Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Report Details Sabotage of Birth Control

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/health/research/15pregnant.html

February 15, 2011

Report Details Sabotage of Birth Control

By RONI CARYN RABIN

Men who abuse women physically and emotionally may also sabotage their partners’ birth control, pressuring them to become pregnant against their will, new reports suggest.

Several small studies have described this kind of coercion among low-income teenagers and young adults with a history of violence by intimate partners. Now, a report being released Tuesday by the federally financed National Domestic Violence Hotline says 1 in 4 women who agreed to answer questions after calling the hot line said a partner had pressured them to become pregnant, told them not to use contraceptives, or forced them to have unprotected sex.

The report was based on answers from more than 3,000 women, but it was not a research study, those involved said.

“It was very eye-opening,” said Lisa James, director of health at the Family Violence Prevention Fund in San Francisco, which worked with the hot line on the report. “There were stories about men refusing to wear a condom, forcing sex without a condom, poking holes in condoms, flushing birth control pills down the toilet.

“There were lots of stories about hiding the birth control pills — that she kept ‘losing’ her birth control pills, until she realized that he was hiding them,” Ms. James added.

One respondent described having to hide in the bathroom to take her pill. Another said that when she got her period recently, her partner was “furious.”

The hot line’s report did not include a comparison group and did not gather information about the participants, who were questioned anonymously; nor was it published in a peer-reviewed journal. It was based on answers to four questions posed to 3,169 women around the country who contacted the domestic violence hot line between Aug. 16 and Sept. 26, 2010, who were not in immediate danger and who agreed to participate. About 6,800 callers refused to answer the questions.

Of those who did respond, about a quarter said yes to one or more of these three questions: “Has your partner or ex ever told you not to use any birth control?” “Has your partner or ex-partner ever tried to force or pressure you to become pregnant?” “Has your partner or ex ever made you have sex without a condom so that you would get pregnant?”

One in six answered yes to the question “Has your partner or ex-partner ever taken off the condom during sex so that you would get pregnant?”

The questions were devised by Dr. Elizabeth Miller, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine at the University of California, Davis, whose earlier papers on reproductive coercion prompted interest in the subject.

“It’s really important to recognize reproductive coercion as another mechanism for control in an unhealthy relationship,” Dr. Miller said. At the same time, she added, younger women and girls dating older men may be confused by the pressure to become pregnant.

“If you can put yourself in the shoes of a 15-year-old dating an 18- or 19-year-old man, which is not an unusual scenario, and he says to her, ‘We’re going to make beautiful babies together,’ that’s pretty seductive.”

But Dr. Miller said more research was needed to understand the men’s motivations.

“One of the things that comes up a lot is: What are the guys thinking?” she said, adding that her own research suggested some answers.

“Some have an intense desire for a nuclear family, and many who had experiences of a dysfunctional family home want something better,” she said. Some young men, she said, “want to leave a legacy, and say, ‘I’m not sure how long I’m going to be around.’ Gang-affiliated young men want the status that comes with having babies from multiple women.”

Dr. Miller’s paper, published last year in the journal Contraception, reported that at five family planning clinics in Northern California, one-third of 683 female patients whose partners were physically abusive said the men had also pressured them to become pregnant or had sabotaged their birth control. Of 191 women who reported birth control sabotage, 79 percent also reported physical abuse, the study found.

The associations help explain why young victims of violence by intimate partners are at an increased risk for unplanned pregnancies and for sexually transmitted diseases.

Ms. James, of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, said that despite the new attention to reproductive coercion, she doubted it was a new phenomenon.

“I just think not enough people have been asking the question,” she said.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

SAY NO - UNiTE to Stop Violence Against Mothers And Their Children

SayNo

Please go to link below sign in and SAY NO-UNiTE To End Violence Against Women AND THEIR CHILDREN.

Stop Violence Against Mothers And Their Children

As many are aware, there is a silent genocide occurring against women. This is part of a major reason why women all over the world are united to end violence against women.  What many do not know or connect is that a lot of women experiencing violence perpetrated against them are also mothers.  Many ads on stopping violence against women portray women without children as a means to get the message across clearly; but they fail to represent the large proportion of mothers in this situation. 

Experts in intimate partner violence have noted that there is a high correlation between abuse and pregnancy.  Some scholars state that this is because they are envious of the relationship between the mother and the child.  Using violence, coercion and control is often part of the effort to destroy these bonds.  The problem then exacerbates when a mother tries to leave--often not to save herself but to save the child.  Leaving is one of the most dangerous times for all women enduring intimate partner violence, and, accompanied with an inadequate system, the odds are stacked against her.  With a community plagued by stereotypes on child custody cases, closed courtrooms and loopholes in laws compounded by pop-psychology, we have a situation where most mothers in this predicament are torn away from the children they tried to protect.  In the 1980s, Dr Richard Gardner coined the term, “Parent Alienation Syndrome”.  This term remained a term only, because most of the scientific community rejected it.  His literature promoted ideas that victims of abuse were mentally ill and deliberately raised concerns about the abuse as an act of hate.  Dr Richard Gardner also testified in a homicide case where a mother was shot 13 times.  Gardner claimed that her “alienating behavior” drove him to kill her.  Although the scientific community rejected Parent Alienation Syndrome, the legal community embraced it.  Carefully removing the word "syndrome", the belief set remained.  Whilst his work began in US, he traveled around the world promoting these ideas to court professionals and others who had a direct influence on child custody case outcomes.  Some organizations that offer training for judges even held workshops on “maternal gate-keeping”, which trivialized the experiences of women and children leaving intimate partner violence.   Whilst Dr. Gardner passed away several years ago, his doctrine lives on and others have polished up his work to continue its grave influence upon the legal community. 

Mothers are often subjected to degrading treatment within the courtrooms where they are forced to deny their experiences and their need to survive and protect--or they will face jail.  All legal avenues within this culture are blocked.  This is why we have a battered mothers custody conference where mothers, professionals and young people unite to end violence against women and children through the system.  It is why I traveled all the way from Australia to be there this year amongst others who have also traveled from other parts of the globe to attend.  It is a global issue that affects many.  This year, Holly Ann Collins, the first American to receive asylum in Netherlands, spoke about her ordeal.  Revered by many as a brave mother who, against all odds, was able to save herself and her children.  She was listed and hunted by US as an abductor even though they knew why she ran.  She arrived at the airport with a suitcase of evidence which led to her being granted asylum.  She was hard on herself because she did not do it sooner.  Whilst leaving with the children under these circumstances should be seen as the best thing to do, there is no legal avenue to do so.  Some laws and treaties appear from the surface to have some consideration of women and children experiencing violence, but the processes, culture, economics and ambiguity of the situation stifle opportunities to do so.  Holly Ann Collins' outcome is a rare one.  We need better laws that protect mothers and children from violence without punishment or further victimization. 

