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An Important Documentary – Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories

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The PBS documentary “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories” is about child victims of abuse, especially those who have been given to their abusive fathers by the courts. Fathers’ and men’s rights activists have predictably protested the airing of this documentary, and have demanded that it either not be aired, or that they get so-called equal time to air their side of the issue. Their side is full of unsupported nonsense about women being as abusive as men, women frequently “alienating” men from their children, and women lying frequently to get restraining orders to use as leverage in court in abuse, divorce, and custody cases. PBS is not required to present every side of an issue, especially a side that has no reputable resources to back its point of view. The fathers’ rights point of view already gets media coverage. Protective mothers who are seeing their abused children being given to their abusive fathers by the court don’t get much media coverage, and this documentary provides them with much needed attention. PBS has given attention to these moms and children that they desperately need.

“Breaking The Silence” is due to air in my area soon. A blogger friend of mine is taping the documentary for me, and she’s going to mail it to me. That was very thoughtful. I know two of the women whose stories are covered in the documentary. I know that local fathers’ rights groups have written and called PBS in protest of the airing of this documentary. I have written to PBS to urge them to air it. PBS has assured me that it will not bow down to pressure from fathers’ rights groups. I know that the documentary has already aired in many states. This is an important documentary that needs attention.

Fathers rights activists have the time to write angry protest letters and make angry phone calls that the protective moms don’t have to time or energy to handle. These moms are too busy trying to raise their families and fend off the control tactics of these abusive dads who fight for custody.

“Breaking The Silence” outs fathers’ rights custody tactics for the abusive behavior that it is, in particular the use of bogus syndromes like Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). Despite not being recognized as a valid syndrome by the American Psychological Association, PAS, more generic forms of “alienation”, and friendly parent provisions are used to by abusers and the courts to take abused children from the mothers who are protecting them, and giving them to their abusive fathers. Professionals who make their living from these kinds of cases don’t want this documentary to air, because airing the truth about these ugly contested custody cases will put a big hole in their pockets.

From The American Judges Association: “Studies show that batterers have been able to convince authorities that the victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody in approximately 70% of challenged cases.”

Another fact: “Abusive fathers are far more likely than nonabusive parents to fight for child custody, not pay child support, and kidnap children.” [White, Ann C., The Florida Bar Journal, Vol LXVIII, No. 9, citing Hansen, Marsali, and Michele Harway, Battering and Family Therapy 175 (1993); Grieg, Geoffrey L. and Rebecca Hegar, “Parents Whose Children Are Abducted by the Other Parent: Implications for Treatment,” 19 American Journal of Family Therapy 215, 221 (1991); Zorza Joan, “Protection for Battered Women and Children,” 27 Clearing House Rev. 1437 (1994).]

Contact your local PBS affiliate and watch this important documentary. I was recently told that there is going to be a special airing of “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories” for key legislators in Michigan.

For more information about “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories”, please go to the following links on my blog:

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

More On “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories”

Still More On “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories”

Angry Fathers’ Rights Activists Vs. PBS

The National Organization For Women On “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories

Supportive Article About “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories

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About Trish Wilson

  • http://feminist4fathers.blogspot.com/ Teri In Cali

    There you go again, Trish, spreading lies. Why?

    You wrote: “Fathers rights activists have the time to write angry protest letters and make angry phone calls that the protective moms don’t have to time or energy to handle. These moms are too busy trying to raise their families and fend off the control tactics of these abusive dads who fight for custody.”

    The TRUTH is only 5% of custody cases are high conflict. Women win custody in 90% of those cases.

    In the OTHER 95% of cases, where BOTH parents are FIT, women still win custody in almost every case, often with documented proof of abuse or neglect on the mother’s part.

    Nationwide women win sole custody 84% of the time. There is NO WAY 84% of fathers deserve to lose custody. They deserve equal custody.

    The fathers’ and family rights activists, advocates, reformists, concerned parents and professionals (including mental health professionals) who sent letters in protest for equal time on PBS are NOT the “angry fathers’ rights activists” you claim they are. We are normal, resonable, responsible, loving parents, grandparents and professionals who see the tragedy happening to America’s children in the family court system.

    Teri Stoddard
    Feminist4Fathers
    http://feminist4fathers.blogspot.com/

  • http://feminist4fathers.blogspot.com/ Teri In Cali

    There you go again, Trish, spreading lies. Why?

    You wrote: “Fathers rights activists have the time to write angry protest letters and make angry phone calls that the protective moms don’t have to time or energy to handle. These moms are too busy trying to raise their families and fend off the control tactics of these abusive dads who fight for custody.”

    The TRUTH is only 5% of custody cases are high conflict. Women win custody in 90% of those cases.

    In the OTHER 95% of cases, where BOTH parents are FIT, women still win custody in almost every case, often with documented proof of abuse or neglect on the mother’s part.

    Nationwide women win sole custody 84% of the time. There is NO WAY 84% of fathers deserve to lose custody. They deserve equal custody.

    The fathers’ and family rights activists, advocates, reformists, concerned parents and professionals (including mental health professionals) who sent letters in protest for equal time on PBS are NOT the “angry fathers’ rights activists” you claim they are. We are normal, reasonable, responsible, loving parents, grandparents and professionals who see the tragedy happening to America’s children in the family court system.

    Teri Stoddard
    Feminist4Fathers
    http://feminist4fathers.blogspot.com/

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog Trish Wilson

    You’re playing fast and loose with the facts again, Teri. Contested custody cases account for about 10% of all custody cases. Those cases include the cases where abusive fathers gain custody of the children they have been abusing.

    Mothers get custody about 85% of the time (not 90%) because most parents settle out of court, and decide on their own that mom should have custody. They don’t need a judge to decide for them. They make that decision because they recognize that mom had been the primary caregiver of the children from the beginning. Most fathers don’t want custody. That doesn’t mean that they are bad fathers. On the contrary. It means that they know that it would be in the best interest of their children that they continue to be cared for by the parent who had been doing the bulk of the childrearing work from the beginning – and that parent is mom.

    When dads contest custody, they get some form of it more than half the time, even if they were abusive, absent, control freaks, ne’er do wells, addicts, or merely not the primary caregiver of their children. Most of the time they get joint legal custody. In the case of batterers, those men use malicious litigation that they can fund until they get their way. They use bogus “syndromes” like Parental Alienation Syndrome, other forms of “alienation”, and Friendly Parent theory to harass their ex’s until either their ex’s give in out of emotional and financial exhaustion, or the court, fooled by these abusive men, gives them what they want.

    Oh, those fathers’ rights activists are definitely the angry fathers’ rights activists I have been talking about. I’ve seen what they’ve had to say about the documentary on their mailing lists. Here’s one example:

    “If the Men’s Rights Movement had 10 Marc Lepines who walked into US Colleges with Suicide Bomber Belts and detonated them I guarantee you every US Policy Maker would crap their pants. Men have not reached critical Mass except the Marriage Strike. When Men take up arms and start shooting Law makers, Newspaper Editors, FemNag Activists or sawing off their heads change will come by force of arms. Since the money interests, Media, Politicians, Courts, Lawyers are too corrupt to make any change. And Decent Women are no where to be found. Women refuse to do a thing to stop the war against us. We have no Female allies only enemies.

    Will major corporations, Law firms, Media companies give up their revenue streams for Men? Hell no. We don’t even have a voice. Our views are not even heard. Glenn Sacks is the only Mens Rights activist even heard in syndication. We are not even on the Radar Screen anywhere. The Conservatives have proved to be cowards and our enemies. They unanimously supported the VAWA. Time for War. TATP is the future of the Men’s Movement. Wish that wasn’t the case. But sadly it is.”

    Here is another, Teri:

    It seems like the Men’s/Fathers’ Movement can never catch its breath to accomplish the positive things that we must. We always seem to be reacting to the latest feminist outrage coming down the road. Their well-funded organizations can toss 1/2 million dollars into abominations like this, and we are forced to respond just to keep from being overwhelmed.

    THIS PROGRAM IS THE FATHERS’ RIGHTS EQUIVALENT OF VAWA. WE HAVE TO CONFRONT THIS EARLY AND OFTEN. WE CANNOT LET THIS STAND.

    And another. You believe these men aren’t angry that they couldn’t prevent the documentary from airing? You’re fooling yourself.

    “Yes, once again tax subsidized, liberal, public television is using our own money to destroy us. Gender feminism is not only a hate movement, it is a disease destroying the fabric of our society through the vilification of the male population. I doubt we will see the truth about all the family abuse and violence that is committed by women against men and children.”

    And yet another:

    “Trust mothers to be mothers, but don’t trust fathers –if a father wants to be a father he is “abusive?”

    A father wants his children just to avoid child support yet a mother does not want the children to get child support?

    Some stories were found of abusive fathers so generalize to all fathers who want custody of their children. Are they suggesting there are not abusive mothers out there? Of course, they are, but that is not true.

