The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

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Protesters say NJ court denies justice to women

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2009 at 10:59 am

Protesters say NJ court denies justice to women

Participants allege ‘bias’ in decisions involving abuse

 njProtestersSayNJCourt

Women picket outside the family court building in Newark, demanding justice for women and children who allege abuse.

Photo by Robert Wiene

by Robert Wiener
NJJN Staff Writer

April 30, 2009

More than 100 women, many active in several local and national Jewish organizations, picketed outside the family courts in downtown Newark Monday, demanding that its judges give more equitable treatment to alleged victims of physical and mental abuse.

Organizers charged that male judges often side with their fellow men and tend to disbelieve women’s allegations that they and their children have been physically and sometimes sexually abused by former husbands.

“We are very concerned that custody is given to abusive parents, especially fathers who abuse their children. There are judges who are biased, and terrible things are happening. Women are not believed when they or their children are abused,” said Sylvia Steiner of West Orange, a principal organizer of the demonstration.

In an interview after the rally, Irene Weiser, executive director of a website called StopFamilyViolence.org, told NJ Jewish News that “New Jersey is no better or worse than other states” when it comes to judges’ gender bias.

Citing national studies, she said “there is a history of domestic violence involved in child custody disputes in a majority of high-conflict divorce cases….”

“When abusive men contest and fight for custody, too often they get it. Judges ignore evidence of family violence and sexual abuse, decide mothers are lying, and order children into the hands of an abuser. It defies all logic and any semblance of justice,” she said.

IMPORTANT: The following audiovisual piece includes real-life interviews featuring disturbing verbal content and statements on child abuse and domestic violence. Viewer discretion is advised.

Prof. Garland Waller produced "Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Family Courts" which is an independent documentary that explores the relationship between domestic violence, child sexual abuse and custody laws in America. To learn more about the stories of the women seen in this 10 minute clip, please go to http://batteredmotherscustodyconferen…

 

Weiser urged that independent panels be appointed to investigate abuse allegations to avoid judicial bias.

Gathering on Washington Street shortly after 11 a.m. and rallying through the lunch hour, the demonstrators chanted, “We demand justice for battered women and children.”

Among those at the rally was “Rebecca,” who did not wish to be identified because her case is still pending in family court.

She identified herself as a suburban Jewish woman with a professional career. She alleged that her ex-husband sexually abused their two children.

After a custody battle lasting three years, Rebecca said, she lost her home and most of her assets. She and her husband currently take turns caring for their two young girls.

“I have not been given a fair trial in family court,” she told NJJN. “I am trying to protect my daughters. I believed they were harmed. I am so scared of retaliation.

“I have invested every resource I’ve had and fought long and hard within the system. I do believe there was a lot of evidence in support of our allegations of abuse and violence, but it was swept under the rug.”

Many in the crowd said they had joined the rally to demand fair treatment for Rebecca and her children.

Shelli Brosh of West Orange, an organizer of Mothers for Legal Justice, told her sidewalk audience that the judge in Rebecca’s case denied an independent investigation of the child molestation charges, which were confirmed by six of seven experts who examined the children. The seventh said the evidence was inconclusive.

“Citizens of New Jersey have a right to demand higher standards for our judges,” Brosh said, “particularly when the lives of a mother and two little girls hang in the balance.”

Others who carried signs demanding greater justice for women and children told NJJN they had faced their own problems in family court.

“I’ve seen, as a school teacher, children who have suffered from the injustice of court decisions that are tearing them apart,” said Elaine Brown of Florham Park, a former director of education at Temple B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills. “We should take a look at the justice system so that we can have a more impartial, unbiased system. The focus should be on what is best for the children without judicial bias” or reference to “money or influence.”

Following the rally, Superior Court assignment judge Patricia Costello told The Star-Ledger that family court judges are fair-minded people who make “tough decisions.”

“All judges are bound by the rules of evidence, and their rulings must be based on careful consideration and backed by detailed documentation,” she said. “All the while, the family court judge must remain dispassionate during proceedings that are often highly emotional.”

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Ex-judge wants to practice law again

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2009 at 7:44 am

 

Ex-judge wants to practice law again

By Denise G. Callahan
Staff Writer Updated 9:59 AM Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Former Mason Municipal Court Judge George Parker has been cleared by his doctor to practice law again.

Parker, who was suspended from practicing law in October 2007, filed a request with the Ohio Supreme Court, Tuesday, April 28, to have his law license reinstated.

The Ohio Supreme Court suspended Parker from practicing law for 18 months in October 2007. The court said six months could be erased if Parker adhered to all the directives. He did not apply for reinstatement after the one year mark.

Parker said he had no comment, but his doctor M. Douglas Reed gave him a clean bill of psychological health.

