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Demonstrating Healthy Marriages – Think Big, Invest Much, Expect a Lot, Require –???

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U.S. Health and Human Services — Administration of Children and Families

Office of Family Assistance

Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grants

 

Last post, after I got over the sticker shock of how much California Healthy Marriages took (as I perceived it) starting in 2006 from funds that otherwise might have met desperate need, unmet to date, for enforcement of existing court orders granting me ACCESS and VISITATION to my to stolen on an overnight visitation daughters, just as I’d found despite searching — HARD — no such help before then to get help <>prevent this event, <>enforce existing child support or collect any of the mounting arrears, or <>consistently enforce even the weak, poorly-written visitation court orders, <>obtain an extension or renewal of the original restraining order so I could work in peace and a degree of safety in supporting my household WITHOUT consistent child support, or <>stopping the subsequent (once RO was off) stalking, etc.  

Another year, including a flurry of arrangements and orders, none of them adhered to, yet when i pressed for this, certain things were done OUTSIDE the courtroom to warn me not to disrupt the status by taking my court-ordered rights (or his responsibilities to them) at face value.  Eventually I again saw (a few rounds in family law system will probably make this clear) that the court itself wasn’t taking them seriously either, and I was evidently some rabble rouser for doing so myself.  Concern for their intents with our daughters continued to rise.  During this time, of course there was no child support either.

 

In subsequent months, after the dust had settled into the dreary zero contact, I worked instead on seeking help merely to maintain a cell phone so as to replace the work lost in all this process, not to mention unemployment.  The bottom, marginalized line of society were told to get in line (and I did), and that a phone was simply not a necessity for life.  At least life on welfare, which I am beginning to realize was possibly in the original plan.  It’s hard to control people who are in a satisfied manner working and living out their life’s purpose, particularly when there’s a match between that and livelihood.  They are less likely to have the financial difficulties.  

Phone help — and unemployment — was, however, promised from certain agenices, as if a person going through the family law system needed another layer of bureaucracy to decipher.  

So, after THAT, I sort of figured out a way to maintain things, and tried to keep my chin up.  

All this time, really prior to that child-stealing event had worked its way through family law and child support court to the point of, basically ZERO (contact, or enforcement of arrears), I had had existing work, pending work, and referrals, plus sources of them.  It was increasingly frustrating to have no single obstacle to acting on this other than the toxic relationship of having dared to leave a divorce, and then after that dared to say “No” to invasive orders-giving about how to rebuild a life and livelihood.  And to have attempted to set clear and reasonable boundaries — and mean it.  To continue to be dealing on a personal level with this level of hostility and/or dysfunctional thinking, the same kind that endorses wife-assault if she’s uppity, or he doens’t want to answer that last question. Or just because . . . . I’m talking about dealing with family who refused to acknowledge existing court orders, and systematically placed themselves in my life and above the law against my will, and brought destruction with it.  I call that a criminal mind set.

Most of my life work had been spent in voluntary situations/organizations (nonprofits often) where people came there because they wanted to, or wanted their kids to, which made for a much better climate (and better pay, too).

Now that my schedule had so cleared, and significant time to study WHY this happened, the answers are not that complicated to understand — just hard to accept.  What it’s hard to accept for our society is that some women — and sometimes for VERY valid reasons — “just want to be alone” when it comes to live-in sexual partners, or live-out ones either.  In addition to this, the fact of not having a live-in sexual partner (married or unmarried) would not be AS hazardous to adults’ or children’s health if society would simply just “deal with it,” rather than attempt to wholesale “eradicate” it.  The word “CHOICE” is the relevant word here.  

I DID learn a valuable lesson, to bastardize a quote from an assassinated U.S. President, “Ask NOT what your country can do for you — even when it has proclaimed it will ….”

 

I had been naively looking in the wrong Department of the U.S. Government.  Naively, I thought the key to why justice wasn’t happening lay in the justice department, and its workings.  I looked at law, rules of court, mediation (as to domestic violence issues), I consulted databases (and emailed staff at) national judicial databases, or the respected National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges (“NCJFCJ” if I have the word order correct), I read, researched, networked, talked, called, and wrote, gaining information, seeking to see the WHY . . . . . 

