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October 20, 2005

Angry Fathers' Rights Activists Vs. PBS

Fathers' rights activists are livid that their e-mail bombing and phone calling of PBS has not resulted in "Breaking The Silence: Children's Stories" being pulled off the air. They claim that this documentary is biased and bashes fathers. It does nothing of the kind. Fathers' rights activists also claim that only one side of the issue is being aired, and they are demanding what they think is their "fair" airing time for their views. Nonsense. Their views are all over the place. They permeate the Internet, and they get more than their fair share of one-sided articles printed in newspapers. They don't like that the side of the abused mothers and children is getting massive public airing.

I'm glad that PBS is not backing down to the massive pressure from fathers' rights groups. As anyone with a blog who has gone up against fathers' rights activists knows, they can be unbearably nasty.

This apparently is the letter these angry men are getting when they protest the airing of the documentary:

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.

There have been a number of concerns raised regarding Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and how it is addressed in the piece. We do not make the assertion that the phenomenon of alienation does not exist, simply that PAS is wrongly used as scientific proof to justify taking children away from a protective parent. We as filmmakers are in no position to determine the scientific validity of PAS. However, the fact remains that the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have not recognized PAS as legitimate science.

Some individuals have expressed concern that the documentary only features the stories of women as the victims of domestic violence. Research shows that “while women are less likely than men to be victims of violent crimes overall, women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.” (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, March 1998). If we had featured the stories of one man and five women who had been victims of domestic abuse, statistically we would have grossly overstated the problems of men in this area. Nevertheless, we recognize that men are also victims and men are also sometimes victimized by family courts, but it is overwhelmingly women who are victims. In all cases, the children are the victims.

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,
Madison
PBS Viewer Services

Posted on October 20, 2005 at 08:54 PM | Permalink

Comments

"Fathers' rights activists are livid that their e-mail bombing and phone calling of PBS has not resulted in "Breaking The Silence: Children's Stories" being pulled off the air."

See, I think that a lot women are paranoid over a few blow-hards in the fathers' rights movement. These guys don't have the lobbying power certain bloggers keep repeatedly saying they have. As a matter of fact, I think fathers' rights groups are given more credence by anti-fathers' rights bloggers than they get on their own. In other words, if we just ignore them they would virtually not exist, would they?

I know of a certain blogger who sometimes get's her letters and articles published in large circulations, which in turn informs million of people of activities fathers' rights groups are doing, that no one really cared about in the first place.

And just a suggestion, please don't use the term e-mail BOMBING, it's very offensive to some who lost friends and family on 9/11 and in Iraq.

Posted by: pearlwisdom at Oct 22, 2005 3:07:03 PM

I wish it was just a few blowhards. Fathers' rights activists do get media coverage, most often in conservative publications. There were letters and calls from hundreds of fathers' rights activists protesting the documentary. Thankfully, that didn't have much of an effect, in particular because PBS requested letters and calls supportive of the documentary. Also, PBS had no intention of backing down under pressure from fathers' rights groups. Also, although they may not get the media coverage they'd like, they do testify en masse at legislative hearings to get bills passed, such as presumptive joint custody bills and bills that would make it harder for abused women to get protective orders. It's important that those who oppose those kinds of bills of speak out in hearings against them. They don't have the clout they wish they had, but they are noisy and argumentative in droves. I don't think it's wise to just ignore them at this point in time, especially when they testify at legislative hearings. Maybe someday they'll be seen for the blowhards that they are, but we're not there yet.

Posted by: The Countess at Oct 22, 2005 4:27:24 PM

I got to agree with paerlwisdom. I new a divorsed father who was in a fathers rights organiztion and he always complained that there weren't enough men involved. He also told me that they would send dozens of letters, emails and phones calls to make it appear like there were a lot more of them then there actually was. He said they learned that trick from feminist organizations.

Something else I learned about politics is politicians don't really care howmany people support a bill. They only care about WHO supports that bill. If a fathers rights group gets a bill passed it only because the law will be good for some businesses. For instance, if child support is lowered in a State more women will have to enter the work force and in turn pay more taxes, and create a vacuum for more child care businesses ect.

Posted by: Mxer at Oct 22, 2005 6:35:25 PM

Mxer you got that straight. Politicians are leaches. It's not the votes they need, they can buy them. They only want the big special interest money. Like union money, lawyer money, corporate money and so forth. Family law money comes from lawyers who want to make laws that make them rich. They passed a alimony law in Utah that cause the divorce rate to go up enough that there was a shortage of divorce lawyers in the State for a couple years. And you know they didn't do it for the well being of the people getting a divorce like they said.

