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: