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24 February 2010

Court Sanctioned Child Abuse

I found the transcription below while doing some research about parental alienation and child abuse.  I do not know any of the individuals involved in this meeting, so I have taken the liberty of x’ing out the names to protect their identities.  This meeting was several years ago, so I doubt attempting contact for permission to use this would be fruitful.  For the same reason I am not providing a link to the original document in which this segment is located.

I chose the below to highlight that protective parents have been fighting this battle for several years.  This is not something new.  Family Courts have been sentencing young children to lives of hell for far too long and nothing seems to be being done to put a stop to this.

Ordinary, everyday, citizen’s (for the most part) are not even aware that such atrocities are taking place in the judicial buildings that we as a society pay for with our tax dollars.  Most people never realize that child are being handed over to abusive criminals; until it happens in their small sphere of being.  Then it is an outrage for a time and they resume life eventually, never to think of it again.

Protective parents don’t get that luxury, if you will, to go on about life as if their children were not ripped away from them and handed to the very person that has abused them.  Those children don’t get the luxury of going on about their lives in a safe, loving and well cared for existence.

I ask you to read the below testimony and think about it.  What would you do in this situation?  What are you going to do now that you know this is happening to children around the world?  Will this be one more piece of information that you will half-way process and go back to life as usual; not to think of again...until it happens to you or someone you know?

 

Ms. XXXX XXXX (Nemesis Network): Good afternoon.

This committee has a wondrous responsibility and a magnificent possibility to relieve the silent agony of millions of Canadians. I wish you tremendous success.

I was savagely attacked and viciously beaten by my husband. He sodomized my baby girls. He cruelly and severely abused my son. He blew up pets with rifles in front of my tiny children. He shot at my son and pets and farm animals with an air pellet gun. He attacked men, got into fights, took drugs, smoked marijuana, and entered and stole from cottages.

The Joint Chair (Senator XXXX XXXX): Is all that material in a case report? It's in the context under which we meet. Can you give us that reference?

Ms. XXXX XXXX: Yes. I have to finish the paragraph.

The Joint Chair (Senator XXXX XXXX): It's better to give the reference and then you can finish the paragraph.

Ms. XXXX XXXX: This is my case.

The Joint Chair (Senator XXXX XXXX): Have you the name of the case and the jurisdiction in which it took place?

Ms. XXXX XXXX: The judicial jurisdiction is Terrebonne. I don't have the number of the case with me.

Committee Member 1 XXXX XXXX: It's just for the record.

Ms. XXXX XXXX: The divorce judgment?

Committee Member 1 XXXX XXXX: No, your case. So-and-so versus whom?

Ms. XXXX XXX: XXXX v. XXXXX. Sorry about that.

The Joint Chair (Senator XXXX XXXX): That's fine. When you make this kind of statement, we need to know that it's on the record.

Ms. XXXX XXXX: I understand.

Committee Member 2 XXXX XXXX: Is what you have just stated on the court record?

Ms. XXXX XXXX: Some of it.

Committee Member 2 XXXX XXXX: Please limit your comments to what was on the court record.

Ms. XXXX XXXX: Okay. I will eliminate anything that is not on the court record.

I made my first call to the police in early 1979. We subsisted with a cruel terrorist. I don't know why we didn't all die. But here I am, and what I need you to understand is that my story is the story of millions of muted mothers and silent children. Because I didn't die, I have an awesome responsibility to make audible our souls' silent screams.

The majority of even minimally decent and responsible parents recognize the crucial importance of nurturing the young. It is the child abusers and wife beaters who most frequently sue for and often receive custody of or generous access to their small victims.

The most brutal abusers live in families scared to death of their terrorists. No one tells. It would be worth their lives or that of their protective parents. Often the most severe abusers become known only after the death of the protective parent and/or the children. The rest and those who report are silenced and live a noxious existence, for the destruction pervades every aspect and detail of a lifetime. This is the legacy of sanctioned abuse under our present laws.

Of course, I lost custody. My xxx tiny hurt girls were wrenched from their protective parent and sent to live with their abuser. He subsequently disappeared with them. They are registered in the Canadian registry of disappeared children.

I cannot imagine a surer way to destroy children and their mothers. I cannot imagine a greater cruelty or a more unnatural behaviour than to destroy the young of a species and the mothers who bear them. This is a tactic of war.

Protective parents who stay alive exist in society-imposed exile and poverty, trying to comprehend the incomprehensible and attempting to survive the horrendous agony of knowing what their children are enduring. It is hard for decent people—and most of us are—to imagine that a human could so choose to destroy and dehumanize their own children and their mothers. Many if not most of us naturally recoil and choose to believe more comfortable and frequently dangerous theories. The mind cannot accept what the soul cannot imagine. In our inability to confront ugly realities, we actually promote and sanction reprehensible child exploitation and abuse.

I have used an example to explain a point I want to make. Do I need to refer also...?

The Joint Chair (Senator XXXX XXXX): What point do you want to...?

