The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

Posts Tagged ‘father’

FATHER Sentenced 10-15 years but will be charged with murder and face life without parole if his 3 sons are found (believed to be) dead

In domestic law on September 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

The father of three boys missing from their Morenci home since Thanksgiving was sentenced Thursday to a guideline-busting 10-15 years behind bars after pleading no contest to their unlawful imprisonment.

But authorities warned that John Skelton — who has insisted since his arrest nine months ago that he gave his 9-, 7- and 5-year-old sons to a secret child protection organization — will be charged with murder and face life without parole if his sons are found dead.

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“A lot can happen in the next 10 to 15 years,” Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks said Thursday after Lenawee Circuit Judge Margaret Noe rejected a routine sentencing guideline recommendation calling for minimums of 31/2 to seven years.

Investigators said no credible trace of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton has been reported since they were seen playing in the backyard of their Morenci home Nov. 25. A prosecutor on Thursday said conflicting and chilling statements Skelton has given investigators are lies, and the secret organization doesn’t exist.

The judge noted Skelton remains in contempt of court for failing to reveal their location as she earlier ordered.

“It is my belief that justice may never be served in this case, that you should serve each and every day in prison that Andrew, Alexander and Tanner remain missing,” Noe told Skelton on Thursday.

Skelton told the court before sentencing that “I do love my boys. I look at their pictures all the time.”

But he admitted, “I would have done things differently if I felt that the system didn’t fail me.”

Skelton has claimed he took the boys to protect them from abuse by their mother, Tanya Zuvers, who is on the state sex offender registry for a 1998 relationship with a then-14-year-old neighbor boy. But investigators said Skelton researched neck breaking on his computer and told an FBI agent that he wrapped each boy in a blanket with a stuffed animal and placed them in his van before driving away from Morenci.

Skelton told of nightmares in which he saw the boys and their belongings in or behind a Dumpster. He made drawings and told about leaving them in a park and an abandoned schoolhouse. He said, “They will hibernate until they graduate.”

“The only question today is if Mr. Skelton is going to be man enough to tell the truth about what happened to his children or will he continue his cowardly ways,” said Lenawee County Assistant Prosecutor Douglas Hartung. He later issued a warning to Skelton: “Don’t get too comfortable in prison. These gentlemen are still investigating your case. … They will be back to get you later.”

Skelton’s court-appointed lawyer objected to many factors considered in the sentencing report, including what he said was a suggestion that the judge should give a longer sentence because, “the defendant has killed or turned his children over to strangers.”

“My client isn’t here to be sentenced for murder or an intention to injure. To use that possibility as a consideration is improper,” John Glaser said.

Skelton’s no-contest plea equated to acceptance of responsibility for illegally taking the boys with whom he had visitation during a bitter divorce, in exchange for dismissal of life felony kidnapping charges.

The judge said she considered his crime an extension of an incident in which Skelton took two of his sons to Florida and tried to get court-ordered custody of them there.

A Michigan judge ordered them returned.

“You have said you do not want their mother to have memories of her sons. You have failed,” Noe said, explaining Zuvers, the boy’s family, friends and the community all will remember his sons. “They will not remember you.”

Skelton was given 289 days’ credit toward his sentence for the time he’s already spent in the Lenawee County Jail in lieu of a $9 million bond.

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John Skelton’s no-contest plea equated to acceptance of responsibility for illegally taking his sons in exchange for dismissing kidnapping charges. (David Coates / The Detroit News)



A Vicious Culture We Must Do Away With- Child Custody to Fathers

In domestic law on August 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Mother’s and were deprived of their natural right to raise their own children- Speak out on the murder of their children

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The first story comes from a mother who has urged society to be fair to biological mothers who are separated from their children and have to live knowing their children are in the care of negligent fathers and stepmothers. Her children became victims to their fathers’ irresponsibility.

“Many children are used by their fathers as whips to lash their mothers’ backs. How could they separate me from my children for over three years? Their sadist father compels them to even hang up the phone when speaking to me. Who will return them back to me? Who will help me present my case to the authorities? When will I see justice happen?”

The second case is of a mother who lost her little girl in similar circumstances. She related her story to many social institutions hoping to find a solution to her crisis.

“Since Ahmad was murdered I could not sleep,” she said. “Only five months have passed since I was separated from my daughter, it seems like a century. He (the father) left her in his aunt’s care. The judge stated the father is not qualified to take care of the child and still granted him custody. Human rights organizations said the matter is out of their hands. Child protection bodies said the father did not cooperate with them. They claim that they have no clue whether my child is being abused or tortured in his aunt’s house. I wish someone would take up my case and return my baby to me.”

Why do judges insist on keeping children away from their mothers even when they know the father is abusive and not a suitable parent? All other organizations remain silent. Can the Ministry of Justice help? Or do we just take every individual case directly to our beloved king. We have all seen what happened to Ahmad and Areej. They have been murdered.

We are not asking for miracles; all we need is a review of custody laws. The Ministry of Justice should interfere strongly in the issue before it becomes bloody. Children are not the property of fathers. The inherent culture in our court ensures fathers custody of children even if they are not fit to take care of them.

Ahmad’s mother is an example of an innocent woman whose life has been destroyed by society. We deprived her of her right to custody and gave her child to a criminal couple. She is the victim of an outdated tradition.

Al-Watan published an interview with Ahmad’s stepmother. From the interview, we realize that the woman was confused between her love and hate toward Ahmad. She told the reporter that she didn’t want to kill Ahmad. But when she recalls her own childhood, hate appears. When the reporter tried to find the cause that led her to kill the innocent child, she discovered that Ahmad’s father was beating her and she wanted revenge.

The story contains contradictions. The woman said she was forced into marrying Ahmad’s father and no one listened to her. She sought revenge against society.

The whole episode reflects the overall culture of oppressed women who eventually seek divorce, returning to parents with shattered dreams in an environment only supporting male attitudes and which treats divorced women as a curse.

The murderer tried to convince her husband several times to return Ahmad to his real mother but he always refused. He was always busy and away from her and his children. However, he treated her badly and held her responsible for any mistake that happened. He did not let her leave the house in his absence and she was locked up with the children as if she was in prison.

Whenever she complained to her parents she got the same reply: Be patient. A fear that gradually grew inside her and generated all this hate. The compassion and mercy inside her started to disappear gradually. She began to beat the child regularly. She then started to think what would happen if he died. She eventually killed the child and left the body in an abandoned building. She allegedly kissed him farewell.

She explained that for nine days before the crime was discovered her husband thought Ahmad had been kidnapped by his mother.

In Al-Watan’s report the stepmother “cried and asked for mercy, holding her parents and husband responsible for her horrible crime”.

A culture of victimizing will not end crimes. Crime, including abuse of children, is a measure of corruption in society. We should all stand against such insults, set fair rules and say farewell to this vicious culture.



FATHER Arrested For Child Abuse: 5 Week Old Daughter in Hospital

In domestic law on August 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm
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Infant Taken To Hospital, Father Arrested For Child Abuse
A 5-week-old girl is in the hospital and the father has been arrested for child abuse.

Reporter: Shawn Wheat
Email Address:



FATHER of the Year & a Ex-NYPD Cop, Admits to Raping his 3 Sons

In domestic law on August 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

William Fox, ex-NYPD officer once honored as ‘Father of the Year,’ admits sex abuse of three boys

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William Fox became a national hero in 1981, when he persuade a suicidal 17-year-old boy (seen next to Fox) to come off the sixth-story ledge of a Bowery flophouse.
William Fox became a national hero in 1981, when he persuade a suicidal 17-year-old boy (seen next to Fox) to come off the sixth-story ledge of a Bowery flophouse.

A one-time NYPD hero and “Father of the Year” could die behind bars for sexually abusing his two adopted sons and a third boy over 13 horrifying years.

Pervert pop William Fox, 66, cut a plea deal with prosecutors after one of his sons testified in a Pennsylvania courtroom about his twisted behavior.

The former Staten Islander pleaded “no contest” to charges including incest, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors, prosecutors said yesterday.

Fox faces up to 69 years in prison at his sentencing.

“He’ll die in jail, even if the sentence is half that,” said Frank Spinelli, who told authorities that Fox molested him between 1978-80. “This is a sexual predator and a sociopath.”

Fox, the leader of Spinelli’s Boy Scout troop on Staten Island, only pleaded to crimes committed in Pennsylvania.

The convicted sex offender was held on $100,000 bail pending his sentencing, said Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Forray.

Defense attorney Stephen Banik said Fox was forced to take the deal because a faulty memory left the ex-cop unable to testify on his own behalf.

“Everybody wants to see the mighty fall,” Banik said yesterday. “It’s a shame, because this man did a lot of good.”

