Crisis In The Family Courts

Anonymoms; We are Everywhere

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Domestic Violence (DV) by Proxy: Why Terrorist Tactics Employed by Batterers Are Not "PAS"

Posted in Amy Castillo, Maryland legislatures Kill Domestic Violence Bill,, Angry fathers, Battered Mothers Custody Conference, Breaking The Silence; Children's Stories, Child Custody, Child found, Childrens Rights, Collin Lee Momany, Collin Momany, corrupt bastards, Curtis S. Anderson (D-Baltimore), Benjamin S. Barnes (D-Prince George's), Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore), Frank M. Conaway Jr. (D-Baltimore), Donald H. Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel), William J. Frank, Custody Hell, Darcey Freeman's, domestic law, Domestic Violence on the rise in shawnee county, Domestic Violence,Domestic Violence,Domestic Violence,Domestic Violence,, don hoffman jill dykes judge david debenham Dr. rodeheffer, family court corruption, Fathers & Families, Glenn Sacks, ACFC, RADAR, ANCPR, fathers murdering, Fathers Rights, Getting screwed by the Family Courts, Getting screwed by the politicians, Jessica Gonzales- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, JUDGE KEVIN CRONIN, Karin Huffer"Legal Abuse Syndrome" FAMILY LAW JUDGE SENTENCES DISABLED MOTHER TO 21 DAYS IN JAIL, Maria's ex-husband broke her back during a rage of anger. Maria Mel, Judge Richard Anderson Shawnee County Courts Topeka Kansas, Judge Robert Lemkau Katie Tagle Wyatt Garcia Stephen Garcia Victorville CA., Kansas Joint Committee on Children’s Issues on Nov 30, 2009 in Topeka, Kansas Legislature, Covenant Marriages, Domestic Violence, BULLSHIT LAWS, Katie Tagle, Dr. Phill, Steven Garcia, Pinnion Hills, CA,, Maryland Legislature Frank Conway Jr, BATTERER Democrat, District 40, Baltimore City, Message to My Child . ., Motherhood, Mothers Rights, Murder-Suicide, Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), Speak Out by abatteredmother on April 1, 2010

Parental Alienation (PAS)

September 16, 2009

As more and more abused women lose custody to batterers in family courts, they are wrongly embracing the very ideas that enabled their abusers to gain custody in the first place. False accusations of “parental alienation" are often used by batterers to gain custody and to defend against accusations of abuse.

Some unfortunate women after years of enduring domestic violence have lost custody to the batterers who abused them. In these cases, batterers have made good on their threat to attack their ex-partner in the place she is the most vulnerable—by taking her children away from her. After separation, these batterers continue to wage their campaign of manipulation and abuse by attempting to convince involved children that their mothers never loved them. Looking for a way to describe their batterers’ behavior, some mothers have called what their batterer is doing "parental alienation syndrome."

In reality, what these women are describing from their ex-partners is better termed Domestic Violence by Proxy (DV by Proxy), a term first used by Alina Patterson, author of Health and Healing. DV by Proxy refers to a pattern of behavior which is a parent with a history of using domestic violence or intimidation, uses a child as a substitute when he no longer has access to his former partner. Calling this behavior “parental alienation” is not strong enough to convey the criminal pattern of terroristic behaviors employed by batterers.

When his victim leaves him, batterers often recognize that the most expedient way to continue to hurt his partner is to assert his legal rights to control her access to their children. By gaining control of the children, an abusive male now has a powerful tool which allows him to continue to stalk, harass and batter an ex-partner even when he has no direct access to her. Moreover, by emotionally torturing the child and severing the bond between children and their mother, he is able to hurt his intended victim — the mother — in a way she cannot resist.

DV by Proxy includes tactics such as: threats of harm to children if they display a positive bond to the mother, destroying favored possessions given by the mother, and emotional torture (for example, telling the child the mother hates them, wanted an abortion, and is not coming to get them because they are unloved).

DV by Proxy may also include coaching the child to make false allegations regarding their mother’s behavior and harming or punishing the child for not complying. DV by Proxy perpetrators may also create fraudulent documents to defraud the court in order to prevent the mother from gaining custody. Whether or not the child is biologically related to them is irrelevant to perpetrators of DV by Proxy. The perpetrator’s main motivation is to hurt his ex; whether or not his own child is harmed in the process is irrelevant to him.

This is very different from "parental alienation syndrome" as described by the late Richard A. Gardner. Dr. Gardner described PAS as an internal process by which a child aligns themselves with a preferred parent to protect themselves from the divorce conflict. “PAS” is conceptualized as a psychological process of identification with a parent who, according to the theory, encourages this identification at the expense of the other parent.

