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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Archive for April 2012

Did you notice/were you noticed? Taking Welfare Funds to push Fatherhood (to Reduce Poverty) No Longer About Reducing Poverty

leave a comment »

(this blog was a quick post and composed in what appears to be “html” mode — half my formatting buttons are gone. So be it; deal with it!)

I found a 2009 Policy Brief, but not being on the fatherhood conference circuit, I somehow missed this. In fact as a mother, in about 2009 I was barely finding out that fatherhood funding through 1996 TANF welfare reform existed. IN other words, Liz Richards (NAFCJ.net) had it out there — but doesn’t blog, and I came from the land of “California Protective Parents Association” which — until I think I pushed the envelope pretty hard — simply didn’t want to talk about it. They certainly had participants who knew, too (Karen Anderson, of Amador County. Her story was out as of 1999; see http://www.johnnypumphandle.com/cc/visitatn.htm ). Neither did Center for Judicial Excellence (ca. 2008), out of SF Bay Area, want to either, although Cindy Ross, who also (as I heard it, contacted CJE & told them (= a “her”) about it (Cindy’s writing ca. 2002: http://newsmakingnews.com/ross,cindy10,28,02.htm connecting a case to the D.C. Sniper, ). He shot multiple people so that his intended assassination of his wife would appear to have been done by a stranger. Meanwhile (back at the ranch) my HHS is promoting fatherhood nationwide. . . . .

John Muhammad, a Devoted Dad?
Connecting the Sniper case to family court corruption and federal fatherhood program fraud. (Part 1)
by Cindy Ross © October 28, 2002
For three weeks in October, the “Beltway Sniper” terrorized the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. Ten people were shot to death and three seriously wounded while they were doing routine activities like shopping, mowing grass, pumping gas, or going to school. The “Sniper” left cryptic and chilling messages referring to himself as “God” and threatening that children were not safe “anywhere, at any time.”

After 22 days, following leads that took them from Maryland to Alabama and New Jersey to Tacoma, Washington, authorities arrested two suspects. John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17 were found at a rest stop sleeping in their car. Rifles confiscated from Muhammad’s vehicle included an XM-15 and ballistic tests linked the rifle to the .223 caliber bullets used to shoot most of the victims.

Although John Muhammad has been described as a Muslim sympathetic to the September 11 attacks, a neighbor who knew him in Washington State described him as “… far less interested in talking religion than he was in complaining about his estranged second wife and the custody dispute over their three children”. See NY Times, “Once Calmed by Faith, Suspect Turned Furious”.
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/27/national/nationalspecial/27RELI.html

I came on the scene a littler later and found CPPA on-line somehow, as I recall, and later (by then my court-enabled contact with my children was zilch — a thing of the past, in practice, if not on paper, and no options to enforce anywhere near. I still didn’t know about these matters). Neither CPPA nor CJE these explained the AFCC, etc. to me. When I found and attempted a little reverse-knowledge infusion (citing some CA NOW work on the same matter, HHS grants) — I was scolded for not being “collaborative” enough. Collaboration sure is the name of the game.

No organization taking VAWA funding was going to talk about this, either. Nor was even the magnificent Child Abuse Solutions group, which, to its credit, at least references PAS and said it’s wrong. They simply don’t talk about how things work.

So, at about the time i started this blog (2009), another organization out of Wisconsin (whose state registration I still can’t find) was doing a policy brief — neatly summarizing where the fatherhood funding came from, and how it was a factor of welfare reform (TANF, 1996). Why are women and mothers in abusive relationships, or leaving them, so often the last people to be given a clue of what’s steering their family court cases, and why the local child support agency keeps compromising on the past due arrears, making that custody battle even harder to maintain, as it’s impossible to be in court and at one’s job at the same time (last I heard).

It’s also just about as hard to maintain work consistently while being ordered to co-parent with a serious, serial abuser when separate from (him) as it is while living there. Living there is worse– but NOT living there ought to be WAY much better — and, while I would NEVER go back again (play it again Sam) and fail to file restraining order, it sure would’ve been nice if all the nice policy setters would instruct their nonprofit (front) groups to instruct all clients who really was calling the shots. After all, when these women are having a hard time holding body and soul together, they sometimes also have a hard time staying on the internet and hunting for answers.

That make sense.

ANYHOW. . . . . . I would be negligent not to post this treasure. Enjoy — and mothers not up to speed, read it!

If the Fatherhood (and Marriage) promotion in order to stop poverty isn’t stopping poverty — or even aimed at poor people any more (despite using funding designed to alleviate poverty) . . . . .– then why not just shut down the programs, huh?

Well, far be it from any institution to voluntarily shut itself down, so perhaps we’ll have to, and let the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (which helped pay for this nice 2009 report) understand that we don’t think that’s honest!

Fatherhood Programs
and Healthy Marriage Funding
MARGUERITE ROULET

Policy Brief (2009)

What’s also fun about this is it comes from a group called “CFFPP.” Search my blog — interesting history. Just search the initials.

My WordPress Compose mode isn’t working right these days (a whole row of options seems to be toggled off). This is an incidental find, but good enough to go back and post.

THIS is the Executive Summary, or part of it:

Introduction
Over the past two decades, community-based programs that provide services to low- income fathers have been supported through a broad variety of funding sources. Each of these funding sources has come with a somewhat different objective (e.g., parenting support, employment assistance) and has targeted a specific clientele (e.g., fathers of children in Head Start programs, un- or underemployed fathers with child support debt). Although these funding streams have focused on different aspects of fathers’ situations, they have had a common focus on low-income fathers and on enhancing their ability to be involved with their children. Programming for low-income fathers may include parent-child activity groups, parenting support, employment assistance programs, education and training services, help with housing and transportation, mentoring programs, and/or assistance with child support and other legal matters. By virtue of working with low-income fathers, any of these activities also focus on the barriers that result from poverty.
In recent years, however, the direction of support for low-income fathers has changed. Even as many of the earlier funding initiatives (both public and private) have come to an end or have ceased to identify low-income fathers as a target clientele, the direction of public support for low-income families in general has come to focus less on meeting the recognized needs of men and women in regard to their roles as parents, and more on addressing nuclear family structure. This shift in funding has changed not only the orientation from parents and children to couples and nuclear families, but has also lessened the poverty-reduction focus of the earlier initiatives. While originally represented as a means to address poverty, the focus on nuclear families and marriage has increasingly become a goal in and of itself, as a means to enhance general family and child well-being.

Focus on the nuclear family was encouraged with passage of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Even more recently, marriage programs have received substantial public and private support, particularly following the federal Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) 2002 launch of the broad-scale Healthy Marriage Initiative, which provided over $90 million in marriage-related programming support. Moreover, under the reauthorization of the TANF program in 2006, $100 million per year over a 5-year period was set aside to support Healthy Marriage Demonstration grants, and $50 million per year over a 5-year period was set aside to support Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration grants that include a significant focus on healthy marriage activities.

While fatherhood programs could continue to provide parenting and economic support services with these funds, they could also choose to devote some or all of their resources to activities designated as healthy marriage activities. Over one-third of the programs that were awarded such grants chose to provide healthy marriage activities as a part of their services.

As an agency concerned with understanding and improving the situations of low-income fathers and their families, the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP) has followed these changes with interest.

{{Yes, you most certainly did – up to and including changing the organizations’ NAME (while keeping the same acronym, a rather awkward change) eliminating the word “Fathers” from the organization’s name. That’s OK — we know the main content and interest remained the same, anyhow. 🙂 }} http://www.cffpp.org (as of today, this shows a picture of a Dad with his arms around a boy).