Fox made national headlines in 1981 by persuading a suicidal 17-year-old boy to come off the sixth-story ledge of a Bowery flophouse.

Once safe, the teen was adopted by Fox. The officer later wrote a heartwarming book about their relationship, “The Cop and the Kid.”



Beaten, Raped, Robbed and Left for Dead: Unmasking the “Father’s Rights” Movement

In domestic law on July 31, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Under the guise of “gender equality,” a well-funded father’s rights movement has declared war on US laws mandating child support and placing a child’s best interests ahead of a father’s “entitlements” in custody decisions. Caught in the crossfire are thousands of women and children who are horrified to discover that too often, Family Court has become just one more lethal weapon in the arsenal of this army of “father’s rights” deadbeats, bullies and abusers.

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But the effectiveness of this ploy went
much deeper. He prevented me from obtaining what I needed to work, and
reaped the benefits of the psychological despair that reality brings with

I. Prologue

For two years, my two darling daughters
and I have been brutally and repeatedly beaten, raped, robbed and left
for dead — psychologically, emotionally and financially — by the man
who used to call himself the husband and father in this family.

Affable, intelligent, articulate, a successful
businessman, this vilest of abusers was never a family man, but he certainly
well-maintained the fiction of a perfect, public gentleman. He enjoyed,
and enjoys, the pleasant aspect of the public eye, a smiling hail-fellow-well-met,
friend of the well-connected, in a small Midwestern town where such niceties
matterÂ? perhaps too much, as we’ll see as this story unfolds.

No one is more surprised today than I
am, that my children and I survived, thus far, what can only be described
as a brutal gang assault from thugs in suits — smiling, scented men and
women, without soul or substance, masquerading as small-town community
leaders, philanthropists and businessmen.

The blueprints for the man’s relentless,
insidious, assaults — those we’ve endured, as well as those he promises
still await us — come straight from the international, fledgling, but
vicious and well-organized, euphemistically-titled “father’s rights”
(FR) movement.

As I’ve discovered, FR militants comprise
a movement completely and irrevocably corrupted by money, and by the power
its advocates believe money gives them. It’s an abomination that they so
deliberately invoke the word “father” to gain validity for their
purely selfish agenda.

A cruel, stunning ambush — devised to
play out when I was at my weakest and most vulnerable point — that was
my introduction to the glib liars and cold, compassionless cowards in the
FR movement. My girls and I have not yet escaped the poisoned litigational
swampland this movement, this man and his henchmen have created, but we
are, I believe, well on our way to healing.

Admittedly, our case — an extreme case
of massive business fraud peddled for the public record as “divorce
and custody”– is not typical. Professionals in both family and business
law assure me — as they shake their heads in disgust and disbelief —
that the unique confluence of circumstance, opportunity and personality
characterizing my situation is unlikely to be replicated.

But in researching my defense against
these hollow-hearted monsters, I’ve encountered hundreds of women whose
stories could be mine. I’m not alone, not by a long shot. Most disturbing
is the number of women with whom I’ve communicated who are so demoralized
and impoverished by the process of “divorce and custody, FR-style,”
that they are on the verge of giving up.

To these women and mothers I say: Losing
is not an option. You must survive, somehow, any way you can, to fight
another day. Perhaps I can help you with this series and its informational

This year, thousands of men — hand-in-hand
with their children — will march in Nazi-like precision on Courthouses
in more than 100 cities, demanding “gender equality” and “family
preservation” as they seek legal sanction for their cowardly abuse
and domestic terrorism.

For every one of those thousands of men,
there is a woman whose life is about to be sacrificed in the crosshairs
of the “father’s rights” assault weaponry.

So I know I am not alone in the poisoned
“father’s rights” swampland. Many, many of the women I’ve encountered
have been ambushed, brutalized, defamed and trashed, and don’t have the
first clue what happened or how or why, or when it mercifully, might end.

Nor are my children alone, in their children’s
Hell of paralysis, betrayal and uncertainty. There are thousands of children,
just like them, tiny trophies for the FR militants’ mantlepiece.

We are not alone.

After an initial warming wave of comfort,
that fact horrifies me.

And that is why this story must be told.

II. The Men Behind the Masks

Who ARE these masked men, these well-heeled
and highly motivated sloganeers who put their phony, sad-eyed faces toward
a sympathetic world, and their money toward sympathetic legislators, and
claim to be struggling against all odds for the ‘equal right’ to parent
their children?

They are diverse in vocation, avocation,
shape, age and color? but they are usually well-educated, articulate and
well-off They are many and they are growing in size and strength. One thing
is certain: The predators in the FR militancy are nothing at all akin to
the smiling, loving “dads” they project on their websites and
in their newsletters.

In fact, the stark contrasts are frightening,
once you’ve had the misfortune, as I have had, to unwittingly stumble into
this den of wily snakes.

You may meet some of them yourselves this
year, in your own hometown, as they extend their reach, spider-like, into
county courthouses and state legislatures, seeking the overturn of virtually
every protection afforded women and children, especially, most diabolically,
women and children who are or have been victims of abuse.

Consider just a few of the FR movement’s
real agenda — overturn the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 as unconstitutional?
end child support? eliminate battered women’s shelters ? end child support?
eliminate food stamps and AFDC? end child support? mandate policies of
rebuttable presumptive joint physical and joint legal custody in 50 states
in this country.

Oh, yes, and did I mention: eliminate
child support and the laws that protect and enforce it.

FR militants will drone endlessly on about
a non-issue they call Parental Alienation Syndrome and another they call
Malicious Mother Syndrome, and demand evaluation after evaluation, in hopes
of finding someone, anyone, to take their sick side, or failing that, of
running the spouse completely out of financial and emotional resources,
so that she can no longer do battle on a level footing.

FR militants purport to “document”
— with special software they market to newcomers on their websites —
an endless number of incidents of parenting interference by the mother.
The documents or diaries are usually entirely bogus, the incidents described
quite often self-created, or built around a half-truth dropped carefully
into a new, sinister situation.

But the FR operators assure their militant
members that the documents are magnificent “evidence” in a courtroom,
especially when the accused mother comes ill-prepared to defend herself
against a never-ending recitation of fantasies.

FR militants and their minions will cite
multiple state and Federal court cases to the Judges, demanding that some
weird, extrapolated precedent be followed, and that this interfering mother
be stripped of her children for sabotaging the father’s relationship with
his child.

A sabotaged relationship. That’s a key
and favorite phrase and accusation of FR men — and you can guess — it’s
absolutely necessary: How else can these physically absent, emotionally
crippled, unwelcoming, motivated-by-money ‘fathers’ reasonably explain
to the Court their children’s overwhelming preferences for mother, home,
stability and security in the lives they’ve always known?

It is, of course, all the mom’s fault,
these glib and self-aggrandizing liars will claim, under oath, if needs
be. The child is brainwashed. The mother exerts undue influence. The mother
and child are ‘pathologically bonded’ and the mother is clearly doing ‘irreparable
harm’ to this child.

FR militants, at an especially sick level
of cruelty, engage in what they call gas-lighting, and what we call crazy-making
? a modus operendi worthy of an entire article in its own right.

These men insist that the sole remedy
for the alienation they’ve endured is immediate removal of the children
from their mother’s home. Custody, they say, must go to the poor, victim

Never mind, they say, that PAS has been
debunked repeatedly by the American Psychiatric Association and the American
Psychologists Association.

Never mind that the father has been tagged
by professional forensic evaluators as physically absent, emotionally unavailable,
rigid, unwelcoming in his demeanor, unbonded with any of his children.

Never mind that the father has been documented
as a physical, financial and emotional abuser and the children do not wish
to live with him.

Never mind the father’s perjury and fraud.
He is, he says, entitled to 50% of his child and woe be to the mother or
judge or courtroom that denies him his ‘rights.’

Consider just a few examples from the
“Father’s Rights Manifesto” — among their other stated goals

“Convert battered women’s shelters
to battered spouse’s shelters, or eliminate them. These organizations have
become guerilla training centers in the war against fatherhood and must
be converted into facilities which assist in the elimination of fatherlessness
and the preservation of families.”

“Eliminate child support, alimony,
and all other transfers of assets which encourage or support fatherlessness.
Collecting such court ordered awards costs 2 to 3 times as much as the
amount collected. Punitive measures recently enacted by government discourage
or prohibit productivity. The negative psychological impact of requiring
a father to subsidize the destruction of his own family is a powerful economic

“Replace tax incentives which favor
broken families or single parenthood with small but important “bonuses”
to encourage and reward intact families, thus changing the tacit role of
government from anti-family and anti-fatherhood to pro-family and pro-fatherhood.”

You’ll rarely hear or see such a stunning
agenda voiced or envisaged in public by the smooth-talking operators of
the FR groups. They are many nasty things, but they are not often fools.

III. The Uppity, Inconvenient Spouse
Seen Through the FR Looking Glass

Allow me to remind readers that admittedly,
my husband’s attraction to the “father’s rights” movement was
occasioned not by his love or concern for his children, whom he barely
knew, but by his perverse need for money — not just his money, but my
money as well. More than $1 million in assets just vanished during the
pendancy of this litigation, and now my husband, like so many men on the
FR sites, is pleading personal and business poverty.

We, of course, are all terminally stupid,
and he apparently, has the only fully functioning brain cells in the neighborhood.
Yes, I believe that he truly believes we do not know and will nopt reveal
— as I have known from the day I learned of his plan and am revealing
now — that this has been an extreme case of massive business fraud peddled
for two long years for the public record as “divorce and custody.”

And the FR movement afforded the perpetrator
ample weaponry with which to wage his war against his family and his fraud
against the Court, keeping the Court and myself wrapped up in an endless
series of FR-scented motions and demands. And during those 18 months (and
the eight months to a year of “planning ahead” he did) my husband
casually offloaded hundreds of thousands of dollars from our businesses,
right from under everyone’s noses!

How did he do this?

All will be revealed.

I’ve often told folks that they can only
truly comprehend and protect themselves from the duplicity of the ‘father’s
rights’ movement devotees, and understand my specific misadventure within
it, if they examine the paper trail with a copy of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice
Through The Looking-Glass” right within their grasp.

The “father’s rights movement”
is a topsy-turvy, upside-down, inside-out and backwards world, a distortion
of essential realities and the random creation of alternate realities,
in which left is right and right is wrong and wrong is a necessary means
to the ‘right’ end.

In this anti-female world of “father’s
rights,” a woman’s assertiveness is an obsessive need for dominance
and control; a mother’s nurturing love is unhealthy dependence and pathological
bonding; a father’s cold years of absence and emotional abuse are a noble
endeavor to teach children independence.

A business partner’s 18 years of hard
work and sacrifice are transformed into a simple, selfish, manipulative
gold-digging exercise, and the FR’s systematic, casual, pre-emptive destruction
of his spouse’s hard-won personal and professional reputation becomes a
justifiable act of self-defense against an unpredictable, vindictive ‘crazy’
woman determined to destroy the father’s life-work.

Such a complex strategy of reinvention
and historical revisionism takes time and money. So it’s important, the
FR militants tell their minions, to CONTROL THE MONEY as well as the FLOW

You must, these FR operators admonish
repeatedly, PLAN AHEAD, FILE FIRST with gusto, and file as often as necessary.
And keep her scrambling for money, sputtering in outrage, and invariably,
on the defensive.

‘Plan ahead,’ the FR sites advise. Translation:
ambush your spouse and children, and hit them hard enough in the first
round to knock them dead out of contention. Ugly? Yes. Cold-blooded? You

But such a plan is crucial for physically
and emotionally absent men whose spouses are not only excellent mothers
but also who claim 50% of the parties’ assets — and they may very well
be significant assets — not by virtue of marriage, but by virtue of the
woman’s own hard work in creating those assets and building the business.

All that history must be revised. All
the past must be overwritten. And most importantly, the assets which would
surely be divided with the mother, and equally bad, accounted in the calculations
for the husband’s contribution to child support, must gradually, unavoidably,
seem to diminish and appear to DISappear.

That uppity spouse must never have access
to the resources she will inevitably, ultimately use to unravel and rewind
in public the FR advocate’s tale of fraud, deceit and duplicity.

IV. Rapists in the Den of Thieves

As we are seeing, advocates of the “father’s
rights” movement, such as my soon-to-be-ex-husband, often find themselves
saddled with uppity, inconvenient spouses such as myself:

Women who, during the marriage, do far
more than their “fair share” with regard to both family and finances,
without comment or complaint.

Women who had full, satisfying lives before
their marriage and are destined to have full, satisfying lives when the
marriage is over.

Women who take their responsibilities
seriously — and who assert the corresponding rights that they’ve earned
by dint of having fulfilled and fulfilled well — those responsibilities,
be they financial or familial.

When faced with the prospect of parting
from such women, men such as my husband and his cronies in the FR movement,
whose ‘responsibility’ has been primarily to themselves, and whose interests
are primarily money, power and control, and whose family links are historically
characterized by remoteness and abdication of responsibility, must face
an awful truth:

Divorcing men — even those who have been
allowed to control their spouses’ assets throughout marriage — must relinquish
their control of her assets in order to accomplish a fair and equitable
distribution Â? unless he can demonstrate that the assets were either
his in the first place, and oh dear, they’ve been unavoidably depleted.

And oh yes, that depletion is HER fault.
She MADE me do it; that over-controlling **** FORCED me to file 56 motions
against her and engage in this litigation because? well, fill in the blank.
Their excuses are limited only by their imaginations. And when their imaginations
are limited, they have thousands of pals on the “father’s rights”
websites and in local organizations to “share” ideas with them.

But that awful truth about loss of control
goes down very hard on these men, and that’s what attracts them to the
glittering promise imbedded in “father’s rights.” Is there any
better way to look like a good guy than to claim to be ‘forced’ to diminish
your assets (and hers) in a selfless struggle to rescue your children from
an evil aggressive mother? How courageous! What a noble guy!

Think about it. Women of substance and
assertiveness are all too frequently tagged, STILL, in our culture as aggressive,
domineering and controlling. Men in the FR movement, often married to women
of substance, use the Looking Glass strategy to crush their spouses, often
in anticipation of divorce.

The spouses, of course, are not initially
clued in. Subterfuge is a critical element of the Looking Glass strategy.
As we’ve seen, these men don’t often EVER come clean about their REAL agendas.
Lie, lie, lie, deny, deny, deny.

And as we’ve seen, the “father’s
rights movement” has been masterful in its manipulation of its image,
and by extension, in the image of its members. They are not “deadbeat
dads,” oh no, they are, they say, “dead-bolted dads,” shut
out of their children’s lives by vindictive women.

They are the victims, they say, over and
over. And that is simply not so.

My husband learned from his mentors in
the “father’s rights” movement exactly how to use his own children
and the Family Court system to hold the knife to my neck while he continued
his vicious assault on me.

V. “Are you a WEAK man, Mr. Rxxxd?”

A side-trip of sorts, but relevant to
the balance of power that the “father’s rights” militants seek
to shift their way in the sniper-fire they employ before the “divorce
war” actually begins at Trial.

One of the early difficulties my 2bx encountered
— a wee snag in the fabric of his well-woven strategy — occurred during
the initial hearing for temporary custody and support. This was not before
a judge, but a lay person referee, in a courtroom.

On Day One, my 2bx described in appallingly
convincing detail (to my total and complete shock — because every word
was a total and complete fabrication) to an apparently very sympathetic
referee the following: how he’d been bullied by me for a decade, never
allowed to make decisions, never allowed to have the kids alone or drive
them to school, never allowed to pay the household bills, never allowed
to maintain the house and property.

His point was intending to prove that
my over-controlling, domineering obsessiveness was terrible for the minor
child and she must be removed from my care IMMEDIATELY if not sooner. Oh
yes, he was ready: yes, the children were not in any trouble and the elder
daughter was successful in high school and was enrolled in the premier
Catholic women’s college in the country?. but the tragic truth (he looked
up at the referee with wide eyes) is that these poor children were terrified
of me and THAT explained their well-behaved manner and their successes?
they didn’t DARE cross their mother.

I believe he used the words “swift
and terrible retribution” to describe what these children allegedly
“knew” would happen to them if they fell out of line.

He was doing fine on the witness stand,
lying under oath like an experienced perjurer (perhaps he is!) and even
obviously enjoying his victimhood, until my attorney, reeled him in with

“You know, Mr.Rxxx, you’ve described
yourself to this court as having suffered all these things at the hands
of your wife, and your children, too ? and you never did anything about
it til now? You’ve described yourself as a very weak man, Mr. Rxxx. Are
you a very weak man?”

My 2bx’s face literally froze. This was
unexpected and, worse, a public insult. He did not know how to answer.
It was a joy, after months of ambush and uncertainty and terror on my part
alone, finally to behold a crack in that smooth, well-oiled “fatherly”

Through my tears, I quite nearly laughed
out loud. The spell this man had woven in that Courtroom was broken, as
the referee and court personnel pondered?. hmmmm?

It was the only genuinely good moment
I would have in Court for quite a long while, but if you’ve ever had to
deal with a man totally consumed with his own self-image of power, dominance
and total control? then you can image how deeply I cherish it!

