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

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

Archive for the ‘public education’ Category

From “Our Bodies, Ourselves” to “Our Courts, Ourselves”…

with one comment

 

The topic of mediation, especially mandatory mediation, is a hot one within the family court venue, and particularly among domestic violence advocates.  Many have come up opposed to it.

On the other side of the fence (??) are those who are advocating mediation to cut down on the caseload in these courts, and attempt to reconcile opposing parties for the best interests of the children, supposedly.

While looking through the RAND corporation policy papers, available on-line, I was astounded to find almost nothing whatsoever on violence against4 women, or women per se (although there were articles about the education gap for men and boys of color, with the kneejerk recommendation, more and earlier preschool.  I happen to disagree, I think there’s enough subject matter for child development scholars to study throughout the educational, penal, and court institutions in this country already…).  There was next to nothing current on domestic violence, although a few articles dating back to 2004/2005 actually used this word.

However, there is this interesting take on mediation.  My limited technique can’t paste in the image, so I recommend taking a look at:

All I’m going to say about Our Bodies, Ourselves, is that it is reminiscent of the feminist movement (after all, these ARE our bodies, if it’s women involved), and another era.  For more info, read Dr. Phyllis Chesler, including Women & Madness, Mothers on Trial, and Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman.  Don’t forget to also take a serious look at Honor Killings vs. Domestic violence (articles), and so forth.

Now about, Our Courts Ourselves — I believe  a takeoff on that title:

http://www.rand.org/pubs/reprints/2005/RP1090.pdf

“Our Courts, Ourselves:  how the Alternative Dispute Resolution Movement is Reshaping Our Legal System.”

It says plainly what I have deduced, in using the phrase “Designer Family” and in sarcastically stating that a world without conflict IS indeed possible — if everyone is drugged, asleep, or simply not paying attention.  . . . .  Which appears to be an imminent possibility, or business goal in some arenas…  I mean, as slavery is supposedly abolished, SOMEONE has to do life’s dirty work, for cheap or free….  Women got the vote, heck what next?  ???

This tends to verify my observations:  (from page 168, Section II, “Puritans Populists and Utopians.”)…

Members of America’s utopian societies yearned for social harmony and eschewed conflict.  One of their goals was to eliminate adversarial legal processes.  In Edward Bellamy’s Utopia, depicted in his wildly popular 1988 novel Looking Backward, citizens are inducted into the armies of a corporatist state into which all contribute and from which all receive the necessities of life….

Are you frightened yet? 

As communitarian values replace private interest, economic competition, social conflict and adversarial processes are eliminated…Wise citizens take the place of judges and juries in deciding how and when to punish bad behavior, lawyers’ services become superfluous, and the law itself is discarded.

(My quote here, since I can’t cut & paste from the pdf, is from memory, for speed — check source yourself)

Bellamy’s novel inspired a new political movement called Nationalism, comprised of a series of grassroots organizations dedicated to creating a utopian society devoid of economic and social conflict and gave rise to the establishment of the Populist Party.. . .

Many in the Nationalist Movement had ties with Theosophy, a contemporary religious movement….  substituting “Universal brotherhood and cooperation for competition..”  but the roots of Theosophy lay in spiritualism, and elevating the divine spirit within the individual.  Their leaders eschewed social justice and activism, and eventually the movements parted paths.

To those who are somewhat versed in one of the “Abrahamic” religions (i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam), this utopian vision and non-involvement in social justice are at odds with fundamental beliefs that man’s nature needs redemption (i.e., “the Fall”) and that a future resurrection and judgement await. 

At the very least, then, this utopian philosophy goes against the core of a substantial portion of the world’s population.  Experientially, someone has to become the “wise citizens” and of a supposedly superior, elitist, caste to inform and educate the plebians in how to get along.

The philosophy that CONFLICT is bad, and that PEACE AT ANY PRICE (and sacrificing safety, or justice in the process) is the primary good is — to my reading — a violence against the concept of justice, balance and equity. 

Hence, the jargon calling a divorce or process in which women protesting abuse of themselves, or their children, even when sexual abuse has been involved and documented, a “high-conflict” custody comes from this worldview.  That is not the primary characteristic — only according to a certain view.

As to “our bodies, ourselves,” an 11 year old in Wisconsin and (I recently heard) a 14 year old in Michigan, have learned that they are property, not people.  Michaela Tipton went back to her father to get her mother out of jail.  A young man, A student, spent a night in detention for refusing to visit his father also. 

 http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2009/11/21/news/srv0000006883874.txt#blogcomments
Teenager incarcerated for refusing to visit his father
Published: Saturday, November 21, 2009

A 14-year-old boy was thrown into the county youth home overnight and handcuffed for about four hours after refusing to follow a judge’s order to visit his father, as part of an ongoing custody case.

The boy, Jacob Mastrogiovanni of Warren, was ordered Thursday to spend three days in the youth home by family court Judge John Foster, who lifted the sentenced Friday following protests by his mother and a night of incarceration for her son.

The uncommon occurrence of a contempt of

court sentence for a child in a child custody dispute angered his mother, Dawn Platevoet, and several of her relatives, including the boy’s grandmother. They picketed in front of the county courthouse in downtown Mount Clemens on Thursday and Friday, garnering media attention.
“A judge shouldn’t throw an all-A student in jail for refusing to visit his father,” Platevoet said. “There are other ways to handle the situation, and apparently the judge agreed because he let him out.”
Jacob was slated to remain in the Juvenile Justice Center until 7 p.m. Sunday but was released by Foster about 12:30 p.m. Friday. Foster had Jacob brought from the youth home in handcuffs about 8:30 a.m. Friday to appear in front of him in Macomb County Circuit Court later that morning. Jacob waited in a holding cell.

Moments after he was released Friday, Jacob said Foster didn’t specify why he freed him.
“He said that I don’t decide whether I see my dad or not,” Jacob said. “It was kind of like a warning, this time, I guess.”
Foster’s secretary said the judge did not want to comment.

Jacob and Platevoet wouldn’t delve into many details of why he won’t visit his father, Victor Mastrogiovanni of Chesterfield Township. She said Jacob began resisting in July following an unspecified incident.

They said when Jacob has visited Mastrogiovanni recently that he is forced to stay in his room without any contact.

On Foster’s order, the three have been attending weekly counseling sessions since early September. {{That’s the racket, folks…}}  But they and the therapist have been unable to resolve the disagreement.

Platevoet and Mastrogiovanni never married and have had some disputes for years {{OBviously.  The boy is 14!}}regarding custody and support issues, they said.

Mastrogiovanni, who has been married for two years and has a 15-month-old child, [[IE 2nd marriage, new kid]]said he did not want to comment specifically about the dispute.

“I love my kid very much and want what’s best for him,” he said.

Platevoet said she would like her son to visit his dad but can’t force him.

“What am I supposed to do? Grab him by the back of the head and put him in the car?” she said. “He’s a teenager and wants to do teenager things.”

She said Jacob “listens to me” about other things but not about the visits

//

ANYHOW, you are either awake or asleep in this matter about trying to create a utopian society where wise citizens (NOT due process and facts/evidence, etc.) choose punishments, and where all the requirements of life are also obtained from the state.  Hence, “Health & Human Services.” 

The question is, Who is Being Served?  And being served What?

2nd largest federal expenditure, Educational Department, making sure (that’s a laugh!) no child left behind.  What isn’t being openly marketed — where they are marching, goosestep style, who is paying the drummer, and what is the origin of the tune.  Not only can we not make medical or health choices for our kids, we as a populace aren’t smart enough to resource or network our life choices and also help them get educated.

You cannot really deal with the courts entirely separate from the educational system.  For one, the courts are trying to run cleanup after educational (moral/value) failures, all at the expense of taxpayers (not those who can write off expenses as business owners and investors, etc.).  For another, I am simply not interested in an oligarchy, a dictatorship, or any of that.  After all, it’s my own body here, and the children that came out of it are NOT state property, or fodder for others’ professional careers in psychology, mental health, law, pharmacology, etc.  I respected their father’s contact with them, and the law.  In return from this, I lost all contact with them, and made a mockery of the process.

Several entities are laughing all the way to the bank on this one.  The thing is, to get an audit of those statements. 

Anyhow — take a look at that rand document — it’s for sure informative.  Then also realize that what takes place through the courts, when it does — that’s not mediation in the proper sense of the word.  That’s basically program marketing, and “required outcome enforcement” from things such as the Access Visitation Grants, Responsible Fatherhood/Marriage, and such-like. 

Enough for today!

 

 

Richmond, CA Rev. talks sense about alcohol’s role in gangrape.

with one comment

Yesterday, being off-line (not including a miniature and slow cell phone, without a keyboard), I reviewed some local newsprint.  In fact, lack of access to the internet has caused a variety of “bad hair” days, and some dashed off, ill-formatted posts.  I became a Mac fan, glad to learn how this works, and a real convert.  Then it went MIA, and it’s back to figuring out strange computers display/paste, etc. vagaries, on the fly.  Moroever today, as far as hair is concerned, for me it’s a bad hair day (literally) as well.  Consider yourself forewarned. 

