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

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Archive for the ‘Fatal Assumptions’ Category

Smoking Cessation/Tobacco Control Litigation I See Is By Design Guaranteed, (Like Domestic Violence Prevention and Services) To Continue Incessantly. Meanwhile, a Wide Swath of Northern California Is Smoke-Filled and Lit Up, But Not by Tobacco. (October Local News and Blog Updates)

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Smoking Cessation/Tobacco Control Litigation I See Is By Design Guaranteed, (Like Domestic Violence Prevention and Services) To Continue Incessantly. Meanwhile, a Wide Swath of Northern Cali fornia Is Smoke-Filled and Lit Up, But Not by Tobacco. (October Local News and Blog Updates) (case-sensitive short-link ending “-7Lp”)


Post Technicalities: Tags may be added later. After over a week reviewing and supplementing this post, I’ve decided to “punt” (publish). It MIGHT also be split later, but the sections on exploring national DV networking over the years (from key organizations’ narratives) and “Health as an Asset,” an academy (“ABIS”) globally networking under the “Chatham House Rule” (basically, anonymity)(which brings the topic to the RIIA / Royal Institute of International Affairs in London and its historic intentions, as expressed in its founding documents) towards the bottom, which has a sequel, actually belong together. And this still IS “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” for what that’s worth, in the USA..so I took a closer look at how certain organizations like to collaborate for a unified voice, and consequences of that collaboration, down the road a few decades….//LGH, Oct. 20, 2017


Or, you could call this “October Local & Posts-in-the-Pipeline Update” which is how it started out, attached to another post started earlier I’d hoped to publish with just a brief update.

As my About Holidays / Personal Backdrop” (posted Oct. 10)** says, I took a brief, about half-month, pause while handling (different kind of writing required) personal things and am now catching up on some of the posts already in the “pipeline” referencing, basically and most recently the themes of (a) Big Tobacco Litigation/Smoking Cessation Control (Public policy) Efforts and (b) The Problems with Problem-solving Courts (“Collaborative Justice”), which includes the development and implementation nationwide of family courts, too.  [** after next few reminder images…]


I wrote about an East Coast/West Coast connection involving one government sub-sector (Administrative Office of the Courts, under the Judicial Council of California, the ruling body of the Judicial Branch in the state) with an improperly named non-entity (it’s not its own legal business OR government entity) — the “Center for Court Innovation” in New York.  You will not find it registered under that name on CharitiesNYS.com or Business Entity search, and so far as I know, it’s not a trade name of some registered entity — because the EIN# associated with it, generally speaking, belongs to a private foundation, “Fund for the City of New York.”

Four logos show sponsorship (not membership) of the Executive Session for State Court Leaders” (click image to enlarge, for fine-print commentary) as I recall. Only 1 logo represents part of government (BJA is under the USDOJ) directly; the other 3 (including Harvard) count as “tax-exempt, privately controlled entities” even though the NCSC Board will have public officials on it. 

I talked about how organizations like the NCSC got involved and discovered yet two more (subsequent to “The California Story” published in 2005) 501©3s promoting the same “collaborative justice” concept, keying off the concept of drug courts:

Fund for City of New York is one-half (the Private) half of the Public/Private (agreement, project, collaboration — whoever it’s defined) comprising the “Center for Court Innovation”. Look at the affiliations of the Board members — former NY Attorney General, Designer of the World Trade Center, Adm. Judge of the City of NY…!

(There’s also a foundation to go with this one).

**(The rest of that title, the same link as just given above: “….Speaking Personally (Personal Backdrop to Post-PRWORA Social Policy towards Women Who ~Just Say No!~ to Abuse and Proceed in Misplaced Belief They can actually Exit it) [started Sept. 18, Publ. Oct. 9, 2017, see also Collaborative Justice post/page].”(ends “-7AD”)

The other “Collaborative Justice” non-profit showing clear judicial membership and sponsorship, as well as an MSW involved in “Children and Family Futures.”  I won’t say more on that in this post, just pointing out that the process seems never-ending:

CCJCF-related, image series labeled: “Search for CCJCF President turned up EARLY Annual Rpt (Final Draft) WITH EIN# attached and its Significant Others (Judge Lynn Duryees, Peggy Hora)”

[Image may be added here post-publication, can’t locate a certain annotated one just now. It may be on the bottom of the related page]

One post in the pipeline taken from part (b) above again (“Governance, the Final Frontier,” now in draft, full title further below) reminded me of how early (how long ago) I’d realized that the “powers that be” within the domestic violence field obtained, and maintained, control over the field with an agenda to “therapize” the nation’s language of crime and consequences under the health, social science, and behavioral modification treatment [“therapeutic jurisprudence” and other concepts] paradigm — while still claiming to be tough on crime and domestic violence. And that one of the ways of doing this to mimic popular, grassroots demand from multiple seemingly diverse platforms (organizations) was having already-established tax-exempt foundations first internally sponsor projects, then spin off the projects off into more 501©3s (nonprofits) which, while the names may be new, the world view, personnel, response to the problems and practice of letting philanthropists run government or organize with intent to run it, is not. In other words, by setting up interconnected nonprofits collectively run by people of, except perhaps subject/topic focus area, the same general persuasion, having been so persuaded possibly in part because alternate viewpoints or alternate solutions to the problem were out-funded, and out-maneuvered.    

[Phrases above in this color were added long after the original paragraph; it this is too much overexplaining, read around them.]


Both this post and the one whose title shows next, linked from the “Collaborative Justice/Problem-solving Courts” page, should be published today, Oct. 20, 2017, or within 48 hours of each other.  (That “today” date kept getting moved back as I continued adding to the top part of this post!) The one you’re reading now will be published first.

I’ll repeat that link near the bottom of this post.


VERY early on, assumptions about WHICH are the KEY POINTS IN (foundational to) any new field or regime (for the DV field, that treatments and interventions, such as batterers’ intervention, or supervised visitation, mandatory mediation, parent education, etc.) become foundational, basic for that new field or regime’s claims to even BEING a field of practice or a new profession or area of professional practice (example:  “fatherhood” or “domestic violence PREVENTION”). Assumptions and omissions of relevant information which might speak against that selection of points get “baked-into the infrastructure and system” (including to its literature and downloadable curricula, webinars, etc.) as entrenched positions, and continually a part of whatever solution is chosen.

This proprietary, linguistic control makes later protest by people harmed by such policies, even if among the classes the policies are allegedly representing in the first place — for example, survivors of domestic violence, and/or child abuse who, with full information up front might have made different choices in picking their court battles, or how and how hard to fight back once they were dragged into one — an even heavier burden and uphill battle.  The public is fed information leading (or at least encouraging) readers/viewers to believe (until personally involved) that “the experts are on it,” so where there’s evidence to the contrary, maybe it was just the family’s problem, or one of the family members.’  Or a rogue judge, or a local problem..

After all, don’t we hear about domestic violence on TV shows, sometimes in a movie, in ads, and after headlines involving recent roadkill, perhaps from experts on one of the major organizations’ comments?

A SHORT SECTION ON THIS, FOLLOWED BY MORE ON THE NETWORKS:

Who can even find the long-standing/oft-quoted SF Domestic Violence Consortium?  What does its spokesperson do for a living? Take tax-free donations (It’s not an incorporated entity, but its “Executive Director” maintains apparently a speed-dial on some local news media with each new domestic violence vitality — year after year — or otherwise disaster that has potential for making national news too.

Looking at this one, I also took a quick re-view of California’s registered and still active known major DV organizations, including (but not posted here) the “NNEDV.”  I also added a section in which one of the networked entities did us (belatedly) a courtesy summary of the networks themselves, nationally, that is. Recommendation?  Pretend this is a conversation, and just deal with its about 15,000 words as they come up.  When you see a new section coming up, so be it, and remember that some of the material that inspired a post may (in my writing style) still end up closer to the bottom, while what’s in between is, to say the least, “illuminating.”….
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Written by Let's Get Honest

October 20, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Posted in Checking Out a Nonprofit (HowTo), Domestic Violence vs Family Law, Fatal Assumptions, Healthy Marriage Responsible Fatherhood (cat added 11/2011), Organizations, Foundations, Associations NGO Hybrids, Train-the-Trainers Technical Assistance Grantees, warfare: strategic, Where (and why) DV Prevention meets Fatherhood Promotion

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For BMCC Day 1: Why VAWA, DV Groups Basically Can’t (Won’t?) Stop [Terroristic Threats, Murder, Assault, Battery, Stalking, False Imprisonment, Harrassment– Child Molestation–or other Crimes]

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Why?

Well, I have one line of reasoning — that there is a family court around basically creates an immense loophole; any police officer anywhere can just about get out of arresting domestic violence perpetrators (they could anyway) by, when children exist, simply failing to arrest, and letting it land in the family venue.  Ditto with CPS.  But even if they didn’t, they still have immense discretion to simply not arrest.  If they DO arrest, the DA’s have immense discretion not to prosecute also.

WOMEN’s JUSTICE CENTER /CENTRO de JUSTICIA PARA MUJERES

Santa Rosa, California

(a site I quote below, and refer to often enough) I see has written an October 2011 letter to:

Dear Feminist Law Professors:

I’m a women’s rights advocate who has been working for the last 20 years in the exasperating struggle to end violence against women. I’m writing because we’re stumped, and we need your help.

My opinion:  these feminist law professors and women, in many respects,  have for over a decade completely ignored the role of the family courts, and their relationship to the criminal prosecution of (see title) real-time crimes play in simply invalidating domestic violence law, child abuse law, in fact most criminal laws of any sort for women who have given birth.   And women who give birth, aka MOTHERS, represents a significant portion of women against whom violence is routine.

In this current climate, and while that off-ramp from the criminal justice system (if the reporting and prosecution even gets there), it is next to impossible for these women to get free from an abuser – with children — and stay free unless HE simply chooses not to sue for custody or further bother her.  And, if there’s a Title IV-D child support order around, even if he doesn’t want to bother her, the county can and will go after that family and those kids anyhow.   That’s My take on it.  So I would not be asking a feminist law professor for help, based on the track record and under-reporting of this scandal.  And I’ve talked to some of them (including in my area).  However, this writer has a point:

The problem is this: Modern violence-against-women laws are in place throughout most of the U.S., as are crisis centers, hotlines, counselors, and shelters. But a critical piece is missing. We don’t have anywhere near adequate enforcement of the laws. Nor do women have any legal right to enforcement of the laws, nor any legal remedy or redress when police and prosecutors fail to enforce the laws.

As such, the laws are meaningless to us.  However, it takes a while — and sometimes costs a life — to recognize this.

. . . But the daunting and particular problem for women is that these absolute discretionary powers are in the hands of law enforcement agencies that are rife with anti-women biases, structures, and traditions. Violence-against-women cases are the cases these officials are most overwhelmingly prone to ignore, ditch, dismiss, under-investigate, under-prosecute, and give sundry other forms of disregard. This disparate impact and denial of equal protection is undermining all the other monumental efforts to end violence against women.

Despite all the high flying official rhetoric to the contrary, way too many police and prosecutors don’t want to do these cases. They know they don’t have to do these cases. They know a million ways to get rid of these cases. They know nobody can hold them to account. And the Supreme Court keeps driving this impunity deeper into the heart of American law. Not surprisingly, the violence against women rages on.

We can social work these cases endlessly, but when police and prosecutors don’t do their part and put the violent perpetrators in check, the perpetrators easily turn around and undo any stability and safety we and the women have attempted to secureThe freer she gets, the angrier he becomes. Without adequate law enforcement, victims of violence against women are doomed. And then they are double doomed by the void of any legal cause to hold unresponsive police and prosecutors to account. And then, all too often, she is dead

Notice that at the end of this eloquent (and I believe, truthful) letter, she refers to the “Judicial Ghetto of Family Law.”  It is this Ghetto that has to be addressed if “violence against women” is to stop.  To date, we are still the gender that produces children, gives birth to them, no matter how nurturing Dad is.  As such, this arena, that ghetto, ALSO has to be addressed, or as an obstacle to life itself for those in it, removed:

We urgently need your help. Not in the judicial ghetto of family law where victims of violence against women are too often shunted to fend for themselves.

Why NOT?  Why should women have to fend for themselves in a biased system  — because thats where it typically goes after any civil restraining order (see VAWA, below) is put in place.   Perhaps if there’d been more “feminist law professors” who’d gone through leaving DV AS MOTHERS, this might have been handled by now.  Not saying that it wasn’t a tough uphill battle to start with.  But we mothers are certainly not ballast in this journey; just treated like it in these circles!

But in criminal law where the state itself must take responsibility for securing justice for these heinous crimes. We can’t solve this problem without you.

As a first step, please pass this on to colleagues you think would most fervently fight to create a women’s right to justice. And then consider joining in yourself.

Thank you for your concern.

Marie De Santis, Director Women’s Justice Center Centro de Justicia para Mujeres

mariecdesantis@gmail.com www.justicewomen.org

We like to believe that criminal law always applies when crimes are committed (the title lists some of the crimes which comprise “Domestic violence” and “Child abuse” and characterize the lives of people who sometimes, after years enduring these things, end up dead, or paying their abuser, which is a form of institutionalized extortion).

BUT — when a case is labeled “high-conflict” or “custody dispute” of any sort, BY LAW (apparently) it comes under the jurisdiction of a different court — which is not a real court, it’s a business enterprise.  (See this blog.  See other NON-federally-supported blogs or articles.

For example get this (“johnnypumphandle, re:  Los Angeles “Public Benefit Corporations Supported by Taxpayers”   Not only ALL the people walking through the halls — but the real estate — the halls themselves, apparently are often part of this enterprise!  Why this never occurred to me before reading these matters, I don’t know.   The family court is in a separate building from the main (Criminal) courthouse in MANY towns and cities across the county.  That alone should have caught our attention.  Now (same general idea), they are building, sometimes, “Family Justice Centers” as part of a National Alliance movement (see “One-Stop Justice Shop” posts, mine).

I reviewed this material carefully before, it takes a while to sink in.  It will NOT sink in if all you see mentally is the visual of the building and its inhabitants.  In order to “See” straight, one needs to see and be willing to think in terms of corporations, tax returns, and cash flow.  And something relating the words “taxpayer” with “tax-exempt.”  As the site says:

 We have again reminded the IRS of the same scheme being perpetrated by the Private Corporation – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation – with the same bond guarantees by the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. Taxpayers are still getting stiffed by this scam, since there is no accountability for the money and NO TAX FORMS HAVE EVER BEEN FILED!

Key in this EIN#

470942805

to This Charitable Search Site (for California) — and tell me why the Relationship Training Institute — which does business with and takes business FROM the court, evidently — is still marked “current” when no (zero, nada, zilch, nothing at all) has been filed (and uploaded) by this organization for the state of California as a charity -EVER; even though it’s filed with the IRS?  Is that cheating the citizens of California, or what?   Here they are (and here goes continuity in my post today):

Relationship Development and Domestic Violence Prevention, Training, and Consultation

The Relationship Training Institute (RTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established in 1986* by David B. Wexler, Ph.D. to provide training, consultation, treatment, and research in the field of relationship development and relationship enhancement.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2583174 05/17/2004* ACTIVE RELATIONSHIP TRAINING INSTITUTE DAVID B WEXLER

Because — in the 7 years (at least) it’s been operating in California, David B. Wexler, Ph.D.’s group has not bothered to file it’s (by law) annually required tax return with the state (NOTE — which provides the California Attorney General with a Schedule B showing names and addresses of contributors, and has to list government funding) and because the CA Corporations search site is so limited, I can’t see  from there OR its founding articles if this is a domestic (Ca originated) or “foreign” (out of state) corporation.   

On the other hand, the group California Coalition for Families and Children which incorporated in 2010 (per same site) — and is critical of the San Diego Family Court Practices — has twice received a “file your dues” letter, which you can search at the same charities link, above.  It has no EIN# because it hasn’t registered yet.

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C3284403 03/09/2010 ACTIVE CALIFORNIA COALITION FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN CORPORATION SERVICE COMPANY WHICH WILL DO BUSINESS IN CALIFORNIA AS CSC – LAWYERS INCORPORATING SERVICE

I believe any group that calls itself a 501(c)3 (or “4”) should fulfil the requirements of it.  However, there seems a bit of favoritism (OR, This group has no bribe to pay — below the table — for the regulatory agencies, including the OAG?); Emad G. Tadros, Ph.D., checked out the suspicious credentials of a custody evaluator, discovered a custody Mill (plus that a house cat got a diploma from the same place) and put up a website about all this, plus filed a suit, which was simply the right thing to do.  In retaliation for challenging the right of the courts to continue their fraud up on the public he was fined $86K in fees, and an attempt has been made at obtaining interest, too.   Apparently, this group has not cut a deal with anyone, and so the OAG WILL go after their nonprofit status.  Here’s the link to “San Diego Court Corruption.”

So, as to The Relationship Training Institute, I guess not filing with the state is “close enough for jazz The Office of Attorney General.”  And also close enough for an NIMH sponsored grant on Domestic Violence in the Navy, too.  If our Navy was run this waywe’d be losing a lot more wars.

RTI offers an on-going series of informative workshops and state-of-the-art training programs for mental health professionals and for the public, bringing innovative leaders and teachers to the San Diego community. RTI staff also travel throughout the world training professionals in the treatment models that we have been developing and publishing for over 25 years

So, don’t try to tell me the courts and attorney general are unaware — see its website, and see the detail on its charitable registration.  A letter has been sent to this charity, and its site claims it’s approved by the Judicial Council of California to provide CLE credits for its trainings!

(the logos of approving organizations).

Approving Organizations

APA American Psychological AssociationWDCA Board of Behavioral SciencesBRN Board of Registered Nursing     CATC Certified Addictions Treatment CounselorJudicial Council of California Administrative Office of the CourtsNAADAC Association for Addiction ProfessionalsNBCC National Board for Certified CounselorsNevada Attorney General

By the way, Dr. Wexler is listed under another one, IABMCP or something:

David B. Wexler , Ph.D., Diplomate IABMCP
Director, Relationship Training Institute, San Diego, California

International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy  (group registered in Dallas, TX in 1979, EIN has 11 numbers # 17523304719.  Usually it’s 9 or 12):

Name Taxpayer ID# Zip
INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE COUNS 17523304719 75225

The actual EIN# is 751726710 and it’s registered in Colorado as a 501(c)6 ” Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, etc. formed to improve conditions..”  It has a tiny budget and apparently exists to distribute a newsletter, per 990 (2010 ruling.), registered as a foreign nonprofit (citing the Texas org.) since 1999 and apparently is filing its reports in Colorado OK.

2010  751726710 International Academy of Behavioral Medicine Counseling and Psychother CO 1980 06 31,455 1,402 990

Dr. Wexler anyhow, is on its Advisory Council, along with a long list of mostly but not all male personages, including Deepak Chopra…

I also note that this domestic violence training is very man-friendly…  But RTI is apparently the group that does the trainings OUTSIDE the courthouse, which makes them part of the personnel bill.  The earlier article was about who pays rents on the real estate, who owns the real estate, of the courthouses themselves?  Reading on:

August 25, 2001 – Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation and others. e.g. Los Angeles County Law Enforcement-Public Facilities Corporation and (too many to name or to discover). The Crusaders think that there are over a dozen of these ‘Public Benefit’ Corporations hiding in LA County. If you are aware of any of the others, drop us a line.