As many are aware, there is a silent genocide occurring against women. This is part of a major reason why women all over the world are united to end violence against women.  What many do not know or connect is that a lot of women experiencing violence perpetrated against them are also mothers.  Many ads on stopping violence against women portray women without children as a means to get the message across clearly; but they fail to represent the large proportion of mothers in this situation. 

Experts in intimate partner violence have noted that there is a high correlation between abuse and pregnancy.  Some scholars state that this is because they are envious of the relationship between the mother and the child.  Using violence, coercion and control is often part of the effort to destroy these bonds.  The problem then exacerbates when a mother tries to leave--often not to save herself but to save the child.  Leaving is one of the most dangerous times for all women enduring intimate partner violence, and, accompanied with an inadequate system, the odds are stacked against her.  With a community plagued by stereotypes on child custody cases, closed courtrooms and loopholes in laws compounded by pop-psychology, we have a situation where most mothers in this predicament are torn away from the children they tried to protect.  In the 1980s, Dr Richard Gardner coined the term, “Parent Alienation Syndrome”.  This term remained a term only, because most of the scientific community rejected it.  His literature promoted ideas that victims of abuse were mentally ill and deliberately raised concerns about the abuse as an act of hate.  Dr Richard Gardner also testified in a homicide case where a mother was shot 13 times.  Gardner claimed that her “alienating behavior” drove him to kill her.  Although the scientific community rejected Parent Alienation Syndrome, the legal community embraced it.  Carefully removing the word "syndrome", the belief set remained.  Whilst his work began in US, he traveled around the world promoting these ideas to court professionals and others who had a direct influence on child custody case outcomes.  Some organizations that offer training for judges even held workshops on “maternal gate-keeping”, which trivialized the experiences of women and children leaving intimate partner violence.   Whilst Dr. Gardner passed away several years ago, his doctrine lives on and others have polished up his work to continue its grave influence upon the legal community. 

Mothers are often subjected to degrading treatment within the courtrooms where they are forced to deny their experiences and their need to survive and protect--or they will face jail.  All legal avenues within this culture are blocked.  This is why we have a battered mothers custody conference where mothers, professionals and young people unite to end violence against women and children through the system.  It is why I traveled all the way from Australia to be there this year amongst others who have also traveled from other parts of the globe to attend.  It is a global issue that affects many.  This year, Holly Ann Collins, the first American to receive asylum in Netherlands, spoke about her ordeal.  Revered by many as a brave mother who, against all odds, was able to save herself and her children.  She was listed and hunted by US as an abductor even though they knew why she ran.  She arrived at the airport with a suitcase of evidence which led to her being granted asylum.  She was hard on herself because she did not do it sooner.  Whilst leaving with the children under these circumstances should be seen as the best thing to do, there is no legal avenue to do so.  Some laws and treaties appear from the surface to have some consideration of women and children experiencing violence, but the processes, culture, economics and ambiguity of the situation stifle opportunities to do so.  Holly Ann Collins' outcome is a rare one.  We need better laws that protect mothers and children from violence without punishment or further victimization. 

 

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CONTACT INFORMATION

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Title: Advocate

Email: smith@ssl-mail.com

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Rikki Dombrowski: Don’t Give Up – Love, Hope and Empowerment—The Sham in Shawnee County (Topeka, Kansas)

Your Mother Claudine Dombrowski Loves you and she is here for you when you can finally break free. She has not given up, she will not shut up and she will not go away!

“Granny died and her grand-daughter was not allowed to attend her funeral.”

“This tribute video was made– for three generations lost—destroyed by the Family Courts.”

“Granny, Mom and Rikki three hearts united across the universe and above and beyond the Shawnee County Courthouse MAFIA.”

 

Hope Love Power and enlightenment

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

 

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there; I do not sleep.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there; I did not die.

by, Mary Elizabeth Frye

 

Sham in Shawnee County (Topeka, Kansas)

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/sham-shawnee-county-topeka-kansas

Sham in Shawnee County (Topeka, Kansas) The last time I did court watch for protective mother CLAUDINE DOMBROWSKI, I called my subsequent posting on the experience "Showdown in Shawnee County." See the post here:

http://dastardlydads.blogspot.com/2010/02/showdown-in-shawnee-county-we-finally.html

I can't even call the hearing held on October 19, 2010 a showdown. It was just a sham.

Let's do a little review. Claudine is a battered mother who lost custody of her only daughter in an ex parte hearing in 2004. (Ex parte means the mother wasn't even represented at the hearing.) Since then, she has had very little visitation. The hearing in January 2010 (see post above) was supposed to fix that. And finally, Claudine was awarded two hours of unsupervised visitation on Sunday and telephone contact twice a week. We figured it was a start.

Well, this was not to be. And not because of anything Claudine did.

As Claudine testified, visitation went well. She taught her now teenage daughter to drive. They shopped. They went to Barnes and Noble. They talked about girl stuff. Boy stuff. Just like any other mother and daughter. In fact, Claudine was able to enjoy her first mother's day with her daughter in ten years. There were no negative interactions. In fact, it looked like some serious healing was going on.

And in that lays the problem. You see, abusers and their enablers don't like healing. They find that supremely threatening to their power and control. So of course, the process must be stopped lest their domination of the child and the overall "situation" be compromised.

So in May 2010, all visitation stopped at Dad HAL RICHARDSON's personal discretion--which he admitted during his own testimony. He made the unilateral decision that he would no longer take his daughter to the law enforcement center for visitation (presumably at her "request"--but more on that later.) He made sure that during the times of designated phone contact, the phone was never answered as it was set on fax. (67 Direct Contempt's Dad admitted under oath that the phone does go to fax mode when not answered--though he denied "inhibiting" phone access, which is not surprising. But then, how did Mom know to testify that the phone was set on fax when she called? Oh those little details....) But of course, Dad didn't exactly encourage or welcome contact either--that much was evident. In fact, it was pretty clear to me that he was extremely negative about Claudine, and doing his best to crush any contact between her and her daughter.

But like many abusers, he projected his own motives onto the child, now a teenager. SHE was the one who was "uncomfortable." She was the one who was "afraid." Afraid of what? Physical abuse, sexual violence? No, there was no evidence of that beyond vague innuendos about "fighting" that allegedly occurred in the distant past (These innuendos weren't even brought up in January. Must be a new game plan.)

Apparently we are supposed to believe that this teenage girl is "afraid" because Mom allegedly doesn't "follow the rules." What rules? Apparently the court's rules regarding discussion of this case.

All this was echoed by Guardian ad Litem JILL DYKES. And once again, just as in January, Ms. Dykes didn't even feign professional neutrality in this case, as she literally sat at Daddy's elbow the whole time.

Are you kidding me? The typical teenager would blow off a parent's attempt to discuss court matters--ASSUMING any such discussion took place, which Claudine denies. They certainly wouldn't be "afraid" of such a discussion. Annoyed perhaps. But not "afraid" or traumatized. This is just classic projection. That this teenager is such a hothouse flower that she is somehow irreparably injured by any possible or potential references to her parents' legal issues, which I'm sure she already knows all about anyway. Nonsense.

I would humbly suggest that it is Hall Richardson and his enablers who are "afraid" of any possible open or frank discussion of this case. Or any contact between this mother and daughter. And their little "feelings" shouldn't play any part of this.

Under Kansas law, visitation isn't shut off because somebody is "uncomfortable" for vague and specious reasons. If that were the case, then controlling and manipulative parents would be cutting off access for whatever reason they dreamed up that day.

Unfortunately, given the dynamics of domestic violence, children who are in the control of abusers often find it necessary to parrot what the abusers want for their own survival. Which makes if very difficult for this child to speak up and articulate what she wants--except in private to her own mother.

And frankly, this ordeal shows a complete double standard. Were this a custodial mother blocking visitation for such vague and specious reasons, she would no doubt be labeled as an "alienator" with "parental alienation syndrome" (PAS). And the situation would be addressed immediately--either visitation would be enforced by the courts or the mother would lose custody all together. But I digress.

So no visitation from May to the present. But this actually was a minor issue as far as the court was concerned.

No, once again our major concern was Claudine's political activity. The players in Shawnee County are very upset with how well known this case has become (my last blog posting on this case had readers as far away as Australia.) And they are blaming Claudine for all of it, even though when pushed, Judge DAVID DEBENHEIM fiercely denied that he was trying to "stomp" on Claudine's first amendment rights. (Huh. Could have fooled me.)

But even in cases where OTHER bloggers like Nancy Carroll at Rights for Mothers had discussed this case (http://rightsformothers.com/), Claudine was blamed. In fact, the opposing attorney submitted into evidence printouts from NANCY's blog to show that Claudine was out of compliance with their gag order. Message to the Hoffmans: Nancy is not Claudine. I'm not Claudine either, for that matter. And you can't shut us up.

And honestly, did the Hoffmans really have to embarrass their employee like that? They trotted out a young and painfully ignorant employee of theirs to "testify" about Claudine's "alleged" facebook and twitter activities. This fresh-faced young woman--no more than a high school graduate with a few "computer" classes--earnestly told us that every posting and link on somebody's facebook page had to personally "approved" and/or "posted" by that person. Yes, dear friends. She did say that. And meant it too, so far as I can tell. I won't give her name, though it's in my notes. I refuse to further humilate her. But honestly, your great aunt Rose probably knows more about facebook than this girl.

So the significance of this was what? There are supposedly "references" to her case on Claudine's facebook page! Oh the horror! And you know what? This blog may very well end up with a link on Claudine's facebook page, too--through an automatic feed mechanism. It will go straight to facebook--even when Claudine is sleeping or brushing her teeth. Or sitting in court. Because you know what? Claudine is a well networked activist with probably hundreds of facebook friends working on issues related to child abuse, domestic violence, human rights, and family court reform. Many of us have discussed this case before. Just as we have discussed many other cases like this one, where the courts have backed up the abuser and shut out or ignored the protective mother. And for your information, you'll find articles and links about those cases as well.

And all this policing of Claudine's personal and political activities on the internet is particularly hypocritical when you consider the following: Attorney JASON P. HOFFMAN and GAL JILL DYKES had no qualms about violating professional ethical boundaries and becoming facebook "friends" with this child! (I saw the screen shots.) Mom can't even post a photo of her daughter per court order, but these folks feel free to do as they like. Not that the judge was interested in this matter at all. Big surprise there.

And this is the crux of the matter. What the court in Shawnee County REALLY doesn't like is that--as they put it--this lady "has a cause." Or she has "become a cause." They don't like the "venom" (i.e. the truth) that has come out about this case, and the attention it has received nationally and even internationally. They don't even like Claudine's facial expressions! (Yes, the judge made a point of addressing this. "You are your own worst enemy!" he thundered at Claudine--apparently over some grimace or frown that I didn't see.)

So make sure you never show anything but a happy face in front of Judge Debenham, even when you are possibly losing all contact with your only child!

Claudine is supposed to hear later this afternoon what the court's decision is--after her daughter will presumably be allowed to speak her mind with the judge. But of course, she can't really speak her mind--not as long as she's a minor and dependent on her father.

We are not optimistic as to the outcome.

But you know what? In a little over two years, this girl ages out of the system's control over her life. Perhaps then, real change will come about.

Abusers and their enablers often win the battles. But they seldom win the war. That puts off any real healing in this case for another two years.

But at least it's something to hope for.

Continue reading at NowPublic.com: Sham in Shawnee County (Topeka, Kansas) | NowPublic News Coverage http://www.nowpublic.com/world/sham-shawnee-county-topeka-kansas#ixzz1CN6yB4FW

 

Claudine Dombrowski and the love for her Daughter Rikki Dombrowski – Fly High Fly Free--- they can not chain the wind, no matter how hard they try.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Did Maui Judge Tanaka Give Baby to Abuser Contrary to Law?

Courtesy AngelGroup

A domestic violence survivor, Maria Styke-Marquez, appears alone in Judge Keith Tanaka's Second Circuit courtroom where, according to documents filed by the perpetrator's attorney, Mimi DeJardins, the judge will grant her abuser's request to permanently relocate to Minnesota with the former couple's 2 1/2 year-old daughter, removing her not only from the island of her birth, but from her mother.

The child's father, Bruce Anthony Sotelo Jr., was convicted and held in jail for beating a pregnant Ms. Styke-Marquez so severely in 2007 that the 4 month-old baby she was carrying may have died as a result of the attack that left Ms. Styke-Marquez with a concussion, broken ribs, cracked teeth, a split lip and contusions.

Hawaii State Statute 571-46(9) perpetrators of family violence are not candidates for custody of their children, yet in September, Judge Tanaka ruled to give full physical/legal custody of the little girl to the man who put her mother in the hospital. Is that contrary to statute? Not if facts support the ruling.

Financially devastated from the litigation her abuser has put her through, Ms. Styke-Marquez, unable to afford an attorney, walked into the courtroom alone to face her abuser (who as recently as November 19th has a criminal contempt charge lodged against him), his attorney (who is also a Per Diem judge) and a judge who has already ruled against he. "My last and only hope to save my daughter is to call public attention to what's going on and I'm not the only one this is happening to - I know so many other domestic violence survivors who have lost custody of their

children to their perpetrators as well which only tells me that this is no small problem. I'm a protective parent, not a perfect one, and never tried to keep our daughter from her father so I can't understand how this is being allowed to happen" says Ms. Styke-Marquez.

She reportedly collapsed in courtroom, and was transported to hospital and the hearing continued without her.

Final outcome of the hearing is at this time, unknown. But words from the Judiciary allege factual mistakes and erroneous statements of law by Angels.

Comments

-1#4 mia kai 2011-01-23 21:13

Tanaka allowed him to move so he can live with his parents rent free and work as a food server for 7.25 an hour when as a nurse i can make 35.00 an hour, how does that make sense? and for him to rip her away from her mother who nursed on MY breasts, and took care of her better than they ever can????? My question to Tanaka is, What happened to you? What happened in your marriage or your high school love, some woman must have hurt you extremely bad and it must have been with children or you just know the way to get back at them or hurt the woman who has hurt you is through their children, because you men all know that our hearts mend after leaving you, actually our life's our better without you men in em.....so you men see this and know the only way to truly beat us once again is through our children! I'm considering having an investigation done on Tanaka to see about the women in his past and to see who he was abusive to? Tanaka is to evil you can see it in his eyes, beetle eyes- hatred

Quote

-1#3 mia kai 2011-01-23 21:05

I have filed asking for a "New trial and or alternative reconsideration on his decision, but we all know he will deny this, I had filed an emergency stay on 12-30-10 and he put it on the calender for 1-26-11 at 1:30pm but still allowed for my angel to be moved to the mainland without even saying goodbye to her primary attachment "me- her mother"... How can "paradise" be so corrupted? Bruce may have beat me and terminated my pregnancy, and I dealt with that by leaving him and living my life for my then 5 month pregnancy (I was 5 months prego when he started to push me again, so I kicked him out for good) and then I had my precious angel Malie alone in the hospital and raised her by myself working as a nurse and then he wants to take take her from me because he seen I picked up and was living well without him and plus they upped his CS from $50.00 a month to $780.00 a month, this is when his mother stepped in and said her son will not give me that money and they hired Desjardins

Quote

-1#2 mia kai 2011-01-23 20:50

YES this BEAST of a Judge did give my precious angel to my abuser. When I had filed for a pre-trial before my trial to ask for a "custody evaluator and a GAL appointed, he denied it, and during the trial in the beginning I asked for him to reconsider because this would be a "traumatic life changing experience to be separated across the ocean from her mother" and he the BEAST stated "well you just declared yourself to be indigent so how are you going to pay for one?" I said, I am a mother,a protective mother at that and this is my precious little babies life we are talking about, I'm positive given the opportunity to be evaluated I will find the monies to pay for one". He said NO!!!!!!! and allowed my abuser and to the abuser's own flesh and blood to move to the mainland... Tanaka, on the bench stated "Ms. Styke I know you are a fit and loving parent" but b cuz i had to call the police 14 times for custodial interference I was at fault and he said I was putting my daughter in harms way.

Quote

-4#1 valeriemaui 2010-12-04 17:19

Tanaka needs a seat not one on the bench! aeeed

Quote

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Joan Dawson: Parental alienation and domestic violence

Joan Dawson

Joan Dawson

Posted: January 20, 2011 02:36 PM

Parental alienation and domestic violence

"I hope there's more cases just like this, where people don't want to let their spouses see their kids...I hope it happens more and more, until the law finally says you know what? There needs to be something done so these parents can be with their kids."

These were the words fired by Randall Todd Moore as he denied having "not one ounce of remorse" for kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing his ex-wife.

But was his ex-wife 'alienating' the kids, as Moore alleged, or trying to protect them from danger?

This case is clear, but as those working in domestic violence and child abuse realize, all too often clarity comes at a price.

Parental alienation (PA, or PAS for Parental Alienation Syndrome), a topic pro-PA psychologist Richard Warshak recently covered on Huffington Post, alleges a parent poisons the mind of a child to fear or hate the other parent. The defamation results in a damaged relationship or estrangement.

Those opposing parental alienation admit parents can bad-mouth the other parent either deliberately or inadvertently; however, factors such as poor parenting skills or personality on the part of the mother or father and stages of normal development or reactions to divorce on the part of the child can also cause alienating behaviors.

Dr. Paul Fink, President of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, and a former President of the American Psychiatric Association states, "Science tells us that the most likely reason that a child becomes estranged from a parent is that parent's own behavior. Labels, such as PAS, serve to deflect attention away from those behaviors."

More dangerously, parental alienation can mask domestic violence, child abuse and child sexual abuse. What is the difference between fearful or uncooperative battered women and alienating," vindictive" mothers? If parents try to withhold access to children, are they alienators or protectors? If they try to provide evidence of abuse - interviews with psychologists, medical examinations or discussions with the child - are they gathering proof or further alienating the ex? What is the difference between alienated children and abused children?

The behaviors can be indistinguishable.

Indeed, it's not just domestic violence survivors' advocates who witness the problem with PA. The American Bar Association, American Prosecutors Research Institute, National District Attorneys Association, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges all denounce the use of parental alienation in the courtroom. The National District Attorneys Association says on their Web site, "PAS is an unproven theory that can threaten the integrity of the criminal justice system and the safety of abused children."

That hasn't stopped courts from using PAS, resulting in accusations against individuals, mostly women, of maliciously denying access to children.

Katie Tagle, for instance, sought a restraining order on Jan. 21, 2010 against her ex-boyfriend Stephen Garcia to stop him from having unsupervised visitation with their nine-month-old child.

She told the judge Garcia threatened to kill the infant. The court transcript records Judge Robert Lemkau as saying, "One of you is lying," and later, "Mr. Garcia claims its total fabrication on your part." Garcia also referred to it as "little stunts and games" that she used to deny him access to his son.

Even when she tries to produce evidence of the threats, he says, "Well, ma'am, there's a real dispute about whether that's even true or not." And finally, "My suspicion is that you're lying" (said twice). He denied her the order (as did two other judges). Garcia took their son that day and drove off into the mountains. Ten days later, they were both found dead.
The transcript is here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/26434649/tagle-garcia-court-transcript-dent-protection-to-baby-now-bay-is-DEAD

This case clearly demonstrates another issue women have in courts: credibility. It's easier to believe a woman is lying than to believe a man can abuse or kill a woman or child. In reality, in family court, denying abuse is more common than fabricating tales of abuse. Most allegations are made in good faith (see the American Bar Association's 10 Custody Myths and How to Counter Them). And most denials are made by perpetrators, perpetrators skillful at manipulation - even of professionals.

Indeed, we must not forget family court is the place for couples with high conflict and abuse. The overwhelming majority (up to 90%) of couples create their own parenting plans. Those that cannot, go to family court.

Judges, though, have been known to downplay even well-documented cases of abuse and to give more weight to parental alienation than to abuse allegations. In the case of Jennifer Collins, for example, the judge told her mother to "get over" the abuse as at least two years had passed, according to Collins' Web site. The judge reversed the custody decision because her mom's fear was "interfering in his relationship with us." Jennifer's mother Holly took her two children and fled to the Netherlands, where they were granted asylum. (See also the Courageous Kids Network of children who were court-ordered into relationships with abusive parents.)

58,000 children a year go into sole or joint custody arrangements or unsupervised visitation with physically or sexually abusive parents, according to an estimate by the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence. That's over 1,000 children a week the courts place in harm's way.

Giving custody to the supposedly alienated parent is one way to "solve" the problem of parental alienation. Jailing the mother is another.

Tiffany Barney and Joyce Murphy are two women who've been jailed; their cases were covered in the media. Both alleged child sexual abuse and neither were believed. Barney fought for five years, at times losing custody or having limited supervised visitation. Murphy was called "toxic" to her daughter and deemed the cause of the child fearing her father. She fled with her daughter. When found, she was jailed for felony abduction and later granted limited visitation. It wasn't until three more girls came forward with molestation charges that her ex was finally the one jailed.

A few other cases making headlines include: Court Punishes Woman in Alienation Case; WI: Judge Jails Mother over Daughter's Refusal to Visit Father and Judge Dismisses Abuse Allegations.

To sum it up, any behavior that does not promote access to children can be classified as parental alienation and punished with jail time or limits on/loss of custody. With this threat, parents are less likely to report abuse and more likely to share custody with an abuser.

It should also be noted that when violent partners make good on their threats to take the kids away, it's referred to as domestic violence by proxy -a continuation of domestic violence - rather than PA or PAS. Some battered women who've lost custody use PA or PAS to describe their particular situation. This both minimizes the nature and scope of abuse women face and promotes the use of a dangerous weapon (PA/PAS) that can be used against them in court.

I wouldn't hand an angry man a agun, nor would I readily hand over a legal strategy to potential pedophiles, abusers or killers. Yet that is exactly what PA/PAS is doing.

For more information, visit:

The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence

Stop Family Violence

Center for Judicial Excellence

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Responsible Fatherhood”: What Do Women Have to Do with It?

(found on a blog titled:  soros.org, surely identifying with the downtrodden, and labeled “OPEN SOCIETIES — building Vibrant and Tolerant Democracies.  How many people do you know whose mission is “building” a democracy?  How about some live and let live?)

October 12, 2010 | by Stacey Bouchet and Julia Hayman Hamilton

There are many national and local efforts focused around the issue of fatherhood in the United States. They are necessary and encouraging, but we are convinced that women’s voices are also essential to their success and sustainability. That’s why our organization, Women In Fatherhood, Inc.(WIFI), recently joined with the Open Society Campaign for Black Male Achievement in its work to strengthen low-income families and communities through the support of positive father involvement.

We are launching a media campaign, “In the Words of Women,” to raise awareness about the importance of fathers.

What — FATHERHOOD.gov, Fatherhood.HHS.gov, Fathers.com, and Fatherhood COmmissions around the country, National fatherhood initiative, state-level “fatherhood initiatives” and all the CFDA 93086 on “Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood”  millions — and it indeed Was then, Is Now, and I gather “Ever Shall Be” million$$ — to promote these things — again with PUBLIC $$ and faith-based collaboratives at times — isn’t that enough?

It takes more than absence of  Y chromosome to qualify to be a VOICE of a WOMAN that needs to be heard nationwide .  This is more paid-for static paid for by the majority white male, still, Congress.  And I never used to talk like this before.  I’ll try to post the brochure which states this clearly — but my laptop battery is about to die.

Here’s just one of this august board of directors (probably great women in their own rights — but they are on a cause that is hurting others, so I feel very free to speak out about the farce.  First white dudes (Wade Horn et al), go after inner-city  urban churches (i.e., the black vote) to make like fatherhood agenda is NOT racist.  That under the belt, they then go get some women (including, in case below, a wife of a fatherhood pioneer) and front them to say “we speak for women.”

Frances Ballard

Petrice Sams-AbiodunFrances Ballard is the Executive Director for the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC). In her role she is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership for activities regarding the NRFC, including the coordination of the media campaign, clearinghouse and Web site, Training and Technical Assistance (T & TA) to responsible fatherhood demonstration sites, and building relationships and partnerships for NRFC.She has over 20 years experience working with fathers, families and healthcare. Her previous positions include 12 years serving as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for The Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Revitalization; Consultant to The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections Program; ***

Director of Corporate Development and Clinical Manager-Ambulatory Care, Grace Hospital; and Nurse Consultant/Program Developer, The Institute For Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development. She holds a Masters of Science Degree in Nursing Administration, a B.A. in Social Work, an A.S. in Nursing, and numerous executive management certifications.She is married to Dr. Charles A. Ballard, “pioneer” of the Fatherhood Movement and the mother of their three children, Jonathan, Lydia and Christopher.

At the bottom is a link to her husband, and his “faith.”  Makes me wonder about the separation of church and state, and where it went…***

** kind of reminds me of Wade Horn and the HHS Connection.  Maybe that’s the “CONNECTIONS” they are really dealing with ..

Well, has your local church (wear the shoe if it fits) stopped seeking tithes and offerings yet? Has hell (fatherlessness, I guess) froze over yet.  Is the Vatican scaling back?  Then the answer, evidently, is NO.

Again, I repeat:  ”How gullible

do they think we (mothers) are?”

Look — if readers can put up with  my (lack of proper) formatting and failing to spellcheck on this post, the URLs on it are great lead-ins to what the courts are about.  I have the links, it’s up to you to THINK, and continue to see if the puzzle pieces are starting to assemble into the larger picture.  More later, I hope, and this is my contribution to the Major Holiday that today represents. What depths we have sunk to on high, sacrificing civil rights and  consitutional rights for someone (else’s, not Martin luther King, Jr.’s) “I HAVE A DREAM” about Fathers & Families (no “mothers”) and a totally organized, uniform controlled workforce run by foundations, and executed through the family law and etc. court systems, all a seamless, no-conflict whole, run from the top.  Sounds like what some World Wars were fought over, last century, only we’re on the wrong side, on this one — in trying Designer Family USA.

I’ll try & include the ilnk to the brochure stating, clearly, that the HHS paid to have certain dialogues put forth, and that NCADV was a recommended conference to attend in the Fatherhood matters.  Also telling in that brochure is that (unlike the Bible, which seems to be so foundational to many of these agenda) the phrasing was fathers & families, or Fathers & children, community, etc.  The word ‘mother”?  I don’t think it was even on the two -page glitz blitz promo page.

It’s in the Ten Commandments.  But, these family folk can’t seem to consistently choke out the word in their rhetoric.

Remember — Please THINK about the LINK — and the word “Please” has a “PLEA” in it — from me, at the start of 2011, and over four years since my profession was destroyed by the presence of these programs in and around the courtrooms.

We'd Like To Give Fathers Their Rights Back, But First We Need to Figure Out Who Took Them Away

We'd Like To Give Fathers Their Rights Back, But First We Need to Figure Out Who Took Them Away

I am always so excited when Barbara Kay has an article published. She is so truthful and factual in her support of father's rights. Let's take a look:

We have British Columbia's first review of family law in B.C. since the Family Relations Act came into force more than thirty years ago. Their July "White Paper on Family Relations Act Reform" (accepting submissions until Oct. 8) contains progressive draft legislation and policy proposals: It recommends stepping away from courts and the adversarial model in order to "adopt a conflict prevention approach to family law disputes" and urges making "children's best interests the only consideration in parenting disputes."
Damn this is really groundbreaking. I am totally impressed that it took 30 years to come forward with this information. I mean, who knew that children's best interests should be so exclusively focused on?
Next up is the Green Party's unequivocal adoption of a policy of equal parenting at their August convention. By my reckoning that means every single federal party is on board with the idea that both parents have the right to maintain a strong, loving bond with their children, established through credible sociological research as necessitating 40% of the time with children beyond infancy.

Read more »

Fathers have Rights, Children’s Rights, Fathers kill custody battle fathers abuse and kill families, Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Stuart Showalter Neo Nazi-Fathers Rights Advocate-Abusers Rights Advocate Glenn Sacks-Abusers Advocate,Right Wing Terrorist- Fathers Rights. Warren Farrell, Mike J Murphy, Jeremy Swanson, Mark K Godbey, Donald Tenn, Stan Rains, Richard A. Gardner coined the term, Parental Alienation Syndrome

Fathers Aren't Necessary: Finally Getting Off the Patriarchal Bullshit Bandwagon

Fathers Aren't Necessary: Finally Getting Off the Patriarchal Bullshit Bandwagon

Not many people will argue against the necessity of having a father in one's life. We have been so ingrained to accept this as a fact that to challenge this assertion would seem absurd. Everyone from from religious persons to psychologists will tell you how important a father is in a child's development. But they have been lying. It has been a social control mechanism. Ohh, but get ready for the backlash...men don't like being told that they aren't important, and the women who support these notions, love to support these men (meaning, they, the women, will be angry, too)!

Yesterday's article on CNN entitled, Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests, is sure to have "them" screaming mad:

A nearly 25-year study concluded that children raised in lesbian households were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers.

The study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, followed 78 lesbian couples who conceived through sperm donations and assessed their children's well-being through a series of questionnaires and interviews...

Children from lesbian families rated higher in social, academic and total competence. They also showed lower rates in social, rule-breaking, aggressive problem behavior.

Ouch! Kinda tramples on the male ego...at least those in the fathers' rights camps...the ones that think single mother households are such a nasty infection, feminism is evil, and welfare lets women birth unlimited babies while replacing/eliminating the man. *eye roll*

But as I said, there are women who will be upset as well:

Wendy Wright, president of the Concerned Women for America, a group that supports biblical values, questioned the legitimacy of the findings from a study funded by gay advocacy groups.

"That proves the prejudice and bias of the study," she said. "This study was clearly designed to come out with one outcome -- to attempt to sway people that children are not detrimentally affected in a homosexual household."

Wright questioned the objectivity of Gartrell's research, saying the author can "cherry pick people who are involved and the info they release."

"In essence, this study claims to purport that children do better when raised by lesbians," she said...

Studies have shown that children thrive having both a mother and a father, Wright said.

"You have to be a little suspicious of any study that says children being raised by same-sex couples do better or have superior outcomes to children raised with a mother and father," she said. "It just defies common sense and reality."

Well, Wendy, unfortunately, we'd have to pull a hell of a lot of studies off the market for bias related to funding. In fact, we should probably stop letting the government give out grant monies for all these "fatherhood demonstration" projects...and while we are at it, pull money from religious groups as well. To which studies are you referring, Wendy? What were theirfunding sources? And why shouldn't we be suspicious of studies regarding heterosexual, married persons? Not applying equal skepticism just defies commons sense and reality. If you really want to know about funding and bias, see the Let's Get Honest blog.

And we also have a recent article entitled, Are Fathers Necessary?, which begins by talking about Barack Obama, who we already know to have some serious psychological issues regarding fatherhood (see Obama and His Fathercentricism):

There’s only one problem: none of this is proven. In the February issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, Judith Stacey, a professor of sociology at New York University, and Timothy Biblarz, a demographer from the University of Southern California, consolidated the available data on the role of gender in child rearing. As Stacey and Biblarz point out, our ideas of what dads do and provide are based primarily on contrasts between married-couple parents and single-female parents: an apples-to-oranges exercise that conflates gender, sexual orientation, marital status, and biogenetic relationships in ways that a true comparison of parent gender—one that compared married gay-male couples or married lesbian couples to married heterosexuals, or single fathers to single mothers—would not. Most of the data fail to distinguish between a father and the income a father provides, or between the presence of a father and the presence of a second parent, regardless of gender.

So, the conclusion, once again, is that gender is irrelevant. Children do well when they have the emotional and financial support of whomever raises them (which still happens to be mothers, you know. I mean, this could change if men continued to increase their roles, beginning in infancy, but with women still being the ones bearing the pregnancy, and having the lactating breasts, it can be so damn hard to break this!) Damn, is this so hard to understand? How much more money must be spent covering this same shit?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Battered Mothers: No Longer Silenced!! Eighth Annual Battered Mother's Custody Conference

Battered Mothers: No longer silenced. - ŠiStockphoto.com/AtnoYdur

Battered Mothers: No longer silenced.

The Battered Mother's Custody Conference focuses on legal and human rights issues surrounding divorce and custody cases for victims of domestic violence.

The Eighth Battered Mother’s Custody Conference: held in Albany, New York January 7 through January 9, 2011. The conference was founded by Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D. of Albany, New York and Liliane Heller Miller of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2003. Dr. Hannah’s most recent publication was as co-editor of “Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues” with Barry Goldstein, which was published in 2010.