Domestic violence (of which sexual assault by any family member would be part of, though not the case here) and/or child abuse are definitely crimes that involve enablers, standers-by, and those who fail to report.  As we know.  The Richmond gangrape shocked everyone, and shock was appropriate, however, what indeed are our illusions about the public school system to start with? 

While it’s appropriate to express shock at the number of passers-by that allowed this young lady to be gangraped after a homecoming dance, few articles have mentioned that she had been drinking underage, too.  While that’s NO excuse, I feel this article handled it sensitively enough.

I haven’t posted for some days.  While there’s no shortage of topics, I looked forward to posting this article, if no other.  Someone needs to say it.  And, seeing as I tend to ramrod religion from time to time, and may in a few minutes here, I was glad to see this Rev. at least brought up the topic of, what was this 15 year old doing drinking?  What was that context?  No, that’s no excuse — she didn’t provoke this.  However, it was an element of the vulnerability here, and deserves some press.

 

Perspective: Alcohol abuse at heart of Richmond rape case

Rev. Alvin C. Bernstine
Guest Commentary

Posted: 11/15/2009 12:01:00 AM PST

Tuesday Nov 3
 
Please know that I do not mean to minimize the crime nor suggest that the victim’s inability to physically repel her assailants makes the crime less horrifying. I do, however, believe that more attention must given to the fact that a contributing factor to this horrifying crime was the abuse of alcohol, and possibly other substances.

I also know that adults make bad decisions, use poor judgment and do stupid things when intoxicated, and that heavily stimulated youth on alcohol is a recipe for violent behavior.

The lack of attention to the presence of alcohol abuse in this horrifying instance does nothing to minimize that nearly 60 percent of all high school students are drinkers of alcohol, and that in 2005 more than half of all Americans age 12 or older reported being drinkers. In one report “alcohol has been tried by 41 percent of current 8th graders, 63 percent of 10th graders, 75 percent of 12th graders, and 87 percent of college students” (Drugs and Society).

Young people are using alcohol at alarming rates, and the use of alcohol or some psychoactive substance is present in nearly all violent crimes committed by youth.

Alcohol diminishes the capacity to engage in moral reasoning, which radically impairs one’s ability to make judgments. In a culture where women are daily objectified, young men impaired by alcohol are not likely to control their impulses and are more prone to herd behavior in regard to women. Alcohol has been a constant among teen activities, and the use of it is a kind of rite of passage into adulthood.

While we pursue the assailants of this brutal act, let us be mindful that there is also some irresponsible, sleazy adult, possibly a parent, who assisted in making alcohol available to youth.

It seems that children may have engaged in a horrible crime, but some adult contributed to this damnable behavior. I pray our outcry to this crime would include efforts at educating children about substance abuse, particularly alcohol, and making adults accountable who contribute to the delinquency of minors.

I pray more parents step up and serve as monitors for school activities, which would reduce alcohol use and curtail violent behavior among youth. If parents are afraid to attend youth functions, then we probably should not let our children attend. Our children should know that the use of alcohol among children is not something that we can tolerate.

Rev. Bernstine is pastor of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond.

 

Meanwhile, same incident, a career public educator moralizes on the immoral status of our educational system, in re: this same incident.  PR key — never lose a chance to moralize (I try not to, right?). . . . .   I include this link for those interested in reading the 70 comments, including those who thought the author was a “blooming idiot” and another one who blamed — what else, single parents, father absence (not of the victim, but maybe we could go blame some of the rapists, then?) and them danged immigrants.  Notice the difference in tone from what’s above:

http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_13695043?source=rss\

Paul White: Gang rape watchers a product of schools’ moral void

Full story: LA Daily News

THE refusal by dozens of students and adults to intervene in a two-hour gang rape at a Richmond, Calif.. . . .  [[(read it yourself…)]]
What are you “standing by” in your life these days? . . . . Think about it..

Written by Let's Get Honest

November 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm

My gut reaction to more news of a fathering court.

with 2 comments

 

It takes but a few moments of passion — and a woman  — for a man to start a child. 

Between funding of abstinence education, healthy marriage initiatives, fatherhood initiatives, a “fantastic” public school system (USA), trailing the industrialized world in several core topics, like reading and math, and rampant crime inside and outside the schools; between initiatives preventing parents from knowing whether or not a teen daughter has gone to have an abortion on school time (Google “Pacific Justice Institute”), and so forth — PERHAPS with all these, plus federal funding womb to tomb, more studies and evaluations of those studies, and of course the “help” of the child support system in setting reasonable and consistent standards in assigning — and collecting the child support to relieve the welfare load (supposedly) — and of course with more, and more prominent active fathering courts replacing the rule of law and common sense

we might find a few good men with moral integrity and empathy for the welfare of their offspring.

Actually, from what I can see, the idea is with ENOUGH props, such men can be made — or bribed — to shape up, and care about their offspring. 

This is among the many causes our debt-ridden country has decided to espouse. 

As a mother, I didn’t feel it necessary to bribe and/or threaten my children to excel at their studies (which they did), and I am puzzled why this approach is thought to be so important to make sense as applied to grown young (or older) men in order to step up to the fatherhood plate.   

So . . . re :
Jackson County Pioneers Missouri Move to Fathering Courts
(below)

I add my sarcastic italicized comments so the text doesn’t blithely slip down reader’s gullets and a  warm fuzzy feeling about the nobility of this enterprise get assimilated into the thinking system.  This is a first-response post.  

Then again, what you assimilate is your choice.  When you read, remember that every Court Comissioner, Defense prosecutor, and public prosecutor mentioned is, I would think, on public dole also.  Welcome to the OK Corrale..  Everyone feels better after a few sessions in there.

This post is based on an emotional gut reaction to the concept.  Perhaps my “reasoning” as such is fuzzy, but I don’t see how it could be much fuzzier and emotionally based than what I’m commenting on.  Judge for yourself.  Please! – – -these are government-supported policies (and therefore $$), so keep it real!

http://www.fox4kc.com/news/wdaf-story-daddy-do-over-110609,0,5997057.story
 
Jackson County Pioneers Missouri Move to Fathering Courts
John Holt, edited by Jason Vaughn
November 6, 2009
 
KANSAS CITY, MO – Kevin Gainey was on top of the world. A good job as a bail bondsman, a lake home, and custody of his young son following his divorce.

{{FUNNY, I thought there was gender bias against men in family courts.  That’d be an interesting  case to look up. . . . Maybe  Mom must have abused substances, abandoned children, been a slut and was off witha nother man, or simply a stay at home Mom who was financially outclassed somehow.   Maybe she was a working Mom and he was a stayathome father?   Or, maybe she just gave them to him, not being financially independent and called that a good deal.  Or perhaps she was not emotionally connected to her son.  There are a thousand reasons this father, not mother, may have gotten custody of his son after a divorce, all of which might be relevant to the story, and shed a different light on the situations, and the wisdom — or lack of it — of whichever judge decided to allocate custody of his son to a Dad.  Boys should be with fathers {{no matter the character…}} was maybe the thinking, I guess.  H OW OLD was the son?  Who had been previous caretaker?  Was his former Mom a stay at home Mom?  Was the divorce contested or amicable?  What was that background story???}}

But bad habits caught up with him, his son moved back with his mom, and Gainey lost his job.

{{“bad habits caught up with him.”  Yeah, let’s gloss over that aspect. 

Poor fellow, couldn’t run fast enough.  Was it meth, crack, heroin, alcohol, pornography, — WHAT bad habits.  No matter, poor dear, he couldn’t outrun himself..

Also, I note, “moved BACK with his Mom,” meaning, she had custody, then lost it.  Maybe not.  But if so, Gee, sound familiar, folks? — except the actually getting to move back with Mom part…}}

“Wasn’t always accountable for my actions,” Gainey now says. “A lot of it had to do with my substance abuse problem.”

{{So what did the rest of it have to do with??}}

{{Externalizes the problem —  I am so familiar with this language pattern!  Not his fault, still..}}

{{Notice he didn’t say:  I wasn’t always accountable, I abused substances (and which one[s])..and “I hurt my son” }}with what ramifications…was it endangering his son most likely?  What was he doing to support his “bad habits” and “substance abuse” problem that caused a radical custody switch?)

With no money, doing odd jobs, and a sobriety issue {{SO it was alcohol…}}, Gainey fell behind in his child support, and wound up facing criminal charges.

{{Again poor dear, he was drinking, making holding a job difficult– apparently AFTER he lost custody of his son, as child support was involved.  I say apparently, because I don’t know for sure, but it seems likely…}}

 Despite that, prosecutors deemed him a good candidate for a diversion program that could give Gainey a fresh start and keep him out of prison: fathering court.

