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

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Posts Tagged ‘2nd Amendment

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

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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:


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


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.


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.

What kind of choices are THESE for women!?! 1. Marry, legally WIN custody of child from former partner, and possibly die, possibly with others. 2. Due to “unhealthy alliance (marriage?),” Get a domestic violence restraining order and possibly die. 3. DON’T seek a domestic violence restraining order, and possibly die.

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Or, 4. like I did

a.  Obtain a domestic violence restraining order,  in hopes NOT to die.

b.  See ex given almost immediately (Search this blog for “Access Visitation Grants” or “SAVP”) liberal, unsupervised overnight visitation.

c.  Comply with it, consistently, and try to insist he does also

d.  After warning authorities and all involved of one’s concern about abduction, (and seeking child support enforcement), have them abducted an overnight unsupervised visitation to nearly permanently (or permanently) lose contact with them.

That at least beats some of the ALTERNATE version of Choice 4 (Obtain a Restraining Order)

4.d.1  REISER:  YOU go “MIA” on an unsupervised visitation exchange of the children, and show up years later (as part of a plea bargain of DA’s with husband who murdered you, with kids present), a few (less than 6) feet under — Google “Hans Reiser,”  only a moderate tweak of too many others to categorize, where MOM was either murdered, or an attempt was made to murder her, during an exchange.  

4.d.2. CASTILLO, GONZALES, CONNOLLY, OTHERS, SOME OF THEM NOW BEFORE AN INTERNATIONAL COURT:  After warning the courts and others that you feel visitation is unwise (or he just failed to return them at the appointed time), have your children drowned, shot, hung, or gassed to death – on an overnight visitation.  Note, like some of the driving theories behind families, this is now international in scope.

4.d.2.a.  Possibly go homeless from inability to retain work after so many years in the system, and so much prolonged exposure to stress and trauma that chronic PTSD, plus the unstable job history renders one unemployable.  

(I know currently two women who became homeless after the custody switch following domestic violence, and many more who are impoverished and unemployed, but thankfully not yet homeless).  


There are endless varieties of option 4, and sequential consequences to it, none of them, for the most part, helpful for the children, or society at large, so long as the current AFCC-run, Mediation-focused, due-process eradicating family law system continues to be the next step after domestic violence restraining orders.  The venue, players, and stakes just get higher, if this be possible, than when they were originally.  And are likely to remain so until one of these 3 possible consequences follows, at which point, there simply is no more money, or press, or government program to be squeezed out of the situation, just possibly a few press headlines for the first one below:

1.  Someone is killed.

2. Someone, or both parents — and their allies — are destitute.

3. All children have turned 18.




Some readers may  wonder why the motto (top right, button) on this blog reads:

Not a private matter —

 why “family” “law” hurts us all

Just another two sunny Mondays in Sunny California

illustrate the under-publicized dangers of actually

WINNING in court:


1.  Under, “win custody and possibly die”:

Monday, 07/06/09  San Jose

No independence week for her:



Bitter Ex Loses Custody, so “Wins” with a Gun.

THEIR Daughter, Her StepDad, the Neighborhood, and everyone else involved, LOSES.

Two reported dead at San Jose townhome after shooting and hostage situation

By Mark Gomez and Lisa Fernandez 


Mercury News

  • Shortly after 8 a.m. Monday, a neighbor bleeding from a gunshot wound ran by Anthony Gallardo’s San Jose townhouse shouting that a man had shot his wife in the arm and taken her hostage.
  • A relative who asked not to be identified said Coffman was wounded in the earlobe by a gunman who had entered his home and taken his wife hostage.    Gallardo let the neighbor and a hysterical 9-year-old girl into his garage to call police.
  • The woman had recently won a drawn-out and bitter custody battle with her ex-boyfriend over the 9-year-old girl, the relative said. 
  • That was how a  5 1/2-hour standoff started in the upscale Montecito Vista townhouse development Monday. It ended when San Jose police, failing to make contact with the gunman, entered the townhouse and found the bodies of a man and woman.
  • Police declined to identify the victims but said the shooting appeared to have stemmed from “a family dispute.
  • Damon Cookson, manager of an evacuated mobile home park near the townhouse, said mobile home park residents were let back into their homes at 2:45 p.m.
  • Police had evacuated homes in the townhouse complex and a mobile home park located next door so quickly that some left their homes shoeless, without money or cell phones. Other residents were picked up by friends or relatives so they didn’t have to stand outside in the sun.

According to the “Healthy Marriages and Responsible Fatherhood” advocates, she did the right thing.  She had a man in the home and was married to her; possibly she ran across one of their ubiquitous classes and, or had a religious conversion, and  realized that having children with boyfriends (as opposed to committed and financially self-supporting, faithful spouses — like, say, Steve McNair?) was not the upright thing to do for herself, health, or her daughter.  Perhaps there was even a child support order in place on the Dad, which may or may not have contributed to the bitterness of the divorce.  THAT 9 YEAR OLD GIRL WAS IN A HETEROSEXUAL 2-PARENTS, MARRIED HOUSEHOLD.  HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES WOULD’VE HAD  NO ISSUES OR INTERVENTIONS IN PLACE FOR THIS HOUSEHOLD.


History of domestic violence, stalking, or other criminal activity, or NO history of domestic violence, stalking or other criminal activity, her attempt to pursue child support on behalf of the child, the answer is:  YES.  Being stuck in family court is rough on everyone.  Rules of evidence are weakened in this venue (See link in my last post), making hearsay accusations easier.  Psychology reigns, and there are people who profit from this.  Money trades hands for sure.  

YES, in the fathers rights vs. feminists (supposedly this is the war) climate overall, it was probably predictable, though maybe not perhaps not the timing of it.

Will people sit up and take notice, and change policies because of this death?

I doubt it.

She was married to Coffman, who texted the relative short updates all day long.  The woman was a respiratory therapist at a local hospital.

