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Feminist4Fathers: Fathers and: Laura Bush, Judy Sheindlin, PBS, Fathers4Justice and more

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First Lady Laura Bush visited the National Center for Fathering in Kansas City to see how they engage and equip dads to be more involved in their children’s education. I hope Ken (Ken R. Canfield, Ph.D, Founder and President, dads@fathers.com) had a chance to speak to her about the shambles called the family court system.

—–

When Judy Sheindlin was on Larry King Live last week, (October 4, 2005), the issue of joint custody came up. An excerpt from the interview:

    KING: I had a judge who became a federal judge told me once that the hardest thing to decide was custody cases…

    SHEINDLIN: Yes. Sometimes it’s relatively easy because the choices are clear but I’ve always thought in this country we do a terrible disservice to fathers. You know there was a time many years ago when we had what we called the Tender Years Doctrine, which meant children of tender years, young children, always went to their mother.

    And then all of the courts in this country said that’s not fair. We have to be equal. So, on the books there is a law that says no one parent is favored over the other, now that’s honored more in the breach than it is honored in actuality. And, I have been a proponent for many years of there being a presumption in this country for joint custody of children. That’s where courts should start.

    KING: That’s where you begin?

    SHEINDLIN: That’s where you begin and if you’re going to deviate from that, you have to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that there is some valid reason why you’re going to deviate from that because one parent is crazy, one parent has a drug problem, an alcohol problem, something’s wrong.

    But that should be the standard joint custody because children are entitled to be raised by two parents even if the parents don’t get along anymore. I mean I think it’s horrendous when one parent picks up and moves out of the state or moves 250 miles away and some judge in the family court, the domestic relations court usually if it’s the mother who has moved away says, “Well, we’ll have a hearing to determine whether it was the right thing.”

    No, no, no, no, no. You can’t say to people who you’ve lulled into this sense of I’m equal, you’re an equal father. You can take off paternity leave. We expect you to participate in the rearing of your children, to go to open school night, to be out there to play with them. Very often there are two people working in the household. They divide authority and you’re equal except when there’s a divorce.

    And then, how often, Larry, I ask you the question, do you hear it quoted in the paper “He lost custody of his children”? You don’t hear that. You hear “She lost custody. There must be something wrong with her.”

    Well I think that that has to change in this country because it was my experience in the family court, and I left the family court ten years ago, but even my experience on the television courtroom suggests to me that there are as wonderful a group of fathers out there as a group of mothers and it’s about time that this country recognize that in not only the letter of the law but the spirit of the law as well.

—–

The following is my letter to Pat Mitchell, President of PBS, regarding the planned showing of a film on domestic violence and child custody.

Dear Pat,

I was shocked, then disappointed to hear, “My dad doesn’t love me”, right at the beginning of the promo for Breaking The Silence, the Children’s Stories.

You say Breaking The Silence, the Children’s Stories is about Domestic Violence. That includes child abuse. Since mothers commit most child abuse, are any of the stories about mothers? Many cases of domestic violence involve co-combatants, but men are prosecuted far more than women. I fear every case you expose in this film will be of a man who abuses his wife and kids. I wonder, do you even mention female abusers?

It is not right to air this film without telling the whole story.

PBS meant HONESTY to me. It has always meant TRUTH. Guess what, not anymore.

You owe it to your viewers to tell the whole truth.

This film is likely political propaganda to counter the swelling family rights movement that is championing the cause of joint custody. Research has shown that co-parenting is good for children, 85% of the population supports equal shared parenting, and those who are in power now don’t want to give it up. What better way to protect their place than to put fear in the hearts of voters? Representatives of N.O.W. and the domestic violence industry used false statistics when they testified against AB 1307 in Sacramento recently. It worked that day, why not keep misleading people?

As far as PAS, I don’t care what you call it, the truth is many noncustodial parents, usually fathers but sometimes mothers, are alienated by the custodial parent and the family court system. I’m sure everyone reading this knows of someone this has happened to. Come to think of it, maybe they don’t realize how common it is. Men don’t usually speak of heartache. THIS is the world’s dirty little secret.

Even if this film was made with the best of intentions, it still shouldn’t be shown.

You owe it to your viewers to tell the WHOLE truth.

—–

    “Fathers are often the missing link in policy debates about how better outcomes for children and greater gender equality can be delivered,” states Daddy Dearest?: Public Policy and Active Fatherhood, a book by the Institute of Public Policy Research, to be launched next week by Beverley Hughes, children’s minister.

    The government will also announce that fathers should have the right to six months’ unpaid paternity leave independent of the decision of the female partner to take leave.

(Too bad they have to do it to “make fathers feel more responsible”, instead of just doing it because it’s the right thing to do). The text of the complete Guardian article can be found here.

—–

Georgia Governor Gives Fathers Hope

Over a dozen members of Fathers Are Parents Too (FAPT) attended the GOP breakfast on October 8th in Lawrenceville with Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. The governor commented that when he was a legislator he “…got more letters related to custody issues than anything else…I understand the need for your concern…People should be able to expect judges to follow the laws legislators make.”

—–

Big Brother Protesters Vow To Continue Fight For Rights (Oct 7 2005)

    Jason Hatch, 33, and David Pyke, 49, were fined [Oct. 6] for their part in a failed protest at the Celebrity Big Brother house January 14. They were both fined £400 and ordered to pay a further £418 in costs and compensation. Speaking outside court Hatch, the Batman protester who scaled the front of Buckingham Palace earlier this year, said he was disappointed at the outcome. He said, “I am disappointed. I’m a single parent and they are just taking away the food from my child to pay a fine for a peaceful protest…the law is still in a shambles and we are not going to stop.” Hatch went on, “…you are going to see a lot more of that sort in the name of Real Fathers 4 Justice. We are real fathers who care and will fight for their children and we will get this law changed.”

Complete text of article can be found here.

—–

Father Christmas 2004 Fathers4Justice Protestors Plead Not Guilty (Oct 7 2005)

    Helena Tilbury, 19, Garry Hollington, 30, and Martin Matthews, 37, unfurled a banner reading, “Put the Father Back Into Xmas” during a four-hour sit-in above the UK’s busiest rail line on December 16 last year. They appeared at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court this week, along with Edward Gorecki, 47, who is said to have co-ordinated the protest from nearby. All four denied putting rail passengers in danger between Vauxhall station and Queenstown Road station, Battersea. Prosecutor David Durose said, “You’ve heard the defendants were protesting in support of the organisation Fathers 4 Justice. This case isn’t about that protest or whether that cause is a proper cause – it may well be. It may be you will have sympathy…”

The entire text of the article can be found here.

10/11/05 UPDATE: Tilbury, Hollington and Matthews were given two-year conditional discharges by Judge Chapple and charged £350. icsouthlondon article

—–

In case the UK government isn’t really ready to listen to fathers, Fathers4Justice has this campaign to get their attention:

It’s Bedlam!
Friday, October 21, 2005
London
* In support of overnight stays with noncustodial parents *

—–
Feminist4Fathers

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About Teri in Cali, Feminist4Fathers, Queen of Equality

  • http://www.blogcritics.com T A Dodger

    Teri,
    My comments are more directed at the fatehrs’ rights movement in general than to your comment in particular.