{{FORMULA:  State & Court order child support.  Child support not paid.  This is contempt of a law, and a quasi-criminal situation that can land a parent in jail, the purpose of which is to communicate that child support is a serious issue and to be paid.  However, there’s a way to dilute that message that child support IS for children, IS important, and that neglecting it IS negligence, when the potential to pay exists (i.e., stop drinking, and instead work, or at least seek work….  get help yourself…)

Enter — voila! —

{{FATHERING COURT, LAUNCHED 1998}}

((Somehow, I sense as systemic setup — do you?))  ((My blog talks about the Father’s Resolutions passed in 1998 & 1999 in US Congress, and posts some links and excerpts of the horror that XX% of African American children are sleeping in homes wi thout their fathers in them nationwide, and how Congress can stop th is travesty….

Note:  The 15 yr old girl gangraped, with passers by, in Richmond, CA recently had a father in the home.  He just wasn’t at the door leaving the dance to get her.  The victim, and it’s STILL no excuse, but she was 15 and inhaled a good deal of alcohol first.  She had a father.  Must have been a statistical anomaly.  Meanwhile, in another state here, to protect young sons (like the one exposed to substance abuse, above) and the young daughters (like the one whose  currently devastated Dad, I’m sure, did NOT show up needy and underemployed in a fathering court, apparently) we need MORE, not LESS< “therapeutic jurisprudence.” 

In fact, let’s actually just SKIP the jurisprudence part (except for the labels on the door) and go straight to therapy, just CALLING it “court.” 

Gag me with a spoon.. . .Or show me the up and coming “mothering” courts.  No one gives us that rope, that I’ve seen!   

It will not change the wheels of the institutions — we still need more fathering intervention nationwide, and grants to fund them, and to alter the philosophical basis of law to accommodate a “required outcome” of more father-contact, and to bribe, cajole, coach, and help men  to understand they must actually help FEED those they BREED. 

Launched in 1998, Jackson County’s fathering court is modeled after its drug court: parents, most often dads  {{Well, THAT”s a shocker….}}, get help meeting the challenges that may be holding them back through an initial screening. Regular follow-up court appearances are designed to keep them on track.

“I think that’s the role of fathering court. To identify the barriers that are preventing payment of support, and then to direct them to the services that resolve those issues,” says Family Court Commissioner Patrick Campbell, himself a father of two.

Commissioner Campbell presides over the court which meets weekly in Division 43.

{{Let me get this straight:  He presides over this court, presumably making decisions and signing court orders affecting men, women, and their mutual children, and THINKS he understands its purpose?  Does this Commissioner have a law degree in any state?}}

{{Are there any actual rules of court which apply in this situation?  By the way, people have a right to be heard by a judge, not a commissioner, if they choose, or so I heard.  I suppose that’s not highly publicized over there…}}

On a recent morning it was a crowded docket, as Commissioner Campbell greeted men who must demonstrate that they are making progress, make some kind of regular payment toward child support, and attend a 12 week parenting class.

{{Yes, there’s no problem on earth that a good parenting class can’t solve.  }}

“Congratulations”, Campbell tells one dad. “I told you when you graduated and got a job I was going to raise you up a little bit. So I’m going to raise each of them to 150 a month.”

To another dad, the commissioner urges contact with his kids: **”These three kids have one dad and you’re it,” he tells the man, who admits he hasn’t seen his children much.

**I am a mother.  I am having to fight pretty damn hard for contact with my kids, and there’s not one court commissioner, court-appointed attorney, mediator, judge or any one else assisting me.  But because I wasn’t abusing substances and in trouble with the law, there were no “services” offered to help.  In fact, when I went seeking them — after child-stealing on an overnight– they weren’t found.  Period.  If anything, these courts were resisting.  I didn’t understand this fully til, again, I looked up the “Access Visitation” grants system and “REQUIRED OUTCOME” for grant recipients.  You can research this, too — my blog, others, or the internet.  THAT’s what this is about.  NOT the kids…

To other men he’s a cheerleader, a task master, a coach, urging some to get something as simple as an email address so they can receive job listings sent to them by the program.

“You try to make a quick decision as to whether this is a time to encourage them or is this a time to push ’em where they’re not comfortable,” Campbell says later.

{{I am so sorry to find that the public servants in this country feel the need to parent parents, and have forgotten their assigned duties and oaths of office (for th ose who are also attorneys).  The President of the USA had to swear an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.  This includes due process, and laws.  What’s up with this crowd?  ???}}

A prosecutor and defense attorney stand at the bench with each of the dads, but unlike other settings, they appear more like a team, working with, rather than against each other in a court where there is no court reporter, and nothing is on the record.

{{WOW.  That’s wonderfully reassuring that all decisions will be ethical, fair, not subject to any forms of bribery or kickback, and protect the interests of the children involved, and the rest of the society not to have to pick up the tab….}}

“They see that we’re all trying to help them get to where they need to be,” says prosecutor Rebecca Leavett, who calls fathering court her favorite docket. “And I think they get more relaxed and trust us, they open up to us more about the issues that are actually going on in their lives.”

{{Translation:  some of them can be disarmingly open — when there’s money at stake.  I am so glad that the prosecutor and the defense attorneys — in an adversarial system designed for the truth to come out, through due process, and fair judgments be made — are in truth not even PRETENDING to do “bad cop, good cop,” but admitting that it’s all a show.  . . . . . .   }}

{{I”m so glad that these hardened attorneys get to have some moments of warm fuzzy feelings of do-goodism.  Perhaps the single mothers (if applicable) and fatherless children can take that warm fuzzy feeling and serve it up hot for dinner, or hug it as a pillow on a cold night.  Perhaps th ose attorneys might want to empathize with those not actually present in court, in their warm fuzziness on the law…and accountability…. AA for effort, eh??  }}

Her counterpart agrees.

“This isn’t a time for secrets, this isn’t a time for somebody to come up and say ‘whoa that’s attorney-client privilege, I want to keep this between me and my attorney,” says Gaurika Anand, a public defender who works with most of the dads.

Along with court transcripts, adversarial process designed to elicit truth, we now also want to do away with attorney-client privilege.  Gee, I wonder what ELSE is on the docket here??

Are the sons and daughters of these child-support-deprived kids going to grow up realizing, as their Dads now have, that it’s not actual performance, but just a public effort, that actually counts in life?  We can’t expect real standards based on real needs, after all…. 

I say this as a teacher, most of my adult professional life.  I know that failing to make standards clear, and then get a consensus to excell at reaching them — accomplishment and stretching those standards upwards by effort (not bribery…) produces the warm fuzzy feelings.  Not cheating them by constantly reducing the bottom line…}}

 

This year, Missouri lawmakers saw the eleven year old Jackson County court as a good model, and approved the concept statewide. So far several circuit courts have expressed interest, but there’s little money for launching new fathering courts. A state court spokesman says it’s expected the concept will eventually spread when the state’s economy improves.

Gainey is just happy he had the concept to benefit from in Jackson County. Initially reluctant to attend the parenting classes, he eventually did, and is grateful for the opportunity. He’s slowly whittling down his $17,000 back child support bill, has attended rehab, and says he’s now sober and working toward a better life.

When Gainey and other dads graduate, the criminal non-support charges are gone, so long as they continue to work to pay down their child support debt.

“There’s no way I could disrespect the opportunity family court’s given me,” he says. “This is gonna’ happen.”

That’s what Commissioner Campbell wants to hear from more of his participating dads.

“In this court you actually see people make changes.” he says. “I would never tell you it would be all of those making changes, but you see a lot of people make primary fundamental changes in their life. And that’s a very encouraging thing to see.”

__._,_.___

When you mix this scenario in with domestic violence, just know that economic abuse is a common factor.  While I’m VERY jaundiced, there’s a reason —  my personal experience, which is not unique, as a mother, watching the impact of sporadic child support payments, the NONresponse of the system to do anything about it when I worked and invested diligent time to get them to (and involved others).  When the children lived with me, it stalled, delayed, obstructed, and gave me double-talk answers to direct questions.    This affected my children, and my relationship with them.

The second the custody switch happened, this same system that would NOT move for a single mother, went aggressively to bat for a father who’d just responded to my attempts to collect by snatching the kids! 

This will all come out in the wash eventually.  Warm fuzzies (I don’t share them, in this matter) in one place don’t compensate for hungry children elsewhere.

For those new to these posts — the OCSE (That’s federal Office of Child Support Enforcement) are administering the grants to the states for increasing noncustodial parent (translation:  FATHERS) involvement with their kids through mandated mediation, parenting plans, and other issues designed to —    I hate to keep repeating this truth, but it’s the truth– diverting the evidence and fact-finding process from OUTSIDE The courtroom (and off the record — see this above case!) — to court paraprofessionals whose BUSINESS is apparently custody-switching, titles to the contrary….

How far away is the Gulag Archipelago from this Designer Family Concept?

Not too far, from what I can see.

Gag me with a spoon…..