 

Now, here I see these movements and this particular California Coaliation:

This coalition, as of 2006 (the year of this loss) had received over $2 Million — per year — for 5 years — in my state to help marriages that WEREN’T on the rocks, or split up, or broke already due to domestic violence, and related extended-family-wide safety issues.  So, I think I could be forgiven for a strong, public exclamation at this indignation.  For one, ACF, the same OPDIV umbrella under which HHS’s hated and feared OCSE had granted this CHMC, Inc. group $2.4mil/year on the basis of its HOPING and EXPECTING that this demonstration grant would demonstrate some serious results and accomplish many lofty goals, such as reducing crime, poverty, domestic violence, and of course the social plague of “fatherlessness” which is now responsible for those first 3 social plagues.

For the unwary:

 (Administration of Children and Families) 

(Operating Division)

(Health and Human Services)

(Office of Child Support Enforcement)

(California Healthy Marriages Coalition, Inc.)

 

I realized that this coalition’s “Target Population” was, basically the entire state (married or unmarried, rich or poor, and any cultural or racial background too) that had successfully survived life to the age of 15, which I suppose represents fertility, or something similar.  They are thinking BIG — and as such deserve big bucks.

These funds are not just dollars, they practically have a life of their own:  

They are going to:

  • BIRTH

  • NURTURE, and 

  • SUPPORT the development of a . . . 

. . . . well, you can read below. . . .  

 

Name of Grantee: California Healthy Marriages Coalition
Federal Project Officer: Michelle Clune (202) 401-5467
Target Population: Married and Unmarried persons in California, ages 15 and
older, of all racial, cultural and economic backgrounds
Federal Award Amount: $2,342,080/year
Program Name: California Healthy Marriages Coalition
Project Period: 9/30/2006 – 9/29/2011
Priority Area: 1 (five or more allowable activities)

Allowable Activities: Public advertising campaign (#1); Education in high schools on the value of marriage (#2); Marriage education, marriage skills and relationship skills programs for non-married pregnant women and non-married expectant fathers (#3); Pre-marital education and marriage skills training for engaged couples and for couples interested in marriage (#4); marriage enhancement and marriage skills training programs for married couples (#5); divorce reduction programs that teach relationship skills (#6); and marriage mentoring programs which use married couples as role models and mentors in at-risk communities (#7).

Organization Description: California Healthy Marriages Coalition (CHMC) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to saturate the entire state of California with marriage education. CHMC will pioneer a “coalition of coalitions” model across the state.

Use(s) of ACF Program Grant Funds: The program grant funds will be used to birth, nurture, and support the development of a statewide interlinking network of community healthy marriage coalitions. The grantee will use the following curricula:

— Youth: “Connections” and “Love U2”
— Non-married pregnant women and expectant fathers: “Love’s Cradle” and “Bringing Baby Home”
— Pre-marital education: “FOCCUS,” “PREPARE/ENRICH,” and “The RE Marriage Prep Program,” and “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk.”
— Marriage enrichment: “Relationship Enhancement (RE),” “Mastering the Magic of Love,” “PAIRS,” “10 Great Dates,” “Active Relationships,” and “World Class Marriage.”
— Divorce reduction programs: “Retrouvaille,” and “The Third Option”

 

>>>>>>>

See, I thought FAR too small.  I did birth, nurture and support only as many as I spent 9 months apiece on.  MY vision was to separate them from domestic violence, give them the best possible education, and set an example that it’s OK to leave dangerous situations — that women are not to be assaulted  by their spouses, and don’t have to stick around for more of that.  This has to do with things like self-respect, exercising legal rights and other such folderol.  

I would like to, pretty soon, take a closer look at the marriage education being offered.  I think a BETTER way to preserve marriages in California, especially existing ones, would be to SATURATE the faith communities with copies of:

  • Mandated reporting laws on domestic violence and child abuse, and a stern statement to rabbis, pastors, imams,  priests etc., AND any teachers or child care workers involved (etc.) that “THIS MEANS YOU”
  • Copies of the state’s laws against these behaviors for distribution and posting.
  • Statements against joint counseling of couples once violence has entered (which could be dangerous); retaliation might well happen after the one-hour or half-hour “performance” has ended, and without witnesses.
  • Warnings to have a little humility when a situation exceeds their expertise…call in an expert  (I have literally seen thumbnail-sized (tiny) booklets that appear to suggest someone reading the few pages is qualified to counsel such situations.  We’ve seen SWAT teams that couldn’t save the situations, let alone a casual reader).
  • A reminder that women got the vote in 1920, and that POSSIBLY, some of the institutions might wish to allow them to speak up not only in their public places, but also possibly have a voice in their marriages also.
  • 800#s resources in case the messages don’t get through
  • (A frank reminder to the WOMAN to avoid the family law system at all costs, if possible, should this crop up)
  • “You Breed ’em You Feed’em” business cards, pre-marriage.
  • Occasional messages from the pulpit that no one was created to be a scapegoat or target in life, male or female.
  • Prominent postings of the Bill of Rights
  • A realistic statement on how they expect to reconcile their activities with contrary activities within the public school system, for example some dismantling of the “abstinence education” stuff.
  • Financial education, as this is a primary area of struggle within marriages.  
  • Suggestion that, for real, the couple look at the family history, education and work history, too.
  • Got milk?  Got any more ideas?

Among, of course, other things, such as the wisdom of having both partners retain access to finances, transportation, and be informed of the state of their own economic affairs, and other things such as might be a deterrent to different forms of abuse common in these places.

I think SATURATING California with such things might save some marriages (or prevent some unwise ones).  

It might have mine… The joint counseling thing almost made a statistic out of our nuclear unit.

 

Moreover, saturation or non-saturation, there ARE people who just shouldn’t get married, no matter how much they like to have sex.  I’d like to see (since it’s taxpayer funds) how California Healthy Marriages plans to handle this, and has to date.

I would like to see that NONE of the materials are saturated with the misogynistic, near-vigilante, woman-blaming, feminist-hating talk.  For example, when people are killed by an irate ex (last time this happened — well, I know there was a hostage/femicide-suicide combo this past week, in San Jose.  They WERE happily married, but the husband was not the little girls’ father, who didn’t take kindly to losing custody.  Now she’s an orphan.  Both biological parents are gone.  Tragedies are tragedies.  However, at times, as with any movement, it attracts all sorts.  We had (see blogroll to right) one commenter blaming a domestic violence homicide on the woman, for fililng a protective order.  It was awful; a little background search (Google) revealed that the person had done jail time previously, related to some skinhead type affiliations (and weapons accumulations).  

This coalition needs to be sensitive to the fact that such hate-talk exists, and not take advantage of a tragedy to promote a policy, or that it will produce MORE overentitled males and transformational cell groups whose real agenda is not publically stated.  These indeed do exist, and some may be viewed, apparently (fairly new site to me) at http://www.rickross.com.

I owe my readers a short post.  This is one. . . . 

 

Here’s the link to review the stringent requirements and “detailed” descriptions of  other “Priority Area Demonstration Grants for Healthy Marriages.”  I look forward to a radical shift in the headlines — fewer family wipeouts, and less government intrusion in our lives through child support enforcement, or lack thereof.

 

I’m also still searching (among these) for a description in any abstract of what constitutes a Healthy Marriage.  I mean, among these grant recipients, is it sufficient (for now — this IS California after all, and the challenge isn’t going away) that a man and a woman be involved?  Does there need to be some parity in contributions, rights, or discussions of long-term plans?  Do they have to have the same religion?  Do they have to decide whether childre are to be involved, or what to do if this is a second marriage for one partner?  (In that case, read more on my blog and the blogroll to the right, FAST!).  Does healthy involve “mild” or any forms of domestic violence, and if so, is this going to be “explicated” by a differently funded HHS grant from, say, Office of Violence Against Women?  

Can a healthy marriage happen where the woman earns more or is more highly educated?

What about age differences (I am simply noticing that many — not all — of the incidents with fatalities involve a middle-aged male with a far younger woman, which makes me wonder whether he married for the babies or not.  Or vice versa.).  