    It is systematic abuse and vilification of men. The fact is that the pro mother bias that this articile evidences puts children in homes with bad mothers. Mothers get custody near all the time even bad ones.

    The women’s movement started to oppose discrimination and stereotypes against women yet now they are in power they promote more discrimination and stereotypes against men than ever they suffered.

    Women couldn’t vote. They might be discouraged from entering various professions, but they were never vilified by men as women now vilify men. Women the kinder sex. Nonsense. Absolute meanness.”

    Still more:

    “***SIGH***

    To be a child abuser, you must have a penis.

    It’s impossible for a human being with a vagina to be an abuser.

    ***clears throat***, please excuse me, I feel I need to say something here:-

    I’M FUCKING SICK OF THIS BULLSHIT SEXIST LIES

    Feminists don’t care about children who are abused, because they ignore the majority of abusers, and launch campaigns against the minority of child abusers.”

    Is that angry enough for you, Teri? Those were fathers’ rights activists, in their own words. I more than adequately proved how hostile fathers’ rights activists are. You can’t get away with fathers’ rights propaganda when I’m around. I’ll shoot it down every time.

  • http://vision4children@yahoogroups.com tom porter

    Trish,

    Are you really that blind or stupid. Do you really think you can raise a child so much better than a man that you and your raving, hormone imbalanced hoarde have to attack everything that has a penis. You need your levels adjusted sweetheart. You are offensive and if you have’nt heard of me till now….your loss….but you’re about to.
    As I’ve told many before you ….don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. You and your rabid pack of man hating dogs are destroying the very fabric this country was built on. The ability to raise good kids depends on your humanity not your bra size you twit. You give really good women a horrible name …..oh and by the way ….who’d want to have any sort of physical contact with you anyway….not to speak of allowing you to breed….aaacccckkkkk

    lovingly….Tom

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    Teri, I have a question for you. Why would hundreds of fathers’ rights activists waste so much time, money, and energy trying to prevent PBS from showing a much-needed documentary about abusive fathers gaining custody of their children when they could have used all that time, money, and energy helping men who are victims of abuse? I would hope that fathers’ rights activists would stand behind those protective mothers because they hopefully don’t approve of domestic violence and child abuse, but that has not been the case. Fathers’ rights activists claim that abused men get no attention, yet they would rather spend all their resources battling against a documentary rather than actually doing the legwork to help abused men. What fathers’ rights activists have done to try to prevent “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories” from airing shows me that they are more concerned with preventing abused women from getting the help they need than they are with doing anything to help abused men.

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    “Are you really that blind or stupid. Do you really think you can raise a child so much better than a man that you and your raving, hormone imbalanced hoarde have to attack everything that has a penis. You need your levels adjusted sweetheart. You are offensive and if you have’nt heard of me till now….your loss….but you’re about to.
    As I’ve told many before you ….don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. You and your rabid pack of man hating dogs are destroying the very fabric this country was built on. The ability to raise good kids depends on your humanity not your bra size you twit. You give really good women a horrible name …..oh and by the way ….who’d want to have any sort of physical contact with you anyway….not to speak of allowing you to breed….aaacccckkkkk”

    Speaking of angry, offensive comments from fathers’ rights activists… thanks for providing more proof of my point, Tom. 😉

  • George Rolph

    Dont fight this bigoted half wit alone…come and join the Band Of Brothers and help us fight her and all like her together.

    mensnewsdaily.com/blog/mentalk/2005/09/band-of-brothers
    http://www.mensnewsdaily.com/forum

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    “Dont fight this bigoted half wit alone…come and join the Band Of Brothers and help us fight her and all like her together.”

    Gee, more proof that fathers’ rights activists are angry and hostile…

    Face it, folks. You were unable to get that documentary pulled. That makes a lot of you angry because, finally, the voices of abused women and abused children have a platform. Parental Alienation Syndrome has been shown up for the sham it is. “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories” is being shown to legislators in Michigan. Hopefully, other states will follow suit. Legislators and the courts need to be educated about how abused women and abused children have been harmed by bogus garbage like PAS. It looks like that is about to happen.

  • silverside

    Great comments, Countess. It is indeed unfortunate that the raving attack dogs are out. Unfortunately, I never see these guys get constructive about much of anything. Deal with the problems of abused men? Why, when you can attack a little documentary about abused women and try to keep it off the air? Just like their attacks on battered women shelters. First they claim they want them integrated. Then they want to build their own (but only if feminists write the grants and do the fundraising and logistics). Then they admit (sometimes) that they just want to shut down yours. And if you point out that dv is a documented major cause of homelessness for women, and doesn’t even register on the radar for men in any homelessness research at all, they don’t want to hear that either. And they don’t want to deal with the documented causes of why most men are homeless, which is basically our crummy low-wage economy combined, in many cases, with alcohol and/or drug abuse and/or mental illness. Because you see, that would be no fun. It would require real work and what’s the fun of that, when you can attack women instead? In fact, there is zero interest in the major issues. If you were really interested in violence against men, you’d address wars and male-against-male violence in all forms, because that’s how most men get hurt. Instead, they blow up minimal to non-existent problems and work themselves into a hissy fit over it. Very few men are murdered by intimate partners, compared to murder by strangers. Feminists work on dv because that’s how the majority of women get killed. Tomorrow, if another cause took over, that would command my attention. But I wouldn’t start screaming that women getting killed by green martians is something we must address now, when any sane person knows that this is just crazy stuff. And frankly, that’s the level of discourse with these guys. They ignore the major issues plaguing men or plain working people in general, and obsess about fantasies and made-up stuff.

  • http://feminist4fathers.blogspot.com/ Teri In Cali

    Trish,

    What fathers really want is an equal opportunity. That film did tell some truths. I don’t think any of us have disputed that. But it left out a very important part of many stories. For instance, in 80% of domestic violence reports drug use is involved. People who work in rehab facilities will tell you most cases involve mutual battery.

    You ask why we don’t have our own film done yet. Well, it might have something to do with the fact our opposition, the domestic violence professionals and feminist organizations, have this little thing called VAWA which gave them another 4 billion dollars to provide services for any battered person…oops…I mean anyone except men and boys over 12. They fought really hard to get equal treatment, this is America after all, but no one wanted to listen.

    You see, Trish, fathers just don’t have the same benefits and privledges that you and yours do. Fathers don’t have the government backing to tell their stories. That doesn’t seem very fair, now does it, Trish?

    Teri
    Feminist4Fathers
    http://feminist4fathers.blogspot.com/

  • Ian Wilson

    Most men and women do not support
    or condone violence against men, women
    or children. And most men and women
    will not be silenced by gender feminists who claim that ONLY violence
    against women matters.

    History will look back on this time and be disguusted by the level of anti-male bigotry that permeates Western culture.

    The open and blatant vilification of men and fathers in the PBS documetary “Breaking the Silence” will
    be remebered as turning point where men, and the women who love them, will finally stand up and demand to be heard.

    This documentary is based on the premise that children are women’s property and that the matriachy must
    be maintained at all costs. People who support such beliefs are no different from those who supported slavery.

    The concept that most children need the love of both their mother and their father is extremely threatening
    to those who believe that women should have the sole right to own and control chidren. Shared or joint physical
    custody is anathema to them and so
    that make up defenses like “fathers don’t want custody anyway” to justify their message of hate.

    These people will be exposed for what they are – misandrists (man haters)
    and they will be consigned to the dustbin of history like all others
    who chose to build there lives around
    a message of hate.

    Men and women are no longer frightened
    to speak out against gender feminismm, because they know that any philosphy that proudly ignores the suffering of half of humanity is innately evil.

    Ian Wilson

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    “Their side is full of unsupported nonsense about women being as abusive as men, women frequently “alienating” men from their children, and women lying frequently to get restraining orders to use as leverage in court in abuse, divorce, and custody cases.”

    Let’s see some evidence to show that this is nonsense. I’ve seen an awful lot of cases of women murdering their children in recent years, and there’s certainly plenty of evidence of women using any means they can to make sure men don’t get custody of kids out of pure vengeance. Why slam men like this when you clearly have nothing but an opinion to back your statements up?

    Dave

  • Tom Lamb

    In 81% of the cases, at least one parent was the person responsible for child maltreatment. 58% of perpetrators were female, and among this group, 43% were under the age of 30.

    Of the cases in which parents were the primary perpetrators, 58% involved neglect only, 11% involved physical abuse only, and 3% involved sexual abuse only. Sexual abuse was far more likely when the perpetrator was an unmarried partner. Of the cases in which an unmarried partner was the perpetrator, 11% of the cases involved sexual abuse. Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). Child Maltreatment 2002.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2002). National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.

    If you want to truly break the silence than do it with the truth.

    Go read the Duffus case in the Alaska Supreme Court where a known convicted child molester was the boyfriend of the mother and he was watching the children unattended. That will give you an idea on who the mothers are in these cases.

    Do they care more about having a “man” around or protecting their children.

    Just recently in Alaska, a mother got drunk and had sex with a man while her seven year old was in the same bed.

    Want to know what happened to the seven year old?