990s: 2009 shows program purpose:
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, POLICY RESEARCH] TRAINING,- AND PUBLIC
EDUCATION ON LOW INCOME FAMILY_DYNAMICS

or,

THE MISSION OF THE CENTER FOR FAMILY POLICY AND PRACTICE IS TO STRENGTHEN SOCIETY THROUGH THE EXPANSION OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOW-INCOME PARENTS-MOTHERS AND FATHERS-TO PROTECT AND SUPPORT THEIR CHILDREN.

Between the two paid officers, only $108K salary: Jacquelyn Boggess — $73K, and David Pate, $35K.

http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/364/364038873/364038873_201006_990EZ.pdf


David J. Pate, Ph.D
Co-Director
Phone: (608) 257-3148
Click to e-mailhttp://www.insightcced.org/

Center for Family Policy and Practice
23 North Pinckney Street, Suite 210
Madison, WI 53703
David Pate has worked in the field of social work for over twenty-five years. He has experience as a practitioner, administrator and public policy advocate in the areas of low-income adolescents and adult males, fathers and families. He has made numerous presentations and written articles on the issues that relate to the provision of service to minority males and the effects of social welfare policy on their day to day existence. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. He holds a doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a W.K. Kellogg fellow in the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship program.

I notice also Oliver Williams was on the Board of Directors (well-known fatherhood advocate).
In this 2008 Batterers Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan, both Jacquelyn Boggess and Dr. Oliver Williams are speakers:

http://www.biscmi.org/stp/ “shifting the paradigm: addressing batterers as fathers”

(Don’t worry — there will always be a way to work fatherhood into SOME Programming, regardless of the fact that it hasn’t been provien to reduce abuse OR poverty, OR child welfare overall. And you can get paid for it, too). I mean, just read the language describing the conference — read its exact words:

Conference Description: Men who perpetrate domestic violence are often willing to violate the law feeling justified when it comes to issues related to their children by invoking the sanctity of “fatherhood.”

The BISC-MI 2008 Fall Conference will focus on shifting the paradigm from blaming battered mothers to emphasizing the importance of developing programs and practices that promote and expect men who batter to be responsible and loving fathers. This includes respectful and honorable interaction with the children’s mother.

This cutting edge conference offers the expertise of nationally recognized faculty with over a century of combined years of experience. Presenters will share studies, tools, theories, concepts, books, and curricula to assist those working with men to understand the intersection between fatherhood and battering. There will be opportunities to discuss intervention and programming strategies and network with others who intervene with fatherhood issues and domestic violence.

Welfare Reform never had much to do about reducing poverty anyhow. It just took a few years to expand into its proper perspective, which was justifying more programming for the teachers, trainers, conferencers and social science theorists. Certainly something which works will be stumbled upon sooner or later.

By the way — how many kids, and women, and men — will die before it’s found? Because they still are dying over this “Family” idolatry.

We have been interested not only in the policy implications of this shift, but also in its effect on services for low- income fathers. In 2008, we conducted interviews with fatherhood programs and program networks throughout the country to gain a sense of their perspectives on these issues and to determine whether they believe this change in funding is affecting the provision of services to low-income fathers.

{{Were you assuming the provision of services to low-income mothers with children was not negatively affected by all this fatherhood focus? Was this at public expense? Were you checking around with the circle of similar organizations to see what they were going to do, given that it appears Welfare Reform and Block Grants to States wasn’t about improving the lot of poor people (male or female) after all, perhaps from the start? Or didn’t you notice who was pushing it through the first round?}} {{I didn’t – at this time I was in an abusive relationship. By the time I got out, the group that helped me got out indicated I’d just squeaked out the door due to feminist backlash. This proved out to be true, and I later read in the press that the same nonprofit had also changed its song and dance — funding is funding if you’re a nonprofit — and the leadership now focusing on helping noncustodial fathers, not mothers fleeing abuse with children but stranded in the court system. After all, go where the money is….}}

We were interested in several issues, including how the change in the focus of funding affected programming, whether the funding direction created opportunities to provide new services, whether it eliminated opportunities to provide certain services, whether program staff believed fathers were interested in receiving marriage/relationship services, and whether program staff members were interested in providing these services.
Fatherhood, Marriage, and Welfare Reform

Much of the support for fatherhood programs in the U.S. dates to the late 1980s and 1990s, when scholarly research, popular culture, and policy agendas conflated to generate interest in the meaning of fatherhood and the roles fathers play in the lives of their children. This interest culminated in the development of what some referred to as a national “fatherhood movement.” Broad-scale national organizations like the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), along with numerous state and local (AND SO ON AND SO FORTH)>

I couldn’t find any corporate filing for CFFPP in Wisconsin under old or newer names, and am wondering what was its home state of registration, if not Wisconsin. Maybe I should try again later, because it did file IRS forms under this name.

Better blogging and more recent finds over at http://thefamilycourtmoneymachine.blogspot.com. I just stopped back by here, because this was a reasonably good one, from back in 2009. Amazing what the public doesn’t know about where its money is going. Not that it’s bona fide money anyhow — it’s a “fiat” currency which is probably about to stop becoming the world’s reserve currency. At which point fatherhood programming is going to be the least of anyone’s worries. . . .

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm

“Our Broken Family Court” isn’t. It ain’t “Ours” and it ain’t “Broken.” That phrase is a “tell.” I’ll tell you why….

with 12 comments

But I don’t plan to do so on wordpress — because we know how that goes.  Missing paragraph returns, and boring typeface.I submitted two comments on this site just now, but they must meet approval before being published (although the conference itself is past).

The real material I have to post is about the Cummings Foundation that sponsored the “Our Broken Family Court” conference (I believe still upcoming).

http://forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com/2012/01/tearing-child-apart-free-training-in.html

In the news by Karen Franklin PhD

Does this NEVER end?  This is a free conference in the SF area, happened a few months ago.  I wouldn’t mind if some of the participants didn’t also have an agenda and influence in the family court arena.

Perhaps normal parents weren’t intended to find this announcement (i.e., are most of us in the fields above??), but I’m not “normal” in the sense of compliant with having my civil rights violated repeatedly simply for being under the illusion that I should have some.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tearing the child apart: Free training in San Francisco

What motivates parents to — either consciously or unconsciously — damage or destroy their own children?  [see LGH FN1]

This Saturday, Jan. 21, forensic psychologist Michael Donner, a psychoanalyst, child custody evaluator and ethicist, will take an analytic approach to questions usually considered part of the family court system. [see LGH FN2]
 
Sponsored by the San Francisco Center for PsychoanalysisSaturday’s event features H. Spencer Bloch, MD,  author of Adolescent Development, Psychopathology, and Treatment, as discussant.

Here’s some more of the flyer, which relates to a conference about our So-Called Broken Family Court:

(BEGIN QUOTE):

Sponsored by the San Francisco Center for PsychoanalysisSaturday’s event features H. Spencer Bloch, MD,  author of Adolescent Development, Psychopathology, and Treatment, as discussant.

