The charges, filed in 2011, allege he had sexual contact multiple times with two girls younger than 16 between Jan. 1, 1997, and Dec. 31, 2003, in Pensaukee.
OH, so they DO know how to charge sexual predators, I’m sure ONLY if he’s not dear old dad
The charges, filed in 2011, allege he had sexual contact multiple times with two girls younger than 16 between Jan. 1, 1997, and Dec. 31, 2003, in Pensaukee.
OH, so they DO know how to charge sexual predators, I’m sure ONLY if he’s not dear old dad
I never talk much about my abuse or the specifics simply because it is too painful to re-live. Although that doesn’t really matter much when you are re-victimized on a daily basis for standing alongside other battered mothers that are in my position. The countless mothers that I have spoken to over the years and listening to their heartaches was bad enough for my mental health but now being attacked by others who allegedly have the same goals is simply too much. I think thought it’s high time to shift gears and allow those that think they may know me and show them what I am and what depths of hell that I have been through. I’ll start with the event that took place in late 1997 at the hands of my second abuser. I will no longer be silent and I have risen above my pain. For this is why I am who I am and why I tirelessly help others that share this heartache and nightmare.
It was after my divorce and during a lengthy custody battle where I met the second abusive man in my life. During this time I found myself pregnant with this man’s child. He didn’t treat me bad in the beginning but then again if he would have punched me in the face during our first date I can venture to say there would not have been a second one. Abusers don’t operate that way, there is a process a “grooming” process of wearing you down and making sure that your defenses are low.
I was homeless, my children were being ripped from my life and I found myself living with a man that I should have listened to all the red flags, I didn’t. The year was 1997 and the month must have been between November and December as I was five months pregnant. I was twenty-nine years old and the pregnancy, my fourth child, was very wearing on me. I am sure the ongoing verbal abuse from my abuser wasn’t helpful. Not to mention the ongoing divorce/custody battle for my three older daughters. I remember being exhausted and went to bed early that night. I knew that my abuser was angry about it but I was just too tired to listen anymore and went to bed. Sleep came easily and I remember that my sleep was the type that was deep and restful.
I am sure it was a divine intervention to which I received my deep slumber as the following events would change my life forever. My eyes slit open as I could feel the sun peeking through the bedroom window. But something was strange; I couldn’t stretch or move my arms. I opened my eyes to find my abuser and the father of my child standing at the foot of the bed. He was laughing. I finally could open my eyes fully and forced myself to be wake up. I looked at him and his face seemed different, his laugh was not the same, I knew I was in trouble as my heart began beating out of my chest. I looked up and found that my wrists were tied with a yellow nylon rope to the headboard. Strangely my legs were free, for now. His laughter became louder as I tried to wiggle my wrists free but the more I tried the more pain came on my wrist from the nylon rope intertwining with other fibers of nylon making it tighter. I asked him what the hell he was doing. He couldn’t stop laughing. I became angry and yelled that he needed to untie me now! That’s when the laughter stopped. I knew that when he was in the mood to fight this was the way he started it. He came near my head and whispered in my ear as evil as you can imagine that he was coming for what he was “denied” last night. My heart jumped as I knew something bad was going to happen to me and there was nothing I was going to be able to do about it. He lifted me under my ribs and flipped me from my side and over onto my stomach. I told him that he was hurting me and the baby. He said nothing. I begged him to allow me to lie on my back but he ignored every plea. Nothing. He grabbed the back top of my pajama pants and ripped them straight down the back. I began to cry and tried to plead with him to stop. Again, no response. He was now naked and on top of my back as he pushed my face deep in the pillow to muffle my sobbing and screaming. Finally, he spoke as he told me that if I was quiet he would untie me. I quickly acquiesced and became silent and to be as still as I could be lying on my pregnant stomach. Then he started laughing again. He loved this torture; he was in control of my physical body and now my brain. I couldn’t see him but only hear and feel the weight on my pregnant body. I will skip some of the dirty little details of what transpired next. But I will tell you that it was almost immediately after I obeyed his directives that I saw white and felt searing pain, my baby was moving as I could feel her moving slightly under the pressure. I screamed in pain but it only made it worse as he loved to hear my screams of pain. I couldn’t believe that I was being sodomized by a man who allegedly loved me with his baby inside of me. After what seemed like forever he finally stopped and walked out of the room. My body was in so much pain I feared that my baby would die from the pressure and trauma to my insides. I knew I was bleeding as felt it run down my thighs. I began to weep silently so he couldn’t hear me. I was still tied with the rope and my wrists were on fire from the friction. I hoped that he was done and that he would leave me alone, I was wrong. It was almost immediately after I thought that when he returned. I glanced at him through my tears and noticed he had a video camera. My torture was far from over. For hours I was raped and sodomized by the father of the child in my womb and now it was being captured on video. My heart sank as my humanity was taken with every abuse. I was scared for my baby. I didn’t know if we were going to make it. He finally left me alone as the afternoon began to wane. Alone and still tied up. I laid there in my blood clutching the headboard to ease the pain on my wrists. This was the beginning of the end of who I was and forever more I would be changed. He came back and I winced when I saw him. He had a small smile on his face of success. Success in breaking me but not my spirit. That’s when the yelling began, the name calling, the total degradation. He got even angrier when he was finally trying to un-tie me as it was “my” fault that he couldn’t get the rope un-tangled due to my constant movement. Once free, he ordered me out of bed and to clean up “my” mess. I could barely move. My hands were numb and my legs were weak. I didn’t look him in the eye I could only just focus on getting feeling back into my extremities. I complied with his orders and tried to get dressed but he ripped my clothes from my hands and demanded that I clean his bed up first. I had to listen to him, what more could I do? I was scared he would rape me again. I took the sheets off the bed as I was sobbing silently as I walked past him to the laundry room. He followed me and continued on watching me and criticizing the amount of detergent I used to the way I put the sheets in the washer. He warned me that they had better not be ruined. I hurriedly put the water on cold and set the washer on maximum as I hoped that the blood would be removed. He was finally he was bored with me and left me alone. I found some clean clothes and tried to head for the shower. He was back spitting in my face as he told me that a “whore like me” wasn’t allowed to use his bathroom. He told me that I had to go bathe in the lake across from his house. My head was bent low. My whole body was just waiting for him to strike again and I knew he could sense my fear and he loved every minute of it.