    First, I support 100% a presumption for joint custody, and I am always pleased to see fathers wanting to take responsability for their children.
    That said, while I genrally support the things that the “Fathers’ rights” movement wants, I am deeply offended by its tendancy to minimize violence against women and to blame women for the breakdown of families.

    Feminists and fathers who want custody should be on the same side. We both want to break down the traditional gender role stereotype that says fathers are bread winners only and women are the naturally nurturing ones that should care for the children.

    But you’re not going to win over feminists by blaming women or suggesting that we’re overblowing domestic violence committed against women.

    I’m sorry, but men ARE more likely to abandon their children than women. Men DO abuse women more than women abuse men. In fact, if a woman is murdered, her killer is more likely to be her domestic partner than any other person. These things weren’t invented by feminsits to make men feel bad, and they should be taken very seriously.

  • http://gbytes.gsood.com Gaurav

    This is an impassioned article but filled with factual inaccuracies. I would say that your purpose would be better served by remaining true to facts. Here’s a sample –
    “Contrary to common belief, males and females perpetrate abuse against their own children at surprisingly similar rates. “Among all abused children, those abused by their birth parents were about equally likely to have been abused by mothers as by fathers (50% and 58%, respectively), but those abused by other parents, parent-substitutes, or other, nonparental perpetrators were much more likely to be abused by males (80 to 90% by males versus 14 to 15% by females).”

    http://www.therapistfinder.net/Child-Abuse/Abusers.html

    contrary to your claim that “mothers commit most abuse”

    Once again abuse is a very subjectively defined term though the effects of abuse are all to real. I am not nitpicking about facts on this important issue but correct information is needed for right policy initiatives to solve the problem of child abuse.

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

    Please know that I do not minimize abuse of any type, by either gender. The facts, according to reputable studies, are that mothers acting alone are, by far, more likely to absue children than fathers acting alone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth and Families, approximately two-fifths (40.8 percent) of child victims were neglected or abused by “their mothers acting alone.” Just 18.8 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone, (and 1 7 percent of children were abused or neglected by both their mothers and fathers). Yes, I know what you’re saying about males, they are usually the men that mother brings into the household to replace the real father. Biological fathers are the LEAST likely to harm children. All I’m asking for is that the TRUTH be told, not the propaganda everyone has been fed for decades.

    One day we’ll all be on the same side. I’m doing everything I can to make that happen sooner than later.

  • Jeremy Swanson

    Well Done Kudos and ‘massive pats on the back’ to Teri Stoddard for having the guts to tell PBS where she-and we Dads-stand on the outrageius and almost criminal PBS support of radical hate feminists in the documentary series “Breaking the Silence”. She is not afraid to stand up for Dads against this virtual tyranny and even less afraid to tell the ferminist mercenaries in PBS what she thinks of them. Good for you Teri. You are indeed one of us. its always good to have a woman who stands for truth and justice first-on our side.

    Teri has pointed out that PBS used to be associated with truth and honesty. But not now. I think she is quite right. I think its time the FCC pulled the PBS licence. It is no longer a service to the people it accepts resource money from. It has become a tool for the radical left and a disgrace to families everywhere. it is certainly an enemy of American and Canadian Fathers. I have to wonder what the Board of Directors is doing about it. All I can think is that they are just happy that they are still getting funding from the public and therefor say nothing. So maybe we should stop that funding. They certainly don’t deserve it.

    If there is even an ounce of the same kind of decency (that Teri Stoddard has in abundance)in CEO Pat Mitchells body she should resign and allow others to take PBS back to its common sense-family oriented roots.

    JS

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

    The general disregard for the necessity of children having access to both parents is a focal point for the ever increasing loss of good parenting arrangements. Good parenting environments in the form of well understood and accepted family values is required to establish the means to achieve stable children who have the temperament and capacity to respect human dignity and enjoy loving relationships.

    A presumption of equal parenting between wed or unwed or separating or separated parents is necessary for children to learn to get along with others in a fair and equitable manner. Emotional and instructional stability is difficult to establish when both parents, having access to readily available adversarial social and justice systems, are unable to collaborate effectively in an atmosphere of cooperation.

    Estranged parents are not the only concern .The problem extends to all those who represent a positive influence and a loving and secure environment for our children. We need to dissolve all barriers to include race, gender and religious belief This is a grave social issue whose importance cannot be emphasized enough.

    What is required is a social environment where the values of both parents will be respected. Where the right to both parents to equal decision-making authority is defended. Where equal responsibility is enforced fairly and where equal time sharing with the children is facilitated and encouraged where ever possible. The ultimate goal is to create a working environment where both parents are valued and required to ensure the best possible conditions for the upbringing of every child for the benefit of the future.

    There are many issues that contribute to the deterioration of equal parenting. All issues need to be addressed in various ways. To that end, everyone who supports equal parenting will be invited in an effort to both understand the complexities and extent of the problem and the issues. Together we will be able to devise effective means of improving the parenting environment for the benefit of the children, the parents and ultimately for all of society.

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

    The focus of my belief is the need for change in the current system such as to allow those who wish to be parents to have the opportunity. I believe that parenting should be shared both economically and personally. This requires both parents to subscribe to a co-parenting plan which includes a split of time as close to 50/50 as possible. In addition those who chose to relinquish any part of that time should compensate the other parent monetarily within reason. Clearly this split of time refers to in person parenting time not the ability to find a third party to care for the child. By working from this point we eliminate any battle in court for great financial gain as this is the primary goal of the divorce industry. The parent who has the extra 1 or more percent is determined by that parent’s ability to provide a superior environment not determined by their lawyer’s ability to assassinate the other parent’s character.

    Simply put the common thread I find among all true parents is their focus in life… raising future citizens who embody all the base values that we as a collective humanity cherish. Including but not limited to… Honesty, respect, compassion , caring, kindness, generosity, a capacity for love, responsibility, dedication and the ability and desire to instill these values in their offspring. To do this we must not waste their formidable years bickering in court about who the worse human being is but rather offering them the opportunity to experience the best qualities offered by each of the parents who jointly created this life. To this end we must work to create an environment that allows each parent to be those qualities and the time and resources to impart them. By weighting the court battle either way the system creates an environment of win / lose which creates financial devastation and emotional burden which ultimately takes time and financial resources away from the child. This cycle is perpetuated by the divorce industry . I believe that if an umbrella set of guidelines is set prior to divorce and it is made less lucrative to fight then we as a society would spend our time connecting with our kids instead of our lawyers .We as a collective group of humans should value humanity and it’s future (our children) not the fight for financial superiority which destroys our children.

    I believe that….all cultures believe that children are the greatest gift in the world and to be a parent is the one thing in life that guarantees our immortality. To be remembered generations from now for being a positive influence is in itself immortality. Every child deserves love , guidance, and positive reinforcement. Those should be given by the 2 lives that created the child and despite the differences of those parties the responsibility should be given equally. The parties desire to raise children without the stresses imposed on them by an industry which serves only itself should be the concern of all citizens of the planet. Anyone who argues that children do not need positive interaction with both parents equally has an agenda other than raising good kids.

