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Posts Tagged ‘IACHR

BMCC Day 3: Hierarchy Behavior @ Mothers’ Conference Derails Problem-Solving.

with 4 comments

Treat this as “news-alert” and not expository blogging today. I think it’s timely and relevant, though.

My post from last year speaks to this:

HAPPY NEW YEAR: What Rhetoric are You: Father, Mother, or Mediator?

There’s a live-stream programming from this year’s Battered Mother’s Custody Conference in Albany, New York, where many people actually acknowledging there IS a problem with custody courts giving custody to “batterers and abusers” exists.

“Houston, We Have a Problem” with DV & Child Abuse in the Family Courts

Here is the Speaker Schedule (on-line, dated 12/2011)

This awareness is NOT revealed by the composition of the recent Task Force of the “Defending Childhood” Initiative, which task force is called “Children Exposed To Violence” and has not ONE representative of, or authority speaking on, the matters of the US Custody courts, although even at the International level (“IACHR”) the USA has been recognized as a consistent violator of women’s human rights specifically in the family courts.

Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence

The Defending Childhood Task Force is composed of 13 leading experts including practitioners, child and family advocates, academic experts, and licensed clinicians. Joe Torre, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, founder of the Joe Torre Safe at Home® Foundation, and a witness to domestic violence as a child himself, and Robert Listenbee, Jr., Chief of the Juvenile Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, will serve as the Co-Chairs of the Task Force.

Seriously: Here’s a list of links from the “DEFENDING CHILDHOOD” D.O.J. site. Take a look at the one called “Engaging Men and Fathers.” Look at its recommendation — this is classic federal protection policy for kids being raped by men. Make sure that Daddy stays involved and has a connection with the children. THis shows up also at “child welfare.gov” sites as I’ve shown before (or, you can simply go look): For active links, go to the DOJ site: “Take Action to Protect Children.”

If you’re a victim of violence in your home, and want HELP right away, call or visit:

National Domestic Violence Hotline 800/799-SAFE 800/787-3224 (TTY)

National Child Abuse Hotline 800/4-A-CHILD 800/2-A-CHILD (TTY)

Tips for Agencies and Staff Working with Youth (PDF)

Tips for Agencies Working With Immigrant Families (PDF)

Tips for Child Welfare Staff (PDF)

Tips for Domestic Violence and Homeless Shelters (PDF)

Tips for Early Childhood Providers (PDF)

Tips for Engaging Men and Fathers (PDF)**

**scroll to bottom, and see “Additional Resources”: several from FVPF (now “Futures without Violence”) and “national family preservation network.”***

“For more information and resources, please contact the Safe Start Center, a National Resource Center for Children’s Exposure to Violence:

http://www.safestartcenter.org 1-800-865-0965 info@safestartcenter.org”

Safe Start Center, Children's exposure to violence, it's everyone's business

Tips for Parents and Other Caregivers (PDF)

Tips for Teachers (PDF)

Safe Start Center Online Toolkits and Guides

Greenbook Initiative’s tools and resources to assist communities with the overlap of domestic violence and child maltreatment.

Child Development-Community Policing Program

*** “National Family Preservation Network” looks like yet another nonprofit (started ca. 1994?) I hadn’t of aught its influence yet. When I spoke yesterday about a (grand)mother who said that the basic function of CPS, AFTER child molestation has been confirmed, and under the “Welfare and Institutions Code,” was not to help the child, but to reunify the family? . . .. This seems to verify. Look at the money put behind this:

See book of Job: Commentary on losing everything: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Substitute “CPS” for the first LORD, “NFPN” for the second “LORD” and for the third, I suppose the public is not only supposed to “bless” but also FUND whatever DOJ, HHS, HUD, or DOE task force or initiative promises to moderate the taking and giving away, which brings us to the two certainties in life:  Death, and taxes.  And while there are taxes, there is going to be war, competition for the fruits of taxes and fights over which is closest crony to the government programs distributing them THIS year . . . . .     That creates a “high-conflict” struggle among the (plebians, non-experts, etc.) which then justifies more control systems.

Really now:  there’s an organization to take children away because parents are abusing them, and an organization to give them back; also a service to enforce child support, and a service ($4billion/year, ongoing) to compromise arrears are abated (or it’s eliminated) {{see  fatherhood, access/visitation, etc. }}  There are also incentives to move children into foster care and adoption, and incentives to Preserve Families.

In fact, at every level, “we” . . .  and future grandchilren . . . . are being made to pay for “Society’s” screwups, many of which can be directly graced back to a specific government institution — not “society,” — or several of them, already funded by the public. How Paternalistic! Meanwhile, the state of “society” (including portions previously engineered by various corporate/government/religious collaborations) is used as a justification of more corporate/overnment/religious collaborations and breaking down EVERY due process, civil liberty, and individual bill of rights protection engineered originally into the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution.

ANYHOW:

The mission of the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) is to serve as the primary national voice for the preservation of families. Our mission is achieved through initiatives in the areas of family preservation, reunification, and fatherhood. NFPN offers research-based tools, training resources, and technical assistance to public and private child- and family-serving agencies.

Federal Approval for Family Preservation Funds and Waivers

In 1993 the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) was instrumental in the passage of the Family Preservation and Support Act, the only federal legislation specifically designating funding for family preservation. This source of funding was incorporated into the Promoting Safe and Stable Family Program (PSSF) in 1997. The legislation is approved for a maximum of 5 years and Congress has just reauthorized funding.

Here’s a summary of what the legislation contains:

$345 million in mandatory funding and $200 million in discretionary funds

States are required to develop a five-year plan as to how they will spend the funds, report annually on progress, and provide a final report on funding

Funds must be spent primarily in four categories of services with at least 20% going to each category: family support, family preservation, time-limited reunification, and adoption promotion and support. About 25% of the funds are currently spent on family preservation.

PSSF also includes designated funding for tribes, court improvement, monthly caseworker visits, and substance abuse treatment.

Read more: Federal Approval for Family Preservation Funds and Waivers

Name change in 2005 (click on the IRS form) but apparently it’s still doing great business with the Federal Government? These are from “foundation finder” website:

ORGANIZATION NAME STATE YEAR TOTAL ASSETS FORM PAGES

EIN:

National Family Preservation Network Inc. ID 2005 $0 990 14 13-3715995

National Family Preservation Network Inc. ID 2004 $155,649 990 14 13-3715995

National Family Preservation Network Inc. ID 2003 $110,028 990 14 13-3715995

National Family Preservation Network Inc. ID 2002 $134,970 990 14 13-3715995

A quick search doesn’t show this name registered in Idaho, although website “Contact us” address is in Idaho (which is why I looked there); Also does it look like the IRS forms are complete or up to date, either? Check Idaho Corp. Search, here;

http://www.accessidaho.org/public/sos/corp/search.html

I found the listing under different name in Idaho (through simple google search)
133715995 Intensive Family Preservation Services National Network Inc National Family Pres 145,761 72,218 2009
(that’s a link to its 2010 tax return). Given the influence of this organization, I plan to find out whether it’s legitimately filed in Idaho, or some other state.)

~ ~ ~

Really — even the Jerry Sandusky, Penn State, Second Mile expose so far hasn’t brought up much — at all — on the lowly topic of family courts enabling the same thing. This situation also exposed a charity (The Second Mile) aimed at needy children (See “The Haiti Fund” of CT) which participated — and yet, are women, at this Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference, being encouraged to look at nonprofits for signs of impropriety, or tax evasion which may coincide with mistreatment of children (nb: Both are illegal activities, in fact, when Larry King of a MAJOR child-trafficking (male and female victims supplied through foster parents and/or Boys Town Nebraska) coverup broke, Mr. King did time on financial charges, not on abuse charges, kidnapping, torture or terrorism, etc. despite testimony and the extent of this operation.). Money-laundering or other tax-evasion when it comes to a charity dealing with children should be investigated — quickly!

Similarly, the Luzerne County (also, PA) “Kids for Cash” scandal,* which hasn’t finished spinning itself out yet, and which uncovered kickback activity involving juvenile institutions and a nonprofit with the word “Child Care” in it, and yet still dots are not being connected, mental perception hasn’t set in that this also is likely and has applied before in the family law arena? ???

*Ciavarella Found Guilty on 12 of 39 Counts

February 19th, 2011
By The Times Leader

SCRANTON – A federal jury on Friday convicted former Judge Mark Ciavarella of illegally accepting money relating to the construction of the PA Child Care center, but entirely rejected allegations he extorted Robert Powell or accepted money relating a second juvenile center.

The verdict, which was reached after about 13 hours of deliberations over two days, left both prosecutors and the defense declaring victory in the corruption case that has captivated the public for more than two years.

The jury found Ciavarella guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, money laundering and money laundering conspiracy relating to the $997,600 finder’s fee he received from Robert Mericle, the builder of the center. It also found him guilty of honest services mail fraud for filing fraudulent statements of financial interest with a state agency and five tax counts for filing false tax returns.

…The government could clearly show through bank records the flow of the initial payment of nearly $1 million from Mericle to Ciavarella, Zubrod said, but other payments allegedly funneled through Pinnacle Group of Jupiter, a Florida corporation the ex-judges set up, came out as cash and thus could not be traced with the same precision.

(Notice:  the government looked at cash flow, and saw what they believed a front group set up — in a different state — but were stymied where the payments turned to cash.  Note:  In Lackawanna County Court, PA, I believe one of the complaints about visitation supervisors, and another (DNR if parenting coordinator, or what) parents complained that they were forced to pay in cash (or not see their kids).  It was the economic matters which were prosecuted, and which took the case down.

RE:  Luzerne County situation — it was so embarrassing, so scandalous that in 2009 the state voted an Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, which issued a report, “Lessons from Luzerne County

State records show that between 2003 and 2008, approximately 50 percent of juveniles appeared in Luzerne County Juvenile Court without benefit of counsel – nearly ten times the state average. Virtually all of these unrepresented juveniles were adjudicated delinquent, many for acts so minor and trivial that in most counties these charges would never have even made it to juvenile court. Of those youth without counsel who were adjudicated delinquent, nearly 60 percent were sent to out-of-home placements. The state data show that former judge Mark Ciavarella presided over more than 6,500 cases, leaving thousands of children and parents feeling bewildered, violated and traumatized. Luzerne County was a toxic combination of for-profit facilities, corrupt judges, and professional indifference.

In October 2009, in an unprecedented opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated Ciavarella’s adjudications of delinquency made between 2003 and May 2008. Just three months later, Special Master Arthur Grim ordered that all cases heard by former Judge Ciavarella were to be dismissed. In providing relief, the Supreme Court restored integrity to Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system and gave hope to youth who suffered enormous harm at the hands of corrupt judges

Although it has been overtly shown, and acknowledged even within government, that there are indeed things called “corrupt judges” and that their interest is in financial gain  and this case, in particular, demonstrated spectacularly that ordering unnecessary services by judges to nonprofits or corporations they had a financial interest in, for some reason the BMCC conference in approximately 8 years does not seem to have had a workshop or presenter talking about the similar phenomenon in family courts.  I witnessed a woman from the floor ask, after all this advice on how to approach the bench, “what do you do if you get a corrupt judge?,” to which the speaker’s answer was, we don’t deal with specific cases.  I also heard in breakout sessions, a woman ask “what do you do when you can’t afford an expert witness” (the workshop being led by one), and some vague comment about, aren’t there pro bono services available?

Regarding Penn State situation

When it’s a stranger molesting, and others not reporting, somehow it’s more noteworthy than when parents do, which is so often just another relationship problem, and “who knows”? what REALLY happened in the case to provoke, well, murders, etc.

So, as there are so few conferences (that I’m aware of) that have been ongoing and specifically address CUSTODY and DOMESTIC VIOLENCE _- to which women themselves are actually invited, how much more important is it when women come from across the continent: the south, the west, the north, and the east coasts (presumably) to seek help and confer with each other about WHAT TO DO and get feedback on what has happened last year — this one has a moral and ethical responsibility to “GET IT RIGHT.” Anyone getting up in front of women who have experienced what these have, and what their children have — should be concerned about telling the Most relevant Truth, The WHOLE relevant Truth, and nothing which strays from the truth, clouds it, obscures it, or distracts from it.

In this matter from what I can tell, BMCC has failed abysmally this year as in prior years.

One thing that appears to guarantee “presenter status” and special attention is anyone whose advocacy and leadership has previously failed — sometimes, dramatically. Of course, presenters can apply I suppose — and do — but why is it that year after year the groups who show the least progress (when: Father, Mother, or Mediator Rhetoric is compared) regularly get up on the podium to commiserate and to exaggerate progress made — i.e., another task force appointed — and strengthen the sense of Family through this event?

As such, Linda Marie Sacks (see 2nd “About This Blog” post, I give links to the brief) is now a presenter, as are some of the groups specifically mentioned on her brief that was turned down (not heard) at the Supreme Court of the USA level. Eileen King (Justice for Children) was one of those, and is also a presenter at the conference. In all the years of these conferences, has there been one mother who was battered, or had child molestation situation (with evidence, i.e., CPS or police, etc.) — who SUCCEEDED in defeating a custody challenge? Or, any professional whose leadership (or group’s leadership) successfully changed the climate of the local custody courts to the point that this situation does NOT happen?

That should be a lesson for attendees (but probably isn’t).

Loretta Frederick, of BWJP (Battered Women’s Justice Project), who worked on a project alongside AFCC (see my blog, we know who this nonprofit for great profits lobbying trade group of family law judges, mediators, and attorneys (etc.) is now, right?)takes the podium to tell mothers something. I missed that live stream; it may still be up, but as I said in last post — this is more appropriate for to be put on the hotseat and have mothers fire questions at her — WHY is her group collaborating with the exact same people that market PAS theory which they so protest? (Of course, the same crowd is not informed HOW PAS theory gets marketed, which is primarily via AFCC and some related organizations).

The description in the conference schedulefor this ssegment:

2:00 – 2:30 Gabby Davis and Loretta Frederick:  Developing and Implementing a Conceptual Framework for Identifying, Understanding and Accounting for the Implications of Intimate Partner Abuse in Contested Child Custody Cases.
Ample research, local practice, and lived experience collectively inform us that the safety and wellbeing of battered mothers and their children are not adequately accounted for in contested child custody cases where domestic violence is alleged.  Very little systematic attention is paid to whether there is a history of abuse, whether the abuse is ongoing, who is abusing whom, what the abuse looks like, and how the abuse impacts the children, the abused parent, and the parenting capacities of both the abusive and the abused parent.  Consequently, from an institutional standpoint, the family court system is often poorly organized to accurately identify and describe what is actually happening in people’s everyday lives so that it can respond in ways that are helpful, or at least not harmful, to the safety and wellbeing of battered mothers and their children.  This presentation describes a collaborative effort by the Battered Women’s Justice Project, Praxis International, and a local jurisdiction in NW Ohio to develop and implement a concrete framework to help family court professionals better identify, understand and account for the context and implications of domestic violence in contested child custody cases.

Like other segments, apparently, to bring up that the family court system is intentionally and systematically organized (and by whom) so as NOT to use a “conceptual framework” that pays attention to reality, or police reports… . .. The passive writing and constructions here are specifically NOT to finger or point to any real agents. It’s just an unfortunate “situation” that exists, which this grant series can address.

I addressed this specifically in July, 2011:

OVW + BWJP-FVPF + PRAXIS + NCADV(s) + AFCC = same old, same old (with new names on the grant systems) Here’s why: (= title of that post, and a link to it).

Reviewing BWJP website on this project shows that, no matter what changes, one thing won’t — so long as grants exist, advocates will be publishing their thoughts and observations, and then getting some nice conference engagements with travel expenses deductible, while NOT reporting on who set up the family courts to operate as they do.

http://www.bwjp.org/advocating_for_battered_mothers.aspx

Anyone checking out the BWJP site describing this project can see that it’s a joint project with AFCC and from funding by OVW, meaning, while we are so excited about the OVW actually NOTICING this issue (finally), the fact is, that they are paying AFCC to talk about what to do with the topic! And (see link above), I clicked on a few of the references; these women also know about Women’s Justice Project (which I cited yesterday), they know plenty — but they are not reporting the MOST relevant things to us: HOW COME year after year, our accounts continue to fall on deaf ears?

Nor do they talk about their own funding, or the apparent serious failure of this “collaborative Community Response” Model, which appears to have been pushed/originated most out of Duluth, MN.

A few TAGGS.hhs.gov grantees whose titles have the words “Battered Women” (Ms. Frederick’s group is not on this set): (I may clean up this paste tomorrow):

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
ADVOCATES FOR BATTERED WOMEN  LITTLE ROCK AR 72203 PULASKI $ 15,780
CENTER FOR BATTERED WOMEN  AUSTIN TX TRAVIS $ 204,581
COUNCIL ON BATTERED WOMEN  ATLANTA GA 30308 FULTON $ 3,000
GEORGIA ADVOCATES FOR BATTERED WOMEN AND CHILDREN  ATLANTA GA 30312 FULTON $ 1,440,579
MINNESOTA COALITION FOR BATTERED WOMEN  SAINT PAUL MN 55103-1844 RAMSEY 076896112 $ 3,157,167
NEW JERSEY COALITION FOR BATTERED WOMEN  TRENTON NJ 08690 MERCER 883332645 $ 3,504,339

Showing: 1 – 6

100% of the MN grants (here) if you look are the “SVDC” grants — statewide DV coalition, even though it says “Battered Women” on the title.  The Georgia group hasn’t got anything in this millennium, and what it did get relates to Mental Health protection and advocacy, plus $47K for “SVDC 1996.”   The NJ group is getting the statewide (SVDC) grants for several years — around $250K — but in the year 2010, gets some more for “Youth” as well.  Helping Battered Women is “old School.”  Helping Children and Youth is much more fashionable, although seems to me one way to help children and youth is to stop people from knocking their mothers around while they are growing up!

