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

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Archive for August 29th, 2009

My Copy Editing Disclaimer: While I CAN Copy-edit for stylistic consistency, I DON’T herein: Let’s Get Honest, this blog just ain’t about to be copyedited

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Excuse #1:  PTSD (what’s YOUR excuse?)

         re:  The PTSD – There’s no Excuse for Abuse!

Like my approach to this Blog, it’s a choice.  (see photo to right)

Almost every excuse I’ve heard, mostly from family members, calls it something else, like “helping.”    The real struggle affecting the wider public in this arena (Family Court) is naming.  Name-calling.  It’s a language issue. Language controls SO much.  It controls children and money, which are unfortunately closely related here, and my sense of the courts is that the system has become closer to an auction block than a process dispensing justice, or fair decisions based on facts.  We are the state where it’s not only profitable to work in and around the courts, it is ALSO profitable to work for nonprofits dedicated, so they claim, to advising and changing the courts.  

The amount of help I would’ve needed at specific dates in time, to be TOTALLY and COMPLETELY solvent and free from abuse in short order after leaving it, almost never, once I had my income set up, exceeded a single child support payment, which at this point in time was set at lower than cash-aid for a family of two, which we’d been on briefly and which generated the initial support order tos tart with.  Alternately, I could’ve, with only a half more year of non-intervention policy from my family, omitted the child support entirely, and gone on our merry way, with two great children regularly seeing both parents, while living with one.

Instead, someone coached someone how to stop this, and the answer, the salvation, was the family law arena.  In the middle of recovery, and almost to safety or to “shore” (financially speaking, and this counts!) I was kicked back into self-defense mode, as a single mother and the nonbattering parent who’d finally worked up courage to file a restraining order.   

By the time I got myself up to speed on domestic violence literature, the laws, the rules of court, and the fact that any and all of the above are, in essence and in practice, “moot points,” my income, safety, boundaries, and stability were gone.  It took a very short few years to get this household BACK into trauma and poverty, and from there, snatch my kids.  

This did not just affect one family, or three generations, and relatives in one family, though it has.  It affected the wider community and burdened the social services, as I called crisis lines, again started attending DV support systems.  I hemorrhaged jobs and professional connections, and had a traumatic bonding relationship with law enforcement in two counties (and more cities).  MORE police reports were generated from my attempts to get kids back on a weekend exchange (after restraining order was removed) and then retaliatory frivolous calls by my ex (for example, if I was supposedly 1 minute late, when I wasn’t even that), than even happened during the years of physical violence and assaults upon me, my property, and animals in the home.  Some severe (physical) threats to me were generated from protesting animal abuse.  Still gullible, I continued to hope that law enforcement would help enforce laws.  Even when they allowed my children to be removed illegally from my custody based on clear perjury and after a judge’s order had directly forbidden this — less than 24 hours earlier — these peace officers failed to enforce when asked to.  The same office knew of the former domestic violence restraining order, and in fact, I think this exchange was beginning to get a bit of a reputation there (though I can’t say for sure).   

I did not understand HOW necessary it was for me to understand the ENTIRE system in these matters.  And it is appropriate to respond according to the truth of a situation, not to our myths about the truth of our situation.  IF I had made it through this website:  NAFCJ.net — BEFORE my kids were stolen, I might have acted differently.

No one goes through all that without seeking answers.  While few hours go into copyediting, MANY have gone into researching what I blog about, and that’s what underlies the confidence, as unpleasant as what I found was.  Namely, if I could summarize it, organized crime in high places.  Not exactly breaking news, but still we like to think, protectively, it’s not going to affect us, somehow.

Certain professions attract certain personality types.  It’s unfortunate but true, and public service is simply not always the prime motivation.

Old myths die fast.

Life and death truly are in the power of the tongue.  When any group seeks to pre-empt language, and re-write history, we had best be VERY cautious.

Name-calling is a basic human trait defining social groups, and always has been.  However, when a larger conglomerate of social groups is to function somehow, they have to have a “language” to describe the interactions, and some sort of regulation of those to minimize fighting.  As one age gives way to another, language is a real clue.   The largest clue is where the greatest silence is.  In this arena of family law, there has been an intentional, and arising from a single set of sources (date, places, and times have been identified on their own websites) to CHANGE TERMINOLOGIES, and make excuse for abuse.  I speak about this, as well as refer to (hopefully not in totally identifying detail; this is always an internal struggle, how much to say) some of the major areas of silence in this venue.  

HOW MANY blogs are you going to find which post grants data from BOTH the fatherhood/marriage and the Violence Against Women (i’m going to, today, some more) groups and ask pointed questions about how many lives are those funds saving — and according to whom?  I have limited time, limited brain capacity and when focused on content, cannot also focus on polishing content. 

The fallout from failing to SEE and ACT on the truth in this venue is sometimes death, poverty, homelessness, and intergenerational transmission of trauma, to those involved, or sometimes those associated with those involved.  What we as a society fail to see is where loss to ONE set of people (in these venues) is gain to another — the profit from prolonging the distress.

No one likes to talk about that, but we must, and  I DO — and the fact that  I do, in the history of who I’ve been personally dealing with, and now, seeing the wider scope of the problem (which isn’t any prettier), there is an element of fear associated with breaking cultural tabus, speaking up.  Families with histories of violence or incest have kept it going through silence, as mine did for 10 years while it happened to me in front of God and a lot of other on-lookers.  

But I do because of what’s in me that loves and wants to speak truth, not suppress it (I know ALL about that) and because of what’s left in my heart (which is a lot!) regarding my daughters, who have been lied to, lied about, and induced to lie in some of these matters.  

Therefore, getting it “up and out” is an act of some courage for me, and when I focus too much on editing, the courage fails.  It’s a totally different process and mode.   (This “serious” section was added after the more lighthearted stuff below).  In my marriage, when I spoke, he sometimes hit – doing so was ALWAYS trauma, sometimes caused serious injury, and always was intended that I should not speak.  This is why I believe some abusers target the neck and mouth area.  They don’t want  us to speak, or breathe.  When it comes to economic abuse, there is difficulty with communication and transportation infrastructures — isolate and intimidate is the name of the game.  And then, once this is in place, interrogate and degrade.

 Why do they go for the neck?  (I learned at a conference in 2007 that this is a lethality indicator, in a publication addressed to dentists!  I went to a dentist with teeth knocked loose years before, it didn’t raise any eyebrows even, that I could tell!  The story I gave them (at that point) was ridiculous.  It wasn’t questioned.  That was a serious missed opportunity, and followed up on, might have produced a criminal report and a night in jail; it might have changed things.  It SHOULD have.  But by this time in the marriage, I’d been through the round of reporting, and reaching out, and speaking up.   I was beginning to take a stand against abuse IN my marriage, and things were heating up as a direct consequence.  

Though I have lost a tooth, income, children, and thousands of dollars (as have others who then  attempted to support me but took not action to confront the abuse or violence), not one cent of “Victim Compensation” funding came this way.  Not one identifiable “help” other than naming the abuse that was happening, came from one of the best-funded groups in this area.  I believe we deserve answers, and I blog about this while I’m still here, still have housing, still have some health left.  The women I link to  also do this.

Again, as to abuse — What’s your Excuse for (your SILENCE about) Abuse?

I have and will continue to  post some unpleasant $$ figures as to the nationwide economic cost of not understanding “the name of the game” in these fields, and attributing pure motives to every one who has a smooth speech.  Which, I don’t think I do, but I try to get facts out, and assemble them in reasonable fashion, if not always in grammatically complete sentences.

Excuse #2:  I’ll let Wikipedia (so to speak) speak to this:




The “Five Cs” [1] summarize the copy editor’s job: make the copy (i) clear, (ii) correct, (iii) concise, (iv) comprehensible, and (v) consistent; that is: make it say what it means, and mean what it says. Typically, copy editing involves correcting spellingpunctuationgrammar,mathematics,[2] terminology/jargon and semantics; ensuring that the typescript adheres to the publisher’s house style; and addingheadlines and standardized headersfooters, etc.[2]

The copy editor is expected to ensure that the text flows, that it is sensible, fair, and accurate, and that it will provoke no legal problems for the publisher.[2] Newspaper copy editors are sometimes responsible for selecting which news agency‘s wire copy the newspaper will use and for rewriting it in accordance with house style. Often, the copy editor is the only person, other than the author , to read an entire text before publication. Newspaper managing editors regard copy editors as the newspaper’s last line of accurate defense.

Hence, EXCUSE #2:  I’m the author, not “other than the author.”

At least, I’m an “author” in a loose sense of the word.  

I assemble, react (in print), cut and paste, and think about it.  Aloud.  This is NOT  “copy editing.”  They are entirely different processes, and for a good reason.

A copy editor may abridge a text, by “cutting” and “trimming” it, to reduce its length to fit publishing or broadcasting limits or to improve its meaning.[1]   

There is no universal form for the job or job title; it is often written as one word (copyedit)[1] or with a hyphen (copy-edit); the hyphenated form is especially common in the UK. Similarly, the term copy editor may be spelled either as one word, two words, or as a hyphenated compound term.  (And if you’re paying attention, I intentionally used all three forms in my title to make this point).

