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29 October 2010

Judge Makes Excuses for Step Mom’s Abuse of 5 yr old

As a world society we hold the two genders to differing standards when it comes to child rearing.  Regardless of whether a person is a biological parent or a step parent we still hold men and women to different standards where parenting is concerned.  When abusive men molest, beat and murder their children or step children there is sometimes a small blurb in the paper and quotes from neighbors say how much of a good father he was.  Good fathers do NOT rape, beat and murder children... sorry. 

I won’t go in to that too much though, because you can read all about all those good daddies if you click on over to Dastardly Dads.

When women molest, beat and murder kids everyone usually wants to crucify them and call them monsters.  Therein lies the differing standards.  Women are supposed to just automatically be held to a higher standard when it comes to dealing with kids. 

Please note that I am NOT condoning anyone that harms a child in ANY way regardless of gender or parental status!

The reason I’m pointing this out is to comment on the following excerpt from:  Stepmum role not easy: judge where surprisingly the judge made excuses for the abusing step monster:

The repeated assault of a 5-year-old boy by his stepmother reflected child abuse regularly happening in New Zealand, an Invercargill District Court judge said yesterday.

Judge Christopher Somerville said all children behaved badly at times and that behaviour could be dealt with appropriately by a loving parent. But it was more difficult for a stepmother to deal with bad behaviour because they did not have the same emotional bond to the child.

Society was made up of people in many different types of relationships and people needed to understand how difficult it was to be a stepmother, the judge said.

It was unacceptable for fathers to enter into new relationships and then expect the woman, who is essentially a stranger to his children, to bring them up.

"The reason it is so hard for stepmothers is that they have been given a child to care for when what they really wanted was a relationship with the child's father. "They seem to come as a package, and it's hard to do. They didn't carry that child for nine months or look after it as an infant."

If you click the link above and read the entire article you will also find that this stepmom, Veda Elizabeth Tutty, had already been found guilty of five charges of child abuse and that Judge Christopher Somerville sentenced her to only eight months of home detention.

Judge Somerville did state that IF authorities decided to return this boy to his father and stepmother in the future, it should be done with extreme caution.

BULLSHIT!  This child should NEVER be put back into a home with this woman.

Why in the hell did a family court judge give this father custody to begin with?  If this were a custodial mom who had re-married and the stepfather had done these things the MOTHER would probably have also been charged with neglect or at the very least failure to protect. 

Why the different standard for daddies?

Family Courts around the world are awarding (like it is a competition) custody of children to fathers more and more.  I don’t see how in the world a judge or anyone else can excuse child abuse because it is supposedly so fucking hard to be a step parent.

If a person can’t behave themselves appropriately where children they are not the biological parent of is concerned... then maybe those people shouldn’t become involved in relationships with people that have children already.  It is not that hard! 

PSA:  If you can not manage to NOT rape, beat or murder children that are not yours then STOP dating, living with, etc people that have children from previous relationships!

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16 October 2010

PRESS RELEASE: AMPP Stands Behind Christian Coffey HIS Mother and All Their Supporters

 

Written by AMPP Staff

Saturday, 16 October 2010 15:23

AMPP Support Christian Coffey HIS Mother and ALL Their SupportersPRESS RELEASE:  AMPP Stands Behind Christian Coffey HIS Mother and All Their Supporters.

Please visit the following links for the incredible in-justice being done and the ILLEGAL actions of the Court and Child Welfare Services in Kentucky.

Face Book Page: “Stop The Abuse of Christian Coffey”

VIDEO HERE: Corrupt Judge Catherine Rice Holderfild  "Stop the Abuse of Christian Coffey" Bowling Green,

Kentucky Judge Rice-Holderfield Court Whore Exposing the dirty little secrets of family court.

JUST SOME GOOD OL BOYS

Two hours of questioning of a minor child regarding the ownership of this blogs and many more is really showing how desperate this Judge court whore has become.

Rice-Holderfield sent out her goons today to many persons homes, including Miss Kentucky International Elaine Bateman.  What has become of the justice system that they are hell bent on jailing a mother for others taking the stance on this injustice?!

We hope you are proud of yourself by intimidating a child into submission, falsely accusing her of blogging the TRUTH...CPS worker Sheila and Police Officer Blevins. There is a special little place in hell for those who fail to protect and serve....not sure which level...I will have to get back to you on that.  In the meantime I suggest you do some reading....  http://whoresofthecourt.com

In this provocative and well-researched book, Margaret Hagen, Ph.D, reveals how expert psychological testimony is a total fraud, showing how the courts have increasingly embraced not a cutting-edge science but, instead, a discipline that represents a terrifying retreat into fantasy and hearsay; a discipline propelled by powerful propaganda, arrogance, and greed.

What kind of country are we living in where the authorities protect a person who beats a child and non-abusers and victims are threatened and harassed. We cannot let this go on.

Freedom of speech is protected in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights and is guaranteed to all Americans.

Rest of article here: http://judgecatherinericeholderfield.blogspot.com/2010/10/just-some-good-ol-boys.html


CHAMBER OF SECRETS

Just when you think you have left an abusive relationship enter the family court judge. In Kentucky there is one such judge (court whore) that loves to hand out punishment to all but especially mothers and children.

As I researched the Honorable Judge Catherine Rice-Holderfield it gave me more insight to how this court whore ticks and how she got into the position she was appointed not voted into.

According to http://kyjudges2006.wikispaces.com/file/view/bgdailynews.oct31.pdf is where I found the interesting comments that Rice-Holderfield made in regards to her experience with family court matters.

Rice-Holderfield states, My parents divorced when I was a teenager. Being a child of divorce gives me a special perspective on how deeply this family tragedy affects children. I also could see how my parents struggled with custody, division of their property and debts, and with providing financial support. When my children were very young, their father and I divorced, very amicably, and I faced balancing management of my sole law practice with being a single parent, while always making sure my children were the focus of my attention. These are priorities I also keep now, and which I stress to persons in family court

First of all, just because your parents divorced and you divorced amicably does NOT mean you have all knowing experience in family court. Her special perspective is askew to the point that hypocrisy doesn't even apply to her method of madness. Especially now when Kimberly Harris is facing judicial retaliation on October 19th for absolutely nothing. In what can only be described as judicial abuse and retaliation Rice-Holderfield has threatened jail for Kimberly Harris and her supporters for speaking about her judicial abuse online.

So to make this all clear, Rice-Holderfield is upset because American citizens have exposed her dirty little secrets? With the information I have gleaned from the www there is much more to expose about this Kentucky court whore.

First thing I did was check with the Constitution and it still says:

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/16/1791

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Redress

redress v. 1. To set right, remedy or rectify. 2. To make amends for. n. 1. Satisfaction for wrong done; reparation. 2. Correction. [redresser.]

This is a redress and you should duly note it.

The absurdity and contradictions continue at http://kyjudges2006.wikispaces.com/file/view/bgdailynews.oct31.pdf They pose the question to Rice-Holderfield,

What issues, if any, are important to improve family court?

I believe I’m serving the community very well in family court. I treat every participant equally, fairly, with dignity and respect. I’m always striving toward greater efficiency in managing my large caseload, and to save money and time for the people in my court. I put the focus on the children whose entire lives will be affected by the decisions we make and the agreements we reach in family court. I try to put myself in the shoes of every person that comes into my courtroom, while applying the law to the facts presented to me.

Thankfully after I read this quote I didnt spew too hard onto my keyboard. After we heard about Kimberly Harris and her son we knew that this was insanity, we just didn't anticipate the extent of it. Rice-Holderfield by her own admission is a product of divorce, she has been through divorce, she is a mother...but yet she is hellbent on jailing a mother who did nothing more than any mother would do to protect their child from abuse, it is blatantly apparent Rice-Holderfield doesn't grasp that concept.

Sadly it doesn't end there..the rest of the article here: http://judgecatherinericeholderfield.blogspot.com/2010/10/chamber-of-secrets.html


Family Court -- Unconstitutional Judicial Gag Orders

Over the past decade, family court judges routinely have uttered broader and broader gag orders, forbidding parents in custody battles from talking or writing about their cases. The pretext for these orders is that they are needed for the protection of the child.  Nevertheless, it's suspected that more often they are prompted by embarrassed officials who dislike scrutiny and criticism by internet bloggers in the wake of burgeoning out-of-control shoot-from-the-hip "therapeutic jurisprudence" in the family courts. The stated child protection rationale is specious because defamation, obscenity, violations of privacy, harassment, and other unprotected speech appropriately are addressed by the law after the fact when actual or potentially harmful speech can be specifically identified.