With him in control he ordered me to get dressed and to get dinner started. I complied and said nothing in fear for any retaliation that he may perceive as defiance. My heart was broken but if I had only known this was only the beginning of my torture I would have ran out that door as fast as I could. But I was trapped. Trapped by the fear of being homeless, penniless and pregnant. I had no family or friends that would help, the other abuser made sure of that. It was one of the lowest points of my life. I tried to make this abuser stop abusing me. I loved him and wanted him to be happy for the baby. Nothing worked as everything I did was wrong and everything bad that happened to him was my fault (actually still is after all these years).
I can look back now and obviously write about this trauma with strength and courage as I know he can never hurt me again. There was no reason to do the things he had done to me through the years and then to our child. He is sadistic man with a severe, untreated mental illness. I would hope that others out there reading this and are in a relationship with someone like this. Run, don’t walk. Leave while you can. You cannot change an abuser and you will get hurt or even kiled.
I am happy to report that in this year, 2013, I am very happily married to the man of my dreams. A real man that doesn’t hit screams, call me names or rape me. My husband knew full well how much baggage I had when I met him. But rather than pushing aside this baggage he helped me to unpack it and I did. I can say that I have been abuse free since 2005. I took away the one thing that my abuser wanted so badly and that was power and control. I took it back, my life, my body, my sanity, forevermore.
Battered mothers across sea to shining sea will all agree that they (abusers) are the same. We’ve been told to take our “passion” out of speaking to the judges, dress conservatively, don’t wear red (even though we’ve had a few rebels) act like a “lady” and then MAYBE just maybe the judge and other court personnel will treat you like a “human”. In the perfect world we mothers like to believe that possibly one time we will be listened to, the evidence weighed carefully but most of all we hope that they will treat us like any one of them would want their mother, aunt, sister, cousin or daughter treated in family court as victim of domestic violence. Battered mothers in family courts are special creatures. You see we are the ones who, so far, have beaten the odds of being killed by an intimate partner.
The statistics show we are the “lucky” ones. But when we enter the arena of family court we don’t often feel so lucky after all. It’s bad when you may think to yourself that death would have been a better fate than continual litigation by your former abuser, the actual legal term is “vexatious litigation”, but don’t bother trying to use it in family court, doesn’t work that way for mothers. Like the other favorite legal tactic by abusers the infamous PAS a.k.a. parental alienation syndrome, don’t get me started. Point is that it can be extremely hard for a victim to walk into the lair of family court and know who her enemy is. I myself when I walked through the hallowed halls of Oconto County Wisconsin mistakenly thinking that people of power will protect my children and I. Not only is advocacy needed for domestic violence victims to leave the abuser or “awareness” for those who apparently live in a delusional world where mommies don’t get hit by daddies. They do.
The new “survivor” will need the ammunition for when she is summoned to family court by her abuser, because he’s not done with her yet. It goes back to the abusers own “ego” where they too believed we would never leave them and when we do it’s earth shaking for a controlling asshole. But now he has “friends” in the shape of legal personnel that will look upon you with disdain. Through the many battered mothers that have formed relationships with other battered mothers from all parts of the world we have learned that even though our stories may be different their is always the common denominator the abuser. If I had a dime for every battered mother that has heard other battered mothers plights of family court hell, say “sounds exactly like MY abuser”, I would have enough money in a legal fund to help millions of mothers.
During these final weeks of “Domestic Violence Awareness” month we hope to that the general public also is “aware” that after daddy loses control over mommy he goes after the children, it’s the abusers way, he’s not done with you until he says so.
The aim and dedication of this blog, and many others that have flooded the internet since 2008, are made for battered mothers who have been to hell and back, to show the world what they are doing to us. The wheels of abuse most certainly go “”round and ’round” and only some survive. Now that the other women are awakening with the “War on Women” we can only hope still that one day a mother can leave her abuser safely with her children. Unlike the “cookie cutter” shape of the abuser, we are individuals but our commonality is that we are loving mothers who will stop at nothing to save our children and future generations of females and to put an end to these human rights violations.
How can one get an award for such GREAT investigative work when Darren Laskowski REFUSED to interview a sexual abuse victim.
From a previous post: Officer Darren Laskowski the SAME bumbling idiot who said he would not interview the child that was alleging sexual abuse because the ex has told him that it was only for REVENGE. Really? But now the tables are turned Laskowski and your continuing bush-leagued, shoddy investigating skills is shining down on you! Thank god the state agents from Division of Criminal Investigation came and helped!
Why are people questioning what took so long? It is NO surprise to me. You now officially have BLOOD on your hands and I am grateful it was not me or my child whom you failed to believe. I prayed for some justice for ALL Mothers and Children in Oconto County…it is coming slowly…but Karma really is a bitch aint it?
SEE ya in the funny papers, IDIOTS of OCONTO COUNTY
Press Release 02/08/11
World’s Most Famous Beach….World’s Most Scandalous Case
Florida Mother DENIED justice when Presiding Judge Torphy, Judge Evander and Judge Cohen REFUSED to Review Ruling En banc, Write Written Opinion, and Certify Questions to the Florida Supreme Court on 02/07/11
Constitutional and Human Rights Violations in Family Court Cases Rampant in the U.S.
In the “World’s Most Famous Beach”…Daytona Beach, Florida…………they also have the most scandalous case involving a wealthy millionaire, his power, money, and connections to the community that has most experts involved in the national crisis in the family courts regarding “custody visitation scandal cases” asking when will justice prevail for these Florida children and their Mother.
National advocates and organization’s are asking for federal investigations into the crisis in the family courts and have documented violations of litigants constitutional rights and are advocating for America’s children. The Leadership Counsel and Interpersonal Violence (www.leadershipcounsel.org) research shows that US family courts order about 58,000 children a year into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the US.
Dr. Phil in April 2010 had the very 1st show regarding the family courts failure to protect abused children, and family court judges dismissing documented evidence of abuse, and taking away loving, caring Mothers.