    Next a mother who filed false allegations in a restraining orders against the dad got joint custody. Later the mother kills herself and the children.Pile of Evidence Pointed To Murder Anchorage Daily News January 16, 2005

    Then we hear about the mother in San Fran who kills her three children.

    Are the women’s groups going to break the silence on these abuses or are they going to play the victim?

    Anne Mitchell has torn apart your 70% nonsense.

    Trish, I have a case in the Alaska Supereme Court that is unconstested and it tears down arguments like yours.

    It is a federal question of law.

  • strawberry note

    Quoting Dr. Robert Geffner, President of the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Institute: “The idea is absurd that social workers, pediatricians, and others can be easily persuaded to find abuse.” “It’s incredible when you look at these parental-alienation cases that anyone could have the ability not only to program their child but also to be able to convince all these outside people of abuse,” Geffner says. “There is no research to show that a parent can program a child to make detailed sexual-abuse allegations against somebody who is in a close, loving relationship with them.”

    To paraphrase comments from many mothers living the reality of parenting rather than just professing to be parenting, “I can’t brainwash my children to clean their rooms, but somehow I’m supposed to be fully able of brainwashing them to hate their father and make up abuse allegations. The CIA should be gathering us moms up to learn from our expertise.”

    The parent who has not undertaken the day to day parent during the marriage is in no way “marginalized” by getting visitation orders that reflect their actual contributions to child raising. There is not a relationship between the quantity of time fathers spend post divorce and their importance in the children’s lives. There is a relationship in the quality of the time they spend with their kids. Perhaps the whiners should be improving their relationships rather than demanding their minute-for-minute equal time.

  • strawberry note

    Tom–

    While the AK Duffus case is interesting, you will note that the trial court gave significant time considering the new paramour, his probation history & in fact, the Supreme Court remanded the case so that the female children would be informed of the paramours past and restrictions. It was not ignored.

    The case of the AK child who was sexually abused by a mother’s paramour…the perp was arrested & the case is still working its way through the system. It is not a custody case, so you are mixing apples & oranges here. No one denies that some women have made bad choices in men in the whole scheme of history. The mom did report & seek protection for her child, and hopefully will receive services to make better choices for her child in the future.

    As for the case where a mother killed herself & her children last winter by carbon monoxide poisoning, that is an absolute tragedy. What you don’t know, is that the mother had been forcibly sodomized by the father & had received a protective order. Dad immediately files for divorce & custody. She was given bad advice to drop the PO by her “Christian” attorney. The custody evaluator on her case has a community reputation of siding for dads. The mother had concerns the father was sexually molesting the daughter and there was a marital history of unusual sexual behavior on the part of the father. She feared the judge was about to give the father full custody & she would be unable to protect the kids. In her fear, traumatized state brought on by the rape & the lack of support from the legal system & in despondency, she cracked.

    No one is refuting that both sexes can abuse & neglect children. This is subverting the issue of custody litigation with abusive parents–the motives–the outcomes.

    The documentary that is the topic of this dicussion raises important issues. So what if it focuses on female victims? Good men would jump behind the main issue, which overarchingly is the protection fo children. If courtroom outcomes are improved for victims who are predominantly women & children, those same positive outcomes will positively effect the statistically fewer protective male parents.

    So instead of jumping in outrage with “but women do it too”, why not get on board for the cause of kids.

  • Tom Lamb

    Strawberry note…

    The Duffus case….. The man was a convicted child molester and by law was prohibited from being with children alone. The mother was breaking the law by ignoring the law.

    The legislature had to quickly enact legislation to make it illegal. I see you are trying to diminish the effect.

    Read Rabinowitz dissent in the case (a liberal).

    BTW, there are a few cases in court where the mothers broke that law knowingly too. But the mother isn’t held accountable for her iresponsibl;e actions.

    Next, are you trying to make the mother a victim who killed her kids in San Fran? The Aunt tried to get partial custody from the State. No go, but you create the victim again.

    What does custody have to do with Trish’s article? Abuse. That is what it is all about.

    The other mother that killed her self and the kids. What happened with the restraining order against the father?

    Judge Christen (woman judge) gave the mother what? And you say the mother feared losing custody?

    Granted family law is a battle ground and creates fear. Tell me, if a man did this would you say the same thing?

    How many man fear losing their kids and go off and kill their kids.

    Would you still make the man a victim?

    I am looking at a case from the same judge that is being appealed where the father was acused of hitting his child with a two by four.

    Guess who made the allegation.

    Unfounded.

    And the Judge Christen said in her findings and I quote
    Mr. ****** did not dispute Ms. ****** testimony that he used a 2×4 to strike his older son”

    The father is putting his excerpts together to show the judge was lying.

    You do like to create the victim.

    And the mother who got drunk and had sex with the man? A victim perhaps? Oh yes you do make that point. She is getting help.

    Who were the victims in this case?

    The children.

    Please spare me the excuses. Excuses don’t save children.

    If Trish wants to make it fair than make it fair, but she doesn’t nor do you.

  • strawberry note

    Tom, I’d like to give you a response, but your post is incoherent. I didn’t mention at all the seriously mentally ill woman in SF. Again, this has nothing to do with protective parents in custody litigation. I have not excused anyone from actions that harmed their children. So what exactly is your point?

  • carmine

    Ah Trish,
    Such misery; such shrill, angry, tragic misery. I almost feel sympathy were it not for the thousands of damaged children you and yours have left in your father hating wake. As NOW writhes in it’s final days of lunatic feminism, now that the VAST majority of young women no longer accept these sorts of statistical falsehoods, we can always count on a few angry grey hairs to beat the distant drum, somewhere. Third wave feminist ululations.

    The fourth wave however is already here. Check out Christina Hoff Summers. This PBS show was simply a bald attempt to justify VAWA. It was only politics, and most reasonable judges will not be fooled by the bizarre social pseudo-science beloved by the NOWists. Face it, the conservatives are getting the big rewards, and you simply get to keep on pounding your chests and screech woe woe woe see how bad it is for victim women see? Patience and reason always trump hysteria.

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pauls_news/ Paul

    Parental Alienation is the worst form of emotional abuse. That is not my statement, but that of professional psychologists (of BOTH genders) who have studied Parental Alienation. Trish is not interested in the well-being of children, she simply using them as her pawns in her attempts to convince the naive of the propaganda rubbish she constantly sends out. Obviously she has a hatred for all men!

  • strawberry note

    Surely you must be joking, Paul. Simply because someone supports discussion of issues involved with the protection of women and children, does not mean one hates men. Neither the film, nor Trish has ever said that all father’s are bad. In fact the film makes several statements about the need for continuing contact with good, non-abusive, non-substance-abusing fathers. If you really believe that speaking ill of someone (if it is in fact occuring)is far more harmful than any other type of emotional abuse, I would venture to say you haven’t spent much time advocating for or working with populations of abused women and children.

  • http://www.glennsacks.com/ audiomind

    Although protecting helpless victims from brutal abusers is a noble undertaking, distorting the facts to libel an entire class of people is not.

    The Strategy For Passing Unjust Laws This film seems to be the first step in a pattern that’s been played out many times in the past few decades:

    Determine what conclusions a study would need to reach in order to stampede legislators into passing the laws you want passed. Conduct studies that are carefully designed ignore any inconvenient facts. Popular techniques in this step include: 1) using self-selected rather than randomized population samples, 2) taking care not to ask any questions that might elicit undesired answers, and 3) neglecting to report any results at all from any questions whose answers contradict your thesis. Publicize these studies as if they were impartial research, by planting newspaper stories, publishing in journals whose referees are as biased as the studies’ authors, getting corporations to fund advertising that masquerades as a “documentary”, etc. Use yellow journalism to scare the public into demanding that legislators pass a law to fix the nonexistent problem.

    In the early 1990s, the American Association of University Women had great success using such strategies. They began by issuing a report entitled “How Schools Shortchange Girls”. Diane Ravitch, former Director of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Improvement, calls the AAUW report “bizarre” for reporting that girls’ educational achievement was lagging behind boys at exactly the time that girls had just overtaken boys in almost every area.

    But it doesn’t seem bizarre at all if you assume that AAUW’s goal was not to conduct honest research, but rather to drive public policy, sure in the knowledge that journalists wouldn’t have the expertise to challenge their conclusions, and that they could get laws enacted to address their fabricated problem quicker than honest researchers could analyze how they’d manipulated their research to come to such a “bizarre” conclusion. And that’s exactly what happened. Laws enacted as a result of the AAUW hype resulted in inequitable allocation of resources to programs for girls only. By pitting our daughters against our sons in this way, they denied a generation of boys the opportunity to overcome their deficits.

    “Breaking the Silence” seems to be the publicity and hype phase of an even more insidious campaign. The goal this time appears to be stampeding legislators into passing laws that will have the effect of preventing courts from granting any form of custody (legal or physical, shared or sole) to any father over any mother’s objection.

    The Program’s Claims The hour-long program makes some astonishing claims. George Washington University Law Professor Joan Meier says that in “75% of cases in which fathers contest custody, fathers have a history of being batterers”. In her worldview, if a father seeks a relationship with his children in family court, that in itself is tantamount to proof that he’s a batterer.

    A copy of the “Guest Editor’s Introduction” to the August, 2005 issue of the journal “Violence Against Women” was distributed at the prescreening. The film’s press release repeats that article’s allegation that Parental Alienation Syndrome has been “discredited by the American Psychological Association,” and Meier echoes that in the film, asserting that scientists have declared PAS “junk science”. The film also claims that in family court cases where mothers allege battery, fathers are given custody two-thirds of the time.

    What the Filmmakers Don’t Want You to Notice Analysis of the claims made in the “Violence Against Women” journal indicates that this research, on which much of the content of this film is based, fails to distinguish between allegations and actual abuse, and instead blindly assumes all allegations to be true. See this

    A documentary filmmaker has a responsibility to present an issue in an accurate and balanced fashion. In this case, filmmakers Catherine Tatge and Domenique Lasseur provided a soapbox for a number of very angry women and their children to make some very serious accusations. The closing frame of the film says that only one accused father declined to be interviewed. So where were all the other accused fathers who didn’t decline?

    Michael McCormick, director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, reports that filmmaker Domenic Lasseur called him last spring to arrange to interview an ACFC spokesperson so the documentary would have some balance. But Lasseur later cancelled the interview. That, plus the absence of any other spokesperson to provide balance, suggests that he or someone above him decided that fairness and balance were unnecessary.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data on child abuse shows that over twice as many children are battered by their mothers (40.8%) as by their fathers (18.8%), excluding cases in which both parents are abusive (16.9%) See this.

    Likewise the number of children killed by their mothers without the father’s involvement is double the number killed by their fathers without the mother’s involvement (See this). Yet the filmmakers mislead viewers by interviewing only children victimized by fathers and denying children victimized by their mothers the opportunity to tell their stories.

    Even the title “Breaking the Silence” is disingenuous. A Google search for “domestic violence” turns up 36.8 MILLION documents. This is “silence” like “War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength”.

    Filmmakers Tatge and Lasseur use a small handful of cases to create the illusion of a pervasive problem of family court discrimination against women and children domestic violence victims. With a U.S. population of 297 million, it’s possible to cherrypick a small non-representative sample to prove nearly anything.

    Misleading the Public About Scientists Opinions on Parental Alienation Syndrome The film’s central thesis, that Parental Alienation Syndrome is “junk science” that has been discredited by the American Psychological Association, is itself misleading. Although it’s true that Temple University psychiatry professor Paul Fink called PAS “junk science” in a July 1, 2003 Newsday interview he explained, “There are lots of people who alienate their partners during a divorce. But it is not a syndrome, a disease or a disorder.” So the claim that PAS is “junk science” doesn’t mean it never happens; it just means it’s not a recognized mental illness. Without Fink’s full explanation, most people would assume that calling PAS “junk science” means the phenomenon doesn’t happen. Dispelling that misimpression would undermine the filmmakers’ point, so the fact that they don’t provide the full explanation is worth noting.

    The claim that PAS has been discredited by the APA is based on a single sentence from the APA’s 1996 report on violence and the family, which simply says there are no data to support PAS.

    The Association of Women Psychiatrists (a professional group unaffiliated with the APA) takes PAS seriously enough that their Fall 2003 newsletter printed an article asserting “The Denial and/or Discrediting of the Parental Alienation Syndrome Harms Women”.

    And apparently even the APA does not consider their 1996 report to be the final word. At the 2002 APA conference, PAS was considered important enough for them to offer a seminar worth seven Continuing Education credits, in which they explained what Parental Alienation Syndrome is and taught custody evaluators to identify when PAS does and does not occur.

    If the Film’s Agenda Becomes Law, Kids Will Pay the Price “Research” that fails to distinguish between accusations of abuse and actual abuse is unworthy of the name “research”. Using such a trick to conclude that nearly all fathers who contest custody are batterers, amounts to libel against all fathers who love their children enough to fight for their welfare.

    Those who play this ugly little game in order to stampede politicians into passing ill-considered laws that will make it virtually impossible for any father to ever be granted custody, show a callous disregard for the welfare of two-thirds of abused children – those children abused by their mothers.

    Allowing a speaker to assert that trying to maintain a relationship with your children means you’ve probably battered your wife, and not including any speaker to point out the hatefulness of that statement, certainly gives the appearance of a complete loss impartiality.

  • Charms

    Trish, thank you so much as I read your postings, of calm, clarity, reason and logic, versus posts of others which scream in their own unresolved control issues; issues which have NOTHING to do with mothers and children or the needs of emotionally healthy men, women and children.

    If those angry persons could find LOVE for themselves, a great deal of this projected anger would disappear. Wouldn’t that be nice.

    Thanks again Trish.

    -charms-

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    You’re very welcome, Charms. I’m not surprised at the fathers’ rights backlash against this documentary. The documentary shows up Parental Alienation Syndrome for the junk science that it is. Fathers rights advocates support PAS as a weapon in their arsenal to punish their ex-partners. PAS is not recognized as a valid syndrome by the American Psychological Association. It is not in the DSM-IV, despite massive fathers’ rights lobbying that it be included. It is not a valid medical diagnosis.

    This documentary will help bring to light the plight of abused children who are awarded to the custody of their abusive fathers. Ann White had pointed out in an article for the Florida Bar Journal that “abusive fathers are more likely than non-abusive parents to fight for custody, not pay child support, and kidnap their children.”

    By no means does this mean that all fathers are abusive, as fathers’ rights advocates like to misrepresent the issue. Of course there are good fathers out there. This documentary brings attention to the abusive fathers who are given custody of their children by a court system that does not believe mothers and children when they speak out about abuse. Hopefully, the circulation of this documentary will prevent more abused children from having to live in abusive situations.

  • MOM

    Speaking of angry, offensive comments from fathers’ rights activists… thanks for providing more proof of my point, Tom. 😉

    [edited]

  • strawberry note

    Audiomind–
    You seem to be quoting directly from another FR article–perhaps it is yours and you are posting under a pseudonym. Hopefully you’re not plagiarizing. To address some of your points: Child abuse: The numbers of single mothers parenting under poverty conditions far exceed the numbers of single fathers doing so. The stats you site also include neglect. If you truly want to look at which gender is committing the largest percentage of physical and sexual abuse of children, you should really analyze it on a proportionate basis. You would find wholly different outcomes. This is another attempt to distort the issue and take the focus off the subject of the film–domestic violence and its effect on children.

    Further, it is very questionable if the source from the APA is being quoted correctly, and if so, may not have all the facts of her association’s prior statements. APA’s 1996 report entitled “Violence and the Family,” by the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on VIolence and the Family was very clear about there being no data to support PAS. The 2003 newsletter article you cite from a women’s pschologist group was in fact merely a reprint of an article fro pro-pedophile and incest apologist Richard Gardner who self-published his abuser’s defense missives. Looks like filler material for a hastily thrown together newsletter to me and not really evidence of anything regarding policy.

    Rebuttable presumption laws passed to elevate the important of domestic violence laws are gender neutral. Let me explain that for you….in the best crafted legislation, the judge must make a determination if there was DV perpetrated and if both parties were found to be perpetrators, the judge would award custody to the one that had the greatest likelihood of safety or could give custody to a 3rd party in extreme cases. So you assertion that such legislation will harm children is patently wrong.

  • a child advocate

    The problem with PAS is that it is generally gender bias. If what men are calling for is an equal ground, stating that the cards have been stacked against them with regards to Child Custody, perhaps the statistics for all the States should be taken into consideration. The naïve notion that Mother’s are provided custody simply based on the “fact” that they are better able to provide “nurturing” for the children as gone out fifteen years ago. In fact more than 70% of child custody cases the children are awarded to the father. Also, let’s be fair then, put it on equal ground and start prosecuting Father’s on P.A.S. Yes P.A.S is a very cruel form of abuse, as is the lack of possibilities for the voices of those who have truly been abused to be heard. P.A.S. has created an all but impossible road for those who have been abused (for all humans) to travel. When we refuse to allow police reports, previous Court orders, and witnesses to enter the child custody court process, stating that all of this is bias against the alleged abuser, what hope do any of us have left for alleviating the issue of bias or abuse? We should all look toward a solution of creating a level playing field, rather than spending precious time with colorful name calling reducing all involved to infinite wisdom, and think about how this is affecting the children involved;(both Father’s and Mother’s). Children are not possessions to be owned. They are living, breathing human beings, with both God given and Constitutional rights and should be treated as the precious gifts they are. I urge all of you to look in the eyes of a child involved in a custody dispute. Daddy and Mommy using the child as some sort of tug-of-war and take note of the fear placed in those eyes by the individuals who are supposed to be the protectors. What kind of example are you setting? Abuse knows no gender, no side to take; however, does know a pain that will never completely be gone. Dragging children through PAS when abuse has occurred will leave countless children with scars lasting for generations. These children grow up to be your lawyers, Judges, police officers and Doctors. Think about them now, or hear them when you are as venerable as they once were. We all grow old….