These companies are established as Tax exempt ‘charitable trusts’ under the Federal Statute – 501(c)(4)They direct millions of dollars but are basically unaudited. The Los Angeles County Courthouse Corporation (LACCC), for example, controls projects for $632 million, but as yet has not registered with the California Department of Corporations even though they have issued outstanding securities for this amount.

They have established trust agreements with banks, lease and leaseback agreements with developers, securities agreements with underwriters, legal assistance from high powered law firms, yet they have no employees. All work is done ‘outside’ on authorization from an officer of the Company. e.g. bills are paid, rents are collected, legal services are performed by outsiders through agreements. As an exampleO’Melveny & Myers pays the fees for this Corporation.

Is this a donation? Somehow, I think O’Melveny & Myers are not providing legal services for free.

The company has offices in the LA County facilities, claims no employees, but has all of its utilities, telephone, rent, etc. paid by the County.

Who answers the phone? A county employee, doing ‘part time’ work but receiving no pay. At least the Corporation claims to have no employees.

How are bills paid? We have a letter to Henry P. Eng, an auditor , who is told that he will receive a check for $4,730 and a like amount will be charged to the rent due to the corporation in order to balance the books. You see, the Corporation has issued bonds (Certificates of Participation) recently for $115 Million to build the Antelope Valley Courthouse. The Banc of America and four other underwriters have guaranteed the purchase of all of these certificates.

So WHY do I make those claims in the Title of this post today?   Well, for one, I research TAGGS grants, and read conference brochures, and pay attention to what groups do – -and don’t — report on, including the various elephants in the room…  

I’m not the only one, either, questioning what VAWA is for, except to inspire a lot of anti-feminist backlash, give Fathers & Families (GlennSacks hounds) something to complain about, and a source of funds to set up websites and conferences (ad nauseam) to perpetuate the illusion that whatever a civil — or even criminal — domestic violence action DOES, Family Courts will not quickly UNDO, even if neither parent  asks them to!

You might want to look at this article:

VAWA Critique
In Which a Little-Known Legal Brief Plows into Hallowed Terrain

I almost felt like a traitor (though I was sure in my opinion) with this round of requests I write someone to reauthorize VAWA.  WHY? I thought.  I already know who’s collaborating with these other courts.  Well, another (non-federally funded, intentionally so) site – I like this site, too — explains:

Ever since the U.S. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in 1994, women’s advocates have rallied again and again to assure that VAWA stays authorized and funded. The steady torrent of threats against the act from antagonist men’s groups has left advocates with little inclination to question whether VAWA is truly delivering what’s needed to end the violence and secure justice for women. But a little-disseminated legal brief we came across recently rips along the fault lines and suggests that giving VAWA a thorough critique may be one of the most important steps we should be taking to advance the struggle.

“The legal brief, signed by a dozen domestic violence scholars from around the country and submitted in 2007 to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, emphatically makes the case that VAWA not only is failing to protect women, but that this failure is rooted in fundamental flaws in VAWA’s structure and administration. “VAWA is a limited remedy,” the document states, “That fails to protect women or to discharge the United State’s obligations under international law.”

(it’s going to talk about the Jessica Gonzales case, and the IACHR. However, NO — I say that these DV scholars have simply fallen asleep at the switch, or decided to look the other way, to keep their publications, etc. coming.   )

In summarizing their analysis, the brief states, “VAWA fails to accomplish four crucial things: 1) It does not provide any remedy when abuser’s or police officer’s violate victims’ rights, 2) it does not require participation of all states or monitor their progress, 3) it does not fully or adequately fund all the services that are needed, 4) it does not require states to pass or strengthen legislation around civil protective orders or the housing rights of domestic violence victims.” . . .

VAWA: “primarily a source of grants” which has not reduced domestic violence

The brief goes on to characterize VAWA as “primarily a source of grants” with non-binding terms, voluntary participation, unmonitored compliance, and which mandates nothing. And the funding is paltry. According to the brief, in 2007, the median total of VAWA grants to individual states was 4.5 million dollars. That’s less than the cost of one wing of a fighter jet allotted per state to combat violence against women.

If the core of this brief is accurate, despite the services VAWA has provided to tens of thousands of women, the message VAWA delivers to law enforcement and other public officials throughout America is disastrous. ‘You can prevent, investigate, and punish violence against women – if you feel like it. But if you’d rather not, don’t worry about it. VAWA doesn’t mandate that you do anything. And if women are upset by that, rest assured, VAWA and the courts have also made sure there’s not a darn thing women can do about it to hold you to account.

Most troubling of all, the brief finds that in the time from VAWA’s passage in 1994 to 2007 when the brief was filed, VAWA has not reduced domestic violence in the U.S., despite the U.S. government’s claims to the contrary. As stated in the brief, “Since the passage of VAWA, domestic violence rates have not been reduced in proportion to other violent crimes

This site writes their rationale:

And perhaps worse, these fundamental flaws in VAWA are not even a matter of discussion, debate, or protest among frontline women’s advocates. It’s critical for progress in ending violence against women that that discussion begin.

which they analyze as, and I can see this:

The Tie that Binds

VAWA requires that shelters and rape crisis centers that receive VAWA funding must demonstrate their cooperation with their local law enforcement agencies.

Individual states that administer the VAWA grants have implemented this requirement in various ways. But typically the shelters and crisis centers seeking VAWA grants must obtain signed operational agreements with their local law enforcement agencies. This has given law enforcement veto power over the survival of the violence against women centers, a controlling power law enforcement has not hesitated to use.

People should read this article — and a lot of this site, based in Sonoma County, California (wine country north of SF).  I notice that the Family Justice Alliance Center made sure to get a center into Sonoma County — and if I were going to donate to somewhere to stop violence (other than the time I’ve donated, here, and off-blog) it’d be to this group, responsible for the website:
Feel free to photocopy and distribute this information as long as you keep the credit and text intact.
Copyright © Marie De Santis
Women’s Justice Center,
www.justicewomen.com 

rdjustice@monitor.net

VAWA is a Federal Act of Congress first passed in 1994.  By Contrast (and to oppose its premises), the National Fatherhood Initiative is a NONPROFIT started by someone with close connections to HHS, and Washington, and now many legislators — and is not only still funded, but has permeated the structure and purpose of violence prevention, child welfare, and child abuse prevention  areas of goverment.  While VAWA (which at least went past Congress initially — the NFI did not) promotes one kind of training, NFI promotes the opposite theories.

Then the two groups get together, for example, The Greenbook Initiative and congratulation their federally-paid-behinds for being able to get along, while women continue to die after breeding and leaving abuse.  And etc.

The DOJ Defending Children Initiative:  even has an “Engaging Fathers” link:

The ILLUSION that there is protection for women and children through groups such as “Child Protection Services” is fatuous.  That’s not what they’re there for, apparently.  Nor, apparently, are the civil restraining order issuers (typically a domestic violence nonprofit of some sort, or possibly a parent might get one on his/her own) there to prosecute or punish any crime.

I heard this from a woman (grandparent) in an unidentified urban area, regarding her grandchildren’s being in the sole custody of an abusing father AFTER CPS and police had confirmed sodomy and forced copulation with the (young boy):

Hearsay #1:

There are no laws or penal codes against child abuse by a parent.  Child abuse by a parent comes under the Welfare and Institution Code (WIC).

The welfare and institution code does ONE thing — offers reunification services to the abuser.  The one and ony law mandated by legislators (in such cases) is reunification.

Since the theme is “reunification” (and really, let’s get honest — “supervised visitation” concept comes from this field, reunification), no family court has any interest in re-unifying a protective mother with her child once that child has been completely (and physically) “reunified” with the abuser father.  There are no fatherhood-promotion services for this (access/visitation concept is actually a fatherhood concept).  Supervised visitation with a sex offender (young) father and mother has resulted in child-rape INSIDE a supervised visitation facility in Trumbull County, Ohio, recently.  It has resulted in financial fraud on East and West Coast both (Genia Shockome/Karen Anderson of Amador County, PA), it has resulted in a child literally being supervised by a woman who had criminally sexually assaulted a DOG in Contra Costa County California courts (Welch v. Tippe), and — the commissioner? who made that order, as recommended by her court-crony, is I believe still on the bench — and has been, while we’re at it, on the Board of Kids’ Turn, too.  After all, it’s all about the “Kids” and what’s best for them, right?  How often do women whose children have been abused get put on supervised visitation for “alienating” the father by reporting — or allowing their kids to even report to someone else unsolicited, like a schoolteacher — real live criminal activity upon themselves?

Hearsay #2:

Child Protective Services labeled our case high-conflict which put it in custody court.  Neither the father or I had even mentioned divorce at the time.

This mother says she saw it on their report.  I’d like to see that report.  Assuming it’s true, this means that CPS knows quite well that they don’t have to prosecute anything against a parent when it comes to abuse of children; they can shunt it off to family court.

Hearsay #3 (to you — this is my case):

When my children were being stolen (abducted), and I was protesting on the basis of a valid court order giving me physical custody, an attempt was made to bring CPS in — although no abuse was being alleged!  When I pointed this out, the officers supervising the exchange — which I’d requested for personal safety — refused to enforce the court order, mocked me, and when I realized there was no recourse from this crew, I had to let my “ex-batterer” and the children’s father, drive off into the sunset with children I’d raised, and from this point forward (til today) not ONE single court order was consistently obeyed for more than a month, including visitation or phone contact with me, alternating holidays, or the children with the mother on mother’s day, all of which remained in the CUSTODY order.

In short, if I wasn’t going to voluntarily justify bringing on more (paid, public employee) professionals AFTER existing paid, public employee professionals simply refused to do their job (which I later learned — they don’t have to, even if not doing their job results in someone’s, or even three children’s, deaths.  See Castle Rock v. Gonzales).

Talk about “interlocking directorate” – – – – I also heard from a savvy investigator (mother) (noncustodial) in another state how that, literally, when a father is accused AND found guilty of abuse in one sector (for example, criminally, or child support services) this literally causes the father to be declared “incapacitated” or incompetent — making the child a “dependency” case.  The court that the mother then walks into is, in effect, a “dependency court.”  The state owns her child, and if she can’t ransom it back, too bad.  The ransom process is simply this:  the hearings go on, and on, and on and as much money is extracted from the mother, who WILL fight back, until she’s broke too, if not in spirit.  That’s the plan.  That’s not an anomaly or “burp” of the system — that IS the plan.

We have heard also of horrendous situations, and I’ve reported this, of dual electronic docketing.  (“Computerized or Con-puterized?”  Janet Phelan on Joseph Zernik reporting.  One week after she published the layperson’s explanation of this, he was picked up by police without cause and held).   We’ve heard of collected but intentionally not distributed child supportin the millions of $$ (Silva v. Garcetti (who was Los Angeles D.A., involving Richard Fine).    Even a brief look at what happened to Mr. Fine (besides getting incarcerated and disbarred) and how the California Legislature handled the fact that the entire judiciary was subject to bribery at the county level by payments to judges — from the county — in cases where — the county — was a party.  It retroactively granted immunity, and did this quickly, lest the entire judicial system get shut down.  (SBX-211) — that brief look should say, what we are dealing with is XX % crooks, and X% enablers or people who can’t themselves get out of the system because by participation, they’d be prosecuted too.  Talk about “gangs” . . . that’s a Gang.  Sometimes deals go between one jurisdiction and another, making them a little harder to catch (Gregory Pentoney)

Two other things which I’ve heard of from a non-BMCC “let’s ask the expert source” in recent times — and again, I present this as Hearsay, but it’s entirely in character for the venue — of more than one physical case file being kept.  One is shown to the litigant when she can afford it (which ain’t always), or qualifies as low-income enough to be shown it.  The other is shown and hauled out when it comes to justifying program billing — that one or both parents may be totally unaware of, occurring in their case, under their or their kids’ social security #s, and in their name.

Again, my plan is to curtail posting on this blog (I believe I’ve “said my piece” on most major points) at the end of January, and get about other aspects of life.  Oh yes, and I signed the blog up for Twitter, which should curtail the length some, like by ca. (10,000 to 14,000) – 140 characters!

I realize that conversational style isn’t communication, yet the information is urgent to present and get out.  The “end of January” date was in honor of the BMCC conference, which I plan to comment on every day it’s in session.  Ideally, you will see one post a day from here til 1/31, however, some of the material does cause vicarious trauma to report, which may affect quality of post, or my getting one out on a certain day.  While I know what I know, from study, research observation, reflection, and synthesis, expressing it is another matter.

Also, the conversing with the material style is laborious, and takes hours.  Whereas in a personal conversation, say, by phone, with interaction, I know I could convey the key FAQs, overall, in 10 minutes or less, and tell people where to find more information, should they be motivated.

So here we go:

Some people I know are headed up again to the Battered Mothers Custody Conference IX in Albany, New York again this year, where the same basic information will be presented by experts, while mothers are welcome to participate from the floor and by adding their square to the quilt, by buying books which the presenters will be selling (last year’s hot-off-the-press available in softcover and at a discount – only $59 — for conference attendees) and donate, too.   This is addressed to mothers who are probably being fleeced in the courts, have tortuous situations to handle, and some are paying child support to their child’s or their abuser, which is why they pull it together to come to this conference, seeking help and answers — from the experts.

One difference — a positive one — THIS year is the attendance of Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who also will be selling her newly revised “Mothers on Trial”  which I know incorporates some new stories, and I plan to order it on-line.

However, I also know that it’s not about to contain the information on this blog, on NAFCJ.net, or much on the AFCC, Welfare Reform (1996), and the role of the Child Support $4 billion industry in prolonging custody conflicts, for profit.  However, it will be a new presenter, and an experienced feminist who I’ll bet is not afraid to address some of the issues of Gender Apartheid (which also results in “Battered Mothers”) in front of this audience, and on which she is an expert.  Perhaps she will — as I don’t think others have — bring up the impact of religion on this situation in the family courts.  It’s there – -not talking about it would hardly make sense.

At the  bottom of this post, I am going to list the Presenters, and brief comments or links on the ones I know.  The ones I don’t, I’ll look up.  Perhaps in the next post (as this one expanded into handling a few other items).

And in this post, I’m going to charge pretty hard into the entire concept behind this conference, as I did last January, afterwards.

NB:  I attended one conference in all its years, but primarily to meet mothers I’d been blogging with; I’d already realized that it was a marketing conference.  That’s responsible behavior for people shelling out travel, hotel, and conference fees, not to mention in general.  You find out who’s saying what and evaluate it.

The Title of this year’s conference is apparently “IS WHAT WE’RE DOING WORKING”?

HUH?

 

  • We who?  (Mo Hannah, Barry Goldstein, et al.?)

  • Working for whom?*

  • Define “working” — what’s the goal here?  (Sales, Self-Promotion, Shaping Distressed Mothers’ Perceptions?)

Ask a foolish question, you will get a very foolish answer.  Act on those answers and you become a fool.  A sucker is born every minute, and I regret every minute of my own “suckerhood” which listened to domestic violence rhetoric for too long, and didn’t think to GO CHECK TAX RETURNS AND NONPROFIT FILINGS FIRST, which might’ve had a different result.  

That’s why I believe that it’s the “experts” that should be sitting around the tables in the conference and taking notes, and the women themselves that should be up on stage giving testimony, ideas — and controlling the microphones.  Then some of the questions they have might get some answers, through collective wisdom, as women tend to do — when not co-opted into the hierarchical model of relating to each other which is more characteristic of males, and of this society we live in.

The structure of this type of conference is didactic — from presenter to participant.  They are the dispensers of wisdom, women & mothers attending, the recipients.  Go forth and deliver the expert wisdom to your areas, (seek to hire us as expert witnesses in your court cases) and if it doesn’t work — next year we are going to do the same basic routine anyhow, and your feedback will NOT be front and center, if it is allowed at all.

Seriously — that’s how it goes.  And anyone with a child in a custody case has a ticking clock, if not time bomb, which is running.  We do not have time to beat around the bush and fail to address things in PRIORITY order.

So anyhow, “is what we (?) are doing working?”

Somehow this is going to be stretched out into a weekend’s worth of material?  Is there a better question to ask, such as — what can we do to either clean up or shut down the family law courts if they refuse to clean themselves out, which is unlikely?  How many experts does it take to distract a mother’s attention from who is paying her abuser and the judges that gave that kid to the abuser?  Why doesn’t this conference ever bring up child support, welfare reform, or mathematical issues, such as economics?

Or, for that matters, why are not the people who experienced abuse considered THE experts, and why are the true experts (the battered mothers) not as informed as the presenting experts on things that others figured out over 15 years ago in this field?

This is, among other things, a marketing conference, and a chance for women to sit with each other and have company in their distress.  It is NOT a place for them to actually reform the courts, or learn the most direct possible ways (if any ways are possible) to get their children back, or a crooked judge off their case.  That I can tell.

*A comment on the site says women can contribute to a quilt for missing children.   (Which somehow reminds me of a church situation — you may attend, women:  Here — serve some cookies,  greet perhaps, and of course work child care, the sermon and other important things will be piped in from our (male) minister).  . . . . now, there are presenters who are mothers on the platform, some of who I know by name, and I know those mothers are not about to rock the boat — by reporting on what you’ll find here, NAFCJ.net, Cindy Ross, Richard Fine (Emil Tadros either, for that matter) and other places.   Somehow that information isn’t worth informing Moms of, which results in Uninformed Moms, wondering why things aren’t changing.

You see, professionals (and I was one in one or two fields) know they’re not expert in other fields and so tend to defer to people presenting as the experts in a different field.  This works REAL well when mothers in panic, danger, or serious trauma go for help to DV experts who are hired (or volunteered) with agencies which do not themselves see fit to look at the larger picture AND TELL THE MOMS ABOUT IT.

Moreover, once a case — or person — moves out of their area of “expertise” — meaning, case in point for mothers, into the family law system — it becomes “not my problem” and they can, I suppose, somehow sleep with themselves at night (those who actually have functional consciences) without drugs or sedatives, by saying – it’s out of my hands now, I did my part!

Ay, there’s the rub.  It’s a win-win for the civil restraining order (DV agency) field AND for the Family Law Field, because no one “out-ed” either field’s collaboration and centralization over the years.  No one has done this much to date  because so few people follow the funding, particularly experts protesting “Child abuse, Domestic Violence” and so forth.

RE:  “IS What We’re Doing Working”

Here’s a short answer:   “ExcUUse me?   You  * #$!- ing (kidding) me, right?”

Slightly Longer answer, Fresh kill, two children (10 & 14) into someone else’s care (foster?  relatives?)  this week in California.  The woman showed up, obediently, for a family court hearing, and was murdered in cold blood, in her car.