Linda Marie Sacks, a “Squeaky Clean Mom”, is headed to the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. in her continued efforts to be re-united with her children, and is speaking out about this injustice to her children, and the national crisis in the family courts. Her daughter’s teacher said..if you can lose custody, America better wake up, because if you can, anyone can. Her case is a Justice for Children case,(www.justiceforchildren.org)
and they are a national organization who advocate for children in abusive situations when “official avenues” judges, police, Dept of Children and Family, have failed to protect them.
On 12/21/10 she filed 3 pro se Motions asking the Fifth District Court of Appeals reconsider their 12/7/10 (Case 5D09-3752) ruling that has violated her constitutional rights to be a parent to her children. On 02/07/11, the Fifth District Court of Appeals, with Presiding Judge Torphy, Judge Evander and Judge Cohen, DENIED all of her Motions, and affirmed the erroneous ruling by the trial court of Judge Shawn L. Briese.
This is her second appeal before the court of appeals. In her first appeal, (Case 5D07-1682) the ruling on custody of her children was REVERSED AND REMANDED due to violations of this Mothers constitutional rights to due process and the opportunity to be heard. In their ruling they stated that Mothers hand written Motion for Continuance was legally sufficient, and should not have been denied by Judge Briese, and the hearing to decide custody of the minor children should NEVER have taken place. This rare reversal by an appeals court provided NO relief to Mother and her children as the trial court of Judge Shawn L. Briese refused to be disqualified from her case, or VACATE the unjust supervised visitation ruling.
Mother appealed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals in a Writ of Prohibition, (Case 5D08-3668) and provided documented evidence of judicial misconduct by Judge Briese, and the attorneys of record for the Father, James L. Rose of Rice and Rose, and Leonard R. Ross of Ross and Burden. The documented evidence of judicial misconduct included violations of Judges Canon #3, Fl. Ad Code 2.330, ex parte communication with the attorneys of record and violations of her constitutional rights. The Fifth District Court of Appeals DENIED her Writ and Judge Briese was allowed to hear the “Rehearing of the Custody of Minor Children” in April 2009.
In this hearing, (Case 2004-30312 FMCI) Judge Briese refused to allow Mothers witnesses to testify and refused to allow her exhibits. In his oral ruling he stated that mother did not buy greeting cards for children to give to the father, and mother did a Channel 9 news interview in New York and this was a concern to the court, and so she MUST continue to stay on Supervised Visitation. It WAS NOT a concern that Father admitted to an altercation with his daughter at 8 years old and this resulted in her getting a split lip and blood. This matched Mothers Domestic Violence Injunction of Protection, Police Reports and DCF reports. Father also admitted to “wiping down the vaginas” of his school age children, which also matched the Domestic Violence Injunction of Protection, Police and DCF reports. This credible evidence was DISMISSED, IGNORED and SUPRESSED by the trial court of Judge Shawn L. Breise, and now, DISMISSED, IGNORED and SUPRRESSED by the Fifth District Court of Appeals, as they have just AFFIRMED the trial court’s ruling.
With only 79 hours of contact in 3 years and 10 months…under Supervised Visitation at the local Family visitation center, for two hours a month……..this “squeaky clean” class Mom, soccer Mom, community volunteer, with no drugs, no alcohol, no abuse, nothing……just a loving, caring Mother lost custody of her children… will have to continue on with the Supervised Visitation, with NO case plan or reunification plan provided by the trial court. This Mother is the LONGEST family law referral in the history of the Daytona Beach supervised visitation center….now at 3 years and 10 months.
National Advocates, experts, and Mothers were in Albany, New York on Jan.7, 8,and 9th, 2011 for the Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference,( www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org) to address this national crisis of Mothers losing custody with documented evidence of abuse to their children, and safe, protective parents having all of their contact with their children either terminated by the family courts or are being place on supervised visitation for years without a case plan or reunification plan.
The trend documented by the latest research is that judges routinely dismiss, ignore and suppress documented evidence of abuse to the children in the “custody-visitation scandal cases”, and batterers are asking for Sole Physical Custody and are successful 70% of the time. www.apa.org/pi/viol&fam.hmtl and www.aja.ncsc.dni.us/domviol/pages5.html
The Florida NOW, National Organization for Women Ad Hoc Family Law Committee has published a brochure a “Crisis for Women in Family Court: What to Expect and How to Fight Back”. (www.nowfoundation.org/issues/family)
Numerous national organizations are demanding federal investigations into the crisis in the family courts and asking for congressional hearings to address these human rights violations to America’s children and their Mothers.
The latest research on this issue is in the book Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody Legal Strategies and Policy Issues Edited by Barry Goldstein, J.D. and Dr. Mo Therese Hannah. And can be found at www.civicresearchinstitute.com/dvac.html
Linda Marie’s daughters said “Mommy fight for us and do something every day to get us back and don’t ever stop. So after 3 years and 9 months, this Florida Mother is now more determined than ever, and is headed to the Florida Supreme Court and then on to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has kept her promise to her daughter’s and now she is speaking up for her children and all of America’s children.
For more information on this crisis in the family courts please contact:
Center for Judicial Excellence www.centerforjudicailexcellence.com
California Protective Parent Association www.protectiveparent.com
Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project www.dvleap.org
Stop Family Violence www.stopfamilyviolence.org
Randi James www.randijames.com
Court Whores www.courtwhores.com
American Mothers Political Party www.AmericanMothersPoliticalParty.org
Family Court in America www.juliafletcher.wordpress.com
Talia Carner www.taliacarner.com
Protective Parents for Children’s Rights www.protectiveparent.ning.com
Liz Notes www.lizlibrary.org
Many thanks to all who are part of the solution to the crisis in the family courts. You are all true American heroes.
For contact information re: this press release please contact:
Linda Marie Sacks
Poor Richard Warshak. He asked for commenters to come to his Huffington Post article and comment. A few of us did, and he refused to post the comments. He censored out everything that didn’t show adoration for him. That is what he wanted. Afterall, he has a book and “expert testimony” services to sell. Now he is whining about those who he censored…there are many that are upset about this.
Several comments were made about the American Bar Association, the American Judges Association, the National District Attorney’s Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges debunking the use of “parental alienation” in child custody cases because of it’s well known use by abusers to take custody of children. Of course, anyone who makes the kind of money that Warshak makes ($20,000 per patient per four days in “treatment”) doesn’t care who claimed what for what purpose, they just know they will make money. He doesn’t care that children may be in the custody of someone who beat the other parent, probably in front of the children, or may have even been sexually abusing the children. No, he doesn’t care, but the professional organizations know what the deal is. They know that victims of abuse have lost their children to abusers, and corrupt individuals that support the use of this legal tactic should be shut down:
2009: A Judicial Guide to Child Safety in Custody Cases
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Family Violence Department
C. [§3.3] A Word of Caution about Parental Alienation34
Under relevant evidentiary standards, the court should not accept testimony regarding parental alienation syndrome, or “PAS.” The theory positing the existence of PAS has been discredited by the scientific community.35 In Kumho Tire v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999), the Supreme Court ruled that even expert testimony based in the “soft sciences” must meet the standard set in the Daubert case.36 Daubert, in which the court re-examined the standard it had earlier articulated in the Frye37 case, requires application of a multi-factor test, including peer review, publication, testability, rate of error, and general acceptance. PAS does not pass this test. Any testimony that a party to a custody case suffers from the syndrome or “parental alienation” should therefore be ruled inadmissible and stricken from the evaluation report under both the standard established in Daubert and the earlier Frye standard.38
The discredited “diagnosis” of PAS (or an allegation of “parental alienation”), quite apart from its scientific invalidity, inappropriately asks the court to assume that the child’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be “alienated” have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the child’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating, or discrediting ways toward the child or the other parent. The task for the court is to distinguish between situations in which the child is critical of one parent because they have been inappropriately manipulated by the other (taking care not to rely solely on subtle indications) , and situations in which the child has his or her own legitimate grounds for criticism or fear of a parent, which will likely be the case when that parent has perpetrated domestic violence. Those grounds do not become less legitimate because the abused parent shares them, and seeks to advocate for the child by voicing his or her concerns.
So look at this. After all the attention Richard Warshak’s critics have received – including dominating Google searches – he finally addresses them – and completely misses the boat. His comments are indented and in italics. My responses are in between.
Parental Alienation: Impracticality & Impressions. Dr. Richard Warshak Answers Critics
Answering Critics by Dr. Richard Warshak
The many parents I have helped, women and men, express astonishment that some people demonize me, attempt to tarnish my reputation, and spread misleading and false information about my work and me. Although my supporters far outweigh my detractors, the people seeking to quiet my voice yell loudly and work hard to circulate their misinformation.
Your critics and critics of parental alienation have been out there for a very long time. What the most recent critics have been saying is nothing new. However, this is the first time they’ve found a real voice on the internet, and we can’t have that, can we?
Until now I have allowed the personal attacks and gross misrepresentations to go without answer.
Good. So you’re finally going to address the facts that parental alienation is not going to be in the DSM-V, that it has never been peer reviewed, that it is not accepted as a valid disorder in the general scientific, medical, psychological, and legal communities, that it has become a huge cottage industry that makes lots of money for the people who make a living using it in divorce and child custody cases, that the man who coined it (original term “parental alienation syndrome”) made statements supportive of incest and pedophilia (and he’s your mentor), that parental alienation does not meet Frye and Daubert standards for admissibility in court, and that it is the most common weapon used in court by abusive fathers to get custody of their children away from the mothers they’ve been threatening and abusing.
By the way, you did answer. You and the Huffington Post deleted most comments, most very well-thought out, reasonable, and backed up by research, that criticized you and parental alienation in your “Stop Divorce Poison” HuffPost article.
I understand the mentality of a true believer and realize that clarification of reality and objective evidence will hit the brick wall of a closed mind. For various reasons, these people want to hold on to their beliefs. They cling to misguided ideas rather than acknowledge the widespread mistreatment of children described in Divorce Poison and my other works. In some respects, they resemble people from earlier generations who refused to acknowledge the evidence of their senses that children were being physically and sexually abused with alarming frequency. Just as the professionals who first pointed an accusing finger at a society that tolerated such abuse were attacked, I suppose it is my fate to be the target of similar attacks.
Interesting statement there, since your mentor Dr. Richard Gardner, who created Parental Alienation Syndrome, was one of those people who refused to acknowledge that children were being physically and sexually abused with alarming frequency. He believed most allegations moms and children made of sexual abuse were false. He also claimed that 90% of his PAS caseload was mothers. People who fought for children’s welfare in the face of abuse were ridiculed as being “child savers” who were delusional. Fanatics. On a witch hunt. Demonizers. True believers. The same terms you are using to demean professionals and lay people who speak out against parental alienation and work to help abused mothers and children. Ironically, that’s the same language used by the false-acc witchhunt sex abuser defense crowd.
More below the fold.
And I continue with my response to Richard Warshak’s weak response to his critics. Warshak’s statements are indented and in italics. Mine are in between.
Defending myself against such attacks feels a bit undignified. It seems an unnecessary waste of time, and gives currency to a few fanatics who attempt to alienate my audience from me using the same tactics that some parents use to alienate their children from the other parent. Some of these extremists have lost custody of their children in a ruling that seeks to protect the children from severe doses of divorce poison. Rather than recognize the rationale for the court’s decision, these people believe that the judge either was biased or was foolishly taken in by the other parent’s allegations.
Smooth move, there. You just bashed and minimized abused women who criticized you. And you call yourself a friend of abused women!
Some of these people would have you believe that there is an epidemic of judges who take joy in placing children with parents who beat or sexually molest them. In fact, one website claims a conspiracy of Masonic judges who, in every family court across North America (I am not exaggerating), automatically give custody to pedophiliac fathers who in turn pimp their children to pedophiliac members of the Illuminati (the group profiled in Dan Brown’s novel Angels & Demons). I am not kidding. . . . Nor are they.