Ms. XXXX XXXX: At one point, having once again managed to get an appointment with the head of the local youth protection team, the man accusingly and acidly spat at me, “You are obsessed”. At the time, I did not take it as a compliment but rather as evidence of his madness and hatred for children. Now I also see his comment as a compliment, for his statement placed me firmly in the camp of the civilized and he solidly with the savages.

Abused children and their protective parents in custody and access wars are forced to deal with the savagery of ignorance as well as the continued and escalated terrorism of the abuser. Although one cannot ensure an acceptable level of evolution in all who are in contact with children, one can mandate careful selection and appropriate ongoing training for all those who are and will be involved in deciding the fate of children in custody and access cases. Solutions are there, but one cannot begin to implement solutions unless a problem is perceived.

Inform the public with media presentations, for example, as they are doing now in the United States. There must be an immediate way to exclude those who are suffering from criminal ignorance and vested interests that have to do with exploitation and not nurture. They must be removed so as not to continue their contribution to the carnage.

Government must accelerate this evolutionary process by immediately instigating leadership in law-making and mandatory policy regulation that responds to the reality of desperate need and provides redress for those victims who never lost all hope.

Without retroactivity and accountability, the revictimization is lifelong and the perpetrators escalate and continue their reign of terror with the unwitting sanction of much of society.

Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed by Canada in 1989. Mandate the selection of those who can learn with their soul's mind. Provide mandatory ongoing training and education for those who have been chosen. Create ethics codes and protocols and write them into nationwide laws. Make all laws and policies subject to scrutiny and accountability. Do all this and more retroactively and swiftly. Then Canada may begin to slow the heinous destruction and redress some incomprehensible wrongs.

Facilitate and accelerate the process by adapting programs already used in other countries. Inform the public of all changes and services available. Change existing laws and change the words. “Custody” and “access” are property law terms. The terms “best interests of children” and “friendly parent” are problematic. A protective parent, usually a mother, is most reasonably unwilling to send her traumatized children to spend weekends and more with their rapist/terrorist/abuser. Judges, lawyers, psychologists, social workers and others frequently interpret this sane reticence as unwillingness to cooperate and a desire to hurt the man, and so judges give children in custody cases to the perpetrators of terrible crimes.

Examine related laws. Privacy acts maintain the secret of abuse. Streamline and coordinate the fragmented and often fractious systems, courts and agencies. Increase and implement sanctions. Perpetrators abuse and continue because they can.

Expedite all changes. Speed is essential. Traumatized babies become lost children, tormented teens and agonized adults in the wink of an eye. Why not create a parallel system using existing resources, and the second there is even a hint of abuse this system swings into action?

Without laws there can be no justice—

The Joint Chair (Senator XXXX XXXX): Are you just about at the end?

Ms. XXXX XXXX: Yes.

Without laws there can be no justice, but if there is no justice, can we say we have laws? When the laws of society do not allow justice and even promote injustice, the law of the jungle fills the void.

It has often been suggested that if one is not able to face one's own past one will be consumed by it. This is the responsibility that Canada must immediately assume. Confront and acknowledge our reprehensible past record concerning children, for our society is already being consumed, as evidenced by the violence rumbling and erupting across our nation.

Allow Canada to join other nations and greet the next century with a modicum of morality and some hope of evolution in human rights ethics.

I welcome your questions.

The Joint Chair (Senator XXXX XXXX): Thank you very much.

Questioner: I just want to ask Ms. XXXX a question. What's very worrying in this pursuit of justice is when somebody with a story such as yours says, “Of course, he got custody”. The “of course” is something that's very upsetting. I'd like it if you could put on the record how that ends up as “of course”.

Ms. XXXX XXXX: I put the words “of course” in on purpose. Over the years it grew like Topsy. I started to receive phone calls from women, and I discovered to my horror—and it still horrifies me and always will—that my case is not, as I said at the beginning, unusual.

I'm still getting phone calls from women who have gone to court, naively, as I did, and said this is not really good for the children and myself; I want out—and they lost custody. I think it's almost automatic. We have a sort of black humour in the different conversations that sustain us, and it's like this is automatic. You're accused of wanting to hurt a nice man.

I have problems with the parental alienation syndrome. I have a lot of problems with that, and it feeds into this. I don't have a problem with the fact that what our grandmothers called brainwashing exists; it does exist that people do this. Where I have a problem is when one reads Dr. Gardner's works, when one actually reads them and analyses them, they are his theories, ideas, opinions. They grew out of Dr. Ralph Underwager's theories, opinions. There's no research. It's not scientific. In the psychologists' manual there are already syndromes listed on a continuum, and what some people call parental alienation syndrome fits into that already. It's already known.

The problem with the parental alienation syndrome is that when one reads Gardner's works, and one just has to read one book of his, he refers to mothers as causing it to the children. He does not use the word “parent”. It's very highly slanted when you actually read it and analyse it. But it's a comforting theory. It's comfortable, and it fits in with Freud's theories when he reneged on the sexual abuse part and said that these women are all hysterical. It fits into all of that, and it's comfortable and it works. And the books are available; they're sent free.