{{SERIOUSLY?  Does using the word “discussant” add anything to the validity of what is discussed? Or is it a feel-good term for would-be professionals a little defensive about whether it’s a real profession they are engaged in?}}

The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to noon and is free. To register, call Aaron Chow at (415) 563-5815 or email him HERE. More information and online registration is HERE.
Donner authored an excellent article  {bold added}  by the same title in Psychoanalytic Psychology. Contact him (HERE) to request a copy of “Tearing Children Apart: The Contribution of Narcissism, Envy and Perverse Modes of Thought to Child Custody Wars.”  [see FN3 LGH, below]
Our broken family court system: Free training in Arizona

Another free training geared toward child custody evaluators is coming up March 16-17 in Phoenix, Arizona. Co-sponsored by the National Alliance of Professional Psychology Providers and the Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Foundation, it features a cast of well-known experts, including:

More information and online registration is available HERE.

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

CA’s New Improved Child Support Services: Core Mission went “MIA,” as did 800,000 of its Records

leave a comment »

. . . .courtesy a contractor’s subcontractor, both of them reputable companies . . . . .

The solution for invasion or violation of rights in THIS country was to have been, from the start, stated clearly in the U.S. Constitution — written down for all to see, and then it was up to us to practice THAT model.  Not every service model that is cooked up somewhere, and flown in as fast-food to state level by individuals IN the state with memberships in nationwide, PRIVATE, “nonprofit” associations which exist for the profit and proliferation of their membership — whether or not they actually deliver the product.

First of all, it’s from Child to Family to Social Restructuring.  The word “Child” is handy for almost any program to be promoted.  Once it’s sold (Aw, how wonderful — you love children and want to advocate for them?  Sure, where do I sign?):

Take for example, “Child Support Enforcement.”

That entire concept is now “old school” apparently, just the core mission in amid a bunch of evolving (self-) definitions.

In fact, it’s starting to look (in hindsight) more and more like the concept of enforcing child support to actually reduce (versus expand) welfare . . . . . was just an excuse to get too many cooks in the kitchen, add “access/visitation” concepts, keep records of New Hires for all business owners (if possible), garnish wages, incarcerate men or women who can’t pay up (however, men can sometimes “buy” their way out by participating in programs oriented towards men, i.e., Kentucky’s “Turning It Around.”)

By the state’s going plastic (via SDU – Statewide Distribution Units), someone, somewhere has a record of where any parent subscribing to electronic child support cards gets to have recorded what they buy, where, and when — when such people may not have done anything to warrant such intrusions.  The act of a single parent needing child support does not a criminal make!  Nor does the act of at times or for a time needing welfare.   However, the poor exist for a reason, and the powers that be might as well make a little business profit off the proposition, right?

 

This is from California’s Child Support Services home — a nice diagram to explain what “child support enforcement” actually means.  Keep in mind that the concept of child support enforcement is socially a pretty new one (just a few decades old).  Notice the core mission is rather equipped by the add-ons….

CORE Mission: Locate Parents; Establish Paternity; Establish Orders; Collect Support

Regarding Child Support Services –they are now “family centered.”

Fathers
Matter
Jobs &
Financial
Tools
R U
Ready
2 B A
Parent?
Positive
Parenting
Family
Violence
Awareness
Options for
Health Care
The Department is one of twelve departments and one board under the umbrella of the
California Health and Human Services Agency:
CHHS ADP | CSD | DDS | EMSA | DHCS | MRMIB | DMH | DPH | DOR | OSHPD | CDSS

If you  click on any of the circles above, it will lead you to some private/public/nonprofit admixture of PR campaign, technical assistance and training, and etc.  — all of which generally involves (1) more public funds at some level and (2) tax exemption for whoever “thunk it up.”

Read the rest of this entry »

LackaCommonSense in Lackawanna County (forum’s Admin v. Admin) detracts from Exposing “Kid$ 4 Cash”

with 3 comments

<><><><><>

Psst!  The “Kids 4 Cash” thread (all 165 pages of commentary, and an unknown ratio of real people to usernames) is now somehow back up.  I’d grab it while you can — who knows where it’s going next and in what version!  Then again, you can figure out, the same basic information is available, probably, through other sources (if you’re not into wading through dialogue on a forum).

TOPIC: (Kids 4 Kash, Lack. Cty) Is the FBI digging for facts or burying them? Taking a long time.

Lackawanna County has a certain demographic (See http://lackawannafamilycourtfederal.blogspot.com, there’s a post on it) which may (or may not) make a difference in whether it’s possible to have an ongoing dialogue with people able to stick on topic.  Judge for yourself….

Anyone around here old enough to remember “SPY v. SPY”?

(image found here)

Wikipedia:

Publication history

Prohías was a prolific cartoonist in Cuba and known for political satire. Prohías’ parodies of newly-installed Cuban dictator Fidel Castro attracted criticism, and faced with the loss of work, possible arrest and threats of execution, he fled to the United States on May 1, 1960 – 3 days before Castro took over the last of the Cubanfree press. Prohías sought work in his profession and travelled to the offices of MAD Magazine in New York Cityon July 12, 1960. After a successful showing of his work and a prototype cartoon for Spy vs. Spy, Prohías was hired.[1]

Prohías completed a total of 241 strips for MAD Magazine, the last appearing in Issue #269 (March 1987). During an interview with the Miami Herald in 1983, Prohías reflected on his career, stating “The sweetest revenge has been to turn Fidel’s accusation of me as a spy into a moneymaking venture.”[1] Ironically, Prohías was censored by MAD Magazine publisher William Gaines on at least one occasion. The strip that eventually appeared in MAD Magazine #84 (Jan. 1964) was altered as the Spies were depicted as drinking and smoking, and Gaines had a strong anti-smoking stance.[1]

Prohías eventually retired due to ill health, and died aged 77 on February 24, 1998.[1] The strips continued, with writer Duck Edwing and artist Bob Clarke creating the majority. As of MAD Magazine #356 (April 1997), Peter Kuper took over as writer and artist for the strip.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Art Spiegelman noted that “Getting published is very important to a young cartoonist, and I somehow have Antonio Prohias to thank for helping kick off my career.”[1]

[edit]

WELL, THIS IS A GOOD VERSION OF IT. . . . No wonder it’s so easy to fleece parents in the family courts, too.  Divide & Conquer.  Waste time.  Turn the legitimate discussion into a circus.  

Read the rest of this entry »

How Much Mileage Can DV Advocates get out of the press on San Francisco’s Ross Mirkarimi/Eliana Lopez case?

with one comment

This has been headline news for how long?  It definitely brings up mixed feelings on my part — knowing how many women are receiving far more severe battery, false imprisonment, endangering children and intimidating witnesses throughout the Bay Area, and have been for years — many years.  While each time there is some press, someone from one of the organizations gets quoted.

March 31, 2012, last Saturday, Section “C,”* an article laid out at top of the page, full width, and by Columnist C.W. Nevius), reads:

(*Bay Area section of the SF Chronicle)

Wife’s anger misdirected in Mirkarimi case.”

Eliana Lopez is furious at the way her domestic violence dispute with her husband, suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, has been handled.

Too bad. Because the process worked perfectly.

Was it messy and painful? Absolutely. But it is also important and worthwhile.

This week, Myrna Melgar, a survivor of domestic violence,**  wrote a passionate account – with Lopez’s blessing – of her friend’s devastation and anger in how the case was handled. While the opinion piece in the Bay Guardian had some fascinating details, it missed the main point.

Neither Lopez nor Mirkarimi seems able to get beyond the anger toward neighbor Ivory Madison, who called attention to the alleged abuse and then provided the damning video of Lopez crying and pointing to a bruise.

Melgar wrote that the process empowers people “to make decisions on this woman’s behalf, against her consistent and fervently expressed wishes.”

That’s right. It does. And that’s what it should do.