(More detailed background story, and link, on this case at bottom of today’s post)


This case was not a week old before another one in Northern California hit the press, and the late-night TV stations:

2.  Monday, 07/13/09Novato (not including multi-county Amber alert)

File Under, “Win a temporary domestic violence restraining order, and possibly die, leaving your infant with Child Protective Services,

after she experiences a nice little kidnapping.”

(Did the infant witness her mother being beat to death with a baseball bat also?)

Actually this was a SUNDAY, and the father was caught, apparently on Monday.  Good thing, being as  he was a murderer, son of a murderer, a child-stealer, his brother had a drug habit and he himself was in the family porn industry (makes one question the advisability of the match, for sure).  I wonder if Access Visitation Grants funding would’ve come into play under THIS one.  Maybe when he’s been in prison long enough, they will come after him to make contact with his daughter, after all, there IS a plague of fatherlessness, and he WAS (apparently) his little girl’s father.

Which is likely what he was thinking when he killed the Mom and kidnapped her, too.  How DARE that woman separate me from my kid and accuse me of violence!  I’ll show her what violence is!

I cannot stand to read every report on this one…


Porn King’s Son held in Baseball-Bat Beating Death


NOVATO, Calif. — A 1-year-old girl was safely recovered early Monday and her 27-year-old father in custody after he allegedly brutally beat the girl’s mother to death with a baseball bat, authorities said.

He was suspected of beating Danielle Keller several times with a baseball bat before fleeing with the girl — who was celebrating her first birthday — and threatening to kill any law enforcement agents who came into contact with him, according to police.


The baby has an age.  The murderer kidnapper father has an age.  Is there any particular reason why the Mom in this story doesn’t merit one?

Family members told KTVU that there was a history of domestic abuse and restraining order had been issued against Mitchell in both San Francisco and Marin. Keeler’s mother, Claudia Stevens, said Mitchell had stormed into her Novato home three weeks ago and threatened violence.    He also had been making threatening phone calls, she added.


…And this did not result in his IMMEDIATE arrest and incarceration for violation of restraining order WHY?

Mom didn’t know?  Courts didn’t function?  Mother still traumatized, didn’t register the importance of this?  Police were called on the violation, but didn’t do anything?  Police weren’t called? Police reported, but no one prosecuted?  No precedent that this was a danger sign existed?

3 weeks.  Hmmm.  Was the case was in family court?  Had they been to the mediator yet?  Did the mediator say to them, as the mediator did to ME (shortly after I filed domestic violence restraining order with kickout, AFTER the violence had escalated to the guns, knives, serious injury phase,putting this “family matter” at a clear domestic violence, felony, not misdemeanor)  “just peaceful communications about the (children)” — and totally failed to specify:  Place of exchange.  TIME of exchanges around holidays.  Or child support, resulting in the soon thereafter need to resort to welfare, until I could rebuild some income.)  

Excuse me.  File under,

Another needless death, another burden on California taxpayers, another traumatized little girl,

family, and neighborhood”

(I imagine it also might be filed under, don’t hook up with men involved in the porn business.  What are women, desperate these days?  Was she attracted to his testosterone?  There are down sides of too much of that, I suppose….)

This is a cruel thing to say, but I am searching about for WHY this bloodshed just doesn’t stop, no matter how many policies or laws are in place.  There HAVE to be a few consistent reasons.  Added to my concerns are, why is that our nation is raising  — or inhabited by — so many dysfunctional adults of criminal nature.  

Perhaps the problem is with the concept of the Nation (as opposed to individual families) raising them.  But, as I say sometimes, this is a family law blog, not an education blog.  Perhaps the problem is religion, as I KNOW this is a factor in many domestic violence cases.  Perhaps the problem is LACK of religion (morality / common sense // ethical behavior).  Perhaps the problem is an alienated populace — from each other as well, except within the various cliques.  Perhaps the problem is fatherhood vigilanteeism (actually, I think this is VERY close to the truth, and filed, at least in part, under religion).  Perhaps the problem is that reaction against feminism, AND against the perceived lack of religion nationwide, breeding neo-con and worse versions of what went before.

OH — PERHAPS it’s that we don’t teach women how to defend themselves, or that this is a feminine and desireable life skill.

PERHAPS it’s that we don’t teach women boundaries, and how to defend themselves.

PERHAPS it’s that WE think someone else is teaching or doing something else that, in former centuries, “we” had to do ourselves.  Like, raise and prepare food, learn to read, teach our kids to read, and so forth.


Amber Alert Novato, Search Results 48,000

Perhaps some of these will telll how she ended up with the dude…., that, for a first birthday celebration, clubbed Mama, to death with a baseball bat.  
Last week’s femicide/suicide?  
Old news:  Only 600 results

Brewer, Victoria E. & Derek Paulsen (1993, November). A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Findings on Uxoricide Risk for Women with Children Sired by Previous Partners. Homicide Studies, 3(4), 317-332.

Bunting, Helen. (2008, February 19). Women and Daughter Killed in Chile’s Latest Femicide. The Santiago Timeshttp://www.santiagotimes.cl/santiagotimes/news/feature-news/woman-and-daughter-killed-in-chile-s-latest-femicide.html 

Bunting, Helen. (2008, February 6). Femicides in Chile: 10 So Far This Year; Three in 24 Hours. Santiago Times, http://www.santiagotimes.cl/santiagotimes/news/feature-news/femicide-chile-10.html 

Bunting, Helen. (2008, January 24). Three Femicides Recorded So Far in 2008. http://www.valparaisotimes.cl/content/view/296/1/ 


And the well-known, and still not part of policy in family court matters, studies by Jacquelyn Campbell:

  • Campbell, Jacquelyn C. (2004, December). Helping Women Understand Their Risk in Situations of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(12), 1464-1477.
  • Campbell, Jacquelyn, Carolyn Block, & Robin Thompson. (1999). Femicide and Fatality Review.  Next Millennium Conference: Ending Domestic Violence. http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/184570.pdf
  • Campbell, Jacquelyn, Nancy Glass, Phyllis W. Sharps, Kathryn Laughton & Tina Bloom.  (2007, July).  Intimate Partner Homicide: Review and Implications of Research and Policy.  Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 8(3), 246-269.


