Crisis In The Family Courts

Peter Jamison: Parental Alienation: A ‘Mythical Legal Argument’- PAS: Mad Science?

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 20, 2011

 

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2011/05/parental_alienation_syndrome_d.php

California family courts

Parental Alienation: A ‘Mythical Legal Argument’

By Peter Jamison, Thu., May 19 2011 @ 2:18PM

Categories: California family courts, Crime, Law & Order, Science

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Mad_scientist_caricature.jpg

PAS: Mad science?

Slate published an excellent story this week on the battle over whether to include the theory of "Parental Alienation Syndrome" in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Like almost every other informed and disinterested observer who has assessed the validity of PAS, Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick takes a very dim view of the theory.

She also gracefully articulates the many reasons that the theory, as currently used as "scientific evidence" in family courts across the country, is pernicious. In a March cover story, SF Weekly described how PAS — and its virtually identical variant, "Parental Alienation" or PA — can be used by abusive fathers to win custody of children from protective mothers.

The theory of Parental Alienation, a term coined by the late pedophilia apologist Richard Gardner, posits that mothers maliciously brainwash their children to hold delusions of sexual abuse at the hands of an estranged father. As described by its adherents, PAS is probably the only supposed psychiatric condition that arises solely in the context of divorce proceedings, one of many reasons that reputable scientific and medical organizations such as the American Medical Association don’t recognize it.

As Lithwick puts it:

… no hypothesis so rooted in gender bias should be credited by medical science. And because evidence of PAS is so frequently offered to counter maternal allegations of abuse, the experts testifying about PAS can be aiding and abetting a system that takes children from abused mothers and hands them right back to abusive fathers. Once again, this doesn’t mean that some parents don’t alienate their children in a divorce. It means that PAS is now used to discredit women whenever they claim abuse.

Of course, despite its tenuous scientific credentials, PAS has become the dominant psychological paradigm of the family-court system. The word "syndrome" is often deliberately omitted so that litigants arguing that the condition exists can avoid the unsavory connotations of the theory’s origins, and most particularly its founder, Gardner, who argued that "pedophilia has been considered the norm by the vast majority of individuals in the history of the world."
Lithwick’s conclusion: "While nobody was looking, a mythical legal argument known as parental alienation may have already taken over family courts."
Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

Tags:

child molester, Dahlia Lithwick, evidence admissibility, family court evaluators, family courts, Parental Alienation Syndrome, pedophilia, Richard Gardner, Slate

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Trouble with Women—We are just returning the favor Family Court–

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

www.AmericanmothersPoliticalparty.org

AMPP is a social movement. seeking justice and accountability within the family court system which includes DHHS/CPS, psychologists and other so called experts.

We as mothers demand CITIZENSHIP and our Rights to our Children. We demand that our children not be used as pawns by our abuser in a custody dispute. We demand that Mothers and Children be equally protected against court ordered visitation with an abuser. We demand that Mothers and Children be given the same rights, privileges and voice that the abuser gets in family courts!

We demand that our President take action now as can no longer afford to be silent and we won’t. We demand the same "rights and freedoms" to which all humans are entitled. Behind the closed doors of the dirty little secret of the family court system, thousands of women each year lose child custody to violent men who beat and abuse Mothers and Children. Family courts are not family-friendly and betray the best interests of the child. Until Mothers and Childrens voices are heard we will never shut up, give up or go away!

Meet The New Boss…Same As The Old Boss

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

Women tired of being ignored by our President are banding together to bring awareness to the fully funded genocide that is currently raging through America. Pres. Obama has allocated $500 Million in Responsible Fatherhood Initiatives which help abusers gain access and/or custody to children. In 2010. 175 abusive fathers killed their children http://dastardlydads.blogspot.com/2011/02/175-killer-dads-fathers-who-ended-t… fathers who ended their children’s lives in situations involving child custody, visitation, and/or child support (USA)

We are not going to give up, shut up or go away…we are going to get LOUDER!
Disclaimer: I voted for Barack Obama and had every faith in him, We have tirelessly attempted to bring awareness to him about the issues with women in family court and domestic violence. This video intent is to enlighten others on the subject that we women will not get fooled again. We demand that our president stop ignoring our pleas and take action as we can no longer afford to be silent and we won’t. The politicians that are currently waging a war on women we have taken notice of and will not be fooled again.

Gender Bias or Mother Nature??

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

Gender Bias or Mother Nature??