“This is why domestic violence advocates have been seen as evildoers,” said Kathy Black, executive director of La Casa de las Madres. “They say we are breaking up families. The helper becomes the one who is blamed.”
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BANI1NSJ36.DTL#ixzz1quHv5VFi

**not sure this is the same “Myrna Melgar, just included the LinkedIn profile which shows her professional/civic leadership in the area.  It probably is)

This is the Bay Guardian article, and it seems well written enough.  I’m glad someone filled in a few of these details, including a factor that until 5 Mr. Mirkarimi was raised in a bi-cultural family (Russian Jewish mother/ Iranian Muslim father), and then was separated from his father.  There seems to be a sense of father-absence here:

(The bulk of my post is addressing topics raised in this article, particularly a certain reference to a Canadian sociologist for insight into this Californian incident).

03.27.12 – 3:01 pm |

(255)

Share1069

By Myrna Melgar

Myrna Melgar is a Latina survivor of childhood domestic violence, a feminist, and the mother of three girls. She is a former legislative aide to Sup. Eric Mar.

Eliana Lopez is my friend. I have asked for her permission to put into words, in English, some observations, thoughts and insights reached during our many conversations these past few weeks about her experience with San Francisco’s response to the allegation of domestic violence by her husband, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi  . . .  (Please read the article).

. . .According to Eliana, the context of what happened between them on December 31 actually started much earlier. Ross grew up as the only son of a single teenage mother of Russian Jewish descent and an absent Iranian immigrant father. Pressured by the opposition of her family to her relationship with an Iranian Muslim, Ross’s mother divorced his father by the time he was five. Ross was raised on a small, nearly all-white island in New England, with no connection to his father. When he had the opportunity, Ross traveled to Chicago, where his father had remarried and built a new family with two sons. Ross’s father turned him away. In Eliana’s analysis, Ross’s greatest fear is that his painful story with his father will be replayed again with Theo.

I can just see the fathers’ rights groups (which are mens’ rights groups) spinning this one to blame Mr. Mirkarimi’s abuse of his wife on his lack of a father (and not perhaps some of the standards that might have been learned in the first five years of his life, or anything else).

Eliana Lopez came to San Francisco from Venezuela with hope in her head and love in her heart. She decided to leave behind her beautiful city of Caracas, a successful career as an actress, and her family and friends, following the dream of creating a family and a life with a man she had fallen in love with but barely knew, Ross Mirkarimi.

Whirlwind romance, charmer?  Another article (reporting on this one) adds:

Heather Knight Thursday, March 29, 2012

Melgar’s piece describes how Lopez came to San Francisco after she and then-Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi became pregnant on one of his visits to her native Venezuela

(He got his girlfriend knocked up in the course of leisure? or business?  Not mentioned — were they married at the time?

(Michael Macor/The Chronicle)

Eliana Lopez, wife of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, speaks to the news media about the three misdemeanor charges against her husband, on Friday Jan. 13, 2012, in San Francisco, Ca

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/28/BAS31NRKL3.DTL#ixzz1qv1dHpDm

Bay Guardian Op-Ed, cont’d.:

Well-educated, progressive, charismatic, and artistic, she made friends easily. She and Ross seemed like a great match. Both were committed environmentalists, articulate and successful. They had a son, Theo. {{see above…}} As they settled into domestic life, however, problems began to surface. The notoriously workaholic politician did not find his family role an easy fit. A bachelor into his late forties, Ross had trouble with the quiet demands of playing a puzzle on the floor with his toddler or having an agenda-less breakfast with his wife. Ross would not make time for Eliana’s request for marriage counseling, blaming the demands of job and campaign.

Now, about prosecuting the low-level domestic violence against the wife’s wishes:

How did it come to be that a system that was intended to empower women has evolved into a system that disempowers them so completely?

I don’t know Ms. Melgar’s life story (or whether she’s currently married — sounds like not).  However, there are TWO ways the District Attorney’s Office can disempower women — if this is correct, prosecuting against the woman’s wishes when it’s supposedly a “minor” event.  Or (and this was my situation and MANY other women’s) NOT prosecuting them despite severe domestic violence, when prosecuting them  might save a life, or save ongoing destruction of life.  See

And in this politically charged event — MADE TO ORDER for anyone who didn’t want Mirkarimi’s Progressive Politics disrupting the city (notice — nothing to do with domestic violence in that phrase) — because the events had some validity.

INTERJECTION — information from Purpleberets.org — and the topic is well-covered at the Sonoma County (Northern CA, not too far from SF) “Women’s Justice Center.”  This is talking about much, MUCH more severe cases where DA refused to prosecute.   (And if you know my blog, the case underlying it — and which eventually led to my blogging habit — was when district attorneys in TWO Counties refused to stop a child-stealing in action, or to prosecute it — ever.  The general practice over a number of years (by law enforcement, specifically — I’m talking police in a number of cities, county sheriffs in more than one, and the district attorney’s office.  As it turns out later, the person in charge of the “Alameda County Family Justice Center” (a hybrid creation by DA’s office and others modeled on San Diego’s one which came out of the City Attorneys’ Office — I’ve blogged this plenty elsewhere), Ms. Nadia Lockyer, then went on to win the position of County Supervisor (with help of a $1 million campaign funding and  very, very, very  well connected spouse 30 years her senior) — had a substance abuse problem, started an affair with someone (closer to her age) she met in rehab — himself getting off ‘meth’ — and had an incident requiring 911 assistance in a Newark (California) motel early a.m.   This is the Bay Area leadership . . . . . it’s typically about politics and careers — and NOT about preventing violence against women and services to them.  In the larger scope.

So, re: the immense power of the District Attorney’s Office: Written, I believe, around the year 2000:

California Passes Tough New Domestic Violence Laws — by Maria DeSantis, director Women’s Justice Center

In effect since January 1, 2000, a patchwork of new California domestic violence laws is already providing added help for domestic violence victims. The laws, however, still leave untouched some of the biggest obstacles victims face.

. . . .

District Attorney Power Still Unfettered

A critical area for victims of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse that has been left ignored by legislators this year and in years past is the district attorney’s absolute power to refuse to file charges no matter how solid the evidence. Even if a district attorney refuses to file charges on a whole crime category, there is no legal remedy for victims. This unrestricted prosecutorial discretion is particularly dangerous for women in Sonoma County where D.A. Mike Mullins’ rate of conviction on domestic violence is one of the lowest in the state, and where he systematically under-charges cases of violence against women and children.

For example, at this writing, we at Women’s Justice Center have a case of three days of spousal rape, sodomy and beatings which the district attorney has filed only as misdemeanor domestic violence. The detective in the case states there is ample evidence to file multiple felonies.

In another case of a woman beaten to the point of a fractured skull, the D. A. refused to file at all for five months until one day the perpetrator went out and committed another assault with a deadly weapon on another victim. In yet another case of spousal rape, the district attorney and Cloverdale Police have been fighting for six months over who should pay for translating key evidence. Sadly, those are just a few of many examples.

Not only are all women put in direct and great danger by the absence of any legislative check on the district attorney’s denial of justice to women, but the D.A.’s refusal to file proper charges on these cases also suffocates and discourages police efforts. We need to work with our legislators to give them the fortitude to put restrictions on district attorney discretion now.

(For Spanish translation of this and other violence against women information, see the WJC website:www.justicewomen.com )

Back

© Marie De Santis
Women’s Justice Center
You can copy and distribute this information at will
if you include credit and don’t edit.

Back to Myrna Melgar’s article, minimizing the incident:

Unquestionably, there are women in deeply abusive relationships who need assistance getting out, who may not be able to initiate an escape on their own. Eliana’s relationship with Ross did not even come close to that standard.