  • tonysprout

    [edited] Trish, this so called documentary is full of man hating vitriole. The whole thing smells to high heaven of fish.
    Why do we need DV laws? Assault has been against the law, but the police and judges weren’t doing their jobs.
    When it comes to equality in child custody, the police and judges aren’t doing their jobs still. If courts followed their own laws, men would contest custody on a much larger scale. Lack of money and bias in the system hinder men from seeking custody. We need laws in the same vein as DV to make these courts give men a chance at custody. In spite of the fact that a few men contest custody. they still lose 90% of the time.
    You want to discuss numbers, Trish? How about 58% of all child abuse is committed by females, most of them the mothers who supposedly have the best interests of the children at heart. See the following:

    Author(s): National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
    link
    Year Published: 2005

    Perpetrators

    Approximately 80 percent of perpetrators were parents. Other relatives accounted for 6 percent, and unmarried partners of parents accounted for 4 percent of perpetrators. The remaining perpetrators included persons with other (camp counselor, school employee, etc.) or unknown relationships to the child victims.

    Female perpetrators, who were mostly mothers, were typically younger than male perpetrators, who were mostly fathers. Women also comprised a larger percentage of all perpetrators than men: 58 percent compared to 42 percent.

    Of all parents who were perpetrators, fewer than 3 percent were associated with sexual abuse. More than three-quarters of perpetrators who were friends or neighbors committed sexual abuse.

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    Regarding child abuse, what should be looked at is the amount of time mothers vs. fathers spend with children. To quote another commenter when a similar copy/paste by another men’s/fathers’ rights activist was pasted on another one of my posts, “women make up a disproportionately high number of primary caregivers, and most of them are that way, not due to any custody challenge, but just because the father is absent or does not care to be the caregiver. This is especially true of single, low-income teen moms. Given that the stats on single parenthood are heavily weighed towards this demographic group, it is no surprise that they make up a disproportionate percentage of abusers.

    Despite spending considerably less time with children than do mothers, fathers do a substantial amount of child abuse. Also, mothers are most often cited for neglect. Fathers are most cited for abuse. Child abuse should not be condoned no matter who does it.

    To continue to quote the same commenter, “because women make up the vast majority of caretakers, they tend to be held responsible for neglect, which is defined as a form of abuse by HHS, even if the father resides in the home. Note that HHS defines neglect loosely; it can mean failing to get the kids to the doctor “on time” — and that in a country without health insurance. Not to excuse neglect, but very often it’s another name for being poor. When actual physical abuse is separated out, men abuse more than women.”

    I could post stats on abuse rates of single fathers, but I’m not going to do that because it will take me far off the topic of this post. I’m not going to waste my time in a “who abuses more” argument because that distracts from the topic of this post. I think that might be the purpose of those kinds of arguments.

    “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories” is a much-needed documentary about child abuse victims who are given into the custody of their abusive fathers. These children and their protective mothers are finally getting the media attention that they deserve. Despite a massive pressure campaign by men’s and fathers’ rights activists, PBS did not pull this documentary, nor is there a men’s rights “equal side” in the works. This documentary is being shown to key legislators in order to educate the lawmakers about abused children who are given over to the fathers who abused them. It’s a valuable educational tool.

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    Just a reminder: please note the instruction directly above the commenting window. Personal attacks are not allowed. Discuss the issue at hand, and provide a link and an excerpt from any article you wish to bring up to make your point. Please don’t post entire, long articles.

  • kevin

    it’s true that Temple University psychiatry professor Paul Fink called PAS “junk science” in a July 1, 2003 Newsday interview, he explained, “There are lots of people who alienate their partners during a divorce. But it is not a syndrome, a disease or a disorder.” So the claim that PAS is “junk science” doesn’t mean it never happens; it just means it’s not a recognized mental illness. Without Fink’s full explanation, most people would assume that calling PAS “junk science” means the phenomenon doesn’t happen. Dispelling that misimpression would undermine the filmmakers’ point,

    A copy of the “Guest Editor’s Introduction” to the August, 2005 issue of the journal “Violence Against Women” was distributed at the prescreening.

    Conduct studies that are carefully designed ignore any inconvenient facts. Popular techniques in this step include: 1) using self-selected rather than randomized population samples,

    Come on TRISH we know u arent un-biased,so why on earth would a so-called documentary be considered anything else.

    k

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    Kevin, the American Psychological Association has come out against alienation.

    APA Presidential Task Force On Violence And The Family
    Psychological evaluators who minimize the importance of violence against the mother, or pathologize her responses to it, may accuse her of alienating the children from the father and may recommend giving the father custody in spite of his history of violence.

    Some professionals assume that accusations of physical or sexual abuse of children that arise during divorce or custody disputes are likely to be false, but the empirical research to date shows no such increase in false reporting at that time. In many instances, children are frightened about being alone with a father they have seen use violence towards their mother or a father who has abused them. Sometimes children make it clear to the court that they wish to remain with the mother because they are afraid of the father, but their wishes are ignored.

  • Elizabeth J. Kates, Esq.

    Hello Trish,

    Thank you for posting this important discussion. And sorry for my late chiming in — Hurricane Wilma interfered…

    In reading the various comments, I note that there are a number of questions raised about “parental alienation syndrome,” “parental alienation,” and child abuse. Readers who are interested in answers to this can access the articles under “Parental Alienation Syndrome” at the URL link.

    I particularly comment here in response to the innumerate perception that if 58% of “child abuse” is perpetrated by women, individual women, and notably mothers, are more likely to be perpetrators of child abuse than are men. The statistics are kept per incident, per child. When the percentages are adjusted to account for the much higher numbers of female caregivers (compared with male caregivers), numbers of children cared for per female caregiver (compared with numbers of children cared for per male caregiver), amount of time children spend in the care of sole female caregivers (compared with amount of time children spend in the care of sole male caregivers), and types of abuse (women disproportionately are charged with neglect and “failure to protect” claims whereas males overwhelmingly are the perpetrators of severe physical abuse against older children as well as sexual abuse), children statistically are at far, FAR higher risk in the care of males than females.

    Moreover, child killings by women are sufficiently rare that they tend to make major headline news, whereas murders of children by enraged men, including suicide-murders, are so common that these events tend to get buried in small local articles that just do not receive widespread attention from the media.

    Another misconception that is being spread around of late is the notion that we do not need domestic violence laws because assault and battery against anyone already is against the law. This may be true, but the comment is extraordinarily ignorant. Among other reasons for the need for these laws is that in cases of stranger assaults, the perpetrator does not get out on bail and go back to live in the same home with the victim pending trial. Could you imagine the outcry that would ensue if victims of stranger-perpetrated crimes had to open their homes and the details of their lives to men who had raped or battered them! It’s unfathomable to me that anyone could fail to recognize this problem.

    liz

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    Thanks for posting, Liz. I hope the hurricane didn’t do you too much damage.

    As one of my commenters had posted, which supports your statements, government studies on child abuse tend to focus their attention on the demographic of poor, single mothers with no father present. Even when the father is present, since the mother is most often the primary caregiver of the children, she would be charged with “failure to protect”, even if it was her husband or boyfriend who had done the actual abuse. Fathers are not charged with “failure to protect” to the extent that mothers are.

    It is true that fathers do more serious child abuse than mothers. Thank you for pointing out the details about that.

    The latest attacks against his documentary are related to Parental Alienation Syndrome not being accepted by the American Psychological Association. The APA Task Force on Violence and the Family did much more than “simply say there are no data to support PAS,” per fathers’ rights and PAS supporters. That is a misrepresentation of the statement made by the Task Force. The Task Force actually said the following [bold emphasis mine]:

    Family courts frequently minimize the harmful impact of children’s witnessing violence between their parents and sometimes are reluctant to believe mothers. If the court ignores the history of violence as the context for the mother’s behavior in a custody evaluation, she may appear hostile, uncooperative, or mentally unstable. For example, she may refuse to disclose her address, or may resist unsupervised visitation, especially if she thinks her child is in danger. Psychological evaluators who minimize the importance of violence against the mother, or pathologize her responses to it, may accuse her of alienating the children from the father and may recommend giving the father custody in spite of his history of violence.

    Some professionals assume that accusations of physical or sexual abuse of children that arise during divorce or custody disputes are likely to be false, but the empirical research to date shows no such increase in false reporting at that time. In many instances, children are frightened about being alone with a father they have seen use violence towards their mother or a father who has abused them. Sometimes children make it clear to the court that they wish to remain with the mother because they are afraid of the father, but their wishes are ignored.