Oh, Mea Culpa.  The word “femicide” is for a specialized field of study.  Maybe it’s under “homicide/suicide.”  Better also be more specific, since “homicide/suicide” would jam my software again, too large.

San Jose homicide/suicide— Google results


Was THIS one avoidable?  Answer:  YES!

“San Jose man recounts murder-suicide that left wife dead.”

Mercury News, 07-10-09 8:49am updated

The couple had long been leery of Liang and worried he could be capable of violence. A 2003 stalking charge was dismissed against Liang for threatening to kill the two of them, even though Coffman said neither he nor his wife were called as witnesses.

Ying He and Liang came to the United States from China in 1999, Coffman said. They had a baby girl in the Bay Area on June 14, 2000. Liang sent the girl to live with his wealthy parents in Guangzhou, and because Ying He had pending immigration status, she couldn’t freely travel between the countries.

In 2006, Ying He discovered her daughter and Liang were living in Southern California. She also discovered, Coffman said, that her ex-boyfriend, a gambler, was short on cash.

“They made a deal,” Coffman said. “Brandi said she’d give Nelson some money and he said he’d give her their daughter.”  {{NO CONTACT WITH MOM FOR SIX YEARS…..}}

But Liang reneged on his part of the deal, Coffman said, and disappeared with the girl. Coffman and his wife hired an attorney to find Liang and fight for full custody. After about two years, Liang and the girl surfaced again in Southern California. In March, Liang didn’t pick his daughter up from school one day, and police reports show Liang told school officials in Arcadia that he no longer wanted to care for his child. He was soon arrested and pleaded no contest to child endangerment. The girl was put in state care


Let’s get that timeline again:

2000 — baby born

Shortly thereafter — Dad sends baby away, no contact with mother.

2003 Dad found stalking and threatening to kill Mother AND her new husband.  (SOUND FAMILIAR?)  Doesn’t apparently even make the DA’s radar, although there are anti-stalking laws in California, and stalking has been listed for many years among lethality indicators. Perhaps he also had some concept of maybe extorting the new couple (in re: gambling habit?).

Also (sounds like my own case in this regard), stalking as seen as irrelevant to child’s welfare.  Dad retains custody, and this couple is not really on the map, or the child, legally speaking??

Unclear (here) whether they still thought daughter was in China (no mail or phone contact?)

2006 – child is located, and mother and new husband invest money and time attempting to get her in their household.

Father receives money in exchange for daughter, obviously they were trying to settle out of court.  Father agrees, takes money, and doesn’t turn over daughter.  Possibly the FBI should’ve been involved here?

2008?– Father, changing his mind again, abandons daughter (note:  that he sent his daughter back to China MIGHT be an indicator he didn’t want custody, right?) and the state picks her up.  It MIGHT be deduced from the court records, by “the state” that a parent who wants the daughter, and is in a stable situation, exists.  However, that parent was a mother….

2009 – April.  State figures it out, and gives child back to mother.  Child-endangering, stalking Dad still has visitation rights:

Liang still had visitation rights and weekly phone calls.


Why doesn’t that surprise me?  You still in favor of shared parenting, frequent visitation, fathers — ANY fathers — return day?  If not, find out which Congressmen (and if any women) voted for this in 1998 and 1999 in the U.S., and write them why they should re-think the resolution — what WAS that about, opting for population control by homicide/suicide??

Which tells you about family court in California:  Far be it from Family Law Judges to notice that trivialities such as sending kid back to China, where her own mother couldn’t nurture or see her for YEARS, while staying here and racking up a gambling debt, stalking and threatening to kill the mother and her new partner, and child endangerment by abandonment, should be taken into account in designing a custody/visitation order!


On Sunday, the day before the shooting, Liang called to speak with his daughter, asking her strangely specific questions about her schedule. Coffman believes Liang was casing the family for the attack.


My question:  WHEN did Coffman or his wife hear of those strangely specific questions?  Was the daughter alarmed?  DId no one catch the anomaly.  That instinct of “this is strange, isn’t it?” can save lives — in a family, even if the state misses the boat…  I suspect they hadn’t processed that information yet, and didn’t think that Liang would act so quickly.

ALWAYS play it safe!

I see we bloggers are going to have to work harder at getting the news out:  Before entering family court situations with difficult custody battles, get martial arts training — and exerrcise your second amendment rights.


ENDNOTE:  China is known for not valuing girl babies as much as boy babies.

 But the U.S. ought to have understood when children are viewed as poker chips in a high-stakes custody battle.

I think this one might be more gambling debt as much as jealousy contributing to the problems



“Wife fought off Pa. man killed in shootout.” Maybe–MAYBE, Forget the Restraining Orders, Remember 2nd Amendment? Or, toss a coin…

with 2 comments


Part II of II on “Responsible Citizenhood” is in labor.  

The waters have broken, and there is a flood of information and synthesis of concepts gushing forth on many topics, and my brain is dialating.   They will have to be posted in stages.

Translation:  I am being a Responsible Citizen (see prior posts) and exploring who is my Congress, the Constitution, who is funding whom, and finding all kinds of juicy information on whose idea was it to reinstitute a national religion called Fatherhood, funded by all of us.  I have also located a few new (to me at least) search tools How many thoughts have been provoked!

But, this (relatively) recent news alert reminded me, that Part of Responsible Citizenhood might entail learning how to handle a gun, and being willing to use it during a home invasion.  Even a home invasion by an estranged husband:


Wife fought off Pa. man killed in shootout

by Michael Rubinkam

Let’s look at this headline again.  This woman fought him off, and neither she, nor any of her offspring got killed.  If you look up the articles and read the details, she made a mistake, which, if you read below and see how WIGGLY Pa considers the “PFAs” when it comes to what they mean, is almost understandable.  But once the situation became clear, she took QUICK action to protect her children, get free, and call for help.  