2010 90EV0404  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND SERVICES/EXPANDING SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH 1 0 ACF 09-24-2010 883332645 $ 150,000 
Fiscal Year 2010 Total:

As we can see, it’s few groups and little funding under “battered women.”  This was ALL years combined.

However, change the term to “Domestic Violence” and you get the advocates that are centralized and under better federal control, for example, I just checked recently — Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence ALONE got $26 million in one year alone of grants, which it distributes in part to local “women’s resource centers” which (I checked some) already show direct links to fatherhood groups, particularly one on Scranton. a.k.a., PCADV is sharing funding with groups promoting fatherhood under the title “Women’s Resource” or what a battered women, entering in or calling for help, might be very much misled to believe is actually about helping HER — and not promoting family reunification or other fatherhood agendas.

This has some more details, and we see that to start out with (1996 — oddly, same year as welfare reform) the groups all got $47,140 each to get started, and no one even bothered to name the grant.  This is just a slice of them, all coming from the “ACF” (Administration for Children and Families”.

ACF ALABAMA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AL 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF ARIZONA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AZ 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF CALIFORNIA ALLIANCE AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CA 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CT 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF DC COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DC 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF DE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DE 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF FLORIDA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FL 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF HAWAII STATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HI 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF ID COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ID 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF ILLINOIS COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IL 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF INDIANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC IN 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF IOWA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IA 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170
ACF KANSAS COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE KS 01/01/1996 NONE $ 47,170

(etc.)  No CFDA# was assigned, yet and no “principal investigators” are even named.

Fast forward to 2005 (the year I’m searching on below for 990s), and I’m showing again ALA through KS (plus it picked up a RI at the top).  The amounts are nearly 5 times larger ($237K/$250K), and someone has bothered to key in a Grant Title, but few Principal Investigators even named:

Program Office Grantee Name State Grantee Class Grantee Type Award Title Action Issue Date CFDA Number Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
ASH/ODPHP RHODE ISLAND COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RI Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization SAFE AND BRIGHT FUTURES: A STATEWIDE PLANNING PROJECT TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN WHO WITNESS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 09/28/2005 93990 SHEILA FRENCH $ 75,000
FYSB ALABAMA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AL Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB ARIZONA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AZ Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB CALIFORNIA ALLIANCE AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CA Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Special Interest Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CT Non-Profit Public Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB DC COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DC Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Special Interest Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,038
FYSB DE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DE Non-Profit Public Non-Government Organizations Community Action Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB FLORIDA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FL Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Special Interest Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB FLORIDA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FL Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Special Interest Organization COLLABORATING TO IMPACT TEEN DATING VIOLENCE IN THE LIVES OF RUNAWAY & HOMELESS YOUTH 09/20/2005 93592 TIFFANY A CARR $ 75,000
FYSB HAWAII STATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HI Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB ID COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ID Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Special Interest Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,038
FYSB ILLINOIS COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IL Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB INDIANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC IN Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Special Interest Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,038
FYSB IOWA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IA Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,037
FYSB KANSAS COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE KS Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,038

This year we should also show the NYS Coalition (I remember discovering Patti Jo Newell as a BMCC presenter, and as a NYS DV person, a few years back, it seems).  Odd grant labeling, don’t you think?

FYSB NEW YORK STATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC NY Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization 2005 SDVC 05/06/2005 93671 $ 237,038
FYSB NEW YORK STATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC NY Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 09/22/2005 93592 PATTI JO NEWELL $ 130,000

I think that “Executive Director” is an interesting award title, don’t you?  (Compare, below).  I also note that the CFDA has moved from 93671 to 93592

For PCADV (Pennsylvania) this was also a good year, it got SIX funding streams to start new projects.  two of these were from a different program office (see below); the “DELTA” awards coordinated through two women, Karen Lang and Pam Cox, whoever they are:

FYSB  PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  PA  Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations  Other Social Services Organization  2005 SDVC  05/06/2005  93671  $ 237,038 
FYSB  PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  PA  Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations  Other Social Services Organization  DEMO PROJECT FOR ENHANCING SERVICES FOR CHILDREN EXPOSED TO DV  09/22/2005  93592  CONNIE THOMAS  $ 130,000 
FYSB  PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  PA  Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations  Other Social Services Organization  NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTER ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  08/29/2005  93592 SUSAN KELLY-DREISS $ 1,561,230 
FYSB PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PA Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTER ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  09/28/2005  93592 SUSAN KELLY-DREISS $ 700,000
NCIPC PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PA Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DATABASE EARMARK GRANT 06/03/2005 93136 KAREN LANG $ 297,600
NCIPC PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PA Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations Other Social Services Organization NATIONAL ON-LINE RESOURCE CENTER FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN  07/27/2005 93136 KAREN LANG $ 388,398

I looked at a tax return (recommended).  It shows approximately where the money is going, and relationships also with MPDI, Battered Women’s Justice Project, PA Crime Comissions, and USVAW (as program expenses which resulted in profitable income (i.e., expenses were less than revenue from the activity).  More  to the point, it also shows which programs money is being distributed to, including names and EIN#s (i.e., are these subgrantees also filing properly…) and officers.  While only the Exec Dir. is earning over $100 from PCADV (and a reasonable salary for a very large nonprofit), there are also quite a few others earning around $75K plus a parallel column of income from “related organizations” averaging from $18-25 or so, meaning it’s got a LOT of officers who are pulling in $100K a year, plus a few pages of unpaid “directors” which I assume? (right or wrong, could be checked) represent the directors of the various shelters.

Program purpose is stated (sorry about lack of spaces:  Link here:)

1.TO ELIMINATE DOMESTIC ABUSE OF WOMEN AND THEIR DEPENDENT CHILDREN IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PA. 2.TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO THE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED BY MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS SHALL INCLUDE CRISIS TELEPHONE COUNSELING, TEMPORARY SHELTER FOR THE VICTIM AND HER DEPENDENT CHILDREN AND/OR PEER AND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING, ASSISTANCE IN OBTAINING COMMUNITY RESOURCES, HELP IN ACQUIRING EMPLOYMENT SKILLS, AND/OR WORK REFERRAL.

{{Please note that apart from temporary shelter, it says nothing about legal advocacy in the case; once she’s out of the shelter, and in the family law system, the protection order usually comes off, and then — depending on the ex and circumstances — these women are forced to interact long-term with their exes in a system which has a federal grant-incentive, and a child support enforcement agency incentive, and affiliated programs incentives — in addition to whatever incentives the ex had then, and may have now if child support order is in place — to keep the case stretched out and going as long as possible.  Sometimes women then are killed, and/or their children, and/or their exes (i.e., murder/suicides), to the extent that websites have been set up unofficially to track this!  (dastardly Dads, etc.) .   I fail to see how a huge movement of this sort which fails to take seriously the situation of women AFTER they leave the shelter is doing to STOP violence against women.

I also note it says “abuse” and not “violence” in the program description.}}

3.TO EXPOSE THE ROOTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE INSTITUTIONALIZEDSUBSERVIENCEOFWOMEN INTHISCULTURE.4.TOPROVIDEQUALITYSERVICES STATEWIDE AND TO EXPAND SERVICES SUCH THAT EVERY VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE COMMONWEALTH MAY OBTAIN IMMEDIATE, COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE LOCALLY. 5.TO DO ANY AND ALL LAWFUL ACTIVITIES WHICH MAY BE NECESSARY, USEFUL, OR DESIRABLE FOR THE FUTHERANCE, ACCOMPLISHMENT, FOSTERING OR ATTAINMENT OF THE FOREGOING PURPOSES, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, AND EITHER ALONE OR IN CONDUCTION WITH OTHERS.

Response:

RE:  Purpose 3.  The roots of DV in institutionalized subservience of women in this culture includes religion AND government AND the workforce.  PCADV is funded by government, and not likely to take on government itself; it doesn’t deal extensively with religion, although so much backlash against feminism (which is mentally associated with pro-LGBT where much of conservative religion is against LGBT, and the Bible is clear on the matter too — it does not endorse homosexuality.  Then again, it doesn’t endorse robbery, usury, or adultery, either.) comes from religious roots.  

Family Law/Domestic Relations Courts  is an institution which could be easily a focus of PCADV (if goal#3 was a major one), as it’s the venue which fathers’ rights groups have targeted as unfair to them, and in which the pendulum swinging the other way has a lot of money behind it.  Yet this major, federally-supported organization, is not focusing on the custody issues, and does not report on even the AFCC, CRC, CPR, AccessVisitation Grants etc. (at least they don’t lead with this information; I haven’t seen it).   They do not report on the various Fatherhood Commissions now being established at the state levels (feel free to correct if you can find anything dating to around the time they were being created).

We are beyond the point of no return in pretending that the domestic violence organizations do not KNOW about the extent of their supposed counterparts, the fatherhood-funded organizations entrenched throughout the executive branch of government (and by executive memo from a Democrat President in 1995, Pres. Clinton’s memo), written into public law in welfare reform, and in both houses of congress fatherhood resolutions were passed, 1998 & 1999.   The NFI has now grandchildren, i.e., nonprofits (also with federal support) training the trainers.  HHS is courting a Coalition of Fathers and Families — and yet organizations like this, and following this lead — simply don’t see fit to MENTION this to women they serve, with the result that these women are losing their children to men they fled, sometimes fled recently!  What kind of “Future without violence” is that/

This information — that the group puts out — is tremendous when it comes to validation for women who have been suffering from this, and useless when it comes to advocacy when they are in a custody battle!  That some of the key scandals came this year FROM Pennsylvania is perhaps an indicator of a bit of tunnel vision?  

I don’t feel “comfortable” criticizing the work of anyone who’s obtained this much public presence, federal help, and cultural change in spreading the concept of “domestic violence” as a serious problem — and the founder of this nonprofit also grew up witnessing violence in the home, her bio says, and was recently inducted into a Women’s Hall of Fame.  HOWEVER, we have to be honest — when institutions get large and established, they also tend to become calcified as to taking feedback constructive, or simply truthful; there is a “territory” to defend.

I also wish to mention that of the “Coalitions Against Domestic Violence” (funded — not in a major way, most of them except this one, but in a minor way) are usually members of the over-arching nonprofit “NATIONAL Coalition Against Domestic Violence.”  If one looks at its website, I believe membership has multiple breakdowns, but one of them (for nonprofit groups) as i recall includes either this minimum or “a % of the budget.”  Therefore if member CADVs are getting federal funding, NCADV, which is not, takes its “tithe” (so to speak) and this is public money.

Susan Kelly-Dreiss was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame (for her PCADV work, etc. — see link) in 2009.  She got laws passed, shelters started, and was a recognized leader.  I do not see that anything much was done about the problem with the family law system which started in earnest in mid-1990s. Isn’t that something of an oversight, considered in what context women are fleeing their homes with children, and then having unsafe visitation exchanges by court order afterwards, which results sometimes in death?  Wouldn’t a situation which is getting people killed require a little attention, like prominence?  But despite all this funding, success, and honors, it seems Pennsylvania is having serious problem living down its recent scandals.  It continues to put out DV literature (“Telling Amy” out of PSU just being one of them).   FBI has been called to handle corruption in a family courthouse.  Now go through that site and see if it mentions the problem!

Also, I’d like to get an answer why the hotshot resource center, which has been receiving funding since 1993/1995, didn’t bother to register with the state til 2011!   In this, its behavior is beginning to resemble the marriage/fatherhood grantees.  Note:  in 2005, it’s called a grant, not an institution — but in their literature, it’s spoken of as an “entity.”

HHS describes some of these resource centers HERE:  BWJP is one of them….  The “on-line resource center” (“VAWnet”) describes its philosophy:

National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women

About VAWnet

VAWnet is a comprehensive and easily accessible online collection of full-text, searchable materials and resources on domestic violence, sexual violence and related issues.

The goal of VAWnet, The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women is to use electronic communication technology to enhance efforts to prevent violence against women and intervene more effectively when it occurs.

– – – – – –

in 2011 (top two rows only are PCADV), over $1,000,000

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HARRISBURG PA 17112-2669 DAUPHIN 156527558 $ 981,771
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HARRISBURG PA 17112-2669 DAUPHIN 166527558 $ 315,000
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST RAPE  ENOLA PA 17025-2500 CUMBERLAND 929907426 $ 1,500,000

Overall:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HARRISBURG PA 17112-2669 DAUPHIN 156527558 $ 39,965,461
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HARRISBURG PA 17112-2669 DAUPHIN 166527558 $ 945,000
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST RAPE  ENOLA PA 17025-2500 CUMBERLAND 929907426 $ 14,559,328

Showing: 1 – 3 of 3 Recipients

 

Checking USASpending.gov (the top DUNS# only, which relates $39,965,461 in total grants), it shows only:

  • Total Dollars:$10,040,520
  • Transactions:1 – 20 of 20

This is in part probably because TAGGS goes back further in time (to 1995), but should be looked into for discrepancies.  That’s a large one, and the bulk of funding was after the time period USASpending database covers, not before it.   The discrepancy is, as we can see, over $29 million.  I call that a lot!

In addition from the DOJ (this is per the above site, USASpending.gov) PCADV — under that top DUNS# only — got this many grants:

  • Total Dollars:$2,443,223
  • Transactions:1 – 11 of 11

The second DUNS# relates to “VAWnet” creation.  Technology (i.e., disseminate information, PR, research, websites, etc.) to stop violence against women.  OK . . . . started in 2009…

2009 U1VCE001742  VAMNET IN ITS GOAL TO HARNESS ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT EFFO 1 000 CDC 08-21-2009 166527558 $ 315,000 

~ ~ ~ ~The variety of program funding it draws from in both the DOJ and HHS side shows that this is a favored group.   In their home state — and home town — there has been to date, a scandalous cover-up of child abuse (Sandusky), cheating and racketeering re: sending children off to a juvenile institution (Luzerne) and FBI investigating financial fraud at a county courthouse (Lackawanna) among other things.  The next president elect of AFCC also works out of Harrisburg and is an expert witness (Pay, $150 hour, $75 for travel for the firm, last I looked) and I see nothing at all in PCADV of this helpful information.

~ ~ That most of this money comes from HHS and not DOJ tells us one thing — that DV is considered NOT a criminal matter, but a health and children/family matter.  I believe it’s time to call it what it is — crime — and stop writing theses (see below) trying to get family court professionals to apply domestic violence law, and for that matter, I wish to see what results training and technical assistance are providing, except to ensure that no one is under this training going to “out” the systematic fraud and program overbilling (etc.) going on in the other court sectors.

(I’ll come back to this topic another post.   When I looked at the “income from related organizations” column on their 990, I saw amounts — on each row — on which I could’ve adequately sustained (fed AND housed) my family in one of the most pricey areas to live in the country, though not the safest (SF extended Bay Area), and a salary level I couldn’t possibly obtain once the case hit the custody courts, which continually interrupted work!    In other areas — and I have looked at some housing prices in Pennsylvania while helping look at the Scranton area disgraces — these amounts would probably sustain a family of four, comfortably.  But instead, they are “supplemental” income from related groups by people on the Board of PCADV who already are making in the realm of $70+ per year.  I don’t have a problem with people making that much income, but when the program exists because of federal funding, then it has to be accountable to taxpayers for what it’s doing.  If it is functioning as a leader among state-funded coalitions and allowing people to go through programs it subsidizes, and not warning women about upcoming custody issues WHILE it serves them, it doesn’t deserve to continue leading.  This is exactly what is happening throughout the country — and probably because of the centralization & “professionalization” of this movement!

 

From “foundation finder” — and only for a single year, 2005, here are how many state (and county, etc.) groups are “Against Domestic Violence.” Who wouldn’t be “against domestic violence” and actually admit it? The list is long: Again, these are from groups who have apparently filed tax returns with the IRS (if not their local states) in 2005.