“He has addressed and corrected the underlying causes for his previous harsh, arrogant and condescending behavior,” Reed wrote to the Supreme Court. “In my professional opinion, to a reasonable degree of psychological certainty, Mr. Parker is currently able to practice law in a competent, ethical and professional manner.”

The high court yanked Parker’s law license and threw him off the Mason court for bizarre behavior his attorney attributed to his diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder. As part of the reinstatement process, Parker had to get cleared by a mental health professional, before he could get his law license back.

Parker was charged with 31 counts he acted inappropriately on the bench, including requiring a victim of domestic violence be photographed and riding along on an arrest on a case he would later hear.

According to Jonathan Coughlan, the Supreme Court’s disciplinary counsel, the court clerk’s office will be verifying all the information Parker has filed with his reinstatement request and then the high court will rule. It could take a couple weeks or as many as six, he said.

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Happy Abusers Awareness Day!

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2009 at 9:25 pm

 

Happy Abusers Awareness Day!

Filed under: Activism, Alec Baldwin, CSPAS, Child Abuse, Child Custody Battle, Child custody for fathers, Children and Domestic Violence, Children’s rights, Custody Evaluators, Domestic Violence, Dr. Richard Gardner, Family Courts, Fatherhood groups, Fathers Rights, Getting Screwed by the Whores of the Court, Getting screwed by the Family Courts, Getting screwed by the politicians, Help for Victims of Domestic Violence, Judicial Immunity, Legal abuse, Maternal Deprivation, Mother Child Relationship, Noncustodial Mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Protect yourself from FR groups, Psychologists, Rachel Foundation, Raving lunatics, Speak Out, Violence against women, fathers fighting for custody

investigatepas

Thanks Anonymums for the great graphic!

Father’s Rights groups ran wild trying to get our governors to proclaim today “Parental Alienation Awareness Day.”  Of the few governors that signed, I believe most were duped about this claim often used by abusive parents, being such an easy online process for the most part.  One state even states on their website when applying for a proclamation:

“Issuance of a proclamation does not constitute an endorsement by the Governor.”

Good try guys.  People are learning the truth of the “Parental Alienation” scam meant to support the Whores of the Court by the abusers who hire them.  Your cult even had to run to Canada to hold a conference on this.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges discredited the theory.  It stated:

The discredited “diagnosis” of “PAS” (or allegation of “parental alienation”), quite apart from its scientific invalidity, inappropriately asks the court to assume that the children’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be “alienated” have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the children’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating and/or discrediting ways toward the children themselves, or the children’s other parent.

Yes, they really did report this.  Family court judges should be made to read this!  See Page 24 of the report below.

Navigating Custody & Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide by Clare Dalton LLM, et.al., please click here.

Are good fathers sucked in by this?  You betcha.  With all due respect to several fathers who respectfully comment here, you guys have been duped too.  Call it what it is….if your child has been turned from you, don’t allow someone to label it parental alienation, call it what it is….parental kidnapping, parent-bashing, whatever.  Call it what it is.

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Houston we have a problem-The shooters are all men

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2009 at 2:39 am

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/04/18-8

Published on Saturday, April 18, 2009 by CommonDreams.org

Denormalizing the Signs of Impending Disaster

by Michael Schwalbe

Warning signs can go unheeded because we normalize them. According to some analysts, this is what happened in the case of the Challenger space shuttle disaster. On January 28, 1986, less than two minutes after taking off, the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters exploded, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
In her book The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, sociologist Diane Vaughan asks why NASA managers decided to launch the shuttle, despite warnings from engineers that the mission should be delayed because of potential problems with the solid rocket boosters in the below-normal January cold.

Vaughan’s answer points to what was normal in the social world of NASA at that time: minor compromises in design and performance; equipment that deviated slightly from specifications; and pushing ahead with flight schedules, despite engineers’ worries over seemingly small technical anomalies.

According to Vaughan, the recommendation to delay the flight was ignored because having problems and anomalies on the shuttle were taken-for-granted aspects of NASA culture. So was the tendency for engineers to worry. Against this backdrop, Vaughan says, signals of danger appeared mixed, weak, and routine, and thus were not taken seriously enough.

So far this year, eight mass shootings have resulted in nearly 60 deaths. As at NASA in the case of the Challenger, there have been ample warning signs. But because these signs are so commonplace in our culture, we have either ignored or failed to see them.

After each shooting, the question has been asked, Why do people do this sort of thing? The experts typically consulted are psychologists, who cite depression, social isolation, anger, and shame as causes. The most often mentioned contextual factor is the easy availability of guns.

But to ask, Why do people do this sort of thing?, is already to ignore the obvious pattern. It is not people of all kinds who kill because they are depressed, isolated, despairing, angry, or feeling shame. The shooters are all men. So the question we should be asking is, Why do men do this sort of thing?

One reason this question is seldom asked is that violence and manhood in U.S. culture are thoroughly normalized. As anti-violence educator Jackson Katz documents in his film "Tough Guise," over the past twenty years violence has come to be the defining feature of manhood in America. Violence and masculinity have become nearly synonymous.

This is not to say that all men are violent, or even that all men go around pretending to be Rambo just beneath the surface. Of course not. Yet all men are judged by a cultural standard that says a real man — one who deserves all the privileges of being a member of the dominant gender group — should have a capacity for violence and a willingness to use it when necessary.

The same cultural standard says that real men are able to exert control over the environment, over others, and over themselves. To be a victim of external forces is thus nearly the opposite of what it means to be a man in U.S. culture. It is hard to feel put upon, demeaned, or controlled by others, and still feel worthy of respect as a man.

The great contradiction, however, is that in a capitalist society most men don’t have much power. A relative handful of men control vast economic resources, make laws, control the police, and command armies. These men can indeed make decisions, backed by force, that deny most other men and nearly all women control over their own lives.

On the one hand, then, real men are expected to be able to exert control; on the other hand, they lack the resources — wealth, status, institutional authority — to do so. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that some men try to compensate for their lack of power by displaying a capacity for violence, or a lack of fear of other men’s violence.

Most of the time, most men are not overtly violent. But when a man tries to exert control and then rages against people and circumstances that frustrate these efforts, we are not necessarily alarmed. We are not alarmed because he is doing what we expect men to do.

Fortunately, such frustration does not usually lead to mass killing. Yet this is simply the logical extreme to which violent masculinity leads. When the burden of shame for failing to meet the cultural standards of manhood becomes unbearable, and a man feels there is nothing left to lose, mass killing may be a perverse attempt to restore, with irreversible finality, a sense of control.

As at NASA, the warning signs today are abundant. But they are mixed, weak, and routine.

Not all men are violent. Nor are men who occasionally commit acts of violence always violent; they can often be kind and gentle, too. And because it is possible to point to rare instances when women are violent, we can be misled into thinking there is nothing special about men that should compel our attention.

But the most serious problem is that we normalize the relationship between manhood and violence, and thus we take for granted what should be clear warnings about the potential for violence that our society instills in every man. When men learn to stake their self-worth on having power and being in control, and yet live under conditions that frustrate and humiliate them, we should not be surprised when explosions occur.

It may be strangely comforting to see the problem of mass shootings as a psychological one. If the problem stems from psychopathology, then we don’t have to look critically at our culture of manhood or at how our society concentrates power in a few hands. Certainly, men suffering from depression and excessive anger may benefit from support and therapy. But therapy will never solve our collective violence problem.

If we understand the problem in cultural terms, we can see that the dangers go beyond being the victim of a "random" shooting. The logic of violent masculinity puts the whole planet at risk. By this logic, the natural world has no value in itself, but exists mainly to provide resources for expanding one’s power. By the same logic, which is also the logic of U.S. imperialism, it is better to destroy the world than to fail to dominate it.

What we need is a cultural shift away from defining manhood and nationhood in terms of a capacity to dominate. We need to reject the worship of power and of "commanders-in-chief," and instead make democracy the primary value by which we judge our social institutions. The warning signs are all around, writ small in every mass shooting and writ large in every war. Our survival depends on denormalizing these signs and heeding them soon.

Michael Schwalbe is a professor of sociology at North Carolina State University.  He can be reached at MLSchwalbe@nc.rr.com.   

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Grandparent Alienation’ New Syndrome? Janelle Burrill is back in the House

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 5:12 am

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Remember that California Whore of the Court (who happens to have a JD also…gag, gag, gag).  She was featured in a story from California about a large group of mothers losing their children to their abusers because of her recommendations (Mothers Interrupted).  Why this Whore of the Court hasn’t had every license pulled, I don’t know…those people just love to protect each other.  From The Sacramento Press:

My granddaughter was stolen from our family. And I’ve been named an accomplice.

Local therapist Dr. Janelle Burrill, who wrote a book on ‘parental alienation syndrome,’ known as PAS, has struck again, only this time she has labeled me, a grandmother and social worker of 25 years in Sacramento County, of being an accomplice ‘alienator.’ 

You may remember her from the News & Review article, ‘Mothers Interrupted‘ back in ’02 about mothers whose children had been taken based on Janelle Burrill’s PAS diagnosis.  I wish I had read it, but instead my daughter agreed to use her at the father’s request for ‘reconnection therapy,’ not knowing the diagnosis was in the bag before it was ever opened. My 8-year-old granddaughter didn’t play the game – she said she didn’t want to see her father, so after a 15-minute visit, I was an alienator, and there was no more need for therapy. The child didn’t know what she was saying.  Her mother and I told her what to say. 