The word passes, word of mouth, if you're going for a divorce and you're from an abusive situation.... I must clarify: only abusive situations. I'm not talking about the majority of decent people here. The word is don't report it; don't report it or you'll lose everything. You'll probably lose everything anyway, but if you report sexual abuse, you will surely lose everything. That's the reality.

Questioner: Do you have any suggestions as to how we in this committee can change that and make sure that isn't the case?

Ms. XXXX XXXX: I'm not a lawyer. Maybe because I'm an educator—no, not only because of that.... People I speak with, and I mean people who have doctorates and big degrees and fancy people, which I'm not, are all saying the same thing: educate, educate, educate.

I personally believe, and I'm not alone, that most people know that sexual abuse breeds on secrecy. I think it also breeds on ignorance, like many other things. So I think one of the keys is, as I think I mentioned, mandate training and a media blitz. The United States has short advertisements now on television and radio; it's a blitz right across the country. And it's known that there is a very high statistical correlation between men who beat women and those same men who abuse their children. The correlation is very high. The States has begun this. It's been going for a while.

I think education.... Judges are supposed to know about the law and how to apply it. They don't know about child development and child abuse. The average decent person doesn't know about this. When it happens to you....

Questioner: I guess that's why there's been a suggestion to go to...maybe we wouldn't call them a mediator, but we'd call them early judicial intervention or somebody with the expertise you've referred to. That is the first stop before people get to the judge. Lots of them only want to judge; they don't actually want to do this other....

Ms. XXXX XXXX: Yes, and that's okay.

Questioner: I guess I'm worried that.... Are you seeing that even in people where the perpetrator has been in the criminal justice system, or is it only the ones where it's secret?

Ms. XXXX XXXX: The ones where it's secret. Those are frequently the worst cases.

Questioner: And where it's secret it's not safe to tell the truth because of the climate that everybody knows about.

Ms. XXXX XXXX: Exactly.

Questioner: And if this were done in a different milieu, in a clinic kind of setting rather than the judge's chambers or the courtroom, do you think maybe it would be safer for people to tell what's really going on?

Ms. XXXX XXXX: That is my personal opinion. I think Canada does have already some judges, some lawyers, some psychologists, some everything who are already informed and who are tough enough to take it. I guess “tough” is the right word, because it's not a pleasant task. It must be excruciating for you people to listen to this, but you have to. I think if you could take those people and say okay, we're going to have a separate cadre corps, and you're all lawyers and you're psychologists and everybody that's used anyway.... We have obligatory mediation in Quebec. The minute there's a hint of abuse, conjugal violence or other, a hint, you go to this parallel—

Questioner: Special place.

Ms. XXXX XXXX: —using the existing facilities and the people who are already there, except they have indicated a willingness to take training and go with it at least for a while.

In Montreal they have a special sex crimes unit. They're all crown prosecutors, everybody. It's all the same courts, the same rooms, the same buildings, the same people; but they have special training, which is ongoing, and they deal with it. It just shifts kind of to the left and works.

23 February 2010

The Lesser Known Form of Child Abuse – Neglect

There are many crimes that are heinous and wicked, but none as bad as the ones committed against children who don’t even understand them. An adult who takes advantage of a child and abuses him/her because of their insecurity and self-confidence issues is the lowest kind of human being, the very dregs of society. Child abuse takes various forms – the child is physically abused as in he/she is hit or hurt in various ways, the child is sexually abused either by touch or more, the child is mentally tortured with words or actions, and/or the child is neglected and not cared for properly.

While the first three forms of child abuse are generally visible offences, not many people consider neglect to be a serious issue. They feel for children who have been abused physically, sexually and emotionally because the scars are either visible or have manifested themselves in other forms (like disrespect, disobedience, belligerence, depression, withdrawal, and many more). But neglected children seem almost normal, except that their needs are not being met.

But just because the signs of neglect are not readily visible immediately or otherwise, that doesn’t mean that neglected children are better off than those who have been abused in more serious ways. Parents who neglect the physical and/or emotional needs of their children are not fit to be parents – when they fail to ensure that their child is well-fed, in good health, clothed and educated, they are neglecting their responsibilities as parents.

Neglect is a curious form of child abuse in that some parents cannot help neglecting their children because of their circumstances – they are too poor to provide them with regular meals and adequate clothing, leave alone ensure their good health and send them to school. When poverty becomes a cause for neglect, the children tend to migrate to the wrong side of the law – they steal, get into street fights, and sometimes even sell drugs or themselves for money. This makes poverty-induced neglect a very sensitive issue because it becomes a danger to society at large.

But even with poverty being a millstone around their necks, some parents are determined that their children will lead better lives than they have, and so they strive to keep their kids in school and out of the streets even though they live in unsavoury neighbourhoods. Their efforts are augmented by free education initiatives and healthcare schemes for minorities and people who are considered the lower strata of society. If more parents gave the idea considerable thought before having children, the issue of neglect would never arise.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Brooklyn White, who writes on the topic of Forensic Science Technician Programs  . She can be reached at brookwhite26-AT-Gmail.com.