  • http://yahoo.com tim

    T A Dodger….whether men abuse women more often should not play into how the courts address custody issues PERIOD. If we were to use any logic in regards to child abuse statistics, specifically looking at women acting alone, then men should be awarded custody much more often than women. So, don’t hide behind facts, bogus or not, address the real issue. We need presumptive joint custody in every case. I mean, isn’t that what your fighting for…..Equal rights?

  • http://www.wcprusa.org Noodle

    Teri,

    Thank you for posting this information and for keeping us informed. Being involved in the equalization of parental rights, it is encouraging to see a judge highlight that there is a problem in the system. In our states, there is such political pressure from the various groups and bar associations, that many judges and legislators fall into “going with the flow” instead of doing what is right by our children.

    As for domestic violence, I do understand the dilemma there. My ex was abusive in subtle ways – he only hit me a few times but would do things such as break my personal things and and threaten me. I removed myself from the situation. However, it is far too easy in our current court system for one party to gain the upper hand when it comes to custody by making a false abuse charge. A good judge will explore the facts enough to figure out if there is a true risk before issuing a restraining order.

  • http://nowherefast.com Broken Soldier

    Given the present situation in my own life as a result fo a choice my sister-in-law made, I can no longer say that the DV laws are wrong. I will state boldly and plainly that THEY SHOULD NOT PLAY INTO ANY CUSTODY DECISION because in most DV cases both parties are at fault. No this does not make it right, however there is in most cases an antagonist, and then there is the perp.

    In my specific family situation at this point in time, the lives of my entire family have been threatened by an individual that I know well enough to know would not think twice.

    The sad reality is that a PPO does nothing except further the anger that drives the issue. Ultimately I am greatful at this point to know that this person will have his personal arsenal removed from his posession.

    Another part of the sad reality is that as a result of this, I may have the duty to deal with this issue from my own arsenal, becasue we all know that the legal system is only there for the after the fact scenarios.

    The State Government only cares about one thing, I have said and will continue to say… QUIT PAYING THEM by way of need for special interest laws. Its terrible cause I just said I was greatful for one of them. Ultimately all this piece of legislation is going to do is Piss off the perp. Then who is it that really gets to deal with the situation?

    Exactly….

    STOP GIVING THEM CONTROL OVER YOUR LIFE.
    FORCE THEM TO RETURN WHAT THEY HAVE STOLEN FROM YOU. DO IT VERY PUBLICLY, but that does not mean simply build a website, GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS, and tell them either make the necessary changes or you will run yourself against them. It does have an impact, trust me.

  • http://www.blogcritics.com T A Dodger

    Tim,
    So, don’t hide behind facts, bogus or not, address the real issue. We need presumptive joint custody in every case. I mean, isn’t that what your fighting for…..Equal rights?
    Did you not read the part of my comment where i said that i support a presumption for joint custody? My point is that minimizing violence against women as part of appeals for joint custody is counterproductive. It alienates people who would otherwise be inclined to support you.

  • http://www.blogcritics.com T A Dodger

    Broken Soldier,
    I will only say one thing. Your assertion that most women who are killed, beaten, or raped by their domestic partners were asking for it because they were being antagonistic is just incredibly disgusting. There is just nothing else to say.

    Teri In Cali re Comment 3,
    I too hope we can all be on the same side. After all, we should all be on the side of the children :). We shouldn’t undermine the contributions of mothers, fathers, or step-parents.

  • http://www.pepintexas.org Jim Loose

    It’s refreshing (though, I’m pleased to say, no longer as surprising as it used to be) to see commonsense like Ms. Stoddard writes. Clear thinking cures a multitude of ills in anyone’s personal life. And the same is going to prove true in American social life regarding child custody. Most people know there’s something rotten in Denmark (i.e., that lots of the propaganda making the rounds — even when true — is irrelevant). No one involved in our effort is interested in protecting abusive parents. We’re interested in protecting citizens from overzealous (or callous, or greedy, or expedient, or insufficiently thoughtful) government officials (who aren’t better parents than the rest of us) from invading the family/personal lives of innocent parents.

    Question: What could possibly be objectionable about that?

    Answer: Nothing.

    Which is why our opponents so often change the subject. Best way to respond? Don’t take the bait. If someone changes the subject, agree to talk with them about that AFTER finishing the discussion at hand.

    Here’s the bottom line to all our work: All parents are fit until they are proven to be otherwise. This is as true for divorced parents as it is for married parents — and until the state proves that a parent is unfit, it has no business with its big, galumphing, eye-crossing nose inserted into our private lives. End of story. When it can do that, it should. But the burden of proof is on anyone who wants to claim that a parent is unfit.

    Here’s the payoff: Until we’re proven unfit, no one (not your ex-spouse, and most particularly not your government) is allowed to treat you as some kind of a second class parent.

    Oh, yeah, and there are a couple other payoffs too: A lot less divorce, less gender-politics, better school performance for children, less child substance abuse, less teenage pregnancy, less problems with youth incarceration and runaways, less youth suicide … and a substantial savings on the estimated $250 billion Americans annually spend on the Divorce Industry.

    All in all … not a bad return on a sound policy decision.

    Kudos, Ms. Stoddard. Keep it up!

    Jim Loose
    Chairman of the Board
    People for Equal Parenting, Inc.

  • Don, the 14%er

    October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Advocates for children should keep in mind that child abuse is domestic violence at its worst. As far as child abuse is concerned, women comprise a larger percentage of perpetrators than men – 58 percent compared to 42 percent.*

    Spouses of domestic violence can leave an abusive relationship. Children cannot. The law should make no distinction who is responsible for child abuse. The guilty must pay.

    *US Department of Health and Human Services Child Maltreatment 2003: Summary of Key Findings – “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.” http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/factsheets/canstats.cfm

  • Robert Gartner

    Tell me and my daughter about domestic violence! Tell me and my daughter about systematized violence heaped upon me by my own government! Tell me about my daughter and I being abused by one of the largest law firms in the world, [a law firm]! Tell me and my daughter about being destroyed via one of the zealots in the form of Justice for Children (JFC), Founded by Randy Burton. Go to their web site and see for yourself how this group predicated on helping the children has a link right there on its front page, taking you to the denigration of parental alienation as a potential factual circumstance in custody issues. Hey folks wake up! ITS ALL AROUND YOU! Even the JFC, a so called help group, is soliciting, sanctioning, and indoctrinating parents into the systematic psychological abuse of the child then helping them get custody! What a way to get the business!! This film, BREAKING SILENCE: Childrens voices, PBS October 20 in Houston Texas and nationwide was probably brought to you, in part, by monies from one of these god-like law firms or misandrist help groups! Mary Kay Chairtable Foundation of Mary Kay cosmetics underfunded it too.

    And to the continuing saga of the destruction of me and my daughter. I just found out that her mother was committing a major felony for which she received orders to pay back thirty thousand dollars and also got ten years probation. She was out doing all this crime while she was enjoying for free the lynching of my daughter and I by the JFC and [a law firm].