PAS, which is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and is considered ‘junk science’ by many is the only syndrome which gives the mediator in Family Court Services and the judge the power to flip custody 180 degrees if they believe it is occurring. It’s the same bashing divorced parents have done for 100 years, but it became a ’syndrome’ in the ’80s. The child’s best interest is put at the back of the line to give the custodial parent (usually the mother) a lesson, and without warning, the child is thrown into a new living environment, leaving his or her previous life behind.

I said goodbye to my 8-year-old Blaire as she cried, fearful her father would ’spank her,’ and watched her mother’s heart pulled out of her chest. Mine went with it, but Ms. Burrill, as I prefer to refer to her, despite her many impressive degrees, is on many abused mother’s ‘Hall of Shame’ website lists for her numerous findings of… you guessed it… Parental alienation and ripping their kids away.  Now, without any evidence, I, too, have become a grandparent alienator, defamed in public records without the slightest shred of evidence. The mother is a poster child for soccer mom… another reason to see alienation, as Burrill sees it anytime a father wants to stop paying child support.

Well, I’m a real-life part of that story now, and I’m getting the word out.  My granddaughter has had no contact with our family and will not, according to the judge, who is a new judge and new to Family Court, who, against the child’s pediatrician’s recommendation, took Burrill’s report as gospel and gave her to the father as my daughter pleaded without counsel, who was on another trial, and the judge refused to wait six days.  She acknowledged how traumatic it would be, but said, “It’s been long enough.” End of story.

I watched Blaire say goodbye to her dog, Tesla (yes, the band) and all our family, finally hitting denial, simply stating, “I’m not going.”   Her mother packed her up, and she said goodbye to her ’mama,’ who had devoted her life to her only child.  End of story?  Oh no.  Not until this sham is exposed and children’s rights are regained.  Not until Blaire comes home.

Editor’s Note: The Sacramento Press editorial staff edited this article after it was published primarily for grammar and formatting, the edited version was approved by the author.

I am a BADASS: Bloggers Against Deprivation, Alienation Syndromes, & junk Science

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Cold North WindMama LibertyMama LibertyRights For Mothers NewsVAW NewsAnonymums Custodial Justice - A Human Rights IssueBattered Mothers Lose CustodyEXPOSING THE UNTOLD TRUTHS OF FAMILY LAW WEBGUIDEGlenns CultLet's Get HonestRandi James

 

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Why is Illinois Judge Stuttley Giving a Symposium on So-called “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and Taking Children from Moms?

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 4:45 am

 

Jeffery Leving, well known Father’s Rights pimp lawyer in Chicago (I gag when I hear his “dad’s rights” commercials on WBBM-AM at night), has a video of a judge giving a “symposium” on the so-called “Parental Alienation Syndrome.”

Mr. Leving’s tags on his video really tell all: Chief Judge Stuttley PAS brainwashing fathers rights fathers’ rights child custody

Chief Judge Michael Stuttley, Cook County Circuit Court, 6th Municipal District/Markham, concludes his lecture on Parental Alienation Syndrome on his video. Judge Stuttley seems very proud to be taking kids from mothers and giving them to fathers. In reviewing the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct, it appears that Judge Stuttley is in violation with several canons associated with the code. If you have lost your children in his court due to claims of so-called “parental alienation”, you are definitely not alone.  Consider pursuing  a judicial complaint through the appropriate channels, a motion to disqualify him from your case, and an appeal of his decision against you.

If Judge Stuttley REALLY had a clue about “parental alienation” he would know about these statements:

2003 – The National District Attorneys Association’s Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse discredited the theory.  It stated:

Although PAS may be hailed as a “syndrome” . . . in fact it is the product of anecdotal evidence gathered from Dr. Gardner’s own practice. […] PAS is based primarily upon two notions, neither of which has a foundation in empirical research. […] PAS is an untested theory that, unchallenged, can have far-reaching consequences for children seeking protection and legal vindication in courts of law.”

2006 – The American Bar Association’s Children’s Legal Rights Journal discredited the theory.  It stated:

PAS’s twenty-year run in American courts is an embarrassing chapter in the history of evidentiary law. It reflects the wholesale failure of legal professionals entrusted with evidentiary gate-keeping intended to guard legal processes from the taint of pseudo-science…. As a matter of science, law, and policy PAS should remain inadmissible in American courts.


2006 – The
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges also discredited the theory.  It stated:

The discredited “diagnosis” of “PAS” (or allegation of “parental alienation”), quite apart from its scientific invalidity, inappropriately asks the court to assume that the children’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be “alienated” have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the children’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating and/or discrediting ways toward the children themselves, or the children’s other parent.