For further reference on this topic.

http://www.NAFCJ.net

For more on Kansas, Google (or search my post also)   Claudine Dombrowski, Oletha Faust-Goudeau (and etc.).  Kansas thought ANOTHER fatherhood initiative was needed recently.  Guess they forgot about all the other programs racing through the courts, governments, county jails, chidl support agencies, faith-based nonprofit organizations, and university advanced social sciences programs, and — did I miss a venue?  No matter, fatherhood initiatives wi’ll turn up there sooner or later.  Just you wait…

LOOK:  If it’s a court, let it be a court.  If it’s therapy, let it be therapy.  Tell the truth on the label outside the door.  Also tell all the mothers involved what’s being done, out of their vision, hearing, and awareness, with the Dads of their children.  So they can, like me, put their two bits in.

Failure to call things what they are in my book is simply called lying.  No wonder confusion is rampant and mental health professionals are swamped, and stressed out with clients. 

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.  In order to put SOME kind of order to thoughts, it’s necessary to have a somewhat standard point of reference for the words used to describe them.

What I read about here — that’s not court, that’s a farce of a court process.  Everyone might as well go laughing to their various banks, those that have them, while the single mothers, scourge of our nation, go find a 3rd job, and then get criticized openly in family court for their “relationship” with the latchkey kids.

Some of these Dads had legitimate problems.  How many of them were screened for prior domestic violence and use of the child support system to apply pressure on the  mothers of their kids?  If so, why do they get the kid glove, and the families the backside of the hand?

I advise people to totally avoid the child support system, if at all possible.  I do not think it’s redeemable at this piont.  Too large, too much power, and too many people are dying when people get pissed off at its proclamations.  the office shooting in Orlando, FL had a child support debt element, for those who noticed.  The shooting (one died) took place in an office, but it was a Dad, with history of controlling and abuse, and a child support debt of over $11,000.   

Was it a fair ruling?  Quite possibly that system is adding to the stress factors.

I was within range of not needing child support, but I couldn’t get the protection to my own work life and relationships to make it all the way home.  Somehow, that doesn’t seem (in retrospect), “accidental” at all.  Strong, independent, law-abiding single mothers upset the  machinery here, and it seems courts like these, and other programs, are intent on doing away with us, and our connection with our kids.  We may maintain it, but it will cost us — whether through supervised visitation, or thousands in lawyers in the family law system; once entered — exit is difficult.

If these comments are helpful (or your gut reaction to them is like mine to the article), please feel free to comment on-line.

Have a nice day.

“Why does he DO that?” A walk on the wild side…. [with some 2013 updates]

with one comment

(note — see the comment, from 2009. The person “gets” what I was doing in the post, thank you!)

I am speaking as an owner and long-time appreciator of the book. “Why Does He Do That?  Inside the Minds of Angry & Controlling Men.”.. which showed up like a savior, emotionally, right as my case plummeted from stablized position under protection of a restraining order, into the volatile, “mandatory-mediation” arena of Family Court, which reminded me of “Chutes and Ladders”, with more chutes than ladders.

You take one false step (or have your family placed at the top of a chute through being hauled into this venue) and are on a chute.

Kind of like life WITH the abusive guy (or woman) to start with, anyhow, huh?  Hmm…  Wonder why they function similarly!

(The post on “Family Court Matters a la  board-games” is in pre-development stage, meaning, a little gleam in the blogger’s eye still.  Paper, Scissors Stone (last post) got me thinking for sure…..)

If you haven’t read Lundy Bancroft’s material AND/OR you are not yourself a victim or being forced to co-parent with a batterer, you’re not fully informed in the domestic violence field, period.

(2013 Update, In Hindsight):

Then again, if we’d all been talking about something besides “batterers” perhaps neither Batterers Intervention Programs nor “domestic violence” would have developed into “fields,” coalitions, or industries.

And the conversation about those fields and how THEY operate is the conversation that no one seems to want to talk about, even as updates to “The Batterer As Parent” have been published and being circulated in various circles.

I mean, think about it (why didn’t we earlier??)  There is a crime called “assault and battery” — but by the time someone has become a “batter-er” that means, it’s habitual — which means someone else is experiencing “domestic violence.” How can you domesticate “violence” and what’s domestic about it? (Well, you can tame down its labeling and call it domestic “abuse” — which has been done…

In fact, as it turns out, “BIPs” are actually diversionary programs to criminal prosecution for the beating up on others. Some people figured out, along with programs like, “moral reconation therapy(tm)” and Psychoeducational classes for kids undergoing divorce — that the more programs the merrier. I guess… The money is made upfront in the trainings, yours truly (The United States Government, which is essentially “yours truly” — the taxpayers) set up the policies and the corporations and then runs the population through them every time someone shows up actually needing some realtime social service — or justice — or help.

I can’t explain it too well in a single post, but this conflict was staged and manipulated in order to obtain more and more central control (literally, an economic stranglehold) on most of us through those of us that are willing to sell out for collaboration, sales, and the conference circuit.  As sincere or genuine as these individuals may be, I do know they are playing on empathy to increase sales.  I do not know whether or not they see the endgame, after their own use has expired in the long-range plan of bankrupting Americans so we are left as a human resource without other options than begging or slavery, at a sheer subsistence level.

Some of us have been their in marriage, we have been there AFTER filing restraining orders, which were intended to protect us (allegedly), but we were NOT there after even a year or two in the family court Archipelago.

Somehow, in this destitute and distressed state, we grasp at straws of empathy and keep referring friends and neighbors to explain our own situation to the same types of information — such as if only someone would JUST UNDERSTAND batterers’ psyches, our kids would be safer, and life would be better.

Anyhow, what follows was from very early in this blog (October 2009) and shows my understanding at that time.  Even then, I was questioning the logic of the question.

Read the rest of this entry »

Analyze This: Wichita Woes — What happened after 911? (1st time, 2nd time).

with 2 comments

I rest my case on “certifiably insane protection orders”. . . . 

 

This article is a quiz (answers below).  Do this:

A.  Put events in order.  

B.  What piece of the puzzle doesn’t “fit” and which pieces are missing?

C.  Keeping this within Kansas, bring this case history  to Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, recently found sponsoring (yet another) Fatherhood act of some sort in Kansas and ask for commentary.  Request permission to record, and share on youtube with the rest of us, why a man like this needed to be within cutting/shooting range of his 21 month old daughter.  (Because if he didn’t get this, someone was going to pay, bad?).  And how the (decade-plus) of prior fatherhood initiatives may or may not have contributed to this young man’s sense that after punching XXX officers and threatening to slit the throat of his wife, for calling for help, society still owed him something…

D.  Rewrite the headline, more appropriately reflecting the crucial issues in the case.

And then Alternately

E-1.  Pray to the tooth fairy that this isn’t you or anyone you know and/or recite after me:

E-2.  “it spiraled out of control.  We had no idea.  It spiraled out of control.  The real social crisis of our time is fatherlessness, not lawlessness.  It wasn’t his fault.  It wasn’t her fault.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault.  Nevertheless, the Feds + faith-based + local agencies will fix this situation.  We WILL eradicate violence against women and murder by men if we JUST try harder, train more professionals, and dump some dollars in that direction.  We WILL, right??”


The children are our future.  Now, Where’s that Valium?

Kansas.com


Suspect in deputy’s shooting had violent past

. . . (and they married WHY???)

Comments (0) 

BY TIM POTTER

The Wichita Eagle

The 27-year-old man accused this week of ambushing a Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy had a history of violence against his ex-wife — and against officers.

{{For why the word “had” is used, see 2nd article, below}}

 

In 2005, Richard Lyons’ ex-wife, Jenifer, accused him of holding a hunting knife to her throat and threatening to kill her after she called 911, an affidavit filed in Sedgwick County District Court said.

Lyons pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and served several months in the county jail followed by about 16 months in a state prison.

He was released on parole on March 2, 2007. His sentence and parole supervision ended on April 11, 2008, records show.

In March 2005, four Wichita police officers responded to a report of a disturbance with a knife at his ex-wife’s home in the 900 block of South Waverly, in southeast Wichita.

Lyons had arrived and “demanded she give him their infant daughter,” the affidavit said.

She reported that they argued and that after she called 911, Lyons held a 4- to 6-inch knife blade to her throat and threatened her. The knife reportedly came from a sheath attached to his pants.

“Jenifer said she hung up the phone because she was in fear for her life and believed Richard would carry out his threat,” said the document, used to bring the felony aggravated assault charge against Lyons.

On the 911 call, a male voice could be heard saying, “I will cut you,” the affidavit said.

When he went to get a diaper bag in another part of the house, his ex-wife grabbed her two children and fled, the affidavit said.

At the home, officers found signs of a disturbance, and when they tried to arrest Lyons, he punched two officers, the document said.

Although prosecutors also initially charged him with two counts of misdemeanor battery against an officer, those two charges were dismissed after he agreed to plead guilty to the more serious charge of aggravated assault, records show.

His ex-wife obtained a protection-from-abuse order against Lyons.

In April 2005, about a month after the incident involving his ex-wife, court records show Lyons was living at the house where he is accused of shooting Deputy Brian Etheridge this week — first with a rifle and then with the deputy’s own gun.

Etheridge was responding to a 911 call from the South Rock Road residence, reporting a theft — a report authorities now think was concocted.