These orders are illegal under the First Amendment as violations of the constitutional prohibition against prior restraint. Now one mother, Faith Torres, has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union because of a gag order entered in her case by Judge Debra DeSegna in Providence, Rhode Island, July 29, at the request of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU's Rhode Island affiliate, called the order a "blatant violation of the First Amendment." Let's see some federal lawsuits. http://newsblog.projo.com/2010/08/judge-bars-ri-mother-from-talk.html

Unconstitutional Judicial Gag Orders - First Amendment - Judges




22 September 2010

New technology helps convict domestic abuse suspect

Nice!  Glad to see that it was allowed.  This could give hope to other domestic violence victims who have no outward bruising or ‘not enough’.  Just about anyone that has ever been hit knows it sometimes takes days for bruises to appear and by then the cops have already left and decided there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest or press charges.

Source:  Baltimore Crime Beat: New technology helps convict domestic abuse suspect - Baltimore crime news: Police, courts and police stories in the city and central Maryland - baltimoresun.com

New technology designed to detect hard-to-see injuries has been successfully used to prosecute a domestic violence suspect in the city. Called an Alternative Light Source, staffers at Mercy Medical Center used it to detect bruises hidden under a victim's skin.

As a result, the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office says a 31-year-old man was found guilty of assault and sentenced to eight years in prison. A Baltimore Circuit Court judge allowed the Mercy nurse to testify about the technology.

Baltimore Sun reporter Kate Smith described the new technology in a story published earlier this month.

A statement from city prosecutors:

While at Mercy Medical Center, the victim was examined by Barbara Boal, R.N., F.N.E. – A, a forensic nurse with the hospital’s SAFE program. She observed and photographed bruising to the victim’s chest, back, and neck.
She then examined the victim using an Alternative Light Source (ALS), a technology that will allow its user to observe bruises underneath the skin and not yet visible to the naked eye.
Using the ALS, Nurse Boal was able to see additional bruising to the victim’s neck consistent with her report of being strangled with one hand. She also observed substantial bruising to the victim’s chest, caused by blood vessels bursting while the victim was deprived of oxygen during the strangulation.
For more details:

At the June trial, Nurse Boal was called as a witness. She was qualified as an expert in forensic nursing.  Just before she was to start the substantive portion of her testimony, the defense raised a Frye-Reed challenge to the introduction of any testimony based on the use of the Alternative Light Source technology because this type of expert testimony had not been litigated in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

A Frye-Reed hearing was conducted where the forensic nurse was the sole witness. She testified that the use of the ALS was standard at Mercy Medical Center, that it was used in other hospitals around the state and the nation, and that it was considered the best practice for visualizing bruising under the skin.

The judge found that the use of the Alternative Light Source was a generally accepted practice in the forensic nursing community and denied the defense motion to exclude testimony based on the use of the ALS. The assault trial lasted June 1, 2010 – June 7, 2010 and Johnson was found guilty of second-degree assault and sentenced June 15, 2010 to eight years incarceration.




21 September 2010

Shared Parenting: Number One Cause of Children Being Murdered

Hat tip credit to Annie for saying “Shared Parenting is the Number One Cause of Children Being Murdered By A Parent” which gave me the topic and thought to write this post.

In 2009 every time you turned on the news or read the news you learned of another murder-suicide where one parent would kill them self, their spouse and children.  All the experts blamed this on the economy, no one really looked into the reasoning past that.  Domestic Violence is the reason, abusers are the reason.  When an abuser can not control something, someone or a situation they lash out; many times with lethal measures.

I want to highlight here what we are seeing this year in 2010.  We are still seeing many familicides, but either there are less this year or they are old news and not sensational enough to warrant top headlines.  This year we are seeing more and more reports of one parent killing them self and their children in situations where there is a shared parenting agreement.  Generally shared parenting agreements are forced by abusers to continue their reign of terror and control over their victims.

When an abuser feels they are losing that control for whatever reason they are capable of lashing out violently and lethally.  Some may even see this as a way to control their victim from beyond the grave.  They have taken their victims, children’s lives forever... leaving the victim mourning the loss of the children and blaming them self for not doing more to protect them.

Family courts play a huge role in this and in my opinion are just as at fault as the abuser is in these murders.  By granting and/or forcing shared parenting when there has been domestic violence in the relationship, family courts are basically signing the death warrants of these children.

Father, girls found dead near Junction City in apparent murder-suicide: Richard Rauscher and his two daughters die of gunshots in an apparent murder-suicide near Junction City

Rauscher and his estranged wife, Jennifer, shared custody of their two daughters, police said. Richard Rauscher had weekend custody and was with the girls on Sunday, when they attended a birthday party

 

3 children killed in suspected murder-suicide attempt (chron.com)

Goher had threatened to kill or hurt himself if he lost visitation

While there was a history of violence against the mother — including a 2006 conviction against Goher for beating her

I’m including many articles, just the two most recent; that is enough to get my point across.

Think about it... shared parenting kills kids when domestic violence is involved.  Judges and GAL’s need to start paying attention to the family dynamics and know that if an abuser has been abusive to his spouse in the past then when she is not there the abuse will be transferred to the kids. 

People who are abusive HAVE to have someone to control.  When the main victim removes them self from the relationship and there are kids involved, it has been proven time and time again that the abuse continues... just then it is child abuse.

Don’t just take my word for it... do some Google searches on the effects of domestic violence on children and what happens when the adult victim leaves the abusive relationship.

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20 September 2010

Press release: Protective Mothers march on Oct 1 in Washington DC

 

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                     Contact Connie Valentine 916-233-8381

A press conference will be held on Friday, October 1, 2010 from 11:00 am to noon in front of the  U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C.   
On the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness month, advocates and protective mothers whose children have been ordered into the custody of batterers and molesters are gathering to call for an investigation by the DOJ into family court corruption. 

These mothers are deeply concerned about their children. Mildred Mohammad, former wife of Beltway Sniper John Mohammad, took part in the Mothers' Day vigil at the White House on May 9, 2010. "I was without my children for two years when they were kidnapped by John and the courts didn't listen to me," she told reporters.  

As in the Mohammad case, family courts across the nation ignore or minimize child safety.

Research shows that 70% of batterers who request custody receive it, leading to 58,000 children per year who are forced to live with their identified abusers.[1] Many are killed. Batterers are over 6 times more likely to sexually abuse their children.[2]

The social ramifications of this trend are frightening. Children who are abused are at a high risk in adulthood for problems such as addictions, obesity, suicide attempts, heart disease and cancer. [3]

After the press conference, the mothers and their supporters will march to the Senate to request Congressional hearings to investigate these violations of law and human rights.

The march will end at the Sewall Belmont House at 144 Constitution Ave NE, the suffragists' headquarters when, in 1910, they insisted that women receive the civil right to vote.

In 2010, mothers are insisting that children have the human right to physical and sexual safety.  Please visit www.mothers-of-lost-children.com for more information.

[1] www.leadershipcouncil.org

[2] Bancroft, Lundy and Silverman, Jay, The Batterer as Parent, Sage Publications, 2002

[3] www.acestudy.org




17 September 2010

Direct Correlation Between Abuse and Victim Depression

I don’t think I even need to point out the DUH factor here....

Angry Husbands Linked to Depression in Wives

By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor

posted: 23 February 2010 10:22 am ET

Depression in women can be fueled by hostile husbands, a new study suggests. But the reverse seems not to be true.

Additionally, warm, positive behavior from husbands lessened the negative impact of their hostile behavior.

In the study, researchers watched 20-minute clips of 416 married couples interacting at home. The videos were coded for two behavior types: anti-social behaviors, which are those that are self-centered, defiant or show a lack of constraint; and hostile behaviors that are angry, critical or rejecting. Participants in the study also reported any symptoms of depression.

For instance, being snippy or curt with a spouse, interrupting her, eye-rolling, sneers and yelling were considered hostile behaviors.

"In the study, husbands' marital hostility was significantly related to increases in wives' symptoms of depression," said study researcher Christine Proulx of the University of Missouri. "The more hostile and anti-social behavior exhibited by husbands, the more depressed their wives were after three years. These findings suggest that husbands' treatment of their wives significantly impacts their psychological well-being and that hostile behavior has a lasting effect on couples that continues throughout their marriages."