The jig is finally up for these Father’s Rights advocates…other states are realizing that claims of “parental alienation” typically come from abusive spouses, and have no scientific basis.  See Tennessee Knows It: PAS means “Perpetrators Aligning Strategically” and California Knows It Too: Ban “Unscientific Theories” in Court Such as So-called “Parental Alientation Syndrome”.

Hey, Jeffery, what is wrong with parent’s rights???  Just because you know where the money is doesn’t mean a mother should be erased from a child’s life.

From The LA Times:

Parental Alienation Syndrome, which has no scientific basis whatsoever, is most often used against women in custody cases including by ex-husbands with documented histories of domestic violence against their ex-wife and/or children.  It does not mean “alienated parent” as the author above implies, it means that a parent, usually a mother, is being accused in court of alienating her child or children from their father by being truthful about the danger they pose to their child’s physical safety or the mother’s safety.  Courts seem to love the made up syndrome as an excuse to give custody rights or shared custody to men who have abused their wives and/or children, but until now there has been no official status for this made up syndrome.  If it makes it into the DSM’s next version, divorce lawyers and abusive divorcing spouses will have even more ability to continue to abuse their exes through the courts and to put their children in danger in some cases(More business for Jeffery). Women will continue to be labelled hysterical for reacting normally to horrible experiences such as discovering their children have been sexually abused by their father but now there will be so called scientific backing for these made up claims in court. 

Up for inclusion again is making women’s menstrual cycles into a psychiatric condition also(WTF!) We now have many more women psychiatrists than we did when the first DSM came out, why do women continue to be the target of sexist and destructive labelling by the American Psychiatric Association behind closed doors even so?  While there is a dearth of concern about psychiatry and its destructive effect on women over the ages today, nothing like the great work that was done in the ’70’s and 80’s is out there now and in fact many feminist blogs are guilty of the same continuation of prejudice against people with psychiatric labels as the rest of society, forgetting their history altogether in my personal opinion, maybe the threat to custody of children will start to wake feminists up to the destructive and continuing sexist power of psychiatry over the lives of women in the United States.

 

 BADASS: Bloggers Against Deprivation, Alienation Syndromes, & junk Science

 

Cold North WindMama LibertyMama LibertyRights For Mothers NewsVAW NewsAnonymums Custodial Justice - A Human Rights IssueBattered Mothers Lose CustodyEXPOSING THE UNTOLD TRUTHS OF FAMILY LAW WEBGUIDEGlenns CultLet's Get HonestRandi James

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How Do These Corrupt Judges Get Away With It? New York Judge John Bivona Keeps Rolling Along…

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 3:54 am

 

 

Already punished by the State of New York for not being impartial in a case, Hon. John C. Bivona (Suffolk County, New York) keeps rolling along like justice means nothing.  See his punishment from 2003 here. Now he takes two girls from their mother in a “closed” court session and gag orders issued!

The father only wanted the two girls, not the boys in the family (that really sounds scary)!   Oh, and by the way, the father is a wealthy attorney.   Two detectives came and picked up the two girls, aged 9 and 10, without the girls’ knowledge after the hearing.   Please keep them in your thoughts that they can keep themselves safe.

From commenter: Sign the “tear down the wall” petition and join with popular4people to end the injustice here.

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Man who assaulted daughter, fathered her children is sentenced

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 3:36 am

California incest father sentenced to 109 years in prison

 

This father who had children with his daughter and also abused his son was charged with 109 years for his crimes. What hell this woman and her children have endured… Notice the victim dislikes her father, which is how real abuse victims react (but abusers and PAS psychologists claim this kind of reaction is “alienation”). The father also tried to claim the charges were fabricated. The girl lived in fear of her father, and also in fear of what would happen if she told about the abuse and was not believed.

Quotes From The Times of India: US incest father sentenced to 109 years in prison

”I hope he suffers,” said the woman, who has not been identified because she is a sexual abuse victim. “I want him to die in there in jail because that’s what he did to me. He confined me,” the 29-year old daughter said whose assault started when she was just 6 years old.

She said her 48-year-old father, a martial arts instructor, threatened to kill her if she told anyone and kept her a prisoner at home, monitoring her movements using surveillance cameras and delivering fierce beatings during paranoid rages.

As her father was led away in handcuffs, the woman wept quietly and embraced her younger brother, who she said was also a victim of beatings by their father, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday.

DNA tests confirmed the daughter’s account, proving that Thibes was both the father and grandfather of her three children. All girls, they are 4, 7 and 11.

From the Los Angeles Times

Man who assaulted daughter, fathered her children is sentenced

Lindolfo Thibes, formerly of Los Angeles, gets 109 years to life for physically and sexually abusing his daughter for two decades. The case came to light when he stabbed her in Las Vegas.

By Jack Leonard

April 18, 2009

The emergency call came in as a domestic violence assault: A man had stabbed his girlfriend in the parking lot of a Las Vegas hospital.

But as detectives began to investigate, they unearthed a dark family secret. The suspect was not the victim’s boyfriend but her father, who had been sexually assaulting her for nearly two decades and had fathered her three children.

The assaults, the victim told authorities, started when she was 6 years old and living in Los Angeles. She said her father, a martial arts instructor, threatened to kill her if she told anyone and kept her a prisoner at home, monitoring her movements using surveillance cameras and delivering fierce beatings during paranoid rages.

On Friday, the daughter, now 29, sat silently in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom as a judge sentenced Lindolfo Thibes to prison for 109 years to life in what police describe as the most heinous case of child abuse they had encountered.

As her father was led away in handcuffs, the woman wept quietly and embraced her younger brother, who she said was also a victim of beatings by their father.

“I hope he suffers,” said the woman, whom The Times is not identifying because she is a sexual abuse victim. “I want him to die in there in jail because that’s what he did to me. He confined me.”

Thibes said nothing about his guilt or innocence at Friday’s hearing but offered a litany of rambling complaints to the judge, all the while referring to himself in the third person.

Acting as his own attorney, Thibes, 48, said his case should have been dismissed long ago on procedural grounds. He said he has been hallucinating and “believes that shadows are out to get him.” He called his trial a “kangaroo court” and said his conviction was the result of fraudulent evidence and perjured testimony.

But a prosecutor said DNA tests confirmed the daughter’s account, proving that Thibes was both the father and grandfather of her three children. All girls, they are 4, 7 and 11.

Jurors were told about the genetic evidence and listened to harrowing testimony during four days of trial earlier this year. It took them about three hours to convict Thibes of multiple counts of rape and other sexual assaults committed over a decade.

“He’s probably the sickest suspect I ever had,” said Torrance Police Det. Rick Carr, a 28-year veteran who was the lead investigator on the case. “This poor woman endured just some unbelievable torture and horrendous acts.”

Born in Brazil, Thibes came to the United States illegally in 1982, according to a probation report. His daughter, younger son and common-law wife soon followed, and the family settled in Los Angeles.

The victim told investigators that the abuse began in the mid-1980s when she and her father were alone in the house. Her mother worked nights and eventually moved out of the home to be a home healthcare provider. (The mother could not be reached for comment.)

Her father, the woman told authorities, plied her with alcohol and marijuana from the age of 8. She said she was pulled out of school in sixth grade and estimated that she was sexually assaulted about 10 times a week, according to law enforcement records.

In an interview with The Times, the woman said her father rigged the family’s West Adams home with surveillance cameras inside and out. Under her bed, she said, were motion detectors that set off an alarm when she got up.

As a teenager, she was forbidden to leave the house alone. Her father often grew paranoid and accused her of trying to escape or of secretly meeting boys. Enraged, he would beat her and her brother on their feet with a baseball bat, she said.

She feared deportation if she reported the abuse, she said, but was also terrified of the consequences if authorities did not believe her.

He said he “would kill me if he ever got his hands on me if I ever told,” she said. “He used to tell me he was going to cut my head off.”

At 17, she gave birth to her first child. For years, she said, her oldest daughter was her only friend. The moments they shared playing with the girl’s toys or watching television offered small but important comforts during her life with her father. There were also times, she said, when she and her father played video games or watched movies together.

“I would use little happy thoughts to keep me going,” she said.

Her father, she said, grew fearful that her brother had told police about abuse at the home and fled to Las Vegas in 2003, taking her and her children. They lived in a motel, where, she said, Thibes told others that she was his girlfriend.

In April 2005, he stabbed her twice in the chest with a 10-inch kitchen knife, police records show. In interviews with police, he described her at various times as his wife, girlfriend or daughter.

The woman said she told hospital workers about the abuse once her father had been arrested and she knew her children were safe in custody.

“I thought, ‘I’m not going back to Dad,’ ” she said. She moved to Torrance, where police began investigating the case after learning what she had told Las Vegas authorities.

Thibes, who pleaded guilty to the stabbing, told a probation officer this week that he did not know how his daughter could “make such accusations after the good upbringing he provided her,”according to the officer’s report. Thibes also blamed his conviction on mental illness, saying he had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

But on Friday, Superior Court Judge Dennis J. Landin rejected Thibes’ claim of mental illness, saying he believed it was a fabrication designed to delay sentencing.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Rouman Ebrahim reminded the judge of the woman’s testimony during the trial, saying Thibes had been charged with only a fraction of the assaults she recounted and deserved the maximum sentence. “The conduct in this case is so shockingly heinous,” Ebrahim said. “It was done by someone that society expects to be a protector, not a predator.”

The woman lives in the Antelope Valley with her girls and said she is allowed to remain in the U.S. thanks to a special visa for crime victims who cooperate with law enforcement.

She said she dreams of writing a book or perhaps becoming a therapist to help similar victims. She is struggling to find a job but said she is determined to provide for her children. “I want them to be loved,” she said. “I’m living the childhood I didn’t have through them. . . . I want to make sure they go to proms and have all the stuff I didn’t have.”

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Family Abuse: Court Psychiatric Ploys of Child Custody

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm
 
 

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Another Mother Hero: Shirley Riggs

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2009 at 12:06 am
Another Mother Hero: Shirley Riggs

Justice and Safety for Shirley Riggs and her Children

Shirley_kids_feature

My name is Shirley Riggs, I’m 39 years old and the mother of 4 beautiful children. I’m writing this inside the Thurston County jail, Olympia, WA, waiting for extradition to Kansas City, Missouri to face charges of custodial interference. My bond stands at $500,000 cash only. This secures that I as a mother will sit in jail because I chose to protect my children from further sexual abuse and because of a broken system. My heart aches for my children in a way few will ever realize….

…. My children and I have suffered great injustices in our lives in the past 4 years. We have been denied our right to due process and protection. Laws have been swept under the rug, resulting in my children being placed with their father and grandfather, who both have substantiated sexual abuse findings involving my oldest daughter. My children have been illegally ripped from the home, family, society, and way of life they love, the place they felt safest and the community they held so dear.

Thus begins a letter dated Oct 8, 2008 by Shirley Riggs , who twice fled with her children from Independence, Missouri  to rescue them from court ordered unsupervised overnight visits with their sexually abusive father and grandfather.

In what can only be termed a perversion of justice, Shirley has been extradited back to Missouri, where she sits in a jail cell awaiting 2 trials – one to terminate her parental rights and give full custody to the sexually abusive father; the other a criminal trial for felony custodial interference in which she faces a possible 16 years in prison.

Even worse, both these trials will take place under Judge Stephen Nixon – the same judge who has sanctioned unsupervised visits with the abusive father, and who has a record of giving light sentences to convicted pedophiles.

Meanwhile, Shirley’s four children (2 girls, 2 boys, ages 7-15) are currently in foster care under the legal custody of the Missouri Children’s Division, where unsupervised visitation with the pedophile father continues with the stated aim of reunification.

BACKGROUND

Don’t be mislead by the statements in the above video by the father’s lawyer and the Independence Police Department saying that there are no criminal findings of abuse and that the case is closed.  There are multiple reports finding that abuse has occured.  One wonders why the police failed to confirm the abuse that so many others had no problem seeing.

The March 2007 report from Oregon substantiating the father’s abuse, which was subsequently accepted and filed by the Missiouri Children’s division states that there is:

…reasonable cause to believe this referral is Founded for Sexual Abuse, Fondling, on Raymond Riggs for making his daughter … touch his bare penis.  The referral will be Founded for Sexual Abuse, Exposure and Voyeurism on Raymond Riggs for repeatedly showing his children pornography on the TV, computer and in Magazines.

Ray Riggs sought administrative appeal of this report and was denied. Currently he has an appeal before Judge Nixon – the same judge who ordered the unsupervised visits -  to reverse this finding; decision is pending.

A more recent report (1/29/08) by a therapist at the Synergy group home in Kansas City where the children were placed by the court states:

[The daughter] disclosed in the first individual session that her paternal grandfather “touched her in a private place”…..[ The daughter] seems very afraid of her father, paternal grandfather, and paternal aunt.  [The daughter’s] reports were very consistent with her siblings’ accounts of events, but [the daughter] and her siblings’ reports never seemed rehearsed.  Due to the behaviors displayed by [the daughter], and the consistency of the disclosures, my therapeutic judgment is that the abuse did occur when she was in the care of their father and grandfather.  I believe that having contact with anyone in the father’s family would be detrimental to [the daughter] and her siblings’ physical and emotional well-being.

A MISGUIDED COURT

Despite these findings, the Family Court’s order upon review advocating termination of Ms. Riggs’ parental rights, signed by Judge Nixon, says:

•  the Court finds that …visitation with the parents…. including unsupervised and overnight visits… was reasonable….
•  with regard to mother, the Court finds that permanency by way of Termination of Parental Rights is in the best interests of the children….. 
•  The Court finds continued reunification efforts of the children with the father to be in the best interests of the children…
•  …visitation with the paternal grandparents…. may take place….and may include unsupervised visitation…

SERIOUS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

The profound and blatant conflicts of interest in Ms. Riggs’ case make the State’s actions against Ms. Riggs highly suspect.