 

Meet The New Boss…Same As The Old Boss

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

Women tired of being ignored by our President are banding together to bring awareness to the fully funded genocide that is currently raging through America. Pres. Obama has allocated $500 Million in Responsible Fatherhood Initiatives which help abusers gain access and/or custody to children. In 2010. 175 abusive fathers killed their children http://dastardlydads.blogspot.com/2011/02/175-killer-dads-fathers-who-ended-t… fathers who ended their children’s lives in situations involving child custody, visitation, and/or child support (USA)

We are not going to give up, shut up or go away…we are going to get LOUDER!
Disclaimer: I voted for Barack Obama and had every faith in him, We have tirelessly attempted to bring awareness to him about the issues with women in family court and domestic violence. This video intent is to enlighten others on the subject that we women will not get fooled again. We demand that our president stop ignoring our pleas and take action as we can no longer afford to be silent and we won’t. The politicians that are currently waging a war on women we have taken notice of and will not be fooled again.

Gender Bias or Mother Nature??

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

Gender Bias or Mother Nature??

 

Domestic Violence Debate-Why some fathers kill, the tragic murder suicide that’s reignited the debate over domestic violence.

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2011/s3220581.htm

Why some fathers kill, the tragic murder suicide that’s reignited the debate over domestic violence.

 

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Here is a story about the murder suicide tragedy that sparked discussion all around the nation about domestic violence.

Early this week, estranged father Paul Rogers killed four people, including his five-year-old daughter and himself.

These incidents aren’t common, but they do happen with a tragic regularity, and every time they prompt soul searching about why. Deborah Cornwall reports.

CINDY GAMBINO: I can’t understand what goes through a father’s mind in the terms of, "I have to kill my child to get to her." It doesn’t have to be like that. It truly doesn’t.

DEBORAH CORNWALL, REPORTER: It was six years ago on Fathers’ Day when Robert Farquharson drove his three sons into a dam. But rather than trying to save them, he left them to drown, flagging down a passing car and heading straight to ex-wife Cindy Gambino to tell her the shocking news.

CINDY GAMBINO: You’re never ever the same person. And then I think why do fathers feel that they have to take their children’s lives in order to get back at the mother?

CAROLYN HARRIS-JOHNSON, CURTIN UNI: What would be important for him would be to actually see the result of his work, so that he would want to witness the pain on the surviving parent himself. He’d want to see it, he’d want to be there, he’d want to watch.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: It took Cindy Gambino three years to believe Robert Farquharson was actually capable of such a monstrous act, even supporting him through his first trial.

CINDY GAMBINO: I thought things were fairly amicable between us. I had no idea that he would ever harm the children. If anything, I thought he was gonna harm himself.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: The discovery this week of another family murder, this time on the Gold Coast, has prompted yet another debate about what can be done to help protect mothers and children.

TIM TERIZE, QLD POLICE: It’s obvious that when these tragic events happen that we all look for answers in trying to explain why it happened. And unfortunately, rarely is there a simple explanation.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: Paul Rogers had the names of his estranged partner and two children etched into his body after he separated from Tania Simpson six months ago. On Sunday night, he went on a rampage, stabbing her to death along with a family friend.

???: It would appear that both bodies have suffered some form of trauma. I can’t say anything more beyond that.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: The bodies of Rogers and his five-year-old daughter Kyla were discovered the next day in a car in northern NSW.

CAROLYN HARRIS-JOHNSON: I think what’s really driving these men is their own need to have power and control over the woman that they were in a relationship with.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: Social work lecturer Carolyn Harris-Johnson has just published her findings on a 10-year study of so-called filicide killings in Australia. What she found was a clear pattern among men who kill their families. It’s not so much the custody battles that drive men to murder, she says; more than anything, they simply want to punish their wives for leaving them – in the most horrific way they can.

CAROLYN HARRIS-JOHNSON: My research showed that where these cases had occurred, there wasn’t actually an existing dispute in the courts, so what I see is that the proprietary attitude that these men have, both towards their wives and towards their children, allows them to commit the offence, because they are possessions of his, they’re not entities in their own right.

DIONNE FEHRING: Well there’s sliding doors in life. You decide which doors you’re going to take and that was the door that he chose to take on that day, was to kill the kids and himself.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: Dionne Fehring’s two children were suffocated by their father Jason Dalton on Anzac Day 2004.

DIONNE FEHRING: I knew that he was capable of murdering me because of the threats he’d made against me, but I never ever thought he’d make – he would kill the kids. I don’t think anyone knew what he was capable of. I certainly didn’t. I didn’t think he would do that. And could anything have been done differently? No. He had it in his mind of what he was going to do. I don’t think anyone could have changed his mind.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: MensLine, a national counselling service, today cautioned men going through the crisis of a divorce or separation didn’t need the stigma of being regarded as potentially homicidal.

RANDAL NEWTOWN-JOHN, MENSLINE: Obviously men who are going through these situations may be feeling angry, hurt or scared, but that doesn’t mean to say they’re dangerous.

CAROLYN HARRIS-JOHNSON: So we’re talking about a very, very small group of men who have a particular and intense need to control their partner and who will never accept the finality of separation.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: But victims and experts say we now know enough about this kind of homicidal behaviour to recognise some of the red flags.

CAROLYN HARRIS-JOHNSON: Things like veiled threats to harm the children or explicit threats to harm the children or the self should be warning flags to everyone.

CINDY GAMBINO: My biggest thing is just get help. Don’t think it’s the end of the world. It’s not the end of the world. The end of the world is when you kill your children.

LEIGH SALES: Deborah Cornwell reporting.

Why Fathers Kill Their Children- To Punish Their Wives For Leaving Them.

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

Obsessive love lost: why some fathers kill

Adele Horin

May 18, 2011

‘Please God not again’

A mother whose two children were murdered by their father seven years ago says she ‘can’t believe this keeps happening’.

 

Replay video

Several recent cases have thrown the spotlight on estranged partners who resort to drastic acts of revenge, writes Adele Horin.

Custody issues are not the main reason estranged fathers kill their children.

They kill to punish their wives for leaving them.

That is the conclusion of Australia’s foremost expert on murder-suicide, Carolyn Johnson of Curtin University.

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Paul Roger's tattoo list the names of his family members.

Paul Rogers’s tattoo list the names of his family members.

”Of the cases I studied, all the men had access to their kids and they used the access time to murder them,” said Dr Johnson, whose book Come with Daddy, explored murder-suicides after marital separation.

A police hunt for five-year-old Kyla Rogers ended on Monday night near Casino with the discovery of her body in a car beside that of her father, Paul.

Earlier, the bodies of his former partner, Tania Simpson, and a ”family friend”, Anthony Way, were found in a flat on the Gold Coast.

Robert Farquharson...accused of driving his car into a dam and drowning his three sons.

Robert Farquharson…accused of driving his car into a dam and drowning his three sons. Photo: John Woudstra

Dr Johnson said the kind of men who kill in these situations are those with a proprietorial attitude towards women and children.

They will not relinquish control, they are used to calling the shots in the family, and are often pathologically jealous. When they finally realise their wives are not coming back, they turn lethal.

”Homicide-suicide is their final act of control,” she said. ”Very often they let their wives survive to experience the extreme pain of losing their children.”

Paul Rogers was found dead in a car with his daughter Kyla.

Paul Rogers was found dead in a car with his daughter Kyla.

Several recent high-profile cases have thrown the spotlight on estranged fathers who have resorted to murder.

Last month, Arthur Freeman was jailed for 30 years for throwing his daughter Darcey, 4, to her death off the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne.

The judge concluded he had used his daughter in an attempt to hurt his former wife ”as profoundly as possible”.

Little angel...Kyla Rogers, pictured with her brother Bronnson, was found dead in a car beside the body of her father, Paul.

Little angel…Kyla Rogers, pictured with her brother Bronnson, was found dead in a car beside the body of her father, Paul.

Freeman lodged an appeal against the sentence last week.

And last year another estranged father, Robert Farquharson, was jailed for a minimum of 33 years for deliberately driving his car into a dam and drowning his three sons near Geelong.

The judge said Farquharson had resented that his estranged wife had started a new relationship.

He has lodged an appeal.

Lesley Laing, a leading expert on family violence from Sydney University, said a history of controlling and violent behaviour was behind most cases of family homicide but too many people ignored or dismissed women’s fears.

”The community reaction often is ‘what more can we do to make this man or these men feel better’ by changing family law or providing more services,” she said. Instead the focus should be on the safety of women and children.

Dr Laing recently completed research on the family law system’s response to victims of domestic violence. She also chaired a committee which has led the NSW government to establish a domestic violence death review panel. She said the way to prevent more deaths of women and children was to find better ways to protect them.

At Men’s Line, the national counselling service for men, 40 per cent of the callers are going through separation, and some are so angry they express a desire to hurt others or themselves.

”It’s a very challenging situation for counsellors,” the program leader, Randal Newton-John, said.

He said many men relied entirely on their wives for emotional support and when the relationship broke down they had nobody to turn to.

He said it was essential that men going through separation sought help early for any emotional difficulties.

For Ingrid Poulson, the death of her two children and her father at the hands of her estranged husband in 2003 was beyond her worst nightmare.

Her husband, Phithak ”Neung” Kongsom, had been violent, controlling and she had taken out an apprehended violence order, but she did not think he would ever kill the children.

Yesterday she said women had to be ”hyper-alert” to signs that men were putting the children’s welfare at risk.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/obsessive-love-lost-why-some-fathers-kill-20110517-1eri9.html#ixzz1MnyhFHhB

Divorce, Child Custody Dispute Leads FATHER to Kill his 5 year Old Daughter- “If I cant Have her- NO ONE WILL!

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

Custody dispute led to killings FATHER kills Daughter age 5 Kyla Rogers -then himself. http://bit.ly/lzBymD

Replay video

The brother of murdered Gold Coast mother Tania Simpson says she was the rock of their family.

More video

 

Replay video

A custody dispute was at the centre of a triple homicide and suicide which included the death of five-year-old Kyla Rogers, Gold Coast police say.

Kyla was found dead alongside her father Paul Rogers on Monday night in a car near Casino in northern NSW.

Her mother, Tania Simpson, and family friend Anthony Way had been found dead in a unit in Robina on the Gold Coast about 8am (AEST) the same day.

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Tania Simpson ... "always happy".

Tania Simpson … "always happy".

Police believe Rogers stabbed Mr Way and Ms Simpson to death before abducting Kyla and taking her to northern NSW, where they died together from carbon monoxide poisoning in his car.

Kyla’s toddler brother was staying with his grandparents.

Acting superintendent Tim Trezise said a dispute over the custody of the children was at the centre of the tragedy.

Tragic ending ... Kyla Rogers.

Tragic ending … Kyla Rogers.

"Information we have received in interviewing a number of witnesses is that Mr Rogers understandably was upset and concerned about not having access to his children," he told ABC Radio.

He said the absence of a suicide note had complicated the investigation.

Queensland’s coroner will lead the investigation into the death of Kyla Rogers in the first case referred to the new family and domestic violence death review unit.

Another Dead Child Slips Through the Cracks of a Broken System: Kristina Hepp Age 4, Dies in Father’s Care

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 19, 2011

VIDEO HERE >> http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/article/204631/3/Kristina-Hepp-Dies-in-Fathers-Care-Jacksonville-Step-Grandparents-Left-without-Answers

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  The death of a 4-year-old girl and a new lawsuit, claiming negligence against an agency contracted by the state Department of Children and Families is sparking new questions of how some cases are handled.

"There’s a lot of folks including us sitting around wondering what the hell just happened here," said Michael Gordon.

Gordon and his wife, Jamie, were step-grandparents to Kristina Hepp. "This 4-year-old child was allowed to have contact with someone that the system did not know anything about," said Helen Spohrer, an attorney who filed a lawsuit on behalf of Kristina’s estate in April 2011.

She slipped through the cracks of a broken system, Spohrer said.

Kristina was born in July 2004 to her 16-year-old mom, Elizabeth Hepp and immediately there was concern over the care of Kristina, but the DCF investigated and signed off on two people who were living with the Gordons.

"When I held her she was just so beautiful," said Jamie Gordon.

Hepp was married to the Gordons’ son, but when Kristina was nearly turning 3, Hepp was found with drugs.

DCF contracted with a private group, Partnership for Strong Families, or PSF, to manage her case. Kristina was allowed to stay with her mom, but case workers visited routinely, sometimes weekly. Hepp was ordered to take parenting classes and have routine drug screens.

She also was forced to tell the court who Kristina’s father was, something she had not disclosed before. Paternity tests confirmed it was Matthew Roland.

Roland’s criminal background dates back to 2000 and includes charges involving drugs, burglary, battery and violation of probation. "This is at age 22. This is an individual being considered to look after a child. I do not understand it," said Spohrer.

Email records show PSF was to develop a case plan to help him parent Kristina. At the same time, Hepp and her attorney requested her case be closed because, records show, they thought Hepp had successfully completed her case plan. Judge David Glant, who was monitoring the case, granted the request.