Authorities say the man shot his wife, gave chase to police, then shot himself; they were scheduled to appear in family court for a hearing

BY JOHN ASBURY AND KEVIN PEARSON

STAFF WRITERS

kpearson@pe.com | jasbury@pe.com

Published: 04 January 2012 08:42 AM

A man at the Hemet courthouse for a child-support hearing calmly walked up to his wife’s car and fired two fatal shots, then led police on a car chase before killing himself Wednesday morning, according to witnesses and police

. . . .

Costales had no criminal record in Riverside County, and the couple had no history of domestic violence with each other, nor was there a restraining order in the case. However, Costales was accused of domestic violence in a previous divorce.

The two children now aged 10 and 14, we don’t know who their biological mother was –whether the woman slumped over in her car that day, or the former Ms. Costales:  However, they were born (do the math, see article) prior to this marriage:  2012 January minus ten, minus fourteen years.  Mr. Costales prior marriage had mutual restraining orders as of the year 2000.

‘A HORRIBLE SIGHT’

Kimberly Jones, 45, of Hemet, said she was in her car when she heard the first gunshot, which she thought was a firecracker. She looked back to see Schulz back away quickly.

Jones ducked as additional shots were fired, then ran over to find Schulz bleeding and slumped over in the driver’s seat. Jones, who is a nurse, said she tried to resuscitate the woman in the parking lot as Costales casually walked back to his car.

. . . She moved out, not him….

Schulz told the court in September that she was unemployed and receiving $550 in monthly aid. She asked for Costales to be required to make child and spousal payments and to make payments on their Honda Pilot until she could afford to get her own vehicle.

“I need hearing because of no income but aid,” Schulz wrote in court documents. “Living on my brother’s couch, looking for work daily, been unsuccessful. Children need their own home and stability.”

The age difference:  Him vs. Her — was 17 years.  We don’t know this situation, but here’s a woman who never apparently even SAID “domestic violence” — and yet still died asking for something reasonable.  Did she bring children into the relationship (was he their father?).  Did he seek a needy woman with children to make up for loss of his first wife and two sons (now adults)?

Do second wives EVER believe the record on the first wives’ court docket?

I went to look this one up at the Riverside Court, but found out that it’s not even free to view the images, and in doing so, they will know who is looking.  So much for public oversight from a safe distance!

Police closed off a portion of the courthouse parking lot, stranding about 50 people who were unable to get to their cars to leave, but the courthouse remained open. The Hemet branch of the Riverside County courts handles family law cases in addition to civil, small claims and traffic issues.

Why did she leave?  Who knows?  Was this unreported violence, nonsupport, or what?  Where are the children going to live now?  Who HAS them now?

This was a TANF case.  She was on aid — that means that only if there has been violence, or some severe extenuating systems, is she allowed some sort of diversion away from seeking child support from the father.  The county wants its programs funded.  If “aid” goes out, the County controls the collection of child support.  This was likely an administrative hearing — there seems not to be any discussion over custody or visitation.    This woman didn’t know, and now never will, what receiving welfare from anywhere in California puts one at risk of.  Had it not ended this way, it might have stretched out for years in the courts as well.

Suppose this man had not been just Mr. Costales, but Mr. DeKraii, and been in a real bad mood that day?  Who else might have died?

Hence, we have to re-think this phrase:  “Clear and Present Danger.”  It has 3 usages.

1.  In the law, unless it’s been rescinded by now — in California, a Batterer is a “Clear and present danger to the mental and physical health of the citizens of California.”  If one continues reading the law, they then talk about something like a task force at the District Attorney level.

2.  In Usage by AFCC,  “Lack of Resources” to the family courts is the “Clear and Present Danger.”

3.  I feel it’s safe to say now, clearly, and quite presently, that “the family courts are a clear and present danger to the citizens (not just parents) of the state of California.”

So much for the domestic violence industry.  It doesn’t hold water once it’s in “conciliation court.”  They just forgot to tell the mothers this, evidently.

I fully realize that’s “heresy” (but the courts themselves are based on psychological theory and clear intent to undermine the meaning of criminal law and drive business to therapists, etc.) but anyone concerned about my POST-battering relationship, POST-family law custody matters (like we say, it goes, so long as minors and two parties are all alive, until the children reach majority) — I have no criminal record and no criminal intents either.  I showed up to court hearings no matter how scared I was, and was forced to sit at the table with my ex, and from this close range, somehow “negotiate.”

People want to “reform” Family Court.  That’s crazy thinking.  It doesn’t account for the roadkill.

Although I can’t blame the average citizen, who thinks that his /her taxes are going to support something noble or good when it pays these salaries for family courts throughout the land, and more.  When the situation hits them, personally (evidence is that not all close relatives or friends figure it out, either), perhaps the 2 + 2 will = 4.    Who has it helped, and what’s the ratio of helped to roadkill, to children being tortured, children sent into foster care, parents experiencing MIA children, etc.?   That’s a system someone can supposedly MANAGE?

Here’s a summary, a post from long ago (about 1.5 years ago) which I’m amazed it still gets attention, and was today:

Toms River NJ femicide/suicide post-mortem concludes strangled DYFS worker should’ve hooked up with “agencies such as ourselves

I posted this on August 17, 2009

This detailed a murder/suicide which occurred FIVE HOURS after the man posted $1,500 bail and was released.  The woman did everything right — almost.  She didn’t leave her job and the area, she didn’t evidently know to insist that if this man was released, she be notified (nor was she, apparently) in fact, perhaps she didn’t have a fast enough learning curve to understand that once provoked by resistance, some men become extremely dangerous, at which point in time, it is imperative to stay alive — and anything short of ENSURING that is risky, even putting job retention ahead of it.
I then in the blog talk back to the various circus of people saying “it spiraled out of control” and so forth, essentially failing to analyze.  THEN I go back approximately 10 years and look at DV murders in that area and in NJ, compare it to the money spent to stop domestic violence, and have to ask, HUH?
There are a few things I noticed on the re-read of my older post, which I may get out later.  For example — that the Prosecutor quoted had been Presiding Family Law Judge, and it had been a civil restraining order.
Is it possible that this very system of civil restraining orders, although they jumpstart safety, are themselves a fail-safe, which still end up with dead bodies afterwards?  How sad – in that this young? woman wasn’t a mother yet, either- – she really could’ve possibly relocated.  It is easier for a single person who doesn’t have to deal with ongoing visitation, custody orders, the children’s change of schools, etc. — to locate, than a woman with children attached.  Not that it’s easy, but it would seem LEGALLY easier.  If she wants to go, they were not married, have no property in common — what could LEGALLY prevent her from leaving?
But it’s not that way when there is a family around, in the eyes of the state.
Meanwhile:  We have a 7500 word post here, and below are the listed (possibly not the latest list, but from the website) PRESENTERS at BMCC IX.
I have to go now, but will comment another time on those that I know of.   It is not an alpha list and I notice that Jennifer Collins (who is a young woman and associated with or running “Courageous Kids” — daughter of HOlly Collins) is on their twice.
Several of these people, I have personally and sometimes several times, talked to about why there is so little tracking of AFCC, fatherhood funding and other things, in their advocacy.
2012 PRESENTERS   Bios to be added shortly

Jennifer Collins

Carly Singer

Michael Bassett, J.D.

Carol Pennington

Liora Farkovitz

Lundy Bancroft- author

Barry Goldstein – author, former attorney

Joan Zorza  – DVLeap, doesn’t blog family law matters

Kathleen Russell*

— *of Center for Judicial Excellence.  Won’t report on AFCC, barely reports on fatherhood funding, but loves high profiles.  Not a mother.

Connie Valentine  (CPPA)

Karen Anderson  (CPPA and her case is detailed in Johnnypumpandle — but this crowd simply ain’t interested.)

Phyllis Chesler  

(if there were better company I’d try and get there this year, to meet her)

Gabby Davis

Loretta Fredericks

Loretta Fredericks in my opinion should not be allowed to present.  She should be put on the spot and have women fire questions about her.  Unfortunately, so few women know ANYTHING about MPDI, Duluth Abuse Intervention Programs, Battered Women’s Justice Project, how much TAGGS says the MPDI (etc.) got (HHS funding) — or the infamous collaboration with the AFCC in “Explicating Domestic Abuse in Custody” (or similar title) which was also public funding.   She also is featured in AFCC as a presenter, i.e., on the conference circuit?   Has she influenced them to understand abuse — or vice versa.  This situation (not her personally — we’ve never spoken) PERFECTLy represents what Liz Richards of NAFCJnet has correctly (my research validates this) calls a DV expert functioning as a “heat shield” for fatherhood providers.  They lend legitimacy where there is non.

Michele Jeker

Maralee Mclean

Angela Shelton

Wendy Murphy

Jennifer Hoult

Sandy Bromley

Renee Beeker  (advocates court watch)

Joshua Pampreen

Nancy Erickson

Karin Huffer

Jason Huffer

Crystal Huffer*

*Huffers talk about and help women deal with Legal Abuse Syndrome).

Holly Collins

Jennifer Collins

Zachary Collins

Garland Waller

**Collins and Waller are central to the conference and high-profile, I believe people know about them.

 

Dara Carlin*

*Formerly DV advocate from Hawaii, then it happened to her.  Didn’t notice that the legislator she was sure was on women’s side actually had close ties to a Fatherhood Commission in Hawaii (a What?).  This was how I learned about Fatherhood Commissions, actually.  She didn’t “Get” it.  Also hadn’t noticed that AFCC was presenting — in Hawaii — on PAS, etc.

Toby Kleinman

Linda Marie Sacks

(mentioned in my 2nd “About This Blog” — how to get to the Supreme COurt citing Dr. Phil, Oprah, and a Radio show onesself was interviewed on, thereby giving the rest of mothers protesting abuse a nice reputation for not being too bright.  Seriously!)

Rita Smith*  

(NCADV Leadership.  NCADV is atop the pile of statewide Coalitions Against Domestic Violence which are state-funded, although not too much funding.  It takes fees from these organizations and sells things, has conferences, etc. Was cited positively by Women in Fatherhood, Inc. which I find interesting …..)

Eileen King  (“Justice for Children” also I think on Linda Marie Sacks case, which Supreme Court refused to hear).

Mo Therese Hannah

(self-explanatory — and running the conference, with help It says from Ms. Miller.  I don’t recoqnize the other names).

Liliane Miller

Raquel Singh

Tammy Gagnon

Louise Monroe

Chrys Ballerano


Hopefully publishing this post won’t cost me what friends or colleagues remain (which is few anyhow), but I always am favorable to truth over friendship, when the latter compromises it and so much is at stake.  This conference, unless it exposes the operational structure, financing, and purposes of the entire family law business enterprise, can probably not help mothers win their court cases, u9nderstand the situation, and will redirect their activism towards asking for more task forces.  We just got this — and not one family law spokesperson on the last one (for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence).
Perhaps they all need a year off, and to go take a starter course from H&R Block, spend some time on their state corporate and charity websites, learn how to write a FOIA, WRITE some, and look at what comes up.  NOTE:  That’s not Rocket science, doesn’t require a Ph.D. and they won’t perish if they actually learn from sources, in tead of as interpreted through people who have things to sell.
I reserve judgment (any further judgment) until I find out who the other presenters are.  Meanwhile, say some prayers for the two children of Mr. Costales and his “estranged wife” he just murdered, while she was complying with a court order in order to have enough to live on after leaving him, this past week in Hemet California — which is in Southern, CA, Riverside County.

California ‘Open Carry’ Ban passed Senate…and passing the Assembly Public Safety Committee: Some Domestic Violence Questions (Publ. Sept. 10, 2011, Format-only update Aug. 10, 2019)

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POST TITLE (with addendum showing dates published & updated, length & short-link):

California ‘Open Carry’ Ban passed Senate…and passing the Assembly Public Safety Committee: Some Domestic Violence Questions (Publ. Sept. 10, 2011, Format-only update Aug. 10, 2019)  short-link ends “-QY,” originally about 15,200 words**; added remarks about 800 more.  Some broken image links removed, etc.

**I see that much of the length is how long the quotes are, and many articles quoted.  My actual comments aren’t that long.  

**2019 (Extended) UPDATE REMARKS:

Why I’m updating such an early post: It came up in a search result for a recent post. In Sept. 2011, I had no idea I’d still be posting eight years later. Early post sometimes lack the “Read-More” link, which makes for more tedious viewing of any search results they show up in. They also don’t have a pleasant background color. By now I have fairly standard formats (page-width, borders, and the practice of including a full post title with visible “short-link” ending and post length) (and date published nearby if not in the actual title), and so have applied it here.


My blogging is more organizations/operations-financed now, however if you read this post, you’ll see I’d already identified both names, practices, and interactions among certain domestic violence organizations, still in power — and still federally-funded, which has a lot to do with WHY.

I also see from a brief review that it references a DV fatality with the last name “Samaan.” ALL such fatalities are dramatic, but this one, as I recall (it should be checked), involved someone (the mother) working for the state Attorney General’s office — and she couldn’t even save her own; there apparently being some built-in-delay on kidnapping or Amber alerts when it’s a parent involved.  Too late to save lives…  If I also recall, from eight years ago looking up individuals involved, his side of the family had relatives involved as custody evaluators or in some way with psychological services in the family courts.  However the “SAMAAN” case is incidental to this post, not its focus.

In 2019, recently, there have been mass shootings in (at least) three U.S. cities.  I referenced this in an August recent post (“A Health System Flush with Cash” as I recall), in the context:  There is always drama and headlines; let us, however remember to focus on ongoing drivers of public policy (case in point, the tobacco tax revenues merging into welfare reform revenues, both aimed, naturally at lifelong behavioral modification and particularly (as to at least California) Early Childhood initiatives, i.e., “First 5” commissions & related nonprofits.  I also looked at what is now “Truth Initiative Foundation” (previously, “American Legacy Foundation.”

A passing reference to my previous research on specific gun control (or “gun safety”) networks came up in that context; I posted a link to an earlier post and in the context, this one came up also.  I then referenced more recent set of nonprofits (formed 2007ff and funded by one of the worlds, or at least the U.S.’s wealthiest men, former Mayor Bloomberg) as it had come up in the domestic violence context, again, in an article circulated on Twitter.

Therefore nothing should be “read into” my cleaning up this post other than, I’m cleaning up an early post in the sense of adding the usual html  to produce borders, title up front, and an easy-to-copy title with short-link. I do, however, have standing as having dealt personally with guns and knives in the home (and my ex’s then-obsession with collecting both of them and using them in intimidating ways, particularly when I’d engaged in some known socially supportive, positive connection outside the home.  The act of engaging in socially supportive, positive connections outside the home, even ones he’d personally ordered me to attend (in a few key incidents) itself seemed to provoke dangerous situations at home.

I am MANY years outside of co-habiting with this individual; he is not bothering me any more, despite two (now grown) children in common.  The major post-DV damage was definitely accomplished through the family courts in a way it just could not have been, long before.  While my ex was a very “strange bird” (and dangerous to live with), in fact, it was my family’s reaction to my expelling a batterer which INITIALLY fueled the family court fiascoes (battles) that followed.  My point in all this blogging includes that, while these venues exist, we do not have a safe place to flee, and many times may not be allowed to, for “social science” reasons anyhow.


If anyone wonders, I do not do “concealed carry” but wouldn’t tell anyone if I had such a license.  My general solution is geographical distance and drastic reduction of communications, to this day; something not possible with minor children and co-parenting orders.

I am both luck and glad to still be alive and able to post. //LGH Aug. 10, 2019

 

I just happened to catch this in a news subtitle — it was not discussed at all.  However, a group is definitely tracking Open Carry laws nationwide:

http://opencarry.org/

HOT: Click here to defend open carry rights in California!

 

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A pro-gun Internet community focused on the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns in daily American life.
“A Right Unexercised is a Right Lost”
“[G]ang members aren’t known to open carry.”
“We don’t suggest that people panic,
because there hasn’t been a problem with open-carry demonstrations in other cities.”

 

They are talking about California SB 661 and AB 144, part of which I’ve quoted below.

They write, in opposition:

Subject: Oppose AB 1144 & SB 661

Dear Assembly member [or Senator] _______:

I urge you to oppose AB 144 & SB 661.

These bills are aimed at making it difficult or impossible to open carry properly holstered handguns in California. Because California’s concealed handgun permit program allows Sheriffs and police chiefs absolute discretion in issuance of concealed carry permits, open carry is the only way for most California citizens to carry handguns in public.

If these bills pass, California gun owners will be forced to open carry rifles and shotguns in public places – something which remains legal under the bills. California residents deserve to retain their Second Amendment right to carry handguns, and proponents of these bills want to stomp our rights into the ground.

A number of people in our state are allowed to carry concealed weapons, because they have a concealed carry permit.  But not Exposed Unloaded Weapons, because it freaks too many law-abiding citizens out.    Lest we have too many freaked-out citizens (not good for business) around, California is passing another law to stop this

I respond as a domestic violence survivor who had dealt with multiple guns (not the only weapon) in the home.   It was actually the knives that frightened me more, along with the previous injuries involving neither gun nor knife.  Overall, living in fear is no way to live, period.   After years of attempting other law-abiding ways to deal with law-breaking behaviors, I sometimes look back and wonder how it might have played out had I learned to be more aggressive, and had come into life (including marriage) with the ability to handle a firearm and self-defense training.

By the end of this (ever-extending) post, you’ll read about an Open Carry advocate soccer mom, who was shot to death by her parole officer husband anyhow (they had young children and were not even separated); about how groups that are typically anti-DV laws (if not feminism) that are quite alert as to violation of civil liberties, and how the domestic violence response typically is, well, er — despite how hated it is by certain groups — still ineffective.

This topic hits close to home, which means it may NOT be my best post, but I’m putting this information out FYI, food for thought.  Nibble on some of it, and I hope digest some — if Open Carry is a misdemeanor, then how are women to stay alive and keep their kids alive when there is real — not false allegations, not trumped-up reasons (as it ALLEGEDLY happens so often in courts) — real danger to life, limb, and bystanders because of earlier poor choice of partners followed by the No Exit systems which the family custody arena truly is?

I wonder whether the father who just allegedly shot his two-year old to death, and himself, was  illegally carrying a concealed weapon.

Read the rest of this entry »

From “No Excuse for Abuse” to “Truth is No Defense”: Terrorizing Terrorists with Civil Litigation

with one comment

 

Maybe “all roads lead to Rome” but it seems that religious conflagration is more Middle Eastern in origin.

Today’s article quote (the longer one)  is from the Middle East Forum (I finally figured out — I am on some legal mailing lists, including FindLaw.com, which publishes opinions and recent cases in specific fields). This email list I got from my interest in the feminist writings by the author of “Women & Madness” who also understands extra punch packed by a fist, or practices, incited by religious beliefs of women’s inferiority, or (at best) secondary place in society, or else.