62 documents matched. 62 documents displayed. (Search on “Against Domestic Violence“)

ORGANIZATION NAME

STATE

YEAR

TOTAL ASSETS

FORM

PAGES

EIN

Agape Foundation Against Domestic Violence Inc. CA 2005 $3,401 990EZ 14 95-4697016
Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence Inc. AL 2005 $586,764 990 22 63-0907890
Alliance Against Domestic Violence WA 2005 $-4,005 990EZ 15 91-1920654
Amherst County Commission Against Domestic Violence VA 2005 $6,394 990EZ 12 54-1679023
Amherst County Commission Against Domestic Violence VA 2005 $29,691 990EZ 11 54-1679023
Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence Inc. AZ 2005 $584,318 990 15 86-0593601
Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence Inc. MA 2005 $1,349,359 990 20 04-3103354
Botteneau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence Inc. ND 2005 $-1,660 990 12 36-3653713
Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence MI 2005 $747,905 990 21 38-2463183
Bridges Against Domestic Violence SD 2005 $45,935 990 13 46-0425839
California Alliance Against Domestic Violence CA 2005 $422,627 990 17 77-0347420
Center for The Elimination of Violence Family Inc. (D/B/A Center Against Domestic Violence)*** NY 2005 $8,313,868 990 28 11-2415837
Citizens Against Domestic Violence NC 2005 $27,649 990 15 56-2023076
Citizens Against Domestic Violence OH 2005 $9,025 990EZ 19 31-1703077
Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence CO 2005 $305,976 990 25 84-0742604
Committee Against Domestic Violence NV 2005 $991,442 990 27 88-0187930
Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Inc. CT 2005 $1,141,502 990 22 06-0985675
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence DC 2005 $177,997 990 22 52-1515600
Employers Against Domestic Violence MA 2005 $62,063 990EZ 11 04-3389211
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Inc. FL 2005 $5,065,959 990 19 59-2055476
Fremont County Alliance Against Domestic Violence WY 2005 $262,417 990 13 83-0254163
Georgia Coal Against Domestic Violence Inc. GA 2005 $218,210 990 17 58-1854962
Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence HI 2005 $34,704 990 20 99-0235218
IA Coal Against Domestic Violence IA 2005 $344,360 990 18 42-1285094
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence IL 2005 $683,281 990 20 37-1056288
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence Foundation IL 2005 $39,132 990 14 37-1381646
Indian Country Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault OR 2005 $8,491 990 14 04-3601074
Indiana Coal Against Domestic Violence Inc. IN 2005 $227,338 990 13 31-1009769
Kankakee County Coalition Against Domestic Violence IL 2005 $584,737 990 15 36-3100202
Knox County Task Force Against Domestic Violence Dba Harbor House IN 2005 $331,796 990 15 35-1662335
Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence NC 2005 $185,074 990 18 56-1822730
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence LA 2005 $426,982 990 25 72-1015427
Marshall County Coal Against Domestic Violence AL 2005 $38,628 990 17 30-0178911
Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence MD 2005 $188,574 990 17 52-1233434
Maury Co Center Against Domestic Violence TN 2005 $412,158 990 16 62-1375056
Merrimack County Task Force Against Domestic Violence NH 2005 $291,019 990 26 02-0342221
Mississippi State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Inc. MS 2005 $407,812 990 28 64-0656865
Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence TN 2005 $0 990PF 13 58-2165997
Nassau County Coal Against Domestic Violence Inc. NY 2005 $1,710,858 990 20 11-2442377
National Coal Against Domestic Violence CO 2005 $217,684 990 24 91-1081344
Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence NV 2005 $277,241 990 19 94-2910861
New York State Coal Against Domestic Violence Inc. NY 2005 $449,377 990 18 22-2337608
NM Coalition Against Domestic Violence NM 2005 $1,116,716 990 16 93-0792163
North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc., The NC 2005 $449,411 990 21 61-1077481
Oklahoma Coal Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault I OK 2005 $247,396 990 25 73-1131211
Oklahoma Coal Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Inc. OK 2005 $261,112 990 30 73-1131211
Partnership Against Domestic Violence Inc. GA 2005 $1,067,804 990 20 58-1314556
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence PA 2005 $3,700,229 990 29 23-2052886
People Against Domestic Violence MO 2005 $36,174 990 14 43-1577117
Pike County Partnership Against Domestic Violence OH 2005 $46,070 990 17 31-1438441
R I Coalition Against Domestic Violence RI 2005 $882,830 990 17 05-0384580
Richland County Coalition Against Domestic Violence Inc. MT 2005 $27,674 990EZ 10 36-3452392
Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence OH 2005 $146,155 990 22 31-1044779
SC Coal Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault SC 2005 $310,313 990 21 57-0760811
South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence SD 2005 $29,146 990 13 46-0357192
Stand! Against Domestic Violence CA 2005 $4,439,016 990 22 94-2476576
Suffolk County Coal Against Domestic Violence Inc. NY 2005 $924,328 990 17 11-2470902
Unidos Against Domestic Violence Inc. WI 2005 $61,765 990 24 39-1967912
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence WA 2005 $821,765 990 19 91-1507028
WI Coal Against Domestic Violence Inc. WI 2005 $228,954 990 23 39-1380437
WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence Inc. WV 2005 $486,285 990 17 31-1011750
Wyoming Coal Against Domestic Violence WY 2005 $664,354 990 25 74-2466406

In short, Everyone (if you ask them — or fund them) is against domestic violence.  Imagine a group being honest enough to say, “I’m FOR Domestic Violence!”  — it’s one of the easiest topics to say you are against.  So we have:  Coalitions, Centers, Task Forces, Networks, Partnerships, but the primary ones taking money from HHS come under the centralized “Coalitions.”  Some are by state, others are by county, others have some particular emphasis (“Unidos” or “Asian” or “Agape” etc.) (I put anything over $1 million in red font).

*** This one (new to me) says its program purpose is SHELTERING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, and has leased some property in NY for it.  Its officers have one Executive Director at $125K (very reasonable for the field), and “Compensation of the Five Highest Paid Employees Other Than Officers,Directors,and Trustees” shows from mid-sixties to $81K, including two shelter directors.  This one looks like it is actually getting help to people, and not spending its money on training, building fancy websites, and “technical assistance” while selling curriculum to everything that moves and breathes.   LEt’s see if this comes from HHS by an “EIN#” search:  Recipient EIN = 112415837 No matching awards found.

The Center began at a “speak out” in Brooklyn in 1976 where more than a hundred women told how their lives had been turned upside down by domestic violence. One thing became clear: There was no place where mothers could flee to safety with their children. In fact, it was against regulations to bring a child to the “unfit” environment of a shelter. A group of trailblazing women—domestic violence victims, survivors and advocates—set out to change all that and the Center was born.

The Center’s Women’s Survival Space, a place where abused women and their children could find safety, was the first of its kind in the State and is now the longest operating domestic violence emergency shelter in New York. Today the Center houses up to 1,000 women and children each year in three emergency shelters.

By contrast, the Florida CADV (which got $5 million+ in 2005) shows this amount in TAGGS:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
FLORIDA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  TALLAHASSEE FL 32301-2756 LEON 053274101 $ 7,878,370

$2.2 million of this (above) was from “DELTA” alliances….

Award Number: CCU422481
Award Title: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION ENHANCEMENT & LEADERSHIP THROUGH ALLIANCES
OPDIV: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)
Organization: NATIONAL CENTER FOR INJURY PREVENTION AND CONTROL (NCIPC)
Award Class: COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT

The other thing these grants go to is sometimes to set up “resource centers” aka nice websites which republishes the same type of information, and I wonder who’s monitoring the results and the tax returns of these nonprofits-within-nonprofits. Anyone?

Do a basic “recipient search” (by NAME) on TAGGS, for “Domestic Violence” and notice how much larger the results list is, and how much larger the grants are. PCADV shows over $40 million alone. California Alliance Against Domestic Violence has three different DUNS# it is taking grants under. New York Coalition Against DV — two. There are consortiums and interventions and councils when it comes to “domestic violence” — 74 recipients in all.

Many of these grants are being shared with shelters, and I really wonder if some of the money actually gets TO the shelters, as there is so much emphasis on “Technical Assistance.” There’s one called a National Resource Center on DV (which I looked up) in Harrisburg, PA — which received $1.5 million — and yet I am wondering how separate it really is from the PCADV?

(Filed for incorporation in PA in 2011 only):






National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Inc. 4023857 Non-Profit (Non Stock) Active 4/11/2011

(I don’t understand why — but the Secr. of State  PA Corporations page shows one filing only for PCADV — in 1977.  No annual report filings show up.).  Again, the “NCRDV” is an HHS project, and per its own website, existed by name since 1993, 1995 — but only as a corporation this past year?

ABOUT NRCDV…

It is the mission of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence to improve societal and community responses to domestic violence and, ultimately, prevent its occurrence.

Since 1993, the Pennsylvania Coalitions Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) has received core funding to operate the NRCDV from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with supplemental funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support VAWnet, our national online resource center, and other private and public grants. The NRCDV employs a multidisciplinary staff and supports a wide range of projects to address the complex challenges domestic violence poses to families, institutions, communities, and governments.

Similarly, an Ohio Coalition Against Domestic Violence — in Franklin County, OH — has gotten over $7 million (from HHS, not including any from the DOJ) — and yet Ohio also has a major parallel network to counter any feminism, entrenched and well organized — which I looked at when a little girl got molested and raped INSIDE a government-funded facility, and it was photographed on cell phone, during one of those “Family Reunification” Supervised (?) visits that everyone is paying for. This little girl’s sister had previously died in foster care after being removed AT BIRTH from the mother.

See below, I also address that these groups are NOT necessarily mothers’ friends:

BWJP associates with the Duluth group (DAIP) and “MPDI” which I have blogged on, obviously. I forgot to mention – the live stream of the conference indicated that now the women are to honor “Ellen Pence.” That’s fine — how about a moment of silence for all the dead women, children, and let’s throw in the bystanders, that Ms. Pence’s Collaborative Community Response theory (CCR) is NOT saving, as we speak, and for a round of applause for completely silence on the fatherhood funding, when addressing women and mothers. I also think she should be commended for fronting and schmoozing with another fraudulent group called the National Family Justic Center Alliance (Casey Gwinn Gael Strack, etc., brainchild) out of San Diego, the “Enron by the Sea.”

Here’s MPDI funding, so far:
Note: One EIN can be associated with several different organizations. Also, one DUNS number can be associated with multiple EINs. This occurs in cases where Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) has assigned more than one EIN to a recipient organization.

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
MINNESOTA PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, INC
DULUTH  MN  55802-2152  ST. LOUIS  193187069  $ 19,901,530

~ ~ ~
When people stand up and speak to (you) — one of the first questions to answer, particularly in this field, is, who is funding them, and who are their friends. I am sorry to be so blunt, but I have just spent almost 20 years in the geographic area of one of the largest “family violence prevention funds” around — and I cannot see what lives it is saving, and it has completely avoided dealing with the family law crisis. That’s simply unacceptable, at this level, and while other social services (like to the disabled) are taken into consideration.

Taken from the “DAIP” (Duluth Abuse Intervention Program) site — where solicitations for donations, and products being marketed are prominent figures, we learn that BWJP is one of its projects:

The mission of Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs is to end violence against women. We give voice to diverse women who are battered by translating their experiences into innovative programs and institutional changes that centralize victim safety. We partner with communities worldwide to inspire the social and political will to eliminate violence against women and their families.

Our programs include the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, the Duluth Family Visitation Center, the National Training Project, and the Battered Women’s Justice Project.

The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project is a program that collaborates with community agencies such as law enforcement, criminal and civil courts, and human service agencies to provide an institutional advocacy response to battering.

Our 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.

Supervised Visitation was one of those compromises with radical men’s groups; and it is an adaptation from the field of child welfare, i.e., “reunification theory.” Thanks to the concept that intervention, supervised visitation, and judicial trainings are the solution, we have had nightmare circumstances where non-offending mothers are being put into supervised visitation monitoring and further traumatized, monitored and reported on. Jack Straton testified in early 1990s!! AGAINST doing this to children, and why — and that testimony actually is printed under DAIP type letter head (and probably on my blogroll to right). His advice was ignored, and now the situation is far worse — because while he said this in 1992, 1993 — in 1996 welfare reform opened up a grants stream (diversion from TANF) to encourage the development of such supervised visitation centers.

These centers are now making negative press headlines, have been since 1999 reported as sources of potential and identified double-billing (in fact one of the women’s cases who was at the head of the room at BMCC is on-line documenting this. For some reason, her voice in this matter has been silenced, and she sits by mutely while her colleague Connie Valentine recites how great it is to have this task force about “Children Exposed to Violence.” .. . .. I have a question (speaking of Sandusky) — if one of the most heavily funded coalitions against DV is in PA — and what’s more, I think isn’t it even AT Penn State? — then how come they didn’t put two and two together about the Second Mile, Sandusky, and the scandal in the Lackawanna County family courts? Which the FBI is now investigating (and which overlaps with the field of supervised visitation).

etc.. . . . .

BWJP is one of “Four Resource Centers” according to a 2007 Federal Register description.

During FY 2006, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made 241 grants to States and Tribes or Tribal organizations. HHS also made 53 family violence prevention grant awards to non-profit State domestic violence coalitions.Show citation box
In addition, HHS supports the Domestic Violence Resource Center Network (DVRN). DVRN consists of the National Resource Center for Domestic Violence (NRC) and four Special Issue Resource Centers (SIRCs). The four SIRCs are: The Battered Women’s Justice Project, the Resource Center on Child Custody and Protection, the Resource Center for the Elimination of Domestic Violence Against Native Women (Sacred Circle), and the Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence. The purpose of NRC and the SIRCs is to provide resource information, training, and technical assistance to Federal, State, and Indian Tribal agencies; local domestic violence prevention programs; and other professionals who provide services to victims of domestic violence.

(NB: Plenty of collaborations between DV & Fatherhood groups are held behind mothers in custody battles’ backs, and without soliciting their input, see any federally supported, state-level (or state-wide) DV provider these days, or fatherhood provider, and it’ll become clear how cozy a relationship these two types of groups have with each other. Eventually (in time marked by statistics and headlines of people shot or otherwise killed surrounding divorce & custody issues) some of these two groups — and very proud of themselves they seem — even talk (with each other) about oh, yes, and women ARE losing their children to abusers.

Here’s a segment from “TimesUP” (a blog, with lengthy article by Barry Goldstein, telling how the first (BMCC) custody conference had a great idea — which was to reach out to the domestic violence groups (“After all, are they not the experts?” must’ve been the reasoning)and get them involved. I’m sure the expenses can be written off at the nonprofit level. It’s called “History of the Battered Mothers’ Conference” and appears to be dated (or at least posted) Dec. 2010, and ends inviting people to attend the January, 2011 conference.)

QUOTE:

The battered women’s movement is a natural ally of the protective mothers movement.*

“After our first conference Mo and I spoke about the importance of working with domestic violence organizations and we reached out to the New York State Coalition, the State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and other similar groups. As a result of these meetings and the ever more horrendous situation in the courts, domestic violence organizations have become our biggest supporters. Domestic violence advocates are now well represented at the Battered Mothers Custody Conference. Mo and I were invited to lead a workshop and then a separate discussion group at the 2008 NCADV national conference. Rita Smith, Executive Director of the NCADV and other staff have become regular participants at the Battered Mothers conferences and have given us everything we ever asked for. The NCADV invited Mo and I together with Garland Waller and Judge Mike Brigner to present about our book at a plenary session during the 2010 NCADV national conference in Anaheim. This has been a wonderful collaboration that will continue to benefit protective mothers and all of the battered women’s movement.

END QUOTE:

MY RESPONSE(s):

[[*FALSE! The Protective Mothers’ Movement (as such) was only necessary because of work the Battered Women’s Movement left undone, conveniently for the family court system, or couldn’t break through and accomplish, instead compromising away rights of future battered women — without their knowledge — by compromise, and failing to advertise heavily to what degree they had compromised. This evidently is Mr. Goldstein’s perception still, which may explain why he’s still nonplussed (or at least silent on) what really is “up” in the custody courts, and (more to the point), WHY!]]

RE, Above:

“the New York State Coalition, the State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and other similar groups. As a result of these meetings and the ever more horrendous situation in the courts, domestic violence organizations have become our biggest supporters”

Why shouldn’t they? BMCC is not about to “out” the various alliances these organizations have, and when women in attendance have tried to (from the floor), it’s not exactly a warm reception. On the live stream, so far, I heard approximately three women bring this up from the floor. One of these did so during a break, while people were going in and out and talking a lot in the background, i.e., she didn’t have official “floor.” (ALSO NOTE: Unprofessional — the schedule was behind by this point, over an hour behind. Mr. Goldstein was to start his session at 10 a.m. Instead, did not have the floor until after 11:30am, PST.).

This person also commented on the “TimesUpBlog” in Dec. 2010, and basically reiterated it today, around a din of people coming and going for their long-overdue rest break, I guess:

ricky fowler said…

nys coalition against DV and NYS domestic prevention are not advocates of battered mothers, they do not fight DV the do not fight the courts. the DV shelters are fathers rights. and when the mothers complained at the first conference that the shelters are useless, this is still the truth, it haven’t changed. they are the enemy, the YWCA all over the nation is partaking in abuse of mothers and children.

we have no experts in DV, we have people that make money . we need a non custodial mother movement. battered mothers that are not protective mothers are being rubberstamped and lose their children. the admi of family and children promote abuse, the MH proffessionals promote abuse. we are making no progress. and the NCADV is not addressing the real problem. the dog need to be called in its name. it is not just custody scandal. is human trafficking, and one of our worst enemies are the carrer driven women. they are selling the mothers. the public will only care when when they will see the blood, the bones the death. so far the bublic does not want to know and does not want to care. to many of them are getting rich this way.

Today (see live stream, perhaps earlier you tubes are saved to the site), after this, a woman got up and said, she comes from a DV program (provider) and feels under attack every time she comes to the conferences, “not all programs are the same.” (I believe this is true, however, some similar things have happened to where they get their funding from, which is no doubt affecting what they can do.)