PAS inducing parents, according to Gardner, are often unconscious of what they are doing to encourage the identification. In contrast, perpetrators of DV by Proxy are very conscious of what they are doing. Controlling, coercive, illegal acts often done by abusive and controlling people, usually men, are not subtle, and do not encourage an identification with a parent. Criminal, fraudulent, coercive acts are visible and obvious. These behaviors encourage compliance by threats and fear. Behaviors involved in DV by Proxy are deliberate and often illegal. These behaviors include: battery, destruction of property, locking children in rooms to prevent them from calling parents, falsifying documents, along with other similar overt behaviors.

The most dangerous aspect of Gardner’s PAS theory is that that the alienating parent’s behavior is theorized to be so subtle as to be unobservable. In other words, the behaviors that are supposed to cause the alienation are assumed to be happening without any proof that they have actually occured. As many women have discovered this makes a charge of "alienation" almost impossible to defend against.

While Gardner’s theories regarding PAS have been shown to be overly general and have not been supported by careful research, behaviors seen in DV by Proxy can be readily observed. Behaviors involved in DV by Proxy are deliberate and planned; many are illegal, and if the child is given the freedom to talk, will be described in great detail by the child.

If the child’s formerly favorable view of the victimized parent changes when exposed to tactics like this over time then it is more likely a form of "Stockholm Syndrome" or traumatic attachment to the abuser, rather than the alignment with one parent and negative reaction to the other that Gardner described as "alienation".

A recent and comprehensive article on PAS and its use in the court system, by Jennifer Hoult can be downloaded here.

For further information:

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Reproductive Rights, Parental Rights, and Family Violence: A Dangerous Intersection

By Joan Dawson

March 17, 2010 – 1:27pm

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This article was updated at 1:44 pm EST to insert a missing paragraph.

When do reproductive rights end? Do they end at birth? Do they continue throughout a child’s life? Do reproductive rights extend to parental rights? These are questions we are just starting to ask. And finding the answer can be, in many cases, the difference between life and death.

Most agree that women have a right to control their own bodies. However, recent research shows that some men sabotage women’s use of birth control and some use coercion to get a woman pregnant. Abusive men use these tactics to control women. And in cases where a woman then has children in an abusive setting, what are the woman’s reproductive rights and how do these intersect with her parental rights? Surely, charges of “failure to protect” can be used against her if she or the child is harmed. But what happens when women flee such relationships or try to deny abusive parents access to their children? Does either the judicial system or society support her in her efforts to protect her children? Do we believe her? Provide her with protection? Deny abusers access to children?

We are actually witnessing an erosion of protections of women and children in abusive relationships. In this article, I examine the ways in which policies that reflect social biases painting women as “vindictive” liars, combine with the efforts of both alleged abusers to fight to regain control of their wives and children and fathers’ rights proponents  are harming women and children trying to escape abuse.

Approximately 100,000 contested child custody cases occur each year in the U.S. Two-thirds of these involve domestic violence, committed overwhelmingly (90 percent) by fathers, according to Harvard’s Jay Silverman, in a forward to the book Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody. Research finds that men who assault their wives are also likely to abuse their children. While we are likely to believe that the protective parent would gain custody, this is not often the case. In contested custody cases, men who seek custody get it up to 84 percent of the time. The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence estimates that approximately 58,000 children a year go into unsupervised, joint or sole custody with an abusive parent. What’s a mother to do to protect herself and her child?

Failure to protect

In a recent case our judicial system was tested and failed. Katie Tagle sought a restraining order on Jan. 21, 2010 against her ex-boyfriendStephen Garcia to stop him from having unsupervised visitation with their nine-month-old child. She told the judge Garcia threatened to kill the infant. The judge thought she was lying. The court transcript records Judge Robert Lemkau as saying, “One of you is lying…” And later, “Mr. Garcia claims it’s total fabrication on your part.” Garcia also referred to it as “little stunts and games” that “she used” to deny him access to his son. Even when she mentions the evidence of the threats, he says, “Well, ma’am, there’s a real dispute about whether that’s even true or not.” And finally, “My suspicion is that you’re lying…” (said twice). He denied her the order (as did two other judges). Garcia took their son that day and drove off into the mountains. Ten days later they were both found dead.

If this were only an isolated case, it might end there. But it’s not.

Within two weeks of the Garcia-Tagle case, on February 8, 20-year-oldNicholas Bacon shot his nine-month-old son and then himself. Bacon had joint custody. 

Shortly after these two cases, 34-year-old Jesus Roman Fuentes shot his four-year-old son during a court-ordered visitation. The boy died at the hospital. The father, who had also shot himself, died this past week.

And following on these three cases, Mark Resch shot his seven-year-old son during a scheduled visitation and then committed suicide. The apparent motive was revenge against his estranged wife. In this case, the wife sought two orders of protection and police removed a gun from the household. Evidently, the family court judge still believed this man was a safe parent.