VI. Arming Men for the Brutal ‘Divorce

There’s a very logical reason that “certain
kinds of women” are especially attractive targets of the militant
abusers and users in the FR movement. And don’t be misled into the fantasy
that the abuse and psychological trauma inflicted on the spouse and her
children is “incidental” to divorce, custody and business dissolution

Abuse, trauma, conflict, chaos, imposed
poverty — these are weapons that are in fact the entire POINT of the FR’s
litigational strategy.

The men who run and operate the FR sites
and handle the FR lobby contacts in Washington DC and set up the FR groups
as 501( c ) (3) tax-exempt organizations and prepare their minions for
what they call “the divorce wars” are intelligent, articulate,
educated, savvy and largely, unscrupulous men.

They have likely been married to intelligent,
articulate, accomplished, educated women. By nature of their associations
with the FR movement, the men involved in the conflict are fathers and
the women may be businesswomen and professionals, but they are also mothers.

And there’s the rub for these FR militants.
An intelligent, accomplished woman isn’t typically going to allow herself
to be beaten, raped, robbed — of her assets AND her children — and left
for dead without a spirited defense. A spirited defense requires money
and time and a clear head.

The spouse and mother MUST be either crushed
at the onset, or worn down emotionally and financially, kept without money,
without security, without a way out — without the spirit part of her spirited
defense — until she begs to surrender, by constant, continual demoralization.

To accomplish that, these FR militants
require — absolutely require — a lengthy, destructive Court battle of
some kind in order to indefinitely delay any discussion of, or investigation
into, assets, financial dealings, or their own poor past as a parent.

A lengthy, much-investigated child custody
battle snarled up in an overburdened Court system, gives them the time
they need to not only re-invent their histories, and those of their families,
but also, most importantly, to move, hide, invest and offload their assets.

A custody battle is tailor-made for these
men. I have seen and heard it many times on FR sites:

“Given the choice between fighting
for the child and fighting for her property rights, the mother will nearly
always go for the child first. The child will be the most powerful weapon
you have in ‘convincing’ your wife that her concept of ‘fair distribution
of assets’ needs to be revisited.”

Go for custody, whether you want it or
not, the FR operators tell their minions. Learn about your child, if you
don’t know your child. Look like you care very deeply for the children
and keep the Court focused on your negative depiction of the mother-child

While that’s going on, and it can be dragged
out for YEARS, no one is looking at the absent, unavailable father! In
fact, they EXPECT that his assets will be depleted by this terrible struggle.
Even if he loses, he never wanted or expected to ‘win’ custody, so the
delay is a win-win for the ‘poor, victim dad.’

Here’s how one counselor euphemistically
couches the answer to the critical question for the uninvolved father seeking
custody: when to file? Answer: Give yourself enough time to reinvent history.
Here’s a quote from one of the sites:

“If you want (insert: your spouse
to have to fight for) primary custody, it is possible that a delay could
provide a period of time when you are aware of what lies around the corner
while your wife is not. This waiting period may afford you an opportunity
to solidify your position as the primary nurturer, as well as to gather
information and evidence.”

‘Gather information and evidence’ is a
euphemism for concoct and ‘document’ enough stories, incidents, events,
distortions, ad nauseum, so that when you do get to Court — and as Plaintiff,
FR-advocate, you ‘go first’ — your stories will appear credible.

As in so many rape situations, these psychological,
financial and emotional rapists cowering behind the shield of the “father’s
rights movement” concoct scenarios in which they can blame their victims.
Having shifted the focus to the woman and her alleged transgressions —
perjury is nothing to these men — these FR militants are able to play
themselves as the victim the entire time they engage in vicious assault.

As the above excerpt strongly implies,
“solidifying” the absent dad’s “position as the primary
nurturer” recognizes that in fact, the men who resort to the FR tactics
are not and have not been the child’s primary nurturer.

Another FR site points out that the devious
dad will need to build “a history of sharing of duties between two
parents, or a very close bond between a dad and a child, which can be maintained
only by a co-parenting arrangement.”

None of the history has to be true, or
real, or genuine, the FR advocates say in their chatrooms and message boards.
It simply must APPEAR to be so for the benefit and duration of the litigation.

This is a key element of the gas-lighting
or crazy-making strategy inflicted on the woman. The FR militant first
steals his spouse’s life and livelihood, and then makes certain that she’s
aware he is rubbing her proverbial nose in it.

It isn’t accidental and it isn’t incidental
to divorce, custody or even business dissolution. It’s deliberate, cold-blooded
and — as the FR operators will explain — absolutely necessary.

That’s such a key point, as we will see?

VII. Domestic Terrorism: Stalking a
Wounded Victim

At the onset of this case, for which my
husband initiated litigation in August 1999, I had the extreme misfortune
and apparently unforgivable bad luck to be both an excellent mother and
an accomplished professional, a 50% owner in a flourishing business that
I helped found with my husband — long before he was my husband — 18 years

I also had just endured two full years
of absolutely crushing personal grief and family tragedy. Literally “just”
endured. The day he advised me of what was afoot, was the first day I’d
drawn a breath not fraught with tears in months and months.

So one of the truly horrifying aspects
of this case, for me, has been having to come to grips with the fact that
my husband is, and probably has been for some time, an amoral person without
normal human feelings. He deliberately essentially stalked me and the kids,
psychologically, for months and months, and I never recognized that for
what it was until it was far too late to do anything about it.

The horrible truth is that my own husband
watched and waited during my greatest period of personal crisis, and when
he guessed that I would be at my absolute weakest and most vulnerable point,
he STRUCK with a massive effort to take my child from me — a child he
could not be bothered with for the first 11 years of her life — without
even the benefit of a heated discussion, let alone a Court hearing.

One more loss, he was guessing, I could
not endure. This evil man, to whom I’d been married 12 years, was literally
gambling that I would be wiped out emotionally from simply the threat of
such a loss.


My much-loved and great-guy father was
very ill for the last half of 1997, just a week after we discovered that
my brother’s young wife had stage 4 cancer. My brother was coping with
his own grief and that of his four children — 14, 11, 4 and six months.
My family, always very close, was in total and complete crisis.

My father went into the hospital for a
heart catheterization and just never recovered. A month later he was diagnosed
with stomch cancer, so they operated. Then more heart troubles … his
diabetes kicked in, and eventually in February 1998, they had to amputate
his leg. He passed away in April 1998 and we were crushed.

My sister-in-law had surgery to no avail,
and they sent her home in August 1997, giving her six months to live.

These were two terrible catastrophes from
which my siblings and children did not know how we might ever recover.
My husabnd, as always, was barely around, emotionally unavailable, as they
say …

The same year, 1997, my eldest daughter
graduated from high school and was trying to prepare for college in the
midst of these crises. My youngest, an ADHD high-maintenance child, was
struggling mightily and desperately unhappy in school. I had been working
at home part-time for two years, after 15 years of fulltime at half-pay
in order to “build a base of retained earnings” for the business.

So in late 1997, I backed off the business
and attended to family matters.

This of course, is characterized in Court
papers as abandoning the business without explanation or permission. The
date is alternately posed as 1993, 1994 or 1995. In one set of false papers,
he even claims I “walked away” in 1995 but he kept me on the
payroll until 1997.

That is all, of course, a deliberae strategy
to convince the judge I’m not entitled to 50% of the business assets? but
that’s an entirely ‘nother story.

My husband’s stalking and disingenuous
probing of my emotional state was entirely opportunistic and characteristic
of the bloodlessly cold methodical win-at-all-costs strategies exhorted
by the FR groups. I still shudder to think what would have happened had
I been not such a strong person.

As far as the business went, my husband
had always handled the business end, a task he enthusiastically embraced.

As a writer and right-brained thinker,
I managed the creative end and developed a specialty in economic development
and community revitalization. At home and in parenting matters, there was
no option. I was “it.” There was no discussion and no choice.
He was neither interested nor inclined.

The single time in eight years that he
took our daughter to school, she was in third grade — and he took her
to the wrong school. An accident? Or simply making sure he NEVER had to
do that task again?

After a dozen years of marriage, I simply
did not realize that uppity wives, such as myself, who aspire to a saner
balance between family life and workplace, at a time of devastating personal
crisis, are not only unentitled to understanding and compassionÂ?but
are unwittingly wandering dead-center into the crosshairs of the fledgling
but vicious “father’s rights” movement.

I never once considered that the upshot
of my decision to take a much-deserved break from the business (no vacuum
was created, regardless; we had ample, experienced staff) to attend to
family matters was simply the creation of a financial opportunity for my
husband and his legal and accounting team.