The father’s sister, Leslie Riggs, works as an attorney in the Jackson County office of the Missouri Children’s Division – the very office that has been investigating the abuse allegations against the father and grandfather and making recommendations that the mother lose her parental rights.

Until recently, Leslie Riggs lived in the same house with her father and brother, the substantiated abusers.

The father’s first divorce attorney was a co-worker of Leslie Riggs who worked in the Children’s Division while representing Ray Riggs and while Riggs was being investigated by that office for child sexual abuse.  He resigned abruptly when threatened with exposure of the conflict of interest.  Riggs’ current attorney formerly worked in this same office.

Commissioner Molly Merrigan ordered  the investigation of sexual abuse allegations against the grandfather be transferred from Jackson County DSS to an independent agency because of conflict of interest re: Leslie Riggs.

Case was transferred to Cornerstone for Care in Kansas City, but abuse allegations were not investigated by them.  Instead, two other Jackson County DSS employees and co-workers of Leslie Riggs determined that abuse allegations against Al Riggs were unfounded.  This finding contradicts the substantiated determination in Oregon and the opinion of the children’s therapist at a court assigned group home in Missouri.

Cornerstone regularly conducts Family Support Team (FST) meetings to oversee status of Riggs’ case.  Leslie Riggs regularly attends these meetings as a family member.  In addition, Leslie brings a friend, Maureen Patton, a social worker and frequent consultant to Jackson County DSS and the Family Court.

Patton has written a letter to the FST members offering her professional opinion “as a friend”, suggesting that Shirley is not a fit parent, that Ray and Al do not fit the profile of sexual predators, that the children “have been coached to have negative feelings about the paternal side of the family” and that reunification with the father and his family should be encouraged.  Patton has also recommended consultation with specific experts, including psychologist Gregory Sisk who has diagnosed  Shirley with Borderline Personality Disorder despite normal mental health evaluations, and  Shirley’s court appointed therapist ,Karen Allen, who determined that Shirley committed Parental Alienation.

Last, the attorney representing the Children’s Division in the TPR proceeding is Leslie Riggs’ supervisor.

All proceedings against Shirley Riggs should be halted and these blatant conflicts of interest should be independently investiated.

WRONGFUL JURISDICTION AND DUE PROCESS VIOLATIONS

At the time of the divorce proceedings in Nov 2006, Ms. Riggs had lived out of state for almost 3 years.  Further, Ms. Riggs had initiated divorce and custody proceedings in New Mexico in May 2005, and her husband had been served.  Last, Ms. Riggs raised the issue of her children being of Native American heritage but the court failed to follow through appropriately in notifying the Tribe.

Although she was living in Oregon at the time, Ms. Riggs was given a mere 24 hours notice regarding the April 24, 2007 case management meeting during which Judge Nixon gave temporary custody to the paternal grandparents.  Further, there was no notice that a change of custody would take place at this meeting.  What’s more, the grandparents were not a party to the case, nor had the father or grandparents made any motion re: a change of custody.  Additionally, Ms. Riggs did not have competent representation at the meeting as her attorney withdrew just prior to the hearing, and someone else from that attorney’s office  who had never spoken to Shirley and was not assigned to represent Shirley attended instead.  Last, there were no allegations or findings that Ms. Riggs was an unfit parent stated at this meeting.

In addition to the many egregious due process failures, the above facts suggest that there may have been violations of both the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act which may render Missouri’s jurisdiction in this case unlawful.

BAD SCIENCE

The basis of the court proceedings against Ms. Riggs is the belief that she has committed Parental Alienation – that she has turned the children against their father and coached them to lie about being abused.  In fact, Parental Alienation is a junk science concept that has been denounced by the National District Attorney’s Association , theNational Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges , American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and more .  PAS is nothing more than a legal tactic, a shell game, used by attorneys to get their clients off the hook for allegations of abuse by shifting the court’s attention off the abuse claims and onto the motives of the person making the allegations.  There are several reports, from examiners in Oregon and Missouri, who confirm the children’s allegations of abuse.  The only people who are saying the abuse did not occur are connected to Leslie Riggs.

BAD TECHNIQUE

There are recordings of the forensic interviews of the Riggs children from Oregon, where the abuse by both the father and grandfather was substantiated, and from Missouri, where allegations against the grandfather have been unfounded.   There is a striking difference in interviewing techniques between the 2 states: Oregon using an open ended technique designed to make the children comfortable and allowing them to talk openly; Missouri using a technique that makes the child noticeably uncomfortable and defensive and seems intended to cause doubt or confusion.

Please sign this petition and show your support for her.

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