Mark A. Guenther was charged in the murder of his 18-month-old daughter this month. According to a commenter named Brokenhearten, who posted acomment on the news article:

Her mother tried and tried to get something done so that she did not have to go see her father. She had DFS out to his house, they found nothing…She filed for an order of protection on a couple different occassions…they were dismissed…She refused to let her see her dad until her back was up to the wall…the court systems had tied her hands and she had no other choices but to let her sweet baby go to her dads house and hope that everything was ok…

Once again, parental rights trumped safety and the system meant to protect children ignored the dangers identified by the mother.

Family court and fathers’ rights = A deadly combination

Historically, battered women have had problems retaining custody of their children. Mainly this was due to how they present; in a word, poorly. They cry, they’re frightened, they appear anxious and even hostile. Now add to this mix the Fathers’ Rights movement, a group referred to as anti-feminist, backlash and even, the “Abusers’ Lobby” and you have what amounts to a catastrophe, if not a deadly combination, for women and children. (In contrast, positive parenting or responsible fatherhood groups often work as allies with women.)

The Fathers’ rights movement (along with many Men’s rights activists), has introduced policies such as “friendly parent” policies, joint custody, punishment for false allegations and various syndromes to family courts across the country (as well as in many Western countries and in India). Most of these policies seem beneficial on the surface — but have hidden dangers lurking underneath.

In today’s courts with friendly parent policies, a battered woman will look anything but friendly. So who gets custody? The one who appears most likely to share parenting responsibilities. Often enough, the batterer.

Joint custody is another policy that
sounds fair in principle, but experts warn it is not ideal for couples with high conflict. Family court is, however, known to be “the place” for couples with moderate-to-high conflict. Most couples (roughly 85 percent) resolve parenting plans themselves. Those that can’t, and often enough those with some prior history of abuse or control, go to family court. Fathers’ rights groups would like to see family courts enforce presumptive or mandated shared custody. Experts in domestic violence would not.

Domestic violence experts also cringe at the idea of punishing false allegations, something the fathers’ rights groups actively promote. Since accusations of abuse can be difficult to prove – with evidence and witnesses – this can serve to punish parents for alleging abuse. Punishment deters reporting. Parents can be fined, jailed or denied custody if the judge doesn’t believe their accusation. Domestic violence expert Barry Goldstein says, "Research has established that fathers in contested custody cases are 16 times more likely than mothers to make false allegations. It is not that men are more dishonest, but 90 percent of contested custody cases involve abusive fathers seeking custody to pressure their partner to return or punish her for leaving. Although fathers are more likely to make false charges, courts are more likely to believe them.”

Parental alienation (PA) or parental alienation syndrome (PAS), the idea that a parent poisons the mind of the child(ren), is another idea introduced within the last two decades by fathers rights groups. Developed by Dr. Richard Gardner, PAS is highly controversial. Proponents claim parents (mostly mothers) turn their children against the other parent. Opponents claim PAS can mask child abuse. Indeed, research by Jay Silverman found 54 percent of cases with documented abuse were in favor of abusers. PAS was used in nearly every case.

In many of the cases I’ve cited, had the women tried to deny the fathers access to the children, they could’ve been countered with “alienation” or the judge could’ve immediately transferred custody over to the more “friendly” parent.

In a case stemming from November, for example, Danielle Horvat fled with her three-and-a-half-year-old boy, Garrett Aguilar on a day that she had a dispute with the boy’s father, David Aguilar. She stopped at one domestic violence shelter. Despite the fact that police did not investigate her claims of abuse, the court immediately transferred custody over to the father, as they often do when parents flee.

The incredible lightness of domestic violence

Thanks to the aid of the Internet, (mostly) men that make claims of being falsely accused or alienated find support, encouragement and targets for their anger — which is aimed at their exes, or women in general and feminists in particular. Individuals and groups that promote studies referring to domestic violence as 50-50 or “mutual” also find supporters within this crowd. Many of these claims are based on studies that rely on self-reportage or pick up common couple violence. Their limitations include using self-report; not picking up severe violence or homicide; not putting violence into context (was it used for self-defense?); and not including violence during separation (the most dangerous time for a woman). What the promotion of these studies has done is introduce the element of doubt. If you combine this with women’s low credibility (due to societal bias and the biases of the legal system), you have danger.

Take the case of Timothy Frazier. In May 2009, Frazier convinced police his ex-girlfriend Candice Dempsey was a threat to their 21-month-old son. While Frazier made it very clear to police he did not have custody, police readily handed his son over to him. Two weeks later, both were found dead.

Even when the woman is believed, it is not often the father will have his parental rights terminated. Last year, Octavious Dupree Gilmore punched his ex-girlfriend in the head and threatened to kill her, their two kids and himself.  The Gaston Gazette reported him as saying, “"…(I)f I can’t have you, nobody can," Gilmore allegedly told her. "I’ll kill you, the kids, then myself." He was charged but later released. According to the article, he was told to "have no contact with the accuser outside of their child custody agreement," (emphasis mine). Despite an assault and death threats, the judge believed this man to be a safe parent.

In another case, charges of domestic violence were not given much weight, as they were not placed in context of the abuser’s history. Craig Alan Wall, Sr. was a suspect in his 5-week-old son’s death. He violated a protection order when he went to his son’s memorial. The prosecutor never mentioned that Wall was a suspect in his son’s case or that he had served a 14-year prison sentence for armed robbery. The judge released Wall on $1,000 bail. Two days later, he stabbed his ex-girlfriend (the child’s mother) to death. She was 29 and left behind a 6-year-old son.

Fathers rights do not trump women and children’s safety

In many of these cases, the women are doing what they are “supposed to do:” reporting domestic violence, filing orders of protection, using shelters, and so on. And yet, despite jumping all the hoops set up for them, in many of these cases, the system is failing them. The women in question are not finding justice for themselves or their children. As a result, we find women who feel forced to stay with an abuser or forced to share parenting rather than not be able to protect her children at all. These women are not “failing to protect,” but the judicial system is failing to protect them and their children from further harm, abuse and death. (For citations to research on women losing custody, see [Note: organizations like Justice for Children do report men experiencing similar situations, but overwhelmingly we witness women facing this type of bias and injustice in family court.]

Many of the fathers rights guys think their reproductive rights extend to their parental rights. This should also be the case for women — and, indeed, many mothers’ rights groups have sprung up in defense of these rights. So the question remains: When do our reproductive rights end? How can we we prevent women from losing custody of the very children they bear? How can we help them protect themselves and their children from harm? How can we help women receive justice in a judicial system that may not believe their claims and may actually punish them for making abuse allegations?  Fathers do have rights, no doubt, but their rights do not trump women and children’s safety. That is the balance — the justice — that we must seek — and it’s a matter of life and death that we do so soon.

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Thank You, Joan

I’ve been trying to find a way to merge reproductive rights, maternal health care, and domestic violence/what’s occuring in the family court system so that women could know the entire spectrum of what they are up against.  We have so many women that join these men’s groups and they just don’t have a clue what they are getting into.  I am so tired.

Submitted by randijames on March 18, 2010 – 3:27pm.

Excellent post

I have seldom seen these issues connected in such an articulate and well-documented fashion. Kudos to Joan Dawson for a job well done!

Submitted by silverside on March 18, 2010 – 3:31pm.

Great Piece

Unfortunately, the family court process is commonly used by abusers to continue abusing their partners. I really appreciate your analysis of this being an extension of reproductive coercion and control. Abusers who impregnate their partners against their will don’t want a child, they want a pawn. And they will use that child in an attempt to regain power after a victim leaves.

Several states have passed exemptions from the friendly parent provision in cases where one parent is acting in good faith to protect a child from witnessing DV or being a victim. The problem with carving out exemption for DV, however, is that the burden is then on the victim to prove it. Many victims don’t have documentation of the abuse, and as you demonstrated with the examples above, the judicial backlash has been strong. Of course, including the exemption is better than not, so I strongly support it.

One of the most frightening aspects of the fathers’ rights movement is how successful they are at spin. Their response to cases where divorced or separated fathers kill their children and themselves is that the court system drives them to it.

Submitted by ack on March 18, 2010 – 3:55pm.

This was a fabulous article.

This was a fabulous article. Not long ago, I was a resident at a women’s shelter, and the stories the other women there told me about child custody battles and courts were just awful. It’s good to see a break-down of the policies that lead to these terrible court decisions so that we have a better understanding of how to fight back. Still, it’s very discouraging that we have these problems at all.

Submitted by MechaShiva on March 18, 2010 – 3:58pm.

I don’t know where to even start

Your article is so slanted and biased I am not sure even where to start. I guess I would like you to post some supporting documentation proving your points, rather than using anecdotal incidents.

How many fathers total get sole custody of children? What percentage of child murders and abuse are perpetrated by the biological father (not stepfather?) What percentage of child murders are perpetrated by the biological mother? How many women do exactly what you accuse men-cheat or tamper with birth control to get pregnant? What are the motivations to lie about PAS vs outright abuse-who has the most support to do so, and the most to gain and how many are successful?  What percentage of domestic violence situations are mutually violent?  If mutual violence occurs, then should the kids go into foster care, since violent parents are likely to abuse kids? Are there cases where women kill their own kids to get back at their husbands?

What you are talking about here is trumping the rights of all innocent men (any man who has not been convicted of a crime by definition in the US btw) to preemptively keep fathers from their kids based on accusations alone. It is irrelevant if these accusations are occasionally true-that is sad, but it has to stand. Our country was built on basic principles of law which say you cannot punish someone for something without proving them guilty. What you propose is not only against the law, it is directly unconstitutional. Every person is innocent until proven guilty. What you propose is something out of Soviet Russia, or Nazi Germany. Do you really want the government to have that sort of power? WHat happens when you are the person they decide to expel next?