But DCF records note that Hepp’s case plan was incomplete and that Roland’s was never adopted. The record also said the reason for closing the case was not addressed in the court’s order.

"Kristina essentially lost her safety net," said Spohrer, who recently filed a lawsuit against PSF saying the agency failed to protect Kristina by not investigating Roland and following through on his case plan.

"Why not ask for more time at that hearing that day? Why not put up your hand and say we’re not ready yet, please can we please have a little more time to finish this," she said.

Once the case was closed, Kristina and her mother moved to Kentucky, but a short time later Hepp sent Kristina back to Florida to live with a relative. Roland filed a motion in family court for temporary custody.

In February 2009, 13 months after Kristina’s dependency case was closed, Glant awarded temporary custody of the 4-year-old to Roland.

According to court records, Glant said, "The mother is living in Kentucky…and is late in a pregnancy term with medical complications…(and she) has no means of supporting herself and Kristina."

Glant also noted that Roland had the, "…ability to provide for the needs and care for Kristina." 

Two months after going to live with her father, in April 2009, Kristina was dead.

The 4-year-old died a brutal death, tortured with a hair iron, beaten all over her body, according to DCF records. Roland was charged with first degree murder.

"What we had heard (at first) was that Kristina slipped and fell in the bathtub," Gordon said. "I can’t sit here and explain what went on."

Roland eventually pleaded no contest to the charge and  was sentenced to life in prison. He is now appealing the sentence.

But the Gordons still have many questions, including why Kristina’s case was closed, and why she was given to a father she hardly knew who had a lengthy criminal history.

"We do not know how this could have happened particularly given the history of Matthew Roland and what was readily available to those who had considerable resources to find out," said Spohrer.

She said Kristina slipped through the cracks when PSF did not finish its case plan for Roland.

"There should have been a home study. You need to know where is Matthew Roland living, who is living there with him, what does the home look like, can he care for a child – a 4-year-old he’s never had any relationship with  – and then visits should have been scheduled with Kristina," said Spohrer.

There was a case plan developed for Roland that went nowhere, said Shawn Salamida, CEO of Partnership for Strong Families.  "We had submitted a case plan. The jurisdiction was closed before it was accepted by the court."

Salamida said it’s normal to abandon a case plan. "Once jurisdiction closes in dependency court, we don’t have any; our services end. We don’t have any more authority or jurisdiction," he said.

"In our view, we are trying to figure out how they are connecting a child’s death which happened a year and a half after we closed the child’s case. How they are connecting that to us, considering dad went to family court to get custody of Kristina?"

Salamida said after the review of Kristina’s death, PSF had no concerns about how it did its job, but since the lawsuit, he is reviewing the matter again. So far he’s found no evidence that PSF was contacted by the family court about Roland seeking custody, he said.

"It’s more of a concern for me that the family court would award custody to the other parent without doing any background checks or without checking into dependency involvement. That’s the concern for me," said Salamida.

Glant declined a request for an interview, saying he doesn’t talk about cases. Judicial rules prohibit judges from discussing cases.

There is no centralized system in place where DCF, its partnering agencies and the courts can see a child’s case history. "I’m not aware of any central location to pull the info.  That’s where I think the gap is," said Salamida.

John Harrell, a spokesperson for DCF, declined to interview, saying it would be "inappropriate" since PSF is being sued.

The agency released a statement saying, "There is no central data base. There are many laws to insure confidentiality of school and child welfare records that our staff and other professional staff have to observe. During investigations, there are provisions to share information to safeguard children. There is no ongoing data base that tracks how children are doing that is shared."

The Gordons want the system changed so this doesn’t happen to another child. "All of them are at fault. It should be one system; when a child’s name pops up, every caseworker knows what is going on," said Jamie Gordon.

What’s ironic, the Gordons said, is that a background check was done on them before Kristina lived in their home, but it appears one was not done on Roland. They want that changed, too. "Are we angry? I’m not angry. I’m furious. We see this happen again and nothing is being done," said Michael Gordon.

The Gordons still have everything, including Kristina’s toys, her pictures, her swing set. They can’t let it go, at least not yet.

"I go there to the cemetery a lot," said Jamie Gordon.

She can often be found at Kristina’s grave. She talks to Kristina and sometimes spots a little reminder of her, a butterfly.

"That’s a sign of life. They suffer in the cocoon."

But, she said, when the suffering is over, there is beauty and that’s how she chooses to remember her little girl.

First Coast News