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“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:
ENDING MEN’S VIOLENCE NEWSLETTER, Fall, 1989

 

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:

 

1992

 

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.

 

 

(I NOTE:  THIS WAS A FEMALE POLICE OFFICER, AND HER JOB ENTAILS NOTICING THINGS THAT DEAL WITH LIFE AND DEATH, POTENTIALLY.  HER JOB ENTAILS NOTICING “ANOMALIES.”  THERE WAS FACT-CHECKING IN THIS CASE, AND THE FACTS CHECKED RESULTED IN FREEDOM AND DELIVERANCE, THOUGH AFTER 18 YEARS, FOR 3 WOMEN, JAYCEE’S MOTHER, JAYCEE’S STEPFATHER, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, FOR HER — AND HER CHILDREN.

 

A NICE, MARRIED COUPLE . . . . HAD MR. GARRIDO HAD THE SAME CRIMINAL BACKGROUND, AND ACTUALLY BEEN JAYCEE’S FATHER, IN MY EXPERIENCE, HIS KIDNAPPING WOULD HAVE BEEN OVERLOOKED, AND HIS EX-WIFE SEEKING TO SEE HER DAUGHTER BEEN TOLD (as I was) TO JUST GET ALONG WITH IT, OR GIVE IT UP, NO CONTACT WITH YOUR DAUGHTER BECAUSE YOU JUST CAN’T GET ALONG WITH THIS PARENT.  CASE IN POINT:  WE WERE GIVEN A COURT ORDER THAT EXPOSED US TO CONTINUAL ACCESS AND ABUSE BY A MAN THAT MY DAUGHTERS HAD WITNESSED ASSAULT THEIR MOTHER.  EVENTUALLY, A DRASTIC (and criminal) EVENT HAPPENED on an overnight.

TODAYS’ POSTED ARTICLE, 20 YEARS OLD, QUESTIONS THE POLICY  ~ ~ REALLY, THE DOGMA ~ ~ THAT WOULD EVER, EVEN ONCE! ~ ~ALLOW SUCH THINGS TO TAKE PLACE.  U.S.A. . . . . . 

OR – – – OR – – – – THINGS LIKE THIS ONE, A MISSING FOSTER CHILD TURNED INTO A HOMICIDE VISITATION.  AGAIN, HAPPENED IN A VERY YUPPIE NEIGHBORHOOD, ALSO NEAR BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA.

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

 

 

Foster Parents Arrested Over Missing Boy

AP

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.

 

 

REGARDING “THERAPY” FOR BATTERERS:

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.”)

AS TO THE 1989 ARTICLE (BELOW):

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.  

SOURCE — 

http://members.shaw.ca/pdg/wife_abuse_child_custody_visitation.html

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.  

 

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(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:
ENDING MEN’S VIOLENCE NEWSLETTER, Fall, 1989

 

{{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

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

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.

 

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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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