Posted by: cal-nerd at Oct 23, 2005 2:27:30 AM

As I commented in another thread, this letter says "Research shows that [...] women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner. [...] If we had featured the stories of one man and five women who had been victims of domestic abuse, statistically we would have grossly overstated the problems of men in this area." Leaving aside the possiblility that the letter is a fake (if it is, it's cleverer than I would have expected) and leaving aside the validity of the results cited, the statement made is blatantly self-contradictory. If the ratio of victimhood is 1:5-8, then featuring the stories at a ratio of 1:5 is absolutely not a gross statistical overstatement.

Conclusion: the director & producer do not understand their own numbers, how can they possibly have made a credible "documentary"?

Posted by: Jadd at Oct 23, 2005 10:31:32 AM

As someone who has been producing a documentary for the past two years on the state of family law in America, one thing I can say for sure, is that the system is broken. I am the only daughter of a single mother who was the victim of domestic violence. I grew up in a duplex living under an alcoholic couple who would beat the crap out of each other several times a week. So I understand abuse. I get it. I know it exists.

I have also researched cases where abusers have used PAS to get custody of their children, like in one instance the woman had virtually gotten permission from the DA before she left the state with her kids, but she was still arrested and left in a cell without a trial for months until she took a plea. And to top it off, the Judge refused to listen to the tape recording she had made of the DA giving her permission to flee with her kids! I will be the first one to say that when justice goes wrong, it hurts our kids and our society.

But the one particular fault I see with this documentary is that it never mentions the fact that alienation DOES occur. I have interviewed hundreds of fathers and their children who told horrific stories of the mother making false allegations, and like in one case, she told the kids that if they didn't say what she wanted them to say, she'd have their puppies put to sleep. They refused to lie and she had the puppies killed. I KNOW for certain that false allegations occur, much more frequently than anyone in the women's movement will admit. Even when the court is presented with evidence that the mother lied, with irrefutable evidence that the father wasn’t in town when she claimed he beat her up, when her doctor said she had no bruises, when there is NO evidence, the court has still ruled that the restraining order should be renewed! I've gone undercover and had a shelter worker tell me to file charges for a TRO even when I said I had never been abused and that I got caught cheating. I've had an attorney say the same thing.

If we want to cure the root of the problem, we have to stop making this a gender issue. Right now it's all about the money. If we made it impossible for the courts to profit from rulings, either by removing the immunity from the Judges, or by taking away the incentive funds out of child support, I think we'd see a much more balanced approach to family law. As one abused women’s activist I spoke to told me, the courts have made the decision as to what the order will be before you even get to court, before you present your evidence, based on a calculation of what order would produce the most money for the court. I have sat in courtrooms across the country and I think she's right. The problem is that this PBS documentary is one sided and again paints all fathers as abusers and all mothers as victims. A more appropriate would have included a father who was innocent, or a mother who was the abuser. Without the truth about that side of it, its not a documentary, its propoganda. And having spent 2 years on the Nathan Grieco case, I can say for certain that I get it, I understand that some abusive men are using PAS as a defense. But more women are making false allegations and getting away with it, making the courts are MORE likely to believe that any allegations of abuse are false and made for strategic purposes. One way to combat this is when allegations are proven to be false (knowingly made to secure custody) the one making the allegations should be punished. That just doesn't happen, and that's what's got the father's groups fired up. And rightfully so.

So, if the women's groups took it upon themselves to self police the women using the services set up for the truly abused, the ones who NEED the services, then we would see a massive reduction in the ability of abusers to get custody.

Also, in each of the PBS cases, it was usually high priced lawyering that won those cases. We should level the playing field, requiring each party to attend mandatory mediation without lawyers, and go through co-parenting classes and counseling prior to initiating a custody battle. This would show each party the damage that can be done to the CHILDREN put through a high conflict custody battle.

According to national statistics, about 3% of couples experience domestic violence. That includes all couples, not just married, but assume that all 3% are getting a divorce. Since 50% of divorces are settled amicably, ie an agreement between the parties, we can assume that the 3% of DV cases isn't included in the friendly divorces. So 97% of the high conflict divorces are NOT domestic violence cases. But TRO's are requested in more than 35% of those cases. WHY?

Strategic Advantage. The legal community has figured out the winning game plan, and the use of domestic violence allegations as the weapon of choice has become routine. As is the issuing of the TRO. Every Judge I've spoken to has said that as a matter of CYA, those orders are issued usually on the avadavit of the alleged victim alone. But to not issue it would be political suicide when it was truly warranted. So they err on the side of caution.

If we want to focus on the root of the problem, let's look at the overall picture. Follow the money. Who's getting money for making the orders, who's making money by getting women to make false allegations, who's making money by keeping the mothers and the fathers on opposite sides? Who's making money? The reason the father's rights groups are not more powerful is money. They don't have any. At least not the kind that they'd need to be as powerful as NOW. That doesn't mean that there aren't good fathers who've been stripped of all custody of their children. Just as women have been tortured by the system, so have men. One thing I've learned over the last two years investigating this subject is that while the mens groups will admit that some men use PAS to cover up abuse and get custody of their children, not one women's group will admit that ANY women make false allegations of abuse, nor will they admit that shelters or attorneys would suggest it. It is that kind of disconnect that is fueling the controversy.

Posted by: Adryenn Ashley at Oct 23, 2005 11:30:58 AM

Thank you Adryenn...FINALLY, the voice of reason.

Posted by: Masculiste at Oct 23, 2005 11:39:17 AM

"And just a suggestion, please don't use the term e-mail BOMBING, it's very offensive to some who lost friends and family on 9/11 and in Iraq.

AND stop trying to intimidate someone on their own blog from expressing the truth as they see it...

Okay...

That is a very common tactic of men/fathers' rights advocates.

Trying to intimidate people.

Posted by: NYMOM at Oct 23, 2005 2:04:02 PM

"I KNOW for certain that false allegations occur, much more frequently than anyone in the women's movement will admit. Even when the court is presented with evidence that the mother lied, with irrefutable evidence that the father wasn’t in town when she claimed he beat her up, when her doctor said she had no bruises, when there is NO evidence, the court has still ruled that the restraining order should be renewed! I've gone undercover and had a shelter worker tell me to file charges for a TRO even when I said I had never been abused and that I got caught cheating. I've had an attorney say the same thing."

Right now it's all about the money. If we made it impossible for the courts to profit from rulings, either by removing the immunity from the Judges, or by taking away the incentive funds out of child support, I think we'd see a much more balanced approach to family law."


Then the FIRST will stop when the SECOND stops as well.

As how can you expect to tell me 'it's all about the money' and then think that women aren't going to use ANY OTHER MEANS AT HAND to keep custody of their children when they STILL make less money then men generally...

Yes mothers are going to resort to these sorts of desperate tactics when they are placed in desperate positions...and I can't THINK of a more desperate position a mother can face then the possibility of losing her children...especially to some a-hole who is just fighting for custody out of spite or to avoid paying child support.

Of course mothers are going to fight this, and by any means necessary...

Posted by: NYMOM at Oct 23, 2005 2:14:09 PM

"AND stop trying to intimidate someone on their own blog from expressing the truth as they see it...Okay..."

Please don't be silly, I'm wasn't trying to coerce or threaten anyone. I'm just tired of people using violent language like "bombing" to dramatise their views. O.K? And besides, it is offensive.

"especially to SOME A-HOLE who is just fighting for custody out of spite or to avoid paying child support".

This is offensive, too. I realize a lot women have problems dealing with moral and social issues with men, but let't allow them the prerogative of being vulgar. OK? You're talking about children's fathers.

Thank you.

Posted by: pearlwisdom at Oct 23, 2005 5:08:54 PM

"This is offensive, too. I realize a lot women have problems dealing with moral and social issues with men, but let't allow them the prerogative of being vulgar. OK? You're talking about children's fathers.

Thank you."

Well I don't consider a parent, mother or father, worthy of respect who choses to fight for custody for reasons of spite or avoidance of child support.

Okay.

AND since the owner of the site DOES allow some sorts of vulgarity and I don't abuse the language that frequently here or anywhere else, I'm going to let that a-hole stand...

Since you are one, if you fight for custody for the aforementioned reasons...

Actually you're a lot worse.

You're a monster who doesn't mind destroying the lives of your children and/or their mother for selfish gain...

Okay.

Posted by: NYMOM at Oct 23, 2005 6:36:05 PM

"Yes mothers are going to resort to these sorts of desperate tactics when they are placed in desperate positions...and I can't THINK of a more desperate position a mother can face then the possibility of losing her children...especially to some a-hole who is just fighting for custody out of spite or to avoid paying child support."

So you made my point. Women will go to any lengths to get what they want, while men will less frequently think of it first. But the whole point is that FALSE allegations of abuse hurt the children. The very ones that as parents we are supposed to protect.

If my recommendations were implemented, it would make the court ensure the financial viability of both parents after divorce and require that both parents commit to a parenting plan. One of the key problems in divorce today is that one parent is often left penniless. It's not always the women, sometimes its the man, but in a huge percentage of cases, even when the split was amicable, the parties didn't understand the financial outcomes of the divorce settlement. If you have mandatory mediation that includes financial counseling, to ensure that both parents can continue to provide for their child, you'll see less need for the courts to intervene.