On the flip side, the researchers didn't find any link between wives' angry behaviors and their husbands' depression — unless there was a significant life event at the time, including a death in the family or a job loss.

"It is possible that women's well-being is more closely tied to the well-being of their close relationships than is the case for men," Proulx told LiveScience. "So they may be more vulnerable than husbands are when there is hostility in the marriage."

But a greater number of recent, stressful events might put husbands at risk for being negatively impacted by their wives' hostility, according to Proulx.

In the United States, nearly 10 percent of the population suffers from a depressive disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. While the causes of depression vary, a husband's angry behavior could be a contributing factor.

"It's critical that professionals ask people experiencing depression about their close relationships and recognize that their spouse's behavior influences how they feel about life and themselves, especially among women," Proulx said. "It is important to intervene at the couple level and make spouses aware that how they act toward each other has a long-term effect on their emotional and physical well-being."

The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.

Angry Husbands Linked to Depression in Wives | LiveScience




16 September 2010

American mothers Political Party: Still Standing

Please call-in or listen online:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/americanmotherspoliticalparty

Call-in Number: (347) 205-9977

Upcoming Show: 9/16/2010 5:00 PM   

Host Name:
American Mothers Political Party

Show Name:

Still Standing


Length:
1 hr

Description:
h:135200 s:1211516

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!




Some Comic Relief: 40th Wedding Anniversary

Yeah, yeah, so what it is an email forward...but I felt like we all needed the comic relief!

A married couple in their early 60's were celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant....

Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table. She said, "For being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish."

The wife answered, "Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband." The fairy waved her magic wand and - poof! - two tickets for the Queen Mary II appeared in her hands.

The husband thought for a moment: "Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I'm sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than I."

The wife, and the fairy, were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish.

So the fairy waved her magic wand and poof!....the husband became 93 years old.

The moral of this story:Men who are ungrateful bastards should remember fairies are female.....




08 September 2010

Danah Boyd: How Censoring Craigslist Helps Pimps, Child Traffickers and Other Abusive Scumbags

Very well put!

Danah BoydDanah Boyd Senior researcher, Microsoft Research

Posted: September 6, 2010 08:14 PM

 

How Censoring Craigslist Helps Pimps, Child Traffickers and Other Abusive Scumbags

For the last 12 years, I've dedicated immense amounts of time, money and energy to end violence against women and children. As a victim of violence myself, I'm deeply committed to destroying any institution or individual leveraging the sex-power matrix that results in child trafficking, nonconsensual prostitution, domestic violence and other abuses. If I believed that censoring Craigslist would achieve these goals, I'd be the first in line to watch them fall. But from the bottom of my soul and the depths of my intellect, I believe that the current efforts to censor Craigslist's "adult services" achieves the absolute opposite. Rather than helping those who are abused, it fundamentally helps pimps, human traffickers and others who profit off of abusing others.

On Friday, under tremendous pressure from US attorneys general and public advocacy groups, Craigslist shut down its "Adult Services" section. There is little doubt that this space has been used by people engaged in all sorts of illicit activities, many of which result in harmful abuses. But the debate that has ensued has centered on the wrong axis, pitting protecting the abused against freedom of speech. What's implied in public discourse is that protecting potential victims requires censorship; thus, anti-censorship advocates are up in arms attacking regulators for trying to curtail First Amendment rights. While I am certainly a proponent of free speech online, I find it utterly depressing that these groups fail to see how this is actually an issue of transparency, not free speech. And how this does more to hurt potential victims than help.

If you've ever met someone who is victimized through trafficking or prostitution, you'll hear a pretty harrowing story about what it means to be invisible and powerless, feeling like no one cares and no one's listening. Human trafficking and most forms of abusive prostitution exist in a black market, with corrupt intermediaries making connections and offering "protection" to those who they abuse for profit. The abused often have no recourse, either because their movements are heavily regulated (as with those trafficked) or because they're violating the law themselves (as with prostitutes).

The Internet has changed the dynamics of prostitution and trafficking, making it easier for prostitutes and traffickers to connect with clients without too many layers of intermediaries. As a result, the Internet has become an intermediary, often without the knowledge of those internet service providers (ISPs) who are the conduits. This is what makes people believe that they should go after ISPs like Craigslist. Faulty logic suggests that if Craigslist is effectively a digital pimp who's profiting off of online traffic, why shouldn't it be prosecuted as such?

The problem with this logic is that it fails to account for three important differences: 1) most ISPs have a fundamental business -- if not moral -- interest in helping protect people; 2) the visibility of illicit activities online makes it much easier to get at, and help, those who are being victimized; and 3) a one-stop-shop is more helpful for law enforcement than for criminals. In short, Craigslist is not a pimp, but a public perch from which law enforcement can watch without being seen.

1. Internet Services Providers have a fundamental business interest in helping people.

When Internet companies profit off of online traffic, they need their clients to value them and the services they provide. If companies can't be trusted -- especially when money is exchanging hands -- they lose business. This is especially true for companies that support peer-to-peer exchange of money and goods. This is what motivates services like eBay and Amazon to make it very easy for customers to get refunded when ripped off. Craigslist has made its name and business on helping people connect around services, and while there are plenty of people who use its openness to try to abuse others, Craigslist is deeply committed to reducing fraud and abuse. It's not always successful -- no company is. And the more freedom that a company affords, the more room for abuse. But what makes Craigslist especially beloved is that it is run by people who truly want to make the world a better place and who are deeply committed to a healthy civic life.

I have always been in awe of Craig Newmark, Craigslist's founder and now a "customer service rep" with the company. He's made a pretty penny off of Craigslist, so what's he doing with it? Certainly not basking in the Caribbean sun. He's dedicated his life to public service, working with organizations like Sunlight Foundation to increase government accountability and using his resources and networks to help out countless organizations like Donors Choose, Kiva, Consumer Reports and Iraq/Afghani Vets of America. This is the villain behind Craigslist trying to pimp out abused people?

Craigslist is in a tremendous position to actually work with law enforcement, both because it's in their economic interests and because the people behind it genuinely want to do good in this world. This isn't an organization dedicated to profiting off of criminals, hosting servers in corrupt political regimes to evade responsibility. This is an organization with both the incentives and interest to actually help. And they have a long track record of doing so.

2. Visibility makes it easier to help victims.

If you live a privileged life, your exposure to prostitution may be limited to made-for-TV movies and a curious dip into the red-light district of Amsterdam. You are most likely lucky enough to never have known someone who was forced into prostitution, let alone someone who was sold by or stolen from their parents as a child. Perhaps if you live in San Francisco or Las Vegas, you know a high-end escort who has freely chosen her life and works for an agency or lives in a community where she's highly supported. Truly consensual prostitutes do exist, but the vast majority of prostitution is nonconsensual, either through force or desperation. And, no matter how many hip-hop songs try to imply otherwise, the vast majority of pimps are abusive, manipulative, corrupt, addicted bastards. To be fair, I will acknowledge that these scumbags are typically from abusive environments where they too are forced into their profession through circumstances that are unimaginable to most middle class folks. But I still don't believe that this justifies their role in continuing the cycle of abuse.

Along comes the Internet, exposing you to the underbelly of the economy, making visible the sex-power industry that makes you want to vomit. Most people see such cesspools online and imagine them to be the equivalent of a crack house opening up in their gated community. Let's try a different metaphor. Why not think of it instead as a documentary movie happening in real time where you can actually do something about it?

Visibility is one of the trickiest issues in advocacy. Anyone who's worked for a nonprofit knows that getting people to care is really, really hard. Movies are made in the hopes that people will watch them and do something about the issues present. Protests and marathons are held in the hopes of bringing awareness to a topic. But there's nothing like the awareness that can happen when it's in your own backyard. And this is why advocates spend a lot of time trying to bring issues home to people.

Visibility serves many important purposes in advocacy. Not only does it motivate people to act, but it also shines a spotlight on every person involved in the issue at hand. In the case of nonconsensual prostitution and human trafficking, this means that those who are engaged in these activities aren't so deeply underground as to be invisible. They're right there. And while they feel protected by the theoretical power of anonymity and the belief that no one can physically approach and arrest them, they're leaving traces of all sorts that make them far easier to find than most underground criminals.

