My response to Warshak was posted on RH Reality Check today. Please check it out & comment:
If you live in the DC area, please come to this discussion on how the media treat domestic violence and teen dating violence:
Here’s a prime example of blaming the victim. In this case, a woman who has been the victim of domestic violence is blamed for child abuse (exposure to violence committed by her husband). In this case, the perpetrator, the husband, is responsible for the abuse committed by his actions on his wife and the indirect actions of this violence to his child. She is not responsible for his actions. She is a victim. Estimates place child exposure to domestic violence at 3-8 million. Society will not hold mothers (or fathers, as the case may be) responsible for another person’s behavior. If she can barely keep him from beating her, how can she be expected to protect her child? Furthermore, why is he not charged with child abuse when he’s hitting the mother – isn’t it the same idea as this case? Clearly, it’s a double standard and blaming the victim mentality to charge a victim of violence, and not the perpetrator of violence, with child abuse.
Horrible headline. Please write a letter to the editor: http://www.bangordailynews.com/external/contact/letter.php?KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=500&width=500
Here’s some bad news for domestic violence advocates:
Herb Titus, counsel for Gun Owners of America, agrees. He sees challenges, as well, to registration and licensing restrictions, to age restrictions for gun ownership, and to limits on the number of guns that can be bought at one time. But first in the pipeline of challenges, he says, will be challenges to laws banning guns for those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.
Interesting article in the New York Times Magazine, which discusses the link between domestic violence and animal abuse:
“It really has only been in recent years that there’s been more free and accurate reporting with respect to animal cruelty, just like 30 years ago domestic violence was not something that was commonly reported,” she said. “Clearly every act of violence committed against an animal is not a sign that somebody is going to hurt a person. But when there’s a pattern of abusive behavior in a family scenario, then everyone from animal-control to family advocates to the court system needs to consider all vulnerable victims, including animals, and understand that violence is violence.”====Whatever the particular intimidation tactics used, their effectiveness is indisputable. In an often-cited 1997 survey of 48 of the largest shelters in the United States for victims of domestic violence and child abuse, more than 85 percent of the shelters said that women who came in reported incidents of animal abuse; 63 percent of the shelters said that children who came in reported the same. In a separate study, a quarter of battered women reported that they had delayed leaving abusive relationships for the shelter out of fear for the well-being of the family pet. In response, a number of shelters across the country have developed “safe haven” programs that offer refuges for abused pets as well as people, in order that both can be freed from the cycle of intimidation and violence.
And here’s an ominous article about things to come in Baltimore:
In the Believe Women department, we have this excellent post by Elizabeth Black on the Ms. Blog:
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
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.
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.
Couldn’t resist. Maryland “legislators” are being called pigs and for good reason. Recently, they failed to lower the level of evidence from “clear and convincing” to “preponderance,” a measure that would have made it easier for citizens to get restraining orders against those that pose a threat.
Amy Castillo testified at the hearing to support HB 700. She sought a restraining order and was denied because she wasn’t found credible. Dr. Castillo, a pediatrician with a clean record, said her husband threatened to kill their 3 children. Mark Castillo, who vandalized their doors & windows, had problems with mental illness, and threatened to kill their 3 children – well, folks, I guess HE was seen as credible – later DROWNED their 3 children one-by-one in a hotel bathroom.
There is a deeply-rooted problem in society, being stoked by Men’s Rights Activists and Fathers Righters, that women are not credible (in their words, women are “vindictive liars”). The consequences are not only that men get away with crimes or that “innocent men” can keep their clean records – the consequences result in the death of women and children on a weekly, if not daily, basis. (See the recent case of Katie Tagle who was called a liar several times in court and whose husband took their 9-month-old son and killed him – there’s plenty of other similar cases). Women are far from winning equality as long as they are seen as less credible than men.
Here’s a bone-chilling article about domestic violence in the Washington Post today. While they describe the perp’s background, it’s not the typical “nice guy kills wife” template (the woman in this case did survive). They actually uncover his temper, his wife’s concerns about his control issues, and they even interview domestic violence experts.
Check out this recent post on Dastardly Dads – http://dastardlydads.blogspot.com/2010/02/76-killer-dads-fathers-who-ended-their.html She’s counted 76 cases of Dads murdering their children during visitation or custody. According to the Leadership Council on Child Abuse over 58,000 children go into unsupervised visitation or custody each year. These days family courts hand over the kids because, well, parental rights trump safety, don’t they? When women allege abuse, courts think they’re being ‘manipulative’ in order to get a favorable decision. They turn their backs on these women and readily hand over the kids–to abusers and murderers.
Check out these RECENT cases:
Jesus Roman Fuentes-
Murder-suicide of 7-year-old boy in Greece, NY-
Danielle Horvat/David Aguilar