Copy editing is done prior to the work of proofreaders, who handle documents before final publication.[1]



Under Wikipedia “Author”:

“According to the studies of James Curran, the system of shared values among editors in Britain has generated a pressure among authors to write to fit the editors’ expectations, removing the focus from the reader-audience and putting a strain on the relationship between authors and editors and on writing as a social act

I am writing as a social act, and there is a very strained relationship between the author and editor parts; they are not happy yet.  However I have made a deliberate decision to go with the first, and relegate the “editor” to a back seat.  This may seem backwards, but relates to how I deal with post-traumatic stress issues on some of these topics, and the “fear of speaking” issue.  (OR, it may be my way of rebelling against the “perfectionism” tendency).  Sometimes it has to come out nonstop, and there isn’t enough time or emotional energy left to go back and revise.  

When I do, instead, more reflection and more writing gets in there.  Perhaps hearing about the process may help people who haven’t been through certain kinds of trauma understand a bit about some who have.

In my case, i am still mastering “bloggery,” and I am alleviating (by this disclaimer) with the copy editing training I have, and trained, and fairly accurate eye I have when I’m NOT cutting, pasting (or trying to) and trying to figure out which font or margin changes will actually stick.  

The “accuracy” and with to avoid public embarrassment  thing crawls up my back especially when I, for example as I just noticed today  (8-29-09), I caught someone else’s Freudian slip/typo (“simulate conversation” where clearly “sTimulate” conversation was meant.  IN these fields, “simulating” conversation, dialogue and openness, mediation, negotiation, and conciliation is blatantly rampant.  Never get caught SIMULATING dialogue when you wish to be seen as STIMULATING it!  

But further down, regarding a missing foster child case which has now become a homicide INVESTIGATION, in, from my own fingers and brain, in slipped the word “visitation” (topic of today’s post, in part).  These word-switches (“hear” for here, or “know” for “no”, etc.) were much more common after the event of the child-stealing than beforehand.  I am a crack typist (over 100wpm) and used to be known for a sharp eye for grammar; I have worked in accounting and legal fields also, where accuracy counts.  There are definitely different parts of the brain in operation now, to do the same tasks.  Sometimes they jump tracks temporarily, I guess.  Never used to do that so much.


So, while no author in the general sense, I am in this sense:



There are no normal wages for authors. The pay for authors is normally based on provisions after standard contracts with companies.



> – > – > –  >



I have some ideas, but am not interested in fully analyzing why I write, any more than I formerly questioned why I played piano and sang, or why I ate and slept.  

There are pros(e) and con (artists) to the habit.  

Maybe I’m half hunter by nature, and like to bring home what I caught, like a cat brings home half-alive, half-in-shock mouse.  The point isn’t the trophy, but what a great hunter the cat was.  


However, this blog is NOT just for the act of blogging or the act of seeking.  I have indeed been on a personal hunt to explain WHAT’S UP? with this venue?  After i read the literature on “what’s up with the venue” I began looking at the organizations PUBLISHING the literature and pronouncing what’s up with this venue.  They are better funded than almost any family court litigant ever will be.  


That’s where the real story is.  The real story is in what is NOT being talked about it.  I talk about it, and I request public action on the information, in the form of taking this information, following up, and being highly motivated to know that this is affecting YOUR life, this particular kind of government waste  and lack of accountability as to HOW its funds are being spent.


Regarding the PTSD factor – – these are difficult topics and truths to put out there.  They are also, many, personal.  Putting together a narrative can be healing, but done wrong, it can also re-traumatize.  Hence, I fear that what you see hear is what you GOT.  Get it?

One more thing about perfectionism:  This also runs in my family line, and I do know (at least so is the family lore) my father watched HIS mother being beat by HIS father; it appears to be what they did back when in many cultures.  He was if nothing perfectionist (in his field) and a researcher, creative thinker.  I am beginning to understand why, and I happen to know that THIS applies to at least one of my two offspring.  

Quote is cited on today’s post.  (Note the 1980s dates of the cites)


In my opinion, it would be better, in most cases, for the children of homes where there has been domestic violence not to be in the custody of the abusive parent at all. In many cases it is even advisable that visitation be limited to controlled situations, such as under a therapist’s supervision during a therapy session, unless the batterer has been in batterer’s treatment and demonstrated that he has changed significantly in specific ways.

Caveat.  Batterers can often “perform” well for an hour or two, and have been documented doing well in class, but outside class, and sometimes shortly AFTER, murdering.  On this basis, I challenge that assertion, it begs the question of demonstrating what, how, for how long, and to whom.  Like religious “repentance” it can be very much faked.  My personal measure was compliance with court orders:  the ability to TAKE an order rather than, when it came to me, the ex-wife, only ISSUING one.  What the courts saw as my obstinancy, possibly, I (accurately, I assert) saw as my VERY healthy need for boundaries, and asserting them.  One thing family law tends to do (for the uninitiated, if there are still some of these around) is break down personal boundaries, and then judge the person with the broken fences harshly.  In a given case, this will be one parent OR the other, not both, and typically it is the female one.

 “Merely” observing ones father abuse ones mother is in itself damaging to children. My clinical experience is consistent with the research literature which shows that children who witness their father beat their mother exhibit significantly greater psychological and psychosomatic problems than children from homes without violence (Roy, 1988). Witnessing abuse is more damaging in many ways than actually being abused, and having both happen is very damaging (Goodman and Rosenberg, 1987).

For the past few years — actually several years — I have had to witness from afar things that I knew to be damaging to my daughters, and was unable to do anything about this.  I REMEMBER being physically assaulted, traumatized, and a lot more, and I will concur, although I’d surely not want to repeat the experience, this DOES feel horrible.  It’s an internal wound hard to get at except by amputating something natural and innate, which is to care how one’s kids are doing, and do something to make sure they are thriving, and most specifically (in my case) headed in a good direction in life, and among people with decent values, and I’m not talking conservative or progressive, I’m talking, respectful of women and respecting the law, and not participating in “dissing” or hurting another parent. Forcing (minors in particular) to do this is part of a gang initiation, it’s like a ritual hazing, to prove membership.  I’ve seen the lower middle class version of this, enabled by people who ought to know better, based on the self-assertions.  yes, in short, it hurts, adults and children alike, but children moreso in the long run, I feel, because they have more lifespan ahead of them.

Studies show that a high percentage (as high as 55%) of fathers who abuse their wives also abuse their children (Walker and Edwall, 1987). In my experience, if one includes emotional abuses such as being hypercritical, yelling and being cruelly sarcastic, the percentage is much higher.

I was the target of this (as well as blows and choke-holds, throws, kicks, slaps, etc.) during marriage.  I NEVER saw physical violence by my father towards my mother (and have in recent years asked, and was said, no it did not happen), and although he was highly critical of me, he was not cruelly sarcastic.  I saw it as part of his professional mind (scientific).  However, he WAS cruelly sarcastic and critical of my mother, which I believe did affect my sense of integrity as a young woman.  I woke up to them arguing.  We became a family that didn’t talk about important things, and as the youngest (in such families, everyone has an assigned role), and when siblings left home and before it, I became the “peacekeeper” too often.  I disappeared into my own world, happily enough, until I became hungry for something approaching true and relationships/friendships, as I matured.  I found these in music and writing, books, etc. 

This cruel sarcasm, in the family realm, has been directed at me in my late middle age by this family of origin.  I think it is possibly in order to preserve a sense of “family” in that our father is gone, suddenly, and decades ago.  I do not think they are as comfortable with their worldviews, and a challenge to them seems a challenge to the core, somehow.

OR, it could just be about money and basic human passions, unrestrained by empathy or concern for the long-range impact.  I don’t know, I know it apparently “works” for them and not for me to punish outsiders, namely, those who challenge their authority to usurp authority, which happens to be MY definition of family violence, or abuse, to start with!

I became a teacher professionally, and know that one must KNOW who one is teaching, and that the sarcasm doesn’t motivate for long, the put-down, the cruelty.  Does it?  Did this work, as a whole and entire person, would you say for, for example, Michael Jackson?  He did amazing things.  Was it a good life?  Well, he didn’t see his kids grow up…  He was on medication to survive. . ..    Amazing music or no amazing music, and it was.

The damage that children suffer is highly variable, with symptoms ranging from aggressive acting out to extreme shyness and withdrawal, or from total school failure to compulsive school performance. The best way to summarize all the symptoms despite their variety is to say that they resemble what children who suffer other trauma exhibit, and could be seen as a version of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Walker and Edwall, 1987).

As I reflect on my own childhood, and recall some diary entries I had as to my daughters’ (plural) behavior immediately post-incident, I noticed both aspects.  They witnessed some horrible stuff, and when they are of age (and if interested), I will show them the entries, of how these little girls, after an incident would try to “distract” their Dad, by doing some super-feat for their age, or planning something to reconcile us.  I am talking, under 5 years old, BOTH of them.  