It seems Myrna is oblivious to the fact that, through the family court, if Eliana did decide (later) to go to Venezuela without her husband’s assent, he could — in a moment, and don’t think such a person is unaware of this — charge her (or find someone to charge her) with parental kidnapping, put an arrest warrant out for her, and in the meantime get practically ANY family law judge in San Francisco — unless they had a personal grudge or other political reason to not do this — to switch sole custody to him, demand some sort or extradition, and/or have her thrown in jail if she came back to work things out.  And don’t think that this isn’t a possibility.  Maybe they would’ve worked it out — or maybe not.  But one thing’s for sure — I read a LOT of material put out by domestic violence groups, and have networked with hundreds, literally, of mothers over the years, and most of them were completely ambushed by the concept that appealing to domestic violence laws to protect themselves and kids, even if they were IN a battered womens’ shelter — was no shield at all for later transfer of their children to their abusers.  This is literally a third line of advocacy, now — “protective parents.”  So, while it did not NOW rise to that abusive level, it certainly could’ve later.

Yet in the eyes of Ivory Madison, Phil Bronstein, District Attorney George Gascon, and even the Director of La Casa de las Madres, once her husband had grabbed her arm, Eliana was simply no longer competent and her wishes were irrelevant.

In other words, an action done by a man, over which a woman has no control whatsoever, renders the woman incompetent and irrelevant, and empowers a long list of people — most of whom are male — to make decisions on this woman’s behalf, against her consistent and fervently expressed wishes. No one in the entire chain of people who made decisions on Eliana’s behalf offered her any help — besides prosecuting her husband

 How ironic — because it is literally true, and how I WISH someone would’ve intervened in this manner during the abusive years, while our kids were growing up, in a Bay Area County.   The most dangerous place for ME to be in that county was in my home, which was one reason I became an excellent networker and made sure to get those children into a variety of activities (“healthy,” they’d be called now) in nonabusive environments and connected with other kids their age and families, too.   Police came after incidents more violent than this one (I think — I wasn’t a witness to Eliana’s case) and didn’t arrest — ever.  So they left, and the violence continued, until finally I got out, before the “fatherhood”movement was in full swing — although it was definitly operational and almost prevented me from getting a restraining order at the time.  I hadn’t been assaulted recently enough (in part, because over time one learns how to avert, avoid, dodge and diffuse situations, i.e., live like a near-fugitive in one’s own home).  This man NEVER spent a night in jail on my behalf — but it’s quite likely that if he had, earlier on, he might have woken up and mended his ways.  Maybe.
My kids and I will never know, because no officer ever arrested him.  And now that he’s been very well informed that there will be NO prosecution beyond the initial restraining order with kickout type of even (apparently the DV organizations’ funding is tied to some sort of head count on “clients served”??) — my and my kids’ lives afterwards — though there was a noticeable improvement — no one could assault me IN my house — there has been stalking, serious, harassment around (times right before and right after) my work, repeated job losses surrounding this, and long-term litigation in the family law system, which utterly drained my resources, and finally stolen, then abandoned by their father, children.
So in light of that, I am in favor of more aggressive early intervention — although it’s not quite cldear to me how to label this high-profile case, except it highlights the hypocrisy of who is, and who is not, prosecuted.
Consider, however, if there’d been a subsequent argument around the same issue after Mirkarimi had been installed as sheriff and was still in that role.  How endangered might Eliana be at that time?  I have, literally, taken a phone call from a terrified women form a (DV) support group who had just learned that her (police officer) husband had been released.  She was headed off to a shelter.  Yes, law enforcement can be abusive –and plenty abusive.
From the same article, I want to address these two paragraphs, by Eliana’s friend Ms. Melgar, which make me wonder about her other professional connections in the area:
So here is the challenge to domestic violence advocates and progressive folks who care about women: A more progressive approach to Eliana and Ross’s particular situation, and to domestic violence in general, would be to work on emphasizing early, non-law enforcement intervention and the prevention of violence against women in addition to the necessary work of extricating women from dangerous situations
I.e., she is 100% unaware of one of the largest groups in the nation doing EXACTLY this — and based in San Francisco?  (the Family Violence Prevention Fund, formerly) — and yet has this Op-Ed in the Bay Guardian, a well-respected (progressive) publication?
Professor Laureen Snider at Queens University in Ontario has argued that criminalization is a flawed strategy for dealing with violence against women.
So what? if this person argued so?  And the one anecdote (ms. Melgar’s own life) which would indicate the re-socialization of men (in particular) to not assault family members actually worked in her case.  Perhaps along with the education cited in her case, her father was also aware that criminalization would get them all deported, and that was a factor in his change?   Meanwhile, in this particular area alone (and California, even moreso) we have ample evidence that this policy is a failure — women are still being shot, attacked, stabbed, beaten, burned, stalked, and sometimes put homeless — and what’s more, bystanders are now getting increasingly shot in the process too.  Seal Beach, California.  This has happened, moreover, around the arena of the family law and custody matters, and AFTER separation from violence!!
For the record, we are in the USA, and not Canada, and under a different system of law?  Got it?  They don’t have the Bill of Rights, to my understanding.  They have closer ties (i THINK – am beginning to wonder) to a country with a monarch!  And Dr. (Ph.D.) Snider is a sociologist.  Why would this writer bring in this viewpoint – are there no adequate viewpoints on this matter of an inbound sheriff violating domestic violence laws in the USA?

Laureen Snider

Laureen SniderDepartment of Sociology, Queen’s University, Canada

Laureen Snider, a Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University, has published numerous studies on corporate crime, regulation and governance including Bad Business: Corporate Crime in Canada (Nelson: 1993) and Corporate Crime: Contemporary Debates (University of Toronto Press, 1995, co-edited with Dr. Frank Pearce). Her present research centres on the asymmetries of surveillance, comparing the monitoring of employees versus that of employers (“theft of time”); and the surveillance capabilities of traditional police forces against traditional criminality (“crime in the streets”, versus those of regulatory agencies against corporate criminality (“crime in the suites”). Recent publications include: “But They’re Not Real Criminals”: Downsizing Corporate Crime” (in B. Schissel & C. Brooks, eds., Critical Criminology in Canada . Halifax: Fernwood, 2008: 263-86); “Economic Crimes”, (in J. Minkes and L. Minkes, eds.,Corporate and White-Collar Crime. London: Sage, 2008: 39-60), “Safety Through Punishment?”, (in M. Beare, ed., Honouring Social Justice, Honouring Dianne Martin. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008) and “Accommodating Power: The “Common Sense” of Regulators”, Social and Legal Studies 18(2), 2008 (forthcoming).

Faculty website: http://www.queensu.ca/sociology/?q=people/faculty/full-time/sniderl

Queens University, Ontario, Canada, is also a known hangout of some serious AFCC propaganda — In looking up Ms. Snider (who may or may not be involved in such things), the same brochure has a large inset designed to honoring Nicholas Bala (search my blog) in association with AFCC.  He is a definite supporter of PAS theory — i.e., minimizing child & wife abuse, or reframing it as NOT a criminal, but a “relationship” issue, as much as possible.  “Coincidentally” the international organization AFCC has a wide membership among relationship counselors and another psychological sorts, plus a clos connection to the fathers’ rights (= mens’ rights) movement in general, no matter what they “say” about how it’s all about the children…
http://law.queensu.ca/alumni/queensLawReports/lawReports2008.pdf  Here he is in this brochure, being honored (photo visible at the link):

Professor Nicholas Bala is introduced as the recipient of the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award by Bill Howe, a board member of the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts, at its 45th Annual Conference in Vancouver on May 29, 2008.