3. Law enforcement can make online spaces risky for criminals.

Law enforcement is always struggling to gain access to underground networks in order to go after the bastards who abuse people for profit. Underground enforcement is really difficult, and it takes a lot of time to invade a community and build enough trust to get access to information that will hopefully lead to the dens of sin. While it always looks so easy on TV, there's nothing easy or pretty about this kind of work. The Internet has given law enforcement more data than they even know what to do with, more information about more people engaged in more horrific abuses than they've ever been able to obtain through underground work. It's far too easy to mistake more data for more crime and too many aspiring governors use the increase of data to spin the public into a frenzy about the dangers of the Internet. The increased availability of data is not the problem; it's a godsend for getting at the root of the problem and actually helping people.

When law enforcement is ready to go after a criminal network, they systematically set up a sting, trying to get as many people as possible, knowing that whoever they have underground will immediately lose access the moment they act. The Internet changes this dynamic, because it's a whole lot easier to be underground online, to invade networks and build trust, to go after people one at a time, to grab victims as they're being victimized. It's a lot easier to set up stings online, posing as buyers or sellers and luring scumbags into making the wrong move. All without compromising informants.

Working with ISPs to collect data and doing systematic online stings can make an online space more dangerous for criminals than for victims because this process erodes the trust in the intermediary, the online space. Eventually, law enforcement stings will make a space uninhabitable for criminals by making it too risky for them to try to operate there. Censoring a space may hurt the ISP but it does absolutely nothing to hurt the criminals. Making a space uninhabitable by making it risky for criminals to operate there -- and publicizing it -- is far more effective. This, by the way, is the core lesson that Giuliani's crew learned in New York. The problem with this plan is that it requires funding law enforcement.

4. Using the Internet to combat the sex-power industry

It makes me scream when I think of how many resources have been used attempting to censor Craigslist instead of leveraging it as a space for effective law enforcement. During the height of the moral panic over sexual predators on MySpace, I had the fortune of spending a lot of time with a few FBI folks and talking to a whole lot of local law enforcement. I learned a scary reality about criminal activity online. Folks in law enforcement know about a lot more criminal activity than they have the time to pursue. Sure, they focus on the big players, going after the massive collectors of child pornography who are most likely to be sex offenders than spending time on the small-time abusers. But it was the medium-time criminals that gnawed at them. They were desperate for more resources so that they could train more law enforcers, pursue more cases, and help more victims. The Internet had made it a lot easier for them to find criminals, but that didn't make their jobs any easier because they were now aware of how many more victims they were unable to help. Most law enforcement in this area are really there because they want to help people and it kills them when they can't help everyone.

There's a lot more political gain to be had demonizing profitable companies than demanding more money be spent (and thus, more taxes be raised) supporting the work that law enforcement does. Taking something that is visible and making it invisible makes a politician look good, even if it does absolutely nothing to help the victims who are harmed. It creates the illusion of safety, while signaling to pimps, traffickers, and other scumbags that their businesses are perfectly safe as long as they stay invisible. Sure, many of these scumbags have an incentive to be as visible as possible to reach as many possible clients as possible, and so they will move on and invade a new service where they can reach clients. And they'll make that ISP's life hell by putting them in the spotlight. And maybe they'll choose an offshore one that American law enforcement can do nothing about. Censorship online is nothing more than whack-a-mole, pushing the issue elsewhere or more underground.

Censoring Craigslist will do absolutely nothing to help those being victimized, but it will do a lot to help those profiting off of victimization. Censoring Craigslist will also create new jobs for pimps and other corrupt intermediaries, since it'll temporarily make it a whole lot harder for individual scumbags to find clients. This will be particularly devastating for the low-end prostitutes who were using Craigslist to escape violent pimps. Keep in mind that occasionally getting beaten up by a scary john is often a whole lot more desirable for many than the regular physical, psychological, and economic abuse they receive from their pimps. So while it'll make it temporarily harder for clients to get access to abusive services, nothing good will come out of it in the long run.

If you want to end human trafficking, if you want to combat nonconsensual prostitution, if you care about the victims of the sex-power industry, don't cheer Craigslist's censorship. This did nothing to combat the cycle of abuse. What we desperately need are more resources for law enforcement to leverage the visibility of the Internet to go after the scumbags who abuse. What we desperately need are for sites like Craigslist to be encouraged to work with law enforcement and help create channels to actually help victims. What we need are innovative citizens who leverage new opportunities to devise new ways of countering abusive industries. We need to take this moment of visibility and embrace it, leverage it to create change, leverage it to help those who are victimized and lack the infrastructure to get help. What you see online should haunt you. But it should drive you to address the core problem by finding and helping victims, not looking for new ways to blindfold yourself. Please, I beg you, don't close your eyes. We need you.

(My views on this matter do not necessarily represent the views of any institution with which I'm affiliated.)

Follow Danah Boyd on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@zephoria

Danah Boyd: How Censoring Craigslist Helps Pimps, Child Traffickers and Other Abusive Scumbags

07 September 2010

Boycotting hotels with porn channels will help stop DV and sexual abuse?

The article below highlights what one MN county is attempting to do as an effort to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault.  Which would normally be something that I would applaud.  In this situation though I think this an extreme waste of time, effort and possibly even money; spent debating this proposed bill.

First off let me say that I’m not dense and in a sense I get what they are getting at...in that forcing employees to not stay at hotels that offer porn channels would maybe in the long run force the hotel to stop offering these channels; and maybe this would have some positive impact.

When I initially read this article my thoughts flew off in so many directions.  I have re-read this piece a few times to make sure that I was really reading what I first thought I was.  My first thought upon reading the headline was:  wow, they must have a problem with county employee’s and porn.

My next thought was more along the lines of:  what if they have a lazy employee that would rather just stay where ever is convenient for them without asking if the hotel offered pay per view porn, even if they would not be reimbursed for the room costs, would that person then be looked at differently and silently accused of something...stereotyped even?

But wait, they have added in all the provisions to make sure they can still stay at hotels where porn is available and get the reimbursement.... so who really are they trying to protect?  Or, better yet, who really are they trying to fool with this bill?

So staying in a hotel that offers porn channels is ok as long as it costs less to stay there or it is the hotel where a conference is being held?  So as long as it is cheaper and more convenient to stay there then combating domestic violence and sexual abuse are ignored?  What kind of message is this actually sending?

 

Minnesota county considers anti-porn bill for employee hotel stays ~ By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

Comments 100

Does the hotel you just booked offer porn on its pay-per-view system? A Minnesota county is considering banning its employees from staying in hotels that offer porn. File photo, taken May 25, 2005, shows a spacious room - and flat-screen TV - at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel. By Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

A Minnesota county tomorrow will consider passing a bill that would ban county employees from selecting hotels with porn on their pay-per-view TV systems.

Concerned about sexual and domestic violence, Winona County commissioners will consider a so-called "clean hotel" policy, the Winona Daily News reports. It's not clear how county employees would figure out whether or not the hotel they're thinking about booking offers porn.

The county's move comes about five months after Minnesota state lawmakers considered passing a bill that would restrict Minnesota state employees from staying in hotels that offered violent porn movies for state-sponsored trips. In mid-March, a state House committee voted down the bill.

According to the local paper, Winona County employees would not be reimbursed for their hotel bill if the hotel offers pornography. Some 480 hotels meet the criteria, the story says.

The bill would allow for some exemptions: County workers could stay in a hotel that offers porn if it's the official hotel for a conference, or if staying at the porn-free hotel would cost 15% more than another hotel, the paper says.

Winona County's proposed bill also calls for the county government to ask the Association of Minnesota Counties to adopt the same rule.

Anti-porn bill proponents say the bill can help reduce sexual and domestic violence, the story says. "In and of itself, this policy is not a cure-all," a county paper reads, "but it is an important effort to help prevent a social disease and its related costs to the public."

The state of Minnesota spent $221 million in 2006 on costs linked to sexual violence, the paper says.

Readers: What do you think about the anti-porn bill proposal? If you agree with the anti-porn effort, do you ever check to see whether the Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western or any other hotel you're thinking of booking offers porn?

Posted Sep 6 2010 4:08PM

Minnesota county considers anti-porn bill for employee hotel stays - USATODAY.com




23 June 2010

AU: Act aids abusive fathers, imperils children

Really?  Hmmm, finally someone see it!  Hat tip to Annie for this one!

http://www.theage.com.au/national/act-aids-abusive-fathers-imperils-children-20100623-yz3u.html

Act aids abusive fathers, imperils children

ADELE HORIN

June 24, 2010

THE Family Law Act is failing to protect children from ongoing trauma at the hands of abusive and violent fathers, a study has found.