I suspect that my father realized (being without a man in the home) he had to grow up and perform REAL fast, and he sure did.  He also drank heavily, tried to handle it later in his work life, a work life that was full of awards and financial rewards too, well-decorated, well-acknowledged.  What’s more, he married a number of times (although only to our mother til I was out of the home), and died suddenly shortly after retirement, the circumstances of which I still (quite honestly) have significant questions about.  

Both of my daughters are supremely smart and intelligent (I know this), but one was chosen as super-performer, and the other one, after a period (early on) of trying to differentiate herself, even saying as of Kindergarten, “I hate reading” (but became a very competent, and observant reader close to this time), and another time blowing things off, apparently.  I tried to accommodate this through the public schools and was soundly punished for NOT having them both in the same format of school, even though I neither respected it (for either girl) nor did it work for them, or our family unit, nor did the idea for it even originate from either Dad or Mom at the time.  it was one of those outside “interventions” by “helpers” whose motives are not what they claimed to be.  At all.  

Then when I finally put them BOTH in the same school, was truly a compromise between my ex’s position (or, his ostensible position, i should say), which might have made someone happy, they were abducted out of it and put, at the time into a strange school system in a new city, each girl in a different school.  So “go figure” the rationale behind that.

And so, since this was a post about “copy editing,” about FORM not CONTENT, I will say this content is still relevant.  And this is as good an introduction to why I’m blogging here as any:


Equally serious is the long term effect of domestic violence – intergenerational transmission. 


I rest my case and my disclaimer.

FYI, the longwinded style, and associative, full-thinking (one hopes) that is natural to me, may be unnatural to others.  If you (reader) do not understand how or why this happens, please read up on some writings regarding trauma.  The constant interruption of thought is a means of control and setting off balance.  I’m completely aware of it.  I have had music, which really worked for me, unnaturally deleted from my life along with the children.  At a gut level, and through behavioral conditioning (NOT accidental in either marriage or divorce, I assert — unless it was simply generalized narcissism, but based on things I’ve heard and read from my ex, No, it wasn’t.  It was intentional to target music.  I KNOW that what I got from it threatened this man.  Not just the income, but the personal validation and emotional support.  It’s hard to dominate someone who is having fun in music!  Regularly!  (and getting paid for it, and connecting with people through it).  For one the existence of those relationships counters the character-smashing that is necessary to “win” in family court and necessary to “win” in abuse, which is in part about winning, anyhow.  Period.

So part of what a mind does is healing by speaking, and by connecting thoughts together.  I call it “hyper-focus” — although as a musician at the piano, I could most certainly practice and focus for hours (why not?), this is different.  It’s like a going “under water” until the thought is complete, and a sense of rising to the surface as it approaches what MY sensibility calls completion.  I suppose that’s somewhat meditative.  I know that it helped me during the most traumatic months (years) leading up to the abduction, and part of this was having AN audience, not just writing “myself.”  Hence, a longwinded (but hopefully informative, and sometimes at least entertaining or interesting)

B L O G.  It is my ‘attuned” relationship with myself, and for now, will do. I also wish to leave a bit of a track record (if you read more, you’ll realizing stalking has been an ongoing concern, and I have not reconciled myself either to lifelong economic or emotional abuse by family members, or never seeing a daughter while courts and truth both exist!  if not in the same place, at least separately.  I call this “hyperfocus,” and while there are drawbacks, in some senses also, it works for me.

So, remind me to hire a copyeditor, once I myself get some income. . . . While the best of art has a SENSE of artlessness about it, THIS stuff is indeed, for the most part “thrown up” (an awkward term, I admit!) on wordpress, not for its art, and I’ll just try to pick up a little artifice along the way, but it makes me very uncomfortable.

Note.  I do not know my ex’s mother too well (like our family, by “lore” more than actual face time or communications.  Some, but not much since we split, which I do out of respect for her).  She had a rough marriage, and one thing I noted in the few letters that got through was that the first person singular was absent.  Although narrating what she did, she began with the verb, and omitted the “I.”  Maybe she was another “amazing, disappearing, virtually invisible mother” like the noun I blog about sometimes; mothers have become “WOMEN” (There is an office of Violence against WOMEN, but when it comes to MEN, there is a major web section on “FATHERHOOD.”  On “marriage” on “children” and on “families” (as to vocabulary).  As mothers, we are possibly becoming a vestigial function in society, only kept around (for now) for the biological production of infants, for scapegoats (every religion needs a scapegoat, right?) and to give social status to some man:  He is a FATHER, he has a FAMILY, and he is head of the HOUSEHOLD (religious version). If not much else in life.

SPEAKING of “FLOW” (I was, really!), along with hunting and gathering, or should I say (web) surfing, how does this name FLOW off your tongue?



Mine either, and I found this following a craigslist ad, to which my reaction was, Is there NO area of life which is not a market niche?

And I found, probably not.  I hope we have SOME private lives left within the next three decades, but I am skeptical how many of us in the middle ranges of society will be able.  Anyhow Wikipedia to the rescue (if for phonetic pronunciation here): 



Personal background

He received his B.A. in 1960 and his Ph.D. in 1965, both from the University of Chicago.

He is the father of MIT Media Lab associate professor Christopher Csikszentmihalyi and University of California – Berkeley[4] professor of philosophical and religious traditions ofChina and East AsiaMark Csikszentmihalyi.


{{His son is one REALLY smart dude too, so perhaps we should listen up!

And, sit at his feet to be taught, too!**}}



Main article: Flow (psychology)

Mental state in terms of challenge level and skill level. Clickable.[5]

In his seminal work, ‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience’, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are most happy when they are in a state of flow— a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. The idea of flow is identical to the feeling of being in the zone or in the groove. The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.[6]


{{This includes during sex, where applicable….}}


In an interview with Wired magazine, Csíkszentmihályi described flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”[7]

To achieve a flow state, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow cannot occur. Both skill level and challenge level must be matched and high; if skill and challenge are low and matched, then apathy results.[5]

The flow state also implies a kind of focused attention, and indeed, it has been noted that mindfulness meditation, yoga, and martial arts seem to improve a person’s capacity for flow. Among other benefits, all of these activities train and improve attention.

In short, flow could be described as a state where attentionmotivation, and the situation meet, resulting in a kind of productive harmony or feedback.



Sorry to inject this (hey, not really — it’s my blog), but to a mother this might be nature (we give birth, remember?), or a musician, but to a scientist, it’s a field of expertise.  These are very elementary (and true) observations!

Did I say, teacher?


QUESTION:  Am I the only person here that thinks an article on “FLOW” with a Square Graphic with uniform, segmented, labeled dissections of it seems a little, well, Rigid?

Should it be called “Flow, Dissected”?  

What can’t the same people that can discuss, with engaging intelligence, the difference between particle and wave theory, not figure out that trying to dissect and label humanity is going to INTERFERE with the same humanity!  For one, the thumb is on the scale, and even a child in “supervised visitation” knows that SOMETHING is up, like, a performance.  And perform, they are likely to. The only thing that apparently truly FLOWS in such scenarios, is cash, in the form of grants, to analyze, dissect and (another endless stream) report on it.  To observe anything in some depth, one needs at LEAST two points of view, and one I recommend is “IMMERSION” (INside) and another “SPECTATOR” (outside).   I do this in music.  There’s theory, and then “applied” studies.  Moreover, there’s some differences between rehearsal and performance, as any musician knows.  And the performance IS affected, to a degree, by (a) venue (resonance of the room) and (b) resonacne is sometimes dulled by a full room of bodies.  Physically, it changes the resonance for the room.  Walls can be hard, and sound waves bounce off it (as I would characterize My interaction with the mediator) or they can be soft, warm, and fuzzily receptive, as too many custody evaluators are with one parent but not the other.  

If we can figure this out in music, why cannot a family law system figure it out?

I believe the system was well-designed to do what it is, at this moment in fact doing, and that is interrupt lives, divert cash (FLOW) and create an artificial, and at this point, society-wide source of trauma, which then will generate and justify ever more intrusive monitoring, measuring, calculating and declaring behaviors on the part of the social scientist and utopia-mongers.  And I predict that what’s left of individuality in human beings aware of their humanity, and perhaps seeking to be HEARD, erupt in whatever manner it may be.   I believe that at some level of policy making, surely (I believe, surely) someone realizes what direction its heading, and is quite OK with that direction, so long as they — and their progeny and cronies — are riding the wave.

In looking at more ancient literature, the analogy of people as water, and final Armageddon, etc., (jihad, etc.) is expected and predicted.  I do not believe the Bible calls it honorable, however, but it does predict this.  I would say that’s possibly an accurate reading of human nature, given past and future.  Ethnic cleansing is not exactly a new concept, but what I’m concerned about is the commmunal cleansing of ETHICS, not ETHNICITIES so much.  Although we can see that trend, too.

(I never DO know when to quit, sometimes. . .. . )

AS to Institutions that Specialize in Uncertainty and Flow-Disruptions, I could (but won’t, here) name three signficant institutions in the U.S.A. (home of the largest per-capita incarceration rate in the W-O-R-L-D.  This is after the fall of the Berlin wall, too!) who teach authority by interrupting flow.  That is the primary characteristic.  OK, I’ll tell you one, because I’ve experienced it:

Law Enforcement.