BALA RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO FAMILY AND DIVORCE LAW

On May 29, 2008, Bala received the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award from the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC) in recognition of his outstanding work in family and divorce law. “I am deeply honoured by this recognition,” Bala said, “particularly in light of noteworthy contributions from previous winners.”

Bala became the first Canadian to win the award from the AFCC, an international organization of professionals involved in the family court system striving to empower families and promote healthier futures for children. Most of the award’s previous recipients were leading American researchers in the mental health field, including such scholars as Sanford Braver, Joan Kelly and Janet Johnston, whose work focused primarily on the effects of divorce on parents and children. . . .

In contradiction to the concept of “no-fault” divorce law…

As one of Canada’s leading family and children’s law scholars, Bala has a distinguished reputation for his innovative and traditional research methods and his diverse range of publications. Scholars in Canada and abroad frequently cite Bala, and Canadian lawyers and judges frequently quote his research. In its recent decision in R. v. D.B., the Supreme Court of Canada cited Bala’s work for the 25th time.

In addition to Bala’s traditional legal scholarship, much of his research draws from a variety of disciplines: he collaborates with psychologists, criminologists and social workers to address the problems children and families encounter within the justice system.

“I have not only been involved in consuming the research of social scientists about the justice system; I’ve helped to produce it,” Bala says. “My collaboration with mental health professionals and social scientists has allowed me to appreciate both the value—and the limitations—of their work for the justice system.”

Besides his interdisciplinary work with the Child Witness Project, Bala has been taking a closer look at how domestic violence is handled in the family-law arena. He has been working with three mental-health professionals {{Want to bet $100 they’re all AFCC members?  I could use a little extra cash to upgrade some of the blog….!}}} to produce a series of papers on this issue, and the group recently created a model to address the effects of family violence on the determination of child custody and access. **

**Jargon translation:   wife-beating is no reason to restrict a child who witnessed this having access to their biological father.  Let us do supervised visitation, etc.  — hence (in the US) HHS “Access/Visitation” funding, with help from the (also international) Children’s Rights Council, which developed the term “access” to replace the term “visitation.”   This model will be ADMINSTRATIVELY or PRACTICALLY begun (or has been already) and then other highly placed individuals (state by state in the US) will suggest — hey, why not make it a law?  (Example:  PA:  Commission on Justice Initiatives:  Changing the Culture of Custody).

The team’s article about their family-violence-assessment model, which was published in the most recent issue of the international journal Family Court Review, {{Co-produced with AFCC & Hofstra Univ. School of Law in NY}} is already being cited in a number of countries.

The Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award (Stanley Cohen being a principal in the development of AFCC) is Bala’s second major award in three years for his valuable research contributions. He won the Queen’s Prize for Excellence in Research in 2006 during an annual university-wide competition. For more information about this award, see “Nicholas Bala Wins Top University Research Prize” on page 2 of the 2007 issue of Queen’s Law Reports at http://law.queensu.ca/alumni/publications/lawReports2007.pdf

Last I heard, United State of America claims to be somewhat of a unique country, based on its Constitution, Bill of Rights, and reputation for freedom, right to trial by jury, protections of due process, etc. — people immigrate here for a better life.  We are labeled (or maybe were, not too long ago) the “leadership of the free world.”
So why this urgency to bring all our legal institutions — especially one dealing with families, and raising the next generations of children — into consonance with international standards, including socialist countries, countries such as the UK, which still maintain a Queen, a national religion, and until about 100 years ago, were about as imperialistic, colonizing and enslaving a country as could be found on the globe?  HUH?
And why is Ms. Melgar quoting someone who hangs out at a University which is known (at least as to family law) as an “AFCC safe harbor”?  Because she’s a feminist? California doesn’t have enough feminists to reference?    (The New Transparency group) (the Conversation:   Snider blurg:)

My major research interests lie in the intersection between knowledge, punishment and law. I have applied this in several substantive areas, in studies examining the poisoned water disaster in Walkerton, Ontario, the reception of knowledge claims on corporate crime, and the constitution of the punishable woman.

Experience

  • Professor of Sociology, Queen’s University – present

Education

  • Toronto University, B.A., M.A., Ph.D
Site “The Conversation” (Obviously I am just looking up Laureen Snider and wondering why she’s quoted in re: prosecution of a SF inbound sheriff):
OUR CHARTER
  • Give experts a greater voice in shaping scientific, cultural and intellectual agendas by providing a trusted platform that values and promotes new thinking and evidence-based research.
  • Unlock the knowledge and expertise of researchers and academics to provide the public with clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.
  • Create an open site for people around the world to share best practices and collaborate on developing smart, sustainable solutions.
Not that it may be enforceable at this point, but I happen to live in a country where the underlying concept was NOT an “aristocracy of the experts” to solve social problems, but a government of “We the People” through institutions that limited any resurgence of the tyranny of religion, individual interests (including royalty from other countries), and, to the extent we have taxation, and pass laws, they are to come from our elected representatives, who are accountable to the people living here (i.e. ,citizens) — and are not to be imported laced with concepts NOT innate to the US, and for which it fought a serious “war for independence” — from Great Britain — in the 1770s!  ! !! (not a topic to be developed in this post, but there’s a lot more depth I’m learning these days about HOW we became a country of collective debt to an international banking cartel, etc. etc.)
 The matter at hand here has to do with an  official — appointed Sheriff – a government employee of the USA — not Canada.  have the discussion, but the prosecution, leadership and the dialogue around domestic violence advocacy groups here (mostly nonprofits which take some HHS funding, I’m fairly sure) is not an international matter — as pertains to should or should not it have been prosecuted…
 CONTINUING. . . . .  Bay Guardian article:
Snider argues that feminists and progressives have misidentified social control with police/governmental control. In other words, we are substituting one oppressor for another — and glossing over the fact that in the judicial system, poor people of color fare worse than white middle-class people. We have punted on (forward) the hard work education, and of shaping and reshaping men’s definitions of masculinity and violence, of the social acceptance of the subjugation of women, of violence against children. We have chosen to define success in the fight against domestic violence by women saved from horrible situations and incarceration rates for their abusers — rather than doing the difficult work of community and individual change necessary to prevent violence from happening in the first place
Perhaps Dr. Snider (who operates and was educated in Canada — exclusively — it seems, but shares through internet and other means (I don’t know) an international dialogue on certain issues of interest to her and them) is completely unaware of the heavily subsidized ‘Minnesota Program Development Fund,” the “Duluth Model,” the prevalence of the term “CCR” (COORDINATED COMMUNITY RESPONSE) in this country, thanks in great part to Ellen Pence, who, I note was college-educated also in Toronto:

Ellen Pence

Ellen Pence (1948 – January 6, 2012) was a scholar and a social activist. She co-founded the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project[1], an inter-agency collaboration model used in all 50 states in the U.S. and over 17 countries.[2] A leader in both the battered women’s movement and the emerging field of institutional ethnography, she was the recipient of numerous awards including the Society for the Study of Social Problems Dorothy E. Smith Scholar Activist Award (2008) for significant contributions in a career of activist research. . .

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pence graduated from St. Scholastica in Duluth with a B.A. She was active in institutional change work for battered womensince 1975, and helped found the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in 1980.

