Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Does IPV, DV talk stop it? 2 Australians Talk about this.

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Actually, “speak” would be more accurate than”talk.”  I have put together two links on this topic.  The 2nd was a referral, the 1st inspired today’s blog to which I, a U.S. Citizen, respond.

“Shining a light into the murky depths of partner violence”

An update on IPV in Australia that came to my attention.  The article is posted in full below.

My next blog is my viewpoint on the migration of ideas from afar, also pointing out that foggy vocabulary can be intentional, or careless, but either way, transmigration of bad ideas “happens.”  

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Katie Dunlop [credits below article] talks like me, which is why I posted her whole article here.  With feedback interspersed.  I do not share her optimism in the general public’s will to do something about it, if only they realized what IPV really was, if only the media would get it straight.

BUT She notices the discrepancy between what “IPV” represents, visually, in real-time injuries and deaths.  She is THINKING about the topic with a view to addressing it.  

When “IPV” (yes, that’s a euphemism) becomes “IV” (intravenously injected into your life, either directly or vicariously association) there are only two options:  ACTING or NOT ACTING.  The only way I can guess how people choose NOT ACT is that they have become adept at NOT THINKING, possibly as a survival skill.

Commentary:

When a known batterer not only has, but has been given, one’s children (case in point) (was I “gender-neutral enough” in that statement?) this not thinking about it is somewhat harder.  I have also watched my family figure out (with apparent grace & ease) how to “not think about it.”  They refuse to interact with me (probably because in most contacts, I focus on some version of “where are my daughters?” or “Why are you continuing to support someone who refuses to comply with any court order, give any account of seeking work, let alone who used to smack me around in front of them?“).  These are not pleasant topics for any of us, naturally, and I feel that polite small talk is inappropriate for what are to me heinous (and insulting) crimes. In my family circle, any interaction using the words properly (legally) identifying the situation are tabu.  This was how I determined my particular family of origin’s religion (if its secret, whatever belief sustains this practice of “we won’t talk about it.”), by tabulating the tabus, and taking note of who was sacrificed for what cause.  Like many other religions, the sacrificees include women, elderly, and small children.

Another analogy that came to my mind in this matter, and in these societies, are simple packs of dogs.  Once pecking order** is established, fighting and posturing are reduced.  And face it, laws against domestic violence (IPV), or “hitting [primarily women] in the home” challenged the pecking order (**YES, I realize I have mixed-animal metaphors here; like any good bird dog, I cast about for words that smell right).

I have all along had irreconciliable differences with being hit in my home, and since then, irreconciliable differences with historical revisionism on the same.  It’s also occurred to me that batterer fathers sometimes snatch the kids partly in order just to retain an stray female in the extended circle of influence, which certainly must be gratifying to the ego, I suppose.  She’s not going to run TOO far if he has her kids.

Transcontinental Evolution of Ideas?  

I feel for Ms. Dunlop, a certain innocence in thinking that the process of reporting and assuming that all parties, or the majority of the populace WANTS it to stop.  Perhaps Australia has not yet gone through the shut-up or lose-your-kids process as thoroughly as here in the USA, where it is a war for proprietary use of the words Parent, Family, Child, and Abuse.  I know the process happens, I have been reading.

This post on talking about IPV seems an appropriate time to reference “offourbacks.org,” and its classic “The Grammar of Male Violence.”  Grammatic preference for indefinite concept nouns over actual actors shifts the focus from what happened to the theoretical air.  For example: 

“Domestic dispute costs 5 lives, again.”  

Oh, really?  No it didn’t.  “Domestic dispute” is a word-label, and words do not directly shoot, stab, kill, behead its 3rd wife, or drop a 4 year old (female) child off a bridge to her death.  A dispute doesn’t stalk.  A dispute doesn’t cause one parent to adhere to court orders and another to break them.  Or to issue orders that ignore safety issues.  As hate-talk can incite violence, generic-noun descriptors for awful, graphically bloody or emotionally devastating, cash-flow-freezing, household switching, community-disrupting, taxpayer funds wasting events.  