When this second woman from a DV program (I don’t know which kind, whether shelter or another source) another grabbed the mike more authoritatively and said, “listen up people, this is important.” Then shared that, while she could see both sides of the question — AND, the battered women’s shelter hadn’t helped her custody case either — we should honor everyone’s work, we honor “all you do” — (and then proceeded to list, basically, the presenters again…)

Another woman (in earlier session) named some NY state agency that was getting quite a bit of money. The presenter (I couldn’t see which one) said, they didn’t want that dialogue now, get it together with others separately. The woman mentioned “OHEL,” which I began to look up.

Well, at least now I know why the BMCC hasn’t published the most important materials mothers need to know in their custody case, or fathers, in their child support or custody cases, for that matter! Or taxpayers — which is who is paying the other side? If this were reported, then the natural tendency of women would be to run across who is funding groups like FVPF, NCADV, PCADV, etc. And to my knowledge, the NFI (incorporated ca. 1994!) Ron Haskins, Wade Horn, David Blankenhorn, Brookings Institutions, STATE-LEVEL Fatherhood Commissions, etc. — are not going to be brought up, either.

I want to also quote another section of the same article on the same blog to illustrate what mean by the Hierarchy Mindset, when a movement is NOT a true grassroots movement because the paid professionals ARE involved:

For the fourth annual conference, Mo had the idea of creating a Truth Commission made up of a multi-disciplinary group of leading experts in domestic violence and custody

    who would listen to the testimony of sixteen protective mothers and use this information together with their knowledge of domestic violence custody cases to make a report

about the problems in the custody courts and potential solutions that could prevent the all too common tragedies discussed in the testimony and research.

Notes: It was Mo’s idea — not a participating mother’s idea. Mo Hannah, Ph.D. straddles two worlds — she is a mother who has experience in this system (how recent, I don’t know) and also a college professor, major, psychology — which is significant in this field, dealing with criminal matters, or what WE like to believe are criminal matters, even if the family courts decriminalize them because they were committed by personal relationship, and not a stranger.

And in her conception, the women could tell their stories, and the experts would write it up, adding their inside knowledge on cases (what makes these parties think that women have not themselves networked, read other casework, sat in on hearings, seen firsthand enough to testify on?)

We listened to the mothers’ testimony in front of the conference and then met privately to discuss the issues and prepare the report. While there were a few minor disagreements most of the conclusions and recommendations were unanimous and the atmosphere for the discussions was collegial. The Truth Commission presented its report and discussed it at the conference in front of all the participants. The reaction was supportive and appreciative. We later exchanged drafts by email as we prepared the final written report that can be found on the Internet and in our book.

The Truth Commission Report created a lot of excitement when we released it because it not only exposed the extent of the problem but also provided realistic solutions.

{{PI’VE READ ONE OR ANOTHER VERSIONS OF THIS ON THE INTERNET, AND HAVE READ CAREFULLY THE CONTENTS AND PREFACE MATTER OF THE RESULTING BOOK (OVER 100pp of it). ITS SOLUTIONS COMPLETELY FAIL TO REPORT ON THE PWORWA AND EXPLAIN FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO THE COURTS TO PROLONG CUSTODY CASES, AND A WHOLE LOT MORE. THE BASIC SOLUTION HAULED OUT AT EVERY CONFERENCE USUALLY BOILS DOWN TO — THE JUDGES NEED MORE EXPERT TRAINING. OURS…}}

One of the people who was impressed by the report was a publisher at Civic Research Institute which produces quality research and other material by and for professionals. She asked Mo Hannah to prepare a book based on the Truth Commission Report and Mo invited me to co-edit the book with her. This became DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY which was published in April of 2010. Many of the experts who present at the Battered Mothers Custody Conference became contributors to the book. We are excited that the book will be available at the upcoming 8th annual conference January 7-9. We will be discussing how to use the research in the book to help win better results in court.

While this is presented as “we’re all in is together” a “Truth Commission” on the presenters — and on this book — would include that the groups mentioned above, particularly NCADV, in its Anaheim CA Conference (2010?) mercilessly promoted each other, this book and through mailing lists provided by, it seems, “California Protective Parents Association,” Connie Valentine, et. al. A special “Custody track” was added to the NCADV conference, and people who played nicely by the rules could also present there, which Ms. Valentine and others did. More products were introduced to sell to women whose kids and lives were presently being injured and whose lives were under threat, while receiving horrible treatments and further abuse in the courts.

I protested loudly when a friend of mine, who put up an excellent blog, and who was known to be homeless, had been so slapping up press-releases for NCADV/CJE (Kathleen Russell Consulting -related nonprofit), and so forth, while these women were having their wages garnished and THIS one was homeless and working FT to pay her ex-batterer, having zero visitation with her son! There seems no end to what can be drained out of mothers, while concealing relevant information that at least makes some sense!

I do believe that at some level, women leaving abuse are prone to simply finding another controller/handler to replace them, and are particularly vulnerable when this includes both women and men.

The overall standard within this crowd is that anyone who disturbs the peace — i.e., has some “high-conflict” relationship with the overall strategy, process, or themes — can just either learn to get along, or go somewhere else. In this manner, the tendency of women to congregate and work together, and also use peer pressure and group pressure to control dissidents or troublemakers (or, those who won’t go along with the gang when IT is the troublemaker) — is being, to my mind, exploited by those running the conference.

There is also the issue of “blurred boundaries” and thinking that the “is what WE are doing working” actually represents a true “we.” it doesn’t. The women gave their testimony, but the experts wrote the book. Even if they make zero money from it, it’s still on their resume, and can be sited for further speaking engagements.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Anyone who runs a conference, puts it on (which is a major deal) and has had to plan, advertise, administrate, staff, design PR and brochures for, handle finances of presenters and exhibitors, etc. — has a right to control the conference and who gets up front and who does not.

i also believe that this type of podium/floor conferences are NOT the best places for experts to interact with non-experts. It’s not enough to overcome the self-perceived professionalism of the presenters, and the very professional and sometimes expert observation mothers bring to the floor, but without their Ph.D.’s etc.

By innocently? bringing in the “DV Experts” and developing an ongoing momentum of some sort, Mo and Barry, together with west coast helpers Connie Valentine & Karen Anderson (group, CPPA), and non-mother, non-family court survivor Kathleen Russell & CJE (Center for Judicial Excellence), etc. – have all but assured that the TRUTH is not going to come out honestly in this forum. I know from pretty reliable hearsay that Mo also has known about some of the materials I report, and others have reported (California NOW 2002, Marv Byer, NAFCJ.net, in particular) and has chosen not to lead with this information. We all need to make a living, right?

I have personally by email more than once, and also in commentary on material (blogs) these have written, brought up the influence of the nonprofit groups, the actual data regarding the access/visitation funding (to enable increased noncustodial time) and other very obvious (once you look at the stuff) influences on custody decisions, over a period of more than two years, and speaking as a family court survivor who had seen that the information coming out of this source now DOES NOT HELP CUSTODY CASES CONSISTENTLY.

They are still talking about “batterers manipulating the courts” and seem very foggy on the matter that the courts have also influenced the batterers.

conic Analysis is not only more objective than psychological and hearsay reports from the experts — it’s something a person could do at home without an advanced degree, but with some persistence. Doing this type of look-ups also is enlightening and convicting to individuals; the information CANNOT be ignored forever.

I also saw segments from a 2011 protest at HHS building (Washington, D.C.) and saw the signs /banner put up. They were blunt and confronting — but did not give readers or passers by a single website to go to, almost (except “Save Elsa Newman” type one) or mention any terms which could provoke a neutral person to go look things up at home later.

It mentioned the words “$500 million fatherhood funding.” Like the “58,000 children a year put in the custody of (molesters/abusers) which comes from The Leadership Council” — I don’t know where they got this from. If the goal is consciousness-raising, then how about a cite when the data is put out, so a person would see it him/herself.

I personally think the information is far larger. One newsletter I have leads me to believe that possibly someone got it from a Washington Post article!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If the Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference comprises a warm, but extended family that’s spread out all year long, but comes together for a ceremonial occasions to share stories and exchange gifts (well, in this case, SELL THINGS), then I would like to propose another paradigm of this family which may speak to mothers involved:

Before you reported, did YOUR family of origin, or extended family, try to “keep secrets” and severely ostracize or punish people who spoke up about what was happening behind closed doors, or collectively by tacit assent — when a child or spouse (or both) was being abused?

I have to at this point say, that’s what you have in the BMCC. Mothers have allowed professional DV organizations to drive the agenda, and to help you sell product. However noble or sincere their intentions may be (and I do believe many of them are), it is NEGLIGENT to omit the statistics on who is running the court system, year after year (8 years in a row), enabling the more informed organizations to “play the field” and dig organizational and financial network of trenches to further compromise the safety of women leaving abusive situations.

You do NOT send troops into battle with chinks in their armor. this IS a battle for the safety of children and particularly “battered mothers” — and they are not even being provided with an adequate boot camp, or even weapons, not unless they know who their opposing side is and what the modus operandi is. Less coaching, more observation would help.

It seems clear that either Mr. Goldstein has not done his homework on TAGGS, USASPending.gov, or on the readily available on-line material about AFCC, and about Welfare Reform, etc., — or he has, and hasn’t digested it.

For example, getting the state (government funding) involved is likely to frame the question in a certain manner so as not to compromise other funded issues — such as fatherhood promotion, which is quite well, thank you, in NYS.

Moreover, as I mentioned above, NOW has many priorities, and reforming family law is NOT a top one. It’s on the back burner.

I hope by being VERY overt and blatant about this position, it may help wake up, or resonate with someone who’s on the fence about, what’s really going on here? We need to know who is and who is not a “friend” when it comes to the most important issues in any parent’s life: Staying alive, and protecting (her, in this case) young. The same principles apply to when assessing who is and who is not going to live in one’s household any longer. Assessment needs to happen.

My blog will NOT continue to be added to after January 2012, (the end of this much) pretty much. This work is volunteer, and no one has to volunteer years on end, after so many years of devastation in the “custody courts” following a pretty devastating marital relationship.

Life consists of time, which is precious — so do good analysis, check it from time to time, adjust as needed, and make good decisions — but make them at least your own decisions!

Consider this a “Shout!” and hopefully it will echo in someone else’s ears.

When mothers who have been battered, or had extreme trauma through either CPS, or removal of children without due process in the courts, will take some time to look up (not rocket science!) on-line some of the people who preaching and teaching them how to manage their own court cases, and what the dynamics are like — I believe they will be more empowered; and will take their RIGHTFUL place in leading — not following — any reform movement within the family law system.

Many of such women may not feel comfortable standing up and saying STOP! No! Ludicrous! or stepping apart from (this) crowd. Others may — but until you take the position of, I am going to VALIDATE information I’ve been receiving, and moreover, I’m going to show a little initiative, or “ADHD” and look at some things these teachers are NOT mentioning to see if they fit in the puzzle — the less need they will have to cross the continent to listen to the “same old” and hopefully get a few seconds of mike in-between presentations.

Really, we need to analyze what good have the experts done here, be thankful for the progress, and probably, take the reins away. “Thank you, foremothers and forefathers, now this is what’s been happening in the last 15 years that your driving down this road failed to see. No harm meant, but it’s time to reconsider the license to lead.”

(Of course, there is no license needed to put on a conference — just organization and some funding. So the matter is of, where to spend one’s time.)

There’s a lot more being communicated than just content at any conference (this one included). As a former teacher, I know this. There are standards, values, processes, and so forth. Right now, I feel from this far away — and by who’s presenting — (today’s post is a sampler, and I didn’t mention the ever forefront promotion of the Holly Collins case and Garland Waller’s film) that it’s time for something different.

2 from 2002 and the Kitchen Sink: Why Sociologists (are hired) to Rule America

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Bifurcating Parenthood (Georgetown), 2-Pronged Fatherhood (Progressive Policythink), Ridiculous Rulings (in Kansas) and Who Rules America (UC sociologist)

Today’s post (extended and updated from yesterdays, which I published in short form) has 4 (FOUR) parts:

1,

2,

3,

4.

As is usual for me, the “juice” that inspired the post is in the middle, [2-3] the Intro, and the kicker [4] at the end, and the Intro [1] sometimes gets so extended, I never actually publish the middle.  So we have:

1, Symbolizing Judicial Tyranny (dombrowski)

2, Parental Bifurcation (2002 Georgetown article)

3, The 2nd prong of Fatherhood (2002 Progressive Policy-think)

4.  Jobs ain’t Wealth & Who Rules America (since we just saw how).

As is usual for me, the “juice” that inspired the post is in the middle, [2-3] the Intro, and the kicker [4] at the end, and the Intro [1] sometimes gets so extended, I never actually publish the middle.

4 was simply me mentioning the theme of “income v. wealth” that I know by now is critical in the social engine called these courts. It’s basically workforce development, and US/Them paradigm. There are several links and quotes. I could’ve chosen any. But it will hold together, I trust. At the top, I’m going to post a QUOTE from a Professor Dumoff, a sociologist at UC Santa Cruz. It’s from his site “WHO RULES AMERICA?” which is a good question. More below, at the banner.

In my last year of research and reflection (including on my own experience) of who’s doing WHAT in the courts an WHY those dang nonprofits have been useless, basically, I had to get to foundations, who support the nonprofits doing nothing. Then I began to understand the forces that are driving America into materialistic chaos, to sustain a global economy based on permanent debt. I feel this ain’t too bad work, considering what have also been through in the “decade of the courts” in my adult life.

Who Rules America?  By G. William Domhoff, University of California at Santa Cruz

I suggest we read this site THROUGH.

I am burnt out on reporting on outrageous family law cases, also beseeching noncustodial parents I know to take a little more critical look at organizations — not just good/cop  bad/cop individuals.  I have . . . . .   I also have repeatedly encouraged people to take a very illuminating glance at some of the IRS 990s on some of the “helkping” organizations who continue to pay CEOs over $100,000 year to report on the carnage or insults to personhood.

Losers in the family law situation who don’t end up physically and emotionally dysfunctional might definitely end up homeless may definitely end up homeless, male or female.  Yet there’s a real reluctance among litigants to not just look at the role of the child support system (federal) as a planned move to socialism for most of us based on policies set by the foundations hiring the nonprofits selecting what will (and will not) get talked about in the arena.   They may blog or acknowledge it briefly, then go back to collaborating with the closest nonprofit that makes a big noise.

Battered women who’ve gone into the family law court after leaving the relationship are in a UNIQUE position to understand and speak to the power structure from underneath, analytically and as to attitude.

Once I began looking at organizational structures (it helps to have a model  of a virtual “gang” in one’s own family for reference) I never stopped looking.  Here’s a diagram for the more visually organized:

This is how such an inane policy as “fatherhood” could actually go through Congress, and get enacted.  It’s a form of psychological warfare, basically, to frame the conversation nationally, yet fail to inform have the litigants in court that the conversation is taking place.

ANYHOW, this represents my post for today, and welcome to it.  Do your own homework!

Here’s from Part 4, to think about in 1, 2, and 3:

  • “The rich” coalesce into a social upper class that has developed institutions by which the children of its members are socialized into an upper-class worldview, and newly wealthy people are assimilated.
  • Members of this upper class control corporations, which have been the primary mechanisms for generating and holding wealth in the United States for upwards of 150 years now.
  • There exists a network of nonprofit organizations through which members of the upper class and hired corporate leaders not yet in the upper class shape policy debates in the United States.

This I can attest to. See (for a starter) “shady shaky foundations of family law” and some of the organizational geneaology. IN good part, that’s what this blog is for — to show the connections. This tells me also why the “Coalitions Against Domestic Violence” simply “cannot” hear our truths.

  • Members of the upper class, with the help of their high-level employees in profit and nonprofit institutions, are able to dominate the federal government in Washington.
  • The rich, and corporate leaders, nonetheless claim to be relatively powerless.
  • Working people have less power than in many other democratic countries.

1, Symbolizing Judicial Tyranny (dombrowski)

If I don’t post something more “detached” today, I’m going to post the entire docket for Hal Richardson v. Claudine Dombrowski in the “Third Judicial Court of Public Access,” Kansas. Claudine has been in this system for 14 + years, and isn’t broken yet, though it’s making a good effort to do so to her. Her case also illustrates the cognitive dissonance between criminal and family law, and between family law as stated and as practiced. Not to mention what the U.S. is doing to the half of parenthood in the United States who are female. We are still fighting for recognition as human beings and thus covered under civil rights, due process, etc.

Even though I know so much about this case, it’s still possible to be entirely shocked at the behavior of the court and court personnel in it.

As summarized in a blog, August 1, this year

Judge James P. Buchele, who refused to permit adequate testimony at trial, shortening it to benefit his docket, and also ordered Claudine to move back to Topeka to live near Richardson, for the sake of their “co-parenting.” WHAT?! Richardson is a man with multiple criminal convictions for violent behavior (Battery, Attempted Battery, Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction of Legal Process, Possession of Marijuana and violation of Open Container law), a man who has beaten and raped Claudine multiple times before and after her divorce from him, a man who has threatened to kill her and her child.
Worse, Judge Buchele also ordered Claudine not to call the police any more without the permission of her case manager. When Judge James Buchele retired, Judge Richard D. Anderson
affirmed Buchele’s previous orders, including the illegal prohibition on Claudine’s being able to call the police.

As reported in Manhattan (KS) Free press, July 9 years ago (also see blog):

The divorce proceedings were extended for eighteen months. Throughout the proceedings Claudine’s attorneys filed numerous reports claiming violations of the restraining order and requesting an order to sever contact between Hal, Claudine and daughter Rikki.

The first involved an incident that both parties agreed in court happened, they just could not agree what happened. Claudine said she was hit in the head with a crow bar and Hal said it was a piece of wood. What ever he hit her with it took 24 stitches to close the head wounds.

At a hearing on June 17, 1996 Shawnee County District Court Judge Jan W. Leuenberger signed order giving custody of Rikki to Claudine and authorizing her to move to the Great Bend area so that “Ms. Dombrowski could avoid the history of physical and verbal abuse she had suffered from Mr. Richardson.”

In other words, were she not a mother, she would have the right to flee to protect her unalienable right to LIFE. However, unknown to her, other things had already been cooking in Congress around this time, which are mentioned below. In 1994 a little National Fatherhood Initiative had been formed. In 1995, then-President Clinton had issued his (in)famous Executive Order about Fathers. In 1996, we have Welfare Reform, some of the Congressional Testimony of which I posted recently and which is summarized below on a site calling itself “Progressive Policy.” I call it Regressive, because it results in cases like this. You can track the REgression in individual cases, and how it happened, through adding personnel besides the judge.


Hal was given supervised visitation

Why this Supervision shouldn’t have been done with him inside a jail cell, I just don’t “get.” Rikki must’ve seen her mother’s stitches — what message does that send to a young girl? It’s OK for fathers to beat up mothers, right? A family court judge will sweep up the evidence . Whistleblowers will be punished.

Reading on in the case, he WILL get even for even that restriction. A GAL will help, Scott MacKenzie (if I can keep the narrative straight who did what when….) In time — that’s how these things go — Supervised visitation will be switched to the mother. Then, her fight will be to get that UNsupervised. She will win that “privilege,” but apparently wasn’t docile enough, because she then loses all contact entirely for a while. It’s all in the record. Meanwhile, the various parties are REAL serious about getting the money she owes absolutely everyone for these types of “services.”

In Judge Buchele’s Orders after the trial he made it clear that he wanted more from this couple than what was possible. Here is what he wrote: “Mutual parental involvement with this child has been made worse by Ms. Dombrowski’s unilateral decision to move to Larned, Kansas in May of 1996. The distance between Topeka and Larned makes it virtually impossible for an individual treater to work with the family; for Mr. Richardson to have regular and frequent contact with this child; to establish any reasonable dialogue between the parents toward resolving their conflicts. The move from Topeka to Larned, due to the proximity of the parties, has lessened the physical violence. It has, however, done violence to the relationship of Rikki and her father. If long distance visitation is continued, in the Court’s view, will take its toll not only on Rikki but each of the parties. The Court specifically finds that separation of the child from either parent for long periods of time is harmful for a child of about three years of age.”

And THERE, “in a nutshell,” you have how a family law judge skillfully Re-frames the conversation and Re-Prioritizes it from safety to reconciliation. Better Claudine maybe die the next time than a father’s rights be conditioned upon not abusing them — or her. Sounds “squirrelly” to me. A woman gets temporary reprieve and safety, then this is reversed, and made worse. The decisions become more and more authoritative.

He then went on to require Claudine to move back to the Topeka area.

And then Judge Buchele made a judgment that some Manhattan attorneys say is not legal. Judge Buchele ordered: “Further, respondent (Claudine) is directed to not call law enforcement authorities to investigate the petitioner (Hal) without first consulting with the case manager.”

On December 14, 2000 after returning her daughter to her fathers home Claudine alleges that she was battered and raped by Hal. Under order not to call law enforcement authorities and with bleeding that would not stop, she drove to St. Marys, Kansas to get treatment. Claudine knew that if she had gone to a Topeka Hospital they would have called the police.

In St. Marys hospital officials did contact the Pottawatomie Sheriff and a report was made. She was advised that because the alleged event occurred in Shawnee County she would have to file there.

RIGHT THERE — is a typical “between a rock and a hard place” situation. I have experienced a modified situation, where I was so frightened, I drove, fast, to a police station in another city. They told me to go back to practically the scene of a stalking incident that had terrified me. There, I was treated abominably by officers, who refused to report, though dispatched to do so by the intake person who heard my voice; the incident was also witnessed by others, and signed letters are in the file.

Claudine had a choice of, NOT REPORTING, saving her own skin (to hell with her daughter) and just dealing with it. Supposed the injuries had been different and the bleeding faster, and she didn’t TRY to appease an outright vicious court order, but reported right in Topeka at first, and going straight from having wounds tended to, to jail (or soon thereafter) in contempt. She did what any mother would in a crisis — stop the bleeding, let the mandatory reporters (probably ) report, and go save her daughter.

Claudine said that because of the battery and rape she picked up Rikki the next day and did not return her.

Now, does that “revise” your opinion of what Sherriff’s Departments are in the business of?

The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department was called and took Rikki back to Topeka. The court gave Hal custody and orders for her to attend Topeka schools.

As it stands now, [2001] Rikki is with her father in Topeka. Claudine gets two one-hour visits per week

Here is a link to that ex parte, JUDGE-initiated order (Neither party initiated it. The judge in this matter totally redefined his own role in the courtroom. This judge ain’t the only one around doing this.). Can you read it? The link is “scribd” and take a while to load. My computer is too slow today to load its 11 pp. Also, I’m curtailing my own commentary because even keystrokes are coming out one at a time, slowly. I can only fill up a short “buffer” zone, about 4 words, and then have to just wait for it to catch up.

Shawnee County District Court– Topeka, Kansas, 200 SE 7th Street 66603 Div 2 – Hon. Richard D. Anderson (785) 233-8200 Ext. 4350

Order without motion from either party WITHOUT Hearing on his OWN—I REPEAT on his own

Took my daughter and gave her to a KNOWN AND convicted Batterer and drug abuser AND CHILD RAPIST

Fast-forward 9 years or so. ..

By way of a 2007 Petition before the “Inter American Commission on HUMAN Rights” On Item 17 Courageous Kids personal stories, please read “Letter to IACHR by siblings” (#3 )here. These are 4 siblings now aged out of the system, detailing what happened when they called the cops, or ran away, what happened to their mother; how one girl was thrown out by her father and forced to live in a car for a while in retaliation. It’s only 3 pages. These are the types of fathers getting custody in this system.

THIS site has links to more details:

https://i1.wp.com/rightsformothers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/POTUS.png

Claudine Dombrowski:  An abused mom victimized again by the Kansas Courts

People are outraged everywhere. The last time 15 year old Rikki called to cancel her two hour Sunday visit she is allowed each week with her mother, she was crying on the phone and said she couldn’t come. Abuser WOS (waste of skin) Hal Richardson was yelling in the background, and Rikki cried more. Dear Claudine told her daughter it was okay, that everything would be okay. That was it. After that, not even a phone call to cancel, Hal Richardson failed to produce Rikki at the Topeka Police Station as he was ordered to do. Nothing. And the court let him get away with all 67 violations of this court order on August 20th when they went to court.

(the woman who writes this, above, herself lost contact with her own mother, a generation earlier).

(Compare, above, when Claudine “messed up” by going to a hospital, even though she attempted to go to the politically correct one, in 2000. I believe this was when she was punished for bleeding and trying to regain her child, by losing custody of her child then about-5-year-old daughter.)

Contrast this case history and pattern of bad ethics and decision-making with the more detached narratives, below.

2, Parental Bifurcation (2002 Georgetown article)

I decided to post two pieces (first — long / second – short) that talk openly about the social agenda in the family court/ family law arena. That SOCIAL AGENDA is what most offends me about the Family Law Process. Not its equally destructive consequences. What’s most offensive is how the process eradicates precious civil rights, that are encased in the documents foundational to our country. An elitist attitude and practice, that disdains these, needs to be dismantled. Instead, they have become increasingly blatant and oppressive (similar case, CA 2000/StopFamilyViolence.org site reporting).

[Criminal jury exonerates mother, after she was jailed, fleeing to protect her children. Ignoring this family law judge STILL leaves custody with the abusers, and mother has to pay to see her own children. This is how “supervised visitation” — marketed and sold to the public as protecting children from violent FATHERS, is being used to punish protective MOTHERS),]

even after people are dying as a consequence of bad custody calls (2 women and a man dead, Maricopa Co., AZ, 2009/StopFamilyViolence.org site reporting).

I hope the people I network with as well as visitors will download and read these. The first one may explain why so many of us are being treated dismissively and as silly putty to be stretched, bounced, and reformed in amusing or comical distortions that please the manipulators rather than acknowledging that they are of the same substance as us, as human beings, just occupying different seats in the room.

(1) BIFURCATION

in the Legal Regulation of Parenthood

This is 44+ screens long and from GeorgetownLaw; popped up under a search for “The Origin of Family Law.”

I look forward to reading the rest of it. The “bifurcation” around gender. You will see…

There are some misspellings on the website. Font changes are (most likely) mine. I am not indenting for the quote, and will put any comments in bullet form

Parenthood divided: A legal history of the bifurcated law of parental relations

INTRODUCTION

The American law of parent and child is conventionally understood to be extremely deferential to parental prerogatives and highly reluctant to intervene.1 But this picture, endorsed by legal authorities and popular commentators from the nineteenth century to the present day, reflects only one tradition in the law’s regulation of parenthood. Since the last quarter of the nineteenth century, {{1875-1900}}there has also been massive legal intervention into the parental relation. This second legal tradition, moreover, has been guided by norms wholly different from those conventionally associated with family law, often evincing a radical suspicion of parental autonomy and an eager willingness to reshape family relations.

.

A STARK DIVIDE IN THE LEGAL REGUALTION OF PARENTHOOD EMERGES IN LATE NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA

The founding of the first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children marks a pivotal moment in the bifurcation of the law’s treatment of parental relations. The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was established in New York City in 1874 by two elite reformers, Henry Bergh and Elbridge Gerry, who used the occasion of a celebrated case of physical violence against a child to create the first organization designed to combat “child cruelty” in the United States.7 Common law courts of the period staunchly protected the rights that parents in general and fathers in particular exercised over the custody and control of their children.

  • SPCC formed by two elite reformers
  • “the rights that parents in general and fathers in particular exercised. . . .”

8 But the New York society accorded almost no weight to the prerogatives of the parents it was concerned about, characterizing their connection to their children as little stronger than the ties of happenstance. Gerry explained at an organizational meeting in December 1874, for instance, that the society would “seek out and rescue from the dens and slums of the City the little unfortunates whose lives were rendered miserable by the system of cruelty and abuse which was constantly practiced upon them by the human brutes [their parents] who happened to possess the custody or control of them.”9 Describing the homes of cruel parents as “dens and slums” offered a key clue, of course, to the limits the New York society placed on its jurisdiction. From the start, it focused on families that had not been successful in the wage labor economy, operating on the principle that this economic failure had been caused by some crucial moral or character flaw.10

3, The 2nd prong of Fatherhood (2002 Progressive Policy-think)

(2) COMPLETION

of the Critical Job of Welfare Reform

And — what else — “promoting responsible fatherhood

AND THIS from Progressive Policy Institute. BOTH of them let us know clearly that family law is a social engineering project. Too bad it says “law” on the outside which has other connotations to the unwary.

PPI | Policy Report | March 19, 2002
Promoting Responsible Fatherhood
Some Promising Strategies
By Megan Burns
One of the key successes of welfare reform has been in the increase of low-income single mothers in the labor force. Due in part to a strong economy and the 1996 welfare reform law, 16 percent more poor moms entered the labor force over the past six years. However, evidence suggests poor men did not fare as well. Because the first round of welfare reform required mothers to work, this next round should issue a similar challenge to fathers in order to help them become current and continue to pay child support.

According to the Urban Institute, about two-thirds of the nearly 11 million American fathers who do not live with their children fail to pay child support.1 Therefore it is no surprise that children who grow up fatherless are five times more likely to be poor.2

This reasoning assumes that women who have left an abuser (which are among those numbers) cannot do better financially afterwards, or that women in general cannot do well alone — in short, it assumes a stable working wage. In 2002, I had tripled my working wage, and was doing better. But I had to use a nontraditional model of employment. This was not the model that welfare funnels women onto.

This 2002 report was also six years into welfare reform, and fails to account for cases like Dombrowski/Richardson, above, where (thanks go fathers’ rights movements and encouragements) cases STAY in the family law venue for years, impoverishing the family through ongoing litigation, and removing protection for the protective parents.

Social researchers also note that while women flooded the labor market, poor men did not. For example, during the 1990s, the labor force participation of young black women rose 18 percent, whereas the participation rate among low-income, non-college-educated black men actually fell by almost 10 percent.3

Well, now we have it clearly who welfare policies affecting all populations are aimed at. Supposedly.

In recent months, policymakers have increasingly begun to recognize that bringing fathers into the work-based system created by the 1996 law will be the next critical step in finishing the job of welfare reform. While “responsible fatherhood” programs have sprouted across the country, fatherhood and family formation promise to be central issues in the reauthorization of welfare reform legislation this year.

This type of discussion defines where income comes from — labor. However, that’s not at all where it comes from all the time. People who set policies KNOW this and they are not the chief laborers in question.

4.  Jobs ain’t Wealth & Who Rules America (since we just saw how).

MOST people can find out the difference between wealth and income, or understand it (I believe) if someone engages in a discussion of it. The policymakers and the child support enforcement system are here to make sure that discussion never happens in any significant way. Here are a few links:

2003

http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html

May 2003 – VOLUME 24 – NUMBER 5


The Wealth Divide
The Growing Gap in the United States
Between the Rich and the Rest


An Interview with Edward Wolff

Edward Wolff is a professor of economics at New York University. He is the author of Top Heavy: The Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America and What Can Be Done About It, as well as many other books and articles on economic and tax policy. He is managing editor of the Review of Income and Wealth.

In the United States, the richest 1 percent of households owns 38 percent of all wealth. Multinational Monitor: What is wealth?
Edward Wolff:
Wealth is the stuff that people own. The main items are your home, other real estate, any small business you own, liquid assets like savings accounts, CDs and money market funds, bonds, other securities, stocks, and the cash surrender value of any life insurance you have. Those are the total assets someone owns. From that, you subtract debts. The main debt is mortgage debt on your home. Other kinds of debt include consumer loans, auto debt and the like. That difference is referred to as net worth, or just wealth.

MM: Why is it important to think about wealth, as opposed just to income?
Wolff:
Wealth provides another dimension of well-being. Two people who have the same income may not be as well off if one person has more wealth. If one person owns his home, for example, and the other person doesn’t, then he is better off.

Who Rules America?  By G. William Domhoff, University of California at Santa Cruz

2005

Power in America

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/class_domination.html

Wealth, Income, and Power

by G. William Domhoff

September 2005 (updated July 2010)

This document presents details on the wealth and income distributions in the United States, and explains how we use these two distributions as power indicators.

This sociologist actually quotes Wolff, above.


The Wealth Distribution

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2010).

http://www.halfsigma.com/2005/05/class_vs_income.html

May 17, 2005

Class vs. income vs. wealth

Wealth is how much money you have, income is how much you earn, and class is how much other people think you have based on how you behave.

People often don’t realize class exists because most people only associate with people of their own class. They don’t comprehend that people from other classes behave and think in ways totally alien to them.

If people are aware of class, it’s only of the class directly below them whom they feel superior to. Yes, class has a lot to do with looking down at people, which is why it’s a topic that’s seldom talked about. It’s not politically correct to admit that you look down at people.

2008

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9611

Confusing Wealth and Income

by Richard W. Rahn

This article appeared in the Washington Times on August 27, 2008.

Which of the following families is “richer”? The first family consists of a wife who has recently become a medical doctor, and she makes $160,000 per year. Her husband is a small business entrepreneur who makes $110,000 per year, giving them a total family income of $270,000 per year. However, they are still paying off the loans the wife took out for medical school and the loans the husband took out to start his business, amounting to debts of $300,000. Their total assets are valued at $450,000; hence, their real net worth or wealth (the difference between gross assets and liabilities) is only $150,000.

The second family consists of a trial lawyer who took early retirement and his non-working wife. They have an annual income of $230,000, all of it derived from interest on tax-free municipal bonds they own. However, their net worth is $7 million, consisting of $5 million in bonds, a million-dollar home with no mortgage, and a million dollars in art work, home furnishings, automobiles and personal items

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

with 4 comments

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

For Kids Caught in PA Scandal, Trials not Over

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

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

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

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

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

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

About this post:

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

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

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

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

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

Published March 19, 2005 by The Washington Post

Battered Justice For Battered Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Joan S. Meier)

Joan S. Meier

Luzerne County Judges Racketeering and

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

What these two cases taught me:

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

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

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

(from the FBI Philadelphia Sept. 2009 bulletin:)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Legal Intelligencer

August 11, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AND:

Date: 09-24-2007

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

Case Number: 04-1157/2495

Judge: Fuentes

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description:

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

I. Background

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

. . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, back to the Burella situation —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . .

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

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

* * *

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

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

BACK TO THE LUZERNE COUNTY CASE,

Juvenile WAYNE DAWN’s COMPLAINT and CAPUTO’s ruling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JESSICA (GONZALES) LENAHAN’S STATEMENT

FOR THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

MARCH 2007

ACLU WEBSITE — SHE HAS NOT GIVEN UP SEEKING ANSWERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This IACHR link will be put on the front page.

Yes, we SHOULD call them “restraining order suggestions” (Certifiably Insane Protection Orders in MN; meanwhile, more “Fatherhood” in KS)

with 25 comments

[UPDATE NOTES: This post originally published over five years ago — on August 7, 2009.  For more recent focus of this blog, see more recent posts (2016, 2014) which focus on systems operations, and consolidation of economic power from outside state lines (divorce and custody remaining under state jurisdiction, as well as domestic violence prevention orders).  I am currently working on posts regarding the Greenbook Initiative (2000-2008) and involved parties, on the NCJFCJ, on IDVAAC, and the “DV cartel” as identified by its participants (centralized, coordinated, and stuck in a policy rut) on the HHS and USDOJ grants stream.   I look up nonprofit organizations functioning as social policy conduits for a small group of inter-related professionals who cut deals with each other on what to minimize, what to focus on.  These represent a much larger pattern throughout government, not just relating to domestic violence itself. Many times by the time individuals find out about the policy deals that were cut, their lives, or kids are “gone.”  If not physically, often in all the other critical aspects of life which people NOT entrenched in some of these systems may still take for granted.  For example, the ability to get to and from, and hold a job once one has been hired, or completing projects for clients inbetween police events, court hearings, and ongoing threats to one’s personal safety and particularly, financial survival (i.e., ability to sustain food, housing, transportation, etc.). This comment added 2/16/2016 //LGH]

Today’s headlines are right on topic with yesterday’s post. . . and the one referenced above….

Mr & Mrs. OUELETTEs, MINNESOTA, 2 accounts of 2,100 on the web.

(1)  Wife had order of protection against husband prior to murder-suicide

(2)  Harris man gave up guns before strangling wife, hanging himself

Well, I swore I was NOT going to blog on this today, but I fear that these are indeed possibly copy-cat murder/suicides.  It is now “out there” in the news as a possible way out of an emotionally embarrassing and humiliating situation.

Read THIS one, and then see if you can tell which parts were certifiably insane public policy, and how many warning signs people ignored.

And I’ll tell you why this one chills me, and makes me glad to be alive today.

(TOP part of post — Minnesota.  BOTTOM — Kansas.  They relate.)

Preface Commentary:

At this point, it seems to be “certifiably insane public policy” to expect women to trust, or men to respect, such restraining orders, when clearly they don’t — I already blogged on this re: the woman in Pennsylvania who fought back.

Recently, I wrote about a father accused of molesting his (teenaged) daughter who, seeing as she was only moved 2 doors down, and into the home of a man that used to be the same father’s employee (say, what???!?), within one week, Dad had killed: daughter, foster father and himself, and almost killed foster mother, too.  So THAT helpful ruling got 3 people dead and one injury.  Great going, child protective services in that region of Tennessee.

Here’s another one that slipped through the cracks somehow, and at several different points.  What “gets” me about this one is realizing several domestic violence prevention groups, nonprofits, that have been getting millions upon millions of federal dollars, over at least a decade in grants to provent violendce locally, rurally, and in Indian tribes, as well as technical assistance grants to, I guess, “get the word out.”  So far, I can see they are doing a great job with putting to gether literature that’s already on the web somewhere, positioning themselves as the experts, consulting in private with other professionals about what to do, and keeping a body count.  Which hasn’t substantially changed (per these counts) statewide in Minnesota within a decade.

So either the state is raising more suicidal or unable to handle stress people, or immature young adults who then continue the immaturity into adulthood and parenthood (referringto the fathers in this case), or something. . . . . . Or so many people are being born each day that they STILL don’t know the warning signs of danger, and are talked into minimizing them.

Let’s maybe add ONE more “lethality risk” — trusting in protection orders to start with.  That’s for the courts and for the women alike.  And encouraging a woman to do so (or continuing to present them as viable alternatives — when in fact they are panaceas too often) also places her in risk, given the facts.  Ignorance of them is NOT bliss. . . .  

When police DO respond in time, they run the risk of death themselves.  When they do NOT respond in time, typically Mom, and sometimes Dad, are killed, and sometimes more.  Or otherwise traumatized.  SO . . . . .   what else is available?

THIS ONE:

  • State:  Minnesota
  • Body Count:  2, no responding officers or bystanders killed this time.
  • Orphans:  3, ages 10 (boy), 8 & 8 (twin girls)
  • Who are they now living with?  Relatives.
  • Did they witness the murder  – – of their mother by their father, YES, the girls
  • Did they try to intervene and fail? – — YES, an 8 year old girl tried to save her mother.
  • Was 911 called? – — YES, by an 8 year old daughter?
  • Was the call heeded (it seems No), or interfered with (yes, by the father)? – – – read below.
  • Was that restraining order as written certifiably insane?  – — ABSOLUTELY.  (And it seems identical to the one I got many years ago.)
  • Does making a restrained person turn in his or her guns always save a life? – — NO.  Other weapons also can kill (apparently here, hands).
  • Or, a person not allowed to get a gun could get a friend’s (or in a recent case girlfriend’s gun).
  • Are risk assessments going to redeem lives from living in fear (or being lost)?  – – – I’m  not sure.  I’m of the current opinion, NO, unless the woman herself takes them seriously and takes serious actions not reliant on 911 to ensure safety.

So, Let’s talk about the body counts vis a vis the legal terminology:

When you think about it, and read the results, even calling these things “protection orders” makes zero sense.

They are restraint requests.  A man without restraint is ordered publically by a judge to show restraint.

WHO is to protect, in “protection order”?  The power of the state?  Does the state, like God, declare “protection” exists because it ordered this?  And is the state, in so doing, lying to the protected parties.

I think so, basically.  

Here’s a perhaps (I ALWAYS say “perhaps,” or try to} more viable protection order:

A trained, armed mother with an attitude to match, telling the man who just received the judicial order, that she is going to take the boundaries of the property seriously, and understands all laws regarding the 2nd amendment, and any contingencies.  IN other words, she needs to be more determined and more aggressive than the person who formerly attacked or threatened her.

So do the people surrounding or dealing with her on this issue.

Alternately, a “not in the same state” “county” “500 mile radius” mother, and kids.  And the kids could be told the truth about why this is happening, in age-appropriate terms but without name-calling or derogatory treatment of their father.

But of course that would screw up access visitation and National Fathers Return Days somewhat….

NOW, this is not typically the state of a woman who has gotten to the point of requesting such an order from her husband, right? The request for an order represents (to an abuser) an ESCALATION in OPPOSITION to SUBMISSION.

Wife had order of protection against husband prior to murder-suicide

HARRIS, Minn. — In rural Chisago County, houses are far apart, but neighbors are close.

Roland and Mavis Ramberg thought they knew the neighbors down the road, Doug and Candice Ouellette, who were both  38 years old.

Their grandchildren and the Ouellette’s 10-year-old son and 8-year-old twin girls were friends.

“They seemed like a nice couple,” says Mavis.

> > > Yes, we all like to think that pleasantries in social endeavors

mean the couple is nice in private.  This mentality also appears to hold true among custody evaluators and mediators — well, he/she showed self-control while in MY office, or while I was watching, therefore, that’s the standard..Therefore my formal assessment (opinion?) is that, he/she is a nice guy and the other partner is eccentric, or has personality problems (that don’t relate to or arise from the relationship? . . . ).

I have been seriously assaulted both immediately before and immediately after a social engagement in our home, like many women who have been in violent relationships.  No matter how much evidence hits the press or anywhere else about the reality of this type of dual- behavior, the communal lore (at least in the press) seems to be, denial and surprise..as if this was a new thing.  “What a nice couple.”

Define “nice.”  Define knowledge of one’s neighbors.


Then on Wednesday night, the Rambergs realized that something was clearly wrong.

>>Apparently they didn’t know about:  the prior suicide attempt resulting in a call to police, OR the restraining order situation, or the divorce.  They were still a “nice” couple.

“All I saw was squad cars, upon squad cars and helicopter,” says Roland

One of the Ouellette’s little girls had called 911. Investigators say Doug strangled Candice to death in their home, then hanged himself in an outbuilding.

“I can’t imagine anything worse than having your dad kill your mom and then kill himself,” says Chisago County Chief Deputy Bob Shoemaker.

Court documents filed in Chisago County detail the couple’s troubled marriage. In June, police were called to the Ouellette’s home for an attempted suicide.

{{This suicide attempt is characterized as  “a troubled marriage,” not a troubled man.  Well, attempted suicides ARE troubling to all involved}}

In her own words, Candice (mother) tells the court that Doug locked himself in the pole barn with guns,

held a revolver to his head and threatened to kill himself.

At that time Candice received an order for protection, an order authorities say was later terminated by the agreement both she and her husband.  {{The sentence is incomplete…}}

{{AND all the “experts” said, “Amen, So Be it.  We’re glad you reconciled.”}}

A suicide attempt should trigger a separation and mandated SOMETHING.  Fatherlessness over the decades sure has triggered a LOT of initiatives.  Why not initiatives to mandate that potential fatherlessness as demonstrated by suicide attempt should result in suicide-prevention action by the courts, et al.?  (See my past 14 years of lethality risk studies, last post)  Common sense:  In the news there are “suicide” attacks, bombs.  Wars sometimes involve suicide bombing  SO when there’s a home war, watch out!}}

{HAS SOMEONE ACTUALLY — OR WILL THEY LATER — READ THE ORDER THAT TERMINATES?  How much later? . . . that’s the trouble with getting stories out so fast — their incompleteness…}}

But at the end of June, Candice filed for divorce, with a no contact provision.

  • It looks like there was a stipulation in the paperwork
  • that allows him to go to the outbuildings during daylight hours
  • between 9 and 5 pm,” says Shoemaker.

Gee, with all the hoopla, particularly by President Obama et al., this past Father’s Day, perhaps it made him feel even worse.  That’s why I say, maybe we ought to “call it a day” on the “days.”  MOST of them. . . . . . .

til 5pm?  BUT — – – – BUT – – – – did not this attack, strangulation-murder, happen around 9:15pm (or was it just discovered then)?  How long were those girls in the home alone with their Mom’s body?

What kind of self-restraint was presumed the suicidal Dad would show in this presumptuous order?  And, why didn’t the Mom call 911 the SECOND he approached the home after 5pm?  Was it an ambush or sneak attack?  Or was she still half in “placation/mediation/well, he’s their father mode”?  And had it not yet sunk in that she had a RIGHT to self-defense and say no?  OR, it being rural, did she not have any other recourse?  Unfortunately, we do not have a brain-scan of her final thoughts.. Do those girls have some final words or cries burned into their brains, and the boy?. . .  (I can imagine why, probably, having been in those shoes.  And my order didn’t even stipulate only certain hours…)

THAT ORDER IS  – – AS WELL AS TERMINATING THE EARLIER ONE – – was  the “certifiably insane” part . . . . . The “frog in a pan of warm water” effect.  The “graduated sanctions” philosophy.  That order, whether written ‘by them’ or not, was signed by a judge, and was a piece of crap!  If any of my readers has negotiated a “mutual” agreement with someone who has attempted or threatened to attempt suicide before, and all went well, all are still alive, it worked out, please comment on my post, and give the case # too, and what county and what year.  I’d like to see something to validate the court attention-deficit process women leaving abuse are put through.  One files a protection order on the other, indicating some serious and significant differences in perspective, than are ordered to mediate, or reconcile, or just get along and put their differences aside.

AND – – I had the same thing.  Same field of endeavor from this man, and same not a REAL protection order.  It was not really safe, it was risky to do this, in our context, and obviously this one also.  At the time, it was a drastic improvement.  In retrospect, it was unfair to us, 100%, and exposed us to risk, and compromised how efficiently we could recover and rebuild/repair things that were broken.  ON THE OTHER HAND, if he hadn’t perceived he won something back, we might have been the Ouellettes. . . . .  This is why the VPC calls it “American Roulette” in reporting on these things.  However, they are focusing on the guns.  There were no guns in this murder/suicide.

The documents also reveal the couple may have been having some financial problems. Candice was working from home. Her husband was part owner of a family construction company. Friends say business had been slow.

Go figure:  She was working from home, with young children at home, and the “protection order” allowed him daily access from 9-5pm, rather than put a physical separation from their places of business and her (now) home.  

At this point, authorities don’t know yet what triggered Doug Ouellette’s final violent act. Investigators are continuing to talk with family members, while friends like the Rambergs try to understand their deep sense of loss.

  • “What triggered” is one big (and typical) assumption:  He was wound tight, he was distressed, he was depressed, he was missing his kids, he was lost at sea, he was suffering from the economy, he was a distressed Dad.  All these things wound him up, and it wasn’t his fault, he was all loaded up and ready to go, and he was TRIGGERED.  (gun analogy, eh? )  Pop!  Something that wasn’t his fault happened, and he strangled his wife.

It could never have been a cold-blooded, planned intentional event, complete with coming in after daylight, to kill his wife. . . . Tell me something — how fast can the average person on the lam from ground searchers and a helicopter that saw him dash into a ground, work up a noose, jump in it and jump off it?  In that state of affairs?  Or was it planned?  (Aug. 08/09 update — see comments!)

Suppose they hadn’t come – would he have done something to the kids too?

  • Final Violent Act.  Actually, his 2nd to final violent act.  The final one was to hang himself.

  • Talk with family members.  The same family members that didn’t know enough seriously insist on SERIOUSLY SEPARATING those two after the suicide attempt?  The same family members now in charge of the children?  The same family members that, after said attempt, didn’t become so immediately alarmed that they GOT INFORMED on such situations and spoke with him, and her, about it?  

PUBLIC COST:  Helicopter, court time, including with judges, court clerks, crime scene clean-up, investigators, etc.


“You just feel kinda crushed because what are those poor kids gonna do,” says Mavis.

Authorities say the three children were not harmed physically and are now staying with family members.

I’ll guarantee you they were harmed psychologically and emotionally, and they are in my prayers, as are my own – – read on!

In the transcript of the 911 call made by the little girl, she tells the operator that she tried to push her father away from her mother.

Doug Ouellette himself told the operator that the kids were just playing and were told to leave the phone alone.

“And then, the operator . .. and then . . . ..  and then the operator said, “OK, Sir, just remind them not to. . . . ” and the alert was dropped?  Help was dispatched?”  Our readers here should’ve been told….

If they believed the Dad, still, this would’ve been a GREAT time for a welfare drive-by, and possibly, possibly someone might’ve been saved.  The Dad, at least, would be put in prison and then, thereafter, a family court program (prompted by the fatherhood movement) would’ve helped get him back in his kids lives… so they could be in the custody of the father that murdered their mother, as is encouraged in similar situations.  WHAT did the rest of that transcript SAY, and WHY wasn’t whatever it did say put into this article?  Or was it “spiked” by the editors as compromising police response policy on 911 calls.  Given that THIS home had a prior suicide attempt AND CURRENT PROTECTION ORDER in it.  The father’s word was believed over his daughter’s although in this case she was telling the truth?  I just want to know.

Including this case in Harris, eight women in Minnesota have been murdered (so far…) in 2009 as a result of domestic violence – three were murder-suicide by an intimate partner.

In 2008, 6 of 21 domestic murders in Minnesota were murder-suicides by intimate partner. In addition there were 4 attempted suicides after the murder.

{{YES, there is always funding available to keep the body-counts, and particularly as to femicides (I happen to know) in Minnesota.  Too bad some of this funding wasn’t used for a technical initiative to put protection order data at the disposal of 911 operators, and in their faces. . . . . .  when taking calls….and reduce the count a little this time}}

Harris is about 50 miles north of the Twin Cities.

(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.) 

Fewer comments, so I’ll put my comments in quotes instead. . . .

2nd ARTICLE, SAME STORY, DIFFERENT COVERAGE, MORE DETAILS:

Harris man gave up guns before strangling wife, hanging himself

Officials say a Harris, Minn., man strangled his wife in front of their kids and hung himself in a shed after running from police.

By ABBY SIMONS, Star Tribune

Last update: August 6, 2009 – 10:01 PM

LET a feminist, or a woman who’s read the risk assessments do this headline.  Right now, it sounds like, “he was a good guy — he gave up the guns, after all — but then something TRIGGERED him (possibly her?) (possibly the economy?) — and he strangled her, then hung himself.  NO, that’s not the heart of the story, though it may be the hook.  Let’s try again:

First suicide attempt, then suicide/murder in front of the kids.

No, not catchy or local enough:

Gun control doesn’t stop murder/suicide by divorcing Harris man.

No, too generic:

Better dead than divorced — her too — says Harris man, after recent suicide attempt provokes no-contact order.

No, not graphic enough:

Harris man violates no-contact order, chokes his wife, lies to police when 8 year old daughter calls 911 and attempts to stop him, then flees and finally hangs himself.

Nope, too long:

Divorce can be deadly — Divorcing rural Harris man with restraining order due to last suicide attempt, turns in guns, but later strangles wife to death, despite 8-yr old daughter’s attempt to intervene and her 911 call, then flees police and hangs himself.

Well, I’m not working the night desk for a reason, obviously.  Here’s the story.  But WHY NOT GET IMPORTANT TRUTHS (not just facts) OUT WITH THE STORY?

We’ll get the safety recipe right one of these years. . . . .  Oops, ignored lethal risks (again) this time.

The story:

Authorities say a 38-year-old rural Harris, Minn., man who killed his estranged wife and then himself Wednesday had surrendered his guns to the local sheriff’s office this summer after his wife got a restraining order against him.

NO !!!  NO!!!  Stop giving extra credit for partial compliance with restraining order!!  Later he violated and killed!  Stop! !  it went like this: – – and can we delete the emphasis on her “estranged” status?  For one, it rhymes with “deranged” and sounds strange on the tongue.  It’s not about HER, it’s about HIM!  He killed.  She tried to protect her kids and herself, and hopefully him by separation.  

“Authorities say a 38-year old rural Harris, Minn. man killed his wife, after prior suicide attempt and while a protection order was in effect (if “ineffectual”) and then himself Wednesday, even though he DID turn in his guns willingly.”

(if the source of the story IS authoritative, this would be generically true, no matter how law enforcement phrased it.}}

Candice and Douglas Ouellette were in the midst of divorcing, authorities said Thursday.

One of the couple’s 8-year-old twin daughters called 911 about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday and told a dispatcher that their father was choking their mother at the family’s home near 450th Street and Holman Avenue, said Chisago County Chief Deputy Bob Shoemaker. One of the girls struggled in vain to pull her father off [of] her mother.

Narratives:

The account above says a call by the girl was intercepted / talked down by her father.  I have seen this type of behavior (sudden switch of modes when a phone call was involved).


Deputies arrived to find Candice Ouellette dead, the girls unharmed and Douglas Ouellette missing, which sparked an intense search by the sheriff’s office and the Minnesota State Patrol.

A State Patrol helicopter swept the area, and the State Patrol SWAT went to Chisago County, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Andy Skoogman.

The pilot spotted Ouellette running into a pole barn on the property around 10:20 p.m. Searchers found Ouellette’s body hanging inside.

{{How much time elapsed from the pilot spotting this to the short-wave-radio or cell phone? call to the searchers on the ground.  Was HIS death preventable?  Had he prepared that noose?   Why couldn’t he have been stopped?}}

The twins [twin GIRLS] and a 10-year-old son who was staying with a friend that night are in the care of relatives.

Trouble at home

Doug Ouellette’s Facebook profile features photos of a red-faced family warming up after a day of snowmobiling, his kids on four-wheelers or Ouellette hoisting a giant fish on trip to Canada in 2007. Among his favorite quotes: “Life is good.”

(A word to the wise about facebook, then, eh?)

He is listed on the Better Business Bureau website as vice president of Coon Rapids-based Boulder Creek Builders, Inc., a family-run company.

But behind the scenes recently, things apparently were tumultuous. In June, Doug Ouellette threatened suicide, and his wife obtained an order for protection that required him, among other things, to surrender to the sheriff’s office his guns and his permit to carry a handgun.

“There was no problem turning them over,” Shoemaker said.

He was allowed on the property only during the day, and only to access his outer shop and pole barns. He was not to contact his wife other than by telephone or e-mail once a day.  {{WONDER IF THIS WAS ADHERED TO}}  {{WHERE WAS THE REST OF HIS FAMILY?}}

Shoemaker said it was unclear whether Doug Ouellette broke into the home or was let in. {{WHY NOT??}} He apparently did not leave a suicide note.

Shoemaker said the incident was the first murder-suicide in Chisago County in about 13 years.

Have they had many protection orders, and what worked about the others, if so?  Had such rulings gotten lax?

Similar and close by

But the case was the second murder-suicide in two weeks involving estranged couples just north of the Twin Cities.

On July 30, James H. Schwartzbauer, 46, of Wyoming shot and killed his estranged longtime partner, Erica Ann Wilson, 38, in the parking lot of the Circle Pines apartment complex where she lived. Schwartzbauer had been hospitalized the week before after threatening suicide.

((DID THIS CAUSE THE “estrangement” then also?  Or was it his “mature” response to that estrangement?))

((Hospitalization brings up this question:  Was he on medication?  What was the follow-up?  Was his ability to survive in life dependent upon his partner?  Did they BOTH live or only her in this apartment?  Was it male PMS, given the age difference?))

The Wyoming Police Department, with the help of family members, had removed all the guns from Schwartzbauer’s home. Anoka County sheriff’s officials were investigating where Schwartzbauer got the gun.

GEE:  Sounds like at least 3 lethality indicators there:  separation, suicide threatened, and a protection order (apparently) of some sort in place, confronting the guy.  Well, while they were investigating where he got the gun, another man murdered another woman in a similar situation — well possibly.

(From news article:)

According to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, out of 21 women murdered in the state in 2008, six were killed by intimate partners who then killed themselves.

I guess this is helpful to know.  It sure helped the two women in question and their former partner/spouses.  I’ve known these stats, or ones like it, for years.  It sure helped me to get the court’s attention, when this was in my initial reason for seeking a protection order, and subsequently in family law, after my children were stolen, I reported stalking, and also to responding police to various incidents.  My having reported this now, and produced a non-response, sure helped my sense of safety thereafter, and to this date.  I am glad agencies like these are receiving funding to keep a more accurate count than simply reading the newspapers, or say, checking on-line occasionally, might yield.  This is a valuable, life-saving public service.  For example, readers of THESE incidents now know that there were OTHERS.  

(FROM Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women website):

“While battering continues to occur in the lives of far too many women and children, thirty years of advocacy and social change work in the battered women’s movement have led to some important changes. {{FOR EXAMPLE:}} There is far more information available about domestic violence and its impact in the lives of women, children, and men, and there are now resources available to battered women and their children across the state of Minnesota and the nation.”

“MCBW strives to provide the best possible resources to battered women and to the advocates that work on their behalf. Please utilize the resources available through this website, and do not hesitate to contact the MCBW office if you have further questions or are looking for information that is not included on this site.

From me:

$2,550,332 federal FY 2000-2009, more in 2002 and 2007/2008

Minnesota is indeed a hotspot of federal funding for violence against women nonprofits.  That is a separate post.  They know much violence happens around separation, and that suicide is an indicator.  Perhaps this case (these cases) hadn’t shown up with a history of prior battering, and so warnings were not issued?

Home

From News Article:

“Four others were murdered by partners who then tried to kill themselves but failed. While firearms have been most prevalently used in murder-suicides, 13 percent of Minnesota women murdered by an intimate partner from 1989 through 2005 were strangled.”

I told you groups were counting, and I showed you (last post?) for at least how long people with access to the internet (and looking for this information) have had access to “risk assessments” “danger assessments'” or “lethality indicators.”  Since 1989 here, 1985 my last post.  So here we are 24 years later, same indicators still not being heeded and acted appropriately on.  5 years AFTER this group started, apparently, a national Violence Against Women Act was passed, with lots of funding to stop precisely this kind of thing.  AFTER this, apparently, the family law system with its weak-ass consideration of domestic violence was developed, and possibly — possibly — influenced some of the ignorance in these matters of what to do to keep her safe.  And him.

1999, National Father’s Return Day:  Congressional testimony

In 1999, 10 years AFTER this organization began (and 5 years after the “dynamic duo” of:  VAWA and NFI (National Fatherhood Initiative), we get N.H. and other Congressmen testifying  (Washington D.C.) the public proclamation that Father’s Day ain’t good enough, we need, and right next to it, a “National Fathers Return Day” also.   Similar declaration (is it “enough” yet?) now going on in Kansas; please call to protest (INFO BELOW)**

06-17-1999

Be it Resolved, That the Senate–

(1) recognizes that the creation of a better United States requires the active involvement of fathers in the rearing and development of their children;

((The what?  The “creation” of a better United States? — IS THIS SOME NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT and stance I MISSED SOMEWHERE IN THE LAST 20 YEARS? That resolved to replace the mandate of the Declaration of Independence {{from the oppressive regime of England, REMEMBER??}} with the Declaration of Utopia Manufacturing, Inc.?  LET ME DOUBLECHECK:

Preamble:  “We the people of these United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare (not specific!), and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”

Did you note the word “LIBERTY” and did you see the word in order to “create a more perfect Union” or was it “form” (out of what was already there…).  The word “create” in this document was reserved at least here to reference to a Creator.

Use of the word “blessings” is from a generalized belief in a God.  As does the Declaration of Independence, in:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

When in the course of human events, it bcomes necessary for one MARRIAGE and/or one INTIMATE PARTNERSHIP to dissolve the bands which have connected the individuals in it to one another, and to assume among the citizens of this nation, the separate and equal station to which the laws of this land (let alone nature, and nature’s God) entitle them. . . . 

Guess what? When this came to a time in my life, his and mine, I had to declare in public why and get legal help to do so.

Note:  “separate and equal.”  I don’t hear “separate and equal” in this above, 1999, resolution — or anything like it.  

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ” 

These people did NOT like being oppressed, and this Constitution and the separation from Great Britain was in order to protest that and stop being Colonized and Used.  While this continued and continues (to this day) to groups and subgroups of people within the U.S. (and outside it, by the U.S., regrettably), THIS DOCUMENT TALKS ABOUT THOSE RIGHTS. . . . .  Not designer families, which are NOT its province!

(How can one consent to what one is not informed of?)

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

“. . . all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Am I talking about anything contrary to law, bill of rights or the U.S. Constitution?  NO.  I am talking about what sure evinces a design to reduce — women, in particularly mothers who have had to or chose to divorce or separate — under absolute Despotism, egged on by speeches like these here, and enacted into laws and then followed through by tax-supported grants to make sure no Dad — when there has been a risk in particular — is REALLY fully separated from his children.  The pattern of the family courts follows resolutions like this one and results, too often, in certifiably insane protection orders like the above one, resulting in:  2 deaths, 3 orphans, and distress all round.  

Because I now realize the status quo, I have had to let go (to date) of attempting to see my own daughters, laying low lest this person has himself a “bad hair day” or incites a friend/relative to, and my relatives HAVE been incited to participate, as have strangers, in several aggressively illegal actions. 

BACK TO 1999 and “recreating the United States in the image of a few fathers’ and other “prominent” (if not logical) thinkers.”  

(2) urges each father in the United States to accept his full share of responsibility for the lives of his children, to be actively involved in rearing his children, and to encourage the emotional, academic, moral, and spiritual development of his children;

The word “his” indicates ownership.  It takes two parents, currently, to produce one child.  

This presumes that a single mother is incompetent to encourage the emotional, academic, moral and spiritual development of her children, especially with a  little outside support.  Speaking authoritatively for ONLy myself, that’s hogwash, and insulting.

It also presumes that gender alone renders a father competent to have this to give, when sometimes significant mental illness — or seriously recalcitrant criminal behavior/attitudes — says they don’t, and won’t.  (SEE COMMENT from one of Candi’s friends, now on this post 08-08-09).   

This also TOTALLY ignores the fact that some mothers remarry good men, who can help them do this.  If i were one of those 2nd husband good men, such a statement above would be insulting to me. 

(3) urges the States to hold fathers who ignore their legal responsibilities accountable for their actions and to pursue more aggressive enforcement of child support obligations;

Please spend a few minutes on my blog and read about the “SAVP” grants administered THROUGH the “OCSE” to compromise legal process in family law in order to increase “noncustodial parent” time with the children through mediation.  Then go to Center for Policy Research in Denver, CO, and find out what Drs. Pearson and Theonnes and Venohr (I believe all have Ph.D.s) have been to since 1981.

Alternately, go to nafcj.net and read about this (although it was personally, on-line and in-depth checking out NAFCJ.net claims that brought me to my present acceptance of them; plus it was the only coherent explanation for why so many public officials seem to have lost all sense of propriety to their assigned legal responsibilities in re: child support, custody, etc.)

Or, show the sources of trusted insight into these matters, as we know that top leaders have staff to support their positions.  This should be transparent to the public.

STATES HAVE DROPPED THE BALL — THEIR HANDS ARE TOO BUSY ADMINISTERING FUNDS TO PUT DADS BACK IN HOMES THEY LEFT OR WERE THROWN OUT OF.  THIS INVOLVES SOME BRIBERY IN VENUE OF CHILD SUPPORT ADJUSTMENTS, AND ALL TOO OFTEN WITHIN THE COURT SYSTEM.  SUPPOSEDLY THIS IS FOR THE KIDS’ SAKE.

Douglas Ouellette returned. . . . . 

(MINNESOTA NEWS ARTICLE, CONT’D).

The Coalition’s Shellene Johnson said women are at greater danger to be killed by a partner when they attempt to leave or have just left the relationship. She said that often, protective orders alone don’t protect the woman.

“Our hope is the courts and mental health community will start recognizing that this is a significant red flag, and look into the context of what’s happening in those relationships,” she said.

MCBW’s HOPE.  Their HOPE, after 30 years of advocacy — I gather, 1979, 1989, 1999, and the latest 2009 murder/suicide — there is a HOPE that the mental health community will START recognizing that an attempted suicide is a red flag. . . .  THAT’s bright.  What’s the bill?

A relative of Doug Ouellette declined to comment. Calls to other relatives were not returned.

Abby Simons • 612-673-4921

More National Fatherhood Initiatives, this one in Kansas.

( it just keeps going, going, going as they keep killing, killing killing when she tries to separate):

LOOK:  Being informed on what’s being done with tax dollars in tough times is our responsibility as citizens, period.

I sought answers because I WANTED a coherent explanation for why so many different systems could fail a simple request to renew a restraining order and let me, and my daughters, get on with our lives.  Eliminating their Dad from their lives was never on my map — only his life-threatening and injury-causing violence, and the risk, that I might become a Candace Ouellette.

It is absolutely, absolutely clear to me that eliminating ME from my daughters’ lives was on his map, and on the maps of individuals in our particular case who opposed me, point by point by point, as I simply sought enforcement of existing court orders.

In the above Ouellette case I still find a disturbing missing piece of information — why did the searchers not intervene in time to prevent the Dad from hanging himself?  And HAD not that little 8 year old daughter called 911, might they, too, have been killed, along with their father’s belief system, apparently, that the mother did not deserve to separate from him?   Something doesn’t make sense, in that he so QUICKLY hung himself.  Any investigative reporters reading this are welcome to follow up, if possible before the next headline steals public attention.

It is time to wake up and smell the coffee — and find out who is paying which pipers to pay which tunes.

To understand why I posted this below, one needs to understand how LATE we are in this fatherhood vs. feminists game of name-calling and stereotyping.  I posted Senator Faust-Goudeau, about who I know little personally, because a colleague (see blogroll) of mine is in her state, and alerted us, and this grandiosely-worded proposed Act is apparently a current action being debated.

My response below was more a spontaneous, incredulous reaction that this talk, which appears to have been lifted nearly verbatim from a combination of documents I have read, and link to on this site (see “courts in the kitchen” blog), could be taken seriously.  Over time, I’ve tried to accommodate — lots — for understanding differences of perspective, that my thinking (between the trauma and the personal background — I’m definitely a voracious reader, mostly nonfiction, but my work life has not been based in theory, but in street-level, hands-on practice which exposes theories in different fields (particularly educational!!) for what water they do and don’t hold.

So, I didn’t go point for point and quote.  But, friends, it’s late in the game to be dismissing how powerfully entrenched and networked AND financed this “fatherhood” movement is, and its influence in the family law and many other arenas.

Here’s an Australian, male, Ph.D. talking about the Father’s Rights Movement, and 4 major points:

https://familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/fathers-rights-domestic-violence-manspeak/

Do you know what these are?

We women who ARE leaving batterers or whose children ARE being subjected to molestation (and I don’t speak for others) are getting it from the President on Down and the Courts on up, while family-oriented and patriarchal faith institutions won’t support our cause (although they may dole out some charity, if we sit under the teachings we disagree with, and which have endorsed-by-silence (from the PULPIT) wife-beating as part of husband-leadership) and feminist organizations are not entirely a clear fit for us either, as mothers, although I certainly will work alongside, if not within, any organization or person, which has its head screwed on straight as to legal rights and is not on the take from other groups which are not.

No one — at all — is funding me for any research I do.  My reporting lacks finesse, but I generally do my homework.

I expect any and all elected Congressional Senators or Representatives to either do theirs, or have staff that do, and I DO want an explanation for the origins of this type of initiative at this late in the game.  Perhaps we could talk, if it’s clear the talk is not about personalities, but about principles.  

People whose lives or children are not at immediate risk, or who have not lost decades, or livelihoods to this type of (propaganda — below, I call it “tripe”) may not understand the intensity of talk from those who have.  Many times, they also do not understand the shorter timeframes, windows of opportunity we are dealing with.  We are dealing with the short lives of children’s childhood, and sometimes juggling this with unknown times of our OWN safety in cases involving prior stalking, battery, threats and claims.

My current President, for whom I voted, and whose former home state, urban area, I have a significant work history (pre-marriage), was raised by a single Mom, as was at some point, my own father.  One thing I do NOT share with my current President is having been, or been related to anyone, who was just a few years  ago, one of the 10 richest United States Senators, period.  Nor have I used any single aspect of my profile, which does have significant diversity in it,  to speak for everyone who shares one or two aspects of the same profile, and try to demand that everyone accept the same platform and adjust their entire lifestyles to accommodate it.

This fatherhood movement, talk, initiatives, grants, and so forth is doing EXACTLY like that, even when it costs lives. One system it’s draining is for battered women’s shelters, and legal help for battered women snared in the family law system, a system which I now understand was designed to do exactly that.