Here’s another:

Public School (bells, periods, whistles, lockdowns, fire drills, etc.)  It’s training, folks!!

Basically, any dominator institution will use some of this.  The question is, how much?

When people reach a certain level of adulthood, they should have a level of discipline to at least ONE thing (trade, profession, pasion) or another, and be able to transfer discipline in it to discipline in something else.  Perhaps we should talk about the “infantilizing of America,” I don’t know.  Another topic, hey?


The fact is, biochemistry is related to emotions is related to one’s sense of place in this world.  We DO difffer, and resonate to different frequencies.  You want total unity and uniformity?  Nationwide?  There IS a way to get it. . . .  at a cost, a human cost, and we are I am afraid headed into either this direction, or a real protest against heading in this direction:






(Found through Google Images search on “GooseStep”, and 3 times I’ve tried to paste the link.  However, I’ll still close with notes from the source of this photo, apparently a narrative from a man’s 1969 visit to the Berlin Wall.  You will probably find it again:  

(Entry was Aug 1 2006)


October 7, 1969. I had just finished a photo assignment in Austria and visited a friend near Frankfurt. Now I wanted to see what Berlin, isolated well behind the Iron Curtain, was like. 

People from all the Communist nations, including China, were doing their thing there. Folk dancing, music, demonstrations of solidarity, and just plain admiring this brave new world of the workers. Several stands in the side streets sold sausages and beer, both of which were pretty good and quite cheap.

As the day wore on I got hungry, and waited in line at the Café Moscau, which featured Russian food. Being alone, I was paired up with what might have been a general in the Russian army, or a doorman, in any case a guy in uniform covered with gold braid and medals. I ordered Beef Stroganoff, which was delicious.

There was a changing-of-the-guard ceremony at the Neue Wache, an old Prussian guardhouse now rich in propaganda value with its eternal flame for the victims of fascism. The soldiers there did a great goosestep.





Let’s all seek a better way, eh?  

Anyhow, I ain’t copyediting, I’m thinking aloud, on-line.

Have a nice day.  Don’t forget the blogroll.

The difference between my on-line monologues and what I experienced in abuse, and what my kids watched growing up, and what I suspect may or may not have “driven” my ex to expose us to (hours-long manic personal talks, and I DO mean, hours at a time, and afterwards he’d be relieved, and I’d be totally drained and sometimes emotionally dysfunctional, as though his “burden” had been deposited, by direct, face to face injection, into my brain.  I would lose all desire to do whatever it was I had just then been doing, typically housework, or getting ready to work, or paperwork.  This is NOT what a spouse is for!  However, my spouse didn’t write, and apparently this was what I was for, an “ear.”  Up to a point it’s OK, beyond that point, it’s using the other person.  We were beyond this point shortly after the children were born, when I truly did have other things I needed to do, and they needed from me.  We had, hence, a real roller-coaster relationship, the entire household.


Oh yes — the rest of that sentence,  at least as to a main verb and object:

 . . . . .  The difference between an on-line monologue and an (in your face lecture) is that listening is optional.


Now, as to family law venue — there are points at which fighting that battle is not really optional, or will come to any closure before either the energy is totally expended (or funds — my current situation, and still not “resolution” or closure) – – or, it will explode in some manner.  Neither is acceptable.  

Anyhow, I suggest you exercise the website-exit option if you got this far, and perhaps have your head examined as to why you did!

(Just kidding!)

Unsure how? Look for the closest interactive (e)X, typically lurking in a top right corner, slightly off-the screen, like a spider in a room with high ceilings.  (Just kidding).

Click on it and see what happens.

Or don’t.  After all, it’s OPTIONal!

(Like so-called “mediation” should be, but that’s another topic)

There are obviously downsides of not having a live audience, with gongs, or tomatoes.  I miss singing! . . . . . . 

(Not that performances ever ended in that manner!  Sometimes people stood afterwards, but it wasn’t too throw tomatoes!)




Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

August 29, 2009 at 7:08 pm

“Wife Abuse and Custody and Visitation by the Abuser” –A Man Speaks from the Past (1989).

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This voice from the past (1989 to 2009 = 20 years!) — 

is pretty well drowned out by “the Duluth Model,” and the millions of $$ of grants, funds, and now even new professions springing up, all to help avoid what I’d call THIS common sense.  I guess I will have to show.  This will deal with the issue of Supervised Visitation:  The question nowadays is how to make it safe, etc.  The question of why ANY visitation with such violence, scarcely gets raised again.

Wife Abuse and Child Custody and Visitation by the Abuser

by Kendall Segel-Evans

originally published:


I recently read the National Organization for Changing Men’s statement on child custody, and the position taken that, in general, sole custody by the previously most involved parent is preferable to joint custody. I would like to elaborate on this position for families where there has been violence between parents (i.e. woman-abuse). The following includes the main points of a deposition I was asked to provide to a lawyer for the mother in a child custody case. I do not believe this is the last or best word on the subject, {{now THAT’s a rare humility in the field!}} but I hope that it will s(t)imulate useful dialogue** about the effects on children of wife-abuse and the treatment of wife-abusers. I also wish to further discussion on the issue of how we are going to truly end men’s violence. ***  Clearly, I believe that the treatment of wife-abusers should not only be held accountable to the partner victim/survivors, but also to the children, and to the next generation.

**{{WAS THAT A FREUDIAN SLIP IN THE ORIGINAL?? “simulate” for “stimulate”??}} . . . 


I’ve noticed that the professionals are more likely to have the “social transformation” goal, while typically women leaving abuse, and specifically MOTHERS leaving abuse, have a more short-term goal, namely LEAVING abuse and providing safety and good things, including good values, safety, education and role models — for their CHILDREN.  This is a significant difference, and with different goals come different means to reach that goal.  Moreover, as women leaving abuse, we have a ZERO tolerance for situations that might lead to, well, death.  Women have been killed around visitation centers, which is a dirty little secret.  Another one is that some supervisors are themselves abusive, or “on the take” and so forth.  Again, the professionals have spoken to this issue — but not changed it.  (For more info see nafcj.net).  Are all?  No.  But why even risk it?

WHY place both children and the nonabusive parent at any sort of risk whatsoever, for any reason?  For one, good grief, what about PTSD?  A child has witnessed abuse or been abused.  Therefore, expose them to the abuser.  REGULARLY, and in a performance situation.  A mother has been abused or her child.  Therefore, force her — and/or her children — to see their father, regularly and in front of others who will “judge.”  AND they do (see “Karen Oehme”).  The model lacks integrity, to my mind.  No matter, it has government backing, and LOTS of it.

SO this post is a “blast from the past.”  I’ve read the literature a LOT, I assure you;  you don’t hear this person’s name a lot.  Too much common sense.  And yet he is in the marriage field, and attaches a Bibliography like anyone else:

Kendall Segel-Evans, M.A. Marriage, Family and Child Counselor 4/15/1989


He recommends not taking chances.  Such types of recommendations are not the stuff publication, conferences, and promotions are made out of.  No new building needs be built for this recommendation.  It’s just too dang sensible. 

Reminds me of Jack Straton’s similar work, a while back, here below:




What About the Kids? Custody and Visitation Decisions in Families with a History of Violence

National Training Project of the Duluth Domestic Abuse Project – Thursday, October 8, 1992, Duluth, Minnesota

from the Journal of the Task Group on Child Custody Issues*

of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism

Volume 5, Number 1, Spring1993 (Fourth Edition, 2001) 

c/o University Studies, Portland State University, Portland, OR, 97207-0751

503-725-5844, 503-725-5977 (FAX) , straton@pdx.edu




What is Fair for Children of Abusive Men?

by Jack C. Straton, Ph.D.


{Let’s GetHonest speaking….}} Reviewing this document years, and years after baptism by a dissolution/custody suit cold-shock immersion in to the language and lore of Family Court, resulting in a return to Food Stamps, but no return of my missing children!, but I HAVE (there’s always a silver lining) perhaps returned closer to placing my hope in things eternal more than things local! (I’m talking Jesus Christ for those who don’t catch the reference), I have a different opinion, not on its CONTENTS but on its CONTEXT, as follows, re::

I want to express my deep gratitude to Ellen Pence, Madeline Dupre, Jim Soderberg and the others from the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project for giving me this opportunity to speak with you. The State of Minnesota should be proud that, quite literally, the world looks to this program for guidance on understanding and ending domestic violence. I also want to acknowledge how much I continually learn from Barbara Hart, of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

I will first critically examine the criterion at the base of all custody laws today “What is in the best interests of the children?” I will the talk about children’s choice in these matters. Then I will examine the actual effects of wife-battering on children, and develop an alternative paradigm for custody based on those effects. From this I will examine the question, “Is it ever appropriate to ever give a batterer custody of a child?” (emphasis mine…)

{{PLEASE PARDON THIS INTERJECTION!   This article indeed does that, and convincingly.

LINK:  DAIP Grants rec’d 2000-2009 (scroll down to bar chart)

(hint:  over $4.5 million)

LINK: Grants rec’d by DAIp Parent organization,Minnesota Program Development, Inc.