In fact, now that I think of it, how in the world could a coalition define what is really a relationship?  I mean, who’s to say what they do in the bedroom or with their finances?  And if it’s a religious group behind this, WHO is going to advocate for the poor girl to keep her credit and bank accounts open, if they exist, and NOT put a house in only one person’s name?

Is it going to say:  Boys and Girls belong together to procreate.  If you’re going to procreate you should marry and stay married.

Is it going to address the high incarceration rate in the U.S. and say, “when Dad gets out, we want you two kids {meaning the parents of a child or children) back together, now, OK?  MARRIAGE is HEALTHY, and FATHERLESSNESS is a social scourge, after all.

(FYI, this is already what the US is doing….).

HAPPY BROWSING:

HERE is the link to the descriptions of the use of these funds.  As you can see, some have smaller target populations, although one with the word “Dibble” does say “throughout United States.”  Another one I looked at yesterday (and need to view a bit more) made news article for having been taken over for certain bookkeeping inconsistencies by the Dept. of Education.  I’m puzzled why the funds are still going through.  We are, after all, in tough economic times (and I’m still owed money, also).

 

We appear to be carved up into REGIONS (not states).  

Regions 1- 9 (except “6,” which appears to be “MIA”

Hover for a summary (titles and target populations), or Click to Look.

Many of these are 5-year obligations of around $500,000/year.

 

Apart from the CHMC  above — I hope there’s a no-competition clause in there somewhere, because it’s not the only one in California — my other favorite for scope of vision (if not clarity) is:

 

Office of Family Assistance
Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant

 

Name of Grantee: The Dibble Fund for Marriage Education        

Federal Project Officer:        

Heather Sonabend (202) 260-0873 Target Population: High school teens across America Federal Award Amount: $549,999/year Program Name: Healthy Marriage Discretionary Grants Project Period: 09/30/2006 – 9/29/2011 Priority Area: 8 (one or two allowable activities)

 

Allowable Activities: Public advertising campaigns on the value of marriage and the skills needed to increase marital stability and health (#1) and education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills and budgeting (#2).

Organization Description: The Dibble Fund for Marriage Education was founded in 1996 with a mission to focus on helping teens learn the skills needed for current healthy relationships and future strong and sustainable marriages.

WOW — that was shortly AFTER the National Fatherhood Initiative (1994) and shortly BEFORE the U.S. Congress voted in both houses that we have a plague of fatherlessness (1998/1999, see prior posts and I think I have blogrolls on this).  I hope they will be nice to Mothers too…

Use(s) of ACF Program Grant Funds: The Dibble Fund plans to create a public advertising campaign on the value of marriage and the skills needed to increase marital stability and health, and to provide education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting. They will train 500 Family and Consumer Sciences high school teachers each year to implement peer education projects to reach 113,500 students with over 1.66 million hours of instruction over 5 years. They will increase the number of high school age youth that have access to “best practices” healthy relationship and marriage programs (including **Love U2, Connections, and The Art of Loving Well curriculums{{Curricula??}}) through schools, youth agencies, faith communities, and peer-to-peer education efforts in states with limited Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI) teen programming. They will influence the knowledge and attitudes of teens about healthy relationships, the “success sequence,” and marriage through an innovative media campaign that reaches teens “where they are,” by leveraging the power and reach of the entertainment media (TV shows and magazines that teens already flock to), the internet, and other new media (mobile phones, i-pods, and other new technology that delivers content in non-traditional ways).

 

You have to admire the chutzpah, though — “teens across America” and in states deprived by “limited Healthy Marriage Initiative” teen programming.  That’s ALMOST higher than the U.S. Dept. of Education goal that No Child Be Left Behind — ALL be able to read, write, and count (at a minimum) before they turn 18

BERKELEY, CA must be Healthy-Marriage Initiatve deprived (too many same-sex marriage advocates?) because they got a grant, I saw in yesterday’s chart.  

But then again, the HHS budget is far larger than the Education budget, so they can aim higher.