Phyllis Chesler. ‘How Afghanistan shaped my feminism’

Nov 6, 2008 Phyllis Chesler. ‘How Afghanistan shaped my feminism’ …. marathon tea-drinking and pistachio-eating, my polite smile was stuck to my face. 
vladtepesblog.com/?p=2954
Well, marital violence in our “Christian” home, and non-responses in witnesses, shaped mine.  But, we have a great, and our first black, and possibly one of the healthiest, Presidents in history — on it, right?

 

Phyllis Chesler: Obama Throws Muslim Women Under the Bus

by an unrepentant kulak

Monday, June 8, 2009

Did President Obama sacrifice the interests of Muslim women in his Cairo speech? Phyllis Chesler thinks so, and says as much in a characteristically well-articulated piece at PJM:

It is a Catholic woman’s right to become a nun and shave or cover her hair; it is an Orthodox or Hasidic Jewish woman’s right to shave or cover her hair; and it is a Muslim woman’s right to cover her hair and her face–as long as those women who refuse to do so are not browbeaten, beaten, ostracized, stalked, stoned to death or honor-murdered. I have written about just such cases in the West right here, at this blog, cases in which young American- and Canadian-Muslim girls were tormented, then killed because they refused to wear hijab.

In Europe, where there are many more Muslims, there is a veritable epidemic of such exceedingly dishonorable and incredibly gruesome “honor” murders.

But there’s something more. Let’s face it: The Islamic face-veil and headscarf have become symbols of “jihad” and Islamic religious apartheid or intolerance in the West. And, it is spooky, even frightening to see women, (or are they men?), face-veiled or wearing full-body shrouds. Masked people, hooded people, have cut themselves off from human contact; they can see you, but you can’t see them. You cannot see their expressions in response to what you are saying. I would not want to appear before a masked judge, study with a masked teacher, hire a masked lawyer, etc. Would you?

 

Whether I approve of their clothing choices or not, Hasidic (ultra-orthodox or anti-modern) Jews and Catholics are not threatening western civilization and are not out there be-heading those who leave Judaism or Catholicism. Nor are they force-converting Muslims and Hindus. Muslims are doing just that at this very moment in history when America’s President has reached out to the entire Islamic world.

What’s more, Jews and Catholics are not honor-murdering their daughters and wives because they refuse to veil their faces, their hair, or their bodies. Mainly Muslims do that.

 

No, nothing like that.  By the way — did the readers not that the man in Buffalo who beheaded his wife claims she was abusing him?  Sound like a familiar theme?

ALthough “nothing like that,” it’s increasingly getting to be like that, as I sometimes email Dr. Chesler, while she still takes heat, I’m sure, for alliance with conservative Christian groups in some forums.  Someone will listen, one of these days, of where the THEORIES (if not the practices, including familicides) unite.  Can you say “faith-based collaborative” and “Fatherhood.gov”?  There are dramatic differences, but too many striking parallels, between these groups.  The atmosphere on the “family” issues is changing.  Can you say “Islamification” and “Islamophobia’ in the same breath?


So these topics, mine and hers, seem doomed to overlap, time and again.

 

Today being 01/11/11, and as I have recently posted on my feelings of the similarity between the family law system and Shari’a law system (keep it in the family, right?), one has to wonder whether this family law system is intended to overwhelm independent “parents” (Moms) such that they return to dependence on at least the state, or their extended support systems.  Leaving abuse amicably?  Hell, no!  What has this world come to?  How else are older immoral* men going to continue their unfettered access to young girls, and boys?

[(*I’m NOT talking about the decent ones)]

I’ll bold or change font color on a few key terms. Understand, I am not following this case, or theme, in detail — BUT, it’s getting to be a smaller and smaller world. As a “noncustodial mother” (I suppose the term ceases to have meaning when children have all turned 18, at which point it may mean that one regains contact with grown children, or one does not. If not, then does the word “mother” apply at all?  Historically, yes — but in present tense?  . . . . As the dear old AFCC decided long ago to find a newer, better language to describe criminal actions (battering, kidnapping, assault, stalking, and molesting minors, including but not limited to incest), it is gradually transforming society into generations of traumatized kids, and at public expense.

At the BMCC [“Battered Mothers Custody Conference” in Albany, New York] recently, the Holly Collins case was featured, and she spoke, and her son.  She fled to the Netherlands.  Another woman who also fled there, was outed (Melissa Stratton), particularly after the child’s father bicycled through Europe and broadcast his distress — and after a ruling by the court-appointed psychologist that she’d imagined it all.  She was an intelligent, educated woman who it seems to me considered the available options (grim, if one considers the situation) and chose a hard one.  When we talk, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Denmark, and indeed almost ANY country these days, it’s likely that some high-profile cxustody case is attached.  South Korea (NJ judge orders woman jailed on returning, although abuse charges were under way in Korea); Brazil, Canada, you name it, some Dad and friends has probably gone after some legislator to, gol, dang it — bring me back my kids!   A Rep. in N.J. wants India and Japan to sign the Hague convention to make this a little easier.

The article below deals with Denmark, among other places — well, you can see.

Meanwhile, nursing infants in the family court system are STILL subject to a judge’s court order about what nipple they get to suck it from, and whether that’s accompanied with Mom’s smells, voice, embrace, or arms, or some with a leaner muscle mass, most likely, AFTER a domestic violence court order has already been issued.  Kind of makes ya’ wonder….  Didn’t Germany try this kind of child-raising some generations ago?  Dads can be nurturers, too, right — but at  certain ages, an infant needs a reliable parent, a MOM, on-call. Her reassurances are a need, and a foundation for later independence.  When society can’t respect this, when men (SOME men) are so needy personally that a child is an interruption to the fulfilment of their own narcissism, or possibly an alteration in a sexual relationship, society is sunk.  When Moms, in a changing society are to be punished for adjusting to it in ways involving employment, or running a reasonable business while also being Mom — society is sunk.  We’re already beyond that through this system in the U.S, and hardly contained within it.

That system has a religious basis, on the rights of males (notice, I didn’t say “man,” generic) and females as lesser, which we know because “God said so.’  The consequence to a man of listening to a woman’s voice (Eve) is that the fall of the world, and a curse.  Talk about primal fears!  For any woman thereafter to trust her own inner voice without running it first by her man, or if she doesn’t have one, a local religious leader, is an outrage to the stability of the world, and we will fight a few wars to drive the point home.

This site says detached kids make for genocides.  Possibly true…. given the child-rearing practices.  USA isn’t far behind with early childhood education (universal, ideally), and getting MOm into those low-paying jobs and her kids to the local child center, and Dad back into the kids’ lives after abuse and incarceration.  She will be dependent to SOMEONE a lifetime — a man, an employer, a preschool being reliably available, etc.  Unless she is wealthy, and possibly even then, if dumped.

The Childhood Origins of the Holocaust

Lloyd deMause

The following speech was given on September 28, 2005 at Klagenfurt University, Austria.

Over thirty years ago, my book The History of Childhood was published, opening with the following words:

The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken. The further back in history one goes, the lower the level of child care, and the more likely children are to be killed, abandoned, beaten, terrorized, and sexually abused.1

This is a disturbing read readers might do well to read, about what kids went through, previously, growing up.  Don’t mock it — the U.S. had Spock which said breastfeeding was not advised, and which many Moms listened to.  Now, I suppose, we have “Dr. Phil” and judges.

Here are the FOOTNOTES

(my commentary, not the quote)…

It is a very disturbing read, however, after two decades of incredible (in supposedly free U.S.A.) punishments for simply existing, and showing independence, or expecting input into family decisions based on mutual information — not dictatorship — one has to deal with what are the origins of this shock, and becomes more sensitive to boundaries, and to violations of personhood and exercise of one’s simple WILL, from totally unexpected sources.    I absolutely am witness (not here, in detail, obviously) to my own case that the underlying principle is that I must not make decisions, or even influence them, about my own basics of life, including work, sleep, come, go, finances/banking, transportation, education (i.e., continuing mine, or continuing in the field I had upon marriage), or budgeting, MAIL, and so forth.  This was promulgated to me on the basis of Christianity, and “unfortunately,” for the husband, I actually read the scriptures.  While they may be more restrictive than the wider society, nothing in them justified what he did to me, and what pastors witnessing it continued to allow.

As a participant, researcher (after my fashion) and narrator of what’s UP with these systems, I have come to the conclusion that while an enraged, or angry person is indeed dangerous, and can hurt, or kill, or destroy — it’s nothing so frightening to me personally as a cold, detached personality claiming in sanitized terms to analyze a volatile and flesh-and-blood situation.  Or, speaking in group terms, clinical terms about horrors, as if they were population research and functions in society, ONLY.  There is something particularly Nordic about this attitude, and I find the social scientists  — when placed near legislators — of far more concern than inflammatory rhetoric that shows its inflammation and anger, and is recognizable as emotionally based.

Feminists have been called “feminazis,” but it’s the very, very masculine “Nazi” that is the concern here.  This site talks about it better than I just did, below.  The social denigration of women, and girls — even down to baby girls — has hurt society badly.  Not the fact that now, they can work, or other civil rights!  It’s passed down through the generations.

 

THIS REMINDS ME OF HOW LITIGATION CAN BE DISABLING AND LIFE-THREATENING, IF IT NEVER STOPS! (STRESS, PRESSURE, ADDITIONAL PRESSURE FROM POVERTY, AND PARTICULARLY WHEN NOT IN A JUST CAUSE OF ACTION.  THAT ALONE WELL DESCRIBES THE LITIGATION THAT IS PROMOTED AND PROLONGED ON OUR FAMILY LAW COURTS — THERE IS NO WIN/WIN IN SOME SITUATIONS, THOSE SITUATIONS BEING IN WHICH A WOMAN & MOTHER IS LEAVING FOR REASONS OF SAFETY FOR HERSELF, AND/OR THE CHILDREN SHE GAVE BIRTH TO….  THE FAMILY LAW SITUATION WAS ITSELF DESIGNED (I BELIEVE) AS A HYBRID TO MAKE THIS VERY ACCESSIBLE TO FATHERS ACROSS MANY LANDS. HERE, THE SIMILAR IDEA (ALTHOUGH I REALIZED FAMILY LAW IS NOT A “CIVIL” CAUSE OF ACTION IN THE U.S.) IS BEING PROMOTED AS A WAY TO STOP TERRORISTS, A CATCH-22 ABOUT TESTIFYING!  AND ACKNOWLEDGED AS HAVING BEEN USED BY THEM IN DENMARK.

The latest terrorist tactic: litigation

by Daniel Huff
The Daily Caller
January 11, 2011

http://www.legal-project.org/1060/http-dailycallercom-2011-01-11-the-latest

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On December 29, Scandinavian authorities arrested five terrorists planning an attack in Denmark. Almost as interesting as what they targeted is what they spared and the lessons it holds for future counterterrorism efforts.

The plot was to storm the Copenhagen newsroom of Jyllands Posten and murder its staff. It was the fourthattempt this year by Islamic extremists to punish the newspaper that published the Mohammed cartoons. But the terrorists are guilty of selective prosecution. They have yet to strike Politiken, which also published the cartoons, even though its offices are literally next door.

It is logical that Jyllands is the principal target because it sparked the controversy. It was Jylland’s editor, Flemming Rose, who originally commissioned the cartoons in 2005. A Danish comedian had told interviewers he would publicly urinate on the Bible, but would not dare do the same to the Koran. Rose’s message was that Islam should be treated equally, not specially.

Nevertheless, there is a second reason Politiken is not a target. It already surrendered, vanquished by the nonviolent instrument of a civil lawsuit.

In 2008, extremists nearly murdered Kurt Westergaard, who drew one of the original cartoons. In response,Politiken reprinted the cartoons as part of a unified stand against intimidation of the press. The defiance didn’t last. A Saudi law firm claiming to represent 94,923 descendants of Mohammed threatened it with legal action and the paper caved. On February 26, 2010, it effectively apologized for defending free speech.

This is a textbook illustration of how litigation has become a complementary and sometimes superior strategy for Islamic extremists who traditionally relied on physical violence alone to intimidate their opponents.

In Europe especially, their cause is aided by vague hate speech laws that make it all too easy to punish legitimate discourse on Islam. Last month, a Danish Member of Parliament pleaded guilty to violating hate speech laws with comments he made on Islam’s treatment of women. He had agreed to forgo parliamentary immunity in order to fight the charges on the merits only to discover that truth is no defense.

[Paragraph by LGH blog] On January 24, another Danish politician, International Free Press Society president Lars Hedegaard, will stand trial forsimilarly speaking his mind. He also faces a potentially costly libel suit. There were reports last summer that Denmark’s hate speech laws would be reformed to prevent abuse, but this has yet to happen.

THIS author is saying, fight back, using the same weapon.  I wish battered mothers, protective mothers, and etc. would at least get smart about what weapons ARE being used against them in their War for Independence (meaning, the right to leave destructive relationships WITH their children, and without being held hostage a lifetime to suits for custody, and sometimes more suits).

In the meantime, authorities can borrow from the extremists and use civil litigation as a complementary strategy in counterterrorism operations, particularly in the US.

This tactic was used consistently on me since I left the abuser.  The battles were won OUTSIDE the courtroom, and it was made clear that any stand against other outrages would be met by escalation.  I was specifically told this while still married — “don’t ever oppose me, or I will escalate til I win.”  One of the few martial vows that has been kept, another one having been how to disappear, beat the system and not pay child support.  That, I could understand, however, forcing me out of jobs so that I can’t survive AFTEr leaving him is off the charts.  This was done by entering the family law venue.  How hard was that?  Not hard — the U.S. Government is all into “families” these days, and are sponsoring the concept, while the word “mother” is rapidly becoming an anachronism, when found in association with a backbone and in the face of danger to herself or her kids, including after damage has already occurred.

Forcing terrorists to fight simultaneous criminal and civil proceedings would make it difficult for them to focus their defense resources effectively. This has been the experience in white-collar cases when the Justice Department and a regulatory agency pursue parallel investigations against a target company.

PRECISELY WHAT ABUSERS (AND WAR STRATEGISTS) DO.  WEAKEN THE ENEMY ON MULTIPLE FRONTS.

While criminal defendants can get court-appointed lawyers, civil defendants pay out of pocket and the plaintiff’s burden of proof is typically lower. In addition, the broader scope of discovery [[Did you know that?  I didn’t!]]  in civil cases may produce information otherwise unavailable to prosecutors. Finally, parallel lawsuits can pin terrorists between remaining mum in the civil suit and likely losing, or fighting back and forfeiting their right to “plead the Fifth” in the criminal case. Defendants might dodge these difficulties by delaying the civil proceedings, but courts do not always permit that.

This plan presupposes a clear basis for civil suits. In 1994, Congress passed a bill making it illegal to use force against persons exercising abortion rights and permitting victims to sue for damages. With only minor modifications, this law could be expanded to cover threats against free speech rights as well.

For example, officials are investigating whether the recent plot is connected to the 2009 arrest of two Chicago men for conspiring to attack Jyllands Posten. According to the indictment, Tahawwur Rana and David Headley gained access to Jylland’s offices on the pretext of purchasing advertising for their immigration services company. Once inside, they conducted videotape surveillance of the premises which they provided to co-conspirators in Pakistan who recommended using a truck bomb.

Headley pleaded guilty in March, but Rana goes on trial in February. Were the proposed law on the books now,Jylland’s staff could sue for damages using information from the indictment and guilty plea. This would be particularly disruptive to Rana as he tries to focus on preparing for his criminal trial.

More broadly, a law along these lines would allow victims to go on the offensive against Islamic radicals who terrorize them instead of having to hope authorities continue catching these extremists in time.

Daniel Huff is Director of the Legal Project at the Middle East Forum and a former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

I realize that either this last conference, or the new year, or the Tuscon, Arizona mass-shooting is more timely blogging.  However horrible, SIX DEAD is not entirely unprecedented in the family law field, and if this is multiplied by how often — think about it.  it’s just how, and who died, that was the issue here.

Yet, today is January 11, 1/11/2011, and I still remember 09/11/2001, an event that while in the forefront of the nation, happened and was played out in my case when I was hard at work leaving an abuser who had himself threatened suicide, talked bout his fantasies of it, and whose own father had recently followed through with the deal.  I have yet to find a venue that took this seriously, as I still have to, given the entrenched position.  The intent to destroy me, along with himself, seems to be one thing he hangs onto.  Forget about the kids — they are already abandoned, and again, do the courts care about this, when it doesn’ produce income, or a warm body under 18 years old to attract income and justify the institution?

The answer is, no.

 

Truth is no defense in family law because it’s so nebulous, one cannot define it.

But, if one does, there exists within the system an easy out and a contradicting “truth,” and networks to disseminate it.  Truth, like beauty, is in the eye(s) of the beholders, who are often attracted by things that glitter and repulsed by women reporting abuse.  Nasty, filthy topic, you must be mad, have imagined it.

What we need instead to examine is the “ranking” of “truths.”  Why should PAS get more attention than “rebuttable presumption”  and why should “family” get more priority than “safety” and individual rights.

It’s no longer possible, Moms, to continue ignoring the delivery structure of what passes for justice.  And for this, the infrastructure and sponsoring organizations that foot the billl, have to be defined as a whole — just as you, individually, are going to have to look at your entire budget if you are wondering “what happened?”

 

There are some holes in the plumbing.  Like lead in plumbing in other famous civilizations, our asbestos, in our lifetimes, it will take its toll if things don’t change.  And as to that on/off breastfeeding schedule, kids need breast milk when growing to at least toddlerhood (ideally) unless she’s on drugs, alcohol, or so stressed by abuse that hormones, I’d suppose, flood that system, or improper nutrition.

You can’t get much more stressful than Dad throwing Mom around, or Dad who threw MOM around (which requires obvious strength), or assaulted her, now in possession regularly of a fragile infant who represents, to him, HER, possibly.  I mean think about it.  Either that judge is going to have to recommend she pump her own breast milk for Dad’s use on alternating days (have we gone that far in court orders invading a woman’s biology and self-care) to having baby just do one breast milk, and one formula.  Unless Dad has another willing and lactating female to draw from (pun unintentional).  There is no odditiy, no outrage, no contradiction of common sense I’d not put beyond this system, most have already occurred within it, I hope.

It did talk to a mother with children who was in this situation at the conference, and more outrageous.  I question whether women should “submit” to that at all, and should remember to warn others beforehand.

 

The healing from trauma is not likely to progress while while trauma is ongoing.  When trauma comes from being unable to help — or even know the condition of — an immediate relative –one that fights have been fought over — while the aftermath of the last few assaults remain — the issue is FIRST to rectify that situation, and then to deal with the trauma more seriously, I believe.  I’m saying this to explain the length of this post, and in deed many of mine.  It helps me to write, and there are other (non-offending) ways to manage, one of which is to focus on something else, and do so for a good while.  I’ve just attended a conference I’ve heard about for years, but couldn’t afford to get to (other side of the USA), and put face and voice, and observed in action, the professionals that are supposed to be stopping these outrages (in the courts) and assaults on free speech in the courts about important matters.

