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Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family –and "Conciliation" — Courts' Operations, Practices, and History

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More on “Veni, Vidi, Vomiti” at BMCC

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(“Vomite” would be an imperative in Latin, if it were a real verb, so I adjusted).

Read my most recent post for some background.

This morning, I noticed visitors from three universities (New York, Princeton & Berkeley) had been on my site very recently.  The Berkeley visitor was viewing a site featuring some work by Lundy Bancroft, a well-known author books such as “Why does he DO that?” or “The Batterer as Parent.”

I would like to comment upon “Why he (Bancroft, et al) DOES that” and the concept of “The Batterer as Parent” in a wider perspective of this field of the family law system.

For the former perspective, the short answer is, a combination of from (I’ll still presume residual good will towards suffering females and their children) and, more to the point, for a living.

To recap that, the reasons appear to be:

  • He’s probably basically a good guy, which probably put him outside the mainstream (meaning, funding flow) of the family law court professionals, and
  • For a living.

See my post “Moms are Parents Too” and read the comment at the bottom, which is an update.

Now, as to the concept “The Batterer As Parent.”

Although assault and battery is a crime (or either one alone) as i understand it, either misdemeanor or felony level, in practice, the family law system acts as an opaque umbrella under which this terminology is really not taken seriously. Not really.

So mothers who take Bancroft & batterer language into a court hearing may be in for a real rude awakening — it’s not welcome overall.  Hence, a living has to be made elsewhere, and a name, as I mentioned.  Although Mr. Bancroft has in the past presented alongside what I’d call overt “fatherhood” presenters (yeah, I looked that up), I’d say he’s not on the same page, or in the forefront of THAT movement. He and this rhetoric is more like a gnat in its side — definitely not so much as a “thorn in the flesh.”

Obviously, it lands with something of a thud.  to solve this, we are encouraged to watch our demeanor more carefully, strategize just so, and not step on too many toes.  Don’t pick unnecessary battles, don’t rock the boat, etc.

I believe that anyone telling a mother who has been ass-whupped (or anything approaching it, including emotionally, financially, etc. in front of her own kids, has a lot of nerve to advise, do it some more, and all will be well, or this is the ONLY way all will be better than it is now.

It very well, from what I’ve learned since, may not make a whit of difference, seeing as there is a custody-switching scam in the courts, which has a procedure, and relentless predictability — IT is almost down to a formula, and now we are to walk into the same arenas and try other formulas?  What about walking OUT of those arenas, and staying out?

Many cases came into the courtroom to start with without due process, by having a protective order (or its renewal), or a seeking of child support from a person who really doesn’t want to pay it, responded to with a divorce action.  The resonance is set, and the dynamics also, not locally but from far away.

We tend to have, in our minds, an archaic view of what courts are, how they work and why they exist.  As to family law, that doesn’t apply.  The alternate is a hostile view, the other I would call, “basic stupid,” which means, humble yourself and go in there and ask for something.  I did that initially.

There’s a machinery, and there’s a process. What people haven’t looked closely enough at is the gas tank. The process takes money to run!  Where is it going and who are the gatekeepers? Only the judge, the professionals (if any) in the case, and the litigants and their attorneys?  WRONG.  The process was set in place years earlier, and that’s primarily what I (nowadays) blog on, and mentioned, again, yesterday.

I, and my face, etc., know what a “batterer” is — it’s someone with a certain habit.  They have other characteristics, but as far as who ever’s on the receiving, witnessing, (and Medical Repair) end — that’s clearly a primary characteristic.  Hence there are “Batterer’s Intervention Programs” (BIP, for short) supposedly to work with him to change his mind, or her.  The concept of baseball bat I think conveys the analogy.

But, on the upside, I have learned to look a little farther afield, and as I can, farther ahead, for explanations of why, when one walks through ONE set of doors, the word disappears, virtually, and anyone who brings it up will be punished.  No, in here, we do “familyspeak.”  You are BOTH bad for failing to get along, you have “conflict” with each other, that’s not good for your kids (and failing to label physical violence as “battering” is now BAD for my kids, when they’ve witnesed it?”

There is no end to the amount of foolish discussions one will be told to engage in, which would affect anyone’s “parenting” ability, which is a coined word of recent use in this system.  cf.  “parenting Education.”

No more PSYCHO-TECHNOLGY-JARGON!

It’s better to understand the larger system, and where the family law lies in side of it.  This experience has made me more interested in local activism, local government, and matters that didn’t even raise an eyebrow in any K-12th scenario, were off-topic during college, and not relevant until I needed them, and they weren’t anywhere to be seen — because of gender, in this case.

The jargon of the individual psychology or pathology IS the language of human behavioral control.  It has its roots in the military, and at several levels is a form of warfare against certain classes of individuals, or populations, with the clear intent to render them unable to function outside planned parameters.

The language to understand the systems surrounding the courts (they are only part of the larger system) are primarily of the assembly line manufacture of human psyches to produce a compliant centralized (and well-organized, it’s said) workforce who cannot resist their assigned places in society.

Technology changes institutions, and the internet has changed the U.S. government, and undermined as it is currently being used, the constitution, and of course the federal/states balance.

Money is a technology.  I don’t see, particularly what’s so hard to grasp about it, but perhaps that’s because I’ve lived so long with what some call a “batterer,” and others now (new market niche) have repackaged as “coercive control.”  Thanks, tell me something I didn’t know.  But at the same time “conflict” is bad, including with professionals who choose to label our lives a certain way.

If the center of power is controlled, then the laws become moot.

Laws have no more force than mutual respect for them, or consistent application of punishment for breaking them.

Recently, in Los Angeles, two police were involved in  a struggle with a naked man who was indeed attacking them, and probably was quite a site (especially around 3am).  One? of them shot him — to death, and two others rushing to the scene were injured when their car crashed (guess the autopilot was in working, because they didn’t crash the car, according to the article — it crashed, somehow).

A naked man is per se unarmed, except his arms.  This would seem obvious.  Where was the Taser then?  (or, see Oscar Mehrsle, BART, last year as I recall).

~ ~ ~

But Jessica Gonzales’, seeking police to go after a man with her three children, was not heard, until they all died, after which she continued to be not heard, til this day.  Perhaps she should’ve showed up naked and struggled with some officer, created a scene, attempted to get to their guns (allegedly) and got herself shot instead, not being drunk, only disorderly.

I learned — not through Bancroft et al — that she had no right to enforcement, and there was nothing different, really, she could’ve done to save her kids’ lives (see my Pennsylvania posts, I believe “what decade were these stories?”)

Now, I HAVE seen women who were totally besides themselves with the knowledge of who had their kids, what was imminent (and have been such a woman at time, especially right after they disappeared on a court-ordered visitation. THat’s how I was rewarded for complying with court orders — I lost contact with my daughters, while demonstrating and teaching them it’s important to comply with these, these are the way we settle differences between Dad and me — by submitting ourselves to the court orders, end of debates.

But that takes two to do.

So, these women who are sometimes besides themselves for loss of what’s precious to them, and in just as much as any father would be considered to have children as part of his own identity, and moreso — because we carried children nine months and labored to bring them out — we are asked to become suddenly “orderly” and “submissive” and not show any signs of “conflict” or “aggression” anywhere — outside the court, in the court.

We can indeed done it, and have, we have submitted, and been orderly IN the court and OUTSIDE Of it, and this disorderly court has taken our kids and dumped them off with people motivated by money, hatred, or lust for little boys and girls.

And we are being trained by the U.S. Govt. HHS/ACF/OCSE that the most important thing for children is to have well-behaved Moms (no “conflict.”)  This is rarely applied in equal place to men.

The rhetoric of the “fatherhood practitioners” RARELY uses the word ‘mother.” It’s unbelievable.  And once a woman is past her child-bearing years, or approaching some good maturity and wisdom, she is not welcome in her kids lives if she has not managed to stay with that man, or win in court.  It’s just about that simple.  So the collective “wisdom” coming down to the next generation, and they are GOOD learners while young is — masculine, or someone who gets along with that particular guy and these particular institutions.  I’m referring to, after a custody battle (I don’t use the word “custody dispute” which is found too often with a headline attached)

Any dominator society knows this — take out the strength of the nation and tell the mothers which kids they can keep, and which they must toss away or give up to the state.  (thinking of the book of Exodus). Keep the populace in constant motion, and under constant tension, relocating, changing, etc.  Hanging their whole hope on who’s in power next!  ??

I believe if more women had structured this, it would be less punitive and less hierarchical overall. There would be smaller groupings of functional decisionmakers THROUGHOUT society, not just in  a few places.  And we wouldn’t be starting wars all the time, creating orphans and institutions to house (and study) them in.  I may be wrong, but that’s my concern about the elimination of the word “motherhood” while deifying “family.”  that’s not good for anyone.

 

If we stay and submit (Ayaan Hirsi Ali did not — it is possible some of us just are born with more “spirit” than others, I don’t truly know) — we take violence, and if we submit repeatedly in court knowing we are standing in front of crooks, we have to find some self-justication, self-rationalization for doing so — like a possible benefit to it (and, I haven’t seen it anywhere around), and even then, will do violence to our souls in silence, many times.

Don’t rock the boat, or else. Or, Rock the boat, there are no laws.

The fact that women also are enforcers of sexist rules on women doesn’t mean it’s not sexist (gender-based).   A population of very, very traumatized children and adults is not good for any country, but it’s definitely good for several types of business.  MOst of the types of business that are profiting from this are national, and some international, in scope.