Generic nouns are the crime scene cleanup crew, on air.  Now, a lot of us use words carelessly, but I DOUBT this is the case with either politicians, major news media [many of which are monopolies in the U.S.], or policymakers — i.e., anyone who has something that must sell.

So, Let’s Get Honest:  Do not get caught with your pants down depersonalizing domestic violence or shielding an offence with the language of mutuality, at least when conversing with me, or within range of my blogs.   

Thank you Ms. Dunlop, for speaking up, though.  

[My comments inside brackets]

“Shining a light into the murky depths of partner violence”

Katie Dunlop

March 20, 2009

DOMESTIC violence, family violence, violence against women, intimate partner violence: we definitely have a range of phrases for the abuse men inflict on women and children within what ought to be relationships of trust and love. [Indeed, that is the real travesty, and very disturbing  and disorienting once it begins] Pity we don’t use them to describe the murders we often see on our front pages — the kids driven into the dam or gassed in the car, the wife or girlfriend stabbed in her kitchen, thrown off a cliff or shot in scrubland.

[Well, I do!  But yes, these terms are much more graphic, vivid and telling.  And this is one reason I posted your article…It tells this.]

Aberrations? Love gone wrong? No. These instances of violence are just the tip of the iceberg. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is everywhere, even if you don’t know it. It seems the subject of IPV is taboo, so those who experience it assume the abuse is their problem [I’m glad you have qualified “it seems.”  Speaking personally, I never assumed I caused “the abuse” (my ex to assault me), but because I lived with it, it became “my” problem.] and not the social and public health issue it really is. We need to start talking about IPV and we need to do it now. [Who, exactly is the “we”?  These people already are.  I just googled “Intimate Partner Violence in Australia” and 38,500 results arose, 3 of them scholarly articles.]  I have long known that relationships could be abusive, but it had never occurred to me that IPV was a common experience for so many Australian women. […”until I – – – – – .”  Thank you for the refreshing honesty.  But I’m curious what pivotal factor got you involved? Was it a friend?  Was it you?  A relative?  A poster somewhere?  A news article.  I would have liked to see the end of that sentence, giving more detail.]

Well, I didn’t know either, til it hit me, in the face.  Not even until after I got out, years almost later, and read, and networked, did I realize the extent of it.  This is because (#1) one facet of abuse is isolation.  Like mold, it grows in the damp & dark privacy. It is NOT unnamed, it is simply called something else:  “obedience,” “submission” “leadership” etc..  A true dilemma exists, because generally speaking homes SHOULD be private, but still this happens.  Another reason (#2) may be that it’s simply not pleasant cocktail conversation.  

Therefore, people who get involved are usually intensely personally involved.  These typically fall into one of about three campaigns:  (1) Like you, stopping IPV, and discussing how to, or (2) Stopping the Discussion of IPV.  This cat is already out of the bag internationally; talk [more like clamor, debate, accusation and cross-accusation] IS happening, the general tactics of group#2, with whom I am unfortunately familiar, are to rename it, or divert the conversations on it into something less offensive and personal [to the abusers}, as in Richard Gardner, high-conflict (vs’ “violent’) and “alternate dispute resolution.”  In MY book, me flat on the floor, or that family just slaughtered is NOT a “dispute,” nor was it before it happened, either.  It was not a dispute, it was a battle.   FYI, (1)s don’t talk with (2)s, they flood each other’s blogs, report about each other’s activities and try to stop each other’s forward progress, as in any good (?) political campaign.  