This is not, folks, how it often plays out.  Who knows whether, God, fortune, or luck played a role, but we DO know this woman didn’t stop to debate, and she also didn’t panic and go dysfunctional.  May I propose that this woman listening to her INSTINCTS and acting on them may have prevented a higher body count.  LESSON ONE:  Don’t jerk around with someone who has just crossed a boundary.  Don’t second guess instinct.  And (next time) don’t compromise one INCH on an existing protective or restraining order — it sends a mixed message, and could lead to this.

May I propose something else?  I suggest that lawmakers and courts consider that women are people too, and smarten up to having us believe the fiction and play the slot games with any intimate partner who has been battering us in the home, or threatening to, etc.  May I suggest that instead of — or in addition to — DISarming him, they somehow ARM her, and if she’s not trained how to do so, get her some professional responsible training.  It could be mace, it could be pepper spray, but constitutionally, it could be a gun, too, at least in the home.  

Given the options, she has hope, luck, prayer, and walking around the neighborhood with her instincts on alert, her antennae up, and then trying to also rebuild a life.   “LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.”  Now what was that first one again?  

Detriment:  May give a whole new picture of “motherhood” to “fatherhood” people who don’t believe women should be allowed to separate, do not have equal rights, and VAWA should go back to where it came from.      

In this above statement, I omitted the comma between “fatherhood” people and who don’t believe.  This is generous on my part, because I am conceding that there could be people all excited about and promoting fatherhood who DON’T believe these things.  In fact, I don’t really believe this.  I think that what the “fatherhood” movement is about is that the genetic / gender / biological composition of a family and household (one man, one woman, both married) is more important than the character or behavior of such families.  I am not the only person who believes this.  Some data is here (hover cursor for my comment.  Note:  This dates to 2002, almost 7 years ago.      .http://www.canow.org/fam_report.pdf. 

Now, when I married, I picked someone of the opposite gender, rather than someone of the same gender and, when it came to wanting children, either adoption or a sperm donor.  This is probably because of how I like my sex, and the other versions didn’t concern me.

However, when I realized that my opposite-gender person’s main concern was my gender and household function ONLY, and not me as a person — and began physically punishing me for showing up as a person like him, and expecting to pursue some personal goals, not only the laundry/cleaning/nursing/f____ing role (in addition to supporting him in his business, and — if I wanted necessities — also working myself in and/or outside the home for pay) — I made a determination that behavior was the determinant, not gender, or a two-parent status.  The MAIN reason I did this was because we had children, and it was a damn lousy role model they were being exposed to.  The children were of my gender, and they were being taught how this one was somehow inferior and equipped with fewer rights, if any, and no boundaries or ability to say NO without taking retaliation for it.  THAT’s a lousy role model, and he got himself evicted, not after several warnings.  

I suppose you would like me to get to the story here, how THIS woman saved her life, her children’s life, but alas, not the pursuing policeman’s life, or her husband’s (although I lay that one as his responsibility — no one forced him to threaten his wife with a gun or kidnap his child, or place himself above a clear law he knew was in place upon him).


YATESVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Hobbled by a broken ankle, the estranged wife of a man killed in a shootout with Pennsylvania state troopers managed to fight him off as he threatened her with a gun before he kidnapped their 9-year-old son, the woman’s friend said.


The order of events is a little jumbled in the paragraph.  The AP wanted it out fast, I guess, and so we get this:

  • A. Her ankle was broken
  • B. She was estranged from her husband
  • C.  He was killed by PA state troopers in a shootout (i.e., he was shooting back).
  • D.  1.  She fought him off 2.  while he threatened her with a gun.
  • E. He kidnapped their 9 year old son.

Having been through a FEW of the events above (not including the shootout), let me put it, I suspect, chrono.

  • B.  Cause of broken ankle — don’t know and probably not relevant.
  • D.2 He threatened her with a gun
  • E. THEN (having been fought off), he grabs their son and dashes off (probably in a car).
  • C. State troopers, apparently, caught up with him, and I’ll gol-dang bet he shot first.  Predictably, they shot back. 
  • Thank God the state troopers had some firearms training, so HE got killed, not his wife and not the son he kidnapped, this time.

First of all, let’s deal with the grammar dishonesty (gender bias?) with B.  “She was estranged from her husband” which has an element of the truth, and distorts the actual context.  This is such common press practice in domestic violence homicide (or incident) reporting:

LEGALLY, it appears he’d acted first, and she had responded with a “protection from abuse” order.  Unless the news disagrees with the judge that is THE most relevant factor in the case, apart from this incident.  It most certainly is prime factual,  legal and emotional dynamic CONTEXT of the incident.  “She was estranged” could’ve been, she got tired of his dirty socks around home, she wanted to pursue another affair, or he did; he refused to work OR was an alcoholic, she was bored, he was using drugs or alcohol, or they had other “irreconciliable differences.”  “She was estranged” already must minimized the truth.  If a protective order was in place, and these reporters are not aware enough yet that this produces LOTS of hot news leads in the form of crime reporting, they need to review the job descriptions — or their editors do.  (To tell the truth, I didn’t notice this the first time through the story myself, although I have always thought it an odd phrase).  

B.  THEY were estranged.  or, better,

B.  “In _____ (date) (or how recent), she obtained a PFA (say it:  “protection from abuse“) order (in what court, or county), forcing him to leave the family home.

It is so typical of abusers, abuser enablers, and for that matter, the bulk of the family law system, to IGNORE THE ACTIONS and TALK ABOUT WHO “WAS” WHAT RATHER THAN WHO “DID” WHAT.  IT”S PSYCHOLOGY NOT EVIDENCE.  THIS IS NO ACCIDENT!