Again, it’s not about “The Batterer As Parent” or anything close to it.  It’s much larger in scope.  I hope some people will see ,and become creatively VERY discontent with their assigned roles as wage-earners to the world to produce goods many don’t need to keep the IMF fed, etc., etc.

I need help, smart people, willing to do some legwork on the access-visitation grants and the “demonstration and research” projects being run on people through the courts, reported in a real odd manner (certain characteristics only) and in some cases, ahve been tied to steering cases towards particular judges, particular evaluators, particular mediators, particular parenting programs, and etc. until the job is done.

Then they also need to look at the funds / nuts and bolts technical vendor payments over a period of time — to the nonprofits getting referral business from the courts, as they are nationwide (“for everyone’s good because the courts are overloaded.”) (Sure, yeah) — and question what good it’s doing anyone.  And define good as something other than “people served,” i.e., warm bodies.

Foundations, Social service (or other governmental) Agencies (especially child support collection — see last post), University, even hospitals, Head Start get in on this, Thinktank  = policies.

Once set in motion, these have a certain forward inertia, like a gas-guzzling car.  Anyone who is employed by them or whose profession is based upon work in them, has a VESTED interest in continuance, or going to the next similar organization, build the resume, etc.

What happens, by contrast, with humans run through the courts, is that they are building their court docket, sometimes criminal docket (including moms incarcerated for saying NO, somehow, or fleeing) — and whatever personal resumes they maybe once had, are now systematically shredded, and disassembled.  This — and not dealing with an individual batterer — is the CYCLE of abuse, and it’s the terminology to look at.

I can’t fault cobblers for seeing shoes, and expert witnesses and custody evaluators for wishing to improve the process IN their field.  I think it requires a different perspective — which I have, by now — to question what right does this field have to exist, at all?  How would individuals not propped up by affiliations with the courts (referrals), or catching the court’s refuse (such as BMCC sought to do, at lesat this year I can testify), not being sponsored by some major foundations grant (such as Fragile Families, etc.) — how would they do in a more open market?

Or for that matter, even living in some of our neighborhoods.  While this doesn’t apply to me now, it has before.  I did fine.  I got smart.  Until I was married, I was not getting mugged regularly.  Imagine if some of those smarts were acceptable in this society to restructure it?

Social change starts with thinking change.  Leaders know this, some are just not upfront about the intent, or a little shifty in voicing it.  When you hear one account in one venue and another in another, then you have a person whose real commitment is subterranean.

I think one of the first things we need to do is reject and protest ALL “psychobabble” and even well-thought through, consistent “psychological terminology.”  What about SPIRIT, which is where the soul, the intent, the purpose and the strongest part of humans resides. Some may call it will, some say it’s separate.  Proverbs says, “a wounded spirit, who can bear?” — and these systems are repeatedly battering and lowering the function of the human spirit throughout society.

I’m going to say this again, briefly:

Any system that can take someone OFF welfare, and put them back ON it, should be treated skeptically, or simply have to stop its practice.

and . . . .

The most valuable information on this system, apart from firsthand and networked info (from a variety of sources, and not just mothers’ cases) is generally on OFF-central databases, and NOT on the federally-supported resource centers.  I say this having called plenty of those 800 numbers.

“Rethinking Domestic Violence” ~ “Understanding Women’s Responses to it” — the Dueling Dr. Duttons

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Another half-baked (but also likely half-entertaining/informative) post from 08-21-2010.

These situations are so ridiculous, anything other than (a) mocking or (b) exposing the court dockets makes me feel like a collaborator. To be honest, part of my motivation is to simply not lose the time I put into this one, looking up data. Another part is to cover up the prior half-baked (Wacko in Wisconsin Part 2) post I just published.

One thing that’s NOT half-baked is the systems in place to justify trafficking in children, one way or another, at public expense, and then when this is brought to the public’s attention (or the public tries to bring it to the government’s attention) the same personnel (probably laughing and rejoicing among themselves) simply pick a “boilerplate” demonstration grant from one of the many already in place, change a few nouns and verbs, and apply for some more grants to study the problem they’ve created — one of which is, poverty.

This is NOT a half-baked system, but a fully-cooked business plan.  More on that later…

Another which is, language is becoming meaningless, at some point. ….

HERE WE GO, AGAIN:

Which would you rather understand (or Rethink) –

(*from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence recent conference in Anaheim, CA)?

  • This Woman’s (my!) Response to the Thinking Error that Assumes the System actually IS Failing (I believe it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do. The “failure” depends on one’s POV (point of view). For example, if I sell you some land under the Brooklyn Bridge, I profited and you didn’t. Long ago some people sold the Island of Manhattan. That was not profitable for them. Another flavor of what I think is on the link above advertising for the NCADV conference where this occurred. Scroll down to LetsGetHonest comment on the whole deal.

The two Doctor Duttons are not, in fact dueling, and may or may not even be dealing with each other. But their Research — and by now we should know our 3 Rs: Research comes with Rhetoric, Right?

One thing both of them are doing, as well as researching, is publishing (this IS what Ph.D.s do, right?), and unlike women and men stuck in the court system, or violent relationships (or poverty), not perishing. Even though, if YOUR life depended on knowing which was more correct thinking, they would stil probably continue to research, publish, and not perish. IN fact, both are prominent, and what they write is worth reading, probably. Anyone who has got to Ph.D. had better publish.

One thing EVERY woman in a battering relationship, especially with children, and about to go for help, ro to the courts, or a child support order, or to a nonprofit agency on one side or the other of rhetoric, is the difference of viewpoint. Women have been so socialized to go for help (particularly in certain religions), they just MISS this. Others are also socialized to be punished if they stand up and just demand it, i.e., Claudine Dombrowski et al.

Take, for example, Claudine Dombrowski.

If experts were selling books that comprised almost SOLELY of the case dockets of women’s lives after they reported abuse and actually had a child, probably the abuse would just dang STOP.

Here’s the court docket in Shawnee Kansas — it is fourteen and a half years long. The next hearing is set for october. The last hearing (yesterda [@Aug. 2010]y), she STOOD UP and reported 67 contempts of a recent court order (allowing her to see her daughter). While that contempt is not severe emotional cruelty bordering on the torture (beatings) that started the case (batter, parental alienation, interference with a custody order, or in short a pattern of simply bad behavior), Claudine’s actually going to court with the paperwork must be smacked down SOMEHOW. I”m not quite sure what bad behavior Claudine showed this time, but it seems they grabbed her cell phone. Being that she’s also been noncustodial most of the time (i gather) I’m sure her finances are being grabbed to pay child support for this circus.

It is possible to be punished for a sort of gag order that prohibits one from exercising one from exercising First Amendment Rights, to protest in justice. The place this is SO o o o . . . . easy is when a psychologist, or mental health professional, particularly anyone relating to a CHILD, is involved:

08/20/2010 - MISC. Petitioner in person and by Donald Hoffman. Respondent in person and by Robert E. Duncan, II. G.A.L., Jill Dykes, present. Court Reporter: Digital Div. 13. Matter proceeds on review of Court’s order of January 28, 2010, establishing unsupervised parenting time for Respondent. Dr. Rodeheffer offers testimony – matter continued to a date to be agreed upon for additional testimony. Court finds that Dr. Rodeheffer’s report of May 18, 2010, has been published on the website of Respondent. Court suspends Respondent’s parenting time pending final hearing in this matter. Respondent’s counsel is to review Respondent’s cell phone to determine if there are images of report on Respondent’s cell phone – Respondent’s phone time with minor child to continue but to Petitioner’s home phone. Due to publication of report on the Internet, which deals with minor child, Court finds that there is a privacy interest of the minor child that is central to these proceedings and outweighs the public interest and orders that the files, records, and transcripts of the case be sealed until further order of the Court. J. Dykes to do order. DBD

Here’s one from April, 2009:

03/20/2009 - #86 Demand Motion filed and entered by CLAUDINE DOMBROWSKI, PRO SE, FOR JUDGE DAVID DEBENHAM TO RECUSE HIMSELF FOR VIOATIONS OF CANNONS ONE THROUGH THREE BIAS AND PREJUDICE TOWARDS RESPONDENT
03/20/2009 - Journal Entry filed. DBD
03/24/2009 - ORDER APPOINTING COUNSEL FILED – DBD.
04/06/2009 - MISC. Petitioner in person and by Donald Hoffman. Respondent in person and by Robert E. Duncan. G.A.L., Jill Dykes, for minor child who is not present. Court Reporter: Digital Div. 13. Respondent withdraws motion for recusal of Judge. Court considers evidence offered through affidavit and stipulations of the parties and after listening to arguments of counsel, finds that Judge Johnson on September 27, 2006, ordered “Respondent to withdraw any and all likenesses of the minor child over which she had control that may be appearing on the internet or other public places or public access and further that Respondent was ordered not to present child at public rallies, demonstrations, newscast or otherwise publicize the child’s name or likeness in furtherance of Respondent’s efforts in the instant case”. Court found 1) based on incidents detailed in the affidavit and the stipulations of the parties that Respondent had violated the Court’s order by intentionally placing photographs of the minor child on Respondent’s website and to links accessible through the Respondent’s website and to websites that the Respondent was either maintaining or contributing to; 2) that as of April 4, 2009, the photographs of the minor child were still accessible; 3) that as of April 6, 2009, the photographs were not accessible. Court finds Respondent to be in Indirect Contempt. In mitogation, Respondent offers that photos were part of a family tribute to her deceased grandmother. Court fines Respondent $1,500 and orders her to serve 30 days in jail. Court allows Respondent to purge herself of the contempt by removing all photos, likenesses and name of minor child from the internet or any other public place or public access on which she has control by April 15, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. Respondent is ordered to pay Petitioner’s attorney fees of $600 for prosecuting the motion to show cause, Respondent is ordered to obtain a psychological evaluation by a Psychiatrist. Respondent is prohibited from filing any motions on her own unless the motion is signed by her attorney or she obtains permission of the Court prior to filing. Parenting time as previously ordered – 2 hours supervised visitation per week through Odyssey Group. Respondent currently has a P.O. Box and does not wish to disclose her address. Court ordered, and Respondent agrees, that any filing mailed to her P.O. Box shall be deemed personal service. R. Duncan to do JE. DBD
04/24/2009 - REQUEST FOR TRANSCRIPT FILED BY: CLAUDINE DOMBROWSKI

The Publishing and Not Perishing Perspective is very different from the others.