(hint:  Over $25 million, and NOT including some of its sub-groups, which apparently get their own grants, too).

(the bottom half of logo proclaims”  home of the duluth Model, Social Change to End violence Against Women”)



Visitation Center 

The Duluth Family Visitation Center opened in 1989. Our mission is to provide a safe place where children can build and maintain positive relationships with their parents. The Visitation Center offers support for victims of domestic violence and their children as well as supervised visitation, monitored visitation, and monitored exchange services to families affected by domestic violence

(See the nice picture??)->_>_>_>_>

The Center provides a variety of children’s books, games and videotapes as well as beverages and snacks for children and parents to help provide a comfortable and nurturing environment where parents can work on building and strengthening their relationship with their child which so often is damaged by violence in the home. 

The Center also collaborates with many other community agencies and accepts referrals from the courts and social services. {{NOw you understand the BUSINESS model…}}  Currently we serve approximately 120 families and conduct over 4000 visits and exchanges per year at minimal cost to families.

And I do mean BUSINESS model:

The database simplifies the logistical work of coordinating a Visitation Center and reduces the time to prepare quarterly reports for funders.  

Download sample report here

Purchase the visitation center database ($350.00) by visiting our online catalog


Beyond the pure financial collateral, there is also the professional collateral (prestige) and of course feeding much, much much more personal data into databases for further” research and demonstration” projects on how to — end violence against women.

I question why so few have questioned this model.  Probably because of the powers behind it, and because those who have been affected by it are often destitute and experiencing PTSD.  BY THE WAY — I HAD HEARD OF THIS AND ASKED FOR IT IN MY CASE, AND WAS FLATLY DENIED  because there was no “money” for it.  In other words, I, the mother, could not pay for it (already on the record) and he the father (being so far arrears in child support) obviously could not.  however, when the father asked for  — by refusing to acknowledge the court had ordered something different — ZERO contact, it took less than a few months to give this to him, and only one year (as opposed to the years previous I had sought actively seeking help, as single mother, and while personally having to negotiate my own safety, on a near-weekly basis) to retroactively attribute custody and modify the arrears owed ME as the caretaker of our daughters, and which didn’t come to them while living here — down to insignificant and unenforceable payments.  Yet our state receives grants to facilitate access by the noncustodial parent.  When I became one, I could not access them, either.  go figure.

JACK didn’t recommend this model, although he was apparently asked to speak here.  BUT  – – His voice, too, has been ignoredMOST chiefly by the DuluthDomestic Abuse Intervention Projectitself, apparently.  This paradigm, I simply didnt find it once in operation — everanywhereexperientially.  Our society simply does not accept this yet.  And, FYI, there is a LOT of money in this venue bent on “transformational language” and “therapeutic jurisprudence.”  Doing this is considered in many circles “good,” and not surprisingly, because many of our school systems share the same premise, they are “values transformation centers” and succeeding well at this, apparently.  



Nor have I found someone who accepts this No-Visitation where there’s been Violence paradigm.  (And I talk to Dads, not just Moms, and I research, a LOT, online.  I have been in circles which dont believe women should speak, literally, and I have lived in which men did not confront violence towardsone of their ownby even TELLING the man to stop it! Let alone, intervening themselves in any manner to stop it.  Ever since I finally took it upon myself to get someone from outside these circles to indeed stop it, I have been exposed, through the family law venue (and others) to a virtual nonstoplitanyofjust get over itas if either the lethality risk, the economic abuse, the stalkings, and the implicit threat to escalate were somehowoverin my case.  My experience, lots of it, showed the precise opposite. Any attempt at independence was countered.  this got tiring for such a person, and others were found and incited to participate in communal denial, a sort of catharctic selfcleansing ritual, I suppose.  

AGAIN, I myself didn’t share this paradigm initially.  However, this was because I had been enduring years of this type of threat/intimidation/etc. behavior and attempting — myself — to ‘reason” with this man, after it became clear — and from the OUTSET — that saying “no” or “Stop!” was likely to result in physical assault, or worse, and my friends, there IS a “worse.”  Now, I have some perspective:  10 years living with a batterer, 10 years of attempting to separate from one.  My perspective has changed, after i watched the reactions of society to my assertion of my right to say NO! and ENOUGH!  I gave ENOUGH! in the “let’s negotiate” process, and shouldn’t have ever entered into it or been encouraged to.  These were the PRIME working years of an intelligent, responsible, and law-abiding woman and mother.  Now, I would like some change to happen.  i would like the truth of the situation OUT, and I am taking it (obviously) to the blogosphere, and my local Congressperson, AND up the chain, as are others.  The truth of the situation is that this paradigm that Jack and Kendall discuss, was not taken seriously by their colleagues then, nor was it ever likely to be.  Like him, I have immense respect for Barbara J. Hart (can anyone say “lethality risk assessment”?)  But — today or tomorrow, probably — I am about to post the $$ figures of some of these “helping” groups and ask — where’s the help?  Moreover, show us the books!  I will show the grants, at least from the sources I have.  But what I want to see is expenditures, processes, and evaluation tools.  I want to see DOCUMENTED fewer homicides, suicides, infanticides, child-kidnappings, and wasted years in the family law system.   And if these are not being documented, then what was all the hub-bub about?  

IN thisparadigmallfalloutfrom abuse either didnt exist (thats thefantasy worldStraton refers to, I suppose) or was exclusively my responsibility to fix, as the mother.  However, when I then sought to address this in my own manner, I was again given marching orders, a drumbeat of 3-word myths, and told to get in line.  I didnt.  Consequently, two adolescent girls were removed from my custody and replaced in the care of the man they grew up witnessing threaten, impoverish, assault, abuse animals, deprive of access to transportation and ffinances that anormalfamily would not do, even when I worked at times, and be subjected to repeated lectures on how to behave – – sometimes even on a stool!.

Therefore, as seemingly reassuring, or validating as these talks may be, that I refer to today, they are most definitely theminority opinionin this field.  They show me I am not alone in my perspective at whats sensible and whats not, but these premises were never moved into practice.  

Theres reasons they were not, and THAT should be the topic of aresponsible citizenmale or female, parent or not, in this country.  WHY they were not is a public issue, not adomestic dispute.”  The topic of this issues is not justwhere are my children?” butwhere are my taxes going? as well aswhat kind of leaders is this next generation, if we get that far, going to consist of?  children accustomed to trauma, abuse, and participating in the cycle themselves?

I suspect the answer, at this point, MIGHT beYESbut I am not yet resigned to the fatalistic, fundamentalistIm not of this worldpassivity when it comes to social justice.  I must speak up!


STRATON, Ph.D., Ct’d…..

In the process, I am going to talk today about the effects of male power and control over children, not about parental power and control. I know that it is popular these days to de-gender family conflict, to talk about “spouse abuse” and “family violence” rather than “wife beating” and “rape.” I know that we want a society in which men nurture children to the same extent that women do.

I know that fathers and mothers should both be capable parents. But if you ask “What about the kids?” I want to give you a serious answer. I cannot seriously entertain the myth that our society really is gender neutral, so to consider “What about the kids?” while pretending such neutrality is to engage in denial and cognitive dissonance. I cannot hope to arrive at an answer that will positively affect reality if my underlying assumptions are based on fantasy.


I would like to say more about the history of these movements (which I am still learning), but readers deserve a break:

Have a nice weekend.  Again, I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.

 While this essay is music (the voice of logic, of common sense truth) to my ears, but it’s not a tune many people like these days.  Because it actually addresses the impact of role-modeling and personal responsibility upon the next generation.

There are only two places to really put the responsibility:  Either on the INDIVIDUAL (which is actually empowering, it acknowledges choice), or on the “THERAPIST” or “SOCIETY AS COLLECTIVE THERAPIST.”  Either/or, my friends.   

Benefits of putting the responsibility on the INDIVIDUAL.  :: If we are indeed EQUAl and ENDOWED with certain UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, then we are also ENDOWED with certain UNALIENABLE RESPONSIBILITIES as to how we exercise them.  This leaves a LOT more government time and resources and study, etc., upon maintenance of DUE PROCESS. 

It also removes the excuse for killing people, for assault, for rape, for destruction.  There IS no excuse.  The question comes of up of what about “war”?  My answer is, how is what we are seeing now take place towards women attempting to leave abuse, with children, too, not a real war — not a “virtual” war.  When there are casualties, that comprises a REAL war.

Moreover, most wars are about ideas to start with.  Sometimes they are about basic human lusts couched in more palatable ideas.

SO, check the dogma it’s vitally important, and it’s vitally important also that “foreigners” — people to whom actually facing abuse, having a life on the line, having lost a child, having had to comfort an abused or traumatized child while in trauma onesself — are not to be setting policy.  Moreover, those who set policy are not to do so from a particular chip they have on their shoulder, that every one should carry the burden of relieving.  And this happens (You can see my chip on the shoulder” here, obviously, but I’m not recommending the undermining of due process in the courts, and re-defining criminal activity as non-criminal.  THAT’s Cognitive Dissonance for sure!

(Well, I’d better back out this post fast.  Feedback appreciated!  My exit takes place Here:  XX.  