 

**Some curricula designers are going to be profiting from this 4SURE, too.

REGION 8 — apparently Colorado, Colorado, and Colorado** plus Utah and Wyoming.

 

**See my link on “Policy-Studies.com” and if it’s still there, “Center for Policy Research” with Jessica Pearson et al.  The 1983-2005 picture of a tree showing its growth is worth the wait time if your PC/Mac takes as long to load as mine does.

Under Wyoming, I note a group that’s new on the scene (in getting gov’t grants to promote marriage….) as of 2002 — AND targeting 2nd marriages and stepparents.  Good for them.  They will also be aided (where one partner is the man) in the generous Access Visitation Grants in getting his child support reduced by gaining custody of the children, if they aren’t already in the home:

Organization Description: The High Country Consulting, LLC dba Faith Initiatives of Wyoming (FIWY) is a statewide intermediary organization for faith and community-based (F/CB) organizations founded in 2002. It currently serves more than 2400 F/CB organizations through training and technical assistance, fund development, identification of best practices and advancement and use of technology, all aimed at building service capacity at the local level. FIWY also assists with direct management services, data handling, event planning and coordination of partnership activities for F/CB projects.

It WILL, of course, be cautious not to maintain a balance between the religious viewpoints with those of atheists, or non-adherents. I’m curious of those 2400 F/CB organizations span a variety of faiths…


Use(s) of ACF Program Grant Funds: High Country Consulting will implement and evaluate a marriage enrichment program that will target stepfamilies and couples in second marriages. They will provide marriage preparation, enrichment and divorce reduction services through both community-based and faith-based organizations, using a pilot program as a cultural model to reach out to over 1,250 participants…

 

REGION 1 – (Simply substitute the number in the “URL” to switch regions) — one grant only, 

 

Character Counts In Maine
 Organization Description: Founded in 2002, Character Counts In Maine (CCM), doing business as Heritage of Maine, has delivered abstinence education that includes marriage preparation skill building for adolescents in communities across Maine over the past two years. Their Heritage Keepers abstinence until marriage curriculum teaches relationship skills which lead to the formation of safe and stable marriages. CCM has formed a coalition of civic and faith-based organizations, high schools, youth groups, churches and marriage education organizations known as the Main Community Partnership to bring healthy relationship education to high school adolescents.  
Target Population:    

 

Adolescents/Teens in High School; Educators in High Schools (to deliver services to adolescents); High School Principals (quarterly newsletter)

 

 

REGION 2 — 3 grants, slightly  more interesting:


 In the Bronx

Organization Description: University Behavioral Associates was founded in 1995 by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center and is the main provider of behavioral health care in Bronx, New York. Additionally, the organization has long-standing relationships with local welfare-to-work programs and has the capability to manage information for hundreds of married couples.

SO — we have the religious approach, and the Behavioral Modification approach.  So long as teens and adults from one set of marriage programs don’t marry teens and adults from the other side.  Well, this is targeted at already married people..   

Organization Description: The Research Foundation of SUNY, Stony Brook University is a non-profit organization located within the Stony Brook University campus. They proposed to use a highly innovative, empirically-supported, empowering program for income, unwed parents soon after the birth of a child.

 

Region 3

 

Organization Description: Family Guidance, Inc. will be the lead agency for a coalition of regional non-profit agencies, calling itself “TWOgether Pittsburgh,” to strengthen marriages. Coalition members include: The Center for Urban Biblical Ministry, The National Fatherhood Initiative, evaluator Dr. Stanley Denton, The Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh, and Smith Brothers Advertising.

High school students, married and unmarried couples and individuals who are residents of Pittsburgh, PA and the surrounding 5 counties.

 

 

Region 4 – one of the larger (or more active regions — SE United States (Georgia, FL, Alabama, N. Carolina, etc.)

 

This one particularly bears some looking at, and I hope to.  Several universities make the list, a “Trinity Church” and a good deal of abstinence-based education, which is being fought elsewhere in government circles, at least within the school systems.  I also note a certain curriculum popping up a lot, and am curious as to how many of the institutes receiving grants (judging by originating date) may be offshoots of the Fatherhood movement which — it should be clearly noted here — is a reaction to the feminist movement which, at least according to itself, is a response to simply oppression on the basis of gender, and things such as — you got it — violence within the home, or an attempt to deprive a person of some basic civil rights.  Feminism is not the antithesis to patriotism (nor is patriotism as promoted by some of these groups synonymous for respect for the Constitution and the laws of the land).  