Mothers are getting gag orders, as well as thrown in jail.  I have not heard of a father getting a gag order about his case, to date — have you?  Although I’m years in the system, from what I can tell, things have n’t changed much.

And the “buy our book” people, I witnessed in action some attempts to handle reasonable questions from Moms lined up at microphones, and they had no answers, for the most part, to some very critical ones, namely, “what do you do if your judge is a crook?”  The entire business was based on the premise that they aren’t — they “just don’t understand — but we can train them, maybe, so they “know better.”

I find that sadly lacking in reason.  Writing, here, diverts some of the alarm about the situations.

 

 

 

Luzerne County, PA: “Doctrine of absolute judicial immunity” vs “Racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery and federal tax violations,” and more…

with 4 comments

In Lovely Luzerne, PA, two judges were, ah, moonlighting? (maybe their salaries didn’t support their lifestyles?) — well, you can google the background story, of judges indulging themselves in the Kids for Cash business. Several parallels apply to the family law arena

For Kids Caught in PA Scandal, Trials not Over

It is slow going for about 4,500 juvenile defendants who were caught up in the Luzerne County, Pa. “cash-for-kids” scandal and who want to get their records cleared.

It has been more than a year since state courts first ordered that verdicts handed down by Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. be thrown out. But the price of judicial misconduct has been steep, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article:

“[F]ewer than 10 percent of the records have been expunged. Luzerne County is hiring staff to finish the job. But even then, thanks to the mounds of paperwork and multiple agencies involved, officials say it will take another year to erase all the records.

“That leaves young people who are trying to enlist in the military, obtain student loans, win teacher certification, or apply for certain jobs entangled in red tape.”

A panel that investigated the scandal listed 43 reform recommendations in May. Its report (see Gavel Grab) detailed a scandal that involved two judges who later were charged with receiving more than $2.8 million in payoffs; they were accused of taking kickbacks to send juveniles to private detention centers

{“Gavel Grab” leads to the “Justice at Stake” campaign & its partners}

About this post:

In the Law.com report on a defendant’s attempt to receive damages under the RICO charges, we learn about judicial immunity, standing, causes of action in these cases (emotional trauma doesn’t count / financial loss does).

When I looked up a single point raised therein, “11th Amendment,” a riveting, mind-numbing PA case, from the late 1990s surfaced — the wife of an abusive police officer repeatedly seeks intervention. I narrate and discuss it, too.

  • As the situation escalates (starting with a suicide attempt, threats to kill (mostly her, but once, their son], private & public assaults [not of her only] and beatings, stalkings, and useless 911 calls, the husband/officer, who was never (that I can see) locked up once, finally is served a restraining order. Actually, 3 (all of which he basically ignores, and its witnessed violating by officers), after which he (predictably) finally succeeds in killing himself — after he shoots his wife point-blank in the chest.
  • In the same timeframe, in PA, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (or at least Barbara J. Hart) has been publishing lethality assessments, lists of warning signs, and indicators, ALL of which this man met, plus-some. One begins to wonder where the communication gap was, between the DV people and the officers, although certainly it’s a tough situation for them also.
  • Finally, the wife attempts to regroup damages, to sue for negligence by the officers. does so on the wrong basis, and a Court of Appeals overturns this. That section is in mostly green font.

I inserted this account, which illustrates the parallel worlds of DV literature and street reality, the graphic reality of living with an abuser (and regretfully, that no one apparently insisted on utter and complete separation when these things began; she almost was killed, was seriously injured, and for years the children and others associated with her were at risk from this father/husband/police officer who never received whatever help or intervention might have put a stop to his behaviors.) AND I include it for us to understand that being assaulted, injured, or feeling betrayed, and having sought and failed to find help doesn’t always qualify a person for compensation for losses, however much common “logic” may feel it is due, when public servants are negligent.

The Jessica Gonzales case in Colorado, in which this also mother-of-three warned the officers, who didn’t take her seriously, and her children were murdered. This is where a case could go AFTER they separated because of violence — it could get worse. In 2005, Chicago attorney/professor Joan Meier, Washington Post/published in StopFamilyViolence.org, summarizes the critical issue in Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Jessica Gonzales, itslef a response to Ms. (then) Gonzales’ suit against the town. My post is getting long, but I suggest reading a few paragraphs of this one. Her incident was in 1999 (Ms. Burella’s, 1996-1998). Years later, after the deaths, the cases are still in the courts. My take on the issues at this point — issuing restraining orders has become in too many cases, “certifiably insane.” Why not make self-defense training a marriage requirement? Or, incorporate it into high school curricula, as a requirement, along with learning some basics of our legal system? They become simply red flags, whether the initial violence was from psychiatric disorder, or a simply overentitled person, or some of both. If police canNOT be held to enforce them (and after the police, a judge has to sentence; if the judges repeatedly release criminals, and so forth) — we need to find another way.

Published March 19, 2005 by The Washington Post

Battered Justice For Battered Women

by Joan Meier [Prof. of Clinical Law, George Washington Univ, Washington, D.C.,1983 U. Chicago Law School, cum laude, Exec. Dir. of DVLEAP]

It is common for the public and the courts to criticize women who are victims of domestic abuse for staying in an abusive relationship and tolerating it. But what happens when women do try to end the abuse? Jessica Gonzales’s story provides one horrifying answer.

In May 1999 Gonzales received a protection order from her suicidal and frightening husband, Simon Gonzales, whom she was divorcing. The order limited his access to the home and the children. On June 22 the three girls disappeared near their house. But when Jessica Gonzales called the Castle Rock, Colo., police department, she received no assistance. Over a period of eight hours, the police refused to take action, repeatedly telling her that there was nothing they could do and that she should call back later — even after she had located her husband and daughters by cell phone. The three young girls, ages 7, 9 and 10, were not to survive the night. At 3 a.m. on June 23, Simon Gonzales arrived at the police station in his truck, opened fire and was killed by return fire. The bodies of Leslie, Katheryn and Rebecca were found in the back of his truck.

Perhaps his life might have been saved also. “serve and protect” I guess.

Next week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Jessica Gonzales, which stems from Gonzales’s lawsuit against the police. The question before the court is whether the constitutional guarantee of procedural due process was violated by the police department’s dismissal of the protection order, in clear violation of the state statute, which required them to use “every reasonable means” to enforce it. If procedural due process — required by the 14th Amendment — means anything, then it must be found that it was violated here, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has so ruled

While no justice for this mother or her three daughters, there’s a diligent pursuit of justice to prevent any consequences for the prior injustice. To the Supreme Court.

The doctrine of procedural due process derives from the principle that when a state chooses to establish a benefit or right for citizens, it may not deny such benefits in an arbitrary or unfair way. In this case, the state established a benefit of mandated police enforcement of protection orders. Aware that police discretion too often fails, the Colorado legislation required the police to make arrests or otherwise to enforce domestic violence restraining orders of the sort issued to Jessica Gonzales. Police discretion was limited to determining whether a violation of an order had occurred. Yet in this case the police did nothing; they simply ignored the complaint, a clear example of “arbitrary” conduct

(Joan S. Meier)

Joan S. Meier

Luzerne County Judges Racketeering and

“Julie Burella (et al.) v. City of Philadelphia” [Court of Appeals]

What these two cases taught me:

Individuals and relatives/friends of women targeted by these kinds of beatings assaults, making life hell situations — as well as the improperly locked up juveniles in Luzerne County — need to understand some legal basic, including <>standing (jurisdiction), <>legitimate causes of action, <> what is or is not a legitmate tort, or breach of contract (etc.) and<> who is and is not going to be immune from damages. These are often forgotten in the emotional drama of survival, and dealing with the emotions around the case. This kind of understanding is not generally handed to one by one’s attorney, and I guarantee you it’s not by most “justice centers.” It needs to be sought and obtained.

Rights cannot be protected if one doesn’t know what they are. Moreover, the credibility gap between mainstream domestic violence law, and applied practice, remain. Women need to protect themselves adn their children, when possible (if intervention fails and the situation continues to escalate) by leaving.

Permanently. George Bush, Bill Clinton, and President Obama’s policies aside, our right to LIFE is unalienable. hence, women must be able to act on that. The parent who has engaged in threatening or trying to eradicate that right in others, based on wife as property, husband as property, or children as property, and has repeatedly demonstrated this in private OR public, should lose subsidiary rights, such as contact with their children. The family law arena appears to exist in order to subvert that principle. Though I am no attorney, I can read, and have. The no-fault divorce situation creates a different kind of court as to divorce, and limits remedies in some sense, just as a “civil” restraining order implies that the violence, or causes of action justifying it, were not criminal in nature, which quite often they are.

(from the FBI Philadelphia Sept. 2009 bulletin:)

For Immediate Release
September 9, 2009
United States Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania
Contact: (717) 221-4482

Two Former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judges Indicted on Racketeering, Fraud, Money Laundering, Tax, and Related Charges

Dennis C. Pfannenschmidt, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Janice Fedaryck, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Don Fort, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Harrisburg has returned a 48-count indictment charging former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas judges Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. with racketeering and related charges in connection with alleged improper actions of the former judges to facilitate the construction and operation of juvenile detention facilities owned by PA Child Care, LLC and Western PA Child Care, LLC.

The indictment alleges that the defendants engaged in racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery, and federal tax violations and that they received millions of dollars in illegal payments. Along with the criminal charges, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of at least $2,819,500 which is alleged to be the proceeds of the charged criminal activity. . . .

An indictment or information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the Grand Jury and/or United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or until the defendant has pled guilty to the charges.**

(the youth/juveniles that came in front of these judges didn’t have that standard applied…)

That these two got caught doesn’t mean there were no others…
and here’s LAW.Com’s comments that, at least THIS time, sometimes, ya’ get caught… whether or not this indicates compensation for the problems caused

For any future youngsters, or their parents, hoping that a RICO suit might help compensate for years lost, or other damages — emotional trauma ain’t enough. I’ll bold the wording here. As posted in “Law.com” (link included):

Disgraced Former Judges Lose Immunity Battle in ‘Kids for Cash’ Scandal

Ruling also includes some setbacks for the plaintiff, who claims he was one of the victims of the alleged kickback scheme when he was sentenced to the juvenile facility in 2005

The Legal Intelligencer

August 11, 2010

Even the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity proved to be too weak a defense for the two disgraced former Luzerne County judges who are the leading figures in Pennsylvania’s “kids-for-cash” scandal.

A federal judge has ruled that the pair — Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. — are immune only for actions they took in court or while ruling on cases, but that they can still be sued for their roles in an alleged conspiracy to take kickbacks from the owner and builder of a privately run juvenile prison. Conahan had also asserted a defense of legislative immunity, arguing that some of the allegations lodged against him stemmed from the funding decisions he made in his role as president judge.

But U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo rejected that argument, saying: “It does not appear that Conahan had the type of general policy-making power that would cloak his actions with legislative immunity.

Meaning, if he HAD been a general policy-maker, he would have legislative immunity, I guess….

The ruling means that Conahan and Ciavarella face possible liability for their roles as the alleged architects of the larger alleged conspiracy to cut off all funding for the then-existing county-owned juvenile facility and to take kickbacks in return for ensuring a steady stream of incarcerated youths so that the new, privately run facility would be profitable.

I am not blogging about juvenile justice systems. This blog is about FAMILY court matters, more dealing with parental relationships, which, unfortunately brings us into the realms of violence, kidnapping, child abusee, child molestation, and the fathers-rights-womens-rights-childrens-rights debate. The Pennsylvania case is different in application (violating kids’ due process in order to provide warm bodies for supposed crimes they had committed), as opposed to violating one set of parents’ due process in order to provide referral business for the court professionals and the professions flocking around the courts. It’s somewhat of a technicality, when you grasp “steady stream of .(warm bodies) . . . so that . . . would be profitable.” and the criminal nature of a business racket. And what kind of personalities would choose judgeships to engage in them. What an ethical violation — to go to a judge fo justice, and that judge is himself a criminal, with cohorts.

The two former judges were hit by federal prosecutors in September 2009 with a 48-count indictment containing charges of racketeering, fraud, money laundering, extortion, bribery and federal tax violations in connection with allegedly accepting more that $2.8 million from the builder and former co-owner of a private juvenile detention facility. Conahan agreed in April to plead guilty to one RICO count.

Caputo’s 12-page opinion in Dawn v. Ciavarella, handed down on Monday, also included a few setbacks for the plaintiff, Wayne Dawn, who claims he was one of the victims of the scheme when he was sentenced to the juvenile facility in 2005.

First, Caputo found that Dawn’s RICO claims must be dismissed because he lacks standing to pursue such a claim.

Any Plaintiff’s comPlaint should establish standing up front. The fact that in the family law business, it’s not unusual for judges to issues orders where they have no standing doesn’t change the fact that individual FAMILIES or PARENTS had better make sure they do!

Under RICO, a plaintiff must plead an injury to “business or property,” Caputo noted, and the courts have consistently rejected the notion that personal injury or mental distress can satisfy that requirement.

Injury for RICO purposes requires proof of concrete financial loss, not mere injury to an intangible property interest,” Caputo wrote.

From what I now understand of the court process, I’m of the opinion that parents might as well face that reforming these courts stands a better chance in pointing out the fraud, racketeering type activity within them (and sometimes involving other parts of the system, i.e., the criminal law elements) than running the conferences about how it’s hurting our kids. On what basis do we think the people involved actually care?

Dawn’s claim fell short of that test, Caputo found, because he “has not alleged sufficient injury to business or property to confer standing to bring a claim pursuant to RICO. Plaintiff’s claims for loss of sense of well-being, emotional trauma and stigma are not the type of concrete financial loss that is envisioned by the phrase ‘injury to business or property.'”

If Dawn was the youth (I didn’t read this complaint, am just familiar with the case generally), probably that well-being, emotional trauma and stigma are going to hurt him/her very badly — in fact we know from acestudy.org and common sense that this would. However, RICO is a business-type charge involving cheating, stealing, and financial loss or damages. Many people caught up in the drama and passion of this, offended by the betrayal, forget the context in trying to get heard (I know I did and have).

Caputo also ruled that Dawn cannot pursue any claims against the Luzerne County Juvenile Probation Department or Sandra Brulo, the probation department’s former deputy director of forensic programs.

“Because Juvenile Probation is an arm of the state that is immune to suit pursuant to the 11th Amendment and Pennsylvania has not waived its immunity to suit, its motion to dismiss will be granted,” Caputo wrote.

I searched for 11th amendment, this county and found several cases (in PA, different counties):

Debra Haybarger v. Lawrence County Adult Probation and Parole,e t al.
State governments and their subsidiary units are immune from suit in federal court under the Eleventh Amendment.

AND:

Date: 09-24-2007

Case Style: Jill Burella, individually and as parent and guardian of Beth Ann Burella, Danielle Burella and Nicholas Burella v. City of Philadelphia, et al.

Case Number: 04-1157/2495

Judge: Fuentes

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on appeal from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia County).


Here’s a REAL egregious case, a living nightmare where a police officer’s wife tries, repeatedly and HARD, to get the 911 calls, help for her husband through his employers, the police department, and finally /too late, that “certifiably insane restraining order” system to work — against her police officer husband, who is off the chart dangerous, and eventually seriously injured her (shot her in the chest) and killed himself. She tries to sue, among others, the officers who kept releasing the guy or refusing to arrest him, even when they witnessed the violations immediately. Multiple threats to kill, beating her at home, she calls repeatedly, etc. The officers, responded, we have immunity. The District court ruled — no you don’t. THIS is the Appeals court ruling, well, actually, yes they did.

This BURELLA case is late 1990s, (somewhat off the post’s RICO topic but ON the blog’s topic) and 34pages long.

Please READ parts of it if you are among the innocent (or ignorant/apathetic/too busy to process til it hits you, or your family) who doesn’t yet grasp “why don’t she leave?,” or that a restraining order ain’t the end of the process and may increase the risk for many of us! What about the enforcement that backs it up? What about if the attacker KNOWS enforcement is lax?

Well, then logically, she’d better get the heck out of there…. But – – — what about their kids? But — joint shared parenting presumptions and court orders make that nigh impossible! Ask Dawn Axsom, from Arizona, and her mother, Oct. 2009.

Oh, I forgot — you can’t — they’re dead. Fox news blamed it on “the Custody Battle” and calls them ALL (3) victims, not the man who shot his wife, mother in law and then himself, orphaning their baby. My blog was only one of many on this incident. There are so many such incidents, I even forgot I blogged that one…

That, in a nutshell, seems to be how our country STILL views Fathers killing Mothers (and/or others, and/or themselves). Being a mother and a woman, this woman (like Burella, below) knew danger whne she experienced or sensed it, and tried to reconcile being a law-abiding citizen with being a LIVING citizen. She went to her death complying with a court order, apparently. How was the judicial immunity in that case? (As it’s in Maricopa County, I recommend reviewing the top page in this blog, and “National Association of Marriage Enhancement” nonprofit, based in Phoenix and possibly also having its contract steered to it in ia not-quite-above-the-board manner. NAME started (as I recall) in 2006. Axsom’s case relates to this refusal to allow women to leave violent relationships because there is a crisis in fatherlessness in this country, which is detrimental to the health of the children. That policy was in full effect also during the Burella years, per 1995 Executive Order from then-President Bill Clinton, to re-arrange and review HIS branch of government, at least, to accommodate “fatherhood” and address the nation’s crisis in kids not waking up in homes with their biological fathers.

At what point does the law of reverse efforts set in, and the failure of ROI cause a policy change?

JILL BURELLA – US COURT OF APPEALS 04-1157/2495

Description:

In January 1999, George Burella, a ten-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, shot and seriously injured his wife, Jill Burella, and then shot and killed himself.1 George Burella had emotionally and physically abused Jill Burella for years prior to the shooting. Although she reported numerous incidents of abuse to the police over the years, obtained several restraining orders just days before the shooting, and told police that her husband continued threatening her despite the orders, police failed to arrest him. This appeal concerns whether the police officers had a constitutional obligation to protect Jill Burella from her husband’s abuse. {(make that “violence” please!)} Despite our grave concerns about the Philadelphia Police Department’s alleged conduct in this case, we hold that the officers did not have such an obligation. Accordingly, we will reverse the District Court’s denial of qualified immunity and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. Background

We set forth in some detail the long and protracted history of physical and emotional abuse in this case because it is central to Jill Burella’s claim that Philadelphia police officers knew about the abuse, but nevertheless failed to act, thereby violating her due process and equal protection rights.

. . .

The abuse began around February 1996, when George Burella was convicted of disorderly conduct for stalking his wife at her workplace and assaulting her male co-worker who he suspected was having an affair with her. One month later, in the face of marital troubles and a severe gambling problem, George Burella attempted suicide. He survived and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital where he was diagnosed with depression.

After her husband was released from the hospital, Jill Burella contacted the Philadelphia Police Department’s Employee Assistance Program (“EAP“), which is designed to assist officers in obtaining help with personal problems. The EAP notified the City Medical Department, which placed George Burella on restricted duty and referred him to City doctors for psychological treatment.

