Today Show shows bias towards mothers and ignores domestic violence claims

The Today Show has featured several fathers who’ve had their kids “abducted.” Today they had Michael McCarty on. There was an allegation of domestic violence, but the Today Show blew right by it. Meanwhile, recent research shows most of these abductions DO involve domestic violence.

Here’s a Time Magazine article on it: Protecting kids: Rethinking the Hague convention 

Notice the comments by Christopher Savoie on the Time piece. (I think he was on the Today Show too). He keeps ranting about the “women are just as agressive as men” crap that the Men’s Rights Advocates and misogynist Fathers Rights guys use to paint women as violent and evil. They’re using cherry-picked data, of course, that even the researcher who finds mutual violence –  Gelles – warns against doing because it doesn’t represent the whole picture or the fact that women suffer the most.  A lot of these guys in the Fathers Rights movement have had charges/convictions against them (see XY Online; the Liz Library).

These guys are portraying themselves as innocent victims and the media is believing them, without question. Ignoring domestic violence claims is despicable. Please write to the Today Show 

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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.

 

 

Denial runs deep

I’ve often asked, is it a deniar or a liar? Allegations of abuse are often met with disbelief. Sites claiming “false allegations” imprison innocent men run into the hundreds of thousands (google ‘false allegations’ to see for yourself). We use “alleged” rapist or murderer and offer potential perps more rights than victims, who have had their identities revealed in print and who have been bashed for reporting abuse (think of any woman who has ever accused a professional athlete). On the other hand, denial runs deep among the accused, yet we never hear about this phenomenom.

Here’s an article about a man jailed for molesting an 8th grader and then goes on to sue the victim for defamation charges:

Defamation conspiracy leads to judgment against molestation victim 

In 1999, Cutlip was an eighth-grader in Ashland, Ohio, and Copeland-Jackson, then 26, was one of his tutors. Copeland-Jackson molested Cutlip while helping the 14-year-old on a school project. He was convicted of two counts of gross sexual imposition of Cutlip and another boy and sentenced to three years in state prison, court records show.

While in an Ohio prison, he befriended Brandel, a paralegal who had learned about the case and believed that Copeland-Jackson had been wrongly accused, federal prosecutors said.

Copeland-Jackson was released from prison in late 2003. He changed his name legally to Xavier Justice in 2004, but he used both identities interchangeably and filed the federal suit under his original name, prosecutors said.

Later…

Copeland-Jackson then filed court papers in which Brandel swore that Cutlip had told him he was “sorry for lying” about the sex abuse accusations. Over the next few months, Copeland-Jackson even filed court papers on behalf of Cutlip — forging his signature on the documents — saying the allegations had been false and he didn’t wish to contest the defamation suit, federal prosecutors allege.

He moved to the District to live with his mother, and in 2006 he contacted Brandel and they started work on a scheme that they hoped would “coerce or fool” Cutlip into recanting his accusations, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Mitzelfeld wrote in court papers.

“I did not have any kind of sexual contact with David Copeland-Jackson,” Cutlip supposedly wrote in one document. “I willfully lied.”

In June, Copeland-Jackson filed his $3 million defamation of character lawsuit against Cutlip before U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle. He alleged that he was defamed by “false comments to third parties that [he] engaged in certain homosexual activities with” him.

Copeland-Jackson, who represented himself, soon filed court papers falsely claiming that the suit had been served on Cutlip, and Brandel signed an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he had handed the papers to Cutlip.

In the 1980s there was “false memory syndrome,” which claimed the victims had a false memory that they strongly believed in. Today there’s false allegations and the media pay more attention to these stories than to unreported or underreported cases of abuse (like rape) or to understanding why we fail to detect or to believe cases of abuse. Consider the study done by Stanton (1997). Stanton looked at 4 popular press magazines and found that in 1991 more than 80% were weighted towards survivors, but in 1994 more than 80% were focused on false allegations (see: Bias in psychiatric diagnosis). I’d be interested in seeing a study that compared men making false allegations to women making them. Bala & Schuman, for example, found that more men make false allegations in family court than women, but we never hear about it:

This indicates that the problem of deliberate fabrication by noncustodial parents (largely fathers)

is more prevalent than deliberate fabrications of abuse by custodial parents (largely mothers) and their

children.