I hate to see stories where one parents kills the child out of retribution or spite. It is just as often women I hear about doing this, yet I would not support preemptively taking kids away from mothers on the unsubstantiated accusation of the father, either. There MUST be checks and balances.

Women and children are not one entity, they are separate people. A solid and factual arguement could be made that men and children are more likely to be abused than women; lumping the two together is a cheap way to bolster stats.  Reproductive rights for the mother  ends the moment that child is no longer inside the body of the mother; then they become two separate people.

I really hope you are willing to provide documentation for your accusations. I am interested to see what you find to my questions above.


Submitted by JenK on March 18, 2010 – 5:08pm.

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Battered Mothers Custody Conference Interviews

[IMPORTANT: The following audiovisual piece includes real-life interviews featuring disturbing verbal content and statements on child abuse and domestic violence. Viewer discretion is advised.]
Prof. Garland Waller produced "Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Family Courts" which is an independent documentary that explores the relationship between domestic violence, child sexual abuse and custody laws in America. To learn more about the stories of the women seen in this 10 minute clip, please go to http://batteredmotherscustodyconferen…
Jessie Beers Altman, a graduate student in the College of Communication, was in charge of editing this video.
For more information of Boston University’s Department of Film and Television at the College of Communication, visit:

Category:  Education


Boston University College Communication Education Film Television school battered mothers custody interview

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Dr. Amy Castillo, M.D. Testimony HB 700 / SB 823 Family Law – Protective Orders KILLED by the MD Legislature

Testimony in Support of HB 700 / SB 823 Family Law – Protective Orders – Burden of Proof

PDF here: testimony

Submitted by Amy Castillo, M.D.

February 25, 2010

Dear Chairman Vallario and Members of the House Judiciary Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of HB 700 which would lower the burden of proof from “clear and convincing” to “preponderance of the evidence” for Final Protective Orders in Maryland.

My name is Amy Castillo, and I am the pediatrician and mother whose children were drowned by their father in

March 2008. I want to thank you for letting me come testify today as to my own experience with protective


Three years ago, I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day at the Commissioner’s Office trying to get a protective order because my husband, Mark Castillo, had told me that the worst thing he could do to me would be to kill the children, and not me, so that I would have to live without them. Also, he took Austin, who was then 3 years of age, out of his bed and out the door, and told me afterwards on the phone that he would not tell me where they were going, where they were staying, or when Austin would be back.

On January 10th, 2007, while trying to get a final Protective Order, I was telling the Judge how 6 months prior Mark had been involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a suicide attempt and manic-like destructive behaviors, and how he still was having mental health issues and had refused to get any help. He also was living in a car at the time and not working on any kind of regular basis. He was already very angry at me because he blamed me for being placed in the psychiatric hospital and for taking his children away.

Some excerpts from the transcript:

“He told me he could make it more difficult for me after I had the children.” “He said he could sabotage the house if he wanted to.”

“He told me what could be worse is if he killed all of us, and then he said actually worse than that, if he killed the children and not me so that I would have to live without them.”

“I see him being more upset and frustrated and angry and saying, ‘What does it matter anymore’. So that is why it really concerns me.”

“I called the police, I went to court, and nobody would help me with this situation.” “I’m not going to wait until they get hurt to take them away.”

My attorney asked me, “Do you feel safe in your home?” I said “no.”

My attorney asked me “Are you still residing there?’ And I said “No, I am not. The locks are broken out. The window’s broken out. The deadbolt’s been broken, and so I don’t feel safe living in the house because of the conflict we are having.”

My attorney asked if I was fearful that he may at some point harm me and the children. I answered “Yes.”

My attorney asked me, “Are you worried for the physical safety of your children?’ And I answered, “Yes.”

Mark said during the hearing, “I wanted to help myself deal with my wife, who was able to get me very angry. With these protective orders as well, I got more angry.”

The judge stated that, “There is not clear and convincing evidence that the alleged acts of abuse occurred.”

The judge also said, “I am concerned about the three children in this case, and I am concerned about the situation that they are in.”

At this time, I had been living in a hotel and at a friend’s house because I was scared to stay in my own home after filing for the Temporary Protective Order. When Mark found out about the Temporary Order filing, he was much angrier at me. I was afraid he might hurt us, or kidnap the children, and the nanny was afraid to come to the house anymore to watch the kids.

On January 10th 2007, the final Protective Order was not granted, and it left Mark twice as angry, and took

everything up a notch, and I was left unprotected. The situation now was worse. Over the next 15 months, as I

continued to fight for my husband’s mental health and for the safety of myself and the children, I did not try

again to pursue a protective order, as I found the whole process to have been a damaging experience and

useless attempt. I actually started hiding the children in other people’s homes for protection so Mark could not

find them, instead of trying to seek protective orders, and then was sanctioned for not following proper


On March 29th, 2008 Mark Castillo drowned Anthony who was 6, Austin who was 4, and Athena who was 2 years of age in a bathtub in a hotel in Baltimore.

I am not saying that this situation alone led to the death of my children. I tried many more times to get help for my family. However, I do feel that there is a great discrepancy in this state between the encouragement to come forward to fight against abuse and the ability to actually get protection. This contradiction is a discouragement for people to make the move to get out of a frightening situation, and some just stay in an unsafe environment. I would never want to see any parent, father or mother, have to go through the Hell that I have been through, and that my children went through. I am hoping that a change in the ability to get a protective order will make a difference in other children’s lives in the future.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Castillo, M.D.

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20/20 Diane Sawyer on Domestic Violence [Warning graphic content]

A Battered mother has two Felony warrant’s issued for wanting to ‘ see her kids ‘

Please comment on this article at the KansasWatchdog link below.


Warrant out for mom who testified at hearing about losing custody of children

By Earl Glynn On February 28, 2010
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A warrant is out in Wichita for the arrest of a mom who testified about her case at a legislative hearing last year.  The charges?   That she saw one of her children accidentally for 30 minutes, and tried to see the child a second time.

Last year we reported stories from parents and grandparents who had problems with placement and removal of children by the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS).  Those parents travelled to Topeka to testify at a hearing of the Joint Committee on Children’s Issues.

Cecillia Arnold lost her parental rights.  Wants her kids back.

Cecellia Arnold lost her parental rights. Wants her kids back.

One of  those testifying was an abused mom, Cecellia Arnold, who had her parental rights severed even though the state never found wrong doing.

Here is part of the exchange between Arnold and State Rep Bill Otto at that hearing:

State Rep Bill Otto (R-LeRoy): “Your rights are severed?”

Arnold: “My rights have been terminated … I have no rights to my children. I have not seen them since March. I filed an appeal that didn’t go anywhere. I’m here today because I want my children back.” …

Otto: “Where was your lawyer?” …

Arnold: “I had court-appointed attorneys … I feel I could have done a better job representing myself” ..

Otto: “This should not happen to anybody … I’m so sorry.” …

Arnold now lives in another state to avoid direct Kansas SRS authority over her. 

In a telephone interview on Sunday Arnold said that the State of Kansas  garnishes her wages for child support even though her children are in foster care and she cannot visit them.  She does not mind the payments since she feels an obligation to her children, but really wants her children back.

Arnold said that after the Nov. 30, 2009 legislative hearing she spent a few days in Wichita with her family before returning home. 

While visiting a school with a relative, Arnold had a chance encounter with one of her own children.  Before that, Arnold had no idea what school her children attended since they were in foster care and she lived in another state.

She said she was happy to see her child and took 30 minutes to be  a mom during that chance encounter.    

Arnold said she tried intentionally the next day to see her child again but she was not allowed to.  She said it is her understanding there are now two warrants out because of the chance visit with her child.   The Sedgwick County Sheriff  issued an arrest warrant for her, Arnold said. 

Police were looking to arrest her at a relative’s funeral earlier this month, Arnold said.  In a telephone interview, Arnold’s mom, Monica McGill, said she knows the police have been watching their house in case her daughter visits.

This week in Topeka child welfare issues will be part of House Federal and State Affairs Committee hearings.  Monica McGill said she and her husband will try to attend those hearings and speak on behalf of their daughter.

Arnold said that with limited leave from work, and fear of being arrested in Kansas on the warrant, would keep her from the hearings, but she would like to attend to explain her case.

Last week Arnold’s picture and case were one of the “Featured Felons for this month” of the Sedgwick County Sheriff:

From Sedgwick County Sheriff's "Featured Felons for this Month"

From Sedgwick County Sheriff’s "Featured Felons for this Month"

The “interference” mentioned above was for talking to her child who was in foster care.

Listen to Arnold’s testimony at the Joint Committee on Children’s Issues hearing on Nov. 30, 2009:Listen to Cecillia Arnold:

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We interviewed Arnold after the hearing in the office of State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D, Wichita) at the Capitol:



2 Comments For This Post So Far
  1. BM
    7:19 Pm On February 28th, 2010

    There is no heart, soul, love, devotion, conscience from the very agencies who do this to parents, relatives, and grandparents. They need be psych evaluated to find out if they are, in fact, human, or otherwise. Most have never had a chld. Judges do not have children, know no love that exists, kow no bonding, or how that bonding could occur? We are facing a loss of our country folks. More prison inmates, more prostitutes, more crime and drug use. Someone need step up to the plate for our children and country!

  2. Nancy Berry
    10:08 Pm On February 28th, 2010

    Sedgwick County your dirty laundry is showing. It is about time. This is the
    kind of stuff that has been going on here for a long time. Lets see
    out legislators do something about the violations of law.

  3. Claudine Dombrowski
    8:42 Am On March 1st, 2010

    This is beyond insane!! I am angered -once again how battered mothers are once again ‘battered by Justice when they dare try to leave an abusive situation.

    The privatization of SRS/CPS has put an incredibly high price on our children, this has got to stop.!!!

    Thank you Kansas Watchdog-Earl Glynn for being the only voice for this battered mother- her only crime-to survive and to THINK that she had her children had the right to be free from abuse.

    A sad and highly profitable business is- the price of children

    Your Comment Is Awaiting Moderation.

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Claudine Dombrowski: An abused mom victimized again by the Kansas Courts

Claudine Dombrowski


Claudine Dombrowski: An abused mom victimized again by the Kansas Courts

Read details in written statement.

This is an truly incredible story that should never have happened in America. 

Parts of the Kansas Judicial system should be disciplined for how it has victimized Ms. Dombrowski, who was an abused mom.

Instead of quotes from the audio, please consult these pages that document Dombrowski’s long and difficult battle to protect her daughter:

§ Claudine Dombrowski Photos of Abuse

As you view these photos keep in mind that the court awarded FULL CUSTODY of their daughter to the “man” who did this to Claudine.

§ Courts Have Continued Abuse of Manhattan Women, Manhattan Free Press, July 12, 2001.

§ Manhattan resident fights custody battle for daughter, Kansas State Collegian, July 26, 2001.

State Rep Bill Otto: “No crime? You haven’t been guilty of anything? This is a court order that says you can’t go to any school functions?”

Dombrowski: “I was under court order till 2004 to not even call the police after I was being beaten because … I was not ‘co-parenting’”

Dombrowski: “These friends of the court make recommendations to the judge. The parents … don’t have a right to see these documents. They do this behind closed doors.”

Otto: (To Secretary Jordan): “You have no rights as a parent …?”

Secretary Don Jordan: “This would be something extreme … I’m not familiar with the situation.”

Otto: “Can a judge do that? … Is that legal… ?”

Jordan: “Under the right circumstances … I hesitate to speculate.”

Sen. Roger Reitz: “This is something that only … the judicial system can really answer … It would be helpful … to have someone … representing the judicial system … to give us some ideas how this could happen.”

Dombrowski: “When you are a victim of domestic violence, and suddenly there’s a child involved, the typical …. power of control is that ‘I’ll take your children from you’. They will and they can the way the laws are setup.” …

“I was told that I’m not to talk to my daughter about the violence. That’s why I don’t see her. That’s why I see her supervised. He was criminally convicted. “

“When women try to get away from people who hurt them … I heard somebody say it’s really hard to believe you won’t call the police … I tell people not to contact the police, because as soon as you walk into court with a DV (domestic violence) and children, you’re already cutting your throat. You will lose your children. That’s the way it is right now.”

“… on the 16th of this month I’ll probably go to jail for breaking the gag order and talking about [being the victim of] violence as it relates to my case.”

Reitz: “… someone ought to be able to deal with this in a way that would address her problem. It doesn’t seem like we’ve done the right thing with regards to this little niche of the law.”

Dombrowski: “The criminal convictions are completely tossed aside and they don’t have any bearing on the family court … The eight criminal convictions that my ex had before getting custody of my daughter were completely dropped [in family court]“

Chair Kiegerl: “I cannot believe that abuse is totally ignored. I cannot believe you can prohibit a person from speaking about their own case.”

“The one thing [where] … I disagree with you is abuse should always be reported.”

State Rep Peggy Mast (R-Emporia): “Domestic violence is a control issue. Sexual abuse is a control issue. Is there any correlation between domestic violence and sexual abuse? Why is that not something that is considered when we take someone to [family] court that has a history of domestic violence?”

Dombrowski: “Yes. That is something I’ve asked myself for 16 years. … It comes back to the family court that has a veil of immunity. … They don’t fully understand the impact of the violence. What battered women have … if they report the abuse, then they’re failing to protect their child … if they don’t report the abuse, they’re still failing to protect their child. So, both ways, they’re going to lose their children …”

For anybody who abuses their wife … [from] a 1996 presidential task force … there is a 70% increase that those children will be abused and/or sexually abused after there’s been battery with the mother.

Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudea: “In 2004 …. I talked with the homicide department in Sedgwick County…. During that time there had been 21 homicides in Sedgwick County and 18 were due to domestic violence …”

“A lot of women do make those phone calls and unfortunately, sometimes it ends in their death.” …

“I want to apologize to you for being treated like a pedophile … not being able to go to a music concert.”

“I commend you for what you’re doing.”

Dombrowski: “I have not talked to my daughter in 10 years [except] for the confines of supervised visits. I’m not allowed to talk to her about anything. All she knows is what her dad has told her.”

Listen to Claudine Dombrowski:

Claudine Dombrowski: An abused mom victimized again by the Kansas Courts

clip_image002Posted in Children, Kansas Government by kansaswatchdog on December 4th, 2009

Testimony by Claudine Dombrowski at the hearing of the Kansas Joint Committee on Children’s Issues on Nov 30, 2009 in Topeka about problems with child placement and removal.

Listen Now:

clip_image004 Standard Podcasts: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download | Embeddable Player |

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How to make abusive custodial fathers disappear in one easy lesson

by DatardlyDads

How to make abusive custodial fathers disappear in one easy lesson

So how do you make the growing problem of child abuse in custodial father households disappear from public policy discussions and awareness?

It’s easy! And here’s how you do it.

Just stop reporting it! No information on father-headed households for us, please. Just lump the data in another category and make all those potentially unpleasant and politically embarassing statistics on child abuse in father-headed households go way. Flush all those numbers on abusive daddies down the toilet of data oblivion where no numbers can possibly be retrieved, at least not without a major (and rather messy and difficult) endeavor. Yes, invisibility rules!

This is exactly what has happened with the new Fourth National Incidence of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4), which was released last month (January 2010).

Link is here:

After slowly scrolling through the new NIS-4, I noticed that the household categories under which they report abuse are as follows:

Married, Both Biological (this reflects the new cultural obsession with parents who are not only married, but share DNA with the child)

Other Married Parents (presumably targets families with stepparents)

Unmarried Parents (presumably co-habitating parents, where both parents are biologically related to the child)

Single Parent with Partner (apparently includes both single fathers AND single mothers with unmarried partners who are not biologically related to the child in one humongous category)

Single parent, No Partner (Self-Explanatory–Both custodial fathers AND mothers)

Neither parent (foster care, grandparents, and the like)

Well, we can’t track any differences between custodial father and custodial mother households with these data classifications, can we? I’m sure the enemies of single mothers with use the inflated child abuse statistics on "single parent with partner" (there’s that nasty boyfriend!) or "single parent, no partner" to mean MOTHERS even though it doesn’t say mothers. But we’ll just assume it means mothers, shall we?

These new categories are BRAND NEW and reflect a radical shift in the preferred "prisms" for viewing household data, though I didn’t see this acknowledged anywhere.

Note that the 2000 US Census used the following categories for reporting data on families with children:

Married couple

Female householder

Male householder

Of course, the old Census categories don’t reflect the new cultural obsession with married couples where both parents are biologically related to the child. And, admittedly, the Census categories were sloppy about parents that lived together and where they were classified. Or who had a partner in the home, unrelated to the child, and how that affected the family dynamic, as opposed to the truly "single." But at least the old categories recognized that children are generally in the custody of a parent, and if those parents are not "together," they are usually with with a father or a mother. Now this fact has vanished like so much smoke.

The Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-3), which was released in September 1996, reported household data for married couples (no real interest here in distinguishing between parents and stepparent households), father-only households, and mother-only households.

And what did NIS-3 say? In their on-line Executive Summary, they tersely acknowledge the following, but with little elaboration:

"Among children in single-parent households, those living with only their fathers were approximately one and two-thirds times more likely to be physically abused than those living with only their mothers."

You can find the quote here:

Well even back in 1996, we didn’t like to talk about it much, so that’s about all we had to say about the matter in the Executive Summary. If you wanted to know more, you had to get a hard copy of the report, which, of course, hardly anybody in the general public had access to. But I got a copy of it last fall, and reported the results here:

Needless to say, father households had significantly worse abuse outcomes than married couple households and mother households. But you had to get your hands on the actual paper to find this out. Couldn’t find it out on-line. Nope, too easy for the information to fall into the "wrong hands," you know.

So congratulations, NIS-4. No abusive custodial dads here. We don’t count ’em. They don’t exist. Now move along, please. There’s nothing to see.

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Collin Momany, Phoenix, Arizona

Posted in Child found, Collin Lee Momany, Collin Momany, Message to My Child . . by abatteredmother on February 10, 2009

Collin Momany, Phoenix, Arizona



you know I have only one thing to say about that..

“.. be ware of falling houses"…  .. theirs no lace like home there is no place like home 🙂

We support you Collin You hang in there dear…!!


Collin Lee Momany, It’s mommy again. I love you! I miss you so much! It is so hard to be without you! My heart is hurting! I need to see you, to spend time with you! I want you to know how much I love you! You are my everything! Please message me again or try to email me at I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I miss you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love, Mommy

February 9, 2009
Categories: Child found, Collin Momany, Message to My Child . .