 

I became a feminist precisely because of my trip through marriage and afterwards, the family law system.  Til then, I took too much for granted.  I am a mother, and I retain my faith — just practice it in safer places.  We find help and strength where it is found.  The hardest thing in my life to date was not having children, raising them with a violent, narcissistic, father (and working and struggling economically also), nor was it afterwards supporting them.  That was a piece of cake, until the advisors began flocking into my life on the basis that I didn’t have a man in there (long before I was ready for such a relationship, after all this).  On the basis of my profile, not the actual behavior, facts, results, or character.  In fact, the experience of being “advised” after marriage when I wasn’t seeking or needing it, of being forced to do things I personally knew (and announced) were destructive to both work, relationships, and daughters’ educational options — was very much like living with abuse, only with more participants and less actual physical attack.  Psychological escalated, along with the lies (once audiences were found).  

The hardest thing I have ever done in my life, that I can recall, is surviving the total removal of my children from my household, and all significant contact with them at THE very point where our household was poised to succeed dramatically, in several categories (work, housing, schooling, neighobrhood, and surroundings).  It was about AS healthy a (single-parent) family (with contact with the other parent available in the circumstances.

THAT, friends, was the problem to an abuser — success and independence HAS to be stopped.  This doesn’t happen by telling the truth and complying with commonsense laws:  Don’t steal, don’t perjure onesself in court, don’t suborn perjury, don’t kidnap, don’t harass, don’t stalk, and don’t refuse to work in order to punish the other parent — adn the kids alongside.  Put your need to dominate SECOND for once in your middle-aged, male life.   Develop work, not just alliances in the slander, and take-down campaign in order to somehow justify that NO single mother can handle life alone.

 

Well, not with this kind of attitude running the environment.

 

There are many uncomfortable similarities with the personal history here (which parallels many I’ve heard of) to the overall scope of this movement.  HEY, I’m in favor of marriage, too obviously — I married, right?

 

I’m just not in favor of a national religion, at others’ expense and my own.  I am pretty sure, by now, that the difficulties these children went through, and others still are (and mine are), and their confusion (or unified, but unjustified, belief of lies about their mothers, which is undermining to a healthy values system for growing adolescents) — are in good part traceable to some of the grants and initiatives I have been detailing on this blog.  They are contributors to the social problems, while purporting to solve them.

 

Until this connection is made by enough people, the burden will just get larger and larger, while the public proclamation would be, funds are shrinking and shrinking.  WShen the proclamations are coming from THE largest arm of the Exec Dept (and elsewhere), at some point in time, we have to say, WHAT are you doing with that MONEY?  At an individual level (like I am starting to) and then call your Congressperson in charge whatever grant affects your area.  

The catch:  Mostly the people who can do this are on the outskirts

 

In essence, it’s socialism.  There have to be safe options for not marrying, and these are to be as valid as the others.  When it comes to my case, it was only being forced to live a serious “half-life” half-in and half-out (or, 95% in)multiple GOVERNMENT_RUN- institutions — that economically and artificially suppressed prosperity for us.  I was forced to fight, instead of work, after having done my best to reconcile the irreconciliable differences with an abuser.  This has done nothing but escalate, since I met the guy, basically — with only a few brief pauses.

I talk with a LOT of people on a daily basis, and it’s rarely a day I don’t hear of another similar situation.

 

Preaching marriage around the place doesn’t help matters, as far as I am concerned — the entitlement in such cases is through the roof.  I did practically everything I am reading about in these abstracts — didn’t have children out of wedlock, stayed committed, worked alongside, supported, you name it.  Hung in there as long as possible.  My commitment to this ideal of marriage, for one, didn’t match the father of my children’s.  He was committed to its privileges, but not its emotional sacrifices in that, he was to engage with a separate human being AS a separate human being, not a household (or biological) function.