The Profiting or nonprofiting from being expert on these matters is very different from the others.

The topic of adjusting Thinking Errors (or understanding them) is very definitely swampland — and where the solid ground is very probably depends on IRrational belief systems. Do you want to correct thinking errors based on information from The Holy Spirit? Then go to Dr. Abshier, ND (Naturopathic doctor, Christian Counselor, Political Philosopher).

My Counselor.com:

1) Thinking Errors: Processing Problems, Irrational Beliefs, Irrational Thinking, and Self-Defeating Beliefs: There are many nuances and variations of the various cognitive distortions. They all include some degree of error in perception, proportion, meaning, processing and judgment: The thinking errors include: irrational beliefs about cause and effect, erroneous attributions of meaning, and wrong philosophical connections about the larger play of life in history and politics.

I happen to think his fields are interrelated — a nice combo: Naturapath (do it how the Creator designed it, or as close as possible; Christian Counselor (do it how the Creator designed it, hmm… is he fundie, or fatherhood promoter? conservative or liberal?? Was Eve responsible? Was she inferior? Did Jesus change that? What’s the domination quotia in this one?) and Political Philosopher. – – I just hope he can keep them all straight and segregated during counseling.

Are you a “design, quality, or manufacturing engineer or manager,” who needs to understand why people, unlike materials, often screw up, causing system failure? Then take this 2 – 4-day organization/management course:

Eogogics.com (“the science of knowledge sharing”)

Root Cause Analysis of Component Failure: Understanding Human and Engineering Factors for Improved Product Performance.

Design, test, and maintenance engineers; failure analysts; technical purchasing agents and supplier quality engineers; and engineering managers looking to integrate the lessons of failure analysis into a more comprehensive design operation, and procurement process

The standard presentation of this course assumes background in mechanical or materials (metallurgical) engineering. However, with some tailoring, the course can be understood by an audience with a bachelor’s in any engineering discipline

Are you a Computer Software person who doesn’t want to see another Y2K bug scare? Or a plain old person who wants to know why we had to go through that? Then go to:

Scitechbox.com/

Systems Failure is a role-playing game written by Bill Coffin and published by Palladium Books in 1999. The fictional premise for the game is that during the “millennium bug” scare . . .

A report investigating the causes of system failure in a software context, and highlighting and classifying those causes.

The Google search of this shows a title remarkably similar to the NCADV conference title, above:

Understanding System Failure And The Thinking Errors Which Cause · International Space Station’s Cooling System Failure Raises Long
scitechbox.com/topic/system-failureCached

Which I find interesting, and revealing. For one, how original is the thought coming out of it? For another, systems that systematically fail to do what they SAY they want to do may have had another intent to start with. Either that, or two types of systems may have merged, and the antibodies in the one rejected the other, causing “System failure.”

Actually, this is exactly what happened in the family law system. You cannot add JUSTICE based on PROCESS based on Constitution and Bill of Rights with Mental Health Practitioners (for one, it’s illegal to experiment on human beings, and abhorrent. For another, IS psychology a science? I say, no. It’s a language set and interpretation of reality….). The Family Law system is a merger of (at least) two systems — legal & mental health. That’s simple fact — see AFCC. The other “invisible agent” in the matter (unless one has eyes to see it) is the child support system, i.e., the financial factor. That’s another fact — see “Access Visitation Funding” and a site ending *.gov.

So this system is indeed a hybrid — like a mule. Mules are great for work, strong and stubborn, but they have to be bred — they are sterile and can’t reproduce. They get a lot of work done, though… Same deal with this system. It CANNOT reproduce justice with a bunch of immune-to-accountability and READILY subject to conflict of interest (or bribes) professionals, and private clubs and conferences where they meet and prepare a strategy to throw on the whole system.

Perhaps by now readers have figured out MY system, and that I am playing games with Google in order to show similar phrases in different contexts (applications). That happens to be MY response to a decade in this system. It’s part of my STOP, LOOK and MOCK policy (see above post responding to the Thinking Errors post). I really do hope some will STOP, LOOK , and THINK. It beats rocking back and forth in a chair with grief, or shaking with PTSD, or sitting within range of someone who has now determined that such behavior is a thinking error which needs an Rx — which one of their business allies has been marketing. It makes me happy, and with luck, will offend someone and cause a quick BLINK of THINKING about what such systems have done to our Constitution and Courts.

Here’s one that’s a little closer to the topic — someone analyzing PTSD patient’s / trauma survivors’ “Thinking Errors.”

[PDF]

THINKING ERRORS THAT LEAD TO FAULTY CONCLUSIONS ABOUT ONE’S ROLE

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
We have identified fifteen thinking errors that can lead trauma survivors to draw faulty Obliviousness to totality of forces that cause traumatic events. Failure to recognize that different decision-making “rules” apply when time is …. have conscious control over their autonomic nervous system.

This ARTICLE IS 1997, .

Handout 10.4: Thinking Errors, Faulty Conclusions, and

Cognitive Therapy for Trauma-Related Guilt by Edward S. Kubany, Ph.D., ABPP

Published in National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Quarterly (1997, 8, 6-8). Reprinted in Trauma Response (1998, 4, 20-21). This article is in the public domain.

THE FIRST PAGE IS INFORMATIVE:

There is growing recognition that trauma survivors’ explanations of their involvement in trauma may contribute to posttrauma symptomatology and interfere with the process of recovery (1,2,3). These explanations often revolve around cognitive aspects of guilt, which is conceptualized as an unpleasant feeling accompanied by a set of interrelated beliefs about one’s role in a negative event (2,4,5). My colleagues and I have identified four cognitive dimensions or components of guilt, which include (a) perceived responsibility for causing a negative outcome, (b) perceived lack of justification for actions taken, (c) perceived violation of values, and (d) a belief that one knew what was going to happen before the outcome was observed.

Considering this Cognitive Therapy, which correlates trauma such as combat veterans, rape victims, battered women, and incest survivors, — the latter three which FREQUENTLY are in this system — addressing the trauma and helping them correct thinking errors saying they were responsible for it — and, on the other hand, the Family Law (and sometimes Family) systems which, quite literally, blame the woman for her abuse (or minimize it), blame her for not maintaining a child’s attachment to the other parent (but fail to do this the other way round when a noncustodial Dad has won a custody switch in court) can cause some real Cognitive Dissonance (and more business for other therapists). Let me express this as a formula:

TRAUMA-BASED HEALING APPROACH + FAMILY COURT PICK A PARENT TO BLAME approach = INCOMPATIBLE = CYCLE OF DISTRESS = GOOD FOR $OME BU$INESSE$.

Add to this:

This therapist just said, trauma victims can NOT predict outcomes (so much for instinct, let alone pure prophecy). I don’t agree – I accurately predicted my daughters were going to be snatched, based on instinctive and ongoing assessment of the patterns around me. They were. I couldn’t predict exactly when or how, and I didn’t have the wherewithal to stop this. I accurately understood before it happened that the officers were not going to enforce, stop, or help, but there comes a point of overload of situations when one cannot process them all and handle them all.

A major business to the courts these days IS in exactly the business of prediction. It’s called Lethality Assessment, and it’s been around a very long time. I don’t share that point of view, because it’s my life, and kids (and women like me) whose lives are being risk-assessed. I’d rather go with PROTECTION (WHICH A RESTRAINING ORDER, FYI, ISN’T, REALLY).

Imagine applying the “risk prediction” process to something as important as, say, getting (someone) pregnant.


Mary Ann Dutton

Professor, Department of Psychiatry
PSYCHIATRY, RESEARCH DIVISION

Georgetown University Hospital

Mary Ann Dutton, PhD, Receives Grant

Mary Ann Dutton, PhD, Receives Three Year Grant from National Institutes of Mental Health

Mary Ann Dutton, Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director of the Center for Trauma and the Community, received an R34 grant entitled A First-Line Community-Based Mindfulness Trauma Intervention from the National Institute of Mental Health. The study, which will run for three years, addresses an important new area in trauma.