Anything below was added earlier)


This was written Pre-VAWA and Pre-National Fatherhood Inititative, which one theme of this blog has been showing what these cost, and how they attempt to cancel each other out.

Yesterday, I saw a significant DV initiative that was also receiving thousands under “promoting Responsible fatherhood” as well.  Same source, different themes entirely.  The fatherhood movement has positioned itself as FIRMLY anti-VAWA and in its writings, and in people responding to its writings, says to clearly.  Many of them also position themselves as religious, which is true in the WORST (not best) sense of the word, as I understand it.  They identify a common enemy, which is feminism, and feminISTS.  The prelude to identifying an enemy is attacking it, and this means people.  Typically (not always) “feminists” are, my friends, women, and this is who is often getting severely attacked for separating.  

The VAWA movement, it has different characteristics, but I do not believe it started out of man-hating.  It started out of hating to see beaten up women, and recognizing this has a true social cost.  

Both these movements have “morphed” and are now in the higher stratospheres (translation:  best-funded organizations) collaborating.  In these collaborations they share many things — primarily the design and structure of FAILING TO INCLUDE THOSE MOST DRASTICALLY AFFECTED IN THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS, and “SALVATION AS A MARKET NICHE.”  (in essence).  What else is (not) new in the world!     

Perhaps THIS ESSAY, THEN (below) can be a reference point from how far off base is society (specifically, government and nonprofits addressing:  Violence Against Women, Responsible Fatherhood, and Healthy Marriages — and failing abysmally in terms of the human toll — on all counts, across the nation.  (And, world).  Perhaps (though I doubt it) some common sense will “redeem” us from all that debt, with so little dent in the problems the debt is incurred to address….Policies get MORE and more pervasive, self-replicating and intrusive, and still we have things like an 11 year old abducted from a bus stop, held captive in a back yard by a (incidentally, MARRIED couple) – – for 18 years — and being used as a personal sex slave and baby-making machine.  In a nice suburb, eh?  So much for suburbia and “family-oriented” safe communities.  

Jaycee Lee Dugard and Phillip Garrido's daughters 'like brainwashed zombies'


Police missed an opportunity to rescue Jaycee Lee when they visited her captor’s house in 2006 Photo: REUTERS

Officer Ally Jacobs sat in on a meeting with Mr Garrido and his daughters after he requested permission to distribute leaflets on the Berkeley campus of the University of California.


But her suspicions were aroused by the strange behaviour of the two girls – and led to the eventual release of their mother, Jaycee Lee Dugard, after nearly two decades of captivity. 


She said Mr Garrido arrived with the girls, aged 11 and 15, who stared at their father “like God” during the meeting. “They had this weird look in their eyes, like brainwashed zombies,” she said.


She spoke out as police said that Mr Garrido’s home has been searched for evidence of a link to the unsolved murders of several prostitutes in the early 1990s, and as Garrido, 58, and his wife, Nancy, 54, denied charges of kidnapping, rape and false imprisonment in connection with Miss Dugard’s disappearance at their first court appearance.


When Officer Jacobs asked the younger girl about a bruise near her eye, the 11-year-old said it was an inoperable birth defect.








 HASSANI CAMPBELL (see my recent post on ‘AMBER ALERTS’ for more photos)



Foster Parents Arrested Over Missing Boy


OAKLAND, Calif. (Aug. 28) – The foster parents who held vigils pleading for the safe return of a missing 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy have been arrested on suspicion of murder, Oakland police said Friday.


Louis Ross and Jennifer Campbell, who is the boy’s aunt, were being questioned by investigators in the case of Hasanni Campbell, who disappeared on Aug. 10 after Ross said he briefly left the boy outside his car in the parking lot of an upscale Oakland neighborhood shoe store where Campbell works.




I think Lundy Bancroft says it well — there are certain indicators that one is wasting one’s time.  I’ve read them, and you can too, HERE:  I am not quoting Mr. Bancroft because he’s an expert, but because i already experienced what he gave voice to.  I had no idea who the author was in picking up the book.

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

While I am thankful for Mr. Bancroft’s insight and observations (and have featured it elsewhere on this blog), I think that the failure to look OUTSIDE the family court system and INTO the funding behind it, which consists of a powerful government grants system, underwritten in some cases by conflicting actual laws (I refer to “supervised visitation” vs. “Access visitation” premises, which are BOTH funded — in a huge way — and which DIRECTLY oppose each other in fundamental premises, creating chaos — not just “disorder” — but literal “CHAOS” in the courts.  Why?  Because what’s fought over is power, control, and money.  I do not, therefore, agree that training to eradicate deeply held prejudices or myths — when applied to JUDICIAL professionals (court-related) any more than when applied to batterers — is a critical solution.  I believe that we should pull the plug on the profit system, which it clearly (my research shows) is.  That said, in about 2003, had his not book been there (and this above book) for a point of reference WRITTEN BY A MAN for me emotionally, as I exited another life-changing and mind-numbing session with a mediator, I might be a different woman today.  


Women, and mothers, do indeed have instincts.  I believe these are God-given, and they are protection-related.  Moreover, as a DV survivor, and beyond that, professionally a teacher and musician, it has been my job to pay attention to group dynamics in relationship to a standard!  The accuracy of my instincts, and speaking up about them, has been ignored in the courtroom.  This told me something about family courts, when I accurately predicted a child-snatch, and was shouted down in advance AND afterwards about the same matter.


Two Female Officers (above) accurately noticed, reported — and because they were cops, apparently, and because this was NOT a family law venue, they were not a litigating parent — they were HEARD and lives were saved.


In the Jaycee Dugard case (above), I heard on TV that a woman (neighbor) HAD called 911, saying this man was psychotic, she was very disturbed.   Was her call not heard because she was female?  I watched Sheriff Rupf apologize on TV that their county law enforcement had “missed it” in this case.


Our current administration has a lot of TALK, but very little RESPECT for mothers in general.  Our pro-active protective and active involvement in our children’s lives is viewed with suspicion after separating from their father in particular after marriage. . . . The fact is, I believe, our involvement is a perceived threat to a child-care-based, employee-driven, dependent-family-substrate economy.  (which is not today’s topic).


These instincts are not in operation all the time, and along with Phyllis Chesler (Dr.), I acknowledge fully “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman” exists, and is horrific.  And some men (I have known them) notice more than some women.  This is also called “CARING.”  Such men are also sometimes castigated as “feminine” by fellow-men, and deal with this in whatever manner they choose to.


However, I take a look at who are some of the most vehement women I personally have had to deal with (not including certain judges, whose behavior cannot be logically accounted for somewhere other than financial reward, which I WILL be finding one of these days, and I am not the only person who has had this happen, same judges), I can see where either their childhood was severely messed up, OR, they never got to have children themselves.  Some key component of the logic system (the part that doesn’t acknowledge court orders!) is out of commission, and when confronted on this, reacts in a retaliatory manner as if the threat were personal, when the statement was, I want court orders respected!  I have already demonstrated the ability to respect court orders I don’t agree with, for years, but the double standard has been devastating to our family.


The other category which comes into play is “second wife” syndrome.  While there are I’m sure (and I’d love to be one, some day!) healthy second wife scenarios, all too often a batterer will go specifically SEEK a woman in order to extract the children from the first wife, when he couldn’t otherwise.  That 2nd woman lends a seeming credibility, and yet, sometimes these women can be more vicious than the men they married to start with.  An abusive man is not going to pick a second woman who is likely to confront him on his abuse!!  


WELL, this post is now over-worked, but I wanted to include the Jaycee and Hassani case above, to make a few points.  It also has helped me get past another few hours in a day in which, I have no visual contact with either daughter, as one of them is entering college and the other one is, at this point, alienated, a thing I never inflicted upon her father while they lived here.  They have HAD to make some sense of their existing world.  Their existing world included a sudden, and COMPLETE elimination from their mother’s input and involvement, without a chance to say goodbye.  They were involved in keeping secrets (and induced to) before the event, for over a year, on pretenses of the adults around them.  The facts surrounding this event are still not out, and I happen to believe that my absent daughters are not yet aware of what was said on paper about them.  I know that they are not exposed to the penalties my family has exacted upon me (subsequent) for continuing to speak up.  

This is a HOW -TO for the intergenerational transmission of trauma and abuse.  IF the goal is to do this, I am looking at the HOW of it. All that REALLY needs to be sacrificed, in the bottom line analysis, to stop it, is a LOT of pride in high places, and what I call dogma and others call social science, policy, or probability-driven practices (it’s called “evidence” but the actual “evidences” considered are often summaries of “probability.”)


I’m not in agreement with his theme that men can be taught not to abuse.  I think men mostly respond to what they’re taught in this society — authority, and taking control.  Women are taught to negotiate and submit, overall (I didn’t realize HOW much til confronting others after leaving my own violent marriage, and then, in shock, realizing it was expected I should take orders.  I said no, and took this to the institutions available (first, the courts) to set boundaries and standards.  Then I was in for even a ruder awakening to the state of affairs. 

So just consider the fall-out, the social fall out from these things, the canaries in the coal mine.  it’s also a good part of the present NATIONAL economic distress and contributing to it, do not kid yourself!  Asking Big Brother to coach, teach, punish, reward, analyze, and rationalize the common ethical issues of life — BIG, mistake.  This is called farming out thinking to others.  In the process, we are paying people to also form our own ethics, when these were formed and stated long ago in the US Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, PLUS the fact that these stemmed from a refusal to become the colony of a distant king.

Figure it out — the distance these days may not be so geographic as in worlds apart in perspectives.  The colonization part still seems to apply.  Children are the MOST attractive and fertile field for TOO many people, and they are hurt in this unnatural process, a constant interruption to their lives.  I saw this happen to my own, there was a point in time (a certain season, when others saw the personal gain in our divorce and and custody issue) that –because of a badly written visitation schedule — I watched my daughter who, prior to this, had been able to adjust to separation with regular visitation, and retain their personal integrity — they became performers.  It was clear that they were collateral in the fight, and I believe knew this too.   They talked about it, too.  It was unfair to them, and to me as their mother.  



Note:  “Last updated Nov. 2008”

(More of my comments below, for once!)


Stop Violence Against Women
A project by The Advocates for Human Rights

Copyright 2003 Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.
Permission is granted to use this material for non-commercial purposes. Please use proper attribution.


(THESE documents do not appear to have stopped violence against women.  I used to read and read from this International Source, but no matter — the people most directly involved with our lives chose NOT to read, or accept, some of these writings.  So what good have they done, other than to increase the frustration level, the awareness of the discrepancy between reasonable, and unreasonable?  Sometimes, I wonder.  



(Best read in the original HTML, but here:

Wife Abuse and Child Custody and Visitation by the Abuser

Kendall Segel-Evans, 1989.

Wife Abuse and Child Custody and Visitation by the Abuser

by Kendall Segel-Evans

originally published:


{{Let’s Get Honest has decided to interrupt the article more than to put :}}


MAIN POINTs?:____________________ after each paragraph, in hopes that a thoughtful reader will think about what was just said.  

Again, one of the greatest motivations for THINKING about various policies, doctrines, and dogmas, is if something valuable is at stake in the mix.  Plus, if one has developed the habit of THINKING with this in mind, throughout — as if not just “someone’s” life or livelihood, but as if “your own” life, or your child’s, were at stake in the matter.  THAT is responsible government hood (along with respecting civil rights and due process).  COLLECTIVELY, what we all have at stake is to acknowledge that what we may think is “common” sense is nothing of the sort, and that the view gets foggier the less time one spends at street level — and I mean on a regular basis.  Dwelling in courtrooms only is NOT “street level” in the sense of, what happens after the court order is written?)

I recently read the National Organization for Changing Men’s statement on child custody, and the position taken that, in general, sole custody by the previously most involved parent is preferable to joint custody. I would like to elaborate on this position for families where there has been violence between parents (i.e. woman-abuse). The following includes the main points of a deposition I was asked to provide to a lawyer for the mother in a child custody case. I do not believe this is the last or best word on the subject, but I hope that it will simulate useful dialogue about the effects on children of wife-abuse and the treatment of wife-abusers. I also wish to further discussion on the issue of how we are going to truly end men’s violence. Clearly, I believe that the treatment of wife-abusers should not only be held accountable to the partner victim/survivors, but also to the children, and to the next generation.

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

I would like to mention that I will speak of husbands and fathers abusing wives and mothers, because that is the most common situation by far, not because the reverse never happens. It also seems to be true that when there is wife to husband violence it is usually in self-defense and usually does not have the same dynamics or effects as wife abuse. I will use the words violence and abuse somewhat interchangeably, because, in my opinion, domestic violence is not just about physical violence. Domestic violence is a pattern of physical, sexual, economic, social and emotional violence, coercion, manipulation and mistreatment or abuse. Physical violence and the threat of such violence is only the part of the pattern that is most visible and makes the other parts of the pattern difficult to defend against. Once violence is used, its threat is never forgotten. Even when the violence is stopped by threat of legal action or by physical separation, the coercion, manipulation and abusiveness continue (Walker and Edwall, 1987).


MAIN POINTs?:____________________

Accompanying this pattern of behaviors are common styles of coping or personality characteristics – such as the tendency to blame others for ones problems and impulsiveness – that most batterers share. Almost every man I have worked with has a tendency to see his partner (or his children) as responsible for his pain when he is upset. This leads to seeing his partner (or his children) as an enemy who must be defeated before he can feel better. This is destructive to emotional health even when it does not lead to overt violence.

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

In my opinion, it would be better, in most cases, for the children of homes where there has been domestic violence not to be in the custody of the abusive parent at all. In many cases it is even advisable that visitation be limited to controlled situations, such as under a therapist’s supervision during a therapy session, unless the batterer has been in batterer’s treatment and demonstrated that he has changed significantly in specific ways. “Merely” observing ones father abuse ones mother is in itself damaging to children. My clinical experience is consistent with the research literature which shows that children who witness their father beat their mother exhibit significantly greater psychological and psychosomatic problems than children from homes without violence (Roy, 1988). Witnessing abuse is more damaging in many ways than actually being abused, and having both happen is very damaging (Goodman and Rosenberg, 1987). Studies show that a high percentage (as high as 55%) of fathers who abuse their wives also abuse their children (Walker and Edwall, 1987). In my experience, if one includes emotional abuses such as being hypercritical, yelling and being cruelly sarcastic, the percentage is much higher. The damage that children suffer is highly variable, with symptoms ranging from aggressive acting out to extreme shyness and withdrawal, or from total school failure to compulsive school performance. The best way to summarize all the symptoms despite their variety is to say that they resemble what children who suffer other trauma exhibit, and could be seen as a version of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Walker and Edwall, 1987).

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

Equally serious is the long term effect of domestic violence – intergenerational transmission. Children who observe their mothers being beaten are much more likely to be violent to a partner themselves as adults. In one study, men who observed violence towards their mother were three times more likely to be abusive than men who had not observed such violence (Strauss et al., 1980). The more serious the abuse observed, the more likely the men were to repeat it. Being abused also makes children likely to grow up to be violent, and having both happen increases the probability even more.

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

How children learn to repeat the abuse they observe and experience includes many factors. One of the more important is modeling. When they grow up, children act like their parents did, consciously or not, willingly or not. Several of the boys I have worked with have been terribly conflicted about being like their father, of whom they were afraid and ashamed. But they clearly carried parts of their father’s behavior patterns and attitudes with them. Other boys from violent homes idealized their father, and they were more likely than the others to beat their wives when they grew up (Caesar, 1988). Several of the men I have worked with in group have lamented that they told themselves that they would not beat their wives the way their mother was beaten when they were children. But when they became adults, they found themselves doing the same things their father did.

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

One reason for this is that even if the physical abuse stops, if the children still have contact with the batterer, they are influenced by his coping styles and personality problems. As Lenore Walker observes (Walker and Edwall, 1987, p. 138), “There is also reason for concern about children’s cognitive and emotional development when raised by a batterer who has a paranoid-like pattern of projecting his own inadequacy and lack of impulse-control onto others.” Dr. Pagelow agrees, “It may become desirable to avoid prolonged contact between violent fathers and their sons until the men assume control over their own behavior and the examples of ‘manhood’ they are showing to the boys who love them, (Pagelow, 1984, p. 256). If the abusive man has not sought out domestic violence specific treatment for his problem, there is no reason to believe that the underlying pattern of personality and attitudes that supported the abuse in the past have changed. There is every reason to believe it will impact his children.

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

Additionally, in a society where the majority of wife-beatings do not lead to police reports, much less to filings or convictions, it is easy for children to perceive that abusiveness has no negative consequences. (One study, by Dobash and Dobash, found that 98% of violent incidents between spouses were not reported to the police [reported in Pagelow, 1984, p. 437]). Some children, seeing who has the power and guessing what could happen to them if they opposed the power, will side with the abuser in custody situations. Often, children will deny that the abuse ever happened. Unfortunately, the children who side with the abuser, or deny the abuse, are the most likely to be abusive themselves as adults. It is very important that family court not support this by treating a wife-beating father as if he were just as likely to be a good parent as the woman he beat. As Gelles and Strauss point out in their book Intimate Violence (1988), people are violent in part because they believe they can get away with it. Public consequences are important for preventing the intergenerational transmission of violence. Boys, particularly, need to to see that their father’s abusiveness leads to negative, not positive results.

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

Lastly, I would like to point out that joint legal custody is likely to be damaging to children when there has been spousal violence. My experience with my clients is definitely consistent with the research results reported by Judith Wallerstein to the American Orthopsychiatric Association Convention in 1988. The data clearly show that joint custody is significantly inferior to sole custody with one parent when there is parental conflict after the divorce, in terms of the children’s emotional adjustment as well as the mother’s safety. Most batterers continue their abusiveness after the marriage, into the divorced parent relationship, in the form of control, manipulation and harassment over support payments, visitation times, and parenting styles. The children are always aware of these tensions and battles, and sometimes blame the mother for not just giving in and keeping the peace – or for being too submissive. The batterer often puts the children right in the middle, taking advantage of his belief that she will give in to avoid hurting the children. The damage to the children in this kind of situation is worse because it is ongoing, and never is allowed to be resolved or have time to heal.