The conference brings a laser focus to the little known phenomenon of battered mothers losing custody of their children to their abusers in divorce and custody cases. The conference focuses on both domestic and international aspects of the issue; scholarly research; and legal and human rights cases related to domestic violence and child custody cases. Members bring international advocates together once a year. Twenty-eight advocates are scheduled to make presentations at this year's conference.

In a society that sees itself as progressive, and a champion of the needs of the disenfranchised; domestic violence continues to cover the United States in a cloak of disgrace. Many individuals are led to believe that if a victim of domestic violence seeks the aid of police, social service agencies, or sincerely pursues leaving a dangerous marriage through divorce, that the end of her nightmare is close at hand. However, once inside the judicial system, asking for help becomes a myth, as victims of domestic violence do not fare well.

According to attorney Joan Meir in a 2005 article published on “Stop Family Violence Now” (Meier), within U. S. divorce and custody cases, contested cases by abusers result in fully seventy percent (70%) of abusers receiving custody of the couple’s children. Trends like these as well as an increase in petitions protesting the violation of human rights to the Inter America Human Rights Commission, tell a different story.

Ironically, the U.S. was once seen as a safe harbor and respite from injustice in other parts of the world. The U.S. was petitioned as the grantor of political asylum to world citizens suffering from unfair political and legal persecution. Yet, the tide began to turn when the first U. S. citizen was granted asylum from the United States by The Netherlands in 1994.

Holly Ann Collins appealed for protection from an abusive ex-spouse and the right to raise her three children in The Netherlands. Scheduled to appear this weekend, Ms. Collins and her son Zachary Collins will discuss their experience. Now grown, Ms. Collins’ children serve as advocates for the plight of children caught in the middle by the court systems. Her daughter Jennifer Collins founded CA3, “Children Against Court Appointed Child Abuse” in 2008.

Even in cases where the murder of a couple’s children was the ultimate tragic result, injustice has proven extremely difficult to remedy within U.S. Courts for mothers plagued by domestic violence. In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Jessica Gonzales, that the state of Colorado was not obligated to enforce the restraining order that was issued to protect Jessica Gonzales' family from her ex-husband, Simon Gonzales. The murder of her three daughters at the hands of their father was battled out in U. S. courts for five years.

Gonzales made ten requests over a ten hour period of time asking police to enforce her restraining order against Simon Gonzales, but they repeatedly put her off. Ultimately her ex-husband opened fire into the police station with an assault weapon, was killed, and her daughters were found dead in his bullet riddled car in front of the police station.

With both protection and justice denied by her own country, Ms. Lanahan (formerly Gonzales) filed a complaint with the Inter America Human Rights Commission protesting the violation of her human rights. The case, Jessica Ruth Gonzales v. USA, was accepted for argument by the IAHRC in 2007.

Subsequently at least ten more victims of domestic violence have filed petitions protesting the violation of their human rights against the United States with the IAHRC.

Their cases known as (Dombrowski et el v US 2007) are currently pending acceptance.

While the United States never ratified the signed agreement making it accountable to the IAHRC for human rights offenses, hope remains that if justice will not motivate the U. S. government to take protective action on behalf of battered mothers and their children, shame will.

Meier, Joan. “Rates at Which Batters Receive Custody”. Stop Family Violence, a Project of the Tides Center. NewYork, NY. November 30, 2005. stopfamilyviolence.org

Read more at Suite101: Eighth Annual Battered Mother's Custody Conference Convenes http://www.suite101.com/content/eighth-annual-battered-mothers-custody-conference-convenes-a329059#ixzz1B1NsTJiJ

Friday, January 7, 2011

LIVE STREAM FOR THE The 8th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/battered-mothers-custody-conference

     

    The 8th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference

    The 8th Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference

    Total views: 7CONFERENCE AGENDA

    Friday, January 7th, 2011

    4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Special pre-conference workshop: Karen Winner, Esq. How to Think Like a Lawyer on Legal Billing Issues

    • Registration begins at 4:00 p.m.

    • Exhibitors, book sales, and Silent (Chinese) Auction beginning at 5 p.m.

    6:00 Opening greetings by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and other BMCC co-sponsors; song by Tynia Canada

    6:30 – 8:00 Lundy Bancroft

    8:00 – 9:00 p.m. Meet and Greet with Coffee, Tea, and Cookies

    9:00 - Special Friday Night Workshop: Meditation with Rev. Anne Curtin

    Saturday, January 8th, Morning Session

    8:30 Plenary I: Attorney and Author Wendy Murphy, J.D. : Landmark Massachusetts ruling: Ensuring the Rights of Disabled Victims in Judicial Proceedings.

    9:15 – 10:15 Introductions by Barry Nolan Plenary II: Protective Mother Holly Collins and her son Zachary Collins with Attorney Alan Rosenfeld, J.D.

    10:15 – 10:30 Break

    10:30 – 11:30 Barry Goldstein, J.D., Joan Zorza, J.D. and Nancy Erickson, J.D. Panel on the book: Domestic Violence, Child Custody, and Abuse: Legal Practices and Policy Issues

    11:30 – 12:15 Psychologist and Expert Joy Silberg, Ph.D.: Perspective of a Psychologist on the Front Lines

    12:15 – 12:30 Break

    Saturday, January 8th, Afternoon Session

    12: 30 – 1:30 Saturday Working Luncheon: Professor and Producer Garland Waller: Screening and Discussion of No Way Out But One (working title): An Independent Documentary on Holly Collins - The First Woman to Be Granted Political Asylum on Grounds of Domestic Violence

    1:45 – 3:30 Panel: Karin Huffer, Ph.D., Renee Beeker, Wendy Murphy, J.D., & Robin Yeamans, J.D.: Groundbreakers Present A New Trajectory: Managing Family Court Cases

    3:45 – 4:45 Concurrent Workshop Session I

    1. Renee Beeker & Paul Holdorf: The National Family Court Watch Project

    The National Family Court Watch Project believes that large-scale data will reveal national trends and ignite a call for change in the family court system. The project is a conversation springboard and uses the technique of "quiet observer" to get a sense of what's happening inside family courts. We report those findings publicly through a new conduit and work with judges and the public to find solutions. We will be sharing latest data update as well as information about the increasing involvement from professionals and educators as we expand this effort around the country.

    2. Joy Silberg: Using Expert Witness Testimony in Family Court Child Abuse Cases

    This presentation will review some of the effective ways to use expert witness testimony in family court child abuse cases. The roles for an expert in these cases can include criticizing existing custody evaluations, reviewing symptoms and disclosures of the child, or being court appointed to do a child protection evaluation. The presenter will emphasize how to avoid pitfalls and what points to emphasize when helping a judge look at the information from a new perspective.