He never let on, not for one single moment.
THAT still amazes me, these four years later.

VIII: The Financial Desecration Begins

Another key “father’s rights”
admonishment to their minions: CONTROL the MONEY.

I spoke in Article VI of the ‘initial’
Court hearing that was held in January 2000. Given what’s been debated
in the comments section on the family court, I do use the term ‘initial’
advisedly, since several lawsuits were filed simultaneously against me
in August 1999. Fending off the inevitable ‘initial’ hearing is also a
core element of the “father’s rights” strangulation and rape
strategy, and my husband played it like a dream, conning everyone along
the way that, indeed, he was “trying” to stay out of Court “for
the child’s sake.”

By the time the hearing was held, the
financial desecration was quite nearly complete. I had $61 to my name,
a car in repossession, property taxes unpaid, my phone disconnected, internet
service cancelled, credit card bills maxed out and overdue, and months
of unpaid college tuition and board.

My own assets had been seized and held
by my husband for nearly SEVEN months, courtesy of a restraining order
that was basically superfluous, since he had already moved more than $500,000
and made $350,000 more just vanish into accounting adjustments, a full
two months before he’d filed. He simply proceeded as though his reinvention
of me as a gold-digging, self-indulgent, malicious nitwit was already reality,
as though everything was rightfully only his, and he needed to “protect”
it from me.

He never once gave a moment’s thought
to what his manipulations were doing to the kids. I told him clearly, “whenever
you lob a bomb at me, you hit the kids.” But to no avail. He simply
did not care.

After all, as he explained to the Court,
he had to keep the business going (hired 14 new people between august 1999
and May 2000) and all those people to keep employed, and this greedy woman
will be happy to put the business on the skids to feed her vindictiveness!
In fact, your honor, I believe she’s trying to destroy this business. And
she won;t let me see my poor daughter! Please give me a restraining order
to keep her off the premises (and out of the financials and away from her
own work-product)Â? and turn that child over to me, your honor. You
can trust me…”

He had surreptitiously called our bank
in JUNE 1999 and had the monthly automatic deposits into our bank account
stopped. The deposits, but NOT the withdrawals, clever man. But then an
unexpected bump in his smooth-sailing path: my sister-in-law, who had hung
on for almost two years, succumbed in July 1999.

In an obvious attempt to not be caught
out too early, my husband hand-deposited $2,300 into our household account
in mid-July. Tat was roughly half of what the automatic deposits had been
for years.

By the time he filed in August 1999, there
was virtually nothing left but the money set aside in a separate account
for that year’s college tuition for my elder daughter. And in September,
the automatic withdrawals kicked in, and of course, there was nothing there
to cover them.

He wrote to the Court, filed motions against
me, “outraged,” that I’d been “trying to ruin his credit
by bouncing hundreds of dollars of checks all over town! Punish this irresponsible,
crazy woman, your honor, and did I mention she’s also trying to destroy
the business and doing irreparable harm to this poor child?”

There is absolutely no way to stay out
of the way of that kind of strategy.

Worse, all of my professional work-product,
my resume, client lists, billing records, writing samples, booklets, brochures,
plans and programs I’d developed and produced over the course of 18 years
were indeed in the office and out of my reach. He had earlier taken my
printer from home to the office “to have it repaired.” Ha.

Planning ahead, he of course had had the
locks changed on our office building just days after he filed. (That small
fact turned out to be a major factor in his undoing.) When I drove up to
the office that Saturday morning (no one about), I found my key no longer
worked. I returned home, where he was still allegedly living, and asked
him for a key. He of course refused and alluded to the fact that I’d ‘made

I then asked if this meant he would be
releasing me from the non-compete clause in my employment contract. Looking
at me as though I’d suddenly lost my mind, he asked, “Why would you
think that? Of course not.”

Me: “Obviously, if you’re not going
to have the money deposited, I will have to work to pay the bills.”

Him: “You can work. No one is stopping

Problem: The minute I were to take any
job doing what I do professionally, I am in violation of my non-compete
clause, and the contract says I then forfeit my interest in the business.
Such an unreasonable clause will likely never stand Court scrutiny, but
given my circumstances, and having no funds and only debts, I did not care
to be fighting yet ANOTHER lawsuit in another Court somewhere.

For the record, his strategy worked: my
assets have still not been released to me. My husband was, and remains,
in sole control of the rents and income from the building we co-own, of
the income, dividend, interest and profits of the businesses we own.

And in a clever coup, he hit me in March
2000 with a K-1 advising the IRS that my share of the business profits
the previous year was $161,000. I’d never seen a single penny. The IRS
would like my $55,000, please. And of course, that much reported income
guaranteed that I’d see NO financial aid for my daughter in college.

I was not aware at the time of the ‘father’s
rights’ movement or their advice to him in this regard. Nor was I aware
that he had also been advised to pre-emptively alert the police and the
Court that I had ‘made threats’ not only against the property, but also,
he claimed in total and complete fabrication, against the poor terrified
(he said, and that was a mistake that came back to haunt him) employees!
That, he explained, ‘forced’ him to change the locks.

The only ‘reasonable’ thing to did when
faced with this crazy, unstable woman, right?

I could sense it in my bones: he’s setting
me up for what he hopes will be a self-fulfilling prophesy. And he was
setting me up in order to help him obtain a restraining order against me,
which would then be further “proof” of my deteriorating mental
condition. I suppose I was lucky not to have been arrested that morning!



Drunk father lets 8-year-old son drive pickup: police

In domestic law on July 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm

A drunk father allowed his 8 year-old son to drive his pick-up truck on a southeast Louisiana highway on Saturday while he slept, until patrol officers pulled over the boy, police said

Amplify’d from

The boy was driving the Chevrolet truck on Interstate 12 near the town of Holden, with his father in the passenger seat and his 4 year-old sister in the back seat, Louisiana State Police said in a statement.

A passing motorist noticed the pick-up truck was being driven erratically and called police.

When Louisiana state troopers pulled over the truck in Livingston Parish, they found the 8 year-old boy behind the wheel and interviewed the father, 28 year-old Billy Joe Madden of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police said.

Police said they determined Madden was drunk and that he had been sleeping while his son drove the vehicle, en-route to Dallas, Texas.

Madden was arrested and booked into jail on two counts of child desertion, parent allowing a minor to drive, open container and two counts of no child restraint and no seatbelt.

Madden remains in jail at Livingston Parish Detention Center in lieu of $1,474 bail, said sheriff’s deputy Dustin Sanders at the facility.

Both of Madden’s children were turned over to child welfare authorities and were awaiting the arrival of a family member who could take custody of them, police said.

(Reporting by Kathy Finn; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Tim Gaynor)



It’s All About the Power and Control, I Mean the Kids

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Everyday we all hear about or read about divorcing couples fighting over who gets the kids.  Fighting over their own children like they are some sort of property to be traded back and forth.  There are many people that believe ALL mothers should always have custody with very little to no visitation for fathers; and likewise there are those out there that believe the opposite, ALL fathers should get custody and mothers should get little to no visitation.

Personally I don’t see how so many people can see this issue in such black and white terms.  Not ALL mothers are good parents and not ALL fathers are good parents.  For the most part the daily news will show us that most child abuse and child murders are committed by fathers, and yes, occasionally by mothers.  This still doesn’t prove that ALL fathers are bad or good or that ALL mothers are bad or good.

In the last few years I have learned more about the Father’s Rights Movement, and I can say that I’m more than a little shocked at what I’ve learned.  The Father’s Rights Advocates would have everyone believe that they are just concerned for fathers as a whole having shared or joint custody.  They would have us believe that their number one concern is actually the children in divorces and custody cases.  On the surface if one doesn’t dig too much that sounds wonderful.

However, when looked at further it is easily seen what the real agenda is for the Father’s Rights Movement.  The further abuse and victimization of their ex-wives and children.  Before I go any further here, I’d like to point out that I fully believe that good fathers have

sought out the assistance of the Father’s Rights Movement and one of two things happens… they either leave, frustrated and still alone in their plight OR they become enmeshed in the bitterness which abounds.

What I see out of Father’s Rights Advocates around the internet appears to be mostly just a bunch of men (and a few women that will do anything to get the attention or have a little power for themselves) who have been abusive in one way or another to the mother of their children and now feel that comfy rug of power and control being ripped from under their feet. 

What better way to continue to abuse and control your victim when they walk away than to take possession of their children?

One main reason that I’ve formed the opinion that I have of the Father’s Rights Movement is because only abusers would look at the news we see of fathers murdering and abusing their kids and deny that it happens, or make excuses for it happening.  The strict adherence to the ‘ALL fathers should have custody’ line that they feed everyone is the basis of my opinion that the majority of those in the movement are abusers grasping at keeping the power and control they had.

Here is an example, mind you… this is only one search, but there are many like this.


Referrer wifes come back after losing custody?&start=20&sa=N

Search Engine Phrase
do wifes come back after losing custody?

Search Engine Name

Search Engine Host

Host Name

IP Address
[Label IP Address]

United States

Why would someone look for this?  Other than because they are contemplating attempting to gain custody through the Family Court just to get their ex-wife back under their power.  This doesn’t sound like a man who loves his kids and wants the best for them, this sounds like a man who loves control and will use whatever means available to him to maintain or re-gain his power and control.

I never meant for this to be this long, so I will wrap this up by saying… not ALL men should have access to their children regardless of what the FR Advocates say.  Likewise, I can admit that not ALL women that give birth are the best parent choice either.  The natural equipment that we are born with which enables us to create life does NOT dictate how a person will be as a parent.

Since it is obvious that I have much more to say about this… there will be other posts on this subject.



Father suspected of major crimes against 8-year-old daughter

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Are we ‘getting-it” yet? Because mothers and children are sure ‘getting-it’.

Amplify’d from

A seven-hour standoff ended Thursday with the arrest of the father of a girl who vanished from her home in the middle of the night a day earlier and mysteriously resurfaced hours later across town.

Ray Salvador Coriell, 29, was arrested on a warrant for kidnapping with the act of rape; kidnapping with the intent to rape; intercourse with a child under 10 years old; and attempted murder, according to Kern County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ray Pruitt.
Coriell’s bail has been set at $1 million.

On Thursday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies were summoned to the central Bakersfield home from which the 8-year-old girl had disappeared a day earlier because Coriell was inside and believed to be despondent and armed, officials said. He had sent a text message to the child’s stepmother that said he was contemplating hurting himself, said Kern County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Dan Leper.

That prompted law enforcement to surround the home at the corner of Loch Lomond Drive and Cleveland Way. Crisis negotiators tried for hours to coax Coriell out as hoards of deputies outside the residence stood by. A warrant for Coriell’s arrest was obtained a little after 6 p.m. He voluntarily emerged from the home about 7 p.m.

Authorities said a secondary crime scene is at a field east of Morning Drive, close to where the girl was found.

The daughter had been reported missing early Wednesday morning, but her recovery later that day did not allay the fears of a community stunned and shaken by her disappearance.

Law enforcement initially wouldn’t say publicly how the girl vanished or where she was during the period when she was missing, leading to widespread fear that a stranger had abducted her.

Then midday Thursday — her 8th birthday — her neighborhood was rocked by yet another shock.

SWAT team members, Sheriff Donny Youngblood and other law enforcement officers descended on the home to deal with the distraught father, and part of the street was evacuated.

Other people were in the home when deputies arrived, and they were evacuated, too. They told authorities that weapons were in the house.

“A concern at this point is for his safety,” sheriff’s spokesman Pruitt said at the time. Sheriff’s officials said then that the father was not a suspect in the girl’s disappearance, but later that evening they accused him of kidnapping and raping his own daughter.

The Californian identified the girl in early reports of her disappearance when law enforcement sought the public’s help in finding her. She is no longer being named because of the assault allegations.

The girl and her stepmother were at Kern Medical Center, where the child was taken after she was found Wednesday, and are under guard for their own protection, Pruitt said. A “hold” has been placed on the girl, meaning if she were ready to leave the hospital, deputies would be involved in deciding where she would go next.

The child’s stepmother received the text message at 12:11 p.m., she told deputies.
A crisis negotiation team and mental health officials tried to reach the father and SWAT teams arrived at about 4 p.m.

After the father’s arrest, neighbors expressed surprise and disgust.

Stella Gonzales, who lives behind the family’s high-walled backyard, said she didn’t think someone could have made it into the house without the dogs creating a racket.

Gonzales’ brother-in-law, Dickie Holman, said that when Coriell approached him to say Coriell’s daughter was missing, “he didn’t shed no tears,” and he didn’t seem distraught.

“I lost my son for 15 minutes and my neighbor told me I looked like a madwoman,” said Flora Hull, another neighborhood resident.

Her husband, Terry Hull, said he often saw the girl’s stepmother picking her up from school when Hull picked up his own son. But, he said, “we didn’t see him very often.”

On Wednesday, relatives told authorities they discovered the girl missing at about 3:45 a.m.
She was found hours later, nine miles away across town, and authorities wouldn’t say exactly what happened or how she got there.

Adrian and Candice Sandoval, who live next door to the family, said the girl’s paternal grandmother knocked on their door shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday asking if they had seen her.

“She was hysterical,” Adrian Sandoval said.

He told the grandmother he hadn’t seen the little girl and immediately woke up his wife and checked on their own three children.

“My oldest daughter is in a back bedroom, so I was terrified,” Candice Sandoval said.

After relatives called 911, sheriff’s deputies swarmed the neighborhood, conducting a search on foot and by air near the home.

The child turned up at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday in the 9400 block of Eucalyptus Drive, east of Mount Vernon Avenue and south of Niles Street. The girl’s maternal grandfather said Thursday that he and his wife were deeply traumatized by the ordeal.

Authorities asked them not to discuss details of the case, but the grandfather said he wondered how anyone could have gotten inside the house to take the child, noting that the family has a fence and two large dogs that would make intrusion difficult.

He described his granddaughter as outgoing, smart and serious. “She’s loving, a really good girl,” he said. “She’s never run away before, and never had a problem with telling stories, no matter how much trouble she’s in.”

The grandfather hadn’t been able to see his granddaughter as of Thursday morning, he added.

He said he and his wife raised the girl until she moved in with her father at the age of 4. There is no ugly custody battle between the child’s parents, he said.

Mario Martinez, who said he found the child Wednesday, said she had injuries including a black eye that was nearly swollen shut and a bruised elbow.

Sheriff’s deputies have not confirmed that Martinez found the girl, but they did say Thursday night that the girl “displayed signs of trauma.”

Martinez said Thursday that he was raking his employer’s lawn when the girl wandered into the driveway Wednesday morning. He said she was thirsty, so he emptied his bottle of Brisk iced tea and filled it with water for her. She drank most of the bottle.

The child said she didn’t know where her mom was, and she couldn’t remember how she got from her home in central Bakersfield to the neighborhood of Martinez’s employer in east Bakersfield, a distance of about nine miles.

“She looked nervous, but also really tired,” Martinez said.

The girl was dressed in a pink shirt and pink pajama pants, he said. She was very dirty, especially on her face and hands.

Martinez’s employer, veterinarian Dr. Lynn Reno, said he was at work at the time but Martinez filled him in on what had happened. He added that Martinez didn’t have a cell phone on him and asked a neighbor to call police.

Nick Miranda lives on the same block as the surrounded house. He said deputies came to his door Thursday and told him to leave. He decided to take his daughter and his fiancee and leave in their SUV.

“I’m getting my kid out of here,” Miranda said. “I’m not sticking around to find out what happens.”

Roman Aragon lives on Castro Lane, a block over from Loch Lomond. He said his 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son were scared to sleep alone Wednesday night. They’re afraid.

The family ended up sleeping in the living room together. Aragon said his son propped a chair against the front door, and also placed a jar of marbles in front of it so the family would hear the noise if someone tried to get in.

“It’s scary,” Aragon said.


Casey Christie / The Californian

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood talks with fellow deputies at Loch Lomond Drive and Cleveland Way Thursday afternoon. Deputies cordoned off the area and evacuated nearby residents during a standoff near the home from which an 8-year-old girl went missing Wednesday. She was found several hours later nine miles from home.


Casey Christie / The Californian

Kern County Sheriff’s deputies work on a standoff at Loch Lomond Drive and Cleveland Way Thursday afternoon. Sheriff’s deputies cordoned off the area and evacuated residents near the home from which an 8-year-old girl went missing on Wednesday and was later found nine miles from her home.


Jaclyn Borowski / The Californian

After a nearly seven-hour standoff with deputies that began early Thursday afternoon, Kern County deputies put a handcuffed Ray Coriell into a squad car.



Murder charge for father after 7-year-old’s death Son fatally injured after domestic incident

In domestic law on July 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm
Amplify’d from

Brent Allen Warren appeared in court Thursday afternoon on one count of first-degree murder stemming from a domestic incident early Wednesday morning that saw his son fatally injured.

Warren will remain in custody until his next court appearance on Aug. 8. The court has ordered a publication ban on the case.

Mounties say they were called to the family home in the 2600-block South Alder Street in Campbell River’s quiet Willow Point neighbourhood at around 2: 30 a.m. Wednesday to assist paramedics.