    I’ve noticed another attack of late is to present one of the mothers covered in the documentary as a child abuser, per documentation provided by the allegedly abusive father. This father has been circulating his legal paperwork and statements made by those who support his side since the time the documentary was being filmed. These are old documents. The daughter in question wrote in her own words about abuse she had experienced from her father and stepfather, but fathers’ rights activists of course believe she is being coached by her mother. Her statement is here:

    Fatima’s Story

    She wrote those statements last year. Please note that the documentary is about abused children who are not being heard. They present their experiences of abuse by their fathers, and their statements are being ignored and twisted into “evidence” of PAS. This latest campaign by fathers’ rights activists amounts to attacking a child and not believing her own stated experiences about abuse at the hands of her father and stepmother. She is being ignored – one of the important points of the documentary. Fathers’ rights activists are proving the documentary correct in attacking her.

  • http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/ Elizabeth J. Kates, Esq.

    I am adding this additional comment to correct the misinformation Teri Stoddard and “tonysprout” keep repeating, that “women win 90% of contested custody” actions.

    This is not true. They are confusing the somewhat stale statistic that mothers tend to obtain custody about 90% of the time in cases of divorce that involve children. For the most part, these are not contested cases, but rather, cases involving essentially healthy men who were the primary wage earners for their families and who recognize that the mothers in these cases have been the primary caregivers — and thus, the men do not contest primary placement of the children with the mother (or else contest only minor aspects of the custody case or place custody at issue in only the most pro forma way.)

    In contested cases, and in high conflict cases, men prevail in their claims more than half to upward of 70% of the time. The statistics recited by the documentary in this regard were substantially correct. Given that extremely few of these men were the primary caregivers during their marriages, this is an extraordinary denigration of the value of women’s experience, effort and lives, not to mention painful, disruptive, and disorienting for most of those children involved who are more strongly attached to their mothers.

    liz
    http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/

  • Blue Maas, BSN, DVM, PhD

    I so, so want to THANK MY IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION STATION, http://www.iptv.org , for its airing the documentary, “BREAKING the SILENCE: CHILDREN’S STORIES.” “Parental Alienation Syndrome” IS junk, patriarchal oppression on the order of several other such misogynist “medical syndromes” and keeps oppressed the mothers. For almost two decades now there has been an over – run in family law court of SPECIFICALLY giving over to the ABUSING father NOT ONLY full custody of the children BUT ALSO DADDEE’S “OVERSEEING” the mama’s rights, IF SHE HAS ANY, to the VERY CHILDREN SHE LITERALLY … GREW.

    WHEN WHEN WHEN the same abuses, eg, PORNOGRAPHY CONSUMPTION and USE IN FRONT OF and TO THE MINOR CHILDREN, WOULD BE CRIMES PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT AND FINES — IF IF IF PERPETRATED BY, O say, the NEIGHBORS NEXT DOOR and DOWN THE STREET.

    INSTEAD, THO, SINCE DADDEE PERPETRATED THESE CRIMES == == HE GETS THE KIDS — AND THE PROTECTIVE MOM GOES TO HELL.

    AGAIN, I SO, SO THANK YOU, Mz. TRISH WILSON for your splendid, liars’- / crimes’ – busting BLOG!

    Blue Maas, BSN, DVM, PhD
    Central IOWA

    ps: As a protective, losing mama stated already some half – decade ago, “‘N’ THERE AIN’T NO JUDGE WHO DUDN’T … SURF PORN!” She is sooooo right.

  • Jon Starnes

    Liz and Co.

    you can manipulate the facts every which way to Sunday, but the stats are stats; women are abusers. You are also proving the point we fathers are trying to fight for; that women benefit from gender bias and receive more time with children than men.

    I am a father fighting for time. My ex cusses me out in front of our sons, 3 and 8, and witholds visitation. I have to move mountains and pay fees to even dispute this. Justice should insure my right to visitation.

    The ONE time I reacted to her witholding, by following her back to her apartment to negotiate in person, she calls the police and a record is created. I only raised my voice once over the cell phone, to say she could not deny my time. I made no threat, did not act angry and was pleading with her. She would hang up on me. This is how most men are reported and they don’t even have to say or do anything other than being present. Yes; many of you women are SO heroic and honorable.

    She is fighting to get me out of the picture, but I will not give up. I surely hope PBS rises to the challenge of letting an alternate group air it’s refute of the slight of hand, gender slander that was “Breaking the Silence”.

    PAS does exist. I can give you dozens of examples of “opinions” she has instilled into the head of the older (8) child. He tells me and quotes his mom, nearly verbatim “You are irresponsible”, and so on.

    She also has trained the 3 year old to call me “Jon” and to call the step-dad (charged for domestic violence in 2003) “dad”. Kaiden rights himself, but is confused.

    If you want equality, support presumptive Joint Legal and Physical Custody. If not, continue to fight the patriarchy and punish anyone of the male gender for the “alleged” sins of their fathers.

  • Don, the 14%er

    Even though it has been proven Sadia Loeliger – portrayed as a heroic mom in PBS’s documentary Breaking the Silence – abused children under her care, Trish Wilson defends her. Is there any woman – Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, any woman throughout the annals of history – that Trish Wilson will not defend?

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    Don, stop repeating verbatim what you find at Glen Sacks’s web site. Sadiya Loeliger has not abused children under her care. She has had custody of her daughter, Fatima, since 2004. Anyone reading who believes the outdated, inaccurate documentation they have found at Glen Sacks’s site should read my Breaking The Silence web site. Updated, accurate documentation is available there, including several statements by the teenaged daughter, Fatima Loeliger. Fatima has stated that she wants to live with her mother, and now she does.

  • Don, the 14%er

    Thank you Trish, for your calm reasoned response. But you failed to answer my question:

    Is there any woman – Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, any woman throughout the annals of history – that Trish Wilson will not defend?

  • victim of the

    Thank you Ms. Wilson for your coverage of the Breaking the Silence documentary.

    Shame on those individuals who are attacking you for your coverage of this crisis. In attacking you, they are also indirectly attacking abused women and children.

    Online, one can see that a few misguided individuals are trying to turn attention away from the issues addressed in the documentary. Thank you Ms. Wilson for helping the public to understand that the issues addressed in the documentary are not about politics or religion or about varying interpretations of statistics. Thank you for helping the public to understand that the documentary is about the national crisis involving abusers vs. their victims in family courts. Period.

    Most of the general public has still not seen the documentary and still has no idea that sociopaths walk into our family courts every day and, through the use of the “PAS” scam/legal tactic, easily take custody of children away from protective parents. The general public has no idea that there is no mandatory training or minimal requirements for evaluators, judges or attorneys who handle domestic violence and/or sexual abuse cases in family courts.

    I would think that most good people would see the documentary and say something like, “Gee, that’s terrible if it’s true. Maybe we should look into that and find out if we need to do a better job protecting abuse victims in our family courts.”

    Mark Rosenthal has been one of the most outspoken critics of the documentary. Perhaps Mr. Rosenthal would show some sympathy for victims of the “PAS” scam if I put it this way:

    Sort of like 60 years ago in Germany, the “PAS” label makes abused mothers and children in this country wear a yellow star – or leave society via an underground railroad. Today in this country, there are those who would want others to believe that there was no holocaust.

    Thank you Ms. Wilson. You are saving lives.

  • Don, the 14%er

    I am still waiting on an answer from Ms Wilson on my question (two posts up). And, by the way, I do not repeat the verbatim from Glen Sacks’s web site. I don’t follow the campaign of the Boston-based Fathers and Families either. Meanwhile,
    “Breaking the Silence” continues to receive damaging reviews. This article is from boston.com
    I have suggested to Dominuque Lasseur that to regain his credibility and good name, he could produce a documentary that shows the multifarious injustices towards fathers in the legal system. I don’t expect an answer from him either.
    ***********************************************
    PBS’s negative picture of fathers
    By Cathy Young | November 21, 2005
    CHILD CUSTODY battles are always wrenching, particularly when there are allegations of abuse. For years fathers’ rights groups have complained that men face a pervasive bias in family courts, while many feminists have countercharged that the real bias is against women. The latest round of this debate is being waged over a documentary, ”Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories,” which has been airing on Public Broadcasting Service affiliates in the past month.
    The film’s point is simple: Children in America are routinely ripped from their mothers and given to fathers who are batterers or molesters. The women’s claims of abuse are not believed by the courts and are even held against them when mothers are suspected of manufacturing false charges as a divorce strategy.
    To fathers’ groups, ”Breaking the Silence” is blatant antidad propaganda. In a campaign led by the Boston-based Fathers and Families, PBS has been bombarded with thousands of calls and letters. It is now conducting a 30-day review of the research used in the film.
    Film producer Dominique Lasseur told me he was shocked by the backlash. ”I have nothing against fathers,” says Lasseur, a father of two, ”but I have outrage about children being given to abusers.”
    There is no question that our legal system fails children all too often. But the PBS documentary presents a skewed and sensationalist picture.
    Thus, Joan Meier, a George Washington University law professor and one of the film’s main experts, asserts that ”75 percent of contested custody cases have a history of domestic violence” and that about two-thirds of fathers ”accused or adjudicated of battering” win sole or joint custody of their children.
    The website of the film’s producers, Tatge/Lasseur productions, lists two sources for these claims: a study of 39 abused women involved in custody litigation in Massachusetts, and the 1990 report of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Gender Bias Study Committee which states that fathers who actively seek custody obtain primary or joint physical custody over 70 percent of the time.
    But the 70 percent figure was not limited to domestic violence cases. It is also highly misleading, since it doesn’t separate custody disputes from cases in which the father gets custody by mutual consent. In contested custody cases, mothers are two to four times more likely to prevail.
    ”Breaking the Silence” seems to suggest that abusers who get custody of their children are virtually always male. In response to criticism, the filmmakers say on their site that since ”women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner,” to feature one male victim of abuse alongside five women would have ”overstated the problems of men.”
    The accuracy of their figures is questionable: the federally funded National Violence against Women Survey suggests that over a third of domestic violence victims are male. That aside, doesn’t featuring zero abusive mothers significantly understate that problem?
    Lasseur told me that if he had encountered cases in which an abusive mother was awarded custody of the children, he would have reported on them. I asked about the claim on a battered men’s advocacy site that a man named Tom Gallen had approached him with exactly such a case. Lasseur conceded that Gallen had a well-documented story but explained that, relying on his ”instinct as a producer,” he felt that Gallen wouldn’t be the right person to use.
    It’s difficult to assess the credibility of the stories actually used in the film, since their presentation is deliberately one-sided. (Lasseur told me that women’s allegations of abuse are often ”dismissed because it’s he said/she said,” and that he didn’t want to recreate that dynamic.) In at least one case, involving a 16-year-old identified as ”Amina,” there are serious questions about the film’s accuracy.
    Official documents supplied by the girl’s father, Scott Loeliger, and posted at http://www.glennsacks.com, show that there were fairly serious child abuse allegations against ”Amina’s” mother. Moreover, the only spousal abuse mentioned in these documents is violence toward the father by the mother.
    The documents also reveal a messy, complicated case in which most evaluators concluded that both parents were behaving ”abominably.” ”Breaking the Silence” simplifies this into a straightforward story of a villainous man and a noble, victimized woman, and does so in the service of a film whose overall effect is to vilify fathers.
    The filmmakers contend that their only concern was the well-being of children. Yet, if the film contributes to a climate in which fathers who seek custody are tagged as suspected abusers, it could endanger children as well. PBS should rectify this bias by presenting programs with a different point of view.
    Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. Her column appears regularly in the Globe.

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    That wasn’t a question, Don the 14ther. It was a personal attack. I feel no need to address it.

    Thanks for the kind words, “victim of the”, Fathers’ rights activists and their supporters like Cathy Young can keep attacking the documentary all they like. It doesn’t change the important impact its making. It’s been shown to legislators and others who work with children in several states already, and it’s going to be shown more in 2006. I know that PBS released a notice to its employees instructing them how to respond to the hostile phone calls, e-mails, and letters from angry fathers’ rights activists. That was a smart move. There is no reason that PBS employees should have to deal with endless venom from angry fathers’ rights activists. I know that PBS’s letter of instruction was leaked to Glenn Sacks, who posted it on his web site. Good for PBS. It isn’t going to bow down to bully tactics from fathers’ rights activists.

  • LL

    Here’s a case to consider: Two domestic partners (women) split up and the adoptive parent brings the biological mother to family court for custody and child support of their two children. The abusive, bipolar, alcoholic adoptive parent makes any and all joint custody arrangements impossible and the biological mother seeks sole custody. Most of what “Breaking the Silence” describes holds true in this case as well: forensic evaluator ignored the evidence that the adoptive parent is unstable and her parenting abilities dubious, law guardian did not represent the children’s wishes to live with their mother and ultimately the mother who had been the primary care-giver lost all custody of the children she was desperately trying to protect.

    It goes to show that you don’t need the classic male/female set of parents to arrive at the same abuser/abused situation.

    As I don’t consider living with an abusive individual with in anyone’s best interest, I have to say that Family Court once again failed to meet the children’s “best interests” standard. By a mile, sadly enough.

  • http://search.vvvvvv.crimea.ua/air-conditioner11/index.html Tom C.

    Well, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting just issued a negative report about BTS. And AFTER Tomlinson was kicked out.

    Looks very bad, indeed for the producers of that program.

    And, it looks like the Supreme Court will be taking MAJOR turn to the right. VAWA is hung up in the House, Fitzmas was a bust, the Sheehan crowd got handed a 403-3 drubbing, the Democrats are dead in the water, and so we can look to seeing the Republicans INCREASE their majorities in 2006.

    The future is bright, indeed!

    Trish, Liz – and your friends from NOW – just keep doing what you are doing!

    Heck, the harder you do what you do – the more press releases you send out, the more “outrage” you express – and the more you say outrageous things – the better it works out for us!

    You GO, girls!!! This ROCKS!

  • http://www.reisfeldgroup.com Jon Reisfeld

    Whoa!

    Let me see if I heard you correctly.

    You wrote:
    “Their [men’s] side is full of unsupported nonsense about women being as abusive as men, women frequently “alienating” men from their children, and women lying frequently to get restraining orders to use as leverage in court in abuse, divorce, and custody cases. PBS is not required to present every side of an issue, especially a side that has no reputable resources to back its point of view.

    I am a former journalist and I can tell you that PBS certainly is responsible for presenting “every side of an issue” — particularly when it aires material that it presents as balanced, responsible reporting, rather than propaganda. Clearly, the CPB and PBS ombudsmen, agree with me, since they both condemned PBS’s decision to aire the story in question, citing its total lack of objectivity and misrepresentation of the specific facts of the case.

    Whenever I hear someone who wants to limit opposing views, I know I’m dealing with an extremist. Extremists think there’s only one correct view, too: their view. I’m sure Osama Bin Laden would feel the same way about PBS airing a report that made Al Qaeda out to be a misunderstood humanitarian organization.

    As for your remarks that it’s “nonsense” to suggest that women can be as abusive as men, I must ask if you remember the case of the young mother — I believe her last name was Brown, from the Carolinas, who strapped her children into the back of her car and drove them into a lake a few years ago…. What about the woman who recently ripped a baby child out of the belly of its mother, because she wanted a baby of her own?” Or better yet, what about the two female suicide bombers who killed dozens of people in Iraq earlier today. I’ve never heard such “nonsense” as yours, if you think one’s propsensity for abusive behavior is determined — at birth — by whether they were given two “X” chromosomes rather than an “X” and a “Y.”

  • http://www.reisfeldgroup.com Jon Reisfeld

    Whoa!

    Let me see if I heard you correctly.

    You wrote:
    “Their [men’s] side is full of unsupported nonsense about women being as abusive as men, women frequently “alienating” men from their children, and women lying frequently to get restraining orders to use as leverage in court in abuse, divorce, and custody cases. PBS is not required to present every side of an issue, especially a side that has no reputable resources to back its point of view.

    I am a former journalist and I can tell you that PBS certainly is responsible for presenting “every side of an issue” — particularly when it aires material that it presents as balanced, responsible reporting, rather than propaganda. Clearly, the CPB and PBS ombudsmen, agree with me, since they both condemned PBS’s decision to aire the story in question, citing its total lack of objectivity and misrepresentation of the specific facts of the case.

    Whenever I hear someone who wants to limit opposing views, I know I’m dealing with an extremist. Extremists think there’s only one correct view, too: their view. I’m sure Osama Bin Laden would feel the same way about PBS airing a report that made Al Qaeda out to be a misunderstood humanitarian organization.

    As for your remarks that it’s “nonsense” to suggest that women can be as abusive as men, I must ask if you remember the case of the young mother — I believe her last name was Brown, from the Carolinas, who strapped her children into the back of her car and drove them into a lake a few years ago…. What about the woman who recently ripped a baby child out of the belly of its mother, because she wanted a baby of her own?” Or better yet, what about the two female suicide bombers who killed dozens of people in Iraq earlier today. I’ve never heard such “nonsense” as yours, if you think one’s propsensity for abusive behavior is determined — at birth — by whether they were given two “X” chromosomes rather than an “X” and a “Y.”

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    It’s true that women are not as abusive as men. The Susan Smith case is alway trotted out by people who insist that most child abuse is committed by women. That case made the news precisely because it was so unusual. Government reports that men’s/fathers’ rights activists cite in their claims that mothers commit most child abuse focus on single mother homes where no father is present. These reports especially focus on teen mothers with no father present. It’s no wonder that those reports find so many abusive single mothers – they are actively looking at mothers living in poverty who have no father around to help raise the kids. Plus, when abuse and neglect are separated, these reports find that fathers commit the most abuse. Mothers are most often cited for neglect. Neglect could be something is simple as not taking the children to the doctor – this in a country with abhorrent medical coverage. Poverty is the problem here. It’s not as simple as the false claim that mothers commit the most child abuse.

    Mothers are often accused of and convicted of “failure to intervene” even though the father, boyfriend, or stepfather was the person who committed the abuse. So, mothers will be blamed for child abuse committed by men. Men are not often accused of or convicted of “failure to intervene”.