The act's aims of protecting children from violence and giving them ''meaningful involvement'' with both parents was being resolved in favour of contact even in cases of severe domestic violence, the study reveals.

Sydney University education and social work senior lecturer Lesley Laing, the report's author, said more thought needed to be given to what formed a ''meaningful relationship'' when a parent had traumatised a child through domestic violence. ''There is no requirement that a parent who has harmed a child in this way must demonstrate they can offer a safe and meaningful relationship,'' she said.

The report is based on interviews with 22 women, contacted through domestic violence services, who were negotiating parenting arrangements in the family law system. It is the first study that has allowed women experiencing domestic violence to speak about the impact of the 2006 legal changes that put greater emphasis on shared parenting while still maintaining protection in cases of violence.

The women describe a situation where they are discouraged by legal advisers and others from raising violence issues in the Family Court for fear of being seen as an ''unfriendly'' or ''alienating'' parent unwilling to support contact with the father.

''Anything that you do to try and advocate for your children is somehow twisted into being high conflict and parental alienation,'' one woman said. ''So you are basically silenced. And the children are silenced.''

Another said she had agreed to the children having sleepovers at their father's place because she felt she had no choice. Her lawyer had convinced her that if she objected the judge would give the father even more contact.

Dr Laing said some women felt guilty they had escaped violent men but their children had not. ''Forty years ago some women could only escape domestic violence by leaving the children behind, and they were pilloried,'' she said. ''Now there is a new form of child abandonment, at least part time. It's a terrible thing we are asking women to do.''

The report shows the women are battling a complex and unco-ordinated system that often sees state child protection services shunting matters to the Family Court though the court with no powers of investigation.

As well, the women battled community attitudes that regarded them as liars who misused the system. Professionals constantly stressed to the women the importance of fathering, without regard to its quality. It was commonly assumed that at least some contact was inevitable, no matter what violence had occurred, and that supervised contact would eventually move to unsupervised contact.

The study, No Way to Live, will put further pressure on federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland to amend the Family Law Act. An earlier review he commissioned recommended amendments to provide greater protection.




22 June 2010

The Responsilble Fatherhood Bullshit

Now presenting...the latest PSA from the American Mothers Political Party





President Obama is asking Congress for $500 million to keep dead beat, broke down abusive fathers in their victims lives. The American Mothers Political Party is AMPPing up to fight the powers that be!

20 June 2010

Abuse Survivor Speaking Out

We found this at Tailored Life Coaching, the link to her post is:  http://tailoredlifecoaching.blogspot.com/2010/06/survivor-story-survivor-and-kids-still.html 

This story was emailed to me to post here to help raise awareness to the issues that victims of domestic violence face.

THIS IS MY STORY...

ON DECEMBER 27, 2007 MY EX CAME HOME AROUND 6 AM DRUNK.  HE ACCUSED ME OF HAVING SOMEONE IN HIS HOUSE THAT DID NOT BELONG.  AT THAT POINT HE SWUNG AT ME, AND HIT ME IN THE SIDE OF MY FACE.  MY BEST FRIEND WAS SITTING ON THE COUCH, AND HE TURNED TO HER AND SAID 'YOU WANT SOME TOO BITCH?'  SHE RAN.  WHEN SHE REACHED HER CAR AND LOCKED HERSELF IN, SHE CALLED 911.  I WAS STILL IN THE HOUSE, TAKING MY BEATING.  WHEN THE POLICE SHOWED UP, IT WAS OBVIOUS THERE HAD BEEN A STRUGGLE. SHELVES HAD BEEN KNOCKED ONTO THE FLOOR, WHEN MY HEAD HIT THEM. MY GLASS COFFEE TABLE WAS SHATTERED. MY FACE WAS BADLY BRUISED. THEY DID NOT TAKE PICTURES. THEY ALMOST LET HIM GO, BECAUSE HE CONTINUOUSLY BEGGED ME NOT TO 'LIE' TO THE POLICE, AND TO PLEASE NOT TO THIS TO HIM.  MY KIDS WERE AT HOME. THEY WERE STILL ASLEEP. I BEGGED OFFICERS TO TAKE HIM AWAY. THIS WAS NOT MY FIRST BEATING...AND MY BABIES WERE MORE IMPORTANT.  I SAW THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SAVE MY CHILDREN, AND MYSELF, FOR THIS WAS NOT THE FIRST...OR THE LAST BEATING.  THE FOLLOWING WEEKEND, MY DOOR WAS KICKED IN 3 NIGHTS IN A ROW. THE WEEK AFTER THAT, HE FOUND ME AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY, AND GAVE ME THE MOST BRUTAL BEATING YET. HE VIOLATED A PFA, AND NOTHING WAS DONE ABOUT IT. THERE WERE NO "EYEWITNESSES" TO THE BEATING. THE WEEK AFTER THAT MY WINDSHIELD WAS BUSTED OUT OF MY CAR.  I DECIDED THIS NEEDED TO END, AND I WENT INTO HIDING, AND STARTED TO RUN. HE WOULD FIND ME, AND BEG.  I WOULD STAND MY GRAND, HE WOULD ATTEMPT SUICIDE. THE LAST SUICIDE ATTEMPT HE SHOWED UP WHERE I LIVED, AND SWALLOWED AN ENTIRE BOTTLE OF PILLS IN FRONT OF ME...I JUST LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID "I HOPE YOU'RE NOT EXPECTING ME TO CALL AN AMBULANCE, IM NOT GOING TO", THAT TIME HE ACTUALLY LEFT...I WENT BACK TO SLEEP....

WE DIDN'T HEAR FROM HIM AGAIN, PHONE CALLS HERE AND THERE CUT SHORT.  WE LET HIM SEE THE GIRLS ONCE OR TWICE, SUPERVISED ONLY...AND THEN THE CALLS AND CONTACT STOPPED. FOR 8 MONTHS, BECAUSE IN FRONT OF HIS MOTHER, HE SLAPPED MY 3 YR OLD BABY IN THE FACE AND CALLED HER WHITE TRASH WHILE DROPPING THEM OFF...IT ENDED THERE. MEMORIAL WEEKEND 2009.

OCTOBER 2, 2009

HE WAS FOUND IN CONTEMPT OF COURT FOR NON PAYMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT. HE WAS GIVEN A 6 MONTH SUSPENDED SENTENCE.  AFTER 2 YEARS OF NONPAYMENT, HE IS ALLOWED 3 MORE MONTHS TO ATTEMPT, OR GO TO JAIL JAN. 11, 2010. I HAVE STILL RECEIVED NO PAYMENTS.

OCTOBER 20, 2009

MY MOTHER DROPS MY KIDS OFF, FOR UNKNOWN REASONS WITH HIS PARENTS....THE MINUTE MY CHILDREN STEP FOOT INTO THEIR HOUSE...SRS IS CALLED.  THE ALLEGATIONS ARE CHILD ABUSE/NEGLECT, DUE TO A "KNOT" ON ONE'S FOREHEAD, AND THE OTHER'S "BLACK EYE".  SRS CONTACTS ME, AND I EXPLAIN...WE WERE AT A FRIEND'S HOUSE, WHO HAS 2 OLDER CHILDREN.  THEY WERE PLAYING ON BUNKBEDS AND HEADBUTTED EACH OTHER AT SOME POINT. THEY ARE KIDS...AFTER GETTING OFF THE PHONE WITH SRS, I RECEIVE A PHONE CALL FROM HIS PARENT'S "COME PICK THESE KIDS UP, I HAVE PLANS, AND THEY ARE TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE".  CONSIDERING THEY ARE MINE, AND WERE TAKEN THERE WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE, SURE THAT'S FINE...

OR SO I THOUGHT...

