Fourteen Percenter, December 2010
Vol. 13, No. 9 The Fourteen Percenter December 2010
A publication for parents on the wrong side of the standard possession order.
– I see my child two days out of every fourteen; 14%. That's not enough. –
Recital by Robb Jackson, Corpus Christi , Texas
We’ve Found Our Various Homes
through trails I’ve carved into this land to see you.
We’ve established another one here, knowing
its familiarity will disappear—a path the wind’s
carved upon the water, its memory will fade,
leaving its invisible effect, held for the moment
in a shape, a look of an eye, a curve of face—
the way the sea patiently grinds mountains into sand—
so slowly I can hardly imagine, so completely I can hold
its handfuls. Examined closely, moistened by the tide,
they gather in the lines of my palms. The sea swells,
then rolls shoreward; its aquamarine fingers reach
to hold, pull back, roll forward, breaking again & again
over our mountain. Sky & sea enfold before our eyes.
A raven carves another gust; stiff-winged, it tilts again
earthward as it disappears in howling winds.
Gales shape striations of cloud, fog, the coastal mountain,
rocks that jut into the crushing sea, blowing foam skyward.
Their mists pelt my face salty wet, both wind-burnt & cold
stinging. I’ll hold this moment against another journey
back. Tossed to & fro by stormy blasts of paternal love,
my life’s been wrought into peculiar shapes,
my children grown tall, freestanding, striking out
on their own, knowing I will leave them where
I found them to fend for themselves again.
Port Orford , Oregon
A poem celebrating International Men’s Day was recently published in T.G.I.F., a publication in the Red River region of Texas and Oklahoma . See http://www.international-mens-day.com/IMD_poetry.php to see what you missed.
The Fourteen Percenter is an international newsletter that seeks to promote equal parenting rights in the US , the UK , and worldwide. We welcome feedback, as well as any article, poem, or review relating to the child-parent bond. Send your letters to fourteenpercenter@.... See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NCP-TX-Grayson/messages to read back issues.
"Get-Tough" Thinking Deserves Re-Thought - by Don Mathis
For years, politicians have sought election by claiming to “get-tough” on one thing or another. A judge may want to a "get-tough" on crime. But when you stop and think about it, isn't that what a judge is supposed to do? A candidate for the office of the Attorney General may campaign to "get-tough" on child support collection. But when one realizes that the AG gets federal funds for every broken family, one may surmise that it is the politician's pockets, not the interest of the child, that motivates him.
In like manner, we have office seekers wanting to "get-tough" on domestic violence. This is a nice 'sound bite' but what does it mean? Advocates may call for mandatory arrest in every domestic violence situation - regardless if there is any probable cause. Usually the man is arrested because the typical man can hit harder than the typical woman. But the injuries of domestic violence go beyond physical pain. Ones self-esteem is damaged when an attack is unwarranted - and that can happen to men or women.
“Get-tough” policies on domestic violence also ignore the fact that men and women are equally likely to initiate and engage in partner aggression. In about half of all cases, the aggression is mutual, meaning that there is no clear-cut initiator of the altercation. Advocates of “get-tough” policies ignore the fact that female initiation of partner violence is the leading reason for a woman becoming a victim of subsequent violence.
Passage of the Violence Against Women Act came in 1994 during the great O.J. scare. One individual was characterized as evil incarnate - and stereotypes were projected onto all men. The VAWA represented a law enforcement watershed because the act endorsed mandatory arrest. Mandatory arrest requires a police officer to detain a person based only on the existence of a complaint; facts and evidence are thrown out the window.
Recipients of VAWA grants receive millions of taxpayer dollars - ostensibly to help the victim. Such money often goes to training law enforcement agents the policies advocated by VAWA. Directors of abuse centers make a comfortable living in this industry. Batterer intervention programs receive another large part of VAWA funds. Few dollars ever go to the victim.
Mandatory arrest often gives the victim of violence a false sense of security. How well does a piece of paper, even if it's a restraining order with a judge's signature, actually stop violence? Mandatory arrest also often means there is an unintended victim - the individual incarcerated by false allegations.
Then there is the fact that allegations of domestic violence are often used as a ploy in divorce and custody cases. Indeed, false allegations of abuse are so common in dissolving unions that protective service workers often discount their investigation. Such are the consequences of 'crying wolf' too many times. Mandatory arrest policies waste limited law enforcement resources and rob the true victims of needed protections.
Defendants are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty - this notion is one of the things that makes our country a democracy. But when you have laws that mandate arrest for alleged assault or require arrest for violation of a restraining order you have hundreds of thousands of persons wrongfully arrested each year. And because of the fast-track prosecution procedures in the VAWA machine, suspected perpetrators are back on the streets quicker than ever.
The billions of federal funds spent on VAWA would be better spent on programs that help to solve the problem of domestic violence. We do no one a service by casting aside the civil rights of innocent citizens.
A ‘get tough’ policy has much symbolic value but it can lead to a multitude of problems. A choice of symbols over substance is a choice to cease supporting the true victim of violence.
The Fourth Amendment ensures us of several things: 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.' We need to re-establish the “probable-cause” standard for arrest.
We need a national campaign to protect victims from harmful mandatory arrest laws. We need to bring an end to senseless false arrests!
Don Mathis is the editor of The Fourteen Percenter, an international newsletter for noncustodial parents. See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NCP-TX-Grayson/messages for an index to recent issues.
Remember this Advice when you go to Court, by Jim Bones, jimbonesma@...
1. YOU know your case better than anyone. You know the facts of your case better than anyone. What you may not have is the legal knowledge to represent yourself. If you hire an attorney, be sure to hire one whom you can work with AND will work with you. You cannot expect the attorney to know the ins and outs and details of your case, most will handle it generically.
2. If you do hire an attorney, be sure to keep discussions focused. He/she is there to represent you and work for you on legal matters. He/she is NOT your therapist so avoid BS and complaining. He/she is an expensive therapist and will not help you emotionally.
3. YOU are in control of your destiny, NOT your attorney - unless you let them. Be sure to push your attorney to do what YOU want, not what THEY want. Keep notes both in and out of court... pass them along to your attorney in and out of court. Most cell phones allow you to record voice notes for yourself. Use it to record your thoughts while you are driving, out on the town, sitting at the beach, whenever. Or get a small portable recorder. Otherwise, much will be lost because you won't be able to think of it again when you need it. Handwrite or type your notes out on a regular basis so you can refer to them and make sure they are covered.
4. Find an attorney willing to work along with you. You may be able to handle 50% or more of what needs to be done and have them do the rest. Attorneys love to run up expenses, especially when your spouse/ex expects you to pay her legal expenses. Find an attorney who will perform ONLY the legal aspects of your case and instruct them NOT to communicate with your spouse's/ex's attorney except with your authorization. If not you'll end up with hours of billable time for phone calls to/from the attorney. Have your attorney instruct your spouse's/ex's attorney to communicate with you and you can seek your attorney's assistance as needed. If you find a knowledgeable attorney willing to work with you as described above, then you are likely on a good start with their representation. It's up to you to keep them on the right track.
5. If you go Pro Se you are allowed, by Rules of Procedure, to have someone with you at the table. Consider having someone knowledgeable and willing to assist with you at the table... to take notes, keep documents, assist with your strategy/arguments, point things out on the fly, etc.
(P. 23) "Still, parents and infants do bond, and men's early attachments to their babies are just as powerful as women's. In the early 1970's, Martin Greenberg and Norman Morris were among the first researchers to notice how delighted and pleased fathers were with their new newborns. They interviewed new fathers and discovered that 'fathers begin developing a bond to their newborn by the first three days after birth and often earlier.’”
(p. 39) “Charges of abuse are sometimes made against men in intact families, but they are much more common in cases of divorce. So common, in fact, that there's a clinically recognized syndrome: SAID, or Sexual Allegations In Divorce. A variety of studies have concluded, however, that 75-80 percent of these divorce-related allegations of child abuse are completely false."
(p. 50) "Of the more than half million substantiated cases of child neglect of all kinds reported each year, 87 percent are of children neglected by a female, almost always the child's mother. ... and of the people who physically abuse their children, 60 percent are mothers."
(P. 75) "The whole 'deadbeat dad' campaign is, in a sense, a microcosm of the way our society willfully disregards the importance of fathers in children's lives and the importance of children in fathers’ lives. Once there's a divorce, we act as if the family no longer exists - we amputate one parent or the other and expect the child to grow up healthy."
(P. 118) "In truth, women have been children's primary nurturers for a relatively short period of time. Before the Industrial Revolution, when they left their wives and the family farm to work in cities and factories, men were the central figures in their children's lives. But rather than consider the historical precedent for men's involvement, too many people - especially women - have seized on the past two centuries and insist not only that women naturally do a better job of raising children, but that they don't even need men to help out.”
Resources, Part Two
Read about “Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome” by Jayne A. Major, Ph.D. (UCLA) at http://www.breakthroughparentingservices.org/article-pas.pdf.
An excellent resource page for Child Custody can be found at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/child-custody-resource-page/ : IC Presents: How Fathers Can Win Child Custody – A Book in Progress - Child Custody: Where Men Hit a Glass Ceiling - Other articles on Child Custody in Intellectual Conservative's archives - Alliance for Non-Custodial Parents' Rights - American Coalition for Fathers and Children - Arizona Father's Rights - Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition - Custody IQ - Dads in Distress forum - Dads on the Air - Divorce and Child Custody: Free Information for Fathers - DivorceNet - Fathers 4 Justice - Hate Male Post - International Men's Network - Men's Activism - The Men's Center - Men's Rights Agency - Parental Equality - PEPTalk – People for Equal Parenting - Union of Men discussion list
Here are other websites you may enjoy: http://www.orgformen.org/ http://www.nomas.org/ http://www.avoiceformen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/tempbanner-300x86.jpg
‘More Do’s and Don’ts in Child Custody Disputes’ is a short essay by Scott David Stewart at http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=1f5586c7-8d7a-4454-bf35-3e5145a61705
Tell Your Legislator To Write/Enact "A Father's Right To Parent" Bill. See http://humanrights.change.org/petitions/view/tell_your_legislator_to_writeenact_a_fathers_right_to_parent_bill to find out how.
The Alliance for Non-Custodial Parents Rights (http://ancpr.com/) has articles on these headlines: Superheroes and religious leader drop in for CSA demo Saratoga Family Court Judge Abramson Resigns A crisis of masculinism | Varsity Online Graffiti attack on minister’s home Ohio high court right to unite father, son CPS Caselaw
Follow the Fatherhood Coalition on Facebook. Visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fatherhood-Coalition/104161446292772?v=wall
“The Child” is a documentary that explores the current state of parental rights in America . An unseen battle is developing between the rights of parents and the authority of the government to direct the upbringing and education of children. Over 300 individuals have signed up to host a screening of “The Child” in their community. See http://thechilddocumentary.wordpress.com/about-2/ to learn more.
“Divorced From Reality” is the new essay by Stephen Baskerville. Don’t blame the gay lobby for the decline of marriage, he writes. Defenders of marriage must face some hard facts or they are going to lose their fight—and with it, quite possibly, their religious freedom as well. Read the article at http://www.amconmag.com/blog/divorced_from_reality/ .
Recall these Words of Wisdom and Remember these Websites
Celebrate your job as a parent. You will be one of the greatest influences of your child’s life. http://www.positiveparenting.com/. Playing games with your children is a great way to teach them about following the rules. http://www.preventchildabuse.org Help your child understand that anger is a natural emotion, it will not make problems go away. http://www.effectiveparenting.org/ Parents, take pride in your opinions and ideas. http://kidshealth.org/teen/ Realize that a father’s job is very important it is never done! http://www.fatherhood.org/ It is important for children to learn that not everything on TV and video games is real. Always monitor what they watch or play and talk about the difference between TV and real life. http://www.txpeds.org/