    Saturday, January 8th, Afternoon Session

    Concurrent Workshop Session I (cont.)

    3. Massachusetts Protective Mothers for Custodial Justice, Inc. RESPECT FOR ADVOCACY-- PART II of “The Basics” RESPECT FOR ADVOCACY (PART II of “The Basics”)

    I. Advocacy Basics

    Working with Battered Mothers: Active Listening, Getting to the Matter, Getting to the HELP!

    Supporting Battered Mothers: Resources, Abilities

    Using Systems that Support Battered Women, Using Supports for Battered Mothers: What They Offer, What They Can’t & Why We All Need Each Other

    II. Advocacy as Activism

    • When to Resist, When To Comply & Whose Call That Is

    • Unity: Defining our “Same Page”

    Eliminating the Extraneous

    Defending What We Fought For In the New War for our Children

    4. Karin Huffer, Crystal Morgan-Huffer, & Jason Huffer: Silenced No More - Self Protection in the High Tech Age: You are Not Paranoid--Just Hypervigilant and Smart

    Thirty self-protective actions you must take to ensure your safety and self protection in this high tech age. Domestic Violence victims suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and if they are stalked, intruded upon, and left unprotected they suffer legal abuse syndrome. Learn to safeguard yourself in and out of court proceedings. Privacy protection, the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, and Violence Against Women Act provide more protection than you may think.

    5. Barry Goldstein, J.D.: How to Use the Book "Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, and

    Custody." Earlier in the day, Joan Zorza, Nancy Erickson and Barry Goldstein will discuss how to use the research in the book to help your case. The workshop will be a more interactive session in which protective mothers can ask questions about how to use the book in their individual cases.

    5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Concurrent Workshop Session 2

    1. Erica Olsen: Violence Against Women in the Digital Age

    Do you know how easy it is for some abusers to track their victim's every move, to monitor everything they do on a computer, in their cars, or on certain phones? Like many criminals, perpetrators of stalking and domestic violence are often ahead of the curve on the use of technology. Through the Internet, high-tech global positioning systems (GPS), cell-phones and handheld computers, abusers use technology to further harm and control their victims. Understanding technology misuse is crucial to both supporting victims and holding offenders accountable. Drawing from survivor experiences and through videos and demonstrations, this training will illustrate the safety risks of phone, GPS, camera, Internet, and computer technologies.

    2. Karen Borders: High Risk vs. High Conflict Family Law Matters, Identifying the Differences

    This workshop will discuss Family Violence Risk Assessments which address high-conflict risk cases, which get labeled as high conflict cases and rarely get the proper assessment, leaving the risk to children and to abuse victims. While the goal remains to serve the best interest of the children, it is critical to prove or disprove any allegations before determining best interest of the children. This new risk based approach is well rooted in evidence-based practices and truly addresses the best interest of the children while keeping safety as the priority. Courts throughout the United States are recognizing this multi-disciplinary team approach and methods of assessment in handling these volatile matters.

    3. Nancy S. Erickson, J.D., LL.M., M.A. (Forensic Psychology): On Custody Evaluations

    We will address as many of the following questions as time permits: Why are Custody Evaluations (CEs) ordered by courts? Have custody courts always used evaluators? Are they helpful to courts? Which mental health professionals (MHPs) are authorized to conduct them? How can I tell which MHPs are good evaluators? What rules, if any, are they bound to follow? What are the financial and other costs of CEs? How can I avoid an order for a CE? How can I prepare for one if necessary? How can I fight a bad one -- including one that uses against protective parents junk science like Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)? What other psychological theories should I watch out for? What psychological “tests” are often used? Are they valid and reliable? How can I fight a bad CE in court? How can I report an incompetent or biased evaluator?

    4. Dara Carlin & Dr. Joyce Braak: Advocacy with an Open Case

    Professional advocacy is one thing but when you're a mom with an open family court case, you're dealing with an entirely different ball of wax; a mistake for you doesn't mean a disciplinary reprimand - it could cost you your kids. This workshop will identify factors to bear in mind as you fight for your children (and your life!) with consideration for strategies that have worked (and failed). More than simply giving a presentation, I hope to encourage an exchange of experiences that will generate a list of ideas that we can disseminate to all conference participants. Mom Bloggers, especially - please come!

    5.

    Saturday, January 8th, Evening Session

    6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Screening of the documentary Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America in the main conference ballroom (take-out dinner available on site at hotel restaurant)

    7:30 pm Ben Atherton Zeman: Voices of Men Redux [Warning note: Includes graphic images of violence.]

    9:00 Special Saturday Night After-Hours Session: Strength in Numbers: Sharing stories, sharing strategies, and organizing at the local level. Organized by Nancy Erickson, J.D., Janice Levenson (Protective Mothers Alliance), Renee Beeker (National Family Court Watch), and Paul Holdorf, J.D.

    We are calling all protective mothers to meet and organize at their local levels. We will discuss general objectives and report on progress made in 2010 for protective moms (PMs). We will then break up into small groups based on residence (or location of the court involved, whichever is more important): county, part of the state, state, or other geographic area. In the small groups, facilitated by PMs, we will find out what are the worst problems for protective moms in that geographic area, what are the resources for PMs, and what we think can be done to help PMs. Each group will report back to the larger group, and we will plan our strategies for 2011.

    Sunday, January 9th Morning Session

    8:30 Plenary 2: Attorney Toby Kleinman: Our children are at risk, and their health is endangered: How can we hold the court accountable to protect them?

    9:30 Plenary 3: Attorney Michael Lesher: Facing family court dangers: CPS, law guardians, experts -- Oh, my!

    10:30 – 10:45 Break

    10:45 – 12:30 Panel: Join Up! Leaders of the protective mothers’ movement share what they’ve been doing—and ask you to join them

    • Janice Levinson/Lundy Bancroft, Protective Mothers Alliance

    • Kathleen Russell, Center for Judicial Excellence

    • Holly Collins

    • Dara Carlin

    • Ayanna Najuma, Inspirational Spirit of the Phoenix

    • American Mothers Political Party

    -Nancy Carroll: www.RightsForMothers.com

    -Claudine Dombrowski: www.angelfury.com

    -Lorraine Tipton: www.mamaliberty.wordpress.com

    -Melanie Smith: Australian Shared Parenting Law Debate

    -Randi James- www.RandiJames.com

    • Kathy Lee Scholp & Jay Sutter: H.eroes O.n L.ine DE.fense N.etwork

    12:45 – 2:00 Sunday luncheon-- Q & A and Community Dialogue

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