And the (3)rd camp, alas, is simply opportunistic and recognizes a market niche when it sees one.  The hallmarks of this general camp are pride on “not taking a side” (while doing exactly like that).  Ships of state are indeed large, and although rudder sWILL steer a large ship, that rudder has to be properly placed.  The rudders involve such things as words, money, and political connections / policy.  Policy in the USA has to supposedly be based on something to help “the people” (that’s, for example, us poor suckers than need intervention of some sort from abuse, or homelessness in order to help fund these ships).  As such, studies MUST be done to justify the policies.  Here is where universities (Harvard et al), foundations, and nonprofits producing reports for the same come in.  This is far more complex than saying “IPV is wrong  and costs lives.”].  More than a third of Australian women who have had a boyfriend or husband experience abuse. Most shockingly, IPV is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness in women aged between 15 and 44.

[Where’s the citation?  Mine is http://www.acestudy.org (to the right on this blog) and many, many other sources confirm.] 

Since I began working with women who have experienced abuse, the reality of IPV has become even starker. Rather than numbers on a page, these are real women with faces and histories. Each of them has a unique but common story: of living with control, fear and abuse, and courageously doing all they can to look after themselves and their children who, as IPV witnesses and victims, also suffer devastating effects.

[The operative word here is “them.”  Please produce their stories — and perhaps pay them something for it as well, once facts are checked.  Now that would indeed help directly, as well as crisis intervention.]

If you are surprised at the extent of IPV, you are not alone. Our awareness of IPV in Australia is very poor. According to a recent Victorian study, many [many who? many women, many men?] think that women abuse their partners as much as men (false: men are the perpetrators 98 per cent of the time) or that IPV is excusable if it represents a “temporary loss of control”, or if the abuser subsequently apologises (false: many IPV incidents, especially murders, are premeditated).

How can we work together to solve a national crisis if a significant portion of the nation is unaware of the crisis in the first place? [According to your report, assuming women are perhaps half the population (DNK about Down Under), approximately 1/6th of them, not including children, already are, by virtue of experiencing it.  However, to name it is one step, to leave it quite another.] In an atmosphere where IPV is shrouded in silence and myth, asking for help involves the risk of being judged or misunderstood.

We must aim for a society in which women can ask for help, secure in the knowledge they will be supported and respected.  [I would like to change this paradigm and  address the absent noun — the men who hit (not all men do).  Why “women”?  ????? [hint — the question marks are a link, also see blogroll…”The Grammar of Male Violence” has been on this “offourbacks.org” site since 2004.  It still applies.  Let’s help keep each other honest.  Get off MY back and, in the discussions, grammatically, REFUSE to use generic nouns, passive verbs and an abundance of references to women followed by the verbs such as “need, are, become,” and other things which are reminiscent of panhandling which is what we get reduced for when we must go too many rounds asking for ‘intervention,” without the full data on who is doing this and with what agenda.]

Why not aim instead for a society in which such men fear and hate to beat a woman, because there are SOCIAL consequences, and/or possibly PHYSICAL, including that he might suddenly find himself on the receiving end of a return defensive volley?  or FINANCIAL — institute and enforce IMMEDIATE financial penalties. upon conviction.**]  [I know a lot of women (I’m 50+) and barely a one of them qualifies as helpless and waiting for it.  The term “women can ask for help” is not specific enough.]  [**This may not be wise, as we have seen that some abusers will die rather than stick around to take the consequences of an escalation in abuse, especially when it goes lethal.] 

Re:  this phrase:

We must aim for a society in which women can ask for help, secure in the knowledge they will be supported and respected.  [This one phrase stood out as the most inappropriate, though it sounds great.  Who is “we”?  Do you not realize that what may appear to be a “we” actually includes a great many individuals in high authority who don’t necessarily agree that violence against women IS unacceptable (in private). ??   These exist in the exact same quarters that didn’t talk about it (when knowing it happened) to start with.  Is there a way in Australia to hold THOSE authorities accountable also?  How about the religious institutions, the courts, the schools, the law enforcement — there are many areas where men who batter women live.  Are they all going to undergo a housecleaning process?  