There’s an old movie, a comic parody of Robin Hood, called “Men in Tights.” What follows here (in green) describes what surely was HELL, in living with this “Man with Gun.” His wife and mother tries to get them help, sounds like every way possible. Who knows if or what threats she might’ve received about trying to leave, or if she tried to. It’s hard enough to get away from abusers when you are in their social/personal networks sometimes — can you imagine that when the personal/social network includes fellow officers? ONLOOKERS should notice — what she did, the police and EAP responses. This man was a problem waiting to happen, and happening. Suicide attempts, stalking, depression, assaulting others (jealousy), threatening to kill her, beating her, using his official privilege to defuse an incident, and he had 3 children… I’ll color-code the red flag incidents RED, her or others’ attempts to help or stop it bold and the responses, BLUE. Then you can ask, what century , and country, do we live in? Is this a 3rd world country? In certain ways, USA-style, for women, YES.

George Burella’s violence towards his wife continued over the next several years and, in early June 1998, she contacted the Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division to report the abuse. Internal Affairs referred the matter to the EAP, which assigned George Burella a peer counselor.

Later that month, on June 26, 1998, George Burella assaulted his wife and another man at a local bar. Witnesses called 911, but George Burella left the bar before police officers arrived. When he got home, he phoned his wife and threatened to shoot their son Nicholas if she did not immediately return to the house. After calling 911, Jill Burella rushed home, where her husband, who was armed with a gun, threatened to shoot her. Before the matter worsened, police officers arrived. George Burella initially refused the officers’ order to surrender, but did so after the officer in charge agreed to report the incident as a domestic disturbance, rather than a more serious offense. {{bargaining it down is common}} Officer Robert Reamer, who is named as a defendant in this lawsuit, was one of the officers who arrived at the scene.

They could probably throw a person in jail for being drunk and disorderly in public, or resisting arrest after being confronted with jaywalking. Or for too many parking tickets (?).

This man had already — on this night alone, and after some years of assault & battery: assaulted his wife AND another man in public, threatened to kill their SON by phone, threatened her, with a gun, in person, and resisted arrest. And that was a “domestic disturbance” ??? Even the part in public and involving a non-relative being assaulted? Sounds to me like her reporting and seeking help had made the situation worse; jealousy plus maybe his perceived public humiliation (i.e. some witnesses called 911) followed by public retaliation…

After the police officers left, George Burella began beating his wife on their front lawn. Her parents arrived and took her to their house, but George Burella followed them there. Once at her parents’ house, she tried to call 911, but her husband wrestled the phone from her and told the operator that he was a police officer and that everything was under control. As a result, the operator did not instruct police to respond to the situation. Three days later, Jill Burella contacted the EAP to report the incident, but because the EAP failed to notify Internal Affairs, the incident was never investigated.

I’m going to speculate that her life at this point was a combination of walking on eggshells and trying to consider her options, plus work, plus being a Mom. I can only imagine what it might be like after years of assaults by an officer who knew he could bargain down and schmooze off some of his violence under the authority of his uniform. Some men are maybe attracted to that uniform to serve & protect, but some also for the authority. That one night, the first 911 hadn’t helped. At her parents, now they AND her kids were at risk. Again, 911 was called. What were her genuine options and wishes here? (I’m not going to continue with the font changes — but can readers mentally separate, 1, 2, 3: 1. Incident, 2. attempts to call for help or get safe, 3. system responses.)

In July 1998, George Burella called his wife at work in Upper Southampton Township and threatened to kill her. After Upper Southampton police officers arrived at her workplace, she received several more threatening phone calls from her husband. The officers called Captain Charles Bloom, George Burella’s commanding officer, and a defendant in this lawsuit, to inform him about the incident.

I’m starting to wonder about any meds for depression from that 1996 hospital visit….READ THIS, a report about possible links to “atypical anti-psychotics” being pushed, since 1999, in a Tacoma Mental Hospital…

Captain Bloom became directly involved in the situation on August 13, 1998, when Northampton police officers arrested George Burella for assaulting Jill Burella in Bucks County. The officers released George Burella into the custody of Captain Bloom, who escorted him home. {{What, the jails were full near home? Didn’t want to embarass the guy?}}

Three days later, on August 16, George Burella called his wife while she was visiting his parents with the children and again threatened to kill her. When he went to his parents’ house, Northampton police officers responding to an emergency call escorted him to his car, unloaded his firearm, and placed it in the trunk of the car.{{did not lock him up, maybe following Cap. Bloom’s lead?}} Shortly thereafter, officers found him driving in the vicinity of the house with his gun re-loaded and placed on the backseat of his car. Officers took him to a local hospital, but he was released shortly thereafter.3 After being notified of the incident, Captain Bloom ordered George Burella to submit to a psychiatric evaluation.

Later that month, George Burella admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital, but left after four days of treatment. {{one wonders, of what sort? How could he just “leave”?}} Several days later, City psychologists examined him and concluded that he should be monitored for the next two years. After one follow-up appointment with City doctors in September 1998, he did not return for treatment.

Without consequences, apparently, for this. Was it a city order, or a personal recommendation from Capt. Bloom?

On December 24, 1998, George Burella again assaulted his wife, this time while she was visiting a friend. (CHRISTMAS EVE….)

Philadelphia really isn’t that far from Washington, D.C. In 1994, VAWA passed. News travels slowly, it seems. From my perspective (I was being assaulted in those years, and didn’t know about VAWA, or my options, either) it’s now clear that this woman is being punished for engaging in normal activities outside home & work. He is also sending a clear message to anyone in her social support system that they, too, might be at risk, at the least being affected by witnessing the violence to her.

Mothers caught in the court system after abuse also experience the escalation. Even well-meaning people have their own lives to live. It becomes nearly impossible to be a staunch supporter and ally, because the trauma is ongoing and repetitive, and never fully resolved — court orders aren’t enforced, crises can be generated by any accusation, practically IN the courts, plus the incidents outside of them also. That’s why I often liken the family law system to the abuse I knew, in these 1990s (another part of the country…). Same effects, same system deafness to the dangers.

When Philadelphia police officers arrived, they allowed him to leave with the couple’s youngest daughter (a twin, if I recall), and then took Jill Burella and her two other children home, where her husband resumed beating her. {{HOW does one spell “insane”??}}


Jill Burella — she’s been beaten, with kids watching it, for years now, threatened with guns, assaulted/stalked, and/or threatened to kill her (or her son): at her workplace, at a bar, at her parent’s house, at a friend’s house, on her front lawn, at home, at her work place, in Bucks County. IHe has (1996) actually attempted to commit suicide. The man, a cop, and the situation, is a walking /stalking time bomb in need of some serious intervention.

In response, he has NOT been locked up once, but HAS been:

  • (1996) Admitted to a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with depression
  • place on restricted duty and referred to City doctors (?) for psychological treatment (was it received?)
  • (1998) Assigned a peer counselor
  • After a night of multiple incidents and threats to kill (including his son), the responding officer downgrades this to “domestic disturbance” and does not arrest.
  • The same night, he simply resumes beating her. Her PARENTS try to rescue her (evidently no policeman is going to) by taking her away. He follows them there. She tries to call 911, he interferes with the phone and talks the situation down — and so far that dispatch operator was not brought up to speed on the evenings’ developments. Perhaps nothing further happened that night because all parties were just exhausted…
  • 3 days later, she calls EAP again, who does not notify Internal Affairs, and nothing is investigated. (Way to go!)
  • July, 1998, more threats to kill (at her workplace). The responding officers tell his commanding officer, Captain Bloom. No record of anything being done.
  • August, 1998 more assaults and/or threats. Captain Bloom drives him home…Tells him to go to a psychiatric hospital . . He goes, but quits. City psychologist then say he needs 2 years of monitoring (not exactly a sensible decisions, in light of the past). He goes once, and no mention of follow up by them. I think we get the picture that Mr. B. doesn’t appreciate that he is breaking the law, nor has anyone to date apparently attempted to communicate this to him by locking him up even overnight!

So now, she is going to try a restraining order. I wonder how well THAT is going to work after all this. Is the guy showing restraint? Is any part of this system going to back her up if he violates it? Because if not, then (I now ssay) they shouldn’t issue it. Better to give her and the kids some self-defense training, or another place to live, like witness protection. 1998, people….

Over the course of the next few weeks, Jill Burella obtained the three protection from abuse orders relevant to this lawsuit. On January 2, 1999, {{NB: last recorded assault — and Philadelphia police officers blowing it off — Dec. 24, 1998 in Philadelphia}} she obtained an emergency ex parte protection from abuse order from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas that prohibited her husband from “abusing, harassing, stalking and/or threatening” her, and from “living at, entering, attempting to enter or visiting” the couple’s home. {{the KICKOUT}} The order further provided that officers “shall . . . arrest the defendant if he/she fails to comply with this Order.” (App. at 110-11.) The next day, Officer Reamer served the order on George Burella, who, according to Jill Burella, immediately violated it by shouting at and threatening her. Despite witnessing the alleged violation, Officer Reamer permitted George Burella to enter the house.

These officers have forgotten their responsibilities and become a public health hazard. THEY don’t respect protection from abuse (say what? in PA they don’t call it “VIOLENCE”? Did they ever?). Obviously neither does the husband in question. If they refuse to enforce the law (is a court order an order? or a suggestion? If they refused to arrest without an order, now, they had an order and it even specified they SHALL arrest if he fails to comply. So THEY are in contempt of that order, as I see it.) So, what are they doing in office and pulling a salary? Directing traffic? CYA-ing? Whom are they serving and what are they protecting?

There’s a site for law enforcement called “behind the blue line.” There’s also a blog for officer-involved violence, called, “Behind the Blue WALL.”

Not all officers try to “blow off” domestic violence.

In 1999, an officer sued his bosses, the mayor, and others in federal court over retaliation against him for his trying to do his job!, also involving an officer and domestic violence against his wife (also an officer):

Same dynamics, same timeframe (1996-1999), same state – Pittsburgh, PA area

Jim McKinnon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 4, 1999

A Pittsburgh police officer has sued his bosses in federal court, charging that they have retaliated against him for doing his job, which he said has included filing complaints against other officers. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Edmond N. Gaudelli Jr. names as defendants Mayor Murphy, Deputy Mayor Sal Sirabella, police Chief Robert McNeilly, Deputy Chief Charles Moffatt, several assistant chiefs, commanders and sergeants, a doctor at the training academy and an internal investigator, among others. Gaudelli, 32, a police officer since 1990, says in the suit the defendants had conspired to retaliate against him since 1996, when he filed a grievance against several officers, including a complaint that opposed the appointment of McNeilly as police chief… The marks against Gaudelli began to mount when, as an officer at the West End station, he said he responded to a domestic violence call at the home of McNeilly and his wife, police Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly. Gaudelli said in the complaint that McNeilly had told him to phone his supervisor and have records of the call removed from the running sheetOn assignment at a store in Waterworks Mall, Gaudelli said, he was disciplined again because he tried to arrest Officer Cindy Harper for shoplifting. Gaudelli said Harper’s husband, Assistant Chief Nate Harper, intervened and then was part of a conspiracy to have him fired…

McNeilly was the George Burella (at least in that incident), and Gaudelli was the responding Captain Bloom. But Gaudelli tried to file the repoet. McNeilly pulled a “Burella” and said, basically, to clear his name, pulling rank to do so. Domestic violence victims should be aware this can happen. Officer Gaudelli, assigned to a mall to stop troublemakers (including presumably shoplifting), couldn’t even do that, when the person doing it was an officer. And the US doesn’t have a caste system or grant titles of nobility? ?? Sounds like some public servants aren’t aware of this.

So, back to the Burella situation —

The next day, Jill Burella obtained {where? Criminal or Civil? HOW?} another temporary protection from abuse order, which essentially repeated the terms set forth in the January 2 order. In addition, the court awarded her temporary custody of the couple’s three children, prohibited George Burella from having “any contact” with her, and ordered him to relinquish all guns other than his service weapon, which he was required to turn over to his commanding officer at the end of every shift. The order also stated that “[t]his Order shall be enforced by any law enforcement agency in a county where a violation of this Order occurs.” (App. at 121-22.) {{either that was standard, or it was accommodating all the other places he followed his wife and assaulted or threatened her)}}.

Later that day, Jill Burella called 911 after she received threatening phone calls from her husband. After officers arrived, and while in their presence, she received several more calls from her husband. The officers told her they could not do anything unless her husband was physically present {is that word “threatening” in the RO too vague to comprehened?} .4 When Jill Burella called the police the next day, again they told her that nothing could be done unless her husband was physically present at her house.

On January 8, 1999, Jill Burella obtained a final order of protection.5 Four days later, following an appointment with a psychiatrist at the City Medical Department, George Burella went to the house he formerly shared with his wife and shot her in the chest. He then immediately shot and killed himself. Although she suffered serious injuries, Jill Burella survived the shooting.

I cannot help noticing (2nd or 3rd reading of this case) that troubles escalated after visits to a psychiatric hospital.

The newer, more expensive drugs have been heavily promoted at the hospital by drugmakers. Sales reps have logged about 1,200 visits to Western since late 2003, when administrators began tracking their activity. Concerned about their influence on prescribing patterns, the hospital in March banned all reps from visiting the campus to meet with docs.

The newer atypicals are promoted as safer and more effective than older meds, and are widely used at Western – along with ongoing use of older drugs, there’s been an increase since 1999 of about 30 percent in the amount of anti-psychotic meds given to patients at Western, The News Tribune found.

Many patients now receive two or more anti-psychotic drugs at once, a doubling of medication unheard of just eight years ago, when the older drugs were more prevalent.

OR, another article on schizophrenia, violence, with substance abuse (which Burella had) and atypical antipsychotis — if the guys take ’em:

Management of Violence in Schizophrenia The public perception of people with schizophrenia often is, unfortunately, of uncontrollable–possibly murderous–criminals. While mental health providers know this stereotype is almost always wrong, they do have real concerns about controlling violent tendencies in some patients with schizophrenia–especially people with co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Treatment of schizophrenia has become more effective with the introduction of the atypical antipsychotics, but getting patients to take their medications still proves to be a problem and is related to their potential for violence.

Before I comment on the LEGAL issues of this, let’s look at a document from Pennsylvania dating to 1990, which is why I include its contents here. Lethality Assessment by Barbara J. Hart is well-known in this field of DV. I wonder what happened that — same State — the message didn’t get through, somehow, that this guy was going to shoot somebody, possibly her. Nowadays, they are still selling “risk assessments” to the courts, as similar incidents continue.

The dispatcher and responding officer can utilize the indicators described below in making an assessment of the batterer’s potential to kill. Considering these factors may or may not reveal actual potential for homicidal assault. But, the likelihood of a homicide is greater when these factors are present. The greater the number of indicators that the batterer demonstrates or the greater the intensity of indicators, the greater the likelihood of a life-threatening attack.

Use all of the information you have about the batterer, current as well as past incident information. A thorough investigation at the scene will provide much of the information necessary to make this assessment. However, law enforcement will not obtain reliable information from an interview conducted with the victim and perpetrator together or from the batterer alone.

  1. Threats of homicide or suicide.The batterer who has threatened to kill himself, his partner, the children or her relatives must be considered extremely dangerous.
  2. Fantasies of homicide or suicide.The more the batterer has developed a fantasy about who, how, when, and/or where to kill, the more dangerous he may be. The batterer who has previously acted out part of a homicide or suicide fantasy may be invested in killing as a viable “solution” to his problems. As in suicide assessment, the more detailed the plan and the more available the method, the greater the risk.
  3. Weapons.Where a batterer possesses weapons and has used them or has threatened to use them in the past in his assaults on the battered woman, the children or himself, his access to those weapons increases his potential for lethal assault. The use of guns is a strong predictor of homicide. If a batterer has a history of arson or the threat of arson, fire should be considered a weapon.
  4. “Ownership” of the battered partner. The batterer who says “Death before Divorce!” or “You belong to me and will never belong to another!” may be stating his fundamental belief that the woman has no right to life separate from him. A batterer who believes he is absolutely entitled to his female partner, her services, her obedience and her loyalty, no matter what, is likely to be life-endangering.
  5. Centrality of the partner.A man who idolizes his female partner, or who depends heavily on her to organize and sustain his life, or who has isolated himself from all other community, may retaliate against a partner who decides to end the relationship. He rationalizes that her “betrayal” justifies his lethal retaliation.
  6. Separation Violence. When a batterer believes that he is about to lose his partner, if he can’t envision life without her or if the separation causes him great despair or rage, he may choose to kill.
  7. Depression.Where a batterer has been acutely depressed and sees little hope for moving beyond the depression, he may be a candidate for homicide and suicide. Research shows that many men who are hospitalized for depression have homicidal fantasies directed at family members.
  8. Access to the battered woman and/or to family members.If the batterer cannot find her, he cannot kill her. If he does not have access to the children, he cannot use them as a means of access to the battered woman. Careful safety planning and police assistance are required for those times when contact is required, e.g. court appearances and custody exchanges.
  9. Repeated outreach to law enforcement.Partner or spousal homicide almost always occurs in a context of historical violence. Prior calls to the police indicate elevated risk of life-threatening conduct. The more calls, the greater the potential danger.
  10. Escalation of batterer risk.A less obvious indicator of increasing danger may be the sharp escalation of personal risk undertaken by a batterer; when a batterer begins to act without regard to the legal or social consequences that previously constrained his violence, chances of lethal assault increase significantly.
  11. Hostage-taking. A hostage-taker is at high risk of inflicting homicide. Between 75% and 90% of all hostage takings in the US are related to domestic violence situations.

If an intervention worker concludes that a batterer is likely to kill or commit life-endangering violence, extraordinary measures should be taken to protect the victim and her children. This may include notifying the victim and law enforcement of risk, as well as seeking a mental health commitment, where appropriate. The victim should be advised that the presence of these indicators may mean that the batterer is contemplating homicide and that she should immediately take action to protect herself and should contact the local battered woman’s program to further assess lethality and develop safety plans.

Hart, B.“Assessing Whether Batters Will Kill” PCADV, 1990.


In February 2000, Jill Burella filed a complaint in Pennsylvania state court against Officer Reamer, Captain Bloom, and Captain Bloom’s successor, Francis Gramlich, along with the City of Philadelphia and Dr. Warren Zalut, the City psychiatrist who saw George Burella on the day of the shooting. After the case was removed to federal district court, she filed an eight-count amended complaint asserting various federal constitutional and state law claims. The officers and the City moved for summary judgment on all counts asserted against them.6 This appeal concerns solely the District Court’s summary judgment ruling that the officers are not entitled to qualified immunity with respect to Jill Burella’s due process (Count I) and equal protection (Count IV) claims.


This case cites the Castle Rock case. The opinion is worth understanding. People receiving restraining orders need to understand what they are and what they are not. As residents of a rain forest understand the rain forest, or those who live in monsoon territory have to understand the ramifications of the deluge, residents of the United States, though a Constitution, Bill of Rights, and legal systems exist, they exist in a context — on paper and arguments about them have created a deluge of paperwork over the 2+centuries since we started. They are only as good as interpreted by those who read act on this paperwork.

So, the deluge of paperwork can lead to life, IF one is prepared to understand its contexts, and shifting contexts, too., or death if one places false or misguided hope in them alone. Whether to stake one’s life on the force of that paperwork is personal, like a decision to stake one’s life on a God, or sacred writings describing that God. Whatever one chooses, chances are that sooner or later and like it or not, one is going to come face to face with someone who reads it differently, or thinks it’s a joke, and be forced to deal with him or her. This could include one’s own marriage certificate, obviously.

This is what Judge Fuentes, in the Burella appeal, wrote (any emphases are mine…):

[as above…United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on appeal from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia County)]

As discussed above, however, the Court in Castle Rock
unambiguously stated that absent a “clear indication” of legislative
intent, a statute’s mandatory arrest language should not be read to
strip law enforcement of the discretion they have traditionally had
in deciding whether to make an arrest
. 545 U.S. at 761. Although
the Supreme Court did not specify what language would suffice to
strip the police of such discretion, it is clear after Castle Rock that
the phrase “shall arrest” is insufficient.
As previously noted, the
Supreme Court explicitly stated that “a true mandate of police
action would require some stronger indication from the Colorado
Legislature than . . . �shall arrest
.'” Id.

To the average person, “shall arrest” means “shall arrest.” But, the Supreme Court kept in mind that police discretion (discussed in more detail in the document). The word “shall” means “shall,” or at least we hope so, in something as official as a court order signed by a judge. GOOD, we think, NOW I finally have some protection. But the law doesn’t always think like that (logically), nor courts, and obviously not police. So, the safe understanding would be to understand the bottom line. It doesn’t mean ‘squat,’ really. Maybe to you, but not to others.

Thus, a restraining order is only as good as SOMEONE has respect for it and will act on it as if it were unilaterally true.

In addition, we note that Jill Burella’s argument fails to
address the Supreme Court’s observation in Castle Rock that even
if the Colorado domestic violence statute mandated an arrest, it
would not necessarily mean the victim would have an “entitlement”
to an arrest. That is, although the Pennsylvania statute allows a
victim of domestic violence to “file a private criminal complaint
against a defendant, alleging indirect criminal contempt” for
violation of a protective order, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. � 6113.1(a), or
“petition for civil contempt” against the violator, 23 Pa. Cons. Stat.
� 6114.1(a), like the Colorado statute, it is silent as to whether a
victim can request, much less demand, an arrest.14 See 23 Pa.
Cons. Stat. Ann. � 6113:1(a). In fact, “[w]hen an individual files
a private criminal complaint [under � 6113.1], the district attorney
has the discretion to refrain from proceeding for policy reasons.”
Starr v. Price, 385 F. Supp. 2d 502, 511 (M.D. Pa. 2005); Pa. R.
Crim. P. 506.

. . .

Finally, we cannot ignore that despite framing the issue as
one of procedural due process, what Jill Burella appears to seek is
a substantive due process remedy: that is, the right to an arrest
itself, and not the pre-deprivation notice and hearing that are the
hallmarks of a procedural due process claim.

In short, whether framed as a substantive due process right
under DeShaney, or a procedural due process right under Roth, Jill
Burella does not have a cognizable claim that the officers’ failure
to enforce the orders of protection violated her due process rights.15
Therefore, we need not determine whether her entitlement to police
protection was “clearly established” at the time of the alleged
violation before concluding that the officers are entitled to
qualified immunity.

* * *

Outcome: The facts Jill Burella alleges, if true, reveal a terrible
deficiency on the part of the Philadelphia Police Department in
responding to her complaints of domestic abuse. Binding precedent
nevertheless compels our conclusion that the officers� failure to
arrest her husband, or to handle her complaints more competently,
did not violate her constitutional right to due process or equal
protection of the law. Accordingly, we hold that the officers are
entitled to qualified immunity on her constitutional claims.

We will reverse and remand to the District Court for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion.

BACK TO THE LUZERNE COUNTY CASE,

Juvenile WAYNE DAWN’s COMPLAINT and CAPUTO’s ruling

As for Brulo, the judge concluded that the allegations in Dawn’s lawsuit were too thin to justify allowing the claims to proceed to the discovery stage. “There are no specific factual allegations made against Brulo. Instead, there are blanket assertions about what all defendants did collectively, many of them consisting of legal conclusions, such as defendants aiding and abetting each other in this conspiracy,” Caputo wrote.

Sounds like a poorly-written high school composition, starting with the conclusion, rather than starting with a thesis and systematically showing the reader the process and facts that led to it. In other words, sloppy writing.

(Again, I didn’t read Dawn, just the comments on it here).

Dawn’s complaint, Caputo said, “is littered with the type of bald assertions and legal conclusions warned against by the Supreme Court” in its recent decisions in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal.

“Plaintiff has not alleged any actions taken by Brulo specifically and, therefore, has failed to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence that Brulo violated plaintiff’s rights,” Caputo wrote.

The main focus of Caputo’s opinion was tackling the arguments lodged by Conahan and Ciavarella, both of whom are acting as their own lawyers and had sought a dismissal of all claims.

Caputo concluded that while the former judges are entitled to assert absolute judicial immunity, it was not enough to end the case because Dawn’s suit accuses the judges of taking steps in the alleged conspiracy that went beyond their roles as judges.

According to the suit, Conahan and Ciavarella struck an agreement with attorney Robert Powell and Robert K. Mericle, the owner of a local construction company, to build a new, privately owned juvenile detention center in Luzerne County as a replacement for the adequate, publicly owned juvenile detention center already in existence.

For the new facility to be financially viable, the suit alleges, it would require a regular stream of juvenile defendants, and Conahan and Ciavarella agreed to divert large numbers of juveniles into the new facility in order to gain more than $2.8 million in kickbacks.

To hide these ill-gotten proceeds, the suit alleges, Conahan and Ciavarella transferred the money via wire transfer to various corporations controlled by them. Their cooperation in the conspiracy allegedly included removing all funding from the publicly run detention center, having juveniles moved to the new privately owned facilities built by Mericle and operated by Powell, agreeing to guarantee placement of juvenile defendants in the new facilities, ordering juveniles to be placed at the private facilities and assisting the new juvenile detention centers in securing agreements with Luzerne County.

Caputo ruled that, under the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity, Dawn cannot pursue any claim that is premised on a theory that Conahan and Ciavarella did not act as impartial judges, failed to advise juveniles of their right to counsel or failed to determine whether guilty pleas were knowing and voluntary. But Caputo also found that “many of the actions taken by Conahan were not of a judicial nature.”

The alleged agreements entered into by Conahan with Mericle and Powell, as well as any budget decisions make by Conahan as president judge, or any advocacy for building a new detention center are “non-judicial acts that are not subject to absolute judicial immunity,” Caputo wrote.

Likewise, Caputo found that “some of Ciavarella’s alleged actions are covered by judicial immunity, while others are not.”

Ciavarella’s courtroom actions in sentencing juveniles, including his sentencing of Dawn, are protected by judicial immunity, Caputo found.

“As for to the other allegations,” Caputo wrote, “such as Ciavarella’s role in the conspiracy to build the juvenile detention centers and receive kickbacks, those allegations are extra-judicial activity that is not protected by absolute judicial immunity.”

Dawn’s lawyer, Timothy R. Hough of Jaffe & Hough in Philadelphia, could not be reached for comment. Brulo’s lawyer, Scott D. McCarroll of Thomas Thomas & Hafer in Harrisburg, also could not be reached.

I have lost some editing in the last few “saves” and am for now “abandoning ship” on this post which began to usurp my free time for the last two days. My equipment has a (vey) slow processor, which challenges my ability to retain the train of thought while it is completing a save (or even dribbling out keystrokes several seconds after input — I’m a fast typist), and I have miles to go before I sleep. Hopefully this post was not a “sleeper” and may have awakened us out of some rhetoric-induced slumber in these matters. If you hang around some circles too long, you begging to believe and accept their theories, without critical analysis and distancing, as a lifestyle, too. It’s laborious, but better.

JESSICA (GONZALES) LENAHAN’S STATEMENT

FOR THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

MARCH 2007

ACLU WEBSITE — SHE HAS NOT GIVEN UP SEEKING ANSWERS

  • Hello, my name is Jessica Lenahan. My former married name was Jessica Gonzales. I am grateful to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for allowing me this opportunity to tell my story. It is a courtesy I was not granted by the judicial system of my home country, the United States. I brought this petition because I want to prevent the kind of tragedy my little girls and my entire family suffered from happening to other families.

    Let me start from the beginning. I am a Latina and Native American woman from Pueblo, Colorado. I met my previous husband, Simon Gonzales, while still in high school. I married Simon in 1990 and we moved to Castle Rock, Colorado in 1998. We lived together with our three children – Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie – and my son Jessie, from a previous relationship.

  • Throughout our relationship, Simon was erratic and abusive toward me and our children. By 1994, he was distancing himself from us and becoming more and more controlling, unpredictable, and violent. He would break the children’s toys and other belongings, harshly discipline the children, threaten to kidnap them, drive recklessly, exhibit suicidal behavior, and verbally, physically, and sexually abuse me. He was heavily involved with drugs.

    Simon’s frightening and destructive behavior got worse and worse as the years went by. One time I walked into the garage, and he was hanging there with a noose around his neck, with the children watching. I had to hold the rope away from his neck while my daughter Leslie called the police.

    Simon and I separated in 1999 when my daughters were 9, 8, and 6. But he continued scaring us. He would stalk me inside and outside my house, at my job, and on the phone at all hours of the day and night.

    On May 21, 1999, a Colorado court granted me a temporary restraining order that required Simon to stay at least 100 yards away from me, my home, and the children. The judge told me to keep the order with me at all times, and that the order and Colorado law required the police to arrest Simon if he violated the order. Having this court order relieved some of my anxiety.

  • But Simon continued to terrorize me and the children even after I got the restraining order. He broke into my house, stole my jewelry, changed the locks on my doors, and loosened my house’s water valves, flooding the entire street. I called the Castle Rock Police Department to report these and other violations of the restraining order. The police ignored most of my calls. And when they did respond, they were dismissive of me, and even scolded me for calling them. This concerned me and made me wonder how the police might respond if I had an emergency in the future.
  • Simon had at least seven run-ins with the police between March and June of 1999. He was ticketed for “road rage” while the girls were in the truck and for trespassing in a private section of the Castle Rock police station and then trying to flee after officers served him with the restraining order.On June 4, Simon and I appeared in court, and the judge made the restraining order permanent. The new order granted me full custody of Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie, and said that Simon could only be with our daughters on alternate weekends and one prearranged dinner visit during the week.

File under “split personality court orders”  THANK you, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Pres. Barack Obama (not much changed), formerly and til now, Wade Horn, Ron Haskins, Jessica Pearson (Center Policy Research, AFCC founder, I heard, Gardner fan), and anyone and everyone who really can say with a straight face that the nation’s true crisis is when children do NOT wake up with their biodad in the home.  Thank you, multi-million$$ Healthy marriage/REsponsible Fatherhood funding, and any legislator with ties to Rev. Sun Myung Moon, but not open about it.  Thank you, for your overt subversion of the United States of America founding principles and documents, and being AWARE of this enough to be secretive about it, as evidenced by failing to tell protective MOTHERS (like this one) while recruiting Dads behind our backs, to give them advice adn sometimes free legal help to get our kids away from us.

Thank you about 3 major organizations in the Denver area driving this policy, and thank you for being smart enough to know that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” really wouldn’t hold sway legally, so it had to be practiced through another Branch of Government, voila, (1991) Health and Human Services department, and the things I’ve been blogging about.

Thank you for police officers that back each other up, but not women seeking protection via the restraining order system.  I also know of officers that gave their lives to save others, in domestic violence incidents. I’m not talking about them, but the others.  You know which you are..  Some men wear the uniform, and others live it — just like some men fit the fatherhood shoes, and others need to put theirs on and just keep walking…..


Yeah, I’m moved .  . .  Was Jessica a real Mom?  Was she a person?  Were her daughters?

The father had attempted suicide, and he gets a typical custody situation, alternate weekends. What’s THAT?  an attempt to use the kids to make him a better man?

  • (her children are kidnapped.  She repeatedly asks the police to help… Here are some of the responses):
  • Less than 3 weeks later, Simon violated the restraining order by kidnapping my three daughters from our yard on a day that he wasn’t supposed to see the girls. When I discovered they were missing, I immediately called the police, told them that the girls were missing and that I thought Simon had abducted them in violation of a restraining order, and asked them to find my daughters. The dispatcher told me she would send an officer to my house, but no one came.

    I waited almost two hours for the police, and then called the station again. Finally two officers came to my house. I showed them the restraining order and explained that it was not Simon’s night to see the girls, but that I suspected he had taken them. The officers said, “Well he’s their father, it’s okay for them to be with him.” And I said, “No, it’s not okay. There was no prearranged visit for him to have the children tonight.” The officers said there was nothing they could do, and told me to call back at 10pm if the children were still not home. I was flustered and scared. Unsure of what else I could say or do to make the officers take me seriously, I agreed to do what they suggested.

  • THAT JUDGE’S STANDARDIZED ORDER SET HER UP FOR THIS.  THERE WAS NOTHING SHE COULD’VE DONE, WITHOUT HERSELF BREAKING IT, TO CHANGE THE SITUATION.
  • Soon afterwards, Simon’s girlfriend called me and told me that Simon called her and was threatening to drive off a cliff. She asked me if he had a gun and whether or not he would hurt the children. I began to panic.

    I finally reached Simon on his cell phone around 8:30 pm. He told me he was with the girls at an amusement park in Denver, 40 minutes from Castle Rock. I immediately communicated this information to the police. I was shocked when they responded that there was nothing they could do, because Denver was outside of their jurisdiction. I called back and begged them to put out a missing child alert or contact the Denver police, but they refused. The officer told me I needed to take this matter to divorce court, and told me to call back if the children were not home in a few hours. The officer said to me, “At least you know the children are with their father.” I felt totally confused and humiliated.

  • {{My children did not die.  But, despite any court order (and there’s one to this date ordering weekly contact — with me — it’s not safely enforceable.  I haven’t seen either one in a long time.  Prior to that situation, I was in this situation with officers, and got a similar response, in a context of escalating threats to take them, and troubles.  AFTER they were taken, I was given the same line, even though at this time their address was unknown and they weren’t attending school.  The story almost never changes, much….}}
  • I called the police again and again that night. When I called at 10pm, the dispatcher said to me that I was being “a little ridiculous making us freak out and thinking the kids are gone.” Even at that late hour, the police were still scolding me and not acknowledging that three children were missing, not recognizing my repeated descriptions of the girls and the truck.
  • NOW, her children are dead — through their negligence and ignoring her pleas — and here is how she is treated:
  • After hearing about the shooting, I drove to the police station. As I attempted to approach Simon’s truck, I was taken away by the police and then to the local sheriff’s office. Officials refused to give me any information about whether the girls were alive. They ignored my pleas to see my girls. {{I have been in this situation, very similar, requests ignored}}  The experience revictimized me all over again. They detained me in a room for 12 hours and interrogated me throughout the early morning hours, as if I had a role in the children’s deaths. They refused to let me see or call my family. It was absolutely the most traumatic, horrific, and exhausting experience of my life!
  • I have noticed over time, that if a woman is persistent in reporting violations of court orders, stalking, threats, or missing children in particular, the anger will be turned on her; she will not be heard.  We might as well accept and prepare ourselves for this emotionally, though it’s wrong.  Police officers’ roles includes dominating others, and situations.  They’re REAL good at dominating traumatized women….This includes verbal abuse as well, mocking, sarcasm, belittling, questioning, interrupting when one is asking legitimate questions, — in fact, practically everything an abusive partner might do, with this kicker:  they are authorized to use force in certain situations, and they carry sidearms.

  • The media knew my girls were dead before my family or I did. I was finally told by state officials around 8am that Simon had murdered the girls before he arrived at the police station. However, I never learned any other details about how, when, and where the girls died. I continue to seek this information to this day. I need to know the truth.

    Several family members and I asked the authorities to identify the girls’ bodies, but we were not permitted to view their bodies until six days later – when they lay in their caskets. My daughters’ death certificates and the coroners’ reports state no place, date, or time of death. It saddened me not to be able to put this information on their gravestones.

  • Today, nearly eight years after my tragedy, I continue to seek a thorough investigation into my babies’ deaths. I see nothing being done in Castle Rock or nationwide to make police accountable to domestic violence victims. It’s like rubbing salt in my wounds.

    So why did the police ignore my calls for help? Was it because I was a woman? A victim of domestic violence? A Latina? Because the police were just plain lazy? I continue to seek answers to these questions.

    We rely on the courts and the police for protection against violence. But I learned from my tragedy that the police have no accountability. The safety of my children was of such little consequence that the police took no action to protect my babies. If our government won’t protect us, we should know that. We should know that we are on our own when our lives are at risk.

    Had I known that the police would do nothing to locate Rebecca, Katheryn, and Leslie or enforce my restraining order, I would have taken the situation into my own hands by looking for my children with my family and friends. I might have even bought a gun to protect us from Simon’s terror. Perhaps if I had taken these measures, I would have averted this tragedy. But then I might be imprisoned right now. That is the dilemma for abused women in the United States.

    • I am blogging.  I am telling people.  This woman has told people.  You read it in the late 1990s and you’ve now read two statements from the year 2007 (Burella’s appeal, denied, citing Gonzales’s failed Castle Rock case).  Remember what I said about the ‘deluge” of paperwork.   If we are going to go the “paperwork” route, the due diligence is necessary to understand the REAL contexts of it.  The REAL context of it is that one cannot count on enforcement.
    • Moreover, I also assert (and have discussed this more among my friends than on the blog) that the fatherhood and the domestic violence advocates are in bed together, and care more about their conferences and grants than our lives, and probably always have.  I don’t say this with anger (well, not TOO much anger), but so we who don’t have another year to waste won’t waste anther year looking for help, rather than helping ourselves in the most moral, legal, and humane way possible.

There are consequences to the U.S. when women have to go to the international level to ask for protection.  I’ve read about globalism and am aware of NGOs, and so forth, but the gol-dang Tea Party folk, and libertarians, if they will not recognize woman’s humanity as equal to theirs, even when not bound to a husband, they are going to cost us this country.  Show me an honest faith-based organization that’s involved in government, and I’ll work with it.  Til then, no thank you!  Where are woman who have some faith to hang out?  In some mega church that has less respect for women than the Castle Rock police Dept? ???

This IACHR link will be put on the front page.

“Where’s Mom?” and other vocabulary issues

with one comment

 

We have to have a talk about the word “children” and “families” when it really means “fathers.”

 

This is from FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND, a.k.a. “endabuse.org”

FIRST, a little indicator of the funding behind this organization.  But my point is, the vocabulary.  So the charts, are for an indicator, at this point, of the influence. 