In Lyons’ 2005 divorce case, court records say he was working for Colortime in El Dorado at the time. The court at one point required him to pay $234 a month in child support.

At another point in 2005, Lyons temporarily lost visitation with his 1 1/2-year-old daughter because of the incident involving his ex-wife.

On Tuesday, a man who said he was Lyons’ father declined to comment.

Lyons’ ex-wife could not be reached.

In September 2003, about two years before the knife incident, Lyons was convicted of misdemeanor battery against an officer.

In the years before that, he had been convicted of felony criminal threat and misdemeanor domestic battery and criminal damage to property, records show.

As a juvenile, he had misdemeanor convictions dating to 1995, when he was 12, for criminal damage to property.

Wichita school district records show that Lyons withdrew from Metro Boulevard Alternative High School in July 2002.

Contributing: Hurst Laviana of The Eagle Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

QUIZ ANSWERS (mine) BELOW:  (I interspersed A & B as dialogue)

Events, apparent order (quite different from article, which jumps around considerably)

  • 1995 Juvenile Richard Lyons, age 12, has misdemeanor convictions for criminal damage to property, ergo he was born about 1983.
  • July 2002, Lyons withdraws from alternative high school (age, about 19)
  • Between age of majority (2001?) and 2003, he has convictions for felony criminal threat AND misdemeanor domestic battery, meaning, probably against a WIFE or GIRLFRIEND.  This is called “domestic violence,” folks.  SEE 1994 VAWA Act.
  • ??? somewhere in there he gets married to Jenifer Lyons.
  • Sept. 2003, misdemeanor Battery against an officer.
  • Somewhere in 2003  Jenifer gives birth to his child.  (Note:  Physical assaults sometimes begin with pregnancy.  Mine did).
  • Somewhere between then and 2005, they get divorced.  (Given the assaults, probably understandable.  What’s not quite understandable is why they got married, unless the pregnancy PLUS her lack of other options to survive (i.e., HER family of origin support), PLUS no doubt some of this federal pushing of marriage on everyone…??  Who knows.  Maybe they wanted to.  Maybe HER household (how old was she?) was a place she needed to get out of.
  • By 2005, he has a child support order in place and is actually, it appears working.  Apparently they’ve entered the family court system somehow, I’d guess.  The man is all of 22 years old, so this is a good thing and possibly a change for him?
  • THIS IS TAKING LONGER THAN I PLANNED.
  • OBVIOUSLY they had “visitation” (unsupervised, obviously).  Note:  He assaults women AND officers, felony-style, and threatenes (someone — seee above).  He destroys property and punches policemen.  NEVERTHELESS, an infant needs her Daddy.  Daddies can be nurturers too.  If we try hard enough, perhaps all of us (through funds, and social support and of course parenting classes) can transform this young man into a real nurturer before he kills someone for telling he can’t combine nurturing infants with wife assault.

Now in March 2005, things start getting, well, interesting:

  • In 2005, Richard Lyons’ ex-wife, Jenifer, accused him of holding a hunting knife to her throat and threatening to kill her after she called 911, an affidavit filed in Sedgwick County District Court said
  • HEre’s the account, I rearranged some sentences.  Apparently by now there are 2 children (both his?  Maybe not?) 
  1. Lyons had arrived (EXCHANGE OF THE KIDS  RIGHT?  Here’s a CLASSIC CASE involving DV, and no help with the exchange.  Yes, I’d imagine this was in family law system already, totally oblivious (per se!) to the potential danger of the situation, despite lethality assessments and DV literature dating back to at least 1985 (Barbara J. HART), 1989 (Family Visitation Centers started in Duluth Minnesota), 1994 (Violence Against Women Act) and all kinds of other literature.  THis hadn’t reaached the “heartland” yet, I guess. )  and “demanded she give him their infant daughter,” the affidavit said.  ((OMISSION – was there a custody/visitation in order or not?  if so, was it clear and specific, as many states require (but don’t practice) cases involving DV be, to avoid incidents like this?  If it WAS clear and specific, was his demand in compliance with or NOT in compliance with that order?  As they say, and we see, this isn’t typically a guy that plays by the rules, not even the rules for graduating from high school, or refraining from damaing others’ propery.  We’ll, he’s about graduate from punching officers to putting a knife to his wife’s throat.  I wonder if this was the first time….)
  2. She reported that they argued {{POSSIBLY OVER WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS HIS TIME TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER?}} and that after she called 911, {{POSSIBLY THE ARGUMENT CONTAINED SOME THREAT OR PHYSICAL ELEMENTS?}} Lyons held a 4- to 6-inch knife blade to her throat and threatened her. The knife reportedly came from a sheath attached to his pants.  {{May I speculate that perhaps Mrs. Lyons was aware that Mr. Lyons sometimes carried knives, and this may have contributed to her decision to call 911, even if the argument was only “verbal” in nature?}} 
  3. On the 911 call, a male voice could be heard saying, “I will cut you,” the affidavit said.  (I’m going to assume this is “evidence” and it was his, not a responding officer’s.  I will further assume that this was a criminal prosecution, because someone actually got ahold of that 911 call.  GIVEN the history, was this a creditable threat?  It appears to the reader that her report was accurate in this part.  Contrary to the “false allegations” stigma associated with women reporting violence (or threats of it), ” because they want to get custody,” this report seems to have some merit.
  1. “Jenifer said she hung up the phone because she was in fear for her life and believed Richard would carry out his threat,” said the document, used to bring the felony aggravated assault charge against Lyons.  {AS FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS SHOW, YES HE WAS CAPABLE OF AND WILLING TO COMMIT MURDER WHEN HE FELT WRONGED OR WAS ANGRY OR ??  SO HERE, SHE DROPS THE “911” METHOD OF SELF PRESERVATION AND, if I may add, protecting her children, WITH HER KIDS OPTS FOR THE “FLEE” METHOD.   Amazingly, a charge was actually filed.  For why, possibly, read on.
  2. When he went to get a diaper bag in another part of the house, his ex-wife grabbed her two children and fled, the affidavit said.  {{I have done this flee while he’s in the other part of the house routine, often enough}}
  3. HERE COME THE RESPONDING OFFICERS:  In March 2005, four Wichita police officers responded to a report of a disturbance with a knife at his ex-wife’s home in the 900 block of South Waverly, in southeast Wichita.   {{Officers KNOW domestic violence wih a weapon can be lethal.  They didn’t send one custody evaluator, one parenting educator, one mediator, and one guardian ad litem, they sent FOUR officers, and I BET they were armed…  Yet women are left to face this, sometimes weekly, without adequate protection.}}
  4. At the home, officers found signs of a disturbance, and when they tried to arrest Lyons, he punched two officers, the document said.

Not one but 2 officers.  Tell them to thank Wade Horn, George Bush (Jr.), former President Clinton, present President Obama, (well, adjust for the year), and others for those punches to the face.  Father-engagement.  Healthy Families. . .. You’re in it. . . . . . .   Were these male and female officers, I wonder, and which ones got punched.  But in an incident, it could easily be any of them.

Moving on in our sequencing:

5.  Prosecutors initially charged him with two counts of misdemeanor battery against an officer.

6.  he agreed to plead guilty to the more serious charge of aggravated assault.  (good move, as they saw evidence, and he was already heard on tape threatening to cut her.)

7.  The lesser charges (above) were dismissed.  Is this called a “plea-bargain?

8.  His ex-wife obtained a protection-from-abuse order against Lyons.   (((WHEN?? see last post on police reporting of incidents).  Now?  Or had she earlier?  Criminal, or civil?)

 

NOW — figure out this timeline if you can:

9.  Lyons pleaded guilty to aggravated assault (See 6, above.  WHEN?  WHAT MONTH 2005?) and

10. served several months in the county jail followed by about 16 months in a state prison.

March 2007 is 24 months from March 2005 (date of assault).  Ergo “about 16 months” plus “several months” possibly does NOT add up to 24.  How many people do this kind of mental math when reading leading bleeding headlines?  

March 2005 (arguing, resulting in 911 call, threatening to slit wife’s throat in retaliation for calling 911, with 2 kids, one of them a toddler girl, in the home, Mom + 2 flee for safety, 4 police come, 2 of whom are punched) – March 2007 is most definitely 24.

The question is, what is “several” months?  Is it 8, or 9 (8 + 16 = 24, right?)   WHEN did he plea-bargain?  After punching officers and threatening to kill wife was he then RELEASED in this foul mood?  If he threatened to slit her throat and assaulted people who tried to help in March 2005, what kind of response might we expect after being sentenced, if he was released on bail?

11. He was released on parole on March 2, 2007.

12. His sentence and parole supervision ended on April 11, 2008, records show.

 

What this section of reporting does is to reassure that his crime (of — see above) was indeed punished properly.  Or was it?

13.  In April 2005, about a month after the incident involving his ex-wife, court records show Lyons was living at the house where he is accused of shooting Deputy Brian Etheridge this week — first with a rifle and then with the deputy’s own gun.

Omittting the obvious — after arrest (i’m going to hazard a guess that the 2 punched officers or their colleagues eventually handcufffed the guy) he was free on bail or own recognizance until arraignment and incarceration

YES, you read it right, finally.  Threaten to slit her throat, punch TWO responding officers, and get out scot free, for a few months.  This is an interesting sentence (I don’t operate under press deadlines, but still . . . . .  the sentence bridges four years of time:  2005 & 2009!)  Well, not quite scot free.  He was punished with not seeing his daughter, “temporarily.”  Wonder what time frame THAT word spans.

14.  At another point in 2005, {{Can we get a hint which month?}} Lyons temporarily lost visitation with his 1 1/2-year-old daughter because of the incident involving his ex-wife.

When I filed for a DV restraining order with kickout, and we had the guns, knives and assaults thing, but not on officers — we got ALMOST 7 days with no visitation, as I recall.  Perhaps at the most 14, as he had to find a place to live.

 

Now here is about the slain officer:

  1. Sheriff: Deputy was ambushed
  2. Suspect in deputy’s shooting had violent past
  3. Marriage came as a surprise to Johansson
  4. Deputy was quiet, funny, passionate about his work
  5. Opinion Line (Sept. 30)
  6. Robbers strike as police look for killer
  7. Deputy’s funeral set for Friday
  8. Sedgwick County Commission remembers slain deputy
  9. Opinion Line Extra (Sept. 30)
  10. Wichita man arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty

 

Sheriff was Ambushed

A black band around the badge of Sheriff Bob Hinshaw. The badges are in honor of deputy Brian Etheridge, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday.

WICHITA – Richard Lyons set the trap shortly before noon on Monday by calling 911 to report a theft at his house.

He then hid in the shadows of a tree and brush in the backyard of a house in the 3600 block of South Rock Road with a high-powered rifle, authorities said Tuesday. He waited for a law enforcement officer to show up.

That happened to be Sedgwick County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Etheridge.

“It does appear to have been an ambush situation,” Sheriff Bob Hinshaw said Tuesday of the shooting death of Etheridge, 26, the first Sedgwick County deputy to die in the line of duty in 12 years.

Lyons, 27, was shot to death a few hours later in a field not far from the house in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers.

“It’s scary,” Hinshaw said. “It could have been any law enforcement officer… this was just a call to 911 to get any officer to respond.”

Investigators spent Monday night and Tuesday collecting shell casings and other evidence, Hinshaw said, piecing together a chain of events from what was left behind.

Based on that evidence, Hinshaw offered this account:

Lyons called 911 at 11:42 a.m. Etheridge was dispatched to the address just east of McConnell Air Force Base and radioed his arrival at 11:51 a.m.

When no one answered his knock on the front door, he asked dispatchers for contact information for the caller. He then walked around to the backyard of the house and saw no one.

Lyons was hiding in the shadows on the bright, sunny day, and opened fire with a .30-30 rifle — a weapon commonly used by deer hunters — when Etheridge turned his back as he was either approaching the back door or returning to the front of the house, Hinshaw said.

The bullet hit Etheridge in the back, penetrating his body armor and knocking him down. Lyons approached the fallen deputy and tried to fire his rifle again, but it malfunctioned.

He took Etheridge’s gun and shot him in the leg before disappearing.

Etheridge radioed for help, and scores of law enforcement officers from throughout the metropolitan area converged on the scene.

The wounded deputy was alert and communicating with the first officers on the scene, Hinshaw said, but their priority at that time was his medical care — not gathering information about the suspect.

Escorted by patrol cars, an ambulance raced Etheridge to Wesley Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.

Authorities established a one-mile perimeter around the house and urged residents inside that area to leave if possible.

Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams said authorities had information indicating Lyons was likely inside the house, so that address remained the focus of their attention even as law enforcement officers combed outlying areas within the perimeter.

Tear gas was deployed twice into the house in attempt to flush the suspect out, Williams said, and SWAT team members were preparing to blast open the front door at about 5:15 p.m. when authorities were notified that the suspect had been spotted hiding near a tree row in a nearby field.

Agents from the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were patrolling a field in a Humvee when one of the officers spotted Lyons’ leg as he lay on the ground.

They stopped the Humvee, and Lyons stood up and fired at the vehicle with the deputy’s handgun. He then began running, firing several more shots as the ATF agents and KHP officers ran after him.

The law enforcement officers returned fire, striking Lyons “multiple times,” Hinshaw said.

Lyons was taken to Wesley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.

Investigators hope to talk to neighbors and relatives of Lyons, Hinshaw said, but he doesn’t expect every question raised by the shooting to be answered.

“We may never know what the motive is,” he said.

Results of the investigation, including the use of force, will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

Flags at Wichita City Hall and other city buildings have been lowered to half staff in honor of Etheridge. They will remain at half staff through Friday, the day of Etheridge’s funeral.

“We’re just really shocked and saddened by what has happened,” Mayor Carl Brewer said. “It has affected all of our law enforcement agencies.”

Brewer said the city is providing counselors for police officers who were involved in the shoot-out and others who may be shaken by the violence.

“Every time they make a stop or enter a house, they don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “This demonstrated just how much risk there is.”

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

 

FIRST 911 — from a woman — consequence, she’s threatened and has to flee for her life, BUT her ex-husband IS jailed — for about 2 years, or less.


SECOND 911 — from the formerly jailed young man (27 yrs old is young) — his ambush.  SOMEONE was going to pay.  Was Etheridge (the officer killed) a responding officer in the former arrest, or just anyone in uniform would do?  Was he upset at what had happened in prison?

Was this suicide by cop?  Sounds like possibly, to me.

 

WOULD IT HAVE PLAYED OUT DIFFERENTLY IF THE COUPLE HAD STAYED TOGETHER, OR WOULD SHE BE A STATISTIC, NOT THE OFFICER?

ANYONE WANT TO DO A PSYCHOLOGICAL WORK-UP ON THIS ONE (PLACE BESIDE THE WORK-UPS ON PHILLIP GARRIDO, AND HIS WIFE?)  WAS IT UNEMPLOYMENT MADE HIM DO IT?  WAS IT THE CHILD SUPPORRT ORDER?  WAS IT ACTUALLY TAKING CONSEQUENCES FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY?  WAS IT HIS LACK OF A FATHER IN THE YOUTHFUL HOME (FATHER CONTACTED DECLINED TO COMMENT).  DID HE NOT HAVE A PLACE IN SOCIETY, WAS THAT IT?  WAS HE ON MEDS?  was he FORMERLY ON MEDS AND NOW OFF MEDS?  

WOULD’IT HAVE BEEN BETTER TO, AT ABOUT $20K/PRISONER/YEAR (??) KEEP HIM IN  LONGER, OR INDEFINITELY?  

DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I SAID EARLIER ABOUT “COLLATERAL DAMAGES” OF DV (OR SIMILAR PHRASE) IN YESTERDAY’S POST?

 

I do have one comment, here:  Something sounds narcissistic in the mix.  This person was supposedly a hell-raiser from an early age, but didn’t get help.  Possib ly being a father was a shot at sanity, but I think that the child support order was probably NOT a good idea for such a person.  It would’ve been better for all to let her do welfare.  She’d probably get off it quicker without the threats to her life than with them.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES IN KANSAS:

http://www.ksag.org/page/domestic-violence  (Attorney General Site):

Domestic Violence

The new Domestic Violence Unit within the Kansas Attorney General’s Office seeks to keep our families safe, stop domestic abuse and end the cycle of violence that threatens our communities.

Online Resources:

(Be sure to catch this “get inside their head” speculation (many didn’t apply to my case, i know):  date:

Source: The Battered Woman by Lenore Walker, Harper & Roe, 1979.  (I’m comforted to know that the Attorney General has the latest psychological profile of batterers and their victims — only 30 years old…..) 

  • Believes all the myths about battering relationships  {{NO one questioned me, and I hadn’t heard these…}}
  • A traditionalist about the home, strongly believes in family unity and the prescribed sex role stereotype  {{The alternative being, punishment….}}  {{BY THE WAY, this now describes the Health and Human Services Dept., in general, on this matter….}}
  • Accepts responsibility for the batterer’s actions  {{SAYS WHO?}}

Resources for Law Enforcement

 

Child Exchange and Visitation Center Program – (CEVC)

This program provides supervised child exchange or supervised child visitation to children and families at risk because of circumstances relating to neglect; substance abuse; emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; domestic or family violence; etc. The state portion of funding can be used to fund the local match required for receipt of federal child exchange and visitation center grants.

Mighta been helpful for Jenifer Lyons . . . . . 

The Essential Elements and Standards of 

Batterer Intervention Programs in Kansas  

The Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer Intervention Programs were developed over 

seven years through the hard work of many professionals who are dedicated to ending 

domestic violence in Kansas.   The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence 

convened the initial work group and wishes to thank the following organizations for their work 

during this process: 

Developed and/or Reviewed by representatives from the following: 

Alternatives to Battering, Topeka 

Correctional Counseling of Kansas, Wichita   {{MAYBE Mr. Lyons got this and didn’t take kindly to it?”}}{{Or, the problem was, he DIDN’t get it?}}

Family Crisis Center, Great Bend 

Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board 

Halley Counseling, P.A., Girard 

Johnson County Office of Court Services 

The Family Peace Initiative, Girard 

Kansas District Judges’ Association 

Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall 

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six 

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence 

Kansas County and District Attorney Association 

Kansas Department of Corrections  

The Mental Health Consortium 

Office of Judicial Administration 

Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center, Hutchinson 

Wyandotte Mental Health Center 

Family Crisis Center, GreatIn 2007, The Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board (GDVFRB), chaired by 

former Attorney General Robert Stephen appointed a subcommittee to review and update the 

Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer Intervention Programs. The GDVFRB adopted 

these as best practice standards in providing batterer intervention programming in Kansas, and 

recommended that the Office of Attorney General implement a training and certification program 

for providers of batterers intervention programs. 

Attorney General Steve Six readily accepted the recommendation to train and certify batterer 

intervention providers in Kansas using the Essential Elements and Standards of Batterer 

Intervention Programs in Kansas.   

For More information about this initiative, contact the  

Director of Victim Services in the office of 

 Kansas Attorney General  

Steve N. Six 

120 S.W. 10th Avenue 

Topeka KS 66612-1597 

785/368-8445

 

“FATHERHOOD  IN KANSAS (google, results 124,000)

 

ACCESS VISITATION IN KANSAS:

Child Custody, Support and Visitation Rights – Kansas Bar 

Visitation, often called “access” is the right of the parent who does not …. Child support and visitation are considered by statute in Kansas to be two 
http://www.ksbar.org/public/public…/child_custody.shtml – Cached – Similar – 


Crisis Resource Center of SE Kansas –

Child Exchange and Visitation Center. 669 South 69 Hwy.  Wichita Childrens Home Child Access. 810 North Holyoke 
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/…/access_visitation…/ks.html – Cached – Similar – 


Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson website  Funding Source, The Federal State Access &Visitation grant program is a formula grant program to states and 
http://www.governor.ks.gov/grants/grants_savppp.htm – Cached – Similar – 

 

  1. Overland Park Visitation Attorney | Leawood KS Parenting Plans 

     

    Visitation & Parenting Plans. Kansas Visitation Lawyer  custody or non- residential custody, your children have the right of access to both parents. 
    http://www.cavlaw.com/PracticeAreas/Visitation-Parenting-Plans.asp – Similar – 


    You will have access, at our Download Site, to the legal forms you need to modify custody-visitation in Kansas

    These forms are the most current versions 
    http://www.custodycenter.com/MODIFYCUSTODY-KS/index.html



    Following an emotional breakup, many moms allow or deny visitation by whim, {{OR WHEN HE THREATENS TO SLIT ONE’s THROAT< CASE IN POINT}}
    leaving the dads without regular access to their children. 
    http://www.kslegalhelp.com/Divorce-and-Family…/Paternity.shtml – Cached – Similar – 



    YES, THERE WAS A DIRE LACK OF SERVICES FOR MR. LYONS…

Today’s post is a new blog page: “Lessons from Antioch” (California)

leave a comment »

 

The pages are full of the Dugards and the Garridos; people what answers, and collectively, it appears there’s a need to process the trauma, and put names to the “Who, What When, How and Why?” this happened.

Click on this link:

(As these posts get a little more personal, understand it’s not just for the blogger’s sake but for the bloggers’ hope that another perspective on these things might get heard.)

It triggers trauma, or perhaps it’s thoughtfulness, or perhaps it’s a desire to mention what other mothers have gone through that is different, but of some similar qualities: sudden loss of access to and contact with their sons or daughters, and lack of closure, or time to recover or heal from prior abuse(s).  One can get so acclimatized to abuse, or to repeated violations of personal integrity, that this sort of “alternate reality” becomes  “normal.”  What’ I’m concerned about in this matter is future generations, and what “normal” has become for American women, both growing up and grown-up mothers.

My own father (deceased)  I deduce was told, like many, to “man up,” shut up and step up to the plate when his (wife-beating) father abandoned the household.  Retaliation for even CRYING about the violence, let alone reporting it, was simply part of his youth.  After being locked in a closet for crying initially (so the family lore goes) he went on, and worked hard, educated himself hard, provided well, such that his own children (ALL of them) also got college educated.  I’d say did all right (that’s one adult child’s perspective only; there ARE others), but as the youngest of these, and alone in the house as his marriage disintegrated, I certainly noticed and questioned that, despite the success, he also drank hard too (bottling something else up?), married several times, and, unfortunately, never discussed or addressed any of his own family shortcomings, nor did any of our own adult family actually handle these well, other than by transmitting what I could call UNhealthy family values:  Zero dialogue on THE most important issues of life, a lifelong habit.  Scapegoating.  Tolerance of domestic violence towards, now, more than one member, and clan-like excommunication for anyone who dares to report any of the worst family secrets (and I shudder to think of the ones that haven’t yet come to surface).

My father died suddenly and under circumstances that were not explained to me.  I learned more about him after his death from the Internet than from anyone I was related to.   He has been described alternately as a genius, and modest (a side of him we didn’t know!), and creative.  His mother was devout, and he rejected the concept and existence of God, another family value I myself later rejected, and paid dearly for over the years.  I like to think that, had he realized one of his daughters would go on to marry and be exposed to what his own mother was, I like to think he’d be turning over in his grave, but fact is, I don’t know.  I do know there was a certain sexism, not uncommon for the day and time.  And I do thank him for not following the utterly insane policy that the HHS is nowadays, deciding and enforcing that children need contact with wife-beating fathers, for the good of, I guess, the country (???) and their little lives.

I consider refusal to address violence endorsing it.  They consider it “dwelling on the past,” even when the ostensible past was as recent as last week or last month.  They got that one down, and in order that my children should not know the truth about this family, have endorsed further criminal behavior towards them, and me, and this state, again in the name of “Family.”

It appears that the family law venue is also in the business of telling people to shut up about both their own family secrets (retaliation on custodial parents for reporting abuse in the form of switching the kid to the accused parent!) as well as ITS own secrets, which (as family secrets tend to) includes the financial business deal driving the steamship that’s steamrolling over (well, I could go on and on with that analogy, it’s an apt one) – — that’s steamrolling over the years that SOME families might have otherwise had in peace to recover from the initial trauma, and rebuild a few lives.  Big Brother had a supposedly Better Idea for the country, you know, and so we are to sacrifice the duration of our children’s — well, til they are legally adults — and stay in the system until all the proper tolls have been paid, and “Therapeutic Jurisprudence” has run its course, replacing the former language of right, wrong, crime & punishment, and deterrents for doing it again.  

Which deterrents Phillip Garrido had, but in the words of one of his several kidnapped for the purpose of raping women, (the 1976 woman that got him the 50 year jail sentence, that he served a few years of), it just made him a smarter and wiser criminal.

 

However it’s not the men’s doing this so much as the institutions they create doing this, which frightens me the most, for at least my own children’s futures.  Put against this, is their spirit and, I hope, smarts.  

And the VOLUNTARY donation of the national resources and sort of “conscience” to the federal government.  Kind of like the cycle of rain, rivers flow to the ocean, evaporation, clouds, rain, etc.  The concept is that justice and a better society will somehow rain down on us.

I’m not holding my breath.  

 

However, sometimes this happens when the parents may even know where they are; this happens in the “family court venue.”  

Recent articles talk about how the girls are recovering from trauma, and that’s partly where I started in this new page.  I note a difference of perspective from the experts quoted and what i know about the trauma thing from experience.

I end up talking about the importance of the declaration of independence, and personal defense of boundaries.  And how it MIGHT help if the public were a little less self-delusional, compartmentalized, and dissociative when it comes to US vs THEM and the role of government in kissing all our “ow-ies,” settling our squabbles, raising our young, monitoring our marriages, determining our public visions, and protecting our boundaries.

NO, let’s get back to the foundational principles.  And add women and girls in the mix as citizens, not as items to be devoured or dominated.

If overall, we ALL had less tolerance for unreasonable dominance, I think a lot of partnerships and society would be healthier.  You can force compliance, but you can’t force love, and when force gets into the family business, then we are REALLY in trouble.  And we are.  

I don’t think the culprit is god or godlessness. I don’t think the culprit is men OR women.  I think the loss is of a sense of selves as individuals (socially) and a loss of language — transformational ideology throughout the internet, and our institutions.  

As imperfect, or OK< sexist racist classist (etc.) as those colonists were in the latter 1700s, the three “charters of freedom” still shed light and common sense:

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Constitution
  • Bill of Rights.

 

If we don’t like the middle one, we should change the oath Presidents take on assuming office.  Barring that, we should hold them and every one else in any form of government to the same standard of these 3.  “Consent of the governed” still counts.

So I recommend we start thinking in those terms again, starting with putting some of the terms back into our heads and coming out of our mouths.  Expect a fight, in that matter, though!