ABOUT MARRIAGE

When it works well, it works well.  When it doesn’t, then I wish that the national atmosphere (federally-pronounced) would cool it on the propaganda — the air is highly charged around here, and domestic violence ignites quickly when marriage (or other fatherhood, proprietary success-mandated) entitlements become the national ideal.

 

I dare anyone to get up there and OPENLY substitute one skin color, one ethnic group for the word “father” and another for the word “mother” in the same languages, and then got about to make this happen.

 

Or, religion.  

 

it would be seen for what it truly is — ridiculous, and bigoted.  Somehow, and for somereason, the concept of “fatherhood” unites a LOT wider spectrum of people, more closely, and incites more trouble.  For example, I’d say a good proportion of the domestic violence I lived through and my kids witnessed, traumatizing and sometimes terrorizing all of us, and then engendering response compensatory behaviors (including super-performance mentality in the girls, when small), plus it wreaks havoc on the biochemistry (I came out obese, which was handled, but remains a struggle when dealing closely with the situation long-term).  The obesity was a clear self-defense measure, and has been studied nationally (www.acestudy.org).  When I lost weight, significantly, and felt TERRIFIC (post-marriage) we were still seeing each other regularly (on exchange of the children for visitation) and somehow this brought out more aggression, stalking, and competitive behaviors from a person who’d already filed for divorce!  I was sitting at my work, and considering not only my own safety, but that of a person apparently perceived (not even real) “rival.”  

I’ve had to struggle morally with whether it was FAIR for me to enter into relationships — almost any kind — with the knowledge of how volatile the situation is.  

Put that together with work, and figure it out.

 

These groups are talking about the high cost of “fatherlessness” to a growing society.  I’m not sure this equates with motherlessness.  But here’s a question you don’t hear too often — what about Rachel lamenting her children (that’s a Bible reference).  

 

What about the effect on society of taking competent, mature, sometimes skilled and dedicated FEMALE workers and contributors to society — and keeping them traumatized a decade at a time, and in use of multiple social services they wouldn’t otherwise need.  What about their risk of old age poverty and homelessness from simply a few decades out of the work force, in order to handle:

1.  Abuse, first, (including verty often as part of the control system, economic abuse), then.

2.  Recovery, brief respite indeed — AFTER which, a long drawn-out custody trial for all too many, resulting in MORE lost work and opportunities.

 

What does THAT do for society?  First, stealing from its contributions, and then, burdening the safety net.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it 

 

HANDLE the domestic violence issues, and you will handle a multitude of other issues.  STOP forcing women who left abuse through classes (I wasn’t, but I know it’s a cash stream in the family law) when they weren’t violent.  STOP trying to put back together what already broke up unless you are willing to sign up front:  I take PERSONAL responsibility, up to and including incarceration along with those classes, if those attending my class addressing battering behavior  go out and kill their ex, or anyone else, afterwards.  

 

WELL, if taking the class allows a slick performer to pass with flying colors, and fly out the door, get sentence, or get OUT, and then go get EVEN, it’s setting the climate for homicide.  And I’m not the first person to point this out, either.

I bet there’d be fewer takers on these grants, and a slightly different economy.

The government is not a good teacher, it’s an abusive rulers, and it would do better to follow the examples of good teachers that are already OUT there, find out what principles they use, and follow them.

This is of course practically impossible with such a federally huge educational system — which is one reason many people, who can, opt out of it.   Now the government wants another crack at educating people who didn’t make the grade the first time through.  

No, I do not have a firm technical business plan answer.  But I know one that’s NOT it when I see it, and “healthy marriage education” falls under that category.  Either we have a national religion or we don’t.  The country needs to make up its mind.  The educational system claims that we don’t (I’m not sure I agree), HHS department is demonstrating we do, structurally speaking.

In my life, and as a fully-functioning intelligent working adult, I have experienced the worst of both worlds when it comes to treatment of females — blind to abuse, and upset at personal (peaceful) choice.  From atheists “educated” and from religious “undereducated” both. 

This post was drafted a few days ago, I have more research coming.  The BOLD LINKS above give more detailed descriptions.

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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