Thursday, September 18, 2008

Edmonton Sun ~ Mindell Jacobs prints responses to her column "When Dads are Bad"

September 18, 2008 Divorced from reality


I inadvertently stoked the ever-simmering gender war last week when comments I reported from a domestic violence conference unleashed a fusillade of male outrage.

From California to Massachusetts, American men flayed me for painting a picture of male abuse while ignoring the flip side - that women are also perpetrators. Canadian ex-husbands and fathers also poured out their wrath.

Well, as I e-mailed back to many of my readers, don't shoot the messenger, guys. I didn't endorse the remarks of the head of the U.S. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, who told a women's shelter conference that some leaders of fathers' rights groups are abusers who wield their positions like an ideological hammer against women. Incendiary comments are going to get reported. And I have clearly acknowledged in past columns that spousal violence is perpetrated by both men and women. But there is no denying that women are much more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe physical abuse and spousal homicide.

Still, the men want their say so let's proceed. I received countless e-mails from wounded men (both physically and emotionally) who said they'd either been assaulted by unhinged wives or falsely accused of either harming their wives or molesting their kids.

"I'm a guppy in a sea of really big and angry fish," wrote one man who said he was falsely accused of sexually abusing his two-year-old daughter.

Men wrote about being assaulted by their wives - with no subsequent charges by the police. They complained about the nasty games women play to cut them out of their kids' lives.

Former Edmonton lawyer Grant Brown has heard it all. He quit practising law in March after only four years as a lawyer because he's sick of dealing with what he describes as a dysfunctional family law system."I couldn't hack it anymore," says the 50-year-old who's writing a book called Deadbeat Judges.

"The thesis of my book is that judges actually create the deadbeats. They make such harsh orders against fathers and give fathers no rights," he says. "A lot of (dads) just give up."

Several of his former clients have signed waivers allowing Brown to write about their cases. He's had female clients who were unfairly treated by the courts but he says it's mostly men who get shafted.

Police, prosecutors and judges are generally harsher with men in domestic abuse cases, says Brown. And, he adds, judges rarely punish women who violate court orders.

He recalls appearing before the same judge four times in two months because of a woman who wasn't giving her ex access to the children. The judge warned her there would be consequences for breaching a court order - but he never followed through.

"Dads can spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to see their kids and the judges do nothing to make it happen," says Brown.

To some extent, judges are faced with an impossible task, he acknowledges, because the court system is adversarial. "Everything hinges on proving that the other parent is a badass of some kind."He'd like to see mandatory mediation in bitter divorce cases as well as a legal presumption of shared parenting."The money should be going to the kids instead of paying for the lawyers," says Brown. "The more you can cut lawyers out of it, I think the better off the system would be."If a woman's ever tossed in jail for the weekend for refusing her ex court-ordered access to the kids, let me know. Now that's a story.

From: Mike Murphy
Sent: September 18, 2008 9:35 PM
To: ''
Subject: Mindy Jacobs Divorced from Reality Column

To the editor:

Ms Jacobs makes this comment in her column Divorced from Reality, on September 18, 2008 (was that a reference to us men by the way):

“But there is no denying that women are much more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe physical abuse and spousal homicide.”

She offers no attribution for this comment. Please provide it so we can believe she has the real facts and their source. I have this on my blog:

Domestic Violence it is less than 11% of all violence in Canada
For every 6 battered women there are 5 battered men in Canada
Men form more than 65% of the victims of violence in Canada
For every 1 murdered woman there are 3 butchered men,
For every 1 woman who ends her life, 3 men do the same *(did you know men are six times more likely to do this than women after being marginalized and sent into poverty by the misandric and dysfunctional family court system)

William Levy-FRA-Montreal, Quebec

* Authors comment not attributed to Levy

Mike Murphy


Anonymous said...

RR fathered three young children and was so worried about paying child support he left his job as a truck driver. He told his wife and others, that he will not pay. He screwed our system and now is on AISH, he found a doctor at a walk in clinic to do the paperwork and he is was accepted into the program. He has a son in kindergarden, a daughter in grade 2 and another in grade 4. The courts in Edmonton decided that he only has to pay $25.00 per month, total, yet his payments always bounce.RR`s girlfriend has lost her children to the system because of something RR did. One particular bad month much of her rent money went missing from her purse.Turns out the children took it on orders from their father and on that particular weekend they gave it to him and he passed it over to his girlfriend. The children told me this themselves whithout any coaching at all. They also explanned many other things he`s had them do.The mother feels trapped because it just becomes a he said she said thing , then he accuses her of coaching the children. I`ve recieved calls early in the morning , the children would be crying and scared and the mother upset and scared.I`d have to rush over and check and calm them all down,RRthought it funny. The father and his girlfriend have endangered the mothers life on a couple of occasions, and that`s been documented with the police.RR was driving a newer Caravan, that was registered under his girlfriends name even though she doesn`t have a drivers license.They lost that and now he has a almost new Dodge station wagon which is of course in his girlfriends name. He has been through 3 or 4 lawyers at legal aid, but the lawyers end up quiting and when he gets a new lawyer he starts with the same stupid lies, he plays the victim, demanding all kinds of rediculous things. I know for a fact that he plans to not pay a cent back to legal aid yet the mother is doing her best to pay her costs at legal aid.She has tried to get off the system yet her EX always finds a way of messing that up for her. When I first met RR, I thought he was border line mentally handicapped and I still feel that way yet it boggles the mind how he plays the systems as he does. The man has committed many crimes during this divorce and child custody process and really should be in jail yet he some how continues to drag a lot of people through the mud of our legal syste in Alberta. $25.00 per month child support total for three kids and he doesn`t even pay it. Of course nothing is done, it`s the mother who has to deal wth the stress and the bad behavior her children show her after 2 days with her father and his girlfriend. I highly thought of educator that has met all the children and the mother and so called father has stated that the children would be much better off, as well as safer, once the courts refuse him access to the children.That camment came out early on about 4 5 years ago, when common sense dictated that Ron would be refused all access to the children. It ended up that , for a while anyways that his visits needed to be supervised. At the time when that was decided it was thought that his girlfriend would be supervision enough. It has since come out that that isn`t the case and that issue hasn`t be resolved yet.RR was abused as a yound child and his step father spent time in jail, yet Ron as an adult was mentored by this man and even wanted his children to live with him and his step father. Ron has even been heard to say that ( when speaking of his abuse) how could something that felt so good be so wrong. It was an education in sex. Imagine that, what are the chnces he will end up abusing his children. The children are very open with an older professional couple who has been friends with the family for over 10 yeas and the children are very open with the male and consider him their grandfather. Apparently the childrenhave told him some horrible things all documented yet the athorities have yet to act. Thank you

Michael J. Murphy said...

It is unfortunate that many parents don't have the best interest of children in mind and the courts through incompetent judges manage to exacerbate the conflict. The current crop of judges are social engineers without a sound basis for their decisions.

I've observed many couples try to "play" the system and use children as pawns.

The system needs to be changed to lessen conflict not increase it.

Anonymous said...

The redirection of malice as a means of an equitable settlement by family court judges hurts children but they don't care?

The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie