiatives".

Literally thousands of mothers nationwide have lost custody to their abuser, in fact “the studies are showing” that up to 2/3 of accused or adjudicated batterers receive joint or sole custody in court. Joan Meier, Esq. http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org

We are a group of mothers that have joined together online in a "Sisterhood" of sharing or losing custody to our ex abuser's. We have blogged, put up websites, signed petitions, joined other groups and we keep trying to receive justice, not only in our own cases but for each other and future mothers.

Here are just 'some' of the nightmares our group has faced:

A mother loses custody to her ex abuser, an illegal immigrant who is facing deportation. How did this happen? Well, a Judge decided in another state that since the child had been visiting the father all summer that was his jurisdiction and overruled what the other state had decided, sole custody of the mother.

This is common ploy of these men to get some substantial "visitation" with the child(ren) and then claim abandonment, residency etc. This NEVER works the other way around for the non abusing parent, which is usually a woman.

Another mother has sole custody, leaves the state (legally), goes to a domestic violence shelter and the ex abuser/father claims "parental kidnapping". Another tactic used by abusers to "force" you to have to be in close proximity to keep trying to "control" you by way of 'forced' visitations of the children. This mother's children reside now in another state than her with her ex abuser. In fact, the ex abuser doesn't even live or care for the children, they reside with HIS parents.

Another mother had her signature forged on a court stipulation that gave her ex abuser "50/50" custody and ALL back child support dropped. One of the biggest reasons why the father wants "joint" custody is because of his child support obligation will be less or nil. The Family Court refused to look at the forgery evidence, the DA refused to file charges and the abuser gained more and more custody. This was even after the father was arrested for his second DUI in less than a year but this time he had the 7yr old child as his passenger. Not even CPS thought that was child abuse or neglect. A CPS worker told the mother that "just because he drove drunk with his child didn't make him a bad father, he made a bad choice". The same father had child sexual abuse allegations against him substantiated but it was reversed by the Family Court Judge that recused himself from the case previously.

The case of a mother who tries to protect her children from sexual abuse by the father and the mother gets supervised visits. That's called PAS, Parental Alienation Syndrome, a common label most of us mothers live with. It's junk "science" that was created by Richard Gardner.
http://www.ipce.info/library_3/files/pasyndrome.htm

The mother who was beaten to a pulp by her husband and the children witnessed it. They arrested the abuser and ordered him to stay away from the wife and children. Two days after the abuse CPS and the police came and took the children away from the mother because SHE had allowed them to see her being abused and had "endangered" them. With bruises on her face and cuts still healing she had to relinquish her children. She got supervised visits, to this day the abuser has sole custody.

Then the most horrific of the stories is one of Elsa Newman. Newman is a 54-year-old mother, unjustly imprisoned in Maryland Correctional Institution for Women at Jessup. She was charged with a crime committed by another person, family friend Margery Landry, who broke into the house of Newman's estranged husband, Arlen Slobodow, on a night when he had the couple's children for a visit. What she found there seems to have been a case of abuse in progress. Please see this article for more information: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/259162.

If you want more stories, we have them! Our Constitutional rights have been stomped all over by way of ex parte hearings and communications, falsifying court documents and the most horrendous fact that the Federal government funds in the name of "Responsible Fatherhood" are available to give our abusers an edge in court and counties more money.

The injustices that faces our group of mothers, Holly Collins and many others must be stopped. We have been ignored, chastised and been abused all over again by the agencies and governments that are in place to "protect" women and children from abuse and their abusers. Enough is enough and we are NOT going to take it anymore!

We need the help of the media to expose ALL of the corruption that exists in Family Courts.

Sincerely,

The Mothers of:

Momentum Of Mothers M.O.M.

http://rights4mothers.org
http://justice4mothers.wordpress.com/justice-4-mothers/
/
http://www.myspace.com/fightcps4victimsrights
http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/ocean/host.php?page=0
http://elsanewmanisinnocent.blogspot.com/2008/09/this-woman-is-elsa-newman-why-why-why.html
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Free-Elsa-Newman


And these women have only begun to fight!

To quote one of them: "I will not shut up, I will not give up and I will not go away!"

*Remember that name "Holly Collins?" She is the mother who fled this country with her children in order to protect them from an abusive father. She found refuge in the Netherlands, where she was given political asylum. The government of the Netherlands took on the task of protection that US and state governments had refused. Among other things, Holly Collins is noted for her response to a court which agreed to drop other charges against her--so she could return to her homeland with her children--provided she would agree to plead guilty to contempt of court. Her reply was to the effect that she would, of course, be willing to plead guilty to contempt of court, since she had nothing but contempt for a court which had failed to protect her children.

In conclusion, a bit of advice for the mothers' movement and the strong women in it: Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil himself says, "Oh s***! She's awake!"