One Judge I interviewed from Michigan really gets it. She expects more out of her litigants. She expects them to make an effort for their kids. She doesn't want to make the parenting plan for them because no matter what, somebody is going to feel like they got screwed. So she wants them to work it out. It's their kid, their responsibility, and they need to step up to the plate, set aside their differences and figure out how to raise a good kid. I love that. Too often I see Judges with God complexes, or who think that they know better, even when they've been married for 30 years and have no personal concept of shared parenting or how pick up and drop off schedules can really be that big of a deal.

I think that until the womens groups publicly say that they do not condone making false allegations and will not stand by a woman who makes them, we are going to see this backlash in court. If it's a known strategic tactic to make false allegations, its like crying worlf. It might work for YOU, but you're screwing the next woman down the line who has a real problem and really needs the help.

Think about the Gonzales woman who lost her 3 daughters because the police didn't enforce her restraining order. Off the record, it was because the TROs are handed out like candy on halloween. Her kids are DEAD because so many women take out TROs for the advantage of having their divorce fall under the special DV rules rather than duke it out using the real facts (like maybe they cheated, maybe they lied, maybe the dads a real gem but terrible in the sack). Whatever the reason for leaving, if you aren't a real victim, it's time to start being responsible and be honest and negotiate from a position that your KIDS are the most important thing and they will handle the divorce better if there is less acrimony, and if they have unfettered and unrestricted access to both parents. That means they know they can see either parent whenever they want. You can have a schedule, but they know that if something comes up and moms better at science and its dads night, that mom can have them and help with the homework. THAT's what they want. They crave routine, but they want the freedom to love both mommy and daddy. I often remember back to my child psych class, that children often view themselves as half mom and half dad. So by telling them that one or the other is BAD, they will usually draw the conclusion that some of that bad is part of them. So be careful what you tell your kids, or let them overhear.

Like I said, I don't think that moms or dads are inherantly trying to screw up their kids, but I think that the family court system could care less and that their pursuit is profit. We should always be mindful of that.

Posted by: Adryenn Ashley at Oct 23, 2005 10:32:37 PM

Not all women will go to any lengths to get what they want. If you hang out at this blog for a while you'll see that a few people here tend to exaggerate in order to get their point across.

And you'll see that their primary objective is sole mother custody, unless there is abuse. Then it's sole mother custody with no possibility of the father ever seeing his kids again.

They are only wrong when you hold to them like glue. What they are saying is "if you don't agree with this blog, you shouldn't speak." Or in my case I'm an A-Hole.

Posted by: pearlwisdom at Oct 23, 2005 11:44:09 PM

I don't think that ALL moms want mother only sole custody. I know plenty of moms who go out of their way to make sure that their child gets time with dad (even when dad meets the true definition of deadbeat). I think that when push comes to shove, every mom who loves their kids will agree that putting aside their personal hate and anger and spite (and having the dads do that too) is best for their kids. Who can thrive and blossom and succeed when they are hampered with such hatred and anxiety and contant battles.

No, I think that most of the moms who READ this blog are sensible, but maybe like the style of trish's reporting. I don't think they are ALL hate mongers. Of course there are always the bad seeds. There are several in the fathers groups that should not be allowed to speak for the majority of fathers, but they are so loud, they can't be ignored, much to my chagrin.

I think that moms who have been abused, like my mom, are gun shy, and a little defensive. That's understandable. But like my mom did, I hope they are teaching their children strength and love not hate and fear. That's the difference. There are two paths, and one leads to more positive outcomes than the other. Lead by example. By lumping ALL dads into one pile, it's much like the KKK saying ALL blacks and Jews are bad. That is simply not a true statement.

Beside the courts, I think the media has a lot to do with the mainstream perception of men. Dufus Dads and Single Moms are the Friday night lineup, and that's because we women are the marketplace the advertisers want to cater to. But what message is that sending to our SONS. I have a two year old. I want him to grow up knowing that the world is his oyster. That's how I grew up and he shouldn't have to believe he is inferior in any way.

So, just like this special lumped all fathers who challenege custody into one bad pile, you now know that the truth is much much more complicated. As an example, the new Lifetime movie Human Trafficking about girls being bought into slavery/prostitution doesn't cover the whole story. The truth is much more horrible. It's boys and girls. Not just girls. Little boys, young, 3 and 4 years old, are used and abused and raped. The movie doesn't talk about the plight of those boys. The movie doesn't talk about the poor mothers who sell their children into that life. By taking a punative approach to welfare, ie, making an already poor family even poorer by imputing income to a father who has little or no job skills... well, lets just say that the american taxpayer is shelling out a whole lot more than $1 for every $1 we hand out in welfare. I say, use that money on training and get those people out of poverty. But, that would end the stream of movney for the bureacracy. So that will never happen.

Posted by: Adryenn Ashley at Oct 24, 2005 12:38:22 AM

"But like my mom did, I hope they are teaching their children strength and love not hate and fear. That's the difference. There are two paths, and one leads to more positive outcomes than the other. Lead by example."

I don't think they so much lump all men into one bad pile as much as they lumb all mothers into one. Your mother is an enigma on this blog.


"It's boys and girls. Not just girls. Little boys, young, 3 and 4 years old, are used and abused and raped. The movie doesn't talk about the plight of those boys."

That's because watching a TV movie about boys being raped isn't as provocative as watching a movie about teenaged girls doing anything.

Posted by: at Oct 24, 2005 1:11:47 AM

"So you made my point. Women will go to any lengths to get what they want, while men will less frequently think of it first. But the whole point is that FALSE allegations of abuse hurt the children. The very ones that as parents we are supposed to protect."

Oh I see...it's so much better of men to fight for custody for spitefulness OR to avoid paying child support.

I guess that makes them better then women...

"Think about the Gonzales woman who lost her 3 daughters because the police didn't enforce her restraining order. Off the record, it was because the TROs are handed out like candy on halloween. Her kids are DEAD because so many women take out TROs for the advantage of having their divorce fall under the special DV rules rather than duke it out using the real facts"

Again, you're right. It was OTHER WOMEN'S fault that her ex murdered their children on a visit...NOT the fault of the POLICE, who she contacted three or four times but they refused to intervene OR her ex's fault that he murdered the kids...

It was other women who were at fault.

This again shows men are so much better then women.


"By lumping ALL dads into one pile, it's much like the KKK saying ALL blacks and Jews are bad."

Of course, the men in western civilization (who ONLY run the world btw) are victims too like blacks and jews...

Who knew?????


"As an example, the new Lifetime movie Human Trafficking about girls being bought into slavery/prostitution doesn't cover the whole story. The truth is much more horrible. It's boys and girls. Not just girls. Little boys, young, 3 and 4 years old, are used and abused and raped. The movie doesn't talk about the plight of those boys. The movie doesn't talk about the poor mothers who sell their children into that life."

Does the movie talk about the men (many of them I assume are fathers as well) who are the ones these kids are prostituting themselves to???? Since ALL prostitutes (including the male ones) have MEN as their customers...

I hope the movie doesn't forget to mention that...

Posted by: NYMOM at Oct 24, 2005 10:09:58 AM

"They crave routine, but they want the freedom to love both mommy and daddy. I often remember back to my child psych class, that children often view themselves as half mom and half dad. So by telling them that one or the other is BAD, they will usually draw the conclusion that some of that bad is part of them. So be careful what you tell your kids, or let them overhear."

This is ABSOLUTELY true. I experienced it myself as a child, and it amazes me that so many parents, of both sexes, DON'T GET IT. Thank you for articulating this.

Posted by: Anne at Oct 24, 2005 12:03:04 PM

While some mothers may make false allegations of child abuse and domestic violence, that kind of behavior is not rampant. Some may behave badly towards their ex's ("alienation", for lack of a better word) , but that behavior is also not rampant.

It's not true that women frequently make false allegations of child abuse and domestic violence.

According to the two best and largest studies on the subject, false allegations of sexual abuse are rare -- in the range of 2 to 8 percent [1,2]. That means the other 92%-98% are meritorious, and this 92%-98% comprised the 152,400 *substantiated* cases on record for 1993 alone [3] (and, bearing in mind that child sexual abuse is a highly *underreported* crime, these are just the cases we know about). [1. Thoennes N, Tjaden PG: The extent, nature, and validity of sexual abuse allegations in custody/visitation disputes. Child Abuse & Neglect 14: 151-163, 1990., 2. Everson MD, Boat BW: False allegations of sexual abuse by children and adolescents. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 28: 230-235, 1989., 3. McCurdy K, Daro D: Current trends in child abuse reporting and fatalities: The results of the 1993 annual fifty state survey. Chicago: NCPCA, 1994.]

Everson and Boat found that 17% of the false sexual abuse allegations arose during a custody dispute leading to an age-averaged false allegation rate in custody disputes of 0.8%.(.17x4.7%). (D. Finklehor and S. Araji, J. Sex Research 22, 145 (1986)) (Finklehor, D. Araji, S., _Child sexual assault_) (J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 28, 230 (1989), Everson, M.D. Boat, B. W.)

---

Research does not substantiate this popular myth [that mothers frequently lie about domestic violence to get an upper hand in court]. However, research does substantiate that there is no tactical advantage to making domestic violence claims. Fathers are more likely to get visitation when domestic violence is alleged, even in states with custody presumptions enacted to protect battered women. Abusive athers are more likely to obtain primary custody when domestic violence is present, alleged or not. Mothers who have suffered domestic violence fare even worse in custody disputes when the state has friendly parent provisions. [See generally, Zorza, Joan and Leora Rosen, Violence Against Women, Vol. 11, No. 8 (Aug. 2005); and Dore, Margaret, The Friendly Parent Concept: A Flawed Factor for Child Custody, http://www.margaretdore.com/images/DORE2.pdf]

---

It's not true that TROs are handed out like candy.

The WBA Law Journal
May, 1999, Vol. III No. 1

Why Attorneys Should Routinely
Screen Clients for Domestic Violence

By Pauline Quirion, Esq.

In the recent landmark decision, Custody of Vaughn, the Supreme Judicial Court has observed that "[t]he very frequency of domestic violence . . . may have the effect of inuring courts to it and thus minimizing its significance." A 1994 study of batterers based on the database used to track restraining orders concluded that:


[t]he high frequency with which RO's [sic] are issued might lead some skeptics to assume that these orders are granted too easily for minor offenses and almost any man is at risk of being a defendant. The data from the new RO database in Massachusetts reflect otherwise. Men against whom RO's have been used are clearly not a random draw from the population. They are likely to have a criminal history, often reflective of violent behavior toward others.

Research suggests that false reports of family violence occur infrequently. Although many believe that women especially will lodge false charges of child abuse or battering against their spouses in an effort to manipulate or retaliate, the rate of false reports in these circumstances is no greater than for other crimes.

Most batterers minimize and deny the frequency and severity of their abusive conduct. Similarly, victims often underreport and may minimize the abuse. They may be embarrassed or fear that disclosure will lead to retaliation by the abuser, financial hardship or personal stigma. In addition, some practitioners fail to appreciate that abuse cuts across all class lines and stereotype abuse victims as primarily indigent. These dynamics make it easy for an untrained practitioner to gloss over information pointing to domestic violence and which may be relevant to a client's case or continued safety.

Posted by: The Countess at Oct 24, 2005 12:07:33 PM

"According to the two best and largest studies on the subject, false allegations of sexual abuse are rare -- in the range of 2 to 8 percent [1,2]. That means the other 92%-98% are meritorious, and this 92%-98% comprised the 152,400 *substantiated* cases on record for 1993 alone [3] (and, bearing in mind that child sexual abuse is a highly *underreported* crime, these are just the cases we know about)."

The false sexual abuse ones are rare, I agree.

I'm not so sure about the false child abuse ones; those are made much more frequently I think...

However, didn't we have a Canadian study here (I used it for my blog actually) that showed that FATHERS are more likely to make false child abuse allegations against mothers.

Frankly, I myself have found this to be the case...

From my experience EVERY SINGLE CUSTODIAL FATHER as well as the ones TRYING to get custody have said the same thing to me...and I used to correspond with a LOT of them, both mothers and fathers on another board, the SAME story from every father: the child's mother was abusive to the children, she was NOT spending the child support money on them, she was a slut who had numerous men in the house around the kids, she was dirty and didn't keep the kids clean, didn't feed them, didn't bring them to school, etc., etc., etc.,

I NEVER heard ONE custodial father ever say a good thing about the mother of his children...not ONE...

But I heard PLENTY of custodial mothers say good things about the fathers of their children. Actually even DEFEND them if others tried to say something truthful to her about them...Like women lie to protect men from arrest in dv, that's why many states passed 'must arrest' laws...which now get more women arrested then men (since the psychology of men is totally different then women with these issues)...

Same psychology which men do NOT share btw...

Anyway, the reality is FATHERS are more likely to make false allegations, much more so then mothers...but about child abuse, not sexual abuse...that's the difference I think...

BTW, Richard Gardner, HIMSELF, their own PAS expert commented on this back in 80s-early 90s...he was noticing that half of his clients were MOTHERS who had some custodial fathers talking trash about her to the kids, the neighbors, the kid's school, inlaws...

AND considering how few father HAD custody, this alone probably showed him that men are MORE likely to do this, then women.

We haven't noticed it so much yet, since so few fathers have custody, but the numbers are growing and we are starting to see that men are FAR more spiteful and apt to try to destroy a women's reputation with the community (as well as her kids) when they get custody...

It's probably related to power and control issues which men are more apt to try to control women through these misapplications of their power...

That's why men in a position of power over a woman, such as having custody of her children would give him, CAN NEVER BE TRUSTED to do the right thing.

NEVER...

They will ALWAYS misuse this power over the mother of their children...ALWAYS...

Posted by: NYMOM at Oct 24, 2005 2:26:31 PM

To NYMOM,

From this, "...probably showed him that men are MORE likely to do this..."

To this, "They will ALWAYS misuse this power over the mother of their children...ALWAYS..."

Is a false leap of logic.

Furthermore, your last statement is one that is easily proven false by one individual who lives contrary to your claim.

I am that man.

Posted by: Mark at Oct 24, 2005 3:53:43 PM

"I NEVER heard ONE custodial father ever say a good thing about the mother of his children...not ONE...
But I heard PLENTY of custodial mothers say good things about the fathers of their children. Actually even DEFEND them if others tried to say something truthful to her about them..."

Don't you think that could be one reason why these guys divorce their wives? They're sick and tired of them! I think men who don't petition the court for custody are selfish, because they are abandoning their kid's with these inept women and are only looking out for their own interests. (Usually finding a decent women to marry and start another family with.)

Posted by: Pugdog at Oct 24, 2005 4:15:19 PM

"Furthermore, your last statement is one that is easily proven false by one individual who lives contrary to your claim.

I am that man."

Perhaps...

Exceptions, of course, exist for every rule; that doesn't totally negate the rule.

It just shows there exist those few RARE exceptions to every rule.

Posted by: NYMOM at Oct 24, 2005 4:53:55 PM

So you think it is only Mothers that are getting it hard. Well as I can assure you you are very much mistaken. My self and my son are having terrible problems from a mother(sons Ex Wife)denying him any contact with the children through sheer spite. She admits my son is a very good father but and it really sickens me and disgusts me now to see a site with all fathers are bad only mothers are good. Yes I also came through a divorce but I and was a single parent but I got off my but and went out to work and had a small payment from my husband so don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. I never stopped my children from seeing their father as I believe this damages a child when he/she is ripped from a father he/she loved for the pure spite of a mother.There was no family violence.

Posted by: Jean Beattie at Nov 1, 2005 6:44:29 PM

Beattie's post is so fake. Give me a break. "she admits he's a good father" and is "only denying contact out of sheer spite". Raising children is difficult. Anyone who can rely on a good parent for help with it after divorce does. How do you know there was "no family violence"? This post also implies that women who receive support for their kids are just lazy. Hmm, kind of misogynistic, eh "Jean"? This site does not suggest that any fathers are bad other thanthe ones who beat their wives and rape their childen. Any person who was not abusive could easily get behind that. Wife beaters and child molesters should not have custody. That is what Breaking the Silence argued. I can't believe you people are arguing that they should.

Posted by: Jean Casey at Nov 3, 2005 7:21:27 PM

Gosh, "NY MOM" sure hates women who receive child support! They're all sluts and bitches and lazy huh? Golly, that's what wife beaters say to their wives, which is why they end up divrced.
I wonder if "NY MOM" is really a misogynist guy that is mad his wife dumped him
and hates her so much that he is punishing the kids by not paying their support.
There is sure a lot of rehtoric about "winning" divorces on here and a lot of "women"
attacking women and speaking up in support of abusive men.

Funny none of the "women" attacking the documentary are talking about the needs of
raped children or battered women.

Posted by: Bob Johnson at Nov 3, 2005 7:28:01 PM

Howcome no one on here is talking about abused children? That's what the movie was about.
Don't you care what happens to childen who are raped by their fathers?
Do you all really believe that the rapists should get custody?

Posted by: Chris Miller at Nov 3, 2005 7:30:57 PM

So, "NY MOM" is advising that children who are abused by dad be told that dad is
a great guy and what he is doing to you is ok?
Parents need to confirm children's observations that rape and battering are not OK
and not OK even if it is dad doing it. They do not need to be told the person abusing
them or their mom is "good".

Posted by: JenniferJacobs at Nov 3, 2005 7:40:12 PM

What do you do about a father's rights activist who is a liar, a batterer, a parental alienator, a sociopath, and is verbally, emotionally and mentally abusive to his child and the child's mother. This man further got custody of his child reversed to him by kidnapping and fabricating stories you would not believe and threatening to kill people. He is also a convicted felon, deliberately disobeys court orders and everything i've seen that he has written is bullshit, particularly when all of his bullshit can be backed up with factual evidence and testimony, even by that of his former friends. Don't believe everything these poor, victimized fathers tell you. Do your background research first.

Posted by: Susie at Jan 12, 2006 3:19:53 PM

I found this sight by accident and I cannot believe what I read.
When one of you tell a story about something that differs from the anti-father agenda
you bash her. She is one of you. I guess you don't want to hear the truth. I have lived
with the same problem for 19 years now and the state of Texas is still keeping me from
seeing my son now about 20 years old. His mother went into hiding and was under no
obligation to let me know where he lived or lives. I am not part of a movement but
a ticked of victim of a corrupt system. I believe in being part of a childs life.
I have an 11 year old daughter that I cannot help support because the family courts of
Texas say I owe arrears after the case has been closed. These numbers do not exist but
they are taking money anyway. Now all you self rightious people that judge others
will have your day in front of the lord. Oh by the way if you feel that an illegal
order can take money from a sweet 11 year old girls mother to help support me is
proper than you truly are mean and bitter ladies. Take a look inside you have issues.
Kudos for the ladies that just stick to the truth. This country will belong to the kids.
How can they have it if they don't have a proper family. Only the truth is needed.

Posted by: Rick Fravel at Feb 9, 2006 9:01:37 PM

Gee, the trolls just won't crawl into the woodwork and die. I have intimate knowledge of what fathers' rights activists have done to harass and intimidate PBS into condemning the documentary "Breaking The Silence:: Children's Stories", which is what this post is about. Every fathers' rights sympathizer, male or female, has a sob story about how he or her husband says feminists don't "want to hear the truth". Cry me a river. I've heard "the truth" from many fathers' rights sympathizers and their female cheerleading sections, and it's a crocodile tears cry for "recognition". These guys are all "victims". Give it up. I don't want to hear that kind of crap on my blog.

Since the topic of my post was the documentary "Breaking The Silence: Children's Stories", I should mention that despite a vicious campaign of harassment, PBS sided with the documentary makers. PBS agreed that the documentary presented facts about how abused children are ignored by the courts, and favor is given to abusive fathers. I don't have the time or desire to deal with "victim " statements by fathers rights sympathizers. Take it elsewhere, folks. You aren't welcome here.

Posted by: The Countess at Feb 9, 2006 10:07:35 PM

I think you misunderstood me. It isn't about fathers rights but about the families
and children. This was not an attack but the truth. The show misrepresented the facts
that is all.
Try not to bash people that have a different opinion.
Don't bother responding it will most likely be a one sided comment. I am sorry if
anyone has wronged you but you may still want to look inside your soul to find
happiness. Everyone is judged before the lord.

Posted by: RIck Fravel at Feb 9, 2006 10:26:16 PM

It's never about fathers' rights but always about families and children. Cry me a river. What makes you think I have been wronged, or that I need to appease myself in front of your "lord"? I am a happily married custodial mother with a stepson who is now in college. I'm a poster child for the Second Wives Club, but they wouldn't want me knowing how I think. I know the fathers' rights sympathizer rhetoric. Your comment was only about your "victim" status about a "child" who is now 20 years old - an adult who doesn't want to speak to you. Now you have an eleven year old daughter that you owe child support to (arrears). Pay up and shut up. Don't get on the cases of allegedly "mean and bitter ladies", but look at your own history. It speaks for itself. I get so tired of hearing from fathers' rights sympathizers. They think only of their own welfare, and you are no different.

Posted by: The Countess at Feb 9, 2006 10:43:41 PM

"The show misrepresented the facts that is all."

"Breaking The Silence: Children's Stories" did not misrepresent the facts. PBS recently came out with a final statement that supported the documentary's facts, even though father's rights activists had attacked the documentary. A 20 page missive by the fathers' rights group "Fathers and Families" did not convince PBS that the documentary had misrepresented any facts. PBS stood by the documentary ,much to the rage of fathers' rights activists.

I know that the documentary was shown today in Washington, D. C. to professionals who work on children's issues. It's getting around, and it's getting the attention that it deserves. I wish I could have been there. I would have given it more support than I already have.

Posted by: The Countess at Feb 9, 2006 10:49:14 PM

I was abused by my mother. If you have ever seen the large wooden utensils that hang
on the kitchen wall for decoration. a 2 foot wooden spoon and fork. Both were broken
over my back end. I lived the abuse side also. I was the reason my parents got
merried and my mother let me know it.
This is my very last comment. Just remember I lived what the show was about the
difference is the abuse was by my mother and not my father.
Believe it or not I really do listen what you say even though I do not agree.
Discussion is good.
Be less abrasive. More people may listen.

Posted by: Rick Fravel at Feb 9, 2006 11:21:56 PM

Stop making excuses for why you have such a lousy relationship with your 20 year old and your younger child. You owe arrears, and you can't get away from that. All I hear from you are excuses. And "Breaking The Silence" was found to be factual, as I stated in my earlier comment. You are ignoring the focus of my original post to whine about your personal life. Take it elsewhere. Don't tell me to be "less abrasive". That's a stopper, and it won't work on me. It won't work on my blog.

Posted by: The Countess at Feb 9, 2006 11:27:45 PM