Now that’s a sleight-of-hand move! When I first read this paragraph I wondered what the hell was he talking about. I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I was reading it correctly. I’d never heard of any such thing. So I did a Google search. You found one – one – article by a woman and you try to paint all your critics as crazy fanatics. That article is not on a custody site. There is only one person I know of who believes all that, and she wasn’t one of the people commenting on your HuffPost article. I know of only one other person who believes something similar to what you say, minus all the Masonic and Illuminati stuff. The domestic violence community at large doesn’t believe any of that. But don’t let those facts get in your way of painting all domestic violence critics of you and parental alienation with a broad brush.
As I say in the Afterword to the revised edition of my book, when my wife reads these vicious and absurd accounts, she shakes her head in disbelief at the raw animosity that greets the work I do on behalf of suffering families. She asks, “Don’t they know that you’ve devoted your career to the welfare of children?” The many women I have helped through my writing, consultations, and courtroom testimony cannot understand what motivates the detractors, who claim to be advocates for women.
It’s nice your wife supports you. That’s what wives are supposed to do. It’s also nice your have women who support you. However, your wife’s support and the support of some women isn’t what matters here. What experts have written about you and parental alienation does matter. See below:
The National Association Of Juvenile And Family Court Judges
A Judicial Guide To Safety In Child Custody Cases – see page 12.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. (2006).
Navigating Custody & Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide (2nd edition)
“The discredited “diagnosis” of “PAS” (or allegation of “parental alienation”), quite apart from its scientific invalidity, inappropriately asks the court to assume that the children’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be “alienated” have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the children’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating and/or discrediting ways toward the children themselves, or the children’s other parent. The task for the court is to distinguish between situations in which children are critical of one parent because they have been inappropriately manipulated by the other (taking care not to rely solely on subtle indications), and situations in which children have their own legitimate grounds for criticism or fear of a parent, which will likely be the case when that parent has perpetrated domestic violence. Those grounds do not become less legitimate because the abused parent shares them, and seeks to advocate for the children by voicing their concerns.” – page 24
American Psychological Association. (1996).
Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family
Noting that custody and visitation disputes appear to occur more frequently when there is a history of domestic violence. Family courts often do not consider the history of violence between the parents in making custody and visitation decisions. In this context, the nonviolent parent may be at a disadvantage, and behavior that would seem reasonable as a protection from abuse may be misinterpreted as a sign of instability. Psychological evaluators not trained in domestic violence may contribute to this process by ignoring or minimizing the violence and by giving inappropriate pathological labels to women’s responses to chronic victimization. Terms such as `parental alienation’ may be used to blame the women for the children’s reasonable fear or anger toward their violent father.” (p. 100).
The American Psychological Association
Statement On Parental Alienation Syndrome
“The American Psychological Association (APA) believes that all mental health practitioners as well as law enforcement officials and the courts must take any reports of domestic violence in divorce and child custody cases seriously. An APA 1996 Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family noted the lack of data to support so-called “parental alienation syndrome”, and raised concern about the term’s use. However, we have no official position on the purported syndrome.”
Bruch, Carol S. Parental (2001).
Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation: Getting It Wrong in Child Custody Cases.
Family Law Quarterly, 35, 527
Meier, Joan S. (January 2009).
Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews.
VAWnet: The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women.
Jennifer Hoult. (Spring 2006).
The Evidentiary Admissibility of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Science, Law, and Policy
Children’s Legal Rights Journal
Court-Appointed Parenting Evaluators And Guardians Ad Litem:
Practical Realities And An Argument For Abolition
Margaret K. Dore, Esq.
Domestic Violence (DV) By Proxy: Why Terrorist Tactics Employed By Batterers Are Not “PAS”
The Leadership Council
A Critique of Richard Warshak’s book “Divorce Poison”
National District Attorneys Association
Parental Alienation Syndrome: What Professionals Need To Know – Part 1 of 2
Parental Alienation Syndrome: What Professionals Need To Know – Part 2 of 2
Justice For Children
Parental Alienation “Syndrome”
“It is the position of Justice For Children that PAS is junk science.”
In 1998, Jon Conte [Professor of Law University of the Pacific McGeorge School] wrote that Gardner’s Sex Abuse Legitimacy Scale is “probably the most unscientific piece of garbage I’ve seen in the field in all my time. To base social policy on something as flimsy as this is exceedingly dangerous.” (Moss, 1988)
There are many more legitimate organizations that have come down over the years against Parental Alienation Syndrome and it’s watered-down cousin Parental Alienation (and Parental Alienation Disorder… how many times are you guys going to reinvent yourselves?). I’ve listed more than enough here to prove my point.
So why am I writing this article? It occurred to me that those who find value in my work might be confused by the drumbeat of misinformation. The downside of responding to critics is that it fuels their zeal and brings more attention to their smears. They live for the battle and are gratified when anyone takes them seriously. I would rather spend my time providing guidance on how to understand, prevent, and repair damaged parent-child relationships. But, for the sake of those who really want to know, here is some clarification.
So… when are you going to address parental alienation not being in the DSM-V, not being considered valid in the general scientific community, etc. … I’m waiting…
Are you really afraid your supporters will drop you like a hot potato because of the alleged “drumbeat of misinformation” and “smears”? Or are you really afraid that those who matter most – people in the legal, psychological, and medical communities – will read what has really been published lately about you and parental alienation, such as the statements above, and realize that parental alienation is junk science that is harmful for children and that it’s used as a weapon by abusive fathers? And therefore no longer recommend your Bridges program?
One smear that has been making the rounds involves a case where I helped a mother whose children were irrationally alienated. Some important details I cannot divulge because they are not a matter of public record and I wish to protect the family’s privacy. Were these details known, domestic violence activists who criticize my involvement in this case would surely regret their words. They would think twice about circulating the innuendos and arguments raised by the father’s lawyer in his attempt to defeat the mother.
Parental alienation isn’t going to be in the DSM-V. It doesn’t meet accepted standards for allowing expert testimony in court. It has no known error rate. Abusive fathers have successfully used parental alienation to wrest child custody away from the abused mothers trying to protect their children. … Still waiting for you to address all this. I have a feeling I’m going to wait a very long time…
And why focus so much attention on this case when your critics have focused so much more on what I list in my previous paragraph? Is it because this case came out in your favor? One case doesn’t prove your program works. It only proves you have one happy customer.
Several mental health professionals concluded that the children’s estrangement from their mother was unreasonable. Even the father’s own expert witness recommended that the one child under the age of 18 be removed from the father’s home (but, for reasons unclear, not placed with his mother).
That’s not what the critics have been talking about with that case. They mention the cost – $40,000. For four days. I’ve seen a report of another case where the program cost $20,000. For four days. Also, critics have pointed out that the program is unproven and untested. We have only your word that it works and you’re biased in your own favor, of course.
The case was heard before an arbitrator. The arbitrator found that “the mother was the intentional victim of irrational alienation by her sons, designed and orchestrated by the father.” The decision awarded sole custody to the mother and gave her the authority to make decisions on behalf of her son including, at her discretion, enrolling him in my educational workshop. The Arbitrator’s decision was appealed to the Family Court. The Court did not dispute the findings of irrational alienation. But the judge did rule that the Arbitrator should have ordered another evaluation. In the decision the judge pointed out that I gave no recommendations because, as I made clear to the Arbitrator, I had not conducted a custody evaluation. The judge set aside the Arbitrator’s award and allowed the case to go to a new trial.
You never interviewed the two boys in question before recommending your Bridges Family workshop – at $40,000 for four days. How can you recommend your program when you don’t even know if it’s appropriate for the family in question? You haven’t mentioned the cost here at all.
Here is where the smears begin. The purpose of my testimony was to educate the court about general issues and the state of knowledge regarding parent-child conflicts and children’s rejection of a parent, and to describe various interventions for families in which the court finds that the children’s rejection of a parent is unjustified, irrational, disproportionate to the child’s experience of the parent, and not in the children’s best interests. An expert witness who testifies in this capacity is obliged to explain the limitations of his work in the case. As is my duty, I clarified the purpose of my testimony and volunteered the information that I had not conducted an evaluation and was not there to make a specific recommendation for this family.
You still haven’t addressed my concerns from the top of this article. Parental alienation isn’t accepted by the scientific community at large. It’s vague and untested. It won’t be in the DSM-V. You have a product to sell and you go to court to do that. Now you’re on the Huffington Post Divorce section doing just that – with a dangerous and unproven disorder that has been used by abusive dads in court against the moms they abuse.
Rather than point out that I had testified in a professionally ethical and objective manner and properly apprised the court of the scope of my work in the case, including limitations, some bloggers imply that the Family Court Judge “discovered” the limitations and that I then had to “admit” that I had not seen the children. This is not what happened. I never testified before the Family Court Judge. The Judge simply noted what I had volunteered in my testimony in the Arbitration. My professional colleagues understand that what I did was precisely in accord with professional ethics.
Now it gets interesting, and this is the part critics conceal from their blogs. This was not the conclusion of the case. A new custody assessment was conducted. The assessment results strongly supported the mother’s position, recommended giving her the authority to enroll her son in Family Bridges, and concluded that the workshop was the best option for this family.
So you win after all. Another $40,000 goes into your pocket. All for an unproven program.
The case did go to trial. But, on the eve of the trial, the father’s lawyer, in what appeared to me to be a desperate last-ditch attempt to try his case in the media when it was clear that the evidence favored the mother, submitted an article to Canada’s Law Times that attacked my workshop as unscientific. Fortunately, the editor recognized distortions in the lawyer’s submission and asked me to submit commentary to set the record straight. My article was published. It effectively refutes the lawyer’s arguments. You do not learn about my article by reading the advocate’s blog posts. (See The Slanted Truth for the use of such tactics by alienating parents.) It is as if it did not exist. You can read my article by clicking here.
I read that article. We have only your word that your program (which is similar to the same used by the debunked and abusive Rachel Foundation) has been subjected to peer review and passes Daubert standards. Richard Gardner said the same about Parental Alienation Syndrome, too, when nothing could be further from the truth. Don’t forget that Gardner had his own deprogramming program he called “threat therapy”, which was very similar to the Rachel Foundation program and Bridges. One child who refused to go committed suicide. That case made the news and tarnished Gardner’s reputation even further. He also claimed PAS had been peer reviewed, enjoyed general acceptance in the scientific community, and passed acceptance standards. None of this was true.
And here are statements by other custody evaluators who didn’t think very highly of your “The Warshak Parenting Questionnaire 2nd Edition” or “WPQ”:
“…We custody evaluators are appointed to do our own work, at least in interviewing and evaluating… I would think that part of my job would be to generate my OWN follow-up questions… don’t know how any computerized questionnaire can do that… also a little troubled by the intent that evaluators “cut and paste”… interpretive language of any kind… into their reports… what “follow up” questions will pop up based on the parent’s responses?… how would the evaluator-user justify, on the witness stand, why they chose to ask alienation questions… if neither parent has raised that as an allegation? …” (California Ph.D., September 10, 2006).
“…the section on “Differential Treatment of Parents” (about two-thirds through the sample report (at w w w. wpqonline.com), under “Symptoms of Possible Mental Health Problems”) seems to invite alienation claims if parent was not thinking of such claims, and seems to suggest strongly how to support such a claim if parent is thinking of it. It seems to me to be way too suggestive/leading. In effect: Now, parent, would you like to consider making a claim of PAS? If so, have you considered claiming that your child does X? How about claiming that your child does Y? And don’t forget Z, have you considered that as possibly supporting a PAS claim? (This is assuming that the questions posed to the parent closely parallel the topics covered in this section of the report, and I suppose I could be wrong in making that assumption.)” (Ohio Ph.D., February 22, 2007).
What you also never learn from reading the blogger’s accounts of this case is the ultimate outcome. Notwithstanding the father’s lawyer’s maneuvers, again, the mother prevailed on all counts. After hearing all the evidence, the judge concluded that “Mother should have sole legal and residential custody of [the child]. Mother shall have complete authority to make decisions regarding [the child's] welfare. She is not required to consult with anyone before doing so; Mother is specifically authorized to obtain any treatment and/or intervention for [the child] as she, in her sole discretion, deems necessary and appropriate for [the child's] best interests; Mother’s authority described above includes, but is not limited to `Family Bridges: A Workshop for Troubled and Alienated Parent-Child Relationships,’ to enable and assist [the child] in adjusting to living with her.”