THE CASEWORKER ON THE CASE DOING THE "INVESTIGATION", TELLS ME I AM "MINIMIZING" THE SITUATION. SHE BELIEVES MY HUSBAND IS ABUSING ME AND THE CHILDREN, AND I AM TOO AFRAID TO COME FORWARD. SHE HAS "SEVERAL STATEMENTS" FROM PEOPLE "CLOSE" TO US TO BACK THIS UP...FINALLY I TELL HER, I WILL NOT SPEAK TO HER ANYMORE WITHOUT PRESENCE OF AN ATTORNEY.  SHE CONTINUOUSLY MAKES ME TO BELIEVE MY OWN FAMILY IS OUT TO GET ME, EVEN MY OWN MOTHER. I DON'T KNOW WHO TO TRUST, SO I QUIT TALKING TO ANYONE INVOLVED IN THE CASE.  THIS WOMAN OFFERED A FEW FAMILY MEMBER'S MONEY, MONTHLY, TO TAKE MY CHILDREN. SHE OFFERED TO PAY FOR CHILDCARE, TO TAKE MY CHILDREN.  SHE STATED TO ME SHE "DID NOT BELIEVE, I OR MY EX SHOULD HAVE OUR CHILDREN."  THEN SHE DID THE MOST HORRIBLE THING POSSIBLE...SHE GAVE THE EX, MY ADDRESS, MY PHONE NUMBER, MY EMPLOYER INFO, AND CONTACT NUMBERS BELONGING TO MY FAMILY.  HE HAD ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THIS INFORMATION TO BEGIN WITH. SRS PUT ME AND MY FAMILY, IN DIRECT DANGER, WITH A MAN WHO HAD ALREADY BEEN CHARGED AND CONVICTED, FOR BEATING ME. THE EXACT PEOPLE, WHO ARE SPECIFICALLY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HELPING TO PROTECT MY CHILDREN...PUT MY CHILDREN AND MYSELF'S LIVES AT RISK...THEY GOT AWAY WITH IT...AND STILL ARE!

DECEMBER 2. 2009

A LETTER COMES IN THE MAIL FROM SRS. THE CASEWORKER ADVISES THAT SHE "EMPATHIZES" WITH MY SITUATION, AND HAD RECEIVED THE LETTER I WROTE HER.  WHILE I HAVE THE RIGHT TO MY OPINION, SHE HAS SEVERAL FACTS AND STATEMENTS BACKING UP WHAT SHE "BELIEVES" IS GOING ON. DESPITE HER FACTS AND EVIDENCE, SHE WILL BE CLOSING MY CASE SOON.  SHE ALSO ADVISES ME THAT IF THERE ARE ANY FURTHER REPORTS IN THE FUTURE, MY CHILDREN WILL BE AT RISK FOR REMOVAL FROM MY HOME....LATER ON THAT DAY....WHILE DOING LAUNDRY, I TELL THE KIDS TO STOP JUMPING ON THE BED...OF COURSE MY HANDS ARE FULL, AND THEY DO NOT LISTEN. NOT 2 MINUTES LATER, THEY ARE BOTH CRYING.  I GO INTO THE ROOM, MY 3 YEAR OLD STOPS CYRING, BUT MY 2 YEAR OLD SAY SHE IS HURT.  WHEN ASKING HER WHERE IT HURTS, SHE POINTS TO HER FOOT, HER LEG, HER HAND, AND HER ARM.  I FIGURE SHE IS JUST TIRED, AND TELL THEM TO LAY DOWN FOR NAP TIME.  WE HAVE ORIENTATION FOR SCHOOL, SO WE CALL A SITTER WHILE THEY ARE STILL ASLEEP, AND LEAVE.  THE SITTER CALLS MID-ORIENTATION STATING SHE THINKS MY 2 YEAR OLD'S ARM OR SHOULDER IS HURT.  WE COME HOME AND SURE ENOUGH, SHE SEEMS TO BE IN A LOT OF PAIN.  I CALL OUR FAMILY DOCTOR, AND HE IS WORKING ER AND SAYS TO BRING HER IN. AFTER BEING ASSESSED AND EVALUATED IT IS DETERMINED HER COLLAR BONE IS BROKEN, BUT IS A VERY COMMON FRACTURE....

DECEMBER 4, 2009

I RECEIVE YET ANOTHER CALL FROM THE CASEWORKER.  QUESTIONING ME ON THE INJURY MY DAUGHTER RECEIVED 2 DAYS BEFORE. I EXPLAIN TO HER WHAT HAPPENED, AND SHE ADVISES THE CASE WILL NO LONGER BE CLOSING DUE TO HER "NEW" INTAKE AND REPORT.  SHE TELLS ME SHE NEEDS TO "INTERVIEW" THE GIRLS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  I HANG UP. WHILE AT A FRIENDS HOUSE LATER ON THAT DAY, MY LANDLORD CALLS. HE IS VERY UPSET, AND ADVISES ME HE LET THE WPD IN TO SEARCH MY HOME, AND THEY ARE LOOKING FOR MY CHILDREN.  IN SHOCK, I CALL MY MOTHER TO WATCH THE CHILDREN SO I CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON.  THE MINUTE WE GET TO THE HOUSE, THE WPD CALLS AND SAYS "NOBODY IS IN TROUBLE, WE JUST NEED YOU TO SIGN SOME PAPERWORK".  10 MINUTES LATER THEY SHOW UP WITH AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION. AT THIS POINT THEY NOTIFY ME, THEY HAVE ALREADY TAKEN MY CHILDREN INTO CUSTODY, AND RELEASE THEM TO THEIR FATHER.(THE ABUSER)  OVERCOME WITH EMOTIONS I AM SO HYSTERICAL I CAN'T EVEN SPEAK....THIS IS FRIDAY EVENING...THE COURT HOUSE IS CLOSED...THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO, AND MY CHILDREN HAVE BEEN ENDANGERED. NEXT YOU WILL READ AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY A DEAR FRIEND IN REFERENCE TO ME.

Sedgwick County 18th Judicial Court

Judge Jeff Syrios

Judge Syrios gave custody and granted a protection order of two small children to a convicted domestic violence criminal and the children who are aged 2 & 3 years old, were picked up on friday, 12/4/09, by the Wichita police and transported to an unknown location and the mother still has no idea where her children are. The mother of the little children went to see Judge Syrios today, 12/7/09,  to explain the father's past and criminal conviction, father is suicidal, lives in a halfway house, and that these children are in danger, but Judge Syrios would not release the children back to the mother.

This father had other children from a previous relationship and his parental rights were severed in this same jurisdiction, here in Sedgwick County.

Mother had been investigated because one of the children had fallen and broke their coller bone. This was cleared by two medical physicians who noted that this was an accident. But now since father filed a protection order, the SRS is involved again which looks more like SRS is working for this convicted criminal.

DECEMBER 7, 2009

ME AND MY HUSBAND HEAD TO THE COURTHOUSE, TO SEE IF THERE IS ANYONE TO GET MY GIRLS BACK.  OUR FIRST STOP IS THE PFA OFFICE.(WE THOUGHT THEY COULD ASSIST IN PROTECTING US) NO LUCK. THEY BASICALLY SAY, SORRY HE HAS TO BEAT YOU AGAIN, AND THEN WE CAN PROTECT YOU.  THEY ARE ALSO MADE AWARE OF THE PFA FILED BY THE EX.  AGAIN, SORRY, THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO, HE RAISED HIS HAND AND SWORE THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, SO HE MUST HAVE BEEN TELLING THE TRUTH...BLAH BLAH BLAH.  NEXT STOP DISTRICT ATTORNEY NOLA FOULSTON'S OFFICE...AGAIN...NOTHING.  NEXT STOP, THE JUDGE'S CHAMBERS. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE JUDGE SPEAKS TO US. HE IS INFORMED OF THE ENTIRE SITUATION, BUT STATES ALL HE CAN DO IS MOVE THE HEARING DATE UP, AND WE CAN BE SEEN IN 3 DAYS....THIS IS BECAUSE ONCE AGAIN, SRS IS INVOLVED.  APPARENTLY HE CALLED THE CASEWORKER ASSIGNED TO THE CASE, AND LOW AND BEHOLD SHE TOLD HIM SHE "RECOMMENDED" THEY STAY WHERE THEY ARE AT.  WE WERE TOLD THEY ARE "FED, CLOTHED, CLEAN AND SAFE" AND "NOT TO WORRY, JUST SHOW UP FOR COURT"....