    YEAH, tell the FCC and PBS that a film about the voice of a child has no place for american ears unless and until the full story is told. Shout it from the highest hill! Its a crime that PBS dare present such crap, asking a child, who- did-what, when its the child that gets it, if they somehow refuse to be indoctrinated to hate one of the parents. Parental Alienation is not, and has not been, for a very long time, a gender issue, or one scoffed as “junk science” as the film perpetrates. Parental Alienation is a parenting issue and a grievous, insidious, bonafide issue of the action of systematic CHILD ABUSE.

    I’m sure this american government with its legions of addicted, addicted and dying to a deeply diseased symptomology one ingredient of which is DENIAL, will keep throwing out bones of the formerly alive to preserve itself. We ate the American Indians after we ate the native peoples of the carribean and south america and still cram COLUMBUS, as hero, into the heads of elementary when he was the first white slave trader! We have raped the planet of its creation of plants and animals. We have raped the planet of its mineral resources. Now American Government with its agents is coming for live human beings starting with poor and nonstatused fathers!! THink I am kidding? Then read When Society Becomes An Addict, by Anne Wilson Schaef, Harper and Row, 1986.

    YES folks tune in for this film because you will receive instructions on who to have for dinner and how to cook them!

  • Tom Gallen

    Teri:
    People throw statistics around but I wonder if we will ever know the truth about which gender is more destructive. In the 16+ years that I lived with a violent female abuser, I NEVER hit back. What is I had hit back? I’d have been arrested and then I would have become a statistic in the Abusive Male column and she, the abuser would have been placed in the poor, poor ABUSED FEMALE column. When I called the abuse helplines, they basically laughed my report off as if I were the only man who had ever reported and an abusive female. When I went to court for a Protection From Abuse order, the judge REFUSED to even look at my case and the 12 police reports and ER records which I had brought as evidence of the abuse. I wonder how many other men have been not believed by crisis lines and by prejudiced judges and how many abused males never get on recognised as being abused. There are, no doubt abusive men but thinking logically, what does a good man and father get out of being abusive, to a woman? He gets to lose his kids, much of his income, half of his retirement, his house, his life as he knows it, etc., etc., etc. What does an abusive women gain by being abusive and getting away with it and then dumping a good father? She gets his kids, much of his income, half of his retirement, his house, his life as he knows it, etc., etc., etc. Good fathers are getting screwed because there are a few bad fathers. Is that fair?

  • http://www.nhcustody.org Marc Snider

    Sheindlin knows the truth, and everyone in this country has got to come to recognize it as well.

    The children of America are being done a terrible disservice by the injustices being administered in the states’ family courts. And it is time for the institutionalized removal of parents (overwhelmingly fathers) from their children’s lives at the time of divorce and child custody proceedings to stop.

    Clear and convincing evidence must be the standard for why a parent is denied equal access to their children. What other possible reason makes sense? And who has a right to order that these children of broken families be raised meaningfully by only one parent?

    Except in cases where a parent is less than fit, the answer is no one… That’s who.

    If parents, regardless of their gender, are not both legally and practically entitled to a rebuttable presumption of equal parenting rights and responsibilities when they are forced from their marriages, then it is surely time for the would-be future parents (and primarily fathers) of the country to closely examine whether there is too much risk involved in starting a family.

    The cultural adaptation has already begun and is progressing. Evaluation of recent statistical information bears this out. The next generation of would-be fathers is becoming more and more cognizant of the dangers that they and their as yet unborn progeny are likely to face after starting a family.

    This misguided, unwise, and destructive social policy whereby children of divorce are so often prescribed parentectomy (overwhelmingly a fatherectomy) by family courts across the country is directly influencing and modifying the nature of relationships between men and women.

    The results can already be discerned by those who pay attention. Soon the disastrous fallout will be discernable by all…

  • http://amnesty-4-families.com/ Mona Lena USA

    First Lady Laura Bush visited the National Center for Fathering in Kansas City ( Ken R. Canfield, Ph.D, Founder and President, <<

    In the United States of America all Parents are to be Equal, they need to be given joint parenting rights joint custody as it has already been mandated in Germany ( 1998 ).

    By not allowing fathers and mothers to see their children, by not investigating thoroughly accusations of abuse and neglect, these parents will in most cases kidnap their children or leave the painful past behind.

    USA is to guard the child’s parent as well the child itself.
    USA needs to discover a balance to maintain its humane welfare system without prosecuting the father/non custodial parent whose ex wife refuses to go to work and support the child as well, that I quote due to feminists who continue to ask for more but yet find no excuse to sit at home not contributing financial support of their children while again blaring for Equal Rights. All the while they are not aware by doing so that they are contributing to feminism beyond means.

    No other country incarcerates a child for life under the age of 15 for committing murder but the United States of America! United States of America has become a country without feelings and emotions!
    This is the country which is based on family values! These values can not end due to injustice within family courts it is unheard of in most country’s around the globe and hopefully none will follow the example which is in the present world simply embarrassing. How can such grate country dishonor its males by ignoring their out cry for help?

    Mona Lena

  • Tom Gallen

    I noticed one comment that said basically, “I sympathise with men’s plight BUT, remember that men ARE more abusive”. I don’t believe that, for a minute and that backhand slap did not go unnoticed. If you add in the abuse NOT reported by males who are too ashamed of being beaten by a woman, by those who are abused by helplines and never call again, Those abused by judges and the court system and are afraid to make waves lest the come back and take away whatever is left. When you add in all of the men who live in houses where “SHE wears the pants in that house” and where the man afraid to get home from work one minute late because of the feared consequences. And how about men who live in houses where the man is forbidden to associate with friends and family, lest it take away from her control of his life. When you add in the men who live in terror 24 hours a day and are never actually beaten but are beaten down THEN the percentage of abusers would probably be quite different. Think about it!

  • http://falseallegations.com Barbara C. Johnson

    When first hearing about PBS’s BREAKING THE SILENCE and seeing a promo, I wrote a letter to PBS. (See very bottom of this blog.) PBS responded today.

    Note that they called my letter “Positive.” When you read their letter, you will also note `~“~`. Those characters represent where PBS redacted the letter.

    They are truly deluding themselves, and will likely attempt to delude the public by pubicizing that the response to their broadcast was primarily positive.

    Well, here is my reply to their response. I shall await learning whether they considered this letter, too, a “positive” response. Nothing like tilting statistics!

    Here is my latest:

    Dear PBS Org:

    That Dominique Lasseur and Catherine Tatge spent “countless hours” doing “extensive research and interviews” is only Pablum. The problem, I suspect, is that they used a limited database suggested by those on the women’s side of the Gender War, which is polarizing our society.
    .
    I would like Lasseur and Tatge to reveal diverse details regarding that research. Without a control mechanism, their study is invalid.

    Having worked for many years in the “divorce industry,” my extensive research and interviews show the opposite to be true, to wit, that women regularly alienate their children from their fathers. Money and control are the motivators. Pro-women organizations use false statistics to promote their interests and get annual bonuses and grants from the federal government. As a result, children are parentectomized — the parent being cut out is the father. By so doing, the children lose their self-confidence and identity, particularly if they have been led to believe they “are like their father.” In the extreme, we see self-mutiliation, drugs, criminality, runaways, teenage pregnancy.

    Cited below are current statistics from the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, the Census Bureau and private studies, which clearly reflect the level of damage that is occurring as a result of Anti-Family Law in America:

    Children that grow-up without a father’s influence:

    * <>are 33 times more likely to be seriously abused (so that they will require medical attention) <>
    * <>account for 71% of teenage pregnancies (Costing the US Taxpayers $40B per year)
    * are 73 times more likely to be killed as a result of abuse
    * daughters are 2.1 times more likely to have children during there teenage years than are children from intact families
    * <>are 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide
    * are 6.6 times to become teenaged mothers
    * are 24.3 times more likely to run away
    * are 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
    * are 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institution
    * are 10.8 times more likely to commit rape
    * are 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school
    * are 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager
    * account for 90% of all homeless and runaway children
    * account for 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions
    * account for 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers
    * account for 85% of prison youths
    * account for 63% of youth suicides
    * account for 85% of all children the exhibit behavioral disorders
    * account for 80% of rapists motivated by displaced anger disorder
    * 70% of confirmed cases of child abuse are committed by mothers <><>
    * <><>65% of parental murders of children are committed by mothers. Police investigators and academics believe that 15% of the roughly 7,000 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) cases reported each year in the United States are really cases of suffocation, primarily committed by the mother. This alone accounts for at least 1,000 homicides a year.

    Criminologists point out that many, if not most, cases of SIDS are not reported. (Autopsies are rarely able to distinguish between suffocation and SIDS). Therefore, the actual number of murdered infants is probably much higher.

    * 37.9% of fathers have no access/visitation rights
    * 40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the non-custodial father’s visitation on at least one occasion, to punish the ex-spouse
    * <>50% of mothers see no value in the father`s continued contact with his children
    * <>11% of mothers value their husband’s input when it comes to handling problems with their kids. Teachers & doctors rated 45%, and close friends & relatives rated 16%
    * <> The former spouse (mother) was the greatest obstacle to having more frequent contact with the children
    * 70% of fathers felt that they had too little time with their children
    * Very few children are satisfied with the amount of contact with their fathers after divorce

    Mothers prevent visits to retaliate against fathers for problems in their marital or post-marital relationship:

    * 77% of non-custodial fathers are NOT able to “visit” their children, as ordered by the court, as a result of “visitation interference” perpetuated by the custodial parent

    Non-compliance with court-ordered visitation is three times the problem of non-compliance with court-ordered child support and impacts the children of divorce even more:

    * only 10% of all noncustodial fathers fit the “deadbeat dad” category and 99% of those are “dead broke”
    * 90% of the fathers with joint custody paid the support due
    * Fathers with visitation rights pay 79.1%
    * 44.5% of those with NO visitation rights still financially support their children
    * 79.6% of custodial mothers receive child-support award
    * 29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award
    * 46.9% of Non-custodial mothers totally default on child support
    * 26.9% of Non-custodial fathers totally default on child support

    The ONLY viable solution to this societal crisis is an immediate end to the “Failed Social Experiment” and the enforcement of
    the fundamental liberty right to parent one’s children absolutely free from unnecessary governmental interference — unless/until it is
    clearly established that a parent is unfit to parent. Divorce does not make a parent a bad parent, and this must not be allowed to
    continue to be the sole-basis upon which governmental entities forcibly remove Fathers from the lives of their children.

    Barbara C. Johnson

    Catalog Name : Barbara C. Johnson, Attorney at Law
    Catalog Street Address : 6 Appletree Lane
    Catalog City : Andover,
    Catalog State : MA
    Catalog Zip Code : 01810-4102

    viewer–pbs.org wrote:

    > Dear Ms. Johnson:
    >
    > Thank you for taking the time to write to PBS about your concerns regarding BREAKING THE SILENCE: CHILDREN’S STORIES. Comments from our viewers – both positive and negative – are the best guides we have to make future programming decisions.
    >
    > We have forwarded your observations to the filmmakers – producer Dominique Lasseur and director Catherine Tatge – who have asked us to share their thoughts about the documentary with you.
    >
    > “When we began this project over a year ago, our goal was to produce a documentary about domestic violence and children. We had no preconceived notions about the issue … no specific agenda to prove or disprove. The finished documentary is simply a result of where countless hours of extensive research and interviews took us. These are the real stories of real women who lost custody of their children when Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) was used as scientific proof in their family court cases. These were the stories we found over and over again.
    >
    > These are difficult and controversial issues that stir human emotions. Nothing can galvanize one’s passion like the welfare of a child. We understand certain individuals will never be completely satisfied with the information presented in the documentary. All we can do is offer, in the most open and transparent manner, the reasoning and research that went into this program.”
    >
    > We appreciate your interest in PBS programming and hope that you will continue to enjoy and support your local PBS member station.
    >
    > Sincerely,
    >
    > PBS Viewer Services
    >
    >
    > At 08:26 PM 10/5/2005, you wrote:
    >
    >> User Information –

    >>
    >> Name : Barbara C, Johnson
    >> Zip Code : 01810
    >> Email :
    >> Program Name : Breaking The Silence:Children’s S
    >> Nature of Comments : positive
    >> Mailing List Opt-in :
    >> Wants catalog :
    >>
    >> Comments : American society is being destroyed by programs such as that which you intend to air this month.`~“~`As a result of well-meaning laws that have gone awry since their passge, inaccurate statistics, the radical feminist movement, FATHERHOOD IS DYING and FAMILIES ARE SUFFERING.`~“~`This destabiliization of the family is destructive of our society as a whole! Every time I think I’ll be donating because I’ve enjoyed NOVA or an historical documentary, PBS entertains producing such garbage as Breaking the Silence.`~`
    >>
    >>
    >
    >

  • http://www.nhcustody.org Marc Snider

    I will never again support PBS and would urge every parent who has ever suffered from the effect of being alienated from their child by the child’s other parent to never support PBS again either.

    A one-sided piece of propaganda like this has no business being partially funded with public funds (as it is by being aired on PBS).

    PBS is certainly a fine representation of how far this society has fallen. Get prepared for the further sinking of the American social foundation…

    Men who start families are all but fools…

    Marc

  • Andrew Ryan

    Teri,

    As you know I am grateful for opening these things up for debate and opening eyes of the ignorant and showing what the current system does to children, familys and society as a whole.

    People – you need to write, phone and fax each and every representative at every level of government and express your outrage at the systematic destruction of the family. The court system and the FemiNAZIS who enact VAWA as the “weapon of MASS DESTRUCTION” need to be put in their place.

    Violence is already a crime – doesn’t matter the gender – all violent acts should be prosecuted. False allegations from ex spouses to gain upper hand in custody disputes should be prosecuted for perjury – end of story!

    Presumption of equal shared parenting (equality!!!!!) should be practiced with each parent submitting a parental plan and negotiating/mediating the best plan for the CHILDEN (remember them?).

    Those who do not stand up now should find it hard to look at their children and grandchildren in the face without feeling shame, for this is a battle they may have to face if we don’t fix it now – NOW!

  • Kat Clayton

    I think all fathers rights should be over hauled. There are some great dads out there that work their butts off to take care of their children. These men should have a court system that supports their love and devotion. My ex husband has custody of the two children we made together and he is a great father.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    It’s strangely appropriate that all comments on this thread are stuck in bold, but I suppose I’ll have to fix it.

    Dave

  • Darrick

    These discussions are great. The VAWA issues tie in with equal physical child custody when, a large number of mothers use it to gain an upperhand in custody cases. Otherwise the most important thing to remember is that everyone needs to find out who their state and federal legislators are and lobby them to mandate a presumption of joint physical custody. Also, please join a state or national father’s rights orginization and get involved.

  • A UK Dad

    I do wish that dads campaigning for fairer and equal rights to be parents, would cease all efforts to make this a gender war. It is so true that in the domain of parenting, mothers do rule the roost. Dads who have been or are capable of being equal parents after separation or divorce DO need a system that actively promotes their roles, responsibilities, duties and of course their rights.

    The whole DV debate about who suffers more and who attacks more is not relavent to this subject. DV is a horrid problem that needs sorting by that is a different issue. Men and women should look at DV as a problem related to humans and personalities. Every case will always be determined on its own circumstances. Courts have inherant juristiction to overule any parents rights as they are not absolute. The paramount interest of the child / welfare is the trump card that wins all arguments.

    My problem is that the welfare and what is best is not clearly defined. If we define that a child should have limited contact to a DV perp’ then we need to be sure that we identify these correctly and categorise DV in ALL circumstances. If a man leaves a violent relationship where he was continually emotionally abused and belittled by his wife, and put up with it for the sake of his kids. If he leaves and she threatens that he’ll never see his kids again then she uses the system against him, she needs to be seen as a DV perp’ just as much as the man who hits his wife.

    Rather than try to compare facts and stats. the focus should be on the failings of the existing system and remedies.

  • theresa kelly

    i am looking for help ihave lost my home my job and my health ineed any one to help my car fix any willing to help can reach me at [Deleted in line with BlogCritics Comments Policy. Comments Editor] please could some one help

  • JKL

    DV is not a problem about “personalities”. It, like most other human behavior, from how we walk and talk and dress to other forms of violence is profoundly gendered. These gender differences show up as sex differences in counts out of context, but they would be important even if they didn’t. Male batterers talk about gender all the time. Ignoring the social context THEY name as one of the most important contexts for their violence is a pretty dumb way to deal with their violence.

    Women and men use violence different, for different reasons, with different outcomes, and in different contexts.

    All of this is in a historical context where children and women were men’s property until a couple hundred years ago. The tender years doctrine reflected the reality that women do the vast majority of childcare. They still do the vast majority of childcare. If they didn’t maybe there’d be fewer divorces in the first place.

  • http://feminist4fathers.mensnewsdaily.com Teri Stoddard

    “Women and men use violence different, for different reasons, with different outcomes, and in different contexts.”

    Are you trying to imply that women only abuse in self-defense? Promoting this idea, as SO MANY in the DV industry do, is irresponsible.

    Since women abuse and kill their children more often than men, can you explain to me how THAT is in self-defense?

    The time has come for the TRUTH to get out. It’s happening, too slowly for me, but it’s happening.

    Many studies show that women are just as likely to batter as men, and it starts in dating relationships, with females being most likely to hit their partner.

    Teri

  • http://www.ncfmla.org Marc A.

    “Women and men use violence different, for different reasons, with different outcomes, and in different contexts.”

    Not true. Please do your research before spreading feminists myths like this.

    A major study of domestic violence that asked about motives found men and women assault their partners at the same rates and *for the same reasons,* most often “to get through to them,” while self-defense was one of the least common motives for both sexes. Carrado, “Aggression in British Heterosexual Relationships: A Descriptive Analysis, Aggressive Behavior,” 1996, 22: 401-415.

    In a survey of 1,000 college women at California State University, 30 percent of the women admitted having assaulted a male partner, and their most common reasons were: (1) “my partner wasn’t listening to me”; (2) “my partner wasn’t being sensitive to my needs”; and (3) “I wished to gain my partner’s attention.”

    Martin Fiebert, Ph.D., Denise Gonzalez, Ph.D., “Why Women Assault; College Women Who Initiate Assaults on their Male Partners and the Reasons Offered for Such Behavior,” 1997, Psychological Reports, 80, 583-590, http://www.batteredmen.com/fiebertg.htm. Cited by San Bernardino Sheriff.

    “Contrary to the claim that women only hit in self-defense, we found that women were as likely to initiate the violence as were men. In order to correct for a possible bias in reporting, we reexamined our data looking only at the self-reports of women. The women reported similar rates of female-to-male violence compared to male-to-female, and women also reported they were as likely to initiate the violence as were men.” Richard Gelles, Ph.D, “The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence; Male Victims,” 1999, The Women’s Quarterly. http://www.ncfmla.org/gelles.html

    “It has often been claimed that the reason CTS studies have found as many women as men to be physically aggressive is because women are defending themselves against attack. A number of studies have addressed this issue and found that when asked, more women than men report initiating the attack. (Bland & Orn. 1986; DeMaris, 1992; Gryl & Bird. 1989. cited in Straus. 1997) or that the proportions are equivalent in the two sexes (Straus, 1997). Two large-scale studies found that a substantial proportion of both women and men report using physical aggression when the partner did not (Brush, 1990; Straus & Gelles, 1988). This evidence does not support the view that the CTS is only measuring women’s self-defense.”

    John Archer, Ph.D., “Sex Differences in Aggression Between Heterosexual Partners: A Meta-Analytic Review, Psychological Bulletin,” Sept. 2000. v. 126, n. 5, p. 651, 664.

    Sarantakos, S. (2004), “Deconstructing self-defense in wife-to-husband violence,” Journal of Men’s Studies, 12 (3) 277-296. Members of 68 families with violent wives in Australia were studied. In 78% of cases wives’ violence was moderate to severe, and in 38% of cases husbands needed medical attention. Using information from husbands, wives, children and wives’ mothers, the study provides compelling data challenging self defense as a motive for female-to-male violence.

    Sommer, Reena (1994), “Male and female partner abuse: Testing a diathesis-stress model,” unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. The study was in two waves: the first was from 1989-1990 and included a random sample of 452 married or cohabiting women and 447 married or cohabiting men from Winnipeg, Canada; the second was from 1991-1992 and included 368 women and 369 men all of whom participated in the first wave. Subjects completed the CTS & other assessment instruments. 39.1% of women reported being physically aggressive (16.2% reporting having perpetrated severe violence) at some point in their relationship with their male partner. While 26.3% of men reported being physically aggressive (with 7.6% reporting perpetrating severe violence) at some point in their relationship with their female partner. Among the perpetrators of partner abuse, 34.8% of men and 40.1% of women reported observing their mothers hitting their fathers. Results indicate that 21% of “males’ and 13% of females’ partners required medical attention as a result of a partner abuse incident.” Results also indicate that “10% of women and 15% of men perpetrated partner abuse in self defense.” menweb.org

  • Mr. Bad

    It is absolutely true that women and men perpetrate partner abuse at approximately equal rates; all the feminist spin in the world can no longer hide this fact. Further, valid, peer-reviewed studies have consistently found that women are primary aggressors in relationships at slighter higher rates than men. These two facts should completely refute the claims by feminists that interpersonal violence is primary a male aggressor/female victim phenomenon. Sadly, feminist propaganda like “Breaking the Silence” only serves to compound problems related to misinformation and igorance.

    It seems the current tactic of feminists has shifted to ‘who gets hurt more,’ which conveniently for them is a proxy for ‘blame the man’ because in general men are larger, stronger, and thus able to inflict more damage per blow than women. However, we should reject this dishonest approach and instead be trying to prevent interpersonal violence before it starts, which means addressing the primary aggressor, at least half of whom are women. Violence prevention should be the goal so as to avoid having any victims in the first place, but sadly, our current approach to DV is based on female victims and male perps. I suppose the cynic in me sees this as entrenched feminist special interests desiring to keep their cash flow via government handouts like the VAWA, etc., however, I would like to think that we can grow up and face reality some time soon. We will be better off if we do.

  • Robert

    The governmental funded, feminist designed re-education camps for males only.

    Since 1997 there have been 250 new domestic violence laws written in the USA. The VAWA is federaly funded at the rate of 1 billion dollars a year, and the government refuses to fund any study that shows that woman are violent or commit domestic violence.

    The duluth “training”is for “batterers”….male only!

    What’s Wrong with the “Duluth Model”?

    Blame and shame, not help. Ideology, not science. It ignores drinking, drugs and pathology. Only one cause, only one solution. There’s no real evidence it works. It ignores domestic violence by women. Women who need help can’t get it. It’s taught by “wounded healers.” It’s gender-polarizing-perpetrates the “battle of the sexes”

    © 1999 by Bert H. Hoff

    A Gender-Neutral Duluth Model
    For female perpetrators – a different “Duluth Model.”
    Duluth Model Successfully Challenged
    Programs gets North Carolina regulation mandating Duluth Model set aside
    It’s Such Bullshit
    Book: Women’s agression part of picture; Restorative justice, not blame and shame
    It’s Such Bullshit
    Anger Management for Men is Such Bullshit. It made me suicidal
    It’s About Male Oppression of women
    preaches the “Duluth Model.”
    Domestic Violations
    Cathy Young. Where there’s mutual violence, joint counseling offers the best solution. But it’s not allowed.
    Why Women Batter
    “He wasn’t sensitive to my needs.” “He wasn’t listening.”

    Batterer treatment programs around the world are adopting the “Duluth model,” perhaps the most widespread of the male-patriarchy batterers’ programs, with trainings in hundreds of cities across the country and a recent series of Marine Corps contracts. It promotes a gender-polarizing view that battering is a conscious strategy by men to assert male dominance over women.

    What is the Duluth Model? It was created by the Duluth, Minnesota Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. It’s described in detail in Pence, E., and Paymer, M. Education Groups For Men Who Batter: The Duluth Model. The “Power and Control Wheel,” central to the model, “depicts the primary abusive behaviors experienced by women living with men who batter.” [emphasis added] There’s no doubt that it reflects a feminist ideology of male oppression of women.

    What’s wrong with it? Here’s what experts have to say:

    It’s about blaming and shaming men, more than giving them the insights and support to help them stop their abusive behavior.

    The Duluth Model preaches that men who batter don’t have a personal problem, but are simply reflecting “a culture that teaches men to dominate.” John Everingham, co-author of Men Healing Shame and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, calls this “shame of male for being male.” But shaming is a cause of rage, not a cure for it.

    Is wife-beating an accepted cultural norm? Think about it: do you know any man who thinks that beating your wife is “normal” or “OK”? Psychologist Donald G. Dutton, author of five books about spousal abuse by men and expert witness in the O.J. Simpson trial, says, “Men who have been convicted of wife assault do not generally feel that what they did was acceptable. Instead they feel guilty, deny and minimize the violence, and try to exculpate themselves in the manner of one whose actions are unacceptable to oneself.” He points out, “the vast majority of men are non-assaultive for the duration of their marriage.” And as violence escalates beyond pushes and slaps, “the size of this minority group of perpetrators shrinks.”

    The Duluth Model is a “blame and shame” behavior modification approach, focusing only on the perpetrator’s role. This approach is used often with prisoners. Rule infractions result in punishment, and “good behavior” (absence of rule-breaking) results in early release. A different approach sees anger and violence as part of a “dance” between two people in an intimate relationship. The approach is to examine the role of each party, so that both may be empowered to make decisions in their own lives. This model is used in many successful prison rehabilitation programs and in AA, which holds people accountable for their lives without “blaming and shaming.”

    It’s based on ideology, not science.

    The authors of the book on the model make no bones about it:

    The tactics used by batterers reflect the tactics used by many groups or individuals in positions of power. Each of the tactics depicted on the Power and Control Wheel are typical of behaviors used by groups of people who dominate others. They are the tactics employed to sustain racism, ageism, classism, heterosexism, anti-Semitism, and many other forms of group domination. Men in particular are taught these tactics in both their families of origin and through their experiences in a culture that teaches men to dominate. …We use gender-specific terms not only because the curriculum is for men who batter, but because battering is not a gender-neutral issue.

    The model was developed, not by a team of psychologists and research scientists, but in consultation with “a small group of activists in the battered women’s movement,” and “more than 200 battered women in Duluth.” The Power and Control Wheel names eight factors contributing to domestic violence, including “using male privilege” and “using economic abuse.” It relies heavily on Dobash & Dobash, Violence Against Wives: A Case Against the Patriarchy, who state: “[The] long patriarchal tradition… was explicitly established in the institutional practices of both the church and the state and supported by some of the most prominent political, legal, religious, philosophical, and literary figures in Western society… They believed that men had the right to dominate and control women and that women were by their very nature subservient to men. This relationship was deemed natural, sacred and unproblematic and such beliefs resulted in long periods of disregard and/or denial of the husband’s abuses of his economic, political and physical power.”

    The model rejects treatment through insight models, family systems theory or cognitive-behavioral models in favor of what supporters call a “sociopolitical model” and San Jose therapist Eric Towle calls a “radical feminist re-education camp,” where battery is equated with masculinity. The goal of sociopolitical therapy is to “challenge sexist expectations and controlling behaviors that often inhibit men and motivate them to learn to apply newly learned skills in a consistently non-controlling manner.” Intervention deals with sexist expectations and attitudes.

    Psychologist Dutton wrote an article outlining all the evidence feminist researchers and proponents of the model had to overlook, because it contradicted their ideological paradigm. As he put it, “Paradigms direct research, but they also serve to deflect critical analysis of the paradigms’ own central tenets through diverting attention from contradictory data. A form of ‘groupthink’ ensues whereby dissent is stifled by directing attention from potential contradictory information.” Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, associate professor of psychology at Indiana University, says, “states are basing rigid treatment policy on rhetoric and ideology, not data.”

    What evidence is overlooked? For starters, the fact that most men are not violent to their wives or lovers. Dutton estimates that 80% of the men who do beat their intimates have drinking or drug problems, Borderline Personality Disorders, or other diagnosable psychological pathology.

    It ignores drinking, drugs, Borderline Personality Disorder and other serious psychological problems.

    As Cathy Young, author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality states, “Dutton and other researchers have found that wife-beating is far more strongly associated with ‘borderline personality disorder’ (characterized by proclivity for intense relationships, insecurity, and rage) than with patriarchal attitudes; drugs and alcohol are major factors as well.”