When I filed my restraining order (it took time and wasn’t easy), yes, temporarily, I was a women receiving respect and help.  There was a lot of repair and rebuilding, principally (but not only) profession!  BUT, when I then proceeded to go about my life peaceably, and at a safe distance– setting boundaries and refusing to take orders (after a point) that weren’t in backed up by a court order, the father of my daughters (who was seeing them weekly, when he chose to, a very generous arrangement granted to him via mediation) other entities came in, advised my husband to bounce the case to family court, and as I speak, I have been unemployed for over a year, and not seen my daughters, basically, for almost three ( glimpse here and there)  Seeing them is held in abeyance by two factors:  1.  STILL, a concern for physical safety, and 2.  STILL, economic duress. This is now close to 20 years of my adult, prime-time life when people are attempting to establish a livelihood that may support them now AND later, if not for children.  I had to stop and duke it out in a court system.  In retrospect, it MIGHT’ve been better to stay and duke it out with him in a different matter .]

Being equipped with the information and ability to talk about IPV also allows us to recognise and respond to the signs of abuse in our own relationships and in those of our friends and family. By transforming our silence — which implicitly accepts and condones IPV — into a loud and clear conversation, [Beautiful phrase, thank you.  One of the most telling books I read was called “Transforming Abuse” and it addressed this silence.] we create a society where IPV has few places to hide. We create a society that expresses zero tolerance for violence against women.

[I am so sorry.  This sounds great, but you LOST me at “create a society.”  No thank you.  I am not in that “we” and I wouldn’t be in the US either.  If you are going to “Create a society,” first you have to define who is the “creator”[and as I’m a Christian you just lost me] and who is the substance being created.  This kind of elitist thinking that started the compulsory school system in the US to counteract, it appears, influxes of Catholics from Europe.  President Obama declares this can be turned around if “we” just try harder and spend more, especially on pre-school education.  I have been looking for a way to tell him (and my local representative) that in my opinion, we need LESS school not MORE .  That any institution that is over 100 years old and has basically drained the populace of time and money, resulting in trailing the industrial nations in results does NOT need to expand.  That children’ don’t learn as well in herds as they do in smaller units, and those smaller units are FAMILIES that have time to network with each other, and so become integrated into their communities.  That, plus internet, plus taking them OUT of more school and INTO more arts, dance, science projects, and so forth, will get the job done IF the job you are actually intent on doing is “Education” (in its true sense), not behavioral modification.  I am an educator, and feel I have a right to say this.  

I believe as to THAT organization, the flaw is inherent in the design, and that intent to recreate a society instead of take care of your own folks, locally, is part of the problem.  

This would be off-topic were there not so many similarities in attitude, execution, and processes between our educational systems and our court systems, primary of which are who runs them and who funds them, as opposed to who they “serve.”

SO, [no offence taken, the terminology is in the air, so if you inhaled some, or envisioned a great society, I understand.]

FYI, I have been tracking these things, and yes, people are in some world views (and circles) viewed as substances to be manipulated, means-tested, and randomly sampled.  In others, they have God-given inalienable rights they will FIGHT for, one of them is NOT to be someone else’s creation, but their own.  If you want to “create” become and artist, architect, or maybe a mother, and please obtain prior permission from the subjects manipulated.]

[Question:  Is this possibly the paradigm such abusive men are also fighting against?  The concept of being formed and fashioned into something not of their choosing?  Or, was this just how they learned it growing up?]

The reality is that the creation of this type of society is within our capacity. [In other words, you’re a progressive who does not believe there are flaws inherent in human nature, for which laws exist and — I say — a Redeemer was needed…I realize this is thin ice publically, but even so, I find that the “our” almost never includes the primary stakeholders — the women leaving abue, the women going through the court system, and beyond that, children who MOST need protection and help and are being sexually abused by their fathers after divorce, AFTER reporting it, too.  Do you want to address the overlap between domestic violence and child molestation in the major media?  Good luck!]  Often the media contribute to the silence on IPV by failing to discuss it constructively or not discussing it at all. Rather than leaving us at an impasse, this points us to a valuable opportunity. Imagine the possibilities for socially responsible reporting that would arise out of a collaborative relationship between IPV experts, survivors and volunteers and journalists.