Officers arrived to find the boy severely injured. He died in hospital just after 3 a.m.

According to RCMP spokesman Sgt. Craig Massey, two other people, including Warren, were taken to hospital to be treated for injuries.

Other details – including the boy’s injuries – are being withheld by investigators.

A spokesperson for B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth – a government agency that may investigate a child’s injury or death if the child or child’s family “was receiving a reviewable service” – said the agency does not expect to get involved in the case.

The South Alder Street home remained blocked off Thursday as forensic investigators combed the area for evidence.

Massey said he expected a “lengthy” investigation into the boy’s death.



Fathers’ Wrongs

In domestic law on July 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm
Amplify’d from

I was thrilled to perform my one-man play, “Voices of Men” for the San Diego Men’s Leadership Forum.  I flew to San Diego and was driven to the auditorium where the event was to take place – my hosts told me there would be over 300 men in attendance, many of them from the nearby military base.  All the men had committed themselves to taking the initiative to stop men’s violence against women.

As my host drove us up to the event, it became clear we were not the only group of men there.  I was greeted by signs saying “Man-Hating Conference Here,” “Domestic Violence Law is a Feminist Scam,” and “Save Our Troops from Feminist Man-Hating.” 

A large group of men (and some women) had gathered along the street and outside our venue.  They had over 20 large, expensive signs and a huge RV with messages airbrushed onto it.  They had brochures they were passing out.  They had brought food.  They were organized. 

I had some time before my performance, so I went to meet them and take some photos.  Some were chatty and friendly – some were downright scary, glowering and silent.  I got a tour of the RV from a proud father who showed me where his son had painted part of the outside.  Many were eager to speak to me about their philosophy – they encouraged me to “keep an open mind” and not be brainwashed by feminists. 

I’ve been working to end men’s violence for almost twenty years.  I have encountered the so-called “Father’s Rights”(1) movement in the past (as well as their sexual assault predecessors, the so-called “False Memory Syndrome” folks).  Usually, my encounter consisted of one or two guys who came to state legislator hearings, wearing suits and ties, to testify on a custody bill.  They would make an impassioned plea to get legislators to “recognize fatherhood to be as important as motherhood.”  But usually they shot themselves in the foot – they were socially awkward, would invade the personal space of legislators (and the rest of us), and ended up spouting rhetoric that made them seem like extremists.  Legislators’ initial sympathies waned once they saw what these guys were really like. 

After these initial encounters, I asked feminist leaders I knew what they thought we should do.  Their advice was to ignore these guys.  Any statement we put out to the public concerning them would only grant them unearned attention.  I gladly complied – we were busy enough with other concerns.

Sadly, the time has come when we can no longer afford to ignore them.  “Father’s Rights” members have stalked and harassed advocates, sent threatening emails and letters, and lobbied Congress to change the name of the Violence Against Women Act.  Certainly, there are communities where these folks are few and disorganized – ignoring them might still be the best option.  But we need to prepare other options – I am certainly no expert, but have some ideas that we might want to consider.

War is Peace – Up is Down

Why are more and more fathers (and their wives/girlfriends/female friends) joining these groups? 

Consider other “backlash” movements: the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, anti-choice activists and the already-mentioned “False Memory Syndrome” folks.  Each of these movements has been organized on one Orwellian hypothesis – they are the real victims.  Not people of color – white people who have had “their” jobs and “their” women taken away.  Not Jews, GLBT folks, Romani and people with disabilities – the Germans and whites who are “polluted” by these folks even existing.  Not victims of child rape – the poor men who are “falsely accused” of raping their kids.  Not women seeking reproductive freedom – poor defenseless babies and fathers who are shut out of reproductive decisions (see Ohio’s bill mandating the “father’s” consent in any abortion decision, even when the father is completely out of the picture). 

Those of us who give educational presentations on men’s violence against women are familiar with this defense.  Boys and men, confronted with the statistical reality of men’s violence, will do anything to avoid the realization that our gender is predominantly responsible for this violence – argue the statistics, point out anecdotal evidence of women’s violence against men, or “shoot the messenger” by mocking or belittling the (usually female) trainer giving the presentation. 

Honestly, I can relate to this: when my wife Lucinda points out a way in which I’ve unintentionally hurt her, my first response is to usually deny that I’ve done anything wrong, or explain to her why she shouldn’t feel hurt in the first place.  It’s a painful thing to admit I’ve been a party to hurting someone I love – I’d rather the hurt hadn’t taken place in the first place.  But eventually, I get around to admitting that I participated in hurting Lucinda – only then am I a useful partner in terms of changing things so I don’t hurt her again. 

Many men avoid that step.  Like batterers who deny individual responsibility for violence, many men deny the responsibility of our gender’s violence. 

Certainly, most men have been confronted with the painful realization that men’s violence against women is a huge problem, due to the success of the educational campaigns of the feminist movement against men’s violence.  The inevitable conclusion is that we men must take the initiative to stop such violence.  But if these men are offered an easier way out – if they are the actual victims of a hegemonic feminist conspiracy – if the court system is biased against men and fathers, then they can revel in self-righteous victimhood. 

As a gender, men have been offered these “easy outs” in the past.  In the 70’s, confronted with the second wave feminists’ challenging of gender roles, some men responded by creating the profeminist men’s movement.  Many more joined the so-called “Moral Majority” and its antecedents like the “Promise Keepers.”(2)

Men who observe feminists challenging traditional gender roles usually wonder what their response should be, now that these roles have changed.  The feminist and profeminist men’s movements offer a difficult answer, yet one that is more rewarding in the long run: our role as men of conscience is to be as brave as feminist women have been, examining all that we have learned about being male, being in a relationship, being a father.  “Promise Keepers” and other right-wing groups offered an easy answer – Our role is to reclaim our place at the head of the traditional family. 

So-called “Father’s Rights” groups are a continuation of this pattern of turning privilege into victimhood.  More than simply a backlash, these groups are a way to avoid dealing with painful realizations about privilege and entitlement.  Instead, they allow – even encourage – the childish “But she hit me, too!” response.  They use popular, easy to understand phrases to lure men and women into their membership ranks – men and women that I believe we could reach instead. 

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Rallying cries by the “Father’s Rights” groups crumble under an even cursory examination.  By shedding the harsh light of day on their assertions, we will also find ways to combat these groups in our communities. 

Myth #1: Men Are Abused Just As Much As Women (And Feminists Protect Our Huge Salaries by Covering This Up)

Reality #1: Virtually every study published about domestic violence and intimate partner violence shows that men are the predominant aggressors in most cases.  The one study that does not – the Straus and Gelles study from the 1980s – has been assailed by academics as “bad science, with findings and conclusions that are contradictory, inconsistent, and unwarranted (Jack Straton, “The Myth of the ‘Battered Husband’ Syndrome,”” 

This doesn’t stop the “Father’s Rights” groups from pulling out this study like an old shoe at every legislative hearing – they use this tactic not to care for men who are abused, but to further their own political goals (see articles below for more info on Straus and the Conflict Tactics Scale).

Indeed, there are male victims of both sexual assault and domestic violence – most Father’s Rights” groups fail to note that

Strategies: Those of us who work with victims of domestic violence know that there are plenty of bona fide male victims – gay, bisexual, transgender and straight.  In fact, there is a greater likelihood of male victimization in gay male relationships than in heterosexual ones (see articles below). 

Ironically, and contrary to what the “Father’s Rights” groups say, the battered women’s movement is still the best place to go for most abused men.  We help men every day with court advocacy, one-on-one counseling, hotline assistance, and even shelter and support groups in some cases.  We can be proud of this as a movement – we can talk publicly about our services to men.  And we can improve those services, to men and to all people, and create targeted outreach campaigns to male victims and other special populations. 

We also know that virtually all men who batter identify as the “victim” at some point.  The general public will understand this due to familiarity with batterers and other criminals – their pleas of innocence and victimhood will ring hollow in most ears if they have been convicted of wife or child abuse.

Finally, we can be ready for the ritual hauling out of the Straus and Gelles studies.  We can be ready with other scientific studies – our state coalitions can provide us with well-researched, documented facts and figures about our communities.  Or print out some of the articles from VAWNet below. 

Myth #2: Our Slogans Are Harmless, and So Are We

Reality #2: “Father’s Rights” groups use slogans that most legislators believe.  The RV I was shown spoke of the “Children’s Rights Initiative – A Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Ensuring That Children of Divorce or Separation Have Access to Both Parents – Equally.” (see photo, left)  Sounds reasonable, right?  Like much of the right wing, they are good at framing right-wing ideas with a centrist label (remember “pro-life”?).  But if you dig under the mild slogans, you will find harmful and often violent underpinnings – look for these other slogans and bring them to light. 

Strategies: Bring printouts of T-shirts (below right) and quotes from “Father’s Rights” websites to legislative hearings where these folks will be present – they won’t look so mild-mannered once you quote them. 

These groups are also deft at framing our causes as extreme (remember “partial-birth” abortion, “feminazi”?).  If I knew nothing about our movement to end men’s violence and I drove by this demonstration in San Diego, it might have scared me away from feminism and from the domestic violence movement.  We have to be ready with reasoned argument, framed as soundbites as pithy as these signs. 

Finally, many of the leaders (and followers) in these movements will have criminal records.  They will claim that this is because they’ve been wrongly prosecuted by lying women supported by feminists – but they’re still convicted wife-beaters.  Pointing this out might make them seem less sympathetic. 

Myth #3: The Court System is Run by Feminists, and is Biased Against Men

Reality #3: Many of us work with battered women (not to mention rape victims) who are not believed, who are not granted restraining orders, and who are systemically isolated by a criminal justice system and a society that does not believe them.  For child custody, it is true that cases are decided in favor of the mother – that’s because in many cases, the father doesn’t want custody!  When the father wants custody, the decision is in his favor the majority of the time. 

Despite this, sometimes men are denied custody for the wrong reason.  Some are almost certainly convicted using false evidence.  Perhaps some courts are biased against men.  This doesn’t change the fact that in general, men are favored over women.  Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are subject every day to dual arrest, arrest of the victim only, false prosecution and criminal justice harassment.  Despite the many gains made by enlightened members of the criminal justice system, my voice usually carries more weight there than does a woman’s.  This is the true conspiracy – one that all genders need to work to change. 

Strategy: Our state coalitions and national groups have well-researched data about the criminal justice system, child custody decisions, etc.  Furthermore, ground-breaking films such as Breaking the Silence illustrate the horror and reality that battered moms face in some family courts.  The real bias is against women, and the facts and anecdotes clearly support this. 

Myth #4: “Father’s Rights” Groups Speak for All Fathers and for All Men

Reality #4: Most places I go, men care about girls and women.  They want to become a part of the solution – with minimal education, and some tricks to get past male defensiveness, men literally line up to sign up. 

I end every performance of “Voices of Men” by asking men in the audience to stand and take a pledge.  In San Diego, hundreds of men, many of them military men in uniform, stood when I asked them to.  A booming chorus of male voices pledged to “never commit, condone, or remain silent about men’s violence against women,” and to “respect, listen to, seek equality with and share power with every person I date, and every person I know.”  These men were not fooled by the signs outside.  The signs do not speak to them, nor did they believe them.  

Strategy: We need to continue to organize men to ally themselves with our movement.  These men should be on a “rapid response” email list, ready to come to our State Houses wearing suits and ties.  These men should be ready to echo the sentiments that battered women’s advocates say, and to stand behind them if needed. 

Some groups are already in place – most notably Joe Kelly and “Dads and Daughters,”  Kelly and other dads encourage fathers to work to end sexism and violence against girls and women, for their daughters’ sake as much as their own.  The White Ribbon Campaign is an international movement of men to end men’s violence against women.  And the National Organization for Men Against Sexism organizes annual conferences to end sexism, racism, homophobia – they work to enhance men’s lives by (among other things) encouraging them to take a stand against men’s violence. 

Many, many local and statewide groups exist that organize men to take a stand against men’s violence.  I have been to many such communities – most of them have followed a simple five-step process which I will outline in a subsequent article.  It is possible to organize men in our communities, without taking resources away from victim safety.  And when each of our shelters, state coalitions and national groups has hundreds of men accountable to women’s leadership, the words of the “Father’s Rights” groups will ring hollow. 

Long Term: Potential Allies?

Our primary concern in doing this work is usually the safety of battered women and their advocates.  If the “Father’s Rights” groups have their way, this safety will be threatened – in addition, some of the “Father’s Rights” members can be and are very dangerous.  For this reason, I urge our local programs and state coalitions to plan and strategize for existing and potential “Father’s Rights” activism in our communities and in our states – using this article if you find it useful. 

But we must also remember that underneath every “Father’s Rights” member is a human being.  As we learn more about these movements, their methods and their rhetoric, we can learn about the individual men and women involved.  We can connect with these men and women – they are real people who have mostly been brainwashed.  Some men of conscience I know, including my hosts in San Diego, are attempting to make real connections with these folks. 

In the article referenced below, Alan Berkowitz says, “What men think other men think and do is one of the strongest determinants of how men act – even when these perceptions and beliefs are mistaken.”  “Father’s Rights” members have joined a movement that seemed most inviting to them, the one that seemed to address their concerns.  But our movement addresses concerns of parental equality and partnership much more thoroughly than does theirs. 

Like the Moral Majority and the Promise Keepers, their movement will eventually wane and might sputter out.  When it does, they may find the feminist movement against domestic violence is the place they can go to build a world truly free from violence against women, children – and men. 

Ben Atherton-Zeman is a feminist, actor and husband living in Acton, MA: He can be reached at, or 

(1)  In this essay, I use the term “so-called ‘Father’s Rights’” because I do not believe these groups’ goal is to promote the rights of fathers.  Their intent is to promote father’s rights, but the effect of their words and actions are to eradicate the goals of the movement to end men’s violence against women. In my opinion, feminism is the real “father’s rights” movement.  Feminists advocate for shared parenting, shared responsibility, economic equality, and an end to all violence and oppression – goals that are certainly liberating and beneficial for any father. 

(2) Again, I use quotes for these groups since the “Promise Keepers” do not, in my opinion, “keep” their “promise” of a better family life since, at the core, they espouse stifling and harmful gender roles with the husband as the undisputed head of the household.  And, as the old bumper sticker says, “The Moral Majority Is Neither.” 


Resources: Conflict Tactics Scale:

Surveys that use the CTS will count the raw number of violent acts committed while ignoring the reasons why people use violence. They ignore the context, motivations, meanings, and consequences of intimate partner violence. In fact, an examination of the data available to date reveals that the
majority of women who use violence against their male partners are battered themselves. While men generally use violence in order to control their female partners, many scholars and victim advocates report that women have different motivations for using force against their current or former
intimate partners. Women’s abusive behaviors towards their heterosexual partners are motivated by several factors including self-defense and retaliation (see “Towards an Understanding of Women’s Use of Non-Lethal Violence in Intimate Heterosexual Relationships”).

Male Victims

“Men living with male intimate partners experience more intimate partner violence than do men who live with female intimate partners. Approximately 23 percent of the men, who had lived with a man as a couple, reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant, while 7.4 percent of the men, who had married or lived with a woman as a couple, reported such violence by a wife or female cohabitant. These findings provide evidence indicating that intimate partner violence is perpetrated primarily by men, whether against male or female intimates. Thus, strategies for
preventing intimate partner violence should focus on risks posed by men.” [Tjaden, P. & Thoennes, N. (July 2000).  Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence – findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey.  (Publication #NCJ181867).  National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs.]

Violence Against Women Act

Funds are available under the Violence Against Women Act for services provided to victims regardless of gender. And while male victims represent a small parcel of the total number of clients, domestic violence programs nationwide provide crisis services to these victims as well. (see the “National Census of Domestic Violence Services” for a snapshot of the services provided by gender to adults.)

(Not all of the resources below are available on VAWnet, but most are.)

Measuring the Extent of Woman Abuse in Intimate Heterosexual Relationships: A Critique of the Conflict Tactics Scales by Walter DeKeseredy and Martin Schwartz

Towards an Understanding of Women’s Use of Non-Lethal Violence in Intimate Heterosexual Relationships by Shamita Das Dasgupta

Are Heterosexual Men Also Victims of Intimate Partner Abuse? by Joanne Belknap and Heather Melton

Male Victims of Domestic Violence: A Substantive and Methodological Research Review by Michael S. Kimmel

Husband Abuse: An Overview of Research and Perspectives by Leslie Tutty

Abuse in Gay Male Relationships: A Discussion Paper by Kevin Kirkland

Male Victims of Violence Facts

Intimate Partner Violence: Fact Sheet

Intimate Partner Violence in the United States

Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women

Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey

Domestic Violence Counts: The National Census of Domestic Violence Services – Communities and Individuals Served

Women’s Experiences of Abuse as a Risk Factor for Incarceration by Mary E Gilfus

Child Custody and Visitation Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases: Legal Trends, Research Findings, and Recommendations by Daniel G. Saunders

The Social Norms Approach to Violence Prevention by Alan D. Berkowitz

Two steps forward, one step back: Community attitudes to violence against women by Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)



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