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

Because I work with batterers, I am sympathetic to the distress they feel at being separated from their children for long periods of time. However, the men who truly cared about their children for the children’s sake, and not for what the children do for their father’s ego, have been willing to do the therapeutic work necessary to change. They have been willing to accept full responsibility for their violent behavior, and however reluctantly, have accepted whatever restrictions on child visitation existed for safety reasons. They have been willing to be in therapy to deal with “their problem.” They have also recognized that they were abused as children themselves, or witnessed their mother being abused, or both, and are willing to support interrupting the intergenerational transmission of violence.

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

Kendall Segel-Evans, M.A. Marriage, Family and Child Counselor 4/15/1989



Caesar, P. Lynn., “Exposure to Violence in the Families of Origin

Among Wife Abusers and Maritally Violent Men.” Violence and Victims , Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring, 1988.

Davis, Liane V., and Carlson, Bonnie E., “Observation of Spouse Abuse

– What Happens to the Children?” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 2, No. 3, September 1987, pp. 278-291, Sage Publications, 1987.

Dutton, Donald., The Domestic Assault of Women, Allyn and Bacon, 1988.

Gelles, Richard J. and Strauss, Murray A., Intimate Violence, Simon and Schuster, 1988.

Goodman, Gail S., and Rosenberg, Mindy, S., “The Child Witness to Family Violence:

Clinical and Legal Considerations. Ch. 7, pp. 47ff. in: Sonkin, Daniel. Ph.d., Domestic Violence on Trial, Springer, 1987.

Pagelow, Mildred Daley, Family Violence, Praeger Publications, 1984.

Roy, Maria., Children in the Crossfire, Health Communications, Inc. 1988.

Roy, Maria., The Abusive Partner, Van Nostrand, 1982.

Sonkin, Daniel. Phd., Domestic Violence on Trial, Springer, 1987.

Strauss, Murray A., et. al., Behind Closed Doors, Anchor Books, 1980.

Walker, Lenore E.A., and Edwall, Glenace E.

“Domestic Violence and Determination of Visitation and Custody in Divorce.”

Ch. 8, pp. 127ff. Sonkin, Daniel. Phd. Domestic Violence on Trial, Springer, 1987.

Wallerstein, Judith., Report to the American Orthopsychiatric Association Convention, 1988.


Some of the above professionals listed here, from what I understand, have either changed their tune, or found more profit in conferences funded by the shared-custody, father’s-rights, premises that women are equally as violent and dangerous as men in marriage.  Or, that what is said above, here, about role modeling and responsibility to the NEXT generation, doesn’t apply.  I have seen them (I think even Dutton was seen in my last post, at such a conference.).  Nevertheless, read what he wrote!

And I can show you, in approximately $millions$$ (as I have been at times in news headlines) the cost of these premises, in particular to the next generation.  But what kind of generation IS it that can’t see right/versus wrong, principles of values as defined by what is and is NOT criminal behavior, when they see an age gap.  How does gender pre-empt behavior, or youth pre-empt age?  Why must women be held to a higher standard of accountability as parents then men, and men be paid — by the U.S. Government through the states through the courts, prisons, child support systems, mediation, supervised visitation, parenting education classes — and AFTER many times a K-12 (or almost 12th in some cases) educational system that itself is a major public expenditure.  . . . Moreover, WHY should programs supposedly aimed at low-income people (as if such people had fewer human rights, common sense, or were less entitled to due process and informed consent about what’s happening! than others) are being utilized by sometimes some very well to do individuals in the divorce arena.  For example, google the Alanna Krause case.   This does not make “sense” to me.



Speaking personally, the exchanges where were the problems occurred in our case.  I asked (for YEARS) for help with this, and got none.  Then finally on an overnight, I stopped seeing my daughters again.

I think that had COMMON SENSE PREVAILED long ago, our own family would be much more prosperous, and I doubt life with me would’ve been so stressful for the girls, after all, each weekend was likely to become a scene, or not come a scene.  I could scarcely relax much around that.   Add into the mix child support issues, and we have a decade of devastation, at least from my point of view.

And WHY?  To support some new theories and professions?  How about the professions Moms were in beforehand?  (Many of us were, FYI).

 To support: marriage and family therapists, mediators, custody evaluators, trauma specialists?  

When a society either refuses to deal with  — OR cannot agree on the  source and causes of the ongoing sources of trauma, SOMEONE will have to pay the cost of a traumatized populations, just as any war-torn country, or AIDS-ravaged country, there is collateral damages to go with the death, shock, poverty and collapse of infrastructure.   In the United States, this plays out entirely differently, of course, because we still have a significant infrastructure, or at least many of the population believe we do, and those not so badly hurt by it as others wish to, apparently, maintain the myths that it’s sustaining something valid.

And yes, I repeat, those are myths.  

 Where is the real moral, let alone economic, validity in paying multiple professionals to deal with one recalcitrant, overentitled, or person unwilling to seek help with his REAL problems, rather than to alleviate the symptoms of his REAL problems, such as being separated from his children.  I had to face this in marriage, and now with family of origin, and again in the family law system?  I find a fundamental flaw, and the truth of the matter, the difference is in worldview of (1) humanity and (2) whether or not law applies to all, or only to some.  I.e., the “double-standard” mentality.

And that typically falls on the gender divide.  Other times, it falls on the Economic Divide.  While it’s common for rich to blame poor for being poor in a matter that an abuser blames his victim, there is wiggle room in both viewpoints, and the institutions we live in and deal with ARE not formed, historically, by poor people.  They aren’t.  Rather, they tend to impoverish.  The familyy law system is GOING to do this.  It is going to move wealth around, and afterwards, SOMEONE is going to be impoverished under this theme that it’s not an adversarial system, its’ “really” all about the children.

For child-molesters, this may be true.  For those who see $$ when they see custody to one parent or the other, in a sense it might be. 

But it’s NOT about the children’s welfare, not like this.

If the individual is unwilling to separate his behavior from himself as a person, after being offered multiple opportunities to do so, and go through equivalent shock of personal changes, as did his victim(s) and bystanders affected, then THAT is the issue.  

MOREOVER, if the family system surrounding this individual is ALSO unwilling or unable to confront own criminal behavior, life-threatening and life-changing behavior, in one of its own, what’s that family FOR?  that is precisely the family that should be dismantled, yet a system says, no it shouldn’t.  (Theoretically, although I know plenty of mothers who can’t see their children under this theory.  When the pedal hits the metal, that’s how it plays out, too often).


Voices from the even further past, still valid today:

Too bad we’re more religious than actually a truly God-conscious society — because of the simplicity and beauty with which truths are stated:

  • “Even a child is known by his doings, whether they be good or whether they be bad.”
  • “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

As to who to socialize with, who to take on as business partner or close friends:

  • “Evil communications (this just means “associations”) corrupt good manner (ethos).”
  • The book of “Proverbs” (31 in all) was directed to young people, and talks about not associating with an angry man or a furious man “lest you learn his ways.”  Family law says, if it’s supervised, it’s OK, and a child must, because it’s his father.  Today’s essay talks about that….  Proverbs talks about not meddling with them that are given to sudden change.  That’s common sense!  Sudden change could be backstabbing, betrayal, turning on you.  That habit, done ONCE, is cause to separate if not confronted, admitted, and changed.  FAST.  We have a RIGHT to be once burnt, twice shy.  . . . . .  Yet this family law system attracts such characters, accepting hearsay as evidence when it’s not, suppressing evidence when it’s found too often; it keeps the litigation going, and exposing parents and children to a series of sudden shocks, disrupting their entire lives and livelihoods, sometimes everything.  We should not have to do this.  And Proverbs ALSO talks about not associating with fools:  “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be ashamed.”   
  • When our children are forced to break these simplicities, for a different ideology, this is in effect using parents, particularly mothers, to produce children for the state.  That’s not what we went through nine months for, or labor! No woman goes through this in order to raise a fool, a criminal, or have her kid hurt and taught values that will lead that child to sometimes a lifetime of it.  Or to have no coherent set of values but personal survival!

(Note on quoting Bible verses here:  I quote them as what’s in my thinking, others may (if they wish) look some of them up on-line at “http://bible.cc&#8221; (KJV) or elsewhere.  My quotes may not be verbatim.)


What mother would WANT a son or daughter to join a gang of criminals?  Yet they do, or sometimes they die for NOT being in a gang.  It’s not only the risks, but the values systems.

What about a government gang?  What about a system that robs parents of years of productive work based on a theme that someone is somehow to be deciphered psychologically, apart from his or her behaviors? What about a system that would bring ongoing conflict onto growing children — and do so for financial and personal profit — based on the belief that freedom of association does NOT belong to (typically) their mother?  

It’s nice to have a lot of professions spring up on how to stop violence against women, I suppose, BUT how about the professions Moms were in beforehand?  (Many of us were, FYI).  The professionals I most needed in the early 2000 would’ve been a criminal (not family) defense attorney.  Then again, where was the funding going to come from?

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