The overall goal is to address the huge mental health care disparity for low-income, minority women exposed to intimate partner violence by obtaining new knowledge and skills in order to develop and test an accessible, tailored, and culturally-appropriate mindfulness-based intervention sustainable as a first-line intervention or delivery in non-mental health community settings. To narrow the remarkable mental health disparities gap, three interrelated studies using different methodologies will be conducted to develop and pilot test an adapted mindfulness-based trauma intervention. The proposal has three specific aims 1) to develop a mindfulness-based trauma intervention for PTSD and other trauma-related psychological (depression, somatic symptoms, quality of life). Intervention development will include writing intervention and training manuals, developing measures of intervention fidelity, and pre-piloting the intervention for feasibility and accountability; 2) to pilot test the interventions with low-income, predominately African-American women exposed to intimate partner violence and to examine potential mediators (mindfulness, coping self-efficacy, social support) of improved outcomes, and 3) to pilot test measures of the cost of administering the intervention. This pilot study will provide preliminary data for a rigorous large scale clinical trial to examine both self-report and biological outcomes of the mindfulness-based trauma intervention.

/

OR, you could go with another “Dr. Dutton” — here:

http://www.drdondutton.com/books.htm

Rethinking Domestic Violence

“Dutton’s analysis of domestic violence research and discourse is comprehensive, refreshing, and enlightened. He has gathered the latest work from multiple disciplines to create a volume that will surely be a cornerstone of a radical, distinctly feminist rethinking of domestic violence practice.” More…

Printed in Canada

Cover design: David Drummond

GIVE ME A BREAK.  If he was an imminent target of DV (or his kids were), there’d be less publishing and more protecting.

Both Duttons have valuable things to say — and when I feel truly safe, I’ll be sure to read them.  Maybe.


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.

How many foundations, acronyms (CPR, MDRC, PSI), Federal $$ and Ivy League hotshots does it take to “screw” . . the Poor?

leave a comment »

INTRO (added 07/17)

For international visitors, or others who may not get the pun in the title:

There’s a common joke used to degrade people of certain ethnic — or professional — profiles, usually to insult the intelligence of the target group. It refers to screwing in a a lightbulb, something a child can do, and goes “How many ______s does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” and the answer is a clever twist on why it takes so many. “

The word “Screw” has another off-color connotation, pun intended here.

In this case, it’s NOT a joke; the more I look, the more I feel the USA is screwed. By whom — read on. I experienced total devastation through this system, so far, and without committing a single crime. My “social” crime was not taking the low road, but the high road, out of a marriage that probably shouldn’t have happened, but did, and then my misplaced value on marriage (exactly what these people are promoting) resulted in my staying in just short of us becoming a statistic. There weren’t real other options, that I saw — welfare, and a battered women’s shelter with one toddler, and pregnant with another child? That wasn’t in my vocabulary or background – we were a WORKING family.

We didn’t fit — at all (nor do many women affected by religious-based violence) the target profile of these programs — AT ALL. I was full-time employed while pregnant, and gave birth to very healthy children, fully covered by insurance provided by my work, not his. By the second child, almost every infrastructure was shut down — for me — and came only through him, and he wasn’t very forthcoming.

Women are NOT going to be safe in their marriages, if the marriage goes sour or violent, or OUTSIDE them unless we can be safely independent without excommunication from our communities.

Society has to handle its love/hate relationship with the PAID wages of employed mothers (meaning, child care, school system, after care, a certain scenario. Because the public school system in this country discriminates against the poor, that also impacts their future) AND the UNPAID benefits nonworking mothers provide to their familis and children.

CORPORATIONS historically have cared about their profits first, and their employees second, until forced to do differently. This splits up families, obviously. SCHOOLS in the US are also a jobs basis and designed on the corporate model, the “employer” being the government (although that government gets its wages from the very parents and non-parents it claims to be serving and educating).

CHURCHES, MOSQUES and SYNAGOGUES also must deal with money matters, and typically exist (from what I understand) in the US as “nonprofit” tax-exempt corporations. They have mortgages and typically pay their leaders (although not always). Therefore when a financial conflict of interest arises because a prominent — or even just attending — father begins assaulting a daughter or a wife, the temptation will be to cover it up for the “greater good,” i.e., continuing the community, but sacrificing the individual’s rights or safety. Some readers will remember, this was attributed to why Jesus Christ had to be sacrificed – – because if he “rocked the boat,” the Romans might come in and make it worse for the Jews. Which, later, obviously happened.

=======

As a woman who has seen the best and worst of a religion I adopted as a young woman because my own family was destitute of one, of a personal family identity outside one father’s professional profile (for the most part), I am quite willing to reject “religion” when it fails to practice what it preaches as I see my government, and its institutions have also utterly failed the people they preach about “serving.”

These foundations have utterly forgotten what the Declaration of Indepencence declares, and are mostly concerned about their own positions in life, and structuring a society to preserve their right to run others’ lives without their informed consent, and at their expense, too.

When a president cannot say the word “mother” along with the word “father” when describing “Families and Children,” and this president is held up as a role model and leader, women, and mothers of children, and the children ARE “screwed.” Linguistically, they are just sperm incubators, a delivery system for kids. We also get to now be scapegoats for society by either declining to marry, or leaving a marriage, yet the actual scapegoats are the society’s engineers, not the people who have become simply the gas in its (think) tanks or the blood in its veins.

It takes time to gestate and raise a child, and I think we are approaching the time when women are going to start saying NO! We will NOT produce babies for you to abuse, waste, or box up and become half-human order-takers and low-wage laborers, or young men and women to go fight your wars over land, oil, and the global economic system. If I participate in this happening, perhaps I will have in part helped compensate for having been unable to stop domestic violence they witnessed growing up, or divert and protect them from the INSANITY that took place the moment some professional, probably on the take either literally ($$) or by business referrals, knew how to “let the games begin” by getting our case into a custody battle.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MARRIAGE/FATHERHOOD COIN – -

SUSPENDING CIVIL RIGHTS MAKES NO $$SENSE$

This dates back 5 years.

2005

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Marriage Promotion, Reproductive Injustice, and the War Against Poor Women of Color

BY SARAH OLSON

(1/05/2005)

On December 22, at the stroke of midnight, Renita Pitts became a single woman. Renita is 44 years old, a mother of five with 14 grandchildren. She has been on and off of welfare for most of her life. After she had her fifth child, her husband brought crack cocaine into their house, telling her that it would help her lose weight. She became addicted and struggled for 13 years with that addiction. Throughout her marriage, Renita says, she was afraid to leave her house. “I couldn’t trust my husband with our children long enough to go to school. If I left for even an hour, he would have a full-fledged party going on when I came back,” she says. In addition to being a drug addict, Renita’s husband was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. She says they fought frequently, and she had to call the police again and again.

Renita and her husband separated shortly after she stopped using drugs and returned to college. She had also begun attending church. According to Renita, her husband “was insecure because of my security.” He gave her an ultimatum, saying she must leave school and stop going to church. When she refused, he left.

Despite the abuse and the drugs, Renita says, she felt many social pressures to stay married. Regardless, she says, “it was important not to have him in my life, constantly pumping me full of drugs.” She says the relationship had become so abusive that if she had stayed in it any longer, “someone would have ended up dead.”

With the help of California’s welfare program, Renita is currently enrolled in the African American Studies and Social Welfare departments at the University of California at Berkeley and works on social justice issues at the Women of Color Resource Center. She was happy to see her divorce finalized in December.

The life stories of Renita and many other women like her are not on the radar screen in Washington, however. Legislation that would promote marriage among low-income people is currently wending its way through Congress. The so-called “Healthy Marriage Initiative” includes a range of provisions designed to encourage women on welfare to get and stay married: providing extra cash bonuses to recipients who get married, deducting money from welfare checks when mothers are living with men who are not the fathers of their children, increasing monthly welfare checks for married couples, offering marriage and relationship education classes, and putting up billboards in low-income communities promoting the value of marriage. Several provisions specifically target Latino and African-American communities. So-called marriage promotion policies, such as those in the Healthy Marriage Initiative, have been touted by the Bush administration and enjoy wide bipartisan support in Washington. Many advocates, however, are concerned that, if the bill passes, it would become more difficult for Renita and domestic violence survivors like her to get a divorce and to survive without a husband.

Married Good, Single Bad

The administration’s point man for marriage promotion is Dr. Wade Horn, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services {HHS}, whose Administration for Children and Families {ACF} would run the initiative. In July 2002 Horn wrote, “On average, children raised by their own parents in healthy and stable married families enjoy better physical and mental health and are less likely to be poor. They’re more successful in school, have lower dropout rates, and fewer teenage pregnancies. Adults, too, benefit from healthy and stable marriages.” Critics say Horn sees the wedded state as a cure-all for society’s ills, while ignoring the difficulties of promoting something as intensely personal as marriage. Horn and others in the ACF refused repeated requests for comment.

Marriage promotion legislation has its roots in the 1996 welfare reform act. This legislation ended welfare as an entitlement–it allowed states to deny assistance to fully qualified applicants, and resulted in the abrogation of some applicants’ constitutional rights. It also created a five-year lifetime limit for welfare recipients, denied aid to many immigrant communities, created cumbersome financial reporting requirements for welfare recipients, and set up work rules that, according to many recipients, emphasize work hours over meaningful employment opportunities and skill development. The legislation explicitly claimed promoting marriage as one of its aims.

When welfare reform was passed, Congress required that it be revisited in five years. The Healthy Marriage Initiative that Congress is considering today was introduced in 2002 as part of the welfare reform reauthorization package. Welfare–now known as Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF)–was set to be reauthorized that year, but that reauthorization is now two years overdue.