From the 2002 California Family Court Report (link above):  (under “Loss of Due Process”)

A. Lack of procedural and evidentiary due process,since the Family Code was 

separated from the Code of Civil Procedure and the Evidence Code in 




Alas (and the emphasis of other articles on this event) — – Mad Dad was not in a compromise mood, and shot at responding officers.  Terribly, he got a cop, too. Again — and these officers WERE brave, and they DID stop a kidnapping in process.  

That’s about a recipe for suicide by cop.  Whether or not he had thought THIS far ahead, one thing is clear:  He’d pre-meditated far enough ahead to bring a gun and point it at his wife.   

I experienced a decade of being exceedingly afraid of my husband in the home, being traumatized, and eventually being sure enough (because he talked about it often enough, fantasizing about this, and telling me, so, or otherwise bringing it up casually in conversation:  “I’ll just have to kill you.”  At this time, both our children were under 8 years old.)  This has caused economic devastation upon me, my daughters, and people associated with both him, and us.  It has wasted taxpayer funds year after year (in family law, where our case shouldn’t have been at the time) and taken almost 20 years of the prime working years of my life and trashed them repeatedly, under threats, stalkings, intimidations, sudden appearances at my home, and in general, one hell of a mess.  He is still only working part-time, if that, doesn’t pay taxes (I don’t because I don’t earn enough), he is not financially independent yet and, because of this and unfortunately, neither am I.  Our state is broke (supposedly) which is headline news, and is getting people very short-tempered in general.

I wonder, and I DO reflect — SUPPOSE I HAD FOUGHT BACK, AND NOT ONLY THAT, THREATENED BACK:  IF YOU EVER DO THIS AGAIN, YOU’LL BE MISSING A BODY PART.  OR DEAD!    And then dropped everything until I had learned self defense.

Or, I had told been less committed to my marriage vows, and dumped his ass out on the street — in other words, brought it to a head earlier.  WHY did I not do that?  (a number of reasons:  #1.  VAWA and awareness of DV laws was not commonplace.  #2.  I’d never had a similar experience where I had to set a boundary with a violent man before, and wasn’t acquainted personally with such situations.  #3.  self-defense and handling a gun is not a typical part of the public school education, and not exactly promoted, as in, exercising 2nd Amendment rights, in general.  We are not hunting our food, but buying it, for the most part (or growing it).  I was not raised in urban areas, where awareness of guns and gun violence was commonplace, but in more rural; people shot deer, or sometimes squirrels, not people!  I also wasn’t raised on TV.  

School rewards taking orders and obeying rules, at least theoretically.

And that’s not “feminine” behavior.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



Maybe the fatherhood guys are “right.”  Maybe  (from that perspective) if men are not needed to provide for and protect women,and defend them from other suitors, stalkers, or rapists, or to help them, particularly when they are more vulnerable, pregnant and raising young kids, the differences between the sexes (as to functions in life) would so blur, that, well, the drive to achieve and provide would diminish, the wheels of the economy would crumble (and a lot of faith institutions also), and life just wouldn’t have that same glow, or afterglow.

Without the primal urge, there would be no skyscrapers (9/11?) or cathedrals, and no empires, multi-national or otherwise.  Maybe.  life just wouldn’t have that zest and drama.  Newspapers would need to find other ways to sell the products, if there weren’t crises to report. 

Well, that’s a larger topic.  But it seems a natural question:  If the nuclear family ain’t what protects, and provides for its young, the only alternative is for equality of income.  NOW, Papa Obama and the majority of  Head Start, Zero to Five, Administration for Families and Children, (sorry sir to pick on you, this wasn’t your idea to start with) might be out of work.  ONLY if the ONLY way to produce income is a “job” that MUST be done outside the home, ONLY then is it essential to have the other functions of raising a family:  care, daytime feeding, and education — to be done by someone else, institutionally.  

However the people so vigorously promoting this solution ONLY (and highly suspicious of, say, the homeschooling option which is a lot more fluid, lets mothers network and find each other’s long suits, collaborate locally to find the best teachers (including some of each other, as well as hired professionals), and fire the lousy ones — now THAT’S a plus) and actually have a better understanding of who their children are, and possibly better relationships with them, not rigidly defined ones) — these people — and I coudl show you, or you could look for yourself — are THEMSELVES either inheriting wealth, or have sufficient assets to go fund ggovernment policy, publicize and drive various programs through and teach THEIR young how to own businesses and produce passive cash flow, themselves.

Then who would work in the businesses they own?  There has to be a steady population — and the majority of the population — that does NOT know how to live independently from the government, or the “employee” situation — or life would, well, it just wouldn’t work right.  Who would work the factories, produce the many, many terrific products we enjoy in this country, the material prosperity, the varities of fast foods (and agencies pronouncing that fast foods are bad for you), and all that?

(Along with the domestic violence kidnappings, suicides by cop, traumatized kids, and sometimes dead people, that go along with when this doesn’t work out so well…..).

Well, that dialogue is what I get for thinking.  It’s Monday night quarterbacking, I guess, “what-if” scenarios.  I cannot turn back the clock in my own case.  The fact is, if I hadn’t been who I was, probably the genetic and particular DNA of my two wonderful daughters (who are probably not reading this, yet), and with whom I am NOT spending any more time, would not have been born.  I have already determined (and she’s spoken with me recently) that woman number two was targeted for a certain gullibility and in a certain venue, for use to get the kids away from me.  He’s out on the loose again, troubling me, because I’ve been contacted, and her, because of what that indicates.  

HOWEVER, the rest of this post, below, shows how the local Women’s Resource Agency describes why women should keep coming, keep asking for “PFA” orders and keep playing the odds, because, it’s after all, only about ONE out of THREE cases that violates these orders, and “NOT ALL” do “WHAT HE DID.”