        

Oletha Faust-Goudeau

Kansas Senate Democrat
District 29 (2004 District MapDistrict Demographics)
First Term: 2009

4158 Regents Lane
WICHITA 67208

Phone: 316-652-9067
Email: Oletha29th@aol.com

Business Information
Occupation: Community Act.
PO Box 20335
Wichita 67208

Below is the act.  PHONE or WRITE or EMAIL to protest (if still necessary) this act for several reasons:

1.  Similar policies are already encouraging already overentitled men to  kidnap and/or molest and/or kill youngsters, their mothers, and themselves, and sometimes bystanders, and sometimes responding police officers, in the process of getting even with their mothers.

2. Nearly every statement in this Act has already been stated in public, in the U.S. Congress, echoed by Presidents Bush, Clinton & Obama, as well as governors across the United States, and has also laws enacted to facilitate the further engagement of fathers in their families post-separation from those families (post-conception, post-divorce, post-restraining order, post-etc.) AND substantial federal grant monies to support this.

3.  Nationwide and in prominent positions, the “tripe” — and it IS tripe — that this is a recent phenomenon on which dialogue has not yet taken place, or to which the public has not paid attention — that there is a fatherhood crisis, and along with this, the absence of fathers has been in otherwise creditable institutions been EQUATED AS CAUSE for significant other social problems, which might as easily have been attributable to almost any other reasonable cause, such as illiteracy, racism in incarceration of fathers, and the premise having been that the household values are more pre-eminent than the school or other associations values in growing children.  This in effect is a misogynistic policy.

4.  The programs and grants to go along with them have undermined due process in the courts.  MOreover, the average woman is NOT told of these programs when engaging in the family court system, whereas ample documentation exists, both privately individual cases AND publically on nonprofit websites reporting on this — that noncustodial parents (mostly fathers), through programs that frequently have the word “father” or “fatherhood” in them, and often publically funded — ARE being recruited into programs offering them free legal help, mediation preparation coaching, reduced child support arrears in exchange for increased custodial time, even including fathers in prison, whereas mothers, who often then lose custodial access (sometimes COMPLETELY) to their own children through such programs, are unable to utilize these same programs or funding (including effective legal help) to children who were removed from their households.  

5.  ANYTHING which undermines due process in the courts is bad public policy and WILL be fought back against, draining significant time energy and money from the hands of the general public, and placing it into the hands of the professionals who profit from all this.  Again, ANYTHING which undermines due process in the courts – IN the courtroom —is bad public policy and subversion of our U.S. Constitution,and Bill of Rights  which exist to prevent exactly such behaviors.

The fatherhood movement PER SE seeks to make primary decisions and wield influence OUTSIDE the courtroom, and OUTSIDE open discussion and view of the bulk of the American public (i.e., “Behind closed doors” — just like abuse).  This can be seen from even, for example, the history pages of some of the major organizations (I guess I’ll have to blog that).

The family court reform movement which seeks to put this back IN the court room.  They are in DIRECT opposition to each other.  One wants prime influence to be through outside associations, alliances, conferences — and institutions.  The other wants this stopped, and wants our U.S. 14th Amendment rights to be observed.  I do not believe in compromise by “training” court-related professionals to “understand” domestic violence issues (I differ from some reform groups in this stance), because I don’t feel (see last post) that anyone of reasonably sound mind WITHOUT ulterior motives could fail to understand that a violent parent is not a good role model, no matter what gender.  OR, that the more dangerous of the genders when it comes to killing women and children, are male, not female.

IF the father’s rights groups want to continue to promote the fallacy that the violence is equal in quantity, lethality, and severity — thereby shutting off doors to escape and diffuse the situation from battered women, or mothers of molested/battered children — then they may very well get more and more of what they are saying now exists.  They MAY get more and more women fighting back, because we do have a right to defend our physical lives from hell on earth.

Moreover, in my state, at least, even a law gives a parent a right to flee from imminent harm to her children by someone convicted of domestic violence against her.  No problem — the way around that?  Law enforcement won’t enforce.

6.  Establishing “fatherhood” in this manner absolutely constitutes the establishment of a national religion, and as such is an outright and flagrant violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  No matter how prevalent this is throughout our country presently, it’s still a violation of this Amendment and should as such urgently be reversed.  

I am very curious whether this Senator is a professing Christian, and if so, while obviously that shouldn’t rule any public office, how she does or does not reconcile, as a woman, this initiative here with the recorded (in the bible, I mean), life of the Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels.  It was notable in NOT being biased against women, from what I read.  Moreover, former President Jimmy Carter has himself publically separated from his Southern Baptist Convention roots over this same issue of equality towards women.  While I’m not “ga-gag” over his new affiliation, “elders.org,” at least it is a statement.

! ! ! !

SENATE BILL No. 128 

By Senator Faust-Goudeau 

1-27 


AN ACT creating and implementing the fatherhood initiative program; 

relating to the duties of the department of social and rehabilitation 

services. 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas: 


Section 1.

(a) Subject to the provisions of appropriation acts, the sec- 

retary of social and rehabilitation services shall establish a fatherhood 

initiative program within the department of social and rehabilitation serv- 

ices.

The objectives of the initiative shall be to: 

(1) Promote public education concerning the financial and emotional responsibilities of fatherhood; 

MY pie chart of federal spending indicates that THE largest sector of public expense is HHS, and THE 2nd only is EDUCATION.  Therefore I recommend the latter be given a severe “time out” for having promoted and structurally modeled abusive and civil-rights-violating behaviors such that the former has bloated beyond the capacity of the general population to sustain.  Moreover, they also should either toss a coin, or duke it out (like the appointed champions of old) in a safe, enclosed place (and out of view of the public is OK, if taxes are suspended for the meantime — in fact, without their interferences, the rest of us, except the thousands in their employ, and the thousands more living off of their grants, and the professions that are enabled by the dysfunction of the educational one in particular, might be a little better off as a whole) — and come out when one has been vanquished.  

In particular, they need to decide between them — again, a coin toss would do, because promoting either one I feel is really wrong — that the U.S. Populace AND all its institutions MUST be LBGT friendly (or be accused of hate crimes), OR be misogynistic (or be accused of male-bashing, or scapegoated for any and all social ills) for railing to be father-friendly enough.  After all, how are children who live in a home with two Mommies going to bring sperm donor or surrogate father home?  

Moreover, how are adopted children to bring their fathers home.

Moreover, how are orphaned children to feel when the world assigns a general hoopla to father’s day, and far less to mothers’?

Moreover, why should a President part of whose platform was indeed that he had been raised by a single mother, be unable to put the word ‘Mother” on the family issues page of the White House?



(2) assist men in preparation for the legal, financial and emotional responsibilities of fatherhood; 

(3) promote the establishment of paternity at childbirth; 

(4) encourage fathers, regardless of marital status, to foster their emotional connection to and financial support of their children; 


(5) establish support mechanisms for fathers in their relationship with their children, regardless of their marital and financial status; 

HOW is this compatible with programs emanating out of the same dept (for which such support mechanisms ALREADY are thriving, and funded) to correlate with the “marriage promotion” funding, CFDA Code 93.086?  Let alone Abstinence Education?


(6) integrate state and local services available for families;

and 


(7) promote, foster, encourage and otherwise support programs de- signed to educate and train young men who are both current and future 

fathers as to effective parenting skills, behaviors and attitudes. 

I.e., every male past puberty who has not had a vasectomy or been injured in his private parts to the extent of being unable to father children (or voluntarily entered the Catholic priesthood) up til what age?  Define young?  Good grief   Get a grip on yourself, Ma’am!!

Citizens and those on temporary visa a like?  Suppose such values are in direct contradiction to their cultures and nations of origin?

HOW does this initiative expect to reel in atheistic young men presently in private schools, military academies, and/or not in trouble with the law?


(b) The secretary, on or before the first day of the regular legislative session, shall report annually to the legislature: 


(1) The number of fathers and children participating in the program; 


(2) an overview of any moneys spent on the program; and 


(3) the cost-savings analysis of implementing the program by having 

children build and retain a relationship with their father

How dare any act so sweeping be presented without FIRST demonstrating that costs (to whom??) (what kind of cost?) (WHat’s the WORTH of a soul, anyhow?) would actually be saved, and have been by similar programs already saved in these matters.


And who the hell says that costs mean more than lives in these matters?  Because this national promotion of fatherhood is ALREADY getting people killed (see my blog:  “Can we call it a day?”).  What IS this, population control?

WILL THIS ANALSYSIS INCLUDE the LONGER-TERM SOCIAL Cost OF INCIDENTS when fathers, enabled by this philosophy, go kill MOm & themselves in order to re-engage with their children or otherwise proteset separation from their families? 

ANALYSIS (3) is incoherent with “overview” (2), as it implies more precise conclusions substantiated by relevant data.  And (1) (like the rest of this initiative) sounds like it is lifted STRAIGHT ouf of the access/visitation grant descriptions with a spice of the national fatherhood initiative phrasing (See http://www.hhs.fatherhood.gov or elsewhere on HHS site), which attributes “success” in such programs with how many people went through them, which overview the GAO has already showed lacks accuracy.


(c) The secretary may adopt any rules and regulations necessary to 

implement the provisions of this section. 

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.

Actually, that’s in theory only.  In theory, there’s already a Violence Against Women Act, but violence against women is still thriving.  


This interspersing of fatherhood promotion with domestic violence headlines may not seem related, but it is.  The one has weakened the other, and compromised the court’s willingness to let a woman completely separate when such activities are involved.  It appears (anecdotally) that they WILL permit total separation more likely in situations when there has NOT been significant abuse or violence reported.

A person who has researched these issues somewhat (either through my site, or others linked to on this blog), will understand clearly how the above resolution basically parrots the premises (the main ones) of this movement.  I provided the link (again) above to the 1999 statements by various congresspeople to the president on this issue.

As such, I think a short Act might be sponsored, paraphrased thus:

Anyone who talks like this, expecting to be taken seriously,  is either already owned by certain political forces, or is simply not informed enough to hold public office, OR is informed, but is pretending not to be, or otherwise should give a coherent explanation of why we should, August 2009, believe this analysis just rose up from the grassroots in its present form.  Good grief!

Sound leadership requires sound analysis by SOMEONE.  Initiatives redirecting public policy, institutions, or funds, should show better logic, originality, and in-depth thinking beyond sound-bytes or assertions of this sort.


 A woman from this state (Kansas) has already filed an international appeal for help in the matter of losing custody of her young daughter to a batterer:

(2007)

On May 11,2007,  just before Mother’s Day weekend, ten mothers, one victimized child, now an adult,  leading national and state organizations filed a complaint against the United States with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. Their petition claims that U.S. courts, by frequently awarding child custody to abusers and child molesters, has failed to protect the life, liberties, security and other human rights of abused mothers and their children.  

. . . 

For more than 30 years U.S. judges have given custody or unsupervised visitation of children to abusers and molesters putting the children directly at risk,” says Dianne Post, an international attorney who authored the petition.  “These horrendous human rights violations have been brought to the attention of family court systems, and state and federal governments, to no avail. We turn now to international courts to protect the rights and safety of US children.”

The complaint details several cases with documented medical evidence of child sexual abuse, yet in each instance the father who was accused of abuse was given full custody of the children.  Several of the mothers were jailed by the courts because of their persistent efforts to protect their children from abuse, several were ordered not to speak of the abuse and not to report abuse to authorities.  Every mother was denied contact with her child for some period of time though none was ever proven to have harmed them.

“My life was completely shattered apart on that day and my childhood was destroyed,” said Jeff Hoverson, the adult child petitioner, about the day a family court judge ordered sheriff deputies to deliver him into the custody of his abuser. “It was as if I was just kidnapped. I was torn from everything I knew….I was made into a possession rather than a child.”  Hoverson endured years of trauma and fear living in his father’s home before escaping and returning to his mother at age 17.  He is haunted by years of feeling helpless to prevent his father’s night-time visits to his sisters’ bedrooms.

Studies of gender bias in the courts, conducted in the 1980’s and 90’s, found disturbing trends of courts minimizing or excusing men’s violence against women, and favoring the abusers.  In 1990 the United States Congress passed a resolution recommending the prohibition of giving joint or sole custody to abusers.  Seventeen years later, the practice continues unabated.  Ten years ago today (2007), leading national organizations were joined by  members of Congress in a protest in Washington D.C. to again raise awareness about the problems in family courts.  Today, petitioners say, the problem is systemic and widespread in family law courts across the nation.

. . .

The petition seeks a finding from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that the U.S. has violated the Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities of Man and the Charter of the Organization of American States and a statement of the steps that the U.S. must take to comply with its human rights obligations in regards to battered women and children in child custody cases.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was created in 1959 and is expressly authorized to examine allegations of human rights violations by members of the Organization of American States, which include the United States. . .

In addition to The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, other national organizations supporting the international lawsuit include:

  • National Organization for Women and the NOW Foundation,
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
  • Justice For Children,
  • National Family Court Watch Project,
  • Legal Momentum,
  • Family Violence Prevention Fund,
  • National Alliance to End Sexual Violence,
  • Domestic Violence Report,
  • Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute, and
  • the National Center on Sexual and Domestic Violence.

The petition is supported by many state organizations as well.

In December 2005, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition against the United States with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights for their failure to protect Jessica Gonzales’ three children from their abusive father, who murdered them.  Their petition, the first of its kind, asserted that domestic violence victims have the right to be protected by the state from the violent acts of their abuser.

{Note, as with Gonzales, THE QUESTION OF ENFORCEMENT COMES UP. . . .. }

or additional information contact:

Irene Weiser
Stop Family Violence
actnow ^t stopfamilyviolence.org
607-539-6856

View the petition at http://www.StopFamilyViolence.org/468 

SUMMARY (today’s post):  The court order preceding the Ouellete suicide/murder was indeed certifiably insane.  

There are coherent reasons both those individuals died and both those little girls witnessed their mother’s murder by their father.  Some of these are policy, and as to response time, as to their individual families, I cannot answer.  I had, as I’ve said before, a similar order with even less restriction and even weaker justification for such.  This was hashed together quickly, overeen by a family court mediator, and in the aftermath of the restraining order becoming permanent.  NO ONE coached me on visitation order, although I was (wrongly) coached into offering joint legal custody when I didn’t have to, which later became a downfall and cost me my profession and those children.  I am among those mothers, not that is on the suit, but among those mothers that lost my children to a man who battered me during marriage, over many years (along with many forms of abuse).  

I then went through more years of legal abuse, which further turned upon failure to pay child support on his part, a similar tactic to what was used while we were together, to keep me from becomign too independent.  The child-stealing as well as the bounce into fmaily law venue, in my case, BOTH were at times when this household was set to prosper, and I had given NO indication of intent to separate him from the children, or from contact with the children (contrary to court claims), but had repeatedly sent a clear message, in multiple venues, that I WAS changing the dynamics of our relationship.  I refused to take orders, for the most part, that were not in writing from the court, and was fought tooth and nail — at police stations, and every where other possible point of contact, including several he created that trespassed my intentionally set boundaries.  

  What I HAD separated from in my move was taking direct orders, in particular from a man that refused to obey them himself and has (to this date) continued in contempt of all the court orders ever in our long, long, family law case.

This is long-term trauma and punishment for speaking up and out about criminal behavior by Dad (and some of his associates) towards the children, and me.  This type of behavior has marked ALL of my acquaintance with him, practically since the day we married (but not before), and to this date the standard has been set, I am not informed about the general whereabouts of my own daughters, unless I happen to get lucky, get through, or hear incidentally.  I have been eradicated from their lives lest they learn the same values I hold dear — that a woman does not sit on this earth to be a man’s slave in any form, and that she is of EQUAL LEGAL STATUS to him, and should be in marriage as well as after it.

It is my understanding that MOST of the blogs (with graphic buttons) on my post are of similar experience regarding their children and the courts, it is how we know each other.  This is a FAR more widespread social crisis than “fatherlessness” which has existed since wars began.  

What I would like to see addressed, and would like ALL of the above organizations to address (some of whom I know a bit more about than others), is not THAT the courts are doing this, but WHY they are doing this and WHO is allowing them to. It is assuredly not new.

Sorry to entwine (and what’s worse, quote and comment on!) a

  • 2009 Minnesota News headline news account, plus related MN battered women’s coalition information, with a
  • 1999 Washington D.C. address to Congress about the father crisis, compared to the
  • 1776 U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence with a related
  • 2009 Kansas, surprise, “new” proposal to enact a “Fatherhood Initiative” Bill, and from there to a
  • 2007 appeal to the Inter American Council on Human Rights (IACHR) because of a known Kansas battered Mom was on it, as reported by Stop Family Violence (2nd graphic button on my website, only unfortunately not their real logo), and the uncomfortable reminders that:

INFORMATION ABOUT SITUATIONS IS STILL NOT INFORMING POLICY.

AND WHERE WE SHOULD MOVE IS FROM REPORTING THE SITUATIONS TO STUDYING WHAT HAPPENED, THAT WOMEN STILL CAN’T, ONCE MARRIED OR IN “AN INTIMATE PARTNERSHIP”  AND A NEED FOR SEPARATION DUE TO SAFETY ARISES, GET IT!!

That is, however, how I often think.  Probably relates to the prior life as a musician, balancing different resonances from different singers, etc.  It feels more balanced to weave the threads, even though a single topic would pack a greater emotional punch.

Sorry for that analogy…




martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

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'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.

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