That’s all for now.  If you want  straighter talk and fewer words, get it from the street:

http://www.thestreetspirit.org/

On God (Dec. 2006)

3. If God is, whence come evil things? If He is not, whence come good?
BOETHIUS (Roman philosopher 480?-524 A.D.) The Consolation of Philosophy, translated by W.V. Cooper, 1981

4. I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in the world. This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may.  
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., (U.S. clergyman and human rights activist, 1929-1968), “The Most Durable Power,” sermon, Montgomery, Alabama, 6 November 1956

(LIFE LIBERTy and PURSUIT of HAPP(y)NESS, and in that order.  Physical, mental, or spiritual Welfare =/= happiness, but the first can sustain life.    Moral proclamations by government about how to live, how free to be, and what happiness consists of is not the government’s province, it’s ours).

 

On poverty, who are you going to believe? A Harvard Ph.D. or a poor person?

Poor Magazine

 

This stereotype is that poor people can lift themselves out of poverty because, it assumes, they are responsible for their own poverty.   Linda Burnham explained in her opening, the myth in America is that “everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” This myth allows the public to discard “a whole layer of society” who can’t pull themselves up.

Linda spoke of the American economy as both an engine of incredible wealth and an engine of poverty. This engine “creates and recreates poverty everyday in the US and all over the world.” During the war, discussions of poverty have been swept off the table. It is important to connect the war against the poor to the war abroad. Burnham mentioned that Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer, has just been awarded a contract to run the welfare system in Florida. The company, who makes huge profits off of war, will now be making huge profits off of managing Florida’s poor.** In order for a country to subjugate and dominate another population, it has to first dominate its population at home. All you have to do is look at the streets of your city to see that this is being done on an everyday basis.

**This is why I don’t think much about the conversations on solving domestic violence.  IF it were solved, there’d be less cash flow all round, less poverty, and poverty IS an industry!

 

Or Ask the Beat Within

logo

Violence And Material Madness
by Speedy, posted May 18, 2009I think violence comes from people who has a bad life style. They don’t get the good things in life and so they get angry, so they look to robbing and stealing. That’s what gets them in here. So then, when they get in here, their whole life is starting to mess up. And when that happens, they’re in the system. Then they get even more madder because they’re missing out on a lot, so they get to more stealing.

Some people grow up with anger, and some are taught to be mad and act bad. Like some parents say, when somebody hits you, you supposed to hit them back. But sometimes that’s not the right thing to do, so than they get in trouble for what they parents taught them. But when they get home, he or her mom says, “That a’right.” So than they keep getting’ in trouble.

But some violent stuff mostly come from material madness, so they try to steal and stealing ain’t the right thing. You should just get a job, have some money in yo’ pocket and that’s go be you. And if that material thing is really expensive, so that’s when you save up and get that thing for yourself, so than that’s when you see you don’t have to look to stealing. When you don’t have to steal and you see that you don’t have to do that no more.

OR:  (This issue had several letters to President Obama….)

A Letter To The President-
by TAE, posted May 18, 2009Dear Mr. Obama,

I think you should make certain things that keep young black men busy for the weekends, so we could stop killing ourselves. I also think that you should start building new colleges for people who cannot afford that type of money, so they could be something in life to take care of their family, and get the majority of the tax money every year.

I think there should be less education about African-American people and more about other cultures so people wouldn’t have to feel down all the time by hearing the word “Nigger” a lot.

People who’s getting abused in their family should be taken care of in a shelter that provides a little bit of discipline, so they could grow up and succeed in life, and keep innocent people out of the pen.

OR:

Dear President
by Richard, posted May 19, 2009How are you Mr. President? I am writing from Santa Clara juvenile hall. My name is Richard. I am facing a life sentence for kidnapping, attempted murder, carjacking, and 2nd degree robbery. I am 17 years old.

I would like to congratulate you for becoming the 44th President of the United States of America. You inspire me to do many things. It gives me hope to become something I thought I couldn’t be in life no matter what it is. I believe in you, that you are going to make things right in this world. I know when I go to prison I can try my hardest to get my education and other things. I didn’t think I could at first, but with you as President, I have faith.

I know I am in here and might not get out soon, but I know you will be there for those on the outside of these walls. I know you will make a change. I hope the best for you, Mr. President. Thank you for reading this, and I apologize for taking your time.

 

Our Mission

The Beat Within’s mission is to provide incarcerated youth with consistent opportunity to share their ideas and life experiences in a safe space that encourages literacy, self-expression, some critical thinking skills, and healthy, supportive relationships with adults and their community. Outside of the juvenile justice system, The Beat Within partners with community organizations and individuals to bring resources to youth both inside and outside of detention. We are committed to being an effective bridge between youth who are locked up and the community that aims to support their progress towards a healthy, non-violent, and productive life.

 

Regarding recovery from violence (WHICH the Antioch/Dugard articles from today dealt with),

from http://www.Lundy Bancroft.com:

  • Addressing the healing needs of children: There is a wide consensus that children’s recovery from exposure to domestic violence (and from divorce) depends largely on the quality of their relationship with the non-battering parent and with their siblings.20 

Of course this statement runs entirely contrary to the bulk of the “fatherhood” premises and the entire family court venue basically doesn’t validate or practice.

  • Therefore, in addition to safety consideration, court determinations should take into account whether the batterer is likely, based on his past and current behavior, to continue to undermine the mother’s authority, interfere with mother-child relationships, or cause tensions between siblings.

This becomes kind of irrelevant when the court itself does the same things.  My experience is that the past was considered to be a totally blank slate, and therefore any fallout was attributed to whoever it “fell” on.  Extended family influence (which I tried to bring up, and was significant) was ignored.  It was an unbelievably stereotyped reaction.  Possibly the reason I’m writing so much is from the impact of the years of being told POST-separation not to talk about this, or any other subsequent criminal behavior(s).  Oh well . . . 

  • Because children need a sense of safety in order to heal,21 juvenile and family court decisions may not want to include leaving the children in the unsupervised care of a man whose violent tendencies they have witnessed, even if they feel a strong bond of affection for him.

 

So when it typically does, often right after the filing of a civil restraining order, or when divorce is started almost immediately after someone files a protective order, resulting in the “joint custody” “Shared parenting” mindset, then we have a serious values conflict, as I did, in the past, now almost ten years.  A move was made (locally) to extend the initial restraining order time to 5 years from 3. I know I would’ve made it had this happened.  Certain agencies, and entities, made sure this was defeated.  Now that I have time (called unemployment!), I did find out who they were in that case.  

 

If you want straight talk on some poverty, justice, and crime policy issues, again, (although I try, there’s the verbiage issue!), try:  Street Spirit, Poor Magazine, the Beat Within (although that’s getting slicker and slicker since I first saw it),

 

Thanks.  Happy Labor Day (USA).  Unemployment rate _ _ _ _ _???

Labor (or rest) well, we have one more day off in America.  I gave up the concept of seeing a daughter at this time in favor of not fighting that fight until I have some income.  The lack of closure is a constant source of stress.  Closing has to be done right to be safe.  Go figure.  This is one reason I think if women leaving abuse could get a bit of space and time, they could run some great businesses.  It appears that Jaycee/Alyssa both helped her captorS S S S Ss s s s s run a business (not including any horrors she endured IF the brothel rumor was true) and educated her also-imprisoned daughters, the product of her rapes, but nonetheless her DAUGHTERS,  the best she could.  I wish her well and the family that’s now reunited with her.

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

leave a comment »

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

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

Wife Abuse and Child Custody and Visitation by the Abuser

by Kendall Segel-Evans

originally published:
ENDING MEN’S VIOLENCE NEWSLETTER, Fall, 1989

 

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

1992

 

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

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

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

of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism

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

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

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

 

 

 

What is Fair for Children of Abusive Men?

by Jack C. Straton, Ph.D.

 


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

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

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

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

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

(hint:  over $4.5 million)

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

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

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

 

)

Visitation Center 

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


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

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

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

And I do mean BUSINESS model:

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

Download sample report here

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

STRATON, Ph.D., Ct’d…..

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anything below was added earlier)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Foster Parents Arrested Over Missing Boy

AP

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

 

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

 

 

REGARDING “THERAPY” FOR BATTERERS:

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

AS TO THE 1989 ARTICLE (BELOW):

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

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

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

SOURCE — 

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

Note:  “Last updated Nov. 2008”

(More of my comments below, for once!)

 

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

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

 

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

 

<><><><><>

(Best read in the original HTML, but here:

Wife Abuse and Child Custody and Visitation by the Abuser

Kendall Segel-Evans, 1989.

Wife Abuse and Child Custody and Visitation by the Abuser

by Kendall Segel-Evans

originally published:
ENDING MEN’S VIOLENCE NEWSLETTER, Fall, 1989

 

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

 

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

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

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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________

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

 

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

MAIN POINTs?:____________________


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

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

<><><>

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

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

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

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

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

And yes, I repeat, those are myths.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Voices from the even further past, still valid today:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

%d bloggers like this: