06 February 2010

Dastardly Dads: How to make abusive custodial fathers disappear in one easy lesson

I was going to do my own summary of the NIS-4; however this one from Dastardly Dads is much better than what I had started so I am just going to share this one.

How to make abusive custodial fathers disappear in one easy lesson

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

It's easy! And here's how you do it.

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

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

Link is here:

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

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

Other Married Parents (presumably targets families with stepparents)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note that the 2000 US Census used the following categories for reporting data on families with children:
Married couple
Female householder
Male householder

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

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

And what did NIS-3 say? In their on-line Executive Summary, they tersely acknowledge the following, but with little elaboration:
"Among children in single-parent households, those living with only their fathers were approximately one and two-thirds times more likely to be physically abused than those living with only their mothers."

You can find the quote here:

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

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

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

Posted by silverside at 8:22 AM

Labels: NIS-4, statistics

Dastardly Dads: How to make abusive custodial fathers disappear in one easy lesson

04 February 2010

Judge Helm, Houston TX, finally off the bench

This judge should have probably been thrown off the bench sooner, and the prosecutors were trying.  He made several out of place, frivolous comments during domestic violence cases that had the ultimate effect of re-victimizing DV victims.  You can read about that here.

So, just before a recusal hearing that he supposedly knew nothing about he turned in his resignation.  GOOD!  I am not really concerned with splitting hairs about how or why he is off the bench...just wanted to point out that he IS off the bench!

The below is the newest update about this that I could find:

Houston judge resigns on eve of recusal hearing


Feb. 3, 2010, 10:01PM

Harris County criminal Court-at-Law Judge Reagan Helm resigned this week, more than six months after a judicial intervention in which he agreed to retire because was he suffering from dementia, according to the administrative judge over the county criminal courts.

“He acknowledged he was having some medical issues and talked about retirement,” County Court-at-Law Judge Jean Hughes said. She said Helm told her it was dementia.

Helm, 68, agreed to retire in September and would have received disability benefits, but changed his mind, she said.

News of Helm's resignation came on the eve of a recusal hearing in which the Harris County District Attorney's Office wanted to remove him from “any and all” cases involving accusations of domestic violence because of “deep-seated bias and prejudice.”

Helm, 68, has denied the district attorney's allegations.

Calls to Helm's home and courtroom Wednesday were not returned.

Hughes said she also discussed the situation with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

A spokeswoman with the state agency declined to comment on any action involving Helm.

“It continued to get worse, as you can tell by the motion to recuse,” Hughes said.

‘Tried to intervene'

Last October, the District Attorney's Office asked Helm to remove himself from two family violence cases because of what it termed a history of inappropriate comments to prosecutors, victims and defendants.

“It's a shame because we tried to intervene and help him go very quietly with dignity and, unfortunately, that didn't happen.” Hughes said. “When you're dealing with someone with his situation, you're never quite sure what they do or what they can quite comprehend, but we spent a great deal of time trying to work with him.”

A friend of Helm's, former U.S. Attorney Ron Woods said the judge consulted him about retirement beginning in December.

He said he did not know about an intervention.

Served since 1994

He said Helm retired to be with family and visit his ranch in Colorado. He has been on the bench in criminal Court-at-Law No. 1 since 1994.

Woods also said Helm did not know about today's scheduled recusal hearing and did not resign because of it.

Helm sent a letter to County Judge Ed Emmett on Tuesday, but made no mention of the district attorney's efforts to remove him from domestic violence cases.

He said it had been an honor to serve.

“However, this year 2010 brings my 69th birthday and I do believe it is appropriate to inform you that I am retiring from that position. I am therefore resigning, effective today,” Helm wrote.

Hughes detailed the steps she and other judges took after coming under fire from Vivian King, a defense lawyer who said other judges had a responsibility to intervene.

“I think they should have had some sort of intervention, and I don't know that they didn't, but they should have tried to find him some help,” King said. “There is help available to lawyers who need help.”

Behavior questioned

King filed a motion in July to recuse the judge because he granted a mistrial in one of her cases after saying the attorneys were “all too difficult.”

Helm appeared to get frustrated and granted a mistrial rather than rule on whether to admit part of King's evidence, she said.

Hughes, King and other courthouse observers said Helm's behavior changed after his court reporter, Don Rymer, was indicted last April and retired.

The court's day-to-day business usually was handled by Rymer, Hughes said. King said the court reporter also appeared to help Helm with legal rulings.

“I don't think if Don Rymer was there, we would have had a mistrial in my case,” King said.

Rymer pleaded guilty last Friday to a state jail felony charge of tampering with a government record in connection with a missing trial transcript.

He was fined $4,000 and will spend a year on deferred adjudication.

Specific cases cited

King's motion was included in a district attorney's motion for Helm to recuse himself in “any and all” domestic violence cases — specifically 74 cases involving 64 defendants.

The office alleged that Helm made “frivolous” comments that “trivialize the seriousness of the proceedings.”

Prosecutors cited five specific cases and what they called a general pattern of admonishing men accused of family violence that the women who are accusing them have them “by the balls.”

Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack said Wednesday he had requested that a closed-session discussion of Helm's replacement be put on Tuesday's Commissioners Court agenda.

He has also asked that the discussion address a replacement for county criminal Court-at-Law Judge Donald Jackson, who resigned in December after being sentenced to 30 days in jail for abusing his authority.

On Dec. 19, Jackson was convicted of official oppression for offering a DWI defendant in his court help getting her case dismissed in exchange for a sexual relationship.

Houston judge resigns on eve of recusal hearing | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

01 February 2010

Another One: DEAD!

*Warning*  if you are offended by curse words, then skip what I have to say and just read the article below....and there are grammatical errors...many run-on sentences...not my best writing in the least...BUT, it is how I feel about it!

I am getting so fucking sick and tired of seeing these fathers who murder their children, fathers that are so selfish that they then kill themselves and leave everyone else behind to pick up the fucking pieces that they have left scattered all over the place...

It was seeing this type of article on a daily basis that first prompted the murder-suicide blog and map...but after going through stories and articles on a daily basis of children getting killed for no good reason, it was better to just let that other go and not work on it for awhile. 

This father picked his son up for a visitation and killed him!  AFTER he had already threatened to kill the baby and himself...oh but wait...there’s more...THIS WAS A FUCKING COURT ORDERED VISIT!!!!!

Oh but I am sure that just like all the rest the judge will excuse his decision by telling that he could only make a decision based on the proof that he had to look at....oh what the fuck ever! 

When are WE; as a country of people, as a society; going to start making our law makers, enforcement officials and judicial system follow the damn laws?  When are we going to start holding them accountable for their poor decisions or indecision when it is allowing our children as a whole to be murdered?

Oh, that’s right...PROBABLY FUCKING NEVER!!!  Because it is more comfortable to sit in the house and say that it will never happen to you or your family and to not give a flying shit because it has nothing to do with you...guess what...those that do nothing are enabling the abusers and murders and are just as bad as they are!

SoCal father, son dead in apparent murder-suicide

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Authorities in San Bernardino County say a 25-year-old father and his 9-month-old son have died in what investigators believe is a murder-suicide.

A sheriff's news release says deputies found Stephen Garcia and son Wyatt Garcia dead in a vehicle on a rural dirt road in the Twin Peaks area early Sunday.

The release says the Hesperia Sheriff's Station had received a report Saturday night that Garcia took his son during a court-ordered visitation and threatened to kill the child and himself.

The department did not say how the pair died, only that they "sustained traumatic injuries."

The county coroner will conduct an autopsy on both father and son this week.

Stephen Garcia was from the Pinon (pin-YONE) Hills area and his son was from Yucca Valley.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/01/31/state/n183809S81.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0eGKvjLHD

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31 January 2010

Testimony on Domestic Violence Law in Kansas to be Heard


Kansas lawmakers to hear testimony on domestic violence law

Newton Kansan  Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 05:00 PM

TOPEKA — At 1:30 p.m. Monday, (State Capitol Rm S-144) members of the House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice will hear testimony about proposed legislation that will assist the criminal justice system in documenting crimes associated with domestic violence and track repeated offenders.

Curt and Christie Brungardt, parents of the late Jana Mackey, will speak in support of the proposed legislation. Jana Mackey, a 25-year-old KU Law student was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in July 2008. Recently the Brungardts have created Jana’s Campaign to Stop Domestic Violence to encourage and promote a public policy response to domestic violence. “We believe it is our responsibility to use the story of Jana’s life and the story of her death to help reduce violence against women.” The campaign’s goal is to promote new and effective legislation that will secure safety and justice for victims of domestic violence. “It is our deep desire to turn this tragedy into something positive and play a significant role in reducing domestic violence.”

House Bill 2517 requires a domestic violence tag be placed on all legal documents associated with a criminal act that is based on an intimate relationship. Having this DV tag is especially important as offenders often repeat their crimes against victims. Therefore, this legislation encourages sanctions to be put in place before violence escalates.

Others testifying at the hearing include representatives from the Attorney General’s office, the Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, Department of Corrections, law enforcement, and the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and

Kansas lawmakers to hear testimony on domestic violence law - Newton, KS - The Newton Kansan