She is credited with creating the Duluth Model of intervention in domestic violence cases, Coordinated Community Response (CCR), which uses an interagency collaborative approach involving police, probation, courts and human services in response to domestic abuse. The primary goal of CCR is to protect victims from ongoing abuse.[citation needed]

She earned her Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 1996. She used institutional ethnography as a method of organizing community groups to analyze problems created by institutional intervention in families. She founded Praxis International in 1998 and was the chief author and architect of the Praxis Institutional Audit, a method of identifying, analyzing and correcting institutional failures to protect people drawn into legal and human service systems because of violence and poverty.[citation needed] Ellen pence died [RECENTLY] at the age of 63 , from breast cancer .

PRAXIS means “practices.”   Who is practiced upon?  (Sorry, this wasn’t brought before our voters — except it went through the US Reps House Appropriations Committee,  I guess. . . ..

Not before endorsing and propagating a system of educational institutions — taking public funding — based on social theory, and which have attracted a host of inappropriate misappropriations of public employees times, and which set up a built-in HIERARCHY — the exact OPPOSITE of what women, particularly mothers, leaving abuse need.  This hierarchy is a lose/lose situation for any person imagining he/she has enforceable, legal rights in the USA — as an INDIVIDUAL.   It sets up the hierarchy of the TEACHERS (for hire // mercenaries) versus the “TAUGHT.”

The social science THEORY that one can educate or train men out of violence is just taht — a theory.  It is also contrary to the american (USA) form of government, which is to expect people to keep an identifiable law, and maintain a fair process of assigning punishments for those who choose not to.  This means all people can be informed of WHAT their laws are — and leaves no room for speculations on the social  impact of father-absence, single-parenthood, or even violence against women — and then millions of $$ which the public (and private interests) fund to tinker with the demonstration projects each time they get it wrong.

Back to the C.W.Nevius article (top of post), which continues:

Witnesses save lives

“Most cases are not this public,” said Beverly Upton, executive director of San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium. “But if anyone made this more difficult, it was Ross Mirkarimi. There was a lot of activity trying to silence the witness, and that doesn’t usually happen. What we know is that witnesses coming forward saves lives.”

Mirkarimi was initially charged with three misdemeanors related to domestic violence and eventually reached an agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment. Mayor Ed Lee also filed charges to permanently remove him from office.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BANI1NSJ36.DTL#ixzz1quqyOPjT

FYI, I do not live in San Francisco (some may wonder), but have lived in the area for over two decades, and worked frequently in the city and in surrounding counties — both during and after my “domestic violence” marriage.  I notice that whenver there’s a high-profile event, here is this SF DVConsortium and Beverly Upton being consulted for help.  I never got any help from them, nor did I get ANY help from the Family Violence Prevention Fund, although, they do throw a great conference, and how validating to know that domestic violence is a health risk (like, I didn’t know that?).  It did NOTHING to address the ongoing violence enabled by the family law system to any and all mothers who, after doing the right thing, but having for some reasons, very persistent Exes — are thereafter psychologically, economically, legally and in other ways tortured (if not extorted) — in the custody realm.

This group apparently could care less, so long as they get their funds and keep up the reputation for protecting women from violence – without addressing the land mines ahead of them.   SEE MY BLOG!  no one gave me a federal fund to publicize this, and apparently the more other groups immunize themselves from DV rhetoric, the better it is for BOTH pro and con grantseekers.  So, here — for a quick update — this “Consortium” consorts in getting public grants to continue their agenda.  I gather this is a progressive agenda because it’s under the umbrella of the (very large) TIDES Foundation, which also sponsored the nonprofit “Stop Family Violence” — which appears (best I can tell) to consist of a website, and one or two professionals who got to fly around to conferences nationwide (Irene Weiser, i forget who the other person was) and now is perhaps inactive, although the website is still up there.

Members of this agency

aka SFDVC and/or DVC) founded in 1982, is a network of seventeen domestic violence service agencies that come together with the goal of providing high quality, coordinated and comprehensive services to San Francisco’s victims of domestic abuse. {{ABUSE?  or VIOLENCE?  Make up your mind!!}}

The services of the individual agencies include emergency shelter, transitional housing, crisis lines, counseling, prevention programs, education and legal assistance. Services are available in the many different languages of San Francisco’s diverse populations. One of the main activities of the SFDVC is networking. SFDVC agencies share information, learn about issues that impact their work and coordinate their services and activities with a particular focus on public funding, specifically coordinating grant proposals and conducting advocacy/lobbying of government departments as to the importance of funding domestic violence services.

The SFDVC is a nonprofit organization and a project of the Tides Center. The SFDVC is led by its co-chairs and committees. The SFDVC recognizes that San Francisco is a diverse city and domestic violence is a problem in all communities regardless of ethnicity, race, class, physical ability, religion, age, immigration and economic status, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Obviously this is important work — HOWEVER — notice the collective grants-obtaining clout they have?  That must be HOW there has been such coordinated and collective silence on the fathers’ rights grants and movement I report, and so have other UNsponsored INDIVIDUALS.  Do they teach women about to file a kickout order about the upcoming Access/Visitation grants (in place, $10 million a year since 1996), how the Federal Incentives to the Child SUpport Enforcement system include running demonstration grants on how to increase noncustodial (father) time with the children, and how if they go on welfare, they are quite likely to be ex-parte consolidated into a divorce action, and thrown to the family court wolves, whose funding is MUCH larger?

NO — not last I heard.

Do they say anything about the organization AFCC, which practically runs the local Family Courts, let alone the Family Court Facilitators’ offices where people NOT as well-off financially (probably) than Ms. Lopez will end up seeking remedies?  AFCC publishes most of the brochures available there — and (I checked in recent years) the coverage of domestic violence issues is highly diminished.  So, what does that say about women’s right to know and make an INFormeD decision about whether to confront their batterer (sometimes with a civil protective order — not even mentioned in these dialogues), or call the police and hope a criminal one is instated?

LASTLY (and that’s enough for today!), I wanted to also show the Mayor Ed Lee catering to the FUTURES WITHOUT VIOLENCE organization, which currently owns prime real estate (or owns the organization that owns the real estate) in the SF Praesidio.  Futures without Violence, indeed.  The antidote to tyranny in our country (whether by domestic individuals within their family walls, or outside them by public officials) is a balance of powers between (1) the government and (2) the people, and fair enforcement of crimes against the state which jeopardize the safety of the public — which domestic violence DOES, and there’s plenty of evidence in the form of innocent bystanders shot, businesses disrupted, as well as responding police officers.  We live in one of the more violent countries in the world, in many levels, and despite decades of advocacy by DV groups, their inherent demand for public funds to “coordinate services” and educate — the world, essentially — they are not open to criticism from the street level about this agenda.

TOO BAD – it’s here, it’s coming and I’m not going to stop, if I can help, this outrage.  I have one-third of my adult life thrown down this rabbit hole ,and the concept of betrayal is absolutely high.  MSM is owned, and is never going to tell the whole story.  More bloggers are needed — bloggers that cite their sources where possible, and make sure that this situation is no longer covered up, or specially framed when it comes time to renew the funding for the VAWA act and the counterintuitive simultaneous funding of the next round of fatherhood/marriage etc. grants.  No wonder this keeps going on, perhaps — our society is so stressed and compartmentalized, and has been already pre-trained to have their income taxes garnished, so garnishing wages for child support is a short step away.  No privacy, no safety, and no justice.  Just more debt!

My parting shot, I think:  The Mayor that wants Mirkarimi out references Futures without Violence.  Label this:  “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours!”

