Family court chaos: abuse, audits and “alienation”

Here are several pieces on the horrors of family court, here and abroad.

First research study on how local authorities work with domestically abusive fathers  from the Charity Family Rights Group in the UK. The report is available from this site, but there is a charge. Here’s a link to the Baby P case they reference – Warning – there’s a graphic description of the abuse this infant experienced. This article mentions there’s been 30 other similar cases recently (sigh) : Baby P: Born into a nightmare of abuse, violence and despair, he never stood a chance

Excerpt from “First research study…”:

The audit of the 70 case files in three authorities found that: 

The majority but not all perpetrators of domestic abuse were birth fathers

  • In 57 cases the perpetrator of the domestic abuse was the birth father and in 12 cases the mother’s partner. 

 The severity of the abuse was stark

  • In 41% of the cases the adult victim had been pregnant at the time of being abused.
  • In at least 37% of the cases there had been more than six separate reported incidents of domestic violence.

 A great many of the children were in contact with their fathers ·   Only 12% of perpetrators were noted on the files as having definitely lost contact as a result of the domestic violence.   

But

Ø     In only 31 cases (44%) was the phone number of the birth father on the files;

Ø    There was a lack of assessment and information about the parenting capacity of 61% of these fathers;

Ø    In the sample, 48 core assessments were undertaken (i.e. to assess the level of the child’s need/or to assess risk when there were child protection concerns)  yet the father was not seen or contacted by phone in 32% (15) of these cases ; 

Ø    The offer of attending a domestic violence perpetrator programme was made to only 14 of the 53 perpetrators. 

Speaking of audits, here are some press pieces from the audit of Marin County family court:

Marin Voice:  Audit unveils court problems

Marin court right to implement audit advice

And, lastly, I want to mention that the Huffington Post has been running posts on parental alienation. Cathy Meyer wrote an article that bashed the National Organization of Women (NOW). I suppose the rookie didn’t want to take on all the other organizations that discredit parental alienation:

The American Bar Association, American Prosecutors Research Institute, National District Attorneys Association, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges…

The National District Attorneys Association says on their Web site, “PAS is an unproven theory that can threaten the integrity of the criminal justice system and the safety of abused children.”

Meyer admits in the comment section that she doesn’t know much about domestic violence but suspects it’s not very common. You’d think she’d visit at least one domestic violence site before writing about PAS.  

I give up on contacting the Huffpo – we sent them a sign on letter with over 2o signatories of individuals(lawyers, writers, advocates) and organizations involved in domestic violence and child abuse. They didn’t respond. I then sent them “Case #1” (Katie Tagle, who the judge claimed denied access to the father – the father who ended up killing their 9-month-old son). So they let me submit an article on PAS (posted on my blog below) – a small consolation, esp considering they then ran the Meyer piece afterwards. It was so poorly researched – She read a book on PAS (according to a comment she wrote on the Internet) and now *poof* she’s an expert. Meanwhile, abusers are getting off the hook with PAS, the abuse excuse.

Huffington Post really needs to get some better writers  – ones able to do a little research – they owe that much to their readers.

Advertisements

Not in the best interest of the children

Counselor sexually abuses 3 girls and gets…probation

Juvenile Counselor Sexually Assaults 3 Teen Girls, Gets Probation?!
Sign Our Petition NOW & Help Secure Justice for Victims

Last week, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Cassandra Mullen proposed a sentence of ten years probation with absolutely no jail time for a court-appointed juvenile counselor–Tony Simmons–who pled guilty to raping one girl and sexually assaulting two others that he was transporting to Manhattan Family Court. Court transcripts show that prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office did not object to the no-jail time plea.

In one of the instances, the assailant brought a 15-year-old girl entrusted to his custody down to the basement of the court building to rape her. Just moments after the attack he escorted her to her scheduled court appearance.

Take Action: We need you to send the message that this is outrageous!

1. Sign our petition NOW to Justice Cassandra Mullen to demand jail time for this violent offender and justice for the victims.

2. Forward the petition and the article to five friends, and post on Facebook and Twitter. The more signatures we get, the bigger our impact on this case.
Petition URL: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/now-nyc_justiceforassaultvictims/

3. Get the Daily News Article | See Our Letter-to-the-Editor: Troubling Case

Source: NOW

Child psychiatrist keeps on abusing…

The 2005 incident took place two years after the one for which Olmsted was forced to register as a sex offender.

“To find that the state board knew of not one but two complaints of impropriety with young girls and yet allowed this doctor to continue his practice with children is unconscionable,” the father wrote. “I am severely disappointed with the state of Texas right now and doubtful of its ability to stand watch over her children.”

Carona’s ire was raised after he learned that Olmsted was publicly reprimanded by the board in August and placed on probation with restrictions on his license for 10 years. A neighbor accused him of touching her beneath her clothes and sucking her toes when she was 10.

“As a father of five, it outrages me” that someone who practiced with children, then violated a child, “would somehow be allowed to retain his medical license,” Carona said.

“Holding on to that license, regardless of the restrictions that may have been stacked up on it, has an air of legitimacy, and I think could in fact further endanger others.”

Read about it here: 2nd family accuses child psychiatrist of misconduct with 10-year-old girl

And, don’t count on CPS to help children either…

Child Protective Services investigated more than three million cases of suspected child abuse in 2007, but a new study suggests that the investigations did little or nothing to improve the lives of those children.

And-

In an editorial published with the study, starkly titled “Child Protective Services Has Outlived Its Usefulness,” Dr. Abraham B. Bergman suggests some essential changes: child abuse, because it is a crime, should be investigated by the police; public health nursing services should be the first to respond to concerns of child neglect; social workers should assess appropriate living situations and work with families to obtain services, and not be engaged in law enforcement. But Dr. Bergman, who is a pediatrician at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, expressed considerable skepticism that such changes would happen.

Read about it in the New York Times here: Child abuse investigations didn’t reduce risk, a study finds  

Protective Parents

Here are some resources for protective parents, people who make allegations of abuse in family court and are not believed. The newsletter (link below) includes information on a clearinghouse, a brochure, a letter on PAS, and another event to help raise awareness about family court catastrophes (a two-day event in DC on Friday, October 1st and Saturday, October 2nd – Please come and join us!)

NOW Foundation