In September, Senators Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) introduced a bill to reauthorize welfare for six months without overall changes, but with $800 million for marriage promotion and fatherhood programs over a two-year period. Sen. Santorum has been a strong proponent of marriage promotion. In an October 2003 speech to the Heritage Foundation, he promised to aggressively press for legislation that supported marriage between one man and one woman. “The government must promote marriage as a fundamental societal benefit. … Both for its intrinsic good and for its benefits for society, we need marriage.

{{Did these men, Senators, not take an oath of office similar to the President’s, to uphold and defend the constitution? If these Senators are so concerned about marriage, why don’t they socially shun, and hold conferences about, some of their cheating-on-their-wives colleagues, let alone former Presidents (let’s hope Obama has better sense than Clinton in that category)..?? ONE nation under God, and ONE set of Federal laws, and ONE set of the Bill of Rights for all. Government designing family life is the same as Government deciding religion, and as such is prohibited…}}

And just as important, we need public leaders to communicate to the American public why it is necessary.” The reauthorization bill has died in the Senate, but because of its strong bipartisan support, it is likely to be re-introduced. Sen. Santorum refused repeated requests for comment for this story.

Diverting Dollars

Although the debate about marriage promotion has focused on the Healthy Marriage Initiative, this is just one piece of the Bush administration’s pro-marriage agenda. The Department of Health and Human Services has already diverted over $100 million within existing programs into marriage promotion. These are programs that have no specific legislative authority to promote marriage. Some examples: $6.1 million has been diverted from the Child Support Enforcement Program, $9 million from the Refugee Resettlement Program, $14 million from the Child Welfare Program, and $40 million from the Social and Economic Development Strategies Program focusing on Native Americans, among others. Plus, another nearly $80 million has been awarded to research groups studying marriage.

One beneficiary is in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Healthy Marriages Grand Rapids received $990,000 from the federal government in 2003 to “facilitate the understanding that healthy marriages between parents is [sic] critical to the financial well-being of children, increase effective co-parenting skills of married and non-married parents to improve relationships between low-income adults who parent children, increase active, healthy participation of non-custodial fathers in the lives of their children, increase the number of prepared marriages among low-income adults, and decrease the divorce rate among low-income adults.” The program coordinates local public media campaigns plugging marriage as well as relationship counseling classes, many offered by faith-based providers.

It is precisely this emphasis on marriage as a cure for economic woes that worries many welfare recipients and advocates. According to Liz Accles at the Welfare Made a Difference National Campaign, “Marriage promotion is problematic for many reasons. It is discriminatory. It values certain families over others. It intrudes on privacy rights. The coercive nature of this is lost on a lot of people because they don’t realize how deeply in poverty people are living.” Accles says that adequate educational opportunities, subsidized child care, and real job skills and opportunities are the answer to the financial concerns of women on welfare. She joins many domestic violence counselors in saying that marriage education funded by government coffers and administered via faith-based providers and welfare case workers is at best a waste of taxpayer money, and at worst pushes women deeper into abusive relationships that may end in injury or death

{{including sometimes to the kids. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to us how THAT helps the welfare of children And now that’s it’s known this happening, why hasn’t the policy changed??!}}

In Allentown, Pa., a program called the Family Formation and Development Project offers a 12-week marriage education course for low-income, unmarried couples with children. Employment services are offered as part of the program, but only to fathers. In its application for federal funding, the program set a goal of 90% of the participating fathers finding employment. No such goal was set for the mothers. According to Jennifer Brown, legal director at the women’s legal rights organization Legal Momentum, which filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services, “What we fear is that this kind of sex stereotyped programming–jobs for fathers, not for mothers–will be part of marriage promotion programs funded by the government.”

Experts at Legal Momentum are concerned that the administration is diverting scarce funds from proven and effective anti-poverty programs and funneling the money into untested marriage-promotion programs. They say there is little information about what is happening on the ground, making it difficult to determine what activities have been implemented.

Feminist economists point out that the mid-1990s welfare reform law served larger economic interests by moving women out of the home and into the work force at a time when the economy was booming and there was a need for low-paid service workers. Now that the economy is in a recession, the government has adopted a more aggressive policy of marriage promotion, to pull women out of the work force and back into the home. According to Avis Jones-DeWeever, Poverty and Welfare Study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “We are talking about putting $1.5 billion into telling women to find their knight in shining armor and then everything will be okay.”

Jones-DeWeever says the view that marriage creates more economically stable individuals is not grounded in reality. She notes that individuals are likely to marry within their own socioeconomic group, so low-income women are likely to marry low-income men. According to author Barbara Ehrenreich’s estimates, low-income women would need to have roughly 2.3 husbands apiece in order to lift them out of poverty. Jones-DeWeever points out that in African-American communities, there are simply not enough men to marry: there are approximately two and a half women for every African-American man who is employed and not in jail. In addition, many social policy analysts are quick to point out that in general, poor people are not poor because they’re unmarried. Rather, they may be unmarried because they’re poor: the socioeconomic conditions in low-income communities contribute to a climate in which healthy marriages are difficult to sustain.

Another criticism of marriage promotion comes from survivors of domestic violence and their advocates. Studies consistently show that between 50% and 60%–in some studies up to 80%–of women on welfare have suffered some form of domestic violence, compared to 22% of the general population. In addition, between 3.3 and 10 million children witness domestic violence each year. Domestic violence survivors say their abuse was often a barrier to work, and many have reported being harassed or abused while at work. Most survivors needed welfare to escape the relationship and the violence. Any policy that provides incentives for women to become and stay married is in effect coercing poor women into marriage. Many women on welfare, like Renita Pitts, say that their marriages, rather than helping them out of poverty, set up overwhelming barriers to building their own autonomous and productive lives.

According to Kaaryn Gustafson, associate professor of law at the University of Connecticut, policies that attempt to look out for women’s safety by restricting or coercing their activities are paternalistic and misguided. “The patriarchal model is really troubling. The gist is that if there isn’t a man in the house there isn’t a family. The studies of family well-being are all very problematic because you cannot parse out the issues of education, socioeconomic status, and other emotional and psychological issues that are tied up in who gets married and who doesn’t.”

Domestic violence ITSELF often is a reflection of a paternalistic attitude, and this DOES stem at least from faith communities. Moreover, we have to look at this United States which used to legalize slavery. Slavery is abusive and a paternalistic attitude justified it. I’ve “just” had enough of this! So, in effect, promoting marriage — both undermines individual civil rights, and duplicates the same attitude which justifies such violence towards a woman because she is a woman!

Reproductive Straitjacket

While marriage promotion as a federal policy began in 1996, many say it is only one part of a much larger system of control over, and sanction of, the sexual and reproductive freedoms of poor women and women of color. Another part of this system is child exclusion legislation, which has been adopted by 21 states. Child exclusion laws permit states to pay benefits for only one child born to a woman on welfare. Social policy experts say it is a response to the myth that African-American welfare recipients were having more children in order to get larger benefit checks. Such laws push women either deeper into poverty, or into abortions. In some states, a woman who chooses to have another child instead of an abortion may end up trying to raise two or more children on less than $300 a month.

Christie, who would like to use only her first name, is a single mother of two. She has been working, supporting her children and herself, and going to college. Since her first child was born, she has also been receiving welfare. While on welfare, she fought to get a college degree in general education; now she hopes to get a job as a Spanish language translator. During her time in college, her welfare caseworker told Christie to quit going to school and instead report to a welfare-to-work program. She says, “I felt that it was a punishment. Just because I was on welfare, they could make me quit school and come and sit in a room and listen to people talking about the jobs I should get. Most of the jobs that they wanted you to have were geared towards the lower poverty level where you stay in poverty and you can never climb the socioeconomic ladder. It’s like that’s your position and that’s where you have to stay.”

When Christie became pregnant with her second child, her caseworker told her she could not receive an increase in her benefit. This forced Christie into some tough choices. “My religion kept me from having an abortion. I worked after I had my daughter, because I felt like it was a mistake that I made, and so I tried to do what I could for my daughter.” Christie says this legislation penalizes women for having children, and creates an overwhelming sense of guilt that permeates low-income families. Rather than celebrating the birth of her daughter, Christie felt that she needed to work twice as hard to make up for her “mistake.”

When states began adopting child exclusion policies in the early 1990s, they were implemented under federal scrutiny. States were required to keep data about the financial status of affected families. These data showed that child exclusion policies resulted in women and children being thrust further into poverty. One of the more sinister effects of the 1996 welfare reform law is that it did away with the requirement that states monitor the outcome of child exclusion policies. Since 1996, states have been able to impose sanctions on families without paying any attention to the results.

According to a July 2002 report by the Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program (C-SNAP), a research and advocacy collaborative, child exclusion policies are directly correlated to a number of risks to the health and well-being of children. Infants and toddlers in families that have been sanctioned under the child exclusion provisions are 30% more likely to have been hospitalized than children from families who have not been sanctioned, and these children are 90% more likely to require hospitalization at the time of an emergency room visit. In addition, child exclusion sanctions lead to food insecurity rates that are at least 50% higher than those of families who have not faced sanction. The negative health and welfare impacts reported in the C-SNAP study increase dramatically with each year that a family experiences sanctions.

Proponents of child exclusion legislation, including many members of the Bush administration and a bipartisan array of senators and representatives, claim that women on welfare have no business bringing a new child into the world whom they cannot support financially.

The United Sates has a long history of regulation of poor women’s reproductive activities. From the forced sterilizations performed in low-income communities of color in the 1940s, 1950s, and even later, to state child services departments appropriating poor Native American children and giving them to upper-class white foster parents, many U.S. historians say that sexuality among lower-income communities of color has traditionally been viewed as something that should be controlled. The University of Connecticut’s Gustafson responds, “There is this idea that if you pay taxes you have the right to control those who don’t, and it smacks of slavery. There should be some scope of liberty that should be unconditional, and that especially includes sexuality and family formation.”

There’s no such respect for freedom and privacy under TANF. The program requires women to submit to a barrage of invasive questions and policies; TANF applicants must provide private details about every aspect of their lives. In California, for example, the application asks for the names of up to 12 men with whom a woman has had sexual relations on or around the time of her pregnancy. In San Diego county, before a woman can receive a welfare check, she must submit to a “surprise” visit by welfare case workers to verify that there isn’t an unreported man in the household, among other things.

One of the problems with all of these sexual and reproductive-based policy initiatives is that, according to Gustafson, they distract people from the actual issues of poverty. While TANF accounts for less than 2% of the federal budget, the hysteria surrounding whether and how to assist poor families with children has created an uproar about whether low-income women should even be allowed to have children.

Because the 1996 welfare reform law eliminated the concept of welfare as an entitlement, welfare recipients lack certain protections other U.S. citizens have under the Constitution. In effect, when you apply for welfare you are signing away many of your constitutional rights

Similarly, when a woman receives cash aid and food stamps after leaving a violent relationship, she signs over her right to collect child support to the local county. She is NOT, however, openly told that the U.S. Government is promoting marriage and some of the monies used to collect her child support are diverted into programs that may eventually help the man she just left get back into her life, or even get her children. In other words, we aren’t given full information to make a good decision at the time. This is VERy manipulative and in essence treat as her like less than adult.

For this reason, many advocates today are critiquing welfare through the lens of human rights rather than constitutional rights. International human-rights agreements, including the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, afford women many universal human rights. “Those include access to education, access to reproductive choice, rights when it comes to marrying or not marrying,” says Gustafson. “When you look at the international statements of human rights, it provides this context, this lens that magnifies how unjust the welfare laws are in the United States. The welfare system is undermining women’s political, economic, and social participation in society at large.”

On September 30, Congress passed another extension of the 1996 welfare legislation. This extension contained no policy changes–for now. When Congress does finally reauthorize welfare, child exclusion policies and marriage promotion are likely to be hot-button issues that galvanize the debate. According to Liz Accles at the National Welfare Made a Difference Campaign, there are three steps to a successful welfare strategy. “Access. Adequacy. Opportunity. All three of these hold equal weight. You cannot have benefits so low that people live deeply in poverty. You can’t have good benefits that only a few people get access to. You also need to have opportunity for economic mobility built in.”

Although the marriage promotion bill was defeated this time, it continues to enjoy strong bipartisan support–including support from the White House now that George W. Bush has a second term. Welfare recipients and social policy experts are worried that whenever welfare reform is debated, politicians will deem regulating the reproductive activities of poor women to be more important than funding proven anti-poverty measures like education and meaningful job opportunities.

Sarah Olson is a contributing reporter for Free Speech Radio News and the National Radio Project’s “Making Contact.” She is also a mentor and journalist at the Welfare Radio Collaborative.

RESOURCES Joan Meisel, Daniel Chandler, and Beth Menees Rienzi, “Domestic Violence Prevalence and Effects on Employment in Two California TANF Populations,” (California Institute of Mental Health, 2003); Richard Tolman and Jody Raphael, “A Review of the Research on Welfare and Domestic Violence,” Journal of Social Issues, 2000; Sharmila Lawrence, “Domestic Violence and Welfare Policy: Research Findings That Can Inform Policies on Marriage and Child Well-Being: Issue Brief,” (Research Forum on Children, Families, and the New Federalism, National Center for Children in Poverty, 2002); E. Lyon, “Welfare, Poverty and Abused Women: New Research and Its Implications,” Policy and Practice Paper #10, Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence, (National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, 2000)

I looked up “Children Families and the New Federalism,” and on its database googled “domestic violence mediation” and found this:

Domestic Violence and Welfare Receipt in Maryland (unreviewed)
Strategies for Addressing the Needs of Domestic Violence Victims within the TANF Program: The Experience of Seven Counties (unreviewed)
Assessing Effective Welfare-to-Work Strategies for Domestic Violence Victims and Survivors in the Options/Opciones Project (unreviewed)
Psychiatric Disorders Among Low Income Single Mothers: Mothers’ Well-Being Study (unreviewed)
CalWORKs Project (unreviewed)
Study of Screening and Assessment in TANF/WtW (unreviewed)
Women’s Employment Study (reviewed)
San Bernardino County (CA) TANF Recipients Study (unreviewed)
Multiple Impacts of Welfare Reform in Utah: Experiences of Former Long-term Welfare Recipients (unreviewed)
Tracking Closed Cases Under The TANF Program in Massachusetts (unreviewed)
Supporting Healthy Marriage (unreviewed)
Welfare-to-Work, the Private Sector and Americorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) (unreviewed)
Parents’ Fair Share Demonstration (reviewed)
Welfare-to-Work Grants Program Evaluation (reviewed)
Connecticut’s Jobs First: Welfare Reform Evaluation Project (reviewed)

Let’s look at who’s behind Parents’ Fair Share Demonstration, which project took place over a 10-ear period, it says:

MDRC
Investigator(s) Fred Doolittle (MDRC)
Virginia Knox (MDRC)
Earl Johnson (MDRC)
Cynthia Miller (MDRC)
Sponsor(s) US Department of Health and Human Services
MDRC
Funder(s) PEW Charitable Trusts
Ford Foundation
AT&T Foundation
US Department of Health and Human Services
US Department of Labor
McKnight Foundation
Northwest Area Foundation
US Department of Agriculture
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Subcontractor(s) Abt Associates, Inc.
Domain Income Security/TANF
Status Completed (final report released)
Duration Jun 1991 – Jun 2001
Type Research and/or Program Evaluation
Goal To implement and evaluate the Parent’s Fair Share Demonstration (PFS).
Program/Policy Description PFS centers on four core activities: employment and training services, peer support through group discussions focused on the rights and responsibilities of non-custodial parents, stronger and more flexible child support enforcement, and voluntary mediation services to help resolve conflict between the custodial and non-custodial parents. PFS is required for non-custodial parents (usually fathers) who are unable to meet child support obligations and have been referred to PFS by the courts.
Notes No notes reported.

And the findings, in brief:

Recent Findings in Brief

12/01/01: Parents’ Fair Share Demonstration: The Challenge of Helping Low-Income Fathers Support Their Children: Final Lessons From Parents’ Fair Share

Final Descriptive/Analytical Findings

As a group, the fathers were very disadvantaged, although some were able to find low-wage work fairly easily. PFS increased employment and earnings for the least-employable men but not for the men who were more able to find work on their own. Most participated in job club services, but fewer than expected took part in skill-building activities. PFS encouraged some fathers, particularly those who were least involved initially, to take a more active parenting role. Many of the fathers visited their children regularly, although few had legal visitation agreements. There were modest increases in parental conflict over child-rearing decisions, and some mothers restricted the fathers’ access to their children. Men referred to the PFS program paid more child support than men in the control group. The process of assessing eligibility uncovered a fair amount of employment, which disqualified some fathers from participation but which led, nonetheless, to increased child support payments.

Because I happen to be familiar with the contractor “MDRC” through prior research (i.e., looking around on the web….), I went to CPR (Centerforpolicyresearch.org) and simply typed in “Parent’s Fair Share.”

This is how many links came up:

Search Results

1 Projects – Parents’ Fair Share Demonstration ProjectRelevance: 3006
Assist MDRC in design and implementation of a mediation component in the Parents’ Fair Share Demon…
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/Projects/tabid/234/id/284/Default.aspx12/17/2008 4:09:47 PM
2 PovertyRelevance: 2008
Many of CPR’s projects involve identification and assessment of programs to reduce poverty and…
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/AreasofExpertise/Poverty/tabid/262/Default.aspx1/19/2009 1:33:25 PM
3 Incarceration and ReentryRelevance: 1004
CPR has done seminal work on child support and incarceration. As a result of CPR’s studies of …
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/AreasofExpertise/IncarcerationandReentry/tabid/263/Default.aspx1/19/2009 1:20:48 PM
4 Projects – Child Support Strategies for Incarcerated and Released ParentsRelevance: 1003
Publicize information on the child support situation that incarcerated and paroled parents face an…
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/Projects/tabid/234/id/378/Default.aspx12/18/2008 10:51:44 AM
5 Court ServicesRelevance: 1003
CPR’s Jessica Pearson and Nancy Thoennes have pioneered the development, implementation and ev…
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/AreasofExpertise/CourtServices/tabid/256/Default.aspx1/19/2009 1:15:59 PM
6 Projects – Evaluation of Parents to Work!Relevance: 1002
Evaluation of a program to utilize TANF funds to deliver services to noncustodial parents involved…
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/Projects/tabid/234/id/375/Default.aspx12/18/2008 10:46:52 AM
7 Child SupportRelevance: 1002
CPR personnel have been leading researchers and technical assistance contractors for nearly ev…
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/AreasofExpertise/ChildSupport/tabid/255/Default.aspx1/19/2009 1:09:46 PM
8 Projects – Task Order 38: An Assessment of Research Concerning Effective Methods of Working with Incarcerated and Released Parents with Child Support ObligationsRelevance: 1002
An analysis of child support issues concerning offender and ex-offender noncustodial parents. The …
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/Projects/tabid/234/id/382/Default.aspx12/18/2008 10:54:07 AM
9 Projects – Texas Access and Visitation Hotline IIRelevance: 1001
Evaluation to assess the effectiveness of a telephone hotline offering parents in the child suppor…
http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/Projects/tabid/234/id/294/Default.aspx12/17/2008 4:21:13 PM
10 Publications – When Parents Complain About Visitation.Relevance: 1001

http://www.centerforpolicyresearch.org/Publications/tabid/233/id/427/Default.aspx12/18/2008 3:46:12 PM
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

They do things like this:

Multi-Site Responsible Fatherhood Programs

Subcontract with Policy Studies Inc.