DECEMBER 10, 2009

PFA COURT.  AFTER ABOUT 4 HOURS OF SITTING AND WAITING, OUR CASE IS FINALLY HEARD BEFORE A JUDGE.  ON THE PLAINTIFF SIDE, ABUSE ALLEGATIONS ARE MADE, MEDICAL RECORDS ARE PRODUCED, AND TESTIMONY IS MADE BY HIM AND HIS MOTHER.  THEY DUG A PRETTY DEEP HOLE ON THEIR ON, AND CONTRADICTED THEMSELVES MANY TIMES.  THE ISSUE OF SRS GIVING THEM MY PERSONAL INFORMATION COMES UP, AND IS NOT CONTESTED BY EITHER.(INTERESTING HUH)  THE REAL KICKER...PART OF THEIR DEFENSE CONSISTS OF A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION FROM THE SRS CASEWORKER, INVESTIGATING OUR CASE....FAXED FROM THE SRS CASEWORKER TO THE FAMILY COURT TRUSTEE....MORE PRIVATE INFORMATION BEING PASSED AROUND.  NEEDLESS TO SAY AFTER 2 JUDGES HAVE REVIEWED THE EVIDENCE, EVERYTHING GETS DROPPED....AT LEAST UNTIL SRS DECIDES TO STEP IN, OR CUSTODY COURT ON DECEMBER 21ST.  THE JUDGE ALSO ORDER A CHILD CUSTODY INVESTIGATION TO TAKE PART BEFORE COURT ON THE 21ST...BUT I AM ALLOWED TO PICK UP MY CHILDREN DIRECTLY AFTER COURT....AND AT THIS POINT...DEC. 10TH...THEY ARE IN MY HOME. SAFE. LOVED. AND SECURE.  THE JUDGES AND FAMILY COURTS WILL STILL NOT PROVIDE ME WITH A PFA. UPON ARRIVING AT HOME, MY 3 YR OLD LOOKS ME IN THE EYES, AND SAYS "IF YOU ARE MEAN TO "TROY", HE IS GOING TO BEAT YOU REALLY BADLY."  I ASSUME THIS MESSAGE WAS SENT THROUGH HER, DUE TO THE NO CONTACT ORDER IN PLACE....I AM PUBLIC WITH MY STORY, BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE.  I THINK SOMETHING DEFINITELY NEEDS TO BE CHANGED OR FIGURED OUT.  THESE ARE CHILDREN, NOT PAYCHECKS.  IT IS OUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO BE A PARENT.  WE ARE NOT EVEN GIVEN A CHANCE TO DEFEND OURSELVES AGAINST THE ALLEGATIONS MADE.  ONCE A  REPORT IS RECEIVED, WE ARE GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.  OUR RIGHTS AS HUMANS ARE BEING VIOLATED. THIS HAS GOT TO END.  OUR STORIES NEED TO BE HEARD, AND NOT FILED AWAY.  THIS IS TRAUMATIZING OUR CHILDREN, AND THEY ARE NOT GIVING THEM A CHANCE.  THEY ARE DESTROYING OUR KIDS, AND EVERYONE BUT THE MOTHER'S AND/OR FATHER'S ARE THE ONLY ONE'S WORRYING ABOUT PROTECTING THEM.  MY CASEWORKER NEARLY SIGNED MY DEATH WARRANT, BY GIVING OUT VITAL INFORMATION TO MY PERPETRATOR.  NOT ONLY THAT, BUT IS BASICALLY HOLDING HIS HAND THROUGH THE PROCESS.....IS THIS JUSTICE? IS THIS HOW THE SYSTEM IS SUPPOSED TO WORK?

tailored life coaching




18 June 2010

Child abuse investigator charged

Finally someone in this position being held accountable for their actions!  We need more cases like this...make people in public service do their jobs.  If they don’t want to do what is required of them for whatever reason then they need to find another freaking job.  I’m sick and tired of hearing about kids being killed AFTER investigations into their abuse have been done and closed.  I’m sick and tired of hearing about how the social workers involved did the best they could and are over worked.  I know they are, most people know they are over worked.  Something needs to change in how these cases are handled, investigated or something.

http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_1bb6d242-7a40-11df-98aa-001cc4c002e0.html

Child abuse investigator charged with fabricating reports

JANINE ANDERSON janine.anderson@journaltimes.com | Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 1:41 pm | (11) Comments

 

The six cases

  • The charges against fired child protective services investigator Todd O'Brien stem from six cases. Information was taken from the criminal complaint against him filed Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court.

    - March-April 2008: The Human Services Department received a letter saying a woman with a day care sexually assaulted her younger sister and was mentally unstable. O'Brien was assigned to investigate, and reported he visited the woman's home and spoke to each child there. He found the allegations unsubstantiated. The woman told HSD officials this year that O'Brien had never come to her house.

    - December 2008: A hospital told HSD that a baby had been born with marijuana in its system. O'Brien reported he found the home "modest, well-kept, fortified for children, with food, diapers, clothing, crib and other necessary items," and that he did not see any safety concerns. When investigators spoke to the woman this year, she said she never saw anyone from HSD after her child was born.

    - January 2009: O'Brien investigated a report that a couple was physically abusing a child. O'Brien's report says he visited the home and spoke to the girl, who said she was not afraid of her step-father, and that he was a "nice guy." This year, the couple told investigators no one came to their house or interviewed them about abuse allegations.

    - January 2009: A 17-year-old girl was treated at the hospital for scratches on her arm. O'Brien's report stated the girl had fought with her mother over a party the girl had thrown, and that there was no issue. He wrote he met with the girl and the mother at their home. During the follow-up investigation this year, the woman said no one from HSD had come to their home.

    - January 2009: A student at the Mack Center reportedly had an injury to his face. O'Brien's report on the incident said he spoke to the boy and his mother at their home on Jan. 23, and that he had no injuries. In a follow-up investigation this year, the boy's mother said no one came to their home. School records show the boy was in school at the time O'Brien said he visited the home.

    - September 2009: A school employee reported a 5-year-old boy had a bruise under his right eye. O'Brien's report said the boy told him he was wrestling with his father and brothers, and that there was an accident. His report stated the "child was happy" and the "clean and appropriate." The mother told investigators this year that no one from HSD came to her home or interviewed her or her son.

    Todd P. O'Brien

    Age: 37

    Address: 9305 S. 29th St., Franklin

    Charges: Six counts of misconduct in public office, making a fraudulent record or statement

    Possible maximum penalty: Nine years prison and $60,000 fine plus 12 years extended supervision

    Allegation: O’Brien was a veteran child protective services investigator for Racine County who allegedly made up reports showing he investigated claims of child abuse. The people he said he investigated later told officials that O’Brien never came to their homes to speak with them.

    Related Stories

    RACINE - A former Racine County Child Protective Services investigator was charged Thursday with fabricating reports in six cases where there were allegations of abuse against children.

    Todd P. O'Brien, 37, of Franklin, is charged with six counts of misconduct in office for making a fraudulent record or statement. Each count carries a maximum possible penalty of 1 1/2 years in prison.

    O'Brien was a veteran investigator with the Racine County Human Services Department when his work came under scrutiny earlier this year. He was subsequently fired by the county.

    HSD began looking into his work in February after someone being considered as a possible placement for a child who needed a new place to live had a flag on their file from a previous investigation. HSD workers saw the person had been previously investigated for possible sexual abuse of a child, and asked the woman about it. She told them no one had ever spoken with her about anything like that. O'Brien's report from the 2008 allegations said he spoke with the woman and interviewed the children in her home. He found the allegations unsubstantiated.

    After that incident, county officials looked into other cases where O'Brien determined an abuse suspicion was unsubstantiated and found five other cases where they suspected O'Brien fabricated information. In each of those cases his reports contained detailed information about interviews with people against whom abuse allegations had been made, but where the people involved said he never came to speak with them.

    O'Brien made his initial appearance on the charges against him on Thursday. He remains out of custody on a $5,000 signature bond. If he violates the conditions of bond - including having no contact with any of the victims in the case and making all his court appearances - he would likely have to pay the full amount.

    HSD has hired someone specifically to look into O'Brien's cases.

    "Every case from 2007 forward we've pulled," said Kerry Milkie, manager of the youth and family division of the Racine County Human Services Department. "Any case that he worked alone is being assigned to this individual and he's making phone calls to those contacts to ensure from a quality assurance standpoint that A, those contacts happened, and B, the family received the service they needed and if they didn't, that they now receive that service."

    HSD Director Jonathan Delagrave said they are being "very diligent and very careful" with regard to O'Brien's cases. Milkie said there are in excess of 250 cases that are being reviewed. No one has been hired to fill O'Brien's vacated position. The person who's looking into his other cases has been with the county for about a month, and has so far reviewed approximately 50 cases.