The program remains unproven. You claim a high success rate. And it’s very expensive. Parents of lesser means who are having problems with alleged “alienation” are not able to afford you.
By selectively citing the earlier Family Court decision, and concealing the trial outcome, the bloggers leave the impression that the court was critical of Family Bridges and blocked the family from participating in the workshop. In the end, the truth is the exact opposite. (Selective attention is another tactic of alienating parents that critics adopt to try to alienate audiences from my work.)
Still waiting… parental alienation is not in the DSM… doesn’t meet scientific standards for admission into a courtroom … unknown error rate … untested … you aren’t going to address those criticisms, are you? You’re only going to claim your detractors are as alienated as your clients.
Here is what the judge wrote in her opinion: “This leaves the Workshop, coupled with a change in custody, as the only potential remedy with any chance of success in this difficult case. . . . The court is faced with compelling evidence that a change in custody, coupled with the Workshop is best for [the child]. . . . The Workshop is a last resort. Obviously it would have been better had these problems been identified and corrected early on. . . . Unfortunately, they were not. This leaves the Workshop as [the child's] best last hope.” [Emphasis added.]
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. Your program is the “last best hope”? The “only potential remedy”? Were other remedies even looked at?
I fully expect detractors to post other information attempting to cast doubt on the wisdom of the judge’s decision in this case (which was essentially identical to the arbitrator’s decision; that is, two different triers of fact, after hearing all the evidence, concluded that the mother should have custody and have the right to enroll her child in Family Bridges). I do not intend to respond to such posts.
The issue isn’t whether or not the mother should have custody. It’s that your program is a huge money-maker for you, it’s unproven, and it’s never been tested. All those questions of mine and others that you never answered have gone unanswered. Parental alienation is not regarded as a valid disorder in the general scientific community. It doesn’t meet Frye and Daubert standards. It has an unknown rate of error. It’s never been peer reviewed. It’s never been tested. It’s defined in layman’s terms you gleaned from the dictionary.
As rebuttal to any future innuendoes and misrepresentations, I can state the following. The mother has authorized me to state that she is very pleased with the ultimate outcome of her case. Her formerly alienated son, estranged for six years, participated in, and greatly benefitted from, the four day Family Bridges workshop. He rapidly restored his loving relationship with his mother and they now live happily together.
One case doesn’t make parental alienation valid, and we have only your word that your program works. It’s never been tested and its error rate is unknown. It’s very expensive. What about parents who can’t afford your services?
There are other cases involving reunification programs and parental alienation:
Yesterday, in a revealing conversation, P.F. criticized therapists and child welfare authorities in the case for clutching to pet theories about parental alienation syndrome. Under the controversial PAS diagnosis, children who are seen to have been systematically poisoned toward one parent by the other cannot evaluate their emotions accurately.
“I think they have done a lot more harm than good for our family,” P.F. said. “I think they were tilting the whole case in a direction that was more favourable to them, which was a more costly and stressful and damaging alternative for us. We don’t need all these people getting into our lives and directing the way things go.”
He also criticized the justice system for too easily sidelining children who are caught up in their parents’ warfare.
“Where people are making decisions, the kids should at least be heard and their opinions thoroughly considered; not interpreted or cast aside, as they were here,” he said. “When it is possible to simply walk up and say, ‘This kid is parentally alienated,’ that instantly takes away all their credibility. Our family made their minds up for themselves. In a way, we emancipated ourselves from these professionals that have been breathing down our necks the whole time.”
Richard Warshak testified he is a clinical research psychologist. Alfano hired Warshak to evaluate Alfano’s case. Warshak has never met with Bianca, but has evaluated reports from other professionals and viewed a videotape of Bianca with Alfano. According to Warshak, Alfano is Bianca’s “psychological father,” and ceasing contact with him could be devastating to Bianca. Warshak admitted that the law does not recognize the concept of a “psychological parent.” He further acknowledged that another psychologist said Bianca’s attachment to Alfano was more like an attachment to an uncle or a grandfather.
Warshak testified that when conflict between “parents” causes a child distress, a court should order counseling and sanction the parent that instigated the conflict. Warshak believed any harm Bianca suffered because of the conflict would be less than the harm she would suffer if she lost Alfano. Indeed, Warshak testified the best way to remedy the conflict would be to increase Alfano’s access to the child.
After the testimony, the trial court stated that Alfano had been put in the position of an uncle since the child was twenty months old. The trial court noted that it had attempted to resolve the situation for four years with no progress. The trial court considered limited visitation, but determined that it would only put off the inevitable. Accordingly, the trial court terminated Alfano’s visitation rights.
In its findings of fact, the trial court found that (1) Alfano is not legally or biologically related to the child, (2) a great deal of conflict exists between Mother and Alfano, (3) the conflict was unlikely to abate in the future, (4) the conflict was injurious to the child’s best interest, (5) the circumstances of the child have materially and substantially changed since the date of the order sought to be modified, (6) the order has become unworkable and inappropriate under existing circumstances, and (7) modification would produce a positive improvement for and be in the best interest of the child. The trial court modified its prior order eliminating Alfano’s right to possession of and access to the child. This appeal followed.
Appellant raises six points of error. In the first five points of error, appellant asserts the trial court abused its discretion in modifying its prior order because the evidence is factually insufficient to support the trial court’s findings. In the sixth point of error, appellant asserts the trial court incorrectly applied the law in determining modification would be in the child’s best interest.
You never address the primary criticisms made by your critics. Parental alienation is an untested theory that has never been up for peer review. It’s not accepted by the legal, medical, scientific, and psychological community at large as valid. Parental alienation has been used by abusive fathers and their hired lawyers, evaluators, and psychs to wrest child custody away from mothers. Rather than point fingers at the Illuminati and one case supporting your Bridges program, and demonize your critics, you need to address your critic’s primary criticisms … which you haven’t done. And I’m not surprised.
Once again this last Thursday, American Mothers Political Party Blogtalk Radio Show knocked one out of the park!