[The IPV experts ARE the survivors and volunteers.  Some of the survivors and volunteers also journal.  The experts making a nice living off this subscribe to journals I myself cannot afford.  i do get abstracts of many of them from 

The IPV service community should provide journalists with training on IPV issues and support the media’s coverage of IPV incidents. It should offer information about IPV, advice on sensitive and educational reporting, and the opportunity for journalists to personalise each story by drawing on the perspectives of IPV survivors [DO they lack that opportunity?  They’re journalists.  They can ask questions, right?  They have access to Internet, and have likely heard of the term IPV before.  EVERY story has a spin.  The question is, which one?]  . Media collectives of this type would help smash the silence on intimate partner violence by ensuring that, where it is present in the fabric of society, IPV is also present on the pages of our newspapers. This is one small idea, one small step, but one that might make us a bit more aware of IPV and with that, a bit more eager to act on a phenomenon that is destroying the hearts and bodies of so many Australian women and children. No idea is a silver bullet: solutions happen when small ideas act in concert. If we take this idea of IPV media collectives, add some national, ongoing, school-based healthy relationships education and opportunities for adults to engage with the issue of IPV in a constructive and personal way, I have great faith that we will be taking our first steps in a society where IPV is taken out of the hiding place that to date has afforded it protection.

[Again, Ms. Dunlop, thank you for your outreach work in the Eastern DV Crisis Center.  Please LISTEN to the women not only in that crisis center, but also women like the one who designed “Anonymums” and many more.  Think about the family law issues.  I have been been, and my studies repeatedly show that damaging standards and paradigms in the US also exist and are thriving in Canada and also Australia.  Please learn from our mistakes and struggles, and maybe save some bloodshed down under, or simply reduce the trauma.

I will say it again, and I hope loudly enough.  I am NOT part of someone’s great society, or a willing participant in this dream.  I long for the day when I have the wherewithal to tell quite a few re-creators (of my lives and relationships) to take a hike, get a life, get real, and let me get back (with what’s left of my years, strength, stamina and nerve) to my own.  Perhaps after the crisis centers, you can speak with women a decade or two out of domestic violence and incorporate their wisdom into your ideas.  We are SICK, I believe, of being someone else’s market niche, professional career, and while I’m at it, publishing credentials.]

[Thank you for noting IPV, doing something about it, and envisioning a zero tolerance for Domestic violence.  I was just wondering where were the people who thought about self-defense for women as part of basic marriage counseling, or perhaps catching them further upstream — financial independence as a part and parcel of marriage.  Those TWO factors — can’t protect herself, and can’t support herself while fleeing the guy — are crucial.  I told people who didn’t want me to live separate from this man to Go Take  a Hike, and I went back to my business. They ignored me, went behind my back, and through (as it happens) the child support system in this country, helped him cut back on his support before I was in one place.  It was a multi-faceted attack on independence.  Right now, my mother (elderly & frail) is also involved, unwillingly, but she has no choice. I still don’t have (yet) a safe choice for her when i do not myself have this.  Many, many times, I have looked back on my marriage and wondered if I’d been stronger earlier, or taught as a woman that’ it’s OK and feminine to fight back; If I had NOT sought help from outside the home (at all), but made damn sure that there would not be a second assault.  

Instead, female-like, Christian-like, I went to someone in authority — consistently, for years — and asked for intervention.  This did not come, and about 7-8 years later, my teeth were knocked loose in an assault, by which time I’d stopped reporting and was focusing on exiting.   What DID help me out and survive was simply reading stories of other women who did and HOW they did.]

Katie Dunlop is an outreach worker with the Eastern Domestic Violence Crisis Service and is a contributing author of The Future by Us, published this week by Hardie Grant. If you are experiencing abuse, the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service is a 24 hour/7 days a week telephone service providing support, information and accommodation. Call 9373 0123, or Country toll free 1800 015 188

NEXT TOPIC:  When there are kids:

Anonymums

The issue of IPV naturally entails the obvious fact that “intimacy” (a.k.a. sex) sometimes leads to pregnancy sometimes leads to children.  The links below, also from Australia, addresses the “mums” aspect of trying to LEAVE domestic violence, or worse (worse?), protect one’s children from it, or from (worse, although it overlaps), child sexual abuse.  Darn, another “tabu.”  Well, folks . . . . . 

On Anonymums links page, See “Leave them alone:  she is protecting her children.”

In the U.S. this can be cause for imprisonment.  Committing the acts which occasioned her to seek protection may or may NOT be cause for imprisonment. Again, enforcement is a gendered issue when it comes to child-stealing. If you don’t believe me, post a comment, and I’ll respond.  Here’s the “background” to the article.  The link (above) has a link to more background

Background (Preamble):
Swedish mother Ann-Louise Valette and her two sons Frank Oliver Valette, 11, and Andre Nicholas Valette, 9 have been plastered all over the newspapers as being “abducted”. A revealing article states that she was concerned about child sexual abuse that had not been substantiated.                

Anyone who has gone through the courts and worked in this area knows that most cases of child sexual abuse are underreported and the chances of getting help to substantiate it in the middle of a family court battle are minimal – The police won’t even go near it and child protection passes the buck saying that its family courts area. 

Lawyers filter these things because they know legal aid finds protecting children “expensive”. The facts are:

False Allegations of child abuse in the family court are as low as 5%

For years the Family Court has been systematically ignoring substantiated child abuse and domestic violence.

Family Violence and Child Sexual abuse are underreported.

Australia is one of the highest rate male dominated police force in the world. Since the “No Fault divorce”, it is mainly mothers who are running with their children, Since the shared parenting bill, homicides increased by 14% in 2006.

 

There is no domestic violence homicide review team in Australia. Most mothers run with their children because of family violence and child abuse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the US, there are, and have been for years.  Lethality indicators have been studied.  Laws have been passed.  Rebuttable presumptions against custodies going to the abuser exist in many states.  Custody still goes to abusers, and new categories of life-crime have been created to enable this:  Not wanting to hang out with your ex-abuser, and not being able to co-parent with him.  
This has nothing to do with the parenting and a lot more to do with bottom lines — $$ lines — of people in the court systems.  I created this blog in part to help expose and address (to the general public, and hopefully some Moms who are still naive like I was) by what means you became an object of study in a random sampling about how to make more marriages, good bad or ugly, a single mother is a threat to the value system (moreso than to her children, I believe).  By “you” I mean young fathers, older fathers, young mothers, older mothers, and kids.  
90% of the time, what it’s “about” is not what it’s really “about.”  It was hard for me to shift my values, or at least understanding, because I highly value being about what I SAY I’m about — both professionally, as a person, and as a mother.  It’s not about your court case.  It’s about policies.  
And it’s about money.  

Summary/Opinion:

USA’s bad policies go worldwide FAST. Those who can fly abroad to run conferences on how to run families (back to the abusers they left, which can be into the ground, either literally or financially). Women attempting to keep a low profile (not antagonize abuser), or flee violence, are not present en masse in these conferences: Either we are not asked, we can’t afford to attend, or they are membership-only, closed-corporation processes (see “AFCC” for one) and intended NOT to have our input.

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!

The American Spring Network

News. by the people, for the people. The #1 source for independent investigative journalism in the Show-Me State, serving Missouri since 2011.

Family Court Injustice

It Takes "Just Us" to Fight Family Court Injustice

The Espresso Stalinist

Wake Up to the Smell of Class Struggle ☭

Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence

Finally! The Truth About Domestic Violence and The Church

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