Siana Hristova / The Chronicle
S.F. Mayor Ed Lee delivers the keynote address at a national domestic violence conference
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BASJ1NSMGF.DTL#ixzz1qux42sTZ

Without mentioning Ross Mirkarimi by name, Mayor Ed Lee on Friday delivered an indirect rebuke of the man he suspended from the sheriff’s job after he pleaded guilty to a domestic-violence-related charge of false imprisonment of his wife.

The mayor made his remarks during a brief keynote address at a national conference on domestic violence under way in San Francisco sponsored by the Futures Without Violence organization.

Seizing on sentence

Mirkarimi was elected sheriff in November after serving seven years on the Board of Supervisors. He was sworn in to his new job on Jan. 8 and was arrested less than two weeks later for allegedly bruising his wife’s arm during a New Year’s Eve argument in front of their 2-year-old son. The district attorney charged him with misdemeanor domestic violence battery, dissuading a witness and child endangerment.

The new sheriff pleaded not guilty to those three counts, but on March 12, under a plea-bargain agreement, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, weekly domestic violence intervention classes, and one day in jail with time served for when he showed up at the Hall of Justice for booking; he did not serve time behind bars.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BASJ1NSMGF.DTL#ixzz1qv2FUQhL

I have yet to find out a news article actually naming who is the provider of the weekly classes!  But this whole deal sure does give us a picture of how political the entire field is.  NOT TO MENTION — that once they get their mileage and some funds (he has to take those classes, right?) with the case, and the press — these programs that didn’t teach a county supervisor how to behave to his wife — and I’ll bet he probably approved some of the programs too — are going to continue, with MSM coverage while the private tragedies, ongoing, and far larger in scope, danger to the women involved, and near-lethal or lethal — surrounding the insane institution of the family courts — will continue, probably.  Talk about rocking the power structure to the center– if THAT story got out, I seriously doubt MSM (mainstream media) would take it!
They are right to suspend the guy.  Not that there aren’t others in the area that ought to lose their nonprofit standing for simply not profiting the public — like the huge Futures without Violence!
Full Name: FUTURES WITHOUT VIOLENCE FEIN: 943110973
Type: Public Benefit Corporate or Organization Number: 1648791
Registration Number: 077397
Record Type: Charity Registration Type: Charity Registration
Issue Date: 12/31/2005 Renewal Due Date: 5/15/2011
Registration Status: Current Date This Status: 5/16/2007
Date of Last Renewal: 9/23/2010
Address Information
Address Line 1: 100 MONTGOMERY STREET, PRESIDIO – MAIN POST Phone:
Address Line 2:
Address Line 3:
Address Line 4: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94129
Annual Renewal Information
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-01
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-01
Total Assets: $8,143,898.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $10,345,721.00
RRF Received: 25-MAR-02
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fast forward 10 years, some additional Annie E. Casey participation and of course the concept of “Fatherhood” as a tool to prevent domestic violence (see my blog), and an institute (downloadable trainings?) to promote that concept:
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-09
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-09
Total Assets: $26,157,567.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $11,614,069.00
RRF Received: 12-AUG-10
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-10
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-10
Total Assets: $36,603,585.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $17,118,149.00
RRF Received: 14-JUN-11
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status:
The extra $10 million in ASSETS between 2009 & 2010 is most likely the acquisition of the real estate at the Praesidio.  I dare you to look at their (rejected) tax return to the IRS, and figure out why it was rejected (letter uploaded to the same site).  this is the Office of Attorney General’s site, and anyone can search through it, and should:

(STATE CHARITABLE RETURN FOR 2009) FORM RRF-I INFORMATION REGARDING GOVERNMENT FUNDING STATEMENT 14 ART B, LINE 6

  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAM 810 7TH STREET NW, 5TH FLOO~ WASHINGTON, DC 20531 NEELAM PATEL, 202-353-4338  — AMOUNT   $2.9 million
  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 370 L’ENFANTE PROMENADE, 6Tl FLOOR
  • WASHINGTON, DC 20447  — AMOUNT  $1.5 million
  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DHUMAN SERVICES INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE 801 THOMPSON AVENUE ROCKVILLE, MD 20852 — AMOUNT $86K
  • NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JUVENIL! AND FAMILY COURT JUDGES P.O. BOX 8970 RENO, NV 89507  — AMOUNT $91K
  • OTHER GOVERNMENT GRANTS (whose?)  AMOUNT $30K
  • TOTAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING  $ 4,649,368
(that was year 2009)….
the heavy involvement of the US HHS and the NCJFCJ — which is a family court organization (and, the current head of the office of VAW, Susan D. Carbon, used to be president of the NCJFCJ, I heard) — ensures that no real critical analysis of the feminist backlash in the family court system is going to take place — that would be biting the hand that feeds them!
There were (year 2009) TEN (10) paid directors of this NONprofit — and their combined regular compensation was about $1.6 million, with Esta Soler’s being the largest salary ($234K & $71K “other”), and the lowest of any of the others being $112K.   If you add “other compensation” for all ten, the total is NEARLY $THREE MILLION  ($3 mil).
In addition, campaign /project manager professionals — $428,323….three individuals.
There are (moreover– see that tax returns), TWO real estate LLCs and ONE real estate “C-Corp” (an “Inc.”) with the word Praesidio in them, at the same street address (383 Rhode Island #304, SF) of the then-FVPF.  At least one of these is 100% owned by FVPF.
Futures without Violence is international in scope, but heavily supported — year after year (actually decade after decade it seems — I think it began ca. 1989) by US taxpayers, while being itself free from income tax (as a corporation) and investing in real estate.  GO FIGURE!  They are living “high on the hog” and running the show, while men, women and children around them continue to get molested, have their income, lives and assets SQUANDERED through ongoing litigation in the family law arena, which is funded in good part by similar corporations behind this monster DV agency.
I have heard Esta Soler speak, and she’s impressive.  What they have done is impressive.  However it doesn’t compensate for the intrinsic disparity of influence between this group — and actual mothers who need protection and help, and to keep their kids away from violent fathers — AND vice versa.
AND — in 2010 — they decided not to report their Schedule B — List of Contributors, including names and addresses (see amounts, above).  The notice was sent to the group in August 2011 — and the situation apparently has not yet been corrected.  Nor did they send in their annual $225 fee (notice also sent August 2011).  Perhaps this group is going to pull up roots, sell its real estate to a foreign-based corporation and simply stop dealing with the American law and order system entirely.
It should be looked into. It’s not too big to look into.   Why do we need a multimillion$$ NONprofit to run campaigns and things like “Coaching Boys into Men” — that’s the job of schools and parents.  take that money down and make better schools, or almost any situation might be preferable.
Publicize the actual LAWS against such violence on their sites and teach pastors, teachers, and others to report.  I reported to plenty of individuals in mandatory reporting positions during my marriage.  None of them, for the most part, did much.  They must have figured out it was someone else’s job.
Can you imagine running a ‘Batterers Intervention Class” for Ross Mirkarimi?  And can we imagine that a politician of this stature couldn’t convince anyone that he’s absorbed and believed the material?  There’s a LOT more than meets the eye to this case.  I’m glad he got suspended, not that this would have made him an inappropriate county supervisor or other political leader.  Just not sheriff!!
martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!

The American Spring Network

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

Family Court Injustice

It Takes "Just Us" to Fight Family Court Injustice

The Espresso Stalinist

Wake Up to the Smell of Class Struggle ☭

Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence

Finally! The Truth About Domestic Violence and The Church

%d bloggers like this: