Tuesday, April 25, 2006

T is for Two-Hundred-Twenty-Six-Thousand Children

An estimated 1,000,000 children's parents divorce every year.

In 1/3 of those cases, allegations of violence have been made in the case.

An estimated 80% of those alegations are false - meaning that out of 1,000,000 children of
divorce each year, over 260,000 of them have a parent who makes a false accusation of divorce.

In 85% of cases, custody is awarded to the mother.

So at a minimim, the custody of 226,666 children per year is awarded to women who brought false charges of violence against the father of the children.

Note that it is far more likely that the 1/3 of cases where a restraining order or other allegation of violence has been made lead to a custody award to the mother. So in fact, the 226,666 number is low.

Either way, over Two-Hundred-Twenty-Six-Thousand children have their custody awarded to a parent who lies about domestic violence every year.

That's over six hundred every day.

That's about twenty-six every hour - near one every two minutes. (Well, probably one EVERY minute during the day, as family-destruction courts don't run in the wee hours of the night.)

But you may say 'well, some of those restraining orders may be issued against women at the request of men' - true enough, but it is a vanishingly small number: Consider the following from Media Radar's: Without Restraint: The Use and Abuse of Domestic Restraining Orders - few men are foolish enough, in this day and age, to call police, or expect any support from the judiciary in a domestic violence matter [emphasis mine]:

Gender Bias in the Issuance of Restraining Orders

If a man has been assaulted by his intimate partner, he should be able to obtain an order of protection. But a double standard may thwart this request.

This is borne out by research. In Massachusetts, one analysis examined all domestic ex-parte hearings held in the Gardner District Court in 1997. The analysis found that 34% of requests from men were deferred or turned down, compared to only 10% of requests from women.

According to Oregon attorney Ron Johnston, “I believe many general practice attorneys who don’t specialize in domestic relations would hesitate before trying to get a restraining order for a man, whereas there would be no hesitation at all for a woman under the same set of circumstances.”

Mr. Johnston’s statement is based on the fact that in Portland, the protective orders once featured the following gender-biased language: The respondent in this order is the natural/legal father of the below named minor children” [emphasis added].

A father suffered repeated assaults by his wife, on one occasion requiring medical treatment for his injuries at the local emergency room. Afraid for his children and for himself, he sought a restraining order. At the time of court hearing, he brought photographs of his injuries, medical documentation of his emergency room visit, and a copy of the police report. The judge’s explanation for denying the man’s request was: “Well, you have to expect one knock-down drag-out fight per divorce.”

When Abuse Victims Themselves Are Accused of Being Perpetrators

Legal bias is not the only reason that male victims are often reluctant to seek restraining orders. There have been reports of abused men who, upon requesting help from law enforcement officials, found themselves accused of being the perpetrator.

In one case, a woman severely bit her husband on the shoulder and chest. After showing the judge pictures of his injuries, the man was granted a restraining order. The next day the woman went before the same judge and, even though she had suffered no injuries, she claimed to be in “fear” for her life, saying that the man was the real abuser. On the basis of that unsubstantiated allegation, the judge reversed the original order against the wife and issued an order against the husband.

As family violence expert Murray Straus put it, “There are a growing number of complaints that attempts by men to obtain police protection may result in the man being arrested.”

A Washington State attorney gives this disturbing advice with regard to domestic violence: “Don’t call 911 unless you are bleeding and she still has a weapon in her hand. Too many men who have called 911 for help have ended up being arrested for DV.”

When government programs ignore the actions of perpetrators and encourage the arrest of victims, that’s a sure sign of a justice system turned upside down.

None of this is news to us, but is an appropriate lead-in to ask you all to respond to RADAR's call for action to defang the venomous snake that is the restraining order, removing at least this one weapon from the anti-family and anti-male forces that seem to control the judiciary to the great suffering of our children and our brothers.

Print out their resolution, and write a brief note on the top and fax it to your representatives in congress. Get the world out that this is hurting real people, real children, real men, NOW.

Hat tip to the ever-vigilant Men's Activism.Org


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