Well, in school, 66% is not a passing grade.  Last I heard, 70% was.  We are talking 66% success rate when the other 33% (add your decimal points later) might get killed and result in this.  We’re not talking about graduating from high school, but living out a normal lifespan, and not in terror, trauma, or having to before a child is ten, witness a homicide.  Or two.  Or being kidnapped.  About officers NOT having to make that sacrifice, and THEIR children lose a Daddy also.  How is THAT “promoting responsible fatherhood.”

I think that the time of restraining orders may have passed, and that we probably need to focus on both attitudes, cultural values and self-defense techniques (including weapons if necessary) that make it ABSOLUTELY clear that any such violation of a personal boundary in the form of a HIT will be met with equal, and to make a point, slightly greater responding force to emphasize the unacceptability of it.


I think local communities will have to figure out processes, not “states” they wish to achieve.  And this requires being realistic about restraining order and a valid understanding of what abuse IS.

I have one:  ABUSE is violating personal boundaries (and, most time, state criminal laws) in order to establish a “giving orders” situation between what should be intimate partners.  As such, it qualifies as “two-year-old” behavior and should result in the adult who has regressed to it, and thinks that 2009 is, in fact, closer to 1920 (when women finally got the vote) should be treated like the two-year-old mentality of, the world should conform to you when you don’t like it, without your submitting to some process of negotiation, compromise, or humility.  I would like to add that, as I recall this, I always wondered why our daughters didn’t go through the famous “Terrible Twos” {is this an Americdan term only?  I don’t know…}  rebellious stages. I remember this at the time also.  It could be that we weren’t dumping them off in daycare, where they needed more attention, oir it just possibly could’ve been that we had a much larger Terrible Two in the home, in the form of their father, and they knew this.

Only when it’s UNacceptable throughout society to beat women, and terrorize anyone, will this stop.  The only acceptable reasons for doing anything like this in defense of life’s essentials — and these do not include maintaining a status quo in which the abuser’s world is perfect, and his ego cannot handle rejection, the need to apologize, or occasional value conflicts.  The heart of any really good intimate relationship would do real well to closely resemble what’s written in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, which most of us (and our legislators) have apparently forgotten.

I happen to be a Christian, and my faith tells me about when this will, and will not happen.  I have had to often re-evaluate the duality (us/them) and domination (Christ came once and was humbled/crucified voluntarily, but will return in authority as king and by force put down all rebellion, bringing in world peace), and I assure you, in the many, MANY years I have been around and working (through music) in several faith institutions, the music is terrific, but within white (in particular, but not only) Protestantism, nondenominational especially, equality of women is “anathema” and these places are producing wife-beaters and wife-killers.  They do not communally or prominently acknowledge the laws of the land in their hearts, and many (those who do not ordain women, or and hate even the concept of them in leadership, let alone of gays, or lesbians) , despite sometimes sheltering a battered woman, or helping her (i’ve been helped a few times recently), they will NOT stop sheltering the doctines and attitudes that produce more batterred women, and more overentitled men.  this is behind the “fatherhood” movement, and it produces a form of social schizophrenia, in which we have a public school system where “God” is not allowed, or prayer, yet public policy where “faith-based” advice and policies are promoted.  Well, which is it, folks?

That’s all the psycho- social-analysis for this post.  What’s below (written earlier) relates more directly to this particular domestic violence double-homicide, kidnapping, assault, and tragedy which began with “she was estranged,” and a look at the neighborhood response.

What probably kept that woman and her children alive was her willingness to fight back.  What put her at risk was compromising the existing restraining order (including drop off at curb), and (possibly) her not having the means or intent to, at ALL times since it was issued, NEVER compromise it AT ALL.  ONE means might be for her husband to have understand that she understood her 2nd Amendment right to self-defense, and having it in the home, AND her willingness and intent to act on it, if even 3 yards of  a restraining order was violated.  This sends a clear message, and would put that man back in a place to reconsider whether he wants to test the limits, or can talk or plan, or manipulate his way out of obeying that order.  

The courts need to do more to communicate this necessity to women who have just separated.  They need to understand that NOW, it’s OK to take a personally aggressive stance and back it up with a willingness to act if boundaries are violated.  That IS, after all, WHY the “United States of America” is no longer a British colony, or any other colony (so far), and we might do well to keep communicating this principle to our young, boy and girl alike. Not to belabor the point, but our schools absolutely do NOT, do this at this point, and I say, intentionally so. You can’t “manage” people so well who understand their self-worth.

However Susan Autenreith may have been raised, at the crucial time, she found something within herself to say No, and stand up to this.  Having made a mistake, she didn’t condemn herself or try to talk out of the situation.  Gun meant FIGHT BACK, YELL DIRECTIONS TO HE KIDS, &  CALL FOR HELP.


How Logical Is This?

~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About that MOM?  

Let’s go chrono, OK?

Not all (female) readers have been through the process of, say,

(1) childbirth,

(2) being assaulted, threatened, intimidated, battered, and in short abused, or other situations which tell you “Danger! Danger!,”

(3) filing and getting a PFA (domestic violence restraining, or etc.) order with kickout, indicating “Danger!  Danger!” to all and “STAY AWAY!” to Dad, (and, you can’t buy guns, either, or own them), and then 

(4) IMMEDIATELY after these at least actions (applying for a temporary, filing with judge, getting it signed, serving the husband (which then in effect throws him out of the house in some manner), going to court for a hearing to have it made permanent, having it made “permanent” (i.e., facing the ex in that court hearing), and meanwhile attempting to explain this to one’s children in terms they can understand why he can’t live here anymore, then — with a restraining order in effect — typically the NEXT stop is the mediator who will then proceed to act as though there wasn’t really, any serious domestic violence (other than, meetings may be separate) and say, “OK, so long as it’s peaceful communications around the children” and then design some visitation plan any other divorcing couple might have, even the most amicable divorces.  Which appears to have happened in this place.

In 1992, Jack Straton, Ph.D. (NOMAS:  National Org. of Men Against Sexism) recommended a cooling off period.

So far, no one has figured this out, evidently.

(5) Agreeing, after this, to a custody/visitation exchange plan which basically has a split personality:  

Hey, he  was so dangerous, you had to get a judge to tell him  to stay away, and order no weapons in the home, BUT . . . .. BUT . . . . . it’s OK to give this same, by now pretty distraught or indignant/upset man access to the fruit of his loins, regularly . . . .  After all, what about a child’s right to bond with both parents?  

This, I say, gives the man, the woman, and the children a mixed message.  I have also learned (the hard way) since, the courts ALSO are getting contradictory messages (and funding) about these matters.  IS domestic violence a crime, or not a crime?  

And so we get cases like the Autenreiths, where Dad didn’t LIKE having that protective order in place, and made this clear with a 9mm.  His girlfriend helped him get a gun.  Again, his girlfriend.

WHICH BRINGS UP THIS POINT:  Telling a man to not own weapons, and get rid of any he does own, doesn’t prevent him — in the least — from grabbing one from a friend who has one (or in this case, a girlfriend buying one for him.  I believe this is called a straw purchase, and laws exist to address this, but still, it points out that generally there is a way around the law for those who intend to find one).


(How long were they separated?  How hard is it for a man with a plan to get around a piece of paper?)

in order to STOP the cycle of abuse which, without intervention, generally does one thing — escalate, until someone is killed, or more than one, 






By Andrew Scott

Pocono Record June 12, 2009

A protection-from-abuse order [“”PFA”] may be just a piece of paper unable to stop the likes of Daniel Autenrieth, the Northampton County man who threatened his wife at gunpoint, kidnapped their son and led police on a high-speed chase that ended in a fatal shootout in Tobyhanna.

{To review:  PFA, then:



The fact remains that most people with PFAs filed against them comply with those court orders and don’t do what Autenrieth did. So although PFAs aren’t absolutely guaranteed to stop someone who’s unbalanced or really intent on doing harm, people who are being physically abused or feel threatened with physical harm in relationships still should apply for PFAs.

{{Perhaps they should also buy a Lotto ticket?}}

That was the message at a Thursday press conference at Women’s Resources of Monroe County in Delaware Water Gap. Women’s Resources is part of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which provides a network of advocacy, legal, counseling, medical and other support services for domestic violence victims.

. . . 

In Pennsylvania, PFA violators can face up to six months in county jail and fines of up to $1,000, depending on the severity of the violation, said Wendy Bentzoni, a detective with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.

If a woman requests a PFA against her husband and he consents to the order’s terms

  •  Being evicted from the home he/she shares with the plaintiff/victim and having no contact with that person.
  •  Being evicted, but being allowed to have contact.
  •  Being allowed to stay in the home as long as there is no physical abuse or threat of physical abuse.

In Pennsylvania, a PFA can be in effect for any length of time up to three years, depending on what a judge rules or what the parties involved consent to in each individual case. If the defendant doesn’t violate the PFA, the order simply expires when its time is up.

In Pennsylvania, a PFA can be in effect for any length of time up to three years, depending on what a judge rules or what the parties involved consent to in each individual case. If the defendant doesn’t violate the PFA, the order simply expires when its time is up.

Of the 450 PFAs granted in Monroe County last year, more than 125 were violated by defendants, Bentzoni said.

{{OK, Let’s look at that.  Suppose it was 150.  150 violated out of 450 is 1 out of 3.  That means for every 2 that WERE kept (as far as they know — by whether or not a violation was reported or not) 1 was not.  How do you like them odds?  Your PFA has a 33.33% of being violated (in which case, see above for potential risk/fallout).  


In some cases, getting a PFA filed against an abuser can worsen the victim’s situation because the abuser sees it as the victim trying to take power away from the abuser{{WHICH IT IS INCIDENTALLY}}, she said. Desperate to retain that power over the victim, the abuser might become even more dangerous.

“Against someone with no fear of the law or jail, a PFA might not be the best action to take,” Kessler said. “In that case, we explore other options with the victim. The goal is to get the victim out of a vulnerable position.”

If the abuser is the sole breadwinner for the victim and their children, fear of losing the abuser’s financial support also might deter the victim from applying for a PFA, Kessler said.


Well, I know in my case it sure delayed getting one.  Often economic abuse can precede physical.

Economic abuse can precedes and enables the physical AND IS PRE-MEDITATED.  If the targeted person can’t afford to get away, or see how they could conceivably do so, they will take their chances staying, possibly.  What a great choice — homelessness or increasing domestic abuse.  

So, it seems to me if we want a less violent world, the most sensible thing would be focus on teaching children and young people how to become economically independent.  In a wonderful contradiction of intent, we DON’T!  The entire public schools system in the U.S.A., for the most part, consists of teaching children how to be submissive and take orders, leave the thinking up to the experts, who will grade them, and prepare them for this:  College, and Jobs.  Not, College and BUSINESSES.  Or College, and understanding the economic principles that would help them become business owners, investors, cash-stream producers, foundation producers, and independent thinkers.  How hypocritical.  

And that includes independent thinking about how to survive financially should they choose to have children, or should they not choose to have children, but set up housekeeping (and sleeping) with a partner that might become sick, injured, or — face it – incarcerated.  They should not have to go nurse off Dad, or Mom, or Big Brother the Welfare State, in this case.  The goal should NOT be lifetime jobs, but lifetime progression towards financial independence.  They cannot do this if they aren’t studying people who have accomplished this, and the basic principles of wealth.

We should also teach them not to let any partner or potential partner disarm them economically — whether it be job, or bank account, or credit, or access to transportation etc.  That any such action is aggression, and dangerous to their welfare, creating an artificial co-dependence.  They should know this going into relationships.  