The hour long show provided information on important information about family court that included the meaning of ex-parte hearings and the inner workings of the judiciary office. Co-hosts, Claudine Dombrowski and Lorraine Tipton, who each still live the nightmare of family court, explain to listeners what to expect when walking into family court for the first time. These co-hosts are phenomenal as they tell it like it is, no holding back!
The guest for the show was Dr. Danielle Duperret who is another protective mother who is speaking out against the judicial abuse and bias against mothers, specifically, domestic abuse victims. Dr. Duperret also gave information on a conference to be held in October 21-23 regarding Child Abuse and Court Ordered Child Abuse. Details can be found on the website: http://www.iqhbts.org/
The show gives insight to what kind of nightmare that she and her children have had to contend with especially with Dr. Duperret being arrested and charged with a felony.
Dr. Duperrets heart wrenching story of her abusers constant retaliation in family court, including accusing her of the pseudo scientific theory of Parental Alienation Syndrome, is not what she expected from the U.S. judicial system. The several judges that have managed this case have acted out against this protective mother of seven, including her oldest daughter also being arrested for protecting her siblings. She tells the harrowing tale of U.S. Marshal’s surrounding their home, as well her incarceration of six months in a maximum security facility alongside murderers, rapists and REAL criminals. AMPP stands with this mother in bringing the truth about family court to light!
American Mothers Political Party is not only a social movement, it is a long overdue revolution of domestic abuse victims taking a stand.
Tune in every Thursday to American Mothers Political Party Blogtalk Radio Show at 6pm EST, 5pm CST and 3pm PST
So now we know. If you are a 44-year-old man, you can drug and anally rape a terrified 13-year-old girl as she sobs, says “no, no, no,” and pleads for her asthma medication, and face no punishment at all. You just have to meet two criteria: (a) You have to run away and stay away for a few decades, and (b) You need to direct some good films. If you manage this, not only will you walk free. There will be a huge campaign to protect you from the “witch-hunt” of the laws forbidding child-rape, and you will be lauded as a hero.
Polanski admitted his crime before he ran away, and for years afterwards, he boasted from exile that every man wants to do what he did. He chuckled to one interviewer in 1979: “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”
But this is not enough, it seems, for the Swiss government to return him to the United States to face trial. They have found a legalistic loophole that enables them to let him go – while admitting “national interests” may be a factor in the release. This may be a reference to pressure from neighboring France to free their citizen. As a Swiss citizen, I think I can say without being offensive – we all remember the bargains Swiss governments have made in the past to preserve their “national interests.” This is in a long tradition of helping criminals and calling it Swiss hard-headedness.
The campaign to release Polanski has leeched into the open a slew of attitudes that I thought were defeated a generation ago. Whoopi Goldberg said it wasn’t “rape-rape.” Others hinted darkly that she wasn’t a virgin at the time of the rape. So if a 13 year old has been raped before, she’s fair game for all future rapists?
The French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who led the campaign, said a little bit of child molestation isn’t his problem when Great Art is at stake. He wrote: “Am I repulsed by what he got up to? His behavior is not my business. I’m concerned about his movies. I like The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby.” That’s worth saying again: this campaign was led by a man who thinks the drugging and raping of a child is “not my business,” when compared to a film about Satan inseminating Mia Farrow.
The novelist Robert Harris, who is a friend of Polanski’s, said: “It strikes me as disgusting treatment.” He wasn’t talking about the child-rape. He was talking about the attempt to punish the child-rape. He said Polanski was being subjected to a “lynch mob.” Where is this lynch mob? All I can see are people patiently suggesting the law should be enforced, and he should be given a fair and open trial. This is the polar opposite of a lynching: it is sober justice.
Do these defenders of Polanski understand what they are saying? Do they mean it? Harris has four children. If a great film director drugs and rapes them tomorrow, will he call the police, or will he say it would be “disgusting” to do so? Would he say the police and prosecutors trying to protect his children were a “lynch mob” and shoo them away? If the rapist ran off, would he say that after three decades on the run (boasting about his crime) he should walk free? I doubt it. So why do Harris’ words suggest he thinks Polanski’s victim is worth less than his own children?
Now the campaign has succeeded. So congratulations to Whoopi and Bernard and Robert: an unrepentant, bragging child-rapist won’t face his day in court, thanks in part to you. Have fun at the victory party. But — just a word of advice — you might want to leave your daughters at home.
Johann Hari is a writer for the Independent. To read more of his articles, click here or here.
You can follow Johann at http://www.twitter.com/johannhari101 or email him at j.hari [at] independent.co.uk
SAN BERNARDINO • Spurred by public outcry against a controversial decision by Judge Robert Lemkau, challenger James Hosking took a commanding lead in the race for the 11th judicial seat.
Hosking won 66 percent of the vote, while Lemkau received 34 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
“I’ve run my whole campaign as though I was the underdog because he was the sitting judge,” Hosking said Tuesday night. “But I was confident all along.”
Judicial elections usually don’t get much attention, but this one’s different.
Lemkau upheld a preexisting custody agreement between Katie Tagle and Stephen Garcia in a January hearing even though Tagle warned him that Garcia was threatening to kill their 9-month-old son, Wyatt. Lemkau told Tagle, “My suspicion is that you’re lying.”
Just 10 days later Garcia, of Pinon Hills, drove to Twin Peaks, shot and killed Wyatt, then himself.
Hosking said the case fueled his decision to run for Lemkau’s seat. Hosking has been a prosecutor at the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office for the past decade.
“It shows that the people in this county don’t want people like Lemkau as a judge,” Hosking said. “It really showed that I was trying to do something worthwhile and people supported me.”
Lemkau was appointed to the bench by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 after spending 34 years with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office.
Lemkau couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday night.
In the race for the 29th judicial seat, prosecutor Victor Stull took the lead with 57 percent of the vote, with family law attorney Ed Montgomery’s 43 percent.
“I’m not coming to any conclusions until the election is certified in two days,” Stull said. “But I’d rather be where I am at than where Mr. Montgomery is at right now. I hope it stays there.”
To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.
Tomoya Shimura may be reached at tshimura@VVDailyPress.com or (760) 955-5368.