    Dr. Dutton’s concern is echoed by Paul T. Mason, M.S. and Randi Kreger, authors of Walking on Eggshells, who see Borderline Personality Disorder at the heart of a lot of domestic violence. And, they point out, 75% of the people with BPD are women. A focus on “male oppression” must, be definition, overlook this important contributor to domestic violence.

    Yale psychiatrist Sally L. Satel uses the case of “Don” for an example. “Don’s group leaders were adamant that alcohol was never a cause of violence. Feminist theory downplays the relevance of alcohol abuse, and as a particularly foolish result in Don’s program, failed to make sobriety a condition of the treatment for domestic batterers.” The National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors’ Nov/Dec 1998 issue of The Counselor raises concern about this issue.

    It says there is only one cause for domestic violence, and only one solution.

    This approach rejects joint therapy in all cases, even when the woman feels safe and wants to keep the marriage together. San Diego judge William Cannon says, “It’s ridiculous. We treat women as brainless individuals who are unable to make choices.”

    Washington state specifically prohibits joint therapy, even in conjunction with the Duluth Model. One Bellevue therapist almost lost his license for merely proposing joint therapy to another therapist.

    Satel states: “In at least a dozen states, including Massachusetts, Colorado, Florida, Washington, and Texas, state guidelines effectively preclude any treatment other than feminist therapy for domestic batterers.”

    Satel points out that these policies would outlaw, for instance, the kind of help that saved the decade-long marriage of a midwestern couple we’ll call ‘Steve and Lois M.’ After their last fight, in which he gave Mrs. M. a fractured arm, she gave him an ultimatum: unless he went with her to marriage therapy, she would take their nine-year-old son and leave. He agreed, and the couple saw Eve Lipchik, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin expert in family therapy. ‘One can still deplore the aggression and be an advocate for the relationship when two people want to stay together and are motivated to make changes in the relationship,’ says Lipchik. ‘It’s too easy to stuff people into boxes labeled villains and victims.'”

    Satel asserts, “Many advocates are also apparently so blinded by ideology that they are unable to draw distinctions between types of abusers. Some men, for example, are first-time offenders, others are brutal recidivists, others attack rarely but harshly, others frequently but less severely, and many are alcoholics. Such a heterogeneous population cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach.”

    It ignores domestic violence by women.

    The (U.S.) National Violence Against Women survey estimates that each year 1.5 million women and 835,000 men are assaulted by intimate partners. The (U.S.) National Child Abuse and Data System reports that over 55% of the physical abuse of children is by women. Dr. Dutton points out that lesbian relationships were significantly more violent than gay relationships; rates of verbal, physical and sexual abuse were all significantly higher in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships; and in one sample of women, 78.2% had been in a prior relationship with a man: reports of violence by men were all lower than reports of violence in prior relationships with women.

    All of these findings refute the notion that family violence is caused by male control of women. They are ignored by domestic violence “experts” and the media because they contradict the ideological paradigm of these programs, that family violence is men’s efforts to control women. One result is that there is virtually no public education, victim outreach and education, or help for battered men.

    Is domestic vioilence by women in self-defense? Dr. Martin Fiebert of the University of California at Long Beach surveyed almost 1,000 women, 280 of whom had initiated an assault on their partner. The most common reasons? “My partner wasn’t sensitive to my needs.” “I wished to gain my partner’s attention.” “My partner was not listening to me.” These all ranked above “My partner was being verbally abusive to me.”

    Women who need help can’t get it.

    A Detroit News special report on battered husbands provides a dramatic example.

    For 13 years, Karen Gillhespy was the abuser. She says she broke her husband’s ribs, ripped entire patches of his hair out, scratched him, bit him, beat him with a baseball bat and kicked him. He never hit back — and he never filed charges. But more shocking to Gillhepsy are the reactions she encountered telling her story. “They told me I was the victim,” said Gillhespy. “Here’s no way any of this was his fault.”

    Cathy Young, author of Ceasefire, quotes a letter from a shelter that gives as an example of assault by the husband, “In an argument, ‘Mrs. C. grabbed Mr. C. by his necktie (and) he pushed her away. Mrs. C. then punched his face and her nail cut his neck.'” Domestic violence researcher Suzanne Steinmetz says this is common, and is simply one more way that a woman’s experience is devalued. “The bottom line is that women get the short end of the stick anyway. When we say women can’t possibly be violent, she must have done it for some reason, we are in essence denying women services.”

    And programs that preach that male oppression is at the heart of domestic violence have nothing to offer to women who batter.

    It’s taught by “wounded healers.”

    Shelter staffs and perpetrator treatment programs are often dominated by women who have been victims themselves. Maurice Oates, who co-founded a highly successful Native-based Circle of Harmony Healing Society in Terrace, British Columbia that works with couples on a voluntary basis, says: “We don’t really give a damn about what white people think. All participants are considered equal and not adversaries. All our programs avoid sexual bias. Local gender feminists were telling us it would be a disaster. We call those people the ‘wounded healers’ because they try to help people, but they have not yet dealt with their own pain and agony.”

    It’s a gender-polarizing approach that only serves to perpetrate the “battle of the sexes.”

    Cathy Young, author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality, states:

    The most obvious casualties of the War on Domestic Violence have been men, particularly men involved in contentious divorces. But it has also hurt many of the women who are its intended beneficiaries. Part of the problem is the one-size-fits-all approach to domestic violence. For many couples in violent relationships, particularly those involved in mutual violence, joint counseling offers the best solution. But if they have come to the attention of the authorities, it’s one form of counseling to which they are unlikely to be referred. Couples therapy is vehemently opposed by battered women’s advocates–ostensibly out of concern for women’s safety, but also because of the implication that both partners must change their behavior.

    Yale psychiatrist Sally Satel states:

    Like so many projects of the feminist agenda, the battered women’s movement has outlived its useful beginnings, which was to help women leave violent relationships and persuade the legal system to take domestic abuse more seriously. Now they have brought us to a point at which a single complaint touches off an irreversible cascade of useless and often destructive legal and therapeutic events. This could well have a chilling effect upon victims of real violence, who may be reluctant to file police reports or to seek help if it subjects them to further battery from the authorities. And it certainly won’t help violent men if they emerge from so-called treatment programs no more enlightened but certainly more angry, more resentful, and as dangerous as ever.

    My thanks to Erin Pizzey, founder of the first shelter for battered women and author of Prone to Violence, the controversial first book to explore violence in women. She challenged me to write this piece, to use in speaking out against attempts to implement this model in the UK.

  • http://feminist4fathers.mensnewsdaily.com Teri Stoddard

    “Steve: His ex-wife killed his daughter over their divorce and custody arrangements”

    Today’s Montel Williams Show

  • http://www.dvstats.com/ John Dias

    For mountains of research demonstrating that domestic violence is committed by women against men, research that spans 4 decades with an aggregate sample size over 220,000 in almost 200 studies and analyses, go here.

    This is a search engine documenting credible research about domestic violence against males. All of the research reaches the conclusion that domestic violence occurs at gender parity, and sometimes different studies indicate that female abuse against males exceeds the reverse.

    Check it out