Believe Women

In the Believe Women department, we have this excellent post by Elizabeth Black on the Ms. Blog:

Abused women in Maryland aren’t lying

It’s well-written and backed up by evidence both in her post and in her comment section.

If you need another reminder as to why we should believe women, see this news article on domestic violence. The father slashes his daughter’s neck and kills her 3-month-old child. She tried for 19 months to leave her father. The state attorney’s office dropped charges on one occassion, she was denied a restraining order on another, and the father ended up slashing her on the day after another restraining order ended. She did the right things, but the system set up to protect her, failed her.

Here’s the link to the article: Alleged Lehigh killer denied bond

Excerpts:

This wasn’t the first time Rosales allegedly attacked his daughter.

Deputies arrived at another Lehigh home where the family lived in October 2008 to find Rosales Salazar’s face swollen and beaten. They placed Rosales in handcuffs and charged him with battery, although the state attorney’s office would later drop the charge. It could not be determined Friday why the charge was dismissed.

AND

Once, in 2009, Rosales Salazar tried to move away from her father, but he followed her to her new home and choked her, according to court records. Her request for a protective order against him at that time was denied.

 

Here’s another article. It’s about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS; Parental Alienation; or, Parental Disorder – because they can’t get ANY of them accepted by the scientific community). PAS is based on the misogynist principle that women lie about child sexual abuse…

The term was coined in 1985 by New York psychiatrist Richard Gardner. He described it as a disorder that causes a child to vilify a parent without reason. It often arises, he said, in bitter custody cases in which one parent brainwashes a child against the other parent by making false accusations of sexual abuse. 

The article discusses Rachel’s House, a center that receives FEDERAL FUNDS to reunite children with parents they fear or harbor negative feelings towards:

The couple say that 93 percent of the kids they have dealt with show an improved relationship with a previously reviled parent. But some children who have gone through the program say they were threatened and cut off from the parent they loved.

“You can’t just open a facility with no accreditation, no oversight and say, ‘This is what we do,’ especially when you’re dealing with vulnerable children,” Silberg says.

Hero to fathers

The controversy over Rachel House and parental alienation syndrome is fanned by what many consider the outrageous ideas of the man who inspired both.

A onetime Columbia University professor, Richard Gardner thought society is too harsh on adults who have sex with kids.

What I am against is the excessively moralistic and punitive reaction that many members of our society have toward pedophiles . . . far beyond what I consider the gravity of the crime,” he wrote in 1991.

Though he called pedophilia “a bad thing,” Gardner argued that it’s common in many cultures and that children might be less harmed by sex abuse than by the “trauma” of the legal process.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Gardner was widely quoted in counterpoint to what some felt were sensationalized allegations of sex abuse in day care centers. He was also a well-paid witness in custody cases, almost always appearing on behalf of the father.

Gardner contended that sex abuse allegations arising from divorce are usually false, made by a vindictive mother trying to cut off a child from the father. His typical advice: Kids should be forced to see the estranged parent, and judges should punish the “alienating” parent.

Those views made Gardner a hero to the fathers’ rights movement and an anathema to child advocacy groups.

 

 

MediaFAIL

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Sex, Stereotypes and Beauty

WUNRN
 
SEX STEREOTYPES & BEAUTY – COMMERCIAL IMAGES OF WOMEN
  
NOW Foundation
 
Direct Link to 84-Page Presentation:
 
Do you love what you see when you look in the mirror?
 

Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries work hard to make each of us believe that our bodies are unacceptable and need constant improvement. Print ads and television commercials reduce us to body parts — lips, legs, breasts — airbrushed and touched up to meet impossible standards. TV shows tell women and teenage girls that cosmetic surgery is good for self-esteem.

Press release: Mother’s Day Vigil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                     Contacts:        Connie Valentine 916-233-8381

May 3, 2010                                                                          Kathleen Russell 415-250-1180

MOTHERS OF LOST CHILDREN TO GATHER FOR

WHITE HOUSE VIGIL ON MOTHERS DAY

12 Noon Press Conference with Grieving Moms from Across America

Mothers from across America who have lost their children because family courts ordered them into full custody or unsupervised visitation with their alleged abusers will gather for their first silent vigil at 11:00 am on Mothers’ Day, May 9, 2010 in front of the White House.

“We decided that Mother’s Day was the perfect time to stand vigil in front of the White House with mothers from all over America whose children are either dead or living in harm’s way because of the broken family court system,” said Connie Valentine, the vigil organizer and Co-founder of the California Protective Parents Association.

Experts at the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence estimate that more than 58,000 children each year are either placed into dangerous homes or forced to go on unsupervised visits with their alleged abusers by divorce courts that simultaneously deny the children’s safe, protective parents access to their sexually and physically abused children.

The 11am silent vigil and 12noon press conference will take place in front of Lafayette Square, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Mildred Muhammad, the ex-wife of the Beltway Sniper, will join grieving mothers who recently appeared on the Dr. Phil Show’s Crisis in the Family Courts. California mother Katie Tagle, whose nine-month old baby Wyatt was murdered by his father, and Illinois mother Amy Leichtenberg, whose two school-aged children Duncan and Jack were murdered by their father, will share their tragic stories of desperately trying to keep their children alive. Advocates Kathleen Russell from the Center for Judicial Excellence and Eileen King from Justice for Children, who have been closely monitoring this escalating crisis for years, will discuss their work to expose and remedy the most under-reported human rights scandal in the United States.

These mothers of lost children are soccer moms, kindergarten teachers, physicians, flight attendants, dentists and homemakers. Most of them are middle class, educated and ordinary. They are safe, loving mothers (not addicts or abusers) who have been rendered powerless to protect their children from court-ordered child abuse. Most are battered women who tried to flee domestic abuse to save their children, only to end up mired in our nation’s family courts, unable to protect them at all.  

“America’s Moms are coming to the President and First Lady to request a federal investigation into these horrific civil and human rights abuses. I need to make sure that that no parent has to ever go through this incredible pain again, and that my Duncan and Jack’s deaths mean something, ” said Amy Leichtenberg.

A cottage industry of mental health professionals and attorneys with cozy relationships with family court judges routinely bankrupt families with enormous court-ordered fees and often recommend that children be placed with their sexually or physically abusive fathers. Family court judges frequently ignore evidence of abuse, refuse to hear direct testimony from the children, and rubberstamp their cronies’ recommendations. Nurturing mothers are forced to pay costly fees to attend supervised visits with the children they raised, watching helplessly as their children continue to report abuse by their abusers to uncaring visitation monitors. Mothers who speak out about system failure often face judicial retaliation and lose what little time they have with their children. The unregulated cottage industry churns away, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to experts, while some of the worst cases settle only when the children turn 18. This is a national epidemic that is destroying families across America.

<Mothers of Lost Children Gather at White House.pdf>