    Delagrave said he was not ready to share what, if anything, the investigator has found, though expects the results of the investigation to be made public at some point.

    Milkie said the department is taking this very seriously: "We're going to work until it's done, until it's resolved. We're going to ensure these families' needs are met."

    In a previous statement through his attorney O'Brien asked people to withhold judgment until all the facts are available. The case is due in court next month for a preliminary




  • 16 June 2010

    Let’s Look to the Animal World for Paternal Bonding

    I found this article to be very interesting and thus wanted to share it with all of you...enjoy!

     

    Paternal Bonds, Special and Strange

    By NATALIE ANGIER

    Published: June 14, 2010

    Not long ago, Julia Fischer of the German Primate Center in Göttingen was amused to witness two of her distinguished male colleagues preening about a topic very different from the standard academic peacock points — papers published, grants secured, competitors made to look foolish.

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    Stefanie Henkel

    STATUS SYMBOL An adult male Barbary macaque at La ForĂȘt des Singes, a zoo in Rocamadour, France, comforts an infant, and impresses his fellow males.

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    “One of them said proudly, ‘I have three children,’ ” Dr. Fischer recalled. “The other one replied, ‘Well, I have four children.’

    “Some men might talk about their Porsches,” she added. “These men were boasting about their number of children.” And while Dr. Fischer is reluctant to draw facile comparisons between humans and other primates, she couldn’t help thinking of her male Barbary macaques, for whom no display carries higher status, or is more likely to impress the other guys, than to strut around the neighborhood with an infant monkey in tow.

    Reporting in the current issue of the journal Animal Behaviour, Dr. Fischer and her co-workers describe how male Barbary macaques use infants as “costly social tools” for the express purpose of bonding with other males and strengthening their social clout. Want to befriend the local potentate? Bring a baby. Need to reinforce an existing male-male alliance, or repair a frayed one? Don’t forget the baby.

    It doesn’t matter if the infant is yours or not. Just so long as it has the downy black fur and wrinkly pinkish face that adult male macaques find impossible to resist. “They will hold up the infant like a holy thing, nuzzling it, chattering their teeth,” Dr. Fischer said. “It can be a bit bewildering to see.”

    Just in time for Father’s Day come this and other recent studies that reveal surprising, off-road or vaguely unsettling cases of Males Behaving Dadly — attending to the young with an avidity and particularity long thought to be the province of the mother.

    Scientists have learned, for example, that the male pipefish — which, like his seahorse relatives, famously becomes pregnant and gives birth to live young — is both more generous and more calculatedly harsh toward his offspring than previously believed, able to fine-tune the flow of nutrients to his gestating babies depending on how he feels about their mother.

    In most species of birds, males and females take turns incubating the eggs and fetching insects for the fledglings. But among some large, flightless birds like emus and rheas, the male is often the sole keeper of the nest. Scientists now have evidence that such father-focused child care may represent the primordial avian program, one that dates back to the birds’ storied ancestors, the dinosaurs.

    Why do males of some species attend to their offspring prolongedly, while others tend to spring off post-coitally? The reasons vary widely and are not always easy to discern.

    In 90 percent of mammalian species, promiscuity is common and paternity uncertain; females gestate the young internally and then provision them with breast milk, and males rarely have any evolutionary incentive to play Ward Cleaver. Yet in that remaining 10 percent, the daddy decile, we find most of the world’s primates.

    “Lots of primates are suckers for babies,” said Sarah Hrdy, the primatologist and author of “Mothers and Others” (Harvard University Press, 2009). Consider how the male of two small New World monkey species, the cotton-top tamarin and the common marmoset, reacts to a mate’s pregnancy.

    His hormones change, the dendritic connections in his brain begin to change, and he puts on weight — all in preparation for the heavy lifting to come. Female marmosets and tamarins generally give birth to twins, which together weigh about 20 percent of what the father does, and from the moment the babies are born until they reach independence, the male will be expected to carry them most of the time. If he’s sitting, he’ll hold them on his lap. While he’s swinging through the trees, the twins will cling to the comforting thermal pads between his shoulder blades. If he hears the babies crying, he can’t help himself — he must fetch them and pick them up.

    In a study that appeared in the American Journal of Primatology, Sofia Refetoff Zahed and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin compared the responses of experienced fathers and inexperienced males when confronted with the sound of a fussy infant monkey coming from a distant cage.

    Without exception, the experienced fathers would quickly cross a bridge to reach the source of the distress cry, arriving within 45 seconds. Inexperienced males, by contrast, took their time. A minute, five minutes, wah wah wah! Oh well, guess I’d better see what the problem is. Or not. In half the cases, the inexperienced males never made it to the stimulus cage before the experiment was up.

    Marmosets and tamarins become dream daddies because their partners are queen bees of fecundity. A mother monkey can’t possibly handle the energetics of lugging around a pair of growing twins. Not when she is expected both to produce a double dose of milk and to become pregnant again roughly two weeks after giving birth.

    “When I first started watching the monkeys, I thought the females were so mean,” said Ms. Zahed, who is working on her doctorate. “The infants would try to get food, to get whatever the mother had, and the mom would grab it back and go away. The dad, on the other hand, would give up his food and let the infants get away with anything.

    “Then I got pregnant with my second child while I was still nursing the first,” she added. “Then I understood. You do get grouchy.”

    In contrast to the obvious link between paternal care and offspring welfare seen in tamarins and marmosets, a male Barbary macaque’s fascination with infants can look less than kid-friendly. Once abundant throughout North Africa, but now limited to forest patches in Algeria and Morocco, these monkeys live in troops of some 30 animals, a mix of related adult females and unrelated adult males. Females give birth in the spring, and Dr. Fischer said, spring “is high season for infant dealing.”

    Within days of being born, every infant is fair game for male pawings. “A male will approach a mother slowly,” Dr. Fischer said, “seize the moment, and take the infant.” He will carry the infant under his belly, or in his arms, and he’ll advance toward one or two other males and start to make nice.

    “If they don’t have an infant, they can’t interact,” Dr. Fischer said. “There would be too much tension between them.” A male may hold on to an infant for hours at a stretch. If the baby starts to cry, he may take it back to the mother for a feeding, all the while hanging on to the ankle of his precious networking tool.

    The researchers initially assumed that baby handling might have a tranquilizing effect on the males, but on measuring the macaques’ hormone levels, they found the opposite: carrying an infant caused a male’s stress hormones to spike. The scientists now propose that the males use the infants as “battle symbols,” as Dr. Fischer put it, “to show other males that they can bear the stress.”

    What better proof of a worthy ally, who will not wilt come breeding season — when males must form coalitions to monopolize fertile females and help spawn the next generation of fuzzy handheld devices?

    Nature may never have invented the wheel, but she’s the original wheeler-dealer and hedger of bets. The pouch of a male pipefish was long thought to be a passive incubator in which embryos could develop safely while feasting on yolky nutrients the mother had supplied. Recent research suggests that the male also infuses the pouch with plenty of food, not to mention regulating osmotic pressure, salinity and oxygen flow.

    Paternal generosity does have its limits. In a report published in the March 18 issue of Nature, Kimberly A. Paczolt and Adam G. Jones of Texas A&M University showed that the pouch of a gulf pipefish is a staging ground for sexual barters and the occasional war.

    Male pipefish like big females, and if they mate with a meaty one, they will lavish her eggs with abundant nutrients of their own. But if a male ends up mating with a lightweight because she was the best he could find, and midway through gestation a fatter female swims by, the male’s pouch knows what to do: abort or reabsorb a few existing embryos to use as food for the new.

    Yes, fathers love to take charge, beat the odds, expand the nest. Reporting in the journal Science , David J. Varricchio of Montana State University and his colleagues offered evidence that for at least some species of birdlike carnivorous dinosaurs, fathers may have been the ones who cared for their young.

    The researchers argued that to begin with, the repeated discovery of adult dinosaurs in close proximity to egg clutches indicated that dinosaurs didn’t just dump and dash, turtle style, but instead stuck around to protect the nest. What’s more, the total volume of each clutch was impressively large, suggesting input from more than one female.

    Finally, the bones of the adults associated with the nests suggested that their owner might well have been male. A male that invited many females to mate with him and lay their heavy treasures in his nest. He was a good father. They had done their part. Now he would do the rest.

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