    I found it especially interesting that if fathers’ rights groups were able to stop attacking “Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories” long enough to make their own documentary, PBS is not likely to air it – for the very same reason that father’s rights activists are claiming PBS had no business airing “Breaking The Silence”. A fathers’ rights documentary would rightly be viewed as advocacy, and therefore not appropriate for PBS.

    This letter was posted on a father’s rights mailing list. It was sent to a guy who wanted PBS to air a documentary presenting the fathers’ rights side:

    I’m afraid that I mislead you when I suggested that you send us a program. In areas of public or social policy, Iowa Public Television does not broadcast programming whose content is controlled by a party with a vested interest in one side of the issue covered in the program or another. As a public and social policy advocacy group, your organization has a clear point of view and cannot therefore be the producer of a program about an issue about which you advocate. I lead you down the wrong path when I said “we encourage you” to submit a program. There is no “we” in that statement;  it was a careless suggestion on my part, and I apologize to you for my error.
     
    We have forwarded your observations to the filmmakers, producer Dominique Lasseur and director Catherine Tatge.  Tatge/Lasseur Productions, Inc an award winning documentary production company based in New York City with over 20 years of international experience in film and television.  
     
    Please know that IPTV values your feedback, and your comments are being shared with IPTV programmers and producers.
     
    Thank you for sharing your concerns.

    Despite the protests, “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories” is being shown to legislators and others who work on custody and children’s issues. It has already been shown in Massachusetts and California. Alaska is going to show it soon. The documentary is getting attention paid towards abused children and protective mothers, which is as it should be.

  • Hoosier Love

    here

    Quite a site I must say for a first-time reader. A male, proud father of three, with the two youngest. My other filed for divorce Feb ’02. A month later, she locked me out (criminal lockout) and when she later allowed me back in that same morning only because she overhead my phonecalls outside the opened windows, I told her that I called the police on her. Her words? “Good! I’ll just tell ’em you hit me. It’ll be your word against mine and there’s nothing you can do about it!” She pulled that that same ace on me on January 6, 2003 and played out the dramatics of being a “victim”. “Oh, protect me! He hit me! I want him out of here!” Meanwhile, her sister came over, and stood beside Angelica who was seated, and rubbing onto Angelica’s left shoulder as if to comfort her in this fake injury. Even the police felt something was fishy about Angelica. There are some little brats who grow up into a woman’s body, but still cannot let go of their juvenile tendencies from their vindictive childhood past. Angelica’s real father was not around since about age 2 or 3 yrs. Some women do not deserve to be in the shadow of their children and that of a good man. It is an honor that my two minor children look up to me more favorably than the liar “biological mother” who had to use the nasty game to win physical custody and support of this good, loving, decent man. Men: Save yourselves, and come and unite against these trash. There are women out there who use every trick in the book, handed down by their mentors along the way, and the trash attorneys who coach them on how to manipulate the divorce legal system to their advantage at the expense of the children’s emotional and physical well-being, all for the sake of a bit of money and to be glorified of their present twisted status as a “parent”. Women of this nature should rightly be ashamed, if they can ever fathom the true meaning. Shame upon you, “trash mothers” if YOU do these twisted games. Your biological child or children will grow to despise you for tearing up their hearts and minds. You will pay the price when these innocents refuse to show you love and respect for the trash you are. That is the ultimate revenge of any man that a child can repay you for your ungrateful, demented behavioral problems. Women of your nature actually do regret the day they were born. You will also grow old, wither away, and die, a lonely creature of bad habits. Thank GOD when that day comes.

  • sasha

    truth be told to all you who think women are completely faultless and men are evil. i live with a very abusive mother. very. my father on the other hand tries to stick up for me when ever she is around and never allows her to touch me. she in turn abuses me when he isn’t here. so, why dont u all think about that. mothers can be extremely abusive, just step into my life.

  • http://www.cpb.org/ombudsmen/051219bode.html Cindy Johnsons

    “PBS Portrays Known Child Abusers as Heros.” Thanks to PBS, and Dr. Joan Meier of George Washington Univ Law school – We know now this is biased reporting.

    George Washington University law school professors Dr Joan Meier (who appears to lend her University position status and credibility to flawed & biased research that went into “Breaking the silence – Children’s stories”.

    The program is larded with Leftist fantasies and sweeping stereotypes that a University Professor lent credibility to. What shameful deceit… that too from a Univ Professor… George Washington Univ law school has stooped to a new low…. I am sorry to say.

    CPB Ombudsman reports: Breaking the Silence Redux

    “Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories”

    PBS’s Breaking the Silence: An Assault on Fatherhood

    PBS Portrays Known Child Abuser as Hero. Thanks to PBS and Dr. Joan Meier of George Washington Univ Law school

    PBS Film Controversy Continues

  • kevin smith

    Well i think that other than genitalia and probably a little different wiring as to problem solving and thought etc. Men and women are human and are both equally capable of violence,love,hate,caring,compassion and all other aspects of our humanity.A woman is just as qualified as a man to be president and achieve whatever a man can,and should be allowed and encouraged to do so!!!

    If equality is the goal then i think the womens movement neeeds to re-analyze some of their thinking on their victim mentallity and their refusal to accept responsibilty 4 their long standing 1 sidedness and attempts to divide the sexes and their unrelenting support of at times downright evil women and their acts solely based on gender.

    And to say that Todays family court is anything but a place where MEN are raped daily, and legally to boot,is common knowledge amongst most of society and for some reason as men we are just supposed to suck it up and take it like a man.I would even say that MOST of the time MOM IS the best choice but to just assume that is wrong.

    JUst my opinion

    kevin

  • James

    I want to see what Mary Ann Mason looks like. She doesn’t show a pic anywhere. I bet she is ugly as hell and that’s why she hates men–none of them could possibly be physically attracted to her.

    By the way, the SAFEST place for a child is with his/her father. The most common abusers/molestors are mothers or THE NEW BOYFRIEND that they allow around the kids because in situations where children are abused, most of the time, the mother doesn’t care about the child, but the child is only a piece of leverage.

    Just look at all the anti-father feminist talk. There’s NO ROOM for two parents in their agenda. Look at ALL the pro-father movement: always in the conversation is shared parenting, two-parent involvement. So, who’s the out-of-hand control freaks? THE FEMINISTS. Anyone with 1/2 a brain can look through the hot-air rhetoric and see there is no logic/substance behind it.

  • ann

    Seems as though everyone wants to protect mommy/daddy rights. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN? My son was forced to go to visitation with an abusive father the proof is in cps and court records. I havent had child support in 7 years so thats not it, I paid for food and transportation to get him to his dads so thats not it COULD IT BE THERE”S ABUSE? Yep thats it. Get off it there are legitimate caseas there but you all make it sound as if its all lies everytime. I say PROVE IT!

  • http://dyingtoprotect.blogspot.com/ tamis

    My granddaughter is forced to be with her father who has abused and neglected her,and abused her mother for over 2 yrs, now he gets to do it in court regularly at our expense,including us having to drive the baby 5 hrs one way EOW plus holidays at our expense, stay in a hotel,while he drives 15 minutes.

    my daughter moved from Va from father and came back home to WV for help. He has had 4 different residences in past yr,each further away. he has not been ordered to pay child support yet, but have filed again in WV.The child is also under the care of a state sponsored program to provide support by a child psychologist, and the child isnt even 2 yet. he yells to court we wont let him talk to child but have 30 tapes that shows otherwise. Now threatens CPS is going to take her from both due to his repeated lies and rantings. How can a parent protect their child from an abuser AND the courts?

  • akadad

    I would just like to point out that both sides defence is “in the best interest of the children.” how about this. the best interest of the children would be to have both parents in a functional home. should the court question your judgment? you are the one who had a child with this abuser. was that in your child’s best interest? if these are the decisions you make with your life and the life of the child, how will the court be able to determine this. how will you be able to teach your children not to make the same mistakes? you know better now? are you sure? now you think its in the best interest of the child to fight over them. spend time and money on a system that is very flawed when you could be spending time and money on your child making their life better. I am not arguing that there are exceptions. I am one. I am a father who has custody of my kids. my ex became mentally ill. she was discovered in a plan to kill me and my children. this after becoming very abusive to me and the kids. I have had to fight for my childrens safety. its been 9 years. she has just now been ordered to pay child support. 50$ a month for 3 kids. she just came back from an alaska vacation. been to Europe for a lengthy trip. Mexico several times. not to mention the yearly trips to Vegas and Tahoe. she has a $40,000 ‘overpayment’ from welfare. and now Obama is sending her to college because she lost her job. all this while taking me back to court because she thinks she is better suited to parent. your ‘moms are best’ does not wash here. hitler showed us that if you spout lies, and take away personal accountability by putting the blame on someone else, people will fallow in droves. even with an obvious detriment to society. each case should be judged individually. how could you say otherwise. and this should happen even if the numbers don’t reflect fairness due to gender, race, orientation. so here’s to those who fight the good fight. love your kids.

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