Contract with Office of Child Support Enforcement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

1999 – 2001

Close Abstract

Multi-site evaluation of eight responsible fatherhood projects to assess various methods of outreach, client intake and service delivery to noncustodial parents in an effort to promote their financial and emotional participation in the lives of their children, and to assess the effectiveness of a management information system developed to for use at the sites.

or “MEDIATION INTERVENTIONS” (based at the Child Support Location) to get them more ACCESS to their children. . .. A whole other set of funding (HHS) is the “access visitation grants system.”

(CFDA 930597, I believe on TAGGS.hhs.gov) another thing I wasn’t told about in my custody issues.

MDRC, like PSI, like CPR, and others, are many of the organizations contracting out these programs. LESS highly publicized (but it’s out) is the court-based organization, AFCC giving awards to Ms. Pierson (of CPR), this organization also pushes mediation.

We are all in all moving quite towards a “planned economy,” whether or not we personally approve of it, or comprehend in just how many ways. LOOKING UP ONLY “Parent’s Fair Share” on the web, these came up:

Promising Practices Home

Operated by the RAND Corporation

http://www.promisingpractices.net/program.asp?programid=43

For this amazing summary, with so many government agencies, quite an assemblage of persona (and backed by several foundations), done in 8 different areas, the bottom line is, it didn’t affect anyone’s bottom line! No significantly increased child support payments, and not much more involved fathers. Says so right here!:

  • Overall, from the perspective of the custodial parents, the net result of PFS did not produce a detectable change in their total income as a result of child support payments.
  • With respect to child contact, PFS did not lead to increases in the frequency or length of contact that noncustodial parents had with their children.

In fact, kind of the contrary:

  • For more-employable men, the program had little effect on average earnings and somewhat reduced employment among those who would have worked in part-time, lower-wage jobs.

Back to topTop

Hrere’s the MDRC site report on the Parent’s Fair Share:

The Parents’ Fair Share (PFS) Demonstration, run from 1994 to 1996, was aimed at increasing the ability of these fathers to attain well-paying jobs, increase their child support payments — to increase their involvement in parenting in other ways. These reports — one examining the effectiveness of the PFS approach at increasing fathers’ financial and nonfinancial involvement with their children and the other examining the effectiveness of the PFS approach at increasing fathers’ employment and earnings — provide important insights into policies aimed at this key group.

What it doesn’t say — we failed at both goals…

By the way, MDRC stands for Manpower Development Research Corporation. These Corps are sprouting up to work with the government (and foundations behind the government policies) to manage society.

From April 2010, Still coming up with “astounding” revelations (for how much$$?) about how life works:

Policies That Strengthen Fatherhood and Family Relationships

What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know?

{{that depends on who “WE” is. One thing seems evident — that the four authors to this paper, below, are employed, or at least have some nice sub- sub-contracting work… Another thing “We” (women in my position) would have LIKED to know is that organizations like MRDC and CPR and PSI and others are (through HHS) making our lives harder, “for our own good” because we dared to collect child support at one point in time. In retaliation for this, our “exes” will be helped by the United States Government to stay on our tails for the rest of time, possibly.}}

No, SERIOUSLY now, as of April 2010, after a decade plus of family/fatherhood programs, what bright conclusions can be drawn?

As described in earlier articles, children whose parents have higher income and education levels are more likely to grow up in stable two-parent households than their economically disadvantaged counterparts.

WHO IS THIS MDRC? Now that some poor folk actually have internet access, we can find out who’s studying (us):

Created in 1974 by the Ford Foundation and a group of federal agencies, MDRC is best known for mounting large-scale evaluations of real-world policies and programs targeted to low-income people.

The Board of Directors are the Cream of America, as follows:

Board of Directors
Robert Solow, Chairman
Institute Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mary Jo Bane, Vice Chair
Professor of Public Policy
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
Rudolph G. Penner, Treasurer
Senior Fellow
Urban Institute
Ron Haskins
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
Co-Director, Center on Children and Families
Brookings Institution

RON HASKINS SOUNDED FAMILIAR TO ME. HERE HE IS:

Ron Haskins

Ron Haskins

Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
Co-Director, Center on Children and Families

A former White House and congressional advisor on welfare issues, Ron Haskins co-directs the Brookings Center on Children and Families. An expert on preschool, foster care, and poverty—he was instrumental in the 1996 overhaul of national welfare policy.

(SEE MY TOP ARTICLE, THIS POST – some people are not too happy about it!)

Encouraging Marriage Helps Everyone

Children & Families, Marriage and Family Formation, Social Issues, Social Norms

Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies

Business Week

Higher marriage rates among the poor would benefit poor adults themselves, their children, and the nation. Although I do not support coercive policies to achieve higher marriage rates, I do favor marriage promotion programs conducted by community-based organizations such as churches and other nonprofit civic groups. The activities these groups should sponsor include counseling, marriage education, job assistance, parenting, anger control, avoiding domestic violence, and money management.
The LAST PLACE I WOULD GO TO GET SOME HELP AVOIDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WOULD BE NEAR A CHURCH GROUP. ALMOST GOT MY FAMILY KILLED . . ., . . AT LEAST IT BEARS A TOKEN MENTION, NEXT TO LAST, IN MARRIAGE PROMOTION. I DON’T THINK MR. HASKINS PERHAPS MET RENITA PITTS (See top of blog), HE WAS PROBABLY TOO BUSY AT THE LATEST EVENT.
I also notice that creative solutions to making ends meet are not necessarily on the agenda here. For example, instead of funneling the “poor” in to poor jobs, low-wage jobs, how’s about helping THEM to start businesses and run them?
Or to get grants and pursue some of their dreams, possibly filling in a gap that someone from Harvard, MIT, or a sociologist might not see?
Does anyone besides me see the irony in having someone IN government coach someone else about money management ?? ?????

Afghanistan // Egypt — The Art of Suppression (2 from MidEast Forum/Pajamas Media)

with 2 comments

 

Middle East Forum

My connection with this is (obviously) through the writings of Dr. Phyllis Chesler, but the relationship of suppression of women to suppression of the “wrong” religion (according to who’s in power) is universally important.

Here’s the “about” page on “meforum However my main hope in posting these two articles is that visitors to THIS blog about familycourtmatters will consider these topics. 

I consider the family law system symbolically an “archipelago,” and I also see it as Sharia in the making.  Most men are not really ready for women to be free from their domination throughout society.  The risks that we might just :

1.  Say No and stop providing services, including supporting oppressive systems, breeding more young, nubile females to satisfy infantile fantasies, and stop rebuilding what wars have destroyed, AND (as to middle aged males), after by doing this, have restored some possible equilibrium,

2.  Seek mates closer to our own age, and stop standing by while our neighbor females lose their lives, and children, through a court system, because we have been socially groomed that, by paying taxes (i.e., being employees, not employERs), someone else is responsible for it.

3.  In general set higher standards of behavior for interaction with us and our kids.

To be fair, though this is “MEFORUM” opening description:

The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, works to define and promote American interests in the Middle East and protect the Constitutional order from Middle Eastern threats. It does this in three main ways:

Now about 2006, and how Phyllis almost got stuck overseas, and came back more feminist than before.  Many parallels exist with USA (from where I, obviously, blog)…

 

/// My life was akin to that of an upper class Afghan woman. My experience was similar to—but hardly as constrained as—that which an increasing number of Arab and Muslim women face today.

In this first decade of the twenty-first century, women living in Islamic societies are being forced back into time, re-veiled, more closely monitored, and more savagely punished than they were in the 1960s.

That said, I had never expected my freedom and privacy to be so curtailed. In Afghanistan, a few hundred wealthy families lived by European standards. Everyone else lived in a premodern style. And that’s the way the king, his government, and the mullahs wanted it to remain. Western diplomats did not peg their foreign policies to how Afghanistan treated its women.

Even before multicultural relativism kicked in, Western diplomats did not believe in “interfering.”

My comment:  This attitude prevails in the family-worshipping environment of white (and black, and other colors, from what I can tell) Protestant non-mainstream AND mainstream churches.  At least that has been my consistent experience over more than a decade, both married with violence, and single supposedly without it….

I am now (of recently) re-evaluating this concept of the ramifications Monotheism (as well as Atheism) according to its practice.  If you think THAT ain’t challenging …  it is ….. But an honest person will do this.  More in other posts.

 

The Afghanistan I knew was a prison, a feudal monarchy, and rank with fear, paranoia, and slavery. Individual Afghans were charming, funny, humane, tender, enchantingly courteous, and sometimes breathtakingly honest. Yet, their country was a bastion of illiteracy, poverty, and preventable disease. Women were subjected to domestic and psychological misery in the form of arranged marriages, polygamy, forced pregnancies, the chadari, domestic slavery and, of course, purdah (seclusion of women).

Women led indoor lives and socialized only with other women. If they needed to see a doctor, their husband consulted one for them in their place. Most women were barely educated. In Kabul, I met other foreign wives who loved having servants but whose own freedom had been constrained. Some European wives, who had come in the late 1940s and early 1950s had converted to Islam and wore The Thing, as we called the cloaking chadari.

Each had been warned, as had I, that whatever they did would become known, that there were eyes everywhere, and that their actions could endanger their families and themselves. Afghans mistrusted foreign wives.

I have a post, a while back, including the “Seven-lesson Schoolteacher” (from “Dumbing Us Down” by John Taylor Gatto (1990), a homeschool favorite.  ONE of the lessons is, “there is no privacy.”  This concept is echoed in the Decalaration of Independence of the United States, as follows:

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

 


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.

[[As contrasted to "no-fault divorce."  hmmm..]]

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, –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.

[[Again, read this with the concept of men governing women within their marriages, and society -- and think about it!]]

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly 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.–

 And some of them are listed in this document:

 The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States…

  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.  {{or custody dependent on the will of a capricious judge..}}
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

These are the court paraprofessionals I keep blogging about….

  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

The family courts exist in ORDER to do this; it is therapeutic jurisprudence, and mediation, evaluation, supervised visitation IN ORDER to produce a desired outcome, which I have been posting about (see also NAFCJ.net).  When you have the words “required outcome” in a court case, as opposed to “required PROCESS,” you no longer have justice.  Period. 

Back to Phyllis’ Feminism formed, or re-inforced, in Afghanistan

Once, I saw an Afghan husband fly into a rage when his foreign wife not only wore a Western swimsuit to a swimming party—but actually plunged into the pool. The men expected to be the only ones who would swim; their wives were meant to chat and sip drinks. The concept of privacy is a Western one. When I would leave the common sitting room in order to read quietly in my own bedroom, all the women and children would follow me. They’d ask: “Are you unhappy?” No one spent any time alone. To do so was an insult to the family. The idea that a woman might be an avid reader of books and a thinker was too foreign to comprehend. Like everyone else, Ali was under permanent surveillance. His career and livelihood depended upon being an obedient Afghan son and subject. How he treated me was crucial. He had to prove that his relationship to women was every bit as Afghan as any other man’s; perhaps more so, since he had arranged his own marriage to a foreigner. ///

In Western terms, he had to prove his “masculinity.”

NOTE:  I haven’t fully processed this next  article but (as typically) put it out here for public consumption and digestion.  I do note that in our area (which has a prospering MidEastern population from a number of countries) I recently met a (professor/doctor) man, a Christian, who said that the U.S. has strongly underestimated the danger of Islam, and spoke of how Egypt (from where he was) persecutes Christians.  I remembered “Now They Call Me Infidel” for sure. 

(2) of (3)

======

Regarding “Not Without My Daughters” (Beth Mamoody), Yes, there was protest about this version of events; even Wikipedia acknowledges.  Here’s a link from the “Iran Times,” last August stating so:

 
‘Not Without My Daughter’ dad dies

0 Comments | Iran Times International (Washington, DC), August 28, 2009
Bozorg Mahmoody, the medical doctor who became internationally famous, even infamous, as the man described as a wife-beater in the book and film “Not Without My Daughter,” died Saturday. He was 70 years old.
The state news agency quoted his nephew, Majid Ghodsi, as reporting Mahmoody died in a Tehran hospital of kidney problems and other complications.

Ghodsi said, “He thought of his daughter until the end and passed away without seeing Mahtob.”

Mahtob, who will turn 30 next month, has said publicly that she refused to have anything to do with her father and has lived for years in an undisclosed city in North America under an assumed name so that he could not find her.
 
The book, written by Mahtob’s mother, Betty Mahmoody, and especially the 1991 movie adaptation, starring Sally Field as Betty and Alfred Molina as Bozorg, enflamed the Iranian-American community for depicting Iranians and Iranian culture negatively.

Betty Mahmoody responded that the heroes of the story were the Iranians who went to great lengths to help Betty and Mahtob flee Iran in 1986. Bozorg had refused to allow his wife to leave the country with their daughter, hence the title of the book and film.

Bozorg Mahmoody fought back in 2003 by cooperating in a French-German film financed by Finnish television that gave his side of the story.

Bozorg Mahmoody was defiant that his ex-wife invented much of the story and in the process defamed him and prevented him and his daughter from having a normal father-child relationship. And because of her book and the Hollywood film it spawned, he said he was “a victim of international politics.”

 

Wife-beaters are always “victims” …  Even the CONCEPT that a man might beat his wife for religious, or other reasons, is a vicious feminist lie striking at the heart of the family, which of course is with Apple Pie, what America is really about, as well as most religions . . . .

The MSM news are NOT majority feminist owned.  Nor are the churches, nor is Washington.  There is plenty of fatherhood & marriage funding making the rounds, still.  The richest church around (Roman Catholic, Vatican) has a real love/hate relationship with females, while promoting the breeding of more church members to dedicate their lives and services (and tithes, including help settling abuse complaints) to this organization.  It’s not owned by feminazis.  Nor are the Mormons, nor are other major churches that consider the family more important than individual rights.

And the news I’m reading, as hard as it tries to “equalize” the situation, still reports rapes, beatings, murders, etc. by women attempting to leave men as primarily BY men.  Maybe they did it for “real” good reasons, but the facts are, if the papers are not outright lying when they say what’s on the police blotter, there’s a lot of violence going around. … 

I think it’s time we searched for a BALANCED set of social paradigms, and seek to limit the power of government in our lives.  I do understand, from one perspective, how the feds have to step in at times and have in the past.  However, the creators of the poverty and the creators of the DOMINATE mentality should not be entirely trusted to set the social standards of an entire nation.  And for this — face it — until CONGRESS is more diverse, which takes independent money most of us don’t have — we are going to have to think more cooperative locally. 

Someday the middle-class will figure out what’s going on at the top and at the bottom of society, and I hope that there will be a track record of some truths (I don’t say ALL truth, which is an egotisticals tatement, but SOME relevant truths) to the cause and effect of all this — well, for an analogy to BP fiasco — spillage and spouting out of what’s in the innards of the earth into the more visible and more sensitive ecology of the ocean (of humanity….).  We are up to our necks in it. 

Don’t blame the oil! ……

And one response to PRESSURE is PRESSING BACK.  And the natural Re-action to PRESSING BACK AGAINST PRESSURE.

Adding the weight of “God” (and being His (or Her, or Their) “sole interpreter” in this is simply not really playing fair. 

Who’s monitoring the Stop VAW Grant recipients? (Oregon)

with 2 comments

 

Anne Caroline Drake website, with characteristic pointed questions and pulling facts together, asks about:

Oregon’s new “Domestic Violence Czar,”

Erin S. Greenwald

And whether cleaning up the DV IN-house will be on the agenda, as shutting up women trying to leave DV if they are NOT on the government payroll, or federal dole.

(This is just an excerpt — her site has photos & details.)

Will Greenawald Clean Up the Mess?

Ms. Greenawald is being paid $97,008 under a federally-funded Stop Violence Against Women Act Grant:

Greenawald will be responsible for developing training materials, best-practice policies and other publications to improve the identification, investigation and prosecution of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Given the fact that a high percentage of recent dometic violence in Oregon were committed by her peers, I would have hoped her first priority would be to rid the ranks of Oregon’s criminal “justice” system of domestic violence perpetrators.

Kroger must not have done a basic Google search of Ms. Greenawald before he hired her.  The first thing I found was a very disturbing YouTube video.  I had read about the case featured in the video earlier today in a comment by PearlWhitcomb to a story in the Oregonian about Ms. Greenawald’s appointment:

 

My next post shows more on the studying fatherhood grants, just a tiny sampler I think we should know about, involving Cornell University…

Whether Fatherhood or Violence Against Women Acts,

WHO IS MONITORING THE GRANTS RECIPIENTS?

Again, “GUIDESTAR.org” is a good start.  Start LOOKING at some of the 990s, and then asking, how long are we going to fund “studies” before some actually practice (like stopping it!) gets into place.

The scam, my friends, is that the US population (certain sectors of it, male and female) ARE the study.  I know that wasn’t Anne Caroline Drake’s point, above, but it’s mine. 

What kind of characters are attracted to these positions?

And isn’t DV about simply abusive inordinant control and out-of-control-dictatorship behavior by the abuser?

So then what is the word “CZAR” doing in there?  I mean, think about the connotations.

Think also about the connotations that you can “domesticate” “violence.”

Animals are domesticated, like cats & dogs, and cattle.  What is this person going to “rule” over — domestic violence itself? 

At what point does language become meaningless, and how many years past that point are we, in these matters?

“Where’s Mom?” and other vocabulary issues

with one comment

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

So, here’s FVPF.org:

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

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

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

FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND $32,245,683

It is receiving funds from multiple agencies:

Top 5 Agencies Providing Assistance

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

 

Assistance Type

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

 

Trend

Bar chart is from the data in the below table

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Recipients

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

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

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

 

Here’s a recent program listed:

National Institute on Fatherhood and Domestic Violence

 National Institute on Fatherhood and Domestic Violence

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

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

Guiding Principles of the Fathering After Violence Initiative

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

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

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

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

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

Public and Private Partnerships:

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

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

The National Institute has three core elements:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For her efforts, she is insulted again…

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

This post to be continued…

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