For some years, I read materials from this group, and associated groups, and inside, went, “YEAH!  Right-On!” and “THANK YOU! for validating what I (and others like me) already know by experience!”  This is a very big deal when one has been in isolated circumstances and living with a person, or dealing immediately post-separation, with personalities who are still in the gaslighting (crazy-making) mode, i.e., we imagined our own abuse, and that evidence really doesn’t count, etc. 

But I was in the family law system, and the credibility gap between this obvious information and their practice still remained.  I was going through the experiences, without support or help IN THE COURTROOM, because once it hit family law, it was not considered the venue of the federally-funded or other nonprofit DV organizations.  Go figure — once a divorce is filed, or custody action, then suddenly the violence becomes irrelevant?  Not quite, but it might as well be, from the handling in that venue.

So, here’s FVPF.org:

For years, this has been a leading organization in stopping violence against WOMEN movement, but as its funding has changed, so has its vocabulary.

I think it can be identified as a major “player” in this field: (from USASPENDING.gov, I searched on the title).  2000-2010

Federal dollars: $32,245,683
Total number of recipients: 1
Total number of transactions: 68

FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND $32,245,683

It is receiving funds from multiple agencies:

Top 5 Agencies Providing Assistance

 DOJ – Office of Justice Programs $18,464,457
 HHS – Secy. of Health and Human Services $9,607,290
 HHS – Administration for Children and Families $4,071,750
 HHS – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention $102,186

 

Assistance Type

Grants and Cooperative Agreements $32,245,683
Other $0
Insurance $0
Direct Payments (both specified and unrestricted) $0

 

Trend

Bar chart is from the data in the below table

2000Data from census.gov $1,229,542
2001 $1,591,442
2002 $2,466,092
2003 $2,916,044
2004 $1,940,689
2005 $3,573,082
2006 $585,210
2007Data from Agencies $5,243,959
2008 $3,373,812
2009Agencies start send Recovery Act  data $7,825,811
2010 $1,500,000

2009 was clearly a banner year, and the Congress apparently likes this group.  Kids are still getting killed on court-ordered visitation, and sometimes the Moms, and sometimes the fathers too, or bystanders, but this group is going strong for sure.

Top 5 Known Congressional Districts where Recipients are Located Known Congressional District help link

 California 8 (Nancy Pelosi) $5,602,750

Top 10 Recipients

 FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND $32,245,683
 HERE”s ANOTHER SEARCH, from the TAGGS (HHS only) SITE:

Results 1 to 22 of 22 matches. (may not be all:  I just searched on the Institution title on TAGGS.hhs.gov….)

Page 1 of 1   1 
Fiscal Year Program Office Grantee Name City State Award Title CFDA Number CFDA Program Name Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
2010  OPHS/OWH  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FY09 HEALTH CARE PROVIDER RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – EDUCATION, TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM  93088  Advancing System Improvements to Support Targets for Healthy People 2010 (ASIST2010)  LISA JAMES  $ 1,500,000 
2009  FYSB  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $- 1 
2009  FYSB  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTERS FOR INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  DEBBIE LEE  $ 1,353,812 
2009  OPHS/OWH  Family Violence Prevention Fund  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FY09 HEALTH CARE PROVIDER RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – EDUCATION, TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM  93088  Advancing System Improvements to Support Targets for Healthy People 2010 (ASIST2010)  LISA JAMES  $ 31,000 
2008  FYSB  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTERS FOR INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  DEBBIE LEE  $ 1,323,812 
2007  FYSB  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTERS FOR INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  DEBBIE LEE  $ 1,394,127 
2006  FYSB  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTERS FOR INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  DEBBIE LEE  $ 1,145,872 
2005  CB  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT  93670  Child Abuse and Neglect Discretionary Activities  ESTA SOLER  $ 496,000 
2005  FYSB  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 1,240,689 
2004  FYSB  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 1,215,689 
2003  NCIPC  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  PUBLIC HEALTH CONFERENCE SUPPORT COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT  93283  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention_Investigations and Technical Assistance  ESTA SOLER, PRESIDENT  $ 102,186 
2003  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 1,133,236 
2002  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 1,113,796 
2001  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 958,542 
2000  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES – SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTER  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 804,542 
1999  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES – SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTER  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 698,710 
1998  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 50,000 
1998  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES – SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTER  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 678,710 
1998  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION SERVICES  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  LRNI MARIN  $ 50,000 
1997  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES – SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTER  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 637,604 
1997  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  P.A. FV-03-93 – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: HEALTH CARE & ACCESS: SIRC  93592  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  JANET NUDELMAN  $- 9,549 
1995  OCS  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CA  P.A. FV-03-93 – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: HEALTH CARE & ACCESS: SIRC  93671  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Grants to States and Indian Tribes  JANET NUDELMAN  $ 451,525 

 

Here’s a recent program listed:

National Institute on Fatherhood and Domestic Violence

 National Institute on Fatherhood and Domestic Violence

It’s no surprise that children who are exposed to domestic violence need supportive and protective adults in their lives to mitigate the effects of exposure. The FVPF has created many programs and campaigns in response to this need. We also know that there are many adverse outcomes for children who are exposed, but how can we as a society make it better for the next generation? One way is to create more opportunities for abusive men and fathers to stop their violent behavior and make amends.

Since 2002, the FVPF has been developing a framework, strategies and products to help further the work of keeping abusive fathers accountable, while supporting them to change their behavior. Partnering with batterers intervention programs, victim services, child witness to violence programs and supervised visitation centers across the country, FVPF created Fathering After Violence (FAV), an initiative to enhance the safety and well-being of women and children by motivating men to renounce their violence and become better fathers and more supportive parenting partners. As a continuation of this work, in 2008, the FVPF created the National Institute on Fatherhood and Domestic Violence (NIFDV). We are adapting the original framework and guiding principles for use in new and different practice fields and create the next generation of champions for this work.

Guiding Principles of the Fathering After Violence Initiative

The working collaborative behind the Fathering After Violence Initiative developed the following guiding principles to inform its work:

  • The safety of women and children is always our first priority;   {{{OH??? I HAPPEN TO DISAGREE!}}
  • This initiative must be continually informed and guided by the experiences of battered women and their children;   {{Oh??  HOW CAN IT WHEN OUR INPUT IS NOT SOUGHT, we ARE STUCK IN FEAR & LITIGATION OVER CUSTODY, FINANCIALLY STRAPPED, AND FORCED INTO MEDIATING WHAT ARE CRIMINAL MANNERS, WHICH DEPRIVES US OF DUE PROCESS?  }}
  • This initiative does not endorse or encourage automatic contact between the offending fathers and their children or parenting partners;
  • In any domestic violence intervention, there must be critical awareness of the cultural context in which parenting happens;
  • Violence against women and children is a tool of domination and control used primarily by men and rooted in sexism and male entitlement;
  • Abuse is a deliberate choice and a learned behavior and therefore can be unlearned;

LOOK, the courts are either for justice, or they are not.  If they are social transformational behavioral modification centers, then forget the Bill of Rights, OK?  Which is exactly what is happening….

  • Some men choose to change their abusive behavior and heal their relationships, while others continue to choose violence;
  • Working with fathers is an essential piece of ending violence against women and children; and
  • Fathers who have used violence need close observation to mitigate unintended harm.

Personally, I  think this is just about a lost cause.  Get protection for the women, teach them to protect themselves, and allow them to separate.  Acknowledge that if you are going to abuse a woman, you forfeit fatherhood privileges.  I’m sure the message will get out sooner or later, instead of the contrary message now being sent — nothing much will happen….

Public and Private Partnerships:

The NIFDV has been supported by public and private partners including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Office on Violence Against Women, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Family Violence Prevention & Services Program, Administration on Children and Families. 

This project is being developed in partnership with other national organizations, such as the>> Center for Family Policy and Practice, <<the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, the National Latino Alliance to Eliminate Domestic Violence, Mending the Sacred Hoop, the Domestic Violence Resource Network, and the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse

The National Institute has three core elements:

  1. Training and Technical Assistance Leadership Academy
  2. Program Practice and Development Center
  3. Information Clearinghouse

Fatherhood has proven to be a powerful tool to reach men in understanding the effects of family violence. There is much to learn in this area and we need to move cautiously forward. Safety for women and children remain the focus and center of our work. By working with fathers in breaking the cycle of abuse, we will enhance the safety and wellbeing of their partners, children, grandchildren and future generations yet to come. ===========

 Fatherhood is not a tool, it’s a role that responsible (versus violent, and intending only to control and dominate) men fill.  It’s not an entitlement. 

Amy Castillo, who lost 3 children drowned in a bathtub years ago, because some judge was smarter than her, when she warned he was unstable and had threatened to kill them or himself (she’s a pediatrician — what would she know?  In family law, she’s just a woman) now is trying to make a difference for future women, and took more insults in public recently.  This link from 2/28/2010 and yesterday’s post, comments on it:

Amy Castillo testified at this hearing, as she tried to get a protective order in 2007, but was denied.  Her husband Mark Castillo had their three children on visitation after when he murdered all three in a Maryland hotel, drowning them in the bathtub.  At the protective order hearing, her husband’s lawyer questioned her (from the transcripts):

Douglas Cohn–Defense Attorney, Mark’s Attorney: “He threatened to kill your children and you, and you made love to him that night.”

Amy Castillo: “Yes, because I’m scared of him.  If I act scared or upset or emotional, he really reacts to that, and I didn’t want him to know I was trying to get a protective order.”

With this, the judge denied the protective order.   Judge Joseph Dugan ruled “There is not clear and convincing evidence that the alleged acts of abuse occurred.”  This left Mark Castillo the opportunity to murder the children.

28.Feb.2010 Maryland Mother Fights to Change Law After Husband Killed Children

Updated: Friday, 26 Feb 2010, 12:26 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 25 Feb 2010, 7:15 PM EST
By Sherri Ly

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – When Amy Castillo’s husband, Mark, killed her three children nearly two years ago she knew he’d carried out his threat.  “He said well really the worse thing I could do is kill the children and not you so you have to live without them,” Castillo said.

Fifteen months earlier she told a Montgomery County judge the same story but he denied her final protective order because there wasn’t “clear and convincing evidence.”  Castillo says she was devastated.

The interim protective order had already angered her estranged husband, who suffered from mental illness and transcripts show had planned to violently end his own life.  “I think he would have had to have hurt them before, in the past, actually physically injured them. All along I felt that you have to actually hurt someone or prove you sexually abused them before you can get any help,” Castillo said.

For her efforts, she is insulted again…

AND we are talking about fatherhood after violence?  Pierce county, same thing:  PARENTING CLASSES to handle an out of control man who doesn’t respect the law.  More important to get those kids with Daddy. 

This post to be continued…

Fort Bragg tries to redeem itself — McNeill/Vargas families reeling…

with one comment

 

(See yesterday’s post):

Today, this is all over the internet.  I’d like to post a few links:  again, as you read, remember that there are certain venues where this IS taken seriously, and others where it is NOT. 

Save Aaron Vargas

Target:
Mendocino County District Attorney, Ukiah, California
Sponsored by: 

Please go to http://www.saveaaron.com/ to read more about Aaron’s story and child sexual abuse.

Aaron endured decades of sexual and psychological abuse by Darrell McNeill. Many others in the small community of Fort Bragg, California were also abused by McNeill.  Victims, as well as McNeill’s former wife, went to the police but no investigation was ever done. Aaron was stalked and harassed continually by McNeill. Aaron was arrested on 2/8/09 and is being charged with killing McNeill. I don’t believe that Aaron had the . . .

http://www.saveaaron.com/

Please E-mail the District Attorney and ask for leniency. She is seeking a sentence of 50-years-to-life

This has a link on the difficult topic of child rape:

Most perpetrators don’t molest only one child if they are not reported and stopped.

  • At least 20% of child sex offenders have 10 to 40 victims.
  • An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.

Point in case: 

Delaware crime: Grand jury indicts Dr. Earl Bradley in sexual abuse of 103 child patients

Lewes pediatrician faces 471 counts

By CRIS BARRISH • The News Journal • February 23, 2010

For nearly two months prosecutors have suggested Dr. Earl B. Bradley, the alleged pedophile pediatrician from Lewes, had molested an unknown number of girls, far more than the nine patients he was charged in December with raping.

 

On Monday, the Attorney General’s Office made its suspicions official, with a grand jury indictment accusing Bradley of sexually assaulting 102 girls and one boy he treated – a more than tenfold increase in the number of victims originally alleged.

 

Attorney General Beau Biden expects even more victims to be found.

The vast majority of the crimes occurred since 2007, the indictment said. One victim, Jane Doe No. 39, was raped 15 times over 13 months, prosecutors allege.

The case against Bradley could be the worst child sexual abuse by a pediatrician in American history, some abuse experts have said. Biden called it “unique” in Delaware history. Nationally, he said, “I know of no other [case] that has this many victims.”

 

The case now moves toward a trial that would be held late this year at the earliest. Unless he posts $2.9 million cash bail, Bradley, 56, will await his day in court at Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

 

Investigators from the state police and the FBI have completed their analysis of 13 hours of videotapes, computer hard drives and digital files seized from Bradley’s home and office, Biden said

That is ONE caught pediatrician…  Back to the other link:

Vulnerability Factors: 

Children are vulnerable to sexual abuse because of their age, size and innocence. When a child or youth is molested, she/he learns that adults cannot be trusted for care and protection: well-being is disregarded, and there is a lack of support and protection. These lead to grief, depression, extreme dependency, inability to judge trustworthiness in others, mistrust, anger and hostility. And as if all that isn’t enough, children’s bodies often respond to the sexual abuse, bringing on shame and guilt.

Points to consider:

»  Children/youth are unable to protect themselves and stop the abuse
»  Children/youth are susceptible to force
»  Children/youth are susceptible to the use of trickery by offenders
»  Often times, children/youth have no control over their own bodies
»  All too often, children/youth are unable to make others believe them

The above factors lead to:

»  anxiety
»  fear
»  shame
»  a sense of inadequacy
»  the need to control situations and others
»  a perception of self as victim
»  identification with the aggressor

 This link (related) talks about Stockholm Syndrome in terms of survival for the person experiencing abuse.  It is NEVER right to condemn them for staying in it, or failing to break loose.  For some, it is an assessment of life or death; the weight is to NOT speak out.  If society further dismisses, or suspends belief, or (case in point, Vargas) when police don’t act (or can’t for some reason), the person is in worse shape than before he/she started to report, and the doors may shut even more tightly. 

This can affect family systems, when they become rigidly defined, and outsiders who rock the assigned roles (or secrets) are then perceived as enemies.

While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as “Stockholm Syndrome” due to the publicity – the emotional “bonding” with captors was a familiar story in psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:

  • Abused Children
  • Battered/Abused Women
  • Prisoners of War
  • Cult Members
  • Incest Victims
  • Criminal Hostage Situations
  • Concentration Camp Prisoners
  • Controlling/Intimidating Relationships

In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The “Stockholm Syndrome” reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual. In fact, it is often encouraged in crime situations as it improves the chances for survival of the hostages.

Here, from the SF Examiner:

However, not all of McNeill’s victims were silent about his abuse.

In 2001, a young man who wishes to remain anonymous to the public, filed a police report detailing the molestation he alleges McNeill committed.

The family of Jamie Specie also went to police and reported that McNeill had molested their son. Depressed, and apparently unable to cope with what had happened to him, Jamie committed suicide in January 2006.

Aaron‘s sister, Mindy Gallani, told me that McNeill’s first wife had also reported her husband to the police, after discovering that her oldest son had been molested.

Not once, after any of those reports did the Fort Bragg Police Department act on the complaints. There was never an investigation conducted into the allegations against McNeill.

Fort Bragg City Attorney Mike Gogna said of the 2001 complaint filed against McNeill: “nothing ever happened with that report.”

In July, the Press Democrat spoke to one of McNeill‘s alleged victims, who said: “In a small town you save face. You keep your mouth shut because it’s embarrassing and you don’t want anyone to know.”

He continued: “Aaron may have made a bad choice, but he did what he thought was right.”

Why would the police simply ignore these reports? Was Darrell McNeill so adept at hiding his deviant behavior that he was viewed as beyond reproach?

Darrell McNeill worked as a realtor, and owned the American Home Store in Fort Bragg, selling appliances and mattresses. He was also a Boy Scout troop leader, and a mentor in the Big Brother Big sister program, both of which placed him in regular contact with many young boys.

Aaron’s attorney Tom Hudson has reported that several young men have given him detailed accounts of the years of abuse that McNeill inflicted upon them. Many of them have said that the Boy scout leader gave them drugs and alcohol before molesting them.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but in this case, it may be safe to say that if the police had acted against McNeill, Aaron Vargas would probably not be sitting in a jail cell today, separated from his family.

This article relates viewpoints from some other victims.  It turns out that McNeill’s son, here was possibly his STEPson.  Consider:

. . . Richard Masingale, whose younger brother, James Specie, killed himself in 2006, four days after confiding that he had been sexually abused by Darrell McNeill from the ages of nine to 14-years-old, while in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

“I attribute the loss of my brother’s life to that,” said Masingale. “Until he was nine he was a good kid. But after [the abuse], he took another path. He didn’t trust nobody in life…My little brother became addicted to cocaine, methamphetamines. He didn’t do well with the pressures of everyday life after that.” (Neither Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Boy Scouts were able to confirm McNeill’s involvement in their organizations. Neither maintains records that go back to the 1980s. But Dr. Guy Grenny, who has been involved with the Fort Bragg Boy Scout troop for decades, confirms that McNeill was involved sometime before 1986 and members of the McNeill family have said that Darrell McNeill was Species’ Big Brother.)

McNeill, meanwhile, found other boys to abuse.

His former stepson, John Clemons, said that McNeill sexually abused him from when he was 11 until Clemons “got big enough to where I told him if he ever touched me again, I was going to beat the hell out of him.” Clemons’s mother, Jenny, divorced McNeill when Clemons was about 14. Then, Clemons said, “when my brother got big enough, he started using my brother to get to my brother’s friends. Me, I just stopped bringing my friends around.”

See also, a comment from McNeill’s Daughter on 

http://www.sonomacountygazette.com/blog/2010/01/aaron-vargas-murder-trial-examines.html

http://theava.com/archives/2113

In Vargas Case, Prosecutors Bring Out the Big Guns

by Freda Moon on Jan 26th, 2010

It’s official. The Aaron Vargas murder trial has entered the realm of theabsurd. Facing a tough trial in a county known for its independent, anti-authoritarian impulse, the District Attorney’s office, lead by ADA Beth Norman, has brought in the big guns.

Norman has solicited Emily Keram to bolster the case against Aaron Vargas. Keram is a nationally-known psychiatrist—and famous for her 120-hour Gitmo interview with Osama Bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan. She later testified as a defense witness at Hamdan’s trial. With Vargas’s trial set to begin on March 1, Norman filed a motion last week that would allow Keram, the prosecutor’s ace psychiatric witness, to evaluate—and possibly interview—Vargas without his lawyer….

AND SO ON. . . . .

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