“Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories” is a documentary airing on PBS that brings much-needed attention to the plight of abused mothers who are trying to protect their abused children from their abusive fathers. The American Judges Association has reported that “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).]
Fathers’ rights activists have sent hundreds of angry letters, made hundreds of angry phone calls, and have written hundreds of angry e-mails to PBS in the hope that they would successfully have the documentary pulled, or that they would convince PBS to air their opposing views. As I reported in my previous Blogcritics article on this subject, fathers’ rights activists points of view are “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.”
Fathers’ rights activists are not happy about that at all.
I also also reported that “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.
Some would like to believe that these most men in fathers’ rights groups are not angry, vindictive bullies. Posts on Internet mailing lists and Usenet responding to the documentary have proven otherwise.
Here are some quotes by fathers’ rights activists about the documentary. The following quotes come from fathers’ rights mailing lists.
“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 comment, from a discussion thread with the dubious title “The Fempire Strikes Back”:
“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.”
From the same thread:
“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.”
More, from the same thread. This one is especially ugly.
“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.”
The following ugly comments were written on Usenet, in response to a favorable article about the documentary written by Times Union reporter Bob Port :
“This guy’s an “investigative reporter”??? This “story” is so blatantly anti-father, this guy should be shot. I’m sure the script that PBS followed was written by a feminazi.. The “reporter” certainly is.
Fortunatly, this “senior editor” left his contact info at the bottom of the article… Give’em an ear full – of TRUTH.
Another fathers’ rights poster on Usenet brought up what he calls the “Children’s Crusade” to insinuate that children supposedly are routinely manipulated to make false allegations of child abuse. This is definitely not true. Numerous researchers have found that only 2 – 8 percent of all all allegations of child abuse are bona fide false allegations.
“Since the Children’s Crusade it is well known that manipulated
children saying or doing things designed by the manipulator can have a tremendous appeal-to-emotions impact. ”
When a Usenet poster confronted a fathers’ rights activist, writing, “How is it possible that hearing “children’s stories” would do that? Are you afraid to hear what children have to say?” A fathers’ rights activist responded with this ugly comment:
“Stop with the witless taunts, you hate-bitch. As you read, it’s not about “children’s stories”"
Fathers’ rights activists have made it clear that they are angry that abused women and children are finally being heard in the media. They claim that feminists don’t believe that men can be abused. Nothing is farther from the truth. Yes, men can be abused, but most victims of domestic violence are women. Bringing much needed attention to the plight of abused women does not negate from what abused men go through. Fathers’ rights activists are continuing their campaign to have PBS remove “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories” from the air, and they have not been successful. Their hostility is very apparent in their own public statements about the documentary. Their drive is to prevent abused women and children from getting the help they so desperately need. Thankfully, they have not been successful in squelching this documentary. The quotes I provided are typical quotes from members of the fathers’ rights movement. These men are not the beaten down dads who are victims of a biased court system that they pretend to be.