Now right there, we have a SERIOUS problems.  Many world religions don’t accept this, and are not likely to.  

Well, maybe they should, in the US, then lose their tax-exempt status.  Believe me, I’ve thought of it.  Because if they are contributing to the climate of “It’s OK to dominate a woman by any means (or weapon) that comes to hand, because it makes you more of a man,” then they should have to fork over the taxes that society might need to take care of the resulting mess.

And I’ll tell you another “secret” (not a real secret) — one I’ve been thinking about more recently.  The majority of these institutions are in a co-dependent and domination relationship within their own ranks.  If they didn’t dominate and under-educate them on their own sacred scripts (men and women alike), in the US, at least, many people would not be so dependent on spiritual, social, and emotional nourishment on the weekends and maybe ONE weekday.  But that is another post, and probably, blog.  

We ought to teach, besides, reading math writing, sport and the arts (to put it roughly) the PROCESSES and VALUES OF:

Self-sufficiency, Self-defense, and self-discipline, to the point of in-depth excellence and mastery in one primary area.  With that I believe will come sufficient self-esteem not to enter into too many co-dependent relationships. 


I recommend reading John Taylor Gatto’s short book called Dumbing Us Down:  The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, in which he says, plainly, that the seven lessons he, as a teacher (and at the time NY State Teacher of the Year” actually is teaching is not “relevance” and “interrelationship” of subjects, but the exact opposite.  Specifically, in order from the chapter:  “The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher,” they are:


The next chapter is called the “psychopathic school” after which he details his efforts of getting a little girl who read beautifully out of a class of bad readers.  The girl (reading aloud beautifully) tells him how the administration had explained to her mother that she was, in reality, a “bad reader who had fantasies of being a better reader than she was.”  Then, the author relates how the principal tried the same thing on him:  how was he, a substitute to know whether or not this child could read.

MY EXPERIENCE:  This actually is at the heart of the educational AND the family law system of “experts.”  My “sin” was homeschooling the children, and having fantasies (as do many single mothers leaving abuse) that we could make a sound decision on behalf of our sons and daughter, after we’d made just about the soundest one around — LEAVING the situation!  

Consider this:

Our form of compulsory schooling was an invention of the State of Massachusetts around 1850.  It was resisted — with guns — by about 80% of the Massachusetts population, the last outpost being Barnstable on Cape Cod not surrendering its children until the area was seized by militia and children marched to school under guard.  (p. 25, 


There is more, but as I review those 7 lessons above, I can’t help thinking about the uncommon similarities between abuse — even it’s definitions — and the family law system, as well as the concept of using another abusive system to handle abuse by one person towards another in the presence of children.

Is ALL conflict bad?  No, conflict involving true self-defense, or boundary violations.

Is marriage, or an “intimate partner relationship,” a person as property contract?  A relationship as property contract?  I believe the law calls it a FIDUCIARY relationship.  As such, no one has a right to commit what in other context would be a crime, to protect loss of contact with this former sexual partner, parent of one’s children, children, or the breakdown of a relationship.

WHEN IT GETS TO THE POINT OF PFAs and RESTRAINING ORDERS, the enforcement should be thorough, immediate, clear, and strong.  The dialogue above illustrates why, in practice, it ain’t.  SO the conflicts go on, and escalate.

I have taught lots of children (and adults) in lots of venues and classrooms, and non-class situations.  There are always rules ,and in-progress negotiation about common standards, there is always a dynamic flexibility within the group, there is the matter of consensus and critical mass.

The superb choir that got me going into music was about 40 in number, and we stood in mixed quartets, holding our own parts, produced records, soloists, and in general moved mountains and kicked butt musically.  It was powerful stuff.  We rehearsed almost daily and worked to pay for some of our own needs (including uniforms, painting the room, and going to conferences).  We associated after school (and sometimes before) and in other venues than school; we ate, played, and attended concerts together.

Since then, I have sung in (and sometimes directed) choirs numbering from approximately 12 up to over 100.  The ideal size (and one of the best choirs I was in) was about 18, or very maximum 20, if they were professionals and unified.  I have had a little choir of only 11 do amazing things, because it was small enough to be responsive.

I have always thought it odd that the top ensembles are generally smaller than a typical public school classroom, and many of them not much larger than a large family, with a cousin or two.  It brings out the best when there is a unified goal that is reasonable (but still stretching limits) to the people involved.  The best choirs also were VOLUNTARY, not compulsory.  They chose challenging music (to keep the participants growing) but always taking into account that the audience might not feel so esoteric in general.  They mixed and matched, but they HAD to set a fairly high standard technically and musically – or in portrayal.

How does this relate to the Wife who Fought Back?

The system they were ensared in was too large, and is ruling and prognosticating by “the odds.”  MOST people (translation: men) do not violate the PFAs, after all, just over 125 out of 450 did in this particular area.  Therefore, the women should keep on coming, because what else could they do? It MIGHT not result in this, after all, NOT ALL men do what Mr. Autenreith did.

And we have this growing crisis of “fatherlessness”?  That’s a fatherless family, and it just made a peace officer’s kids fatherless, too.  I wonder what kind of father the nine-year old will make, should he become one.

I think the doctrine is becoming a little self-defeating, if not downright dangerous.  I mean, this is all about the children, right?  It’s all because children in single-parent families are at risk.

Well, yeah, with some vigilantes running around the place . . . . . However, if she’d been armed and determined…

I think we (Responsible Citizens) need to take a serious look at the Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher and ask, is this what we are willing to be taught, as adults, by our elected officials?  I mean, the same values ARE shared, it is the “Hidden Currriculum” overall, I’d say.  And it’s downright un-American, including “parenting classes.”  The government already had a shot at the majority of the children in this country, through the public school system.  If it were my kids, and the teachers failed, I’d go find me a new teacher and system.



This is a system that brooks no competitors.  It allows some, but scoops up any stragglers, and family law is a great place to find them, and weaken them for the snatch.


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