These definitions of VAW as being gender-based are seen by some to be unsatisfactory and problematic. These definitions are conceptualized in an understanding of society as patriarchal, signifying unequal relations between men and women. Other critics argue that employing the term gender in this particular way may introduce notions of inferiority and subordination for femininity and superiority for masculinity. A man beating a woman is shown in the back.
The court ruled in favor of Sawyer despite evidence presented by his ex-wife that alleged he had sexually abused their child. Three years earlier, Daniel returned from a visit with his father with suspicious bruises on his bottom. His mother, Karen Gill, immediately took the three-year-old boy to his pediatrician.
Nevertheless, the family court judge granted primary custody to Sawyer, warning Gill that if she wanted unrestricted visiting rights with her son, she had better quit talking with the boy about the alleged abuse by his father. Why did the court give the boy to his father despite credible evidence of abuse?
It turns out the family court relied heavily on the recommendations of William Bernet, a psychiatrist and court-appointed custody evaluator.
He convinced the family court to ignore the medical report, stating that Sawyer was not a pedophile or child molester and should be awarded custody of Daniel. She feared Sawyer, in turn, would abuse his own children.
None of this, the court said, could she prove. Bernet declined to comment on the case.
In family courts throughout the country, evidence that one of the parents is sexually or physically abusing a child is routinely rejected. Our two-year investigation — which includes interviews with more than 30 parents and survivors in California, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Maryland and New Jersey — uncovered stories of children consigned to suffer years of abuse in fear and silence while the parents who sought to protect them were driven to the brink financially and psychologically.
In scores of cases, the consequences have been lethal. News reports alone, while not comprehensive, paint a startling picture. From to58 children were killed by custodial parents after family courts around the country ignored abuse allegations by the protective parent, according to an analysis of news reports conducted by CJE.
In all but six cases, protective parents were mothers who had warned family courts that their children were in danger from abusive fathers who later killed them. How do family courts get away with these kinds of decisions?
In theory they are supposed to consider first the best interest of the child. No government agency tracks the number of children nationally that family courts turn over to their abusers, and existing academic research is largely regional.
Advocates have tried to put a number on it by culling statistics from primary and academic sources. They estimate that at least 58, children a year end up in unsupervised visits with or in the custody of an abusive parent.
A analysis in the Journal of Family Psychology cited studies that show that anywhere between 10 and 39 percent of abusers are awarded primary or shared custody of their children.
However difficult it may be to quantify, high-level government officials recognize the breadth of systemic failure.
Before going to the White House, Rosenthal personally saw the extent of the problem while working with many state coalitions on child welfare and domestic violence.
How do abusers get custody? A big part of the answer lies in the very experts that courts turn to for help in evaluating the fitness and safety of parents. In sounding the alarm over her suspected abuse by her ex-husband, Gill ran squarely into an unexpected obstacle.
Bernet and his colleague, James Walker, stated in a joint report that they used a battery of tests to evaluate Sawyer. But according to Anna SalterPhD, who has conducted research with sex offenders for two decades, using such tests in family court is meaningless.
Instead, she said, the tests were intended to evaluate people already convicted of child molesting to determine the likelihood of recidivism. The Abel exam, which tests for sexual interest in children, does not yield meaningful results, she said.
This behavior is known as parental alienation syndrome PAS by those who embrace it and deemed questionable science by organizations such as the National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the American Psychological Association.
So far, he and other advocates of PAS have not prevailed. He ties this misconception to lack of training and understanding among jurists about violence in families. In analyzing published rulings in an electronic search for cases involving custody and alienation, she found that more often than not, accusations of abuse did not block access to children in family court settings.
In the 32 such cases Meier identified, the father prevailed 81 percent of the time. She is now working on an expanded study examining the same issues — including intimate partner violence — in some 5, cases with a grant from the National Institute of Justice.
They make themselves look good and they make her [the mother] look crazy.Today, Recovering Grace looks at past Advanced Training Institute (ATI) and Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) materials that address the topics of sexual abuse, child molestation within a nuclear family, and domestic violence.
This is not presented as an exhaustive survey, but is the full range of printed Institute material on these topics that Recovering Grace is aware of and has in.
Pornography: The Gateway Drug to Sexual Violence I have been disturbed by recent research that links repeated viewing of pornography to sexual violence and assault. While I am concerned about these studies, I am not surprised by them. Religious views on pornography are based on broader religious views on modesty, human dignity, sexuality and other virtues which may reflect negatively on pornography.
Different religious groups view pornography and sexuality differently. People who identify themselves as very religious and consume porn are more likely to consider themselves as addicted to porn (an addiction that is not. Violence and Pornography Pornography-- Sex or Subordination?In the late Seventies, America became shocked and outraged by the rape, mutilation, and murder of over a dozen young, beautiful girls.
Peace activist and spiritual leader Rabbi Arthur Waskow and activist and SDS vet Carl Davidson, joined Thorne Dreyer on Rag Radio, Friday, Oct.
28, , p.m. (CT), to discuss the life and legacy of Tom Hayden. Listen to the podcast here. Alan Graham is the president, CEO, and founder of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, a social profit enterprise that delivers meals and provides homes to homeless people on the streets of Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans, Nashville, Minneapolis, Providence, and New Bedford.